Friday, April 6, 2018

Friday Crush

Design by Mallory Mathison Glenn

I know this room is seeing the rounds on the Internet, but this particular shot of it really spoke to me. An ongoing exercise I have been doing for at least a year is to save images that nail the vibe I want in the new house. Not necessarily spaces that I want to emulate, or that have a certain fabric or piece of furniture I like, but spaces that holistically have a look that I often find hard to describe.

Like this example. I'm not planning on recreating any particular element, but the overall look is on my radar. Traditional. With wonderful use of color. And the color doesn't overwhelm, but elevates. Obviously there is always some Chinoiserie. Color palettes are usually pretty tailored, with room for a small complimentary color to make an appearance. All the layers - pattern, color, texture. 

As I share inspiration, I think you'll see a definite pattern emerge. Hope you have a great weekend. See you next week!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Kitchen Thoughts

Turns out, we are ripping out the current kitchen and putting in a new one. "Ripping out" sounds so harsh, doesn't it? The current kitchen is a sweet, albeit outdated, space that I know was lovingly cared for by the home's original owner. But it's not working for renovation it is.

Of course, I'm thrilled about this. And I'm also stressed about getting it right. The constant tug-of-war of decorating emotion.

We are smack dab in the middle of designing the new kitchen. And although none of these photos are exactly what we are thinking of doing, they all communicate the vibe in different ways:

I want a kitchen that is simple, warm, and classic.

Definitely painted, but not white. Our old kitchen was crisp and bright with a jolt of color. Now I'm looking for neutral tones and simple lines that almost fade into each other (ie inset cabinets, shaker-style doors, low contrast materials).

The big question is color - green or off-white? Pic #3 is close to what I'm thinking should we choose to go green. A situation where all surfaces have the same color so the overall look still reads pretty neutral. But I sure do like the idea of off-white cabinets, perhaps paired with a statement floor tile.

So that is my inner monologue at the moment.

I also had quite the ah-ha moment while revisiting my Pinterest boards to identify my favorite kitchen pictures...there is nary a statement backsplash. Or a backsplash at all. Granted, some of my inspo pix are butler's pantries, but still. I get it. I don't want a fancy background. Though the function of cleaning these slivers of wall is still a thing to think through.

We've pretty much outlined the layout - a wall is coming down! And now is the cabinetry. After that, we'll hit the counters, hardware, floor, and lighting. So. Many. Decisions.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dreams, Coming True

Friends! I'm here! And I'm going to put Scalamandre's Shanghai wallpaper in my new dining room. Dreams do come true.

I have so many updates. So, so many. But really, few beat this bit of news re: wallpaper. I've had the sample taped up in the dining room for a couple of months now. And Carter Shuffler is on board. I was preparing Power Point presentations to convince him that using this paper would be a solid move that would pay dividends in the future. High ROI. But he was in agreement pretty much immediately. Good man.

I have plans for painted moulding and a lipstick red lantern light fixture. So many good things to come with this house....

But they aren't here yet. We still have moving boxes tucked into every corner. Our new microwave and dishwasher might be sitting in our living room. But we'll get there. I'm actually pretty happy that we are taking our time. Not only because doing work on the house will be so disruptive (hello three kids) so I'm avoiding starting, but also because we are being v thoughtful with each decision.

I've missed y'all! Haven't quite worked out what my regular posting schedule will be like, but I hope to start ramping up and getting back to you with some regularity.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Well, hello. It has been an eventful month.

The movers did come on November 29th...and we welcomed baby boy on November 30th.

Meet Carter Leo Shuffler...he's going by Leo, because why go by your first name when you can go by your middle?

He is a delicious dream. Chill and sweet and making the move much more bearable.

But the move has been exhausting. Unpacking is no joke. We are going on week 3 and only now feeling like we've made a dent. But we're making progress.

I've said it to friends and family, but the sheer chaos of it all has made it easier. I don't have time to think or second guess or fret over change. We've just had to move forward and embrace all the newness. Though let's be clear that it's only been easier for me and Carter...the older kids are losing their minds on a daily basis. They are craving some normalcy, and I don't blame them. We'll get there too.

In decorating news, I'm contemplating cafe-ish length curtains for Leo's nursery. Surprising.

I hope you are enjoying this lovely time of year...I'll be back with another update soon. xo

Friday, November 17, 2017


We are officially moving.

Deals are done. Papers are signed. Moving trucks will be here in less than two weeks.

Now we face the task of saying our long goodbye to our current house...among moving boxes, energetic children, and walls thick with memories.

We bought a brand new adventure...a house that needs imagination. Fortunately we have lots of that to look past the peach carpet, wallpapered kitchen (see wallpaper above), and "quirks" that, over time, will become our own.

The task of bringing another house back to life - this time with three children in tow - is vastly overwhelming. And yet I would have it no other way. Right now my main goal is to put my patience pants on, because this is going to be a project. A long project with no foreseeable deadline - we'll just be taking things as they come and budget allows.

Baby boy has not made his debut. My due date is less than two weeks away (please reference moving truck timeline above) so hopefully we are talking any day now. Fingers crossed.

Will pop in with an update as soon as I have a good one. Hope you've been doing well.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wallpaper Bathroom Inspo

Design by Bradshaw Designs; image source

Things are getting real in my world. Closing dates are on the calendar and the movers might be showing up the week baby is due. This is all going to be fine.

I should also note that the blog might take a back seat for a bit. I steal moments here and there to pen my entries but said moments are pretty few and far between currently. Chaos reigns and I'm it's prisoner. 

Moving on...I'm working with some dull yellow tile and faded wallpaper in the kid's bathroom at the new house. I don't feel strong urges to do anything with the tile right away. But I might go ham on some fun new wallpaper. And paint the vanity a bold glossy color. This image above isn't quite the color scheme but I like the vibrant appeal. Love those acrylic pulls.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Crush

The temps in Virginia are finally descending. Took all of October, but I feel like my favorite season has finally begun. And this mystery image - I know nothing about it, do you? - is a depiction of my desired state. Cozy, warm, colorful, rich...all the things I love about this season.

Halloween costumes make their debut this weekend and my kids could not be more excited...fingers crossed the costumes stay intact through Tuesday. Hope you have a fun weekend ahead. See you next week!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Color Palette

Photo by Francesco Lagnese; Design by LeeAnn Thornton

This. This is the color palette I cannot get out of my head. Green + Blue + Lavender. And I would add a teeny touch of ruby red. It's been swirling in my head for our living room and/or our bedroom.

And this execution (spotted on HB's Insta) caught my attention. The lamp shades on the floor lamps, blue and white porcelain stools, and lavender pillows are my favorite details. And I love the depth created by the wallpapered bay window.

I already know finding the right living room rug is going to cause me anxiety so I like this reminder that natural fiber is always an option. Perhaps layered with something smaller that grabs attention.

Y'all, this world of inspiration photos and a clean slate and not knowing which direction I'll take all feels very thrilling. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Regina Scallop Banquette

V high on my wishlist for the new house is a dining bench situation. Not quite sure it's feasible yet but in my dream sequence, it would be this one - the Regina Scallop Banquette from One Kings Lane:

Here's the pink colorway.

I'm afraid this might remain a dream sequence. Because budget. And kids. But the inspiration is not to be minimized.

Why can't I quit scallops? No one is urging me to but, quite literally, anything scalloped jumps on my must-have list.

Loving this bench (or one like it) in situ by designer Anna Burke:

Isn't it everything? Gah. I would love it in my future dining room.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Crush

If you've read this blog and/or know me, you know that Thanksgiving is my own personal table-setting Olympics. It's the one holiday that I really gear up for in the table and entertaining department. Examples can be seen here and here.

You also probably know that I'm loyally devoted to Caspari and all things paper and entertaining that they produce. LIKE THIS NEW TURKEY PLATE.

Let's be clear that I already purchased my set...for next year. Because I had already purchased Caspari plates for this year. But this beauty was just too good to pass up.

We are closing in on potentially finalizing our move. Fingers crossed. Real Estate = Emotional Rollercoaster. Hope you have a fun fall weekend. See you next week!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Foyer Thoughts

Remember this foyer from Bailey McCarthy? Did it stick with you like it did with me? It's serving as one of the first bits of inspiration for the new house.

Our move is not finalized but I (obviously) have prelim thoughts on decoration. Like the look of the foyer we might be creating. As in, there is no actual foyer right now. But there IS dead space around the entrance that is begging to be walled off to create a proper entry space. A proper entry space that I can wallpaper.

*Cue the angels singing*

I actually arrived at said wallpaper first, before the inspo pic.  A serendipitous eBay search brought me this vintage Schumacher number:

Terrible pictures, but you get the idea. I didn't hesitate for a second.

Then I started opening my cerebral filing cabinets because I knew there was some inspiration somewhere I had tucked away that would be perfect for how I could use this paper...and I recalled McCarthy's foyer. And it just all made sense.

I don't have tons of this paper, so the wainscoting will help keep the amount I need to a minimum. And you know I love painted molding. The colors in this paper are really lovely, so I have several directions I can go with it. All TBD. All exciting.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday Crush

Photo by Beatriz da Costa, Design by Ashley Whittaker, via House Beautiful's Insta

Before we fully plunge into Fall, let's take a step back to spring...mostly to look at that clever use of chandelier shades on a lantern. This room is lovely but I'm posting it here so we can learn this important lighting lesson. Who loves a lantern light? 🙋 But sometimes the exposed bulbs kind of turn me off, pun intended. But adding chandy shades is just plain smart. Totally warms up the fixture without ruining the look. Do people do this all the time and I just missed it? We are all now in on this secret.

Also, green grasscloth walls. On my mind. But I'm contemplating olive green. 

Happy weekend! We made it! Hope it's a great one...see you next week!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Eight Years

Y'all, EIGHT YEARS is how long I have been writing this blog. How is that even possible? That's a long time to do anything with any regularity. But it's a testament to my love for AO.

I've penned these posts yearly and the last several have been pretty uneventful. Life has hummed, work,, learning, loving.

But this year, I'm on the precipice of a lot of change. We have a move to a new home on the horizon. Which also means a farewell to our current home. Although the excitement of a new space for our growing family makes me TINGLE ALL OVER, the grief of leaving our current home - where we sweat, and built, and decorated, and loved, and brought home babies - literally guts me to think about. 

So I don't think about it. Or write about it just yet. 

Everything is still a bit up in the air but when it reaches finality and my brain can shift to sharing mode, I will. We will still be in Alexandria. One thing we've realized through all of our change is how much we love this town.

And A BABY. A new teeny child is joining us! What's great about not-your-first pregnancy is that you don't have a whole lot of time to sit and wait for the Christmas morning that is delivering a baby. Current kids and real life have a great way of distracting you. But the immensity of a new baby is slowly becoming real and I'm so excited about not only meeting this little wonder, but the idea that our family will be complete and it will be the beginning of forever.

So here's to an upcoming year of change. Not sure if I'm ready, but it's happening. Glad you are, and have been, along for the ride. xoxo


Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Crush

Photo by Thomas Loof

The jaw-dropper of the week, likely the month (at least). Designed by Miles Redd. Not surprising.

I can't tell you how I've been turning this color scheme around in my head for a couple of weeks. I have a pair of what are essentially light blue curtains with tiny touches of some darker colors and I just decided that to make them pack a punch, I need to pull out the olive green in a big way. And then this image popped up on Schumacher's Insta  and I was done for. Serious perfection. 

This space is in NO way near what I'm working with (#understatement) but boy is it inspiring. ALL the shades of green with varying shades of blue anchored by black, white, and gold. Thank you internet!

Fall. Hallelujah. Though we'll be struggling with some high 80s until next weekend, but I see the end in sight. I'm already hoarding my pumpkin candles but I refuse to light them until our weather holds steady at least in the 70s. It's my annual ritual. Enjoy your weekend. See you next week!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Catalog Pick: Enameled Ceiling Light

Those of us living the 8 ft. ceiling life always appreciate a good close-to-ceiling fixture. Especially since they tend to be few and far between. Sure there are decent ones out there...but it's rare to find a ceiling light that is actually exciting.

But I found one!

Look at this beauty - the Classic Dome Enameled Ceiling Light from (my favorite) Shades of Light:

This is a worthy fixture. Imagine hanging several down the ceiling of a galley kitchen. Or a foyer. They are so simple but the rich color really makes them feel deliberate and not an afterthought.

And, the best part, is they are just over $100. Win.

They come in several colors paired with either pewter, chrome, or brass. Check them out here...

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