josef frank dining room

Mi Favorito

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Sometimes the style of spaces that I love is so varied and other times consistent. Do you often see trends in the interiors that inspire you? Do you try to identify them? This is what I’m loving on now. Josef Frank fabric I like purple and indigo together in my art I dream of putting l-shaped additions on to traditional ranches,       cocktails with St. Germaine Elderflower   I think about work spaces in the home that are both masculine and artful   anytime someone wants to mix heavy wood with white and then toss in a Serge Mouille count me in          

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rail small kitchen

Trends: Pot Rails in Kitchen

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I really want to hang white shelving with a curved white brackets in my kitchen but it will block the line of sight through the kitchen. So….I think the alternative is to install some rails to hang pots and other things on. This will free up drawer space, utilize the wall space in a small kitchen lacking in storage and get a little splash of that industrial kitchen look all for a minimal investment. Not surprising, hanging pots happens a lot in small spaces and apartment kitchens.       Schoolhouse Electric Brass Rail Hey lady, way to choose a faucet! Now this is a workable idea, produce in hanging wire baskets. I like the combination of a little basket, some cook ware, maybe an oven mit or a colander IKEA Fintorp Rail But then there’s the ultimate, lots o’ pots over the sink and in front of the window–which…

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Bennett cut board

Kitchen Essentials: Bread Boards

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So maybe you don’t bake bread, chances are excellent that you don’t. You’ll be surprised to know that the fact that you don’t make your own bread does not in any way diminish your need for a bread board. Bread boards are in every kitchen, take a spin through your kitchen Pinterest board or the pages of Elle Decor, House Beautiful etc. and you’ll see them there propped on the counter top. They warm up those white kitchens we love so much, they add some rustic to our modern and they don’t just accessorize they are functional because they are…cutting and serving boards. Do you need one? Yes. Should you have two? Probably. Lean them against your subway tile backsplash. Stack them in a huge antique basket. Serve up something beautiful. Here are a few choices if you’re in the market, 1. On Our Table slab 2. General Store cutting…

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welcome shaniqua

Shaniqua: Designing Ideas for our New Home

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At some point in the house hunt, the dude and I started referring to the blue paned house, aka Silver Springs as Shaniqua. It is a reference to the street it’s on, but really it’s more about personifying the home that we couldn’t get out of mind. The name has since grown on us, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Even Heffe’s kids have taken to it. We got to take them over on Saturday and get a few measurements. Part of our negotiations allowed the previous homeowners a leaseback for 30 days after closing. We had to make formal arrangements to see the home, but we were thrilled to find it mostly empty. It feels more real than ever now, and we’ll be glad to finally have full access at the end of the month. Step into her little foyer, where you are immediately greeted with a set of stairs! I’d really like to…

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catalog buys

Catalog Buys

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Great finds from the catalogs of big retailers stuffed in your mailbox every week. What do we learn in this installment of catalog buys, the Land of Nod catalog isn’t just for kids. Viva Terra Settle In rattan lounger | CB2 Go Cart Mint Desk| Wisteria Lacquer Side Table| West Elm Batik Pom Pom Curtains (on sale!)| Land of Nod Canopy Bed| CB2 Plank Wall Shelves

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Trestle Desks

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I have some telecommuting friends and one of these friends has a new work from home gig and needs to carve out a work space. I’m thinking she should consider a trestle desk because well it’s kind of simple– they are affordable, timeless and chic. Case in point,   My favorite example. It’s all about accessorizing, customizing and adding great art. Shelving won’t hurt either.       How is everyone putting these together? Mostly with IKEA’s Klimpen system, which you can customize with different finishes on the top and the legs. Here’s a little roundup with some other trestle options, some with a little more storage. Target trestle desk/ PB Teen Storage Trestle Desk/ PB Teen Project Trestle Desk/ IKEA Klimpen Desk  

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Formal Dining Rooms Turn Casual

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How many people do you know that say, “we never use our dining room,” “It’s the lowest on the decorating priority list,” “We only use it on holidays,” “My parents gave us their old dining room set and so we stuck that in there” I’ve heard all of these excuses. It’s obvious how this room functions, but when you think more specifically about what kind of experiences you have in your home, it can bring you closer to turning an unused room around. No matter how you use it, we need to send boring, matched dining room sets and heavy draperies out with the next purge and go casual, with style of course. Questions to ask yourself about your forgotten dining room: What kind of food do you cook? Do your family or guests tend to linger at the table, engage in friendly or unfriendly debates, have too much wine and…

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Checking in on Pillow Progress

Checking in on Pillow Progress

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Hi friends. Sarah and I got together recently and styled up a new collection of pillows that we pulled together from vintage indigo textiles and mud cloths from Mali. Our launch was a mere two weeks ago, and already the huge stacks of product that I traveled to North Carolina with has dwindled. Now we are scrambling to get more pulled together, and fast! I’m so excited by our progress with the pillow sales, I can’t wait to branch out into more product ideas that we are cooking up. For now though, have a little look at what’s left, it’s slim pickings in terms of quantities, but we do have just a few more options in each design left for sale. Click the image to shop.        

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I’m a Big Fan of Independence

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Today is a great day for BBQs, pool parties, at home fireworks, a family reunion by the river, little kids and puppy dogs, maybe some sparklers. Sarah and her crew are after it in the mountains of NC, and we’re going to get to it here in SoCal in just minute. It’s an interesting time to feel patriotic in this country. I’m not going to climb atop a soapbox to talk at length about how energized I am to see actual progress, or how disheartened I am to see social evidence of ignorance as close to me as the people that I’m connected to through social media. But, I have taken a moment of time on this slow morning to consider inalienable rights. I do want to remind us all to muse a bit on the notion of independence. Happy Fourth!

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perfectly framed bonus space in kitchen

House Hunting: It’s DONE Y’all

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Now that the house purchase is complete, we will happily be bringing the HOUSE HUNTING series to a close. (… until Sarah decides to move again, which could happen any minute knowing her crew.) But as for us, let’s have a cheer since we are donezo! I’ve never been more grateful. The news came in last Friday that we officially closed (10 days and ten thousand headaches beyond our contract close date.) We were pulled through the mire a bit on the nuances of lending protocol, so it was hard to feel anything more than mere relief. The champagne is still chillin’ in the fridge. Thank God for our real estate agent, Joyce Gottlieb though, who I can’t recommend enough. She was super savvy and tough as nails on hard core sellers and less than stellar funding agents. God bless her! I wish I could buy 50 more houses with her. So, here we…

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Settee 3 Looks

Vintage Rattan Settee 3 Ways

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It all starts with our vintage rattan settee. Not sure where to go from there? Allow us…here are three suggestions to jump start you in to creating your own look with our settee. Source it out below.     Modern Calypso St. Barth Sheepskin/Kaya Kilims Menay/The Estate of Things white African mudcloth pillow/ The Estate of Things black African mudcloth pillow/ Serena & Lily Cooper Stool / Crate & Barrel Rex Floor Lamp Bohemian Chic Maroc Tribal Carpets Beni Ourain/ The Estate of Things Indigo Mudcloth Pillows/ Tshaj Hmong Stripe Pillow/ The Estate of Things Hmong Lumbar Pillow/ Jayson Soud Cloth/ Anthropologie Marble Top Table/ Crate & Barrel Lapel Floor Lamp Feminine Traditional Ballard Designs Seagrass Rug/ SparkModern Peter Dunham Rajmata pillow/ Whitlock & Co. spring botanical pillow/ Lulu & Georgia Nautine throw/ WS Home Cane Garden Seat/ Dwell Studio Albert Floor Lamp

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white place6

White Place: A pocket neighborhood?

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In the late 1800s, S.R. White platted 38 acres of what would become White Place in Bloomington, Illinois. Why is this interesting? Well… because when we stumbled upon White Place off University Avenue I immediately thought– pocket neighborhood and I’m fascinated with pocket neighborhoods. I recently visited Bloomington IL, a moderately sized midwestern town but certainly bigger than my own southern home. A two and half hour ride from Chicago, Bloomington is home to State Farm, Illionois State University, Illinois Wesleyan and had he not been assassinated maybe Abraham Lincoln’s post-presidential home. The downtown area of Bloomington is a renovator/house flipper’s Graceland. Prices stay low (for now), the streets are lush and green (for now) and the potential is high. The streets are lined with Queen Annes, craftsman bungalows and prairie style houses. I’m not sure why anyone would want to live anywhere else in Bloomington but in a downtown…

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Quick Paint Update

A Quick Paint Fix

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A little cottage dining room recently required some quick updating.. Getting rid of the dated paint colors was first and foremost on the list and what resulted is just further confirmation that paint will go a long way. Tan walls be gone, We used Benjamin Moore’s Woodlawn Blue to brighten up the dining room. We also replaced the existing light fixture with an easy Allen + Roth drum pendant from Lowe’s. How fresh is that?! We also sent pouty Laney to the pool, so we don’t have to hear “Mom I don’t want to go see any more houses”

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Laney Sleeping at Sarahs House

From our Phones

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Summertime has taken over the Southlands, which means June Gloom in SoCal, and unbelievable three digit temps in the South. Moving on to to the lighter moments in life, here’s what we have been inspired by via cellphone.   You can always follow along in real time via Instagram – our most favorite place to hang out when we aren’t here on the blog. SARAH is @theestateofthings BETSY is @betsymoyer

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African Kuba Cloth Inspiration BlackBirdsLA by Barbara Bestor

Spotted: African Kuba Cloth

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Around these parts, our attentions wax and wane, depending on latest projects and life’s very real demands. I used to give myself a hard time about this, but I’m accepting the natural order of things, and just going with it. Self help articles demand focus focus focus, but how can I with so many new inspirations flying into my face daily? Can you relate? Speaking of focus, we SHOULD… and we should focus on Sarah’s renovation efforts. We have some exciting news to share soon, since she has totally wrapped the Bennett Kitchen renovation. … But with the surprisingly successful launch of the TEOT pillow collection – the focus lately has been on home decor sales via ETSY. So, that’s just what’s up with us. As a result, with news of Barbara Bestor’s BlackbirdsLA project, comes eye candy with an emphasis on African inspiration, including some very wantable Kuba Cloth pillows scattered throughout…

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