Happy Halloween...

I hope you have a wonderful Halloween today! Check out this amazing group of photos from Bardot in Blue. Makes me want to be in Paris in the fall- in a cemetery no less.

images via bardot in blue

Sleeping in and thank you...

A little sleepy this morning...  wishing that my bed looked like this though...  

I want to say thank you again for all of your lovely comments about our dining room.  I am in the process of putting it all back together this weekend and then next week maybe something for that wall.  It seems so naked without the mirrors.  I will test the clock theory but I am not sure that it will stand out with enough contrast for me.  I am considering putting something like this in there since I already have them (but if someone buys them then I can get my new chandelier!!!) and  I would have to change out some other pieces if I did that.  I am sure I won't be able to wait long as I get a little impatient sometimes and I want to have it semi together before a dinner we are hosting on the 14th of November!  I will keep you up to date though.  Have a wonderful weekend and a very spooky Halloween! 

image via linen and lavender

It's on

Here's my ghettofabulous Buffy the Vampire Slayer costume:

{Yes, the "H" and the stripes are duct tape}

I had the boys home with me today and the stars aligned (i.e. they took their naps at the same time) and I got to work on sewing my costume.  The "pants"/ bodysuit is actually a shirt turned upside down...  The arms are now the legs and I sewed up the hole for your head.  The yellow "skirt" is also a $3 Michael's t-shirt and I stretched out the head hole for the waist and cut it off.  I use the leftovers to make another t-shirt long-sleeved.  It's ridiculous and the best part of the costume is the pair of scrunchy socks I'm wearing.   

{Argg just realized I need a scrunchy for my hair!}

happy Halloween!!!  And to learn the Thriller dance go here.
(SO worth it.)

xoxo, Lauren

Dining room changes...

Here is my dining room as it is now... With dark brown paint and the mirror collage. I am not in love. We have an ugly ceiling fan that was existing and most of the furniture was new. I had the drapery made and put in just after we moved in a couple of years ago. I have been dying to change this room for a while now but have been kind of undecided on what exactly to do. (I have had a square of Slate Grey from Restoration Hardware painted on the wall for 3 months or so waiting for my husband to give in.)

So we will paint and I have decided to sell the mirrors to make way for a large reproduction clock face with zinc. I am so excited! I am hoping that the grey on grey will work for the space. I would really love to have some mirrored window panes here - but a clock face will do nicely for now.  I am going to recover the chair seats too once the painting is done.  I found a great settee at the Long Beach Flea Market a few months back that I was thinking of putting in here but it is too low so I have another location planned for that.

The floor will remain unfinished concrete as I am still deciding if we should stain it or just wait for the wood flooring I liked to be within my budget.

I have decided to go ahead with the Slate paint from Restoration Hardware- I love the dark contrast with the white trim. As we progress I will have to give you an update...

(I know I never did do an update on the front door project- they look amazing- I will have to take some pictures and post them.)

What do you think?

Don't forget to join us on facebook we will keep you updated on the latest happenings with greige and our upcoming shop opening!

images via me

"Spooky" evolution charts

I've been loving educational charts lately and have been running into a lot of German ones.  I thought this vintage evoluationary chart "Abstammungslehr II" was perfect for the season.  Christian calls skulls "spookies" and is pictured below eating his breakfast:

{I've collected more topiaries on the table this Fall...  Look how unsuspecting they are sitting there.. Waiting to slowly be killed...   Ok, I'm really going to try to keep them alive.  I tried out lemon cypress -which I've killed before- because I've heard they're not too difficult.}

This chart was definitely used in the classroom as you can see from the old red arrows the teacher must have drawn:

...And... look who's walking!!! 

Justin started a couple of weeks ago and is definitely not going back.  Time to finish babyproofing!!
Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeen!!!!

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Soft and relaxing.. that's what I need.

I fell in love with the feeling of this home. The soft colors and overall relaxed feeling - I need this more in my life....more relaxing. You?

The first image is my favorite!  I just used it for inspiration for a client project....

images via Atlanta homes and lifestyles

Halloween anyone???

Okay, I LOVE Halloween.  I always have.  When I was in preschool my grandmother made me a "Glinda" costume (from the Wizard of Oz)...  It was shiny pink with star sequins glued onto it.  I felt so pretty and special and wore it waaaaaay too often after that.  (Walk in the woods anyone?  Let's put on the Glinda costume!)

I've dressed up almost every year of my life (even in high school when it wasn't cool anymore...  knock Knock...  "Trick-or-treat!"   "Um, aren't you a little old??")  Yeah, so...  I get so excited planning costumes & parties and making sure everyone's got their costume covered.  (I've been known to make housecalls for those in desperate need of costume help.)  When I had Christian (at 25) it was a little harder to get into it but we stayed strong with a warrior party at our house...

{Just the girls}

And the following year we did superheroes...

Last year I was pregnant and we did a small "kids" party.  We didn't dress up ourselves, and it just wasn't as much fun.  It was definitely great to see the kids partying and Christian loved it, but I really missed dressing up.  (And to me, a night is only a perfect "10" if it ends in dancing.)

We usually start out at our house with a small pre-party & then get a limo into the city where we meet up with all of the other ridiculous people.

SO...  this brings to me to where we're at now.  We really debated and wishy-washed about doing something fun for Halloween this year.  It's so sad but we sort of didn't want to.  My best friends live far away and can't make it...  It's a lot of effort.  I barely got pumpkins outside this year.  It just feels like time is racing by and I'm seriously flying by the seat of my pants.  I read all of these beautiful blogs with creative ways to get your house ready for Halloween & table settings & on & on and I love them and plan on trying out the ideas myself but before I can get my act together, the event's upon me.  As we were driving to High Point & throwing the idea of a party around -pretty much thinking 'no'- we put on some music and before I knew it, my hands were in the air and I was dancing in my seat.  (Taio Cruz's Dynamite is really one of the best songs EVER and I fully blame it for the evite I subsequently sent out.)

I have no costumes... only a theme...  Cheesy Teen Horror/ Comedy Movies.  Dave's going as this guy:

{Best movie ever}

... and we're still loolking for a Keiffer.   And a nice curly brown mullet wig and some fangs...

I'm going as my childhood idol:

{hahahaha what does that say about me?}

Yeah, when I was 10 I taught myself the entire dance in the beginning of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and used to do cartwheels and sommersaults on the street while holding a stake.  (Issues much??)

So... we mustered it up for another year.  We were so close to not doing it but we just felt like that would be giving up and we're not ready for that.  I know it'll be fun, it's just the process of getting there that has me a bit exhausted.  It's also harder to convince friends and a few former troopers are done dressing it up now that they have kids which makes me so sad.   

Costumes for the whole family are on the agenda for tonight and we'll be breaking out the sewing machine.  I really am torn here.  It's hard to get into Halloween when you have kids.  Maybe we're not supposed to?? hahah  Is anyone else feeling this?  I envision getting crazier & crazier each year with a haunted house and over the top decor.. maybe murder mystery party...??  Is it too much.  What do you do?

And, if you want to get excited, go here and listen.  Anyone in the DC are going out Friday night?  We usually head out somewhere and are debating where.

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Flamant Hotel design

This is one of my favorite places in the Flamant Home book.  (you can get one for yourself on the side there via amazon).  The hotel looks fabulous and so relaxing... makes you want to get away from it all, yes??

Just think of all the sand on that beautiful white floor...

images via Flamant

Tolix in grey...

It has been so long since I have done a post about my love for tolix... this picture is no exception.. the dark grey is wonderful...

image via Pinterest


One of my best friends from high school has recently started a company with her husband called diaNoche , and a blog to go with it.  Her name is Veronica and the brand, diaNoche, is all about her versatile peices that you can wear both day & night. She's American {half-Italian (from her dad's side, like me!) and half Columbian from her mom's side} and since I can remember has dreamed of creating her own line of clothing that straddled all of her roots.  An artist, she graduated from FIT in New York and has gone after her dream. 

{Veronica El-Showk}

Here's a quick excerpt from a press release:
"diaNoche is a lifestyle brand that embodies the love of travel and art.  While living in New York, owners Veronica and Hedeer El-Showk traveled often for both business and pleasure to Morocco, Europe and Colombia. Inspired, Veronica started designing a collection of shirts with the vision of importing goods from overseas in the future. diaNoche's designs have a strong arabesque influence and are also inspired by the designer's Colombian heritage. The company's themes include everything from the ancient mosaics in Cyprus, to the salt mines in Bogotá and the intricate patterns of tribal North Africa."

{Veronica in a photo taken by her sweet husband, Hedeer}

Her passion for life & all things beautiful literally jumps off of the page at you from her new blog and I am so freaking excited for her & Hedeer!!!! DiaNoche's Fall & Winter line of designer t-shirts is debuting in a couple of weeks. 

{The beautiful logo she created}

Yesterday she came over to our place & I helped her out with a photo shoot.  Here's a picture I took of a little jewely tray we created for the background of one of the shots: 

{Those garden weeds come in handy!}

We shot all day to get her day/ night looks.  (Around 700 images...  and- you know how it goes- only a minute number of usables- especially with me as her model- but she got what she came for.)   She's an amazing photographer & we wanted some soft fresh day looks and some dark, edgy ones for night.  

{me, taking off the shoes...  oh how I love them, oh how I have no idea how she walks in them...}
We tried out some crazy stuff- including laying on my outdoor harvest table, (definitely not a use I'd ever envisioned for it) the concrete patio (brrrrr) and nighttime shots in my bedroom which definitely gave it a whole new look.  She 's now working on getting the images loaded & the website finished up and as soon as she does, she's promised me a giveaway for Pure Style Home.  I literally wanted EVERYTHING I wore yesterday.  The designs she's created are super-flattering and just honestly make you look good.  I was really skeptical when she asked me to be her model but truly, the clothes did all the work.    

{image by Veronica...  her friends' boots in Italy- how beautiful??}

At one point yesterday (well, at lots of points) we just started cracking up...  I think I was hanging out on a hide rug pouring tea from a beautiful tea pot with a pile of vintage quilts next to me...  really???  You definitely have to play a lot and take risks and feel stupid to get to where you're trying to go. 
But it was so much fun. 
At one point Christian came up to us, "What game are you playing?"
Veronica: "Photo shoot."
Christian:  "Can I play?
...So, although theres not yet a diaNoche kids' line, Veronica made sure to get a few good shots of Christian.  ...Who made sure to let me know that he loved my hair the way she'd done it (curls) but didn't like the "gray stuff" on my eyes and helped me wash off the eyeshadow when we were finished. {What a picky little man!}

So, as soon as she lets me and her site is set up for online purchases, I'll post some photos of Veonica's new line & we'll be doing a giveaway.  If you have some time, stop over to visit Veonica at diaNoche and say hi.  She's a brand new blogger & I know she'd love to hear from you. 

I'm so excited & happy for her and I know we're all going to be hearing a lot about her soon.

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Sharing some beautiful flowers and a cup of tea with blog time would be so sweet for this Monday morning...

Starting on a little project with the dining room this week..  I will have to give you more details as the week progresses..

image by Chris Everard

In the bath...

We all need a beautiful bath right?? 

image by Chris Everard

Dark and Masculine by Flamant

What a great masculine space with the dark walls and all that leather.... yummy!  Flamant is one of my favorites when I visit Europe!  Their pieces are always so well done...

images via flamant

My Vintage Peanut

{Our dining room server }

About a year ago, I came across a silverplated vintage peanut and snapped it up because it's one of those pieces that just makes me happy.  It's definitely not something to be taken seriously and adds a little fun anywhere it goes.  I've seen another 1 or 2 of them out and aboupt since then and just love them.

It's marked "F.B. ROGERS Silverplate."  The company was founded in 1883 in Massachusetts and is still in business today.  When I picked it up I thought it was such a cool piece and pictured reproducing it.  Well, you've heard the saying "there are no new ideas..."  Last weekend at High Point I walked into Go Home's showroom and there was my silver peanut!  Doppelganged!!  They're set to be retailed around $50 each.  Here's their version:

It's pretty  much identical except for the inside of the new peanuts are silver, whereas mine is gold:

{Yum yum...  see my reflecion in the peanut?}  I didn't have any peanuts to put inside so I went with almonds instead.

The peanut is set out on a little bar tray ready to be enjoyed with some Fall cocktails:

{Bar tray dressed with weeds from my garden in a vintage silver creamer}

What are your thoughts on reproductions?  I sway between loving the idea of having things more accessible and available to the idea of keeping things rare & unique.  I personally love finding my own treasures but it's not always a possibility for everyone...  Very torn.
Have a beautiful weekend!! 

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Ochre in New York..

Ochre is one of my favorite sources for lighting... so when I saw the home of the couple that brought the line to the US you can imagine how excited I was.    I am literally dying over this Manhattan loft owned by Andrew Corrie and Harriet Maxwell McDonald.  The entire space makes my weak in the knees...  Simple sophistication...

images scanned from Elle Decor..

Elegant in greige: Suzanne Rheinstein's Manhattan Home

I just have to say Thank You to Elle Decor this month for being so fantastic!!  This is such a great example of vintage style mixes- love the tables and stools- not to mention the walls....

images via Elle decor

How I begin a project & the beautiful mess

A project always begins with some sort of inspiration.  When I first get into a new project with a client, after talking about generally concrete things like color, fuction, style and general needs & wishes, we dig a little deeper and think about how the room should feel. 

To me, the feeling in a space- the atmosphere, the mood- is what's most important.  Rooms can be happy, thoughtful, fresh, light, airy, clean, cozy, warm, moody...  (we could go on & on here.)  Sometimes we want rooms to inspire conversation & other times we want a quiet place to read & retreat to.  We really can't choose colors or finishes or furniture (or anything) until we know how the room is supposed to make us feel.  Clients are typically comfortable talking about colors and needs and style, but atmosphere talks don't always come as naturally because it's not something people tend to think about.  Yet it truly is the starting point.  I don't feel confortable making any design-related decisions until I know how a room should feel.

Once we've gone through the process, we can move onto some tangible inspiration. 

Here, my client has pale greeny-gray walls and an open brick fireplace.  Her home feels cool right now and she wants to warm it up without painting.  She loves reds and oranges and wants a warm, happy,"cozy," relaxed & comfortable space where she can hang out with her son and entertain.  It's going to be be pretty but people should always feel like they can put their feet up and stay a while.  Fabrics will be soft, comfortable & durable.  Her home is a 70s split foyer with vaulted ceilings & reminds me so much of my own house...  with these modern homes, the mix of old & new, classic & modern is a serious balancing act...  in our area, many of use live in these 70s houses because they're everywhere...   but we aren't ready to go 70s mod and filling these houses up with traditional furniture just doesn't work.  We have to walk the line.

We're putting in a new kitchen with dark walnut stained cabinets and the most beautiful vintage-looking handmade subway tiles.  Here are the two colors we're using for the tile by Pratt & Larsen:

When I found the tiles, the rest really fell into place.  They tiles were our literal starting points of inspiration because they work so perfectly- they'll serve to warm up the space while still working with the existing wall color and they create that modern-meets-patinated-thing we want going on- but our true point of inspiration was a feeling.   

One of the highlights of my trip to High Point was my good friends' Eddie Ross & Jaithan Kochar's talk about creating buzz for your business.  They mentioned the concept of a "beautiful mess" which I love so much.   The photo above is an example of a beautiful mess & Eddie's blog is full of them.  It's the starting point for projects...  all the bits and pieces that will go into creating something and when we see the "beautiful mess" we get excited for what's to come.  I realized that -like many of you I'm sure- much of my work starts with a beautiful mess.  My worktable is full of them and I love tweaking to them & adding to them until it feels right.  Once I'm "finished" with my clients' messes -that's relative, I'm always playing with them- they go into a carrying case so they can come with me anywhere- to clients' homes, showrooms, flea markets, etc. 

I wish I'd had a video camera with me so I could replay their amazing talk for you.  They're seriously such generous people and their presentation was so honest & real.  Eddie & Jaithan were both fun & witty as always and we got so much out of it.  they're awesome.

  {Eddie Ross, Traci Zeller, me, Maria Killam, and Jaithan Kochar}-  love you guys!!!

I'll be sharing hi-lights of my trip throughout a series of post...  there's just way too much to fit into one.  I learned so much & am honestly just in awe of this whole industry.  I was gaga over the goods we saw- the furniture, the fabrics, the showrooms, the lighting- yet it was the people who truly blew me away.  

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.
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