Mood Board Monday Recap and Winners



Hi! Thanks so much to everyone who participated in our special Mood Board Monday McLinky party this week. I hope you guys had as much fun as I did! All your rooms were amazing...West Elm and PATCH NYC loved them!!!

Wasn't it so cool to see how different all the rooms were when they were all inspired by the same items (the new PATCH NYC collection from West Elm)?!

I thought it'd be fun to do a quick statistics recap. On Monday, we had:
  • our most participants ever...22!!! (and we even got an additional mood board that didn't make the deadline...sorry!)
  • 8 living rooms/family rooms/dens, 4 sun rooms, 3 nurseries, 3 bedrooms, 3 dining rooms and 1 library/office
  • 3 people use this opportunity to do mood boards for a real live room in their house
  • 8 people who were inspired by just the prints, 4 by just the pillows, 3 by just the ceramic dishes, and 7 bloggers who were inspired by more than one of the collections
  • 10 newbies (this was your first time playing MBM) and 12 returning bloggers who had participated before
  • 4 Sarahs (including me...and we all spell our name with an "h"!)
Awesome, guys!!! Thanks so much! And a huge shout out and thank you to the super nice people over at West Elm (if you 're not a fan of theirs on facebook, you should be!) and the really talented and inspirational John Ross and Don Carney of PATCH NYC.

What? Oh, you want to know who gets the gift cards? Ok, ok! Truly you all deserve one, you did such brilliant work. But since there could only be 2, here's our "winners":

1. John and Don of PATCH NYC chose Sarah of Sarah Bohl Design as their favorite room! Sarah used their butterfly print as a starting point to redo her real life basement family room. Here's what the guys had to say..."We thought the color palette was sophisticated and appropriate for the room, we liked the furniture choices and the touch of animal print in the rug. Most of all, we like how the whole look was inspired by our butterfly print. This is a great example of how one favorite piece can be the starting point for decorating an entire room and we think Sarah did an exceptional job."

Congrats, Sarah!!!!

2. I had a really tough time picking my "favorite"...I love all of your rooms for one reason or another. So, in the end, I did what any indecisive girl does...I asked my husband!!! I showed him the 3 or 4 rooms that I had narrowed it down to and he liked Kyle's space of Knight Moves!! I love how Kyle used 2 of the gold botanical prints on cream (rose and thistle) and then added the light on dark pigeon one for a bit of funk in her imaginary living room. The black, white and gray palette with the few pops of goldenrod is really striking and sophisticated. This room has a lot of contrast -the white sofa opposite the two dark gray similar but different chairs, the modern floor and table lamps combined with that gorgeous traditional chandelier - but it doesn't feel too cold or stark, rather bold and graphic. I love how the clear acrylic coffee table and large scale geometric rug are both inexpensive options that pack a lot of punch and keep the room fun and not too serious. Congratulations, Kyle!!

What do you guys think? Who were your favorites?

Sarah and Kyle, can you email me at with your contact info? Then I can give it to our friend Kendall at West Elm and she'll send you your gift cards:) Keep us updated as to what goodies you get!

Thanks again, guys! To have so many of you reading, and taking time out of your busy lives to participate, is really mind blowing. I'll announce our next Mood Board Monday (back to just regular!) in a few weeks or so. Have a great day!

Mood Board Monday Party: West Elm and PATCH NYC



Hello! Hope you all had a great weekend! Welcome to the 6th Mood Board Monday Party!! Thanks for being here. If you're new and this is your first time playing, welcome and thanks for taking the time to join us. If you're a regular mood boarder, it's great to see you again:)

This is a special episode of MBM because we're in league with some big hitters today! We're collaborating with West Elm, who is totally into us being inspired in so many different ways by their home decor. They just recently launched a new collection for Summer 2010...a partnership with designers Jon Ross and Don Carney of PATCH NYC...which brings Carney's bold ink nature drawings of plants, birds and insects to life on home decor pieces like throw pillows, wall art and ceramic plates.

This week there's also another twist....prizes!! Mood Board Monday is not a competition - it's a fun way to share all of the creativity out there and showcase how we can all start from one inspiration point and end up with a variety of ideas - but I was not about to pass up the opportunity for you guys to be awarded for all your hard work and talent:) West Elm is generously giving away 2 $50 gift to PATCH NYC's favorite room out of the bunch, and one to the room I like best! The recipients can then actually purchase the item from the collection that originally inspired them or maybe pick up something else from West Elm that they've been coveting. You have until Monday night at midnight to post your rooms, then I'll be back on Wednesday (the 28th) to announce the winners, after Jon, Don and I, and all of you, have taken to the time to visit everyone's posts. Yay!

So, this week's challenge was to design a room (of your choice) around the new PATCH NYC collection from West Elm. You could be inspired by any one of these three bold and natural accessory groups (use just one or as many items as you'd like from one category):

1. PATCH NYC Framed Wall Art Collection

{metallic letterpress renderings of the natural world}

2. PATCH NYC Pillow Covers

{foil printed on chunky linen with a subtle metallic sheen}

3. PATCH NYC Ceramic Entertaining

{nature comes to the table in this collection of witty, chic ceramic serverware}


Here's my mood board. Two of my favorite things, as many of you probably know, are botanical prints and throw pillows, so I was definitely excited by this. I decided to go with the prints, specifically the two large gold renderings on cream paper, the Rose and the Thistle. They immediately reminded me of this rug I had spotted from Pottery Barn on my travels...a floral design in deep moody blues and olivey-golds. And then the next thing that came to my mind was the gorgeous Sweep Armchair from West Elm that I kinda gasped out loud at when I saw it in the recent catalog. So from there I decided to tackle a kind of room I haven't yet - a library. I loooove to read and to have a whole room dedicated to books, with comfy chairs to read in, and a desk to do a little work at would be heaven. This room has touches of traditional sophistication (I hope!) mixed with contemporary geometric patterns, a bold color palette and a bit of whimsy to take you away, just like books do:)

1. The palette: walls in a deep smokey blue, something like Benjamin Moore's Water's Edge, Providence Blue or Normandy...accents of that goldenrod from the prints, soft creams, pops of black, hints of warm metal and leather to balance out the cool tones on the wall and floor
2. The inspiration...PATCH NYC Framed Wall Art Rose and Thistle from West Elm
3. To bring it all together - Adeline Rug from Pottery Barn
4. Two Sweep Armchairs from West Elm at one end of the room
5.With these Geometric Pillows in yellow/green from etsy seller "milkandcookies"
6. Expedition Cube from Pottery between the 2 chairs as a side table. I like how the warm tones balance out those from the desk.
7. Across the room, facing the chairs...the Reclaimed Wood and Metal Desk from Restoration Hardware...made from thick planks of reclaimed pine set on a hand-welded steel base
8. Vintage pair of Black Ceramic Horse bookends from etsy shop "High Street Market"...picks up on the black from the frames of the PATCH NYC wall art
9. Behind the desk, against the wall, I'd line up a couple of these Beaumont Bookcases from Ballard Designs in Distressed Cream over White...they would help balance out the light color from the chairs across the room
10. On the windows, Firenze Embroidered Panels in Gray from Ballard Designs
11. My bit of whimsy in the room -The Mariner and the Sea Monster, The Mariner and the Whale, The Mariner and the Squid (it's a friendly squid that helps his boat along!) by etsy seller Moany and prints of original acrylic paintings 9" x 12". Can't have this room be too sophisticated, I like the fun and color these a sense of adventure, reading is an escape to another world.


Now its your turn! Here's what you do to join the party:

1. Create a mood board using one of the above inspiration accessories from the PATCH NYC collection.
2. Write a post about it, including sources (with a link back to this post so others can come look).
3. Add your name and project to the MckLinky here on this post (for example - Sarah's Literary Escape).
4. Then add the link to your SPECIFIC Mood Board Monday POST, not your general blog address.
5. Have fun checking out all the other wonderful rooms.

Thank you all so much for joining the party today, its wonderful that so many of you take time out of your busy lives to do something creative just for fun! Thanks again to West Elm and PATCH NYC for the opportunity to work together. See you here on Wednesday for a recap and to find out who gets the gift cards:)

  1. Youthful-modern nursery @ Decorating Obsessed
  2. A relaxing sun porch
  3. Dining / Lounge Room by Emily @ Timeless Paper
  4. Hip Nursery - Frugal w/a Flourish
  5. Patch NYC Inspiration by Lovely B.
  6. A cozy chic living and dining room by Sarah!
  7. Sarahs Girly & Glam Nursery
  8. West Elm inspired Sun Room
  9. Modern chic inspiration from WE pillows
  10. Project Balancing Act Design in Flight
  11. Brunch in Paris
  12. soothing graphic retreat @ desogn*dump

  1. Creativity at Play
  2. AnEyeforDetail - PATCH NYC inspired Sun Room
  3. Mood Board Monday
  4. Dining room design remix
  5. Warm and Modern Living Room; truly inspired living
  6. pillow inspired sunroom @ a paige in history
  7. Sarah Bohl Designs: Eclectic Family Room
  8. World of Dennifer serene guest room
  9. Project Pretty- Elegant PATCH NYC Bedroom

  10. This linky list is now closed.

The Next Mood Board Monday: West Elm and PATCH NYC



Hi and welcome! For our 6th Mood Board Monday Party, we've got something really special for you!! And I say we, because well, this one special time, its not just me hosting...I've brought along some pretty famous friends:)

West Elm loved our last Mood Board Monday that featured bold and bright area rugs and your beautiful rooms designed around their Andalusia Rug in horizon and ivory so much (we even made it to their facebook page!) that they got in touch about maybe collaborating together for the next Mood Board Monday. Yes, you read that right...THE West Elm...the modern, sophisticated and affordable furniture and home accessories retailer that we all know and love!! (Duh, of course I said yes!)

What's even cooler is that West Elm just recently launched a new collection for Summer 2010...a partnership with designers Jon Ross and Don Carney of PATCH NYC.

PATCH NYC began in 1997 with a small line of hand-crochet wool hats:) Inspired by vintage items found at local flea markets, the pair soon hand-detailed fabric scarves and special occasion bags with great success. Now their intricate apparel work and jewelry collections are in stores all around the world!

This new, special West Elm PATCH NYC collection brings Carney's bold ink nature drawings of plants, birds and insects to life on home decor pieces like throw pillows, wall art and ceramic plates.

(For a more detailed look at Don and his artwork, click here. For PATCH NYC's flea market shopping tips, read their guest post on design*sponge here.)

So, the West Elm PATCH NYC collection is going to be our inspiration for this Mood Board Monday party!!! Shouldn't be too hard to come up with an amazing room centered around these natural, bold graphics, right? And guess what? This time there's going to be prizes!! West Elm really loves you guys and wants to award your creativity and support of their brand with two $50 gift cards! The fun part is that the guys of PATCH NYC are going to choose their favorite mood board out of the bunch...that lucky person wins one of the West Elm $50 gift cards. And I'm going to choose my favorite room to award the other $50 gift card to:) Then you could actually purchase the item from the collection that originally inspired you or maybe pick up something else from West Elm that you've been coveting.

For those of you just joining us who might not have participated in a Mood Board Monday party yet, here's the general idea. This blog party is all about seeing how different people are inspired differently by the same things. It's a fun way to share all of the creativity out there and showcase how we can all start from one inspiration point and end up with a variety of ideas. To be a participant, you need to create a complete mood/idea board for a room of your choice (no limit to your budget here...just use your imagination) using one of the three inspiration pieces shown here. On Mood Board Monday party day (next Monday, April 26th in this case), come back here to link up to the party. You will need to include your sources in your post and give a brief description of the room and how you used the inspiration item/s.

To see how it works, check out our previous Mood Board Monday parties here: MBM01, MBM02, MBM03, MBM04, and MBM05.

Ok, so we're dividing the PATCH NYC collection into 3 distinct groups - framed wall art, pillow covers and ceramic entertaining. First decide which group of the 3 speaks to you the most. Then choose one item (or more) from that group that really tickles your fancy to include in your imaginary room.

1. PATCH NYC Framed Wall Art Collection

{metallic letterpress renderings of the natural world}

Use just one print or as many as you'd like from the collection in your mood board:



2. PATCH NYC Pillow Covers

{foil printed on chunky linen with a subtle metallic sheen}

Be inspired by just one pillow or use as many as you'd like from the collection in your mood board:
{Rose in Ivory}

{Thistle in Pear}

{Pigeon in Slate}

{Butterfly in Flax}

{nature comes to the table in this collection of witty, chic ceramic serverware}

Use just one plate or as many as you'd like from the collection in your mood board:

{Rose...small plate}
{Thistle...large plate}

{Pigeon...small plate}

{Butterfly...medium plate}

Awesome, no?! Please, if you have any questions let me know. And don't forget to spread the word, the more creativity the better (last party we had the most participants ever, and it would be great to get you all back as well as some new faces). I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!! (Like usual, I'm going to try my hand at a mood board too this week, even though it obviously won't be up for selection to win a gift card.)

I'd really like to thank West Elm (especially Kendall) and the guys of PATCH NYC for this amazing opportunity and for being just so inspirational in general. And I'd like to thank all of you for your continued support, participation and overall awesomeness. See you back here next Monday, the 26th, with your rooms!! Happy designing:)

PS. I made us a new Mood Board Monday logo. What do you think? Anybody got any better ideas for a tag line?

New for Spring: Ledge Shelves



Hey there! How is your weekend going? Thanks again for all your congratulatory comments on the discovery that we are going to have a baby girl...yay!!

On the home front, here's another peek at how things have changed around here for spring (the new look for the mantel is here). The black ledge shelves above the couch in our family room got a burst of color with 2 of my Cavallini wall calendars (Birds and Japanese Woodblocks)..of course, they're not open to the appropriate month or year, I was just going for the images I liked. I swapped out our winter throw pillows for these 2 turquoise ones that I had lying around (I would have preferred some pattern, but free is better right now!)


Wanted to remind you guys that the next Mood Board Monday starts this Tuesday, the 20th! I'll post the inspiration and you'll have until next Monday, the 26th to design your room. I can''t wait for this MBM party, its going to be exciting...we're having a special guest! And there's going to prizes:) See you here on Tuesday for the big post!!!

Guess What?



We're having a girl!!!! Wow. We had our big ultrasound on Monday (I was 18 weeks 4 days, today I hit the 19th week, holy cow!!) and everything went really well. Healthy was what we were after, and so far it seems like she's doing great. It was so neat to see all the body parts (such a change from the blob we saw at the last ultrasound)..we saw her heart with all 4 chambers beating, the stomach and kidneys, the brain, spine (so cool!), leg and arm bones, feet. The only thing we didn't see was anything between the legs...hee, hee.

We were totally surprised, we thought it was a boy this whole time for some reason. We're so excited!! It feels so different now, way more real, especially when you can refer to "it" now as "she" or "her". Crazy!!! Now we gotta get a move on...we were cautiously optimistic up until now, but more and more it seems like we might really be parents come September! Aaaaahhhhhhhh!!! We can't wait:)

If you have kids, did you find out the sex? or wait it out for the big surprise? Why did you decide that way?

New for Spring: Mantel



  • framed botanical prints (they were in black frames, but I took them out, I didn't like the contrast)
  • appropriate spine-colored books
  • white pitchers and tea-pots
  • a couple of my Nantucket baskets

What's on your spring mantel?

The Great Floor Debate Part III



Otherwise entitled "Maple or Oak, Gloss or Semi-Gloss?". So, the Great Floor Debate (Part 1 and Part 2 here) is not totally solved...but we have a plan. And thanks for all your great feedback when I posted some inspiration photos of dark hardwood floors here.

To review...our downstairs currently has 4 different types of flooring. Like so:Not good for consistency, flow or making the space seem larger. Humph.

What has finally spurred us into action is the NASTY CARPET in the living room and family room. It has to go. To be replaced with hardwood. Soon. So, we must make a to unite all these spaces when we already have 2 other different hardwood floors going on - old skinny oak floor with a natural finish in the dining room and newer wider maple floors with a cherry finish in the kitchen and foyer.

We've thought about it, done some research, gotten some quotes. The most important component in this whole thing to us is color...we want a consistent finish in a color we like. So here's what we've decided to do:

1. Living Room and Family Room: install new unfinished hardwood floors (same width as the kitchen and foyer), stain new dark color that we like

2. Kitchen and Foyer: sand and re-stain (with our new darker color) existing maple hardwood floors

3. Dining Room: sand and re-stain (with our new darker color) existing oak hardwood floor

This way we will have one consistent stain color (that we've picked) throughout...and the same width boards in most of the rooms (except the dining room). So, like this:

***Cue angels singing!!!!*** We think this is the best decision for us at the current time. If we were starting from scratch, I would love to install really wide distressed planks, but it would turn out way more expensive than the unfinished wood and the labor for installing and staining it. And if we did that in only the 2 rooms, we'd still have inconsistency with the width of the boards and look of the other 2 rooms. And I would hate to tear up or go over the kitchen and dining room floors (which are completely in good shape) with the new stuff.

This leaves us with a couple of decisions still to make:

1. Which stain color to go with? Our floor guy is currently making us some samples of wood with more of a dark walnut vs. ebony stain...we already axed the red mahoganyish color because we felt the red undertones were too close to our current cherry finish that we don't want. I have a feeling I'll like the dark walnut (lighter) and Paul will like the ebony (darker) better, but we'll see:)

2. Should be put new maple (to match the kitchen) or new oak (to match the dining room) in the living and family room? The grain in maple is much more flat and smooth, so when stained the color is more consistent. This is what we have in the kitchen and foyer (the boards we are matching the new width to). Oak shows much more grain. The oak is way cheaper than the maple. Any thoughts on how the 2 hold up with wear compared to each other? Do you think its worth the extra money to match? Maybe the oak will give me more of the distressed look I like?

3. Should we go with a high gloss or semi-gloss for the poly/sealer? Any thoughts on this? Which finish shows less dirt/dust/scratches/wear and tear?

Would love to hear your advice on those last 2 questions! Thanks, guys! And steps. That's how I roll.

Announcement: The Next Mood Board Monday



Hi! We interrupt your regularly scheduled Mood Board Monday programming to bring you this special MBM episode!

We've got something really special in the works for you guys for the next Mood Board Monday party. It's going to be a bit different, but a whole lotta cool!! Trust me, its going to be exciting, you are going to want to be there!!!

Ok, here's all I can tell you for now:
  • Look for a post from me on Tuesday, April 20th with the inspiration items and more details.
  • The actual Mood Board Monday McLinky party (to post your designs) will be Monday, April 26th. (I know, this is less time than usual for you to put together your rooms, but it'll be worth it!)
And for a little teaser, here's a small clue:

So, you in?! I can't wait....I am super psyched about this, its going to be awesome! See you back here for the inspiration post. Until then, start saving your imaginary money, exercise your mouse finger, and study up on your favorite paint colors:)

Ps. If you haven't played along before or just want to see all the fun we've been having, check out the previous Mood Board Monday parties here: MBM 01, MBM 02, MBM 03, MBM04, and MBM 05.

Thank You and Happy Easter!!



Happy April!! (Amazing how the time is flying by, huh?!) I can't tell you how meaningful all your wonderful comments on our big announcement were (Paul has been having a fun time reading them too)! Thank you so much for all your well wishes and helpful advice. I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to everyone individually yet, I'm working on it:) The support and generosity and kinship here in blogland is so heartwarming!

If you're celebrating, I hope you have a happy, joyous and fun-filled Easter weekend! I'm heading down to our Cape house tonight to meet up with my Mom, Dad, sister and our family dog for the excited! And of course, we will head back off Cape on Sunday to Paul's sister's house so we can spend the afternoon with his parents and our nieces and nephew (all their Easter Basket stuff is bought, I just have to put them together).

If not, have a great weekend, hopefully with good weather!

{above from Martha's Best Easter Baskets}

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