Halfway There on a Home Redesign

I wanted to share a photo post of a space in progress. I shared a little bit about this project on this post with the before, and here is a look at the first install day trying to get as much done as possible before the family hosted a big event at the house. 
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We are still waiting on most of the furnishings for both kids’ rooms, the headboards alone will make a world of difference. And for the living room, we still need the chairs that were on back-order (I brought my living room chairs to fill in while they wait), and all of the accent tables, art work, window treatments, etc., but I have to say that the place has already made such a huge transformation on 2 weeks notice before the party! I can’t wait until the rest of the pieces arrive and I can get this job wrapped up and photographed so I can share it with y’all! This project has been a favorite so far!

What do you think? Do I look like a crazy person in these photos running around trying to get all the details in place? What little transformations have you been making to your home lately?

Deadline City

Labor Day weekend is fast approaching, and aside from the holidays, it is one of the busiest times of year for design pros. Many people want to wrap things up by this weekend for a variety of reasons: from hosting an end-of-summer bash, to getting things finished before school starts back up, to coming home from their vacations and wanting to arrive to a finished space!

Whatever the reason behind it, designers this week are slammed! I like to think that I’m a bit more composed than a headless chicken, but when all is said and done, you can find me enjoying at least one day off with a cocktail in my hand and hopefully some sand beneath my feet. I’m coming for you Labor Day!!

Probably the biggest thing I have going right now is one of my clients will be hosting all of the festivities surrounding their niece’s wedding. After purchasing a new house, almost every room has a project that needs to be completed. We have been focusing on taking care of the rooms that are completely empty or will be high-traffic areas before we work on the spaces that are outdated and just need a change.

We have all been running around from Philly to New York and all corners of the internet to find materials, make selections and get things ordered. The thing is, despite ordering in advance and selecting “overnight” shipping options, we are still waiting for a few key pieces. Friday morning, I will be bustling around their home getting window treatments hung and placing furnishings that might only be placeholders just to fill the space before the parties begin.

I will take some pictures if I have time and share next week what the house looks like in it’s temporary state of completion, place-holders included. And then you can really see the transition of the space coming together. For now, all of the pictures included here are of the space as it was when I first came to see it before starting work on the space.

The one space I’m missing is their son’s bedroom, which I’m kicking myself for not taking a photo of, since even though we are doing very little with his space, the changes we are making will likely have a HUGE impact.

Anyway.. that’s what I’m up to! What are your Labor Day plans?

Inspiration D’La Féte Nationale

In case you missed it, yesterday was Bastille Day! Or La Féte Nationale as the French would say. So I thought it would be fun to share some fun French spaces for some inspiration!

Bastille Day Paris 2015

There are a lot of incredible things that we have gotten from the French: incredible artists, great fashions, delightful furnishings and interior styles and some really mouth-watering treats.

When I think of France, like a lot of people I’m sure, I think of the romantic imagery associated with Paris, along with the French countryside dotted with vineyards and seas of lavender. So in turn when I think of French decor, I think of cozy spaces, incredible chic traditional details and an overall dreamy quality. How does that equate to an actual interior scheme? Take a look:

Are you a fan of a French-inspired decor?

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

WIP|Dressing Room

One of the projects I am really excited about right now is a dressing room I’m working on for a great couple. The house is an older home with tiny existing closets, but at the top of the stairs to their second level, there is a larger bedroom to the left, the master, a bathroom directly across from the stairs, a linen closet next to the stairs on the right and a smaller bedroom on the end of the hall just past the linen closet.

A look at the exiting extra bedroom just after moving into the home:

Since they have two additional bedrooms on the first floor, we’ve decided to convert the second bedroom upstairs into a large walk-in closet, or dressing room, creating a full master suite upstairs. The room has stunning hardwood floors, an existing closet, and for resale purposes it may need to be converted back into a bedroom, so we are anchoring all of the shelving into the walls which can be patched and painted easily enough when the time comes.

Personally, I think that the dressing room would be an excellent sales feature on its own without being converted back, but resale won’t be for a while.

The first thing we did upon my first visit to the home was take a look at all of the shoes, clothing and handbags that they were hoping to house in the dressing room. I then needed to see the space. I took my measurements and hit the drawing boards.

I came up with two options for them in the space calculating the number of items each could potentially hold and presented each to them. To help them better envision how each would feel in the space, I measured out some of the key pieces and marked them with blue painters tape on the floor, and once we could all really see how the space would lay out, a plan was very easily selected.

From the plan, we began furnishing the space. The largest piece of the dressing room is obviously the cabinetry, which had a lot of research involved. Although similar in many ways, the cabinetry for closets are very different from kitchens and baths.

That said, we began looking into a happy medium between big-box stores and Ikea options which turned out not to be customizable enough to fully customizable cabinetry lines. We found our happy medium with a local shelving systems company, Bella Systems, who thus far has been a breeze to deal with.

It took some back and forth between all the parties involved to find the exact right use of space and components involved before we settled on the final layout (the above left floor plan) and placed our order. While we wait for the cabinetry to come in, we are working on selecting seating for the space, a new makeup vanity and coordinating stool, new jewelry storage, art/details for the walls and other accessories.

I promise to update with some selections soon and I can’t wait for this space to come together! It is going to be a dream for the homeowners and the envy of all of their friends and family (myself included)! All digitally created images provided by Bella Systems, some modifications have been made from these plans to fit the current plan moving forward… I can’t wait to share this space with everyone!

Illuminating Decisions

One of the biggest issues in our bedroom is the lighting. Since my work space is here as well, I need good lighting all the time. A few weeks back I discussed adding a specific task light for the work space, but the overhead lighting needs to be addressed as well.

Yesterday I finally purchased the lamp for the work space, so I thought today I would try to make a decision on the overhead fixture. I also wanted to share with you guys, one of my favorite online retailers for house wares. I’m always surprised when people haven’t heard of One Kings Lane (OKL) because it is often a go-to for me when I’m looking for something unique or beautiful. They have great options available all the time and always at a reduced price. When I started trying to decide what I wanted for our overhead fixture, I was looking all over the place with nothing striking me as even an option for the space. Then I thought I’d check OKL to see if they did lighting too, and of course they do, I should’ve just started there.

For the bedroom, I love the idea of adding a chandelier. Chandeliers can be sexy and/or romantic, they can be sculptural and interesting. They illuminate the space while offering a focal point, so first, I checked them out as an option.

Lighting Options-Chandeliers

The four choices I found I really do love! Option 1 feels more appropriate for a dining space as it is a long and narrow piece, but I love the art deco feeling of it, the lines feel very flapper-esque to me. (Burlesque Oval Chandelier, also available in silver.) Option 2 is definitely more functional and I love the industrial quality of the black and exposed bulbs, this light is super functional and makes a good option for a bedroom, entryway or dining space. (Socket-To-Me.) Option 3 is very sculptural and has great curves, it is perfect for that retro chic space, but again, this fixture feels a bit more appropriate for the dining room. (Vintage French Chandelier.) Lastly, I love option 4! The soft drape of the chains paired with the sheer volume of them creates a stunning focal point, this piece would be perfect for our bedroom, if our bedroom was just a bit larger; it would also be well suited for an entry hall. (Chantilly Chandelier available in 6-light, 10-light or 12-light options.)

So, now that I’ve accepted the fact that our small space really wouldn’t be best suited for a chandelier option, Let’s look at the flush-mount and semi-flush-mount options.

Lighting Options-Flush Mount

Option 1 is a nice simple choice, the metal trim is simple and clean without feeling too style-specific, and it is available in a few different metal finishes to go with your space. (Harbour Flush Mount, alternate finishes.) Option 2 is probably the most spectacular semi-flush mount I’ve ever seen. It’s intricate glass shade is a textural work of art that I can only imagine does beautiful things to the light it filters. (Bella Semi-Flush Mount.) Option 3 offers a soft and simple sculptural shade, with lovely brass details. The organic shape of the shade is sure to please, and would be well suited for a bedroom space. (Soho Semi-Flush Mount.) Option 4 is another more industrial or farm-chic option with it’s cage-like shade. The details are simple and clean and would look fresh in any space and could work for several styles from rustic to city loft. (Downtown Flush-Mount.)

So there you have it! So many options for our new light fixture, I can’t wait to install our selection and have more light in our bedroom! Is there one that you think would be perfect for us? Or even better, one that is calling your name to come and live with you?? One Kings Lane has so many other options as well for lighting, so if you need something new for your space and you don’t like the ones I’ve narrowed it down to for my space, check out their chandelier lighting section or their ceiling-mount section and let me know what you think!

This is not a sponsored post, it is based solely on my own experience with and love of One Kings Lane. I’ve had great success ordering through OKL in the past, the only tip I have for you is to check the details on the order to make sure you love anything that is a final sale piece before you pull the trigger, especially noting the size specifications. Everything we’ve purchased through them has worked out great, so if you are new to them, I hope you love what you see!!

Elevating the Bed

If you follow DBK on social media, you know that my parents were in town visiting this past week. They were here for the whole week, and we had a great visit with them. We had good food, played tourist, spent some time with P’s parents and my parents all together and made some great memories.

Liberty House Dinner May 2015

While they were here, I made a little “daddy-do” list as my mom started calling it, for my stepdad. As I mentioned in the last post, I have all these plans for our bedroom space, but it’s more about making the time and getting things done. I think the biggest thing he helped with was elevating the bed.

P & I still worked our normal schedules while they were here, which made for some good chunks of time for P and Mr. Jay to work on a few things together. Good quality bonding time, and I LOVED coming home to finished projects, or even just progress made in some areas.

My in-laws are moving from their 35-plus-year family home into a beautiful new home in a senior community at the shore, that to be honest, has the kind of amenities that makes you wish you were 50-plus so you could live there too. However, in the process of their move, we are gaining a lot of old crap amazing childhood memories, as well as the things that we keep in their basement for lack of storage here at the tiniest condo ever.

So, where will all of this go in our tiny condo? But of course, we need to raise the bed up. We have a platform bed, with 2″ legs and an upholstered box-spring base, and while chatting with a friend we brainstormed that under the bed was the only good solution and that we needed to swap out the legs of the bed for taller ones. So before my parents arrived, we started planning, purchased some 8″ legs and some stain, and some under bed bins.

Once the legs were stained, we attempted to attach the legs. I say attempted, because after multiple tries and no success, we were sleeping on a bed propped up by books. #DIYFail! The problem was, I had assumed any furniture legs would likely be attached the same way, and that we could simply lift up the bed, un-screw the old legs, re-screw in the new legs and voila, new taller bed! But unfortunately for us, our old bed legs were attached with two screws and the legs drilled into place, and the new legs, as you can see in the images, have the one larger bolt coming from the end to just screw into place.

But worry not, because my parents were flying in the next day and Mr. Jay was sure to have a solution! Sure enough when I came home from work that night, my bed was taller and stable enough to hold the weight of at least two humans and a dog. But most importantly when my in-laws arrived that night, we were able to very easily transfer things to the under-bed bins and slide them into storage. Nice and neat and out of sight, it ended up working out perfectly!

The next project is to get the lighting ordered so we can get it installed before my personal deadline for this room (June 1). More on that tomorrow!

Addressing the Bedroom

bedroom before 1

I have decided that I need to change what I’m doing in order to really get my home in order. That said I decided I needed to stop working on little pieces of all the rooms in my home and work to complete one room. I discussed it a little bit last week, waffled around about which room would be best to work on and finally landed on the bedroom. I feel like this is a good place to start as it is where each day begins and ends for us. There are definitely areas of our home that need some attention too, but as P always says, one thing at a time, that way I won’t get overwhelmed with everything.

First things first, I want to give you a little peek at where things are now, and then we can go through the lists of what I would like to get accomplished throughout the course of the month. I’ll share a weekly or as-needed progress report, as well as some social media posts about what we are working on as we work through it.

Things that need our attention:

  • Window Treatments
  • Closet Area-Refold/Reorganize and hem-white curtains.
  • Work Space Completion-Address task lighting, project organization system, and chair.
  • Lighting-change overhead fixture and add desk lighting.
  • Storage-increase and reconfigure to work better.
  • Art & Details-styling the surfaces horizontal and vertical.

So it isn’t too bad. Things like the window treatments, we have (they are in the West Elm box on the floor) and they just need to be installed. Everything else I have a major plan for, I just need to lay it out, finalize and take action to implement. More on that through the course of the week, and hopefully these scary before pictures will just lead to a much better after with all the wow factor a transition can have!

Oh and for those who have been looking for the final office-space area.. these pictures show a sneak peek at where it is now…and although it isn’t fully finished, it is functional and working well for now.

I’m excited to be moving along with this space (and hopefully more in the future), this refocusing is just the push I need to get my ducks in a row and get this room finished!

Making the Most of Winter {Cozy at Home}

Okay so for the past few days I’ve been trying to convince you all to get outside and enjoy the winter scenery, but today, I’m going to share how I keep cozy at home. Afterall, it’s all about keeping things balanced.

Winter Series Snuggles 7

For me, the best cozy day starts in bed and stays in bed. I love to snuggle up under the covers or just lounge on a pile of pillows with my favorite things. For me, the main thing is giving myself permission to put my to-do list on hold and spend some time relaxing. It is so healthy, mentally and emotionally, to give yourself a break every once in a while and just let yourself really turn everything off and relax.

So that is exactly what I did! I pulled over my Vittsjo table from IKEA, with my candles and roses and hunkered down. I spend some time reading, scrolling through Instagram, knitting and most importantly snuggling with Brantley! It was probably the best afternoon I’ve had in a long time and I would seriously recommend it!

The only thing I would change about this afternoon is our bedding. We are seriously in need of bedding and I have been researching what I want to get since that White Sale post a while back. P & I had registered for a bunch of new bedding but we didn’t end up receiving any of the pieces, so we are also debating buying ourselves some of the pieces from our registry with gift card money we received.

But I also recently discovered a little site called Parachute Home that deals with bedding in a way that leaves me quite intrigued. First, they donate a portion of their sales to send insecticide treated bed nets (in partnership with Nothing But Nets) to areas in need in Africa. Secondly, they speak highly about the way they work to bring together simple and good quality sheets.

They design everything in Los Angeles, manufacture in Italy and they dye using a natural process to reduce the impact on the environment – which my sustainable side loves. But mostly they are made to bring incredible sheeting to you at an affordable price. I can really relate to what the founder says about why the business was started. To recreate that Italian hotel sleep experience without blowing your monthly rent on bedding. P and I went to Italy on our honeymoon and I’m telling you, the bedding was insane.

All that said, I really am very picky about my bedding, so I have ordered some swatches to find out if these Parachute Home sheets feel as fabulous as they sound! (And to see which color I would select for our space.) I’m so excited for them to come so I can report back on what I think!

All said and done, whatever bedding you have and whatever your favorite things to do to hunker down with on a chilly day, this is a great way to push the pause button on winter and take some time for you to truly relax this season!

White Sale Season {Time for a Bedding Upgrade}

If your email isn’t full of a ton of messages about white sales, then you obviously don’t sign up for the same stores I do. This time of year is the time to seriously consider upgrading your bedding. A lot of companies offer their “white sale” in an effort to clear out inventory before the new spring arrivals come in.

I’ve done a lot of the work for you and I wanted to share my five favorite white sale deals.

1. If you are local to the NY-metro area, do yourself a favor and check out Fig Linens in Westport, CT. They have an incredible selection of beautiful linens. From basics to prints to lush blankets and more. And bonus (!) they are currently having their white sale!

2. Two of my favorite brands have joined forces and the result is incredible. West Elm is working with Kate Spade (I know, right?!), and they are now featuring some incredible pieces. Here is one of my favorites from their white sale, going on now.

3. If you aren’t a fan of the classic white hotel look for your bedroom at home, take a peek at this pleasing shade of gray. This jersey knit duvet and sham collection from Pottery Barn is a comfortable and casual winner that can be punched up with accent pillows to fit different seasons or different moods.

4. For a classic hotel look with a twist, go for the Ralph Lauren Palmer Brights collection. Where you can add color to your whites with a bold border in orange, yellow, green, or even pink! I love mixing the shams from this collection in with a neutral pallet for an unexpected and super-fun look.

5. For a classic clean look, go for a matelasse. The texture you get is so gorgeous, while still looking polished, in a white or any other color. I chose this one from West Elm, made with an organic cotton percale, it comes in white and gray and would be fabulous in almost any space.

Don’t you just love a good white sale?!