simple is beautiful

My Favorite Room: Sarah of Pewter + Sage

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today we have Sarah from the blog Pewter + Sage here to share her daughter's lovely nursery.  Welcome Sarah!

Hello! This is so exciting, I'm extremely honored and flattered to be hanging out here on Cottage & Vine talking about my favorite room. I thoroughly enjoy this series, and the rest of Rene's wonderful blog (she is so inspiring!) is so interesting to see and read about the spots other blogger's love in their homes.

My favorite room in our house is my daughter Maura's nursery (she's 13 months).

For a few reasons...but mainly because we spend so much great family time here. We love playing in her room, we enjoy quiet time together right before naps/bedtime here and I've logged countless hours nursing and rocking her here. It's also the room I've worked on most recently, so I would say its the best example in our house of my current style. I did something differently with this room from a design standpoint when I started putting it together as well; I really went for it. Like picked a color palette and thought everything through and purchased/gathered all the pieces in a relatively short amount of time and pretty much completed it (whereas all the other rooms in our house are like half done with lots of neutrals, huge to do lists and I now don't like some of the stuff I got for them way back when I started, etc.).

I love that this room is a mix of hand-me downs (like the crib) and new items (such as the Ikea dresser/changing table and Pottery Barn glider).

It's full of gifts from all the special people in Maura's life (love these ceramic birds from one of my best friends, hung them from the ceiling just next to her crib). The bedding was a present from her grandma and aunt.

In this room are also personal things of mine (and my husband's) I've saved over the years, which add that special vintage touch. (My aunt painted the Muppet's painting for me for my 3rd birthday, that's one of my copybooks from 1st grade and a pair of my baby shoes!)

Some antique finds (like these 19th century hand-colored botanical lithographs scored at the Brimfield Antique Show) give the room a bit of sophistication, while these old school paper chains (that we made for Maura's first birthday party last month and decided to hang from her ceiling afterward) keep it all light and fun and whimsical.

Really I just want to hang out wherever this girl is, but I guess it doesn't hurt if the room looks pretty good too, right?!

Thank you so much for having me, Rene!!! This was fun:)


Sarah, what a charming nursery!  The colors are so fun and fresh and the way you incorporated meaningful items adds so much warmth.  Your daughter is such a cutie too, by the way!  Thanks so much for sharing this space with us today!

You can check out more of Sarah's blog here.

Scenes From Market

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

As promised, pictures from market with very little commentary.  Enjoy!

 Still love a mirrored chest....

 and wood tones combined with white.

 Nail heads anyone?

 This arrangement would be pretty for Christmas.

 Colorful window shopping on my way to the car brought to me by Wesley Hall.

Bunny Williams

 I want that shelf!

 And the lamps.

 The parrots were talking to me too.  Mottahedeh is the first and last showroom that I see every day.  Such a treat!

 Love these gold bowls!

Have a great day!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I hope you all had a great weekend!  Three days down, two to go for market.  Then life returns to normal.

In the mean time, we have a little celebration planned tonight for a very special girl....

 Happy birthday Mattie Gray! 

 You 75 pound hunk of lovin', what would we do without you?

She has a subtle way of letting you know when she wants to play ball.

 She loves her grandma...

 ...and watermelon.

A tough life I know ;)

Hopefully I will have some market pictures to share tomorrow.

About Time Management

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.
Chinese Proverb

Blog reading/writing is a funny thing.  Most of us who write blogs don't share our ups and downs and we often look like we have it all under control.  Grab a cup of coffee and come right back this will take a while.  I for one don't think that you want to hear me whine about having to get up at 5:00AM to drive my son to swim practice three mornings a week only to return home, pack lunches, start a load of laundry, and finish cleaning the kitchen from the night before.  Or how after everyone goes to school I have to mow the yard, iron a pile of khaki pants, grocery shop, and finish 2 client projects before school is out.  When you work from home household duties often fall into the lap of the one who is home the most.  I figure we all have our challenges and you don't want to hear about mine.  You want to come here to be inspired.  You want light and happy.  Not too long not too short.  You want just right.  Life is always about balance and I am constantly looking for mine.  Furniture market begins tomorrow and I have 3 sets of placemats to make, a pediatrician appointment, a guest post to write, and on and on.  How will I get it all done?  Well, good question.

I receive many emails asking for advice on blogging - everything from how to start a blog, time management, how to grow your blog, and to get advertisers.  Please know that I am not claiming to be an expert, but I am happy to share my thoughts with you in hopes that it helps you in some way.

1.  Follow Up  -  To backtrack a bit, my blog started at the suggestion of my husband.  He knew how much I enjoy decorating, gardening, & creating in general and he thought that I should share it with others.  He has been nothing but supportive about my blog from the beginning.  Love you honey ;).  In the beginning, I would respond to every comment that was left and try to visit the person's blog who left the comment.  My parents raised me to write thank you notes when people did nice things for me so I tried very hard to thank people for visiting.  As my blog grew it became harder and harder to do this.  I still try to respond to comments, but sometimes don't get around to everybody.  This makes me feel very guilty, by the way, but we cannot do everything.  Sometimes we have to let go.  Please know that I love your comments, love hearing from each and every one of you, and really appreciate you visiting!  I do however respond to the numerous questions/emails that I receive each day and always respond to clients and etsy inquiries.

2.  Meal Planning - Raise your hand if you order takeout or eat cereal for dinner because you are in the middle of a project.  I do it.  I don't like doing it, but I admit that it happens every once in a while.  One thing that helps me SO MUCH is planning meals for the week on Sunday night and purchasing the groceries for the week on Monday.  Our meals are easy, but they are home cooked and healthy.  Our boys are both year round swimmers who consume a load of calories each day.  They need healthy food to eat and I owe it to them to give them that.  We sit down at 8:00 at night because that is when we are all finally home and we talk about our day and eat and linger.  Do I plan our meals every week?  No.  Some weeks are just off for many reasons, but when I take the time to get organized everything is better.  Knowing that I will be tied up at market the next few days, I planned our meals and have purchased all of the groceries.  My fingers are crossed that it helps.

3.  Projects - Writing blogs with original content is time consuming.  Period.  Between doing the actual project, taking pictures, writing a post or tutorial you are talking about hours and days.  All for what?  No one is getting rich from doing this, but if it is taking you away from your family you might want to consider ways to earn income on your blog.  My goal is to share things with you that 1. can easily be done by anyone 2.  are relatively inexpensive  3. are inspiring.  There are times when our house looks like a disaster zone.  Often projects take longer than planned and I simply have to walk away and leave the mess for another day.  What I do doesn't really change to world.  This is OK.  If you put pressure on yourself regarding your blog it might take away from the fun of it.  And, trying to keep up with everyone else will only make you feel inferior.  This blog has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined and I wish the same for you.

4.  Family Time -  My time spent on the computer is very scattered.  When I first started blogging, I spent way too much time in front of the computer.  As I continued to write I began to schedule my time.  I try to do most of my writing early in the morning, but sometimes things come up and and posts are delayed.  Most posts go up around 6:30-7:30AM.  I feel that I owe it to my readers to be consistent.  If I happen to miss a day Mom will call me to make sure I'm OK.  I love you all, but Mom is my sweetest follower, but the way.  Follow up and emails are handled throughout the day.  If I have any extra time, I will write posts for the future just to have in case I get into a crunch.  My creative process doesn't fit the 9to5 schedule.  I think of client projects all day and night which makes working from home a good thing.  That said, the computer pulls at me often.  After 4:00PM I am lucky to have any computer time at all other than responding to emails.  The kids come home from school and need rides.  Then my husband comes home and this is our time.  Next comes cooking dinner, picking the boys up from swim practice, and preparing for the next day.  I try very hard not to let blogging/working take away from family time.  One day I will look back at how I lived my life and I want to feel good about choices I made.  I know I say this a lot, but our boys have grown up so fast and I am thankful for every moment I have had with them.  This is not meant to make anyone feel guilty, just being open.

Those are my thoughts.  I would love hear what you think.  Do you have any suggestions on how to manage time?  I would love the hear them.

My Favorite Room: Carrie of Hazardous Design

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today we have Carrie of Hazardous Design here to talk about her favorite room.  Welcome Carrie!

Hi there Cottage and Vine readers!
I'm so honored to be making a guest appearance today to talk about my favorite room.

You might think it is strange that my favorite room is a powder room, but let me explain!

My husband, Chris and I, moved into our historic New England home just over a year ago. Every room needs/needed a major overhaul. The powder room was no exception, and renovating it truly was a labor of love.

This is what it looked like when we moved in.

The built ins, while nice to have, made the layout of the powder room really awkward (the mirror was hung over the toilet!). What you can't see in this picture is the green shag carpet on the floor and the exposed wiring. We needed a pull chain to turn on the only light in the room! It was a bit like a high-end outhouse.

Time for an upgrade!

Over the course of 6 months, Chris spent his weekends doing all the hard stuff like installing beadboard,

hanging new crown molding,

and installing a new marble tile floor.

In the meantime, I agonized, second guessed, and reevaluated every decorating decision :)Having six months to complete a project is nice because you have so much time to make decisions...but it is not so nice because you have so much time to make a decision!In the end, we're thrilled with our choices.

The wallpaper is Schumacher's Chiang Mai Dragon in the China Blue colorway. I was a little afraid of going with such a bold paper at first, but figured that if I'm going to let loose anywhere in the house, the powder room would be the place to do it!  The blue and white is such a classic color combination, that I'm sure we'll enjoy it for years to come.
The mirror was a $30 antique store find that I spray-painted black. I really like the way black looks with all the blue floral. It keeps the room from looking too sweet.
We made our lighting choices really early on in the a point when we thought we'd be painting instead of wallpapering. So I was a little apprehensive about how this chandelier would look in here.

I ended up loving it because is totally unexpected.
As a finishing touch, I doctored up some inexpensive roman shades with grosgrain ribbon.

...and Voila! My favorite space. far :)


This is by far one of my favorite powder rooms!  I adore everything about it Carrie!  Thank you so much for sharing your favorite room with us today!  To follow more of Carrie's home remodeling projects, go here.

Do you have a favorite room you would like to share with Cottage & Vine readers?  Email me at
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