August 31, 2011

and then i found this

So, remember I was bemoaning the fact that my client's industrial pendant sconces were wayyyyy out of stock? It's a familiar sob story for anyone who has ever ordered anything, but frustrating nonetheless!

Well, I've been hunting for a replacement and think I have found a good one. Thanks to all of you for commiserating, and more importantly for weighing in and pointing me in a few helpful directions!

This is perhaps the closest to what I had in mind. I like the pendant look that is just like what I was after, and I love that it has a dimmer swtich. This also makes me happy because it's a plug-in, like the original choice, so we can save money by skipping the electrician on install.

But...I also fell in love with this antiqued silver glass pendant from the Foundary for $30. Yes, $30! Incredible! But we could not make a decision quickly enough and it's already SOLD OUT. Boo. I should have just bought them! I'm sure I would have used them if my client didn't, but that's a slippery slope, my friends! Anyway, I may just keep checking back in the hopes that some orders get cancelled and they magically restock ;-) What would you do?

August 30, 2011


All in all, we weathered the hurricane pretty well around here. We are very lucky no one was hurt and the house was not damaged. The power is back, after only 12 hours off, and I can take a hot shower and cook a meal again. Phew! Here's what it looks like around here.

We lost a big limb from the maple in the backyard. But it somehow managed to miss the fence and my veggie garden. Amazing!

My honey came home early Friday and finished up the lattice screens. (Without me asking. How great is he?!) They withstood the storm beautifully. Landscaping still to come and then I'll take some better pics and let you know how we constructed these.

Unfortunately not everything emerged unscathed. Thanks to a dumb accident (where I was balanced on my sofa arm trying to close a window and came down hard with my bare foot on something I shouldn't have!) I'm nursing a pretty bad injury to my left foot. Not sure if you can see the swelling and the bruising on the outside of it. Ouch! I still can't put much weight on it, and it's been bruised and swollen since Sunday morning. All I care about is getting better for the Italy trip four weeks from now. So at least all day, and as often as possible this week, you'll find me icing this baby with it propped up on some pillows and this computer right on my lap. Looks like that mess in the backyard's going to have to wait a while for cleanup. Hope you all came through the storm without a scratch!

August 26, 2011

the out-of-stock blues

Today I'll be looking for a replacement for this. I planned for a pair of these to flank the headboard in my clients' attic guest room. So great, right?

west elm accordion sconce

But I'm bumming. It would have been helpful if West Elm had notified me when I ordered them way back on July 18 that they would be unavailable, not just backordered til September 10—which would not have been such a huge deal. In fact, I just waited patiently. They were just a few weeks away. And now, nope. Not getting here til Thanksgiving. Yikes. On behalf of my client, I refuse to wait! I think we can find something else.

Not happy! But trying to look on the bright side. Sometimes when you can't get what you want, you take your time and something even better comes along. I'm hoping this is the case! I'm sure we're in for that kind of weekend. Rain and wind is surely not what we want, but let's make the best of it, agreed?

August 25, 2011

thinking about the kitchen part 3

Time for the next installment of dreaming about the kitchen! And on to what may be the biggest issue. If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know I am obsessed with open shelving in the kitchen. I just love it for its simplicity, its relaxed feel, for how it can expand a room, for how it allows for pretty display.


My man is not so convinced. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that he works with kitchen cabinets every day—so the more cabinets, the better. On a very basic level, because of his business, he just doesn't understand why anyone would forgo upper cabinetry. And it's admittedly not too fair of me to ask him to ditch so much cabinetry, the material representation of his hard work and skill, when I'm asking him to build this kitchen. He'd be really happy with this traditional look. Beautiful details! How can I argue with that?

traditional home

But maybe we can find something in the middle? We're definitely going to want to compromise so we're both happy with and proud of the end result, but it's a small kitchen, so finding the balance between open and closed cabinetry could be tricky. Here's one idea I've noticed recently, with a pair of cabinets flanking an open shelf over a sink or range. That gets me a little openness and display area and him a few closed uppers.

house and home


sarah richardson

gregory mellor

Of course, I would love a chance to do a whole wall of storage and a whole wall of openness. This kitchen is awesome...and huge. But I could almost see how we could replicate this in our tiny space.

baden baden

Like me, Michael loves wine, and coffee. Maybe I can subconsciously (or ok, overtly!) convince him we need open storage with these pics ;-)


desire to inspire

There is also the shelf-under-cabinets look, but it's just not enough for me.


Of course, there are always glass cabinets. He would not be opposed to that. At least there are cabinet boxes and crown details. I have always adored this kitchen; I'm just not sure it completely meets my desire for openness.

house beautiful

When what I really want is this.

brooklyn home company

Is this enough of a compromise? Because this kitchen is an all-time favorite, and I think I'm going to be blatantly copying it when it's time to design ours.

style at home

Love. Everything about it. Wish me luck in the negotiations!

August 24, 2011

breezes are made for this

Do you do this with your bedding? The past few days have been so breezy and dry and sunny, they've made me think it's time bring out the bedding, drape it over the rail, and air it all out. Nothing better than slipping into fresh, sun- and air-dried sheets and blankets on a cool late summer night, right?

August 23, 2011

new colorful look for an old door

You may already know I'm into antique doors as decor, but I may be tiring of the distressed look—you know, old doors that look old. So I was blown away yesterday when I saw what Clementine & Olive so boldly did with an old door in her twins' nursery...

The vivid orange against light walls has such a fun, graphic colorblock effect and makes the space feel both vintage and contemporary. I love this idea and it has started my wheels spinning yet again.

August 22, 2011

raw materials

A few weeks ago, I had coffee with a friend of a friend, who turned me on to a company that her cousin has started (is that enough degrees of separation?!) out of Seattle. Well, I went right to the Raw Materials site when I got home and was instantly impressed by the sturdy quality and simple, classic, natural style of her kitchen linens and totes.

Their motto is "Simple, durable goods for you and your home." I'm all over that. The aprons, placemats, dinner napkins, and dishtowels are 100% cotton, with raw edges that fray and get soft with every wash. They also introduced a new serged edge, with red or navy stitching. So chic! And practical yet beautiful. I'm in love. Did I mention everything is totally American made? Just a little added bonus for you.

I couldn't help noticing the wonderful totes are all 30% off. I would die to bring this little beauty to the farmstand with me. They even make some that would be awesome to have around the house, for corralling toys, shoes, magazines, mittens and gloves...

I hope you'll check them out. I certainly plan to do some ordering today...

August 19, 2011

simple slipcover, major change

I can't believe I whipped up this slipcover for my ratty old cocktail ottoman in about an hour. It looks good, I think!

But now it is even more glaringly obvious to me that my living room needs a new rug and a white sofa! Oh well, at least the stained fabric is covered up and this piece is looking fresh now. What more can we ask? Happy weekend, everyone!

August 18, 2011

thinking about the kitchen part 2


It's time for part 2 of my ongoing kitchen daydream! I still need to do some floor plans, but first, what I really want to imagine, and the main reason behind this kitchen redo is to get a dishwasher in this space. When I moved to this house four years ago, I came from a sweet little apartment that felt very luxe, with limestone tiles and frameless shower door in the bathroom, and great appliances, including dishwasher, in the kitchen.

Of course I traded all that to get a space of my own. But I miss my dishwasher. I really do. Especially now that I have a roommate and a boyfriend living here. There are always dishes in the sink, no matter how often we wash them, and there's always a fragile looking stack of them, on a sopping wet towel, on the counter, taking up precious counter space besides.

Anyway, this post is all about my favorite dishwasher styles. And making them work for a small kitchen.


My kitchen's so small, it may have to look like this—with the farmhouse sink right up against the dishwasher.



Separating the drawers looks great, but I'm not sure this really gains you anything as far as cabinet space/function.

{tracery interiors}

My favorite option by far. I love how sleek a narrow, apartment-size dishwasher looks here. And set next to cabinet drawers, I like the contrast. As far as function, despite the small size, I think it could more than handle, if run every night, the amount of dishes we dirty. Now, the tough part is that these smaller-width dishwashers are not as easy to find, and despite being smaller, they come with a larger price tag. Must investigate. Starting here and here. And another look...

{the kitchn}

The only other thing to consider: Do you like hiding the dishwasher with a cabinet panel?

{southern living}

{cottage living}

Or seeing it? Even in a small, appliance-filled kitchen?

{the kitchn}

August 16, 2011

nothing like inviting guests over to get you going

I'll blame it on the lazy days of summer, but in the past few months I've been slacking bigtime on projects around the house. I have projects I've started and not finished; I have many more projects that I need to cross off the list, but I just keep thinking "someday" when it's cooler, when I have more time, when I have more money I'll tackle them. But now, there's an invitation, to my house, and I can't avoid doing these things anymore.

kinda wish this was my house right now. and how cute is that green front door!

Ugh, the panic! People are coming over! People who are important, or will be important, to me! And they know I'm a designer and are going to look, really look, at my house, expecting to be impressed! Mind you, these really are kind, sweet people and they're absolutely not going to be judging me. They're not at all going to be critically examining my spaces the way I do. Still...

I'm trying to control that voice in my head. And I've got to take action to do it. So here's what's on my list this week.

{1} Finish trimming out the reupholstered chair.
{2} Slipcover cocktail ottoman.
{3} Spruce up the foyer.
{4} Clean, clean, clean.

All totally doable. Wish me luck. And stay tuned for results! You are here to hold me accountable, ladies!

August 15, 2011

a blog friend's birthday brunch

Did you all have a wonderful weekend? I spent yesterday in CT, as I was lucky enough to be invited to a surprise party for dear Fran of Green Street. Her husband is seriously SO sweet and just awesome: he spent weeks finding just the right spot on the waterfront for a lovely brunch party (too bad we got washed out, but the scenery was still amazing!), then did all the work of inviting and keeping in touch and pulling off an awesome surprise for Fran.

ok, what is going on with my hair? no matter, we all had fun on such a happy occasion!

Fran's husband also totally designed and printed the invites himself. Hello?! Very impressed with his skills and taste!

Side note: I was the only blogger friend there among friends from college and childhood and other parts of Fran's life. I definitely got some strange looks when I told people that's how I knew Fran. Oh, those nonbloggers just don't get it!

August 12, 2011

if this is country, sign me up

Do you get Country Living magazine? I'll admit that sometimes it's a bit too country and quilty and vintagey and crafty for me, but the most recent issue was modern, inspiring, and very current. If you haven't seen Country Living in a while, I recommend taking another look. Because the editors are definitely looking at country with fresh eyes, and it's pretty cool to see. It all feels very modern country to me, which means simplicity, down-to-earth attitude, and streamlined looks. A style and mood I'm undeniably drawn to.

This bathroom just killed me. So creative to put the shower in this upstairs niche behind frameless glass. So open and bright and airy. After I saw this, I started to look more closely.

This bedroom also had a clever design, but it's the bold color of that blue wall and the graphic lines of that bed that got me too. And here are some more of my favorites!

Lots of inspiration here. It's worth checking out!

August 11, 2011

my heron watercolor art

We have a new addition in our living room, and I love her! Isn't she pretty?

The watercolor art I ordered from United Thread on Etsy is even more stunning, with vivid colors and incredible detail, in person. I picked up a large white frame with big white mat from Target and framed this baby up. She seemed to want to be in the living room, with my plumage blue console and spring azalea coral mirror, Vintage Blossom azure pillow and Bleecker absinthe pillow, she fits in perfectly.

It's just the start now to my gallery wall. And I still need new lighting here. And would love a new rug. And maybe have to dress up those curtains with some trim. It never ends!

August 10, 2011

thinking about the kitchen part 1

I've got projects on my mind lately, and the big one that's floating around in there is my kitchen. Ever since I hooked up with man who's job is kitchen cabinets, and then he promised me some for free, not to mention snagging a countertop and some appliances at a serious discount from some well-placed connections, I have been dreaming and planning. We're talking about changing everything, and I could not be more excited. It's all in a day's work for him, but as anyone who has a not-so-functional kitchen knows, it'll be life-changing for me!

One of my all-time favorite ktichens. Tons of counter space. And an island. And love the dramatic black balanced with white. Jealous.

Here's what's on the agenda, for sometime this fall or winter:
1. Rearranging the layout to gain more counter space.
2. Dishwasher, dishwasher, dishwasher.
3. A mix of closed cabinets and open upper shelving.
4. Farmhouse sink and new faucet.
5. New countertop.
6. Possible banquette seating.
7. Moving the washer and dryer upstairs to the pantry off the kitchen.

Stay tuned as I share my thoughts and dreams for this space over the coming weeks. You can see my current kitchen here. Suggestions/ideas/comments welcome! What would you do?

August 9, 2011

outdoor project in progress

We've been hard at work outside this past weekend!

Thanks to delays (the auger we rented that didn't run) and rain (this side yard is a big muddy mess right now) this landscape screen project has taken much longer than anticipated, but it's looking so good. And I'm glad I decided to splurge on the red cedar. Cannot wait to get it all done. Final pics coming soon, I hope!

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