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Inspiration: Urban Cowboy Big Boy Room

I’ve been working on a new mood board for an Urban Cowboy boy’s room.  When my friend asked for my help she mentioned her older son had expressed an interest in a “cowboy room”.  So, I used that as my starting point to pull some ideas together.

Urban Cowboy Moodboard

As with many themes, I think it is important not to get too literal or things can quickly start to look cheesy. Exhibit A:

Cowboy 10-08


Instead, I wanted to embrace the theme while keeping it modern, and choosing pieces strategically in order to allow the room to grow along with the boy.

Clockwise from the top: Cowboy hats from here; Metal Initial from here; Striped rug from here; Rustic storage bed from here; Gray Gingham Beddings from here; Flush mount light fixture from here: Cowboy Sunset poster from here.


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Celebrate: A Modern Holiday Party

I’m dreaming of a a white Christmas.  Well, not really because I don’t really like the cold.  However, if I could play with my kids in beautiful white powder snow for the day, I wouldn’t say no.


winter wonderland

Are you planning on entertaining for the Holidays? If you want to bring that winter feeling indoors with a modern twist, I think the key is keeping the color palette to whites and metallics.  I’ve put together a fun little inspiration board for a cool, modern Holiday Party.


Modern Holiday Party Inspiration

Clockwise: Geometric & Gold Wreath originally from Dwell but no longer available, however, if you’re feeling crafty there’s a cool DIY version here; Snowflake Cake from here; Golden Branches from here; Tin Votive Village from here; DIY triangle banner from here.

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DIY: Holiday Pompom Straws

DIY Pompom Straws

Back in the days when I worked in PR, I threw many lavish parties, but to me it was always all the little details that made those parties extra special. I often partnered with high end champagne companies who had very specific ideas of how they wanted their brands to be experienced.  On a couple of these occasions the champagne companies provided twirly straws to make sipping more fun.  So, whether hosting a Holiday party or a New Year’s party, I thought it would be fun to make your bubbly more playful, and came up with an easy DIY pompom straw.  Doesn’t the flute of champagne look even more festive dressed up with a sparkly straw?

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make these Pompom Straws:

DIY Holiday New Year Pompom Straws

1) Buy fun festive paper straws that suit your event decor. Buy a ready made tinsel garland to coordinate with the straws. Mine were all from Target.

2) Cut your garland into sections of approximately 1″.  Be careful when you cut these sections, the cut needs to be clean or you could end up unravelling more of the garland than necessary.

3) Be sure to do a dry run on your flutes first to figure out the right distance. The pompom should sit comfortably above the rim of the glass, but should be far enough from where the lips will go. If you place the pompom too close to the lips, it could tickle, but not in a good way. Carefully apply glue in a ring around your straw using a glue gun. Quickly bend a cut section of garland around the glue ring, making sure the whole circumference of the straw is covered.

4) Let the glue dry. Keep in a vase until ready to use.

5) When ready, pour bubbly into your flute then embellish with a fun, festive DIY Holiday New Year Pompom Straw.

6) Serve and enjoy.

Last year, my Holiday DIY was a super easy DIY modern advent calendar. You can check it out here.


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DIY: Last Minute Thanksgiving Banner Printable

Simple DIY Thanksgiving Banner

Thanksgiving is in two days!  I decided to put together a last minute DIY Thanksgiving Banner.

Simple Thanksgiving DIY Banner

Here are the how to directions for this easy last minute Thanksgiving Banner printable:

1) Download and print. I chose an earthy kraft paper, but you could do orange, or yellow paper.  Up to you.

2) Cut and trim the paper following the printed guidelines.

3) Punch holes so that you can attach brass fastners.

4) Using a gold sharpie outline your printed letters.  I chose to add an additional freehand gold border.

5) Attach fastners and string.

6) Hang.

Click here to download Free Thanksgiving Printable Banner.

Here it is, hung on the mantel in our living room.  Go here for my easy DIY modern placecards.

Simple Thanksgiving Banner


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Before & After: Cozy Breakfast Nook

Once upon a time we saw a breakfast nook that didn’t look very inviting, but we loved the gorgeous big windows looking out at the backyard and we knew it had to brought back to life.  So, this is what happened:

Before & After: Cozy Breakfast Nook

Like the rest of the house, the breakfast nook was taken down to the studs, but the bones of it are essentially the same.  We replaced the windows and swapped out the vinyl floor so that it would flow continously from living room through to the kitchen and on to the breakfast nook.  To get a sense of how the spaces flow together see here.    But this is essentially a decorating story, with two main players: the antique French table from the late 1800s and the gallery wall.

Before & After: Cozy Breakfast Nook

Before & After: Cozy Breakfast Nook

The table has been in my family for as long as I can remember.  It has traveled with us to various cities and continents, and along the way has played many parts including dressing table, study desk and kitchen prep area.  If you look at the wood top you can see the table has lived, a few wine stains here, a coffee cup ring there. I love this table. I have so many memories associated with this table that I am glad it has found an central place in our new home.

Before & After: Cozy Breakfast Nook

The second important feature of the space is the gallery wall. It has been up for a while and really came into existence because I wanted to minimize the presence of the small TV. I love looking at this wall as each piece was collected in a different place: a flea market in London, a vide grenier in the Périgord, an estate sale in Berkeley, a flea market in Paris, and one print by my artistic brother (the nude in the top right).  The pieces are all so different in style and medium, but happily coexist on one wall.  So much history packed into one little space!

But the banquette is really what made this area of the house come to life.  Hubby looked at various designs online and built the two banquettes in one weekend. Ultimately he decided that it was best to keep the design simple and use a piano hinge to lift the top lid. We also had to create an internal box to vent the heating out of the the banquette.  The banquettes fit the space and suit our needs perfectly.

diy breakfast banquette

We envisioned that banquettes would enable the space to function like this, and we were right.  The perfect place for the kids and their friends to gather.

Breakfast Nook _23 copy

Notice something missing?  A seat cushion.  It wasn’t until a month ago that I got reacquainted with sewing and was finally able to sew two custom box cushions.  For how to make a box cushion see here. I chose a Japanese oilcloth.  I wanted something that would be easy to wipe down so oilcloth seemed like a good choice, but traditional oilcloth was not the look I was going for. Luckily I found some Japanese fabric in neutral gray with a subtle pattern. Perfect. I haven’t sewn in 25 years, so I’m quite pleased with the result.

Before & After: Cozy Breakfast NookBefore & After: Cozy Breakfast Nook

I wanted to juxtapose the vintage pieces with a touch of industrial.  I knew I had a winner with the Victory Pendant Lamp.  The chairs are reproduction of the Emeco navy chairs. The bookshelf is similar to this and is the perfect place for our vast cookbook collection.

Breakfast Nook _19 copy

Since this space is adjacent to the kitchen, I decided that regular bookends wouldn’t do and instead used an old Le Creuset pot, and a large, heavy yellow mixing bowl.

Breakfast Nook _17 copy

The last finishing touch was the bamboo roman shades (mine are Singapore Oak). The blinds took forever to get made, but they do fit perfectly in the space.

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, for us, our breakfast nook is the heart of our home.


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Jackie - I hadn’t seen the before picture before. Wow. What a visionary you toe are. It’s a beautiful sanctuary just like the rest of your home.

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