Dressing Room Details

Last week, I shared a dressing room in progress with the promise of more to come. So this week, while I await the final details to come together, I want to share with you the furnishing selections and accessory choices for the space.

For this space, offering a seating space –where she could sit to put her shoes on, or he could relax while she was finishing her make-up — was key. But I wanted the seating space to feel inviting enough to act as a place to escape when they just wanted to relax as well.

I had first wanted a settee or a chaise lounge, but for size and space reasons also considered chairs for the space.

Options 1 & 2 felt too linear for the space, like you would always have to sit in them with proper posture. Option 3 is a great shape and option 4 is a good style, though a bit too long and lean, but both were slightly out of reach for the budget on this space. Options 5 & 6 were perfectly relaxed but just a hair too long for the space, both coming in at a little more than five feet in length. Option 7 again, is a bit too straight, but the velvety texture makes up for that. And Option 8 was just right!

For the rugs, the option was to go shaggy or tufted for the texture and solid or patterned with the coloration. Here are the options we narrowed it down to:

The first option is a tonal shag, with a pattern that felt too large in scale both for the space and for the size of rug we would be getting. The second option was beautiful, but again, was just too large scale for the space. The third option, I really fell in love with everything about, but overall the pattern was a bit too abstract for the space we were putting together. The fourth option is shaggy in a super lux and silky texture, which fit perfectly with everything we were aiming for in the space.

The client found this great mirrored vanity for a steal, and we sourced this very similarly detailed stool to accompany the piece:

The last decorative pieces are the window treatments, art and accessories.

I found the art (Audrey|Chaplin) and immediately knew it was perfect for the space, well everything except the size. The prints were too wide! After much searching we found similar prints on art.com that have been ordered. The window treatments were narrowed down to these two options, and although the black and white had a great velvety texture, the silver was the right move for this space. I played around with a lot of pillow and throw options for about a month, online, in stores, you name it. But finally, the day the install started, I landed on the two options above while playing around at West Elm. We quickly decided that the first option would shed too much on clothes while getting ready and wasn’t worth the risk no matter how cozy. The alternate was a great way to incorporate the velvety texture I keep trying to bring into the space, the larger pillow nods to the paint color, while the smaller pillow keeps things feminine, and that throw is incredibly soft.

So, there you have it! Now for the last few little details to come in and we will be home free! Can’t wait to get them in there and finish the space so that I can photograph it and share it with you all!!

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.

Work Space Lighting

I am still working on getting my little home office work space fully put together so I can show you the real ‘after’ look from the shelving post a while back. I know some of you commented that you really needed to see the space finished to get the full idea of what I was trying to do there… so it’s coming.

One of the last details I am working on right now is the lighting. The work space is in our bedroom, and currently we only have a hideous single bulb flush mount ceiling fixture in the room. That will eventually change, but for now, I just need some dedicated light shining on my work space for when I am working either early or late and there’s not enough daylight filtering in to balance out the space.

I love lighting, so sometimes it can be hard to nail down exactly which piece is the right fit, but here are the options and some of my thoughts on each:

My primary concern for table lamps is I don’t want something with a heavy base that has large footprint. Since I added the shelves to get things off the surface to give myself more room to work, I don’t want to now limit the work surface by filling it in with a heavy-bottomed lamp. That said, I love the textured white look (though even the thought of dusting those little hexagons… no thank you) and any combination of white and gold is just so pretty, not to mention the soft handmade quality of the brushstroke lamp. (Gold Brushstroke Lamp by Jana Bek/BEK Design || White Honeycomb Table Lamp from World Market)

An alternate option would be to add sconces, I might have a mild obsession with sconces. They have no footprint and take up zero space so they are so useful. Alternately, you either need to hard-wire them or leave a cord exposed and hanging down the wall, and you have to anchor them into the wall as well…which ends up being more of a permanent detail or feature in your home, so if you will be there for a while, no big deal, but as this is our starter condo and it’s tiny and we likely won’t be there for too long and thus, I don’t know if this is the best option. That said, we have several nail holes and things that we will need to patch and repair when the time comes to ready the space for resale anyway so it certainly wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world and I could camouflage an exposed cord. I’ve also been trying to find a good way to incorporate sconces somewhere in our home basically since we moved in, so I don’t think I’ll nix these just yet. The industrial style piece is right up my ally I love it’s simple details and the glass shade and P was immediately drawn to the simplicity of the sleek white sconce. (Menlo Park Industrial Style Sconce found on One Kings Lane || Jax White and Wood Sconce from Crate & Barrel)

Lastly, there are floor lamps. They won’t take up any surface space on the desk, but I do have to be aware of how much physical space they take up in the room. They can be a great addition, help layer in the right amount of light for the space and even act as a focal point. The first option shown is just that-a statement piece-and it is glorious! I’m crushing on it hard, but at the end of the day, it might just be too much of a focal point for this area and end up pulling away from everything else that is going on here… plus I may not ever get any work done because I think I’d just be sitting here swooning over it all day. The second one is understated and simple while still being very visually appealing. I think the base is small enough that it could sit alongside the desk (or even slide partially beneath it) without taking up too much space, and I love that it brings in a touch of the gold tones, without being overkill. The black top mutes it down just enough to add an industrial edge to the glam gold base so the style is on point, but we have to consider the proportions and make sure the scale is a good fit for the space as well. (Studio Tripod Floor Lamp by West Elm || Black and Gold Crane Floor Lamp by CB2)

What do you think and which would you choose? I think I know which way I’m leaning, but I always love your input! Hopefully I can make a decision and get something ordered in the next few days so I can finish the work space and share the full reveal!

For the Love of Art

I am a huge fan of art and I can appreciate a lot of different styles, mediums, etc. But I mostly love more modern or abstract pieces. When we were on our honeymoon (which I still need to do a write-up on) we bought our first ‘real’ art for our space. It was such a wonderful process and experience and we are still so in love with our purchases.

Jean Claude Picot's "San Giorgo a Venise"

Jean Claude Picot’s “San Giorgo a Venise”

So, what do I mean by real art? I mean something done by an actual artist, not sold at a big box store like Home Goods or Ikea. That isn’t to say that the pictures purchased at these places can’t be great additions to your walls — we have a HUGE print from Ikea in our living room and we have another big painting from Home Goods that I’ve always loved as well.

Some places to look for good investment pieces to really build an art collection are art auctions, small galleries — even local coffee shops/cafes — and Etsy! Galleries can be found in most every city center, major or not, you are likely to find a local spot that is displaying art. One of the first pieces of real art I fell in love with was in a coffee shop in downtown Seattle. I was in no position to buy art at that point in my life, but I will never forget that piece. If I could remember the artist’s name, I would probably scour the internet until I could track it down!

In Jersey City, there is a little bar/restuarant/gallery space called LITM that does a monthly exhibit, not to mention 942 Summit, an adorable little shop featuring tea, gluten-free treats, skin care goodies and of course local art — definitely worth checking them out if you are local.

Art work by Lauren Taylor can be found and purchased here.

Art work by Lauren Taylor can be found and purchased here.

An Etsy artist that I’m in love with right now is Lauren Taylor, she makes beautiful fashion inspired watercolors. Shown above is her “For Love and Lemons” print that I think I might need for my bathroom. I also love her lipstick prints for the bathroom as well, but could see these prints along with any of the ones from her collection in a bachelorette’s gallery wall. She does great work.

Where have you found your ‘real art?’ I will have to do an art tour of the pieces we have around our condo now, but first we will have to get them up on the walls!

2014 Personal Highlights

This is the time of year when you look back on things that you’ve done, hurdles you’ve conquered, celebrations you’ve reveled in, and all the little things in between. This is a time for some positive light to be shed, but I know that it can often turn negative, and you can beat yourself up for the things that didn’t get done, hurdles you are constantly tripping over, etc., some years are going to be better than others. So as we get ready to start the next book in the series of our lives, I wanted to take a minute to run through my personal highlights of 2014, with a focus on the good and any negatives we will call challenges that helped us learn and grow!

In January, I shared the long struggle that was our home buying search. It was such a difficult process that challenged us at every turn and keeping positive was downright impossible at times. I wrote a bit about that here, and tried to give some insight into the process for other first time home buyers.

In February, we finally did find our first home! We signed on the dotted line, scheduled the movers and tore out the carpeting all within the first 24 hours.

Our small little slice of the world is the perfect place for us, and we have loved (and hated) it for almost a year now, and I can confidently say the struggle was worth it. Losing out on the other two places was meant to be, even though it was hard at the time, it was the best thing for us.

In March, as we settled in, I dreamt up a color scheme for our cozy abode and we painted the nights away. I will say that painting is something that I really do not enjoy. I thought there would be some feeling of reward in painting our first home by ourselves. But after finishing up the living room, we decided to wait on the other spaces, and eventually we will likely have a professional come in and at least touch up the moldings.

That said, P & I did still paint the kitchen ourselves, and in April, I taped off and painted the accent stripes over a few days when he was working late shifts. The bold accent was a surprise to some, and it still gets a lot of comments when we have company over, but we still really love it. It adds such a playful element to the space and makes me smile every time I glance into the space. Take a look here for more on our bold kitchen reveal.

In May we brought the most adorable puppy home (check #BrantleyBub on Instagram for a cuteness overdose). He instantly stole our hearts despite the potty training challenges of living in a condo and having to repeatedly sprint down several flights of stairs (sometimes for nothing), and I’m sure all the neighbors think we are insane for the excessive whooping and cheering we’d perform upon him actually going to the bathroom outside. Outside of the house, I began working on a living and dining room for a client whose bathroom is still an all-time favorite in my portfolio. Much like the rest of us, her projects are ongoing as the challenges of the budget and owning a home often add restrictions and make getting things done feel impossible. Both spaces are very close to completion and I promise to share them once they’ve wrapped up.

The summer months came and went without much notice, between wedding planning and working we spent a lot of time checking out our new neighborhood and dreaming of beach days and scenic retreats. Somewhere in there we managed to organize some frames and arrange a gallery wall as a focal point in the living room, which is another highlight of our home in my opinion. We actually received a few more framed pieces over the holidays that will soon be added to the wall as well, so more on that when the time comes.

Come August I got to bask in the fun of bridal showers and girls nights with some of my nearest and dearest. In September we even made it home to Seattle for a few days of bachelorette fun and a couples shower. If I had to use one word to sum up our labor day weekend of fun it would be epic. That trip was seriously so much fun. We also began work to add a closet to our bedroom that has added so much storage that I can’t express how much our life has improved with it. I haven’t shared pictures of it yet because it isn’t truly finished, but I think we will be there soon.

October was a continuation of epic fun, starting off with our wedding! It was a day that down-poured. The weather was not such a treat, but it made for a truly beautiful backdrop to our day, I’ve always loved so much about the rain, being from Seattle, and our pastor reminded us that our first date was also very rainy. Needless to say, the ceremony was so beautiful and we had so much fun at our reception and after-party that I woke up the next day and asked my new husband if we could do it all again! And if bad weather is the worst of things to come in our marriage, I will certainly take the rain! A few weeks back I shared a glimpse into the making of our big day, and hopefully in the new year I will have time to sort through more pictures of the wedding and honeymoon to share as well.

We ended the month of October on our honeymoon and started November off in Italy. For being a month about gratitude and thanks, my heart is certainly so full with love (even still) from our amazing wedding and honeymoon it might just burst. This trip (and this year) has filled me with so much inspiration and relaxation that I am fully geared up for another year of working with my clients to create amazing spaces for them.

December  has been about cutting myself some slack. I have had an extremely full year. Full of a lot of incredible and very positive things. But with all that good comes a lot of chaos. So I have been working on giving myself credit for all that I have done this year, and trying to give myself more attainable goals for things. We did have our holiday party, which I debriefed on a bit yesterday, where instead of making everything from scratch, I worked on good presentation, planning a tasty spread and a house full of festivity, cheer and ambiance.

This year as a whole has been such a wonderful year. For starters, I am now a Mrs. I am a home owner, a doggy mom, a business owner and so much more. These are all huge things! There have been times I have cried over the chaos, but there has been so much growth this year. Personal growth, yes, but also business growth-I have so many exciting projects to share with you in the new year. I haven’t ever really done a year in review like this before, but I have loved doing it! It has taken me all the way back through the blog and I’ve seen how this outlet has grown for me as well. I am so thankful for everyone who comes through and keeps me going here. I love to see the progress I’ve made with my writing, graphics and even my work that I share. I am so excited to continue this growth through blogging into 2015! If you made it all the way through this lengthy post, I can’t wait to make it through so many more in the new year!

Wishing you all a healthy happy 2015–I can’t wait to share another year with you all!

Holiday Hosting

This year P & I hosted our first-annual holiday soiree! I love getting friends and family together under one roof and the memories you make when everyone is together. To me, this is the reason for the season: to be together with loved ones making those memories.

I don’t have any good pictures of the tree, so this is as good as it gets! Note the DIY garland strung across the otherwise bare windows.

Doing what I do and being who I am, I needed everything in its place. The house needed to be in order, the halls perfectly decked and the food perfectly plated.

I love how this garland came out, strung across the wreath on our front door wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

Instead, what we did was minor holiday decor, a wreath on the front door to welcome guests and a tree in the living room corner as the focal point. The rest was all candles, florals and greenery.

I found this jingle bell garland at Home Goods and decided to string it up as a card holder in the entryway.

We let the day be about eating, drinking and merry-making, instead of about perfection. I joked with my mom while planning and mentioned that as long as there was food prepped, showering and being a pleasant host were more important that the holiday decorations. (She said being pleasant was more important than showering.)

I love this little Christmas gnome, found at Target.

P & I moved the dining table into the living room and used that as the food station, where we served a variety of meats, cheeses, veggies with dips and pigs in a blanket. Since there was no outlet here, we used a coffee table in the corner as a station for the little crock pot which contained spinach artichoke dip and a freshly cut baguette.

We cleared the coffee cart to be used as a coffee and dessert station, and we set up the small counter next to the fridge for drinks, using an ice bucket for the white wine, champagne and sparkling cider, with a bottle of red and a stack of cups along side.

Nobody commented on the decor or lack of decor, everyone ate the food, enjoyed the wine and bubbly, and there was plenty of laughter to last the night.

Brantley didn’t shower, but he was very pleasant and had a great time with all the company that was obviously there just for him!

Did you do any hosting this holiday season? How did it go?

Spaces We Love {Styled for the Holidays}

Since my home isn’t currently ready for a holiday home tour, I have been searching for some incredibly beautiful spaces styled for the season. There is so much out there that I just love that it was hard to choose which spaces I wanted to share, so I narrowed it down to three lovely and fully decked-out rooms.

First things first. If you have been reading along here for any length of time, you know I’m obsessed with flowers. Obsessed. I couldn’t look away when I found this incredible table-scape that is quite literally overflowing with florals and greens. Top it off with those layers of light (again, mildly obsessed), and I am fully in love with this room.

This dining space was styled for a wedding. Link over for more images and details from this shoot

Next up, this nature-inspired cabin in the woods is a real winter wonderland. Through my favorite social media outlet (Instagram) I found Brian Patrick Flynn, an interior designer in Atlanta. He does incredible work and his commentary on his feed is hilarious. Last week, he shared his cabin all decked out for the holidays I linked over to his post as well as the post in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles to soak up all the little details!

Color, texture, pattern and the holidays. Cozy perfections.

The natural details from the greenery, to all of the different trees and woodland critters, this is a holiday scene I can definitely appreciate. Not to mention, that cabin in the mountains… I’m sure it is stunning year round, what an incredibly backdrop for design!

Lastly, Toronto-based interior designer, Jessica Kelly, combined traditional festive details (wreaths, candles & greenery) with a bold hit of hot pink. I am in love with this combination! It is such a cheerful twist on the classic green-and-red holiday color combination.

The elegant way in which Kelly implements the pinks (again… I’m a little obsessed) is so charming while keeping it very sophisticated. Her pink and green holiday theme was featured in Style at Home, and it is definitely worth linking over and flipping through the images.

This year, we have already picked our scheme, and unfortunately I don’t think it really represents any of these styles. This year we have been so busy that I make no promises that it will be fully decked-out. That said, next year I might just be sharing some hot pink additions to our holiday decor!

Our DIY Wedding Decor {A Natural Romance}

It’s hard to believe that we have already been married for two months. Our wedding turned out to be such a wonderful day filled with great memories, but there was a lot of work that went into it.

We opted to use a space where we would be supplying everything. I did speak to a few wedding planners, however, doing what I do it was hard for me to relinquish control on such a big event in my life.

DIY wedding decor is a huge part of planning any wedding. Meaning, that no matter how big or small your budget is, you are going to want to customize the details to make the event really represent you and your new spouse!

Wedding shawl made with love by my incredibly talented mom.

For our wedding, we wanted to create an event full of florals, natural elements and soft romantic lighting. For inspiration, I looked through wedding magazines (it was finally acceptable to buy them once we were officially engaged) and of course through Pinterest. To get started with the space I measured the space, noting key details such as window and door locations, main entrance, fixed booth locations and spacing of the beams. I then sketched out my concept for the space and went over it with my hubby to make sure that he liked the overall plan.

Here are some of the details of our day:

For the lighting we used two main elements: strands of globe lights sweeping across the rafters and a customized monogram light. We accomplished both of these things with a lot of help! My mom designed the monogram for us, and a great friend of ours (JP) is a lighting designer who helped turn it into a projectable image for a spotlight.

Monogram light on stage with the ampersand MJ made for us.

JP also helped us install the globe lights across the dance floor. To get them just right, we used the beam measurements to ensure we were getting strands the appropriate length. The bulbs come separate from the strands and my family all pitched in to get them ready to go up.

After the lighting had been tackled, we started working on the tables.

The booths were used as places for the escort cards, the gift station and the guest book. We found these great downloadable signs on Etsy to indicate each station and framed them without glass to keep the chalkboard illusion.

Here’s a look at each station:

For me, what really brought the look of our day together was the guest tables. We used long rectangular tables, fresh white linens and craft paper to run the length as a runner. I loved the layered effect of the paper on the linens. The final layer was a long row of glass vessels of different shapes and sizes, some were filled with candles and some left empty. The morning of the wedding we added mason jars filled with farm fresh flowers to fill in along the lengths of the tables.

If you are looking to personalize the layered table look for your wedding day, look no further than Shutterfly. You can customize everything from table runners to candles (which can double as your favors!) and of course photo books where you can share your dating timeline with your guests through pictures, or use one as your guest book.

Our interior look was perfectly customized to represent us. I loved the way the space came together and that we had so much wonderful help from our friends and family to make our big day perfect.

The look extended outside for the ceremony with tulle draped shepherds hooks and hanging mason jars with more farm fresh florals leading the way to the alter. On the front steps of the lake house we used big planters full of mums and more draped tulle at the front steps.

The day of the wedding everything came together beautifully. I was so happy with the whole scene, and the whole day was filled with so much love, it was perfect! Now that our day has come and gone, I’m so thrilled to have all of the pictures back from the photographer (click over to her site here if you are in the CT, NY, NJ, PA area–she’s amazing), and I cannot wait to put everything from our day together in a Shutterfly photo book. I love their hardcover books, they are a perfect coffee-table book and such a special way to bring you back to the special memories of our day!


All images in this post provided by PhotoJenicMoments from our beautiful wedding day!