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Entries in interior decor (229)

Friday
Aug122016

natural wonders

It's 95 degrees outside with humidity hovering right around 90% and yet, every retailer I see is jamming their shop full of Halloween, Thanksgiving and even Christmas decor - what. the. heck.  Every year, it seems to start earlier and earlier (and yet I don't recall anyone selling summer goodies in February when we could really use the cheering up!) We've still got a ways to go down here in the south until we get a reprieve from the heat and some of my favorite things - wicker, rattan, bamboo, seagrass and brass - are what I'm feeling as we hold on to the last few weeks/months of summer.  From a giant clam bowl and my favorite bamboo flatware (both of which are on sale!!)  to the most amazing smelling candle and a jute rug that has had me all heart eyes, everything on my list is not only beautiful but adds great texture and interest! 

Giant clam bowl / Beach candle by Nest / Bamboo picture frames / Jute circles rug /

Brass anchor door knocker / South Seas Side Cart / Star fruit vases / Seagrass basket

Bamboo flatware / Bamboo vase / Straw tote / Avalon daybed / Sea sponge fingers / Rattan chair

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday
Aug082016

5 home purchase/upgrades I'm so glad we made!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Ours was so good, I was sad to see it come to an end, but I was up and at 'em super early this morning, working through my to-do list while my princess slept in!  I was talking with a friend over the weekend who is giving her entire house a little refresh - nothing big, mostly cosmetic - and she asked me if I thought any of what she was doing would help increase the aesthetic value when she goes to sell her house in a couple years.  I've staged my fair share of homes to go on the market in the past and while I'm not a realtor, it doesn't take much to know that a beautifully designed and decorated home will show better than one that doesn't. 

Whenever we've made any changes to our home, I always keep two things in the back of my mind: first, is this something that will help increase the appeal when we go to sell?  And second, will I get my money back when I do sell?  While furnishings, accessories and art, all make a house feel like a home, it's changes made to the bones of the house -  millwork, flooring, tile choices, etc. - that really make a huge impact when someone walks into your home.  Here are a few purchases, investments and upgrades we've made over the last few years that I won't ever regret:

Built-ins. What ended up being a necessity when I couldn't find furniture to fit large, awkward spaces (the corner in my living room, as well as the vaulted wall in my breakfast room that made every hutch and buffet look like it belonged in a doll house) turned into the best money we have spent on our house, to date. They both look amazing, the storage space they provide is irreplaceable and the drama from the size makes for a great first impression!  I would have them made all over again in a heartbeat!

Grass cloth wallpaper.  Wallpaper isn't for everyone, I'll be the first to admit that, but when it flows with the rest of the house, is in a neutral color and has lots of texture, it can take an ordinary space and make it extraordinary (ESPECIALLY when you put it in an unexpected spot like the ceiling or behind bookshelves).  And besides, who doesn't LOVE grass cloth???

Paint upgrade.  I'm all about getting the most bang for your decorating buck and paint is the one thing that can completely transform a room without breaking the bank. I always recommend spending just a little bit more for the better quality, lower VOC paint that is SCRUBBABLE because kids, guests, pets, get togethers, cocktail parties, etc. happen and it's worth every dime when you can simply wipe it clean!

Beadboard and "Board and Batten".  Crown molding, beadboard, board and batten, wainscoting are all beautiful and their effect on a room is definite.  The best part is that they are relatively inexpensive to install!  When we built our house, we had the builder hang beadboard in the dining room, all the bathrooms and under the countertops on the bar side of the kitchen.  I always get compliments on the fact that I ran it vertically instead of horizontally!  And after the hubby installed our version of "board and batten" in Lydia's nursery, I ended up loving it so much that we put it in our foyer and painted the ceiling a contrasting gray/blue for a great first impression when you walk into the house!

Great light and window treatments.  I don't know about you guys, but bright and airy spaces are so much more appealing to me than dark rooms with little natural light.  The best compliment is when windows are dressed with simple treatments - bamboo Roman shades paired with white panels are my favorite, inexpensive way to make a room feel complete (even if it's anything but!)

Thursday
Aug042016

a love affair with a hutch

Of all the corners, nooks and vignettes in my house, I'm pretty sure the built-in hutch in my breakfast room is the most photographed, by far!  (If you've been following along on Instagram, you know this to be especially true!)  This little corner of our home gets beautiful morning light, looks out over our deck, pool and backyard and is where we eat all our meals, where little miss paints and colors and it's also where I've been blogging as of late.  And yet, it rarely, if ever, makes an appearance here on the blog.

When Annie over at Most Lovely Things tagged me over the weekend to share a picture of my favorite, cozy weekend spot, I didn't hesitate to post this little corner.  What makes it so special for me is the ginormous hutch we had installed about a year after we moved in!  It took about that long for me to realize that nothing I put in this space would ever look proportionate with the vaulted ceilings unless I had something custom made to fit and I'm so glad I bit the bullet and had it made.  Sometimes, custom is the only way to go and, in this case, it ended up costing much less than some of the bookshelf options from big box retailers!

I ended up commissioning a local cabinet maker with whom I had worked on a number of new construction homes for past clients and he did such an amazing job of making it look like it had been here for years!  (I know the chandelier is hanging too high; I'm in the process of replacing it!)

For those of you who were asking about details the other day, here they are! 

- The hutch itself is almost just under 9 feet tall and 5.5. feet wide. 

- A row of Shaker-style cabinets are along the bottom (there are 4 doors) to match my kitchen cabinets, since this space is directly adjacent. 

- Beadboard runs vertically along the back of the plate wall to match the wainscoting in my bathrooms, dining room and under the kitchen countertop/bar side. 

- Paint is Sherwin Williams Extra White, to match all the trim and cabinetry in the rest of the house.

I honestly couldn't love this little spot any more and the drama and interest the oversize hutch provides when you walk into my house (you can see it from my living room, too) just can't be beat.  Sometimes, it's so hard to pull the trigger and have something custom made but when you are having trouble finding a piece that fits your space and your budget (especially for those vaulted ceilings like mine or awkward large walls), but I promise it's so worth it! 

Tuesday
Aug022016

inspired in sag harbor

I've never been to the Hamptons, but I know I would be just darling at living there.  Shingle-style cottages, a great mix of modern and rustic interiors with just a little bit of blue and white thrown in for good measure?  Yes, please!  This 19th century cottage in Sag Harbor is home to Bloom antique shop owner Mona Nerenberg and is, for me, quintessential Hamptons style.  A black and white color palette is warmed by tons of texture (the handspun jute rug in the living room is to die for!), beautiful antiques and a pared-down approach to decorating where less is much, much more.  I'm obsessed with every inch of this four bedroom beauty:


Here are a few of my picks for getting a similar look:

Mirror / Basket / Pillow / Rug / Vase / Chair / Seaside print / Sofa / Pendant light / Abstract painting

Happy Tuesday!

Monday
Aug012016

5 tips for styling glass front cabinets

If you guys follow me on Instagram, you have probably noticed my glass front shingle-style kitchen cabinets in the background on quite a regular basis.  I know glass front cabinetry isn't for everyone, but the truth is, I LOVE mine.  They make my kitchen feel so open and airy and they've helped me keep clutter and items I don't use to a minimum.  It also makes me very happy at the end of the day, when the hurricane is alseep and the kitchen is actually clean, to see all the items I've collected over the years for entertaining and hosting on display, all organized and pretty.  With that being said, there's NO way I'd be able to do an entire kitchen of glass front cabinets.  The other wall of cabinets is for baking essentials, mixing bowls, cookbooks, Lydia's colorful sippy cups and melamine dinner plates - basically, everything else that I use regularly that isn't exactly "pretty" enough for display behind glass doors.  (That sounds snotty, but it's the truth!) 

I used to be very OCD when it came to organization before I had Lydia but I simply don't have the time anymore to keep everything organized to within an inch of its life and frankly, I don't want to take that precious time away from my baby girl, so having these cabinets, with everything on display, all organized and pretty, is just a little something that makes me very happy when the rest of my house is covered in books, toys and dog fur! For anyone who has ever considered glass front cabinets, whether it's a single cabinet or an entire kitchen full of them, but has wondered how in the heck you would style them, here are a few tips that have worked for me:

clear the decks

When it comes to kitchen storage, I really believe that less is more.  I wanted to start with a clean slate when we moved into this house, so I went through every single item in my cabinets and got rid of things I hadn't used in forever but was keeping around anyway.  Random martini glasses, funny coffee mugs (we don't even drink coffee!!), an extensive collection of mismatched shot glasses.  If I didn't use it regularly, it was tossed or donated.  It was hard to let some things go for sentimental reasons, but once I was done, it just felt SO GOOD to get back down to the basics that I haven't regretted it a single day since!

use what you display

The first time my  middle brother came to visit us in this house he jokingly asked how often we use anything in our cabinets.  Well, the truth is, I actually use it ALL!  Our dinner plates, serving bowls, glassware and cereal bowls get used on a daily basis, pitchers are beautiful makeshift vases for grocery store blooms and cake stands double as serveware for appetizers whenever we have friends over for cocktails and a dip in the pool.  Nothing goes in those cabinets that doesn't get used frequently, which helps me stick to only buying something if I truly love it because I know that I'll use it!

stick to white (or neutral) dishware

This is strictly personal opinion, but I have found that having an entire wall of glass front cabinets looks so much cleaner and less cluttered when mostly everything on display is the same color.  A lot of my dishes and serveware are mismatched but because everything is white you'd never know the difference.  And pops of silver are such a pretty compliment to all that white!

mix it up

I like to add interest and keep my shelves from looking too uniform, so I try to mix and pair items like drinking glasses on the same shelf as dessert plates; a set of cake stands with silver footed bowls or a group of white pitchers with a stack of serving platters. 

display your treasures

I am a super sentimental person and have attachments to family treasures that have been passed down - my collection of silver Revere bowls started with a few that my aunt gave me when I was in college, and a set of four crystal dessert bowls that my grandparents brought back from a trip to Italy have pride of place next to the cereal bowls we use every day.  It brings me so much pleasure to get a glimpse of these pretties every time I walk past my cabinets and it's even more special that such important pieces are displayed for everyone to see!

Do any of you have glass front cabinets?  How do you like to style them, if so?

Hope you're all off to a fabulous start this week!