Spring Brunch Table Setting Ideas

It may not feel like Spring just yet but before you know it the trees will be filled with leaves and flowers will be blooming. And the truth is I can’t wait! Not only because of the weather and beautiful flowers, but also because this means I get to enjoy brunch once more. It’s not as fun in frigid temperatures, don’t you agree?


Inspired by the upcoming season (and Easter!) I created my Ultimate Easter/Sunday Brunch Table Setting – it’s chic and cheap, just the way we like.Read More...

Van’s Nursery {Vintage Inspired Decorating Ideas}

Totty, of Boots & Totty, emailed me pictures of her son Van’s nursery and I was instantly blown away by the design. And when I realized that almost everything in the room had been repurposed, I was even more impressed!

The most expensive item in the room is the glider, which normally retails for $999, but Totty scored a super sweet deal and got it for $150!!! The dresser and nightstand got a fresh coat of paint. The chandelier was a $20 thrift store find {which also got a fresh coat of paint} and the photo collage wall was made with inexpensive frames from Target and Ikea.

Child’s Name: Van (aka David vanBlaricom III)
Child’s Age: 7 months
Location: Richmond VA

Describe your decorating style.

My husband and I have design backgrounds, so we are both very opinionated on what we want.  We do agree on clean lines, color, and mixing old with new!

What was your inspiration for the room?

We knew were having a little boy but I didn’t want his room to scream that. We also had to somewhat coordinate the room with our master bedroom as they are connected. The painted stripes were a must and then once I found the papier-mâché Zebra head I knew French-Vintage was the style I was going for {the zebra head is made from the pages of a french book}. To me, French-Vintage style meant soft colors like whites, yellows, and turquoises and fabrics with textures like matelasse and linen. We then added unique touches like the chandelier, the vintage faceplate/lamp/clothes tree, and the 3 Tier basket to pull it all together.

Favorite Items: The Zebra Head, the Bulletin Board and the 3 Tier Epergne Basket.

Advice: Let things evolve.  Not everything has to be matchy-matchy.  Keep a book of ideas- pages from a magazine, photos, fabrics- for inspiration.

Room Resources.

Glider: Restoration Hardware, Color Aqua with White Piping {no longer available}
Footstool: Custom made from a kitchen cabinet
Paint Colors: Walls – Sherwin Williams, Bare Branches; Stripes – Behr, Windwood Spring and Olympic, Silver Feather; Chandelier – Behr, Jamaica Bay; Dresser – Behr, Texas Leather; Nightstand/Bulletin Board/Barn Door - Glidden, Buttered Sweet Corn
Crib: Jenny Lind Crib from CSN
Zebra Head: Anthropologie
Bulletin Board: (Custom painted and cork board was added)- Ikea, Ung Drill  http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00091967
Epergne 3 Tier Basket: Sundance
Floating Shelf: Ikea Lack
Whale Print: Sarah Jane Studios on Etsy
Barn Door Hardware: Grainger
Chandelier: Goodwill Thrift Store
Crib Bedding: Custom Made by my Mom
Bumper Pad trim: Amy Butler’s Full Moon Polka Dot in Cherry fabric
Crib Skirt: Heather Bailey Daisy Chain Fabric in Red

* Visit Boots & Totty for the more details on her DIY projects: http://www.bootsandtotty.com/category/nursery/

Sofia’s Shabby Beach Chic Nursery

Francisca de Souza is an entrepreneurial architect turned jewelry designer residing in South Florida. When the stork came a knockin’ this year, Francisca dove right into designing her daughter’s room. Blue walls, delicate details and a view of the lake are just a few of the elements that make this room special. Let’s have a look at Sofia’s Shabby Beach Chic nursery.

Child’s Name: Sofia Evoli de Souza
Child’s Age: Almost 2 months old
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

What was your inspiration for the room?
I wanted to create a space for Sofia that was going to be serene and calming but beautiful at the same time. Something not too girly that could grow with her easily. I am very drawn to natural elements and Asian pieces that have some kind of meaning. It all began with a small little blue elephant and the subtle nature/animal theme evolved from there.

Describe your decorating style.
My style is very eclectic and varies with the situations, spaces & people. I love minimal design and contemporary design, but can also fall in love with a style like beachy, cottage chic.  I believe any room can look expensive & sophisticated without the expensive and sophisticated budget!

Give us all the details about your room! Don’t forget to share with us any money saving tips you might have learned along the way.

Custom Bedding: From Etsy store BabyDarling ($196). The first thing I purchased was the crib bedding. Since I couldn’t find anything I liked at local stores, I had it custom made (prices vary from store to store on ETSY).

Paint: The FreshAire Choice – nontoxic paint in Organic Garden. ($37)

Dresser, Crib and Storage: I knew I wanted all the large pieces of furniture to be white, simple and clean-lined. All from IKEA! Expedit Storage shelf: ($159); Hemnes 8 Drawer Dresser ($278) Replaced original pulls with some clear pulls from Wal-Mart. Looks 20 times better!; Gulliver Crib ($99) – This is the best deal ever!

Chair: Poang Chair ($149 chair, $70 footstool) Fabric – Tuna light blue-grey. I don’t love the look of the traditional poofy (& extremely expensive!) gliders and rocking chairs so I purchased a great chair from IKEA.

Rug: Hampen Rug from IKEA in white ($50)

Mirror: From Bombay Company. Original price was $350 but I bought it for $50 from a retail store that was going out of business.

Storage bins: By RiverRidge available at Target {$9.99 for a 2-pack}.

Chandelier: Capiz Chandelier from World Market (on sale $55)

Lamps: Re-used from our master bedroom, originally from JcPenney’s.

Name display: A small DIY project. Essentially, it’s white wooden letters, foam butterflies and laser cut paper backing.

Favorite Items.
My favorite item in the room is the mobile above the crib. I, unsuccessfully, searched and searched for a mobile until I finally gave up and made one myself! I spent about $25 on it. The butterflies were bought from a little boutique in St. Augustine, Forida while we were on a babymoon for $19. The white branches were from a centerpiece in our wedding reception.

– Take your time. Start early. I gave myself about 3-4 months.
– Search for good deals.
– Use it as quality time with your partner/spouse (mine was a dream, he put together all the furniture and we made ALL decisions together!)
– If you can’t find something you like, don’t settle. MAKE IT YOURSELF! Be creative.

To learn more about Francisca de Souza, you can visit her website or her blog.

Birth Announcements and Kids' Party Invitations from Minted.com


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Doing it, San Francisco Style: Bright Contemporary Nursery

Mindy is a graphic designer and photographer living in San Francisco, CA. When the stork came a knockin’, Mindy put those design skills to work to create a modern and bright nursery and the results are breathtaking!

Child’s Name: “Baby Boy P” for now.
Child’s Age: Due March 17, 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA

What was your inspiration for the room?
The Amy Ruppel small bird artwork on wood (on the frame wall below) had been sitting on the desk in my home office for years. I have always loved it, but have never had the perfect place to hang it. When we found out we were expecting a baby, I took the piece into the future nursery and leaned it against a bookshelf. A lot of the colors in the room are pulled from this painting and more importantly the overall mood of the room was inspired by Amy’s art. I wanted something modern, but still warm, fun for a baby without being too cutesy and neutral enough to work for a boy or a girl.

Describe your decorating style.
I am an anti-hoarder in all areas of my life and my decorating style tends to reflect my love of all things orderly. I embrace minimalism, but also like being surrounded by a few special pieces of art and accessories that make me happy. I try to keep all furniture neutral and accent with my favorite colors.  I love greens, yellows and oranges and tried to create a space that will both grow with our son and fit into the style of the rest of the house.

Give us all the details about your room! Don’t forget to share with us any money saving tips you might have learned along the way.

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Gray Horse”. It was hard to find a gray that didn’t seem cold or clash with our already grayish carpet. We went with the low VOC Aura line of paint and it went on so easily, it almost made painting fun!

Crib: Oeuf Sparrow, purchased on Amazon.com (free shipping/delivery and no sales tax!) This was our one splurge, but I made sure to shop around for a good deal online.

Crib Bedding: The crib skirt is from Target‘s DwellStudio which is very reasonably priced. The fitted sheet was purchased on sale at a local baby store.

Lighting: IKEA. The green lamp on the dresser has a beautiful soft glow when it’s lit and the gray and white glass front wall light is bright enough to light most of the room without being too harsh.

Pillows: Gray and orange pillows are from IKEA, Bird pillow from Urban Outfitters, kelly green pillow from Target’s DwellStudio (on sale from a few seasons ago).

Rug: Coqo Floral Rug from Anthropologie. This would have been another splurge, but I have a very nice boss who gave us each $200 gift cards as bonuses this year and I used mine for the rug.

Shelving on window seat: IKEA Expedit. I love the versatility, price and durability of the Expedit. Our windows have a really deep “seat” area that is too high for actually sitting but makes a great area to store all of the frequently used baby supplies (diapers, burp clothes, blankets, toys) as well as being the perfect height for diaper changes.

Dresser: Also IKEA Expedit shelving. This is the 2×2 Expedit and drawer inserts with IKEA Capita legs,  and drawer knobs from Anthropologie. The yellow dairy crates on the bottom (to be used as hampers) are from The Container Store. I was looking for a small modern dresser and couldn’t find anything that was both the right size and a decent price. The total cost of “making” this dresser was $150 and I love the final result.

Wall Decal: From Blik. There are hundreds of wall decals out there (Etsy.com is a good resource) but the quality of the Blik decals is top notch and almost everyone thinks that the design was painted onto the gray wall which is great!

Artwork: Small bird piece inside of blank frame is amyruppel.com. Animal collage is petitcollage.com. Decorative papers in other frames from Paper Source. Large collage on canvas was inspired by the petitcollage piece and I created it for $25. A lot of art stores have canvas sales so I waited for the sale at Pearl Art and picked up this large canvas for a great price. I already had the paints and used an old Anthropologie catalog for the collage “bits”. I try to save my favorite catalogs for projects like this. The print on the dresser was downloaded (for free) and printed on thick card stock then mounted using photo corners.

Accessories: Vases, bowls and other accessories are all pieces I’ve had for years. I frequently walk around my house and move accessories from one room to another both to just freshen up the look and to keep me constantly thinking about new ways to arrange things. It’s a fun exercise and ends up saving me money when I’m having moments of feeling bored with any given room.

Favorite Items:

Aluminum Elephant. When we first found out we were going to be parents this summer, we were on an East Coast trip and while in DC we visited the Eastern Market and I saw a family selling animals made from recycled aluminum cans. My husband and I both love elephants and when I see this in the room I remember how exciting those first weeks of pregnancy were when it was just our little secret.

Ganesha Print: A Christmas gift from my sister-in-law. My husband is Indian and I love that we have something that both represents his culture and is fun and appropriate for a baby’s room. Print from gheehappy.com

Design Advice.

Before you start shopping, look around your house for furniture, art, accessories you aren’t really using or might want to try in a new space. If your decorating style is consistent for each room it’s usually easy to find at least a few things to re-purpose. I saved a lot of money by doing this and created more open space in the common areas which I’m sure will be useful once our baby is mobile.

Spray paint is your friend! Try to look at the shape of an item and not the color. The frames on my frame wall were all purchased very cheaply at Ross and then disassembled and spray painted. I’ve “saved” many an item with a few coats of spray paint.

It’s important that a nursery be functional for the baby, but that doesn’t mean the design needs to be overly childish. We will be spending a lot of time in the room also and I want to love it as much as the rest of the house.

Don’t get mentally trapped into using only blues for boys and pinks for girls unless you already love those colors. There are so many other options out there and try to stick to colors you really like and that will grow with your child.

A big thank you to Mindy for sharing all of her nursery design secrets with us! You can find Mindy online at minDIY.com and afterParis.com.

wall decals, nursery decor, wall stickers


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Coastal Classic Blue, White & Brown Nursery

Megan and her husband wanted to create a classic nursery with a little bit of a coastal feel for their baby girl Wynn. In order to achieve their goal, they broke away from the traditional pink nursery and succeeded in designing a room where both parents and baby can relax.

Child’s Name: Wynn
Child’s Age: 4 weeks
Location: Westminster, MD

Describe your decorating style.

Give us all the details about your room! Don’t forget to share with us any money saving tips you might have learned along the way.

Flooring: We installed Brazillian Koa hardwood flooring ourselves. That saved us well over $1000.00. We rented the nail gun for the installation late Saturday afternoon and we were able to keep it until Monday morning because they were closed on Sunday.

Walls: The paint color is Valspar’s Woodlawn Silver Brook. My husband installed wainscoting on the lower half of the wall. It was inexpensive since he made all the pieces himself. It was a time consuming project, and my husband had no prior experience. But with a router and table saw, it went smoothly.

Crib: Cocoon Nursery Furniture 7000 Series Convertible Crib purchased from www.csnstores.com which offered free shipping, and that was a big discount compared to other stores and websites.

Bookcase: Matching bookcase purchased on sale from Target.

Curtains & Lighting: Faux silk curtains from www.target.com and lighting from www.walmart.com.

Rug: Hand-tufted Zebra Brown Wool Rug from Overstock.com.

Glider: From Babies R Us website. t was less than $400, and it was free shipping and handling. It has great reviews on their site. It’s super soft and comfy. I love it.

Wall Decal and Mobile: The decal was about $25.00 from a seller on Etsy.com. I also purchased the decorative mobile from a seller on Etsy.com.

Wall Decor: DIY project. I bought a pad of coordinating scrapbook paper and some inexpensive frames at Michael’s.  All I did was cut the paper to fit the frame, and we get a lot of compliments on it. It in total cost $50 for five framed pieces of “art”.

Favorite Items.

The decal and mobile from Etsy. I love that site!


Check out the internet for DIY instructions before you hire someone to do the work. We had never installed hardwood or done wainscotting and it wasn’t as bad as we thought. We are very proud to have done it ourselves. If you are thinking about purchasing furniture from Target.com, they often offer free shipping and 15% a purchase of $125.00 or more. Be on the look out for sales and coupons.

Thank you Megan, for taking the time to share your room and your budget-friendly tips with us. We hope that Wynn is enjoying her nursery!


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