Mood Board Monday - Inviting Guest Room

Hey guys! Today is an exciting day for me.  Its the first full day back to school! That means I will have time to write and design and write about design... I'm really excited for this year.  

First up, since it's Monday, is what I am calling a mood board, but not like a fully designed room.  This one is just going to be kind of a round up of some things I thought would help when pulling together a guest room.  Here are a few things that I personally think are nice to incorporate for an inviting guest room.

Good linens - Invest in the best you can afford. Your guests will be treated to a lovely rest in your home, and since they won’t be used as often as your regular bedding, they will have a much longer life. Also, here’s a personal tip that I want to share: as someone with severe allergies I cannot stress to you how important it is to wash the bedding before your guests arrive. It is absolutely miserable when you crawl into bed at night, ready to relax, and your nose is instantly filled with dust and musty smells.

Lighting - get some lamps or sconces for next to the bed. Not everyone likes overhead lighting. Having ambient lighting is great to have for your guests as it allows them to wind down without a glaring light over them. You want them to relax, not feel like they are about to be interrogated. Bonus points: The lamp shown has a built in USB port.  You can plug your phone right into it. 

Storage - This one is tricky, because a lot of people use their guest room closets for storage or secondary closets. Try to at least have a few drawers handy for guests to unpack their belongings. If you do have space in the closet, have some hangers for your guests to hang up their clothes.  Also, I think this cute little trinket dish would be a cute way for your guests to make sure they don't lose their rings or watches. You really can't go wrong with a brass peacock!

Nightstands - Another thing that’s nice to have is a bedside table of some sort. You get a lot of function out of this one. Here’s the place for the ambient lighting that I spoke of earlier. There’s a place for a drink of water (or wine), to put a book, phone, and as a glasses wearer, I can’t tell you how nervous it makes me to think about putting my glasses on the floor.

Table Fan - This works two-fold. It helps circulate air in the room and acts as a sound machine. If you don’t have a ceiling fan, a table fan is a great touch to help make your guests feel comfortable.

Cozy Blanket - I don’t know about you, but it’s no fun being at someone’s house and being cold. Having a nice, cozy blanket at the foot of the bed or thrown over a chair is a nice touch. It’s there if they need it, and if not, that’s cool too.

Smells - Okay this is a biggie for me. I know I’m unique in this, but here me out. Don’t have a lot of perfumey smells in the room. As I mentioned, I have severe allergies and smells can trigger migraines. Be mindful of any flowers you put in the room, as their scents could be too overpowering (Lillie’s, for example!). Have unscented candles, or lightly scented candles in fresh, clean scents if you want to add those. Your guests can always tuck those away if they need to (I’ve done this one before!)

Clean it! - If you want the room to smell good, a simple quick clean using some natural cleaners could do the trick, and that tip I shared earlier about washing the sheets before the guests arrive will help too. You clean the rest of the house before company comes, don’t skip the area where they will go to recharge from all the fun you’ll have. When we were in San Francisco, I am pretty sure the room hadn't been cleaned in a while and the first three days we were there my son and I sneezed like crazy.  Not fun.

What do you think? Do you have anything in your guest room that you like to spoil your guests with? I'm hoping our next house has an extra bedroom that we can turn into a guest room.  We've never had one and I'd really like to have family stay over.  Especially since we're going to have a pool and all...wishful thinking!

Mood Board Monday - Board Come to Life!

I was working on this post yesterday (Monday) but something came up to take me away from posting it.  Enjoy Mood Board Monday on a Tuesday!

Hey guys! Today for mood board Monday I’m sharing something a little different. I’m going to share a mood board that has actually come to fruition. Applause. You know this is huge if you do e-design, or work with clients at all. Sometimes it’s hard to get those final images of all of your hard work. This one is of my own house, so it’s not as difficult!

If you’ve been following for a while, you’ll remember the board I did for my existing dining room. We’ve been in dire need of new chairs for years, but never pulled the trigger. Seriously, this is what we were using.


They were awesome when we first bought them. Here’s s pic from the vault. This was right after we bought them in 2008 probably.

  Old dining room, circa 2008, I think.

Old dining room, circa 2008, I think.

However, these chairs got used. Finally they started breaking down. The last straw for me was one day when I pulled the chair out and a chunk of the back came off in my hand. These things were disintegrating right before my eyes. As I mentioned in the original post, I had been eyeing these chairs for months (more like over a year, actually) but they always sold out before we had a chance to get them. 

Here’s where something pretty neat happens. I’m in a private FB group full of inspiring gals. Our fearless leader/Admin Payton (who is an amazing celeb stylist and all around awesome person) gave us a challenge one day to "live our Pinterest boards". Pretty much, it meant to live a dream you had. I decided I was going to look at my boards to see what I could wrangle up. Wasn’t even really thinking about chairs at that time, because I knew they weren’t in the budget. I was about to open my Pinterest app when I noticed a new email. You guys... It was a low price alert from Wayfair saying my chairs were in stock and on sale! They were the lowest price I had ever seen them since I had been watching them. Texted my husband and to my COMPLETE shock, he said buy them.

So we did!!!

And now we have chairs that aren't falling apart!!!! #livingmybestlife

Here is the board that I created for the dining room, and then the actual, real life, chairs are ours photo.

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I'm so happy with how this room is shaping up! Honestly, it's sort of to the point where I'll just call it finished.  I do want to replace the book shelf that houses our fish tank, and get a new plant for the corner and a neat piece of vintage art, but for the most part it's done!!!


Goodbye, chairs.  You have served us well!!!

Recharged, or restless?

As I mentioned in my last post, we recently went to San Francisco for a few days. We plan our summer vacations around certain whale migrations, as we have a future marine biologist in our house. We read about a whale watching tour that takes you out to the Farallon Islands, and they usually see several species of whales. So we planned a trip around the Humpback Whales this year (saw Blue Whales off the coast of San Diego last summer). It was really neat because we also got to go right under the Golden Gate Bridge and right by Alcatraz. However, the sea was not a friend to myself or my son and we spent the majority of the ride throwing up. He got to see some whales so it was worth it.

  I only took a few pictures from the whale watching boat.  You can't tell, but this is the Golden Gate Bridge.  Because of the sun, you can't see the iconic red, unfortunately. 

I only took a few pictures from the whale watching boat.  You can't tell, but this is the Golden Gate Bridge.  Because of the sun, you can't see the iconic red, unfortunately. 

Vacations are a funny thing. It seems like when you have one scheduled, you anxiously await it’s arrival, but then, the last few days are spent ready to get back home and back to “normal”. At least, it is like that for me. I partially blame that on my gypsy-like spirit that gets bored if I am in one place too long. Typically, people use vacations to recharge their batteries, and I guess in a way I’m no different (although I will tell you that a vacation while being a parent, especially the parent of a high-maintenance child, comes with its own set of challenges). Although I do feel somewhat recharged, and I use that term very loosely, I will be honest and admit that this vacation has also left me somewhat restless. I’ll explain. As most of you know if you’ve read my blog any length of time, we live in a rental house. It’s a cute little thing, tucked away in the corner of a cul-de-sac, in one of the most sought after school districts in the country. (That’s not an exaggeration. I remember before we moved here I watched several episodes of House Hunters where people gave up their dream homes just to be in this district. I was baffled at the time but after being here, I totally get it.) This is where I am finding myself now. Not in a house I’m in love with, but the best district you could want as a parent. We stumbled on to this house. Four years ago it was perfect. But now I feel that it is time to move on. We knew signing our lease this past May that this could possibly be the last year in this house. We’ve loved living here, and it came to us right when we needed it to. It has served us well, and made us very happy. At this point I am just ready for something different. I’m tired of living with someone else’s decorating mistakes (more on that next week!) and builder grade everything (ENOUGH.WITH.THE.BOOB.LIGHTS!). I’m ready to upgrade. I feel a little cramped in our current place. This house isn’t really allergy friendly, and I can’t exactly rip out the shag carpet in the bedrooms or plaster up the absolutely stupid plant ledges that every single effing house in our neighborhood has (and we have two!). I’d love to have more room, or even a more well thought out floor plan where all the bedrooms aren’t attached to the only main living area and if someone wants to use the bathroom or take a shower it means waking someone up. I would love to have an in ground pool, as my favorite memories growing up are of swimming in our backyard. My son loves to swim and public pools are (gross) way too overstimulating for him.

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  The only black house I got to see while we were there.

The only black house I got to see while we were there.

  This entry way is perfection.  

This entry way is perfection.  

After meandering around San Francisco, this feeling of wanting to upgrade skyrocketed. While we didn’t get to see the infamous Painted Ladies, we did see a fair amount of stunning Victorian homes. Just seeing them from the outside was enough to get my wheels turning about things I want in our next place. I’m obsessed with Parisian style interiors, and would love to try to incorporate some elements of that style into our next place. If you’re interested, follow my Pinterest board that I made for my dream house.  It's called Home Sweet Home. Think molding, hardwood floors, statement lighting, and jewel toned furnishings. One day!

In the meantime, I’m going to try to do what I can to our little rental to make it feel like home. While major furniture purchases and custom draperies are out, I’m determined to make this place feel great while we still live here. I have a few projects up my sleeve as well as changing out a few things, just because it’s time. While we are still here, I want to feel at home and not feel restless. What about you, do you get restless after a vacation and want to change all the things? Or do you come back feeling refreshed and seeing things in a different light?

Mood Board Monday - Back in Black

Hey friends! I've been on a little hiatus from the blog.  Not meaning to take so much time away, but summers are busy around here! I'm still adjusting from our vacation to San Francisco, and I'm planning a post involving that trip.  Hoping to have that one ready to go mid-week.

But for now, I wanted to share another mood board I whipped up a few weeks ago.  This one is going to HAVE to come to life! I am hoping that this will be my future powder room.  And because I wanted to make sure no one that knew me thought I had lost my marbles with my Pink Mood Board, I decided to make a mood board that includes one of my favorite wallpapers.  The Scalamandre Zebra.  #swoon.



Zebra Wallpaper // Mirror // Towel Ring // Sink // Faucet // Sconces // Toilet // Art

Well, what do you think? I have been in love with this wallpaper since I first saw it YEARS ago.  The idea of doing a really bold wall covering in a smaller room such as a powder room gets me really excited! Plus, if we ever have a bathroom that I can do this to, I think I could talk some of my clients in to doing it as well.  Go big!


Mood Board - Dining Room

Hi Guys! Welcome to Mood Board Monday! I hope you enjoyed my last Mood Board (which wasn't posted on Monday, but whatever).  Today I have one that I am incredibly excited about and very proud of.  This one is a design board for a real room.  One that will actually come to life.  It's our dining room.  And honestly, it's almost finished, I just need to spring for new chairs.  I am in love with these, but they keep selling out.  I'm hoping to be able to pull the trigger on them soon, but in the meantime, this is what my dining room will look like very soon.  The avocado art is from Etsy, and will most likely be different (and on the wall behind the fiddle leaf).  Also, since I can't keep a fiddle alive, that plant will be different, but you get the idea.  What do you think?

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The dining table was from West Elm, and was the first piece of furniture that my husband and I ever bought together.  When we moved into our old townhouse, we bought the table before we had a sofa (which by the way, was 11 years ago and we still have both pieces!).  We bought that in 2007 and they have discontinued it since then.  I love that table. 

So there you have my future dining room.  Right now our current chairs are a mix match (which I have discovered I do not like) and are falling apart. Yeesh.  Hopefully I will get to grab a set of those chairs soon.  Then believe it or not, a room in our house will be mostly finished! 

Mood Board - Thinking Pink

Hi friends! I took an unexpected break from blogging.  School has been out for over two weeks here, and it sorta hit me hard this summer! During that time I have been working on posts, just not finishing them.  Some of the posts involve my favorite thing to do...make mood boards!  I could do this all day.  This is the perfect creative outlet for me, since we aren't really in decorate the house mode right now.  This board is fun because it is TOTALLY not me.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I despise the color pink in all its forms. This is just a color that doesn’t appeal to me. You can imagine my dismay when the whole millennial pink trend happened. My personal aesthetic in both design and style has always had a more masculine edge to it. Which makes this mood board completely out of left field for me. The other night I was working on a post and while researching, I came across this headboard from West Elm. I loved the unique shape and the fun fabric options available. I noticed that it was available in a blush velvet with a shimmer to it. I clicked on the fabric to see what the headboard would look like, and just like that, I had the inspiration for an entire room. I thought it would be fun to do something that is totally unlike anything I’ve done (using pink!) but still but my stamp on it. Here’s what I came up with.



Honestly, as much as I don't care for pink, I would have this room in a second, no questions asked.     Below I am linking to everything I've used in case it inspires you.  

headboard / carved stools / nightstands / rug / bolster / medallion bedding / euros / dresser / lamps / mirror / window treatments / sconces / flush mount / art  

*I must also mention that I have included some affiliate links in this post.  If you purchase an item from this post using the affiliate link, I will earn a small commission from the sale.  Thank you for supporting this blog, and the companies that I have chosen to work with.  

Past Project - Modern Nursery

Yesterday, I spent some time reworking the Projects section of my website. I had more images to add, plus I have a better understanding of how Squarespace works, so I thought I’d try to make it look better. I’m pretty pleased! While adding my images (and realizing that I’ve lost hard copies of my best project, and no digital ones exist. Breathe.)  To check out a few INTERIOR projects, go HERE, for the EXTERIOR projects, go HERE.  This is only a tiny (minuscule, really) sampling of what I have done in the last 15 years.  Some people don't want to have their homes shared on the internet, and while it's frustrating, I do respect it.  Some people just "keep forgetting" to take a picture and send it.  So.  I added what I could!

In doing this, I realized I hadn’t added our sons nursery. This was the first nursery I ever designed. I knew I wanted something different than your usual nursery. At the time, we still lived in Louisville and modern design was not yet a thing there. I’m not even sure Pinterest was around at the time I started the planning phase of the room. We started designing this room in early 2010. It was hard to find inspiration images of what I was looking for, which was a clean, modern nursery without your typical color scheme/themes. I have always hated themes in kids rooms, even from the beginning. I wanted fun furniture that could grow with him, nothing fussy or frilly, and really clean, simple lines.  Here are some photos!


All of the furniture had to be ordered online. The side table was from Overstock, the bookshelf, lamp, crib and changing table/dresser were from Target, the window treatments and light fixture were from Ikea, and the chairs were from Hive Modern.  

The funny thing about looking at this room is that these photos were taken before the baby showers happened.  After the showers, all the baby goods filled this room up.  SO. MUCH. STUFF. I never got around to photographing the room after all the cute things were added in, because my son decided to arrive a few weeks early and shit got REAL after he was born.  Hard to believe the little guy that lived in this room will be EIGHT YEARS OLD next week!!!

This is the last week of school here, but I am really going to try to stay on top of blogging and get something posted a few times a week.  My planner has a page full of ideas and there are about 20 posts that are started and saved on my phone.  Be on the lookout!


Good Vibes Only - How To Spring Clean Your Home's Energy

Well, I am please to report that we had Spring in Nashville, and we have moved into shorts weather already. Yesterday I was wearing shorts for a brief period of time. If it happens again, let this be a PSA to not look directly into my legs...unless you still have your eclipse glasses handy.  You'll thank me.  

Any time there is a hint of a nice day, I get the urge to get rid of most of the things in my house and start over.  My restless soul also starts dreaming of an entire new house, but that isn't in the cards just yet.  We just signed the lease for another year in our house. We've been here for three our four years, and while I do love it, I can't help but get that little tug of wishing for the excitement of new surroundings.  Since we aren't going anywhere quite yet, I plan on doing something a little more than your average spring cleaning.  If you know me, you know I am very into energy and vibes and crystals and all that other woo woo stuff (or hokum, as my hubby lovingly calls it). This whole "spiritual movement" seems to be quite popular now, which I am loving.  Today I am sharing some things that I do in my own home that have helped when doing my "Energetic Spring Cleaning".

Diffusing Essential Oils  This is one of my favorite ways to clear out the stagnant air in my house.  Fun fact, none of our windows open, so opening them to let in some fresh air isn't a possibility. Last year we bought a diffuser from Whole Foods and I love it.  My son likes to choose the color from the chromotherapy (always blue) and I really like watching the steam puff out.  My favorite recipes for oils is five drops of grapefruit, and five drops of lemon and eucalyptus mix, and sometimes I'll add one drop of lavender.  It's a clean, fruity scent that smells like summer.  If my allergies are annoying me (which is usually the case) I'll diffuse just eucalyptus, since it helps with congestion.  It also makes the house smell like a spa, and who doesn't love that?  


This is the diffuser we bought.  I think it was $50, and we love it.  

Crystals  This trend is everywhere and I LOVE it!  I saw my first crystal at a flea market when I was a teenager and have been obsessed ever since.  Up until recently they've been hard to find unless you know of a good metaphysical shop.  Thankfully now, you can get great ones at HomeGoods, Etsy, and various other online retailers.  If you live in Nashville and don't know about Cosmic Connections, go check them out! They have tons of crystals.  


A few months ago I went to a natural health and wellness fair called Illuminate Nashville, and brought these beauties home. I will need to get another tigers eye sphere, because I gifted that one to my hubby because he liked the shape of it.  I also bought my son a pebble that glows in the dark after it sits in the sun.  He keeps that on his bedside table.


Isn't this beautiful?! I picked this up about two years ago at a shop in Murfreesboro, TN.  I am more drawn to the natural cut crystals instead of the tumbled ones, but as you can see from the photo above, I do have a few tumbled (or smooth) ones that I will meditate with if I feel I need a little help with my focus.


This tea light holder came from HomeGoods.  It is amethyst, and in real life is way more purple than the picture is showing.  I am very drawn to purple, so this is one of my all time favorite crystals.  The smaller chunk is citrine, which is known as the success stone (trust me on this one, it works!).  I keep these two on my desk in the office, as the amethyst is also supposed to aid in creativity.  Usually there are more on my desk, but I am rehoming them based on where I need them.  

Fresh Flowers   If you have been reading for any length of time, you'll know my love of fresh flowers all over my house.  They are an inexpensive way to add some beauty and new life to a room, and you can get creative with the arrangements to make something very beautiful.  This week, my bouquet of choice is just a simple bunch of red roses I purchased at Publix for $11. 


Saging/Smudging  Saging or smudging is when you use white sage to "clear"out the bad energy of a space or thing.  I swear by this.  It's simple, and it will make your house smell good (I am all about multifunction!) All you do is light the end of the sage bundle and then blow the flame out so the ends smoke, similar to incense.  Open your windows and then go room by room, making sure you get door ways, all four corners, etc. an "banish out the negativity". Fun fact, none of the windows in our house open, so to do this I have to open my front and back doors. Another fun fact for those of you thinking I am crazy, I've done this before and it has worked.  Several years ago, I was in a situation where I had an incredibly toxic coworker.  One day before everyone was scheduled to come in, I saged the entire building and things go much better with this person.  Meaning after a while she quit, so I am telling you, this shit works. 


This is my well loved sage bundle.  The feather came from the totally bad energy free design shop where I used to work, and the necklace was given to me by my son after he won it out of a gum ball machine. Again, I usually have more crystals in this feather dish.  You can by a double bunch of mini-sage bundles at Whole Foods for $10.

Clutter   Your standard spring cleaning duty: Decluttering.  This really works to lighted up the energy in a house, I feel.  I once heard someone say that each piece of clutter has a "voice" and it is screaming at you for your attention.  I completely agree with that.  Clutter affects people differently, but for me it gives me major anxiety. I have to make sure certain areas are clutter free or I cannot function.  Besides, if it is something that has been lying around for weeks, is it really serving you? Do you really need to hang on to it? Get rid of all of the things that are not serving you so you can make way for the things that you really love.  Example: I donated two bags of clothing and a bag of shoes to a local thrift store earlier this week.  The next day, I found my dream loafers that I have been searching for for over a year (I'm picky).  That is just one example. I actually plan on getting rid of a ton more stuff in the coming weeks.  The store I donate to employs adults with special needs, so I feel good about making sure they have a good job, and I can get rid of stuff that no longer serves me or makes me happy.  Again, win win!

Those are the main things I do when I feel it is time for a good energy clearing, or a good spring cleaning that goes a little deeper than just cleaning the windows and washing all the curtains.  I've tried all of these and have had great success with all of them, and I say that because I know some of these tips can be a little too new agey for some.  Give them a try and see what you think! You'll be pleasantly surprised, and at the least, be surrounded by beautiful things.  If that doesn't shift the energy in your home, I don't know what will! :)

LPD Newsletter - Coming Soon!

Hi friends! I wanted to update with a quick post today on a new thing I will be implementing soon.  I am going to start sending out a newsletter!  Probably no more than twice a month, just depends on what hits me.  I am going to include a sign up form at the bottom of the post.  I'll try to have the first one out by Mid-May.  If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see, please let me know and I'll include it in future mailings!

Thank you for your support! It means the world to me :)