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!

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.

Link love

My favorite links of the week include ..

… an easy pickle how-to from Anthology Mag ~

… some super cute Japanese washi masking tape to spruce up any wrapping job ~

some stunningly perfect pink peonies ~

… an intricately beautiful mosque ceiling in Isfahan, Iran ~

… these cheeky neon planters from an Etsy shop ~

… this child-like reminder to keep the magic alive ~

… and this office gallery wall. I never get tired of them!

What have you stumbled upon this week?

Phew. It has been one of those (couple) days. Every time D and I turn around something else is going awry ~

Don’t these potatoes look pretty? I thought so, too, until I spilled them all over the floor the ninth time I took them out of the oven. The recipe only called for 40 mins but they needed minimum an hour at 425 degrees. Hasselback potatoes are yummy, but not when they are not fully cooked :/

This is how I wanted the sofa in our front room to look like. I was ecstatic, in my quest for affordable and attractive seating, to find reasonably priced slipcovers from Pottery Barn.

Alas, after two hours of fighting with the mushroom version I ordered (it looked far more gray online), I had to accept I had not yet solved our seating conundrum. So we still look like this ~

I’m actually pretty happy with the balance, that ikat pillow on the right and my coffee table setup, but this sofa is definitely a Monet, looking better from far away.

We did accomplish a back yard cleanup on our day off (so relaxing) and I was not at all happy to encounter this guy ~

I’m not kidding, I saw him when I was getting rid of brush from an earlier in the summer project, and then again at the dump where we take all our yard waste to be mulched. A nice older gentleman that fit the bill for “Farmer Joe” promised me it was not a Black widow. I didn’t believe D, but I was happy to oblige Joe.

All of these things, however, paled in comparison to the storm that hit us yesterday evening. I was innocently pinning and enjoying some piece and quiet whilst D was bowling (no thank you for me) when a sea-worthy gale began pounding relentlessly on our not so new row house ~


When D counseled me to take refuge in the basement (tornado warnings), I moseyed downstairs only to find water everywhere, and infiltrating our house  through three different windows. Ix-nay South American vacation 2013 for new windows? Blech.

Now I acknowledge that these problems pale in comparison to many in all corners of the globe. We have a house and the luxury to take days off work to get projects done. Whining about new couches when there are students going back to school without any school supplies is completely bratty, I get it. But sometimes, you just. need. to vent.

At least I’ve learned Hasselback potatoes can definitely not cook all the way through in 40 minutes, Pottery Barn slipcovers take far longer than 20 minutes to style (and run HUGE). As for important housing needs, well, that can’t be solved in a quick blogpost. We’re looking for a solution though 🙂

Coffee table makeover

So I never really know what to do with my coffee table. It ends up as an impromptu dining table most evenings, desk during the summerdays and bed for the girls (my cats, Lily and Minnow) all days. Hmm. Less than optimal. My least favorite thing is how it morphs into a catchall for unopened mail, glasses of water and whatever else D or I happen to have in our hands upon entering the salon.

Amidst the endless hours I’ve spent on blogs this summer, I stumbled upon an idea that was totally new to me. I feel terrible because I forgot to bookmark the page and give this lovely lady credit. But here it is ~

I loved creating this collage of coffee table books, my atlas and various other photo and memory albums. Now they are no longer stuck in the corner gathering dust, the girls haven’t attempted to cozy up once and I’m hoping I’ll be more motivated to actually use the spare room we converted into an office last spring. (More on that next week.)

How do you use your coffee table? More artistically or practically? Thoughts?

Style steals

As much as I love to shop in Paris, it can be an expensive venture. I couldn’t stifle my longing sighs as I perused, should I say coveted, the items on soldes from the sites I mentioned last week. My frustration at my limited budget got me to thinking about how a wise friend once pinpointed the difference between fashion – a usually negative connotation for me, often an overly expensive and not-unique venture, and style – positive connotation, creating your own unique look with what you have while wisely adding some new pieces when you can. Here’s what I’ve done with style inspired by some of my favorite French stores:

This retro polka dot dress from Comptoir des cotonniers, is on sale for 80 euros.

I picked up this equally retro alternative from my non-guilt trend splurge store, Target, for $20.

This cheeky ruffle skirt from Zadig and Voltaire, on sale for 80 euros, got me thinking about ruffles in general. Not just for the 80s anymore, they can be fun and add just the right je ne sais quoi to any ensemble.

Instead of spending all my extra sous on the skirt, I opted for this ruffle-enhanced romper, also courtesy of Target, also on sale for $20.

I love this gorgeous  and feminine mint dress from Tara Jarmon, on sale for 266 euros. Realizing how much I’m loving mint this season, I decided to pick up multiple pops of this color rather than letting it dictate my whole look.

I’m still waiting on this super cute gummy mint watch from Anthropologie, very reasonably priced at $60.

I found this cute vintage necklace on Pinterest from an Etsy shop. It was a steal at $14 and came all the way from Finland. Love that!

I can’t stop painting my nails mint! I’ve been using Revlon Minted, only $4.99 and which I’ve purchased from, you guessed it, Target. What’s inspiring your style this summer?