Patricia Gray Interior Design

It's a Miracle

Every so often life comes along and completely takes you by surprise. Which is what has happened to our family. My daughter Charmaine gave me the news via telephone....The conversation started "Mom are you sitting down?" Mom says "Yes". Daughter says "Remember when you told me that if I ever got pregnant you would buy me that Louis Vuitton Diaper Bag....well I am calling you on it". Silence. It sinks into the Mom's head what she has just heard and she starts screaming and blabbering on as only Mothers can do when they are told this kind of wondrous news. But what makes it a "Miracle" is that my daughter was told 8 years ago by the "best of the best" of Fertility Doctors that she would never, ever conceive. As a matter of fact I think it was put to her that her chances of conceiving were about as good as winning the lottery. Now just to let you know that my daughter's goal her whole life was to have a family and a big family, and from the age of 5 or 6 years old she was always like the Pied Piper. Children loved her and she loved them. So this was quite a blow to her when she was given her lottery chances. Not one to be kept down for long, they (her wonderful husband and childhood sweetheart Brent) put in for adoption. Along came Grandson 1 - Campbell who is now almost 6 years old, and then came Colten who is now 2 1/2 years old. There could not be two more loved boys on the planet. I had always heard stories of women becoming pregnant after adoption, but when it didn't happen after Campbell arrived I stopped thinking about it. In the last year I have been asking (very politely) if there was going to be a #3. And I was always told politely NO!!! We are finished, done, 2 boys are enough, we have our hands full etc. My daughter had just given away all the baby accouterments and voilà she gets pregnant. Moral of the story: keep all the baby items if you never want to get pregnant again. Needless to say, dear daughter, you can have any Louis Vuitton bag you want!!!!

Brent Charmaine Campbell Colten

Campbell, Brent, Charmaine, Colten




Campbell Norway Pine


Posted by Patricia gray
over 11 years ago

Thinking of You

I've been short of time last week and I may not have time to do a full posting this week...but I am thinking about all of you. I have several wonderful new clients that are consuming my energies. It is all good and I am doing some new and wonderful and inspiring things that I will share with you soon.


Picture via Le Petit Cabinet de Curiosites. Check out Melanie's blog. She is in France and has a great eye for design and color.

Posted by Patricia gray
over 11 years ago

The Color Purple

Post Script: This Post has been featured in the Washington Post Blog Watch for March 6, 2008

I was at a color seminar a few weeks ago in Vancouver given by the very knowledgeable and iconic Leatrice Eiseman, ASID, IDSA, FGI, CGM. Leatrice is the author of seven books on color. She is a color consultant to many industries and is the executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute. I am fortunate to hear her speak every year on the Color Forecast Trends for the coming year. This year "Purple" is one of the hot color trends for Living Spaces. Like most things, new trends are slow to take effect on one's psyche. They trickle in on a subconscious level and then all of a sudden you are seeing that trend everywhere. So now that Purple was on my radar screen, I was pleasantly surprised to get back to my office and see Elle Decor March issue which had just arrived, and voilà a light purple wall was featured front and center on the cover. I have also been collecting images of various shades of purple rooms in my file for awhile and I now have enough ammunition to do a post on this amazing color. In doing my research for this post and going through my paint fan decks I found a glaring shortage of this color. Pantone has selected the color Blue Iris (PANTONE 18-3943) as the 2008 Color of the Year . Lilac, Iris, Mauve, Violet, Lavender, and Heather are all softer versions of the color Purple and are delicate and romantic, while deep or bright purples like Aubergine, Grape, Plum, Eggplant, and Iris are bolder and more dramatic.


This picture could have been used for my post on {The Color Orange} This soft shade of purple is such a nice compliment for so many colors. It goes well with orange, yellow, fuchsia, green, blue and taupe.


Above 3 pictures Elle Decor March 2007

Katie Ridder
Photo Katie Ridder

madelineWeinrib area carpet Brooke_Slate

Madeline Weinrib Area Carpet


Jeffery Bilhuber has chosen to upholster two chairs in a deep rich shade of purple. I like how the shades of taupe and beige in the room tend to accentuate and enrich the chairs.


This library/office with painted walls in a beautiful shade of lilac is reminiscent of the 50's, but totally is recognizable as being set 50 years fast forward with the advent of Apple Computer and the Zebra inspired wool area carpet. photo Elle Decor March 2008

IMG_0001 IMG_0002

There is something so soft and feminine about the feel of the wallpapers that have been used for these lamp shades. I can smell lavender.
photos Elle Decor March 2008

EKB Interiors

A classic English Campaign sofa with arms that drop down to extend the length for sleeping on.
photo EKB Interiors

1st dibs macassar ebony side chairs by jules leleu French circa 1923

A set of very fine Macassar Ebony side chairs for sale on 1st Dibs designed by Jules Leleu French Circa 1923

And now we move on to the deeper shades of purple: Aubergine, Grape, Plum, Eggplant. So very appealing and dramatic. In Medieval times Royalty & high officials of the Catholic Church were the only ones able to wear purple because of the expensive and rare dye that was used to make this majestic color. So for many centuries it was associated with Royalty, Wealth and Majesty......Purple was the favorite color of Egypt's Cleopatra.

antonia hutt
Velvet seems to be the right fabric choice and purple a very fitting color for these chairs in the style of William Haines.
photo Antonia Hutt


A dramatic use of deep aubergine.
photo S Gambrel

Tom Scheerer

The color of the cushions in this sunroom remind me of the color of a grape popsicle.
photo Tom Scheerer

Hotel Luxe Marrakech

I don't think that any other color would have worked as well for this room. I would feel like a Queen sleeping here!
Hotel Luxe Marrakech

There is even a Blog called Purple Area written by a wonderful Blogger located in Malmo Sweden

Tricia Guild Elle Decoration lilac

Is Purple your favorite color? What is your favorite shade of Purple?

For other posts on Color click here

Posted by Patricia gray
over 11 years ago

Happy Weekend & Happy 1st Da...

When I have had a busy week, like I have this past one, I love to spend the weekend recharging my batteries. There are several things that do it for me and the one that fits for this weekend it to spend some time outdoors around trees. A walk in the park in the sunshine!!! What is your favorite thing to do this weekend?

photos by Kjersti-Berg_dreaming days1photos by Kjersti-Berg_dreaming days2photos by Kjersti-Berg_dreaming days
photos by Kjersti-Berg_dreaming days photos by Kjersti-Berg_dreaming days1 photos by Kjersti-Berg_dreaming days2

Dreaming Days Photos by Kjersti-Berg
1970 born in Stjordal, Norway
Lives and works in Trondheim, Norway
Link to Happy Weekend Posts

Posted by Patricia gray
over 11 years ago

My Sketches

I was going through the drawers in my office recently and happened across an old sketch book of mine. I used to do a lot of sketching of ideas, working things out by drawing the details before they actually became a reality. I would always carry a sketch book with me where ever I went so I could quickly capture my inspiration as it occurred. I haven't been doing enough of that lately with the advent of Auto Cad, a program where drawings are computer generated, and with my small digital camera in my purse at all times. I don't know whether it is laziness or the advent of technology, but I must say that looking back on these quick hand done sketches that they have a certain charm that the computer or the digital camera just can't achieve. There is something to be said for hand drawing. When I went to Design School we were taught to hand draw and I filled copious sketch pads. I studied Architecture in Paris and we would sit for hours in front of an important building or monument while the professor talked about the merits of the architecture and we would be fastidiously sketching away. I remember my first art class where there were nude models. I was very young and very naive and must say that it was very embarrassing for me to learn to draw the human body anatomically correct. Hand drawing is a very good way to train the eye to see details, and details are the stuff that design is made of. There is something magical about capturing the essence of something with a few lines.

tie back draperyfabric and trim

This was a sketch for a doorway into a Master Bedroom closet. I played around with different fringes to edge the drapery. One side was striped and the other side was a coordinating floral in linen.


This was an alternate detail for the drapery to cover the doorway into the Master Closet. Instead of being held back with a piece of curved metal it gathered back on itself with a series of loops sewn onto the back of the fabric, much like a roman blind. The top of the drapery was hung over the curtain rod with tabs that folded over and were pointed on the ends. There is even a design for coordinated lampshades trimmed with cord and tassel.

cushion details

These were sketches for toss cushions with notations for the size,fabric, trims and even the colors.

detail 1

This was a sketch for the drapery workroom for a "balloon" valance treatment with a decorative French mirror between. The windows bothered me as they were not even, so I added full length side panels to each window, as noted in the bottom notation, to have 10" hems/headers and I wanted them to puddle on the floor so I added an extra 40" to the over all length. I would not have been able to make this decision to frame the windows with full length draperies as easily if I had not done a sketch first.

ash street bed

A sketch for the arrangement of toss cushions and bedding, that were made of 3 fabrics: Cream Silk Taffeta, Anjelica - a beautiful cream and navy linen toile, and a charcoal pin strip Egyptian cotton. Funny I even added a little quotation: "Each Day Dawns But Once".


This was a sketch that I did of a chair in a Hotel Lobby in London, that intrigued me. I was sitting down waiting for the check-in to happen. The British do wonderful detailing on their upholstery and drapery treatments. I remember being totally charmed with the fabric and color selection of this chair, that I had to note exactly how it was done. I even drew the skirt in detail showing a section through it. People must have thought I was crazy, as I lifted up the skirt several times to see exactly how they had sewn it. I used to carry a travel palette of watercolors and would use whatever liquid I could find, for this one I might have dipped my paint brush into diluted tea?? After all it was London.

Posted by Patricia gray
over 11 years ago