Colorful Modern Living Room

I know I've mentioned the colors I have in mind for the new house once or twice (maybe 30 times). I'm going for a full-house palette which will carry from one room to the next for a cohesive feel. 

Here's the plan: wood floors, white walls, accents in navy and turquoise, plus hints of gold/brass. 

Mid-way through the process of creating a design board, I was contacted by Chairish with a fun assignment - more on that in a sec. If you're not already familiar with Chairish, you must check out the site. They offer vintage decor and furniture to buy and sell, all approved and curated by style experts. So only the good stuff makes it on the site. It can be addictive. I disappeared down the Chairish rabbit hole folks, and it was exquisitely well decorated. Fortunately, I emerged with some great ideas!

I was asked to design a room full of color, using items from Chairish. 

The style of this room may lean more modern than I'll use in the new house, but once I spotted that sofa, I had to use it. That may be the best shade of teal I've seen on a sofa.

Sofa, side chairs, indigo pillows, and abstract art were selected from the Chairish site. Other items were added from my collection to blend in my own style.

What is it about turquoise and navy?

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A Good, Old-Fashioned Metal-Frame Bed

With the recent saturation popularity of upholstered beds in the design community, I found myself plotting ways to switch out our own bed. Our own perfectly good bed.


Long story short, I've talked myself out of it. I'm going to pass on this trend. The hubby will be thrilled. Typically, once I give in to a trend, it's over anyway. #alwayslatetotheparty

We bought this one from Pottery Barn ten years ago:

Metal-frame beds have fallen out of popularity lately, but there's something classic and majestic about them. I know they will make a come back, they always do. 

In order to convince myself that I still LOVE my metal frame bed, and I really do, I compiled a few of my favorite images. 



(No luck finding the original source for this image. I'd love to credit the source if you know...)


Personally, I prefer a metal bed that is more simple and less, "scrolley" or garish. Scrolley is now a word. Add some modern touches to keep it from feeling like you found it in a farm house time capsule, and before you know it, these babies will be showing up all over design-land again.

Either way, I intend to keep ours around for a while. 

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Best Of What's Around 7/25

We made it safely to New York Monday afternoon, following a dead battery incident in the hotel parking lot in Cleveland. I should add tip #9 to my previous post: Be sure your daughter turns off the vehicle's interior light when she retrieves swimming goggles from the center console. Funny story, after all the drama of having the battery jumped and locking my keys in my car in the process (I don't want to talk about it!) she left the interior light on again the next night. Thankfully, it was brought to my attention before the battery was drained. Again. 

Oh. My. Gosh. 

Since then, we've been happily visiting with family and friends!

And here's what I've been loving this week:

1) It's official. This is the best road trip album. It never gets old.

2) I'm ashamed to say that I'm just now getting around to reading Bossypants. 

Things I Learned From Reading Bossypants by Tina Fey And Ways We Are Freakishly Similar photo 1
What the heck took me so long to pick it up? I started reading it when my kids were playing at an indoor gym in Fargo, moms and nannies lined up along the wall, checking iPhones, and chatting. Then there's me, ugly-laughing, tears rolling down my cheeks. I had to put it away until I could pull myself together. 

3) This whole room makeover by Jenna Sue Designs just keeps getting better and better. Beautiful. 

4) I'm so happy Janell is back to blogging, and we get to see her in action in her new home. 
Source: Max and Isabella Rooms
She removed the upper cabinets in her kitchen. This is going to be very cool. 

5) It feels like everyone in blogland has a new house. Holly Mathis' new house is coming right along, and knowing her amazing style, this home will be gorgeous too!


I'd sure like to get my hands on my new house! Next week.

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This Is How I Make It Through The Annual Road Trip

This year's road trip marks the fifth year in which I have traveled to New York with the kids, without the assistance of my husband. This means no ESPN on the radio, but also no help managing the crazies. Each year I learn something new, and naturally, as the kids get older these trips become easier. 

This is what works for our family, and every family is different. 

Our first road trip was ridiculous. I packed sandwiches, healthy snacks, drinks, activities, crafts, movies, travel games. I went overboard with planning and organizing. Within an hour the food was gone, and the water was sitting dangerously on their bladders. No one touched the games, and the car was littered with garbage. They were a young, angry mob, forced into a car for many hours. 

1) Take it easy with the refreshments. This might sound crazy, but I don't pack any food or drinks. We make a quick stop first thing before we leave, and they each get a small bottle of water and a healthy snack. Ideally, we stop every four hours, so the more they drink, the more frequently we need to stop. Kids don't require snacks every 20 minutes just because they're in a car. The next time we stop, they can each pick out another drink and healthy snack. 

2) They don't need to have every thought of every minute planned for them. Each kid brings his/her iPad, and an activity clipboard + crayons and markers. That's it. If they get bored they can look out the window or have conversations with each other. 

3) Comfort is important. They also bring their favorite pillow and blanket. We forgot a pillow for Owen once. It wasn't pretty. It will never happen again. 

4) Individual activities help pass time. Their clipboards contain a map for each day's drive. They love to follow along as we go. I also print state license plate sheets, scavenger hunts, and coloring pages. 

5) Save new movies for the trip. We have a DVD player in the vehicle, along with wireless headphones. {More on how that saves my sanity in a minute} This year we are watching the first two DVDs of Season 1 of Gilmore Girls. I kinda wish I could be back there watching with them! I miss that show. 

6) The reward system. Each stop at a gas station guarantees each kid a healthy snack and drink, because I'm not an evil person. If they've been really good, they have an opportunity to earn a special treat. I keep track with these tickets. I printed these on cardstock so they're not so flimsy, then cut them out. 

Free Printable Source

The parameters: you need to earn five tickets if you want to pick out a special treat. Screaming, kicking, scratching, general obnoxiousness, or excessive use of the following words will cost you a ticket: "fart" "poop" "toilet" and the always popular, "poop-butt." Tickets are earned back over time with good behavior. This actually works.

7) Mom (a.k.a. The Pilot) needs to be happy too. My area in the cockpit is kid-free. I listen to talk radio, my music, or an audio book. I loaded up on audio books during my most recent visit to the library. Of course, since we're not returning to Fargo, these will never be returned. Just kidding. I'll mail them back. 

8) Always book a hotel with a pool. Goes without saying. After so many hours cooped up in a car, they need a place to let loose and get the crazies out.

Ten more days until we move in to our new home! (but who's counting, right?)

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Best Of What's Around 7/18/14

This is our last full day in Fargo! The train leaves the station Saturday morning, arriving in New York Monday afternoon. (no, we're not actually taking the train)

I can't wait to spend time back home, even if only for ten days.

This year I am excited to visit the house I grew up in, which is none other than 58 Water Street. Ever wonder where my blog name came from?

And while we're on the topic on Upstate New York, I love this motel project in Woodstock by The Novogratz.

Hotel Dylan, in Woodstock, with a classic rock-peace & love theme, designed by Robert & Courtney Novogratz. LOVE.

On the opposite side of the state, in Brooklyn, guess who this gorgeous bathroom was designed for?

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover
I love every amazing renovation Daniel from Manhattan Nest designs in his own home, and he is equally talented as a designer in other people's homes. That wallpaper is amazing. 

This table makeover at The Painted Hive blew my mind. I don't know if I'll ever be this gifted, patient, or imaginative. 

DIY Multi-Drawer Cabinet from Laminate Bedside Table | The Painted Hive

Finally, look who hast a pretty new accessory:

Of course, it comes in handy with the cell phone and other necessities during a trip to the park.

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One More Last Minute Project

This chair is the last home project I will tackle before the move. 

Oh I have plenty of little projects all over this house, but I know when to say when. And between my own projects, and finishing up client projects, at some point I need to do laundry and pack some snacks for the road trip that happens in three days.

I considered selling it on Craigslist or in a yard sale, but "what if our next house has a huge veranda-style front porch and we need six rocking chairs? I sure would regret getting rid of this guy. As it turns out, the new house has a very small stoop, so this chair will go on the back patio.

So he has sat on our front porch, through mind-numbing winters and hot summers. These conditions did nothing for his shiny black coat. It was flaking off in a fine powder. It took very little effort to brush the paint off, then sand it smooth before applying a coat of primer. 

The hardest part was deciding on a paint color. 

I am so over painted black furniture in my house. I went through a serious black furniture phase, and as a result, I have too many pieces of black furniture. Most of these will be made over in the new house. 

I knew I wanted to go with turquoise for a shot of color. But nothing crazy.

Side note: do you know how hard it is to convince two kids to go to the paint store for the fourth time in one week, when they just want to stay home and play with their friends? Probably like forcing me to go to a country music concert. I would need major bribery and rewards. And even then, I would be grouchy and bitter for weeks.

My point is that I was not going to make it to the paint store, so I had to invent my own perfect turquoise paint color for the chair, with paints from my own stash. Which I did, and this is the result:

This just screams cotton candy, which is delicious, but not on a chair.

So after a trip to Eco Chic, here we are. My plan B should have been my plan A.

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Where Did You Get That?

I've had such a positive response to the design of Maria's new basement! Thank you to everyone who left positive comments, emails, messages, and questions! I have received several emails and comments asking where certain items in this design came from, and Maria is kind enough to allow me to share these details with you. 

She had the new wall color picked out before we began the project. She chose Creek Bend, a beautiful, rich gray color by Behr. 

The curtains are from the Nate Berkus line at Target.

They were cut and hemmed to length, and black grosgrain ribbon was added at the bottom for a custom detail. 

Maria sourced the cow prints and stag head from Eco Chic.

Real flowers - I follow the Nate Berkus "no fake flowers" rule as often as possible

All of the amazing and beautiful white salvaged windows were already in Maria's basement, available to be used if they worked into the design. And they did - beautifully!

Fabric for the pillows is from Modern Textiles. Love that place.

The dresser was a terrific Craigslist find, painted by Maria. One day I said, "Hey there's a dresser on CL you might want to check out." The next day she had it. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but my point is that she was ON IT.

All other furniture was Maria's.

The basket/plant container on the floor is from TJ Maxx.

My favorite brass accent-turned plant container (on the mantle) is from Antiques on Broadway, along with these teal/turquoise books:

The tripod floor lamp came from Lowe's. I painted it gold, because as much as I love to mix metals, brushed nickel wasn't going to work in this room. 

The ceiling light came from Home Depot. It was also hit with a coat of gold spray paint.

The lantern, candles, gold frame, and faux flowers (below) are from Pier 1.

Maria fought me on the naked lady painting, but with a vintage gold frame and that turquoise color, I think it was MADE for this design! And that long vertical shape is perfect in that spot.

Sorry Nate, these branches will last forever.

The wall baskets, white plates, petite white vase, and pineapple lamp base were thrifted locally.

This guy lives on the other side of the room, and didn't get a lot of camera time. But I love him. 

The snake plant (Sansevieria) and small plant on the mantle came from Baker's Garden & Gift.

That should cover it!

I'll be back tomorrow with a new project, probably my last home project before the big move!

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