Hope + Confidence

Last Wednesday, I shared a quote from Helen Keller about optimism, and today I wanted to share the second part of that same quote.

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“Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Sage advice from Ms. Keller, on a background of Jet Stream. Seriously though, nothing really can be done without these key ingredients. You have to have enough confidence to move forward and enough hope to dive in, even when you think it might not work or you might not make it.

It’s the perfect recipe for accomplishment. I love it.

What are you trying to accomplish this week? We were trying to get our ORC done for tomorrow’s big reveal and I cannot wait to share… be sure to check back tomorrow so you don’t miss it!

Other than that, I’m confidently hoping for a few of my large projects to continue trodding along smoothly. Things have been going really well and I’d like to keep them that way. Hope all is well with you and your endeavors too!

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Optimism, Faith, Achievement.

By nature I have always been a glass half-full type. I have general spirituality and some faith though I’m not religious per se. And my type-A qualities just love the ability to check something off the list.

Helen Keller Quote on Optimism

All that said… things have gone a little crazy lately. Crazy good though, not crazy bad! My only negative note is that I’ve been spending a lot of time on my feet, like we don’t have anything in our house to sit on (as I’m reminded daily with questions like, so when are we putting the living room back together?) and even if we did I’ve been standing, painting, chipping, scrubbing, etc., to get our living room into shape…I’m so looking forward to this home stretch over the next 7 days, just not as much as I’m looking forward to day after when I can start enjoying it (and the pedicure to follow!). More on the ORC and how I’m feeling tomorrow though (as scheduled).

When things in life get crazy for all the best reasons, or even scary and daunting reasons, I try to always look for the positive in it all. When you are living in the chaos of renovations, it’s easy to see the scary. When you are running on empty working so much, think of how you are thriving in your career! If you are lucky enough, like me, I am so passionate about what I do! Though I constantly joke I’m not saving the world, I know the benefits of a well designed space and home, so I’m doing good in my own fun way.

This quote by Helen Keller, “optimism is the faith that leads to achievement,” felt so good for this week! Being that I have a few projects that are getting planned and solidified that I’m so excited about I can envision them completed already, and that we are in the last week of progress for the ORC, it’s finally May and the unofficial start of summer will be here before we know it… there’s a lot to be optimistic about and I feel electric with excitement about where these next few weeks (or hell, just this week alone) are going to lead and the achievements that will come with it all.

Looking forward to sharing more… as well as finally posting about Napa (I know, I know, I keep teasing that I will… but it’s going to happen this week for sure!!). What are you excited and optimistic about lately? Do you have any chaos happening in your life right now that you can swing around to the side of optimism and get you to that end goal?? Do share!

Happy Wednesday!! Hope you’re enjoying the first week of May.

PS. Today’s quote is on a background of Benjamin Moore’s Jet Stream… have you noticed that for the past few weeks I’ve been using the shades of blue that we were selectin between for our living room renovation? Any guess at which shade of blue it will be?? If you’ve been following on SnapChat, you may have seen the color as it went up over the weekend or even this morning…follow along @designbykrystle! (Other opportunities to be social below. *wink, wink*)

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Mid Week Dreamin’

This Ralph Waldo Emerson quote is so so good. Especially when you have had the longest week ever and it’s only Wednesday.

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Anyone else, can I get a show of hands? Oh okay… it hasn’t been that bad, just busy! Lots of different moving parts over here right now. P just started a new job which we are so thrilled about! It’s always a little tricky with the transition to anything new and with a new job in particular, just the paperwork alone can make you dizzy!

Work is so so good, and like always in the spring, things are starting to pick up around here. I have a lot of fun projects that are just getting started and several that are in there end phases (which is often more frazzling than the beginning!), so it’s just a matter of keeping it all organized.

Lastly the ORC is keeping me on my toes!! I feel so motivated to get this space done (and have it be a stunning place that we can brag about to boot!), that I have been spending every minute at home tending to some detail or another with regard to the living room. I will post a full update tomorrow to show where we are at with it all and what we’ve accomplished. It looks so different already, yet I fear there is still so much to be done!!

So with all that said, whatever is on your plate, make sure that you aren’t be pushed by fear, but rather that you are following your heart and your dreams. Check in with yourself to make sure you are taking time and paying attention to whatever it is that you need. Even if what you need is just a glass (or bottle) of wine to take the edge off of a long and busy week! No judging from me!!

(Ralph Waldo Emerson quote posted on a background of Benjamin Moore’s Silvery Blue which was one of our living room wall color considerations.)

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Mid-Week Happy Vibes

Okay, okay…I’ll admit it. I’ve been slacking on the blog front. Well at least I feel that way. If you have been reading for long enough to know my patterns and habits, you know that when I get busy with life, clients, projects, etc., I tend to wind down to only a post or so a week.

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It would be an understatement to say that we are in a busy season right now… and then I jumped on the One Room Challenge too… (yeah, I might be crazy).

The good news is, all of the things that are keeping us busy are good things. P accepted a new job and he has this week off before starting this coming Monday–it’s a great position with great perks and we were thrilled that he got the offer! I have 3 large client projects I’m juggling now (more on that later) and they are all in a really good phase right now, but there is constant behind the scenes work to be done on them. In addition to that, I just got back from 5 days away with a girlfriend in Napa (blog post scheduled for this Friday), which was so fun, but it’s always busier coming home and settling back into the schedule and the swing of things. Lastly, we jumped into the ORC as a guest participant and I won’t bore you with the details until the scheduled update tomorrow, but the progress this week feels HUGE and has taken a lot of muscle and time! (few!)

So, there you have it! That is where we are now. All I can say is that despite all the different elements we are juggling right now, the underlying feeling is happiness! Things are soo good and we are in such a great place with everything right now, and this quote (on a background of BM Heaven on Earth) is perfect.

My happiness is when my hubby and pup are happy, my house is in order (or at least the kitchen counters are clean), and my clients are up to date and moving forward towards their own happy home! (Well all that, and a good glass of wine!) What is your happiness?

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Harmony, Purpose and Form

I have written a lot about the balance of form and function in design (here), they are both so important, and the balance of these elements in a space is crucial to a successful design. Sometimes I wish it were just as easy to break down and create this harmony in other areas of life!

alvar aalto harmony quote

This quote by Alvar Aalto was an architect, designer, product designer, etc., that was no stranger to creating this lovely relationship in his spaces. (See a few of them here.) It’s rare to find a architect with such a great understanding of not only the exterior space and form of the building/home, but also with such awareness in how it relates to the interior function of a space. Mr. Aalto puts it well when comparing this balance to something that is truly beautiful, “beauty is the harmony of purpose and form,” shown above on Benjamin Moore’s Cream Puff pink.

This color family is another thing I’ve spent a lot of time talking about… the pale pink/nudes that are subtle enough you can convince hubby to paint the master suite pink… he might not even know it’s pink if you don’t tell him!!

Anyway, I love dreaming of pinks color stories for when we have a bigger space, and I love dreaming up ways to create the perfect balance and harmony for my clients in their homes.

In life, this weekend was about juggling friendships! We celebrated a dear friend for her bridal shower on Saturday afternoon in upstate New York, and then I drove to CT to help out another very dear friend and we had a sleepover (mani’s and pedi’s included!). Come Sunday I was home with Hubby for a day filled with quality time, dog walking, shopping, and good eats…the weekend was so full, and I wasn’t even mad about getting up and getting to work this morning… So what! It’s Monday… let’s create a better harmony between our relationships with work and with life so that we don’t dread every Monday!

This week is going to be a great one! What do you have planned for your week? Did you have a fun filled weekend?? Are you good at creating harmony as Mr. Aalto suggests? Do tell! Happy Monday Friends!

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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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Just Say No

There are plenty of things we grow up knowing we should “just say no” to, but when it comes to life, there are often things we should say no to, but we keep saying yes.

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There is a theory out there and a group of people that are “yes people” and that sounds great for some. To be able to live life’s adventures just finding things to say yes to all the time, sounds fantastic! And by all means the point of this post is not to say no to the fun and the adventures. It is in fact to make more time for those good things.

So what is my point? It’s all about balance. If you are like me at all, you want to please people. For me that includes my clients, my colleagues, my family and my friends. I often end up putting myself at the bottom of that list.

But the reality is, if I don’t start saying no to some things, and putting myself as a priority, the things I put first (and second and third) will suffer as my energy, focus, etc., deteriorates. It is so important to not just find a good balance, but to create a good balance in our lives. As Steve Jobs put it (on Benjamin Moore’s Mt. Rainier Gray background), “It’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”

So, that is what I’ve been working on… work, life and balance. I’ve been learning to say no to the things that aren’t important and to making myself and the things that make me happy a bigger priority. How do you keep this balance for yourself? (I need all the tips I can get!)

In other news, we finished KonMari-ing this weekend, so I can’t wait to share more on that! And in the month of February I finished like half a dozen books that I want to do a round up of as well. Lots to share in the coming week and I’m planning to make the time to actually share it all too!

How was everyone’s weekend? What are you making a priority of these days?

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What’s a Party Without Cake?

I found this quote from Julia Child a while back and thought it was the most appropriate to hold onto it for my birthdya week. “A party without cake is just a meeting,” just about sums it up if you ask me. Not only does a party require cake, but wouldn’t it be so fun if all the meetings could be turned into parties just by adding cake?? So at your next staff meeting, maybe you should find out who’s on cake duty.

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But really, I think more to the point, is that the sweetest part of the party is what people look forward to and expect when they are attending a party. In life, if we make things a little sweeter, we can make everything feel a lot more fun. One of my professional mentors told me once that you have to always leave [clients] with a sweet taste in their mouth. Meaning that at the end of the day, at the end of your transactions with them, they need to feel that things ended on a high note. Go the extra mile to do something sweet in your day to day interactions so that when you leave, not only do you feel good, but so do those you’ve come across in your travels.

So with that, I’m officially another year older, but still seeking out the wisdom of those who’ve gone before me. Today’s quote graphic is on a background of Benjamin Moore’s Fancy Pants because fancy pants make everything in life just a little bit sweeter.

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What ‘cake’ are you bringing with you to make life a party? Metaphorical or actual, however you want to spin it, cake is a good thing. (Or in the case of a Gluten Free birthday girl, pistachio gelato that rivals that of the flavors at the base of the spanish steps in Rome.) Hope your life is feeling a little sweeter and that your year is off to a fabulous start! Can’t wait to hear all about what adventures you’ve got planned for the year–I know we are excited to be planning some for ourselves!

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Words for the New Year

Hey Friends, I know it has been a month since I last blogged, December was crazy and I needed a little reset and to take one thing off my plate for a little while. But, I’m back!

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I’m so excited to see what this new year has to offer for our life, family and for our design ventures. DBK is busy with clients in such a good way. I am learning a better work life balance and not to be busy with projects all the time, I am starting to be more selective with the projects and clients I do take on and I am learning to ask for help when I need it. To say the least, things are already starting to feel amazing in the New Year! I thought these were particulary wise words, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life,” well said Socrates (on a background of Majestic Violet by Benjamin Moore).

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We spent the holidays with my family on vacation and it was so great to have Christmas with my mama (and of course my step dad, sister and hubby)! We didn’t work at all while we were away and for that I am so grateful, even P took a complete break and really soaked up the downtime!  I finished a book, worked on some knitting, did a puzzle, played games with the fam, lounged by the pool and in the best hammock ever and soaked up the time with my family.

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New Years we spent the weekend at the new jersey shore. Had an amazing morning at the beach, had some delicious meals and more great time to just reset and think about what we want from 2016.

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We have decided that we want to take this year and really build some amazing memories. P had said that compared to the year we had in 2014 (we bought our condo, brought home #BrantleyBub, got married and had the most incredibly honeymoon), 2015 really didn’t live up. I think it was sort of a year of balance last year. With 2014 being as awesome as it was, we needed a year that had a little less going on.

For DBK it was still an incredible year last year with so many amazing projects. I spent some of the last month taking inventory of our year in design projects and last year was something special to say the least. So from a business/design side of things, I’m so thrilled to see the beautiful spaces we put together this year.

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And personally, we are putting a big push on making some incredible memories. We are planning some great trips, some updates to the condo and a whole lot of elimination of stuff. I shared our new mantra on Instagram over the weekend, “less stuff, more moments,” and I think even just the idea of that makes me feel light and happy. Commence excitement for all of the above!!

What are you most looking forward to in the new year? Do you have any big plans, or any plans to keep it simple? Any New Years Resolutions or like us maybe a new mantra?

Either way, we wish you all the best for 2016 and can’t wait to share in more projects and adventures with our blogging community!

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