Girls Bedroom: Before and After.

We went from this from this….DSC_2435

To this…

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I was hesitant to title this post and reveal  “after” pictures because it implies that I’m finished.  Overall, the girls bedroom has the bright, vintage/modern feel that I was striving for and the main design elements have come together. They are fortunate to have a separate playroom for playing, entertaining friends and crafting so it’s lovely that they have a separate, tranquil place to sleep. The girls have given it their seal of approval which is the most important thing since the client always comes first! As much as I love decorating, it is their space and I want them to delight in it. You can see from the pictures that I’ve moved elements around to illustrate how small and subtle changes can create freshness. It’s not a museum after all.


Closet interior.


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The room is indeed small. However there is a good sized hallway where I have placed an additional dresser and a much-needed bookcase. It also provides extra space for the plethora of tchotchkes and art we have acquired. Here are some shots looking down the hall towards the girls bedroom. How about that knotty pine door?  It’s a closet!  This home has an abundance of storage space. Note the built in drawers. I know. This hallway would have been characterized as a bedroom by NYC real estate standards.IMG_6498(1) IMG_6499

Based on my Pinterest inspiration pictures these are elements that I utilized.

  • Polka dots. I love the way pattern adds depth. This is a wall decal sticker set from Target. I used the dots in the colors and sizes I wanted and saved the rest for another project. Similar set here.
  • Vintage floral print wallpaper just wasn’t an option so I carried the theme over to bedding. The pink set I already had.  I found the other set at wait for it…Target! You guessed it. I think they complement each other quite well. Shop the sheets here.
  • Bright white walls. I want to paint all of my walls white!!! It is so fresh and sets the perfect blank canvas for any design scheme.
  • A mix of vintage and modern pieces. The white dresser, iron bed, sconces, floral bedding and vintage yellow chair contrast with modern lines of the Pink Ikea Malm dresser, the white bed with drawers and pieces like the eyelash pillow and artwork.
  • Rag rug. I actually scored this at World Market for like $20. It was serendipitous to walk in during their global rug Bazaar and see a pile of colorful limited supply rugs. After untying and laying out each one (they love me there) I decided on this one. I really think it works well. It doesn’t detract from the white floors and it is a nice colorful and unique accent. Similar, but pricier here.
  • Wood or organic element. The window bench functions more like a side table for the girls to share. It was on clearance at Target and I bought it like 100 years ago just waiting for the right spot to use it. Now if I could just find a spot for all the other bargains and special pieces I’ve collected that are gathering dust in storage. Similar, larger bench here.
  • Books, baskets, dolls and such. The girls chose the dolls that they wanted on their beds with them. We then arranged other dolls on shelves and the remainder traveled to the land of misfit toys. We organized the books on the bookcase in the hall with the exception of a few large and colorful ones that we stacked under the bench to conceal the trash bin and extension cords. I used a large white basket for laundry in the closet and placed jewelry, trinkets, belts and so on in decorative baskets from the Goodwill, which is a great place to get unique storage on the cheap by the way.
  • A little chair. We found this busted up mini Klismos chair in the trash when we were newly married and living in Brooklyn. I love the shape of the chair so much. We assumed that we would have kids “one day” so we carried it home, stored it for years and it eventually made the journey with us to the mini apple when we bid adieu to the big one. We had it restored and painted bright yellow for the girls.
  • Pink. Most girls I know like pink, as do I, but I prefer shades that are not in-your-face Pinky Pie all day and all night. In this case I painted the closet interior a bright but bearable pink that provides a vivid pop of color every time one reaches for a new ensemble.

And there we have it. Next up, guest room.

Thankful for: Old homes with character

Wanting: An unlimited decorating budget.

I’ve learned: If I don’t buy artwork when I first see it, it’s gone when I go back. So frustrating:(

The Playroom Grows Up: Part 1

My latest project involves a total room transformation.  What was once a playroom is now slated to become a home office and creative work space rolled into one. One of the first questions I ask myself when decorating is “what is the primary function of this space?”  In some rooms it is more obvious than others but nowadays, many rooms are multi-purpose.  The dining room, typically a place to sit down and enjoy a meal, can also function as a communal work area. The living room can be a place to read, entertain or watch television. The point is, many activities can take place within a given room. However, when it comes to changing the primary function of a room from a play area to a work space a complete overhaul is in order.

This was an awesome playroom and served two children very well for almost six years. The pink soft tile floor, the striped walls, the yellow ceiling, the (over) abundance of toys produced a whimsical and inviting yet perhaps mildly overwhelming environment to the younger crowd.  We re-thought our approach to what a child’s surroundings should look and feel like and so designed a Montessori inspired space for the growing siblings in the basement (more on that to come). It was quite therapeutic for parents and children alike to take a more thoughtful view of what we have and why we have it. Many things were donated or passed along to other friends when we transferred the playroom down to the basement.


Imagine, if you can, the floor covered in these.

IMG_4038 IMG_4035 Even with most of the contents moved out it was far from feeling like a grown-up work environment. Painting was a necessity. We wanted to create a simple backdrop so opted for white walls and a white ceiling.

Below are some “in the middle pictures” because I’m often so eager to get a project started that I neglect to take “before” pictures. The pink floor-to-floor soft tiles have been pulled up at this point and the games, instruments, costumes etc. have been moved to the basement. Little bits and pieces remain upstairs during this phase while we strategize regarding final placement of chore charts, assorted beads, box o’ random play things and cheap party favors that certain people have become attached to.  At this point we just needed space to set up a paint station so we could get rolling, literally.IMG_4301


Here we see the fan blades removed, first paint coat, inspiration board and low bookshelf constructed.  I decided to keep the black chalkboard wall for the time being. I like the contrast and depth it gives to the space and who knows, it might just come in handy during a brainstorming session. The next (final?) phase will include the newly installed light fixture, area rug, shelves, wall decor and perhaps additional seating.


The goal is to forge a fresh and bright, sparse but inviting work space to inspire and enliven creativity and foster productivity. White walls serve as the perfect blank canvas for artwork, vision boards, a backdrop for photos, shelving and decorative objects. The floors, which were re-finished a couple of years ago, have finally come out from hiding from under the pink play mats. The time has come to replace the (visually offensive) ceiling fan-light. No tears will be shed when this monstrosity gets escorted to the trash. Make way for new light source. I am a sucker for a good ceiling medallion so we’re going to slap one up to impose a sense of architectural history. I also love the combination of modern design and classic details so my dream ceiling lamp will have clean lines and juxtapose nicely with the decorative medallion.

For lighting, I’m considering a George Nelson Bubble lamp or something in that style. I also have a weakness for the black Mantis Serge Mouille ceiling fixture, though I have concerns that it would overwhelm the space. After all, we aren’t working in a prewar apartment with 13′ ceilings. A girl can dream.  I am scouring Ebay, Etsy, Craigslist and various other resources for the perfect vintage Turkish, Persian or tribal rug. I will know it when I see it but believe me the search has been exhausting. Finding the right size, with the right colors and pattern at the right price is my perpetual challenge when it comes to rugs




Vintage Lilihan Area Rug


I’m excited to get the space finished a share the big reveal!

Thankful for: Work spaces that inspire a love for work.

Wanting:  The perfect rug. Really, is it too much to ask for?

I’ve learned: There is no such thing as perfect and waiting for it only delays progress. Wah-wah.



Basement Remodel. Phase 1: Brand New Bathroom and The Beauty of Brass.


Apartment Therapy inspiration pick.

If you skim over my kitchen or bathroom boards on Pinterest, it’s pretty obvious that I have a thing for brass. Fortunately, one of my current projects has me working with a client who feels the same way I do about this rich metal that perfectly marries vintage and modern design.

Phase one of the basement remodel is getting the newly framed bathroom functional ASAP. After sharing images via a private Pinterest board, (something I love to set up with clients) we get down to analysis. The idea is to examine and discuss the recurring themes, gather a pile of ideas and product selections and finally edit down the elements to create the perfect space.  Ideally, we have a room that captures the spirit of inspiration but is ultimately unique and personalized for the client’s lifestyle.


House and Home


Apartment Therapy


Brass, with a rich golden finish, has been growing in popularity over the past few years in kitchen and bath design. However, it’s not trendy enough that mass retailers like Loewe’s and Home Depot are carrying it in a purposefully trendsetting way.  It will be a long time before chrome or nickel will be dethroned as the finishes of choice. Brass is typically more expensive because it is less commonly used and truthfully it’s just not for everyone. Once my client decided she wanted to move forward with brass fixtures (hooray!!) it came down to these two options which are both brand new to the market. The Kohler Purist line in vibrant modern brushed gold and the Sutton collection in aged brass from the recently launched RH modern line from Restoration Hardware. Both are highly sophisticated and bold and will look absolutely stunning with the white subway tile, black concrete floors and wood accents we’ve selected for the bathroom.


Kohler Purist line in Vibrant Modern Gold


Sutton line from RH Modern in Aged Brass.

Sourcing for projects in home design or fashion is my absolute favorite part of my job. I love finding things, hence my blog title and business name. Clever isn’t it?  I enjoy the thrill of the hunt and discovering hidden treasures. It’s finding a place for all of them that can be tricky!  Once a project is completed there is major satisfaction (and relief) in seeing all of the combined elements existing together in harmony. Making reality Pin* worthy one room at a time. That’s my goal!

Stay tuned for final selections and the reveal.

Thankful for: Clients. I can’t do my job without them!

Wanting: To remodel my own bathroom.

I’ve learned: There are more shades of white paint than seems necessary.


Girls Room Redo: Analyzing Elements and Ideas of Interest.

The girls’ bedroom is an ongoing work in progress. So, as to not leave you hanging, I’ll share my process and remind you of the look I’m striving for. I hope that in “the end” the aesthetic vibe from these pictures will be represented but in a unique and personal way. After all that’s what really makes a space feel special.


I love the wallpaper, gray furry rug and the bamboo bassinet. There is a great juxtaposition of vintage and modern  design at play in this room. Very whimsical.

After gathering a virtual look book of rooms that I love, I analyze the photos for the specific element(s) that I was drawn to. I often love an assortment of ideas, schemes, colors etc. but combining all of them without editing is a recipe for an overwhelming mess. After noting each visual element I get to work figuring out a way to translate them for a particular project. Here are a selection of pictures, many of which you have likely already seen,  each with a descriptive caption of the desired component, idea, color or product I want to incorporate into the girl’s bedroom.


Mix and match bedding with a vintage feel.


Floral bedding. Deep pink pillows. Warm wood.


White floors. Black dots. Colorful Rug. Iron bed.


Circular rag rug.


Garland. Woven Basket. Old fashioned iron bed. Picture cluster.


Garland. Shelves. Iron bed. Circular multicolored rug.


White modern storage bed. White shelves. Dots. Vintage decorative accents.


Wall baskets for decoration. Iron bed.


Little chair. Little shoes. Iron bed.


Garland. Vintage art. Birdcage. Little shoes.


Furry rug. Wall dots. Little chair.


Hearts. Furry rug. Little chair. Faux bamboo wall hook.

Do you see some themes? Here’s my list of desired ingredients.

  • Dots
  • Vintage floral pattern
  • Petite chair
  • Fur or colorful rug
  • Iron bed or modern storage bed…or one of each?!?
  • A cluster of wall art
  • Garland of some sort
  • Basket(s)
  • A cute assortment of pillows, blankets, dolls and stuffed animals. (I think I have this one covered.)
  • A medium toned wood, bamboo or rattan piece.
  • Wallpaper
  • Pink
  • Display and book shelves

Next I’ll set out to find products, gather pieces in the space and test things out. Sometimes, many times in fact, what looks great in a photograph does not work practically in a space. So there will be tweaking, exchanging and surprises along the way.  I hope you’re enjoying the process and much as I am!

Thankful for: Second hand shops, yard sales, Craigslist and the countless other resources for scoring unique and affordable pieces to decorate with.

Wanting: To round up some nifty, unique and functional pieces.

I’ve learned: As previously mentioned, what looks good in a picture doesn’t always work in reality.


Rugs and More Rugs.


Hello there. I’m back to present some rugs I’m considering for the girls room. In skimming my KIDS and RUGS Pinterest boards you may notice that there are several different styles of rugs that I like. A vast array spanning from animal hide to vintage Persian, stripes to solids, single hue to rainbow extraordinaire and everything in between.

I’ve had a long, complicated relationship with rugs. Inevitably, the rugs I fall in love with are antique, hand-made and cost a small fortune. For many reasons, number one being budget, number two being practicality, I have never invested more than $1000 in a rug. Mind you, I have gotten some beyond amazing deals on ridiculously expensive rugs in days gone by from the ABC carpet outlet in Brooklyn which no longer exists. Insert sad face. Moving on…

I love vintage Azilal and Boucherouite rugs. They are colorful, handmade, unique and the kids like them as much as I do. The issue is they are quite expensive and there are so many out there (all one of a kind) that I could spend weeks deliberating over which has the best pattern, color combination, size and so on. I would undoubtedly purchase “the one” then not be able to return “the one” because it was not all I had hoped it would be. Call me a pessimist but I find great comfort in a good return policy. Seeing a picture of something is no match for the feel and look of the real thing. A downfall of shopping online. Additionally, I like to test things out.  To collect components and play around with them until I find just the right combination of pieces. This playtime cannot be enjoyed with non-returnable items. It’s the price I have to pay for my approach to decorating. The point is, though there are many great resources for beautiful, one of a kind rugs, I want one that has the look of a vintage handmade work of art without the cost and risk. Is that too much to ask? Here are several good looking and budget friendly options, keeping in mind that either 3′ x 5 ‘ or 4′ x 6’ is the size I’m shopping for. What do you think?


Over-dyed Dhurrie from Urban Outfitters!


A VEGAN animal hide. I don’t think I could do a real hide but this? Maybe.


This one definitely had a vintage Moroccan vibe. Little burst of color could be just right for the space.


I like the idea of a Kilim but this may be too muted. I want stronger contrast and more color with this type of rug.


Another fun alternative to an animal hide. This whimsical wool rug is reasonable at $299 from Land of Nod.

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I think this might be the one. It has color, texture, contrast and is a good interpretation of a traditional Azilal rug from Morocco but it’s from West Elm so it’s less expensive and returnable.


Another West Elmer. Love the color and pattern. Not sure if it’s right for the space so It might turn up in our dining room.


This rug mimics the rattan look that I like. Maybe I’ll throw this by the dresser to incorporate a textural element.


On sale for $129! Great looking rug with minimal financial investment.


This Chindi loop rug provides Texture and color.

Thankful for: The internet! Seriously, How else could I find each of these rugs in only a few days and from the comfort of my own home?

Wanting: One of these rugs.  Hmm…which one will it be?

I’ve learned: Spending less money doesn’t equate sacrificing good design.

The Girl’s Room: Before And Getting There.


I snapped these before shots for personal reference and never did get back to styling them to be Pinterest worthy. Hey, It’s real life.


You know you want that air purifier.

You’ve seen the inspiration pictures. The virtual vision board in all its beauty. Now, lets turn our attention the actual room in flux. The photos above are admittedly not the greatest. OK, they are terrible but you get the idea.  Though the footprint is a decent size, approximately 9′ x 11′, there are slanted ceilings,  paneled walls and an abnormally large radiator which have each created significant design challenges. You’ll note in the pictures that there is a crib and a twin bed. We now have both girls in twin beds, and have for a while. There is not enough head room to accommodate bunk beds but truthfully I prefer the symmetry of a bed on either side of the window. I’ve grown tired of the vintage fabric that I used for the head-boards, the green shaggy carpet that gave the room some texture and the pink accent wall, much as I love pink. Even the geometric patterned roman shade (see below) that I had custom-made five years ago seems dated. It all feels too prissy and preppy.  I’m going for a modern, bright and whimsical bedroom as inspired by the plethora of  images I have put before you. Pinterest, you are a blessing and a curse.



Roman shade


Detailed shot of vintage fabric on headboard. I loved you, Goodbye.











Beneath the carpet are gorgeous white floors that I had installed (by my husband) when we moved in five years ago. I knew way back then that the room needed as much help as possible in the light department. I have to dig up a picture of this room from when we bought the house. Oh Lord. Green plastic tile floors, turquoise walls and wood paneling.  It’s painful to remember.  Hey, we wanted to make this house our own. We got what we bargained for. Any who, The light bounces off of the white floor and just illuminates the room. It’s bright, sophisticated, modern and simple. The new white walls have the same effect.

Much as I love before and after pictures we at not at the after stage yet. Below are some middle pictures. The work in progress. Old finishes have been removed The pink wall is now painted white (Glidden white on white from Home Depot) and I lay down a temporary fuzzy rug and made the beds with plain white sheets from Target. The blank canvas is ready!




Wallpaper sample.


Oh the Mess! The Pink Ikea dresser will work in here once it’s cleared off. There is the air purifier you love so much, and a humidifier for good luck.



Dresser trying to hide the enormous radiator. This will be cleaned off I assure you.


Wall waiting for more art.


Let’s break it down. We have the floors, we have the paint, we have the beds and dressers. What we need is:

  • New bedding
  • Fabric for head-boards if I re-upholster. Still undecided on this front.
  • Area rug
  • Window treatments
  • New placement of decorative items and art.

My plan and process.

  1. Compile inspiration pictures. Check.
  2. Write down the individual elements that I am drawn to.
  3. Pull together some items that represent the elements I want to use.
  4. Trial and error. Lay out the various bedding, window treatments, rugs and decorative elements that I acquire and figure out the possible combinations. This is the fun part.
  5. EDIT!!!! Always the hardest part for me. It really is a skill to design, write, speak, parent, pretty much anything, with restraint. When there are lots of great options it’s hard to choose a course and stay with it. I find other areas to use the items edited out, save them for my next project or just straight up return them and get my precious money back.
  6. Take after pictures and share them with you.

Thankful for: Pinterest!!!

Wanting: To take more risks in design and life.

I’ve learned: I can take inspiration and apply it to my life in simple, meaningful ways.

‘Til next time…




Interior Inspiration and Girls Room Redo.


WHAT A ROOM! There is a lot to love here. Color and texture and pattern oh my!

My current project is…you guessed it. The Girls bedroom. I’ve touched on my inability to be “done” decorating any particular space. You remember the playroom, right? With ever-changing trends, color palettes, my propensity for change and our family’s evolving needs, no room in our home will ever be designed and decorated for eternity. It would be emotionally, philosophically and even physically impossible for me to paint a wall, arrange furniture just so, select the perfect textiles and then leave a space never to be tweaked again. As much as I have come to love routine in the day to day (thanks kids) I need aesthetic movement. Not to be confused with THE Aesthetic Movement of the 19th century which championed beauty for the sake of beauty rather than as an aside to form and function as had been the case. I digress. The point is, I like to modify my surroundings. I am inspired by both beauty and variety. My concept of what is beautiful and visually pleasing constantly shifts but I always want my environment to reflect those perceptions. Kids thrive on routine and mom, that’s me, can’t function with out visually shaking things up every now and again. Moving furniture, hanging new art,  painting a wall getting or a new rug are not things that are going to have a ripple effect on the global community but each feeds a desire in me to create a vision and make it a reality. I get juiced looking at pretty things. Manipulating those inspirations into something tangible and personal is ultimately rewarding but the process can be challenging. Let’s start with the fun part! Pretty pictures.  I’ve captioned my virtual tear sheets with the specific items or elements that caught my eye for the girls bedroom. Enjoy!



















Thankful for: Having a home to decorate.

Wanting: To find the perfect elements within my budget and knock this project out of the park!

I’ve learned: Slow and steady wins the race.

Head on over to my Pinterest board to see more (yes, there is more and lots of it) for photo credits and links to original sites. These people deserve their props.



DIY Branch Light For The Guestroom

IMG_5964IMG_5967Before you think for one moment that I’m claiming this idea is my own,  I confess,  it is not. I was inspired by the DIY guru,  Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook. I have long admired both her blog and her ingenuity. This is not the first (nor the last) project of hers that has caused an impromptu trip over to Home Depot and Michael’s. There is almost always a can of gold spray paint involved.

Here’s the story. Our guest room had a huge, ugly and dusty (I guess that’s my fault), wooden fan that provided good light and a cool breeze but was a total eyesore. I removed it long before I had a replacement. When I say “I” you of course know that my husband did the actual removing. I don’t mess with hard wiring.  Temporary table lamps provided light but there was still that hole in the ceiling with the live wires poking out …eek!   I bought and returned multiple ceiling lamps of various styles and lengths but nothing really felt right in the room. A lot of that had to do with the fact that the whole room needed a once over so finding the right light was a challenge. With several visitors coming to town I finally got the push I needed to address the issue. As I was perusing Pinterest and Google imaging “brass ceiling light” for inspiration I ended up at Jenny’s post about the branch light that she made for her landing. It had the elements I was searching for; a modern aesthetic, an organic feel and glorious goldness. The fact that it was a straightforward, simple and affordable DIY project sealed the deal.  I was excited to use her idea and customize the lamp for my personal needs and style. To the Depot I went. I was happy to knock this one out in only a few hours. From inspired to mission accomplished in one weekend?  You can’t beat that with a bat.

Here are a few shots of the work in progress and the finished light installed.



Hmm. Which one shall I choose?

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I decided to mix and match bulb sizes and finishes. I chose a combination of 25 and 40 watt bulbs since there are so many sockets. I didn’t want to over load the fixture or have the room be obnoxiously bright.  I opted for the Rustoleum over the design master spray paint. Honestly the difference was slight but I felt the Rustoleum was a little richer. I’ve used it before, many times, and I’ve always been happy with the results. I ended up with a total of fourteen socket splitters but I did not put a bulb in each opening  because it made the room too bright and I was able to conceal the empty ones pretty well. I’ve never met a ceiling light that didn’t look better with a medallion so I chose this one from Home Depot. I love the contrast between the classic architectural element and the modern fixture. The most time-consuming part was deciding on the positioning of the splitters and the bulbs. Once I liked the configuration I removed the bulbs, taped over the electrical portion of the socket  (the interior part where the bulb goes) then spray painted the fixture as a whole.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

Check out Jenny’s step by step and take a gander at some of her other inspired projects while you’re there.  You’ll be amazed!


I’m Thankful for: How easy it is to access inspiration and information and make an idea into reality.

I’m wanting: A custom Lindsey Adelman hanging lamp.  Dreaming is free.

I’ve learned: Tiny steps can take you far.