Tuesday, May 31, 2011

WHY IT WORKS - A Master Bedroom with a 4 Poster Bed

Sorry for the not so exciting title for this week's post. :) What I love about the design of this bedroom is simply that it looks un-designed. It looks as if it's been lovingly put together over time, with each piece carefully selected and edited.  This room was designed by Michael Penney, one of my favorite stylists from House and Home.


(via michaelpenneystyle.com)

  • The wallpaper.  I've said it before, wallpaper is back and behind the bed is the perfect spot for something bold.
  • The four poster bed.  Love this.  Especially in white, it doesn't feel heavy one bit.  It adds an architectural element in the room and really defines the space.
  • Taking risks in mixing patterns.  I really would not have thought the navy striped rug would work with the floral wallpaper, but it does.  Like I said, effortless style.  

  • Four Poster Bed.  Have you ever thought of having ones of these, but scared they would be too heavy or make a room feel small?  Well, here's proof that it can really work.  There are so many new homes that have huge master bedrooms that are hard to work with.  A 4 poster bed is the perfect solution.  And if you just love them , but are still scared... try it in white... it "almost" disappears, but not quite.  :)
  • White bedding.  Bedding is such an investment so if you want something that you won't ever regret, go with white with a texture or white with a border.  This one here works so well and is probably why the rug and walls go so well together. 
  • Underbed storage.  Here's a great example of maximizing storage under your bed in a nice, clean, and attractive way.  Here's a great option at West Elm.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Well I have summer on the brain. With Memorial Day weekend this weekend, I'm totally thinking of bbqs, outdoor parties and all things patio and garden. I've mentioned before how much I love IKEA's seasonal items that roll out in the summer and winter. They have some really fabulous outdoor furniture and what I love is that many of the pieces are so well designed that they can work indoor and outdoor. Who doesn't like to get more bang for their buck? Just because something is labeled as "indoor" or "outdoor" doesn't mean we can't use it wherever we feel like they would work best. Think outside of the box!

Meet ROXO. How fabulous is this chair? Retro and modern at the same time! You know I'm a sucker for anything with stripes. The ROXO has a whole series of chairs, stools and tables. This is the ROXO easy chair for $149.99. I think this piece just screams style. How charming would this be on a patio, living room, entry, even kids room.

Check out the entire ROXO line here!

Have a wonderful long weekend and I'll be back on Monday!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bulletin Board Revamp Done!

Remember this inspiration post?  Well, I finally got around to completing this project.  It was super easy.  All I used was a staple gun and fabric glue to attach the fabric and ribbon.

The Inspiration:

(via littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com)

The Before:

The After:

I even covered a small lampshade with some extra fabric.


1.  It's a bit tricky covering a tapered lampshade.

2.  Using the same fabric in more than 1 place in a room
really helps to tie things together and give a designer look.

Ahh... so much to do to make this office what I truly want it to be, but so little time and energy.  :P  I  will continue to share pics as my work space continues to be transformed project by project. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

glee: high spirited joy

**warning... not a design related post**  :)

I don't know how many of you out there are Glee fans, but I am.  I just love the music and dancing.  Oh... it satisfies the inner broadway star in me.  :)  On Monday night, my husband graciously accompanied me to the Glee Live Tour.  (to be honest, I didn't have to twist his arm THAT hard)  :)

It was a great show!  They can dance and they CAN SING!  We had so much fun.  They packed it all in and I loved that the Warblers made a special guest appearance.

Do I look gleeful?

Here's a highlight:

For those of who could care less... I'll be back with a design post tomorrow!  :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

WHY IT WORKS - A Family Friendly Family Room

I love when good design gets real.  You know what I mean... when we see real people living in beautiful spaces.  Today's photo is from Emily Jones of Jones Design Company.  Her blog is truly one of my favorites.  I love her approach to design, life and faith.  Emily just did a  Q&A post and answerd all sorts of reader questions. Very informative and inspiring for me!  Check out her family room.  Can you believe this room meets the needs of a 4 kids running around? 


(via jonesdesigncompany.com)

  • Paint.  I'm a big advocate for paint, especially warm neutrals,  Colors that don't scream, "hey look at me" but rather, "come stay awhile".  The paint in this room really helps to make this room feel cozy, especialy given the high ceilings in this space.  The gray here is Slate by Restoration Hardware.
  • Storage.  The key to a beautiful space is an uncluttered space.  Stash, store and display.  Make sure you have plenty of open AND closed storage.  In this space, we see a beautiful chest of drawers, open shelves, woven baskets and I'm not sure, but may even a storage ottoman.
  • Seating.  Is there place for everyone to sit in your family.  If your family has 4 or 5 people, does each person have a cozy spot?  If not, consider adding floor pillows, ottomans or upholstered armchairs.

  • Chest of drawers.  I've grown to really love the look of a chest of drawers in a living room, entry or family.  It's unexpected and shows someone thinking out of the box and being creative with their space.  I'll be adding a chest of drawers to our family room very soon to store our craft supplies and coloring books.  I'll need to fix up our IKEA dresser first.  Pictures will be coming soon.
  • Area rugs.  Rugs make a HUGE difference in making a room feel cozy.  Even if you have wall to wall carpet and a rug may not seem practical, the feel it gives to a room is so worth it.  It defines a space, adds texture and pattern and helps a room feel layered, not just 1 dimensional.
  • Storage options.  In addition to basket and bins, opt for storage ottomans, coffee tables/ side tables with drawers.  Love these!  A great place to stash extra blankets, toys, magazines or for us, diapers and wipes.  Convenient, but hidden. 
Click here to see more photos of Emily's gorgeous home.

Friday, May 20, 2011


I'm so excited to share this week's pick with you.  I've been saving this idea for months!  Meet the BYHOLMA chest.  I've featured BYHOLMA before.  In fact, the BYHOLMA chair was my very first IKEA Friday pick from last August!  Summer is a time for bbqs and parties and we've all had parties with the cold drinks in the cooler on the floor or on the back porch right?  Well, check out this fabulous upgrade.  

(via here)

The BYHOLMA chest for $69 is a beautiful chest for toys, blankets, anything you want to stash.  But you can also fit 2 styrofoam coolers inside for serving cold drinks at your next party.  Nice upgrade from this don't you think?

Coleman 70-Quart Xtreme Cooler (Blue)
(via amazon.com)

It's supposed to be a sunny weekend here and we just eat that up around here!  Have a great weekend and see you Monday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Prince Charming

I saw this on my friend's Facebook page and thought it was HILARIOUS!  Have you seen this too?

(pure coincidence?)

Open Open Open

Ahh... I think it's almost safe to say that spring has FINALLY arrived in Seattle.  Boy... have we waited a long time this year!  I love that spring is synonymous with rebirth and new life.  Plants that were all bare just a month ago are suddenly bursting with precious little buds and little baby leaves.  You can almost feel the life coursing each plant in the garden.

One of my greatest gardening joys is seeing my beloved tree peonies bloom.  So gorgeous!  And to think that I played a small part in bringing it to this point is so gratifying.  :D

1, 2, 3, 4.... at least 8 buds!  Woohoo!

Another spring rite of passage of is the blooming of my lilac bushes. So beautiful and SOO fragrant.  There's nothing else like it.  Both peonies and lilacs bloom only once and for a very short period of time.  They epitomize "elevate the everyday".  You have to stop to enjoy them before they're gone!

Having a cutting garden has always been a dream of mine.  I'm a beginner and have a very modest garden.  Even still, I'm able to enjoy some wonderful flowers and plants that I can bring in anytime I want, AND for free.   :)  It's nothing like a Martha Stewart cutting garden, but it brings me immense joy nonetheless.  Perhaps some day....

(via marthastewart.com)

Here's a list of some of the favorites in my garden and some that I hope to have in the future.

  • Peonies, tree or herbaceous
  • Lilacs
  • Alliums
  • Dahlias
  • English Roses
  • French Lavender
  • Hydrangeas, mophead and oak leaf
  • Poppies
  • Lupine
  • Wisteria (which has yet to bloom consistently... but I'm optimistic)

If you're in the Northwest, Great Plant Picks is a GREAT resource for finding plants that have proven to work in our area.

Monday, May 16, 2011

WHY IT WORKS - A Well Design Dining Room

I apologize for the lack of posts last week.  On top of some technical difficulty with blogger last Friday, I've been overwhelmed a bit with the ins and outs of life that I've hardly had time to catch some zzzs, let alone indulge in blogging.  I'm grieving with some close friends who are dealing with a tragic, and sudden loss, we're going through a period of transition in our family and my husband has been in an extremely demanding season of work, and me... well just trying to hold down the fort with my 3 little buddies as best as I can.  One day I even tried to start potty training, only to reazlize, now might not be the best time.   I'm sure you've all been there... there are seasons where you just try to hang on!  (and so I hang...)  :)

So... without futher delay... here's our inspiration photo for this week.  This is a beautiful dining room.  It does not feel overly designed, it's easy, personal and well put together.  I just look at it and say,  "ahhh..."  I've had this saved on my computer for almost a year now and the link to the original post has now been removed.  Usually I like to link you back to the source, but this time, I'll just link you back to the blog where I first saw it, My Sweet Savannah.


  • Blown up black and white photos.  WORK EVERY TIME!
  • Mixing materials and textures.  I love the sleek/modern surfaces of the the lighting, the rustic texture of the table and the natural texture of the chairs.
  • Color.  This is one of all time favorite color palettes.  Creams, lime green, and chocolate brown for grounding.

(via mysweetsavannah.blogspot.com)


  • Print, enlarge and display those photos!  Even blurry and off centered photos look great blown up in black and white.  Those will be your artistic shots.  :)
  • I'm loving all the gray/white washed furniture out there.  Think of all the beautiful pieces from Restoration Hardware!  Cost Plus has become a great source of similiar furniture and at a fraction of the cost.  
  • Wicker Chairs.  I love incorporating these into any space, dining or living.  It adds such a great natural touch while keeping the overall look clean and contemporary. 

(via mysweetsavannah.blogspot.com)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dream Home or...

(Dana's current home)

A Home to Dream In.  I've been thinking about this alot.  I was inspired by this article that I came across over at Apartment Therapy's ReNest site.  The article interviews Dana who writes a design blog called House Tweaking.  You'll easily see how her great design style has turned her house into an amazing home.  That amazing home is now on the market because they are downsizing.  One thing that she said in the article that has stuck with me is, "We're not looking for our dream house. We're looking for a house in which to pursue our dreams." 

(Dana's next home)

For us, buying our dream home was a goal when we got married almost 9 years ago.  What was our idea of a dream home?  Spacious, new, nice kitchen, great room, 4 bedrooms, yard, close to family, nice community, good school district, etc.  Probably not an atypical list.  Our current home fits many if not all of those requirements, yet we're in a season where we're asking ourselves, is this really for us? 
Living in this home is comfortable and I certainly love decorating it, but it definitely comes with its costs.  Is this a home that just fits our "idea" of a dream home or is it truly a place where we can pursue our dreams? 
The Nate Berkus Show also had a segment recently about a family who was asking the same questions.  Click here to see it. 
What about you?  Are you living in your dream home or a home where you can pursue your dreams?  If you're fortunate enough... maybe it's both!  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, May 9, 2011

WHY IT WORKS - Sarah's Guest Room

Happy Monday everyone!  Today's room is a guest room done by Sarah Richardson.  She is one of my favorite designers.  I love her eye for pattern and color.  She always incorporates great prints into her spaces.  This is a simple photo, but still has plenty for us to take away for inspiration.


(via sarahrichardsondesign.com)

  • I'm loving the wallpaper behind the bed.  It's a great spot for a shot of graphic punch.  Small enough so it's not too scary, but big enough to make an impact. 
  • Wall Art.  I thought this was an interesting place to hang art.  If I were decorating the space, I would not hang art below those windows afraid it would be too low.  But I love how it works here.
  • Upholstered headboard and white bedding.  I love upholsterd headboards and they are so easy to make.  You can wrap any wood headboard with foam, batting and fabric with a staple gun.  It just makes a room feel so special and plush.  Also... I've mentioned before how much I love white bedding.  Clean and serene.

  • Wallpaper.  It's coming back.  I think it's gotten a bad rap for too long.  There are a lot of really fresh, beautiful options out there.  Check out Graham and Brown for inspiration.  *drool*  And behind a bed is a great place to take a risk and experiment.
  • Wall Art.  Don't be afraid to hang pieces at eye level.  More often than not, we have a tendency to hang things to high.  Eye level or even slightly below is just fine.  It feels so nice when you walk around a home and see art at eye level, it feels warm and thought out.
  • Focal Point.  For any room, decide what you want the "star" to be.  Rug? Curtains? Furniture?  And then let the rest of the room complement the "star".  Too many focal points make for a cluttered and chaotic feeling space.

Friday, May 6, 2011


This week, meet PRANT, one of IKEA's lesser known storage bins.  I think most of you are familiar with baskets like the BRANAS basket, but while researching bins/boxes for toy storage, I discovered PRANT. 

The PRANT boxes come in a 4 different sizes ranging from $6.99 to $12.99.  They are simple, clean and contemporary and since they are made out of plywood, they can be stained or painted any color to match your room.  Here's an image of PRANT in action that I saw over at ohdeedoh.com.  All you need for this look are PRANT boxes, binder clips and paint.  Cool huh?

A quick organizing tip:  MEASURE first!  Take a look at your shelves and measure the depth, width and height.  Also, measure or at least have a good idea of exactly what you want to store.  Big game boxes?  Puzzles?  Toy cars?  Stuffed animals?  This will make your final purchase that much more effective.  I used to get on an organizing spree and I'd run to the store and buy a random mix of boxes and bins.  I'd bring them home only to realize they don't fit my stuff or my space.  :P  Which means another trip to the store!  Have you done that too?

Have a great Mother's Day weekend!  May all you moms out there feel treasured, loved and hopefully a little more pampered and rested!  See you Monday!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Inspirations for Boys' Rooms

I have 2 things to share with you today.  First, an inspiration board I put together for a friend's son's room.  We were going for a cool, hip vibe with the color inspirations being gray, orange, brown and touches of blue.  We were also very budget conscious, so many things came from IKEA.  Look below for all the details.

1.  Worldly Gray - Sherwin Williams
2.  Andrup Rug - IKEA
3.  Binth Alphabet Poster
4.  Paper Mache Letters - JoAnns
5.  Ekby Jarpen Shelf - IKEA
6.  Giraffe Print - Etsy shop:  Little Lion Studio
7.  Merete Curtains - IKEA
8.  Barometer Ceiling Light - IKEA
9.  MALM twin bed - IKEA
10.  Orange Ipod Pillow - Etsy Shop:  Craftsquatch
11.  4 unit EXPEDIT - IKEA
12.  Robo Bedding - Land of Nod
13.  FILLSTA Table Light - IKEA

Second, I'm so happy to share another friend's son's room that was featured on ohdeedoh last week!  Aya did such a good job injecting personality and style into her son's room on a budget.  Most of the room is decorated with thrift store finds, IKEA pieces and DIY projects.  Way to go Aya!  Click here to see more!

Hopefully these 2 rooms will help inspire your own boys' rooms!  We see so much stuff out there for girls, but there's just as many options for boys too!

Monday, May 2, 2011

WHY IT WORKS - A Fab. NYC Apartment

Hello everyone!  Sorry for the delay on our typical Monday WHY IT WORKS.  A little too much royal wedding and basking in the sun this weekend and not enough sleep.  :P    This week's photos comes from the blog, Dwellers Without Decorators.  Suze is selling her NYC apartment and it is absolutely gorgeous.  No joke!  This would be my fantasy NYC apartment!  Enjoy!


LIVING ROOM:   What caught my eye first were the simple white curtains.  It allows the background to recede and puts the focus on the graphic rug and dark sofas and accent chair.  I love the mix of light and dark in this space.  Also, great ideas for furniture placement.  I love the console table behind the couch and the long console table and oversized artwork in the dining space.

ENTRY:  I love everything about this little space.  You know how I feel about entries!  LOVE the use of color and the wainscoting!  The table and mirror are just perfect.  Again, wonderful use of light and dark and loving all the white furniture.  Classic and so versatile.  Not boring at all!

MUDROOM:  So practical and beautiful.  What great inspiration!  Love the hooks, baskets and oil cloth on the bench!

MASTER BEDROOM:  Again, so many sources of inspiration!  Love the use of all white - bedding, lamps, and tables.  Keeps everything crisp and tailored.  Nice pop of color on the wall art.  This would be easy to reinterpret for any space and budget.

BEDROOM:  Again, LOVING the bold use of color and the wainscoting.  All the white furniture again shows just how versatile white can be.  Notice how the books are arranged by color?  Nice.

 I hope you are thoroughly inspired!  Click here to see more photos of Suze's home.



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