Living room details

I snagged a couple more touches for our living room last week, yahoo! Per usual, they popped up when I wasn’t specifically looking. I had anticipated all we needed to “complete” the room was a rug and some new throw pillows, but of course I happened upon these ikat lamp shades before the perfect kilims or rugs ~ 

New lamp shadesI love the deep blue of the shades with the muted, earthy tones of our cave painting reproductions ~ 

Cave paintings

(Those, however, are not new. They’re my grandparents’.)  I also grabbed this yummy candle. At first sniff, I was worried it would be too sweet, but actually Reserve Moonsparkle emits just the right amount of sweet and fresh perfume. 

Reserve moonsparkle candleThey offer a lot of other options, as well. A good hold over till I can stock up on Diptyque candles next summer in France 🙂 


Nature prints

I have to say, there’s nothing quite like stumbling across something “just so” that you’ve been musing upon for ages. This list of mine is random (bright yellow and royal blue kilim pillows, the perfect “tutu” skirt, an antique globe) and generally kept mentally rather than written. Topping it include some natural history-like prints, similar to those pictured here ~

Guest room with nature print


I had about given up finding any that weren’t seriously pricey (not an option), when I happened upon this steal in Barnes & Noble ~

Natural history book & plates

Feast your eyes on all these possible combinations and options (not to mention pretty gifts – there are 40 so I won’t be able to use them all) ~
Nature plate optionsI love that I won’t have to stick with any one theme (so many choices!), but I’m thinking I’ll start with the black and whites as they’ll go well with the lavender/black/grey motifs dominating our guest room at the moment. Before and after pics coming in the next couple weeks!

Gold accents

I fell in love with this pin today …


… and it got me thinking about gold in general around the home…



I especially love those canisters top right. They are vintage and French! What more could I ask for?


I also love these festive gold table settings. So fun for Christmas, especially, I think.

And, well, I know I’ll never have this gold headboard …


… but I love it popping against the bright wall and crisp blue pillows!

What about you? Do you like gold or do you prefer silver accents?

Slipcover accomplished

Last week, I told you about my master plan for our front room. We had chosen the slip cover option as a band-aid for our couch necessity for now, but after my Pottery Barn experience, I was really nervous for slip cover 2.0 to arrive in the mail. Let me tell you, I have never been more pleasantly surprised with an outcome. We have now gone from this ~

to this ~

Aside from tracking down a steamer to de-wrinkle the slip cover around the bottom, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. The mini-instagram of 1.0 is really kind to the green and “cream” (too many afternoons with Riley on it have died it more of a shade reminiscent of dish water) stripes. So I’m happy with the clean slate grey. I had been convinced I’d stick with mustardy hues to accent with, but I’m thinking the grey on grey is pushing me more in the direction of some serious yellow and maybe even purple color pops. I was ecstatic to find that most of my nosing around blogs and such produced purples paired with lots of grey. So there you have it!

I love the look of these jewel-toned chairs and would love to have something similar to them juxtaposed against a rustic dining table one day. For now, I can settle for pops of yellow laced with purple through couch cushions, vases, etc.

I hadn’t really thought about adding a pop to the floor, but this provides some inspiration to do so. I’ve been spying some spectacular (and affordable!) rugs on Joss & Main recently so that’s an option, as well.

The first thing I did when I moved here was paint the spare room lavender. These pictures reminded me why. It’s so calming!

What are your thoughts on purples? Do you lean more towards muted colors or pops of colors? Or striking a balance?

All images (except the first two which were clearly taken with my cell phone) via one of my favorite Francoholic sites, located here.

Denmark calling

Today, I found out that one of my nearest and dearest copines I met in Paris is pregnant with her first baby!! So much has changed since the days we all lived in Paris. Geographically, we are rather far flung now, to say the least … My friend who is expecting now resides in her native Denmark, two remain in Paris, two of us are miraculously in the Baltimore area, and two more in my hometown of Richmond. I almost can’t believe as I type that I first moved to Paris eight (eight?!) years ago, just a couple months after I graduated from college.

I’m still so close with all those girls, all American (except for our Danish lady), but it’s slightly overwhelming to think about the many changes since those times … three weddings, (one imminent wedding!), four babies, home purchases, new jobs galore and travels near and far.

Finding out this lovely news has me thinking about one of my most favorite trips I’ve taken, actually to visit this friend, in Denmark. The quick flight from Paris to Copenhagen was something even I could afford as a 23 year old on an intern’s (ie nothing) budget. Right upon landing, I knew I liked it. I’ve traveled enough now that I have a severe disdain for airports, but actually, the Copenhagen airport is beautiful! Wooden floors, tons of natural lighting and even some art sprinkled throughout make it a painless place to pass through …


During my visit to Copenhagen, we took a boat tour of the city …


where we admired the exactlywhatyouwouldpictureharbor …


… as well as more modern sites, like the opera house, above.

We also snapped pics with the royal guard …


… road the oldest all-wooden still operating roller coaster in the world (! :/)


… shopped (I love that simple and sleek Danish aesthetic) a bit …


… visited the botanical gardens …


… and of course, posed with the little mermaid of such fame …


Sorry, Aerial, but I think she’s gotcha beat. That trip might have been seven years ago already, but it feels like yesterday. Here’s to reunions of friends, both near and far!

Pillowy details

Ok, so if you come to artsdevivre regularly, you know that I am having issues solving our seating dilemma. I desperately want a new couch, but we have decided to pinch pennies just a bit longer before plunging into purchasing our “nice” furniture. Our furniture is mostly worn, and mostly hand me downs, but it works for its collective purposes, so I think it’s important to not over extend ourselves financially when we are not quite ready.

However, that does not solve the conundrum of our, ahem, very tired sofa in the front room. The first slipcover I purchased was a disaster, and in keeping with my current thrifty ideals, I found one more in-line financially (ha! only $43!) and actually I like the color far better. Here she is ~

Now, I know this is not like looking at perfectly zen interiors on Pinterest, but it’s all about the canvas, right? Obviously I am not going to purchase that awkward cube pattern carpet. And obviously I am going to add some super cute decorative pillows to accent my choice of grey. And I figure, since I’ve been *so.responsible* about not over spending on a new sofa, I can at least purchase some great pillows petit à petit. We have these awesome cave painting reproductions in our front room (courtesy of my grandparents’ travels in the 1960s), which I love paired with that geometric lamp from Target (snagged for $50) last spring 🙂 …

We also picked up this amazing ceiling medallion from the Parisian Flea in Hampden. I love everything about it, but most of all that it was saved from a crumbling Hollywood mansion. Just think about the parties it has witnessed!

Once the grey slipcover is applied and the ceiling medallion hung (on the wall, like a 3D painting), I can polish off with the finishing details like pillows. Here are some that I think keep well with the rest of the room’s mustards, gunmetals and muted blues …






And D will tell you I am “obsessed” with being cozy, so I’m thinking this light throw (in mustard) from West Elm will finish everything off. I can’t wait to have it all put it together. It won’t be over night, but definitely by Christmas time. Have you spied any cute pillows or throws recently?