Kelly Christakos Stivers


chic (and colorful) in nantucket

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know it's no secret I have a slight crush on designer/architect extraordinaire Steven Gambrel.  If you've ever perused his portfolio, it's not hard to see why.  While all of his work is absolutely amazing, I have always been drawn most to how beautifully he pairs a cool blue color palette with lots of texture - so much so, in fact, that it's become the aesthetic to which I've used as reference to decorate my own home.  So, it came as a complete surprise that I would fall head over heels for a bright, colorful Nantucket hideaway he designed and recently added to his portfolio.  This little gem is full of saturated color and bold pattern and textiles while still adhering to Gambrel's signature style by layering lots of texture (those grasscloth walls and seagrass chairs in the dining room are heavenly!) and mixing classic pieces with both modern and antique finds.  It has an undoubtedly fun, fresh feel while still being elegant and sophisticated and THAT, my friends, is what makes the man a design genius! 

The dining room is spectacular....grasscloth walls, millwork painted a soft blue, those fabulous curtain panels, a brass chandelier and those amazing dining chairs paired with a more traditional table is layering at its best:

Colorful curtain panels and a mix of comfy furniture is surprisingly soothing in the living room:

I love, love, LOVE the subtle hints of coral and aqua in a guest bedroom; the grasscloth warms up the space and that coral trim line coordinates perfectly with the striped bedding and headboard.

An impressive array of hydrangeas are a beautiful compliment to a navy blue painted ceiling, a hanging lantern, coral cushions and a driftwood table on the back porch.  Another reminder that I desperately need to make up my mind on patio furniture so I can enjoy the Fall weather we will eventually be getting!

What do you think?  Do you prefer a cool, neutral color palette or a bright and bold one?

 To see more of this gorgeous home, check out Gambrel's portfolio.


shop the manor + save 30%

A few weeks ago, on a particularly difficult night in the throws of teething (and somewhere around eight or nine wakeups), I had just gotten Baby Girl back to sleep and, unable to sleep myself at that point, resorted to Instagram (naturally) when a gorgeous champagne and cream sequined chevron table runner caught my eye.  A few clicks later and I discovered that one of my oldest friends had launched an online boutique a few weeks back!  I may be a day late in learning this exciting news, but I'm certainly not a dollar short...I'm thrilled to introduce you to Manor, home to some of the chicest home decorative accessories, lighting, fabulous accent furniture pieces, luxe pillows, cozy throws and much, much more! 

Owner Beth DeLozier has been making homes pretty all over Houston for years and now she's not only curated an online collection of some smashing home wares, but she's also offering readers 30% off ANYTHING IN THE STORE!  Just enter code BUNGALOWBLUE30 today through this Friday, 19 September.  Brass accents, a pale blue lacquer lamp and a cowhide bench pieced together in a subway tile pattern are just a few of the goodies that have me swooning!  Here are a few of the many favorites I'm loving from Manor:

Blue Carlsbad Accent Lamp / Greek Key Lamp / Asha pillow cover / Puzzle Chandelier

Gold Antlers / Nixon Alpaca Throw / Carpathia Bench / La Pearla Stool

Happy Shopping!!


obsessed: kristen dowd of gypsy soul

I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram these days; one click leads to another and you know how it goes, you stumble onto someone's feed with no idea how you got there in the first place and if you don't "follow" or "like" one of their pictures, they're gone forever!  This has happened to me on more than one occasion so when I stumbled upon the bathroom reno below, I not only fell in love with that gorgeous abstract painting hanging in all its glory, but I was overjoyed to see the link to artist @gypsysoulint.  Turns out Kristen Dowd of Gypsy Soul Interiors is also an incredibly talented artist; her paintings are so good, I have a feeling you'll be drooling by the end of this post!  I especially love their size (most are 36 by 48 inches) and how she uses simple gold frames for a clean, modern feel.  Look how beautiful her work looks in each space - truly the star of the show!

I'm obsessed with this beauty; I have a large, empty wall in my dining room just begging for something stunning like this to grace it:

Here are some of my favorite commissions she's posted; of course, I tend to gravitate to the blues, but I would happily take either one of these:

Moody blues are always a good idea:

How amazing would this combo of pink, peach and coral look in a baby or little girl's room??

Those gold frames are the perfect finishing touch:

Emerald green loveliness; can you imagine how fabulous this would be flanked by brass sconces? 

To see more of Kristen's work, check out her Instagram (@gypsysoulint) and for more information on commissions and pricing, shoot her an email


sullivan's island stunner

Charleston is one of my favorite, most magical cities to visit and the neighboring beaches are just as spectacular, my favorite being Sullivan's Island.  The beach itself is gorgeous, the water warm and the homes to die for!  This stunner, featured in Charleston Mag, is a fabulous example of the beauties dotting the shoreline; I couldn't devour the images fast enough!  Design really is in the details and this beauty, from the planked walls and ceilings, painted geometric floors, oversize artwork to the gorgeous lighting, pops of color and natural textures (that cypress table base!!!) is simple yet stunning.  The mix of modern and traditional is SPOT ON!  While everyone else is Instagramming pictures of pumpkin spice lattes and fall decor, I'm still sitting in hot and humid weather so I'm going to go ahead and post every fabulous detail of this gorgeous beach home...

There is so much to love in this entryway - that gorgeous navy blue door and  painted geometric floor add a modern twist to an antique table and shiplap ceiling and provide a hint of the loveliness to come in the rest of the house:

The all-white living space is warmed up by a blue and white striped rug, linen sofa and chandelier.  The vaulted, planked ceiling makes the whole space feel light and bright:

French bistro bar stools and green enamel pendant lighting provide a pop of color and texture to the all-white kitchen.  Yet another fabulous example of why white kitchens are timeless:

A cypress trunk table base and a gorgeous grouping of glass floats hung from a sailing cleat add interest and a subtle nautical nod in the dining area:

Comfy, cozy furnishings are a must when you have outdoor spaces like this:

An oversize capiz chandelier, blue and white throw pillows made from vintage textiles and abstract art add pops of color to the family room:

Beautiful blue and white ikat Roman blinds in a cozy sitting area off the the grouping of glass pendant lights:

This house is full of the most amazing artwork and this oversize beach photographic print is not only gorgeous but it is the perfect compliment to a striped dhurrie rug and wicker chair:

An elevator papered in Cole and Son Great Wave wallpaper is a must for any beach house (so is that sweet black lab!!):

Faux paint treatments on walls, in my experience, have been less hit and more miss, but a driftwood treatment on the ceiling in the master is absolutely gorgeous:

No beach house, regardless of decor style, is complete without a bevy of blue and white stripes:

Blue and white is bold in a bunk room, but those chevron painted floors steal the show!

Here are my picks for creating a similar look:

Topanga chair / Capiz globe chandelier / Beaded frame mirror / Thibaut Lucas pillow cover

Fouta beach towel / Oversize beach photographic print / Capella rug in dove grey



inspired: shiplap walls

We are in the process of adding an en-suite to our upstairs and while certain aspects of the design are still up in the air, I'm leaning heavily toward one thing for certain: planked, or "shiplap" walls in crisp white paint!  I really want a light, bright space, so instead of plain, white painted walls, shiplap will provide the texture and interest that will take the room from boring to soft and elegant, which, since it's going to be a guest suite, is exactly the look and feel I'm going for!  While shiplap can definitely tend to create a beachy feel, it can also be traditional and classic.  I love it hung vertically for an unexpected twist!  Here are a few examples from my inspiration file that have me chomping at the bit to get started!  A little design eye candy to start the weekend off right...

Garden and Gun

Milk and Honey Home

Phoebe Howard

My Sweet Savannah

Muskoka Living

Forever Cottage


Steven Gambrel

Amanda Rapp Design

Have a wonderful weekend!