Kelly Christakos Stivers



In yesterday's post, I mentioned a few of the projects I've been working on around here and today I thought I'd share a few progress pics!  I can't talk about what's been going on around here without sharing a pic of my sweet baby girl - I'm absolutely obsessed with her; my heart swells just typing this post!  Here she is in all her bows and pink monogrammed glory last week:

While she is napping, momma gets to hoppin'.  For someone who wasn't all that great with time management pre-baby, you wouldn't believe the things I can now get done in ten minutes, not to mention an entire naptime!  I picked up a set of four Queen Anne-style dining chairs four years ago-they're a little more formal for my taste, but we had just moved into the house, the hubby's family was coming to visit and I needed extra seats, so I scooped them up.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago and it was time to give these babies some love.  A coat of primer, two coats of paint, whitewashing, drybrushing and a little stain for depth and they are completely transformed:

I still have one more to finish and then have to reupholster the seats, but will show the complete before and after as soon as I'm done:

When my momma gets to spring cleaning, I definitely reap the benefits.  When she downsized into a smaller home, she suddenly didn't have room for every single one of her ironstone platters, so she would send me a couple here and there.....about a month ago, she sent the final serving plate that filled the rest of the hutch in my kitchen.  I couldn't love it more:

Just added the final touch to the gallery wall in Lydia's nursery.  I PROMISE a full reveal, complete with details to every single item, is coming!  I'm waiting on pillows from my seamstress and then it's GO TIME!  I feel so bad giving sneaky little peeks, but here's another:

While it seems like my green thumb extends soley to outdoor plants and landscaping, I'm proud to say that I've managed to keep an orchid alive on mantle for more than a month.  I'm scared to touch it or even look at it sideways in fear that all the petals will fall off!

A few years ago, I blogged about making my own farmhouse table.  Well, I made it and then it sat in the garage, unfinished, as I mixed stain after stain, aiming for the perfect weathered gray finish.  Let me let you in on a little secret: steel wool and vinegar doesn't work.  Not if you're going for the color I was, at least.  Finally....I've got the color I want.  The table's in the garage getting sealed as we speak, but I'm so excited about how well it's turned out:

More pics to come soon!


lighten up for summer

The seventy degree weather we've been enjoying the last few days couldn't have come at a better time....I was able to open my pool, plant a bunch of sweet potato vine and purple queen, make some headway refinishing and reupholstering a set of four dining chairs and get a couple of coats of wipe on poly on my farmhouse table (more to come on all of these soon!).  Considering how everything takes twice as long with a four month old, and I was able to get almost all of this done while she napped, I feel pretty accomplished!  We're back up to the 90's this week and it has me wanting to lighten things up around my house for summer.  Here are a couple of my picks for getting your home ready for the warmer temps: 

I'm a sucker for a monogrammed bag and this canvas and leather beauty is perfect for running errands or a day at the pool/beach!

Tocca has some of the most beautiful candle scents, but Tahiti is quintessential summer for me!

I love the texture of these wicker cheese knives; they're the perfect touch to a summer get together or picnic.

Loving the colors and retro feel of this beach photographic print.

A woven cotton throw in a French blue stripe not only doubles as a beach or picnic blanket, but it looks chic draped over a sofa or chair.

I'm obsessed with this rattan bar cart; I'd love to use outside as a makeshift bar for summer barbeques or even as a console or side table in a bedroom!

The bedroom needs some summer love, too; this linen border duvet is the perfect touch!

A brass fish bottle opener will add a touch of whimsey to your next cocktail hour!

I love this raffia table runner for its casual, beachy vibe and its texture.

Add a little nautical touch with these glass and rope lanterns.

My love for stripes runs deep and this outdoor pillow is as preppy and nautical as it is practical - it's hoseable, scrubbable and bleachable, making it the BEST outdoor pillow ever!

How are you getting your home ready for summer?


michelle morin

There are a few watercolors that have been bouncing around Pinterest lately that really caught my eye and had me feeling familiar with the painting style. I was thrilled to discover they were actually the work of New Hampshire-based Michelle Morin, the artist behind United Thread, an Etsy shop I've been enamored with for a while (I first posted about the shop here and then included it again in a roundup of affordable Etsy artists here).  Beautiful botanicals, birds and sea life (I'm still smitten with her stacked whales series) in gorgeous color combinations celebrate Morin's love of nature and gardening and are simply stunning.  Any one of these would have made a beautiful Mother's Day gift, but, as usual lately, I'm a day late and a dollar short.  Here are a few I'm loving lately:

And if you're looking for art in another form, her paintings are now rendered as shower curtains, curtain panels, wallpaper, dinnerware and more at Anthropologie! (Tell me that wallpaper isn't STUNNING?!)

To see more of her work, check out Michelle's website here and her Etsy shop here

Happy Monday!


celerie + south

Grace Happens used to be one of my favorite blogs to follow for her preppy, coastal style and all the amazing before and afters she used to post of her beautiful home.  Her style is so fresh and fun and her home was so welcoming; you might even remember a baby shower she hosted that I loved so much I posted it here.  It's been a while since Grace posted but after having a second baby, selling her home and moving into and decorating a new one, she's back on the scene with a fabulous little monogram shop, Celerie and South, and it's good, people.  SO good. Totes, napkins, coasters, bread basket liners, dish towels, kid's bath towels and bibs all in that traditional, preppy style and they are all so affordable!  Great gift ideas for the hostess of your next get together or even baby shower!  Here are a few lovelies from her shop:


And there are a bevy of beautiful monogram options to choose from!

And just for fun, check out some SWOONWORTHY shots of her new house, captured by the lovely Holly Mathis on her design blog.  I mean, come on....

Unlacquered brass, a farmhouse sink and beautiful marble counters - yes, yes and yes!


Navy walls, gold accents and crisp white beadboard in a kid's bath:

Rustic wood shelving in the kitchen:

More brass loveliness and gray/blue cabinetry - SWOON:

Happy Hump Day!


green + white in the garden

It's that time of year again when I go overboard and load up on more perennials, annuals and basically anything that flowers to give my yard, porch and pots a spring pick-me-up!  While I always end up with a ton of color in my landscaping - knockout roses, lantana, daylilies, sweet potato vine, purple queen, and petunias among some of my favorites - every year I say I'm going to plant only white flowers to compliment all my evergreens and then every year, I run off to the nurseries and grab the first pops of color I see.  There's just something so soft, elegant and dramatic about an all-white garden, though, don't you think?  White hydrangeas and boxwoods are a personal favorite combination.   I even love the combination of all green evergreens, ornamental grasses and accent plants with bright white details like garden gates, decking and patio furniture (adirondack chairs, especially!).  Just so sophisticated and lovely.  And at night, it looks like the garden is glowing.  Here are a few images that always inspire me to give all-white a go in my gardens and landscaping:

Thomas Pheasant via Veranda


Deborah Cerbone

Thomas Pheasant via Veranda

Gil Schafer

Timothy Whealon via Elle Decor


Southern Living


Architectural Digest

Would you plant only white in your landscaping?