February 25, 2013

shelves and more in Emmy's room

Big news here. The shelves are done! And we are so thrilled with them. The room feels finished now, and so warm, cozy, and full of character.

At first I agonized that my weathered grey stain seemed too blue, and did not match at all the brown-grey of the dresser. Now I am quite happy that they don't match. I like the variation.

I also added some seasonal flavor to the room. Instead of art over the dresser, which I've been hunting for but haven't quite been able to settle on yet, I threw together a garland with some jute string and old wooden Christmas ornaments we've had in our family since I was little. Emmy loves watching them spin and click together when she's up here for diaper changes.

The chalkboard also got a more wintery look. It took til February to get some real snow up here, but we're celebrating it!

February 19, 2013

traditional chic powder room

Remember the powder room redo I've been working on? Well, it's on its way to a new look, and I thought I'd share the idea board with you guys to keep you interested til we get some final pics!

Isn't she lovely? Some very classic elements (the vanity, marble top, grey walls) are coming together with a few unexpected ones (the colorful Persian rug, the handpainted cabinet knobs, the distressed yet subtly glam mirror) to create a totally traditional, timeless room that is also visually compelling. Hope you like! And stay tuned for more.

If you're interested in creating a new look for a bathroom, or any room in your home, email me to discuss design services for clients near and far. I'd love to hear from you!

February 14, 2013


happy valentine's day!

February 7, 2013

what to do with a house full of bare windows

Moving into a new home is overwhelming enough. Then you arrive to find that among the many and formidable tasks you face is what to do with your completely naked windows. Most likely an entire house full of them. I've talked about the beauty of undressed windows before, but let's face it: unless you live in a completely secluded setting with no need for privacy and no need to control the light, this is really unfeasible. You must put something on your windows.

Lovely undressed windows let the light stream in during the day in what would otherwise be a dark space,
but unless you have no neighbors, you might feel exposed here at night.

I was recently asked by a friend to help with window treatments in their new home, and I made a visit earlier this week. The house isn't massive by any means—a typical family home with four bedrooms—but even for someone with experience in this sort of thing the task is daunting. I left with measurements for 12 rooms and 19 different window sizes and styles. I started thinking about how to best tackle this for them, and what I'd do if I were in there shoes. Here are some strategies.

1. Start with the most exposed rooms.
Tackle window treatments first for the rooms where privacy is needed most: bathrooms, bedrooms. Let the public spaces wait.

2. Start with function.
I always love layered window treatments (drapery panels over a fabric shade, valance over a bamboo shade), but the layering doesn't have to happen all at once. Start with the functional window treatment and later on add the decorative. Shades, blinds, or shutters come first, to keep out prying eyes and bright sunlight.

3. Move on to "living" rooms.
Tackle window treatments for the rooms where you spend the most time: kitchen, family room, living room.

4. Finish the lesser used rooms.
Lastly, work on rooms where you spend the least time and have the least need for privacy and light control: guest room, laudry room, home office.

5. Get creative.
You've got the basics covered with shades, blinds, or shutters. Now's the time to get creative and add layers of decorative treatments in rooms where you want them. This is the time to add drapery panels, valances, and cornices. This is the fun part, and if you haven't yet, you can finally enjoy the process!

February 6, 2013

upholstering an antique bed

I had such a great response to my post about refreshing a vintage bed that I had to keep the conversation going. Thanks for all your comments! Several readers shared their favorite images of antique beds that have been livened up with new fabric. Here's their inspiration, plus another I found.

Elizabeth shared this adorable bed with upholstered inserts. The headboards were a $10 yard sale find. Holy moly.

Camille reminds us you can slipcover an old (not so pretty) bed. The bold fabric and crisp color make for a fresh new feel. And it's washable too, which is a huge plus.

Fran found this Gustavian bed with what looks like a simple linen panel. A classic look that can't go wrong.

Plenty of tutorials will show you how to upholster a headboard, but have you ever thought to do the rails? Jane did, and it looks amazing! What a great way to salvage a bed that's seen better days.

Makes me want to hit the flea markets. And buy a bigger house with a few more bedrooms to furnish!
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