Thursday, December 4, 2014

Style Tips For Your Holiday Table Decor

How are you peeps? I know we've become scarce around these parts, but it's for reasons rooted in being blessed with a bounty of design projects.
This of course means we have lots to be thankful for, including the purchase of our new home. Even though we are many, many moons away from completing all the necessary renovation work, we wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving with dinner at our very own table.

This would be a simple affair with just two great friends and my cousin Lisa who visited from Jamaica as our guests. If you follow along on Instagram you'll know that this was the hubby's first attempt at cooking a turkey and he stayed up all night making a special brine for the poor turkey. 

 Let's just say he was pretty pleased with himself, and man oh man you should know it tasted oh so good!  

Anywho, back to some styling tips for your own tablescape. The table setting was an easily pulled together affair. Our dining table is a white tulip table, we have a mix of old and new chairs and this modern banquette bench. My point: no need to shy away from hosting dinner because you don't have a fancy matching dining table and chairs. The more mixed and eclectic the better.

I snagged the napkins and brass napkin holders on clearance at my local West Elm over the summer, and by snagged I mean I raided that clearance bin and really stocked up because they were about $1.50 a piece. 

The Ikat printed placemat is actually a napkin folded to add a punch of color and pattern to the table. Again, no need to panic because you don't have fancy placemats.

So y'all know I'm a lover of all things Target and purchased this sparkly gold Joy sign weeks ago with no plan in mind. I just loved it and I mean, who doesn't want joy sprinkled throughout their lives every freaking day. 

The irony is that I also purchased the gold, black and white pitcher weeks ago, not even knowing it was part of the Oh Joy collection. Joy and Oh Joy? What a perfect match. A round tray by Nate Berkus, candle holder and serpent candle holders also on clearance from West Elm, rounded out my center piece. White hydrangeas from Whole Foods are my go to florals so course they needed to hold court center stage.

Gold and white table runner? Yes please. Also from West Elm. I loved the hammered detail of these gold chargers from Target. And yes I doubled up on the napkins because hmmmm why not? It's your soiree have fun with it, break some rules, or better yet, ignore the rules.

And that's all folks. Our first Thanksgiving in our new home and we had a great time. And yes, we still have leftovers! The hubby really threw down.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

ORC: Week 6 - Home Office Reveal

It's reveal day for the One Room Challenge Linking Soiree, brainchild of blogger Linda of Calling it Home and your girl is over here doing the happy dance!
I drank a lot of wine people, a lot. And with good reason! Who knew a 6 week deadline would cause so much pressure, so many sleepless nights, sheer panic as the thought of not finishing the room seemed very, very real. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I was painting this very space into the wee hours of the night on Sunday. But the truth is I needed this deadline in the worst way to finally, finally complete a room in our new home. Living in a renovation zone for the past five months has been a tad stressful (*no comment please from clients who know this pain all too well!)
Anywho, here's what this office looked like when we purchased our home in May. It was a dining room, but who uses a dining room anyway? So we framed it in and added the pocket doors so it could be completely closed when we needed to work, or open wide if we're entertaining and using it more as a den.

If you're new to this whole soiree, here's how to recap all the moments along this 6 week journey.

Here's my inspiration photo and design board:

I always knew I wanted a deep blue to anchor the office, but chose to do so on the bookcase instead of the walls. I also wanted a fun and playful chandelier and settled on the Mobile chandelier from West Elm since it was more affordable than any urchin light we sourced.
Okay, I'm done talking. 
Let's just take it all in shall we?

It is seriously the office of my dreams. Loads of color cause y'all know I'm a bit of a color addict. Playful enough to remind me to laugh a little at what can sometimes be a very stressful biz, and inviting enough for Xavier to hang out without feeling like he can't get his hands all up in the mix.  

That bookcase was a labor of love. It's the one thing the previous owner left behind and it was headed for the trash pile. I thanked heavens I popped by the house the morning of the closing, and rescued it before it was hauled away. A little paint, a new filing drawer to fill a gaping hole we dished about here, some gold handles and I gotta say she is now the star of the show. I am a lover of real books, and definitely wanted a room where some of my favorite books (yes, we've read most of them) could be celebrated and this book case has definitely allowed that to happen. 

Styling this bookcase was a BEAST. Amanda our intern, tackled the hardest part i.e. loading all them books in place and layering in the accessories. I then edited (yes, lots of books were removed) and tweaked. I think we found a way to balance our love of reading while showcasing little mementos that we love like that Bob Marley figurine, the typewriter gifted to me by my mother in law, plus some new faves like the pink hippo (hooray to Amanda for spotting that at Home Goods) and a globe for Xavier and I to plot our travels around the world (this week he's obsessed with Japan!)

I filled this space next to the bookcase with acrylic wine racks sitting atop floating shelves, a great place to store loads of design magazines.  
Next up, the rug and love seat, arguably the most difficult choices made in this
office transformation. We sourced a gazillion options before crazy moi went gaga for this rug - scored at! I know. Stop the freaking presses right? And this love seat. If you've been following along, you know I wanted this pink love seat but the hubby balked so this stunning tufted blue love seat was the winning choice. I love it to pieces and Xavier happily jumps on it all the time. 
And hello gallery wall! Searched through the rubbles of my renovation to find them lovable lips from Jessica at The Aestate, sprinkled in some of Xavier's artwork and a few favorite quotes that keep me motivated.

This gold dipped little stool from Target was just the little table we needed and will be used as a resting place for sure for a glass of wine or some tea.

I chose a white desk and chair to temper all the colors in the space, a bit of calm in a sea of bold colors. The desk is wide enough to seat two if needed. 

Gotta have a photo of the munchkin close by. And yes, that's a tray! Y'all know I love me some trays to anchor things. 

 These gold wire magazine holders were a great find at Target and have been keeping me organized. Well, at least somewhat organized.
I'm kinda manic about the time. Being late drives me bananas, which is so very non Caribbean like of me!  So a clock in my office is kinda mandatory. And this pin board was another great steal from Target. Such a stylish place to finally pin all my notes, fabric samples and so much more.

Here's a final tidbit. Poor Amanda had to take charge of this photo shoot! We shot photos on Tuesday aka, Xavier's birthday and double aka, election day. Translation: my afternoon was insane! Zipping back and forth to this job site, styling the room, picking up treats for Xavier's party and voting! I called her incessantly to tweak images as she sent em via text, which kinda drove our photographer and jack of all trades, Shaggy, bat shit crazy, so I eventually stopped and left them be to handle it. Methinks it was a great success so hats off to them both for capturing the spirit of this space so well. Eternally grateful.

It's good to now walk through my front door, and peek at this space through these frosted doors, and to sit here now each morning getting a jump start on my day. Thanks a million to Linda for organizing this design fest and for allowing so many of us to participate via the linking soiree. Thanks even more to the NWD team - Debbie, Amanda, Roy and Shaggy, who all chipped in to help to make sure I didn't embarrass the team by not finishing on time. Eternally grateful. A huge thanks as well to all of you for cheering us along these past 6 weeks. It meant the world! Let's go see how everyone else fared.

Source Guide
Nate Settee, Navy Velvet: Houzz I Office Chair: Wayfair | Rug: Walmart I Artwork: The Aestate Xavier Q original, Target, HomeGoods, Etsy | Desk 
Eurostyle Gilow Backert Writing Desk : Wayfair | Throw Pillows: Nate Berkus for Target, HomeGoods, custom leopard print I Lighting: Mobile Chanderlier West Elm I Gold-tipped end table: Target I Desk Lamp: Target I Floor Lamp: Ikea

Thursday, October 30, 2014

ORC: Week 5 - Home Office Dash To The Finish Line

So this is what happens when it's week 5 of the One Room Challenge! Absolute chaos to get to the finish line....
If you're new to this online reality madness, brainchild of Linda of Calling it Home, I decided to do my home office so we could finally have at least one room completed in our new home.
Five weeks later, my office still looks a hot mess, mainly because we have yet to stucco the new window (oh, last week we decided to install hurricane impact windows) add a window sill, finish the molding on the bookcase unit we rescued from the trash heap etc...blah, blah, blah
But how about we celebrate the little things?
Like the fact that my lil man clearly LOVES the new loveseat. Was all over it today when he came home and saw it all assembled. 

Then our amazing intern, Amanda, continues to kick ass and spray painted the loveseat legs and cabinet pulls for the bookcase in gold.

Gold, does a heart good.
She also tried to make sense of the mountain of books we'll have to organize this weekend to style the bookcase. 


Have I mentioned that the hubby and I love real books? I have never read an E-book? Don't judge. Anyway, here's our styling test run.

So loving the blue on those shelves for sure. Kinda makes the books and accessories sing a special note no? 
So peeps, all this means it'll be down to the wire to finish this weekend to repaint the stuccoed wall, hang art, style, shoot then write an award-winning blog post loaded with all the details and fabulous pics. Sounds insane right? It reminds me of my days of being a reporter on a deadline when ya simply had to hit the send key at the 11th hour, regardless of how poetic or not so poetic the prose.
In addition to this and a bounty of projects to install before the holidays, my little man turns three next Tuesday!
He's kinda obsessed with bowling so methinks a bowling soiree is in order. Planning his birthday soiree and finishing this challenge = a crazy weekend ahead. Wish me luck. Anyway, excited to see this office get completed and equally excited to see what all the other peeps have accomplished - insert side eye glare here because I know a few who are already done, done and done.
See ya next week for the big reveal. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ORC Week 4: The Home Office

It's Week 4 of the One Room Challenge Linking Party, the soiree created and hosted by Linda of Calling it Home.
The Good news? Lots of goodies arrived this week including that sexy navy love seat, and a rug so colorful and fun, it made my heart sing. I finally pulled the trigger on a desk and chair and they have both shipped and should arrive by the end of this week. 
I was blown away by the insane art selections and suggestions of Albertina over at Mimosa Lane for her One Room Challenge so I'll get cracking and finalize all the artwork for the office as well by the weekend.

Oh but wait. What's that gaping hole in my office? The not so good news? We finally decided to replace our windows for new impact ones and oh yeah, totally had no clue the removal and replacement of windows could lead to so much dust!!!! The ish was everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Lets just say this poor office currently looks like a war zone.

 But a war zone with shiny new windows. Loving the new windows of course, but I gotta admit that my head is spinning from the mess and the fact that it all needs to be cleaned and styled with under two weeks to go!

Me? Panicked? Of course not. I'll figure it out. I think. I hope! 
Now let's go see how the other folks are doing.  Hopefully no one else has a hole or two in their rooms.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

ORC: Week 3. The Home Office Bookcase Tales

Linda was right. The halfway mark of the One Room Challenge - the online design challenge created by Linda of Calling It Home - is a rough place to be.
I came rolling out with loads of steam on Week 1 and Week 2.
Then kinda sputtered a bit by Week 3.
I mean, I got major things done:
Loveseat ordered and arrived! Yippeee
Rug ordered.
Curtain panels ordered
Desk ordered 
Cabinet pulls purchased. Need to be spray painted.
Throw pillows?In progress. 
Art: In progress
Chandelier. Yikes
Desk chair. Yikes.
*Side note: have I mentioned that I am my worst client ever? Agonized over every single one of those purchases. It was something manic. Seriously. Someone please fire me from myself.
Anyway, I'll need to order the chandelier and a desk chair by this weekend. The latter is the hardest because
A. Should you simply choose a fab chair that will be cute but not very comfy?

B. Choose comfort over style? 

Decisions, decisions. I struggle with this one often with design clients. In the real world, function usually wins.
So the major thing that happened around here this past week, is the making of a much needed drawer/filing cabinet to fill the gaping hole in the existing shelving unit. 
Remember, while we scored this for free from the previous owner of our home, we failed to realize that there would be a gaping hole if we rested the bookcase atop the media system.
I entrusted the help of carpenter Earl aka Mr. Barbados, aka the man who backed his truck over my mailbox. You read right. He was forgiven because the drawers, though unpainted, look great and because my mailman has apparently hated the old mailbox for over 15 years. He in fact knocked on our door to thank us for the new shiny mailbox. Thank you, brother Earl, for that small blessing.
So, back to the lecture at hand.
The new drawers are in place and then I noticed the unthinkable: in my haste to finalize the bookshelf system with Earl, the second drawer we added is now smack dab against my window and very much in the way of my already ordered curtains.
Lord Jesus it's a fire!

What to do? What's a girl to do people? Ditch the extra drawer or turn my fab curtains into a roman shade? IDK. Lemme sip some wine and think it through. Or holla at me and tell me how you'd solve this conundrum. 
Til then, lemme go see what the other ORC participants are up to. Please. Go check em out. The talent is kinda bananas.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

ORC Week 2: Hello Home Office Design Plan.

So it's only Week 2 of the One Room Challenge Linking Party and I am kinda hungover. I'm seriously in a daze, tipsy from just how freaking intense this ORC has been. I mean the pressure is real people.
To be honest, I have been my worst client. Hands down. Just ask my assistants. They'll spin the beans. Just offer them some of that squash soup from Panera Bread and they will sing a song in every tune.
So where are we since last week when we first showed you before pictures of my raggedy home office and this inspiration pic?

OK, love, love this room but as I caution most clients, these photos are for inspiration not duplication. I love the dark walls, but chose to do a dark blue/grey on my bookshelves not my wall. Love the etageres but have chosen to re-purpose an old bookshelf that will be styled just as exquisitely as these etageres. Love the urchin light fixture but they ain't cheap and I think it'd scare Xavier at night. Maybe even moi. *side note, there are 11 decorative urchins scattered throughout these two etageres. hmmm. strange?
While I love the sexy grown up vibe of this office, and even though I fancy myself as grown and sexy, I also have a toddler and want there to be a bit of fun and playfulness in this office, especially since he comes charging in there the minute he walks through the door from daycare. 
So the bold geometric rug will be an ode to my love of color, the need to make a bold statement in a room layered with shades of blue and grey and a nod that the space should not take itself so seriously.
Since the hubby will also use this office, the desk will need to seat two comfortably. 
Speaking of desks, that pretty little piece of white and gold hotness has been stalking my dreams, but it has a price tag that is kinda steep so the jury is still out on that decision. Yes, I clearly need to pull the trigger by next week if I plan to finish this challenge in 6 weeks. Duh.
But let me spill the beans about the biggest scandal to date of this ORC: The Battle of the Loveseats.

 Jeezus weez, who know we would agonize so much over a freaking loveseat (clients, I now forgive you for all the times you dragged your feet, agonizing over the options I sent your way. I truly, truly had no clue how gut wrenching these decisions can be. 
I definitely wanted extra seating in the office but can only fit a love seat no wider than 68" and only 31" deep. That was the main problem. Most loveseats are a standard 34" to 36" deep. Debbie and Amanda voted for the brown tweed with the white piping (too deep and too bulky). I voted for the pink loveseat from CB2 because I'm the only girl in this house and wanted a girly moment in the office. Sigh, the hubby balked. Well, let me be more clear, he gave me the silent glare/zero words. Translation: NO
Now, I've vetoed that stare before, but I sensed over-riding him on this one would have led to some serious marital woes so I kissed my pink dreams goodbye (OK, truthfully it was the perfect depth but at 68" wide, it would have been a tad cramped in the space). Sigh. Sigh. 
In the end, the navy tufted sofa won the battle of the loveseats. It was a super steal at half the price of all the others I'd considered, but I'll likely change the legs to something more fun. That's it folks. A LOT went down this week for sure. Hope everyone else is hanging in there. Lemme go poke around and see how y'all are doing.

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