November 30, 2010

organization: labels make a difference

Oh how I would love it if my pantry/storage closet looked a little something like this:

Painted wood shelves floor to ceiling, wallpaper, art, a cute stool = adorable. However, I'm storing much more than linens, and it just can't look as cute as this. Here's a peek through the curtain to how it looked before I got organized:

First order of business, gather like items and as much as possible into baskets, bins, bags, or boxes. Second, get as much as possible off the floor. Third, label, label, label everything.

Labels really made all this randomness look coherent. And they really do help me find things since I truly can't remember which bin contains what. Here's more label inspiration:

via flickr

So, here's what I ended up with, for a room full of everything from tools, paint supplies, gardening, ironing, sewing, light bulbs, paper towels and toilet paper, cleaning products, pet products, and car care. It's not pretty, but it's so so much better. And it doesn't make me crazy anymore!

yes, that hanging bag is full of clothes to be ironed—my least favorite task!

I know I should paint, add some shelving, and really finish this room. But the secret is that I have bigger plans for this space: a laundry room complete with cherry red stacking washer and dryer, floor-to-ceiling built-in shelving along the side, a deep wall color, crisp white trim, and pretty little window shade. Someday! But for now, I suppose I can live with this!

November 29, 2010

holiday decorating lessons from terrain

While down in Pennsylvania for Thankgiving at my parents' house, I was beyond excited to find that they are not far from Terrain at Styer's in Glen Mills. I didn't have to do much convincing to get my mom to come. She's as into decor as I am, and probably where I got my love for it, not to mention my skills. If you're anywhere in the greater Philadelphia area, I highly recommend a visit. It was the perfect after-holiday day trip, and even Dad enjoyed it. That's telling you something.

One of the first scenes to greet you in a series of outdoor rooms. Wood lanterns, simple string lights, and an eye-catching wreath display.

If you're not familiar with Terrain, they also have an online shop with both vintage and new garden, home, kitchen, and bath and body products. And if you're wondering about the look and feel, it definitely comes from parent company Anthropologie. The real world location is all that you would imagine: hip, creative, layered, warm. The vibe hits you, at least this time of year, the minute you park your car, when you first get a whiff of woodsmoke from the campfire they keep going. Oh, and the campfire scene is complete with stumps you can set down on for a bit and Pendleton blankets to wrap yourself in. And so it begins. Terrain is all decked out for the holidays right now, and the effect was magical. I'm telling you, I never wanted to leave!

Happy Christmas lights, vintage boxes, and beautiful oversized baskets

Aside from just absorbing the general atmosphere, and shopping til you're broke, you could spend your time here, and I did, absorbing the abundant design creativity. Here are the best ideas I found, and that I plan to borrow this season.

{1} Burlap: These wreaths hung with simple burlap ribbon are stunning yet natural and effortless-looking. I also really love, and would love to find some way to copy, the rich persimmon red wood panel behind the wreaths that make them pop against the barnwood.

{2} Stacked wreaths: Instead of one large wreath, grab a few small ones and hang them vertically, connected with ribbon. Here, burlap again stands in for ribbon. So charming. I love it!

{3} Birch poles: These look stunning just standing all together in a half barrel, but can bring a lot of natural drama indoors the same way. Lean a few in a corner that needs some attention. The white bark has such graphic appeal and would look great in against a richly painted wall but just as stunning in an all-white room.

{4} Mirrors in multiples: Cover your wall with mirrors and multiply the holiday sparkle and glow. Another lesson here: hang your lighting or create your own, with rope.

{5} Vertical display: When creating any display, think low, middle, and high and make sure you have interest at every level to keep the eye moving.

{6} More is more! Layering items lends interest. I am usually into editing things down and keeping design spare, but if there is a time for abundance it is the holidays. So, add a few more acorns. You can't go wrong.

After a long shopping visit, here's Dad getting ready to make one of many trips to the car. And now that I'm back in Massachusetts, I have told Mom and Dad to not tell me if they go back here without me as I will be insanely jealous. Am I wrong?!

November 24, 2010

grateful for a gifted table

Remember Bryn Alexandra's awesome November giveaway?

all of this? yep, that's what I'm talking about!

Well, I was the extremely lucky winner! I knew I wanted to do something fun with the suzani fabric, and when it arrived I could see the colors looked perfect in my kitchen.

It is now the perfect autumn table runner, and I am in love. The new candlesticks, in that chestnut wood tone I adore, light up the table along with a lantern I suspended from the ceiling with a simple hook and some jute twine.

Isn't it amazing how the colors in the suzani fabric are almost a perfect match to the Anthropologie plates on the wall between the windows?

All I can say is thank you to Bryn for such generous, beautiful gifts. And, I wish I was having Thanksgiving at my house! Wherever you are, whoever you are with, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

November 23, 2010

nailhead lamp shade

I'm so happy I did this—my lamp shade now is now decked out in nailhead trim!

The plain linen lamp shade was just fine, just fine, but it felt like it needed something. See what I mean?
For a while, I thought I'd do some pretty ribbon. But I never found a ribbon I loved. And as I bought some nailheads to try out on this chair I've been reupholstering (almost done!!) two things happened:

1. I got overwhelmed thinking of nailing in each and every decorative nail on this chair. Exhausting. And expected. I mean, I just took each and every old nail out of this chair. It's time for something different.
2. I instantly looked over and noticed the shade. It was totally an aha moment.

Nailheads: NO (maybe some pretty braid or cording instead)

Nailheads: YES!

So what do you think? Did you check out the nailhead trim roundup I posted yesterday?

November 22, 2010

inspiration: nailhead trim

Nailheads can do no wrong! Who's with me? I love the detail and bit of sparkle they add, and how they highlight shapes so dramatically or cleverly create pattern where there was none before. Nailheds will always look fabulous in place of welting to trim out the lines of chairs and sofas, but here are some of my favorite images that demonstrate how creatively you can use them.

Annie Selke's decorative nail headboard. No words. Just awesome.

Ashley Goforth's rattan-wrapped and nailhead-trimmed desk. A beauty!

Similar treatment on coffee table in a Phoebe Howard room.

Absolutely incredible closet doors by design firm Nickey Kehoe.

Love the red upholstered door trimmed in nailheads in Alessandra Branca's office.

Bryn Alexandra's nailhead pinboards. Love the way the nails frame each collage in the series.

Clever framing of a built-in kitchen cabinet, by Elizabeth Kimberly Design.

Mary McDonald's brilliant nailhead bed and wall!

Not sure who did this room, but whoever you are, you are a genius. Yes, those shelves have nailhead trim!

I would love to try each and every one of these projects in my house. Is that too much nailhead? Yeah, probably. Oh, but I love it! At least for now, I have just one simple nailhead project in mind, and if all goes well (cross your fingers!) I will reveal it tomorrow!

Have you used nailhead trim in your home? Email me if you've got a creative project to share!

November 18, 2010

loft & cottage gift guide for mom

Is it officially the holidays? I'm not sure if it is, but I do know it is officially time to start getting prepared. Let the shopping begin! Check out my gift guide for Mom on Cottage & Vine today. I had so much fun putting it together. And will have even more fun wrapping some of these things for my own amazing mom.

November 16, 2010

art in the kitchen

I'm such a fan of kitchens that feel personal and creative. I think that's why I love bringing art into this room. Art in the kitchen expresses who you are and warms up a typical cabinet- and appliance-filled space. I love kitchens that feel more like living spaces, that connect more seamlessly with the rooms around them.

Ellen Pompeo's kitchen, one of my faves, from Elle Decor

You already know I'm a fan of open shelving as a great way to create display space and get rid of that cabinet-heavy feeling lots of kitchens suffer from. But I'm also a huge fan of art in the kitchen, a trend that's growing, and that I'm totally in favor of. Behold: lots of inspiration!

 via brown turtleneck sweater

David Kleinberg

via desire to inspire

 architectural digest

house beautiful

house beautiful

southern living

 house beautiful

Victoria Borus 

 Caroline Keith

 southern accents


Mlinaric, Henry & Zervudachi
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