Mind of the Makeover… Modern Romantic

Well, here it is… my little dream of a website has finally come to fruition. I thought for so long that it would never happen but kept the idea firmly placed in my mind and didn’t let it go. Long nights in Photoshop and many hours brainstorming and editing later, I am giddy as a school girl with this exciting announcement. It just goes to show what a little determination, a positive attitude, and shear hope will do.

If you haven’t already, take a moment to watch my video from earlier today in which I take you on a quick tour of the site. As you can see, a lot has changed… perhaps even more than you initially realized. I want to make sure that you enjoy the full experience.

Now, if you thought that this snazzy new site makeover was all I would be sharing with you today, you are greatly mistaken! I have also composed a special behind-the-scenes look at my inspiration for the re-design. Like any good designer, I gathered a diverse collection of inspiring photographs, fonts, website bookmarks, book covers, sketches, and descriptors to better inform my developing concept. This vignette is a compilation of items that communicate the visual aesthetic I had in my mind’s eye for so many months.

Curated Collection by a Modern Romantic – an exploration of the personal art of style.

I knew a clean, neutral backdrop would accentuate the content of the site while also creating a classic and timeless atmosphere. To bolster it’s subtle foundation, though, I decided to work with bold, architectural typography that was at once modern and reminiscent.

The idea of our lives as a personal art where the values, message, and aesthetics of an individual are carefully chosen and communicated has been incredibly fascinating to me. Naturally, I was attracted to the image of paint marks and splatters as indicators of work in progress and a reference to this notion.

I have always been attracted to rich, saturated colors primarily in jewel tones. Although, going forward, I hope to shift the focus of this blog from exclusively my style to incorporate the personal style of many others, I did want the site to reflect a few of my specific preferences. So I chose to use accent colors inspired by this wall calendar of illustrations by Erte (published by Orange Circle Studio). It has rested on the wall beside my desk during this entire design process and frequently offered moments of eureka and inspiration.

Lastly, these words above which came from my pin board atop my desk were constant reminders of what I have been working towards. It would bore you to explain all the ins and outs of why, but perhaps you already understand without me having to say anymore. After all, this is a visual journal… let’s leave it at that.

If you care to know more about the directional changes I have been envisioning for Hilary Inspired over the past several months, visit my new “About” page HERE. You may like to know what the future holds!

My last note for today is one of gratitude to my husband David for being a wonderful counselor throughout this process and to my brother Andrew who made this all possible. No, really… none of this would have happened without his generous guidance and assistance in all technical aspects.

Thank you both from the bottom of my heart!

A Night at the Thrift Studio

Oh dear, dear, dear…. we are already half way through the week and I haven’t spoken to you once! The weekend is well over and I am a full week and a half behind in telling you about what I did the weekend before! Despite my tardiness and delayed posting, however, here I am – ready to share a few moments from a beautiful event not too long ago.

Many of you have heard me talk about Dwell with Dignity. If you live in the DFW Metroplex you may have even attended one of their previous events. In fact, folks all across the country may be aware of them now after a national debut on The Nate Berkus Show! They are a wonderful charitable organization that works to create homes for those less fortunate with dignity and beauty. I could go on and on about their many merits but visit their site HERE to get more (and better) details.

Today, I am interested in telling you about a very exciting project that the Dwell team recently embarked on. With a warehouse brimming full of generous furniture and home decor donations, Dwell had the idea to create a pop-up thrift shop to sell off their excess inventory and bring in additional income for the organization. Enter, Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio… Wonderful! But even better than that, they decided to also bring in some of the area’s most talented designers to style several vignettes using reworked pieces from the warehouse. Brilliant!! I attended the preview party and let me tell you, it was awesome! I was completely blown away by the creativity and ingenuity used by each team to make old, worn items new and fresh again (of course, knowing many of the designers, I also didn’t expect anything less than fabulous).

Here are a few shots I managed to take between mingling with a pleasant and bustling crowd of supporters.

The Dining Room by EJ Interiors

The Office by studio ten 25

The Lounge by SWOON [the studio]

The Study by Jones Baker

The Parlor by PULP Design Studios

I think the pictures speak for themselves… this is a fantastic event and a MUST for anyone in the Metroplex area but visit soon! The shop closes at the end of October. The prices are very reasonable and support a fantastic cause. If you happen to pick up an item from the Thrift Studio, let me know. There were so many wonderful treasures I would have taken home with me!! I’d love to know what made it into your place.

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Instagram = Instant Obsession

I have joined Instagram and am totally hooked! What’s Instagram, you ask? It is a free application available for the iPhone (they’re working on adapting it to other platforms) that allows you to share your candid photos with a community of followers easily and instantly using brief captions and pre-designed filters to create unique and beautiful images. Thanks to my dear friend, Mandy, who introduced me to the app, I now have a Hilary Inspired Instagram channel. Besides the fact that I have become totally obsessed with the whole idea, I love binge able to capture simple moments in life and see them through a different lens… literally! Here are a few of the snapshots I’ve taken since I joined.

Aren’t these filters fun?!

You can download the app for free via The App Store on your phone or computer. If you have an iPhone (remember, more platforms coming in the future if you don’t have an iPhone) join me by searching for the username “hilaryinspired” and clicking the “Follow” button. I’d love to return the favor!!

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Gallery Opening!

Several hours of work and much deliberation later, my paper templates are filed away and my gallery wall of personal photos and artwork is complete!! (or, at least until I decide to make the next batch of changes… things are always evolving around here!)

Take a look at the beginning of this project HERE.

My inspiration started here:

This room, designed by Kristen Buckingham, is full of such beautiful and unique layers. When I first saw it, I was immediately attracted to the bold wall of artwork, the folksy and old-world sofa, the small Art Deco lamp on the right, and the bright green glass lamp on the left offsetting it all. In my opinion, the perfect balance of sophistication, artistry, playfulness, and comfort…. all goals of mine in creating the environment of our home.

Now, this is my version.

The wall above was already painted when we moved into our house and naturally acts as a focal point when guests enter our home. It’s open to our living and dining areas, acts as our library, and is the passageway to our bedroom in the back of the house. A gallery of artwork and personal photos that are significant to David and I seemed like an appropriate use of the space.

Urged on by commenters in THIS post, I decided that a little neon punch would help up the edge factor in our fairly traditional home. So, I included a bright, apple green vase in my design found totally by happenstance at a local thrift store. (those are the best discoveries)

Our main living area has one less bare wall now. I am filled with a great sense of accomplishment every time I walk by it and reminded of the many things I love. It’s far from perfect but that’s part of what I like about it. There’s room to grow and change!

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Since I’ve started to publish more of my own photographs on this blog, I have noticed a personal tendency… I am very interested in close-ups and detail shots, especially when they reveal something unexpected. Over the weekend, I came across this project via my godmother, Carla (thank you Carla!), that takes detail shots to a whole new level! Professor Gary Grenberg, a biomedical researcher, has scoured the globe for special grains of sand to place under the microscope and photograph. Yes, that’s sand! Isn’t it absolutely fascinating!! To think that those tiny specs are actually each so stunning and unique!

‘Every time I look through my microscope I am fascinated by the complexity and individuality created by a combination of nature and the repeated tumbling of the surf on a beach’, says Prof Greenberg.

All Photos Credit to Professor Gary Greenberg via Daily Mail Online

You really must read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2011471/Pictures-sand-Close-photographs-reveal-incredible-beauty.html#ixzz1SQBztJzX

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1. Peacock Creamware Vase 2. Organic Beach Bath Towel 3. Gold Brown Paper Vessel 4. Cobalt Blue Glasses 5. Brass Hollywood Regency Lamp 6. Original Gouache Painting – 1 7. Original Gouache Painting – 2 8. Green & Blue Marbled Earrings 9. Wooden Letter “H” 10. Jeanne D’Arc Embroidered Dress 11. Two-Sided Pedestal Vanity 12. Needlepoint Pillow 13. Retro Yellow Urn 14. Graphic Orange Steelcase Chair 15. Blue Floral Heels 16. Cadeaux Beaded Necklace

#1 Favorite thing about Etsy: their spirit of community and entrepreneurship. #2 Favorite thing about Etsy: their beautiful collages of hand-picked items on the opening page (visit the site to see what I mean). Every day offers a new and inspiring compilation of talented artists, craftsmen, and vintage curators arranged to fit the month, week, day, and even hour. These style stories are “An ever-changing, member-curated shopping gallery” and created by theme, color, season, and craft. So, today I am sharing my own style story/shopping gallery… my current favorites that found their way into my {heart} list. Enjoy! (I tried to think of a title but couldn’t…any suggestions?)

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