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Maggie Rose Blog

Books, plants, and busy

Maggie Stephens

Just call me the Weekly Blogger. So far 2014 has been a blur. I finally got around to changing my name to Stephens in the eyes of the law, which kicked off a flurry of paperwork that I'm still trying to dig out from under (if all my banking stuff could get settled, that would be awesome). Definitely didn't consider how much extra work there would be as a small business owner either - even having to get new trade accounts where my name doesn't match. But also taking advantage and finding new vendors and resources to beef up my offerings even more. Luxury textiles and furnishings await.

I also have some new projects added to the workload (yay!) and still taking new clients in the Bay Area. I'd love to get some projects down here to the point of photographing, so if you're looking to overhaul your home or have just moved somewhere new, I'm all ears!

Meanwhile, things for Ryan have been getting busier at work, so we've been trying to make the most of our weekends and the (mostly) nice weather.

We went to Half Moon Bay and I tried to convince Ryan that we should move there (what's a 45 minute commute when there is this view to be had?)

Warning: having an extra glass of wine after dinner while your husband is working in the other room MAY cause you to spontaneously buy vintage napkins on Etsy. I've started a collection - luckily these were only $9 with shipping.

I finally sprang for the bedskirt I've had my eye on for, oh... 2 or 3 years. It's a lovely lilac colored diamond matelasse. It was almost 70% off at Restoration Hardware. Our bedroom design is terribly neglected and I keep changing my mind on things, but at least you can't see the storage bins anymore? Now to get a headboard...

We popped over to Los Altos this weekend for brunch and also stopped in a great used bookstore (our perfect date activity) and I snagged a biography of Marion Davies and a novel by Joyce Carol Oates (one of my favorite writers who also happens to have a hilarious twitter account, though her books are not usually humorous). Then we wandered across the street to The Botanist where I fell in love with this pretty planter and of course needed a fern to go in it. We weren't allowed to move our houseplants into California (boo) so it was nice to add some greenery in here again.

I had to laugh at the juxtaposition of my lunch against Ryan's a couple weekends ago up in San Francisco, but the truth is we've both been making way healthier choices lately and are even making it to the gym a couple times a week (our goal is three times). We are definitely not health nuts, but we've both been feeling better, and like trying new things. I'm now addicted to mangoes, and this salad prompted us to start trying ingredients like chickpeas in our weekly salad night. I willingly ate a lima bean. That's adult-hood, I guess. Salad and a few fries for good measure.

So that's been life here at the Stephens casa! Busy but also trying to enjoy things. I've also been sourcing like crazy so I have a good post coming with lots of fun decor I've been finding. Just have to pull it together! Thanks for coming by!

Art Update

Maggie Stephens

The benefit of painting your own art is that when you get bored with it, painting over it isn't a big deal. And thankfully I have a husband who, after seeing me wrangle the painting off the wall and into the kitchen, and come scrounging for paints and a brush, says only, "Doing some painting?" As opposed to, "Do you think you should be doing that?" He's a keeper.

So is my new painting.


It only took me about 30 minutes and five paint colors (lilac, charcoal, navy, black, and white) to make that. Last time you saw it, it looked like this...

(The color of the sofa in real life is much closer to the "before" by the way).

And way back when I originally painted it...

Wow, that feels like a million years ago.

Moral of the story - grab a paintbrush. You'll get a whole new living room. Or at least a new painting.

Table Lamps

Maggie Stephens

I'll admit I've been bored to tears when shopping for table lamps lately. I like to use a LOT of lamps in a room, and generally a mixture of wall lights, table lamps, and a floor lamp or two. Kind of the only things that have been catching my eye lately are vintage or $700 per lamp. But I was hunting for a shade replacement for a client on Shades of Light and somehow wandered over to the table lamps. Looks like there are some good things brewing again!

This concrete and brass lamp is killing it ($297)...

Loving cylinder shapes, and even more in unexpected colors, like lime! (a reasonable $139)...

Butterflies and mercury glass are the definition of girly, and I'd up the ante with some chinoiserie wallpaper and maybe add black silk shades (perfect for a glamorous bedroom) ($325)...

Pink may have a reputation for only being pre-teen girl appropriate, but it's remarkably versatile. And this is a lovely shape and color. ($209)...

I've actually sworn off buying cheap lamps for myself for the time being. We have enough lamps that I'm just "okay" with, and the next time I buy a lamp I'm going to save up for something that has a big impact. That being said, if you're on a budget I think the best place to find lamps is HomeGoods (followed closely by Nate Berkus for Target). Lots of great basics there, and the occasional true gem, around $100 each (and sometimes less). Just check for dents/spots on the lampshades first. 

Tray Top

Maggie Stephens

Is it just me, or are dressers kind of the hardest thing to style? We have a big dresser that I'd like to be a functional AND pretty spot (it's right across from our bed, after all). Problem is, the functional things I would store on it are all little and bitsy and just look like clutter (granted, most of the time there IS some clutter, it's like a magnet for things that need to be put away). 

When faced with a large space and bitsy items, my go-to solution is a tray. Trays herd small items into one spot, making them feel more substantial. Now my perfume has a HOME instead of wandering freely around the top of the double-wide dresser.

I spotted the tray above at HomeGoods about two weeks ago, and after thinking about it all the time, I went back for it. Thankfully no one else had snapped it up in the meantime! This one was $30 and there was a bigger one for $50. Maybe if I had more perfume I could have justified the larger one ;) As it is, I have a little room to grow. I love how the green ties into the photo above, as well as the leaves on the lamp. 

I'm still working on what to do with the other side of the dresser. I'd like to do something more interesting with my clutch purses, maybe. Or move some of our pretty books in here. But this was a good start!

Just curious - what is on top of your dresser?