Kudzu Interiors http://www.kudzuinteriors.com Designing You in Your Space Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:24:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.29 Design is In My Blood http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/design-is-in-my-blood/ http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/design-is-in-my-blood/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:24:35 +0000 http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/?p=843 I have been designing as far back as I can remember.  After my childhood of designing pinestraw
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Ben StonefamilyI have been designing as far back as I can remember.  After my childhood of designing pinestraw houses and cornstalk huts, I moved on to my teenage bedroom.  It was decorated in gold, black, and red, including Hoda lights (look it up) and shag carpet (which is all the rage now, by the way).  I spent hours moving furniture around in the house, painting rooms, and hanging wallpaper.  Thank you Mom, for letting me put black, red, and silver foiled paper in the kitchen!

I didn’t know there was such a thing as interior designers until I went to college.  I thought I wanted to major in fashion merchandising, until I had to take a clothing construction class.  My assigned roommate in the dorm (Sleazy Veazy, it was called) was an interior design major.  As soon as I saw her projects I knew that was what I was called to do!

My grandfather, Ben Stone, had a hardware in Ringgold for most of my growing up years.  I slept under the counter on the paper bags most Saturday mornings.  It was a true family business.  Everyone that worked there was family.  Even the few who didn’t bleed Stone blood were considered family.  I loved the hardware!  I loved (and still love) looking at screws, bolts, wire, chain, and paint.  There seemed to be an infinite number of sizes of nails and screws, and also an infinite number of things you could build with them!

bike keyboard books scrabble
Recently, on a trip to the market, I noticed an interesting trend.  Many showrooms displayed unconventional salvaged items as art.  Old cameras, piano keys, typewriters, and even a vintage yardstickbicycle had been disassembled and the parts artistically arranged and framed.  “Recycle, reuse, re-purpose” took on a fresh perspective.  Over the past couple of months I’ve been excited to look at some of my own collected junk as “art”.

A friend from church ran me down one Wednesday night to give me something he had saved from his grandmother’s house that was being razed.  It was a yardstick from Ben Stone Hardware.  I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it!

My next project will be to re-invent my father’s Korean War uniform into a work of art.  What do you have that could be art?  Weathered books?  Family board games?  Your own Hoda collection?

 

 

 

 

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A Perfect House vs. A Perfect Home http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/a-perfect-house-vs-a-perfect-home/ http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/a-perfect-house-vs-a-perfect-home/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:18:41 +0000 http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/?p=809 Good morning from the beach; it’s September.  The beach is empty; the sun is just rising
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sandGood morning from the beach; it’s September.  The beach is empty; the sun is just rising and reflecting it’s brightness across the horizon and straight into my window, onto my face.  The waves are rolling lazily onto the shore.

There are not a lot of shells on the sand in St. Augustine.  The ones we do find are scattered, cracked, and broken.  My beach friend went beach-combing this morning while I sat at the window.  Her bounty came back in an empty coffee cup. We talked about each broken piece and how beautiful they are.  We decided that when we were young the only things we thought were beautiful were perfect; they were perfectly formed, perfectly matched, perfectly designed, perfectly arranged, perfectly everything!inside-shell

I reflected; that it is exactly how I imagined my life as a designer to be.  Designing perfect houses for people to live in, perfect offices for people to work in, perfect business spaces for people to shop in, perfect shopping spaces for people to buy perfect things in.  So, as I’ve matured, both in age and as a designer, I see perfection in the not so perfect! The broken shell reveals colors and swirls of texture only formed through the rolling around on the ocean floor.

It is the same with our homes; the perfection we strive to achieve is superficial.  It doesn’t reflect our experiences, whether it’s the birth of a baby or the death of a parent, “the perfect house” does not allow for personal pictures, cheap collections from our growing children, stacks of curling papers from our parents files.  But homes do!

A “home” evolves with your family.  It is more beautiful than “perfection.”  You can put your feet on the table; you can hang a weathered mirror in the foyer and see your resemblance to your ancestors flash as you walk by.  You can collect broken shells as a reminder of the brokenness, the mending, the joys and hurts, and the memories of being washed upon the shores of life!

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A Break Now and Then http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/break-now-and-then/ http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/break-now-and-then/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 18:00:06 +0000 http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/?p=194 Everyone needs a break now and then.  I just needed a longer one than I had
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Everyone needs a break now and then.  I just needed a longer one than I had planned.  Being an interior designer can be demanding . . . deadlines, lengthy delays in shipping, back orders, change orders, construction surprises, budget overages, unannounced price increases, damaged goods . . . and the list goes on.

There are times when I need an escape . . . and usually it’s to a beach.  I’m a water baby.  I’ve always been drawn to the water.  I even selected my college (Georgia Southern in Statesboro), sight unseen, due to its proximity to the beach.  I had never set foot on the sandy campus until the day my parents dropped me off.  It was really the hottest place I’d ever been in my life.  Not to mention that we were below the gnat line.  NO REGRETS!!!!

kudzu-interiors-design-seashell-mirrorRecently, I’ve taken to the gulf Coast.  Thanks to a particular friend/ client that has a second home there.  My son has played in a World Series there for the last 4 years.  That puts my feet in the sand about 4 times a year.

It’s natural that my latest work and additions to the store would reflect my love of anything watery.  This bathroom vanity is a prime example . . . a seashell mirror, crisp white coral sconces, white Carrera marble counter top, and an alabaster back splash that echoes the white sand of the coast.  The fragrance of the candle is even named Sea Grass.  My store is sprinkled with home accessories that are gentle reminders of my longing to retreat.  Shells in glass, lamps of translucent blue, loose shells in the bookcase, artwork of ocean waves . . . . all dispersed with other reminders of what a home should be.

For me it’s the beach and water.  What do you long for . . . snowy mountains, babbling brooks, sunlight glistening on a forest flood?  Whatever it is, infuse the natural elements within your home . . . so that at the end of the day, when you are wishing for a sabbatical, you can walk through your door and sigh, “ahhh.”

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Pinestraw Walls http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/pinestraw-walls/ http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/pinestraw-walls/#comments Sun, 04 May 2014 21:45:47 +0000 http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/?p=58 Growing up in the country, I was forced to use and develop my imagination.  Neighbors and
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treesGrowing up in the country, I was forced to use and develop my imagination.  Neighbors and friends lived miles apart, so my best friends were imaginary.  Linda and I played together for years in the woods, hills, and valleys behind my house.

Areas of the woods were previously named by my older sister.  If you entered the woods directly behind my house and hiked down the hill to the stream running between two hills, then crossed the stream over a fallen tree trunk, you would enter Mercury Palace.  It was beautiful and magical.  Small purple flowers peaked through the moss that covered the forest floor.  Light danced through the treetops and sparkled in the stream, then reflected on the leaves that moved with the rhythm of the breeze.  This was a land of All Things Good.

But, if you crossed the pasture where my grandfather’s cows grazed and tip toed through the flowerscreek behind his house, you would pass the dairy barn and enter a forbidden section of property - Egypt Bottoms!  It was most certainly a Land of Death.  Animals that died of disease (or whatever) were left in this area to rot or be dragged off by the coyotes.  Skulls and various bones littered the landscape.  Tall trees heavy with large dark green leaves shadowed the ground and blocked the sun from peeking through.  Only a double dare would cause a child to enter the Land of Death.

It was in this compound that my passion for interior design was nurtured.  My houses were constructed from the elements of nature that were available to me.  Pinestraw was used to mound up into rows for walls.  Soft moss carpeted the floors of my houses, while exposed roots served as chairs or headrests.  Often I was lucky to come across a treasure.  An empty bottle or tin can had been tossed into a ditch would find pbjitself displayed with a purple aster on a large rock where I served Linda a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I’ve never stopped designing places to nest… for myself and for others.  It’s been decades since I’ve been to Mercury Palace…… How I would love to gather Pinestraw once more….

 

 

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Chim-chim-in-ney! http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/chim-chim-in-ney/ http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/chim-chim-in-ney/#comments Sun, 04 May 2014 21:45:01 +0000 http://www.kudzuinteriors.com/?p=55 Growing up in a family of mostly adults, I wondered, “How in the world can he
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image (2)Growing up in a family of mostly adults, I wondered, “How in the world can he or she remember what happened in 19??”  It seemed that anyone older than 30 could name a date and time of an event in their past.  I sat hour after hour listening to stories of war, depression, deaths, births, marriages, and whispered divorces.  What was it that gave my elders the uncanny ability to recite precise moments and experiences that had occurred in their lives?

During the winter, we sat at wood stoves in my grandparents’ house.  The stove was the source of heat for the entire house. Let me back up… I guess it could have been a wood stove, but I distinctly remember a pail of coal sitting on the floor next to it, so it must have burned coal.  This stove also served as the only cooking appliance available and many children, parents, aunts, and uncles were fed from this stove.

My grandmother was part Cherokee and wore her hair in a gray twisted braid long enough to rival Rapunzel.  I don’t remember if she ever cooked from an electric or gas stove.
The house was always warm and sometimes, too warm.  The smell from the burnt coal or wood would cling to my clothes and hair until the first opportunity to shed them in the basement of my own house.  I love the smell of burning wood, but no so much when it is attached to my body.

Presently, my family and I live in a modest ( by today’s standards) two story brick traditional house. We’ve lived here for 10 years.  It is the third house that my husband and I have owned, but the first house that was now new when we bought it.  The house was built in the 70’s (19 not 18). We have experienced the joy of remodeling.  It has been slow going, to say the least.
My first goal was to remove the eye sores which included an entire house of slick, shiny, vinyl wall covering that would be right at home on the walls of a vintage PCB condo (Don’t be offended, you know what I’m talking about)!  Every single wall, in every room and hallway had the same exact paper.  Another eyesore was the cover abundance of ceiling fans.  The house has bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, dining room, living room, kitchen, den, and breakfast room.  If you are counting that is a total of 11 rooms.  We had TEN ceiling fans.  My sister pointed out that if they were all turned on at the same time, the house would lift right off its foundation (Hence, the movie “UP”).
One particular “eyesore” that I’ve lived with for ten years, is a circa 1977image (1) wood stove insert manufactured my Wood Chief.  It is a massive piece of black metal with brass details around the door and handles of the glass doors.  The glass doors act as a barrier to separate the fire from the person who is trying to enjoy the crackling sounds and to keep them from feeling any amount of warmth while cuddling with a cup of hot chocolate.  It was produced entirely to heat an entire house and I suppose roast a turkey for Thanksgiving.

Do you see where I am going with this?  I have returned to my childhood AND I can recite the date and time or a specific event. Winter of 1969, my grandmother died, and the grandchildren gathered in the kitchen by the coal/wood stove that heated the entire house!  (Huh! How did that happen?) How can I remember that- when I can’t remember where my cell phone and keys are?

So, to get the point of this store… I guess I had a point… not sure anymore.
I have been longing for ten years to remove the third eyesore and enjoy an open fireplace with a roaring fire. I was informed today by a Certified Chimney Sweep that that would probably no happen. But that it is safe, as is, to have a fire even a roaring fire! Tonight, I’m hoping for a little cooler air as the sun goes down so that I can build my first fire in three years.

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