Apartment Therapy Round 2

Thursday, March 27, 2014

We have some exciting news here at the Nest these days.  As many of you know, Apartment Therapy shot our house back in November and featured it as one of their house tours.  It was such great press and I was really impressed with how well the photographer captured the space.  Well, I guess you guys liked it so much (and specifically loved our breakfast nook) that AT continued to use the images in various surveys and blog posts. And most recently they came knocking on my door, this time to photograph the house for their fourth and newest book.  Lest you get over excited and start scouring Amazon, the book doesn't come out until 2015. Along with all the public spaces, bedrooms, and baths, they shot the new nursery (which I promise to show you more of soon).  It's hard to believe that Baby #2 will be almost 1 by the time it's featured in print.  They also got some great shots of Bryan playing in his room and some rather stiff shots of me posing outside our front door (I'm definitely more comfortable behind the camera!). Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of the photographer Melanie Acevedo doing her thing (and getting very cozy with my shoes).

And some pretty shots of some of the florals that stylist Kevin Hertzog left behind (the other perk being fully ironed bed linens).

Of course, for me the biggest part of the shoot was meeting the founder and CEO of Apartment Therapy Maxwell Ryan.  Maxwell is a hot shot in the shelter blog world and I had no idea he was actually coming to the shoot so I felt a bit like a giddy schoolgirl when he arrived at the front door and introduced himself.  Here is the photo of me and Maxwell that Bryan photo-bombed.
Of course, everyone on the crew was exceptionally nice, working around Bryan's nap schedule and his toddler antics.  And it was great to talk to Maxwell a bit about how his business has evolved.  I'm sure I'll be posting more about the book as it gets closer to publication, so keep checking in.

Stylin' Mamma: Spring Breakers Triple-Play

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My husband and are going on vacation!  Just the two of us, for two nights, traveling on an airplane.  I am delirious with excitement.  After years of packing up the car with toys, food, pack n play, Bumbo chair, DVDs...I just can't express in words how thrilling it sounds to pack a carry-on and GO.
What to put in said carry-on?  That is the question.  And though I have a closet full of options I can't help thinking that for my first vacation sans children in nearly three years, I should splurge on a little something.  Right?

Methinks these cargoes will do the job nicely.

Taking in a baseball game on a balmy Friday night calls for a casual textured sweater and a lightweight scarf for flair.

The pants do double-duty on Saturday for shopping and brewery-hopping with flat sandals, a roomy cross-body, simple lace blouse, and filagree earrings.

Finally, Saturday night on the town is a no-brainer when you change into a d'Orsay heel, add a blingy necklace and show a hint of shoulder.

A curling iron and some lipstick and I'm ready to fly.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We're all excited for Spring and even more excited that Summer is just a hop, skip and a jump away... Accordingly, I decided to deconstruct a pretty outdoor seating area so you can apply it to your own home and enjoy the sunshine!

This space would be perfect for a party, or just for your home for daily lounging. If you are going to keep it around for more than just one party, make sure you're shopping for upholstery and furniture that can withstand the elements (not everything selected below is for the outdoors). Otherwise, style away and make your space as colorful and entertaining as this space, designed by Emily Henderson.

   a. West Elm
   b. Anthropologie
   a. CB2
   b. CB2
   c. CB2
Kantha Throw / West Elm
Kenya Diamond Rug / Urban Outfitters
Right Angles Rug / Urban Outfitters
Side Table / Crate & Barrel
Arm Chair / West Elm

Hardware Installed

Monday, March 24, 2014

Recently I received a few photos of my hardware installed. It's so fun to see how people are using the hardware.  Designer Lisa Vannucci installed the F-01 faceted pull and C-02 Classic pull in a kitchen in Carmel. I love the gold with the green tile backsplash and crisp white cabinets. 

Sue Reardon purchased the F-02 faceted knob for an armoir revamp.  I love that she used the knob with an antique back plate. It's amazing how different it looks in on an traditional piece as opposed something contemporary.

If you have any installed shots that you would like to share, please send them our way!


Friday, March 21, 2014

I can't believe it's already mid-March!  We are almost a quarter of the way through the year and here I am just now talking about New Years Resolutions. Better late than never right?  I'm not much of a resolutions person.  I made some business goals for 2014 which I will share with you in another blog post, but I figured that this year it would also be good to set some personal goals as well.  In order to stick to my resolutions, I figure simpler and fewer is better.  Most of them center around work/life balance (or lack thereof).  So here goes. 

Separate home and work time.  It's hard to step away when you run your own business.  Because Bryan is at nursery school part time and with me the other 2 days of the week I try to shove everything into Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when he isn't home, but there tends to be A LOT of overflow.  As I grow my business there is a never ending list of things that need to be done, not to mention having to process all the orders that keep coming in (a good problem to have).  Because things keep piling up, I end up doing work after Bryan goes to bed and rushing to get things done while he's napping the other two days of the week. This year I'm trying to prioritize the work I need to dp (and get help on other aspects) so I can turn off when it's not work time. 

Spend more time with my husband.  Scott and I had been going out on fairly regular date nights but after I got pregnant, date night sort of fell off our radar. Perhaps it was the nesting instinct and all of the things we suddenly had to do to get ready for baby. Or perhaps it was the fact that going out to dinner and not being able to enjoy some wine with it didn't seem appealing.  However, we recently went on a little baby-moon to New York (originally we were going to Charleston but Mother Nature decided otherwise). Regardless of the thwarted plans, it was so nice to reconnect, wandering around the city and treating ourselves to some great meals.  After Baby #2 arrives I imagine it will be even more difficult but even more vital to find those alone moments, but I'm determined in 2014 to make that happen.  One thing that Scott and I are doing is scheduling Tuesday and Thursday evenings as family time - no staying late at work or bringing work home, no to-do lists.  This should help both with resolution #1 and #2. 

Take more "me" time. I am inherently a busybody - I just keep going - which allows me to get a lot done but it's hard for me to sit down and relax and stop working or doing house stuff.  Being pregnant makes this challenging and frustrating.  A good example is that I kept saying to myself that I needed to take a long relaxing bath.  How hard is that?  I literally had been saying this for months. It wasn't until we went to the city for our baby-moon at about week 29 of my pregnancy that I actually found time to do this.  There will always be things that need to be done but I need to move "me" time to the top of my to-do list from time to time.   

Be less jealous.  As a competitive person it's hard not to envy other people. I find that when I read other blogs, I often feel a pang of jealousy as I look at all the pretty homes people live in, amazing food people are eating, easy but stylish outfits people are wearing and generally how perfect things seem to be on the lifestyle front.  Of course, these feelings drive me to do things better in my own work and life, but sometimes they just aren't healthy.  I'm trying to be less envious of other folks out there and to remind myself that especially in the blog world, everything is seen through a filter.  You make people believe what you want them to believe with pretty photographs and inspiring text, but in the end everyone has their own challenges and battles they are fighting.  Along with limiting myself to reading just a few of my favorite blogs, remembering this as I peruse the web is key. 

Usually I don't talk too much about this sort of personal stuff on my blog, but I figured writing it down and putting it out there would help me stick to it.  I know there is no true work/life balance and it is what you define it as, but I'm hoping that by making these goals 2014 will be a great year. What resolutions have you made for the rest of the year ahead?

- artwork by Cori Magee

The Nursery: Dresser Project Complete

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

As those of you who follow me on Instagram may know, I have been working on the nursery for a while now. I haven't really shared much about it on the blog except for my rug selection a while back and the design board I did. Well, things are coming along and I think I really just have a gallery wall to complete and some other small final touches.  I hadn't posted many photos of the nursery in it's previous life as my office either since it was fairly underwhelming, but just to give you an idea of where we started, this is what it looked like:

These photos were actually taken after my contractor moved the door to the closet and added the built-in shelving. The shelving will really be useful for all the changing table stuff come baby time.

This was the design board for the baby's room.

And this is what it looked like a few weeks ago before things had progressed much further (but after the office was removed)

We've changed a few things since I did the design board but a lot of it has stayed the same. One of the changes was the dresser.  The dresser I had on the design board wasn't available on Craigslist any more but I was able to find one that fit in the space at a local thrift shop - and let me tell you, finding a dresser that is the right height for changing but also the right width for my space was a challenge! The one we found was sort of a shabby chic white so aside from adding my hardware I knew it needed a coat of paint. Luckily I had some grey left over from my step stool project and it turned out to be the perfect shade (so glad I didn't have to make another trip to the paint store!). Here are some photos of the process and if you look closely you can get a peek at the new drapes:

First off, we had our neighbor help Scott move the dresser up to the baby's room and since we didn't want to bother him with moving it back down again for painting (and since I am of no help nowadays when it comes to heavy lifting), we ended up doing most of the work in the room itself.  Next, I removed the hardware and filled in the holes using wood filler.  I selected the stainable kind since I figured it would hold paint better. We covered over all the furniture and floor with plastic and Scott did a light sanding.  Then I marked the holes for the hardware and pre-drilled them so that I wouldn't chip any paint later on (which could happen if I drilled them after painting).  Next up I primed everything - or so I thought. Turns out I just painted them with a greyish water-based alkyd I had on hand that I thought was primer (purchased for a future closet project). Whoops! Seems to have worked anyways.  I didn't even bother to sand again after priming since the first coat was so smooth.  I then put on a thick coat of the grey paint in the fashion that Jenny from Little Green Notebook recommends. I really only ended up having to touch up a few small places instead of putting on a second coat. I suppose if I wanted it to be absolutely perfect I would have done a light sanding and given it another coat.  After that I installed my C-03 Classic drop pull. It's amazing how different the piece looks after paint and new jewelry! Whaddayathink?

Glad I knocked that one off the list.  Next up before baby is finishing my office chair and closet projects and organizing the garage!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

If you're a pinning person, then like me you've seen this living room image from Desire to Inspire all over Pinterest and the web world of design. It catches my eye every time... That bold, leather sofa with the mixed patterns and a handsome task lamp is pretty cool. 

It seems to be the the perfect balance between styled and comfortable. That's because it contains all the functional items required for a livable space.... Comfy sofa, throw, pillows and lighting. This cake is topped off with patterned icing. The colors and stylish home decor are skillfully combined to evoke a worldly aesthetic that's fun to come home to.

Floor Mirror / Restoration Hardware
   a. Anthropologie
   b. Anthropologie
   c. Anthropologie
Throw Blanket / Anthropologie
Task Lamp / Lamps Plus
Wired Bottle / West Elm
Turquoise Vases / Zinc Door
Wood Bowl / Zinc Door
Area Rug / Zinc Door
Accent Table / Z Gallerie
Coffee Table / Z Gallerie

- Cori

Client Project Completed - Part 3

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Last week and earlier this week I showed you all a recent living and dining room renovation I completed. Well the final part of the project was my client's daughters room. Her daughter transitioned from being a kid to "tweendom" recently and she wanted a room that was more mature and that would also grow with her into her teens.  The room itself isn't large, but we needed space for the bed, obviously, as well as study space, lounge space and extra clothing storage (especially to accommodate the growing wardrobe of a teen girl).  Here is what the room looked like initially.  Definitely a "little girl" vibe.

We wanted the room to be fresh and bright and we solved the storage, study, and lounging problem in one fell swoop by creating a built-in that includes a desk, a window seat and a mirrored armoire.  While we didn't repurpose as many items as we did in the living and dining room we did keep the chandelier and dresser and we actually re-used the sconces from my client's dining room as bed-side sconces that I trimmed with a fun coordinating grosgrain ribbon. 

Stylin' Mamma: Double-Duty

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Is there anything more versatile than a shirtdress?  Throw it on, style it right, and you're good to go - work, weekend, shopping, cocktails...I mean, sometimes you just got to Keep.  Things.  Simple.

Dress: dress, earrings, necklace

Now Dress it Up: boot, coat

Now Dress it Down: bag, jacket, bootie

Now Go!

- Jaime

Design Blueprint: Subtle Slumber

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

When it comes to styling your bedroom, feeling relaxed is the most important design goal. But you will never feel calm and relaxed unless you feel connected to the style of the room.
After thinking about the design of the rest of your home so that you can incorporate some of the same design elements, then ask yourself a few questions.... What colors make you feel the most relaxed? Is it pale gray bedding like this bedroom via Little Gray Paint Company? If you're often cold, make sure you have plenty of throws handy. Do you need a small desk to make balancing your checkbook a little easier? What about lighting....how much or how little do you need?

Lastly, white floors go a long way in helping a space feel calm and serene. It opens up the space and makes it feel clean.
Chair / Charish
Inca Blanket / Ferm Living
Bamboo Blend Throw / West Elm
Bed Linen / Toast
Striped Pillow Sham / Dwell Studio
Black Bordered Pillow Sham / Dwell Studio
Taper Candle Holder / Target
Task Lamp / West Elm
Writing Desk / Lamps Plus

Client Project Completed - Part 2

Monday, March 10, 2014

Last week I showed you the living room for a client project that I completed toward the end of last year. Well today I'd like to share the dining room with you. The dining room was not a complete overhaul.  Really we just replaced the furniture. My client liked her drapes, wall color, rug and chandelier so the challenge was to keep these items but make the room tie into the simpler more up-to-date look that the living room now had.  Here is what the dining room looked like before with it's reddish Queen Anne style dining set. 
The dining set really didn't work shape-wise for the square room, so we knew we wanted a round table with a leaf. And we didn't want everything to look matchy, so we chose a dark table and greyed wood chairs that tie in really nicely with the living room. We painted out the niches with the same dark grey/taupe that is on the living room walls. The new paint color really popped the niches and the accessories inside them and brought out some of the taupey grey in the existing draperies. We put in a large floor length mirror in the center of the room which really expanded the volume and added some brackets with artifacts on either side to fill the negative space.  Re-styling the niches with the owners existing accessories really changed the feel of the room as well. We made her crystal and silver collections seem less formal by pairing them with books and other natural elements.  It's amazing how well it works now with the living area just across the hall.

Stay tuned for another post with my client's daughter's bedroom re-vamp. 

Photography courtesy of Pablo Enriquez

Client Project Completed

Friday, March 7, 2014

A while back I blogged about a residential project that I was working on locally in Short Hills.  Well, the project is finally complete and photographed (it was complete a while ago but getting around to photographing it was another thing).  I redesigned my client's living room and did a small revamp on the dining room as well as overhauling her teen daughter's bedroom.  Here is a reminder of what her living room looked like before. I don't think she'd mind my saying that it was dated and a bit stodgy.

 And here is what the design board I created looked like.  We wanted something neutral, clean and sophisticated.  Sort of a Restoration Hardware, Gregorious Pineo type look. 

We purchased a lot of new items, but I'm also happy that we got to personalize and reuse things in the space as well. The small side table I did a refinishing project on looks great in the space and holds meaning for my client. We reupholstered a chair she had from her parents and added nail heads to update it.   We were also able to use some vintage framed family photos above a cabinet that she already owned.  The mirror above the fireplace had previously been in the dining room and many of the accessories were items she already had (along with items selectively purchased from Target and Homegoods). The gallery wall also happens to include pieces by her daughter and myself (ha!).  I love how it turned out!  The little reading / game nook is probably my favorite part. It's so inviting and I love the light! 

I can't wait to show you the small things we did in the dining room to tie it into the space and the major transformation in her daughter's room.  Stay tuned.

Photography courtesy of Pablo Enriquez