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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ta-Da: The Latest Member of the Family


I am just taking a minute this morning to post the promised photos of my daughter's sweet new son. Introducing Wyatt Lee (last name withheld at the request of my daughter and son-in-law) hope you enjoy the pics:






From top to bottom and left to right: The new momma with her little one, my sweet hubby (aka pawpaw), me and our son, Caleb (aka Uncle Caleb) and my mom and dad at their house. We are all so glad that he is here and so healthy! Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!!!
Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Monday, October 5, 2009

Back to Regular Posts

     Whew....has it been a long time since I have posted anything! Sorry about that. I have not forgotten my sweet little blog, I have just been busy around here with a multitude of STUFF! I have been busy with our son and his homeschooling, my daughter had a new baby (pictures will be coming soon), my Celebrating Home business has been on a steady increase, I have a couple of design projects that I am working on, my mom has been in and out of the hospital with a venous leg ulcer that just does not want to get well, and, of course, there are the chores that come with every day living.
     I had one other new and very interesting opportunity come my way a few of months ago. I am now writing a monthly column for my favorite local publication, Two Lane Livin'. My column is titled "Feather Your Nest" and it is also included on the web version. I love writing the articles for my column and try to keep them short, sweet and informative for my readers. This is true of the other columns that you will find there, also. The best part about Two Lane Livin' is that there is no "bad news" reported there. No politics, no murder or larceny, just good news and lots of good ideas for every day living from every day folks. Kind of like taking a minute out of your busy day to visit with your neighbors. Stop by and check it out. You will love the wonderful down home appeal that editor, Lisa Hayes Minney, maintains in this "little jewel" of a paper from Central WV.
     I do plan to get back to putting up regular weekly posts here at my humble little blog starting this week. I have some pictures to share from around my cozy little cottage as well as some ideas to share to help you with decorating your cozy cottages, too. It does seem good to stop a while and visit with each of my blog buddies here. Hope that each of you are having a wonderful week!!!!

Big Hugs and Stay Cozy,
Charlotte    

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Something New

I have just discovered that I can send new posts to my blog by email!!! I am too excited over this. I knew that the blogs were set up to receive postings sent via mobile blackberry, but did not know that I could type one in by my humble email application. I am testing this out right now and will leave the post if it looks satisfactory to my ever discerning eye ;o) If you are reading this, then it passed my inspection. I also wanted to take a minute to say thank you to those who posted such kind comments to my last little garden post. You are all just too sweet. Hope you are having a lovely evening.
((Hugs)) Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Little Garden Spot

Hello again to everyone. I am trying to get back into full swing with all of my online postings and business. I have been released to drive again and to go back to most of my household chores (sigh) so much for the leisurely life... Seriously, I am glad to be getting back to my normal routine and could not wait to run my vaccuum for the first time. There is just something theraputic about pushing it along and seeing my carpets become all fluffy again. Robin does a good job when he has to take over the chore, but there is just something personally gratifying about doing it myself-aaahhh!

I had a few pictures of that little garden spot in front of my house that I thought I would share with you. I have had some of them in the camera for a while, but just did not get them posted. Here are a couple from April:



The Azalea bush was really full this year


My little garden helper, Caleb My sweet kitty,Zoot Caleb at the park

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!!!

Hope that you are getting ready for a day of wonderful celebration with family and friends. My hubby is fixing a variety of meats and I am taking care of fixing some yummy veggie dishes. We have invited our children to come and eat with us. Caleb is excited about the fact that there will be fireworks in Charleston tonight. I love the 4th of July!

I love to wish everyone that I see a Happy Independence Day! I specifically use that term even though it seems old fashioned today. I love to remind folks that this is what we are celebrating today. The signing of the Declaration of Independence that lead to our freedom from England and the tyranny that the King was imposing on our American Colonies! A freedom that has its roots in the Bible and the promises of Christ: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36

Samuel Francis Smith penned the words to the song "America" in 1831. The tune is that of the British National Anthem, "God Save the King" (or Queen). We know it better as "My Country Tis of Thee". It was first sung at a children's Independence Day celebration in Boston at Park Street Church that same year. I am posting it for you and hope that you will pay close attention to the last verse. I am glad that my Liberty comes from the Lord and that no one can ever take that from me! Hope your Independence Day is full of Freedom, Fun, Family, Friends and Food!!!

America
by Samuel Francis Smith
1
My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!
2
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.
3
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
4
Our father's God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
Until Next Time, Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Quick Note Just to Catch Up

Good day to all!

It seems like a lifetime since my last post here. I am thankful to all of you for continuing to check in here from time to time to check on me. You are all so dear to be concerned about me. Those of you who are also Facebook friends know by now that I have had my surgery and am continuing to recuperate and am gaining my strength back day by day. I am just so very relieved that it is over and that I will not have to deal with any of that any more!

So far, I have not started back to doing any regular design or decorating work. I still have 3 weeks until my doctor will release me and I intend to take every minute of it to rest. I want my body to heal to its maximum potential. I am doing light housework, taking phone calls, scheduling appointments, working on some writing projects and promoting online sales with my three online stores. This is keeping me busy and interested for now. I do have some new photos of my little garden that I will be posting in a day or two and some thoughts on a couple of new projects that I am getting ready to start. I just wanted to stop in for a minute to let you all know that I am OK and to say thank you for being my friends.

Hugs to all and Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Busy (and a little tiring) Month

Greetings Dear Bloggin' Buddies,

I have decided that my last post probably should have been entitled "The MONTH Ahead" instead of "The WEEK Ahead". This past 4 weeks has just FLOWN past me and I realized that I needed to stop by and give this Cozy old blog a minute or two of my time. I have been by most of your beautiful blogs and do apologize for not taking a wee minute to comment to let you know that I had been there to visit. I promise to at least try to do better in the future.

My days have been a mixed bag as of late. I remain busy with Design Consultations and Celebrating Home business, but I have been plagued with fatigue from this condition that has me in its grips. I will update you a bit and let you know that I am dealing with uterine fibroid tumors. Not a pleasant condition and less pleasant to talk about in polite society. I am looking at a hysterectomy sometime in the near future, probably by the end of summer. I have a couple of other friends that have had the same surgery for the same reason, and they all assure me that I will feel so much stronger once it is done. Right now I often just feel "wrung-out" all of the time and have to just stop right in the middle of doing things to sit down and re-gain my strength. My blood pressure meds are working and have brought me back to a more acceptable range. At the peak, about 2 months ago, it registered at an entirely unhealty 210/100-YIKES! I have never had anything but normal range my entire adult life, so this has been quite an adjustment for me. But I am trying to keep on going and not complain too much, I do have this beautiful family and business to think about. Just keep me in your thoughts and your prayers that the Lord will give me the strength I need for each day.

I also wanted to share a little note about an award that was sent to me from Melanie over at New Creation Cottage a while back. I am truly so very sorry that this did not get posted right away as she is so dear and this is the first time that anyone has sent me a blog award of any type.

This was just such a special surprise for me, and such a sweet sentiment. I do often feel like my blog friends share a sisterhood, even though most of us have never met anywhere else but here on our computers.


The Rules Are:



1.Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!

3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Remember to link the person from whom you received your award.

There are a few special ladies that I would like to send the award to as they are always so kind to share a kind word in their comments to me, or with something nice written on my Facebook wall. Some days they just "turn on the sun" as their comments warm my heart and add a smile to my face:

1. Shiloah Baker at Homemaking Cottage Blog

2. Stephanie Withrow Woody at Providence Handmade

3. Tina Lawver at The Artful Life

4. Susanna Holstein at Granny Sue's News and Reviews

5. Violetlady at Violetlady at Home

Thank you to all of you that leave comments and I hope that over time we will build wonderful "kinships" with one another through our blogs. Thank you again to dear Melanie for this very special award to me. I will close for now as I must make the rounds to your blogs to see what is new in your lives.

Blessings to all and Stay Cozy,

Charlotte


Monday, April 13, 2009

The Week Ahead

Spring is in full swing!!! My calendar is showing that to be very true. This week is shaping up to be a very busy one for me with people wanting to spruce things up around their houses for the spring season. I am looking forward to things getting even busier over the next couple of weeks. We are also finishing our school year with Caleb and I am hoping to schedule his portfolio review sometime this week. I have an upcoming doctor's visit that may, or may not result in getting a bit of surgery scheduled (more about that later, depending on what the doctor says-just know that we are not talking about anything life threatening, just something that needs to be taken care of). WHEW-you can see that it might be a while before I am back at blogging. I love to come here and share what is new around the old Cozy Home, but if you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks, just know that I am "up to my eyeballs" and will get on here again as soon as time allows. Hope that you are all having a wonderful spring season!

Hugs and Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring (Tra-La)








I finally stepped outside yesterday to snap a couple of pictures of my dear little daffies. I do now have a large flower garden, only one modest little bed. However, it brings me much joy to see things starting to bloom there once more. I am looking forward to the little azalea bush popping out in blooms sometime later this month. The Hostas should follow behind somewhere in early May, and I am thinking of planting some wildflower perinnials to fill in the rest of the year with color. Here are the pictures that I snapped:





Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Check Out the Coupon

I don't know about you, but whenever I see that cute little Snuggle bear I just have to smile. This morning I placed a neat little widget on the right offering readers of Cozy Home Cottage a two dollar coupon for Snuggle Creme fabric softener. Snuggle creme is a new product that adds two luxurious aromas to laundry time while softening your clothes. To me, there is just nothing cozier than fresh, clean, soft laundry coming out of the dryer ready to be enjoyed and these two new scents are wonderful and calming to the senses-aahhh! Click on the widget and snag the coupon for yourself. I don't often place offers like these on my little homey blog, but this one was just to much in the spirit of Cozy Home to pass up. Hugs to all and hope you are having a wonderful day.

Charlotte

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Erin go Braugh!!!!

I have heard it said that, "On St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish". This thought makes me smile! I have always loved Ireland and anything associated with being Irish (though I don't partake in the whiskey-save for some cooking or a good cup of Irish Coffee from time to time- or the Guinness-not to my taste). Sadly, however, my family history does not contain one drop of Irish blood. Mom's family is made up of good Virginia stock-Smiths and Austins with origins in England on her mother's side and Muellers and Handels (mis-spelled Hendel at Ellis Island) from Switzerland and Germany on her dad's side. My dad was born in North Carolina to parents from the Hancock family with some Welsh history on his mother's side and the Davis family with English heritage on his dad's side. Going back even further still does not reveal any Irish relatives on our family tree, not even any wayward branches. But, for today anyway, I am as Irish as any lassie born on the Emerald Isle. We will be having Corned Beef and Cabbage today, I will be listening to all of my favorite Celtic music (especially my Danny Doyle cd), the homeschool lessons will be about Ireland. This is just one of my favorite days of the entire year. Hope it is special for you, too.

Until next time, Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sweet Fellowship

We had such a nice week-end here in our Cozy Home. On Friday we had friends over for an evening of dinner at 4:30 followed by a wonderful evening of good fellowship. My husband made his famous "Hobbit Stew" (we are Tolkein fans-can you tell). I can't disclose his recipe, he has sworn me to secrecy,but if you love fresh mushrooms, it is quite a treat-YUM. I made a few loaves of homemade bread to go with it. My friend brought fresh baked gingerbread with sour cream topping for dessert. It went wonderfully with the fresh fruit that I had cut up earlier in the day. After we ate, the boys, including Caleb, retired to the family room to watch a movie together. We ladies decided that we would rather have some good ol' girl time talking in the living room. I tell you, I have not talked so much and laughed so hard for quite some time. We covered everything from the Bible to granny's recipe for fried apple pies and more. Caleb felt quite grown up and important watching the movie with his dad and our friend, D. They also had a great time talking and laughing. It is such a blessing to have good friends. We ended the evening around 10:30 with much hugging on the front porch. It was a wonderful evening and the house still seemed to be full of their voices the next morning.
On Saturday things were a bit quiet here, but pleasant as everything was still all cleaned up from our cleaning frenzy of the past few days as we got ready for our company. Robin and I watched movies together most of the day and Caleb joined us occassionally in between his time playing upstairs with his Legos and downstairs playing games on the computer. I really love quiet days!
Sunday morning we got up and went to our church and enjoyed time with our church family. After lunch, I went to the St Alban's library for an afternoon with The Mountain Women, a local storytelling group. They were GREAT! I have just taken an interest in this form of entertainment and love to go and listen as these talented performers weave their tales, especially when they are about my favorite great state, WV. We have such a rich heritage of folk lore, family stories and history here in the Mountain State. I really enjoyed my afternoon at the library. I came home with every intention of venturing out again for evening church, but was too tuckered out and so I stayed home with my hubby and had a pleasant evening with he and my little one, instead. The Lord knows my heart, He gives me rest when I am weary. I am thankful for that. By the end of the evening I was ready for some sleep so that I would be rested to start a fresh week on Monday. Back to the drawing board, back to our homeschooling, back to creating Cozy Homes for others. It is a good life here. Hope you are having a wonderful week.

Hugs from WV,
Charlotte

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ANNOUNCING: The Latest News

Good morning Blog Buddies,

By now you all know how I feel about accessories and pretty things for our homes. I have a wide assortment of things handed down, things found, old things, new things; etc, etc and so on. You also know how I enjoy working from my sweet little cottage home in Wild, Wonderful WV. I have a number of companies that I use to order accessories and decorative items for my clients, family and friends. Anything from the most fru-fru frilly florals to items that are no nonsense clean-lined contemporary pieces for those that prefer more fuss-free interiors. I also love the idea of direct sale companies as they provide beautiful products for very reasonable pricing as well as the chance for others to work from their home-sweet-homes, if they so desire. Two of my favorites (and ones that I have sold for quite some time now) are Home Interiors and Gifts as well as Home and Garden Party. The two have now combined into one TERRIFIC company:

Home and Garden Party, along with Home Interiors and Gifts, is now officially known as Celebrating Home and our tag line is “Bringing Families Together,” perfect descriptions of what we do as a company and what we do for you, our Customers and Hostesses. We are so excited that we have been able to bring the Home & Garden Party and Home Interiors families together and provide spectacular decor and significant income-earning opportunities for thousands of women across the United States. With the combination of these two great companies, Celebrating Home is now the largest party-plan home d├ęcor company in the nation! Our official NEW web site will open on March 8th with updated product information, specials and more!!! I will be posting more details about the site as the date draws closer. I want you to keep the date in mind so that you can stop by to check things out. Don't forget, there is also a 20% off candle sale in FULL swing for the entire month of March. I just had to share the news. As always, it is my pleasure to serve you as you create your Cozy Home!

Hugs and Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Friend's Giveaway

That talented Tina Lawver over at The Artful Life blog is having her own giveaway in celebration of the opening of her Etsy shoppe. She is giving away her beautifully hand painted pendants to four lucky winners. Stop by and check out her beautiful work and sign up for your chance to win. She will be drawing the winners on Sunday, March 1st and announcing them on her blog on Monday, March 2nd. You will want to take a minute and hurry on over there!

Hugs for now,
Charlotte

Spring, Spring, Spring!!!

Good morning to all and Happy (well almost) Spring!!!!! This is one of my two most favorite times of the year (any guesses as to the other: hint, it is also very colorful, just warmer deeper values, and our WV mountains display their most spectacular hues ---hmmmm). In our little flower bed there are daffodils just starting to sprout, the azalea bush has some new green starting to show and the trees have the first sign of some buds that are just on the verge of bursting forth their first hint of wonderful, pale green newness. I went out on our front porch yesterday and washed down the rockers, they are now white again instead of grey-YAY! I am starting to look at some of my fabric books to find the perfect fabric for new cushions for them as well as the porch swing. My mind is on fire with all kinds of new little decorating and organizing projects for my home as well as for my dear clients. I find myself humming my favorite spring songs over and over as I work around the house. I will share one of them with you, if you don't mind. Here is a little "ditty" from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers that you can hum in your head today. The perfect tune to get you in the mood for some spring cleaning and organizing:
Oh, the barnyard is busy in a regular tizzy,
And the obvious reason is because of the season
Ma Nature's lyrical, with her yearly miracle
Spring, Spring, Spring.
Hope you have a gloriously sunny day!!!
Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Giveaway at a Friend's Blog

Kay over at The Rustic Cottage is having a giveaway! Stop by and check it out:

Friday, February 20, 2009

What is an Interior Designer

Funny question, huh? But in our world today there does seem to be some debate about the subject. In many states there has been legislation introduced that limits who can or cannot call themselves an Interior Designer. In those states, a 3 day long test (given in three sections) known as the NCIDQ Exam, must be passed and a certificate rewarded to the designer before they can be considered a licenced interior designer. Can you imagine, these folks would never let anyone call them a "decorator" after accomplishing such a detailed and technical test of their design knowledge. So far, we do not have to take this exam in WV, though most 4 year education programs prepare students to take the exam, no matter where they will be practicing. I have several young collegues that have taken and passed the exam, and I have given some thought to preparing for it and taking it at some point in the near future. I just wanted to add my two cents, for what it is worth and to explain my reasons for becoming a designer.

I have had the most interesting week working with some new clients and with one dear friend who is redoing her townhouse. I think the reason that a lot of people choose design as a carreer is that the field has so much potential for creative expression. It seems like such a fun way to make a living and to make the world a more beautiful place to live. I know that was one very important reason for my choosing the field. I thought design would be all about color and fabrics and paint and furniture....ahhh. I never once realized just how technical it would all become. After my first couple of semesters in college that included classes in architectural drawing, lighting, codes compliance, art, photography and art appreciation, I began to realize that my newly adopted carreer field fell somewhere between artist and architect. In fact, most of our clients have no idea about the amount of technical, behind the scenes work that is involved in their projects: everything from choosing colors to the best type of lighting and light bulbs to use in their space.

You see, we start out just sitting down with our prospective clients asking questions, gathering information about their favorite (and least favorite) colors, fabrics, styles and such. During that first visit we usually measure the room or rooms that will be designed and we also talk about things that will be staying, and those that will be going. Designers need to know these things, you know.

The next phase is where the technical stuff comes in; we begin with sketches. Concepts dancing in our heads that get jotted down on paper to allow us to visualize the possible end results. A floor plan is drawn of the space, including all of the doorways and windows. Next, the furnishings that will be in the room are drawn onto the floor plan (this often turns into a series of plans, thank goodness for the copier). Then there is all of the searching for just the right products to go into the new design. In one single room you could choose as many as 100 assorted fixtures, finishes and furnishings. Well, in today's market, that is not an easy task-there is just so much to choose from. This is where it is very important to have that information from the client interview so that you have a clear direction for the design-otherwise it gets VERY confusing.

After about a week or so, it is time to visit with the client to present your ideas and to discuss any concerns that they have with your selections. There is usually some fine tuning of the plan to come up with something that you both agree on. Now for the fun stuff, ordering those items that are most essential for completing the design. There is additional measuring for fabrics, flooring and any cabinetry that will be installed to make sure that we are ordering the right amount for the job. The installers are usually called on for this for accuracy even though the designer has done the preliminary calculations for the work. This helps to eliminate the possibility of ordering too much or too little of the materials needed for the space.

Finally, once all of the new materials have arrived and are installed, the beautiful new living areal are complete. Sometimes this happens in a fairly timely manner, other times there are unforseen delays. Oh the frustration of ordering the perfect fabric or flooring only to find out that it is on backorder or that it is no longer available from the manufacturer. This is especially frustrating if you just checked on it before your presentation and were told by someone that, "there is plenty of it on hand". (SIGH) This usually means finding the closest possible substitute upon approval of the client, and starting the ordering process once more. The final stage, is the placing of accessories-the jewels of the room, the icing on the cake. This is the phase that often earns us that "decorator" title, but it is my favorite phase. In the long run, the end result is well worth all the waiting and selecting and installing that is involved. The reward is wonderful; a satisfied client as they view their new room, rooms, house. A beautifully functional, three dimensional work of art, inspired by their individual vision of what a cozy home is to their family. It is no wonder, then that most designers ask you most graciously, "please, don't call me a decorator".

Until next time, Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Thursday, February 12, 2009

God's Power Wash

Yesterday evening, God took time to power wash our area. We had quite a storm with winds whipping around us at 50-60 MPH, hail and buckets of rain. Our power shut off and then flashed back on again and the winds knocked over one of our sturdy wooden rockers on the front porch. Inside we were warm and dry, albeit a bit rattled by all of this raw, natural power! WOW, as my middle son would say, "Isn't God AWSOME!!!" After about 30 minutes or so, the storm died down to a gentle spring shower and finally came to an end sometime late in the evening. The wonderful part of the whole thing was not evident to me until this morning as I looked out of my living room window (mostly to make sure everything was still in place, and that we were, indeed, still in WV and not in a land of lollipop kids). What greeted me was a sense of CLEAN, a freshness in the air that I had not experienced for quite a while. Lately our air has smelled a bit salty and gritty due to the inevitable dousing the roads received during our last battle with snow and ice. But this morning everything was washed clean again. The Lord had used all of that drama of water and wind to begin His spring cleaning of the earth. How miraculous! I can almost feel the daffodils and crocus moving upward from under their sleepy wintertime beds. Not long now until the sweet song of spring birds will float on the soft fragrant breezes and the apple trees will burst forth with blooms. I feel inspired! I think I will start working on tossing out some of my winter time clutter. Maybe a new wreath for the door...oh the possibilities....

Until next time, Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snowy Day and My 15 Minutes

The world outside lies peaceful and quite beautiful with its pristine blanket of white. I love snow days-its kind of like God is giving us permission to take life just a little slower. I do pray His protection for those of you that had to make their way out into the cold and ice. I wanted to take a minute to post about something that happened here back in December. Around the 22nd I was contacted by one of our local newspaper reporters for an interview opportunity. I was THRILLED. I have never been featured in any type of publication, so you can imagine how giddy I was over the whole thing. The reporter was a joy to talk with and his article was a nice commentary on myself, as well as my business. I am posting it below:


Reprinted with permission from the Charleston Newspapers Metro Kanawha West.

Cozy Home Designs Brings Individuality to Decorating

By Ben Calwell
bcalwell@cnpapers.com
304-348-5188

December 27, 2008

It takes a cozy homeowner to know what it takes to turn plain rooms into warm, family-friendly spaces.

Interior Designer Charlotte Spears lives in a cozy, well-appointed home that exudes warmth and comfort. It’s not surprising then that Spears calls her interior design business Cozy Home Designs.

Working out of her Dunbar home, Spears offers a range of interior design services, including color consultations and expertise on fabrics, window treatments, paint, building materials, furniture and furniture arrangement and getting order and organization in the home or office.

Spears, a Nitro native, earned a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the University of Charleston in 2004, and in 2006, she began Cozy Home Designs.

Color and decorating have fascinated Spears since childhood.

“From the time I was a little kid, I’ve loved to decorate and make little flower arrangements and play with colors,” Spears said.

Spears said her mother always claimed that she could distinguish the difference between the colors red-orange and orange-red at 18 months of age.

Her mother “would lay the crayons out in a rainbow and have me go over them. That was our little game,” she said.

Spears chooses to work from home to be closer to her family, but she also allows time to go out and visit clients’ homes and workplaces.

Many clients call upon Spears to help them choose colors. With an overwhelming amount of choices when it comes to color, it helps to have a “third eye” help in the decision making process, she said.

“They’ll have an idea of something, but they can’t quite get the look defined in the way they want to, so I do a lot of color consultations and consult with them about window treatments and design those out.”

Often, clients have a room or rooms that frustrate them when it comes to furniture arrangement.

“Sometimes, folks will have beautiful things, but they just don’t have them arranged as advantageously as they need to be. So I’ll go in and help them rearrange what they already have,” Spears said.

In some situations, it helps if areas of rooms are divided into different “grouping areas for different functions in one room.”

Spears also offers shopping services for clients doing home makeovers.

“I’m very attuned to who has what in the valley, so I can help them pull a look together.”
The first step in getting a Cozy Home Designs consultation is an interview with the homeowners to find out their needs.

Spears takes measurements of the spaces and then goes back to her home office, makes sketches, “pulls fabric” and searches locally for furniture and accessories online to begin the design process.

The process ensures “that I have a clear understanding of what the room looks like and what the needs are and how things need to be arranged so that they are the most beneficial for that family.”

At the next visit to a client’s home, she brings her sketches and fabrics that show her vision of the project. Many times, Spears will provide her clients a direction to go in and help them connect to the resources they need.

Spears said a well decorated home is a well-organized one. She can help clients re-establish order in their homes.

As a teenager, Spears color-coded her clothes closet.

“My mother wouldn’t even hang my clothes up, because she was afraid she would put something in the wrong color order,” she said with a laugh.

Spears said a decorating trend for younger clients these days is the contemporary look — “clean lines and less clutter.”

For older clients, the Kanawha Valley is “still the traditional haven” in home decorating.
Some go “for the cottage look — they like the old retro theme by pulling older things in” to the design.

Country decor, especially the primitive look, also remains popular, she said.
As an interior designer, Spears said color fascinates her the most.
“It’s the colors. Anything to do with helping someone define their colors and make their house more cozy.”

Spears said the word “cozy” sums up her design philosophy.

“A home should be that cozy gathering place where your family feels drawn to.”
For more information about Cozy Home Designs, call 766-7183, or send e-mail to
mailto:tocharlottespears5@aol.com


WOW, a BIG thank you to Ben Calwell and the Charleston Newspapers. You all are the BEST!

Hope that you are staying warm and cozy. Until next time I am sending warm hugs to all of my "bloggin' buddies",
Charlotte

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Home is Where the Heart (and sweet memories) Are

Have you ever wondered just what power our homes have on the memories of our loved ones? When you think of times spent with family or friends enjoying special times together do you remember only the people, or do the surroundings suddenly come vividly to your mind, also? Chances are that you think of the sights around the memories and maybe even the smells and sounds as well.
I was thinking of my sweet Aunt Mary this morning and as I pondered the particular visit with her I was suddenly aware that my mind was also tracing out the details of her pretty living room around the thought. I could see her sofa, the huge Hendel lamp in her front window, the tiny crystal humming bird that hung on a string reflecting the sunlight into the space...Wow, I was there again, right down to the smell of her good cooking lingering in the air. What a powerful moment!
Sometimes we are all too ready to scrap everything and start all over again in decorating our homes. We want everything bright and shiny and new. I wonder if we are doing our memory a great unjustice by taking away things that could be what friends or family so closely connect with our homes. Maybe that special china cabinet filled with favorite knick-knacks or the set of end tables that once belonged to mom. These things that we take so for granted day to day might just hold some delightful details in the memory of someone dear to you. Cherish the things around you and count them as a blessing in making your home the cozy place that is all yours. Fill the spaces of your home with things that are both beautiful and have special meaning to you. Lovingly replace worn out items with items that are just as beautiful and unique. Keep tradition alive by asking friends or family members if they would have an interest in using items that you are putting aside if it holds any special memories for them. Your home is the one place on earth that people most identify you by. Take time to make it as special as you want to be remembered.

For now, stay cozy,
Charlotte

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Color Trends for 2009 and Back to My Path:

Good morning to all. I hope that your day has started off in a pleasant and fulfilling manner and that you are well on your way to accomplishing all of the goals that you have set for yourself today. Most of you that have been reading my cozy little blog over the past few months will certainly know that, as a designer, I am not one to be confined by the popular trends in the market. I am much more attuned to helping my clients find something more enduring and soul satisfying that speaks of their own individual interpretations of home. However, there are a those that are ever curious as to what will be the latest on the scene for the upcoming year and, this year, I will have to admit that things look quite interesting. My personal favorite color combo for 2009 makes me a little hungry when I think about it: Plum and Mustard-almost good enough to eat!!! The color plum is dark and mysterious while the mustard tone is more like the grey poupon variety; not the bright yellow variety that we Americans usually put on our favorite hot dogs. I have posted a link to an article for you to visit. I would love to have your comments about your impression of the latest trends. Here is the link:

Hot Trends in Home Interior Colors and Textiles: 2008-2009
A guide to help with post holiday decorating this winter. New trends in color palettes and textiles will add beauty to any home this.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1268485/hot_trends_in_home_interior_colors.html

Hugs to all and Stay Cozy,
Charlotte