Thursday, February 26, 2009

Last Post

I am moving...will you join me at The Diary of a Steel Magnolia? It's high time for a change folks!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Holding Pattern

My Dear Readers,
While I do have a great passion for interior design, lately I have been feeling a little unfulfilled by the content of my blog. Some of you might know where I am coming from, and others will just think I am crazy. But I have been growing so much in my life lately; growing personally, growing in my faith, learning life lessons etc. I am feeling a tug on my heartstrings to make a bit of a change. I do think I want to continue the blog, but possibly in a different direction. I am feeling compelled to share more of myself than just beautiful rooms I love, and it is my hope that I will inspire others in the process. I am going to take a little teensy break from The Steel Magnolia House to figure out where I want to go with it. I do know this: I want it to have soul. And I think the way to accomplish this is by sharing more of my faith and more of my life. I will still interject design, how could I not, I love it dearly. But this blog will have a new dynamic. And I realize that I might lose some of you who are only interested in design, and that's ok with me. To those of you who will be with me still, thank you, and to those of you who I lose, I wish you nothing but the best! This has been a very fun adventure, and thank you all!
Steel Mags

Sunday, February 22, 2009


OK, I am dying over here. Blueprint Bliss recently did a post about Garden and Gun's Great Southern Homes. And, finally, my dream home is alive and kicking. Beautiful large plot of land, check, huge amazing trees, check, white with black shutters, check, huge front porch, check, historic, check check. Now, I just have to find this for sale. If anyone is obsessed with checking as much as I am and comes across a house just like this, PLEASE, email me. I am on the hunt. Hubster has been forewarned. OK, normal posts will resume this week, I promise. But I had to take a breather, and then I just had to get this one in and have you dear people on the lookout for me. How are you all? I have missed you guys this past week! I was helping family members recover from various surgeries, etc. Duty calls. Everyone doing ok now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Aussie real estate anyone?

Alright, I know you all have been wondering, when, wheeen is she going to post the Red Cross Showhouse??!! Well, I'm having a minor mishap with my Picasa. The mishap is I don't know how to use it very well. I know, it's totally pathetic. I am a complete neophyte tecchie and I'm too tired to fight with my computer right now. Because it usually wins. So, to hold you over in the meantime, I will give you the link to my friend's beach house in Australia. Check it out: Please, please, someone but this house so I can have my friend back in Florida! The house is SO cool.
Love, Steel Mags

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Island Home

Well, today we toured the Red Cross Showhouse and boy do I have some goodies for you! But you will have to wait until this week to get them. This place was so fantastic! It is so fun to have so many different designers in one house. I have dedicated this whole week to this house and will post on different rooms each day.
Before hand, we had lunch at Nick and Johnnie's, a Palm Beach favorite. The chef and partner is my very first boyfriend from middle and high school. Always funny running into those, isn't it? :) AND, on the walk there I stopped into this little GEM, Island Home. I almost had a heart attack, for this is very much Hudson on Palm Beach steroids. And we all know how much I love Hudson! Does that ever happen to you? When I walk into a store like this I get so excited I don't know where to start. My heart beats fast and I get really neurotic, like "get out of my way" neurotic! ha ha
I suggest if you are ever in Palm Beach you definitely stop by. You won't regret it!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Because the more the merrier!!! :)
Sorry for the lack of posting, husbter, house, job, life, know the drill. I will be back after this weekend with some fresh ideas I hope. And hopefully a post on the 2009 Red Cross Showhouse. AND, the good news on my homefront, I GOT A PADDLEBOARD! Yipeeeeee!
Have a beautiful weekend with your loved ones!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The boy's room and more...

Rubie Green. We all know and LOVE her. (I can personify a company name, right?) Michelle Adams is the brainchild behind it. I think it's safe to say that I am 100% obsessed with this fabric. I have always loved pineapples, the great symbol of hospitality. I WILL find somewhere to use this in mi casa. And, more than that, I really love the "descriptions" of each fabric on the website.
For example, Megan: "She believes in pairing stilettos with cowboy hats, wine with hot dogs, and acrylic nails with the engine of a '67 Mustang. Megan is unique and edgy while being feminine and playful; she'll wear her Prom Queen title but never her boyfriend's varsity jacket. Her will is strong and her wit sky-high; she is the girl who leads the pack, the girl who stands apart." Now, that's my kinda girl!
Tillinghast, also by Rubie Green.

Key West, by Calico Corners

So, my last post got me thinking about which fabric I will use for Trip's room, since "Cadence" went totally awry (is it just me, or does any one else have trouble spelling this...sounds like "uh-rye" lol). And my lovely new blog friends have come to the rescue. Lindsey, from Everything LEB, reminded me of this from Calico Corners, which looks a lot like this, from Rubie Green. My favorite. And, duh, it's also the header for my blog. Can you believe my brain has failed to remember this? It took someone else to remind me. I need some Soduko. STAT.
I'm still open to suggestions, but this is my front runner.
Lindsey is also taking suggestions on her window treatment. Click here to help another sista out!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Update and Warning!

Remember this?

Well, I feel obligated to tell you, my fellow readers, that this picture of Cadence yellow fabric is NOT what it really looks like, in real life! No sir, not at all. I waited over a week to get these yards in. Every day I kept waiting to hear brown's truck coming down the street, and finally, FINALLY, when it did, I tore open that package like a kid on Christmas morning. And to my dismay, oh the horrors! When it says "corn yellow on linen" what it really means is school bus on brown. Yu-cky! I will not be using this anymore. No mas. I did, however, really like Best Friends. Now that is true to it's image. So, now I am scrambling to find another fabric to coordinate with BF's. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

I finished up the painting today. I say "finished up", what I really mean is I painted the walls in like 2.5 hours flat. Baby was sleeping and Mama had to get her stuff done!!

Local talent...

Man, I hate when this happens. I had this totally awesome, in depth post about this local talent, Kristi Lei Bryan, of Kristi Lei Interiors. And when I went back to get the draft I saved, **poof**, half of it was gone. Ugg! Musta' been that wine again. In any event, allow me to introduce her sassy and sophisticated self...

This room was from the 2008 Red Cross Showhouse. It was an amazing 9,000 sq ft condo and every room was decorated to the hilt. This was my personal favorite. It was dedicated to Lilly Pulitzer, as evidenced by the ginormous Lilly Pulitzer portrait. :) (A side note: I am going this weekend to see the 2009 Red Cross Showhouse. Yipee! Having a mother/daughter day of oggeling and lunch on the island. Will have crappy pictures of an amazing house to show you next week! Yay! Gotta start saving for this. Big time.)

I am totally in love with this image. It really makes me feel like I have just walked in from a long day at my uber fabulous job (designing, of course), put on some jazz, ordered some Japanese and started a bubble bath with candles. It is just so dang crisp! It also makes me actually want a condo. I have always considered myself a "house person." Hmmm...interesting.
And this one. Geez. This one. How slick would you be if this were your bedroom? And that view!
So, there you have it. Check out her portfolio here. She's pretty sassy. I like her.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My secret...

Wow, I have a secret that I'd like to share. Have any of you ever heard of HomeStyle Books? This is a really awesome resource (watch out, it's addicting!). A little backstory: Although I hate to admit this, I am a total sucker for those "plans" out there like music clubs, DVD clubs, and the like. I received a notice in the mail about this one and decided to give it a try. WOW! I was hooked immediately. The deal is become a member and get 5 books for $2! (It is sooo exciting getting a huge box of beautiful books in the mail for $2. I am obsessed with books). Once you are a member, you must buy one or two more over the course of a year or two. Trust me, for someone like myself, this is not hard. I really have to get my fix from these things once all other resources have been exhausted (shelter mags, shelter mag websites, etc., you know the drill). ANOTHER secret: If you're really a crack head like me, you sign up under your husbands name as well, to get another set of 5 books for $2. Yes, I know, crazy.
***If this is no secret to anyone, and I'm not spilling the beans here, just let me know so I can have a good laugh that I wasted a Friday night and a good glass of wine on this post. (Hubster is bathing child. I know, my social life is very, very sad these days).
Here's a little warning for those of you with hubsters like mine who give you the Larry David/turned head look (doot do doo do doot doo doot doo doo) every time they see something they believe to be a "new purchase." (Usually followed by me immediately laughing because I can not lie with a straight face. Does this happen to you?) Hide these books in your library of others. Mix em up. I made the mistake of having them all out and then had to explain that I was sucked into the black whole that is HomeStyle Books only to get a lecture. Boo. Save yourself the lecture of "wasting money." Wasting money? Blasphemy! (And about that beer budget, honey...)

OK, this little gem is from Mary Emmerling, you know, the Country Living editor and everything else. This is MY personal favorite, because as we all well know, I live by and LOVE the beach. The beach cottages profiled in here are all so lovely, and all different in styles. The text and stories accompanying them are incredibly charming so it makes for a great read as well. Another great thing is that once you are a "member" (oooh!) you get member prices. Por ejemplo, this one goes for $23.99 and retails for more.

Here is another goodie! For all those blue and white lovers out there!

And, of course, the Domino guide. If you don't have this one, where the hell have you been? (Woops, did I just type that? :) )
Anyway, be sure to check this little gold mine out. They have all sorts of books to choose from. Have a beeeaaaaauuuuutiful weekend my lovely readers!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I don't know about you, but I have always had the dream of owning a white house with black shutters. To me, it just doesn't get any better than this. I guess it's my southern family roots that always lead me back to the slower pace of life. This home is actually the most charming store as well. Would you believe it? There are a few locations in North Carolina and they call themselves, Cottage Chic, "a lifestyle store." A lifestyle, indeed. I don't believe I would want my entire house furnished from here, but they certainly have a plethora of cottage style goods to choose from...bed linens, furniture, lighting, apothecary, clothing, retro appliances, artwork, you name it, they've got it!

Here is the beauty in all her glory! There is the most charming tree lined road leading up to the house.
ALWAYS a sucker for a white sofa. Featured here is Rachel Ashwell's. I also love their artwork. It's so happy and vibrant. How great is the b&w checkered floor. I really enjoy the combo with the marble counters and open shelving.
Loving the Key West vibe of these pieces.
And how cute is this! I would love a good book, cup of coffee, and my most comfortable jammies and robe.
So, I know "Cottage Chic" isn't exactly in the forefront of interior design, but I'm not too much of a snob that I can't appreciate a great, comfy space when I see one. Has anyone heard of this place, or actually been here? Do tell!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sea Change

Lately I have been thinking a lot about blogging; what makes a good blog? how am I benefiting from blogging? etc. And one of the things I have been noticing is that my style, my aesthetic, is beginning to shift. There are so many wonderful resources available to us in blog world that, I believe, ultimately end up influencing and shaping our vision. Before I started doing this, my style was a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but now I can see it is being honed, and for that I am grateful. I am growing so much in this adventure, as I am sure some of you are too! How great is that! A gigantic thank you to all of you who are inspiring me!

I came across these images again last night from Coastal Living. This Jersey Shore beach cottage was featured in their September issue and is one of my very favorites. It has the coastal element, which we all know I am a huge fan of (should I just go ahead and change the name of my blog??!! lol), and also just the right amount of modern, which is a little new for me. The owners hired Kathryn Saunders (would link but can't find a website for her) to aid in the design. I think she did a fantastic job. The cypress paneling really sets the tone for the whole vibe.
What about all of you? Do you find that your style has been influenced at all by other designers and/or bloggers?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Friday!

Since we are having a fairly large fiesta at our place tomorrow night, I have been rearranging things a bit, moving this here and that there. Months ago, I purchased this original "quote art" (I believe she calls it this, sorry, Anne! :) ) from Anne Harwell's Etsy shop. I love the color, but most important is the message: "Happiness is not having all you want * It's wanting all you've got!" Indeed, Anne. I originally had it behind my laptop but had been looking at it for so long I really didn't *see* the message anymore. Now, in my kitchen, not only will I enjoy rediscovering it, but my guests will as well. It is so so fun to get new ideas, read shelter mags, and drool over others' designs, but at the end of the day you really have to learn to be grateful for your lot in life. Otherwise, you will always be searching for the next best thing. So I'm taking a moment to appreciate all of my blessings, and hoping you will do the same, especially given the state of our economy.

Also, I love having designer things available to me, but what really dawned on me today was how many wonderful artists we have in our own blogger community. Purchasing things from places like Etsy, and our blog friends, such as Annechovie, is such a wonderful (and affordable) way to not only support them, but to have things that are truly unique.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jane Coslick

Jane Coslick is a wonderful interior designer and preservationist. There is something so light-hearted and genuine about her work. I think it is her passion that really translates so well through her designs. Every time I see the Tybee Island cottages she has restored I always feel, in a way, relieved, and delighted. I say relieved because after pouring over shelter mags filled with buttoned up design and overstyled rooms, seeing Jane's work strikes a chord. Although I love so many different styles (I am a major A.D.D. design freak), there is always something about the casual look that makes me feel at home. And her "not too put together" vibe really does it for me here. Makes me want to get on my beach cruiser barefoot and ride on over.

This is how her site depicts her work:

"Jane Coslick's Designs and Restorations embrace the cottage lifestyle: open, friendly, and simple. Jane's lovingly restored homes are painted bright colors-- trimmed in crisp white, and are full of funky furnishings, many of which she designs herself. Jane blends the quirky with the quintessential and fills her homes with delights at every turn. Her passion for restoration and design has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally and has been featured in print, on television and the web."

This is the way LIFE should be lived.

Share the LUV

A HUGE, HUMONGOUS, GIANT AND HEARTFELT thanks to Anne Harwell at the fabulous and famous blog, Annechovie. Anne is not only one of the kindest folks in blogland, she is also one of the most talented. Thanks again, Anne, for nominating me!! I am completely flattered.
To share the LUV, follow these instructions:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE 3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post. 4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award.
My TOP 10:
(In no particular order)
(I know some of these are very well known, but the authors have still taken the time to show their appreciation for my stalking! ha)

This one's for you, Pink Wallpaper!

A little back story: Pink Wallpaper and I have been going back and forth on who got the worst haircut. (We've both recently been traumatized). No, I will not post pictures. lol. She, like me, also has the sounds of pitter patter around her house. For those of us with little ones, we all know how hard it is to FEEL fabulous when there is so little time to tend to our 'fabulosity', for lack of a better word. (No, Kimora Lee Simmons is NOT my hero!) So, this morning, while going through the daily blog roll, I discovered this post on Absolutley Beautiful Things from Anna.
This one's for you, Shannon. I'm sure you look great in your black workout pants and Patagonia. Keep on keepin' on!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This is SO awesome!!!!

Paddle boarding...
Let me just tell you...this is a blast. I am absolutely hooked! If you live by the water and haven't tried this, you must. We were at the beach today and saw some friends who have a couple of boards and decided to try it out. I have been thinking about doing this for some time now and today just afforded me the opportunity to do so. Not only is it a great workout, but you get a tan while doing it, and you commune with nature. Perfect blue sky, crystal clear water, and nice big red paddle board: recipe for an awesome beach day. The only thing left to get is the Kate Hudson bod! I'm workin' on it. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And last but not least...

There were 60 of them! How could I only choose 5?? :) Here are the rest of the contenders...and in no particular order, I might add.

I remember this spread like it was yesterday. Do you? This was one of my favorite issues. Two fabulous guys renovated this little schoolhouse (I think it was a school house, or a church maybe). Anyway, the results were fantastic!!! They are a big fan of layering, and they do it well! Ever a fan of the green and white. I believe they called this the "Monkey Cottage." (Don't shoot me if I'm wrong. I will have to search my archives! :) )
Ooh, now this one is very soothing, and very sophisticated. I always admire these designs that have such restraint, but I love color so much its hard for me to get there.

And for the traditional in you...

This was also a great feature. The before and afters of this are really something else. It turned out quite well. The walls were dark paneling before and the owner found this sink and hardware antiquing. Just goes to show what a little elbow grease will give you...a big bang for your buck!

And, lastly, this one appeals to the "granny chic" in me. Especially all of those trinkets...they really bring me back. I love that nostalgia.
OK, so which one of theeeese is your favorite???? I think mine is the first!

Bathrooms, bathrooms, and more bathrooms...

This nautical wallpaper pops right off the white sink. And I love those legs! Now those are some sexy legs!!! They pair so well together.

This is so pleasing to the neutral palette in me. I have always loved the idea of skirting the sink to hide toiletries.

I love the raw materials in this bathroom. Everything can be beautiful in its simplest form.

And, of course, gotta throw the turquoise in there! Adding furniture (if you are lucky enough to have that big of a bathroom) is such a nice touch. This is a great way to turn a standard builder home into a real unique room as well.

And always a fan of the b & w checkered floor.

I just received a newsletter from County Living that was showcasing their best bathrooms yet. I have always loved CL for the designs they feature; they are so warm and inviting, so approachable. I think growing up in a house that felt more like a museum than a "homey" home has driven me to create a casual, kick your feet up feel in my own home. Although I appreciate all styles, I personally lean towards the more comfortable "come in and stay a while" feel. So if that is your cup of tea, feast your eyes on these babies...
Which one is your fave??????

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snips and Snails...

So, this is what I have been working on son's room. Trip is an adorable, naughty little fella. Into the usual 3 yr old boy shenanigans. And recently his ViVi (code for "Grandma") has bought him some new big boy bunk beds, which of course calls for redecorating the whole room. We have had the blue scheme for some time now and I thought it would be nice to mix it up and give him a fresh new "big boy" look.
This "Best Friends" print is going to be the cushion cover on a generously sized antique wicker chair that has been holed up in my garage. (Yes, you're finally gettin' out! Mr. Steel Mags will be so excited!) The colors are chocolate and linen. If you've read my past posts, you'll know that Jack (that was his given name and I felt I could not possibly change it since he was probably suffering from identity issues as it was), our rescued Golden, plays an important part in our lives. This room is sort of an homage to their brotherly relationship.

And this yellow "Cadence" print is going to be a euro sham for the top and bottom bunk, making it comfortable for reading, which we do a TON of! Both of these fabrics, btw, came from here. Premier Prints has been seen lately on Decorno and Pink Wallpaper. What a great resource! Super cute and super affordable!

I am just using simple navy down comforters for the bedding with white sheets. His dresser is sort of a distressed ivory and we are going to stripe it vertically with an undecided shade of yellow. And I'm thinking this would be cute for some art work...a vintage poster with great color. From here.

And since we took down his ceiling fan for safety reasons, he is demanding a replacement. It gets really hot here ya'll! This is the best I could find w/o deviating from my look too much. From here.

So, what do you think? Cute or what? What do your kids' rooms look like? I'm always interested in kids' room because I think they can be hard to do without getting either too cheesy or too theme-y.