MINI MAKEOVER UPDATE

So… with a very unwelcome and unacceptable sick bug running around my house this weekend, I didn’t get very far along with our home office makeover. Total bummer! But since we promised to keep you in the loop, here’s a mini makeover update from our not so eventful weekend. While the painting and heavy duty organizing had to be put off for a few days, luckily, with a little burst of energy on Sunday and the sweet sound of Homegoods calling my name, I made a little bit of headway on the project.

If you follow us on Instagram, you saw that we snatched up a couple fun Homegoods baskets for extra storage in the office as well as this TÅRNBY area rug from IKEA for a total steal (I’ve always had a hard time paying high prices for area rugs so this 5′-11″ x 8′-2″ rug that worked perfectly in our office for only $99 was a no-brainer.)mini makeover update

mini makeover updateThe baskets are fun and add some extra storage space for little odds and ends and craft supplies and I’m really happy with how the area rug warms up the space. Once there’s a little color on the walls and some other accents around, I think the monochromatic floor and rug combination will work nicely.

Other than that, I finished up painting the old dresser turned TV stand/storage unit and put two coats of paint on the ugly old filing cabinet. I still have to reattach some hardware and I think it might need one more coat of paint but aside from that, I’m really happy with the difference it made. Here’s a reminder of how drab and sad it was before and a look at how our painted furniture it coming along…

little change big difference

 mini makeover update

I also received the Elizabeth Mayville print (that was featured on our Friday Favorites post) and framed that to get ready to start the office gallery wall.
So…while I wasn’t able to get quite as much done this weekend as I had hoped, it’s something! So far, I can cross a couple of things off of my list and get ready to make some big changes this week!

  1. Start fresh with a new coat of paint. As beautiful as I think a bright, white office can be, I don’t know that I love these white walls with our current flooring and trim color (which we are not planning on changing at this moment.) A fresh coat of neutral paint will instantly update the office and create the perfect backdrop for all of the other changes we have in store. I’m thinking Worldly Gray
  2. Add an area rug. Adding an area rug to the office will really make it feel more comfortable and inviting, which is just how a home office should feel. The perfect area rug will help to ground the space and bring the whole design together.
  3. Add artwork. I would love to create a gallery wall in the office, either above my desk or on the exposed brick wall.
  4. Organize desks and storage. Our desks still need to be functional and work ready so the makeover can’t focus solely on appearances. I want to come up with some creative ways to hide desk clutter and paperwork while staying both beautiful and functional for everyday work tasks. Some ideas include additional shelving, basket storage, cork board desk “backsplash” and we’ll see what else.
  5. Paint and update existing furniture. Since the filing cabinet and old dresser turned TV stand are functional within the space when it comes to organization, I’d like to keep them but find a way to incorporate them into the design. Some new fresh paint and new hardware, like we talked about here, just might do the trick.

KITCHEN TRENDS THAT ARE HERE TO STAY

I wouldn’t consider myself to be super trendy, design wise, but there have been a lot of changes in the kitchen design department that I’d be more than happy to keep up with. It seems that now, more than ever, people are starting to really infuse a sense of style into their kitchens and these spaces are evolving from the spot where dinner is made to an extension of our other living spaces. For those of you searching for your dark wood cabinetry and granite countertop filled kitchens (I’m looking at you House Hunters…) you might want to consider the latest kitchen trends and what’s on its way in…

Here’s my list of some of the latest kitchen trends that, I think, are here to stay…

Open shelving

I think this is the most obvious kitchen trend lately, and while my jury is still out on whether or not we’ll look back on this trend fondly (think sponge painted walls of the 90’s…how did we let that happen!?) I think it’s safe to say this one will be around for a while. While I have yet to institute this new trend in my own kitchen, I do appreciate the chance (for those brave enough) to display their beautiful dishes, cookbooks, or just your ability to organize. It’s also a nice way to take a little visual weight off of your kitchen and allow things to feel a bit more airy.

 

Two-Toned Cabinetry

I’m a big fan of this one and think we’ll be seeing it for quite some time. Two-toned cabinetry is a great way to create contrast in your kitchen while also adding some color. If you have a smaller, more enclosed kitchen, a darker color on your lower cabinets help to ground your kitchen space while the lighter upper cabinets make it feel a bit more open. Have a kitchen with high ceilings that feels a bit stark and empty? A darker color on top will help the space to feel cozier.

 

Wooden Countertops

Wooden countertops, in my opinion, are a timeless design choice that work well in every kind of design from country chic to sleek and modern. While wooden countertops do require some upkeep, and that may not be for everyone, it’s a great way to make a statement in your kitchen that is a lot more cost effective than natural stones like granite. These countertops will give you the cozy feeling of a big wooden table in your kitchen space while providing you a great prep and serving spot. I would still stick with a synthetic material like a CaesarStone or Zodiaq or an engineered stone countertop around sink areas (or spots that are prone to wetness) but a butcher block island countertop is a choice that will prove to make a stylish statement for decades to come.

Kitchen trends that are here to stay

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Grey

It seems pretty clear to me that grey is the new beige especially when it comes to kitchen designs. From walls to countertops and even cabinetry, grey is definitely the neutral to be right now and is a much cheerier choice than the muddy tan go-to color of the past few years. Grey is lighter and brighter than browns and tans and is the perfect neutral background for any other colors your want to introduce in your kitchen.

kitchen trends that are here to stay

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So, what are your thoughts on some of these kitchen trends? What other new ideas in kitchen design have captured your attention?

FRIDAY FAVORITES

So, I have decided to start a weekly post about some of my favorite things at the moment and what exciting stuff I’ve found over the last 7 days. My Friday Favorites will include everything from beautiful spaces I’ve seen and great deals on all the best swag for your home to beautiful artwork and everything in between! So, drum roll please…

1. Etsy Print Shop – Elizabeth Mayville

As I get our home office makeover underway, I have been on the lookout for artwork. Etsy  is, hands down, one of my favorite spots for everything under the sun. It’s the online mecca for the über talented & creative and I could spend hours searching and searching for my favorite stuff! Etsy has an astoundingly large collection of beautiful artwork to choose from but with thousands of pages to sort through, it can get overwhelming. One of my favorite Etsy art shops right now is Elizabeth Mayville and her collection of small, affordable, contemporary paintings. I even bought the print to the left to jump-start a gallery wall I hope to include in our home office makeover. I’ve crazy about this and every other print in her store and it is my new obsession!

2. Etsy Print Shop – John Menage

Another Etsy artist that I can’t help but mention is John Menage. I’m loving how his watercolor prints from all over the world somehow feel so accessible and comfortable. It’s easy to find a way to fit any of his beautiful pieces into a design, which is exactly what we are doing with his Alexandria Park Bath print in our home office makeover. Gallery wall purchase #2 anyone?

3. Mismatched Dining Chairs

Friday Favorites

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I’m always a big fan of contrast in design. From contrasting colors to creating unexpected style combinations, I love the way contrast makes a statement in design. A great way to create this contrasting visual interest is by using mismatched dining chairs. I love the combinations of black & white and old & new chairs around this dining table. Sometimes the most unexpected combination are the ones that work out the best! This picture is motivating me to reevaluate my dining room situation. Can I get a 2014 project #2?!

4. Restaurant Week

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week

For all of the local Pittsburghers,did you know it’s restaurant week? Don’t worry, if you did know about it, you still have until this Sunday, the 19th, to get piece of it. Check out this list of local restaurants participating in the regional celebration of food and dining which feature new dishes for the New Year as three-course fixed-price meals or $20.14 specialty selections. We stopped by the Kaleidoscope Cafe on Tuesday night and were not disappointed…so get in on the action before it’s over! Don’t miss out on this killer excuse to eat out!

5. Woof, there it is.

Friday FavoritesSo, I’ve realized that until now I have neglected to mention two very important members of our family. What a bad dog mom I am. Sadie and Berkley are our two crazy rescue dogs who I just can’t get enough of. I imagine they will make a very welcome appearance every so often in some around the house shots. While they are making their debut in our very first Friday Favorites post, they are, and always will be an all day, every day favorite!

PUTTING THE ‘HOME’ IN HOME OFFICE

As I get started on our home office makeover, I’ve been asking myself how I really want the space to feel. While we may be working in the office, it doesn’t have to feel like a task to be in there! I truly believe that beautiful spaces yield happy people and what better place to exercise that motto than the home office? As I find inspiration for the design, I realize that I don’t want it to feel like an office but rather another comfortable space in the house (where, sigh, work we must.)

Here are some designs that are inspiring us to put the ‘home’ in home office…

putting the home in home office

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putting the home in home office

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So, what are some elements from these three images that I hope to use in order to make my home office design more comfy and cozy?

  • A gallery wall to bring in artwork and personal elements
  • An area rug to ground the space and infuse that living room feeling
  • Floor lamps to bring in some warm lighting
  • Warm colors to keep it cozy
  • Live greenery to spruce things up (provided I can actually keep something alive)
  • Alternative storage like baskets or wooden boxes

So…we are ready to really get going on our home office makeover (which we hope to get a good start on this weekend.) I promise to keep you updated as we go. Pinky swear!