Rug Help



Ok, guys, I need your help with rugs:) I've been looking out for a large area rug for our family room ever since we redid our floors a year and a half ago. I've seen some I like, but never something I like enough to pull the trigger until recently.

Here's how our family room looks now. There are a ton of other problems (window treatments, throw pillows, maybe even furniture placement, etc.) which are of course made totally more evident once you take pictures of the space!, but I still really love this room.

For now we have a too small striped rug that we've had for-ever sitting under the coffee table. Just as a temporary fix. We spend a ton of time in this room. Its where Maura does a lot of her can see the mat that sort of contains her toys and acts as somewhat of a soft spot for sitting on the floor, etc. We also eat at the coffee table a lot and Maura has snacks/milk, etc. here too. So in terms of messes and spills, the mostly exposed hardwood has been great and practical. But its not very cozy.

Enter an area rug. All along I've been thinking something more geometric, because we have a traditional Oriental in the dining room and a more cottagey striped rug in the living room (which adjoins this room - you can see it through the step-up doorway to the left of the gray couch).

Flipping through the Pottery Barn catalog recently, I spotted this guy that I really liked.

Rug #1

{There's also a green version of this which is for some reason on sale for $399. Do you think green would be better?}

Its not maybe as modern or bold as I was originally thinking, but in the long run, that might be better:) I think its kind of a nice compromise between contemporary and classic.

My gut reaction was to order a rug swatch/sample to check out the color, maybe even order both the blue and the green to see which one I liked better (the "blue" looks so grey, doesn't it?). But when I called PB customer service, the woman explained to me that they don't have samples of this particular rug and that there are actually none of these rugs in any of the PB brick and mortar stores close to me (so going to check out the rug in person is out). I've found Pottery Barn stuff to be slightly different in color in person that in the catalogs or online, so that somewhat worries me. I would pretty much have to just go ahead and order it and hope that when it gets here I love it or if not, return it. Shot in the dark - has anyone been to a Pottery Barn recently and seen this rug in person?!

To be on the safe side, I decided to take another quick look around and see if there was anything else out there that might fit the bill. I stumbled across this rug on Overstock which totally caught my eye. Its nothing like what I thought I wanted, but it might be a better option. It's cheaper, has more colors in it (more versatile?) and the pattern might do a better job of hiding the spills and stains which I know are going to happen in here.

Rug #2

I obviously would be ordering this rug sight unseen too. But there are a bunch of favorable reviews, so that makes me feel better. Again, it sounds like the color on screen is different than in person, but based off of what the consumers are saying, this might be in my favor. Here are a couple of comments on the color:

  • "Let me try to describe the colors...the blue back ground is a very pale aqua...definitely a grayed green blue...I have Glidden "Sea Spray" in my dining room and it's in the color family but this is paler than that. There is also a beige...a buttery, creamy beige...not a greyed beige...and the green is not a sage, more yellowey green than a sage which is more gray...there is also a darker beige--a light brown I would call it...and a rust type of cinnamon color...and little pops of white in the center of the flower bursts....and a bit of slate blue and dark brown as well."
  • "Rug reads more blue-green than yellow-gold. Yellow is less pronounced, but the overall feel is still warm."
  • "Color on the site looked like it had a lot more cream , but its an all over light blue."
  • " Beautiful blue green background with ivory, tan and green design...Description says blue background but you don't see it on the screen, looks ivory, but it is a blue green background."

To help me/you decide, I made Photoshop mockups of both rugs in the space. (Just like I did last time when you guys helped me pick a rug for the living room!)

Here's what the PB rug might sort of look like:

{Rug #1}

And here's the Overstock one:

{Rug #2}

Hmmm. Paul says he still likes the PB one better, but I'm kinda torn. What do you think? Which is your favorite? Or should I keep looking?

***So, of course between the time I started this post and when I went to publish it, the darn Overstock rug has sold out!!! Figures! I signed up to be emailed when it comes back in stock... do you guys know if that usually happens and/or how long it takes or am I screwed?

Blog Tag



We interrupt this regularly scheduled blogging (ok, you can stop laughing now...of course there's no "we", its just little old me...and there's definitely no "regular", I'm lucky if I can get one post done a week, sorry!) to bring you a fun game of blog tag. I've been "tagged" my friend Cathy of RoomRx (thanks!), so I'm playing along. It's like a get-to-know-a-little-bit-more-about-you kind of answering the 11 questions Cathy posted and then tagging 11 other bloggers to answer 11 questions I ask. Fun, huh?

Here are the rules:
  • You must post the rules.
  • Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you; then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged.
  • Tag 11 people and link them in your post.
  • Let them know you have tagged them.
Here are my answers to Cathy's questions:

1) Do you like to cook or bake?
Both. But I'm known in my circle of friends for my baking (not like its that good or anything, but whenever we go somewhere I usually bring a dessert). What I do not like is food shopping. Worst chore ever.

{the dessert table from our Holiday Open House this year}

2) My one guilty pleasure is....?
Reality TV

3) To unwind at the end of a long day I....?
Read a book. Speaking of, one of my 2012 goals was to get back to reading. Before Maura was born I probably read one book a week (I had a long commute on public transportation every day!) Since having her in Sept. of 2010 (and up until this new year started) I probably only read 2 or 3 books. So I'm happy to report that I now head to bed 15 or 20 minutes earlier each night and read for a few minutes. Its so nice!!

4) Where do you do your blogging?
In our "office"...cough embarrassingly looks like this and has been on the to do list for like 3 years!

{uh, obviously not the best environment for creativity! these are really old pics though, so I have made some progress in terms of getting rid of all that stuff on the floor!}

5) I could eat a whole bag/box/package of... in one sitting?
Twizzlers. I could eat 2 whole packages. Enough said:)

6) White wine or red?
Neither. I don't like wine (wish I did, it seems so fun and sophisticated and cultural)! I don't like beer either. I'm a doesn't-taste-like-alcohol kind of alcohol girl. I love margaritas, apple martinis, Mikes' Hard Lemonade, flavored Smirnoff know, girly drinks.

7) My idea of the perfect day is....?
It's summer. I would definitely sleep late. Have an iced Starbucks Vanilla Latte (without having to actually go there and get it - I hate errands!)...maybe blueberry pancakes? No scratch that...Cinnabons!!! Spend a ton of time at the beach reading a good book with a yummy packed lunch. Shower outside in the outdoor shower. Ok, margaritas. There would be a fire pit, Smores. Maybe hit up the drive in theater..bring Twizzlers.

8) The room in my home that I like the best is...?
I've said it before, but probably Maura's nursery. It's the room we've done the most recently, so its the best example of my "style" (even though I'm still not sure what that really is). And we spend so much wonderful time together here as a family.

9) The accomplishment I am most proud of in the past year is...?
Being Maura's mom! I made it through my first full year...and had the best time ever! And she's turning out to be a pretty cool kid, so I must be doing something right!

{a pic of us from the "photo booth" at Maura's first birthday party...taken by my good friend Dena - with a vintage filter added}

10) What song can't you get out of your head right now?
Anything from the Jake and the Neverland Pirates soundtrack (remember, I have a 17 month old!). This stuff is meant for kids, but it is catchy. Especially when you listen, and dance, to it 3 or 4 times a day. No idea how to post a video, but click here to check out what I'm talking about. You'll like it;)

11) What is one item on your "bucket list?"
Go on a safari in Africa:)

And here are the 11 bloggers I'm going to tag:

Dina of Honey & Fitz
Sarah of Cozy.Cottage.Cute.
Casey at loft & cottage
Anna from My Design Ethos
Leslie of Leslie G
Courtney of reckless glamour
Michelle at Ispirato Design
Megan of Daly Designs
Karen from Karen at Home
Nicole of life by nicole
Erin from Out on a Limb

To answer the following 11 questions:

1. Name two tv shows that you must watch every week or record to watch later.
2. Do you like to travel? If so, list three places at the top of your "Must Visit" list.
3. What's your current favorite decorating color combo?
4. Do you use the "snooze" button on your alarm?
5. Are you the oldest, middle or youngest kid in your family? Or are you an only child?
6. Do you collect anything?
7. What's your middle name?
8. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
9. Are or city? girlie-girl or tomboy? a talker or a listener?
10. If you had to make up a fancy label for your decorating style, what would it be?
11. What would your family and friends say is one of your best qualities? What would they say is one of your worst?

Thanks for taking the time to find out a little bit more about me! And look forward to reading more about you guys:)

The Next Mood Board Monday: Etsy Artwork



Hello! So sorry it has taken me two months into 2012 to get the next Mood Board Monday party going! I've been wanting to do this particular one for a long time, but just couldn't get my act together until now. Ladies and ladies (seriously, are there any gents that read this?), I bring you Mood Board Monday: Etsy Artwork!!! (Let's do the actual linky party on Monday, March 12th. Ok?!)

Art is such a great jumping off point for a room. And where better to find tons of beautiful original art than etsy? I wanted to give you different types of media to choose here's three amazing works by three really talented artists...a photograph, a painting and an illustration. Choose one of these as your inspiration and design a room around it:)

Remember, Mood Board Monday is all about seeing how different people are inspired differently by the same things. There's no budget, no real client (unless you want to really challenge yourself), no limits.

1. "Romance of Fall" by photographer Carl Christensen

{Carl lives in southeastern PA right near where I grew up. His stunning fine art photographs of the surrounding areas remind me so much of home. Check out his Bucks County Collection for some charming, beautiful scenes. Here's Carl's website, Integrity Studio,and blog.}

2. "Live Colorfully" by Him & Her Abstract Art

{You guys most definitely know this husband and wife team already..."Her" is the lovely and talented Camila of the blog "Effortless Style". Camila is known for her brilliant use of color and pattern and for writing the always fascinating and inspiring series "In Her Shoes". Apparently her hubster has his own talent, he's the artist behind this beauty.}

3. Bird Art Community Tree by Cori Dantini/etsy seller corid

{Cori is the perfect example of an etsy success story. She started out selling her art at craft shows, opened up an etsy shop about 4 years ago, and is now a more-than-full-time artist who just started licensing her work...while her husband stays home with her son! Here's her blog: Cori Dantini makes}

Completely awesome, right???!!! 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 back from previous parties):

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 any room using one of the three pieces of etsy art shown here.
3. On Mood Board Monday party day (Monday, March 12th 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 art.

Thanks so much! Can't wait to see what you guys do with these. Hope you are as excited about this as I might be the first MBM party where I have actual trouble deciding which inspiration to go with - the choices are just too good:)

Ps. If anyone has any ideas for future Mood Board Monday party categories, just let me know!

Pps. Check out our previous Mood Board Monday Linky parties here: MBM01, MBM02, MBM03, MBM04, MBM05, MBM06, MBM07, MBM08, MBM09, MBM10 and MBM11.

Kitchen Update: Gallery Wall



Happy Valentine's Day, you guys!

I finally hung the gallery wall in our kitchen that I first posted about back in
November. I'm loving it, it makes such a difference in the room!


Before this wall just held 4 blank canvases wrapped in patterned paper from Paper Source. Nothing spectacular, but they added color and some fun to the kitchen when we first moved in. I wanted to take more advantage of the space though and go for some things that were a bit more sentimental or at least more indicative of our style now.

{way before...the floors are now dark walnut and there's a little white kid's table with black chairs for Maura at the end of the island!}


So I collected some artwork, downloaded and printed some free stuff from the web, framed some postcards...and I got me the beginnings of a gallery wall:)

I chose black frames (after holding up white ones too and deciding I liked the contrast against all those white cabinets) and clustered them fairly close together so that I can add more as time goes on. I will admit that I finally tried the whole cutting-out-random-paper-the-exact-same-size-as-each-frame-and-taping-them-on-the-wall-first/template thing and it made the hanging of all the actual frames so much easier!!

Here's some sources/what everything is:

No. 1: Original watercolor painting of two hens (Sheila and Betty) by artist Alison Fennell (Eastwitching on etsy) that I won at the Give Hope Adoption Auction over at The Wayman Family Nest earlier this year. Read all about it here. I love these hens!!

No. 2: Super cute owl illustration that I downloaded and printed from Katie Moon, the wonder behind created and offered a free illustration every day for an entire year!!! Now that the 365 days/illustrations are over, you can buy them for a couple bucks each...all kinds of awesome over there:)

Nos. 3 and 4: Kerry Transport and Gallerus Oratory by Irish artist June McIntyre (prints from an original batik and silk painting respectively). Purchased these at her gallery in Dingle while in Ireland in 2007 with Paul and my sister. I love the idea of buying original works of art or other local home decor items from our travels instead of little silly souvenirs.

Nos. 5 and 6: Fort Point and Crissy Field postcards from my trip to San Francisco this past summer with my sister. They were too small to fill these 5 x 7 frames, so I just mounted them on coordinating colored card stock for a fun pop of color border.

No. 7: Love this sweet saying...a free printable download from Joni over at Lay Baby Lay (there's a blue one as well for boys).

Maura really likes this new wall too. Because everything is a recognizable object now instead of a pattern, she walks by here and points out each of the birds, makes "bock bock bock" and "hoo hoo" sounds, says "baby" for the little silhouette. Its an educations gallery wall too:)

Living Room Update: New Throw and Painted Mats



I've never been totally happy with our living room. I'm currently trying to get rid of as much of the yellow/gold tones in here that I can, along with adding more cool colors...which is hard with a caramel colored sofa, gold fabric roller shades and a rug that has more yellow in it than expected when I purchased it. I was hoping some quick, small fixes would at least be a step in the right direction.


Here's a before of the little sofa corner of the room. Remaining untouched or in place: the couch, the 4 beveled mirrors (from Michaels a long time ago), the cream and taupe crewel floral pillows from Pottery Barn. I like these two botanical prints that I nabbed at HomeGoods, but the outer, buttery yellow mats have always bugged me. They're only helping to add to that "too many warm tones" in here. Love this wool blanket from Ireland that my mother-in-law gave us, but I can use it and enjoy it in another room in the house.


Here's the same spot after. One of my favorite colors is that lovely shade between blue and green and grey...I want to incorporate that more around the house. So I asked for this Grand Chenille Throw in Blue Smoke from Pottery Barn for Christmas. (It's super soft, but in person is just a touch more on the green side of blue than it reads in the catalog or online.) To add another layer and even more color here (that's not gold!), I moved my olive green chevron pillows (from etsy seller milk and cookies) over from their usual spots on the leather club chairs that face this sofa. (Now I want to find new throw pillows for the chairs in a pattern than incorporates both this sea foam/robin's egg blue and green - domino effect!)

Then, because those pale yellow mats on the botanical prints were bugging me so much, I did something slightly crazy. Painted them white! This was not expensive, treasured art...there's not even glass in them, so I wasn't worried about screwing them up by accident. Figured what did I have to lose?

Taped up the frames so I wouldn't get paint on them and just went to town with a brush (I normally use for trim or cutting in) and some random flat white paint. I used a little artist brush to do the inner border where the yellow mats meet the artwork (that green border). I did two light coats and they turned out totally fine. You can only see the brush strokes if you look up close and then it sort of just has a textured mat appearance to it.

{in progress}

I'm definitely a lot more happy with this part of the room after these quick changes. And I like how it's looking with the rug. Heads up, it doesn't look like this often. This is where Maura likes to read and color and play behind the cushions. Oh well:)

Maura's Nursery in Baby Lifestyles Ezine



Have you guys heard of the site Baby Lifestyles? It's a great go-to place for everything baby - from real nurseries and baby showers to maternity and newborn photography sessions. You can even get your fix of the latest celebrity pregnancies, births and crazy baby names!

Totally flattering - Maura's nursery is featured in the February/March issue of the Baby Lifestyle Magazine (an ezine...pages 69-73) which just came out yesterday. So honored to be included among some killer real nurseries...not quite sure how we made it in 'cause these are seriously gorgeous...check them (and the rest of the magazine) out!

  • baby Charlotte's nursery by Kristine of The Painted Hive (I've always loved this blog!)

  • little Alice's nursery by Christine of Just Bella (a new-to-me blog, but I'm so there!)

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