Category Archives: Interiors

The Options: Silver or Gold

Silver or Gold

Option 1: decor pad | Option 2: Caitlin Wilson Textiles

I am all about metallics in our home. While I’m typically drawn to the look of 1960’s/70’s brass, there’s certainly something to be said about the silver-and-gold mainstays. A little hit of sparkle can go a long way in transforming a bland room into a dimensional and warm space. But if you had to choose one or the other, which way would you lean?

Option 1: In my own opinion, silver tends to read a little more contemporary than gold. Whether you go with brushed nickel or polished chrome, this glossy milky gray finish will instantly add elegance to your home. From light fixtures, to metallic wallpaper, silver is a trend that’s here to stay.

Option 2: But if I had to choose, I would definitely lean towards gold. Settling in easily with my favorite brass finishes, there is something undeniably sophisticated about gold accents. The gold side table and metallic pillows in the inspiration image above bring a little bit of antiqued worldliness to this space. Imagine if all of the gold was gone from the room, leaving you with just the pink sofa, black frames and potted flower. It’s just not the same…

At any rate, those are my thoughts, but what are you leaning towards? – Cast your vote!

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All in the details…

Laundry Room

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Our laundry room is one of the last spaces in the house largely untouched by my crafting neurosis. We’ve got some attractive organization, a DIY embellished curtain (please forgive my HORRIBLE photography skills way back when) and some lackluster artwork and dishwasher repair, but that’s it. Suffice it to say that it could use a little something more. Thankfully, this well styled laundry room could just be the inspiration that I need to GET. ON. IT.

Let’s talk details…

1…First and foremost, the metallic pattern on the back wall makes a major difference. It distracts from the utilitarian washing machine and dryer, and adds just the right touch of feminine character. I hate to sound so traditional, but I feel like a laundry room is OFTEN a lady’s domain, so why not play that up with distinctly girly colors, patterns and accents?

2…Sure, this particular homeowner got a little help from the big guys when it came to styling, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. Who wouldn’t want their detergent powder stored in oversized glass gars and their rags tucked neatly away in wicker baskets? I know I would.

3…The floor here is another great DIY project that we could all try tackling at home. A simple painted navy and white stripe takes it, again, from utilitarian to stylish in a single afternoon of hands-and-knees labor. I’m jotting all of this down on my to-do list as we speak.

What are your favorite details?

For past “All in the details” features, click here

The Options: Butcher Block or Stone

Butcher Block or Stone

Option 1: {frolic!}| Option 2: houzz

Even if I had all the money in the world, I’m still not sure which direction I would go in today’s “Options” feature. Do we go with inexpensive, low-maintenance butcher block countertops, or splurge for the beauty of natural stone?

Option 1: What I love so much about a butcher block counter – aside from the ease of use and upkeep – is the beauty of the wood grain. There’s something endearing about that rustic characteristic that just can’t be believably manufactured. Plus, if you’re going for a modern-meets-traditional look, this is an easy way to achieve it when paired with mod white cabinets and sleek hardware.

Option 2: And yet…There’s absolutely no denying that the shiny, pristine surface of marble is something to consider. It’s gorgeous and looks so high end. Do you think it’s worth the fuss though? Sometimes I think that granite is a bit overrated, but the moment I lay eyes on it, I can’t help but feel like life is a little more luxurious.

I’d love to know your opinion – Cast your vote!

Studio reveal (one more time with feeling)

Studio

I’ve never encountered a space like this room. It’s gone through 4 coats of paint (in the last 2 years alone), countless arrangements, unTOLD hours spent on styling – But it just never felt “complete.” Now, I know I can’t possibly be the only one with a confusing space like this…Right?

Well thankfully, I think that I was finally able to hit the bullseye over the weekend, and all it took was removing one piece of extraneous furniture, repainting a small section of the room and updating my art and desk area.

First up, the “Before” shots.

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It was a pretty room – VERY functional for an artist, with my oversized drafting table and custom built paper supply cabinet. But the room also functioned as a guest room, so the bed  had to be included somehow. That “somehow” solution? Sticking it out into the center of the space. Sure, it blocked flow, but it worked. And I lived with it. The other big feature in the room was the black feature wall. I was so afraid for the longest time that an entirely mint room (the paint color is “Icy Mint” by Valspar, btw) would read “nursery,” so I hadn’t even considered the thought of painting over it.

That is, until I reached my breaking point and decided it was time for something drastic. The first thing to go in my big editing-down-the-studio-slash-guest-room was to purge half (yes, I said HALF) of what was stored in my studio closet. I moved a 4 feet high, 4 shelf industrial unit into the upstairs hallway and proceeded to fill it with soon-to-be yard saled items. With half of the closet now empty, I was able to tuck the giant custom wood cabinet seen 2 photos up behind closed doors. This was absolutely the biggest improvement. I think the room threw me off for so long because it just had TOO MUCH FURNITURE. If you are also struggling with a difficult room, this would be my first piece of advice: Edit things down, especially furniture.

The next thing to go was my black feature wall.

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Isn’t Valspar paint amazing? Those last 2 photos above show the FIRST coat! I was amazed by how well the almost white color covered the saturated black in just a few rolls. Ultimately it did take two coats, but it was nothing I couldn’t take care of in under 2 hours. Once the paint dried and I put my new desk back into place, things really started to come together. The black was definitely a fun, unexpected element of the room before, but with the mint now running continuously across all four walls, it immediately felt so much more cohesive and calming.

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The next and final phase was to update the art. With a new blank wall to play with, I finally had room for a large scale art project that I’d been putting off for over a year. You see, at our wedding last year, my friends, family and I made tons of paper pinwheels as decorations. After the event was over though, they sat forlornly in plastic bags at my parents’ house, just waiting for me to come up with a fun place to utilize them. Well that time is now and that place is my studio…

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The space over my desk needed a big “wow!” factor, and nothing suited it better than these pinwheels. The color! The shape! The pattern! And, of course, the memories of our special day…To hang them, I simply used a handful of clear pushpins and arranged them in a random pattern similar to our plate wall in the kitchen (as seen in our home tour). In case you want to make your own set of paper pinwheels, I will be posting a detailed DIY tutorial next week.

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Now, I chatted about my desk yesterday, but you may have noticed a second new piece of furniture. My original desk chair was yet another hand me down – a little too traditional for my tastes. Plus, the thrift store find was in desperate need of some grease. Every time I moved a muscle, the entire piece would creak and groan – not good when your husband is trying to get some sleep in the next room for a 4am wake up call (and yes, it was really THAT loud). An original way of adding a different touch to your desk is by choosing one of the electronic massage chairs, that way you can get relax while doing your work. So I decided it was time to pick up a treat for myself in the form of a brand new acrylic ghost chair. I love the mod vibe, and the clear finish is just perfect for blending into the room, making it feel less cramped. It’s surprisingly comfortable too!

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As for the art in the rest of the room, I rehung some of my existing framed prints to the side of my pinwheel collection, but I also threw in a couple of new pieces too. The first was a newly framed print of a Grace Kelly costume design that my sister gave me for Christmas, and the other was a thrifted find via Etsy. I recently discovered that Victoria of sfgirlbybay, one of my favorite bloggers, has an Etsy shop – I just HAD to snatch up something from her beautiful treasures, namely the vintage “W” seen a couple of photos down. It was exactly what I needed to offset the colorful pinwheels.

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My inexpensive IKEA bookshelf also returned to the side of my desk, where it continues to display favorite books and thrift store accessories. (and, of course, I couldn’t help but snap a shot of Ginny enjoying the sun beam reflected from my camera…That girl loves her some dancing light)

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As for the drafting table, that got shimmied to the side a bit and now sits unobtrusively just inside the door to the space. This piece of furniture has always been essential to the room thanks to its functionality as both a crafting table and a drawing/painting surface, so it had to stay. Thankfully, my dad did a beautiful job making it slim-lined, but attractive all at the same time.

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The final issue was making the bed work. Having it stick out into the middle of the room just wasn’t cutting it for me, so I eventually decided to push it against the wall, day bed style. To make it feel less like a bed and more like a lounge area, I removed the covers and opted for a single gray fitted sheet. Then I topped it with a folded quilt (think table runner) and piles of pillows to add softness and pattern. If you can ignore the wrinkly brand new, out-of-the-box fitted sheet (which will obviously soften over time), I think it was the perfect solution – one the cats are THOROUGHLY enjoying.

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So there you have it! 2 years, 4 coats of paint, 6 different art arrangements, 30+ photos and 1,136 words later, I got the studio I’ve always dreamt of. Not to sound too cheesy, but the journey to get to this point has been enormously educational. Despite alllllll of the challenges, I think it has helped me to realize that trial and error will eventually reward me with the room I know I can have – it just takes a little perseverance. Although I’m sure there are changes to come just because, I couldn’t be happier now and it finally feels like home.

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What sort of challenges have you faced while designing (and REdesigning) a favorite room?

Our next HHI house?

While typically today would be reserved for “The Options” feature, I’m suspending my normal schedule in lieu of catching up. In the past few months I’ve often struggled with coming up with projects to fill my weeks here but, as predicted, after coming back from vacation a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been on project overdrive – Now I have too MANY projects to share! I’ll take this problem over the former any day though. So instead of “The Options” this morning, I’m sharing yet another little sneak peek into that aforementioned vacation we just recently returned from.

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One of our family’s (namely, my mom’s) favorite pastimes while vacationing in Hilton Head is planning which house we’ll stay in next. There are so many beautiful options across the island, I can certainly see why it would be a bit of a treat to imagine what our next rental property will be like. Thankfully though, mom’s tastes are pretty superb and we just sort of follow along, no questions asked. This year though she let us in on the decision making for future visits, taking us on a quick tour of a new home we’d never been to before. While wandering the hallways, I was able to snag some shots with my iPhone that I thought were worth sharing.

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Frankly, it was love at first sight for me. I adored the streamlined modern-meets-traditional look of this house, with its stone floors, high ceilings and monochromatic color scheme. As you can see from the tour I posted last week of the home we actually stayed in, we typically go with warm, traditionally beachy homes with lots of color and styling. This house though felt almost like an Elle Decor spread (which I know is hard to picture through these grainy, dark iPhone photos, but maybe you can get a sense…).

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This home was actually on the end of a cul-de-sac, with a lagoon in front and a golf course behind. It was incredibly private with neighbors on only one side, the pool nestled behind high walls and trees curtaining off the rest of the neighborhood.

To know more about the equipment, go to a closer look at the Makita

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The best part if you asked my sister and me was the guest house – attached to the main house just by an extension of wall (no shared walls – more like a fence) was an extra room, complete with its own bathroom and bed. No matter how old we get, we will always love to watch movies together in bed after our parents fall asleep, so the idea of having our own private little room to giggle in is very tempting (speaking of this little tradition, I saw “When Harry Met Sally” for the first time this past trip – SO good).

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After our quick tour of the home itself, it was on to the back yard to investigate the golf course and water views. They clearly did not disappoint, and neither did the pool and patio. It’s hard to be critical of your own private pool, outdoor dining and upholstered lounge chairs.

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As is typical of these post-beach posts, I’m entirely depressed that we aren’t still there…But as a comfort, there are only 347 days until we go back. I can handle that. Oh, and although I was 100% on board with this house, I think the rest of the family was a little unsure about the modern look and feel. We’ll see if I can convince them for 2015’s adventure…

Where do you guys vacation?

P.S. Don’t forget! I’m giving away one of SIGG’s brand new Active Top bottles just in time for summer – Click here to enter.

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An everyday springtime tablescape

Don’t worry guys. I totally get that I haven’t been sharing many DIY-able ideas lately…As I’ve mentioned before, life has been a little chaotic lately, and I just haven’t had the time (or energy) to break out the nail gun, paint brush and drill. But don’t worry – I’m feeling a little more settled and, after escaping for a week to the beach in a week and a half, I’m POSITIVE that I’ll be feeling refreshed, renewed and rededicated to crafting and projects

Until then, I’m excited to share my second installment of an everyday tablescape. Over the winter I shared a couple of ideas for a simple, transitional table layout, and I’m back today with the new season’s look.

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This time, it was all about bold color and pattern. I picked up a set of 4 indoor/outdoor plates from Target (on clearance for less than $3 a pop!) to set on top of my gold chargers. Because my chargers, napkins and napkin rings from the previous season’s look are so neutral, I plan on using them year round, instead just switching out the plates and centerpiece to get a fresh look.

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Speaking of the centerpiece…While we were at the grocery store recently, I scooped up this $4 bouquet of red carnations and added them to a thrift store glass from our wedding. I felt like it added just the right amount of life and warmth to the table. I especially love the rich color and layers of soft texture – I think the carnation trend is definitely coming back around.

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I think my favorite part about this revitalized springtime tablescape though is the fact that it’s all easily transported to the back deck for dinners under the stars. Because the plastic plates are virtually indestructible, I don’t have to waste a moment worrying about breaking them like I do when eating off of our nice wedding dishes.

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What sorts of things do you decorate your dining room table with? Or are you thinking I’m absolutely nuts for having “seasonal” dining décor? I certainly wouldn’t blame you for not “getting” my odd OCD ways.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. In case you missed them, I’ve got a bunch of external links to share in today’s “Friday Feature Round Up.” First up, I chatted about this fun placecard holder DIY over on Le Papier Studio. I also stopped by LPS for a quick “Inspired by” feature centered around the brand new Family Tree Necklace. As for Glitter Guide this week, I put together a big round up of unique wedding gift ideas (my favorite GG feature, to date). Then I spouted off my May obsessions alongside the other GG editors here, and put in my two cents on the perrr-fect spring sandal here. And THEN I stopped by GalTime to talk about experimenting with color!

Phew!!! Like I said…life has been a little chaotic…

Enjoy!

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All in the details…

YHL Guest Bath

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Bathrooms are kind of fickle rooms to style and design, don’t you think? Too much, and it looks like you’re trying too hard to distract from the fact that it’s a bathroom. But too little, and it looks like a public facility at a rest stop. To get it juuuuuust right takes a little finesse and more than a little trial and error. This little space, a la Young House Love, hits the nail on the head – wouldn’t you agree? (P.S. Is anyone else dumbfounded that they sprung a move on us?? Go them…)

Let’s talk details…

1…Probably my favorite thing about this space styling wise, is the little monogramed turkish towel. I love the stripes, I love the fringe, I love the big graphic letter – That one magical piece brings the whole room together for me. Is there a different piece that brings it together for you?

2…When it comes to styling a bathroom, you don’t have too many options to play with. You can get fun towels (see point #1), you can play with the art, you can add rugs and maybe a curtain or two and, finally, you can add nice soap. Since the soap is going to be a star player in the functionality of your bathroom, give it a little more thought than just tossing whatever is cheapest into your cart at the grocery store. These savvy homeowners chose a yellow liquid soap to match the vintage tile, and the label itself is a little cleaner and more interesting than your average store brand bottle. Heck, even the black pump plays nicely with the other black and gray accents in the space! It’s the little things…

3…Speaking of that vintage tile, I love how the industrial 50’s sink helps to give the space an intentionally mid-century vibe. If you can’t (or don’t want to) change out the big pieces in your own inhereted bathroom, don’t fight them. In my opinion, you can make just about anything work as long as you find a way to make it feel intentional with colors and textures.

What are your favorite details?

For past “All in the details” features, click here