Inspiration, Trends

Real, Concrete Inspiration.

Happy Friday! How was everyone’s week? I spent mine in a flurry of indecision about today’s blog post! It was written months ago and procrastinated because I thought about making it into a series. I love concrete so much! In the end I decided I just wanted to get it out of my drafts pile and out there.

Concrete – This versatile material is widely used in design, mostly in farmhouse and Industrial design but it can be adapted for all styles. Here are my favorite ways to use concrete in interior design:


concreteinspo5  concreteinspo6  concreteinspo2

Source: 1|2|3|4

This one is pretty obvious and the most common (and my favorite). When using concrete floors in residential design you need to consider things like how to make the space cozy with all that cool stone. Some options include heating elements embedded in the concrete as well as lots and lots of rugs. The great thing about concrete floors (besides their dope look) is their durability.


concrete3  concreteinspo1  concreteinspo4

Source: 1|2|3

I love how streamlined and modern concrete countertops can look. Totally worth the maintenance. If you don’t want to completely replace your current countertops or deal with cracking, you could consider skim coating your existing counters like this one from A Beautiful Mess.


concreteinspo7   concreteinspo8concreteinspo9  concreteinspo10

Source: 1|2|3|4

Lighting is a fairly uncommon way that I see concrete used. I like it because it is a cool texture in an unexpected place.

Vingette: Brands like to use concrete as a surface to show off their products because of the subtle texture and neutral color. This was a spread shot by Studio Brinson for DBO Home both of which are brands I love.

DBO_COLLECTIONS_banner_01_large 2

For all of you instagram people and those who are interested in such things, stay tuned for a DIY of how to make a concrete surface like the above photo. And prepare to see plenty of Instagram posts against said surface…

In addition to Father’s Day, Michael and I are celebrating 2 years of marriage this weekend with a kayaking trip at Turkey Run State Park! So this Irishwoman will be stockpiling sunscreen if you need her.


Design Board, Inspiration, Travel, Trends

Zen Hotel Lobby

HAPPY FRIDAY! I am feeling, as I’m sure you all are too, that we deserve a nice easy Friday after putting up with winter 2.0 (rolls eyes)

Its like you’re waiting for a package that said it would come in 2 weeks, and its been 3 and every day you think “Surely today it will come!” and then it doesn’t…You know that feeling? Thats what this year feels like.

So to try and dissuade the feelings of hopelessness and despair, I have for you today the taste of a zen, beachy, cool, scandi, sunny, California, hotel lobby (too many adjectives? Please advise.)

Tuesday we talked about Terrazzo which inspired me to create a room with a terrazzo floor. A hotel lobby felt like a naturally breezy environment for this material. I can just hear the waterfall…

OB-Terrazo Board

My favorite part about this room is the chunky, low chair from Interior Define. I am not typically drawn to this type of chair/sofa except in really minimal, tropical settings which made it the natural fit for this room. The dark coco color grounds the space and brings out the brown tones from the terrazzo floor.

I picture those massive floor pillow from The Citizenry scattered around this sitting area casually and probably some kind of tea bar off to the left.

Since a room like this HAS TO smell amazing and HAS TO have cool pottery, I added this candle from H&M Home to bring us both of those things.

The Rattan Mirror was a must, especially because of the lack of a wood tone, and the Lumens sconce its a hit of modern to balance out the zen.


zenhotelinspo   Sean-Fennessy-planchonella-house093-713x998

zenhotelinspo2   zeninspo3

Source: 1|2|3|4

Zen design is about intense simplicity to the point where it becomes beautiful, while also achieving balance, and at the same time getting as close to nature as possible. This is achieved by pairing organic materials and textures such as wood, stone, water and, plants, with simple and streamlined architecture. This creates a tension between the natural, and the manmade, but inside of that tension is peace.

Chair, Sconce, Coffee Table, Pillows, Candle, Mirror, Plant

Inspiration, Trends

Caning – Not Your Grandmother’s Chair

Happy Friday!  Today I want to talk about a trend that I am seeing more and more- caning! Like most trends, this one is an oldie but is coming back in a big way with a modern slant.

Caning is a method of weaving natural fibers into furniture, usually the seats and/or backs of chairs. This is different from wicker or rattan furniture as it is usually not the only material used to make up the piece, whereas wicker or rattan make up the structure of the furniture itself. Caning is much more of a decorative feature than a practical method of furniture making. It usually looks like this:

caning.jpgThe organic, yet geometric nature of canning pairs so well with the mis-mash of styles we see happening in design these days. It’s all about old standards marrying with modern shapes to create something timeless. Here are some of the modern shapes I’m talking about:







Source: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7

Cane furniture is becoming the new symbol for the modern cottage trend. The way this dated material is being twisted into modern shapes, paired with a contrasting glossy black frame, puts canning into a new light.

Since cane is a natural fiber it can be a great organic element in a room, almost having the same effect that wood does by contrasting the sleeker elements with warmth and a hint of nature.

Cane Design Roundup


Design Board, Design Plan, Inspiration, Shopping

1 Living Room 3 Ways

Happy Friday!

Remember when we did 1 Nursery 3 Ways? Well today I want to show you how to switch out accessories in a living room to get completely different looks. I want to give you the sense that a completely different person lives in each of these rooms.

The things that are staying the same:

  • Sofa
  • Dresser
  • Rug
  • Coffee table

The variables are:

  • Lighting
  • Art
  • Pillows
  • Chair/s
  • Accessories


OB-1 Living Room 3 Ways Original

Sofa – This is the darkest blue I have ever seen a sofa get and I love it! The tufting is traditional but the lines are mid-century.

Rug – I have been in love with this rug from OKL for a long time. The gray border keeps it interesting but it is still a solid cream backdrop.

Dresser – This metal dresser from Room and Board is not only a staple at a very reasonable price but it adds another texture to the room! Bonus!

Coffee Table – This table is the perfect scale, color, and design. Perfect I tell you, perfect! (although quite the splurge!)


OB-1 Living Room 3 Ways Moody

Making this room sensual and moody was not very difficult. Since we already had a dark sofa and dresser, all you have to do is layer textures in black, dark blue, and gray hues. Some of the textures used here are: concrete, wood, copper, denim, velvet, wool, natural fibers, metal, and marble. If I were to add color or pattern to this room, that combined with all that texture would be completely overwhelming! Shout out to my father-in-law David Michael Slonim for his painting Magic Planet which was the inspiration for the rest of the room!

Olive Tree, David Michael Slonim Painting, Pendant, Candle Holder, Art, Art, Chair, Lamp, Basket, Side Table

Bright and Quirky:

OB-1 Living Room 3 Ways Bright

This room is walking the line between, bright and a little bit too happy. Those sconces alone amp up the happy by a factor of 7. The main thing I wanted to inject into this iteration of the room was quirk. The tiger pillow, gold bust, shopping cheetah print, and the sprawling fiddle leaf fig, all added to that quirky feeling. My other favorite thing in here is that plate I am using as a tray from H&M. Do I sense a mounting trend??

Art, Sconce, Chair, Lamp, Art, Bust, Pillow, Pillow, Plant, Blanket, Basket, Plate,


OB-1 Living Room 3 Ways Global

I choose the last room to be global because it is a very different from the quirky and moody styles of the other rooms. It has a context of its own that is very distinctly recognizable. I took that Aztec rug and hung it on the wall as a tapestry, and the pottery on the dresser is laid out in a simple collection. The styling of this room was fairly easy because you can fill empty space with pottery or plants (or both!)

Tapestry, Pottery, Pendant, Chair, Pouf, Pillow, Plant, Plant, Planter

I had so much fun reimagining this space 3 different times! Please let me know in the comments which is your favorite version!


Design Board, Inspiration

Parisian-Colonial Vignette

Happy Thursday! Fun fact about me: I am always getting my Tuesdays and Thursdays mixed up. I have tried every mnemonic device out there and I still get confused! Anyone else have this problem?

But I digress.

I like to design with a particular person in mind, and here I give a short description of who I think that person is and what their lifestyle is like. This makes designing more fun and meaningful, since design is about describing someone visually in order to help you get to know them. In these posts I reverse the process!

Melissa is a 33 year old journalist living in her Vermont cottage. She surrounds herself with warm tones, neutral colors, and lots of texture. She has silky black hair, large brown eyes, and a slight southern twang. She loves raspberry sorbet, velvet, and action movies.  She has the loudest laugh you have ever heard and her favorite place in the world is reading in her living room on a rainy Saturday afternoon.



Source: 1|2|3|4|5|6

This small vignette has a balance of different styles. The overall feel is “Parisian” which means “relating to Paris”. Parisian design is essentially a mash-up of styles that has become a style in and of itself. It combines modern, art deco pieces with ornate traditional and victorian elements. There is something slightly colonial in this look, with lots of muted colors and elegant textures.

Art, Chair, Side Table, Vase, Sconce, Pillow