Roses are Red, Violets are Blue

Little black dress with a twist

Little black dress with a twist

It’s been so fun seeing all the pretty and feminine spring pieces pop up in stores over the past few weeks, especially in contrast to the dreary weather we’ve been having here in Portland. I like to stock up on clothes and accessories at the beginning of each season so I have optimal selection before they’re picked over – and then I do another pass at the end of the season when whatever’s left goes on sale (in preparation for next year.)

This ‘Budding Floral Sheath’ dress from Maggy London is one of the pieces I was most excited to add to my wardrobe. As a LBD, it’s not too far out of my comfort zone and in my usual color pallet (if you can even call it a color pallet) of black. But the gorgeous rosebud details make the dress a little more special than your average LBD. It’s the perfect dress for a day or night event – like champagne brunch, a spring bridal shower or wedding, or just any old cocktail party.

I had some extra fun styling this one because I just happened to already own the most fabulous sparkly pink pumps and red clutch (both gifts from my incredibly stylish mother-in-law) that matched the flowers in this dress perfectly… But if you don’t have matching pieces on hand, the dress would look just as lovely with paired down shoes and accessories in classic black or nude.

OUTFIT DETAILS
Gifted ‘Budding Floral Sheath’ dress from Maggy London. Saint Laurent clutch (sold out – similar here and for less here). Manolo Blahnik ‘BB’ heels. Bauble Bar ring. David Yurman bracelet. Mac Lipcolour in ‘Unchanging’. Lenox toasting flute.

Glitter Monolos and a little black dress

Remember when I told you guys about my plans for a wall of books in our house and then never followed up with any pictures of the finished product? Well this post can serve as the part 2 of that series, as the wall has looked like this for a few years now. The bookshelves are filled with random pictures and knick knacks with varying degrees of sentimental value from Carter’s and my childhood and life together (I know you were wondering about the superhero action figures and pug piggy bank!)

Glitter manolos and a little black dress with a twist from Maggy London

And we made a design decision to organize the books by color, but to be honest that made it pretty difficult to find anything when they’re laid out this way so next time I have some free time, I’m thinking I’ll re-organize them by genre… But overall, I think the shelves turned out pretty well and give this awkward space in the back of our living room a purpose.

Floral dress and red clutch

Maggie London LBD

Disclosures: This post was made in collaboration with Maggy London and the dress was a gift to me from them. As you guys know by now, I ONLY accept partnerships with brands that I love and I feel confident you would love as well. All opinions expressed here are my own.


signature

Kitchen Art Updates from Minted

Art from Minted in the kitchen

Art from Minted in the kitchen

That wall behind our kitchen island and bar, now filled with delightful art prints, was once, not too long ago, a blank, depressing space lacking any creativity or personality at all. In fact, we lived for two whole years with that emptiness, simply because we couldn’t seem to find pieces we both loved that were the right scale or price for our aesthetic and budget.

A few months ago I helped my mom solve a similar dilemma in her bedroom. I referred her to a website I had stumbled upon on Pinterest – Minted – an online art store that features independent artists’ prints and framing at affordable prices. I helped my mom choose a number of pieces to supplement a gallery wall we created for her, and the entire experience was seamless and easy – words I wouldn’t usually use to describe buying art.

Fast forward a few months and Carter and I decide it’s time to revisit that giant wall in our kitchen. Right around the same time that we’re discussing what to do with the space, I’m contacted by someone from Minted asking if I would like their help putting the finishing touches on a room with their art. The timing couldn’t have been better and after having already worked with my mom using Minted, I had no hesitations at all and agreed immediately.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but choosing art can be challenging at best and discouraging and expensive at worst. Luckily, Minted has a huge, already-curated selection. Depending on which direction we decided to go, I know there would have been a large number of pieces that would have worked well in our space. Minted’s website lets you filter by color, type of art, orientation, etc. so it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

After going back and forth with the filters a number of times, Carter and I ultimately decided on Down Under the Brooklyn Bridge by Jax Robyn for above our bar and Gesturing Man and Grasping Man by Derek Overfield for behind the island. Minted has a huge number of colorful, rich-looking pieces but we went with more neutral colors so that they could fit into most any decor. This was a tough decision but I think it was ultimately the right one for us, considering how often we like to switch up our decor and accessories at home. Since we live in an open-concept space, the wall we were decorating leads directly from our kitchen into our living room, so we wanted the transition to be seamless and neutral colors was the best way to achieve that.

After we made our decision, we placed the order on Minted.com and waited… Five whole days. Amazingly, our art arrived, custom framed, within the week. It was packaged throughly and everything was in pristine condition when we removed it from the boxes.

Art from Minted

After hanging everything, I couldn’t be happier! The pictures totally embody the vibe we were going for in the room. We wanted a calming, urban oasis and these Minted prints were exactly what we needed to finish off our space.

If you’re struggling with choosing art for your own home, I highly recommend checking out Minted. Every single thing about the process was easy and enjoyable and their prices for printing and framing cannot be beat!

Kitchen art from Minted

Disclosures: I received a credit toward Minted prints in exchange for writing my review. As you guys know by now, I ONLY accept partnerships with brands that I love and I feel confident you would love as well. All opinions expressed here are my own.


signature

Our Simple, Cost-Effective Entryway

Simple entryway bench and art

simple entryway art and bench

Logically speaking, it’s best to decorate the rooms that get seen most often first and the lesser-seen rooms last. So it really makes no sense that our guest room was the first room we finished and our entryway was one of the last. I have no reasonable explanation for this. Really.

But for the past two years that we’ve lived here, our entryway has been completely neglected – cluttered by piles of shoes, dog toys, and whatever handbags I wore that week. It was sloppy and ugly. And it was the first thing people saw when they walked in our door.

That changed last weekend.

Simple cost effective entry bench and art

My design-conscious husband knew I had my heart set on a small bench for this area. But between budget restrictions and our own personal tastes, finding the perfect bench was a chore. But on Saturday when Carter stumbled across a rustic, reclaimed-wood bench with lots of character for only $200 at Grand Marketplace, he knew we had to have it!

As I’m sure you know, art can be very expensive. Even prints. The cactus prints hung here are vintage and were a great price from the Etsy shop Gnosis Picture Archive. I had a local frame shop cut custom mats to fit the prints then framed them with Ikea Ribba frames (the mats that come with the frame weren’t the right size for the prints). Overall, the art and framing cost me a little over $100, which is a steal for something of this scale that has this much impact on a fairly large wall.

entryway shelf for keys and god leash

Before we re-decorated this area, we had Carter’s old nightstand from college tucked in the corner to serve as a key stand. Neither of us were crazy about the piece but we were having trouble finding a table narrow enough and tall enough for the area so we lived with it for a while.

Then we came up with the idea to float a shelf and Carter picked up this corner one from Home Decorator’s Collection (Home Depot’s surprisingly stylish and well-priced line). He hung it in a matter of minutes and now our keys have a simple, chic little home.

The key dish, which doubles as a jewelry catch-all, was a wedding gift from one of my girlfriends from our Pottery Barn wedding registry.

entryway art bench and key tray

When we got engaged, Carter and I put home decorating on pause so we could focus our finances on our wedding and honeymoon. But now that we’re married and things have settled down, it feels really good to be able to put some attention toward finishing our home. We also made some good progress on our master bedroom last weekend so hopefully I’ll have some photos to share with you soon! xo


signature

Cute & Affordable Home Office Desk & Chair Combinations

I like to pretend I’m an interior designer with a trained eye who actually knows what she’s doing (I’m not and I don’t). So I often put together decorating ideas and room plans for myself and my girlfriends using a website called Polyvore.

My friend Joani and her boyfriend moved into a new apartment recently and they’re still in the process of decorating and making design decisions, which obviously means it’s the ideal time for me to butt in with all of my highly inspired ideas (of which there are many)…

One of their biggest complaints about their place is that they don’t have a surface to use when they work from home. Luckily, their bedroom is spacious and has plenty of room for a small desk and chair. (As you may remember, we actually have our home office set up in a bedroom, too.)

One thing to keep in mind is that although their room is relatively big, it’s still primarily used as a bedroom and the office is a secondary function of the room. Thus, their designated work space space shouldn’t be so large that it overtakes the primary function of the room. Given that, I suggested a number of smaller desks from Target. (I strongly believe that Target has the answer to all our problems, wouldn’t you agree?) All the desks I suggested have a depth of only 20″, which is shallow compared to most other desks you’ll find elsewhere. This is ideal if you’re working with a laptop (both Joani and her boyfriend are) but is a little small for a desktop computer. But this depth is perfect if you don’t want your workspace to protrude far from the wall and intrude on the rest of the room. Even with a chair behind it, none of these desks should make the bedroom feel cramped.

c800x935

Basic desk / Windham desk / Hamilton X Slat desk / Campaign desk

Target was having a sale on select furniture a few weeks ago, and Joani loves white so it was an easy decision to buy this desk. I think she made a great choice!

But now, they’re chairless. And understandably, they don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on an office chair so they’re holding out for the right find. Personally, I love the look of an attractive dining chair behind a desk. I feel like it makes the room look much more inviting and “designed” as opposed to purely functional.

Again, they don’t want a massive chair that takes up a lot space. White and lucite are good options because they trick your eye into thinking they take up almost no space at all, but I also threw in two other ideas that fit a little more into the rustic, “shabby chic” style they’re going for. The plush chairs would obviously be more comfortable than the white or lucite chairs I suggested.

Cute and affordable desk chairs

World Market chair*/ Pier1 / World Market / Light Grey Design

*I’d buy the World Market chair in-store instead of online if you can because these are sold as a set of two online and as singles in-store. Also, you’ll avoid World Market’s high shipping costs.

One way to soften up a harder chair is to add a sheepskin rug and pillow to it.

a895e731a308eb0a41b440559e0750cd

Image via Liz’s home

Of course, a plush chair gives off such a cozy, homey vibe…

0e7b59ae1dd9ff3d967837c32ff8e379

Image via Ballard Designs.

Ah! So many great options! Now I’m inspired to re-do my home office again. Uh, oh… Carter is not going to be happy with me…


signature