Monday, October 27, 2008


Things come in threes. Isn't that what we have been told? I have to admit that I thought about that as I sat down to write. I was about to write about my latest epiphanies: Three entirely different ideas that were all in the process at the same time. (By the way, objects look better to the eye if they are grouped in threes. Just thought I'd throw that little design knowledge in!) But getting back to my latest epiphanies--------------


Before we left for Korea I had decided to have a darker, heavier spread for our bed. Lately, our Heavenly Westin White Bed Linens gave me a cold feeling every time I entered the room. I remembered my Grandmother had two sets of draperies, one for the winter and one for the summer, and she used slipcovers on all her furniture in the summer. I never knew why she went to all that trouble. I loved the way her home looked at Christmas. It was filled with soft, warm, fabrics of velvets and brocades, all in luscious rich colors. By the time Easter was upon us familiar items were being replaced by lighter and brighter versions. It all makes sense to me now. I will bring back the white bedding in the late Spring and meanwhile enjoy my new winter look. Erica, my talented - artist - seamstress, Granddaughter agreed to do the labor. I found a dark, khaki, linen fabric and she graciously agreed to make it for me. She said she would work on it while we were in Korea. To my delight, it arrived the day after we got home ---- it's PERFECT. The room now feels warm and cozy and I love the color. She also has made some items that I will use when our home is shown during the Charlotte Christmas Home Tour. Thank you, thank you, Erica.


I was watching TV a few nights before we left for Seoul and the new "TV Out of the Box" wall was missing something. Just like that--- ANOTHER EPIPHANY---- it needed a "HAT" ! I figured all it would take was a shelf across the top, about 14 inches from the ceiling and painted black (of course). I would place three stacks, of three books, and put a small object on the top of each pile. That would top it off and finish the look. Poor Emil, I made him promise that the moment we got home we would start on it. He agreed --- he liked the idea! Yesterday he went to Home Depot, got all his supplies, and by the time we went to bed it was finished. The books are up, and on the top of each pile is a small white candle. Now it's correctly dressed! HAT and all. The candles are the white gloves!


I had the horrible realization I made a mistake when I hung the drapery panels on either side of our dining area window/sliding door. I had them hanging from the top of the window/sliding door. I decided they would look better if they went to the ceiling, but I had made the mistake and would have to live with it.
Shortly after we settled in at Steve and Angela's I remembered seeing a piece in Kenneth's Journal about trim/fringe accessories and how they changed the look of a room. I thought maybe that would give me the added inches I needed to raise my panels up to the ceiling. I pestered Steve to find a shop in Seoul that sold "trim and or fringe". We never found one, but by the time we returned last week the idea had formed and I knew what I needed to search for.

I looked around and couldn't find exactly what would work. Too short, too fancy,--- TOO EXPENSIVE ! So I decided to buy 2 yards of a contrasting silk and make a border at the hem to add the length. Of course I got BLACK silk, the same weight as the existing pewter color silk panel. The fabric arrived yesterday and we just finished it an hour ago! They are gorgeous!

Oh---have I ever mentioned that sewing in not among our list of talents----we used iron-on tape!

I think I will agree that the theory of threes is true. Three epiphanies and three successes!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Emil and I have experienced the trip of a lifetime. Steve and Angela treated us to a wonderful, unforgettable visit to their home.

We were able to let old memories fade and form new, wonderful memories that will fill our lives forever. The people of Korea are the most gracious, kind, generous people in the world. They have a marvelous history! They open their homes and arms and want to share all they have with you. This was demonstrated to us first hand with our time spent with Angela's family. Her Mom, Dad, and her siblings, are among the best people I have ever know. We are so lucky to have them as part of our family. Steve is a very fortunate man. He has the Best Mother-in-Law anyone could have!!! We have a lot to learn from the Korean people! They treasure their traditions and cultures, things that maybe, we here at home, have forgotten.

The countryside is beautiful! One is surrounded by rivers and mountains with beautiful foliage and color. The city of Seoul has been transformed into one of the worlds largest growing cities. The 1988 Olympics started an enormous building boom and today it rivals cities such as New York and Chicago. On a lighter note I found more Starbucks than I saw on my last visit to New York City. The older "city" is still there. There are neighborhoods that reflect the ancient ways that are only steps away from the new modern world.

Steve and Angela are living a dream. Their home is on the top floor (22) of a new condominium. The views are magnificent! The home itself is large and filled with Asian and Western amenities. The kitchen has all the new bells and whistles any kitchen in the USA has plus they have kim chi refrigerator drawers!!!!! The wall coverings are fabulous. Papers I have never seen; three dimensional textured papers I can't even attempt to describe. I photographed them, but I'm afraid the shots don't do them justice. All the closet doors are covered with an ostrich skin material and are amazing!

The most remarkable invention and one to experience is the TOTO toilet. This is something everyone has to have. I demand our builders make them a must in every American home built!!!! I suggest all of you search out one and experience it for yourself. I can say no more!!! I want one --------now!

I had Steve and Angela's permission to rearrange and make design suggestions. Due to jet lag I was unable to sleep the first night and was at work immediately! Before they were up I had rearranged the entire living room! Their reaction was fantastic and they couldn't believe what I had accomplished. I was surprised myself. It's always fun when you have free rein and your work is appreciated. Of course I had a beautiful space to work with. One of my favorite features in the apartment is what I named, "The Great Hall". It runs 48 feet long and is over 4 feet wide with marble flooring and foiled papered walls. They purchased an antique Korean chest that is at one end facing the entry into the living room at the opposite end. What an affect! Along the walls are beautiful pieces of art that they have collected over the years. The foyer, which is entered in the center of this hall, is another unique space. The side walls, covered with the ostrich paper I mentioned before, are sliding doors that open to cubby spaces from floor to ceiling to hold shoes, which are always removed before entering a Korean home.

I'm going back to putting the pictures after the script this entry because I think it's more telling to see all the pictures together. I have included some of our day trips to Olympic Park, typical Korean streets, the modern city it has become, plus other interesting shots!!

Has anyone noticed I haven't mentioned my experiences with the traditional Korean foods? Truth be it ---- I didn't do good on that subject.-------- Maybe I'll just throw in a picture!







You haven't seen anything until you see what's ahead in refrigerators! The department stores in Seoul are selling these faster than they can stock them. The price point isn't for the weak! Can you just imagine the possibilities ----Can you just imagine having Swarovski Crystal set into the door handles and in the designs!!!! If you are looking for that POP consider one in red!