Tag Archives: home decor

The Office

Thanksgiving came and went, and Christmas is right around the corner (how is it possible?).  I guess this means I should be blogging about decking the halls, but I’ve been promising our home office reveal for quite a while now.  So, here it is…our home office transformation (I know you’ve barely been able to contain your excitement!)  As with the rest of the house, it’s a work in progress (I’m already thinking of rearranging the furniture).  But this is what we’ve done so far.

IMG_3387Here are the “before” photos.  Embarassing.

IMG_3386Ugh.  You can see why it needed an overhaul.

IMG_3395First we had our Shepard Fairey prints framed and hung.

IMG_3427Then we hung wallpaper and painted the ceiling.

IMG_0510Next came the shelves (and MANY trips to the Container Store).

IMG_0508Lots of storage was a must to keep our clutter in check.

IMG_0516Velvet drapes and gazelle horns added a masculine touch.

IMG_0539Lastly, we added some comfy furniture

IMG_0548And Husband’s favorite lamp.

The next project on deck is the master bathroom, which is calling for LOTS of paint.  So, you might not see that reveal for a while.  But in the meantime, stay tuned for some smaller projects.


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A Rug’s Life

In May, Husband and I took an amazing two-week vacation to Turkey.  While planning our itinerary we thought it best to end our trip in Istanbul so we wouldn’t have to schlep our Grand Bazaar purchases all over the country in our suitcases.  I was secretly hoping to snag a gorgeous Turkish rug for the dining room, so this seemed like a genius idea!  However, our genius idea wasn’t as brilliant as we touted.  Strangely, and surprisingly, we didn’t buy one single thing at the Bazaar.  No Turkish rug, no Turkish towels, no leather pouf.  Such disappointment.  I’m not saying we didn’t see loads of incredible wares, because we did.  But by the time we arrived at the Grand Bazaar, whether it was because we were overly exhausted, over stimulated, or over budget, our grand plan just didn’t come to fruition.

Despite coming home empty handed, my memory of seeing the rug making process will last just as long as any rug we would have brought home.  Here are some photos to illustrate the process:

Removing silk thread from silkworm cocoons.

Dyed silk yarn for the REALLY expensive rugs.

Wool yarn is spun by hand…

and colored with organic dyes.

Rugs are hand knotted, one piece of thread at a time.

The pattern is attached at the top of the loom for guidance.

It’s a long process.

Some rugs cost more than $50,000.

Shoes off!

Husband and I already plan to return to Turkey some day, so maybe that will be the time to find a special rug for our home.  Until then, I will never look at a rug the same way again!

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Patience and Progress

I’m happy to report that we’re making progress in our quest for a super rad home office…and I’m equally happy to announce that this is the first weekend in a month that I haven’t visited the Container Store!  (OK, so I pulled into the parking lot, but quickly came to my senses when I assessed the overflow of holiday shoppers.  Someone would have gotten hurt with a shopping cart if I had entered that rat’s nest.)   However, since it is a three day weekend, my decorating list was long.  So instead, I tested my patience by visiting Home Depot three times, Kinkos twice, IKEA once, and Pottery Barn (quickly!).  I’ll share photos of this weekend’s projects over the coming weeks, but in the meantime you can take a peak at our office decor pinboard here on Pinterest.  (And here’s a teaser photo to whet your appetite!)

Tune in next time; fun things are on the way!

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A Frame.

I would say our most valued home furnishings are works of original art.  Husband would probably say that he values the couch and bed most, but he would really mean the artwork is most important to him.  As a house warming gift my mom, the talented artist, gave us two of her amazing watercolor paintings.  A fantastic focal point for the upstairs!  We were also fortunate enough to be gifted, from our brother-in-law Chris, four original Shepard Fairey silkscreens of characters from The Godfather movies.  They’re the inspiration for our office decor!

It should be no surprise how important framing is to maintaining the integrity of artwork.  I made the mistake of taking a series of original drawings to a certain “big box” frame store recently.  Although the drawings look very nice, the framing just looks blah.  It does nothing to highlight the feel or detail of the drawings.  I’m never spending so much money on mediocre framing again!

Fortunately, a few years ago my mom was introduced to a framer in San Luis Obispo named Gail Johnson of Johnson Framing Studio.  Gail is an artist herself so she fully understands how framing should underscore artwork, not just encase it.  When we received the pieces from Mom and Chris, I knew I couldn’t do them a disservice by taking them to a “big box” framer.  Gail to the rescue!  All of the framing she’s done for my mom is flawless and beautifully chosen.  She was the only one I trusted to frame these pieces. And get this, she actually did historical research before she picked frames for our Godfather prints!  The results truly blew us away.

Here is the thoroughly impressive artwork and the equally impressive framing:

Now that we have The Godfather prints framed (the first step in our office transformation), we are tackling the rest of the room.  Stay tuned for our progress…

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A Mountain Retreat.

Last weekend Husband and I were in Park City, Utah for a snowboarding trip and New Year’s celebration with friends.  We were invited to stay in an incredibly cozy mountain retreat nestled on a golf course not far from the ski resort.  In between eating, drinking and hot-tubbing I, of course, soaked in the decor.  True to the locale, and consistent throughout the house, the theme was Mountain Retreat all the way.  Here are some of my favorite highlights:

A mountain retreat would not be complete without an antler chandelier.

This was my favorite wall hanging in the house…I especially loved the gray wood paneled wall it was hanging on.

Now, boys, THIS is a rack!

This stool belongs in our house.  I want it.

I really like the contrasting cowhide and leather.  And good for a nap!

Antler lamp, expected.  Leopard print chairs, unexpected!  Yeah, it worked.

Just in case any horses strolled by.

Cassius lays like that sometimes…oh, yep, he’s doing it now.

Speaking of dogs…”Be the person your dog thinks you are.”  I love that!

And, here is the pièce de résistance.  How about that for Mountain Retreat?!

Many thanks to Sweet T for the sweet pad!

Tune in next time back home with me and our cozy city retreat…

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It’s Resolution Time…

Happy New Year to you all! But you know what this means, don’t you? Yep, it’s resolution time. I’ve got my usual list of diet, exercise and blah blah blah, but I also have a list of New Year’s resolutions for our home. Maybe since I’m putting it in writing I’ll actually stick to them (is that the secret?). Let’s give it a try, in no particular order:

1) Use coasters. Yeah, like these.

2) Use my Kitchen Aid mixer.

3) Buy more art. I mean, Buy Some Damn Art.

4) Make more art.

5) Throw a house warming party.

6) Throw any kind of party:









7) Recycle catalogues within a week.

8) Bring home house plants (and don’t kill them).

9) Bring home flowers.

10) Grow flowers.

11) Create a space that feels like this:










12) Frequent the local antique markets.

13) Fill the house with more music, and less TV. (Moves Like Jagger might just happen on a Tuesday night…and I’m not embarrassed to say it.)

14) Take more photos (aka better photos).

15) Light more candles.

16) Receive more packages like this:

Well, this is the plan anyway. Tune in next week to see how it’s coming along…

(Image credits: 6) SFGIRLBYBAY, 11) Erin Loechner, 15) AB Chao)

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Thanksgiving at Home

Husband and I traveled north to my parents’ house to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend. I think I’m still sideways from the 500 mile drive…and all those calories. Cassius is still recovering, too. He’s about to embark on his 24th hour of continuous sleep.

One of the best parts about spending a holiday at my parents’ house is I get to see my mom’s, always amazing, decorations. I’m convinced that my love of decorating is a genetic code written directly into my DNA by my mom. Forever I will wish that I had photos of all my mom’s holiday decorations…and trust me, no holiday was ever decorated the same way.

Sadly, now that her kids are out of the house and living hundreds of miles away, decorating for the holidays just isn’t the same for my mom. But no matter what, Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving without a proper dining table. So here is just a little something she threw together for our Turkey Day dinner this year. Check it out!


Hand made by my mom…ribbon, maple leaves, a dried pomegranate and a glue gun.

My dad made that antler candelabra for my mom. He found and gathered all those naturally shed deer antlers.

The chandelier above the table was designed and decorated by my mom, and built and installed by my dad. What a team!

We have a lot to be thankful for this year, and felt fortunate to spend the weekend with family and friends. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well.

Tune in next time…I’ve got some fun stuff lined up!


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