Browsing Cost Plus World Market

I had a few free moments yesterday, so I popped in to my local Cost Plus World Market for a look-see.  I love this place.  I always find something fun and interesting for my home or my kitchen cabinets.  I can pick up a great bottle of wine, a set of fresh towels, some ethnic jewelry and a little goodie for my three year old.  I haven't been in to the store in a while and I was so happy to see their most recent collections.  These are some of the items I might come home with if I were on a little spree.

Plank Wood Walls

There is something about the look of plank wood walls that, if done right, can make a home transcend it's place and time.  Be careful, though - when done badly, it can end up looking like a 1970's garage conversion.  I immediately fell in love with this first photo, which I found at My Favorite and My Best.  The rest of the photos were stashed away in my dream file.  How many of you live with plank wood on the walls?  Do you love it or do you long for smooth plaster?


via Interior Alchemy

via Brabourne Farm

via Fric and Frac

Country Living

Elle Decor

Organizing my Closet

My mother told me to never air my dirty laundry in public.  I usually always do as my mother tells me, but now its time to fess up.  Up until now, my closet, which I share with my husband, has been a big cluttered, jumbled mess.  Although its a small walk-in closet, there is plenty of space for the two of us. We're simply not taking advantage of the real estate available.  After piling clothes and shoes around the closet for weeks, we decided to make a shift.  We needed to re-organize.  We emptied the closet, separated our clothing into "keep" and "donate" bins, purchased a few organizational tools and put it all back together again.  Here are the results!

BEFORE: My side

AFTER: Hubby's side

BEFORE: Hubby's side

AFTER: My side

Switching sides made sense.  I have more clothing and could utilize the double bars.  Hubby had shoes all over the floor and needed a second shelf on which to store them.  I also went through the mish mash of stuff on the top shelf and stored it all properly in bins from IKEA. The bins have little peek-a-boo windows that allow to see the contents: sweaters, rarely worn coats, heirloom baby clothes, hand bags and hats.



We also wanted to unify the storage for our center shelving unit so I grabbed a few wood boxes from the Container Store.  I needed to maximize hanging space so I also picked up some space saving hangers.  This made a HUGE difference!



BEFORE: My side

AFTER: Hubby's side



See, bohemians can be organized too!

Mr. Bed

I'm always trying to find the right balance when decorating my home.  If left to my own devises, I'd go all Frenchy, silly, pretty, bohemian.  But I share my space with dudes.  So this means French influence rather than Louis XIV.  This means muted  color rather than balls to the walls purple.  This means compromise.  And the place where I have to compromise most is in decorating our bedroom.  Here are some beautiful bedrooms that have "dude" written all over.  Maybe you have to share space with opposite sex as well?

via La Dolce Vita

via Casa Sugar

via A Life's Design


E-Deco Magazine

Todd Romano

White Walls

Since I don't have white walls in my home and the walls I do have are covered in art and photos and clocks and whatever else I can nail up, these white, almost unadorned walls are a welcomed change of pace. The sparse, but beautiful furniture pieces are so wonderfully highlighted by the lack of other decorative distractions. I don't know if I could pull this off in my house, but I love the look of it in the photos below.

Time Out

My two year old is at the point where "time out" might be a useful disciplinary tactic. He is easily riled up and becomes difficult to communicate with. A "time out" might be just the thing to settle his spiraling energy. Come to think of it, "time out" might also be useful for me. I don't think I need a naughty chair or anything like that, but I could certainly use a spot away from everything else to think clearly, regroup and calm down. I'll take any one of these little spots below:

Don't paint it.

Over the past year, I have picked up quite a few old wood pieces (a cigar table, a chair, a frame, etc.) that I bought with the expressed intent of painting. However, once I got them home, I was reluctant to cover up the original wood. I love love love the look of wood - especially when used as structural elements in a home, ie. beams and floors. Here are some photos that have been inspiring me lately to keep it natural.

My Office Makeover!

I was going to save this for tomorrow, but I'm so excited that I have to share right now. I've spent the last few days overhauling my office. I was able to do it all - paint, hardware, new furniture, textiles and all - for under 180 dollars! 

BEFORE: Clean and organized, but a little utilitarian for my taste. And the previous owner's sunshine yellow color choice, while certainly nice, was not my thing.

AFTER: The new color is Moroccan Henna from Behr Paints. The curtains are the Suzani Print from World Market (my big splurge) and the new furniture is Craig's List.

BEFORE: The office was doubling as a nap station for the little girl I take care of during the day. I've relocated the crib to my master bedroom in preparation for our baby boy, due in July.

AFTER: Check out the groovy 70's pendant lamp left here by the previous owners. It's so ugly/wonderful that I had to use it.


I've tucked my sewing stuff into this little built-in desk nook.

The little sofa I found on Craig's List folds out into a cozy twin bed for guests.

So what do you think?
Anything I should add?
Anything that looks not quite right?

PS - My office makeover can also be seen at Design Refuge.


The offices, apothecaries and professional buildings of yore were filled with them: paper sorters, lockers, card catalogues, chests, cubical files and the like. What a wonderful substitute for your MALM dresser, no? The trick is getting your hands on one. I'll keep my eyes peeled, kay?

Ceiling fans make me sad...

...but I live in Dallas where summer starts in April and lasts until November. So while I really don't care for these ceiling mounted monstrosities, I must have them to beat the 100 degree heat that is sure to come. I am now in the process of replacing the horribly outdated 1970's fan fixtures in my home. They're a little pricey, but I like the look of these retro style multi-directional numbers. They might even make having a ceiling fan kind of groovy. What do you think?

Found here.

Found here.

Found here.

Old World Wood

I love the look of old world wood -the furniture, floors, walls and built-ins that say "I've been here a while and I know this house better than anyone else". Here are some beautiful examples:

And I'm sure you saw this at Design Sponge - but here is Nancy Neil's beautiful 1903 Santa Barbara cabin. Love love love it!

The Dining Room Calls

I love the dining room in our new house. Its probably my favorite room because of the amazing light quality, original hardwoods and the beautiful picture window that overlooks our front yard. Below is a photo of the room before we moved in. The only thing that remains is the dining table and chairs. I haven't done a thing with it since we moved in.

But now, the room is calling to me. Just dreaming out loud here: My husband and I have decided on a color and are now beginning to envision what the room could be for our family. We want to replace the wonky ceiling fan with a drop down pendant. My husband is partial to the equator lamp below from CB2. I am too.

We love the pagoda style table above, found here. And we already have these two chairs set up in the window. They were a Craigslist find!

As far as color goes, we're thinking about heading in a dark brown direction. Martha Stewart just came out with her line of paints (replacing the Ralph Lauren paints) at Home Depot and I brought home some awesome color samples - I'm partial to Tilled Soil and Molasses.

What do you think?

Rustic Elegance

You know what I'm talking about, right? A velvet pillow atop a distressed wood bed. A shabby old chair below a cut glass chandelier. These are the sort of details that make me very very happy and I would love to achieve this look and feel in every part of my home. Here's a little inspiration: