Thursday, September 1, 2016

Craft closet

Oh, hey friends! It's hard to believe this summer is slowly coming to an end! Someone officially  starts pre-K 4 on Tuesday (what?!) so it's GAME ON over here to make sure we get off to a good running start. Since we're less than a week away until a new school year, I decided I really needed to tackle last year's artwork. There's no way I could go into this school year with a huge pile of pre-k 3 stuff hanging over my head.

 Organizing last year's stash necessitated cleaning out our craft closet. Also known as the former coat closet that once stored lots of stuff (none of which was actually coats). About a year after moving into this house, I became sick and tired of looking at the piles of stuff that were accumulating on our kitchen island/prep area. Art & craft supplies were amassing here (along with everyday life) and I had no clue where to put everything.

So this teeny, tiny coat closet got a makeover. Since we already have a large coat closet at the back entry (that we use on a daily basis), we really didn't need another. And to be honest, we rarely (if ever) use the front entryway since it's SO small. Like, bang-the-front-door-into-the-wall & awkwardly-dance-with-your-guests-in-a-2 ft.-enclosure small. NO THANKS. We were using this closet as a small dumping ground for things we quickly unpacked after the move and rarely (if ever) used. You guys, I'm a big fan of making spaces work for the way you live. Just because it's a coat closet doesn't mean it actually needs to be a coat closet!

An inexpensive Rubbermaid cubicle fit perfectly in the space. And after adding some bins, baskets, magazine holders & dollar spot tins (most of which I already had on hand)...voila, a craft closet was born! The wire basket up top holds all current school & artwork. I pile it all in there until it gets overwhelming & I'm forced to sort through it all. Notice how empty it is now? Yeah, I give it a few good weeks into the school year before I have to start tackling the basket again. At some point I'd love to repaint the inside of the closet & hang some toddler artwork. But for now the fact that art, craft & school supplies are all tucked neatly away is good enough for me.

So there you have it! A simple solution for utilizing a space that would have been uselessly used otherwise. And we're on track to start the new school year with a clean slate #winning. What about your own home? Think about spaces and how they can work for you, rather than what your home is telling you they should be.

Happy long weekend friends!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Exciting news!

Did you guys know I'm taking the plunge and offering interior styling and organizing services?

Yes! I'm taking my love for décor & styling and making it into a little side hobby. Truth be told I've been thinking about it for a long time. Long, as in since April of last year. Like back when I was really huge and pregnant with Caroline, and my sweet friend and photographer extraordinaire Liz knocked some sense into me and said I really should start charging for my expertise (that I'd been giving away for free all this time). And so, after a lot of deliberating (over a year of it!) I decided to start offering my services for real. It's scary AND exciting!

My love for décor goes way back. Remember Spiegel catalogs, circa early '90's? I spent lots of time studying the home section, imagining my own rooms and layouts & deciding how each room would be decorated. I love walking into homes and deciding what I would do with them. A little mental makeover if you will (not to make you nervous or me, some of you already know what you're doing). I still search real estate listings because, #homeobsessed. And since having kids, I have a huge soft spot for nurseries, play rooms, and kid spaces. And more importantly, trying to figure out how to corral and store ALL.THOSE.TOYS. (trust me...we've been there, done that, are currently living it).

I find a lot of people are nervous and just need a push in the right direction when it comes to decorating and organizing their homes. Décor decisions can be overwhelming! Especially when you've pinned every image known to man, and still don't know how to get started. And sometimes you've got just too much stuff and aren't quite sure how to edit and organize it all.

Well, that's where I'm here to help.

I'm a believer that you should be excited to come home at the end of the day, and love the home you live in! Our house is a constant work in progress (if you know me, then you know we're typically talking about the "next project" when we're in the middle of another). But at the end of the day, I love our home and the time we spend in it. Everyone should feel that way, right?

If you're currently in debate over what color to paint a room, what throw pillows to toss on your couch, or how to style those built-ins that you've been staring at for months...shoot me an e-mail, I'd love to help!

Monday, June 6, 2016

The new house

As the husband so kindly pointed's been more than a week since I last promised to share pictures of the new house. Yikes. The month of May came as fast as it went, and brought with it a nasty stomach bug (for me), our anniversary (that we still have yet to properly celebrate), a wedding, and a certain someone's first birthday and subsequent party. #excusesexcuses

ANYWAY. Here we go! Time to (finally!) share pics of the new house! Can you believe it will be two years in July that we've lived here? Some days I feel like we still live in someone else's house, and other days I look around to see just how much we've done to this home since we arrived.

So without further ado....the living room before (on move-in day):

And the after (but more like "progress" since "after" is just crazy talk):

Hands down, the living room is my biggest challenge. It's a formal living space! A family room! A place for the kids to play! In short? This room has multiple personalities. Coupled with the fact that the layout is super weird. The room is long & off centered. And the multiple doorways and windows make furniture placement tricky. On one hand, I love all the natural light that the room gets. But would I prefer our television to be somewhere else but smack dab over the fireplace? You bet. But sadly, the fireplace is the only option at this point. And the wall behind the couch has been awaiting some form of art for way too long than I'm proud to admit. Basically, this room has some work ahead of itself. #workinprogress 

The dining room before:

And after:

The dining room was a pretty straightforward space. We painted, added some DIY art, and replaced the light fixture with our old Restoration Hardware fixture we had at the previous house. I'm sure I'll want to change things up in here at some point, but for now the dining room is simple, streamlined, and the only zone in the house that doesn't look like we live in a three-ring circus (because we do).

The Kitchen:

With the exception of some new valances, table & a dishwasher, this kitchen is pretty much looking the same as it did on move-in day. While the space is nice (hey, I have no complaints about a new kitchen) it's definitely not our style. But one of my favorite things about this space is the eat-in area. I never realized how much I would love (and need) an eat-in kitchen until we had kids. It means our dining room is largely ignored, but I wouldn't trade an eat-in space for anything.

We have big plans to lighten things up in here (which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me!). In the meantime, we'll live with the way things are for awhile. But I'd be lying to say that I wasn't itching to get things changed up in here. Like yesterday.

The half bath:

The mirror has been changed up & the shelves met their fate with a garbage can. But otherwise, what you see is what you (still) get in here. With the weather warming up, we've shifted our focus to outdoor projects, but this space is next on my radar. We plan to add picture molding, marble hex flooring, a new light fixture, faucet, paint & art. Not that I'm wishing my summer away already...but I'm super excited to get working in here.

The basement:

We've moved some new furniture down here, mounted a t.v., and replaced the carpet (after a major plumbing issue last summer). But as it stands, things still look the same down here. Only with more toys. Because, two kids.

So there you have it! It took me nearly a month to put this post together. Which means you'll get to see the second floor three years from now. You're welcome. If anyone has any questions about room sources & colors, feel free to ask at!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Emme's playroom

So here's the thing about ignoring your blog for nearly two discover posts that sat dormant & never saw the light of day. It seems I never got around to sharing pictures from Emme's playroom at the old house! Sigh. This brings a little tear to my eye, it was one of my favorite rooms. Everything was contained, pretty, and toys were at a minimum (vs. our current situation...a finished basement that houses an explosion of toys, princess figurines, and puzzle pieces that multiply by the second #icanteven)

With the exception of the cube shelving from Target, pretty much everything in this room was thrifted, passed down or flea market/antique finds. Things have found themselves moved about the new house, serving new purposes...

The bulletin board (formerly a canvas painting), holds pre-school artwork in the kitchen.

The bronze horsehead bookends are sitting amongst the décor of our living room built in's.

The WWII shipping crate (that I added casters to) holds a slew of board games in the basement/family room.
The table & chairs currently reside in our living room (a great place for little people to eat lunch while watching a show). 
The wooden tool box is still holding books, but happily living in Emme's bedroom.

And I couldn't get enough of the pale blush color we painted this room (Pink Sea Salt by Martha Stewart), so we used it in Emme's bedroom at the new house.  
I can confidently say that our current playroom situation looks nothing like this (even on a good day), but that's the brilliant thing about basements. Out of sight, out of mind, right? It'll probably be a long time before it looks anything close to's really one room at a time around here.
I'll be back this week to share some before pictures of the first floor of the new house! Get ready for lots of green, yellow, and honey oak wood tones....mmmmm, it's going to be good.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


At risk of sounding like an Adele song, hello, it's me (for the record, I'm not an Adele fan, but you're welcome...that song is officially stuck in all of our heads now).
But HELLO! It's been awhile, right? I've missed this blog so. Our lives have gotten so busy these last 2 years (has it been that long?), it's been nearly impossible to sit down and take the time to write. If you don't know me or aren't following along on Instagram, here's a quick recap of what we've been up to since I last checked in.
We sold our house in the city and jumped ship (quite literally) to the 'burbs.

We had a baby!

Who looks a bit more like this these days...

Our sweet Caroline was born last May, and to say we are obsessed with her is a bit of an understatement.
We also sent a certain someone to pre-school this year (who subsequently turned three while we weren't looking)...

When time allows, we are working on house projects. We landed upon a completely renovated cape, which made moving in & living life easy (I'm trying to wrap my head around our original idea of buying a fixer upper, all the while managing our little circus?!). Fortunately--for me!--the style of this house was not our taste at all, so I'm getting to change rooms one by one, slowly but surely. Some days I look around and feel like we still live in their house. But then I take a step back to look at the bigger picture, and we've definitely put our mark on this place. I can't wait to start sharing pictures with you soon!

I'm also taking a leap of faith and working on a little side project which will allow me to help you (my dear friends) to spruce up your home, style it & organize your spaces. Because your home should make you happy, right? More info to come! And if you're feeling a little the meantime, let's chat, shall we?

Speaking of restyling, this blog will soon be getting a new look. I love it, it's fun...but it's just not me anymore, you know? I've also toyed with the idea of ditching the City Dwellin' name, but at the end of the day that's how you've come to know and love me. And quite frankly, city love will always be in our hearts (also, we live literally 10 minutes from our old house). Between the husband and I, we lived a total of about 15 years in the city. I guess we'll always be city dwellers at heart.

Well that's it folks! Hi. Hello. I'm back. This feels good.

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