Sunday, September 14, 2014

gender "neutral" nursery - take 2

I can't help it.  There are too many beautiful girl things, and cool/dudish boy things to go completely gender neutral in the nursery.  My plan (take 2) is to have a gender neutral backdrop that I can specialize once this little bean makes his/her appearance.

I'm still sold on Farrow & Ball's Borrowed Light (my favorite color) for the walls, with one wallpapered wall behind the crib.  I also dig the Serena & Lily tasseled curtains, although I'll probably DIY this from some Ikea white curtains.  We have a white glider, and I'm planning on getting a light shag to cover the hardwoods.  I also love the soft nautical look of Serena & Lily's mirror shown below.  I'm going to get a neutral shade for the ceiling as well.

I figure this little babe will be sleeping in our room in the bassinet for a while, so it's not crucial that the nursery is completely finished before he/she arrives (although the Type A part of me is cringing as I write this).

Here are two takes on the same nursery:


Monday, July 7, 2014

gender neutral nursery

Surprise! We are expecting baby #2! The first time we found out at 18 weeks, but this time (I am tempting every bone in my body) Lynn and I have decided to make it a surprise.  In anticipation, I have been looking at a lot of gender neutral nurseries.  I've never been a fan of yellow (wall colors, clothes color - really any yellow), so I've been steering away from the typical gender neutral theme.

My favorite color in the world is Borrowed Light by Farrow & Ball.  It's a beautiful light blue that has a warm undertone.  We painted our last sun room in this color and it brightened my day everyday.  I think it works for a boy or girl, and I'm planning on painting a majority of the room this color.

I love the idea of a wallpapered wall (the wall behind the crib).  There is a great print by Serena and Lily that is sophisticated (he/she can grow into it) and not too bossy.

Here's the design board so far... will probably change a lot before we start purchasing, but I'm excited about a gender neutral nursery!!

hanging lion // hanging giraffe // hanging zebra // star light // "every little thing's gonna be alright" print // two birds print // wallpaper // wall color // circle mirror // white crib // stuffed monkey // crib sheets // ABC bin // mustard crochet bin // rug


Sunday, July 6, 2014

living room ideas

Right now our living room looks like this:

It was great that my parents downsized at the same time we moved, so we got to steal the 4 chairs in the living room.  We had the couch from our old place, and purchased the custom rug from Karpet King (Rockville, MD).  Finally, we threw down a cowhide from Arhaus (a gift from the madre).

We used to have a large ornate black mirror, but I'm using it now up in the upstairs bathroom which I'm in the middle of face lifting.  Once we get the new Serena and Lily curtain and rug, I'll blog it.

Anyway, back to the living room (which as you can see is open with the dining room as well)... Since we moved in, I have been dreaming about knocking down those bookshelves, and putting in long windows on either side of the fireplace with benches.  I want a focal point in the LR, and while bookshelves are a nice place to display things, they seem like too much visual noise to me.  I also want to update the fireplace with cool tile in possibly a chevron pattern and update the woodwork.  Finally, I want to update the furniture.  Yes, free furniture is awesome, but this is the first room you see when you walk in the house.  It sets the tone, and currently the pieces just aren't me at all.

Ideally, I would love the house to feel more like a Northern Californian, boho-chic beachy abode.  I get it, I'm living in Arlington, Virginia in a farmhouse.  But I have seen farmhouses done wonderfully in neutrals and ethic prints.  Here is an inspiration pic on where I want to go:

Everything on the board is either Serena and Lily or Furbish Studio.  The painting is by Michelle Armas - one of my favorite artists these days.  This to me is the perfect mix of casual chic... Something that is more me/our family than a formal LR with formal fabrics.

The pic shows subway time in the fireplace.  If/when we decide to redo the kitchen (hopefully very soon), I like the idea of using the same backsplash tile on the fireplace (subway with dark grout, if we go that route).  I also love extending the fireplace molding to the ceiling.  It creates height and drama, and really helps to focus your eyes on the fireplace (instead of spastically darting around all over the bookshelves).  Finally, the benches with the firewood tucked underneath pay homage to the age of our home, but I think would be better suited with a pull-out drawer for storage (but I love the pic).

Anyway, thought I'd share the direction I'm heading.  Hope you like it.


Monday, June 30, 2014


Yo yo - it's been a day since I last wrote.  Since we moved in last March, I have been happily sitting on my rear just living.  No remodeling, no tiling, no living on take out.  Pretty much all we did after we bought the house was paint (first floor is all Edgecomb Gray) and build a linen closet.  After redoing our last home from the studs up and having a baby, I was T-I-R-E-D.  Hence, the lack of blogging...

So, one yearish later, I'm finally getting the itch again.  This weekend I repainted our foyer a moody blue (Normandy by Benjamin Moore) and hung a mirror in our dining room.  I'll post the pics once the foyer is finished for a nice before and after.

I'm sure everyone has got their issues when it comes to decorating their own home.  Indecisiveness leading to paralysis?  Some people. Crazy fast lightening-speed decisions leading to mistakes? Guilty.  When I decide I want to do something, there is no holding me back.  I'm a crazy woman on a mission.  Decisiveness + impatience = mistakes.

I'm not boo-hooing, I'm just sick of backtracking.  When we moved in, we had to get furniture fast.  We moved from a small cape (< 2,000SQ) into a much larger, open farmhouse (2,800SQ) and needed places to sit.  Honestly, I was so sick of thinking I just threw some pieces into the house so I could get on with it.  Now, after having months of a mental/physical break, I'm ready to make some serious decisions.  The kitchen is our priority numero uno.

Here's what our kitchen looks like now:
Not too shabby ;) The people who we bought the house from redid it in 2006ish, and I absolutely love the floor plan.  The cabinets are extremely well made (some custom company from Canada?), and the lay-out is perfect.  The color is just not my cup of tea.  I don't have a picture to show you, but there are pantry cabinets that are a different color than the cabinets - a much redder color.  There is no way cut the red cabinets without painting them.

Remember our last kitchen in the remodel (that I was able to design from the studs up)?
I realize that white cabinets + Carrera looking marble (we used White Fantasy) is like "Happy" by Pharrell Williams (spectacular but wee bit over-played, let's be honest), but my heart is happiest in a white kitchen.

We can't throw money to replace a mile of granite at this point (although I know I would go a different direction this time if money fell from the sky: honed black? cement? wood?).  At this point, we're keeping the warm Italian marble.  But I still think we can get away with painting the kitchen white, redoing the back splash with a fun, Parisian-looking subway tile (timeless and easy on the budget) with a darker grout.  Here's an image I put together to show Lynn how it could look:
Yes, I know the granite is warm, but I think it blends the warm floors...??? Thought painting the window trim black would tie the black island into the design, and would add a touch of I'm too cool for schoolness.

Thoughts/comments are welcome, unless you disagree with me.  Just kidding.


Monday, October 21, 2013

bedroom blues and browns

Ladies and Gents,

We found a bedroom set at Greenfront for a steal, and now we are saying goodbye to spindles and Jenny Lind, and saying hello to farmhouse chic.  Here's the bed (with some granny bedding on it - yuck!)

Here's a look at one of the dressers in a lighter finish (we bought the darker finish shown above).  We also bought a tallboy, which looks similar.  It reminds me of the Pottery Barn farmhouse collection, but for a fraction of the price.  

So now comes the fun part! Designing!  I am a huge fan of white bedding, and I've been drawn to these pictures lately.  Blues, Browns, and Grays keep popping up.

Mediterranean Bedroom by Little Rock Interior Designers & Decorators Tobi Fairley Interior Design

I absolutely love the Serena and Lily bedding in Pic #1, and the Duvet/Curtain combo in Pic #4.  Pic #2 is beautiful for its simplicity, but I think I'd get bored with the lack of pattern.  I'm drawn to the curtains and comfy leather chair in Pic #3.

I did a little digging and I've decided to paint the room Sleepy Blue by Sherwin Williams (or something similar, depending on my lighting) - to look like this:

Traditional Entry by Boston Architects & Designers design studio M

I love the grey undertones in the blue, and yet the blue isn't cold like some other blues.  It really makes me want to sleep.  Our wood finish is almost identical to the bench in that pic and I love the contrast.

These pillows were on sale tonight on One Kings Lane, so I bought two 22x22 to be the front runners on the bed:

Add a beautiful blue herringbone throw from Brahms Mount (traditional Maine blankets) at the bottom of the bed, and we're set to go!

I'm going to wait to paint until the blanket is delivered, so we don't clash (you can't trust pictures people for paint).  I'm digging the sophisticated and soft combo of blues and browns though! I just need to find curtains for the room.

On an unrelated note, I told you I would share some pics of the house.  It's 11:25pm and I'm tiiiired, so my lazy butt is going to show you a couple I took back in August that are conveniently located on my computer.  Here's a little montage of pics I took after Lynn made the yard/plants look pretty in anticipation of Paige's first birthday party:

In keeping with old southern tradition, we painted the ceiling blue on the deck (it helps to ward off the ghosts, because spirits can't cross water, and the blue trips them up! sneaky, sneaky!), but you can't really see it though from this picture  :(


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