what I do

what I do

Monday, April 28, 2014

Two young boy's rooms ... a plan

I am working on two young boys rooms. They are both close in age and up to now have been sharing a room. They want to have separate rooms. Their new rooms are next to each other and are very close in size and layout. The budget requires us to use some Ikea desks and shelving units with a few items that are more expensive thrown in. Not really "high/low" but maybe "medium/low". 

The plan is to use similar furniture in each room and then personalize the rooms for each boy. The most important need is storage. These boys have a lot of legos and not just legos that can be stored in boxes ... constructed lego creations that they want to display. A lot of them! Their mom has asked that the rooms be clean, somewhat neutral, with some tradition and she loves navy and white. Besides needing storage, the boys also needed play space in the room and a place to do their homework. It was a tall order for the small size rooms.

To get the most storage out of the space, I am using a dresser next to each bed which will be used for clothing storage and also double as a nightstand. Each boy will have a desk and desk chair, bed and two shelving units. One will have a long dresser and the other a dresser that is a bit smaller. Their beds are captain's beds with a double set of storage drawers underneath and a headboard with shelves. The dressers will need to be moved a bit further from the beds then I would prefer in order to access the drawers. The captain's beds were the client's idea and while I agree they will give some nice under-the-bed storage, it made it difficult to space plan the rooms. 

The beds will be similar to this bed but with a headboard with built-in shelves

Ikea | Ranarp
Land of Nod | Uptown 4 drawer dresser

I did a general layout of the rooms to start and then selected specific furniture that would fit in the room and with the budget. The layout was done before the captain's beds were selected, so there are a few adjustments that will need to be made. My intern helped me put together these "sketch up" presentations. 

This is phase one of the design process and is what I used to present my ideas to the client. Next we will be ordering furniture, honing in on some of the exact details (bedding, artwork, rugs, lamps...) and selecting paint color for the walls. 
I am also designing a new playroom for the boys which will hopefully take some of the pressure off of their bedrooms.

I have a busy week this week but not too busy to take a day off to see the Pasadena Showcase House of Design - it is always a fun day filled with inspiration and ideas!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring rain

When we were up north for Easter, we stopped by my sister's house so my granddaughter could take a nap. At the entrance to her house she has a lovely courtyard with roses in full bloom ...

Watered by the spring rains, they have blossomed into works of art.

And yesterday, I got a text from my daughter. They woke up to this:

Making snow angels

Ah ... the joy of a spring rain. 

[ Art print: Like Rain by Ashley Pyeatt. You can purchase here ]

"So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain. Like the spring rain watering the earth." - Hosea 6:3

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Top Ten Uncommon Gifts for Mom

Now that Easter is behind us (wow, was it late this year or what?) Mother's Day is quickly approaching and it is time to start thinking about ways to honor the mothers in our lives. Whether it is your own mother, your daughter, a friend that nurtures you or even yourself, it is always nice to shower those we love with a special gift. 

It can be a simple gift ... a photograph, a coupon for hugs, or a handpicked bouquet of flowers, but it is always the thought behind the gift that matters the most. 

My mom makes these handmade potholders ... they are the sweetest gifts from the heart.

I like to purchase gifts that help a cause, or give back in some way. A couple of Christmases ago, I gave these bird soaps out as gifts. They benefit the environmental clean up and care of the affected birds and animals of the BP oil spill in the gulf of Mexico. You can purchase them and read more about their story here.

Bowl with felt - handcrafted by Melissa Schooley at her barn studio in Ontario, Canada

Today, I am partnering with a long time favorite online store of mine, UncommonGoods, a company that puts a lot of thought behind their products. 

If you are not familiar with UncommonGoods, they are an online marketplace that sells unique and fun products. They carry a lot of  handmade, up-cycled and recycled products which I always gravitate to.  Not only do they sell unique products but they provide a platform for the artists and designers that create the products and they feature their stories in their catalogue, on their website and on their blog. I also value that they are concerned with environmental and social sustainability; their catalogues are printed on recycled paper (30% post consumer waste) and they donate a portion of each purchase to your choice of non-profit organizations like American Forests, Women for Women International, City Harvest and RAINN. In fact, they are one of just a few catalogues that I did not cancel last year when I was eliminating the dozens of mail catalogues I used to receive every week. 

You can see more of their recycled products here.

They also carry fun and quirky products like one of my first purchases with them - this walking alarm clock which was an attempt to help my teenage daughter at the time wake up in the mornings. I also bought this shower squid for her a couple of years ago for to help her organize her small college apartment shower. 

So in honor of Mother's Day, I have put together my top ten "uncommon" gifts for mom under $150. If I am going to be completely honest here, I think I have to admit that the mom that I had the most in mind was "me".  I couldn't help but pick the things that I love the most. You can go onto the UncommonGoods' website and see even more wonderful gifts that they have curated for Mother's Day here. Did I mention that they also have a lot of personalized products? Check out some of their personalized items just for moms here). 

(Because being a mother is a huge responsibility and it can feel overwhelming.) 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

I would love every one of those gifts (hint hint)! You can see even more uncommon gifts for mom here. Happy shopping everyone!

This post was sponsored by Uncommon Goods. I was compensated for my opinions but all the opinions are 100% mine.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

On the farm

For Easter this year we spent the weekend on the farm where my daughter lives ...

It felt great to get out in nature and shut out the rest of the world. My daughter shares a communal kitchen that is old and rustic and just perfect. It is one huge room with a farmhouse table and open shelving filled with old jars that they use for drinking glasses. One of the first things I did was go out and pick some flowers to fill up a few of those jars to use for our Easter centerpiece. 

I loved the old table in the middle of the kitchen - worn and inviting.

There is nothing that says Spring like baby animals. They had week old piglets, a few day old chicks and a cow that I wanted to bring home with me. 

And of course, what would Easter be with out the lambs. The poor guy (gal?) in the foreground was sheared the week before. He contributed to this gift I brought home (a future project!!!):

We rented a gorgeous home on the farm to use for the day - it had an another old farmhouse kitchen for us to cook our Easter meal and a large lawn out in front that we used to play soccer and have our egg hunt.

We ate outside under a covered patio with Wisteria blooms all around. So lovely!

It was a great weekend relaxing with family, good food, clean air and nature at its best. While I was there I dreamed about tearing out all the walls in my kitchen and living spaces and having one large room with an old farmhouse table and drinking only out of mason jars. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen... but it sure is fun to think about.

The weekend was also just what I needed to help inspire my next project - a rustic, industrial farmhouse kitchen in Wyoming.

Elle Decor | via

This is our inspiration for the project ... my client fell in love with these George Smith sofas.

First up is designing the kitchen and I started pinning a few ideas ... and fell in love with this kitchen designed by Jarrett Design, LLC:

I hope your week is off to a good start. Is there anything you are dreaming about doing to your house?