DESIGN STYLE 101: NEW ENGLAND

Interiors with elements inspired by New England Styleabove: VT Wonen Magazine

Last time we took a look at the earthy style of the Southwest, but this time I’d like to venture into the opposite corner of the U.S. and talk about interiors with New England style. Fresh coastal-inspired colors and nautical influences are the hallmark of New England style, but I wanted to show some interiors that borrow from the traditional flavors of the Northeast and add a quirky, contemporary touch—like something you’d see in a Montauk beach house.

Interiors with elements inspired by New England Styleabove: Apartment Therapy

The houses you find in new New England exhibit lots of different styles, of course, but as an outsider and student of interior design, I always tend to think of the charming and quainter version you’d typically see in rustic cottages, coastal cabins and rural farmhouses. Each part of the Northeast has its own vernacular take on New England style, but most homes in the region share similar influences.

Shaker Influence

‘Tis the gift to be simple, according to the pious lifestyle of the Shakers who settled a large part of New England in the earliest days of American colonization. Ornamentation and decadence were considered to be distractions from the Shakers’ religious and spiritual journeys, so their homes were sparsely decorated with useful and minimalist furnishings. Think: peg rails, handmade baskets, ladder-back chairs, simple wooden cabinetry and neutral colors. Rooms were often white washed, floors made of simple planked wood, and fabrics were woven from undyed, handspun fibers. This look has timeless appeal and fits right in with the Kinfolkaesthetic that has become popular in the past few years.

Interiors with elements inspired by New England Style
above: Nadia Dole home photographed by Tess Fine via Home Adore

This puritanical style of homemaking also crossed over into rural farmsteads in the area, simply because of its usefulness and ease of maintenance for working families who didn’t have time or space for excess decoration. These were people who used their bare hands (or maybe gloved hands!) to chop down the trees and plane the timber for their homes, assembling the simple structures with the help of their neighbors. Fancy decor certainly wasn’t the norm for the hard working settlers of New England, though you could often find a few elegant family heirlooms that were brought with the settlers from their Dutch or English homes.

Interiors with elements inspired by New England Style

above left: Vintage House /above right: Holly Jolliffe below left: New England Home / below right: Brian Paquette via West Elm blog

Interiors with elements inspired by New England StyleColonial Influence

As decades went by, settlers became colonists and bustling cities began to form, mostly around major seaports like New York, Boston and Baltimore. Whereas rural homes were influenced by farmers’ needs, homes in colonial cities were highly influenced by what was fashionable at the time in England and France—mostly Georgian and Neoclassical styles marked by simpler versions of Baroque and Rococo styles alongside elegant Greco Roman influences. So, instead of heavily carved and gilded decorations on every surface, rooms were more simply designed but still with classical decorative silhouettes, like broken pediments over doorways and on cabinets, windsor chairs, ornamental columns and nature-inspired murals.

This colonial style is what Americans now think of as traditional design, a fairly popular design style for New England homes. Tailored sofas, wingback and spindle back chairs and Chippendale style furniture are common examples that we see in contemporary settings.

Interiors with elements inspired by New England Style

above: Coastal Living Magazine

Interiors with elements inspired by New England Style

above: New England Home Magazine

Homelife-au c

above: Jane Frosh home photographed by Sharyn Cairns via Home Life

Interiors with elements inspired by New England Styleabove left: New England Home / above right: House Beautiful 

Nautical Influences 

Much of traditional New England style is very heavily influenced by its coastline. Industry like international trading, fishing, and even the U.S. navy lend nautical touches to the region’s design sense, just as the terrain inspires the color palette. Colors like seafoam greens, sandy beiges, sunny yellows and sky blues are common, as are patriotic color schemes in red, white and blue. Materials like jute, driftwood and shiplap (wall paneling) reflect the materials seen on beaches, lighthouses, ships and fishing wharfs. Even fixtures commonly found in more modern naval ships, like cargo lighting (as seen below) and industrial metal dining chairs, are great examples of nautical influences in modern New England design.

Interiors with elements inspired by New England Style

above: Jane Frosh home photographed by Sharyn Cairns via Home Life 

You can get the nautical look without your home looking like a Florida condo by using more polished, traditional elements like the ones I share below. Don’t be afraid to add pops of fun and modern accessories (like that seagull print), but if you want the traditional New England look, try to go a little fancier with a bit of Georgian flair. Incorporate a few accessories made from elegant materials like bronze, gold or marble that boast tried and true neoclassical style. Or keep things simpler with sleek but rustic Shaker elements, like handmade baskets, flax material and rugged wooden elements. Why not throw in a vintage portrait (of a sea captain perhaps?) and your space will ooze the classiness associated with New England style.

Interiors with elements inspired by New England StyleGet the Look 
1. Spindle back bench
2. Industrial pendant light
3. Pocket watch wall clock
4. Peg rail
5. Seagull print
6. Marble striped bookend
7. Wall anchor
8. Gray and white striped pillow
9. Metal dining chair (pair)
10. Jute rug

Interiors with elements inspired by New England Style

above: photo: Nuevo Estilo, designed by Luzio Barcelona via My Domaine

My favorite New England inspired elements are shiplap paneling (which I have in my kitchen), the pocket watch wall clock and those metal dining chairs. What about you? 

DESIGN STYLE 101: SOUTHWESTERN

Southwestern-modern-living-room

Southwestern style packs a whole lot of history into one single interior design genre. The iconic look of the “Wild West” manages to meld together elements from multiple cultures and periods of history, but it’s translatable to modern homes in our day. Here are a variety of contemporary styled homes that heavily rely on the traditional style of the American Southwest. 

Bright-colors-in-southwestern-styleabove: Ruemag / Anthropologie (old image)

Southwestern-neutralsabove: DigsDigs / Country Living via Cavern

Spanish Influence

The Spanish were the first contemporary Europeans to successfully settle the American Southwest, making Spanish style hugely influential in the region even to this day. Traditional Spanish style adobe homes are still being built in the area, even though every modern American architectural element is available to home builders in the region. The orangey terracotta color exterior with its textural stucco walls marks this look, with the interiors usually done in a white stucco with molded edges and nooks.

Along with white walls, interiors in Spanish-inspired homes will often see practical clay tiles for flooring and trim, and sometimes elegant decorative tiles, particularly in kitchens and baths. Architectural details like railings and grates will usually be in wrought iron or beautifully carved woodwork in more upscale spaces.

Tiled-kitchen-backsplashabove: Mark D. Sikes

Southwestern-fursabove: Apartment Therapy / Design Sponge

Native American Influence

Before the Spanish came along, Native Americans were the only inhabitants of the American Southwest, with the Navajo tribe being the most influential when it comes to style. The Navajo have a long history of textile craft, passing down their iconic weaving tradition through hundreds of years. I’m sure you recognize the graphic style of their blankets, as they’re wildly popular these days.

Along with woven textiles, Native Americans contribute other arts to the southwest style, like basket weaving, pottery, turquoise and leather goods. While a lot of modern retailers sell copies of Native American designs, the most respectful way to purchase a Navajo-style rug is to directly buy from Navajo artisans who make the rugs. A simple Google search will show some authentic Navajo vendors. Here’s a shop I found that offers some really beautiful rugs made and sold directly from Navajo artisans.

Southwestern-interiorsabove: Design Sponge / Design Sponge

Cactus-dining-table

above: Apartment Therapy

American Influence

The first of contemporary Americans to settle west were mostly ranchers and missionaries. Hardworking men and women braved the unplowed, wild landscape to raise cattle and farm the land, living simple lives in rustic homes often built out of mud. Their textiles were crudely handwoven or else fresh off an animal’s back. Furnishings and fixtures were utilitarian wood and fixtures sometimes got about as fancy as hammered metal. The rustic rancher look is translated to modern southwest style with decorative elements like ram’s horns, cowhide rugs and upholstery, and the frequent use of leather in upholstery.

The missionaries who settled the West also understandably had simple structures. The style of furnishing was often what they brought with them in their wagons or what was easily fashioned after arrival in their new homes. Most missionaries had lived simple lives even back in the East, so the furnishings you would often see in missions were simple, Shaker styles like ladder-back chairs and large cupboards and wardrobes with simple decorations, like the heart shape cut-out in the hutch shown below left.

Southwestern-styleabove: Apartment Therapy / unknown

Get the Look

It’s so easy to translate southwestern decor into your own personal style. Stick with white walls and accent with earthy color tones, like terracotta and shades of brown. Maybe add a pop of turquoise to borrow from that azure sky. Medium and dark stained wood with leather and hide elements make great accents alongside more elegant Spanish-inspired fixtures. And let’s not forget about the beautiful Native American textiles, weavings, baskets, and pottery. Select the elements you like, and mix to your heart’s content! Here are some of my favorites below:

 Get-the-look-copy1. Papier-mache ram’s head
2. Hammered metal pendant
3. Orange linen pillow
4. Looped woven pillow
5. Highland cows print
6. Navajo rug
7. Bobbin ladder back chair
8. Pueblo vase
9. Leather and hide footstool

Modern-southwestern

above: The Brick House

Of course, if you’d rather exercise your green thumb, you can always buy an easy-to-care for cactus to infuse your space with some southwestern style! You don’t have to get a giant one, per se, but how awesome is this sculptural cactus in the corner of the room above? It’s got me wondering if I could keep something like that alive in my sometimes-sunny Ohio home. 

BUILT-IN BREAKFAST NOOK

Built In Breakfast NookWhen we purchased this East Nashville project house earlier this spring, one of the things that first drew us to the property was this little room off the kitchen that was just BEGGING to become a built-in breakfast nook!

Here’s the before photo …

Before and After! Learn to build this breakfast nook on ABeautifulMess.com Isn’t the upgrade amazing?!

For this post, we partnered with Walls Need Love. They have beautiful options for removable wallpaper, murals and wall decals. We chose the Ida Removable Wallpaper for our nook.

I don’t normally wallpaper ceilings, but in this tight space it creates a high impact, pulled together look. I am BEYOND pleased with how this turned out. And the best part is you can install this wallpaper yourself in a weekend.

Built In Breakfast Nook The first step for this project was to build three benches, customized for the space. Collin removed the trim in the space, framed out the base of the benches and then added the seat back last.

The next step was to build the table. We’re not going to full DIY instructions (although let us know if you’d like to hear them all in a separate post), but Collin built a farmhouse-style table, perfectly fitted for the benches. The table top is about two inches smaller than the floor space between the benches.

If there are any vents or outlets on the wall, they should be extended to outside of the bench, not covered up.

For paint, Collin used two coats of stain blocking primer and then two coats of glossy untinted acrylic paint.

Built In Breakfast Nook
Built In Breakfast Nook Built In Breakfast Nook The next step was to install the wallpaper.

Our best tip is to be patient. Collin started by installing one strip from the front of the ceiling all the way down the back of the wall, and then worked out from there. For a continuous pattern, you can’t make it match from every angle, so we prioritized the front facing angle. The sides of the wall to ceiling don’t match, but the pattern hides it very well.

Built In Breakfast Nook
Built In Breakfast Nook
Built In Breakfast Nook

Built In Breakfast Nook
Built In Breakfast Nook Last, Collin installed a fresh new light fixture.

When shopping for wallpaper, always order samples. I always order way too many samples, but it’s helpful because some of the time they look different in person. Samples can also help you get an idea of scale.

Wallpaper – Ida Removable Wallpaper by Walls Need Love, Light – Luna Pendant in Black by Schoolhouse Electric.

Built In Breakfast Nook
Built In Breakfast Nook I’m happy we went neutral in this space because I can style it with pillows, flowers and baskets to reflect each season. I am SO EXCITED to have guests stay in our new home and I hope they love it as much as we do!

Built In Breakfast Nook
Built In Breakfast Nook
Built In Breakfast Nook My partner in crime was in town and got to see our new property for the first time. I bribed her with some cinnamon rolls to snap a few photos … always works!

Built In Breakfast Nook I hope this post has inspired you and shown what a HUGE transformation a little wallpaper can make! It made this space so much more thoughtful looking. It would have been nice without it, but with it it’s really special!

If you’re one of those people who has been terrified of wallpaper, this next paragraph is for you. 🙂

Wallpaper in 2017 is a whole new animal. It’s nothing like vintage paper that takes forever to remove (I am still somewhat traumatized from the painted-over wallpaper in our last home). These days it’s easier than ever to install AND remove. So easy that some of the time you can do it yourself (or at least remove it yourself if you don’t want to do the install). And there are countless new options that look super modern. So give wallpaper a chance.

Built In Breakfast Nook Thank you so much for reading! I am beyond grateful to have you here. 

PINK + ORANGE FALL TABLESCAPE

Each year when fall (and then the holidays) roll around, I feel inspired to play with different color schemes. I love finding ways to incorporate traditional autumn vibes, in a unique way. This year, I decided to mix blush pink, mustard and amber to create a colorful tablescape!

This post is a part of our series with Everything But The House, an online estate sale resource. In my last post, I shared my tips for estate sale shopping online. It’s no secret that I love vintage—always have, always will! In today’s post, I wanted to share how incorporating vintage elements with a tight color scheme can be sophisticated and pulled together.

I purchased this wooden and ceramic dip set on EBTH. One of my favorite things to shop vintage for is serverware. As much as I love the new options that are available, there’s something extra special about using pieces at parties from decades past. Maybe it’s my inner Mad Men fan girl shining though, but parties are a time I like to rely heavily on vintage—both in my party prep and with my outfits.

I mixed some new pink and amber glassware from EBTH into my existing collection. These two colors play together so well. I used the glassware for both drinking glasses and vases for a floral centerpiece.

One of my favorite budget-friendly (and just plain fun) tricks is to make all my own floral arrangements. I almost never spend the extra money on pre-made bouquets. Instead, I go to a flower store where you can find a variety of individual blooms and I make my own. It’s so much fun. When I have time to do it, I love to spend the night before a party prepping arrangements and sipping a glass of wine with a good record playing. It’s pretty magical!

I added a handful of mini pumpkins to add to the festive feel of the table. Little touches add to the theme!

An all orange, red and brown color scheme can be lovely, but it can also be cheesy or maybe a little overdone (all a matter of personal taste, of course). Incorporating another color you love into a traditional color scheme is a great way to mix it up and personalize your table to match your home!

I’d love to hear about any fun ideas you have for either Thanksgiving, friendsgiving or autumn parties you are hosting this year! I LOVE this topic and I could seriously sketch out 100 table ideas … it’s so fun for me. Good thing the seasons keep changing and there are always more parties to host!

Thank you so much for reading! If you love this post—please pin some images! 

MANDI’S LIVING ROOM REVEAL

joybird taylor golden sectionalIt was only a few short months ago that I posted a tour of this home and announced we were placing an offer. I had a couple of friends say they were surprised. It didn’t seem like a good fit. Not much character. Kind of weird in ways. But here we are, and I’m excited to finally share the outcome of my vision for this living room space! And I feel like it might make a lot more sense now.

We had missed out on a home with a sunken conversation pit in front of a lava rock fireplace, so every home I viewed after that one could never measure up. I realized I needed to get really creative about what could be done to a space, instead of trying to find another house with something as awesome as a conversation pit. (That one was probably a once-in-a-lifetime find for my budget!) Though our current home was built in the ’80s, I wanted to bring some mid-century flair to the living room (which is technically sunken, since you take a step down into the space), but not so much that it felt at odds with the rest of the home, or the home’s character. I was able to achieve the loungey vibe that I love about a conversation pit by transforming the brick fireplace into a tall stone feature element, and building out the hearth to extend the entire length of the wall.

MandiMakes living room makeover beforeBoral Old Country Fieldstone FireplaceYou can read all about the process of making over the fireplace wall on my post from earlier this week, but I’ll sum it up for you here too. I actually didn’t do any demo on the fireplace wall (besides removing the mantle and carpet). Instead, I chose to cover up the brick with an affordable manufactured stone veneer product called Cultured Stone by Boral. I wanted a warm neutral stone with some variety in its mix, adding textural interest and even pattern to such a starkly bright white room. So I selected the Old Country Fieldstone in the Summit Peak colorway and hired my friend, mason Jeremy Miller, to install it for me. He installed a moisture barrier over the drywall above the fireplace, mounted metal lath to that, and then covered the whole area with mortar to make an even surface for mounting the cultured stone veneer. I think out of all the changes we’ve made to our home so far, this has been the best decision! Such a big bang for the buck.

On the newly extended hearth, I chose to use Ardex Feather Finish in white, which is a concrete material meant to be applied as a skim coat or floor underlayment. I chose not to use the manufactured stone material on the face of the hearth because it would stick out beyond the upper lip of the hearth, which I would then have to build out to maintain any kind of dimensional overhang, and that just seemed like too much work for something I wasn’t even sure was the best choice. So I decided on the white Ardex because it has a natural material vibe, but it wouldn’t add any visual or physical bulk like stone would. I’m glad I chose to make the hearth bright and white, as it looks streamlined and fades nicely into the floor and walls, allowing the stone wall to be the focal point of the room.

MandiMakes living room makeover beforeOf course another huge change for this space was the new wall color and flooring materials. Paint is the least expensive way to change a space, and while I do love a cozy darker color in the right application, I just wasn’t feeling it for in here. Because of the angles of the ceiling and soffits in here, choosing a color that contrasted with the ceiling was making the space feel angular and tense. Painting the walls with Benjamin Moore’s Super White now makes the ceiling feel like its soaring, and blurs the line between where the wall ends and the ceiling begins.

I do plan on using some moodier colors in other rooms of our house, like our entryway and study, but I definitely feel like our living room was made for white walls.

Mandi's Living Room Before and AfterVintage photobooth panel with Eileen Gray side tablejoybird taylor golden sectionalThe bright space of the living room is enhanced by natural light coming from two skylights and a window I’ve visually enlarged with four stack-back curtain panels, but it also benefits from a lot of light pouring in from the adjacent sunroom. The sunroom is one of two ways we can access our back deck, but that door hasn’t gotten any play since we’ve moved into the house. Maybe one day it’ll see more action when we add a dog to our family, in which case I’ll probably add a large rug to the sunroom as well.

channel tufted banquetteYou can check out more of the sunroom details over at my blog, and see how I built the channel-tufted storage banquette on this post here at A Beautiful Mess. It’s a bright little space where my houseplants are really happy, and I love that the view into the sunroom contributes a touch of greenery to our living room. I’m considering moving my big ficus into the living room this spring, but we’ll see what my heart tells me!

Mandi's Living Room Before and AfterMandi's Living Room Before and AfterMandi's Living Room Before and AfterIt’s difficult for me to nail down a description of the decor style for our home, but if I could sum it up, I’d probably say our home is a mix of mid-century modern, ’70s boho, and ’80s transitional—with a touch of Bauhaus and Scandinavian influences. I steer towards earthy neutrals with lots of texture and bold style, but I like to add a pop of color where it counts— like with our gorgeous yellow Welles sectional from Joybird.

I’m actually in the process of swapping out this sofa for a larger L-shaped sectional from Joybird, but I’m either sticking with yellow or choosing an adobe orange velvet. We decided on the swap because we wanted more seating in here since we host a lot of parties, book groups, and movie nights in this space.

Mandi's Living Room Before and AfterMandi's Living Room Before and AfterMandi's Living Room Before and AfterI love the mix of old/new and high/low that fills this space. I wanted our new home to feel sophisticated, but also cozy and inviting. Of course, as with any home, this space will always be a work in progress. But it feels good to finally be finished with the big projects in here and to be able to call this space “done” (for now)!

If you have any questions about my design process or about the materials or products, I’ll be checking into the comments below to reply to everyone. I did add a link list at the end of this post to help you track down any products, or to disappoint you in the event the piece you love is vintage! Ah, vintage. Such a heartbreaker, eh?

Thanks for taking a peek into my home! It’s a joy to finally be able to share it with you. – Mandi

joybird taylor golden sectionalLiving Room Materials and Product Sources:

Wall paint: Benjamin Moore’s Super White
Fireplace stone: Boral Cultured Stone Old Country Fieldstone in Summit Peak
Flooring: Lumber Liquidators engineered bamboo
White Ardex: eBay
Large area rug: Lulu & Georgia
Sofa: Welles sectional from Joybird
Glass side table: All Modern
Coffee Table: Chairish
White chairs: 1st Dibs
White side table between chairs: LexMod
Credenza: vintage Broyhill Brasilia from Main St. Modern in Canton, Ohio
Black swing-arm wall sconce: Hayneedle
Curtain rods: IKEA
Curtains: HomeGoods
Hearth cushions: Deal Genius
Sunroom wicker chair: vintage from Main St. Modern in Canton, Ohio
Sunroom table: Lexmod
Sunroom rug: Amazon
Sunroom wall planters: West Elm
Watercolor Louise Brooks portrait on credenza: original from German artist Galerie Minimal on Etsy
Large neutral art created by my girls
Decorative trays: Home Goods
Vases, floor lamps, bar cart, photobooth panel, yellow op art, and little girl portrait are vintage.

OMBRE GALLERY WALL

Ombre gallery wall (via abeautifulmess.com)Did you guys see my home office tour? I just wanted to share a little more about the ombre gallery wall that hangs above my file cabinets. And I have to confess to you guys, this was not the first idea I tried in this space.

Bulletin boardI posted the above photo on my IG a few months ago, and behind that mostly gone green smoothie is a big hand-painted bulletin board I had installed in the same area that my ombre gallery wall now hangs.

My thinking was, I like having lists, notes, and calendars hanging nearby as I work as it helps me stay on track and remember little details (like what size to save cookbook photos to vs. images I’m saving for the blog, etc.). I also already had a white painted bulletin board that I had inherited from the studio house move. So I decided to paint some circles on it that matched the colors in my office and hang it up. The result: I liked it, but not for very long.

Ombre gallery wall (via abeautifulmess.com) Ombre gallery wall (via abeautifulmess.com) After living with the bulletin board for a few months, I decided it felt too messy and clutter-y for my space. I wanted something colorful but with cleaner lines and a modern feel. I also quickly realized that I only used about 1/5 of the bulletin for notes or lists. The rest I would sometimes pin random things to, or just leave completely empty.

And that’s when the idea for this ombre gallery wall came to me. I also sort of love having more photos of friends, family, and trips I’ve been on hung nearby the space I am most often in – my office chair. Just reminds me how good life is right now.

It’s no secret that we at ABM love Canon USA, and I worked with them on this project. I used my PIXMA MG7720 (it’s gold!) to print my photos. I love that I can print 4×6 photos so quickly from home! I printed all of these as well as my vacation pictures from Chile in no time at all, and I had a lot of vacation pictures. 🙂

Anyway, this isn’t one of those DIY projects that is super complicated. You can probably pretty much guess how to achieve this look just by looking at my wall. But I thought I’d share a few tips that helped me make this project SUPER easy.

 

Print your photosSupplies:
-printed photos
-photo frames (I used 16 square frames I bought at 50% off at a box craft store.)
-poster board or enough colored papers to fill the frames
-scissors
-ruler
-glue dots
-level (you can download one on your smartphone if needed)
-command strips

I used poster paper in four different colors going from red to pink to a warm cream tone. Using poster papers made the project a little more economical (and I needed it, since I decided to buy 16 frames as well!), and then you can cut them to fit whatever size frames you prefer. I bought my poster paper at a local art shop, as they had a wider variety of colors to choose from than many of the craft supply stores I usually frequent.

Assemble the framesStep One: Cut your colored papers to fit each frame. Be sure to plan out how many of each color you need to give your gallery wall that ombre effect.

Step Two: Print, and if needed, cut your photos.

Step Three: Assemble each frame with the colored papers and photos. I used a ruler to find the middle of each colored paper and then used a couple of glue dots to stick my photo in place.

Hang the framesStep Four: Hang your picture frames. Since I was hanging 16 frames in all, I decided to use command strips because I didn’t want to put that many holes into my drywall. I own my home, so I technically CAN put holes in my wall, but since I know myself well enough to know that I’ll probably change this wall sometime in the next couple of years (I just like change – don’t judge me!), I didn’t want to have to repair and repaint my wall that much. If you prefer to hang your picture frames with nails and a hammer, go for it! But I personally love command strips.

I also highly recommend using a level to make sure you hang your frames straight. It’s tempting to just eyeball it, but with this many frames, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Emma's ombre gallery wall (via abeautifulmess.com)Once you have them hung, you’re done! This project is simple and can be done relatively quickly (probably took me about 3 hours total once I had my supplies, and I work kind of slow when I’m hanging things), but I just love how it turned out in my space. Thanks for letting me share! xx. 

ABM OFFICES – PROGRESS REPORT

ABM offices Sharing a little progress report from the ABM headquarters today! As some of you might remember, the official ABM offices are located above the Golden Girl Rum Club in downtown Springfield, MO. Our office team moved in last fall. Given that we are a small team with a LOT going on all the time, we didn’t get to devote much time to this space for some months, but we’ve been adding some touches here and there. I thought it would be fun to update you all on our progress.

Last time we shared this space, it was just an itty bitty mini tour during a Casual Friday post last November. So I thought I’d share a few photos I snapped of this part of the building just after we bought it last year.

ABM office building before ABM office building before The previous building owner had been trying to rent out this space as a one bedroom loft. But given that our business partners from the bar and we ourselves needed office space, we all knew that we’d be converting this space into offices soon.

The building was already in great shape throughout. The upstairs loft already had lovely wood floors, high ceilings, and big beautiful windows. So mainly we just refreshed the walls with white paint, added a cement floor to the front which was something required by the city, and then moved in. Since then we’ve been trying to add our own touches to the space AND make it more functional as a shared office area.

ABM breakroom area ABM office common area ABM office progressABM office common area ABM office common areaIn the front of the loft, just as you walk in from the stairs leading up to the space, we’ve created a kind of common room area that can also be used for meetings when necessary. We have a break room spot with a refrigerator (from our last studio), sink and bar area, and coffee cart. There are already a few great coffee shops near the offices, so this space doesn’t get used as often as our last studio, where you could not walk to a great coffee shop around the corner. 🙂

There is a sofa that Jeremy left us from his previous studio before he moved to Nashville, and it’s actually the SAME sofa Trey and I have in our home. Ha!

And then there is also this overflow work desk with a big, blank wall above it. The blank wall is actually intentional as we installed a projector on the opposite wall. Our thought was you could show presentations or other meeting materials from this spot, but so far we’ve mainly used it to watch movies and music videos after office hours. 🙂

ABM office building before The room that our team works out of used to be the bedroom in this loft, but we’ve converted it to shared office space for Trey, Jacki, Philip, and our newest team member, Claire.

Again, this space was already pretty great with really nice wood floors and a built-in shelf unit that actually works really well as desk and storage space. Mainly we’ve added some aesthetic touches and refreshed the walls with white paint to brighten everything up a little.

ABM offices ABM officesTrey's desk areaTrey GeorgeClaire's desk areaClaireTrey built his own desk, and then we had an identical one built for Claire before she started. Now you might be wondering, who’s Claire? She is our new business development manager (you can read more about our staff here) and is taking over Trey’s previous position as he is transitioning to focus all his time on our apps. We feel SO lucky to have found Claire, as she is already a great fit and I’m SO excited to see more time get devoted to our apps. I think this is a total win, win for our companies.

Jacki's desk areaJacki Moseley ABM offices Jacki and Philip use the desk areas near the built in. Although Philip wasn’t there the day we snapped these photos. I love how Jacki added this adorable print of her dog, Kingston, to her space. She is a gal after my own heart – dog people unite! 🙂

This space already feels 100x more functional as a shared office area than when we moved in, but I think we’ve still got a bit more work to do before it will feel “finished”. If a space is ever truly finished, that is.

 

5 WAYS TO MAKE A BORING PEGBOARD ON FLEEK!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   If you have a craft space in your house (or a work room of any sort), chances are that you are making use of a good old fashioned pegboard to keep your supplies organized. Pegboards can be so helpful, right? The only downside to a pegboard is that sometimes they can feel a little unfinished or industrial, and that might not be the vibe you are going for in your carefully curated space. I know I have been hesitant to put one into my new craft room for fear it would mess up my girly pink and white vibe I have going on… Fear not! Here are 5 ways to take a simple pegboard from boring to babe:

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   1. Frame it! One of the things that bothered me the most about the classic pegboard setup is that it looks a little unfinished when it’s just hung on the wall as is. Building a frame is a great way to give a finished look to the edges so your pegboard looks more polished. If you aren’t into building your own, you can also have a custom frame built for it at a framing shop or buy as large a frame as you can find and then cut your pegboard to that size.

To build my frame, I basically used this DIY frame method but also cut a thinner set of boards the same length as the boards for my main frame. When I lined up the smaller boards on the outside edge of the back of the frame, it created a little inside lip for my pegboard to sit in nice and cozy! 

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   Once I had my pegboard cut to the inside frame width (they can do that for you at the store), I placed it into the back of the frame and used a staple gun to attach it to the lip of the frame that sits under the pegboard. Add some hangers and you’re ready to hang!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   2. Paint it! Don’t forget that just because pegboards come in brown, that doesn’t mean they have to stay brown! A few coats of paint in a color that compliments your room will also really help integrate it into your space and decor. I would paint the frame and pegboard before putting them together – it will make the job a lot easier (especially if you aren’t painting them the same color). I chose a pale pink for my board that I’ve used a lot in this house called Baby Blush by Valspar. So much cuter!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   3. Add some pattern! While you could definitely paint a large scale pattern on the pegboard to give it some new life, try adding removable wallpaper to a few items for a pop of print! I love hanging my big cutting mats on a pegboard, and I added this Chasing Paper design to the back of one of them – I love it!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   4. Accessorize it (with your color theme)! So obviously if you have this giant pegboard, you want to use the giant pegboard, right? Since all the items are going to basically be displayed on the board, it’s a great idea to choose tools that will help carry on your color scheme! Don’t forget the Internet is a big place – if you don’t see the perfect color of scissors and what not at your craft store, take your shopping to the world wide web!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   5. Go a little green! If this is all about making your pegboard as cute as possible, then I just have to add some tiny plants into the mix! Most pegboard accessory kits will come with cup-like containers, and they are perfect for holding little succulents or air plants. If you are worried about watering them, then get some faux plants, put them up high, and no one will ever know, but you’ll still get that pop of fresh green!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more    All in all, adding this pegboard has helped so much organizationally (especially for items like cutting mats and rulers that are kind of awkward to store). And of course I love that it both allows me to keep essential items accessible while still matching the overall feel of the room. So banish those thoughts of dingy pegboards gathering dust in a dark basement or garage, this pegboard is cute enough to be in any room of the house! xo. 

IKEA RESTYLE: MODERN HOLLYWOOD REGENCY CREDENZA

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Lately it seemed that every improvement I made to our living room was eclipsed by the plastic toy storage bins that lined the entry to the room. Sure, they kept the toys at bay, but they definitely detracted from our enjoyment of the space. You see, we have just one room in our home to relax together as a family, so just one chance at creating a pleasant space for reading, working, hosting gatherings, watching television, and, if you’re a 4-year-old, playing with toys. I figured it’s only fair to let the kids keep a lot of toys in our living room, but you know what they say about when Mama’s happy! So I set out to make our toy storage situation much easier on the eyes. Ikea provided a great starting point, and after a few tweaks, I now have a credenza that I’ll enjoy using in any room in the future! Lots of style and loads of storage. Win/win!

I started out with a row of plain white upper cabinets from the Ikea Sektion system and chose the least expensive door option. There are quite a few size options, and by combining cabinets, you can completely customize the size of your credenza. Change up the colors, knobs, and top material, and you can make this Ikea restyle easily fit in with your own style and home!

Before-and-afterI’m so pleased with how sophisticated this cabinet looks after the restyle! Sure, it could have been a more dramatic change with different paint colors or some funkier knobs, but this is exactly what I wanted, and it fits our space (and our budget!) perfectly. Check out how I did it below.

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Materials:
-1/4″ plywood sheet cut into rectangles*
-2 1×8 pieces of lumber cut to the total length of your cabinet (I used clear pine.)
-cabinet knobs with screws (I used these.)
–construction adhesive
–paintable caulk (Optional if you are very picky or do not have good clamps or weights for step one. I didn’t end up using caulk.)
–120 grit sandpaper
–400 grit wet/dry sandpaper (not pictured)
–0000 grade steel wool (not pictured – for polyurethane finished pieces only)
-paint + primer for cabinet doors
-stain + sealant of choice for countertop finish (I used diluted white paint and satin polyurethane.)

Tools:
-power drill
-caulk gun
-sanding block (I used one of my children’s play blocks with stick-back sandpaper)
-spring clamps (these are good) or heavy weights (cinder blocks, bricks, paint cans, weights, etc.)

*Cutting the Plywood

The amount of plywood sheets you need depends on the size of your credenza. The orientation of the grain is unimportant for the final piece (unless you’re staining your doors), so feel free to cut your rectangular pieces along the grain or against the grain as needed in order to get the most out of the sheet. Plywood sheets measure 48″ x 96″, but you should consider the 1/8″ thickness of the saw blade when figuring how many rectangles you can get out of one sheet.

You will need two rectangles for each cabinet door. The first rectangle should be exactly two inches smaller than the dimensions of your cabinet door (W-2″ x L-2″), and the second rectangle should be exactly four inches smaller (W-4″ x L-4″). I was able to use one sheet of plywood to get all of the rectangles I needed for my project.

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Step One: Apply construction adhesive to the back of your plywood rectangles and place them centered perfectly onto the front of your cabinet doors. I recommend that you measure as you go, or else place one-inch scrap pieces of wood around the border, ensuring the panels are perfectly centered. Did I do this? No. I just eyeballed it, chiding myself throughout the entire project, though at the end I was very pleased to see that they all seem pretty perfectly centered!

Place pressure along the entire surface of the panels, causing the glue to spread in between the layers. Then clamp all around the edge of the panels until the glue sets up completely. I couldn’t find information about the setup time for the adhesive I used, so I left my clamps on for a few hours, then took them off to work on the next door. (I have enough clamps to do three doors at a time. Most normal people probably do not have so many clamps, so this step might be more drawn out for you as you wait for each door’s glue to set up.)

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Step Two: After the glue has completely set up, use a sanding block to sand each level of the paneled door, including the factory-finished surface. I slightly rounded the corners of the plywood panels, just in general making sure that everything was smooth, chip-free, and not sharp. I recommend using a block for this for a more precise sanding job. An orbital sander is not a good choice for this step, because it is too powerful and difficult to control.

If your panels do not sit perfectly flush all around the edges, this is the point where you will want to apply caulk to fill in any cracks. Allow the caulk to cure before continuing to the next step.

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Step Three: Paint and prime or stain and seal all components of the cabinet.

I edge glued my two 1x8s that I used for a countertop, sanded it down on the top and sides, and white-washed it with a diluted white paint I already had on hand. Then I sealed it with a few coats of satin polyurethane. After the first coat of polyurethane, I sanded lightly with 0000 grade steel wool. I also lightly sanded with 0000 grade steel wool after the last coat of polyurethane.

For the painting process of the doors, I first sprayed them liberally with two coats of primer, and then wet sanded all the crevices and surfaces with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. Wet sanding is simply a process of frequently dunking your sandpaper into water and using the wet sandpaper to sand down the primed surface using the water as a lubricant. This process creates an amazingly silky smooth finish, free of any tiny bumps or roughness that naturally occur during the priming process (whether you’ve sprayed or brushed it on). Because some areas will no longer be primed after wet sanding, you’ll want to spray with another coat or two of primer, and then just lightly wet sand once more before painting with your finish paint. I used a satin finish spray paint for my two coats of paint.

During this time I also painted my door knobs because they were unfinished wood. They were primed and wet sanded just like the doors.

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Step Four: I waited for the door paint to cure overnight before drilling into them to add the knobs. I marked the center of the doors on their backside and drilled the hole for the screw. I made sure to find the center on the non-paneled side in case my panels weren’t perfectly centered, so at least my knobs would be exactly centered and in line with the adjacent doors. Then I screwed the knobs into place and returned the doors to the cabinet, but not without a little squeal and hand clap, maybe.

Note: You may want to countersink your screw holes so the screw head will be flush with the cabinet door. I didn’t do this, and a couple of the containers that fit perfectly into my cabinet actually don’t let the doors close all the way because the screw head is too big! Gah! Now I have to take off the doors and the knobs and countersink the holes. Bummer, dude.

Ikea Toy Cabinet RestyleBecause this credenza is currently functioning solely as a toy storage unit, I opted not to add legs to the bottom. Elevating the cabinet would just create a difficult-to-reach space where toys can easily become trapped, along with spiders and dust bunnies. But the cabinets are easily anchored together, making this a sturdy piece to attach a set of stylish legs to the bottom. I did add thick felt pads to the bottom four corners of each cabinet in order to lift them slightly, keeping the doors from scraping the floor as they open. We decided not to bolt the cabinets together because we wanted them to remain hole-free, should we decide to reconfigure this piece in our next space.

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Ikea Cabinet RestyleI’m already enjoying this room so much more, without a row of plastic toy bins greeting me upon entry. Bonus: My kids don’t pull out as many toys at once because there is now a door between them and all the toy bins. I guess it’s the same principle I apply with candy in the kitchen. (Don’t tell the kids about my super secret candy hiding spot out of sight in our upper cabinets!)

Ikea Toy Cabinet RestyleAnother successful Ikea restyle for the books, I’d say! Check out Laura’s easy TV cabinet restyleshe did recently too. So many options – I love it! 

SCANDINAVIAN WALL ART DIY

5I’m a big fan of making your own wall art when you’re looking to fill a space or add some interest to a room. I’m also a fan of that sweet spot where those hippy vibes intersect with Scandinavian design and birth something a little bit of both! Can we call it Hippy-Scandi? Did we just make that up? Get me to the patent office! 

This project would work beautifully in a living room or studio, but it would also be precious for a nursery (as long as it wasn’t hanging within reach). I created this almost exclusively from supplies I had leftover from other DIY projects, but you can also find each of these items at most hobby stores or online. It’s the type of project that would be even more fun to make if you ordered enough for all of your friends to come over and have a ladies’ craft night! 

2SuppliesSupplies:
-one 12″ wood embroidery hoop (only the inner ring)
-one 1/2″ x 12″  brass tubing
-one 16ga. (0.051″) flat brass circle
-one 1″ x 8″ strip of cowhide
-four 1.5″ wooden beads
-one small skein of ecru cotton yarn
-one small skein peach cotton yarn 
–small pipe cutter
-3″ embroidery needle (not shown)
-hammer
-nail
-awl (optional)
-scissors 

1-2Step One: Prep your brass circle by hammering a nail clean through it somewhere near the edge. Make sure it’s not TOO close to the edge. Be aware of your surface under the brass circle so you don’t get a hole through your hardwood floors, too. I suggest either a self-healing mat or a piece of scrap wood. Then nail a hole in the opposite side of the brass circle.

Step Two: Use your awl and punch a hole through each end of your leather strap about 1/2″ from the end as shown. If you don’t have an awl, go ahead and use your hammer and nail again. 

3-4Step Three: Cut two inches off of your brass pipe with your pipe cutter so that it sits near the bottom 1/3 of your embroidery hoop. You might want to incorporate the scrap piece in another part of your mobile or a different piece altogether. You’ll only be using the inner wooden circle of your embroidery hoop for this piece.

Step Four: Wrap your peach cotton yarn around your hand about 30 times as shown. 

5-6Step Five: Cut your wrapped yarn at one end and then tie it with another piece of yarn at the fold. Continue making your tassel by tying around the folded strings and tying another knot. This will get trimmed up later. 

Step Six: Place everything as you’d like it to be strung together to make sure you’re happy with it. 

7-8Step Seven: Tie a length of ecru cotton yarn through your brass circle and tie a knot with a 6″ tail. Stitch both of those ends through the first wooden bead and then tie those ends around your wooden hoop and tie a knot to secure things. You want your bead to be almost flush with the wooden hoop. Stitch the longer end of your yarn through the next three wooden beads.

Step Eight: Stitch through one end of the leather strap from the inside, and then wrap around one side of the leather strap and stitch through the same place. Wrap around the other side of your leather strap and then back down through the hole of the top wooden bead as shown. 

9-10Step Nine: Stitch through the other side of your leather strap from the inside. 

Step Ten: Wrap it around one side of your leather strap and stitch through the same place. Wrap around the other side of your leather strap and then stitch through the wooden bead again. 

11-12Step Eleven: This is how it should look so far. This will keep your leather strap secured around the top wooden bead.

Step Twelve: Stitch down through the next bead and then the next bead. Tie a knot around the wooden hoop and then hide the end by tucking it back up through the wooden bead. It shouldn’t show.

13-14Step Thirteen: This is how your beaded hanger should look. Tie your peach tassel onto the bottom of your brass circle. 

Step Fourteen: Cut a 4′ length of ecru cotton yarn and stitch it through your length of brass pipe. Tie a knot around one side of the wooden hoop and tuck the short end back into the brass pipe. Tie the other long end of the yarn around the other side of the hoop but don’t trim.

15Step Fifteen: Wrap the rest of your ecru cotton yarn around the wood hoop until you have a 3″ tail. Then make three more tassels, one of which is twice as long as the other two. Tie them onto the bottom of the hoop as shown. Trim the ends to about 1/2″ long.  

Cut another 4′ length of ecru cotton yarn and tie one end to the tail of the first one. Trim the ends to about 1/2″ and then wrap over the top of them so they are hidden and continue wrapping until you have about 3″ of a tail left. Repeat until you reach the other end of your brass pipe and be sure you wrap around the peach ends so they can’t be seen. Tuck your tail through the brass pipe again. Trim your tassels so that they are even and balanced.

7There are so many ways you can manipulate these supplies to create similar designs. The larger the beads and brass, the more interesting this piece gets. Where would you hang it?