Blue Dining Room


Happy Friday Folks!

Today I’m sharing a really fun post with you. I was recently inspired by Arhaus with an interesting challenge that I couldn’t refuse. The task? To create a design board based on one of their seven different Color Guide graphics in hopes to inspire others on how to design a dream room around their favorite shades. Since we all know color is key when it comes to design (and I usually choose neutrals!), I thought this would be fun! They provided me with seven color guides:

 

At first, I was tempted to go with black (I still may do another one – bathroom with black walls…could be ah-mazing!) But for this go around, I chose the blue. I consider blue to practically be a neutral (we all know my love for BM’s Hale Navy) and it’s a real calm, serene, gender neutral color that’s versatile in practically any room.

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For some reason, I was drawn to designing a dining room (though I came real close to choosing a master bedroom). Maybe it’s because we’ve been unwrapping gift after gift from Williams-Sonoma and Crate & Barrel and we have no place to put it. Basically, I’m dying to host a dinner party in a new non-existent dining room.

Nonetheless, here’s what I came up with:

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What do you think? I am IN LOVE with it all – the classic chairs & rug, mixed with the abstract art and that KILLER chandlier (I know y’all have seen it before – it’s a show stopper!) Tie it all together with this moody blue wall paint by Farrow & Ball and I just can’t even handle it. Someone let me bring this vision to life in your home please! Check out more dining room furniture here.

{ paint | rug | dining table | chandelier |art | chairs }

Your turn! Which color would you choose? What’s your favorite way to incorporate blue into home design?

Wedding Planning: Highs & Lows

Well, we did it! This past weekend we got married!! Best day of our lives, hands down. I’m still combing through photos (and anxiously awaiting the professional ones, which I know will take some time) so I’m going to hold off on recapping the actual wedding until those come in. So I thought I’d share some wedding planning highs & lows that I experienced over the past 8 months…

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7.22.2017

Before I got engaged, I always heard that wedding planning was one of the most stressful times of your life. I feel very fortunate that I did not have this experience. Now, let me be clear – there were a handful of times that I thought I may lose it. However, the vast majority of the time (like 90%), it was fun and creative and exciting!

HIGHS

This comes as no surprise but we just loved all of the parties – our engagement party, our wedding showers and our bachelor/ette parties. Because we live out of state, it was such a fun excuse to get all of our families & friends together to celebrate us. We were incredibly spoiled by everyone around us and we just appreciate them so much.

Receiving the wedding RSVPs may have been my favorite part. While we had a general idea of who was/wasn’t coming, it was SO fun opening our mailbox & seeing everyone’s cute notes and event selections. It became a nightly ritual for us to open these together and I’ll definitely miss this.

One of the most fun parts of being engaged was definitely registering! We lucked out that Crate & Barrel had a “engaged only” event where they shut down the store, served coffee & breakfast and let us roam around for 2 hours. We got to make mock place settings, try out different appliances, and touch/feel everything. This was SO much fun! Williams-Sonoma has this too (our timing didn’t work) and I can’t recommend this enough. It’s such an easy, fun way to get your fiancee involved in the planning process.

LOWS

One of the hardest parts of planning was for sure the guest list. On one hand, we wanted to invite everyone that we’re friends with; however, we didn’t want a large wedding, nor did we have the budget for it. I can’t stress enough how much it dictates everything – the size of your wedding party, the amount you spend, the vibe of the wedding, the venue you choose…everything is effected by the guest list. Our goal number was 115 and we ended up at 113…right on target!

Let’s be honest…without a doubt, one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding is discussing budget. Regardless of how much money you have/are gifted, you have to be realistic about what you’re comfortable spending. For us, it was important to be objective with our money and try to get the best bang for our buck with every purchase. I wish we had set a budget prior to looking at venues; however, we lucked out that our #1 venue fell within budget. Given that I am a huge saver, not spender….it was really tough for me to spend this money. I can’t tell you how many times we had the conversation of “should we have eloped and saved all this money?” but in the end, it was worth every penny.

Now that we’re finished with the wedding planning & the big day is over (still so hard to believe), I can honestly say that I am really enjoyed being engaged and for us, 8 months was the perfect amount of time. What a fabulous 8 months it was!

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wedding dress shopping

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Engagement photos

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save the dates

What were your highs & lows of wedding planning?!

 

The Power of Built Ins

One of my favorite design elements in any home is built-ins. They are one of the most effective, biggest bang-for-your-buck, practical (and functional) things you can do in your home. They’re so versatile & work in a home office, living space, hallway, bedroom or mudroom. Can you tell I’m a huge built-in fan? I’ve pulled together some inspirational pictures & areas in your home that built-ins can make a huge impact.

Home Office

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Living Room

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Hallway

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Bedroom

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{1/2}

Mudroom

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Who has built-ins? They really are worth the investment, y’all!

Life Lately, Vol. 10

One week today we will be in Saratoga at the race track with all of our family & friends. It’s crazy to think how quickly our 8 month engagement has flown by. Needless to say, the past week has been a total blur – between working in the field (aka outside sales/my day job), crossfit daily, my dress fitting, cooking every night, finalizing numbers with vendors & dealing with last minute details, I can’t believe it’s over. I really need this weekend to slow down because I’ve got a lot to do…

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Reading: I’ve got a LOT of flying coming up in August/September (currently 10 flights, more to come) so snagging up a few good books is a must. I came across this list on Goop, which is pretty good. On my list: Rich & Pretty and Under the Harrow.

Cooking: Super light & veggie heavy! I made this zoodle recipe (sans cheese) for dinner this week & it was delicious. We also made this salmon recipe & I was going to make this arugula recipe but I found a LIVE bug in my Trade Joe’s organic arugula bag & now I’m scared of arugula. It was really gross, y’all. How is a bug still alive & flying around inside a produce bag? Someone help me here…

Shopping: I’m sure you’ve seen every.single.fashion.blogger and their #nsale list….yes, it’s super cliche and while I’m no fashion blogger, this sale is undoubtedly the best of the year. It’s a great time to stock up on some key investment pieces for fall/winter months. In my shopping cart is this pair of workout capris, these leather leggings, this killer black jumpsuit, these perfect fall booties and this jacket (technically not part of the sale but I’ve been eyeing it for years and it’s so necessary in New England!). What’s on your #nsale list?

Coveting: All of the home accessories from McGee & Co! Ugh, I cannot wait to buy a house & decorate the sh*t out of it! Haha, seriously. I’ve been put on a home decor spending freeze for over 6 months now and I’m trying real hard to not purchase anything until we have a more permanent home. We’ve been looking to move for months now so once we finally decide when & where, I’ll be back to shopping. But for now I’m window shopping: this driftwood & these sea glass beads would look perfect on a coffee table, pretty much every single pillow is stunning, would snag this door mat and this rug for my home office.

Obsessing: Over this ADORABLE baby frenchie that my friends at the gym just got! Have you ever seen a cuter puppy? His name is Bron and I am in love. He’s basically Mela in puppy formation. I mean, look at these sweet eyes. Talk about having puppy fever now…

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ICYMI – This Week on SouthEndStyle:

Our Love Story + Wedding Bands

Iceland Part 3: The Blue Lagoon

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!

Iceland Part 3: The Blue Lagoon

We arrived back in Rekjavik around 6pm (read about our day 1 excursion here), grabbed a quick bite at happy hour & then quickly changed into our bathing suits for our 8:00 pm pickup. I wondered if we were too rushed and packed too much into one day, but let me tell you…Blue Lagoon at night is the way to go!

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We booked this transfer via FlyBus which was super easy. They picked us up at 8:30 pm and we arrived at the Blue Lagoon exactly 45 minutes later. As you pull up, the building is very sleek and feels very “of the element”- it’s all built with wood, stone, and moss.

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So, here’s how the Blue Lagoon works:

Step 1: You must buy your tickets ahead of time. This is critical. We bought ours about a week ahead and almost every time slot was sold out.

Hint: Buy the basic entry package. We brought a towel from our hotel & they had free silica face masks everywhere. There’s really no need to buy a more expensive package.

Step 2: They give you a wristband to control your provided locker and for any purchases. I threw my clothes in the locker, rinsed off, grabbed my towel & walked right in.

Hint: Bring either a waterproof phone case or a Go Pro – you’ll want to take pics!

Step 3: Grab a drink, put on a mask and enjoy all that the lagoon has to offer! I must say, the lagoon is much bigger than I was imagining, with rocks, bridges & coves all around. It’s this milky, creamy hot tub feel, sans bubbles. They’ve got a swim up bar, various grottos and coves. It’s super chill and relaxing, though I imagine it may not feel this way if it were crowded. We didn’t partake in the spa or restaurant; however, I heard they’re both very nice.

Hint: Plan to spend at least 2 hours at the lagoon. We could easily have spent another hour or two wandering around and enjoying the amenities.

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We packed up around 11:00 pm and headed out to catch the bus back. We caught the most incredible pink sunset and were back in our beds by 1am. We were so relaxed from the evening that we passed out right away & slept like babies. One last thing to mention (especially you ladies!), your hair is going to be a frazzled mess the next day. I used a lot of their provided conditioner but still had a slimy, dry feeling to it.

Overall the Blue Lagoon is incredible and so worth it! I’ve heard many people say it’s “too touristy” or “overcrowded” but I think that if you go at the right time of you, you’ll be able to enjoy the area as much as we did.

Related Posts:

Iceland Part 1: Golden Circle Tour

Iceland Part 2: Southern Iceland Tour

Below are some unedited pictures from our Go Pro to give you an idea of the size/space:

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Entrance to the huge lagoon

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enjoying a cold brew in the hot lagoon

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silica face masks

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pure relaxation

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heaven 🙂

Our Love Story + Wedding Bands

Today, I’m partnering up with my friends at E.B. Horn to share a bit more about my engagement story, my search for the perfect wedding band & my #1 tip for all you fellas our there when picking the perfect engagement ring.

It’s crazy to think that two weeks from today I’ll be married. A wife, a Mrs, and officially, a Kozmor. It was a short 7 months ago when we got engaged and my how the time has flown by. Many of you already read the details of how the engagement happened, but as we all know, there’s so much more to every love story! You see, there’s this little thing called fate…and let me tell you, I believe in it…

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I moved to Boston in February 2013…smack dab in the middle of winter…with a college friend of mine. We are both born & raised Georgia natives who needed a change of scenery. We were bored with Atlanta, searching for new jobs and ready to see what the world had to offer. When all of the stars aligned in Fall 2012, we found ourselves signing a lease to an apartment (sight unseen) and planning our big move up the East Coast.

I had been dating a guy here in Boston and while he wasn’t the sole reason for my move, he had somewhat of an influence. As most “I’m not moving for you, I swear” relationships go, we quickly crashed & burned within about 12 months of me moving here.

Fast forward six months through your typical break up phases and there I was: 31, single, living on my own for the first time and feeling pretty damn good about life. I had hired a trainer at my local gym and we were kicking butt & taking names. Once day he said to me “you know that guy Terry? He thinks you’re cute and wants me to bring you with me to his housewarming party next weekend”. I think my exact response was “that guy? (pointing at the blonde hair, blue eyed guy across the room) Nah, he’s not my type”. Ha! Well little did I know how my world was about to change. Spoiler alert: I ended up going to the housewarming party with my trainer, Terry & I hit it off, developed a friendship which turned into a first date, and as they say, the rest is history! It’s truly crazy to think of all the little pieces that fell into place that led us to this place. Fate, right?

About 18 months later,  we were living together and talking marriage. Call me crazy, but it’s always been a big fear of mine to be head over heels for someone and have them propose with a ring I hate. I mean, what’s a girl to do?! You can’t say “yes but no to that ring” or “I don’t like that piece of jewelry that you just spent months saving for”. We’ve all seen that SATC where Carrie accidentally finds the hideous ring Aiden’s going to propose with (#yikes).

So, while I am lucky that my now-fiancee has incredible taste, I am even luckier and more grateful that he asked what kind of ring I liked! Guys, I am telling you…my #1 piece of advice, without a doubt, is ask! Ask your girlfriend, ask her sister, ask her best friend, ask her secret Pinterest wedding board (hey, we’ve all been there!). It doesn’t matter who you ask, just ask someone. When you’re spending this kind of money and making this kind of a lifelong commitment, don’t you want to know that she will love the ring?

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Moments after he was down on one knee…admiring my round solitaire with 6 prong basket setting. PERFECTION!

Last week I went down to E.B. Horn in Downtown Crossing and tried on a ton of wedding bands. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to pick the perfect match for my engagement ring! I wanted something contrasting, yet complimentary. Since we travel abroad at least 3-4 times per year (and 10+ times per year domestic), it’s important to me to have a band that I love. When we travel, I’ll be leaving my engagement ring in the safe deposit box and wearing only my band.  I went back & forth with various styles. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Which is your favorite?!

I ended up picking one very similar to the top one on my middle finger. It’s a vintage looking band made up of round diamonds in a milgrain setting. It’s just perfect. Picking my wedding band was a surprisingly emotional experience. It not only symbolizes our eternal love for each other, but also is a ring that I will wear until the day I die that will always remind me of this incredibly special time in our lives. When I think back on the past four years, my mind is just blown. Fate led from me Atlanta to Boston, where I met the love of my life and where, in just two short weeks, we will begin the rest of our lives together. I have never been more ready for anything.

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What’s your #1 piece of ring advice to guys? Who else believes in fate?

A huge thanks to my friends at E.B. Horn. While I received compensation for this post, opinions are my own. They have been an absolute joy to work with and I cannot recommend the company & their jewelery enough.

 

 

Life Lately, Vol. 9

TGIF!! And happy (almost) 4th of July!

There’s nothing I love more than a four day holiday weekend! (except maybe this frenchie in a ball pitthis frenchie in a ball pit…hysterical!)

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Shopping for: our wedding bands! I’ve already got mine picked out (99%) but Terry is still debating between sizes & colors. I’ve partnered with EB Horn to identify band options – stay tuned for more on that after the holiday!

Cooking: all things cauliflower! In an effort to sneak more veggies into my everyday diet, I stumbled across a ton of recipes from Lindsay and let me say – they all look delicious! I’m a big fan of meatless Mondays so I will be trying this real soon. A few that I’m eyeing are the spicy cauliflower burgers, spring detox cauliflower salad & spicy shrimp with cauliflower mash & greens.

Dreaming of: This mezze platter! Holy shiz y’all this looks amazing. I’ve recently been in a mezze plate > cheese plate and making these for all parties.

Finalizing: our wedding events head counts so that we can determine amount of alcohol needed. Y’all, this is no easy task! It’s so hard to determine who drinks what, how many they will have, and for how long. I’ve been relying on drink calculators like this to guide me. Any event/party planners out there who may have some advice on this topic?

ICYMI – This week on South End Style:

6 ways I’m keeping calm with the wedding 30 days away

Iceland: Part 2