Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Entry Progress: Paint and Lighting

Memorial day weekend is typically a time to kick off summer and get things done around the house. Work hard play hard, and Micah and I managed to do both.  We started out the weekend completing the painting in the entry and finished it off with a great pool party filled with friends and family.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

From Online to Real Life: Arhaus Comes to Kansas City

Online shopping is easy and relaxing, but nothing beats the "in the flesh" experience of hunting and gathering.  As someone who spends a lot of time online, browsing the internet for all kinds of goods has become a big part of my day, and I feel pretty aware of what's available on the world wide web. Last fall I was introduced to Arhaus and was amazed by the quantity they carried.  While working on my friend's living room I stumbled across this daybed and knew it would be the perfect piece for her long and narrow space.

Arhaus carries beautiful, neutral options in stock, but they also have around 3,000 custom fabrics - perfect for those of us who like a little pop.

The Process of Designing a Room: Our Entryway

Sometimes I get asked how I put together a room, and I often struggle to come up with a straight answer.  I know a lot of seasoned designers or people who have gone to school for design have some pretty clear cut steps to how they do things, but I can't say that's me.  Most people begin with a jumping off point: a fabric they love, a piece of art or a wallpaper.  This is a great way to start and I have done spaces that way before, but lately my spaces come out of feelings I want to evoke and colors I feel really drawn to.

The entry wasn't in my plans to update anytime soon, but when we sold the dining room chandelier that came with the house, my husband convinced the couple to buy the coordinating entry light. Smart sales move, but it left us with a pitch black passageway once the sun went down.  So I started looking for a light, and we went ahead and refinished the ceilings when we tackled the living room.  Before anything else was settled I knew I wanted to paint the walls a light and airy shade of blue.  All of the honey oak needs a cooler friend to bring balance, and it's just a nice, fresh color.  I realized the other day that I have 4 light blue t-shirts, so clearly I like the color.  And maybe I have a problem.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Swan Lake: Invites and Inspiration

I mentioned last week that Milly's birthday is about a month away, and putting that out there helped motivate me to get started on some of the actual work for the party.  Oh, I can brainstorm and look for inspiration all's the work that takes me carving out a chunk of time to actually sit down and do.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Outdoor Entertaining Essentials and Ideas

Milly's birthday is a little over a month away and while I've had the theme and ideas running through my head for months, it's time to start narrowing down the projects and get to work.  Both of our kids have birthdays during warmer months, and I love the chance to entertain outside, so I thought today I'd share some of my favorite little tips and tricks.

Outdoor parties are usually my favorite but there are some things that make them a bit more difficult (besides the threat of weather).  Keeping the food fresh can be an issue.  If your kitchen opens up to the party space, try doing a buffet on the island.  If the kitchen isn't close, set up a table near the door for the main food.  It's great to have some room temperature snacks or apps outside for easy access, but this keeps bugs at bay and food temps more stable in the heat.

Think outside the box when searching for items to keep your napkin stack from blowing away.  Use a rattle at a baby shower or a rope knot tying the knot at a bridal shower.

For Milly's second birthday I painted rocks to look like strawberries and used one at each place setting.

Go beyond the boring tablecloth.  This applies indoor or out - whether you go fabric or paper, consider dressing it up to match your theme.  For Milly's first birthday Micah painted an abstract check on a Target tablecloth.

And at Xander's laboratory party I drew things you might see on a scientist's whiteboard on butcher paper.  These are simple details that didn't take much time but add a lot of interest.

Just like indoors, it's great to have separate stations to keep the crowd flowing.  Placing drinks and food in different areas helps combat clogging and give the party a nice flow.  And it doesn't always have to sit on a table.  Think about other things you may have in the above case, the bed of my father in law's old model T that are flat and can be used in a unique way.

If the party includes kids, I am always for a kids table.  The lower level and appropriate seating takes away a need for boosters and highchairs, and the relaxed atmosphere of eating al fresco allows little ones to be a bit more independent messy.

My last bit of advice would be to make sure guests know the fun is outdoors so they can dress accordingly.  No one wants to be in heavy clothing on a warm evening, and if it's an all grass affair woman don't want to be in heels.

I know I've left a lot of other ideas off of this list.  The season is upon us so tell me, what are some of your favorite outdoor entertaining tips?


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Strolling San Francisco + MARCH

My San Fransisco trip happened right as I was gathering inspiration for our own exterior, and the city did not disappoint in providing plenty of it's own.  Joannie and I spent most of our time walking the streets to shop and do a little looking around at what this incredible city has to offer.  There was beauty on every corner.  This house stopped me in my tracks.

And look at all of that marble.