Archive Monthly Archives: February 2013

Back to the Closet

Since my hubby is away in Virginia still, I’ve been catching up on all my girly guilty pleasure TV shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. That’s right- I’m not ashamed to admit it! I love Lisa Vanderpump!

Anyways, for anyone else who watches RHWBH, did you see Lisa’s closet in her new house?! It’s like her own boutique! Well, my new closet is no where near that size- nor will it be filled with designer names but you can’t blame a girl for dreaming! So here’s some inspirational pics for those of you with walk ins or at least dreaming of walk ins…

closet 2

closet 3

closet 4


IKEA closet 2

IKEA closet

mens closet

shared closet

And finally an infamous closet… Ms. Carrie Bradshaw’s closet!

carrie's closet

Ready, Set, Action!

Since everyone is still talking about the Oscars, I thought I’d devote a post to my favorite homes from the big screen.

In high school I was a devout techie. For you non-theatrical types, a techie refers to any backstage hand be it set design, construction, lighting, sound, etc. Basically all the awards that people make popcorn during and come back for the Best Actress and Best Picture. I started building sets and moved on to designing them and stage managing. But once a techie, always a techie. We move in the shadows, we dress in black. But here’s a big old spotlight on my favorite set designers…

I’m sure no one would turn up their nose at any house in Santa Barbara but this one from the 2009 movie It’s Complicated was particularly gorgeous! Production Designer Jon Hutman and Set Decorator Beth Rubino created the most stunning home both inside and out.

Universal Pictures Kitchen

Universal Pictures

Another Nancy Meyers film has the beach house of my dreams! Here’s some shots of the lovely house from Something’s Gotta Give.

Something's Gotta Give

Something's Gotta Give

Something's Gotta Give

Something's Gotta Give

And in yet another Nancy Meyers film (notice a theme building here) Set Designers Cindy Carr and David Smith joined Production Designer Jon Hutman to create an L.A. chic home in The Holiday.

The Holiday

The Holiday

The Holiday

Finally, there’s the house in one of my favorite movies The Kids are All Right. The perfect mix of Hippy and Yuppy (personally, I like to call myself a Huppy), Production Designer Julie Berghoff and Set Decorator David Cook created this California casual abode.

The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right

What are some of your favorite film sets? 

Trapped in the Closet

That’s an R. Kelly reference just in case anyone was worried about my sexual orientation or if I was indeed physically trapped in a closet.

But moving on…

Ever since we went back to IKEA last weekend I’ve been a little obsessed with the master walk in closet. IKEA has fabulous closet organizational systems and products. Our closet measures about six feet deep and almost five feet across and like the rest of the house, has 9 foot ceilings. There is a window in the closet which is an obstacle but also makes for great light in a small space.

At our last apartment, Jared and I shared a walk in closet that was probably a little bigger than this one. Jared took up a small space of hanging shirts, suit jackets and pants as most of his clothes are folded stored in drawers. I of course took up a lot of hanging space for shirts, a small space for pants, and a decent size space for dresses and skirts. Shoes were stored in see through boxes that stacked five high and the length of the closet (don’t judge). Bags were perched a top the hanging clothes around the perimeter of the closet. There were two baskets of accessories- scarves, sunglasses, etc. and a pin board with hung necklaces.

I figure with IKEA’s system and my own personal organizational skills, we can fit all of that into our new closet. Here’s what I’m thinking…

This is the left side of the closet. This will house all my clothes & accessories.

Left Side

This is the back wall of the closet. The shelves flanking the center unit will be corner units. The one on the left will house my dresses. The right will have drawers for all Jared’s clothes and shelves for bulky sweaters. The center unit will house all Jared’s hanging clothes and shoes.

Back Side

This right side of the closet has the window. I can stack my see through shoe boxes below the window at least. Then the remaining small corner will house all my bags.

Right Side

Keep in mind, all measurements have not been figured out but in an ideal world, this will work! Here’s hoping.

North Shore Showrooms

Jared and I spent another lovely little Saturday perusing showrooms. For those of you who don’t know, I used to work for a radio station and our advertisers were all over the north shore of Massachusetts. Some of my favorite live broadcasts were from these home improvement showrooms so I was dying to take Jared to some of them.

First up was Salem Plumbing Supply & Designer Bath. I had a lot of fun in this showroom back in the day. This was a stop on our famous 14-hour live broadcast Holiday Toy Drive and I remember a group of very appreciative plumbers grabbing coffee and donuts from us when we gave them one of our Friday North Shore Coffee Breaks. It was a fun place to be with great people. Jared and I fell in love with these faucet knobs for the half bath.



After a total crunchy granola lunch at an organic cafe (the things my husband does for me!) we were off to Lucia Lighting in Lynn. Their Grand Opening was the very last event I did before leaving the radio station and it was also one of my most memorable. I can’t say enough nice things about Lucia Lighting’s showrooms. Stunning! Here’s a bunch of favorites that caught our eye.

This giant lantern would be fantastic for the front entryway.



This is a non-negotiable (although my husband would say everything is a non-negotiable). I must have 2 of these pendants in brushed nickel for the kitchen peninsula.

photo (10)

We went a little crazy in the outdoor lighting showroom. So many great options. Thinking about one of these for over the sink in the half bath.

photo (5)

photo (4)And then there was this adorable orb! Love it!

photo (3)

So after running into owner Lucia Lighting owner Lucy Dearborn (can’t believe she recognized me after 7 years!) I was feeling like quite the North Shore Know it All. Have I mentioned how good it is to be home again?!

Anyways, so after Lucia Lighting we were off to the Ferguson Showroom for more kitchen and bath. Again, we saw the same adorable “hot” and “cold” faucet knobs and tons of high end shower head options. Over in the kitchen section, Jared was loving the Bosch appliances. It was hard not to. Gorgeous! Pricey… but gorgeous.

A quick trip to Home Depot made us really appreciate the luxury bath showrooms we had just visited. You really do get what you pay for with these fixtures. Home Depot’s may look the same but they are all plastic crap. And bath fixtures aren’t just pretty things to look at. You actually handle them everyday. So we’re thinking it might be worth the added expense.

So after another weekend of showrooms, Jared flew to Richmond on Sunday for work. This will be the first time we’ve been apart overnight since we got married. Sniff sniff! Tear! Miss you love!

There's Nothing Manly About a Powder Room

I just can’t call it a Powder Room. I can’t because I intend to man it up a little. With so much white going on on the first floor, I need to have a little fun with the half bath. So the idea is this…

Half Bath

And this isn’t simply inspiration. I will have that half bath. We’re going to start with white wainscoting  (I know, I know, more white) up half the wall and dark navy blue walls. Right now the toilet is this terrible round scalloped thing so that will be replaced. Then I found this rustic sink base at Lowes.

sink baseThe light is easy. I’m completely in love with this store- Shades of Light. It’s based in Richmond and of course we never went there when we lived there but now here in Massachusetts, I requested the catalog and drooled over it the other night.

It was made for me! So many rustic and industrial fixtures and Edison bulbs galore! It’s fabulous! I highly recommend them.

Anyways, they have the barn light in the photo above. Check it out.


And that’s really it. Doesn’t take much to fill a closet sized bathroom.

The Waiting Game

Have you noticed my countdown on the sidebar to the right? I’m counting down to our Closing Day and then I’ll probably count down until our Start of Construction Day and then I’ll probably set unrealistic deadlines for Kitchen Completed Day or Yay We Have Walls Day.

Sometimes when Jared and I are planning each project it seems like we’re so organized that it will take no time at all! But other times I worry that we’ll be in this basement forever!

I don’t mind it that much. It’s just- we’re so out of our routine. We’re not eating the same or exercising the same. I can’t cook the way I used to being in someone else’s kitchen. And I definitely am not getting my cleaning release. I barely make the bed everyday. Wow, did I just admit that? Well what’s the point? We’re in a basement! As much as my parents have done to make it feel like home, and as weird as it is to say because it was in fact my home for 25 years- it’s not our home.

We had such a rhythm in Richmond. It was almost too easy. Jared is not only a fantastic husband but he’s one of the best roommates I have ever had. He doesn’t stay up all night or sleep in too late, he puts the toilet seat down, he makes me coffee in the morning. We just… work.

And that’s not to say we don’t work here but I just feel off. Like we’ve been visiting for Christmas for the last two months.

So as the countdown drags on, I’ll try to be patient. In the meantime, I’m here… blogging. So click on the Follow button on the right sidebar or leave me a comment. And thanks to those family, friends, and strangers who already have!

Tiles & Granite & Chairs- Oh My!

How was your long weekend? God I love how many holidays Massachusetts has! Sorry Richmonders!

Over the long weekend, Jared and I visited our new home (as you saw here) and visited furniture stores and showrooms galore!

IKEA was having a President’s Day Sale which basically meant the store was packed with people and 2 tables and frozen yogurt was on sale. So stupid! But it was a valuable trip because we brought our contractor (aka Dad) and took a closer look at my kitchen cabinets. The 3D rendering allowed us to really figure out what we needed and we’ll be able to order it all online in March when  IKEA is having an actual big sale- thanks to our inside source on that one Briggsy! Plus I fell in love with these dining room chairs below and got Jared all excited about IKEA’s closet organizational systems. Yes, we have a walk in. Jealous?

IKEA chairs

Jared spotted a tile showroom across the street so we popped in for some tile style! The Tile Shop was awesome. Before we even walked in the door, Jared spotted the kitchen back splash tile we’ve been searching for (see below). That was the easy one. Tile for the mudroom floor- not so much. We know we want slate and I’m sure I want texture but do we want flat dark color? Or something with color variations? Not sure. But the trip was a total success when Dad got a contractor’s account so we now have 25% off our purchases. Score!


A final stop at the Granite Shop made us feel a little racist. “Supreme White” was the only pick for me. I swear I’m not racist! It’s just a beautiful white granite with grey veins. Gorgeous. But the name is a little Hitler-esque. Don’t you think?

Anyways, the particulars are certainly coming together! So exciting!

The Look for Less – Living Room

Time for another “The Look for Less” post!

We have some decent pieces of furniture for our living room already but there’s a couple things I’m looking for in particular for the new house.

This coffee table is the perfect balance of industrial and rustic. It’s chunky but doesn’t feel like it’s taking up the whole room thanks to the openness under the table top.

Tables 1. Restoration Hardware | 2.

This cracks me up because I know this is a designy thing that my husband will laugh at but these floor poufs are everywhere now! And I happen to love them!

poufs1. CB2 | 2. Target

And finally, floor lamps. I’ve always loved this Photographer’s floor lamp from Pottery Barn but check out this deal from Target.

Lamps1. Pottery Barn | 2. Target

Some People Look for a Beautiful Space…

Others make a space beautiful!

That’s the goal but check out what we’re working with here. Now as you scroll down I want you to hear the music from the Psycho shower scene. You know- eeek eeek eeek!


dining room

Keep scrolling… eeeek, eeeek, eeeek



Eeek, eeek, eeek!


third floor


OK done. Are you terrified? Trust me- it’s all cosmetic. We’re taking a wall down here, making a larger opening there, and absolutely nothing will look the same.

Less than a month until close and six weeks until the current owner vacates! Woo hoo!

No Spill Zone

I get to see our house for the second time this Saturday! Woo hoo! Jared wants to walk around with my Dad and take some more measurements and I get to finally show the house to my Mum who has been dying to see it- in fact she stalks the house occasionally driving by or taking a walk in that neighborhood. I’m sure her Camry has been put on the Neighborhood Watch list of suspicious vehicles.

So as I’ve mentioned before, the first floor will pretty much be gutted on day one. Jared is concerned with the insulation so we’ll replace or reinforce that. The walls will be redone with new moldings and baseboards and the floors are hopefully in good enough shape to be refinished.

My biggest fear was that we’d find a house with gorgeous woodwork and I’d make my father cry by wanting it all painted white. This is a much better scenario. All trim in that house is probably lead so it’s coming down anyways. Knowing I want everything white means we can buy inexpensive wood for all moldings and baseboards. So score!

Almost everything will be shades of white, grey, tan, ivory, etc. I dig the monochromatic look. I think it looks rich and it’s calming. My parents joke that no one will be able to spill anything in our house. But my loving husband came to my defense saying that no one but me could get away with all white and keep it looking impeccable. I know, I know, just wait till we have kids. But if they’re anything like me, they’ll be organizing their stuffed animals by size… or color… or species!!

To say I’m a neat freak is an understatement. I love to clean. I love to organize even more. It calms me. If I have a bad day, I scrub the hell out of the kitchen floor. And you know it’s been a really bad day if the rubber gloves come out.

I think cleaning is instant gratification. Something was wrong and I fixed it. Just like that! It’s taking control over a situation. Making even the smallest piece of the world better than it was. I know it sounds like I’m making a whole lot out of just cleaning but I’m telling you- it’s important to me. And I love it.

So back to my immaculate white house. Here’s some inspiration for the front entry way and living room.


Love the neutrals with the pop of blue. And I must have that coffee table.

living room

Ignore the hideous star burst sculptures but the rest of it is gorgeous and again, all neutral with a pop of yellow.

living room

More monochromatic goodness.

living rooms

And finally, paint color options. Left – Sherwin Williams Pavilion Beige. Center – Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. Right – Benjamin Moore Bennington Grey.

Paint Colors


Update: Want to see our final selection? Check it out  on our house tour page. Spoiler Alert! It’s Revere Pewter!