Friday, September 30, 2011

Pink & Green Nursery

I realize that I've never shared photos of our older daughter's nursery.  As you can see - for my first baby girl - I went uber-feminine!

Dressers are from AP Industries; rug is from PB Kids; lampshade is from PB Kids and lamp base is from IKEA; I made the diaper stacker and heart decorations; My incredibly talented mom made the adorable quilt.
Quilt detail.

Love the details!  My mom is now a professional quilter - but this was one of her first!

Curtains are from PBKids; I made the valances and ribbon tie-backs.
I think it was the HOURS that I spent hand-sewing the diaper-stacker that inspired my mom to buy me a sewing machine... good call!

I painted/decorated letters from Michaels in different designs to spell out our daughter's name.

I only have a few presentable photos from this configuration of the room.  Things have changed and now both girls sleep in this room, and the aqua/orange room is a dressing/play room for them - but neither room feels finished enough (for blog-viewing) at the moment.  I have a few projects in mind though... and will try to get to them soon!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Finding the right spot

I am working on finding just the right spot to display a beautiful seascape painted by my talented grandma and am thinking of leaning it against the mirror over our mantle (I need to do some styling before giving a preview).

I found several examples of layered art with mirrors on mantles on Lonny - but, most are done with a vertical mirror over the fireplace.  I'll have to see how it looks with a horizontal mirror... I think our mirror is a bit too small to go vertical, but maybe I'll try that too.

via Lonny

via Lonny

via Lonny

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nursery Link Party

I've linked up our aqua/orange nursery and my pink nursery design plan over at Shelli's blog, a la mode today - go check out all the wonderful inspiration!!  Shelli's nursery is one of my all-time favorites!  She also posted beautiful ones here and here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Handleset ordered!

I pulled the trigger on the handlesets... here's what I ended up choosing (all in polished brass, and all via

Emtek Charleston

Emtek 2408 Doorbell

Emtek 2610 Viewer
After further research and thought - I realized that to maintain our current functionality, I would want to get a mortise handleset, which allows you to set the door to lock automatically, without having to physically turn the key in the deadbolt.  That pushed us up in price a bit, but luckily, (one of the companies) is having a big sale on Emtek, so, we got a pretty good deal! 

I waffled a lot on polished v. antique brass.  Emtek's "french antique" is actually a very pretty finish - but, since I also need a door knocker and mailslot (from different companies), I was a little concerned that finishes would clash too much.  And, the more I pay attention to front doors as I drive around town, the more I am confident that polished brass will look timeless and chic on a glossy black door.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dining Room Chandelier Progression

The first time I saw Jonathan Adler's Meurice chandelier, I loved the use of small round bulbs instead of traditional candelabra bulbs.  I've seen these bulbs used on more traditional chandeliers as well and have been itching to try them out.

via the Cross Design

Although I love small round bulbs... I did not love the vintage round globe-light fixture that was installed in our dining room when we bought the house.

(This is not a true "before", since this fixture was originally a peachy color.  Until we were ready to replace it, I painted the frame white to help it blend with the ceiling.)
After living with the globe light for a while, we started hunting for a reasonably-priced replacement.  Because of the age of this house, we thought it best to hire an electrician to change out the fixture... which left a minimal budget for the new fixture.  A couple of years ago, we found a nicely shaped traditional polished brass chandelier (including 6 toile shades) on Craigslist for about $55 - sprayed it white for a more updated look - and had it installed. 

 My original goal in spray-painting the chandy was to bring a little funk into the space - so, I put the shades aside.  But, with regular candelabra bulbs, the chandelier felt a little naked... and ultimately, I put the set of 6 toile shades to use.  We've had the chandelier as pictured above for a few years - and it looks perfectly suitable in our home... but, I still yearned for something a little more youthful and spunky. 

A quick trip to Home Depot, and a few dollars later... and we have a new look!

I think it achieves what I had originally intended, and am surprised it took me so long to make such a quick and simple change.  I wouldn't say that this is our "forever" chandelier... but, for a budget makeover... I'm happy with it (for now)!  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Upcoming design plan

Remember my "brooklyn bohemian bedroom" design plan?  My next design plan is for the living room in the same apartment.  My friends have a very cool apartment (catch a glimpse of their dining area here) - and beautiful classic pieces.  As with their bedroom - they're looking to bring in some color and texture to make the room feel more finished.  I have some really fun ideas and look forward to putting them together and sharing them soon.  For now, admire their stylish pad!

LOVE this rug!
Now, I just need to find some time to put it all together!  It's been a busy time again at work - which explains the light posting these past two weeks.  But, I'm off today and looking forward to a fun day with my girls!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This is...

Miroslav Sasek's classic children's books are on sale on Gilt... though a quick google search revealed that the sale prices don't seem to beat other online retailers at the moment, if you factor in shipping costs.

We received This is London and This is Paris when our first daughter was born.  Having lived in both cities, those books are particularly fun for us to share with the girls.

Since it turns out the Gilt prices are not such a steal, I won't feel bad taking my time amassing a collection, but I was tempted by the 12-pack they are offering.  Other versions not included below are Greece, Australia, Hong Kong and Israel.

The wonderfully whimsical illustrations would look great framed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sweet dreams

Ken Fulk via House Beautiful; photo by Victoria Pearson
When I'm fighting a cold (like I am now), all I can think about is pulling up a cozy comforter and getting some much-needed rest.  I would have sweet dreams napping in this crisp and cozy-looking bed, with white walls and sunlight streaming in.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Foyer lighting

Now that I've begun to browse light fixtures for our foyer - I'm drawn in by the idea of upgrading our current light and am inclined to spend less on the outside fixtures in order to create a little wiggle room in the budget.

These are at the top of my list at the moment...

Shades of Light
This one works well if we are unable to move the light box to the center of the room, since the door will easily clear if we use a short flush-mount.

Shades of Light
This is probably my favorite, but will only work (for door clearance), if a joist does not prevent moving the light box to the center of the space.

Shades of Light
This could work in the current location of the light, but I think the black framing is a little too heavy for my tastes.
Hinkley Lighting available here.
If we decide to go a little more traditionsl/formal, this would work well with the style of the house and with the brass door hardware.

Shades of Light
I love this chandelier, and thought perhaps we could swag it, if the light box can't be moved.  But, I think it's probably too large.  I will definitely keep it in mind for our bedroom.

As you can see, Shades of Light has become a go-to lighting source for me.  I still browse through tons of sites - CSNLighting, LightingDirect, LightingUniverse as well as many others... but, Shades of Light offers such a well-curated selection at decent (not inexpensive) prices.  For inspiration, Circa Lighting is hard to beat.

Friday, September 16, 2011


On my way to "back-to-school" night this evening, I saw the most spectacular rainbow overhead.

The iphone photo does not do it justice.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Outdoor Lighting Options

I'm narrowing down lighting options for our exterior renovation project.  We need a post light, to replace the existing globe, and lighting for the front door (overhead or side sconces to replace the overhead globe).

These are a few of the combinations I'm pondering:

Combo 1:  Single overhead plus post light in antique bronze. 
Available here.

Available here.

Combo #2:  Two sconces plus post light in bronze (or bronze and black).   
Available here.  Since this one appears so dark, I wonder if I could get away with black on the post light?
Available here.
Available here.

Combo #3:  Two black sconces plus post light:
Available here.
Available here.

What do you think?  I think my favorite sconce is the one in Combo #2, but there's no perfect post option for that one.   

Although there are many sconces that appeal, I am a little limited by the post light, because I think they need to tie together, even if they're not a perfect match.  So, here are some of the sconces that I liked - but will probably not be using:

Available here.

This one is a beauty, but too pricey, even if there were a matching post.

Another lovely, but too expensive option.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekend Update: Trying out a black door - and a visit from Charlotte

On Saturday, in an effort to feel out the black interior door idea - I dug out an old gallon of black paint and slopped it on to the inside of our front door in two messy coats (after letting my girls have a little fun with "Do-A-Dots" all over the door).  Pardon the messy paint job, and messy foyer...

Here you can see the Craftsman-style light fixture that I'm thinking of replacing since it doesn't really fit the style of our home or decor.

I can't say this little "trial" is making the decision easier for me.  Clearly, with my messy paint job and this old door - it doesn't look like the beautiful black interior doors I see all over magazines and blogland - but, I think there's potential.  It's also hard to tell with this door, since our new door will have few or no windows.  Any thoughts?  What about navy blue - which would tie in to the many blues in our living and dining room?

As to our visit from Charlotte...

I opened our front door on Saturday morning, and found that she had woven a fantastic web right in front of our storm door.  We (ahem, Mr. 12 devonshire) swept aside the web and we lost track of her... until Sunday morning, when we found this (above) outside our dining room window.  Well, it might have been a relative (I think Charlotte was even bigger)... but, those are some busy (and GINORMOUS) spiders.  Yikes!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Before it goes bye bye...

This is the inside view of our front door...

It is very hard to find a good spot from which to take a photo, but I did my best from the stairs, which are opposite the door.  There's also not much light in the foyer - we have a small flushmount ceiling light (to be replaced one day... maybe soon?) and the windows in the door.

When we moved in, there was a honeycomb shade covering the window.  To add some color and pattern, I found this great print - which I believe is no longer available in blue - to make the shade.  It's worked for us - providing privacy while allowing in some light.  But, it has become quite the source of entertainment for my 2 year old, who loves to tug on it, and pull the bottom rod out.  Alas, it's time to move on.  I am really looking forward to having a door without a window treatment (and a chain lock)! 

Now, what color for the inside of the new door?  White just gets so beat up and dirty.  I'm toying with doing black on both sides.  I love glossy black interior doors (like the one in the dining room I posted last Friday) - and think it would be a simple way to add a graphic punch to our otherwise understated foyer.  Or perhaps navy blue?  Hmm... maybe I need to test them out on our current door as well.

Have a great weekend. 

And, happy birthday, Mom!!!  XOXO

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Something new?

In addition to providing more light into our entryway, part of our motivation to add windows on the sides of the entrance (where the blue tape is boxed off) is to break up the massive white blob on the front of our house. 

I do think the windows will help... but, why does it need to be a massive white blob?  Couldn't we do something to tone it down a little?

How about a light shade of gray (picking up some of the light tones in the roof)

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray
or a light taupey shade (picking up the color of the horizontal stripe that runs above the first floor windows)? 

Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray

With crisp white trim, I think either could work - and might look really nice.  But, I have such a hard time visualizing exteriors!  I'm not sure why I can picture fabrics, patterns, furniture layouts in my head - but, I have a much harder time when it comes to the exterior features. 

I think I'll get samples of both and test them out.  It will still be hard to tell from a small patch, but it can't hurt!

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


As much as I love the hand...

I'm thinking of a more ferocious knocker for our new door...

available here