Thanksgiving Tablescape Inspiration

Can y’all even believe that Thanksgiving is next week? Insane! Given all that we have going on right now (moving, new job for T, etc) we are pleased to be attending a Thanksgiving feast at our dear friends’ home in Newport, Rhode Island. Hopefully we will have a large dining room of our own in upcoming years and be able to host our own Thanksgiving day celebration for family & friends. So for my future reference, and for all of you wonderful host expecting a crowd, I’ve put together some tablescape inspiration for you:

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So many pretty options to be inspired from! I’ve put together a mock table setting myself and hopefully it will inspire you even more! If I were hosting this year, here’s what my table would look a little something like:

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{napkins / chargers / plates / greenery / glasses / vase / napkin holders / place cards / runner / candle holders + candles}

Who’s hosting Thanksgiving this year? Is your table ready?!

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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

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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.

10 pictures that will make you want to visit South Africa

South Africa is one of the most naturally diverse countries I have ever been to. The Western Cape offers beaches and mountains, while the inland countryside offers beautiful wine country, while the Southern side offers cliffs and lush forests and the Eastern side offers incredible safaris and animal spotting. With a brief two hour flight you go from million dollar beach front homes in stunning Camps Bay to impoverished villages near the Kruger National Park. Whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly tent camp, a luxurious spa retreat, a mountain camping experience or a food & wine tour, this country has it all. There is so much to do that it is a bit overwhelming. One common denominator among all of the variety though? The people. Oh, the people are just a special kind of wonderful. Especially those who have little to nothing of their own – the kindness, the generosity, the spirituality…it’s something I’ll never forget.

Of course, we couldn’t do it all during our two week vacation to South Africa, but we tried our best! Over the next few weeks I’ll be breaking down our trip into various posts – Cape Town (what to do, eat, drink, hike, etc.), Cape Winelands, Road Trips, Hotel Reviews, Safari specifics and more. But for now I’ll leave you with this – 10 stunning pictures to get your heart racing and your soul excited for what’s to come. Looking at these pictures makes me know one thing for sure – I cannot wait to go back!

10 pictures that will make you want to visit South Africa

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The vineyards of Franschhoek, Cape Winelands

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Female leopard feeding on a Kudu

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Giraffe walking through the bush at sunset

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Enjoying the sunset view from the V & A waterfront in Cape Town

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Enjoying the views of Camps Bay from the side of Table Mountain

 

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A killer view of Lions Head from halfway up Table Mountain

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 In the ice cold Indian Ocean about to go shark diving!

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The adorable penguins of Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town, ZA

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Watching the clouds roll in over Lions Head, with Robben Island in the distance

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Soaking in the view of the 12 Apostles from the peak of Lions Head

Okay…let’s make it 11. This last one is too exciting not to share. Our first animal spotting on our very first game drive!

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Spotting a herd of elephants in Kruger National Park

 

 

Our Wedding, Part 2: Our Vision

Today I’m sharing our wedding vision. We got engaged in December 2016 but didn’t actually pick a wedding venue until February 2017. Why, you might ask? Well, I’ve never been one of those girls who knew exactly when & where I wanted to get married. I always know how I wanted to feel and the vibe I wanted, but that was about all. Terry & I were immediately on the same page about what we wanted for our wedding – a weekend together with our closest friends & families in a place that was special to us. Our #1 goal was to have the weekend feel inclusive to all while keeping it fun, personal and chalk full of love & laughter. That is, in a nut shell, our relationship after all. We love having fun together – we laugh every single day – and we love spending time with loved ones.

After many, many hours of research (and a few site visits), we decided on Saratoga Springs, New York.

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There were a few reasons for this:

For me, this is essentially a Southern town set in the North – it exudes charm, friendliness & that small town vibe I love.

For Terry, this is a town built around horse racing – something he grew up watching and that is very near and dear to his heart.

For us, this was a destination for all our guests – from Georgia to Cali to New Jersey – that was brand new to them. The unknown provided a sense of excitement & wonder and it really allowed us show our guests why we love this city so much.

Fun Fact: One of our first weekend trips away was to Saratoga Springs, NY back in fall of 2015 – Terry introduced me to horse racing and I quickly fell in love with the sport, and with the lovely town of Saratoga Springs, NY.

Over the next five weeks I’ll share more details but here is a little sneak peek of what our weekend entailed…

Thursday Welcome Drinks

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Friday Day at the Track

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Friday night BBQ

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Saturday Wedding + Reception

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View More: http://matthewmoorephotography.pass.us/kozmoralexis-wed-2017

I can’t wait to share more…

 

5 Tips for Working from Home

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Stunning home office via Kelley Nan – definitely Pin-worthy!

As someone who has had a “remote” or “outside sales” job for my entire career, I’ve pretty much mastered the art of working from home. Now, let me be clear – working from home is not for everyone. There are days where I won’t speak to another person for hours upon hours on end (even days sometimes!). Some people really thrive off a collaborative, energetic working environment (at times I miss this). Others need to be able to walk away at 5:00pm and not think about work until the next day (never have I ever been that person).

Given my experience, here are 5 tried & true ways to make your “working from home” experience the absolute best…

Create a space that works for you. It’s important to have an actual desk & chair, not just the sofa or kitchen table. I recently moved my “home office” area from the living area to the guest room and I found myself to be immediately more productive. For me, I enjoy being able to look out the window – seeing the brick building across the street nature keeps me feeling inspired! My desk is not near the television or the general area (in case the hubby comes home mid-day). Additionally, I keep a nice supply of pens, notebooks, etc. so I can truly feel like its my office. Find some home office inspiration/e-designs here, here, here & here.

Stick to a routine, especially when kicking off the day. For example: I wake up and pretty much spend from 7:00-8:00am each morning checking emails, writing blog posts, checking the news & social media, etc. Then at 8:00am, my work starts! Other than a mini-break here and there, I am in work mode from 9-5. I try my best to stick to it.

Make a list every morning. I guess this could help for those in a traditional office environment also but it helps even more so at home where there are SO many distractions. I usually make a list at the end of every day of what I need to accomplish the next day and check things off as I go. And in true OCD fashion, I rewrite the list 100x throughout the day, adding and deleting items. What can I say? I’m a freak.

Schedule breaks throughout the day to keep you sane! Luckily, I have a dog to help with this so I have a built-in morning walk, a midday lunch break & an afternoon walk. During these breaks, I make sure to refill my water bottle, grab a snack or call a friend. I don’t want to make it sound like my days are too regimented (because they usually aren’t) but I like to try to have a plan in order to keep me on track.

Probably the hardest thing to do, yet the most important, is to avoid at home tasks. It’s so tempting to want to throw in a load of laundry or catch up on RHONY (how amazing is this season, btw?!) or unload the dishwasher; however, this quickly leads down a rabbit hole. Next thing you know you’re organizing your entire hall closet and three hours have passed. (#beentheredonethat). It’s important to keep a true work vs home divide so that you can (a) be productive and (b) enjoy being home when you’re “off” work!

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Don’t get distracted by your big, comfy bed calling your name for a mid-day nap!

 

An “Adult” Living Space Under $4,000

When I moved in with my fiancee husband (<– still SO weird to say!), we went through the typical “combining of pieces”. This meant his frat-house looking dark green sofa would be adjacent to my cute, tufted cream colored sofa. The dart board got the boot, but the surfing picture stayed. Compromises were made, but now that we’ve been in the space for well over 12 months, I am o-v-e-r it. As in, every time I walk into the living room & see that damn green sofa I get a serious case of the skeevies. Old stained sofa be gone!

So, we are currently plotting how to redecorate our space while (a) keeping it gender neutral (b) purchasing spaces that we can repurpose in the future and (c) stay within budget. Here’s what I’m thinking:

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Put together by these pieces…

 

Of course, we’ll keep a few art pieces we have (especially this one and these frames with our black & white Paris pictures) as well as my favorite candle, ginger jar & pillow. Add in a few good coffee table books (this, this & this) and we’re done!

{rug | sofa | chairs | lamp | coffee table | mirror | vases}

What are your tips for redecorating a space while staying within budget & gender neutral?! Any amazing pieces out there right now for the living room?!