Pillow Talk

A friend of mine came to me with a question about her Master Bedroom;

She is not yet ready to completely re-do the space, but wants to do a few little things to spruce it up and make it feel more hers.

She recently ordered this awesome bedding from Kohls which is super chic.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.54.34 AMIn trying to add a little somethin something, she ordered this fabulous pillow from Etsy, which I love. I think it will really pop in the room and with the bedding.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.55.09 AMShe asked me about this other Etsy pillow in lumbar shape, and I had to be honest; it wasn’t my favorite. And she agreed.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.55.24 AMIt’s a great pillow, just not right for what she is looking to accomplish.

Since it has been my mecca for pillows, I pointed her in the direction of West Elm, as all of their pillows ship for free.

I found a few that I thought could work for her.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.57.30 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.56.26 AMJC Penny’s Jonathan Adler Happy Chic is doing a whole story right now on Aqua, so I thought she might find something there.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.06.52 AMI don’t mind mixing shades of aqua and gray, there are some nice sales.

Finally, I checked out CB2, Crate and Barrel’s more modern (and affordable) line, where I have found some awesome throws for more modern spaces.

I found some pillows that were awesome, but a little out there:

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.18.39 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.18.04 AMMy friend told me she wants a beachy-type feel, without it being “sea-shell-like”, which I totally get. To me, that means, tranquil and soothing, almost spa-like. Happy place-like.

Which is why this last pillow is my favorite. I’d put the one she bought from Etsy in the middle and have one of these on either side, making it super crisp and clean. A calm oasis for two busy parents with two busy kids.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.19.32 AMI can’t wait to see what she comes up with.


A finished basement?

Right now our house has a rather large, unfinished basement. As far as basements go, it’s kind of OK. It’s definitely not scary, nor is it a place I’d like to hang out and chill. It’s where we do laundry and we have shelves that store things like childhood mementos and old CD books and baby gear.
And I’ve always been adamantly against finishing it.
“We have plenty of room,” I’d say.
“There’s no need.”
But, today, I don’t know what came over me, but I decided that yes, I do want to finish our basement and even more, I’d like to tie that project in with our future master addition.
There are so many pluses to finishing the basement, and besides it being an expense, I no longer see a downside. Plus, our basement has plumbing hook up for a bathroom, which would add value to our home.
But more than the practical reasons that I can list, I am intoxicated by the idea of having this whole big, cool room to decorate. Because with the basement, I can really go wild. I can finally get the animal heads I’ve been dreaming of. Maybe even a hide rug.
So tonight, I started to look up ideas.
And I got lost in colors, like teal blue walls, colorful pillows and throws, a lemon yellow coffee table accented by a pouf from West Elm. Bohemian, chic, comfy and cozy. I made a little Polyvore
Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 7.36.05 PM
And, of course, now I’m obsessed. Seriously. Who wants this room?
Because it will be a few years before I can get it.
But oh,
I will get it.
And it will be fabulous.

Sparkly new things.

In the past week, I have gotten a few sparkly little, but exciting, new things.

First, this gold ball, to fill the blue vase on the landing in my entrance.

I felt like it was empty without anything in it, but it is directly opposite a mirrored table topped with a vase and sticks that I thought more sticks would be overkill. Well, actually, I thought it would be OK, but my mom said it would be overkill.

right side See?

So I decided to try out a shiny gold ball that highlights the painting above it. I’m living with it.

photo 1-9Ideally I’d like more height, but I’m not sure how to achieve it. A work in progress.

photo 2-10

Then, there was the night I got lost on ebay and found my way back home using a trail of Jonathan Adler breadcrumbs. You guys, I bought pillows. These pillows:

photo 4-3Love and Peace? I had to.

I first thought they’d be perfect for my bed.

So I got it all set up…

photo 3-7And while I thought they look awesome there, I felt like I was getting into “Along Came Polly” territory.

And so I thought of moving them onto the bench in my entrance.

And I think I’m in love.

photo 5-2Peace and love, to be precise.





This is where we live.

For some, a living room is a formal space, reserved for guests or antiques or furniture meant to look at and not to sit on. My husband’s living room growing up was a space like that; so much so, that he used to have anxiety when he’d throw parties that someone would enter the museum-like space and move a pillow or knock over a knick-knack.

Even my own parents have a more formal living room, where many of their good furniture and art pieces are displayed. While it’s not as pristine and untouchable, it isn’t a place where we would choose to hang.

But not my living room. My living room is where I like to literally live.  It is the room in which we can spend an entire weekend day in our pajamas; it is the host for most of our dance parties; it is where our friends gather with glasses of wine and board games; it is where my husband and I light fires and talk. There is nothing precious about it. But it is precious to me.

Here is a before shot from the previous owners:


This mirror that took up the entire wall was deemed hazardous during our 7 hour inspection. That’s always good. LR

And here is our after:photo 1_2

The first order of business for this room was painting. The room features incredible molding, which we wanted to feature in a subtle but elegant way. We had the walls painted in Benjamin Moore Mascarpone with the trim in Decorators White. I adore the result; the walls are so rich and creamy that my parents are currently in the process of removing their entry way wallpaper and replacing it with Mascarpone.

Our room features my comfort zone colors (gray, black and white) with pops of other favorites, like fuschia, cobalt and teal. It also has two separate seating areas, making it a great place to entertain. However, we often find ourselves sprawled out on the floor with friends picnicking on charcuterie. Or engaging in physical fitness challenges. See what I mean? We live in this room. photo 2_2

We had our couch custom made at Thomasville and it is comfortable and attractive (it has nailhead details down the arms and bottom that are hard to see from the picture). The pillows are West Elm and Cynthia Rowley and the silver velvet ottoman was a former life steal at American Signature Furniture. I am pretty sure I got it on clearance for $99.00 and I will never let it leave me.
photo 3

A focal point in our room is the first piece that we bought once our offer was accepted on this house; The giant 70’s pop poster we found on ebay is from the International Music Festival in Barcelona. Music and Barca? It had to be mine. photo 4_3

Our ottoman tray is another great West Elm find and picks up the exact emerald green in the poster above. My coffee table books are both gifts from dear friends: O’KEEFFE, from one of my English Major compatriots who is a talented and beautiful designer; Neruda: Intimacies, Poems of love from my dear love and daughter’s Godmother.
photo 5_3

This, I made. My husband had brought home purple roses and weeks ago and I loved the look of the flowers on the ottoman. But I was looking for something more permanent, so I dried them and arranged them in this square vase with woven balls from a set from home goods.photo 4_4

This seating area is a temporary solution that works relatively well until we find the perfect love seat; two white leather chairs that we have put together from, once again, home goods, coordinated together with this awesome west elm linen pillow and fuschia throw from Crate and Barrel that used to be in our old bedroom. The painted wooden chest brought some much needed earthiness to the room, when I was feeling like we were getting into a decorating territory that was too stark and maybe even formal. I found it at Nadeau and topped it with other natural elements to achieve a blend of elegance and earth. photo 1_3

Now we travel to the far corner of our room with a bunch of home goods finds, and the new home for my husbands birthday present, an XBox1. That’s all I need to say about that.

The framed artwork is how I decided to decorate the rest of the walls in this room; Because I am not in a position, now, to purchase real art, I wanted to fill our walls with things that were both meaningful and nice looking. So I went through our camera rolls from past travel, printed our photos and framed them. I am very happy with the result as they mean something. They reflect how we’ve lived. The frames above are both from favorite trips: above, a photo from the graffiti wall by the Romeo and Juliet memorial in Verona, Italy where we traveled with my family in 2007 and below, a picture of a small, beautiful alley way in Makawao, an old rodeo town in Hawaii, where my husband and I travelled in ’09. photo 2

I love these purple flowers. They tie everything together. photo 2_3

This gold piece my most recent home goods purchase, one I bought with my credit, and filled it with faux roses from a very old flower arrangement I took apart (more on that to come) and placed in a square vase that came with a beautiful bouquet from my special Mama friends when I needed a pick-me-up. photo 5

Here is our fireplace. It is a definite perk of our home, as our old house did not have one and I had always longed to be able to curl up by a fire. And now I can. And I do.

I wanted to top the fireplace, the most prominent feature of the room, and I found it with this beautiful Antique Tiled Wall Mirror from West Elm.photo 3_2

I replaced the old brass sconces with these mirrored ones, but I have a secret to tell you; they don’t work. They are simply decorative. But they work, right? The lion is my favorite color and from TJMaxxphoto 4_2

As are these silver vases. The horn is HG. photo 1_5

This silver sculptural piece is from Material Culture and the antique wheelbarrow that holds our firewood is from my paternal grandfather. It was in my dad’s childhood home and is very special to me. photo 2_4 This is that open wall again, between the Living Room and Sunroom. It is awesome for parents of young children to keep an eye on, and also for the flow of entertaining. photo 1_4

This is the aforementioned antique coffee table from a Co-Op in Lambertville. It’s legs were a light, peachy wood, so I had our painters transform them with our same Benjamin Moore black bannister paint. And I love it. But there is a story behind it; The reason that I was in Lambertville that day was for the Rago Discovery Auction, which just so happens to be today. I had my eyes on a pair of mirrored coffee tables that were a late lot, and while I was killing time antiquing, I saw this coffee table.  The auctioned pair ended up going for four times the price of the one I bought, and mine works perfectly in the space.

The white, leather Barcelona chairs were my one big win from the Rago auction. They were one of the first lots and we got them at a price lower than they had been estimated for. And I love them. photo 2_5

The beautiful bowl in the center of the table is from Home Grown that was a wedding gift. It is crystal, sitting in woven gold, with glass flowers and butterflies. It is very special. photo 3_4

Once again, we found our perfect pillows at West Elm (as they pick up the pinks and reds in our painting), and our faux fur throw was a great One Kings Lane find at a great discount.
photo 1

I’ve mentioned before that our house is sideways facing. That means that our living room window looks out at our driveway. That windowsill has two large obelisks from Material Culture that make a bold statement from both inside the room and from outside, when approaching our house. photo 4 photo 3_3 photo 5_2Finally, a framed photo of a flower we captured during our trip to Maui and these cool little elephants resting on a horn that, of course, I found at HG.

Oh. Wait. Spoke too soon. I should not have said “Finally”. So prematurely. Because I missed what my husband thinks is a most crucial piece of our room; the newest “decoration”. This was a husband thing, his one stamp on our room. My daughter doesn’t seem to mind it either.


As much as it isn’t art, it reflects our lifestyle and allows us to use our living room even more than before. It is a room to live. And in it we really, truly do.