Mary’s House Renovation with Crate and Barrel

Here’s what the room looked like before:

As open as the new space was, it still was small; so, Mary wanted to focus on creating plenty of seating options without bulky pieces of furniture. A simple color palette completed her vision, with pieces that were both architectural and artistic.

Enter, Crate and Barrel, the royal family of clean and functional. They partnered with us to make the transformation happen and turns out, they were the best marriage partner for Mary’s more color subdued yet architectural style.

The constraints of the space led to the selection of the Knurl Small Coffee Table. It turned out to be the perfect solution, with thin legs and clean, refined lines that created a distinct but unobtrusive shape. The Fernando Accent Table was an ideal pairing with the Knurl Coffee Table, as it balanced the lighter elements of the coffee table with a solid and interesting geometric shape.

For seating, Mary chose two pieces with distinct shapes and artistic textures. The Gabo Leather Wingback Chair provided height with slender, architectural lines. Lightly colored legs contributed to the wingback chair feeling less bulky in the small space. The Mimi Vegan Lambskin Chair provided contrast with cozy, light upholstery and a low back. A square cutout on the back of the chair creates an interesting shape that adds to the texture of the room. Together, the two chairs fulfilled Mary’s vision for a room that had plenty of seating options without cluttering the space.

Now, this space continues the timeless, sleek style of the kitchen into the living room. Each piece of the room underscores Mary’s artistic intention for the space, while still creating a welcoming environment for anyone who enters. 

Would love to hear what you think of her living room transformation. Are you more of a color lover or lack of color? Dish!

Thank you to our sponsor, Crate and Barrel, who made this transformation happen. 

Brittany’s Guest Room Renovation with Crate and Barrel

Wait…a room inspired by bath towels?

Oh, here they are. Look how happy I am because of them.

Exactly. That’s where this story begins. But to understand the story of our newly redone guest room, we first need to take a look at where the room started. As I’ve mentioned in the past, we live in a walk out apartment. At the time we first moved in we thought it had just two rooms. After a couple of years we discovered there was another bedroom and it was the best room in the whole place! It had served as our landlord’s storage room, but we soon found out that it was the biggest room that also received the most light. Not only that, but it had a bathroom with a bathtub, which is my favorite word in the winter time (I also consider bath tubs God’s gift to birthing mothers, but that’s a story for another day).

At the time I was working from home and after our discovery, our landlords generously offered it to us. I worked out of this room for a couple of years before moving into our Springville studio. The following year my brother moved in and lived with us for about a year and a half, and then Jasper was born and it kind of became this storage/guest room dumping ground. You know the kind of room I’m talking about, right? You’re horrified to actually let guests sleep there but you don’t really have any other choice? 

Yeah, that’s the one. SO, yes, back to the transformation….Crate and Barrel gave me the charge to redo our guest bedroom and I have a feeling they didn’t know what they were in for.  

Look at these before photos: 

I mean, it’s pretty standard rental: beige carpet, walls, outdated lighting. The three storage shelving units are our landlord’s and we’ve kept it for storage. It’s pretty handy, actually!

I’ve long admired Crate and Barrel’s company and how they originally started as admirers and importers of Scandinavian design (have you listened to the founder’s episode on How I Built This? It’s so good!) and how they basically transformed the home furnishings industry. I can get behind that. And they’ve remained true to their vision by providing well made, thoughtful design. 

We get enough guests that I know how I want them to feel, but I’ve never been able to provide that feeling until now. Ultimately, and even though we are in a basement apartment, I want them to feel welcome, cozy, and taken care of. Most of our guests come in from out of state and the country, thus, I want them to feel like they are getting a taste for Utah and all it has to offer. When I found this Pine wallpaper from Sandberg Wallpapers, I thought it was the perfect way to establish the alpine identity. It felt like an escape into somewhere majestic and cozy at the same time. Plus, it was one of the few that Paul and I could agree on 😉 

Bedroom furniture and linens

With the Pine wallpaper setting the mood for the room, I knew I wanted to complement it with warm wooden furniture. I chose the Linea II Natural Bed frame. It has clean lines and works perfectly with the wallpaper. Cabin fever, catch it! 

I paired it with the Dawson side table. I’ve never had a legit side table with a drawer in my bedroom before so I feel like this is a luxury.

To return to the beginning of our story, I knew I’d love something that would tie in the yellow of the striped towels and when I spotted the mustard yellow comforter, I knew that was it.  (This comforter now comes in three new colors for Spring!) It’s a beautiful contrast to the green of the wallpaper. I LOVED the look of the Lior sheet set. I’ve always loved hotel linens and this creates the same look but with a touch more decoration.

Bench

I loved the idea of having a place to set luggage and such, so the Tate King bench in Walnut was the answer!  

Rug

I wanted a rug to cover up the beige carpet because it bums me out, but I knew because of the wallpaper I couldn’t do something too intense. I went with the Azulejo neutral rug that has the perfect amount of pattern for this pattern-on-pattern lover, but is neutral enough not to collide with the wallpaper. And it’s a cut and loop pile so it works just great on carpet, which was one of my concerns. 

Dresser

A high priority for the room was a dresser. There are two small closets in the room, which we have to use because we don’t have enough closet space in the rest of the rooms, so we needed additional storage. I chose to go light with the dresser so that the room wouldn’t be too dark, so I chose the Gia Ash-7 drawer dresser, which fit perfectly under the window.

Desk

The same goes for the desk, which sits against the opposing wall. Paul will also be using the space as his office so he needed a work space that could contain all his equipment. I went with the Kendall Desk in cream and paired it with the gorgeous leather Lincoln Round office chair.

Lighting

I also was tickled to find a gorgeous table lamp, the Arenson, in a similar color way as the bedding. It’s uneven finish makes it feel so rich. Plus, it’s super sturdy and feels luxurious.

Artwork

Though I tried so hard to keep with the natural, woodsy vibe of the Pine wallpaper and accompanying wooden furniture, I couldn’t help but throw in some color. I just had to! I collected quite a few prints from our trip to Denmark last year to visit Paul’s family and the room was begging for it! The exhibition poster by Walton Ford added the much needed dose of unexpected whimsy I was going for in bright pinks and kingfishers, Paul’s favorite.

I needed to balance out the bold colors with another bold color, so I added in a print from my friend, Lisa Grue, a Danish illustrator, whose 20 Birds in a Tree print was perfect. It’s colorful touches like these that make me feel more at home. 

Other items of note: 

Crate and Barrel Guest room selections: 

Bed  | Bench  | Yellow comforterBed Linens | Yellow table lamp  | Side table | Dresser | Desk  | Office Chair | Rug 

The day we finished installing the room, Paul and I immediately decided that we couldn’t keep this to our guest room and we moved into the room that night. Ha! It’s larger than our real master bedroom and now, so much more comfortable. It feels like that hotel experience that I long for–you know…sturdy, clean and well-built. But don’t worry! When guests come, they will still be staying here and we’ll just trade rooms lucky ducks!).

Thank you to our brand sponsor, Crate and Barrel for working with us on this transformation. I’m a C&B lover for life! 

How to Use Pillows to Complete Any Room Design

The best throw pillows in all the land

All the pictures are linked so click away!

Statement Pillows

If you’re not ready to try a statement couch, statement pillows are the perfect plan b. They elevate a room instantly, and add extra comfort in a way not a lot of decor can do. Find a pillow you are obsessed with and base your entire design around that! Play with bold colors and patterns in a way you never have before. Break beyond your go-to color scheme and surprise yourself with how much you love chartreuse and cobalt all of the sudden. Whatever your design style, decide what statement you want your room to make and use pillows to say that loud and clear.

We can picture this stunning woodland motif pillow finding its place in any room in the house; it is refined while whimsical, colorful while mature. Everything we aim for here at Lars! Since animal print is having quite a moment in the fashion world right now, we thought this round velvet leopard pillow was the perfect nod to this fun trend. Imagine it paired with some hot pink or kelly green! Ah! Explore all of our favorite statement pillows below –

 

Accent Pillows

These pillows are unique and will draw the eye, but only after everything else in the room has already had its time in the spotlight. These are the kind of pillows that will make your visitors think “and there is more?!” Yes! More beautiful and thoughtful pieces to enjoy.

We can’t stop looking at these floral pillows in the most lovely shade of blue. Soften your decor and add dynamic shape with these rounded velvet pillows (which come in 11 different colors!!!) Which of the pillows below will accent your next room makeover?

 

Textured Pillows

What can take a room from great to WONDERFUL is texture. If you find your decor feeling a little bland, or blending together too much, instead of adding color or large pieces, first ask yourself how you can add texture. This is what makes a room one you want touch live in and never want to leave, instead of one you just want to look at.

 

Embroidered Pillows

Embroidery, the trend that has found its way into every corner of our lives, and we couldn’t be happier! Drawing its roots from 9th century Sweden, embroidery has proved it will continue to stand the test of time. Add it to your decor without any fear of it losing its fashionableness.

 

Pattered Pillows

Want a bold pillow that complements your room but doesn’t overrule it? These patterned pillows are the slightly quieter sisters to our statement pillows above. Their patterns make them eye-catching but are happy to take the backseat to other statement pieces if needed.

 

Solid Pillows

Does your room already have enough patterns and textures to look at? Use pillows to strengthen your color scheme and finish off your design. Like curtains and rugs, pillows have this magic ability to make a room feel complete and next-level (at the fraction of the price of a good rug, win-win!)

 

DIY Pillows

Here you can find our tutorial and template for our fun circle pillow! Learn how to make your own woven bias tape pillow, or shop pillows curated by celebrated interior designer Meta Coleman at the Lars shop!

Miami prints by Jane Merritt

Miami City art prints

Like the other prints in the Lars Print shop, each design can come however you’d like–as a download where you can print it off yourself or as a print in the mail in a variety of sizes or it can come framed and/or matted. Here we put three together and I think they work perfectly together, no? All that Art Deco glory–so good! 

You can find the prints in our Lars Print Shop!

And you can find our art lovers guide to Miami here!

You can see Jane’s work here.

Art prints for every style

From illustrations to photography to quotes, the Lars print shop has wall decor for every style! If you’re looking for some bold pieces to accompany your Miami prints on a gallery wall, you can find plenty of patterns and bright colors in the Lars shop prints! Or, if you’re going for a more subtle, pastel wall, you can browse through some of the illustrations to match the Miami art prints.

We even have a couple of art prints for Coronavirus relief charities. You get beautiful pieces of art AND help out communities during the pandemic. It’s a win-win.

If you love these Miami prints but aren’t sure how to start your gallery wall, we’ve got you covered! Learn how to make a gallery wall here, and let the decorating begin!

Color blocked thread Wreath

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For the last few months, the entire Lars team has had a somewhat unorthodox love affair. Don’t worry, it’s nothing too saucy, just that we’ve been enamored (one might even say obsessed) with…would you like to guess? Lampshades and lighting fixtures! I know, I know, we’re the biggest nerds on earth, but who cares? We can’t help it; we see them, we like them, we want them, and then, of course, we make them. We’ve been on an absolute lamp overload as of late and especially the work of Ana Kras, so we decided to mix things up just a little bit with our next project. We have yet to fall out of love with the plate and cup light fixtures we made a while back, so we decided to turn our latest obsession, these threaded lampshades, into this amazing door wreath!

If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll realize that this project combines two Lars hallmarks; color, and wreaths. We combined the two, because we absolutely cannot think of anything we would love more than this vibrant door wreath. Can’t think of anything more inviting to welcome your loved ones into your home!

Brittany’s Master Bedroom Makeover with Spoonflower

 

We partnered with them earlier this year on some new pillows for my living room and some custom fabric to make a lampshade (see here) so I was already familiar with their great quality and options. And, because I had already done a lot of research on artists and fabrics, I knew exactly where to look. Their marketplace can be overwhelming because of the sheer amount of designers and products, so I spent a good deal of time making collections for each room. That was the easy part. Narrowing down the favorites list was the tricky part. You know the feeling, right? You can take the design so many different directions so you don’t know where to start???

What do you do??! 

How to concept your interior design

Start slowly! I decided to start with mock-ups by placing the products together to see which ones were really pulling me in.

Playing around with options I was able to visualize how to put together different patterns and colors, one of my favorite things to play with. I had so many favorites that I knew it would be tricky to put them together so this helped me narrow down.Spoonflower concepts

To custom headboard or not?

I contemplated making a customized headboard, especially because the beauty of Spoonflower is that you can pretty much customize ANYTHING you’ve ever wanted. They have the ability to put any design onto any products and now, even more so! There are curtains, throws, wallpaper, bedding, you name it. Ultimately, I decided against the custom headboard because I wanted to save on time and headache so I knew I was probably going to find a solid colored one, since those were my options out on the market. Because of that, I wanted to add something decorative to the walls.

Concept 1

There’s one designer, Amy Vail, who references a lot of William Morris patterns and I’m INTO it! Look at this beautiful leaf pattern. I thought it could be fun to play around with some red gingham, like this one from another favorite designer, Peacoquette

Concept 2

I’m loving on some pink right now and wanted to try it out on my walls. Here’s how it goes:

I also contemplated this fun berry and vine stripe pattern in pink from Danika Herrick. I still love it so much, but I think I’d love to try it for a girl’s room one day. Danika also has some really lovely chinoiserie patterns. 

Concept 3

I knew I wanted a wallpaper, especially since theirs is renter friendly, so most of my mock-ups kept that in mind. However, in case my landlords wouldn’t go for it, I came up with a solid color paint choice that would still work. A beautiful grey/blue could do the trick:

I found that blue and white stripe and I thought it was so so pretty (clearly I thought it was pretty, as I eventually decided to do the entire bedroom with it!). The stripe is by designer Jenlats.

There’s already a blue theme going in Jasper’s nursery (see here) and I knew it would be fun to switch it up a bit so I tried out a blush pink (you know, because we haven’t seen that color ANYWHERE these days 😉 

Concept 4

I love bringing greenery into a space because it really refreshes it, so when I found this green botanical print, once again from Peacoquette, I thought it would fit the bill beautifully. Then, I spotted this black and white striped headboard that would allow me to play with color and patterns all along with these pink art nouveau daisies that would be in the Spoonflower curtains. Top it off with this calico throw pillow and we’re good to go! 

As soon as I spotted these headboards (here and here), I knew they were the perfect way to contrast the busyness of the wallpaper with the bedding. It needed a respite with a solid color. 

Final concept

The more I looked around and played with the arrangements, I was able to gain a stronger sense of what I wanted so I started bringing in more furniture. My natural inclination lead me to go to the yellow headboard and that’s what I ended up basing my decisions off of.

When I have elements that are more whimsical and botanical like the butterfly bedding, I typically like to have a few other elements that are more streamlined like the lighting fixtures. I found this rad surface lamp from Cedar and Moss called Belle and though it could have leaned too modern, I love how it toned down the whole design and made it feel less, for lack of a better word, “frou frou”. Plus, I loved the idea of bringing in traces of black throughout the room because of the black in the butterfly bedspread.

I’m SO into rattan and wicker right now. You too? I love that it’s slowly been making its way into our vocabulary again, and not in the 80s overdone, fluffy way. It’s become cleaner yet still warm. If found these sconces that did not break the bank and I love them so much! They add the perfect amount of texture.

Finding the right side table has been a bit trickier. I still haven’t bit the bullet yet. I loved the idea of bringing in another color and pink would be great so I found these side tables that would be great but then I also love this peacock blue one. Which one would you go for? 

Before photos

Now, before we get more into the final photos, I want to show you the mess that we were working with. You ready for this? Big gulp….

OUCH! This hurts. I didn’t even clean up for you! You’re welcome! It’s a small room, about 10×10’ with plastic vertical blinds, beige carpet. I painted it white a few years ago so at least there was that. I like to say that the worst before pictures make the best after photos.

Now, you ready for the full reveal???

Final bedroom design

This chair above is one from my grandparent’s home. I haven’t changed the fabric at all, but I kind of like how it works.

I had a little helper who loved jumping his way into the scene. Can you spot him? I’m sure it’s tough 😉

Bedding

Who doesn’t want glorious bedding to sleep in? This duvet, sheets, and shams not only make the design pop, they also make your bedding luxurious. The bedding pieces are made of cotton sateen, which has such a lovely polished look and feel. Jasper loves to snuggle up in it and spread his cracker crumbs everywhere. Yay!

Ok, sorry, I got distracted there…here’s the rest! 

Curtains

I decided to continue the stripe from the walls to the curtains. I loved the idea of an all over pattern (anyone remember Chloe Sevigny’s bedroom?!). And with this particular stripe, it’s just small enough where it’s not too contrasty and because it’s all over it begins to feel more like a solid. I wanted to add a bit of pizzazz into them so I found some yellow trim and handstitched it onto the edges. Love how it turned out! Voilà!

Throw pillows

Spoonflower offers SO MANY choices (over 750,000 patterns) which can be overwhelming but more importantly inspiring!  I loved that there were so many choices for the throw pillows and I had many options to mix and match. PLUS I love supporting independent artists and Spoonflower brings them all to one convenient place. You can find the links to the individual pillows in the product round up below!

Surface mount

Here’s the gorgeous surface mount I was telling you about from Cedar and Moss. Isn’t it so pretty in the space?! 

And let’s end on a few more of the Boo because he just makes everything better. 

So sweet–trying to hit the camera lens. Doh!

I was showing my good friend, Merrilee, pictures of my new room and she reminded me of one of my favorite inspiration images of all time that I realized I was unconsciously referencing. Right?! 

This was also one of our This Girl’s from a few years ago. Take a lookie here.

Spoonflower selections

Here’s a round-up of all the Spoonflower products we used to make this bedroom happen. From the curtains to the wallpaper and bedding, it was all Spoonflower!

  1. Stripe wallpaper
  2. Throw Pillow
  3. Throw Pillow
  4. Throw Pillow
  5. Throw Pillow
  6. Throw Pillow
  7. Throw Pillow
  8. Throw Pillow
  9. Bed sheets and Pillowcase set
  10. Stripe Curtain Panels
  11. Queen Duvet Cover & Shams

 

And here are all the accessories and furniture I used and/or I need your help deciding on! 

  1. Cedar and Moss surface mount
  2. Curtain rod from Anthropologie
  3. Pink side table from West Elm–should I go with this one? 
  4. Rattan Sconce from World Market
  5. Velvet mustard headboard from Target
  6. Peacock blue side table from Schoolhouse Electric–or should I go with this one?
  7. Metal side table from Schoolhouse Electric–or this one??

The flower decorations below the sconces are vintage items that I found at the Brooklyn Flea ages ago!

I really do love working with Spoonflower because of the limitless opportunities to customize and find great designers. I know that if I want to tweak the color for whatever reason I can approach the designer. I didn’t do that in this case, but it’s good to know that I can.

Head on over to Spoonflower to check out their new bedding and product collections. They’re so good!

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower. Thanks to the brands who allow us to focus on clever and original content for you! 

Modernized Day of the Dead Ofrenda

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Day of the Dead OfrendaHave you ever heard of Day of the Dead Ofrendas? If you’ve seen the movie Coco, you probably get the gist. Ofrenda means ‘offering’ in Spanish and is a display set up to remember and honor your ancestors. The ofrenda consists of several components including photos of past loved ones, candles, fruits and sweets, flowers, papel picado, and more. It serves as a chance to welcome those ancestors who have passed back into your home and heart. Not to mention it creates the most beautiful display overflowing with flowers and foliage! We’re creating a modern-day take on the Ofrenda with foraged greenery, one that you can easily recreate and keep up all month long! This is my ideal kind of holiday decor, not to mention the sentimentality of it is so special!

Day of the Dead OfrendaRecently, Paul and I completed our 23andMe DNA tests, something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, and we are now anxiously awaiting our reports. With the Halloween season upon us, what better way to celebrate and learn more about my family history than with my very own ofrenda! This display is the perfect way to decorate for the season, but also a wonderful chance to learn more about yourself and your heritage. Win win!

See how easy the 23andMe service process is, discover more about your ancestry and get inspired to create your own Ofrenda

My New Living Room Reveal

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Living Room RevealThe time has finally come to give you a glimpse inside my new living room! This has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result. I find myself walking into the room to make sure it’s real. And it is! And I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

Living Room RevealI was able to put so much more of myself into this room and I think it makes a world of difference in the overall feeling. With the help of a lovely wallpaper, a few new pieces of furniture, and our new Wood Shutters in Off White from Blinds.com, it looks like a different house! Take a look at all the changes we’ve made!

Take a look at all the components! 

DIY Rattan Sunburst Mirror

DIY Rattan Sunburst Mirror

Sunburst mirrors are definitely having a moment and I’m all about it. You’ve probably seen them popping up around the design world, I’ve got one in my kitchen! I happen to love rattan–furniture, accessories, you name it! There are lots of beautiful rattan mirrors out on the market right now, including lots of vintage beauties! They can cost a pretty penny though so we decided to make this DIY Rattan Sunburst mirror for only $25! And that will allow you to make 2-3 mirrors! It’s much easier than you’d think and the end result is so stunning, no one would ever guess you made it.

So let’s make some mirrors!

Details of my new Kitchen

Details of my New Kitchen

The story of my kitchen is a lesson in stubbornness. We are renters and really had no intention of staying here for 5 years, but alas, the longer we live here, the more I approach the space as a challenge to see how rad I can make it. Don’t tell me it can’t be done, because I will set out to prove you wrong! Ha! Well, last week I revealed our kitchen makeover and you guys were just as shocked as me to see the transformation. Our dreary little basement apartment kitchen went from 80s fabulous to timeless and refreshing with mostly small aesthetic changes and switching out some key components.

Today I’ll be taking you through the transformation process and telling you exactly what we did that provided the most impact including notes on the products, tips on how to work with the installers, and my ratings. I’m a big believer in reading reviews so here are my thoughts! It really is in the details, folks!

DIY Paper Tube Chandeliers

DIY Paper Tube ChandeliersAs soon as I laid eyes on the ‘Cocktail Lights’ of Hanna Anonen I fell in love immediately. The colors and playful shapes were so stunning. I needed to make a DIY version. These DIY Paper Tube Chandeliers are a fun way to bring color into a space. I love the impact a lovely chandelier can have on a room. These chandeliers are a fun alternative to basic desk lamps and don’t require any side tables! You can customize the color palette to whatever you desire, limited only by the paper variety at your nearest craft store. Paper, embroidery hoops, and twine are all you need for this DIY. You can easily install a hanging light bulb in the center of the tubes. On the other hand, they’re perfect without the light to serve purely as decor!

Small Space: Kitchen Renovation

Blinds.com

This kitchen renovation has been a long time coming. We have a very small kitchen with pretty poor lighting. It always seemed a little sad and drab. A huge part of the problem was our metal, mini-blinds. Yes, like the ones in a college dorm room. They were very fragile, difficult to work with, and cheapened the whole space. Luckily, Blinds.com came to my rescue! Our new blinds elevate the space, keep a clean look, and a perfect for our small windows. You can bet I’ll be spending more time in the kitchen now.

Read on to see which Blinds.com product we used and get a discount code!