sleeping in close quarters.

Some of our very favorite spaces to decorate are little, tiny rooms. 

I am so in love with that first picture, I could stare at it for hours!  It is so cute and colorful and tiny and efficient!

And when you are short on space, here are a few tips:

1. Push the bed against a wall, like in the first picture.  Another option would be to use lots of pillows along the wall to create a day bed look.
2. Use the vertical space.  Built in bunk beds are so charming and such an efficient use of space.
3. If the set up is such, that bunk beds don't work, create two twin beds (or one very, very long twin bed), like the one pictured here by sarah richardson. 
4.  Don't forget the eaves--build right up into them!  You don't need a lot of space to lay flat on your back!

decor pad
luxe life
sarah richardson 
richard leo johnson
elle decor

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our smaller family room.

We have moved a few times since we were first married, and one thing I have learned is, it's important to make wherever you're at feel like home--even if it's only going to be home for a short time.  We most likely won't be renting this current home for long--we will either begin renovating another house or building within a year, but still, I want it to be cozy and comfortable and be "ours" for as long as we're here. 

It was a little tricky with this move because instead of moving into a larger or comparably sized home, we have almost exactly half of the space we used to.  So within days of deciding on the home we would be renting, I began thinking about which furniture I really loved and wanted to move with us.  

I sketched out a quick floor plan of each room to see how much of our furniture could realistically fit.  Thankfully, we were able to sell most everything that wouldn't, and with that money I bought the few things that we needed.  Things like bunkbeds for the boys, barstools, smaller area rugs and some custom built lockers.
I also took the opportunity to introduce a new updated and favorite color scheme into our main living space.  It was easy to do just by using our existing things in new spots, and the home owners perfect paint color! 

We already had our steely blue chair and ottoman, lots of yellow pillows and a few red accessories.  All I did was just lump them all into the same room.  I did find that lobster red bench (under the window) at a consignment shop a few weeks ago and it was just the perfect shade of red and with a price tag of $35, I was so okay with the not so great paint job! 

I have to say, I really like living in a smaller space.  Our previous home wasn't huge, but it was large and it was a lot to care for.  We had seemingly endless storage places and so I never thought twice about stashing things away because I always had more than enough room.

I like that every piece of furniture in our home is something we love.  I really love that if we all work together our house can be spotless in a couple of hours!  I like that we consider more carefully what we buy, based on if we really need it and if we have a spot for it.  It has simplified our lives in so many ways.

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dreaming on fabric garlands.

i love the idea of fabric garlands draped above a headboard, especially for a nursery or children's bedroom.  (but i am totally not opposed to doing this over my bed either!) 

we are finishing up a teenage girls bedroom (inspiration board below) and i think that we will order a couple strands of these whimsical flowers to add just a little more color and personality.  my very favorite ones come from the shop of pretty swell.

we also found the most delightful old shutters at a consignment store in a teal blue that are now hung on either side of the window.  i am loving the way it is all coming together, and most importantly so is the girl whose bedroom it is!

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currently installing.

I finished up the design board for this room a couple months ago.  Now the painting, and the shopping is (almost) finished for the bedroom of this cutecutecute (and super sweet too) 14-year old girl.

Now maybe you're thinking: "this doesn't look like a teenage girls bedroom" and if so, I thank you!  I would rather childrens rooms (whether they are tiny or teenager) not scream "i'm a kids room!"  (So in other words, I'm not really a huge a fan of Sponge Bob bedspreads or sparkly purple beanbags with peace symbols on them!)  Just my personal preference.  Or non-preference, I guess.

I love whimsical though and think it's important to let your childs personality be a part of the space, but there are lots of other more eye-pleasing ways to inject your child's age and personality into their room!

A couple ideas would be: use one of their favorite colors (remember it doesn't have to be on the walls--you can just use it as an accent color too.  Usually the better option.)

Frame illustrations from some of their favorite books (or even the entire book) or some of their best art projects.

Use their first initial as an accessory or art piece.  For an easy DIY together, you could buy one of those large wood letters and let them modge podge some scrapbooking paper on it--like Andy did here and here.

Let them help you put it all together (ask for their opinion if you're okay with both options--should we put this picture here or here, or do you like this fabric or this one better.) 

For this particular space, the parents were hoping for a room that not only their daughter would love for the next several years, but that would also be able to be used as a guest bedroom down the road.  The daughter really wanted something that looked more grown up and put together.  She really likes the color combination of teal and white, so we will be using some of that color as an accent.  The dresser they will be buying is actually that color and so is some of her bedding.

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photo of yellow chair from design*sponge.
photo of frames from made.

lemon yellow.

These pictures remind me of the way it has looked outside over the last week.  It feels so good to be outside under that brilliant blue sky when it's not hot.  Autumn's cool evenings and mornings are working their magic on all the leaves and turning them this beautiful yellow green.

We are currently working on a design board incorporating lots of these fresh colors: yellowy green with a smoky blue and little touches of red. 

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images by shannon fricke via decor8

pillow talk.

 One thing you should know...I am an ardent lover of pillows!  Almost always, I prefer sofas and loveseats to be in neutral fabrics and colors, but pillows...  
Now pillows are another story.  
Please, anything but neutral!  
Throw pillows are the perfect way to bring color and pattern into any space--the bedroom, the family room, the kitchen and home office (on chair cushions.)   
And in a few years, when you're ready for a new color scheme, it is so much easier to update pillows than updating large pieces of furniture.  So be bold!  Embrace the colors and patterns you love right now, by placing a few beautiful pillows around your homes. 
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accessorizing a mantle.

I am brainstorming a few ideas for accessorizing a fireplace mantle.  I am always a huge fan of symmetry.  It may be predictable, but it just always looks SO good!  So, two of each please.  All accessories are from wisteria, except the coral, which is from pottery barn.  The lovely cabinet in the first picture is from holly at life in the fun lane.

for behind the sofa.

These are a few options for my friend's family room "sofa table." Who says a sofa table has to be a table, right?!

a twiggy table.

I have admired this table for some time now. And now it's on sale. Yay! From west elm.

some chairs.

I stopped in at Pier 1 Imports today and saw lots of chairs I liked. The bottom two are actually not white and black, but more white and dark brown. And all of these are on sale!

a wall of pictures.

I loved this wall from the kate spade store in nyc, all united by the color scheme of pink, black and white. {snapped by the camera of this girl}

i'll take one of these. . .

{for the art room}

{for the library}

{for the family room}

all tables from designworkshop

hanging out.

i would love to see one of these hanging over my kitchen table. so many colorful and original looks i love from seascape lighting.

lots of ruffles.

i always love the fresh vivid colors of the collections from india rose. and i especially love all the ruffles on this latest line!