Celebrate: A Modern Adult Easter Party

Ever since the birth of my Big Boy, the celebrations at our home have tended to center around kids.  This year for my Easter inspiration board, I wanted it to feel more adult.  In Los Angeles, we hosted numerous Easter egg hunts and I would always manage some DIY projects, see here.  However, with our new home nearing the final stretch and the 100% chance of rain this weekend, I’m inspired by a more subdued approach than in years past.

I’ve seen some great posts recapping the coolest DIY egg decorating ideas out there see here and here, so I wanted to offer something different to the mix: a mood board for a modern adult Easter celebration.  I know plenty of people who don’t yet have kids but love nothing more than an excuse to get together with friends.  Who says you need to have kids to enjoy Easter?!

Images from top left clockwise: 1) couple with bunny masks, 2) good egg DIY sharpie decorated eggs, 3) Easter card that can easily be used as an invitation, 4) lace kraft favor bags, 5) laboratory flower vase, 6) pear tart, 7) dinnerware set in charcoal.

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Retail Therapy: Happy Chic

One of the things that we enjoyed most about living in Los Angeles was its proximity to Palm Springs.  Hubby and I made sure to get away there for a romantic weekend at least once a year, so over the years we had the opportunity to stay at a number of the cool properties that dot this hip town. We stayed at the Viceroy, the Ace and a few others, but hands down our favorite was the Parker Palm Springs.  We loved the irreverent vibe, the tongue and cheek design and the luxurious facilities.

The Parker Palm Spring via

The Parker Palm Springs was designed by Jonathan Adler and all throughout the property you get to enjoy his colorful, whimsical designs.  I was so pleased to find out that Jonathan Adler has partnered with JCPenney to create the Happy Chic line of homegoods.  I love nothing more than designer style at affordable prices and while I have never set foot in a JCPenney, this partnership had me checking their website for the nearest store.

I’ve always been a fan of Adler’s work, back from his early days when he just did pottery. I’m happy to say I own a few of his original pieces from back in the day.  In fact, in New York, I lived around the corner from his first little shop on Broome Street and would regularly drop in just to inhale the fabulousness.  Below are a few of the items from the Happy Chic collection that caught my eye, but I recommend you check out the whole line online. There are great pieces to brighten up any home and I think a few of them will pop on in mine… once we’ve moved in.

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Interior Inspiration: Accent Walls

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I like accent walls.  A lot of impact for not a lot of commitment.  Typically accent walls are done either with a wallpaper, or one solid contrasting paint color, or a painted or stenciled pattern, or even a different material, e.g. a reclaimed wood wall, or using decals.

I especially like accent walls when they can easily be accomplished with paint, i.e. an inexpensive way to spice up a room.  My current favorite is the triangle pattern pictured above.  Technically, the picture above is a removable adhesive wall pattern, but it looks to me like a pattern easily replicated with paint.  I’m thinking I might do something similar in Monkey’s bedroom.  His bedroom is quite small, so I want to give it a little life.

But I also think Big Boy’s bedroom also needs walls with a special treatment.  Below are some current contenders.

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When the chevron pattern first came out I really liked it.  But now that I’ve seen it everywhere, from accent walls, to crib sheets, to iPhone cases, and everything in between, I think the chevron thing has gone a little too far.  So, I’m not planning on going that route for the accent wall, but in case you are interested here‘s a how to.  Don’t get me wrong, I still like chevron, but used sparingly.

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Construction: Progress Report 2

I am so excited to share the following images with you.  You will see how far along we’ve come since the last progress report, when we just had studs and electrical.  First off, we passed all our electrical, plumbing and mechanical inspections.  What does that mean?  Well it means we can start to close up the walls because what goes behind the drywall is all A-OK.

Future Living Room:

What do you notice?  We have drywall! Yippee!  Since this renovation began, the house has been bare until now.  What else do you notice?  The Before shot features a lot of wood paneling, which has been banished.

Future Dining Room:

In the Before shot of the dining room, you see that it is enclosed not only in more wood paneling, but also more specifically with walls.  We wanted to open the whole space up, so the big thing you will notice here is that there are no walls.  In fact, in the After shot you are not only looking at what will be the new dining room, but you are also getting a view of what will be the new open concept kitchen.

Future Master Bedroom:

What do you notice first? Probably the pretty view.  But once you get past that you notice that in the After picture there is not one, but two sets of windows.  That’s because we blew out the wall between the old master and the room next to it, to make one large master.  Yep. It’s big.  Notice the nice insulation?  None of the houses that we previously owned were insulated.  Insulation, plus the new double glazed windows means our house will be cozy but also way more energy efficient.

Future Office:

Remember I told you the Lower Level of the house used to be licensed as a dance studio.  Well, it came complete with changing rooms.  What you see in the Before picture is one of the changing rooms, with a small window and an entrance from a side stairwell. We got rid of the stairwell and the door and replaced it with one larger window.  This will be my new office. Hubby gets an identically sized office right next door in the other former changing room. Until now we’ve always shared an office, but because of how the house is built, there were some walls we just couldn’t move.  So we’ve ended up with his and hers offices.

Back of the house:

You’ve seen the pictures of what the front of the house looks like.  But seeing the house from the front doesn’t really give you a good idea of its size.  Seeing it from the back you get a better perspective, as well as a good view of the scope of the remodel, including all the scaffolding.  Notice all the shiny new windows?  We kept a similar profile as the old windows, but brought them up to code for safety egress.  The big change here is the addition of a French door.  We kept their profile is quite simple to echo the windows and the style of the house.  Also, the walls are being prepped for new stucco.  The old stucco had to be replaced in some parts because of water damage mentioned previously, but our contractor advised us to refinish all the stucco as the old stucco showed signs that it isn’t as waterproof as it should be.  They are going to use an acrylic stucco to make the surface more impermeable. Oh, and we also got rid of the brick planter boxes at the base of the house which were also the source of some water issues.

So there you have it.  A lot of progress. 🙂

Ilaria - Wow! Transformation. How long do you reckon the job will take? Why did you close of the big window in the living room ?

isadorag - Actually, the window is still there. But because we opened up all the walls, I took the Progress photo from further away.

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In the Mood: Le Look Marin

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Growing up in Paris, you quickly become aware of fashion.  One of my earliest memories of fashion was when I was about eight years old and the big trend that Spring/Summer was le Look Marin, the sailor look. The design was first popularized Coco Chanel and featured blue and white striped shirts, over the years the look has been worn by countless celebrities seen here and here.  But did you know that it was originally part of the French sailor’s uniform?  And did you know that the original design featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories.

I’ve taken inspiration from this look, because I like its breezy, yet sophisticated casualness.  Perfect for a family room.

1. Kivik sectional

2. Flat Weave Stripped Rug

3. Marin Media Console

4. Alseda Stool

5. Black Leaning Wall Mirror

6. Cavett Leather Chair

7. Metal cage pendant light

8. From left to right: Blue Patterned Pillow, Coral Throw Pillow CoverBlue Stripe pillow

The centerpiece of any family room is the sofa, in our case it’s going to be a sectional.  In our last family room I opted for a charcoal gray fabric.  A more forgiving color for the inevitable spills, but I always thought I would be better served by I sofa with a slip cover; one that can easily be tossed in the wash. After looking at many slipcovered sectionals, I’ve opted for the Kivik from Ikea.  It’s not only affordable, I also love that the slipcover is not skirted.  While white is not the obvious choice for a house with two young boys, white is the cheapest slipcover, therefore the cheapest to replace if  need be.  The other pieces in the room serve to balance out the white sectional with the warmth of the wood, or the pop of color with the blue.  I love the media console and the accent chair from Crate & Barrel in my mood board, but at about $1000+ for each, I need to look for more affordable solutions.  So, I’m on the hunt for vintage pieces that will serve the same purpose.

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