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Monday, July 6, 2015

Easy Succulent garden- plated, potted, portable and colorful

I love a succulent garden for the home. It is perfect for those who tend to forget that they have plants because they need very little water, just a warm spot and sun. Succulents are not for those who love to tend and nurture the garden. I over watered over loved a little garden a few winters ago.

But I am back to try again and it was all inspired by a trip to the local garden center where they had Aloe Vera plants on sale.

Here are my top 5 tips for making your indoor succulent garden. It's your easy planting guide.

1. Planting guide- Since succulents can be planted close together, they have an instant "full planter" look and should happily live that way for a while.

2. Soil- All you need is some potting soil that lets the plants drain well, something with sand in it is a good choice.

3. Planter Type- Remember that these plants tend to be top heavy because the soil is typically on the dry side and lighter in weight. So, a ceramic planter like the one used here is a good option.

4. Plants- go for color and pattern to give contrast to your garden. Or as my friends at Southern Living magazine say, the thriller, spiller and filler plantings guide- something that dynamic, something that drapes over the edge of the planter, and something(s) that fills in between the two.

5. Love- love the way they look in the pot, love how cool the colors are, love the way the sunlight makes them more vibrant- just don't love them with water! When the top inch of soil is dry, give them a deep drink and then love them in other ways. If you over water, they get wrinkly and die. 

Isn't it perfectly formed! But it needed friends for the full pot experience. Enter an Echeveria, a fuzzy Kalanchoe, and a Graptoveria.

A Neon Breaker Echeveria, with this luscious neon pink and slightly ruffled edge to the leaves.

The fuzzy Kalanchoe is called Panda Plant and when treated right will have these dark fuzzy edges!

Graptoveria offers that dusty coloring with a hint of purple- which is how I remember the name- Grape- toveria.

So, they will live together in a lovely oval planter. The spiky aloe in the back the graptoveria has a draping habit, so it's on the side. The panda plant and the neon breaker echeveria are the "feature" plants. 

All the parts ready to be put together!

Planted and filled in with extra dirt.
The fine soil gets everywhere and need to be cleaned off the leaves or they could rot. 
I used a soft "chip" brush to clean the soil off everything, then and the smooth pebbles to finish the plantings and to give a polished look to the planter.

Remember bringing plants indoors helps keep the air in your home cleaner by the natural "breathing" of the plant. It also gives you a view of nature that relaxes the mind!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Big July Sale- Laurl Designs at Hanna Antiques

Store hours: Monday through Saturday 10 to 5:00
Location: 2424 7th Ave South Birmingham

Please know that the parking meters around the store are now operable and that the cinnamon rolls at Birmingham Breadworks, next door, are delish!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Laurl Self is named one of the Best 15 Interior Designers in Birmingham

I am so excited to be voted as one of the top interior designers in Birmingham by
You can vote for the best of the best, too! It's easy, just click on the link below and choose me!

VOTE HERE!  Below are some of my greatest hits of the past few months!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chairsh is the word! My newest vintage home accessory selections

I have joined the Chairish community with some of special vintage selections. These gorgeous items have links below to Chairish!

Laurl Designs on Chairish ©LaurlDesigns
Versatile Danish Modern candlesticks designed by Jens Quistgaard for Dansk
Laurl Designs on Chairish ©LaurlDesigns
The elegant curves interlink to create a tight or a long line of candles. {BUY ME!}

Laurl Designs on Chairish ©LaurlDesigns
Or they can be arranged short and wide. These candlesticks are 5" tall and 4.25" wide. {BUY ME!}
Laurl Designs on Chairish ©LaurlDesigns
Who's got the handsomest mug? This guy! {TAKE HIM HOME!}

Laurl Designs on Chairish ©LaurlDesigns
This pair of bookends are perfect for dog lovers and book lovers! Best of all the white ceramic bookends add brightness and light to a dark bookcase. {BUY ME}
Laurl Designs on Chairish ©LaurlDesigns
Red Murano glass bowl, functional, practical, pretty! {BUY ME!}

Laurl Designs on Chairish ©LaurlDesigns
This bowl features the aventurine, which is silver or gold flecks in the glass. {BUY ME!}

Laurl Designs on Chairish ©LaurlDesigns
The murano bowl also have a bullicante pattern between the red and clear glass. This pattern of air bubbles makes a fibonacci spiral! {BUY ME!}

Laurl Designs on Chairish ©LaurlDesigns
Miriam Haskell pearl earrings. Simplicity at it's best! {BUY ME!}

Monday, May 25, 2015

Historic Preservation- a tour at the newest project at The University of Montevallo

I am working on a historic house project, at the University of Montevallo. Montevallo is a lovely town filled with houses from many eras starting with pre-civil war through to a delish modern house with glass walls.
The King House is a pre-civil war house dates to 1840’s and was the first house in Shelby County to have glass windows. The style of the house is called an I-house with two rooms downstairs and three rooms upstairs. The kitchen is detached, as is typical in houses of this vintage. It keeps the house cool and can aid in preventing fires in the house.
My focus on this project so far has been the living room and the fireplaces. The living room needed an update with more modern fabrics to give it a home-y bed and breakfast feel, while keeping the classical style in the furnishings. We choose a soothing french grey and aqua palette that complimented the wood tones in the house and the french grey woodwork.


The fireplaces, which are not working, were updated with unglazed porcelain logs. The logs nodded to the use of the fireplace with the white porcelain nodding to the "unconventional" art school reputation of the school. 

Next on the list of updates for this project is the rugs, and upstairs soft furniture!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Birmingham Decorator ShowHouse- The Nerve Center of the Home

I have spent the last two months working in the Birmingham Decorator ShowHouse on a space I call the Nerve Center of the Home. The space is all about functional, practical design that is also, green design. It is a mix of modern, industrial, and vintage with whites and grey surrounding the pink and orange center piece of the space- the desk and chair.

pink and orange desk  Laurl Designs

Most of the items in the space are recycled, recyclable, or from a renewable resource... but nothing about the space looks any different from a less environmentally friendly space.

large dry erase board Laurl Designs

antique ceiling tiles Laurl Designs

These antique ceiling tiles have the original baked on finish which allows them to be used as a dry erase board, as well as a magnetic pin board!

antlers used in home decor Laurl Designs
Neutral greys with orange snakeskin rain boots! Natural elements like the sheepskin pillow and an antler as a tieback on the linen drapes soften the starkness of the modern space.

back hall nook  Laurl Designs
mud room  Laurl Designs

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Picking and grinnin'- by fave find this weekend

I haven't posted a fave find in a while. Once I found this set this weekend, it was a must post.

rice grain pattern dinnerware

This doozie is so large, I can keep part of it for take-out dinners and sell the rest! Hot and sour soup just got a bit fancier with this place serving for 12!

The pattern on these dishes is called Rice Grain because grains of rice is added in the clay before firing the piece. When the dishes are fired, the rice grain burns away leaving rice shaped holes in patterns which are filled in during the glazing process. This gives the pieces a translucent pattern all over, the addition of the decorative blue and white pattern is an added bonus.

Innovative design work from long ago!