January 31, 2013

a second look at interior shutters

Ever since Fran posted about her lovely cafe shutters on the windows of her new home, I've been taking a second look. She's been living with them and loving their look and function.

Isn't this little vignette so pretty? And the cafe shutters instantly add an architectural gravity. You could hang a curtain here or a Roman shade, but if you were lucky enough to find a home that had interior shutters, would you remove them? If you had a period home that didn't have them, would you consider adding them?

My newest project is a small powder room that's got some very dated woodwork. My initial thought was to remove the shutters and replace with a pretty fabric shade. I thought the shutters were dating the room. But really, it's the wood tones that date the room. And I'm now taking a second look at the shutters. Perhaps just painting them white, along with all the trim, will instantly freshen them and create an even lovelier (and high-end, custom) look. And it'd have the added bonus of keeping in the style of the period of the home.

Fran also pointed me to High Street Market's recent post about interior shutters. Tons of inspiration there, and here's just one example.

In the end, I'll leave the decision to the client as to whether the shutters stay or go. What would you do?

January 29, 2013

organizing the junk drawer

We have a new kitchen, so you'd think everything in it would be perfectly organized. But for certain cabinets and drawers, it's amazing how quickly they can become a complete disaster! The junk drawer is one. I'm sure everyone has one. And maybe it looks as bad as ours did.

It was literally driving me crazy. Not only did it look terrible, it didn't function at all because things were impossible to find quickly. I'd had a plan to fix it, but Michael was against it. He insisted that a junk drawer was just supposed to be messy. I know he was just being contrary. Because if you know me, you know that was not going to fly.

So, where to start? With some dividers so you can easily group like items together. There are lots of drawer dividers out there (Container Store is a good place to start), but I loved this one I found at Marshall's. Stylish. And cheap too.

First: I threw a bunch of stuff away. Second: I moved some things that belonged in other places to the places they belonged. Third: I got organizing, putting things together that seemed to belong together. Pens, pencils and scissors; matches and candles; gum and mints; coupons and gift cards; sticky notes and paper; postage and return address stamp; paperclips and pushpins; and so on. The organizer didn't perfectly fit the space (it'd be hard to find one that did) but I filled out the empty spaces with a small notecard box, a small dish (I find lots of these in cute styles at Pier 1), and a larger bowl where Michael empties his pockets at the end of the day (the mix of coins and screws/washers/etc drives me crazy too and I want to organize them, but you have to let some things slide, right?). Anyway, life is sooo much better now with just one more organized drawer in my life. And I even think Michael agrees.

So, have you organized your junk drawer? Need more inspiration? I get way too excited when I see totally organized drawers, like these.

Go for extra credit when you stencil the drawer bottoms, like a brooklyn limestone


January 24, 2013

building a better diaper bag

To me, a good diaper bag is anything that doesn't scream "I'm a diaper bag!" Who's with me? I mean, you still want to look like a somewhat chic person and not a mom who's turned the corner and not coming back to the land of style, right?

The truth is you don't have to settle for trying to find something somewhat normal-looking and cool that's marketed as a diaper bag. You can make any bag a diaper bag. No compromising your style.

This is Boden's oilcloth shopper (a Christmas gift) and I'm in love with it. It's a bag I'd use even if I didn't need to tote around diapers and wipes and pacifiers and toys and an extra change of kiddie clothes. And it's made from oilcloth (read: wipeable), with a surface that makes it ideal for baby stuff. Turns out it's no longer available, but they've got another option for spring that I love.

And I might need this colorway too.

Cute right? Would you use this even you didn't need to tote baby gear? I might like it even more than my original choice.

Now here's the best part: make any great bag a diaper bag by using it with a changing pad like this one from Skiphop. It folds up nice and compact to fit perfectly in a tote.

And now you're good to go, Mama!

January 22, 2013

refreshing a vintage bed

A few months ago when this first appeared in House & Home, I promptly fell in love with this girl's room and ripped the page out and just finally got around to scanning it in. It's worth saving, pinning, remembering. The entire room is charming and classic (the canopy! the art!) but it's the vintage bed that really caught my eye. The homeowner/designer Nicola Marc painted it a rich deep blue and upholstered its seen-better-days cane panels with pretty fabric.
This is why flea market finds are such an excellent idea—taking a traditional style and giving it new life, you retain all the original appeal but replace all that's old and out of date. In a growing girl's room, I love a vintage bed makeoever and would love to do this someday for Emmy. In a new bigger room for her, in a new house, perhaps? If you've seen something else like this painted upholstered bed, please share. I couldn't find anything else like it on Pinterest.

January 17, 2013

bring on the powder room

I'm so excited to have a new project to dig into and couldn't wait to share with you all. It's a powder room that needs some serious updating. To my eye, what this space needs is some new fixtures and finishes (okay not "some" but "all") and it will positively shine.

everything must go!

check out that floor; yup, it's on the list for replacing

My client has excellent taste too. Here are just some of her inspirations.

textiles and antique mirror {anyone know the source?}

gray painted floor {via farrow & ball}

traditional vanity & marble top {via houzz}

Excellent, right?! Stay tuned as we dive in to this sweet little bathroom redo!

January 9, 2013

the marble backsplash

...is done!

For more details, see here where I initially wrote about the tiles we chose. I love the way the backsplash came out, though at first I have to admit I was concerned about the variation in color, with lots of gray in some places, as some of the mosaic sheets were much darker than others. It's especially noticeable behind the sink, where we opted not to go for it, tiling all the way up to the ceiling. Good decision, I think. And now the gray tones don't bother me. And they will be less noticeable anyway, when we eventually do our two floating shelves in this spot.

Sp, bottom line is these tiny little marble tiles make me happy in a big way. I really do love the variation in tone and the polish they bring to the room. The kitchen feels so finished now! Except that we of course have a few things left on our list, which I'll share with you very soon, especially because seeing the list of remaining to-do's is sure to give us a kick in the pants to get them done.

But first, one more closeup, because I love my shiny fancy backsplash so much! And coming soon, big pictures of the whole kitchen, and I'll list out all our selections for everyone who wants to know our cabinet color, granite color, etc.

January 7, 2013

what we've been up to

I trust everyone had a wonderful holiday?! know we did, celebrating our first with Emerson and the entire family in Connecticut. We felt especially blessed and enjoyed every minute.

We posed for pictures.

with my nieces, and my mom. love how the dog is nosing her way into this one

And played.

we like to talk lots these days

And even went swimming at the hotel. Emmy loved the water, though it really tired her out!

if there's anything cuter than a little baby in a bathing suit, let me know

In the meantime, around the house, I have found little time for projects, but it seems Emerson is napping better these days so I have no excuse! I have some ideas for her room. And I have to show you where we are in finishing the kitchen. It also appears I have a new client (work? yikes!) so you'll get to see progress there too. Thanks for sticking with me, friends, as I've been away enjoying baby and settling into life with the little one. I'm hoping to make more regular appearances here and get back to checking out your blogs soon too!
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