Floored by It

I came across the beautiful home of designer/antiques expert Furlow Gatewood  in Veranda recently. WHAT. A. HOME.  It's a home that demands close examination and I'll do a whole other post on it in the future.  But one of the things that caught my eye in these pictures were the beautiful painted floors! (close ups below).

I had to explore all things painted floors & made some great discoveries along the way.  Stenciling or hand painting, when tastefully done, can give even ugly / boring floors an incredible face lift.  And for a fraction of the cost (and a relatively quick process) than if you were to gut and replace them.  Not only to cover up an unattractive floor, one of my favorite designers and design great, Bunny Williams,  uses this technique effectively to enhance an entry or a living room.

There's actually a few great options for floor stenciling on the market today & I've shared them  below.  Young House Love did  a FANTASTIC in-depth write up  on how they stenciled their closet floors (a 2-day project - pretty cool!). I highly recommend reading it if you're looking to give it a go in your home. 

In my research, I was particularly drawn to rooms where the flooring fills up the space & sets the tone for the room, without overpowering it. Sharing a few snapshots and sources below -


Greek key border floors in the home of Furlow Gatewood. I love the marble-esque texture to it (it's all paint on hardwood floors people!)

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Another Furlow Gatewood vignette - someone please transport me to this room!  The painted floors, blue & white china, door surrounds, and stunning leaf decor - I know we're talking floors here, but man, just look at this room.



Something  more contemporary - this trellis pattern  by Anna Louise - she transformed "depressing dark vinyl floors" into THIS.

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Stenciling  in progress (they've used a brush, and I've seen small paint rollers used as well)

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A checkered entry - Bunny Williams

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A tortoise shell pattern that Bunny designed for an entry

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Geometric floors in the kitchen - a great choice of color in that silvery grey

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Mirth Studio makes beautiful hand painted hardwood tiles. How fantastic are these! Lots of fun patterns & colors and they create custom designs as well.  The little helper to the right - came across on their Instagram

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Some whimsy up the stairs! 

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I love this room and it's blue floors.

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For some pretty, traditional patterns, take a look at Royal Design Studio

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Have a great weekend everyone!

Mitchell Black

I hope everyone's had a great start to their week! 

I just realized it's been a while since I've shared a wallpaper post on here! I discovered this cool new wallpaper source, Mitchell Black, over the weekend and instantly wanted to share it with you guys. I've been pottering around their site all week & they've got some really fresh and fun designs.  What's great is that their wallpapers are peel-and-stick (aka removable wallpaper).

Wallpaper has made a major comeback in the past couple years... it's ascended from "grandma's house" status to being totally chic. A great way to make a bold statement or set the mood of a room. Removable wallpaper works well in places where you want to get the look but without the commitment. And it looks pretty darn great too!   An accent wall? Kitchen backsplash? The kids' room?  These would be perfect.  I think the key is to go with quality paper & to hang it as smoothly and carefully as possible (here's a great tutorial by Apartment Therapy that explains how).  I like Mitchell Black's mix of designs - funky geometrics, uber feminine florals, whimsical patterns inspired by vintage Asian / African/ Australian textiles, and vibrant monochromes - they have a little bit of everything! Check 'em out.

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I'm kinda sorta obsessed with this antelope sketch! Talk about DRA-MA.

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It got me peeking into their Wall Art section.  Some really great finds here too. How fantastic is this swimmer series (splash, dive, in the air)  & the letterpress key!

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Fantastic Art

When I walk into a room, one of the first things I notice is the art. Good art can really make a room come alive!

Lately, I've found myself being drawn to great, original abstracts. I know a lot of people look at abstract art and think "Oh I could've made that!"  (I've definitely been guilty of this!)  & ok, maybe there's some abstracts out there that aren't great and don't justify the hefty price tag.  But I've found that making a good abstract is freaking difficult. The composition, color choices, brush strokes,  all give a painting that certain "feel". Easy to look at, very hard to accomplish.

 I've been seeing a lot of rooms lately where a more traditional room is accessorized with a contemporary abstract, and I have to say, it's a winning combination!!  I love this mix of styles. It's what makes the room interesting.

Here's some images of rooms where the art is really bringing that extra something to the space. And I've rounded up some of my favorite art sources for you below! Art does not need to be expensive to be good. There's some great, affordable art out there.  Check 'em out below  and feel free to browse through the sites and pick your own favorites!


Love, love, love this abstract on canvas in a little boy's nursery, discovered on Elements of Style.  It's got a fantastic blend of colors & goes perfectly with the gray walls.

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A gallery wall of birds in the Southern Living Showhouse 2016 , designed by Mark D Sikes. Love how the gallery extends down the entire wall , givingit height (also loving the chandelier but we can talk about that later! :) )


These framed chinoiserie panels are beauuuuutiful. The clean, powder blue upholstery and the panels are a perfect complement to each other.


A great example of mixing styles...this room designed by Mark D Sikes, has mostly traditional elements (chinoiserie vases, the floor lamp, the hurricanes), and then there's that one perfectly-sized, eye-catching squiggly abstract!  Genius.


Stunning horse photography...


And here's some of my favorite picks right now! :)

Love, love, love these minimalist watercolors by Lauren Adams Art on Etsy. Their so interesting to look at & the framing is spot on.



I'm in love with this abstract on canvas by Kelly Witmer.  Original oils on canvas tend to be higher priced but you could always get a high quality giclee print and frame it!

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These abstracts on canvas by Renee Bouchnon are a thing of great beauty. They’d bring instant character into a room.


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Going in a completely different direction - these GORGEOUS ginger jars found on Furbish.

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As well as these black & white botanicals. Perfectly framed in a light wood!

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There's a wonderful new art source on the block -  Artfully Walls. They have a great selection of varied art & they have some fantastic, ready-to-go, curated collections by designers as well.

Here's a few pieces from Mark D Sike's curation...blues, blacks, whites.

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Large scale photography can give a room dimension & depth. Here's a great example by Erin Gates Design .. what a view in the dining room!   (Fun fact: centuries ago, monasteries would mount huge paintings/tapestries in the area where the monks ate their meals. This was so they could ponder on it in silence while they ate. I like the thought of that A LOT!)


Beautiful seascape photogrpahy by Mina Photography



And lastly, Pure Photo. Their nature photography is PHENOMENAL.  

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I hope you enjoyed that round up!  I have lots more where that came from. Let me know if you enjoyed that and I’ll share a round 2.

Also, share this post with an art-loving friend...someone who likes to discover new art or  someone who's in the middle of a redecorate. You never know who's in need of some inspiration :)

Any artists you're crushing on right now?  

Things I want to do this spring

I've been very motivated to spring clean this past week and now that I've done some of it, I have to say, best decision ever. I got rid of so much "stuff" that was just taking up space for no good reason!

It's also the season for renewal and freshening things up. For me this translates to new inspiration, new experiences and new habits. I decided to make a list of things I absolutely want to do before spring/summer comes to a close. Here goes! 

1) Go visit The Getty. I've been wanting to go for months! I definitely want to check out their decorative arts collection and the Getty Villa. It looks like they have a great calendar of events at both the Getty center and the villa. Also, I didn't know this but admission is FREE. I think it's unbelievably cool that everyone has full access to so much fantastic art, culture and inspiration! A wonder.


2) Take a nature hike and see the fantastic spring bloom up, close & personal. A dear friend sent me pictures of the super bloom at Carrizo Plains National Monument and I nearly died! I definitely want to get outside and BE with the wildflowers.   

3) Get back into my yoga practice. I love me some yoga. I feel so much more healthy and relaxed when I hit the mat 2-3 times a week. I can't do a headstand to save my life (respect for all the lovely yogis who can!), but I can hold the pigeon pose for a good 8 minutes. And it leaves you feel you amazing. I really need to get back into it.

(p.s. This picture of the Amansala in Mexico is blowing my mind on so many levels. Sun, palm trees, water, yoga mats... heavaaan!)


4) Leave my phone outside the bedroom so I can resist the urge to check my phone first thing in the morning. I know this is just not healthy. Get a table clock so there's absolutely no excuse to keep my phone by my bedside.

5) Spring clean!  I've already begun doing this and I gotta say, it feels amaaaazzzing to purge. I started with my much dreaded coats / shoe closet. Earlier I'd look at the amount of things in there and just get stressed out. A dedicated 4 hours and it's a whole new space!

I have a super basic approach. It's either an easy yes or a hell no!  

For shoes that are off-season or occasion wear, I took a small snapshot of each pair and stuck 'em on the boxes so we never have to search through a pile of boxes again. 

The before situation (piles of stuff) /  the after situation (organization ninja Z to the rescue)...

And I just could not do away with this beautiful pair of slip ons! They're so fab and fun. A gift from a friend who'd visited Kenya, but I've never worn them since they're a size too small. 

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Busted out this beautiful black and white tray. One of my favorites. It was stored away for a bit but now it's back in favor :P

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And that's a wrap!

What 1-2 things you're looking forward to this spring / summer? Anything that you're looking to refresh / renew / change up?

Image Credits: The Getty, John Arackaparambil, Amansala


Something cute for the walls

Ok, so lately, I'm loving the design finds I'm seeing in the Wall Street Journal. Here's another great find from their Off Duty 50 Spring list - contemporary embroidery by fiber artist Sarah Benning. I love her modern take on this traditional craft!

Her patterns look like snapshots straight out of a design magazine. I was especially drawn to the hoops with the mid-century desks & the rug patterns  (first & second picture). They'd make for GREAT wall art for a kid's room.

Her story is pretty adventurous too. She left her day job working as a flower specialist at the Whole Foods, to pursue her embroidery career full-time. So far, she hasn't had to look back. She lives in Spain & retails her patterns and workshops through her website. If you enjoy needlework, this might be a cool project to do. Not to mention you'll have some gorgeous handmade art for your walls.

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