December 30, 2013


Along with you, I've been reflecting, remembering, celebrating and processing the moments of 2013. In considering how to share these to a public audience, there's a tension. This year has held promise, unanticipated and welcomed accomplishments, hard work, successes and challenges...and so much more.

But for me, none of it means much if I try to take credit. I find that I hit a wall of frustration if I simply look back and charge forward...before spending time at the place where I realize I'm nothing on my own.

Truly, I don't want it - whatever "it" may be - if it's not in alignment with what He has for me.

I'm SO grateful to have some downtime for a few days, before jumping into the new year. I intend to continue spending time at His feet -- waiting, longing, being patient to hear that still, small voice. Because what I find here is so worth it. Only here do I find real and lasting peace and contentment, fulfillment and direction. My soul needs this. As I look around, it's apparent to me that I'm not the only one. Friends, take a moment to find rest for your soul. It's a no-regret activity, guaranteed.

As we move into the new year, the pressure is on. There are goals to meet, fears to conquer, dreams to realize. I want to be careful not to press 'repeat.' I believe what's ahead is so much more than anything I can ask for, dream or imagine. I can imagine quite a bit...but why limit my future to my own imagination? I will choose to rest in His promise.

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December 13, 2013

our Christmas decor

I LOVE decorating for Christmas. My unofficial rule is that listening to Christmas music and Christmas decorating aren't really allowed until after Thanksgiving. And although I started pulling our decorations out of storage Thanksgiving weekend (I can't really stop myself), time has been tight these last few weeks and I'm just now getting around to really decking out our house...and I'm excited!! 

As is typical for my style across the board, I tend to keep things casual. There's never a big plan, I just dig through my bins and let inspiration strike. And as much as I'm a traditional girl, rich colors make my eye happy and tend to rule the day.

Photo holder today is a perfect Christmas card display as they start rolling in.

You know me - proving that style can be added in simple ways, like a little cluster of ornaments.

Along with the cozy glow of Christmas lights, I appreciate candles even more at this time of year. I'm so grateful for Christmas and all it stands for. Merry Christmas to all!

December 12, 2013

my Christmas DIY for A Creative Day

Today, I'm over at A Creative Day blog taking part in Eileen's DIY Christmas Series

Can you spot my handmade project in the photo below? 

I've long had a love for all things tassels, as you may remember from this post.

Click on over for more details and photos of my project, as well as an abundance of creative inspiration from a handful of talented bloggers. A huge THANK YOU to Eileen for inviting me to participate in the series.

The GORGEOUS photos for this project are the work of Ruth and Thea Sonza, of [trīs] Photography. Not only are they gifted and generous friends, but this photo shoot was a whole lotta FUN! Thanks ladies!

Interested in working together to make your home the best it can be? I'm now scheduling 2014 projects and would love to talk! Contact me at

December 11, 2013

install shots: a modern & cozy condo

Hi there! If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen a couple of glimpses into this fun install I did last week. I'd love to share a few shots with you in more detail! 

Here are the 'befores.' Amazing space with unbelievable windows, right?! The two photos below were actually taken after I had already started moving some furniture around, playing around with the space. My first suggestion was to use the sofa to really 'define' a living room. Previously, the sofa was against the windows where the piano is now, and the piano was against the wall where there's now a sideboard cabinet and floating shelves. (you'll need to scroll down to see what I'm talking about :))

I'm all about 'cozifying' a space, and right away I liked how the sofa made this area feel more like a room, rather than a big, open space without clear boundaries.

And here it is now....

As you can see, we made just a few changes to this room, but with major impact. The rounded shape of the room makes furniture placement tricky, since the angles don't allow larger pieces of furniture to be placed right up against the windows. This makes the usable footprint of the room smaller. The huge windows and natural light make the room feel much bigger than it actually is. My goal was to keep it fairly calm visually, with clean lines...but at the same time, to balance the modern with texture and softness so that it didn't become cold. I'm typically a color and pattern junkie, but in this space the best choice was really to keep the color palette fairly simple. Again, this is where varied textures and shapes become super important, to provide the cozy factor. A woven basket for piano books. There's also a desk lamp on the piano which you can barely see in the above photo. I added a few lamps throughout, as soft, ambient light is also so much cozier than overhead lighting.

We added larger, neutral rug which really helps to ground and define the space even more. The tiered side table provides a 'corner' where there wasn't one before. And of course, in a small space, every inch needs to be put to use practically... one example is the drum (above) being used as a small side table. My clients were already using this as a table and I love it!!

Behind the sofa, we carved out additional storage, and a small office area. (Scroll down for photos showing this layout.) We added this sideboard which provides much-needed storage. Another lamp to help with the ambient light factor I mentioned above. I love this wall shelf and its clean lines. Perfect place to bring in some personal items and layers without taking up too much space, literally and visually.

I love using trays and bowls to casually display photos which can be picked up and enjoyed every so often, both by those who live here as well as visitors. Note the two globes near each other - an effortless styling trick ;) (One is a moon globe - soooo cool!! I'll share detailed sources soon.)

I also sprinkled a few plants throughout the home. Another great way to add layers and life without overloading on color/pattern.

The hallway to the right of the office area got an upgraded gallery wall - this is about half of it. The family previously had a collection of family photos hanging here. I styled it by using some of the existing photos and sprinkled in a few pieces of art, mirrors and new frames. 

Below is the office area 'before' (but after I had moved some things around, including the sofa). 

And here it is now. This is not a great photo at all!, but I wanted to show you the layout. (Also, please ignore the TV which was recently removed from the bedroom wall - there was nowhere else to put it given the small space :))  I love the rug, and of course it provides great definition for this little 'office' space.

It was getting dark and I was in a rush with these last few shots, so please excuse how grainy they are! Also disregard the cords and focus on the nice tray and desk organization. :) There was a lot going on on this desktop previously. To style it, I added texture and subtle color with pretty cups for pens, a basket for smaller papers, a carved wooden bowl for paperclips and such. We also turned the radiator (on the right) into a magnet board. Voila, it's styled! In this tight and cozy space, there's just not much room for the office supplies to spread out and the desktop itself needs to be used for some storage. I'm happy with the results!  

I didn't get a good photo, but I also added a tray on top of the rarely-used printer which lives to the right of the desk chair. This creates an additional useful surface which can also be styled to look intentional -- both practical and pretty! It never ceases to amaze me how a pile of loose papers can get a makeover by placing them on a tray!

Bummer you can't see clearly the framed art below. Three letters written by my clients' daughter, who is unbelievably clever, smart and hilarious! I'll share close-ups later - trust me, you will love them!!

We have a few loose ends to finish up in the bedroom which is just behind this wall are two little peeks, and I'll be sure to share more when we finish up very soon!

And one last look at the living room!

I'll share detailed sources later, but I will mention that this was done on a limited budget. Thrift stores, HomeGoods, Ikea, etc. were my friends. Feel free to ask specific questions in the comments and I'll be happy to answer!

Interested in working together to make your home the best it can be? I'm now booking for early 2014.
Contact me at for rates & availability.

December 2, 2013

mood boards for four siblings

I'm working on a really fun project and would love to share a little. A very special family from our church recently moved into a new place and I get to help them cozify and make it a home!

Two brothers share a room, and the older brother has requested a football theme. (Both older siblings are sharing their rooms with one-year old twins, so the older ones get to choose the decor. :)) I'm hoping he'll go for these very cool vintage prints. Pairing it with the abstract wall decal gives a little edginess, to keep it from going old man. I like the idea of keeping the color scheme fairly neutral, to give room for easy switches as they grow older.

And for the girls, we have a budding scientist on our hands! Older sister plans to be a doctor, and I'm happy to encourage her gifts and dreams. 

One thing is for sure...this is going to be fun! What do you think of the plans so far?