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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!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils- review

I am super excited to be chosen to review the newly remastered formula for the Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils. I am serious about eyelashes, so to try a new product is a real treat. My fave mascara is L'Oreal's, tried and true, Voluminous- love the fluff brush and the thinkness of the product. Tarte is running a close second.

So, how does YSL compare to my faves. Let's start out with the obvious- cost. L'Oreal is about $8.00, Tarte is about $20 and YSL is $32. However, sometimes price is not the whole story. You do often get what you pay for! And, I think this might be one of those cases, in that I feel like I need to use less mascara to get the desired long-length effect. This is furthered by the fact that there is less black marks on my nightly cleansing cloth, than with L'Oreal or Tarte. So, the more expensive could be the better value.


Image on the left, YSL, image in the right, Tarte. This is a straight-up, clean faced image with no lash curling, which I normally do. And, only upper lashes.
P.S. it is very hard to get this close-up with your cellphone.


On the functioning front, the mascara has very little clumping, even after reapplying to "push the limits" and maintains the same fullness that I feel that I normally get. So, good coverage, no clumps. On the Fullness front... well... clumping is in it's own way fullness. The lack of clumping makes a lack of fat lashes. So, this mascara is for those with lots lashes that need length. As I have an on again off again relationship with lash serums, the lack off fullness is fine for now... The lash serum and I are currently best friends.

YSL mascara has also added a fragrance. I am of two minds on this. Why do I need added fragrance in my mascara, would it conflict with any fragrance I want to wear and is this fragrance supposed to have a specific quality, in an aromatherapy way, that enhances the make-up application process. The answers for me are, not really, the fragrance doesn't last very long, and it doesn't seem to have an aromatherapy spin. It's a light, not unpleasant smell.

Final vote- Would I buy it on a reg basis? no, I'm very loyal to L'Oreal. Would I buy it as a splurge? Probably, I like the product and it feels like a splurge. Could a splurge become a habit? yep.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Birmingham Decorator show house

Perspective. Copyright: Laurl Designs
I am super excited to be chosen as one of the designers to participate in the 2015 Decorator show house! I am, also, really excited about the space I have been chosen to design.

I designed two spaces for the bidding process and which ever design I was working on was the design I loved best. So, I could not be happier to bring you the coolest "back hall" you will have seen!

To the left is a composite image of the space with the orange desk, vintage metal ceiling tiles on the wall, Sweater carpet from FLOR and black and white art work above the desk. The chair is the lead singer in this band! With a mix of pink and orange fabrics on a vintage chair of soft olive, she is a standout.

I am calling the back hall "the nerve center of the house" beacuse it is where you chart everyone's activities, plan meals, and organize life. And, organizing life can be messy at times, so I am adding organization tools that are cool, industrial and vintage and combining them with a classic desk that you can close when you don't want to see all the papers. The space can be used as a sitting area, as well as function in the more mundane back hall aspects, like storing the dog's leash and your coats.

Board 1. Copyright: Laurl Designs
Fun colors in pink and orange plays well with white and cream... and always a little lucite!

Best of all this space is about green design and great design. Beside the great design of function, function and function ( by the way the FUN in function is the colors), this space is designed to be budget friendly and green with each piece made from recycled materials, vintage (i.e. second hand) pieces, or from plant based materials and most are source locally. This space shows that green design doesn't have to be sterile and boring... or earthy and dirt colored.

Board 2. Copyright Laurl Designs
Luxe flokati rug over white bench with silver dipped legs, cool industrial coat rack and a custom file cabinet for storage .

Speaking of color, this space is color theory at work with bright colors to energize whomever is working in the space on possibly less than exciting tasks. Of course, bring colors and me together means pink and orange... or should I say PINK and ORANGE.  It's bright and tempered at the same time. It is neutralized by a lovely light olive and lots of shades of white. The whites and creams brings a freshness, light and a sense of better organization to calm the mind. Welcome to the "Nerve Center" of the 2015 Decorator Show House!