Monday, 26 December 2011

Down Time

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays.  I am taking some time off this week to enjoy the family, I hope you are getting to relax as well.  
And for those of you wondering, Harry (dog) will make the card again next year.  This year it just wasn't possible.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-14

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Merry

I can't believe Christmas is almost here!!!

{our Christmas tree...  my mom has given me an ornament every year of my life
& now I have a treefull!  ...thanks ma!}

.....And I swear I'm not 200 years old.. I've also been given many others & bought some myself over the years ;)

 We finished up the work year with a condo installation today and are now totally ready to veg.   Tomorrow is our last-minute shopping day & I'm also hoping for some downtime reading & cuddling by the tree (if at all possible) before the holiday rush of parties.   I'm off for the night, but: a very merry holiday - whichever it is you're celebrating!!- to you & yours!!!
Big hug.

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

If you're interested in browsing &/ or purchasing my line of textiles, please visit


Via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Blogger Secret Santa: Who are you???!!

This year I'm in a Secret Santa exchange with some blogger friends -arranged by Stefanie of Brooklyn Limestone- and I have NO IDEA who my {AWESOME} Secret Santa is!!!

Here is the list of possible culprits:

My Santa seems to know me so well!!  (Or maybe I'm really obvious to figure out????  hahaha)  But, really, when my first package arrived I was thrilled.  She's the best.  It was an itunes gift card (yipeeeeeeee-  I love to dance in the kitchen - or anywhere- to new music) and the most adorable little box of GREEN notecards.:

They'll stay in my kitchen where I'm always scrounging around for a piece of paper for grocery lists or notes.   (It's so funny but I can't believe how having this little box of pretty note paper has made life easier for me...  I know it should be common sense to keep paper in the kitchen but I never wanted to because I never had any that was pretty enough to keep out.  All the rest always felt like clutter.  So no more running around through the house looking for scrap paper to make lists for me!!)

Anyway, I was all happy thinking that was it.  But THEN, another package arrived.  ( !!! ) I tore open the package like a six year-old....  (getting gifts in the mail is awesome.) It was a beautiful Stella & Dot box...

{I'm using stella & dot as a clue...  I know some of those Santa culprits above are stella & dot ladies so I'm narrowing down my guessing pool.}

And this is what was inside:

{Seriously Santa???  You are amazing!!!  I LOVE YOU!!}

How did she know??!!  It's perfect and with green being my favorite color, I am going to wear this baby all the time.  (It is more green in person than in the pic if that didn't make sense ;)  It's so beautiful and (maybe it's the pregnancy hormones) but it made me a teensy bit teary.  Santa, thank you for being so generous & thoughtful. 

So...  now that you have seen the list of Secret Santas,  any guesses as to who sent me my package?  Also, I sent a little Santa package myself over to one of those Santas...  You can click these posts below to see the other gifts & make guesses.  If you follow the link to Brooklyn Limestone, you can also enter a contest with your guesses.  Have fun & I would really love some help as to who you think sent me mine so be sure to enter a guess in the comments section!! :)

Thank you again to my Secret Santa.

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.


 First, thank you for the e-mails and comments about Henry's nursery, details to the new year.  Second, sorry for lack of posts there after, we have been busy.  I have been trying to get work to the point were we can take next week off and Henry has been busy with his Grandfather....
Doing fun things like meeting Santa for the first time.....Henry's first Santa photo followed by margaritas and mexican food with Patrick, Dad and Henry = an excellent start to the week.
Hope y'all are having a great week as well.

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Holiday Whirlwind

I guess it probably seems like this every year, but this year seems extremely whirlwindish in terms of the holidays coming up quickly. 
At work, our past month (or 2) has been jam-packed with client installations & presentations and it has floooown: 

{mid-installation day in a living room}

{a dining room}

{sneakity peek of the adjoining living room}

{a master bedrom}

{a sliver of a family room}

{the neighboring breafast room with kids' art gallery}

{an almost-finished master bedroom...  will be sure to post a new pic with artwork, styling & new bedding}

...And there are a few more that I just can't post quite yet... but it's been ca-razy.  (And thank God for my assistant, Meghan.)

At home though, we've tried to take it easy and we've been leaving our weekends fairly open so we have time with each other.  I've been coming out of the first-trimester pregnancy coma and am almost halfway there till baby arrives.  (NOT that I'm wishing this time away...  I know this is the probably the easiest my life is going to be for a loooooong time ;)  But we've been slowly adding Christmas around our house.  One of my favorite simple ways to make the house feel festive is to put hack cut white poinsettias & place them in containers around the house:

{I mentioned last year that I'd seen it in an old Better Homes & Gardens article & it really is sooo fast & pretty.  It's the perfect 1-minute centerpiece.}

We also strung up COLORED LIGHTS outside our house.  I know, I know.  But the kids love them...  And I sort of do too.  (shhhhhhhh ;)

I'm extremely behind on Christmas shopping, as always.

..And...  we celebrated Justin's 2nd birthday last night with my parents & grandparents.   
 I can't believe how big my baby got!! 

{This is a picture of him just after triumphantly annoucing to the table "I'm two!"}

Above, that's his Pop Pop/ my step dad Tom  is making sure he doesn't dive off :)

We celebrated with a caramel cake sent to us by our friends at John Rosselli in Georgetown.  My mom topped it with rice krispy treat snowmen- oh my:

{As you can see, it's tough to have to blow out two whole candles.}
My little sister, "Auntie Morgan," is on the left holding Christian.
Anyway, I hope you're enjoying your own whirlwind.  I've realized that life never really does seem to slow down so you have to make your own moments to savor.  We've been trying ourselves & I hope you've gotten some in at your house too!!

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Henry's Nursery Today

 There are still several things I am working on in the nursery but I quickly realized that if I waited to have everything finished before posting pictures he would be in college.  My wonderful, amazing and gracious friend Paula of Two Ellie came over to snap some shots for me.  So here is what the nursery looks like currently, details to come (although that may be after the new year).

Thank you Paula, I appreciate your service so very much!!!! I am looking forward to showing the rest. 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Quiet Time

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given......

This week I finally got to catch up on some blog reading and I have been following Beneath the Acacia Tree and their adoption process for a long time now.  They have been way up and way down and even though I don't know them, reading along with their story has been so moving.  They are a great example of faith in God's plan even when His plan seems nonexistent.  I was so excited to read everything is finally really happening.  I am sure they would appreciate any prayers over the next few weeks....

After that post I made way over to Three Peanuts where I was introduced to Casa de Alegria and a beautiful story of a family adopting from China as we speak.  As stated in the post title on Three Peanuts, if  ever a picture was worth a thousand words this is it.  Thank you for sharing your story, prayers headed your way as well.

Finally, on a different note, I met a man yesterday who lost his job and is looking for another.  Please pray for him as well.  

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 

Friday, 16 December 2011


I hope you have a relaxing and fun final weekend before Christmas....

Thursday, 15 December 2011

All I Want For Christmas

My wish list this Christmas....

4. I think this will be my winter fragrance.
 5. Suede, Wedge Garnet Hill Boots
6. Yes, this is my actual list. Yes, I really want these Tracy Anderson DVDs.  What? Gym time post baby = zilch so a girl has to do what a girl has to do. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The House in My Head

I always have a dream house or "future" house in my head.  I keep a file with floorplans that I've drawn of it and exterior & interior inspiration pics.  I always find myself thinking about what would make a house perfect for me & my family.  I think about it more frequently sometimes than others.  When I lived in my parents' basement with my husband & our first baby a couple of years ago (to recover financially from buying a townhome at the height of the market & selling almost at the low) I used to think about it so much my heart would literally ache.  (Honestly I thought about ANY house at that time, but my dream house got me excited.)  This was a bit what it looked like:  (from Cottage Living)

But after we moved into our 70s bilevel fixer-upper, my idea of our dream house started to change.  (Don't get me wrong, I'm in looooove with the house above, but it's not where the house in my head is at anymore.)  I started to appreciate & crave a more modern feeling for my dream house yet I still wanted the charm of an older house.  I love the walls of windows in our house now, and wish they were even bigger.  I know that I now want glass walls leading straight outdoors all over my future house.  Even though my 70s house is architecturally uninteresting, I started to appreciate its "plain box" qualities & have reimagined how I might have something similar in a new home one day:  

{Our "box" before we moved in.... It feels like we're almost outside or in a tree house.}

I also love the easy living of its floorplan.  All of our main rooms are on one level and our addittional spaces like family room, office & guest room are all on the lower level.  I love this one-floor living and definitely want to keep this easy way of living in our new place.  (In our townhouse I used to leave piles of things at the top and bottom of all the stairs to go up & down...  I used to feel like keeping the house neat was a series of moving things up and down the stairs.)  My husband, who used to be super-traditional is now craving something simple & modern.  (more than me!)  He loves the Cullens' house from Twilight.  (I made him watch it ;)

Every once in a while my husband & I will read a book that makes us think about architecture & we talk about what we want in a house & how we can make our own house better.  When we read Bobby McAlpine's The Home Within Us I really started to think of architecture a bit differently.  I started realizing that it didn't have to be something we'd seen before & that we could one day make something that was really "us."  The thatched roof idea is one I can't shake.

I recently read Ayn Rand's Fountainhead and it really got me excited about our "dream house" again so I decided to hit the drawing board with all of the ideas that had been floating around in my head, unformed, for the past year or so.  I haven't quite finished working out the floorplan but the main living areas are all on the first floor and the back of the house U-shaped and almost all steel floor-to-celing glass windows & doors opening to the yard.   I want the front of the house to have a crazily-pitched roof that swings low onto the front door & windows & I want more privacy in the front than in the back.   And I want the look of a thatched roof:

{We did a little research on thatched roofs & probably will never be able to have one.  They're hard to insure (due to perceived risk of fire) and expensive if you live in an area where they're not done.}  But I'm open to other materials that I can get a similar look from.  I want that old, natural & quaint feeling but mixed with a modern & seamless edge. 

{Bobby McAlpine's first home built by his firm...  I can't get over it or its roof.  I think maybe it's slate & even though it's not thatched, it has the feeling I'm after.  I wonder if you can encourage moss to grow on your slate roof without it hurting anything??  ****  UPDATE:  Greg Tankersley of McAlpine Tankersley Architecture let me know that the roof is actually handsplit cedar shingle, and yes, moss does grow on it!!  Thanks so much Greg!! }

Like I mentioned before, I want the back of my house to be almost completely open so it will definitely be a challenge to mix these two styles without making a total mess.

{love this feeling - oh my goodness!!!!}

I want it to feel as if you're almost outside when you're inside.

I know these two styles are totally different but I think "where there's a will there's a way" and I have a LOT of time to figure it out before we can actually have a dream home anyway. ;)

... The windows in most of these modern homes are mostly glass without the interruption of the steel...

But I'm thinking I like the charm of the paned windows and I'd like a sort of modern conservatory-feeling...

{crazy over the steel windows & doors in Jill Brinson Sharp's home}

It's one detail (of many) I'm still thinking on...  I don't know if we'd feel caged with an entire back wall in them or if it could work for what I want.  I came across this house when searching for inspiration images:

I'd never seen anything like it & am definitely intrigued.  It's not what I'm looking to do but I think it's really interesting in how it combined what reminds me of a barn with a glass contemporary house. 

I was floored when I came across this thatched-roof house:

{image via}

...It is so close to what I want in style.  The back is all open just like I'd envisioned and it even has a thatched roof!!  The feeling I'm after is a different though.  (This is so pretty & fresh & white & modern-feeling whereas I want a more textured, natural, aged feeling.  If you look to the right where you see a more private space with smaller windows... I like that a lot.  I definitely want some "cozy" & private spaces towards the front of the house.)

And finally, I came across this old house which combines my windows with the thatched crazy-sloped roof & this embodies a bit more of the feeling I'm after:

{I would probably want it a little more seamless -without the diagonal bars  btwen the roof & windows- but I think it shows how the glass walls can actually work beautifully with a low roofline.}

Anyway, by the time we're actually able to build this house, I'm sure it will have changed considerably, but for now, I'm really excited about getting this house in my head all figured out.  (Or as figured out as it would need to be before getting an architect involved ;)   I'm always happiest when I have a dream.

What about you:  Do you have a house in your head or a dream house that you think of?  (And if you've written a post on yours, be sure to link to it in the comments section!! :)

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

ps- I found all of these images on pinterest & listed original sources where I had them.

AND... I wrote this entire post yesterday (which took hours) & when I hit "Publish" on blogger, the WHOLE THING DELETED....  ahhhhh!!!!! :)