A Gray & Brass Kitchen Plan

Hello world!  One of my dearest friends recently bought a new house ALL the way up in Philadelphia and she asked me to help her design it!  Being a Philly girl at heart, I was more than happy to help a friend and Philadelphian out.  Indirectly, this has also given me a great opportunity to fine tune my long distance design processes.  As a mom, e-design is becoming more and more appealing to me.  It will allow me the flexibility to work with clients without having to do endless site visits and last minute meetings.  (Because let's face it, getting a babysitter is a pain in the a$@).  So, of course I said YES!  

She and her hubby bought a big beautiful old home, with lots of great little details (read: pool + pool house).  But, the previous owners were sort of living with a mismatched, cheap, traditional-ish vibe circa 1993.  So, we have GOT to update.  

They've got plans to give the kitchen a complete renovation, but not for a while.  There are other things to tackle first before spending another huge chunk of money on kitchen renos.  So, we developed a plan for her to make some small updates to the current kitchen that will make it a fresh and live-able space until they are ultimately ready to bite the bullet and renovate.

Below is a photo of the current kitchen.  Its maple on maple on maple on maple.  Holy wood.  Yikes.  But, this is by far the worst kitchen I've ever seen.  We can work with this.

Our main goal is to tone down all the wood.  It's not that we don't love maple.  Maple is fine, but there is just SOOO much of it.  Luckily, there are lots of ways we can break it up and mask it.  Here is the plan of attack.  First, paint the cabinets.  We're going with a light gray tone on the upper and lower cabinets, as well as the island.  Then, we'll take down some of the upper cabinets and replace them with open shelving for a lighter feel.  Next, we'll replace all the hardware to bronze knobs and pulls to give it a modern and updated look.  Then, we'll add white subway tile to the backsplash, perhaps in a different shape to add some interest.  Next, we'll update the pendant fixtures to something a bit more modern, with a bronze finish to tie into the cabinet hardware.  And lastly, we'll layer in accessories:  white barstools, white canisters and a subtle pop of color on the floor.

I am so excited for her to get started transforming this space.  I know she will make it beautiful.  And nothing makes me happier than helping friends.  Click here to see more inspiration images.

Pendant Fixture // Barstool // Hardware // Canisters // Rug // Backsplash 

Interior Styling Love

I've been making a lot of minor tweaks to the house lately.  I think now that I spend sooo much time here all the little things are starting to drive me crazy.  So I've gone room by room and removed all the old junk that was piling up and replaced it with purposeful, organized items.  My goal is to make it look  more photo-ready.  Now, this basically only applies to things from 3' off the floor and higher.  Anything below that is in a state of permanent upheaval.  Which is fine, that's the way it should be when you have a toddler running around.  I wish my house was perfect and clean all the time, but I've resigned to the fact that it will just be a mess for the next 18 years.  

But I digress, I wanted to just take a moment and share some of the photos floating around on Pinterest that inspired me to 'style' my house.

I'm loving these shelves.  There is such a nice balance of books and objects.  The eye moves around to take it all in, but the organization is cohesive and clean.  Take a look at Amber Interiors for more photos.

This coffee table is so fun.  I love the placement of the candy dishes and spiky object.  The colors really make the table pop.  More from Sadie and Stella here.

This is one of my favorite trends right now...TRAYS!  Using a tray to organize your clutter makes things feel so much less...cluttery.  I just bought a few new ones for my house and I am in love with them.  I couldn't find a source for this pretty image :(.

This bedside style is so pretty.  It's simple and easy.  It kind of feels more like you're staying in a hotel than you're own bedroom...which definitely has some appeal these days.  I love the collage of photos above the table.  They allow you to personalize your side of the bed without cluttering up your table.  Take a peak at Sarah M Dorsey Designs for more images.  

Bar carts are such a hot trend these days, as is styling them.  I love this fun spread.  Makes you want a fruity drink with an umbrella.  See more of this amazing apartment tour from The Everygirl

Last, but not least is this cute little vignette.  Everyone has piles of books and magazines, but when you pop a little jar of colorful candies on top it suddenly looks purposeful.  So cute!  Another good find from The Everygirl.

Hope I've passed on the re-styling bug to you too!  If you're interested, I've pinned a few more images here.  Feel free to take a peak :)

FIRST FRIDAY {outfit to room series} The Holidays

Happy Holiday Season friends!  It's here...the most wonderful time of year....or something like that.  I am so excited for this month's edition of Outfit to Room.  Holiday fashion and decor always makes me smile.  I'm not sure what it is...the sparkles, the lights, or just the nostalgia that comes with it all, but every year it just warms a little piece of my soul.  

My decorations are still in a box in the garage, but if all goes to plan we'll be in full on Christmas mode by Sunday.  And in our household that means 24/7 Christmas music and round the clock viewings of Home Alone.  I hope next year we'll be adding in a few new traditions for the little guy too.  

I'm so excited this year because we were invited to so many fabulous holiday parties.  And now that I'm a stay at home mom, I get a bit too overexcited when I get to dress up and go out somewhere nice.  So I was drooling when I came across this Oscar de la Renta shift dress.  I love the nuetral colors and the sparkle.  It says 'I'm here to party', in a sophisticated, I-don't-have-kids kind of way.  So naturally, it seemed like the perfect outfit for me to use as my holiday inspiration.

I put together a board of gorgeous Christmas-y stuff for you guys.  Much like the dress above, I love neutrals when it comes to holiday decor.  It goes with every house, every room, every style, etc.  One of my favorite holiday trends this year is laser cutting.  I've seen trees, houses, animals....like complete villages of laser cut decor.  Its so fun, while still maintaining a sophisticated look.  I'm also a huge fan of the mercury anything...it definitely brings the glamour.  And last but not least, Christmas would not be Christmas without a nutcracker.  And I know my Mom & Grandma would agree :) 


Hope you guys are having fun with your own decor.  If you'd like to see more ideas check out my Pinterest board.  And don't forget to stop by Yana's blog to see her fabulous picks this month.  Enjoy the holiday season and try to go easy on your crazy family members!  

Source List:

  1. Snow Globe from West Elm
  2. Twinkle String Lights from Crate & Barrel
  3. Mercury Glass Bottle Vases from West Elm
  4. Feather Trees from West Elm
  5. Drummer Nutcracker from Crate & Barrel
  6. Laser Cut Village from Crate & Barrel
  7. Boxwood Square Wreath from West Elm
  8. Wiltern Knit Pillow from Ballard Designs
  9. Le Marais 9 Light Tea Light Holder from Ballard Designs

First Friday {outfit to room} Thanksgiving

Happy November people!  Can you believe the holidays are here already?  I know, its a scary thought, but before you go into a full on panic, let's take a quick breather to enjoy the fun part of the holidays....entertaining!  I absolutely love entertaining, and this year I'll be cooking 'The Bird' at my house (which reminds me, I better go put my turkey order in).  So, I thought for this month's First Friday, instead of designing a room inspired by fashion, I'd design a table.  Don't forget to check out Nomad Luxuries ideas this month too - Yana never disappoints!

I was so in love with  last month's post, that I found another emerald fashion trend to use as my inspiration this month.  I don't know what it is, but I'm drawn to this shade of green.  I feel like it is the perfect color for a holiday tablescape.  This outfit is classic and simple, just like your table should be for the holidays.  That way your conservative grandmother or your hip friend without kids can both find it inviting.

I am a huge fan of simple dishes with textural accents.  I love this Vera Wang set from Macys paired with natural pinecones and acorns.  It says ease and sophistication at the same time.  I am adore this emerald stemware and velvet trimmed burlap napkins.  Now all I have to do is figure out what to cook!

Sources:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

For more ideas take a peak at my Pinterest board too!  I hope you enjoyed this month's edition of 'Outfit to Room' (or Outfit to Table).  Make sure you check out Nomad Luxuries to see what she's up to this month.  Happy Holiday's everyone :)

{client love} paint palette

Friends!  I have been busy!  Who knew that taking care a baby 24-7 would take up SO much of your time.  I never thought I'd be one of those moms who takes a week to return an email, but sadly, I am that person now.  I feel like I do NOTHING and EVERYTHING everyday.  My little peanut is napping right now, so if efforts to accomplish something during my 45 minute break from mommyland, I thought I'd share something from my non-mommy world.  

My clients (and dear friends) needed some minor updates with there paint colors.  They hired a contractor to take there house from good to great with a few minor tweaks - one of them being touching up the walls.  There house has old plaster walls that have warped and cracked over the years.  The average guest would never see these imperfections, but to them it was the only thing they saw.  So there contractor smoothed out and patched all the walls to make them look brand new.  They also added crown molding and new baseboard throughout the house.  These minor details made for a pretty amazing transformation.  I can't wait until it's all done to share some photos with you.  

In the meantime, here is the very simple and neutral paint color palette that we created.  I have to say, its one of my favorites.  We started with the main house color - Mindful Gray, which was actually just one shade darker than the current color they had.  Taking it a shade darker really helped the new base and crown molding to pop.  We carried this color throughout the entire house and then used the other colors as accents in the bedrooms and bathrooms.  We used Lemongrass in the master bedroom, Ancient Marble in all the bathrooms, and Celery for the new Nursery.  Then we picked Roycraft Pewter for the accent wall in there dining room.   Its freaking gorgeous!

All the colors are from Sherwin Williams.