Monday, July 25, 2011

Guest Posting at The Vintique Object

The Monday Mix: Fashion and Decor, my regular Monday feature will not be seen today because today I am guest posting at the The Vintique Object.

Camille, the author of the blog, is doing a series called 
"Stylish ways to protect your kids and pets in your home -- and your home from your kids and pets" 
so I thought I would take on stylish living with kids by discussing the two principles that I think are the most important in order to pull it off
1. Don't be afraid
2. Organization, organization and more organization!

Click HERE to read.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fun Friday Find: A Pet Portrait Give Away!

Not your typical Fun Friday Find...

Last April I had my first give away- An 8 x 10 Pet Portrait! 
It was a lot of fun and I got to draw this gal. The winner was Tiffany, aka The Cranky Queen and the portrait of their dog "Dixie Belle" ended up being a Father's Day gift for her hubby. 

Time to do it again!

Before I get into the details of the give away- once again, I would just like to say thank you to everyone who follows Ispirato Design blog.  I started blogging at the beginning of this year to inspire others. Whether it's to do a home improvement project, make a handmade gift or just to have a glimpse at what others are doing in the design world, first and foremost, my goal is to inspire! I hope I'm doing that for you because over the course of this year I have certainly been inspiredconstantly. So many  inspire me with their ideas, talents and photos and many make me laugh with their good humor and wit. So, once again,  thank you for that!

Without further adieu, In appreciation for following Ispirato Design and to encourage more to follow along, I'm offering this give away:

 A Gift Certificate for a 
Custom 8x10 Pet Portrait in Pencil
That's a $100 value! 
Now, before you get too excited - read the fine print at the end of this post. 

Here are the rules:

1. To be eligible to win you must be a "Follower" of Ispirato Design. Just click on the Follow button in the right side bar. You'll be prompted to choose the account that you want to use and then click Follow Publicly. You'll know you've done it right when see a square tile that represents you (you are given the option of uploading a photo).

2. To enter just leave a comment in the comment area at the bottom of this post to say that you're a follower(Make sure that your name links to an email or leave me an email address in your comment)

3.To enter more than once do any or all of the following, and leave a separate comment for each one at the end of this post.
      a.) "Like" Ispirato Design on Facebook and then leave me a comment to tell me that you did.
      b.) "Like" my Home and Pet Portrait Page on Facebook and then leave me a comment  to tell me that you did.
      c.) Follow me on Twitter and then leave me a comment to tell me that you did.
      d.) Blog about the give away and link back to it (I would love it if you used my little button that I created!) and then leave me a comment to tell me that you did.

So that's up to five possible entries (comments) per person - be sure to leave a separate comment for each one that you do (ie. I just liked your facebook page or I just followed you on twiiter etc.) It makes it so much easier for me at the end!

The contest will close at midnight on the day that I reach 200 Followers! 
I'm hoping to get there by the end of the summer so that the portrait could be a gift for you or someone on your gift list this holiday season!

I will choose the winner using

Now the fine print: 
-The gift certificate will expire one year from the day of receipt
-I will leave the name blank so it can be transferred
-The complete instructions are on the back of the certificate
-Instructions include sending me a suitable photograph 
-Shipping is not included
-Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery after I receive a suitable photograph
* A suitable photograph is a clear photo that shows your pet as you would like it portrayed. Poor quality photos result in poor quality portraits so I cannot accept these. A selection of images for me to choose from is ideal.

Good Luck!!! 
You can see a sample of my work by clicking on the Pet Portrait button in the sidebar or visit my Home & Pet Portraits Facebook page or my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

1825 Historic Home Makeover: Part I

Last fall, (before I started blogging) I was working on a house in Geneva, NY. Last Friday, I finally had a chance to get down there and get some "after" photos. What a nice drive! It was my mom's birthday so we took our time, taking the less traveled roads. On the way home we had lunch at a very quaint little cafe in Seneca Falls called ZUZU's- named after the little girl in It's A Wonderful Life. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never seen that classic movie, so I felt a little silly when I asked what a zuzu was. Apparently, besides being the birthplace of women's rights, Seneca Falls' claim to fame is that the setting of the movie was based on their town. Who knew?

Now back to the house!
The house is a brick, Federal Style home that was built in 1825. The owner, Richard Hovey, a local businessman and developer whom I've worked with on many occasions, purchased the home at an auction with the intention of fixing it up and reselling it.

Front Elevation {Before}
Front Elevation {After}
Quite a bit needed to be done with the exterior. I played around with the site plan. We considered a couple of locations for a garage (ultimately ruled out building one), cut down a couple of trees/shrubs, planted a few replacements around the foundation, planned out sidewalks for the front  and rear of the house, paved the dirt driveway, re-pointed the chimneys, installed a new roof, windows and painted the exterior trim and siding-phew! ...and when I say we, I mean the few good men that did all of the work, I was just the designer!

Front Elevation {Before}
Front Elevation {After}
The original house is just the front, rectangular portion- it consists of a center hall and stair with one room on either side. Each of the four rooms has it's own fireplace. 

In 1976, the Bicentennial Committee of the Historic Homes Organization, designated the home as a "town historic home" with a bronze plaque.

Side Entrance {Before}
Side Entrance {After}

Looking Between the House & Barn {Before}
Looking Between the House & Barn {After}
(from the opposite direction)

Barn {Before}
Barn {After}
Do you see the hole right above the door of the barn? That's for the honey bees. There is an access panel just to the right of the opening that can be removed to get the honey comb. That's a feature that a lot of houses don't come with!

Back Entrance {Before}
Back Entrance {After}
 I think that it's interesting that though the secondary brick portion is very old, from the way it was built, you can tell that it wasn't part of the very first construction. To add an addition, in brick, speaks to the wealth of the owners and/or it is theorized that a "Mr. Bennett", possibly one of the original owners, sold bricks and had the "Bennett Brickyard" on the property -that might explain it. The framed portion of the house would have been a third, much later addition.
Stay tuned :)
I'll get the interior before and afters up ASAP!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Monday Mix: Fashion and Decor

The Monday Mix today is Dresses and Decor

It's always a surprise, I never know what I'm going to find! Talk about one of a kind decor! Dresses and Decor... I think it's my favorite mix thus far- so many creative ways to use a frock!
Would you ever think of using a collection of pretty summer dresses for a window treatment! 

 How pretty is this?!
I've seen a lot of paintings lately of dresses- mostly like the ones that Ballard Design sells (below), but this blue dress is very unique.

fell in love dress
Ballard Designs
Moment in Time Giclee Print
Ballard Designs

This photo was just sooo breathtaking, I had to include it!

If your dress coordinates with your bedding you might let it have an extended stay outside of the closet.

Look how cute it can look... just hanging on the wall, complimenting everything else!
A dress as wall art- Why not?

Special dresses as wall art in a little girls room. 
It's so hard to pack away those cute little holiday dresses- don't!

A vintage dress can be inspiring in a studio.
...and in the wardrobe- sometimes we need a little more time to admire that little black dress that debuts only occasionally!

This has been the fifth installment of the Monday Mix: Fashion and Decor
Are you inspired to view your fashion items in a new way?

If you have a photo that you would like to include in any of The Monday Mixes, please send it to me:
If you have a blog-include a link. I'm more than happy to link your photo back to your site.

Check out the other installments of The Monday Mix
for some photo inspiration:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fun Friday Find: Trailer Trash? Don't Be So Quick To Judge!


You know what they say...True beauty comes from deep inside.
You need only walk through the door of this trailer and
you will be blind-sided by
an all white,
very fun
and whimsical interior!





Salle de bains
All photos by:  Christophe Rouffio April 2011
Don't you just love it?
TGIF- Have a great weekend!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Monday Mix: Fashion and Decor

On Mondays I choose a fashion item that looks great with it's surrounding decor. Sometimes's we mix fashion and decor accidentally (check out some previous Monday Mixes HERE and HERE) and sometimes we do it intentionally. I feature snapshots from both. 
If you would like to participate in one of "The Monday Mixes", look for the info at the end of the post. 
Ricki Jill of Art at Home was inspired by The Monday Mix: Jewelry and Decor and sent me a beautiful pairing of the two!

What a cute tablescape!

Today's Monday Mix: Silk scarves and Decor!

Rachel Joins The Fray

Obviously an intentional pairing. This framed silk scarf is a work of art and pulls together this summer seating arrangement.

Make Under My Life

A basket on the dresser to hold a couple of your current faves is both functional and decorative.


Here's a great way to display scarves that you don't wear anymore. Make them into pillows!

Elegant Decorating

Dressing up a small table is an obvious and very pretty way to use a silk scarf. 

Country Living
From elegant, (in the previous picture) to shabby chic in this home featured in Country Living magazine, silk scarves are easy table toppers.

Material Girls

Another gorgeous mix of colors and silk scarves made into pillows!


A collection of six framed scarves. 
Wouldn't it be fun to hunt for scarves at antique marts for the sole purpose of putting together a collection like this?!

My personal favorite use of a silk scarf that I found! Just tied onto the back of an office chair- the colors accent the cushion and makes the space feel personal. I love it!

If you have used silk scarves as part of your decor, send your pics to
I will feature them in next weeks post. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fun Friday Find: Wood Chandeliers

It sure seems like the weeks fly by faster in the summer. I was talking to a friend about how much we cram into every weekend- it's almost comical. The combination of school being out, warm weather and flora and fauna at their best makes for, what seems like, a three month party! 

Here we are again- another Friday and that means another Fun Friday Find. 

House Beautiful

What do you think of these wood chandeliers made from wine barrels!

Bobo Intriguing Objects
Bobo Intriguing Objects is a wholesale company so if you fall in love with one of these chandeliers you'll have to either make your own or shop around.

Bobo Intriguing Objects
They are made from reclaimed french oak wine barrel staves and hoops!

House Beautiful

 I find the combination of  iron and wood a very pleasing aesthetic- rustic, earthy and a bit primitive.

Decor Pad

Decor Pad
Some are made entirely of wood.

Restoration Hardware
...and one from Restoration Hardware.

 Bobo Intriguing Objects 
The wine barrel chandeliers are whimsical and I like that they are basically made from recycled materials but if I had to choose a wood chandelier for myself I would like this one! I love the over-sized wood beads!

These last two chandeliers are made from found driftwood.
How FUN is that!

Bobo Intriguing Objects 
A Baroque Chandelier made of found driftwood. 
What an incredible work of art!

Woodn't you just love one! Have a great weekend!