Modern Mountaintop Cottage

Am I the only one craving Fall and the promise of cooler weather and cozy sweaters?! I didn’t think so.
After seeing these photos of this beautiful mountain cottage, I can’t help but daydream about sitting by the fire under a cozy blanket and reading a book. (I’ve been binge reading lately and it feels so good!) While I have to admit this house had a bit too much gray, it’s super dark and moody for a perfect weekend getaway to unwind. Do you agree or do you love all the gray?

 

Photos via.

Friends Apartment in 2018

There aren’t many shows I’ve watched over and over again, but Friends is always a go-to classic that always makes me laugh. I’ve seen each episode at least 50 times and never get tired of it. Needless to say when I saw this article with renderings of the friends apartment, I was excited to see what they thought it would look like in 2018.
Which 2018 apartment do you prefer? I’m not a huge fan of Monica’s style on the actual show, but I am loving her 2018 apartment she would be sharing with Chandler and their twins!

Monica and Chandler’s Apartment in 2018

Rachel’s Apartment in 2018


Joey’s Apartment in 2018 

Click here to see more renderings of their modern apartments.
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Muy Caliente

Benjamin Moore just announced their color of the year, Caliente, which is described as  “strong, radiant and full of energy”. It’s a gorgeous color, but I’m not sold on using it to paint an entire room. I love the richness of the hue and would love to use it as an accent like painting a door in the photo below. Benjamin Moore explains the color brings “depth and energy to a space and spiking deep grays with life”. It feels like everything is gray these days, so it’s refreshing to see bolder colors making their way back.
What do you think? Love it or leave it?


Pics via Benjamin Moore.

Tips For Hiring An Interior Designer

Designing a home can be an intimidating process. I often get phone calls from potential clients who sound hesitant or they apologize for rambling because they’ve never worked with a designer before and didn’t know how to start the conversation. I’ve even had potential clients tell me how scared they were to call me because they weren’t sure what to expect. Me?! I’m not scary! I’m human, just like you.
If you’re considering hiring a designer, it’s helpful to know how the process works. The relationship between a client and a designer is collaborative, so it’s important for everyone involved to be the right fit for a successful end result. Below I’m going to share some tips on hiring a designer, so you understand a bit how the process works…


Do your homework. Take some time to look at photos to see what your design style is. You don’t have to fully commit to a specific style – clients always get scared to be pigeonholed into one style – but once you start gather images you may notice that you always gravitate towards a specific aesthetic. Look at magazines, houzz, pinterest, and design blogs. This information is helpful for you to decide which designer and designers’ aesthetic is a right fit for you.

Do your research. Once you have an idea of your style, take advantage of the internet and social media. Ask friends if they’ve worked with designers, because after all… word of mouth is the best reference! Make sure the designer you decide to work with has a portfolio with images you respond to, and has a mission statement that you believe in. Check out their social media to see projects they’re working on or to see a bit more of a designers’ personality on their posts. You want to make sure you’re working with a designer who will not only design a beautiful space and keep the project under budget – but you also want to make sure you’re working with someone you’ll enjoy spending time with. Some people may disagree because, after all, business is business. But, I personally feel like the relationship with a designer and a client is much more than that. A client lets a designer into their home, shares their personal stories and how they use the spaces. I strongly feel that it’s important to feel connected to the designer you hire.

Establish your budget. Knowing how much you’re willing to spend allows me to do my job properly and efficiently. Sometimes clients will say they don’t have a budget, but then after I do a full presentation they’ll then say, “Oh, I was expecting to pay only $X”.  Having a general idea of what you’re able to spend saves us both time and makes the process move along quicker. It’s important to be honest and to make a list of your “wants” so I can help you decide how to spend your money wisely. While I can help you develop an appropriate budget based on your wishlist, but it’s ultimately up to the client to give a rough number of what they’re willing to spend.

Ask about the process. Asking a designer their process will get everyone on the same page, and manage expectations. I have a full list of my design process on my website here.

Trust your designer. This is the most critical element for any designer/client relationship. My entire goal is to create beautiful, livable spaces, to make my clients happy, and for the process to go as smoothly as possible. I do my best work when clients trust my skill set, experience, and talent and remember why they hired me in the first place. As a designer, I have the ability to envision the space and how each piece will work together to create a cohesive, beautiful space. Once the trust with the client is established, it’s important for clients to trust my vision and allow me to push them just a bit outside their comfort zone … after all, there is a reason why the client hires a designer. Our common goal for the spaces is for them to reflect the style, lifestyle and interests of the people who live in the spaces, all within budget and the clients’ timeline.


If you’re looking to hire a designer, feel free to contact me! I promise I’m not scary! :)

 

Favorite Buys: Goodies for Cole

I often get asked by my thousands of followers what my favorite buys are for Cole… Just kidding – no one ever asks me. It’s Friday, gloomy out, and I’ve had this list in my phone for months so I thought it’d be fun to share!
When I became a parent, my purchases quickly shifted more towards adorable baby clothes, the best books for his age, or toys I thought he’d love instead of buying myself gifts. My amazon recommendations are the lamest recommendations for a professional 30-something year old woman because they mainly consist of children’s board games or books. I feel like my cart is secretly judging me. :)
Cole just turned three recently which is so hard for me to wrap my head around! He’s at a fun age where he’s developing a sense of humor, plays jokes on us, makes up his own songs and can hold a conversation. Over the past few years we’ve used a lot of products for all various stages of babyhood, but here I’ll share our current favorites. In the beginning I tried to get the pretty wood toys, but later realized that kids are drawn to bright, primary colors for a reason. Consider yourself warned.

 

Ikea DUKTIG Kitchen. Of all the toys we have, this might be my favorite. All of the kids in my family – Cole, 3, my 4.5 year old niece and even my 12 and 15 year old nephews! – play with this kitchen. It has been one of the greatest kid investments because it promotes pretend play, and has provided hours of play so far. It doesn’t hurt that the price is perfect, and it fits in beautifully with my white and gray kitchen.

Melissa and Doug Condiments Set. I bought this after Cole had a huge meltdown one night about him not being able to use our salt and pepper shakers on his food to excessively season his food. Now when we eat dinner, he gets his own set and likes to pretend to season his own meal.

Fisher Price Barista Set. To my point above about me loving wood toys for kids – this was a perfect compromise. It’s pretty and Cole loves making me coffee at all hours of the day. I was so excited when I found this by accident in Target!

Melissa and Doug Take Along Horse Stable. This little toy has gotten SO MUCH use. It’s insane. It was an impulse buy at Home Goods and my horse-obsessed niece has played with it for hours. She loves to carry around the stable, the kids paint the ponies during craft time, the ponies go in the tub, and they play in the sandbox outside. These horses are magic, I tell you.


Retractable baby gate. I did hours and hours and hours of research when we needed baby gates. Ryan ended up finding this retractable one and it’s amazing. It’s not bulky and easily retracts so you don’t always have a huge baby gate in your space. When the baby goes to bed, it’s nice to pretend you are grown-ups living in a grown up space. :)  We’re using gates less and less these days since Cole is getting older, but I love the design of this one!

Luca Glider. One day when Cole and our future kid(s) outgrow this glider, I’ll be so sad. I rarely get emotionally attached to things, but this chair is so comfortable and has had so many happy snuggles in it. Ryan originally thought it was a splurge for a kids bedroom, but now he (maybe) sees the value since we’ve spent hours reading bedtime stories and rocking him to sleep. For me, it’s a spot that reminds me of when I first nursed Cole as a baby and it brings back those cozy and deeply bonded moments alone with him.

4-in-1 Trike. This tricycle, inspired by the original classic metal trike, is such a great design! My only personal gripe is that I didn’t buy it for Cole sooner. We bought it as a gift last year for his birthday, but could have easily started riding in this at one year old- instead of the million other four-wheeled vehicles we have in our garage. The handles let you control the steering, so the baby feels like they’re riding a bike on their own. So smart!

Building Blocks. We have a different set, but these are similar. Our set was originally my nephews (from almost 11 years ago) and still get so much use. Cole loves building with legos, gears, pipes… but these are always a classic.

Kinetic Sand. Similar concept to Playdoh (which we also love), this kinetic sand is so much fun to play with. It’s mesmerizing and a complete stress reducer for Mom’s, too!

Bubble maker. Save your breath and enjoy the Gazillion bubbles that this little machine blows. So fun for the current season!

My favorite bath toy. This boat has two purposes: a boat to play with (duh) and scoops water to rinse his hair. Bath toys tend to clutter the tub or get moldy. This is is the only one you need and is so easy to clean.


The best beach umbrella. When I bought this umbrella, it seems like a splurge because it wasn’t on sale but I’m so happy I bought it. It’s huge and can fit an entire family inside, but also folds down so small. It doesn’t blow away and can be used as a tent or an umbrella. One of my favorite seasonal purchases to keep my fair skinned boy out of the strong sun on the beach.


Piggy bank. I bought this bank, after Cole kept breaking into his other bank that Ryan has when he was a kid. The older fashioned banks either just snapped together, or had a cork that could easily be removed by a nosy toddler. I was paranoid Cole would get into his bank and swallow the coins… even though he never puts things in his mouth. This bank can only be opened using a screw driver, or a coin, to screw the bottom off. I also love how is looks like a real piggy, instead of a stylized one. Super cute!


My new favorite book. Cole’s outgrowing board books and is more interested in stories which I am so excited about. I picked up some new best sellers and I love this book. I wasn’t expecting to laugh out loud when reading the stories of sarcastic/funny crayons.  We’re also really loving the Pete the Cat series!

High Five magazine. I’m not sure who gets more excited when High Five (or their extra Puzzle Buzz) magazine comes in the mail: me or Cole. We immediately snuggle on the couch… both of us eager to find the hidden pictures. So happy I get to share this nostalgic magazine with my boy.

Favorite Coffee Table Books

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One of my favorite parts of a project is accessorizing. It marks the bittersweet end of a project, but it brings so much life and personality into a home. Coffee table books are an excellent way to display your interests and always act as a conversation starter. Here are a few of my favorites…

 

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