Sunday, September 18, 2016

My (Rental) Little Loft~Living and Dining Room Tour

After completely setting up my space for Fall, I realized I never shared the changes I had made in the space over the last two years without all the seasonal decor! So, I took it all down and set it up as I have it in it's neutral/non-seasonal state! I will be sharing all of my subtle autumn touches later this week! 
As I explained before, I converted a loft (above a home) into a little bachelorette pad for the Penster and myself. I have my own private bedroom, bath, living and dining-room, which includes a mini fridge and espresso bar. It is so perfect for me! I also have access to the main part of the home which has an additional living room and the kitchen that I have just remodeled. I will be sharing more photos of that space soon too! My loft is small and I have it pretty jam packed with a bunch of goodies that I brought back from Europe, along with some modern items to give it a bit more of a transitional look. It feels so very "me"...The style is a bit modern and clean with some vintage and eclectic charm thrown in. I feel so lucky to have this little space to relax, get inspired and create in!The pictures below are of the space before I added the wall to make it a private little apartment. These are from the day I moved in. Eventually, my landlord will be adding wood floors to this space. Here are the before pictures!

Here is my space now! On a side note, the pictures below are a combination of some that I took and some were taken by the ridiculously talented, Ari & Faye Photography. Those photos will be linked to their site. Check these talented gals out!!!
I added a mantle and some faux candles to give a cozy home-y feel and it sure does the trick! I light my faux fire every single day! It adds a ton of ambience and the flickering looks lovely dancing in the antiqued mirror behind them. I love having aged surfaces that my guests feel comfortable kicking their feet up on or placing their drinks on. It also makes the space feel a bit more laid back. 
I finally got a chesterfield that I have been wanting for years and moved the white sofa to where I had two gray wing backs. The lightness of the sofa and the height of its back really brightened up the space, opened the room up and has now allowed for more seating!

I have added contemporary side tables, ghost chairs, accessories and a lamp to help make the place more glam and to make the space more updated and hip, with the abundance of antiques that I have. The ghost chairs have that fantastic traditional form but the modern material is what makes them so streamlined. They are the perfect additions to a room full of antiques! They have the sheepskin on them for the Fall and Winter months!

Many people use gold and antlers in seasonal decor,  but I like to use metals and antlers year around. They add a luxe and organic touch to any space. 


My favorite part of my loft is my espresso-bar armoire and relaxing by my fireplace to some jazz music. This tutorial is awesome for small spaces, rentals, bed and breakfasts... Or just to add a touch of whimsy to your home!





I painted a charcoal focal wall to add interest and visual weight to that side of the room. The gray balances out the gray from the sofa on the opposite side of the room. 
The dough bowl on my dining room table is currently holding books from Paris that are close to 200 hundred years old. I love these and found them for a steal in France at a thrift shop. They are certainly some of my favorite things in this space! I will be filling this bowl with greenery and pumpkins this evening for my Falliday decor. 





I cleared my buffet of all my cocktail bar accessories so as to not distract from all the beautiful woodwork on that piece. I decided to use a lovely little cocktail cart I scored at Ross to display a fully stocked bar. I love mixing bargain pieces with beautiful and authentic antiques. The antiques seem to elevate the everything else in the room. It is a trick that seems to work EVERY TIME.
 Thank you for coming along on my living/dining room loft tour, and stay tuned for the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and Fall tours... Oh yes and some stagings that I have done... Boy, I have A LOT of catching up to do on this blog!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ultra Creamy, Uber Delectable and Customizable Coffee Creamer



Guten Tag, my friends! If you follow me on instagram, you'll know that since I don't have adorable kiddos to post pictures of everyday, I share pictures of my adorable coffee. Yes, yes I know, some of you may think it's a little lame and sad, but I think it's a little awesome...I love my coffee and I love religiously going to my coffee bar armoire to whip up a delectable drink I enjoy relaxing with it by my (ahem...faux) fire. It is my "me" time.
I wanted to share my favorite, ultra delish, ultra creamy, coffee creamer recipe that you can make from home and is totally customizable. Anytime I serve it to guests, they ask me what it is and 90% of the time they never need to add extra sugar because it is delicious on it's own even through it contains no sugar or sweeteners! Get ready for the most embarrassingly simple recipe ever. On a sidenote, besides my IG photo above, all these shots were taken by my super talented lady friends, Ari and Faye of Ari and Faye Photography! So grateful to have these shots and to share some more with you throughout the next few posts!! 
 To make a batch of this customizable and natural creamer, you simply combine:

~ 2-1/2 Cups unsweetened almond milk (I enjoy the vanilla almond milk)
~ 2 Cups heavy whipping cream
~ 1-2 vanilla bean(s) scraped out into the cream, vanilla extract or any other extract (start with a Tbs. and add more to your liking). If you choose to use the vanilla bean instead of the extract, you can leave it in your cream and it will become deliciously more flavorful over the next couple days. Other extracts that I enjoy are pumpkin pie spice extract, butter and rum. Sometimes I will mix all of the above with pumpkin pie spice (found in your spice section) and it tastes remarkably like egg nog without all the sugar. 
 Mix it up, play around with the recipe and tell me what different variations you come up with! I would love feedback on how you liked this! Now I am off to tear apart all the Fall decor I just set up, because I realize I never shared a post with you on my totally updated loft with my new furniture additions. After I shoot all that, I will be setting all the fall goodies up again. I am tired just thinking about it! Good thing I have coffee to help keep me perked up and peppy!


Friday, September 2, 2016

Announcements, A Peek Into My Redesigned Rental Kitchen and My Home Layout


Sometimes life throws a ton of blessings and business your way and the only thing you have time to do is sleep and drive... That is the story of my life at the moment. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have been slammed with work and have been a bit behind on blogging... "A little bit" is quite the understatement, but hey.... Not only am I working on a ton of design jobs and stagings in San Francisco, but my rental has been under a complete re-do as well! My life as been a never ending construction zone everywhere I go. I finally have a peaceful place to land again! 

Here is what my kitchen used to look like!

Many of you have asked about my loft/kitchen/living area and since my living situation has come across as a bit confusing, I thought I would break it down for you so it is easier to understand my layout, design and the changes that I have made to their rental of mine.
I live in a two story home where I have converted the upstairs loft into a separate, apartment-living space (more before and afters coming next week) with its own bedroom, bath, living room, dining room and have almost everything I need with my espresso bar armoire and mini fridge. Downstairs is a shared kitchen (with my landlord) and an additional couple living areas and wonderful little yard. My apartment has been my little feminine haven and the perfect bachelorette pad for Penny and me. Recently, I have completely redone the downstairs part of the home and have made it appeal to future renters and that isn't too girly for my landlord. This has been and will continue to be a long, slow, work in progress, since it is a job that is done on a budget and in my (very rare) spare time. I have also made quite a few major changes upstairs and look forward to next year when we lay laminate flooring upstairs and add marble to my bathroom sink. I am beyond grateful to live in a place that I can design and I think my landlord is pretty elated with the outcome as well. We both win!

So much of the furniture that I am using downstairs has been out at stagings and is slowly coming back in! I am so stoked to entertain again and deck the place out for all the seasons. This is the year of getting my "me" back. Now that I have a kitchen that inspires me, I will be doing a ton more cooking and creating, something that I am passionate about and have most certainly missed. 

I will also be breaking down all of my resources for you and how I did this makeover on a moderate budget. Once again, you don't have to break the bank to live luxuriously. 

I am also "shaking in my boots "to share all the changes that I have made to my little femme loft, including some seasonal touches that I have made. I have worked my tail off the last couple years and have a place that I am so proud of and feel relaxed in. When I commute as much as I do (sometimes 6-8 hours a day with traffic) I need a sanctuary like the ones I create for clients. I have been indulging in comfort lately and it's just what my tired bones have been needing.
Get your coffee or cocktails ready and get ready for some major content, including before and after photos, entertaining ideas and recipes and some travel and style images too! Psst, My blog is getting a makeover also!
By the way... got a chesterfield!!! Im so in LOVE!!!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Espresso Bar Armoire Part 3: Installing a Chandelier in an Armoire


As you know, I recently converted an armoire into a quaint, tucked away espresso bar. Click here to read parts one and two. This is part three...Installing a light fixture. If you are lazy and don't like overly involved projects, this is the project for you...
This "tutorial" is so insanely easy, I almost feel guilty writing an entire post that is dedicated to doing this, but alas I shall. There is something so enchanting about opening an armoire that is converted into a unique space that has a glistening little chandelier or awesome light that establishes the petite area as a place of importance or "retreat". The best part is, it is SOOOO incredibly simple to do.

Step One: Convert Your Chandelier Into a Plug-In Light (and of course, drink a yummy iced coffee while you do it!)

You are essentially turning your hanging light fixture into a lamp. There are tons of light kits that you can purchase (at any hardware store) and plenty of sites that give tutorials and instructions. I am no electrical expert, so please follow the directions on the light kit. I am not responsible for someone not doing this step correctly. If you can't figure it out, ask an electrician or purchase a "plug in" light fixture. These are available at a plethora of retailers, including Cost Plus World Market, Ikea, Pier One, and dozens more.


I kind of want to have a "laying" chandelier table lamp in my home... I may have to do another one like this. I love the look.

Step Two: Drill Your Hole

Using a 1-1/2" drill bit, drill a hole in an inconspicuous space in your armoire. I saved the little piece of wood to pop back in if I ever decided I didn't want to run electricity into my armoire anymore. I also drilled a hole in the same spot on my removable wallpaper backdrop so they line up. 

Step Three: Hang Your Light on a Hook

Yep... That easy. twist a hook into the ceiling of your armoire and hang your light.

Step Four: Plug Your Light in and Run it Through The Hole You Have Just Drilled



You can hide your cord by running it along the inside of your armoire or behind the replaceable back panel that I show you how to make, here.

Step Five: Stand Back and Look at Your Lovely Little Space in "Awe"!

A dazzling or unique small  light fixture is an unexpected touch that will add character, charm and dimension to your little space, whatever it may be.

Note: Do not leave your light on while doors of armoire are closed. You can purchase switches that allow you to click it on when you open your doors. Too much heat in a small space can cause a fire if left on. I am not responsible for any problems that may occur if this is executed incorrectly.

I am off to chug a ton of coffee and work on a remodel here in San Francisco! Let me know how this works for you! Ciao, friends!

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