Fresh Spring FLOWERS in fabric!

Spring is here! Spring is here!

 

 

 

 

 

Well, if you live in Iowa and think 40 degrees, without a trace of sunshine is spring, you’d be right on the money.  Hey, at least it’s April!

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody is SO ready for some spectacular spring weather with flowers blooming all around, so today here is a pick-me-up until our flowers really do unfold.

 

The fabrics are from Villa Romo and the wallpapers are from Harlequin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mmmmm – You can almost  smell the lilacs.

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelans Interiors

363-9634

Beauty IN, Ugly OUT!

As Nancy Grace would say, “Bombshell tonight!”

 

It’s still winter!

 Okay, so it’s not exactly a bombshell in a journalistic sort of investigative report, but it does sound intriguing!

 

 

 

 Here’s the truth –  I really just wanted  to continue with last week’s theme:

How to BEAT The Winter Blahs

 

because

 

 In the past few days we have received several pieces of magnificent artwork: magnificent in size, magnificent in color and incredibly magnificent with the

WOW! Factor! 

There are also pieces of  “fun” sculpture – some whimsical, some very sophisticated and, as always, some classically romantic pieces.

If you are craving an art-fix, stop in and admire these creative works of art.

 

 We will help you find beautiful.

So, as it turns out, this is an invitation! 

What a great way to beat the Winter Blahs

 

“Bombshell tonight!”

52 more days till spring.

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

 

 

STILETTO: Heel? Dagger? or Table?

Stiletto!

Brian Cummins photo

The Italian word “stiletto” comes from the Latin stilus meaning: “a stake; a pointed instrument”(from Wikipedia).

A stiletto heel is a long, thin, high heel found on some boots and shoes, usually for women first being introduced in the 1930’s… It is named after the stiletto dagger(also Wikipedia).

Interestingly, the  high heeled shoes were first introduced in Italy, as was the dagger by the same name.

 

Now comes Thomasville! 

Using a metal with soft undertones of both gold and silver, they have styled a collection of tables to live up to the name, Stiletto!

With its classic retro look these tables will add an edge to your casual, centemporary, great room or living room. If it’s  glamorous Hollywood and girlie that fits your definition of stiletto or if it’s more cutting edge and masculine, it doesn’t matter – the Stiletto  collection will work! 

The striking Stiletto collection of tables are on our show room floor, so come and check them out!

You see,  it doesn’t matter if your defintion is to  strut it,  to stab it, or to  add a layer of some smart bling , the very idea of Stiletto is sharp.

 

 Take one more step.

Add the functional and ornamental Stiletto collection to your well dressed home.  

 

   Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

CRANBERRY PARFAIT – Thanksgiving Perfect!

  

Parfait (pronounced [paʁfɛ]) is a French word literally meaning “perfect” that began referring to a kind of frozen dessert in 1894.

 

Cranberry (pronounced tart red yummy thingies) is an American word which has dominated the fruit popularity contest for the last decade.

 

Last year I talked about a rather unusual item that has joined our Thanksgiving table of bounty.  Pink is the heavenly color of this parfait  and even though pink is not considered  “an autumn hue”, there it is on my table. “Perfect”.

 And there it has been for the last 37 years.

This came to be one Thanksgiving when I was 8 months pregnant and unable to travel more than 3 blocks. A person who tuned out to be  a life long friend, as well as godmother to both my children, invited my husband and I to join her family for dinner.

On her table were gorgeous goblets filled with cranberry parfait!

Her French mother met and married her dad who was an American serviceman.

As time passed, a French Christmas treat soon became a Thanksgiving tradition  in Iowa. She passed it to her daughter who passed it to me.

“Perfect”.

 

My family has loved it ever since.

So to those of you who asked again for this recipe:

 

 CHRISTMAS FRENCH CRANBERRY PARFAIT

 

Grind 1 package fresh cranberries and 4 cored apples.

 

Add 1 can drained, crushed pineapple.

 

Add sugar to taste – it will depend on the tartness of the apples.

HINT: Remember this will get sweeter when the whipped cream is added.

 

Whip heavy cream and add a bit of vanilla and a bit of powdered sugar.

(No cool-whip please!)

 

Mix about half cranberry mixture and half whipped cream in a separate bowl. Then spoon into each goblet.  You can also invent different ways to layer the mixture! Serve immediately or refrigerate.

  

 

The fruit mixture can be made days ahead and refrigerated.Mix with the whipped cream at the last moment. My family likes this a bit on the tart side, so play with the flavors.

 

It is a beautiful light pink delight! Taking the que from my dear friend I always place these goblets on the table as part of the setting, even though it is very much a parfait dessert! 

“PERFECT”! 

Giving thanks from my heart,

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelans Interiors

363-9634

Candice Olson here in Cedar Rapids!

Everybody loves Candice Olson, right? 

 But where can you find her products?

Right here in Cedar Rapids!

Phelan’s Interiors has been a long time partner with the Norwalk Furniture Company, and Norwalk has been a long time partner with Candice Olson!

 

Stacie Reid, Interior Designer at Phelan’s,  had the chance to meet Candice at High Point Furniture Market last April!  Lucky lady!

 

 

When you see Candice planning a room design on her T.V. show (Divine Design) and she is looking at fabrics and selecting sofa styles, she is working with Norwalk Furniture.  Norwalk manufactures Candice’s sofas and chairs right here in the United States!

 

Did you know she also offers a fabulous line of lamps and chandeliers?

And, guess where you can find those pretties?

 

 

Right again.

Right here at Phelan’s in  Cedar Rapids!

Because delivery time is approximately 8 weeks, if you want your custom made Candice Olson sofa or chair in your home for the holidays, come in soon!

Phelan’s Interior’s  is having several Candice Olson promotions between now and Christmas, so stop in and check out all of her “divine” goodies!

 

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

Iowa in January means MANGO!

 

mango lady

Right! It is almost over – January that is.   It’s been too many days without a ray of sunshine. Everyone is a little grumpy. So the word I am offering up today is “mango”! 

“Mango is my favorite color” a client said to me today, “Show me some fabrics with that color.”

That challenge made me do a happy dance. I got happier as the day progressed. Who would have guessed that simply looking at things colored mango could pull you out of the winter doldrums?!

 

So , here are some mango photos for your pleasure!

1970 Dodge Challenger in “Go Mango-Orange” custom paint!

 

 

The fashion brand name “Mango”

 

 A painting by VERONICA LAWLOR  entitled “Mango Memory”  www.veronicalawlor.com

 

 

Now, to tie all these images into a blog about interior design! Look at this dynamite kitchen!

 

Hello,  Mango colored wall decals! Are your feet doing the happy dance yet?

 

Really? Did anyone realize there is an airline named “Mango”?  Really.

Have a week filled with color!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/ Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

After Christmas Sad-House-Blues

 Hey!  Happy 2010 Everybody!

I actually wrote this last year, but because it has been so well received, I decided to post it again! Must have struck a nerve with many readers!

 This syndrome is defined as depression following holiday parties.

It has many names (Treatment is available) and is sometimes known as

POST PARTY-UM BLUES.

Onset begins 4-10 days after Christmas tree removal.  You are at low risk if you have some but not all of these symptoms:

You have a family history of living in snow bound areas.

Sudden onset of snarky attitude and general melancholy.

Not remembering how dark the house is without Christmas lights.

Most, if not all of these symptoms of Winter-Dark-House Blues will be eliminated by implementing a non-specific commonsense home improvement project of any type. Do not deny the power of these Blues. Shop with an understanding friend who shares a similar experience and is good with color.  There is help. There is hope.

 However, CALL YOUR INTERIOR DESIGNER  immediately if you experience any of the following high risk symptoms:

jill_1

Thoughts of hurting your sofa.

Halucinations – Seeing colorful accessories that aren’t really there.

Having an uncontrollable desire to paint everything sun flower yellow.

Thoughts of completely destroying or eliminating a wall.

These are traumatic manifestations of Post Party-um Blues. If your symptoms are severe, last longer than an Iowa winter, or if you find yourself  fixating on buying an ocean front condo in Costa Rica, then you must be treated by a professional interior designer. Therapy won’t work. Medication is useless. Googling Rosicrucian psychosensory incantations is definately out of the question, but –

TO CURE THE MOST HIDEOUS CASES:

 Talk with your designer.

Schedule a house-call.

Make a plan and follow through with confidence.

See the light.

At the very least, buy one lamp!

img_1256_1

There is absolutely no need for Post Party-um, Dark -Days -of -Winter Blues to envelop you. For more information on this debilitating syndrome contact your personal interior designer or . . . or call me!

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

Iowa Rain verses Pretty Shoes

 Several pairs of my shoes have been flooded out. So far this year, over 40 inches of precipitation have graced the fair community of Cedar Rapids. That’s right – and we still have three of our “tradtionally wet months” ahead of us!

shoes_umbrella

Normally, I wouldn’t go off on a rant for this blog, but sometimes the Iowa weather makes me cranky. It makes everybody I know cranky. I find myself wishing I owned stock in a flip-flop company!

 

fishflops

 

 Frankly, we midwesterners are extremely weather-sensitive. The very first decision we make each and every day depends on the weather: what to wear. And this year (actually last year must be included as we remember THE flood) we  must decide what shoes we can or cannot wear based on how many inches of rain have been predicted. 

I mean,  don’t misunderstand – I am fully aware of heartland beauty. I appreciate each season with its unique spectrum of colors, and spicey or earthy scents, and comforting ambience.

But then it rains.

Every season.

PD*28602098

    So yeah, I’d wear these to work! 

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

Stalks of Decor(n)

BLOG interruption for a Fund Raising break!

This magnificent summer weekend is (drum roll, please!). . .

corn servers 

 

St Jude’s Sweet Corn Festival 

That’s right…. an unbelievable FOURTEEN TONS OF CORN will be cooked!

 

I will be there. My plan doesn’t alter from year to year. I will fast all day before arriving at the festival. I will ignore the car raffle. I will not be tempted to network with friends. The home made pies won’t lure me in. 

 I WANT CORN ON THE COB!

 

The Sweet Corn Festival is, in my opinion, the best reason to live in Cedar Rapids. I am practically giddy with excitement as I visualize chomping away on as many ears of corn as I can possibly choke down!

I totally understand people who love sweet corn and love this festival, but as an interior designer, I am having a bit of trouble  understanding people who love to decorate with corn. Count yourself lucky if you were unaware of the phenomena  known as corn decor.  AKA: decorn!  It is as real as it is hideous.

These are ceramic or pottery plates – totally appropriate for serving sweet corn. I get that. Same as the ones shown above, only not-plastic, and missing the pokey things you stab into the ends of the corn. Like I said, I understand.corn plates

Both of the above items are available on eBay.  

 

After that  things start going crazy on me. Like corn switch plate covers.

cornswitch Disturbing.  (also on eBay)

 

I have the capacity to completely enjoy sweet corn and even the idea of corn.  At the risk of sounding like a spiritual braggart I also have the ability to comprehend the absolute pure essence of corn on the cob.  I do embrace my heartland-ness.

I mean I live in Iowa, it’s no big deal. 

 

Are you serious? A smirking, napkin-holding decorn? deorn

 

 

Back to my dilemma. Through the years, just as a joke mind you,  my sister and I have gifted each other with decorn items that fall into the category of:  “Who in their right mind would possibly pay money for that ?”

corny

 As it turns out, each one of us does!  Anything for a laugh. The corn seahorse makes my case for me. This gift from my sister, this piece of decorn has to be the big winner. Could any decorn absurdity beat this!?!

It makes you wonder about who thought of the idea of a corn-bodied seahorse – but more intriguing than that is someone else thought the idea was good enough to manufacture!

corny2

I had to show the “piece de resistance” one more time – just in case you are having a tough time believing what is in front of your eyes. 

 I could easily continue down this corn row, but the story has been exposed.  So, enough about decorating with a corn motif –

Go out to St Jude’s Sweet Corn Festival and feast upon the world’s best corn on the cob.

If you’ve never attended before, you will thank me!

NEXT WEEK –

Back to business –

RED HOT ACCESSORIES!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior designer/Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

 

PS Confession: The smirking corn thing is also from the author’s private collection.