Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent Wreath

It's hard to believe Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, the third of advent! 

Each year, I've come to love advent more and more as we've tried to focus more on things geared towards reflection and less towards consumption. Of course our social commitments are in full holiday swing, but I like to keep our home stays simple until the third Sunday of advent. The advent wreath is one of the only things we put out, and it's pretty awesome to see our kids take an interest in it. I'm sure if it were buried in the rest of of Christmas gear, it wouldn't cause so much of a stir. 

The idea is that you light one candle for each week of advent....a purple (a color of solemnity and preparation) candle the first and second Sundays of advent, then a pink (color of joy and anticipation) candle the 3rd Sunday of advent, and then the final purple candle the fourth Sunday of Advent. Each year, we've done something slightly different for the actual wreath, but this year's is my favorite. We clipped boxwood and lavender from the backyard and attached them in bunches to a metal ring (which at one point had ben part of a lamp shade...) and then placed the advent candle holder inside. Boxwood and lavender dry nicely, so now, almost three weeks in, it;s drying out and looking lovely and a little wild, which I like. And it smells awesome. Advent candles are hard to find though. Stores often pack up the nice purple and pink candles in order to sell advent sets, which are rarely as nice. These Root candles are actually from last year, and they are the best I've found. I love how natural they look, and they burn forever. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kitchen Design

Image: RUE (I'm using this slab wrap idea in our kitchen design---eeek, so beautiful!)

Today I'm being featured as part of Apartment Therapy & Kohler's Easy Kitchen Refresh interview series. It was a lot of know, sometimes you don't even realize your advice patterns until you have to spell them out. Which is why I'm grateful for my time with Apartment Therapy. All my articles there are advice driven, whereas here I just share.

I have several kitchen overhauls in the works right now, so they've been very much on my mind.

You can check out the link here. ....the intro sounds a little fancy. My life, however, is not so fancy these days, which I love. Because it involves this ridiculous character, who is so.freaking.full.of.trouble :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Before & After: Simple Paint Job Magic

Not too long ago I was asked to do a simple makeover for a corporate space. The lease agreement was such that the only thing that could be changed was the paint. That meant that all the features including the lighting that had been customized for the previous tenants (very traditional and somewhat over the top) had to be adjusted to accommodate my streamlined financial tech client solely with the use of color and a few accessories.

Their other offices are pretty modern, so this was a bit of a challenge. If we ignored all the existing traditional details and went super modern with the accessories, it would have looked weird especially because the whole rest of the building including the lobby is super ornate (think huge chandeliers and marbled wallpaper).  I think we found a happy balance. The transition from lobby to office isn't jarring, but we still managed to sneak in the clean vibe that we were after.

The pictures are completely un-styled and waiting on more art and greenery, but here's the switch...





Main walls are Benjamin Moore Gray Owl 2137-60 (my favorite strict light gray that doesn't change much with the light, and that never swings too blue, too beige, or too green like many other grays)

Accent wall is Duron Gulf Coast

Doors and reception desk are Benjamin Moore Storm AF 700

Wall baseboards are Benjamin Moore Simply White 

PS- Just got word that our home was one of Apartment Therapy's Readers Choice top 100 house tours of 2012. You can check out voting details for making the top 10 here. This thrills me and cracks me up because it took me 3 years to build up the confidence to post it. Our readers are not known for their gentle ways :), but it was very well received. 
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