Lisa Congdon designed wallpaper for Hygge & West

31 Oct

The uber talented artist and SF resident Lisa Congdon unveiled today her new line of wallpapers for the fab design house Hygge & West. I’m a big fan of not only Lisa’s work but also Hygge & West’s designer collaborations – they work with a small group of talented designers to produce really beautiful papers and Lisa’s line is no exception.

Here’s my pics of a really gorgeous bunch!

Bohemian in Gold by Lisa Congdon

I love the all over pattern of this bohemian in gold. To contrast it Lisa also developed this simple fern print that is effortless in its styling.

Ferns in Black by Lisa Congdon

And this equally graphic triangles paper that has Scandinavian influence woven through its design.

Triangles in Black by Lisa Congdon

Anyone of these could find themselves a place in my home. What’s your favorite? You can see the rest of the collection here.

Celebrating 5 years of besties…..

24 Oct

5 Years ago today the hubbo and I said “we do” in the beautiful wine country town of Calistoga surrounded by all our amazing friends & family.

We’ve been through a lot these last 5 years…. 2 house moves, 2 gorgeous kids and one GIANT, painful home renovation and here we are still going strong and still laughing everyday!

My hubbo & my best friend,  I love ya and can’t wait to see what the next 5 years bring.

(hopefully NOT another renovation!!!)

Splurge vs Steal: Accordion side tables

22 Oct

Its been a while since I had a splurge vs steal to share with you but I did just find  a good one!!

Claw foot Directors table from H&H Home

Check out this gorgeous side table from H&H Home. Yes its beautiful and yes you could spend $615 on it OR you could freestyle  and get this side table from Urban Outfitters for a mere $74.oo and add a custom cut mirrored top to it.

Metal accordion side table from Urban Outfitters

I know which one I will be going for!!!

Neiman Marcus + Target + 24 Designers = Happy Holiday Shopping!!

17 Oct

Target + Neiman Marcus just released some pics of their upcoming collaboration with 24 of America’s most talented designers inc Oscar De La Renta, Marc Jacobs and Derek Lam.  Focused on creating the perfect holiday gifts there’s something for everyone  from homewares to clothing and even a bike and prices start at just $7.99.

This collaboration is a first for the two retail giants to work together. As the CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel states “Target and Neiman Marcus are known for charting new terrain, and by joining forces for the holiday season, we’ve set the stage for a redefining moment in retail,”. The collection is limited edition, available in both stores and if the previous collaboration with Missoni was anything to go by then its sure to be a sell out.

Here’s my pics of the bunch!

Phillip Crangi frame for Target & Neiman Marcus

Altuzzarra for Target & Neiman Marcus

Lela Rose for Target & Neiman Marcus

Rodarte for Neiman Marcus & Target

To see more of the collection check out Refinery 29’s full slideshow here.



Scandinavian dining style pin-spiration

17 Oct

As the kitchen has ground to a halt (I promise a LONG post on the drama is coming!!!)  I decided to turn my attentions  elsewhere…to the dining area.  As this space is connected to the family area and the kitchen it has to feel connected but it will also be the heart of the room – the place where we gather, socialize and eat and so getting its look and feel right is very important.

I’m massively into the clean Scandinavian aesthetic at the moment so here’s some of my favorite recent pins from the blogosphere…

Architects Home in Paris

Photo: Nicholas Tosi for Elle Decoration France

I love the openness in this space and the white Eames moulded plastic chairs are exactly what I am thinking for the dining table.

All white dining room via Nordic Leaves

Photo by bobedre

I love how white and light and serene this space is but I know in reality I have two small kids and there’s no way my home would stay this pristine for long!!!

Home of Fashion Blogger Stephanie Gundelach

Photo by   for Elle Decoration

I love the eclectic nature of this room and the colors in the rug are gorgeous but again small kids and rugs under dining tables don’t mix…at least not yet!

The home of Tanja Vibe of ATWTP

Photo credit : Unknown

I love the simplicity and the color palette in this final image and it clearly won me over with its use of my favorite copper pendants!!!

What’s your favorite? How would you bring warmth and functionality into a modern family dining space?

You can see more of my home pin-spiration’s here.

An easy way to help clean the Pacific Ocean…

10 Oct

It’s not often I feel compelled to write about hand soap but the folks over at Method are constantly surprising me with their take on products and contributing back to society. They have just launched a new range of hand soaps that come in bottles made entirely from Pacific Ocean trash.

Ocean plastic sea mineral soap by Method

What is Ocean Plastic you might ask? Well the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as its called is an area in the pacific ocean where the currents meet and therefore debris & trash that has been dumped from places as far and wide as Japan, the USA, latin America gets “stuck”. It’s almost impossible to fathom..its sheer size  is roughly the same size as Texas!!! And the fact that it’s sitting out there with no government doing anything about it  continuously astounds me. The Hawaiian islands are particularly vulnerable to this floating trash pile as it regularly washes up on their shores.

To help counter this Method and a few local volunteers pick up the plastic and are turning it into something useful – new bottles.

As their Founder, Adam Lowry, said in a NY Times interview here  ” “We want to create a conversation about recycling plastics. The real objective is to make the point that we ought to work with the plastics already on the planet.”

Check out their resource page on Ocean Plastic to learn more about the issue, their recycling process and how they are helping make a small dent in the great garbage patch.


Incredible design finds at Target

5 Oct

Every once in a while target has me screaming YES at the computer screen – they keep taking their homewares up to the next level and I am in LOVE with this latest collection…Timeless Decor. I discovered this thanks to an instagram pic the uber stylish Meg Biram snapped and found myself immediately googling to learn more. (BTW We are also on Instagram if you want to follow us you can do so here.)

Black & gold stylings? Sold to the lady who refuses to let the 80’s go…

Faux Leather & Metal Magazine Holder

Gold Lamp Base

Wire & Glass Accent Table

These are avail online and in-store so don’t delay! I’m ordering my wire table RIGHT NOW…..

Spreading some Blogging love: Fellow Renovators

4 Oct

I think I’m writing this post mainly to prove to myself that we aren’t the only crazy people out there… that in fact there are many of us, who, spurred on by watching too many hours of HGTV, have bitten off perhaps a little bit more than we can chew…..but we love it and relish the process and are blogging it every step of the way!

Yes its time to spread some blogging love around here and call out my fellow renovators..the places I go for some renovation inspiration and when I need to know that I am not alone in this never-ending cycle of dust, drama and chaotic living….

1.  Love & Renovations.

The projects this adorable couple complete makes my heart sing…I cannot wait till I’m at the spray painting my vintage furniture stage..and did you see their DIY light fixture???……AHHHMAZING. Seriously check it out NOW.

2. Brooklyn Limestone

Taking on the renovation of a 100-year-old Limestone in Brooklyn takes guts.  This blog has all the before and after images  of their renovation and for those of us that are stuck in the  present “mid” state its quite inspirational!

3. Chezerbey

These guys are trained architects handling their Seattle-based renovation all by their selves. I love their style ethos (pretty modern and sustainable) and they have some great before and after photos too…one day I shall have the same!!!

4.House Tweaking

Gorgeously designed site with lots of great info on it and I was super happy to see that these guy have just gone through an Ikea kitchen design & fit stage too – so lots to learn from here!

5. The Petch House

Renovating is ALL about being testing to your limits…. so finding the humor in your situation is critical to your survival at times –  Greg at The Petch House is doing a really good job of this whilst renovating a home originally built in 1895 !

6. Young House Love

These guys are like the Oprah of home renovating blogs…they do it full-time (the bloggingAND DIY-ing that is) and share every step of the journey. Its pretty inspirational to see how far they have taken their home especially as they are wayyy past the dust & drywall stage.

7. A Good House

I love this blog  as it shares the journey of renovating a mid-century modern home – a style and period I love.

8. Yellow Brick Home

This Chicago based couple have great style and a fab design eye – I easily get lost on this blog for hours at a time!

Who do you like to read? Where do you go for inspiration?   If there’s other blogs you love or if you have a renovation blog share the link in the comments. I’m always on the hunt for new places to go be inspired!!

Our House,Year Two: Weeks 30-31

3 Oct

It was time to tackle the guest bath. This was not a job we were looking forward to as it was an original bathroom from the old house which meant all kinds of renovation gremlins were no doubt hiding in wait for us.  So far we have just closed the door on it and focused on other things, we ripped out the old bathroom fittings a good 3 months ago and have basically ignored it since.

Well the time has come to face the music, we need to get this bath done asap and the starting point for this is putting down a new sub-floor and  getting updated plumbing in place.

Out with the old…

David ripped up the old flooring and gave the underneath a good clean out and then proceeded to renew the plumbing. The pipes (and drains) were old screwed iron ones and we needed to swap them out for code compliant plastic ones! We used shark bite fittings to do this job which made it a lot quicker as they have a push to fit solution on them…according to the man in the know this has revolutionized this task!

Can you spot him hiding in the picture above..if not here’s another great angle..

Hello Grandad!

It’s not pretty down under the house that’s for sure. We havent had the spare cash to do a full foam seal on the crawl space yet (something I would love to do for energy efficiency reasons) so there’s still gaps and all kinds of nasties down there! Also we found once looking around that some of the wood was rotten so a couple of bits of that needed swapping out too.

With the plumbing all finished we were able to lay down the sub-floor and start the waterproofing process. This was the exact same process we had done on the upstairs bath so I wont bore you with pictures again but if you really want to know you can see that here.

Whilst David was busying himself crawling around under our house Jon was putting up closets! We had decided to outfit the guest bedroom and office closets with Elfa storage systems from the Container Store. They were doing a cheeky 20% off so it was the perfect time to  jump on this project. I laid out a basic design online and then took it into the store for refining. If you are ever planning a closet/storage space then I highly recommend doing it this way as  the folks in store can get you exactly what you want that messing around online couldn’t.

This is where the guest closet netted out:

Guest closet design

We chose to have more hanging space in here for clothes as our families visit the most and are often here for extended periods of time and so need to be able to hang  lots of clothes, along with some space for shoes & folded items.

And this is what we did for the office.

Office closet design

The office space , whilst also being an additional guest overflow room, is more for us to store things in – like winter jackets and big boxes so we had less hanging space here and more shelves. We also added in an additional vertical bar for extra strength on the closet – given the use case for it.

And here’s Jon putting them up. He got them both done within  a couple of hours which was amazing. Its pretty straight forward  but you must follow the Elfa directions to the letter, use their screws & don’t try to freestyle then you wont have any issues!

Installing the Elfa system.

Our parents were pretty stoked with this development especially as they could now get their clothes off the floor!!! It hasn’t quite affected our storage situation in the house yet, I still have a giant pile of crap in the front room but it’s slowly getting smaller!

One other small but  definitely on the list of things to do was tiling inside the fireplace. We  had picked up some great dark grey tiles at Heath Ceramics for this and it was just a matter of taking the time to put them in. To complicate things Jon and I decided we wanted them to be done in a herringbone pattern.  So David and Jon laid them out on a board and then cut everything to fit perfectly inside the space and then began  putting them on.

Tiling a fireplace.

This looks so good and I am pleased with the way the pattern is coming out and the contrast between the light of the breast and the dark of the tiles.  This is quite possibly the most annoying job in the world ever but it’s about to get even worse – we have to get the sides done next!!!!

Coming in the next update – a tile-a-thon…..

Delightful lights by Delightfull

2 Oct

I just stumbled onto this website thanks to a weird series of clicks and redirects and its choka full of great design but my heart actually started pounding when I saw this chandelier…..

Brubeck sculptural lamp

It’s just so beautiful I don’t know what else to say…other than I MUST have this in my home!

And then I kept clicking and saw this one….

Botti ceiling lamp

and then this…….

Ike vintage lamp

oh god make it stop this is killing me… its  TOO MUCH …. I want them ALL. HELP.





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