Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sarah's Nursery: Penguin Book Art

Most of the art pieces we hung on the walls in the nursery were no-brainers.  My favorite is the watercolor hanging over the glider.  Our grandma is an incredible artist and painted it specifically for the nursery.  It's beautiful and whimsy and reminds me of all the fun we've had painting together over the years.

The baby also adores it.  In fact, when I'm trying to get him to relax in the glider, I have to face him away from it because he gets so worked up looking at it.  Clearly he is already a refined critic.  

I love being able to use meaningful pieces like this, but I had the hardest time figuring out what to hang above the crib.  All moms know that crib art is difficult because you can't hang anything heavy that could fall on your baby, and you have to hang it awkwardly high so that the baby can't reach up and grab it.  Enter Penguin.

Penguin book art has been all over the design world lately.  One of our favorite examples is the painting Courtney Cox hung in her beach house, featured in Elle Decor:

Of course this picture warms my nerdy, bookworm heart.  Literature, art, and design combined?  Is there anything better?  A few more faves:

Needless to say, I am obsessed with this trend.  So when Julie spotted a box full of old Penguin postcards at Housing Works, our local thrift store, we knew we had found the perfect solution!  We decided to hang multiple postcards rather than blowing up just one because it would allow us to bring more color into the space and would just be a little different than what we've seen done before.  We hung them using Command picture hanging strips:

...and just eyeballed their placement.  This is not recommended but actually worked this time.

We love the interest these postcards add to what was a humongous, blank white wall.  Pretty postcards of any type can be an easy, cheap, and unique answer to the question of what to hang over a crib.  We love them grouped, like we did in my nursery, but also think that a single enlarged postcard (framed or unframed) would bring make a bold, graphic statement in any room.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sarah's Apartment: Nursery Reveal

We're still working on a couple finishing touches, but the nursery is finally (almost) done!  Without adding anything "girly," our gender-neutral navy, lime, white, and gold pretty easily transitioned into a space that's clearly made for a little boy.

We've already gotten questions on the rug, which is a nuLOOM gem that we found on Overstock for a great price.  It hardly sheds and seems like it will stand up to a good amount of wear and tear.  I found the glider at Target and the matching ottoman on Overstock (don't know why Target didn't have it). I was nervous about buying a glider that I had never sat on, but the price was so good that I had to go for it.  The baby and I are glad that I did!

I found the mirror at HomeGoods ages ago and love how it adds a masculine touch to the room.  The changing table is our old dresser, which I bought through Chicago's craigslist awhile back for $30. A few coats of paint and it looked like new!  For the nursery, I replaced the original hardware with these great brass pulls.  They were a little tough to find because vintage dressers don't have standard width holes drilled for the pulls, but I was able to find some that worked at Van Dyke's Restorers online.  I also added the Catalina changing table topper from Pottery Barn Kids.

We accessorized the changing table with mostly practical items: a bowl of toys to use while changing, a bowl for diapers, and two boxes that hide different types of wipes.  This way, I have everything I need at my fingertips and it still looks pretty.

I am obsessed with the crib, which was a gift from my parents, because it mixes modern with traditional lines.  It's the Pottery Barn Harper Crib (currently on sale!).  The bedding is also from Pottery Barn Kids, as is the bookshelf.  The crib skirt is consistently mussed because Bruce firmly believes that it is the entrance to his personal cave.

I had the hardest time finding an armoire because WHY are they so expensive?!?  I wanted one that was child-size and well made and apparently that means that I'm supposed to shell out 1200 bucks.  No can do.  So I was delighted when I found this one on Craigslist for $350!  And this is where Gilbert Gottfried becomes involved.  Because, yeah, I bought it from him.  Well, technically I bought it from his wife...but who's counting?  Julie and I were in their house trying to figure out why they had framed pictures of Iago (from Disney's Aladdin) hanging in their hallway when she spotted a family photo and it all became clear...and very strange.

Anyway, the armoire is Pottery Barn, too, and although I would have liked a stained wood look rather than more white, beggars can't be choosers.  I liked that I could customize the curtains, so we took a trip to Mood and found fabric for a boy's and a girl's nursery.  Using Stitch Witchery (we don't sew), we pretty painlessly made two versions.

I love the girl fabric.  Maybe next time...

We've had a lot of fun designing a space that's great for a baby to live and play in, but also a place where grown-ups like to spend time.  Because, let's be honest, all the baby really cares about is his amazing giraffe.

To come: more info on the art we chose for the room!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Plaid in the Kitchen

Our mom has great taste, but we like to make fun of her about the plaid wallpaper we had in our kitchen growing up.  After seeing pictures of this sleek, sophisticated kitchen with...gasp...plaid wallpaper, we think we might have to eat our words:

We love the contrast of the plaid wallpaper with the subway tile, and the use of acrylic ghost chairs to provide seating without taking up visual space.  It's such a fresh, clean look.

Want to recreate this look in your own home?

We'd use this wallpaper:

This table:

These chairs:

This lighting over the table:

We love this updated take on a classic, traditional pattern.  Once knows best.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Leopard Print Rug

Did anyone else see Marlien Rentmeester's house tour on Glitter Guide last week?  As the West Coast editor of Lucky magazine and the woman behind one of our favorite fashion blogs, Le Catch, we weren't surprised to find that Marlien's home is truly stunning.

all images via Glitter Guide
We love the easy, eclectic, lived-in feel that her home has.  Perfection.

One image that stood out to us was of Marlien in her guest room:

That rug.  While leopard rugs might seem a little scary, we think they're the perfect, stylish neutral.  We love them so much that we're going with one in Julie's dining room.  The space has needed a neutral rug for a long time, and we think leopard will create visual interest and keep the room fun, while seamlessly blending with the pieces that are already in the space.

We're thinking of going with this rug from Overstock.  At 7' x 11' and under $350, the price can't be beat:

We'll share pictures as soon as the rug arrives.  What about you? Would you ever go with leopard in your own home?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

E-Design Questions

We've received a few questions regarding various aspects of e-design, the most important being price.  We failed to put this in our original post, but our e-design services are FREE! All we ask is that we can add photos of your space to our portfolio.

Again, we can't wait to work with you! And thank you for all of the support you've shown during our newest design endeavor.  We're really excited!
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