All posts by Robin Johnson

Last minute Thanksgiving Tablescapes

Today I’m blogging about Thanksgiving Tablescapes with easy and fun festive ideas.   If you are a last minute Nelly when it comes to decorating the table, here are some quick backyard remedies. Nothing says fall and harvest time better than real accents taken right from nature. Below a happy tartan plaid is paired with pinecones, acorns and a simple arrangement of twigs.


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If you have a simple white dinner collection, try adding a touch of greenery with natural twine and custom nametags. It looks like a special note accompanies each guest telling them why they are cherished by the host. Love!


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What an unusual and refreshing arrangement this is! Layering table fabrics with graphic patterns and bold colors really punches up this setting. Again the painted pumpkin and greenery bring some of the outdoors in. Even the Chardonnay works!


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Plaids are popular for fall and here are an assortment are laid out as table runners. A variety of pumpkins shapes and sizes, some even painted, decorate the table along with bark vases, leaves and chalkboard painted plates.


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I also like this blend of gold chargers paired with white modern dinnerware. The gold is a nice contrast to the rustic straw basket with white painted “punkins” as my little one used to say.


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And last but not least is a decorative trellis tablecloth in a rich earth tone accented with leaves, pumpkins and glass votives.   I hope this inspires and lends a hand to those who are hosting the big meal at their house this year.   Happy Turkey Day!!


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Kitchen Remodel Willbrook Plantation

It’s November and the sun is shining! Thankful for that! Last month included a fun trip to the High Point furniture market and locally styling a kitchen remodel finally complete in Willbrook Plantation. Here is a peek at some pictures of this gorgeous kitchen to be published in Grand Strand Magazine next spring. I’m just a little excited… definitely needs a professional photographer.






The style of the kitchen is a modern/antique blend, a combination of new and old. The custom cabinets are an off white simple shaker door style with gorgeous gold hardware. Classic Walter Zanger tile is inserted above the Viking range with crackled subway tile running up both sides of the custom hood and perimeter of kitchen. Marble countertops are featured along with rustic walnut on the massive 4′ x 8′ center island. Another neat design feature requested by the homeowner is a contrasting “sink shelf” for lack of a better word stained to match the walnut island. The farmhouse sink sits on the shelf for an antique effect.






The sliding barn door and newly designed pantry offer both convenience and style.



Look for more photos of this entire remodel project next spring in the Grand Strand Magazine.

Fall Market Trends 2015

October came and went and with it came fall market in my hometown of High Point, NC. It is always a fun and exciting event to attend and the creative energy is contagious. This year’s industry trend forecast was by Julie Smith Vincenti a home furnishings trend reporter, magazine editor and business owner. Learning about how trends start and evolve is really interesting. Here are 3 trends that were covered in detail with a few photos.


1. “Beyondaries”


Science and technology are leading the way with advances in exploration on other planets and space itself. New discoveries are constantly announced in the media and two movies Gravity and Interstellar were big hits this year. Along with the space race of the 1950’s was mid-century modern furniture. And it’s back! Space influenced design is depicted through moon motifs, moon rock finishes, spheres, agates, matte black and futuristic designs.


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Restoration Hardware


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Restoration Hardware


2. Fearless


The recession is over and people are ready to live a little. Tired of playing it safe, rebellious colors are on trend. Think hot pink paired with neon yellow and red. Unusual and energizing color combinations often influenced by digital screen colors. Scale and patterns exaggerated with gold accents. Take a traditional plaid but blow it up in size and recolor it for a modern twist. Lit plexi-glass and high sheen lacquer finishes are part of this trend. A traditional teal was punched up with neon yellow and overscaled prints by designer Tobi Fairley for CR Laine. Note the lucite legs and brass tacks on the leather ottoman. The bottom picture was taken from a show house she designed.


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3. Island Life


Island life and all things tropical are in the forefront with travel to places like Cuba and Rio de Janeiro, the host city of the Summer Olympics. Exotic woods like rattan and banyon wood are popular. Patterns with Ikats, leaves, palms, pineapples, birds, snakeskins, crocodiles and shells all play right into the island trend.


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You can see more of these trends out at retail next spring! Happy shopping!

Antique Brass Bath Fixtures

One of the definite trends of 2015 is brass, especially in plumbing fixtures.   Not the old school, shiny brass that your husband says is back in style… but a new sleek, aged brass with a hint of bronze in it.   The Kohler Purist Collection is one of my favorites and has a bit of an industrial feel to it. Love the cross handles! They even created a wall sconce.


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Antique brass fixtures add a real warmth and wow factor to the photos below featuring cool marble and tile surfaces.


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If you’re looking for a stylish and affordable brass fixture on a budget, try the Verdanza Series available at Home Depot. Home Depot you say? Yes! They nailed the finish and style in what they call an Antique Brass.


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More great images of brass fixtures showcased in classic bathrooms featuring marble and black/white subway tile. Both might I add, have gorgeous herringbone wood floors that also keep the space from feeling cold. Modern yes, but not cold.


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And last but not least is Rohl’s Cisal Collection featuring a Tuscan Brass finish. I believe the exposed shower system with diverter ran about $4700 but fear not, the rest of the collection was not near that! The bridge faucet would look so pretty on a bath cabinet and I love the detail of even the tp holder.


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A few more inspiration photos below. I can’t decide if I like the elegant feel of the all white bath on the left or the statement bath with black to the right. Which is your favorite? Are you a brass fan? Feel free to comment below.


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Ship Lap Obsession

I’m not sure if it’s the idea of life on the coast or the idea of going back to a simpler time where everything old is made new again that seems to have taken shape in the form of shiplap. All of my projects as of late seem to include some form of shiplap be it on the walls, ceilings or doors and can I say I absolutely LOVE IT?! It creates instant texture and character to an otherwise boring sheetrock surface. Shiplap also known as 1×6 tongue and groove can be purchased at any lumber supply store. The projects I’ve worked on have used Pine or Cedar. It also reminiscent of an old farmhouse and can be stained or painted and pairs great with other woods like beadboard or board and batten.


Below is a peak at a project remodel project currently underway. We originally planned for just the fireplace wall to house ship lap to add interest and help frame the fireplace. The homeowners loved it so much they decided to splurge and finish out the entire room! On a side note we also replaced the stairwell spindles and added a section of chippendale. Love it!


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32 Tidewater


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32 Tidewater


The coastal bedroom below is a great example of painted shiplap in a soft blue color. It’s creates a nice contrast to the antique wood headboard.


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The living room and kitchen each are designed with beadboard ceilings and horizontal shiplap walls. The stone fireplace and kitchen island pendant lighting add a modern twist.


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Last but not least is an example of pine flooring used on the ceiling in a shiplap motif. It’s a rustic touch to this farmhouse bath.


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Kelly Tract Art

Finally I’m getting back on the blog bandwagon after a brief summer digression AND after one of my clients pointed out my last post was concerning July 4th decorations! I know, I know, so here we go… It’s no secret that I love color and while perusing Etsy today looking for some project art I came across artist Kelly Tract. Can you say Lilly Pulitzer for a fraction of the price?! Kelly is a native Floridian who began painting at the age of 4. You can head to her website to learn more about her extensive training and artistic style she calls “painterly modernism”. Right up my ally!


Here is a picture of Kelly at one of her booths at the many Florida art shows she attends.


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And here are some of my favorite artworks that are available in all price ranges starting at $35 for an 8.5 x 11 Giclee Print up to an original 30 x 40 Acrylic on Canvas at $4500 (see Flamingo).


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What do you think of this bright fun artwork? If you’re a local you can find Kelly’s artwork at the Crabby Chic, 4107 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC.

Decorating for the 4th of July!

Just in time for the holiday weekend, here are a few decorating ideas that may inspire you to celebrate in style!   You can head over to the website below each image to read more about each idea.  One of my favorites is an easy one which involves simply placing patriotic flags in floral container pots.

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For the DIYers out there, here are some crafty ways to make stars. I think I like the painted stripe with the blue star the best although the kids could have a good time making the twig styles.
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Luminaries never get old! These mason jars are easy peasy filled with sand, flags and tea lights.

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If your neighborhood is big on parades or maybe you just want to burn off some extra snack calories, this bike is a lot of fun with ropes, flags and picnic basket.

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What is your favorite way to decorate for the 4th?

New Pawleys Island General Store

Yesterday I finally had time to stop into the newly opened Pawleys Island General Store and what a treat! It’s an artsy combo of all things authentic and handmade. There is plenty of local artwork from painters Kim Conder and Gary Roberts as well as handmade jewelry, oyster shell accessories, sea shell lighting, hand painted furniture AND a local produce market that offers carry out! I think I’m in heaven. And can I just say, the homemade grape and almond chicken salad with sliced heirloom tomatoes is enough to make you slap yo mama?! Enough with the jargon already, enjoy the photos and stop in whether you’re local or on vacation.




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If you get a chance, stop in and treat yourself!

Keep Cool with Stylish Outdoor Ceiling Fans!

Summer is here and temperatures are on the rise! Today’s blog is a roundup of some of my favorite outdoor ceiling fans rated for damp and wet locations.   A damp rating means a fan can handle moisture from humidity and is okay for covered areas like porches.   A wet rating means the fan is adaptable for all outdoor weather even direct contact with rain because the motor casing and blades are designed for weather resistance as well. Thus a wet rated fan is probably going to be a little more costly than a damp rated fan for the full protection it offers. And now for the fun part, moving on to fan styles!   I have a thing for woven textures and gravitate towards fans that offer a woven blade.

Here are some fans I found for great prices from Lowe’s and Home Depot all under $99 for the bargain shoppers like me :). Click thru number links at bottom of page to shop.

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Check out the Cool Vista fan with canvas blades! This is one of my favorites! The modern shape and fabric blades are different and well, really cool. It even looks great in the traditional patio vignette pictured below. Love love! $269.99

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Casa Vista Lowe’


If you’re tight on space or just looking for something different, these vintage style ceiling fans are really fun! I especially like the silver fan with wood blades because it reminds me of a boat propeller which adds a whimsical coastal design touch. Save up though, these outdoor fans aren’t cheap ranging from $378 – $756 for the double fan :).

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If you’re on a budget, I did find this one vintage ceiling fan for only $100!! Go Lowe’s!

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Click here to shop!
1./ 2./ 3./ 4./ 5./ 6./ 7./ 8./ 9.

Which one is your favorite???

Dream Pantry Design!

This week I’ve been working on a pantry design for a current project. My client submitted some inspiration photos and I also searched for some interesting layouts and design features. This particular client loves the open shelving feel along with easy pull out drawers and baskets for storage. (Yay! Love it!) Here are some of the inspiration and idea photos we used.


This green pantry below is full of well executed design details like open shelving with beadboard, wood countertops, crystal-like hardware and school house globes to create the perfect vintage butler’s pantry.


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Maximizing storage space, this pantry has L-shaped corner shelving, adjustable shelving throughout, bottle racks, vegetable baskets, pull out shelves and a section for tray dividers. Now to keep it this pretty and neat!


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You don’t see many pantries with windows like the one below, but the natural light is a nice touch if you can afford the space. This simple pantry offers open shelving above with room for countertop storage and large items below. I can’t tell if it’s wallpaper or faux paint in the background but it adds depth and interest to the design. A secondary refrigerator is also stored in here.


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Taking cues here and there and a request list from my client, here is the current pantry design I have come up with to fit the space. Open shelving (with beadboard) will flank the back wall with either large item or basket pull out storage below.


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The left side of the panty includes storage cabinets above with basket shelving on the left. A nice size countertop allows for handling pantry items and the base cabinets house an extra icemaker and pull out drawers for easy access.


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The right side view shows upper cabinets for more storage again with countertops for drinks from the ref etc. The base cabinets offer pull out drawers but could be adapted for open shelving for large items like tray dividers, blenders or even a roll out shelf for dog food storage.


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I’m sure we’ll make a few changes along the way tweaking this design until it’s absolutely perfect for the homeowner. The cabinet color and countertop are also up for discussion but I really like the gray with the slate tile floors going in and the warm wood countertop. Do you have any thoughts or ideas for your dream pantry? Please comment! I’d love to hear!