Baby Its Cold Outside

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One of the things I love most about winter is the snow; it makes everything beautiful.  I love coming home sitting by the fire with a hot cup of cocoa and a cashmere throw. Here are some of my winter essentials…

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Michael Kors Luxury stretch leather leggings


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2013: A Look Back

When I was young, I loved to play with my grandmother’s fabrics in her sewing room. Some of my fondest memories involve my grandmother; pretty golden blonde hair, perfect shade of pink lipstick and pearls. She was a stylish woman, always wore pearls and constantly reminding me to be a proper young lady. Her name, fittingly, was Georgianne (so southern). You have to go back dear reader a generation or two to see the influence of a parent and for me that was my grandmother.

A little over a year and half ago, while reading about design, snuggled up on my down sofa on a clear and warm June morning; a wave of happiness filled me. Memories were stirred up and with them came an awareness that I had been ignoring – my awareness that my heart has always belonged to all things beautiful. Even as a child playing in my grandmother’s fabrics I would only choose the ones I thought were the prettiest. On that June morning; I let myself for the first time imagine the possibility of being a designer. I have always been a creative but deciding to start my own interior design business off of a feeling felt impractical considering my Economics background, logic was always my safe route.  But, with my family and faith supporting me along the way I leapt at the opportunity, abandoning all logic and fear of failure. Although I can’t see the whole picture; I thought I should reflect upon my 2013 journey and share my thanksgivings along the way.

Thank you to all of you that have subscribed to my blog; sincerely appreciate you walking along side me in this journey. I especially love the comments, reading each one with appreciation. To know that you see value in what you read here means more than you know.

To begin; there is nothing more important than the most beautiful gifts in my life…God and my family, everything I do is centered around my faith and family.

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Initially; I have taken baby steps to help me in my business starting with attending Tobi Fairley’s Designer MBA program, with at the time an acquaintance but now a dear friend and fellow designer Kim Armstrong.

Thank you, Tobi Fairley for helping me develop my understanding of running a design business and the tools to attract my ideal client.

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Tobi’s program and the intelligent women I met while at Designer MBA inspired me to reach for more and so here are the few highlights of taking baby steps,

1. Completed 12 design projects, 1 of which was a complete home renovation down to the studs. The photography has been scheduled for the first part of this year, can hardly wait to show you the before and after images.

2. Being interviewed by Horchow and asked to create a Pinterest board in honor of Interior Decorating Month; highlighting me as one of their “Designers We Love.”  Horchow has beautiful furnishings and accessories for the home, carrying brands like John Richard and Arteriors.  Readers, I highly encourage you to browse their website; I am certain you will find something you can’t live without for your home.  Also, please feel free to check out my Pinterest page you may find something inspiring in the collection.

ElleHorchow

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3. Being asked, twice, to be a host of the Dallas Market Center’s SNEAK PEEK blogger’s events in January and July. Thank you Meredith Hite for the honor of asking me to host again in January, which I’ve accepted. It was exciting to win a chair during the July SNEAK PEEK event, of which now sits in my office. Thank you to Aidan Gray Home  showroom for hosting us and for the opportunity to win one of your pretty chairs. I hope designers who haven’t been to the Dallas Market, will attend the January 15 – 21 Total Home & Gift Market if possible…learn more here.

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(below is the chair that I won)

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4. Being asked to be a part of the prestigious Institute of Classical Architecture & Art committee, this was especially exciting for me. Joining hands with an organization that preserves and dedicates their mission to advancing education of classical tradition in architecture, urbanism and their allied arts is an expression and extension of who I am as a designer. So, naturally it was a perfect opportunity to say yes to.  If you are a classicist and even if you aren’t, please take a moment and learn about ICAA; it is a wonderful community of highly evolved architects and designers who are skillfully brilliant in their craft.  There are also a wide array of programs that include travel, conferences, continuing education, etc. for those who want to advanced their studies in the classical tradition. I am looking forward to sharing with all of you the wonderful events we will be planning for 2014. ICAA

5. Attending the 2013 Design Bloggers Conference and meeting Barbara Barry, as you may know reader, she is one of my favorite designers. Her tailored but highly sophisticated approach to design is what I appreciate most about her.  You can read my post here about my experience of meeting her. I met many great bloggers and learned more than expected about social media. Thank you Adam Japko for making it possible for us to meet Barbara Barry and many other amazing designers, all whom inspire us to be better designers.  If you are interested in attending the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta from March 2 – 4, click here to register.

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6. Winning a $500 gift card from Gabby Home for my blog post about their company and their line of beautiful furnishings.  I did not even expect my blog post to win and couldn’t have been more excited to have won!  Click here to read my post. So, thank you Gabby Home for making it possible; can’t wait for my Ingrid chests to arrive.

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Today, as I continue to embark on this journey of building my business I can see how the influence of my grandmother’s classic style, her barking etiquette dos and don’ts and letting me play with her beautiful fabrics as a child has found a home in me; aware that my creativity was born years ago. When you have someone supporting you, for me it was my grandmother as a child and now my family, you have the confidence and courage to do things you might not have done on your own. Although I am ending 2013; I want to thank you, my readers, for subscribing to my blog https://alexishunterblog.wordpress.com/. I am looking forward to sharing more with you as we enter 2014.

I hope each of you find the inspiration in the fabrics of your lives to launch your dreams. Wishing you and your families a healthy, happy and prosperous 2014.

Warmly,

Elle

7 Fun Ideas to Ring in the New Year

New Year’s is the best time of the year to go a little overboard with glitter and glam….

01  Glitter Party Hats

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02 Simple Balloons

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03 Clock Cupcakes

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04 Mercury Accents

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05 Glitter Eggs

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06 Repurpose Ornaments

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07 Countdown to Ring in the New Year with a glass of Champagne….

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WISHING EVERYONE A PROSPERUS 2014!!!!

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2014 The Year of Confidence that radiates joy, love and health…Pantone’s Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid 18-3224

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Runways, Hollywood Red Carpets, Interiors will be infused with its beguiling charm….

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Design books for holiday giving

Stylish covers that command attention…

01 Family Tradition at its Best

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02 My Favorite Designer

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03 House of Lauder

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04 Timeless Kasler

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04 Flamboyant Mary

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05 Fifth Avenue…need I say more?

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06 Glamorous Jan

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07 VERANDA ~ epitome of all things beautiful

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08 Best of ELLE DECOR

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09 Tailored Hagan

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10 Best for Last

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The Five

The list of pieces you need in your home with that                      little something extra

01

COLOR MY HIDE soft lilac meets nickel.

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ARTERIORS ~ Kelli Lamp

02

BE DAZZLED unlike any reflection on your wall.

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BUNGALOW 5 ~ Romano Wall Mirror

03

THE GOLD CUFF CHAIR No pillow required.

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CARACOLE ~ Ice Breaker Chair

04

THE BRONZE AND WHITE QUATREFOIL TABLE certainly won’t get mistaken for your grandmother’s table.

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GLOBAL VIEWS ~ Quatrefoil Rectangular Table

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THE BLACK FLIRT the look of entitlement, in a day bed.

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KOKET ~ Prive’ Day Bed

6 Accessories for Right Now

 In case you overlooked them – the extras I’m most excited about….

1.     THE RIGHT PILLOW

Perfect size. With a little texture.   Kyle Bunting pillow

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2.       THE CASHMERE BLANKET

Warm, cozy, make up your own stories. Sferra Cashmere blanket

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3.      THE LOUNGE WEAR

Our casual take on luxury. Hanro Emma cashmere lounge shirt & pant

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 4.       THE STATEMENT PIECE

Better in mixed company. Jan Showers Anders Gold Leafed coffee table

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5.      A DRAMATIC LIP

COURTESY of Tom Ford Tom Ford Lip Shine in Willful

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6.    THE METALLIC HEEL.  All in the details. Michael Kors Arielle metal toe pump.

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Finding the Calm in Design

Let me officially say that if you are seeking answers to your design dilemmas then you need not look further than Design Confidential. house and home one fourth page

Allow me to preface this event by introducing you to my friend and creator/host Rachel Cannon Lewis of Design Confidential. Rachel and I met in Los Angeles at the Design Bloggers Conference. I agree as Rachel said, “we were instant friends.”  Rachel’s formidable authenticity and wit is what made me adore her. She has a beautiful eye for design and believe her to be one of the best kept secrets in her design community.  I am not sure how many people know this about Rachel, but she is a true Editor at heart. She loves the art of writing and has a keen eye for grammar.  She is probably red marking my post as she is reading. But, I take it as a compliment because she is a great critic. I am proud to announce our sponsorship and participation on the Design Q & A panel for her Design Confidential workshop. We will address questions ranging from the perfect paint colors to helping you create a design plan to tackle your own design project.  You will hear from experts who live and breath design everyday, giving you a rare opportunity to have a full day to “pick the brains” of leading designers with a combine 20+ years experience in one room. This designer’s workshop will take the dilemma out of design and put the plan of design back into your hands. There will be an abundance of design tips, expert design guidance and answers to your most pondered questions at your fingertips for a fraction of the typical design consultation. You will leave with a blue print to tackle your own project and the necessary tools to execute your design plan. We hope you will take advantage of this fantastic workshop to receive first hand knowledge and tips from leading design experts.   Please feel free to drop us a line to introduce yourself before the workshop or ask questions.  We cannot wait to meet you!

To Register please click here Design Confidential

Rachel’s Office: (225) 361-8913

Event Location: Renaissance Hotel 7000 Bluebonnet Boulevard Baton Rouge, LA

Hotel Reservations: Renaissance Hotel 

Hotel Phone Number: (225) 215-7000

Want A Sneak Peek?!

In just a few short weeks is one of the most exciting and exclusive events…Dallas Market Center’s Sneak Peek! And, you can be a part of it…

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I have been honored; along with four incredibly talented women to be on the host committee for Sneak Peek. We will welcome lifestyle and design bloggers to an exclusive behind the scenes look into the most beautiful showrooms presenting the hottest trends in home design.

collageThis year we will begin our libations overlooking Downtown Dallas skyline with Bill Rancic…yes, dear reader you read correctly…Bill Rancic (the “Original” Apprentice Winner).  The fun just doesn’t end there! A beautiful cocktail reception will be held with Amy Howard, visionary behind Amy Howard Collection, a line of reclaimed 19th & 20th upscale, hand-crafted and hand-painted furniture. You can learn more about Amy’s new DIY product line on my recent Rescue, Restore & Redecorate post published by Design Guide . Oh and here’s the best part…you will receive your very own celebrity swag bag filled with tons of free product!!!

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Okay, so are you dying to know how you can be part of this exciting weekend?  Well, it’s simple, SIGN UP NOW!!! This opportunity is only open to the first 50 bloggers to register…so don’t wait, click now to find out the details and register.  Look forward to seeing you there!!!

Tweet Us: @DallasMarket

Like Us: https://www.facebook.com/dallasmarket

Pin Us: http://bit.ly/1bgKh2n

Rescue, Restore & Redecorate

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Rescue, Restore and Redecorate: an apt mantra; as in nature and in the world of design, one does every day. As a room full of eager students draped with black aprons waited to be taught, Amy Howard took center stage to show us why she is so passionate about restoring old pieces of furniture and how we can do it just as well as she does. Naturally, with grace, she brought us along the journey that lead to her childhood love to Rescue, Restore and Redecorate discarded furniture. I understand, dear reader, that you may be thinking this is just a post about another product to cater to the DIY’er frenzy. Well, it is not. And, then it is.

All the love and effort to bring a discarded piece back to life matter to Amy. She recounts a drive to the flea market she and her husband Gene were on when their pastor called, telling of his dream the night before of Amy and Gene teaching others to rescue, restore and redecorate. Touched by the message from their pastor, Gene says: “Isn’t that what God does for us? He rescues, restores and redecorates us bringing us new life.” So, you see my friend, her new product line isn’t just about the latest craze it has a deep personal meaning for her. Amy is a true southern lady with a charming personality to match. She has always had a keen eye for exquisite styling, and a timeless style of furnishings that designers like me would wait in line for hours just to get our hands on.

 Although Amy manufacturers and sells a beautiful collection of furnishings, her product for the DIY market is just as wonderful as her collection pieces. Recently, my dear friend Leslie Wood (@Hadley_Court) and I had a fun time trying our hand at her workshop with her latest “green” one step paint product. It was a true delight having Amy teach us how to wax, gild and buff our wood moulding pieces into little gems. Her product is extremely easy to use (5-6 quick steps) and makes an old piece beautiful again, which perfectly fits with her Rescue, Restore and Redecorate mantra.

Here are the moulding pieces before:

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Below are my finished pieces after: (One Step Paint, Wax, Gold Gild and Dust of Ages)

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There are many different applications in her line that can be mastered by anyone who has the desire to learn. A few of my favorites are: Toscana Finish kit (turn a chair into an Old World antique) and Lacquer in a Spray Can.

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One Step Paint Application below

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Example of Lacquer Spray Can Application

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If you have a desire to make your own interpretation of a collection piece, please visit Amy Howard at Home website. I am certain you will want to Rescue, Restore and Redecorate an old desk or side table back to life. If you are local, you will be happy to know my friend Kim Hoegger (who owns a quaint boutique in Rockwall, Texas) will be holding Amy Howard workshops. Be sure to stop by and sign up for her classes;  I promise you won’t want to leave!!!  Her shop is located at: 106 S. Goliad Street, Rockwall, Texas 75087 Phone: (214) 837.8871 Email: kim@kimhoeggerhome.com. Please come back to visit my blog to inspire us with your finished piece(s).  We would love to show off your talent!!

Special thanks for an inspiring event: Dwell with Dignity, New Life Hardwoods, and Codarus