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I'm Loving...

Maggie Stephens

Being a new mom, I'm of course drawn to all kinds of adorable kid's decor lately. But while perusing kiddo favorite Land of Nod last week, I spotted some rugs that could easily translate into an adult space - at prices lower than most "adult" retail.

Here are my favorites - for an 8x10 they range $400 to $900. Not bad at all.

Desert Mural Rug here

Grey Crystal Mosaic Rug here

Viscose Rug here

Folkland Sparkle Rug here

Just a little reminder that chic finds can be in the most unexpected places!

A New Arrival

Maggie Stephens

We welcomed baby boy Logan on 8/8, and are (sleepily) enjoying our new family of three! 

I'll continue my maternity leave until October, and in the meantime hope to pop up here and there with a few more blog posts. If you're looking for more interiors (and lifestyle) inspiration, I've been pinning like crazy in the wee hours of the morning!

xo Maggie, Ryan, and Logan (and Thisbe)

Just for Fun: Bachelorette Pad

Maggie Stephens

My personal taste and style has changed so much since my own first apartment out of college, lovingly deemed my "bachelorette pad." I thought it might be fun to dream up what that apartment might look like if I were to design it today. Open concept floor plan, with an entry, dining, and living space all within feet of each other.

The result is much more feminine and lighter than what I had years ago, but I'm loving the fresh and bright whites and pastels together with indigo tie dye.

What would you do differently if you were decorating your first place again? Still have anything from those carefree days? I think with our latest move I officially moved along the last piece from my own...

Prioritizing Design Elements

Maggie Stephens

For every client I have that has an extremely generous budget and is ready to make every purchase for their home, I have a dozen (two dozen?) that are ready to make significant changes but need to prioritize their purchases. Most people are not billionaires, and have some kind of budget in mind for their home decor. I am the same way in my own home, so I get it.

It is worth noting that even if you don't have the capacity to make every purchase at once, I still strongly recommend having a plan in place for the room in question. A decorator can help with this. Saying "we need a vintage dresser on that wall, about 40 inches wide and in a natural wood" can help shape the rest of the room even when you aren't even planning to source that piece for another 3-6 months. And in the meantime, you can make the purchases that you've prioritized as more important.

But how do you know what items or decor elements are the most important? I'm facing this dilemma now, trying to make the smartest purchasing decisions on a budget that doesn't accomplish my entire apartment wish-list. I've identified a few factors that help me decide for clients and for myself.

1. Does the function have an immediate impact on my happiness? If adding this item fulfills a "functional need" then it moves up the list. Things like a desk for a computer you use daily, a mattress, a dresser, a sofa, a dining table, a storage piece, etc fit into this category. For me an item like a headboard, though fulfilling an "aesthetic need", is not essential to my day-to-day living.

2. Is this a once-in-a-lifetime item that I won't be able to get later? Reserved for amazing vintage or antique purchases and seasonal items.

3. Is the price too good to pass up? At the moment, I have a little decor budget set aside, but since none of the items are "functional needs," I'm able to wait for a great sale to come along on the products on my list. When the price is right, I'll be ready to pounce (the key is to be prepared, sign up for email coupons if possible, and check the price regularly). Though I may want an end table a little more than an entry mirror, if the mirror drops to an amazing price, I will prioritize it over the full-price end table.

4. Is it "low-hanging fruit" as my husband says? I think of them as "immediate gratification purchases" ; usually they are lower priced items like accessories. If it will help your decor-psyche to make some of the smaller purchases then go ahead and scoop them up - just don't get sucked into too many impulse buys. Make sure these items are in your plan.

5. What's the best bang-for-my-buck? For the same amount of money, I could buy one headboard OR buy a console table, lamp, and mirror. If all of the other factors have come up equal up to this point, I go for the multiple purchases first, and start saving up again for the headboard.


Do you have any tricks for how you decide when to make home purchases? Would love to hear them!