Bohemian Living Room Refresh

When Shauna sent me a note saying she needed help refreshing her living room, and that she loved the vintage bohemian vibe, I was super pumped for this project! She already had several pieces, both furniture and art, that she wanted to continue using, but was looking to freshen up the space and incorporate some pink. 

Inspirational Images

Before Pictures and the "Keep List"

From these "before" pictures, she wanted or needed to keep the following: 

  • Sofa
  • Coffee Table
  • Beige Chair and Ottoman
  • Art over Sofa
  • Black and White Syracuse Street Name Art
  • Blue and White Cabinet (open to painting)
  • Starburst Mirror
  • Vintage Rug (not shown in pictures)

The client also had a pink heart print she wanted to use and requested a silhouette of her puppy, Abe, be incorporated.  

Achieving Bohemian Style 

When trying to achieve an eclectic, bohemian feel the key is to layer things in a way that feels collected and accumulated but not cluttered. To accomplish this, quality and authenticity are incredibly important! While rattan and kilim patterns are en vogue right now, choosing vintage items rather than reproductions helps to establish a rich, storied environment. A few original paintings balance the pop art and adding plants is a must for any bohemian inspired room. 

When searching for vintage furniture, art, and accessories, Craigslist, Etsy, Chairish, and 1st Dibs are all great places to start.

The mood board we sent the client shows new and "new vintage" items mixed with the furniture and art from their "keep list". Rearranging, painting furniture, and some new textiles can go a long way in updating a room!

I can't wait to share pictures of the finished room once it all comes together, but for now, here are some links to shop this look for your own home!

Shop the Look

Little Lovelies

Thrifted Vintage, Bargain Treasures, and a New Design Book

Sometimes you have such a great week you simply have to share all the little things that made it lovely. (Clockwise, starting with the top left)

  1. I was hunting for vintage globes at an antique show this summer but they all seemed a bit pricey. This beauty was a mere $6 at a thrift store and I love the colors in it!
  2. My long-awaited copy of Emily Henderson's new book, Styled arrived and I devoured it in less than 24 hours front to back. I highly recommend it! The style quiz was a blast and the results were spot on! Stay tuned for an in-depth review in the near future!
  3. Isn't this wreath amazing?! I think it is the texture that really does it for me. I also enjoy that it can work with both fall and winter decor. YAY for double duty! The best part, when I found it at Christmas Tree Shops, I fell so in love I took a deep breath and knew that even for $30, a little more than I typically spend on an impulse decor purchase, I had to get it. Then, when I got to the register, it rang up at 1/2 off!!! 
  4. This vintage Steelcase office chair was another big win. The castors are in beautiful condition, a little gold spray paint, some new upholstery, refinishing of the wooden arms, and this chair will shine! Did I mention it's also incredibly comfortable?
  5. I was surprised to find this hanging basket lamp at Goodwill. It was on a top shelf and either no one else realized how easy it would be to update that ancient electrical wiring (I just switched it out with this $5 piece from Ikea) or the thrift store gods were guarding it for me. Since I moved the table lamp that was originally there, I think this will go perfectly in Grey's nursery!
  6. This marble base and glass dome were another thrifted treasure. I'm excited to pick out a few little baby succulents to display in it!

A Vintage Inspired Wedding

Some tips, tricks, and things to think about when planning your big day!

I can't believe it has been four years since my favorite day ever--when I married the handsome man I now get to call my husband. I loved planning every part of my wedding and we handled most of the details ourselves (and by "ourselves" of course I mean with the help of our awesome family and friends!).

On the day of our wedding we opted to take most of our photos earlier in the day. We didn't want people to have to wait for us and we really wanted to savor every moment of the celebration. We still planned for the big moment when Matt would see me in my dress for the first time and had our photographer capture the whole thing. It ended up being a really special time for the two of us to enjoy each other before the wonderful whirlwind started.

Since we really enjoy hiking and wanted an elegant picnic vibe, we selected a local Park for both our ceremony and reception. We live in beautiful, rural, upstate NY and had many parks to choose from. Here are a few of the reasons we knew Pratts Falls County Park was the one: the indoor space would comfortably hold our guests and was the perfect canvas for our vintage-chic decorations, there was ample outdoor space with a gorgeous view for our ceremony, and there was a full kitchen on site for our caterer. If you're looking for a unique, affordable venue, check your local parks!

In keeping with the overall motif for the day, we chose vintage inspired pieces. A simple lace dress and birdcage veil paired nicely with linen pants, a vest and tie. Remember, you aren't limited to bridal boutiques and tux rentals--the grooms entire outfit was purchased at H&M! 

I think the food at a wedding is so important! Even though you probably won't take time to eat much that day, your guests will appreciate good food! One of my favorite parts was our cocktail hour. It was simple, informal, and the perfect opportunity to chat with everyone while sipping drinks on the lawn. 

Neither our venue nor caterer came with waitstaff, but we wanted the evening to have an air of sophistication. To achieve this, we asked acquaintances to help serve appetizers, tend bar, and clear plates etc. It really went a long way in making the evening feel special and we were so grateful for their help!

We had a traditional wedding cake, but we also wanted some personal touches that would make the day feel like us. My favorite dessert is ice cream so we had a soft serve ice cream machine and hand dipped cones. Since Matt loves candy, we used custom printed cloth bags for guests to fill with treats from the candy bar as favors.

I love fresh flowers and had a vision for what I wanted, BUT, flowers are expensive, my friends! I had a local florist make my bouquet, but for the the centerpieces I purchased buckets of flowers wholesale. My aunt used vases I had bought at thrift stores and assembled the table arrangements for us on the morning of the big day.  

Seating Chart:
Everyone dreads this part! I think a well-planned seating chart makes the day better for everyone though. It's no fun to try finding an empty chair in a crowded room, and no matter how much you want them to--even without assigned seats--people won't really mingle, they will just stake a claim and stay there. I can't make that part much more fun, you just have to buckle down and get it done. I can share a fun idea to display your seat assignments though! 

I took vintage windows and arranged childhood pictures of us behind the glass. Then I used miniature clothespins to secure the seat assignments to twine wrapped around the windows. It was fun for friends and family to see the pictures while they found their seat. 

Table Settings:
I knew we wanted "real" dishes but didn't want the standard white rentals. So, Matt and I spent many Saturdays sorting through stacks of vintage plates at thrift stores until we had enough dinner and dessert plates to use! We also collected vintage teacups to serve coffee in. The stemware and white linen tablecloths were rented from a local company, but we discovered it was actually less expensive to purchase the silverware and cloth napkins so we went that route. This also allowed us to pre-wrap the silverware in our napkins so they were ready to the day of.  

At the end of the evening we had a sparkler send-off. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day! I definitely recommend ordering "wedding" sparklers online--they are longer than typical sparklers and this ensures everyone's sparkler stays sparkly long enough for you to enjoy the moment and get some good pictures!

Speaking of pictures--all of these awesome photos were done by our amazing photographer, Jen Vrooman of Vrooman Photography

Create Spaces That Encourage What You Love!

Interior design isn't always about big projects or total overhauls--sometimes it means creating small spaces within your home that encourage you to do what you love!

I love reading; there is nothing quite like curling up with a good book and a fresh cup of coffee. Here are a few important things that I think really help make the experience top notch! 

First, the perfect chair! These vintage beauties are just the right size and they are ridiculously comfortable! I think a throw pillow and cozy blanket really round out the comfy factor. In the summer, I enjoy that I can have the windows open behind me--nothing like some natural light and fresh air. Finally, a small side table is the perfect place to set your book and favorite sipping beverage. Now, all that's left is to carve out some time to settle in and get lost in your favorite book!

Here's a quick look at my recent reading list!

1. Empty Mansions -- While mindlessly perusing Amazon kindle books one evening, looking for something to read, I stumbled across this book. The synopsis captured my attention and I immediately downloaded it into my kindle library. It is a fascinating history of one family's wealth, power, and scandal. It was not quite as mysterious as I was hoping for, but still interesting nonetheless. 

2. Black Water Rising -- I picked this up after hearing an interview with the author, Attica Locke, on NPR. I was impressed by the history of the small Texas town that inspired pieces of this book. The actual story did not disappoint. It reads a little slow--surprisingly this did not detract, but actually added to the drama and tone. I cannot wait to read the sequel, Pleasantville! 

3. Blink -- After seeing a movie at the mall with my husband, we passed through the food court and I saw what appeared to be a Redbox, but for BOOKS! I was ridiculously excited to find that it was indeed a vending box/mini library where all I had to do was scan my library card and voila! I could borrow a book right there. This book is an interesting look at how both our subconscious and conscious work to take in and make decisions about the world around us, when we should trust instinct, and what warrants a second pass. 

4. Valley Of The Dolls -- This was a bookclub pick and I am on the fence about it. It was an entertaining read but I felt like the characters fell a little flat. Not bad for a summer afternoon at the beach, but not my all-time favorite.

5. Scary Close -- A long-distance friend suggested we both read this and then chat about our thoughts and impressions. She loved it but I was not convinced. As we talked about the reasons for our opinions, I realized we were coming at the book from totally different places. This is a book about self-discovery and authenticity--where my friend applauded the author's bravery, I was skeptical. I think I may need to re-read this with a bit more grace and little less cynicism.

6. Do Over -- Full confession: I started listening to this as an audio book and have not finished yet. The first few chapters were great but I think I need to pick up a physical copy so I can digest it a little more slowly. 

That's it for my reading lately... How about you? I'd love to hear about your recent reads! Comment below and tell me what have you loved and why you would recommend it! I'd also be excited to know how you intentionally create spaces in your home to do what you love!

Sneak Peek: Eclectic Farmhouse Kitchen Design Board

A recent client was all about the DIY so I was excited to put together a kitchen design that really showcased her (and her hubby's!) renovation skills. These DIY projects feature tutorials from some other awesome bloggers and the links can be found below. 

DIY Sources:

Drop Cloth Curtains -- These curtains amazing! They don't require any sewing and they are a huge bargain as they are made with inexpensive drop cloths. If you are aiming for a less-rustic look, you could quickly hem the edges!

Subway Tile Backsplash -- The images in this tutorial are stunning and I love how the dark grout contrasts so beautifully with the white tile. 

Butcher Block Counters -- Learn how to make and maintain these gorgeous counters! The warm wood against the white cupboards is the perfect balance of crisp and cozy.

Coffee Cup Holder -- Keep your mugs within easy reach with this pallet inspired piece. 

Jute Placemats -- The only items you will need to make these Pottery Barn inspired jute placemats are 3/8" jute and a hot glue gun. This is the perfect project to complete in an afternoon and then use for a dinner party!

Dresser turned Kitchen Island -- What a genius idea this island is! Just hit up your local thrift store or check craigslist and then turn a forlorn dresser into a beauty like this one!
Here is another great example of this idea.
*Note: I changed the color of the piece shown on the board using photoshop in order to match the client's design and color scheme. 

Husky Farmhouse Table -- Here is a great tutorial for a table nearly identical to the one pictured. 


Additional Sources: 

Shiplap Ceiling
Floating Shelves
Enamel Sink