Rooms in Progress

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I know it’s been a while since I’ve given you an update up my master bathroom redo. I promise, I’ve been working as fast as my adorable little pennies and free time allow (Oh why can’t I have one of those HGTV budgets?). I also swear to you that I’m thiiiiis close to showing you the next phase of the project, and, I have to say, it’s pretty darn cool. I’m kind of loving it.


That said, I’m coming to terms with the notion that (at least for me) just about every room will be a constant work in progress. I’m okay with that – I would venture to say I even like that.

I had to laugh the other day, though. I was chatting with a friend, and she said “I paint and decorate a room once and consider it done.” My eyes got big, my jaw dropped and I thought “Ummm, not me” (oh, wipe that fake look off surprise off your face).

I love the redo I did in my master bedroom last summer? There’s nothing like waking up in the morning and smiling at the soothing paint color on the wall (okay – there are better, more meaningful joys in life…but you know what I mean…hopefully).

As much as I love my bedroom, there are still a few things in the room I’m not totally happy with yet. Such as:

ISSUE 1) My bed: It looks fine in pictures but oh my goodness it’s LOUD. Between the flimsy metal bed frame and the wobbly headboard it squeaks and creeks at the slightest movement…even at the “earthquake” my 10 pound poodle causes walking across the mattress (eek…eek…eek with every pawstep). NO…NOT GOOD.


- I’m scouring Craigslist everyday for an inexpensive (and solid) bed. Anything with potential will do.

- I could buy a new metal bed frame (they range from $40-60) and see if there’s any way to strengthen (or pad) the back of the headboard to prevent wobbliness (and constant smacking of the headboard against the wall…again, NOT GOOD). Umm...I should mention (for those of you with minds in the gutter) it's just the poodle and me in my bed...I roll over, the headboard kay.

- I could ditch the flimsy headboard and make my own upholstered headboard. Love this look with the nailhead detail from Crate and Barrel…ooh ahhh.

- This might sound crazy, but Big Lots sells a “wood” sleigh bed that seems pretty solid for $299 (more than I want to spend, but pretty darn good for a sturdy, lovely, new bed).

ISSUE 2) Fabric: I love my Thomas O’Brien Pewter Blossom pillow (I have the duvet now too). It’s classy, shimmery, matches my wall color, and it’s oh so soothing…but I almost want to add a little more pattern or texture.


- I’m LOVING this fabric by Premier Prints (Barber Taupe/Robin). I ordered a yard to see how it will work with my existing bedding (fingers crossed…did I mention I love it?). Works in the picture, eh? Crossing my toes now too :-).

Master Bedroom Barber Fabric

- Mix in some light taupe linen accents (like I have on the lamp shades).

I’ll keep you posted on any changes I make. And I cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye promise that I’ll have an update on the nearly finished project in my master bath ASAP.

Have a great weekend!

Dreaming about Flower Beds

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I hate to torture you again with photos of spring, especially since most of us are still a ways away from sunny skies and 70 degree weather, but I just couldn’t help it today. I am longing for slightly warmer weather so I can grab a shovel and de-wilderness our backyard weed flower bed.

I’m almost tempted to throw a coat on this weekend and start chiseling away at the frozen dirt…I then remind myself that my energies would probably be better spent elsewhere – like perhaps tackling one of the (705) unfinished projects indoors.

Want to dream with me about landscaping, though? Okay, lets.

I love, love, love the look of lush gardens. I would love to have flower beds filled with hydrangeas, peonies, lilies of the valley, lavender (…and all those other lush flowers that I don’t know the names of).

Katherine Field via Marley and Lockyer IMG_2291

The thing is, I know myself. I know my schedule (and limited time to tend to a garden), and I know that I’d take painting a room over working in the yard ANY DAY (can I get an “Amen” from anyone else out there?). Sooo…until I’m ready to commit to regular garden maintenance, I think I need to stick to something pretty but low maintenance (and by low maintenance I mean like zero maintenance…again, because I know myself a little too well).

I think I need to aim for something like this: hardy (yet lovely) shrubs and weed inhibiting  mulch.

Bungalow Exterior


And here’s one of my all time favorite patio photos. It’s from Cottage Living (of course). I love the chairs, the brick patio, and the plethora of rounded, manicured boxwoods. Oooh, so pretty.

Cottage Living - posard_patio

What about you? What’s your flower bed philosophy?


New Awesomeness at Target

Monday, February 22, 2010

Um, perhaps I should reign in the “valley girl” talk, but this girl just can’t help it. Hate me…or don’t, I’d rather you don’t :).

I was buying a few groceries at Le Target the other day, and decided to do my obligatory stroll through the home decor section (What? Is it not the unspoken bonus of grocery shopping at Target that you get to experience guilt free window shopping?).  I tried (unsuccessfully) to conceal my squeal when I saw new items…squeal!. I think I even let an audible “Ooh, that’s nice” slip out as I admiringly ran my hand over new bedding and pillows…and shower curtains. Nope, not weird at all.

Here are a few things that caught my eye:

This particular bedding collection caused me to let out a gasp and an “Oh!”. You must see it in person.


My good friend Thomas (O’Brien) also offers a matching shower curtain (not on the website yet). Yes, the whole ensemble might be a little too matchy matchy, but it’s worth mentioning. It is seriously gorgeous in person. Have I mentioned you must see it in person?

This bedding’s kind of lovely too…I don’t think I saw it in my store though –or if I did it apparently didn’t induce crazy googly eyed swooning.


And is this dinnerware not pretty? It may not be for everyone, but it definitely made me abruptly stop my cart to do a double take.

And then there’s the new line by Dwell Studio. Has anyone seen the Domino Magazine-esque Suzanni patterns around? Have you noticed how expensive they are? Well Dwell Studio brings Suzanni to you for reasonable prices (I promise I’m not being paid to gush about Target here). Check out this pillow :

And Dwell Studio’s Casablanca Bedding Collection?…drool.

I’m kind of digging this Kapali comforter too. It’s very Anthropolie-esque -  but again, it’s definitely not for everyone.

Happy shopping!

If I had a Baby Girl

Friday, February 19, 2010

Okay – I’m perfectly, totally, completely content with not having a daughter. I am completely, indubitably ecstatic with my life, my son, and never having to change diapers again. Truly. But since I showed you a nursery I created the other day for a reader, I thought I’d show you how I would decorate a nursery myself if I had a daughter…which, again, I’m totally, completely happy not to have. Ack…let’s just look at the pretty picture, okay?

Polyvore - Baby Girl's Nursery

I’d start with some Amy Butler fabric, including her Lime Primrose fabric from the Nigella Collection, her solid coral fabric, and her Lime Polka Dot from the Lotus Collection. I’d probably do the crib bumper in the floral green primrose fabric, and then have accents in the other two fabrics. I’d also add and edge of coral fabric to some simple white drapes.


I’d paint the walls Sherwin Williams Rice Grain (6155). It looks kind of mushroomy in the picture (at least to me), but in person it’s a nice, light yellowy, greenish tan.

SW Rice Grain

I’d include an elegant crystal chandelier. I love this one from Overstock with a white shade.

I’d probably add crystal knobs to a white dresser to coordinate with the chandelier, but I kind of like these green knobs from Anthropologie too.

Finally, I’d add a nice slipcovered glider like this one from Pottery Barn Kids (‘cause if we’re pretending I have a baby we can pretend I have money too, right?). Uh hum....I used to have a picture here, but Blogger sucks. Just follow the link, k?

Have a great weekend!

Interrupting Regularly Scheduled Programming to Discuss Makeup

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Okay – I wasn’t going to do this, but I can’t get it out of my head…so here goes. Beth at Stories of A to Z is having a makeup party. There’s no way I’m going to show you what I look like without makeup, but I thought I’d at least show you what cosmetics I use.

My favorite brand is Bobbi Brown. It’s way too expensive (for me), but my mom hooked me on it years ago and I’ll beg, borrow and sell on Ebay to pay for it. The whole line is high quality stuff, and it creates a look that’s pretty and fresh, but still looks natural. I definitely don’t like to look like I’m made-up…unless I’m going to a party in the evening or something.

My secret beauty tools are:

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick

(I wear Porcelain because I’m soooo pale)

This foundation is super easy and fast to use - just swipe it on and blend with a sponge. It provides coverage without looking “fake”.

Bobbi Brown Concealer Kit

(I wear Ivory)

This is the best concealer I’ve found. I have dark circles under my eyes and it takes some serious concealer to…well, conceal them. This stuff does the trick.

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder

(I wear Natural)

For the truly pale, this stuff is a Godsend. I just add a little to my checks, forehead and nose to make me…not look like a corpse. The Bobbi Brown bronzer also isn’t sparkly at all, which I like – because a real tan doesn’t make your skin look like glitter, it just gives you color.

Bobbi Brown Blush

(I wear Sand Pink – not the fuchsia color below )

I apply the blush lightly on my cheeks over the bronzer.


Bobbi Brown Eye Shadows

(I wear Bone all over my lids, Stone on lower lids and crease, and I line upper lid with Black Plum shadow)



Anastasia Brow Powder Duo


I lightly fill in my brows with this powder using a small angled brush. It works great and keeps things looking natural.


L’oreal’s Voluminous Mascara

(I wear black)

L'oreal Voluminous

Bobbi Brown Lipstick

(I wear Brownie – my fave everyday color…that’s not the color in the photo below)

L’oreal Color Juice Lip Gloss

(I wear Passion Fruit Squeeze)

L'oreal Color Juice LipglossI love this lip gloss. It’s inexpensive, not too shiny, moisturizing, and not sticky. 

Layla's photo of me

And that’s it. The whole makeup shabang…now back to regularly scheduled programming. Thanks for indulging me.


Baby Girl’s Nursery

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I received an email from a reader asking for ideas on a nursery for a baby girl. I think my response was something along the lines of “Are you kidding me?! Just try and stop me!” Yes, this mother of a teenage son might have a twinge of baby girl envy…at least baby girl nursery envy (not sure if I would actually want to deal with diapers, and temper tantrums again)…so I welcomed the opportunity to help out.

April had already picked out this sweet little crib bumper. It’s part of the Simply Shabby Chic Cherry Blossom Collection available at Target.

She also already had a white Jenny Lind crib – which I’m actually a fan of. So I just built the room around those items, and went with the whole shabby chic look.

I started with the paint color. I know it’s “predictable” to do pink in a girl’s room…but I couldn’t help it. Here are two paint colors I recommended. I would use one or the other. One is just a shade lighter than the other.

SW Gorgeous White

Sherwin Williams Gorgeous White 6049

SW Abalone ShellSherwin Williams Abalone Shell 6050 

I’m sure they color swatches will look a little different on everyone’s screen, but in person they’re kind of a ballet slipper pink. They’re not a cotton candy pink -  they have a smidge more brown in them so they’re easier on the eye.

I’d then add a delicate crystal chandelier, kind of like this one from Home Depot:

Another option is this chandelier from Ikea. It’s only $39! I think it would be perfect in a “shabby chic” room spray painted cream.

I’d add some long white curtains, but add a strip of sage green ribbon to the edge with fabric glue. It's an easy way to customize curtains and it would help bring in the sage accent color a little more. If you don't have an Ikea nearby look on Ebay for the Ikea Lenda curtains in white. You should be able to get a pair for about $25-30.

Finally, add some crystal knobs to a white dresser or changing table, some chippy white tin frames or mirrors, and a nice sage throw and voila!…a lovely shabby chic baby girl’s room. April's Nursery

And (not to completely overload you with nurseries, but) tune in tomorrow to see how I would personally decorate a baby girl’s nursery if I ever had a baby girl…which I’m 99.9999% sure will never happen…but it’s still fun to dream.


Decorating Above Kitchen Cabinets

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do you have an empty space above your kitchen cabinets that you’re just not sure what to do with? It’s a tough balance between putting enough up there so it doesn’t look empty, but not having so much up there that it looks cluttered.

Personally, I love the look of plates, pitchers, vases etc. in similar colors grouped together – kind of like in the pictures below:


Cottage Living - Kitchen

Cottage Living - spec house kitchen

Country Living - Limestone Backsplash

Country Living - Shelves and Wainscotting

Country Living Kitchen-Pantry-Organize-Storage

Granted, most of the photo are of shelves instead of actual cabinets, but I think (if you venture outside the box a little) the same principal applies. Also all of the photos above show white ceramics, but you could use similar shades of any color – think Martha Stewart. She’s a genius at (well…many things, but especially at) combining items of the same color family in order to create a visually soothing space…or vignette or whatever.

Try grouping wood tones with baskets, or silver, or glass…or whatever your favorite color is. But most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment. Seriously, what’s the worst thing that could happen?

Have a great Wednesday!


Images: 1) House Beautiful, 2-4) Cottage Living (sniff sniff), 5 & 6) Country Living, 7 & 8) Martha Stewart