Category Archives: DESIGN DETECTIVE

The Genius of Josef Frank

“The home must not be a mere efficient machine.  It must offer comfort, rest, and coziness.”

-Josef Frank

One of his many beautiful textiles he created for the Swedish furniture company, Svenskt Tenn.


He didn’t believe in rules and cared more about joy over restraint.  I think that’s quite apparent in his designs.

Josef Frank

Although most of Frank’s  furniture and textiles were designed in the 1930’s-40’s, most are still in production today.

You can check out more at these sites:


I’m thinking about wallpapering my walk-in closet or powder room with one his designs.  Just makes me happy.


Mystery Christmas Present

It arrived on Christmas Eve.   From whom, I do not know.  There is no tag on it.   There is no sales receipt.  It’s a mystery Christmas present…yet to be revealed.

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Is is an apron for baking cookies or something else?

If it’s an apron for baking cookies, my Donna Reed days never happened.

If it’s for something else, I prefer white lace, not red gingham.

Whoever sent it, thanks for the chuckles.

I just don’t know what else to say about.

Does anyone want an apron?

Let There Be Light

That’s what I call a grand entrance in a hotel lobby.

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“15 Ways to Update Your Kitchen on a Dime”

Since I just moved into a new town home, I’m on the lookout for these kinds of lists.  There are some great ideas here from  Laura Gaskill, a Houzz contributor and a woman with a very sharp eye.  Thanks Laura!

Just click the link above the photograph to see all 15 fabulous, clever money-savers.



Decorating Tips from Houzz: Good Stuff

Decorating Tips from Houzz: Good Stuff

Dentists are Making a Killing

My  best friend asked me to pick her up after her root canal today. I feel like I just walked into a swanky New York hotel instead of a dentist’s office.  Or actually a Endodontics office.  Either way, look:

Cary Endodontics waiting room. Snazzy, snazzy.

Dentist offices have really come along way in the last 20 years. I remember going to my dentist in a small business office in New Jersey. It was just the dentist and his secretary.  He gave me laughing gas for anything.  All I had to do was ask.  I asked my current dentist if I could have some before he started drilling and he just laughed at me.

Walking into this kind of atmosphere most certainly takes some of the pressure off though.  Are we really that frightened of the dentist that we require fires, cookies, movies and lattes?  Yes. Yes we are. And they are making the most of it.

Marble floors at Cary Endodontics
I love this waiting room at Cary Endodontics. Must find those blue tables.

It’s no different at the Orthodontist’s office.  Two hours after picking up my friend, I had to take my daughter in for a check-up on her braces.   As usual, just-baked cookies greet us at the reception area:

Snickerdoodles, too.  Someone even sprinkled cinnamon on them.
At Bovenizer Orthodontics: Snickerdoodles! Someone even sprinkled cinnamon on them.

I know we’re paying a fortune for those braces.  So I might eat TWO cookies.

Once again, check out the scene:

Bovenizer Orthodontics, Cary, NC
Bovenizer Orthodontics, Cary, NC

There’s even an area for the younger jet set to play.

Across the parking lot is Cary Endodontics...
Bovenizer Orthodontics. Across the parking lot: Cary Endodontics

If they get bored, they can watch a movie or use an iPad velcroed to the wall. iPad anyone?It takes the sting out of going to the dentist.  I’ll admit I like going to the Orthodontics office.  It feels like I’m walking into a spa or hotel and I’m not the one getting work done on my teeth.  I get 15 or so minutes to eat a cookie and read a People magazine, uninterrupted.    It’s nice.  I’m easily manipulated.

And I get it.  You’re trying to make the visit as painless as possible. Sorry to say though, you still can’t fool us.  We know you’re going to stretch our mouths beyond its natural state and stick us with a huge bill in the end.

That’s why I’ll still avoid you like the plague.

Making Your House a Home

The Right Hue has a guest blogger today:


Please welcome Blake Daniels!


Blake Daniels is a stay-at-home dad living with his wife and two sons in upstate New York. Blake and his family recently moved into a new home and are figuring out everything that goes along with creating your dream home. When Blake isn’t blogging or working out you can find him taking care of his lawn, spending time with his sons, or working on various projects around the house. blakedaniels


He’s written a wonderful post about the importance of making your house a home.  He really gets it.  You build memories in your home.  Here’s how he’s making great ones for his family.


“My wife and I have been married for 4 years and currently have two young sons. Because of her job we have spent the better part of those 4 years moving up and down the east coast. However last year we finally decided to stay put for a bit and we took the plunge and purchased our first house. A very nice four bedroom in a great neighborhood with fantastic schools, we couldn’t be happier. My wife and I both grew up in apartments so having a backyard for our children was a big deal for us. We finally moved in November 30th 2013 and the last three months have been a whirlwind to say the least. Trying to balance everything in our lives while unpacking and setting up our new dream house was no easy task.


A few weeks ago we finally finished unpacking everything and got rid of all the boxes. My wife and I took a minute and stood in our foyer looking at our beautiful new house, but something was still missing. This big house for some reason felt unfamiliar, and did not yet feel like our home. Over the past 2 weeks I have been doing everything I can to give our house that sense of community and warmth. My wife and I plan to grow old and spend the rest of our lives here so we want a place full of memories. For all the new homeowners out there, I can now sympathize with you. I had no idea how much work went into purchasing, moving into a new home and making it feel like your own. Here are some tips I picked up from my experience on how to make your new house feel like the home you’ve always dreamed of.

Decorate With History

The first thing I did when all of the moving boxes were finally empty was to put our family portrait over the fireplace. Call me old fashioned but things like this really matter to me. I love when I walk into someone’s home and they have pictures from all generations of their family throughout the house. It is a great way to keep your loved ones in your mind and serve as fantastic conversation starters as well. I am also a sucker for family hand me downs. My wife’s father was a masterful carpenter during his life. About 30 years ago he made the most beautiful grandfather clock that stayed in my in-laws living room until they both passed away. My wife and I now have the immense pleasure of calling this clock our own and display it proudly.


Start Traditions

A great way to start building memories in your house is to start traditions and stick to them. I have always loved the idea of a Sunday dinner with the whole family. I know at times it can seem like a chore to prepare a full meal every week on what is supposed to be a day of rest but I am going to do everything I can to have a Sunday dinner with my family each week. Traditions, no matter how big or small, are what really stick in your children’s minds growing up. This year on Christmas Eve my wife, the boys and I all watched the first showing of A Christmas Story on TV and opened one present each. It’s the little things like that which I always will remember from growing up.



Have Company Over

This one can seem a bit intimidating but afterwards you will be so glad you did it. Last week my wife and I hosted our first get together in our new place and it was fantastic. We had the whole family over and everyone had a great time. Our family is so kind too, they brought us a variety of housewarming gifts and some food, wine, and berries to snack on later. We had the opportunity to give everyone the grand tour and the boys couldn’t have been more excited to show off their new rooms. The next day there was a bit of cleanup involved but that comes with the territory. My wife and I are hoping to have a 4th of July party this summer and possibly host Thanksgiving or Christmas next year. What good is a big house if you don’t have others over to share it with?

Purchasing your first home and making it your own is a long and tedious process. However in retrospect, if you’re planning to spend the rest of your life there, it isn’t that long. There are always things to do around the house and that will never stop. But every day I wake up and feel such a strong sense of family and pride in my home. Whatever it is that makes your family unique do not be afraid to show it off. Make your house into a home and start creating those memories that last a lifetime.”