Friday, April 4, 2014

Fess Up Friday Guest Post

Happy Friday! Today you'll find me over at the Little Black Door where I'm fessing up to breaking a real decorating taboo (oh no! what could it be???).

Here's a little hint as to what my secret might involve . . . 

Please pop over and check it out. I know you all must read LBD already because Elizabeth is one of the best bloggers around . . . seriously love her humor and her style. 

Also, earlier this week I was fortunate enough to get to tour the HGTV Smart House here in Nashville. It's not open for tours to the public, but it will be available to win starting April 15. So please check back for a little preview next week. 

Happy weekend everyone!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Should I Go Naked?

Nothing like starting off a Monday with a provocative question, right? Sorry to disappoint you though if you were hoping for some talk of skin . . . today, I'm talking about my dining room floor. You see, I'm kind of going through some growing pains with my dining room, and one of the changes I've already made is ditching my rug. What? Oh yes, I went naked. But the question is should I stay that way? Let's back up. In case you can't remember, here's what my dining room looked like with a rug . . .
Just your basic jute rug from West Elm, nothing fancy. I have patterned Persian rugs in rooms that adjoin this one so I never wanted any distracting colors or patterns on the floor of the dining room. So, I've always had some version of a jute or natural fiber rug (prior to this one I had the diamond jute rug from West Elm). And while I've always liked the look of these neutral natural rugs, they do have their downsides. A. They shed (there is always a pile of sandy/dusty/gritty material under the edges of the rug), and B. I have two dogs and a cat, and let's just say they sometimes think the jute is grass, and well, you can guess the rest. Which leads to C. The natural fiber rugs are hard to clean. So, after a while, mine was looking pretty worse for the wear, so I took it the the recycling center. Now, my dining room looks like this . . . 
I actually don't mind the bare floor, but I don't like the clashing browns of my dining table and floor. It was way less noticeable when there was a buffer rug between the two. And if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen these . . . 
Yes, I bought some new dining chairs. I got them at the Habitat Re-Store . . . they were such a good deal and I absolutely love the shape and black color (which needs some serious touching up, etc.). And, of course, they need new fabric so I got a swatch of this just to play around with. 
Which led me to think about painting my walls a creamy color . . . 

One thing leads to another. It's inevitable. So, basically now I want to change my entire dining room (table, chairs, walls, possibly chandelier, etc.). No big deal. To me, our current dining room looks a little formal, and we're not really a formal dining kind of family. More of a casual group.

Which leads me back to the floors . . . for now, I'm keeping them naked. Once other decisions are made, I'm sure it will become clear. Until then, here are some dining rooms I've been drawn to with naked floors . . .






Now, if I could just convince my uncle to switch dining tables with me, I'd be set (he currently has my dearly departed Grandmother's oval Saarinen style table which I covet). 

What about you, do you like the bare/naked dining room floor look?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Quick Before & After

Today, I thought I would share a little "before and after" of the break room I recently redesigned at my husband's office. It was great fun working on this space because, as you might imagine, I had a great deal of creative control and could work with some items I already had as well as some new pieces. Also, I don't always get to do a full "install" for clients, rather just a piece here or there so there's not always a dramatic "after" photo to share.  Without further ado, here's one of the afters . . .

Please excuse the graininess - these are iPhone photos and the lighting is not the best (something I will tackle soon). 

And a before so you'll see how absymal it was before . . . 
Hello, boring beige and brown. That is his bachelor sofa - he hasn't been a bachelor in about 18 years, so that tells you we were working with some serious leftover furniture. Now, you might be asking yourself, "Kathy, how could you let the break area at your husband's office look so bad??" Well, the truth is, it was at the bottom of every list I had and at the bottom of his budget list as well. And while we accomplished this on a serious shoestring budget, it still cost money (that comes out of our pocket ultimately).

The other pieces, I honestly had nothing to do with either. I think they were things he picked up because they were cheap and readily available when they needed a table or shelf. Seriously.

So, we literally threw out all the old furniture as it was fairly broken and stained (put it at the curb with "Free" signs and it was gone within minutes). I picked out some new commercial carpet in a charcoal gray with hints of blue (this is a commercial building that he leases), had the walls and trim painted out in Restless Sea by Behr and then started layering in furniture and accessories. 

I rearranged the layout of the room and oriented the new credenza from Overstock (the only truly new piece in the room) on the longest wall. Then I floated the $20 faux bamboo table from Craigslist (it was a heinous speckled yellow, so I just painted it white for contrast) in the middle of the room to allow for more seating. I brought in chairs and stools that I already had from estate sales to pull around the table. Still need a couple more chairs, but for now it will do. 

I accented the room with vintage rugs (also from my stash - the smaller one I just got at an estate sale this weekend) and pulled in oranges, corals and pinks for accent colors (did I mention my husband is the only male in his office of six people) with the art and my husband's underwater photography.


I gave them a new little coffee/microwave station and added my homemade Rothko-inspired art (also inspired by Jenny from Little Green Notebook) for some color and interest.

Overall, it's done, just still needs some small fixes here and there (lighting and window treatment). I'm pretty happy with it, and the ladies who work there are thrilled, so it's a win-win. I hope you've enjoyed this little before and after.

Hope to see you sooner rather than later (as it's been lately).