Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Crush

I am 100% on board with the blue and white Chinoiserie pumpkin these dazzling examples from The Relished Roost on Instagram. Imagine piling a whole collection of these pumpkins in different sizes and patterns on a dining room sideboard for the fall. Would be amazing!

I hope you and yours have a fun and festive Halloween! I know Ana Claire is ready to score some candy...and I am ready to eat said candy after she goes to sleep. Will try to snap a pic of both kiddos so you can see their costumes. Enjoy the holiday...see you next week!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Antique Bed Twin Bedroom

Friends, my latest design project is a TWO BED BEDROOM. My client Pam (hi Pam!) has a lake house and as with most vacation homes, the more beds the merrier. If you've read my blog for a while you know twin bedrooms (ie. bedrooms with two beds) are my most favoritest. So I'm pretty into this assignment.

I've been researching Pinterest for art arrangements and came upon this picture...which is actually not at all going to serve as inspiration for our project but THOSE BEDS:

Photo by Robert Benson for New England Home

I assume they are antique. And the pillow arrangement is on point (I can't tell you how much I search Pinterest for bed pillow arrangements - it's like once a week). And the checked bed skirts. And that trunk.

The art is actually my least favorite part but the arrangement is killer.

The space does not have the vibe I'm going for in my project but it was too pretty not to post. Long live the two bed bedroom!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Top 12 Flush Mount Lights Roundup

Mac's nursery calls for a flush mount ceiling light. In the past, I have dreaded the search for such a fixture because the options I found were usually pretty terrible...especially in any kind of reasonable price point.

Enter Shades of Light, my favorite lighting (and then some) retailer in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Perusing through Shades of Light's catalog many years ago was one of my first introductions to the world of good-looking ceiling lights.

So knowing I was on the hunt for a fixture, I reached out to my friend Walter at SOL to see if they might want to partner with me on this post and they said yes. Win! So I'm rounding up my favorite ceiling lights to share with y'all while also giving one of my favorite retailers a shout-out.

Introducing my top 12 good-looking flush mount light fixtures from Shades of Light:

1. Stepped Deco Flush Mount - Simple and handsome, but not boring.

2. Modern Opal Glass Globe Semi-Flush Light - This is THE light fixture to pair with a traditional, wallpapered foyer.

3. Classic Americana Semi-Flush Ceiling Light - Clean and classic - great for kitchens and bathrooms.

4. Scalloped Shade Semi-Flush Ceiling Light - Run, don't walk, to get this one. The price point is great and it's so delightful...not to mention embellishable.

5. Silver Bamboo Square Ceiling Light - Always say yes to bamboo lighting.

6. Metal Star Ceiling Light - This one could go so many ways! I especially like it for a masculine space.

7. Extra Large Olive Leaf Ceiling Chandelier - Drama for your ceiling.

8. Crystal Jewel Ceiling Light - Glamour for your ceiling.

9. Flower Drum Shade Ceiling Light - Love the contrast of the black trim - traditional and tailored.

10. Crystal Flowers Ceiling Light - This was my first flush mount and I love it. We put it in a hallway and it's just the prettiest.

11. Kensington Ceiling Light - I particularly like the antique brass paired with a brass-accented a kitchen with brass pulls or a built-in study with brass hardware.

12. Small Interlocking Rings Flush Mount Light - A wonderfully easy choice at the perfect price.

Doing this roundup with the SOL team helped me narrow in on my choice for Mac's you know which one I picked?? I would love to hear guesses.

I wish I had time to do roundups like this all the time. They are fun and I'm hoping helpful. Thank you to Walter, Danielle and Fran at Shades of Light for helping me pull this together!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Crush

Exuberant design from Jeffrey Bilhuber. No, these patterns do not "match". I wouldn't even say they necessarily complement each other, but they work regardless. When one person thoughtfully puts things together that they love, there is a je ne sais quoi that unifies it. Style is your own and disparate pieces will naturally combine if you are the one curating them. That combination may not be pleasing to the eye of another, but if it works for you, it works.

This was a lovely birthday week and thank you for the well wishes. This is my absolute favorite time of year so I'm positive I will enjoy this autumn weekend...I hope you do too. See you next week!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Turning 34

Today, I'm 34. I wonder what 24-year-old me thought I would be doing at 34. I don't remember. But I do think I'm more fulfilled at 34 than I was a decade ago. See photographic evidence above.

In my 30s, birthdays have been for counting blessings. I'm much less oblivious to the world around me - especially as a mother - and I'm keenly aware of the positives life has given me. Perspective has set in and even on a bad day, I have it so good. Thank you, Age, for making that realization much easier to get to on an ongoing basis.

So here's to another year of experience under my belt...34 is looking good and I'm happy to be here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Catalog Pick: PB Silver Baskets

This season reignites my love for all things metallic in the home, plus I'm 100% devoted to baskets. I never tire of using them as decorative-objects-slash-storage.

So these silver baskets from Pottery Barn are catching my eye right now. Baskets are baskets are baskets...but these give you a little more eye-candy-return on your investment.

I think they are especially nice for a bedroom where you need some sleuth storage for blankets or clothes. And something about the silver metallic mixed with the natural tone is really soft and dreamy.

Note that it's not too early to put together your list for Santa.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Crush

image via de Gournay

Let's be clear that the healthy dose of orange seen throughout the month of October is one of the main reasons it's my favorite month. That and it's my birthday month. And this image is a display of my heart's affection for these fall days. I'm so happy they are here.

And this weekend is going to be deliciously crisp and sunny - read: great hair days ahead and I won't sweat in my new suede boots. Hope you have a great autumnal weekend...see you next week!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Touch of Chinoiserie

I like this quirky, sweet space from blog Gus and Lula (remember their nursery??) for a variety of reasons but I'm posting it mostly to make the case for Chinoiserie. Though my beloved style is often over the top, it is also incredibly classic and can be understated.

This room for children is certainly not Chinoiserie in style but that light fixture adds just the right touch of sophistication to elevate the space - makes it feel special. And it also helps to unbalance the otherwise symmetrical, perfect composition...throwing in a completely different style helps the room feel evolved. See more of the space here...

Also, jenny lind beds forever/donkey print/tiger.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tabletop Couture on Insta

Lovers of fine china and monograms, you absolutely must follow L. V. Harkness & Co. on Instagram.  The Lexington, Kentucky purveyor of "tabletop couture", as they put it, has lots of eye candy to share...much inspiration as we start to think of holiday tables.

Feast your eyes:

That last one is doing a lot to make me happy. I'm not sure how this is possible, but I don't know the china pattern of the salad plate - who is going to tell me? So I can pine after it properly?

These tables are a healthy dose of inspiration...I fully intend to hoard tableware as I grow older. I just can't get enough.

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).

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