Monday, August 31, 2015


This summer my sister turned 30, and my parents and I threw her a surprise outdoor garden themed party in my backyard.  We went back and forth over venues quite a bit, but knew all along we wanted something that was unique, and unexpected.  We have done dinners out a million times, and while that would have been great too - we were just really wanting something that would completely blow her away.  This outdoor party did not disappoint.  All of these pics below were taken with my iPhone - so I apologize now!  I wanted to hire my photographer, Ashley to come - but my budget was pretty much blown by the time we got down to the end.

Obviously, my Mom and I immediately took to Pinterest for some inspiration;).  Our main inspiration was the outdoor hanging lights and lanterns.  We wanted lights, and we knew we wanted a lot of them to light up the space when it got dark.  My Mom also had this amazing idea to put camping lights under the cocktail tables.  They looked so cool, and really added a lot of ambience to the space!  I can not wait to use this idea again.  

Here is another pic - it was so pretty!  The pictures really do not do it justice.  The weather was beyond perfect, no wind, clear skies - we could not have asked for a better forecast.   You can see how much light the cocktail tables provided.

This isn't the best picture - but I (my husband) hung a string of lights, ribbon and flowers in between the garage and house in order to close off the space and also to create this nook where the fire pit was on and you could sit down, have a cocktail, and roast marshmallows:).  Michael ended up crashing the party at the end - and made about a dozen s'mores.  He had a blast.

We rented tables, chairs, linens, plates, wine glasses and such from Weinhardt Party Rental here in St. Louis.  They were great to work with - everything came on time and as to be expected.  They even pretty much set everything up, we just directed them where to go.  I will definitely use them again for future events.  

Here is the bar station in the corner.  We opted for tea, water, wine, beer and a signature cocktail (Kel's Kocktail).  Yes we had a ton of booze left over...look at all of those wine glasses - lol.  

My Mom and I are both very much into the black, white, tan and cream shades.  So we went with white linens, black chairs, black napkins, and then we used burlap runners for the tables.  Weinhardt has these light tan/wooden chairs we originally wanted, however, they were all sold out on our date - so black it was.  These burlap runners were the ones we used at my wedding, so I loved that we were able to use re-use them for this occasion as well.  My Mom also brought with her a ton of framed photos of my sister and we used these to place on the dinner tables, as well as the cocktail and food tables.  I think all of her friends enjoyed walking around looking at these before it got dark out.   

I would have to say the hardest part of the event for me, was trying to guess what the weather was going to do.  Kelly's birthday is in May so it was hit or miss here in STL what was going to happen weather wise.  The Monday before her party, the forecast changed to a 70% chance of rain.  Obviously, I freaked out and called about 5 rental companies in order to reserve a tent.  I found one - and negotiated a really good deal too - however, the morning of it was sunny and 0% chance of rain; so we nixed the tent.  While my Mom and I initially really liked the idea of the tent, we didn't want to take away from the naturalness of it all.  One of the best parts of the party was feeling like you were outside under the lights.  I was worried you would lose a piece of that if we had the tent up.  

My sister and I after she was completely shocked and surprised by the party!  I love you Kelly - and I hope you have an amazing year being 30!xo

Putting together this party was a dream come true for me.  I had a blast working with both of my parents on this.  It is something that I will always remember, and I know my sister will too.



Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I have exciting news!!!  Our kitchen/dining room renovation is featured in the Town & Style's Design of the Month for August!
Photo credit: A Family Affair Photography

Below are two before pics of this space from pretty close to the same angle.  We tore down that wall on the right (behind that large hutch) that separated the two rooms and combined into one unified space.  

One of the best decisions we did when we decided to do this project was to hire a professional to come over and measure out the space and build a layout for us.  We knew we wanted to have our Amish friends build all of the cabinetry, so it was really challenging to find a company that would work with us only on the layout - knowing we would not be purchasing any of the cabinetry from them.  I probably called 20 companies in the STL area, and no one would do this.  Until I talked with Scott Mecey with Cabinetry by Design.  Scott was willing to take on the project and draft up the drawings and measurements we needed.  He was great to work with, and offered really functional suggestions on layout, sink, island and cabinet placement.  He has since worked with a few of our friends in the neighborhood on their kitchens - all turned out beautiful and had good experiences!  

I am so excited and honored our design could be featured in the mag - go check it out if you have a chance!


Sunday, August 23, 2015


It is Sunday, and I am already dreading the work week ahead... I wish I could just design my week away and paint, diy, and stage all over my house.  My husband and I remodeled our kitchen and dining room when we first moved into our current home.  It was a crazy and intense project - I was 8 months pregnant with our second, our first had just started a new school, we were both working full-time and GC'd the entire project ourselves.  Mike and I crack a divorce joke whenever we talk about the project to anyone, and while we laugh about it now, we certainly were not laughing then.  It was h e l l...  As the project neared completion there were a few decisions made out of haste, as well as a very tight budget.  So I am always daydreaming of our possible next kitchen project and what I would do next time.  This is my love for design coming out...I love our kitchen, however, just want to do more and do it again.

This was the inspiration photo for our kitchen.  The Calacatta Gold Marble was a huge wish list item for me.  Unfortunately, it is much harder to find, and therefore much more expensive than Carrara time;).  The Hicks lights...ahhhh.... again next time.

This is another favorite of mine.  I love the uniqueness of the pieces here.  I would bet each piece has it's own story - and that is the kind of decorating I strive to attain with each of my projects.

I love love this chalk wall from Kristin at Hunted Interior.  I loved it so much - I did a mini version in my own kitchen.

Here is my own chalkboard version:

The marble in this design is pretty much everything.

image found via pinterest
This photo is just perfect in so many ways.  The open shelving, gold hardware, dark cabinets and the butcher block tops all jive in an industrial, chic way.

I was really pulling for the open shelving in our kitchen.  However, to be honest, I just didn't have the guts to go through with it more than a few in our corner that you can see in the above chalkboard pic.  Again next time...;).  Here is a beautiful open shelving concept.


Hope you all have a wonderful start to your week!


Thursday, August 20, 2015


The weather here the past few days has been absolutely gorgeous!  This morning it was in the mid 60's and sunny when I walked Michael to school, and then upper 70's and sunny in the afternoon when I picked him up.  There is that crisp, cool feeling in the air and I love it.  It definitely has me in the fall mood.

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, and I absolutely love all of the gaudy pumpkins, skeletons, witches, spider webs, etc... I look forward to decorating for Halloween all year long.  Probably my favorite space to decorate, and the one I spend the most time on - is my front door.  My husband hates hates me every year at this time, because one of my favorite decorating items to use at the front door are the bales of hay.  Last year I came home with three of them...they made a mess of my car and driveway - but screamed "fall", and set the stage for the pumpkins and lanterns.  I have to admit, last year I did tell him I would never buy the hay again - it sucks after it has been sitting out in the weather for a month or so, and soaks in all of that rain water...they are SO heavy to move.  Oh well - I am so buying them again!

Probably my all time favorite fall door inspiration is this photo from Pottery Barn.  It is the ultimate front door decor for this time of the year.  I just love that leaf garland around the door....ahhhh.....


I also die over this one from Martha Stewart.  Do you think they dyed those leaves to match...?;).


Really love the muted tones in this set up.  It all complements the door and house colors so well.


This one is simple, yet still makes a statement with the matching colored mums.  


Here is another Pottery Barn classic....classic....classic....only words I have for this - oh and gorgeous.


This last one is so polished, and pretty.  I love how the black door compliments the orange and reds, as well as the brown tones from the stalks on either side of the door.  Stalks are another favorite of mine.


I am hoping this weekend I can have some time to start my fall shopping...can not wait.   

Please share your fall front door decor with me using the hashtag #glgbeautifulhome on IG - I will post photos of anything good I find while searching:).


Monday, August 17, 2015


We all know how expensive it can be when decorating your home.  One of the largest aspects of any interior design project should be a budget, and managing expectations with costs.  While I know there are those projects out there that have no budget (umm... amazing;)) - I do know these are few and far between.  Whether you have a small budget, or one that is a little more expansive -  you still have a budget, and it's important to try and stick to this in order to feel comfortable and content with the end result.  i.e. You don't want to walk into your living room a 100 times a day questioning why you spent $1500 on that rug?! lol - miserable!  Trust me - I have done it.  Not the exact same example mentioned, but similar situation.  It will eat me up until I can't take it, and no longer even want the piece.  This is probably why I have buyers remorse when I make big purchases.

If you have been following along, you know I am still working on my back family living room.  I finally decided that I wanted to get 2 small round coffee tables to use in front of the sectional, versus one large table.  Because we do not have a ton of room from the front of the sectional to the other side of the room, I can not fit a larger rectangle, square, or even circular coffee table.  I also opted for the 2 small round tables, b/c I thought it would be nice to be able to move them around depending on where you are sitting at on the couch.  I found these at West Elm, and thought they would be perfect. At $199 each I thought 2 of them would be a tad on the high end of what I had in mind, but it wasn't out of the question at all.

Then... last Friday, I ran up to World Market to browse through what they had - and spotted these!

At first I was really excited about the larger one, and thought I should get that one...I am still wondering if I would have liked it?  However, I was able to snag an amazing deal on 2 of the smaller ones - so I went with my original thought.  The smaller ones were priced at $119.99, so already ~$80 lower than West Elm (bonus) and...they only had one in the back.  Which meant I had to purchase the one on the floor (score!).  It was slightly damaged at the bottom; nothing that would be a deal breaker for me - so they sold to me for only $60.  I also had a 15% off coupon, which brought my total for both of these to less than I would have paid for one at West Elm.

I am waiting to share final pics of the room once it's closer to being complete, but I think they look great.  Mike and the kids love being able to move them around.  

I would love to have this be the start to a new series here at GLG: "This and That".  The series would be to share some of the items I find for prices lower than other retail stores - for the same thing...or pretty darn close to.  I also wanted to share this story, to reiterate that there are reasonable priced options out there - you just have to be willing to dig a little bit - and ask for a discount on items you believe warrant one.

I can't wait to share the rest of my finds at World Market in a post later this week.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Crazy Week!

This week has been the craziest!!  I know this blog is supposed to be centered on interior design, however, it is still a blog and I thought I would share some of my crazies for the week - as I am sure a lot of you can relate with school starting.  Here are a few of my thoughts for the week:

1.  Michael started kindergarten this week!  We are so lucky that his school is in our neighborhood and we are able to walk him to and from each day.  It is so fun seeing all of his friends, and they have the best time walking home together acting crazy and just joking about things they did during the day.  It seems like it is a bit of a release for them.  Here are my two kiddos on the front porch getting ready to head over on the first day. is what I got to do on the first day of school.

That's right - Mommy playdate - pool style.  In celebration of the kiddos starting school, I joined a few other Mom's at the pool for cocktails and good conversations;).  I didn't want it to end!...ahhh...

2.  There is a lot of prep work when it comes to Kindergarten.  All of the forms, the volunteering (which I have totally signed up to be a room parent), the permission slips, the schedule, the lunch's, the backpacks, the outfits, etc...  You really have to be on your toes in regards to the whole lunch deal - you can not pack the same thing twice and don't you even try and put what was leftover one day in the next day.  According to Michael - "I can not do that Mom!" lol.

3.  Michael's social calendar is filling up rapidly.  Now that we are walking home from school with other friends, it is too hard to say goodbye - so now Michael wants to do playdates after school as well.  I thought for sure he would be exhausted and ready to just come home - have some orange juice - and chill on the couch...nope!  However, I do have to say I love listening to those kids when they get together and play; especially when they do not think you are listening.  The games they come up with to play are hilarious and very creative.  

4.  My house is a complete disaster - we are considering being out of town this weekend - and my laundry pile is getting a little scary.  I'm hoping work is slow tomorrow so I can work on this house, and prep for the weekend.

5.  I am still trying to wrap up my back room renovation.  All of the major items are done, however, I still have the details to iron out.  When the addition was added on by the previous owners, they did not do can lighting, so lighting back there is huge.  At least two large floor lamps are needed to provide adequate lighting.  I purchased this lamp from Pottery Barn (in the bronze finish) a few weeks ago, however, it has turned out to be too small.

I really think I need something that is more of a statement piece - possibly something like this.  And it is on sale right now!!!  Exciting!  I might have to go buy this one this weekend.

 6.  I also am still searching for wall art behind the sectional as well as a coffee table and end tables.  I am considering ordering two of these from West Elm to use as coffee tables. Because the sectional is so large, I think it would be helpful to be able to move the tables around depending on where you are sitting.

While that is probably not all of the craziness - I will stop there:).  TGIF!

Thanks for reading!xo

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mood Board Time: Toddler Boy Room

I love creating spaces for the little ones...especially the toddler ages.  I have a weird OCD trait where I actually enjoy organizing all of Michael's cars, stuffed animals, trains, books, etc.  His books are color coordinated by the color of their spine, all stuffed animals go in the stuffed animal bin, all of the games go in the games bin, all of the legos go in the lego bin...and so on;).  I love doing this so much that after Michael has a playdate, I ask the parents to not have their kids clean up - I want to be the one that gets to put everything away - and ensure it gets put in the right spot.  It makes me all scatter brained when I walk into a kids space and the toys are all commingled.  How do they ever find the missing Go Fish card if they don't have a game bin - or the ambulance hot wheel car without a car bin?!

A friend of mine asked me if I had any ideas on headboard options for her 2 year old son's transition to his big boy bed (she already bought this gorgeous bedding from Restoration Hardware).  Well... while searching for headboards - I had to put together this adorable board to give me an entire picture of what was going through my head.  This board doesn't have too many storage options - however, this lucky little boy already has some pretty amazing white furniture that he will be able to transition into this room.

J Room

What do you all think?  What are you thoughts on headboard options for a little one's first big girl/big boy bed?


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lighting Details Cont'd

A few days ago I shared some lighting guidelines from Circa Lighting.  Circa is a leader in the industry in lighting and these standard lighting measurements are something I am definitely going to keep in my back pocket for the next project.  As promised - below is the final segment for dining room lighting.


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Friday, August 7, 2015

Fashion Friday: Target

Hi!  Okay I know I owe you all the remainder of my lighting post...and I promise it will be coming in the next day or so.  However, Mike and I booked a really last minute vaca for the fam so we have been in sunny Captiva since Wednesday:).  The weather has been perfect, we haven't had any sunburns yet...and Gwen has only had maybe one or two meltdowns a day;) - I call that a successful trip so far.

For todays post I wanted to do something focused on fashion versus interiors.  I had zero time to do much shopping since we booked so last minute - not to mention kids, work, life, etc.  on top.  However, I did a Target run to grab sunscreen, beach toys, snacks, everything else we needed, and while I was there I bought a few things for myself for the trip.  I have to say I was so surprised by the quality of some of the clothes there.  I mean I know we all love Target, but I guess I was surprised to find that many cute items.

I bought 2 pairs of jeans shorts that fit perfect, 2 tanks, a super cute kimono like loose jacket, a white beach hat - that was only $14.99 by the way;), and a pair of black slip on sandals that were on sale for $13.98.  I wore one of the jean shorts, a tank, the black sandals and the white hat on the plane ride here, and while I was looking in the mirror realized I was decked out in Target apparel, lol.  I am not embarrassed!  The outfit was perfect for the travel day and I felt like it looked really good - and for the money I spent on it...even better.

I put together some of the items I found, and some more of my favorites below.  Like I needed more reasons to love Target;).

Here is a pic of Gwen and on the plane - decked out in my Target gear;)

Anyone have exciting weekend plans?!



design + development by kelly christine studio