A Spot to Linger

Our living room isn't the only space that I've been interjecting a little fresh traditional style into, our kitchen is getting in on the action, too.

You may recall that I opted to list our old kitchen counterstools on Craigstlist back in the Fall. Mistake, let me just tell you. They sold that day. I spent the next 2 months looking everywhere online for an affordable counterstool to take their place. 
(Turns out counters height is decidedly more difficult to find than bar height.) 
It was not easy.
My wants: an upholstered or slipcovered counter height stool in a fresh fabric to add a little pattern, contrast and interest to the kitchen. Oh, and I didn't want to spend a fortune. 
That's the clincher.
Just when I thought all was lost, I stumbled upon these guys at HomeGoods. Geometric fabric in a coordinating gray to the countertops, nailhead trim, counter height - need I go on? They are perfection. Adding that touch of freshness to my mostly traditional kitchen. Score. HomeGoods happy.

And then there's this. 
There's not much more traditional than hanging a botanical in a kitchen. Am I right? But the oversized scale, black background and scientific style help keep it modern and not too stuffy. 
Plus, I'm digging how the black in the poster plays with the ebony legs of the counterstools and the iron lanterns. 

It's so important to repeat themes throughout your home to establish continuity and flow.

I can't even remember where I first saw an image of this poster, but I do remember that my jaw dropped when I discovered it was from Ikea. Ikea is the budgeteers best friend!
Note: Ikea is not currently carrying this poster, I found mine on ebay, by searching SIBBARED.

Seems as though my little plan to add a touch of black throughout the house is working. 
(you can read more about that here.) 
The stools have been a great addition that everyone, especially the girls, are loving. I'm so happy we went with an upholstered chair with a back - they really are comfortable and make lingering over that morning cup of coffee so much more enjoyable. 
Ha, yeah right - linger over coffee! Now that's funny. Not happening in this house anytime soon.

Hope you had a great weekend and got a chance to linger over your coffee.

until next time,

Fresh Traditional Built-in Styling

In case you aren't already sick of this room, I still have more to share. The built-ins at the far end of the living room are a project that I've been working on since we moved into this house in September. Lately, I've been trying to interject a bit more of my fresh traditional style and I'm finally liking what I see. 

Besides, if I waited to share these when they were perfect, I'd probably never share them…
When is anything ever perfect anyway? 

I know a lot of people literally shy away from styling shelves, but I really enjoy it. Today, I thought I'd share some of the ideas I've used to style the built-ins with my new signature style, fresh traditional. 

1. Symmetry. 
Symmetry is super traditional, but I love it. I wanted to play on the idea of symmetry by mimicking shapes and patterns, but not necessarily using the same items in each built-in. This keeps the overall scheme traditional but with a fresh twist.

2. Cohesive color scheme.
To keep the built-ins from looking too hodgepodge I kept to a cohesive color scheme. In this case, I choose green, metallics, and a touch of black.
All green would seem too traditional, the black keeps it fresh, and well, the metallics are just something I can't get away from. I love to mix my metals!

3. Pairing traditional with modern.
Fresh traditional is all about pairing traditional items with more modern items to create a fresh look. In our built-ins I incorporated a lot of our existing items like books, vases, urns, finials, and architectural details - all of which are fairly traditional. Then, I peppered the shelves with more modern accents like the capiz spheres, the black and white vases and the brass urchins. Together they work to create the fresh traditional look.

I'm planning on leaving the built-ins for awhile. 
How can you really tell how you feel about something unless you let it percolate?
Plus, John told me this room is risking over decoration. 
Ah, the horror! 
I have been concentrating the most on the living room,
(only need a piece for under the wall mounted TV)
a little break from this space will do us all some good. 

until next time, 

Leaps and Bounds

As most of you noticed from my fresh traditional tabletop transformation (here) post, there have been a lot of changes in our living room since I last shared this space with you.
I wouldn't want you to think I was holding out on you, honestly, the room has just come leaps and bounds in the last couple of weeks. Here are the details.

No. 1: Rug
Sometime in November, I stumbled across a 70% off sale on rugsusa.com and promptly settled into an impromptu 3 hour rug search. 

Seriously, these guys have so many choices and run amazing sales. In fact, right now, they are running a 50% off sale with free shipping, so if you are in the market definitely check them out.

I finally settled on a wool moroccan shag rug, which I think is the perfect addition to our mostly traditional living room. I love it layered over our existing sisal, adding so much texture and interest  while still remaining neutral enough to allow the other accents in the room to really shine.  

No. 2: Accent Chair

Way back in October, I shared our new living room chair (here) and wondered if there could be room for two. Most of you urged me to double down and get the second chair, but it wasn't until we had a series of guests and not enough chairs that I finally did it. 
I was really worried about the floral fabric and having a matching set - hoping it wouldn't be too boring, traditional and stuffy. 
I'm pleased to report it's non of the above!

No. 3: The pillows

I've been looking for pillows for this space for quite sometime. Not seriously looking, mind you, but a passing stroll through the shops, a casual glance online - you know what I'm talking about. Needless to say, I was shocked to stumble across these big beauties at Marshall's last week.

 I know I shouldn't even say this, but they were on clearance! What? No one wants two shades of orange in their ikat pillows? How interesting.

Truth be told, I brought these homes and left the tags on for a couple of days. I just wasn't sure. They didn't coordinate with the chairs at all, but then I decided to take a bit of my own advice and not make everything be so matchy-matchy. I love the pillows. They are staying.

By adding only a handful of fresh accessories, I think the vibe of the room has completely changed and I'm really happy with how the room is finally coming together. 
Next up: The shelves. I've been working on them for a couple of weeks now, hoping for a reveal next week. 

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until next time, 

Tabletop Transformation

 Recently,  I read an interesting article on coffee table styling using a quadrant format that I wanted to share with you, but after a very frustrating and unsuccessful search, I can't seem to find it! 
I guess you'll just have to trust me that it was a good read because it got me to thinking about our living room coffee table.

It wasn't so much the formula for coffee table styling that inspired me, but the realization that our coffee table would be a great surface to start to interject more of the fresh french traditional style into our living room. (To read more about my style evolution click here.)
Here's a snap shot from awhile back to give you a sense of what this space has been looking like for the last 6 months or so. 

And here's where we are now.

The jumping off point for the tabletop transformation was this quirky, vintage-inspired terrarium from West Elm I received for Christmas. 
I love succulents and have had a lot of success with them over the last couple of years, so they were an easy choice for outfitting the terrarium. Really, I just transferred these from the other container I  used previously :) Plus, at $3 a pop, if one goes it's not the end of the world.

Friends always ask how I can have a styled tabletop with little kids running around. One of my tricks is to include something small they like to play with so some of the bigger items seem less appealing. I mean, obviously, I'm not going to place a family heirloom or a really expensive item on my coffee table and stress about the kids touching it. Keep it inexpensive, fun for them and fun for me to look at, too.
Here, I've included a brass kaleidoscope that I found at TJ Maxx in the clearance section for a whopping $8. 
Enjoy kids!

Books are an easy go-to and fun item to rotate in and out as your collection and interests change. I always try to include a couple different topics, a little something for everyone - travel, cooking, decorating, perhaps something seasonal.
Side note: I just ordered two new decorating books with some Christmas money I had - can't wait!
Also, this little dragonfly is from the Threshold collection at Target. Another kid favorite. 

I've also kept the lines straight on this tabletop, which is definitely something new for me. Usually I am the queen of the angle, as John likes to tell me. But, I think the clean, straight lines help keep things feeling fresh and more modern. 

I'm loving our new fresh design and how this room is finally coming together. More details on the room soon, as I am sure you've already noticed some of the changes we've made. 

Hope you had great weekend!

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until next time,