Christmas Tablescaping

Oh, hey there.  So, I’ve been away the longest ever since I started this blog almost five years ago now.  I’ve been hanging with my sweet little ones and not doing much in way of design.  Grace is four months old now and she is scrumptious!  She has the sweetest disposition.


Yesterday, I did do something design wise; I set the table for an early Christmas dinner that we had with my mom, since we won’t be spending the actual day together.  There are few things I enjoy more then putting together a tablescape.  Here’s what I put together for the table -

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The runner is silk Ikat fabric that I got from this ETSY shop based out of Turkey; the wreath is Trader Joe’s; then three pillar candles that I picked up from Cost Plus; the napkins are from there as well; the china is my wedding china and I absolutely love taking them out and the gold silverware is a thriftstore find.  There you have it.  All stuff I already had around the house just layered together for a festive dinner.

It was also so much fun to use our new dining room chairs and we already have a rug, people.  Alleluia!


I got it off of One King’s Lane.  I loved the pop of fuchsia around the border -

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Thanks to my assistant for sleeping on the job, it actually was really helpful.

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If I don’t write again before Christmas, Merry Merry.  I hope you have a wonderful, special, beautiful holiday!

December 19, 2014 at 5:29 AM Leave a comment

Catalog Browsing

I’m writing this post during the girls nap time to let you know that my mind has lost its way lately.  It may be due to living with an almost two year old.  She was a puddle of tears this morning because she couldn’t wear the wooden shoe form I have sitting on our bookshelf.

I thought I pulled off a major accomplishment by dressing Grace today, instead of just putting her from one set of PJs to the next, but I ended up dressing my three month old in business casual.

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And just moments ago, I thought I’d make myself hot chocolate to blog with.  Sounds amazing, right?  I then grabbed a coffee cup from the cupboard and microwaved it for one minute, completely empty.  I’ll just file that under things not to admit on the internet.

So, dear, beloved, thanks for sticking around, readers – I present to you stuff I like from catalogs we receive lately because Josie loves looking through them with me; she thinks they are picture books.


Boden Padded Parka


Soho Ankle Boot


Diaper Tote


Pheasant Print Pillow


Nordic Tree Basket


Rose Gold Garland

Tempting, right?  You send me a catalog, Josie and I will sit down, read it and ooh and ahh over it, no matter what.  I’m talking to you, Hammacher Schlemmer.

November 20, 2014 at 5:10 AM 5 comments

What Lies Beneath…

You know when you have company coming over and you throw all embarrassing messes into a closet?  Or is that just me?  Did everyone grow out of that stage a couple years post college?  Cause I’m still in it.

Well, one embarassment that I couldn’t throw into a closet was our absolutely disgusting dining room carpet.

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In case you have terrible site, here is a close up of the stains.

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Disgusting.  Like frat house gross.  It was already pretty bad when we bought the place and then Josie spilled a gigantic bowl of spaghetti with marinara sauce on it and well it was just a downward spiral after that.  It is really embarassing when we have people over.  I find myself apologizing for it immediately and actually just pointing it out at the same time.  Awesome.

Since moving in, we’ve spent months wondering what lies beneath the carpet.  We were hopeful that there was hardwood floor but we weren’t fully sure.  The neighbors homes were built by the same architect in the 40’s and they both have terricota tile in parts so there was a chance that was what was there.  Regardless, we had no idea the condition.  So we waited until we had some more savings in case we needed to redo the flooring.

This weekend, Graham ripped up the carpet and I helped lift up the staples and clean out all the dust.  About four hours of teamwork later and take a look at what we have now…

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I mean how lucky are we?!!

There are some very minor spots to touch up with a wood finish pen and wood filler.  Overall, the floor is in fantastic condition and the stain is just perfect.  What an upgrade!!!  Don’t need to throw anything in the closet anymore.

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There are still more tweaks I need to do to the dining room but it’s on the right track.

We also recently got new dining room chairs that you see above.  I went to the Oly Studio warehouse sale with the intention of buying nothing for myself.  But, I went, saw these chairs at about 90% off.  I’ve always been a huge fan of the klismos chair and I absolutely love the color leather on them.  One quick call to Graham with an “I trust you; do what you want” response and they were mine.

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I love them, Graham loves them and Josie just has a grand old time climbing up on them.  Win, win, win.

If you’re wondering what the chandelier is poking through the top of the photos, that is the Stray Dog Designs chandelier that was a display (ready 75% off) at an Anthropologie store.

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It actually will be going in our breakfast nook once we get around to making my breakfast nook dream come true.  You can read my dream plans here. One day, I’ll put a more formal chandelier in the dining room.  There will also be drapes. And a rug, of course.  But, it all takes time and budget so for now this is where we’re at and I’m happy with it.

Step by step, the home is becoming more us.  I have to admit that I’ve got this overwhelming feeling of home ownership pride due to that weekend DIY project.

November 17, 2014 at 5:27 AM 6 comments

Thick as Thieves

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For 48 hours, Graham, my extended family and I were whisked away to the land of enchantment.  For a fleeting moment, I was free.  Free of spit up, tantrums, pointing out colors, changing diapers, keeping a food schedule and finding pacifies in the sketchiest depths of our home.

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We let loose.  Let the joy of two heartfelt, positive, energetic people, completely lost in love, take over.  It was, and is, a contagious love my cousin and his bride exude.

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I am part of a tribe that is almost always in rare form.  We travel the world to support each other.  We let the good times roll with hoot and hollers and you better believe we can get down to the rhythm of a mariachi band.

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While it’s easy to be there in the thick, we’re there in the thin, sometimes with a misguided joke or unsolicited advice.  However, despite any flubs, we all try our hardest because we’re family.

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As I return to the ever reliable alarm clock of a hungry crying baby and a protesting toddler, I think to myself may I instill in my girls what was instilled in me: we are thick as thieves in this family and you love with reckless abandon.

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November 14, 2014 at 5:00 AM 10 comments

One Room Challenge: The Big Reveal

Well here it is, the big reveal day.  I’m nervous to show everyone.  I hope you like it!!  And thank you for all your support throughout this process. The comments have lifted me up and kept me going.  I absolutely love hearing from you so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

As a refresher, here is my mom’s pool house before…



And without further adieu, here are the afters…

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As a reminder, the fireplace area before…

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My all time favorite sofa…





And the club chairs got all dressed up in everyone’s favorite Quadrille Zig Zag with some custom pom pom pillows…




The pillows are reversable – the opposite side is a coral terricloth fabric (playing on the whole pool thing)…




Since the coffee table didn’t make it in time, we spray painted the existing one.  If the coffee table never makes it, I think this one will do just fine.


For the dining room area, we got new dining room chairs, which I love.  We also set the table using mom’s linens (she’s had that Otomi runner for about 15 years – what a little trend setter she is).





Throughout this whole process, there are so many that I have to thank.  First of all, Linda of Calling It Home for not only inventing the One Room Challenge but also opening it up to all of us blogger.  It was really fun to participate instead of always reading along.  A huge thank you to my mom for trusting me and for having fun with the process.  Putting a room together that I love and am proud of was hugely rewarding.  However, I have to say, the biggest reward was an excuse to come hang out with my mom a couple of times a week for six weeks.  The girls and I absolutely loved our quality Kaky time.

I also have to thank my two personal assistants.  Without them, I wouldn’t have the coffee table books rearranged as soon as I put them on the table.  Books are for reading, not for styling, if you ask assistant A:


I also would not have been able to test out Christopher Farr Cloth’s stain resistance without assistant B’s gracious spit up.

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Assistant A decided to take a break from rearranging the styling pieces in order to catch up on her Billiards reading.  As you do…


What’s that you say?  Assistant A matches the sofa.  My oh my – I had no idea.  Crazy.

Luckily for my assistants, they are pretty dang cute so I’ll keep working with them.

There you have it, the one room challenge accepted and completed.  I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I loved working on it.  Thanks for looking!  And please do check out all the other extremely talented participants here.  Hope to see you back here at the next challenge.


November 6, 2014 at 5:22 AM 24 comments

One Room Challenge Week Five

Welcome to week five of the One Room Challenge.  We are getting there.  As a refresher, I’m working on my mom’s pool house.

There was good news and bad news happening this week.  One of the bad news things is that I just wrote the entire week five post and then it mysteriously deleted.  Damn you, technology.  So I’m thinking this post will be short.

Other bad news, the coffee table won’t be arriving in time.  It was scheduled to arrive Oct. 1st and then the date has continuously been pushed back to where I’m questioning if the table will ever come.  You’ll just have to imagine this beautiful table on the big reveal.


Ugh, the experience is making me bitter with Anthropologie.  But, not bitter enough to stop shopping there.  Not even for one milisecond.  Damn you, Anthropologie.

Also, my mom has not made any final decisions on the art.  She wants to see the entire space put together and live with it for a bit before pulling the trigger on an art piece.

Onto the good news, I found a very pretty mirror at Home Goods that will be the place filler until the art decided.


As you can see in the mirror’s reflection, the painting is done except for touch ups and it looks great.  Mom really wanted a warmer white, I had originally suggested Decorators White which is a true white.  We went with Swiss Coffee which has a bit of warmth to it and that was the right choice since this is a big space with a lot of white.  It was hard to photograph correctly and so it comes looking less white then it really is in person.  I love the two blues on the doors and trims.

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In other good news, the upholstery pieces are in and they are awesome; just awesome.  I walked into my upholstery shop and my jaw dropped to the ground.  I see my upholsterer pretty much weekly when I’m working full time and I don’t think he’s ever seen me so taken aback by the beauty of his work.

I went back and forth on wether or not to show you my favorite piece of to save it for week six.  But, I’ve got to give you a nugget to bring you back next week.  Please come back cause you’ll get to see more of this beauty…


A little back story here. I’ve been massively obsessed with Christopher Farr Cloth Carnival ever since I started blogging in 2009.  Here’s some proof with a very early post.  I have presented it to clients who have gone with other schemes instead.  I have priced it out with my own home but my pockets aren’t deep enough yet.  And I have waved the little sample in front of my mom’s face for years now slowly hypnotizing her until one day she took the bait and agreed to have her sofa reupholstered in Carnival.  Mom, I love you more then words can say, one reason being for your fabulous taste in fabrics.

When I sent my mom the above photo from the upholstery shop, her response in all caps was, “WOW!  THAT IS FUN AND WILD  I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT”  All caps equals major mom approval.  Happy client, happy decorator.  I really can’t wait to show you the reveal next week, until then please go read all the massive talent at the link up party, here.

October 30, 2014 at 5:45 AM 15 comments

Taking a Chance

I was wandering around Pinterest, gazing at all things pretty, when I slammed smack into this photo and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it…



The look was achieved by the always fabulous, always maximalist Miles Redd.

I began to dissect the photo and I thought to myself there is no way I could convince a client to throw that many wallpapers, patterns and valances into one room.  They would all think I had gone mad.  So bravo to Miles for having the fortitude to execute such daring beauty and bravo to the clients for handing the reins to Miles, letting him do what he does best.

That’s it. Y’all can carry on now.

October 28, 2014 at 5:25 AM 3 comments

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