Tag Archives: Ballard Designs

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!

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Random Things I am Liking Lately

Happy Friday!  Tomorrow I am off on summer vacay, but if I get my act together, you will have a week of mini-posts next week.

Are you ready for my most recent set of randoms?

{As Rachel Zoe would say, “This is so major”; Phlox & Coral Coat, Anthropologie}

{This GORGEOUS oversized painting creates an ocean view wherever you live.  This is on my Christmas list.  If I don’t treat myself beforehand!  Blue Comes Through, Painting by Alice Dalton Brown, Acacia Catalog}

{I love these fun kids storage bins!  There are 7 different animal designs. 3 Sprout Organic Storage Bins, Amazon}

{These vintage map reproduction giclees are the brain child of the divine Suzanne Kasler for Ballard Designs.  There is something so comforting about the certainty of a map.  Suzanne Kasler World Map Giclee, Ballard Designs}

{I just bought this lovely and delicate bracelet and I absolutely love it layered with other bangles.  And the best part?  It’s only $29!  Clover Bangle, Stella & Dot}

{There are only a few hot soups good enough to make during the sizzling days of summer, and this is definitely one of them!  It’s so easy and super delicious.  Summer Corn and White Bean Soup, Cooking Light}

{This is such a great piece for the Fall, and it comes in 5 smashing colors. Ikat Print Scarf, Boden}

{I must admit that I am slightly obsessed with hiding tissue boxes.  I want one of these monogrammed tissue box covers for every room in our house.  At $14 and free shipping, why not?!  Tissue Box Cover, Pottery Barn}

Have a FABULOUS weekend!

Hot Summer Deals and Steals

There are some killer sales out there right now — it’s that time of year when back-to-school shopping is right around the corner and retailers are almost giving merchandise away to make room.

Check out what I found and these deals are so hot, you are going to need your sunscreen:

Ruddy Cheeks (up to 30% off):

I am head-over-heels for this bag.  It’s perfect all year around.  It will be mine.
(Maya Tote, Fossil, 30% off, $139.99 from $198)

Bona Fide Sunburn (up to 50% off):

This would make paying bills a lot more fun.
(Parsons Mini Desk, West Elm, 36% off, $159.99 from $249)

Look at those awesome zebras!
(Lush & Wild Tote, Anthropologie, 41% off, $39.95 from $68)

This would look fab in an entry hall.  Ok, my entry hall.
(Quatrefoil Mirror, Ballard Designs, 41% off, $159.99 from $269)

I am thinking about using these as night stands in my daughter’s big-girl room.  At less than $20 each?  Oh hells yeah.
(Lattice Top Side Table, Urban Outfitters, 47% off, $19.99 from $38)

Loving the modern design and the conservative leather detailing.  Sweet summer bag.
(Beachcomber Sophie, Kate Spade, 47% off, $145 from $275)

Third Degree Burns & Sun Poisoning (over 50% off):

How fun is this??
(Hable Cherries Percale Duvet Cover F/Q, Garnet Hill, 51% off, $84 from $170)

It’s like Burberry meets Nantucket for under $70!
(Know the Ropes Dress, Anthropologie, 53% off, $69.95 from $148)

Jonathan Adler on sale, whaaaa?  And 58.4% off?  White hot!
(Waterspout Taper Holder, Anthropologie, $19.95 from $48)

Love this cheery orange bag.  Especially that preppy tassel.
{York Street Medium, Kate Spade, 65% off, $119 from $345!)

Go forth and shop the sales!!!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter to win a $70 gift card to CSN Stores before Friday — click here!

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

You may be the best good-lookin’ bargain of them all….

{Nailhead Mirror, Ballard Designs, $99.99 (from $199.99), 50% OFF!}

 

Project Big Girl Room!

Project Big Girl Room is underway!  I am transforming my almost three year old’s nursery into her “big girl room.”  Because she is staying in the same room and I love the wall color, I am keeping a similar color scheme — lavender, mint green and white — but with a sassy Parisian flair!

I am trying to stay away from using all Pottery Barn Kids and Land of Nod, but I tell ya, it’s hard considering how easy, relatively inexpensive and available all of their items are!

So, here is my inspiration board:

{Windows: Audrey Chenille Panels in Lavender, Pottery Barn Kids; Print: World is Amazing, The Love Shop, Etsy; Paint: Benjamin Moore, Lavender Ice; Mirror: Ballard Designs (similar); Headboard: Blanc de Blanc Headboard, Target; Bedding: Pottery Barn Kids, Paris Toile (no longer available);  Side Tables: Flower Accent Table; Pillow: French Lady with Dog Burlap Pillow, NextDoortoHeaven, Etsy, Bed Skirt: Elizabeth Tulle Bed Skirt, Pottery Barn Kids, Sheeting: Katie Polka Dot Sheeting, Pottery Barn Kids.}

If you have been a long-time follower of the blog, you know that I love these monogrammed shades from Shades of Light: I was thinking about DIY’ing the shades with a more interesting monogram on an inexpensive shade from Target or Homegoods.

Here are some before pictures taken in February right before the big girl bed made its entree (excuse the little muchkin who is running around with the pillow from the crib!):

So, what do you think of Project Big Girl Room?  Stay tuned!

Reader Question: Affordable Stools

I love getting questions from Spark! readers.  I recently received this one from Julie:

I need some help with finding some great stools for my entry way. Seen any lately that aren’t $500?

I am imagining Julie using stools in her front hall like this:

{Image from DecorPad via Simplified Bee}

Or like this:

{Image from Little Green Notebook}

Although I do not know much about Julie’s entry way or her design preferences,  I decided to give her a wide range of options and keep it under $200 per stool.  Shall we?

Bargain Stools: Under $100

{Hourglass Side Table, Urban Outfitters, $78}

 

{Cindy Crawford Trellis Foot Stool, JC Penney, $99.99; and check out this post
on painting and recovering this stool by the girls over at Matters of Style}

 

{Zebra Kilim Stool, World Market, $59.99}

{Black and White Printed Stool, World Market, $79.99}

Stools That Won’t Break Your Bank: Under $200

 

{X Bench, Ballard Designs, as low as $179 depending on specs}

{Julah Ottoman, Anthropologie, $198}

{Louis Stool, Restoration Hardware, as low as $170 depending on specs}

{Charles Ghost Stool (Small) by Philippe Starke for Kartell, Unica Home, $127.50}

{Courbe Ottoman, Ballard Designs, as low as $149 depending on specs}

{Seagrass Stool, Gumps, $195}

 

{Chinese Garden Stool, Wisteria, $129, and if you didn’t see my previous post, try $49  for something similar at Target, click here to read}

{Pod Table, Urban Outfitters, $110}

It’s hard to pick a favorite, isn’t it?  Also, CB2 has some great options.  Their website was down when I was preparing this post, so definitely go check out their selection too. 

Julie, I hope that I have given you some inspiration for your entry hall.  Thanks so much for writing!

Do you have a question?  I would love to hear it!  Leave me a comment or drop me a line at needsparkblog@gmail.com.

 

 

The Big Reveal: Hallway Update!

Thanks for bearing with me for the 5+ months it took to “complete” this upstairs hallway update.  It was my New Years Prezzie-lution.  I am so thrilled with the way it has turned out!  For your reference, here is the before shot with the terrible builder-grade light fixture, an old rug and my lonely mobile:

And here is the after, TAH DAH:

Now, for a few of the details.  I love the butterfly prints that hang on either side of the console table.  Thanks to a great post by Jenny at Little Green Notebook, I found these for free while searching the New York Public Library’s digital catalog.  I printed them on my little ole HP desktop and popped them into $20 Target gallery frames.

I found these adorable foo dogs at Homegoods for $7.99 each.  Love these guys! 

The tray holding my travel guides on the console was a $10.48 red-tag Target find!

I am madly in love with this artichoke table lamp from Shades of Light.  It’s perfectly framed by the long dormer and I adore looking at it each time I go down the stairs.

To be honest, the rug selection was the hardest part of this project.  I wanted something fabulously neutral, so it would not compete with the gallery wall, colorful lamps and bright foo dogs!  After a few tries, I settled on this seagrass rug from Ballard Designs. 

I like the way the color of the seagrass almost melts into the color of the hardwood floors and the green band complements the runner on the steps, as well as the rug in the front hall and the fabric on the pelmet box in the dormer.  Don’t be alarmed, the white ball of fur on the step is Annie, the sleeping dog!

Things I Learned During the Hallway Update :

1. While I love looking at perfectly styled tables and spaces in glossy pictures, for me, a clear tabletop is a clear mind.  I tried “styling up” the console and the little dormer table with items that I loved such as little vases with greenery or little picture frames, but it just didn’t feel like me.  It felt cluttered and suffocating.  The books and foo dogs were just right, and I didn’t want anything to detract from that lovely artichoke lamp!

2. Items with lots of contrast and texture are not neutrals.  I originally bought this jute rug from Ballard Designs for the hallway. 

I loved it and mistakenly thought that it would provide a great neutral feel to the space.  When I laid it down, the contrast and texture competed too much with the rest of the space.  Which leads me to my two next lessons:

3. Rugs do not have to “steal the show.”  I am a rug person and love for the rug to be the centerpiece of every space.  Due to the runner on the steps and the colorful composition of the space, the rug had to be neutral.  But neutral does not have to mean boring — the seagrass rug is perfect!

4. If you don’t love something, don’t keep it.  I almost just kept the jute rug because it was only $79, a pain to ship it back and an additional $8.95 in shipping to return.  But, the more I lived with the rug, I realized that it was not right for the space and I didn’t love it.  It “stole the show” from the items that I DID love.  So, back to Ballard it went.   And it was the right decision.

Source Info:

Paint — Benjamin Moore, American White
Console — Chloe Console Table, Pottery Barn, $299  
Stained Glass Lamps — Sundance Catalog, circa 2003
Artichoke Lamp — Shades of Light (similar), $175
Dormer Table — Antique
Ceiling Lights — Brushed Nickel Flush Mount Ceiling Fixture, Overstock, $74.99 each
Area Rug — Seagrass Rug, Ballard Designs, $89
Stairway Runner — Custom, Carey Burke
Foo Dogs — Homegoods, $7.99 each
Gallery Frames — Target, $15 – $30 each
Mobile — Gift, similar
Tray — Target, similar, $19.48

I love that the space can grow with me.  I will be adding to the gallery walls and may search for two chairs to paint and recover for each side of the console.  I would also love change out the gold door knobs throughout the upstairs to brushed nickel lever handles. 

Soooo, what do you think?

Stay tune for my next project: conversion from nursery to big girl room!