Sunday, May 2, 2010

hypothetically speaking ...

Let's say you inherited this house but it came with certain conditions:

1. The furniture had to stay. (Other than the barstools, those can go. And maybe the coffee table. But you have two rough kids, so keep this in mind.)
2. The kitchen had to maintain it's same footprint, granite and appliances. (For now.)
3. The wall color needed to stay the same. (It's SW Universal Khaki - a slightly gray/green neutral.)

The rest (I realize that doesn't leave a ton) is fair game. Light fixtures, TV built-ins, rock fireplace ... what would you do?

~ Would you rip out the rock fireplace, install drywall and a more traditional mantel? Or would you install some sort of mantel on the existing rock? Or not do a mantel at all?

~ Would you totally reconfigure the TV built-ins to lose that stair-step thing going on? Would you move the TV over the fireplace and make that whole unit a bookcase/storage piece?

~ What you would do to add artwork and color?

The nitty gritty pics {to show you the bones}:


{Yeah, I know. What the heck is going on with that huge frame? I can explain later. Since this is now your house, you can decide whether to paint the frame and put something in it, or put something else there altogether.}



The prettier pics {a tiny bit of styling involved}:






DSC_0050 DSC_0051

Furniture details:
The sofa is a linen-ish slip with taupe piping and a small ticking stripe on the back cushions. The chairs are a barely-off-white matelasse.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

an official diagnosis

I have DADD. Design Attention Deficit Disorder.

Case in point:

~ I like this:

And this:

Almost equally well. Yet the two cannot coexist peacefully in one home. No?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

big reveal of the big boy room

It took months, but the big boy room is finally {almost} complete.






I have always loved images of rooms with maps. I guess I just have a thing for maps. I love the colors and the fact that they look somewhat like abstract art, yet they represent something very concrete. So when it came time to do this room, I naturally gravitated towards maps. After all, they are somewhat masculine, plus they are kid-friendly and are something that can grow with them.

I saw this post while searching for ideas about using maps as wallpaper. She mentioned finding map inserts in National Geographic magazines. Well, lo and behold, I had an entire cabinet of NGs waiting for me.

I did two walls because I wasn't sure at the time where we would put the bed. I think I would have been happy with just one wall. Live and learn!

As with the maps, most of the items in the room, from the furniture to the accessories were things I already owned.

The most important part ... my "client" loves it. :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

nursery on a budget

I was enlisted to help my dear friend with the creation of a nursery for her baby girl. I think most parents of more than one kid will attest to the fact that you go all out on the first baby, but the second kid has to deal with some hand-me-downs, and the realization that the decor of a nursery pales in comparison to the amazing wonder of the baby herself.

That said, we did our best to create a feminine, welcoming space for baby Kate. I convinced my friend to keep the warm, milk chocolate colored walls. I thought the warmth offset the bright fabrics we were bringing in, and allowed the all white furniture to pop.




The painting above the changing table was done by baby K's grandmother. It had previously hung in the guest room, but we knew that it deserved a special place in a baby girl's room. It served as the inspiration for the bedding and overall color palette. All of the furniture was re-purposed from big brother's former nursery, along with the white frames {which were awaiting photos of the baby when I took these pictures}.




I created the large "K" using fabrics that coordinated with the bedding. The base is simply a giant cardboard letter purchased from Joann's. A bit of ironing and a lot of glue produced something that was inspired by the smaller fabric letters that are found at Anthropologie. (Which are currently hanging in my own daughter's nursery.) I have all of the progress photos of that project and will do a tutorial if I ever find the time.


Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Friday, January 1, 2010


My new year's resolution is to work on the house again. We are sooo close to being done, but there are a few rooms that are still lacking in a major way.

First up is my office/craft room ...

The current color was ill-picked (by me) in a frantic effort to get everything painted before we moved in. The color is in the tan family, but it is way too golden. I would like to find something closer to a mushroom. Not too dark, but not too light.

Here is some inspiration:



I already have that pecan finished wood going on with the furniture. Not my first choice, but I am trying to reasonable and I am using a chest and bookshelf from my son's room - why buy something when I have perfectly usable pieces. I painted our old dining room table to use as a desk ... I'm not thrilled with the color and should probably repaint it, but I'm sure that will get put on the back-burner.

The super-scary "before" picture. Stay tuned for an "after."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

those fairies are clever little critters

via Ohdeedoh

This is such a great idea for kids ...

When I was little we had a cleaning fairy that would visit while we were gone and if the house was clean, she would leave us treats, and if the house was messy, she would leave of a tiny note telling us that she was disappointed that she couldn't leave us treats, but she would check back soon. That would leave us scurrying around the house cleaning up. We never knew when the cleaning fairy would come, but we always looked forward to her visits.

too late to turn back now

A South Hamptons bedroom designed by Steven Gambrel. Via this amazing flickr photostream.

The big project is underway. I'm taking a break while the Bug naps, but will try to get back to it this evening. Might take me a while with the kids underfoot.

I'm so excited to see it complete!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

oh how i love thee, homegoods

Today while my son was in school, the little one and I paid a visit to Homegoods. I was hoping to find a lamp for the big boy room. I didn't really go in looking for this style, but I spotted a lamp that is identical to the one I pictured in my last post.



I'd like to fill it up with some of those super bouncy balls in various sizes. The only problem with that is that the kids will want to open up the lamp to play with the balls. Hmmm ...

Monday, October 26, 2009

big plans for a big boy

My son is almost three and it is time to transform the nursery into a big boy room. The bed and dresser have been purchased and he started sleeping in said bed a few nights ago. But there is much to do in the decorating department. Here are a handful of images that are providing inspiration for the projects that are underway.












dining room

We've lived in our house since the spring of 2008 - so a year and a half - and I'd say it's about 70% done. One of the main things that is lacking at this point is the dining room. I'm not thrilled with the paint color I chose last year, and we need a new table and chairs. Right now there is a chandelier hung and pictures and a mirror on the walls, but no table.

This image is via HGTV's Rate My Space. Can I move into this person's house? Here is the dining room:


TABCAD's dining room on RMS

Rustic yet refined. Love the floors, love the furniture, love the beamed ceiling. The only thing I would ask for is a bigger table. Unfortunately, I don't think this exact style will work for my own home, but perhaps I can adapt some of the elements to make them work for me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

dream home

Today I discovered some photographs of a beautiful home on Willow Decor by way of Reese & Marie.




My home looks nothing like this. {Where is the giant train table in the family room?!} But some of the basics are there. I see images of homes like this and I am inspired that I could come somewhat close to this.

What I have:
  • neutral basics
  • white woodwork
  • fairly light walls
What I need:
  • wall decor
  • better organization - so that my mess doesn't overpower the prettiness
  • carefully edited accessories
I go through spurts when I'm obsessed with decorating our home and making it perfect. I spend far too much of my precious free time poring over design magazines and blogs and websites. At times I feel energized and focused and it seems like our house is on the verge of being "done." But then I have spells, like what I'm in now, where I feel very overwhelmed and lost and hopeless. I feel like I have made some decorating mistakes {read: bad purchases} and I am always trying to figure out a way to work around that - I hate the idea that I have wasted money on something that ends up not working in the house and is not returnable.

There is inspiration everywhere you look. And that makes it easy to get overwhelmed. I am going to make a commitment to myself to move forward from this point and go about decorating in a more organized manner. No more regret over past decorating decisions or purchases. I will either live with it and make it work {the white shutters that don't match our woodwork} or put it aside and save it in hopes of using it in my pipe dream ... a to-be-purchased lake house.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

new love

I recently stumbled across a wedding planning blog that made me swoon. I'm far past the wedding planning stage. In fact, I'm coming up on my 6th anniversary! But this blog provides far more than average wedding ideas - I spent an afternoon browsing through links for free font downloads, gorgeous stationery ideas and more. Most of the ideas here can be translated for parties, showers, and holidays. If you are frugal like me, you will love all the freebies that are generously offered up by talented designers.

Check out the fun at iDiY!

Some goodies I picked up ... FOR FREE!!:

circus/carnival fonts (stay tuned for a little project I did with these)

printable invitation set - great for a summery party