Yeah...about those new floors....



Slight problem. They're not done yet. Starting over with a new floor guy. Old floor guy not as knowledgeable about the kind of wood and stain we choose as we thought. Floors were looking like crap. Had the old floor guy stop work. Panicked! Called around and found a new floor guy. He started this morning. Feeling better.

Bottom line... I guess our combo of maple wood and dark walnut stain is a tough one. (Probably several of you out there warned me about this and I didn't listen! I'm sorry, I should have!!!) Sounds like you really have to know what you're doing and have some experience with staining maple to tackle this job and do it right. The original floor guy we went with came with recommendations from several friends whose floors we have seen and liked. However, none of them involved maple and dark stain! Aaahhhhhh! After the first coat of stain this guy admitted he was in over his head and wouldn't stop apologizing. He even said he would feel better if we found someone new who knew what they were doing to come in and take over the project! So I started calling around to find someone else to "save our floors", someone who had done this before and had the confidence to say that it was not an impossible task, just a difficult one. He came this morning and began sanding everything back down to unfinished raw wood and is starting over. Hopefully next time I bring this up it will be a post with finished, beautiful after pics!!!! (New guy thinks we should be able to move back in by Sunday.)

If you have no idea what I'm talking about (lol!), check out here, here, here and here.

Of course, this is the first major project of this scale we've "taken on" since moving in, so for it to go this wrong is slightly disheartening. To make me feel better, have any of you had to deal with house project emergencies before? Did something not go exactly as planned? Did you hire a professional you weren't pleased with?

Mood Board Monday Party: Beautiful Bedding



Hi! Welcome to the 7th Mood Board Monday McLinky party! Thanks for coming:)

This blog party is all about seeing how different people are inspired differently by the same things.
This week's challenge was to design a bedroom around one of these four beautiful bedding options:

1. Barbara Barry "Poetical" Bedding Collection from Macy's

{Barbara Barry's Poetical bedding collection offers a refreshingly modern look that's a pleasure to come home to. Soothing grey provides the undertone for this elegant bedding, while embellished vinework in soft white adds visual intrigue.}

2. Bohemian Medallion Duvet Cover from Urban Outfitters

{Relaxed approach. An ornate, bohemian pattern perfectly tops this woven cotton duvet cover, complete with buttons at the bottom for easy opening.}

Serafina Floral Duvet Cover and Sham from Pottery Barn

{Using a saturated palette and bold scale, our studio artists painted the beautiful motif on our bedding one leaf and petal at a time.}

4. Persian Path Bed Linens from Horchow

{Bed linens in spice colors with touches of jade and plum catch the eye. Raised embroidery on the floral medallions adds tactile appeal.}

Here's my mood board for the week. Right away I knew I'd go for the Bohemian Medallion Duvet Cover from Urban Outfitters. I love the bold geometric repetitive pattern, yet at the same time the colors are so soft and subtle that it has a lovely elegance to it.

1. The palette: Other than the obvious gray and yellow tones, I'd also pull in some of the olivey green from the bedding. Wood will add warmth and white/ivory will keep things light. I'd paint the walls a soft, really muted yellowy-green.

2. The inspiration: the Bohemian Medallion Duvet Cover from Urban Outfitters.

3. A grand focal point, the bed....this Gustavian Bed- Dark from Vivaterra...About 250 years ago, Sweden's King Gustav visited France and returned with a passion for ornate French neoclassical design. Swedish woodworkers tossed out the frou-frou but wisely kept the striking and unusual arched, scalloped furniture silhouettes. Our reclaimed Douglas fir Gustavian headboard adds a contemporary green twist and honors the character of the rare first-growth fir used in its construction. Up to a century old, the rich hue, deep patina and tight grain of the wood-from razed buildings-simply cannot be duplicated in new timber. Our bed is hand-planed to smooth its finish while preserving the distinctive textural appeal of the fir's knots, nail holes and weathering scars. Its light water-based stain, and hard oil wax, both eco-friendly, highlight the fir's singular beauty.

4. One of the decorative pillows on the bed, this Yellow Floral Pillow from etsy seller milkandcookies.

5. As a nightstand next to the bed, I would use this Daniella Chest from Pottery Barn in Desa Ivy.

6. A soft, solid gray, but with tons of texture, rug as a base...the Pebble Rug in Heathered Gray from West Elm.

7. Across the room from the bed, the Harbor Five-Drawer Dresser from Crate and Barrel keeps things fresh and airy...This casual modern bedroom collection from Italy has a relaxed, inviting feel with simple lines in soft white. Artisan finish is a multistep process of handpainting and hand-distressing to create a warm, aged appeal. Dresser has three large and two small drawers with contrasting sage interiors and antiqued brass knobs.

8. Over the dresser, the Palmer Mirror from Target balances out the warm wood tones of the bed.

9. On the dresser, this Frederick Cooper Autumnal Equinox Table Lamp from Lamps Plus brings green to this side of the room.

10. This bedroom would have a sitting area, featuring the Suffolk Chair from Crate and Barrel. I like how the muted subtle Bronte Stripe in Ivory and Pewter coordinates with the light muted tones of the bedding.

11. For contrast and that pop of dark pewter from the bedding, this Imperial Trellis Midnight Pillow from etsy seller milkandcookies.

12. I love the feminine flowiness of these floral patterned Blair Smocked Drapes from Pottery Barn...Like a poet’s blouse, our Blair Smocked Drape is gathered in a diamond pattern on top and falls in soft, unstructured pleats below. 100% cotton voile has a light airy feel, and is printed with an allover floral pattern of flowering branches in yellows and greens.

13. Somewhere in the room I'd hang these Les Promenades De Paris Prints from Ballard Designs...Created from original architectural drawings we found in Paris, these finely detailed renderings depict plans and streetscapes for four of the city's most famous public squares and parks. Each Paris promenades print features street elevations, so you can see what the surrounding buildings might look like.


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

1. Create a mood board using one of the above inspiration bed linens.
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 Balanced Bohemian Bedroom).
4. Then add the link to your SPECIFIC MBM POST, not your general blog address.
5. Have fun checking out all the other wonderful rooms.

  1. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish - Bright Bedroom!
  2. Nicole @ On My Agenda - Beach House Guest Room!
  3. Averill (Odi et Amo)
  4. Kate @ Twenty-Six To Life - Bright Bedroom
  5. Tranquil blue and yellow bedroom
  6. lauren @ gathering moss - bright teen bedroom

  1. Mondy Mood Board at Newlyweds and The Old House
  2. Rainy Day Bedroom
  3. Erin @ Meadow Lake Cottage - Romantic MB Getaway
  4. Dinas serene, French-inspired retreat.
  5. Samantha @ i heart mini- Outfitted Urban Retreat.

  6. This linky list is now closed.

Mood Board Monday Reminder!



Hey! Cross your fingers that this draft actually publishes correctly as I'm not at home with my normal computer/internet set up:)

Just wanted to remind everyone that our next Mood Board Monday McLinky party is this coming Monday, the 28th. Hope you can make it with your room designs!

This party is all about beautiful yes, for a change we will all be designing the same kind of space...bedrooms! I still think it will be amazing to see the variety of styles that all come from one of these 4 inspirational bed linens:

1. Barbara Barry "Poetical" Bedding from Macy's

Bohemian Medallion Duvet Cover from Urban Outfitters

3. Serafina Floral Duvet Cover and Sham from Pottery Barn

4. Persian Path Bed Linens from Horchow

Here's the original inspiration post with the rules, as well as more info and pics of the bed linens. Excited to see what you guys come up with! Mine's almost done, just got to find a few more finishing touches. Hope to see you Monday:) Have a great weekend!

The Nursery: Palette



Hi! I'm so glad you guys are as psyched as we are about our new floors! Thanks so much. Staining starts today, so we have to leave the house for the week...and can't come back and step on the floors until Friday night (can't wait to see what they are going to look like!).

Not sure how great internet access will be where we are going, so I'll leave you with these inspiration pics that represent the color palette we're going with in BG's nursery. (Check out her bedding here, some finds I got for her at an antique/flea market here, and the boring before pics of the room here). We've already started painting the walls a lovely shade of robin's egg blue (Benjamin Moore's Heave on Earth), the crib and dresser (still got to put that together) are white and I'd like to bring in a warm watermellony pink, as well as some sage/chartreuse green, as accent colors. The whole room is going to be a bit brighter and cheerier than I usually do, since its a kid's room and I want it to be fun.

{via the Design Files over at Rare and Beautiful Treasures}

{by Massucco Warner Miller via House of Turquoise}

{by James Michael Howard from House Beautiful's June 2010 issue}

{from the lovely Torie Jayne}

I'm also going to try one of those posts you write beforehand and schedule it to post later in the week. It'll be a Mood Board Monday reminder...the McLinky party is next Monday the 28th. Hope to see you back here for it:) Have a great few days!

Bye, Bye Nasty Carpet!



Can you hear the angels singing?! We are actually finally doing something about our downstairs flooring situation...the great floor debate is being solved as we speak/type!!! I'm so excited! Big stuff happening around here this week. Catch up on our dilemma (4 different types of flooring in the downstairs alone) here and here. And thanks so much for your help on what kind of wood as well as sealer finish to go with.

So, here's how our house looked on Tuesday night after we moved all the furniture and most of the accessories out of the entire downstairs (except the bathroom):

Our floor guys showed up bright and early this morning. They are my new best friends. Here's our plan again:

  • rip up nasty carpet in the family room and living room and install new, 3 1/4" width unfinished maple floors
  • sand existing cherry maple floors in kitchen/hallway and natural oak floors in dining room
  • stain everything with new dark walnut color
  • seal everything with semi-gloss poly
This leaves us with...CONSISTENCY, people!!! The place is going to look so much bigger! And feel so much cleaner with that old carpet gone! And the new stain color is going to be awesome! I can't wait:)

Tonight when I got home, the place looked like this:

{sorry for the bad pic, the lighting wasn't good. that bright white spot in the bottom right hand corner is the part of the living room floor that they were able to install today. it looks like this - see below}

{but they got the whole family room floor installed!!}

I love it already! I'll keep you updated. Thanks again for all your input on this!! And please feel free to join me in saying farewell to the nasty carpet. Good riddance:)

The Nursery: Bedding



Speaking of bedding (I just announced the next Mood Board Monday, scheduled for Monday, June 28th..we're all going to be doing bedrooms, click here to see the inspirational bedding), want to see the crib set for BG's nursery?

Back before we knew the sex of our little one, I decided that either way I wanted to paint the walls of the nursery a soft blue. So once we found out it was a girl, I set out to find crib bedding that would work with blue but still be a bit girly. I didn't want anything "themey" or with cartoon characters on it...I just wanted something with a mix of patterns. To be honest, I also wanted it to come from somewhere that I could register from...I like the idea of this important part of the room being a gift from someone close to us and hey, that way I don't have to pay for it:)

After lots of searching Overstock, Babies-R-Us and all the other baby bedding sites (yes, even etsy), I found my way back to Pottery Barn Kids and the Sophie Nursery Bedding.

I made sure to go into the store and check out in person (brought along a ton of paint swatches too) and then decided this was it! I love the polka dots with the stripes and the floral. I like that it has a variety of colors in it that I can pull from. I like that its light and airy.

Now all we need is for for someone to hopefully get it for us:) So although the rooms shown here feature the bedding in a mostly pink environment, picture it in a room with blue walls. And pops of pink (and green) as the accent color. What do you think?

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go watch the season premier of the new Design Star!!! Can't wait! Who's with me?

The Next Mood Board Monday: Beautiful Bedding



Hi! Sorry for the rather sporadic posting the last few months, things have been busy round here. But, I think its time for another Mood Board Monday, don't you?! (Thanks for waiting so patiently since our last, really exciting West Elm sponsored MBM party.) Unfortunately, this one is back to gift cards up for grabs or anything...just some wonderful peeps who enjoy shopping the internet with an imaginary, unlimited budget and putting together a space they love all starting from a couple of inspirational items:)

Does Monday, June 28th work for everyone? This time, if its ok with you guys, I'm going to try something slightly different. Let's use bedding as our inspiration..which means we'll all be designing bedrooms. But I think it'll be cool to still see how much variety and creativity we get even when all working on the same kind of room. Any objections?

I'm also going to include 4 different bedding options, instead of just 2, as your inspiration. I like them all for different reasons and I didn't feel like stressing myself out trying to narrow them down to only a couple (so hopefully there's something in here for everyone!). They are all from different sources and a variety of price points, just to show how much is out there and how a gorgeous room does not necessarily need to start with something really expensive.

So, choose one of the following bed linens as your jumping off point. You don't have to include each and every piece that comes with some of the collections (like the shams, say) in your bedrooms, just at least use the duvet cover/comforter.

1. Barbara Barry "Poetical" Bedding Collection from Macy's

{Barbara Barry's Poetical bedding collection offers a refreshingly modern look that's a pleasure to come home to. Soothing grey provides the undertone for this elegant bedding, while embellished vinework in soft white adds visual intrigue.}

2. Bohemian Medallion Duvet Cover from Urban Outfitters

{Relaxed approach. An ornate, bohemian pattern perfectly tops this woven cotton duvet cover, complete with buttons at the bottom for easy opening.}

3. Serafina Floral Duvet Cover and Sham from Pottery Barn

{Using a saturated palette and bold scale, our studio artists painted the beautiful motif on our bedding one leaf and petal at a time.}

4. Persian Path Bed Linens from Horchow

{Bed linens in spice colors with touches of jade and plum catch the eye. Raised embroidery on the floral medallions adds tactile appeal.}

Hope you like one of them!!! For anyone unfamiliar with the concept of the Mood Board Monday McLinky party, here's the general idea (we would love to see some new faces and hopefully lots of you newbies back from last time):

1. This is not a mood board competition for designers (although designers are more than welcome to participate). This is 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.
2. To be a participant, you need to create a complete mood board for a bedroom using one of the four inspiration bed linens shown here.
3. On Mood Board Monday party day (Monday, June 28th 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.

Check out our previous Mood Board Monday McLinky parties here:
MBM01, MBM02, MBM03, MBM04, MBM05, and MBM06.

Please spread the word...the more bloggers, the more creativity and beautiful rooms!! See you back here in a couple of weeks, I'm looking forward to all the different bedrooms that can spring from just one starting point:) Thanks, everyone!

Please Help My Peonies



Happy Friday!

I need your help. Look at the 2 peony bushes out back by our shed! They're so heavy and droopy...and they just started blooming like last week. Am I doing something wrong? (Ha! That's funny. I haven't done anything to them since we moved in a few years ago and I discovered them that first summer. Except cut them back for the winter.) Can you put peonies on a trellis? Do we need to trim them or something? I love the color and how big the blossoms are, but they just fall right to the ground (and then get smooshed or eaten or trampled). Any advice or is this how they are supposed to be?

(Mom, if you are reading this...I'm good at weeding when you're standing there showing me what's a weed...and I can plant things when you show me where and what, but other than that I'm not very good at landscaping!! I want to get better and I know I should have paid more attention to you and Dad doing this when we were growing up. And I probably should read all those gardening books you gave me. Ooops!)

Thanks! Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'm headed to NYC to celebrate my sister's 30th birthday with her. Ah, the pregnant older sister rolling into town to try and keep up with the single young 'uns. Should be fun:)

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