my design projects, inspirations, & a few personal tidbits

Here you will find what inspires me, and a peek into how I pull spaces together – the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly mishaps along the way. I sprinkle in a little family life, travel, food, fashion, and party events, too. This might be my first Saturday post ever, but I realize I have not written as much this week as I usually do, so I thought I would update you on the renovation of our Master Bathroom. In fact, just yesterday, the countertop arrived for our little island furniture piece that rests next to the sink.  My favorite element about the island (besides the fact that it looks great) is that the middle section of the back (which you can see in the photo above) pulls out to reveal a hamper!  Since this piece is about 44" wide, and 24" deep, I knew the drawers would be crazy deep, which did not seem necessary for the items we would be storing.  Toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, etc. do not really require nearly two feet of drawer depth.  Therefore, the idea for the hamper was born. The three drawers on either side of the unit will provide plenty of storage, and I am so thrilled with how the design turned out overall.  The carpenter on this job has been fabulous, and I have really been impressed with his design knowledge and ideas.  After I told him I wanted to incorporate the shower tile pattern  somewhere else in the bathroom, he came up with the idea to turn the pattern on the horizontal and add it to the cabinet. When the carpenter first brought in the unfinished piece, my mouth hit the floor. I knew it was really special, and I told him again and again how spectacular I thought his work was. Of course, then I had to find a countertop, and I visited nearly every remnant shop in my area.  Since I didn't need a very large piece, I was hoping to find something exotic and interesting at a great price.  I also knew I wanted a white background, and I wanted the marble to be honed.  (not shiny or polished) I was sure I wanted something fairly thick too, at least 3 cm, which is a little over an inch. There were a few stones that caught my this one.

Since I am still in recovery mode, it was nice this year to not have to cook a full Easter meal.  We went out to eat for lunch and then came home for dessert.  I made four delectable treats and set the table with my favorite blue opaline and lots of spring color. I kept the flowers pretty wildflower-y this year...they looked like spring, and they were cheap.  (they were in that 3 for $10 section at the grocery store - I find a grouping of these filler flowers can be a pleasing, organic look)

Underneath the desserts in pie plates, I layered colorful, vintage handkerchiefs.

I have grand ideas for tablescapes on holidays, and then the holiday sneaks up on me.  Luckily for me, I collect pieces throughout the year at fleas, thrift stores, and estate sales, which helps when I need to put together a pretty table in oh less than ten minutes. I was so happy I picked up these West Elm napkins (they are on sale now!) a few months ago.  Each one has a different stripe pattern on it which I love for an eclectic, collected vibe.   The plates were found at the Alameda Antique Fair in California this past January, the blue opaline makes an appearance nearly every holiday, and the glassware is vintage. Since I do not like marshmallows, Peeps have never looked good to me, and I have never tasted one in my life.  But they did look cute as little appetizers at the dessert brunch, nestled in the blue paper grass.  Plus these were dipped in dark chocolate, yummy! Now it wouldn't be fair if I talked about all of these incredible desserts I made, and then didn't share recipes, now would it?  A couple of these are tried and true, and a couple of them are new favorites, but let me tell ya, they were all delish, and there was barely anything left when all was said and done.  (always a clear sign of success)  Keep in mind too that these recipes would be fantastic for a Mothers Day Brunch or any other holiday for that matter. AStoriedStyle.com_

If you have some party planning in your near future, you may want to check out these articles I wrote with complete plans for food,...

I have long been on the quest for the perfect bamboo shade.  The natural organic feel to them really grips me.  I especially love them in this room (one of my favorite rooms ever) by Lauren Liess. [caption id="attachment_8402" align="aligncenter" width="591"]lauren liess lauren liess[/caption] I have searched for the perfect, AFFORDABLE bamboo shade for years.  Seriously.  I have looked through clearance racks at all sorts of stores and ordered samples from all over the place.  And although it is entirely possible this secret has been out for awhile, it wasn't until six months or so ago that I discovered them. You see, a bamboo shade has to have sort of a tortoise shell feel to them, and be light in color, but not too white and not too honey.  It is a very delicate balance.  The weave is also very important; not too reed-like and not too wide like blinds. I stumbled on them quite accidentally...