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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Etsy Pick of the Week: Heartfelt

Despite the fact that I have two little kids and I LOVE to decorate my house for Christmas, I am not one of those people who pin up turkeys on Thanksgiving or flags for the 4th of July. Sometimes I actually think this makes me a bad mother, but really I just can't deal with having all the stuff around the rest of the year and I also know that the likelihood of me getting it out of the basement and hung before the holiday is almost past are pretty slim. However, I know that a lot of people really like to and when I came across this pink and red felt heart on Etsy designed by Maddy & Me , I thought it was quite sweet and sophisticated as far as secondary holiday decrations go, and with Valentine's Day around the corner I thought it would be a perfect Etsy Pick of the Week. It's sure to be a piece that will put a smile on your face year after year.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Turquoise Rocks 2010

Pantone, the world renowned authority on color, has named Turquoise THE color of 2010. Turquoise always reminds me of my grandmother's living room when I was very little. When you opened the french doors into the room, it was like entering the turquoise abyss. Everything from the walls, the fabric and the oversized ceramic shells (0ne of which I have now) by the fireplace were turquoise. I always laughed about that room, but it really did a very bold way. Here is a little inspiration in how to use it as a bold statement or just to add a splash of color to your existing rooms. Clearly, balance is key when using such a bright color so go for it, but don't overdo it.

The retro appliances and backsplash aren't overwhelming here because they aren't competing with any other colors. When committing to a bright color on your investment pieces for the room, this is the way to go. (Coastal Living)
Not only do I love the color of these benches, but I love the idea of the sqaure table with benches on each side. (Homes & Gardens)
Turquoise and fuschia go great together, and they are really well balanced with each other in this bedroom. (Better Homes & Gardens)
Many of you know how much I love a bright painted floor. Once again, it works because it's not competing against any other colors. (Coastal Living)
If you aren't ready to commit to the color on your walls or flooring, you can still make a splash with pops of turqoise paired with classic white plates, silver and clear glasses in a table setting. (Homes & Gardens)

To add turquoise to your own bedroom, check out the new Lilly Pulitzer home line which incluses this Treasure Chest Quilt, available exclusively at Garnet Hill.
You can't go wrong with Fiesta Dinnerware so add that splash of color to your table with all new dinnerware or just a few accent pieces.

If you really aren't ready to commit, but like the color, this turquoise frame by Jonathan Adler is perfect. He has loads of other turquois items as well.
And if you want it as an accent, but not the main focus, I love the Palm Beach Rug by Dash and Albert. Available in sizes from 2' x 3' to 9' x 12'.
Photos: Coastal Living,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Etsy Pick Of the Week: Lampshades

Anyone who has ever checked out Etsy-THE go to site for handmade items-knows that you can literally lose yourself for hours perusing the hundreds of thousands of selections. Since most people don't have the time to do this, I thought I would bring you a new feature, the Etsy Pick of the Week. My first fabulous find are these lamp shades by seller My Finch Studios . They offer a limited selection of well chosen prints, however, my favorite thing about them is that they they do C.O.M. (customer's own material), and they are also really reasonably priced. Many of the shades are as low as $32 and the largest is $98. I've been wanting to hang a shade chandelier in my dining room so now I'm the hunt for the perfect fabric to have sent off to them. A custom chandelier for under $200....amazing!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

18th Century Colonial Renovation

Back in October my sister, Meaghan O'Neill, and brother in law, Kurt Edenbach, decided they didn't have enough to do with their demanding full time jobs and 3 yr old son, and so they decided to purchase the above 18th century colonial home and renovate it. The home has many original colonial details and is on a great piece of property that includes a modern guest cottage and is only a block from Newport harbor, BUT it also has slanting floors, paper thin walls (i.e. no insulation), outdated electrical and plumbing, and was really uninhabitable. It's believed the house was built around 1760 and moved to its current location around 1860. Most people would tear this house down without thinking twice about it as has become commonplace in this City by the Sea, but luckily for the house, its new owners have a great appreciation for the historic architecture that lines Newport streets and they are true environmentalists. So for the next several months we will follow the progress, set backs and decision making process to see how they are able to marry restoration, environmentalism, and modern living into their new home. But first a tour of how it appeared when the process all began and what the current plans are.

The back of the house will now have an 8 ft slider on the right side coming from the dining room and the little mudroom on the back left will become the mudroom/laundry room.

The front porch is coming off! It was added at a later date and the new entry will be more traditional colonial with double sided steps and a landing at the top.

The kitchen had clearly been updated at some point, but is still very outdated. There are at least 4 layers of flooring here on top of the original wood floors. I will never understand why anyone puts linoleum on top of wood floors.

The dining room had some built-ins, but only that little closet seems to be original. The china cabinet is being torn out and the dining room and kitchen will now be open to each other.

This is the living room looking into the dining room. Unfortunately, all of the home's fireplaces were long ago covered up and the decision had to be made to remove the chimney in order to make more space for other things. However, this room will be getting a pellet stove. That back wall in the dining room will now be home to the 8 ft sliding door which will really open the house up for indoor/outdoor living.

The front staircase is small, but the back staircase is even smaller. It will probably be quite lovely once refurbished, however furniture selection for the second floor is going to have to be done very carefully.

The master bedroom gets lots of wonderful light and you can see how beautiful the original wood floors are here.

This second bedroom will become slightly smaller so that a new hallway can be added that leads to the guest bath and third bedroom.

The third bedroom will have some space stolen from it for a master bedroom closet and bathroom. At the moment it connects to the master bedroom.

And this currently tiny bedroom will become an ample sized guest bathroom placed right in the middle of the two guest bedrooms.

One of the joys of renovating an old home is that you never know what you're going to find. As things began to be torn apart and walls and ceilings came down, they found these amazing beams in the ceiling which add so much character to the house. They will remain exposed in the kitchen and dining room.

This is the first renovation that we'll be following, but I hope to be able to follow many more. If you know of one that you think people would be interested in, please let me know. It doesn't have to be a whole house renovation. Any great renovation project suggestions would be great.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Everything In Its Place

With the wonder of the holidays also comes the "stuff" that arrived under the tree and slowly begins to overtake the house. Maybe I should re-phrase that as the "new stuff" that you have to find a place for in addition to the "old stuff" that still isn't where you want it. At least that is the story in my house with two little ones who love to sprinkle the living room with toys, plus my own inability to come to terms with the fact that we've lived in our house for 2 1/2 years now and those built ins and pantry I've been dreaming of since day 1 aren't going to get built any time soon so it's time to find a different home for all those books and platters that are still in boxes. Enter my 2010 New Year's resolution: A place for everything and everything in its place! I feel like if I can follow this, everything else will fall into place because my mind won't be so cluttered by all the clutter surrounding me. While I've made progress I thought I'd scour for some more inspiration, and here's what I found. Hopefully this inspires you all too whether you're looking for a new place for your paper clips or need to completely overhaul your closet.

Martha Stewart creates a mini-office in a faux armoire.
Not only do I covet the the idea of having so many shoes, but also that they would all be as organized as Mariah Carey's in this fabulous closet (featured in In Style).

Wouldn't it be nice to not have to dig through the linen closet to find just what you're looking for? (California Closets)
I must say that our garage is very organized thanks to my husband, but this Martha Stewart peg system still gives us something to aspire too.
Martha even has every little garden tool in its place. This is what I'm talking about when I say "get organized".
Daring to dream. I don't have the space for a playroom system quite this large from Pottery Barn Kids without it taking over my living room, however, it can still inspire. A basket for everything and flat art boxes for your budding artists work.
Seriously, I love this idea...miniature drawers labeled with chalkboard fronts for even your smallest items. Thank you again Martha!
And wouldn't it be nice if it started the moment we each walked in the door (Coastal Living). It is only Jan. 4th and I have only taken some small steps so far, but I'm thinking this is doable and will post my storage solutions once they are in place.
HAPPY 2010!