Good French Doors (And One Window).

 

My list of greatest hits in Paris is probably a little different than most. In nine days in central Paris, I did not set foot in Le Louvre or go to the top of Le Tour Eiffel.

I did eat about 47 macaroons, pounded miles and miles of cobblestone pavement in my Adidas, and paid close attention to the details. I guess rather than staring at Monet or Cezanne, I peeked into courtyards and took a few extra seconds to take in the wonder.

The beauty of Paris is truly in the not so obvious. It's in the speckles of green in a green tea macaroon. Or in a Parisian woman's bun, perfectly messy (always bobby-pinned). It's in the way they plate carrots (always buy vegetables with dirt, our Parisian friend tells us).

It's in the discreetness of children's balloons sitting alone on a winding street.

It's the flower shops in Le Marais pouring over with abundant green.

It's the slow pour of a thick hot chocolate and the little spoon to stir. It's the old wooden boxes that hold the tiny bobbins at Clignancourt.

And the cat that wanders by leading me to a hidden jazz bar in between two stalls selling leather hides.

The beauty of Paris is in its doors. And the pale gray windows of Isle Saint Louie.

 

The beauty of Paris is nothing for words, it's an ache in my heart, a sense of familiarity in what should be a totally unknown planet.

XO

Anna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building a Bohemian Bed from Top to Bottom

 

I am a liiiiitle bit crazy about beds and hold a very strong belief that beds should be THE most comfortable place in your home. I'm not about fuss but all about comfort, which is why I almost always go for an upholstered headboard, or at least an upholstery/wood combination. Linens should be ultra soft with just the right amount of cool factor (cool, as in temperature. I like when my sheets feel cool to the touch). No scratchiness permitted. No fussy ultra thick duvets or comforters. Nothing for show only that must be removed. Even the throw pillows should be acceptable to sleep on. I like to layer on thinner blankets, preferably mixing in some vintage because nothing compares to the feel of vintage cotton.

If I were designing my boho bed, this is what I would do:

<< Tribal Headboard OKL >>

What I love about this affordable headboard from OKL, other than the price, is that the design is subtle and adds just enough interest. Layered with the right bedding and pillows it will add the perfect amount of texture and depth.

What I love about this affordable headboard from OKL, other than the price, is that the design is subtle and adds just enough interest. Layered with the right bedding and pillows it will add the perfect amount of texture and depth.

<< Go-to Sheets from Overstock >>

These are my go-to Egyptian Cotton sheets. I personally don't like a top sheet, but you can get the entire set on overstock.com. I like to mix whites and creams. Almost all my bedding at home is either white or cream and it can all be mixed together in any combo.

These are my go-to Egyptian Cotton sheets. I personally don't like a top sheet, but you can get the entire set on overstock.com. I like to mix whites and creams. Almost all my bedding at home is either white or cream and it can all be mixed together in any combo.

<< A Mix of Throw Pillows in Vintage Textiles >>

I created these out of vintage Moroccan and African Indigo textiles. I love the look of mixing them in different prints and patterns.

I created these out of vintage Moroccan and African Indigo textiles. I love the look of mixing them in different prints and patterns.

 

<< Flax Linen Bed Skirt from Pottery Barn >>

Since the above bed is a headboard only (no upholstered frame),&nbsp; a skirt is needed to cover the frame. Something soft and easy. This is the best place to use linen, because it gives such a great laid back look, but I'm not a huge fan of it for bedding ON the bed. This flax color is perfect.

Since the above bed is a headboard only (no upholstered frame),  a skirt is needed to cover the frame. Something soft and easy. This is the best place to use linen, because it gives such a great laid back look, but I'm not a huge fan of it for bedding ON the bed. This flax color is perfect.

<< Light weight coverlet from Serena & Lily >>

I am in love with this light weight blanket from Serena &amp; Lily. It has the look of being ultra-worn in and is smooth on one side and textured on other, so it looks great folded over.

I am in love with this light weight blanket from Serena & Lily. It has the look of being ultra-worn in and is smooth on one side and textured on other, so it looks great folded over.

<< Throw Blanket from Dwell Studio >>

 
 

The perfect throw blanket to layer on a Bohemian look. Inky indigo stripes and cream with tassles for texture.

All you need is your mattresses (pillow top, of course) and you are set for ultimate comfort.

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Here are some more great Bohemian bedrooms from my Pinterest page for inspiration...

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The BEST part of the Bohemian bed is you will never want to get out!

Happy Decorating.

xo

Anna

 

1920s Tudor Home Reveal

 

Excited to share photos of my client's 1920s Tudor Home project that was just finished.

When you have plaster walls, crown moldings of this detail, beautiful archways, and original hardwoods, it's all about accentuating the charm. And this house has charm for days. It also happens to be inhabited by the kind of family that truly is interested in making their house a home. This house has soul and I think it comes across.

What we did:

1. Keep the paint neutral. If you have plaster walls, ornate moldings, and lots of natural light, keep the walls neutral. It also allows you to really layer in color with textiles and accessories. The wall color here is BM Revere Pewter, one of the best all-time neutrals, which I think takes on the look of a natural stone. Although each room is painted the same, this color shows differently depending on the light, so that each room appears sort of layered on the next. We painted the back panel of the built-ins in the living room a pop of color - BM Wythe Blue.

2. Splurge on the window treatments. Here we layered woven woods with custom draperies. Woven woods are great for privacy and give lots of neutral texture. The difference between custom draperies and store bought is no comparison. Save up until you can splurge, it will be worth it. Don't be afraid to use a heavy upholstery grade as we did in the living room, where we created this bold stripe out of two solids we loved. These are done in a Euro-pleat with emphasis on fullness for a little more drama. We kept the hardware minimal and dark for contrast.

3. Make the art meaningful. The gallery wall in the foyer tells the story of this family: her son's first scribble of a person, her daughter's creative purple girl, the key of their first family home framed. I love that you can walk in and instantly feel that there is love in this home. The framed photos above the fireplace will be changed out each year with the family's annual photo shoot.

5. It's OK to mix high and low. This dining room table is Saloom, custom made, and will last a lifetime. It also expands to accommodate large family holiday gatherings. The light fixture is from Birch Lane and gave us a chance to be playful without breaking the budget.

6. Keep an eye on One Kings Lane. A great resource for a high end look. We got the area rug in the living room, as well as the Miles Talbott spindle chairs from OKL.

 

Happy Decorating.

XO Anna

 

 

 

 

 

Five Design Trends I'm not Mad at for 2016

 

2016 may finally mark the death of a few long-standing trends in home interiors: Polished nickel hardware and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, gray on gray on gray, all-white kitchens, and the idea all that all things must match.

Before I go into my favorite top 5 trends for the coming year, I'm excited about the direction in general. Think much more hand-crafted, eclectic, perhaps even European in nature, with much more emphasis on true artisanship, unique and meaningful art, recycled goods, and a layered, subdued feeling in the home.

Say good-bye to mass-produced and cheaply manufactured goods that don't stand the test of time, overly bright and overly done looks, and generally trying too hard. So maybe this is your year. Your home should be cozy, relaxed, purposeful, and always tell a story about YOU. Yes, yes, and yes.

These five trends of 2016 are ones I am definitely not mad about.

<< 1 >>

The eclectic kitchen.

Say good-bye to all-white/stainless steel kitchens. The look is moving in a much different direction. Mixed metals, mismatching cabinetry, old world meets modern, copper, gold hues, vintage patina rugs, and much moodier in nature. Don't be afraid to use black. It's no longer necessary to match the upper and lower cabinetry. In fact, the upper cabinetry in kitchens is completely being reinvented. Think open shelving and other unique expressions of storage above. Or, maybe none at all. Spaces are OK too. Kitchens should be a rambling expression of how you live, how you cook, what you eat, and how you like to display your goods. The more creative here the better.

<< 2 >>

Muted, subdued and more layered vibes.

The angel is in the details. Use of texture rather than bold, bright contrast. Mixing scale appropriately to fill a space. Playing with subtle variations in tones and richness. This is not necessarily a look that you throw together in a day or shop for in a paint-by-numbers fashion. This is about taking your time to layer in meaningful pieces that tell a story and create a look that is totally your own. The more unique and eclectic the better. There is a fresh simplicity, yet at the same time a great attention to each piece.

 

<< 3 >>

Floating vanities and console pieces.

Floating vanities give a look of a bit more spaciousness or airiness. In a small space like a bathroom, they also help to reveal more of the flooring if you are doing a special patterned tile or some other element you really want to highlight.

Here is a great DIY from Amber Interiors on a floating credenza.

<< 4 >>

Handmade ceramics/earthenware will replace shiny, new porcelain.

The look of handmade ceramics will become much more popular in dishware. The best place I've discovered to source it is local antique/thrift/flea markets. It's a much more of a hand-crafted and artisanal look. And don't worry about having a perfectly matching set. Layer beautiful, soft neutrals and mix up the dinner plates, salad bowls, mugs and serving plates so it looks like a collection, not a matching set. There is something better about sipping chai out of a beautiful ceramic mug vs a bland porcelain one, trust me. *wink*

<< 5 >>

The return of the formal dining room.

As much as I tend to be very relaxed in my aesthetic, I love the idea of having one room that is very special, and shouldn't it be the dining room? The place where you entertain? This is where you splurge on the best table you can afford, and save up for a luxurious and interesting chandelier or pendant.

Again, don't think of shopping a retail store for a "set" where each chair matches and every finish is the same. Mix wood finishes, metals, host/hostess chairs, even every chair. Collect and take your time.

Loving these trends, hope you are too.

XO Anna

 

 

 

2016, So Far...

 

My 2016 started off with a bang. But not the kind of bang from a celebratory champagne cork popping off. The kind that leaves you feeling quite unsettled and ungrounded, like an explosion. My dear grandmother passed away at the age of 96. Not really worth putting into any kind of words how amazing of a woman she was, how special our connection, the lessons she taught me, and the sadness I feel at the end, not only of her life, but a chapter of my family's history and life in Kansas City. This is another blog topic probably for a different blog. 

This was the first bang.

And then a series of minor incidents, that when piled on an already broken heart, seem to add to insurmountable heaps: heater busted (in Michigan), my kid went on an eating strike, forgotten homework, taxes mayhem, and I found myself grouchy and scrambling to unpack from vacation, keep up with work, and plan for the next trip: the funeral in Kansas City.

I cope with stress in my own unique ways. Sure, I have my daily meditation which truly does wonders but I've also found that I tend to morph into somewhat of an OCD designer on the prowl. The drug of choice is home accessories and the method to the madness is styling gone wild.

I obsessively style and re-style my home: I fluff pillows, rearrange lamps, color-code the spines of all my hard cover books, trim the brown edges off the leaves of my house plants,  re-oil my cutting boards. Basic, normal stuff everyone does, right??? (crickets). Yes, I basically move through my house, one vignette at a time, as though House Beautiful might just pop in for a photo shoot  at any second (they did not).  

The inside of my toaster is REALLY clean if anyone is wondering. 

Being in super homebody mode is what is appealing to me right now. Nothing sounds better than sitting in my living room with my dogs on my lap and a cup of tea (ceramic mug, placed on a vintage wood coaster, while leafing through a coffee table book on, you guessed it, styling your home).

This has been an interesting and reflective eight days of 2016. 

I think I've experienced every emotion possible to humans and that's OK. It's much like a storm right now. A friend's blog the other day reminded me of a beautiful mantra, that I have been using during my meditations, "Everything shall pass." 

For now, it's all about the comforts of home.

I overheard someone say the other day that things are not important, which of course I'm supposed to agree with being the evolved yogi that I am (sarcasm). 

I kept coming back to this and thought to myself: Right now, I am really happy for things. I'm happy to have my favorite furry throw pillow, the snake plant that one of my student's gave me, my (way overpriced) earth tu face lip balm that smells heavenly, and my favorite Anthropologie slippers. These things DO make me happy. Sure, they don't compare to the humans and animals in my life. But I have the right to exercise a healthy appreciation for beautiful things, functional things, and things with meaning I choose to fill my home with. 

In case you are wondering, I'll be in the bath tub tonight breathing in essential oils and reading the latest $20 issue of Domino magazine.


How do you ground yourself during times of stress?



xx

Anna