Sunny Seville

I was looking at flights for a trip I have in mind in May and reminded that last year in May I was lucky to travel to the east coast of Spain where my travel companion and I ended our trip in Seville. After spending four days there it quickly rose to the top of my all time favorite cities in Europe.

We traveled at the perfect time, when the jacaranda trees were in bloom and the streets less crowded with tourists than they often are in the summertime. It also gets hot and a little humid there so we we’re lucky to have visited when the weather was warm and sunny throughout the day but not uncomfortable, and balmy at night which allowed for even more time to explore.

Seville is one of the most charming cities I’ve ever been to, it truly has everything that makes a city great: incredible architecture, a lovely riverwalk, markets, cafes, and plazas to sit and sip sangria. It offers the best of flamenco and an old town to stroll around and the exquisitely beautiful Plaza de Espana with staircases, terraces, and lamposts covered in the most beautiful Spanish tile. I’m sure I took a hundred pictures of all the wrought iron balconies, doors, and architectural details that caught my eye around every bend of every street.

How about a virtual vacation to the city of Seville? Below are a few snapshots from the sunny streets in the south of Spain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While staying in Seville, we rented this central apartment in the old town, it was accessed through a lovely courtyard and very comfortable, I recommend it if you’re visiting!</

Wall Hooks for a Small Entry

It was making me crazy that I had no place to hang my crossbody bags, backpack, or hats when I’m coming and going so I ordered a set of wall hooks and installed them behind my front door at our house in Florida.

I wanted something simple and minimalist, so when I discovered these angled hooks in natural wood, I bought them and installed them on the wall. I like how simple they are and how they fill the narrow space in between the front door and my little office nook.

I thought about mounting them on wood strips but instead opted to just attach them directly to the wall. Amazing how something so simple can add more convenience to your life.

Sometimes you don’t need a whole system of racks or a hall tree or mud room, you just want a little place to hang your most frequently used hats and handbags.

Below find a collection of modern wall hooks from simple to whimsical for when you want to hang or grab your favorites when you’re on the go. These are all attractive alternatives to standard hook racks.
 

 

curved hooks

 

pebbles hooks

terrazzo / marble

 

 

black circles

 

 

round natural wood pegs | round beech hooks

 

five hook rack

 

golden birds (also in white)

 

white animals

 

gold leaves

etched floral / feather

resin animals (multiple finishes)

 

Weekend Reading 1.22.23

We finally got a break from the storms this week so I went on several small hikes and took a drive to the coast to watch the sunset. I shared on Instagram that as much as I love the soft turquoise waters and white sands of the Florida gulf coast, the rugged California cliffs will always be special to me. There’s a spot I always tell people about when they visit where you can stand on top of the cliffs and see a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and watch the waves roll in.

Today I’m back in ceramics class with ten students and it always makes me so happy to be among fellow amateurs all learning this new craft. It’s a soothing feeling listening to the soft whir of the wheels spinning as we all learn how to mold clay together, what a lovely way to spend a Sunday.

Favorite links from the week:

View a wonderful mix of organic textures in this Memphis home.

A lovely mix of wood tones in this transitional home.

A dark green bathroom with unexpected details.

 A great idea for giving figurines a bronze academia look.

Plaster chandeliers are trending, I’m inspired to try a DIY version.

The tonal mixed media abstract paintings by this artist are a new favorite.

Also discovered these sculptural ceramics, incredible shapes.

The quiet profundity of everyday awe.

The rat race of the big reveal.

Our essential need for novelty.

Coastal Living Room

Don’t you love starting the new year with a fresh and clean space? I was finally able to put the finishing touches on our living room on my last visit. I find myself drawn more and more to minimalist spaces with limited decor, I feel like I can think more clearly, is it just me?

We’re fortunate to own a single story home in an older neighborhood just a few minutes from the gorgeous Gulf coastline and keys. We fell in love with Sarasota when we visited last year. It was the white sand beaches, soft ocean waves, colorful sunsets, laid back living, and art scene that made us want to move there. Our plan is to make the full time jump from California to Florida at the end of next year once our son completes high school.

This room is the first thing you see when you enter the home so my intention has been to create a light and bright space as a place for guests or the family to relax. It’s coastal inspired of course with light wood tones, soft textures, and minimal decor. The faux fig leaves and the rug are from Target, and the silk tropical plant in the corner I found at Home Goods. The chairs and coffee table are from Wayfair and the sofa is from West Elm. Below are a few snapshots of the space.

 

This coral inspired bowl I sculpted myself, the white glaze was inspired by the the white sandy beaches of Florida. It’s a catchall for shells I pick up on walks along the beach. 🙂

 

As attractive as the sofa is, I’ve made arrangements to return it. The quality of customer service from West Elm’s representatives was the worst I’ve ever experienced in my 10+ years decorating spaces. Their customer service department made multiple misrepresentations over the course of 2½ months. Their furniture side of the company has lost all credibility and my business. My intention is to source a replacement sofa, so I’ll be sure to share updated pictures of this space.

If you want sources let me know and I’ll update in the comments! Oh and if you want a glimpse of what this room looked like when we bought the house, see this post, it’s the space with the navy blue wall. 🙂

Weekend Reading 1.15.23

I’m back in California and happy to be home even though our state has suffered from a ton of floods due to the repeating storms. I completed a few projects at the Florida house before I departed, I’ll be sharing those in the coming weeks. My living room sofa finally arrived, so I’ll share that decorated space, and I finished a patio makeover which made a big difference to our outdoor lounging area.

My daughter flies back to the east coast to return to university tomorrow, and my son has returned to high school so we’re back into our routine. It was nice having our family together for a month over the holiday season. I’m starting up my ceramics practice again with continuing education on the wheel at my local studio. I’m looking forward to being more creative with that medium and having pieces to sell in the coming months.

Favorite links from the week:

This layered colonial home, don’t miss the clever custom bunk bed system.

This weekend New York getaway dressed in neutrals.

This sophisticated home in Newport Heights.

This post and beam kit cabin in the Catskills.

This is a clever way to hide your router.

The Japanese art of repairing pottery: kintsugi.

The perfect winter meal: white bean and kale soup.

Great comments here —> the best advice your therapist told you.

Budget Bathroom Refresh

One of the projects I finished during my stay in Florida was the final touches on this small bathroom refresh. When we bought this house we talked about extending this bathroom into the rear yard to make it larger since it is the primary bathroom, but decided instead to simply give it an update so it felt more modern. (We decided against expansion since this isn’t our forever home when we eventually make the full time jump to Florida next year.)

I didn’t want to spend a ton of money giving it an update so this bathroom refresh was completed on a budget. I shopped for less expensive materials to challenge myself. The largest expenses were labor, we needed to remove a hideous florescent light and install new wires for a sconce above the mirror and also a vent to the outside for moisture/odor. We also had to pay for a plumber to come and move the vanity pipes from the right to the left for better flow. The labor costs were several hundred dollars, but so worth it.

Here’s the space I started with. Notice the old laminate cabinet, the pink formica countertop (wow!), the dated and dingy gray porcelain flooring, and the horrific florescent light fixture that ate up the ceiling. I changed all of that.

Here is the space today! It has a new mid century style walnut vanity on the left instead of the right to allow for more sensible entry and exit into the walk in shower. New lighting, mirror, storage, and tile give the space a much fresher look!

Moving the vanity to the left was essential to me, it allows one person to brush their teeth if another is in the shower. Before the faucet was directly in front of the shower door which made absolutely no sense, and there was a lot of wasted space in this bathroom before.

The new vanity is 6” more shallow than the previous countertop, allowing for extra space to move around. I love the legs, it allows for easy sweeping and mopping underneath.

We lost countertop space but I created more horizontal surfaces with a metal and wood storage shelf and a little glass shelf above it. Above the toilet (not shown) I’m adding a tall IKEA Godmorgan medicine cabinet for even more storage.

I repurposed the white towel bar, it was perfectly good so it stayed, same for the white toilet paper holder next to the toilet.

The new floor and backsplash is a super affordable white porcelain grid mosaic that we installed on both the floor and wall. It’s simple, classic, and very inexpensive. It runs up the wall behind the vanity to add protection against splashing water.

The bathroom shelf is from IKEA I simply spray painted it a brushed brass finish to coordinate with the golden tones in the mirror and picture frame. It provides a little ledge for smaller toiletries and display.

The art is my own sketch that I colorized in a muted pastel desert palette, I’ll be adding it to my print shop next week.

What didn’t change at all was the tile in the shower. It’s your basic 4×4” ubiquitous white tile and it was perfectly good so it stayed. That grid design I repeated on the floor so they complement each other. You can see a glimpse of the shower tile in this image. The shower door is chrome and eventually I may replace it but maybe not since it works perfectly fine and as we all know, new shower doors can be costly.

There are 6 additional inches of space between the shower and the shelf since removing the old vanity and faucet. A bit more room to move around when exiting the shower makes a big difference!

The wall color is White Sand by Benjamin Moore, it’s a pale beige which I’ll definitely use again, it’s a perfect neutral.

We installed a new comfort height toilet (not shown) in the 3×4’ toilet nook to the right and above it I’m hanging an IKEA tall Godmorgon bathroom vanity cabinet for additional storage. Overall I’m very pleased with how the space turned out and it’s far more pleasant to shower and prep in here than it was a year ago!

bathroom sources:

midcentury style vanity in light walnutblack & walnut shelf / grid mosaic flooring & backsplash

sculptural milk glass brass sconce / rounded rectangle mirrorglass shelf  /  towel ring

godmorgon bathroom cabinet (above toilet, not shown)  /  bamboo lid storage

clay pink woven rug / clay pink stripe towels /  bamboo trays / paint color: BM ‘White Sand’

Wall Patterns to Recreate with Pens or Paint

I considered creating a subtle gold sharpie wall treatment for my budget bathroom remodel here in Florida but I opted against it last second and substituted just a framed art print instead. Meanwhile I thought I’d share some of the designs I was inspired by and also some other wallpapers out there that I believe can be recreated with paintbrushes, metallic paint pens, or Sharpies.

Buying wallpaper is expensive and for those who are uncomfortable doing it yourself, there’s the cost of hiring an installer. For complex multicolor wallpapers it’s worth the time, I love how the bold tropical wallpaper looks in this bathroom remodel from last summer, however it did take me almost two days to get it all pasted and aligned just right on the walls.

If you’re looking for something more subtle or tone on tone, or if a wallpaper you love is not the scale you envision, you can stencil or you can freehand one on your own. What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t like it so you paint over it!  Below are just a few examples of line art, geometric, and abstract prints that one could recreate with patience and a paintbrush or sharpie.

brushstroke maze

 

leaf line art

 

modern maze

 

line maze

citrus line art

 

triangle maze

 

graffito wallpaper

 

rectangle swirl

 dotted wave

 

mudcloth inspired lines

 

minimalist line art faces

 

metallic leaf wallpaper

 

shibori lines

 

big random brushstrokes

 

organized strokes

 

funky curve

 

repeating rectangles

 

large watercolor strokes

 

desert hues strokes

Stay tuned for a budget bathroom renovation coming up later this week!

 

Weekend Reading 1.8.23

Weekend hellos friends. I’m easing into the New Year with new intentions and a list of things I’d like to achieve before the end of the year. The list is small, just a few things where I’m aiming for sensible growth and expansion. More on that in the weeks to come!

I’m taking advantage of blue skies and temperatures in the 70s while in Florida for the week and tackling a patio makeover. I postponed this project last summer because temperatures were just too high in the 90s to get it done, so I’m doing it now. I’m also nearing completion on another bathroom remodel, and I’ll be sharing both soon. 🙂

Favorite links from the week:

This light and bright California inspired home on the Sunshine Coast.

Very clever project: these bread boxes converted to side tables.

These are really fun wild wallpaper designs.

Beautiful paper and brass flower sculptures.

Design trends that are outdated, do you agree?

A brilliant way to repurpose an old hammock.

Handy plant care guides. Love the illustrations!

This diet has won best in wellness six years in a row.

A grounding exercise for when you’re emotional or overwhelmed.

Dream getaway: this farmhouse cottage stay near Byron Bay.

2023 Printable Calendars

I’m back in Florida for another ten days finishing up some projects on the house and trying my best to squeeze in a few sunset views before we rent out this home. I love being here, the weather is so nice this time of year and I feel lucky we get to escape rougher winter weather.

I designed a few printable calendars for 2023 that I’ve uploaded to my print shop on Etsy. There are three different designs, one shares ocean views from around the word, another is a collection of abstract prints, and the third is a minimalist botanical sketch calendar.

All three are simple 12 page PDFS but also include .jpgs for printing as well. These are easy to print on a home printer or upload to a printing service. They display month by month and can be hung individually, attached to a clipboard, whatever works best! Each comes in three sizes, legal (8.5×14″), letter (8.5×11″), and A4 international size (210x297mm).

Ocean Views Printable Calendar | seaside views from around the world

 

Abstract Art Printable Calendar | colorful backdrop paintings with minimalist months

 

 

Botanical Stem Printable Calendar | sketched stems with muted colorful leaves

All three calendars are for sale in my Etsy print shop and 20% off through the end of January.

Lighting Solution: Battery Operated Sconces

Hello and Happy New Year! My holiday was relaxing, I joined some friends for a glass of Prosecco then was in my pajamas by ten on the couch. I think the holiday can be fun in warm weather climates but it’s been raining so much here all I wanted was to stay indoors.

Easing back into regular content, you can expect more of the same from me this year. More space reveals, DIY projects, resource roundups, travel stories, and other reflections on life thrown into the mix. I’m headed back to Florida at the end of the week to ready the house for a tenant. We are renting the house from the middle of January through May so I need to finish up a few projects before that happens. While our family was at the house during Thanksgiving, I remodeled the electric fireplace and added woven chairs and a coffee table to the living room. The sofa will arrive next week.

For the walls I wanted wall sconces but I didn’t want to pay an electrician to come out and install boxes for wired fixtures at this time. Instead I opted for battery operated wall sconces to give the space just a little extra lighting for reading at night or sitting by the fire.

 

I was surprised how much I liked the fabric ones I ordered, they are a half cylinder linen finish with a remote control and several light settings, warm, cool, etc. They also have timer settings so they’ll turn off whenever I program them to. Their minimalist style blends in with the off white wall, when they’re off, they don’t draw attention so they’re perfect for this space.

You can find plenty of plug in sconces for walls but I didn’t want to look at wires so the only option short of adding wires was to purchase battery operated sconces and thankfully there are a lot more choices now.

 

modern wood rechargeable  /  wood & black (set of two)

black arch (set of two) also in bronze / brass picture light with remote

rechargeable magnetic light

The lights below come in sets of two, operated by a single remote control. So if you’re looking to add extra light to a bedroom, hall, living room, kid’s room, dining room, office, garage, just about anywhere, consider these battery operated wall sconces for your home.

black and gold gooseneck / wood + green (multiple colors)

white gooseneck / brass torchiere / black gooseneck

modern wood & white  /  black & brass   /  brass cylinder

If you’re not in love with those styles, consider hanging a sconce designed to be hardwired where there is no electrical source, and using battery operated remote control bulbs. Be sure to double check the interior of the sconce to ensure the battery operated bulbs will fit inside!

for example: pottery barn shaded sconces + remote control battery bulbs