How a navy blue sofa turned into a whole house.

I’m so over my sofa. Like really over it. I want a re-do. It’s a chocolate brown sectional, and while it’s not butt-ugly, I’m just ready to move on. It didn’t wear very nice and the middle cushion has become quite thin-so when you sit on it and you expect to sit down on pillowy softness, you actually sink into this uncomfortable pit. It sucks. We’re not actually in the market for a new one right this minute, but I’ve definitely started thinking about it. And what I want-what I’m a little bit obsessed with-is navy blue. I think I just might trade my dog for the perfect one. (Ok, not really, but he’s still having accidents so I have moments of weakness when I just might…) I’ve been searching the internet/blogs/Pinterest for awhile looking for the right one, and hadn’t quite found it. Then today, I was checking out West Elm, and voila!! There it was. Navy Blue. Velvet. Chesterfield. Have lovelier words ever been put together? It’s perfection. And here it is:

Isn’t it lovely? I’ve been building rooms around it so much that my head is spinning. And the price point, just like everything at West Elm, is great. It’s Chesterfield (which can be very formal), yet it’s casual, and the color just gives it so much character. I gotta have it and I can’t wait to give my lumpy ol’ P.O.S. the heave ho.

While I was online, I found a bunch of other great stuff (as I usually do), and I thought how I could really build an entire room right from the same place. And then it went on like that. I pretty much planned out almost an entire house from West Elm (so much fun), and then collected it all and put it here. And no, my kids were not being neglected while this was going on. They watched a 30 minute show about some bear detective (totally educational, though, I’m sure), and mommy got a little inspirational break. Here’s what I do in my (very sparse) spare time: (Don’t judge.)

West Elm living room

Sloan Upholstered Chair / Souk Wool Rug / West Elm Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover– Pebble (24″ Sq.) / West Elm Stackable Chair / West Elm Diamond Dot Crewel Pillow Cover – Slate / Andalusia Dhurrie Pouf / West Elm Parsons End Table – Natural Grass Cloth / West Elm Origami Coffee Table / West Elm Agate Bookend / Chester Tufted Upholstered Sofa / Abacus Table Lamp Mercury

So here’s where it started. The navy blue sofa was the jumping off point for the room. The rug is something I’ve been lusting after for as long as the sofa, and it must be mine at some point. I love the cool lines of the coffee table and also love that the upholstered chairs bring such a great pattern to the room. I also threw in another wooden chair, because I love having an odd chair in the room. I just do. Throw in a pouf for extra seating, a couple of Parsons side tables and lamps, some textured pillows and some agate (love natural elements in every room) and you’ve got yourself a pretty fine living room.

Moving on…

West Elm dining room

West Elm Mobile Chandelier / West Elm Sculptural Spheres / West Elm Dumont Buffet – White / Cast Metal Table w/ Patched Metal Top / Kasbah Wool Rug Steel / Scoop-Back Chair White

Here’s the dining room. The table top is hard to see, but it’s metal. Love the wood/metal combination. And that chandelier is beyond.

West Elm bar cart/gallery wall

West Elm Woven Wall Art / West Elm Framed Bird Wall Art – Flamingo / West Elm Mirror Trays / West Elm Papier-Mâché Animal Sculptures / Gallery Frames White / West Elm Framed Print – When Crystals Form

To me, a house wouldn’t be a home without art. And booze. So here’s both-the bar cart/gallery wall area. You’re welcome.

West Elm office

Industrial Task Table Lamps / West Elm Zigzag Wool Rug – Iron / Swivel Desk Chair / West Elm Framed Print – Polyglot II / West Elm Parsons Desk with Drawers – White

Step into my office. I didn’t really plan on it being all black and white, but I like it. I have seen that exact Parsons desk in a gazillion spaces, and it looks good in every single one.

West Elm entryway

West Elm Scribble Wallpaper / West Elm Umbrella Stand – Umbrella / West Elm Sculptural Spheres / West Elm Multi-Panel Foxed Mirror / West Elm Sculpted Geo Console – Parchment / West Elm Martini Side Table – Antique Brass / West Elm Indigo Geo Cotton Dhurrie / Spindle Back Armchair | west elm

Here’s the entryway, which I probably should have started with, but whatevs.  Can we take a moment and discuss the console table? Oh. My. And I would totally wallpaper my next entry-and I would go for something bold and graphic, like the gray one here. A few accessories, a runner and chair and boom. Cool, modern entryway.

Every interior designer alive would probably lose their lunch at the thought of decorating an entire house from a catalog, (gasp!) but I happen to think it can come out great. And if West Elm would like to send me any of the above items, I would graciously accept.

All items be found here: http://www.westelm.com

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Cocktail hour

I don’t know if it’s The Don Draper effect, or the effect of my children, but I’m really into the idea of a cocktail hour. Mind you, I don’t get to have one very often, (ok, like almost never) but I’m in love with the idea. (There’s just something about 2 screaming toddlers that makes me want to drink heavily. ) And it’s not the drinks of our college/post-college days. Gone are shots with names like woo woo, sex on the beach, and purple hooter. We’re grown-ups now, so we must drink accordingly. Enter martinis, gimlets and champagne. Same idea, but with a touch of (sometimes not…) class. All these grown-up drinks need a place, and there is no place more chic for them than a bar cart. I so love having all the bottles and glasses out on display as if you are ready to entertain at any moment.(But keep your Apple Pucker in a closet.)  I currently don’t have anywhere to put one, but as I am forever planning our next home, I have been scoping them out for quite some time. Bar carts feel so chic. So grown up. Walking into a home where one is out on display, it immediately tells you that the people there like to have a little fun. Or that they have kids and desperately require mass quantities of booze. Either works for me. Here are some of the images that I’ve been collecting for awhile now:

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I’m really, really digging all of these. I really love the outdoor bar cart, too-with summer right around the corner, this could be put to immediate use. I think my favorite idea is having your cart stocked to make one signature cocktail-mine involves St. Germain. (Recipe to follow soon). Great for a party, or just to always have it ready when needed. Like immediately after bedtime. Or breakfast.

Cheers.

Images from my Pinterest.

My dream home

I am obsessed with interior design. Truly. Some nights I can’t sleep because I’m designing spaces in my head. It’s not a passion that I’ve always had; it’s a rather new one, going back maybe 10 years. While I was still working as a nurse, I decided it was time to act on it and started taking classes at New York School of Interior Design. I had dreams of a career change and becoming a big shot interior designer. Well, of course, life never goes as planned. I had to change jobs due to a back injury, got married, was pregnant 5 minutes later, had a baby, got pregnant again….so design school got put on the back burner. And it’s still there. I talk about going back, but I’m not sure if it will ever fit in. And I’m ok with that. I go to design blogs, books and Pinterest to keep me inspired, and am so excited about moving to a new house because I’m dying to design it. I think about it all. the. time. So I thought it would be fun to make a “dream house”-to put together some of my favorite spaces as if I was actually designing a house. So if I got to do a house-top to bottom-it would look something like this:

house

Oh, how I love this house. I love how it’s almost weathered-looking.  I don’t like when things look too perfect. This house looks lived in; it has character. Won’t you come on in?

entry

Welcome to our entryway. Isn’t it quirky? (Oh and please take your shoes off. Sorry, I see they’re really cute, but this is an Asian household.) The art over the console is by my favorite artist and I just love the combo of pink and black.

sitting room

And now come into out sitting room. It’s beautiful yet casual. My favorite thing about this room is the chandelier; I have been drooling over it for years. The walls are, of course, gray (my favorite) and I’m crazy about how the yellow bench pops against them.

spotted paper and bar cart

On the other side of the room is our bar cart. And spotted wallpaper. We are ready to entertain! Pour yourself a drink and let’s see the rest of the house.

kitchen

Welcome to our kitchen! I had to put subway tiles somewhere in the house, as my husband is kinda obsessed with them. And I have to say, I  love the way they look, too, especially with that amazing floor.

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I live for our fridge. And yes, it always looks that nice and clean. Always.

eating nook

Here is our eating area. We’ve since framed some of the kids’ art over the table. This is where they like to do their homework and where I have my morning coffee.

tv room

Come into our family room. I had always wanted a Moroccan rug like this, so imagine my surprise when my husband bought me one! This is where we all chill out and eat pizza on the floor while watching a movie on a Friday night.

guest bath

This is our downstairs bathroom. I have a total weakness for black walls, especially when they’re in a bathroom and covered with art. And the kilim rug in here is kinda perfect, no?

dining room

Ok, so since I took this picture of my dining room, I changed out the chairs for much more modern ones and also changed out the chandelier, but I’m so happy with the seating and the wallpaper. Gray and gold. Yup.

leopard stairs

Won’t you come upstairs on my leopard staircase? Jealous? (me too.)

brody

Here is my son’s room. He loves, loves. loves animals and picked out the animal heads on the wall. He loves to lay on the cow hide rug and play with his toys.

zoe

And here is my little girl’s room. It doesn’t really show, but the wallpaper is a metallic gold floral; it’s amazing. My husband also bought her a Moroccan rug-aren’t we lucky? My daughter likes to keep her favorite dresses out on display on racks. Such a girl.

play room

Here is a wall in the kids’ playroom. They applied the triangles themselves. They did a freakishly good job.

office

Welcome to my little home office where yours truly gets all her work done. I will never get over my love of Ghost chairs. And I just think the photography is super cool.

bedroom

And as they all say in MTV Cribs, here’s where all the magic happens. The master bedroom. I picked out everything here-except the bolster pillow. My husband bought that. I’m going to get rid of it when he’s not looking.

master bath

master bath

Master bathroom; what do you think? Kinda dark, kinda spa-like. I don’t care who you are, you’re gonna want to get in that tub.

outdoor movies

ourdoor table

outdoor table

And lastly, welcome to our back yard. It’s a bit overgrown-but charmingly so. On summer nights we like to snuggle together and watch movies outside and have dinner parties under twinkly lights. Also when my hubby and I want a date night but can’t get away, it’s all good…we have a special little table for two in our own backyard. We love to be outside as much as possible.

So that’s it, you’ve seen my house! And you now know what goes through my head at night.

Have a lovely weekend!!

Images from my Pinterest.

Equestrian chic

I wish I could say that I’m writing about horses in art today becuase I spent my childhood in stables. Or that I had a beloved pony who was my very best friend, igniting a life-long love of horses. (Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode about having ponies when you’re a kid- “I had pony. My sister had pony. My brother had pony….. ” If you’re not a Seinfeld fan, I just lost you. Sorry.) But it’s just not the case. I do find them quite beautiful, however. Recently I’ve been seeing images of horses popping up all over the place. I knew it was a ‘thing’ when interiors featuring horses were all over blogs, design magazines, and Pinterest. “Equestrian chic” is big. And I like it. I love that where I’m seeing the horses is not where you’d expect-in country-style houses or barns. They’re  in modern spaces, and the combination is really great. A few weeks ago, a friend and I were walking around the design store Lilian August in NYC, and what I saw confirmed the horse trend. Here’s some (crappy iphone) shots of what I saw there:horse6horse4horse3horse5horse1horse2

I could have spent all day there; it was so very inspiring. Alas, dinner reservations beckoned. You can see more here: http://www.lillianaugust.com.

Here are some of my favorite interiors featuring horses:

horse arthorse arthorse arthorse arthorse arthorse art

Images from my Pinterest

Totally unexpected, right? The last thing you’d expect to see in a modern space is a big ol’ horse. But that’s why it works and what makes it so cool. And why I must have something like it immediately.

shared spaces

When my husband and I moved into our 2-bedroom townhouse, I was 7 months pregnant with our daughter. Plenty of room, we thought. Wrong. 4 months after my daughter was born, we found out I was pregnant again. (Oops.) One of the gazillion things I was freaking out about was space-how were we going to fit two babies into one bedroom? I had set up the nursery just how I wanted it-and then had to rearrange the whole thing. Seeing as how I had been in hormonal overdrive for almost 2 years at that point, that was enough to put me in full-on breakdown mode. Funny thing is, I liked it better with all the new baby’s things in there. Go figure. So it’s got me thinking about shared spaces. It can be tricky-especially when the kids sharing the space are not the same gender. How do you please them both? Surely they have different favorite colors/animals/characters/everything. I always love seeing how other people tackle this situation. Here are some of my favorites:

Aren’t these gorgeous? My son and daughter will be sharing a space for a little longer, and I have to say I’m so glad-because the conversations that I hear them having over the baby monitor at night are nothing short of hysterical. (Something like: “Brody, which fairy is your favorite?” “NO!! I like TRex!!” “Oh, so you like Silvermist?” “Triceratops has three horns. I tooted.”) I also know they’ll miss each other when they’re separated. Me too.

Images from my Pinterest

Home sweet home

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A house is defined as “A building for human habitation, esp. one that is lived in by a family or small group of people.” But a house is just a house. It’s made of bricks, wood, and cement. What transforms that house into a home is what’s inside. What the people who live there bring to it. The things that show who they are, where they’ve been, what makes them happy, and what they love. Those are the things that make a house a home. I like to walk into someone’s home and immediately get a feel for who they are. By the pictures of their family and friends on display. By the objects collected from the wonderful places they’ve been. By the art that inspires them on the walls. Those are the homes that truly inspire me. But I think the home that should inspire you the most is your own. Do you look around your home at the things you’ve placed there and feel content? Like it represents you? I most definitely do. Our home is rather modest; we’re not winning the most square footage award anytime soon, but I love where we live. It is our home. When I walk in the front door, I am comforted by all that I see. It represents who my family is and it is filled with things that we love. Whether it’s art that my daughter brought home from preschool or a chair that I covet or my favorite flowers, I love everything that’s here.

Over the last few days, I took a bunch of pictures of my favorite things in my home. These are the things that I love to look at. They make me happy. They are the things that make my house a home. Come on in…..DSC_0513

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And while I love all these things-particularly my kids’ room and my black bathroom, it would all mean nothing without:

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Family. Because that’s what really makes a house a home.

Bedside manner

I hope you all had a great weekend! I know my family and I did. The weather was beautiful and we took full advantage of it. We spent most of the time walking around the streets of NYC and did one of our favorite things-got some food truck goodies and popped a squat on a cozy stoop and chowed down.  It was glorious. The little ones loved it too; they got plenty of yummy treats. They love the people (and my son the car, bus, motorcycle and anything that moves fast on wheels) watching and basically act as a traveling variety show. They sing, dance, bark, moo, nose pick, pantomime….you name it. Next time I really should put out a tip jar-I really think we could make some serious bank off those two.

But what I’m thinking about now is (wait for it………..) bedside tables. (Earth-shattering, isn’t it?) They are one of the first things you see when you wake up (as you are shutting off and cursing at your alarm clock), and one of the last things you see when you go to sleep (to set said hated alarm clock.) So shouldn’t those images be lovely ones?

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Here’s a shot of my night stand. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it, but I’m always tweaking things and the nightstand is no exception. But everything there is visually pleasing to me. I’m the furthest thing from a minimalist (I tend to live by the mantra ‘more is more’) so there’s usually no free space on that puppy. The lamp was a $20 find from Home Goods; that place is a gold mine and the subject of a future post. Books are always present, both ones I glance at from time to time for inspiration, and books I’m actually trying to read. But since that doesn’t happen very much these days, I mostly rearrange and dust them. Until very recently, Life of Pi was on there and had been sitting there so long, it was turned into a movie. (I bought the book when it first came out.) The book has since been moved to another location. Still haven’t read it. Damn. Maybe I’ll see the movie and say things like “the book was sooooo much better!!” afterwards and hope people believe that I read the book. Photographs are a must to me, and the most personal ones, I feel, should be in your bedroom. The above picture is my favorite from my wedding. A candle and some Burt’s Bees lip balm and that’s it.

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Flowers and jewelry always find their way to my table. I always keep the pieces I’m wearing the most on a sweet little tray so that they are visible and easily reached. I keep all of my jewelry out on display in different ways. I love the sparkle and color that it can add. Lastly, what’s better than flowers? They make me so, so happy. I buy them almost every time I go to the supermarket (Whole Foods has a great floral selection) and they add an instant touch to any room. There were a ton of spider mums the last time I went shopping. So naturally, some came home with me. They’re sitting in a coffee creamer cup as my bud vases are M.I.A.

I’m always interested in how other people style their own bedside tables. I love these images and love to pull inspiration from them. I hope you find them inspiring, too.

I love that the simple styling of this night stand doesn’t take away from the beauty of the table itself. A lamp, some books and a pop of color with the pink flowers. Perfection.

Oh, oversized art, how I love thee. I have been trying to incorporate this look into my own room, but have yet to find the right piece. Not to mention how much I would love to have that amazing industrial table in my room.

A leaning ladder as a night stand; how creative is that? I love when designers think outside the box and bring something fresh and new to a room. I’d say this idea definitely does that.

Simple and sweet. I wonder if this person has Life of Pi in that pile, too?

I’m in love with the DIY art on this bedside table.

A tree log as a night stand? Yeah, that just happened.

I love using a desk or vanity as a bedside table. It’s especially a great idea if you need to save space and have the table serve more than one function. I’m also a sucker for any room that has the “For Like Ever” print. I have it in my living room. Some say it’s overexposed. I say those people suck. I also happen to think that gray and gold go together like peanut butter and jelly.

My personal favorite. Flowers, art, candles and Chanel. Boom.

Hoping this brought your Monday a little inspiration.