Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Cindy Christenden in Miami

This pristine white Miami, Florida home was designed by Cindy Christenden.


Now on to Embracing Etiquette With Teresa...

How to React?

Your dignity relies on how well you handle a response to rude behavior. There are many areas in which you must react appropriately and they include while shopping, at work, when out in public, and phone provocations.

There are appropriate ways to handle rudeness in all areas, and it is important to be respectful and rational in your approach.

Tomorrow we will cover “When Shopping?”

See you soon,

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Favorable Modern House Cedar Clad Exterior Design

This modern house creates social interactive, especially kitchen design, and others space provide interconnected open areas. Cedar clad wall at exterior provide explanation architecture that built with simple and clean geometric forms. The house design structure has favorable setting and utilizes the abundance of natural light made possible by the site’s elevation. This modern house has two-storey open living room, large sliding glazed doors and a walk-out rooftop patio. Designed by Linebox Studio inc..

Modern Furniture Interior Natural Home Design Ideas

Architectural design is very popular right now is an ideal design for the modern home complete with a versatile design. Especially in the family room design that provides comfortable atmosphere when all family members gathered setlah not met all day because their activities are very full. This design with a sense of kinship and togetherness can be created again because the family room is fully designed by renowned architectural designer. you can change the atmosphere becomes like a family room that we recommend. let us build our family to stay intact.

Modern and Luxury Furniture Interior Natural Home Design Ideas

Architectural design is very popular right now is an ideal design for the modern home complete with a versatile design. Especially in the family room design that provides comfortable atmosphere when all family members gathered setlah not met all day because their activities are very full. This design with a sense of kinship and togetherness can be created again because the family room is fully designed by renowned architectural designer. you can change the atmosphere becomes like a family room that we recommend. let us build our family to stay intact.

Client Project: Sneakity Peek

I've been remiss about getting "afters" of my finished projects for clients.  It's on my list of things to do and so this week, since I'll be wrapping up a client's living & dining rooms, I'll be sure to get photos.   Here's a shot I took today of the pen shell coffee table in the living room:

I'm slightly obsessed. 

xoxo, Lauren

Presenting ... Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Taylor Bass

The Waters Chapel

My son, Joseph Taylor Bass, married the beautiful Lindsay Epton at the Waters Chapel this past Saturday. The mother of the groom, who just happens to be me, couldn’t be happier. Would you think I was bragging if I posted a couple of photographs? You are correct if you guessed yes! So… here is the beautiful couple.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Taylor Bass and ...

their wedding party and  ...

 the soon-to-be Mrs. Bass (Lindsay) and Miss Angela (my other precious angel)
at the rehearsal dinner.

Congratulations, Lindsay and Joseph!
I love you,

Now on to Embracing Etiquette with Teresa...

The Dirty Dozen: Today’s Rudest Behaviors

They are as follows, exactly as quoted in Emily Post:

• Telling racist or ethnic jokes, which not only insults the listener’s intelligence but smears entire communities

• Using four letter words and other obscenities in public without any reservations – especially in the presence of children

• Doing the “cell yell” – conducting a cell phone conversation so loudly that those around you wonder if your phone mate is hard of hearing

• Treating a salesperson, food server, or any other service provider as someone who is beneath you

• Letting kids run wild or make constant noise in restaurants, supermarkets, theater, and any other public or private place

• Endangering others on a busy expressway by playing NASCAR wannabe: zipping from one lane to the other while driving like a maniac and not even bothering to signal

• At a youth sporting event, abusing the referee, coach, or opposing team’s players because your child’s team has suffered what you consider wrong

• Fouling the sidewalk with spit, trash, or pet poop left unscooped (You KNOW that this infuriates me!)

• On public transportation, staying planted in your seat when an elderly, pregnant, or disabled person obviously needs it more

• Charging thoughtlessly through crowds – especially when skating, riding a bike or electric scooter, or pushing a baby stroller

• Butting in, whether jumping into a checkout line in a store or taking a parking space that someone is clearly waiting for

• Lighting up to smoke tobacco in a roomful of nonsmokers – and adding insult to injury by not asking permission beforehand

Thank you, Emily!

All of this behavior makes the average, decent person furious but there are many who just don’t “get” it! Please pass this on.

Tomorrow we cover “How to React?”

First three photographs by Ann Wade Parrish, Photographer.

See you soon,

Monday, 28 June 2010


Today on Fox News' imagazine, I was featured in an article about decorating for young families and also in another little slideshow/ article with photos & tips.  I was interviewed by Brooke Eaton of Fox News and she's a very sweet, savvy writer and can't thank her enough for the article.   I was a bit nervous to be interviewed, but it was a lot of fun and Brooke made me feel instantly at ease. 

The focus of the article was on decorating for young families, particularly those with kids.  As you know, I haven't given up the fight for a pretty house even though I have two little boys.  (Although at times it feels like a losing battle ;)  It's funny to see yourself quoted in an article and I had to laugh out loud when one of my quotes when asked about design tips for parents with young children was, "It's your life, not your kids'."  hahahah oh boy...  But as harsh as that may sound, (as far as decorating / designing in concerned ;) I believe it 100%.  Design a house that still feels adult/ beautiful by keeping kids' toys to a minimum and providing attractive, accessible storage for them.  Kids' toys can be in every room of the house without taking over.   A running joke in the family is that one of the first things you say to your newborn baby when he arrives is "welcome to our world."

BUT- All joking aside, we love our little dudes- we just think they should keep their primary-colored toys hidden ;) ;)

xoxo, Lauren

To read both articles go:
1) here (decorating for young families) and
2) here (for the Pure Style Home article/ slideshow.)

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Paint Colors: In Photos vs 'Real Life'

I've gotten lots of emails asking for paint colors used in various rooms/ specific projects.  And I've been so terrible about answering them.  (I'm sorry!!)  My first excuse is that when I don't remember them off of the top of my head, I put off going down to where our paint is stored or opening a client's file and finding the name of color.  It ends up being one of those things that just gets pushed to the end of the list of things I mean to do... 

{Justin's nursery}

One of the rooms I never mentioned a paint color for was Justin's nursery.  I didn't do this on purpose (and never purposely withhold paint colors or sources) but the truth is that we used every last drop of the paint on the walls, ditched the empty gallon, and I don't remember the name of color!!!!  It was a crazy time for us and that's really all I can say.  If I got out the deck & went & matched it, I could figure it out, but my #2 reason/excuse for not being so dilligent about supplying paint colors (and the reason it gets pushed very low on the list of things 'to do') is because paint color look different in different spaces.  Light changes everything and although it will probably look close, it might not match exactly so the "perfect navy blue" in my house might be very different from the perfect navy in your house.  

I learned this lesson first-hand when I used this color as inspiration for my family room: 

{Design by Ruthie Sommers, photo by Don Freeman for House Beautiful}

When I got out the paint chip (Blue Seafoam by Benjamin Moore) it was so much more intense than it looked in the photos and I knew that it would look way darker on my walls than it did in the Ruthie Sommers house.  Here's a sample:

It was not what I wanted and I was shocked at how dark the swatch was.  I went a couple of shades lighter with a tad more yellow (in another brand- Freshaire Choice Color: "Midwest Springs") and got a very similar-looking color for my walls & exactly what I wanted:

{Our family room}

And here's the Ruthie Sommers room again for reference:

The paint swatches look very different when compared next to one another in person, but the wall colors in the photos of the rooms look really similar.  Photography, lighting, time of day, etc. all come into play when selecting a paint color and that's one of the reasons exact paint colors aren't very important to me when trying to duplicate the look of a room.  Knowing paint colors is useful for points of reference, but in the end, the color chosen on a wall needs to be specifically chosen for that room.    (I.e., knowing a paint color will get you close/ in the ballpark, but in the end go with what works best in your space.)  I can take a photo in a room of my house- morning, noon and night - and the color will look different in each photo.

I never mind getting questions about colors so of course keep them coming but if I don't answer you, please know that I've put it on my list of colors to check!!  Hope you had a great weekend & yay for summer!!!

xoxo, Lauren

Update-  Just to clarify:  I should mention that I don't do "trial & error" painting & you can train yourself to properly visualize the colors before they go up on the walls.  (Clearly trial and error would not work for clients, and it's years of experience and knowing how colors will look once they are actually painted on a wall as opposed to how they look on a sample that will get you the right color choices...  Because I knew how the Blue Seafoam sample would look if actually painted on my wall, I knew right away it wasn't the color for me.  What was shocking to me was how it translated in the photo...  As a much lighter color. :)  Hope that makes sense!     Check out Colour Me Happy for expert color advice & prefessional training!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Innovative Wood Home Architecture for Next Generation

Innovative Wood Home ArchitecturePlanned to contain four generations of family nearby under a single roof, this house addition revolves around the dynamic tension of past and future an overlap reflected in the layered floor plans, intersecting layouts and combination of classic modern and cutting-edge contemporary materials chosen. Black-painted steel beams and girders play off the classic white walls, both illuminated by expansive minimalist floor-to-ceiling windows.

Innovative Wood Home ArchitectureInnovative Wood Home Architecture

Minimalist White Gloss Kitchen Innovative Design

Look superfluous, but fashion has style, this modern minimalist kitchen design perfect for small modern house. High gloss wall painted and furniture with white color dominate this kitchen crating inviting stylish and light look. The dominant color is contrasting with hood and oven appliances in steel. The room is divided by the island, which contains a sink, drawers and seating for four. The oven is symmetrically positioned in the best working height, producing harmony and balance.

Futuristic Beach House Design With Beautiful Garden Mansion

This futuristic house design based on mansion with beautiful garden. Although futuristic, the quotation of local ornamental and traditional patterns are embedding the building in its context. The building itself creates generous spaces within a beautiful and relaxing environment and is following the idea of a unique oasis for its inhabitants.

Futuristic Beach House Modern Pics layout

Futuristic Beach Living Space Design

Futuristic Beach Living room Design

This house has refreshing and relaxing ambiance. Perfect for weekend house. The buildings lines flow like a gentle wave above the ground. Maybe this is futuristic luxury design next. Designed by Project A01 Architects.

Sustainable Architecture Home with Style Elegant Classical and Modern Design

Classic and Modern Home DesignThis is an example of sustainable architecture design for luxury style elegant office design ideas. The modern office building with natural trees landscape and beautiful. This modern building office design with the butterfly shaped roof is creative idea, an innovative concept with style elegant and luxury interior design. Natural ventilation make the office seen comfortable. air filtration with style elegant of these construction. The interior workspace is warm and furniture with elegant. The room design an elegant creating a comfortable environment for the company’s employees. Here it is best modern sustainable architecture design for luxury style elegantoffice design pictures gallery for your inspiration.

Classic and Modern Home DesignClassic and Modern Home Design

Friday, 25 June 2010

Congratulations Class of 2010

This past week, Fairfax County's seniors, the Class of 2010, graduated.  My husband, David, teaches English at our local high school, and was voted by the seniors to give the Commencement speech at the graduation ceremony.  He was introduced at graduation as "hard & crunchy on the outside but soft & chewy in the middle."  The student speaker joked about how Dave used to make fun of a student because of his long hair, but they thought it was only becase he was jealous because he doesn' have any hair.  The student introducing him also told a story relayed to him by a teacher: "I mentioned to David that I was hungry in school one day & had forgotton my lunch.  When I got back from teaching my next class, there was a happy meal waiting on my desk for me."

{Dave with the boys}

I loved his speech and wanted to share it with you.  (I'm not including the ad-lib funny parts, because you had to be there for those ;)  I know it meant a lot to the kids & parents there...

{The Graduation at the Patriot Center}

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Colleagues and Guests, Principal Bates and of course Class of Two Thousand and Ten, it is a great honor to be here before you speaking today.

Eleven years ago I sat where you are now, looking up at some old, bald guy telling me that he once sat where I was sitting... But I all I could think about was when is his speech going to end so I can get to beach week at where else? The Jersey Shore.

The moral of this story is that by the age of twenty-one this attitude had me bald with a terrible GPA and nothing but a couple of Beer-Pong Trophies to show for it. I made a lot of bad choices in my youth and I've spent the past seven years working harder than I’d ever thought possible to remedy them. Immanual Kant says ‘the only thing that can bring you morals are the starry sky above and the moral law within” and Saba (a student) has fallen asleep. Just like class.

Fine, I get it, no Kant. But seriously listen… you are the result of the choices you make. How about a Batman Quote?  It’s not who you are inside but your actions that define you. Better? It’s not who you are inside but your actions that define you. The scary thing about this is that half the time you don’t even realize the choices you’re making because you’re just doing what you always do- what you’ve always done. When you’re in a situation for the first time- that’s when you think about what you’re going to do and why. The first time you get too much change back at McDonald’s: Are you thinking, “Sweet, I’m sure I’ve overpaid before,” or are you thinking about that worker’s register coming up short at the end of his shift and that money coming out of his paycheck? Say you take the money, no biggie, fine- but the next time you’re given too much change, that money just goes right into your pocket; you don’t need to think about it. You’ve already had this conversation with yourself, why have it again?  You’re on auto-pilot. How about the first time someone calls you a bad name in elementary school?  You have to think about how you will react- you can:

A) call them one back – even though mom said not to call names

B) punch them in the face – they do have it coming


C) walk away – everyone’s going to make fun of you

You choose your action.  But no need to think about it next time. Next time you’re just going to react. Get it?   Re- Action- Repeat your Action. Eventually we all are faced with enough situations that we stop thinking about why we are doing something and just do what we’ve always done in that situation. This is now who we are. Sometimes people will observe our behaviors and label us. What a “Pyscho!” What an “Idiot!” She is such a “blank.” He such an “blank.”  (My speech got edited ;)   But you know what kind of labels are out there. And more importantly, what kind of behavior gets you those labels. The sad part is, when you got that label you probably didn’t even think about what you were doing, you were just reacting, doing what you always do in that situation. That’s why those initial choices are so important.

At twenty-one years old, I realized I didn’t like who I was. I met this girl who kept telling me “that’s not ok,” when I would do something morally wrong, and the funny thing was, deep down I knew she was right: How I was acting didn’t reflect who I was inside. I had to figure out why. I started thinking about why I was doing the things I was doing (like punching people in the face) and then I had to change how I handled those situations... (Actually she stills tells me when I’m not doing the right thing, but it's way less often now.)

I want to do the same favor for you. Class of 2010, you’ve made many achievements and accomplishments in your four years here at Herndon and I have truly enjoyed teaching you.... but… not all of you have been the model of good behavior. Secretly, I think that’s why you picked me to make this speech. You knew you would get honesty.... So some of those choices you’ve made these past four years: “That’s not ok.” So think about how you came to those decisions.

All of you are going to be faced with many new situations in college and in the “real world” and you are going to be in some familiar situations. When someone asks you to go out drinking what are you going to say? What about Sex? or Drugs? What happens if you say ‘yes’ to the first one, do you answers to the second two change? How about Cheating? Plagiarizing? Speeding? I’m just saying… think about where you stand on these things and why.   I’m telling you this because nobody told me this.  College is the chance to start over. You can change that label - You can change your answers to those questions, or if you like them, keep them the same. Just take this opportunity, Class of 2010, and think about who you've been the past four years. Do you want to be the same person? You are the only one who can answer this and you know deep down there is something you want to change.
Do it.
Make it happen.
Be who you want to be, not who you’re friends want you to be.
Let your actions define you proudly.

...And oh yeah- Congratulations! "

I'm so proud of him and won't go on about my feelings to save you from my cheesiness.  But Congratulations to all of you moms with graduating seniors and YAY FOR SUMMER VACATION!!!

xoxo, Lauren

Not the Last Resort

My daughter, Angela, has published this guest post for your enjoyment today. Angela will be a Junior at Samford University this fall. ENJOY!

Anne Slowey, fashion news director at Elle (one of my favorite glossies, mais oui!) hit the nail on the head in the June issue of the magazine when she expressed her sense of ennui over the Fall 2010 Collections. The usual bells and whistles of previous seasons were replaced with pounds and pounds of what was somewhat akin to a wool potato sack. Though there were many beautiful pieces to be found in the Fall 2010 Collections—from my beloved Marc Jacobs’ designs for his own house and Louis Vuitton, to the always-wonderful presentation at Chanel via Karl Lagerfeld (a Swedish iceberg shipped in for the runway show!)—the overall look of the season is grey and simple. Simple is great—everyone loves a classic that can stand the test of time—but in these dark recessionary times, I want more. That’s where the Resort 2011 Collections step in. What could be better than chic, delicious looks that are reminiscent of Camelot? Maybe it is because of my southern roots and the need to always feel proper and put together, but Resort 2011 just felt right. The collections were exactly what every woman wants—beautifully tailored pieces, accessories that were exquisite, and show stopping shoes. An evocation of 60s glamour was evident from Diane von Furstenberg to Chanel to Louis Vuitton , Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors. My personal favorite, DVF, featured amazing tailored rompers, beautiful bathing suits, and absolutely amazing lace up sandals. It’s no secret that resort-inspired lines are my absolute favorite, so of course I absolutely adore everything shown in these collections. Who wouldn’t want to be transported to a carefree vacation in luxury? Give me a DVF romper, a pair of Dior white oversized shades, and send me out to sea! Ahoy, matey!

This beachy Chanel number is just begging for a stroll through a chic French resort
—Karl Lagerfeld in company, of course!

Creamy and tailored, this two piece Chanel ensemble screams “put together.”

Staying true to her style, Diane von Furstenberg created great,
boldly printed pieces for her collection.  This look is just begging to be donned on a yacht!

This DVF dress is nothing short of perfection in my book. Flowing fabric, bold print, and a bow-cinched waist—what could be more perfect for that holiday getaway?

Rompers are a huge trend, and I have a feeling that they will be around for a while. 
DVF does it best in this great printed wrap romper with matching bag and precious shoes.

As a final tribute to my obvious love for Ms. DVF,
 look at this beautifully tailored look. Perfection.

One of my absolute favorites, this ladylike look from Louis Vuitton is everything
 I love about these collections—60s glamour, proper dressing,
and beautiful tailoring..oh, and a gorgeous statement necklace!

I love the off-kilter cut of the lapels and the longer shorts length of this LV design.

The final look that I am d-y-i-n-g over is this Blair Waldorf-worthy look by Marc Jacobs.
I think my alter ego would look stunning in it!

Grab your vintage Louis luggage, girls. It’s time for a vacation! -Angela Duke

*All photos courtesy of

Angela, you did a great job!  Thank you!

Now on to Embracing Etiquette with Teresa...

Accept Responsibility

Apologize if you are wrong about something. If your hold up a line, spill coffee on someone, or do anything that can be seen as rude, clear up the problem with an apology as soon as possible. For example, if you unintentionally grab an empty shopping cart at the grocery that is being used by someone else and it is brought to your attention, apologize immediately. This will diffuse a bad situation, and the matter will hopefully be resolved.

Tomorrow we cover “The Dirty Dozen: Today’s Rudest Behaviors.”

See you soon,