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?


gray malin - au park

I've been posting a lot of artwork recently but not without good cause - I'm looking for the perfect, oversize piece for a long wall in our dining room and, of course, it's taking me forever because I ultimately want something personal and meaningful, making it that much more difficult to make a decision!  I know I'm nautrally very slow to come to decisions on items for my own house but this is especially tricky because it's literally the first thing you see when you walk in the front door, so I want it to be absolutely perfect.  And since we use this room a lot, I want it to be huge and dramatic and a conversation starter. 

I have always loved photographer Gray Malin's overhead prints of the beach and the sea and keep coming back to them as a heavy contender but did you know that he's now got a few of park scenes from all over the world?  They're not only unique and breathtaking but a lovely way to document a trip maybe you've taken to that same part of the world!  I've mixed some of the overhead park views with some of the waterscapes I love; all are available at One King's Lane right now and come in a variety of different sizes (in case a ginormous piece of art isn't on your list of needs right  now):

Which one is your favorite?


my living room: sofa, pillow, mirror, map sources

Happy Hump Day, friends!  A few of you asked about the sofa and throw pillows in my living room after I posted a picture on Instagram last week of how we keep our furbaby from having dance parties on the sofa when we are out of the house, so, I thought it was good motivation to tidy up and snap some pictures along with sources! 

My sofa/sectional.  We got rid of our old sofas when we built this house - it was time for some grown up investment pieces and, because of the layout in our living room, I knew a sofa with a connecting chaise and two chairs was going to be better than two bulky sofas.  I wanted a natural, flax linen upholstery with more modern lines, and after an exhausting search, we headed to High Point and ended up with a sectional by Robin Bruce, Rowe's upscale line for a FRACTION of the cost of Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and every other retailer I was sourcing.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.  We bought it five years ago and it still looks brand new; I do flip the seat and back cushions every morning because they are down and I don't want huge dips, but it's a small price to pay, I think!  Unfortunately, this model is no longer available (I can't, for the life of me figure out why) but this one is pretty similar, save for the rolled arms.

The oversize wood sunburst mirror over my mantle.  Many readers have emailed me asking about this bad boy.  It's from Ballard Designs a few years ago and it's HUGE.  Almost 4 feet in diameter and, of course, it's no longer available through Ballard.  This one from Wayfair is similar in size and definitely has the same wow factor.

Throw pillows.  I intentionally went with a neutral sofa so that I could easily change out throw pillows but I love mine so much that I have yet to swap them out!  I like to mix a solid with a stripe and a print whenever possible both for variety as well for color and texture.  From left to right, the blue linen with jute cording were Home Goods finds.  The cream and linen stripe pillow, backed by and corderd with blue linen are from etsy seller CCDeuxVie; I absolutely love the quality and fabric variety of her pillows and have actually blogged about her here and here.  The printed pillows to the right were custom made by my seamstress.  The fabric is Robert Allen's Nehru in Indigo and it's GORGEOUS in person.

The nautical charts over my sofa.  These are one of my favorite items in my living room as much for the drama (each one is over four feet wide) and color but also because they respresent where my husband and I met and where we took our first vacation.  I bought both of mine from MD Nautical online, then had them mounted on foam core mat board and made frames from simple molding from Lowe's.  You can read about how I did it step by step here. It's a great and inexpensive way (I paid less than $30 for each map!) to make a big and beautiful statement in any space:

I hope you're all having a wonderful week!


suite one studio

One of the highlights of last weekend was my Instagram-led discovery of North Carolina-based ceramicist Lindsay Emery of Suite One Studio.  HOLY HELL, people.  I am completely obsessed with each and every gorgeous ring dish, dessert plate, platter and serving bowl.  OBSESSED.  The rustic, organic shapes and delicate, feminine detailing are absolutely stunning in their simplicity; each piece is rimmed in or splattered with gold leaf and boasts beautiful, watercolor-inspired glazes (the navy and pale pink are heavy on my radar), but what makes these beauties truly unique (and most coveted, in my opinion) is that they're produced in small batches that are only available through occasional restocks, making them limited edition pieces.  The next restock is TODAY, so head over to her shop to see what's available and check out her Instagram feed (@suiteonestudio) for more droolworthy inspiration!  These make beautiful gift ideas for your momma, sister or best friend and with Mother's Day right around the corner, you better believe I've got my eye on a few goodies (ahem, hubby...)

Which ones are your favorites?


5 tips for designing a smart nursery

Ever since posting pics of Lydia's nursery back in November, I've gotten a ton of emails asking about storage ideas, how I keep clutter at bay, decorating tips, my nursery must-haves, etc.  I thought I'd try to cover all of them here in one post and revisit one of my favorite nurseries I designed two years ago as an example.  Hard to believe it's been that long since I worked on this space and that the little man it was designed for is already transitioning to a big boy room, but just another reason why smart design is helpful for nurseries!

Forgo the themes.  Instead of a theme, I prefer to create a feel or mood: light and bright, whimsical, fun and fresh, super girly, etc.  The thing with themes is that, when you buy everything pertaining to said theme, you end up spending a small fortune a few short years down the road when your little has outgrown his/her nursery and is in need of a big girl/boy space.  By sticking to classics for your basics (think neutral paint colors, linen curtain panels and bamboo Roman blinds) you can then add color, pattern and whimsy with stuffed toys, throw pillows, bedding, books and art!

(A longhorn is a dramatic focal point, eliminating the need for any other art on this side of the room)

Keep clutter to a minimum. It's so easy to overdo it on the decorative accessories in a nursery, which can make the room look like a hot cluttered mess.  Since this is the one room where a calm, cozy feel is a must, I like to advise clients to instead spend a little more on a soft, cozy sheepskin rug or beautiful, lined linen curtain panels.  The result is so much more dramatic and sophisticated!

(Ben Moore Revere Petwer on the walls, blue/gray linen curtains and a soft rug lend a cozy, luxurious feel)

Invest in smart pieces that will stand the test of time. When we had Lydia, I used an antique oak buffet as a changing table - for one thing, it's a gorgeous piece that she will have forever and also, it's higher than normal changing tables which was super helpful for us (I'm 5'10 and Daddy is 6'4).  I tend to think of changing tables as a waste of money because babies grow out of them so quickly and then you need to shell out more money for another piece.  A beautiful dresser can accomplish the same feat with a changing pad on top.  Same thing goes for gliders.  Those things are expensive!  A comfy chair and ottoman work, too!

(A buffet became a beautiful makeshift changing table with a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware)

Smart storage is a MUST. Baskets, trays and decorative boxes are beautiful ways to corral everyday necessities and keep your sanity in tact when you're searching for diaper cream or a lovey in the middle of the night! 

(We maximized vertical space by hanging painted wire baskets on the walls and using a reclaimed barn wood ladder for receiving blankets)

Add a gallery wall.  A gallery wall is one of my favorite ways to add personality, color and interest to any space and that goes for nurseries, too!  The best part is everything is grouped together in one place, as opposed to a cluttered feel of having art splattered throughout the room AND it's super easy to swap pictures and art out for new finds as your littles get older.

(Handpicked art, hand sewn ornaments from Mexico and baby pics of Mom and Dad add color, personality and a ton of interest)

Happy Thursday!