Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our little one has arrived...

We welcomed little Linden in to the world on Mike's birthday!  She is perfect in every way and we are so very much in love with her.  I admit this has been the hardest job I've ever done, being a mother, but we are all adjusting to one another and starting to get the hang of things.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ikea Hacks

I've become obsessed with IKEA hacks lately.  We are working on our own hack with an Expedit bookcase as I type this.  If you remember, we've been wanting to install a small set of bookshelves in our living room along an empty wall.  Originally we planned on having them custom built but now with the baby arriving in just a few weeks and free cash going to other home reno projects, we just didn't have enough time or money to source this so in came some quick internet research and a great hack for extending the Expedit without the thick frame elements being side by side.  We plan on painting it and trimming it out so it looks like a custom, built-in piece for a lot cheaper.  Here are a few great hacks I came across in my search...

I love this light fixture hack inspired by Tom Dixon's pendant lighting collection.  I wish this would work in my dining room because I would totally consider it as an option but I think I am looking for something with a more light and airy feel.

ikea hack

The Centsational Girl has some truly great hacks in her archives but this bookshelf is one of my favorites.  She gave the black metal Vittsjo bookcases a great cottage feel by spray painting the shelves white and adding wooden shelves in place of the glass.  The final result is amazing and provides tons of storage.  I'm going to keep this one in the back of my mind for a future project I'm working on. 

ikea hack

This project makes me a little sad because these fabulous little wooden storage boxes are no longer available in the US. I have one that I bought years ago and it provides wonderful storage.  If you can get your hands on one of these boxes when traveling overseas it would be worth it for this project alone. I have always been on the lookout for a card catalog but they can be so pricey when you come across them, or too big, and most of them require modification because of the large open slot in the middle.  The Painted Hive came up with a genius, and cheap, way of making her own with the Ikea Moppe boxes.  At first glance, you can't even tell their not old!

ikea hack
This is probably one of my favorite Ikea hacks yet.  I am a huge fan of the color dip trend popping up everywhere lately and this console/entry table in coral (one of my favorite colors of the season) is a beautiful take on the trend.  You would never guess this was an Ikea piece.  I only wish my entryway was large enough to house a table like this.  The Sweet Beast did such a great job at making over this simple wooden Ikea sideboard which sadly after searching online, seems like is no longer available. 

ikea hack

I hope this has inspired you to come up with your own Ikea Hack, I know it has definitely made me look at the new Ikea catalog with a whole new set of eyes! I'm racking my brain for all the ways I could make over their furniture. Have you done your own Ikea hack or come across any great hacks lately? I would love to see them!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Putting together the nursery

3 weeks and the countdown begins!  I cannot believe I am just a few short weeks away from my due date.  We are in a frenzy finishing up last minute projects all around the house and while it's totally fulfilling my nesting habits as of late, I am sooo ready to have things quiet down for a bit so we can settle into being a little family of 3.

The nursery is our major focus right now.  All the big pieces are in place and we are just putting final touches on everything and finishing out the room with artwork and accessories. Our painter is almost finished - the chalkboard wall went up this weekend and the yellow stripes on the ceiling should be done sometime this week.  Here's a little sneak peek...

It was a little daunting seeing that black chalkboard wall go up but the more we go in the room, the more we love it.  The room gets a lot of light and all of the furniture is white so it's a great contrast and I know one day the baby is going to love drawing all over that wall!  This pic shows off the new floors as well.  Here are a few of the things we've collected so far, a couple of which you can see in the photo above...

Sources: 1. Flensted Elephant Party Mobile via 2Modern / 2. Sparrow Crib via Ouef / 3. Molded White Rocker via EZMod Furniture / 4. Yellow Braided Pouf via Land of Nod / 5. Adventure Lives Outside Your Tent Print via Lyla and Blu / 6. Sheepskin Rug via Oliver's Farm

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shopping for Pendant Lighting

There are so many little projects going on in my house right now that sometimes my head spins when I start to think about everything on our to do list.  Just to name a few -  we are in the process of picking out things for the nursery, installing base boards and trim, reconfiguring a wall of cabinets in our kitchen and designing a buffet/credenza with coordinating cabinets in our dining room, we are desperately in need of rugs in every room of our house since we removed all the carpets, we are picking out throw pillows, choosing curtains for the dining room, designing a moving island for our kitchen...and the list goes on.  Of course the nesting mother-to-be in me would like all of it to be done before the baby arrives but that is neither financially feasible or realistic.  Plus Mike will kill me if I add one more thing to his summer-to-do-list.   

One of the items on my list is to pick out a dining room light fixture.  Our dining room has a flat roof with no attic space above so the possibility of can lights is out and we currently have this horrible 70's style, stained glass, dome light/fan thing going on now, reminiscent of something you would find over a pool table in a badly designed pub and it just has to go.  Here's the thing, I am baaaaad at making decisions - and so is Mike.  Once we do finally decide on something, we often change our mind about it once we have it.  I think it's the downfall of being passionate about interior design and having so much access to great design blogs and sites like Pinterest.  I am constantly seeing things I like and thinking to myself - would that look better than what I have now?!

Here are the three options I am currently contemplating:

Industrial style pendants.  I definitely like the idea of hanging two together like in this arrangement, with some kind of rope cord, similar to this.  These are simple (and cheap) and add a lot to the room without being a focal point.  I love how simple the decor is but what a huge style impact the overall room has.  Green folding chairs with just the right amount of wear and tear, paired with a wooden dining table and funky vintage accessories against shiny white floors gives the room tons of personality and a sense of playfulness.

industrial pendant lighting
Source: In my House via Pinterest

Linen Drum Pendants.  I have always loved the simplicity of a linen drum pendant.  It's really such a timeless lighting choice.  West Elm has some great options.  In the past they've had more colors to choose from but I really do love this natural linen look.  We are considering going with a dark grayish blue or navy color in the dining room and I love the contrast of the natural linen against the dark colors - very dramatic...

linen drum pendnant lighting
Source: West Elm

Oversized and unique pendants. I love this light fixture.  It would be super easy to make - it looks like it's a giant Japanese paper lantern paired with a cord light and mounted to the wall - easy and inexpensive.  This room has some amazing architectural elements like the medallion on the ceiling and the crown molding which is a great contrast to the more modern paper lantern.  This room is a great mix of high end and low end pieces.  The paper lantern light fixture and Ikea lamp are inexpensive but look great paired with the vintage chairs and antique wooden cabinet, and that white couch looks sooo cozy!

funky and unique pendant lighting

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bon jour!

Bon jour! We've been back from France for a few weeks, still getting settled in to the house after all the changes that were made while we were away - more on that later.

The trip was amazing. It was just what I needed to de-stress from all the house renovations. Here are some shots we snapped via Instagram (@ thedesignboards if you want to follow me). We spent a few hours in London on route to France and just happened upon the changing of the guards - very cool to see!  We took the ferry from England to France and spent several days driving through Normandy and Brittany, eating too many crepes and galettes and enjoying the beaches and beautiful villages. We even happened to find a brocante in one of the towns we were staying in. I picked up some vintage French linens and a vintage absinthe saucer.

I'm glad to be home but there is still so much to be done here.  We are only partially unpacked from the floor install.  Mike has been installing baseboards and we've been getting the nursery painted and ready for furniture and decor.  There will be a lot to share with you over the next few weeks so stay tuned - only 5 weeks and counting until my due date. 

france instagram

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Renovation Updates

We are knee deep into renovation projects right now.  We've started packing up the entire house and putting everything in to storage while we prepare for the flooring to be installed.  This week we will begin making the cutout for the patio door which will be installed on Monday and the existing carpet and tile is slowly being torn out room by room as we shift furniture around and make adjustments to our living situation.

The process is stressful and only made worse by the fact that being 7 months pregnant, I can't lift anything heavy, so I've been packing boxes and then kind of shuffling them across the floor with my foot after they are filled - comical for those around me I'm sure.  I also get out of breath easily and have to take frequent breaks, plus the up and down movements are killing my lower back.  On the plus side, this is fulfilling some major nesting tendencies that have occurred as of late.  Honestly though, I'm really looking forward to the whole thing being over in a few weeks so I can start preparing the nursery.  Once we return from our trip my main focus will be getting the baby's room ready.  I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head and can't wait to share them with you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

British Pub Style

Mike and I are escaping our house renovations and sneaking away to France for a 'babymoon' of sorts while the floors are being installed in a couple of weeks.  I love traveling to Europe because I am always so inspired by their cozy but chic, nearly effortless design aesthetic.  Last year when we were in England I was totally enamored by the style of the beautiful pubs we visited.  Here in the states, the thought of a pub conjures an image of a dark bar with bad lighting, no windows, and the smells of stale alcohol and bad fried food. Real British pubs are nothing like that, they are cozy and intimate places to meet with family and friends while sipping on a good beer and enjoying locally produced food. 

If you like the idea of bringing a little British pub style into your own home, I've put together this design board of bits and pieces that are reminiscent of the cozy, local gathering spots I visited while in England last summer. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Birthday List

I turned 31 a few weeks ago.  I usually always write myself a little goal list of things to accomplish by my next birthday but this year it completely slipped my mind.  With baby brain in full force and the desire for my birthday to go under the radar this year - not because I don't want to face the truth that I'm getting older but because we are so deep in to house projects - I truly forgot to do it.  Being a total list girl, as soon as it occurred to me that I hadn't written one, I immediately started working on it. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Must Haves

I always crave a bit more color in my life once summer arrives, don't you?  I like to switch out my regular purse for a cute and colorful summer tote, perfect for impromptu visits to the beach and weekend road trips.  I like to add a pop of color to my manicures and pedicures with a bright and cheerful summer pastel like this one from Nars.  And I like to pile on lots of colorful accessories to my otherwise netural wardrobe like these amazing wooden bangles or this super cute bohemian scarf

What are some of your summer must haves this year?  Do you tend to crave more color around this time of year?  For more of my favorite colorful accessories for summer, check out my current ideabook on houzz.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

House Projects

Hey there!  Have you missed me?  I've been here, plotting home renovation projects and stumbling through this pregnancy (literally - I've become the biggest klutz)

We are getting ready to do some very big projects in our home to get ready for baby.  Of course there are a million things that need to be done but we had to sit down and decide what was absolutely necessary and could not be put off until the baby arrived.  The one project that was like the elephant in the room and the basis for everything else was the flooring.

Mike and I have debated options over the last three years.  We've discussed hard wood, tile, and concrete.  Over the holidays we had actually decided on a tile that we really liked and were about to move forward with it but the idea of concrete floors just would not get out of my head and every where I turned I was seeing images in design magazines or on Pinterest of these spaces with the most beautiful polished concrete floors.  I had to know if it was a possible choice for our home so we contacted a couple of companies, got bids, and actually found out it's the most affordable option by far over other things we were looking at.

The only caveat is that since we are having the floors installed in every room of our house with the exception of the bathrooms - everything in our house has to be moved out.  This is something I am absolutely dreading and the one thing that made me almost nix the whole idea.  This isn't exactly what I want to be doing at seven months pregnant but I know any flooring option we choose is going to come with headaches and this is what I really want so there's no turning back now.  We've ordered the storage unit and will slowly be moving things out over the next four weeks prior to installation day!

I'm so excited and this really has me anxious to work on other projects in our house.  In addition to the floors there were a couple of projects that have been on the list for a while and are now absolutely necessary to complete prior to the floors being put in.  We are finally getting doors installed from our dining room to our future patio (more on that later).  Right now we have a small screen porch on the side of our house and that is how we currently exit to our backyard but we have been wanting to take out two large picture windows and put doors in their place since we moved in to the house, it's the logical place for a backyard entrance and will make the flow so much better.    We are also finally taking down the wall between our kitchen and dining room (completed over the weekend!).  This will be considered phase 1 of our kitchen remodel (more on that later too).  So that's what I've been up to....organizing contractors, installation dates, and moving dates!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Things that make me smile...

We've been taking advantage of the unusually cool spring weather we've been having and enjoying lots of time outdoors riding bikes and having meals al fresco...what's making you smile today?

Photo: Flickr via Pinterest

Photo: via Kate Spade

Monday, April 9, 2012

Travel by Design - San Giorgio Mykonos

Looking for a fabulous summer getaway?  How about jetting over to the Mediterranean to check out this new hotel in Mykonos with a beachy, bohemian flair.  The design is simple and organic with hints of texture and color throughout bringing personality and warmth to the space.  It's obvious that the intent was to really let the architecture and landscape shine through.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Things that make me smile...

I know it's been a while since I've done one of these but I'm trying to get back to normal routines now that I'm feeling more like myself and my creative energy is returning slowly...What's making you smile today?

Monday, April 2, 2012

A little nursery inspiration...

Check out my Ideabook this month on houzz where I begin to pull ideas and inspiration for our nursery design.  We're drawing lots of inspiration from J.Crew Creative Director, Jenna Lyon's son's room.  Spotted several years ago in Domino, I have always loved the striped ceiling and dark contrasting walls.  I think we plan on doing something very similar in the nursery.  Since we are waiting to find out the sex of the baby we have to stay gender neutral and I am so not into super "baby-ish" themed rooms anyway so something like this really appeals to me. Now if only I had that gorgeous stone fireplace and floor to ceiling windows to work with....we can't have everything we want though can we?

Monday, March 19, 2012

A long list of to-do's

Hello...anyone still here?  I am so sorry for the lengthy absence.  For a bit there I thought this pregnancy had really gotten the best of me but over the last few weeks, as the nausea and exhaustion have gradually subsided, I've started to feel more like myself and I'm finding these random bursts of energy where I do things like clean the entire garage from top to bottom.  It also seems like the creativity and inspiration are creeping back in and I'm going to need it because we have a very long list of to-do's to prepare for this little one.

1. Have custom bookshelves built for living room
2. Remove wall between kitchen and dining rooom
3. Create new floor plan for kitchen and install new cabinets
4. Paint dining room
5. Enclose screen porch and convert to office space and guest room
6. Install french doors to backyard from dining room
7. Make roman shades for bedrooms, kitchen, and dining room
8. Pick out curtains for dining room french doors
9. Paint nursery
10. Pick out flooring and install
11. Trim work
12. Paint all closet and interior doors
13. Recessed lighting in nursery, hallway, kitchen
14. New ceiling fan in nursery
15. New dresser and nightstands for master bedroom
16. Furnishings for nursery
17. Sell furniture and other items in garage
18. Remodel bathroom
19. Order and install custom closet for master bedroom
20. Extend outdoor patio
21. Exterior landscaping
22. New fence for backyard
23. Find pillows for living room

I had to stop at 23 because I was getting overwhelmed.  Obviously not everything is a priority - landscaping the exterior isn't imperative...I'm sure the baby won't notice for a few years anyway but as long as I'm making the list I might as well include everything. I'm thinking of plastering these Keep Calm prints all over the house just to get through it.  Suddenly this pregnancy seems like it's progressing at warp speed because there is so much to do before he (or she) gets here...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Some news....

There’s been a reason for all the quiet around here lately….if you haven’t already guessed, we’re expecting!  I’ve been so incredibly exhausted and sick for the last several weeks.  It’s been so hard to focus on anything other than getting through my first trimester.  I’m 14 weeks today and starting to feel a little better but still battling some heavy duty exhaustion and an occasional meeting with le toilette…morning sickness isn’t really dedicated to the morning at all…it lasts ALL DAY!!

On top of all the normal pregnancy stuff, my mind has been totally zapped of creativity and inspiration.  I’ve heard this can happen and unfortunately might last through the entire pregnancy.  I just hope it returns because I don’t feel like myself without it and it’s made it very hard to blog or write or do anything else that requires the use of my mind!  I just keep thinking my body must be needing every ounce of energy to make this wonderful little baby growing inside of me.

Despite everything, Mike and I are so excited and can’t wait to meet our little babe…we are going to be surprised and not find out the sex until delivery day!  The baby is due August 28th….3 days before Mike’s birthday!  Now that our secret is finally out I will try my hardest to keep up and be a better blogger….we have so many house projects and of course a nursery to plan so I will be sure to share our progress and ideas.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A trip to Renninger's

renninger's antique extravaganza

This weekend I am trekking over to Mt. Dora to visit Renninger's for their antique extravaganza which features over 1,000 vendors!  This is the last one until November and I am so excited for what I might find.  Eddie Ross is a big fan of the event so you know it must be good!  He has an incredible before and after shot for House Beautiful of a bench seat he found at Renninger's and made over into incredible seating for a mud room.  I'm hoping I uncover something amazing like that.  I'll be looking for us and for the shop which is badly in need of re-stocking since the holidays.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Things that make me smile...

It's been a hectic couple of days with intermittent internet and then a modem that finally crapped out which made it very difficult to keep to any kind of blogging schedule, but I'm managing to drop in today to wish you all a happy Valentine's Day and share what's making me smile today - a few pink peonies, some sweet words, a bottle of champagne, and a great lipstick...all a girl really needs to be happy!  What's making you smile today?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Interior of the Week

This week's interior is the gorgeous work space of stylist, Emily Chalmers. I imagine it wouldn't be hard to be creative in a space like this one.

emily chalmers studio

emily chalmers studio

emily chalmers studio

emily chalmers studio