Posts Tagged ‘furniture’

what surprised me most about the MPAL renovation

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

I hate to use the phrase “Mission Accomplished,” but yea, we got it done.  For the last several months I have been busy with Building On Hope (BOH) to renovate the Manchester Police Athletic League (MPAL).  There was a big push to bring it all together, but we made it happen.

As I’ve mentioned before, the room I was responsible for was a shared office space for the Judo and Aikido coaches.  My goal was to create a bright and happy space (despite the lack of exterior windows) while also keeping things somewhat traditionally Zen.




What surprised me most about this project does not have to do with the building itself.  I knew when I signed up that the Michael Briggs Community Center was in a tough area of Manchester (corner of Lake Ave and Beech Street).  I knew the statistics too: about 8,600 youth living within 1 mile of MPAL; 1/4 are minorities and 1/3 live below the poverty line.  In all honesty, I didn’t really understand those numbers until the last week of the project.

It was some time around 4pm on Thursday afternoon.  I was in the parking lot across from MPAL and kids from the neighborhood came by the tent.  Word had gotten out that food was available.  Lunch was donated for the BOH crew during the last “Build Week”, and typically there was food leftover.  Three kids, five kids…  easily 20 kids came by in what could have been 15 minutes.  I remember wondering “when had they eaten last?  When will they eat again?  Was that their dinner?!”  This project suddenly became real in an entirely new way.

But my biggest surprise has to be a new appreciation and respect for the police officers themselves.  Sure, cops are tough.  Cops are serious.  Cops like rules and they enforce them.  Never did I imagine to experience the kindness, compassion, generosity, humor and heart that police officers have for our community and everyone in it.   It doesn’t matter what your situation is either – I saw men and women from every walk of life greeted with warmth and respect.  These cops care more than I ever realized.

BOH’s renovation of the MPAL building may have been for the kids, but I see it as an chance for the Manchester PD to help so many more.  This project couldn’t have happened to a better organization at a better time.  I am proud and honored to be part of it.  Best wishes to Officer John Levasseur – you give us hope!

MPAL Manchester NH Grand Opening May 2016

Courtesy of JS Photography



 Courtesy of John Benford Photography

my #1 tip for surviving the rest of winter

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Hello!  Hope your new year is off to a fantastic start.

This winter has been pretty mild so far, but that doesn’t mean some of us aren’t super-eager for spring.  So what’s my #1 tip for surviving the rest of winter?  Start planning your home improvement projects now!  2015 was remarkably busy for our industry (the strongest I’ve seen it since I started my business 8 years ago), and that momentum has set us up for a promising 2016.

So rather than wait until the last minute, start the conversation today!  Whether you want to remodel your kitchen, bath, or basement, or perhaps redefine a dated dining room, Lavender & Lotus Interior Design would love to be part of your next project.

think spring

a recipe for change

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Hello, hello!  Wonderful to see you again :)  And just like that – it’s September.

A popular project this time of year is what I like to call a redesign.  This is when we give an existing space a new look or function.  Examples may include breathing new life into a living room, turning a guest room into an office, or improving the organization of a mudroom.  A redesign may include new furniture, a new color palette or accent color, flooring, lighting, window treatments, accessories, and possibly minor construction.

Contrary to popular belief, not every designer is bound and determined to reinvent the wheel that is your home.  I love to incorporate existing pieces and achieve the desired results as efficiently as possible.  Most importantly, I work with each client to develop a recipe for change that best fits their needs and goals.

So what project are you looking to tackle in the coming months?  Fall is an excellent time to create order after a chaotic summer as well as plan ahead for holiday entertaining.  Let’s start the conversation – call or write today!



lovin’ those outside spaces

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Once upon a time, outdoor furniture looked like this…

old outdoor 2


old outdoor 3and this…

old outdoor

Jump ahead to summer circa 2015, the options for outdoor awesomeness are virtually endless.

Here a few of my favorite finds this year.

outdoor rug 2

outdoor bench outdoor pillow 2


outdoor pillow 1 outdoor table 1 outdoor lantern

Sources:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

nice to meet you Marsala

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Wondering what’s on trend for this year?   Let me introduce you to Marsala, Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015.  Marsala is a deep, earthy red that is sure to please.  Not only is this color gorgeous with a variety of skin tones, making it an instant sensation in beauty and fashion, but a rich, sophisticated color that will add warmth and elegance to any home or interior.   Unlike other trending colors of the past (sorry Orchid 18-3224, you just didn’t cut it for me…), Marsala is an easy-to-live-with trend that is sure to become a classic.

marsala 1marsala 2

marsala 3

marsala 4

marsala 5marsala 6marsala 7

  Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

cozy corners

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

If you ask me, every home should have a cozy corner of some sort.  Check these out:

nook 1

nook 2

nook 3

nook 4

nook 5

Sources:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5

lovely living rooms

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Depending on the size of the home, some families may have both a living room and a family room.  For others, these terms may be interchangeable.  I consider living rooms to be more mature, slightly more formal in nature, whereas family rooms are kid-friendly and casual.

Essential characteristics for a successful space:  comfortable seating, appropriate materials, and extra pillows or blankets for snuggly moments.  Carefully consider what activities this room must accommodate as well.  For example, include a side table and lamp for reading, flexible furniture arrangement for morning yoga or family dance party, and storage for board games/movies/books/etc.

living 1

living 2

living 3

living 4

living 5

living 6

Sources:  1, 2, 3, 4, 56

dandy dining rooms

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Next on our merry tour of wonderful spaces, the dining room.  Often reserved for more formal occasions, I would love to see this room evolve into a functional medley of sorts.  For example, large tables work exceptionally well for puzzle making, crafting, homework, gift-wrapping, and more.  A word of caution: be tidy and organized – you don’t want this to become the largest catch-all in your home.

Essential characteristics for a successful space:  storage for specialty dinnerware/ linens/candlesticks/etc., layers of (dimmable) light can help create the right mood, and be mindful of chair movement and table proportions when selecting an area rug.

dining 1

dining 2

dining 3

dining 4

dining 5

Sources:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5

here’s what’s hot – episode 3

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Apparently “Vintage” is in… but was it ever out?  Regardless of whether you consider it vintage or retro, I call it classic.

The wildly popular TV series Mad Men may have increased visibility for vintage fashion and décor in recent years, but many contemporary retailers have delivered this aesthetic all along.  For example,  Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, West Elm, and Mod Cloth all exemplify a vintage vibe.

pretty and simple

Sources:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5

here’s what’s hot – episode 2

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

I know you’ve been on the edge of your seats waiting for this one.  Trend #2 for Spring 2014 is graphic, graphic, and more graphic.  Geometric shapes, patterns, clothes, and more – bold graphics are in.

@Nelson Gonzalez Chair affair

I love geometrics & would like something akin to this, I like the contrast of the bright colour against the grey/purple tones.