Current Obsession: William Morris Wallpaper.

Wallpaper is a great way to inject some personality into a space.  I especially love the mix of patterns with wallpaper and art.  For a while now I have been seeing faded, flowerly and exuberent wallpaper designs showing up in otherwise minimalist scandinavian interiors.  After much digging I found out that they are reissued William Morris wallpaper.  William Morris began designing wallpaper in the 1860s!  I love the juxtaposition of the his designs in contemporary rooms.  I don’t have a source here in the U.S. for his wallpaper but I may start begging friend’s and family living in Europe to get me a few rolls.


source unknown


Limited Color Palette 2.

A while ago I blogged about Malene Birger’s amazing home in Mallorca. She has since then moved to London and her new home is just as fabulous as her Mallorca home.  The monochromatic palette emphasis the eclectic art and furnishings without the space looking cluttered.

I’m not sure how to describe her style: eclectic-nordic? The bed with the Moroccan wedding blanket and natural hued blankets is so inviting.


It must be so peaceful to relax in this living room. The combination of wood and leather with the vintage beni ourain Moroccan rugs is beautiful.


The layering of chrome and brass throughout this room is very cool.  The gold toned lamps, the chrome coffee table, the brass candle holders and the chrome arc light all work so well together.


I wish I could reach into this picture and unravel the fabric neatly stacked on the stool! I am obsessed with hand loomed slightly rough cotton and wool fabric. I am inspired to take my fabric out of the closet and stack them on a chair so that they can be appreciated daily.


All images via Elle Decoration Sweden

Limited Color Palette.

Something strange has been happening…I have been noticing that I am increasingly drawn to rooms with limited color palettes.  I still love rooms with white walls and tons of colorful furniture and accessories.  However,  there is something about decorating with a limited color palette that creates a sense of harmony.  I love everything about this Palma, Mallorca home of Danish fashion designer, Malene Berger.  The white walls; black and white art and textiles; silver accents and the wood trim are just perfect.

All images are from Elle Decoration UK.

I have no intention of changing my whole house.  I am however considering editing the amount of color in the living room.  Every Spring I get the urge to change things around and this year is no exception despite the fact it feels nothing like Spring.  As far as major renovation projects for our house, I would really like to start the kitchen renovation (highly unlikely); or add a roof deck (unlikely as we would replace the roof first so this will end up being a very expensive project); or dig out the cemented back yard and replace some of the really old cinder block boundary walls and figure out what I want to do with the back yard.  I am also considering painting our room in a dark inky color and installing a wall of closets.  While this project is do-able and relatively inexpensive for Scott and me to tackle it doesn’t look like we will have the time to work on it this Spring.  Both of us have been really busy at work lately and we just don’t have the energy at the end of the day to even plan this project! So it is likely that, this Spring, I will be limited to only re-arranging the furniture and editing. 

Kitchen Inspiration.

When we purchased our house the one thing that we knew we wouldn’t need to spend any money on right away was the kitchen.  It was white, it had white kitchen cabinets, a decent counter top, a tiled back splash, and working appliances. Well, now we have been in the house for six years and the kitchen is falling apart.  Our microwave stopped working, the dishwasher stopped working, the refrigerator is in pretty bad shape and the cabinets just look ugly.  While we splurged on a Bosch dishwasher we haven’t bought anything else. I am dreaming of a brand new kitchen with lots of white subway tiles, cement floor tiles and lots of dark grout.

I am in love with this light fixture and the amazing white subway tiles with dark grout:

Via Desire to Inspire

I love everything about this kitchen.  I love the cement floor tiles, the white subway tiles on the walls with the dark grout and open shelving.

Source Unknown

I would really like to incorporate a sitting area with maybe a wall of bookshelves. 

Jenna Lyons Brooklyn  Kitchen via Domino

I love how you can just throw open these doors and bring the outdoors inside.  Also these tiles are amazing!

Via Dwell

Our kitchen is tiny.  Since Scott and I cook all the time we have been dreaming of a larger kitchen.  We hope to some day combine the kitchen and the back room (which I use as my room for my various projects)  into one large kitchen.  The kitchen is next to the dining room and the back room is next to the kitchen and leads into the back yard.  Unfortunately the back room is a cheap addition (built sometime in the 50s) and the wall separating the kitchen and backroom is  a load bearing wall. 

We would need to remove the entire back room; build a new room; and install an “I” beam if we wanted to open up the kitchen.  Also, I would like to install large glass doors that will open up into the back yard.  This renovation will cost a lot.  So for now I am just dreaming of what I would like my new kitchen to look like.
When we do the kitchen renovation I would also like to dig up the cement in the back yard and plant some bamboo at the far end of the yard, build up the walls on each side and plant a few small trees in the ground; and then re-cement the yard so that we can continue to have a table with chairs and an umbrella outside. Clearly none of this will happen soon.  For now I am content planning all the details. 

Black + White + Triangles

I am obsessed with all things black and white. Throw in a geometric design, especially some triangles, and I am totally smitten. My current obsessions are:

Ferm Living Triangles shower curtain.


Ferm Living Triangles tea towel. 

Triangle (Black) Tea Towel

Bookhu Triangle Zip tote.

ZIP TOTE - triangle

Triangles wallpaper by Lisa Gongdon for Hygge and West.

Super colorful triangles print from this etsy shop

Triangles N.2. (colourful & black). Geometric large print (A3). (Special offer: Get a 2013 calendar for free)
Finally, this star tray also from Ferm Living is stunning.  Actually, I think all the new items on the Ferm Living site are fabulous!

Beautiful White House.

Our house has not been photo ready for a while so I haven’t posted any pictures.  With two kids my house seems to be in a constant state of disarray.  To add to the chaos I really, really dislike the yellow paint in the living room and the blue paint in the dining room.  All I want is a white, airy open feeling home.  The first time I saw the pictures of this house, belonging to Orlando and Nicola Reindorf, my jaw dropped to the floor.  This is exactly what I want my house to feel like (now). I absolutely love everything about this place.  The neon orange accents on the table and bench in the image below are genius. 

Via Design Files.

Basements and the stairways leading to basements are often neglected and boring.  If I had rainbow striped walls leading down to my basement I would be thrilled to go down there. 

Via Design Files.

I am seriously considering having shelves installed on either side of our faux fireplace in the living room.  We really need more storage for our books. 

Via Design Files.

I wish I had an extra room that I could convert into a bathroom.  I would add a clawfoot tub in the middle of the room, instal a chandelier and add a few paintings just like in the image below. 

Via Design Files.

Via Design Files.

I love the blue and white wallpaper with the Muuto lamp.

Via Design Files.

This room is just perfect.  I love the mirror pendant light (Tom Dixon??) and the bright orange Jielde floor lamp. I really want a geometric wall sculpture like this.  I wonder how hard it would be to make one…

Via Design Files.

Via Design Files.

These matt black tiles in the kitchen look amazing. 

Via Design Files.

 I really like the dark exterior with the pop of color on the door. 

Via Design Files.

Seeing this home makes me want to start painting our house.  I have already started painting the dining room in Moonlight White by Benjamin Moore.  Now I just have to paint the living room, paint the back room, and paint the second floor bathroom. 

Should I do it?

So, if I were to paint the living room white then I feel like all the colorful things we have will pop.  I am hoping that the white walls will sort have the same effect as in the picture below.   I LOVE how the bright cushions stand out against the white walls and the white floors.  My biggest fear in painting the walls white is that it will look sterile and bland.  I have started to look into white paints.  So far my favorite is White Dove in Matte by Benjamin Moore.  Now that I have more or less made up my mind to paint only the living room white my biggest obstacle is to convince Scott! 

Via Abigail Ahern

Should I take the plunge and paint the living room white?

This indecision aside we have bought a new pendant for the dining room and done a few other things around the house.  Once I figure out how to upload the pictures off my new camera I will post some updates.

More is Always More.

While I may wax and wane about the color of my walls (white or full of color)  the one thing that I am quite certain about is that a space only feels personal when it is filled with objects that mean something to the person living there.  A perfectly styled home in a magazine while looking beautiful is essentially uninviting simply because it says nothing about the person living in it.  The more personal the home is the more alive it feels.  My mantra is More is Always More. 

I love the little things and the big things that I do to my home because I want to come home to a beautiful place.  I want to be reminded of where I come from, who my friends are and essentially be cocooned in a place of beauty.  Decorating for me is fun and relaxing.  I think that some people decorate to have the “perfect” place that they think will impress others. Some people rush to get stuff done and don’t seem to take any pleasure in the process of decorating.  Nothing about our house is perfect! It is old, odd-shaped and full of flaws…but those are all the things that I like about it!

I once had a hairdresser who told me quite authoritatively that photographs never belonged in the main living area.  He was totally appalled at my comment that  certain photographs are like art and should be hung all over the house! People and their rules! Nothing gets me more annoyed than all these rules people seem to impose on themselves and everyone else.  “No white after labor day”, “paintings only at eye level”, “granite a must in kitchens”, “ceilings all ways white” etc. are all random useless rules which should just be tossed aside in general and specifically when decorating a home.  Decorating should be a fun and instinct driven process.  I say do what you like and have fun with it!

Here are some homes that look fabulous while breaking a lot of the so called rules:

I love everything about this room: the gallery wall of vintage paintings, the mismatched shell chairs, the Eiffel tower bases on the chairs, the wood table. 

 Via SFgirlbybay

I love the dark ceiling and the wallpaper.

Room designed by Abigail Ahern (source unknown)

I love the blue walls, the paintings and all the colors in this room. 

Olatz Schnabel Bedroom (source unknown)

I really like the idea of painting the walls and the ceiling the same color…it opens up the space.  I am not sure why I never thought of doing this. I love contrast of the fabrics, colors and texture.  Also, the painting in the room to the left of the picture is fabulous.

Living Room Decorated by Abigail Ahern (source unknown)

Vintage paintings in the kitchen! what a great idea.  This is one of my most favorite kitchens.

Kitchen Decorated by Abigail Ahern (source unknown)

 P.S.  While I wish I could be doing some fun house project I need to get back to some work that I need to get done before tomorrow morning.  I was down with the flu and spent some time laying in bed and I think I am inspired all over again to tackle some house projects.  I know I have not been good at doing regular posts but I feel that I will be posting more regularly again.

Alive and Dreaming of White.

Yes I am alive and well.  I have had quite a relaxing summer (hardly any house projects with lots of relaxing).  Scott finished his Postdoc at Penn and had a couple of months off so he worked on some of the bigger projects like removing the wallpaper on the second floor hallway.  I bought a few things (outdoor lamp, and shower curtain rod to name a few) but I was generally uninspired to do any major work.  Recently I have been feeling like tackling a project or two.  Much to Scott’s dismay (and sort of mine) the one major thing that I have finally decided that must be done is to paint the house.  Yes we did only paint the house in 2007 when we bought it and it looks perfectly fine.  The only problem is that I really, really want a white house! I am not going to get rid of all the colorful things instead I just want all white walls.  I think that all my colorful bric-a-brac would look fabulous against a white background.  Don’t these rooms look so uncluttered and charming? I especially like the juxtaposition of the vintage furniture and mirror against the stark white walls. 

Via Emmas Design Blogg

Via Emmas Design Blogg

Via Emmas Design Blogg

Via Emmas Design Blogg
Via Emmas Design Blogg

Hallway One.

How fabulous is this hallway?

(I am not sure where I got this picture but I am pretty sure that it is Abigail Ahern’s hallway)
I love the juxtaposition of the dark grey, red, purple, pink and green.   In starck contract to the hallway above this is what our hallway looks like:

Our hallway on the second floor is in need of some serious work.  It is the only place in the house that we never got around to stripping the old wallpaper ( the first floor bathroom is also covered in layers of ugly wallpaper but we plan on gutting the bathroom completely so thankfully we don’t have to worry about removing any wallpaper).  Our plans for this hallway include stripping the wallpaper, fixing the plaster walls and putting up new black and white damask wallpaper (click here to see what it may look like once it is up). 

We have fixed the plaster wall you see to the right of the picture below.  Now if we could just stop being lazy and remove the rest of the wallpaper this hallway could be checked off my to-do list.

View of the hallway as it leads to the third floor staircase.

So far we (really just Scott) has stripped one wall of the old wallpaper.  Since the hallway is quite dark Scott’s dad installed a light on this wall.  It makes a world of difference.   I want to find a vintage sconce for this wall.  I may keep this porcelain wall sconce (found in my father-in-law’s basement) and just add a silver tipped light bulb. 

Wall at the end of hallway opposite which is the staircase leading to the third floor. 

The ceiling in this area looks really bubbly and strange.  In an attempt to deal with the crumbling plaster the previous owners covered up the plaster on the ceiling with some white wall paper.  We are going to have to remove the plaster and install drywall in this area only because I am pretty sure the plaster is beyond repair.  This fixture came with the house and I loved it so much that I added a clause in our purchase agreement that the previous owners had to leave this fixture in the house.

We have to also fix these random holes in the plaster around the switch plate.

Wall next to Master Bedroom.
View from the hallway towards the Master Bedroom.

Since this is such a small space I am tempted to go all out and experiment with lots of color and pattern.  I am thinking of painting the space underneath the stairs to the third floor in a bright color, similar to the hallway in the first picture.  I am also tempted to paint the ceiling in the same color.  This hallway is pretty dark and only gets natural light when the bathroom door and Kiran’s room door are open. I would also like to figure out a way to install another light source (not that easy since this hallway is the only place in the house which still has  knob and tube wiring).