What a Wonderful {White} World

For years I’ve been a color girl. Big color. Everywhere. All the time. We’re talking sunset orange in the main living area, wine accent walls, green kitchen cabinets, goldenrod master bedroom… you get the picture.

My color preferences have evolved, but I still planned my color palette to be quite saturated in my new apartment with navy, gray, gold, pink, and green.

That is, until serendipity brought me to Sarah Schneider, aka @blondemamalove, which is how she’s known on Instagram. Anthropologie (aka my Mothership) regrammed her gorgeous carriage house on its @anthropologie IG feed and I quickly became a devotee.

The picture that started it all.

The picture that started it all.

After looking through pretty much every picture she’s ever posted on Instagram (they’re SO good) and then visiting her blog {lifeisbeautyfull.net}, soaking in and studying every detail of her gorgeous home’s decor, I quickly converted. The exquisite beauty, elegance, and homey comfort of a soft-white and gray palette punctuated with gorgeous color and sensual textures is all I now think of.

Obviously, my inspiration boards require a complete overhaul. I can’t wait.

One more important note before I open the door to Sarah’s home: I reached out to her because that’s kind of what I do. Stalk awesome people and convince them to be friends (the thousands of miles that separate us are incidental). And let me tell you, she is just as lovely, kind, and classy as you’d hope she be. So glad we’re besties now. 😉

And now… Sarah’s world in which life is indeed beauty-full.

 

Carriage house retreat

Carriage house retreat

Carriage house kitchen and a peek of bathroom

Carriage house kitchen and a peek of bathroom

Picture perfect: carriage house

Picture perfect: carriage house

Kitchen pendants accompanied by party finery

Kitchen pendants accompanied by party finery

The best kitchen ever. The end.

The best kitchen ever. The end.

Breakfast nook of my dreams.

Breakfast nook of my dreams.

Coziest den

Coziest den

Santa probably stayed for a while Christmas Eve. I would.

Santa probably stayed for a while Christmas Eve. I would.

Winter white. All is calm, all is bright.

Winter white. All is calm, all is bright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter = Fireplaces. Let’s go Craftsman.

While I have spent the majority of my life in Southern California, my DNA is wired for changing seasons, cold, blustery days, and all the wonderful things that accommodate such climates: boots, sweaters, cozy blankets, books, and the interior design element that embodies all of this: the fireplace.

I love fireplaces. Doesn’t even matter what sort, so long as some sort of flickering light emanates from it, cozying up the room. I have an electric fireplace that I’ve lugged around to several different homes. This ensures that no matter where I’ll end up, I have a proper fireplace.

It’s that important to me.

I’ve always loved the look of fireplaces in Craftsman-style homes. More accurately, I’ve always love the fireplace wall in these homes. Traditionally, they include small windows placed high on either side of the fireplace and above built-in bookcases. This is ingenuity at its best: books nestled in against a fireplace. Like Will and Grace. Coffee and Seattle. A perfect match.

Enough pontificating. On to my best-of tour of Craftsman-style fireplaces.

White and navy Craftsman fireplace. A study in beautiful contrast.

White and navy Craftsman fireplace. A study in beautiful contrast. {Design*Sponge}

Oh, my. Navy walls. Crisp white trim. This one makes my heart sing.

Bright, clean, and serene. And can we talk about the modern fabric on these vintage chairs?  {Design*Sponge}

Bright, clean, and serene. And can we talk about the modern fabric on these vintage chairs? {Design*Sponge}

A completely different approach that totally works. The bookshelves house carefully curated treasures, the fireplace is painted black, and the chairs pulled up in front offer a quiet spot to chat over hot tea. Simple. Lovely.

This Seattle home captures so much of the romance my imagination conjures up with Craftsman homes: brick, paned windows and bookcase doors, and intimately arranged seating.

This Seattle home captures so much of the romance my imagination conjures up with Craftsman homes: brick, paned windows and bookcase doors, and intimately arranged seating. {Apartment Therapy}

The Pacific Northwest just screams Craftsman to me. Fitting that this home is in Seattle. I’ll be by with some Seattle’s Best in about an hour.

This room makes me smile. So many quirky and personal details that create a comfy, livable space. {Apartment Therapy}

This room makes me smile. So many quirky and personal details that create a comfy, livable space. {Apartment Therapy}

Natural wood trim and a shiny-tile fireplace surround instantly warm up this room. The uniquely paned windows add character and privacy. The happy mix of couches and chairs reflect the owner’s lack of pretension and desire for a kid-friendly space. Nailed it.

 

 

Changes on the horizon…

It’s been far too long since I’ve spent time with my cozy little blog. So I’ve decided to change up what I’m doing here … just a smidge.

I spend time every single day on sites such as Design Sponge, Apartment Therapy, Country Living, and House Beautiful. And I tend to feel the tiniest bit guilty about it, since I should probably be working on “real” tasks that generate income. Blah, blah, blah.

But then I realized – I have a design blog! Why don’t I make it into more of a curatorial site of all the lovely discoveries I find while poring over my favorite home design and lifestyle blogs?

The genius is in its simplicity. And – bonus! – I don’t have to feel guilty because the time spent on said favorite home and design sites now has purpose. It’s real work. There can be no disputing the fact now.

The first design trend I really love is Pantone’s 2014 color pick: Radiant Orchid. I mean, the name alone is divine. Here are my favorite takes on the color to take into the New Year.

In my opinion, Apartment Therapy gives you the most eye-candy bang for your buck. The image below is just one of many delightful vignettes that display our Radiant Orchid. See the whole post here.radiant orchid

Apartment Therapy also offered accessory options in Orchid here.

orchid tumblers

House Beautiful shared its favorite picks in Radiant Orchid here.elegant orchid

And this, well, this is just stunning. Thank you, Design Magnifique. orchid dancer

H&M’s New Home Line

Hello lovelies. I have discovered H&M’s new home line, and it’s not overstating it to say I’m ecstatic. For unique, trendy, and just really pretty clothes, shoes, and accessories, H&M has long been my affordable happy place (Anthropologie is obviously my not-so-affordable happy place). The home decor does not disappoint. I shared a small selection (believe me, I could have gone on for days) on my Polyvore site. We’re talking Anthro-type prints on gorgeous velvet cushion covers. For $14.95, folks! C’mon. Thank you, Jesus! Enjoy, all.

Hello, Polyvore!

So I am probably very late coming to this party, but I recently discovered the beauty that is Polyvore – not for fashion (though, it’s clearly fabulous in that department) – but for home design. Oh, man. I. am. hooked. Serious time-suck, but I just can’t stop.

For the three of you who may not already know about this, you go to Polyvore.com and click on Create, then set about building inspiration boards, pulling together rooms, and what-have-you from about a million possible combinations – furniture, paint colors, rugs, and art, oh my! I’ve already happily whiled away many hours here, with plans for A LOT more.

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My Polyvore set inspiration for my new living room.

The first order of business was to pull together an inspiration set for my living room makeover when I move into my new place. This is what I came up. Already, I kind of want to play with it and tweak it a bit more, but I really love the general concept of classic with a twist.

My bedroom update is in the works, then the dining room, finishing with my daughter’s room. After that, I’m shifting away from updating my house to different design themes, colors, and inspiration boards just for fun. As I said, I’m hooked.

Apparently, you can follow people here, just like on Pinterest, so (you know where this is going), here I am. If you have an idea you’d like to see me bring to life, just leave me a note. I’d love a new idea to run with.

Don’t you love this? I love this.

~Meredith

Ode to Turquoise

Apparently my love affair with turquoise is far more extensive than I realized. In dreaming about updating my new home, I’ve spent more and more time perusing my Pinterest boards. And let me tell you – there’s a lot of turquoise up in there, so I’m definitely sensing a theme.

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Divine vintage bathroom, drenched in turquoise.

Now, as the diligent researcher that I am, I browsed other Pinterest boards of some of my favorite designers and Googled “turquoise home decor”, and what did I discover? I am not alone. I started following David Bromstad (of HGTV Design Star fame) and the man has an entire board dedicated to – wait for it – turquoise! (He even has some of the exact same images I have on my home board. Could there be a more clear sign that we are soul mates? I didn’t think so.)

It has now became glaringly obvious that my Pinterest page needs its own turquoise board. So, without further ado, here it is. If you are a fellow turquoise-phile, I hope to see you there! ~Meredith

How to Design Your Home When You’re Homeless

OK, full disclosure: I’m not actually homeless. However, I am currently sharing a room with my daughter in my parents’ house. It’s a long story … well, maybe not that long. The job market sucks; I’m a single mom; bills and childcare are expensive. So, turns out it’s a short story.

ImageBut for someone whose creative desires and ideas surface about as often as the craving for dark chocolate (once every couple of hours … I’m told this is normal), it’s a bit of a buzzkill.

I consider this a real design dilemma, folks. Not some petty “what color should we paint the dining room?” pickle. We’re talking DEFCON 5: I don’t HAVE a dining room. But I still want to decorate one. Mine, to be specific.

Now don’t go getting all logical on me: “Meredith, you can’t design your dining room until you actually have one. Take up knitting instead.”

I defiantly stick out my chin and say, “Oh, yes. I. can!” And I HAVE taken up knitting, and it’s coming along quite nicely, thank you.

And here is my shockingly simple answer. One word: Pinterest. Kudos if you saw that coming a mile away, but really, people, Pinterest is a godsend for the homeless (alright, displaced) among us. You can get lost for literally hours in cyberspace summoning images to yourself like a virtual design sorcerer. Right before your eyes, your home takes shape as you fill each room with color and quirky finds, right down to the finishing touches with your favorite Anthropologie pulls.

This is the happy place I go to when I’m longing for my own nest. I actually think it will make my home that much better when I finally move in. This forced planning period gives me large, luxurious swaths of time to edit and fine-tune what might otherwise prove to be impulsive and fool-hardy choices (yes, fool-hardy).

So if you care to join me in the dreaming stage, follow me down the yellow brick road to my Pinterest page, where I have just this minute decided to create a “Fabulous New Home” board where you can see my new place take shape. A virtual housewarming, if you will.