Inspired Spaces: White walls + Old Leather + rich wood = Luxe

Have ya'll seen the space put together by Will Kopelman (aka Mr. Drew Barrymore) in the latest


?  It's the most anti-man cave, beautiful man-space I've ever seen.  In fact, I don't see any reason to designate it a "man space," as I'd move in in a heartbeat.

I'm generally a color gal, but throw in a neutral palette with some roughed up leather, and you'll get me every time.  Besides, the home office has enough suggestion of color with the enormous John Singer Sargent reproduction (Will's an art adviser - nice work if you can get it)  What I really love is the not-in-your-face luxe of it all.  From the rich polished wood paired with the contemporary pieces to the men's suiting fabric that makes the window treatments - all against the perfectly-white background.  As Ferris Bueller once said, "It is

so choice


Moving on to the bath and dressing room portion of the program, Will turns the tables and goes dark and rich.  The dressing room in black lacquer with hits of wood and brass still serves to scratch my itch for dark, high gloss rooms.

It also serves to remind me that rooms with drastically different feels can exist beautifully as neighbors - they key is the streamlined palette, and shared materials.

The bathroom is just - wow.  It's a lot, and I'm not sure I could deal with this much going on on a daily basis, but I LOVE that he went for it.  Like all-out, gentleman's glam.  I admire a man who knows his style and rocks it to the last detail.  Drew says she cried when she first saw the space - because it made her bathroom look downright granny.

I've had this white walls, rich wood, worn leather, mix of modern soup in my brain so much, I decided to use it to put together a design scheme for a class project.  My assignment is to design a Living/Dining room space.  I put more of a feminine twist on my interpretation, and the items I sourced would be filed under a budget known as...uh,


, but here ya go.

In this room, every hour would feel like martini hour.   {sly grin}

While the Girls are Away: Bedroom Redo

My "big girls" are spending a couple of weeks with their "Mims and Pops" in Texas, so I thought it would be a great time to surprise them with a room redo when they come home.   Currently, they have matching twin beds that are oriented in an L shape - not ideal or pretty.  They've been wanting bunk beds, and since it should help open up some floor space, we caved.

At the risk of going all-out girly girly, I'm planning on a (very light) lavender striped wall to coordinate with the


bedding that's on order.

Where I'm a bit stuck, though, is on rug selection.  My natural tendency is to over-match, so I often have to step back a bit to choose something that works, without looking too much like a furniture showroom.  I've put three variations into design boards to get a feel for what will look best.   I've ordered marquee letter lights in each girl's initial, but unlike the images, the letters will be gold.  

So, in general, a lot of softness going on.

My first choice is probably this loose floral rug that pulls in the lavender, but also gives me some wiggle room to accent with other colors.

Another option is this more "matchy" overdyed, low pile.

Then there's the wild card.  Offering a more high-contrast look, while still pulling in the base lavender.

Thoughts? Opinions?  Give 'em to me.

Powder Room Idea #1001

Just when I think my blogging days are over, the whim hits me to post, and I feel like I wanna share.  It


has something to do with the fact that I've been doing a cleanse this week, the last two days of which were a fast.  Brutal.  But today, I am fla fla flying with inner energy, so here ya go.

The last I stopped in here, we were in demo mode for our kitchen.  Happy to report kitchen is beautifully complete, but there's still things I wanna tweak before she's ready for her close-up.  So, patience, peeps.

We've been trying to tackle other rooms here and there.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned the scoop on the house we bought in our frantic quest for a home Stateside.  In a nutshell:  perfectly livable, but really generic.  Trying to add in character and style from scratch takes time.  And moolah.  Neither of which I have the buckets of I feel I deserve (please read: sarcasm).

For the last few months, I've been going back and forth over wallpaper choices for our tiny powder room.  It's the only bathroom on our main floor, and because of the micro nature of it, it needs a major injection of personality.

We replaced the old sink with a wider pedestal, and in the process discovered the lovely circa '74 floral wallpaper.

I've been all over the map with new paper ideas, but know I want a bold pattern, with a big repeat.  My first thought was to reach back to our Brazilian roots with

tropicali afternoon

- purchasable via



I love this pattern, but here's my hang-ups:  Unless you specifically do a rush order, Spoonflower's shipping time is ridiculous.  Secondly, they price and parcel in single rolls.  It makes it more expensive, and more tedious to hang.

So, I never ordered it, and one day stumbled upon




.  A gorgeous Chinoiserie, in a bold color way, and a big repeat.  Perfect.  Ordered.

The only thing left to source is a mirror.  Because of the sconce placement, I need a tall, narrow mirror, but want it to have some shape.  I've been toying with something with beveled edges to bounce the light around (there's no natural light), but spied this black lacquer framed one, and think it might just work.  The dimensions are perfect, but is the outline too strong.  Hashtag: overthinking it.

Oh yeah, we're Keeetchin' ReeenOvaTORS

Well, I have a lot of catching up to do.  With Insta giving the 1000-words-in-a-snap synopsis, it might be redundant to blog, but I'm feeling optimistic.

When we bought this house, we hoped to do quite a bit to bring it up to speed.  It was, for the most part, totally livable, just not the style we would choose.  For example, over the past few months, we've had the basement completely renovated from a dark, cold cave to a warm, usable space.  Hopefully, I'll get around to detailing that, but today is about the KEETCHIN.

To preface:  I have some guilt over redoing this kitchen.  The people we bought the house from apparently prepped the kitchen for selling purposes - painted, and put it new granite.  They put a fairly nice face on what was still a 1970s builder-grade kitchen.

Just a note of opinion, here, while I'm at it:  Why do people renovate only to sell their home?  Why not put in the nice features to enjoy them

while you live there

?  As a buyer, I'd rather you leave the old stuff, and knock a few grand off the asking price, so I can make my own selections when it comes time to remodel. Sans the guilt of feeling wasteful.

So, yes, I feel guilty busting out a kitchen someone else thought was the bee's knees. 

We've lived with it for about six months to really get a feel for what did and didn't work for us in the space.  It's a decent-sized kitchen, but didn't maximize the space. There's the working wall of all the appliances, which left little counter/prep space.  Then, there was the fridge and pantry - pushed into a small walkway outside the main part of the kitchen.


The little side bar area (on right in pic) wasn't deep enough for any small appliances, nor were there any outlets.  Basically, nothing more than a catch-all for all for the papers, lunch boxes, etc that traffic through here.

I liked the idea of having an eat-in area, but a round table (staged for selling) ate up a ton of real estate. 

After visiting with our contractor about the feasibility of moving appliances around, I came up with a rudimentary sketch that included plans to replace the double ovens with a single range, move the fridge into the main kitchen area, and add additional counter space with the sink placement under the window.  

The area vacated by the fridge in the passage-way would become a coffee station, with storage underneath for heavy small appliances (cuisinarts, etc), and the pantry would rotate to be accessible from the main kitchen.

We needed the storage the side cabinet provided, but planned it to be more of a standing desk/computer situation.

It'll be a tight fit, but we plan to put in a petite banquette/table along the back wall.

...Cabinet company rendering

I've been inspired by the greige kitchen movement.  I want ours to be classic - with touches of brass, nickel, white and black.  

 Well, you know - in a non-Martha/realistic version.

My working design board...

Some decisions are still in flux, but we're going with a shaker-style cabinet in a warm, mid-tone greige.  I think the color is actually called mushroom.  Or is it stone?  Not sure. 

We're about nine days in, have endured demo, and living with the essentials in a mock-kitchen.  Amazing how complete you can feel with an espresso machine and a hot plate.

And.  There's progress to report. 

So it's a good day to blog.

Master Bedroom design - Help me decide!

 I won't have much progress to report tomorrow on Skylar's nursery, but I need your thoughts, impressions, etc on our master bedroom design.

Right now, we are minus a bed (boxspring/mattress on the floor is charming, btw), and I'm quickly tiring of looking for the

most awesome

bed.  We just need to get one bought.  Like. Now.

Not wanting to make a rash decision, I put together a few design schemes to help persuade my purchase....

I'm fairly set on deep navy walls, and we already own the bedside tables and lamps.  We need more clothing storage, a rug, and I'd like some mirrors to place behind the nightstands.

Here ya go...

Room 1:  Soothing palette using some lilac floral fabric I already purchased for some kind of canopy, pale gray bed, moroccan shag rug, and a midcentury-esque chest of drawers.

Room 2:  The

wall mural

from Anthro is a game-changer (thank you,


for the heads-up). In this scheme, paired with a navy velvet, clean wingback bed, french gilt mirrors, and a nubby jute rug.

 Room 3:  More or less the same scheme, warmed up with a chocolate velvet bed, layered kilim over the nubby jute, and a dash of black with the dresser.

So, which one?  Talk to me, Goose.

Stateside, and a Project Update

What?  Where am I?  I think I'm having serious displacement issues.  We made the big move from Brazil about three weeks ago.  It was so bittersweet:  happy to be moving Stateside, and closer to family/friends, but very sad to leave the Country we've grown to love, and which has been the only home our kids have known.  Now that we're back in the US, we definitely have the reverse culture-shock thing going on, but have thankfully been distracted by good times catching up with peeps.

We took a two-week stopover in Texas before heading up to our new place in Virginia, and I had a chance to check in on some progress going on with an e-design client.  It's not often I get to see the fruits of my design ideas in person.  Considering the clients are still unpacking boxes from their recent move, I think we can agree they have been super-motivated in pulling this room together.

When they moved in, the entire house (trim included) was painted a nice, muddy peach color, so a fresh coat of glossy white paint was numero uno on the agenda.

The house has fantastic, classic bones, so the idea is to bring in a hint of modern lines with clean, neutral furniture.

I think we're accomplishing that nicely so far...

Remember, we were working off this design board.   

We subbed in a large traditional rug the clients already owned, and went with the neutral colorway of New Vase on the cane chairs.

Looking back towards the entrance.  I'm kinda bonkers over the door.

 Detail of the chest with the clients' own photography work.

Everything in our life is so crazy right now, the calm color palette going on here feels really good to my brain.

Speaking of OUR situation, I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that I have a

whole house

of our own to decorate!  We're actually starting from the basement level (again, a new thing for me) and will work our way up.  There's demo work happening there as we speak, so I'll get my blogging act together soon to give ya'll the scoop scoop on those plans.

In the meantime, I'm scooting kiddos off to new schools, and snuggling on a baby who is growing way too fast for my own comfort.

Thank you to all of you who have left sweet comments of welcome on

my 'gram feed

- it feels good to be Home.