design

Nursery Design: style meets function

pottery barn nursery grey, white, woodI’ll let you in on a little secret, I am WAAAAYYYY more excited about my second baby’s nursery than I was for Harrison’s.  Much has to do with trial and error. Looking back EVERYTHING about motherhood was so new and my brain was constantly being overloaded with information, products, and advice of what to do and what to buy, that I made some mistakes in my purchases.  This time around I’ve applied what I’ve learned and will be making baby #2’s nursery functional without sacrificing style.

I’m a big fan of the Pottery Barn aesthetic of a classic and clean design, that it’s played a large factor in inspiration for our baby’s room.  I’ve mentioned before that his nursery will remain along the same color scheme as the rest of our home: grey, white, wood, and blue.  I find these colors to be calming for me.  When I know I’ll be spending hours on end in our baby’s room, I want to find some serenity when I’m in the thick of caring for a newborn.

I’ve paired all of these essentials with items from Pottery Barn to make your one-stop shopping needs easy.  But I do love me a bargain, so for a few of the items, I’m sharing alternatives that are light on your wallet.  Big YAY for savings!

Also keep in mind that this design board is of a neutral color palate, but the functionality remains the same for any color scheme you choose!  Here’s a round-up of the bare essentials you’ll need in a nursery:

Safe Crib

Dresser and Changing table combination

Rugs: one and two  (alternatively IKEA’s faux sheepskin rug is a steal at $12.99)

Design tip- by taking an oversized rug and layering it with a smaller rug on top you create dimension and warmth.  Layering rugs is especially key when you are dealing with a neutral palate in order to prevent a plain and texture-less space.  Added bonus- you’ll have plenty of cushion when doing tummy time and during those crawling months.

Nursing nook to include somewhere comfy to sit, comfy blanket for you (and a swaddle for baby), plus a side table to rest your nursing knickknacks.

Design tip- if you decide to purchase a glider or rocker, opt for a white fabric because there’s almost a guaranteed chance your little one will end up spitting up on it.  Believe it or not, cleaning up breast milk on a light-colored chair is much easier and tends to not show remaining residue.

I’m opting to keep our guest bed in the nursery as the bedding is already inline with the nursery look and I find it comfortable nursing/soothing baby while I’m sprawled out on a bed.  But if I do decide to make the last-minute decision to get a glider, I’ve eyed this affordable option as my go-to choice.

Lighting is essential because you’ll be awake and then sleeping at all hours of day.  So consider having blackout shades to counter the day and a lamp for night (I’m obsessed with this particular lamp since there’s a quick on/off switch on the bottom.  Genius.)

Storage to hide and keep clutter at bay.  Wicker baskets for the changing table are great to keep an organized changing table and woven baskets for toys and books are sturdy enough to overcome daily abuse.

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

 

HGTV Dream Home 2015 and Tips on How to Get the Look

HGTV dream home 2015 pinterest photoWhose with me with loving HGTV?  (Insert “hand’s up in the air” emoji.  Like, double tap.)

HGTV is one of my go-to channels to watch as I’m a sucker for beautiful homes.  Each year I’ve come to look forward to their Dream Home giveaway and I often end up entering for the chance to win just that–  a dream home.  However, this year I’m extra excited about the giveaway as the dream home is located in Martha’s Vineyard.  Before our recent trip to Cape Cod, I’d been in love with the lifestyle and homes in Massachusetts.  So it’s no surprise, I’m going to be entering daily for this coastal retreat.  From now till February 17th, you can also enter for the opportunity to win 2015’s dream home.  Oh, and I’m totally encouraging you to do so too!  I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in a classic home on the coast?  Cue, me swooning over here…

Okay, okay…back to you, my friends…just follow this link to enter too!  (Don’t forget– you can enter DAILY!)

I’d like to obviously win the home, but how cool would it be to know someone who did?  Maybe you could invite my family over to stay?  Just a thought 😉 …

Here’s what the HGTV Dream Home looks like from the front and it’s backyard:
hgtv_dream_home_2015_front-yardhgtv_dream_home_2015_back-patio

Impressive huh?  Just wait till you see the interior…

But don’t worry your little heart if you don’t win the HGTV Dream Home giveaway.  You can still recreate the look for your own home.  I’m sharing with you 5 tips on how to get the classic coastal look:

1.  Start off with a blue and white pallette:  Set the tone with predominate blue and white tones in your furniture, paint, and decor.  You can then intermingle additional blue tones such as teal, light blue, or even green.

For a pop of color add subtle hues of orange, pink, coral or red to compliment a blue and white coastal home.  hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_view-toward-front-doorhgtv_dream_home_2015_master-bedroom_01_hero-shothgtv_dream_home_2015_guest-bedroom_01_hero-shothgtv_dream_home_2015_kids-bedroom_white-dresser-armoire-with-green-chairs

2.  Texture is key:  the easiest way to accomplish this is by adding wood furnitures in darker shades with light/whitewashed furnitures.  I’m also a huge fan of mixing painted grey furniture and driftwood decorations to add to the coastal charm.hgtv_dream_home_2015_artistic_hardwood-flooring-great-room_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_sunny-hallway_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.853hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_rustic-ceiling-beams-closeup_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.853hgtv_dream_home_2015_artistic_outdoor-seating-bedroom-patio_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_dining-room_table-detail_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_guest-bedroom_driftwood-sculpture_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920

3.  Adding nautical decorations: going literal with anchors, boats, fishes, and seashells (just to name a few) isn’t a bad thing at all, and in fact does define coastal living.  Just remember a little can go a long way so scale back or add more nautical accents as needed.  Also, think about tip #2 and adding different textures.  Metals and woods can easily go together when styling your nautical home.hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_alternate-DSC9646_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_artistic_framed-metal-fish-sconce-great-room_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_guest-bathroom_orange-flowers-counter-closeup_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_guest-bedroom_nautical-decorations_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_laundry-room_artwork-closeup_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_piece-of-the-dream_1-3-basket-guest-bedroom-DCP0090_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.853

4.  Build up a book collection:  scattering stacks of books on your tables are decorations in itself.  Look for books on knots, sailing, beaches, etc  that you adore.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many coffee table books I’ve collected solely for its cover aesthetics.  (That’s code for I don’t read them, I just collect them.)hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_blue-urn-artwork_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_alternate-EPP6451_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920

5.  Lastly, lighten up a room with mirrors:  when you think of a beach home you think open living space.  Draw back your curtains to allow for light to be drawn in.  Then add mirrors to accentuate, creating a more bright and airy feel to your coastal retreat.hgtv_dream_home_2015_master-bathroom_01_hero-shot_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.853hgtv_dream_home_2015_master-bathroom_artistic-mirrors-bathtub_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_laundry-room_candlelit-washroom_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.853Sincerely, Kymberly

 

5 tips for designing your Christmas card

Tiny Prints tri-fold christmas cardTiny Prints trifold holiday cardI’m excited to mention I just received our Christmas cards for this year!  This is the second year now where I’ve turned to Tiny Prints to design my cards.  When I opened up my box, I shrieked with excitement with how wonderful they turned out!  I think I even did a happy dance right then and there ;).  Although I’ve pictured in this post 2013’s Christmas card (I’m waiting to share 2014’s edition once I get around to mailing the cards out first), I continued the theme of picking a tri-fold template and once again upgrading to the pearlized paper.  But kudos to Tiny Prints because their  new letterpress, foil-stamped, and laser-cut designs are absolutely swoon worthy.  (Can you tell, I’m a paper-loving nerd?)

If you plan on working on your holiday cards this Thanksgiving week, take into account these 5 tips for designing your Christmas card.  Happy designing, friends! 🙂

5.  Whose on your list?  Start by writing down all the people who you will be mailing your Christmas card to.

As the years go by, you can streamline this process by having the names of your family/friends and their addresses already on file.   (Can I get a “that was easy” button press, please?)

On a personal note, I keep my holiday card list small to allow for me to splurge on the actual design of the card (see tip #4).  My reasoning is simple:  I use the help of social media to send out a virtual copy of my Christmas card via my blog, Instagram, and Facebook for everyone to enjoy.  Those that actually receive a copy tend to be family and close friends who don’t mind seeing our mug shots on their mantel all December long ;).  (Or in the case of my Mother, she keeps our card up all year long…thanks Mom!)

4.  Create a budget.  My husband would be proud to hear me listing this as a tip ;).  But it’s true.  That way when you’re searching the web and combing through the 100’s of designs, you’ll be able to narrow down what styles you can actually afford.  Keep in mind, some of your favorite paper companies have add-on options, so take those extra fees into account as well.  But on the same note, those same favorite paper companies almost always have a promotion going on to help reduce your cost.  So go ahead, apply that discount code, baby.

I’ve found that the best promotion codes allow for free shipping and a percentage off.  So if you can score one of those codes, you should complete your checkout ASAP.

3.  To have a photo shoot or not have a photo shoot?  If you decide to schedule a photo shoot with  your family photographer, do so in early fall (or earlier if possible)  to have adequate time to get your proofs back.

Or go the route of taking your camera out and snapping away some candid shots of your family.  Sometimes those can be the most memorable ones!

Is it just me, but I’m always a fan of the crying baby in Santa’s lap.  Classic.

2.  Consider your content.  I’m a big believer in customizing whenever possible.  Besides including a picture (or two) of your family, it’s always great to read a personal message from the sender.  This can be in the form of a lengthy letter,  highlights from the year, or a short one-liner that pertains to your family.

This year we enclosed our holiday card with a simple phrase of: “SEAS and GREETINGS.”  A play off of “season’s greetings;” it brings humor to my family’s love for coastal living.

1.  Don’t stress over your holiday cards.  Ideally Christmas cards should be sent out the first two weeks of December but if your schedule doesn’t permit, you can always send out New Years cards. Maybe you can make a tradition of sending New Years cards go forward.  Because after all, traditions are a great way to keep up a good habit :).

Sincerely, Kymberly

5 Ways to decorate with sea shells

Just the other week I was chatting away about how the west coast got hit hard with 3 days of rain.  I mean, it was intense!  Because we live so close to the coast, I couldn’t help but bear witness to the incredible (yet equally terrifying) waves mother nature was throwing out to the sandy shores of Santa Barbara.  The aftermath of #stormwatch2014 was just as brutal.  Local restaurants were damaged, the piers were closed for repairs, and several sailboats were shipwrecked onto the beaches.  Did you see my Instagram picture of the shipwreck?  That’s what we land-folks like to call, “totaled.” 😉

Just a week and half after the storm, the weather has returned to its warm 70-ish degrees.  This allowed for Harrison and I to take an afternoon stroll to check out another local beach spot.  Instead of shipwrecks and massive amounts of kelp that we found at the other beach (which is just a few miles away) I was surprised to come across a much more “rockier” beach.  The storm washed upon the shore, tons of really cool sea shells.  That my friends, lead lil man and I on a quest to pick up all as many sea shells as we could.  I was trying to be selective and only take “large, pretty, and unique sea shells” to add to my existing collection, while my toddler’s measurement was more of a “what ever he could grab” approach.  Goleta Beach // Californiaseashells in blue and white plate

Now that I’m home and I’ve got a tray full of sea sells, the million dollar question is, “what to do with them?”  I referred to my DIY bible (aka Pinterest) and pulled together 5 ways to decorate with sea shells.  Here’s how I like to see sea shells incorporated into your interior décor:

 

5 ways to decorate with sea shells

 

For now I’m letting them continue to dry out in our backyard.  Since I don’t have any large conches or corals; just small sea shells, I’m loving the idea of leaving them out on a patio table for decor.  But I’d love your thoughts- any ideas on how to decorate with sea shells?

Sincerely, Kymberly

Blue and White Kitchen Accessories

blue and white kitchen accessoriesWhen I last visited my parents I was fortunate to be given some of my Mom’s china.  I think she figured now that I have a kid and I’m married; I’m responsible 😉 .  Thanks Mom!  What I’ve been specifically passed down are her chinoiserie plates, bowls, and vases.  I am in blue and white heaven 🙂 .  Fortunately, these pieces work perfectly with my current kitchen accessories of solid navy plates and the killer cookware set my husband bought me.  Gotta love a good mixture of traditional and modern kitchen accessories 🙂 .

Sincerely, Kymberly

Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s LA Home

brady-gisele-bundchen-tom-brady-pool-house-ADbrady-gisele-bundchen-tom-brady-eco-pool-loungebrady-14-gisele-bundchen-tom-brady-eco-pool-viewbrady-gisele-bundchen-tom-brady-eco-home-exteriorbrady-gisele-bundchen-tom-brady-eco-home-great-roombrady-gisele-bundchen-tom-brady-eco-home-kitchenbrady-gisele-bundchen-tom-brady-closetbrady-gisele-bundchen-tom-brady-eco-home-family-roomBrady_Giselle_Los Angeles_coastal_home

Besides my love for fashion and our family adventures, I’m also inspired by beautiful homes.  My Pinterest page has 17 boards (and counting) specific to interior/exterior designs.   I enjoy perusing well-designed homes both on the internet and in magazines.  In this new year, I’ll begin to showcase some of them on my blog.  What you’re in store for; are traditional, yet modern homes.  I’m in awe of lavish homes but appreciate a beach cottage.  The perfect home for me would be a colonial home with the beach as my backyard.  Yes, that good ol’ coastal living.   Am I shooting for the moon?  Nope…one day…  After all, if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough 🙂 .

So I’ll begin this new series with Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s Los Angeles home.  It was recently featured in Architectural Digest and caught my eye not because of who owns the home; but because of the amazing indoor/outdoor living space, the reclaimed wood floors and ceilings, a kitchen whose every detail I envy and I really can’t get enough of that infinity pool that looks into the Pacific Ocean.  It’s gorgeous.  I’d have to say, definitely “pin” worthy 😉

Sincerely, Kymberly