Hearth Help



This was a fireplace that I completed a month ago for a homeowner. The three bedroom home has a modern mid century feel with soaring ceiling. A candlelight golden RL color was used for the walls. Now the fireplace was original and well, …… white. So it was paint, brush and imagination to the rescue.

When the walls were white it blended in and really never said “over here, look at me over here”! But when color was added it was a white elephant in the room!



This is the finished result with a natural stone look and a more subdued and blended finish. The chunky mantle piece was also painted and glazed to highlight a new modern look for the hearth.

What a difference it makes to update or bring the natural stone features back. This is one of several type’s of “refurbishing” that can be done to simply update and completely change a fireplace surround!

Now it is ready for the chilly fall nights ……. just around the corner!

Leslie Rowlands Interiors


Bank Holiday!!

Graham & Green ........ UK based home decor & design store. Now having a bank holiday inspired sale going on now!! Check out the many home, children & fashion inspired treasures.

Just one of the many home accessories at grahamandgreen.co.uk
These sweetheart shell wreaths bring a burst of the sea into your home throughout the year!

Graham & Green co / uk


Shopping with India

Using the sand, surf and sunshine to develop a line of products at Crab tree & Evelyn is one of the things that this mom, model and designer is doing well these days. Living in the relaxed and non fussy Bahamas with her partner & children live in a restored 200 year old plantation – house – turned – hotel there. Here the fashion icon, daughter of the legendary designer David Hicks lives a surreal and sea inspired life. On a recent shopping trip she was taken by these very treasures from the sea.


India Hicks in Sea crest Beach Florida, admiring a barnacle accented frame by Jeffery Massey; $850 at Bohlert Massey Home.


Handmade leather Candamir Pouf ( in many color & textures ) $525 nathanturner.com


Abalone chandelier $1,900 Anthropologie.com


Sea life porcelain creatures & coral by Roost; at velocityartanddesign.com


“Parrots” 1950’s lithograph of 19th century print $69.99 fineartprints.com


Sea life melamine plate by Thomas Paul; $28 for four at velocityartanddesign


Nautical and sea inspired matches with 50 matches each by; Aero aerohome.com


Diggi coral pillowcases $60 and duvet from $270, from John Robshaw textiles, johnrobshaw.com


Message on a bottle recycled bottles with shells or coral by Cheryl Singleton, $149 for three from wisteria.com or $30 per one bottle at crossbottles.com


Sick Day ......

I found this Japanese packaging, it somewhat fit the day I am having! "Happy Virus", what a name for a treat! Day 2, one off to school one down. Get better soon, Drew

Have a Happy Weekend, everyone


P.S. The dog is feeling better, he scored a part of a Belgium waffle this morning with a tasty nip of syrup!! Both the boys are laid out & on the couch!!


Out of pocket........

Poor lil guy ................

I snapped this picture this afternoon, seems that "Derby" is missing his partners in crime today. No extra treats, dropped cookies or grabbing a bite of a unattended hamburger!

School starts & he is displaced for a few days as he gets used to having only mum around during the days of school. He always seems to be out of pocket for a while after school gets back in session. Well, must focus on the bunnies, squirrels, & that lil Spotty kitty from next door!

Poor little guy, his kiddos are in class, no extra treats, walks or runs until they are home! He is laying in the family room, by the kids gear they left behind this A.M.

Derby Digmoore, our Border Terrier ........... (3rd child)

School Days ....

First day of school today; Happy First Day Back!!! A & D !!!!!

Pencils sharpened, paper filled & lunches ready to go! Aaahhh, the smell of fresh school supplies and the beginning of another year within our already over halfway year (2009) already in progress. With both kids under the same school this year it is a first for our family. We have officially gone beyond the elementary years.

I thought this picture was a throwback to the days of old, getting off to school, pencil in hand, book strap in the other, & a lunch pail filled with last nights dinner.

It has been pretty busy around here this week, getting all the "stuff" that your kiddo will tote to class. All this school shopping conjures up memories of school days, the anticipation of not knowing what classes you will have, friends, and lunch hour.

Best school days memory? Let's see........ Going to Junior High was very exciting and I met some life long friends there that to this day, I still know and have relationships with. I also think that getting into any extracurricular activity is a good thing, no matter what that may be. Keeping busy and learning to juggle work & play is a great life skill for children to master for adulthood. Getting to know friends throughout your school days is such a blessing and can make for lifetime relationships throughout your life. To the best first day for everyone here & there!

Photo > Ralph Lauren kids


Domestic Vacations


Domestic Vacations:
     The Dutch proverb “a Jan Steen household” originated in the 17th century and is used today to refer to a home in disarray, full of rowdy children and boisterous family gatherings.  The paintings of Steen, along with those of other Dutch and Flemish genre painters, helped inspire this body of work.  I am the oldest of nine children and now the mother of three.  As Steen’s personal narratives of family life depicted nearly 400 yrs. ago, the conflation of art and life is an area I have explored in photographing the everyday life of my family and the lives of my sisters and their families at home.  These images are both fictional and auto-biographical, and reflect not only our lives today and as children growing up in a large family, but also move beyond the documentary to explore the fantastic elements of our everyday lives, both imagined and real.
     The stress, the chaos, and the need to simultaneously escape and connect are issue that I investigate in this body of work.  We live in a culture where we are both “child centered” and “self-obsessed.”  The struggle between living in the moment versus escaping to another reality is intense since these two opposites strive to dominate.  Caught in the swirl of soccer practices, play dates, work, and trying to find our way in our “make-over” culture, we must still create the space to find ourselves.  The expectations of family life have never been more at odds with each other.  These issues, as well as the relationship between the domestic landscape of the past and present, are issues I have explored in these photographs.  I believe there are moments that can be found throughout any given day that bring sanctuary.  It is in finding these moments amidst the stress of the everyday that my life as a mother parallels my work as an artist, and where the dynamics of family life throughout time seem remarkably unchanged.  As an artist and as a mother, I believe life’s most poignant moments come from the ability to fuse fantasy and reality:  to see the mythic amidst the chaos.
                                                                              Julie Blackmon


Here are a few of my favorite portraits …….


Time Out ……


PowerAde ……



Nail Polish ……


Flying umbrellas …….



Family Portrait ……


Candy …….

Domestic Vacations Book / Julie Blackmon.com


Light up my life!

Last weekend, while putting the finishing touches on our hall bath, we began to a search for the light fixtures. I was looking for a raw industrial look to compliment the french distressed cabinetry and granite counter top. After looking and searching there was nothing to use so my handy hubby & I made our own fixtures.

The bases are my own distressed, rusted & aged nickel finish with antique seeded glass clear bell shaped globes.

We have a wonderful little hardware store in the heart of midtown's Brookside area "Best Hardware", where you can find anything to do with electrical and constructing lamps & lighting. This is one of the pair over our double sink area in an aged distressed finish with a soft glowing atmosphere, due to the new dimmer switch. One of another pair of mirrors finished by MOI, and ages to a grayish silver finish with gold and touches of the bronze color against the chocolate distressed cabinetry. More to come on this re do ......... I am waiting doors, hinges and the rest of the touches before the big reveal!

These are $20, but worth every penny to add a glow to the dimly lit bathroom lighting. Perfect for a night light, low light and in the middle of the night light!! And they are energy efficient to boot!

The lighting BEFORE the construction and the finished aged finish and globe attached. As assembled here by my magician hubby and electrical master!

A closer view of the faux finish of the brass receptacles, antique and with new switches, wire and electrical boxes! A really one of a kind pair of fixtures, that were just what the bathrooms was calling for! The two custom fixtures were about $25 each, better than some that I had seen but still were not quite what I wanted for $100 each.

Lighting custom by Leslie Rowlands Interior Artist LLC


Five Fingers

A concept unlike any other. An unrivaled alternative to conventional foot ware. Its patented design mirrors the flex points and silhouette of the foot to propel your body forward and promote natural gait.

Try on a pair of Vibram Five Fingers and experience a sense of increased balance, expanded range of motion, and visibly improved posture.

This is my new pair of "five fingers" in slate/palm/lichen. What a new experience for water, trek, running, yoga & everyday walking! Soooo weird feeling, but also very good for the body & physical routine!


Please be seated

Since I am up to my ears in back to school festivities I wanted to show everyone these outrageous couches! Looking for dorm furniture "on the cheap" is definitely a challenge and though not the most comfy, these definitely take the prize for creativity. Probably not the comfy & definitely not the designer category; but it is amazing what these students can come up with when needs over right a means & creativity is on full alert.

Some fun & on the cheap alternatives to dorm life living ......

My favorite, the pop couch.This one is over 700 different kinds of pop cans put together for the ultimate pop rock place to rest!
The colors are amazing! Now maybe this will get your little darling to the library more often, and off the couch!

The fed-x couch is 9.5 feet long and weighs 65 lbs!

The mouse couch is made from entirely mouse pads! Comfy? yes, probably. Ultra blue? yes, but what a thought inspired design.

The Mac couch, constructed of 35 Mac IIfx computers. A little more techy than your random student dorm couch this one is actually in an apple store for customers to sit on while awaiting a service call.


Crayola 101

Color my world ......

Oh growing up I always wanted to have the big box of crayons, it was not until I started to take art classes in junior high that I OWNED THE HIGHLY COVETED ARRAY OF COLORS! My favorite color was "red orange". Today no much has changed, I still love orange and I like to have a large array of crayons!

What was your favorite color???

It has been a long staning love affair ever since 1903, when Binney & Smith introduced the first crayola crayons. The fascination of over 120 core crayon names of colors has always been a inspiration to artists of all ages.
In 1903, there were 8 colors: black, blue, brown, green, orange, red, violet, yellow Then from 1949 - 1957 there were 48 colors. Interestingly Prussian blue was changed to midnight blue after teacher requests to change the name. And the color flesh was changed to peach in 1962 partially as a result of the US civil rights movement.
From 1958 -1971 the number of colors was 64. Indian red was renamed chestnut in 1999, after some educators felt that classroom children perceived the crayon to be the color of Native Americans skin color.The name originated from a reddish brown pigment color originating in India used in fine artist oil paint.
From 1972 -1989 fluorescent colors were added in 1972 and a name change in 1990.
1990 -1992 there were 80 colors. In 1990 there were 8 colors that were retired and replaced with 8 new colors. The old: green blue, orange red, orange yellow, violet blue, maize, lemon yellow, blue gray, raw umber. The new: cerulean, vivid tangerine, jungle green, fuchsia, dandelion, teal blue, royal purple, wild strawberry.
From 1993 - 1998 there was a move from 96 - 120 colors.
In 2000, thistle was removed from the 120 count to make room for indigo. Torch red was renamed scarlet.
And lastly, in 2003 4 old colors were retired: blizzard blue, magic mint, mulberry, teal blue. 4new colors were added in their place: inch worm, jazzberry jam, mango tamgo, wild blue yonder.
All this weeks worth of getting school supplies has sparked a fond memory of crayola crayons and how much imagination each box contained. Just waiting to break open the seal & open your world to colorful creativity, limited only by your imagination!


Lets do lunch

Table for two ..........

This little jewel of Tulsa's Utica Square is a cross between deli & a little tea room with wonderful sweets! A local favorite since 1983, a well earned stop for breakfast, lunch or homemade sweets sure to please! I am sure every little city has a favorite local place to dine & shop. This is one of our favorites. It is that time of year to get those school supplies, find a new pair of shoes and search for the perfect pair of jeans ( for my kiddos of course). Come on, doesn't swimsuits & jean shopping rate really high on the DO NOT WANT to do list! We love to go scour the school supply aisles and find the just right notebook or file folders. Oh & don't forget the Kleenex!! Achoo!!

Hard to beat the chicken salad & carrot cake, or the chocolate cake & sandwich! This is a welcome stop to rest the feet and recharge the shopping strategies! If you need to get a sweet dessert, you need only stop in & take home a perfect confection of sugar in their homemade cakes & desserts!

Just a stop, as we wind down summer & get the school shopping wrapped up. I love little local lunch places and this one is a Tulsa treasure. Stop by if you are in this neck of the woods ........

How about everyone else. Are you gearing up for fall shopping and the transition into some cooler months? We are having some extremely warm weeks in August, but it will be a welcome to see some leaves turn & feel the chill in the air. What is your best part of fall & cooler weather?

Tulsa Utica Square shopping / Queenies Restaurant


Poolside Perch

Groovy Poolside ........

A groovy kind of high backed outdoor chair from B & B Italia. A new design from Patricia Urquiola. The chair is based on 1960 & 1970 macrame, and employing the craft in a new modern form. Handwoven of abaca & polyethylene string by Phillipean artisans. The site: bebeitalia.it

This conjured back memories of elementary school years when I found myself making macrame hanging planters, purses & other objets de art!
What a blast from the past, I used to love to work on weaving a project, ..... the things you come across at an earlier age and then reclaim later on! What fun????
Any other weavers out there??
B & B Italia


Take a seat!

Thank You !

I wanted to first say, thank you to some dear friends for thinking of me this week & bringing me the best dinner(s) & this beautiful bouquet of fleurs! The mixture of coffee beans, pink roses, lillies & fresh palette was such a welcoming & soothing sight this week! It was a welcomed & thoughtful gesture and for that I thank you, as well as the countless comments & emails! I have been so lucky to have met such wonderful people through the world of design blogging. For that,
I Thank You!

My fresh fleurs on the room & board round coffee table, rattan tray, white plate, horn magnifying glass, & summer sea shells!

Now for the BIG Reveal!

This chair AKA brown velvety corduroy fabric, scuffed woodwork & thread bare finish with springs coming up thru the bottom seat!

One more view of the three year think ....... what to do, well put it up in the studio loft & fahgetta bout it!!!! Which I did for a couple of years. This summer though I picked up the notion to reupholster and redo the gorgeous fan backed shaped chair!

It was the lines in the first place that drew me to this chair & it was a free estate sale find! Just please cart it away & remove from the premises! So, I loaded it up & it came home where it would rest for a few years until the plan was complete to begin a new!

The chair as it is today........ I found some wonderful linen / neutral fabric, slipped the down filled cushion and took the horrid chocolate brown heavy fabric off the fluid, smooth frame.

I just received the chair yesterday, and though I am not supposed to "lift" over 5 lbs. I managed to move it into the living room! I just love the chair! My upholsterer, Alex did an amazing job!

One more look at the finished product. I had Alex leave off more of the tufted buttons for a more tailored look, polished up the wood accents and added a plump cushion where there was not one before!
Now, the big question, Do I use the seat area and a part of the back of the chair to accent with a antique grain sack feel?
I am contemplating adding initials, very softly done in black & scriptive lettering and using a more lighter, peely painted finish on the legs of the chair? This is my dilemma, I know it will look good with the chocolate colors in the living room, what do you think?
I am going to sit on it this weekend, as I am not doing much more than that until next week!
I would love to hear your comments and ideas / recommendations!
Thanks, Enjoy the weekend!

Upholstery: Leslierowlands.com design


Merci! & Thank You!

Merci & Thank You! to everyone for the comments, emails and well wishes to a speedy recovery! Back to posting soon, see everyone next week!




Taking a little leave from the blogging world this week. Had to have a little outpatient surgery.

Be back to the life and times of designing ........ next week!

Take care, & have a great week everyone!


Simply plated ....

Ever been at that so dreaded dinner party where there was a lack of conversation at the table?

Simply stated the words and the dishy tableware from the Etsy store "Custom Sepia" is a new twist on the ho hum dinner party.

If you have a fancy for an old saying or enjoy a meal with friend then this store is for you!
Whether you need 1 plate or 100 plates Custom Sepia store at Etsy can print your fav phrase, word or sentiments.

Whether it's for your own home, holiday, gift or special occasion you are only limited by your own words or thoughts!

Don't ever let the silence be the focus of an evenings entertainment again! So custom & unique & extremely fun for everyone!

Etsy store!