Can You Smell Smoke?

Well now, that’s just my brain, working overtime!
Go get yourself a cuppa (or something stronger)– there are a lotta words in this post.

On Monday you saw my lovely SIL’s inspiration pins. I used those to come up with a look for her kitchen/dining area, keeping in mind words like “young,” “fresh,” “fun,” “family,” all of which come to mind when I think of her, my brother-in-law & their kiddos. I laugh like crazy every time I am with them, so I think that a sense of whimsy without fussiness (who has time for fussiness with two kids under 8?) is important in shaping their space.

Here is what I envision:

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1.  A series of the new Kallax (Expedit’s replacement) shelving units– two tall ones laid sideways along the long dining room wall and one short one on the short wall will provide TONS of storage for this busy family, without taking up too much valuable floor space. What I love about the new version is that they come in truly scrumptious colours, including a minty green similar to the colour in one of my SIL’s inspiration shots! They allow for open and closed storage, a must for my clutter-hating SIL. With some chalkboard tags to label the pretty baskets, everyone will
a) be able to put things where they belong,
b) access and take responsibility for their own stuff.
Even the kids will be able to reach– useful for putting things away (Auntie is a firm believer in “A Place for Everything and Everything in It’s Place,” as is Mummy, kiddos! 😉 ), and for helping to set the table, etc. The baskets & cubbies are big enough to store table linens, the protein powder, Tupperware, toys, cookbooks… the list is endless, really. These babies are not bestsellers for nothing.

2. A bright and cheery rug under the table will bring in the pop of bright colour my SIL would like in the otherwise neutral space (cupboards & backsplash are white, countertops dark). Choosing an indoor-outdoor rug means easy cleaning when spills happen, and it will resist fading in the strong southern sunlight that enters the room.
The coral colour ties in with some cute artwork in the nearby living space.

3. I imagine a chalkboard wall on the short wall at the foot/head of the dining table with room for personalized hanging clipboards and space for a calendar to help keep everyone organized. The top of the smaller Kallax unit there will provide space for a laptop and a task light (seriously, how GOOD are these Ranarp lights?)  for bill-paying/emailing school, a phone, baskets for keys, maybe a file  storage system for incoming mail, etc. And it will all look good while also being VERY practical. The idea is for my SIL not to feel overwhelmed by piles of stuff on the table.
(She and I both have pilers for partners. Luckily, it is their only flaw! 😉 )

4. Okay, Interwebz & family, stay with me here and TRUST ME on this one. I think the long dining room wall needs some visual interest to tie in with and balance the texture of the subway tile backsplash on the opposite side of the room. Which is where my most controversial design choice comes in.
(I can HEAR you, MJ & MB– just bear with me!)
The wallpaper shown here is
a) not removable, after all. Womp womp. BUT, it is STILL a Great Idea because it is
b) very modern and crisp, not old-ladyish or fusty at all,
c) the element that will take this space from “That looks nice, did you do it yourself?” to
“HOLY HANNAH! Your house is AMAAAAAAZING! Honey, this is what I want OUR house to look like!”
There is always one element in every space that causes a client/family member to balk. (See: trying to get men to paint wood.) When that happens, I remind said client/family member that they have asked for my help for precisely this reason: I can see what they cannot. They need to trust me. AJ & MJ, you need to trust me. It’s gonna be BANANAS! So, so, SO very good. It will be the thing that you cannot stop coming into the room to look at, to just stare at because you can’t believe how cool it looks and how you never thought it could look THAT GOOD. And (pinch you!) it’s in YOUR house!

That’s how happy it’s gonna make you.
I promise.

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5. On that long, wallpapered wall, above the Kallax units (in the gorgeous, minty green), I propose a gallery wall of all white frames. Some pieces might be permanent, some might be Real Art, some might be cute finds you pick up here and there, some (I hope) will be art made by my adorable niece and nephew.
It’ll be so great!

6. Finally, my SIL and I are going to DIY us up a series of the groovy Himmeli pendants in a few different sizes. The Pinterest is a-buzz with tutorials and we are relatively clever ladies, so I figure we can manage it. And then we will make my honey/my SIL’s big bro wire up all that Himmeli goodness. Because he loves his baby sister to the end of the world, so of course he will do it with a smile on his face. (And some swear words. It’s how he rolls.)

Alright, let me have it. What do you think?

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Inspired by…

… a vintage metal desk.
Wouldn’t these pretties make for a lovely home office?
Or office-office, for that matter?

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Vintage Lucite Letter
Pale pink, gilded bergere chair
Desk lamp (pitter-pat goes my heart! And it’s on sale.…)
Silk rug (gasp!)
Vintage metal desk

 

Snowball, Part Deux

This past weekend, I painted the dining room white. I miss the old, warm grey. I am not thrilled. I feel like I have started ANOTHER snowball situation…. Now that the walls are white, I need to get a rug. And some art. And do something about the chairs. And the table. And make a light fixture.

Then I saw this, and I think it might solve all my problems. Or make a few more….

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Rug from Lulu DK.

(You’re welcome. 🙂 )

Snowball

Have you ever renovated, updated or made over a space?

If not, I am here to let you in on a secret: a small change leads to more changes.
A big change, leads to MANY changes.
Thus it was with our new flooring upstairs. Once it was in, the whole tenor of the second floor changed so much that we began to see all the things we’d been ignoring for….um…. years. One day, M said to me, “Well, I guess you’d better find a bed.” And so, the hunt was on.

In the end, we went with the Deuce. It really is a great-looking bed, even though it requires that we get rid of the box spring (seriously, do you need a brand-new, totally bed-bug free, queen box spring? I can totally hook you up and then it wouldn’t end up in landfill…).

And then, I started thinking about how to bring it all together with a few little updates.
Snowball, anyone?

Here are some of the ideas dancing around inside my noggin at the moment:

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1. The Deuce bed by Novogratz
2. Jumpin’ on the faux taxidermy bandwagon
3. Sconces, instead of bedside lamps. These ones make my heart go pitter-pat.
4. Ordered this baby online for a deep discount. Can’t wait to see it in person!

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5. Since we need new sheets anyway, why not these?
6. Drool-worthy much?
7. As above.
8. One of these on our white duvet covers would be rather gorgeous.
(No link because I can’t remember where I found them. Womp, womp…)

Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?

Today, I thought I’d show you a couple more ways to mix and match in order to create design tension, using this groovy upholstered bench in two different colours. The bench itself is a good starting point, as it combines traditional lines with a very contemporary fabric.

In the pink-based palette, the faux-bamboo side table in an unexpected shade, plus the industrial take on a traditional table lamp combine with the au courant Ikat print bench and the antique rug to create an upbeat, harmonious look with just the right amount of tension.

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(1; 2, 3, & 4)

In the cool palette, the modern, geometric weave of the rug and the industrial-insipired wall sconce work with the curves and rustic vibe of the side table and the Ikat print on the bench.

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(1; 2, 3, & 4)