September 29, 2010

guest blogger: fran from green street

Today I want to welcome my friend Fran of the lovely blog Green Street. Fran has a wonderful eye and a love for design that comes through in every post she writes. Her blog takes us through her ideas and inspirations as well as lovely creative projects that add beauty and style to her home.

a love for the old: pewter

Hi! It's Fran from Green Street and it's a pleasure to be filling in for Casey while she is away. A huge thanks to Casey for asking me to guest blog—her blog is a daily must read! So, with Casey traveling in Italy, I couldn't help but think of a rural, provincial life—almost stepping back in time. With autumn upon us, it felt appropriate to do a post on one of my favorite tabelware pieces—pewter.    

Here, an antique pedestal table topped with some beautiful pewter pieces. To me pewter represents the old—a love for what was once before—so simple and timeless in design. Not too dissimilar to Italy. And, like Italy, pewter is versatile. Take pewter and 'match' it with more contemporary designs and you can't go wrong. 

Pewter flatware mixed with a modern (nautical) themed place setting. I'm loving those faux bois plates.  

Here, a beautiful mix of old and new candlesticks that would look so pretty on a table or mantel.  

And, I leave you with a beautiful tablescape which reminds me of the idyllic Italian countryside.  So, have you tried to incorporate any pewter in your home design?  If not, would you?

Thank you again, Casey.  We hope you're having a wonderful time!!

September 27, 2010

guest blogger: rene from cottage and vine

Hi all, Casey here. I want to welcome Rene from Cottage and Vine. Rene is so creative and has succeeded in transforming her home project-by-project into a fresh, inviting environment. She's also one of the warmest, supportive bloggers I've been lucky enough to "meet" and call friend these past few months. Thanks, Rene, for coming over to share your talent with us.

Thanks so much to Casey for inviting me to guest blog. Because we all like to see before and after projects, I thought that I would share some of the before and after photos from projects that I have finished over the last year. To back track a bit, our home was beginning to feel dark and a bit stodgy, so I have been adding white and touches of color/pattern to liven up our decor.

bedroom before

bedroom after
A fresh coat of white paint on the wall lamps and the bright green on the nightstand gave this little nook the injection it needed.

kitchen before
kitchen after
Before, we had a dark cabinet hanging over the banquette.  Once it was removed, we added thrift store plates and painted the chairs and banquette white. 
entry before

entry after

The pattern was made using happy tape and the addition of the mirror gave the space a more open feel.
living room before
living room after
Believe it or not, the walls are the same color and weren't painted.  Adding a lighter sofa that was more to scale with the living room and lightening up the window treatments, which are drop cloths that I painted,  gave the room and instant uplift and a much brighter appearance.

Thanks to Casey for inviting me today!  For more before and after photos and DIY projects, I invite you to stop by my blog Cottage and Vine.

September 23, 2010


Ciao, friends. I am off for 8 days in Tuscany and Rome! While I'm away, I've got a few guest bloggers lined up with some really inspiring posts for you on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And I'll be back here on October 4 with lots of pictures and stories to tell. Arrivederci!

But first, some eye candy before I go. Imagine yourself on a rooftop on a cool autumn night in Rome. I wish I could afford to stay here! But I'm sure I will stumble on some equally magical places...

a seat in the window

I got excited when I saw that the settee I've had my eye on, for like forever, is on sale at Williams Sonoma Home.

But even at almost half off, the Presidio is still way too pricey. And it's over $300 for shipping. But it's in this gorgeous sand linen.

And it belongs here.

No, it's not snowing at my house! This is a very old picture. But still, this room hasn't changed much, and it needs new wall color, draperies, and rug. This room needs major help. In lieu of the settee/daybed, I could do some sort of built-in in the window, like below. This is a dream space. I wrote about my daybed obsession and explained why they're so great here.

pottery barn

Oh so perfect. I could spend all day here, soaking in the sun on a chilly fall day, lounging with a good book and a cup of tea. Time to start planning this space, I think.

September 21, 2010

nate and a bazillion design bloggers

Today, a bunch of very lucky design bloggers are headed to NYC. They've been invited to the Nate Berkus Show, as an awesome thank you for their blogging and tweeting and generally spreading the word this summer about Nate's upcoming show.

The blog world went crazy for Nate, and now he's showing them some love in return. Of course, I would love to have gone, not just for Nate, an incredibly talented designer and all-around charming guy, but for the opportunity to meet so many of the entertaining, stylish bloggers I've been following. Speaking of following, this all came about through the power of following, on blogs and mainly on Twitter. So, follow someone you like.

You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Nate on FB and Twitter too. Get tickets to Nate's show here. And check out my blog reads in the sidebar to find more great blogs to follow. One of them, me{longings}, has a photo cheat sheet of all the bloggers who are attending Nate's show taping today. So fun to put names to faces and see who's going.

So much can come of this social media thing—not just knowledge, but new relationships that become very real through a virtual world. So though I'm not heading to New York today (because I'm heading to Italy in two days!) I wanted to be there in spirit and what better way than to blog about it!

September 20, 2010

europe on my mind

It's hard to believe that my trip is almost here and that I'll be in Italy on Friday! I've got lots to do to get ready, and as I'm packing and running last-minute errands I'm finding myself dreaming about the sights and sounds and smells I'm going to experience when I'm there. See, it's been ages since I've traveled to Europe, and I'm craving the culture. From ancient architecture to a simple cup of cappuccino, I can't wait for it all. And in honor of that I thought I'd share some of my favorite interiors that feel like Europe. I know I'm going to want my home to look like this when I get back!

Mick DeGuilio

Feels like a French bistro, no?


Every great European room must have a beautiful fireplace. Below, Charlotte Moss's bathroom, with beamed ceiling, wallpaper, matching draperies, floral chairs, adorable vanity, tufted velvet ottoman, fur throw—what a cozy, comforting place to start and end each day.


I adore this little vignette that looks collected and unstudied. And the room below could only be in some great city in Europe. All that ornamentation. The herringbone floors. And those windows. Love.

And finally, no European tour is complete without toile. What's your favorite look from across the pond to bring home? Open shelving or a pot rack, parquet floors, salon-style art, wallpaper?

September 17, 2010

yet another reason to get an iphone

Yes, these are Jonathan Adler iPhone covers. How cool! And not expensive; the perfect gift. Get them here.

I have also had my eye on the Chilewich covers. So simple, natural, and classic.

September 16, 2010

home tour: country club road

Want to go on a house tour? Good. Me too. I always do! Gwen Simpkins is a friend {and longtime mentor; we worked together at and I learned a ton from her over the years} who I met up with for lunch recently. She also invited me to take a tour of one of her newly finished projects. Gwen is a high-end {you'll see what I mean} developer {she's an awesomely savvy businesswoman, running her own firm, Delaporte Design & Development} in the Boston area. This home was a total gut; she worked closely with her architect to redesign and add on to it. It's now about 5,000 square feet of gorgeousness. Check it out. But first, let me apologize for not taking pictures of all the rooms. I got a little sidetracked and pretty much just shot only about 1/3 of the first floor. There was too much to see!

First, this is what you see in the back, when you pull up to the garage. No curbside view—sorry! I love the pavers here. Feels like a European courtyard.

Come on in. This is what greets you when you come in through the garage and mudroom—a glimpse of gorgeous cool marble kitchen, airy blue wall color, and a sneak peek into the subtly papered dining room.

The kitchen is beyond amazing. The 2" thick marble countertops really stand out, and I love the open floating shelves along the kitchen wall. It's a modern kitchen that still manages to feel traditional and appropriate to the style of the house.

Wow. The kitchen is really big. It's all an addition. The step down from the door in the first kitchen picture is where the addition began. They went lower to give the kitchen/great room addition a higher ceiling than the rest of the original house.

Hi, gorgeous marble. I love seeing you up close. Notice that the island is painted that subtle blue gray, like the walls. Nice touch. Don't you love the sleek, slim cabinet hardware too? Oh, and love the floors; not sure what the wood is but they look like walnut. Not that too dark.

Beautiful. On to the dining room, with lots of light. And some cool art. Made me think of the post on black and white art that Lauren from Pure Style Home just did.

The family room is connected to the dining and the kitchen. It's really just one big space. Here it is viewed from the kitchen.

I always like built-ins, but I like how these are tall, and in line with the fireplace mantel, giving a more modern feel. They're also the same cabinetry as the kitchen; it makes for great flow among the spaces and a soothing, consistent style.

Now, some details. My favorite part of a home like this, where you really see the quality. Had to get a closeup of the crown molding, pretty wallpaper and door trim. All the charm of a period home but none of the chipping paint, distressed edges, and peeling wallpaper! It's fresh, crisp, and new.

Some of my favorite rooms were the bathrooms. They all were consistent in style and general palette (super soft blues, greens, taupes, and ivories) but each had its own distinct personality. The other thing I love in a Gwen house is that every single bedroom has its own bathroom. That's luxury! I adore the floors here.

And in the powder room, maybe my favorite room of all.

Gorgeous stone. I want you in my house. Asap.

How much do you love this wallpaper? It's sparkly and glamorous, making this such a jewel box of a room. Oh, and hi, that's me in the mirror.

By the way, if you came in the front door, this is what you would see. Oh yeah, Gwen doesn't just design and build houses, she's a damn good decorator too. Love the cool mirror in that vignette. Oh, and the woodwork on the staircase? And that subtle scalloped detailing on the outside face of the stairs? So pretty. See what I mean about the details?

Hope you enjoyed the tour. By the way, this fabulous house is on the market. Serious inquiries, let me know! And as soon as I can, I'll take you on another house tour. Gwen's projects are amazing eye-candy and total inspiration.

September 14, 2010

breaking news: lonny in print

The Neo-Traditionalist has amazing exclusive news for us this morning—Lonny, that chic online design magazine with several mouth-watering issues already under its belt, is going to be available in print! Check out the deets here.

And with the launch of Rue magazine online this week {actually just a day away!}, and Anthology {win a subscription here!} appearing next month in print, us shelter magazine junkies are feeling pretty good!

September 13, 2010

must. read.

This has been all over blogland lately, but it bears repeating. And believing. It could not be more appropriate for me right now, with a job change that has allowed me to work from home and pursue my interior design career full steam ahead and with no excuses. And a trip to Italy on the horizon. Life is good, and short, and beautiful! And I'm ready to live the heck out of it.

From holstee.

September 10, 2010

i love it when things just fit

I was inspired this week by two images I've come across that made me think of perfect fits, and how rare but lovely it can be when that happens.

house beautiful
christina murphy interiors

Doesn't it look like these pieces of furniture were made exactly to fit in these niches and nooks? But I'm sure they were not. That's what's so marvelous about them. My temptation would be to just do built-ins here, because what would the chances be of finding furniture to fit these odd dimensions? Well, these spaces remind me to take my time, wait for the right thing, keep an eye out but don't look too hard. Sooner or later you will happily, randomly stumble upon your solution, and suddenly things will click. Providence. Kismet.

Don't you love it when things just fit?

September 9, 2010

styling my coffee table

Let's face it, coffee tables are not always that attractive. Mine certainly doesn't normally look like this, all decked out with candlelight and flowers. It's typically too many remotes, a nail file, a snack or two, and a magazine open to the latest article I'm reading. So not attractive, but I suspect this is the case for most of us—it's just how we live. Lots of everyday junk migrates to the room we hang out in, and every once in a while it's nice to clean it up and get it ready for its closeup.

When I saw that Emily A. Clark was having a link party all about coffee tables, I wanted to join in and decided this was the incentive I needed to redecorate and style up my coffee table/cocktail ottoman. It's a 10-minute redo that's totally easy and satisfying.

{1} Pare down. Clear out the clutter and put back anything that belongs in another room.
{2} Organize. Group like items. Find a tray if you can to corral it all.
{3} Decorate. Light a candle. Bring in a favorite object or some flowers.

There. So much better!

Now, some coffee table inspiration to get you in the mood for your own cleanup/styling job.

{image 1: nicole shumpert; image 4: hgtv; all others via decorpad}

What's on your coffee table? Or what would you like it to look like?
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