Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Little Updating to the Master Bath

Here is the 'before' picture of our master bath.  It's really a lovely room, with lots of nice finishes and lots of room. 

But, because it's in our nature to change things, we took down the builder-grade mirror and put up a new, beveled mirror with a frame that my husband made.  He stained it to match the cabinets.

My husband's faucet quit working correctly, so we decided to change them out, as well as the tub faucet to brushed nickel fixtures.  We are very happy with them.

Since we have a 'beachy' theme in here and our master bedroom, I found a really inexpensive way to decorate the walls above the bathtub.  I bought 5" starfish from ebay and superglued them right to the wall.  They were less than $15 for all six and took 10 seconds each to hang on the wall.

Thanks so much for coming by.  I appreciate your visits and your comments!


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Friday, February 25, 2011

DC Design House Bare Bones Tour!

If you're free tomorrow, I'd love to see you at the DC Design House Bare Bones Day!  You can view the "before" of the empty house and view designers design boards for their spaces & talk to them about their plans.  I'll be there bright & early in my updtairs bedroom at 10.  (10 is bright & early for this mama who lives way out in the 'burbs ;) 

Tickets are $20 each and proceeds go to Children's Hospital. 

We're flying out to LA for the Design Blogger's Conference tomorrow late-afternoon so I'll be staying at the Showhouse until a little after 1 or so before heading to the airport. 

Here is a little peek at a photo of the grisaille "sketch" done by John Matthew Moore for my design board:

{I want to be there}

Outside of the house in DC, there are boxwood gardens so we thought this painting of English gardens would be fitting for the room.  This little painting is based on a photo Matthew took on one of his trips.   I cannot wait to see it enlarged!! 

{John Matthew Moore in his gallery}

Want another peek of his gallery?  (I thought you would so I took lots of pics!)  The Gallery in McLean is not completely finished but is still gorgeous:

{Recognize those robin's eggs paintings?}

{Some of the beautiful frames available... art in and of themselves}

{Loove these chairs... Matthew reupholstered them in a levendar-gray velvet with jute trim.}

{the desk}


{I love these little sheep paintings hung in the window}

{The pedestal table displays some of lighting designer Rick Singleton's repurposed lighting projects}

{check out this antique beauty... I love the nailholes left over from its lifetime of different identities}

{And one last parting pic of the Gallery}

For information on Matthew, Rick and their work, go here.

I met Matthew & Rick this past September when our good mutual friends, Eddie & Jaithan were visiting.  We went to the best little burger place around in McLean & had a great time.  I was literally blown away by their work & couldn't wait to use pieces of theirs for clients.  When the DC Design House came around, I immediately thought of Matthew & Rick & how amazing pieces done by them would be.  I was thrilled when they were on board to contribute to the bedroom!  They have both had pieces featured in past Design Houses and I kid you not, I got so excited I chills when I saw the gallery the first time with Eddie & Jaithan.  It just oozes with creativity and makes you need a piece for your own home. 

Throughout the next coming month or two, I'll be sharing photos & info on all of the people and companies who are contributing to my room in the DC Design House.  They're such a creative talented group & they've all been so generous.  The Children's Hospital Showhouse definitely takes a village and I can't wait for you to "meet" everyone! 

The Design House Bare Bones Tour tomorrow will be a lot of fun, so please come if you can!! 

For the address & info for tomorrow, go here.:

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Apartment Therapy Design Evening in DC

If you're in the DC area, come out to this month's Apartment Therapy Design Evening on March 16th.  I'll be speaking about design, my new fabric & furniture lines, the showhouse and other random things and would love to meet you!!  (Like I mentioned, public speaking makes me a little nervous so friendly faces would be a huge plus :)  It's a great chance to get to meet other bloggers & design-obsessed people and it should be a lot of fun.  So come out if you can!!

To see details and RSVP, go here
The location listed is tentative so be sure to check back prior to the event... they are trying to get a larger space. 

Fingers crossed! eeeeek

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Newest Textile Design- Magnolia

I wanted to share another little peek of my new textile line...  This design is called Magnolia and my friend (and super-talented artist), Kat Wright, painted it for me.  It will be available in several colorways and here's a quick look at two of them, both on linen.

Here's the blue colorway:

{"Magnolia" in blue by Lauren Liess Textiles}

And here's the True/Green:

{"Magnolia" in true by Lauren Liess Textiles}

I had to use my camera phone & the pics really don't do them justice, especially the True.

I love magnolias and look out at my neighbor's massive magnoilia tree fairly often, wishing it were in my yard.  For this pattern, I wanted an overscaled pretty-yet-wild feel.  It's a floral but its leaves are just as prominent as its blooms which I think makes it a little less sweet.

I can't wait to start using these in projects ----   eeeek!!

I'm still working on finalizing pricing but hope to have them up and for sale in my online store by mid-April.

ps- I looooved your ideas about outdoor fabrics so am looking into it!

ppss-- I'm headed to LA this weekend to the Design Blogger's Conference and we're taking Christian to Disneyland!!  Let me know if you've signed up for the Conference!

Also, The DC Design House Bare Bones Tour is this Saturday from 10-4.  I'll be there so stop by if you can!  Click here for details. 

Finally, I'm joining up with Apartment Therapy on Wednesday, March 16th for a Designer Night in DC.  They're still finalizing the location so as soon as I know you'll let you know.  I definitely get a little nervous about public speaking so fingers crossed.

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Birdhouse LOVE!

I adore birdhouses.  I have them all over my house, all over my yard and love them! 
I've tried to limit the number I have in this yard, but there are still plenty.  Yes, I am a birdhouse addict! 
The best part of having them is when I see a family making their home in them!  Oh my gosh, I love that!

I am so excited to show you my newest one that I got from Suzanne at Thrift Store Decor Junky.  She had a giveaway on her blog and I won a CSN Stores gift certificate. 

Do you like my 'box inspector'?  :)  He's very thorough!

Of course I picked a birdhouse!  Thank you so much Suzanne!!!  I may put it outside when the weather warms up, but until then, I'll be enjoying it in the house!

This one was one of my all time favorites.  My husband built one for me and one for my Mom (yes, she was an addict too!)  When we moved two years ago, the birdhouse had to stay as it had been outside in the Oregon rain for ten years.  I was sad that we weren't able to bring it along with us.  During the summers, a beautiful clematis would grow up the 4x4 and shasta daisies grew at the base.

Another favorite.  I took all kinds of "snow on the birdhouses" pictures because in Portland, we just didn't get snow that often.  It was exciting!  I purchased this at the Portland Expo several years ago.

Yes, another snowy birdhouse picture.  My husband made this one.  I love it.

Here is one in my new backyard.  This was taken last summer.  Yes, I am ready for summer to get here again soon!!
Here is one of the birds (on the left side on the lower roof) that made its home in here last summer.   It made me so happy to see this family in here!

What sort of things do you collect?

Thank you so much for coming by and for your comments.  I appreciate them very much! 


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Garden of Giants

Why is it that when we're outside, we create spaces that remind us of being inside, and when we're inside we (well, definitely me) create spaces that remind us of the outside?  Outside we make "outdoor living" spaces, treehouses, fun sheds, outdoor kitchens, patios with rugs, etc...  and inside we want our windows wide open to reveal views of the outdoors, and we use natural materials & objects to bring nature in.  I'm really not sure why but I guess I'd say it's because we want the best out of both??  As humans, the outdoors is beautiful & awe-inspiring but maybe it's just in our DNA to make shelters and/or nest?  I'm guessing not everyone has this bug, but for those of you who have it, you know it's like that pregnant "nesting" stage for life. 

{image from Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Blog}

I loved my treehouse as a kid... I seriously used to sweep it!! (and you know I hate cleaning)  Yet just as much, I loved sleeping with my windows open so that it felt almost like I was outside.  I loved camping outside but I loved going into the cozy tent to sleep. 

{our Girl Scout tents were soooo not this great... image from }

Anyway, when it gets warmer out, my mind always goes to gardening & enjoying the yard.  Last year we planted wisteria along our fence and are a backwards with it, but are adding a pergola to our gate for it to grow over this year.  There's something about outdoor spaces that are just a tiny bit enclosed & private that I love. 

This year, we're planning something really special for the kids (&us)  thanks to this book my mother-in-law gave me:

{by Sharon Lovejoy found here}

It's called Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots and I am craaaaazy about it.  Seriously, it makes you want to go out and start digging.  I planted my daffodil bulbs this weekend after taking a peruse.  (I know I'm a couple of months late on that but I heard from  good source that they might have a shot?? )  In her book, Sharon Lovejoy outlines 12 different types of gardens you can make with y our kids.  (And honestly, whether you haev kids or not, these gardens are a-mazing.)   I want to do a couple this year but the one we're definitely doing is the "Garden of Giants."   It's actually a "living fort" that the kids (and me!) can play in.  They crawl through a tunnel of beans to get to a teepee of gourds surrounded by a giant pumpkin patch. 

{image from how gorgeous are these hanging gourds?!!}

You have to wait to start planting until it stays above 70 on most days so we'll need to wait a while for that (umm... yeah snow storm coming tonight what???!!) but I CANNOT WAIT!!!  For anyone interested in joining us, you can buy pre-done seed packets for the Garden of Giants here or you can get them on your own. 

I'm curious to see how this turns out.  I love to garden {mostly on weekends} but am an impatient & neglectful gardener...  things that don't need a lot of tending (or um watering) do really well at our house.  So we'll see how this goes.  If it works, I'll take lots of pictures.

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Room to Move in the Laundry Room

Our laundry room has more going on in it than just about any other room in the house!  Of course, laundry is done.  The dog and cat are both fed in here.  We have cleaning supplies, household supplies, planting supplies, etc. in here. It's a decent size room, but with all that's going on in there, it gets crowded!  So the other day my husband removed the door.  It was the best move ever!  We didn't ever close the door because the dog's stuff was on the floor.  I was afraid I'd conk myself in the head when I was reaching for the dog's food or his leash.  Even though we only gained a couple of square feet, it is heavenly!  I can now get past the dog when he's eating and  I can move in there without bumping into something!

We bought our washer and dryer separately, so that's why they don't 'match', which is fine with us.  It's nice having the washer on the pedestal, because then I don't have to bend over to get the clothes out.  I didn't get the pedestal for the dryer because I like having a spot to fold clothes.

I realize this is a really small looking change, but it's a huge improvement for an area that I'm in so many times a day.  If we ever want the door back on, it's as easy as putting it back up.

Thanks for visting!


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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Design House Progress

First I just want to say THANK YOU to all of the amazing comments you left on the last post.  We're definitely not alone and it's nice to know that.  I nodded, laughed and even teared up at some of your comments from yesterday's post.  Each & every piece of advice is awesome so if you didn't get the chance to read the comments, check them out. 

On a totally unrelated note, things have been progressing with the DC Design House.  In case you don't know how it works (I didn't until just a couple of months ago) I thought I might explain the process.  In December, just before Christmas, the house was open for two days so that designers could drop by, choose a room and measure & photograph it.  (Like I've mentioned before, the house is amazing.)  I was seriously nervous.  It's an interesting feeling to be in a room with other designers, measuring the same space.  Everyone was really nice though & there were no reality-TV drama moments or anything like that. 

{See the balcony?!! Looooove this house... and this room.}

We had a couple of weeks to put together a design proposal & board for the room we'd chosen.  We scampered around making phone calls for donations and getting everything just right.  We had an artist do renderings of our proposed space and we submitted the board and portfolio to be reviewed by the Committee.  That was on January 7th. 

We had to wait until January 31st to find out if we had been selected or not.  Twenty-four days doesn't seem like a long time, but by the last 3 or 4 days I could barely stand it.  I got a phone call that I had been selected (eeeek) and then it was time to get to work.  I got a different room from the one I had submitted a design for (I am thrilled with my new room!! :) so I had to change the design a bit.  (The room determines its design just as much as what someone wants to do with it.)

I got the chance to measure the new room and meet there with our contractors.  The new room needs something a little different than the what the first room needed, so I tweaked the palette and of course reworked the floorplan & furnishings to fit the new space.  Here's a quick pic of the original board being torn to bits as we tried to salvage the pieces of it that we are reusing in our new room:

{Don't get too attached to anything other than the Peter Dunham Fig Leaf fabric you see in the pic}

I created a new plan for the new room and we finished up the board today.  It'll be shown on Bare Bones Day, which is when people can tour the house to see it "before."  I'll be there and if you live in the area & are free, you should come check it out!  (info here)  We've spent the past couple of weeks sourcing the pieces that will go into the room, finalizing plans, and securing donations from generous companies & contractors.  It's been crazy because it's not a normal house you can just go to whenever you need something.  There are specific times you can go & meet with contractors and everyone needs to be on the same schedule. 

{design house room before}

The Bare Bones Tour is next Saturday and work begins the following Monday.  Our rooms need to be finished by March 31st.  Press Day is April 1st and the Design House opens on Saturday, April 8th!! 

I'll keep you posted as our room progresses.  First up is removing the current wallpaper!

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What happens by Thursday...

...By the time Thursday rolls around at our house, it's trrrrrrrashed... Bad. 
In need of detox:

{There is this much food on the floor underneath my one year-old's high chair after every meal. 
Thank God I have a dog.}

Sometimes I look around and just wonder how in the world it happens?  How does a house get so destroyed in just 3 short days?  And the scariest part is, today's only Wednesday! Tuesday! (oh wow.  I totally wrote Wednesday and believed it until I realized my husband had class tonight, and he has classes on Tuesdays...  eeek)   We haven't even hit detox day yet!

{Clean me mommy!  Clean me!}

I sometimes wonder, "how do people do it?"  I only have two kids and it's madness here!  Last night my husband & I were hanging out in the kitchen attempting to make a yummy Valentine's Day meal, just enjoying each other's company for a few short minutes, when the dog came in, soaked and covered in PINK stuff.  And she smelled like strawberries!!

We followed her wet trail down the hall to our bedroom to find Christian (3 1/2) & Justin (1).  Justin was also covered in strawberry-flavored pink stuff literally from head to toe. 

Kids' toothpaste.  Awesome.

It was really hard not to laugh- especially when after a quick glance around my bedroom I could see that my room was okay (only half-kidding)...   And especially when it was one of the nicest-smelling messes our house has ever seen.  So I sort of laughed and hid my head and this time Dave got to be the stern parent.  All was well.

Christian has started reminding me of a little boy from Lord of the Flies. His hair goes wild at night and when he wakes up in the morning he rips all of his clothes off for his bath... but way earlier than need be.  We just need a fire.

{Christian... }

But anyway... my question...  how in the world do people do it??  I imagine nice calm breakfasts like in Lady & the Tramp where the family sits and eats and then everyone goes on their merry way.  Each dish is put into the dishwasher and the beds are made.  We rush around like crazy people in the morning and trash our house.  Why??

Case in point:  my husband just walked downstairs to where I am now writing, saying "I cleaned and I picked up, and I cleaned and I picked up, and I cleaned and I picked up..."  (I got all excited here) "...and it's still trashed."  oh.  And then he walked down the hallway and I heard,  "ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh!" and I will not tell you what he found because I still have maybe half an ounce of self-respect left but let's just say the dog's in trouble. 

The strangest part about all of this is...  I'm coming to terms with the mess, which is a little scary.  I know we fix it every week and I know it comes back every week.  It's inevitable and I've found it interesting to observe that Thursdays really seem to be the culmination of the mess.  (And a little freaked out to realize that today is only Tuesday and it looks a lot like a Thursday around here.)

So anyway...  every so often I bring up this topic on the blog, because every so often I need to make changes.  Sometimes I just want to sit down and give up on fighting the inevitable mess.  (Ummm... and sometimes I do.)   BUT, it's at times like this when we need to FIGHT THE FIGHT.  (Yes, I'm pep-talking myself here.) I have to remind myself that if we don't keep cleaning, the goverment would have to come dig us out of our house.   No really though...  if we don't keep trying, life wouldn't be as great.  It's hard to enjoy the people you love when the mess is eating them.  We have to periodically come up with new solutions to force ourselves (and our family) to keep the house neater...  to change our natural tendencies into ones that don't require detox Thursdays.  I'm too tired to come up with any enlightening solutions right now, but my question is-  how do you do it all?

xoxo, Lauren

ps- This post here from last year is a bit more helpful  (as are the comments) if you're looking for some solutions to this problem! ;)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Brooke & Steve's Gilt Showhouse Room!

I'm so in love with this room by Brooke & Steve Giannetti for the Gilt Home/ Ashton Kutcher Showhouse.  The online sale of a select number of pieces from each room are on sale though tomorrow.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to DNA, a charity started by Ashton Kutcher and his wife Demi Moore to combat human trafficking.  To shop and help the cause, go here.  (Can you believe the water paintings are Steve's?!!)

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Adding a Pond to the Backyard

When we moved in to this house, there was a swingset in the backyard.  Because our kids are past the swingset age, we took it out.  Apparently when it was put in, they wanted it to stay forever--we took over 800 pounds of concrete to the dump!

The next step was removing the sod from one side of the area.  After several hours of digging and a couple of trips to the dump, it was gone!

I then spent the next few days digging for the pond.  Luckily, my son was home from college, so by mid-day each day, I did have a helper.  (haha)  The problem with that was, that by mid-day each day, it was over 90 degrees, but I'll take whatever help I can get!

We dug and dug, and took load after load to the dump. My husband would come home and help us dig and let us know we needed to dig some more!  The depth had to be at least 30" so fish could survive during the winter.  30" doesn't seem like much until you are the one digging a 30" deep hole! 
We put a carpet remnant between the dirt and the liner (sorry, no picture of that), then put the liner down.  They recommend putting something soft underneath the liner so it doesn't get any tears in it.  We then spread the liner out.  Luckily it was really hot, so the liner was very pliable.  We started adding rocks to the waterfall area first.  There were a lot of rocks put in, then taken out, then moved here and there until we felt it was looking the way we wanted it to.  Also the 'pool' area behind the waterfall  had to be high enough to spill over the rocks, but also not leak out anywhere.  We used lots of landscape foam between the rocks once we got it high enough and leak proof!

Once we got all of the pond rocks in, we put in a flagstone pathway around the edge.  I've filled the cracks in with thyme, but at the time this picture was taken, it hadn't filled in very well yet. 

The mesh draped across is to keep Max in his area. (He would love to swim all over, but the liner could get ripped, so he has to stay in this area.) Having the mesh isn't our preferred 'look', but we do love him and need a place for him to cool off in the summer when it's regularly over 100 degrees.

We put koi and feeder goldfish in and they are all doing great!  The koi were pretty small when we got them and the feeder goldfish cost 27 cents each at Petsmart, so there was very little investment.  We put several plants in the pond so that the fish could get shade in the summer. 

Having the pond is so nice.  We spent every evening out here last summer and fall and can't wait to get out there again this year!

Thanks for visiting!


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