Friday, September 30, 2011

PS...

A wonderful thing about the blogosphere is the camaraderie (is that how you spell that?) and support you receive from other bloggers. A few months ago, I had no idea what a link-up party was, but I learned a little bit and figured it out - and it's been a great way to support other bloggers, share your project, and see other great projects too! Here are two that I participated in this week:

I shared my tween girl mood board with the Roomspiration mega party. This is a group of parties hosted by these wonderful bloggers...


There are some awesome kids rooms being linked up over at Aubrey's blog, so check it out if you get a chance.

Then I also shared my friend Christina's quick chair update over at Saved By Suzy. Suzy hosts a weekly party, so it's always fun to check out what projects are being shared each week.


Take a peek at these parties - there is something for everyone!


Design Show House

Good Friday!!

I had the opportunity to tour the Chestnut Hill Design Show House and it was amazing. I could have probably spent hours there, but I was on my lunch break so I had to make it a somewhat quick trip (not really). I wish I had a buddy to drool with because all of the designers did an outstanding job. We were not permitted to take any photos (are a lot of show houses like that?) but the details are so fresh in my mind so here we go before I lose them...

Here is a photo of my loot that I picked up...a tour program that gave lots of details behind the inspirations for each room and sources, lots of business cards, my ticket, and the glossy media piece from Mona Ross Berman's feature in House Beautiful.


And here is a photo of the media piece for the dining room designed by MRB Interiors...


Beautiful. This dining room was one of my favorites. I've got a few sources for you if you haven't picked them out already. The upholstered dining chairs flanking the buffet are Quadrille China Seas Aga.


The chandelier is Patrick Townsend. The fabric on the stools is Schumacher. Wallpaper is Brunschwig&Fils, and the curtains are done in fabric by Kravet. There are so many other pretty details in this room but those were some of the highlights. The room was so bright and fresh. I loved it and you would have too.

My other favorite room was the library designed by William Grey-Bellis Interiors. Unfortunately I don't have any photos or media pieces of this room, but let me tell you...it was STUNNING. He does have a photo of the space that you can view on his blog, but the photo really doesn't do the room justice. I REALLY wish I could have taken a photo or two. The fabrics were all Kravet and I would like to find out what paint he used because that was really pretty (edit: the color used was Benjamin Moore Beach Glass). The details in this room were perfect.

There were lots of other great rooms...the powder room was a favorite of mine as well. The walls were stenciled and the ceiling was painted a really deep rich cranberry color - again, wish I had a photo for you.

This was my first time touring a design show house and it was a really great learning experience. Like I said before, I could have spent hours looking around and studying some of my favorite rooms. I took lots of notes and tried to take in as much as possible - there was so much to see!

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

I was supposed to be headed down to Baltimore for a girls weekend but that got cancelled, so now a friend and I are heading to Doylestown for the day tomorrow - lots of shopping and dining.

Hope you have a great weekend!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Talented Friend

My talented friend Christina is about to expand her office space. She designs invitations and does event planning. Christina opened a studio down the street from me about a year ago, and now has the opportunity to expand that space and with that comes more furniture and decor - yay!

Take a look at this before of a chair she plans to use in her new office space...


Not bad, right? Great frame, the caning is in great shape, and overall a really nice chair. It just needed a little update to that seat.

Christina worked a little magic...


Ta-da...


Isn't it great? And I'm so glad she didn't paint the chair because it's a nice stain, especially with the new fabric (I think that's Waverly but not positive).

A perfect chair for her new office!

Have you done any quick updates around your home or office recently? 

I'm working on a quick update to my daughter's room and hope to show you that soon. I've also found my jumping off point for the loft project - just hope my client is on board with it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Class # 3, Inspired

Have you ever walked away from a place and been inspired to DO? That was me tonight after class. We discussed our scale drawings and discussed who our potential client might be (I've already got that pretty much thought out). We also talked about creating a design board (EEK!) for our client (I'll get to that in a minute). But after we talked about all of that, our instructor just talked to us about design, and it was awesome. She had pulled some inspiring quotes that she liked out of a few magazines and read those to us, but then we just did a lot of question and answer and it was great - I learned so much from just listening.

Our homework for this week is: write our client profile description, draw an elevation of our window wall (which is a straight on view of the wall with window treatments and whatever else might be on that specific wall). Here is a quick photo of the one side of the window wall:








(Is this wall screaming window treatments or what??)
And then we also need to come up with a design board for the client and the loft space! My mind is spinning with ideas, so I need to get down to business with that - hopefully have that board to show you next week.

This class has been a great experience and I'm so happy I listened to myself and enrolled. Took me a while to make the decision to enroll, but I'm so glad I did.



Hope you are having a great week!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homework

I've got homework to do, yep homework. It's not difficult and I actually enjoy it, but it is time consuming and really can challenge that number crunching 30-something year old brain of mine.

Last week in class we measured out our hypothetical loft space room in groups, and for homework we have to draw it to scale. According to my drawing that I'm looking at right now (although not a perfect rectangle by any means) the room is roughly 20'x28' or so. It's a big open space with lots of windows on one wall, a main entry door, and a door to what we should consider to be the kitchen and sleeping area.

We need to consider how to furnish this space for living, entertaining, and dining. This big open space. Mmmm...this ain't no doll house...I'm thinking we're livin' large in this space...

Maybe a sectional...


Perhaps a corner chair or two...


I also love this chair - I love anything on wheels. Do you think wheels are here to stay? Or is it part of the industrial look that is so hot right now? I do hope they stick around.

Bloomingdale's

And I'm also thinking of an Expedit...


Although big space doesn't necessarily mean big furniture, does it? What are your thoughts?


Monday, September 26, 2011

Mood Board Monday is Here!

I didn't think Monday's could be this exciting!

First, a little deep thought by me. Isn't it fun to see how one person views something compared to another? That is what makes us as humans unique - we all have a different thought process and a way of looking at things. Pretty frickin' awesome if you ask me - especially when it comes to design.

Anyway, today is Mood Board Monday and I'll be linking up this post over at Pewter & Sage. The inspiration behind this Mood Board Monday challenge was wallpaper, and you've seen my thoughts on wallpaper. I'm a changed woman - I'm now a wallpaper believer (in small doses as you'll see below). Here is the wallpaper I chose to use for my mood board:

Layla Grace; Leafy scroll

I thought this paper was so pretty and feminine. I knew fairly quickly that I wanted to use this in a young girl's room. I would envision this being a tween or young teen room. I've also been wanting to use this piece of art in a room as well - it not only has the blue from my wallpaper inspiration but so many other pretty colors to draw from.

Etsy seller the wheatfield

So with my inspiration wallpaper together with this piece of art, below is my vision of a young girl's room...I chose to utilize the wallpaper as a headboard. I'd frame out the wallpaper so that it had a nice clean look.

I wanted the room to be a fun place for friends to hang out but also a room that is functional with lots of storage space and places to work/study. I envisioned a cozy window seating area with pretty pillows and cushions. The console can double as a desk or a getting ready area for hair/make-up. The large woven storage bins could sit at the end of the bed but could also move around the room as needed. Overall, I wanted the room to be colorful, pretty and sophisticated for a young girl to enjoy.

And here is my list of sources:

Wallpaper - Layla Grace
Candy pink chipper fabric - Premier Fabric at Fabric.com
Boteh-jade fabric - dwellstudio
Paisley fabric - Waverly Sun N Shade
Pink zebra fabric - Waverly Modern Essentials
Mirror - Target
Dresser - Ikea
Yellow floral knob - Anthropologie
Pink table lamp - Pier1 (no longer available online)
Console table - Dwell
Slipper chair - Pier1
Pendant lamp - Rosenberry Rooms
Bedding - Ikea
Large storage bin - Ikea
Wall sconce - Pottery Barn
Nesting tables - Belacor
Donut art - Etsy
Telephone art - Etsy
Love art - Etsy
Small storage bin - PBTeen
Clock - Z Gallerie
Large Expedit - Ikea

So take a few minutes and go over to check out all of the great mood boards getting linked up - I guarantee every single board is going to be different and spectacular (love that word - spec-tac-u-lar!)

A big, big thank you to Sarah and Cathy for hosting MBM - hoping there are many more to come!

I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the room I've created. Any items in particular strike your fancy?

Happy Monday - here's to a great week!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Tidbits

It's Friday! We've got quite a busy weekend ahead starting today with a photo session for my daughter (postponed twice already so fingers crossed that the weather cooperates today). Hopefully all goes well.

A few other tidbits for you...

First up, a local event, the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment has opened the doors to their 2011 Design Show House. The days and hours of the tours are listed on the website, but you can tour the house up until October 17th. Chestnut Hill is a cute little neighborhood in the northwest section of Philadelphia. Lucky for me, my office is a quick 10 minute drive at lunch so I plan on going up one day at lunch and will take lots of pictures. I was really excited to see that the very talented Mona Ross Berman is helping out with this project. Her way with color is amazing as evidenced recently in the beach home she designed that was featured in the September issue of House Beautiful.

Secondly, any of you coffee nuts like me out there ever stick a pillar candle or two in a glass container filled with coffee beans? Do it - it's the most amazing smell and perfect for the fall. I took a few photos but they all came out pretty bad due to the candlelight. One of these days I'll hopefully learn how to take better photos.

And in preparation for Mood Board Monday, I'm going to reveal what wallpaper of the four I chose to use as my inspiration. I chose the leafy scroll wallpaper found on Layla Grace.

Layla Grace; Leafy scroll wallpaper

I went a bit out of my comfort zone in choosing this one, but I'm glad I did and you'll have to check in on Monday to see how I chose to use the wallpaper. 

I'll also be drawing my loft space to scale at some point this weekend, and attending a soccer game on Saturday morning (my brother is the head coach of a local varsity boys soccer team so we're going to support).

What are your fun plans or projects for the weekend?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Thoughts on Wallpaper

I have to admit. I did not hop on the wallpaper train very quickly, and this is not to say that I am 100% wallpaper lover, I'm not. Why do you ask? Have you ever lived in a home that was covered in wallpaper? Old wallpaper? That paper is REALLY difficult to remove - I'm talking lots and lots of time scraping, steaming, scraping, steaming, steaming, cursing, scraping...You get the point.

But (to my hubby - stop reading here if you are reading) I would in fact use wallpaper in a space even though I said I never ever would ever again. There are way too many beautiful options out there these days. I haven't researched or looked into it too much because we don't plan on adding it to our current home any time soon, but even just using wallpaper on one wall would be really pretty. There are so many different ways to utilize wallpaper that you can really get creative. Maybe what started this whole wallpaper thinking was the inspiration behind Mood Board Monday that is quickly approaching (yay!).

This Schumacher Greek key sisal wallcovering caught my eye...this would be cool to use in the loft space I'll be working on for class.

Schumacher

Another Schumacher sisal for you in a pretty purple. Don't you just want to touch it? I want to touch it. 


At the office where I work, in which a very well-known designer in the Philadelphia area designed (future post on that to come), I believe there is grasscloth covering all of the walls (I think). I need to learn more about these textures - hopefully in a future class.

The wallpaper inspiration for Mood Board Monday is from Layla Grace. I wanted to browse more options and really was quite taken with some of their floral options. I thought I was a geometric girl, but this floral really got me.

Teal accents with this floral would be so pretty.

This one is from Graham & Brown. They have some nice price points if you are looking. I really like this one and it could add quite a bit of character to a space.


That's my take on wallpaper - I'm keeping it to small doses for the time being. 

What are your thoughts on wallpaper? I know some blog friends who have used wallpaper quite successfully and quite beautifully in their own homes. Would you (or have you) use paper in a room in your home?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Class #2 and a New Client

Class #2 is under my belt. Tonight my goal was to get to class a little early and hopefully chat with some of the other students. So I reintroduced myself to the woman next to me and we got chatting about the spaces we measured and drew to scale. I told her I had picked my dining room to measure and draw, which looked like a box. She then showed me her drawing and wow, it was bigger than my first floor, and get this...it was her laundry room! (drool, faint) She has big plans for her laundry room though and really has a good idea of how it functions, so she's on the right track with it.

Class started and we reviewed our floor plans and a few people got to share. Those who shared also told us a little bit about how the space functions, which led us into our next topic...furniture planning (fun!) The instructor showed us a space and we had to play around with the layout and what furniture we would choose for the space, and the big question - where would we put the TV? (I put my TV in a built-in shelving wall-to-wall unit. A lot of people hung them - no surprise there).

Next up, we moved into another classroom, divided into small groups, and measured out the space. Here's where it gets fun...the space that we measured will be for our project of designing a loft space in the city for a hypothetical client. Ahhh...instant dreamland. But working in the group was a great experience. Two of us wrote down measurements (that was what I did) and two did the actual measuring. It was a great collaborative effort, and also got to chat with the others as we finished up our measurements which is always fun.

Now back to that hypothetical client loft project...we can think up any type of client profile to design for so that's basically all I thought about on the drive home. Single woman in the city, family of 3, family of 5, empty nesters, young couple, bachelor pad, two girlfriends...who would you design for if you could choose? I'm leaning toward a bachelor pad and maybe even getting my hubby involved to be my "client" and I think he's game (I think). It's all in the preliminary stages but I'll be sure to keep you updated on the progress. While my client is thinking about what he would like to see in his space, I came up with a few things that I'd love to utilize...



















Source: cb2.com via Holly on Pinterest


I'm feeling lots of metals and wood and maybe a surprise color - who knows! Hypothetical is fun.

Who would be your client for a hypothetical space?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Kid Stuff

Yesterday I had a chance to talk with my friend about the various fabric choices I had given her for her daughter's bedroom. She really loved the candy pink chipper fabric.

Chipper in candy pink from Fabric.com

We both agreed that this was the best option for the room and that it could hopefully be used in the future if they were to switch up the decor a bit (I'd love to see this fabric used as a roman shade with a soft grey wall color for a teen room). As long as her daughter doesn't tire of pink, there are really a ton of ways you could go with this fabric in a girl's room.

After I wrote my post yesterday, I spent some time looking through my Domino book and discovered a chapter on children's rooms - BINGO! There are some great tips, suggestions, and inspirations shown. The first tip that I found helpful was not to be afraid of using a sophistocated color palette - choose a color you would choose for your own room and don't be afraid to kick it up a notch.

This tween room is a great example of that:



Even though the paint color in this room is soft and muted, the room still packs a punch with all of the accessories, fabric, and furniture - not to mention the chandelier.

I love this example below where they've used white walls and white bed linens, but what gives this room character is the headboard, bench, pillows, and window treatments.



Take a look at this sophisticated space...



Can I sleep in this bedroom please???  House of Turquoise gives lots of details on this space. The designer of this space used Quadrille fabric on the upholstered headboard, footboard, and throw pillow. You know I've been anti-wallpaper for some time, but boy if this wallpaper doesn't make a believer out of me. It's a Phillip Jefferies grasscloth and it's beautiful.

This room caught my eye as the area rug steals the show in this room.  The soft lavender on the walls and the white built-ins allow for the pop of the rug.



These are just a few of the children, tween, and teen rooms I've been checking out recently - aren't they fun? I'll have another post later in the week that revolves around kids rooms that I'm very excited about.

What do you think are some important features to a child's room?  What would be your Boo-yah! items and what would be your bargain items? Am I the only one that thinks about this stuff? :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Weekend

I hope you had a great weekend! It was a beautiful weekend here in PA. My family and I packed up and headed out to Clover Market yesterday to browse around. It was the perfect day for an outdoor market. There were so many talented artists. I didn't take many photos, but I did pick up a few business cards of some of my favorites - all of which have Etsy shops so I will share those with you at some point.

I also had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with Jessica from The Tiny Abode which was so much fun. She even knew a few of the artists, which she dishes about on her blog. Jessica and I talked about blogging, decor, thrifting, and lots of different local events that we hope to get to. I just can't say enough about how blogging is an excellent opportunity to connect with people who share the same interest as you - it's really great.

I also couldn't talk about the weekend without highlighting the big event...my nephew's 5th birthday party! And I also got to see one of his soccer games. The kid has skills at the age of 5, but it probably helps a lot that he has an older brother and a father who are quite skilled at the sport as well. I certainly am one proud of aunt!

Happy Monday...here's to a great week!

Choosing Fabric For Youngsters

I'm helping a friend with choosing some fabric for her daughter's room. They recently moved into a new home, and her oldest daughter is having fun decorating her new room.

She had chosen this comforter from Company Kids (which I would have put a photo here but it's one of those magnifying photos and I still haven't figured out how to copy that type of image - anyone know?).

They also have a chair rail in the room which was painted the fuschia pink color from the comforter on the bottom and white above the rail, so my friend had asked for some suggestions on fabrics she could use for curtains. This is a little tough as you don't want the print to be too busy due to the print of the comforter. I was also inclined to either repeat the fuschia in the curtain fabric or pull some of the yellow from the comforter to use for the curtain fabric, so here are a few I thought might work:


Premier Fabric-Chipper

Premier Fabric-Dotty

Premier Fabric-Miami

Premier Fabric-Tunisia

Premier Fabric-Chipper
(All Fabrics found on Fabric.com)

I really like the chipper in the candy pink - I think that would work well. What are your thoughts?

This also got me thinking about choosing fabrics for a child's room. Depending upon the age of the child, you either need to think about keeping the option age-appropriate or you want to select an option that will "grow with" the child - but which way is the best way and what age do you make that decision?    I'm sure at some age the child wants a say in the options so how do you meet in the middle as far as the taste is concerned?  (**Can you tell helping my friend really got me thinking about children's rooms??)

Those are my thoughts - I'd love to hear yours and if you have any fabric lines that you like for children's decor I'm all ears!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Roomspiration Party - Bathroom Edition

Yesterday I linked up our bathroom makeover to the Roomspiration blog hop and link party.



Homemaker On A Dime is hosting the bathroom link up portion of the party.



You can view the entire Roomspiration blog hop party schedule above. There are a ton of really great spaces being linked up, so take a minute to check a few out.

I hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My First Interior Design Class

I wanted to give you some details on my first interior design class.

Class is from 6:30-8:30 which is perfect for my schedule. To start, the instructor had us go around the room to introduce ourselves and tell everyone why we were taking the class, blah blah blah. Guess who got to go first???  Yep, you guessed it, me. "Hi, I'm Holly and I have a 1-year-old at home who keeps me very busy. I went to school for elementary education but have been in financial services for the past 10 years. I probably should have gone to design school, but that's why I'm here today. I love it and I want to learn more. Stutter, stutter, babble, laugh, babble, babble."  It wasn't that bad, but I think I got my point across. It was interesting hearing everyone's reasons for taking the class. A few women's husbands are builders or contractors, and they wanted to take design classes in order to help with the business. A few people buy and sell homes and would like some background in interior design to help with staging and re-selling. One woman is a landscape architect and said that there are a lot of parallels between landscape and interiors so she wanted to learn more (need to talk to her more). And then there were people like me who just want to learn more and see where it will take them.

So then we got to the real good stuff. We started by talking about floor plans and layouts. We looked at a few pretty massive floor plans of client homes that our instructor had worked with - these were architect sketches so then we transitioned into interior design floor plans and layouts.

Before we got into the floor plan and layout discussion, the instructor talked about the importance of listening to the client and understanding what they want and how they want the room to function.

We talked about establishing a client profile and how important that first meeting is in understanding everything  that the client wants to achieve for the room, what pieces are staying, what they would like to see, do they own/rent, budget, etc. etc.

Then we got into the floor plan and layout discussion (Part 1 since we will continue it next week)  We looked at a few floor plans and talked about why they worked or what we would do differently (fun but wish we had done more of this). And then we started looking at floor plans in detail, various symbols, measurements, etc. etc.

Our homework for this week: measure a difficult room in the house, sketch it, and draw it to scale.

What did I pick? The dining room! I wrote this post earlier this week where I had asked for suggestions on a particular area in our dining room. I figured this was the perfect room to use.

I did a rough sketch of the room (real rough!) and hoped to show it to you but I can't get the image to upload for some reason - maybe next week if I can get it to work over the weekend.

I measured the room out too but I haven't done any scale drawings yet. I'll probably do that over the weekend.

But there you have it, a quick recap of class.

What are your favorite tips when working with new clients? Do you do a rough sketch of the current lay-out when you are seeing a space for the first time? I'm so curious about different people's experiences and routines with your own clients.  Do tell...!

(**My apologies for an all text post - no pictures = no fun but I hope you enjoyed the recap)

Friday Tidbits

Hooray it's Friday!!!

Hooray bunting by Etsy seller nice

I'm really ready for the weekend. My daughter was sick earlier this week and I've had an annoying dental issue the past couple days, so I just need some weekend time to do some of this...



We're supposed to have a beautiful fall weekend here in PA. High 60's/70's - perfect. With the cooler weather approaching, I also remembered that I would like to pick up a new blanket to have in the car for outdoor events. I had a blanket from Lands End in mind for some time now but it looks like it's no longer available, but I did come across this blanket which looks equally cozy and comes in variety of colors.



I also came across this image on Pinterest of the Design Sponge book review in Better Homes and Gardens, and it made me think of my dilemma wall in the dining room.



These shelves are a little too busy for my preference, but the space appears to be similar to ours. I could do some of the shelves at the top and a cabinet. Still undecided, but thank you so much for all of your suggestions and feedback - I really appreciate it. You all have so many great ideas.

Here's to a wonderful weekend for all of you. I'll be headed out to Clover Market on Sunday and hope to report back with some good finds.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Plans For Sunday

I'm very excited to be checking out Clover Market on Sunday.


The market is at 12 E. Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore from 10am-4pm, very close to the train station and Suburban Square. Here is the Clover Market blog if you want to check out various vendors.

For any locals, have you been to Clover Market before? I'd love to hear about it. 

I'll be sure to let you know what I find in my travels.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My New Favorite Book

The Domino book. I know what you're saying..."old news Holly!"
But it's really great and it's on my nightstand because I try to read a little bit each night.
Do you have the book? What do you think?


I went ahead and bought it on my own because I couldn't wait for Christmas, but if you don't feel like shelling out money for it now - put it on your holiday list! You will enjoy it - AND it's the perfect piece to use for styling a bookshelf or side table because it's so darn pretty.


And, the big news...class was awesome!! I learned a ton in a short amount of time, and I have homework that I'm really excited about. I'm still registering all of the information, so I'll save more of the details for a separate post. But one thing I will be doing this weekend is purchasing a big girl tape measure because the one that we have just isn't cutting it anymore and the instructor talked about taking measurements confidently when you're in a client home which I thought was a great tip.

AND one more thing...our final project for this class is putting together a design board, which reminded me I need to put the finishing touches on one that I'm working on for Mood Board Monday. Remember to finish up your wallpaper inspired design boards and join in the Mood Board Monday party hosted by Sarah from Pewter & Sage  and Cathy from Room RX which will be back in session Monday, September 26th. I'm really excited to see what everyone has come up with!

 I haven't embraced wallpaper in our home since we had to strip our entire house of it three years ago, but I'm slowly warming up to it and I think I found a creative way to use it in my design board. Have you embraced wallpaper in your home?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to School Night

Tonight is the big night - back to school. It's my first night of interior design classes and I'm SO excited! I'm excited and also a little nervous/anxious, but mostly excited. I'm also curious how big the class will be, how many other students there will be, and what the instructor is going to be like. I've got all of the thoughts and feelings I used to have back in my high school and college days going into a semester - wondering what is ahead.

Maybe that is what has me a little anxious too...what is ahead. I have no doubt I will learn a lot in these classes. I think I'm actually a little over excited and hoping to jam so much information into my 30-something year old brain. But I know I just need to take it one class at a time.

This first set of classes is Fundamentals of Design and Layout. I've decided to write down two concepts at the start of each class session that I want to learn more about. Here is what I've got for this class:

The first is choosing a layout appropriate for a space.

Via House Beautiful

Via Fresh Home

And second is maximizing small spaces and making the most of larger spaces.

Source: houzz.com via Holly on Pinterest




I'm obsessed with this last image...the fireplace, the windows, those minty green chairs. I love it.

I'm eager to get started and you know I'll be reporting back to you with the details.

Any advice for this newbie?

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Dilemma and Opinions Please

Do you have a space or an area in your home that you know is not living up to its full potential? Or a space that has been empty that you're just not sure what do with or what route to take with the space?

That space for me is this wall in our dining room. I'll show you two angles. The first photo is taken straight on from the dining table.


This second photo is taken at an angle and you can see how this space is connected with the kitchen.


I want the space to be functional, but I'm also stuck as I'm not sure how to maximize this wall's potential. I think I'd like a small buffet or storage cabinet and maybe some open shelves for storage and display purposes. I had thought about revamping a secretary cabinet, but a piece as big as that makes me nervous with a toddler roaming around the house now.

Apartment Therapy did a nice round-up of floating shelf options here. Of the options they show, I like the Container Store profile espresso shelves and the West Elm lacquer shelves.

Here are a few other shelf inspiration photos:



I like that the shelves could serve as a place to display some artwork or special pieces where little hands can't grab hold of them. We are also in desperate need of some book storage, so the shelves would need to be sturdy enough to hold some of our books. I love this image below and that just bringing up a chair and a laptop turns the space into an instant office.



I'd love to hear your opinions on my space dilemma, and I'd also love to hear about any shelf or DIY shelf options that you would recommend.

Do you have any small spaces that you've been debating what to do with for some time?