Kitchen Sink

As I began my search for the perfect kitchen sink, there were several elements/ styles that I knew I had to have.  A while back, I was watching House Hunters and noticed that the home owner installed an apron sink (also knows as a farmhouse sink) in his kitchen.  It was instant love.

I also have a crush on commercial kitchen faucets... you know the ones that are about 20" tall, have a pull out sprayer and look like they belong in a kitchen of a top notch restaurant?

The union of a stainless steel apron sink and a commercial-style faucet is pure heaven:

*images via Pinterest and Houzz


Fashion Trend: Striped Shirt with a Sweater

With the cold weather, come the warm sweaters!

However the nautical spring trend of striped long-sleeved shirts is still not budging (not complaining!).  Instead, the two have come together for a new look: striped shirt worn under a sweater.

The key is to pull back the sleeves of the sweater to expose the fun stripes.  Also, make sure the sweater is shorter than the long-sleeve shirt, so the striped theme is peaking out everywhere.




Striped Wall

Who doesn't look a good striped wall?  It adds so much pizzazz to an otherwise ordinary room.  Here are some of excellent examples of good usage of stripes.

I decided that I want to incorporate a striped wall SOMEWHERE in my house.  Since stripes work best with bold, bright colors, I decided to paint my guest bedroom rich, brilliant blue (Behr Mosaic Blue).  I left one wall for a fun striped affect, intermixing blue and white... so nautical and pretty! 

The bottom blue section looks way too large, but that is only because once the high white baseboard is added to the wall, the blue/ white stripes will be perfectly equal.

Going along with a nautical look of the blue and white stripes, I want to add some decorative elements that play on the theme, but are not so overwhelming that you feel like you just joined the navy.  Here are some elements that would be pretty once they are strategically placed in this gorg room.


Oooh la la!


Laundry Room Reveal

The laundry room is complete!  Actually, it has been for a month or so, I have just been too busy to post it.  To refresh your memory, it started off as this (a beige room with all exposed furnace/heater/pipes/necessary-house-stuff elements):

We started off getting rid of the super un-pretty beige linoleum!  Added some pretty gray tiles and painting the walls a greige (Behr Elephant Skin).  Then purchased two horizontal soft-closing white cabinets for storage (Ikea Akurum), a pretty not-your-typical-utility-lamp (Allen + Roth from Lowe's) and bold red washer and dryer (LOVE that pop of color).  Oh, and to cover up the furnace/heater/pipes/necessary-house-stuff elements, I purchased three panel curtains in white (Ikea Anno Inez), to coordinate with the cabinets and closed off that entire section.  I think it looks fab, but I'm partial :)

UPDATE:  I also added a drying rack on the wall that can be folded down when not in use!


The Holiday Guide by Emily Henderson

Remember Emily Henderson, winner of HGTV Design Star and now a host of Secrets From a Stylist? 

If you don't, get acquainted.  Emily has some great design skills. 

If you already know Emily, here is another reason to love her: her Holiday Guide!  An online magazine filled with colorful pages of ideas, fashion and decor for this holiday season.



RIP Borders

Sadly, last week, the doors to Borders closed forever :(

But before they finally closed those doors, I found a super steal!  You know those signs above each book shelf that clearly labels each genre...

I totally snagged one (for $10!) that reads "Literature".  I can already see it displayed in my soon-to-be library loft!


Kardashian Kollection at Sears

As though we don't run into the Kardashian sisters everywhere already, now they also have a name sake collection (I mean Kollection) at Sears.  From dresses to handbags to lingerie to sunglasses to shoes.  Lots to choose from, however, very little that I actually liked.

Row 1: (1) Box Chain Necklace With Box Chain Loop Front, $16.80 (2) Cropped Fur Vest, $39.99
Row 2: (3) Tunic With Ladder Stitch Sleeves, $49.99 (4) Leather Look Panel Leggings, $39.99
Row 3: (5) Oversized Vintage Sunglasses With Gold Metal Detailing, $21.00 

Row 1: (1) Lace Button Up Shirt With Oversized Neck Bow, $66.99 (2) Metal Ring With Marbled Faceted Acrylic Stone And Rhinestone Border, $15.40
Row 2: (3) Concertina Faux Fur Leopard Print Frame Wallet, $25.20 (4) Sequin Split Sleeve Dress, $68.99 


I Spy Adorable Box

Last week, on Apartment Therapy, I saw this post of a closet-made-into-an-adorable-office/desk and couldn't help but notice the gray patterened storage box.

I recognized it because I just bought that same box at Container Store.  Now...what to store... 


Home Trend: Black Interior Doors

As you know, I am currently working on remodeling my new home (pictures to come soon, I promise!).  As I peruse interior decorating blogs and websites, I have noticed a trend for black interior doors.   I have seen them used in kitchens, closets and bathrooms.  Even found a picture of French doors painted black (see below).  The trim around the doors is still kept white, which adds drama and presence to the entire room. 

I must agree that the color black definitely makes a statement, but I think I'm going to stick to my white doors.  For now :)

*all images via Pinterest


Gift Wrapping

June is a busy month for me, in terms of celebrations. I have 4 birthdays and Father's Day. Obviously, this post is a bit dated now, but I though I'd still share some of my June gift wrapping ideas.

1. This first gift is for my mom's birthday. I decided to do a bold print with loud red and pink colors because my mom is a fan :). By using a skinny ribbon with a tiny bow, I created a finished-look without adding unnecessary distraction.

2. This gift was for my grandma's birthday and I just wanted to use this adorable green paper! It's so pretty, it can live on its own. In lieu of a bow, I picked out an elaborate ribbon with lots of detail and added a couple of stripes to one side of the package. This quickly added interest and sparkle.

3. This last gift was to my dad for Father's Day. I admit it's a bit hard to keep gifts looking masculine. There isn't any special "boy paper" unless it is for a 5 year old. So, I kept it safe with some kraft paper. And then added a punch of "manly" red color with a super pretty and wide striped ribbon.


Nude Nails

Maybe it's a summer thing or all those pics on Pinterest, but I'm on a total kick (again) for nail polish! It's so easy to change out and create a new look.

I was breezing through an earlier summer issue of People Style Watch (don't ask me why) and came across this article:

As I browsed my nail polish drawer, I noticed an Essie Sand Tropez polish that I never actually fell in love with.  As described on their website, it's "a soft sandy beige", perfect for a nude nail!  So, I painted away.... and was pretty happy with the outcome.  I think it came out a bit more gray than the brown-pigment in the "nude nail" look.

THEN, as always, I was browsing Pinterest and came across this nail idea: paint one nail with glitter, still the same shade of color as the rest.

So I ran out at lunch to find a perfect shade of glitter.  End result: super happy!!


Wrapping "Paper" Gifts

Although I am a huge believer in searching for a perfect physical gift, sometimes a "paper" gift, such as a Gift Card or a print-out, cannot be avoided. For example, if you want to send someone for a fabulous dinner, you need to get them a Gift Card to the restaurant. Or if you want to give someone tickets to a show, you need to get them the paper tickets or even the printed out PDF. In this case, you run into "how do I made this look like a pretty gift?"

Enter: Paper Source! (wipe off the drool...) Most of you probably share my love for this store. If you have not yet been, GO!

Paper Source has (what seems like) a million different ideas to wrap even the most obscure gifts. All shapes of boxes, gift tags, ribbons and gorgeous paper! I was looking for a super pretty, yet masculine, envelope within which I wanted to include a restaurant gift card and menu. I thought about getting a regular Hallmark card and sticking it in there, but (1) those type of cards usually come with a plain (and mainly white) envelope and (2) the restaurant menu was a long, narrow shape.

And then, I saw it! It was everything I wanted. Long, narrow, dark navy with a string and button closure! It was perfect.

Not too frilly, but definitely stylish and way prettier than any regular envelope.  It also make my "paper" look and feel like a real gift.  Mission: accomplished. 


Design Star: Flower Edition

Last Sunday, I was watching the latest season for HGTV's Design Star. Their assignment was "Dream Kitchen" and, as I am looking for ideas to re-do my own kitchen, I was hyped. They had to design four of the most popular kitchen layouts, one of which was the two-wall Galley (which is what I have). Lots of good ideas. I think the best key learning was to not be afraid to use bold color on the walls!

My eye, however, went directly to the gorgeous flower arrangements used in the staging of the completed kitchens.  There were two arrangements that I loved:

The first was for a "country" style kitchen and laid out multi-colored tulips in an old-looking, wooden packing crate.  They look as though you just picked them from the garden.  Lovely!

The second one I loved even move (probably because it's more my style).  This was from the "global" themed kitchen and used a shiny bulb-shaped, hammered metal vase with bold pink tulips.  Using a singular color of flower took this arrangement from "pretty" to "gorgeous".

Flowers can add so much style to any room!  So next time you are throwing a house party, make sure to stock up on flowers (even simple carnations) and display them all over for warmth and interest.


Fashion Trend: Stacked Bracelets

Layered necklaces are soooo last season :).

The new trend: bracelet bonanza!  To achieve this look, just put on about 5-10 bracelets on one arm.  Done.  They can be different sizes, colors, material... it all meshes together.

I must admit I am not a fan of the super-crazy-bracelets-all-the-way-up-to-the-elbow look.  I prefer the smaller bracelets paired with one larger piece or even an over-sized watch (like I have here).  Here are some other looks I'm digging for this trend:

*images courtesy of Pinterest 


Biggest Decorating Project

I know I have been MIA lately, but I have a really great reason: I bought my very first home! AKA: the biggest decorating project I've ever had to manage.

I am as thrilled as you can imagine and wanted to share the "before" pictures with you.  Please note that the furniture in these photos are the seller's and, thankfully, has moved away with him (so don't hold them against me).

So, welcome to my home!

When you first walk in, the entryway opens up to an eat-in area next to the kitchen.  The eat-in area has a high ceiling that is open to the 2nd floor.

Then the kitchen and the hallway both lead to the living room (fully equiped with a real wood-burning fireplace!).

There is also a powder room and some closets on the first floor.  And then a super pretty staircase that leads up to the loft (which over-looks to the eat-in area in the kitchen).

The upstairs consists of the Master bedroom, with a skylight, a walk-in-closet and a Master bathroom...

...and a Guest bedroom with it's own bathroom.

With the help of my family, we have been slaving away, updating my home and bringing it to it's full potential.  Currently, every single wall is being freshly painted and all of the trim work is primed and ready to be painted white (no more honey maple).  More photos to come, I will keep you posted on the progress!
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