April 24, 2014

the blue bedroom before & after

Today I'm excited to share with you all a recently completed project I had a lot of fun working on. Great clients help, but a great before-and-after makes for a really satisfying project too. It's the typical lonely, last-to-be-decorated master bedroom that was feeling empty and neglected and just needed more—more softness, more luxury, more layers to bring it all to life. And we did just that, all while working with those blue walls, that were admittedly a little brighter than the client was originally going for but that she ultimately liked and wanted to keep. And yay, we made them work! Here's the before.

And the pretty after.

The basic elements stayed: furniture, wall color, and recently purchased bedding. And we simply layered some lovely pieces into the room to give it some warmth and personality: new draperies, an accent pillow for the bed, lighting, and art and accessories. Amazing how you can transform the look and feel of a room without changing anything major. Window treatments can make all the difference, folks. It's true. Order some for the bare-feeling room, whether they're custom or retail. You'll be so thrilled you did. 

It's so comfortable to be in this space now—the walls feel just the right intensity against with the dark furniture and rich curtains, but the room isn't too heavy either. It now makes its owners, and designer, very happy.

April 8, 2014

the kitchen bench seat

Wow, I've been away a long time. How has a month gone by since my last post? At least we've been busy in our absence and have some pretty great projects to show for it.

our new bench seat, with a top still needing some paint;
many thanks to Rambling Renovators for the design inspiration!

I mentioned in our giant spring to-do list that we've been wanting to build a radiator cover/bench seat for our kitchen. The built-in seating solves so many issues: it covers up ugly radiators, it unifies them, it solves the lack of space in a small kitchen for seating, and it gives up-close access to the windows.

I should mention we had to do one little trick before we could put a seat over these radiators. Each radiator sat directly under a window, so we rotated the radiator on the left 180 degrees so it was closer to the radiator on the right. I suppose we could have skipped this and built an 8-foot-long bench to cover the radiators, but we really didn't need or want that length in our small kitchen. Besides, that left radiator was interfering a bit with opening the refrigerator and made the door swing seem cramped, so we wanted the breathing room on that side. 

Emmy can't wait to get a closer look out those windows

It really feels as if this is what our kitchen has always needed. We loooove this space now. I'm so enjoying hanging out on that seat (if and when Michael cooks). And lingering over a cup of coffee in the morning (with the radiator heat warming me through and through!) or glass of wine in the evening. And especially hanging out with Emerson watching out for birds and squirrels and cats and dogs on the lawn and sidewalks outside. Ideally we want a round table in here to even better fit this small space. And some proper chairs. All in due time I suppose. We'll take this for now!

March 4, 2014

target clearance & other deals

Before some new spring/summer merchandise hits, now seems to be a great time to find amazing deals at Target, if your local stores shelves aren't already bare. Check the ends of aisles for clearance, and look for sale stuff mixed in with the new Threshold stuff. I've nabbed a few things myself lately that I couldn't resist sharing. The prices (and styles of course) are so good, I suggest you get shopping before it's all gone. Here are some of my favorite finds, and some inspiration to go along with.

lonny mag

This grey hexagon lamp shade says it's not sold in stores, but I found it in my local store for under $7.

sarah m dorsey designs

Inspired by this diy fabric-wrapped chest, I found the coral shell drapery panels on clearance for less than $8 each and couldn't resist them. They're no longer online, but you should be able to track some down in store, and if you can't find the panels, check in bath—the same fabric shows up on a shower curtain.


I'm sure you've seen this darling accent table/stool in the color of the moment. A client just bought it for about $60 and loves it.

glitter guide

The Nate Berkus tray seen everywhere, but still so great-looking, neutral, adaptable, and stylish, for about $16 in store.

ws home

Adorable little leather-handled x-base table for under $65. So cute!

And there's so much more, you guys! What deals have you picked up lately?

February 25, 2014

our ikea wall lamp revamp

You may remember way back when I first started this blog I featured a little hack to our bedside Ikea wall lamps. These little lamps are so great over the nightstand and have given us more than their money's worth over the years, at $15 each. But I've been thinking for a long time now that they've been needing an update. They were just looking old and tired.

So I worked some magic on a Saturday afternoon with a little spray paint and some new fabric (actually some I already had on hand, so this was a nice cheap project).

I'm not sure what took me so long to bring this fabric into this room, but it is so perfect. I'm now in love with these sconces all over again. They've got a new look and new life.

The shiny gold really perks up the bedroom and adds a little glamour. I'm thinking I may want to bring some more gold accents in, to play against the cool walls.

Also thought I'd share another bedroom view, featuring a cute rug I picked up at Marshall's a few weeks ago. I had it in mind for our foyer, but until mud season ends, it's keeping relatively clean and working out just perfectly beside the bed. The little bullseye mirror was also a fun recent find, from Home Goods.

But these are my favorite recent bedroom shots, of course.

Some sources for you:

February 19, 2014

what's coming up

In the hopes that spring really is on the way soon, my other half and I thought it'd be a good idea to get our projects lined up for when the weather decides to cooperate. We have slacked majorly over the winter, with a million variety of illnesses and terrible weather not on our side. Oh, and also, taking care of a toddler while drilling/sawing/sanding/painting is a bit of a challenge too. So we have every excuse in the world, but what we really need is motivation and a place to start. A few good lists are my favorite way to get organized and to find a way to start checking things off. Here's what's up around here for spring.

repave driveway
stain and seal new deck
paint exterior of side entry door
paint latticework under porch
paint storage nook door
replace glass pane in front porch window
replace front door pane (that's now plastic, ugh!) with glass
transplant boxwoods
general yard cleanup
plant veggie garden

front foyer
paint front door black
paint walls
add hooks/storage on back wall
living room
mount tv on wall
build radiator cover
put daybed in storage and move play table to window bay
recover cocktail ottoman
add lighting on console
redo art/hang wall of family photos
sell old lr rug
paint sconces
recover sconce shades
buy new table lamp/paint current lamp
rearrange art
paint/replace nightstands
finish hanging trim 
paint trim
build and install radiator cover/banquette
make/buy seat cushion for banquette
add pillows to banquette seating
buy new dining table
buy new dining chairs
cover bamboo shades to make fabric shades
hang art
buy new tray for coffee area
touch up grout 
seal tile and countertop
level refrigerator
paint walls
paint wainscoting
paint vanity
paint medicine cabinet
buy new hardware for vanity
emmy's room
finish and hang shelves
make/buy roman shade
make/buy duvet cover
make/buy pillow for chair

Okay, so I should have titled this post "spring, summer, and fall projects." Or "biting off way more than you can chew." WOW, this is way way way more work than I thought. Yikes. What do you all have planned around your homes this season?

*all images via pinterest, not our home, used for inspiration

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