Monday, October 31, 2011


We are having a costume party here in the office today.  There are only two of us.  And we're having a contest. 

{I am Pumpkin Head}
..And yes, that is a torn open bag of candy that I got into...
...And yes, I am pregnant...

And Meghan...
Is a ghost.

We're taking votes.

The winner will take this beauty home:

No, I'm just kidding.  I'm not giving Meghan my dog. 

But the winner will get THIS:

Happy Halloween!!  Feel free to cast your vote in the comments section.

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love and you are not frightened away by this post, contact me about our design services.

pps- We just moved offices a week or 2 ago & are in the midst of redoing it.  Will be sure to post pics as soon as we have them!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

On a "Scale" of 1 to 10, Hubby's Skills are a 10

I purchased this scale on ebay a few months ago, mainly to get the tray.  It ended up that I wasn't able to use the tray for my original intent, so my husband did a refurb on the whole thing.

Here's what it looked like in all its glory who would paint it yellow and orange? to start with:

I believe whoever painted the scale might have also been in charge of painting this fire hydrant by our house!  U.G.L.Y.!!!

He took everything apart and removed all of the paint using Citrastrip, then a wire brush attachment on the grinder.

He shined up the brass.

He then spent a ton of time recreating the labels that should have been on there.  I am in awe of his patience!

He primed all of the parts.

He painted everything except the tray holder Cherry Red.  (He didn't want to draw attention to the tray holder, so he painted it black)

Can you believe the details on this??

 I think he did an outstanding job!

Thank you for visiting!


I am linking to the following parties:

 Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesdays
The DIY Show Off UndertheTableandDreaming

Friday, October 28, 2011

Guest Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

No matter how large or small your home, part of being a homeowner is opening your home to visiting guests, whether friends or family. While having a separate guest bedroom may or may not be a part of your home’s layout, a guest bathroom can play a vital role in making your visitors feel welcomed and comfortable. Here are some tips to help you create a relaxing environment for your guests.

Convenient Layout: If you have a guest bedroom, you want to place your guest bathroom no more than two doors away, so that your guests can access it easily. If you do not have a guest bedroom, be sure that the bathroom is located closely to wherever the guests will be sleeping. This helps your guests to feel more at home, as they do not feel that they are wondering around, searching for the bathroom. 

Design Details: When choosing paint, wallpaper, or decorating schemes, focuses on simplicity. Colours that are too bold or lively do not allow people to relax. Look for calm and peaceful tones. Many spas and classy hotels use white as a clean and comforting colour. Whichever colour scheme you opt for, maintain continuity among the linens as well. Assign clearly designated spots for hand towels and shower towels. A discreet place for used towels is also a good idea. Select towels that are large in size and soft to the touch. Use absorbent bath mats and a shower curtain that do not easily mildew. The shower curtain should tie the entire theme together. A scented candle or vase with freshly cut flowers on the vanity is a welcoming touch, but be sure to leave adequate space for guests to keep their toiletries.

Added Extras: Mimic the luxurious feel of an upscale hotel or spa by providing plenty of extra toiletries in case your guests may have forgotten something. Consider stocking small bottles of shampoo, soap, lotion, razors, and toothbrushes. Keep extra towels and toilet paper in a convenient location, such as under the sink or in a decorative basket. Guest robes and slippers are a nice touch as well. To really go the extra mile, place a stack of decorative, disposable towels on a tray next to the sink. Travelling is already stressful enough, especially if you feel that you are imposing on someone’s space. Set your guests at ease by providing a warm and inviting bathroom that makes them feel welcome by utilizing the suggestions above.

Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to New York City Rental Properties, The Hamptons New York, home improvement and the latest architecture, design and fashion. Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

Pamper yourself this autumn with a spa-like bathroom space

Our lives are increasingly busy and stress is on the up. Creating a bathroom that can be a space to relax and pamper yourself, rather than just a practical place for cleaning and grooming, has never been so popular. And as the evenings close in and the mornings become darker and chillier, imagine a cosy home spa filled with the warm tones of wooden bathroom furniture, luxuries such as a steam shower and freestanding bath, and soothing decor.

When you take a trip to a hotel or leisure club spa, you can enjoy the facilities there to the full because you never have to use them when you’re in a rush for an early morning meeting, when the dog’s rolled in something stinky and sticky again, or when the kids are fighting over who goes first at the bathroom basin. In a spa, you’re away from the stresses of home and are free to indulge.

So how do you go about creating such a space in your own home: how do you design a truly relaxing haven for pampering, while balancing your family’s need for practicality?

First, think about your needs. Draw up two separate lists: one for your practical bathroom; one for your haven. This way, you’ll spend time thinking about your priorities, the way your current bathroom’s used, what could make it easier in the morning, what could make it more soothing and relaxing in the evening. Think about your two ideal bathing spaces now – but remember you’ll need to be prepared to compromise later on.

Next, measure your bathroom and assess its suitability for your preferred fittings. Map out the location of your current plumbing, your doorway and window opening, and measure your walls and alcoves. Use a scale drawing with cut-out bathroom fittings that you can slide around the paper as you try out different ideas, or investigate websites such as the virtual bathroom designer at

This is the point where you’ll have to think about where your priorities lie; you’ll also find it helpful to look out for items that have a dual purpose or a space-saving aesthetic. Bathroom furniture, with its spacious cupboards and drawers, is likely to be a good option for your spa-bathroom: it looks good, it hides away all the practical items that need to be there but that will distract you as you try to relax, and it can be really compact so that you gain more space for the features you love, such as a whirlpool bath or steam shower cabin.

Finally, when your layout is all finalised, think about your decor. Warm neutrals and natural materials such as natural stone tiles, soft paint shades and wooden bathroom cabinets are timeless and soothing, and can be combined with accent colours and accessories to bring you a bathroom that’s of the season, this season – and easy to adapt for the next season, and the next, and the next....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Transferring an Image onto Wood

I have tried several methods to transfer images from my favorite website, The Graphics Fairy, onto wood.  The Citrasolv method works well, I've tried Mod Podge and some others, but also wanted to try using the Woodworker's Transfer tool that I learned about from Dee at A Lapin Life.  I found the link on her site to buy this tool from Amazon. (It costs about $14 and qualifies for their free shipping if your total is over $25)  It was really easy to learn how to use it from the directions right on the package.

I started with a mirror image of a graphic from a laser copy.  (Remember that if you only have an inkjet printer, just take it to Kinko's or anywhere with a big copy machine, copy it and you'll have a laser copy)

I used a simple, small,  beaten up fence board from Lowe's.  I did sand it where I was going to apply the graphic, so it was pretty smooth in that area, but other than that, I left it in its beaten up state.  I taped the graphic to the wood so it would stay in place and rubbed the heated tool over the paper.  It took a couple of minutes of running the tool over the paper for the graphic to transfer onto the wood.   I lifted off the paper and the graphic looked great.

I stained the wood with Minwax Puritan Pine.  I like this color on cedar as it's kind of dark, but still shows the graphics.  Unfortunately, no one seems to carry this color anymore!

After the stain dried, my husband made the box.  

I found some fall bushes at Michael's.  I stuck them in pots with styrofoam, put some spanish moss on top and they were done.

I really love the way the wood transfer tool works!  Dee at  A Lapin Life  has a tutorial on using it to transfer graphics onto fabric as well.  I think that may be my next project!

Thanks so much for your visit!


Funky Junk Interiors The DIY Show Off The Graphics Fairy

Terrariums- Why Not?

I saw a couple of interesting terrariums at High Point Market that I just loved.  You might remember that although I love plants & flowers, I have a black thumb when it comes to indoor plants.  (Although there is 1 plant in my house that has been alive for a year now!)  I've always liked terrariums and have never given them a shot.  After seeing some "easy" (according to their owners) beauties at Market, I think I'll try them out. 

{Europe 2 You's terrarium filled with a gorgeous oregano that looks like flower blossoms- who knew??)

Here's a more modern version filled with succulents & tropical plants:

{At Bevara Design House}

I love this one:

{image via Design Sponge}

...And I can actually do moss.  Sort of.

This one is whoah:

{image via}

...And this little ferny fern I could maybe handle:

{image via}

My window boxes are half dead ( I have plans to add in some mums to replace the ferns I killed) and maybe when I've finished with that I'll get some terrariums in the plant hospice (my house).

Have a great one!! 

xoxo, Lauren

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Home from Market

Whew!  We're home from a whirlwind few days down in High Point North Carolina for the Furniture Market.  Before I was in this business I had no idea something like it even existed.  High Point is literally a little city of showrooms.  In the 3 days we were there we didn't even see half of it.  But we did get to my favorite restaurant, Printworks Bistro, at the Proximity Hotel:

{Seriously the most gorgeous restaurant ever: light, airy, fresh & completely unexpected (see the Louis dining chairs in chartreuse toile??)  They have curtains separating the dining areas and hanging boxwood balls and textural drum shades add interest.  The colors are perfection (go green!! ;)  and the food is HEAVEN. 

We found some really amazing new-to-us companies & artists:

{Owen Mortenen creates works of art out of the natural things he finds on walks. }

I'm crazy about his Golden Raintree Studies made out of seed pods found from a tree that grows in Utah:

Natural & organic-feeling yet totally modern.  To read more, click here.

I loved this sconce by Luna Bella:

Some of the showrooms had the most amazing displays:

{Luna Bella}

{Spicher and Company}

The next few are of the Karen Robertson Showroom: 

I loved seeing so many of these detailed pieces jam-packed on the walls.  Totally jaw-dropping and they made me want to do a beach house STAT.

and switching up to...

{Halo Styles}

As far as showrooms/ booths at Market go, I really love going into the "more is more" type showrooms that are jam-packed because they feel like trasure troves.  Even if they're not at all my style, I appreciate them.  Check this one out:

{Genesee River Trading Co.}

And another view of the same showroom:

I loved some of their old games tables & kitchsy things.

The best part is, I was with my partner in crime pretty much the whole time sans-kiddos.  (Although we did really miss them!!)

And we got to see some of our favorite people!!

{Me & Michele of My Notting Hill.  Michele was one of a group of bloggers invited to Market to see all of the lastest & greatest.  She sweetly invited me along with her to an Architectural Digest party as her "plus 1" where we saw lot of big designers & industry people including one of my favorites Margaret Russell.   I also met Bunny Williams (more like stalked her as she was leaving the party and she seemed to be one of the kindest, most genuine designers I've met.  She asked what my name was & where I was from (go VA!  If you know about Bunny, you might know she's from Charlottesville, VA) and  } and was just very nice. 

{scaaaary red eyes on me with my friend Paloma of La Dolce Vita & Visual Comfort.  Paloma is also an old blog friend & I've loved watching her career evolve.  She's now the director of marketing for Visual Comfort, one of the best lighting companies in the industy.  }

{Roxanne Lumme, one of my good local design friends.  We ran into so many people from home!!! }

{Me with one of my first & closest design buds, Eddie Ross.  My camera ended up going out on me that night and I didn't get a group shot Dave & I with both Eddie & Jaithan.  We're always all pretty much laughing the entire time we hang out. }

I also got to see  bloggers (but didn't get pics with- arggg!) Erin of House of Turquoise, Stephan of Architect Design , Jen Sergent, and Traci of Traci Zeller Designs.  We got to hang with Traci for a while at a party one night & it was so good to catch up.  At a Hearst Magazine party we saw our good friend Matthew Talomie of Elle Decor & got to meet the team from Elle Decor Magazine, who were all really sweet & down to earth.  We also ran into a bunch of DC Designers & friends throughout the weekend: Patrick Sutton, Erin Paige Pitts, David Mitchell, Victoria Sanchez, Barbara Franceski and Sally Steponkus.  It was SO much fun.

We got a TON accomplished at this market.  I found so many new great sources for projects that I can't wait to use.  Even though I'm exhausted right now I'm feeling pretty charged design-wise.

xoxo, Lauren

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