Thursday, March 19, 2015

Nesting with Maureen Landry

Nesting with Maureen Landry, Part II of my interview with my favorite Fashionista! Not only does Maureen have amazing personal style in dressing, she has a knack for creating amazing homes. I have watched her over the 24 years of our friendship create 3-4 homes. You can bet when she comes to Chicago we are fluffing my nest! She never steers me wrong and we always have a great time. I took time to ask her a few questions about how she created her last home in an old brick grade school building that was transformed into condos, what a great use of space for these older school buildings. Still in a traditional neighborhood, it was transformed into homes. She took 2 condos and made them into one large condo with separate living quarters, 2 bedrooms at opposite sides of the condo. It gives communal space in the center of the home but the bedrooms offer privacy & lovely quite space to retreat to at the end of the day. I love being a guest at her home and always just soak up the serenity she creates. Here are her tips and some of the pictures of her last home in Wisconsin. She is available for projects too...

BC; What is your secret to having no clutter? 
ML: First of all, I hate clutter.  Just looking at it causes anxiety!  
I believe that organization is an extension of the design/decor of your home.  I love to open a drawer or closet and see clothes/linens neatly stacked; water bottles and cans facing forward in my pantry. 
Being organized is a combination of efficiency and committing to putting things away in their designated spot (being a bit OCD helps).
BC:  What are your tips to organizing a home?

ML: Use baskets to hide clutter and drawer organizers -

Here are some tools Maureen recommends:

1. Use drawer organizers for your kitchen and bathroom drawers and baskets to hold neatly folded linens, toilet paper towels, magazines and mail.
2.  Hang scarves and necklaces on hangers in your closet.  
3.   Always fold linens and clothes the same way so your shelves and closet always stay neat and clutter free.

4.  Get rid of mix-matched hangers and buy wood hangers. Then place all blouses together and then pants together and so on.  Group clothing by season, color and purpose so it's easy to decide what to wear.  

BC: When putting together a room what do you start with? Something you love? like a great couch or a bed?  

ML: I start with the largest piece of furniture that's going to anchor the room.  I always gravitate toward furniture that allows you to curl up and read. 
BC: I always see layering in your rooms, with a variety of texture from luxe fabrics, to furry soft pillows, to shine and metals, how do you keep it all together?
ML: I like things to have a certain harmony and rhythm so I work with one color in the space, but in different textures, shapes and sizes.  I keep furniture, rugs and paint neutral and add pops of color with pillows, accessories and fresh flowers.  

BC: How would you describe your style?  

ML: Contemporary

BC: Your condo you put together had so many great features. I loved the windows and being sub ground level. I also loved the basin you created for your guest bathroom. Where do you get your ideas and then describe the most challenging part of your last home when selecting fabrics (can be the counters, cabinets, open shelving, appliances etc not necessarily "fabrics".)
ML: I'm always reading design books, magazines and blogs, but my absolute favorite place to get ideas is Houzz...the best app ever made!  There are literally thousands of ideas and materials to choose from so the most challenging part of putting together a design project is narrowing in on your favorites.  I had amazing architecture so it made my build-out easier. I also found a great carpenter and cabinet maker.  I could show them a picture and they would duplicate it.  

Above: This is the guest bathroom featuring a custom made sink, of thick wood thats been coated to a shiny finish with polyurethane to withstand the moisture in bathrooms.

Below is the master bathroom, the 2 Kohler mirrors open to store toiletries leaving the sink clutter free!

Another view of the Master Bath room
Master Closet, notice how the shoes are organized on the wall shelf to the left of the mirrors? Fancy 
This is the kitchen looking into the family room

Add caption

 Another view of the kitchen, with open shelves to the left and you cant see the gorgeous Wolf 36 inch stove but that would be amazing to have!! Love it.
This is the living room, the windows are at ground level, which is really cool.

BC: Maureen, Love your style and your vision! Thanks for sharing your unique concepts in design! XOXO Love you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Break

Friends, so sorry I have been late in posting!

Life has been so busy ....a great loss... of the patriarch of my husbands family, Grandpa Kjeldsen passed on 2.21.15 at 96 years old. Such a loss but a vibrant life and well lived one at that. Here he is at Christmas 2014 with his some of his youngest great-grandchildren. He had a sharp memory right up until the end, a successful career, and he was totally self made. Took up flying at 42, loved the outdoors, traveled well, played golf, enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating. Held his family deep in his heart, and a handful of friends that he kept. Their crowd was super cool, sadly out of a group of 12 couples, only 2 of those remain today.

This year is also my son's senior year in college, so lots of exciting things happening. The bookends of college! for those of you that may be starting college or your children going to be freshman this fall, you have lots of emotions going on.... from graduating HS to moving into the first steps as a young adult going away to college.

Then, what seems like a flash're (or in my case my child!) planning college graduation and life as a young adult. Exciting times indeed.

Needless to say life has prioritized my days of late.

So for now we are trying to be in the moment, for 4 years we planned this spring trip our son affectionately calls the "Sauer Farewell Tour" - he has played D1 baseball for 4 years and like anything great, all things must come to an end. We are following the team around on their spring break. They are playing in Memphis ...and yes we fit in a visit to Graceland to see Elvis ;-)

Today, we are in Starkville, Mississippi and playing Mississippi State University. What a wonderful few days visiting this glorious campus. The school is massive and quite impressive. There is a very strong focus on sports here among academics.

With any road trip or vacation, I don't know about you but I forget something and have to run to the local Target or similar store. I found a Walmart near our hotel to grab some things I needed.

Here is what I found...a lovely black hat (this will help me keep the sun off my face with this wide brim & since my wardrobe has 90% black in it ...naturally this will fit). My polish was chipping and I hate a chipped nail! so I was able to pick up this super portable nail polish remover THESE ARE AWESOME! Equate Beauty line of Nail Polish Remover Pads, every travel bag needs them.

And a quick dry polish in a bright color From Sally Hansen for my toes and fingers to bring some cheerful thoughts of summer...along with Seche Vite, this is a product that is a super quick drying top coat that was originally for professional use only but now available for purchase. It's one of the best on the market. I had the CND Solar Oil in my beauty bag, this is something I try to use daily on my cuticles, it moisturizes, penetrates nail lacquer and helps keep nail beds moisturized + keeps the lacquer looking shiny.

Lastly being in sunshine and 77 degree weather is a far change from the cold & snow I left in Chicago requires some color on my pasty white skin. I found this mousse moisturizing product that builds color over a couple of days. It works! Its easy to apply and while it is not a colored mousse so you can see where you are applying, just make sure you cover all your areas in circular motion and blend in well. A pro tip is to then use a blow dryer to dry it down so you can get dressed quickly.
(+ benefit...You will look better naked with a little color! ha ha)

Cheers to Spring and hoping you have something fun planned for your spring break!