757 posts categorized "Style"

Dramatic design you can do for free

Driftwood_Folly_Beach

Something I like to do while I'm at the gym, is to go through design magazines & snap pictures of my favorite elements. It's free (thank you, gym!) and I can go back and look things up later. 

A few weeks ago I stumbled on to a little blurby article that suggested adding a...

Michael taylor visual vamp

...boulder to your house! I know. Logistics could get tricky, but I love this idea. It reminds me of our trip to the Folly Beach Lighthouse this summer (first picture). The driftwood was gorgeous and I tried prying a bit off to hang on a wall in our house, but Bud said it was illegal and, even then, I might've tried a few pieces to see if anything was loose, but no, everything was stuck in the sand as if in cement.

The idea originates (well, perhaps is ancient, really) but from a modern perspective, originates with the late, great designer Michael Taylor

Michael taylor outdoor boulders visual vamp

Driftwood_cheapveganchick

Driftwood_wall_art_digsdigs

Driftwood_shelf_digsdigs

What else can you think of as a dramatic design freebie?

(images two and three are via visualvamp, image four is via cheapveganchick, & the last two are from digsdigs (links to a post with lots of driftwood-as-decor pictures)

Fall Wardrobe Refresh

I love clothes & wardrobe posts because they give me the fun of dreaming, without the price tag. Sometimes I buy the things I put here, other times I just visit them once in a while :) 

Here are a few of my newest favorite fall pieces although, let's be honest, down here in South Carolina, I won't get to use anything like this for quite a while. In fact, our Halloween's tend to be quite hot so you have to plan accordingly. Tights = sweat. (In a related, mini-heartbreak, Truett said he wasn't sure if he was going to dress up this year because he's nine. He's since changed his mind, but this pre-teen age is so bittersweet).

EmersonFry_Magic_Pant_Indigo

I love these Magic Pants from Emerson Fry for two reasons: they look like they'd hit that delicious mark between comfortable & flattering and, two, they are named Magic Pants. When Georgia and I were in high school/college we referred to certain items of clothes as magic. Like that slouchy tee shirt that made everyone look like an effortless goddess, the pair of jeans that actually fit in exactly the right way and could never be found or bought again. The foolproof clothes, if you will.

These are pricey, but look worth it. Shoot, they're sold out. But! There is a pair in Ivory still available.

Everlane_cashmere_crew

The Cashmere Crew from Everlane, in a soft, baby blue. It just looks so cozy. I have this sweater in black and would recommend sizing down. Mine is HUGE, which is comfy/slouchy, but annoying on days when I want something more fitted. 

I fall into the camp that $100 for any article of clothing is a lot (don't you love it when websites tell you a $98 shirt is a steal?), but for a cashmere sweater that should last you a lifetime, it is probably worth it.

JCrew_pink_leather_belt

This gorgeous, simple pale pink belt at JCrew (on sale!). 

Nana_by_Sally_waxed_tote

Ok, ok. Hear me out. This purse is pretty expensive. But I've had my Nana By Sally leather purse going on - four years now? And it's as beautiful as ever, more so in fact. Plus, I waited until she had a sale & scooped mine up. I gush about these hand crafted purses to everyone I know.

Another aside: June had to get surgical glue on a gash in her forehead Friday - I can perhaps share that whole story here, although she's getting to the age when she's a bit shy about what I share with whom, so we'll see - and one of the intake staff members at the hospital complimented my purse. I was sort of in a shock/daze, but was quick to tell her about Sally's designs. A few minutes later she pushed a piece of white paper towards me so I could write down the information and I just sat there staring at her for a while, until she reminded me, "The purse designer? Her info?" It was such a surreal moment. 

So. This bag. I love it's utility look, but I would also use it as my everyday purse, computer holder etc. If you're looking for something a big more sleek, this would fit the bill nicely. 

(Lastly, and I promise I am not getting paid or kickbacks or anything for all of this obnoxious slobbering, if you follow her on instagram, you'll see her latest creations in real time).

Nana_by_Sally_Convertible_Bag

I am so, so predictable when it comes to shoes. I wear running shoes for my slow jogging, no shoes for yoga, I have (MAYBE) one pair of fancy black heels, summertimes sandals (light brown), one pair of beat up Hunter rain boots, one pair of tall black leather boots, and of course, all the time, ballet flats. The pair my sister Summer gave me several birthdays ago actually have a hole in the toe. June has recently designated herself my stylist, and I think she's pretty disappointed in my shoe collection. 

Hush_Puppies_Ballet_Flats

Believe it or not, according to the Almighty Internets, one of the best, most comfortable brands for soft ballet flats (I don't like the pointy, hard kind) are...get ready for it...made by Hush Puppies! I don't think I've owned a pair of Hush Puppies since I was six years old, but the prices are pretty good, and so are the reviews. I like these in Vintage Indigo.

And how hilarious is it that they're called "Chaste"? No, I prefer mine in the Risque option.

Wynn_Designs_Heifer please

And then top it off with a funny, Sunday-morning, slouch-tastic tee shirt by my sister Summer's design company, Wynn Designs. I love this cheeky shirt.

Also her etsy shop.

An instagram picture

I wrote a long instagram post yesterday, so would like to share it here, too :) xoxo

Hope wicker mirror

When I was in my early teens, I saved up all my money & bought a white wicker vanity. I had no way of knowing at the time how much I would grow to love aesthetics, design & old homes. In fact, I always felt a bit of a tomboy in comparison to my lovely sisters Georgia & Summer. In an odd twist of fate, I now find myself living in my parent’s condo, with the very same wicker vanity. And it occurs to me how our deep selves sometimes know things we don’t figure out until much, much later.

Oh my dosh

Emerson-Fry-Bardot-Top-20180725210316

We have a cute two year old neighbor friend who, instead of exclaiming oh my gosh, says, OH MY DOSH OH MY DOSH.

Which is my way of saying wow I have been away from this blog for so long & am looking forward to getting back into this creative outlet. 

Since posting last we have: sold our house, moved into an apartment, started (this morning!) 4th & 1st grade, and generally tried to keep up with life, as it hurtles along.

Why did we sell our house? Well, for one thing, the neighborhood we lived in got very popular. We always had a sale in the back of our minds, but hated to pull the trigger because we love, love, love the neighbors/hood, house, lot, my babies were raised there waaaaaah. We'd also sort of "finished" what we planned to do with the house. Of course you can always continue to add/subtract, but the biggies we set out to do were done: kitchen, added bath, new roof, lots of out door hard & soft scaping and so forth.

Still, it was challenging. A few days after the sale June told me she wished "you hadn't signed those papers," referring to closing. Ouch. But we keep emphasizing the positive - a new house to fix up as we wish, living in an apartment is sort of vacation-fun (June keeps calling this our hotel) & in general, moving forward is nearly always preferable to feeling stale.

My dearest, biggest, hopeful wish is to find another beautiful-bones house & chronicle the fixing up here on GDI. I'm so grateful I've got this space to refer back to on both Fairview (kitchen & moving-in pictures) & Marling

With that, I will leave you with something totally unrelated, but fun. How cute is this Emerson Fry Bardot Top? It looks perfect for summer-to-fall weather. 

Happy first week of school for all of my Columbia friends :)

PS - whoops! Mother of year award! I'll post kiddos first day pictures tomorrow. 

On a greenish day

Fiddle leaf figs have long been the most popular plant on the internet, especially when a blogger or designer showcases a room or home redo. 

Ex. 1

Manhatten-nest.com fig

Ex. 2

Style me pretty fig

Ex. 3

Topista fig

A good way to test your hipster aptitude is to ask yourself these two questions: 1. have I ever owned a Fiddle Leaf Fig? and 2. did I put it in a basket? 

Anyway, mine began to look awfully sad this summer. So I gave it to my friend Elizabeth, aka Dr. Fiddle Leaf, and she nursed it back to health. This fall I took it back and have had it in our sunroom ever since, where it remains healthy, though pretty much dormant.

I went by the plant store yesterday and picked up this kelp fertilizer called Bushdoctor, in order to give it a little boost through the winter. 

In the meantime, I also took four curly willow cuttings I'd put in water - they did root - and planted them in pots of soil with plenty of water (you'll note willows almost always grow near streams etc). I have tried to plant a curly willow ever since my wedding, where we had cuttings in our arrangements (with no success, I might add). 

I kind of find plants & landscaping overwhelming. Like, I'll look at a Peace Lilly (they are famously dramatic when they get dry), and be all, "do you REALLY need water AGAIN?" So I've also committed to outfitting all of our pots with bottoms - nothing like racing around the house grabbing old towels to sop up the water under a newly watered plant. 

Our outside is trickier. The chickens tend to scratch and nibble almost anything - lettuces, kale, grass, mint, most tender shoots - and then there's also the overall plan. Do I have architectural drawings made up? Or do I just willy-nilly plant things I like? What do you do? Do you have a garden master plan? Do you have a favorite indoor plant that's easy-ish to grow? I'd love to know.

Hope you're having a good Thursday & a great start to your new year. xo

PS - a great instagram to follow if you love indoor plants. 

(first image via, second image via, third image via)

Cool Christmas card idea

2013 Sypert card

I am endeavoring to work on a simple + awesome gift guide for 2017, but in the meantime thought I'd put this up for those of you who like to mail out cards (me) but find it kind of an obnoxious task. And - I promise, much as I'd love it - this is not a sponsored or affiliated post or anything like that.

Minted - a company I've used several times for our Christmas cards, is offering a new service. You text them the photo you've chosen and they send you back five different options for cards. You choose one, give them some text details etc & then they put it in your shopping cart! Woot! (Plus, I love their business structure of working with independent designers).

Now if I could only wrangle the four of us into a decent photo...

Happy card-ordering! xo

PS - above is our card from 2013 (totally heartbreaking) & and the same post on how to make your own custom holiday card, if you're more in the crafty mood :)

Monday links

Manger blog photo dining room

I haven't posted links in a while, and they have been steadily piling up in one of my folders. So, I thought on this chilly fall day, what would be better than some interesting and/or beautiful things to read about?

I love the idea of scavenger hunts, with family, or friends. 

Halloween makeup ideas, no costume required (if you're still on the hunt).

5 questions to ask when you're buying (Thanksgiving) wine.

Food might be a key component to the ADHD diagnoses.

I LOVE this article on how to throw a simple dinner party. My suggestion? Just throw one for crying out loud. Also, I always have a few bars of chocolate on hand nowadays that I can break up onto a tray for a quick tea or after-dinner treat. 

I loved these satisfying moments on Cup of Jo.

Sweet nutcracker napkins for the holidays. 

I make this herb flatbread regularly now and it is so good, especially with a Mediterranean type meal. 

“I’ve turned my hand to lots of things but never stuck at them. Not that I’m lazy, just sort of restless.” From interesting quotations.

Best of Ikea, 2018. The leather pulls!!

Have you heard of unicorn food? So pretty. This might do the trick to get June to eat more veggies :)

Beautiful, simple teapot.

That's it! Hope you're having a good start to your week. 

(top image via Manger, the lovely blog by Mimi Thorisson in a post listing their spring workshops)

On the belated discovery of Jane Austen

Pemberly Pride & Prejudice

I am embarrassed to admit - with a degree in English, no less - that up until a few weeks ago I'd never read a Jane Austen novel. I've loved some of her contemporaries - the Bronte sisters in particular - and I remember leaving the theater devastated, in the best possible way, after watching Sense & Sensibility in high school.

Over the years I'd pick up an Austen book, and inevitably find the language too difficult, dense, wordy and confusing.

Until two weeks ago when I decided to try again. I wish I could remember why. 

In any event, I checked Persuasion out of the library and, upon reading it over the next few days, was left gobsmacked. Speechless. So totally in awe of Austen's ability to not only tell a shattering love story, but to enumerate so many human emotions in all of their delicate complexities. 

If Facebook leaves you depressed, there is an antidote. I just flew through Pride & Prejudice - heart stopping - although I believe my first love will also remain my favorite in Persuasion.

I'd like to post a few of my favorite quotes below. 

Persuasion

and looked so entirely as if he meant to be understood,

the misfortune of poetry to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely, and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly were the very feelings which ought to taste it but sparingly,

everybody has their taste in noises as well as other matters, and sounds are quite innoxious, or most distressing, by their sort rather than their quantity.

She had only meant to oppose the too common idea of spirit and gentleness being incompatible with each other,

She hoped to be wise and reasonable in time, but - alas! alas! - she must confess to herself that she was not wise yet.

What wild imaginations one forms where dear self is concerned! How sure to be mistaken. 

But how shall we prove anything? We never shall. We never can expect to prove anything upon such a point. It is a difference of opinion which does not admit of proof. We each begin probably with a  little bias towards out own sex, and upon that bias build every circumstance in favour of it which has occurred within our own circle - many of which circumstances (perhaps those very cases which strike us the most) may be precisely such as cannot be brought forwards without betraying a confidence, or in some respect saying what should not be said.

Pride and Prejudice

Miss Lucas perceived him from an upper window as he walked towards the house, and instantly set out to meet him accidentally in the lane.

It is difficult, indeed - it is distressing. One does not know what to think.

I beg your pardon; - one know exactly what to think.

Without thinking highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object: it was the only honourable provision for well educated young women of small fortune, and, however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want.

You shall not, for the sake of one individual, change the meaning of principle and integrity, nor endeavor to persuade yourself or me, that selfishness is prudence, and insensibility of danger security for happiness.

It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us.

If it is designedly done, they cannot be justified; but I have no idea of there being so much design in the world as some persons imagine.

And lastly, swoonily,

If you will thank me, he replied, let it be for yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on I shall not attempt to deny. But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of you.

image via architectural digest

When your plans for a Brooklyn Brownstone ish Halloween become more Miss Havesham

Brownstone Halloween Brooklyn

I wanted to stack heirloom pumpkins and create a spooky, cobwebby scene on our front stoop. You know, kind of like some stylish Brooklyn-ite might put on her brownstone stoop.

Instead, our chickens began pecking the pumpkins, and then the squirrels jumped in. I mean, literally. We found one waist deep in the bright orange bottom pumpkin. 

So I give you our Miss Havesham stoop instead ;)

Holey pumpkins

See the hanging rat?

Spider web

By June, This is the Zombie House. 

Sobe hose  June note

Truett's impaled, disembodied zombie hand, creeping out of the water meter.

Zombie hand  limp

Top image via Short & Sweet

Marling renovation before & after photos

Good morning! Yesterday was our first official day of listing the renovation :) so I thought I'd take the opportunity to do some before & after pictures below, since that's basically the reason for renovations, right? So, let's get to it, shall we?

The side of the house which, in this case, also contains the front door (I think it's called a Charleston porch?)

Before

DSC_0180

After

After Marling outside

The biggest impacts: gravel driveway, white railing, pressure washing & fun paint colors.

The living room. It already gets great natural light, so it was more of an unveiling than a fix.

Before

DSC_0196

After

Marling after living room 2

Another after, same room, different view

After Marling living room

The biggest impacts: this room was simple, we just lightened up all of the paint colors, took down a couple of scrubby trees in front of the picture window, & refinished the floors.

The master bedroom. Large for a cottage - something I love about this house is that the proportions are really good.

Before

DSC_0201

After

After Marling master bedroom

Our biggest impacts here were also simple: lightened up the paint (the paint color I used throughout almost the entire house was called Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore (it's both warm and clean), refinished the floors, and updated the ceiling fixture. The fan was actually a craigslist find that I took apart, repainted the blades and then hung.

The smaller bedroom/office. This one gets great light too.

Before

DSC_0205

After

After Marling office

Biggest impacts: fixed the window glass (dur), lightened the walls & refinished the floors. 

The bathroom. This was, along with the kitchen, one of my biggest projects. It wasn't totally ripped down to the studs, but nearly. And since it is the only bathroom in the house, I wanted it to feel special. Someone at the open house said it has a Nordic-feel, I like that description :)

Before

DSC_0224

After

After Marling bathroom

The biggest impacts here might have been...everything. We added shiplap to the bottom half of the walls, retiled the entire shower with white subway tiles, replaced all fixtures, re-enameled the tub, and I found an antique mirror to hang above the sink. The hexagonal tiles on the floor are probably my favorite part. Here is a better picture of them I posted on instagram.

The kitchen. Ah, the kitchen. I used this kitchen by the famous Emily Henderson as my main inspiration. We had to make tweaks along the way - and the floors are notably (but beautifully) different. For this room I'll do a few before/afters. Too much to show :)

Before

DSC_0217

After

After Marling Kitchen 3

Before

DSC_0213

After

After Marling Kitchen

Before

DSC_0221

After

After Marling Kitchen 2

The kitchen probably requires a separate post all of its own, but suffice to say we replaced nearly everything. We also made space and rewired for a dishwasher (!) and moved some other electrical stuff around so the kitchen feels well organized and put together. 

This project was transformative for me. There were days when I'd be inside the house, my kids literally playing with sticks in the backyard, and I thought there was no way I was going to make it. The project seemed never ending, daunting, & it was difficult to see the forest for the trees. I will not deny a few tears.

The promise of looking at these before and after pictures became a bit of a carrot-at-the-end-of-the-stick image in the my head. I am so proud of what I (we) did, and, as is often the case with hard work, hope to have this opportunity again soon.

Let me know if you have any questions about materials/paint colors and I'll be delighted to share. xoxo

Photo credits go to:

Before - Chuck Holden Photography

After - Look2 Home Marketing

About Me

My Photo Hi! I'm Hope. Welcome to my website all about: style, food, travel & parenting. I live in Columbia, SC with my husband and two bebes.

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