June 28, 2013

new dining room chairs

Last week, I found these amazing chairs at the thrift store! If you follow me on instagram, you already know this great story.

I was out thrifting and spotted these. They caught my eye right away and I loved them. My hesitation was whether they were the right chairs for our dining room. I've been on the lookout for something much more casual - think wicker, bistro family. They also were a little overpriced - I just wasn't 100% convinced.

Of course, I couldn't get them out of my mind - they're so good. I showed my husband the photo when he got home, and he loved them. It's not very often that he acts like I'm crazy for passing something up at the thrift store (in fact, it's usually quite the opposite :))!  So, I decided to go back for another look the next day, to see if they were still there. Well.....they were, and they were half off!! Woo hoo! Long story short, and as you can see, they now reside happily in our dining room.

I had already been planning a little table shuffle planned, including moving the tulip table back to the dining room. I'm loving the contrast of these table and chairs together. (The previous dining room table is being converted into my new desk...that's another hint for you, if you saw my office plans post :))

So many great thrifted finds that day, including this vase...I can't get over it. I kind of want it in every room of the house. Brought home lots of fun art and styling objects for my husband's office too!

p.s. I'm selling our previous dining chairs, which you can see in this post. Just thought I would mention in case anyone's interested. The main reason for selling them is just because I'm forever dreaming up new creations and switching things up. But it's worth mentioning that they are fairly heavy! This has pros and cons, depending on your personal preference. Anyway, contact me if you'd like more info.

June 25, 2013

the flea and one amazing piece of jewelry

I only have a minute, but have been wanting to share this really special find from the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

First of all, have you been to this place?? It's pretty crazy. I love a good flea market, but I have to admit it was overwhelming! I felt kind of unprepared, like I should have taken a class before being allowed to enter. Next time, I'll at least know to go (very) early, and to bring a truck! So many amazing finds and deals to be had (and such a crowd to wade through!!). 

But I managed to find this beauty!! A sweet man was running this booth, with jewelry from Zambia and Tanzania. I had never seen anything like this bracelet + ring, and have been wearing it like crazy ever since. So beautiful.

June 22, 2013

playroom progress!

Just before leaving for vacation, I spent an afternoon and evening with my friends/clients, partially setting up their new play room! The goal was to have it at least somewhat functional before baby #2 arrived, which we accomplished. (She was born last week and I am dying to meet her!!!) Mom wanted a place where she can sit with the new baby while big brother keeps himself occupied with toys and activities.

These are very much 'in progress' shots, just wanted to share a little sneak peek with you.

This room has really beautiful bones, including amazing windows and natural light - pretty much my #1 favorite design element, and one that we often  have no control over (if renovating isn't on the table!). This makes SUCH a huge difference in the overall look and feel of any room, and there's just no way to truly recreate this sense. So, when windows/light are already present, I get pretty excited.

It's also a rental which means we're limited in some ways. No painting, and no holes in the walls - but we can hang from the picture rails up above. More opportunity to get creative :)

Tons of pillows! The floor pillows are to encourage reading in a cozy corner - we're still deciding on a tent/reading nook...stay tuned.

As you can kind of see above, we added a storage bench to the back left corner. This is mom's favorite place to enjoy the sunshine and the beautiful San Francisco view. The baskets underneath are for toy storage, and we left one cubby free for books.

At Lowe's with this cutie client, getting supplies for....

... this amazing activity board, built by dad!! The colors here are way off (sorry - 11pm photo), but you get the idea. This area includes three boards: activity center, mirror and magnet board.

We'll pick back up on the loose ends in a few weeks, and then I'll have better photos - I promise!

June 21, 2013

my office - inspiration and some plans

I mentioned in my earlier post about my husband's office that my office is a renewed priority as well. This room is also our guest bedroom. Although it will act as my office on a daily basis, and only house guests a few times a year, it's really important that it be a place where guests can comfortably rest, relax and enjoy themselves.

During our recent vacation, I was reminded how important it is for me to have a dedicated place to work. I think it's important for this place to be inspiring, restful and organized. Although it's hard to imagine (for me and for you :)), I *think* it should include less bright colors than I typically pull in. We'll see. 

Both bedrooms in our house are on the small side (along with our house as a whole), so we've gotten pretty good at making the best use of space! In the office, my plan is to include a daybed for seating (and obviously, a bed :)). I'm tempted by one that extends into a larger bed - like Ikea's Hemnes model - and see these fairly often on Craigslist. It's not my #1 choice from a design standpoint, but I'm leaning towards this, as it's just so practical.  The classic design definitely works, and I love the high back and arms - super cozy. I LOVE the idea of having a daybed in here - even if it wasn't a guest room, I'd be likely to include one. We have one in our living room as well, and it's my favorite spot to pull up my feet. I think it's important to have a spot like this in the office - if I need to move around a bit, take a break from the desk, it's perfect.

I think I'll leave that desk teaser alone for now... I'll give you more another day :) (And you're probably thinking, I thought she said less color!!)

Here are a few inspiration images....

A daybed, of course. I still need to figure out just what storage I need, and what makes the most sense for the space, but I like this tall shelf a lot.

Sconces are right up there with daybeds in my formula for coziness perfection. There will be at least one...and as many as four ;)

When scanning my Office board in Pinterest, there was an obvious theme emerging...busy, layered, wild inspiration boards! There must be one :)

Kind of liking this dark background...maybe the dark paisley fabric above could line my board ... hmmmm ...

So, that's where I'm at! I started priming the walls and trim yesterday so this is happening. Oh yeah, and we have guests coming the third week of July, so the room needs to be functional by then. Good thing I work well with deadlines! :)

a very fun office plan

My husband moved into a new office last fall, and I've been promising to decorate it ever since. I've been thinking about bits and pieces of it, but haven't had the chance to really dive into it. On our drive home from Palm Springs last week, it all came together (in my head :)). The first chance I had to sit down at the computer, I gathered a few images that capture the direction I'm heading with this - and I'm so excited about it!  

Designs where I have complete creative freedom are, of course, the best! It's an amazing opportunity - where I can let the creative juices flow, and bring to life my interpretation of his style and taste. My husband is very sweet, and he trusts me, and is pretty much letting me do whatever I want. Of course, I'm getting his input on practical elements like storage and such.

The room has no windows, so I think we're just going to embrace this and go dark. It's no secret that I love some white walls, but without natural light they're kind of dead. He loves deep colors, and this is the perfect space to have some fun with it. He really dislikes artificial light, so we're going to bring in multiple light sources that provide soft light. Think wall sconces, bookcase lamps, desk lamp, floor lamp.

The one exception to the dark moodiness is that one entire wall will be a whiteboard wall. When he plans sermons or lessons (he's a pastor, and often teaches as well), he's very visual and kind of maps out the master plan on whiteboard. Rather than roll in the huge, wheeled whiteboard into his office, he can go to it on the wall! Woo hoo - it's going to be awesome! The glossiness of the whiteboard should also reflect light nicely.

I love, love, love the hanging guitar look and don't really have a good place for it in our home. Am so excited to incorporate here! My husband is also a crazy talented musician - piano and guitar especially - and hosts a 'school of rock' for junior high and high schoolers once a week in his office. This also means we need some flexible seating. Keeping my eye out for the right small chairs and/or stools.

So, as you can probably tell, I'm sooooo excited about this!! Not sure how soon we'll be able to get in there to start painting. I'm hoping to make this happen over the next month or two. It's gonna be fun!!

I'm also in the midst of planning my office, which doubles as our guest room. Over vacation I realized (or was reminded) how important this is...I'll share more about this plan very soon!

June 17, 2013

my heart

It's been awhile! There are many reasons for this. There's the usual, such as... life is busy, I've been super focused on wrapping up three projects within about a month's time (not finished yet), we took a vacation... and all of these are true. But I've also been stuck.

This is a design blog, for the most part. I started this blog as an extension of my design business. But this is not nearly a full representation of who I am.

It's true that I LOVE interior design. I have such a passion to help people fully embrace, enjoy and care for their homes. What I constantly come up against is, there is such a fine line in this world (the world of design blogs, etc.)... between the desire to make a space beautiful, and the compulsion to have more. I find myself hitting up against this / resisting it / repeating the cycle, all the time.

My design 'eye' looks at a room and wants to fix everything that's not pleasing to me. And on one hand, I place a high value on art and beauty, and believe 100% that those of us with gifts in this area have a responsibility to use them to spread a little beauty in our corner of this world. Beauty - in all art forms - can nourish and feed a soul. My particular gift and passion - at least at this moment in time - is directed at sprinkling some fun, style, order and personality into others' homes. When people grab hold of the gift their home can be - both for those who live there as well as guests - this is what I get excited about.

What I also know to be true, is that our society/culture is hard-wired to get more, want more, crave more stuff... and truly, I fear contributing to this. I won't contribute to it...and this has been holding me back from blogging.

But, that's silly.

I know I'm not alone. In fact, time and time again, as I've read countless blogs, I resonate with bloggers as they express their desire to make their home (and/or the homes of others) cozier, often with DIYs, bargains, thrifted treasures, gifted items, etc.. In no way am I making a generalization about design blogs and their focus. I'm simply trying to articulate my own personal process.

As I look around our home, it's easy for me to list off my 'want list.' My personality leans more critical (which I'm actively fighting against daily!), and I knew it would be easy to slip into this focus on the blog. What I 'want' or 'need' for my next home project. And for me, this was not acceptable. There was no point in writing if this was going to be a recurring theme.

Also, at the end of the day, if I help someone construct a perfectly coordinated and functional living room, but the heart of their home is in shreds, and I've done nothing to encourage, lift, speak life and love... I've failed.

As I've considered questions such as, Why am I blogging? What do I have to add?, the honest answer is, I'm not sure! But I do know that I'm not through trying.

I mentioned above my belief in the specific gifts we've each been given....and let me tell you, I am convinced of this. At times, I literally have a sense that God has dropped this ribbon-wrapped package in my lap and is asking, What are you going to do with it? I am navigating this process literally every single day. This tangible awareness is driving me to do more, do better. Why He's chosen decorating as the particular tool in my hand at this time, I have no idea, but I'm holding tightly to Him, and I trust Him.

So, yes! you will hear about throw pillows and dining chairs and light fixtures and client projects and design conundrums! But there will be more, much more.

Did I mention? You see, I've got a passion deep in my soul. I can't stop it. I can't hide it. He's done so much for me, and it's time I tell the world.