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 spare...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 along...family, work, home...living, 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...


Friday, September 15, 2017

Kerry Steele Pop-Up

Get those mouse-clicking fingers warmed up. A pop-up from one of my favorite artists - Kerry Steele - hits Furbish Studio's website this morning at 11 am.

Kerry now lives and works in Charleston, but she used to live in Virginia. During this time is when I got to know her and her work. Let me tell you, Kerry is a talent. A warm and inviting person whose vibrant personality shimmers in her artwork.

I own two pieces from Kerry...here is the larger one that hangs in our den:

I'm sure the sampling at Furbish this morning will be dynamite...so I want to make sure you don't miss it.

Click here to hit the sale at 11 am...

Those Furbish pop-ups don't mess around, so I hope you snag something good!

Happy weekend! See you next week.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cleveland Park Chic

We have some creative minds here in Alexandria, Virginia - including that of designer Susan Nelson. Love the colorful yet traditional touch she put on this Cleveland Park home in the District.

That lavender rug is wonderful. Let me talk to you about gray - I'm not a fan. I know. It's a darling, but it never sings to me. But here, it's working. With the doses of lavender and rich wood tones, it feels so classic and serene.

And who wouldn't want to come home to that Chinoiserie lantern in the foyer?

Check out more of Susan's work here - great use of color in classic spaces.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday Crush

Full-on autumnalness in maybe my favorite color combination available - green and lavender. The sofa is jaw-dropping. Olive green is having a moment on my radar and this sofa is pretty much fulfilling ever desire I have for the color. That wallpaper might give me a headache on the daily, but for this shot, it's killer. And that set of orchid pillows...👌

This fall is already starting out pretty hectic. Lots going on in my world. And baby is less than 3 months away 😳 Enjoy your weekend respite...see you next week!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Couture Tabletop from Julia B.

Hold on to your hats. Have you seen the Quattro Mani tabletop collection from luxury monogrammer and home item purveyor Julia B.? It's out-of-this-world amazing and if I'm introducing it to you, I will feel extremely happy.

I can say it's like nothing I've ever seen before. It is a complete delight and a symbol of all my tabletop goals.

The color combos in the Firenze collection above are delightful. Little mustard yellow and light blue never hurt with lavender and coral.

And the autumnal vibes of Venezia above are begging to grace Thanksgiving tables.

There are two more patterns in the full collection - everything will shock you. And there is also glassware, flatware, and serving utensils. Go and enjoy.

Let's be clear this is DREAM tabletop. The lavender monogrammed salad plates are high on my wish list but way out of my budget. When you are this beautiful and special, your price tag is no joke and I'm OK with that.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday Crush

Let's kick off the holiday weekend with this feast for your eyeballs. Designed by Society Social and found on Quadrille's Insta, this vignette is pastel perfection. Why does lavender have such an effect on me? But it always does. This is bringing more of a Spring feel than a Fall one, but I'll take it.

We are going to enjoy one last beach hurrah and then it will be time to welcome FALL. Thank the heavens. I'm not of the summer variety so I'm ready to move on. Hope you have a great holiday weekend - see you next week!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Catalog Pick: Floral Mosaic Mirrors from Pier1

I am intrigued by these mosaic mirrors from Pier1. Especially for a very light, white, neutral nursery...I could see one perched above a changing table.

#1 / #2 / #3

That magnolia one would also be killer in a white and green powder room.

Anyone peeped these in person at the store?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Crush

Photo by Eric Piasecki

Gil Schafer is reaching idol status in my life - all of his firm's projects are beyond exhilarating to look at - like this one featured in Traditional Home. Designer Libby Cameron collaborated with Schafer's architecture firm to create a STUNNING masterpiece of a home - each room is amazing. But this dining room took my breath away - the wallpaper, moldings, rug, and chairs are unbelievable. A completely and utterly traditional space that no one can say is stuffy or boring. So many risks and such a huge reward!

It's been a crazy busy week here with lots of chores and to-do lists for the weekend. Here's to a productive 48 hours...I hope. See you next week!


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bailey & Griffin Charmetie

This fabric is all over my brain right now. Bailey & Griffin's Charmetie in Peacock.

Above image from Coastal Living

It has singed my eyeballs in the best way possible and I can't stop thinking about it. Especially how it's used in that Coastal Living image...which, psbtw, if you know additional source info, I would love to add it - designer and photog.

The colors in this fabric are my favorites - orchid, green, light blue. And the small scale print in the background keeps it feeling modern.

The colorways available are all ridiculously gorgeous:

The price point is not for the faint of heart. But details. Click here to buy it...

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Crush

On my radar this week - fabric and textiles from Charleston artist Lulie Wallace. Especially this number - her Florence wallpaper. My love for touches of orchid and lavender will never die! I think this paper would be stunning in a dining room. It's definitely feminine but the colors are fresh and, done right, I think could feel modern and not too soft.

This week...woof. It was a doozy. I hope you (and me) get some peace to recharge and recenter this weekend...see you next week!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Paisley Walls

Have you seen this beach house from Coastal Living? In South Carolina and designed by Jenny Keenan, it's beach house #goals if you're not ready to let go of summer and want to bask in some coastal design glory.

Particularly of note, this bedroom:

Photo by J. Savage Gibson

The bed, fabric, and color scheme - all on point. But those walls caught my eye. They add the perfect amount of dimension to the tailored color palette of the room. I'm sure this is fine wallpaper, but the image made a mental case in my head for wall stencils.

I was hoping to find a nice small-scale paisley stencil to share here, but I have yet to find one. Do you know of one? I can't say I'm usually pro-stencil, but this room has me thinking many thoughts. 

Have you tried stenciling in your life?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Crush

Mark D. Sikes - always winning in my book. His work is timeless and often infused with my beloved Chinoiserie. Case in point 👆. You should check out the whole apartment here - it's a zinger. Also, these walls appear to be a very light lavender...a color that doesn't really appear anywhere in the room's accoutrement. Take note - I like that trick of using an "off" color for your walls that you don't really repeat but I find it provides a nice contrasting backdrop to add interest.

Cross your fingers, I think I scored a great campaign dresser for Mac's upcoming big boy room. It is not in my possession yet, but hope to grab it this weekend. Hope your weekend is either relaxing or exciting...see you next week!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Harrison Howard Fabric

Big news. One of my favorite artists - renowned  creator of fanciful Chinoiserie works, Harrison Howard - has.......wait for it.......FABRIC.

And it's beautiful and incredibly affordable.

Are you beside yourself with joy?? Imagine all of that Chinoiserie wonder gracing curtains in your dining room! I know...it's a lot to take in. Especially at under $25/yard.

The full line that I have seen is available at housefabric.com here. I have yet to do my due diligence to see if it's being carried anywhere else (I think it might be exclusive) or if there are more fabrics in the line. But this sampling is plenty and wonderful. Enjoy!

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