Thursday, January 31, 2013

Design Conundrum

I read an article on President Obama in Vanity Fair a few month's back where he stated that when you make decisions, even trivial ones, it degrades your ability to make future decisions. Apparently, after all the decisions that have been made in the last few months about new furniture, things for the upstairs, and a new job, I have degraded my decision-making abilities to precisely nil. 

Last week, Kyle and I painted my grandmother's antique dresser the prettiest blue you ever did see to transform it into a sideboard. I was convinced we needed silver knobs, and once I put them on, it just didn't give me the "pow" factor I wanted. Thus, some help amigos, if you please. And yes we're talking about knobs here. Obviously things are dire if I've started posting to the blog about trivial decisions.

Here's the current look...

And here are some inspiration of fellow turquoise-ish stunners with knobs in a variety of colors. The top image is probably the closest color to our dresser.

image from Swoon Worthy

image from Style at Home

image from Hillary Thomas

The dining room is painted gray with a gray and white striped rug, natural oak table, lucite chairs, black china cabinet, and snazzy black and brass chandelier. I would show you pics, but this room currently only exists in my head as the table and rug are making their way to Houston, TX as we speak. So...polished brass? Antique brass? Silver? Stay with what we've got? 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Art of the Mix

image from domino magazine 

image from Amber Interiors 

I love a house with neutral bones. White and gray paint colors, off-white upholstered furniture, and chairs that can move from room to room are my jam. Mainly I think this stems from the fact that I like to change things up. A lot. That is how my obsession with throw pillows has grown and grown to the extent that I have a whole drawer of covers that I change out on a whim. 

I wish I had the skill set of Anna Spiro and Jamie Meares and was able to mix pillows with reckless abandon, but I'm definitely a formula kind of girl who loves a little bit of symmetry. After countless hours of flipping through domino, I've developed formulas - two solids with a mix of graphic pillows:

Or a lot of simple graphic designs with a little bohemian thrown in for good measure. I'm always on board for one pillow that's a different size, and my rule of thumb is you need at least one splurge pillow. You know, the kind you know you shouldn't buy but will make you and your couch so happy that you can't resist. I'm still working on the just one splurge pillow rule.

Pillows from left to right: Serena and Lily, John Robshaw, Hable Construction 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kerry Cassill

I'm a born and bred Southerner, and in addition to fried okra, peach cobbler, and sweet tea, I love a well-made bed stuffed to the brim with throw pillows and monograms. It runs in our blood down here. However, Kerry Cassill may be able to sway my opinion. I love her mix and match aesthetic and easy, relaxed vibe. 

We are currently working on ideas for our guest room, and I'm thinking a comfy bed seems much more appealing that one stocked to the brim with matching stiff shams. I mean, it is seriously awkward when you're staying at someone's house and have no idea where to throw all the pillows that are piled up on the bed. Now I just have to pick a pattern. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gray Malin

Top of Aspen Mountain by Gray Malin

If UPS is correct (as they usually are), these fancy skiers should be arriving at Casa Nelson sometime today. I have long been a fan of Gray Malin's beach art with the bright pops of color and aerial views. When I saw his new A la Montagne series, I knew one of these would have to come home with me. Plus, I already have the perfect place for it. Kyle and I met skiing; so what better place to hang "Top of Aspen Mountain" than above the bed in our newly painted bedroom? 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Guilty Pleasure

This book recommendation definitely doesn't fall into the "change your life when you read it" section, but it's still oh so good. I should explain that if there were an Anglophile book club, I would spend my whole life only reading books selected by its members. Throw in the English artistocracy pre-WWII, and I'm sold. I'll read whatever I can get my hands on; so naturally, Kate Morton's books were the next logical step to feeding my obsession.

So far, I can only vouch for two: The Distant Hours and The House at Riverton, and vouch for them I will. Most of her books are somewhat hefty at close to 500 pages, but they're the kind you can read in a day. They almost always involve long kept secrets, upstairs/downstairs relationships, and a peek into a gorgeous manner house. Plus, some twists and turns, an unexpected ending, and a complicated leading female character. 

Don't expect any new literary ground to be breached here, just a good old-fashioned enjoyable read. And don't expect to complete your to-do list once you break into one. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hello There...2013!

Why hello there (again)! My self-imposed hiatus of 2012 is officially over, and I'm back! In the months between I did some re-evaluating of oh-so-many things, and I've decided to revamp my blogging approach. 2012 was a complete blur filled with weddings, flights, long weekends spent painting, and a mad dash to try every restaurant in the Houston area. In an attempt to remember life a little better around here, this blog is about to get a lot more personal. I want to focus more on documenting my life and not just pretty things I want to purchase. Sure, those will still be around, but I want to work on using my camera more - to document the house process, the end of the renovation upstairs, life events, and possibly a few too many pictures of the handsome chocolate lab that lives with us.

And because everyone else is doing resolutions for this year. Faith. Family. Fun. Alright, those are not so much resolutions, but the 3 F's of 2013 as I'm referring to them. An easily remembered mantra to take me through the next twelve months to remind me to grow deeper in my faith, spend more time, energy, and love on my family, and sit back and have fun ya'll. Simple enough. 

I'm not one for New Year's celebrations, but 2013 just feels different. It looks as though my inner optimist has been unleashed...

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