Room in Progress: The Kitchen

denver-kitchen-countertops-carrara-grigio-001 (1)

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.

7CECF7A3-7CA8-48A5-B13E-0A9B4DB641BF

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.

unnamed (1)

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.

LC756_main

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:

0cf3cfe3ce638872d6b2a3c4d0325049

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

denver-kitchen-countertops-carrara-grigio-001 (1)

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.

56cac6f6-2fb8-11e7-9fed-0242ac110002

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!

Fab Fitness Finds for Under $30

Earlier this year, I posted a round-up of some of my favorite fitness finds for under $40. (Check out that list here!)

I found some killer bargains, but I think we can do better! So, here are some of my favorite fitness finds for under $30.

1. Patterned Compression Leggings in Green Floral – $25.00 from Old Navy

Working out is always a little more fun when you’ve got colorful gear to sport. Try these funky leggings from Old Navy!

2. Stott Pilates Toning Ball – $13.99 at DICK’S Sporting Goods

STOTT PILATES 2 lb Toning Ball - Dick's Sporting Goods

These pilate balls are a great addition for your home or office. Swap out your desk chair for a few hours a day to increase core strength and stability- and also take a load off your lower back. Or, use at home for your abs routine! Get yours at DICK’S Sporting Goods.

3. C9 Champion Women’s Wide Strap T-Back Bra – $12.99 at Target

Add a pop of color under your workout gear with this sports bra. The wide strap and T-back provides extra support, too! Get yours from Target!

4. Sweat like a Pig Tank Look Like a Fox– $21.75 from Activate Apparel

One of my favorite videos last year was “This Girl Can,” which featured this awesome slogan. Gotta love throwing in a little humor to your workout!

P.S. Check out the video here

5. S’well Water Bottle in Peridot – $25 from S’Well

These trendy new water bottles are alllll the rage, and they help reduce waste while you’re at it. Get a 9 oz. S’well bottle and sip in style!

What are some of your favorite fitness finds on the cheap? Leave them in the comments section below!

sign

RVA Shopping Guide| Ledbury Warehouse Sale | August 19-22

Attention RVA Gentlemen (and the ladies who dress them):

It’s that time of year again: out with the old, and in with the new! It’s time to toss your ratty old dress shirts (you know the ones) and replace them with brand new, gorgeously tailored shirts from Richmond’s sartorial darling, Ledbury. (PS: Did you see their fabulous feature in the Wall Street Journal? Check it out!)

ledburyLedbury is hosting their storied Summer Warehouse Sale August 19-22, 2015 at the 14th street shop in Shockoe Bottom, and it’s set to present some epic bargains (up to 75% off discontinued items!)

The Ledbury team is kicking it all off this Wednesday, August 19th, from 4pm-7pm at their wonderfully chic shop (117 S. 14th Street, Richmond). They’ll have tiki drinks, snacks, and great tunes — and a chance to shop the sale early.

Here are all the important sale details:

  • Expect savings of up to 75% discontinued items – and significant discounts on some current items, exclusive to local customers only!
  • Shop “Ledbury vintage” styles and new shirts from the past year or so, all in range of bold prints and classic go-tos.
  • In addition to shirting, they’ll have limited blazers, pants(!) and accessories.
  • Sips and snacks will be served throughout the sale.
  • Best strategy for shopping:
    • Come early Wednesday for your best shot to snag shirting in your size (especially slim fit) as well as a limited selection of blazers.
    • Stock will be replenished everyday, so it’s worth checking back in.

Location:

    • 117 S 14th St, next to LaDiff.
    • Free parking at 14th St and Dock St.

Hours:

    • Wed, Aug 19, 10AM-7PM
    • Thurs, Aug 20 – Sat, Aug 22, 10AM-6PM

With Ledbury, surprises are always possible. Insider tip: keep an eye on all of Ledbury’s social media channels for a golden pineapple… that’s all we can say- but they did post this little teaser on Instagram. Stay tuned!

ledbury

ledbury

Happy Shopping! Hope to see you on 14th Street this week….

sign

Ledbury: Outfit Your Office

CCwqEXIXIAATpFF

I’ll get right to the point: Ledbury is creating some of the most beautiful shirts in the world right now.

They’re perfectly tailored, beautifully made, and crafted carefully in handsome, classic palettes and patterns. And, the flagship store is right here in Richmond, Virginia. Savile Row has NOTHING on this sartorial Shockoe Bottom Shangri-la.

Fun stuff first: Ledbury wants to outfit your entire office (up to 100 shirts). There will be shirts. There will be private fittings. And, there will be bourbon. Enter your or your hubby’s office now by clicking this link: http://ledbury.com/giveaway

Now that you’ve entered, here are my top three things to love about Ledbury: [Read more…]

Brand I Love: Melvin

Melvin

Last night, I attended an amazing spring pop-up event at CCH Collection‘s flagship store on Grove Avenue in Richmond. The always-fabulous ladies from The SoGood and Richmond-based luxury men’s shirt mavens Ledbury hosted the event, with 20 incredible local brands. The CCH Collection’s already-amazing store was transformed into a verified wonderland of necklaces, baubles, baskets, prints, home accessories, bitters — even biscuits. [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…]

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.

 

Untitled

 

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!

sign

Wedding Wednesdays | Favorite Wedding Shoes

It’s officially been a little over a month since our beautiful wedding in Richmond, VA. So hard to believe!

I had so much fun picking out all of the different fashions for my wedding– from the wedding dress to the bridesmaid dresses, earrings to veil, it was all so much fun! My absolute favorite thing I wore on my wedding day, though, were my beautiful, funky, and special kate spade new york charm heels ($328, kate spade). These shoes made such a statement, and I can’t wait to wear them again!

View More: http://violetirisstudios.pass.us/caroline--paul View More: http://violetirisstudios.pass.us/caroline--paul View More: http://violetirisstudios.pass.us/caroline--paul View More: http://violetirisstudios.pass.us/caroline--paul

photos courtesy: violet iris studios

Love this look but want it for less? Check out a similar version from J. Renee Rosina

J. Renee Rosina Shoes – $56.00 | 6pm.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite wedding day shoe? Post in the comments section below!

20140110-224458.jpg

A Very Virginia Wedding

View More: http://violetirisstudios.pass.us/caroline--paul

It’s hard to believe nearly three weeks have passed since our magical Memorial Day weekend wedding! Paul and I had the best time the entire wedding weekend, followed by a week in paradise — St. Barth — on our honeymoon.

Now that some of the dust has settled, my name has been changed, and the thank-you-note process is well underway, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share some photographs and memories from our special day!

[Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: