I’ve been so preoccupied blogging about my pregnancy and babies that I haven’t done a home design post in months (excluding my most recent post on the nursery). That said, if you’re wondering what we’ve been up to in terms of our house the answer is A WHOLE LOT. We’ve been trying to get as much done as possible before Baby Lease arrives (any day now!), and I’m proud to say with the exception of our joint office and living room bar we are virtually done. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been a real team effort and we’re both very pleased with the results.
Let’s start with the entryway:
By our front door there are two dark wood columns, so when I saw this Crate & Barrel entryway table I told David I thought it would tie in nicely with our exterior. Our door is see-through and this table is the first thing to catch your eye. Our floors are also very light and I liked the contrast of the dark wood and steel black legs.
My original idea was to hang a mirror or a piece of art above the entryway table and call it a day, but David had other plans: installing a moss wall. He’s a big fan of plants and greenery inside the home and there’s a company in Miami called Plant the Future that designs beautiful arrangements and installations using dried plants and moss. The moss you see here is real but preserved and it’s nailed to the wall via a wood backing. It requires no maintenance, because if it did — believe me I would’ve resisted this idea. Two months later there’s still a bit of an odor from the moss, however, I have to admit the wall does a great job of adding color, dimension, and a hint of wow factor to our entrance.
Custom built-ins cost a fortune, but we decided to splurge on a wall unit for our family room to hide our media equipment and complete the large open space. I looked at images on Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration and we made sure to get at least three different quotes from cabinet and mill working shops. We worked with Viking Kabinets in South Miami on this wood piece which took about a month to build once the design was approved. The hardware is from Restoration Hardware, and the built-ins are painted the exact same color as our walls (Benjamin Moore White Heron).
The fun part was styling the shelves by combining books, picture frames, and decorative objects of varying heights and sizes. David had certain pieces he absolutely wanted displayed like a deer skull he had found and spray painted neon green; a Wallstreet themed chess set, a train with his name written on it in graffiti, and a robot sculpture. Meanwhile I wanted to put out these two Rodin-esque sitting men sculptures I had bought a while ago, plus some pretty cookbooks, and family photos. We also had an alphabetized classic book set from Penguin in a neon color palette which my mother-in-law had purchased, as well as an antique bronze clock. I knew I wanted a cohesive color palette, and somehow without trying all that hard it worked out to be bronze (to go with the hardware), silver, and whatever color books we could find (the brighter the better to pop against the white). Any objects that didn’t fall into either category got nixed. The cost didn’t make this an easy decision, but I have to say the wall unit makes the entire house feel so much warmer, put-together, and to be honest with you — grown up.
Our living room is right off our entrance and is quite long so we were really unsure how to decorate it. Fortunately, we had hired Montreal-based designer Scott Yetman to help us create a furniture layout plan for part of the house. Getting professional design help is expensive, but if you can afford it it’s often totally worth it, particularly when it comes to conceptualizing the layout of challenging spaces. Because the room is long and rectangular, Scott suggested creating a sitting area around a circular coffee table and rounded swivel arm chairs and we loved the idea.
A friend of ours told us about the brand Room & Board and while in New York this summer we went to their store and tested out their Otis swivel chair that I had spotted online. Chairs are one of the most expensive furniture items so it’s important to try them out before buying. We picked up a bunch of fabric swatches and brought them back to Miami with us, ultimately deciding on “Vashon ink”.
Two of my favorite furniture brands are West Elm and CB2 because their products are stylish and fairly priced. We ended up ordering the Darbuka black coffee table from CB2 for our living room and I think the sleek, steel piece pairs nicely with the plush chairs, as well as our entryway table.
Our living room layout plan included a daybed style sofa so as not to block the window while simulatneously creating another sitting area in the rectangular space. What’s more, our family room is right off the living room and since we were putting a traditional sofa there across from the TV, we needed another type of couch for this particular spot.
I discovered the American furniture brand Joybird via Instagram’s targeted advertising and liked their designs and direct-to-consumer concept. The Hughes daybed was just what we were looking for so ordered a swatch kit and David picked this charcoal color in the Bennet fabric. The couch is right by the window and makes for an ideal reading nook.
A few months ago I thought we’d never be done furnishing our house because we had to wait almost two months for nearly everything and that’s only after we actually agreed on what to get in the first place. Fast forward to today and I can’t believe all that remains to be done in the living room is installing a custom bar where the bar cart currently resides. It’s definitely not a priority and I actually think the bar cart looks pretty good for the time being. Besides, with baby arriving any day now it may be a little while before we’re hosting an open bar night.