Bedroom Updates

Over the Holiday Break, I plan on finally making some serious progress on our bedroom!  Yep – it only took me a full year of inspiration boards, varying color combinations, and swearing up and down that this room was next on my list.

Yesterday, our BEAUTIFUL new rug arrived after being back-ordered for a month.  Remember this post where I agonized over the creme colored rug vs. the navy??  Well, my practical side won this fight, and I ended up opting for the creme colored trellis, and as undecided as I was in the moment, I could not be happier!  It is super luxe in person, and I can’t wait to roll it out in the bedroom.  RugsUSA – I heart you.  I really do.

If you like this rug, you can find it here

An update on our bed… Kris and I have decided that a new mattress will be our Christmas gift to each other.  I had no clue that a good mattress ran around $4K, so while it’s no puppy with a big red bow around it’s neck, it’s dang good present in my humble opinion. I’m so excited for a good night’s sleep, and no back pain when I wake up (god, I sound like I’m 90 years old saying things like that!)

The other part of this present for ourselves??  New bedding!

I ordered a few options during Macys’ Friends and Family Sale last week – did anyone else hit them up for 60% off??  Holla!

Everything has shipped, so the bedding should be arriving towards the end of this week!  Yippy!

First option is the soothing creme colored bedding.  This would mean that our entire room would be light colors with creme colored carpet, creme drapes, and creme bedding.  Hey, we don’t have kids… we can do things like this!!

I’m not a huge fan of those faux french looking throw pillows, but I love the quilt-like comforter and European shams.  Definitely looking forward to seeing this one in person…
Option number two is actually one I’ve had my eye on for a while – its an abstract paisley with a pale blue background.  I love the quilted coverlet in this photo as well, so I was sure to order that too.  This option definitely lends more visual interest with the pattern, but I’m not sure how these colors will translate in person.  Is that tan going to look olive in person?  Gold?  How will the fabric feel?

Regardless, since we are upgrading our mattress from a queen to a king, we’ll need new bedding one way or another, so at least we have some initial options!

Here’s how I see the room coming together with each…

What do you think? Yay, or nay?  Should I keep looking?

I think I need to see the fabrics in person, and get everything in the room to really decide which one is the keeper!

Moroccan Inspired Dining Room

Isn’t this the most lovely dining room???

Designer, Matthew Patrick Smythe went to town on this Manhattan apartment, featured this month in Elle Decor.  The apartment covers a range of styles from modern to eclectic, but somehow it works… I mean… quite obviously it more than works, but of all the rooms, this dining room was my favorite.  It’s visually striking with graphic navy and white wallpaper, a pretty Capiz chandelier, and luxe velvet chairs.

If you couldn’t tell, the wallpaper is Schumacher, and if you ask me, it MAKES the room.  The delicate lacy detail reminds me of an intricate Moroccan gate, leading into a serene courtyard garden.  It’s absolutely amazing, but I don’t know if I could pull the trigger on it myself.  Since wallpaper is hard to install, even harder to take down, and can get really pricey really quickly, I’d try to recreate this look using paint.

If you love this room, then you are going to love the affordable inspiration board I’ve drawn up.

I’d start the room off by painting it a dramatic navy with grey undertones.  Buying multiple wood carvings and hanging them in a grid will break up the wall, and simulate the beautiful detail of the Schumacher wallpaper. The ones in this inspiration are from Target, and at roughly 12″ square, nine of these would create quite a large grid. 
Check out the where to buy guide if you want to try this look out on your own, and for more inspiration, look through the rest of this lovely apartment at Elle Decor!!

Side note: the wood carvings are wood, but if you want them to be white, a quick coat of paint would do the trick!  

I’d also spend the extra $7 for the spray attachment if you are going the spray paint route… it will save you some major finger cramps (plus, you get to pretend you are in Charlie’s Angels… which is pretty awesome, and well worth the extra $7)

Design Icon: Stacy Curran

Another pretty room – Pinterest is full of those isn’t it??
This room belongs to Stacy of South Shore Decorating – previously named as Conspicuous Style.
I’ve followed her for a long time, and really admire her style, and her story.  Her bedroom is one of my all time favorite spaces – all cool soothing tones of icy blues, greens and greys.  All the white in the bedding and bed frame allow the wall color to shine, and it actually gives the room a silvery feel.  Everything about this room says elegance, sophistication, and “no chocolate on your hands please” (a personal mantra of mine)!  It’s absolutely, drop dead gorgeous.  
And the zebra??  Everyone I know thinks I’ve become a bit nutty with this animal print obsession, but I LOVE it!

Well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and being a gal on a budget, I created a design board that mimics this room, but won’t break the bank.

If you love it, check out the “where to buy” guide below – and if you are interested in having my help creating a design board for a room you are working on – send me a private message!  I’m more than happy to help!

Where To Buy:
Bed Frame,  Zebra Print Rug,  Silver Framed Mirror,  Side tables (these are actually console tables),  Creme Slipcovered Chair,  Upholstered Ottoman with Casters,  White Curtains (you can easily add black trim with iron on adhesive),  Peacock Blue Velvet Pillows Grey Silk Pillows,   Patterned Throw Pillow,    Stacked Ball Acrylic Table Lamp,  Throw blanket

In case her fabulous bedroom didn’t impress you enough on it’s own – she is INCREDIBLY down to earth!

In an interview last year, she was asked, “What decorating techniques/ideas/projects would you recommend to a homeowner who wants a quick fix to their room?”
Stacy answered, “Paint, curtains, and pillows make a world of difference, and can be done relatively inexpensively. Making curtains out of fabric from JoAnn’s or similar stores, when you catch them on sale, can be surprisingly affordable.  I do my own all the time, and don’t even sew them.  I use fabric tape or glue to hem and line (well, I don’t usually line them, butyou can if you’re ambitious).  In my bedroom, I used $10 white panels from Target and glued grosgrain ribbon to trim them, and I think they look as good as really expensive ones.  In my dining room, I hung fabric from JoAnn on rods/rings, and no one would ever know that they are not really “curtains” from a  seamstress or store.”

Amen sister – anyone who A) can put that room together, B) loves Target (pronounced Tar-shay) as much as I do, and C) still looks to cut corners without sacrificing style is definitely WORTHY of the title “Design Icon” – and she is certainly one for me!

Read the rest of the interview here, and go check out her blog, plus more pictures of her lovely home here!

Design Icon: Kishani Perera

Kishani Perera is a total design maven – her work has been shown all over the internet – from design blogs, to Pinterest (which is actually where I originally fell in love with her) and she’s been consistantly featured in BH&G, House Beautiful… the list goes on.
One of my favorite Bloggers, Amanda Eck featured her recently, and since I am totally in love with her work, decided to create a design board for one of my favorite rooms.

This space is girly… funky… and Kris would totally die if he walked into our house decked out in hot pink. My favorite thing about her, is that she takes risks, and creates rooms that are as livable as they are beautiful.  Simultaneously ‘relaxed and elegant’ if you will, and somehow it all works.

While I’m sure this room didn’t come cheap, that’s not how we roll in my household, so the design I put together below focuses on getting the same look, while staying on budget (dang that budget… I could throw it out the window!)

Enjoy the “where to buy” below for this affordable reconstruction!

Where to Buy:
Zebra RugGrey SectionalPink PillowsLucite Coffee TableFloor LampBookshelfChandelierMercury Glass VasesAbstract PaintingSilk Panels

Trestle Table Love

love this rustic table
Oh my… this dining room is pretty much perfection – the great french doors and amazing light, molding, and architectural detail make this room fabulous on it’s own, but it’s this table I am most obsessed with!  
One of my favorite things I own is the table in our dining room.  It is a small pedestal table, just large enough for four.  It was a Craigslist find that is around 100 years old, and while the top is wobbly, and always seems to be at a slight angle, it has a beautiful turned pedestal that reminds me a lot of the detail on this trestle table above.  Isn’t it pretty?
Restoration Hardware has a trestle table that is absolutely amazing, but it comes with the Restoration Hardware price tag (aka, they aren’t exactly giving it away).  Luckily for you, I’ve put together an inspiration board with less expensive options for recreating this look!

Where to Buy:

Trestle Table – if you love the Restoration Hardware trestle table, you will LOVE this.  One of my favorite bloggers just bought this exact one for her house – for pics in real life, check it out  here!!

Veranda Linear Chandelier – this look has been a longtime favorite of mine – the perfect compliment to a rustic dining room.  Pottery Barn’s version is relatively affordable, but I’ve seen fixtures similar to this at places like Lamps Plus or even Home Depot as well!

Nailhead Parsons Chair – if you are getting six of these for a dining room, costs can get really high really quickly, but this chair has great reviews in the blogworld, and are very affordable for the level of detail!  Not to mention, a parsons chair is ALWAYS in style

Burlap Panel Curtains – another affordable option – especially if you are looking for extra long curtains – Ballard Design’s version has a great fringed bottom

Tile Border Rug – Pottery Barn’s plush rugs aren’t inexpensive, but they also won’t break the bank.  My parents have a few in their home, so trust me when I say they are extremely plush, and have held up well!

Re-envisioning a Living Room

For those of you who have been reading, you know how much I love to work on our apartment, taking it it from a blank slate, and turning it into a a home that reflects us.  Well… I recently started helping my friend re-envision her own space, and it turns out, it is even more fun, because I get to collaborate with someone else!

I actually used to live in this apartment with her, so trust me when I say that it is a great space.  Big rooms, high ceilings, and beautiful crown molding.  She has great taste already, but the challenge is finding a cohesive look and making a space work for both her, and her significant other (ie: How do we get rid of the boyfriend’s hideous bachelor stuff in the nicest way possible, and revamp the space they are living in?)  I can sympathize…

As it stands, the living room is open to the dining room, connected with a large archway.  It gets great light mid-day with a Northwest exposure.  The room is a good size at roughly 17′ in length – so one of the challenges is maximizing that huge expanse of wall, and filling the room out.
In the current layout, the majority of the furniture is grouped in the alcove of the bay window, and there is a lot of negative space in the entryway from the dining room and hallway.
I’d love to see the furniture more spread out, so that the room feels more balanced:
The great news is that she has all the large pieces, and they are all in good shape.  The sofa and over-stuffed armchair came from her parents, and she has some solid Crate and Barrel side tables and a matching coffee table – all of them came from Craigslist.  
Facing the sofa, the room currently looks like this:
While the room has good bones, there are several changes she wants to make – she wants a new, larger rug for the space (the pretty oriental she already has will make a new home in the adjacent dining room), and she wants to bring in more color into the room as well, adding throw pillows, and more art to the wall.
I had some free time on my hands on Sunday, and got a little carried away putting together an inspiration board for her.  I based this on the things we had talked about, and bookmarked online.
This was the original inspiration board…
The adjacent dining room’s walls are a bold orange, and since the rooms are connected by a large entryway, we felt it was important to echo those colors in the living room as well.  
Ultimately, everything had to work with the dark olive colored sofa since this piece isn’t going anywhere, and I think that the palate of blues and oranges work well with it, and almost turn it into a neutral. 
Most of the pattern and color will be coming through the accessories, so the pops of orange will compliment the dining room, but won’t necessarily compete.  Obviously I’m partial to this rug since Kris and I have it in our living room (in grey), but she loves it too, and this sea foam blue works well with orange as the accent color.
After I had the initial inspiration together, I took it a step further, and tried mocking up the room to see what it will start looking like once she starts making changes.  This is what I came up with…

By moving the large chair to the other side of the room, the super comfy chaise lounge can now be pointed towards the TV for optimal relaxation (that’s where I’d be parked EVERY night). 
The larger ginger jar vases are sculptural as well as pretty, and along with a gallery wall behind the sofa, I think they fill out the space nicely.  The accessories are what gives a room personality – especially when you are re-purposing furniture you already have, and working on a budget .  Pretty pillows give new life to an old sofa, and a fuzzy throw gives softness to a leather chair.  I am actually loving the hammered bronze side table I added in next to the chaise lounge (from World Market).  It’s on sale right now for $139!
With that side of the living room re-envisioned, I decided to take a stab at the other side as well (yes, I got WAY too carried away)!  Right now, the 17′ wall looks something like this… (ok, this is a terrible representation… don’t judge me!)
The point here is that I’d love to see this wall filled out, and create storage for her boyfriend’s stuff.  The ultimate goal? Get rid of the un-necessary side tables her boyfriend brought over from his bachelor days (I didn’t even have the heart to try to re-create them in this “before”)
Anyway, here is what I’d love to see this room ending up like:
I need a new program for angling furniture to face the correct direction (chairs will not be angled toward the sofa) but you get the idea.  
On this wall, my friend already has the large armoire for storage, along with the TV and TV stand.  To replace her boyfriend’s tables, I think a bookshelf is a great solution.  They can pack in books, CD’s, paperwork, etc, and use woven baskets to store (and hide) the less visual things.  The lamp on top of the bookshelf is currently on one of her side tables, so once she gets larger lamps to flank the sofa, this little guy can make a new home on top of the bookshelf.  
A tall, wide mirror will help fill in the space between the armoire and TV stand (this photo is not to scale – the gap between the two is actually wider in real life) and my favorite thing about the mirror (and any mirror), is that it opens the space up.  Finally, I am a strong believer that every room needs one living plant in it, and I am LOVING the fiddle leaf fig – an easy care plant that has waxy bright green leaves.  So pretty! 
– — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – — – —
Anyway, this is just my interpretation of what the room will look like, and obviously, as she prices things out, and heads into the store the room will end up with other pieces outside of these inspiration boards.  Making a room come together is definitely a process, so I’ll keep you updated once the room starts coming together!!
If you like any of the pieces from the inspiration, here are the direct links to buy.
Where to Buy:

Sophisticated Entryway: Design Inspiration

Clean traditional.  Like the smokey mirror + animal print done right

This room (or should I say hallway) is sexy… to me, it’s a slinky dress, dirty martini, smudged red lipstick kind of sexy.

Am I right, or am I RIGHT?!

Between the dim lighting, smoky mirrors, and animal print, I’m all about it.  It’s really pulled together and tailored, but very masculine at the same time.  From the cubist modern framed prints, to the dark wood chest of drawers, to the angled lamp and tribal accents… it says “manly” to me.  While there are aspects of this that I really love, I don’t know if I’m brave enough to have a space like this in my own house. Unfortunately, the original room was featured on and I can’t find the original page now, so all the details are lost!

Anyway, enjoy an inspiration board I pulled together for this room.  I’m sure there are so many more (and better) furniture and accessory options if you dug around in thrift shops, antique stores, and flea markets, but working with the instant gratification of online, here is what I came up with…

Zebra Chairs: Wayfair
Apothicary Chest: V&M Curators
Angled Lamp: World Market
Antiqued Mirror: Bronson Design
Driftwood Charger: World Market
Vase: World Market
White Stone Sculpture: Etsy
Wall Sconce; Lamps Plus
Jute Rug: Rugs USA

What originally drew me to this room are those fabulous chairs!  I’m sure they are quite costly (even custom), and as I discovered, pretty much impossible to find online.  Above, I found a pair from WayFair for around $700 for both.  Not shabby since accent chairs can run up the bill quickly.
Aside from those chairs, a staple in this space is a sturdy dark wood chest of drawers, that really reminded me of an apothecary chest.  As a side note, while I was searching for the perfect apothecary chest online, I could not stop thinking about that one episode of friends, where Rachel gets an apothecary table from Pottery Barn… anyways… if you haven’t seen it, please do yourselves a favor and watch this clip.
Back to the inspiration – several of the table accessories came directly from Cost Plus World Market – they are great for the worldly, tribal, or eastern influenced accessories, and unless you are looking for an original piece, they are pretty cool.  Speaking of, I just saw some really cool globes there, and I’m seriously thinking of picking one up.  Where it will go in our apartment is beyond me, but I just loved spinning it around in the store.  Etsy is also probably a goldmine here – support the small business owner!
Moving onto the art – it’s totally subjective.  In the original room, they went for cubist art (a la Pablo Picasso) but you could go for black and white photographs, old maps, whatever.  The floor looks like it’s possibly inlaid wood, but I also included a jute rug for a bit of texture – an old faded tapestry esque floor covering would also look pretty amazing in a space like this.
Finally, the lighting should be ambient – I wouldn’t try this space in a really bright area of your home.  It’s all about moody lighting, so go for low wattage bulbs to bring the warm tones in the paint to life, and create a bit of mystery.

Re-Vamping the Bedroom

I am like a giddy little puppy – we have made the decision to go with a king size bed and replace our queen mattress!  Hooray!!
Knowing that, I can really start planning out our bedroom.  I made a few short term changes by flipping over our duvet, and getting some cute pillows and throw blankets to spruce up the bedding, but it’s time to make some real strides here!  I came up with this inspiration board based on the changes in my tastes, and some of the accessories we already have!
Obviously, we’ll be working with what we’ve got, so while the red punches of color from my original bedroom inspiration board would be fun and bright, I need to look for things that match the core pieces in the room – the biggest being the rug.
Right now, the bedroom has a large piece of remnant carpet I got for next to nothing in my early 20’s – it’s an oatmeal color, and while it has done it’s job, it’s time to move on to greener pastures.  Recently, we got a new rug for the living room, which means the old living room rug has been rolled up and is chilling in our dining room.  It’s currently leaned up against the wall and I can’t wait to move into our bedroom.  Our “old” living room rug looks almost EXACTLY like the one in my inspiration board, so the red touches from past inspiration boards would feel wrong with this soothing tone.
Now that you can see that the rug is all soothing shades of aqua, tan, and brown, I think I should keep that feeling going throughout the bedding as well.  For the most part, the biggest changes will be the bed frame (one nail-head upholstered headboard… coming right up), the bedding, the “new” rug, and a chandelier (for glamour).  The art in my inspiration board is already hanging up, the lamps are a done deal, and you all remember my toil (posted here) to re-finish the dresser and nightstands in the bedroom…
I could also do bedding like the Barbara Barry collection.  I do love the look of the blue quilted bedding, with a big fluffy duvet folded at the foot of the bed.
I also really like this pale blue paisley – I think I’ll have to see how busy the room looks once the rug is in there.  The room doesn’t get a ton of natural light which is a real challenge, so I don’t want to make it feel super small, or super dark….
What should I do?  Are these too dark?  Too girly?  Should I keep looking?  Or am I over analyzing everything??