Inside Outside

Big Night In

A fun stay-in-date for couples with little ones with early bedtimes...

Build a fort in the living room from bed sheets with lots of pillows and blankets (just like when you were a kid!), dim the lights, watch a mini-marathon of a great TV show, and enjoy a some bubbly, and grapes dipped in Nutella... a sweet and romantic camping adventure in the comfort of your own home (and no need for a babysitter)!

Some fun extras:

Furry Monster Slippers - Adult Sized - Grey with Black ClawsHolly GoNightly Sleep Mask

Small, But Stylish

I recently watched a real estate/lifestyle show that included a segment about tiny houses and found it so interesting. Sadly, I completely forget what the show was called, but I think it was on HGTV.  

I really admire people who can live with ONLY what they need. I tend to be a bit excessive, but I do try to think about things before I buy them, and I make an effort to donate clothes, books, furniture, etc that I no longer use or need a couple of times a year. 

But back to the tiny houses... Patton, Goalie and I lived very happily for four years in our charming and lovely two story condo in Dupont Circle for over four years, and it is just 700 square feet! That is definitely as small as I could go, and living there made me consider the best use of every square foot when I was decorating. 

We were so happy in a small space, but our National Harbor condo now feels huge (in a great way) in comparison since it is twice the size. Living in DC, I fell in love with furniture that doubled as storage, learned that vertical space is as important and usable as floor space, and that large accents in decor makes a little space feel bigger. Also, high ceilings are key. And the fact that our condo in Dupont is 2 stories gives it a bit of luxury and loftiness that 700 square feet on one floor just doesn't quite have.

Here are some really beautiful, small houses, and tiny living spaces to inspire and impress you! And an interesting article on the topic.

small housessmall/modern houses
I love small houses!Small house, Amsterdam.Renovated cargo container small-houses

Ocean Treasures

My family's shore house in Avalon, NJ (one of my all time favorite places in the world) is one of the most beautiful and easy to relax in homes I have ever been in. I feel so lucky every time I walk in the front door.

My mom did such an amazing job on every aspect of the decor, but the very best part is her beautifully displayed, incredibly extensive sea glass collection which was gathered from beaches all over New Jersey, the Caribbean, and Spain. My whole family loves to go for sea glass walks when we are all together down the shore.

Here are some photos of my mom's collection.


And some Sea Glass Inspired items from around the web:

Colorful Sea Glass Mobile Suncatcher Featuring Rare Sea Glass ColorsClick to enlargeVivid Aqua Sea Glass In Fine Silver Adjustable RingDancing Queen Turquoise Two Strap Sequin Dress

Sensational Settings

Coco and Kelley Tabletop

If your dining room needs a fresh look, no need to splurge on new furniture, curtains, or light fixtures. You can breathe new life into the same old stuff with some great table accessories. Think place mats, linens, napkin rings, salt & pepper shakers, and a creative centerpiece, and you can get an exciting new look on a budget.

Here are a few fun options below ... set a table for 4 for under $80!

Whimsical Woodland - $79.16

Plastic Grass MatsOwl Vase

Wild Western - $73.16

Cowhide Napkin Rings, Set of 4Faux Leather Fabric Calf Saddle

Oh So Zen - $75.66

Square Sauce DishVintage White Napkins CottonSisal Twine, 2500' NaturalPebble Tiles Timor Tan  - Tan Pebbles hand harvested from the island of Timor, Indonesia. The pebbles are applied to a double mesh backing with Gorilla glue.

Glitz and Glamour - $79.73

Brilliant Napkin Rings - Clear - Set of 412 in. x 12 in. Plain Edge Mirror Tiles 6-PackOstrich Feathers Drabs 12-15"

Delightful Doors

No reason your door needs to be a bore. I used these oversized poppy flower decals in silver to dress up the entry to my condo. It took about 3 hours to carefully place each little section of the blooms but I think the over all effect is so much fun. It's easy to do and not permanent so it is a great decorating option for apartment renters. 

Here are some other delightfully decorated doors.
awesome painted doorpainted door.graphic painted doorPainted Front DoorBeautiful painted door!

Clever Little Fox

Fox Child

Lucy's locks have begun to take on a lovely coppery glow as the days go by, and so Patton and I have been calling her our clever little fox.

Here are some fantastically foxy nursery items that make me wish I had a second home so I could decorate another nursery for my little fox:

Kids Nursery Art Baby Red Fox Cub Print on Recycled Paper Picture 8x10 boys or girls orange teal brownVANDRING RÄV Duvet cover and pillowcase(s) IKEA Cotton is soft and feels nice against your child's skin.VANDRING SPÅR Rug, low pile IKEAFox Dress - Little girls character play dress 6m to 6yBaby Aspen Fox in a Box Plush Fox and Lovie Gift Set
Fantastic Mr. Fox [Book]

Find Foxes:

if you are the crafty type, you can

Homemade Headboards

Three easy equations resulting in homemade headboard masterpieces...

Reclaimed Love

Masterpiece Vincent Pro Canvas 12-Inch by 36-Inch, Monterey Cotton Acrylic Primed 3X

Triple It


Bright Fabric Tiles

Luxury Look for Less

I have been completely lusting after this dresser (ok... it is actually an extremely sophisticated baby changing table)  but it is waaay out of my price range.

Nurseryworks Uptown Changer
Instead I  am making over these dressers from Ikea which I just got for $119 a piece to get a budget friendly version of the same look. 

HEMNES 3 drawer chest IKEA Solid wood, a hardwearing natural material. Adapted for GARNITYR box set of 7 - keeps cabinets and drawers organized.

With a little white paint and some fun drawer pulls (you know I love the animals so I am ordering these lion heads) I am hoping to have to some expensive looking dressers to use as bedside tables and extra clothes storage for under $150 each.

Amerock BP3427BB Traditional Classic Finger Pull, Burnished Brass

 I am giving myself a deadline of two weeks so wish me luck and stay tuned for the final result!

Etsy Rainbow

Click the pictures below to shop for these beautiful and affordable art prints in ever color of the rainbow from those talented folks at Etsy:

Pink Conch Shell Nautical Vintage Style Art PrintPink and White UmbrellaWatercolor Peacock Feather Illustration - Pink Peacock print
LADYBUG Watercolor Print, red and black, spotted, ladybug art, childrens art, nursery art, lady bugBLOCK PRINT - Lobster - RedClassic red wagon print - 8 x 10"
Bonjour (orange). Extra Large illustration print 16.50 x 23.4 (A2). Big Poster. Greeting in French.Orange Watercolor fashion art Mod Glamour A4Tangerine Orange Elephant Silhouette on Turquoise Lattice Facing Left Giclee 11x14
Smile (A3 Yellow)The Yellow Trench print version, Watercolor Fashion Illustration, by Jessica DurrantVintage old fashioned drip coffee pot on yellow
Green Owl - Ink and Watercolor Feathery FellowLeaf-green Eye- Original ACEO - 2.5 x 3.5 miniature artworkhoop in lush green grass
Aqua and Blue Crab watercolor mandalaBlue CatThrough all ages  - Art illustration - Turquoise art print  - Love decor - Love, turquoise, blue, sea, water, ocean

Purple Passion watercolor flower giclee fine art print  My Purple Dream- giclee print of my original acrylic painting   SALE - 5x7 Purple Cream Heart - Simple - Modern Nursery Art 

Pretty Perches

Every living room needs a great statement chair or two. I got a pair of these super chic, quilted white leather studded stunners at (baby sold separately) .... where the quality is great, the prices are better and shipping only costs $2.95!

Here are some other fabulous accent chairs available at a steal (each under $300!!) on

Anna Houndstooth Grande Accent Chairangelo:HOME Bradstreet Modern Damask Turquoise Blue Upholstered Armless Chair

Pinteresting Porches

After spending a terrific weekend at my parent's house, lots of it in their charming porch where I have so many warm memories (the best ones most involving really delicious steamed crabs, buttery corn on the cob, juicy tomatoes, cold beer and lots of laughs) I am really wishing I had a porch of my own.

Here are some gorgeous porches I came across on my nightly travels through Pinterest.

porch Shutter Porch
Shutter Porch

wraparound white porch
White Washed Floors
Create an Outdoor Porch Retreat: Enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your porch. Explore various porch styles to find the perfect setup for your home. Naturally Modern:   This backyard oasis blends contemporary design with natural elements. A large paper chandelier comes to life as the room's focal point. A simple color palette of neutral tones and warm accent hues brightens the space. The low L-shape sofa, wooden coffee table, and open walls create a Zen-like ambience.
Comfy Seating

sleeping porch
Ocean View

Awesome sleeping porch
With Floor Length Curtains

The Whole House is a Porch

"With My Hair, You can't Even See Me in Here"

Roger Sterling

 "Stop being demure. You're already on the bed."

Roger Sterling's Office

Not only is Mad Men's Roger Sterling the king of the witty one liner, but he also has a very cool, very stylish office in my favorite decorating colors... black and white.

Here are some Sterling worthy items at a smaller price tag
   Zuo Modern White Ball Stool      

Shop Here:

Spinal Chair and Ottoman / Marble Table / Ball Stool / Chrome and White Glass Bar Cart / Op Art

Animal Kingdom

Walton Ford

A couple of years ago I got a beautiful day planner full of Walton Ford's gorgeous animal illustrations which are reminiscent of Audobon illustrations only the animals are always up to no good in Ford's version... monkeys getting drunk, birds fighting fish, snakes stealing eggs, etc.

As a great lover of animals, both in real life and in home decor, here are some great items for your house inspired by the wild and wonderful animal kingdom.

Jonathan Adler Giraffe Nightlight White One Size   Owl Table Lamp - White/White Handmade Soho Leopard Skin Beige New Zealand Wool Rug (6' Round) Hand printed Westie cream cushion.

Rhino Head / Giraffe Nightlight (Lucy just got this as a gift.. Lucky girl!!) / Elephant Salt and Pepper Shakers / Leather Piggy Bookends / Bunny Mobile / Owl Lamp / Leopard Area Rug / Silhouette Pillow

Beige ... The Right Way

I spent seven LOOONG days in the hospital last week bringing my gorgeous and super sweet baby girl into the world. Both the labor room (where I waited in frustration and pain for three days) and the recovery room (where I smiled and stared and hugged and kissed my little Lucy for four days) were completely beige, and not in that luxurious, understated chic way, but in the most offensively boring way possible.

In an effort to not dislike the neutral tone for the rest of my life, here are two truly beautiful beige rooms

Living Room


and some beige treasures from around the web.
For Home:

Jullian Beige Shag Rug (5'3 x 7'7)Ashton HeadboardNorthpoint Cuddly Regal Microsherpa ThrowPremier Prints Beige and Cream Striped Pillow Cover- 18x18 inches- Hidden Zipper Closure

To Wear:

Future Paradise Combo PulloverFish Hook Bracelet Beige BACKORDERED UNTIL JUNE 20th
Suede MacAlister boots

And next time you are at National Harbor, be sure to check out the fabulous home decor and clothing at Coco Blanco, where the beautifully neutral curated collection never fails to inspire me.

Blue Heaven

Blue Bedroom

Here are three mood boards for a chic and funny friend who is redocorating her bedroom. She selected a lovely wedgewood blue paint for the walls and has a dark brown bed frame in her light filled bedroom. As for the rest of the room... anything goes!

1. Crisp and Classic 

The Palette: Wedgewood Blue, Navy and White with Silver Accents

Wall Decor

A selection of Wall Medallions like these painted white and  hung over the bed

Get them here: 


Blue and White Silk Scarves in White Frames

RIBBA Frame IKEA Shadow box frame. The image can sit against glass or be recessed. The mat enhances the picture and makes framing easy.Vintage Schiaparelli Designer Silk Rayon Scarf  Navy Blue White Polka Dots Glentex Exquisite Beauty and Condition on EtsyBrilliant Blue 70s Nasharr Freres Scarf 21 inch Square WhiteRockabilly Fashion Large Vintage Geometric Swirl Scarf  In Dark Blue & White1970s Shades of Blue and White Polka Dot Square Water Repellant Vintage Scarf

Decorator Border DrapeTassel SheerCalypso Cotton Jersey White Shag Round RugThrow Pillow Ikat Blue & White 18" x 18" w/InsertThrow Pillow Ikat Blue 18" x 18" w/ Insert

HEMNES 8-drawer dresser IKEA Adapted for GARNITYR box set of 7 - keeps cabinets and drawers organized.AnthroMorgan Arm Chair

Lighting and Mirrors
Metal Glass Table Lamps With Silver Shade 20

2. Bright and Bold 

The Palette: Wedgewood Blue, Sunny Yellow, Royal Blue and Citrus Orange

Wall Decor

8" x 10" blue ink illustration print, street fashion styleWhite Ming Chinoiserie Ginger Jar on Yellow Chinese Lattice 11x14 GicleeLINOCUT PRINT - Orange letterpress poster - citrus fruit 8x10

3. Sophisticated and Feminine 

The Palette: Wedgewood Blue, Ballet Pink, Lavender and some Sparkle

Possini Euro Silver and Crystal 14" High Wall SconcePossini Euro White Marble Base Arc Floor LampSimplicity Leaner Mirror

Sleeping on a Cloud

Illustration by David Wiesner

How peaceful and comfy would it be to sleep on a cloud? Inspired by incredible author/illustrator David Weisner's wonderful Caldecott Honor Award Winning Book, Sector 7I set about finding a way to do that every night.

Sector 7

Ever since Patton and I had our "Mini-Moon" at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia (thanks, Mom & Dad!!!)  right after our wedding in December 2003, we've been trying to recreate that amazing sleeping experience in our own home.

I think we may just have done it!

We were looong overdue for a new mattress and box spring since we've been sleeping on the set Patton bought at some sort of roadside warehouse situation while he was in flight school in Pensacola in, like, 2002. A decade later, it seems we were more than ready for an upgrade.

First thing I did was call the lovely people at the Four Seasons who were happy to tell me which products they use (Stearns & Foster Luxury Plush Firm Pillowtop Mattress and 500 thread count cotton sheets, in case you are wondering). I checked online and the mattresses were a bit out of our price range, so we went to our local mattress showroom and laid down on a bunch of beds. Funnily enough, the sales guys gave me a big spiel on what kind of mattress is best for me since I am pregnant... like it is a permanent condition. 

We found the mattress we liked best, a firm mattress with a plush pillow top, at the store and then bought it from US-Mattress for a little over half the price of the showroom and that included box spring and in home set-up & removal of our old set!

Then I did a little research and went crazy with the bedding accessories. 

The key to creating a bed as comfy as a cloud is lots of layers. I always notice in the nicer hotels that there's an abundance of pillows, super soft, cool to the touch sheets, blankets, and duvets.

Here are the 13 (!!!) layers that went into Patton, Goalie & my little block of heaven....

Layer 1 - Simmon's Beautyrest box spring & firm mattress with plush pillowtop 
Layer 2 - Down Alternative Cuddle Bed
Layer 3 - Westin Heavenly Bed Mattress Pad
Layer 4 - Bamboo Fitted Sheet 
(Bamboo is so soft & cooling & eco-friendly & magically gets softer with every washing!!!)
Layer 5 - Bamboo Flat Sheet
Layer 6 - Thin Down Alternative Duvet in Bamboo Duvet Cover
Layer 7 - Thicker Down Alternative Duvet in Bamboo Duvet Cover
Layer 8 - Furry Throw
Layer 9 - 2 Firm King Pillows in Bamboo Shams
Layer 10 - 2 Westin Heavenly Bed Standard Pillows in Bamboo Shams
Layer 11 - 2 Goose Down Squishy Standard Pillows in Bamboo Cases
Layer 12 - 2 Body Pillows in 100% Cotton Cases 
Layer 13 - 1 very fluffy, cuddly Havanese/Papillon mix dog

Ever since we set up this luxurious new sleeping situation my very pregnant, and achy body has been feeling wonderful and my hubby's back, which was usually sore in the morning, has been feeling much better!

It's just like sleeping on a cloud.....

Tray Tres Chic

lounging poolside

It's just about pool season and I am really looking forward to spending some time on my building's rooftop pool sipping something refreshing and soaking up the sun.

Here's a selection of chic and cheap trays perfect for placing your cocktails while enjoying a quick dip in the water or some light and entertaining reading:

Bamboo TrayBÄRBAR Tray IKEAFormatTankTrayF9Beachcomber TrayRoom ViewJohn Derian Show Dogs, BichonPersonalized Melamine Platter/Tray

Shop Trays Here:

Perfect Poolside Drink Recipe:

Santo Libre

Add 2 oz of White Rum and the juice of one lime to a glass (I like ice in mine)
Fill remainder of glass with Sprite
Garnish with a lime wheel

Bubbly and Refreshing!

Some Fun and Funny Poolside Reading (short stories and essays for summer attention spans):

Covering Ground

Love the painted wood planked walls.

Floor cushions are fantastic for creating a comfy and intimate space... the kind of room that invites someone to grab a glass of wine, settle in and make themselves at home. 

You can create a sort of exotic harem-y type room by using moroccan poufs (speaking of Moroccan decor.. I am completely in love with this "wedding" throw) or sumptuous satin cushions, 

Fabulous rooftop terrace in Morocco. Floor cushions made from Kuba cloth and antique silk sari's. Gorgeous!! wallpaper+ metallic floor pouf= chic entry via OKLi drool for this room. love the morrocan pouf

or a bright and inviting space where grown-ups, kids and pets can all feel equally welcome using oversize cotton pillows in an array of colors.

love floor cushions!Floor CushionsFloor cushionsmmm, floor cushions!

Some incredible options for this affordable and fun room refresher:

Stuffed Moroccan Pouf, Pouffe, Ottoman, Poof, Color : WhiteLarge Whimsical Floor Cushion, Pouffe, Pillow.  Moda Fabric and Cord with Giant ButtonsCushy Lounge Love Seat, Pool Faux SuedeTufted Corduroy Floor PillowYour Zone Floor Cushion, CoboltSimply Shabby Chic® Kitchen Stripe Floor PillowZigzag Floor PoufIkea-wicker-pouf

3 Dining Room Ideas

Here are three very different, stylish and affordable dining room ideas for you.

Elegantly Rustic 

Exeter 5-Jar Pendant Sanctuary Dinnerware
Hand-woven Braided Jute Rug (5' x 8')
Shopping Sources:

Chicly Minimalist
MASKROS Pendant lamp IKEA Projects decorative patterns onto the ceiling and on the wall.Coupe Square Dinnerware


Shopping Sources:

Eclecticly Modern
Possini Euro Design Bubble Cascade Pendant Light
TORSBY Dining table IKEA Table surface with clear lacquer finish; simply wipes clean.  
Walk On Me Animal Zebra Narrow Stripe Novelty Rug

Shopping Sources:

Magic's In the Cards

So, about 7 years ago, I got this really cool deck of cards and became a little obsessed with them. Each card is a work of art in it's own right and I would flip through and look at the the amazing illustrations... each representative of a nursery rhyme of fairy tale.

Last year, I finally got around to finding a fun way to display them at home. Once we moved from our jewel box of a home in Dupont Circle to our more spacious condo in National Harbor, we finally had enough free wall space and I framed the deck and hung it on the wall in the study. My brother liked the deck so much, I framed one for him as well. 

Do you have any fun collections and how do you display them?

The Key To The Kingdom

Shopping Sources:
The Key to the Kingdom Transformation Deck and Book by Tony Meuwissen / Custom Frame

A Place to Dream

Now that Lucy's nursery is all set, my next big project at home is decorating Patton and my bedroom. Right now the walls are plain white (and not as an actual style choice, but out of lazyness) and the furniture is just kind of a mish-mosh... Lamps that didn't look right in the living room, a bookcase we had in the nursery when it was just a guest room, and a bunch of artwork and mirrors just sitting on the floor waiting for a home.

I've decided the color palette above, pretty grays and turquoises (found on this VERY cool design website), is  very soothing and restful, plus it mixes well with the rest of our condo and now I need to work out the details of the room. 

Here are some ideas I am toying with:

A Pair of Bedside Pendant Lights (space saving idea... leaves the nightstand clear)

I'm going to need this. Ceremony chandelier by Slamp, designed by Bruno RainaldiAddie Pendant

Shopping Sources:

Bedside Table Options

GiGi NightstandAugust Silver Leafed Side TableBrass-plated Iron Mirrored Round SideTable (India)Hayworth Nightstand

Shopping Sources:

Dresser and Mirror Combos:

Wood Tiled 3-Drawer DresserStratus Mirrored Pebbles 22" High Oval Wall Mirror
Crystal Blue PersuasionOcean Mosaic Mirror
Shopping Sources:


Mimosa Reversible Bedding - AquamarineCockatoo BeddingAlternate ViewMini-Print Percale BeddingOrganic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover + Shams - WhiteMALIN FIGUR Duvet cover and pillowsham(s) IKEA 100% lyocell, a material that absorbs and transports moisture away and keeps you dry all night long.
Shopping Sources:

Wall Art (I am hoping to make something myself... here are some possible points of inspiration)
lipstick dots painting.paint chip artsimple but beautiful. loving cobalt bluegreat paintingsbig frame, small picturesmap

Image Sources: 

And, since I am likely painting the walls a soft gray, I am considering an exciting treatment for the ceiling like one of these:

ceiling ceiling ceilingceilingawesome ceiling
ceilingstriped ceilingceiling - crown molding
Image Sources:

Mirror, Mirror

As you can see from the series of photos above, I love decorating with mirrors... they are pretty, reflect light and have a way of making any space seem brighter, larger and more glamourous. I like to use mirrors in lots of different ways... we have a mirrored backsplash in our Dupont apartment, I use a pair of mirrors on the bottom shelf/against the wall under the tv as a pretty way to hide wires, I like to use smaller mirrors as serving trays, and Lucy's mobile is constructed of tiny mirrored disco balls which splatter fun light patterns around the room when the sun shines in to her nursery.

My VERY favorite place to shop for all home decor, and ESPECIALLY mirrors, is HomeGoods. I got each of the mirrors pictured above from the store closest to my home. I get so happy every time I go in HomeGoods because they ALWAYS have a fresh set of unique treasures for me to dig through. Their prices are insanely affordable...I think the priciest  HomeGoods mirror of the 10 or so that I have in my house is the 7 foot tall floor mirror we keep in our study which I practically stole at $179. More important than the great prices... everything seems a little bit unique and one of a kind-ish.

If you don't have the time to hunt through the latest shipment at your local HomeGoods here some gorgeous looking glasses from around the web:

UNG DRILL Mirror IKEA Can be used in high humidity areas. Safety film  reduces damage if glass is broken.Bone Sunburst MirrorInfinity Mosaic MirrorView ProductConvex MirrorsStephen Antonson Mirror

Shop for them Here:

faux bois round mirrorSue Wright Mirror

Splurge here:

Coffee (Table) Talk

As a non coffee drinker and a HUGE fan of bubbly, I prefer to call it a cocktail table, but regardless of what you name it, no living room is complete without one.

Patton and I have a fantastic wide padded bench upholstered in zebra fabric that I scooped up at Steinmart about 5 years ago for an astounding $80! I love it because it works as a table, an extra place for guests to sit, or, more often, we slide it directly against the couch and it is comfy enough and perfectly sized to make our couch into one HUGE chaise. And for some reason, I prefer sitting on it instead of the couch when I am playing Mario Kart Wii (fyi... I am shockingly good at Mario Kart). We've gotten tons of use out of it, and WAY more than our money's worth, but it's looking a little worse for the wear so a new one may be in order soon.

I also love the idea of a cluster of 2 or 3 smaller tables instead of one central cocktail table. This is especially useful and versatile for a smaller space. So I've taken some budget friendly coffee tables that I love from all around internetland and also found affordable, smaller versions of the same look that you can arrange and rearrange in a group.

Here are some budget friendly options, both large and small, I am entertaining:

Cala Hammered Coffee Table | World MarketSouthern Enterprises CK9166 Mirage Mirrored Cocktail TableFaceted Mirror Side Table

Get 'em here:

However, when I win the lottery, I am getting one of these:

(via Chevron / dreamsicle day)

Go ahead and order, Richie Rich:

Snug as a Bug

As a very wise Dude once said, an area rug is a very easy and inexpensive way to "really tie a room together."

When I shop for an area rug  I have a few requirements. The rug doesn't have to fit all the categories but it HAS to be at least one or two of the following....

  1. Soft, thick, shaggy or plush... I like everything in my home to be comfy and snuggly and I love a rug where I can cuddle up next to my hubby and my pup and take a little cat nap. 
  2. Eye catching, bright or humorous... I love bright colors or bold patterns and rugs are an easy place to infuse these into the room. Get a bold striped rug, a funny graphic rug, or a bright colored hide and you'll add some excitement to even the most neutral of rooms.
  3. Affordable... rugs get a lot of wear and tear and they are also something that can be easily switched out for a fresh look in a room (much easier than repainting walls, or rearranging or buying new furniture) . If you can find a great, budget friendly rug and then a few months or years down the road you see something eye catching you it won't feel  so guilty replacing the old with the new.

Here are some fantastic area rugs at affordable prices  (starting at $39!) 

Hand-tufted Black/ White Stripe Wool Rug (5' x 8')Faux Sheepskin Area RugIXI Calypso Cotton Jersey Aqua Shag Round Rug5x7 Stamped Scallop RugVintage Posters Area RugHopscotchRug4x6AV2S10LUSY BLOM Rug, low pile IKEA Heat-set polypropylene; makes the rug soft to walk on.Xhilaration® Stripe Shag Rug
Tie your room together:

Design fun at

How cool is this website and why can't there be more like it?

You can use the amazing "design your own" nursery tool at to plan every detail of your baby's crib bedding.

I recommend starting by using the "nursery options" button to modify the wall color and trim, crib type, and floor choice to reflect what you have in your own home.  From there you can click the "bedding options" to select bumper type and trim and skirt length and type.  Then you can have a design field day selecting fabrics for each detail of the bedding (don't forget the little things like the bumper ribbons).

They also have a wonderful selection of bedding sets that you can choose from (like the one below) but I think designing something custom is more fun.

I ordered my baby girl's bedding from this website and I HIGHLY recommend The fabric is excellent quality, the prices are comparable to off-the-shelf sets from most baby specialty retailers, the customer service is super friendly and extremely prompt in responding to all questions, and the production,  which is done in their Atlanta headquarters, is completed so quickly and so precisely that I got my gorgeous, one of a kind set within a week of designing it on their website.

Only two more months til Lucy is dreaming, happily surrounded by her beautiful custom baby bedding!

If anyone knows of any websites where you can design custom bedding (like for grown ups) please send me a link! I would love to have some one of a kind bedding.

City Living - Dupont Circle, Washington, DC - Rent ME!
Please check out our beautiful Dupont Circle condo which is available for rent in June 2012.

View of Living Room from Front Door

View of Living Room

View of Living Room from Kitchen

Hallway to Kitchen

Hallway "Office" Closet
Built in Bookcase and Stairs to 2nd Floor

View of Bedroom from Stairs

View of Bedroom from Window

2 Closets and Sink Lead into Bathroom

   $2725 / 1br - Luxurious 2 Story Apartment in Wonderful Location (DuPont Circle)
Unique and beautiful 1 bedroom/1 bathroom apartment in unbeatable Dupont Circle location. This two story luxury apartment lives like a townhouse with its own private entrance and includes beautiful wood floors on both levels, crown molding throughout, high ceilings, spacious bedroom, updated stainless steel kitchen appliances, built-in book shelves, large windows and ample storage space. Enjoy the very best that the city has to offer from this charming location just 2 blocks to the Q street entrance of the Dupont metro and the wonderful Connecticut Avenue restaurants and bars, half a block to the Safeway Supermarket and all the excitement of 17th Street.  Pet friendly,  shared laundry facility on premises. Utilities (electricity, heating & cooling, water, and garbage removal) included in price.

If you are interested, please contact me

Funny Bunnies

There's nothing I like more than laughing, so I try to inject as much humor as possible into a room's decor. My husband and I also REALLY love animals. Hence the pair of funny bunnies over the couch. I love that they look a little judgmental .. like they don't approve of the fact that I am watching yet another episode of Jersey Shore (the bunnies are on the wall opposite our tv)... or maybe it is just the sheer quantity that I watch that raises their critical bunny eyebrows. 

I also like to see what visitors to our condo think of the fact that we have a pair of giant black and white fluffy bunnies on canvas looming over our couch... most think they are funny or cute or interesting.. other people think they are a little weird. Which, of course, they are. 

I do get a lot of inquiries as to where I picked up these fabulous fuzzy guys. 

I got them at an AMAZING website called Gallery Direct which has hundreds of thousands of images, both fine art OR stock images (this is where they have a terrific selection of animal photos on a plain white background in the vein of the super talented photographer Andrew Zuckerman) available to be printed on canvas, paper, acrylic, aluminum, mirror or wood in quite a range of sizes. 

I ordered extra large prints on canvas for my bunnies (as well as the mischievious pig in our soon to be occupied baby nursery).

The prices at Gallery Direct are incredibly affordable, especially when you order larger sizes  and the quality and customer service are impeccable. This is a great resource for oversize art pieces that make a big impact on a room.

Just some of the super cute animal art available at Gallery Direct:



Elephant / Orangutan / Goldfish / Ostriches

Bubbles @ Breakfast 

Last spring my husband and I hosted a group of friends for a pre-Food and Wine Festival champagne brunch...

We served scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and dill on crostini, mixed berries and homemade pop tarts from a delicious recipe I found on Cupcakes and Cashmere  

My pop tarts weren't quite as pretty as Emily's but they were certainly delish!

I made half the tarts with granny smith apples and honey, and the other half with Nutella and bananas

Everyone just grabbed cocktail plates and forks and helped themselves. 

The best part, of course, was the champagne bar that we set up on our  bar shelf... we had plenty of bubbly, and a yummy selection of juice mixers... like orange-peach-mango juice, lemonade, and blueberry-pomegranite juice, and bowls of fruit garnish... sliced peaches, strawberries and blueberries. 

It definitely got our fantastic day at the National Harbor Food and Wine Festival started out right.

You can buy tickets for this year's Food and Wine Festival here:

Throw your own Bubbly Brunch!

The Necessities.... Bubbly, fun flutes, cute bowls for berry garnishes, snack plates for those yummy tarts, beaded cocktail forks and chic faux gator studded coasters

  Square Sculpted Dish

Tinge Turquoise Appetizer Plate Shimmering Sea glass blue copper cocktail forks for your best pals soiree

Veuve Clicquot / Flutes / Bowl  / Snack Plates / Cocktail Forks / Coasters 

The Look... dressed up pajamas with whimsical accessories and classic ballet slippers

rachel roy bird print pants imageFeather Necklace, Black Leather Feather Jewelry, "RAVEN" Statement Necklace by LoveatfirstblushAnthro

 Hanky Panky Retro Lace BraletteProfessional Canvas Ballet Shoe  Bridesmaid Wedding Set of 3 Nautical Silk cord White and Black Bracelet with sailor knot by pardes

Bird Pants / Necklace / Cardigan / Earrings /  Bralette / Tank / Ballet Slippers / Bracelet

Harbor Baby!

Anxiously awaiting the birth of my baby girl this May!  Shopped obsessively for weeks and weeks to pull together a fun and girly nursery (at a bargain) that would still be a comfy place for our family and friends when they come and visit us at National Harbor. You should have seen the pile of boxes sitting outside my doorstep every day ... insanity. Have a few more finishing touches and then we just need to add a baby! (now if ONLY we could decide on a name...)

PS... that furry gentleman on the bed is my wonderful Havanese/Papillon pup, Goalie. The sheepskin in front of the crib has become his new favorite spot to hang out.

Source list:
• Crib: Babies R Us
• Crib Bedding:
• Dresser: IKEA
• Bookshelves: IKEA
• Rugs (chevron and sheepskin):
• Eames Style Rocker:
• Morrocan Pouf:
• Lamps: HomeGoods
• Curtains - JCPenney ( with some homemade magic to get the curtains to the 108" length)
• Guest Bed Bedding and Pillows - JCPenney
• Floor Mirror - Ikea
• Wall Mirror: Pier One Imports
• Pig Photo on Canvas:
• Animal Artwork - Etsy (Trafalgars Square)
• Alphabet Artwork - Etsy (Loxly Hollow)
• French Typography Print - Etsy (Nutmegaroo)
• Dresser Runner - Etsy (ExclusiveElements)
• Stuffed Animals: almost all are by JellyCat
• Tassel Garland: Confetti System
• Mirrored Hook Shelves: PB Teen
• Disco Ball Mobile - Homemade

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  1. Love this post! You have an incredible sense of design, Mandy, and it's great to get some of those creative decoration ideas from you. Thanks for sharing! I'll certainly be referring to your blog when I'm decorating my new place in the fall!

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    2. Thanks so much, Robyn.. you are so sweet!!!


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