Category Archives: Home & Design

Nola’s New Bedroom

The first rooms we plan on completing are the kid’s bedrooms once we move into our new house. We want the kid’s to love our new place and be excited for the move. Nola’s expressed numerous times already how she doesn’t want to move and she will miss the house we live in now (which is so sad and sweet at the same time). So we want to make her room lovely and really special for that girl. I have already consented to allowing her bedroom to be painted pink, but it will be the softest pink, similar to a blush/rose quartz color, which is one of the 2016 pantone colors mind you! And in all honesty I’m on board with and think it will be quite nice.

Something that’s important to me when decorating Nola’s bedroom is investing in items that can grow along with her as she gets older. Her room now consists of a hodge podge of items and I’m excited to try to finally pull everything together.

Here are a couple of rooms that are inspiring me in the blush color, much different in styles, but nonetheless I like them all :

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And these are the items I’m eying to purchase for her bedroom along with a couple of items she has already.

16.04-06_Nola's Bedroom copy The items we already have and plan on using again in Nola’s new room is the Oh Joy heart light, wall dollhouse my grandpa made me when I was little (the one in the photo is one I found on etsy which is very similar however mine is a wood finish which ironically is filled with animals as well), and the two drawer dresser (discontinued from Ikea). We need to get Nola a bed but I’m still very hesitant on getting a standard height one since she rolls around like crazy when she’s sleeping. Last year on vacation she fell out of bed twice and we felt horrible. But you can’t go wrong getting a Jenny Lind bed, I feel that style is timeless. I think a faux sheepskin rug and grey knitted pouf would make her room comfy and add some great texture. I am loving the idea of getting this San Francisco print from Rifle Paper since she always talks about CA and how she was born there (cute, right?). All the art I hang has some special meaning. Don’t you just love that wooden bead chandelier (sadly this is more than I want to spend, but hopefully I can still find something that’s somewhat dramatic like this one is). I am missing textiles like bedding and pillows which I most likely will use as an avenue to add some pop of color since everything is pretty calm and serene. Once her room is complete I will be sure to do a post showing what we ended up doing. I typically sit for awhile with rooms after we move, to just live and feel it out before making some purchases, and I know we won’t be able to buy everything right away, but like I mentioned earlier, the kid’s rooms are our top priority and can’t wait for them to be settled in.

The Modern Farmhouse

After looking at a handful of homes we decided that building would make the most sense for us at the time. Since CJ works from home we really wanted to have his office in the basement so he would be on a separate level from all the crazy that happens with the kiddos. *sidenote: you all who work remotely, high fives all around! that takes discipline and you including my husband are special people if you can do that!!  Most of the homes we looked at were OK but not our style but not horrible enough to really feel ok tearing out the kitchen. The last thing I wanted was for our first place we owned to be a place that really didn’t fit our style. They already dug the basement and poured the walls and starting to frame next week!

I wanted to share the style and inspiration for our home. I really loved the modern farmhouse. I appreciate the clean and simple look. I should mention our house is much much smaller than the following homes and doesn’t look like any of these photos, but I loved using them as inspiration.

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I thought it would be fun do some house posts and document the process. Most of you know my background is in architecture so I love this stuff, but it also makes me a little nervous to talk about it on here because I have friends who are freak’n all-stars in architecture and interior design and so I feel I’m putting myself out there a bit.This is my home so it’s pretty personal. But I also talk about being a mom and traveling and I’m not experts on those items either so I figure why not.

Merry Christmas!!

Hey Guys!  Hope you had a blessed and very Merry Christmas this year!  We had such a great one and enjoyed our low key time together.  It’s been great to have this holiday time to give Nola some focused attention before baby #2 gets here.

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m a huge fan of Christmas cards!  I love getting them in the mail and seeing how everybody’s been up to.  As much as I love getting Christmas Cards I also love figuring out what our cards are going to be each year.  Drinking hot chocolate (other years it probably would be spiked apple cider) with a Christmas movie on in the background and addressing our cards to me is almost therapeutic!  Here’s our cards from this year:

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It seems so weird that Christmas has come and gone.  You plan so many activities and there’s so much hype leading up to the holiday that once it’s over it’s kind of sad.  This Christmas has been the first one, in I don’t know how long…years and years, where we were able to celebrate Christmas at our own place in the morning, later in the afternoon go to a family Christmas event AND THEN go back home just our little family.  We are really enjoying this living closer to family thing!  But we still hate the winter weather though, don’t think that will ever change. :)

I don’t go too overboard with Christmas decorations because frankly I don’t like all the work it takes to take everything down, but we made sure to have pops of Christmas charm throughout our place.  Here are a few photos if you care to see:

DSC_0004_2 i have learned that my list of advent activities was much too ambitious!  next year i am scaling it back so it doesn’t seem so busy and stressful trying to do everything!  we  sure didn’t get to everything, but we tried.  i have to say, our most favorite activity was giving cookies to our neighbors, nola loved it! DSC_0005 DSC_0016 we don’t have a fireplace :( so i hung up removable contact paper and drew one!  don’t worry nola bear santa’s coming to town!! DSC_0017 and last but not least our very low-key christmas tree 

And just for fun here’s a post on how we decorated for Christmas last year!

Painting Laminate Furniture

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I mentioned last week I finally was able to finish up a few projects I wanted to do around the house.  I think it’s hard when you move because you want things to look nice and homey right away, but for me it always takes awhile.  I like to live in the space to see how I want the rooms to function and take my time to visualize how I want to decorate.  It also really is a balancing act deciding how much time and money you want to put into a temporary rental.  But for me, I want us to feel like no matter where we are living it feels like home.  A place that feels warm, comfortable and tells a little bit of our story.

I was fortunate enough to snag this dresser from my Grandpa and sadly I don’t have a before photo, but it was an old laminate dresser.  It wasn’t looking so great, not the biggest fan of laminate of course and there was a water stain on the top.  But the lines and the construction were great and so I saw the potential!

Before doing any DIY I do a lot of research before I dive in.  What do I need to get, best practices, etc.  But since I did all that work I want to make it easy for all of you and tell you what I think is the best strategy on painting over laminate.  Back in the day when I wanted to paint furniture I would embarrassingly admit I would go to home depot and pick the cheapest paint and go at it.  But please, if you have a piece that you want to last a long time and frankly if you are putting the time and effort into a project it’s worth your while to do the steps correctly and getting the right materials, even if they cost more.

To make it simple here are the steps you should take:

1.  Make sure the piece of furniture is cleaned thoroughly

2.  Take the time to tape.  Of course if you are doing the entire piece this step is unnecessary, but I was only doing a portion of the dresser so it needed to be done.

3.  Paint a layer of primer onto the laminate.  I really only advise using the shellac base primer Zinsser (this primer is specifically for laminate and does not require you to sand beforehand, which most primers are not equipped to do).

4.  After the paint is dried completely sand it with a very light sandpaper, I used 250 grit.

5.  Once again wipe down the piece of furniture and then you can move on towards painting the piece to your desired color.

6.  Again after much research I strongly suggest using Sherwin Williams ProClassic with a Mohair Roller.  As the paint relaxes it spreads smoothly giving you a great finish and the durability is fantastic.  

7.  This is a very important word of advice, make sure to do lighter coats with multiple coats vs. fewer thicker coats.  Always make sure you have adequate time in between coats.

So that’s my advice on giving your piece of furniture a long lasting uplift that will not only looking great, but last!!

Having a background in architecture I have a ton of friends who are top-notch designers so showing you our living room makes me a little weary.  Once I have my own home I plan on doing things little more professional and permanent, but for now I like how things are coming together!  The color of the living room is not great in my books and would love if it was a bright white, but I have no ambition to change it right now.  And for the record most of the time there’s books and toys scattered throughout, it’s never that put together :).

If you have an itch to do some DIY’s in your home I recommend the following blogs for inspiration:  The Little Green Notebook, Vintage Revivals and Emily Henderson.  Of course there are 100’s of design blogs out there, but these are the ones I always check out regularly.  These people have gained my respect and I think they know what they are doing.  Some are self taught, others have trained backgrounds.

Here’s photo’s of the piece of furniture and our Living Room: DSC_0037 DSC_0036 copy DSC_0031 DSC_0038 nola wanted to get into one of the photos too :)

Decorating a Rental

Since CJ and I are infamous for moving regularly we have never purchased a place of our own.  It just didn’t make sense since we haven’t made that ‘let’s settle for 10 years commitment’ and didn’t want to be stuck with a home we couldn’t sell later.  We would have loved to have purchased a place in Burlingame, where we had lived previously, but just to give you an idea of what we were dealing with: houses are typically on the market on an average of 7 days, people pay cash and over the asking price and you could easily get a 1.2 million dollar home for a 2 bedroom/1bath (1,000 sqft) home that is in dire need of a remodel.  Anything nice or with more comfortable square footage would be considerably more.  We just couldn’t swing that yet.

Now that we are in another rental the dilemma we always face is that each space has different furniture needs.  We are ready to start investing in really good furniture, but I hate spending money in temporary pieces of furniture for this place where it’s not long-term and may not work for the place we eventually buy.  Most of you know this, but my background is in architecture and I love design.  In fact I may or may not have most of my future home planned out in my head.  Just to mention a few important features that our future home needs to have:  floor to ceiling built-in shelving for a library with a rolling ladder (beauty and the beast style), white kitchen with carrara marble countertops (though I know marble is porous and can scratch easily so do I go with granite???) grey velvet drapes that puddle on the floors…see I told you this house has been deliberated in my head for some time now.

In the mean time and while I wait to get that dream house of mine, my strategy has been using most of the furniture we already have with the best of my ability and look for used pieces.  I’m not really the best at snagging deals from craigslist and consignment stores because we don’t have a large vehicle to transport the pieces and I probably don’t take the time to regularly look, which I think is a huge trick on finding good deals.  But I love making any place we live our home and excited to see what I can do with our new place now.  I’ll share some photos of a couple of rooms once they are completed!

In the mean time I’m looking into my favorite artists and designers for prints I can add to our walls.  I wanted to share some of my favorites with you and I would love to hear some of yours as well!

animal-alphabet-chart-illustrated-art-print-01_1_1 The artist Anne Bond from Rifle Paper Co is my idol.  I love everything she does and would get them all if I could!  This print would look so great in a playroom!

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I have always been a fan of this etsy shop and this print is one of my favorites!

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This quote has always been a favorite of mine and would be great in a office.  This print is by designer Anthony Burrill.

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Another etsy shop I adore.  I plan on purchasing this print with the names of the stops from the Blue Line.  CJ and I took this line to work when we lived in Chicago and lived off of Division!!