Some teaser photos from my Pinterest Christmas Board....

I will update my Christmas board all month long.

Oh! and! on Pinterest's Holiday Boards....

there are MEGA Elf on the Shelf ideas for all you crazy elf lovin' mommas...

Recently, I helped a friend give her son a very fun 7th birthday gift. I am sure he also received some pretty fantastic gadgets, books, and toys, but a room make-over is every kid’s dream…right? Perhaps his dream went something like this: “I sure hope my mom gets rid of these super cute bug decals all over my room that I have had since I could crawl and gets my Chicago-sports-team-lovin’ self some cool new digs for my birthday. Yo.”
If you know this kid, you will chuckle. He is very kind, extremely polite, well mannered,and has (most likely) never said Yo.

We met to discuss his favorite teams, what she wanted to keep, and what she could add/enhance to take his room into the next phase of his life.

This is the room BEFORE:

These are some AFTER details:

The new design features a bold color combination that gives warmth to the room. A timeless beige with Blackhawks "red" as an accent above the newly installed moulding.

Cleaned up accessories.
Love this detail. There is plenty of room to add pennants as he acquires them.

So much fun! He can grow with this room by changing paint colors, or adding new art and collectibles. We discussed painting a chalkboard wall or adding a custom scoreboard above his large window. Future plans include adding a desk area with locker type storage.
There is so much potential with this room AND with this boy.

Ok, so I have had a very busy October. Now that the vacation, vacation catch up, 10 day head cold, and Halloweirdness is over, I am excited to bring this new find to your attention:

Some of my friends have wildly awesome displays of these frames in their homes and I have fallen. Deeply. In. Love.

I know your fall family portraits are dying to be displayed with style. Check out Organic Bloom.

You might just fall in love too.

Ahhh, the colors of fall. It's on.

Driving past the fields of gold that surround our suburb and seeing the gorgeous colors juxtaposed against puffy white clouds and crisp blue skies...makes me so happy. Fall is my favorite season. It is a time to nest and bring out the cozies.

The Fall decor bins come out of my basement and I turn to my design colleagues, magazines, and etsy for inspiration. Here are some ideas for you too.This glass bunting is from The Glass Menagerie on Etsy

Painted Pumpkins from Better Homes and Gardens

Country Living featured this gorgeous idea

I cannot get enough of the colors in the Grandin Road Wreath

Not so Idle Hands brings us this crazy fun idea

From this mantle is superb

Thank you Polished Plum for the beautiful simplicity of fall.

Urban Oasis 2011 by HGTV's Vern Yip is INCREDIBLE. I immersed myself in the one hour special a few weeks ago and cannot get one certain art piece out of my mind.

(Here it is)

Artwork, crafted by Chicago artist Todd Mack, references Chicago’s most popular attractions. The piece, which was completed over the course of several months, incorporates vintage letters salvaged from old business and doctor’s office signs.

The whole space is Hot!!!

Check it out:

This week I am introducing you to a new trend in tile patterns brought to you by The Tile Shop.

Take a look at their blog and be inspired by their fresh styles:

Also, check out these gorgeous interiors showing some vertical tile applications:

This girl is so talented. Her eye for palettes is inspiring.

The best part is her website that includes a handy palette search:

When designing a master paint palette for a client, I use the floor plan and plug in large areas of neutrals with pops of colors in smaller and sometimes unexpected places. Jessica's palettes are an inspiration for endless paint parties.

Try some for yourself.

It was another fun day at the Sandwich Antique Market. This time I had a few friends.

Actually, it was a stylish friend of mine and her 17 month old daughter.

My littlest also tagged along again and she was confused by this item shown below:

I wonder if our kids will ever see some of these items that are being sold all over the country at Antique Markets in action. Probably not. When my daughter saw a rotary telephone in another booth she asked what that was also.
With her questions came my own questions:

"Where could I use that?"
"Do I have any clients that would love this?"
"What is the history behind that piece?"
"What else can I do with that?"
Having a friend with me was a good thing because she helped me see clearly on some of these questions. She also increased my buying power. When we saw these and began brainstorming their use potential, the elderly man selling his wares suggested we buy them all.

We ended up scoring a deal by purchasing 2 each + some cool tin cans

that she picked up to use around her house.

Done. Feeling good.

Finally, we circled back to the first booth we saw upon our arrival. I had fallen for this piece pretty hard but I was against the price tag. My friend was helping me fall deeper in love telling me how great it would look in my home. I had haggled with the seller but got nowhere.

So, I decided that if it was still there when we were done, I would get it.

It was meant to be.

Funny thing. The seller lowered her price upon my return.

I scooped that coffee drum up and brought it home.

It looks good in my kitchen. The picture doesn't begin to show the awesome scale of this thing.

(I could put one of my kids in this thing-it is really big).

I love that it says "Chicago" on it and has a great history.

Once the mirror is up and the seed bags I bought are turned into pillows and the "lanterns" are filled and I find out how to add 8 more hours to my day, I will post some finished pics.

Time to schedule my U-haul for October's Market.

I am a SUCKER for vintage signs.

This Etsy Photographer/Artist has me hooked.

Check out her shop:

This week I will do little "talk" and let these gorgeous details speak for themselves:

This palette is divine.

Love the staircase, the wood stain, and the perfectly placed "Enjoy" in the Dining Room.

Just to name a few.

More love. The transom window. Perfect touch in giving a newer home a big boost of character.

This home has a lot to love and this room is one of the best. Details.

Great details. Perfectly arranged.

I adore her AND her home AND her art collection. So much to love.

This switch up of dark on top and light on bottom gives way to fun white pieces dramatically juxtaposed against the deep chocolate walls.

My friends are so talented. I hope their details have inspired you.

As a follow up to my last post...

these are my fabulous tables from the July Sandwich Antique Market:

Cannot wait to see what I discover this month.

Last Sunday it rained all night and into the morning. I was bummed. Once a month the Sandwich Antique Market tempts me with it's treasures and this was MY month. I was on the lookout for things. I felt a little birthday luck on my side and I felt like I would score BIG!

I needed a few tables for my living room since I had moved things around and I was also looking for more unique storage pieces. What I found was LOVE. When I saw a break in the clouds, I packed up my 2 1/2 year old daughter, cleared out the multi-purpose mini van, blew threw the ATM, and hit the gas to Sandwich, IL.

We found so many treasures! So many deals. So much fun! Bocce Balls that once entertained people for hours. Old stove pipe covers that could be used as frames. Street signs that would make fun wall art. Old chicken coops that could serve so many purposes. My daughter's pre-school design dreams formulated right before my eyes. She was so animated when we found THE tables (see metal tables below). It was magical. These tables came from an estate in Michigan. Their industrial edge was just what I wanted. The stories people told us made me swoon.

I am in love with uniqueness in people and in things. I am also in love with deals. Perhaps it's all for show, but haggling down the tagged price with the "exhausted" vendor puts a big smile on my face when I walk away with something I won't find in a catalog. Yet.

I overheard a woman say she saw similar lockers (like these above) pulled out of Indiana University in one of her newer catalogs. For $1200! These were less than $500.

Is your last name Horton or Helm? You should buy this.

I agonized over this chicken coop for an hour. The vendor was so sweet and her stories were fantastic. I actually loved her whole booth but settled on another old wooden coop that dates back to the early 1900's. The metal one needed lots of work but it was so awesome.

It's a great time. Let me know if you want to go. I love sharing this treasure.

The Circle of Style continues this week with a look at some awesome bathroom
ideas from my circle of friends….

The house is vintage which explains the dainty pass through door next to the loo. You cannot fully grasp how incredible the animal print wallcovering is paired with the chandelier and other finishes. I also love her guest towel basket which makes me feel like I am at a hotel when I use the “potty”.

The curves of this tub with the curves of the ceiling are just one element that makes this bathroom so romantic. The gorgeous “egg” tub sits in a space where a large walk in shower used to be. The bath was narrow and felt clausterphobic. The new shower is still large and was relocated to the far end of the room. Dark stone floors carry into the shower and give you the feeling of being in a spa-like cavern.

The next two pictures are from the same bathroom. I instantly fell in love with the travertine floor. Custom millwork in a rich espresso finish compliments the oil rubbed bronze finishes.

If you want unique, you have to love this next bathroom. My friend admires family photographs and she has the freedom in her home to use them. (I have restrictions placed on me by my groom or my home would mimic hers. Ugh.) She has turned her powder room into a gallery of the family.

Finally, you have seen this is previous posts, but I fall more in love with my bathroom everyday. (I cannot believe I lived with that pink/cream tile as long as I did.)

More great ideas next week....stay tuned.

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