Thursday, June 26, 2014

Snag design ideas at Lake Wylie home tour

Get a look inside a 4,000-square-foot, lodge-style home in the gated Hands Mill community on Lake Wylie July 4-18 during the Home of Distinction tour, and take home a few design ideas for your next project.
There are a few things that make this home worth seeing. The first is that all of the money raised from ticket sales will go to Justice Ministries, a nonprofit organization that focuses on rescue and housing for victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Another reason to visit is to see the decor. Many of the techniques can work for any home, says designer Melodie Durham.
The home is at 3745 Rivergrass Lane, York, S.C. Hours are Fridays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays Noon to 5 p.m. for the first two weeks of July.
Most of the rooms in the ranch-style house and walk-out basement have a lake view. There’s also a screened porch, deck and boat dock. The lodge theme is carried out with architectural touches such as stained wood beams, rustic finishes and distressed-wood surfaces.
The sale price for this house by Everett Custom Homes was in the $750,000s, but Durham has added lots of custom decorating touches that she says are affordable and adaptable. “Even the lighting selected for every room is affordable,” she said.
Tickets are $10 the day of the event or $8 online at

Karen’s blog:<code_dp>; on Twitter @sullivan_kms

Monday, June 23, 2014

Popular African garden art coming to DSBG

Art is a natural fit in a garden, and that is especially true of the sculptures of the Shona tribe of Zimbabwe. The artists carve images of people, animals or other objects from stones of this south central region of Africa. Those rock figures seem to be most at home when returned to nature, the inspiration for many of the pieces.
Shona sculpture is contemporary art for the garden, and collectors have appreciated it for decades here and abroad. Now it will be available in the Charlotte area for a time.
More than 100 sculptures will be part of an outdoor exhibit at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. The pieces in the horticulture display and others will be for sale.

Two artists, Passmore Mupindiko and Patrick Sephani, will do demonstrations in a marketplace that is being set up near the garden’s Orchid Conservatory for the exhibition.
Grasses, hardy tropical plants and other species are being added to the garden beds to create an appropriate setting for the sculptures.
“We created a display design that represents a transition between the savannahs of that region of Africa and the mountainous rain forest,” said Jim Hoffman, a spokesman for the garden.

African garden art

See the exhibit June 27 through Sept. 28 at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S. New Hope Road, Belmont. Admission: $12 adults, $11 seniors 60+, and $6 children 4-12. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Contact: or 704-825-4490.

Karen’s blog:; on Twitter @sullivan_kms

Friday, June 13, 2014

Get help for your home makeover from Ikea design videos

Chad and Emily Fair are celebrating this week. Their home in Matthews just got a makeover by a team from Ikea.
Theirs is the second Charlotte residence and the seventh nationally to get reorganized and redecorated at no cost. Eventually 22 homes in Ikea markets are expected to get an update for season one of the Ikea Home Tour.
You can see videos of the Home Tour makeovers at You can also pick up ideas and solutions for your own project.  See more pictures from the makeover here.
“Often we discover people have design paralysis,” said Keith Bradley, lead designer for the Fair’s makeover. “Hopefully, the videos will inspire people to make changes.
The Fairs were selected after submitting a video in which they described their problem: The roughly 1,500-square-foot house they bought nine years ago didn’t work well for a family of five.

“We’ve watched the house grow smaller,” said Chad Fair, a teacher at Charlotte Christian School.
The children – ages 4, 6 and 8 – needed a place to do homework. The family didn’t have a table for the dining room.
Bradley focused on the Fair’s L-shaped living room and dining room. Among the changes, Ikea’s team added a dining table, storage units on the wall, and living room sofas that are light enough to be moved for playtime.
“This really met a need for us.” Chad Fair said. “The kids used to get up in the morning and watch TV. Now we find them at the desk coloring.”

Karen’s blog:; on Twitter @sullivan_kms

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pop up market brings vintage and handmade goods

Sometimes the best new item for decorating your home is a piece with a little age on it – or something made by an artist whose work makes a statement.
That’s the idea behind Vintage Charlotte, a company started two years ago by transplant Amy Herman. The company rents vintage table decor for weddings and other events. Vintage Charlotte also presents pop-up markets where visitors can buy repurposed and handmade items.
The third pop-up Summer Market will be June 14 at The Fillmore, at NC Music Factory. (
“I hope to just be an alternative local, sustainable option, whether it’s for the rental side or the pop-up markets,” said Herman.
More than 50 vendors will participate, selling housewares, furniture, decor, clothing, jewelry and other goods. A few will sell food and drinks.
About 1,600 people attended the last Summer Market, and about 2,200 turned out for a Holiday Market.
People are interested in vintage items, Herman said, because they often cost less than new products and they tend to be well-made. “They’ve already been around for 20 years,” she said.
Buying handmade items at the market gives shoppers the chance to talk to the artist and learn about a product’s value, Herman said.
Admission to the market is free beginning at 11 a.m. Get in at 10 a.m. with an early-bird admission fee of $5.

Karen’s blog:<code_dp>; on Twitter @sullivan_kms