Life + Style

March 31, 2014

Princess Dress Up Corner

Is everyone having a good Monday?  The sun is shining and it's warm outside today here in Richmond.  It's lifted my mood by about 1000 degrees!  I feel like today really is the first day it feels like Spring.
I've been meaning to share with you a little update we made in Wells' room recently.  There is a small little nook just inside Wells' bedroom door.  During her big dream room makeover we decided to build bookshelves and turn it into a library.  Of course we ran out of time during our three day installation and it was put on the back burner until after the new year.  Once Christmas came, and with it a load of princess clothes, I knew we needed to refocus that area.  Don't worry, we have lots of other space in her room (and our playroom downstairs) to store books and encourage reading.

This nook was just begging to be turned into a princess dress up corner.  It was the perfect place to corral corral everything.  Matthew installed a simple wood bar and I hang up all of her dress up clothes.  I placed a basket on the floor to keep crowns, hats, fancy jewels, and gloves.  The shoe box full of princess shoes was turned on its back to accommodate a few extra pairs.  We also store her Sofia the First Karaoke Boom Box and her keyboard and guitar in the corner. 

I love that it encourages free play.  She loves to put on a performance for us at bedtime and she has access at her level to her things during the day.  It also has done wonders to distinguish school or Church clothes from "dress up clothes".  No worries about plastic shoe meltdowns on a Tuesday morning.

Because the clothes bar was hung low enough for easy child access we had a big blank space on the wall right at grown up eye level.  I wanted something bold enough to carry weight but not too busy.  The dress up is the star of the show.  I'm so in love with our purple You Are A Princess print from Uh Oh Pasghettio.  What a fun addition to any girls's room, but especially a princess corner.  We went with the 16x20 and popped it straight into an ikea ribba frame.  Done.

This room has just enough space to really call this a nook but you could easily adapt this system if your child's closet doesn't.  Hooks on the wall behind the door would also work.  The key is to have immediate visual access to everything.  And please don't think this is limited to just princess girl fun. This is our full on imagination corner.  And Tagg has his own system in his room because this type of play shouldn't be limited to girls.

I purposely chose to exclude a mirror from this area because 1. we didn't need it and 2. we didn't need it.  There is a giant mirror above her dresser and lots of mirrors in our home.  I'm not going to lie, I sneak a glance several times a day myself.  But seeing what you look like isn't the point of this corner.  I want to encourage Wells to dress up and chose colors and textures and try on different "personas" and focus on how it makes her feel in her heart and not what it looks like with her eyes.  Girl mom PSA over.


March 28, 2014

Five for Friday

 1.  This bedroom set up both above and below from Isabella Studio has me major swooning.  All that neutral coziness has me confidant I'm on the right path in our master bedroom.  I think we're going to need to add in a linen color to the bedding mix.

2.  This DIY kitchen hood storage has me pretty impressed.  I'm going to need M to get on that one.  They built is using an inexpensive range hood from Lowes.  I love that you get the look without the price or compromising storage.

3.  The ache.  I read this again last night for about the fourth time in as many weeks and it's so true.  How do you know when mourning no more babies is the same as wanting more?  I'm feeling so mixed on this issue.

4. Having some major discussions going on in our house lately about kitchen islands.  I'm pretty in love with this rustic look today.  I'm sure we'll go with something more classic but I can't help loving this look.

5.  I love everything about this tankini.  Sophisticated and you can still sit down and eat lunch.  Done.


March 27, 2014

New House: Master Bedroom Plans

master bedroom 3/14

master bedroom 3/14 by juliaryan

It's time to start talking more seriously about our master bedroom.   Matthew and I are just officially done with living like college kids.  We are both just completely on board with spending some money to make this room perfect.  Not just good, our bedroom at our old house looked good.  But it's never felt like us.  It felt more like a guest room than a master.  We're going to use a mix of working with what we have and adding in a realistic dose of what we plan to buy.

The rug.  It belongs to my mother in law and the only room it will fit in is our master or our living room.  Although you'll see in the mock-up below that we'd really love a sisal.  I'm not sure what we'll end up doing to be honest.  It feels really wasteful to buy a new rug at this point.

The Lamps.  I just purchased two very similar lamps from Homegoods specifically for this room.  Bam.  I'm in love with them.

The wall color. Sherwin Williams Sea Salt cut to 50%.  It's still A LOT of color.  It's gorgeous and I love it but we're still getting used to such a bold choice.

The chairs.  We actually have two wing chairs in our room right now that were graciously given to us by a friend.  I need to have slipcovers made for them but I'm not in a huge rush.

The White bedding.  I still love our Pottery Barn Classic Bedding. 

An Upholstered Tufted Linen Bed.

Matching bedside tables.  I want either white or weathered grey wood.  Open shelving.  At least one drawer.  At leaset 30' high.  Under $200.  Wish me luck.

Accessories.  A new mirror, picture frames, art, bench for the end of the bed, table for vignette by the windows. 

Sisal Rug.  You know I love them.  I put them in every space I can.  
master bedroom 3/14 part 2

master bedroom 3/14 part 2 by juliaryan

See, now that you look at the exact same plan with the sisal you like it better.  It's okay, we do too. I just really wish we had somewhere else to put the darker oriental rug so we could justify pulling the trigger on the lighter and more neutral sisal.

What do you think?  Do we work around the existing rug?  It's lovely and looks great in person.  It adds a lot of warmth to the room, both visually and literally.  It was in the living room in the house Matthew grew up in so I think that's special.  But is it special enough to keep out when it's not our style?

March 26, 2014

Furbish Vintage Sale 

Y'all.  Don't forget to head over to Furbish today at 11:00am.  They are having a one of a kind vintage sale online only.  I'm pretty excited that I don't have to leave until 11:50 for carpool line so I won't have to miss out.  They carry some of my favorite fun things for the home and I'm pretty intrigued by what this shop will include.


New House Kitchen Island Plan

 I have been pretty on task lately with convincing Matthew to get a bigger kitchen island.  No matter how close-by or casual I get our dining room, the bottom line is that we still need to be able to eat in our kitchen.  We have a toddler sized table and chairs for Wells and Tagg but Matthew and I find ourselves hovering around our current butcher block island eating most of our meals standing up.

I love our current butcher block and the granite top makes it an ideal workspace. I just want a larger surface.  And I'd love to have an open bottom where I can tuck four stools.  I'm not big on the idea of the stools taking up any extra space in the room.  I've yet to find something commercial that fits the bill.  We've talked about building something ourselves and adding a piece of stone to the top.  That way we can ensure the exact dimensions we want.

Have you done something similar?  I know people do this type of transformation all the time.  Did you turn a piece of furniture into an island?  I like the idea of not starting from scratch.

As always I've put together a plan of action.  Traditional elements paired with natural surfaces for texture.  You can see what the current state of the kitchen here or see how it looked right after we closed here.

French Kitchen Island | Nespresso | Round Belly Basket | Branson Glass Vase | Jenny Cutting Board | Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray | Flowers for 2014 Lulie Wallace Calendar | Napolean Backless Barstool | Classic Indoor / Outdoor Lantern | Catamaran Rug | I also love this island and this one too but they're just a bit too small for our space. 

I just found the original picture of our kitchen from the MLS listing which shows the island that was previously there.  It also gives a better true before for you to compare.


March 25, 2014

The Doctors Closet | Style Me Pretty Home Tour

I can't even begin to tell y'all how much I love Monika's home.  I pretty much stalk her instagram and devoured every image I've seen of both her feature in Style at Home and house tour on Style Me Pretty.  All that white!  It seems peaceful but still liveable.  This is my kind of neutral at it's finest.  I seriously can't get enough!


March 24, 2014

Our Weekend

 Thanks so much for your feedback last week on what machine you use to make your coffee.  I spent some time investigating the new Nespresso Virtuoline and the Keurig over the weekend.  It's safe to say I'm obsessed with the quality of the Nespresso, hands down.  It froths without milk.  Bam.  The Keurig seems a bit more reasonable and less of a splurge so I can't rule that out yet either.  But I drink a lot of coffee.  In fact, I'd say I'm never without it except around happy hour wine time.  So maybe it's worth the splurge right?  I just need to figure out just how many cups of coffee I can order at Starbucks before I start seeing a justified savings.  Will keep you posted on what we decide.

As I mentioned on Friday, Matthew and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary this weekend.  We have crammed a lot into five years.  Four homes, two states, lost jobs, new jobs, one dog, and two kids.  I don't even want to think about the gallons of paint and diapers we've been through.

So to celebrate we pretty much went on an adventure in food eating.  Starting with happy hour cheese plate on the front porch and ending with gourmet donuts on a rainy Sunday morning.  I think I'm going to have to eat salad all week to compensate all the nonsense I consumed.  My parents took the kids for the day on Saturday and we pretty much just went from one place to the next eating and drinking wine and shopping.  It's really fun to have a day date and spend time together in the sunshine.  Sharing several hours in a row together and not just cramming in two or three quickly for date night.  It was perfect.

I got the sweetest surprise in the mail from Shop Poppy Style.  She designed the turquoise spike necklace just for me and I'm in love with it!  I was so curious to she what she came up with after I gave her a very odd description of my style.  Preppy but not too predictable.   A statement piece but still delicate and not too over the top.  Turquoise and gold. This is pretty much perfection. 

She's going to be making a few more of these and adding them to the shop soon.   It's such a fun addition.  It's a little bit preppy and a little bit boho, my favorite combination.

Gold Chain Links Necklace | Turquoise necklace from Shop Poppy Style | striped shirt from last year (similar here and here) | Tan Blazer from last season (similar version here, here or here) | Jeans | Juliska Breakfast Cup (pictured above)

Big thanks to Style Me Pretty for featuring me in their list of Amazing Blogs to Follow!  To say I'm in good company is a major understatement.  Lots of talent floating around out there.

Enough about me.  What did y'all do this weekend?  Hopefully something outside on Friday and Saturday.  I don't want to discuss the impending forecast for tomorrow. We're supposed to get more snow here.  I can't even talk about it. That's going to make for a very long week.


March 21, 2014

Coffee Talk | How do you make your coffee

Keurig, Nespresso, Tassimo, Verismo, Mr. Coffee.  I'm confused.

I just want a good cup of coffee in the morning.  Or three.  Okay, but no more that four.  So tell me, what kind of coffee situation do you have at home?  Is it seriously more expensive to have one of these fancy one-cup at a time machines than a regular pot of coffee?  Or is it just so much tastier that you don't even care?

I would love to hear your insight into which machine you have and what you like or don't like about it.  I've looked at four different versions of the keurig alone and I can't figure out the differences between the models.  Maybe the volume of coffee it can make?

By the way, it's my fifth wedding anniversary today.  So double cheers to that!  There will be lots of cake for breakfast and eating going around here all weekend!

I've also linked up to the Virginia Bloggers today thanks to my girl Alyson.  I'm curious to check out the other blogs.  There aren't very many local blogs that I read and I want to change that.


March 20, 2014

Tory Burch Private Sale

The sun has come out!  Hallelujah!  It's going to be afternoon cocktails in the backyard here in a few short hours.  There is just one hour left between me and a corona!  Have y'all checked out the Private Sale going on right now at Tory Burch?  There is lots of goodness at up to 70% off!  Might just be the perfect time to pick up a new tote for Spring.

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