Living Room Revealed | ORC Week 6

Stick a fork in me, I’m done! Last week I didn’t know if we were going to pull it off. I even shared about the delay of our window treatments… but ya know what, we did it! Even without the window treatments, in my opinion, the living room looks pretty damn good.

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So, if you are new around here, we’ve been participating for the last 6 Thursdays in the One Room Challenge, which is a design challenge graciously hosted by Linda at Calling it Home, where 20 host design bloggers and countless guest bloggers transform one room in 6 weeks and share all the plans and progress along the way. It is intense to say the least, but worth every stress-filled moment once you make it to the end.

Here are a few before pics to remind you where we started:

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We transformed our living room with the miracles of paint, lighting and trim. It sounded easy enough when we started, and I can’t tell you how many times I was filled with excitement or tears throughout this process, but I am thrilled with where the living room is now. (I’ll be even happier next week when the Roman shades are up, but you can come back next week to see how those fit in.)

Without further ado, the full reveal:

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What do you think? I love hearing your feedback, so please comment below! It was a grueling process for sure, and the pictures really don’t do the space justice, but it is a bigger change that it looks, and we couldn’t be happier!

I know Brantley is happy to not have to hide in the bedroom while the living room is filled with noise and chaos, and I know P and I are thrilled the our living room furniture isn’t crammed into our bedroom anymore.

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The little things that we did, and the sheer work and effort we put into getting this room done, are huge! This living room project has made us love our little corner of the world that much more. And I don’t know about any of the other participants, but I’m going to have the best sleep of my life tonight!

My step-dad (Handy Dad as my mom and I refer to him) was an insane resource for us during this process. I wish he lived closer, but we talked on the phone almost daily with questions, tips, etc., throughout the challenge, and I really could not have done it without him and his advice and support. The local contractor and friend I do a ton of work with, Greg, was a huge resource for this project as well. He connected us with the floor refinishers, the lighting guys, a carpenter to help with the weird molding issues that we were unable to deal with on our own, the list goes on. My neighbor A, who came in with her muscle, not only kept me company while I worked on the room, but she was willing to get covered in paint to help me keep my sanity and my timeframe. And of course to Linda at Calling it Home, for not only hosting this great challenge, but for cheering us on through the weekly blog posts and on social media updates to keep us going especially when it was tough!

I’m so appreciative of all the advice and support from all corners… our tiny home has never looked so good!

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And if you think our space looks good at all, wait until you see the host designers revealed spaces. OMG, if you haven’t seen them yet, hop over here and prepare to be wowed. Once you recover from that, don’t forget to get back to the Calling It Home guest participant link up where other guest participants are sharing their reveal today too! There are some really incredible transformations floating around on the web today!!

Check back next week (or follow on any of the linked social spots below) to see the room truly completed with window treatments, and then a follow up post on the budget for this space, which I think it’s always helpful to see a real perspective of how the numbers break down. Thanks so much for following along, I hope to see you around the blog again soon!

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Out With the Old | ORC Week 4

Welcome to week four of our One Room Challenge, where we are guest participating in a challenge to transform a room in 6 (or really 5) short weeks! If you missed our previous posts, see what our room looked like before and our plans/progress up to this point here.

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Basically this week we spent making a lot of decisions, which is no small feat! Visually the biggest change is that the navy is gone. No more New York State of Mind for us!

The last of the trim is gone, the radiator and sills are as stripped and smooth as they are going to get! And the walls are primed. That is what we did physically in the room this week!

From a materials decisions/orders standpoint, we ordered the light fixture and ceiling medallion (both shipped and hopefully will go in before the next post), we had the measure appointment for the window treatments and selected our fabrics (I’ll leave it a mystery on which way we went for now) and placed our order (they should be installed just in the nick of time!), we decided on what to definitely keep in the room furniture wise and I ordered a little surprise detail to add a visual pop. We also made some decisions for now to keep the doors and door hardware, and instead of the radiator cover, since we can see down to the actual unit now (and it’s kinda charming) we are going to just apply one fresh coat of paint to it.

This weekend, P will be out of town for a friend’s bachelor party (lucky for him), so I will be focussing on finishing the radiator and window sills, getting the color on the wall, and maybe framing out the windows with their new trim. The other trim can’t go in until the floors are done. Flooring is scheduled for Monday and then we have to be out of the condo until Thursday essentially, so you may not see a lot of progress on next week’s post, but never the less I’m so excited that the floors are getting done and that it is all getting done right!! Oh and maybe I will have time to work on my DIY art project for the gallery wall while we are locked out of the house… interesting!!

Here’s a look at our list:

  • Remove old moldings
  • Install new moldings
  • Light fixture/ceiling medallion
  • Radiator-clean up and/or cover
  • Paint radiator
  • Re-Hang Gallery Wall
  • DIY Art Project
  • Refinish Wood Floors
  • Prime walls
  • Paint
  • Window Treatments

It doesn’t feel like we have that much done on the list yet, but I feel like we have so much more done this week. The room being primed alone makes such a huge difference already. The room feels so much larger, but being that stark white primer color is very unflattering… I can’t wait to get the new blue up on the walls and for the space to feel cozy again.

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This weekend and the next week are going to be busy! I’ve been snapchatting a lot of my behind the scenes as well, so make sure to follow along there (designbykrystle). And of course, don’t forget to check out what the 20 design hosts are doing and hop over to the Calling It Home blog for the guest participant link up to see what everyone else has been doing this week in their ORC!!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest andBloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Complete Destruction | ORC Week 3

Welcome to week three of our One Room Challenge, where we are guest participating in a challenge to transform a room in 6 (or really 5) short weeks! If you missed our previous posts, see what our room looked like before and our plans/progress here.

Last week after I read through a good chunk of the other ORC Guest Participant posts, I started experiencing maximum anxiety about my time frame for this project. Having been away for 5 days took a lot of my progress time away and after seeing the strides everyone was making I was like oh crap I need to get down to business.

So, as soon as I got home from the office last Thursday (and finished snuggling with #BrantleyBub) I started ripping out the telephone wire I pointed out in last week’s post. I sent out a snap of the progress I was making and immediately got a text from the hubs, like “what in God’s name have you done?!” Well it wasn’t that dramatic, but he was a little nervous curious and the text did come through pretty quick.

Over the weekend, we began taking the old moldings out. We very quickly realized that we weren’t going to be able to get off so many layers of poorly applied (and like lead) paint, so we cautiously began removing them, with much concern for the plaster walls… we did not need those crumbling down on us. We plan to replace them with period appropriate moldings. It was so fun though to see the history of colors that have been on our walls from shades of green to blue to pink and white.

Remember last week when I said we might do the floors, pending budget and availability of scheduling someone? Well yesterday we had the guy come out to give us the quote, because after removing the molding and revealing the edging, it quickly became apparent that it needs to be done. So we are pinching pennies and cutting from some areas of the budget where we can to make room for the floors. They will be repaired and refinished and the soonest we can get on their schedule for is May 2nd. That’s cutting it awfully close to the reveal week, but ya know what? It’ll have to do.

So, flooring aside, we successfully removed all of the trim ourselves (with the exception of the window trim), and for my hubby who has never really been all that handy, and for myself who grew up in a DIY family but hasn’t ever undertaken serious projects at home (everything I plan with my clients, someone else executes), I am insanely proud of us! So right now we are in the “complete destruction” phase of the project, where nothing looks pretty and we are lucky if there isn’t still demo dust scattered around the living room (and the rest of the condo). Hopefully soon, things will start looking a lot prettier!

We also swatched paint to decide on our color change. I narrowed it down to 5 choices, which do you like the best? (The colors are as follows–all Benjamin Moore: 1., White Satin. 2., Breath of Fresh Air. 3., Jet Stream. 4., Heaven on Earth. 5., Silvery Blue.)

I’m planning to paint the base molding and the ceilings white, and the walls, door and window trims and doors themselves all the same as the wall color. Because our room is so small, and there are a lot of doors/doorways/windows for the small space, I want to eliminate the illusion of the space being broken up so much. I feel that if the color is consistent on all of the details with just the top and bottom framing out the wall color with crisp white, then the room will feel a lot more expansive. That said, I’m catching a lot of flack so far from the few people I’ve discussed it with, but I think we are going to move forward with this plan anyway. Since I can’t shake the idea, I decided to dig up some images of rooms where others have embraced the concept and rocked it! Here’s a look at some rooms where they’ve done some version of this:

[Paint Inspo Images: Martha Stewart’s Pink Guest Suite, Latitude Lane Den by Angie Hranowsky, AB Chao’s Moody Bedroom as featured on Apartment Therapy’s post here, Eclectic Dining Room by Suzanne Kasler and Kim Winkler as featured on Carla Aaston’s blog here.]

What do you think? Are you a fan of unifying the space by painting everything including moldings the same as the wall color?

This weekend our goals are to finish removing the last bit of trim, tend to the radiator, and start working on patching and priming the walls. I’d love to say we will paint, but if there is anything I’ve learned from doing the molding it’s that everything takes longer than you think, and I do not want to rush the paint! We also have an appointment for the window treatments to finalize our fabric selections and get our install scheduled. So all in all, I feel we have made great strides this week (even if it only does equal one thing off the list).

Here’s a look at our list:

  • Remove old moldings
  • Install new moldings
  • light fixture/ceiling medallion
  • Radiator-clean up and/or cover
  • Gallery Wall
  • DIY Art Project
  • Refinish Wood Floors
  • Paint
  • Window Treatments

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Be sure to pop over and scroll through the featured designers progress updates here, and jump to the Calling It Home blog for the guest participant link up to see everyone else’s spaces as well! I hope you are having fun following along with this challenge!

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ORC Week 2 | The Plan

Or, the things I love and loathe about our current living room.

When I shared last week I got a ton of comments from people who LOVE our current blue paint (Benjamin Moore’s New York State of Mind, btw). We love it to, but it is dark in this small space, an although I think it adds a ton of our personal flair to the space, I think a lighter brighter space could work to our benefit in here. Since we do love the blue, we are going  to stick with our same basic color scheme though we’ll be selecting a lighter blue.

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We used to have too many surfaces and pieces of furniture but we cleared a ton of excess away when we KonMari’d earlier this year. So, in general, I’m happy with our furniture. (Though the cushions on the back of the couch could use a little help.)

Let’s talk about the art. We purchased some fabulous painting while in Italy on our honeymoon, we have gotten all of these pieces incorporated into our home, and a long ass time ago, we planned out our gallery wall…during this transition, I would like to attempt to create a DBK original painting to include in the gallery wall and get everything actually hung up so the gallery is a completed focal point. The three other pieces on the living room walls (the areal view of Manhattan in black & white, the painting between the widows–one of the honeymoon buys–and the mirror) are all staying, not just in the mix, but in their existing locations too.

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The details, aka the things I loathe. Our condo is in a pre-war building that has details up the wazoo, but when the last person attempted to update our unit, they gave no concern to the details. Our moldings look atrocious. They have layer upon layer of paint on them, some have been spackled in an attempt to patch them, and some have wires (that are old and not connected to anything) fastened into them–and then painted over multiple times! Needless to say the moldings are going to be getting some serious TLC on this journey.

 

I would love to include refinishing the original hardwoods into the plan this go around, but I’ve not had luck finding anyone that does that in our area yet, and I’m not sure it will fit in the budget this go around either.. But I’m optimistic, so we will see!

So what’s new? Well, first and foremost, we need some sort of window treatments in here… The unit across the courtyard was empty when we moved in so they weren’t a priority anywhere except the bedroom and bathroom really. And now that we have lived without them for so long ,it has become what we are used to.. .but in addition to the privacy they will add, I’m excited about finding something that might aid in reducing our cooling budget in the summer too.

Finally, I have been planing with a good friend/coworker of mine to build a radiator cover to enclose that old over-painted beast, and I am hoping that it will be done in line with this challenge! And lastly, I’ve been trying to hunt down the perfect light fixture for this room too, though I haven’t found anything perfect yet, I’m not ready to cross this detail off the list.

So that’s our story around here for this week! What do you think of the plan? Do you like change in blue tones and the attention to details? Make sure you take a few minutes to hop over to the Calling it Home ORC page to see what is new with the featured designer participants this week along with the other guest participants too!

Since I was gone last weekend, nothing has changed around here yet, so the upcoming days/weekends are going to be be busy!! I think sanding moldings and determining the specific new blue for the walls will be my main goals for this weekend! What is your favorite mid-light shade of blue for paint?

Tomorrow (deepening on how things go) I’m hoping to get my updated posted on our little girls weekend in Napa, so be sure to check back for that later this weekend too!

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Joining the One Room Challenge | Living Room

Calling It Home  has been hosting the ever inspiring One Room Challenge (ORC) for 10 seasons now, and although I only found out about it a year or so ago, I have loved seeing all of the incredible spaces that come together through the challenge!

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to join or not, but in reality, though most of our house is basically done, nothing is really DONE, if you know what I mean…I know there will always be little projects here and there in each room that need work, but I would like for at least one space of the condo to really feel completed!

For that reason, I’m going to proceed with the living room. We have it in really good shape and have made several changes with it so far (eliminating much that we didn’t need during our KonMari Process), but when you live in a 525 square foot space with husband and dog there are always little things that you can do to help. We spend the bulk of our down time in this room, and I want it to really feel done.

So, here is a look at the space as it is now:

The ORC does group link-ups and updates every Wednesday with the official Group and then every Thursday with the guest participants for 6 weeks. This is week one! The idea is that by the end of the 6 weeks, your room will be completed! Next week I will share my game plan for this space and clue you in on what major (and minor) things I think this space needs to feel really finished.

Definitely make sure to jump over to the Calling It Home blog to follow along with the other participants of the ORC and decide if maybe guest participating would be fun for you too! I can’t wait to see all of the other spaces people are working on and get inspired!! Click over here to see the group link up of the guest posts, and go to the previous post to see the hosts inspiring spaces/plans for the challenge! I’m so excited to participate!!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

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!

Bungalow Reclaimed-French-Doors4

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!

apt therapy outdoor spaces roundup

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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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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The Life Changing Magic

So this year one of my goals was to spend more time reading and to make my own home a priority in getting it to the same level of comfort as I work so hard to help my clients get to in their homes.

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Well I’m busy, so time to read ends up falling pretty low on the totem pole, but I had heard so much about The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo that I thought maybe that would be a good way to get two birds. Read something that helps me get my own home more in order.

So again, with no time to read, I posted on Facebook about audio book apps and what people thought of them. Most of my friends left comments raving about both Audibles and Overdrive, and I would be willing to try either, however Overdrive is a free service that works in connection with library systems so it is only as good as the library you are linked to and Audibles is a monthly fee for one book per month or a higher fee for multiple books. You can look into more on that here, but I ultimately decided to download Overdrive and connected using my Mom’s library card to start and see about the service.

Her library is amazing and so far has had every title I have searched for and I’m on my third book with more on hold… I might be addicted to audio books. 

That said, the first book we listened to was the life changing magic, to learn the KonMari method. I say we because I wanted to make sure that P and I listened together so that we could work on the process together, sense after all we share the 525SF space equally with equal amounts of possessions that add to our chaos and do not bring us joy.

We started listening to the book on Monday the 18th I want to say. On Friday the 22nd there was a blizzard brewin’ so I stopped at Home Goods on my way home to buy some organizational baskets and things. Friday night we listened to more of the book and Saturday morning we listened throughout brunch until we got to a point where we felt we had heard enough to get the concept and start working on it. (This was about 2/3 through the book where she had completed discussing the order of the process and how the process works, so we were in a good place really to start.)

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Everything all laid out, ready to sort. No judgement!

I have to say, at first it was hard and I did end up with a lump in my throat sorting through some items. P and I discussed it and he said that he learned after a few ‘tough’ items to figure out, he realized that he really knew which way he should go on them and some things were just harder to detach from, but if they don’t look good, feel good, etc., then do they really bring you joy just taking up space?

We moved past the hump, finishing our clothes and by Sunday morning our closet was put back together in such a stunning way, and we had rearranged our bedroom minimally but gained so much space in the process! (Can’t wait to share more on this down the road!)

The order that Marie Kondo discusses in her book is first clothing, then books, papers, komono and mementos. Komono is a Japanese term that basically covers all of the miscellaneous items you may have, such as linens, cleaning products, medicines, accessories around the home, kitchen goods (from dishes to the items in your pantry), etc., so this is a vast category to get through.

Sunday we worked through all of our books, then started on the komono (there is a specific list/order to follow mentioned in the book).

Monday after work, we went through our papers, realizing we had skipped this necessary and evil step.

Tuesday we sorted through a few more areas of komono in the morning, and then started taking a few things to the car to donate.

Tuesday night we took out our narrow dresser that had been in our closet along with our old filing cabinet, both now empty, down to the street (in JC if you put any furniture on the curb, people will come pick it up in under 24 hours) and someone else had picked them up by the time I got home from work the next evening. The last few nights and mornings upon coming and going to work, we have taken a few more items and loaded them into the car.

This morning, I took the first car load to the Goodwill Donation Center. In this car-load alone, we donated 10 garbage bags of clothing/shoes/accessories, 2 boxes of ‘komono,’ 2 folding chairs. At home we still have 3 bags of closthing/komono, one box of books and one more folding chair to donate that wouldn’t fit in the car this time around. That and we still have about half of the komono category to go through. Not to mention, we have also taken something like 6 bags down to the garbage and recycling (mostly recycling when we can!) since we started sifting through everything, and we have one stuffed bag to take to the shredder.

Here is what I am feeling throughout this process. First of all, holy shit. How is it possible that we even had so many things just sitting around, stuffed in corners and hidden away in the back of our closet that we truly don’t love?! That in and of itself is crazy. Second of all, I feel amazing. I am starting to feel lighter in my space.

When I would come home from work before, it was always hard for me to feel calm. I always felt like there was something that had to be taken care of because there is always stuff everywhere and surfaces covered. Especially doing what I do I have always felt a bit of guilt that my home doesn’t look and feel as beautiful as my clients do.

Homes should be lived in, and that means they should have stuff. You should have things that are meaningful to you laying out on your surfaces. Things that when you see them bring you joy. But you shouldn’t have a seemingly bottomless pile of junk mail covering a section of your kitchen counter no matter how many times you clear away that section. You shouldn’t have your electronics (laptops, iPads, etc.) just laying around on the coffee table. And you shouldn’t have a pile of miscellaneous crap just sitting on the table for no good reason. For these reasons, I am completely absorbed and invested in the KonMari method. The life changing magic is no joke.

I can feel our life changing. I can feel the weight of the things that don’t matter to us that have been filling our lives being lifted away.

For now, things are still in a state of chaos as we are still sifting through things one day at a time and around the time when we are at work or my client appointments, etc., because this takes time. The more you have, the longer it can take. In the book Marie Kondo says that it can take up to 6 months for some people… I’m aiming to be done in less than one just because I don’t do well with things up in the air-I need some sense of finality, but I also want it to be done right, so we will get it done when we can.

We have still been listening to the book and are just about finished with it. I have started to get really excited about what this ‘life change’ means for us moving forward. I think we will be so much more comfortable and relaxed in our home.

I will report back once we are truly finished with the process and the book as a whole, but I had to share what we have been up to and how amazing it has been so far. It is certainly not easy, and I wouldn’t recommend starting the process without considering what it means and if you are really mentally/emotionally/physically ready for the grueling process. I also have to say that having your spouse (or house-mates) on board is HUGE. For me, knowing that P is in this with me has been so wonderful. I feel supported and that it is a joint effort to move forward with a tidier lifestyle, and thus I feel my efforts are not wasted but matched.

Have you heard all the rage on the KonMari method and this book? Do you buy it? Do you want to try it? If you have questions, chime in in the comments section, I’m happy to help if I can!

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Layering Our Bedding for Fall

When it starts to get a bit cooler at night, we call that good sleeping weather: weather in which you can open the windows, maybe add another layer to your bedding and really cozy in and get a good night’s sleep. I wanted to share with you how we transition our bed for fall.

Fall Bedding with White Sheets Quilted Layers and Neutrals

I change the sheets and the shams, keeping a good balance between the colors and textures by adding the quilted euro shams and a thin quilted layer, a favorite made by my mom. It is reversible and the sunflower side is perfect for the fall, not to mention that the blues and greens work perfectly in our bedroom color scheme. I keep the plush down comforter with the crisp white and greige cover folded at the end of the beds for when the nights get a bit too chilly and you need to pull up another layer to keep cozy.

This bed is so cozy and inviting that I never want to leave it in the morning to go to work!! How do you transition your linens in the fall? Do you add more cozy and quilted layers like we do, or maybe switch up the color of your sheets or duvet cover? I always love to see and hear what others are doing to keep cozy as the seasons change and the temps begin to drop.

Current Obsession | Banquettes + Breakfast Nooks

Banquettes are a great way to fit a dining space into a small kitchen, nestle in a designated breakfast nook, or even just a way to add a cozy element to a spacious kitchen.

Banquette 1

If only I could pinch this banquette out of this picture and plop it into our home… {sigh}.

Islands are all the rage, and they will be a constant staple in the world of kitchen design. But if you don’t have the space for an island, or you prefer a cozier seating option, consider a banquette on one wall or corner of the kitchen, it can give you just what you’ve been looking for.

Great use of the storage left & right, centering the nook on the window. Bravo. Jump to The House Diaries to see the full transformation of this kitchen (link below).

Great use of the storage left & right, centering the nook on the window. Bravo. Jump to The House Diaries to see the full transformation of this kitchen (link below).

Banquette 2

I love the colorful details and hidden storage showcased in this bold banquette! (Seen on Pufik.)

This jaw-dropping nook was featured not only on the Nest Studio Home blog but also in Women's Day magazine and it is easy to see why.

This jaw-dropping nook was featured not only on the Nest Studio Home blog but also in Women’s Day magazine and it is easy to see why.

I have been scribbling up very rough renovation plans non-stop for our condo. And although we may never renovate at all, it is fun to play around with the concept. The element, I can’t help but try to include is the banquette! In our small galley kitchen it would be such a great bonus niche! You can add storage into the benches and seasonally change out cushions and accessories to play with different colors. Really, what’s not to love?!

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4.