We had a fun afternoon Sunday at the local Parade of Homes. We toured eight houses, each from different area builders, and I think it was a successful show. It's always amusing listening to all the other people touring the houses to see who likes what.
For the most part, I think everyone played it pretty safe design-wise. These showhouses generally aren't about trends or pushing the envelope, so I didn't see any extremely bold colors, patterns, or off-beat design choices, but I saw a lot that I liked that would appeal to the average homeowner. There were a few things that weren't necessarily my taste, sure, but nothing that really turned me off—that has happened in the past.
I wanted to share the elements and ideas I liked best that, for the most part, anyone could do.
Well, today was a lot of things, but let's just say today was a Monday.
One thing did go well, which was a quick meeting with the event coordinator regarding our vow renewal. I looked at some options for where we can have the brief ceremony if the weather is nice enough to hold it outside. I also chose the tablecloth and napkin colors, now that I have a tentative plan in place for the decorations. It's going to be pretty low key, because I am going to try and do it myself (party decor I tend to do DIY, that's about the only thing). Since I'm still going to be really busy between now and October fourth, I'm getting a little stressed about fitting it all in.
Some days I catch myself calling it "the wedding" and I'm trying to find a balance between having enough decoration that it looks pretty and not so many that it looks like I am trying to recreate the big day. I am using a slightly more grown up version of our original color palette and I modeled the invitation after our original. But most of our wedding decor was floral, and we just don't have the budget for that. So I'm going to try a few things and hope they work out. If they do, I'll post them.
Here is a 10-year vow renewal I came across today from Green Wedding Shoes. It's more "done" than ours will be; of course, they had an event planner and photographer. I can't afford to rent the fancy chairs or put up a big backdrop but I do want to make sure it feels special and pretty. And apparently, this site is like a secret weapon for engaged girls: Cloud Parade, which is probably the most dangerous thing to happen to me right now. Someone hide my wallet.
all images via green wedding shoes
This seemed like a very long week to me (though I'm thrilled to report the baby slept through the night again, so I'm not as tired as yesterday).
On Sunday we'll be attending the local Parade of Homes, which is like a showhouse tour to promote area builders. Local interior designers, stagers, and sometimes the builders themselves decorate the houses, so I'll be looking for new ideas and inspiration. I'm looking forward to it, as I do every year, but more so this year because there is finally (finally!) going to be a contemporary style model, as in one that is not Colonial or Craftsman. I'm hoping to see enough good design to be able to write about it for Monday.
But first, some under $50 fun! Nothing spooky for Friday the 13th. I'll wait for Halloween, my favorite holiday of all.
How pretty are these delicate wood bottle stoppers ($22 each) from Leif?
80s kids and mix tape lovers, this cookie cutter ($16) from Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store has you covered. Now you just have to decide what angsty name to frost on each cookie.
A bright set of letterpress coasters by Thimblepress ($8 for set of 5; green pattern not pictured) from Brika. The set is usually $10, but is currently discounted because it just launched on the site.
Adorable paperclip holder ($14.75) from Maxiga. I love how it looks like he's in tall grass! They also have a deer, polar bear, and swan. (paperclips not included)
Balloons and so-cute clowns and circus folk adorn this kids' pillow ($42.80 with cushion filler) from Zara Home.
Missed last week's under $50 picks? Click each image for details.
Truth time: I'm phoning this one in. For the last few weeks I've been working on two stories at once, with a third starting this weekend. For the first, I was interviewing experts, drafting a sidebar, and sourcing dozens of products. The second, a local interiors story, involved an interview which I took care of with plenty of time. My product pitches for story one were due just ahead of when I had to turn in my copy for story two, so I prioritized the first story.
So, there was more work involved, yada yada yada, finished the first part of story one, but started story two late. Plus I started this blog, and I'm trying hard to produce something interesting (and coherent) daily. Because I refuse to miss a deadline, I was up until 4am yesterday and up until 6am this morning finishing the article and trying to trim down the word count.
I promise I'm not horrific at time management, but on top of these, I work from home while watching my 10-month old full time. My sweet smiley Sunshine who is generally delightful during the day, but requires pesky things like feeding, changing, and attention. Between her needs, dinner, and the extremely drawn out bedtime routines of an insomniac preschooler and the Hyde-baby that comes out at night (and twice in the middle of the night), I don't get much time to work or sleep. I welcome advice from anyone who's been there!
Sadly, I do my best work in the wee hours of the night and under deadline pressure. More sadly, last night was the first night in months (months!) that Sunshine actually slept through the night. From around 10p until 7a this morning. It was sad that I couldn't also enjoy some uninterrupted sleep, though it was good to have uninterrupted work. So no heavy machinery for me today, needless to say. If you would, cross your fingers for me tonight.
This bedroom is in the Woodlands Cottage at deluxe Winvian Resort in CT. I've actually been lucky enough to stay in that cottage, in that very bed. It was for an overnight press trip and I was so relaxed that my husband thought I was drunk when I called him. Plus, the sunken tub, my lord. My dream would be to go back, but it's pricey!
image via winvian resort
Xx a zzzzzzz
I'm on deadline for a freelance article, so forgive my brevity today (or maybe you welcome it!). Just wanted to share two excellent details from a Naples, FL beach house designed by Carrier and Company, recently featured in House Beautiful. Interior designers Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller are extremely talented, and whenever I've worked with or seen them in the past, it's been an absolute pleasure every time.
Look at this insanely cool natural piece by artist Ran Adler that they chose for above the fireplace in the house's living room. I feel like at any moment it may start spinning and suck me into its vortex. I love it. Stringing, wiring, and weaving natural elements like sun-dried horsetail reeds, Adler creates undulating representations of wind and water. The unexpected material and fluidity add a great layer of texture and depth to the room.
A Victorian hat rack in a vibrant lacquered red becomes a statement piece and remains totally functional. Such a lovely shape made even more special in an attention-grabbing color. I wonder if the homeowner had this piece already and they modernized it, or if the designers brought it in. Either way, wow.
I guess this was my version of brief... Click below to see the whole wonderful project.
all images via house beautiful
I'm in awe of people—especially young people—who charge out into the world and try to truly enact change for the better. And I'm equally, if not more so, in awe of people who are in extremely disadvantaged positions and fight to be agents of change for their families and their communities. All the women behind Mercado Global are such people.
Founder Ruth DeGolia began the company as a college student in 2004 after spending time in Guatemala and seeing the abject poverty and lack of opportunities. Over the last nine years, with her heart and business savvy, she and her team have built a nonprofit fair trade organization dedicated to alleviating poverty and developing an infrastructure for female artisans to support themselves. More than 400 skilled women in 30-plus cooperatives across Guatemala craft by hand jewelry, pillows, and bags to be sold in North and Latin America. Mercado Global partners with the indigenous women to educate and empower artisans, and to connect them to the literal global market in order to create the opportunities needed to break the cycle of poverty and to provide education and nutritious food, among other needs, for themselves and their children.
Their chic new handcrafted bags, now available at Red Envelope, directly support the process.
all images via red envelope
Italian designer Paola Navone's highly-anticipated collection for Crate and Barrel debuted in select stores and online today; the line will roll out to all stores by the end of the week. It is the first of three planned collections and includes nearly 150 pieces of tabletop, furniture, textiles, lighting, and decorative accents. Paola Navone is a renowned talent with her hand in architecture, interior design, product design, and set design.
Organic shapes and a mix of materials all evoke the Mediterranean inspiration that threads itself through much of the well-traveled designer's work.
Yesterday we spent a lovely afternoon at our friends' wedding. The ceremony and reception were intimate, rustic, and sweet. And the dessert table featured insanely delicious homemade biscotti, brownies, s'mores treats (with from-scratch marshmallows), and caramel corn. Mmmm.
In just under a month, my husband and I will be celebrating our 10-year anniversary. We are renewing our vows and having a very small dinner party at the place where our wedding reception was held (the zoo!). So now, even though I have a lot of work due over the next two weeks, I'm also looking for small-and-simple decoration ideas for the dinner. These richly colored bouquets are a beautiful place to start getting inspired.
Brighten your child's closet with some of these adorable Farm, Zoo, and Pet Hanger Buddiez ($2.99 for set of four assorted hangers) from The Container Store. Seriously, $3 for 4 hangers!
And if your little one requires littler hangers, these precious wooden Pet and Zoo Infant Animal Hangers ($7.99 for set of three assorted hangers), also from The Container Store, are such a sweet option.
images via the container store
#checkout this blog with shop-themed puns
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