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Tuesday
Oct162018

kid-friendly coffee tables

If Lydia had her way, there would be coffee tables strategically placed all over our house so that she could re-enact scenes from The Greatest Showman on top of them at a moment's whim.  Needless to say, this is exactly one of the reasons why we don't currently have one in our living room.  Both of my children will climb on anything and everything, so, despite desperately needing one to round out the space, I just figured it would be a purchase we would make once they were out of this stage of life....in, say, ten or so years, haha.  More and more, though, I'm seeing so many coffee table options that are perfect for homes with littles and the best part is that they're super chic!  For me, truly great design is that which accomodates the entire family while also staying true to your design aesthetic; a beautiful home and children can co-exist! I've rounded up a couple options below, all of which I would consider for my own home (I'm especially partial to the top two, surprise, surprise!)  Which is your favorite?  And would you put one of these in your home with small children??

Sawyer Berson

South Seas Coffee Table / Costa Coffee Table / Wicker X Bench / Round wicker coffee table /

Briar Square Coffee Table / Sophia Tufted Ottoman / Rowan Striped Ottoman / Biscayne Ottoman

Sunday
Sep232018

adding fall touches to your entertaining basics

I'm probably the only person on the planet that isn't high fiving fall's impending arrival (I'm always holding on to the end of summer with both hands), but this year, despite the steady 90 degree temps, I've already started to introduce little touches of fall to my daily dinnerware and serving pieces.  I always keep my entertaining basics pretty neutral with lots of texture so that I can make small changes with the seasons without having to buy all new stuff (think rattan chargers, simple white dishes and serving platters and my favorite French wine glasses).  Something so simple as swapping out my woven tumblers for tortoise double old fashioneds goes a long way to bring a touch of fall to my table.  To get the most bang for my buck, I look for pieces that can do double duty, like an ice bucket that can also double as a beautiful vessel for flowers or a maiden hair fern (I'm also completely OBSESSED with these mixed metal planters; they would look amazing down a center of the table with myrtle topiary or maiden hair fern).  Bamboo serving pieces are a great way to add a little texture without having to invest in a whole set of flatware and wicker casserole dishes are festive year round!  I've rounded up some of my favorite basic entertaining pieces, mixed with some pretty touches for fall:

 

Rattan chargers / French wine glasses / Tortoise double old fashioneds / Myrtle topiary

(a great fake option here, too) / White serving platters / Bamboo serving set / Mixed metal planters

Tortoise ice bucket / Marble wine cooler / Wicker wrapped casserole dishes

How are you welcoming fall??

Thursday
Aug302018

all your questions about our pool (and some new sod!)

If you've been following along on Instagram, you're probably tired of seeing photos of our pool in my feed and my stories, but since I'm in complete denial that summer is officially/technically coming to a close here very soon (and since it's going to be a while before it starts to feel like Fall here in the south), I figured it was better late than never to answer all of the questions I've gotten this summer about our pool in a blog post!

I also thought this was a great opportunity to talk a little about the new sod we had put down in June.  We have a ton of trees on our property, which I have always loved, but all that shade killed 80% of our Bermuda grass and left our yard looking like a hot mess.  Earlier this spring, we decided to take the leap and have all of it sprayed and dug up and replaced with zoyzia sod.  It has been the best decision we have ever made!  It's seriously like instant carpet; it looks amazing, the kids love how soft it is and it's so far, knock on wood, been pretty low maintenance (with the exception of keeping on top of watering).  When the Bermuda died off, moss and weeds took its place and, I'll be honest, it was depressing being out back and looking at that.  The new sod has been such a game changer.  Considering how much time we spend in the pool in the summer, it was definitely worth the investment. 

I've gotten a bunch of questions about the pool every time I post a shot, so here we go!  I made sure to go back through my DM's so that I answered each and every one!  If there's anything I missed, make sure to leave me a note in the comment section!

How big is your pool?  It's 18x36 feet.

Is it saltwater?  Yes!

How do you keep the grass around the pool from dying?  Honestly, this has never been a problem, even when we had Bermuda and so far, since we had the zoyzia put down in June, we haven't had an issue, either. 

How is your pool so blue?  Our pool is plaster, which is tinted azure blue all the way through.  This means that, even if there is ever a scrape or a gash in the plaster, you'll always only ever see the blue.

How wide is the coping around your pool?  We have 24 inches of concrete around the pool, the absolute minimum width to be able to support a pool of our size. 

Is that slate tile around the top?  We were told that slate did not fare well with salt water so, instead, we opted to go with a matte ceramic tile that looks just like it!  I absolutely love it - you really can't even tell that it's not slate!

How deep is your pool?  It goes from three feet in the shallow end to seven feet in the deep end.

How much time do you spend on maintaining the pool?  Honestly, it really isn't too much work - once a week we brush the pool and backwash (or more often if we've gotten a lot of rain), both of which I can do with the kiddos in the pool.  We also have an automatic vacuum, which is worth its weight in gold.  I literally plug it in and let it go for 45 minutes to an hour and it's squeaky clean!  The biggest issue with saltwater pools, at least that we have experienced, is that the pH is always super high.  If you let it go, it can lead to other bigger issues, so we test the water once a week and add some muriatic acid to bring it back down again. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  We will be celebrating Luca's second birthday right here by the pool.  Be sure to check out Instagram for party snaps!

Tuesday
Aug282018

diy myrtle topiary

I love, love, LOVE myrtle topiary; I think they may, quite possibly, be the chicest house plant, as much for the texture as the shape and pop of green, but despite my best efforts (or the $$$ I've spent buying them in the first place), I've never been able to keep one alive for more than a month.  While I've never really been one for fake plants or flowers, I just couldn't justify spending more money on another live topiary, only to have it up and die on me shortly after, so I have been on the hunt for a pretty good fake myrtle topiary for a while now (no judging).  I always came up empty-handed, so I figured...how hard could it be to make one myself?  The answer, as it turns out, is much easier than I thought! 

The hardest part was finding legit-looking greenery.  I ended up using these from Hobby Lobby; I like how the pieces kind of fall down and hide the top of the stick and the wire I used to adhere it.  All I did was use wire cutters to cut individual pieces and then wrapped the pieces with green floral wire tightly around a stick from my yard.  Stick it into a piece of floral styrofoam in a pot, cover the base with moss and you're set! 

I got a lot of questions about the pot I used for this when I posted a snap on my Instagram stories and it's another quick project that couldn't be easier!  I spray painted an inexpensive terra cotta pot with gray spray paint in a satin finish.  Once it was dry, I whitewashed a little watered down white paint and then wiped it back with a clean cloth.  Once that step was dry, I dry brushed a little white paint.  You can see a step-by-step tutorial for this with furniture here; it's the exact same process I used this time, too. 

I still love fresh greenery, house plants and flowers (we all know I can't live without hydrangeas all over the house!) but I think a faux project like this one works here because it isn't over the top (and no one gets close enough to be able to tell that it's not real).  If anyone stumbles across a very convincing fake, pretty please share!  In the meantime, this will do!

Thursday
Aug232018

hamptons handpoured + a giveaway!

I can't remember the last time I went an entire day at home without lighting a candle.  I keep one on my mantle where it's out of my littles' reach and when I'm done running errands for the day, lighting it is the first thing I do before anything else.  I'm always on the hunt for affordable, soy-based candles that smell amazing so, I was thrilled to discover Hamptons Handpoured, an East Hampton-based candle company created by a Hamptons' native to merge her love of interior design and wellness. 

Each and every candle is hand poured and uses American grown, natural soy and plant-based fragrance oils. I love that each scent that is used tells the story of life on the East End!  The candles burn so well and smell absolutely AMAZING and, an added bonus-the packaging blends in so well with the rest of my decor.

I've been burning Bridgehampton nonstop in the kitchen lately; the mix of lime, arugula and honeysuckle is so fresh but still light, which I love because it's not competing with whatever I'm cooking.  Southampton has taken up permanent residence in my bathroom; I burn it after the kids have gone to bed and I get a chance to take a hot shower after a long day.  With cotton, gardenia and white tea undertones, it smells just like freshly laundered linen!  East End is probably my most favorite because it smells exactly like the sea!  

I'm so excited to have teamed up with Hamptons Handpoured on Instagram to give away one of their candles of your choice!  So, hop on over to Instagram (@bungalowblue) and tag a friend for a chance to win!