Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Time for My Easter Nests

It's that time of year to make my favorite Easter treats.
 ( reposting from last Easter)

These nests are so easy to make and taste great!

You'll need a 1/4 cup of butter, a bag of chow mein noodles and a bag of marshmallows.  

Melt 1/4 cup of butter and 2 cups of marshmallows on the stove for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the marshmallows are melted, turn the heat off and add 4 cups of chow mein noodles.  Mix thoroughly.

Use a really clean muffin tin.  Rub butter in each spot.

Put a bit of the mixture in each spot.   Use butter on your clean hands too so you can push the mixture around to create the nest.  This recipe makes about 15 nests.  If you want to make more, buy two bags of chow mein noodles for each bag of marshmallows.

Put them in the freezer for a couple of hours, then carefully remove the nests with a butter knife.

I put some parchment paper down, then put the nests on that.  

Add M&M's, Robin's Eggs or jelly beans as the 'eggs' and you're done!

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Sneakity Peek: Client Apartment

We recently finished up with our clients' gorgeous condo & I have a couple of pics to share.   My client has amazing taste and has amassed lots of collections of beautiful objects over the years.  She was ready for a fresh start design-wise & has a very defined style.  We wanted light & textural and we used a soft pallette of whites, creams, grays, aquas & taupes.  

This (below) is the view down one of the hallways & we went with a horizontally striped rug, which visually widens the hallway:

The apartment has the most beautiful light and the views are incredible.  I'll save the rest of it for when we have it professionally shot but before I go, I do want to share a few of Maureen's collections with you:

{old pulleys}

{I can't remember what this thing is but it is soooo gorgeous!!!  She found it at a thrift store, like many of her treasures}

{Her collection of vintage trophies is incredible.  I love them just piled together like this.}

{One of my favorite collections she has is her collection of glass & crystal bottle stops that she keeps at the drink station...  so beautiful.}

...Anyway, I'll be sure to share the rest of the apartment when I can!!  Thank you so much to my clients for letting us be a part of your redesign!!

xoxo, Lauren

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Everything seems to be blooming now...   (yay!!!!)   I took these photos in our yard last week & I can't believe how much greener everything's gotten between now & then.

{our wisteria}

A lot of what's blooming in the yard (and what I love in our yard- lavendar, wisteria, crocus, violets & even the weeds) seems to be purple.  And purple's not a color I really think of as liking very much for interiors...  But I did come across a few spaces where I think it's really beautiful & I think I seem to like it most when in small doses (vs all over, like on walls...  although I could probably be convinced ;) in a room.

{Elle Decor...  just a single shot of purple}

My violets (below) remind me of when I was a little girl walking around the neighborhood picking violets to press...

I loooove the purple pillows in this room:  (and the entire room to be honest)

The amethyst on the coffee table is beautiful. 

Here's another pic of our violets.  My favorite are these white & purple ones:

{I love getting violet bouquets from my boys}

And below, this room feels really good to me.  I think that when I typically think of purple, I think of it in connection with teenage girls' rooms  or cold-modern rooms and I imagine it in "flatter" spaces without much depth and that feel a little "plastic" to me, but after finding these few "purple rooms" I'm realizing that I really do love it when it's an accent in a room full of texture & interest. 

..And I think this applies to pretty much any color.  Of course I have favorites (no- not green!!! ;) ;)  but I also love the challenge of working with colors that aren't my favorites & making beautiful spaces out of them.  And I really appreciate seeing rooms where designers have done this & they make me love a color I wouldn't normally think of as even liking.   ( I wonder...  could this even be possible with burgundy for me???!!  probably.)

So, thanks Flowers, for opening me up a little & making me reconsider purple!

ps- We caught a bug in the house this week & it has seriously been one of the worst ever...  some sort of crazy chest pains along with all of the usual cold stuff.  (Even my assistant, Meghan, is out sick)  I'm definitely backed up on emails & will get to them as quickly as possible!!  It's looking like I might be on the up today!

xoxo, Lauren

*images via pinterest*

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Before & After: Rockin' the Rockaways - Part 1

It’s been awhile, but we’ve been busy! Most of our time has been spent out in East Rockaway, working on innumerable home improvements and repairs on the house you see right up there. The job is a total overhaul, from the dingy basement up to the vacant attic. We’re still a few weeks away from the whole place being entirely presentable – the basement needs more work and two rooms still need to have the wallpaper removed and a new coat of paint. Here are some of the before pictures, just to give you an idea of what we’re dealing with. I’ll post more later this week.   

The basement, first of all, needed a thorough clean-up. Debris and dirt were taken out, and we redid all the wiring and a great deal of the heating system. We also did some work on the ceiling and the support beams, making it easier to handle the replaced flooring we're handling above. We're also replacing that refrigerator, which I imagine was the first fridge ever made and purchased in America. Don't take my word on that.

The two bedrooms have needed substantial work. We cleaned them out and then gutted them both. We laid down new hardwood floors, put in new energy efficient windows and new door to boot, and repainted the entire room, which was preceded by extensive patch-up work. We're also checking and correcting the pitch of that radiator. New wiring is being put in as well, with new outlets and switches.  We swung by the site today and I can say, with no false modesty, our guys did a great job; the place looks completely new. Bathroom and first level pictures later this week.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Nurseries from Babies Past...

Our future baby's nursery has been coming together...  For months we just piled all the baby stuff in here & I waited to attack the room.  Its plain white walls & cream carpeting were pretty much a blank slate.  I added a modern crib in a hazlenut finish by Muu Kids (amazing to work with btw) and am still working on the bedding.  (For now it's just our basic sheet set which I'll use in combination with some pretties.) 

I've done different things with all of my babies' nurseries.  In our old house, over 4 years ago, Christian's nursey was a bit coastal with tone-on-tone pale blue stripes in semigloss & matte paint...

{My cousin & I made the seashell mobile & I sewed the quilt} 

This old man thrift store painting (below) goes everywhere with us and is now in our living room...

In Justin's nursery, 2 years ago,  I wanted to go dark  & be bold.  I'd done the sweet thing before & was ready for a change.  I wanted a dark room for sleeeeeeeping.

My husband & I stencilled a dropcloth with an allover pattern and made a canopy over the crib. 
 I used the nursery walls as a gallery for artwork that we'd collected & inherited over the years.

...Most of the pieces are pretty moody and I used lots of foresty type things in there. 
You can see how we used the same pieces on both rooms but ended up with 2 really different looks...

Justin's nursery was featured on Design Sponge and I'll never forget that some of the commenters thought the room was creepy and one of them even said it looked like "Rosemary's Baby's Room."  It cracked us up at home and so we called it that sometimes :)  (I have to say, I do have a dark side & loooove scary books & movies ;)

And now...  we're onto the new baby's nursery.  And of course, I'm ready for more change :)  This time (which we are thinking of as our last, although I'll never say never until we're sure)  I decided that I just wanted to go with all of my favorite things.  I've always known that nurseries are for moms & dads (and mostly moms because dad's don't usually care very much) and so this time I'm doing a total "me" nursery.  Selfish?  Yeah, I know, but I'm okay with that ;) 

I'm starting with my Live Paisley in "mojito" for the curtains:

{I'm constantly experimenting with colorways in my fabrics and this is definitely one of my favorites, designed specifically for this room.}

And last night my husband painted the walls a paler shade of the same chartreusy-green...

{It's Sherwin Williams "Rice Paddy}
I'm working on the bedding now and a swivel glider in by Lee Industries should be arriving any week now...

{Sorry for the blurry pic...  picture it in a warm oatmeal linen}  I'm SO pumped for this glider.  We thought about getting one with every baby and finally decided to do it.  Our babies are not good sleepers and so I'm banking that we'll be gliding many a night on this new chair. 

The dresser/ changing table is in the closet so we have as much floor space as possible for playing.  I'll be sure to share pictures when we get it finished.  (Which should be in the next month a half!)

And finally, here are a couple of belly pics from yesterday...  The boys have taken to walking up to me and hugging me/ my belly saying "BIG BELLY!!!!"  or "SO BIG!!!!" in their deep little voices.  (It makes me feel so petite ;)

A month and half left... eeeeeeeeeeek!!!

xoxo, Lauren

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

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Beautiful Versatile Armoire

In 2003, my husband built this beautiful, solid maple armoire. It held our old, big tv perfectly in our family room. It was so heavy. It took 6 people to carry up our hill and in the back door to get in the house.

A few years later, we upgraded to a new tv and needed to repurpose the armoire.  Since the time it was originally put in the family room, he had remodeled our kitchen with a huge island.  Luckily we were able to clear the island by one inch (!) to get it out of there!  We again enlisted several friends and down the hill it went.  He cut it in two pieces to make it easier to move around.  It then became a wine cabinet in the living room.  It was easier to move, but was by no means whatsoever, easy to move!  It was still a beast!

We were lucky that when we moved out of that house, we had movers.  We put it on the main floor of this house, so it was easier to manuever for the movers. 

A few weeks ago, we got new furniture for our living room, the armoire again had to move.   My husband must have huge respect for my strength, because he was sure the two of us could move it ourselves.  Not a chance!  We were lucky to have strong visitors soon after who helped us get it out to the garage...

There, he again refurbished it.  This time he cut off the back to straighten it off rather than have it fit in a corner.  He couldn't reuse the crown moulding, so made his own!  Yes, he's amazing!  

Today he was finally ready for it to go back in the house and was sure that the two of us could get it in our room and lift the upper part (about 300 pounds worth!) onto the base.  Again, not a chance!  Luckily we had strong neighbors around who helped us. 

After we got the top portion on and he secured everything, he then reattached the four doors.  The upper doors weigh almost 25 pounds each!  He has a mechanism in there so the doors slide back into the sides and are out of the way. 

Now it is in our master and again holds a tv.  It is my favorite piece of furniture that he's ever built and I definitely wanted it where we could see it daily.  The details that he added make it such a beauty.  I'm so happy to have it back in the house. 

Thanks for your visit!


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