Monday, May 30, 2016


Alright guys, I apologize I should have done this post over the weekend or Friday.  But, these sales last through tomorrow so I thought it was still worthwhile;).

POTTERY BARN - free shipping and the more you buy, the more you save - use code SAVEMORE

WEST ELM - buy more, save more - use code MEGASALE

SERENA & LILY - 20% off - use code HEREWEGO

CRATE & BARREL - 15% off select full price items - use code SAVE15

JOSS & MAIN - additional 15% off - use code SUMMER16

Happy Shopping!:)

Friday, May 27, 2016


I mentioned this a few posts back, but the husband FINALLY gave me the green light to move forward with our bathroom renovation.  We have one full bath in our house, and it has been in need of some major love since the minute we first walked through this house.  I'm talking lovely, awesome pink and black tiles, a bathtub that is a dingy grey/black (not white;)), faucets that do not work....etc. etc. etc.  Every project teaches me something new, and this project is no exception.  I feel so much more prepared to tackle a bathroom reno after working on planning this one out.  And we haven't even started demo yet;).

First things first - LAYOUT - this is so important.  Spend some time mulling over the layout and how it will work best for your family.  Think about if this is a house you are planning to spend the next 5 - 10 years in, or if this is a house you intend to sell within the next 3 - 5.  The answer to this will somewhat give you guidance on how much money you should be spending, as well as how unique you should get with the layout.  Also consider where the current plumbing and electrical is and where you want it.  Is it possible to move the existing plumbing, and if so, how much is that going to cost.

Second thing - MEASURE - be sure to measure everything out, and do some research to decide what products are out there, and their correlating price.  For example, our bathroom  (or I mean me;)) would love to have a 72"x32" bathtub.  However, after doing some sourcing online, I found out this is a unique size and does not come readily available from most suppliers.  i.e. if you want this - it will be UBER-expensive.  Therefore, we will nix the idea of a having that super long tub, and go with the Lowe's in-stock tub that is 60x32, but only around $500;).

Third thing - BUDGET - create a line by line budget for each item.  For example, here is our budget for our project:

Tub: $700
Tile: $800
Vanity/sink: $500
Electrical fixtures: $500
Shower fixtures: $250
Toilet: $100
Closet: $200
Misc: $250
Misc material from contractor: $750
80 hours of contractor time: $2800

The biggest thing I have learned so far is that the layout is key - as well as knowing what is available within the budget you are working with.  I am good with splurging on certain items, but then you need to make up for it on a different line item.  i.e. I found these to die for sconces that I spent a little more than budget on - BUT, today I was able to grab a smoking deal on a mirror from Restoration Hardware Outlet.

Here are a few of my favorite products I have come across these last few weeks while digging through ideas!

Restoration Hardware
Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn
This rug as 2x3 via Caitlin Wilson

Is there anything you have learned during a bathroom renovation?!  An tips - please leave in comments!;).

ps. Weekend plans?!  I hope you all have a great holiday weekend and day(s) off;).


Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Alright - so I know I promised you all lots of interior design inspiration on this blog.  And I plan to fully deliver this promise.  However, for awhile now I have been thinking it would be fun to throw in some fashion ideas, inspiration, etc. - in the form of some of my favorite outfits and what I wear on a normal day, etc.

Soooo...this is the first of one of those posts;).  I teamed up with my sister Kelly, over at Kelly Leavitt Photography to snap a few shots of myself dressed in one of my favorite summer outfits!  Please know this is a first for me, and I am by no means a model...however, I have to say it was a ton of fun, and I already can't wait to do this again.   Kelly was a blast to work with.

Here goes nothing - lol.  One of my go to summer outfits right now;).

Love the flexibility of this outfit.  I had my wedges on while taking these shots, which was a perfect way to dress it up, however after we were done I threw on my flip flops to pick up Michael and was pretty comfortable, but still felt like I looked good at the Kindergarten pickup today;).  

Obviously we had to throw in a shot with the pup;).  Outfit details are listed below.  My sunglasses are Tory Burch and I bought them from Nordstrom's last year, but I was able to find them for sale at a glasses/contacts shop (linked below) - but just a heads up on that one.


Happy Wednesday friends.  Short week for us over here - Michael's last day of school is Thursday!


Monday, May 23, 2016


For those of you that follow along on my instagram account - you saw my post last week about the to die for tile lesson I learned last week!  For probably the past 6-9 months I have been on a mad tile hunt to find tile that would give me the look in the below picture (i.e. tile that was between 1.25 - 2.5 inches wide and then at least 12 inches long):

image via
I have been looking and looking both online and local tile shops and have come up with nothing.  The closest I got was finding a 2x6 white tile here locally.  We have a white tile floor in our bathroom currently, and we all are bothered by how dirty it always looks...  so I knew that wound't be an option.

In my online search, I kept reading that the only way to achieve a tile similar to the style above - was to cut down a larger piece into these sizes.  However, when I asked a few different people about this - they all said that was not a possibility because you would end up with a raw, unfinished edge, which wouldn't look good - which I completely get.

Well....I had pretty much given up on this, and decided I was going to stop by our local The Tile Shop and pick something else out and be done with this herringbone look.  While I was there one of the sales reps ended up chatting with me, and I was explaining my dilemma about not being able to find what I really wanted.  He asked me what color and tile I liked.  I walked around for a minute and came back with this dark grey/blackish piece that came in a 12x18 size.  He then took me back in the employee's only section - cut down this tile on his wet saw to the size I wanted (2 inch), and then grabbed a piece of stone and 'sanded' down the raw side.  He probably went over the unfinished side about 4 or 5 times with this piece of stone, and bam - it was perfectly finished and smooth!  And I had this:

Ahhh!!!!  I was like a kid on Christmas Day!  I don't think I have ever been this excited about a design item before.  

Here is my new friend Phil - the tile guy:

Here is the larger piece that I picked out:

And here is the look in our existing bathroom (he cut down three for me, and sent me home with the rest of the piece for us to cut down during installation).   The mosaic pattern on the left was going to be for the shower, however, we have since decided on doing a shower/tub combo, so unfortunately I won't have a chance to use those pieces (I think they would have looked awesome up against the floor!).

Lesson learned - you can cut down pretty much any tile you want to achieve the look/style you are wanting.  You just need a piece of stone, which you could buy from any local tile shop, in order to sand down your unfinished edges.  Phil did point me to certain tiles over others, as he said certain ones will cut better on the wet saw.  But, there were still a ton of options to choose from.

This floor is most likely going to be time consuming to cut each individual tile, and then lay - but good thing there is only 40 sq feet;).  Yeah!!!

I couldn't wait to share this with you guys, and I will be sure to do a post later on cutting it, sanding, and then laying it.  I will also take more pics of the stone used to sand it down so I can share that as well.  We are hoping to get this project started in about 3-4 weeks - which is going to be here before you know it - and I still need to pick out the rest of the finishes, now that I have this tile figured out:):).


Friday, May 13, 2016


It is Week 6 of the One Room Challenge - which means it was reveal day!  Have you guys seen any of them yet?!  Wow wow wow, none of these spaces disappointed and all of these designers deserve a large glass of wine, and a comfy spot on the couch.  Six weeks is an extremely quick time to do any kind of home project/makeover/renovation, etc.  Sometimes it takes me six weeks to simply pick out a tile, or color scheme.

That is what makes ORC so good though...the fact that these 20 designers take the lows with the highs, and still turn the lows into highs is straight up talent!  If I was designing a room and had my entire design centered around a rug (for example) that I found out was going to be back ordered at the last minute and couldn't be here for the reveal day - I think I would absolutely loose it, literally.

So, here is my recap.  All of the featured designers delivered to die for projects, I haven't even made it to the guest participants yet!  I would love to feature everything, but below are my favorites and the rooms that stuck out most to me.  Enjoy;).

I always start with Kristin over at Hunted Interior.  She is one of my favorite blogger/designers, and of course she nailed this season!  I am sure you all are aware by now of my current blue obsession....well this bedroom had me drooling alllllll over the place.

Claire at Claire Brody killed it with this living room design!  She included awesome before and afters in her post - which are always super fun to see.  The way she took the curtains all the way up those walls made such a huge statement!  And I love that she chose a white fabric, so gorgeous with the light coming through.  PS. she also said that she will be following up next week with a budget post on costs, etc. of this room;).

Here is Sarah's from The Curated House -  I am dying over these curtains, and that Ashley Woodson Bailey is everything in that space!

Kris from Driven by Decor did an amazing master bedroom makeover, where she installed some super rad lucite closet rods!

Gwen from The Makerista re-did her basement as a man cave and allowed her lucky husband to help contribute in the design process!  To be honest I was a little unsure of how this was going to turn out, given the darker wall color and that it was in a basement - but her reveal photos are SO SO good!!!  That large charcoal art above the sectional had me hunting down that source and trying to order before I was even done reading her post!!  Congrats Gwen!

I couldn't wait to see what Paige from The Pink Clutch was going to do in that living guys - this girl has some serious talent!!  There are so many colors and patterns in this room, but she somehow makes them all jive and look so fun and fresh!  And that rug/carpet is also on my list of "click her source link and find a reason to buy asap"!

Simplified Bee - master bathroom renovation - there are so many details to this space you guys have to go check them out, I couldn't possibly discuss all of them here!  Love how she mixed the metals in this space, as well as different wallpapers.  It really helped define the spaces and make them each special and unique - <insert heart eyes here;)>.  I have been contemplating on ordering those brass Restoration Hardware medicine cabinet mirrors for our own bathroom project and this post might have just sealed the deal for me - love them.

Jill's bedroom project on Jill Sorensen really turned out cool.  I love the mix of strong color tones contrasting together!  I also love how she incorporated both wall sconces and lamps on the nightstands.  So many times when I am in bed at night reading/working on my computer, I wish I had an overhead wall sconce, versus the light coming from the nightstand.  Ummmm and then I thought I was finished and I kept scrolling and landed on her updated bathroom as well!  ahhhh I am in love, seriously - I included a pic below the bedroom pic.

This post wouldn't be complete without Orlando's tree house reveal!

Kevin at Thou Swell finished the ORC as well as is finishing up his last few weeks of high school - what?!  lol - this kid has some serious talent, and I wish I would have been as smart as he is when I was 18...  Seriously, though check out his amazing design!  Love love those patterned curtains!

Waiting on Martha's team office makeover is too perfect for words - so much good stuff happening in that room.

That wraps it up my friends.  There is really so much amazing design inspiration thrown out there from this seasons ORC I can't even write about it all!;) lol.  And I haven't even jumped into the guest participants - I believe the last I saw on Linda's website, there were over 200 guest participants!

Congratulations to all of the designers and bloggers for taking on this crazy awesome task.  The next ORC is in October of this year, and I am slowly working up the guts to be a guest participant...

Here are some of my takeaways from this years designs:

-Don't be afraid to tackle a conjoining space if it flows into the design of your original room
-Design based on you - do what makes you happy and source and use products that truly excite you
-There are no design rules
-We are all human and has much as we try and work hard for a goal, sometimes the final outcome isn't exactly how you had imagined - but stop beating yourself up!
-Don't be so hard on yourself - again design for you and no one is perfect
-Go with your gut
-Lastly, go big or go home;)


Wednesday, May 11, 2016


I think every designer has a set of favorite paint colors that are their go-to's in any situation.  This is a very relieving fact to me, because interior design options seem to be endless, and if you seriously try and examine each and every shade of white you will absolutely, positively drive yourself mad.  I like knowing that some wall shades are staples for a designer, versus bouncing around amongst various shades of whites/blacks/greys/tans....etc etc etc.;).  

While I am certainly not a quote on quote designer, I do love to dance around a paint store like I am one;) - so why not share my favorite shades for all of you! 

White - My go-to is Cloud White by Benjamin Moore.  I use this color for all ceilings, trim work, doors, etc.  I rarely would suggest painting walls with a white - white, however, am not completely against it and have seen it look really nice and open.

Black - Black Satin by Benjamin Moore is my fav black - and the black we used to paint our bedroom walls that were done recently with the Havenly project.  I think it feels like a soft black - it is not a completely in your face black.  

Dark Grey - This is one of my favs!  Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams.  This is my all time favorite color to paint interior doors.  It is a warm and rich grey shade.  I actually debated amongst using this or the Black Satin in my bedroom.  One of the only reasons I went with the Black Satin was because I had never used a true black on a wall before, and had always wanted to;).  So Black Satin it was:).  

Light Grey - Classic Grey by Sherwin Williams.  I have tested and tried tonsssss of other light white/grays and this one is hands down my favorite.  It works in lots and lots of spaces, and really brightens up the room.  It looks very clean and warm.

What are your favorite go-to shades?!  I did not include any color options above, because let's be honest I am too scared of color and need to gradually warm up before I use it in painting;).  Have you used any of these shades before?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Today I wanted to share my favorite ways to prep my house for family in town, dinner parties, etc. - without buying a thing! Typically, when we are wanting to get our house ready for an event, I will sometimes get in a hurry to 'finish' our spaces.  Whether that means buying a rug, changing out pillows, adding art or wall art, changing out lamps, etc.

However, I love when I am able to calm myself down, and just start cleaning.  Having a clean, neat, organized and tidy home will make any house look nice and decorated!  So, the gist of this post is to encourage you to clean and organize your home, before you run out and just buy things.

But then I realized, maybe I am the only crazy person that does this last minute, mad-women Homegoods, Pottery Barn shopping?!  No way...!

Here are my top 10 most effective cleaning habits I do when I am in a crunch to get it done and ready:

1. Take as much as you can off your kitchen countertops - seriously - keep these spaces clean and tidy.  If you must have something on your countertop, keep it organized and simple.

2. This is probably a no brainer, but put everything away.  Make sure nothing is stashed in the corner, underneath that chair, stuffed behind a pillow.  This is one of my hardest tasks as I have a hard time finding homes for everything, and then I just cause a bigger mess...

3. This sort of goes along with #1, but put away any countertop appliance you will not need; i.e. toaster, blender, coffee maker, etc.  Your space will look much cleaner and put together without it cluttered up with appliances.  I always stash my KitchenAid under the sink or in the basement until guest have left and I have cleaned up.

4. Take some Windex and wipe down all of your light fixtures, bulbs, doors.  Basically, anything that has glass and can be Windex'ed, you need to wipe it down.

5. Check for any burnt out light bulbs, replace if need be.  I recently replaced all of my interior lamps and light fixtures with the clear, white light bulbs.  Please make sure your lighting is consistent; if using a yellow tinged light bulb in one space, use again in the other space (but I will always recommend the clear bright white bulbs).

6. If you have stainless steel appliances, use a stainless steel cleaner to wipe it all down.  These can be a little pricey, but so worth it.  They will leave no streaks going down your refrigerator.

7. Wipe down all cabinetry with Pledge or some other type of cleaner.  Mine are wood, so I like to use Pledge Multi-Surface (one of my favorite cleaning products).

8. Arrange (and knife;) all pillows, and possibly add a throw blanket on your couches and or chairs.

9.  Purchase fresh flowers, and have them sitting out strategically around the space you will be using. This is huge!  If I am ever in a time crunch and have barely any time to do anything - this is one of my favorites.  Fresh flowers will give someone something to look at and talk about - versus the dog hair on the floor that I didn't have time to clean up;).

10.  Lastly, vacuum and or wash all of your floors.  If you have wood floors I love to use the pre-mixed Murphy's Oil.  You squirt this down and wipe it up (I use a swiffer).  The Murphy's Oil is awesome, because it will give your entire house this "just cleaned" fresh lemony smell!

What are your go to tips for cleaning a house in preparation for guests?  Do you have any tricks you could share with me?!  Typically our events are very last minute, so quick and efficient is the name of our game.


Thursday, May 5, 2016


Week 5 of the One Room Challenge is here!  Which means this is the final week before the 6th and final week...eekkk!  Below are my favs/recaps/can't stop staring at designs of the week!

1. Claire Brody - ahhh!!  Claire's space is the epitome example of what paint can do to a space.  Check out her progress this week here.

2. Naomi over at Design Manifest - her post this week was as to be expected, scrambling as the end nears.  However, no matter the stress this girl is going through right now, I just know it will turn out amazing this time next week.  But I loved her honesty in the post - this is the real stuff I want to hear;).  This art she has picked out from Minted - ah-mazing folks:

3. Driven by Decor - check out this to die for chair Kris had re-upholstered!  Her decision to have the check pattern turned diagonal is genius, and looks perfect.

4. I am still so anxious to see all of the blues popping up in Kristin from Hunted Interior's design.  I am on such a blue kick right now - those Tonic Living curtains have had me all kinds of excited;).

5. The detail installed this week on My Sweet Savannah is gorgeous!  Can't wait to see it all painted.

6. All of this pink coming from Pencil & Paper Company's guest bedroom is perfect!  I love the matted and gold framed photos above the bed, as well as that blue fabric used on the 2 chairs at the table.

7. You guys have to check out this rug action going on over at The Pink Clutch.  I mean...this rug paired with that colored chair is everything right now!  I am blown away by Paige's design decisions. I would be so scared to do something like this - but she pulls it off, and I can not wait to see the final product.

8. Sketch 42 has some really cool and sentimental art going up that you must see.

9. Gaby from The Vault Files got her wallpaper up this week, and the contrast it has against the black fixtures is amazing.  And she hung herself - I am so impressed!

10.  Waiting on Martha installed these super neat bulletin boards - but honestly, I can not stop staring at those light fixtures.  Which gives me an idea for an outside office project I am working on at the moment;).


design + development by kelly christine studio