Handmade Pretties

I've been getting a ton of emails asking about our Christmas stockings from the Better Homes & Gardens shoot. 

They had the recycled sweater stockings made for us by Lara Newsom of Handmade Pretties and & I can't get over them!!!  (We have our ratty old sentimental ones that we love for Christmas morning but these beauties are hanging on the mantle :)

We also tied some of her felt ornaments on wrapped packages:

And they're hanging in our tree too:

The boys absolutely love the sweater balls she made...

They're under our tree right now and it's fun to see the boys go in and start playing with them.  It looks like presents waiting under the tree!!  Here they are:

{photo by Lara}

I know Lara is totally backed up before Christmas but if you can wait, it's so worth it!!

xoxo, Lauren

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

Modern Rustic...

There is just something that I love about the little mod-vintage pieces mixed in here.  

images via beautifulism


Convex Mirrors

{Mount Vernon Federal reproduction Convex Mirror by the Friedman Brothers  $3200}

I've had my eye out for a Federal-style convex mirror for a while...  Alone, they can be very serious pieces, often thought of as formal & symbolic.  Above, the 13 balls surrounding the mirror represents the 13 original colonies, and of course, the Eagle, chosen by our Founding Fathers, symbolizes the United States of America.  Originals and even good reproductions like the mirror above cost in the thousands.   In the 1940s and 1950s, a bunch of reproductions were made out of plastic and other cheaper materials and then painted gold.  I looooove the one below on liveauctioneers.com with a starting bid around $1200. 

In the photo below, Dorothy Draper used a massive ornate convex mirror for the Greenbrier Hotel:

{Dorothy Draper, the Greenbrier Hotel, photo via tilevera.com)

Below, Markham Roberts used a guilded Regency convex mirror above a fireplace in a new home that he worked hard to "age."  This story came out a few years ago and I really loved it because it showed how to add patina and a sense of history & permanence to a brand new home. 

{Markham Roberts in House Beautiful by Eric Piasecki}

...But as formal as Federal style convex mirrors can come across when used traditionally, they can also read modern & fresh when used unconventionally.  Below, Darryl Carter has a painted black convex mirror in his bedroom. 

{Darryl Carter's bedroom in Elle Decor Magazine}

I love Eddie & Jaithan's small white one below.  It's so unexpected and adds a bit of whimsy to the room:

{Eddie Ross in Lonny, photo via Matters of Style blog}

And how pretty and & glam is this mirror layered over mirrors below?

{also Eddie Ross!!}

A bit more versatile are plain convex mirrors as seen in the living room below.  The domed mirror itself is beautiful:

{JB Randall Powers in House Beautiful, photo by Luca Trovato}

Smaller ones can be added almost anywhere:

{image via decoroad}

If you look closely at many of them, you'll see the balls or starts inlaid in the frame reminiscent of the 13 original colonies.  Many of them have exactly 13.

{House Beautiful}

{image via Homeandgarden.com}

The convex mirror below lends a cool vibe to the room.  I love it when the mirror is old & spotted.

{Miles Redd in House Beautiful}

...And... -finally-  I found my very own vintage convex mirror when I was shopping at a thrift store in High Point with my friend Maria of Colour Me Happy.  I think it's one of the 40s or 50s reproductions and I might reguild it.  The mirror has been aged to perfection and it's complete with the 13 balls representing the original Colonies.  It was just the thing missing from above my nightstand:

{my bedroom.. photo by Helen Norman}

I'm always on the lookout for them and ebay has some pretty good deals.  That being said, there's nothing like an original & the beauty & history it posesses, so antique stores & sites selling mirrors in the thousands are also worth looking into if you have the budget.

xoxo, Lauren

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

Chandeliers in the bedroom..

What do you think of chandeliers for the bedroom? They are definitely growing on me, so romantic!  

Happy Monday! 

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Image from cote sud via linen and lavender


Living and dining room project

Hello, I hope you are having a relaxing Sunday after a wonderful weekend! 

I wanted to share a project that I have been working on with the lovely Jennifer for her home. She has a wonderful space that is perfect for making a cozy family atmosphere.  I am so lucky to have wonderful people to work with and I am so excited to see how it all turns out!

More details to come....

Wish List: Sarah from Haute Design

I am very excited to welcome Sarah from Haute Design here on greige!  Sarah always has the most inspiring posts that temp me with fashion, interiors and all kinds of goodies!!

Hello, this is Sarah from Haute Design. For those who are not familiar with my blog, I share a wide range of people, places and things—from incredible, sprawling countryside homes, to chic street style in Paris, to unique vintage packaging. I am thrilled to be here today, sharing some lovely things that I have come across, that I would certainly add to my Christmas list, but are also some things I would love to give. I selected a range of items, from very affordable pieces for under $20, to more luxurious gifts. Most are available worldwide for your shopping consideration.


Christmastime is so magical, and it is especially fun putting beautiful gifts together for those you love. I personally always look for a theme when it comes to gift giving—no matter how large or small a gift may be. Even something as small as dainty hair pins contained in a chic box can be a special gift for your kind neighbour, who is always sending over baking, and who is really more like family. So grab a little notebook (I always keep a mini notebook for gift planning) and take down anything that catches your eye...

01 Chocolate Fondue Pots: A lovely gift for a hostess. These chic stoneware pots, available in milk and dark chocolate, warm quickly and easily and are delicious with fresh fruit.

02 Les Exclusifs de Chanel, Beige: An intense powdery floral of natural elegance and grace. Created by CHANEL Master Perfumer Jacques Polge in 2008, a blend of new white petals and yellow gold flowers are highlighted by hints of honey that reveal its discreet sensuality—for the lady of glamour in your life.

03 Lavender–filled postcard sachets: These lovely vintage postcard sachets are pretty and sure to please. Bundle two together and tie with a ribbon, and/or give them with a luxurious robe.

04 Voluspa Maison Noir Ambre Lumiere Votive Candle in Cosmetic Jar: An amazing scent placed in a very glamorous jar. This candle is the perfect little hostess gift, and a personal favorite scent.

05 Estate Jewelry Box, Cameo: Place a necklace, chocolates, or even a lovely note inside for a surprise. This cameo box is so multi–useful and completely charming.

06 All That Remains Bobbies: Place these pins in the box shown above or pair them up with a great book. Perfect for celebrations or... just because.

07 The Swing Coat: An original piece of Fifi Lapin for the stylish lady in your life. All Fifi Lapin purchases come with a Fifi collectors card.

08 Metal Key Holder: Ladurée, the famous house of Parisian cake store, collaborated with the Japanese brand Mark's to present this collection of key holders. Choose from a cat, dog or rabbit.

09 Ice block bowl: Artistically unique, this chic bowl is a wonderful statement piece. Fill with something special or gift it by itself. (There are also vases available in the same collection)

10 Faux Fur Tippet: An on–trend, retro-inspired faux fur tippet makes a sophisticated topper for any evening ensemble, and most especially, your favorite LBD.


Dressing up and going out...

Sometimes we all need a little sparkle...  I hope you all had a great Thanks giving!  I love the mirror and the dress in this photo- so fun!  I am looking forward to doing a little dressing up and going out tomorrow for my birthday.  Have a wonderful day!

image via Little Emma English Home


The Thanksgiving Table

Happy Thanks giving. I hope you have a wonderful relaxing day planned!  Wouldn't this be dreamy for Thanks giving, of course there may not be room for the food - but what can you do- beauty is pain right!

I do have to take a moment to say Thank you to all of you my wonderful readers for joining me here so often on the blog!  It truly has become a big part of my everyday life and I appriciate you all. 
Have a lovely day!

image via pinterest


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image via canadian house and home

Our Thanksgiving Table

This year we're having Thanksgiving dinner.  It's an "off" year for our family so most of them are travelling and the gathering will be small.  My dad's driving out from Chicago but hasn't left yet so we'll see if he makes it to Virginia in time. 

{Our table set up in the lower level in the family room-combination-office}

My parents divorced when I was two years old, so I'm used to split up holidays and celebrating whenever it's possible even if it's not on the true "day of."  Deciding where we'll spend holidays does tend to get me a little tense because of so many years of back-and-forth between my parents and always feeling like everyone was fighting over me.  Now that I'm married and have in-laws it's even harder because there are more people who love us (haha what a rough life! ;) and want to be with us.  We'll definitely be doing a bit of the celebrating of the holidays on other days this year so we can see everyone and still get to spend some time at home. 

hahah okay, enough of my saga and back to the table...   I started with curtains from Ikea for the oatmeal-colored linen tablecloth.  (I didn't have one long enough so I went with curtains...  By using two panels (unsewed and overlapping) I could spread them wider and longer.)  I layered a beautiful vintage orange quilt over the curtains. 

I still have pumpkins left over from Halloween and added them to the table...

It was hard for me to get a picture of the magnolia wreath I hung at the window because the light was streaming in so strongly, but here's an attempt:

{It's a leftover Christmas wreath from last year that's browned just the right amount for Fall}

I used my Grandma Maestranzi's 'wild clover' china because I knew my dad would love seeing it {in case he makes it here in time ;}

{After so many years of daily use at the lake cottage, there were only 2 pieces left of her china...  I loved it so much and had so many fond memories of using it as a little girl that I went to replacements.com and found a whole set for myself.}

And another pumkin... wondering if there will be any room for food on this table???

{I'll remove some of the larger items once we sit down but I love a pretty table for guests to see.}

We might even have a fire in the wood burning stove...

...So have a very happy Thanksgiving!!  We all have so much to be thankful for.  In the least cheesiest way possible, I want to thank you for reading.  This blog has become such a big part of my life & I really appreciate your time & support. 

Oh?  And the food??  ummm... yeah, we'll see what happens with that.  We're attempting our first turkey tomorrow!! 

xoxo, Lauren

ps- I also have my 10-year high school  reunion Saturday night--- so excited to see everyone!!!

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

Cream in the kitchen...

I just love exposed shelving and the clean white dishes!

Are you ready for the holiday? I am cooking turkey (second time around) this year and hosting the family. Should be fun and busy. Sometimes I really love just being the guest though... 

Hoping to have an update on the dining room makeover for you after the holiday!!!

image by chris everard


I made curtains!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I do a lot myself but that I'm not really that into doing it.  I'm after results and don't savor the process.  I'm not a perfectionist and I get sloppy when I do projects.  Watching Dave stencil our living room wall when I was pregnant was torture.   However, I do like an-hour-or-less-long projects and I got one in this weekend:  cafe curtains for our laundry room.

They were so quick & easy and I luckily had 2 yards of fabric lying around that I'd purchased on a whim a little bit back when Seleta did a post on Lewis & Sheron.  (I'd used the fabric for the recent photo shoot at our house as a throw blanket and figured I could use it later.)  It ended up being perfect for the windows!!  ( I love it when stuff like that happens!)  I wanted a natural vintage-grandma feeling...  a teensy bit kitschy and almost as if they'd always been there.  I attempt potting in there and also keep my gardening tools in there so the fern fabric from Lewis & Sheron was perfect.   

When I finish up the rest of the laundry room I'll post "afters" but here's a quick "before" to give you an idea of the state it's been in...

{We haven't been able to really walk in there...}

{before we moved in}

Wish me luck!!

xoxo, Lauren

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