Moving Day!!!!

Moving day has come and gone and I am officially living in my new apartment.  Totally exhausted and sore, I've begun unpacking boxes and settling in.  I feel a bit like I'm camping in that I have necessities available to me, but everything else is still packed away.  Bit by bit I am opening boxes like presents on xmas wondering what each has in store for me.  Note to self...try labeling next time.  In fact, although I did a lot of things right, there are definitely things I would do differently next time.  Check back for my next post to see some great tips on packing and ingredients for a successful move.  In the meantime, I need to take a nap.  


Design Trend: Plates on the Wall

Kelly Wearstler
I'm so glad that having plates on the wall has become cool again.  This trend, seen long ago, is now back with a modern edge.  Using bold colors, varying sizes, abstract or mismatched plate designs, and unique configurations these decorative plates become more of an art installation than standard decor.  Think outside the box, get creative, and have a little fun!

 Patric Johansson




Better Home and Garden


Make It Happen With
Option 1:

Option 2:

Option 3:


Latent Energy Use

With the first day of spring officially behind us it is time to focus on planting gardens, spring cleaning, and finding ways to conserve. There are many appliances and other electrical devices that we use everyday, and when not in use, continue to use up energy.  These devices are called energy "vampires" because they continue to suck power without us realizing it.  With advances in technology there are now ways to determine how much energy is actually being consumed, thus providing you with the information to make changes where needed.  The Belkin Conserve Insight Energy-Use Monitor allows you to take precise measurements of your electrical devises finding the cost per year and month, the amount of CO2 produced, and the amount of watts used.  Having this information can help you reduce the total cost of your bills, and more importantly reduce the environmental impact.

Available on Amazon for $26.99

Wondering how to make reductions after you assess your energy consumption?  A simple way of decreasing the amount of energy being consumed by non-active electrical devises is to invest in a Conserve Switch.  This surge protector allows you to shut off computer components,  appliances, etc. with the click of a button.  Special features include a remote control that works up to 60ft. away, and Two Always-On outlets that stay on for devises that need continuous power. 

An 8-outlet protector is available for $39.99 at the Apple Store.


Project One: Kitchen Makeover

am going to be moving next week to a lovely new apartment only a few miles away from my current place and I couldn't be more excited.  Hardwood floors, a small outdoor area, and an eat-in kitchen that is double the size of my current kitchen.  Yey!  Anyway, as you can imagine I have many ideas to customize the space for myself, and I will be updating you as the design process progresses.  My first challenge will be finding a paint color for the kitchen that will go with the black and white linoleum flooring and the orange cream tile.

Here are some inspirational pictures of kitchens that have similar checkered flooring and great style.  

Domino Magazine 

Kate Spade's Kitchen 

And some pics of my favorite kitchens right now.

Domino Magazine

Laid back provincial

French blue with open shelving and a cute curtain below.
Lonny Magazine

Natural light is everything!  Also, love the marble table with bentwood chairs and vintage maps on the wall. 
Desire to Inspire


Making Room for Kitchen Appliances

Better Homes and Gardens
Finding space for kitchen appliances within a small kitchen can be a real trick.  But with some handy dandy inventions you can easily turn an area that was once an eye sore into a clean and organized space.  

The best way to keep your appliances out of view, but within reach, is to install built in sliders or various other pop-up or fold away mechanisms.  

 Southern Living

Better Homes and Gardens

If built-ins aren't an option, try to make their presence intentional with open shelving that mixes kitchen necessities with appliances for one cohesive and functional look.

Apartment Therapy

Oh La La!  I'm sucker for a white kitchen!

Domino Magazine


Organizing your Bookshelf

Recently, I came across the set of images above in the Ballard Design catalogue and was excited to see that they did an exercise illustrating the many ways you can stage a bookcase.  For many of us, the thought of having a decorative as well as functional bookcase is a little wacky.  If you are like me, my bookshelf actually has books on it.  In fact, it's packed.  Creating a visually inviting bookcase is quite the task, but with some editing, and some curating, it is completely possible to get the look you see in catalogues.

Here are a few quick tips to get you started:

1. Empty your bookshelf and start with a clean slate.  While you are pulling off books try to evaluate if they are worth keeping or donating.  As long as you are moving things around this is a perfect time to do some spring cleaning.

2. Add books to the shelves editing as you go.  Try to organize them by size and subject.  Also, try to place some vertically and horizontally to add visual interest.  Don't be too symmetrical.  It looks more spontaneous when a stack of books is uneven.

3. Do not fill all of the space with books.  A third of the shelf should be a decorative accent of some kind.  Try mixing in framed photos, art, collectibles, and small decorative boxes to add some variety.  Be mindful of colors you are using, textures, and shapes as they can add or detract from the overall look.  

4. Use a discerning eye.  Step back frequently to assess what you have done, double checking that it feels balanced yet unpredictable, full but uncluttered.

Here are other great examples of successful styling to give you some ideas and get you motivated.

 Lili Diallo

Lonny Magazine

Phoebe Howard

Carrier and Company Interiors Ltd

Annsley McAllee

Suzanne Kasler


New Anthropologie Decorating Concept Shop

Great news! Anthropologie officially announced that they will be bringing "Decorating Concept Shops" to a few existing stores around the US.  On March 24th these new stores will be opening at 12 locations including Atlanta, Georgia, London, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Corte Madera, CA, Denver, Houston, Miami, Nashville, NYC, Wayne, PA and Westport, CT.  They will be supplying guests with access to home decor items such as curtains, rugs, wallpaper, lighting and furniture.  In addition, they will also be offering design assistance to customers, have design reference books and magazines on hand, and holding regular workshops with design experts.  

The new decor branch will include additional features to their online catalogue in a "For the Decorator" section that is launching on March 17th. Within this section there will be tips and tricks on designing your room, fabric and wallpaper samples, as well as a handy wallpaper calculator to help you find exactly how much wallpaper you will need to complete your project.

Anthropologie was already one of my favorite stores to meander through, but now I'm sure to be hooked.  Can't wait to check it out!


Cool Stamps Coming Your Way

Something new is happening at the post office!  I know your anticipation must be killing you.  It's almost like something exciting happening at the Library.  This is actually pretty cool though.  In mid-July they are going to be releasing a series of stamps called "Pioneers of American Industrial Design."   In this collection they will be featuring the work of 12 of the nation's most influential designers of the century and their work.  Each stamp will include the designer's name, the type of object, and the year when the object was made.  These lovely stamps will include everything from furniture design to lighting and office supplies.  Let me tell you, this will be a welcomed relief from the wedding bouquet stamps they have been giving out lately.  I'm a sucker for good design and will be looking forward to their debut in July. 

Read more about the release of these stamps and a brief history about the featured designers at the USPS website.


Mail Sorters

As sorting your mail goes, I think most of us do the shuffle and pile method, but there are some very cool options to help you stay organized during the week as well as aid you in the ability to find your keys.

This faux wood mail sorter is stylish, but also has a magnetic front so that you can post messages and store your keys.

Magnetter Key & Letter Holder by Umbra at The Container Store

I actually own this one! It is super user friendly with its large space for mail, hooks for keys and sunglasses, and an area to post business cards or reminders.  As small as a regular sized envelope, this mail sorter blends in nicely with its surroundings, but also adds an element of fun.

Lettro Wall-Mounted Organizer by Umbra at The Container Store

A great aspect to this mail station is the amount of space it provides.  It also decreased the amount of visual clutter by simply folding up.  The wood veneer is very attractive, but it would be even better if it had some sort of multipurpose front like some of the other mail sorters out there.  Perhaps a dry erase board?

Hand made by Glenn Ross in Canada for Vurv Design Studio

To be honest this example is a little lack luster, but with a little paint...let's say white on the outside and green in the cubbies...this piece could really stand out.

Personal Mail Post Organizer at Bed Bath and Beyond

This is a cute idea from the Bright and Blithe blog.  I would like to see it spiced up a little with a colorful fabric or more graphic signs.  There is a lot of creativity you could use on this easy handmade project.