Our Kitchen Inspiration

This the current design direction for the kitchen. Nothing is 100%, but more of an idea on where I'm headed. I've already gone through a variety of design concepts and my husband nixed a bunch of them, all of which has helped us land here.  His feedback is "he doesn't want to live in a Pinterest photo, doesn't want too much of a statement, and wants it to be feel homey and comfortable". He tends to love more masculine colors and textures, loves clean lines and minimalism, and lots of plants.  
My goals with the space are: 1. I need some sort of element of surprise or some sort of statement in the space (this is going to be a weird/fun challenge given the above about him not wanting a statement) 2. I don't want a white kitchen that looks like every other white kitchens. 3. I don't want it to be overly trendy. I want our decisions to last through selling the house, or at least transcend current style. 
Below is our current kitchen for reference.
Below is our design inspiration. 

CABINETS: I'm going to leave all the cabinets the way they are (except two little shelf ones) and just paint them white.  I will also be adding in two wood shelves on either side of the range.


COUNTERS: Currently my concept for the counters is a white stone or quartz with a small amount of grey. My two favorites at the moment are "Caesarstone Fresh Concrete" and "Caesarstone Frosty Carrina". I LOVE the idea of a wood accent like the top left photo below. If that doesn't cost too much, I would love to do something like that.

BACKSPLASH: My plan for the backsplash is to do a white tile with a white grout. Currently my favorites are Calcite or White Gloss by Clayfire Tile. The biggest decision is going to be which pattern to choose. My husband likes the herringbone the best, and I'm partial to the hexagons. Part me wants to do something different that hasn't been so done in the past like the triangles or something.


ISLAND: At first I wanted to do an interesting tile pattern with a black grout for the island cabinets, but that got vetoed pretty quick. I switched gears a bit and decided on painting the island a light gray with a light wood butcher block for the countertop. I don't love the combination of dark colors with the wood counters, so thinking of doing something along the lines of the top left image.


LIGHTING: I love the idea of this style of lighting but haven't done too much research into other options. My favorite are the black options but my husband likes the gold with clear glass option best. I'm not married to this concept, so there is room to go in a completely different direction.


STOOLS: I love the white stools best, and think those would pair well with the gray paint on the island, but I'm definitely open to other ideas.


There you go! Next I get to visit all the tile places, pick the paint colors and get everything lined up to ACTUALLY get this done. Should be a fun next couple of months.

Home Vibes

The time has officially come to start working on designing and styling our house! So far it has been far more overwhelming than it has been fun, but I'm hoping getting a really good grasp on my style, what I want, and how to achieve it will help ease some of the nerves! 
Currently my style is minimal and modern with eclectic accents. White and bright are huge for us - and of course, TONS of plants! Here is my first go at creating my home vibes mood board! 
More to come as we move, measure and work out all the kinks until we can call our home "done". Oh and I will definitely have one of those hanging pod chairs. I'm really obsessed!

KonMari // Defining My Style

I've slowly started purging and de-cluttering each and every room in my home. I'm generally an organized person, but when I run out of time, organization is the first thing to go. Over the course of the past year, I've gone through every room 2 or 3 times, each time letting go of more and more things I don't need. It has been a lesson in awareness of surroundings, and creating intention for each and every item that is in my home. It is the closest I'll ever come to minimalism, and it is something I truly enjoy. When it comes to decorating, the story is a little different. I have defined my personal home style for the most part, but have a hard time figuring out the need/desire to buy every pretty thing I see and use it as a decorative object, and having only things I love/need/use in my home. I've purchased the exact items from a photo only to find out I don't truly connect with the items on my own. This is where I get lost!


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Sources: 1, 2, Ashley Winn Design, 4

In the midst of my confusing purging and purchasing habits, I started reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and sort of feel in love instantly. About 100 pages in, and my views have already shifted on many of the principles I have previously used to organize, de-clutter and purge. (This is the first time where I feel like I'm not a walking example of all the worst-case scenarios....which is nice!)

I thought I'd share one very interesting experiment I did while I was reading this book. Before getting started with the tidying portion of the book, you're asked to describe your "dream lifestyle" and "reasons for tidying" until you really feel like you understand why you are doing this. She goes into much more detail, but for the purposes of this post, that will suffice. Here is what I wrote down:

Visualize the ideal lifestyle you dream of:

Striking the balance between beauty, comfort and usability in everyday life.

  • A schedule that allows for focus on hobbies/interests/personal growth
  • Freedom from all toxic relationships, people, topics, etc.
  • Continually building an inner-confidence
  • Not focusing on regret or guilt
  • Minimalist-inspired simplicity
  • Intention over frivolousness


What do you hope to gain through tidying:

A home that feels “done”.

  • Why? I hate excess, waste and clutter. A space that is free of all those things will relieve the guilt I feel for not having a perfectly clean home at all times (no where to put things) or for having things I don’t use which constantly remind me of the money I wasted (or try to use them, even if I don’t like them.) In contrast, I’ll be surrounded by things I love, and therefore be inspired to use my home the way I want to use it without the attention on an incomplete home. This also eliminates the need to buy something to decorate the space.
  • Why? I’ll be inspired by my surroundings and free my mind from the distraction of the things around me.
  • Why? Everything has a place which eliminates the need to spend extra time organizing.
  • Why? Efficiency will allow me to keep up my ideal lifestyle.

After doing this exercise I clearly understood the type of home I wanted. So I took a look at my Pinterest boards and put together some images that went along with the dream lifestyle. I have a fairly distinct style, but I still find myself looking at my Pinterest boards and trying to decipher why I love a few very different styles all on the same board. This time around, the lens I was looking through was instantly different, I could feel it. Here we go:


In contrast, here are some of the images that I have pinned (and loved/considered decorating inspiration) that I now see don't define my "dream lifestyle".


pin it Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

It seems incredibly obvious from the way these images are arranged what my dream lifestyle looks like (clean lines, no distractions, no cluttered decor), but in many ways the styles and colors are similar throughout (take a look at the first set of images, which combines images from both sets). I pinned all these thinking they fell into the same category. I still love and appreciate a variety of styles, but now I better understand my personal vision versus what I just find aesthetically pleasing.

Next step - purge! I currently have  a little bit more time in my week to dedicate toward purging my home and I have to say, I'm very excited to focus on my home and creating a space that I love. I'll likely share some periodical updates on my progress. And if I ever figure out a way to take photos and list the room full of things I'm giving away, I'll try to make those available! (help?!)

Marble Coffee Table Round Up

I've been pretty obsessed with marble coffee tables lately. Since I'm on the hunt for the perfect coffee table, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to go marble! 
I absolutely love the idea of marble and gold (that combo is just perfect to me in so many ways). I wasn't able to find anything in my price range that fit the odd living room arrangement we have going on. I know my husband is a lover of walnut wood, so I thought I'd appease him a little. I went with the very bottom option from West Elm! I can't wait to see it in the living room with my super awesome new couch

1: Sean Woolsey 2: Kathy Kuo Home 3: Worlds Away 4: West Elm 5: West Elm 6: West Elm

Patio Inspiration

Sprucing up the patio at the end of the summer proves an interesting challenge! Patio furniture is all sold out! YIKES. After striking out big time at Ikea, West Elm, and the like is giving me a little less hope. I've been in the inspiration stage for the past couple of weeks and I've come up with a concept I'm really loving right now. Comfy couches and a lounge type setting is where I'm headed with my patio. And of course lots and lots of bistro lighting!





Lighting the Bedroom with OneFortyThree

I found and instantly fell in love with OneFortyThree about a year ago. I've been stalking their collections and watching them introduce many wonderful products and grow like crazy! When I was looking for a solution to the lighting issue in my bedroom, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase some beautiful lamps from them.
The issue: Our bedroom is rather small. We have two end tables that also act as dressers. Since they aren't very large, I don't want a lamp taking up what very small amount of surface space we do have. These wall hanging lamps were quite a perfect solution, don't you think?




Obsessing Over Home Decor

The home is very much on my mind right now. With a recent move, I find the constant desire to change everything. Out with the old, and in with the new - as they say. Unfortunately, that requires way more work than I have time for at the moment. So I'll stick to just looking and longing at all the amazingness that I might one day be able to create. 
I like to think of my style as very colorful and super eclectic. When I'm in a store, I'm always drawn to bright colors and funky patterns. But when I go through my Pinterest boards, it is becoming apparent that I'm more in love with clean color palettes and interesting lines. Crazy how that happens, huh? 



House Update: The Living Room

I don't consider myself design-challenged, until I step into my house. I know what I like, but in my experience sometimes heading outside your comfort zone can prove to be a good thing. So I start to question my instincts and everything I thought I knew heads out the window!

I know what I want the end result to be, but getting there is a whole different story! Though there are endless options, finding something that is just right is basically impossible.

I'm quick to make decisions, which has sometimes been the problem. I start to get impatient and want it all to be complete!

And then there is the situation of not owning the house we are living in. And not only do I not own it, I doubt I'll ever live in something so design-challenged ever again (super long and narrow. Damn you beautiful old San Francisco victorian homes). So do I invest in good pieces that then won't work next time around?!

I'm starting with the living room. We have never really had a very good/comfortable living room and I'm on a mission to change that! This is the "before". I'm the first to judge it, don't worry.

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

Furniture-wise, here is the low down:

Leather chair: keeping and keeping in the same spot. I'll likely put an end table next to it and a big plant in the corner. TV: I love the location of the TV symmetrically, but it is a tiny bit too high. If we move it, we will move it to where one of the bookshelves is, which will throw off the whole look I was going for. But that is ok. Comfort over design. I must remember that. Bookshelves: Right now the bookshelves are too full. I'll figure that out one we decide what we are doing with the TV. Couch: Oh man oh man, I'm ready for a new couch ASAP. The color is my major problem with it. I want something white (ivory). Although maybe grey, blue, or TEAL, would be cool? I don't know. Husband is being really picky on this one. Wants a chaise badly (and so do I) but I just don't see how our living room can even close to fit one?! So I don't know. Rug: I like this rug but it is a little too big for the space (and it is only a 5x8!!! See my problem?!). It won't be hard to put somewhere else. I just ordered two runners that I wanted to try. One is a black + white print and the other is a navajo pink pattern. Trying to figure out if I should keep the big pieces neutral or throw in some color for a statement. We will see when I try them both out! Coffee Table: As you can see, we don't have one. And there isn't much room for one either. I'm planning on getting a tufted ottoman style. This might help alleviate the whole chaise debacle (in the couch section).

I'm starting with a couch. I really want to try every single couch in the whole world before making a decision, but alas, that can't happen. I've narrowed it down to three (although I'm still constantly looking for others to throw into the hat).

I've been loving the Bernhardt Morris Sofa for a long long time. Part of me worries about it going out of style, not being modern enough for the space, etc. I freaking love it though. I haven't sat in it, but it is just so beautiful!


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I stumbled upon the Jonathan Adler Malibu while in Portland. We sat in it and I loved it. It was soft and comfy, but it was a little low to the ground. This is something I'd like to avoid, but it is pretty and comfy, so it stays in the running.

malibu_sofaThis True Modern Luna sofa was a find from Simply Grove. She has it and it looks amazing in her space (obvi, since she is an interior designer). It is comfortable but might be a little too modern for the space (and for me)? I would get it in Ivory.

Then there is always this! 8d1cabf94e9380696d03ca09a63da64f

This is where things stand. I'm going a little crazy thinking all of this through in my mind, so I'm glad to have some organized thoughts written down here.