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Entries in Interior Design (201)

Thursday
Feb092017

kitchen essentials that are as pretty as they are functional

My kitchen is not only the heart of our home, it's also the hardest working room in the whole house.  I love to cook and bake and always end up using all of my countertop space while doing so, which has always made it hard to "decorate" the space.  Because of that, I'm willing to spend a little extra on gadgets and cookware that are as lovely as they are utilitarian and add a dose of pretty to my kitchen.  I cleared everything off my counters a few nights ago in an attempt to reorganize and clean and I ended up putting everything right back to where it was because I loved everything I had displayed so much!  Here are a few things in my kitchen that I use all the time that happen to be as functional as they are pretty:

Simple, oversize glass canisters are perfect for items I use every day and the larger size looks so much better on my counters than the smaller ones, which seem to get lost among everything else!

Rattan trays.  Perfect for corraling every day items but also great for a last-minute cocktail tray or serving appetizers whenever we have company.

Wooden bread boardsI like to mix it up when we have dinner guests and sometimes serve a few snacks or finger foods or a pretty cheese platter on a bread board, but I really love the fact that they look so beautiful leaning in stacks without taking up precious counter space

Copper measuring cups make for a beautiful gift for the perpetual baker!

Murchison Hume hand soap.  My kitchen is not complete without a little brown bottle of natural, non toxic hand soap; I'm obsessed with this brand and all the subtle, lovely scents they offer!

White pitchersThese look lovely on their own but are also great for holding utensils at gatherings or as beautiful vessels for flowers.

Blue and white dish towelsA great way to add a little color to my black and white kitchen.  I found this set at Ikea and use them as napkins, too!

Silver Revere bowls.  You can find these at any thrift store; I have quite the collection and use them for everything from holding fruit and planting paperwhites at Christmas to stacking and displaying them in my glass front cabinets.

Marble utensil holder.  A seriously chic upgrade to the plain old white one I've had for years.  This one is super affordable and comes in two sizes.

Tortoise highball glasses.  I'm obsessed with everything and anything tortoise and these glasses not only look super chic in my glassfront cabinets but they double as vases.  Three of these with flowers down the middle of a table would be such a lovely centerpiece!

Rattan napkin holderI used to keep paper napkins in one of my kitchen drawers but I needed the space for the 5,000 bibs for my champion puker.  This rattan holder has been a pretty addition to my countertops and will transition easily outdoors when the weather is warm enough for dinners on the deck!

Horn bottle opener.  Too pretty to keep hidden in a drawer, this is one of my favorite bottle openers!

What are some of your kitchen must-haves?

Friday
Feb032017

new foyer lamps + how to create a "zinc" finish

Three blog posts in one week, can you believe it?  I'm still behind on laundry by three loads, but I have to say, it feels soooooo good to be back to blogging on what I hope I can make a regular basis!  On the heels of Wednesday's post, I still have lighting on the brain, this time in the form of new pair of huge table lamps for my foyer!  If you follow me on Instagram (@bungalowblue) you may remember me posting a while back about how one of the lamps in my foyer mysteriously broke into one hundred pieces while we were watching Game of Thrones last season.  I've had such a hard time findinganother pair  that I like that are also big enough; the last set was 31 inches high which is perfect for us because both the hubby and I are tall and I hate walking by and being able to see over the lamp and seeing the bulb.  Coming off of the upstairs addition, I also didn't want to spend a fortune,either.  So, when a friend called from a trip to Pottery Barn a few weeks ago and said a pair of Estelle stacked glass table lamps were on clearance for more than half off, I couldn't say no!

These pictures just don't do the lamps justice, they are so beautiful.  And they are HUGE - 33 inches to the tip of the finial, to be exact.  When it comes to lighting, I tend to find bigger is better for a dramatic impact and these lamps definitely deliver.  And if you really want to dial up the drama, a large scale mirror will do the trick!

I found this one a few years back at HomeGoods but it had a yellowed finish that looked like it had spend half a century inside a chain smoker's house.  So, I gave it a little refreshing with a "zinc" paint treatment and I LOVE how it turned out.  Here are the step-by-step instructions on how I created the finish - it's so easy and one of my favorite paint treatments, mostly because the messier the better!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday
Jan302017

beating the winter decorating blah's with houseplants

Hello, blogland; so nice to see you again!  I hope you're all off to a great start in 2017!  The last few weeks of the year really kicked my butt; Luca ended up hospitalized with RSV - anyone with an infant that has gotten it can tell you it's an absolutely devastating experience; it's been the hardest thing I've ever had to do to watch my baby struggle so hard to breathe and know there was virtually nothing anyone could really do, but I'm so grateful the amazing staff at our hospital took such great care of us! We ended up missing Lydia's third birthday because Luca was admitted that morning, which only added to my already teetering emotional state; I ended up getting really sick, too, and then my little miss's birthday party was canceled due to a snow storm that we didn't end up getting.

We're all back on the healthy train again (thanks to my mom, who flew out from the west coast and saved my behind and also my dad and brother who tag teamed watching Lydia while I was in the hospital) and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can keep it that way through the rest of the winter!  And speaking of winter...does anyone else have a case of the blah's at home?  The house always seems so empty after the tree and the garlands are down so I always end up giving the house a few little tweaks to make it feel fresh and new again without going overboard (or spending a ton).  This year, though, I'm not gonna lie -  my idea of "freshening up the house" includes tackling the mountains of laundry and organizing the myriad toys that have taken over every corner of my house, but I picked up some new house plants recently and they've done wonders for my home (and my mental state!).  They're one of my favorite ways to add some color and freshness to any space! 

I love fresh flowers as much as the next girl, but for the money, you just can't beat a pop of green from a big, chunky houseplant, am I right?  I posted my favorite plants that are virtually impossible to kill a while ago (you can read it here); it really is one of my favorite, least expensive ways to refresh a space; pop one in a basket and you have instant texture and interest.

(A six foot fiddle leaf fig I found for $50 at Home Depot a few years back, that I managed to keep alive for six whole months!)

(A $5 peace lily in a basket adds just the right amount of color, texture and freshness to my living room)

(An inexpensive palm from Lowe's helps fill in the space between our breakfast nook and living room)

(Lemon cypress topiary smell as amazing as they look!)

(A hearty philodendron for the master bathroom that almost completely prevents you from being able to see your lower half - but is so totally worth it!)

What are some of your favorite ways to beat the winter decorating blah's?

Thursday
Dec152016

guest suite progress: the bathroom

The longest running construction/reno project in history (also known as my upstairs guest suite) is finally nearing completion!  To be fair to our contractor, we knew when we hired him this past summer that it was the height of the season and that it would take a little longer than we had hoped it would (it was supposed to have been done in the end of September and here we are in December), but I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to have worked on our home and I'm SO thrilled with how it turned out!

You might remember a few months ago, I posted our plans for the bathroom up there (you can read about it here).  This was to be a full fledged guest suite for visiting family and friends to free up the other bedroom downstairs for baby boy's nursery and to also give our guests a space of their own, completely on the other side of the house, where they didn't have to tiptoe to the bathroom at night, in fear of waking a sleeping babe.  For the most part, we stuck to the plan and I love how it looks!  We tried to keep the cost down as much as possible so I looked to Home Depot, Lowe's, Amazon and Wayfair for almost everything.  And you know what?  It all looks like I paid a lot more than I did.

The bathroom.  This was our original plan. And this is how it's looking right now.  It's so crisp and clean and just so PRETTY.  The wall color is Etching by ICI paint and the gorgeous slate floors are Montauk Blue Slate from Home Depot. 

The subway tile and cast iron tub are from Lowe's (that tub weighed more than 500 pounds, took four guys to get it upstairs and was less than a cheapo fiberglass insert!!!)  The frameless tilting mirror is from Amazon and the gorgeous pedestal sink and faucet are from Signature Hardware, with whom I am seriously in love...their prices are INSANE good and their customer service just can't be beat. 

I wanted a chrome pedestal sink in here SO FREAKIN' BAD but I couldn't find one for less than $1000, so I went with a small white pedestal and I actually love it more!

At the last minute, I decided to put beadboard up instead of doing my version of board and batten like I had originally planned and I'm so glad I did.  I love the contrast, although it's soft, between the  blue/gray walls and the beadboard, which is painted Sherwin Williams Extra White like the cabinets, trim and built-ins in the rest of the house.  It adds just the right amount of texture and interest, not to mention that it looks so amazing adjacent to the slate floors.

For the rest of the living space, we did not want carpet but we also had to be mindful of our budget.  We found 6 inch wide bamboo flooring at Home Depot in a rich espresso finish that was on sale for just under $2 per square foot (cheaper than anything we could find at Lumber Liquidators) and it looks amazing against the light walls.

We still have to finish shelving in the bedroom/living area and the floors need a good cleaning, so I'll save pics of that for another post.  All in all, this may have taken ten years to finish, but I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!  Now it's time to buy a rug, hang window treatments, move furniture in and decorate...which also means the downstairs guest room will be freed up for me to make a nursery for Luca!  I can't wait to show you all how it looks once I get everything in and set up! 

Tuesday
Oct252016

fall pretties for the home and table

This weekend we finally saw a little relief from 90 degree temps and, I must say, it was so nice to be able to play outside without the bugs eating us alive and then snuggle under cozy throw blankets and watch movies as a family.  Time to officially say goodbye to summer as we close our pool and I try really, really hard not to grab my Christmas lights out of storage!  Here are a few pretties I'm loving lately - lots of texture, brass, bamboo, tortoise and a little animal print for good measure to cozy up the house for the change in the season:

I've been OBSESSED with these antelope pillows for the chairs in my living room, but their price tag makes me choke.  I found some much more affordable options on Etsy and over at Plantation

I love the simplicity and size of this round mirror from Target

These Wilton trays from Serena and Lily are a great way to add some texture to a coffee or dining table.

These crystal low ball glasses are heavy and substantial enough for the hubby's whiskey but chic enough for my cocktail tray.

I love a myrtle topiary, even if I have a bad habit of murdering them shortly after spending a small fortune on them. Still on the hunt for the perfect fake.

This brown sugar and bourbon candle is HEAVEN.

Dial up the cozy factor with this fabulous pom pom throw.

I love the entire Dauville line, but this sleek, gold rimmed pitcher is on my radar for Thanksgiving lately.

I'm thinking my kitchen counter needs this adorable framed fox print from High Street Market.

The only thing I love more than blue and white everything is tortoise everything.  This umbrella holder from Ballard Designs is killing me softly.

Thinking of updating some of my favorite family photos with these chic bamboo picture frames.

Love the shape and petite size of this gold hexagon platter - it would look amazing for serving drinks or displaying my favorite bottles of perfume.

Still obsessed with this brass fox door knocker.

Looking forward to this read, as much for the fact that I love everything at Food 52 as for my need to simplify my weekly meal plan.

What are you loving lately?