Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Back to the old curtains

If you didn't read my previous post about having a party and going all crazy last-minute to fix my family room/ basement, well, that pretty much sums it up.  I've always wanted to replace my ikea curtains with doublewidth panels and tried out the Peytons from Pottery Barn because there was no time for custom curtains.  When I put them up, they completely changed the look of the room.  I figured I could repaint another time and switched up my rug and accessories for a quick change:

BUT it was completely the wrong feeling.  I loooove that rug but not in my family room.  I wanted fresh & fun & happy (we hang with the kids here a lot) and the rug & curtains were taking the room into a more serious, richer place.  Not okay.  So, I tried out the PB peytons in french ivory and with the lining and double panels, they still felt to "decorated" for me so up went my old cotton Ikea curtains.  I added additional rings so they wouldn't sag as much and am totally fine with them now after my fiasco.  (Just need to hem them! ;)

{The two men in the photographs are my dad (top) and my husband's dad (bottom) waaaay back when.  We have very odd wood work going on in our old 70s house so for now I'm just forgetting about it.}

I also switched up the art & accessories, FINALLY pulling in the green I was craving.  My basement was bothering me because it was so unrelated to the rest of my house but now with the added green, I'm loving the flow.  I had this old dinosaur chart and added the Peter Dunham pillows and a Dash & Albert rug we had:

{ignore the messy blanket and toys & books- sorry no time for pretty!}

And here's a pic of the natural woven shades we put up:

I'm ordering another set for the large window by the sofa to replace the white roman shade there, which will add the texture that's missing for me over there.  And here's a quick pic from the party:

I'll share pics from the party in my next post.  It was a ton of fun and took place almost entirely oustide.  I'm pretty sure no one even noticed my curtains.  (Except for those who'd read my whacky post before coming!)  Ah vell.  I do have to say though, I live for this stuff. 


If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Family Room Curtains Indecision

We decided we'd have a little party this weekend to kick off summer.  Well, our "little" party grew - which is always good- and yesterday I started looking around at our basement family room, tearing it apart mentally.  (Do you do that??)  Some of our friends coming over are designers and, although all of them are supersweet & would never judge, I couldn't help but want to fix it up before tonight.  (I had a client over to the office last week for a presentation and used areas of my home for "what not to do" and why we'd be doing what we were doing. hahaha )

I bought custom bamboo shades for the DC showhouse and sized them so that they could also work in my office once the showhouse was over.  As some of you know, my family room/downsairs has been irking me for a while.  I have to admit that I love the feeling down there- light, airy, fresh & happy- and I like working in it, but I've always felt like it just doesn't jive with the rest of my house.  Well, of course when the shades and some of my pillows came home from the showhouse, I started envisioning a new color palette for the space, using what I had.  Our basement is very coastal feeling and while I love it, it just doesn't make sense here.  (My dad lives on a lake and wants some of our paintings so I think eventually I'll give in because they'd be a better fit with him.) 


Anyway- besides the coastal vibe- the main thing that really bothers me about my house/ basement is the curtains. I made some myself and did Ikea for the rest, planning to upgrade later. I used only single panels on the door and large window. where I should have at least used double. Curtains are one of those elements that I notice when I'm in people's homes and they can really take a room up or down a notch. SO... Since there was no time to have any custom ones made the day before the party or change the color scheme too much, and I had the day off with my 3-year-old, we headed to Pottery Barn for some last-minute curtains. I like their linen "Peyton Drapes" which are lined and hung by drapery hooks so I bought a bunch in "blue smoke."

Here's a picture of the curtains that drive me craaaaaazy:

{oh so bad}

And here's a pic of the Pottery Barn Peytons (not hemmed to the proper height but that will have to wait for another day)

{oh yeah, I switched the rug with another one I had too.  I have plans to sell it but am having toruble parting with it.  I have a problem.}

I'm much happier with the width and quality of the panels and loved the color with the rug.. buuuuut....  I'm losing the vibe I want down there even more.  It took a turn in another direction I'm just not after.  (Although am now dying to do in a room "for real.")   The rug is insanely gorgeous in person and its vibe is just a little too warm/ rich/ formal for what I'm after.  We use the areas as the kids play space, and while I don't want it junky, I want it to feel a bit more effortless.  (ironic isn't it??  All this effort for "effortless?")

{So although the vibe's off, I'm much happier with the drapery hooks being hung nicely on the curtain rings...  my unlined ikea curtains were not thick enough up top to properly support the drapery hooks I'd used, so they sagged and flopped too much. And I'm also loving the doublewidths.}

BUT... they had to go because I can't justify them if they not where I'm trying to go.  I returned them last night & picked up some new ones in french ivory.  I also restrained myself from using the pretty rug and it's all safely packed away again.  (Who does this?!!!  I know I have problems.)  SO...  now I'm off the the family room to try out the ivories, but I have to be honest that what I really want isn't off the rack and I think that I'm looking for unlined and a bit more chill.  (and I know my friends will not care in the least if the windows are bare or Ikea'd) BUT...  maaaybe they'll work and then I'll be thrilled.  (And if anyone from Pottery Barn is reading--- so sorry to be such a PIA!!)

Wish me luck!

Is it weird that I love this?!!! haahahah

Oh ps-   We're having crab, shrimp, and bratworst along with a bunch of salads-  am so excited to dig into the kitchen today- and the party will be mainly outside in the backyard.  I can't wait to share pics!!


xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Client's Bungalow Living Room Plan

I stopped over to check in on a client's in-progress project yesterday & just had to share with you.  My client is young & creative and when we first met had literally just moved into her adorable bungalow:

The bungalow had been lovingly restored to certain point, but we're tailoring it to perfectly fit her lifestyle.  She had everything out & ready to show me & we assessed what she'd keep and what we'd replace.  

{The house is really beautiful.  Love the doors!!}

She was ready to upgrade her Pottery Barn-type pieces for a more sophisticated yet still casual look.

My client entertains often & knows how to throw a good party.  I noticed that she was really drawn to blues & aquas and a classic-vintage look in her inspiration photos.  The rooms she loved all had a touch of old-fashioned charm yet still felt fresh & updated.  The living room isn't large but is just what she needed to for a cozy 4-chair furniture arrangement by the fireplace.

The spaces my client loves also feel open & airy yet still have a warm to them.  Many of her inspiration photos had shutters instead of curtains.  We decided to keep her existing shutters and warm up the cool-feeling space with grasscloth on the walls.  I stopped in yesterday & got a peek:

{Grasscloth by Thibaut}

Our installer, Michael DiGuiseppe, who also did the DC Showhouse room, is soooo good & incredibly fast.  By the time I was finished with our two hour meeting, he'd almost finished the living room. 

{Thanks Michael!}

Last night, my client snapped a shot of some of the furnishings in place & emailed it over:

{Completely unstyled, but you get the idea}

I'm loving the blue against the grasscloth and can't wait until everything else arrives!!  We're waiting on the upholstery and are working on a gallery wall full of personal paintings & prints. 

Will keep you posted!!

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Bridal Shower & Weekend

My cousin, Jen, is getting married this summer so my mom & I had a shower for her this weekend.  The invitations (above) were from Target and I have to tell you how easy they were to do.  They came as blank cards and I followed the link on the back of the package to an online template that I filled out with our information and printed them out at home.  I truly am not tech-savvy and it was a breeze.  (Except for the fact that I printed them all out with the wrong date the first time- eeek!!  Thank goodness the back of the cards was blue too.) 

{Jen is third from the left and she's standing next to our other cousin, Shelly}

My Aunt Allison made the most amazing bread:

{Seriously???  I want to do this!}

The wedding is in Puerto Rico so my family whipped up some authentic Puerto Rican dishes:

{I can't remember the name but really yummy seafood stew}

...And you poured the stew over these potato balls:

{Again, I forget the name!!}

And seafood salad:

And I not-so-authentically picked up a bunch of sausage-egg breakfast burritoes from Anita's:

For flowers, I filled a few different milk glass urns with pinky-peach roses, tulips, perivian lilies and fresh white freesia:

{smell so goooood}

Jen's colors for the wedding are coral & aqua. 

{loved this "mr and mrs" paper}

Here's a picture of the ladies in my family:

{My Grandmother is in the center with her 3 daughters & all of the granddaughters}

And I loved this cup tower my cousin made.  I did knock it halfway over but she doesn't know that:

{I put it back, don't worry, I'm not evil.}

And my mom baked a rum pansy cake:

{Soooo good and too pretty to eat, but we did anyway.}

Anyway, the shower was great & we headed out that night for her bachelorette party.  I don't have any pictures of that as they were confiscated.  (haha no, totally kidding, I just didn't bring my camera.)

The DC Design House final party was also Saturday evening before the bachelorette and it was at Skip & Debbie Singleton's home in DC.  I am kicking myself for not getting any photos because their back yard is my dream yard:  Pool set right into the grass with some checkerboard slate in areas arround it.  HEAVEN.  I'm so glad to have gotten the chance to be a part of the showhouse and to have met so many great new friends. 

update-  got a pic!! :


And my little sister was confirmed on Sunday!!  I can't believe how old she's getting!! (which means I'm getting even older!  We're 15 years apart.)  I was her sponsor and the Mass was beautiful.  Congrats Morgan if you're reading!!

I'm off to start the day -kids still haven't woken up & how amazing is that?!! ;) 

Hope your weekend was great!!

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Signing Off Early

I've cleared my desk off for the weekend and it feels soooo good.  I'm home with my boys and just picked a couple of fresh yellow roses (well, one's sort of on its way out) and popped them in my favorite orange vase.  (a wedding gift.)

I've been keeping my little "One Line a Day" memory book - which I bought as a prop for the showhouse- on my desk this week and have been writing in it.

We told Christian about the tooth fairy the other day for the first time:

{He was in utter shock that a fairy comes into kids rooms at nights and leaves them money.}

This weekend I'm hosting my cousin's bridal shower with mom and her bachelorette party Saturday night with the other bridesmaids.  Should be a good time & I'll share pics next week.  She & her fiance are such a perfect match and I'm so happy for them. 

Have a great weekend!!! :)

xoxo, Lauren

ps- I'd love to do a room with that aqua, orange & yellow color palette!! 

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Arbor!

We finally got our arbor up!!  The wisteria was already waiting for it since I'm an impatient crazy person and put it in last year.

The front of the house looks better too.  We added in more shrubs & hydrangea.



Please ignore the toys everywhere, but here's a pic of the arbor leadinginto our back yard:

I'm off for a crazy day but hope you're having a great week!! 
Thanks so much for the kind words about the fabrics.  I'll let you know as soona s they're for sale.

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A peek at my new fabrics

I am almost ready to get my fabrics up in my online store!!  They haven't yet been photographed but I thought I'd share the quick pics I took of them with you.  I am obessed with fabrics and working on these designs has been such a fun experience.   They are all on heavy duty linen and will be sold for around $100/ yard and I am working on finding the perfect cotton groundcloth for those who are looking to spend less. 

When I first started getting into fabric designing I was a bit surprised at the pricing, but as I've learned a bit more about it & what's available in the marketplace, I've realized all that it entails and understand why high-quality textiiles & linens costs what they do.  When textiles are printed in smaller runs for boutique companies, it's not the same as mass-produced  fabrics, and there's a cost associated with that.  (This is why I sometimes use the most expensive fabric in a room on pillows! ;)

So anyway, I tossed the linens on the floor & took some pics in groupings.  Not all of them are pictured and they are all available in several colorways.   

{Wild Chicory in black & oatmeal , Magnolia in China Blue, and Happikat in sky blue}

I drew wild chicory originally as the logo for my business cards and was ended up really loving it so I did it in an overscale woodcut-esque fabric.  My friend Kat Wright painted the magnolias and she is soooo insanely talented.  She also worked up Happikat for me on the computer from sketches. 

{Magnolia in yellow, Happikat in cocoa on oatmeal}

 Here's the olive-based collection:

{Happikat in Olive, Magnoilia in funky green on oatmeal, Chicory in Olive and and Large "Squircles" in green & aqua.}

Here are some more saturated versions in pinks & blues:

{Magnolia in Pink, Happikat in Navy/ Pink, Happikat in Coral/ Aqua and Large Squicles in Pink on oatmeal}

I love me some green so here's another green collecion:

{Magnolia in True, Happikat in Kelly Green, Wild Chicory in Spring Green, and Wild Chociry in Black on Oatmeal}

Here's some more black & white:

{Happikat in Black & White, Magnolia in Grayscale, and a little peek at Magnolia in Orange}

Here's a picture of Happikat on the curtains in the DC Design House: 

I recently did Happikat in Navy & Green for a client's living room design:

And here is a photo of the "Squircles" Design (Square and Circle):

{Black& White, Green on Aqua, Pink on Oatmeal and Sky Blue}

They are also available in a square version which I originally designed for a client's round ottoman:

{Squircles in B&W}

Anyway, there are many more coming and I'm working on some "inside out" versions where the patterns are paler & barely there.  I will let you know as soon as I get them up online.  I haven't been able to devote as much time to the fabrics as I'd like to have lately, but it's on my list for this next month.

I can't wait to share more with you!!  :)

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.