Swoon-Worthy Space Thursday {house beautiful sixties beachouse}

OK.  It is the last Thursday, and the last day, in February.  I cannot believe it.  Talk about time flying.  We are but weeks away from Spring!  

Last week, I shared a gorgeous beach home from Martha's Vineyard.  Up today is another beach home much closer to home, and one that was featured in House Beautiful:  a beach home located in Strathmere, which is a teeny tiny town nestled between Ocean City and Sea Isle City, NJ.  I remember getting the actual magazine in which this home was featured and loving it from the get-go.  I love the vibrant, fun colors paired with tons of crisp white, and I see a lot of my own style in this home.  Enough from me -- I'll let the pictures do the talking.  (all photos courtesy of House Beautiful)

Sigh.  Swoon.  Gasp.  What's your favorite part?  I love ... um ... everything.  I think my favorites are the den and kitchen.  And mudroom.  Ok, everything.  I love this home so much it hurts.

See you swoon,

What I Wore {part i}

Hi all!

I have been having so much fun with clothes and fashion lately and thought I might share with you.  So from time to time, I will post a round-up here on Swoon of some of my recent outfits.  I will note that I am working on taking better pictures of myself, which is really difficult.  I think I need a new camera.  Or a cameraman.  Ha.   In all seriousness, I think I need a new camera soon.  And I will take pictures with the timer function.  In the meantime, these will have to do.   

Anyway, here are a few looks I recently put together.  I'll put the sources under each photo.  

* Casual Friday - Cream Jacket and Skinny Jeans *

My office is business casual during the week, but on Fridays we can wear jeans.  I almost always do.  This particular Friday I wore my skinny jeans, cream shell with ruffle neckline and cream structured jacket that I scored on major sale recently at Banana Republic - I don't see it on the website at all.  I found it in the store and it was on clearance and then an additional 25% off.  It ended up costing $42.  I paired this with my flat brown riding boots and then layered a bunch of pearl necklaces together for a sort of uptown look. [and ugh! phone pictures.  always a great idea in theory and yet they never ever turn out nice.  no more. sorry]

cream jacket: banana republic (similar)
cream shell: banana republic outlet
jeans: gap always skinny mid-rise
boots: jcrew

* Grey Sweater Dress *

I really wanted a sweater dress this year, but I knew fit was key because they can be unforgiving and also look a little bulky.  I found this dress at Old Navy.  It got great reviews, so I figured I'd try it.  When I shop online I always read the reviews of items if they are there - you can learn about fit, material, size, etc.  I've passed up many a "great deal" because something had horrible reviews.  And I've picked up great tips, like ordering a size up or down, based on reviews.  Just a tip from me to you!  I ended up getting it for about $15 because it was on sale and then there was a promotion where you could take an additional 30% off.  I wore this with black hose and black boots and paired it with a cool multi-strand necklace from Anthropologie that Jamie got me years ago for my birthday.  I think this dress can go funky too ... if we have a cold day in late March, I want to wear a brown belt and brown riding boots with it.

dress: old navy

* Black Turtleneck and White Skirt *

I found my inspiration for this outfit in the New York Times Sunday Style Magazine - in an Estee Lauder ad of all places. You never know where you'll find inspiration! See ...  here it is:

I had just bought a black turtleneck on crazy clearance at Eddie Bauer for $7.  I didn't have a black turtle and I think they're a great staple. I'm so glad I snatched it up.  I've had this skirt for ages - probably close to 8 years.  I paired it with black patterned tights (you unfortunately cannot see the pattern in the pictures) and black heels, threw my hair in a bun, wore big earrings and ... here I am.   

turtleneck: Eddie Bauer
skirt: Gap (old)
shoes: manolo blahnik

There you go!  Have you put any fun outfits together lately? Or have you been shopping and are dying to share what you found?  Let's talk fashion today. And cameras.  Any recs for a great little point and shoot that takes divine pictures?  I am all ears. 

See you swoon,

Bookshelf: Color!

Happy day!  I am happy because I settled on a color for the backs of my bookshelves!  Here is a refresher on where that project stands:
  • buying doors for the bottom part of the shelves
  • adding hardware to those doors to match hardware on desk
  • painting the backs of the open shelves so the contents really pop
  • accessorizing the shelves; and
  • adding crown molding to the top of the shelves to make them a little more finished.
Oh look at that list!  Look at all the strike-throughs!  I've already posted about adding crown molding to the tops and buying doors and hardware for the lower shelves.  Now it's time for color.   I asked you guys your thoughts on what color I should paint the backs, and Madelyn voted teal or seaglass.  That was my first instinct as well, especially since I have some seaglass paint on hand.   The answer was clear, though, when I went to a conference recently at the Atlantic City resort, the Revel.  I was, quite frankly, shocked at how chic and gorgeous the Revel was.  But what stopped me in my tracks were these shelves in the elevator lobby (apologizes for the iPhone picture) ...

It's a little hard to see, but they are a gorgeous pinky coral color.  I decided then and there to use that same color on my shelves: it's more pink than a coral and more orange than a pink.  Just to be doubly sure, I test drove some colors by using some books I had on hand.  I wanted to be certain that I was into the pinky coral and not the seaglass.

Here is the seaglass, using the Domino book in the background:

And here is the coral, using my new Design*Sponge book for color purposes.

The answer was clear: coral! I love how the white and the blue look with the coral color.  Plus, I think it will look even better when I eventually gather the energy to paint the walls a soft cream.  Coral I want; coral it is.

So, I went through my trusty fan deck and settled on Begonia by Sherwin Williams.

Begonia: SW6599
I just got one of the sample containers of the color - I know you're not supposed to use this paint for actual painting, but I decided to live on the edge and see how it worked.  Plus, I liked the idea of spending only $5 vs. a lot more on a quart especially since I couldn't see myself using much more of this color anywhere else.  I used three coats of the Begonia on the bookshelf backs (two was probably OK, but I wanted to be certain there was even coverage).  

And here is the finished product! 

I ... love ... it.   I may eventually be ready for a change, but in the meantime, I'm loving the pinky-coral, which ties in nicely with the various coral accents I have going on in my space.  This project is almost done.  All that is left to do is accessorize the shelves and call it a day ... and dance. Oh I will dance.  

See you swoon,

IKEA Rast Redo (part 1 of 2)

Hi there!  I am working on a little project in my bedroom.  This corner by the window -- I am trying to make it a bit more functional.  My friend Heather gave me this bookshelf, and it has been perfect up til now to hold my jewelry box and white noise machine (note: I became addicted to sleeping with white noise when my kids were newborns.  I cannot sleep without it.  I even have an App on my phone for travel).  Anyway, here is the shelf, which also holds books and magazines.  I am not loving how exposed those things are. 

I needed some more drawers for my running clothes.  So I bought an IKEA Rast, the $35 real wood little chest of drawers.  It's totally basic but has tons of potential.  In fact, Apartment Therapy has an entire post on the different Rast Hacks out there.  I already know what I am doing.  I saw an Ethan Allen commercial and love the color and hardware on their Julian Chest:

But at over $1,000, that isn't happening.  Sure, the chest is a lot more detailed and intricate than the Rast, but I think I can emulate the look.  I happen to have that same hardware right in my stash.  It used to live on a chest that I repainted and on which I changed the hardware.  I'll just paint the pulls the same color as the chest itself.  

So that's the plan.  Right now, here is the Rast in place.  

Stay tuned for the big transformation!

See you swoon,

Dead as a Door...bell.

Happy happy Friday!  Happy Friday.  Fri-dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.  

I have a quick update/tutorial/before and after to share today.  I recently replaced my doorbell.  And it was easy.  As in it took maybe five minutes.  

When I moved in, the doorbell looked like this:

It was broken and ugly.  It worked, but I repeat: it was broken and ugly.  I had never replaced a doorbell before, but figured two things: (1) it could not be that hard [it wasn't] and (2) the electricity running to the doorbell had to be a tiny amount so risk of shock must be low [correct].  I decided to risk it and try to replace it.  

I went to my local hardware store to find a replacement doorbell.  They had a bunch of kinds, including several glow in the dark buttons, but I did not like how fake the metal finish was.  I ended up with this standard white (of course I did).  It was $4.50.  

I took the old doorbell off and paid attention to how it worked.  So easy.  There are two metal ends and they simply hook around the two screws inside the doorbell.

Once I attached the metal ends to the screws, I just popped the doorbell back on the side of the house and ...

TA DA!  Done.  And it works!  Oh it looks so much better.  Let's do one more quick compare and contrast before we head out for the weekend.



Yay.  Gotta love checking off a project that has long since bothered you, right?  Have a wonderful weekend!  Last one in February!  Who can believe that?

See you swoon,

Swoon-Worthy Space Thursday {37 simpson's lane - martha's vineyard}

Happy Thursday, all!  It's been a few weeks since I posted a Swoon Worthy Space Thursday.  I have a good one to share today that will make you ready for Summer ... even if you are a decidedly non-Summer person like me.  

I love to search vacation homes - there is very little likelihood that I will ever own one, but that does not stop me from daydreaming about a lovely beachy home in a lovely beachy town where I can relax and unwind.  Although I have never been there, I love to check out homes in Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.  The New England beach towns are so very different from the New Jersey beach towns that I grew up with.  

I found this home, the Red Door Retreat, in Martha's Vineyard and was immediately swooning over the gorgeous style.  I hope you enjoy.  (all photos courtesy of 37 Simpson's Lane or Lighthouse MV)

What do you think?  I am all about that open kitchen and den area.  I also love how the home definitely has a "beachy" feel but it isn't decorated like a beach home.  What's your favorite part? Anyone ready for a clambake?  

See you swoon,

My Master Bedroom Closet: Finally an After!

Recently, I bared all and showed you the horribly embarrassing state of my master bedroom closet.   I took care of business and organized that thing to pieces.  But there were still a few loose ends that I needed to tie up, which, I am happy to report, are now complete!

In my first day of organizing, I took care of the big stuff: I pulled everything out of the closet; I made a few repairs; I sorted and purged my wardrobe; I hung all the dresses and skirts together, all the shirts and blouses together, and all the pants together; I organized my sweaters and brought in a new shelf to hold them; I organized my jeans and shorts; and I moved my shoes from an over-the-door contraption to a more functional shelf.  This was huge progress, but not everything.  I still had to deal with the top shelves, my belts and scarves, my running gear and sneakers, and all that floor space.  I decided to do what I did the first time and empty out those areas so that I could figure out a great solution.

1.  The Top Shelves. 

I picked up a ton of baskets at Home Goods on a recent shopping excursion there.  They had these gorgeous matching white and peach baskets, some with lids and some without, that I thought were too pretty to pass up, along with these vintage-looking wire baskets.  The thing about Home Goods, which I am sure you all know, is if you see it and want it you absolutely have to purchase then and there because otherwise it will be gone [I could use one or two more of the peach and white baskets ... I'm hoping there is a Home Goods miracle and a couple remain].  Here is my haul of lovely organizing objects:

I thought the wire baskets would be perfect for purses: I can easily see what is inside, but they can be tucked away until I need them.  I don't really change up my purses that often, but I certainly like to have my lovelies around.

I have some extra fancy shoes that I don't wear often but want to keep nonetheless, so I found some great clear shoe boxes from The Container Store.  Now I can see the shoes and they look nice and neat together. I ordered a couple of extras just in case I add to my fancy shoe collection.

On the other side, I have two green bins that store my painting clothes and my larger sized pants.  I know when you lose weight you are supposed to ditch all your old clothes, but I just ... I can't get rid of these [I have been at this weight for a year now, and was at this weight before, but I am terrified of tossing all my larger sized pants only to have to replace them eventually ... not the right attitude, I suppose ... but I will give myself a few more years at this smaller size before I do that].  I also have baskets filled with clothes and accessories up here, my sewing kit and some boxes of photos.

2.  Belts.

I decided to move my belts to hooks on the back of the closet door.  They used to live in the plastic shelving unit, which was fine, but I had to rifle through them to find what I wanted.  I bought these hooks at Target (I think they were $9 each) and I liked that I could fit them side-by-side and that the hooks were pretty narrow, so my skinny belts would fit over them.

Now I can see all the beautiful belts all at once.

3.  Scarves.

I like my scarves in view because I wear them as often as I can, but I didn't want them taking up a ton of space.  I found this tie holder at Target, which has non-stick grips on the sides  It is perfect for my scarves.  I hung it behind my shirts and blouses - it's out of the way but still in plain view.  I love it.  I'll probably bring in a second one because this one is full.

4.  Running Gear and Sneakers.

I have a lot of running and triathlon gear: hats, glow-in-the-dark vests, ankle bands, etc.  I previously had it shoved in a bin in the top of the closet, but that wasn't exactly functional.  When I moved my purses and belts out of the plastic storage unit, I moved the regular running gear, winter running gear and triathlon gear into it.  The bottom drawer holds all my casual sneakers and sporty shoes (hiking boots, water shoes, non-running sneakers) and the top drawer holds my gear.  I store my running sneakers and my winter running sneakers on the top of the shelf for easy access.

5.  Floor Space. 

Finally, I had all that floor space around the perimeter of the closet.  I have a bunch of boots, and I wanted to store them a little neater, so I ordered some of these nifty boot holders from The Container Store.  I like how they keep the boots upright.  As with my clear shoe boxes, I ordered a couple more of these than I needed, because I fully intend to add to my boot collection.

I put my casual boots next to the other casual shoes.

And that is all!  It feels great to have this project done.  I'm thrilled with how neat and organized my clothes are.  Makes me want to go out and buy a few more!  No.  Stop.  Enough.

See you swoon,