Dark Moody Rooms

Good morning friends!!  The last several posts I’ve had are mainly about progress on our own apartment, but I’ve been thinking a lot about dark moody rooms.

 Maybe it’s because all the fall clothes have hit the stores and I’m waiting for the perfect opportunity to bust out my new faux fur vest.  Maybe it’s because it’s been foggy and cold in San Francisco, and the drippy, dreary days have me ready to hibernate and think about pumpkin spiced lattes, and cozy nights, and big glasses of red wine while the wind howls outside. Or maybe, these rooms are just so beautiful and I can’t resist.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still craving warm weather and summer nights, but mentally I’m in the fall mindset.  Don’t you think there is something so inviting about a dark moody room?  It is an invitation for dim light, candles and ambiance.

It’s probably (definitely) not something I’ll be trying out in our current apartment, mainly because our place is not super large, and because all the rooms are pretty open to one another, but I’m really into this look – dark walls, dark furniture.  IF (and that’s a big IF) I were to test this in our current place, it would probably be in our bedroom since it’s the most separate from the rest of the house, and because the dark walls, and dark furniture would feel really calm, cozy, and sleep inducing.

Normally, you’ll find rooms with dark walls and lighter furniture, or lighter walls and dark furniture, but I’m loving the combination of dark with dark.

I’m also finding that the rooms I love best with this dark on dark use rather monochromatic hues – the first picture (and one of my favorite spaces in general) has the ink curtains next to the ink sofa, next to the dark grey window frames, and everything is on top of the inky purple rug.
In the photo above, everything is painted in the same dark taupe.  And below the walls, and rug are nearly the same shade of grey.
This next photo, the walls, columns and ceiling are the same shade of grey, and only the sofa and flowers bring color to the space.
What I find really interesting too about all of these spaces, is that they seem to work best with more traditional details.  The moldings, and more ornate mirrors.  Classically tailored sofas, chairs and ottomans, panel curtains, and a good dose of brass.  
I think that these traditional elements keep these spaces from feeling cold, even through there is so much dark, and drama going on.  They still feel inviting.  They say, come bring your cup of tea and tattered copy of Pride and Prejudice in here for the afternoon.

What do you think?
Would you ever experiment with a dark and moody room in your own home?

Living Room Envy and Tartan

I am crazy in love with Erin Gates of Elements of Style.  She has great style – what I wouldn’t do for 5 minutes to paw through her closet – but her home is what I’m most obsessed with.  They bought this home roughly a year ago, and have been renovating pretty much ever since.

While we’ve had a few small glimpses into the new spaces (the kitchen for instance, and her fabulous stairs), she just posted a few first images into her newly remodeled (and styled) living room – it’s A-MA-ZING.  It’s been all done up for the holidays and it’s TOO GOOD not to re-post!!


The neutrals, those custom draperies (with the taupe greek key trim)… and that brass rod??  So SOOO good.  The layered rugs (if you look closely you can see a sneak peek of a zebra print cow hide), the hammered brass and glass coffee table, the pops of green… oh my gosh, the antique buffet is so beautiful, and of course, that chair.  That chair is (in the words of Rachel Zoe) “everything”.  It is absolutely the crown jewel of this room (aside from her sweet little puppy).

Let’s have a closer look at it, shall we??

I mean…. stop it.  That chair is SOOOO GOOD.
But you know what subtle little accent I loved??  The tartan throw, draped over the arm of this awesome chair.
My sister and I had these adorable tartan holiday dresses when we were little girls, and I’ve always loved the classic look of this pattern.  
While it might be a little much to dress up in an adult sized tartan dress for the holidays, I love the idea of cozying up a formal feeling living room with a tartan throw.  You still get to wrap yourself up in the classic pattern, and its 100% acceptable…
I’ve gone ahead and rounded up a few of my favorites – some more affordable than others *cough* Williams Sonoma *cough* and all have distinctly different patterns.
Doesn’t the camel version kind of look a bit “Burberry”??  There were a few other color-ways, but these were my favorites from Sierra Trading Post.

Williams Sonoma is WAY overpriced for their throw – double the price of any other option here, but it is an easy one-stop-shop, so if you’re running around for a last minute gift, it might be worth the premium…

Always a classic – and they come with a cute leather strap for toting this around on picnics… so cute.  Do I even need to say more??
This is actually a kid’s blanket, but who cares????!  You could totally make it work for a grown up’s living room, and it’s the least expensive version on this list.  It’s a win-win!
What is your take on Tartan??
Love it?  Hate it??  Is it something you’re planning to incorporate for the holidays??

Herringbone Wood Floors – it’s Love

So I’ve decided… in my future house, I want at least one room to have a herringbone wood inlay floor… just look at these images!  
So. Freaking. Awesome.
I love it with wide planks in a warm, traditional wood…

And as it looks equally as amazing with wood in a more greyed out coloring…

The muted wood finish actually emphasizes the pattern, while also keeping it from being too busy…
What I love about it, is that it keeps a space feeling traditional with wood floors, but it’s more spunky and original than the classic straight planks.  I don’t think I could have a WHOLE house of herringbone wood floors, but it would make a single room so special.  Don’t you think?
How dramatic is this room with the planked ceilings, and the wood in varying colors of grey stain – it’s a bit busier than I’d likely commit to in my own house, but it’s just SO COOL.

This is a much more traditional take, and i love how warm it looks – the pattern is more subtle because of the coloring in the wood, but it almost has an ombre effect.

Shorter planks are also pretty awesome, and I love how the pattern is edged in before switching to flat rows of wood in the hallway and adjacent rooms.

And the final room has the herringbone wood set at a steeper angle in the below room, using darker wood with a more pronounced grain – it gives it kind of a woodsy look, don’t you think?

While we’re talking about fancy floors… how amazing is this pattern??  The below is a total pipe dream, while I feel the herringbone pattern is more doable, but I’d LOVE to have something like the below in a bedroom, smaller personal space.
What do you think about the herringbone wood floors?  Kind of a cool interpretation of the very popular chevron pattern, right??
Would you ever install them in your home??

Steel Cased Windows

I am so beyond obsessed with steel windows and doors.  With this awful weather in SF, and what has been one extended bad hair day for the past month, I’ve been daydreaming of leaving the city for warmer weather, and more space.  I downloaded the Zillow app recently to browse house listings in the bay area (you know… just to see…), and it has become a huge time suck as I indulge in reality TV each night…

Let’s be completely honest with each other ok?  Ok… the bay area is expensive… really expensive… so most of the houses in our price range feature lovely Formica counter-tops, fluorescent overhead lighting (always super flattering), shag carpet, lots of yellowed linoleum, and horrid faux finishes galore.

Let me paint the picture… this is what $950K gets you:


Luckily for me, I see past all the hideousness, and imagine all the things I’d do to transform these homes from the Nightmare on Elm Street… and yes, it does take A LOT of imagination…

One of my favorite architectural details that I would absolutely LOVE to incorporate into our future home is steel framed windows and doors.  They are super clean and simple, a little industrial, and yet still seamlessly fit in almost any style space, from contemporary, to Spanish, to classic.

Um… OMG those wood beams paired with the steel cased windows are TO DIE FOR. Double-threat! I also love the overhead industrial sconces, and the simple black and white color palate.  I really think the thin steel frames on these windows and doors let the outside in, and don’t detract from anything!
If this isn’t an entryway… I don’t know what it.  Sooo simple, but so pretty.
And a wall of these windows just let’s so much light into this dark tone kitchen.
Everything.  Love.  The black lacquered tile floors, the french bistro chairs, corner bench seating, black and white galore, that pretty blue and white chinoiserie vase (with tea roses)… and of course those windows.
And of course, they are right at home in this industrial work space…
And as natural as they looked in an industrial space, the steel cased windows are as at home in this earthy living room…
And this arched steel cased window is amazing.  So pretty in an all white, simple room.
I mean… this is the stuff dreams are made of right???

Bringing the Outdoors In

I’m just going to say it… that Superbowl SUCKED. As a 49ers fan until the bitter end, I think it’s best that we just not talk about that painful loss at all.

Moving onto other totally unrelated topics… let’s talk about these glorious sun-rooms.  I would give my left arm (since I’m right handed) for an open airy sun-room like these.  Can you imagine how amazing it would be to kick the windows open on a warm, sunny day, and let the outside in… OR on dreary rainy days, wouldn’t it be so cozy to curl up and read a book, watching the rain pour down around you??  Ahh, a girl can dream!!

I especially love this first one – it looks like this sun room is just off the kitchen table – I’d have my cup of coffee there every single morning… and the bead-board paneling??  So preppy and cute.  I could pretend I lived in Connecticut!

Floor to ceiling windows??  You don’t have to ask me twice!  This is pretty much the most elegant “greenroom” I’ve ever seen with those pretty vines, the fountain, and PERSIAN RUG. Oh yeah… that’s a Persian rug next to the bushes…

This next sun-room might be my favorite in terms of design.  For cooler days, it’s a fully functioning sun-room  and for warm weather, all those doors slide back, turning this sun-room into an open porch!  Um… genius!

How AMAZING is that sun-room right off the bedroom???  That’s not even a question!  Can you imagine waking up to that every day??  Yeah, me either.  Our bedroom looks out on another apartment building right now, so this is pretty much the opposite of that.  I’m in love.

Contemporary Family Room design by Charlotte Interior Designer Lucy and Company
This room was made for a southern tea party!!  Am-I-right???  All the yellow in the room really accentuates the sun streaming in the windows… and on a cold day??  A fireplace – so you can soak up as much sun as you can, while staying toasty by a fire.  Amen to that!!

So THIS is what Heaven Looks like…

You all know that we are living in a teeny tiny apartment in San Francisco, and while the list of things I’d like to change about our apartment is a mile long (small kitchen, no garbage disposal, dated tile, crumbly plaster, loud neighbors…) if I could ask the apartment gods for one thing, it would be…


Our Christmas ornaments are packed away in boxes, yet they are still stacked against a wall in the living room until we find a better solution.  My super duper vacuum that could pick up a small child is still at my old apartment with my best friend because we simply have no place to store it (lucky lady).  The broom has a home behind the door that leads into the hall.  Wrapping paper lives behind one of the curtains in the dining room (I’ve had to get a little more creative recently).

Let me just say that to have a closet just for clothes, much less a closet that you could host a party in, is the stuff dreams are made of.  Please enjoy the closet porn I’ve rounded up for you all!

Every purse has it’s own cubby!  It’s all white.  All the hangers match.  The shirts are color coded for god’s sake – I am SOOOOO jealous!!

This is what heaven looks like… in case you were wondering.  Rows upon rows of shoes, organized by color, heel height and designer (ok maybe not by designer, but that would be FABULOUS).

A chandelier, and fresh cut flowers??  Seriously??  I have pillows, luggage, and boxes of college memorabilia shoved (yes SHOVED) in my closet.  This is how the other half lives!!  I wonder if they are looking for roommates……..

A vanity in the closet??  Why would you ever leave!  I’d feel like such a diva putting on blush every morning in that fabulously upholstered chair!

This closet was built for me.  Even in these vast closets, I’d still need a few doors to hide the secret mess when I shove my stuff in after a long week.  Doesn’t everyone have that closet??

Contemporary Closet design by Orange County Interior Designer Michael Fullen Design Group

And a little tufted benching never hurt anyone!  The perfect spot to chat with girlfriends while trying to decide which Louboutins to wear out.  That’s my kind of problem!!!

Heaven is… a Zen Outdoor Shower

outdoor shower

I should post a picture of my actual shower for comparison’s sake.  My teeny tiny art-deco stall shower – it’s just sad!

I would do just about anything to shower in one of these babies!  My obsession began the first time I stayed at the Bardessono Resort in Yountville, CA (a fairly new, eco friendly resort in the heart of the Napa wine country) – just steps from the French Laundry and Michael Chiarello’s restaurant and shop.  It’s a lovely spot – the rooms all have huge fireplaces, soaking tubs, heated floors, and luxe patios.  On top of that, some of the rooms have fabulous outdoor showers.

I’m not going to lie, it feels a little risque to walk out on the patio naked for your morning shower, but it’s so freeing, and kind of sexy.

A girl can dream, right?!

Outdoor shower/tub. #outside #bathtubs #tubs #showers  http://www.geekzu.com/

I love outdoor showers. On the Back Bay in Newport Beach CA I could shower with the smells and cooling of the bay. Invigorating.

an outdoor shower :)

outdoor shower plain simple off of the bedroom. dont know i think i want flowers hanging or something

Belize Residence: Outdoor Shower tropical bathroom

Kapalua Bay tropical bathroom

St. Simons Island, GA contemporary bathroom

Heaven is… An Oversized Soaking Tub

My home envy continues as I lust after these gorgeous bathrooms.  Our apartment is very “art deco”, which means that it was built in the 1930’s, and while I suppose it has it’s own charm (pink and maroon tile anyone??), the bathtub leaves a little something to be desired.  Scroll down and swoon over these amazing tubs.  A huge soaking tub is going on the bucket list for home ownership.  I mean, imagine coming home after a long day to soak in one of these babies with a glass of wine… amazing…

Gorgeous Chandelier over the soaking tub
House Beautiful
Obsessed with White
The Enchanted Home
bathrooms - glossy black moldings white soaking tub calcutta gold marble tiles floor walls polished nickel faucet orchid ivory silk roman shade
soaking tub
Maggie Designs

Master Bath traditional bathroom

Master Bath traditional bathroom

Heaven is… a HUGE Walk in Closet

I am officially in la la land today, daydreaming the day away – our bedroom is currently in shambles, my clothes residing in cardboard boxes while I refinish my armoire.  The closet is deep, so holds two full racks of clothes, but because one rack is directly behind the other, I can really only see half my wardrobe!  First world problems? Yes.  But, I’m allowed to be a little self indulgent as a girl who is literally living out of a box.  I would give my right arm for one of these dreamy dressing rooms where all my clothes were color categorized, all my bags on display, and all my shoes out in the open to admire.  As a visual person, I think this would be not only a total luxury, but totally useful!  I’d actually end up wearing more of my clothes that are currently hanging forgotten in the back of my closet on my “tier two” rack!  Maybe Kris is onto something with his hankerings to move to the suburbs…

Enjoy the dreamy gallery of walk-ins below!

Huntington Beach contemporary closet
Traditional Living traditional closet
The Modern Glam Project modern closet
Hacienda Chic Residence eclectic closet
The Modern Glam Project modern closet
Shabby Chic Your Heart Out traditional closet
closets  closet

Shoe Closet modern closet
modern closet design
Organizational Inspiration: Neat & Beautiful Closets | Apartment Therapy DC eclectic closet
eclectic closet design by apartmenttherapy.com

Indoor / Outdoor Living

I’m not sure if it’s the chilly weather, or if I’ve been feeling cooped up in our small cozy apartment, but lately, I’ve found myself day-dreaming about gorgeous indoor / outdoor living spaces.  I envision sitting out late drinking wine and chatting by the fire, cookouts, warm nights, and fuzzy fleece blankets for when summer turns to fall.

I love our little life in San Francisco, but look at these gorgeous spaces.  I am definitely making a mental note for when Kris and I do buy a house and settle down in the suburbs.  How amazing are some of these?!

Olive Mill mediterranean patio
Prideaux Design eclectic patio
Morro Bay Breezeway modern patio
Modern Perch tropical patio
Corbett Lighting mediterranean patio
AMS Landscape Design Studios mediterranean patio

All Photos Courtesy of Houzz.com