Tuesday, January 30

White & Wood Kitchens

I'm starting to believe that January will never end. Why. Are. There. So. Many. Days!! Seriously? December and July FLY by but January just drags on and on and on. The good news about these quiet days is that there is more time for blogging. LUCY YOU design lovers. Today's topic is a mediation on my theme of being tired of the grey and white design trend out there. I feel like I might get thrown out of the design club on this one (is there such a club btw? asking for a friend) but I'm really over the fact that everything is plain white with grey accents. It's all I see on design blogs these days and if your Insta feed isn't monochromatic...you are apparently doing something wrong. I'm not calling for a Punky Brewster, Rainbow Brite backlash here but something other than the whitewashing has to be out there right?
But let's face it, I'm a hypocrite. My kitchen is as white as white gets. BUT in my defense, I do have a deep brown island cabinet thing going on and dark floors. If I could design a new house with a new kitchen, I think I'd incorporate more distressed wood - like these fab little babies.








All pictures are from Pinterest and can be found on my White & Wood Kitchens Board.  Ok back to real work and counting the minutes until this cold, drab month is finally over friends!!  Stay warm...unless you are somewhere warm already and then in that case, LUCKY YOU! 

xo
Allie


Monday, January 22

Master Bedroom Reveal!

You guys....it has taken me FOUR YEARS to finish decorating our master bedroom. I seriously could have gone back and gotten another college degree in that time. Or had a kid who would almost be done with preschool. Or gone to prison for something not too scary. For someone with a lack of patience and a home design obsession, this was one long project. But it was worth it! I've shared bits and pieces with you before, and you can read more details from the earlier planning stage here. Now I'm finally ready to share the whole kit and kaboodle...which let's face it, is the most fun word. Here's how the room turned out!







Where to begin? How about the walls! The color is Sherwin Williams Rain (6219) and below is a close up of it. It definitely reads more blue than green and is probably more "neutral" than these pics convey (still trying to figure out my fancy camera). I've decided that 2018 is the year of color! I've recently become more and more opposed to ALL the grey and white happening in home design right now. Don't get me wrong - I have a LOT of grey and a strong love of white, but it seems like that is the ONLY color palette that people are promoting these days and life really demands some color doesn't it? 

The bed and the brown dresser are Ethan Allen. There was a time in my life when I was morally opposed to Ethan Allen. I felt like it was really dated and was (is?) super expensive. But they have really changed in the last few years and their pieces are much more contemporary and fun. Or maybe I'm just more old and dated. Hard to say! Anyway, the bed is the Robyn Bed in the Rye color with a white wash. The dresser is their Edward Double Dresser in the same finish as the bed. The big white dresser is from Restoration Hardware and I got a STEAL on it during their Friends and Family sale last fall. It is their St. James 11 drawer dresser in Antique White.

One of my favorite things in the room are the two little blue side tables that I got at a cute little local furniture store called Stylish Patina that specializes in chalk painted furniture. These two tables fit PERFECTLY and almost exactly match the wall paint. They are very sweet! Here's a close up. 


The rest of the furniture in the room - the big, distressed white mirror and the chair in the corner and all of the accessories and the lamps are from my favorite place on earth Homegoods! Seriously...it is MA FAV! Could spend many an hour wandering around that super place. Here's a close of up of one of the lamps.


The pictures hanging and most of the pillows are from another local store that I LOVE LOVE LOVE called Random Harvest which used to be like 5 minutes from my house but which just closed. I am in deep mourning (even though they have two more locations that are not that far away). They have the best pillows ever...here's proof. Sigh....I will miss them being in my neighborhood but I'll carry on - not too worry!


The window seat is one of my most favorite parts of the room. It's cozy and yet makes the room feel big and bright. I ordered the cushion from www.cushions.com  and all you have to do is select your size and fabric and poof...insta cushion. It's a cozy spot for sure. 


So that's it! Master bedroom is complete...finally. I love it. And I promise not to redecorate it anytime soon. It's the perfect retreat for us. And a favorite spot of Buddy's. :) 



PS....Here is the inspiration board I created a few years ago. I think the room comes pretty close! 



Friday, January 19

Ask Allie: My Mom & Dad's New Dining Room

Late last summer, my parents sold their GORGEOUS farm (and I use that term loosely since it had neither an actual farm, nor animals) in Wisconsin and moved to our area outside DC. We as a family LOVED "Pinewoods" as it was called, but as they get older (ahem...my mother just spit at her screen) it was time to downsize a bit and be closer to family. First...a trip down memory lane. Here's their house in Wisconsin.



How amazing was this place? Literally over the river and through the woods...to Grandma's house we used to go. There are so many memories in that place and we will really miss it. But as a child we moved a lot and I have learned that houses are just places and that the memories are more important than the place. I am proud of my parents for picking up and coming here so we can enjoy more memories as a family and my kids are LOVING having their grandparents nearby.

Last week, my parents got the keys to their new house in a really, really cool community agrihood (Google that!) if it weren't just a hair too far from DC to commute, we would move there in a heart beat. It is gorgeous and has all the amenities you can dream of. I am so happy for them AND even happier for me because I get to decorate the house with my mom.

The first room we are going to tackle is the dining room. Right now it's a total blank space but my mom has furniture and accessories she loves. Specifically her Chippendale dining set and her collection of Chinoiserie vases. Taking all that into account, here is our inspiration board:


Ok...so I technically haven't gotten her to agree to any of this yet but I'm working on it. And while doing this, I am reminded why I could never be a real interior designer - because I know what I like and I don't really care what my "client" wants! Ha!  She called mentioning something about birds on the walls and I just hung up on her. Thank goodness she's not paying me.

I'll keep you posted! It will either be a glorious collaboration with an outcome like above or a total disaster with one of us wrapped in wallpaper and awash in tears! It's a toss up. :)

More to come!

Friday, January 12

Stairwell Remodel!

So let's just go ahead and ignore the fact that I haven't posted since last April. I'm tired of making excuses and you are tired of hearing them. Let's just say 2017 was not the best year and leave it at that. But HELLO GORGEOUS 2018! How you doin??? The good news about all the crappy things in that happened last year is that I channeled my sadness into decorating. Which is only slightly better than chocolate cake in terms of comfort. Perhaps not so good for my savings account but it certainly helped. And now that it's all done...it's time to share! Wheeee!

So let's start with the stairs that lead from our main level down to the basement. You'll recall that last year I redecorated our entire basement and love, love, LOVE the way it turned out. You can see all the pics and details here. But the makeover only made the horribly ugly stairs that take you there that much more painful to lay eyes on. Here's what we are talking about.





UGH! Where to begin? The carpet looks peach next to the wall color. The stains in this high traffic area - ick! The weird un-matching walls - half drywall and half stucco. The painful (literally) light fixture that induced more than one headache. All around pretty dismal. I had long set my sights on making these over. During our home addition a few years ago, I asked our builder if we could make these stairs wooden and he said they couldn't be changed without significant work and so we just threw the carpet over them. But they have never been pretty. Here's how they looked before the house was renovated. 


Now you get it...nothing but ugly. Which is what one expects from a 75 year old house. After the sad march up and down them for the last 13 years we have owned this house I finally had enough. I started brainstorming ideas for how to transform them. Here were some of my inspo from Pinterest




It took me about 5 months to find a contractor who could do the work in the price range I could afford and then another 2 weeks or so before the work was completed. And HEEEERREEEE is the final result...ready for it? 







Amaze right? So good! And soooo much better. So here's the details. First, despite how good they look, we did not rebuild the stairs. Instead we used these very cool wood tread covers. They literally sit on top of, in our case, your ugly utility basement steps turning them into glorious real steps. Our contractor brought them in unfinished, fitted them and then stained them to match the floors on the rest of the main level. Presto! Insta-stairs. 

And then, to satisfy my inner Joanna, I had him install "ship lap" on the bottom half of the stairs. This covered the ugly stucco and made both sides of the stairwell match. We also had an electrician come in and remove the side wall light fixture and replace it with a recessed light in the ceiling. Last step was creating a family photo wall to showcase many years of good memories. 

The paint color is Sherwin Williams Pavestone - which is a few shades darker than the rest of our main level which is painted Repose Gray. 


The end result is me skipping down the stairs every chance I get and a stairwell that matches the prettiness of the rest of the basement. I love how it turned out and would love to hear what you guys think. And if you live in the metro DC area, let me know and I'll share the name of our contractor who was awesome. 

Until next time fellow decor lovers!