Most of my projects tend to focus on decorating--furniture and fabrics--more than fixtures and finishes. Lately I've been doing a bit more work on the "shell" of spaces, and it's really fun to think about the foundational pieces! So often I am thinking about how to hide or make the best of existing features or to create a look that the client loves in spite of those things.
Here's an interesting question:
What do you do when you ARE starting from scratch but can't quite reconcile the things you love with the look you want?
I am advising on a kitchen project right now and my client wanted a modern farmhouse look (the house is in fact on a farm), but fell in love with cherry cabinetry. She worried that the cabinets would play against type (lots of urban apartments put them in in the 90s), but I believe it is all about what you DO with those cabinets.
Here's some inspiration. Hard to find, with white kitchens reining supreme for some time now!
Okay, yhe cabinets are white but the island is cherry!
My client chose cherry cabinets with a simple shaker profile. As the name suggests, farmhouse sinks are a great first step in going for that farmhouse look. Flooring, backsplash, hardware, and lighting all offer opportunities to push it farther.
Look one: Modern twist on the classics.
Subway tile gets a twist with two sizes mixed together, and classic iron bin pulls go modern with an elongated profile. A painted checkerboard floor (on the existing, beat up wood) is like classic marmoleum, but better.
Look 2: Vintage Charm
Gauged slate floor feels like an old French farmhouse, and the rippled enamel light shades add to the vibe. Hammered metal hardware and herringbone subway feel artisan, while the Windsor stools and wire chandelier are truly timeless.
Look 3: Schoolhouse Eclectic
This one goes a little schoolhouse or nautical, with milk glass pulls, penny tile back splash, and over scale caged pendants. Either floor works here, and the red stools pop against the fresh white accents.
I mentioned their art prints the other day, in my mock up of a gallery wall for my client in New Jersey, here. You know I love good affordable art prints, and I've been suggesting Minted prints more and more lately. I recommended a leafy plant print in this office/dining room, a giant heart in this little girl's room, and I love the vintage feel to the abstract we used in this bedroom. I appreciate that the prints are all available in a range of sizes, from petite to over-scale, and that they come in two weights of paper and with loads of framing options. Pricing is based on those factors, so comparing different pieces from minted is apples to apples.
So the prints are great. But did you know they also do all manner of cards?
We love getting everyone's wonderful holiday photo cards, but we never seem to get our own out on time. We did a Valentine card for several years when the girls were small, but this year I am toying with the idea of a New Year's Card.
Minted has a ton of options for photo cards, and the online interface is super easy. You can choose different shapes (like the one above), and many of the cards give you color options, like the one below.
(Can you tell that my girls just loved the beach in Florida? with temps here in MN below zero, we are all wishing we could return.)
Minted is offering 20% off New Year and holiday cards through Monday with the code HAPPY2015.
They also have a Winter Wedding event going on now, with 15% off with code WINTERWED to celebrate their new line of Save the Date cards. There are great options for photos cards as well as printed designs. They're so cute I'm trying to come up with an event that needs date-saving.
Happy Friday everyone!
**This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
After a truly delightful 2 weeks off, including a week in sunny Florida, I am getting back in the design game. I feel like I have lots to share with you!
First up, the final FINAL design for an open living/dining space in a gorgeous townhouse in Jersey City. You can see some of the initial design boards here, as well as a peek at the chandelier and entryway here.
Once we settled on the major pieces, we came back in to add the next layer, mostly addressing the walls and auxiliary furniture. I am loving the final look and can't wait to see it all complete!
And here is the floor plan:
There is an original marble fireplace splitting the space. In reality, the grey chairs sit in front of the fireplace, and the dining table is centered on that awesome leather buffet. The bar stools are at the island in the kitchen just next door.
My clients will do a stack of bright blue picture ledges with leaning artwork in Black and white--a mix of prints, originals, and family photos. I did a little mock up using prints from Minted, 20x200, and Dwell Studio.
I love that the mirror over the mantel and the eclectic mix of modern and unique pieces gives it a sort of Paris Apartment feel.
As much as I don't love milestone birthdays (oh, the pressure!) I DO love special gifts that mark a milestone. I spotted this C. Jere tree at Retro wanderlust some time ago, and what a surprise to walk, bleary eyed, into my kitchen on my birthday morning and to see it in the dining room topped with a mylar bow! My husband had been hiding it in the garage, and apparently my older daughter, accidentally in on it, has been giving him knowing and meaningful looks every time I talk about my birthday, or anything remotely related.
There are a couple of spots where this tree could ultimately land, but for now I love it right where it is: visible when I walk in the front door, when I am standing at the kitchen island, and every time I come down the stairs.
I love that this will be part of my girls home memories: remember that golden tree with the birds nest and three tiny eggs? Eleri is already promising to polish the brass leaves. All of this is just further proof that decorating can be magic.
Well, it came. My 40th birthday. I woke up, just the same. Don't feel any different. Except maybe relieved that it is no longer in front of me.
I will linger on this no longer, only to say that I decided that I wanted a couple of specific gifts, and that I would selectively treat myself to them.
One of the things that has been so great about getting all the furniture and big statement items done around here is hanging artwork. We don't "need" anything more, but I love that there are little spots here and there to fill over the years. For now, I wanted something small and colorful and not too pricey.
This is one of the last pieces for the house. I often take up the kitchen rug in the summer, but it is decidedly winter around here.
These are all vintage persian rugs from eSale rugs, which is where I got my entry rug. The top one one here is my favorite but its dimensions are not as good--it is several inches wider than the others.
3. a Serious, grown-up bag
I haul a lot of stuff around, almost all the time. And my bags are shot. The thing is, I'm not much of a handbag girl, so doing the research is a snore. But the idea is to invest in something that I cancarry all the time for the next 5 years (or more!)
I bought this for myself, and then my favorite design-loving Aunt sent it to me, too. Great minds! I read it cover to cover this weekend. It features the homes of a collection of the designers influencers, and it is totally fascinating to see how she has indeed drawn inspiration from varied sources to create her own totally distinctive style.
And then my husband surprised me with an AMAZING vintage C. Jere tree sculpture from my favorite vintage emporium, retro wanderlust. It reminds me of the delicate bronze min-statues my grandmother had when I was growing up, only, you know, 5 feet tall.
Just popping in to share some updates to my niece's room plan.
Originally, my brother and sister-in-law were feeling inspired by a page from the Land of Nod catalog. See the inspired boards we came up with, here.
Flash forward some months and they decided to hand their own mattress down to Lael, and it is a Queen, while the wicker headboard we selected only comes in a Full. After thinking it over, we agreed that an upholstered headboard would be more practical anyway. I sent over a number of tweaks, but we all agree this is the most "Lael,"