Tag Archives: lighting

My Kitchen…for now

Here is a shot of my kitchen with the Thomas Paul plates that I had previously blogged about here. I love those melamine plates so much I have suggested the use of them in other projects, like the idea board we put together for Amy here. I would eventually love to ditch the recessed lighting and hang pendant lights above the island….but as my Mister says, “One thing at a time.”

He reminds me of that because when we moved in we replaced the floor, countertops, backsplash, sink, the dishwasher and the micro. We also painted the base of the island which used to be a light birch color. We also rushed to finish as our previous home was on the market at the time. I think he is a bit tired of projects. Luckily, he has me for motivation! A pendant light above the sink would look great too. If you agree, I’ll tell him you said so.

We purchased a new table a few months back and I am loving it. The only problem is the maintenance. The marble shows EVERYTHING, even water spots. After a panicked phone call on what to do, the helpful staff at Crate and Barrel suggested a thin, custom piece of glass be applied to the top. So I am on the case, calling around to get the best price on that. I love the idea, because it won’t tamper with the look.




Filed under Decor, Kitchen

California Window Shopping

Hi Everyone. I have been a bit distracted as we just found out the sex of our baby. A boy! So exciting, I can’t wait to post new nursery accent ideas that lean more “male inspired.” The Mister says he has to approve all my selections. Somehow he thought that a bronze vintage chandelier was not “boy” enough. The nerve! More to come on that.

A couple weeks ago the Mister and I were in LA watching the Oregon Ducks takedown the USC Trojans. The day before the game, I strolled around Fashion Island in Newport with family for some much needed girl time. While there, I came across a Room Service store, which I have always wanted to visit. Below are some poor i-phone shots I took of the fabulousness.

Check out this headboard and mirror. Not to mention the canvas of Old Blue Eyes and Bridget Bardot.

Loved this Burl Wood Table

This set-up of reminded me of my student days abroad in London strolling down Neil Street

If I ever own a boutique, this is the chair I will sit in to ring up customers.

Or maybe this one…

We also checked out the Jonathan Adler store. I have been to his location in downtown LA, but this one seemed larger and way more laid back. Again, please excuse the i-phone.


I adore the Maurice lamps, and didn’t know until now that there was a ceiling version. Sigh, this would look so good over my kitchen island.

The black Genie lamp I have been lusting after for years. Isn’t it so pretty?

These lamps I had only seen online and I love them even more in person. The pillow wall was pretty tempting, look at all that color.

We are so excited for a healthy baby boy…but if we ever have a girl, I might have to reference this pic for her room. The mirrors, and that lamps? Can it get and cuter? The pillows, the headboard. Love it.

I will need somewhere comfy to sit while I read her a story and I think this red chair is perfect. Ok, it’s burned into my mental rolodex.

I wonder if my Mister would go for giraffe wall sconces. Very masculine. All boys/men like giraffes. Right?

The next night we were doing this, as the Ducks cleared the stadium in the 4th quarter.

Happy Monday.


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Filed under Travel, Window Shopping

Lovely Lamps

My client (aka my mother) asked me to find the perfect lamps for her new construction beach house I have been working on. Check out these pretty options I found, which were adored and purchased right away. I can’t wait to see how they look in the finished space.

Wisteria Baluster Outline Lamp can be found here.


I love how these give the illusion of a full lamp yet use the negative space, as they are really just the outlined shape. What is your favorite lamp shape lately?



Filed under Uncategorized

Decor Help for Amy

Amy had some questions for Lyn and I on our blog comments. See what she wrote to us below:

Dear Susan and Lyn…

I have a decorating condundrum that I was wondering if you could weigh in on. I am looking for a new couch. I would like to buy a leather couch because I have two messy 5 year olds and a messy husband and a messy self. Leather works well for my family. I have a distressed black entertainment center and black end tables. I have a dining room table that is sort of a honey color on top, black on the bottom with a black and honey small check patterned on the seats. I don’t really have any art that I am in love with. I have recently realized the colors that inspire me are that silvery blue, glass, silver, light celery green and that rose color that is somewhere between a pink and red but muted. My question is what color should my couch be? What about accent chairs? My instinct tells me to go light on the couch but light leather looks cheap. I need a distressed, lived in look that can take the wear and tear of my family but I am so sick of neutral, boring colors that I would like accent with colors that inspire me. Please help me bring it together. The couch is such an anchor piece to a room. The couch I am getting rid of is one that I have serious buyers remorse about and have had to live with it for 6 years. I don’t want to make the same mistake. Thanks girls!

And here is our visual solution to Amy’s problem.

Here is the source list:

1. Z Gallerie:  Mariposa Floor Lamp 2. Target: Bird and Floral Slipper Chair 3. Velocity Art and Design: Thomas Paul Melamine Plates 4.  Target: Dwell Studio Reversible Pillow 5. Z Gallerie: Mariposa Urns 6. Target:  Dwell Studio Reversible Privet Pillow 7. Crate and Barrel: Axis Leather Sofa 8. Target Crystal Lamp 9. Velocity Art and Design: Thomas Paul Melamine Plates 10) Velocity Art and Design:  Thomas Paul Platter 11) IKEA: Soli Wall Mirror

Okay here is the big idea for Amy. She needs a couch and a new look. She needs a functional couch for an actual family and not a design magazine. We say in this situation, leather all the way. Not just any leather, dark leather. The best part about dark leather is that it ages over time, so scratches and wear/tear can look “meant to be there.” With so many new styles and options, we say a sleek modern silhouette (like above) is the look to love. We suggested quality leather sofa, as this will be an investment piece and is not the place to scrimp. We say, invest in something that will be around for a long time and look to accent pillows, and extras as a place to save money.

Amy also wanted advice on accent chairs. Because she has little ones, we say choose a style that is on the less expensive side, and a classic shape that can be recovered if little hands create lasting stains. These chairs could easily be recovered by a removable slip cover (note: these are fairly inexpensive to have made if you find the right place). For the time being, this modern print is fun and bright. Amy wanted some green accents and we say a lime green is a happy way to punch in some color. The general theme here was nature inspired, which is why we went with the modern bird print on the chair and in the blue Dwell Studio accent pillow (which reverses to a pretty chevron for variation). Also, this pillow has a bit of black. Amy mentioned that her side tables are black, and we wanted to incorporate some black in the pillows, so that the tables are tied into the new decor. The nature theme helps to brings the feeling of the outside-in, and balance the look of the dark leather

When adding the extra’s to a feature piece like a leather sofa, accessories need to be chosen carefully. Because leather can look overwhelming, the accessories need to be light and airy. So we suggest…glossy white, clear-transparent hits, and mirrors galore. And speaking of mirrors, these IKEA Soli wall mirror squares are the best. Sold in a pack of 4 at $4.99 (a steal) these can be layered in any pattern to create an open feel and will help to fill space. Talk about inexpensive artwork! And more on that, we love decorating with platters and plates, especially in a family room that opens to a kitchen. These can be hung in a fun pattern with cheap plate holders purchased almost anywhere. (For a reference click here) This is a creative and fairly inexpensive way to create a diverse art wall.

Finally just a bit of info on the lighting here. We love crystal lamps to help balance the dark brown (especially the less spendy versions from Target). Also, the glossy white floor lamp will add a modern touch as well as brighten the space. Last but not least, we want to address how small updates can make a bit difference. Amy mentioned that she has an old black check pattern on the seats. Re-covering dining seat chairs is a simple and dramatic way to make something old look new. Check out the easy tutorial here. We suggest Amy re-cover her seats with either of the 2 prints below. Key West here or Andina here. Though, The Key West print is our favorite and helps to incorporate that rosy pink that Amy loves.

Key West Print

Andina Print

So go forth and decorate Amy, and keep us up to date on the progress.



Filed under Decor Help

Before and After – Bungalow Dining Room

Happy Friday everyone! We’re back with another before and after of my Sellwood Bungalow! Today, we’re featuring the dining room, while not as drastic a transformation as the kitchen, its one of the key areas of our home and includes several of my favorite things in our home. 

So, let’s start with what we were working with when we moved in. Beautiful yellow/dirt covered walls, dirty brown floor, old window AC unit and busted old windows. What a joy to be a home owner! 

Dining Room on move in day.

 Now let’s see what we have today. 

Dining Room today + cute doggie Cash

Dining table + console

Windows and art wall + more Cash

Not a ton of structural changes in this room, mainly paint changes, and refinishing of the floor. The major structural addition was of pillars to separate the dining room and the living room,  but I’ll discuss those when we feature the changes to my living room next week. The paint is Devine Truffle, from Miller Paint. We repainted the ceiling and trim white, as it was previously a cream color/dirty. The light fixture is from Restoration Hardware, but has since been discontinued. Table is from Sus (THANK YOU!) and was purchased at World Market. I believe its the Lugano Table and benches. Sideboard was a Craigslist purchase. It’s a vintage Henredon dresser. Drapery panels from Ikea, they are the Aina. Curtain rods are West Elm.  Almost all of the accessories on the sideboard are from HomeGoods (our favorite), including white bowl, chinoiserie vases, and the horse head (Hi Wilbur!).  Mirror over the sideboard is from a yard sale. Artwork on the window wall, is a vintage print I bought at a neighborhood consignment store, and the Sharon Montrose pheasant prints featured here

Finally, the dining room wall holds two pictures that are very special to me (on the left in the top picture). When we moved into the house, my parents gave me two prints that had previously hung in their home and prior to that, hung in my Grandmother’s home in South Carolina. My Grandmother and I have a special bond because I was born on her birthday and was named for her. She was Gwendolyn and I am just Lyn. Since she passed away several years ago, it makes me feel good to have a part of her in my home, knowing that she is looking down on me and (hopefully) proud of where her pictures are and who I am. They even have stickers on the back from the framing shop where they were originally framed in Columbia, South Carolina. Finally, unintentionally all the colors in these pictures are those that decorate our house. When we finally hung these, they brought the whole house together. Just perfect! 

Grandma's bird prints

The finishing touch on this room and the adjoining living room are going to be matching roman shades on the windows on the sideboard wall. I can’t wait to show them to you! 

Hope you guys all have a great weekend! 



Filed under Decor, Renovation Chronicles

Before and After – Bungalow Kitchen Renovation

Good morning everyone! Sus and I are starting a new series here of Before and After’s of our homes, so you can see what we’ve been working on these last few years. Both of our home renovations started our love for decor and the whole renovation process, so really, we wouldn’t be here with you had we not embarked on home ownership of the fix up kind.

So on to my kitchen renovation! This was the first project that the boyfriend and I (with the help of my parents) tackled. And boy, was it a doozy! As I’ve said before, our house was a total mess when we bought it. A possible hoarder was living there with all the cats in the neighborhood. Clearly, we needed to start with giving us a sanitary place to cook for ourselves.

Here’s a shot with what we were working with on move in day. I just want to note that the white cabinets actually look a lot better in this picture than they really were.

Shot from the back of the kitchen towards the dining room. Don't you love the old linoleum?

This picture is of a wall that covered a chimney from a decomissioned oil furnace. Our first step of the renovation was ripping the chimney out of the entire house.

Old breakfast nook. Featuring the lovely border which ran throughout the kitchen and a dusty old light fixture.

The grimy inside of the cabinets. You wouldn't want to store food in there would you?

We promptly began tearing this out the day we moved into the house, and spent the next couple months of our first summer in the house putting in our new and improved kitchen. We did most of the work ourselves. Only having the cabinets installed by a professional. And by “we” I mean the boyfriend led the charge in this renovation. I’m basically just a pack horse/garbage dump girl, tear outs are my specialty. He’s the brains and brawn behind the operation.

First of all, here is the inspiration image for the kitchen. You might remember seeing it in a old issue of Domino magazine (RIP, sniff, sniff). I loved how the horizontal stripes widened the galley kitchen, since changing the layout of this kitchen was not an option for us. I also loved how the black and white stripes gave a hint of the feel of the 50’s black and white tile look, but were also modern and fresh.

striped kitchen floor via  simply seleta

Domino inspiration image

So here’s our kitchen today. We still have a few items that we want to work on, but it’s fully functioning and pretty! New cabinets from Pacific Northwest Cabinetry, who I highly recommend. They were a fantastic company to work with. Gave us lots of options and were professional and quick on the install. Flooring is marmoleum from a company that Sus covered here on the blog before, Eco Floors. Besides being from the inspiration image, the flooring is also easy to install “click” flooring, so we were able to tackle this project ourselves. The countertops the boyfriend and my Dad found at our local Rebuilding Center, which helps recycle unwanted items from construction projects or older homes. It’s a fantastic resource and I highly encourage people to check there first, especially if they are fixing up a older home. Light fixtures are from Rejuvination Hardware, who sells both vintage and period style fixtures.  Finally, all the appliances are from the Sears Outlet, which is a great place to start/look when you’re appliance shopping. It’s hit and miss, but we were able to find some great higher end Jenn Air appliances for a fantastic price, about 50% off of retail. Who doesn’t like to save that amount of money?!

The new kitchen today. The fridge on the left is in the place where the old chimney used to live.

Picture of built in breakfast nook that the boyfriend designed and built. Table is a Craigslist purchase that I refinished. Shade was made by the boyfriends Mom.

Refinished countertops from the Rebuilding Center. Slate around the sink to keep the water off the wood.

Picture of the other side of the sink, on the shared wall with the dining room

So that’s it! What do you guys think? Any tips you have to share on your own kitchen renovations? Great vendors to work with?


Filed under Local Love, Renovation Chronicles

Happy Birthday Susan!

Today, is a very special day for my fellow blogger Susan, it’s her big bday (no, I won’t tell you what one!). To help her celebrate, I’m going to give her all of the lovely things she covets to decorate her house…. okay, not in real life, be we’ll fake decorate for her here on the blog.

For gift one – I give to you, Jonathan Adler. Oh yes, anything and everything JA, but these are my top 2 picks.

Jonathan Adler Maurice floor lamp

Jonathan Adler British flag pillow

For my second gift, I give to you Rubie Green bedding. Eco chic, sunny and lovely.

Rubie Green bedding. Image via MadebyGirl

For my third gift, I give to you a mirrored console table for your entryway. Every girl needs a little bit of sparkle to greet her guests.

Horchow Mirrored Console table

For my fourth gift, I give to you a Thomas Paul horse head pillow. Oh horse heads, why do you add a bit of sassy quirk to every room?

Thomas Paul Horse Head pillow

And finally, for an option to wear out on the town to celebrate, I give to you a Carolina Herrera white collared shirt.

White collared shirt on Carolina Herrera via The Sartorialist

Happy Birthday Sus! Hope you have the best birthday ever. It’s your personal holiday!!!

Love, Lyn


Filed under Celebration