14 February 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day from Mrs. Phoebe Howard!

 

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I am so thrilled to have been asked to announce the publication of Phoebe Howard’s book  - “The Joy of Decorating – Southern Style” by Phoebe Howard.   I’m sure you are all familiar with Phoebe Howard since over the years, pictures of her interiors have been in almost every design magazine published.  She has such a lovely style, her interiors are so soothing and comforting, they are hard to resist.   They are tranquil.  In fact, one of her chapters is even called Tranquil.   Her aesthetic is classic and traditional, yet she doesn’t shy away from trends which keep her rooms looking up to date.  She uses the finest of fabrics and furniture.  Her curtains are always perfectly executed, and her paint choices are heavenly.  Nothing is ever jarring or out of place.  A Howard interior is perfection, plain and simple.  Don’t ask me which is a favorite project, because there are too many to name.  Don’t believe me?  Peruse her web site and you’ll be lost for hours in the beauty of it all.   The book is a wonderful compilation of Phoebe’s work.  Finally, a collection of her favorite projects in one easy to reach location.

Phoebe Howard is one of those women I am so in awe of.  Not only does she run a very successful interior design business,  she also, along with her husband Jim, operates several design shops:  Mrs. Howard and Max and Company in three different states.  I’m not sure how she does it all, but she does.  And now, on top of everything – there’s the book, written with Susan Sully, and the book tour!  I’m exhausted just thinking of it all!  Her tour starts today in Jacksonville, then on to Atlanta and Charlotte.  Check her blog for more upcoming dates and the list of the cities she’ll be visiting.   Oh yes, she has a blog too!  It’s a great one and I read it regularly, HERE.  Each week she shows a before and after and on other days, Phoebe answers design questions from readers.  I’m always perusing her blog for ideas.   Actually the first time I became aware of Phoebe is when a client brought me a picture of her work from a magazine, using it as an inspiration.   I can only imagine how many others have used her work as inspiration.   Phoebe’s portfolio is incredibly prolific and they are all winners.  Now, with the book, it will be such a useful tool to study and learn from, gain ideas and insight into the process of interior design.    Along with each image, Phoebe opens up on how she came upon the design and what inspired her.  It’s a very rich and rewarding read.

Read this part of the introduction to the book – it gives you such a great insight into Phoebe and her love of design:

“I am not an interior designer. I did not attend design school and have no formal training. I have never even worked for another designer. When I reflect on how I happened upon this career, I realize that I did not choose it. It chose me.  I was lucky enough to have an incredible mentor in my life—my aunt Myra Thompson from Montgomery, Alabama. Aunt Myra touched many people in her life, and the world is a better place for having her in it. She was poised and ladylike, but also acutely observant and intuitive.

I always loved to listen to stories of Aunt Myra and the house she decorated as a newlywed. The floors were stained a deep shade of ebony and waxed until they gleamed. White cotton-duck slipcovers so tight you could bounce a quarter off them covered all the furniture. Large vases filled with fragrant white lilies from her husband’s floral business stood in nearly every room. I was intrigued by this vision of dark floors, white slipcovers, and lilies. It seemed so basic and simple, yet so elegant. I realized that anyone could live surrounded by beautiful style if they chose to do so.

Aunt Myra affected my life more directly when I was the delicate age of thirteen. My parents had divorced, and we’d moved from Florida to Alabama for a year. I was having trouble adjusting to the move and fitting in at my new school. My sweet Alabama relatives could see that I was struggling and did what they do best: They fed me! Chicken and dumplings, fried green tomatoes, ham and gravy, biscuits—the food was incredible, and I consoled myself with it. I also gained thirty pounds almost overnight.  I was struggling and everyone was at a loss about what to do. But not Aunt Myra. She decided to decorate my room. She painted the walls pale blue. She found an iron bed, which she had sandblasted and lacquered white. She made café curtains from floral sheets, scalloping the top hems and hanging them with light-blue grosgrain bows. She cut off the sheets’ borders and appliquéd flowers around the edge of an aubergine skirt for the bedside table. She painted an old dresser with an attached mirror in sage-green strié. A white wicker desk appeared. The final touch was a satiny-blue quilted bedspread.

I can still close my eyes and recall every detail of that room. It embraced me and allowed my wounds to heal. When I think back to the impact the room had on me, I realize how powerful our environments can be. They affect us far more profoundly than we realize. In every room I decorate, my goal is to re-create the same sense of inspiration and comfort I felt in that bedroom. I want to make a difference in my clients’ lives—to give them what they hope for and dream of in their surroundings.”

From her words, I can see her Aunt Myra’s house with its dark hardwoods and white slipcovered furniture.  And I can also envision her own bedroom with its white lacquered bed and floral curtains made of sheets.  It all sounds so lovely, and exactly how Phoebe decorates today.  Here’s a peek at a few images from the book.  Enjoy!

 

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One of my favorite bedrooms by Phoebe has been this pink confection.  Could you just die from the serenity?????  The story behind this design as Phoebe tells it, is quite sweet too.

 

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And notice this darling sofa and slipper chairs from across the room.

 

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I love the back of the chairs with the ribbon trim – and the pink lining peeking out from the skirt.

 

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This house in Bermuda became special when the stone walls and wood ceiling were washed in gray giving the house a different color scheme than most pastel Bermuda houses.

 

 

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In the dining room of the same Bermuda house – Phoebe used paint instead of wallpaper.  The talented Bob Christian created this beautiful mural.   I love the chandelier here and the mixture of the white chairs and dark wood furniture.

 

 

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Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting one of Phoebe’s shops? This is not a house! It’s actually a room in her shop. I wish they were in Houston!!!

 

 

 

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Serene and tranquil – two adjectives that describe her work perfectly.  This living room is in the Howard’s high rise apartment in Atlanta.  That mirror! That pillow!

 

 

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An all time favorite dining room with the Peter Dunham wall covering. I love the mix with the zinc lantern.

 

 

 

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In another coastal house, Phoebe used blues and whites.  I love the fabrics here. Notice her gorgeous curtains.

 

 

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Phoebe loves to use canopy beds.   Soft blue is such a soothing color for a bedroom.

 

 

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And, finally, she is a big believer in white marble kitchens and bathrooms.   Notice how the walls are slabs, not tile and the sinks are marble!!  I’ve always loved the antique bench which is just the perfect touch!

 

 

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One of the neatest things that comes with the book is a pocket sized paint chart showing Phoebe’s favorite colors and brands for walls, trims, and ceilings.  This is a great tool to use when trying to obtain the serene and tranquil look of a Phoebe Howard room.

To Order “The Joy of Decorating”

Phoebe Howard has agreed to generously offer Cote de Texas readers a discount when buying her book.  To purchase the book, please go HERE.   The price is $50.00 but for CdT readers there is a 20% discount, reducing the price to $40.00  To get the discount, enter this promotional code:  CDTJOD.  Don’t forget, you will also be getting the handy paint chart with each book you purchase!! 

 

Phoebe will be traveling around the country and would love to meet you! Here are some cities she will be visiting ... details to come! Let us know if you would like us to come to your city:

Jacksonville (Feb. 14)
Atlanta (March 7)
Charlotte (March 8)
Los Angeles
New York City
Long Island
Little Rock
Montgomery
Birmingham
Savannah
Charleston
Chattanooga
Dallas
South Florida

 

And finally, to visit the Howards’ stores, go here:

Atlanta
425 Peachtree Hills Avenue Suite #23
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
404-816-3830

Jacksonville Beach
2400 Third Street South Suite #304
Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250
904-241-1980

Jacksonville
4128 Herschel Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32210
904-387-1202

Charlotte
1001 East Morehead Street
Charlotte, NC 28204
704-376-8900

66 comments:

  1. I have admired Phoebe Howard's work for a long time. The back story only makes me adore her that much more. I am thrilled to see she will be coming to my town. Thank you for the great news.

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  2. a dear friend used to work at her flagship store in Jacksonville, FL and it is always a treat to stop in while there for a visit. Her designs are so appropriate for that beautiful city...elegant yet livable

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  3. The cover of Phoebe's new book says it all! I adore her design aesthetic. The blue and white, that pink bedroom!

    I must get this fabulous book; wish she would come to Kansas City. Thank you for the introduction Joni!

    Happy Valentines!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  4. I am going to her book signing tonight! Looking forward to reading her book!

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  5. Oh Phoebe knows how to do pretty! I love her style!

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  6. Have always loved Phoebe's style. Wish she would come to Kansas City. I see from the previous comments that there is another Kansascitian that admires her work as well and would like her to visit the city.

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  7. Her Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach stores are so gorgeous - such effort has been put in to creating interesting architectural backgrounds for the furniture, window treatments, and accessories. And the staff is wonderful - so friendly and helpful.

    Mary

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  8. Phoebe is such an inspiration to those who don't have "formal" design training. She is so talented and her stores are sublime. I once saw her at Scott's and it was more of a thrill than seeing a movie star! I can't wait to read her book.

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  9. It's so amazing to see how much we can learn from a designer like Phoebe. Thank you. Joni for taking the time to prepare such an inspiring post!

    xo

    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

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  10. What a completely perfect Valentine's Day post! Adore her beautiful design work! This book is a must have! Thanks, Joni!

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  11. I can't get the discount code for the book to work. Keeps coming up $50.

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    1. you need to hit "update" beside the input and it will work. Good luck!

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  12. Just beautiful, Joni! I love Phoebe's work, and this book is fabulous!
    Happy Valentine's Day.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  13. Such beautiful rooms! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Yeah. She is coming to Little Rock. I am so excited. Happy Valentines Day, Joni. XO. Mona

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  15. Oh YAY South Florida is on the list! (Do you know how bummed I was to be home with a sick child last week when Brooke and Steve were signing a mere mile away?? Uggh.) I keep promising myself that I will take a trip up to Jax to visit her store, I must. I love her tranquil spaces, and what I love most are her details...the tucks here and pleats there. Everything is so richly and impeccably done. Can't wait for the book!

    Thanks Joni,

    Lauren
    Baylor Says...

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  16. Phoebe Howard is one of my all-time favourite designers. That pink bedroom is what my bedroom wants to be when it grows up!

    I'm ordering her book right now. Thank you SO MUCH for letting us know about this!

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  17. Beautiful book as are Phoebe's stores with a look that is made timeless by lovely colors that don't go out of style and beautiful fabrics.

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  18. I adore her work, and can't wait to get the book!

    joan

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  19. Very inspirational, I have loved her work for years but never really new her story until now! We also love her showroom in Atlanta.. wanted everything in it! Will definitely get the Book!

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  20. Really beautiful work, simple but not simplistic! I can't wait to get the book. Thanks for the post.

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  21. Love her work and cannot wait to get my hands on the book! I think good taste is one of those things...you have it or you don't. Doesnt' matter if you go to design school and get awarded with all the proper credentials, if you have great taste and a discerning eye, you can decorate a house that will blow the socks off of people, some of the most talented people in the business did not have formal training, and she clearly has "what it takes". I am a big big fan of her work!!
    Beautiful...Happy Valentines Day Joni!

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  22. Two winters ago my friend Anne and I were at her Atlanta store where my friend was contemplating buying an amazing mirror. They mentioned Phoebe was a few doors down at her other store Max & Co. and we might want to ask her about the 2 different available sizes. Phoebe graciously looked through my friend's images of her dining room, asked her questions and helped her decide on the right size. She even complimented my friends' lovely room and all her choices to date. The mirror looks amazing and when I see it I always remember that wonderful time meeting her.

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  23. o.m.g. Stunning photos. LOVE the pink bedroom and the Bermuda home. Thanks for the discount! I'm heading over to order now.

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  24. Phoebe recently had a room decorating contest and chose a young girl, Amanda, who has cerebal palsy and is decorating her bedroom. Not only is she a talented designer but she gives back, Phoebe is starting Myra's Room, a charity designed to give under priveleged and/or deserving young girls a special room. Thank you Joni for the background today because it all made sense why she has started this charity. Now I have a greater appreciation for her talent!

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  25. I'm a huge fan of both the Howard's and excited about her book. Funny but I just made a pillow today similar to the one in their apartment. I loved reading her story on how she got started, aunts are great!

    Happy Valentine's Day Joni to you and your family!
    XX
    Debra~

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  26. Joni- this is the BEST news. I actually just went and ordered it (thanks for the code!). I was just looking at old photos of Phoebe & Jim's rooms that I downloaded ages ago and was just wondering when her book was coming out, as I know it was mentioned a long time ago. She is my favorite decorator - I love the classic, tailored, lady-like interiors. It is her application of antiques and light and dark elements that I also adore. She is just the best. I love that quote from the book about her aunt - how lovely. I love the quote about the slipcovers being so tight...

    xo Terri

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  28. Great photos dahhling.. loved the paint guide.

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  29. She needs to come to the San Francisco Bay Area. :-)

    Jenny C.

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  30. Great post, I loved the paint guide; so nice for when you cannot decide. Come to Jax!

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  31. Thank you Phoebe for making this book available first on this website. It is such a refreshing departure from what we are accustomed to seeing here and a great education for the readers on what great design is really all about. This will become a treasured volume for those who wish to be inspired by the clean, crisp, eye pleasing rooms you have so meticulously created and a spotlight on those designs so often featured here by the designer wannabes who have never traveled outside of their region and use Beta Books as their design source. Lovely book. Can't wait until it shows up on my door step.

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  32. Love Phoebe Howard's style. Her rooms are perfection and, yes, tranquil. I've been a fan for a number of years and will definitely have to get this book. I met Susan Sully, the co-author, at a Bobby McAlpine book signing. Yes, she co-authored his, too, and she told me she was working with Phoebe. She's a talented writer and really 'gets' southern design and translates the designers' viewpoint and words into wonderfully descriptive prose. This will be a visual and literary treat.

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  33. I ordered my book. I guess I will have to go to Dallas...hope she comes to Austin.

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  34. How lovely! That bedroom is just divine! Enjoy the gorgeous day, Kellie xx

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  35. I absolutely love her style! It is serene and quiet but far, far from boring. She totally grasps the concept of less is more without being minimalist.

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  36. You were right, Joni, this is the book for me rather than the Southern Living one. Glad I pre-ordered it on Amazon. Was a bit worried when I saw the pink bedroom (too "girly" for me), but felt relieved when I saw the Bermuda house. On a side note, I cannot believe the cost of pillows. I'll bet the one you admire in her apartment was thousands of dollars. Don't you think? Are you amazed at the cost or just expect it?

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  37. You were right, Joni, this is the book for me rather than the Southern Living one. Glad I pre-ordered it on Amazon. Was a bit worried when I saw the pink bedroom (too "girly" for me), but felt relieved when I saw the Bermuda house. On a side note, I cannot believe the cost of pillows. I'll bet the one you admire in her apartment was thousands of dollars. Don't you think? Are you amazed at the cost or just expect it?

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  38. Looks like a beautiful book. I have pre-ordered one now.
    Love the paint chip colors.

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  39. Joni,
    I select rooms that I love from magazines and tear them out for my "dream house" files and I can't tell you the number of times I'll read Phoebe Howard's name. I can't wait to order her book and be able to read more of her story. Thanks.
    Karen

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  40. Hi Joni,

    I'm confused. It the offer from you for an advance copy or is the book not being released until March 1? The price on Amazon is less and I was wondering if that was the difference. Can you let us know if the offer on your blog for an advance copy or if we will be waiting until March 1 also. Thank you!!

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  41. I love her work too, Joni, and follow her blog. I just went to Amazon and pre-ordered her book. I am sure it will be a fabulous read as well as an inspiration for those of us gaga about design.
    All the best...Victoria

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  42. Redux...I just realized you offered the book here, so I have canceled my pre-order and will order it here. I want that paint chart.

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  43. LOVE Phoebe! Great story of a designer without professional credentials that is brilliant! Looking forward to this book, hoping it has plenty of non-published works of hers.

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  44. Her book will be a great reference for me and gift for a dear friend.

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  45. Lovely book..great find on Barnes & Noble website for $31.49!!

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  46. Phoebe Howard cannot make a misstep. Have shopped her Atlanta showroom, and it is divine--for inspiration alone. Thanks, Joni, for this great post!

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  47. I love Phoebe Howard! Why does it bother me that the second pillow on the left (of the cover) is turned??? I just can't take my eyes off of it. How didn't they catch that!?! I want to go turn that silly pillow!! and the reflection in the mirror is flipped! ARGH! :)

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  48. I want those white Klismos chairs in the Peter Dunham DR. I'd love to know where to find them if anyone knows. Phoebe's store in Charlotte is off the hook!
    Best,
    Liz

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  49. Just lovely Joni, !!!!

    Kathy :)

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  50. Thank you for the book offer Joni! Phoebe sounds as if she is just as gracious as her taste is exquisite! What a gift she has. From her stories, I believe good taste runs in her family. What a dear Aunt Myra!

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  51. beautiful, Joni especially the white Klismos chairs.

    lovely greetings

    Maria

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  52. Is that one of Steve Giannetti's seascapes over the sofa in Phoebe Howard's office -- the shot by the storage-lined staircase? Best wishes!

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  53. I simply adore Mrs. Howard's work..She needs to bring her creative talents to the Midwest!! She has many fans here in the Cleveland, Ohio area!

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  54. Has anyone seen a dining room table similar to the one in her peek pictures? I am in the market and would love to find one! Thanks.

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  55. Southerners have such extraordinary taste and style! Thank you for the beautiful post. You always give me inspiration up here in the Great White North!!!

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  56. ...i love love love the first room...and i don't even like pink...i think "ms phoebe" knows us pretty well... and she makes us proud...laney

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  57. ...i love love love the first room...and i don't even like pink...i think "ms phoebe" knows us pretty well... and she makes us proud...laney

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  58. ps...just out of curiosity...why is there always the word delete next to my comments...and not anyone else's...i always feel that there is some blog world person with his finger hovering over my comment...just waiting to zap me...(and i have no idea why the previous comment was repeated)...thank you...

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  59. Laney - everyone has the little delete icon next to their own post. That's so you can remove your comments if you change your mind. Don't worry, the Blog Monster isn't out to get you!

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  60. ...well thank you squeak...i feel much less insecure now!...there is just so much to learn in this brave new bloggy world...

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  61. very interesting and really awesome i love this.

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  62. UPS just delivered my copy of "The Joy of Decorating". Totally gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful. The included paint chart is so delightful...and perfectly in time for Spring Projects. I cannot thank you enough, Joni, for bringing this book to attention... Wow. Where do I start??? I have so many ideas...

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  63. very interesting and really awesome i love this.

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  64. That pink-and-white bedroom is FABULOUS!

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