A few of you have mentioned being curious about my tips for creating your own art for the home as I have for some of the rooms in my house.  Creating art, especially abstract, is challenging.  I have trouble with it and my bachelors degree is in painting and fine art!  Abstract painting is really hard; harder than painting a still life, in my opinion.  You have to find the balance of a feeling of randomness with a carefully planned and purposeful composition.  It’s SO HARD! I have such respect for artists who paint this way!

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That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, it just means you need to have patience!  Here is a shot from my book that shows a large canvas I painted for my guest room. This took me a while and a few tries.   I let a couple versions dry before painting over them and trying again!  I like to use acrylic paint for this reason, it dries rather quickly and is easy to clean up if you get too into it and make a mess.
Bedroom 8

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A Little House Update

As we are preparing to break ground (or, walls) January 2nd for our kitchen I have done a few little things around the house to make it look a bit better- one of which is painting me up some new nightstands! One my amazing clients (whose home I CANNOT wait to show you) offered up her old Williams Sonoma Home nightstands to me when her new ones arrived.  Clearly she remembered me drooling over them and mentioning how I’d coveted them for years- especially since they stopped making them.

They needed a little love though, with some water marks and cracking.  Plus I wanted them in white.  So after getting some quotes to have them refinished ( a small fortune) I decided to try myself first since I had nothing to lose. I could always have them professionally redone if I screwed up (which was likely since I am NO DIY-er).

After sanding and spraying primer on these bad boys I went in for the kill… and made a GREAT choice by going with Valspar’s gloss white spray paint.  AMAZING. No drips, awesome coverage and perfect color. Go get yourself some if you are planning to paint anything- the color selection is fantastic too!

TA-DA! I didn’t care about painting the pavement because we are tearing it up come spring to put in a new paaaaattttiiiiooooo!!!!!! (said in Oprah’s Favorite Things voice). I bought some spray poly to finish them off and made the mistake of not checking with fab DIY ninjas like Jenny Komenda first and bought the wrong kind- even though it said CLEAR, it turned yellow immediately. So i had to sand it off and repaint another coat and then use the LGN approved Polycrylic. Phew.

Now that they are in place I LOVE LOVE them. The tiered structure is perfect for someone like me who has candles, Kindles, books, earrings and lots of crap to place bedside. New mercury glass lamps via Homegoods too.

Man, I need new bedding. And a bigger rug.

Are you so curious about my little tray though?

BAM! The new item for the Erin Gates for Jill Rosenwald line- tiny trays with monograms! :)

**And the picture Andrew posted on that got me to click on him. Thank you internets.

And fresh outta the kiln the morning, MUGS TOO! Available in tan and black colorways! Email me to order!

Renovation Update: Blood, Sweat and Tears

This was our first full week in the house and it was a particularly trying one. Moving into a construction site is hard- you can’t unpack and settle, everything is filthy no matter how much you clean and if you are like me, you just start making lists of how many more additional things you want/need to fix.  While I know in my heart I am so lucky to have the ability and opportunity to renovate this house, I admit that I spent a good solid several hours last week absolutely losing my shit. I do miss the city. I know  I just moved and all change takes time to get used to. And I know that renovating takes time. A long time- like two years. Oh, and a boatload of patience is so crucial (which I don’t have in spades).  But these are all things that will hopefully test me and in time make me a better person. So Sunday I bucked up and worked on the house with fervor and enjoyed peeking around the neighborhood and spending time working on the yard with my parents and Andrew.

Andrew was also busy painting, like, everything in the house, so I focused on the stairs which were really bugging me because the previous owner had painted around the runner and they looked beyond ghetto and were the first thing I saw when walking in the door and set my mood on “foul”. I have one recommendation for those painting stairs with spindle balusters…. HIRE A PAINTER. Holy sweet mother of all things sacred, taping off and painting these things was one hell of a job. I nearly went cross eyed and lost most motor function in my right hand after FOUR hours of working on them.

Before I painted, but after I became intimately acquainted with blue painters tape… and a gallon of Benjamin Moore White Dove semi-gloss.


After, so so much better and cleaner. Also note Andrew has been making progress painting our hall Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist. And we hope that this year we will save enough to have the floors, stairs and banister re-stained a very dark walnut. Oh, and I’m gonna have a wool sisal runner made with banding for the stairs. Lots to do. Lots to pay for. :)

Looking down at the powder room you can see we still have to paint the trim but the new wood floors were laid in there and in the new hallway to the right where a closet used to be (awaiting poly)

See our new hallway- this small decision made a HUGE impact on light and flow. And because I love the original dentil molding so much we had to figure out how to finish this off. So we re-purposed molding from the walls in the dining room we plan to knock down when we do the kitchen next! Now we just have to paint the trim and walls and this space will be great!

But back to the powder room- pondering wallpaper for this teeny tiny space… really feeling the Hicks Hexagon on the right… the grey/blue colorway. I was thinking I’d do something crazy and huge scale and bright, but the more I see the house change the more I feel like it should be modern but subtle in color.

Also loving the new colorways from Cole & Son of the large scale diamonds, the large scale Hicks and the grey/tan smaller Hicks shown above…. decisions, decisions.

I have loved this paper my whole career so I feel like it would be a smart choice.

I also love this Phillip Jeffries Grasscloth in Chain Link pattern…. I have a client who has her powder room in it in orange and its adorable.

So gross before. UGH. That floor. Can’t wait for the new toilet and teeny, tiny pedestal sink to go in from Waterspot and the sconces from Lamps Plus!

Speaking of Lamps Plus, my Robert Abbey Bling Flushmount came for the master and I was so super psyched! Putting the individual glass drops on was quite a job though…. I poured a glass of white and rolled up my sleeves….

Two layers of individually wrapped crystals. On boy.

My fingers started to go numb at this point but I was loving the look.  Finding stylish flushmounts isn’t easy and this is such a great one!

TA DA! (Bedroom still not set up, styled or organized- that mirror has since moved)

My mom edged all my pachysandra with rocks my dad dug up from another part of the yard. Crafty folks.

The yard is looking SO SO much better!

Our view across to the neighbors from our chairs in the back (our wine time spot).

While out walking and exploring the neighborhood the other day I saw this adorable little sign outside a gorgeous house and it made me smile.

LOVE this house on our street. Columns make me weak in the knees.

Another house that made me drool. That PORCH!

Quite the entryway, eh?

Sweet Oliver LOVES our mulch. So much that he rolls in it and then runs up to my bed and rolls around in it making it look like I’m planning to plant a garden in there. But look at that face, how can I be mad?

And then there is my “first born”, who takes after his mom and is quite anxious about the move. We go splitsies on these.

And when I got in bed last night I found this book under my pillow with a bookmark it it to this page. I knew immediately it was from my dad who had been at the house working today. So sweet, I need to remember this.

Renovation Sponsors:

Paper Pretty

A while ago I ordered a FABULOUS piece of art for a client from Furbish which happened to simply be an amazing piece of handmade lace paper mounted and framed.  When I perused the new items from West Elm I spotted a similar work and was reminded of how much I love this simple, abstract look.

Natural Curiosities sells a collection of framed handmade paper works that I also covet. The grey one makes me particularly weak in the knees.

But these pieces would be easily made by taking a trip to a local paper or art store a perusing for a decorative paper.  I found a couple on Amazon (click images for links) and Kate’s Paperie that would look fabulous framed.  And when you do it yourself, you can pick a great solid color paper to mount these on the coordinates with your decor! How fabulous would these light colored papers look on dark burnt orange, navy or red? Just pick up a can of spray mount, spray the back of the decorative paper and affix to the solid background.  Pick up an affordable frame at Ikea and you are all ready to go! Since each piece will be different, making a series of three would be GORGEOUS.

Sneak Peek Perfection

Did you guys see this fabulous sneak peek on Design Sponge yesterday? If not, pop over and take a look.  It’s the studio/home of Susan and William Brinson in NYC. He’s a photographer and uses the space to shoot so some of it is very bare bones and open, but the details that are there are amazing.  It’s such a fabulous mix of vintage, collections, modern and DIY you can’t help but feel the bohemian creativity just oozing out of each room!

My favorite is the bedroom- that yellow duvet, those WINDOWS, the gorgeous deep blue lamp, the antique furniture… I just love it!




I cannot get over this 100 light DIY chandelier they crafted themselves. It is GORGEOUS. Plus the gallery wall set off by the black wall color is simply divine.  Black walls are my new favorite thing in the world. Next to puppies. And Twilight.



Yet again, an argument for black walls. The knives look like art when against it!



Here are some items that remind me of this space, so you could get the look on your own:

The Dwell Peacock Citrine duvet set. I am OBSESSED with this bedding.


A double headboard like this one from Wisteria.


Paintable embossed wallpaper, just like they used (and try my new favorite black paint, Martha Stewart’s Florence)


The Edison chandelier from PB isn’t quite a rockin’ as their insane DIY one above, but it gives you that industrial look of exposed bulbs!


These vintage style suitcases from Target are great for those who don’t feel like scouring flea markets and eBay for a set.