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Guest Room / Office Makeover Progress: Paint & Trim

Last week, I told you about the guest room/office makeover happening at my house right now.  I thought I would show you some before photos and the best part, the progress photos.  There has been quite a change in that room these past weeks!

The palette of the space was inspired by the hallway in author Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, her gorgeous home and gardens in Lenox, Massachusetts.  You can read more about this here.

This photo has been stuck in my head since I visited there five years ago with my husband.

When I am trying to visualize a space and come up with a design, I sit in it and stare.  I wish I drew more, and I do dabble in it, but I do better if I just look at the space – to get a feel for it…dare I say…to let it talk to me a little bit?

Our guest room/office has the most natural light in the house – two full walls of windows.  Since we moved here three years ago, this room has been the guest room/nursery, and then when I moved the girls to the same room, the catch all for other rooms that have been under construction.  I would say it has been full of castoffs from other spaces a good year.

In this before photo, you can see the previous striped walls.

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How Opulence Can Be Relevant To Your Regular People Home

opulence and regular homes

As a child, I was a voracious reader.  There was a time during elementary school I clearly remember checking out three books every other day from my school library.  I would put a flashlight under my pillow so I could read at night when I was supposed to be sleeping.  I simply loved books…and stories…and literature.  I especially enjoyed mysteries, but I also relished history and biographies of people from all areas of life who accomplished great things.

In my teen years, I started reading authoress, Edith Wharton.  Her more famous titles are “The House of Mirth” and “The Age of Innocence”, but her short stories are where I believe her true genius lies.  Her tales focus on the privileged class of her era at the turn of the century, and are filled with humor and wit.  But not only was she a talented writer, she was also one of the first recognized American female interior designers.

image courtesy of

image courtesy of


In 1902, she built The Mount, her home in Lenox, Massachusetts.  She penned many novels there and fashioned the home and astoundingly beautiful gardens around her design philosophy, which she highlighted in her work, “The Decoration of Houses” in 1897.

edith wharton's the mount

Five years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Massachusetts, spending a day at The Mount.  We still talk of the grounds and the home.

You could even pick apples nearby.

It was all very inspiring and yes, romantic even, but I can see how people shy away from translating grand homes of old into something of relevance today.

It is sort of like couture fashion…I’m a regular girl, so how does that apply to me?  Why should I look at it, think about it, absorb it at all if it is unattainable for me?

I had a conversation with an acquaintance recently about this very subject.  She said, “Yes, I think seeing these old homes is kind of cool, but I never really feel like I get anything out of it other than thinking ‘that’s neat’.  I will never live in a home like that so I don’t get it really.”

I believe the answer is quite simple…you can be inspired by it.  You can take a mix of materials or a fabric pattern or a color scheme from a grand old home where you live or a Downton Abbey episode and recreate it your way to fit in beautifully with your home’s aesthetic.  I wonder sometimes if we are so concerned with trends (chevron now, nope now it is hexagons, triangles!)  that the thought behind how our home comes together becomes skewed chasing after the here and now, and therefore, the design falls flat.

Below you see a photo of a structure that is quite lovely, you might think it looks like a quintessential country home.  But it happens to be a barn on Edith Wharton’s property…A BARN.  Perhaps this will inspire you to put some thought into that eyesore shed?  or that falling down lean-to against your garage?  (ahem, cough, I’m looking at myself)

Perhaps if we slowed down long enough to look at design that has stood the test of time, we could find in it a connection to the space we live in?  Whether it be a rented space, a garage apartment, a starter home, a forever home, or an apartment, I wonder if finding a tie to the past that inspires us is the way to an authentic home.

There is a particular space at The Mount that has stuck with me since I first stepped into it.  It is a rather grand hall, but the colors and trim work captivated me.

It is a gorgeous space, and I can close my eyes and still see every detail.  The barrel ceiling and that gorgeous blue-green trim hue against the creamy ivory background is perfection.

So here I am dreaming of a space Edith Wharton dreamed up and created over a hundred years ago.  No, I don’t have a grand hall in my home, nor will I ever, but I do have a space that is getting a makeover.  A makeover inspired by this space – a grand hall in a grand home – translated to a small room in my old home.

Next post will showcase this previous mess of a room turning into one of the prettiest rooms in the house!

For more information on Edith Wharton and The Mount, check out this website.  This is a must-stop-and-see if you get the chance!  I would love to go back!

Written by Grace


Two Great Party Theme Ideas

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, invitations, decor, and activities!

First off, an 80′s party!  Side ponytails and scrunchies, anyone?  This party works for people of all ages!  Full details here.

p&g everyday

p&g everyday


If you have a little wild animal in your life (I have four myself), you may want to think about a Safari party.  Everything you will need to celebrate your wild one is here.

p&g everyday

p&g everyday


Planning events can feel overwhelming with all of the things you have to do everyday just to keep up with life.  I like to think these articles can help give you a plan and make things easy for you.  I hope you enjoy them!

Have a great Easter, Everyone!  May you celebrate Family, Love, & Life this weekend.  xo

Written by Grace

DIY Knife Blocks & Ice Ice Baby

I’ve been in Atlanta soaking up some amazing speakers at the Design Bloggers Conference the past few days, and I am on my way home now.  In fact, this post is coming to you from the clouds this early morning.  I’m missing my husband and babies, of course, so I am ready to get home!

I wanted to share with you two of my favorite articles I recently wrote for P+G Everyday.  I think they have lots of useful information, and I like sharing articles with you that I save for myself to refer back to.

First up, knife blocks…I see these in the store, and they are super expensive, right?  The thing is, you can save yourself some money by buying a nice set of knives and making your own knife block.

p+g everyday

p+g everyday


These DIY options look darn good, and I like the organic feel to them.


Next up, ice ice baby…

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