MIA

So where the hell have I been?  I know, I know – life just got away from me.  I’ve been refocusing on myself a bit – trying to get healthier, taking care of some actual health stuff too.  Then a crazy girls weekend with my bests from college followed by getting sick for a full week just as I was cutting out caffeine and anything that tasted delicious….

Today’s gonna be a quick recap of updates around Chez Sledge.  Last when I left you, we were working on our office.  Since then we got our new chair from Wayfair:

New Office Chair!

And last weekend Jefe hung up some more art.  Can you believe he took those photos of Fenway himself?  The one of the stadium’s green seats with the single red seat is stunning.

Fenway Artwork

Fenway Artwork - Detail

The room is really coming together; I can’t wait until we can afford that armchair so I finally have my reading nook!  I’m planning to relocate that white chair to the dining room, scoot the shelf unit over and make room in the corner on the left for it, right by the floor lamp and next to the window.

New Office Artwork

Next up is a quick update in the master bedroom.  We finally managed to find a new nightstand for Jefe; it was made of solid wood with a reclaimed style to it.  It was the first time we ordered anything from Joss & Main and I was thrilled with the outcome.  Everything came pre-assembled and well packaged.  From date of order until delivery was less than 2 weeks!

Jefe's New Nightstand

Jefe's New Nightstand 2

We’ve slowly been switching out the furniture in this room and with the addition of the new nightstand, it admittedly looks a little more mismatched than eclectic at the moment.  That’s always the challenge once you move out of matching furniture sets to create a more curated look; it can look like quite the hodge podge of random items until you get close to the finish line.  Here’s a little refresher (with a few updates) of what I’d eventually love the room to look like:

Sledge Bedroom Revamp

If you’re following along on Instagram, you’ll notice that we’ve made some serious progress in our backyard.  But there’s a few more pieces to come so I’ll just leave you with this little before & after until I can give you the full recap.

BEFORE

Backyard - Before

AFTERIMG_6491

Lastly, I finally got around to tackling the lighting situation in our kitchen.  After a quick trip to HomeGoods during my girls’ weekend, I snagged a cheap, neutral drum shade to cover up that horrendous fake-brass boob light.

BEFORE

Kitchen Boob Light

AFTER

Kitchen Drum Shade

I still need to add a piece of fabric to it so you can’t see the ugly fixture it’s hiding underneath, but just by hanging the shade I can feel such a difference in the room.

Kitchen Drum Shade 2

Jefe and I also made a quick trip to Ikea last Saturday and managed to snag the Foto plug-in pendant and I can FINALLY see what I’m cutting while making dinner!  I need to use some white cord cover so it blends in a little more, but I’m really happy with it.

New Pendant Light

I tried hanging it with the ceiling screws included, but it turns out our ancient drywall is a bit crumbly in the ceiling so 3M hooks to the rescue.  I only wish I had tried them before I put giant holes in my ceiling but that’s what spackle is for, am I right?!

Here’s both lights in action:

New Kitchen Lights

All in all, we’ve been making some great progress around the place.  I’m really please with how it’s turning out!

 

Advertisements

Beauty Rest Bedroom

So now that the kitchen is looking good (pending some artwork decisions), it’s time to move down the long hall to our master bedroom.  Our big challenge right now is furniture – although we’re fairly content with the quantity of storage our current dressers provide, they leave quite a bit to be desired in the quality and aesthetics arenas.  And now that I have my rich, wood-toned nightstand, we’re anxious to get the rest of our room up to snuff.

Here’s what it’s looking like these days (excuse all poor iPhone photos – its the first time I felt up to blogging in a while and i was motivated to get it DONE!):

IMG_4951

The first piece we’re focusing on is a new nightstand with storage for Jefe.  His side of the bed is currently rocking the matchy-matchy black Hemnes I purchased 7 years ago when I moved to LA.

Hemnes Nightstand

Since I got so lucky finding my nightstand at the Rose Bowl, we’ve been focusing our search at the flea market.  So far we’ve struck out twice there and once at the Long Beach Flea Market where we ventured for the first time last week.  Frustrated, I started branching out to the usual suspects to see what new pieces retailers like Pottery Barn, West Elm and World Market had to offer.

Pottery Barn has this great Branford Bedside Table in Mahogany that would be perfect, but at $529 ON SALE, it’s not really in the budget.

PB Branford Nightstand

The next option I found was from World Market – the Sara Double-Wide Nightstand in a beautiful shade of grey blue.  With a price of $119 and by adding some more sophisticated hardware, I could totally make this work.  Then I remembered it would be sitting in front of NAVY curtains, next to NAVY and white striped duvet, and I’m planning to lay down an INDIGO rug….. Just too much blue (I didn’t know there was such a thing!)  But the minute they sell this table in a wood tone, it’s MINE.

483546_SARA DOUBLE-WIDE NIGHTSTAND

Target had some interesting pieces including this more rustic accent table, but there was nothing I liked that was tall enough.  I really hate the low-sitting bed trend.

Threshold Mixed Material Side Table

For now, I’m just going to keep looking.  We live 1 block from the Melrose Trading Post and have yet to venture over, so I think that’s where I’ll be headed this Sunday to continue the hunt.

The other pieces we’re looking to replace are our 2 existing Hemnes dressers and eventually our Hemnes bed frame.  Out with the matching bedroom suit, hello perfectly-curated eclectic mix.  We’re definitely looking to go vintage on the dressers so we can get something of real quality which is so much more important for those types of larger pieces.  I’d love to just pick up an antique back in Pennsylvania next time I’m home, but the shipping alone would break any budget we set.

For the bed frame, I’ve had my eye on a variety of slightly curved, nailhead trimmed headboards and Crate & Barrel just released the bed of my dreams.  I was lusting after the similarly styled Colette, but it wouldn’t allow for a box spring and sat too low.  But the Curve Queen Bed in Napa Camel is absolute perfection. Now if I could just scrounge up enough change from the couch cushions to actually afford it….

Curve Bed in Napa Camel

 

To soften things up, I’m dying to lay down this indigo Empire Scroll Rug from Pottery Barn over our hardwood floor.

PB Empire Scroll Rug

In terms of accessories, I’m still toying with that, but I think we’re going to stick with black and white photos for artwork.  We already have two great pieces hung, but we really need something for over the bed.  As we’re in earthquake country, there is very little Jefe will let me hang over our heads, but he has agreed to a lightweight canvas of some sort.  I’d like to find an image one of us has taken and get it blown up and printed on canvas by Shutterfly.  Hats off to Brooklyn Limestone for turning me on to the plethora of new home decor options they offer!

Now that I’ve racked up the costs for this “little” redo, I think we’ll stick with our current bedding, which I think will fit in quite nicely. Here’s a quick recap of the plan:

Master Bedroom Revamp Mood Board

I can’t wait to get started!  Now excuse me while I go rob a bank.

 

Decorating for the Soul

First and foremost – I’d like to send out a little love in to the universe as we’ve reached Sledgehammer with Style’s 1st BLOGIVERSARY!  I can’t believe I’ve been putting my random thoughts out in to the interweb universe and a few of you have actually read them and come back for more!  Thank you everyone for keeping me inspired to keep writing and decorating!

Speaking of decorating, today’s post is about how decorating can be therapeutic and great for the soul.  Who needs a shrink when you’ve got a 25% off coupon for Crate & Barrel?!  Such is the case for today’s “client”.  My best friend Harriet recently went through a life change when she and her husband amicably went their separate ways.  She kept their place in Boston and in an effort to get a fresh start, decided she wanted to revamp her bedroom.

So here’s where we are starting: a gender neutral space populated mostly with post-college Ikea furniture.

Before 5

Before 1

Before 2

Before 3

Before 4

So once the big split happened, the first thing I recommended to her is to rearrange her furniture.  It was the quickest and easiest way to get a new perspective on things without spending a dime.  So while we planned her new room, she literally flipped her perspective 180 degrees.  And what a change!  It felt like a whole new room.

Next up, she decided on her point of inspiration for the design: a peacock feather.  It holds some serious sentimental value for us as it was part of our sorority in college, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let her plaster the room with feathers and dip everything in peacock blue.  So we took the elements we liked such as that deep rich blue as a starting point.

Since it’s such a bold color, we decided that it could be an accent color while we would create a room around it with soft, neutral colors to give her a calming haven to retreat to at night.  So here’s my first run at a plan for her room:

Slide1

This is also the point when, despite her protests, I convinced her to paint.  It’s the quickest, cheapest way to totally transform a space.  We decided on a pale purple which would accent the peacock blue/teal accents we had been eyeing.  But as all designs go, we didn’t quite agree on which purple that was.  She’s a bit more of a girlie girl and leaned more towards a shade with pink undertones.  I recommended she pick up some test pots of a few colors and try them out before she paint the whole room in a color we (I) weren’t totally convinced was just right.  Here’s the tester:

IMG_20130915_133019

We both agreed that the one on the left was way too pink.  The one on the right is a bit more in line with what we were thinking.  So a few weeks later, she bit the bullet, bust out the credit card for some new furniture AND tackled painting the whole room herself with one fabulous finished product (I apologize for the photos as we haven’t had a chance to do some serious “after” photos yet):

IMG_20131001_084310

IMG_20131001_084323

Now we had some serious momentum to keep rolling.  The dresser is the Sorano 6-Drawer Dresser from Crate & Barrel.  It reminds me of driftwood; I’m totally in love with it.  Harriet and I went through a LOT of rug choices.  She was particularly found of this Sonnet Area Rug in turquoise from Home Decorators Collection:

Sonnet Rug

But ultimately, she decided on the Jasper Area Rug in aqua from Crate & Barrel.  And to round out her shopping cart, she chose this amazingly comfortable Haven Chaise which she had fallen in love with during a window shopping trip in LA with yours truly.

Then after a long search for non-white bedding that wouldn’t show dog fur (she has an adorable long-haired dachshund named Snickers), Harriet picked some great bedding from West Elm: the Braided Matelasse Duvet Cover.

West Elm Bedding

So after some tweaking thanks to a new paint color and some new design decisions, here’s the updated mood board for the space:

Slide1

Then thanks to the Red Sox fabulous season and a spot in the playoffs, Jefe and I took off for Boston for a baseball game and some much needed time with my bestie.  Unfortunately for her, the West Elm duvet was out of stock online.  I, however, live around the corner from the store…. so my carry-on ended up filled to the brim with bedding instead of clothes.

While we were enroute, Harriet had a great bed frame delivered.  It’s got storage for those bulky sweaters needed to bear the Boston winters.  It’s from a local retailer, Jordan’s.

Once we landed in Boston, Jefe had to take a work call so Harriet and I took a quick jaunt to Home Goods where we made an INCREDIBLE score.  We found a pair of AMAZING lamps that matched her new rug exactly.  And they were the perfect way to bring some of the pale, minty teal over to the other side of her room on her future beside tables.  Check out one of these gorgeous, curvy ladies (note that we ensured that we could fix the crooked shade before she purchased):

IMG_3616

What an amazing score.  Under $100 for BOTH of them.  We were stoked.  And Jefe gave us quite the look when we both walked in the front door, arm in arm with our lamps.  We looked like little girls with their arms caught in the cookie jar.

So now our search has turned to sheets, nightstands and a side table for her chaise and some artwork.  We both love the idea of black and white photos throughout the whole room; we just have to find the right ones.

And while we were there, we discussed a few other areas of her place we’d love to tackle down the road.  I love a good project so there will definitely be more to come!

I Got Purple, I Got Grape

For my latest design project, I’m venturing in to some new, very bright territory.  My client/friend is going through a bit of a life change and wanted to revamp her bedroom with a serious injection of tranquility and COLOR.  The combination of the two has been a bit challenging to say the least.  Per her request, I’ve been doing some serious research on purple rooms.

As I’m still working on the finishing touches of the mood board and overall plan for her room, I thought I’d share some of my inspiration as the color choice can be very tricky to work with.

So for today’s post, I bring you the PURPLE ROOM ROUND-UP!

Crate & Barrel

This was our initial inspiration to kick off the project.  A purple throw quickly turned in to purple walls….

Purple & Teal

Luckily we’re not taking it quite this extreme, but sometimes you have to go too big and edit, than to play it too safe from the start.

Feminine Purple

A more feminine, softer take on the color.

Neutral Purple

A neutral, more organic feel.

Elle Decor 4

Deep, rich, and a little moody.  Perfect for a bedroom.

House to Home 1

Loving the juxtaposition of feminine colors with the more masculine, modern lines of the paint treatment.

Purple Grasscloth

I just want to pet grasscloth.  I’ve loved it since the first time I saw it in the home of a wealthy friend of my grandmother.  And in such a fun color, you can’t go wrong.  It’s such a hip take on a traditional design tool.

Dark Purple

Bold and girlie.

House to Home 2

Soft, simple and relaxing.

Elle Decor 1

Upscale meets young and funky.

Elle Decor 2

Tranquil and fresh when combined with crisp white cabinetry.

Purple Chaise Room

Probably the closest in feel to where we’ll actually end up…

I’ve found that I’m most drawn to the shades of purple with grey and blue undertones while my friend loves the shades verging on pink and red.  So what do you guys think?  Would you ever paint a room purple?  I can honestly say that I can knock that off my list of design firsts; as a kid, my stepmom painted over the rose stenciling of my childhood bedroom, with a bright purple for my teen years.  I naturally chose a vibrant teal for the trim.  Gotta love those 90’s color palettes…

Q & A: The Great Merge – Part 1

Today’s reader Q & A comes from my college roomie, Ali.  Some of my first true interior design projects occured when she and I moved into a cramped room in our sorority house.  It included my first wall paint job (in the perfect buttery yellow) and styling the room with coordinating lamps, bedding and art.  Not to mention finding an appropriate place for the all-so-important mini-fridge and bar.

Since those days that suddenly seem too far away, Ali’s done her fair share of trapsing across the globe.  As a musician, artist, and all-around bohemian extraordinaire, her style is quite eclectic.  Recently she moved in with her boyfriend in Washington, D.C. and she’s encountered the same problem most of us have when taking the plunge into co-habitation with a significant other: the Great Merge of belongings.

Here’s Ali’s request:

Hi Mal!

Here’s some info on a couple of current problem areas (there are several more…) of our new place. As we enter Week 3 of unpacking and merging our belongings, we have most of the big furniture situated and are starting to unearth enough space to hang curtains, and soon some photos/art! 
We need help with storage and textiles in particular. Justin likes to keep an extra blanket on the bed when we’re not home to keep it from getting swathed in dog hair, and we’re in the market for a new one because I don’t like the color of the current one.  Also, the bench cushion is in really rough shape and I’d love to cover it. I know he’d prefer a solid (in corduroy if possible) and I’d love a muted pattern, even though our bedding has stripes. I’d love for it to be a rougher texture – wooly, or woven, or nubby. 
 
We’re trying to stay responsible and not buy new everything, and that’s tricky since my previous style leanings and Justin’s are pretty different. Thankfully nowadays we both agree that we really like the looks that West Elm has going, it’s modern enough for Justin and fits enough with my funky taste (fair isle navajo more patterns yes!) and plethora of instruments.   I have given in to cool colors in the bedroom, although that’s not natural for me. 
 
Here’s a video:
As this is a rather large task, I’ve decided to break this up in to a two-parter.  Today I’ll focus on the bedroom and in our next post we’ll take a look at the dressing room area.
For the bedroom, let’s break this down in to each area to tackle:
  • New throw blanket for their bed
  • New nightstands & lamps
  • Fabric to recover bedroom bench
  • Storage solutions
  • Add some much needed Ali flair in terms of styling

bed

Let’s start with the bedding.  They’re sticking with the above blue-toned striped duvet cover.  Adding another pattern in to this mix will be tough; I’d recommend a solid colored blanket with a woven texture for visual interest and to soften up the hard lines of the current bedding.  Seeing as Ali always prefers warmer colors, I’d go with a chocolate brown to really give it an inviting feel and coordinate with the stripes of the duvet cover.  As this blanket will be used primarily to prevent their dog Dakota from creating his own version of a blanket on the bed, I’d opt for something machine washable.

LLBean Vintage Matelasse Bedding - Chocolate Brown

My recommendation: the LLBean Vintage Matelasse Coverlet in Chocolate Brown.  It meets all of the above criteria and although it’s a little more expensive than something at Target or a comparable big box store (this guy clocks in @ $129 for a queen size), it’s made by a company that prides itself on quality so you know this puppy will last.  They also sell matching pillow shams so Ali could turn it into a true bedding set if she wanted, instead of it just being a barrier between Dakota and the bed.

West Elm Lexington Quilt & Shams

Or for a slightly more modern pattern in a lighter brown, I’d go with the West Elm Lexington Quilt + Shams in Clay would be a nice alternative.

West Elm Embroidered Blue Dot Pillow

To top off the bed, I would finish it with a throw pillow or two.  The West Elm Embroidered Dot Pillow Cover in Dusty Blue is a great option that is simple enough to coordinate with the current bedding, the LL Bean or West Elm coverlets and still gives a bit more of an organic feel to the bed.  The handsewn embroidery with its slightly uneven lines helps to soften the rest of the lines of the bedding.  The blue accent thread will tie in with the blue of the duvet.

Next up are the night stands.  For the left side, once they unpack some more boxes, they’ll have a decent amount of space over there.  As they’re hurting for storage, I would go the untraditional route.  Do NOT buy another nightstand.  I would go more with a cabinet or small dresser that sits at the right height.  It will give them more storage space and Ali a larger tabletop for things like her stacks of books, the lamp, etc.  And by going with something that is more unique, you won’t have to worry about it matching your pre-existing furniture.  My biggest pet peeve is quickly becoming bedroom sets that are too matchy matchy, including my own (what can I say, you live and you learn).

World Market Single Shutter Doors Sideboard

The Single Shutter Doors Holbrook Sideboard from World Market is a perfect example of something totally unique but serves all of the purposes Ali needs.  And it would add some much-needed eclectic style to the room.

Target Threshold Captains Mirror

Then above it, you could always hang a mirror, like this bargain – the Threshold Round Captain’s Mirror from Target (I still can’t believe this is $29.99 – I’m dying to get one for our place) to help reflect light from the nearby window and hang hooks on either side because as Ali puts it “We literally need a place to hang our hats.  We have so many hats!”  Spoken like a true Renaissance woman.

Ikea Bran Lamp

For styling purposes, I’d go with a ridiculously simple lamp on that side of the bed.  The BRÅN base and JÄRA shade from Ikea will do just the trick.  And because it’s basically clear glass and a white shade, there are a ton of ways to customize it if Ali so chooses, such as adding color to the glass base or sprucing up the shade.

On the other side of the bed, you could go with a coordinating lamp such as the Target Room Essentials Solid Shade Ceramic Silver lamp as Ali and Justin prefer more of a brushed silver look.

Target Room Essentials Solid Shade Ceramic Silver Lamp

But back to the nightstands, if Ali decides to work with what she’s got, I would recommend a little DIY.  The easiest trick to perk up those existing pieces is to swap out the knobs.  Anthropologie and even World Market have a TON of options to choose from.

Anthropologie Mini Bubble Glass Knob

Ali could also bust out a can of paint and really customize them to her linking.  She and I were never afraid to get a little dirty (or crazy) back in the day.  Obligatory college photo here:

Mal & Ali

Back to the nightstands again – depending on how crafty Ali wanted to get, I’d recommend something a little like this DIY from Megan over at Craft Habit.

Lastly, Ali definitely wants to get crafty with her bench.  She’d like to recover it with a durable fabric.  I’d recommend something a little heavier weight, such as upholstery fabric.  You could go solid, but I’d take the opportunity to bring in some more organic lines with a subtle pattern, such as the Waverly Strands/Sterling fabric from Joann Fabrics.

Joann Fabric Waverly Strands

So there you have part 1 of Ali & Justin’s GREAT MERGE.  Check back next week for Part 2!  I’ve also included the full mood board below, including a few pieces of art, the curtains, and the run they already own.

Ali's New Bedroom v.2

So what do you guys think?  Anyone else facing the Great Merge these days?  I learned a LOT from when Jefe and I did it– namely that I’m a hoarder and he’s a minimalist.  Somehow we’ve managed to meet in the middle.  For now 😉