Next Up

9

11.29.2011

Hello there! How was everyone's long weekend? Next up around here...besides decorating for Christmas!!...is a small project for the kitchen that I've had in progress for awhile now. But I really want to push and get it done in time for our annual holiday open house party (which is the weekend before Christmas). Sounds pathetic, but for me this is ambitious!

Here's a really old photo of our kitchen. A lot has changed since then, most significantly the floors and those pendant lights over the island. See that art on the far wall next to the fridge (blank canvases wrapped in scrapbooking paper)?


They're coming down. And a little mini art gallery wall is going up! Here's a sneak peek of some of things that will be included.


I've still got to frame a couple of things and figure out the layout. And then make all the holes. I've got 3 weeks. Hold me to it, guys!!!

Anyone else trying to cram in some projects during this already busy time? Or are you just focusing on holiday stuff?

Real Room: Updated Traditional Living Room

8

11.23.2011

Hi! Maura and I recently took a visit down to see my aunt Peg and I couldn't help but take some pics of her living room while we were there to share with you guys. If you remember, I posted two years ago about how we helped her move in to her new place and how I wanted to steal her secretary:)

Here's how the room looked that day when we left (we helped her unpack a bit, and rearrange the stuff she had just to make it liveable until she could really start working on the room).

{before}

Well, its come a long way since then. We'll call the pics I took the other day the afters for now, because I can't speak for exactly how complete this room actually is.

First thing you might notice is the new layout. Second thing you might notice is the new rug, new sofa, new window treatments, reupholstered chairs, stuff on the walls and accessories in general!!

My aunt kept some of her old furniture (like this secretary, she does have good taste! and the coffee table and that side table in between the two chairs) and took out/put up some of her personal items, artwork, family photos and things that make a house feel more like a home.


She updated the space with a new rug, a new sofa (its like a muted dusty sage..from Boston Interiors) and some other key furniture pieces. She had a lot of yellow already, like the throw pillows, so she added the yellow striped drapes and then mixed in the green for a new fresh palette.

{that's the Ballard Designs Olivia Mirrored Side Table in the foreground...my mom (her and Peg are sisters) suggested she get it, and its really nice in person}

Peg wanted to keep her two side chairs but wasn't in love with their fabrics anymore, so she had them reupholstered, one in a lovely goldenrod with a crewel vine pattern (love that texture) and the second in a soft sage and cream thin stripe.

{Isn't that sideboard/chest beautiful?! It's also from Boston Interiors.}

So much better, right? I love taking a peak at real spaces. Even if they might not necessarily be your exact style, we can all respect a good looking room and maybe even learn a thing or two.

And to prove that traditional doesn't have to mean stuffy, plus to keep it really "real", here's Maura enjoying that new crewel:)



Have a great Thanksgiving!!

14 Months!!

7

11.17.2011

Thanks for such a great Mood Board Monday, everyone! (If you missed it, check out all the gorgeous rooms here.) I was so impressed by all your dining rooms, excited that we had a good mix of the different inspiration items, and basically floored by all your talent:) Maybe with all the holiday madness approaching we'll wait and do the next one sometime in early 2012? What do you think?

I wanted to do a quick check in about Maura. She turned 14 months on November 10th! I won't do one of these posts every month like I was doing during the first year, but I will try to do one every once and awhile, mostly just for me. I work better with a goal/deadlines, and I feel like these posts are a good way to chronicle this wonderful time in our lives. I love being able to look back at these and see what was going on with her each month. I feel like if I don't make myself write about it than I will forget everything!


I also decided to try and keep taking some pictures of her in her bunny chair, just at every month milestone now. So here's 13 months and 14 months:


We made the transition from formula to only whole milk smoothly. From bottle to sippy cup...not so much. After lots of experiments, we finally figured out that Maura likes the straw sippy cups better. That's cool...she's drinking milk from the cup in the morning when she wakes up (not as many ounces, but at least something) and sometimes in the afternoon with her snack. She is still having a bottle right before naptime and bedtime. Her bottle is like her pacifier and has been part of her falling asleep ritual for a long time now. I'm worried that when we try to give her a sippy cup of milk and put her to bed its going to go horribly wrong. So we haven't tried it yet! Does this make me a terrible mother?! Any tips or ideas if you've been through this before? Is it unheard of that my 14 month old still gets two bottles a day? Help!

In the sleep category we are down to one nap a day, right in the middle of the afternoon, usually starting around 1/1:30pm (which is the complete opposite of the schedule we used to keep - now we are out and about in the morning and home in the afternoon). She will usually nap for about 2 hours, sometimes more, hopefully not less:) She still goes to bed at 8pm and wakes up about 7-7:30am. She's a good sleeper.

Maura is getting her 8th tooth...the bottom lateral incisor on her right. She's learned how to run and walk backwards and stomp her feet and put her hands in the air for "hooray".


She finally, finally, finally loves books! Yay! I've been waiting for this for forever. I really want her to grow up to be a reader (like me). If not, that'll be ok too, but I hope so. Now she's so into them. She doesn't necessarily want to sit there and have me read them to her...she likes to flip through them herself, or she points to things and goes "uh, uh, uh" and I tell her what each object is, or we play the game where I ask "Where's the turtle?", "Where's the butterfly?", "Where's the beach ball?" and she points to that specific thing on the page. We play with books a lot:)

Maura's other favorite toys are mostly all new things she got for her birthday: her car, her little baby doll and little doll stroller, her plastic shopping cart and fake food, her ball-poppin' dinosaur, her Melissa and Doug jumbo knob puzzles.


We have been going to free story time at the library on Thursday mornings and attend Mommy and Me classes at My Gym on Friday mornings (both with our buddy Jack - who's 2 months older than Maura - and his mom, Meredith).


Her hair has taken off recently and is really starting to grow! We've started wearing hair bows, so at least people aren't calling her a boy nearly as often:)


We still managed to get in a lot of beach time in September and October! (We've had really warm fall weather up here in New England.)



Our other favorite pastimes include anything outside - hitting the playground, going for walks in the wagon and playing in our driveway and yard (she loves her soccer ball).


We took her to the zoo for the first time in October. She liked it, although at times it seemed like she was more obsessed with the zookeeper's 4wd vehicle than the animals. We had a great time!

{inside the deer park}

{inside the petting zoo}


We also visited a local pumpkin patch. (Again, she might have been more into the tractor that pulled our hay ride out to the patch as opposed to the pumpkins themselves, but...)


This was the first year Maura dressed up for Halloween (she was a cow!) and went trick-or-treating. She loved it! I took her around in her wagon while Paul stayed home and gave out candy. She got so excited during the rest of the night when any kids would come to the door.


One of the things I'm enjoying most about this stage is how much she is learning. Most days she blows my mind with the concepts she puts together, the things she remembers and the associations she makes. I might be biased, but she could be a genius;)

Ps. Its not all rainbows and sprinkles around here:) If you are still reading this (thank you - its a long post!), any suggestions for how to deal with the toddler attitude? She is quick to get very upset when she doesn't get her way. We were in Target and some other stores this morning running errands and she started screaming and crying because she wanted whatever we were looking at. I do not want to to be that mom with that kid. How do you keep them from getting spoiled?

Mood Board Monday Party: Dinnerware and Dining Rooms

14

11.13.2011


Hi, there! Hope everyone had a great weekend! Welcome to the 11th Mood Board Monday McLinky Party. Glad you could make it:)

This blog party is all about seeing how different people are inspired differently by the same things. This time we're celebrating Thanksgiving and all the other upcoming holidays during which gathering around the table with family and friends is so important. Your task was to design a dining room inspired by one of the four dinnerware sets below. And even though we're all creating the same kind of room, I know they're still going to be very different. So fun!


1. David Stark Wood Slices-Organic Dinnerware from West Elm

{Designed by David Stark, loosely sketched tree rings printed on Wood Slices Organic Dinnerware bring the natural world to your table in gleaming gold metallic}

2. Penumbral Doily Dinnerware from Anthropologie

{Delicate lines of dainty crochet work are impressed upon glazed terracotta.}

3. Chirp Collection, from Lenox Simply Fine Dinnerware, available at Macy's

{A splash of bright watercolor-inspired birds and florals adorn each plate and the interiors as well as exteriors of bowls and mugs.}

4. Philippe Deshoulieres' "Dhara" collection, available at Bloomingdales

{Dhara is inspired by the side designs of a poetry manuscript from Saadi. The colors are inspired by the traditional saris from Penjab and Cachemire. Philippe Deshoulieres has been producing porcelain in the Limoges region of France for six generations.}


**************

Here's my mood board for the week. I knew I wanted to use the West Elm Wood Slices dinnerware right away. In addition, I was inspired by some other things going on around blogland recently. Mainly, the beautiful, organic new textiles by Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home. I decided I wanted to use one of her fabrics for the drapes and when I saw the Magnolia in Orange, the rest of my mood board took shape. (And went in a totally different direction than what I set out to do.) I knew I was after a mix of industrial, rustic, traditional, elegant (while still being cozy) space, I just hadn't planned on it looking like this:) This room is very dark and moody when I'm usually drawn to lighter, more airy spaces. I hadn't planned on using so many warm tones (I'm kind of in a cool stage now), but when I chose the magnolia print I decided to just go for the whole holiday, warm, fall thing.


1. The palette: I'd paint the walls a dark warm grey, to help offset all the golds, chocolates, oranges and other warm tones in here. I was also inspired recently by the painted ceiling and wide crown molding and baseboards in Carrie's family room makeover, so I thought here I'd paint the ceiling a soft beige/gold to reflect the rug and use thick white crown, trim and baseboards.
2. The inspiration: the David Stark Wood Slices-Organic Dinnerware from West Elm
3. On the floor, this Taara Rug from Pottery Barn. I really like the pattern (inspired by Rajasthan block prints) and how there's not a lot of contrast. And just realized they no longer carry this rug in either 8 x 10 or 9 x 12...oops. Whatever, this is all in our imaginations anyways, right?
4. I knew right away I wanted sort of a rough, rustic, natural, old feel for the table. I like the idea of honoring wood in a different than the very metallic, modern, clean way the dishes celebrate wood. The Gun Barrel Salvaged Wood Dining Table from Restoration Hardware does the trick nicely.
5. At the two heads of the table, I like the idea of using these Belfort Wingback Leather Chairs (also from Restoration Hardware). They add a softness to the room and a lovely warmth (both in color and feel, at least I hope they would!). They make the room both cozier and more formal all at the same time.
6. To contrast this, I'd use these Marias A Side Chairs from Industry West (thanks for posting about these this week, Layla!) in gunmetal along the sides of the table. I didn't want the room to get too formal, plus they add a bit more of that industrial vibe. I like the cool tones they bring to the room, help tie in the wall color.
7. Been loving this Lourdes Chandelier every time I flip through the latest Ballard Design catalogs. Why not use it here?!
8. For storage and as a serving area, I'd use the Benchwright Buffet from Pottery Barn. The rustic mahogany stain will bring that dark warm chocolate color from the leather chairs to another part of the room.
9. and 10. I love mercury glass, especially at the holidays. This 1800s Rare Antique Mercury Glass Apothecary Jar and Large Estate 13 Piece Mercury Glass Collection (both from etsy seller ParisCoutureAntiques) would look beautiful on the buffet (or on the table or elsewhere in the room). Their reflectiveness would hopefully add some light and sparkle to the room and since they're silver, bring in more of those cool tones to balance out all the browns and golds in here.
11. I've realized that I love symmetrical series of things framed on the wall. I'd frame a bunch of pages from this 2012 Calendar Flowers and Feathers (from the Wild Unknown) in Pottery Barn Gilt Frames (add some of that gold tone onto the dark gray walls) and hang them in a grid...here I've only shown two, but I'm thinking like 6 or 8 depending on the actual size of the space.
12. For the floor-length drapes and to pack a big punch, plus add that softness/layering to the room, Magnolia in Orange from Pure Style Home by Lauren Liess.
13. and 14. Didn't want the room to become too stuffy and formal, so to add some fun, I'd hang these prints somewhere (not together) - Golden Rules Letterpress Poster and Large Owl Linocut in Orange, both by etsy seller PRINTforLOVEofWOOD.
15. I've always liked the idea of a huge floor-length mirror in the dining room (probably out for now in our house because of the whole toddler thing, maybe down the road), so I'm using the lovely Amiel Arched Antiqued Mirror from Ballard Designs here.
16. To a bit more patina and age, this
Antique Copper Boiler (American circa 1880s) from etsy seller ParisCoutureAntiques would work well as a cooler/ice bucket for beverages. It can also hold firewood at the foot of the fireplace I just decided would also be in this room:)

I had intentions of adding some bits of a table setting and maybe some specific holiday decor, but then I ran out of time. And space on the mood board itself. Ooops.


**************

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

1. Create a mood board for a dining room using one of the four dinnerware patterns above.
2. Write a post about it, including sources (with a link back to this post so others can come look).
3. Add your name, project and thumbnail image to the Linky here on this post.
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!

Thanks so much for taking the time to join the party!!! And even though its a bit early, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving:)

Mood Board Monday Reminder!!

4

11.09.2011

Hi! Just wanted to remind you guys that this coming Monday, November 14th, is Mood Board Monday time again!

In honor of quickly approaching Thanksgiving (and all the other fun holidays where gathering around the table with family and friends is so important), we're going to be designing dining rooms based off of dinnerware. Here are the four sets of inspiration dishes you have to choose from:

1. David Stark Wood Slices-Organic Dinnerware from West Elm

{Designed by David Stark, loosely sketched tree rings printed on Wood Slices Organic Dinnerware bring the natural world to your table in gleaming gold metallic}

2. Penumbral Doily Dinnerware from Anthropologie

{Delicate lines of dainty crochet work are impressed upon glazed terracotta.}

3. Chirp Collection, from Lenox Simply Fine Dinnerware, available at Macy's

{A splash of bright watercolor-inspired birds and florals adorn each plate and the interiors as well as exteriors of bowls and mugs.}

4. Philippe Deshoulieres' "Dhara" collection, available at Bloomingdales

{Dhara is inspired by the side designs of a poetry manuscript from Saadi. The colors are inspired by the traditional saris from Penjab and Cachemire. Philippe Deshoulieres has been producing porcelain in the Limoges region of France for six generations.}

All beautiful in their own way (if I do say so myself), right? Feel free (or not) to add glassware, stemware, flatware, (anything else that ends in "ware"), serving pieces, table linens...however detailed you want to be about the actual table setting is up to you. Also, if you're into it, you are more than welcome to throw in touches of holiday decor as well.

So, just to recap:


1. 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 dining room using one of the four sets of inspiration dinnerware shown here.
3. On Mood Board Monday party day (Monday, November 14th 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.

Guess I should get started on my room, huh?! (Anyone else out there a major procrastinator? Like not on purpose, but you gotta do the stuff that's due first first and the rest later!) I know which dinnerware I want to use and I think I dogeared a table in one of the recent catalogs I was looking through, but other than that...

Thanks for taking the time to participate and I hope to see you (and your wonderful dining rooms) back here on Monday:)

Ps. Check out our previous Mood Board Monday Linky parties here: MBM01, MBM02, MBM03, MBM04, MBM05, MBM06, MBM07, MBM08, MBM09 and MBM10.

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