June 27, 2012

baby love

Until this past weekend, I hadn't been too focused on buying stuff or decorating for baby. But spending time with my mom and dad brought it all home. I've only got three months left! Being away from home meant we were able to forget about projects (like the huge kitchen reno, for one!) at home and focus on the important stuff. Family. Our growing family. Here's the latest belly shot!

And now that we're back home, all I want to do is decorate for baby. Forget kitchen stuff!

I've fallen for a few things, and over the next few days would love to start putting together a design board. Did I mention we are not finding out whether it's a boy or a girl? That's going to make decorating a challenge. But a good one! I'm still definitely undecided on the scheme, but there are a few things I've got in mind for baby...

restoration hardware

in love with this bassinet for when baby's in our room the first few months


a more modern scheme plus traditional crib

lauren leiss design

or vintage scheme with modern crib--which one do you love?

the chalkboard paint works for me too. or at least a dark wall to set a mood.

and george

big baskets are a must

galbraith & paul

and a patterened wall or drapery or ceiling would be so fun!

I can't wait to start decorating! Too bad baby's room is now the kitchen pantry/workroom/storage area. I'm going to have to wait. But at least I can start designing. Any ideas for elements that'll make for a great nursery?

June 21, 2012

doorway to heaven

Okay, maybe that's a little exaggeration, but since Michael finished framing our new doorway, I cannot stop staring at the new view.

We moved it to the right so we'd have room to extend the run of cabinets on the left. And we went about 3 inches wider than the old doorway. I'm loving how it opens up the living room so much more the kitchen. And I'm loving how you get a view of the daybed and chandelier now. So pretty!

We're getting there, guys! Next up drywall. Then we're going to be demoing cabinets/sink/etc and ripping out the floors. Our new floors are on the way. In the meantime, we're on our way out of town, taking a much-needed long weekend break to visit my parents. Needless to say, as much as we are loving how the kitchen is taking shape, we are both ready to get away from the mess and work, work, work for a while. Happy weekend, everyone!

June 20, 2012

lotus, a new favorite pattern

Have you already had a luscious eyeful of Galbraith & Paul's new fabric and wallpaper pattern Lotus? It's absolutely my new favorite pattern. And if I can't use it in my own house (the office needs some love!) then I'm definitely going to find a way for work it into an upcoming client project. Or maybe both of those things. And oh man, I just thought about the nursery. How amazing would this be as pretty crib bedding or window treatments?!

lotus fabrics in yummy colorways

lotus wallpaper in aqua

The rhubarb colorway, and the way Amber used it in this amazing teen's bath, is what really got me going on this pattern. I love the pink-orange combo. And this entire install! I want to be 15 again and live in this room!

June 18, 2012

brass & steel in the kitchen

The story starts with this kind of library wall light that I've been in love with for a very long time.

martha stewart

double boston functional library light, visual comfort

Is it too trendy? I guess I don't really care.

urban grace

urban grace

french library double wall lamp, circa lighting

Now imagine my surprise when I showed it to Michael and found that he instantly loved it too. We are going to do it over the sink in the kitchen. He really likes it in the antique brass finish shown above.

I'm still not sure which style of light we'll go for—but the question is the finish. I know it'll look great with the cabinet color. It's BM Stone Hearth, same as the wall color in Keri Russell's home shown here.

So we love the brass, and it works with the paint, but is it going to compete with the appliances? And hardware? And the faucet we already like?

I'd change out the faucet in an instant to match the light.

via the vintique object

And the hardware too. How pretty would this be?

house & home

The real dilemma is the stainless steel appliances. I've been thinking it can't be done. Then I stumbled across this amazing kitchen that I'd forgotten about.

house & home

I love it. It works. The warm brass makes the kitchen feel more elegant and cozy-room-like, less workspace and industrial. Adding that finish balances out the coolness of the stainless steel. Here are a few more shots to contemplate.



aerin lauder's home, vogue


Seeing all these images, I'm kind of excited about the prospect of doing a mix now, and not staying all matchy-matchy with the finishes in the kitchen. What do you think? Would you do it in your home? Or do you just like it for someone else's?! Would you do it knowing you were going to sell in a few years and needed to appeal to the average homeowner?

June 13, 2012

what's new upstairs, downstairs

A lot of changes have been happening around here. Upstairs, I have new shelves in the old closet. I suggested that shelves might be better in here than a closet rod now that this guest room is turning into an office. Poor Michael. He volunteered to build them for me. I promise I did not beg him for these. He really wanted to do it. And I kind of feel bad. This guy really needs a day off soon. But, voila! Check them out!

I still need to paint them, but I am in NO mood for more work! My plan might be to just get everything in this office in place and then when the mood strikes (in a few weeks or so?) take things out and paint. I'm feeling a strong need to put things away. Asap. Also, the door can probably go. No need for that with such nice-looking shelves (and baskets to organize all my stuff on those shelves, to come).

For everyone who's been asking about the new carpet too, which I am loving walking on in bare feet by the way, I updated that post with details on where and what and how much.

The more exciting event, I think, has taken place in the kitchen over the past few days. Wiring is done for new appliances, for new outlets in new places, for a light over the sink and over the table-to-be, and for undercabinet lighting. Wow! I can totally see this space coming together now. We also, dramatically, have recessed lights! They're making this dingy, ripped up kitchen look sparkling great (how exactly does that work?) and they're making me so so happy! Next step over the next week or so: move the doorway to its new spot and drywall new walls and ceiling. Stay tuned!

June 7, 2012

a blank slate (underfoot)

The new carpet is in! I'm in love. Can you even believe I lived with the ugly blue wall-to-wall for so long?

The texture is great. The color perfect. Here are the details: style San Mateo, color Symphony. I purchased from the Home Depot and could not be happier with the price (most affordable at under $2.00/sq ft, good-looking, tightly woven, low-pile loop I found), and could not be happier, surprisingly, too with the ease and professionalism of measuring, ordering, and installation.

And believe me when I tell you these rooms are tiny, but even so it's amazing how huge they look now. Happy girl here. I cannot get all my stuff upstairs soon enough.

June 6, 2012

affordable rustic wood mirrors

I've long had my eye on mirrors like this oval one from Wisteria. It seems to me they've been a lot more expensive in the past and from other retailers. Restoration's is $295. Shades of Light has one for $289. What's up? This is only $99!
The raw wood look has been "in" now for some time, and I am hoping it doesn't go away anytime soon. Do you love it as much as I do?

elizabeth munger interiors

Pure, unfinished, natural.

I also really like this take on a French classic from Country Door. Again, it's just $100. I can think of a few rooms this would look great in (over a bar? in a foyer?) but it seems to be popular in bedrooms.



With everything changing places in my house right now, I may just be able to find room for one of these.

June 5, 2012

goodbye to the worst of the kitchen

The ugly stuff is beginning to disappear in our kitchen. Yay!

Sunday we said goodbye to the ceiling fan and all the acoustic ceiling tiles. I will not miss them.

It now looks like this.

We also let go of the upper cabinets.

And this is the temporary kitchen as it looks on this rainy morning, until the next steps happen. We made a plan for where to locate new lighting, outlets, etc. The electrician is on his way soon. Then the ceiling will get drywalled. After that, finally, we'll demo the rest of the cabinets and the floor. By that point the new cabinets should be in and we'll be ready to start putting this mess all back together!

June 1, 2012

some help in choosing a kitchen faucet


It's easy to get overwhelmed when choosing any fixture or finish or appliance for a new kitchen. And then the fact that you have to make so many of these choices, tile, flooring, ceiling, sink, dishwasher, just adds to the stress and confusion. I'm not sure I have a foolproof way to choose for everyone, but here's what worked for me.

kohler fairfax faucet

Start with the most important feature to you. 
Maybe you want a single handle so your faucet's easy to turn on and off with just one hand. Maybe you want to be able to turn it on and off with a tap instead of a turn. For me, this one was easy. Ever since I'd rented an amazing apartment a few years ago that had this Kohler single-handle faucet with pullout spray, I knew this was the kind of faucet what I wanted again. It was so easy to use, I could turn it on with a wrist if my hands were dirty. And a single finger or wrist could turn from hot to cold. The spray head pulled out from the faucet instead of from a side spray (keeping the sinktop open and clean) and went back in effortlessly. Done and done and done.

Decide the top three or four features you need.
You've got one feature. Now add more. For me, the single handle was important. As was the pullout spray. But I also knew the arc was not high enough on this faucet for me. So, we started looking for something with a higher profile over the sink. And started to see lots of these industrial faucets, which are incredibly popular right now.

Pick a style.
So I knew the Fairfax faucet I loved was too traditional for my taste today and for new kitchen. But I also knew that the commercial-looking faucets, while hitting all the feature marks, were also a bit too industrial (trendy?) to fit the feel of the new kitchen. I was looking for something exactly in the middle, which led us a lot closer to the one we finally settled on. Not too ornate, not too sleek and modern. By the way, now's the time to think about finish too.

Think about brand/quality.
It's no suprise I ended up with a Kohler faucet again. Do your homework. Read the reviews. I had lots of experience with this brand before deciding, so I was pretty partial to it. I know they perform well for years without leaks, breaks, flukes. And I know last. I also know that if there is an issue, this is a company that will work to make it right, few questions asked. Still, I read up and took some time deciding. And I have some opinions. Don't mess around with something that's not solid brass construction (inside; I'm not talking about exterior finish). And this is probably not a good time to mess around with a brand you've never heard of.

the one we ended up with! the kohler simplice, shown at nothing but bonfires

Decide what you want to spend.
Spend as much as you can for a good faucet, but don't break the bank. I probably would have spent much more on this faucet because it was the right one for us in all of the ways I just laid out. Luckily, it comes in at around $200, which I think is a bargain for a piece of equipment you'll rely on to work perfectly multiple times a day for many years on end. Still, I could have bought at any of a dozen stores. But it was worth looking around for the best deal: $170 at Amazon as it turns out. Ordered. That's one more decision down!
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