lighting

Slightly extravagant guest closet makeover

guest closet makeover

Yes, I fully comprehend that chandeliers in closets are completely unnecessary.  Some might say extravagant.  I don't care.

Our upstairs is one of the few places in our house that's almost completely renovated, save a few little details.  One of those details was the ugly yellow closet with an outdated 1970's light fixture, painted shelves, metal rod and broken bi-fold door.

I figured it would be an easy weekend project to replace the door and spruce it up.  As usual, I was wrong!  The entire project ended up taking about three weekends, but it was too much fun to quit with a new rod and door.

Hanging the solid wood door was a challenge and that was just the start.  I also painted the walls and trim, hung a small chandelier, had new shelves cut at Home Depot and covered them with spray glue and wallpaper, installed a new rod... and finally... added the cherry on top with an antique crystal doorknob from Ricca's.

The changes brighten up our tiny closet so much.  I hope it'll be a sparkling little treat for our guests for years to come!

Restoration Hardware chandeliers at a fraction of the price!

restoration hardware chandelier for less

Without fail, I walk into any store and gravitate toward the most expensive thing in there.  The old adage couldn't be more true... I've got champagne taste on a beer budget.

I spent last weekend shopping for the finishing touches for our upstairs renovation.  The nursery and bathroom are complete, but we need new light fixtures for the guest bedroom and landing.

I checked out Home Depot and Lowe's for something cheap, but wasn't happy with anything I saw.  Next, we visited Lighting Inc., but had the opposite problem.  Everything I liked was outside our thrifty budget.  We stopped by Dop Antiques.  It's my go-to... a hot and sweaty warehouse, filled with European antiques and reproductions.  Again, it was more than we wanted to spend.  I hopped online and picked a couple mediocre options from Lamps Plus.  They'd work in a pinch, but I wasn't thrilled.

Suddenly a light bulb turned on.  It was the most brilliant interior decorating idea I can't believe I've never had before!  Children's stores!

I adore almost everything at Restoration Hardware, but who really wants to spend $2,000 on a chandelier?  So tried Restoration Hardware Baby and Child instead.  It was a GOLD MINE!  Their styles are so classic, you'd never know they're intended for children and the prices are a fraction of the "adult" store.

For $500, I got not one, but TWO stunning rustic, French country chandeliers.  And that included shipping!

Take a look for yourself, would you ever know the difference???

Kingsway House: Contemporary Design With Rich History

Kingsway House Chandelier- Studio WTA A while back my neighbor told me he found his dream home.  Since his house is MY dream house, I figured this place must be amazing.  He was working on a movie that was being filmed at the Kingsway House, on New Orleans' historic Esplanade Avenue.  It's a 12,000 sq ft private residence that's rented out for movies, weddings and parties (my friend Kenny went to a party put on by Solange Knowles there)!

The home began as two separate residences in the 1860's and was combined into one in the 1930's.  Back then, it was owned by Count Leon Arnaud Cazenave, owner of the famous Arnaud's Restaurant.  In the early 1990's, the property was transformed into Kingsway Studios, which recorded the likes of Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel, R.E.M. and Sheryl Crow.  In 2002, it was sold to Nicholas Cage.  Studio WTA worked on renovations for Cage and again for Sean Cummings, the current owner.

The Kingsway House boasts a floor-to-ceiling crystal chandelier- apparently one of only two in the world.  The decor blends modern minimalism with traditional New Orleans warmth. I think its absolutely stunning, but take a look at the pictures from Studio WTA's website and decide for yourself!

Shabby Chic Kitchen Renovation, BEFORE and AFTER

  New cabinet finish, counters and backsplash

It's amazing to think that our kitchen renovation is finally done!  We've been enjoying the finished product for about 6 months now, but with baby Beau hogging my free time, I just now got around to taking some AFTER pictures.  The kitchen renovation was a much longer process than I ever anticipated.  I started in earnest while Joey deployed last year to Afghanistan.  We didn't finish until he returned.

I'm incredibly proud to say we did every ounce of work ourselves, with the exception of fabricating and installing the granite counters and an emergency visit from a plumber when not once, but TWICE, my below-sink plumbing exploded!  Here's a list of the improvements we made (with links if you'd like to check out the original posts), along with the before-and-after photos.  I still can't believe it's ALL OURS and it's ALL DONE!

Knowing the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into this project, makes us enjoy the end result more than I ever could have imagined.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

XOXO, Anne

Kitchen renovation AFTER:

Kitchen renovation BEFORE:

 

A Place for Beau

   

Baby Beauregard finally has a place to call home.  This December, when I went into labor 7 weeks early, we were knee deep in nursery renovations.  The floors were unfinished.  The wainscoting was incomplete.  The furniture was in boxes.

Between trips to the NICU, late night feedings and diapers changes, we've managed to finally finish Beau's safari-inspired escape.  And I hope he loves it as much as we do!

Inspiration came from a Restoration Hardware photo I found online.  We purchased the basic furniture from RH, then mixed in an antique chair and luggage, whimsical lighting, a soft cotton rug, handmade wreath (my neighbor Whitney is a genius), plenty of cozy stuffed animals, along with custom draperies and linens (thanks, mom!).

I know that Joe, Beau and I will make countless special memories as we curl up in the leather chair, read books and sing songs for many happy years to come.