Sunday, July 19, 2009

My 2 year blogiversary, and a very special giveaway of Phoebe Howard's book!

Two years ago, on July 19th, 2007, I started my blog. Looking back, I posted four times on that day! I envisioned my blog as an online scrapbook, a place to save my favorite pictures that were beginning to overwhelm my laptop. Here is my very first post:

I have always had a love for art, design, and architecture. I go through periods in which I will obsess on architecture and homes, then I will morph into an obession with furniture and interior design (never fabric, just furniture). Then I will look at Etsy and get obsessed with art again, and take an art class.

I love to research, and can spend hours on the internet tracking down where that piece of furniture in that favorite design magazine came from. I have recently discovered a treasure trove of information on blogs devoted to art and interior design.

Over the past two years, my blog has become so much more than an online scrapbook to me! It has become a place to share and exchange ideas with a community of people who love design, architecture, and art as much as I do. There have been some wonderful moments, and posts that have really made me think in new directions. I have learned so much from my readers, and have developed real friendships with fellow bloggers and readers. My blog has enabled me to really define and refine my own style, and has caused me to see things in a different way. As an extra bonus, it is been a true honor to have been selected for the Washington Post blog watch 9 times over the past 18 months.

One of the turning points in my blog came from an unexpected source. Designer Phoebe Howard contacted me and asked if I would be interested in profiling her Atlanta city apartment on my blog. I had never done anything like this before, and felt a mixture of excitement and nervousness. Would I be able to do the apartment justice? I am handy with a camera, but not a professional by any stretch of the imagination. When I met Phoebe that day, and she gave me a tour of the apartment, I knew it would all be fine, and I loved writing up the post. To get a private tour of a designer's home, and hear the thought process that went behind every design decision, was a thrill and a honor. It made me realize that I could push beyond the boundaries of what I had been doing with my blog. Since profiling Phoebe's apartment, I have profiled several beautiful homes that belong to wonderful and talented people (both in Atlanta and beyond), and I have plans for more of these kind of profiles over the next year.

In honor of my two years of blogging, I have a VERY special giveaway - Phoebe Howard's book 'Pretty'. This book is a wonderful treasure, and is not available in stores; it was compiled and published by Phoebe and her team, and represents the best of her work over the past decade (some of which has never been published on either Phoebe's website or in magazines). In the introduction, Phoebe writes:

Pretty, by definition, is something that attracts with delicacy and grace.

Pretty is not imposing or formidable, not handsome or stunning. It is neat and elegant without elevation or grandeur. It is attractive but not grandly conceived.

Pretty is the term I use most often use when describing my style of decorating.

When creating pretty rooms, I feel that a classic, timeless quality emerges. My goal is for the rooms to entice and enchant guests upon entering, with the eye not drawn to any one thing in particular.

The book is divided into two main parts: 'neutral', and 'color'. It also contains a section with all of the magazine articles that have featured Phoebe's work. Normally this book is used for internal marketing purposes, but I have a special copy to give to one of my lucky readers! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post. Perhaps you could tell me whether you have a favorite post of mine. Or just say hello! I will pick the winner in a random drawing from the readers who comment. All comments made through Tuesday, July 21 at midnight will be considered, and the winner will be posted on Wednesday morning! (Giveaway is now closed, and the winner is Jen from Our Home in the Country. Thank you for participating!)

One of my favorite rooms designed by Phoebe.

If you haven't seen the Washington Post article on Phoebe Howard in the July 16 paper, I highly recommend it - you can see it online here. I also recommend the Mrs. Howard blog, written by the talented Leah Kennelly. Don't miss the new feature on the before and after of a room designed by Phoebe - the first room featured is a bedroom, and the transformation is stunning!

As always, thank you for reading my blog. I look forward to many more years of writing about the things that inspire me!