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Friday
Oct262018

before + after: luca's grass cloth bookshelf

FINALLY sharing a little before and after of Luca's room today and it happens to be one of my favorite DIY/furniture transformations yet!! Luca's room has become somewhat of a dump-all for toys in rotation, the hubby's work bags and just about anything and everything else that I don't want to lay eyes on in the living areas of the house (since he has yet to sleep anywhere else but where Momma is).  BUT....his room is now also warmed up with this gorgeous, grass cloth-backed bookshelf that we transformed from a dark, uninteresting piece from our last house, too!

The bookshelf was a clearance purchase from World Market years ago when we bought our first house, but it had been sitting in a corner of the garage in our current home collecting dust and random crap since we moved in eight years ago.  It happens to be the perfect size for behind the door in Luca's room, and Lord knows extra surface space and shelving is never a bad idea when you have littles, so we decided to clean it up and give it a little facelift.  Here is what it looked like before:

We used our air compressor and sprayed two light coats of Sherwin Williams Extra White to match the walls and then I used some of the leftover grass cloth from our dining room to back it.  I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.  It adds just the right amount of texture, warmth and so much interest to this corner and is such a pretty background for his beautiful books and die cast VW bus collection (we are OBSESSED).  It also is such a pretty compliment to all the aqua (I made sure to inclue a little sliver of the aqua linen window treatments in the top photo!)

I'm a huge fan of decorating with things that hold special meaning and that goes for in kid's rooms, too, so his shelves are filled with nods to Daddy's career as a Marine (a VW bus was his ride when stationed in Hawaii, which is why we have so many of them), our love of the sea and Luca's obsession with fire trucks.  All of my Little Golden Books from when I was little and an almost-complete set of vintage Hardy Boys books have pride of place here, too (Lydia has my mom's complete set of original Nancy Drew's!)  I even framed a picture Lydia made for him when we came home from the hospital!

I still need some bed linens and to frame some artwork before this room is complete (I plan to have it all done in time for family to visit this Christmas!), so I'll be sure to post progress shots along the way.  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday
Oct232018

blogger home tour: most lovely things

One of the best things about blogging and social media is the people you get to "meet".  Annie Diamond from Most Lovely Things is one of my favorites to follow; I've been reading and taking inspiration from her beautiful blog and Instagram feed for years now; I love her style and her gorgeous home!  After following each other for almost a decade, we finally got to meet earlier this spring when I was driving to Newport, Rhode Island, and stopped in to the Serena and Lily in Westport.  Annie was gracious enough to meet me there -she is just as charming and sweet in person as she is on her blog; it felt like I was meeting up with an old friend, rather than someone I was meeting for the first time!  I absolutely love Annie's style and her beautiful 1900 Connecticut home is as charming as she is!  What I love most about it is how Annie modernized it with a black and white color palette and lots of warm wood accents.  It's gorgeous and, of course, beautifully styled, but it's also got a feeling of being lived-in and so comfy. She recently sold this house, so while we wait to see what magic she works in the next one (it has CEDAR SHAKES!!!), I thought I'd share this one today!

You only get one chance to make a great first impression to your home and Annie nails in it spades with her front porch.  Galvanized planters, perfectly sized lantern lighting and a black rattan hanging chair are about as charming as it gets when greeting guests.  And she even changes up greetings on her front door with a Sharpie for the seasons and holidays!

I love how Annie changes up her porch for the seasons - a glossy black door, pumpkins and topiary for fall are my favorite!

Love the glossy black doors and that bannister in the entry!

The jewel box of a kitchen is my favorite room in the whole house.  Love the black moldings, open shelving, banquette seating and, of course, the natural Riviera chairs!

The whole house is so light, bright and airy:

A detached garage out back was painted black, a portico was built over the door and a potting table was added to the side for even more charm:

Tuesday
Oct162018

kid-friendly coffee tables

If Lydia had her way, there would be coffee tables strategically placed all over our house so that she could re-enact scenes from The Greatest Showman on top of them at a moment's whim.  Needless to say, this is exactly one of the reasons why we don't currently have one in our living room.  Both of my children will climb on anything and everything, so, despite desperately needing one to round out the space, I just figured it would be a purchase we would make once they were out of this stage of life....in, say, ten or so years, haha.  More and more, though, I'm seeing so many coffee table options that are perfect for homes with littles and the best part is that they're super chic!  For me, truly great design is that which accomodates the entire family while also staying true to your design aesthetic; a beautiful home and children can co-exist! I've rounded up a couple options below, all of which I would consider for my own home (I'm especially partial to the top two, surprise, surprise!)  Which is your favorite?  And would you put one of these in your home with small children??

Sawyer Berson

South Seas Coffee Table / Costa Coffee Table / Wicker X Bench / Round wicker coffee table /

Briar Square Coffee Table / Sophia Tufted Ottoman / Rowan Striped Ottoman / Biscayne Ottoman

Sunday
Sep232018

adding fall touches to your entertaining basics

I'm probably the only person on the planet that isn't high fiving fall's impending arrival (I'm always holding on to the end of summer with both hands), but this year, despite the steady 90 degree temps, I've already started to introduce little touches of fall to my daily dinnerware and serving pieces.  I always keep my entertaining basics pretty neutral with lots of texture so that I can make small changes with the seasons without having to buy all new stuff (think rattan chargers, simple white dishes and serving platters and my favorite French wine glasses).  Something so simple as swapping out my woven tumblers for tortoise double old fashioneds goes a long way to bring a touch of fall to my table.  To get the most bang for my buck, I look for pieces that can do double duty, like an ice bucket that can also double as a beautiful vessel for flowers or a maiden hair fern (I'm also completely OBSESSED with these mixed metal planters; they would look amazing down a center of the table with myrtle topiary or maiden hair fern).  Bamboo serving pieces are a great way to add a little texture without having to invest in a whole set of flatware and wicker casserole dishes are festive year round!  I've rounded up some of my favorite basic entertaining pieces, mixed with some pretty touches for fall:

 

Rattan chargers / French wine glasses / Tortoise double old fashioneds / Myrtle topiary

(a great fake option here, too) / White serving platters / Bamboo serving set / Mixed metal planters

Tortoise ice bucket / Marble wine cooler / Wicker wrapped casserole dishes

How are you welcoming fall??

Thursday
Aug302018

all your questions about our pool (and some new sod!)

If you've been following along on Instagram, you're probably tired of seeing photos of our pool in my feed and my stories, but since I'm in complete denial that summer is officially/technically coming to a close here very soon (and since it's going to be a while before it starts to feel like Fall here in the south), I figured it was better late than never to answer all of the questions I've gotten this summer about our pool in a blog post!

I also thought this was a great opportunity to talk a little about the new sod we had put down in June.  We have a ton of trees on our property, which I have always loved, but all that shade killed 80% of our Bermuda grass and left our yard looking like a hot mess.  Earlier this spring, we decided to take the leap and have all of it sprayed and dug up and replaced with zoyzia sod.  It has been the best decision we have ever made!  It's seriously like instant carpet; it looks amazing, the kids love how soft it is and it's so far, knock on wood, been pretty low maintenance (with the exception of keeping on top of watering).  When the Bermuda died off, moss and weeds took its place and, I'll be honest, it was depressing being out back and looking at that.  The new sod has been such a game changer.  Considering how much time we spend in the pool in the summer, it was definitely worth the investment. 

I've gotten a bunch of questions about the pool every time I post a shot, so here we go!  I made sure to go back through my DM's so that I answered each and every one!  If there's anything I missed, make sure to leave me a note in the comment section!

How big is your pool?  It's 18x36 feet.

Is it saltwater?  Yes!

How do you keep the grass around the pool from dying?  Honestly, this has never been a problem, even when we had Bermuda and so far, since we had the zoyzia put down in June, we haven't had an issue, either. 

How is your pool so blue?  Our pool is plaster, which is tinted azure blue all the way through.  This means that, even if there is ever a scrape or a gash in the plaster, you'll always only ever see the blue.

How wide is the coping around your pool?  We have 24 inches of concrete around the pool, the absolute minimum width to be able to support a pool of our size. 

Is that slate tile around the top?  We were told that slate did not fare well with salt water so, instead, we opted to go with a matte ceramic tile that looks just like it!  I absolutely love it - you really can't even tell that it's not slate!

How deep is your pool?  It goes from three feet in the shallow end to seven feet in the deep end.

How much time do you spend on maintaining the pool?  Honestly, it really isn't too much work - once a week we brush the pool and backwash (or more often if we've gotten a lot of rain), both of which I can do with the kiddos in the pool.  We also have an automatic vacuum, which is worth its weight in gold.  I literally plug it in and let it go for 45 minutes to an hour and it's squeaky clean!  The biggest issue with saltwater pools, at least that we have experienced, is that the pH is always super high.  If you let it go, it can lead to other bigger issues, so we test the water once a week and add some muriatic acid to bring it back down again. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  We will be celebrating Luca's second birthday right here by the pool.  Be sure to check out Instagram for party snaps!