textiles

Hanging Curtains: Professional Tips You Need to Know

Floor Length Sheers Courtesy Restoration Hardware Long, gorgeous curtains may be my single favorite element of any room.  They instantly add drama and warmth to a space.  However, hanging them always seems to be a bigger pain-in-the butt than anticipated.  I was hanging some curtain rods for our guest bedroom this weekend and figured I'd share a few helpful tips I've learned over the years.

  1. Choose the appropriate rod- Make sure the rod is chunky enough to accommodate your window and curtains.  If it's a small kitchen window, go with something dainty.  If it's a living room window with floor to ceiling curtains, you'll want a rod that is physically and visually a bit chunkier.
  2. Make sure the brackets work- If you're hanging curtain panels or a valance over some sort of blind or shade, make sure the bracket sticks out from the wall far enough to accommodate what's already there.
  3. Set aside the level- Normally, I'm a stickler for leveling everything, but not in this case.  A perfectly level curtain rod can look terribly uneven if it's close to an crooked ceiling.  Instead, take measurements from your ceiling or window, whichever is closer.  It may not actually be level, but visually, it will look so much better!
  4. Invest in a variety of drywall anchors- Use your stud finder (or just test with a nail) to see what you're drilling into.  If it's wood, just use the screw.  If it's drywall, you'll need something sturdier.  There are a ton of different drywall anchors on the market.  I find the twist and lock variety that look like a giant, plastic screw work much better than the cheap ones that come with your curtain rod.
  5. Pick the best place for your brackets- Rods are usually mounted 4" above the window and brackets are usually 3" from each side, but don't be afraid to break the rules.  Mounting your rod higher, for example, will add height to your room.

Here's a great video from Pottery Barn with some helpful tips:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_YRxywKWtw#t=16[/embed]

British Colonial Blues: Guest Bedroom Inspiration

20140618-054708-20828911.jpg I don't think there's a color combination I love more than classic blue and white.  Ralph Lauren adopted the scheme early and decades later, still hasn't turned back!

As Joe and I began to decorate our upstairs guest bedroom, I chose a British Colonial theme for the space.  I think the vintage, global and travel accents will coordinate perfectly with the safari-themed nursery next door, without being too "matchy matchy."

Grounded with blue walls, crisp white trim and our freshly refinished floors, I've added Ralph Lauren bedding, along with a table and bookcase from Home Decorators Collection that features warm wood tones and beautiful curved lines.

Now, it's time for the fun finishing touches!  Here are some inspiration photos I gathered online.  I'll post pics of our own finished space soon!

 

 

 

Neo-Classical Minimalism in New Orleans

Shaun Smith Design, Courtesy Times-Picayune New Orleans' Times Picayune recently had an incredible article on designer Shaun Smith's latest project, which was just too good not to share!

According to the article, Smith bought the 1930's era home in the Fontainebleau neighborhood.  Describing the renovation, Keith Marshall writes, "Gone are the paneled front door and the sinuous lines of ultramarine blue that outlined the home's neo-classical pediment. Now, a clean-lined gas lantern fills the space above a new, charcoal-framed front door that enlivens the all-white facade."

The interior is as stunning as the exterior.  Apparently, the staircase is the only original feature that remains in the house.  Out with the old, in with a minimalist transformation!

You can check out some of the incredible pictures below and read the article here.  Also, make sure to check out Smith's Magazine Street boutique, aptly called Shaun Smith Home.

Why Everyone is Talking About Goop

Gwyneth Paltrow's Pop up Goop

Courtesy: Goop.com Photos: Angie Smith Photograph & @Goop

Remember Gwyneth Paltrow's "conscious uncoupling" from Cold Play front man Chris Martin!?  Late night comedians had a hell of a time cracking jokes about that one.  But for many folks, it was also the first time hearing about Paltrow's lifestyle website, Goop, on which she announced the split.  It probably was not the type of exposure Gwyn wanted, but hey, any press is good press.  Right?

The weekly newsletter has been around since 2008.  Each week, she focuses on an action: make, go, get, do, be, see.  It's sorta like Martha Stewart, but for the Hollywood jet-set type.

And it's actually pretty fabulous.  You'll find everything from recipes for One Bird, Three Meals to Tracey Anderson's 15 minute workout.  Just last week, Gwyneth announced a new venture: Goop's first retail location!  It's a pop-up shop at the Brentwood Country Mart, filled with her favorite goodies.  It was only open for a week, but don't worry, if you didn't have time to stop by, there's still plenty of shopping available online.  You may want to start saving your pennies.

Courtesy: Goop Photos: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for goop & @goop

 

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: