Displaying Kids’ Art

October 6, 2017 by Melissa | 0 Comments

Image courtesy of ApartmentTherapy.com

With the kids back at school we are faced with a flood of art projects that are being sent home already.  When I was a kid, the routine was pretty simple.  We brought home a piece of art or, as we got older, 100% on a spelling test, and it was proudly displayed on the refrigerator.  There was a natural rotation of art and papers because as we brought home more papers the old ones were taken down to make space for the latest and greatest.  It was pretty simple.  Now, with stainless steel refrigerators and other non-magnetic surfaces, the ritual of putting special work on the refrigerator has been forced to evolve.  The question for us has been, “where do we put it?”

Because my kids like to display their work proudly for all to see, I did not want to relegate it to their rooms.  For us, it makes the most sense to have a space set aside in our basement.  It currently serves as the kids playroom but is also used for movie and game nights with family and friends.

As I started to look, I realized their are some great ideas out there.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Image courtesy of younghouselove.com

The giant cork board above was the first idea to catch my eye.  It is simple and, best of all, I could make this myself relatively easily.  But, the more I thought I about it, I worried that the set up could lead to fighting.  With two kids who demand equal space, I could see a line of blue painter’s tape down the middle of the board.  So, I decided to look for options that would allow both kids to have their own spot.

Image courtesy of SimplyOrganized.me

The image above is an easy solution to potential fighting.  If everyone has their own board, there is nothing to fight about.  While I think this is perfectly adequate (and may well be what we end up with), I pressed on in search of more creative options.

Image courtesy of Bellini.com

While not particularly creative, the art wall above is simply beautiful.  I think it would be relatively easy to do something like this with frames from IKEA and a few extra hours on a Saturday.  Let’s face it, though, once the art went into those frames I would never change the artwork.  So, it would not really accomplish the purpose of a refrigerator replacement.

Image courtesy of Craftionary.net

Now we’re getting somewhere.  In the image above, empty frames are painted high gloss yellow and fitted with a piece of fishing line and a couple of mini clothes pins.  The frames create a finished, playful look and the fishing line allows you to easily switch out the artwork as new masterpieces are created.  My only concern is whether there would be enough space for ALL of the artwork that comes home from school.  But, for a more curated look this is top notch.

Image courtesy of Houzz.com 

The use of curtain rods and rings with clips make a perfect display for artwork.  I also love that this can double as an art supply station by simply hanging buckets on the lowest rung.  My only hesitation is that it seems like it would be a bit more work to remove the whole set up once the kids outgrew it.  Then again, maybe that is a problem for another day.

There are clearly pros and cons to all of the examples above.  It is going to be hard to settle on one idea.  But, I feel a DIY in my future.  Stay tuned.

Three Brick & Mortar Stores I was Happy to Find in Chicago

October 3, 2017 by Melissa | 0 Comments

When you move away from a city that is as fantastic as San Francisco, you think a lot about the things you will miss.  For me there are many, many things – from the beauty of the city itself, to the amazing restaurants that we love, to the design shops I had become so familiar with over the years.

Rather than focus on what I love (and miss) about San Francisco, I have been trying to spend time discovering the things that I will love about Chicago.  One thing that surprised me is that three of my favorite on-line design resources have brick and mortar stores in Chicago.  Those three are none other than Jayson Home, Circa Lighting and Made Goods.

First, one of my favorite things about the location of my new home is its proximity to Jayson Home.  I am literally within walking distance.  After my first trip I realized, however, that walking was not advisable if I actually planned to purchase anything. Lesson learned.

Images courtesy of Jayson Home.

One of my favorite things about visiting Jayson Home in person is the garden area.  It has a wonderful nursery that you really cannot appreciate on the website.  And, even better, the staff is very knowledgable (which is important if you have a thumb as brown as mine).

While not really walkable, the Circa Lighting and Made Goods showrooms are only a short L ride away.  If you know me at all you know that I am obsessed with lighting so having Circa close by is a real treat.  I was looking at table lamps during my last trip and cannot wait for another excuse to go back.

Exterior image courtesy of Circa Lighting

Made Goods’ showroom is located in the Merchandise Mart, just a hop, skip and a jump away from Circa Lighting.  In addition to having the opportunity to see all of the Made Goods products in real life, the showroom also has a fair number of the Pigeon & Poodle offerings.  Made Goods is one of my absolute favorite sources for unique furniture and decor and being able to see the products before ordering is a real treat.

While I still miss the things I love about San Francisco, I am realizing that Chicago has much to offer.  Something tells me this is just the tip of the iceberg.


Bowled Over By Unique Tableware

September 15, 2017 by Melissa | 0 Comments

Native Foods

Inspiration for blog posts can come when I least expect it. The other day I was having lunch at Native Foods in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.  While I was waiting for my order, I decided to peruse the products for sale in their market.  I was pleasantly surprised by their collection of brightly colored rice bowls.  My lunch reminded me that I have been on the hunt for a brightly colored bowl or salad/dessert plate to add to my all-white tableware.  In fact, I had the same thought the last time I was at China Live in San Francisco and photographed some beautiful rice bowls there as well.

China Live

Obviously, not everyone has access to Native Foods or China Live, but I know that I have noticed similar options in widely-accessible shops.  So, I got inspired to look in earnest for something that would add a little color to my monochromatic tableware.  As it turns out, there are many choices at a variety of price points. Here are some of my favorites and, if you follow this blog, it should come as no surprise that they are all blue.

March SF Plate

Rigato Plate, $200 – While these might be my favorite of the bunch, the $200 per plate price tag makes them unattainable for most of us.  But, if you can afford it, each plate is painted with hand-mixed paints, and they are truly stunning.

Juliska Striped Salad Dessert Plate

Striped Salad/Dessert Plate, $38.00 – While not inexpensive, these salad/dessert plates create the same effect as the more expensive plates above at a much more palatable price point.  I think they are a great option for those of use without a money-printing machine in the basement.

Aerin salad plate

Sea Blue Floral Plate, $51.95 for four – If you are looking for a more classic look,the floral side plate above would be a beautiful way to add color into an all-white color palate.

WS Japanese Garden Salad Plates

Japanese Garden Salad Plates, $49.95 for four – I like the Asian floral motif on the plates above and I especially like that the set of four includes a mixture of white and blue backgrounds.

Stunsig Side Plate

Ikea Stunsig Side Plate, $4.99 – You absolutely cannot beat the price on these plates.  And, the marble swirl is perfectly on trend.

kimwested bowls

Kim Westad Bowls, $36 – I love the simplicity of these bowls.  The turquoise interior is an unexpected touch on what appears to be a simple white bowl.

CB Kiso Blue Rice Bowl

Kiso Blue Rice Bowls, $8.95 – These bowls have the same look as the Native Foods bowls that inspired this post.  I really like that the interior patterns are different from the patterns on the outside.

WE Colored bowlsFolk Printed Bowls, $8 – These bowls have a similar look as the rice bowls above with slightly more modern patterns.  They are another great option for someone looking to add more than one color to their tableware.

WE Textured bowls use this

Textured White Bowls, $32 for four – If you are not ready to add a little color, you can still add a little interest with texture.  Each of the bowls in this set has a different pattern but the scale and color unify the look.

To be honest, I really love all of the options above.  The hard part will be choosing just one.

“Home Again”

September 14, 2017 by Ariana | 0 Comments

It should come as no surprise that the leading lady in Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s new movie, “Home Again,” lives in a chic, but inviting home.  After all, Meyers-Shyer is the daughter of Nancy Meyers, the writer and director of some of our favorite movies (and movie homes) and a producer on this film as well.  While we’re game to see any romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, we will also definitely be watching for the eye candy — her movie home, that is.

Here’s a sneak peek courtesy of One King’s Lane:



Floral Decor For Fall

September 12, 2017 by Melissa | 0 Comments

Martha Stewart 1

Image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

With the fall around the corner, I am looking forward to entertaining.  Of course there are the big holidays . . . Halloween and Thanksgiving . . . but what I look forward to the most are the casual evenings with friends and family.  Baked pastas, braised meats, hearty soups with crusty bread and good red wine are my favorite foods of the season.

While I am craving informal get-togethers and simple food, I still love a beautiful table.  I think that the beauty of fall is that table settings can be sparse and unfussy.  My favorite looks include individual branches, jewel-toned colors, and fruits and vegetables to set the scene.  Here are some of my favorites.

nordicdesigns com

Image courtesy of NordicDesign.com

The richness of the floral center piece above comes from its simplicity – a single type of flower in a dark vase with candles of varying heights makes the meal feel special.  The dark accents provide a beautiful contrast with light linens and table setting.


Image courtesy of nousdecor.com

Again, the use of dark linens and light floral in the image above creates a beautiful contrast, but the cotton branches steer the table towards informal.


Image courtesy of BoltonBuildersInc.com

The use of simple oranges instead of florals brighten the neutral table above.  And, in my family, the use of fruit encourages my guests to have a wholesome palette cleanser before dessert (and sometimes after).   Toss whatever is left after dinner into a beautiful bowl to use as decor on a kitchen counter.


Image courtesy of HGTV.com

Pussy willow stalks are a simple, beautiful accent floral.

martha stewart 2

Image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

The jewel-toned florals above make a simple table feel luxurious.