Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Guest Blogging at Loft & Cottage

Come join me over at Loft & Cottage while Casey is galavanting through Italia!!  If you haven't been introduced to Casey's blog, you must visit because it is a daily read!!!  This girl has great style!  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Change the look instantly

Thank you all for your wonderful birthday wishes.  So thoughtful and kind.  They really made my day!!  It was a great way to start off on a Monday!  And, yes, my husband is a keeper!  Thank you, Kevin.
So, we have a sofa that I inherited that sits in our family/living room and well, it's all wrong - the color, shape and size.  But, at this point of the game, I'm not willing to invest in brand new sofa until we move into a new house.  So, what to do?  I'm on the search for a throw to change the look.  Check out how these throws really change the look of the sofa or chair: 
Do you agree?  A throw really changes the look instantly and many times it is such a minor investment. I believe Emily spent $4 on her white Ikea throw below.
 I've noticed that many throws are the same color of a chair in the room or an accompanying accent color.  I have a navy sofa with some new orange/red/white damask pillows.  I've already tried some throws (in various colors) but I have yet to find the right one.  I'm on it, though.   

In the meantime, these throws are on sale and are exceptionally beautiful.  Organic cotton and incredibly soft (I felt them) and for $37.  They feel and look expensive!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Fran

I'm Fran's husband, Kevin.  It’s Fran’s birthday and my goal is to free her up for doing anything she wants.  As part of that effort, I offered (and she foolishly accepted my offer) to develop a post for her today.  You, her loyal followers, will unfortunately be paying the price.  

Four years and 109 days ago, Fran and I got married.  I was, and continue to be, the most fortunate man on the planet.  That’s not to say the people on the space station are more fortunate (they're not "on" this planet).  It’s just an expression.  Anyway, here is a picture Fran after our Wedding Mass looking radiant; my right arm is featured prominently.  

Without knowing it, this day was also the day that my understanding of and appreciation for home décor changed.  Prior to marriage, my décor style could most aptly be described as Early American Dorm Room.  And, since Fran was moving into the house I had purchased some four years earlier, she had her work cut out for her.  Down came my Michigan (U of M) flag, which had hung prominently and proudly over my fireplace since I had moved in.  And my aspirations to put a urinal in the upstairs bathroom vanished, as did my dreams of incorporating an authentic Guinness kegerator into the kitchen.  But with these dashed hopes came personal growth.  I now know what a color wheel is and how it’s used.  I can recognize campaign furniture from fifty feet away.  And if I see a room that is well styled, I can recognize it as such (though I could never do it myself).  And I don’t commonly tell people this but I even look at some of your design blogs.

I thought about posting the details of one or two rooms from our house and explaining (in detail) all of the changes that Fran has made.  But Fran would do a better job at that; I would loose sight of the big picture in my rush to explain all of the details.  Not to mention, you have already seen many of the changes: our bedroom, Luke’s big boy room, our living room, etc.  But what I can’t really convey are the intangibles.  She took a house that was nothing to look at and turned it into a beautiful, comfortable home.  A friend came by recently and mentioned, “you can feel the love radiating from every room in this house.”  Fran created that.  And I’m not just talking about paint, rugs, and end tables (though there certainly is that).  She exudes kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity, patience, and selflessness.  And you can feel it in this house.  Another friend said that she took something that was “in rough shape” and turned it into something worthwhile.  The question is: was this friend referring to the house or me?  That’s still an open question in my mind.

Happy Birthday Fran.  Ich liebe dich, mein liebchen.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nantucket Recap

I am definitely back to the 'real' world after having a very relaxing trip with my husband to Nantucket last week!  I got to give it to LindsB for having guessed our destination correctly.  My favorite part of the trip - being alone with my husband and being in Nantucket.   
We arrived last Thursday right on the brink of the terrible storm that hit NYC.  We took a puddle jumper from Hyannis to Nantucket and I was clenching my husband's hand the entire way.  I hate flying in those things.  Friday was overcast and was perfect because we literally slept so much.  Would you believe it if I told you I slept 10 to 12 hours every night?  No, I wasn't sleep deprived!!
Our footsteps in the sand.  I enjoyed every minute I spent with my husband.  This is the third trip in the past four years (since we gotten married) that we've taken a trip alone together.  Pure bliss. 
We were so fortunate to stay at our friend's house while in Nantucket.  They are so gracious and loaned us their summer house!  It made our trip so spectacular.  Isn't their house gorgeous?  It is literally steps from the beach.  
Of course, I grabbed my husband and took him to all my favorite home decor stores in town.  I will save that for a later post - way too many pictures.  Can I just tell you Nantucket has some of the most AMAZING boutiques!! And, while I loved browsing these shops oohing and aahhing at all the gorgeous home furnishings, my favorite part of the trip was just spending quality time with my husband.
Here we are chilling at Cisco Brewery - sitting in the sun, drinking some cold ones and listening to live music!  And, finally, we capped off our trip with a very nice and romantic dinner at American Seasons.  A restaurant that serves local and seasonal fare, it is a must go to restaurant if you're ever on the island.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm back...

Hi All!!  
So, sorry I've been MIA.  The husband and I just returned from a little getaway - a little R & R in the sun.  I'll be back soon in full swing.  Can you guess where?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Chic - Julia Edelmann

I NEED to get the fall 2010 issue of Renovation Style.  I recently visited, Full House, a must read blog by the talented Christina and saw that she posted Julia Buckingham Edelmann's recently completed project - a historic victorian in Evanston, IL. which was also featured in Chicago Home Magazine
It's the palette that grabbed my attention - yellow, turquoise and gray.  How can you not go wrong with that color palette?  The fabric on the banquette is amazing!  It's so lively and fresh.  I want it!!
Oh, how I love these nailhead trimmed bar stools and pendants!!  Amazing!
To see more of this beautiful home, check out Julia's blog post here.  And, if you're so inclined, you can watch as Julia Edelmann walks you through her own victoria home and explains her design process, here

All images courtesy of Buckingham ID and photographed by the uber talented Eric Hausmanexcept for the cover shot by  master photographer Werner Straube for Renovation Style and Meredith Publications.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A nice little touch

I bought some new pillow covers and feather-down inserts for my slipper chairs in our family room/living room.  Yeah!  I think they turned out lovely.  Originally, I wasn't sure how the black would work, but I love the contrast.  Just in time for fall.  Happy Monday all!
The pillow covers are from diypillows on etsy and they have a wonderful selection of pillow covers starting at $9.99!  Check them out!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

I am slowly working on our upstairs hallway (landing) and am trying to find the 'rug' that is going is going to make shout, "That's it!".  I can't blame you if you have forgotten and are asking, "What hallway is she talking about?".   Remember?
I recently ordered this beauty from Rugsusa.  
I wanted to add yellow to the space because the upstairs hallway/landing leads directly into our bathroom.  If the bathroom door is open, you will have direct view of the window coming up the stairs and I'm using this fabric for a fixed roman shade.
I like the yellow with the blue against an otherwise all neutral (beige, brown & white) backdrop.  I wasn't too impressed with the rug. The yellow isn't a bright yellow (like the picture); it's more a mustard yellow. For $145, it left me saying "ho-hum" and the hand woven material wasn't cutting it for me.  So, back to the drawing board.

Here are some other options I'm considering.  I'm now thinking more of a neutral color for the rug and will incorporate the yellow via accessories.  
Think the light blue would complement the navy blue in the roman shade fabric.  
Love the pattern below.  It is very similar to the tile pattern we will have on our bathroom floor (Daltile's 2" hexagon). 
Love the faux bois - such a great neutral. 
I brought home a sample of Dash Albert's circle fret rug and loved it!! It is just pricey.  
So, what are your thoughts? Any favorites? Should I try other colors?  Do I seem desperate for help??  Well, I am!! :)  
Have a great weekend everyone!!  And, thanks again for all your help!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Guest Blogging

Be sure to stop over by Strictly Simple Style today, where I am guest blogging about adding a little kid resilient fabric (a.k.a. oilcloth) to your decor!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September....Is it really September?!?

Barrie Benson - Domino
I can't believe it, but the above photo has me warming up to the idea!  Who doesn't love a good tartan?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This week's Giveaways

Hi All, there are some great giveaways out there this week.....stop by and leave a comment!
Leave it to 6th Street Design School to host fabulous giveaways.  A $100 gift certificate to L&S fabrics!!  Go here.  And, she is doing an e-design giveaway over at Bloom!
The lovely Rene from Cottage and Vine is hosting a $75 giveaway at ATGStores.  Check it out here.  

Maggie Rose is hosting a $25 gift certificate for a great Art Giveaway!  Check it out here

If I have missed any fabulous giveaways, please link to them in the comment section!!  Happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Front Door Style

As we're in the midst of having our house painted (btw, it is looking great!), it has become blatantly obvious that our front door/stoop is in desperate need of a face lift.  So, I have front doors on the brain everything from color, door hardware, lighting, house numbers, door mats, planters and wrought iron railings.  My style?  Think classic with a twist!    Here is one before and after front door makeover that has me inspired.  


This makeover is very classic which I like.  Knowing me, I'd add a little 'twist' in here and there (maybe some fire engine red peel off numbers for the door).  But, I do like a lot of things about this make over, mainly the over sized lanterns and the absence of the storm door.  

Here in New England, everyone has a storm door mainly because it's energy efficient (especially during the colder months).  Last weekend, with screwdriver in hand, I took off our storm door and I love it!  Now, I just need to convince my husband to keep it that way!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fun, Vibrant & Stylish

While I am not a huge fan of the color red, I like it in doses.  To me, the color red means fun.  Some ways to inject fun into your home?  Take a piece of furniture (like a chair),  paint it red and what you'll end up with is a fun, vibrant and stylish piece that speaks volumes. If red scares you, you might want to stick to a simple red and white color palette.  You can't go wrong with such a classic color combo.   Think Hermes 'Balcon du Guadalquivir' plates.  Check out some of my favorite 'red' pieces:




So, is red for you or no?