Spring Inspiration

It’s a late post tonight, but on that I wanted to make sure to post. I came down with a bit of a cold last week and am just finally recovering from the last straggling remnants. BrantleyBub turned two yesterday and we had a sweet little neighborhood puppy party for him. There was fresh fluffy white stuff in the grass this morning and the air was so cold…With the cold and the snow and the fun things on the horizon, I’m so ready for Spring!!

Now that it is officially Spring (white weather this morning aside), I’m ready to be inspired by this new season, and this quote is perfect! “Inspiration is the seed, design but the flower.” Michael Langham’s words on a bright red background reminiscent of poppies (Benjamin Moore’s Ravishing Red) perfectly describe design no matter the time of year.

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Design is the pretty that you see when all of the hard work, sunshine, food and water has been put in to let it blossom from just the seed. All of the work that goes into deigning a beautiful space build from our experiences and the things that inspire us no matter how big or how small. We take the experiences of our lives with us and call on them to inspire us as we create rooms that bloom into beautiful spaces.

And if you know me at all, you know how much I love flowers, so any space of my design that could be described as such would bring me so much joy. How does the change in seasons inspire you?

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Beauty and Simplicity

This past weekend we sprung forward for Daylight Savings and today is Pi Day, and although I could do so many other posts related to these things, and maybe I will do one later this week, for now I just wanted to share some sage advice on simplicity (on a background of Benjamin Moore’s White Heaven).

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Plato said that the “beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity,” and I agree! This is such a great message about the balance of things, and it is so easy to go overboard, especially when we are talking about decor, but often times, less is more.

Each element of his sentiment–style, harmony, grace, rhythm–they each have their own weight in putting together a beautiful end product or project. When things really resonate with multitudes of people it is because they have the ability to strike a chord with each of us, for many different reasons, and they just feel beautiful. Do you find beauty in this balance of details?

I’m finding after doing our massive clear-out in our space that we (or at least I) am really thriving in the simplicity of what remains. I’m able to really see the space and appreciate being in it. And I can finally see what little details we need to implement to finish our home off. Can’t wait to share more on that! But for now, the simplicity is really speaking to me, and I hope if you are struggling with your space, you can find a way to let it really speak to you too.

Does simplicity speak to you?

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Weekend Design Love

This week I have spent a fair amount of time catching up on some of my favorite blogs. I love reading along with the blogosphere, but I find it one of the things that is so quickly removed from my list that it doesn’t happen as often as it should… I would love to work on changing that, and I think this week I made a good effort in starting.

Here are some things I’ve seen over the last few days that are worth sharing from the design blogs I follow:

Area Rugs and crafting are two of my favorite things. If they are on your list too, this post, on Apartment 34, is a must read and if you don’t want to read it, the pictures are pretty gorgeous to scroll through too.

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Earnest Home Co, Living Room Refresh Plans

I love Erin’s plan to revamp her farmhouse living room over on Earnest Home Co, she shares why she chose to work with a designer friend and gives the low down on all the details they are planning to incorporate. Can’t wait to see the after, hop over to the post to read more!

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The Bungalow, New Old French Doors

First of all, if you don’t follow Justina Blakeney and her blog The Jungalow, what are you waiting for. She is full of awesome projects and so much creativity, I always love seeing what she comes up with. Her hunt for the perfect reclaimed french doors in this post was no different. It’s such a good look at the hunt for reclaiming things and how the process works. The final result is beautiful!

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Apartment Therapy’s Spring Exteriors

The weather has been warming up over here and giving us a real taste of the Spring weather to come, so Apartment Therapy’s roundup of sunny outdoor spaces has me dreaming of sun-soaked weekends. (If only we had outdoor space in our condo…)

What have you seen on the web lately that is worth sharing? I love reading blogs and finding good home and lifestyle blogs. I also read a lot of random other blog genres…so feel free to leave me a link to your favorites (or your own) in the comments and I’ll go check them out!

This weekend, we are busy all day Saturday, capping the night off with dinner with a friend and then Sunday, my goal is to not get in the car. I would be happy just checking off the to-do list, taking a long walk with B and spending some time relaxing on the couch with P. What do your weekend plans look like?

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5 Years | The Butternut Farms B&B

Sunday marked 5 years with P, and that is something worth celebrating! A lot of people have speculated that you can’t or shouldn’t celebrate your dating anniversary once you are married, but I say the more time you dedicate to your partner and the more reasons you have to celebrate you should!! Of course quality time is key, so we decided to plan a little overnight away for just the two of us.

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It was so necessary to have time one on one together. We had a wonderful dinner at the Chelsea in Fairfield, CT., and then made our way up to the Butternut Farms Bed & Breakfast in Glastonbury. Oh my was it just the most charming place we have ever stayed!

Because life is so hectic we only got to stay for one night, but we are now determined to go back again when we can! We stayed in part of the barn which has been converted to a guest suite complete with a kitchen and loft bedroom. There is enough room in this space to even bring kids someday–who would get a kick out of the farm animals on the other side of the wall. Not to worry, when you are in the suite, you can’t hear a peep and the gardens surrounding the barn are filled with mature trees for privacy and seasonal blooms (which we hope to experience next time around), it really is a private space. I really love all of the original barn wood that has been incorporated throughout the home too–on the stairs, the moldings and trims, beams, and even left exposed in the corners of the main room. It made for a special touch.

The inn-keeper, Don, was as charming as ever, and so accommodating! He went out of his way to find a gluten free English muffin to accompany my breakfast for Sunday morning. The food was delicious on top of the whole charm of the space and it’s host, I don’t know that I’ve tasted eggs better than the ones we had that morning.

After breakfast we took a little tour of the main house, being built in 1720, still with much of the existing charm, it was quite the treat to see all of the fireplaces and wood work throughout the home. I didn’t get any images of the interior of the main house, but I tried to take a decent few of the guest suite in the barn… as you can tell I was quite taken with the space.

The farm animals were a fabulous extra benefit if you ask me. I’m sort of like a 5 year old when it comes to things like this, but I must’ve run back to the goats three times after we loaded up the car to pet them just one more time before actually heading out.

We slowly made our way home, first driving out to the ocean in Old Saybrook to soak up the scenery and have a seafood lunch. Also, as part of our wedding cake arrangement, Dee’s One Smart Cookie makes you a fresh cake on your anniversary, we hadn’t had time to get back up around the fall, so we ordered our cake for this special getaway and Dee delivered it to the B&B for us. We took it with us and got extra forks with our lunch, then parked up at the leaf dump and had some cake by the ocean to celebrate.

All in all, my heart is so full of love for P and our little life together. I cherish these special weekends that we get to spend in each others company, they are the perfect way to not just celebrate the time we have spent together, but really reconnect and dream about our future.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too and would highly recommend the Butternut Farms B&B if you are ever in need of a place to stay in Connecticut. We really did love it and we really do plan to go back! What places have you been to that you were just enamored with? Any good b&b’s or vacation spots we need to add to our list? We are always looking for a good recommendation for a getaway!!

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Home Style Motivation

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This quote breaks down design for me. Whatever fears you have in decorating your home, let these words alleviate your stresses.

Your home should be a reflection of you. If you and your family are fun loving and bold, your home should reflect that. If you thrive on living a minimalist life filled with experiences not things, your home should be a reflection of that. If you love jewel-tones (like this Benjamin Moore Gentle Violet in the quote graphic), metallics and all that is luxe, you should use these colors and textures and layer them in your space.

Don’t over complicate the process either. It takes time to build your home, but I love seeing houses that really speak to their owners and what brings them joy in life. What story do you think the style of your home is saying about you? What do you want it to be saying instead? I like to think we are the minimalists with great experiences, but a little more lived in… I’ll try and get some good pictures of our living room as is to share later this week… it’s something that has been on my list for a while now, and I plan to check it off this week.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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Instagram Recap | Feb.

I love looking back at what I’ve shared on Instagram (@designbykrystle). It is one of my favorite social media outlets and sharing moments and details through it is so much fun! A while back I did a recap of my Instagram posts, and I thought it would be fun to bring it back as a monthly thing… we’ll see how well that works out and if you guys like to see it.

Here’s a look at what I shared in February:

Lots of fun projects have been featured here this past month. Mostly interior design client projects that are in some phase or another, mixed in with a little food, and of course, the month wouldn’t be the same without an appearance from Brantley!

Man, I really love seeing these monthly collections. They make me fall hard for my career. I really am one of the lucky ones to be doing something I feel so passionately about.

Do you guys like seeing all of these pictures from the month pulled together like this? Have you tried taking a monthly look at your own feed to see if you see a common thread? Leave me a comment with your insta names, I love finding new accounts to follow, and if there is someone you really love following along with that you think I would like, leave their name too and I’ll add them too!

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Magical Book Reviews

Over the last month and a half or so I have been making a dedicated effort to get through some of the books on my reading list.

One of the blogs I frequent set a goal earlier this year to read 100 books in 2016. I scoffed. I don’t have time to read and unfortunately it isn’t high on my priority list to make time for either… but then I found audio books. I downloaded the overdrive app on my iPad and have been listening my way through my book list on my commutes and long drives to client appointments, etc., even when I’m cooking or cleaning, I’ve been listening. It’s safe to say I’m hooked. I don’t know that I will get to 100 books, but I will certainly get more read than the one book I finished last year!!

Here is what I’ve been “reading” so far:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo: Y’all know how I feel about this book. I loved hearing Marie Kondo’s philosophy and implementing it in our life. Our condo has never felt so good to come home to, and it really feels like home. There will always be projects to be done and cleaning to do, but we aren’t bursting at the seams anymore and that is HUGE!

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso: Sophia Amoruso is a Bad-ass boss lady. Her story is incredibly inspiring. Her book has been floating around for a while now with a lot of positive response from the bloggers and business babes out there. Last fall I attended a book signing with her, but still hadn’t found the time to actually read the book,  so I decided to add it to my Overdrive list and I have to say it is a good read with great info and tips for anyone, even the boss men out there.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed: I purchased Wild on a whim one night while wandering the isles of Target, and I’m so glad I did. I started reading it right after purchasing and although it was exciting and has a good hook from the beginning, life and clients took the front seat and Wild was put on a shelf until we were Konmari-ing and it came out. I immediately added it to the list and was so glad when it was time to listen. This adventure filled tale of Cheryl Strayed’s trek on the Pacific Coast Trail is one of courage and bravery. I love a good hike, love nature and love getting to know myself better, so this book was meant to be read by me… I don’t think I will be taking the trek myself anytime soon, but it was thrilling to follow along with Cheryl’s adventures… some great lessons were learned. What a great story to feel inspired by… now I want to rent the movie too!

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg: Another empowering boss lady book that has been on my list since it was released. I heard mixed reviews on this one and I think if I had tried to sit down and read it, I would’ve gotten bored and stopped. I’m glad I listened instead because there were some really key points that Sheryl Sandberg touches on in this book. The lessons here are incredible, not just for women in the workforce, but for men and women in general. I think that men reading this book can get a glimpse at what the women in their life are dealing with, and offer up ways to better support them in their goals. I think there are some great points here about time management, setting goals and tearing down barriers. Though I do think the book dragged on a bit longer than it needed to, it was a good balance of anecdotes and advice and it was worth the listen.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis: While waiting for some books to be available on my list I had some time to listen to something more whimsical. My mom suggested that many of the books I was reading were keeping my brain turned on and although listening to great info is helpful, sometimes you just need to turn it off. So I decided to check out these old classics, I never read the Chronicals of Narnia growing up, and because I enjoyed Harry Potter immensely I thought I might enjoy these… I did enjoy The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I drifted off while Prince Caspian played… I didn’t really enjoy it so much… not because it was poorly written or anything like that, but it just didn’t jive with me, so I won’t be listening to the other books in the series anytime soon. That aside, C.S. Lewis’s language is truly an art. The way he describes things is truly beautiful and really sets the scene so you can imagine standing there. I love authors who write with their five senses, they can really capture your mind and take you on a journey with them… for me it makes reading much more enjoyable.

Thrive by Arianna Huffington: This book by far was the favorite one that I listened to in the past month or so. I might just put it back on my list and listen again. Thrive is a great book about balancing your work and life and not just thriving in your career, but thriving as a person going through life. Experiencing what is in front of you, not being constantly plugged in, not losing sleep over something you can do tomorrow, not losing sight of your health, your life and your loved ones. I have been working hard to implement some of the concepts from this book into my life and I have been feeling incredible doing it. It is hard at first to cut the cord but it is amazing to see the difference between a life with your device constantly in your hand and one where you are focused on those in front of you. I can’t really explain it well, but what I can say is that this book is definitely worth the read or listen.

Overall, I think all of these books were worth the “read.” Maybe I’m just happy to have literature re-incorporated into my life and over excited about some of these titles, but I think from the changes that these books (for the most part) have made in my life in just the month or less since finishing them, I would recommend reading them for sure. My heart feels lighter, my home happier, and my workplace more productive. I feel inspired each morning… and who wouldn’t want that?! What are you reading these days? Any good books you could recommend? (Either for more inspo or for some mindless entertainment?) I’d love to know what has to be on my list! Sorry for the insanely wordy post!!! I wish I could send it out over audio so you could listen if you didn’t have time to read!! LOL!

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