There are No “Bad” Colors

In our ongoing practice in interior design, we have learned that there are no “bad” color choices when designing. Color is all about context and emotion. When combined with a palette of different colors, textures and patterns color can add depth and interest.

Many people tend to stick with neutral colors that feel “safe” and easy to decorate with, but with so many good options out there, it’s worth taking a look at some of the other beautiful hues out there that can bring life and interest to your space and make it uniquely you. A few months back we posted on instagram about color instagram post and which ones seem the most challenging to work with. From that post we’ve rounded up the top colors mentioned that are difficult to work with and found a few of our favorite interiors that highlight the best uses of wall color.

Click images for sources


When using a bold and strong color such as red, we suggest keeping the rest of the palette neutral. Adding neutral colors can soften the boldness and add some great contrast.. .Full of energy and drama, red has a lot of personality and a bold presence. A saturated red can add a great backdrop, bringing the eye in to focus on a subject. Muted reds can create an elegant space that feels cozy.


Portrayed as elegant or soft, this color possesses many different shades to play around with. From cool to warm shades, purple paint is found in many other colors, which makes it versatile. . For those worried about fully committing to such a bold hue, try toning it down for a calming muddy purple or delicate lavender which can give a feeling of calmness and relaxation. Soft textural neutrals, warm patina wood, and soft yellows and mustards work well with a variety of purple tones.


A great way to play around with pink, salmon can be an elegant solution to a variety of spaces. The hue can range from a soft muddy colors, to a more vibrant rich pinky red, to almost coral colored tones. Blacks, grey, and warm wood tones are great pairings with salmon.


Brown can be used to create a cozy and rich environment. Brown is commonly associated with warmth and comfort and since it is the color of earth, it can be grounding and comfortable. Pairing it with contrasting colors such as black and white with modern furniture gives a room unexpected drama and contrast. Soft linens, blues, and copper can give give the room a more traditional feel.


Vibrant colors can be a little intimidating. Perfect for a cheerful and bright room, yellow is a great color choice to add positive energy and always have a sunny room! Yellow adds a warm and cheery feel when paired with analogous tones. This color is recommended in tight spaces because it makes the room appear bigger, giving a sense of depth and illusion of sunlight. To balance a space with such a bold color, try adding earth tones, such as wood furniture and plants.

We hope this post has left you with the feeling of trying something new in your spaces if you’ve been feeling ready for a change. Although neutrals can be great, bold and unusual colors help alleviate visual boredom and make your space feel uniquely you. Remember, color works in harmony with other colors and materials in the surrounding environment, so it’s all about the context of what is paired with it to create the environment overall.  There are many positive effects of embracing bold hues in your home, and you shouldn't let the negatives scare you away. It's only paint, after all, so at the end of the day, repainting is a low risk move compared to trying a new color - so don’t be afraid to play around!


The vestige HOME team

One Small Thing - Air-Purifying Plants

As interior designers, we are constantly thinking of ways to create healthier living in a space. Living and working in a space with contaminants and decreased ventilation naturally causes pollutants to build up, making creating greater risks of things like asthma and the flu. Oftentimes these pollutants make a space less desirable for those who live in it. Did you know that indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health? These pollutants include:

  • carpets

  • wooden furniture

  • papers and files

  • household cleaners

  • paint

What is one small thing you can do to create a healthier environment for yourself? Air-purifying Houseplants.


NASA conducted a clean air study to demonstrate the effectiveness of particular plants to purify air. They recommended keeping at least one to three plants in a room for a healthier lifestyle. We are constantly looking for ways to incorporate plants into a client’s home. While they bring a beautiful aesthetic to any room, they also provide multi-function health benefits all year round and are an easy and inexpensive way to:

  • increase your mood and productivity 

  • enhance memory

  • reduce stress 

When we’re finishing off a space with the final details we often choose low-maintenance, live plants since most of our clients have a busy schedule and don’t want too much maintenance. Caring for a living thing can give us a purpose and is very rewarding — especially when you see that living thing bloom and thrive. Take a look at some of our favorite air-purifying plants:

Pothos Plant:

The Pothos Plant is one of the easiest plants to grow and actually thrives on low light and neglect. These plants serve to purify the air of formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide while also helping eliminate odors. Pothos can also help alleviate eye irritation after long days of staring at screens.  We wanted this client to get a sense of comfort and focus while sitting at her desk. The overall feel creates a soft sanctuary. 

The Pothos plant was a great addition for this living space designed to accomodate a single woman with a demanding job. Since the English Ivy can grow long and drape very nicely, we placed it on top of a shelf for a nice aesthetic quality.

The Pothos plant was a great addition for this living space designed to accomodate a single woman with a demanding job. Since the English Ivy can grow long and drape very nicely, we placed it on top of a shelf for a nice aesthetic quality.

Aloe Vera:

Many people have Aloe Vera in their homes because of its healing ability. The gel inside the leaves has excellent healing properties that help heal cuts and burns. It is easy to grow and also serves as a great plant for improving air quality and clears out pollutants found in cleaners, paints, and more.

Aloe is a great addition to any room. The striking form and color provides contrast against a dark wall.

Aloe is a great addition to any room. The striking form and color provides contrast against a dark wall.

English Ivy:

This is a very easy plant to grow and creates beautiful twists and turns that flow from the pot. It has a great drape to it to provide life to bare areas and shelves. This plant is great for filtering mold and dust.

In this basement, English Ivy is placed in an open area, allowing it to be seen by everyone that walks in, while providing amazing air filtering abilities that are extremely beneficial for those with asthma/breathing problems and allergies.

In this basement, English Ivy is placed in an open area, allowing it to be seen by everyone that walks in, while providing amazing air filtering abilities that are extremely beneficial for those with asthma/breathing problems and allergies.

Snake Plant:

The Snake Plant, or Sansevieria, is an inexpensive and low-maintenance plant that works great in bedrooms, because it converts CO2 into oxygen at night. This plant is the most tolerant of all decorative plants and survives the most unsuitable growing conditions, abuse and neglect. So it’s basically impossible to kill!  The snake plant is classic, yet versatile houseplant with sword like leaves. It is excellent for the forgetful gardener and is considered a top air purifying plant for indoor environments.

The snake plant is a great addition for bedrooms, and actually gives you air rather than taking it away like most plants.

The snake plant is a great addition for bedrooms, and actually gives you air rather than taking it away like most plants.

An indoor plant can be your refuge from the outside world, and for many people it is a source of great joy. Whether you live in a small apartment, or a large house, by introducing certain plants into your home, you will start to notice improvements to your health, and overall happiness. Houseplants not only add greenery and a pop of color, they are living, breathing organisms that improve your way of living and enhance the quality of life.

Be sure to check out posts from our other wonderful friends below who are making similar small changes in their lives, there are so many good tips, I can’t wait to see all the good tidbits of small changes that we can make that will hopefully add up to big changes in our world!

Much love,


Room for Tuesday


Domicile 37

House of Brinson

Deeply Southern Home

House 214 Design

Up to Date Interiors

Park and Division

The Gold Hive

One Small Thing-Bringing Yoga to Our Workday

We’re excited to be part of a new journal series called ”One Small Thing” that our brilliant friend Susan from House of Brinson organized. Once a month we’ll be writing about a small change we’re making in our lives/routines that will help the environment, ourselves, our families, or our communities. We’ll be writing about topics ranging from health and wellness, food, interior design, and a more sustainable lifestyle alongside several of friends in the design industry and sharing with all of you!

For our inaugural post in this series, we decided to write about our newest weekly practice in the studio-lunchtime yoga! I used to be a much more dedicated yogi when we lived in Florida and Nebraska, but after moving to Philly four (!) years ago, I really fell off the wagon. I would attend classes here and there, but nothing regular, and goodness have I started to feel the effects. I have gained weight, lost flexibility and had more aches and pains than I used to. I’ve been making small resolutions and changes as I’m approaching my 40th birthday in 6 months and one of them is to dedicate myself to more physical activitiy in general and to also get back into my regular yoga practice. Because if I am being honest, yoga and mindfulness/meditation have SAVED MY LIFE. With all the stress, uncertainty, and dynamic environment of owning my own business, I would be a wreck without the tools to help me be present, take a deep breath, and reset my brain when things get crazy.

In May we hired our first employee, Krishna, who is our junior designer, and we’re set to hire another person in the near future. As I’ve been building my team, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be an employer and what I want the culture of our business to be. Things like fair pay, good benefits, and a positive and nurturing work environment are all at the top of my list. I’m still figuring it all out, but I recently had the thought that perhaps some yoga could be great for our team as well, and the idea was well received! So every Thursday around noon we’re taking some time away from the studio to walk over to our local yoga studio, Yoga Brain to reset and relax. We’re hoping this will make us more productive, creative, and generally just break things up a bit for us. The yoga studio is only a 15-minute walk from the office, which is the perfect time to connect with nature in our beautiful neighborhood as well.


If you’ve fallen out of your yoga practice and wishing you could pick it back up, I encourage you to just start. One day a week or month. Just showing up on your mat makes a world of difference, and who knows where it will lead. If you’re looking for a yoga studio in your area, some good resources are:

I’ve also used in the past for a home practice or while traveling. If you’re looking for a good meditation app, I’ve used Headspace before and it’s been great. There are tons of them our there if that one is not a good fit for you.

Alright friends, that’s it for this month! I’d love to hear what you do to unwind? Is there something that’s been on your list of intentions that you want for yourself in this season?

Small business owners, how are you building teams and creating business cultures that support the type of business you want to run?

Be sure to check out posts from our other wonderful friends below who are making similar small changes in their lives, there are so many good tips, I can’t wait to see all the good tidbits of small changes that we can make that will hopefully add up to big changes in our world!

Much love,


Room for Tuesday


Domicile 37

House of Brinson

Deeply Southern Home

House 214 Design

Up to Date Interiors

Park and Division

#thebeautifulgeneral Reveal

Our clients came to use with an unfinished basement space and 2000 square feet of bare canvas just ready to be styled. After getting to know our client and seeing the family lifestyle, we helped them analyze the needs for their family and introduced a great layout for their needs. Today we’re revealing the bar area, bathroom, and playroom. 

Read More

One Room Challenge Fall 2018-The Reveal!

Photography Credit: Rebecca McAlpin

Today’s the day friends, it’s reveal day for the One Room Challenge and we have a completed bedroom! The last six weeks have been a blur since we purchased this house, put our other house on the market, sold it, moved, and worked on the room somewhere in between while keeping my interior design business afloat. It has been hard, and exhausting, and exhilarating, and I’m really glad this room is complete because it has taken many sleepless nights and early mornings to get to this place. I finished the room Monday afternoon and it seems almost like a dream that it is actually done! If you are just checking in and want to see more of the process, you can revisit the previous weeks here:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Ok, now I bet you’re ready to see this finished space, aren’t you? :) Here she is my friends!


My goal for this room was create a warm, layered space that embodies a sense of time and patina juxtaposed with modern elements. I always like a little before and after, shall we take a look?



A little bit of a change, eh? One of the things that jumps out to me is how you can see so much more of the detail on the fireplace with it being a bit of a lighter color. Now there are some shadows in the reliefs which really make them pop. I used Portola Paints lime wash in Vintage Black on the mantle, and while I had originally hoped it would be a darker black, this more slate-blue tone is kinda growing on me. It has a really nice patina to it so I decided to just let it be it’s own thing and not try and control the situation too much, sometimes that’s best you know. And of course, the walls are Portola Paints beautiful lime wash in North Woods, which is so perfectly soft and beautiful, I almost feel like I am wrapped in a cloud! The texture that it creates on the walls is incredible, almost like an old plaster. For the moldings, I wanted them to blend with the walls, so I painted them in Ben Moore’s Smoke Embers to flow seamlessly with the walls. I have always wanted black window sashes and these old windows were the perfect ones to take in that direction. I used the same color we painted the exterior of the windows, Ben Moore’s Onyx.

If you watched my Instagram stories you might have heard about the debacle with the ceiling light which was supposed to arrive Friday and never came because somehow it became missing from the box right before the delivery, so I frantically called France & Son telling them about this all out emergency (the photoshoot was in two days) and seeing if there was ANY way they could ship a replacement fixture overnight. They were amazing and totally came through for me on shipping another fixture that afternoon and saved the day because LOOK AT THAT CEILING FIXTURE! It totally makes the room, right? I have admired Serge Mouille’s work for years and always wanted this ceiling fixture in a room. It’s a big fixture though, and I never quite had the space, but this room was long enough that it just worked, and it’s delicate form doesn’t overwhelm the space, win-win!


The bed came together in the final week and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. I wanted to find something low enough to fit under the windows and this vintage headboard was a great shape and height. It was originally a stained wood, with a brown woven material in it. I cut out the old, woven material from the panels and used them as templates for the new caning. I painted the entire thing black and then reinserted the new caning with spray adhesive. I love how the black and caning contrast against the patina of the lime wash and gives a bit of a modern feel to the space. I used a simple platform base from Hayneedle that blended beautifully with the vintage headboard. Hayneedle was kind enough to offer 10% off to anyone clicking through on these pieces of theirs that I used in the room!

The lights are from our previous master bedroom that we ordered years ago from Schoolhouse Electric and the William Morris “Strawberry Thief” pillow is from Rejuvenation. I felt like the bed needed something a little old school and this patterned pillow was the perfect thing, plus, William Morris is one of my design heroes.


A sweet art vignette sits on the wall beside the bed including an abstract from my friend Angela Simeone, a portrait from Minted, and an etching of New York falls from the 1850’s from a recent trip out to Colorado. Although the pieces are quite different in styles, they are tied together in color palettes. The bedside stump is one I have been carrying around for years. We were getting ready to move from Monterey, California back in 2010 and were taking some trash to the drop off location before moving and someone had left the stump out by the dumpster. Of course I was in love with it at first sight :) and convinced Adam we should put it in the car and take it with us. We have moved it several times, from California, to Florida, where is sat on our porch, to Nebraska where I used it to hold a big pot of succulents, to our first house here in Philly where it was in the sunroom, and now to this home, where it made the perfect bedside table. Sometimes I get a little bit sentimental about these seemingly insignificant things that I have been toting around for years, but that is what makes them special, and makes your house a home. And the fact that I would have never thought it would end up at our bedside, but that it has, and it works beautifully makes it even more fun.

The rug was a lucky find at Home Sense, and adds a very soft and subtle pattern to this side of the room and blends nicely with the sitting area rug. A sprig of dogwood branches from our yard adds a fun splash of color. I ran out of time to get flowers before the shoot, so out to the yard it was and it ended up being the perfect thing to celebrate the season!


Honestly I just want to hang out in this spot all day. These beautiful, moss green chairs from Article are definitely a star in the room. Their low arms and curves keep this area from feeling too cluttered and the green velvet is just luscious!! Article also offers free 30-day returns, so if you find that the piece doesn’t end up working for your space, you can always send it back, which is a great option for a big piece of furniture. The Girard Lamp from Hudson Valley Lighting brings in a bit of a traditional element, and I love the way the brass looks with the moss green. A place to put our feet up is going to be essential with hanging out in this spot, so I chose this sturdy coffee table from Hayneedle. The oblong shape keeps a nice flow to this area and it has a really lovely woodgrain to it that adds some subtle texture. The handwoven rug has the perfect faded feel that I was looking for and unable to find in the right color in a vintage version. The soft pinks and blues are calming and tie in with the vintage tile on the fireplace. The little wooden stool (fondly dubbed the “Mimi Stool” in our house) has been with us for several years. It’s handmade, and wonky and had to be repaired once when Adam tried to use it for a step stool and it split in half-haha! It’s the perfect little spot to set your coffee while reading.


I decided to paint the doors in the room (and will likely continue throughout the entire house) black. It’s the same black as the widows, Ben Moore Onyx. The doors are original 5-panel doors with glass doorknobs and they seem to have so much more presence when painted black, we did this in our last house too and I’m just not over it :)

The mirror is from Lamps Plus (yes, they sell more than lighting) and I love how it feels like a cool, modern touch above this uber traditional mantle. In all honesty, I never really liked the center relief of the floral swag on the mantle, but the shape of the mirror sort of mimics that and I feel like it could kinda be growing on me now.

I built some simple, oak shelves in the 11th hour and I love how they have a minimalist vibe next to the fireplace and provide a spot to display a few precious things and a spot to tuck in a basket for wood.


Loving, loving the lime washed patina on the mantle. I used two coats of their sealer so that the surface is cleanable. Here’s a closer detail of the mirror as well. Another, simple branch from the Japanese maple in our yard gives some drama to the mantle.


Our old, walnut dresser found it’s new home in our bedroom again and I’m loving the modern form of the Piper Lamp from Mitzi contrasted with the traditional dresser. I sourced this gorgeous art piece from Minted from artist Kelly Money. She is a local artist, painting fantastic clouded pieces which I have sourced for client projects before. I loved this piece in particular because of the greens and yellows which I felt tied in so perfectly to the other parts of the room. I also thought it would be the most wonderful thing to wake up to in the morning since we can see it from our bed. Minted offers this in a gallery wrapped canvas which really makes it feel like the original painting, and the printing quality is fantastic, you can see so many of Kelly’s original brushstrokes, it is a great way to get more of that original artwork feel for a lower cost. You can also request commissions from various artists through Minted, which has definitely got my wheels turning for future projects!


Here’s another shot of the bay window and the beautiful Japanese maple outside.


And here’s another shot of the bedroom from the other side. For those of you wondering, here’s a peek at the Hayneedle platform bed as well.

Ok friends! That’s a wrap! I’ll be sharing a walkthrough of the space this afternoon on Instagram Stories if you want to hop over (and the whole project is saved in my highlights). Thank you so, so much for following along, for your comments, so many of your reached out and offered your encouragement and excitement for the project. Thank you to Linda from Calling it Home for organizing this for all of us and to Better Homes and Gardens for providing media sponsorship, all of the generous sponsors who donated products for this space, my husband, Adam who took care of so many of the things in our personal lives while I tried my best to keep up on this project and work, and my photographer Rebecca McAlpin who moved the shoot to Monday to give me every available minute to finish the project. It feels so good to have at least one room in our house not in complete chaos after our move and we’ll rest easy after these long days of work now.

Alright, now go check out all the other incredible featured designers (linked below) and guest participants too (they’ll be sharing their reveals tomorrow). Everyone has been working, so, so hard to get the finish line on this. Thank you!!!!



At Home with Ashley | Brepurposed | Dabito | The English Room | Erin Kestenbaum

Harlow & Thistle | House of Brinson | J & J Design | Kelly Golightly | Linda Holt

Megan Bachmann | Michelle Gage | Mimosa Lane | Murphy Deesign | Vestige Home

Old Home Love | SG Style | Shay Geyer | Sita Montgomery | SMP Living

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens | TM by ORC

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One Room Challenge Fall 2018-Week Five

I’m sitting here writing this post in the wee hours of the morning in our new green velvet chairs with my feet propped up and a warm cup of coffee in hand, feeling so close to finishing this room (I’m fooling myself really). This is the last week before the reveal and if you’ve been following along through Week One, Two, Three, and Four, you have seen this room go from bold and bare to layered and cozy. Despite having a full list of things to accomplish before the upcoming photo shoot, some things did take place that are making a big impact on the room and helped me see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

First up, the rug for the sitting area came in! This immediate warmed up the space and rather than have one large rug that would take up the entirely of the room (and my budget), I opted for to separate, but coordinating rugs that will define the sleeping and sitting spaces.


I happened upon this one from Overstock while perusing the internet one day and I thought to myself, “wow, that’s really pretty, I wonder if it looks that good in real life".” In addition to rug shopping being difficult for me in general (I think I have looked at thousands of them for this room already), I am always doubtful when purchasing textiles online as the colors generally aren’t well represented. I took my chances on this one though, because I thought if it really was as good as it is online, it could be a winner. I wasn’t disappointed. It appears almost exactly as pictured and has the perfect muted tones and texture that I was looking for and tiles in with some of the blues and pinks in the fireplace tile. Hooray for small victories!


While I still have a second coat of lime wash to put on the walls and a second coat of trim paint, I couldn’t resist getting started on painting my window sashes black (#instantgratification). I spent a few nights this week putting on the first coat and I love how it’s changed the feel of the room immediately. I have dreamed for years of having black window sashes, they are so striking, and these old windows were the perfect opportunity to try out this concept. I will be doing some scraping of the old white overpainting on the edges to hopefully clean them up a bit more and getting the second coat on over the next few days. I’d love to clean up all the painted and brass hardware on them as well, but time may not allow for that, I’ll wait and see.


Another exciting development is the arrival of our coffee table for the sitting area!


Since there are so many traditional elements in the room, I knew I wanted something modern for the table and I came across this awesome piece from Hayneedle. I also thought that it would be great to have something that could function a bit like an ottoman because we’d be sitting in front of the fire and reading in this area and cozy time was of prime importance. The simple form of this coffee table is the perfect complement to the chairs, and I also like how hefty and solid it is because we are definitely going to be propping our feet up (socks only) on this beauty!


The piece is sold and has a lovely oak grain and dark stain that coordinates really nicely with our antique walnut dresser.


Speaking of, since we finally moved our furniture over here last week, I was able to get the walnut dresser into place and I love how it looks on this wall.

We picked up this dresser for $200 years ago when we lived in Florida and we were told it is from the 1800’s. It was in our bedroom in our last house and although we don’t necessarily need it for clothing storage in this room (our closet is plenty big for all our clothing), I thought it could be great storage for linens and extra blankets since our other closets are quite small.


And how perfect does the Piper Table Lamp from Mitzi look on there too! :)


I’ve been starting to pull together some of the accessories for the room. This gorgeous mirror from Lamps Plus arrived earlier in the week for above the fireplace.


I have ordered numerous lighting pieces from Lamps Plus over the years, but really didn’t have any idea of the breadth of items beyond lighting that the website carried. This mirror was the perfect modern piece that I was looking for for above the traditional fireplace. Every room needs a mirror in my opinion and this one was the perfect combination of simple shapes that I was looking for.

Other items include an etching from the 1800’s of New York and a vintage marbleized pottery piece I picked up on my trip to Colorado this past September.

I also ordered an original art piece that I have been eyeing for months now from my friend Angela Simeone. I love the abstract, natural flow to the piece and the soft pinks and greens are a nod to the furnishings and carpet in the room. She also just released her first wallpaper line and it’s insanely gorgeous, if you’re considering wallpaper for any of your projects, she has a wonderful variety that would make any space feel special.


The countdown is on for the final push and I’m making my final to-do list which includes:

  • Second coat lime wash on walls, paint on trim and windows

  • Lime wash fireplace (I got my first coat on early this morn, but didn’t get pictures into this post)

  • Lime wash doors

  • Paint ceiling

  • Gah! So much painting still! :)

  • Install ceiling fixture (still waiting on arrival)

  • Complete headboard revamp

  • Assemble bedframe

  • Make final decision on rug for under the bed area

  • Build floating shelves in corner by fireplace

  • Hang artwork, mirror, final accessorizing and styling

  • Don’t freak out :)

OK, I’m off to work! As always, I’ll be giving lots of behind the scenes in my Instagram Stories if you aren’t already following along. And thank you all for your heartfelt comments and cheering me on to the finish line, it means so much to me!

Be sure to check out what all the other featured designers are planning for their spaces by following the links below. And check out the guest participants too, there is so much talent and creative inspiration to be seen!



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One Room Challenge Fall 2018-Week Four

It’s week four of the One Room Challenge and a few things happened this week that are making this room start to feel like a real room. Still so much to do and feeling horribly behind though! We moved into the house officially this week and have spent the last four days hauling small loads of our personal items to the house in our SUV, and the furniture movers came yesterday to move the big stuff. We still have a few more small loads to bring over, and our furniture movers need to come back Thursday morning for a few more things that wouldn’t fit on the truck #hoarder. But Friday we’re closing and it’s gonna all be over from that end, so there IS a light at the end of the tunnel :) And I am so, so excited to spend some time this weekend doing more painting and getting the final details together!

If you are just joining in, you can catch up on the previous weeks progress via the posts for Week One, Week Two, and Week Three.

OK, so let’s get into it, shall we? The first exciting progress of the week includes finishing the second coat of primer on the walls and diving into the first coat of lime wash. We went with Portola Paints lime wash in North Woods and had the great guys at our local Ben Moore store, Riccardi Brothers color match a grey to the lime wash that we’ll be using on the trim, so it will blend really well, but still be durable for cleaning and holding up to all the pretty things I will be setting in the windowsills. My husband, Adam helped with some of the trim painting Saturday night, despite the fact that he really hates painting (the things we do for love) :)

I have received a few inquiries about applying the lime wash. It is easy to apply with a wide, straight brush, moving in a bit of a cross-hatch pattern (or you can do up and down, depending on the effect you want). Portola Paints has a great video on their website showing the application, and I plan on doing a more detailed post on the product later this fall.

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As you can see, it goes one really dark and then lightens up as it dries. Even with just the first coat down it’s already looking soo soft and pretty! I love the way the light dances across this finish, it has so much depth.

limewash 1st coat.JPG

Now that we’re actually living at the house I’m hoping that stealing away for bits of progress on the painting will be a little easier instead of having to drive back and forth.

Some special deliveries arrived this week as well! First off, a couple beautiful lighting pieces from Mitzi and Hudson Valley Lighting. I have used both these brands in several of my design projects prior to this and have found them to be stylish and well constructed. I chose a traditional pharmacy style lamp, the Girard Lamp for over in the seating area.

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For our dresser I chose a more modern lamp, the Piper Table Lamp which I fondly refer to as my “snowman” lamp to contrast the more traditional feel of our 1800’s dresser. Mitzi has such a great selection of modern meets traditional fixtures!

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Both pieces have a beautiful brass finish, which ties them together. They are heavy with all metal construction and anything that threads together feels nice and tight. I have come across my share of poorly produced lighting in years past and these two pieces feel solid, I will be able to have them in my home for years to come.

The second very exciting addition to the room are the two Article Embrace chairs. I chose of soft moss green velvet and I am thrilled with how beautiful they look.

The velvet reminds me of the hiking through our beautiful Fairmount Park here in Philly and seeing all the lush plant life and moss growing on huge rocks along the way. Having not been able to sit in them prior to ordering, I wasn’t sure how comfortable they would be but the curved arms and back fit you in all the right places and the seats are deep to keep you relaxed and big enough to curl your legs up into. The arms are a bit lower which will help give some nice flow to the sitting area and the curves also give them some softness. I am SO excited for some quiet coffee mornings in these chairs!

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One thing I really like about Article is that they offer a flat shipping fee of of $49 (or $19 for small shipments) for most orders, no matter how large. AND Article offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee so you can try out your new furniture in your home. If you’re not completely happy, they’ll pick up the furniture and provide a refund, minus the delivery and pickup charges which is $49 in most cases. Seems like low-risk way to try out some great pieces, especially if you don’t have a ton of time to peruse furniture stores.

Alright friends, that’s it for now! Stay tuned for some fun progress on the headboard, finishing up on painting and more fun details coming in like lighting, rugs, and artwork. I’ll be giving lots of behind the scenes in my Instagram Stories if you aren’t already following along. And thank you all for your heartfelt comments and cheering me on to the finish line, it means so much to me!

Be sure to check out what all the other featured designers are planning for their spaces by following the links below. And check out the guest participants too, there is so much talent and creative inspiration to be seen!



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One Room Challenge Fall 2018-Week Three

Hey friends! We’re moving along on the progress in our master bedroom, but let me tell you, it has been slow going. Two big pieces arrived this week, the headboard and the lime wash from Portola Paints. Unfortunately, the timing aligned with me being out of town for four days for the Highpoint Furniture show, which I had been planning to attend months in advance. The paint arrived from Portola Paints on Friday afternoon. I was leaving for North Carolina bright and early Saturday morning, so I headed over to the house to start getting a coat of the primer on because I wanted to get at least a little something done before I headed out of town, Shelby graciously offered her supervision services.


As excited as I was for brushing on that yummy lime wash, the first step is to put up the primer, which Portola Paints recommends to help achieve a more consistent appearance and uniform absorption of the lime wash. I’ve primed when I'’ve used the lime wash before and I loved how it turned out, so I’m going with what works.

The primer is really thick, and goes on with a roller, which makes for quick work of the flat surfaces.


It was dark by the time I finished rolling on the coat of primer, and it was getting a bit late for cutting in all the corners, so this is where I ended up leaving things. I left early the next morning for Highpoint, so these were the best shots I could grab of where things stand.


But progress, it’s progress! :)

The headboard arrived from Etsy and I’m contemplating the best way to refresh the caning in it. I’ll also be painting the wood black. The shape is really lovely and it’s the perfect height to sit right below the windows.


So that’s my meager progress this week. I’ll definitely be hitting things harder this week and will have the painting done in the next couple days now that I’m back in town. If you want to follow along on the progress of the project in more real time, be sure to follow along on Instagram where I will be posting regularly on the progress of the project in stories and my feed.

Be sure to check out what all the other featured designers are planning for their spaces by following the links below. And check out the guest participants too, there is so much talent and creative inspiration to be seen!



At Home with Ashley | Brepurposed | Dabito | The English Room | Erin Kestenbaum

Harlow & Thistle | House of Brinson | J & J Design | Kelly Golightly | Linda Holt

Megan Bachmann | Michelle Gage | Mimosa Lane | Murphy Deesign | Vestige Home

Old Home Love | SG Style | Shay Geyer | Sita Montgomery | SMP Living

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens | TM by ORC

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One Room Challenge Fall 2018-Week Two

Hello friends! It’s week two and so far I am the most behind that I’ve ever been on a One Room Challenge-ha! Ok, maybe that’s not totally true, but with moving to a new house and an extremely busy work schedule, I’m definitely a little behind where I’d like to be, but hey, I’m just gonna roll with it, because honestly, that’s just about all we can do, right?

This week I’m sharing my design plan that I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. I hope you've got a cup of something tasty and a comfy chair, because this is going to be a loooong post, and hopefully a good one! If you're just joining in, you can learn more about the room that I’ll be making over in my week one post.

My mission statement for this space is to create a warm, layered space that embodies a sense of time and patina juxtaposed with modern elements. But first, the floorplan, because function is first in any of my design plans.

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Since the room is long, it makes sense to break it up into zones. As you enter the space, the bed is the first thing you will see through the doorway. `Due to the number of windows in the room, there aren’t a lot of options as to where the bed can sit. I briefly considered putting it on the wall between the entrance and the closet door, but it would really block off the view of the fireplace and I really wanted that to be a focal point in the room. I also considered floating the bed, but that just didn’t seem to be an efficient use of space, and with the king size bed, it really took up a lot of space in the width of the room and left the nightstands and bedside lighting options a bit wonky. So against the wall the bed goes, under the trio of windows, which really aren’t that high off the floor and made finding the right headboard a bit of a challenge.

We’ll have a nightstand on either side of the bed, because, we got stuff!

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Over by the fireplace, we’ll have a couple upholstered chairs, a cozy rug, a coffee table and lighting. I think this will be the perfect place to read before bed as I tend to have a hard time staying awake to read once I curl in under the sheets. Adam and I have started getting up earlier in the mornings for reading and writing, so I think this is also going to get a lot of use at the start of our days.

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The alcove next to the fireplace was begging for some floating shelves. There’s not going to be a ton of open storage in the room, so this will be a great place to keep a few books and keepsakes, maybe some firewood in the bottom portion and more excuses to feed my ceramics obsession :) My rendering shows this as more of a wood storage area, which I thought would be really cool, especially since we’ll be using the fireplace a ton. After further research and consulting my bug guy, John, I decided against any mass wood storage in the room. The first mention of wood roaches and I was out. In all honesty though, I’m sure you’ve all seen those lovely, stacked wood organizers, and maybe those work if you aren’t bringing in wood from the outside regularly, but it just didn’t seem like it was the solution for us.

We’re most likely going to be using the antique walnut dresser from our other bedroom because we love it. Just because you’re redoing a room doesn’t mean that you have to put everything new in it. Plus, the walnut will bring some warmth to the room and we’ll still have some good wallspace for a small bench and some large scale artwork.

So now that I’ve laid out the floor plan for the room, let’s talk the pretty stuff! As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I want to create a warm, layered space that embodies a sense of time and patina juxtaposed with modern elements.


Some of you might remember that I used Portola Paints lime wash in our previous master bedroom (using a colorblocking technique). Well, I wasn’t ready to give it up, so when I started thinking about what kind of backdrop I wanted for the space, Portola Paint’s lime wash was at the top of my list. I’ll be going with their North Woods color for the walls and Vintage Black for the doors and fireplace.

The fifth wall, soooooft pink. Need I say more? I haven’t decided on an exact color yet because I want to get the lime wash up first and then put some samples up, but I’ll be sure to share when I do.

Window sashes are going black, they’re really gonna pop!


As with most of my work, I like to mix old and new, and this room is no different.

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I found a beautiful vintage headboard on Etsy that is the perfect height to fit just below the trio of windows, it has a beautiful, soft curve to it and I’ll be sprucing it up with a new color and fresh caning. I’m a bit limited on what I can build from scratch this time around, so while I would have loved to build a platform base, Hayneedle had the perfect, simple, low platform base that will let the headboard be the star of the show.

Nightstands??? Yeah, still working on this one.

Wall mounted lights are a space saver and these have a beautiful vintage vibe with minimalist lines.


I had one of Serge Mouille’s wall lamps in my living room and I have always been a fan of his work. It is the embodiment of organic, modern design. When I was thinking about lighting for this room, I did contemplate putting in another ceiling fan as they are practical, and since we currently don’t have central air, we might be begging for one come next summer. But, ultimately, I thought that this long room needed an equally scaled overhead light fixture, and the long, sculptural arms of France and Son’s Three Arm Lamp is going to be perfect in the space.

Over in the seating area, I’ll be using two of these Embrace green velvet chairs from Article, the clean lines give them a more modern feel and the velvet gives a nod to tradition, it’s the perfect mix.

Hudson Valley Lighting has the perfect gorgeous brass pharmacy lamp to bring in more of a traditional element and I chose this chunky modern coffee table from Hayneedle, not only because I love the shape, but also because I knew we would need a place to put our feet up and this piece felt substantial and sturdy enough to do so.

Adam and I picked out the artwork for the room together and we decided on local artist Kelly Money’s piece from Minted, the colors are so soothing, I can’t wait to wake up to it every morning. Adam, who is an incredible artist himself, was also drawn to Linger by Sarah McInroe, also from Minted. We’ll no doubt be sprinkling in various other items we’re going pull from other areas of the house or find in the next few weeks.


Since the furnishings and some of the lighting pieces are a bit more on the modern side, I decided that I wanted to go more traditional underfoot. The room is about 21’ long and using one large rug would be more than my pocketbook could handle. Plus, I hate to cover up too much of the gorgeous original wood floors. So I opted for two separate rugs, complementary to each other. Having two rugs defines each of the zones of the room as well. I am still finalizing which ones I am going to be using, but the vibe of the ones pictured is what I am going for.


Roller shades are my jam. Since I am going to be painting the window sashes black and there are so many different types of windows in this room, shades are the most practical solution in my mind. They are clean, simple, and unfussy and will look good throughout, rather than trying to figure out a curtain or valance solution that looks good across the whole room. I’m still deciding on the color, but lemme just say that there might be some black shades in the mix! These ones from the Shade Store are at the top of my list.

Whew, so that that’s the plan folks! Now, time to get to work! If you want to follow along on the progress of the project in more real time, be sure to follow along on Instagram where I will be posting regularly on the progress of the project in stories and my feed.

Be sure to check out what all the other featured designers are planning for their spaces by following the links below. And check out the guest participants too, there is so much talent and creative inspiration to be seen!



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One Room Challenge Fall 2018-Week One

Hello friends! Welcome to another round of the One Room Challenge! If you are new around here, the One Room Challenge is a bi-annual event hosted by Linda Weinstein of Calling it Home and Better Homes and Gardens. Over the next six weeks, myself and other featured designers across the internet will be transforming a room in six weeks and blogging about it every week so you can follow along! In addition to the featured designers (linked at the end of this post), there are over 200 guest participants that are working on rooms as well, so much inspiration!

It seems like such a short while ago I was starting my first ORC space as a guest participant a year ago, transforming an unused bedroom in our house into a cozy guest room/office. Then, this spring, I worked with friends to transform a spare bedroom in to a serene nursery to welcome their new son, Oliver into the world. I am so honored to have been selected as a featured designer for this year’s challenge, there are so many talented people this round and I hope you’ll click through at the bottom of the page and check out their projects as well!

As I am writing this, I’m thinking how even crazier things seem with the fact that I am going to be leaving that first ORC space I worked on in just a year ago because…..WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! It’s bittersweet, we love our house that we’ve been in for the past few years since moving to Philadelphia. Over the past three years I have had the opportunity to work on most every room in the house, even if it was just with paint. The house had been renovated previously, so making major transformations like redoing the kitchen never made sense for us. But we did what we could using paint, and wallpaper, updating lighting and building a faux fireplace, it has been so much fun. We have lot to look forward to in our new house though, and soo many chances to make it a reflection of our family and hopefully tie in to some fun parts of vestige HOME as a business, I’m so excited!

If you’re still reading my rambling thoughts you might be wondering, what room I’m going to be working on this round and as luck would have it, I am going to be working on our master bedroom in our new place. We thought that updating the master bedroom first could be beneficial (to our sanity) since most of the projects around the house are going to be long term, and we wanted to be able to have a finished space that we can relax in at the end of our often long workdays. Here’s a shot of the space as it currently stands (with some remnants of the previous owners furniture).


As you can see, this room is HUGE, at least by old house standards, and definitely for us as homeowners. We didn’t look for a house with a master this large, but I have to say that I have always dreamed of having a fireplace in my bedroom to fall asleep to, like, since I was a kid. Dreams do come true :)


The alcove to the left of the fireplace is providing me some inspiration, I’d like to create some kind of storage/display space because there really isn’t much with all the windows in the space.


The fireplace has the prettiest vintage tile surround, with soft pinks and a little blue with that perfect crackle that accompanies old ceramics. The gloss black paint on the mantle is a little strong for me, so look forward to something that will soften the look of this a bit.


Another thing that I’ve always been attracted to in old homes are windows…and this room has LOTS of them. Several singles, a row of three and a big bay window that looks out onto the front yard. Eventually we’ll be restoring each one of the original windows in the house (there are lots of panes of cracked glass), but until then, I’ve got some ideas of how to make them pop even more.

I’m envisioning a cozy seating area over by the bay window. I thought for a second about putting the bed closer to that area so the bed could be close to the fireplace, but the way that the room is laid out would block the view of most of the fireplace unless you were actually laying in the bed, not ideal. So a seating area it is!


The house is stone on the exterior and we have lots of deep sills to hold plant babies galore!


The other side of the room has the entrance to the room from the hallway, as well as a teeny closet that the previous owners used as shoe storage. There is a shallow walk in closet that runs almost the entire length of the back of the room (from the entrance to the corner). It’s the largest closet we’ve ever had in our lives and we feel totally spoiled.

That’s it for the initial tour of the space! I’ll be sharing more detailed design plans for the room next week so be sure to check back here on the blog. I’ll also be sharing lots of live progress on Instagram and Instagram stories throughout the next six weeks, so be sure to follow along there!

You can see what all the other featured designers are going to be getting into by following the links below. Thanks so much for all your kind words throughout this process, I’m excited your following along!!!



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Inspired By...

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Last month over the 4th of July holiday, Adam and I enjoyed a mid-week getaway to New York City.  We hopped a train early Tuesday morning and found ourselves in the Big Apple just in time for brunch.  Our travel style is pretty flexible, with a few key things we want to see, and plenty of snack breaks in between. We spent most of our time touring the main building of The Met and The Cloisters at the Met, and especially loved the Heavenly Bodies exhibit which explores the relationship between high fashion and the Catholic Church.  The exhibit was more impactful to both of us that we expected and we left with a renewed curiosity and appreciation for fashion.  I was also inspired to think about how some of the elements of the exhibit could be translated to interiors.  The buildings of The Met are beautiful, and the fashion displays seemed to be just as much as part of the environment as the structures of the buildings themselves.  One of my favorite pieces by Versace inspired me to design a room around the piece and the lovely surroundings of The Cloisters.  This design pulls from the warmth and elegance of the black velvet contrasted with the textures and variations of the stone walls punctuated with touches of brass and the arch motif to create a soothing and elegant collection.  I hope you're inspired to create a space that is a reflection of your experiences, or maybe pull some inspiration from this one.  And as this is my inaugural post into this type of content, I'd love to hear your feedback on more of these types of posts in the comments below.  

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1. Zickafoos Artwork

2. Thumbprint Artwork 

3. Annetta Round Chandelier 

4. Shiloh Floor Lamp 

5. Crosby Mid-Century Sofa

6. Bennington Mixed Materials Coffee Table 

7. Arched Metal Framed Mirror 

8. Parlour Crisanta Blush Chair 

9. Betania Side Table 

10. Metallic Gold and Ivory Leather and Jute Woven Area Rug 

11. Palm Leaf Pillow 

12. Delany Linen Pillow 

xo, nicole

Disclosure: I use affiliate links.  Affiliate links are one of the ways I am able to pull together inspiration and ideas and post it for your use and enjoyment, thank you for supporting vestige HOME! 

One Room Challenge Spring 2018-Final Reveal

Photography Credit: Rebecca McAlpin Photography

Today's the day my friends!  I'm thrilled to reveal the nursery that I've been working on these past six weeks.  For those who don't know me, I'm Nicole Cole, a full-time Interior Designer and Stylist living in Philadelphia.  This is my second time participating in the One Room Challenge as a guest participant and I'm so excited for the *almost* instant gratification that having a six-week design challenge brings.

If you're just tuning in, you can see the progress of the space here: 

Week One   

Week Two 

Week Three

Week Four 

Week Five 

Over the last six weeks this space went from an office/guest room/catchall room to a nursery for this family's newest family member set to arrive next month.  The new mom to be (Jessica) asked for a peaceful space. So I went with a lot of soft and almost ethereal (like a newborn babe) palette with some warm woods and charcoals thrown in to keep it grounded.  The house has a colonial feel architecturally, so I took that as a starting point for the colors and paint treatment and then incorporated some modern, clean lined touches because a little bit of tension in a room makes for good design. 

Sources:  Paint ,  Crib ,  Rocker ,  Rug1,   Rug2

Sources: Paint, Crib, Rocker, Rug1, Rug2

Let's just revisit where this room started, shall we? 


Can you believe how much bigger this room looks?  This is almost the exact same framing in the before and after.  It's so bright and fresh! Even with more furniture pieces in it than before!  Goodness I love design (ahem, ok, I'm done geeking out for a minute).

Since the space is long and narrow, we ended up going with two layered rugs as a standard size wouldn't fill the space enough and we didn't want to go with something custom.  A soft wool woven ivory one laid the base while the geometric jute blend adds interest and pulled together so many of the other colors from the room.  Farrow and Ball's gorgeous paint colors set the stage for the walls.  I chose Farrow & Ball No. 22 Light Blue for the lower portion and for the upper portion of the wall I chose Farrow & Ball No. 266 Mizzle.

Most of the work we completed on the room was more on the decorating side of things....paint, furniture, accessories...but one construction project we took on was the built in daybed.  I went into more detail on the construction process during the Week Five post and now she's all dressed up and ready for some serious lounging.  Even before baby Oliver arrives I think mom and dad are gonna wanna curl up here for afternoon naps and book reading (I know I want to).  

Sources:  Wall Lamp ,  ABC artwork , sheets

Sources: Wall Lamp, ABC artwork, sheets

This built in daybed adds more functionality to the space in between the closets than the previous freestanding one.  We added a huge drawer for storing extra bedding below as well as a bookshelf and little cubbies for secret stashes.  A heathered grey fitted sheet covers the twin mattress and is easy to just throw in the wash if needed.   


The The ABC artwork from Jenny's Print Shop was an inexpensive and easy way to add artwork to the wall, and the wall lamp is perfect for late night reading (and comes with a dimmer!) I added a low maintenance snake plant that gives some height to the space and a brass elephant because no matter how hard you try, animals of numerous sorts just seem to make their way into a nursery....the little fox print was something Jessica had picked up prior to the project and I love how the orange tones play with the blues and purples in the room. 


We couldn't resist adding one more little nook on the mattress side of the bed....I can't help but think this will be filled with plastic race cars or maybe a bug collection someday...

Sources:  Rocker,   Pouf ,  Floor Lamp

A comfy rocker is a must for late night soothing or a comfy spot to nurse.  This one has great lines for tucking right back into the corner. The pouf from Article brings in more of that grounding charcoal color and can transfer to other areas on the house as well.  It's perfect for putting up tired feet at the end of the day and will be nice and soft when Oliver starts toddling around.  The lamp adds a modern feel and also doesn't feel exclusively "baby", it has a foot operated switch which is great for when mom and dad's arms are full with babe.  The bookshelf was a piece that Jessica's dad made for her in one of her first apartments in Philadelphia and fits perfectly under the window.  We painted it a warm charcoal grey (Sherwin Williams "Black Fox")  and it will serve as the perfect spot for a glass of water, some baskets for other smalls to keep close at hand as well as toy and book storage.


The room wouldn't be complete without a few vintage/antique touches.  The mirror has been in my stash since I found it down in Jacksonville, Florida about a year pulls some of the dark wood tones from the changing table and is especially pretty with a little bit of the de-silvering from age.

Sources:  crib ,  ceiling light

This simple Ikea crib is perfect for adding a minimalist vibe to this space.  A beautiful green throw knitted by Jessica's long time friend, Nicole (hi Nicole!) works perfectly with the room's color palette. The ceiling light is a simple, understated drum shade and draws you eye up to the ceiling which we painted the same color as the upper portion of the walls. 

I had seen a delicate looking mobile with ships on Pinterest but all the sources I looked for on Etsy felt too heavy to me.  So I decided to make my own version as a gift to these new parents-to-be.  I partnered with Stephanie from Share Studios to use her beautiful handmade paper for the sails because I love the way the light shines through it, plus, she's an incredible artist and I love supporting other creatives when I can.  The boat hulls are carved from Catalpa wood I had laying around the workshop.  I hope this trio of ships gently "sailing" above Oliver inspire him to pursue adventure and curiosity.

This vintage French dresser was THE PERFECT size for a changing table.  We made a wood frame to hold the changing pad.  It can easily be removed when Oliver outgrows it and transitions to a dresser with display space on top.  The three drawers provide tons of storage for all the baby accoutrements. A shelf above give some good display space for decor items.  The lion head is a beautiful wool felted handmade piece from Groh Artifact.  I'm smitten with all their pieces and would love a collection for my own home!  The lion symbolize courage, bravery, and leadership, all great inspirations for a little one coming into this world. The wall basket is a thrift store find and keeps wipes and burpy cloths close at hand.  

Well, that's it for this round of the ORC, thank you so much for all your kind words and support along the way!  Thank you to Linda of Calling It Home for putting on this inspiring event and for House Beautiful and the Home Love Network for supporting us along the way as well!  And be sure to see the final reveals of the other incredible guest participant rooms here as well as the featured designers here. 

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One Room Challenge Spring 2018-Week Five

It's the hooooooome stretch! Last week of the challenge and we decided to tackle probably the largest component in this nursery, the built in daybed! We had planned all along to do it at this stage in the project because we knew the homeowners dad was going to be in town.  This daybed project turned out to be a family affair, with the grandpa, uncle, and dad to be all spending a weekend tackling this project like champs!  

As a refresher, here is the nook in between the two closets as it stood before.  The homeowners had a freestanding daybed in the spot before, but there was a lot of wasted space and it didn't match the style of the new design. 


I drew out a rough plan of the concept. 


And first thing Saturday morning everybody got to work! I'm still in awe-I mean, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?  These homeowners and their family MADE this bed...and not all of them are seasoned woodworkers, but they dove in and did it.  So cool. 


The cubby portion took the longest to build, so many measurements!  But totally worth it to have some good storage as well as add a little whimsy to the piece.  There is an arched cubby on the front and a smaller one that will sit just above the mattress. Many, many hours later after all the pieces had been cut we brought everything upstairs and started the install. 


This was where we were about mid-day Sunday.  Ian, the new dad-to-be spent the next three days finishing the left side of the bed, installing the big drawer and whitewashing the wood to keep it almost looking like it has no finish on it, we use Rubio Monocoat which provides a durable finish (it's designed for flooring).

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We decided to veneer some of the unfinished edges (thank goodness for Amazon Prime!) the veneer arrived last night and we applied it this afternoon...finally done and ready for the mattress! 

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We're letting the finish cure another day before adding the mattress.  We also got the alphabet print in from Jenni's print shop.  I love how modern and crisp this looks against the blue walls.  

The new wall light for the daybed area also arrived! I promise it will look better installed rather than me awkwardly holding it up on the wall :) 

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I'm also working on a little handmade mobile for over the crib using some of Share Studio's gorgeous handmade paper.



That's a wrap for this week!  Next week is the final reveal so be sure to check back and see the finished space with all the pretty accessories.  And be sure to follow along with the other guest participants and featured designers.  Looking forward to seeing everyone's finished spaces! xo, Nicole 

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One Room Challenge Spring 2018-Week Four

It's week four of the One Room Challenge and things are getting real serious up in here folks!  Other than the initial painting in the room, things have been fairly mellow with the updates, these last few weeks are bringing some of the biggest changes to the space-so exciting!  This week we added some new lighting.  A new ceiling light that more closely matched the vibe in the space was installed, and of course a dimmer, because in my opinion, almost ever room should have a dimmer so you can adjust the lighting as the mood dictates (including bleary eyed sleepy mom/I don't want a bright light shining in my face mood).

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As you might have noticed in the photo we also got the changing table in the space.  It's a vintage chest of drawers from France and has the coolest rounded corners....and is the PERFECT size for the changing pad.  We'll be creating a custom changing pad box for the top and making some repairs to the top where the veneer has peeled away but other than that it's the perfect height and size for the space and it balances out all the modern pieces that we've been adding to the space. 

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How cute is that hardware?! 

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And those rounded corners!  Be still my heart! 

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The great thing about this piece (and what so many of you mentioned as well) is that once the little one is out of the diaper stage, this piece can easily be converted back into a dresser, it would also be equally at home in a foyer/entry as a drop spot with storage, it's a really versatile piece overall, always a plus. 

Also in lighting we received this sexy little new floor lamp from Article. It's the perfect height over the rocker and operates with a foot switch, perfect for parents with a babe in arms. It has a great copper accent to it and I love how the modern lines are juxtaposed against the more traditional feel of the paint and moldings. 

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We got the rocker in place as well, this one is great because it has a tall back for the tall parents to be and the ends of the rocker legs are very minimal, which allows it to tuck nicely into this corner of the room. Article's bamba pouf gives some subtle texture to the space and a place to prop up your feet, and it's another versatile piece for when kiddos get older. 

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Since I'm writing this post a bit late, we just completed the built-in daybed that was in the original plans, I'll be sharing the progress on it coming up later this week, it's looking so good!  The final reveal will be May 10th, so stay tuned!!! Be sure to stay up to date with behind the scenes Instagram Stories and be sure to check out all the other incredible projects going on with the guest participants and featured designers! Thank you so much for following along!  xoxo, Nicole 

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One Room Challenge Spring 2018-Week Three

We're on a roll here with the One Room Challenge and half way though the process, it's going so fast.  If you're just following along, you can catch up with Week One and Week Two.  This week was a little bit slower paced since I am at the Highpoint Furniture Show in North Carolina this week.  The homeowners assembled the Ikea SNIGLAR crib that we picked out a few weeks ago and the light wood tone looks gorgeous against the pale blue and green walls. 

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Assembly was simple and the homeowners already had a mattress they had purchased. 

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Jessica, the new mom-to-be had a bookshelf that her dad had built for one of her apartments here in Philadelphia.  The piece was solid and has sentimental value so we're incorporating it into the space as a good spot to keep books and a few toys.  The rocker is also going to be positioned next to it so it will be able to act as a spot to put a glass of water or other accoutrements. It's narrow enough that it will fit against that wall and we will float the rocker slightly in front of it.  It was originally a stained, medium brown color and we decided to paint it to fit in better with the design of the room.  I chose Sherwin Williams "Black Fox" which is a warm, charcoal grey and will tie in well with some of the other accents in the room.  The homeowners rolled a couple coats on and the piece was completely transformed to give it more of a modern vibe.  The trim keeps still maintains a touch of the traditional feel which is perfect to tie in with some of the more traditional elements in the space. 

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Here's a view from the entrance of the space so you can see how the pieces are starting to work together in the room. 

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And a view straight back from the far side of the room....

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Next week we'll be installing the overhead light, rocker, and other lighting and then we'll get on to the exciting project of building that incredible built in daybed.  Jessica's father is coming into the for the build next weekend so we'll be showing the process right before the final reveal.  Stay tuned!  Don't forget to follow all the awesome guest participants here.  As well as the featured designers.  Are you all stoked to start some project for the summer?  :) Thanks for following along friends! 

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One Room Challenge Spring 2018-Week Two

Week two was productive as we dove head on into the project with painting the space.  But before I show you the progress on that I wanted to share a bit of the design plan with you.  If you missed week one, you can catch up here.  As I provide with most of my clients, creating a 3-D model of the space is the first step, this allows us to see the pieces in proportion to everything else and play around with different layouts.  Here is the plan for the space as seen from above. 

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And here are some perspective shots of how the space will look from inside. 

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If you remember from the first week, the nook had a freestanding daybed in it.  In it's place we'll be building a built in daybed that can be converted into bunk beds in the future if another kiddo comes along into the family. This will better utilize the space and add some extra storage. 

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The design concept for the space is a peaceful "modern colonial" vibe.  The house is a brick center hall style colonial, and this is Philadelphia, so we're playing a bit of homage to some colonial references but with some modern twists to reflect this young couple's vibe. The pieces that I've selected allow room for growth and change in their family and many of the pieces will be able to be used in other areas of their home as their needs grow and change.

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Soft, light colored woods will add a modern element and the pale, blue-green two tone walls give a peaceful feel.  Charcoal and marigold accents will ground the space and give it more of a grown-up feel.  

We're going with two beautiful Farrow & Ball colors for the wall, the lower portion is in Farrow & Ball No. 22 Light Blue and the for the upper portion of the wall I chose Farrow & Ball No. 266 Mizzle, which we took all the way up to the ceiling.  The ceiling is a bit shy of 8' in this room so painting them the same color as the walls is a great way to extend the eye up and create a sense of a little more height in the space.  We used the Estate Emulsion finish for a beautiful chalky matte finish. 

Once we had the room primed we measured out where we wanted the line where the two colors would meet, that way we knew where to paint up to.  Using a 4' level all the way around the room is a great way to make sure your lines are nice and straight. 


We started with the lower portion before taping off the upper portion with the best trim tape for a clean line. 


The photo above is after we finished the lower portion with the tinted primer above. After three days of painting we were rewarded with the following...

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We painted all the trim and doors in the Light Blue to keep the eye moving around the room without a contrasting trim disrupting and as a nod to the colonial vibe we are going for in the space.  

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This soothing palette has set the stage for the peaceful vibe in the space and is going to be gorgeous with the light wood tones and charcoal accents.  Next week we'll be adding the crib, new overhead lighting and an heirloom piece from the homeowners so stay tuned!  Be sure to follow all the other incredible guest participants on the One Room Challenge website as well as the featured designers there's so much design goodness to see over the next six weeks! 

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One Room Challenge Spring 2018-Week One

Whew, can anyone tell me where the year has gone?  It seems that not so long ago I was finishing up that big green beauty of an office space that was the last One Room Challenge and here we are again kicking off the next one!  So not only is it exciting times with springtime and warm weather on it's way (at least that's what we're telling ourselves), I'm starting on another room design that you are going to see progressing over the next six weeks in real time, so hold on to your hats folks, here we go! 

For those of you who may not know me, my name is Nicole and I'm and interior designer and sometimes woodworker living in Philadelphia.  You can learn a little bit more about my creative journey here.  This is my second One Room Challenge as a guest participant and I can't be more excited!  Last season my room was selected by House Beautiful's editor Sophie Dow as one of the finalists for the guest participants, an absolute honor!  I'm looking forward to stretching my creative muscles this round and creating an entirely new kind of space.  

This spring, I'm working with some great friends of mine who are welcoming their first child into the world, and as such, this little guy is gonna need a room!  So NURSERY it is!  I'm taking a bit of a different approach and creating a space that doesn't feel too "baby" and can hopefully grow with them as their family grows.  For the first few years these parents may be spending just as much time in the space as their kiddos are, so I'm designing a space that will feel just as welcoming and chic to the adults as the kids. 

Ian and Jessica bought their house about two years ago and have been using this front bedroom primarily as an office with overflow for guests .  


The room is south facing and has TONS of incredible light and those deep windows that you see so often in Philly (also, the perfect place for plants). There are two closets in the room that bump out into the space, which creates this nook area where there is currently a daybed. 


The plan includes using the nook created by the closets to create a cozy area with something that utilizes the space a bit more efficiently and can grow with their family.  There are hardwood floors in the room, which is a plus. Also, check out the beautiful hardware on the door handles (!!!) gosh I love old houses...  


Ian and Jessica cleared out the room this week so we can get going on the painting, which is going to begin tomorrow, here's a couple snaps of what the room currently looks like. 


So much potential here right!?  Can you feel it?

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All I'm thinking is bye-bye beige.....


Next week I'll be revealing more about the details of the design plan, layout, etc. A little sneak peek of what I'm planning is below.  Until then, stay tuned for some sneak peeks on Instagram and Instagram stories and if you're a parent I'd love any input on what has worked for you in a nursery/child's space, what are your must haves in terms of functionality/design?  Let me know in the comments below! 

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Also, be sure to follow all the other incredible guest participants on the One Room Challenge website as well as the featured designers there's so much design goodness to see over the next six weeks! 


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A simple bathroom refresh with big impact

As an essential, everyday use kinda space, bathrooms can be tough when it comes to renovations.  Especially when you're in a home where there is only one bathroom for showering.  In addition to finding alternative showering locations, complete bathroom renovations can be messy, dusty, expensive, and long.  This bathroom in particular had been partially updated by the previous owners with new floor tile, vanity, toilet and fixtures.  Unfortunately, the original wall tile had been painted with some sort of tile paint that may have covered up the original peach color but has proven to be less than durable in the shower area.  But despite these misgivings, it's not currently an option to do a complete tearout of the space.  Instead, we focused on increasing the functionality of the space and giving it a bit more character with some new fixtures and finishes to spice up the builder-basic renovation that was previously completed. 

Below was the state of the bathroom when the home was purchased, while clean and maintained looking it was Boring with a capital B. 

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The first steps were to install a ventilation fan, because we knew that we were going to be installing wallpaper and also, it's just a darn good thing to do, because despite having a window, you really don't want to be opening that during a shower when your neighbors windows are directly across from yours (!).  The next step was to make space for a new medicine cabinet that we picked up at Restoration Hardware Outlet for a great price.  The traditional style of the cabinet is probably close to what would have originally been installed in this space. 

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Upon opening up the wall we could tell that there had previously been a medicine cabinet in the space, something bit smaller, but the remnants of the spot were there. We also found a signature on the wall stud with the year dated 1925, the year the home was built-so cool! 

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We had the electricians swing by and install an outlet in the medicine cabinet.  I encourage all of my clients to do this (and we've done it in several of our own homes), it's a great place to plug in toothbrushes and other personal care necessities that you may not want out in the open.  The electricians made the line a little longer since we hadn't yet done the wallpapering, that way we could remove the cabinet for the wallpapering rather than try and cut the paper perfectly around it.

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We also wired up the new light fixtures and primed the walls in preparation for the wallpaper. 

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The next step was installing this gorgeous wallpaper from local Philadelphia artist Carla Weeks.  It added the character we needed for this monochromatic space and was especially affordable since we needed to only paper above the tiled wainscoting. 

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And now for the reveal...we added a couple kokedamas for plant life and swapped out the handles on the vanity for some more interesting and substantial pulls

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

The new brass sconces really pop against the patterned wallpaper 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born

Kokedama's add life to the space, I like to think of them as suspended art, and they just require a once a week soak in the sink. 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

I added in a curved rod to make the shower area feel more spacious and the shower curtain is a subtle grey stripe fabric, because stripes pair so nicely with just about every other pattern. A vintage wonky legged stool holds some spare towels, a glass of wine during the bath, or magazines on the daily. 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

Photo Credit: Kyle Smith Born 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this refresh.  Would you attempt something similar?  You can find more of my work in my portfolio, or more before and afters here. xo, Nicole

Holiday Market with Rally

This year feels so special here in Philly as I'm co-hosting a holiday market with Rally and a curated group of some of my favorite artists and designers here in Philly.  Since living in Philly these last couple years the creative community has been so welcoming and encouraging, it feels wonderful to be celebrating the holidays with such a talented group of women!   The event will be held in the beautiful Rally space, Thursday, December 7th from 7-10 pm.  They'll be light bites, drinkies, and a raffle benefitting the People's Emergency Center.  If you're in Philly stop by for some lovely gifts and support local! 

Before the event I thought I'd share a little bit about each of incredible women who are  participating.  You can click through to each of their websites to see more of their work.  Hope to see you at the event if you're in Philly! 

Philly Love Notes 

Scientist, traveler, supporter of the arts, communications strategist and overall Philly Lover.  Emma Fried-Cassorla spent 4 months paper cutting the entire city of Philadelphia and from this endeavor, her custom, laser-cut Philly maps were born. Her made to order maps can be customized with your favorite neighborhoods, first date meetup, weddings, first homes, jobs, or anywhere else you’d like to note a favorite spot in the city.

Ron Nicole 

Philadelphia native Ronni celebrates the beauty of nature through her floral inspired fossils.  She often sources her flowers from her local flower shop, flower farms, trail walks, and her neighborhood, even venturing to knock on a stranger’s door to talk about capturing a perfect specimen from their garden.  Individually designed and cast in a concrete/plaster mix her one of a kind sculptures freeze a moment in time and highlight the subtle beauty of Mother Nature.

Image Credit: Ronni Nicole 

Image Credit: Ronni Nicole 

Asarum Designs 

Dorene Reggiani designs and creates one of a kind jewelry pieces from her studio in Philadelphia. Her organic forms and natural materials create beautifully subtle pieces while textures created through the process of forming the piece become an integral part of the design and highlight the unique and beautiful imperfections of her craft. 

Image Credit: Asarum Designs 

Image Credit: Asarum Designs 

Carla Weeks

British-born artist Carla Weeks’ paintings, textiles, and murals are informed by her interactions with both natural landscapes and the built environment.  Through distillation of pattern and form her 2-dimensional designs communicate a sense of place that is both graphic and serene. Her work spans a broad range including paintings, murals, wallpaper, and textile designs.  Most recently she has completed designs for a line of pillows that can mix effortlessly into your living spaces. 

Curious Clay 

Jannalyn is continually experimenting with color, pattern, and form in her ceramics line, Curious Clay.  From wearable art to mini planters, mugs, and spoons, the pursuit of creative exploration is evident in her delightful ceramic forms and glaze combinations.  Her fearlessness in experimentation makes each piece one of a kind.