Kelly Christakos Stivers


wednesday wish list: navy accents

I'm loving this little cold snap we're having; it feels so good to breathe in the cold air and being able to use our fireplace on a regular basis lately really ups the cozy factor in our house by a million percent!  Even though I'm actually enjoying the gloomiest month of the year, I've still got one eye on the spring and summer which, naturally, means I'm crushing on beautiful accents in-what else? - navy blue!  My favorite hue has me thinking about summer but all of my wishlist picks this week actually work year round!  Here is what I'm crushing on this week:

Valencia stool / Lambay lamp / Cortina cuff / Navy and white striped vase / Brass anchor

Aquascape art / Lumbar pillow / Agate coasters / Petite ginger jar / Navy blue blazer

Mercado baskets / Gold drop earrings

I posted this upholstered stool last week and had to repost it again this week in fabulous inky blue!

Love the shape and size of this urn lamp in denim blue.

A stunning gold cuff and simple drop earrings are the perfect compliment to a navy blazer; I got this one for Christmas and it's become a new staple!

How stunning is this navy and white canopy striped vase?  With a gold rim and pale blue interior, it's the perfect vessel for pink peonies, don't you think?

Add a nautical nod to a coffee table or bookshelves with a brass anchor (it's on sale, too!)

Loving Wisteria's aquascape wall art collection - the acrylic mount frame is to die for!

The pattern of this Ralph Lauren Arita lumbar pillow reminds me of blue and white ginger jars. 

Azure blue agate coasters with gilded edging reminds me of the sea.

Is there anything better than a petite ginger jar?

These navy and white mercado baskets are a fun way to organize toys, dog toys and magazines!

What are you loving this week?  Happy Hump Day!


tips from a pro: how not to kill a fiddle leaf fig

After killing my last fiddle leaf fig, I swore I would never buy another real one again.  EVER.  I even pondered  buying a faux one a while back - I know, gasp! - because I was obsessed with them even though I couldn't keep them alive (you can read that post here).  If you follow me on Instagram (@bungalowblue), however, you know that I ate my words and ended up buying another one last week!  I spotted this 7-footer on a jaunt to Home Depot and, after seeing the price tag ($55!), I just couldn't pass it up, so I hauled it home, plopped it in my seagrass basket and I've been waiting with baited breath for the leaves to turn brown and fall off, ever since. 

Like many of you, this is not my first go 'round with a fiddle leaf.  The first one was a fat, three footer that lasted almost a year and a half.  Then, one day, I noticed brown spots on the leaves and no matter how much or how little water I gave it, they all fell off.  I honestly don't know how many I've bought since then, but they've always been plant-size, not trees like this latest one, and I never paid more than $25 a piece (since they were ultimately going to commit suicide anyway).  Now that I have this ginormous, full and lush one, I'm even more determined to keep it alive, so I stopped into my local nursery over the weekend for some tips.  They've got an exceptional selection of indoor plants and any advice they've given in the past has always been spot on.  Here's what they had to say about making fiddle leaf figs thrive (I have no idea why I didn't think of this ten figs ago...):

THEY ARE SUPER FINICKY! Despite everything I've found online which says that they are easy to grow, success with these plants really depends on where you live!

THEY THRIVE IN HUMID CLIMATES.  Here in southern North Carolina, these plants would do amazingly well on a screened-in or covered porch in the summer months where their leaves are protected from the direct sunlight but where they still can enjoy the moisture.

THEY LOVE LIGHT. LOTS OF IT.  They grow best in front of a window with morning and early afternoon sun.  The more natural light, the happier they are.

WATER WELL.  Make sure your fig has good drainage; don't let them sit in water for long periods of time.  During summer months or in climates with lots of humidity year round (or if it's outdoors), give them half a gallon of water per week.  During colder months, give them a quart once a week. 

I hope this helps any of you who are trying to keep your fiddle leaf figs alive!  Do you have any other tips that have helped yours thrive in the past?  I'd love to know!


get the look: contemporary oceanfront beauty

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  It's cold and rainy and gray today and it's mornings like these that make me wish I was at the beach. There's nothing cozier than curling up with a soft blanket, a cup of tea and watching the rain (or even better, snow!) fall on the sea.  This oceanfront home, designed by David Netto, is heavenly.  I'm not usually drawn to contemporary spaces, but everything about this house is fun and fresh, with a great mix of sophisticated furnishings, natural materials, gorgeous lighting, lacquered powder blue coffered ceilings, beautiful artwork and unexpected details like pops of fuschia and tangerine.  Sophisticated elements like a gorgeous, oversize Venetian mirror and tufted linen sofa feel much more casual and welcoming thanks to striped dhurrie rugs, seagrass baskets and throw pillows in fun patterns.  I LOVE.....

Shingle-style will always be chic in my book.  The exterior is very Something's Gotta Give-esque, don't you think?

There is so much to love in this entry - from the black painted ceiling, Dutch door and orange painted bookshelves to the oversize driftwood table, fireplace and chic bench and dhurrie (to sit a spell and take all the loveliness in).  Seriously, this entry is bigger than my first apartment....

I am OBSESSED with this whitewashed ceiling and painted crossbeams in the living area! Working with vaulted walls this high can be tough to decorate but here a gallery wall and stunning Venetian mirror do an excellent job of making it feel cozy.  Love the back-to-back tufted sofa:

Lacqured powder blue floors, a round table, oversize art and a chandelier that looks more like a piece of art are showstoppers in the dining room:

Navy blue built-ins are yumy in this sitting area:

Another sitting area is light and bright (probably from the reflection of the water beyond the windows!)  Love the pale gray planked walls, another Venetian mirror and the teal painted backs of the bookshelves for a little pop of color!

Handpainted seascape wallpaper in the powder still my heart!

Fuschia and orange are a lovely contrast in an otherwise all-white space:

Here are my picks for getting a similar look:

America's Cup painting / Zimba lumbar pillow / Katsugi pillow / Clam shell / Seagrass basket

Driftwood table / Striped dhurrie rug / Ginger jars / Fossil study / Seagrass poof

To see more of this fabulous oceanfront home, click here

Happy Monday!



get the look: chic in ojai

When the latest Veranda landed in my mailbox, I couldn't make it the short walk to the house before ripping through the plastic and thumbing through to the cover article.  Have you seen it?  It's the stunning home office of decorator and blogger Brooke Giannetti set inside her gorgeous new Ojai home.  From the exposed reclaimed wood beams and vintage hanging lantern to the antique desk and those AMAZING soft gray doors, the room is almost too pretty to get any actual work done, don't you think? Perfect spot to blog (or daydream while trying to blog!).  The rest of the house is just as chic and elegant (including an amazing chicken coop!) but this little slice of home office heaven is my favorite.  Scroll down to see my picks for creating a similar look at home.  Congrats, Brooke; this is a well deserved cover!!

Almost everything in Brooke's office is vintage or antique, but you can still create a similar look and feel without breaking the bank for one-of-a-kind finds or scouring ebay and antique stores until you go cross-eyed!  Here are my picks:

Lantern lighting like this one (it's on sale, too!):

I love the idea of using a larger table for a desk, with tons of extra workspace.  This dining table is a great reproduction of a French antique:

I love the antique-inspired design of these arm chairs and the pricepoint is fabulous, too!

The most perfect soft gray, Benjamin Moore Cliffside Gray, on doors (and maybe even trim!):

There's no mirror in Brooke's office, but I love the idea of adding a little something gilded.  This French gilt mirror is just perfection:

A soft and thick handspun jute rug underfoot to anchor the space:

Fresh greenery is a must; a grouping of myrtle and rosemary topiary at one corner of the desk is an elegant compliment:

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Stay warm!



front porch refresher

Welcome, January, in all your blustery cold glory!  I wrote this post with the intention of sprucing up your front porch and beating the after holiday decorating blah's once the Christmas decorations have all come down, but that was well before I realized it was going to be one hundred degrees below freezing!  I'm going to post it anyway because, now that the wreaths are all down from my windows and front door and the cheery pillows and lanterns are put away, the porch looks bleak and empty.  And also because, no matter how beautiful the inside of your home is, making a good first impression at home really does start outside.  Here are a few picks that can make a big impact; whether you pick one, two or all, they will be sure to freshen up your porch!

Myrtle Wreath / Brass ring door knocker / Metal garden orb / Brass house number /

Planter / Woven door mat / Lantern lights

Paint is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to make a dramatic impact on a budget.  If you only do one thing to change up your porch, painting your front door a bold color in a high gloss finish is the way to go!  Glossy black is not only timeless, but is a gorgeous backdrop for an emerald green myrtle wreath (which is festive all year long!)  The combination is stunning! 

A shiny brass door knocker like this one is divine.  I also love this one and this one, too!

I scored a pair of metal garden orbs like these on clearance last summer at Target and they've been such a beautiful compliment to my porch and deck!  I set them in front of my ferns and now the leftover tree clippings (which are still going strong!)

These 6 inch brass house numbers make an elegant statement!

These fiberglass planters look like zinc; a pair flanking a front door would look gorgeous!

Something as simple as swapping out your door mat is a fresh way to make a change. I love this one (and I love the price, too!)

Nothing makes a dramatic statement as much as lighting.  And for the front porch, I'm a firm believer that the bigger, the better.  I bought these lantern lights last summer (see my post here) - they are 27 inches and not only do they make a dramatic impact, but, at around $100 EACH, they are super easy on the wallet, too!

How do you freshen your porch after taking all your decorations down?  I'd love to know!