It’s that time of year. Yippee. Whether you decorate your whole house or just a room, holiday decorations should be fun and no stress. If you’re stressed out, you’re doing it wrong. 😉
Follow these 3 easy steps and sit back and enjoy.
I love traditional Christmas plaid and tartan decorations. Think Ralph Lauren in Connecticut on Christmas morning. Having this base to refer to makes shopping easy. But it’s not about me, it’s about you. What do YOU like? All white? Modern? Country? Pick a theme and go with it.
Here are my favorite picks for this year.
Now that you have a signature look, vary it slightly from room to room. I mix different tartans and plaids in different areas. More formal rooms get silver champagne buckets holding mini trees with tartan ribbon. Kids areas get buckets holding trees, tartan blankets and shams. Keeping the same thread running throughout keeps everything working together.
This is not the time for subtlety. Your house is only going to be decorated for a month, max. Pull out all the stops and enjoy. It will be gone before you know it.
Now that we have a few guidelines, let’s see some inspiration images in my favorite look. Several are from my home. Enjoy! Sources and buying info at the bottom.
Here’s a couple handy graphics for your Pinterest boards with links below!
We’ve been working on our new home for what feels like a lifetime, but we’re SO CLOSE to the finishing line I can smell it. 🙂 We’re just wrapping up selections and it’s time to look at lighting. Yippee! Lighting can make or break a space and there are just so many good things out there nowadays. So how do you choose lighting throughout a home? Let’s walk through the process together!
*If you’re just joining us, this is another installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home. So far we’ve tackled:
When it’s time to make selections, I like to start by looking back at any inspirational images I’ve collected. This has been my go-to board and although it doesn’t show lighting in particular, it shows the overall theme and look for the home. It’s always nice to remind yourself, so you don’t get off track.
Next, look at the interiors you love or have pinned on Pinterest, then notice more of the lighting fixtures that have been used, to start narrowing down what you do and don’t like. There’s some sort of consistent theme, I would bet.
You can dive into my blackhole of Pins for this house here.
Then, dive in little further and start noticing actual fixtures you like. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all things Hudson Valley, so I immediately went to their Pinterest boards to see what they had. The had a board that seemed like it was made just for me! East Coast Inspo? Yes, please.
So from these inspirational images I have previously saved, I narrowed down the following points:
Selecting a whole houseful of lighting at once can seem overwhelming. You don’t want to get a “set” that all matches…I mean we’re better than that, right? But, you also don’t want it to look like a mess of things that has no correlation. There’s a fine line and I like to walk it!
So here’s a round up of the light fixtures I’ve chosen for each key room. I can’t wait to see them in the actual space!
This was my feature. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this classic polished nickel pendant. It looks good everywhere, every time!
Here’s a reminder of the overall floor plan, with the living room.
I wanted to make a feature of the lighting above the island, whilst making it practical and providing a good amount of task lighting for food preparation.
As I’ve mentioned before, a feature chandelier above the bathtub in the master bathroom is an absolute must!! This fixture actually differs in finish from the vanity wall lights because I wanted to emphasize that this is a feature. I also absolutely love it, so why not? Following my own advice, I started here then worked to support it.
My daughter loved this from the start, so we worked off of it.
For her bathroom, I have gone with a similar design to the bedroom light to keep it consistent throughout these two spaces.
I wanted something “snazzy” here, as I work from my home office and open a lot of time here.
This bath is going to be all dark navy blue and very “moody”. I wanted something bold, but clean to compliment the look I have in mind. I love this
We decided on a flush mount ceiling fixture for the Pool Bath. This bath will have some crazy busy wallpaper and I din’t want to fight it. This is clean, simple and rich looking…a perfect complement.
From the inspirational images I have gathered over the years leading up to this project, I settled on using these two lanterns from Hudson Valley Lighting…
So here it is! The final selection of decorative lighting for the new house below! I am so in love with how they all look and work well together!
What do you think? Do you love these as much as I do? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.
*This post was sponsored by Hudson Valley Lighting, but all opinions are mine, I promise. 🙂
Do you ever see a picture that just stops you in your tracks…like, literally? A few years ago a came across Mark D. Sikes’ work on Pinterest and quickly became obsessed. Classic blue and white…but not prissy or boring. Black pieces mixed in…but not heavy. Stripes sat alongside gorgeous Chinoiserie wallpapers. It’s perfection.
I couldn’t get enough and I began scouring his website and analyzing his rooms. I researched the pieces he used and quickly realized he had beautiful lines of furniture and accessories with several companies. So, then I researched those. Rugs, yes. Furniture, yes. Accessories, lights, you name it. I was obsessed! He’s lucky I didn’t fly to California and visit him in person. Just kidding, well sort of.
Then I hit the mother load…he wrote a book! A book! 185 pages of beautiful rooms and endless inspiration. It quickly became my go to and the wear and tear on the book is proof of that. 🙂
I recently found out he is writing a second book, due to come out in September. I am literally counting down the days!
So, in honor of that, let’s take a look at some of my favorite rooms and vignettes from Mark D. Sikes. All photos are from his AMAZING website.
What do you think? Do you love Mark Sikes as much as I do?
How do you begin designing a dream bathroom? I like to start with the tub! There’s really nothing more dramatic than a gorgeous free-standing piece of art, that also happens to double as a bathtub. With so many beautiful tubs available, how do you choose? Let’s walk through the process together!
When it was time to start thinking about my personal bathroom, I knew I had to start with the tub and I knew I had to start with the absolute best tubs…MTI. They make the most beautiful, sculptural tubs you see time and time again while thumbing through design magazines. I was lucky enough to score an invite to MTI’s factory, just outside Atlanta, and let me sum it up in one word…amazing! The people couldn’t be nicer and the factory couldn’t be cooler. It ran with precision and I got an in depth tour of what they make and how they make it. Let’s take a look!
Basically, they make three different types of tubs…acrylic, mineral composite and a solid material called SculptureStone. All three are gorgeous and I quickly saw the differences. Watching these tubs being made was FASCINATING!
To form an acrylic tub, they start with a sheet of acrylic and form it over a mold. Because they are hand-making each one, you can add a ton of cool options… air baths, whirlpool jets, lights (chromatherapy), aromatherapy…you name it! The result is a custom tub with a beautiful sleek and shiny finish. Classic and gorgeous!
This solid material is really like artwork. Liquid is poured into a mold and cured to create a SOLID piece of sculpture that also happens to be a tub! You can outfit it with an air bath or keep it as a soaking tub. Each tub is then hand sanded into a matte or glossy finish. Hand sanded! The matte finish takes 4 solid hours and the shiny 8…unbelievable.
I narrowed down my options to the following 3 tubs for my personal Master Bath; The Juliet, The Elise and The Parisian.
Then I photoshopped them into my room to get a sense of the scale.
I love all three, I really do. Honestly, you can’t go wrong here.
I decided to go with the classic Elise tub. It’s timeless, stunning and really a work of art. I added an air bubbler system and went with the glossy finish. I can’t WAIT to see it in!
But wait, I have 2 kids that probably want a bathtub too! Ahh! With all the excitement about my tub, I almost forgot about them! I actually have 5 kids, but 3 of them are on their own and can buy their own damn bathtubs! 🙂
I found one tub that would work for both kids, then customized it differently to suit them.
Now to add all of the fun options!
My teen daughter would love ALL of the bells and whistles…Bluetooth speakers built-in, Chromatherapy and an Air Bath. She’ll love it!
My five year old little boy would do just fine with no bath, ever, so we’ll keep his simple with an air bubbler system. MTI makes it super easy to customize the tubs for each person
The tubs started to arrive and they are STUNNING! They are made to order, right here in the USA. I can’t wait to see them installed. Stay tuned!
So, what do you think? Did I choose the right one? What would you have selected?
Note: This post is sponsored by MTI Baths. All of the opinions are mine, I promise.
If you’ve been in the market for plumbing fixtures lately, you’ve likely seen the newest and most beautiful finish out…”Luxe Gold” by Brizo. It will stop you in your tracks! See below for the Cheat Sheet with links.
It stands out in a sea of Brushed Nickel, Chrome, Oil Rubbed Bronze and (now) Matte Black. It’s the perfect warm-gold. It’s not bright brass from the 80s, not even close. They have everything you need for your Kitchen or Bath.
So, let’s say you’ve decided to use this lovely combination in your home. Amazing! But… you need some things to coordinate with it. Knobs…lights…mirrors… What goes with this gorgeous finish? Brizo makes a few things to coordinate but not much….like one light…seriously.
You can MIX the finish with other finishes…maybe matte black? That’s a valid option. But, let’s look at what will actually coordinate with Luxe Gold from other brands. Here are a few of my favorites. Don’t worry, all the links are down below at the bottom of the post.
Before we dive into each of these items above( links are below) let’s address a mistake I almost made.
No…no they’re not.
So let’s breakdown that Cheat Sheet. Scroll down for the all the links below!
Probably the most important item to coordinate…
Just kidding, please don’t do that!
So now we have a BUNCH of options to coordinate with the amazing Brizo Luxe Gold line. Here is a handy dandy Cheat Sheet for you, with links, along with one perfectly formatted for your Pinterest page.
Pin this one to Pinterest!
So, what do you think? Will you try this new finish? I am!
We’ve been plugging away with construction of our new home and are definitely making progress! Lots of “construction-y” items like sheetrock, plaster, roofing, etc. has been covered, but nothing “fun”. Until now! FINALLY, it’s time to start thinking about a design item…hardwood flooring! Yippee! It’s a major decision and I’m excited to make it.
Truth be told, I love real, authentic hardwood flooring. It makes me so happy….whenever I can use it, I do. It beats laminate, carpet, and luxury vinyl every time. There’s something really warm and cozy about walking on hardwood floors. Growing up in Miami, it certainly wasn’t something I saw a lot of. But moving to northern Florida opened up a whole new world to me. Fireplaces…real hardwood floors…brick..what are these things!? I loved them all and couldn’t get enough.
So, with that being said, hardwood flooring was definitely on tap for my new home. Let’s dive into the selection process, step by step. How exciting!
Just as much as I knew I wanted to use real wood throughout my home, I also knew where I wanted to get it from…Shaw Floors. Hands down, Shaw Floors is the go to in my book. They lead the design field in fresh, new introductions and have a quality that’s unmatched. Clients love them and so do I.
I was lucky enough to score an invitation to Shaw Floors Headquarters in Dalton, Georgia, which I was tickled pink about. I happily drove myself up there to see, firsthand, what they had. Talk about a dream day.
The team welcomed me with open arms and showed me all around. Good grief, they have some beautiful things! Carpet, tile/stone, luxury vinyl, hardwood…you name it. All beautiful, but I had my heart set on hardwood.
I was introduced to their brand new premium line of hardwood from The Gallery collection, which you can see here. The style in this image is Expressions, which is unbelievably gorgeous. It’s a white oak product, which is completely on trend, and comes in 10 great colors. I loved it.
With dreams of Expressions in Harmony racing in my head, I then came across another beautiful style in The Gallery collection. Ohh…now this is what I had in mind. Oak-y, grainy, traditional hardwood floor that would “ground” my white cabinets, walls and trim. A classic that would never go out of style.
This style is called Castlewood Oak and is absolutely stunning! Two colors quickly jumped out as contenders: Drawbridge and Arrow. Both feature traditional dark wood with a grayish glaze.
Well, now I don’t know what to do!? I love all three of these. To remind myself of my direction and vision for the home, I pulled out my trusty inspiration board. What would look best with this? Honestly, all three work and work really well.
I knew I wouldn’t make the decision right there and would want some time to think about it. I gathered samples and took them home to ponder. Three seems like a good, workable number to choose from and is often the amount I would advise for a client.
I also thought I’d dig around a little and see how they look online, in a large space. Shaw Floors website is great for that! You can see how it looks “down” on the floor via their new Floorvana + virtual tool where you can view different flooring options in your home! Again, reminding myself what I tell clients…don’t just look at it head on, look at it “down” on the floor.
I poked around their site and compared the three finalists.
Going back to the site, I compared and contrasted the technical specs of the hardwoods. Shaw has a handy, dandy chart that makes it easy. I dove in to see if there were any glaring differences between the two styles (two of the contenders are the same collection) which might make it easier.
Ok, here we go…
Soooo…now what? How do you decide between three things you love?
Yet again, I reminded myself of what I tell clients. I always ask, “What’s going ON it?” What I’m basically asking is, what type of things will you be putting ON the surface? Contrast always looks good and keeps things interesting. Dark or dark on dark is depressing. Light on light on light is boring, in my humble opinion. So, let’s stop and think…what will go on top of this? I think this really helps you make a decision.
For my personal home I envisioned white…light…clean…fresh…beautiful things ON this floor. Looking back at the inspiration board, I really liked the idea of all of this fresh looking decor in a rich, dark, grounded space. Would it look good on the lighter Expressions in Harmony? Of course! But what I really had in mind for the space was a classic Hamptons traditional look and I just feel like the darker floor gives it just that.
I excitedly ordered my hardwood flooring and counted the day until it came. Let me tell you, it’s even more striking in person. I LOVE it and can’t wait to see it all down. I convinced my General Contractor (husband) to get started on it, even before we typically would during a project, so I could see it down. A-ma-zing!
My take away here is that I LOVE my new Shaw Floors hardwood, like I’m in love with it. I’m happy I went with my gut and selected classic dark hardwood. It looks amazing and the project is really starting to come together! We will follow the installation and have more updates, along with a final reveal, soon! Stick with us and follow the whole blog series here.
Keep this info for yourself and Pin it with this cute little Pin. You never know when you’re going to need it!
Note: This post is sponsored by Shaw Floors. All of the opinions are mine, I promise.
Next up in our Dream Home series, we are covering paint. Let’s be really real…paint is hard…especially when it’s for yourself! So many choices, so little time. After hemming and hawing for weeks and having a long, hard talk with myself…it was time to make a decision. I rolled my sleeves up and put up some samples. Then a few more. Then a few more. Let’s walk through it together and see what we ultimately decided on!
*If you’re just joining us, this is the eighth installment of a year long series documenting the building of our personal dream home. So far we’ve tackled:
I headed over to my favorite Sherwin Williams store and purchased little sample quarts of the colors. Rather than put them up on the wall only, I like to make poster boards that can easily be moved around. Different rooms obviously show the colors differently, but so do the walls in the same room.
More information is always better! I painted the same samples on the wall to see what that looks like.
starting from top left to right, then bottom left to right
So, now I’m starting to see a few favorites. Let’s dive in a little deeper to those. I really like Classic Gray (which in my humble opinion isn’t gray, like at all) so I painted an entire corner out in it and added the flooring selection (which is GORGEOUS) and the cabinet and tile colors. It’s looking good!
I must mention that, at this point, I had an epiphany. Really. I’ve been using this little system of sample boards, wall samples, then bigger wall samples for 20 years and noticed something. Something bad. The little cans only come in a satin finish. Your actual paint for the room can come in several finishes and you likely won’t be using satin for your walls. I almost always use Matte or Flat. The two finishes of the same color look DRASTICALLY different. This photo shows samples of the same color, made on the same day at the same store, but because of their finishes, they look very different. I actually created an entire blog post about it here.
What did we ultimately decide on? Classic Gray, which I don’t believe to be gray at all. It’s the perfect warm neutral. It’s very light, which will be new to us in our personal home, but is just what I want. The white cabinet door contrasts with it nicely, which is perfect! A little tip is that I typically color match the white cabinet for the trim throughout. This is going to be perfect!
We decided to go with Sherwin Williams Duration paint in the Flat finish. It is perfect!
Thanks for following along in the process of building our dream home. Catch up on the series here or visit any of the previous posts directly below.
We had the pleasure of working with a fun Gainesville family to renovate their entire Kitchen, Dining & Family Room a few years ago and now we’ve been called back in to redo their Kids’ Bath. This bathroom is a workhorse of the home, serving two (beyond adorable) kids and visiting guests, all in one. The home is on a beautiful little lake in Gainesville, surrounded by lemon and orange trees, and is totally picturesque. A wonderful family like this deserves a great Guest/Kids Bath, right? Evans Construction & Design can help!
Classic, fresh and clean was the scheme for this bath. We also planned to rearrange it a bit, moving the shower down to the end where the door once was. This creates a more private bathroom with just one entrance and allows for a larger shower.
We are so happy with how it turned out. Let’s take a look!
Ceramic Text Bath Accessories | Whale lotion dispenser | Whale bath towels | Frosty Carrina Quartz countertop | Kohler Artifacts brushed nickel shower head | Sherwin Williams Rhinestone | floor tile | Adex Hampton white field tile
Paint can be one of the trickiest things around. Color, type, finish, brand…there are a ton of things to consider.
I’ve always preached a little system I created, years ago, for a fool proof way of selecting your paint. But…I have realized there’s a flaw! Ahh!
Step #6 called for you to go buy a few little sample cans of your favorite two or three colors and put them up. Well, there’s a serious problem with that, I realized when selecting paint for my new personal home. (If you’re interested in which paint colors these are, I have them listed at the bottom)
Let’s run through it.
So, let’s look at the original system:
So, there I was, following my own system to select my interior paint color. Let’s take a look…
I already had my inspiration, so these were a few of the colors I was considering.
Instead of small paint chips from the paint store, in my practice I use large foam boards. I put them in the room to look at, then switched up their order.
Then, I narrowed down my choices, bought some little sample paint cans from my local store and put them up on the wall.
Then, I put them on an adjacent wall to see the light changed them.
Then, I realized I got it in my hair…
Ok, so now I step back and evaluate where I’m at. I like a few and want to dive into those further. I run back to the paint store and buy actual quart samples of the 2 colors, so I can paint a really large sample and get a good feel of how it will look. I come back and put them up on a wall.
Now, I notice the problem. This look a little darker than I expected. Not a bad thing, but it’s definitely darker. I confirm it’s the same color, but what I realize is…it’s not the same finish! It looks totally different.
I take my new quart sample FLAT finish paint that I’ve just painted an entire wall of, and swipe it next to the original samples.
But wait, THIS IS THE SAME COLOR…made by the same paint store on the same day.
The difference is the FINISH. Typically, the cute little paint sample cans you buy for $6.95 are in a satin finish. But, you aren’t necessarily going to USE a Satin finish. I like flat paint, so my larger, quart sample was, in fact, flat.
The smaller, darker, sample to the left is the same exact color in a Flat finish. They both look great, but very different. Imagine you go through this whole process of sampling your paint colors, narrowing down and finally decide on the perfect color. Then you order your paint in a flat finish. You would be very surprised to see this go up. It’s totally different!
So, how do you avoid this problem? I think you have to be very aware that that the little sample cans are likely NOT what you are going to be painting in. It’s totally worth it to go ahead and buy a quart or even gallon of the EXACT paint you plan to choose, before you decide on the final color. Most people do not use Satin for walls, so you will likely need to do this.
My NEW paint selecting system looks like this:
Now that we’re talking about finish…what exactly are the finishes available? I stick with FLAT personally, but there are several to choose from.
Flat (Matte): No shine at all. Perfect for for low traffic areas like living rooms and bedrooms, as well as ceilings. It’s my go to every time.
Eggshell: Has a tiny bit of shine and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms.
Satin: Has a bit more shine and works well in high traffic areas. It is also super wipeable which is why it is perfect for kids, kitchens and bathrooms.
Semi-Gloss: Shiny but not glass-like. This is what you should use on cabinets and trim.
Hi-Gloss: Shiny! This gives an almost glass-like finish and is perfect for high use surfaces or furniture.
So, to recap, invest in the exact paint you plan to use, in the smallest size they offer. There’s a noticeable difference in color with the different finishes. The only way to know what you’ll be getting is to use the exact paint in the exact finish. I’m so glad I did!
The paint colors used in this article are the following, starting from top left to right, then bottom left to right
So…what do you think? Will you give this a try? Have you ever had a paint sample nightmare? We’d love to hear it!