Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Renting? ... Make the best of what you have :)

So I don't think anybody is really happy with renting. We have been renters for the past 5 years (well more if you include college) and while it hasn't been awful, of course we'd rather own. When you own a home you get to put your stamp on it to reflect your style and personality. If you hate the floors, cabinets, walls, light fixtures you just rip them out and change them. When you rent, even getting a paint job approved is impossible.

So here's to making your house a home....for the time being.

We moved into a new townhome about 2 months ago and there were two areas I really wanted to atleast somewhat decorate right away.

First, the built-in entertainment center aka 'eyesore'. Lots of shelves means lots of pictures and other display items. Luckily I'm more of a pack rat when it comes to home accessories, so the only thing I bought was the 'wallpaper' background to add some interest in tie in all the colors. I'm drawn to a more eclectic style. While this isn't my 'dream bookcase display' (being on a budget and all) I used what I had and as Tim Gunn would say "made it work!"

Second was the upstairs loft. It is a big open space where we would put a play area and an office space. I was inspired by this photo because of the already white walls, the great rug, and the pops of color.

I added just a few items to what I already had. I made a framed ABC poster (but don't look too closely...the Q is missing....oops!), bought the two giant paper clips from TJMaxx and added wall hanging hooks to them, and bought the rug from west elm.

Instead of clogging the space with more bookshelves, I used the ledge at the top of the stairs as one instead.

Other ideas to making a house a home is adding curtains, area rugs, and painting/altering furniture to make it your own.

That's it for now. Have a great day!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

So I have been really inspired by industrial design lately, and if done right, you can turn it into a really homey feel. Anyways, here are some inspiring photos to take you into the weekend :)

an old shipbuilding space, how cool is that?

Love exposed brick! If I don't have it in a home we buy, I'll just have to add it!
images via Loft Life Magazine

West Elm

David Wild's Seattle Studio....amazing!

Designer Ryan Korban

Love these warehouse windows!
photo via Apartment Therapy

Dixie Chick singer Emily Robison's home featured in Metropolitan Home
She owns the seventh floor of an industrial building in San Antonio....it used to be a candy factory...how cool is that? Loved how she kept all the same architectural elements and integrated a clean, modern asthetic to emphasize that.

If you love the look of vintage industrial and live on the East Coast, check out City Foundry. I've never been but plan to on my next trip....doesn't it just look like heaven? Floor to ceiling of lights, chairs, desks, and more.

But if you are on the West Coast, there is a great store on Cedros Ave in Solano Beach called SoLo that has an awesome industrial design section (among other goodies).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

As a follow-up to my last post, I wanted to add a few more chandelier ideas. I haven't found an absolute favorite yet, but these should wet your appetite.

Shabby Chic
Notice most of the lighting hangs from the ceiling. Very feminine.

Rustic Elegance
Designed by Erin Martin via LaDolceVita

A Splash of Glam
Designed by Kishani Perera

Love the use of materials in the room, and the chandeliers add the classiness.
Soho House in NYC

Can I please have the chaise, the matching arm chairs and the chandelier?
Photo via Coco+Kelley

Love it or hate it, this chandelier is a statement piece!

Industrial Chic
LOVE IT! Circa Yoke Pendant; Domino photo

This white light, which I'm sure you all recognize, looks great against a strong color such as this cerulean.
Photo courtesy PollyPainting at Flickr

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I love chandeliers. I'm not talking about the ornate over top kind you would find in a hotel lobby (although those are pretty fabulous!) but light fixtures to hang in your entry or over your kitchen table. As a rule of thumb, most chandeliers should hang 30-34" above the dining table (or kitchen counter) and be about 1/3 the length of the table. In an entryway, it depends on your ceiling height, but generally no more than 1/3 the way down or center it with an over-the-door-window if you have one. But overall, you are the one living with it, so place it where you feel comfortable and think looks good.

Lighting is always important and adds warmth and vibrance to the room. But some of my favorites below and more works of art.


Think Hollywood Glamour. Many women especially love this style, and who wouldn't want to walk into a home and feel regal and adored? Luckily this style has been picked up by many affordable home furnishings brands so you're sure to find something
in your budget (or at Homegoods!)

Bergdorf Boutique by Kelly Wearstler

Z Gallerie version for $249

Ballard Designs Moravian Star $139

Ikea Kulla Lamp $69
(this shade would look cool as a table lamp)

Unknown manufacturer
You could buy a black chandelier (crystal or plastic) and add your own sheer drum shade around it


I love the look of industrial design paired in a modern setting.
The fixtures below would look great over a wet-bar or counter, a loft, or near an old brick wall :) I featured all clear glass pendants, but I also love mercury or other metal coverings

Velocity Art and Design $130

Early 20th Century Industrial Cage Lights

Pottery Barn Calhoun Glass Pendant

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Grey is the new Beige

An easy way to recognize a newer home vs an out-of-date home is the walls. No longer is beige the neutral color palette. For a while there, during the tuscan-style craze, taupe was the new beige. But now, as I have always been a fan of, grey is the new taupe. Next time you are out looking at model homes, or shopping decor stores, you'll notice a lot of grey...and I think it's here to stay (at least until another neutral color makes it way....although stark white is also making a comeback, but more on that later...) Grey can be warm or cool, understated or dramatic, more blue or pink or beige. I especially love it on the walls, on a sofa, in bedspreads and in bathrooms. I can't seem to get enough!

So here are some rooms to inspire your space and mind. Enjoy!

photo courtesy Tine K Home

Designed by Nathalie Vingot Mei

Billy Joel's Home

Julianne Moore's Home

This dreamy grey velvet fainting sofa is only $575 online at urban outfitters!

photo via flickr

As far as paint goes, it's best to paint a sample of it on a wall or board and look at it in the AM and PM. It generally shows up darker than expected. With that in mind, a lot of people have liked Benjamin Moore's Silver Fox or GrayStone1611 for a darker grey; or Behr's Gray Castle for a nice light grey.

P.S. I had to add this photo of Molly Sim's Soho apartment, designed by Kishani Perera. Fabulous. Check out the rest here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall is here!

Personal photo taken just outside of Boston

Autumn is my favorite season. Perhaps it is because of my East Coast upbringing, but there isn't one thing I don't love about the fall. I love the smells, the cool weather, sweaters and scarves, the comfort food, and of course the changing leaves. Just as any other season, autumn can be transformed into your home as well. The colors of browns, burnt orange, burnt red and gold can bring a warm palette through throw pillows, blankets and accessories. Tabletops, (more posts on this to come) mantles and doorsteps are the perfect canvas for festive decorations. And of course a pumpkin spice candle burning in the background sets a cozy mood.

image courtesy flikr

Thomas Paul always has brilliant products to accessorize the home; such as this Artemis throw pillow in brown


paired with this pillow from Jayson Home & Garden

or the Blossom runner in Persimmon to liven up an entryway.

You can easily spray paint the pumpkins and change out the florals to the color

that works best for your space...vibrant red? chic white? gothic black?

I just loved the twist on color for this serving table:
images courtesy Martha Stewart

With a neutral palette such a grey, drapery and floor lamps can easily be interchangeable for future seasons. I love the punch of gold to the already swanky room:

A geometric pop-art inspired room takes orange at its liveliest:
images courtesy apartment therapy

For a more traditional approach and shades of pumpkin:

Or add some moroccan spice paint and caramel ottoman as a more subtle approach in a modern room:
images courtesy bhg.com

Our community is sponsoring an Oktoberfest Festival this Saturday, and I couldn't think of anything better to welcome this beautiful season! Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Design is my passion. I wanted to start this blog as an online journal of my design inspirations as well as current projects. I welcome you to explore, comment and ask questions to all things related to home decor. So sit back and dream with me. I hope to inspire your interiors!

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