I've been on a hunt for a tray for a client's living room, and while this didn't quite fit the bill, I absolutely love this one I spotted at Target.com. Have you seen it in person? Is it amazing? I kind of want one but I have no clue where I'd put it. But for $35 each I'd get one of each color!
Maggie Rose Blog
I'm having a lot of fun with one my clients right now who is in a rental. She and her husband have moved quite a few times in the last couple of years and they are still renting. They might be in their current house a year, or maybe three, who knows... so it was important to them to have some flexibility.
They brought me in though because they wanted their rental home to still feel like "home" instead of just a temporary situation. There wasn't much of a color scheme happening. And their current house is much bigger than some of the other places they've lived, so they wanted their new pieces to make sense without accumulating more than they can use in a new apartment or house down the line.
They had a sofa and chair (both West Elm) in the living room but otherwise were interested in new furniture and all new accessories. Since we're mostly relying on accessories to carry the new look, I'm calling this Project: Spruce.
Naturally this is a project we want to keep on a low budget (just in case anything doesn't work in the future, they can sell it or let it go without guilt). But there are a few items we "invested" more in that should be nice and versatile for them in the future.
For projects with those kinds of parameters, I find it easier sometimes to bring the client out for a shopping trip with me, especially when we're hitting someplace like HomeGoods when stuff isn't sold online and it's buy-it-now-or-never stock. So we met up at HomeGoods and started hunting. We were starting with gray upholstery and natural grasscloth wallpaper and wood floors. So I let the "finds" set the color scheme, which can be an awesome way to shop.
Right away we found some great lamps for the living room and bedroom, then we found a rug for each space. The bedroom already had all its furniture and a nice soft color scheme, so we were focusing mostly on the living room. The blue rug we found (for $200!) set the tone, and then we started filling in the blanks with pillows, which added greens and chartreuse. We also found some great art to liven up the walls. Then we headed to World Market for some curtains (ikat, above).
Next we'll put up some of their existing art (like those pieces along the back wall) and then do a gallery wall arrangement around the TV once we pick up a few more pieces on etsy and art.com. We still need some more lighting and to hang the curtains, as well as fill in some more small accessories. But I love that this space is starting to feel like a home!
Way back in my high school days, I happened to take a semester of ceramics. I had the choice to focus on sculpting or wheel-throwing, and something about wheel-throwing really jumped out to me. It's very physical (you really engage your whole body) but it's also repetitive and slow, and can be almost meditative. I signed up for a second semester, and had the joy of working with a very dear friend who is the grandmother of one of my long-time friends. She had a pottery studio in her house (one of my dream home features) and I spent hours there and threw a whole set of dishes.
In college I got really wrapped up in my major (first music, then English) and never took any art classes, which I really am bummed out about. I also worked a ton, and though my major was creative, didn't have an outside creative outlet.
Fast forward a few years and my hobby (decorating) becomes my job. Still no other creative outlet, a tight budget (welcome to owning your own business!) and not sure what to pursue.
When we moved to California, everyone told me that to make new friends, you have to go out and take part in hobbies to meet people with similar interests. My hobbies are very "internal" - I like writing, reading, and decorating my house. I looked for a book club but couldn't find the right fit. Finally I poked around for a place to do some wheel throwing, and I found a class in a little studio run by the Parks Department. Thanks to a little Christmas money, I signed up!
My first class was last week, and it was AWESOME. I'm sure I'll have some disastrous pots (the clay can have a mind of its own) but my first little lump of clay came up into a bowl and some muscle memory I didn't know I had. It is far from the perfect piece, but I was so happy to learn that I still "had it" even though it's a kind of slow awakening. The people are really friendly and they played good music (KEY to good throwing, if you ask me).
More than anything, it felt so good to be creative in a different way than decorating. After my first class I felt energetic and inspired. Ready to do ALL the creative things - finally learn to play the guitar, work on my short story that is stalled out on the first page, try my hand at the watercolor set I've been too nervous to use. Creativity is an animal you have to feed, but then watch out!
So glad I signed up for a class instead of trying to wing it on my own. There WILL be flops and setbacks, but this will force me to push past them. And I'm already learning new skills and remembering things that I'd long forgotten. If your creativity is feeling stifled, look for a class in your area of something you've always wanted to try. Carve out a little time for yourself! I bet you'll end up feeling renewed and inspired in all areas of your life.
Behold, my first wheel-thrown piece in 11 years...
I love spotting spaces that have that personal "dream home" vibe. I almost always send my (very patient) husband a link with an intro like "we could TOTALLY live here" and expect a full report on his thoughts later in the day.
Of course part of what I love about these homes is that they feel personal and lived in. So of course our interpretation one day will be slightly different. A few more traditional pieces. Art that we love, etc. And I'd almost always change out the kitchen. But I loved this house on Domaine Home.
Can't you just see our roll-arm sofa (recovered in linen, maybe natural, maybe something fun like pink!) in that first room?
I'd love it if someday we ended up in a modern style house - or even turn of the century with a modern glass addition that brings in lots of light - that we filled with old beat up rugs, worn leather, mid-century chairs, and a piece or two of traditional old-world pieces that add just enough formality. And don't forget heaps and heaps of amazing textiles.
See the whole tour here - although I'd change the kitchen/dining room, and probably make the bedroom a little cozier, there is lots of inspiration to be had!