Kelly Christakos Stivers
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Thursday
Oct302014

entryway before + a mini revamp plan

We are in the midst of a little mini makeover for our foyer and I can't tell you how excited I am to get it underway!  I've kept it pretty simple the last four years with a linen slipcovered console table, a pair of lamps and a grid gallery wall of framed book pages; it was simple and perfectly fine but now I'm just ready for a bit of a change.  Because there are a few other rooms I'd also like to give a little love to, I've had to get creative with how to make the most dramatic change here on the tiniest of budgets.  Remember that oversize round mirror I scored at HomeGoods a few months back?  Everything here will be based around that beauty.  Here is what the foyer currently looks like:

The framed sea life prints are relocating to my guest bedroom (another room that will be getting a little love next!):

The console table is staying, and, in an attempt to save a little dough, the lamps will, too (and also because the pair I'm coveting for this space cost about as much as a kidney):

Even though this is the first space you see when you walk into the house, you can also see it from the dining room, living room and breakfast nook.  So, because I can see it from every angle all day long, I want it to be perfect:

A long and narrow shot from the living room into the foyer:

The plan is to add some floor-to-ceiling wainscoting and paint it crisp white to contrast with the dark floors.  I'm also going to paint the ceiling and back of the front door a shade darker than the gray/blue in the rest of the living spaces. A soft, but hardworking jute rug will add some much-needed texture.

After asking you all whether I should give the mirror the weathered wood finish or a "zinc" paint treatment, an overwhelming number of you said weathered wood.  But, because the sunburst mirror over my mantel has a similar finish, I'm going to give it a chalky "zinc" treatment, instead.  I think the contrast against the white walls will be striking. A few of my blue and white ginger jars for good measure and an oversize seagrass basket I already have will serve for storage, and a few framed family photos will complete the look.

We are doing all the work ourselves, but with a baby and a hubby who is away a lot, I'm hoping that we will be able to get this done as soon as possible so I can show you the afters! 

Tuesday
Oct282014

a little bit of leopard

I'm a firm believer that every girl needs a little bit of leopard in her life.  For me, it all started with a fabulous pair of calf skin leopard print heels I got for my birthday and since, I've been in love with mixing the print in my wardrobe as well as home decor.  As with all animal prints, a little goes an awful long way - a throw pillow, a luxe faux blanket, a fab pair of heels, a chic clutch, even a beautiful cowhide rug.  Here are some inspirational images I've been pouring over on Pinterest for both the home and the wardrobe  - what I love most about each of these spaces and outfits is how the small dose of leopard makes the neutral pop without trying too hard:

Lonny

Erin Gates Design

Domaine

Dear Lovely

Domaine

Bluestone Main

Allen Kirsch

Krystal Schlegel

Elements of Style

Mark D. Sikes

And for your wardrobe:

Brooklyn Blonde

via

via

Pinterest

Atlantic-Pacific

Emerson Frye

What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate leopard into your home and wardrobe?

Monday
Oct272014

becky davis botanicals

We finally have gorgeous fall weather and I'm loving being outside soaking up every single minute of it!  One of my favorite ways to decorate for the change in seasons is to bring the outdoors in.  Luckily, here in the south summer foliage lasts well into the fall - snippets of sweet potato vine, purple queen, magnolia, muhlenberg grass, even Boston ferns look just as gorgeous on mantels and tables as they do on the porch or patio. 

Another favorite way to bring the outdoors in all year round is with botanicals and I'm seriously crushing on Becky Davis' amazing work!  From flowers and grasses to ferns and leaves, each stem is hand picked by Becky, who wades into alligator infested waters in South Carolina's lowcountry to find the perfect specimen and then dries, presses and custom frames them for a one-of-a-kind piece of art!  Each piece is a showstopper, but a grouping of them is simply breathtaking:


Aren't they amazing?  Here is a sample of the pieces available through her website:

To see more of Becky's work, check out her website and her facebook page.

Wednesday
Oct222014

instagram inspiration: amy mcgee

The last few nights have been brutal, friends.  I seriously am dumbfounded at how my nine month old has the energy to run baby marathons every day with little nighttime sleep and less than 45-minute naps!  Last night, after another two hour stretch of trying to put the kabosh on her dance party, I took to Instagram after finding myself too wired to sleep and stumbled upon Amy McGee's feed (@amymcgee).  I'm absolutely smitten!  I have always loved having fresh flowers in the house (who doesn't?!) but her gorgeous floral arrangements take my store bought attempts at floral creations and make them look like I pulled weeds from the yard and stuck them in a vase!  Of course, I'm obsessed with the gorgeous arrangements she throws together, but I also couldn't help myself from honing in on her beautiful home in the background.  It's so light and ethereal and from what I could read from her posts, it's a tract home that she and her husband have beautifully decorated to look anything but!  Her three adorable little girls are so lucky to live in a house with such prettiness!  The little snippets have me wishing she will do a full home tour on her blog (pretty please?!).  Here are a few of her amazing floral arrangements with her beautiful home as the perfect backdrop:

How gorgeous is the combination of silvery gray walls, a jawdropping Venetian mirror, a warm wood table and, I'm guessing, white salvia in her bathroom?  Perfection:

An arrangement in a mango wood vase is a warm compliment to that amazing mirror over her fireplace:

Leopard works best in small doses and this throw is the perfect touch for fall (as well as a mini lemon tree!):

One of 14 (!) arrangements Amy created for her friend's baby shower:

Love the sneak peek of black subway tile and antique brass chandelier in her all-white kitchen:

A beautiful vignette:

All-white interiors can be flat, but a seagrass rug, a wicker basket, blue and white ginger jars spiky purple flowers add texture, interest and warmth:

I'm OBSESSED with those silver lamps:

Garden roses and a heavenly eucalyptus garland!

Another lovely creation; clearly, I need to read a few pages from her floral arranging book to up my game!

To see more of Amy's lovely creations, check out her instagram (@amymcgee) and her family blog here.

Monday
Oct202014

hamptons haven

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I got a babysitter for the FIRST TIME since Baby Girl was born so we could go out and celebrate a friend's birthday; given that Lydia is almost ten months old, you can imagine how big a deal this was for momma bear.  There are still nights when she wakes up quite a bit and I was so nervous she'd freak out because I wasn't there, but she slept the entire time we were gone!  While this was, for sure, the major highlight of the weekend, another was weeding through a knee-high stack of design mags that have been collecting dust since they were delivered to my mailbox over the last few months.  I fell in LOVE with this Hamptons haven and its unexpected color palette as well as the fact that this new construction home pays homage to the crumbling former edifice that once stood in its place.  I'm a huge fan of building new homes with modern luxuries to look like charming older houses and this one is a real gem!

I'm all about making a great first impression in the entry and this one accomplishes that feat in spades.  The gorgeous artwork and chest provide a pop of color, the brass sconces add warmth while the striped rug is a nod to the fact that this is still a beach house, after all:

I will always, ALWAYS think a blue and white color palette is king for a beach house, but in this living room cream, brown and charcoal with a pop of chartreuse is so calming and elegant.  The sisal rug and woven Roman blinds add just the right amount of texture:

If I had a beach house, I'm pretty sure we'd have permanent company so multiple seating areas are key.  Love this little niche in a bay window off the living room:

Cream and raspberry tones conjure images of my parent's dining room growing up in the 90's, complete with shiny brass fixtures, so who would have thought how much this dining room would appeal to me.  I would have gone with a seagrass rug to let the fabric on the dining chairs be the star of the show, but that fishing float chandelier had me at hello!

Planked walls, beautiful molding, a bold striped rug and a TO DIE FOR hunter green suede banquette, complete with brass nailhead trim is just perfection in the breakfast nook:

Black and white reign supreme in the kitchen - and that hood is quite a showstopper!

The breakfast room has its own sink and cleanup area, complete with an amazing soapstone farmhouse sink!  Love the collection of treasures on the open shelving above:

I could easily hole up in this upstairs sitting area and never leave.  From the built-in banquette and shelving to that divine oversize photograph, cowhide and planked walls and ceiling, it's such a warm, cozy and inviting spot to sit and read, blog or sip wine:

I love everything about this office and could totally see myself never getting any blogging done in this space. A muted striped rug and a Dutch door with a view right to the sea are fabulous:

This bedroom is the stuff that dreams are made of.  Of course, the gray/blue walls appeal to me; they are almost exactly the same color I have all over my own house, but I LOVE the reverse wainscoting, running on the top quarter of the wall instead of the bottom!  A floor-to-ceiling valance over the bed is a beautiful focal point in the room and the built-ins and seating area is so welcoming:

The tub in the master is divine, don't you think?

Haint blue floor and ceiling are a beautiful compliment to that amazing view:

To read more about this gorgeous home, check out the full article here.

Happy Monday!