1.16.2019

Beautiful Bowood Bedrooms

Happy Wednesday, friends!

If you tuned in on Monday, you'll know from that post Eight Interior Designers to Follow that I'm doing a three part series on the blog this week culminating with a design plan to refresh our bedroom.

Monday, I "introduced" you to some seriously talented ladies whose design has been inspiring me, and today I'm sharing a fabric that has been inspiring me.

First, though, I'll note that my design style has really evolved in the last year or so. While still a fan of bright colors and bold prints, I've found myself more attracted to neutral palettes where bright and bold serve simply as "pops" rather than taking center stage. When thinking to design in my own home, an overly loud space feels a little overwhelming and exhausting. This especially rings true to me when thinking of a bedroom.

You can take a peek here at my current bedroom decor. Don't get me wrong, the bright ikat paired with the ultra traditional trellis does make my heart flutter, but, what it doesn't do is evoke calm, relax, rest...things I find to be pretty crucial in a bedroom.

The good news is that our base - white matelasse bedding (similar coverlet and shams) with trellis shams and bedskirt (fabric here) - are classics that will stand the test of time. The rest are just accessories that can be easily switched out with mood or style evolution over time. And I've given a lot of thought over the last several months to how I want to update those accessories. Don't fret, pattern play will still be be a part of the overall scheme, it will just be more subdued and subtle.

One pattern I've kept going back to is Colefax and Fowler's classic Bowood chintz. While it's definitely having a moment right now, it is undoubtedly timeless and as the photos below show, truly versatile.

Let's take a look shall we?

I'll let the fabric do (most of) the talking from here on out...

Whens scheming my bedroom plans, accent colors I considered were pink and lilac. I think I've decided on pink, but this bedroom belonging to the stylish Julia Engel does lilac so well.

I love, love, love the Bowood headboard and bedskirt and those bed linens are so cute! 
Those sconces are fab, too, while we're at it!

The Bowood headboard and canopy! The luxe velvet pillow! The lamp that looks nearly identical to my bedside lamp! Swoon!

This space by Clary Bosbyshell, who was featured in my post, on Monday is so cozy and calm.

And last, but certainly not least, all the love for this perfectly pink space. Designed by Richmond designer Suellen Gregory, this bedroom belongs to Katie Ukrop the lady behind Richmond's 
(also perfectly pink) Quirk Hotel and Quirk Gallery.

I can't wait to show you the vision I have on Friday for Bowood in our bedroom!

Are you a fan of chintz and Bowood?

Or do you prefer more modern fabrics?

Have a great day!

1.14.2019

Eight Interior Designers to Follow

Happy Monday friends!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours was a great balance of work, fun, and relaxation.

Today I'm excited to share Post 1 in a 3 part series for the week.

This time of year, my creative wheels always start turning in regards to our home. The New Year brings a desire to not only clean out, but refresh our home.

When pondering home updates, Instagram is my favorite place to go to find design inspiration these days. I love shelter magazines and scrolling Pinterest, but I like the personal connection Instagram brings.  I thought today I'd share some of the designers whose style has been beautifying my Instagram feed and provides just the right dose of inspiration.

First up is Nicola Bathie. Talk about living a life of beauty and style!
Nicola provides just as much fashion as she does design goodness. She also 
makes gorgeous earrings, and you'll love watching her sweet baby girl and 
new puppy grow!

If I had to think of a word to describe Amy's design it would be effortless.
Her work comes together in a way that just works and feels effortless- equally 
parts inviting and chic. You'll also swoon over her dog beds which I've been
eyeing for my Millie girl for quite some time.

Jenkins Interiors does traditional so well, but keeps it fresh by 
adding the absolute perfect punch like the acrylic curtain rod shown above.
Like several other ladies on the list (Nicola, Amy and Paloma), she's a Texan
which makes me think just like everything else, design is BIG in Texas!

Blue, blue, blue comes to mind when thinking of Clary Bosbyshell, but
her eye for design ensures she does work in all colors well. Her kitchen designs 
tend to be my very favorite. She just launched her website last week.

I love following Jessie on her business site and personal (@jlepley).
Though now pursuing her passion for design professionally, I think I connect 
with Jessie, because, she started out having a "normal" 9 to 5 job, 
building her design skills first as a hobby decorating her own home.

There's a good chance you've swooned over her nursery
design featured in Southern Living. It was that nursery that led me to first 
discover Alexander Interiors on Instagram. Since following her, I've continued to 
swoon over design, but also love that Tori keeps it real and makes me laugh.

I'm not sure why it took me so long, but I just discovered Paloma after flipping through 
her new book Dream Design Live in Barnes & Noble this fall. I received her book for 
Christmas and have already read it cover to cover. She provides lots of practical tips and I love the "Live" section at the end with tips for entertaining and hosting. 
She also is opening a shop (this week!) you should check out!

As shown here, Katie can do a monogram like no other! Her
designs feel clean and crisp, while still being infused with color and personality.
She also is an expert at mixing pattern and texture as shown in the powder room
above that exudes chic.

Do you follow any of these ladies?

What do you find inspiring on social media?

Be sure to tune in Wednesday and Friday, where I'll share a bit more about my path to refresh our bedroom. Today featured some of my design role models whose work inspires me. The "Dream" stage in Paloma's book. Wednesday will be a look at a fabric inspiration, and finally Friday, we'll veer into "Design" phase. Over the next couple months, hopefully I'll be able to tune in with photos of an updated bedroom for "Live."

Have a great week!

1.09.2019

Word of the Year: SAVOR

Happy Hump Day, readers!

Nine days in and I'm feeling really good about this upcoming year and am excited to see what's in store.

Blogging can be so cathartic and sharing my reflections of the past year and intentions for the new year here is a really good exercise. One of my all time favorite quotes is "I cannot advise that we remain as we are." by Socrates. This idea of constant improvement really drives me, and reflection and intention are an important part of growth.

So before I dive into my word of 2019, savor, I want to take a moment to reflect on 2018, which was truly one of the best years of my life.

(This is a long post, so if you'd rather skip ahead, scroll down to the graphic and start there.)

My word last year was intentional, with a particular focus in the areas of family and career. I shared that I felt as if I was on a precipice, the end of a high dive, and I wanted to make sure my jumps into the next phase of my life were the right ones.

In terms of career, I knew I had landed in the right profession, but I hadn't yet found just the right fit. I spent a good bit of time job searching last year and was relentless in my search. I knew I needed to land somewhere that had lasting power, and even turned down a few really great job offers, so that I could ultimately say yes to my dream job. I've been in my role now for nearly 9 months and really feel I have "landed." I have room to grow, stretch, and challenge myself; a boss who encourages creativity and risk; and a reasonable workload.  Additionally, I have incredible flexibility, which was a huge deciding factor during my job search, and will be crucial once we have bambinos.

Which leads me to my next point: family. This time last year, we knew we weren't quite ready to start a family, and wanted to focus on being intentional in a few areas to prepare for babes in the not so distant future: finances, spontaneity, and health. Finding a job where I could see myself as a working mom was one box I knew I needed to check before thinking about adding a baby to the mix; and my new role also fortunately was a nice title and salary jump. As newlyweds last year, we also felt the need to "catch up" post-wedding and honeymoon, and also figure out what financial path to take as a married couple. This wasn't a huge curve ball, as we had been living together for a few years, but it's something we're still working at and tweaking to find the right balance. Next, we  knew we wanted to take some more time to be selfish and spontaneous. We planned a somewhat last minute trip to England last year when opportunity struck (our friends, Erin and Ryan, are living in London temporarily). We drove to the Eastern Shore on a whim to see a 4:00 am rocket launch! We said "No thanks!" (countless) times to our meal plan and opted for Mexican and margaritas instead. Finally, in terms of health, we wanted to build habits to make us as healthy as possible before parenthood. I'm excited to say I'm starting 2019 about 14 pounds lighter than I started 2018, but more importantly I'm more physically fit and have a good balance in my diet. Sleep is still a health area we need to improve on, but hey, maybe, we're just preparing ourselves for the sleep deprivation that will come with children.



Okay, now onto 2019. That "moment" to reflect on 2018 got a bit wordy. Hopefully you're still with me, because I am PUMPED to jump into my word for this year!

savor (v): to delight in; enjoy

It took me quite a while to find this word. It was on the tip of my tongue for a while.

I've shared on here before that I'm Type A, a planner, a doer. I don't necessarily think those are bad traits, but I do find myself sometimes focusing so much on what's next, that I'm not fully present and enjoying what's now. I've even noticed a trend where in the second half of a month, I'll often say "I can't wait for X MONTH to be over." Not because it's a hard month, or there's something I'm looking forward to the next month, simply because I feel like I want to just keep going. I also sometimes struggle (though I've gotten much better) to let go of things that are outside of my control, or to accept when things don't go according to my plan and timeline. When I was in therapy in college, my therapist once said to me something like "Allie, I know you can explain all your feelings, analyze them, tell me why you should or shouldn't feel a certain way; but I want you to focus instead on just being in the feeling." 



For all these reasons, I knew I wanted this year to be about, quite frankly, just being. I considered the words breathe and serenity, but they felt too zen. I considered faith or trust, but both of those have connotations that strayed from my meaning. I also thought about gratitude or contentment, but they weren't quite right either.

As I continued and continued to go back to the drawing board what kept coming to mind was our recent New Year's Eve. We stayed in and early in the night, I was sitting by the fire sipping bubbly, Millie was next to me, Bryce was nearby in the kitchen, and Van Morrison was playing on the radio. In that moment all I could feel was pure joy. Similarly, when I think back to our trip to England, one of, if not the most, favorite moments was at Stonehenge when we sat in the grass, paused, and took in the rolling green hills, blue skies, grazing sheep, and wonder of the monument. The moments where I'm most happy, content, joyful are the moments were I am truly stopping, breathing, and savoring the here and now. 



So as I think to and celebrate all I achieved in 2018, in 2019 I want to focus less on what's next and more on seizing the moment.  Achievements will come, of this I'm sure, but what's most important is savoring the experiences - big and small, happy and sad, easy and tough - along the way.


Happy New Year, friends!

Do you set goals, resolutions, a word for the year?

Have a great day!

1.04.2019

2018 in 12 Pictures

Happy Friday friends!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and your 2019 is off to a fabulous start!

I always feel energized and inspired in the new year, and this year is no different.

I'm pumped for 2019and am hoping to keep the blog flow going!

Last year, you may remember I posted 2017 in 12 Pictures. It was a fun way to recap the year and I thought I'd do it again this year.

2018 was one for the books, so let's jump right in!

JANUARY
We had a quiet, dry January, which I'm repeating again this year! 
I tricked myself into thinking I was drinking cocktails by serving my La Croix 
with lime in a fancy glass!

FEBRUARY
I hosted my third Valentine making party and made these 
cookie dough rice krispie treats which are always a big hit!

MARCH
We enjoyed a beautiful Sunday with the cutest
little Easter Bunny I've ever seen!

APRIL
I landed my dream job and had Bryce do a shoot of me for a 
major life update post with workwear picks...that never happened...
These shoes, though, (on sale!) you need them for work, and play!

MAY
We enjoyed a bountiful peony season!
It is such a treat having our yard filled with peonies passed down from both our grandparents.

JUNE
We celebrated our first wedding anniversary! We started the day with brunch at
Portico, then made our way to Tuckahoe Plantation to walk the gardens and reminisce,
and finally enjoyed wedding cake and our wedding video!

JULY
We made our way to Bryce's hunt club for a couples weekend.
Millie was a happy marsh dog!

AUGUST
We "holidayed" in London and the Cotswolds and it was an incredible week! So hard to choose a
favorite, but Stonehenge left me wonderstruck and was a highlight. So grateful to our London hosts, Erin and Ryan.

SEPTEMBER
We made our way to Washington, D.C. for a day date that started at Le Diplomate
and ended at Jiffy Lube Live to see Van Morrison!

OCTOBER
I partnered with Serena & Lily to set what might be my prettiest tablescape yet.
Full post here.

NOVEMBER
Wow, what a month November was! I had such a hard time choosing just one photo:
Turkey Trot, hosting our first Thanksgiving, and turning 30! 30 won out...I celebrated all
month long, and it sure was fun!

DECEMBER
The most magical (12") snow came right in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle
and provided just the respite we needed! And boy, snow is even more beautiful at Christmastime!

Wow, 2018 sure was good to me!

I can't wait to see what 2019 has in store, and will be posting deeper reflections and my word of the year next week. Last year's word of the year in this post.

What are the highlights from your year?

Have a great weekend!