Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Switching Gears in the Master

If you recall from a few weeks ago, I had been playing around with fabrics and textures for our bedroom. As many of you may know, an initial plan is not always the final plan, and that really goes for anything. There may be a few changes or a lot of changes to an initial design plan before producing the final result.

We already have the coverlet that I absolutely love, which is Dwell Studio from Target (I believe in my last post I had said it was no longer available but I did see it in our local Target not that long ago). The navy and white pillow cover is from West Elm. I won the sweet bird dish through Marianne over the holidays. And I was thinking about using the Boteh fabric for additional pillows or draperies.

Well, if you haven't guessed already, I've switched gears. And if you follow me on Twitter you may have already seen this quick Instagram update that I posted.

I love the vintage look that this Instagram filter gives to the photo.

We now have new pillows and one existing pillow that I switched out of another room. **Always shop around your home when working on a project - you might just have something you thought was old news that can bring new life to another room.

I'll have more on this for you tomorrow.

Have a good day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Thinking About...

A new sofa.

Our current sofa is about 6 years old. I had gotten it when I was moving from Philadelphia back to the burbs. We're ready to shake it up a bit, and by shake it up I mean get rid of it. Do you have that one piece of furniture that you're just itching to get rid of? I have two - one is our couch and the other is our TV stand. But one thing at a time, right?

I'd really love to get a white slip-covered couch (am I crazy?). This sofa below is tan but I like the shape and I like the idea of two cushions instead of three. This one is actually a sofa sleeper from Room & Board.

Although a white slip-covered sofa might seem impractical especially with having children, there is a lot of flexibility with a white couch as far as decorating. The slip cover portion frightens me a little bit. Is it going to come off easily and slip back on easily? Is it going to wash well?

At the lower end of the budget spectrum is the Stockholm model from IKEA. It's definitely affordable. I just struggle with it not really being an investment piece as it may only last 4 or 5 years, but I like the look of it.

And then I knew Pottery Barn would have a slip cover option or two. The only one that I really liked was the Carlisle, but I like the look of the English roll arm on this one.

If you have a white sofa, I'd love to hear any and all feedback you have on it. And if you have slip covered furniture I'd also be interested and greatly appreciative of any feedback you have on that as well. We're not in a rush to get this, but it's something I would like to get this year at some point.

Hope you have a great weekend! We had an excellent dinner out with my brother and his wife at a restaurant called Elements Cafe in Haddon Heights, NJ. I would highly recommend to anyone in that area.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday/Saturday (Fill in the blank)

I'm a little late to the game with this post which should have been yesterday but I was having major problems with Blogger. Anyone else having problems? I ended up just starting an entirely new post and things seemed to be okay.

~ I'm looking for a new word to replace Tidbits for my Friday posts. I'm thinking Friday Files, TGIFiles, Friday Clips, anyone have any other ideas? Leave your idea in the comments if you have something to share that might work.

~ One of my goals for 2012 was to improve on my photography and editing. I went back into a few of my folders and pulled some of my favorite images to share with you. I may have shared one of these with you in the past, but now they should be much better after some editing.

Peppers and onions from the grill anyone? Yum. And how about the colors? 

This table of items pretty much sums up how things go around here. If you can see in the background there's The Very Hungry Caterpillar (a current favorite), some magazines, the laptop, some doilies my Mom gave me that are now stashed away since I can't figure out what to do with them, and a nice cup of coffee.

I can't wait for fresh gladiolas. This was taken at Whole Foods this past summer. 

 This is from Whole Foods too. I loved all of the texture. And how cute are those burlap bags? I hope they are back again this year.

All photos above courtesy of Holly/West Pear Avenue

~ You have to see this before and after that Lori posted yesterday. She did a drapery install recently for a client. A beautiful room with lots of natural light from those windows, but those windows needed some love. Here is the before:

Photo courtesy of Lori May Interiors
How about that fig tree? That definitely brings the eye up that's for sure. But take a look at the after and what a difference draperies make:

Photo courtesy of Lori May Interiors
 The new draperies provide softness and warmth to this living room. What a difference!

~ Abby also revealed a project she had been working on for her living room. She wanted something for the area above her piano. A statement piece if you will. Check it out...

 Photo courtesy of A Delightful Design

Abby made the mirror herself out of wood shims and some Martha Stewart metallic paint. And see how beautiful it looks above her piano.

 Photo courtesy of A Delightful Design

 ~ And I've officially designated Pam the patron saint of patience. Check out what she did to her dining room ceiling...

Photo courtesy of Simple Details

Pam applied nailhead trim to her dining room ceiling to make a geometric pattern. What a statement!

I hope you have a great weekend. We are off to visit my brother and his family today and for a night out on the town with them. Very excited! (Another Blogger note: why did the size of the font change but in the post the font size is normal?) Have a good one!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Comfy Living Room

I'm working with a friend right now on her living room. This is the room that her and her husband (and their cute dog) spend most of their time in when they're lounging around the house. They also use this room primarily for entertaining as well, so seating was important to them. I really want to see more of their fun personalities come out in this room at the end of the day.

Their biggest challenge with this space is the layout. This photo above is only about three quarters of the room, but as you can see the room is fairly long but a bit on the narrow side. But the good thing is, they are ditching pretty much everything in the room. Buh-bye big brown sectional! :)

The key here is comfort. They still wanted the space to be comfortable, so furniture selection is important. And with any type of big furniture purchase, you want to get some mileage out of the furniture. I also thought it was important to use pieces that could move around the space as needed.

The inspiration behind the board was a calm, serene feeling using colors inspired by the beach. I proposed a few different layouts for the room as well. I also think the addition of draperies, pillows, and fun artwork will lighten up and soften the space a lot. The furniture shopping will be begin soon, and I'll be sure to keep you posted on the progress.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pattern Play

The inspiration for this week's pattern play came from the striped fabric I had been thinking about for the multi-functional family room I had written about the other day. When I think about fabrics for a family room or a common area, I think the fabrics should be classic, colorful, and durable.

The striped fabric sets the stage for plenty of options for a color palette for this family room. I knew that I really wanted to try to pull out that pretty steel blue color as well as the red.

The floral fabric that brings out the blue, sage green, and golden tones would be ideal for a roman shade or valance, and the red geometric would be fun for pillows or a large memo board.

I think the mix of patterns on the right is even more of a traditional look. The classic paisley print almost looks like it was meant to match the stripe perfectly, and I love the textured zig zag fabric.

Which of these options would you like in a family room? Would you have used different colors or patterns with the striped fabric? I love finding out how people pair things differently.

This is the third week I've been doing this Pattern Play series and I must say, ever since I started it I feel like the weeks have really been flying by. Before I know, it's time to put together another fabric scheme. Pretty crazy but fun! Have a good one.

Fabric sources: floral, geometric, stripe, textured zig zag, paisley

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thinking About...

Double duty work spaces, specifically for children and families.

My sister-in-law is going to be redoing their playroom to double as a play area and a work area for their two boys.  This room is also adjacent to the family room where they just got a new TV, so I've been thinking about how they can make it functional for the boys but also a space that they can all use and enjoy.

Creating work areas with ample cabinetry, storage, and proper lighting...

Source: houzz.com via Holly on Pinterest

Comfortable seating for family plus guests...

Source: 79ideas.org via Holly on Pinterest

Maybe some built-ins or open shelving...

And of course, plenty of room to display art to personalize the space...

And perhaps a fabric like one of these to start the color story...

Both fabrics from Lewis & Sheron

I'll get to see my SIL this weekend so I'm sure we'll discuss this even just for a little while.

Do you have common areas that work double duty? What features are important to you when it comes to planning a work/play/gather area?

Friday, January 20, 2012


Morning! I hope you're ready for the weekend - I am! This week FLEW and I couldn't be happier that it's Friday. And you know what Friday means around here...lots of random tidbits.

~Have you heard of Stampa? I read about it last week in the New York Times. You can find a nice selection of digital art by various artists and they rotate in a new artist each week. Here are a few of my favorite pieces of art...

Both of these are by Bo Lundberg available through Stampa

By Sarah Singh available through Stampa

Check it out, there's a lot of great stuff.

~I'm really excited about the next PSMM blog workshop that I'll be attending tomorrow. What is PSMM you might ask? Philly Social Media Moms. It's a super talented group of women who are well, bloggers and I'm very honored to be a part of the group. I got introduced last spring/summer by Diane (thank you Diane!). There are always great tips and advice given at the workshops, and it's a great place to mingle with other bloggers. I'll be sure to give a recap next week.

~ And, I did it. I took the plunge and finally ordered some cards. And I love them.
I ordered the cards through Pamela Sherry at Pixelimpress on Etsy thanks to a great recommendation from Lori. Pam was so easy to work with and her turnaround time was very quick. The cards are even better in person too - the color is absolutely perfect and believe it or not I sort of write like the script used on the card too which is what drew me to that font.

 ~ I know some of you have been having trouble leaving comments and I'm very sorry about that, but I certainly do appreciate you taking the time to write an e-mail or just drop a quick line to let me know about the glitch. I'm hoping the problem gets resolved soon or I might just have to switch over to Wordpress (kidding but I have considered the switch). Anyway, thanks for your continued support and even if you don't comment I appreciate taking the time to read.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pattern Play

I'm "working" from home today and I have to tell you, it's pretty exciting!! I still went through the daily routine I'm just working at my dining room table instead of being in the office. And when I say "working", I mean I'm working on some projects of my own. One project in particular I'm very excited about and I can't wait to share with you in a few weeks (I hope).

Because I had way too much fun doing my pattern play post from last week, I've decided to make it a regular feature. I'm going to try to keep it fun and interesting, and certainly chime in if you have any ideas or looks that you want to see - I'm always up for new suggestions and ideas!

This week I've used a fabric from Suzanne Kasler's line with Lee Jofa that I think is absolutely beautiful, the Costes fabric in teal/pink. You may have seen this in one of the Lee Jofa ads that is running currently in shelter magazines. It certainly caught my eye!  My initial feelings were a really feminine pattern but I also knew I wanted to show it's sophisticated side as well.

There are so many great things you could do with this fabric. I did a play on sweet and sophisticated with the selections I've pulled below.

First I envisioned a young girl's room using the Costes fabric for a large upholstered bench or even a headboard. The blue graphic print fabric would be nice on roman shades or a large bolster and the pink plaid for throw pillows.

Then I wanted to play up the sophisticated side as well. This would work so well in a living room on a settee or in a large built-in bench area. I'd love to see an armchair in the tan fabric and pillows in the blue zig zag.

So what do you think of the Costes fabric? And do you prefer the sweet or the sophisticated combo? Throw some other ideas at me either in the comments or via e-mail and I'll use them here for pattern play in the future.

Hope you have a great day - just need to get over the hump and then we're headed toward the weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This Kitchen...

Have you seen this kitchen before? This kitchen has been on my mind for quite some time. It really caught my attention. And we're not planning on doing anything to our kitchen. This was just one of those images that makes an impression very quickly and doesn't. go. away. It's beautiful and so different.

I had browsed through Renovation Style at the store a few months ago, and I came across this home designed by Andrea Schumacher of O Interior Design out of Denver, Colorado. This image above is actually a little different than the photo out of Renovation Style. If I get a chance, I'll scan in the image that is in the magazine. The magazine shows a few different angles and some different styling here and there as well. (I really wanted to make this photo larger but it got all pixilated when I tried to do that)

I was really drawn to the contrast between the pretty wallpaper, the marble, and the white cabinets not to mention the island where they decided to do butcher block counters and a beautiful emerald green on the cabinetry to pick up that color in the wallpaper. And the chandeliers, oh the chandeliers. So very pretty.

Here are a few other favorite images from O Interior Design:

A beautiful spacious, neutral kitchen.

And a nice living area with one of my favorite colors included, orange. I could see a nice cocktail party taking place in this living area below.

I really love the draperies in this photo above too. Does anyone know what fabric that is? 

Have you seen that kitchen featured in Renovation Style? The entire house tour is very pretty.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Feeling...Blue & Brown

I was inspired by color for today's post. One of the things that is exciting about collaborating with others is breaking out of my own color comfort zone. I always seem to be drawn to jewel tones and bright colors, so it's a nice change when I work on something that's outside of my usual palette of preference. And I must say that I'm quite smitten with this pairing below of blue and brown...

The calming sense of blue paired with the warmth of brown makes for a pretty combination. I like that with a few tweaks this could also feel masculine as well. And by throwing in a ticking stripe or a nice plaid with the paisley fabric this could be a nice traditional look too. There are so many fun possibilities with this palette.

Sources: Bicycle print, blue lacquered box, brown lattice pillow, paisley fabric, coffee print, zig zag pillow, damask print fabric, leaf pillow, teal togo pillow.

Have you used blue and brown in your home? What is a color combo you've been admiring lately?

It's gotten January cold here so we didn't do much other than hibernate inside. We were getting spoiled by 50 and 60 degree days last week. Hope you had a great weekend! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Tidbits

I've got a few fun things for you today...

~~I won a pair of tickets to the Philadelphia Home Show through Dana at Circadee (thanks Dana!). I'm so excited and now I need to decide when I'm going to attend. I found Dana's blog this past summer and realized that we don't live very far from each other (love local connections).

Dana has picked up some really great vintage pieces and has really been on a roll with all of the projects she's been completing. Check out Dana's recent project in her Cape May bungalow that her and her boyfriend, Ryan, completed. A reclaimed wood pallet backsplash...

I love it and you must go over and see the before and after. They did a really great job.

~~Next up, a new favorite book that I haven't even gotten half way through yet but love it. It's that fourth book down from the top, Downtown Chic by Cortney and Robert Novogratz. (think I have enough reading to catch up on?)

Image courtesy of Amazon

Here is one of my favorite images from the book:

Image courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Casually elegant. I feel like they do casual really really well and always so good looking too, and probably because they have 7 kids. What I really take away about their style is their appreciation for very well made pieces and mixing those in with flea market finds and other vintage items. They also know how to gut, rehab, and make gorgeous and the book tells all about that. This book was a surprise gift from my hubby for Christmas and I'm so happy he got this one for me!

~~This past weekend I got a chance to check out a coffee shop I've always wanted to try, One Shot Coffee. A friend and I went for lunch and it was much brighter than this photo below. Both the coffee (Stumptown) and the food were awesome - highly recommend if you're ever down in Northern Liberties. Stumptown originates from Portland, Oregon (lucky you Jenn!).

And on Sunday, my hubby and I got to go to brunch at one of our favorites...


Have a great weekend! I know I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I've gotten questions recently, "why do you blog?" and "how do you know what to write?", which are common questions I'm sure many non-bloggers think about. And then it sort of came to me (today about 30 minutes ago)...I blog because I have thoughts and ideas that I'm excited about that I want to share.

I'm sure most bloggers have specific reasons that they decided to start a blog, but the common thread that bonds us all is that we are all sharing information on a topic we enjoy, whether it is for 5 people or 5,000 people, we all like to share and we're pretty good at it too!

Take for instance this pile of reading material I've been racking up...I'm sure after I've gotten through at least one of these publications that I'll have something I want to share with all of you that I'm excited about.

Do you notice anything in common with those magazines right here facing you? These are all January 2012 magazines and they share the color yellow and they are all vibrant with color and light. It's January, new year, refresh, and all that good stuff. *Oh, and the yellow marbled copybook (did anyone else use these in grade school? We had to have black marble copybooks), that copybook is my new notebook for all things blogging and design. I've jotted down ideas, sources, lots of different pieces of information that I want to have handy.

Something else I'd like to share with you is the beautiful color of these tulips I picked up at Whole Foods last weekend...they've been making me quite happy each day as they sit on our breakfast bar.

(Keeping it real here...monitor, old issue of O at Home, a small portion of a dirty bib)

And just today, I can think of at least three blogging friends who shared something with me or their readers that I found helpful or inspiring. Amazing how much is shared each day and how much we are able to learn.

What are some of your favorite ideas or inspirations that have been shared in the past few days?

**I realize that there is a lot more to blogging than just sharing ideas, but there has been a theme floating around the blogosphere lately of words, and share is the one word that came to me when reflecting on blogging. Hope you agree!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In Our Someday Home

We're not going to be in our current home forever. In fact, we've talked about listing our house this year at some point. Who knows what will happen, but in light of that, of course I've been thinking about what our next house will look like, the layout, the design, etc, etc. What any normal person would do, right?

Specifically thinking about the living area (and hoping that we'll have much more space), I've put together the start of a design board using elements that we already own from our living room. There are a lot of new elements or variations of existing items, but I think it's important to reuse items that you are really happy with, which I've done here.

Existing elements are: the rug, the two slipper chairs, and the Live In Awe art print.

Similar elements to items we already have are: the teal pillow and the mirror.

I've specified Roman Column by Sherwin Williams (SW7562) for the wall color (I'm ready for light and bright).

New elements to the room are the beautiful pillows. The pretty floral pillow in the GPJ Baker fabric can be found in Erin's shop, Plush Studio (and I'm really practicing restraint with not purchasing the pillow now). Erin did the draperies and pillows in our living room and the curtains in Sheila's room. She's great. And here are the rest of the new sources:

Grey ikat pillow cover - Etsy seller kyoozi
TV stand - West Elm
Weathered wood spheres - West Elm
Side table - Pier 1
Grey ottomans - Target
Sofa - Crate and Barrel (I'm really really itching for a new sofa - a white one to be exact)
Floor lamp - West Elm
Turquoise fabric (for draperies) - Lewis & Sheron
Metal galvanized letters - Anthropologie

If you have moved more than once, how did you transition your current furnishings into your new home? I'm trying to be realistic knowing that I'll want to change at least a few things up.

I'm sure I will change my mind many times, so I'll be sure to share any new ideas that I come across.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pattern Play

I've always wanted to play around with this Chiang Mai fabric by Schumacher, so what better way than to play around with some fabric samples, virtually of course.

The Chiang Mai shown here is in the Alabaster colorway. I love all of the jewel tones mixed with black and grey - teal, coral, gold, emerald - such pretty colors.

I've put together a high ($$$) and a high/low sample for you. I could play around with these combos forever - I'd love to play with the teals and the cranberries (so many options, so little time).

All fabrics on the left are by Schumacher. Sally in Lime and Scallop in Black are part of the collaboration with Studio Bon, all of which I'm a huge fan. They are so much fun, colorful, and bold.

If you're willing to splurge on some fabric for maybe a pillow or drapes but want to save in other areas, then the high/low option on the right would be perfect. On the right, I've added Premier's chipper in charcoal and Islander ikat in lime, both of which can be ordered through Fabric.com. I'm a big fan of the chipper fabric and would highly recommend it. It's affordable, good looking in person, and the perfect large graphic print. We actually have it on pillows in our living room which is where I first became smitten with the fabric.

So what fabrics are on your radar these days? Do you have a go-to fabric that you recommend for projects that is always a hit?

{2012 Goal: Notice my addition of graphics to my fabric board? One of my goals for 2012 is to improve my editing and enhancements of my design boards, so this was my first attempt at playing with Picnik. Do any of you use Picnik?}

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Tidbits

Our first Friday of 2012! Any of you have First Friday events in your town that you attend? There is First Friday in Philadelphia and then a few of the smaller towns near me do their variation of First Friday. Shops keep later hours welcoming their visitors. Some even offer cocktails, coffee, and light snacks. I've gone a few times in the past, but usually when the weather is warmer. It's always a lot of fun.

I've gotten a lot of great feedback from these Friday posts, so I think they're a keeper. It's a good way for me to capture any fun items, articles, or happenings that I think you will all enjoy throughout the week into one post.

~Check out these sweet cups that you can find at Gretel. I just love them. One of these would make my morning coffee a huge treat.

Thank you to Beth Keim of Lucy and Company for the tip on these pretty cups. If you haven't checked out Beth and her team's work, you are in for some big-time inspiration. I was really excited about a kitchen renovation and design that Beth and her team recently completed.

Photo courtesy of Lucy and Company

I love the seating and the baby-got-back upholstery on the chairs. The pretty fabrics and the cabinetry. Then you get to see the other side of the room...that wallpaper is begging you to stay.

Photo courtesy of Lucy and Company

Great work Beth and team. 

~I've seen the cover and I've read feedback that February's House Beautiful is a great one. And my copy arrived in the mailbox yesterday! I plan on diving right in. And just a reminder, that if you're not a subscriber to House Beautiful, treat yourself or put on a wish list. You save money being a subscriber. And it's important to support the publications you truly enjoy.

I was hunting around the House Beautiful website earlier today and wandered down to the bottom links where they usually list out all of the content. Well I started hunting around the Media Kit and found some great information that I wanted to share.

I really found their Mission Statement to be special. Have you read it before?

Influential yet honest. My favorite promises are "we will inspire, not dictate" and "we will never suggest that one style fits all". 

And if you want to know what you can expect each month, they also have listed their editorial calendar (subject to change of course).

Keep doing what you're doing Newell Turner!

~A big thank you to Dana and Cathy for their recent kind tip of the hat to me and West Pear Avenue. Dana and I started blogging around the same time and we both worked with Elizabeth on our blog redesigns as well. I was scared to death to do my first guest post on Cathy's blog but it was so much fun and a huge learning experience, and I'm so grateful to her for that invite. So now I have a few random facts about me to share:

- Around the age of 7 or 8, I was involved in competitive swimming and dance (ballet, tap, and jazz). Because I was missing some dance rehearsals for swim meets, I was given the option to use my roller skates in the recital and have sort of an introduction/emcee role in the routine. Oh how I wish I had video of that right now. The song we danced (or skated) to was "Dancing in the Streets". I can still remember a little bit of the routine too. 

- I took American Sign Language in college and for my final signed the song "I Will Remember You" by Sarah MacLachlan. I still remember some of the signing of the refrain. 

- I can curl my tongue two different ways. Apparently this is hereditary.

- My husband sometimes gets that he looks like a young Jack Nicklaus. What do you think?

That's all I have for today - I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend!