Styling the Breakfast Nook

The Tulip table was provided by Poly & Bark for review. All opinions are my own. 

 

Poly & Bark Daisy Tulip Table Coffee

 

Some months back, when I was planning out the design for our new house, I knew exactly what I wanted to do in the breakfast nook. I saw some great dining area photos of Saarinen Tulip tables, and separately, great pics of clear Ghost chairs, and I knew I wanted to pair them.

 

Poly & Bark Daisy Tulip Tabletop

 

Historically I haven’t been a huge fan of either item. I think maybe because so often you see the Tulip table paired with Saarinen’s Tulip chairs and the whole thing just comes off space-agey to me. But as soon as I envisioned the table with different chairs…I felt that my eyes had been opened, and I had seen the light.

 

West Elm Sphere & Stem Pendant Light

 

The light fixture is the Sphere & Stem pendant by West Elm. I’ve had my eye on that for a long time. I think it worked out nicely in this area. We (the husband and I) did have some drama about making a decision regarding the hanging height of the pendant. He was in favor of the current height and I wondered if it would have looked better a little higher. What do you think? It’s a mostly moot point now, as it was kind of a pain to hang and neither one of us is eager to pull it back down and do the whole thing again.

 

Poly & Bark Daisy Tulip Table Selfie

 

The artwork is from Urban Outfitters. I first saw it in Elsie Larson’s living room tour and immediately started trying to think of a place for it in our new house. I love the white, gold, and pink color scheme going on here. It feels very fresh and makes me think of candy, in the best way.

 

Poly & Bark Daisy Tulip Table Side

 

And the table — the piece de resistance. It’s really beautiful. It’s the Daisy Dining Table from Poly & Bark. This one is fiberglass, and it has a super pretty glossy lacquer coat on top. Which means I’m soliciting tips on how to maintain a glossy lacquer coat, so, bring forth your best cleaning advice immediately if you would.

 

Poly & Bark Daisy Tulip Table Close-up

 

I initially found Poly & Bark when I was searching for the Ghost chairs. We bought those first, and were so pleased with the quality we decided to get our Tulip table from them. Poly & Bark kindly sent it to me in exchange for this review. And it’s as good as it looks on the website and better still. The table itself of remarkably good quality. So much so that the husband even remarked on it while setting it up (he’s not one to be impressed easily). It’s heavy, and solid. I hadn’t expected that from the pictures but it’s pleasing.

(I also purchased a Nelson-style platform bench for the entryway from Poly & Bark — you’ll see that in another post coming up soon!)

 

Poly & Bark Tulip Table Kids Eating

 

This table provides the perfect setting for the kids to eat breakfast and still see the tv — I mean, be together…(did I say that out loud? Ok, but seriously, how do you get anything done in the morning if your kids aren’t in front of the tv? I mean really. Sorry to be That Mom, but there you have it).

 

Poly & Bark Burton Ghost Chair

 

As I said earlier, the Ghost chairs are also from Poly & Bark. We’re loving these. They’re as durable as they are attractive. You parents know what I’m talking about. Our previous dining chairs were upholstered. What was I thinking, I mean actually? I’m pretty sure the kids tagged each other in some game hidden to us parents to make sure at least one of them got ketchup on a chair at every meal. Even meals where ketchup wasn’t being served. It just happens.

 

Poly & Bark Table in Cafe Area

 

I’m overall really pleased with how the breakfast nook has come together. It’s one of those rare occasions where it looks in real life exactly like the picture I had in my head. What do you think? What would you add or take away?

Next time we’ll visit the entryway as mentioned above. Until then, be well friends!

 

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Sofa Showdown: Article Sven (and Tan Leather) vs. Ikea Vimle (and Beige Polyester)

Friends, I’m calling on you. The husband and I are at a standstill over which sofa to buy for our family room. If you would, scroll through our thoughts on each of the contenders, check out the mood boards we put together, and weigh in with a comment about which choice you would vote for.

In his corner, Vimle by Ikea: Ikea Beige Vimle Sofa with Chaise

The Lowdown on Vimle:

  • Cost (in the configuration shown): $799
    • At this price, if it gets destroyed (by boys or dog or act of God) in the next couple of years, it’s not as big of a deal.
  • Material: machine washable slipcovered polyester.
    • I’m gonna be honest with you, I am absolutely NOT on top of getting dirty slipcovers (or anything else…) in the wash in a timely manner. This is a negative for the Vimle.
  • At around $200, a back-up cover is super affordable.
  • It could be hacked with some new legs to make it sleeker.
  • A color this neutral really would go with anything.
  • My husband: “It’s not very expensive. We have three small boys (a.k.a. Destroyers of Furniture, The Three Reasons Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, The Mess-Bringers) and are soon (apparently??) getting a puppy (!), who maybe will shred everything we own. And it’s cheap. Also you can store stuff in the chaise! Also, it doesn’t cost much.”

 

In my corner, Sven by Article:

article sven sofa.jpg

 

Arguments for Sven:

  • Cost: $2999
    • While this may not be a lot for a leather sofa of this quality, it’s still more than double anything we’ve paid for a sofa before. And certainly a lot if it gets ruined in the next couple of years and we have to replace it sooner than we’d like.
  • Material: Full grain Italian leather
    • Beautiful, soft, buttery, WIPEABLE leather.
  • Reviews say it’s dreamy and comfortable.
  • Me: “It’s so pretty. I just really like it. And in case you missed it when I mentioned it before, YOU CAN WIPE SPILLS (or whatever) OFF OF LEATHER. It makes me happy to look at it. It’s the correct choice for our family — wait, for my heart.”

 

So with that said, here are the mood boards I created as mock-ups of our family room.

 

With Ikea’s Vimle sofa:

 

IMG_4700

 

With Article’s Sven leather sofa:

 

family room leather sven sofa

 

So what do you think?? I promise not to try to get (too) upset if you don’t side with me. Give me your best thoughts and opinions — we’re moving in 10 days and I need to get this settled ASAP!

Sofa Showdown: Article vs. Ikea // Napkin Soup

HOUSE TOUR: A MOODY + BOHEMIAN ARTIST’S BEDROOM

HOUSE TOUR: A MOODY + BOHEMIAN ARTIST’S BEDROOM

I’m super excited about today’s post. We’re featuring a stunning bohemian bedroom that marries vibrancy and serenity. It’s dark, colorful, and moody, filled with global textiles, vintage furniture, and thrifted finds, as well as furniture and art made by the owners themselves. The lady of the house, Bethany Riggs, is an artist and creative genius, and I can say that with full confidence because she’s been my best friend for 20+ years now.

 
Boho Artist Bedroom Corner

House Tour: Moody Bohemian Artist's Bedroom

 

Part of Bethany’s goal in decorating this house is to create a sense of refuge. They’re new to this house — they only moved in late last year, after tragedy forced them out of their previous home.

In August of 2016 they were living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you were following the news last year, you may recall a catastrophic flood in Louisiana — and by catastrophic I mean Louisiana was hit with three times the amount of rain as it received from Hurricane Katrina. Bethany’s family were woken in the middle of the night by a neighbor who warned them to get out immediately, which they did. They scooped up their two kids and sweet dog, Leo, and anything they could take in their arms. They fled to a shelter, as floodwater surged up around the tires of their car.

Their home was lost, as well as nearly everything inside of it.

Boho Artist Bedroom Dresser and Art

This home is part of their process of rebuilding, literally and figuratively, physically and emotionally.
To me, Bethany is the embodiment of a vibrant human being. She is passionate about travel, art, good food & drink, and deep conversations with friends. I always know that if I pitch an idea to her, she’ll be up for trying it. I think her bedroom conveys this feeling, wouldn’t you agree?

So that you can get to know her as well as I do, I thought I’d interview her for you.

Napkin Soup (<-- psst, that's me): Hi! Pleasure to meet you. 

Bethany: And you as well? You’re being weird.

Napkin Soup: Naturally. Ok, so tell us about yourself in a few sentences.

Bethany: I’m an artist, mother, homeschool teacher, interior design junkie (seriously, it’s bordering on problematic at this point), and gin aficionado. How’s that for a start?

Napkin Soup: It’s excellent.

Bethany: I’ve been in love with nature, mermaids, magic, and gypsy/bohemian/tribal aesthetic since I was very young. I’m a firm believer that you can’t have too much color or pattern if you know how to use both.

Bohemian Artist's Dresser and Art

Napkin Soup: A bold philosophy. What inspired your bedroom’s decor scheme?

Bethany: It was the wall tapestry over the bed. After losing all our furniture and decor in the flood, I was doing a lot of online shopping and stumbled across The Jaipur Art Factory‘s page. Their line of woodblock-print fabrics is incredible. I fell in love with the one in the picture (I mean, c’mon, ORANGE ELEPHANTS, Y’ALL) and ordered it immediately. And it just kind of became the starting point that I built my room around.

Bohemian Artist Bedroom Tapestry

Napkin Soup: How long have you been interested in creating? Tell me about an early memory of art-making.

Bethany: I don’t remember the experience, but my parents took me to see The Little Mermaid when I was three. It was my first movie theater experience and apparently I was obsessed from the opening credits. My mom has file boxes filled with drawings of mermaids that I churned out over the next decade or so. I’ve always loved drawing but I didn’t start really experimenting with art techniques until college.

As for interior design, my parents were very open to creating beautiful bedrooms for all us kids. We could choose paint colors, bed sets, wall stencils, etc. So I have a wide variety of design phases I’ve gone through since I was about 7 years old.

Bohemian House Tour Art

Napkin Soup: How would you describe your work as an artist?

Bethany: At this moment? A chronicle of my descent into insomnia and madness.

But seriously, one continuing theme of my work since college is the interplay between rigid structure and fluid movement. I feel like my whole life is a constant struggle to maintain a balance between the two. So in my work I try to meld them. If I get too obsessive about the precision the geometry requires, I get stressed and lose my mind. If I just paint flowy abstracts I get bored and listless. I need both to keep me centered.

Bohemian House Tour Star Pendant Light

Napkin Soup: I love that observation. I think most of us can relate to that in some way. Tell me about your interior design style.

Bethany: Eclectic to the extreme. I never worry if something I like will work with everything else I already have. I just buy it if I love it. Lately though I’ve been leaning very heavily towards a moody bohemian aesthetic.

Napkin Soup: How do you make your eclectic pieces work together?

Bethany: I constantly move things around until I find an arrangement that suits. If I find a weird knickknack at a thrift store and it’s some hideous color but I like it anyway, I’ll spray paint it a color I like. I also tend to group different styles of things in different rooms. If I buy a throw pillow I love that doesn’t work in my living room, I’ll move it to the couch in my room or a bedroom where it fits better. Of course, the main benefit of being eclectic/bohemian is that nearly everything can work anywhere, since you’re not trying to maintain any one style or color scheme.

Bohemian House Tour Velvet Sofa

As an artist, I look for pieces that are solidly built with interesting details, and then I try my best to bring those details out in the refinishing process. I don’t worry too much about clashing styles, because a good coat of paint or stain can help tie anything together.

Napkin Soup: You’ve mentioned thrifting. I get easily frustrating when thrift shopping because I can never seem to find good stuff. What are some of your methods for thrifting successfully?

We’re a single-income household, and I’ve always had to live on a moderately tight budget, which means we thrift a lot of our big furniture pieces. Usually we refinish or reupholster items to suit our tastes, but with Craigslist and Goodwill, you only have so much to work with in terms of finding the perfect piece. It can be a lot of fun though, like a treasure hunt, and often we get incredibly well-made items for very little, simply because they’re outdated or in rough shape. Then the challenge becomes making them fit our space and style needs.

Boho House Tour Nightstand

Before we’re done here, I want to be sure to include the canine among us.

Meet Leo:

Bohemian Dog Leo

And Laila:

Bohemian Dog Laila

Aren’t they lovely?? (They are.) I want to send a big thank you to Bethany and her family for sharing their beautiful home with us!

What do you think of this bohemian bedroom? Would you go this dark and moody? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

SOURCE LIST FOR MOODY + BOHEMIAN ARTIST’S BEDROOM:

:: list contains affiliate links ::

step aside, rustic barn door: 5 sliding doors for the modern home

doorbeckiowens

via housesevendesign

If you are as tired as I am of seeing the terms ‘distressed’ and ‘reclaimed’ slung around on Pinterest, this post is for you. The husband and I decided that we would like sliding doors attached to our media center in the new house to hide our TV when it’s not being used (I say “hide,”…if we’re being completely accurate I’d also have to add “protect from the children”). Casual searches turn up plenty of rustic, barn door-inspired variations. But, as our decor style is less vintage farmhouse and more modern bohemian, we have had to look a little harder to find ideas that we both feel like we like.

doorinteriores

via interiores minimalistas

This glass-paneled number is so sleek, but probably a little too stark to match up with our style.

doorsdecordeprovence

via decor de provence

I love this one. The color and design are great. I’d probably add a large dramatic pull, either gold or brass.

doorseinteriors

via einteriors

Also very pretty. Again, I’d go for larger pulls on the doors.

doorscuyana

via popsugar

And this one might be my favorite of them all. I’m completely smitten with natural-colored wood these days. I love how clean this design is while still being interesting. But, at the risk of becoming predictable…I’d still put a much bigger pull on this door to add drama. Probably a bar pull…something black, and sleek. What do you think? Chime in below in the comments!

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roundup: 5 dreamy blue velvet sofas (and 2 bonus selections)

I have sofas on the mind these days. In my head, our living room sofa is the axis around which the rest of our home decor spins. I feel like once we decide on a sofa, the rest will fall into place — and, alternatively, I feel like I can’t commit to other design decisions until that one is made.

Our current couch is a strange orange color that has faded into a scary salmon shade. The shape it is in might be described as “awful,” or, “horrifying.” It’s been something we have overlooked for several years now, while trying to decide whether we were moving or not. Needless to say, it’s time for a new sofa.

When I started the search I was sure I wanted something extremely different from our previous pumpkin-colored number. I was thinking gray, or possibly blue…thoughts which eventually introduced me to the beautiful world of the blue velvet sofa.

That was a couple of months ago. Since then I’ve decided velvet (of any color) is probably not in our immediate future, given the young ages of our children and our (possibly insane) decision to add a dog to the mix later this year. In the meantime, I’ll keep admiring. Here are seven different options I would consider any day of the week (for my fantasy clean house that is):

IMG_3022

From the top:

Joybird Theo in Bella Navy

Interior Define Caitlin in Oxford Blue

Article Sven in Cascadia Blue

West Elm Monroe in Celestial Blue

West Elm Antwerp in Ink Blue

 

Honorable mentions go to:

anthropologievelvetleonellenavy

  • the Samara Sofa in Blue Ink from World Market for being budget-friendly:

worldmarketsamarablueink

Got a favorite blue velvet sofa of your own? Chime in below in the comments!

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setting up house: the café area

*This post contains affiliate links.*

In the new house there is a small breakfast nook/café spot behind the family room area. This was probably the first area where I had the design pretty nailed down in my head. I knew I wanted it to feel crisp, and clean. When I saw these pics I knew I was pretty much done looking.

via Casa Haus

via The Everygirl


via Homepolish

In the past for whatever reason I had not been a big fan of the Saarinen tulip table, but in this context it just worked for me. I especially liked it paired with the lucite chairs. I’ve already ordered this set of four from Poly + Bark. I’ll update here with a review once I’ve set them up and tried them out.

As far as art work, I knew I wanted something big on the wall behind the table. I loved this pic from Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess, and immediately wanted the photo print behind her sofa.

This is my mock-up of this spot so far:


Sources: Poly and Bark Victoria Ghost Style Side Chair (Set of 4), Clear / Urban Outfitters Dreamy Houses Print / West Elm Sphere & Stem Pendant / West Elm Watermark Rug / Modway Tulip Table

What are your thoughts? What would you add or take away? Chime in in the comments below.

the great sofa search: 2017

Here are the facts:

  • We’re moving into a brand new house in the next two months
  • We’re taking almost no furniture with us
  • We have three small children
  • We are getting a dog before the year is up

Essentially? We need some seriously durable furniture. *But*…it also needs to look good, right??

Here are the sofas we’re currently crushing on:

IMG_2867.JPG

  1. Article Worthington Oxford Brown
  2. Article Sven Left Sectional Cascadia Blue
  3. Article Sven Left Sectional Charme Tan
  4. Ikea Vimle with Chaise in Gunnared Beige
  5. Joybird Eliot Sectional in Bella Navy

 

I need to do more research (because I can’t help myself), and take some time to check fabric swatches against the floor of the home.

What do you think? Is velvet too bold for a house with kids and a dog? Is the leather too much of a financial investment given that the couch will probably take a serious beating in the next few years? Give me your thoughts!