Room in Progress: The Kitchen

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We are quickly approaching one full year in our new home! I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. Later this month will mark the anniversary of coming to see the house and quickly (like, the next day quickly) going under contract. Then, we closed on the house at the end of June 2016.

When we finally had the keys to our house, we did a few cosmetic update projects: wallpaper and new drapes in the dining room, new drapes and new upholstery in the living room, and giving a fresh coat of paint to several rooms in the house. One of the first major projects that I wanted to do was update the kitchen, which of course, has been put off about a hundred times. Well, we’ve finally pulled the trigger and we are giving our kitchen a facelift!

The Before:Kitchen1Kitchen2

The Current:

When we moved in, the kitchen walls were a sweet butter yellow, which I didn’t mind at all. However, with all of the natural light in the kitchen, I wanted the room to feel a little bit more dreamy and airy. So we decided to paint, and chose Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl.


Since then, I’ve been daydreaming about ways to freshen up our kitchen to be a bit more modern and updated. This created a to-do list for the kitchen projects:

  • Replace the stove and dishwasher for stainless (to match the other, newer appliances)
  • Replace the dreaded “boob” light above the sink
  • Replace Corian countertops for granite/stone
  • Add subway tile backsplash
  • Replace the sink
  • Replace the faucet
  • Replace the lighting above the breakfast nook
  • Add risers and crown moulding to the top of our cabinets

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest gathering inspiration for how I wanted the kitchen to look (you can check out my kitchen inspiration board here!) Then, a few months ago, I had a contractor come out to give us a quote for the project. To say I had sticker shock is a bit of an understatement– I couldn’t believe the estimate we were given for labor alone. So I decided to look into a company that several of our friends have used for kitchen and bath renovations: Classic Granite and Marble.  I’m so happy I did!

Paul and I went out to the slab yard on a Saturday afternoon. I really wanted a stone that resembled Carrara marble – I love the way it looks but knew better than to put porous marble in our kitchen. We spent hours meandering in and out of the aisles of huge slabs and couldn’t seem to find anything just right. The closest thing I found was a slab of Super White, which Paul didn’t seem too thrilled with. I liked it, but it was almost too grey and veiny for me, and I felt like it might make our kitchen feel a little dreary instead of light and airy.

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I decided to show Chris, the sales manager at Classic Granite, some of the things I had pinned on Pinterest, and a lightbulb went off for him. He started showing us their selection of Quartz, and immediately, I knew we were moving in the right direction!

After looking at several samples, we decided to go with Carrara Grigio quartz countertops with Genesi Bianco subway tile.

We also chose a granite composite sink in Truffle and the Delta Talbott kitchen faucet suite.

With all of these new updates, we also needed to update the lighting in the kitchen–especially the light over the breakfast nook.

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This light was okay with the yellow walls, but I wanted something more modern and sleeker. Enter the beautiful Sutton Pendant Light from Birch Lane! I ordered this off of Wayfair and it should be arriving on Tuesday! I can’t wait.

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We’re going to check out slide-in stainless steel ranges today– I think they give off a much more custom looking vibe than freestanding stoves, don’t you? Next up will be picking out a stainless dishwasher (recommendations, anyone) and a flush mount to replace the boob light that will also compliment the pendant.

We’ll also be adding some undermounted light under the cabinets which I think will really freshen the look up, too! I’ve been collecting blue & white dinnerware and accents to give a pop of color to our built-ins in the breakfast nook. I just love this look:

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Eventually, once everything is in place, the kitchen should look something like this:

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The kitchen should be just about complete by the first week in June! Stay tuned for the big reveal. I can’t wait!

Yves St. Laurent: Perfection of Style at VMFA

VMFAbysl-700x450There are few names in the fashion world that are simply iconic: Dior. Chanel. Armani. Gucci. Versace. And then, there are some icons that require three names, like Yves St. Laurent.

I absolutely loved learning about the history of these fashion houses in a college elective course (I think it was called “The Art of Fashion”), which gave some historical context to these decades-old couture legends. I’ve also always admired YSL’s ability to capture the feminine essence in an exact moment of time, while also possessing the ability to remain timeless and classic throughout different eras. So when I received a media preview invitation in the mail with a big, pink, statement bow on it, I excitedly (and immediately) marked my calendar to check out the Yves St. Laurent: The Perfection of Style exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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I took this one of Gigi in the lobby at Quirk. Isn’t she gorge?

I was so fortunate to be able to attend the opening gala at the VMFA the night before the media preview, as well. We invited New York-based fashion blogger Gergana (or Gigi) of Fashion is My Forte to join us for the gala. We were able to show Gigi some of our favorite Richmond spots before and after the gala, including:

 

 

The gala was black-tie, which meant it was time to Rent the Runway! I ended up going with a beautiful Badgley Mischka stunner, the Fluorescent Chiffon Gown in pink (and I mean PINK!) Badgley Mischka sure knows how to make a girl feel special, I’ll tell you that!

I paired my dress with a pair of turquoise beaded tassel earrings (you can buy similar ones HERE ) and a white, sparkly vintage envelope clutch from Halycon Vintage in Richmond (you can find a similar one HERE on Etsy, or just stop in Halycon sometime! They always have a great collection of fun, festive and sparkly clutches!)

The exhibition itself was absolutely exquisite– and extensive. It’s the largest collection of his pieces, inspiration boards, self-portraits, letters, jewelry, accessories, videos, photos, and more. I can’t wait to go back and spend some more time in the gallery and soaking it all in! Check out this fun teaser video from the VMFA:

“I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style” / Yves Saint Laurent

I took a few photos while I was there, but can’t wait to snap some more. Stay tuned for an updated post!

The YSL exhibition will run through August 27, 2017 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (200 N. Boulevard). You can buy tickets here!

I hope you love it as much as I did!

RVA Social Calendar | Spring Pop-Up {presented by The SoGood + Ledbury)

Hey, RVA stylistas: you’re officially invited to an amazing pop-up event at the CCH Collection presented by Richmond-based darlings the SoGood and Ledbury. [Read more…]

Style Inspiration | The Carolina Inn

photo: carolina inn

Happy Monday! The warm weather is finally upon us – isn’t it lovely? I am so excited for spring this year!

Last weekend, my husband and I traveled down to Chapel Hill, NC for the wedding of my beautiful sister-in-law, Carol, and her sweet fiance Duncan. The wedding took place at the charming Carolina Inn — a Chapel Hill institution. We had a suite at this beautiful hotel, and I was blown away by the sweet, Southern, traditional yet modern decor. Whoever did the interior design for this gorgeous inn: bravo!  [Read more…]

Favorite Fall Essentials

fall essenialsFor last Friday’s “Friday Five,” I posted five trends to try this fall. That post really got me in the mood for autumn! To continue on the fall fashion trend, here are my favorite fall essentials. What are yours?

Keep reading to shop the look!

[Read more…]

Tuesday Ten // Sea Glass-Inspired Home Accents

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photo credit: mochatini

Happy Tuesday!

As I was doing some cleaning and organizing over the Labor Day weekend, I realized that so many things I love the most at home right now are a pretty, ethereal sea glass color — that airy, pale blue-green that immediately whisks you away to coastal daydreams.

Whether it came off of our wedding registry or bought as a gift for myself, here are a few of my favorite sea glass-inspired home accents. Share your favorites in the comments below!

1. “Cumulus” Wine Glasses (Anthropologie, $14.00)

 

 

2. “Camelot” Throw Blanket in Mist (Bedford Cottage, $79.95)

3. Glass Water Bottle in Holiday (bkr, $30.00)

[Read more…]

Must-Have Mondays: Blue + White Wares

 

0002_1665269791_mediumHappy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. My parents are coming to visit from South Carolina next weekend, so we spent a good chunk of the weekend running errands and getting things in order and organized for their visit. This included hanging a few things and moving a few things around to showcase them on our pretty built-in bookcases in the living room.

One thing I really wanted to showcase was the few pieces I have of blue and white wares, also known as blue and white porcelain. These classic pieces are having a major comeback, and I’ve so enjoyed the accents and pop of color around the house.

One of my favorite pieces is this beautiful Spode “Blue Italian” hexagonal vase that we received as a wedding present from a dear family friend. It makes such a statement and is so classic and elegant. I just love it!

I have a few other blue & white pieces that I picked up here and there – from yard sales to eBidLocal auctions.

Are you loving this trend, too? Here are a few of my favorite blue & white accent pieces for your home, after the jump!

 

[Read more…]

10 Reasons Why I Can’t Wait for Fall

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H a p p y  M o n d a y, lovelies! Last week was an absolute whirlwind, traveling from Richmond to Bristol, VA-Tenn for the opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum to New Orleans for the Great American Seafood Cook Off! Happy to be home, sweet home.

Last week, we had unseasonably cool weather in Richmond. It was absolutely gorgeous! However, it gave me fall fever a bit early, and I have autumn on the brain. Here are ten things I simply can’t wait for this fall, after the jump!

[Read more…]

JetSet | My favorite travel essentials

Lauren Conrad always looks effortlessly chic when traveling!

G r e e t i n g s from the Big Apple! I am in New York City for a few days on business this week and am loving the weather up here. I love the South and our signature southern summers, but a break from the heat and humidity is very welcome!

My travel experience today was one of the best I’ve had in a while (even though my flight was delayed 45 minutes). Biggest factor? Comfort. Second biggest? I’ve become a pro at the Two Night Suitcase Packing Game. Travel seems sooo much smoother when you’ve got your suitcase act together, packing only the must-haves, and getting your carry-on essentials down to the, well, essentials.
This is the second trip I’ve taken with my new Diane von Furstenberg Private Jet Fold Over Tote (thank you Erin & Eddie!). It is THE BEST for a two to three night getaway, and I highly recommend it!

I’ve also finally got travel style down to a science as well — a work bag/purse/carry-all, folding Ray-Bans that fit in a case smaller than a camera, comfy clothes, easy slip-off shoes, and a watch to make sure I’m not running late.

Thankfully, practical travel wear can be cute. Here are my favorite travel essentials for easy, breezy jet-setting.

 

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1. White T-Shirt (I “borrowed” one of my husband’s undershirts for a little extra room and comfort!)

2. 1969 Sexy Boyfriend Jeans | GAP

3. Wayfarer Folding Classic | Ray-Ban

4. Plated Pink Stud Earrings | kate spade new york

5. Gramercy Grand Watch | kate spade new york

6. Maey Bow Thong Sandals | I.N.C.

7. Le Pliage Tote | Longchamp

 

What are your travel essentials? What are some of your “musts” before you get on a plane or hop in a car for a road trip?

Happy Travels!

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Anthropologie’s Look for Less: How a little homework can save you more than $150!

H a p p y Sunday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Our weekend was busy but productive, relaxing, and fun!

Pineapple Ice Trays - $14 | Anthropologie

Pineapple Ice Trays – $14 | Anthropologie

As I was starting to wind down for the evening tonight, I pulled up my old standby — Pinterest — and started to browse the colorful thumbnails of recipes, sparkly earrings, cute outfits and workout motivation. One of the first things I liked enough to pin was an image of these adorable Anthropologie pineapple ice trays– so cute, right? Then I clicked through to the Anthropologie website —$14 for rubber ice molds?! Are you KIDDING me? And to make matters worse, these ice trays are an online exclusive, meaning you can’t go
pick them up in the store. Which means… $7.00 for shipping. SERIOUSLY! anthro

 

This got me thinking: how long have I been overpaying for other kitschy money-suckers from Anthropologie? I demand a refund!

….Well, not really. But I did think it would be fun to try and find “the look for less” and beat Anthropologie at their own little game.  And don’t worry, Anthropologie: I’ll be darkening your doors again some day soon, I’m sure, for a lovely whimsical frock or a beautifully packaged candle or for a mug that has a “C” on it or for a pair of cute pajamas or…oh, who am I kidding.

Anyhow, here’s what I came up with. You can click any of the images below if you’d like to purchase them for yourself! Happy shopping!

 

1. Pineapple Ice Trays | Savings: $11.45

Pineapple Ice Trays - $14 | Anthropologie

Pineapple Ice Trays – $14 | Anthropologie

Pineapple Ice Trays - $2.55 | Etsy

Pineapple Ice Trays – $2.55 | Etsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Elephant Stud Earrings | Savings: $20.01

Sparkler Posts - $28 | Anthropologie

Sparkler Posts – $28 | Anthropologie

Elephant Charm Earings - $7.99 | Etsy

Elephant Charm Earings – $7.99 | Etsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Victorian Wale Bath Mat | Savings: $18.00 FOR THE EXACT SAME MAT.

Victorian Whale Bath Mat - $58 | Anthropologie

Victorian Whale Bath Mat – $58 | Anthropologie

Moby Bath Mat - $40 | 2Modern

Moby Bath Mat – $40 | 2Modern

 

4. Powder Pink Garden Dress | Savings: $120.20

Pasteque Dress - $128 | Anthropologie

Pasteque Dress – $128 | Anthropologie

Textured Floral Cut-Out Dress - $27.80 | Forever21

Textured Floral Cut-Out Dress – $27.80 | Forever21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Gold Polka Dot Pillow | Savings: $32.05

Luminous Dots Pillow - $58 | Anthropologie

Luminous Dots Pillow – $58 | Anthropologie

Gold Polka Dot Throw Pillow - $25.95 | Etsy

Gold Polka Dot Throw Pillow – $25.95 | Etsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Anthropologie Spend: $272

Total Bargainista Spend: $104.29

Total Savings: $167.71

Bottom line? If you have five extra minutes to find a comparable item for much less, isn’t it worth it?

What are your go-to websites to find bargains?

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