Hello?  Is anyone there?

Hi.  You may not remember me but I’m the former blogger who disappeared into oblivion 5 months ago without a trace.  Where did I go you might ask.  What have I been doing you may inquire.  Well, to quote the great Donna Summer: she works hard for the money.

The day job got the better of me.  I love what I do, and think I’m damn good at it.  But I definitely have been earning my paycheck lately.  Countless late nights in front of a computer screen and over 30,000 miles flown proved difficult to make time for dinner, let alone playing amateur decorator and blogger.

But I’ve missed you all!  And missed making things pretty which my life could definitely use a little more of lately.  So in the coming weeks I will begin to emerge from hibernation.  Frequency and consistency, however, is not the name of this game so bear with me while I get back in the swing of things and find a little more blogging balance in my life.

Bonus – I already have some fun projects stored in my digital attic that I’ve been unintentionally hiding from you!  Backyard?  Done!  Living room rearrange?  Done!  New artwork?  Done and done!

So for now while you patiently await my next impromptu appearance (as I certainly fail to plan these things lately), here are a few personal highlights from my otherwise very professional last few months, courtesy of my dear friend and companion Instagram:

Jefe & I headed to Seattle in May:
Seattle 2015

Seattle 2015 2

Then I headed to NY for 2/3 of the month of June:

NYC 2015

NY 2015 1

 

 

Insta - NYC Bridge

Finding Neverland

But over the weekends, I’d hop the train to head home to Lancaster, PA for much needed reunions with family & friends.

Lancaster Summer 2015
Besties 2015

Insta - Casey & I

Once I got back, I did manage to find a few moments for a little beauty while at home.  It was peony season after all!

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Jefe & I spent my second favorite holiday at the Hollywood Bowl:

July 4th 2015

Insta - July 4th

And later in July we headed to Anaheim for the annual Red Sox / Angels match up.  The Wells men came to represent:

Red Sox Anaheim 2015

We also experienced the first Anaheim cancellation due to rain in over 20 years!

Red Sox Anaheim 2015 2

A few weeks later I headed out to the Rhode Island Film Festival for work:

RIFF 2

RIFF 1

After all that travel Jefe and I tried to escape for a few days.  But an excruciating LA heat wave kept us from the beach and Disneyland so we escaped inside to the LA Natural History Museum.  Dinos!

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Later in August, Jefe & my friend John and I hit up the LA Food & Wine Festival, complete with a performance by The Roots!  This picture does NOT do it justice; we were 15 feet from the stage!

The Roots!

Once September hit, I was knocked off my butt by a serious cold & cough.  But I had to suck it up as it was time to run the 5K I had been prepping for with Jefe & my brother who came to visit just for the occassion.  It was brutal, but I made it.  Slow and limping wins (well, at least completes) the race.

Dodgers 5K 1

Dodgers 5K 2

And like the good USC alums we are, we headed to the SC vs. Stanford game with our friend John.

USC Football

Two weeks ago I left for a 9 day business trip to attend a few film festivals.  I was pretty stoked to travel internationally for the first time since I was 16!

Bon Voyage!

Bon Voyage! 2I also happened to fall head over heels in L-O-V-E with London.  I’ve already plotted how Jefe and I could change careers to make the move.  L-O-V-E.

Insta - Trafalgar Square

Insta - London Bingo

 

London 2015

Insta - Buckingham Tea

Insta - London Eye

Insta - Big Ben

Unfortunately the love affair was short lived as I had to keep on moving.  This time for Vancouver.  Most of this leg was spent either working here:

Insta - Vancouver Bed

…or in screening rooms at the festival.  I did manage to snap this beaut on the way en route to the airport on my last day:

Insta - Vancouver

And this one while landing later that night.City of Angels

I came home carting a handful of gifts for Jefe but he happened to have a surprise for me too!Welcome Home Gifts

I hope everyone had a less eventful, but fulfilling summer!

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:

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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:

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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):

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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:

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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):

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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!

Isn’t It Revealing?

Yesterday after a great brunch with Jefe’s family, we FINALLY tackled some finishing touches to his parents’ place that were long overdue.

First we started in the office.  A few frames from Aaron Brothers and 3 college pennants later, and we’ve got a wall of artwork.  We choose a few long, skinny frames that were meant for 3 photos.  We ditched the precut mat, attached the pennants to the white backing with a little painters tape, and closed them up.  These 3 pre-made frames cost us a LOT less than the custom ones and they seemed to work just fine.  The pennants happen to represent the alma maters of Jefe, his father, and his brother so it makes it all the more meaningful.  What do you think?!  (Please excuse the bad lighting as I wasn’t planning to blog about this quite yet, but couldn’t hold in the incredible results….)

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Next we moved to the right, in the area above the desk.  Luckily, Jefe’s dad already had some great, classy artwork already framed that we popped up there.  It’s a print commemorating when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004.    Just around the corner to the right, Jefe found this stellar metal sign – an old ad with Ted Williams.  It’s got great coloring, has vintage style and is sports-themed (Have I mentioned this is a die-hard Red Sox family?!)

Last week we relocated a plant from their dining room to really it give it an old-school library feel.  And that sucker has THRIVED.  It’s grown at least 6 inches in the last week, thanks to the direct sunlight.

And without further ado, the big picture, literally:

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We haven’t tackled the artwork on the accent wall yet as we’re waiting to get a large poster custom framed.  Once that’s up, we’ll finish it off with Jefe’s dad’s diploma and a small gallery wall of Sox themed artwork above the globe.

Moving down the hall to the guest room, we finally tackled hanging the great Target mirror we ordered.  Much to our surprise, it was much lighter than anticipated.  It was also NOT painted red – it was the perfect shade of wood to match the bed frame.  Go figure.  So that was quite the happy accident.  And in the spirit of using what you’ve got, we hung a great picture of Golden Gate Bridge that Jefe’s parents already had up on the wall above the bookshelf.

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We still have a few more to things to go in this room including his mother’s rug and painting from Ecuador as well as a planned family photo gallery wall.

But here’s the **almost** finished product:

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More to come soon as we’ve got our momentum going to really get this project finished.  And yes, I’ve recently become obsessed with the iPhone’s panoramic option.  It really is a quick and dirty way to get wide-angle shots in VERY tight spaces – an overworked blogger’s dream.

Are any of you trying to wrap up any unfinished projects?  How did you find your motivation?

Room Redo – Bedroom to Office

So it’s about time for a new project.  Spring is coming and I’m feeling the urge to pull out my painting clothes…. So the first thing on the agenda is another room redo at Jefe’s parents place.  It’s a cute little Spanish bungalow in a great neighborhood in LA and is where my Jefe grew up.  But after a few earthquakes and raising two boys, their guest room and office could use a little TLC.

To start, I’m going to focus on the office as they both do work from home and Jefe’s dad could also really use a space of his own.  Right now the space is a little cluttered, dark and could really use a paint job.  A few challenges:

  • They’re in desperate need of more storage.  As I mentioned in our redo of their living room, Jefe’s dad is an AVID reader.  And even thanks to the new Kindle he got for Christmas, he’s still got quite a book collection.
  • A paneled wall.  But with some helpful tips from the king and queen of DIY, John & Sherry Petersik, Jefe and I plan to turn some ugly in to a great accent wall.
  • Sports memorabilia.  Jefe’s love of the Red Sox had to come from somewhere.  So we’re hoping to integrate it as much as possible.

So here’s what we’ve got to work with:

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Seeing as the space is primarily for Poppa Jefe, I’m aiming for an end result of old-school study.  It’s still a work in progress, but maybe a little something like this:

OB-gloria & harry office - v2

The whole thing will be done in stages, using as much as they already have as possible and the remainder on a VERY small budget.  I’ll keep you updated with the progress as well as plans for the guest room soon!