Friday, March 10, 2017

Marble vs Quartz Part 2

Hello loves! I have been getting a ton of questions on Instagram lately about my countertops and it reminds me that I never did a follow up on my Marble vs Quartz debate (you can read Part 1 of the great debate here). I decided to go with honed Volakas marble from In Home Stone with a Dupont edge. We have been living with it for close to 2 months now and you know what? I FREAKING LOVE IT!!! You CAN live happily with marble... even with three little ones. I swear I had at least 18 different people tell me that I was crazy for wanting marble when I was designing our kitchen. Most of them were fellow design students or contractors. I was so conflicted. I knew I would never be able to recreate the natural beauty of marble with the manufactured quartz. I was just so worried that I would be a freaking psycho about the countertops if we went with Marble. I am happy to report that this has not been the case whatsoever!! Yes I have had my moments, like the time when my husband left the wet bottle of Dawn soap on the counter over night, I might of had some choice words for him the next morning ;) But for the most part even if there is a blemish or a spot on the counters I just wipe it up with warm soapy water and the spot completely fades once it is dry. Not sure if thats the sealant working its magic or if marbles really isn't as fussy as everyone makes her out to be. But its kind of cool to watch the watermarks magically disappear.  I do have two rings by the sink but I swear you only notice the if you bent down just right and squint. Not a big deal, right? Here are my tips for taking care of your marble countertops. They really not as scary as some might think.

1. Don't leave wet soap out on the countertops overnight. Like my dear husband. That WILL leave a  mark. But DO use warm soapy water to wipe down countertops. I usually just do this with a non-abrasive towel and then dry them off before I set anything on top of them again.

2. Wipe up as you cook. Call me OCD but I actually like cleaning as I cook. The kids usually go crazy after dinner so if I leave a mess behind before we sit down and eat its usually a few hours before I get around to cleaning. The less time wet or acidic things rest on your marble the less likely they will leave a mark. So clean as you go!

3. Decorate your heart out. This is a big one for me. So many people think that just because you have marble you can't put anything on your counters. This is so NOT true! My marble makes the perfect backdrop for all of my decorative pieces. And with the whiter background its easy to mix and match other colors as your accent colors. My color of the moment is blush, obviously:)

4. Make sure to seal your marble every 6 months. This might be the one that sets off your high maintenance alarm, but your marble should be resealed every 6 months. I like to compare it to a good carpet cleaning.  I don't think twice about getting our carpets professionally cleaned every couple of months, so why not do the same with your marble? Do most people actually do this? Probably not. Will I? Ask me again in 6 months...

5. Take lots of pictures and enjoy this natural beauty! I am so glad we decided to go with marble over quartz. I was definitely nervous about marble's fussy reputation at first.  Once we started living in our kitchen and it didn't betray me like everyone promised it would, I can honestly say I have no regrets. Plus we saved thousands of dollars using this marble instead of other man-made quartz options.

Further proof that marble is totally comparable with small children. Naked bootys and all!! I hope this follow up helped anyone who might be on the fence on whether they should go with marble! I swear I have been taking more pictures of my kitchen than my own children lately. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more sneak peeks of my latest design projects. And hopefully a full before and after reveal... we are just a few projects away! Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

London's Love Fest

This week I wanted to share a little party I threw for my youngest, London. She is turning 3 next week and since February is such a crazy month for us, I decided to combine her  birthday party with Valentines Day. Target had so many cute decorations this year that it really came together pretty quickly! I already had most of the Valentines decorations up (you can read that post here) so all that was left to do was put together a kid friendly menu and set up the cookie decorating station. Since I knew there would be a few little ones attending, I decided to clear to playroom so they had room to roll and get diapers changed:) Plus it was the perfect floor space for the short lived hot potato game we attempted! The big kids had fun taking pictures with our silly photo props, decorating heart cookies and consuming way too much sugar. All pictures were taken during the quiet before the storm by the lovely Tracy Marshall... and when I say storm I really mean fire! I swear every year we have something catastrophic happen at a birthday party. And this year takes the cake... we actually had a mini house fire when all the guest were arriving! A hand towel in the bathroom had fallen into a candle that I had lit on the sink.  The whole entire turkish towel was burnt to a crisp by the time I ran in with the fire extinguisher. Luckily no one was hurt or too spooked by it so we aired out the house and kept the party rolling. It just goes to show that all the party planning in the world is never enough when it comes to throwing kid parties. So please enjoy all the pretty pictures below knowing that my life is and always will be complete chaos. But as long as the kids are happy I'm not complaining:) Thanks for reading and Happy 3rd Birthday to London Joan!

Get the Look:

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How to add a little Love to your Home

Love is in the air!! How is it already Valentines Day this week? I swear I just put the Christmas tree decorations away. This Valentines Day I went a little overboard. With our kitchen remodel happening right smack dab in the middle of Christmas I feel like I was robbed of my decorating bliss. Literally we only had a tree.  Plus  February is extra special this year. The love of my life is turning 30, we are finally on the other side of the trenches of motherhood (my baby is turning 3) and my house is 90% finished. So much to be giddy about. So I thought I'd share a little love with my readers and give you some tips on infusing some Valentines Day Style into your home! Here are my go to tips this Valentines Day :

1. Add color with some sweet treats
We all love buying hearts and flowers for Valentines Day so why not incorporate them into  your home decor? Candy hearts and other sweets are a simple and cheap way to tie together accent colors. Warning: the cookies do not last long so snap a picture ASAP!

2. Faux florals are your best friend. My husband is a grower so we always joke that if it weren't for him all of our plants would never have a shot at life. So if you're like me and have a black thumb, investing $20 on a faux floral garland or wreath goes a long way! A.C Moore has a great selection this year. Another faux floral shop I am dying to try here.

3. Pops of Pink
Its no secret that I am a fan of pink. Blush pink in particular. It just so happens that blush pink made color of the year in 2016 so its super easy to find lots of accessories in this soft shade. My home is still in the finishing stages of remodeling but I have been sneaking in as many accessories as I can. Grocery store flowers are my guilty pleasure... I swear Wholefoods has better blooms than some florist. But lately I have been loving blush glassware and soft velvets. My Willa Skye Pillows came just in time! Find my Anthro glasses from linked below.

Be sure to check out my favorite picks for the kitchen... Still working on the big reveal so be sure to check back later this month for all the kitchen details!

I hope you and yours have a lovely week. Thanks for reading and happy decorating!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Creating your Dream Closet with Arhaus

Have you ever thought about what your dream closet would look like? I mean really thought about what it would be at the core before all the beautiful clothes and shoes have arrived? I know it sounds crazy to think about a dream closet with out the dream wardrobe, so when Arhaus reached out to me and asked me this same question it got my design juices buzzing. 

A dream closet is so much more than a place to get ready in the morning. It is every woman ultimate escape from reality, into a world thats truly our own. Where we are surrounded by beauty and style. Every closet needs more than just clothes. In my dream closet I would be surrounded by beautiful lighting. I have a personal obsession with chandeliers so naturally that would be my go to for illuminating the perfect light in my space. Pendant lights are another  great option when selecting lighting to add a touch of glamour. Arhaus currently has a great collection of pendant lighting that would look glamorous in any room!

Next I would need that perfect place to sit and kick off my shoes (Louboutins of course).  Here is where I am a little torn, do I do bold and fabulous or soft and femme for seating? Either way I would need an accent bench for my little people to gather around while Mommy gets ready. Is it just me or is it way more fun picking out an outfit when you have a two year old picking out accessories for you? I linked some of my favorite seating options on my Pinterest here.

Now its time for storage. Oh my storage makes me happy in some strange sort of way. I would obviously have to have custom floor to ceiling built ins just for shoes. The back of the shelves would have some fantastic wallpaper or venetian mirrors to reflect light. Because whats a dream closet without tons of natural light? My clothing racks would be color coded because Im OCD like that. Tops on top, skirts then pants... you get the picture. Then I would have to have an accent piece of furniture to store  all my diamonds (because this is a dream closet remember?) My accent piece would also have other fun accessories like trays to house my shades and vases for fresh blooms.

Sources: Rachel Parcell closet design by Alice Lane Home

Above: Emily Jacksons closet designed by Alice Lane Home

All photos from Alice Lane Home 
Image via Anthropologie

Pulling from those images as my inspiration, I created two looks for my dream closet with Arhaus. My first look is for those whose style leans towards Modern Glamour. I love the Parisian influences in the antiqued mirror and crystal chandelier. While the plush velvets paired with this showstopper rug add a dose of bohemian rhapsody. The brass details of the chair legs in their geometric form can stand strong alone but create more drama as a pair. Especially with that gorgeous pop of jade in between.

Get the Look: Mirrors, Chandelier, Armchair, Bench, Rug, Tray

My second look goes out to the ladies who just ooze elegance. The sweet simplicity of the French Art Deco chandelier paired with the super femme sheepskin chair set an ethereal tone. This gold gilt mirror takes the cake for best vanity mirror in my book. Add warm wood tones, soft shags and a tufted ottoman and you could get lost for days in this closet.

Get the Look: Lighting, Mirror, Lamps, Rug, Chairs, Dresser, Artwork1, Artwork2, Artwork3

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my DREAM CLOSET as much as I enjoyed fantasizing about it. Thank you to Arhaus for giving me good reason to day dream about my two favorite things, great design and great clothes! If you haven't checked out an Arhaus store yet be sure to stop by next time you are in Annapolis.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pillow Talk

With all these chilly days, my body has officially entered hibernation mode. I have been eyeing up some new throw pillows to give my living room a whole new look for all of those couch naps I plan on taking. These are my top picks to snuggle up in style. My favorite tip I have when it comes to coordinating throw pillows is to coordinate a solid, a geometric and a organic. That way your patterns compliment each other rather compete!  Be sure to check out my Pinterest board for more  pillow picks. Thanks for reading!

Links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Kitchen Remodel Week 6

You guys we have reached the light at the end of the tunnel! Man does it feel good to be able to cook again. I have also never been so excited to do the dishes in my life. Week 6 of our kitchen remodel has officially come to a close and this week was a big one. The marble countertops were installed, all the light fixtures were hung and the sink now works. Hallelujah. All thats left to do it install the cabinet pulls, backsplash and crown moulding on the uppers. Thanks for following along on this crazy journey. It means the world to me to be able to share my designs with you all. And be sure to keep checking back to see pictures of the (hopefully) finished kitchen reveal! 

 Before Countertops...
And After!

These were taken right after the countertops were installed and sealed. We gave the marble a day or two to really seal before we put the custom hutch and pendants on top. They really give the room a whole new finished look.  See below for design details.

Cabinets: Kraftmaid Cabinetry from Home Depot DesignConnect 
Counters: Volakus Honed Marble with Dupont Edge from In Home Stone
Floors: Mocha wide planked from Wood Floor Plus
Lighting: Circa Lighting
Appliances: Kitchenaid from Appliance Land (Also available at the Home Depot)
Sink: Kohler Whitehaven from Wayfair

design + development by kelly christine studio