Designer Lookbook | Rachel Halvorson Designs

So if I had a million dollars …. I think I might need to hire Ms. Rachel Halvorson (from Rachel Halvorson Designs) dud my house up man. If you are not familiar with this woman’s work you totally need to start pinning, friends. It’s some pretty swoon worth stuff.

Obsessed with the dark cabinetry. It adds a ton of dimension to the space.

Dark_Bookcase_Images

I so love a good persian rug. With this comfy sectional it’s practical and chic.

Rachel_Halvorson_Designs

Fun little pop of dark in an otherwise white and crisp kitchen. Loving this Rachel Halvorson Designs kitchen.

Marble_Counters_White_Kitchen

Ummmm – yeah. With a 15 month old my coffee table neva looks like this, but a girl can dream, right?

Coffee_Table_Styling

Speaking of little ones, this looks like the perfect retreat for a small human.

Built_In_Bed

Another on point Rachel Halvorson Designs kitchen. It’s just unbearably delish, it actually hurts.

Bright_Open_Kitchen

I’d love to find a cool little apothecary dresser like this for H’s room. I feel like World Market sold something similar a few years back – perhaps one will pop up on CL (or a DIY?).

Apothecary_Drawers_Source

Her collection is stunning. See all Rachel Halvorson’s work, here.

Gourd Lamp Lookers

I have wanted gourd lamps in my house since 1953. Yes. That long. And lucky me, I finally found a set gracing the aisle of HomeGoods. Now normally at HG I can find one… but a set – this is rare indeed.

Gourd Lamp Light Blue

Oh, are y’all asking me to rewind. Saying things like – wait – they painted their bedroom, I thought it looked like this. Well it did look like that my friends – it did. I just doesn’t anymore.

Master Bedroom with ensuite

This actually falls into the category of happy accidents. See I bought (2) cans of Benjamin Moore Pale Oak, thinking I’d need all of it for the downstairs, since it’s a pretty big space. The paint spirits must have intervened because we had a full gallon left over. So although I wasn’t initially planning to paint our room Pale Oak, didn’t want to waste it, and it’s neutral enough that it’s a good “for now” color for the room.

Here is a shot of it further back, with those lovely gourd lamps flanking either side of the bed.

King Bedroom Furniture

Yes, true. It’s a very white bed. BUT – I was thinking economy style here folks. See this quilt. Got it for $3 at the goodwill.

So although I’d really like to get some more color in this room, for $3, this is a good place holder. Kinda like the “free” paint.  King Quilt Deal

Another fun find is this vintage bamboo dresser that I got off craigslist for $60. I had to drop want I was doing and sprint to the car, since like 270 people email this chick about it in the first hour of it being posted. I’ve always said – if you price something right on the list you know – cause it will fly.

Vintage Bamboo Dresser

I’m pretty happy with the new addition! I’m thinking of painting it Kendall Charcoal one of these weekends to really make the gold hardware pop a bit more. On the list of things to do.

Kendall Charcoal Painted Furniture

Here is a close up of our bed, which (you guessed it) we also got off craigslist. It was $40. And that, my friends, is why I pretty much only buy furniture used. Deal-o.

King Headboard

Although the room is leaning a bit traditional right now, I am liking the general direction. I think we can liven (a la the gourd lamps) it up a bit with a nice (colorful) duvet and some curtains.

Master Bedroom Mood Board

Our Master Bedroom was not my favorite room when we moved in. There are things I LOVE about the space (walk in closet, en suite bath), but the color (matching the laundry room and the nursery and office), was not my fav… See what I mean? It looks like a creepy motel room to me.

Master Bedroom Before and After

Which is why I had to get a Master Bedroom mood board going on – just to give me hope that this room could have a new beginning. Light – simple – open – airy.

 

Master Bedroom Mood Board

I want this room to have some fun pops of color, too, which is where the navy comes in. Although I’m a sucker for a neutral undertone in a room, I do love some good accents to give it a bit of spice.

This wall, for instance, against the closets is in need of attention. A dresser, mirror and lamps is what I have planned for some additional storage options.

Master Bedroom Before

Right now I’m kind of in inspiration land with the space and slowly but surely, I know we’ll get there. Here are some of my favorite master bedrooms that inspired my mood board.

Like this beauty. I just love this room – totally on point and exactly the look I was trying to create in my master bedroom mood board. Now where to find that quilt for the end of the bed …

Blue_Coverlet_King_Bed

Love the pop of coral on this one – need to find a room I can get some coral in – it’s such a pretty color!

Coral_Accent_Color

Those throw pillows – that lamp. Yep.

Ikat_Pillows_For_Bed

Talk about oversized mirror, but y’all, I kinda like it!

Sunburst_Mirror_Above_Bed

All the sources for can be found on my pinterest page, here!

Farmhouse Industrial Laundry Room Renovation Round-Up

Y’all – we have moved beyond the paint brush. Call it our inaugural home renovation, but we’ve moved on to mortar and tile and whew – it feels good (like I knew that it woullllddd). It also felt tiring and hard and smelt like sweaty arm pits. But hey – it’s done! Well, actually, it’s started. 😉 We officially have a farmhouse industrial laundry room happening and it makes me oh so happy!

As a reminder, here is our mood board inspiration for our farmhouse inspired laundry room renovation. Simple, and industrial chic.

Laundry Room Mood Board

I’m waiting for a mega sale on the washer/dryer combo and unfortunately just missed the Memorial Day sale spritz, so I think I’ll have to hold off until Labor Day (boo!!!). I’ve got my eye on this LG beauty and I’m not will to pay over $899 each (which is what they were Memorial Day weekend), so I sit, and I wait to add these cherries to my farmhouse laundry room renovation, le sigh.

We’ve certainly made some progress since you last saw our laundry room, like this. What a lovely shade of green…

Laundry Room Closet Renovation

After some back-breaking hours of work, we now have this! Mmmm charcoal gray grout and some hubba hubba subway tile. My fav. I love the industrial vibe it gives in the space.

Charcoal Gray Grout Subway Tile

We decided to go with a dark charcoal wall, to tie in with the grout and the flooring. I can’t wait to accessorize the walls with some art, and storage! Ignore the sloppy edge on the tile, we haven’t caulked yet, so you can see the inconsistencies. Since we knew this wall would be mostly covered by a washer and dryer and shelves, we definitely were in power through and get it done mode vs. absolute perfection mode. Plus, I’ve learned over time that if there are hacks to make your life easier (i.e a line of caulk – use it!)

Charcoal Gray Paint Behr

Our general process for the farmhouse industrial laundry room renovation was to paint the walls and remove the washer/dryer the night before. For $10 we rented an appliance dolly from U-haul and it literally took us 15 minutes to move these (heavy!) appliances. For those that have been reading the blog for a while – you’ll remember our last washer/dryer moving experience did not go quite as well. Loorrrrrrdddieee.

We stored them in H’s room while we renovated. He thought that was pretty sweet. 😀 New toys!

Renting Appliance Dolly Cost

Then, the next morning (after demo) we started by laying the subway tiles. In general, our philosophy with this reno is that 95% of the tile (especially the bottom third) would be covered up with storage and/or our washer and dryer, so although we wanted it to look rockin’ we mostly wanted it to be done. We worked very quickly on this tile and we were definitely not as meticulous as past kitchen installs where everything is visible all. the. time.

Subway Tile in Laundry Room

Then, after the wall tile was up, we started in on the floor tile. I wanted a slate tile for the farmhouse laundry room renovation, but the local hardware stores only had this porcelain option in stock. It looks just like slate and was only $2.29 a square foot. I’ll call that a win. We had a very small area to tile, so this portion of the project cost us less than $50.

We just centered the first tile and worked from there.

Slate Floor Tile Porcelian

We actually didn’t install a threshold, and put the grout line right up to the wood floor. They didn’t have a matching threshold in stock, so we just worked with what we had and winged it a bit. I think it looks really good though!

Slate Floor Tile

Sans our appliances and shelving, this is how the room looks now. In the interest of preserving our sanity, we’re going to tackle the shelving another day. Super excited to bust that project out … coming soon!

Subway Tile Slate Floor Laundry

Industrial Laundry Room Inspiration

So each house, it seems, we move up one peg on the laundry room scene. First house – gloomy basement, second – still in basement, slightly less gloomy, still damp, third house – we added our closet laundry, but it was a tight fit, this house – a closet that’s actually planned to have a laundry in it. Maybe by our last house, we’ll actually have a room. he he. #LifeGoals

Ta da!! Behind door #1 and #2, is our laundry room!

Laundry Room Closet

Here is our laundry room as is below, pretty much how it looks on a daily basis. Can you see why I’m looking for some laundry room inspiration to spruce this joint up a bit? I love the industrial laundry room vibe – kinda the farmhouse look that’s going on right now.

Renovating Small Laundry Room

So things that left room to be desired in the laundry room inspiration category. Let’s start with the paint. I mean, need I say more.

There are things I really like about the room – like the hanging bar across the top. Tres functional.

Renovating Laundry Room

And there are things I don’t like as much – like our dryer (pan right…). It’s old and it sounds like an army of burly men are hiking through our upstairs every time we dry our clothes. Not good for evening loads when the babe is sleeping (or for that matter when we’re trying to sleep…)

Washer and Dryer Replacement

Before, the room had some beigey tile on the ground – the same stuff that’s plastered all over our bathrooms up here. Very builder grade, and not so much my jam. And definitely doesn’t fit the industrial laundry room vibe I’m going for.

Laundry Room Before and After

Once we had everything removed from the space, we had a very open, very green, room – ready for some over hauling.

Laundry Room Closet Renovation

As a sneak peak of what we’ve been up to in this space (more on that next week), here is my general mood board for our industrial laundry room inspiration and how I’d like this room to look. I think we’re going to get there in a few different phases, but I’m very excited with the progress so far! I want some raw wood elements, coupled with metal for that industrial laundry room vibe.

Laundry Room Mood Board

 

 

 

Bar Stool Beauties

If I ever was to have a woman cave, a retreat from my crazies around here, than it would be our perfectly primped little guest room. I mean, it just feels cave like … I guess it’s cause we’re usually watching TV up here and it’s all moody with the lights out and dim. Ummm can I just say I know I’m behind, but Parenthood y’all. I’m so obsessed. It’s like any night we’re just sitting around I’m up here with a bowl of ice cream just crack a lackin or crying my eyes out. One of the two.

Remember our bonus room? And all my plans for it? This room?

Living Room and Bedroom

Right now we have no seating up here other than the sofa, and I’d love to add in some bar stools eventually to give some extra space to park the party for a bit. As obsessed as I am with craigslist (I seriously need to dedicate a quick post to show you some of the treasures I’ve been getting on there), sometimes you have to call the national forces and look beyond your own little hill in this world. That my friends, is when my eyes wander over to Chairish which has tons of vintage and way chic goodness. I mean quite frankly, most of it is way chicer than anything we be swinging, but a girl can wish, right?

Vintage Barstool Kitchen

Arteriors Home Henson Counter Stool | Rustic Wood Iron Pair |  Arthur Umanoff Bar Stools | Industry West Bar Stools | Wicker Bar Stools | Contemporary Reclaimed Wood Barstool | Restoration Hardware Barstools  

Since my perfect woman retreat would obviously have a full kitchen in it (he he), I’d pop the stools in for a look like this. Lake house, cottage, lived in vibe. Love it.

Vintage Wood Kitchen Stools

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I also love these barstools. And that island. Stoooppp it.

Vintage Barstools in Kitchen

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Y’all. Superficial life goal here … have a kitchen large enough for an island.

If I was going to style away for my dream kitchen/woman retreat/room of my own, I think it would look sorta like this.

Farmhouse Living Room Mood Board

Y’all dreaming and scheming along with me? One room at a time, we’re slowly getting there. Psst – next week you’ll see some laundry room progress!

Designer Lookbook | Hannah Vernal Designs

Oh the interwebs – full of images that make your heart pitter patter :) I’m not really a huge interior designer follower in the sense that my style is not super high end. I mean, I shop at Target and the Goodwill, ya know what I mean? But every once and a while I find a designer that’s worth sharing and Hannah Vernal Designs is definitely one of those glance and be inspired designers. A lot of her work reminds me of Lauren Liess, with Pure Style Home. I love her eclectic take on putting a room together and feel like the gathered look is just so on point.

I was inspired by Hannah Vernal Designs style and wanted to share.

Reading Nook with Builtin Bookcase

The perfect reading nook. Those pillow and the mounted light … trying to think of places I can get in some bookcases in the abode now. 😉

I’m also loving the look of the bedroom below. Someday (someday) I yearn SO HARD for a set of chests to put on either side of the bed. It’s like my lifelong craigslist wish list find.

Ikat Bedroom Throw Pillow

I’ve been in love with this shared child’s room by Hannah Vernal Designs for a long time. I’ve had it pinned as inspiration for ages. It just looks so cozy and comfy.

Barley Twist Twin Beds

This oversized lantern in these casual dining space is totally rocking, too. Unexpected in the best possible way.

Large Lantern in Dining Room

This kitchen needs some accessorizing, but the contrast of the lighter cabinets with the solid wood island is delish.

Dark Island in Kitchen

And as subway tile obsessed as I am … this wall of white in a Hannah Vernal Designs bathroom made my heart skip a beat. If you look in the mirror, I’m crazy about the natural wood contrast in the space, too.

Subway Tile Bathroom Full Wall

Check out all her work, here!

Navy Blue I Love You

Poor Henry. Poor us, lol. That kid shared a room with his parents for his first year of life and man am I ready for him to have his own pad here in the new house. See when we sold the house last fall, the babe was still sleeping in a pack and play – thinking we would only be in our new apartment a few months, we opted for a great location and a SMALL space. 1-bedroom. So, the baby slept with us.

Which was fine – until it wasn’t. The last month or two living in the apartment we slept on the living room floor so he would sleep through the night and not wake when we’d come in each night. Ahhh, the things you do for love – and a full night sleep.

So this is a long story – which has a happy ending. Mr H has his own room now and after a painting blitz a few weekends back with Behr Night Club, it’s now lovely and dark and dreamy and perfect for my little one. Literally, I think this may be the perfect navy blue paint for a room. Love. It.

Dark Blue Baby Room

It’s definitely not finished but it is DEFINITELY better than our starting point.

In all honesty, since the baby is a crazy monkey that pulls things out of their places and just want to run around generally anyway, we probably won’t add a ton more to the space. Right now it has a reading nook we use each night before bed.

Dark Blue Boys Room

Henry loves reading Little Blue Truck each night, lol. We ride bikes over here, so not sure where his love for this truck book came from. He must like all my highly authentic animal noises 😉

Dark Navy Baby Room

I love the way this little blanket looks draped over the side of his bed against the navy blue walls and it actually helps me to escape (most nights) unnoticed after we tuck him in. :)

Ikea Lenda Curtains

He had this book shelf in his last room. We still need to add some accessories to it, but for now, it’s a good placeholder for our night time reading books.

I’ve also had these Lenda curtains (from IKEA) stacked away for over a year. I’m so glad they finally have a home. Need to be hemmed still, but H loves using them for peek-a-boo whenever he gets the chance 😉

Inexpensive Linen Curtains

Items still on my short list for this room include getting a ceiling fan for his room. This 90’s builder grade classic is just not making my heart skip a beat – and let’s face it – if your light fixtures don’t make your heart go pitter patter, why have them. YOLO man.

Ceiling Fan in Child's Room

I also got this lamp base at my favorite local thrift shop. Still need to get a side table for next to the chair, but I think this will look really cute in the space once we have a shade and everything for it.

Thrift Store Lamps

Here is a close up of the sweet constellation photos we had up in his nursery, before we sold the last house. I LOVE these!! True story, my OCD self has a hard time when these get knocked around and slightly out of place though. Especially that bottom row that’s right at Henry’s reach level – ha ha!! Yep, they’re not straight very often.

Constellation Prints Childs Room

And a final view, from the hall with the navy blue walls up against the white trim. It’s a dark room man, but I love it! (Color is Behr Night Club, for anyone looking to recreate the look)

Night Club Behr Paint

 

 

 

Dark Blue Nursery Inspiration

Oh it’s true – our little squirrel needed a room of his own. I think it’s probably one of the main reasons we started to get like desperate for a house after looking for a year. We just could not share a room with the babe any more – he more or less kicked us out anyway, so yeahhh. :)

Henry’s room in the new house is perfectly sized for the little tike and a few months of living here, we decided it was high time to get some paint up on the walls and transform his space from a room with a crib and some baskets – to an actual baby space! True to form, we started out with some mood board/pinterest inspiration. I knew I wanted to do a dark baby room this time. No white walls here.

Mood Board Boys Room

For reference, this is what the room looked like when we moved in. Along with the rest of the upstairs, the walls were painted a dark green color that wasn’t my jam. Upstairs Office Space

They were using the space as an office, as you can see from the photo above. It’s not a huge room, but for a little person, I mean really – how much space does one need?

Now if you’re new to this blog, you probably never saw H’s nursery. Funny story – but since we moved pretty much right after I popped this child out, he never slept in his carefully created little nursery – not even once. We did take some newborn shots in there after he was born. Look how cute and so little!!

Raleigh Baby Photography

And one more, just so this momma can bask in her little human that is now a much bigger human.

North Carolina Baby Photography

Here are some inspiration images I have pulled up for the space.

Dark Navy Nursery

I mean, really – I think the room above may just be the perfect dark blue nursery EVER. Love that persian rug – love it all.

And this one – I’ve got a special spot in my heart for this dark blue nursery. See we’ve always had constellation prints up in H’s room (his old room) and I’ve been dying to give them a dark, dramatic background, like a midnight sky.

Constallation_Art_In_Childs_Room

Here are the constellation prints up on the wall in his nursery, before we moved (Ballet White on the walls).

Constellation Artwork

Truth be told, I do wish we had wood floors in the upstairs sometimes, since the second room above (with the rug over the rug) is just not quite as cute (IMO) as the rug right up on a wood floor back drop.

Quick spoiler before I show you how H’s room is looking with the paint up on the walls next week, as a point of comparison – THIS is what the constellation prints look like with his dark blue nursery walls in the background! :) I LOVE it! :)

Constellation Prints Childs Room

 

 

 

On Parenting

I think every parent has moments where the insecurities creep in, I know they do. I know we all have too much capacity to doubt our own abilities and our own actions. I mean – truth be told – overall I’m pretty confident in our parenting so far. We make choices (good or bad), we live with them, we move on, we love, we try to always be quick to forgive. I know over time those tests will change, along with our son. That the battles will sometimes get lost and those moments of defeat (for him, for us) will creep in.

I find it interesting, as a society, that we’re so obsessed with the concept of what others are doing. You see it so much right now it scares me sometimes – why do we do that. Why can’t we find individual worth vs. knocking another down to build ourselves up? Another ethnic group, another sexual orientation, another parent – it’s ubiquitous and permeates through our society. I think it’s to validate our own choices and life path, that we need to compare ourselves to others so we can feel like we stack up in some way. Like we’re doing something right – especially when it comes to parenting. As a working parent (mother) I am a bit flummoxed at times with the push back I get. It’s gentle at times (that must be so hard… or, so, you’re working full time?), and more pointed at others (You work full-time? Oh, I see. Who takes care of your son?) – but it’s consistently there. My husband, take note, has never once gotten the line of inquiry ending in “why do you work”. He is a man, these things are expected. He provides, I nurture.

It’s like I’ve chosen a life path that somehow compromises my son, by working full-time. Like I’ve opted for my needs – a career, financial security, my own independence – over his. And as a parent – our roles – are to put our children’s needs first. Our needs from this point out are secondary, they’re periphery to the needs of our child. So sometimes, you sit there and take a hard look at your circumstances and think – yes – I AM choosing those things over spending time with him. I AM opting to meet my needs before his. I guess you could say, these are hard truths of being a working parent. No matter how you slice it – the time I spend with him in his youth is more limited by choosing a career path. And sometimes, deep in my heart that burdens me, that saddens me.

But then I go out, about my day, ready to take it on, to own it, to show this world what I’ve got, and I’m reminded of a deep debt I have to my son to show him my truest self, my deepest identity. You see, as my son, he holds the deepest part of who I am. My husband is my partner, my confidant, my backbone. My child is my soul, my heart, my home. Without him, what would I be? But the truth is, before him I was my own self – and it’s that soul that I yearn to share with him. I want him to feel my fire. I want him to know that he is capable of all things. I want him to know that this world may knock him down, but he will always get up, with his mother’s hand to guide him at any moment he should need it. I love that boy – I love him more each second and it’s the most humbling, jarring and pure form of love I’ve known.

Each day that passes is another day gone. Another day bigger, longer, faster, stronger. I marvel at your growth and your wit and your sweet laughter. I marvel at your heart – so big and your love – so abundant. I can’t believe how much you are like me – how you frustrate easily and want (so much) to be able to take this world on. It will come, sweet Henry, in time – it will come.

So – my dear child – my dear, sweet, funny, beautiful boy. Please know that I never, ever choose anything but you. Quite simply – how could I. Every moment you are with me – the deepest part of my heart – I carry you each step I take, as if you were still there, flesh of my flesh, right there in my womb.

Pullen