Rethinking the Dining Space

I feel like it was just yesterday that G and her daddy were putting together the kiddie table so she could be a “big girl” and move out of her highchair. Now that she and M are sharing the kiddie table, the food has been flying! Literally. And feet kicking each other, and hands pushing elbows, and the screaming is endless. I’ve come to the decision, as my hearing and sanity go, that we need a bigger table.

Our house doesn't have a dedicated dining room, so I've designed the large entry living area as a living/dining mix, more of an "adult" space for my husband and I. Unfortunately, we rarely eat in there and the dining table has become more of a utility table for catching our keys and mail, setting up the keyboard so G can practice piano, general living instead of dining. We have a large island in the kitchen that we purchased from Ikea a few years ago, which is where my husband and I eat while the girls are at their little table. And until recently, it's been a great set-up. Cue the screaming over someone's toe is touching the other one's...

I had high hopes of bringing our current dining table into the kitchen, jumping on the dine-in-kitchen trend, but our large glass round table just doesn't fit. And I'm getting the feeling that my husband is over it (he's the one that actually pushed for a new table and started showing me ones he liked!). Let the furniture hunt begin!

My personal design style is a take on mid-century with a little boho and glam. That being said, I want to mix a long chunky-wood table with some fun chairs. Here are a few dream rooms I found to help explain my design goal to my husband. So much easier to show him than describe it.

While these rooms are mostly dedicated dining rooms, I'm going to transplant the look right into our kitchen. We have a wide open wall that the table will go up against, with a bench tucked neatly under so we can pull it out and seat 3 more people when we have guests. Brilliant, right? 

Check out a few of the chair options I found. I'm leaning heavily toward the white Eames style chair, but we'll see... 

I'm so excited to get our new dining situation going, opening up a whole list of design possibilities: do we get a new kitchen light fixture? We need to redecorate the living room into a genuine living room. Should we bring a desk into the living room? And on and on and on... I'm beyond thrilled! Summer is going to be fun for me.

Mid-Century Plant Stand DIY

I'm on a serious DIY kick. From birthday parties to artwork, and now plant stands. The number of Pins in my DIY projects Pinterest board is constantly growing. But I was recently able to check one more off the list - the Mid-Century Inspired Plant Stand.

While our living room is almost to the point where I'd call it complete, it's still lacking plants. A little greenery goes a long way to making a room feel more inviting. So says the woman who didn't have a single plant in her apartment forever! I decided that I wanted to make this room just a bit more plant-friendly. Enter the plant stand. 

Source: West Elm

I love the West Elm Modern Planter. And, with my recent state of mind of Super DIY, I felt like it was something my husband and I could tackle. He gets dragged into any project that involves wood-working. I'm convinced he loves it, especially the getting-new-tools part!

I found this tutorial ages ago and decided it was the one we'd follow. 

It was a little harder than expected. Key tip from my husband, turns out it works best if you actually have a drill press rather than a Forstner bit (don't I sound like I know what I'm talking about?!). But with a LOT of encouragement from me, my husband powered through and made it work.

A little jerry rigging, sanding and staining later, our plant stand is complete! All thanks to my sweet husband. I like it so much, we may have to make a larger one in the next few weeks, now that we know what we're doing.

And my plant is thriving in its new home! I should have moved it ages ago.

Here are a few more planter options from West Elm that are also Mid Century inspired and really attractive. Maybe we'll get into wire-working, or maybe not.

Happy Belated New Year Trends

January is already half over and here I am with a New Year, New Trends post. Better late than never!

The first half of the month has been such a blur with both girls having their birthday, the Frozen-themed party to end all Frozen parties that I threw, and then the party recovery (for me!). I'll share more on that in the next week or so as I polish up my photos, etc. Needless to say, 2016 hasn't felt much different than 2015. There hasn't been a chance to breathe since Christmas!

Nonetheless, I've been trying to catch up on some of my design reading and have seen so many wonderful things to start off the new year. Everyone always has a myriad of predictions and trends that will take hold, so I've filtered through them and am giving you the ones I'm seeing/loving/hoping will stick.

Color of the Year

Each year Pantone comes out with a fabulous color that they see taking the world by storm. But this year is even better, they have TWO: Rose Quartz and Serenity

So calm and peaceful. A nod to how the year will play out, hopefully.  I found some fabulous interiors that are already incorporating this color trend.

Benjamin Moore even has a Color of the Year, Simply White. I love white and have been dreaming of a white kitchen forever. I guess B.M. figured you can't go wrong with a neutral that can be used any time anywhere.

Colored Stainless Steel Appliances

I remember first seeing an ad for black stainless KitchenAid appliances back in June. Not only is stainless steel now black, but its also in a lighter Sunset Bronze finish. Apparently its trending and will be in even more kitchens in the year to come. No matter what your thoughts on stainless, the new shades add a sleekness that has been missing from appliances for a while. For me, I like the crispness of stainless, but feel that it's in absolutely every kitchen and there's little to be excited about, until now! 

Statement Bathroom-Mirrors

Ever since my mom ditched her builder-basic clip mirror in the bathroom for an over-sized framed Ikea mirror this summer, I've wanted to do it in every bathroom in my house! Flip it on the horizontal and voila, you've got a great statement piece to dress up the bathroom. You can even DIY your plain old mirror into something fabulous here.

Patterned Kitchen Tile

The days of neutral kitchen tile are over. Its time to spice up the kitchen, permanently!

World-Wide Treasures

You can't flip through a magazine or catalog without seeing wonderful handcrafted objects from around the globe. From Guatemalan fabrics, to Indian boxes, linework shoulder vases made in the Phillipines, it's all about the one-of-a-kind look to make your home stand out of the crowd.


Enjoy your start to 2016. I have a feeling it's going to be a great year full of fun and creative things!

Let the Walls Do the Talking

I must be preoccupied with the blank walls in my home, because all I think about is paint, art work, mirrors, anything related to dressing my walls. 
I recently bought a set of sea urchins from Target and am loving them on the wall!

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Since hanging them up and being absolutely pleased with how they look, I've been all about 3D art.
I've spent hours searching high and low to come up with a few collections of items that would be fun to hang on the wall that isn't the traditional piece of framed art. Here are some that really struck a chord with me:

Wall Discs of all Sorts

Collections of Objects

Animal Sculptures

These are so much better than the taxidermy sort, at least in my opinion.

Wall Plates

I've never been one to collect plates, but in my wall decor search I found that One Kings Lane has a ridiculous amount, all styles and shapes! It got me thinking, when I was growing up my mother had a tremendous Scandinavian plate collection on the kitchen wall. I had to throw one into my Wall Plate gallery as a nod to her, love you mom!

From Circles to Squares and Other Shapes

I know there's a lot, but I couldn't resist. There are so many options that its mind boggling. Which are your favorites? I'd love to know!