Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Hello friends! I must apologize that my blogging has been infrequent this spring ... it is always a busy time of year and on top of that we plugging away at our new website which means we've been booking up our days with photo shoots as well!  Can't wait to show you some of the beautiful spaces we've been working on!

Also - Happy Cinco de Mayo!  If I had my wish - I'd be sitting down to some street tacos and margaritas at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood right about now.  I love a good Mexican restaurant - but I could really get used to one that looks as chic as this one !

I love the bright airy SoCal vibe ... that amazing black and white tile, the exposed brick, the rattan chairs, bow truss ceilings, antique lanterns and succulents on the tables.

Next, I'm wondering ... are Chicken Coops the New Swing sets?  I seem to be seeing a lot of them lately. Is it the latest in backyard entertainment?

Tiffani Thiessan has one in the back of her cute Los Angeles home. Recently featured in Lonny, you can see the whole place here.
And Chip and Joanna Gaines, of HGTV's Fixer Upper, have one too.

Confession: I have become slightly obsessed with this show.  The transformations are amazing. A few of my favorite spaces:

We did just get rid of our swing set this past weekend - in it's place is going a trampoline.  I guess we'll have to keep getting our eggs from the grocery store.
Have a good week!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Finds - Turkish Rugs

Happy Friday!  With two sick kids at home this week I have been fairly homebound. While they sleep I have been online swooning over Turkish Rugs.  Maybe it's the cabin fever and snow on the ground that has me craving some bright warm color - but seriously - aren't some of these rugs just gorgeous?


(Amanda Peet's house featured in Vogue)

via Pinterest

Studio McGee

Apt 34
In an entry, a kitchen, a bathroom - they work almost anywhere. But as you can see, the key to these beautiful room is keeping the walls light and bright - and really letting the rugs be the star of the show.
Apartment Therapy

via Pinterest

Kate Marker Interiors


Truly, these rugs are works of art for the floor. 

Apartment Therapy
So where do you find these rugs?  Surprisingly, it's not that hard. And they don't have to break the bank either.  An easy search of Turkish rug or Turkish Kilim rug on Ebay and Etsy turns up a bounty of beauties!
On Ebay:
From Turkish Kilim Store
From eCarpet Gallery
From eCarpet Gallery

From Gallery99
On Etsy:
from ZaferCarpet
from WovenResource
from KilimBazaar
from YourRugStore
And yep, even Ikea has a fun and colorful version, as you saw in my example above from the Ikea blog.

Kattrup rug - Ikea
I am debating how I might use one of these in my own house.  I like the idea of using a runner in our upstairs hallway or a smaller one in our kitchen in front of the sink. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Creating a Boy's room ... for a real boy.

When we moved into our house and first decorated the boys' rooms, Kyle was 4. Now he's almost 11! How did that happen? Last fall we decided to move him over to our Guest Room, which has it's own bathroom, so that my husband could have his own home office.  (The first floor office works well for me, but he needs something a little more secluded ... and sound-proof!) It seemed like a good time to give Kyle an update.  Time to say good-bye to the bunk beds and hello to a Queen-size bed.

If you don't have boys ... you may think that a 10 year old boy wouldn't care very much about what his room looks like.  Sure, he wants his ... STUFF ... but he may not care how his STUFF looks. Well, this 10 year old boy DID care ... and I know there are other boys out there who do too.

So how do you put together a room that satisfies the Mom AND the Boy? Now, I'll be honest ... if I was given that blank slate of a room to create a Boy's Room all by myself - I could make it totally magazine-worthy ... and it probably would not look exactly like this. But really, I'd be designing for a fake boy, wouldn't I? Sometimes when I see Boy rooms on Pinterest or in a magazine, I feel kind of sorry for the kid. Where's all his stuff? His trophies? His rock collection? His blue ribbons and his sports logos?

If you want a good chuckle, read this post Warped Childhood, Restoration Hardware Style.

As Kyle and I started to make plans for his room, he had several requirements.

1. He wanted to have a lot of "basketball stuff." Like many boys his age, he is a huge Sports-buff.  But specifically - Basketball is his sport. He wanted me to see if I could find any Chicago Bulls bedding. Hmmm - I'll admit, I cringed a little.  Thank goodness for Pottery Barn Teen that created a cute line of bedding with NBA, NHL, and NFL logos on it that is not too garish and actually kind of cute.  Now, truth be told - I suggested getting either the logo quilt OR the logo sheets ... but nope ... "They are so cool, Mom! I want both!"  Okay, Okay ... but what about getting some different pillow shams to break it up a bit? "No, no - I like the ones that match the quilt!"  Ok - I guess I should just be happy that he's willing to have pillow shams. :)

We were able to incorporate other "basketball stuff" in his room too - I found the Home & Visitors sign with a net to hold all his basketballs at Pottery Barn Teen as well. We added the little vintage chalkboards on either side.
I found some basketball-inspired art at Art.com and let him pick his favorite.
I kind of love the one he picked.
(Please excuse the frog tank that needs to be cleaned!)
2. Another requirement ... "a relaxing color."  He liked the pale blue he had in his last room ...Serena & Lily's Chambray Blue , but wanted something a little different. I suggested we go with more of a Blue-Gray. You should have seen all the color swatches we painted on the wall! (I forgot to snap a picture.) He was VERY interested in finding the perfect color.  Finally, a choice was made ... Benjamin Moore's Harbor Gray.
3. Lights that he could easily turn off from his bed. This guy is an avid reader and often reads late into the night. Rather than putting a lamp on his nightstand, I suggested we hang two sconces right next to his bed.  I had been swooning over these industrial looking ones at Ikea for awhile and knew they would be perfect for him. "They're awesome!" he said.
I even love how the little cord has a neat black and white rope detail.
4. Finally ... a desk.  With the impending doom of Middle-School-Homework coming next year, he wanted to have a good desk in his room. We looked at lots and lots of desks ... and this boy had expensive taste! One weekend I suggested we might find a cool vintage desk at the Randolph Antiques Market. "I don't want somebody's old desk!" he said.
Ha! It was a beautiful weekend and we dragged the boys into the city anyway. Voila! Within 5 minutes of walking into the Market, we bumped into this.
He loved it! It is from the 1930's, so we had fun imagining the many places it's lived.
It is sturdy and already has some cool nicks, scratches and markings on it -
so a few more won't hurt.
Okay ... back to the fifth requirement.
5. A place to display all his "stuff." If we back up and look at this desk photo again you will see one of my solutions.
A magnetic bulletin board.  Yes, I could have taken a bunch of things off (like the No Farting sign, for example) and styled it for this photo - but this is real life ... and this is a real boy! Instead of taping random things all over the wall, he just sticks them on his bulletin board. (Makes me happy.) We also included some artwork that is personal to him ... A caricature we had done on vacation ... the Pluto sketch he loved learning to draw at Hollywood Studios in Florida, his favorite "masterpiece" from Art class at school and an aerial shot of NYC he bought this summer on his trip there with Dad.
Does this wall look like something you'd see on Pinterest or a Restoration Hardware catalog? Nope. But it looks very Kyle. (And I am just realizing that I need to straighten some of those frames -- must be all of the Nerf-basketball-playing.)
My second solution for all the "stuff" is a big ol' bookshelf.
Again, I could have removed 2/3rds of the stuff and styled this really cute ... but this is how it really looks.  Trophies, baseballs, little figurines and Bobbleheads ... and books, books, books that he does not want to give away. I smile when I look at this shelf because I know it's all the stuff he loves.
So what were my additions ... the things he didn't care about?
The shaggy rug ... my way of adding a little style and pattern on the floor. (Although he does admit it's nice and soft to step on when he gets out of bed.)
Drapes. (I mean, what male really does care about drapes?)
His only stipulation was that he wanted "no light to come in when they are closed."

So I picked out the mix of creamy white and gray linen I liked. I had them installed while he was at school and his reaction upon seeing them was "Wow, they are better than I expected." (Not sure what he was expecting.)
I also found this cute little nightstand on One Kings Lane.
He's typically got 2 or 3 books going at once, so I wanted to find something where he could keep them all beside his bed.
Finally, I found this on Etsy.
And I know he will ...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy New Year!

... and uh, Merry Christmas too! Between the holidays and the kids-home-from-school-cold-days, it's been awhile!

Hopefully you all had a little R&R during the holidays!  Now, let's start the New Year off right! I've got lots of client appointments lined up for January already ... it's a great time to make a fresh start. And since we're spending so much time inside these rooms of our homes this time of year, it's only natural to start picking apart the things you don't like and look for ways to make a change.

I thought I'd share a few things on my radar lately ... maybe they will inspire you to make some little "change-ups" around your house!

I am loving these bath towels from Kassatex ... darn, would have been a great Christmas present idea!

Speaking of Christmas presents, after 16 years, we finally decided to retire the everyday dishes we registered for at our wedding. My parents, in-laws and sister were kind enough to help me collect a new set for Christmas!  I did a lot looking before I finally settled on these:
It's the Marin White Dinner Collection from Crate & Barrel. I really liked the kind of uneven gray edge that gives it a unique, organic feel. I also wanted a set that came with a large wide bowl (they call it a pasta bowl). We use this size a lot for soups, meal-size salads, chili ... and, of course, pasta!
Now that your dining room table is cleared of Holiday centerpieces ... what about designing a custom table runner at Loom D├ęcor? You can select your fabric and border from a great selection of gorgeous prints and even some metallic solids.
I'm also loving the glass and Lucite hardware at this fun French site.

Maybe the males in my house are rubbing off on me, but I love this blue, locker-inspired cabinet from Ikea ... and it is only $99!  I would use it as little media cabinet in a basement family room or for craft storage in a kid's playroom.
Another great steal ... this coffee table from West Elm. I love the mix of wood and metal. Kid-friendly with the rounded edges!
I also have many dog-eared pages from some of my favorite magazines ...
This light fixture from Urban Electric caught my eye ... it feels unexpected in this room, but I kind of like that.
Campion Chandelier
I'm also kind of digging this rug from Kravet.
Kravet Fine Facet Rug
Finally, are things feeling a little bare at your house now that all the greenery of the holidays is gone?  Terrain has some nice preserved and faux options to bring a little life and color to your house and help us all get through these winter months!
Adiantum Fern Bunch

Dogwood Branches

Faux Blooms Bunch
 And last, but not least ... while many people like add a fur throw or pillow this time of year, we decided to add something else a little furry ...
 His name is Pancake and is he 7 months old!  He was rescued from a rough neighborhood in the city, but seems to like his new home.
 He also likes to follow our 15 year old cat, Luke, everywhere he goes.  Luke is a good sport, but sometimes he needs a little separation.
We are super excited to have this little guy pitter-pattering around the house ... one of our best home additions yet!
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