A Modern Glam Nursery Makeover

2012 was a big year. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison broke up, Ghangam style took over the world, we started saying ‘YOLO’, and I designed my best friend’s nursery. It was very busy, indeed.

Much like a lot of people Corbett (my best friend in LA) has great taste and she knew what she wanted but was having a pretty hard time pulling it together. I came in to rescue probably because I like nothing more than shopping with her and forcing her to spend money, so it became our project. Plus I’m really good at pulling triggers, especially really beautiful, really expensive triggers. You got a trigger? I’ll pull it.

Here is how her nursery looked before (on a messy day).

Modern Glam Nursery 1

It was just the guest room and typically it was pulled together nicely, but those pics were the only ones we could find that showed how it was before (this was before I obsessively took photos of every moment of the design process and install). Her husband has a serious DVD and Blu Ray collection addiction so it was just piled up on the side of the wall which made Corbett super happy. They already had the roman shades and a rug left over from the living room, but otherwise we were starting with a blank slate.

Click through for the full nursery tour with resources and a GIF!! With babies! A baby gif!!! The internet EXPLODES!!!!

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24 Merry Days Smeg Fridge Giveaway

Remember when I designed Oh Joy’s Studio and pimped out her little kitchen with this pretty adorable Smeg fridge? Well, Smeg, is giving away a miniature version of this to a reader. I love miniatures, obviously, and I love cold food, therefore this seemed to be the right fit DESPITE the fact that I rarely do giveaways.

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Its terribly cute. And I want one. Again, the giveaway is for the mini fridge – not the large. But I’m just taking a trip down memory lane, here.

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Here’s the deal: I was asked earlier this year if I would like to participate with a handful of selected bloggers in a BIG ( go check it out) giveaway over the holiday season called 24 Merry Days. Each blogger would be giving away a new prize everyday for the 24 days leading up to christmas. You can follow and enter to win all the goodies over at 24 Merry Days facebook page.

So, Merry Christmas readers. Its a win-win situation. You win a fridge, and I feel like a good person for giving you one. You can enter up to twenty times through the widget below and hey, who knows maybe you and your kitchen/studio/office cubical/trailer home/parents basement will feel very pimped out after this holiday season thanks to Smeg.

24 Merry Days Giveaway_smeg

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open to the US and Canada and will be active for 7 days. Must be 18 years old to enter. 

Now get at it folks, that fridge needs a new home and any self-respecting design lover would love a miniature Smeg fridge. Even me. But i’m not allowed to enter. So you should. xx

Chic (and affordable) Winter Rustic Tablescape

As a stylist it’s painfully easy to spend a ton of money setting your table for a dinner party. There is a long list of needs – tablecloth (or runner), napkins, flatware, plates, glassware, vases, candles, flowers, place cards, blah, blah, blah. And if you want it to be beautiful, and you know where to shop for beautiful things, which I do, it’s just so easy to spend a ton of money(…slowly) so you don’t know you are doing it. I tend to want the most beautiful hand-thrown stoneware plates, hem-stitched linen napkins, hand-blown artisanal glassware, modern streamlined brass flatware and hand-dyed tablecloth that has been washed a million times, etc, etc.

Congratulations, you just spent $1500 on your 4 person dinner setting.

Holiday Tablescape_blue apron burgandy candles rosemary

Flank Steak and Beat Salad from Blue Apron. 

So, I decided to go the more utilitarian route – what do you already have or can have easy access to, and how can you make that look chic and beautiful without spending too much money or doing some crazy DIYs that none of us have time for right now?

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California Winter Wonderland Glam

Lately I’ve been asked the same question over and over: “Since you have a blog, do you feel pressure to decorate differently every holiday, year after year?” and my answer is ‘maybe’. But I’d say its more like ‘desire’ and also ‘the serious need to shake it up because I have style A.D.D’. It would be like someone wearing the same dress for the Oscars and the Golden Globes. It’s not illegal, but when a lot of people are watching and expecting you to change it up, you kinda want to. Plus IT’S JUST SO FUN. 

Two years ago it was ‘CRAZY hot pink and navy’. Last year I kept it really simple with blues and woods, all Scandinavian style on a real tree (we didn’t shoot it because I had just had a baby).  Meanwhile remember when I did this ‘only teal and blues‘ for SFAS and then this crazy hot pink and white christmas I did for Holiday Celebrity Homes?  I love color, apparently.

So, this year wanted to do something totally different and more neutral. I pulled it back and practically eliminated all saturated colors except for the blue that’s in my house and the green from natural greenery. Head on over to Domaine Home for more pics and tips, but meanwhile get ready for a lot of information, friends.

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I really wanted it to feel more sophisticated and soft. The holidays can be super chaotic and it really is here, even with just one kid, so instead of throwing more color in our living room, I removed a lot of it. The whole theme of the house is ‘California Winter Wonderland Glam’. It’s soft and textural with a lot of snow, animals, trees and whimsy – but in a more neutral way.

First off, I love a real tree, I do. More than a fake white tree, actually, … BUT, since we had that huge year-round Nek Buddha tree in our living room, I thought that the two trees would compete, like Angelina and Jen, or maybe more Gwyneth and Martha. They would both be beautiful in their own way, but competing for attention and somebody would lose. Either way, visually the room would look a little nuts and probably really heavy.

So instead I brought in Cate Blanchett (in the form of a tree). Angelic, white, soft and muted; peppered with soft copper, rose golds, champagne, rust, gold, silver and even some sparkly burgundy tones. Cate looks wonderful in burgundy. Besides, I already had one of them (the smaller one).

Emily Henderson Home-138

Here’s how I look at it: I have 2-3 more years (if that) before I’m going to care less about how ‘curated’ and ‘pretty’ our christmas tree is and more about it representing memories through handmade (and often not-so-chic) ornaments from my kids. Obviously I value aesthetics, but I was raised mormon, from a family of 6 kids and I LOVED unearthing the disgusting raw macaroni ornament that I made in first grade every year when we trimmed the tree. If Charlie took a brown clay mold and formed it in the shape of a turd and gave it to me with those glowing, proud, blue eyes I would weep with joy and probably place it on top as the star.

I’m digressing, but the point is for the next few years you might get some curated christmas decor because after that my challenge will be how to bring in real sentimental family ornaments and traditions in the prettiest way possible.

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My living room, the last 5 years

I googled myself recently. And by ‘recently’ I mean that I do it every day like 25 times a day, looking for past work to reference, email or something. It’s a really fun narcissistic practice that I don’t necessarily recommend because initially I get excited (hey that’s me!)), but then a lot of ugly stuff comes up (bad head-shots, poorly shot spaces, designs I’m totally embarrassed of, etc).

But this particular search brought up every living room I’ve had in the last 5 years. It donned on me that a lot of you are new to the blog and maybe aren’t totally sick of seeing my past places. Then, I pondered how interesting it is to see yourself evolve. And by ‘evolve’ I don’t mean ‘get better’ necessarily, just how I’ve changed due to my lifestyle and environment.

Each house, relationship, and financial situation changes how you decorate your home. So while I’ve kinda had the same style for the last 20 years, it’s so interesting to see how it’s different; it changes and yet feels the same.

So, lets run down memory lane, shall we?

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2010: This shot (by Teri Lyn Fisher) was taken right before Designstar. We moved into this mediocre apartment that we shot to look really pretty (because photography is magic). In a lot of ways this still really looks like me. I have that painting (framed in a more modern way). I still have fig trees, that rug, floral pillow, and that dog painting. And the general color palette is obviously on brand. Man, I’m predictable. But this shot still feels like ‘me’ and in a lot of ways still looks like my style now. So weird.

2011: I think I felt that I was too feminine in 2010 so I tweaked my style, I got my ‘dude’ on and made it a bit more rustic. Also after Designstar I decided that I could splurge on a sofa so I bought this sofa for $700 in Portland (in current/original upholstery) which was such a hard decision financially at the time and I look back on it as one of my best ever. I still love this living room and this shot. The cross flag was from a vintage store and I framed it myself with furring strips from Home Depot and carpet tacks. It’s the same living room as 2010 but more accurate because it’s actually where we put the sofa, whereas in 2010 the sofa was just propped in the dining room because the light was better. See? Photography is magic (and lies …. all lies).

Moving on to 2012:

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2012. Here we shot the same living room for HGTV magazine. They wanted a more bold look, so we switched out the rug for a pattern rug. I had splurged on those safari chairs that I still have and that coffee table which I wish I still had (although it was so un-kidfriendly with the brass edging jutting out and begging to slice off small fingers). This may be at my “quirkiest”. Its fun. Looking back at the pictures it reminds me of that time period in my life (we moved out the next day, literally).

Also that was a cement dalmatian dog sculpture. It weighed 95 pounds. I thought it was ‘fun’ and Brian thought it was my way at ‘torturing him’. He’s very dramatic. I miss that bird lamp, the coffee table, the leather pouf (which I gave to my friend Scott as a thank you gift) and that side table that you can’t see which is coated linen and totally beautiful. This shot makes me think that I’ve gone too simple and modern.

spanish-inspired-linving-room

2013: I got my funk on in 2013 (shot by Zeke Ruelas). We moved to this more regency/ornate house and because of that I went a bit wild, eclectic and back to my feminine roots (go here for resources). A lot of the same furniture that I have now, but the accessories have more color. I can’t tell how I feel about the fireplace painted navy nor can I tell about the amount of things on the mantel (is it too much?). But, when I see this room I still get happy. It’s a good room, just not sure how ‘me’ it is now. But maybe the ‘now me’ isn’t that ‘me’. Meta, much?

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In 2014 we shot our new house (which we finally own) for Domino  (by Brittany Ambridge) and our living room was way more reserved and sophisticated. There are times when I think that it was tooooo pulled back. Not enough fun. Not enough crazy. But then I look at it from an objective point of view and I think ‘yeah, I would pin that so hard’.

But it wasn’t terribly kid friendly. The coffee table was easy to tip over and begging to bludgeon an eye and those chairs were lovely but just not as soft and cozy as I wanted.

So after that shoot we made some changes (as I’m sure you all know):

kid-friendly-living

2015 (well, almost). We changed out the coffee table for the large leather pouf and we put back in our awesome leather safari chairs that are in-destructable and have no hard edges for Charlie. It’s not that I’m obsessed with Charlie (yes, I am) it’s that I’m obsessed with me not stressing about every single thing in my life, so these chairs reduce my stress. (shot by Tessa Neustadt)

This is where we are now (resources here) and I’m pretty happy on a daily basis. But the thing is, I think I was pretty happy with the others before, or maybe I wasn’t. Maybe I was as happy as I thought I could be. Regardless, I think it’s a pretty fun study in how your space evolves and how it often parallels your life.

So my question is: