Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Playing with Shapes

I think most of us realize that the best designed rooms are often the most interesting rooms. Whether it's varying color, texture, wood tones, or time periods….we are constantly trying to change it up so that a room doesn't feel flat. One of the biggest ways (that often gets overlooked) to do this is to make sure you have different shapes in a room. A while back I started collecting a lot of mid-century pieces (which I still love to this day), but I noticed that aside from there being too much walnut brown in my rooms, things started looking very square. Let me be clear- you can still stick to the same time period (hello tulip table), but I have found that the most interesting rooms do contain a variety of shape. I'm not just talking about adding in a couple round tables (though heaven knows I love them and they do the job). Here are some examples of ways to add interest to a room that perhaps you have overlooked:
At first glance you see the round table, but the curvature in the chairs adds a lot of interest, not to mention the round jute rug.
I'm in love with this round copper sink:
The round edges of the crib paired next to the clean paint line in this nursery is perfection. 
Here you have lighting, plant stands, and a mirror in a long rectangular space
Even the drape of the string lights in this room help to break up the hard lines:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keeping it Minimal in the Home: Natural Cleaning

Today I'm taking a small detour from the usual design posts to talk to you about how I take care of our home. Over the years, I've started integrating more of a natural approach when it comes to cleaning. It started when a friend mentioned making her own laundry detergent- my curiosity was peaked. It appealed to both the minimal and practical sides of me. I loved the idea of buying less products, possibly using things I have lying around the house, and not having to worry about chemicals around my children. I also loved the idea of spending less money on said products. I'm still evolving and learning what does/doesn't work for us, but I thought I would share what things I have found to be easy and effective when it comes to cleaning, in case some of you are interested:

Laundry Soap - 76 oz. Borax, 4lb. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 55oz. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, 3 bars of Fels-Naptha Soap (grated in food processor), 3.5lbs Oxyclean. Mix all together and use 1-2TBSP per load. 
You will notice the smell is very mild- you can add detergent crystals if you want. The recipe can be also found here . This one is SO much easier than it sounds. It lasts me about 7 months and costs only $20. For those curious- I use this on my HE washing machine and it works great.

Furniture Polish- 1 part lemon juice, 1 part vegetable oil. 
This not only polishes my furniture but hides the little scratches that are inevitable after so many years and moves.

Watermarks on furniture- non gel toothpaste. 
I panicked one day when a vase left a large watermark on our credenza and I stumbled across this trick. It worked like a miracle and left no evidence of a stain.

Grease stains- Baking soda.
Baking Soda has a ton of uses, and this is only one of them….but I always have baking soda handy when I cleaning grease stains in the kitchen. Not cleaning related- but baking soda is also the perfect facial exfoliant(just enough grit, but not damaging to skin). I add it to my face wash a couple times a week and my skin feels so good afterwards.

Multipurpose spray or Clean Shower spray- 1 part vinegar, 1 part water. 
I keep a bottle in my shower to spray it down every couple of days so that I don't have to scrub as long or hard when I clean the bathroom. I also use the same spray when I deep clean our shower- I add in baking soda for stubborn spots along with a scrub brush. (Warning: your bathroom will smell like vinegar, so if this bothers you- skip this one!) I bought a 2 gallon bottle of vinegar at Costco for $4!

I would love to hear any tips or tricks that you guys have found!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Home Tour: Claire Zinnecker

I've been a longtime fan of Claire Zinnecker's design. Her spaces are bright and airy with pastels intermixed. She has a unique take on design that is fresh and undecidedly her own, and I love that. When I saw her home tour featured on Domino a while back, I knew I had to share.
I love the leather pulls on the cabinets and couldn't help noticing the blue floor. It really works in this space!
Can we just talk about the copper dishwasher?!!
I've been obsessed with daybeds as of late, and this one is perfection in my book. I love how Claire manages to bring in a lot of pinks without it feeling overwhelming or taking away from the bright and airy feeling. 
There are so many lovely and unique details in this bathroom. 
This gallery wall makes me want to rethink my minimalist tendencies.

Beautiful, yes? You can see more pictures of Claire's home on Domino's site.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Our Balcony- Before and After

When we moved into our home in Boston four months ago, one of the biggest adjustments was trading our large back yard in Indiana for a balcony…..a little of the country mouse in the city saga. And while we love our proximity to the beach and park, we miss having an outdoor space for our family.  Another reason to prioritize the balcony is that I wanted a space for Connor and I to be able to retreat to with a glass of wine after the girls were in bed for the night. So right away, the balcony was the focus of my attention. 

This is the before picture-not too inviting. After sitting on our balcony a couple times and feeling a complete lack of privacy, I decided we needed some lattice. I like that the lattice is just the right height for us to feel a part of the outdoors and our neighborhood but tall enough to make us feel like we have a private space. After going through four bottles of black spray paint and losing feeling in my thumbs, Connor tied a rope around the lattice, lifted it above his head and then threw the rope up to me. I then proceeded to pull the lattice up over the railing. It was a sweaty business. 
These Homecrest chairs were a lucky craigslist find ($40 a piece!) our last weekend in Indianapolis. We literally took a break from packing up our house to go pick up these chairs. It made zero sense, but Connor is the best, and that's all I have to say about that.
 That is actually our old dining room bench (that Connor made). It makes the place cozy and provides seating without taking up a ton of room.
 These Palm Springs style chairs are my first Boston craigslist find. They needed a new coat of spray paint (like the Homecrest chairs), but it was love at first site.  We bought matching cushions for all of the chairs from Home Decorators to create a cohesive look. 
The rug- it was originally in Connor's office in Indiana and since splurging on an outdoor rug wasn't in the budget for us (this is the one I'd get if it was), I'm happy to bring this out every weekend. We keep it next to the balcony door so that way it's not a hastle.

And this is where we plan on spending a lot of time this summer. Cheers!