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DIY Gold Leafed Shelves

diy gold leafed shelves

Hello hello!

I’ve taken a bit of a break this last month from blogging.  Unplanned.  Just with client work, and family, and flu season, and holidays, etc., the blog has gotten pushed to the side for a time.  I do appreciate your emails and messages, and I do try to respond to all of them, though I am not quite caught up yet.  So thanks for being here, I’m excited to show you what I have been working on.

I have written about my Guest Room/Office Makeover a couple of times – the first post talked about how the color palette and trim was inspired, and the second post was how the paint and trim came to be, quite a feat!

But my beautiful new space would not be what it is without my dear friend, Jen.  You may know her from her really great blog, IHeartOrganizing, or her shop where she sells her practical and pretty products to help make your life more orderly.

jen and grace

We met at the BHG Stylemaker Event the year before last and hit it off.  It was funny too because after reading her blog all of this time, I had thought before that “we could be friends”.  This past year at BHG Stylemakers, we were roommates and stayed a couple of days extra to pal around together.  It was so fun and truly one of my most enjoyable trips to NYC ever.

I had told her before about this cough, rather hoarder looking “storage room” of mine (basically the “receiver” of projects around our house – i.e. “the bathroom is getting redone, so throw everything in here room”), and we both said, “wouldn’t it be neat to collaborate?”  It sounded awesome, but I was skeptical it could ever really happen.  We live at basically opposite ends of the country and both have businesses to run and families to raise.  But she hopped on a plane, and we did it together.


image via IHeartOrganizing

The above photo is courtesy of Jen and showcases what we had to go through.  This is the previous state of the closet.  Yes, it had gotten so bad, I would literally throw things in here “that belonged” and shut the door, thinking I would get around to organizing it “later”.  Anyone else have any “later” spaces?

Much to my surprise, Jen did not run away screaming.  She stayed with me for days, going through this mess, sorting it and putting it away, long into the night(s).  This is true friendship.  Love you, Jen.

jen grace kids

Jen wrote about this makeover, especially focusing on the organizational aspects of it here and here.  There are TONS of good, practical ideas here, so check it out.

Now onto the shelves…

I bought a pair of these Stairway shelves from CB2 when they were having a major sale a couple of months ago.


I bought the gray instead of the white because at the time, they were cheaper and in stock!  The white was backordered, although if I had gotten the white, I could have skipped the lacquering of the shelves since the shelves would have already been lacquered white.

I knew I wanted/needed two large shelving units on either side of my desk for storage and prettiness (and Edith Wharton’s design philosophies – see this inspiration post), but the room is not huge so I needed to be mindful of scale.  We have nine foot ceilings in our home, so I knew it would be a good idea to take advantage of height.  These CB2 shelves are eight feet tall, which is giant for this type of off-the-shelf piece, so it was a good choice.

The shelving supports were pretty non descript before.  Gray. Metal.

shelving supports before

I spray painted them gold before I gold leafed them just to ensure they would be gold even if I missed a tiny spot.

spray paint

I could have stopped here, but I am so glad I didn’t.  The gold leaf gives so much dimension to these shelves.

Continue Reading…

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.

Continue Reading…

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

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