Category: interior design

Our playroom has served a fantastic purpose over the years.  Beyond giving the children a place to play, it has hid all the toys that have piled up in our home.  There is nothing better than keeping toys contained in one spot over seeing them EVERYWHERE in the house.

Now that the kids are getting a bit older, our playroom is not as necessary as it has been in the past.  For the most part, Baby Girl is the only one who uses it while her brothers opt for being in their rooms or upstairs in the bonus area.  The room just isn’t as necessary as it has been.  On the flip side, as the kids get older, the amount of work they are required to do at home has continued to grow.  The small homework packets have transitioned into studying, projects, nightly homework and of course, busy schedules involving both school and sports.  This has led to homework being strewn across either our kitchen table, dining room table, or island, depending on where they have decided to set up camp for the day.  It is beginning to drive me crazy and so, we have decided to transition our playroom to a kids study room/kids office.

The hope is that we will have three works stations in there, one for each child, so that they have their own area of sorts where they can study, do homework, keep track of their calendar and keep all their school supplies.  It will also provide them an area to charge their school iPads and type of reports and projects.  Rather than have this spread out all over the downstairs, I am hoping it will be a welcoming space that provides them a little more structure at homework time.

Land of Nod has always been one of my favorite places to pick up children’s furniture so I have been working with one of their designers to create a room that can be of use now but will also accommodate them as they get older.  There are so many ideas out there and I am scouring them all.

So it is official.  We are those parents who no longer need a playroom.  I can’t believe we have grown up that much already as a family but I will say that I am beyond excited to not have to clean out a toy room anymore!

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I love stacks of books.

The more stacks, the better.

I keep telling myself that perhaps I have enough books sitting around the house but then some incredible new ones will be released and I will quickly order and begin re-organizing when they arrive.  Does this work better in the living room or family room?  Should I put this on the side table in the guest room?  Would the fireplace benefit with this one on it?  It is almost like I am dressing our home with books and I take the placement of each one very seriously.  I feel that books really help make a room and can add warmth to any space without really having to do much.

So the stacks will keep coming and these recently released books will soon be added to the ever growing collection.

Hint, Hint: As we enter the season of holiday parties, dinners, and celebrations, these books also make the perfect Hostess gifts.  Yes, a great bottle of wine is nice, but finding a book that relates to them or something they love is always more personal and extremely well received.

Screen shot 2014-10-19 at 8.48.03 AM  < Tory Burch in Color / Vogue: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute / How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are / Elements of Style / Place to Go, People to See / The Shoe Book >

I had so much fun creating looks inspired by interior design for JWS Interiors that I thought I would keep at it, giving design inspiration for your home while also giving you some style inspiration to match!  What I love about this living room is the little pops of color and prints throughout.  Even though they have kept with a very white and clean look, there was the right amount of prints, textures and color to give the room some warmth.

Living Room Elle

Black, white and red are pretty traditional but I love the pops of yellow and blue in the pillows and wanted to pull them into the look.  Sometimes it just takes a little bit of unexpected to make something rather simple and traditional a bit more fun.  Everything in this look can be worked into different looks from your closet, making each piece extremely versatile and perfect for Fall.

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< sunglasses / shirt / denim jacket / clutch / lipstick / nail polish / cuff / earrings / booties (half off!) >

Here is a little more from this color combination…

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If you missed it on Instagram yesterday, I was featured on the JWS Interiors blog, bringing together my love for Interior Design and Style through three different rooms and three Fall looks to match.  Design and style are so interconnected and have such an influence on each other that it only made sense to bring them together.  I had a wonderful time collaborating with Jennifer (who is crazy talented by the way) and you must visit the entire feature by clicking here!

One of my favorite looks I pulled together was this classic and chic combination of neutrals.

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< cape / hat / eye shadow / jeans / lipstick / tote / nail polish / heels >

There is something extremely cozy and warm but yet still sophisticated and simple with this entire look.  The cape sets the tone and is complimented by a simple hat, tote and heels.  I have had a long standing love affair with capes and think they are the perfect outerwear for Fall and Winter.  This Ted Baker one is one of my favorites this Fall season but there are so many amazing ones available.  Sure it is a tad too hot for them right now in Orange County, but cooler weather will be here soon enough (crossing fingers, praying, hoping….).

Make sure to check out my other two looks over at JWS Interiors!

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Sneakers: Nike / Pouf: Vintage / Rug: Crate & Barrel

When we first moved two years ago, my initial thought was that I would finally create the very clean and modern look of all white rooms with accents of marble and slight compliments of color throughout.  Clean, simple and classic has always been my taste.  It seemed to be my personality.  I never really take risks.  I like organization.  I do what is expected.  This all made sense.  And then I started working with an interior designer.

Against everything I thought I stood for, I found that when looking at photos, magazines and speaking with my designer, I was not drawn towards the clean white lines but to colors, prints and textures.  I craved the coziness of a down-feathered couch with mixed matched printed pillows everywhere.  I couldn’t keep my eyes away from printed wallpaper and the jewel toned paints.  I began imagining a home that was so filled with color, textures and prints that you couldn’t help but sink into the warmth of the place, kicking off your shoes, grabbing a glass of wine and never wanting to leave.  I wanted the home that caught your eye no matter where you looked and you couldn’t help but be intrigued by what the next room holds.  The classic and expected went right out the window and the eclectic completely took over.  And who knew, the eclectic and unexpected puts a smile on my face.

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When we were re-doing our kitchen, I REALLY wanted a marble carrara countertop.  I had always loved the look of it and saw this as my opportunity to finally put it in.  And then I began researching and talking with others.  The first response I received from a number of people was “WHAT?!  Do you know how easy marble stains?!”  Yes, I sort of knew this but I wanted to believe my countertop would be different.  And then I started to think about all the juice boxes, markers, coffee, olive oil and red wine that would potentially be put on that countertop.  Slowly I started to realize that it just didn’t make sense for our home.  I didn’t want my OCD to ruin the fun of everyone hanging out in our kitchen.  In the end, I compromised with myself and put in a subway tile marble carrara backsplash instead.  It would have looked amazing but it just wasn’t worth the stress.

But I love marble.  Always have, always will.  And I love seeing it being utilized in not just countertops but in so many areas of the home.  From walls to kitchen accessories, from lamps to coffee tables, you can find just the right amount of marble that works for you and create such a fresh, clean look that I love.

<Note: We have the coffee table in the final photo which I LOVE and highly recommend, though I do have a slight panic attack every time someone sets a glass of red wine on it.  Typical>

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* Photos via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Last week, Juggling in Heels and Birdaria Home and Gift joined forces to give my girlfriends one last hurrah before school is out and summer begins.  Specializing in custom placemats, lucite trays, bottles, canvases and more, Birdaria was the perfect co-host as we all get ready to entertain all summer long.  Birdaria brought in their beautiful pieces that we placed around my home as decor while I put together a lunch filled with some of my favorite things (I am a sucker for a croissant sandwich). Twenty women joined me to eat, drink and learn about Birdaria and all the products they offer.  Some loved the line so much that they couldn’t leave without placing their own custom orders.  It was too much fun and made me think I should have been doing these lunches all year long!
What I love most about the Birdaria products is that the sky is the limit when it comes to design.  They can say anything you want them to with any print you want.  The colors, the font, the design.  Everything is up to you.  The lucite trays and placemats are double sided so you technically get two designs or the price of one.  Having a themed party?  You can also order additional inserts for your trays to make them relevant to any celebration, holiday or “just because”.  Like I said, the sky is the limit.
The canvases come in every color combination imaginable.
What are they going to say?
It is up to you!
I am obsessed with my new custom lucite tray and placemats
The lucite trays served as perfect serving pieces for our cocktail options.
There are so many patterns to choose from there is definitely something there for everyone
Birdaria-11 Birdaria-13 Birdaria-14 There are always two that dress alike.
This might have been the most popular saying among moms with teenage girls.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Birdaria site, I highly suggest perusing all their items here.

I am totally jumping on the Fiddle Fig Tree bandwagon.

They are just too cute.

I went back and forth between a real one and a fake one because I tend to have a strong inability to keep plants alive, both inside and out.  I really tried for the fool proof fake but nothing looked as good as the real ones.  And so, here I go.  Lucky for me a local nursery will order the tree, pot it for me and deliver it right to our living room, without me destroying it.  Once it is in the house, it is up to me and I am going to DO MY BEST to take care of this thing.

Besides my recently potted succulents in our kitchen, this will be the first living plant allowed into our home…  

I think I can… I think I can… I think I can…

* images via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5


I may not be an official cowgirl but I often find myself drawn to cowboy hats, country music, boots and cowhide.  It tends to get worse whenever I leave the Santa Ynez Valley.  Sure you can totally overdo it, which can be bad…really bad.  But when tastefully incorporated into your wardrobe and interior design, it adds a warmth and comfort that I just love.

See that large taped rectangle in the bottom center of the wall?

This might be the only rectangle in the world that can drive me crazy.

The smaller rectangle is a print that is currently being matted and framed.
The two sticks are the lamps that are already purchased and waiting to go in their place.
The large rectangle is a modern wood sideboard that works in the room and is 72 inches long and 32 inches tall, at a price that makes sense.
And it apparently doesn’t exist.

I have look at more websites than I can count and have texted my designer more than she cares for with items that I am finding but are just a little bit off.  Perhaps it is a little short of 72 inches long.  Perhaps is is not 32 inches tall.  Perhaps it is not modern enough.  Perhaps the wood is not right.  Perhaps it is more than I want to spend.  Perhaps it is located in Belgium and too much of a pain to get here (true story).  Whatever the problem, I get extremely close to loving one, only to find that it will not work.  

And normally, I have extreme patience with these sorts of things, knowing that at times, it can take a while to find something.  But for whatever the reason, I am determined to find the perfect one, no matter how many hours I spend scouring the internet.  It is totally unlike me but I cannot help it.  I try to step away and then I start searching again.  It is almost like the harder it seems to be to find, the more I am crazed with finding it.

Has this ever happened to you?

I have promised myself that I am not going to look at all this weekend, leaving the hunt for the professional that I have hired to help me with this.  No more sideboard searching for me!  The insanity has got to stop!

And on a less crazy note, the room is coming together quite nicely!  Our bottom rug is almost done and will add some warmth and coverage under the cowhide.  We had a large mirror made that is going to be installed next week and I CANNOT wait to see how it turned out.  Next on the list is wallpaper for the entry and drapes.  It has quickly become my favorite room in the house.  I will be sure to share photos when everything is complete.

Happy Weekend.