September 26, 2012

kitchen styling

The bulk of the work in our new kitchen is done I'm really craving a kitchen that looks like this. Warm, textured, dressed, styled. Finished.

rustic rooster interiors

We still need cabinet hardware and a backsplash—those will help a lot! But so will a patterened rug, a tray, a pretty display of flowers or branches or leaves. Coming soon to a kitchen near me?

Here are some other great looks for styling in the kitchen.

via little green notebook

art, floral, utensils


art, cutting boards

amber interiors

potted plant, butcher block

caitlin flemming

art, jars, bowl, basket, books

September 24, 2012

pre-baby getaway

Michael and I had been trying to plan a little midweek getaway before our life completely changes with baby's arrival. (I refuse to call this a "babymoon," but I suppose that's pretty much what this was.)

We've been crazy busy and exhausted from a summer of getting the house ready, including the neverending kitchen reno (no, it's still not really done!) and so a bit of an escape to a friend's house on the Cape (that's Cape Cod, for non-New Englanders) is just what we needed.

so happy to be on vacation!

head of the meadow beach: we pretty much had the place to ourselves

It is peacefully, blissfully quiet and wonderful on the Cape in late September. We were lucky to get some sun-soaked days, and the temps got to around 70 degrees. It was perfection!

More belly pics than you could want? We are just a week and a few days away from the due date now, so more baby pics than you could want are coming soon ;-) And because this design blog post would not be complete without beautiful room images, here's where we stayed. Ready? This "cottage" is so gorgeous. Definitely livable year-round. We didn't want to leave.

to the left is a wall of sliding doors that open to the deck and garden

the house is full of beautiful designer details: not your typical vacation rental

this is the pre-addition, older part of the home, with a low-beamed ceiling that just adds to the coziness

the master bedroom might be my favorite room of all. so much light.

how great is that armoire, and the rug?

and the deck off the master has a beautiful view of the gardens. see what i mean? bliss!

September 20, 2012

antique-inspired organized entry

I'm in love with this mudroom plan, especially that charming entryway bench that looks like it could be an antique! Wish my foyer were big enough to fit it. The goal with this space is really all about organization of course, with rows of hooks (a few low enough for little arms to reach) and rolling baskets to store tons of little shoes that can slide under the bench. But of course I couldn't resist adding a bit of prettiness. The plan:

And the room:

As you can imagine, the homeowners are more than eager to get this plan going, and I can't wait to see it either.

September 19, 2012

dressing up a country living room

I'm so excited to be working with a client from long ago, who for a many reasons had a living room that never quite came together. This idea board is design to bring her sweet living room a good dose of function and sophistication. The plan:

And the room:

We're actually keeping the chairs, the wall color, the window treatments, and the armoire/media center, so this room is really about finishing touches. Can you see how it'll all come together?

September 18, 2012

clubhouse before & after

It's been a while since I've posted any new work, but I've been busy! It's about time I updated you all on what I've been up to.

This huge mulitpurpose room is the first non-residential space I've done: a clubhouse for an apartment community, Princeton Place Apartments in Worcester, MA, that serves as informal meeting & lounging space, transition area to pool and fitness center, and venue for a few special social events per year. As you can see, we were dealing with a very bland, beige, and dated decor.


The goal was to inject lots of color and perk up this space, while keeping lots of the same basic elements. The pub tables were staying, the tv needed to stay, and because of budget we had to keep the two sofas and the dining/work table and chairs.

The design started with this fabric for window treatments, a major improvement over the dusty old floral that was there before I'd say...


Then working with those colors in the fabric, we painted the walls a more taupey grey (SW Fawn Brindle) and a pretty dark blue (BM Newburyport Blue) to tone down the all the tan and bring in some color. A few console tables got a fresh coat of white paint, and sofas got turned back to back to create two seating areas (one tv focused and the other just for conversation) where before there was one. (Sorry for the blurry pic!)


We recovered the chair seats in a coordinating fabric: a simple project that saved us from buying new chairs...and hundreds of dollars.

before                                                                    after

This seating area turned out to be my favorite.



Then again, I love how the tv space turned out too.



We were working with a super tight budget of $7500 to include all furnishings, window treatments, accessories, paint and supplies, and labor. I'm happy to say that by keeping many items and freshening up others we came in under budget by $1000, which was even better than I expected! And I think we got a great look that does not look like we compromised on $$$ at all.

And some more pretty pics...

new coffee bar

favorite sitting area

fireplace on the back wall, so cozy for winter

a wider view: the old sofas don't look half bad now

Hope you enjoyed the tour! This week I'll be sharing a few idea boards for projects in the works and some plans for stuff at home.

September 12, 2012

diy headboard ideas on ivillage

If you're bored with typical headboard options, or not wanting to spend your hard-earned money on a new piece of furniture, it's not hard to make your own. I've done it a few times. Remember this one?

My jute-wrapped headboard and lots of other creative ideas are featured over on iVillage right now.

Here are a couple of my favorites...

oar headboard: so easy, beachy, fun

fabric mirror-frame headboard 

Thanks to iVillage for including me! Be sure to check out all the clever solutions there to spice up your bedroom.

September 11, 2012

organizing & settling in

Yup, another post about the kitchen! Can you even handle it?! But I promise there are just a few more to go. Other than short list of non-essential items, we are feeling pretty close to done. Right now what I care most about is that I can organize and cook and settle in here. For the past week, we've really been using this room and I'm so happy to say it totally works...and is looking pretty great too. Can I get a shout-out for undercabinet lighting?! It makes everything look better.

good shot of the open shelves, which need some more accessories and styling, and the wine rack, which needs more wine!

the glass-front cabinets need more stuff too; never thought i'd say this,
but we have an excess of cabinet space--a good problem to have!

the main work space, which includes the excellent dishwasher that was the reason for all this reno
What's left to do:
~backsplash tile
~open shelves over sink
~cabinet hardware
~trimwork, including toekick, soffit & crown
~new dining table & chairs
~pendant light over table

...which will all be great to have but I'm happy to say are not have to have. Because we are in need of a little break!

September 4, 2012

a new recipe in the new kitchen

After most of the cabinets were installed, and the granite guys, plumber, and electrician all made appearances last week, I was dying to get cooking in the new kitchen. And this weekend I did.

Initially I was worried this small counter area between stove and sink wouldn't give me enough room for prep. And I was right that it is tiny, but it's also really functional.

It actually makes prep totally enjoyable, with food cleaned in the sink, then cut and going right to the stove on the left. Trash goes into the pullout cabinet directly underneath and food scraps go to the sink (with its disposal) on the right, all with no steps needed. So, while counter space is not roomy, the fact that you don't have to move while prepping is actually ideal. Any steps you take to get other items are limited too. Spoons, spatulas, tongs, etc and pots and pans are two steps behind and to the left; the fridge is maybe four steps behind and to the right.

And as soon as the sun comes out and I can get a good picture, I'll show you how the entire kitchen looks now. It's getting there!

In the meantime, here's the recipe I used for the summer corn chowder I made. It still is summer for a few more weeks, and this was so good, I may have to make it again! Enjoy!
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