When Ellie was just a bit over two years old, I decided (prematurely now that I look back) that she should have a big girl room. Stupid. Stupid. I moved the guest room full bed into her room, ran out to Pottery Barn Kids and decorated her room in like one weekend. It wasn’t great, but I was SO excited to have her out of the crib. She was after all a total chunky monkey and lifting her in and out of that crib was bruising my ribs. NOT KIDDING.  I hated the room about two months later. Why did I rush? It looked like a page out of the PB Kids catalog. Can you say cookie cutter?

So all this time I’ve wanted to redo her room, but the timing never felt right. I wanted her room to reflect her personality, her likes, her passions. And I really don’t think Ellie’s style and taste developed until about this year. While we were in Australia she and I both were enamored with the laid back, beachy, exotic style we saw everywhere. I’ve always been a total SUCKER for tassels, exotic and block prints, and bright colors and those elements were everywhere we looked Down Under!  Ellie started taking notice too and my design soul smiled everytime she and I would walk past a design store or a cute restaurant that was decorated nicely and she would comment or stop to take a look. We bonded on that trip in so many ways, but we really had fun noticing the design details all around us.

After we got back I decided  her cookie cutter bedding and the full mattress had to go! Her room isn’t very big and the bed just takes up way too much of the floor space. Ok, I’m going to stop yapping to just show you the room….

The pic above was taken a couple of months after we moved into the ugly duckling. This isn’t exactly how the room looks now…there are bamboo roman shades, white frames over her bed, the room is laid out totally different and a striped Dash and Albert rug is on the floor. But you get the general idea…cookie cutter bedding, tons of kid toys and crap everywhere and a dresser that looks messy and doesn’t hold enough clothes. Oh and pink. It was what she wanted when we moved her three years ago, but she loathes it now. Small doses are ok, but she’s all about the cool tones now. Like her momma!

So here is the new plan…

1. The bed will be replaced with an upholstered daybed with trundle (since sleepovers are inevitable at her age). This will free up floor space big time!

2. Her favorite color is now turquoise, or aqua, or any shade in between. So I’d like to find a vintage, over dyed rug in her fav color to anchor the room and give her something soft to play on.

3. Over her bed we are going to put this fantastic print I found at Ikea a few weeks ago! I was so excited because it was perfect for my little surfer girl and only $20 bucks. I couldn’t find the exact print, but the one on the storyboard is similar. On either side of the print we are going to put in some sconce lighting as well.

4. The bamboo shades may stay, but we are definitely adding these fun tassel draperies from Serena and Lily to add softness to the windows. The tassels remind us of all the clothing in Australia. They are everywhere. As they are quickly becoming a thing here too.

5. I’m not totally sold on this particular dresser, but she wants something reclaimed or washed/rustic looking. I like this one because it’s a bit fem. But we’ll see.

6. Another fab Serena and Lily find. This rattan mirror is just so beachy and boho. Ellie loves it too. So it’s a must.

7. Then there is the bedding. The plan right now is to keep the bedding for the most part white. Then we are going to add tons of pillows in her fav aqua tones. We both LOVE Rikshaw Designs, so of course a few pillows will be from there. And then I might have some custom pillows made out of vintage batik fabric I have lying around.

8. And the one thing she demanded on was a poof….gold poof to be exact. My little tomboy does have a girly side after all! So we’re going to add two possible for when friends come over.

9. Last but not least…actually it’s probably the first thing that will change…the walls. I’m probably going to paint them a warm, slightly sand colored white and the ceiling is going to go glossy aqua. We may do stripes. This remains to be seen.

So there it is. Ellie’s new Australian, surfer girl, glam, boho bedroom. I kind of want to sleep in here with her when it’s done. The bed comes in a few more weeks, so I will be a mad woman getting it all together in time for her birthday the beginning of July!

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August 23, 2013

Keeping It Neutral

by Shelly

A new project I am beginning work on for a sophisticated new family is having me shift my normal design tendencies a bit.  The couple would like a neutral palette with layers of texture and a slight zen feeling.  Normally I am all about color and pattern, so this is going to be a fun change.  I’ve started gathering inspiration for the project and am really starting to like the feel we are aiming for.



{Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC}


{Debbie Duggan}

Hope you have a nice weekend! School starts next week, so we’re having one last hurrah and going wakeboarding this weekend. Hoping we have fun without breaking anything.  Haha!

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February 22, 2013

Rugs I’m Loving

by Shelly


Love them WAY more than carpet. Please, if you have or want carpet…reconsider.  Ok, I’m not talking about carpet in a bedroom.  That’s a whole different subject.  I mean in the living room, family room, the SOCIAL spaces of your home.  Rugs add such an interesting layer to a room and bring in another shot of color and/or pattern.  And you can switch it out down the road if your style changes or if you want to do something new to the room. I just love them.

Here are some that have caught my eye as of late. I give the prices for the large sizes, but many of these come smaller too.  I’m crushing on….

Aztec Rug 8×10 $883.20

To do a room like this…

{via So Haute.com}

Overdyed Aqua Rug 7’10″ x 11′ 2″

Just like this eclectic dining room….

{country living}

Cream Garden Floral Rug  8×10 $699

Adorbs in a girls room!  But this could be so fun in a breakfast area or maybe a family room with buffalo check! Cute!

Fair Isle Grey/Platinum Cotton Woven Rug 8×10 $385

You can’t BEAT Dash and Albert rugs and their pricing!  This fair isle beauty is a perfect layering piece that will give your room instant texture and depth.

Olivia Jade Area Rug 8×10 $623

I have been crushing on this rug for a while.  I just love the jade mixed with turquoise and then accented with black! It’s definitely not an expensive rug, so I’m not sure about the quality.  But I may just have to get this for myself and my new office! More on the new office next week friends!  But this little number seems like it could be really pretty in person.

And a side note, I’m not usually a big tea drinker.  However, in my attempt to not always relax in the evening with a glass of red wine, (I like red wine…a lot!), I’ve been trying out hot teas.  I recently picked up this tea at World Market and I’m really enjoying it!

It’s caffeine free and is suppose to clean out the liver. Which obviously this red wine drinking/ coffee lover needs every once in a while.  Haha!

Well friends, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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We’ve been completely blessed since having Ellie, with an abundance of fabulous babysitters for her.  Lydia was her first sitter and over the years she has passed along a few of her friends for us to use as well.  Carly of Carly Rae Weddings was one of those friends!  Not only is the girl great with kiddos, but she is THE go-to for a fabulous wedding!

Recently she asked me to give her a little help with her newlywed abode.  She knew what she liked, but she needed a little jumping off point to start from.  The Ikea sofa and the table lamp were the only things that needed to stay in their living room.  The rest was where she was having trouble.  I tried to keep things super affordable and budget friendly for her.  And since they’re a young couple, I wanted to keep the feel fresh and bright.

Living in an rental can make personalizing your space a little more difficult.  Since the walls must be left boring white, it’s important to bring in color!  Starting with a fun aqua chevron rug (which happens to be a fav print of Carly’s), it instantly adds some personality and color to the space.  A mirrored, lacquer console will double as a television stand and extra storage.  It will also create a focal point for a fabulous gallery wall!  Then the big grey sofa gets a punch of color by adding a fun mix of pillows… metallic gold linen, a quirky Thomas Paul bird print, a small scale faded coral and a cute monogram accent pillow.  For extra seating and another dash of color, two Moroccan turquoise poofs can go on the opposite side of the coffee table.  Add a fun faux fur throw to cuddle up in on colder evenings, and simple linen panels that can be spruced up with fun trim and you’ve got an expensive living room that can move when you do!

floor lamp | coffee table | side table | console | metallic pillow | bird pillow | diamond pillow | monogram pillowleather poof | chevron rug | faux fur throw | drapery rod | draperies

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February 12, 2013

Master Bedroom Transformation

by Shelly

I would say 9 times out of 10 my clients chose to focus on their master bedroom last…or sadly…not at all.  This always befuddles me!  In a room that you spend so much time in (yes even though your eyes may be closed most of the time), I feel it’s so important to have a soothing space that you love!

A few months ago a busy, young mom to three energetic little boys contacted me to transform her sad, neglected bedroom.  After chatting with her on the phone about the project, I felt a innate sense of DUTY to give her a room she and her husband could enjoy after they put the kiddos to bed.

Like most married couples it seems, they were living with hand-me-down furniture and lifeless walls.

The couple lives in a charming old home in a very sought after area in Northern California.  The room lacks storage…which they need desperately for their clothes AND her office which is also in the bedroom.

Then there’s the bed….which DEFINITELY needs a full makeover.  Her inspiration pics really helped me to design out a space that is uniquely THEM!

So our plan is to bring in traditional elements with some unique touches.  Lots of white fluffy bedding with some soft accent pillows. There will also be a slight coastal feel to the room with the paint, roman shades and accessories.  The whole room is going to be about layers, layers, layers.  And calm….. a place my client can retreat to at the end of a busy day of chasing boys.    Ahhh…

The ordering has begun and I can’t wait to see this room transformed!

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