Turn a Spare Bedroom into a Home Office / Guest Room

Let’s face it – real estate is expensive.  We don’t all have the luxury of a separate room for everything, but combining a guest room and home office into one room is functional and effective.  If it’s a guest room, I would expect that means it’s only used on an occasional basis for short stays (unless of course you’re like my daughter that lives on the opposite side of the country and whenever we visit she has us for more than a day or 2!)

Selecting furniture that serves dual purposes and finding ways to “hide” the work space are the 2 challenges in creating this multi-function room.  Here are some suggestions to get you started and to take advantage of your prime real estate.

 

I find this piece so interesting – open or closed, well, it’s just a little different.  When you’re not working, close it up or leave open, and put some fresh flowers and books for your guests on the shelf.

Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware

 

A pretty desk looks nice anywhere.  The glass and brass make this desk almost invisible and take up such little visual space in a room.

West Elm

West Elm

 

A table can serve as a desk when you need it, and a space for storage or a suitcase when you have guests!

Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy

 

Multi-function pieces have come a long way.  “Murphy” beds now hold more than just a bed.  I have one in my Chatham house that has bookcases that slide away when the bed needs to come down.  Great use of space!  These 3 versions show how versatile they can be.

Tustin Woodworks

Tustin Woodworks

 

Closet Solutions

Closet Solutions

 

WallbedFactory.com

WallbedFactory.com

 

What tricks have you used in your home to use your home office as a spare guest room?  We’d love to see pictures!

Color Feature: AZURE

No color screams “summer” more than ocean blue, or, as we’re calling it today, “azure” blue.  Think crisp, clean, and cool.  It pairs beautifully with white, red, yellow, green and is perfect with warm woods.  Classic, yet contemporary, azure blue is a great way to “summerize” your interior spaces.

Whether you’re looking for a summertime color idea for a room, or simply some accessories, take a look below for some of my favorites!

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler

 

Graham & Brown

Graham & Brown

 

New_Ravenna

New Ravenna

 

Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel

 

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler

 

Serena & Lily

Serena & Lily

 

Kolman Artisan Glass

Kolman Artisan Glass

Cottage & Bungalow

Cottage & Bungalow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel

 

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler

 

 

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

 

Serena & Lily

Serena & Lily

 

Alexa Hampton, Hickory Chair

Alexa Hampton, Hickory Chair

Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kosta Boda

Kosta Boda

 

 

 

 

A Veterans Day Thank You

Today is Veteran’s Day – a day we take a minute to remember all those that fight for our country and the freedoms we take for granted every day.  I have to be honest, other than a great uncle who was an army doctor, I’ve never had anyone close in my life in the military.   And even my uncle was in the army when I was a child.  Times have changed.  I now have someone very important to me in the military.  My son-in-law is a navy pilot and my daughter, Jillian, has joined the ranks as a military spouse.

It’s amazing how your feelings about things change when they’re close to home.  Now when I hear stories about our military and their heroic efforts, I have a better appreciation of the sacrifices our men and women in uniform and their families make every day on behalf of our country and our freedoms .

So, with a much greater appreciation and a very grateful heart, thank you, Uncle Lou for your years of service and thank you LT. Christian Schaible and thank you to all the men and women in all branches of service for the freedom I have today.

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Take a Trip Around the Globe… Without Leaving Your Home!

One of the hardest parts of my job is the realization that I just can’t possibly use all the beautiful things that I see-  it’s actually one of the reasons I started blogging!  Sharing amazing products, colors and design ideas helps me find a “use” for all of these amazing things… through you!  My blogs topics are usually generated by things that I see that I just can’t get out of my head and I just have to share them.  Lately I’ve been going “global”.  I don’t know if it’s the time of year and looking ahead to vacation 🙂 but I am finding myself traveling the world through design.  Here are a few of the “countries I’ve visited”.  I hope you enjoy the trip!!!

 

Cook in CABO!

 

Avente Tile

Avente Tile

Putting a backsplash in your kitchen is such a wonderful way to add life and personality to one of the most important rooms in the house (I’m full-blooded Italian! so at least it’s the most important room in MY house)!

In this Latin-inspired kitchen, I love that this Avente tile can be customized to your exact color and style needs, enabling you to personalize the look for your own kitchen.  In my house on Cape Cod, I complimented my “beachy” home with a beautiful turquoise backsplash made of cut glass that reminded me of the beach glass I find on my morning walks on the beach!

Spanish Revival 1 Light Bronze Foyer Pendant, San Giorgio

Spanish Revival 1 Light Bronze Foyer Pendant, San Giorgio

Talavera Handpainted Rectangular Sink, Casa Daya Tile

Talavera Handpainted Rectangular Sink, Casa Daya Tile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This talavera sink is another handpainted and made to order item.  Choose a size, color, and design to complement  your backsplash, or just use it on its own!  Either way, what a BEAUTIFUL and unique addition to your kitchen!

For overhead lighting above this rustic kitchen island, using a pendant light like this one is simple yet perfect for a Latin-inspired kitchen.  Add several over a kitchen island to add warm lighting.

This kitchen island is not only a great, sturdy workspace, but look at all of that STORAGE space!  I never seem to have enough storage room in the kitchen and love the utilitarian function of the drawers.  More storage will help keep your kitchen organized and tidy to prevent clutter on your countertops.

 

 

Stone Top Double Kitchen Island, Williams Sonoma

Stone Top Double Kitchen Island, Williams Sonoma

 

 

 

Dine in PROVENCE!

 

French Country Rustic Antique Farm Table, The Bella Cottage

French Country Rustic Antique Farm Table, The Bella Cottage

The name of this table just says it all- a french country rustic antique farm table is the perfect centerpiece for your French dining room.  The rustic antique charm of this table is a perfect way to showcase your “thème provençale”!  I just love the rustic feel of the weathered wood.

Dafny French Country Empire Camel Back Dining Arm Chair , Kathy Kuo Home

Dafny French Country Empire Camel Back Dining Arm Chair , Kathy Kuo Home

Paris Couture Antiques

Paris Couture Antiques

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose a neutral tone for your dining chairs, like a cream camel back arm chair that will compliment your rustic table while still keeping a clean, simple look.  Antique lighting is a beautiful addition here to bring the whole look together!

Fleur de Lys Dinner Plate, Anthropologie

Fleur de Lys Dinner Plate, Anthropologie

Le Vallee Du Loire Cabinet, Soft Surroundings

Le Vallee Du Loire Cabinet, Soft Surroundings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love these Fleur de Lys dinner plates from Anthropologie for a few reasons- first, because they are white!  There is no better canvas for a beautiful meal than a clean, white dish on which to serve it.  All of my dishes are white!  I use beautiful colored serving pieces to jazz things up and constantly change things up.  The ruffled texture to this collection adds a the dainty touch that your rustic farm table needs, sealed with a Fleur de Lys!  Store your dinnerware and china in this Vallée Du Loire cabinet, and your dining room is ready to go!

 

 

Relax in ROME!

 

Celestino Sofa, M-Geough

Celestino Sofa, M-Geough

I LOVE the framing design on this sofa!  The simple yet elegant style is SO inviting.  Love the soft pillows – this is definitely a sofa to sink into!  Pair it with a luxurious leather recliner like this one from Pottery Barn.  You’re all set to relax by the fire and have a cup of cappuccino!

Lansing Leather Recliner, Pottery Barn

Lansing Leather Recliner, Pottery Barn

Global Views ALWAYS seems to nail it!  This coffee table just looks like a piece of jewelry, and I love the clean lines juxtaposed with the ornate lamp from Soft Surroundings.

Cuff Cocktail Table, Global Views

Cuff Cocktail Table, Global Views

Acanthus Lamp, Soft Surroundings

Acanthus Lamp, Soft Surroundings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bathe in BERMUDA!

 

BOYS Collection Vanity, Teak

BOYS Collection Vanity, Teak

How INNOVATIVE is this bathroom vanity!?  I always love the idea of “his and hers” bathroom sinks, but this is such a funky take on an already wonderful style!  The bamboo shelves are another great way to keep away the clutter off your vanity, or maybe even add some seashells to add to your Caribbean vibe!   The multi-purpose laundry hamper from West Elm provides even more needed shelf space.

Bamboo Laundry Hamper, West Elm

Bamboo Laundry Hamper, West Elm

Add some fun to your room with this great bamboo mirror, and can you resist this shower curtain??  I saw it and it just made me smile.  What a way to wake up in the morning!

 

Lanai Mirror, Serena & Lily

Lanai Mirror, Serena & Lily

Cori Dantini Woven Polyester Sweetness and Light Shower Curtain, DENY Designs

Cori Dantini Woven Polyester Sweetness and Light Shower Curtain, DENY Designs

 

 

 

Dream in DELHI!

Time to lay me down to sleep, and what better way to fall asleep than in this bed by La Lune.  It feels like it is straight out of Casablanca!  Pair it with our great linen finds and you’re off to dreamland.  I love the carved wood doors in this chest by Hooker and we seem to always find the right accessories from our friends at Kouboo that work EVERYWHERE!

Bed #4066, La Lune Collection

Bed #4066, La Lune Collection

 

 

North Country Bedding, Coyuchi

North Country Bedding, Coyuchi

 

 

Horizontal Tree of Life Tapestry, India Arts

Horizontal Tree of Life Tapestry, India Arts

 

 

Hooker Mélange Matisette Chest, Benjamin Rugs and Furniture

Hooker Mélange Matisette Chest, Benjamin Rugs and Furniture

Sphere Vase with Coconut Twigs, Kouboo

Sphere Vase with Coconut Twigs, Kouboo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always love hearing how others use their global finds.  Please share yours with us!!

Coffee Table… or Cocktail Table?

The difference between a coffee table and a cocktail table???  THE TIME OF DAY!  Here are some clever ways to make your coffee (or cocktail) table work double duty!

 

Ottomans

Sometimes it’s best to use multiple ottomans as a coffee table by adding a tray on top.  We added these beautiful Beeline Home by Bunny Williams ottomans that are available through Lee Jofa to a recently completed family room. They can be custom created in an ENDLESS array of fabrics.  Their perfect size and shape allows them to be used for extra seating as well!

Rosmarin After Overall

With ottomans such as these, you could incorporate simple, practical trays, or have a little fun with something a bit more bold!  Trays are great ways to make sure those drinks won’t spill on your furniture!

Chiseled Bone Tray, Studio A

Chiseled Bone Tray, Studio A

Penshell Ottoman Tray, Palecek

Penshell Ottoman Tray, Palecek

Oversized Round Serving Tray in Lampakanay & Wicker, Kouboo

Oversized Round Serving Tray in Lampakanay & Wicker, Kouboo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artisan Pieces

Sometimes there is no better addition to your living room than a beautiful artisan coffee table.  These handmade beauties would be perfect for day OR night!

DC Furniture brings the warmth of wood to this inlaid table.  I just love the graceful lines of the trestle bottom.

DC_Coffee

Coffee Table, DC Furtniture

 

I can just imagine enjoying a glass of wine on this vintage barrel “cocktail” table!  Yes, unusual, and definitely a conversation piece!

Handmade Vintage Oak Whiskey Barrel Coffee Table

Handmade Vintage Oak Whiskey Barrel Coffee Table

 

 

 

Sleek and Contemporary Tables

Glass, marble, and mirrored tops bring a little shine and pizazz to your room.  These 2 tables could not be more opposite, yet each has its own unique function.

 

I LOVE this Global Views fretwork table – a real statement piece for a room that needs that one special eye-catcher.

Marble Fret Cocktail Table, Global Views

Marble Fret Cocktail Table, Global Views

 

And here, Knoll has it hands down for sleek and contemporary.  This simple table, although large, takes up little visual space in the room.

Barcelone Table, Knoll

Barcelona Table, Knoll

 

The Esme Coffee Table by Interlude Home brings just that little bit of glitz to add some pizazz!

Esme Coffee Table, Interlude Home

Esme Coffee Table, Interlude Home (Available at Wayfair)

 

 

Coffee tables…cocktail tables…take your pick!!

What Does YOUR Fireplace Look Like in Spring?

What do you do with YOUR fireplace when Spring comes around?  If you’re like most of us, you probably leave it untouched until the next time you want to heat up your room in the Winter.  Well, this year try sweeping out the embers and taking the opportunity to add something fun and different for the warmer seasons!

Keep the Fire in Your Fireplace

To keep the warm, fire feel without the heat, place a candelabra inside your fireplace for a gorgeous addition to your living room.  Light the candles at night for ambiance and your fireplace will instantly glow this Spring!

We found this   Custom Fountains & Fine Metal Art by AuraWaterfalls on Etsy and we just LOVE it!!Metal_Candle_Holder

Arboretum_Fireplace_Candelabra

Arboretum Fireplace Candelabra

Galiana 9-Candle Candelabra

Galiana 9-Candle Candelabra at Walmart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plant Some Color

Once your fireplace is looking fresh and clean, add a potted plant or some fresh cut flowers for a pop of color to your room.  It’s the perfect way to add Spring to your home and spruce up your fireplace at the same time!

Fireplace_flowers_houzz

Fireplace_Update

 

Block it Off, In Style!

Using fireplace screens are great options for homes with pets and small children, where candles or flowers may not be as practical.  Using a fireplace screen can be a great way to keep everyone away out of trouble while still adding fun Spring style to your room.  Choose a screen that has a light, fresh feel.

Screen_Pier1

Cercis Fireplace Screen, Pier 1 Imports

Aspen Fireplace Triple Screen, Pottery Barn

Aspen Fireplace Triple Screen, Pottery Barn

Farmhouse Updated

Bernadette and John asked for some help updated the family room of Bernadette’s childhood home.  They had been living here with there own 2 teenage sons and felt it was time for a change.  They wanted something a little more “mature” yet fun and full of color.  Having helped them with a new kitchen a year ago, I had a pretty good idea of what they would like.  They were thrilled with the results.  What do you think?

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Dogs like nice digs, too!!

229654_596134180411920_1012994897_nI never quite know when I walk into a new client’s house that has a dog, just how the dog will react to all the changes that are happening.  I become a regular visitor to the house, sometimes even waiting for a delivery in the absence of the homeowner-just me and the dog!  I’ve had all kinds of dog experience – both good and bad.   My favorite, however, is Dillon!  A beautiful young golden retriever, Dillon is always happy and just like a great big kid.

It wasn’t until after the new sectional and rug was delivered and I was taking a picture (that Dillon so happily posed for) that I realized he was the perfect addition to the room – my accessory!  Although this room is still in process you can clearly see Dillon smiling in approval

 

Candace Olsen at Kravet Boston

2013-02-01 11.31.47I had the amazing opportunity to meet Candace Olsen today at Kravet Boston’s designer brunch.  She is so down to earth, approachable and realistic in her design ideas and philosophy.  Her lines of fabric, furniture and lighting are clean and timeless.  I love the look so much I even used one of her Kravet fabrics to cover a chair of my own!!

2013-06-13 09.13.22

Gorgeous 6’x4′ Crystal Chandelier Assembled On-site!!

2013-02-05 14.32.16It’s always a little scary when you finally find the perfect item for a client and it’s delivery day!  But when the delivery comes in 6 boxes, with 40 crystal arms and 480 crystal pieces, the anxiety is only heightened!!   Hours later the chandelier is assembled, ready to be lifted onto the automatic Aladdin lift and ascending up to the ceiling!  More follow-ups pics to come!!