Sunday, May 14, 2017

One Room Challenge: Getting Ready






Wait! Im not dressed yet!!! As is my tradition, Im not quite ready to share the final reveal of my Calling it Home One Room Challenge design project. But I plan to post images from my new master closet here as soon as the dust settles (literally and figuratively!) Want to see it when its done? Subscribe to this blog and youll get the update delivered to your inbox. Thanks to all who have been following along!

Please be sure to check out the Week 6 reveals from the sponsored designers here and the participating guest bloggers here. Congratulations to everyone who made their deadlines! It takes a LOT of planning, dedication, resources and hard work to make these projects happen. I admire each of you and love seeing your final results!




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Sunday, May 7, 2017

One Room Challenge: Reflections


I have to laugh at this photo, which is the first selfie I ever took! I didn’t know at the time that it was possible to turn the camera view around on my iPhone. Instead I took it facing the mirror! I was heading out – in apparently my favorite black blazer (see my post from week 3) – to celebrate a night on the town in New York with my Brizo Blogger 19 friends. This classic black blazer (by Tahari) along with my favorite faux zebra fur purse will be hanging in my new master closet very soon. If not for the motivation that comes with a 6 week deadline courtesy the One Room Challenges set forth by Linda of Calling it Home, Im not sure I would ever get our renovation projects done!

One of the most important elements for this third floor under the eaves master closet will be the addition of light. I am thinking that LED lighting will be our best bet, either in the hanging rods themselves or intentionally placed throughout. A large floor mirror with side lights or an LED light-up over-the-door mirror will also help to make this space feel larger than it is. And if space allows, I will also add a small mirrored bureau for accessory storage. Below are the options that Im considering to address these lighting and reflection needs.










































You have no idea how excited I will be to have this walk in master closet completed! Come back next week to see my final reveal! I hope it will look as good as I imagine : )

Catch up with the other designers who are busy getting their own projects done, one week at a time ...






One Room Challenge media partner




Sunday, April 30, 2017

One Room Challenge: Organizational Joy



I imagine that getting up each morning to be greeted by a well organized closet must be pure bliss! Having one go-to location to find everything needed to start the day is what I am most looking forward to once my Calling it Home One Room Challenge Master Closet project is complete. We are getting close, so this week I am presenting my chosen selections for my closet design plan. All wish list items below are from The Container Store. 







I love love love these acrylic hangers! And the linen storage boxes are just the right neutral colored solution for my space.





Im not 100% sure on the overall size of this shoe storage option (do I really need to store my shoes in two different directions to fit them in the designated area?) I plan to visit my local Container Store and check it out in person to see if it works (yes, will probably take my shoes off and try it out in the aisles!)
















Did you see the movie Joy starring Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano? It was a great story about the woman who invented these extra thin, non-slip velvet covered hangers (along with her first and less glamorous invention, The Miracle Mop). I love entrepreneur stories and I know that I will love seeing the word JOY every time I select my outfit of the day. Scenes from this movie were actually filmed in my hometown, North Reading, Massachusetts. The photo collage above includes a selfie of my friend and I, taken on location” after the filming was complete.






I like that Joys hangers can be doubled up with an add-on hook. As we say in Boston, thats wicked smart : )







More acrylic storage? Yes, please!







And this naturally woven, water hyacinth laundry basket is simply beautiful. I love the size, shape and texture. Perfection!

Now to finish up in order to install my design choices! To see how everyone else is doing with their ORC spaces, click the links below. We are nearing the finish line, so good luck to all!








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Saturday, April 22, 2017

One Room Challenge: Hanging in my Closet




“Dress gives you the opportunity to express yourself – who you are, who you think you are or who you want to be.” 

– Iris Apfel


Over the years I have had the pleasure to attend some really fun events and meet some pretty cool fashion and design icons as a result of this little blog. When I posed with legendary interior designer and fashion maven Iris Apfel in 2009 at her Rare Bird of Fashion exhibit that I was covering as a blogger, I had no idea just how iconic she truly was – Iris is a master at remaining relevant even when what is fashionable comes and goes (have you seen her latest jewelry collection for HSN, put forth in her 90s no less?) Her words of wisdom spoken that evening seem fitting to me today, as I look at the clothes hanging in my closet, wondering which pieces will make the cut to hang out in my new master closet when my One Room Challenge project is complete (halfway mark already!) And yes, I still have clothes in my closet dating back to the year 2009! How does this happen???

Getting dressed for memory making.

I think the reason I have a difficult time letting go of outfits from my past is because many of them have special memories attached to them. Do I still wear these clothes? Some of them, yes. Im just now realizing that only yesterday I wore the black jacket in the photo above to work and then out to dinner with friends! Other pieces have not been worn as frequently over the years, and to be completely honest some may not even still fit me, but they do still have a special place in my heart. When I look at them patiently waiting on their hangers, Im reminded of times that were definitely outside of my normal routine. Times that were pinch me moments. Below are my top 10 outfits that I just cant seem to part with ...




1. Black and gold zig zag dress with black ribbon bow.





2. Jewel toned wrap dress with braided leather belt.





3.  Classic gray pencil skirt with royal blue ruched top.





4. Ikat patterned fitted shift dress (with pockets!) 







6. Silk ombre-colored dress with animal print vintage scarf.






7. Bright green banded cocktail dress with hot pink wrap.





8. Black lace and sequined cocktail dress with cowl neck.







9. Classic grey sheath dress from Calvin Klein
(lampshade optional : )

BlogTourLA instagram photo with designers
Christian May and Ashlina Kaposta




10. Two-toned dress: black asymmetrical top over white skirt.  

More recently ... my consultant trip to Vegas with Rodan + Fields.
Hanging with some favorite characters snap via Instagram.


What super outfits are hanging in your closet?

Have you had a chance to see the latest Lego movie? Even Batman has a closet full of costumes that chronicle his personal career journey over the years (and he was quite attached to his wardrobe favorites, too, I must add).  Fashion has the power to transform. To create confidence. To provide super hero like protection as we face the world outside. Its accessible armour, and on our best days it can be really FUN! So for now, I will be holding onto some of these rare occasion costumes and will be finding a special spot in my new closet for them, although I will be more than happy to add something new to my fashion mix when the next opportunity presents itself. I recently decided to give Stitch Fix a try, so I am hoping that helps me to break out of my fashion comfort zone a bit.





One Room Challenge media partner:





Back to my scheduled design makeover ...

So just how is my ORC makeover going? I dont have much progress to show this week unfortunately, which is why I resorted to taking a good look at what I plan to move into the new space and ended up going down this memory lane rabbit hole of blogger fashion. I have, however, found a great way to get rid of unwanted items (I promise to try hard to find some!) My town has set up a few collection bin sites for clothing, shoes, purses, linens, fabrics, even stuffed animals. The money from donated textiles will benefit our school system (they will all be properly recycled). Now I can get rid of even my oldest fashions and worn to death shoes and not worry that they will end up unused or unwanted in some donation bin or landfill. If I was really motivated, I would try to sell the better items online, but I just dont have it in me. Id much rather bag them, drop them off, and move on (unless you see something you like here : ) Only my true favorites will be allowed to move up to the new closet. Once it is done. Please let it get done. 

Check out the latest Calling It Home One Room Challenge design updates for week 3 (invited designers) here and (guest participants) here




Sunday, April 16, 2017

One Room Challenge: Hot Mess Stage


One week into the Calling it Home One Room Challenge and this is where my master closet project is at: the hot mess stage. Not much pretty to show, but this behind-the-walls-view means that progress is being made.






The new closet is roughly 5 feet wide at one end and then narrows to 4 feet wide at the other end with jogs created by the adjacent master bath. The overall length of the closet will be just over 14 feet long – which is great – but the slanted hip roof causes the height of the wall on the shortest side to be less than 4 feet tall (so this wall is only good for tops, skirts, and pants folded on hangers) while the opposite wall is about 8 feet high. The far end of the closet will be for long dresses (fortunately I don’t have a lot of these in my wardrobe!)





I vaguely remember my mom having a very similar shaped closet in our home growing up. It was large enough to get lost in as a kid. I used to love going in there and checking out all of her outfits (many that she made with her Singer sewing machine). It was the 70s and she did have a lot of long dresses and pant suits in her closet, so I guess it might have been a bit taller on the back wall than mine will be. My favorite part of visiting her closet was peeking inside a huge black steamer trunk that she had in there (seriously, how big was this closet??) Inside the trunk was where she stored the patterns and fabrics that she used to sew outfits for herself, for me and my two sisters, and then later to make doll clothes and quilts.




Dress made by mom for my vintage doll
displayed at a local design show.


I do happen to have a couple of large black steamer trunks handy that I found on the side of the road a couple of years ago. If there is room, I will be adding one to my closet, too : )

Come back next week and hopefully we will have walls up!

How are the other One Room Challenge participants doing on their week two? Check out the guest participants here and the sponsored designers here.





media partner: House Beautiful


Thursday, April 13, 2017

If Money Was No Object: My Vintage Top 10





What would you choose for yourself if your budget was without limit? I was recently asked this question and was happy to shop with abandon for my dream room, selecting gorgeous vintage items from Decaso, Decorative Arts Society.

If you are familiar with the online vintage site Chairish, this new sister site is founded by the same stellar team.

About Decaso: “It is an ultra-curated selection of exceptional antique and designer furniture offered by the world’s most respected dealers.”

As a blogger asked to choose my “Bucket List” favorites, I fell in LOVE with the 10 vintage items above. Details for each item with links to more info are listed below.

My theme? A classically glamorous room to entertain guests, enjoy a cocktail or two, put my feet up and get cozy.

My fantasy budget? Just over $30,000 (without adding in the cost of the original art). Not unreasonable for custom and vintage, but certainly outside of my typical price range. A girl can dream, right? If I had to choose just one of the ten, I would probably take home the bar cart. What would your fantasy room look like?



1 // Still Life With Upright, Oil on Canvas by Anne-Louise Ewen

2 // Leaded White Glass Sphere Pendant

3 // Italian Brass Chiavari Chair in Mongolian Fur

4 // Regency Style Designer Taboret Bench by Randy Esada Designs

5 // Charles Hollis Jones Lucite Faux-Bamboo and Brass Serving Cart

6 // Four Capiz Star-Shaped Pendant Lights

7 // Italian-Inspired Settee by Stripe

8 // Early 20th Century Oushak Carpet

9 // Pair of Fishskin Covered Chairs

10 // Custom Mid-Century Coffee Table











Thursday, April 6, 2017

One Room Challenge: Master Closet!





It’s time to finish our master closet design project, and what better motivation than signing up to participate in the Calling It Home One Room Challenge! Above is my dream closet mood board along with a photo of the carpet that we will put on the floor of this walk in space that runs the full length of our four square Colonial farmhouse.

As I always say, our house may look big, but really it’s just tall. The third floor attic that we transformed into our master bedroom is large enough to include a decent sized room, a modest sized full bath, and a walk in closet that spans the width of the house and has been on the back burner for far too long. Truth be told, I am looking forward to the day when I can move all of my party dresses upstairs from my second floor office closet (who am I kidding, I am starting a fresh wardrobe with all new clothes once this project is ever completed!)

Come back next week to see our layout plan for this time-to-get-it-done new and functional space. In the meantime, check out the other guest participants who are committing to accomplishing at least one of their home renovating dream projects over the next 6 weeks. Will you be one of them?


media sponsor ...

items on mood board ...
pendant light via Arhaus
typography art via Minted 
velvet hangers via Amazon 
little black dress by Emporio Armani 
wedge shoes by Ugg via Zappos
ribbon stitch bag by Fendi