Category Archives: Dining Room

My Design High aka Paint Color Plan

OhMyGoodness.  What a fabulous paint color consult appointment I had with Sunny Goode.  Is there such thing as a design high?  If so, I am completely buzzed.

I really soul-searched before our meeting and I asked her to help me with paint colors on the neutral yet warm side of the spectrum.  As I poured over images of my favorite rooms and spaces, I realized that I am drawn to rooms with bold color and “punch” used in the art, fabrics, and accessories, with the paint used in a supporting role.    Plus, that approach complements my ADD short attention span and tendency to constantly move and shift furniture, pieces of art, mirrors, pillows and accessories.

Sunny was wonderfully sweet, creative, funny, professional and full of amazing ideas.  I am still digesting all of our conversations and her inspiring suggestions, but here is some of our plan so far:

Entry hall, staircase and upstairs hallway: Farrow & Ball Blackened

blackened

For the family room: Farrow & Ball Borrowed Light

borrowedlight

with Farrow & Ball Mouse’s Back behind the built-ins

mousesback

For the dining room: Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breath (pretty paint, weird name!)

elephantsbreath

For the master bedroom: Benjamin Moore Fanfare

fanfare

For Clare’s room: Benjamin Moore Hint of Pink (1/2 strength)

hintofpink

For Julia’s room: Benjamin Moore Silver Satin with white stenciled polka dots

silversatin

So, what do you think?  We are going to get started upstairs, probably with Clare’s room first.  I am so excited to try a stencil in Julia’s room.  Seriously, I am on a giddy design high!

{All images can be sourced here}

Design Crush: Suellen Gregory

I love running across amazing Richmond-based interior designers.  I stumbled upon Suellen Gregory on Pinterest and was giddy to find that she is based a few miles down the road.  I really like her traditional, timeless aesthetic mixed with a few impactful and unexpected modern details.

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Isn’t she wonderfully talented?  All of the pictures are from her website — go check out her entire portfolio for some serious inspiration!

P.S. Are you on Pinterest?  Come find me there!

Random Things I am Liking Lately

Here are some random things on my “making-me-happy” radar screen lately:

Oversized Botanical Prints!  I love the idea of oversized botanical prints like these from Wisteria.  I can’t stop thinking about them.  They would be right at home in my dining room and already come framed….  Yesssssss.

Trader Joe’s (3 Minute!!) Steelcut Oatmeal!  As you can see, I hoard buy this in serious bulk.  I add a splash of milk, a dash of cinnamon and a banana…every morning and I never get tired of it! 

Image

Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and ConditionerI got a tip on this from one of my favorite bloggers (thanks, Jackie!) and can’t use anything else now.  My hair has never been softer or smoother.  You can find it at the grocery store or Target for as little as $4.99 a bottle.  A serious steal.

Organix Sulfate Free Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo 13-oz..Opens in a new window

Gascon Malbec!  This $12 bottle of yummy goodness can be found at most grocery stores — I have also seen it at Trader Joes and World Market.  I am no wine expert, but I love the hint of mocha in the background. 

Birch Box!  I just got a subscription for my birthday — I can’t  wait to get my first Birch Box.  Let me know if you want an invite!

Instagram!  Are you on Instagram?  Come find me at ada_marie!

Instagram - Fast, beautiful photo sharing for your iPhone

Did I miss anything?  What’s on your radar screen today?

‘Round Here

Happy Friday!  It’s still rainy around here, so the light is not the best, but below are a few shots around the house these days.  Seasonal decorating is such a challenge for me.  I don’t want to get too kitchy, but with a 4 year old who loves to help decorate, I want the house to remain playful and fun, especially for Halloween, which was one of my favorite holidays as a kid.  So, I tried to incorporate a lot of brown, orange and black with some kid-friendly touches.  Oh, and if you make it to the bottom, there is a little bonus sneak peek of the nursery paint….

{Corner of the mantle}

{Living room}

{Front hall console}

{Dining room}

{Corner of the family room}

{Front door.  Need Pumpkins!}

{Painted nursery.  Mentally remove the mess and insert better lighting!}

Have a happy Fall weekend!

An Open Letter to Rachel Zoe

Dear Rach:

Rachel Zoe is beand ambassador for Exude lipstick

I love your show and happen to think that you are BANANAS.  Your fashion styling is impeccable, spot-on and always uber fashion forward.  However, your interior styling needs some serious help.  I die, literally. 

 

I know you put a lot of stock in your new assistant, Jeremiah Brent, who has some interior design experience, and I agree that he is adorbs to look at, but lemme tell ya, hmm how to say this, umm well…HE SUCKS. 

I know he was under a time deadline and you and Rodge love clean, white and glam, but he HAD NO BUDGET, and this is the best he could come up with for your dining room?   

No rug, no fabric, a builder’s light fixture.  Really?  YAAAAAAAAAAWN.

May I suggest….

Which is still white and black with pops of yellow, but is way more glam, warm, and sophisticated and not THAT complicated.  Bloggers DIY floors like that everyday.  See what I mean, girlfriend?

Moving on to your living room.  Le sigh.  It has some nice features like the tufted sofa with nailhead trim, but the lamps are the wrong scale and look straight out of Homegoods.  And I happen to detest the overgrown bean bag chairs, SO. NOT. GLAM.  Are window treatments too much to ask for? 

How about this?  Which is way more sophisticated, not THAT complex, yet still simple and chic….

And finally, the library/ study.  Sweetie, this is just plain sad.  Couldn’t Jeremiah find more furniture for the room?  Shoot, head on over to Ikea.  The bookshelf styling, well, isn’t.  This room needs some oooomph, like stat. 

You need something like this where you can relax, read your fashion mags and gossip with Kate Hudson:

Clean, bright, warm, functional, simple, inviting. 

So, Rachie-poo, as cute as he is, Jeremiah ain’t cut out for interior design.  Call me.  We’ll chat and get you pointed in the right direction.  In no time, your house will be EVERYTHING.  But I can’t promise that I will get along with Joey and Rodge — they are serious divas.

xxoo, ada

P.S. I miss Brad.  Like, a lot.

{To see more pics of RZ’s digs, go to Bravo TV.
Photo credits: 1. People Magazine, 2. Casa Sugar, 3. Casa Sugar, 4.  Pinterest, 5. Casa Sugar, 6. Skye Kirby, Elle Decor , 7. Casa Sugar, 8. Here}

 

Floating Lights and Vintage Chairs

Yes, that is a swimming pool in the dining room. 
(The attorney in me is wondering about the home insurance premiums and the existence of a kid-proof fence!) 

Although this set-up could provide for some very interesting dinner parties, it’s the playful light fixture arrangement and the modern vintage chairs that caught my eye.  You could totally recreate this look on a budget using your traditional dining room table. 

For  lighting,  purchase a few affordable Ikea ceiling fixtures and throw in a couple battery-operated pretty paper lanterns, all hung at varying heights over the dining room table.   

May I suggest the Ikea Fillsta Pendant Lamp ($49.99):

FILLSTA Pendant lamp white Diameter: 31 " Cord length: 71 "  Diameter: 78 cm Cord length: 180 cm

And the Ikea Maskros Pendant Lamp ($89.99) (my almost-neighbors John and Sherry from Young House Love recently used this in their bedroom):

IKEA PS MASKROS Pendant lamp  Diameter: 32 " Cord length: 71 "  Diameter: 80 cm Cord length: 180 cm

And the ubiquitous Ikea Knappa Pendant Lamp ($34.99):

KNAPPA Pendant lamp white Diameter: 18 " Height: 14 ¼ " Cord length: 15 ' 5 "  Diameter: 46 cm Height: 36 cm Cord length: 4.7 m

And add a few of these which operate on batteries (so no electrician required):

White 16 Inch Round Paper Lanterns

And you are in business.   The floating white lights would look amazing against a saturated wall color like a peacock blue or an emerald green.  

As for the companion modern chairs, Target and West Elm are good inexpensive options.  I love my Target chairs (found here online for $79.99 for 2, but are almost always cheaper in the store):

Or West Elm has these Scoop-Back Chairs for $158 for 2:

Scoop-Back Chair

Add your traditional dining room table (which no one will even notice because of the cool lighting and unexpected chairs), and you got yourself a gorgeous dining room on the cheap!  Oh, and throw in a pool too, if you are so inclined…. 

{First image from March issue of Veranda Magazine}

J. Lo’s Gorgeous California Home

Jennifer Lopez’s house featured by Veranda is stunning.  Surprisingly so.  It has an amazingly understated glamour and elegance. 

I start with this image because it’s the entrance to the home, although it’s not my favorite part of the house.  I love the wide runner on the curved staircase and the light blue couch, but I would do away with the fluffy wheat sheaves/feathery things next to the couch and add a more impactful piece of art
at the top of the steps.

I love this serene kitchen with the beautiful soft blue cabinets, pristine marble counters and gooseneck faucets.

The unexpected light fixture is perfect.  Great table and nailhead trim on the chairs.  Oh, and I love the styling — cupcakes, yes please!

The furniture placement in the family room is brilliant.  I love the use of chaises with those gorgeous mink pillows.  I would enjoy a punch of color in this room, maybe magenta or even a brighter blue like turquoise or teal.

This dining room is perfection: the luxurious wallpaper, the tufted chairs, the glamorous crystal chandelier, the pop of red and green from the calla lilies and peonies (?), and the ethereal window panels.  Ooooh and aaaaah.

Below is my favorite image — I love the whimsy of the flamingoes, the simple art  layered on top of that amazing wallpaper and the pretty styling of the lucite console. 

Can you believe that this is J.Lo’s house?  It’s a far cry from what I would expect to see from her on MTV’s Cribs (remember that show?).  Don’t be fooled by the rocks that she’s got, she’s still, she’s still Jenny from the Block….

My Design Resolutions

Happy New Year!  The start of 2011 feels liberating.  2010 was a great year, but it feels good to leave its baggage and the holiday stress behind me and
start fresh. 

I have been making a personal plan for the upcoming year and along with that, have been introspectfully examining my design goals and aspirations. 
Here we go:

  1. Get rid of everything that I don’t love without guilt, including gifts or family hand-me-downs.  This will always be a work-in-progress for me and I have closets full of gifts and hand-me-downs that I “don’t hate” but they never leave the closets.  Time to purge.
  2. Step out of my comfort zone and do not feel constrained by traditions and expectations.  Expectations and thoughts about re-sale value often water down and paralyze my design decisions, and the status quo remains longer than it should.
  3. Eradicate the mini-blind from all windows in the entire house!  You may want to avert your eyes….YIKES.
  4. Strike the right balance of investing in high-quality pieces while mixing with affordable, low-end accessories.  My favorite style combines classics and antiques with affordable basics.  I don’t want a house full of just antiques or full of just low-end “junk”, and with Target so close by, I tend towards the latter.
  5. Finally recover these chairs that flank our sideboard in the dining room. They were hand-me-downs that came with a furnished home purchased by my mother, and I like their shape, but the fabric is HIDEOUS!
  6. Finish my 3 ongoing projects!

I am nearing completion on Project Big Girl Room.  I need to style the dresser (now that the changing table is gone — woo hoo!), order some throw pillows, finish the wall art and maybe work on the closet-turned-secret room.

Upon a mention to my husband about wanting to re-do our downstairs bathroom, the next thing I knew, he had demo’d the whole thing.  Tile floors, vanity, mirror, toilet, light fixture — the whole sha-bang.  We are working on a yellow/gray/white bathroom update.  Here’s the current state — yikes again! (also, the yellow is much prettier in person and really not neon.  I had to use a headlamp to take this picture because the light fixture was gone!)

I have also kick-started the New Year by ordering the West Elm Zigzag Rug for my front hallway that I posted about here and here.  I will also likely order a new console and some fun accessories to spruce up the entryway to our house.  I want to get rid of the yellow curtain at the end of the hallway that currenlty serves as the door to our laundry room (we had to take off the door to fit our front-load washer/dryer when we moved in).   Here’s the before:

I would also love to hear more from my readers this year!  I know you are out there because I see you on my stat counter everyday. 
Please feel free to comment, ask questions and say hi! 
I love hearing from you! :)

 

Brown and White and Zigzag All Over

Hi there.  I am emerging from my Christmas-induced panic attack that has defined the last two weeks.  We finally got the tree up yesterday, I finished my Christmas cards this morning, I have done my first round of baking, and my shopping is, well, getting there.  Whew!

As a treat for surviving the Christmas holidays, I have my eye on this “oldie but goodie” Zigzag Rug from West Elm in the ivory/espresso/flax colorway:

It’s been all over the blogosphere and back for a while now, and  I know I am late to this party, but I can’t stop thinking about how DIVINE it would look as a runner in our front hallway.  And at only $119, I can easily justify my NEED for a new runner, right?

With this rug, it’s hard to go wrong.  Want proof?  Eye candy awaits you, my friends.

{Palmer Weiss via Odi Et Amo}

Notice its pairing with the lucite trunk.  {via Four Walls and a Roof}

{via Decor Pad}

Note the lucite trunk again.  They are BFFs.  {via Decor Pad}

Do you spy the lucite cocktail table?  {via Decor Pad}

{via Jen Ramos at Made By Girl}

The rooms pictured below aren’t actually the West Elm gem (and most likely have the way more expensive Madeline Weinrib version), but the awesomeness is the same.

{By Jonathan Adler for Liz Lange via Sketch 42}

Dude, if it’s good enough for Jonthan Adler, it’s good enough for me!  {Jonathan Adler’s NYC dining room via Cococozy}

I like the vertical orientation here.  That suzani bench is bananas too.  {via Things We Heart}

{via Decor Pad}

Are you convinced? 

P.S. I couldn’t leave its BFF behind.  I could pair my zigzag rug with this cute lucite Peekaboo Console from CB2:

happy thanksgiving

my table is set, grocery shopping is done, turkey is brining, pumpkin bread is out of the oven and a houseful of family arrives tomorrow.  my theme this holiday season is simplicity — a simple table setting, a simple menu, and a simple focus on what’s important to me. 

wishing you a very happy thanksgiving filled with gratitude, family and friends. 

{Images courtesy of: 1. Country Living, 2.  Gratitude Quotation via Rachel Jensen, 3.  Country Living, 4. It’s Mary Ruffle, 5. Martha Stewart, 6. Suzie Beezie, 7. Country Living}