Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I enjoy helping people with the design and decoration of their home so much.
It's especially rewarding when I receive wonderful testimonials from my clients upon completion of their project.
Here are a few letters I loved...

Admitting that I needed help was a HUGE step for me. See, I'd been living in a boring, colorless home for years, and I had the idea that I could decorate it myself just fine, thank you very much. However, my LIFE wasn't boring. My life was full of color and love and family and warmth, and I really wanted to bring that into my family room. I sought help, and Layla answered me. Now I'm on the road to recovery! I've rearranged and hung photos of my family. I'm on the verge of painting, and I have a definite plan for my room. With Layla's help, I now know what to look for when I'm out shopping, and I'm finding some awesome stuff right here in my own home! Layla worked with my (practically non-existent) budget, and actually encouraged me to do and make things myself! I love that! Thanks Layla!

- Kelleigh from Dallas, Oregon


I could cry. Really cry. You know when you watch those HGTV shows and the designer does the reveal to her client and the client covers their mouth with their hand and starts crying...this is me. I am in awe. Shock. My husband loves what you have done. We are both laying here in bed discussing all the elements and how to implement them. I can't wait!
Girl, you have found your calling!
I'm beyond happy. Beyond your biggest fan. Well worth the wait. Completely satisfied. Elated!

Christy from Oak Ridge, Tennessee


I was at my wits end trying to deal with an odd shaped living room filled with mix-matched furniture. I loved the look of each furniture piece, but there was no real style or cohesive look and yet I kept searching craigslist and garage sales to score new pieces to add to the pile. Lucky for me, while searching the internet for cottage designs, I found Layla and her Lettered Cottage. I loved her home remodel story, her cute hubby and her spunky attitude. After a few months of reading her blog and admiring her home, I decided to sign up for a Virtual Consultation for my living room. For some crazy reason, I thought "there is nothing she can come up with that I haven't already thought of, but I'll give it a try anyway." Silly, silly me. When I first received her virtual consultation design plan I thought "who's beautiful living room is that?" Mine!! She used all of my current furniture (minus a few items) and had me add a new rug to the foyer (I didn't know I had a foyer!) Her virtual consultation provided many different views of her redesign and her detailed written suggestions. I loved her design so much that I incorporated every detail - right down to the candle sticks. I am thrilled and will be getting consultations for every other room in my home!

- L. Thornton from West Hills, California


Layla- WOW!! I'm so thrilled. What I love about your consultation is that it was totally do-able. You worked within my parameters and gave me license to play around a little bit. I never would have tried ANY of this if you hadn't INSPIRED me!!

- Carolyn from Richmond, VA

One design blog recently wrote a post about not getting online designers to help you because they need to see your house in person to give you good advice. But Layla always seem to know what each person needs and will love. I have had Layla work with me on a number of projects in the past few months. So much so that I constantly ask myself, "I wonder what Layla would do or say?" And my husband doesn't even have to ask me who Layla is anymore!
When I first visited her blog I wondered how she would advise others who had different styles than her own. Well, no worries there because Layla seems to just know. I know that has been true for me. I get so excited when I see an e mail from Layla because I know it is going to excite me! And besides being a gifted decorator, she is just plain sweet and easy to work with...someone who you would love to sit down and share a cup of coffee with. She has made me come to love decorating as well as finding a good bargain. I would highly recommend her for any of your decorating needs, whether it be a single design question or a full consult.
Layla- please do not underestimate the gifts you have obviously been given...really, I am not a professional, but I know that you have something special going on girl.

- Denise from Louise, Virginia

Layla, this is why YOU are the designer! I never thought of centering everything! And believe me, I have invested a lot of hours thinking about it. I can’t wait to start shopping and give this a try, I will definitely update you as it progresses. Thank you so much for your input, truly valuable!

- Allison from Shoreview, Minnesota

I had never thought of the ideas you presented me. It was just such a fresh perspective! It has been a true joy getting to know you. I will NOT hesitate to employ your help in the future.

- Renee from Uvalde, Texas
What do you get when you combine one living area that needs a new look + no real budget to work with + one homeowner with a frazzled brain + Layla Palmer’s great vision, skill and experience???? (Cue the bells and whistles.) You get a design service from soup to nuts, yielding a fresh, pulled together look and a giddy customer!Layla asks all sorts of questions before she begins her actual design and incorporates all of your requirements, while heeding whatever limitations you may have (i.e. budget, reuse of furniture, finding a place for that special, life-sized, papier mache, lilac colored, pot-bellied stove – the one that lists to the right side – that you just can't live without .) The software she uses for her virtual consultation is remarkable; the images she can produce look just like your actual room! That added a bonus entertainment factor for me. Her prices are more than competitive; the quality of her work is exemplary. I'm not the first to say it, but say it I must: Layla is a design genius! (Cue the confetti.)
Thank you so much for all of your help, Layla!

- PJ from Milford, Delaware


Working with Layla was an absolute delight. I love interior design myself, and hadn't planned on using a professional to decorate when we built our new house in 2008. However, there were certain rooms where I just felt stuck and scared to move forward. I contacted Layla and she was professional, gracious, and FUN to work with throughout the entire process. She was responsive to things I did and did not like and worked with me until we found ideas that I knew were perfect for our space! More than anything, Layla continually surprised me with ideas that I never would have thought of on my own-that was most valuable to me. I have called on her for multiple design consultations and have referred her to friends and all of my blog readers!

- Erin from Greenwood, Indiana


I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this room. It is exactly what I was wanting and dreaming about. Really- you are amazing. You have a true gift. You've never even met me and I feel like you've captured my personality in this room. I cannot wait to get started. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I will be in touch if I have any more questions.

- Cara from Durham, North Carolina

Mom's Place - Exterior

I had a GREAT visit with my Mom and her husband, Randy, this Christmas.
Their home is such a magical, little place. Filled with treasures they've collected over the years. Memories are oozing from every nook and cranny. From the tiny seashells resting on the window sill, hand-plucked by Mom- to the collection of vintage beer cans neatly displayed by Randy inside an old beadboard hutch.

In the front yard, Santa welcomed us:

They live in Florida, and my Mom has a thing for Flamingos, so not far away from Santa- stands this guy:

On the front porch, Mom even decked out the ferns with big, red bows:

You can also access the front porch from the side of the house. Don't you just love the lush little pathway?

As you walk toward the back of the house, there is a sweet little garden nestled up against the left side of the house:

And when you enter through the back gate, you find their pool. Notice how she cut the hedge in the shape of waves!

You've heard about parents hanging their kids artwork on the fridge? Well, about 8 years ago, to the left of the pool, Mom had me paint a mural on the side of the garage. :-)

Here's how it looks at night:

Through the gate on the right side of the pictures above, you'll find their "Secret Garden". Complete with table and chairs, hammock and a custom-built dog house.

Beyond the Secret Garden, is the Tree House. Mom and Randy enjoy "Happy Hour" up there, and invite their guests to help decorate the tree limbs with Mardi Gras beads.

The Tree House is surrounded by woods. My Mom carved out a little walking path, and placed these two old wood chairs near the end of it.

For Halloween, she decorated the path in the woods with toy spiders, witches, jack-o-lanterns, "napkin ghosts" and draped Spanish Moss from the branches for my nephew Maddox. He loved it, but won't touch any of the spiders. :-)

In front of the Tree House is a vegetable garden. Here's Mom showing us their gorgeous cabbage crop:

And working your way back towards the house, you'll find their horseshoe pit. I love the seating area off to the side:

Next to the pool, stands this old lighthouse. It was there when they moved in, and yes, it does actually work! It adds so much character, doesn't it?

Since her Flamingo Garden wasn't in bloom, I'll have to save that for a post later this summer. Everything in it is pink. It's beautiful.

Tomorrow I'll take you inside their place and show you some of my favorite things.
See ya then!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reading Room Update - December 2008

As many of you know, one my favorite places to be in this little cottage I call home, is my Reading Room.

Shaped out of what used to be the only Bathroom in the whole house, it's now a 6 foot by 6 foot restful little room that I have fallen asleep in many a time, while enjoying a shelter mag and listening to rain hit the metal roof above.

I moved the burlap curtains I made for the Dining Room to the entrance of the Reading Room. I think they're more appropriate here. I love how they make it even that much cozier looking. I plan to put another pair on the other side of the doorway as well.

I also moved the bamboo blind from the Dining Room to this space. I love it's sunny hue...

I got this little table from HomeGoods a while back. I didn't like the color of it before (wish I had a photo to show you), so I painted it and made the legs look like rusty old iron...

On top of the table, is another "trash to treasure" redo project. The little lamp used to be turquoise blue and gold. A can of white spray paint, some tiny seashells and voila! I love that it stills looks old...

I'm not sure if I'll keep this frame in here or not, but I had to show this photo because of the amazing quote it displays...

On the other side of the room, now hangs another flea market find. I got this luscious, old, raw wood shelf for $12.00. I haven't put anything on top of it yet, but I have plans for a row of flea market books and two incredible book ends of some kind...

Outside the entrance to the Reading Room sits yet another flea market find. Would you believe this little chair used to be painted Schoolbus Yellow? I purchased it for $5.00, gave it a coat of white paint and a newly upholstered burlap seat. I think I want to use some nailhead trim on it too...

The linens on the bed are Pottery Barn. I got them on Ebay for cheap! The patterned one is called "Medici", and the color is "Bran". The solid is called "Pickstitch", and the color is "White". I have plans to purchase the twin Pickstitch quilt to cover the bed with in the future.

It's been fun figuring out what to do with this little space. This is how it looked the day we moved in:

And then my brother helped do this:

Which eventually led to this:

And now this:

There is still work to do in here, (white beadboard ceiling, new light fixture, crown moulding, curtains, books, bookends, quilt, mirror above the table, etc. etc. etc.) but this re-do proves that if you use your imagination and draw inspiration from rooms that make your heart skip a beat, anything is possible!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Kitchen Update - Blue & Beadboard!

At last! I can sit down for a minute!
(Or at least as long as it takes to finish this post) :-)

Here is the Kitchen in its crisp new seaside-inspired paint color.

I don't know the name of the color, but I'll post a photo of the top of the paint can so you can see the formula if you'd like to know what it is.
I got it mixed at Home Depot in Behr's Premium Plus Ultra Pure White Base.

As you saw in the video I posted yesterday, we FINALLY got around to putting up the remaining beadboard panelling. It really helped finish off that part of the room nicely. I love it's fresh, cottagey look, and it was a cinch to install. Just cut the beadboard panel to size, apply Liquid Nails to the backside and nail into place with finish nails. Countersink the nails, fill the holes with wood filler (or spackle), and paint the color of your choice!

I repainted ours a Semi-Gloss White. It used to be a cream color, which looked SUPER dingy next to the new blue.

(My right wrist would like to add that Beadboard is kind of a pain to paint. You've gotta get in all those pesky grooves, and it usually takes 2 or 3 coats.)

I hung a chocolate brown matchstick blind above the window. It adds so much texture...I love it. I'm considering changing my middle name to Texture, by the way. You think I'm kidding.

Anywho, here's what the area above the stove looks like now:

Missing something right?

Well, I've got plans for this:

The top of my fridge deserves to be pretty too, (Lord knows the INSIDE isn't pretty),so I kept the birdcage, bird tealight holder, books and topiaries on top of it.

I love to buy old books (that match my color scheme, of course) from Flea Markets.
They're cheap and add so much character.
Here's the catch- I only pick ones with titles that mean something to me.
I love this one. I look at it everyday and think about being chosen for Design Star.

My flea market bench is still sporting its apple green and white bolster pillow. I like how it looks against the blue wall. The two colors really appeal to my senses.

I received this cutting board as a Christmas gift from my Sister-in-Law.
I love it! Thank you Robyn!

I'm not a coffee drinker, but my Mom these little babies are in place for her next visit:

And there ya have it!
The Lettered Cottage Kitchen as of today.

I THOUGHT I had chosen a color for the Dining Room, but after painting a couple of test patches, I've changed my mind. Therefore, I won't announce who won the "Guess the Colors" contest I blogged about the other day. You'll just have to wait until next week to see who got it right! Oh yeah, that's right, I said it. I'm moving on to the Dining Room now. Home Depot, here I come. :-)


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kitchen Update Video

So? Did you guess the color I'm painting my Kitchen? :-)

Well gang, I hate to say it, but we are STILLLLL working in the Kitchen.
I know I promised to post a video of our progress, so I'm going to follow through and show you a sneak peek, PLUS a little peek into one of my favorite rooms here at the Lettered Cottage. :-)
We're THIS CLOSE to being done in here, so I'll post a more finished reveal tomorrow. (I mean it!)

Still a LONG ways to go. Stainless appliances, new countertops, a rug, new lighting...I need it all...sigh....

Truth is, I wouldn't be happy if I didn't have a "To Do" list. :-)
I mean, can you imagine me living in a house where there was nothing to re-design or nothing to decorate?


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kitchen Video - Tomorrow, I promise!

I am exhausted.
I have been working my tail off in the Kitchen at a feverish pace. (Don't ask me why, that's just how I roll) :-)
My feet and calves are throbbing, my eyes are blood shot and I am now sporting a lovely shade of nail polish called, "Caulk". Not so much ON the nail, but more UNDER the nail.
Tomorrow I'll post a video reveal of the "new" Kitchen.
It's got a fresh and classic look now, I'm diggin' it!

Now, can someone carry me to my bedroom?