Feature Friday: Color & Pattern in House Beautiful

This room design is so well done.  That's why it is featured in House Beautiful!  All the principals and elements of design are present.  I love the eclectic combination of colors, patterns, and furnishings, as well as the mix of materials (wood, metal, ceramic/porcelain).  I love to incorporate "mismatched" tables into my room designs, and this space does exactly that!  Texture is another favorite element I like to infuse in designs, regardless of how sleek or modern a space is.  This room showcases several textural elements - natural flowering branches, wood tones, layered accessories, soft fabrics, etc.  The photographed art on the wall also brings an unexpected element to the room.  I love "quirk"!

My favorite part of the room is the cozy sitting area in the bottom photo.  I love when traditional pieces are updated to feel more modern.  In this case, the classic wingback chairs were given a more modern feel with soft yellow upholstery (plus "ikat" sides) and nailhead trim.  Overall, this room is inviting and approachable.  It is the perfect combination of casual elegance energized with color, pattern, and fun!  For more featured spaces, click here.

What to do about covering up the windows?!

A couple months after we moved in, we had all the old, single-hung windows replaced and brought to code with new, dual-paned sliding windows.  Since that expense took a good chunk out of our initial renovation budget, we simply slapped some temporary paper shades on the new windows for privacy.  The term "temporary" is used quite loosely around here!  We are long overdue on replacing the paper shades with some real window treatments.

I have been trying to figure out the best approach to covering up the windows.  You see, I am actually figuring out the window coverings for multiple rooms at once.  Three rooms in our home (office, guest bathroom, boys' bedroom) are on the front side of the house facing the street.  I would like the front bank of windows to have a consistent appearance from the exterior.  Since the guest bathroom has a small window, I plan to keep the window treatment that's in there.  Here are some options under consideration:

 Option #1: Layered Window Treatments 

This is my initial preference.  I love layered window treatments, especially the combination of natural textured roman shades with fabric drapery panels.  The issue I have is that the boys' bedroom doesn't allow for both to happen.  There is shelving on one side of the windows that are in the way - and it's staying put.  I guess I could just install natural woven shades (Option #2) or shutters (Option #4) in the boys' bedroom, and skip the drapery panels?!

 Option #2:  Natural Woven Roman Shades 

Natural-textured woven shades are a possible option, similar to what was installed in the guest bathroom.  Our windows are not standard size, so they would have to be custom-ordered.  This option would add lots of warmth and texture to each room.  The only issue is that natural woven shades don't provide complete privacy, especially during the evening.

 Option #3: Draperies 

This option would be for installing just draperies, but having them all consistently lined with the same "backside".  They would bring so much texture, softness, and pattern to each space, but I feel it may look lackluster from the front exterior.  Privacy and light filtration would also be somewhat of an issue when the window treatments are pulled open during the daytime.

 Option #4: Shutters 

Keeping appearance and functionality in mind, this is a strong contender.  However, it is also the most expensive.  Shutters are not cheap, having experienced the expense first-hand when we had them installed in our last home.  However, the investment proves worthwhile since they are a big selling feature.  They also add "architectural" interest to otherwise non-descript windows (like what we have now).  I also like the functionality of shutters since you are able to control the amount of light and privacy. (Note: Our office windows meet at a corner, so shutters would be a straight-forward way to cover them up!)

What to do?!  Feel free to e-mail me or comment below with any other suggestions for covering up our windows.  I welcome the input.

(Original sources for all images are unknown)

Fall Home Tours Around the Web

Around the web, several bloggers have welcomed us into their homes (virtually) to peek at the seasonal updates they made to reflect the fall season.  I like to keep fall decorating simple and organic, much like the homes I featured here.  Come take a look!

Thistlewood Farms

To see this fall home tour, click here.

Eclectically Vintage

To see this fall home tour, click here.

Wood Grain Cottage

See Part I of this fall home tour.

See Part II of this fall home tour.

Although we're under never-ending renovations at the moment, it didn't stop me from doing a little fall decorating around here!

Our Home

Boys' Room Update: Stripes, Dots, and Checker

Happy Monday!  Temperatures have finally cooled a bit in Southern California - like 20 degrees cooler. No more 100 degree fall weather!  Big YAY!!!  I am so ready for permanent fall weather.

Now that I got that off my mind, I'd like to share a little bit of recent progress that we've made in our boys' bedroom.  As you may or may not know, we purchased a fixer in May 2013, and have since been slowly updating the house.  One of the spaces that we renovated before we moved in was our boys' shared bedroom.  A year later, I finally started to tackle the design and decor of the space.  If we're lucky, the room should be "done" (rooms always evolve under my watch) before the kids are off to college!  Here are some pics of the new additions to the room.

Boys' Bedroom

Remember the bedding my kids approved awhile back?!

Well, here it is, laid out on the beds!  Pretty and practical.

The new bedding has a quilted texture and is quite soft.  I layered it above their existing duvet sets.  It added so much color, texture, and pattern to the room - not to mention softness, depth, and dimension.  I'm a big fan of layered bedding.  It gives you the option to peel back layers or add warmth as needed.  It also allows you to introduce texture, pattern, color, etc.  The wide colorful stripes, checkered reverse side, and rough "polka dot" patterns in the boys' bedding all blend together since there is a common blue color that ties the different linens.  I love to mix and coordinate patterns in my designs.

My handy hubby also installed adjustable task lighting above each of the boys' beds.  Both of my kids read a lot, especially in the late afternoon and before bedtime.  These wall sconces are one of the most functional items in the room.  The boys love having their own personal lamps.  The sconces add warmth and casts great light.  They have an antique bronze finish that coordinates with the finish of the ceiling fan in the room.  

Although I really wanted task lighting that would fold "flat" against the wall when not in use, the price point of this sconce was just too good to pass up...$33/each!  I had originally sourced two similar options that were quadruple the cost.  We can live with the extended swing arm!

In case you're new to the blog or missed previous posts related to the boys' bedroom, you can get caught up by clicking on the following links (starting with the most recent posts):

You can also keep up with me on:

Feature Friday: Country Chic Bedroom

Today's featured room comes straight out of the Joss & Main internet catalog!

Although I appreciate the rustic charm of this design aesthetic, I don't normally gravitate towards it. But I do love a cozy bedroom, and this room oozes warmth and coziness!  The various textures and mix of colors and patterns totally caught my attention!  I love how the colors in the area rug are picked up and dispersed in the room via the textiles, accessories, and furniture.  The "mismatched" furniture is artfully pulled together, and gives the room a collected feel.  Not one piece of furniture is identical to another, yet they all blend seamlessly together!  This bedroom is warm, charming, cozy, vibrant, and fun!

To see other great featured spaces, click here.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Found It!: Pottery Barn Radcliffe Tufted Upholstered Arm Chair

Pottery Barn $1,099

Similar option:

Although it's missing the nailhead trim detail, it is significantly less expensive at $314.00.
You can find it here.

It's been awhile since I did a Found It! post.  I still offer this service in case you happen to be on the hunt for a specific product.

Laundry Space Update

Hi everyone!  On the renovation front, our laundry space is DONE... at least from a construction standpoint.  Yay!!!  It's actually been done for a few weeks, but I seem to be a slow poke in giving updates.

Although the "shell" of the space is done, it isn't functional since we haven't purchased the actual laundry units!  Ha!  To our defense, we've been waiting on the main bathroom renovation (which is happening directly across the way) to finish before we bring in the new stackable units.

Let me recap.  We constructed a laundry space in the hallway by combining two small closets into one closet.  It is a practical location since it is on the "bedroom" side of the house (where we change and get dressed).

Floors, walls, ceiling, paint, trimwork, electrical, and plumbing are all done.  Click here to read why the plumbing was installed in its location.

The latest addition to the space was a light fixture.  We were originally supposed to have a simple recessed light, but there wasn't enough space between the joists and ceiling.  I have always loved the classic schoolhouse pendant, so this was the perfect opportunity to install one!

Still on the Laundry List:

Purchase stackable washer and dryer
Install closet door
Address storage for laundry essentials
Decorate (Oh, why not?!)

To follow along on our renovation journey:

Feature Friday: Modern Bathroom Design

Greige Designs

Would you dare to install this bathroom design in your own home?!  It is light, bright, warm, modern, daring, and unique.  If we had the space for such a large bathroom, I would definitely incorporate certain elements from this design.

The herringbone floor layout makes such a bold design statement!  They anchor the room, and provide warmth, texture, and dimension to the modern space.  The floors are actually wood tile, so it should hold up to water and moisture.  I also like how the floor-to-ceiling frameless glass shower door doesn't impede the floor design.

The subway wall tile pattern on the walls is classic and timeless.  The white pops against the grout and contrasts nicely with the floor tile.  And do you notice the shower drain?!  It was discreetly installed where the floor and wall meet, so it doesn't distract from the herringbone floor.  Genius.  Last but not least, I just love rainfall shower fixtures, much less a double set!

Have a wonderful weekend!  We're hoping our contractors wrap up the work in our main bathroom.

Home Office Comfort

After months and months of sitting on an uncomfortable wooden folding chair, I finally bought a proper desk chair.  Makes me happy... and comfortable!

A few weeks ago, I happened to be looking for a desk when I spotted this chair on clearance.  I just had to scoop it up since it was a deal at only $99!  I love the scale, detail, structure, color, and texture. It has a classic wingback design, but is updated with a fresh, contemporary color.  It is also very comfortable.  It's amazing what proper seating can do for your back, shoulders, neck, and tushy.  My productivity has also improved since I'm getting up far less now!


This chair is also versatile.  I can move it to our master bedroom, living room, or family room if/when I have the urge to rearrange furniture.  Since it's technically a dining chair, it would also make a great host chair in the dining room!

Guest Bathroom Vanity Lighting

When sourcing vanity lights for our main bathroom remodel, I kept circling back to the bath bar we used in our guest bathroom.  I really like its modern and streamlined look. So... I ended up "stealing" the vanity light from the guest bathroom, buying a second one, and had both installed in the main bathroom!

Since the change, we have been living with a dimly lit guest bathroom (the one we are currently using during the remodel).  Needless to say, I am actively on the hunt for a new vanity light fixture!

We actually purchased and installed the bathroom sconce in the image above.  I love the contemporary design.  Unfortunately, I felt the scale was just too overpowering in the space.  The width and height were fine, but the depth of the linen shade didn't work.  Back to the store it went, after my poor hubby just spent an hour installing it.  When uncertain about how something will fit, I tend to buy at retail locations with good return policies.  Light fixtures are a perfect example.

I have been looking for vanity lights online to replace the original bath bar.  I prefer something modern and simple, yet different and unexpected.  I am also gravitating towards brushed steel or nickel to keep the hardware finishes consistent in the guest bathroom.  I don't mind mixing metals when it comes to furnishing and accessorizing, but would rather not mix hardware finishes.

The light fixture will go above this vanity:

I sourced a few options.  What do you think?  Unexpected?!  I focused on sconces rather than bath bars to contrast the lighting between bathrooms.  Feel free to e-mail me or comment below with your opinions.  Or perhaps, do you have any other suggestions?  I welcome the input!

Industrial #1

Industrial #2

Alabaster Shade

Linen Shade (slim profile)

A Little Fall Decorating


Happy Tuesday!  I'm back today with a mini tour of areas in our home that I sprinkled with some seasonal love.  Over the weekend, I did a little fall decorating, something I've missed doing the past two years since we were on the move.  This year, we welcomed fall into our home despite being under construction!

This is our family room mantel.  You can't really tell in the photo, but the mantel tilts slightly forward and is an uneven length.  I have no idea why, but that's what we inherited from the previous homeowners.  I tried to camouflage its "imperfections" through the decorating.

The mantel got a playful and casual seasonal update with some fall-like accessories and Halloween decor.  It cost me nothing to put it together since I already had everything.  When enduring ongoing renovations, it's nice to carve out a "pretty space" to get you through the process.  Our family room is up next on the renovation list, so the fireplace/mantel will soon be getting a makeover.

Fall decor also found its way into other parts of our home...

Have you done some fall decorating around your house?  If you haven't, and would like to get started, my favorite tip for fall decorating is to head outdoors and collect some branches and leaves!  IT'S FREE!!!