Kelly Christakos Stivers


an amazing before + after for the kiddos

While scouring Pinterest the other day for some creative and inspiring use of space for our plan to turn our room over the garage into another bedroom, full bath and walk-in closet, I about died when I saw this cramped attic-turned-chic kids room by Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwickl of LA-based design firm LIFE.STYLE.  Not only did they nail every single detail, from the Osborne and Little Coronata Star wallpaper, satin brass hardware and neutral color palette, but they made brilliant use of every single inch of space (the bookshelves on either side of the windows adds surface space and the trundel beds are great for hosting lots of friends for sleepovers!) Attics are tricky in the first place, thanks to usually low, sloped ceilings, but this room feels open and airy.  I love the simple white and gold color palette with subtle, patterned pillows and coordinating Roman shade and a beautiful herringbone jute rug for a little texture, leaving the pops of color to come from the books and toys on the shelves.  This is about as perfect as a kids space gets!  This layout could work for an adult space, too, or needed extra space to house guests!  To read more about this before and after, and to see where to purchase a lot of the items used, check out the article here.


a great source for kids art

One of my favorite parts of working on kids rooms and nurseries is choosing art to go in the space.  I'm big on gallery walls as a way to inject a little personality and whimsy into the space as well as adding some color and fun!  Rifle Paper Co has quickly become one of my favorite go-to shops for children's art; they have some of the most beautiful calendarsand greeting cards and their recipe cards and boxes and botanical journals are some of my favorite gifts to give, but it's their art that is really out of this world!  They're prints are not only whimsical and super affordable, but they're done in the prettiest color palettes and have a vintage feel to them, as well, which I love.  Their city collection is a great way to highlight where baby is from or where momma and daddy met (and I'm thinking I need the balloon ride print for Lydia, seeing as how she is completely mesmerized by balloons!)  Looking for a baby shower or birthday gift idea?  Any of these prints would be a beautiful option when framed and matted!  Here are a few of my favorites:

Travel London / Vintage Mermaid / C'est La Vie / Animal Alphabet Chart / Balloon Ride

NYC / Barrier Reef / Animal Party Parade / Lemons to Lemonade

And if you're short on wall space or want something even more budget-friendly, their greeting cards look adorable framed and matted and add the same pop of color and whimsy on a smaller scale!  Here are a few of my favorites:

London Map / Animal Chart / Bonjour / Party Parade / Floral Heart / Over the Moon

Great Dane / C'est La Vie / Botanical Chart / Cool Cat


outdoor planters to boost curb appeal this spring

Now that spring is in full effect it's so funny to pass by and see the parking lots at Lowe's and local nurseries packed to the gills while shoppers scramble for flowers, fern and mulch to spruce up their yards.  And for good reason: I'm a total believer that a good first impression to your home starts outside and one of the easiest ways to boost curb appeal is with outdoor planters.  I can't think of a better way to make a dramatic impact than with a pair of gorgeous planters flanking your front door and spilling over with boxwoods, ferns, trees or plants and colorful blooms.  If you only do one thing to spruce up your porch or patio this spring, let this be it.  The best part is that you don't need a green thumb to keep them looking amazing!

Below are a few outdoor planters I'm loving lately; they all pack a decorative punch, from rustic whiskey barrels (I have a pair on my deck and I absolutely LOVE them!) and fiberglass zinc lookalikes (way lighter and easier to move around than the real deal) to glossy white square boxes and even oversize seagrass baskets (they look just as amazing on screened-in or covered porches as they do indoors).  Amazon, Wayfair, Home Depot and Lowe's all have some great (and affordable) options on larger pots, too.  Here are my faves this spring:

1.  Napoli planter  2.  Whiskey barrel  3.  Keter rattan planters  4.  Canna planters

5.  Seagrass basket  6.  Lexington planter  7.  Cardiff planter

8.  Chappelle planter  9.  Mayne planter

What are some of your favorite planters and where do you find the best deals?  I'd love to know!


west village stunner

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I'm sure you have all seen and are quite familiar with the West Village townhome of Haven's Kitchen cooking school owner Ali Cayne, which was originally featured in Lonny back in their holiday issue a couple of years ago, but if you haven't seen the tour of her home on One King's Lane, you're in for a treat!  Her kitchen is the stuff that dreams are made of, with its to-the-ceiling subway tile, black Lacanche stove and floor-to-ceiling open shelving.  Oh, and that vent hood is divine.  The gallery wall in her dining room is absolute perfection, as is the white and gold dressing area off of her bedroom and the timeless black, white and gold bathroom.  There is so much to love about this quietly feminine, elegant space and you can shop for a lot of what you see in it on One King's Lane, too! I can't think of a better way to kick off the work week than with a house tour full of the most gorgeous eye candy!


pretties for the kitchen: food 52

My kitchen truly is the heart of our home; I love to cook and bake and always end up using all of my countertop space while doing so, which makes it hard to "decorate" the space.  Because of that, I'm willing to spend a little extra on gadgets and cookware that are as lovely as they are utilitarian and add a dose of pretty to my kitchen.  I spotted this extra large gold ice bucket on Food 52 and thought it would be perfect for holding bottles of wine or champagne for a dinner party, yes, but would also look stunning with flowers or holding fruit.  I was looking through the rest of their site last weekend and was drooling over some of their oh so pretty cooking, baking and entertaining accessories, including some gorgeous porcelain berry bowls that double as candle holders, French-inspired wooden rolling pins and delicate gold dipped seashell pinch bowls.  Here is a little more eye candy I'm loving lately; with wedding season officially upon us, any of these would make great gift ideas!  What are some of your favorite decorative items for the kitchen?

Extra large gold ice bucket / Gold flatware set

Porcelain Berry Bowls / Gold dipped seashell pinch bowls

Wooden rolling pins / Monti champagne flutes

Silver plated cake stand / Moroccan baskets

French bread boards / Anchor salt cellar set

Pie plate / Gold rimmed plates

Have a wonderful weekend!