a florida room

have you ever checked out the real estate firm douglas elliman? if you are a house voyeur like i am, this company is the holy grail, especially for dream vacation living. my usual preferred style is more new england (which they represent), but after returning from florida i'm fully immersed in vacation/summer daydream mode, and wishing for a tropical escape. and their florida listings are phenomenally inspirational.


a vacation isn't happening any time soon, and on top of that we are back to the drawing board on the screened-in room situation for our own outdoor escape at home. i know its primary function will be for outdoor dining sans bugs, but it would also be nice to have a sort of florida room ... a type of sun room or sun porch ... a room that is open to breezes during the warm months. a place to relax and stay cool on hot summer days. and as soon as i think about a breezy room for escaping the heat, my brain immediately goes, "the great gatsby."

what?? follow me on this.

remember when nick visits tom & daisy at the beginning of the book? (i'm not the only nerd here, right?) the description of where he first encounters daisy and her friend, jordan, is where my mind went:

We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-colored space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea. The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.

i love fitzgerald. can't you just imagine such a room, and such a day? all of the windows on our home's main floor have white linen curtains, and there is nothing more peaceful than sitting on the couch while those curtains move in the breeze. maybe i had gatsby in the back of my head when i chose them ... maybe because i'd been perusing those douglas elliman houses ...

but back to the florida room. my brain starts to swirl it all together: gatsby, sun room, indoor/outdoor, water and wind, relaxing. and i just assume my backyard looks something like this ...


and this ...


so my perfect florida room would be a little tropical, a little new england, a little fancy, and a lot unfussy and casual.


something like ...


let's assume that our florida room opens onto a patio, to have that indoor/outdoor element. and there are tall windows on two or three sides, which would of course be clad in long, white, floaty, linen curtains. you need comfy seating, so a soft indoor/outdoor couch is perfect for indestructible lounging. then you have the rattan daybed with soft pillows ... just the place for a summer nap. and the swing chair would be a great spot to curl up and read "gatsby" again. above you is a woven-blade ceiling fan, to assist the breeze on warm days.

a jute rug on the floor and a shuttered cabinet, to hold board games and extra books and blankets, have that beach cottage personality. of course there is a bar cart, for summer refreshments, and a coffee table on which to prop up feet or play one of those board games. by the daybed is a ghost table that mimics the classic design of the coffee table, but is 'now you see it/now you don't' to keep the room feeling light. throw pillows (that green kate spade one has the statement "this is the life" on it. perfect for a room whose soul purpose is relaxing!) and a pouf give the room softness and a little color, while the art on the bright white walls give even more color, as well as a vacation vibe. especially that aaron chang water photograph ... spectacular! looks like you can dive right into it.

simple sconces would light the corners of the room, while accent lamps on the cabinet give extra light during evening hang-outs. pretty vases bring out the green in the artwork, and a fresh bouquet of flowers from the bouqs and a fiddle leaf fern bring in the natural element.

and when you tire of all that comfortable lounging, you walk out onto the patio and head straight for that pool!

good idea?




outdoor couch: restoration hardware

daybed: serena & lily

ghost table: wisteria

pillows: serena & lily, etsy, kate spade

swing chair: pier 1

curtains: crate and barrel

cabinet: overstock

coffee table: maine cottage

ceiling fan: lamps plus

art: aaron chang

sailboat print: minted

watercolor: minted

pouf: annie selke

bar cart: wayfair

kantha blanket: imogene + willie

lamp: maine cottage

sconces: lamps plus

ice bucket: furbish studio

rug: west elm

flowers: the bouqs

vase: jill rosenwald

 planter: crate and barrel







changes coming

i mentioned awhile back (uh ... almost a year ago) that harper is done with a "girly" room, and is ready to move on to more age-appropriate decor. her request: a wolf den. my suggestion: maybe not so much "wolf den" but more "cozy and less white".

and 10 months of nothing happening, we're finally in plan mode.

we still love the cole & sons birch trees wallpaper, but now there is a new horse in the race:




that's cute, right?

upside: removable, so less work when she changes her mind again, and perhaps less expensive because we can hang it ourselves. however, i just looked into a removable wallpaper for the main floor bathroom, and that option wound up being more expensive than hiring someone to paper the room. so i'll have to do the math on this one. it would be only one wall, though, so i have hopes that it will be the cost-effective way to go.

she's already said that she really likes this bed from wayfair ...

B2646c0f72c2d083bd9da1825805127band i'm getting inspiration from these images ...










so we're getting somewhere.

a new dimension in this plan, though, is that she starts middle school in the fall. which means she will be getting up and in the bathroom at around 6:15 every morning. and henry's bed shares a wall with the bathroom.

and harper isn't always subtle or quiet.

i approached henry with the idea of switching rooms, and with all the sentimentality he could muster, he responded, "i don't care. i just need a bed and bookshelves."

his only concern was could he still have his ceiling light. because apparently he really likes his ceiling light.

10-4, buddy. we're good to go.

so now the plan is to completely gut both rooms of stuff after school is out, and do a switcheroo.


we have only two more years with henry in this house, so while i would love to update his bedding, the truth is he really doesn't care what his room looks like, and is there any reason to change bedding at this stage of the game? jury is still out. (you probably know what i would like to do.)

however, i've started to gather a little "new room for henry" inspiration anyway. because, of course.









we bought a campaign dresser and nightstand off craigslist last year, i've been dragging my feet on painting them until i knew exactly where they would go and what color to use. henry is definitely a blue/purple/black/gray guy, with what i would say is a modern/clean vibe, so i'll have to factor that in and make the modern and mid-century looks blend.


nine weeks of school ... nine weeks of planning and ordering ... and we'll be ready to go!

spring fever

as soon as january comes to a close, i start to get itchy for spring and lightness. specifically, i crave a little pink in my life. not a lot ... there may have been a clause in the marriage contract that read: "no pink; no florals; no excessive girly-ness". but maybe i can manage to put out just enough to give the house a little sweetness.

"pink & girly" don't really describe me, but there are moments when my feminine side wants to come out. i have a small collection of pink depression glass that i've been trying to use for years - this might just be the year. back in college, one of my roommates and i put pink light bulbs in our dorm room, and they were so peaceful and soothing that i wonder if maybe i shouldn't get some for the house. and marc doesn't remember this, but i bought blush pink bedding for our room in our first house. i loved that bedding ... wonder where it is? and pink flowers have always been my favorite. i mean, really: who doesn't love pink flowers?




how lucky that pantone's color of the year is rose quartz! it's a sign: i need more pink!


Pink house



maybe some pink added to the kitchen shelves, pink covers for the throw pillows, art with pink in it for the shelves by the fireplace. i'm planning to order a canvas of this pretty picture to put above the mantle:



and i am loving these pillows:




and these prints are calling to me:





time to pink all the things!!













who's with me?

51 months in (the christmas edition)

i get so many emails from people who have seen our house on pinterest and ask for floor plans, who built it, do we love this choice or that choice, what have we changed/added since moving in. for the interest: thank you! this house truly was a labor of love for us, and continues to be our happy place in the world.

so if you are coming here from pinterest or, specifically, the one month in post, welcome to the future!

while the house was all clean and christmasy and waiting for guests to arrive last week, i took some new pictures of the space. not every room was photographed, and i will definitely be better about documenting things in 2016 ... i've found a real love for answering emails about our house, and want to offer more to those who are working on their own build or redecorating projects. and once the holidays are put away, i will try to do a more complete tour, including the rooms i didn't photograph last week. i will also update on the projects we have in the works (whether plans only or baby steps being taken) for '16.

without further chattiness ... our house, 51 months in and dressed for the holidays:


main floor

i'll start with the entryway, because this post on the craigslist dresser is one of the most pinned things i've posted on the ol' blog.



because of its status, i probably should have taken more than one photo. anyway ... moving on.



the great room is still one of my favorite spots in the house. we literally never use the fireplace (makes the house too hot), but i love the mantel and the built-ins. they remind me of what i loved in our first house - a 1925 bungalow in south minneapolis, and missed in our second house - a 1965 ranch in the 'burbs. and yes, i should have made sure the blinds were equally open before taking the picture.




i know ... i told you months ago i would share the gallery wall process. i will do that in january. making myself a note Right Now.




(i was inspired by the glass box of travel ephemera in the asid design house that i toured with erin from house of turquoise back in october, and knew a similar box would be perfect for christmas cards. the box is from west elm.)



(blending my old school crosley with marc's new school mp3/receiver/buttony tech.)





(the mantel seemed boring this year ... new garland took up too much real estate and i couldn't put other things out. luckily, i still had a bunch of paper snowflakes from last year - our elf brought them - and added them to the wall around the picture of the kids. perfect filler, zero cash involved.)



moving on to the tv room ... this room has gone through the biggest change since i last blogged about it. four years ago, the room was empty of all but boxes, but i did have some ideas for where it might go. the rug i wanted sold out shortly after falling in love with it, but we moved forward with the white couch and the cabinet of my dreams. and then ... stuck again. we had the couch, we had the cabinet, we had a tv, but the room needed some warmth - a rug, some curtains. so again, i brainstormed. and eventually, it came together. we went with the graphic yellow rug from west elm, and some adorable white curtains - also from west elm; i may need a 12-step program - with translucent circles in the fabric, and sweet little pom pom trim. then i attended junk bonanza with a girlfriend, found a vintage german periodic table school chart, and my life - and this room - was complete. and today, it looks like this:







and ... i took no photos of the kitchen or other areas on the main floor. like i said, post-holiday complete tour is on my To Do list. so, then, let's move




the only room i really photographed is the guest room. it has gone through several looks in the past four years. it started with harper's ikea pull-out bed


but when she wanted her bed back, we switched it out for the two jenny linds we had put in her room. however, when we upgraded to a king bed over the summer, we did a bedroom furniture shuffle, and put our bed in the basement guest room (more on that in a minute), and the guest bed that was in the basement moved to the upstairs guest room. and that's where we are right now.







more about this room when i do the actual, factual tour.

and ... a brief tease of the master bedroom:





yes, the new bed ... black and white. the the $50 craigslist chair also got fancied up in new black and white fabric. shocker, i know.

now it's time to move on to the




a quick glimpse at where the past four years have brought this space.

when i last shared pix of the basement, we had pretty much just moved in all the main furniture from our last house and called it good. with the exception of finally buying a piece of furniture for the tv (instead of the old desk i found on the side of the road in college that we HAD been using), and some bookshelves, this space is largely the same, just more finished.






(a star wars tree. because, yes. i found it at treetopia, and it is a black-to-silver ombre tree, which in my mind meant it was a dark side to light side ombre. of course. i really should have gotten one that was a foot taller, but we'll make this work.)












on to the guest room, where the old master bedroom bed now resides ...





usually, there is flannel snowflake bedding on the basement guest bed at christmastime, because it can get pretty cold in this room when the door stays closed. but truth be told ... i couldn't find it. the linens got lost somewhere in the mess of the upstairs guest closet, where all spare linens go ... to never be seen again. organizing that closet is *also* on my To Do list for 2016.

i have a lot to do in 2016.


and there you have it.

hope you liked the little holiday tour, and i hope it will hold you over until the official tour of All The Rooms in the coming months.


later this weekend: actual christmas photos and re-cap. because it was super fun.


asid showcase home - minneapolis

back in may, for mother's day, i requested a walk through my favorite minneapolis neighborhood to look at all the beautiful old homes near lake harriet. while we were walking, we noticed one of the houses was completely wrapped up and under construction. i worried that someone was taking something historic and turning it into something that wouldn't fit the neighborhood.

i shouldn't have worried.

a couple of months later, i was reading minneapolis-st paul magazine, and saw the teaser for the upcoming ASID showcase home tour in minneapolis - where designers from the area take over a house, and work together to make it a showstopper, then let the public walk through and experience the amazingness of their work. while i was looking at the style boards for the various rooms, i noticed a very strong coastal/turquoise vibe, so i took a pic of the magazine page, and sent my friend erin a message:


"we should go."

"yes," she replied.

see, erin is also obsessed with beautiful houses, coastal vibes, and the color turquoise. in fact, she's so obsessed that she started a website, house of turquoise, specifically to catalog and share that love with the world. which is how i came to know her.

and last week, erin sent me a message: we're going through the showcase home.

the homeowner, it turns out, is also a fan of coastal vibes and the color turquoise, and when she agreed to allow her home's renovation to be the featured showcase home, she gave the designers links to house of turquoise to show them her inspiration rooms and style. and then when the home was finished, she reached out to erin and, as a thank you, invited her to privately tour the home that had been so inspired by the beautiful coastal and turquoise homes that have been featured on the site.

and - coming full circle - when i pulled up in front of the showcase home, i realized it was the house that had been under renovation in may in my favorite neighborhood.

i freaking love serendipity.

when you walk in the (super cute, light turquoise, dutch) front door, it is immediately clear that the theme of this house is "coastal", but it is also "family". the home feels warm and personal and intentional ... my three favorite qualities in a house. and while the designers did an amazing job designing and decorating the home, it doesn't feel "decorated" for the sake of tchotchkes and filling walls, but rather it feels like the family's personality is in every corner. which is no small feat, considering the size of the house.



erin has posted a tour of the home on house of turquoise with the official photos of the rooms. here are photos i took of the moments in the home i found the most special, and the design decisions that jumped out at me as most inspirational.


1. coastal


the house started with a blue bicycle the homeowners found at a hardware store. from there, every corner of this home is touched with a coastal vibe, without ever falling down the "theme" trapdoor. wood tones are all grayed and weathered, finishes are simple instead of precious, colors are sand and sky and water. and light and air flow through this house like it's sitting on the water, instead of in a neighborhood in minnesota.


light fixtures and art throughout the house emphasize the beach, the lake, coral and driftwood.






(an original samantha french? just for this family?? i die.)


(the most luminous, amazing photograph i've ever seen.)


 2. wallcoverings

with this much wall space, the designers wisely chose to use wallpapers in many spaces to break up all the flat surfaces. it added warmth and depth to the rooms. the different grass cloth textures were my favorite, but there were also patterns and colors, not to mention different textures, from planking to ship lap to corrugated metal.









(i mean, maps inside the niche? amazing.)



3. the fifth wall

one thing you don't initially notice in this house - because your eyes are going everywhere at once - is that even the ceilings got attention. and it if was in just one or two rooms, it might seem like a gimmick, but it was in nearly every room, and works perfectly. decorating the ceiling was just one more of those, "oh, wow!" things about this house.







4. surfaces

if you watch hgtv, you'd think the only surface available for counters is granite, but there wasn't a bit of it in this house. amazing cambria counter surfaces were used throughout, including a marble-esque version that is so new that this house is its world premiere.






all of the shower floors have river rock tile, which the homeowner says reminds her of beach houses, and is so much smoother and more comfortable on the feet.


5. personal touches

model homes and show homes are lovely, but what i want to see is the personality of the family who makes the house a home. this home had that in abundance.


this amazing mural ... i don't know how long it was (seven feet, maybe? eight?), but it took up the entire upstairs hallway. one large family photo mural, framed in rustic wood. so genius, and so perfect. in fact, nearly every piece of art on the walls in this home hearkens back to a place or a memory or something special to the family.


see the little gymnast? that's the homeowner's daughter. a perfect little detail in her lovely room.


like, i'm sure, many people, i always save little bits of memorabilia, with no idea what to do with it. here, those postcards and ticket stubs are tucked away in a special glass box, so they can be seen and remembered without being clutter. brilliant.


this cabinet is dedicated to the family's love of travel. their guide books to different states and countries, photos from their vacations, seashells they've found ... all gathered in one place to honor them and enjoy their memories.


the family owns a vineyard, and this is their wine label: a drawing of their daughters, and the name is a combination of both girls' names. the butterfly is in honor of their daughter, faith, whom they lost at birth. (you can read more about the amazing thing this family has done in faith's honor here.)


6. and, of course, turquoise


(you know i love a good barn door.)












if you are in the minneapolis area, you must go see this place! this is the final weekend, and tickets are $20. every designer did an amazing job ... this house is perfection! inspiration and 'wow' moments at every turn. it is truly a dream home.


it's here.

if you've read my blog for any amount of time over a year, you know that a) i adore autumn, and the coming holiday season, and b) every year my autumn, and coming holiday season, goes to hell.

this year, on the first day of autumn, i had to see a doctor about a painful eye situation, only to discover a blocked and infected tear duct, that had to be drained (with a needle, thankyouverymuch) and then "milked" (just as fun as it sounds), and then treated with antibiotics. and tomorrow, on the second day of autumn, i will go to a surgeon to see how to reconstruct part of my left nostril, which i lost 10 days ago to basal cell carcinoma.

the autumn, and coming holiday season, are off to a dubious start.

nonetheless, i can't wait to "autumn" all the things! some pretty pumpkins are now on the porch, i have the fall flowers for the window box, the summery pillows and photos are getting replaced with the autumny ones. and i'm starting to look around the house to see what projects are on the list. i will tell marc i want them done by the holidays. they may actually get done by next year's holidays. it's how we roll.

we've been in our house for four years now (what???), and we're pretty much settled in and squared away. but there are a few tweaks that are on the horizon, and a few changes that we're ready to make.

current inspiration for those tweaks and changes:

1. shelves like these.


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there is a wall in our basement that currently is home to an ikea expedit shelf. there is general flotsam and stash on those shelves. however, there are bundles of martha stewart magazines dating back to 1996 in the closet, just begging to be enjoyed again. i foresee some rustic, warm wood shelves lining that wall on some cool iron brackets, maybe get some lights installed above the shelves for a little spot lighting.


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2. now that my craigslist-find chair and ottoman have been restored, and our new king-size bed is here, our master bedroom is at about 90%. we just need to get some art on the walls and curtains on the windows. trying to figure out exactly what direction to go in ... art above the nightstands, flanking the bed? or art or a mirror above the headboard and nothing above the nightstands? still debating. but i'm pretty sure the curtains will be white, because ... well ... of course.


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3. put the guest rooms back together.

when we switched out our old bed, we moved it to the basement, which meant we moved the basement guest bed to the upstairs guest room. and we moved the upstairs guest beds to the garage. we still need to get the beds put back together (literally back together ... not just "i need to make the beds", but "i need to MAKE the beds"), which needs to happen before company comes, which means when i tell my husband that i'd like him to do it this weekend, it really means "for the love of god just put those beds back together since it's been a month." or something like that.

the downstairs guest room has warmer colors ...


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and the upstairs one has cooler ones ...


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so now i'm gathering art and stuff. but first the beds have to get MADE.

wouldn't a pretty guest room be a nice place to spend a holiday? i mean, especially if the bed doesn't fall apart  underneath you?


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4. we're also in the process of getting estimates to finally put on a screened-in porch on the back of the house. it won't happen until spring, but we need to know exactly how much money we're talking with this. and if it sounds straightforward, it isn't. marc threw a wrench in the works by declaring that our mechanical room is no longer sufficient for his geek needs, so we may need to add on a server room under the porch. and, if we're going that far, we might as well go a little farther and attach a storage room for yard equipment, etc.

i wasn't thrilled when i heard that. "screened-in porch" suddenly became "nah ... we don't need to send the kids to college." oh well. i just have to focus on the pretty ... these inspiration pix distract me from googling "how to homeschool for a college degree."


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once my face heals and things no longer hurt, i'll try to clean up the joint and take some updated pictures of the place. there are so many of you out there who have loved my home (thank you!) via pinterest, and have asked to see how it looks now that it's more complete. i'll do my best to oblige in the coming weeks!

until then, go pick some apples, pull out the flannel sheets, and enjoy a pumpkin muffin!

putting it together

i was talking with a friend the other day, and she was lamenting not knowing where to start on redecorating her family room. she was hooked on a particular color, but didn't know where to go from there. i told her that could be a really frustrating way to go about it. she asked why. so i put on my "what if i was a designer" hat, and we had a chat.

i told her that for me, i always start with something i love and work out from there. a piece of furniture ... a fabric ... art ... those are way better things to work a room around than a specific color. colors can be so unforgiving, especially if you don't take into consideration undertones and how they change throughout the day.

(disclaimer: i DID create our entire front room around a color, because i had the room painted when we built, with no real plan in place beyond that. if you build it, he will come, right? it all turned out okay on that one ... i'll tell you about that some other time.)

anyway, after our conversation, i decided to create a room (just, you know, like you do.) for fun, to illustrate:


i started with the hypothetical floor plan of a den. my first stop for inspiration was a wonderful auction website: invaluable.com. i searched for furniture, art, collectibles, until the right thing popped out at me to get the ball rolling. it soon did, in the form of an awesome mid-century herman miller sofa and warner bros. animation prints.



from those two things, i knew the style direction - retro modern-ish, and the color palette - black, orange, green.

i could immediately envision a gallery collection of the warner bros. prints framed in black and arranged above the black sofa. but then what?

the room needed wallpaper:

HW_TP010_Knots_Gray_Roll_webcute, right? but i thought it might overwhelm the room if it was on all four walls, so the wallpaper, prints, and sofa would be on the back wall of the room, across from the windows. the other three walls would be a lovely benjamin moore color: nightfall. it's gray-black with a green undertone. because the accent colors for the room are green and orange, i have a feeling nightfall could be great if the room got either cooler north-facing light or warmer south-facing light coming in the windows. but, like i told my friend, painting samples on the walls and checking how they change throughout the day is the best way to go. i once painted a room a minty green - it was perfect with the bedding and other things in the room, but the lighting of the room totally killed the color. i didn't do a sample, and regretted it.

the next thing the room needed was additional seating, and i wanted something in a warmer tone, to play with the orange in the palette. these leather equestrian chairs would be lovely.


even though the room has four windows, it also needs light. and pendants with orange enameled shades hung from the ceiling and angled toward the sofa would be so very cool. of course, they would need a longer rod, but in pretend world that's no problem!



the room would need a little orange on the opposite wall to balance, so an orange ceramic garden stool as an accent surface is perfect. but a bigger side table would be needed between the two chairs, so this gold leaf and marble one is just lovely.

W9552_04the marble tabletop - and white tabletops on the sofa - influenced the wet bar area of the room. the counter top would be a white quartz marble-like surface - simple and clean, which perfectly balances the amazingly gorgeous mosaic tile on the back wall of the wet bar nook.


i mean, hello, right? and there's your green and orange! serendipity! had i not found the sofa and art first, i might have planned something around this tile alone. a brass faucet, and this little area is done.

however, in the floor plan, there is a little nook next to the wet bar which is a perfect place for an antique cabinet, also found on invaluable, that will serve as storage for liquor and glasses and cocktail mixing stuff.


finishing touches to warm up the room are a natural fiber rug, a black table lamp, white roman shades accented with black trim, some simple accent pillows and a bright green throw, and a modern-yet-rustic coffee table. a few terrariums, some art books, etc., would finish the space.

and it would be groovy and fun.


in the end, my friend said she was going to spend some time figuring out what she wants in the room before finalizing the color. so far she has a really great pillow that is making her wheels turn ...


special thanks to invaluable.com, for having such a great selection of amazing stuff. inspiration for days!!



wallpaper: hygge & west

paint color: benjamin moore

couch: invaluable

chairs: schoolhouse electric

rug: serena & lily

coffee table: ray banchand

wet bar tile: ravenna

wet bar faucet: waterstone fulton

wet bar counter: caesarstone

cabinet: invaluable

side table: wisteria

stool: wisteria

table lamp: restoration hardware

pendant lights: rejuvenation

pillows: etsy

roman blinds: etsy

blanket: schoolhouse electric

art: invaluable

a 'tween room: rough draft

harper is in her last full week of fourth grade, which means she is thisclose to leaving "little girl" behind and jumping into "'tweenhood." right on cue, she's asking for a more grown-up room.

the daybed that she's had since she was three ... the bed that has been her comfort zone, the one she refused to give up after we moved ... is now "too small", and she's ready to update everything. no more pink. no more toys. (except for littlest pet shop ... those aren't going anywhere.) no more "girly" room. she is now old enough to have an opinion, and she's confidently putting that opinion out there to make it happen.

we were talking about colors the other day, and she really wants gray and dark blue and aqua and yellow. i can totally get behind those. then we were flipping through some catalogs and scrolling through pinterest and came across a few things that she's put on her "THIS! THIS! THIS!" list.

her first big request: the cole & sons birch tree wallpaper.


i love it as much as she does - i've actually had it pinned for more than a year - and love that i can get a removable version from amazon. might be a good way to have the look without anything being semi-permanent and twice as expensive. we like the above idea: a chair rail and deeper wall color below the trees. i also like the idea of doing the paper on one wall, and color on the other three ... i'm finding myself inspired by this room right now:

a third thought: wallpaper on the lower portion of the wall, and add a shelf for art above her bed.


we already have some great prints in her room of wolves and foxes and peacocks, so this might be a fun option. it would also work great with ...

her second request: robert allen folkland fabric in aquatint. we saw this fabric on a headboard in the land of nod catalog, and harp loved it. the colors are right, and the animals are adorable (and she is SO the animal girl).Full-french-seam-headboard-folkland-aquatint

the fabric immediately reaffirmed her color palette:


i have an old desk that i'm in the process of stripping and refinishing for her room, and now that we have a direction, we're trying to figure out what color to paint it. i'm pulling for the yellow, she's leaning toward the darker blue.

we'll keep her white ikea dresser and likely the bookshelves, so the other big pieces are set. since she's ready to move up to a bigger bed, bedding will also need to be purchased.


| west elm| Nyponros-duvet-cover-and-pillowcase-s-gray__0287090_PE318870_S4| ikea |

the big question is whether to get the headboard in the fabric she likes, or get a chair in folkland for her desk instead, and have some pillows made with the fabric, and make or buy a different headboard. that way she isn't tied to the animal fabric when she's older.

we're obviously still mulling.

but now we have a good direction to go in, and i have a feeling this will be the summer of the bedroom ... marc and i just ordered a new bed (after nearly 19 years, we will finally have a king-size bed. no more getting jabbed by his elbows and feet in the middle of the night!), we'll be doing a big shuffle of guest room stuff once that bed comes, and we might as well put harp's room on the list, too. (i asked henry if he wants to do anything different with his room while we're at it. he answered, "why?" ... such a boy.)

as far as summer projects go, i can get behind these ideas one-hundred percent.

i almost have something to share

i'm finally doing some things on the house front. spring has lit a fire under me, and i'm ready to finish some projects.

one that's been looming for the past 18 months is the master bathroom.

there's this nook where the toilet is ...


and after we moved in, i found this photo on pinterest and got totally inspired:


the nook needed shelves.

so nearly two years ago, i found these groovy brackets at anthropologie:


i had this great idea to put them inside the nook to create a sort of arch with the shelves. it was going to be super cute.

and then ...

nothing. finding a time to buy wood, cut and sand, prime and paint, hang ... turns out, that's the hardest part of home projects.

and, ta-da!! the reason i'm not a home blogger.

but the shelves are finally up ...



and now i'm tweaking and fluffing the pretty stuff. i'll get a pic of that up for you soon!


let's play pretend

last week, i got a super fun/super unexpected/super inexplicable-yet highly flattering email from the community manager for the online store chairish, an "exclusive, curator approved, online marketplace for vintage and used furniture." in the email, she wrote: We understand when choosing a color palette for a room, it can be hard to step away from basic neutrals, and going bold is a big decision. We'd love for you to share your taste for color by creating a styleboard around a vintage rug by taking a room from white to bright!

um, has she seen my house? it's nothing BUT white! however, i do love color, and there are moments when i crave changing a room and taking it 180 degrees from where it currently is. budget and reality constraints keep those cravings in check, but i loved loved LOVED creating a styleboard around a rug that i likely wouldn't have ever considered for my own home. and now that i've done the work? i totally want this room to be real!

after choosing the baluch rug from among all the options, i started with the story: where would this rug be happy? who would buy it? let me introduce you ...

first, the rug i chose reminded me of my first job in minneapolis. i worked for an ad agency in a revitalized building in the warehouse district (before it was the trendy north loop). the job was meh, but i adored walking to the building from the bus stop each morning ... grabbing a coffee at moose & sadie's, walking the three flights to our office, which was all exposed beams and brick walls, large arched windows with steel frames, wide-plank floors that were more than a hundred years old. the space was wide open and raw, and i absolutely loved the atmosphere and desperately wanted to live there.

so my styleboard is just that: a single woman in the city lives in a small loft in an old warehouse. she's a writer for the city magazine, covering the local arts & travel beat, but she aspires to work for a larger publication, traveling the world and writing about the people she meets. her loft's main living space, while small, is open and bright from the large windows and tall ceilings, but her bathroom is cozy and whimsical.

i based my plan on a modified version of a bathroom in a loft in milwaukee.

  Floorplanand here's the styleboard:


so ... visualize with me:

you walk into the bathroom, and straight in front of the door is the beautiful antique louis vuitton trunk (filled with extra tp, cleaning supplies, etc.) that our homeowner found on chairish, and above it are the art pieces and a few other trinkets, which create a small gallery. the floor is the beautiful noir hex tile, and the walls are papered in the fun cities toile ... a reminder to our homeowner of all the places she wants to go and see.

to keep her feet warm while brushing her teeth, she laid down the baluch rug that she also found on chairish.

lucky for her, when the bathroom was added to the loft, the baseboard trim was fresh and white and new, and a lovely modern shower was added. the shower has basic white subway tile surround, but our lady got handy one weekend and added a decorative border of honey onyx tile to create some visual interest.

the pedestal sink, both modern and vintage at the same time - especially with the antiqued brass faucet, is lovely but provides no storage. our girl found this gorgeous green vintage cabinet while browsing chairish, looking for the rug. it is now on the wall behind the sink, so she has easy access to extra towels (white, with a simple black hotel stripe), toiletries, the usual. the tall window lets in decent light, but there is also a great antiqued brass ceiling light and two gorgeous nod-to-industrial sconces on either side of the round mirror. she knew a medicine cabinet made more sense, but come on ... round is so much more decadent!

a big fan of the little touches, our girl was thrilled to find these brass and leather wall hooks while poking around at anthropologie one day. they were the perfect size to hang a towel from, so she bought a few for her bathroom ... a single hook for the hand towel by the sink, a double hook on the back of the door for her bath towels.

 it was a labor of love, and took more than a little of her paycheck each month to complete, but she is so happy every time she steps into her bathroom. and when her friends come over and gush over her amazing vintage finds, she says, "oh, you HAVE to check out chairish.com ... it's brilliant! i check it out daily to see what else i can find. right now i really need a cocktail table ..."

- end scene -

if you had to start with one of the gorgeous vintage rugs from chairish, what rug would you choose?

floor tile: noir hex 2x2 travertine

shower accent tile: honey onyx medley

wallpaper: anthropologie cities toile

sink: kohler memoirs

faucet: legion antique brass

mirror: gilt minimalist

wall sconces: ironside sconce

ceiling light: traditional urban semi-flush

trunk: louis vuitton steamer trunk

cabinet: vintage

towels: hotel satin stitch

towel hook: equestrian hook

wall art: "me, in stitches"

wall art: "coney island"