Monday, April 20, 2015


When you do design work from afar, "after" photos are unpredictable at best.  I was able to get shots of this nursery, but something happened to the memory card and alas, there are no photos of the finished space.  It is no longer a little girl nursery--life moves pretty fast!

In the same house, I designed this nursery for baby number 3.  I posted these progress shots.  Going through old photos looking for something else, I realized I snapped this picture (below) when I was in NYC last summer.  And guess what?  This is no longer a nursery either!  So this will have to do.

This is the other side of the room--it was teensy tiny!  (remember the floorplan work?)

Just goes to show you can certainly pack a lot of style into a small space.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Saving Dollars on Window Treatments

Last week, Design Sponge did a story on saving money on window treatments.  Custom window treatments are the biggest source of sticker shock for clients, and while I totally think they're worth it, there are also times to save instead of splurge.

Remember this kitchen refresher?  This client is likely a few years out from a major kitchen renovation and addition, so the idea was to spruce things up in the meantime.  I have yet to shoot an appropriate after, but here's a peak at a cheapo window strategy: the Faux-roman shade.

Here is this spot before:

We relocated the pots to a floor-to-ceiling peg board (a la Julia Child).  We wanted to bridge the height of the flanking cabinets but soften the window.  Hence the roman shade.  My client wasn't looking for privacy or light control, though--this is purely an aesthetic fix.  We used inexpensive cafe curtains on the two kitchen windows, and I bought an additional set for here.  I simply tacked in the folds and hung it on one of those $6 spring-mount tension rods.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Modern Country

There's more work that I haven't been sharing.

Remember this kitchen?

Here's the look for a new bathroom, eventually to be the kids bath.  The console sink is something they had (the vanity will be painted army green).  Gauged slate flooring, subway tile with dark grout, and metal and wood finishes for that industrial-meets-farm look.

And this was the materials board for the bedrooms:

Loads of texture: burlap, linen, cowhide, floursack, chunky sweater rugs, old lace, crochet plus aged metal with details like perforations, studs, and the chicken-wire on the lamp.  Just a touch of country sweetness in the patterns--gingham and floral--but in an edgier, more masculine pattern.

I have to say, sometimes I wish I had a lake cabin so I could do the modern country look!

Friday, April 10, 2015

A funky layered bedroom

Turns out I've been holding out on you.

Tons of project plans and design boards never shared!

Many of my clients work slowly to put things together based on the availability of funds and decision-making power.  Sometimes I forget what I have or haven't shared.  I've been working away at a bedroom makeover for some time, and we should be getting to final touches this month.

Here is the before:

The first thing we did was paint the walls cream to lighten and brighten the space.  We looked at a ton of floor plan options but ultimately left the bed position where it is but grounded it with a tribal rug, and added a seating area in front of the window (in the area with the rug in the before photos).

One of the early options:

And the final choices:

Most of the pieces are in, we just need to finalize the vintage dresser and some art and I can reveal the "after"!

I realize in looking at this that the palette is the same red and gold that I posted about on Wednesday.....but with charcoal instead of brown.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pillow combos in red, gold, and green

Perhaps not the trendiest of color combinations, I love the traditional warmth of red and gold, tempered by some khaki or straight-up green.  I started pulling pillows in this palette to work with existing colors in a client's family room, and was surprised to find so many options!

I am reminded (maybe slightly painfully) of my favorite outfit in 5th grade: a yellow cargo vest and pant set with a red short sleeve collared blouse.  I wore that thing into the ground, along with my 1980s asymmetrical hairdo and my collection of bird pins!

Monday, April 6, 2015

If I had One Thousand Dollars

Spring break is over and we're back to work.

I've been thinking lately about how much I love my house.  (YES!)  I love the house itself, the layout, the light.  I love the choices I have made and the way the rooms feel layered but uncluttered (well, except the office/playroom), personal, and finished.  This summer marks five years in this house, and in the past that has been the moving-on time.  But I have no interest in moving, no itch for a new space, no desire to start all over again.

I do continue to see small bits and pieces here and there that I want to upgrade or complete.  (Here's the list!)  And I have some birthday dollars burning a hole in my pocket.  When starting out in a space, I always advise clients to put money where the impact is.  I've done that here, too, but now I get to focus on details.


The upstairs hallway is looking good, with grasscloth and a slew of black and white family photos in red frames on the accent wall.

I just need to upgrade the builder-grade flushmounts (not pictured!) to bring a bit more polish to the space.  While I love these, I don't want to blow the whole budget in one place.  So I'm thinking these:

Our kitchen cabinets have nickel pulls, and I would love to switch them out to black.  While hardware can get expensive, I just need 8 drawer pulls (no knobs) so it's manageable.  

I'm loving these:

Or these

(We have a $50 gift certificate at Restoration Hardware from our wedding that we never used!)

And then I think, why not something more like these?

Love them.

Those are both projects that are still a relatively low investment, and with a little more play I think about buying art or reupholstering my grandmothers chairs.

I am not usually an abstract art kind of a girl, but I love the pieces by my fellow blogger Jenny Andrews Anderson at My Favorite and My Best, and just fell down dead over this new piece (and love the story behind it):

Hot Air Balloon Fail

Here are my Nonny's chairs:

The fabric is a white quilted pattern and I love it, but they have seen better days.  I've always thought about a print like this:

Or this:
Sister Parish Burma

But realistically I would probably find something interesting and cheap at the local discount fabric warehouse.

Or, climbing up the scale of expense, there is always the stair runner.

What to do...what to do....


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