Monday, June 12, 2017

Relax

Hi Friends,
It's been a while. You probably thought I fell off the edge of the earth, right?  I've got to say that the One Room Challenge kind-of took it out of me - whew!  And then there's that ongoing thorn in my husband's and my side, the townhouse reno from H*## (after our former tenants completely trashed the place.)  We've basically had to gut it and start from the floors up...ugh!
It hasn't all been toil and trouble, though.  I did manage to fit in a fun Girlfriend Trip to San Antonio over Memorial Weekend.  Seven sorority sisters and I (many of whom hadn't seen each other in 34 years!) spent the long holiday weekend at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa in Texas Hill Country.  It was glorious!!  Here is a glimpse of the spa pool and and the amazing views.


There were long chats over coffee and wine, a full spa day, an evening on the RiverWalk, complete with a boat tour and dinner and, most importantly, the chance to reconnect with a few of the women who helped usher us into adulthood so many years ago.  And I noticed that everyone was exactly the same as when we were in college together.  I mean, of course we look older now and we've collectively endured a lot of life experience; but personalities hadn't changed at all.  The things we loved about each other were still there.  I came back home with such a full heart :)

So now summer has finally arrived, and I'm trying to slow down, regroup, "Relax," and enjoy it.  Those of you who follow me have seen our sun porch in past posts.  As a matter of fact, the décor out here really hasn't changed much at all.  Unfortunately, I've placed myself on a strict budget after all of that spending in the Master Bedroom, and during the Girlfriend Weekend...ahem.....  Creativity will have to be my middle name for a while! 



I moved a few accessories around and added some new succulents and plants.  Each year, the plants barely scrape by in the house during our long Nebraska winters; and then I move them out to the porch to rejuvenate over the summer months.  It's amazing how much growth happens while they are here in the sunshine and humidity.  You can see that the one under the wire cloche has had quite a bit of growth on top.


I would love to add some new pillows to this sofa. A couple of these have gotten a little tired and faded. Hopefully, I'll stumble onto some great deals this summer - fingers crossed.  The Buddha head was something I found last year at a yard sale for $1, and I think it is perfect for this space. 


You may remember seeing this wreath if you follow me on Instagram.  My intention was to hang it on our front door, but between birds trying to nest in it and our son complaining about bumping his head on it every time he came through the door, it had to be moved. We keep this antique dresser on the sun porch and store dog leashes and miscellaneous dog supplies in it.  I also store the summer accent pillows in it during the winter months.  I don't have a strong attachment to the dresser (obviously, since I allow it to endure harsh weather conditions out here.)  We originally purchased it to use in our kids' nursery, which was 28 years ago.  The wood on this poor thing has really dried out while it has sat on the porch, though.  At some point, it will be sold or given to someone who can lovingly restore it to its former beauty.

These finials had been inside our house on the fireplace mantel, but this spring I changed the look in there to topiaries and branches.  So, the finials found a new home here on the porch.  I often threaten to add more color in the décor out here, but all of the greens and natural elements really blend nicely into the outdoor landscape.  It feels very restful to me this way, I guess.


And restful is the whole idea for this space.  It is such a comfortable spot for settling in with a cool drink and a magazine or book, especially when there is a nice cross-breeze coming through the windows.  We have plenty of birds, butterflies, squirrels, and rabbits that come to visit, too.  This spring, another robin built a nest outside of our sun porch on the downspout.

Her babies hatched, grew, and flew away according to schedule.  However, a couple of weeks later, I noticed that a robin has been sitting on that nest again.  I don't know if it's the same one or if a second, opportunistic robin is taking advantage of a nicely-built home?  I was worried that our first robin was still "fussing over" an egg that hadn't hatched, so I drug the ladder out and climbed up there to inspect what was in the nest.  Sure enough, there are 2 eggs there, and she continues to nurture them now.  I hope this story has a happy ending with two new babies soon.


How about that for a perfect segway...haha!  I've displayed this metal bird sculpture both inside the house and out here at various times.  Obviously, it is quite fitting in this space.  I picked up the pepperomia plant at a tag sale for $2 last weekend, but I've already noticed that its leaves are turning brown/black in the centers.  There is so much conflicting information online.  I haven't figured out if it is suffering from improper watering, has been scorched from too much sun, or some other issue.  It looked fine when I brought it home, so apparently my brown thumb is working quickly on this poor plant :(  At least I didn't spend much on it, haha.

I hope your summer is starting out fun and relaxing.  Don't you just love the carefree feeling that summer invites?


Sharing with: Between Naps on the Porch, Everyday Living, DIY by Design
The Dedicated House, Vintage Charm, A Delightsome Life, French Country Cottage, Shabby Art Boutique

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

One Room Challenge - The Reveal!

The day is here!  It's Reveal Day for the One Room Challenge Guest Bloggers!  Before I share photos of our new and improved Master Bedroom, I want to thank Linda from Calling It Home for creating this incredible event, media partner House Beautiful, and everyone who stopped by my blog these past six weeks to check on my progress and cheer me on.  It's been crazy, but well worth the effort to give this dated bedroom a fresh facelift (see the Before here.) 

Also, I'd like to thank my hubby for his patience with my design "bug."  He's been dealing with this for almost 34 years now - the constant changing, painting, rearranging, etc.  And, funny story - he has been saying, "You're going to win!" even though I've told him that this isn't a competition, haha!  Isn't it sweet of him to give me that compliment, though?  I guess he approves of the new décor.

OK, then, without further ado, here is our "Plum Perfect" bedroom...


If you're new here, I went with an eclectic, moody vibe with an infusion of sparkle for the room's new look.  For links to sources on all of the furniture, lighting, etc., you can visit my past three posts.  I am SO pleased with the way everything turned out, starting with this perfect paint color from Clark & Kensington!  There is just the tiniest hint of plum in this color, so it makes a rich background for black and shades of purples.


As you can see, the Noir Ascona bedside chests, which are such gorgeous anchors in this room, are topped with Gilt lamps that still take my breath away with their marble column bases and polished brass shades. The Largo Furniture Soho iron and upholstered headboard gives us a comfortable backrest when we are sitting in bed.  I love the Industrial element that it lends to the room, as well.  



Each side of the bed is styled similarly, with mirrored stars in open frames.  These stars were actually hanging in other rooms of our home, and I plucked them off the walls to place in here.  They  are the perfect accessories to create both unity and distinctiveness to our separate sides of the bed.


My night table is a bit more feminine, with a crusty antique frame, books about design and ballet, an Anthropologie Volcano candle, and flowers in shiny vessels.


If this vignette is photo-heavy, please forgive me, haha.  I really love the layering of finishes, textures, and colors here.  We ladies need pretty things, am I right? :)


The hubby's side is more streamlined with a simpler black frame, a star that is bolder in size and shape, and succulents in modern pots on a stylized tray.  We now have so much storage in these chests that there will be no excuses for cluttering the tops!




This corner will make a nice reading nook by the window with an oversized leather chair, which was brought in from another room, and a cozy throw.  There were a couple of revisions I had to make toward the end of this challenge.  The Mid-Century Modern table project didn't come together quite as I had hoped, so I replaced it with this cute garden stool-type table, purchased at HomeGoods.  I love the mirrored chrome finish on the top, the stud details, and the ring handles.  And it will be the perfect little spot to set a cool drink or cup of coffee when I'm curled up with a good book.



At this point in time, I don't plan to add any drapery panels to the window treatment.  Our ceiling slopes down on the other end of the window, which doesn't allow much space for hardware.  And, truthfully, I like the simplicity of the blinds alone.  It keeps the visual focus elsewhere in the room.  I'm still loving the light fixture from West Elm, which adds that modern, industrial flair and echoes the style of the headboard.  The collage wall will eventually grow larger and extend down towards the floor, but for now it definitely reflects my design aesthetic.  I don't always design so symmetrically, but as I laid it all out, it just kept working this way.  Having pairs of similar art pieces lent itself to this arrangement.  


The center print was my jumping off piece, and I already had the architectural plaques and antique mirror, which I spray painted raspberry.  The "Spirograph" art has a sweet story, which was shared in a previous post; and the chair art reflects my Interior Design background.




This antique doorknob previously belonged to our daughter.  Can you believe she found it lying on the rooftop of an apartment building in Chicago that she had lived in?  Who would abandon this gorgeous piece of history on a roof?  I have been coveting that doorknob ever since she discovered it, even before the plan for this room was based on the color plum.  She was generous enough to pass it on to me after she decided that she could live without it - I was thrilled!




Here is a quick view of that amazing Norman Bel Geddes chest I scored on Chairish.  No one really wants to look at an ugly tv, but this sure makes it more appealing, doesn't it?  The clean lines and simple design blend well into the room's style.




Our new bedding includes a combination of linens from Bed, Bath & Beyond (coverlet), IKEA (sheets), and Urban Outfitters (light purple shams.)  The shades of plums and magenta were pulled from the art and really add some beautiful color to the neutral furnishings.  

Well, that's a wrap!  Thankfully, we finally have a completed bedroom for the first time in our married life - it's such a joy to use this gorgeous room now!  I absolutely love how it envelops us in velvety, restful color and lustrous finishings.  Thank you, again, for visiting.  I hope you have enjoyed taking this journey with me.  I sure do appreciate all of your support and comments along the way.



See you next week for something new and different.  Maybe I can finally get outside and start tackling the jungle that used to be known as our landscaping beds............

, Dwellings the Heart of Your Home, Let's Add Sprinkles, Rustic & Refined, Between Naps on the Porch

Thursday, May 4, 2017

One Room Challenge - Finishing Touches


There's nothing like the final weeks of the One Room Challenge to make sane people turn into wackadoodles who don't sleep, can't make decisions, and run around willy-nilly trying to find the exact-right accessory pieces they envision for their spaces!  Well, ok, that's probably just me, haha.  Actually, I've seen many of my One Room Challenge cohorts skating to the finish line in perfect designer form, having created much more elaborate projects than I have.

Can you believe I'm already scheming in my mind about how to "up" my game for the next challenge?  Yes, I digress...

As it turns out, even though this master bedroom project is without many bells and whistles or custom details, I love how it is turning out.  It truly reflects my style.  In fact, there have been times throughout this process when I tried to push myself out of my comfort zone (which is often a good thing!)  But I kept returning to what is inherently "me" - solid colors, classic accessories with a touch of feminine glam, and always black ;)

So today I'm giving you a peek into how everything is taking shape, without spoiling the final reveal - which happens next week!


Here is a shot of Hubby's side of the bed, which I tried to keep a bit more masculine than my side will be.  It's hard to tell in this photo, but the star is mirrored so it reflects light, especially when the lamp is turned on.  And, seriously, can we just talk about these lamps?  OMG, they are my favorite pieces in the whole room!  They are from Gilt and, when lit, cast such a beautiful glow onto the marble bases.  I was worried there wouldn't be sufficient light for reading through those opaque brass shades.  Honestly, though, I loved them so much that I decided we'd just have to adapt if they were prettier than functional.  Luckily, they are working out fine.

The succulents give some life to all of the hard edges, and I think I might even be able to keep them alive since this spot is adjacent to a South-facing window - win/win!  I have them corralled on an iron and mirror tray, in case of drips when watering.  Plus, the tray echoes the mirror of the star above it.  Aren't the pots good-looking?  They are both from Hobby Lobby! It just goes to show that you can find great design almost anywhere, if you have the eye and the patience to search. 


 Here is a portion of a gallery wall that is coming together.  The piece in the center with circles of color, from West Elm was part of what inspired this room's color scheme.  It also adds some brightness with its white background and frame, and it gives a modern hint as well.  I used to have a phobia about combining white and ivory together in a room - I was such a color "purist."  Our carpet and upholstered part of the new headboard are ivory, so it caused me a little anxiety to throw bright white in here (silly, isn't that?)  Once I did, though, I could see the value of white adding crispness and light; and the contrast makes everything pop.

I previously gave you a peek at the vintage mirror that I painted raspberry.  You can see my hubby's side of the bed reflected in it.  The chair prints were purchased at a local shop, and I love that they display who I am - a former Interior Designer (and chair collector, haha!  Luckily, these chairs take up much less space than the ones I find at estate and tag sales and can't resist bringing home!) 

  
 The black and gold plaques were thrifted locally as well.  And the piece that looks like a Spirograph drawing is from Art.com.  There are several reasons why I am in love with this art.  From a design standpoint, the circle shape echoes the circles and colors in the West Elm art and has that nice white background again.  And from an emotional standpoint, it evokes happy feelings for me.  You see, my daughter gave me a Spirograph set for Christmas and she said, "When I saw this in the store, I knew you would love it!"  She was right, because it brings back good memories of my childhood, creating all of those cool Spirograph designs.  But, more importantly, it showed me how well she knows me and how much thought she put into purchasing that gift for me.  I smile every time I glance at this piece of art on the wall :)

Well, Friends, there continues to be a lot going on behind the scenes here.  I still have a table to paint in the next couple of days - yikes!  And there will be final "fluffing" happening before next Thursday's big reveal.  Wish me luck, and please drop by next week to see the full transformation!

Julie

Thursday, April 27, 2017

One Room Challenge - Furniture


Welcome back, Friends.  If you've been following other bloggers who are participating in the One Room Challenge, you may be feeling some rising anxiety as the weeks go by.  That is certainly the case here at RM Design/Renaissance Mermaid!  There are still projects to complete and details to button up, and the time seems to be going faster and faster...
At any rate, today is all about the larger furniture pieces.  I want to show you the "anchors" for the design of our Master Bedroom.  My vision for this space began with masculine vibes and simple, but interesting, shapes.  The first piece I culled from my hours upon hours of internet shopping was this timeless dresser, which we will be using as a TV stand.




Chairish is one of my go-to sources when I want something unique.  Because this piece is used, it isn't in pristine condition, but I'm fine with that.  The clean, straight lines and bold brass hardware will always have a place in my home.  I like to select pieces that can easily transition to other rooms and uses in the future.  We'll probably store seasonal bed linens in the drawers, although my hubby has hinted at wanting to use them for some of his clothes...(to be determined, haha.) 

Next, this chest absolutely took my breath away!  The shape and details were exactly what I wanted, but I did deliberate for a bit because of the price - I needed to order two, as these would be used as nightstands.  In the end, though, I just couldn't get this beauty out of my mind and decided that the splurge would be worth it.

These pieces have a British Colonial/Plantation feel to me, and the finish on them is gorgeous.  They are quite a bit larger than the conventional nightstands we had here previously; but we have the space and, again, these will transition nicely into our next home someday.  Plus, I tend to pile lots of books on my side of the bed, so this will give me plenty of room to keep my collections organized.  There is a lot of space within the drawers as well, so we can't possibly complain about a lack of storage space! 



Soho Upholstered Iron Bed by Largo Furniture

The headboard I selected definitely has a personality all its own.  It's industrial and very masculine, but some folks might question this design decision.  My thought process was to find something heavier than our previous headboard which was a bit insubstantial, and also something that was more comfortable to lean against.  (You can see our old headboard here.)  I knew I didn't want a completely upholstered one, nor did I want a strictly metal one.  This headboard seemed to check all of the boxes for me, with the added bonus of having a dash of antique brass on the finish.
Finally, I wanted to have a table next to the leather chair, which we brought into this room from my husband's office.  I think the corner where the chair sits could be a really comfortable reading spot with the right set-up.  I usually read in bed, but that's not always ideal because it's a little hard to sit up straight, and I also have the tendency to fall asleep!  Our bedroom is by far the warmest room in the house, so during the winter months I spend a lot of time in here.  And the nook that I'm creating sits by the window, so it's a perfect place to relax.  There is a cute shop in our city that sells mostly mid-century modern furniture.  I snagged this great table for a really reasonable price.  It was probably used as a coffee table before I got ahold of it and might be slightly large for a side table, but it should work well to hold books, magazines, a beverage, etc. 
 
My current plan is to paint the wood a gloss white, but I'm still contemplating that.  With dark paint and furnishings in this room, pops of white will help keep things from getting too weighty and somber.  The rods you see on the table are brass with lion head detail, and there are small brass medallion details on the base.  Of course, I will preserve all of this brass!  This is one of the projects yet to be completed in the next couple of weeks, and I'm asking myself if I've gone mad, haha.  I am NOT a fast worker...in fact I employ an "artistically" slow, puttering style, so it remains to be seen if I can pull this off! 
Also, the accessorizing of the room, which should be the fun part, is causing me to pull my hair out!  Finding just the right mirror, arranging and installing a collage wall, and hunting down the perfect tchotchkes is anything but fun right now, lol.  But I hope you'll stop back next week when I'll show you how I'm prettying-up this room.
Thanks for following along with my progress.
Julie


Sharing with:  Calling it Home, Vintage Charm