Friday, May 29, 2015

High Five Almost June Friday

Not only has another week come and gone, but we are almost to a new month, the one in which summer begins! The weather here has been nice so it is absolute torture being indoors. To keep my mind off what's outside my window, a few of my favorites from this week, otherwise known as the "high five Friday."

1. The most perfect bedroom

Kelly Rogers was a favorite in the One Room Challenge link-ups where she remodeled her tiny entryway. This week the Boston Globe featured her gorgeous airy guest suite.

Kelly Rogers Interiors for Families

I love the way she mixes greens, how she used that big bolster on the bed, and especially those French mattress-style cushions. Swoon!

2. Ten Forgotten Lessons of Mid-Century Modern Design
This week I was thinking about mid-century modern design in the neighborhoods of my little university town, then found this oldie-but-goodie, outlining some of its most important principles. What's your favorite part of MCM?

3. Outdoors with Celerie Kemble and OKL
via One Kings Lane
Have you seen the gorgeous outdoor furniture collection Celerie Kemble has designed for Lane Venture?? Eye popping goodness. The scallops, the rattans, the big, bold stripes. LOVE it all!!

4. Swim Time
to buy
Summer means swimsuits. Luckily Jillian Harris has the skinny on eliminating cellulite.

5. The Sound of Summer
It's my firm opinion that every summer has a song. I think this one might be mine. Kind of an '80s-meets-The Killers vibe according to the comments.

I'm hoping to cross an item off my bucket list this weekend: outdoor yoga! What do you have planned?

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rug Pad Corner Review

Is there ever a time I am not thinking about rugs?? Nope, not really. I obsess over them. In fact, I've been on the hunt for the perfect rug for my dining room for more than a year, simply so I can keep shopping for just the right one.

Auryn Rug via One Kings Lane
This is my current fave. I think the pattern is so edgy and fun!

But I've always skimped where the rug pad is concerned, erroneously thinking it wasn't that important. The one time I did use one, it stuck to my floor and left an ugly imprint on the hardwood.

Rug Pad Corner contacted me recently to ask if I'd be willing to review some of their rug pads. I looked into their company and what I saw was very positive.
  • Founded by Sam Kaoud who grew up in his father's oriental rug business.
  • They were voted Rug Pad Retailer for 2014 based on votes from interior designers, architects, rug stores, and actual customers.
  • They are GREEN rated, which is important if you are trying for LEED certification.
  • They give back--with a portion of each sale going to one of three charitable organizations: American Red Cross, St Jude Children's Hospital, and the American Cancer Society.
  • They offer bulk and to-the-trade programs.

I chose a rug pad for the rug in my entryway. It's an IKEA rug (no longer on their website but available here) so it has a back and wasn't that expensive. 

I also chose a rug pad for the rug that is in my kitchen sitting area. I love an indoor/outdoor rug in a house with kids, pets, life. This rug is from Zinc Door.

The ordering process was very simple. After determining what kind of surface the rugs are on (mine are on laminate flooring), we had to decide what kind of rug pad to choose. I wanted to make sure that I'd be able to still open the front door easily so I chose the super-hold for the entryway. It's colored green with vegetable dye in reference to the company's "green" environmental practices.

Before I could order, I also needed to measure my rugs. The 5x7 rug, for example, was actually 63" x 89.75". Rug Pad Corner provides complimentary custom cutting of their rug pads.

Above is what the ultra premium rug pad looks like. The gripper part is purple and then there is a flannel topper that adds additional cushion. I used this one under the indoor/outdoor rug since I am using it in a sitting area.

via Instagram
The company provided exceptional customer service and fast shipping. The order was placed on a Thursday and was at my door the following Monday.

Now that I've lived with my new rug pads for over a week, what do I think?

First, the rug pads don't have that icky plastic smell from off-gassing of chemicals. The rug pads also hold the rugs perfectly in place better than anything I've ever seen. I'm amazed that the rugs have not moved an inch since I laid them down over a week ago. I don't need to set anything on the edge of the rug to keep it in place!

I am surprised by how much better my rugs look with the rug pads beneath them. It really elevates the look of two less expensive rugs, which makes any cost of a rug pad worth the money.
Use REVIEW15 for a 15% discount off your entire order!
Thank you to Rug Pad Corner for providing these rug pads to me at no cost to review. The opinions here are 100% my own.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Indie Anniversary

Today is a very special--very personal--day for me. It was on this date exactly six years ago (also a Tuesday) that I moved out on my own.

I distinctly remember going to receive the keys from my new landlords. Mrs. O'Brien told me how sorry she was about the divorce and I just nodded because I didn't have any words for it. I have never felt so simultaneously terrified or brave. My new neighbors all appeared to be college students whereas I was in a trench coat and a station wagon. My "roommates" were a kindergartener and two-year-old...

Ours was the left side, closer to the street. When I lived there, we had annuals hanging from the porch light. There were big bunches of lily of the valley growing outside the door as I remember so it must have smelled absolutely heavenly.


All day I've been searching for photos and just can't seem to find them. But I learned a lot about myself in that little house. Lessons I'd love to share one of these days.

This was the teensy tiny kitchen/dining area. Really not the best photo of it, but I loved how all of our things fit into this compact space. I really truly believe it was a fun challenge to decorate, and in my memory at least, it instantly felt like HOME even those first few nights when I slept on the floor...

Friday, May 22, 2015

High Five Memorial Day Friday

Is it just me or did Memorial Day weekend totally sneak up on us this year?! I'm scrambling to make some fun plans for us.

Here are my favorites from the week, otherwise known as my High Five Friday:

1. How Should Home Feel?
Bowley Builders via Calling It Home

That's the question that Linda asked this week. My Northern Michigan childhood doesn't actually sound too different from hers in the Valley. This is definitely a question I'm going to be mulling over...

2. Raising a Garden
Lazy Sunday Cooking via Emily A. Clark
Emily A. Clark is building her own raised garden and we can follow along. I'm hoping to get at least a patio pot of tomatoes this year. #blackthumb

3. Two Houses
I don't often read something that feels like someone looked into my soul and wrote my story but this had that effect. Some of my thoughts on our sitch from the past can be found here and here.

4. Macarons

Baking a Moment

My daughter is at the age where she just loves her American Girl. This year's girl is Grace who, upon returning from a summer trip to Paris, opens La Petite Patisserie with her friends. To celebrate finishing one of the books in the series and a night with no homework for either kid (one positive to standardized testing!), we went to this little East Lansing shop for treats. I'll have to give Baking a Moment's recipe a whirl. They're gluten-free.

5. Pineapple Rain

via my Instagram

I adore this photo I snapped of my daughter earlier this week during a quick rain shower. It reminded me of this song Have you ever seen the rain? by Creedence Clearwater Revival
from my childhood; a song that always reminds me of my dad.

And here's an interesting article about how some enterprising people are using IG to make a fortune. For the record, I chose the heels. #unsponsored

Happy Memorial Day! God bless our troops!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Douglas Dream House

This house, nestled among the trees above the beach at Lake Michigan, is my dream home. As an added bonus it's only 3.5 hours from my front door. Located in Harbor Springs, Michigan, it is near the top of the proverbial mitten.
via Richard Meier

The house was built by Richard Meier and completed in 1973. A few years ago it was voted one of the AIA's 150 favorites of American architecture. Meier went on to build many other iconic buildings that are also on that list including the Getty Museum in L.A.
via Richard Meier

The interior is 3,200 square feet and it has 970 feet of private beach. Almost no trees were removed in the construction of the house. 

via Richard Meier
There have been three owners since the Douglas family of Grand Rapids, who commissioned the home in the late 1960s. The current owners, Michael McCarthy and Marcia Myers, retired execs from Proctor & Gamble, bought the home and restored it in 2007.

Dean Kaufman for Dwell
They don't look nearly old enough to be retired... 
via Arch Daily
 Besides the links beneath the photos, there's a great article about the house here.
via Arch Daily
If you are looking for more information about Harbor Springs, check out this novel written by someone who grew up summering in the area.
Terry Gamble

You can also watch one of those soothing Pure Michigan ads about the area here.
Have you ever been to Harbor Springs? What does your dream house look like?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

These Are a Few of My Favorite Pinnings

Pinterest is still my happy place. Whenever I get a chance, I love to spend a few minutes scrolling through it. My boards tend to be like this blog--pretty eclectic. Lots of pretty rooms mixed with delicious recipes, fashion, and travel.

I also use Pinterest to save things I want to come back to later. Design ideas that solve some problem I am working on or products that I've found but am not yet ready to purchase. (I've started using Twitter to save articles I want to read, though).

My only wish is that there was some way to sub-categorize within boards. For example, my Outside board has 754 pins (as of now). Lots of those pins are images of pools, some are gardens, others are exteriors. It would be so nice to break up that big number by delegating some of these pins to different categories within the generic term "Outside."

Anyhoo, here are a few pins that have been popular recently.

Crane Concept
This beautiful reveal from Crane Concept, part of the One Room Challenge Linkup, has been re-pinned several times. Besides the banquette, which Rita built herself and is renter-friendly, I am just so in love with the window treatments, big statement piece of art, oversized black & white pillows, and the tabletop, which is faux marble if I remember correctly. Perfection! Find more in Banquettes & Dining.

Burlap & Lace
This bookshelf styling from Burlap and Lace, also part of the One Room Challenge Linkup, is just one small part of an overall AMAZING room. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, just know I am studying this one to re-style my own bookshelves. I love the color coordination of the books, how some books are vertical and others are lying down, as well as how all the decorative elements (plant, urn, basket) are used on each shelf. Find more in Styling.

Elle Décor 2010 via Well-Appointed House
This image was frequently re-pinned. For me, I love the black double doors at this entrance with all the greenery on either side of it as well as the gravel walkway. As I look at it closer, I notice that there are storm doors pulled wide for the photo. Double doors aren't in my future but a glossy black door could be. Find more in Entryways.

Every now and then, when I think my favorite rooms are a bit too avant-garde for wide re-pinning, something like this room will surprise me. I love the white walls, blonde floor, big art, black lacquer, and linen upholstery (big surprise if you've seen my house).

What we can see of the seating arrangement is pretty awesome too, though. It's an H-shape with couches placed across from each other and a big block coffee table in the center. Exciting because the TV is wall-mounted behind one of the couches! Find more in Great Rooms.

I also post a lot of outfits including about ten gazillion white dresses. This one has been popular but I'm not sure the link takes you somewhere to actually order it. C'est la vie.

Lots of inspirational quotes can be found here.

There are lots of gorgeous places I'd like to travel to on my Places board including this great room in Beirut. You can read more about the home and designer here.

Le Creme de la Crumb
Lots of OMG desserts and other recipes including a few meals (and, of course, drinks and gorgeous bar inspiration!). I haven't actually made this brownie recipe yet (made with cream cheese and chocolate chips). The day that I had planned to I couldn't find it. Pinterest had told me that I had already pinned it when, in fact, I had not. Occasionally the algorithm that recognizes your pins fails. No big deal; things like this tend to come back around.

Your Modern Family
I love this printable for helping me to parent better (generically shoved onto the Kids Room board) and I am hoping to implement these ideas with my own school-aged kids this summer. Although I am stressing about where I'm going to get the daily math problem...


This pin, which suggested choosing three plants and repeating them in your garden, was one of the more popular on my Outside board, which doesn't get nearly the same attention as my Great Rooms.

House Beautiful
Just so you don't think it's all clothes and places and things to eat, here's another popular room. I love all the blue, the symmetry, and the height of that mirror over the sofa. More in Great Rooms.

Do you still have a love affair with Pinterest? Would you like it if you could sub-categorize to better organize your boards? Anyone who is a MUST follow? Please let me know.  :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Room Fit for a Picasso

So you probably heard about the anonymous art collector who purchased Picasso's Femmes d'Alger (version O) last week for a record-breaking $179.4 million dollars, right?

I figure buying a new painting is a bit like buying a new dress... You'll need an all-new room to go with it!  

via Polyvore
This mood board is my version of a new handbag and pair of shoes for the Picasso.

Presumably with an art budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, there are fewer restrictions on the décor budget than in an ordinary project. On the other hand, they just spent more than any other art collector -- EVER -- so maybe custom all the way isn't the way to go??

Either way, I had a lot of fun sourcing top of the line pieces for this mood board. :)

For the area immediately around the painting, I added a black buffet with marble top from One Kings Lane. This is flanked on either side by orange leather chairs from 1st Dibs. The brightness of the chairs is a subtle nod to the colors in the painting. The brass lamps on the credenza are Jonathan Adler from Zinc Door and have a fun geometric shape that reminds me of Picasso.

credenza lamps Jonathan Adler at Zinc Door 2x$1250 / buffet One Kings Lane $7585 / orange leather chairs 1st Dibs $20,000 for the pair

The sitting area is created to be a comfortable, textural feast for the senses. The modern gray leather sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams plays off the shaggy white chairs from 1st Dibs. Neither of which have prices listed, ordinarily a big uh-oh to any other budget, but happily not a problem in this imaginary room!

sofa Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (no price listed) / Kurt Ostervig white fluffy chairs 1st Dibs (price available upon request)

The Design Within Reach side tables mix a little chrome into the room and are contrasted with the acacia wood table lamps and linen shades.

acacia table lamps  Jamie Young at Zinc Door 2x$1075 / end tables Design Within Reach 2x$575

The Ethan Allen Ming-style coffee table adds a bit of a traditional feel to the space--and plays off the black buffet. It is also on sale! And so is the rug from Arhaus, which adds some graphic punch and a blue-green color that mimics the succulent arrangement.

coffee table Ethan Allen $1423.20 (sale)/ rug Arhaus $2399 (sale, limited quantities)/ succulents Bloomingdales $365

I'm not totally sold on the pillows...
The blue ikat was chosen to bring in some more blue tones. The orange Trina Turk pillows were meant to reference the leather accent chairs. The rainbow bolster mixes it all together. I suppose I'd have to see them in person to know for sure how they'd feel.

blue ikat pillows Layla Grace 2x$89 / orange Trina Turk pillows / RealReal rainbow bolster
Total cost for this room (minus pillows, without a price on the sofa and fluffy chairs) = $37,572.20. Is it worth it?? What do you think?

Friday, May 15, 2015

High Five Friday is Back

The weather here in East Lansing, Michigan, has been overcast and rainy all week. I call it "dementor weather." You know, like the wraiths that torment Harry Potter and the prisoners of Azkaban in the JK Rowling books...

It's extra hard to be cheerful on days like this but we can do it! Here are some of the things I'm loving this week, otherwise known as the "High Five Friday."

1. Summer Vacation

via Travel Zoo
I'm so excited for summer vacation which starts here in 13 1/2 school days! No more pencils, no more books (except the ones we choose to read). The weather has me wanting to re-read the Harry Potter series now, and a trip to London would be the perfect capstone. Have any of you used Travel Zoo before? They're a sponsor of the Happier podcast and I saw this great deal today (although I think the really low rates are already gone).

We're a lot more likely, though, to head here this summer.

Detroit via Architectural Digest

Catch a Tigers game. Check out the Frida exhibit at the DIA. Buy a Shinola. And only an hour away by car...
Aloft Detroit via Architectural Digest

Probably not what a lot of people think of when they think of Detroit.

2. Gotta have art
Since the record for the most expensive painting ever sold at auction was broken this week, I think this fun quiz is especially timely. 

Study of Concentric Circles by Wassily Kandinsky

My result?
Study of Concentric Circles. You are more of a modernist. That's not to say you don't appreciate history--not by any means! You dearly love knowing about history, especially in its relation to art and culture. You are a bit different than everyone else though, and you have always known this. You like to live life outside of the box, and are intrigued by what others see as the mundane, or simplistic. You truly celebrate life, and are naturally a social being. Getting together with friends for good food or good company is definitely a source of inspiration for you. You have a strong intellectual side though too, and you like to read a challenging book, or watch a creatively made film. You have a bright and vivacious personality, hence, others are drawn to you and are intrigued by your unique outlook on life. Like the Study of Concentric Circles, you remind others that life, and art are an individual and unique form of expression. Instead of seeking validation from external sources, you remind others that expression alone is where the joy is at.

I especially dug that the question about movies featured two older but gorgeous films I recently re-watched: Frida and Little Women. Definitely check them out if you are looking for a good movie this weekend! I am hoping to go see Woman in Gold, a true story which reminds me a bit of this Daniel Silva book.

3. Backyard Living
Having a TV outdoors is my idea of living the good life. Could anything be more perfect than getting to watch my stories in the fresh air??

Brooke Giannetti/Velvet & Linen
This might be a bit more elaborate than what I end up with ;) but gorgeous nonetheless.


I'm excited to check out the new TV show, Wandering Pines. Did you catch the first episode last night? Besides the beautiful Carla Gugino (who is over 40--more important to me as I get closer to my bday this summer), the show sounds like a grown-up version of this family favorite.

4. Tips to Learn from Set Designers

via House Beautiful

Subtitled: how can I talk my son into playing tennis??? Because now that I've done sister's room, I am feeling like his bedroom could use some love. Really great simple tips for decorating your own space in this article.

5. Make Your Own Sunshine
I'm dressed in gray, black, and drab green today, but how about this bright, fun Anthro skirt?

Look Linger Love
Reportedly, my favorite city council member wants to attract good businesses "such as Anthropologie" to our town so fingers and toes are crossed.

This new store, a hybrid of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, recently opened here. Last week I popped in after work and saw the coach of the MSU men's basketball team heading in to shop with his wife--I also got blackberries for 88 cents!

The college students have gone home for the summer, and I'm feeling like half the population of our town is gone. I love living in a college town and the energy of the students, but this is AWESOME. It's so easy to get around! The lilacs are in full bloom, and so too are some irises. What's blooming where you are?

Have a great weekend!


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