True Style vs. a Truly cool Lamp??

So I know that yesterday I posted about staying true to your style.  Mine is classic.  Clean. Contemporary. Comfortable. Preppy.
But let’s talk about this lamp for a moment.

You all know this lamp.

Nate Berkus blew everyone away with his last collection for Target.  It flew off the shelves and was only available online.  I of course lusted after it, and finally caved.  I ordered two of them.

They arrived last week, and after setting one of them up, Kris came home… his immediate response was:

“I can’t tell if I hate that lamp or if it’s my favorite thing in the house.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

After just posting yesterday about staying true to your style, I am evaluating EVERYTHING against that lens now, and these lamps do not really reflect my “true style”… but they are so dang cool!!!  I had originally wanted them for the living room, but they are not at all right in that space.

I’m thinking that on our desks in our soon-to-be-office they could be great, so I’ll hang onto them for now…

To give you a little visual, this is sort of how I see them playing out in the office…

I’m not ready to let go of the lamps yet, but I know I need to make some decisions soon!!

What do you think?


Or do they need to go back to the store?

Back to Basics: What’s you’re "True" Style?

This year is going by so fast!  There has been so much going on that I’ve really taken to posting on here when I feel inspired… or more often than not, when I feel guilty that it’s been too long.

To be honest, I haven’t been feeling all that inspired, and when it felt like “work” to come up with something to write about, I didn’t… but now that we’ve moved, and unpacked (most) of the boxes, I’m feeling more settled in, and less overwhelmed.  Maybe it’s that I don’t feel like I’m living in complete chaos anymore… maybe that with spring I’m feeling re-inspired to rejuvenate our space, and inject life back into it… or maybe my focus is naturally shifting back to the things I love… design, decor and DIY.

Last night, I hunted for our DSLR camera with the intention of being able to post some updates on our new apartment today, but since it’s still packed somewhere, I wanted to take today to talk about where my head is at, and where I see my style trending for our new place.  After moving, and being presented with the opportunity to re-vamp our house, I’ve adopted an “out with the old / cluttered / things I hate or have grown out of” state of mind, and want to re-focus our space, keeping only things I love that reflect Kris any my personalities and tastes. Whether it’s to Craigslist, or to Goodwill… the clutter is slowwwwlllllllyyyyyyy dissipating.

I’ve found that it’s so easy to see a beautiful space or a cool home accessory and think, “I NEED to recreate that in my own house”.

Put on the brakes Becky.  Stop.  Think.

Is that new rug / lamp / fabric / style really you?  Does it fit in with the aesthetic you are going for??  What IS my true style???

That last question is the one I have been  rolling over in my mind.  In a few words, this is what I’ve come up with… my TRUE style is:

Classic – but not necessarily traditional.  

Nothing stuffy… but leaning on tradition with classic lines, and finishings.

Clean – but not minimal.

Out with the clutter!  That’s my new mantra for 2014!

Relaxed – but not sloppy.

I want our home to be inviting where the furniture says “come in and sit down”!

Contemporary – but not modern.

This is definitely a nod to Kris’ aesthetic… he likes modern clean lines, so as long as there is balance between modern and classic, we’re all good

Color infused – but not color saturated.

The one thing all these spaces have in common are their light colors – pale walls, white furniture, but I need my home to have small punches of color in the accessories… a bright bunch of flowers… art.

Preppy, a little bit elegant, and a little bit rustic.

A touch of gold here, a little rustic wood or raw linen there… a few stripes interspersed… that’s my jam.  I cannot forget.

So with that list fresh in my mind, I’m in the process of going through my things – pillows, vases, frames, art, accessories – and purging. This process has been combined with unpacking, which makes both take doubly long.

I can fully admit that I’ve made purchases that were not necessarily “me” but from here on out, I’m going to keep this list fresh in my mind.  I’ll admire the mid-century rooms from afar.  Classic, clean, natural, comfortable, welcoming with a bit of color and a bit of glam.

What is your true style?  Girly and glam? Minimalistic?

I’m curious!

Splurge or Save: Glass Coffee Tables

It’s time for another installment of one of my favorite games… splurge or save. This week, we’re talking coffee tables.  What is it about this week??  The theme here seems to be “living room inspiration”… I just can’t get enough!  Well I’m going with it, to let’s talk about glass topped coffee tables, shall we?

I love a good glass top coffee table – super elegant, and simultaneously modern and traditional.  Clean lines, but a bit feminine at the same time…

Can you guess which is the splurge and which is the save??

I think these are perfect if you have an amazing rug you don’t want to hide, or a smaller space that you want to visually open up… since you can see straight through them, they sort of fade away and let other elements in your living space shine…
They are also really easy to clean which is a bonus (Windex and a paper towel), but not ideal for a house of kids (cracked head anyone?) or for a pack rat.  You’ve got to be able to keep it clean and orderly for it to work in your space so if you’re looking to store 3 years of Pottery Barn catalogs on the lower shelf, go for something with concealed storage.

Are you ready for the reveal?

Admittedly, if you are looking to really save, a glass topped coffee table isn’t going to be the least expensive option out there, but cut glass never is… if you’re willing to put a little elbow grease into a DIY project though, there is an amazing tutorial by Kristen of The Hunted Interior.

She recreated a VERY similar coffee table, using gold leaf, and an Ikea coffee table. Who doesn’t love a good Ikea hack too?!

Gorgeous, right??

Happy Wednesday my friends!

Danish Design

I’ve always found myself drawn to more traditional spaces… but more recently I’ve found myself also drawn to more modern, Danish spaces.  Spaces that are more minimalist… more plain for a lack of better words.  If you’d asked me a year or two ago my thoughts on Danish decor, you would have gotten a MUCH different answer.
Ikea probably popularized the minimalism of Scandinavian design, and perhaps it’s in my blood (being Danish and all), but I find myself drawn to these spaces more and more recently…
Possibly the most gorgous mud room… right??  The natural fibers, the muted colors, and the big baskets waiting to corral shoes, towels, clothes… naughty children…
It’s all very easy on the eyes – super soothing.
This is actually Julianne Moore’s home, and as simple as this bedroom is, how cool are those sconces on either side of the bed?  Simple, but unique, and I love them.
Isn’t that so true of most Scandinavian furniture?  It’s soooo simple, almost to the point of boring, but then there is something unique about it that makes it sooo beautiful.
The two tone wood bookshelf is to die for, and the natural cow hide rug??  Don’t even get me started… 
These rooms are all about balance, neutral colors, and RESTRAINT… things I’m still working on myself!
This bookshelf really is something too – it would be so easy for an entire wall of books to look like a huge eyesore, but by keeping the cubbies large, the books both stacked and lined up, and by not filling each hubby to the brim, it’s so clean looking and pretty.

All that oiled teak wood and the large tiles on the floor??  It’s like a gorgeous spa!

Yes, Danish design is all about restraint… not overloading the walls with art, not over-styling each table, looking to nature for inspiration (the gorgous wood floors, the driftwood candlealbra, and the clean lines met with interesting shapes.

So what’s your verdict??  Do you love or hate this style?

Could you see yourself living in these minimalist rooms or is “more” better?

Living Room Design Board – a House Tweaking Knock-off

That’s “House TWEAKING”… not twerking… no matter if that’s how it reads in my weird twisted mind…  and it’s a blog I’ve recently become completely obsessed with.  
I forget how I discovered House Tweaking to begin with but it doesn’t really matter… it’s a new instant favorite for me.  Trust me when I say that her taste is SO GOOD. The kind of good where when you look at the clock you realize that you’ve spent 2 hours blog-stalking her. I feel that if we met in real life, we’d be the best of friends.  We both share a love of finding a good deal, Sherdog, and restrained color palettes. Oh and interior design.  That too.
This is her living room.

Hello lovely.

Plush rug…  Check.

Pretty light greys…  Check.

Chevron…  Check check!

Tripod lamp.  It’s love.

You know who else would approve?  Emily Henderson.

They are like style kindred spirits.  That explains so much about why I’m obsessed with this room.  She has the “effortless” look nailed.

I felt inspired… and so to the drawing board I went to recreate a similar room on a budget.

Obviously, it’s a little different, but I think that this inspiration board comes pretty close to achieving the same look and feel.

I’ve also included links to purchase if you are so inclined to recreate this on your own.

RugBamboo Roman ShadeGrey Curtain PanelsTripod LampSlatted Bench / Coffee TableSofaGrey Arm ChairYellow Chevron Throw Pillow (pair)Woven Native American PillowCream Colored “Lacey” PillowCream Colored Knit Pillow

Happy Monday!!

Inspiration to Reality: Classic, White Living Space

I haven’t done a design board in a while and it’s time to get those creative juices flowing again!

This living room (from Houzz) is pretty much the stuff my dreams are made of…

Open concept.  Neutral Furniture. Classic details. Contemporary lighting and accessories. Worn natural woods.  It’s love.

I put together an inspiration board to get the look (for likely A LOT less than this room cost)… take a peek:

That sofa is actually one of the ones we’d been considering from Pottery Barn – the Carlisle Couch with it’s deep feather stuffed  seat cushions and pretty turned legs.  It’s not cheap, but it’s the core of the room!

To balance out the cost of the sofa, everything else is a bargain find – that rug from RugsUSA is just $1000 right now (with the 60% off discount) for an 8×10′ – great price.

I love the look of the grain sack throw pillows, and the carved wood candlesticks.  The Hicks Pendants are a bit pricey, but they are a classic, and they bring a cool industrial feel to an otherwise classic, clean space.

Juxtaposed against the more natural elements, the mercury glass lamp glams things up, and the dark wood side tables and coffee table really pop against the white walls and white furniture.

SofaCandlesticks, Lamp Base, Flour Sack Pillow Covers, End Table, RugPendants,

Dorm Room Rewind…

It’s September, and this time of year always gets me nostalgic for back to school.  The excitement over first day of school clothes, the smell of new pencils, new notebooks, new teachers…
College…  Oh man… if I had to do it over (which I would in a heartbeat) I’d go for a totally different dorm room look.  I remember agonizing over the perfect color of periwinkle for the down comforter we were ordering, and also being really proud of the oversized cork-board covered in pictures, and a hot pink lucite lamp with matching pink shade covered in sequins.  #whatwasithinking??!!
To go back and design my dorm room, I’d go for graphic prints with a girly, youthful twist… something only an 18 year old fun loving, beach cruiser riding, UCSB co-ed could get away with…
First up… the black and white and green inspiration:

I WISH they made these storage benches when I was in college.  Not only would it have been stylish to stash our snacks, or books, or whatever it was we kept in our room, but it could have been pushed under the beds, and pulled out for seating when neighbors came by to “chill”.  I love the stripes – a little Beetlejuice, but I LOVE that about it.  And the fun lime green is so youthful, and would inject some much needed life into the drab dorm room decor.

Nothing about berber carpet says, “what a comfortable, cozy living environment” – this fun rug solves that problem quickly (and cheaply!)

Next up… the girly, graphic, mint and pink combo…

Nothing says “a girl lives here” like mint and pink.  I mean, Kris would DIE if I did our bedroom up in mint bedding with some pink and zebra throw pillows.  I’d have a pretty unhappy camper on my hands.  College should be carefree, and it’s the time to decorate your room the way you want… so pink and mint it is! Again, I just have to say… this storage bench is GENIUS. Oh if only we could rewind 10+ years and tell Target to make these back then…

And finally, the ultimate in girly… floral bedding!  Yes please!

I think this room is my favorite.  The floral bedding is bright and happy and fun, and the mix of patterns, and graphic is very kate spade meets a country garden.  You’ll notice, I kept the accessories the same in each room – drum table (just $60 right now), and the little brass elephant from Fab is quirky and shiny, and would instantaneously make you the cool girl with great taste.  
I’m actually dying to get one of these chrome floor lamps from Ikea – a GREAT price, and aside from providing great task lighting for those late nights cramming for finals, it’s ultra cool looking.  Looks REALLY pricey in person… but it’s Ikea!  $70!

Home Decor Discovery

I’ve always been a huge fan of Polyvore.  Always.  Amazing solution to aggregate fashion online, and hands down my favorite source for discovery.  If I had a specific item in mind (gold strappy high-heels for example) I’d type it in, filter by price, and voila, there were options at my fingertips!

Well, amazing AMAZING news!!  I just discovered that in addition to fashion, they also have a home decor filter.  Yes… I know…. HUGE!

Let’s say I’m looking for a rustic side table (or coffee table)… chose “tables” from the main category, filter with the keyword “rustic” and there you have it!  Could it be simpler???

After discovering this, I felt inspired, and pulled together some collections of things I’ve been browsing myself…
First up: the rustic occasional table… to replace our dark faux wood coffee and side tables that are currently in our living room.  I’m really drawn to the lighter natural wood finishes, metal details, x-bar reinforcements, and tiered storage…

Rustic Occasional Tables

I also went a step further to browse art, since I’ve been toying with the idea of revamping the gallery wall in our living room… for fall, I am really liking the more muted color palates, nature inspired pieces, and quirky photographs with an aged “instagram like” quality.  The elephant is absolutely AMAZING, and I think Kris would like the old surf photo.


And, while we are not necessarily IN NEED of gorgeous chandeliers, or lamps right now, I’ve been toying with the idea of swapping out the brushed metal lamps in the living room, for something a little more mid-century… just for a while!  These lamps have served me well – six years, and four apartments!!


This is in no way sponsored by the way – I just happen to love Polyvore, and think that this is so cool!  Fashion, AND home decor??? Such a cool tool when you’re looking for something specific!

Creating (a stylish) Living Space in a Studio

My old coworker (and fabulous friend) Margot just moved into a Studio (after living in a truly awful situation with roommates for a few years).  One of the BEST things about living alone is being able to make decisions on your own about what YOU want in your space.  You don’t need to take other’s tastes into consideration, and most importantly, you don’t have to worry about your sloppy roommates ruining your new pretty things.
Amen to that!
Well, Margot already has a few things in place, but I was able to help her out a bit, by creating a few mood boards for how I see her studio coming together.  She has white bedding, neutral walls, and this fabulous, bold, cobalt sofa from Ikea.  With that in mind, I pulled together a few fun accessories, to create several ideas of how I see this space coming together.
This first inspiration board was a fan favorite.  This rug (at the time, 75% off from RugsUSA) is the spitting image of the Souk wool rug from West Elm that retails for ~$6x the cost of the Marrakesh Shag rug we found at RugsUSA
So… you could have this one for $899 (8×10)…
Or… you could pay $187 for it’s long lost twin (8×10)…
No brainer right??
Margot really liked the idea of yellow being the accent color in the room as well, so I added in a few cool ikat throw pillows that incorporated a burst of sunshine-y yellow… but then we saw a few yellow and white rugs on sale as well, and it got us thinking…

There was a creme colored rug with an Indian inspired yellow and grey pattern, and then the yellow and white chevron piqued her interest too…

We also tested out a few grey and white options as well…

But we just kept coming back to this beauty…

We figured that the neutral colors would translate into any space – so if she moves, or wants to switch up the accessories, she won’t forever be trying to coordinate with a yellow rug, and the shaggy texture is just enough “boho” to be cool, without being sloppy.

We both agreed that in a small space where there is bold color in the sofa, it was important to keep the rug a neutral color with a bold pattern to keep your eyes from feeling “confused” when trying to make sense of the space.

These rugs have been getting lots of attention – just look how fabulous they look in these spaces…

Of course, West Elm’s blog has fabulous photos of this rug…

But it’s also a favorite of designer (and personal idol) Emily Henderson… she used it in her friend’s living room re-design, with lots of pops of color (god, I hate myself for using that phrase)

And clearly, she loved it enough to use it again in her own home… this space is so light and bright, and colorful, and pretty, and crazy all at once, but I adore it.

Amazing right???

Ok… fine… a few more glamour shots from Emily’s place… seriously, it makes me drool…

THOSE CHAIRS!!  What I would do for them to be mine…

So are you sold?  I WISH I had a need for this rug… Kris would probably kill me if I brought ANOTHER new rug home… but it makes me happy to know that Margot’s space is coming along!

The rug should be arriving any day now…

Coffered Ceilings

Coffered ceilings are an absolutely gorgeous detail that goes completely un-talked about – that has to change!

One of my best friends is on the hunt for a new house, and just saw a beautiful home that boasts coffered ceilings – JEALOUS!

I can hardly think of a better use of high ceilings – I absolutely love the glamour and drama they bring to a space…  I love how ornate they look, even with a tone on tone color combo with the ceiling…

But look how dramatic it can be when the ceiling is painted in a different color!

So gorgeous!  I think I have a new obsession with coffered ceilings!