Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Crush

Design by Robin Henry; image via Gadabout on Pinterest 

Twin. Bedrooms. Are. My. Favorite. The end.

Ok, not the end. The headboards. The crisp sheets. That rug. The footstool. The pillows. The pink book stack on the left and the blue book stack, whose opposing hues disrupt the GLORIOUS symmetry of this space. Basically everything is 100% on point here. And that wall color is perfection. I'm not sure where this home is, but it feels very California. 

I am beyond happy that Fall is in full swing and I no longer feel boot shame. I hope you are doing something delightful this weekend...see you next week!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

AO House Tour: Office Guest Room

When I did my house tour here on the blog last year, I left out two spaces that weren't quite picture-ready.

One of those was our second guest bedroom that doubles as my home office (when it's not overflowing with boxes and otherwise household clutter). This room had ZERO identity for years after we moved in. And I never got it quite right.

But it's about to turn into Mac's nursery and I think this space will finally be happy. But before we give it its eleventeenth makeover, I wanted to share the photos of its final, somewhat complete state.

All photos by Crystal Downs

I definitely like where it ended up - for sure - but I don't LOOOOOVE it. And that's ok.

The room does hold some great pieces - those amazing lamps, Mama Jo's four-poster bed, a great burlwoodish side table and those BANANAS mirror I scored on Etsy many years ago. Some of these elements are going to stick around for Mac's nursery.

That painted china cabinet was a piece Carter and I bought when we got was our first grown-up piece we bought together. I moved it into this room for fabric storage and painted it a glossy jade green with citrine inside...sadly, there is no room for it in our house anymore, so I will be selling it! If you are local to the DC area, shoot me an email or comment if you're interested. It's pretty old so drawers stick so I wouldn't recommend it for everyday use...but if you want a fun piece for storage that you aren't accessing all the time, it would work. Selling for $50.

This room has pretty much been the bane of my existence (read: five paint jobs) - I'm thrilled that I'm going to finally win the battle as I think Mac's room is going to turn out least I hope so!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Elephants Off to Bed

Look at this delightful vintage print (from 1914!) that I picked up for Mac's nursery on Etsy this week:

That grumpy elephant on the left is everything.

I've been struggling with art for the nursery's walls and decided to dive into a vintage print search on Etsy and was rewarded with these fellows, off to bed in their nightshirts and caps. It was love at first sight.

I'm having it matted in black and I think a black bamboo frame might be in order. It's shipping from the UK so it might be a while before I get it but I'm looking forward to its arrival!

More details about Mac's nursery are coming up...planning several posts. I think y'all are going to love it.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Six Years

It has been six years of AO (as of this past Monday).

This feels like one of those "tweener" years...nothing particularly spectacular to celebrate. But I'll celebrate (some) consistency, growth, the passage of time as a healthy and happy human. And this little blog that I had no idea would become a legit part of me when I started it six years ago.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - this is my happy place. I write it for me hoping that the byproduct is some entertainment/tip/enjoyment for you.

Here's to six years and many more to come. Happy weekend - see you next week!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Light Blue, FTW

Design by Lynn Morgan, photo by Keith Scott Morton for Connecticut Cottages & Gardens

Light blue is doing all of the work here...successfully. That lantern hanging from brass is pure perfection paired with the same baby blue on the door...and it looks as if the ceiling might be painted blue as well? Gorgeous. And the pastel story is picked up with the soft lavender bench.

I love seeing simple elements come together to make an impact with color. If that door was brown wood, the lantern was black, and the bench was beige, this would be a pretty entrance but I wouldn't be blogging about it. Color makes it special. Remember that...if you just have a couple of simple things to work with, think about how color can be the focal point (it's usually a high bang-for-your-buck fix).

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fabric Find: Elephant Walk by Brunschwig & Fils

Friends - do you happen to be decorating a room for a young lady? Because I found an amazing fabric listing on Etsy for your project - 1.5 yds of Elephant Walk by Brunschwig & Fils:

Paint a vintage bed pink and make a bolster to go with orange and white bedding...then upholster a chair in lipstick red with pink piping and this fabric as another pillow. Or make some pelmet boxes to tie these colors together. You can do a lot with 1.5 yards of fabric!

And don't forget the touches of black and brown in the elephant...maybe a black and white rug would look great in this mix? Or a pair of black gourd lamps sitting on an orange dresser? There is a lot we can do with this.

(Speaking of, do you know I can take something like this and create a room plan for you? I get that question a good bit so now you know.)

Please buy this and tell me what you're going to do with it. Listing link here...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Crush

My favorite shop in the whole wide world - the Caspari flagship in Charlottesville, VA - has these amazing prints for sale. The box buys you a set of 40 (!) and you know there are so many visual treasures inside - ready for some awesome frames and to be hung as sets. Call the shop if you want in - 434-817-7880. And ask them about that AWESOME lamp while you are at it.

Gearing up for a dreary weekend here...hope the sun is shining bright where you are. Have a fab weekend - see you next week!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Lemons Removable Wallpaper

File this under things you should know about: removable wallpaper.

Specifically this one, with lemons dancing among tones of fleshy nude and dusty mint:

Are you a Rifle Paper Co. fangirl like me? Rejoice! This paper is definitely in that style (thought NOT by RPC!)

In general, this removable wallpaper thing is very intriguing - I heard about it a while ago (I think when Spoonflower started selling the concept) and it only recently surfaced in my brain as I need some for a little project at home - a project that only requires a tiny bit of paper in a spot where I don't  want high commitment (read: easy to take it down if needed). I didn't go with this one above but I'm interested to see how it goes up and looks when complete. Will fill you in on the deets when I get to it.

Do you like this lemon situation? I am heart-eyed-emoji about it. PERFECT for a nursery or little girl's room.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Red Beds

Design by Natalie Hodgins and Kate Stuart of Sarah Richardson Design
Photo by Stacey Brandford for Country Living

Since having children, red has made its way into my life. I literally NEVER used the color in any decorating whatsoever but it felt like 100% the right choice for the kids' spaces. Ana Claire's nursery got a heavy dose of red with bedskirts, a light fixture, side table, and curtain trim. And Mac's nursery's primary color is shaping up to be red. And I love it.

And I love this room above with it's tailored color palette of red, white and gray. Those twin beds and quilts are bananas. And I love the juxtaposition of the strong color against bright, white walls. It's all so simple but striking.

May your Wednesday be simple and striking as well. Happy hump day!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Crush

Rejoice! Sumptuous table-setting season is back! This image from Eddie Ross' Instagram feed was just what I needed to get me geared up for entertaining season. I understand the ease of patio dining but nothing compares to setting a gorgeous layered table indoors. Do we think those are brass julep cups? Because I need some. In other news, who has their hands on Eddie's book? I also need that.

Ana Claire wrapped up her first week of preschool and starts ballet for teeny people this weekend. I wouldn't trade this phase for anything, as it has been a blast, but where did the time go?? On another note, I love the feeling of possibility on a Friday - those moments when you think you are going to accomplish everything on your list this weekend. Here's hoping it all gets done. Have a fabulous weekend...see you next week!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Two Lessons

Design by Palmer Weiss, photo by Thayer Allyson Gowdy for House Beautiful

Let's learn two things from this design today:

1) Paint your built-ins and moldings. Would this design be half as good if the built-ins were white? Whenever I mention painting moldings people look at me like I'm crazy but we design buffs know this is a shortcut to chic. And if you also have built-ins and the guts to do it all THE REWARD WILL BE GREAT.

2) Paint your walls to match your upholstery. I have not contemplated this one enough. I'm all about architectural details blending with the wall color but I had a mind-bender looking at the genius of this photo with the walls and built-ins matching the sofa upholstery. It makes it all so cozy and rich but achieving this is not hard. You just have to have vision and confidence.

That is all. Proceed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Catalog Pick: Aztec Pillows

Stumbled across some fancy pillows at Home Decorators that I thought we should all put on our radar. I love a good Southwestern motif and the cobalt + black color combo is 100% on point.

Both from the Aztec Collection (which apparently is only comprised of these two pillows):

The square Xtec Pillow is 18", $35 INCLUSIVE of the insert and ships free. The lumbar Diamond Southwest Pillow is $32 INCLUSIVE of the insert and ships free. This is a stylish deal to be had, folks. Both should likely be purchased and mix and match away with what you have now.

And I'll be Capt. Obvious that new pillows are the perfect way to usher in Fall and spice up your current look and these are oh-so warm and moody. Do it!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Crush

If you can't get enough monograms in your life, you should be following Saddle Stitches Monograms - a Kentucky-based custom monogramming and embroidery shop - on Instagram. Eye-candy galore, such as this specimen pictured above. That orange is glorious and the monogram is perfection.

Remember when I said Labor Day would be used to regroup? Didn't happen. This week has been terrible and, thus, I'm still floundering. But I'll get there. I'm going to turn my house upside down this weekend until I find the reset button so I can push it.

Hope you have a great one! See you next week!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pagoda Patio Purchase

I didn't think I would ever see this day, but it has arrived.

We have purchased a pagoda-shaped umbrella for our patio. I think I caught Carter in a weak moment.

Have I blogged about this umbrella before? I can't remember - it's from Pier 1 and I have coveted it for a long time. We went with Spice to accent our brick patio:

But if our patio had different colors, I would have gotten the Marine Blue:

There is also green, turquoise and some many to choose from!

Of course we pulled the trigger a couple of weeks before Labor Day so we paid more than we should have, but I wasn't about to mess with Carter agreeing to buy one to wait out a sale.

But you can get a FANTASTIC deal on these guys as they are only $70 at the moment. That's crazy.

See them all here...

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Crush

Design by Miles Redd

Friends, there is much to catch you up on. I'm in the midst of a decorating blitzkrieg (and I'm using lots of red, hence the image selection above). After being slightly dormant for a bit (mostly due to the birth of my second human), I suddenly find myself in a whirlwind of projects - some my own and a big one for a client.

And it feels goooood.

It's all happened so quickly that I haven't had a moment to put together blog posts but I will. I'm giving myself the holiday weekend to regroup but I'm hoping to have interesting tidbits to share on the blog this fall. Mac's nursery! A basement renovation! Our updated master bath! And more!

We are going to wiggle our toes in the sand one last time this weekend and then, hallelujah, it will be Fall. I hope you have some wonderful plans for the long weekend. See you next week!

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