Home Decor


Invite Your Animal Friends

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor, Inspiration

Can you guess what all of these photos have in common?

Jenny Komenda

Kim Jeffery for Design Sponge at Home via SFGate

Furbish Studio

Mark Iantosca for Teen Vogue

Lee Jofa

Why yes, they all have little animal friends incorporated into the decor. Even something as small as the little snail figurines seen in Jenny’s photo above can add just the right amount of, dare I say, whimsy to your room. I’m not really one for serious design- life is short and all that- and a little animal element really lets a visitor know that your home is a place to relax and have fun. Don’t believe me? Which Friend was the most fun (Joey). And who owned the sculpture of a greyhound? I rest my case.



While My Guitar Gently…

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor, Inspiration

I’ve been learning guitar for the past month or so. Well, learning guitar AND learning that the expression “Out of sight, out of mind” is so, so true. See, when the guitar is out of sight, practicing is not on my mind. So, I did some digging for interiors that incorporate guitars.

Rita Konig

Little Green Notebook

House and Home, Apartment Therapy, Apartment Therapy

Design Sponge

I think the key is combining form and function. The guitars in these rooms are all really easy to access, but they don’t take away from the rest of the elements.

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Sunny Sunday Morning

1 Comment »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor

I’ve made a significant amount of progress on my mini bedroom makeover. I bought the nightstands and pillowcases from West Elm, as well as the art from Ikea. I spontaneously picked up these lamps while I was at Ikea, but then I saved money by “borrowing” the curtains from my mom, and using the solid blue side of my Liberty of London for Target quilt I picked up a few years ago.

I love how symmetrical and bright and new everything is, which motivates me to make the bed and tidy up every morning (I’m not always the best with housekeeping). The bed faces the door, so as I enter the bedroom throughout the day, I get a little rush, like I’m walking into a hotel room, which further motivates me to keep the room looking nice.

The new look for the bedroom also just makes it so much more fun to hang out in there! Our long holiday weekend came to a close yesterday, but we were able to milk a little more leisure time out of it by lounging around all morning in our jammies.

Have you found that a room makeover (large or small) has changed the way you feel about a space? I think we all can have emotional reactions to beautifully photographed rooms, or even seeing a piece of furniture in person; does living in a “new” space change how you feel day to day?

Photos: Gretchen Lilly


Bedroom Makeover on the Cheap(ish)

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor, shopping

I’m thinking the bedroom is looking a little blah. Maybe adding some bold colors and stripes will brighten in up a bit.

I don’t have a big budget, but I do have a bunch of West Elm gift cards I’ve been collecting with credit card reward points, so I’m thinking I’ll head there for some nightstands and new pillowcases. The foot of the bed would look great with the classic Pendleton Glacier Blanket, and it will keep me warm in the winter, too.  The left wall really needs something- like a giant piece of art, and Ikea has some affordable options. After adding so many other graphic elements, I think my current curtains will look wonky, so I’m looking for some white curtains, or something with the same colors as the blanket and pillowcase.


Have you ever planned out a room in advance? I tend to just buy things when I see them, but I’m trying to be more mindful of what I bring into the house, for design and budget reasons. I’ll let you know what the end result is!




I Think I’m Happy With the Bar Area!

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor, Styling

This little bar area in the apartment started out as function rather than form. Behind those canvas panels are boxes and boxes of various wires and other computer things for Brian. The shelves itself is a fairly utility-looking number from Ikea that I picked up off of Craigslist for $20 a few years ago. After “slipcovering” the shelves I figured I’d better jump on the bar cart bandwagon to pretty it up. I added the print last year (West Elm), and the whole thing looked okay, but I knew it could look better. I found this lamp at a local store, The Standard, last week, and it is just what was needed! Now, in a perfect world I would hang the print, but I tried that before, and it came crashing down, and as a result the glass cracked and we spent a good chunk of change getting the frame fixed. I’m just a little shy to hang this piece again.

Photos: Gretchen Lilly


The Shops at Target Fall Collection- My Picks

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion, Gifts, Home Decor, shopping

I always get excited when a new collaboration with Target is announced. Who doesn’t love the chance to grab a limited edition piece at a good price? I’ve gotten swept up into the madness that has surrounded their higher profile designer collaborations (like driving 70 miles round trip to a small town Target to buy Missoni, or dragging Brian out of bed so we could divide and conquer at Jason Wu). The Shops at Target seems to be less about tapping into an already existing fan base, and more about bringing small business owners into the national spotlight. The benefit to all of us regular Target shoppers is that we probably won’t be faced with a long line of folks who showed up at the bull’s eye before dawn, and there are some really beautiful items to add to your home and wardrobe.

The fall collection of The Shops at Target comes to stores September 9th. Here’s what I’ll be looking for:

From New York City boutique Kirna Zabête, I’ll be picking up pieces that should transition nicely from summer to fall. We all know the maxi dress isn’t going anywhere, and I love how it is styled here, with a bit of an edge, but I can also see it looking great with my favorite gladiator sandals and a fedora. You can’t tell from the photo, but the dress in the middle has long sleeves, which is always a great option for fall, and the abstract grey and white pattern makes this a great piece to pair with this season’s brightly colored sweaters. I’ve been contemplating faux-leather pants for a while, and $30 seems like an easy way to try the trend.

Patch NYC has nice selection of soft goods as well as some ceramics. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to cute little bunnies every morning on your comforter? The neutral palate keeps the sham and comforter set from looking too juvenile. So many cake stands are white, I just know the black base on this one will stand out in a good way with my collection (and the bucks illustration on the surface makes for a nice surprise as you hand out cake slices). This serving tray has classic lines and just the perfect amount of detail with the feather impression on the handles.

The Curiosity Shoppe has some fun 50’s style old west kitchen and serving items. The arrow feather detail on the serving spoons brings the salad bowl set from basic to quirky. These tea towels would make a great hostess gift, and could even be framed for some simple art. While I don’t usually blog about menswear, the New York men’s shop Odin has this elegant soy candle (not sure about the scent, but I’ll be checking it out). And while I’m not holding my breath, perhaps these desert boots will come in a small enough size to fit me (or I’ll just get them for Brian and live vicariously through him).

What’s caught your eye from The Shops at Target?

All images from Target


FLW in the PNW


Frank Lloyd Wright is quite possibly one of the most famous architects of all time. He’s best known for building homes in the Midwest and on the East Coast (and his winter home in Arizona, blogged about back in February 2010), and I assumed that is where all of his buildings are. I was shocked to learn that there are two Wright homes in the Seattle area- AND they are both currently for sale!

The Tracy House on Puget Sound:

And as much as I love the water, this cozy little place in the woods is my favorite of the two:

Notice the furniture that was designed to go with the homes- I especially love the long benches.

So if you have over a million dollars budgeted out for your next home, you can own a Frank Lloyd Wright.

Listings found at SeattleModern.com which is a great place to geek out on mid-century and modern houses on the market.


Put Another Record On

846 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor, Organization

My gift to Brian this Christmas was a record player (or turntable, or phonograph). We’ve each been building up a collection of records over the years (mine started when I purchased Debbie Gibson’s Out of the Blue in the second grade), so it’s been great to hear our records through the speakers. The thing is, now I want some sort of furniture piece to hold the records and player. My current solution is a wooden TV tray and a plastic milk crate (note to college students with little money- buy these things, you will keep finding uses for them until you win the lotto and can afford to actually decorate your whole house at once).

The contenders:

Urban Outfitters

West Elm


And if I do win the lotto (or stop buying food):

Design Within Reach


Cover Inspiration


This Elle Decor cover from March 2007 still feels so fresh and interesting:

So I looked around to see what I could put together for a similar vibe and a more reasonable price point:

Tapestry ($183), Embroidered Pillow ($15), Ikat Pillow ($36 for 2), Sofa ($2,199)

For anyone out there that is feeling stumped about putting together an area of your home, try browsing the covers of shelter magazines. Most are available online, or you can check out a bunch from the library. Once you find a look you like, spend an hour or two browsing the interwebs to find similar pieces from the major retailers, Etsy, and E Bay. You can even break it into small chunks of time and just search for a particular item. If time is on your side, check out your local thrift shops. It is possible to take the expensive looks featured in magazines and translate them to a regular-person budget, you just need a specific focus and some time to looks.


My Glowing, Floating Christmas Tree

633 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Christmas, Crafts, Home Decor

This year, we went for something completely different for our Christmas tree- something that isn’t very traditional, but puts off the warm glow that I love the most about Christmas trees.

This is an original idea that came to me in a flash after seeing a photo of a large and beautiful chandelier hung close to the ground. I bought a bunch of paper lanterns (about $68) and three short strings of white lights with white wire (about $10). I explained my original idea to Brian, which was to pile all of the lanterns on top of each other from the bottom up, but he suggested we hang it all from the ceiling. I loved that idea even more!

Putting the whole thing together was pretty simple:

We originally planned on using fishing line to connect all of the lanterns, but those sure can get tangled up with each other (and the lights) rather quickly! We used the fishing line just to suspend the top lantern, and the rest of the lanterns are just connected with paper clips! That made putting it together go pretty fast, with the benefit of all of the lanterns having equal spacing. The cord for the lights go down to the floor, so I need to wrap some more presents to cover that up.

I can see this being used in the entry of a bigger home at the holidays, or even in a store-window display (maybe a visual merchandising career is in my future?).

I really had a lot of fun putting this together, a huge part of which was just going through the creative process. I think I’m not the only one that gets so caught up in the daily stuff that I forget how wonderful it feels to be creative and make something with my hands.

Photos: Gretchen Lilly

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