Category Archives: Accessories

Random Things I Am Liking Lately

Hi — thank you for your encouragement yesterday with the One Room Challenge.  It’s time to motivate my husband to start painting!

Here are a few random things that I am liking lately.  Remember these posts from back in the day?

One Kings Lane has so many beautiful and accessible pieces of great art these days, including Michelle Armas, Brittany Bass and Jennifer Latimer, some of my favorite artists.  Check out this sale: In Fine Form.

armas

{Bester by Michelle Armas}

This is my go-to summer t-shirt this season.  They are so soft, wash well and are the perfect length.  I used to buy Target and Old Navy tees, but found that they shrunk immediately, got stretched out after a couple hours of wear, and were so thin that they were see-through.  I have upgraded this year.  They come in a ton of colors and they are now on sale for $19.99!  If you order online, they run true-to-size (Ms fit me great).

jcew

{J. Crew Vintage Cap-Sleeve Tee}

Have you tried Blue Apron?  Each week they deliver the ingredients for three full meals to your door.  I have been loving it, especially the pre-measured portions and the minimal weekly meal planning.  Of the 9 meals that have been delivered so far, this one was the best!

blueapron

{Blue Apron Beef Ramen Noodle Soup with Choy Sum and Enoki Mushrooms}

This bathroom designed by Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love is seriously perfect.  I love that nothing is “to the trade” and all so accessible to everyone.  I seriously COVET those shower tiles.

SHMBath-Main

SHMBath-Blue-Tile

{Photo source and full post HERE}

Have you read this book?  I loved it.  I am trying to whip this stressed-out voice in my head into shape and not let the small stuff constantly derail me.

10happier

And, finally, here is my new fave Tar-jay find for under $20.  He is prominently on display in our family room.  In person, mine is a little more distressed and imperfect.  Kind of like me.  🙂

target

{Nate Berkus Tortoise Shell Box, Target}

Happy Friday!  Have a fabulous weekend.  xxoo

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Bookshelf Styling

Hi!  So, we’ve moved.  And our new house still feels like a the moving van blew up inside of it, but we are slowly making progress.  The “house tours” of the old house are on hiatus because my desktop (where the pics are) is still not set up.  The main cable router was set up in an awkward place and I am still trying to figure out where to put the computer.  So, the laptop and the iPhone camera have been getting a workout!  (Hence the iPhone pics in this post because my “big camera” uploads to the desktop — pesky logistics!)

I took the length of the baby’s nap on Saturday (about an hour and change) to luxuriate in styling the built-in bookshelves in our family room.  There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to style bookshelves, and I followed the general guidelines of one of my favorite design bloggers, Emily A. Clark, as posted about here.  Generally: 1. Start with the books, 2. Arrange vertical/tall pieces, 3. Insert a collection (I skipped this step), 4. Add texture and small accessories, and 5. Rearrange, rearrange, rearrange!

Here is the before:

before

I emptied all of the shelves and added clusters of books:

books

Then, I added the vertical/taller pieces, then some textured items and smaller accessories.  Finally, I spent the rest of the weekend tweaking and rearranging, and here is where I ended up:

after

Here is a close-up of the left side:

left

{Do you spy my beloved stack of old Domino mags?  Elle the Elf is guarding them!}

And, here is a closer look at the right side:

right

I think it really helped that all of my accessories and books were newly unpacked and hadn’t been put anywhere yet.  I was working with truly a blank slate and nothing had been “earmarked” for a specific spot in the house yet.

Also, I had to restrain myself from filling all of the empty space.  I started “over-accessorizing” and it began feeling cluttered and claustrophobic to me.  I have seen spaces with chock-full bookshelves and it seems to work, but in my own house, I wanted enough breathing room to be able to see and appreciate each piece.  I wanted the arrangement to feel unforced, relaxed and clean.

These bookshelves will always be a work in progress, and that is the fun!  This weekend, I may take down the pinecone wreath and replace it with some art, and add two Christmas wreaths, like this, but probably fresh and green:

wreaths

{P.S. I really love this space, but isn’t that random floor lamp on the right side really distracting?  I wish I could photoshop it out.}

Any tips or guidelines for styling a bookshelf for me?  I’m all ears.  I love to hear strategies used by other people to style spaces, especially bookshelves!

Merry merry, y’all!

{mini} Buy This, Not That!

Anyone remember these posts?  I have been coveting this duvet from Serena & Lily for some time and just saw a great knock-off for more than $120 less….

LOVE THIS?

Image

{Catalina Duvet Cover, Serena & Lily, $230 for F/Q}

BUY THIS!

Image

{Tangled Up in Blue Duvet Cover, Land of Nod, $109 for F/Q}

P.S. Have you seen all the awesomeness at Land of Nod lately?  I love that most of it is easily translatable to adult living but at kid prices….

{Eden Table Lamp}

{Wish My Lucky Four Leaf Mirror}

{Confetti Duvet Cover and Sheet Set}

{The Vines Have it Storage}

 

‘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!

Living Room Update

Thank you all so much for all of your kind comments on yesterday’s post.   You are all so sweet.  They made my week! 

Today, I am sharing recent updates to my living room.  This is a strange room in the front of our house that doesn’t get used much, but hopefully that will change.  When we first moved in, I used it as my office, but after Clare arrived and she spent half of the day downstairs with the baby-sitter, I knew this wasn’t going to work.

{I can’t believe I found this picture!  It’s c.2006 and way pre-blog.  Do you spy the old-school blue blackberry on the right side of the desk?} 

 Since Clare came along, it’s been a “living room” filled with a random assortment of orphan items that didn’t really flow together, including that fair isle rug.  I can’t find a picture of the living room set-up, and didn’t even want to take a “before” shot!  I am hoping to turn it into more of a “Mom Cave”  and use it for reading and chatting on the phone away from the hubbub of the rest of the house.  🙂  Sounds luxurious, right? 

For my birthday in May, my husband got me the gorgeous “Blues Comes Through” print by Alice Dalton Brown pictured below (that I have been coveting for a while and blogged about in August of last year).  The old decor clashed with my beloved print.

Based on what I already have, I am going with a color palate of light blue, yellow, white and seagrass.

So far, I have updated the room with Ballard Designs’ Seagrass Rug and replaced the old pillow covers with the light blue Jute Braid Pillow Covers from Pottery Barn.     

I like how the long, rectangular rug makes the room appear bigger.  The previous rug (a 5 foot circular rug above) made the room appear much smaller. 

I replaced a red/white/green framed Georgia O’Keefe poster with this framed illustration from our family room.  And I already had these pillows from Target (which are ubiquitous in the blog world!) and the throw blanket from West Elm, which was also in the family room.

In the short term, I would like to: 1. replace the dark blue pillows on the long couch with a pair of these:

ONE new 18x18 multi color, red, turquoise, green, gold, ikat, medallion, pillow cover, throw pillow,  decorative pillow SHIPS WITHIN 24 hrs

2. Purchase a small and light coffee table, preferably thrifted, but I also like the look of this one from CB2:

and 3. Style the bookcase with some interesting and fun pieces and books. 

Longer term, I would like to replace the end tables with some that add some  height to either side of the long couch.  I would also love to add a fun chandelier or lantern and some airy, flowy curtain panels. 

I am resisting the strong urge to make this room too beachy or coastal, which would be easy to do given its colors and current elements.  However, I don’t live at the beach or in a coastal town and that decor would NOT match with the rest of the house, so I am staying away from seashells, capiz, coral, etc.!

So what do you think?  Any good ideas for me?

Next up, I will share an update on one of my New Years Design Resolutions!

hello again!

It’s been over 3 months since my last post and I have missed spark! and my readers so much.  My absence is due to a number of factors, including work and travel, but mostly because I am 15 weeks pregnant!  I have just recently emerged from the fog of fatigue and exhaustion that accompanies the first trimester.

We are thrilled, grateful and enjoying the journey.  I promise that this will not become a baby bump watch or nursery blog over the next five months, but I will share some of my thoughts and ideas on our house shuffle as we prepare to welcome the baby.

This week, I plan on sharing some of the updates that have happened around the house in the last 3 months.  First up, a quick refresh for the front porch.  I don’t think I have posted on the front porch since the front door was repainted.

I added Target outdoor pillows (in a great Imperial Trellis knock-off fabric) and inexpensive lanterns from HomeGoods ($12 each).

The final piece of the “front porch update” will be  this back-ordered doormat that I ordered on major sale (almost 50% off) from Garnet Hill:

{Another related tangent: Why is it so hard to find pretty doormats?  I usually have luck at Target, Pier 1, World Market or Homegoods, but theirs have been really fugly for the past year or so.  Any source suggestions?}

At some point, I would also like to replace the brass light fixtures with some that match the hardware on the door, like a pair of these Farmhouse Outdoor Lights from Shades of Light:

ol0026galvsteel-loc

We use the front porch a lot in the summertime, so we have been enjoying its refreshed look.

It feels really great to “be back” and my new mantra (after reading Good Enough is the New Perfect) is GOOD ENOUGH.  I am going to post as much as my time and priorities will allow!

Next up will be a post on the status of my living room update.  It’s definitely in-progress.  I am not sure that I have ever posted on my living room, so stay tuned, peeps!

The Reveal: Project Big Girl Room

Project Big Girl Room is finally complete (only 10 months later)!  My goal was to transform my 3 year old’s nursery into a “big girl room” that she can she can grow into with minor modifications along the way.  I wanted the room to have a peaceful, tranquil vibe, and an age-appropriate playfulness, while staying away from matchy-matchy themes and overly girly motifs.   

Sooo, drum roll and Ta-Dah:

 

And, I am still pondering the closet-turned-secret room for the closet on the right.

I am thrilled with the way it turned out! 

What I learned from this project:

1. I stuck to the Nate Berkus four color rule, which narrowed down my choices and made my decisions so much easier (lavender, mint green, hot pink and white).
2. I splurged on the items that made the biggest impact (bed skirt, flower pillow, books on the dresser) and saved on the smaller details (rocking chair pillow, tissue box cover, sheets for the bed).
3.  Although it took me 10 months to complete, the long process was part of what made it a success because I organically let the room come together and breathe after each change and addition.

Here is some sourcing information for the new items in the room, but if you want sources on anything not listed, leave a comment and I will gladly email you:

Duvet Cover & Shams: Paris Toile, Pottery Barn Kids (similar)
Bed Skirt: Elizabeth Tulle Bed Skirt, Pottery Barn Kids
Monogrammed Pillows: Rattle & Roll, Richmond, Virgina
Headboard: Blanc de Blanc Headboard, Target
Bedside Clock: Target (not online)
Bedside Tissue Box Cover: headtotoe2009, Etsy
Pink Bichon Print: Mod Dog in Target frame
Pink Paris Metro Print: shellsherree, Etsy in Target frame
Other 2 prints are pages from Madeline book in Target frames
Curtains: Land of Nod (similar)
Butterfly Garland: Garden on the Square, Savannah, Georgia
Pillow in Rocking Chair: diypillows, Etsy
Green Ikat Mini-Bowl on Bookcase: Anthropologie (similar)
Typography Print: The Love Shop, Etsy in Target frame
Pink Lampshades and Lucite Lamps: De-Lite Bases and Border Dots Tapered Shade, PB Teen
Horse Book Ends: Home Goods, Richmond, Virginia
Books on Dresser: Penguin Books, Anthropologie
Flower Pillow: Serena & Lily Bloom Pillow, Layla Grace