Sue Murphy

Every House has a story...a soul.  My job as a designer is to tell that story.



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    Home & Garden Blogs - Blog Rankings

    Favorite Posts

    Raising the Roof

    French Style with Sea Shells

    Bathroom Remodel



    Just because it makes me smile


    While visiting Venice a few years ago I came across this set of Door Bells and Mail slot.

    It makes me smile because it looks like a face frowning at the world.  But just look at the attention to detail, amazing!!!!!  Doesn't It make you wonder about the family inside that probably has owned this home for generations?




     Have you ever thought about remodeling and even got so far as getting the plans done?  Then something comes up and you have to postpone the project.  It just keeps getting put on the back burner.  Well one of my clients had a great solution for this problem.  Making sure they went through with their plans and not letting other things take priority over their remodel, she made her Kitchen so beyond repair that they couldn't keep it this way.


    Actually, just weeks before we were scheduled to do Demo she turned her children's friends loose on the kitchen with magic makers and crayons.  They had a ball expressing themselves with their own version of Graffiti.  Who hasn't wanted to draw on the walls?  Since we were all kids it has been a no-no.  What fun!!!  


    And a great Guarantee that the project would move forward.  She made me promise to tell you all that her kitchen doesn't usually look this way. They were clearing everything out for demo on Monday.  I promise to give you updates on this project.  Sue


    Restoration Hardware's Trade program


    So Am I the only one out there that didn't know about Restoration Hardware's To the Trade Program? Or is it new?  What a great deal.  Here is the link  for anyone like me that was clueless to this great offer.  HERE


    Raising the Roof 

    Or Ceiling, as the case may be.  In some design projects raising the ceiling can have dramatic affects on a room.  I was asked to design a remodel for a Mountain Cottage.  



    The old Kitchen was small and seemed to be an after thought attached to the dining room.  The Dining room had a dropped ceiling that protruded into the Kitchen.  


    Crawling into the attic, we found that the cathedral ceiling in the adjacent Living room ran right above the Kitchen/ Dining room combo.  


    So we tore out the old ceiling and installed wonderful reclaimed timber beams taking them clear thru to the Living room.

     We took out the old closet in the Living room and installed a wet bar.


     Finally we removed the old paneling and wood around the fireplace replacing it with a custom Limestone fireplace.  

    Here is the finished Kitchen and Living room.  My client is a Decorator in her own right and added all of the wonderful finishing touches to this charming space. 


    Don't you agree that taking out the ceiling made all of the difference?


    Sea Shells and French Style



    A few Months ago while surfing my favorite blogs I came across an entry on the wonderful blog Boxwood Terrace. Deborah was pulling out her Sea Shell collection and was asking for some display suggestions.  Her post is Here. I had just finished some sea shell displays for a client and e-mailed a few pictures off.  Deborah was gracious enough to post a few of my pictures on here follow up post. Here. To say that it was an honor is an understatement. Thank you Deborah!

    She also hinted that she would love to see more of this house. So now that the house is almost completed I thought I would show you a few more ways we used Shells in this French Home.




    This Home is one of the most amazing projects I have ever been privileged to work on.  This was a full remodel with most of the house being taken down to the foundation.  It is really quite a story and took almost 5 years to complete.  In the process the Owners have become some of our closest friends.  Their vision and wonderful eye for detail made it a perfect collaboration.  I will follow with more post of this Home and some of it's story. 

    Also , living at the beach I do a lot of designing with shells and other natural objects.  I will be showing some of those in future posts.

    So what do you think.  Most people think of Sea Shells for only Beach Style.  Do you think it works with French?



    I am linking this post to Vignette Fridays over at Color Outside the Lines.


    Orange County Fair and LeAnn Rimes


    We were lucky enough to get front row seats the other night to see LeAnn Rimes at the Orange County Fair.  My Daughter called the day before the show to tell us she had heard the fair had just released some of the premium tickets for the concert.  Who knew we could score front row tickets without having to pay a ticket broker. Nice to be able to be spontaneous. 


    She has an amazing Voice!

    Us in the front row.

    A Few other characters at the fair.


    Breakfast and Antiques in Laguna Beach


     We are very lucky to have week days off instead of weekends.  This means we don't have to contend with the summer crowds at the beach.  Living on the Southern California coast gives us wonderful places to visit for our favorite pass time, enjoying all of the unique restaurants.  In fact when people ask us our hobby we usually reply "Lunch."


    It is so relaxing to eat our meal out in the Cafe's garden surrounded by all of their beautiful offerings.



    After a sumptuous Breakfast at Madison Square and Garden Cafe we strolled Pacific Coast Highway to do a little window shopping. 

    Love this table.

    This bench my have to come home with me.


    Notice the little Cherubs sitting at the base of this lantern?

    Always so much fun to look.  Could Life get any better?  What is your favorite thing to do on your day off?


    Who am I and why am I here? Or blogger's anonymous.

        Okay, it is confession time. I must admit it. I really must face it.  I AM ADDICTED TO BLOGS!!!!  How did this happen?  I was going along just fine in my life without them.  In fact I didn't even know what a blog was until about two years ago.  Now I can't imagine my life without them.  I tell myself " I am getting inspired" or "doing a little research." The truth is I can't wait to get to the computer in the morning to see what my Blogging friends have uncovered.  I tell myself I will only read a few because I have a lot of work to do.  But one Blog is linked to another and then that one tells me about something else I just have to check out and the next thing I know hours have slipped by and my clients are wondering where there drawings are, and my back won't move because I have been sitting so long.  Now I know none of you have this problem. But if you do...... don't you think it's time we start "Bloggers Anonymous?



    In looking for someone to blame for my problem I have to say it started with Brooke Giannetti.  Her beautiful blog Velvet and Linen was the first I encountered. 

    I happened to be In Atlanta a few years ago at market.    After finishing my work, a friend and I decided to do a little antiquing.  I happened to stop by Linda Horsley Antiques.  I fell in love with her store and style the moment I walked in.  I especially loved the silver platter piled with shells and coral.

                           My picture of her beautiful arrangement

    I asked Linda if she would mind if I took a few pictures.  She was very gracious and said of course, but if I really wanted pictures of the whole store a Blogger named Brooke had spent some time snapping away and was going to publish them on her Blog.  Blog?!?  What is a Blog? and who is a Blogger?  Never heard of it     ( I felt like she was speaking in a foreign tongue.)  So I wrote the name of the Blog down and promptly looked it up when I got home. HERE is the original Blog I read.  My first ever!  Well I was hooked and the rest is History.

    (picture by me)


    So why am I here?  I figured I have been sitting on the side lines long enough.  It is time for me to Join the party.  So here I am.  This is my Journal about Design and Inspiration and just plain stuff that makes me feel good.  Thanks for joining me.





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