Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Art

Happy Monday! Gorgeous art from Marc Ellen Hamel available via Serena & Lily.

Got a little behind on my posts this weekend, so back here tomorrow to continue the house tour. Hope you had a great weekend!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Four Years

Photo by Laurey W. Glenn via Southern Living

Four years, y'all. Tomorrow marks four years of this blog. That is a long time. A long, happy time.

I'm always thankful that I've been blessed with a passion. My total love for design truly makes me happy to go through my day, everyday. Carter and Ana Claire obviously add to that, but the design part is all about me. And that's what this blog has always been - that part of me.

I'm happy to say that although motherhood has given my life a new layer this past year, it's only made me want to write this blog more. To keep up with what I love not only for me, but to show Ana Claire that dedication is a powerful thing. I don't care what Ana Claire becomes in life (though shelter mag editor or interior designer would be great, no pressure) but I want her to be passionate about something. Like, all in, all the time passionate. I think that when you're passionate about something positive, you're happy (and usually successful).

Thanks for reading my blog, truly. Sharing my thoughts with you is icing on my passion cake. When I hear that something you've read has influenced you or inspired you - well, that just makes my day.

On to year five! Hmmm…I think a party will be in order for the five year anniversary. I love a good party.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Schumacher for Dempsey & Carroll

Remember Schumacher's collaboration with stationery brand Dempsey & Carroll to put Chiang Mai Dragon on paper? Well this image surfaced on D & C's twitter feed and it alerted me to some other collaborations between the creative companies. This particular stationery set uses Schumacher's Deco Flowers with stunning results:

And if you want to drop some coin on personalized stationery, check out the beautiful use of Shantung Silhouette on cards and envelopes:

Lovely, no?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

AO House Tour: Living Room

Welcome to our living room:

Thought I'd leave the commentary for last this time...

You walk RIGHT into our living room from our front door and I have to say that I love that this is the first room we and guests walk into - I think it's the most evolved space since it's been around the longest. And I don't mean evolved like I've changed it a million times. I mean that I decorated it slowly and meaningfully until I got it just the way I wanted, and then I stopped (which is hard for me to do).

As you can see from yesterday's before pictures, we've done a lot in this space. And by we, I mean Carter and our dads. Carter and his dad ran the crown and the door moldings (not to mention fixed like a million things) and my dad painted the whole room. The dads and Carter also installed those french doors, which I think is kind of a key feature of the space.

Here's a pic before french doors:

And after french doors:

Totally the right move and we LOVE them! Notice how I still don't have door hardware on them...four years later...oopsies.

So, let's talk about the major stunner of the room - that fireplace mantel + built-ins combo. Yowza! Y'all they are amazing...and built completely BY HAND by Carter and his dad. Like, real-deal craftsmanship that is just so pretty. I was a little hesitant to create a big focal point around our fireplace because our living room is not large - I didn't want to lose floor space. But boy did it make a difference. Once that fireplace was in, the room just felt cozy and the charm factor went up a million levels.

Let's recall before the mantel:

This is the room about 6-9 months in with paint and some furniture, but no zhush:

And the after with the fireplace mantel in all of its glory - notice we painted the brick black:

The wood-burning fireplace was a major selling point for us, and turning it into the showstopper in the room just made us so happy. We love it.

I wish I had better pictures of the window so you could see the pelmet box because it was a great DIY project - I think the first image shows it the best. It's aqua velvet with orange Greek key trim! If you want to know how we made it, check out the DIY pelmet box post I did.

Like most spaces in my house, this one is a mish-mash of hand-me-downs, vintage and new. I think if one room in the house had to define my "style", this would be it. Not sure what that style is, but I look at this space and think "Yup. That's me."

Hope you like it!

*Coming Soon*

Monday, September 23, 2013

AO House Tour: Living Room Before

Luckily, our house had zero charm when it was on the market. You really had to have vision to see past the ick. And I say luckily because we didn't have any competition when it came to buying this place. Check out the lovely living room before:

That last picture was taken once we had closed and were in there ready to make some changes. Gosh, this seems SO long ago.

I don't even know where I started with this room. It was the first space we worked on when we moved in so I was a total rookie when it came to putting together a design plan. I think I knew I wanted green walls and started there. Then, as usual, I pulled together fabrics:

This room has now seen four years of evolution, so some of these fabrics are still present and some have been switched out. But, overall, I'm surprised that I've been so content with the living room for four years - absolutely no desire to scratch it all and start over.

Come back tomorrow for the current look of the room!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Phoebe Howard Home on QVC

Y'all. Phoebe Howard is launching a home line (mostly bedding, I think) on QVC...TODAY. I love QVC and I love Phoebe. I've seen several designers go down this path of bringing lines to TV-shopping, but with the exception of Nate Berkus, I'm not sure anyone has really nailed it. So I have my hopes on Phoebe because that lady has some great taste. She will not lead us astray.

You can pick up the embroidered pillow above and other bedding items starting at 11:00 am EST - if you're home and can turn on the Q,  I'm sure it will be a great show if only to watch Phoebe who is a nice, engaging personality.

Next up on the House Tour is the living room! Enjoy your weekend...see you Monday!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Catalog Pick: Sunburst Armoire

Hold on to your hats, because I think you're going to like this one. Wisteria's Sunburst Armoire:

Now that is a statement piece. The detail is stunning! And the styling of this photograph is perfection - love it mixed with the blue and white pottery and the repetition of the sun motif in the little mirror.

I think what I love most about it is that it's so ornate, yet I think it can blend with so many different styles. It can certainly lean traditional. But I also think it has this Spanish/California-cool vibe to it (and reading the description it says it's based on an antique Portuguese armoire). And not to mention that it would be amazing with Chinoiserie and Regency styles. And the tone of the mango wood is just delicious - that perfect shade of rich caramel brown.

This is a piece that you save your pennies for and then are so thankful you have it decades later when you're looking at it and still loving it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

AO House Tour: Master Bedroom

Admittedly, if you recall this post from three years (!) ago, our room looks pretty much the same. That's cool with me - it's working. I really love it. It's simple with not a lot of distractions. The angled ceilings really limit the pieces of flair you can put on the walls and I welcomed the limitation.

The biggest change is likely the rug - we really needed something to warm up the floors so I opted for a lovely traditional rug that has that gorgeous shade of celadon blue.

We've kicked our puffy duvet to the curb since Ana Claire's arrival. We usually like to have our bedroom nice and chilly in the winter but seeing as how infants need regulated temperatures...well, the duvet just isn't needed. I kind of like the clean lines of the bed without it.

The box spring cover is one of my favorite DIY projects - full directions here in this old post.

I made the pillow on the bed with my inspiration fabric - Schumacher's Lotus Garden.  It might be my #1 sewing project to date. I piped and backed it in the brown stripe and it's pretty amazing. It's actually a king-sized pillow (with my cover over it) which I find is the perfect size to serve as a decorative pillow for a queen-sized bed.

I also FINALLY recovered the seat of my chair. It's been YEARS since I've been wanting to do it, and I finally spiffed it up with a piece of my fabric. I love how the browns mix with that terracotta color.  Side note: I registered for that little basket (that I use as my wastebasket) from Pottery Barn (I think) when we got married and boy has it been a favorite. I adore it and was super-smart to also register for its big sister size, which lives in our guest bathroom.

Ok, not a super-exciting corner but keepin' it real. The vanity in the previous picture as well as this chest of drawers are hand-me-downs from Mama Jo, Carter's grandmother. I love that they are my everyday pieces because they have a lot of meaning. The set also came with a four-poster bed which lives in one of our guest bedrooms (I would have used it for us in a heartbeat but it's a double). Enjoy the peek of my messy closet. 

Note that the alcove pictured in the before photos is not amongst this set of pix...I just can't get that space right. It's just a weird hodge-podge at the moment. I'm hoping to be inspired one of these days and then I'll bring you a post on how I turned it into a magical spot.

Paint - Desert Camel by Behr
Bed - Louis Bed by Ballard Designs (our was a low-profile version that seems no longer available)
Rug - Newberry Area Rug in Blue/Cream
Box spring cover - DIY
Curtain and box spring fabric - Soleil Sun Stripe in Mocha by Waverly
Pillow and chair seat fabric - Lotus Garden in Lacquer by Schumacher
Brown velvet pillows on bed - Essential Pillow Covers from Ballard Designs
Chair - hand-me-down
Vanity desk - Vintage hand-me-down
Side table, sunburst mirrors - HomeGoods
Bamboo shade - Overstock
Lamps - Can't recall source, but these are similar

Monday, September 16, 2013

AO House Tour: Master Bedroom Before

Lest you think I live in a Skittles package, I thought we would switch gears and visit the master bedroom. If you've been around for a while you may remember it because I've blogged about it before, but I've given it some recent finishing touches that I'll reveal tomorrow.

The master bedroom shares the upstairs with the nursery. We live in a cape cod, so the two rooms split off from the center stairs and they are mirror images of each other - slanted ceilings and all.

Here are some before pictures from when we first moved into the house:

It's funny, but the original paint color is pretty close to what we ended up selecting for the nursery. In person, the nursery's color is much better, but I digress.

If you've been a long-time reader you may recall that my inspiration fabric for the master bedroom was Schumacher's Lotus Garden:

SO gorgeous. I found a remnant of it on eBay and just had to have it. Not cheap but totally worth it. It captured exactly what I wanted the bedroom to be and color palette was amazing.

So taking that fabric as my cue, I started to gather items that would work well with khakis, brown, and the most beautiful celadon blue.

Here is the design board I created:

As you'll see, this room is pretty simple in it's composition so it came together pretty quickly. But I was happy to finally check some items off my list recently that I wanted to finish.

Check back tomorrow to see the after...


Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Crush

Photo by Crystal Downs

AC photo check-in time. Can you believe our sweet Ana Claire is 9 months old today? These have legit been the fastest nine months of my life and I know the next three months will fly and before you know it, we'll have a one-year old. She's just so big and I can't believe she was the same little creature we brought home from the hospital. 

Hope you've been liking the house tour so far. Up Monday is our master bedroom - quite a different vibe than what I've shown so far.

I think it will finally feel like fall around here this weekend - bring on the boots! Hope you have a fab weekend and see you Monday!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Safavieh Cambridge Rug

Now that you've seen the family room, you'll know what I'm talking about when I refer to the "game table" (what we call it because in my head that's where we'll play all those family board games in a couple of years).

For a refresher, it's this table:

Unfortunately, those chairs have a metal rim underneath them so they are not friendly to the floors. So I had to get a rug. Poor me.

The timing was good because I hit the online Labor Day sales and discovered this sweet 6' square Cambridge rug by Safavieh on Overstock in the most perfect shade of lavender:

Unfortunately this particular rug is sold out, but check out these rugs - so many variations on the same theme in lots of sizes.

It arrived last week and I'm very happy with it. The color is right on - like I said, the perfect shade of lavender. Not too pink and definitely not a strong purple but the right pastel hue for the room to tie in with the lavender ottoman.

Haven't "installed" it yet, but will snap a pic when I do.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

AO House Tour: Family Room

Welcome to our family room! (a.k.a. The Basement Renovation)

I told you I wanted a colorful space! I really embraced the pastel color palette from my inspiration art. And I'm quite content with the incredibly happy vibe of this room - especially since it's in the basement and therefore not the sunniest of spaces.

Though hallelujah for some sunshine that made these photos infinitely better than the nursery ones.

One of my rules - paint your ceiling the same color as your walls if the room has weird angles or a low ceiling AND no crown-molding. Really opens up the space.

The sectional was a must-have for TV-watching and multi-friend entertaining and we are so far very pleased with our IKEA choice. I made my striped pillows out of Scalamandre's Jambalaya - the color combo of the fabric was completely on point. The additional pillows were a very serendipitous HomeGoods find.

There is my mirror score in all of its glory. We had a silver rectangular mirror there before and it was very blah. This mirror really warms up the space and ties together the brass accents.

My art wall is way awkward due to the wee window and the electrical panel, so I thought a shelf might be a good way to bestow some order on the haphazard wall chunk I had to work with.

I bought these vintage chairs like five years ago. For real. And they have sat and sat and sat. And then we needed some small seating to go with the sectional and kind of "rope off" the TV area and wouldn't you know these guys were perfect. And I had some of that rad Cowtan & Tout neutral stripe that helped ground some of the color explosion.

This area is admittedly less zhushed. And that's on purpose as I want this to be a graphic black/white/neutral situation to serve as an anchor to the colorful couch that it faces. But I think we still need a little something on this wall of the room - not sure what that is yet.

O'verlays, y'all.  A total IKEA game-changer. These panels are the Cheryle and totally jazzed up the IKEA Malm dresser.

Now we have arrived at Ana Claire's Clubhouse. This area has been SO useful since AC's arrival. She spends her days with a nanny at home and we really needed a good spot for them to hang out and play. For now, since Ana Claire is teeny, this is a good sized area for her to sit and play and bang on things. Once she gets bigger, we'll see what adjustments are needed but this works for now.

And a shout-out to the vintage tea cart that is serving as my end table. It was a welcome hand-me-down from Carter's stepdad and it works great here.

These awesome chairs were actually my family's formal dining set growing up. Go mom and dad. I definitely plucked them from their spot of 20-something years to use them here.
Vintage + free + good-looking = #winning.

I know the changing table is super chic...keepin' it real. Since this is Ana Claire's Clubhouse, the girl needed some facilities.

I am not doing Kerry's painting justice. I hung it too high and it needs a frame, but once I fix those items it will look even more amazing in this nook.

I think down the line the goal is built-ins on this wall, but I had to give the man a break.

Speaking of the man, WOAH. Did you see what Carter was able to do WITH HIS OWN TWO HANDS? He basically built this room all by himself. He has some skillz. He did drywall, installed flooring, ran baseboard, painted, installed lighting. I am still impressed with what he accomplished.

For effect, before:

And same view, after:

Do you like?

Sectional - IKEA Karlstad (our shade of green seems to be no longer available)
Ottoman - Target (no longer see the lavender version)
Rug - Rugs USA Sierra Paddle
Striped pillow fabric - Scalamandre Jambalaya
Other pillows - HomeGoods
Mirror - TJMaxx
Wall shelf - Home Decorators
Pastel prints - Susan Schwake
Tea cart side table - vintage
Orange lamp - HomeGoods
Cane tub chairs - vintage
Tub chair fabric - Cowtan & Tout (forget the pattern name)
Orange side table - HomeGoods
Media cabinet - IKEA Malm with O'verlays Cheryle pattern (15% off with code YAY15 until 9/14/13)
Brass stool pair - Nate Berkus for HSN (no longer available)
Play quilt - LuluBelleQuilts on Etsy
Toy storage - Badger Baskets via Amazon (here & here)
White dining table - IKEA Docksta
Wicker dining chairs - vintage
Gold shelves - IKEA Vittsjo
Abstract painting - Kerry Steele
Brass metal light fixture - Uttermost Alita

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