Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Design Collaboration Challenge: Black, White & Pink

I picked the inspiration photo for this month's design collaboration challenge, and I purposely picked a colour combo that I wouldn't normally choose, because I've had a hankering for black and white. Here's the inspiration:
I put together a comfy family room, with storage for kids' toys and a plush sofa for parents to lounge on too. I could definitely spend some time here, although I'm probably being overly optimistic about my ability to lounge with two little ones!

Here's what the other ladies came up with, based on the same photo...

{Tracie from Cleverly Inspired
This month's colors had me a bit puzzled....only because I haven't paired these colors together before. But I love the freshness and light that transformed this foyer space when I put in splashes of pink and coral against the dramatic charcoal background. It all has me wishing for spring and warm sunshine!

{Carissa from Carissa Miss}
I've been dreaming of spring, but loving the dreamy, coziness of winter. With this in mind, I wanted to create a space where I could retreat to read. The pop of color reminds me of a budding tree; color amongst bare branches.

Remember to check out our Pinterest board for more mood board inspiration!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Favorite Etsy Finds

Here's a total mash up of lovely things, brought to you by the magic of Etsy. I'll list prices in dollars but most shops ship worldwide.

Top row:
Phone Case ($20) - this shop is just full of gorgeousness (for all kinds of phones).
Upcycled Leather Ballet Flats ($85) - again, you need to check out the whole shop. 
Ceramic Vase ($34) - a thoroughly cute place for plants to come to my house and die.
Skull Print ($18+) - I imagine you're all already in love with Katie Daisy but I especially love this one because it reminds me of Pilsen (still missing Chicago).
Bottom row:
Peel & Stick Fabric Wallpaper ($40) - another shop with a lot of pretty finds in, and totally renter-friendly.
Cat Lady for Life Temporary Tattoos ($5) - admittedly I'm not a cat lady, but these are hilarious and they remind me of one of my BFFs in Chicago.
Wood & Brass Necklace ($48) - my birthday's in ten weeks. Just saying.
Porcelain Cloud ($39) - how lovely would a group of these be in a nursery? They come in gold too.

Top row:
Viking Hat ($25) - Sebastian has a similar hat and it's awesome.
Chicago Skyline Watercolor ($30) - another of my BFFs has a decal similar to this, but I love the print too.
Vase ($72)
Phone Case ($35) - I love Yellena James, and I was so excited when I found out she did phone cases too.
Bottom row:
Vatican Print ($14) - Laura Amiss' is another of my favourite Etsy shops - she has loads of colourful cityscapes.
Russian Dolls ($95) - pricey but so cute.
Necklace ($59) - I mentioned my birthday, right?
Angry Cat Print - This is my daughter, in cat form (she is fully embracing the terrible twos, and wears rabbit ears rather frequently). 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Design Collaboration Challenge: Aqua, Salmon & Mint

Sarah switched up our inspiration source this month by picking this scarf, which I would buy in a heartbeat if it wasn't sold out already!
The colour combo gave me an excuse to design a room around a sofa that I've been lusting after for a long time, and since it would be a totally self-indulgent buy (can't see J going for it, and it definitely isn't kid-friendly), I decided to go the whole hog and make myself a dream office. Again.
Mirror // Pendant (similar) // Bookcase // Desk

Here are the other ladies' stunning designs, born out of the same inspiration picture (check each of their blogs for sources)...

{Carissa from Carissa Miss}
Hi! For this month's challenge I put together a room with items you can find from ONE STORE! Designing and finishing a space doesn't have to be time consuming or expensive. Hop on over to to read more!

{Janie from Finding Fabulous}
For my first challenge I created a modern yet coastal inspired living room. The colors I used (from the inspiration photo) are turquoise, coral and gray. And the style is partly mid century modern with chic silver accessories and a natural woven rug. The overall style is coastal chic!

{Sarah from This Sarah Loves}
Since we have some of these colors in our master, I thought it would be fun to pull together a master bedroom that combines white, aqua and orange. I would use lots of white to ensure that it's a restful space, with sand colored walls bringing in a beach vibe. Stop by my blog to see my sources!

Post may contain affiliate links, from which I have yet to make a single dime. And if I did, it would only be like a dollar. And I only link to stuff I love anyway, so don't hate. ;)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Plans for our old Master Bedroom

The one room in our last loft that I did absolutely nothing with was our master bedroom. It was a potentially gorgeous room - huge windows, hardwood floors, exposed brick and tall ceilings, and it was big, too. Here are some hastily snapped photos from before we moved in...
I never took any from the other side, but you can see how it was laid out on the floor plan (it's the room top right):
We basically just plonked our furniture in there and left it. I had plans though - working with the existing wall colour and most of the furniture we already had, this is what I wanted to do in there...

We had a lovely set of Pottery Barn furniture, but I didn't like that it was so matchy-matchy. My plan was to sell the wooden side tables and replace them with two mismatched but complementary pieces instead, and I loved the idea of a bar cart on one side. I never got as far as figuring out what I wanted for the other side, but I always loved this bronze table.

We also already had the lamps and the white bedding (which I raved about here), so I was just on the hunt for drapes, pillows and a rug. I wanted it to be quite masculine, and I really wanted to bring navy in there somewhere. We also wanted to add a little work area in one corner, so that's where the desk came in.

My biggest love, though, is the painting. It's an original oil by Alice Neave (check her out here) and I adore it. I brought it back to Chicago on one of our trips home to England and never hung it, but I so wanted to get it up on the wall in there.
Of course, once we knew we were moving, I lost the motivation to finish the room, so it never happened. I am happy to say that we have the painting up in our new living room now though, which I will show you just as soon as I find my camera charger!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Eleanor's Nursery: Design Board to Real Room

I always like seeing how plans come to fruition, and Eleanor's nursery came a long way from my original design:
I started working on it while I was pregnant, and I was so excited about having a girl. I went straight for super girly - including ruffles! I was in love with the fabrics in this board, especially when I saw some of them in Emily's gorgeous nursery. I went through a couple of different variations on the theme, trying to use what we had and keep it budget friendly...
There were a couple of things that made me change direction. The first was discovering the nasty effects of formaldehyde found in crib that aren't solid wood - just like the one we had (which I didn't like anyway). We searched Craigslist for an alternative and found our Oeuf crib the night before I was due. It was grey, of course, and so all of a sudden there was grey in the mix and a more modern look too (which I loved). To tie the new crib in, I decided to slip cover the glider we already had in grey fabric left over from upholstering Sebastian's bed.
While this was happening, we moved to a condo with hardwood floors and I spotted the turquoise rug and decided to lose the pink and add in a bit of lilac instead, and it was looking more like this:
I tweaked the design one more time while I was deciding on paint colours. I honestly don't normally tweak as much as I did for the nursery, but it was over 18 months from start to finish so I kept going back to it.
It still didn't end up exactly like the design board, but it was close. I regrettably went with a more pinky paint colour (I was hoping for something just a little softer than BM Peace and Happiness and it didn't turn out exactly as I'd hoped). I also opted not to stencil the wall, and that's where the gold dots came in instead.
In the end, I love how it turned out, and so did the little lady. I haven't listed sources but there's a full list - and more photos - in the reveal post here.