Winter Mantle 4 Ways

Happy Monday Y’all! I had a super productive weekend so I’m feeling very fresh and inspired this morning! I was able to sell a few pieces of leftover furniture to make way for our new buffet, set to arrive this week! For now, I want to chat mantles. One of the pieces that sold me on our new brownstone is the fireplace and oversized mantle – I just love it so much! But once I took all of the Christmas decorations down, it immediately felt so bare & empty! Now, y’all probably know that I’m a less-is-more type of gal and I crave simplicity, especially in home design. Here are 4 simple, tasteful, charming ways I’ve styled our mantle. Given that it’s winter, I stuck to neutrals – white, gold, gray – and some wood + greenery to help warm it up a bit. As you will see, I kept the eucalyptus in every option as we need the height (16′ ceilings) and I just love it!

Option 1:

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Option 2:

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Option 3:

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Option 4:

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Now that you’ve seen all four options, help me decide which one should stay.

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Our New Master Bedroom

If you’ve been reading along, you know that we are moving in a few short weeks. I revealed details of our new living room in last Monday’s post and while we’re keeping a few main pieces, I’m adding some new pillows, art and decor pieces. One of the best parts about moving is that you get to totally refresh your space! Our master bedroom  has needed a makeover for a long time but I was waiting to move because we are upgrading to a king bed (finally!). I’m still on the search for a new mattress but have been narrowing down the rest. In fact, I’m torn between two design options so I would love your input!

Option 1:

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Option 2:

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As you can see there area  few similar pieces but a lot that is different. We have set of grey campaign nightstands that I want to keep – they’re simple, versatile and functional. I also want to use this round mirror that we have – it’s heavy & really pretty in person.

For the bed, I’m debating between a classic upholstered cream bed and this wood upholstered beauty. Either way I will stick with all white bedding but add some color in with the pillows.  I’ll likely do some gray, white and blush.

One main piece that we definitely need is  a new dresser. We’ll have one long, big wall across from our bed that will hold this piece – one large enough to fit two sets of clothes (lucky for us we have a huge walk in closet as well). I’ll either go classic white – with a muted gold hardware – or a light grayish-brown RH lookalike.

The room has a lot on natural light from two large bow windows and an overhead lights, so I’ll stick with two simple lamps – either mercury glass ones that I have or a ceramic white. Not going crazy on lighting here, if you can’t tell.

Whichever design I choose will dictate my rug choice as well, but I’ll keep it relatively neutral either way. I am leaning towards this silver faded fringe, this gray & white Moroccan trellis and this jute braided rug.

Okay, so now that you’ve seen my options…what’s your vote: 1 or 2?!

Our New Living Room

I hinted at some exciting news on Friday and here it is…South End Style is moving! We’re not going far but we are headed back into a through-floor brownstone in the heart of the South End, my favorite neighborhood of Boston. We’ll be a few short blocks from all of my favorite local spots, including Picco, Hudson & Blackbird Donuts. I can’t wait!

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the adorable front staircase at our new home!

So with moving comes…you guessed it, redecorating! I’m actually selling a LOT of items so you local folks be sure to check it out (armoire, tufted bed, wood bed, tripod lamp, kitchen table, kitchen cart, gold side table, set of lamps, round mirror & nightstand)

We will be keeping some of our current living room furniture, selling a few pieces and adding a few to the mix. Our new living room has beautiful 13′ ceilings with detailed crown molding, a large fireplace, three huge windows & a whole lot of opportunity.  I’ll share more about our master bedroom & back deck (finally!) later but for now here is my design board for our new living room:

I’ll be keeping our current setup with this sofa, these two chairs, this coffee table & my new favorite rug (mine is similar and a killer Safavieh steal from Homegoods!). I’ll be switching out our current ivory/tan/gray pillows for a pair of velvet navy + some contrasting blush pillows for a little more color. I’ve also got a great neutral faux fur blanket that I’ll add just in time for cold weather. A gold + glass accent table will go in between the two accent chairs for additional surface space.

Our TV will be mounted on the wall (not above the mantle) so I’m still debating putting a thin, white console table to balance the space. Above the mantle I’ll likely style this round, gold mirror with a pretty vase and some eucalyptus branches to add some color. I’ll fill in with various white, wood & marble pieces.

To the right of the fireplace is a pretty large alcove (about 6’X13′) where I’d like to put a bar cabinet. I’m not sure which one yet but I’m liking this midcentury modern piece, this green glam piece and this classic, natural piece. Atop the cabinet, I’ll style with a pair of lamps and some bar accessories, like this mixer set. Above the cabinet, I’m debating between an oversized framed fabric piece or a light aerial beach print (I have one framed in white – will decide once I pick a cabinet).

So what do you think? Any suggestions for bar cabinets?

Baby Boy Nursery

Lately, I’ve been helping a couple design the nursery for their third child – a sweet baby boy. You may remember my gender “neutral nursery design” post or my “one nursery, three ways” design (<<– I still love this design SO much, I’m going to be stealing these ideas in the future for myself!). While both of those rooms were gorgeous, this one is going to be a bit different. I’ve actually helped this couple with their entry way, living space, and dining room so I’m very familiar with their style. The home has a lot of charm and the interiors are mainly monochromatic – classic with a twist, if you will.

Here are a few inspirational spaces that we pulled – take note of the color pallet, patterns, key furniture pieces & overall style.

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animal prints + neutral color pallet

2 accent wall

 glider + wall detail

3 arrows and rustic feel

 rustic vibes + patterns

4 wall detail

 accent wall + natural elements

{ 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 }

From these images, we had a few key takeaways for baby boy’s new nursery: a color scheme of gray/navy/brown (the crib & dresser are ones they already had & wanted to use again), a rustic/natural feel (rope, wood, etc) and a few nods to animals and patterns (hence the artwork and bedding). Here is the design board I presented:

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{ accent paint / main paint / ottoman / mirror / bedding / animal prints / glider / pillows }

What do you think?!

I’ll be sure to share more pictures as the room is installed.

White Painted Fireplace: Before & After

Fireplaces can be one of the most beautiful, anchoring pieces in any room. They’re grand, warm, inviting & often the centerpiece of the room. While there are many styles of fireplaces, we often find that when doing a home renovation, the fireplace has to be updated as well. An inexpensive, but impactful option for updating a fireplace is to paint it white. Now this certainly isn’t the best option for every space but if you’re trying to update your traditional home to a more modern, bright feel – this may be just what you need. For instance, take my most recent home renovation project with a family in Georgia. See this beautiful white washed fireplaced with shiplap all the way up to the ceiling:

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cabinets still need doors (going on this week) & shelves need to be styled

Well, this was the before:

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That tv is blocking a half-built shelf. And that undersized mantle? This room was screaming for a makeover!

What a transformation, right?! When my clients wanted to make their large, vaulted ceiling living room feel more modern & bright, while keeping it family friendly, I knew exactly what to do. For starters, we painted the entire home interior (yup, every last bit) SW Repose Gray (the perfect greige!), added crown molding where needed, evened out those massive bookshelves shelves, also painted them white, and then revamped the 1990s looking fireplace. We first added shiplap the entire way up (and wrapped it around the sides), we added an 8′ reclaimed wood mantle & lastly, we had the fireplace white washed. The clients are so, so SO pleased with the finished product. And we had the entire project done in under 1 week!

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 Progress pics of the shiplap – don’t you love the dark bookshelf backdrop we did?

Here are some more examples of beautiful white brick fireplaces – there’s a mix of white wash and full white paint.

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{ 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5}

What do you think of white painted fireplaces? Are you impressed with this before & after?

Coffee Tables + Coffee Table Books

Lately, I’ve been helping a few friends who are moving into new spaces with their living room tables. Coffee tables have been an increased topic of interest, as this is typically purchased after their rug & sofa/chairs are selected. It’s often an afterthought of living room decorating but luckily it’s pretty easy to find one that works. With thousands of options out there, I selected quite a few that hit a variety of needs, including a couple for dual usage/extra storage. Typically, I prefer that the table doesn’t match the end tables. For example, try a wood coffee table with a glass end table.

Ottoman-style coffee tables are great for those with children, those with small spaces & those who need a place to prop their feet up (let’s be real). These type coffee tables can also serve as additional seating if needed. I recommending using an oversized tray atop the ottoman to group & level items (i.e. candles, vases, books).

Here is a roundup of coffee tables that I recommend:

{ expandable |tufted | black laquered | leather | round tufted | large wood | reclaimed wood + metal | round glass | acrylic }

Of course, we can’t talk about coffee tables without mentioning coffee table books. I mentioned on Friday that these are a great hostess gift and in fact, I think they’re just a great gift in general. I usually get a few every Christmas to add to my collection. In fact, you may want to go ahead and pick up a few to keep on hand for upcoming holiday gifts – there are a couple below under $20. A small price to make a big impact.Beautiful books can be used in various ways – on table display, to add height, to anchor another item, to fill space in a bookshelf, etc.  A roundup of my current favorites:

{ Tom Ford | McQueen | Southerner’s Handbook | Beaches | Living with Pattern | Styled | Nate Berkus | EOS | Kate Spade | Underwater Dogs | Ultimate Travel }

What’s your favorite style coffee table? What’s your favorite coffee table book?

5 easy home updates you can do this weekend

Happy Monday y’all!

We are having a serious Indian summer here in Boston and it is F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S! Yesterday started with some sunflower fields & pumpkin patches and ended with the beach where it was over 80 and sunny…how lucky are we?! Given the weather, all of my current home projects have been put on hold until my worst nightmare winter comes. I’m sharing a few easy projects that you can do around the house that make a big impact. Bonus: these are applicable for you renters also!

5 easy home updates you can do this weekend:

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Y’all know my favorite thing to do is paint something. This could be bathroom vanity, kitchen cabinets, or even some dated built-ins. Many landlords are okay with this, especially if they’re likely going to update when you move out. (It doesn’t hurt to ask – ours even bought the paint for us!) The above picture is an “after” of a killer transformation. This was a stark black piece that I painted white & updated the hardware. In fact, the “before” was so horrifying that I didn’t even snap a picture (haha).

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Another easy (and fun!) weekend project is to update your walls. What does that mean? Well, you could paint – an accent wall, some stripes, or even some stencil if you’re up for it. You could add some wallpaper (see temporary wallpaper here). Additionally, you could create a gallery wall or add some inexpensive molding. 

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A really great seasonal thing to do is to swap out your textiles. For Summer & Spring: think light fabrics, playful prints & bright hues. For Fall & Winter: try heavier wools & furs, darker fabric colors & more oversized pillows and throws. This is one reason that I always purchase down pillows and covers for them, versus pre-made pillows. You can mix & match between rooms, or simply get some new covers made in the fabric of your choice.

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Of course, no update would be complete without a remix of accessories – y’all know this is one of my favorite tricks in the book. I’ve mentioned it before but “shopping your home” is an easy, free way to get that fresh, new feel you’re looking for. A great example is this “entry way 5 ways” post that I did earlier this year.

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Lastly, try adding a plant to every room for an easy update. how about an indoor herb garden in the kitchen, a jade plant in the bathroom, and a fiddle leaf fig tree in the living room?! Plants bring in a calming nature feel, they freshen the air & add a pop of color. Head to your local nursery to discuss what will work best in your particular space! Shop some cute planters here.

What’s your favorite weekend design project?