February 24, 2014

My Favorite Space in Our Home

I get comments and questions all the time from my friends about our entryway. So I thought I’d share my inspiration here with you today…

My idea of interior decorating used to be somewhat like this: Find a cheap print that was already framed, had no meaning (and often no aesthetic value) and hang it on a blank, unpainted, un-wallpapered wall.

As I get older, I’m getting a little better. I now try to surround myself with things that matter—that goes for both wall art and people.

When decorating our newest apartment, I decided to apply my latest learnings (mainly from scouring design sites and copying them!).

Instead of a big mirror above the hall table, which was my go-to, I opted for a collection of memories, which created a much more sophisticated look.

I stuck with a color palette of whites, golds and creams for some cohesion but mixed up the sizes, frames and artwork to give it an eclectic feel. I balanced the space by adding all sorts of textures like glass, wood, metal and paper at differing heights. And I threw in touches of nature and light for added dimension.

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Before I even began, I chose photos— some new family shots (by Sharon Ellman and Jeremy Lee) along with a few honeymoon snaps—and mementos that made us happy. The foyer is a perfect spot for this. It’s the last place you look before you leave and the first you see as you enter- it should make you feel good and help create that safe, fun space.

For a fool proof plan, I laid out all of the frames I was choosing from and played around with them on the floor before committing to the wall. Then, once I had an idea, I made paper cutouts of the frame sizes and taped them to the wall seeing what looked—and fit—best. I must have changed them at least a dozen times (I drive my husband NUTS!). Once I was set on that blueprint, we hung the items. And, even then, there was some last minute negotiating.

Below my little wall of honor, is a distressed media stand from Pottery Barn that we turned into a console table. It has two drawers for things like mail, menus and memorabilia I have yet to create a home for. There’s also a ton of headphones, sunglasses, gloves, spare keys… Anything we may need on our way out the door.

There’s also two fairly large open spaces below. Right now, I have a basket in each, which collect shoes and bags. Some day, with more space and less clutter, I hope to fill them with pretty books.

Speaking of books, I had to have some in there! I’m a huge book lover nerd. I used to read a ton. Then I became a mother. Now I love to dream of a day when that resumes. Until then, I like to look at them. For me, a home without books is a sad one. Beyond learning, they offer such a rich, varied and warm ambience, not to mention, an introspective look into one’s life.

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I topped one set with coral, another one of my obsessions. I love the beach and some sort of coastal element in my home is always necessary. I don’t remember where this exact piece came from—I collect them from all over the world—but it fit perfectly right here.

The others are sandwiched in between an antique-looking clock and a globe, to represent our love for travel.

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In a weathered frame I bought in Provence, France, I put a cocktail napkin from the Parker Palm Springs. It’s one of our favorite places to stay in the world. We attended the wedding of friends four years ago and we’ve been sold on the west coast, specifically California, ever since.

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In an antique white bone inlay frame, another collected item of mine (they were scattered throughout our wedding), are lyrics from one of our favorite songs, Tim McGraw‘s “My Best Friend”. I incorporated this quote into my hand-written vows. Too bad my actual penmanship isn’t frame-worthy. For that, I turned to Small Batch Prints on, my all-time favorite site, Etsy.

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The “natalie & zach” sign is from our wedding. It graced the entryway of our barn-like venue for our rustic wedding reception. I designed it with Funki Folk Art from, where else, Etsy.

The vases and most of the frames (gilt and wood gallery) except the two mentioned above are also from Pottery Barn. Can you tell we registered there??

On the accompanying wall, I placed a slipcovered vintage chair in a French country fabric (I love a good stripe!) and, above that, the framed invitation to one of my baby showers. I love how the tea-stained onesie plays off the rest of the homegrown vibe.

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One look at this wall and you can figure out what our family is all about. I think every part of the home should speak to who you are, what (and who!) you love and how you live.

I love how it all turned out. Hope you do too!

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