spring patio dreaming

Spring is here, hallelujah!  It was 75 degrees yesterday and the pines are all aglow; it's just a matter of days until everything is covered in yellow.  I've got major plans for my screened-in porch and deck this summer, but until pollen season is long gone, all I can do right now is dream (and scour Pinterest and Instagram for seemingly endless inspiration, of course!)  Here are a few items I'm loving right now - the perfect, gray wicker chair, lots of navy and natural texture, stripes, emerald green topiary and lovely patina of (faux) zinc planters.  My idea of absolute patio perfection.  What are you planning for your porch or patio this Spring?

Capri wicker chair / Monogrammed outdoor pillow / Topiary / Striped Umbrella / Planter

Raffia outdoor pillow / Metal garden orb / Seagrass tray / Woven mat

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


5 ways to style vaulted walls

The last two e-designs I've worked on have, coincidentally, included requests for help with rooms with vaulted ceilings by clients who were at a loss as to how to style their soaring walls.  This is a design dilemma I can certainly relate to as my own living room, kitchen and breakfast nook are all open to one another beneath vaulted ceilings, as well. (Those framed nautical charts above my sofa are ginormous for a good reason!) My typical standby is to hang a fabulous chandelier, an oversize piece of artwork or a gallery wall, but I thought it would be fun to show a few other options, as well, especially since vaulted ceilings are popping up more and more in new homes and, chances are you are stumped as to what to do with them, too!

1.  HANG A STATEMENT CHANDELIERNot only is a fabulous chandelier a beautiful focal point in any room, but it can also help delineate spaces when two or three rooms are all open to one.  Bigger is always better here - a small chandelier will get swallowed up and look ridiculous.

2.  OVERSIZE ARTWORK. Another way to make a great impact in any room is with oversize art or photographic prints, but especially in rooms with vaulted ceilings.  This is one of my favorite ways to add drama, color, texture and personalization while at the same time making good use of all that wall space!

3.  FLOOR-TO-CEILING GALLERY WALLIf an oversize piece of art isn't in the budget, hanging a series of prints, photographs and favorite artwork is another great option and can have the same impact.  Mix up frame shapes, sizes and finishes and add artwork with pops of color or keep everything black and white for a little drama. 

(David Netto)

4.  BUILT-INS.  The problem with buying certain pieces of furniture for rooms with vaulted ceilings is that they can look tiny in the space.  We had the same problem when looking for a hutch for our breakfast nook, so we had one made.  At almost 9 feet tall, it really makes a statement and doesn't look like it belongs in a dollhouse AND we ended up spending less money to have one made than it would have cost to have found something that big.  Built-in bookcases are another great option - they really define a space, add interest and are a beautiful focal point.

(Muskoka Living)

5.  DECORATIVE MOULDING.  Beadboard, wood beams, shiplap and board and batten look AMAZING on vaulted ceilings, but they tend to be a pricey endeavor.  The best (and easiest) way to save a little money and not make a huge mess is to do it while you're building your house.  The result is priceless.

(HGTV Dream House 2015)

What are some of your ways to style walls in rooms with vaulted ceilings?


instagram inspiration: ibie falcusan (ifalc)

I hope you all are doing A LOT better than I have been the last 48 hours!  I got a touch of food poisoning on Sunday night and it completely shut me down.  I'm no stranger to being sick while having to take care of a little one - I got mastitis when Lydia was 5 months old and a pretty bad case of bronchitis when she was 8 months - but not being able to be more than five feet from the bathroom with a super active toddler is NO JOKE.  Thankfully, my sweet friend took baby girl for the morning yesterday so I could rest.  My sister-in-law brought crackers and Gatorade and my neighbor hooked me up with Zofran.  I seriously don't know what I would have done otherwise - the day was saved by a few fab ladies!  

And speaking of fabulous ladies, I'm dying to tell you about my latest Instagram find, Ibie Falcusan (@ifalc)!  Wife, momma, lawyer, Martha Stewart-in-the-making, Ibie's feed is chock full of pictures of her gorgeous home, an amazing kitchen reno, her adorable little guy, craft projects, gift baskets, the prettiest homemade marshmallows and you will just DIE when you see the arrangements she whips up out of grocery store bought flowers!  I mean, seriously....aside from marveling at where she finds the time and energy to do all of this, what I love most about her feed is that she keeps it real.  She's funny and witty and doesn't try to make things look perfect (even though she pretty much do!). It's such a refreshing change!  If you're looking for some gorgeous inspiration, you MUST follow her:

One of many amazing flower arrangements:

Herringbone floors, brass hardware, stunning marble subway tile and a Dutch door you can't see here - pretty much the perfect kitchen renovation:

Parrot tulips, white wine and a block of parmesan for gift baskets for neighbors on a snow day - is she not the sweetest?

A pretty chic time out space for her little man, Jude, complete with a DIY five foot canvas artwork she whipped up herself:

Bone inlay mirrors, dental molding and gorgeous light in her living room are so pretty!

You've probably seen this little vignette in her living room on Pinterest:

Carnations look chic in this arrangement and how stunning is the metallic champagne grass cloth wall covering above it?

Another great shot of her fabulous kitchen - it's tiny but mighty, for sure!

More artfully arranged blooms:

Another shot of her gorgeous living room:

Check out her feed @ifalc for more loveliness!


get the look: new "old" home in wainscott

Nothing beats the charm of an older home; for as long as I can remember I have dreamed of buying an old fixer upper and transforming it into a quaint little cottage, complete with an ivy-covered entrance, Dutch doors, a limestone fireplace/mantle, skeleton keys and, of course, a white picket fence.  Like most families, especially non-civilian ones like ours, no matter how adorable or how much potential, an older home in need of repair is just not in the cards.  A close second for me are newer homes with older sensibilities that, when you enter, make you feel as though they were built generations ago.  This Wainscott home, designed by Steven Gambrel and Sawyer-Berson Architects, is a great example of such, with its mix of soft color and pattern, lots of texture, vintage furniture, great lighting and subtle nautical accents.  Modern touches make it feel fresh and updated rather than brand new.  I LOVE.  Great design really is in the details and this home boasts quite a few:

A perfect screened-in porch with plenty of cozy, oversize seating, a fireplace for cooler evenings and table lamps; I love bringing the inside out:

Gambrel is the master of tablescaping, always with topiary, rustic pots and glass hurricanes:

How amazing is that reclaimed wood detailing??  It makes the soaring ceilings feel more cozy and the green demijohn lamps add color and a nautical touch:

The kitchen.  Perfection.  Floor-to-ceiling subway tile with dark gray grout and glass front cabinetry evokes the feel of generations past:


How amazing is all that subway tile?  And that limestone fireplace isn't too shabby, either:

Sandy walls and blue window sashes are a beautiful compliment to subtle patterned window treatments, oversize mercury glass lamps and a great mix of textiles, from the throw pillows to the striped chair and jute rug:

Another cozy seating area:

Built-ins and a generously sized gallery wall in a hallway:

Mirrored cabinetry make an already gorgeous closet/dressing area seem even larger:

Chrome details in the master bath and blue painted doors...yes, yes, yes!


To get a similar look, stick to subtle pattern, lots of texture, a gray/blue and sand color palette, vintage-inspired furniture (I absolutely LOVE the coffee table below!) and groupings of topiary.  Here are a few of my picks:

Topiary / Votives / Anchor / Lamp / Coffee table / Seagrass basket / Clam shell / Pillow / Tray


outdoor dreaming: gil schafer

We've been visiting my dad at the beach since last Friday and it's been heaven.  The temperature is in the 70's, the sun is shining and, I've got green on the mind, which is fitting, being that today is St. Patty's Day (Happy St. Patty's Day to all my Irish friends!!)  I am literally aching for my lawn to turn green and to get down and dirty planting blooms and perennials.  Architect Gil Schafer's outdoor spaces are as elegant and stunning in their simplicity as the rooms he creates indoors and I find myself referring to them constantly lately as inspiration for my own landscape this spring.  Boxwoods, emerald grass as far as the eye can see, oversize planters spilling with beautiful hydrangeas, stacked stone retaining walls, gravel walks and driveways - classic American style at its best.  And how gorgeous does all that green look with white houses and black accents?  Stunning.  While I am not going to be repainting my house anytime soon (or ever, if the hubby has anything to say about it) Gil's work is still such an inspiration and sets the bar pretty high for simple, classic landscapes:

Who or what is inspiring your garden or landscape dreams this spring?