sometimes I feel like a broken record

I know I have touched upon this before but I can't resist another reminder about decorating from the confines of your own home.

I typically stumble upon it because let's face it who has the time to sit in their own home day dreaming about new furniture configurations (ok well things like this do tend to keep me up at night but I am probably more the exception than the norm).

This go around I needed to reconfigure my dining room seating to accommodate 11 for Christmas Eve dinner and I wanted us all at the same table.  I asked hubby to please swap our 2 tables...bring the old farmhouse (which has been used as a computer desk for the last 2 years in our living room) back into the dining room and to put the 60" round wood dining table into the living room. 

For our Christmas Eve family dinner I added a folding table to the farmhouse to create a square.  To help connect them visually (since the folding was a big shorter and not as long) I used a black watch plaid blanket scarf placed over the white cloths diagonally.

The large round took the same spot in the living room in front of the large bay window but took on a whole new look. 

The computer went back on it (you can probably see the little printer table slid underneath) and the 2 acrylic arm chairs that I bought recently sat at it.  I also pulled up the second metal-topped Target side table that needed a home and it has acted as a stool over the past few days.

Overall the two tables in their new spaces have been a very pleasant surprise.  There is something about a round that I find very inviting. 

And shortly after the change hubby says to me, "I really like the farmhouse table back in the dining room".  

Bonus to have both of us happy!

The acrylic arm chairs were pulled out and used on Christmas Eve when we had the family exchanging gifts in the living room and I was glad to have them.

And then yesterday my daughter sat at the round table with her laptop to crank out some work and today, I am sitting here as I write this post.  

It's an inspiring view with a lovely, sunny, Southern exposure.  

The re-org has brought new life and new functionality to the big round AND the living room.


5 min holiday fixes

The other day a customer walked into the store and we whipped up 2 ideas for wreath decorating. (yes, there is such a thing)  We joked that we did it in 5 minutes.  It got me thinking about how busy we all are and how sometimes we only have time for a quick fix or decorating session.   And I don't know about you but even a 5 minute fix sure does make me feel better.

So below I am sharing some of my recent 5-minute fixes at my home.

A number of years ago I bought a large box of vintage ornaments at a tag sale and boy do I love them.
This year I changed it up a bit and gave them a new home.  This glass lidded pedestal was holding other goodies in my dining room and I switched it out.  I added a stand of those battery lights, the ones with the timer mode and layered a bit of bright green reindeer moss before I closed it up and flipped it over.  It just makes me happy!

I hung a fresh pine garland outside my kitchen door and ended up with 2-3 feet of extra so I chopped it off the end and laid it across the chalk board in my dining room.  Easy, festive and it smells good too!

I did this last year too but it still brings a smile to my face when I walk into my tiny powder bath tucked under the staircase.  And I think pairing it with a holiday sign is crucial and makes it feel more holiday-ish!

I am a sucker for seasonal pillows and especially Christmas ones.  I plunked one down on my bench in the front hall and it sure makes things festive.  I also wrapped my bench cushion with a blanket scarf for a fun pop!

Get your house ready for entertaining with a fun, festive cocktail napkin on the coffee table.  I loved the gold script on these.  Cheap and easy to change out for the holidays and/or seasons.

I use an old china hutch in the corner of the my living room as a dry bar.  I switch out my cup of colored straws for the seasons.

Hands down the single best way to take it up a notch! Layer lights inside vessels, around plants, inside glass-fronted cabinets, layered over wreaths or garland, around window frames, etc.  I layered a faux pine garland over our old (as in used to be my mother-in-laws) china cabinet and then twisted lights a round the garland.  I tucked a thin wood Christmas sign on the top in front of the garland and then some red felt trees went on the top right corner for a pop of color. 


The Christmas Shuffle

It's GO time here at the store and while I am super busy and don't see a day off in sight I must admit it's a fun time of year.  We play holiday music and burn beautiful scented candles, the daily vibe is festive and I am lucky to have lovely customers.

Just when we think we have a display looking perfect inventory sells and so we start over.  This means we are re-creating holiday displays on a daily basis.  

Bells found a new home on the closet door knob today. 

Faux pine wreaths found a new spot in wire baskets and got plunked on the upholstered chair.   I can't resist the chance to layer something over a wreath.  Today I placed a vintage looking wood sign with a snowman inside the wreath that hangs from the green vintage door behind the check out counter and no sooner had I placed it there than a customer asked to buy it. 

 This one below got the metal cheers that hangs on a thin wire.

And so each day wreaths replace art, baskets are emptied and re-filled with mirrors or bottle openers and as small pieces of furniture sell we move the remaining pieces of furniture into a new space.

The Christmas shuffle often requires a ladder and a hammer n' nails.  This metal rectangle bucket was mounted up on the wall and filled with red felt trees mounted on a slice of log.

And who can resist a fresh new display?   I typically take a picture so I can post the new look on Instagram.  (Have you read my earlier post on Instagram?  If not, get on it! )

Happy Holidays and see you around the store!


The Golden Ticket

This Thanksgiving I will be a guest, not a host and I have to say I kinda feel like I got the golden ticket.

We will stay local and spend the day with my husbands family.  I will be bringing desserts and after starting with an offer of 4 pies I have switched to an apple and pear crisp and cookies.  Turns out there are others who want to bring dessert too and there are only so many pies you want to see after eating a big meal.

Last year this time I was posting pics of my Thanksgiving table

and collecting brining recipes. 

This year things have been heating up at the new location of my store so I am more than happy to play guest and let my attention stay focused on the busiest time of the year for No. 299.

The one down side to being a guest is that my house is a mess.  Hosting a holiday is the BEST way to get your house into ship shape!  It's a terrific kick in the pants and we have customers buying tables, lamps, votives, mirrors and wall decor to prove it.  We no sooner unpack a new delivery than it walks out the door to its new home.

So while I kinda love holding the golden ticket my house is not the better for it.  I guess there is always Christmas.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.


Yes or No... are you a fan of home goods?

I must admit I am a fan of Home Goods.

I will preface this by saying there are some things I just would NOT buy at Home Goods.  Like furniture that would be used by my (or my clients) family...pieces that would get lots of wear and tear like  couches, upholstered chairs, dining room and kitchen chairs.  But there are many items I would definitely buy for my home (or clients).

I popped in today to return 2 lamps that I desperately wanted to work but couldn't and to search for a coffee table for a client's finished basement.  That yielded a rectangular, upholstered bench in lieu of a wood or metal table.  I liked the dimensions and knew it would work better than a bulky piece AND would still handle feet resting on top.  I dropped it off to my client telling her to place a tray on one side for a secure surface for drinks and what not.

I then proceeded to wander through the holiday aisles.  You would think that owning a home decor store would cure my infatuation with anything home but it really hasn't.  Not yet at least.  Home Goods is bursting with holiday trimmings and I sure did get goose bumps. 

The only thing I bought for myself was wrapping paper.  Did you happen to see my Instagram post on the rolls of wrapping paper? 

I have a thing with gift paper.  Funny because I have a phobia of wallpaper...hate the commitment.  But I LOVE wrapping paper.  

I am digressing.

I believe the key to shopping Home Goods is a discerning eye.   Knowing the difference between what piece is going to look great in your home and what piece is going to look well, like you got it at Home Goods.  

I have been know to accompany clients on a Home Goods shopping trip (or 2) and we did score BIG with lamps, mirrors, benches, etc.  I know some of you may be saying but you sell all that at No. 299.  You are right, I do.  But the reality is I cannot keep that kind of inventory and variety in the store.  

Recently on a Home Goods field trip I bumped into 2 customers.  I was deep in thought, tape measure in hand but I didn't hide from them.  I stopped, we chatted.  It's good to know that home decor can be found anywhere...you just need the discerning eye!


pining for a rich shade of velvet

I can't seem to get these rich colors out of my mind lately.  I have been dreaming about incorporating a deep shade of velvet somewhere into my home.

While I would love to see a velvet sofa or settee in my living space somewhere...

...I think it would be wise to stick with smaller tidbits.  

I would love to recover the bench cushion in my entry way w/ navy or moss green velvet.  And I think it would be gorgeous to find a teal velvet-y cover for my bed.

I did a little research and found these velvet quilts at West Elm.   How would you choose when there are so many beautiful colors?

This emerald green is beautiful too.  I love that the quilting gives it a vintage vibe and the velvet a touch of luxury.

At a bare minimum I will need to add a few velvet pillows to my current couch.


Third floor bath is complete

I realized I haven't yet posted pics of the final bath reveal.  I have been dragging my feet because I haven't  hung anything up on the walls yet.  

Good news is the water is all hooked up, the sink, toilet AND tub are all functional....YEAH!

And I have even admired my handy work twice from a hot, soapy tub soak! 

It's come so far from the outdated vibe we looked at for 8 years.  Here is an original picture.

And here is the same view now.

I am finding the white to be so refreshing.

I think the last bathroom post showed unpainted walls and a mirror sitting in the bathtub.  You will be happy to know this is now the view from my son's room.

 The small pedestal sink works well in the space and I even love that all the pipes are exposed.  It feels like something you would expect from a third floor bath under the eaves in an older home.

The drum mirror from the store helps to add to the rustic look.  May goal was to mix metals in this space and I think given the white walls it all works nicely.

The light fixtures were mentioned in an earlier post and while I am still experimenting with light bulbs (edison vs. bright white) I love that they are both the same and are on 2 separate switches.

The shelves were once a door into the eaves and I asked the handyman to turn the door into a removable shelf that would allow us to access the wires.

I have to fess up that I stole this idea from my neighbor Betsey who is uber talented.  Such a smart way to make more space when it is limited.  

My son has a collection of pocket knifes, one has found its way onto the 2nd shelf.  I couldn't bear to throw out the original tub faucet so for now it sits on the top shelf.

All the bathroom accouterments can find a home on the shelves.  And I couldn't resist finding a hand towel and wash cloth that looked fun rolled up on the shelf.  I love the feel of organic, simple colors in this space.  I cleaned out an amber colored glass candle vessel and filled it with cotton balls.

The metal bucket on the bottom shelf is a cute way to store additional rolls of toilet paper.

I promise to hang the black and white KINDNESS MATTERS sign.  It was in the other side of the 3rd floor but I brought it into the bathroom and think that is where is will ultimately live.


Happy Days Downtown!

Tomorrow marks four months that I have been open in the new location.  
And its been 4 months of AMAZING!

I feel like the store is home.... 299 is where it's supposed to be.  Kinda corny I know but it's how I feel.  

I love how downtown has a sort of hum to it, almost a rhythm.  Being next to a yoga studio and a coffee shop doesn't hurt either.  My 2 big, front windows let me feel as if I am a part of all that downtown action.

I have seen old customers and met lots of new customers and have seen some of these new faces more than once already which is a good sign.  And of course I love the comments I can hear as they walk into the shop...  "It smells so good in here"  or "I am so excited this store is now downtown"  or "It's beautiful in here".  It's all are music to my ears!

New customers ask "what is 299?" and as I explain that it's my house number it's hard to believe that just a little over 5 years ago I launched this business in my garage.


Holiday sneak peek!

It's been a crazy few weeks here at the store. 

Holiday deliveries have been arriving daily and we are all working like mad to get it unpacked, priced and put away.  

Good job team 299!

I won't lie, it's really exciting unpacking and being reminded of all the goodies we ordered way back when.  Ornaments, wall decor, garland, wreaths, door signs, lights, scented candles, votives, dishtowels, soaps, and so much more.

Ready for a sneak peek of what's to come?

1.  Aspen Bay is a new company for us since we opened downtown and their holiday line up will NOT disappoint, trust me!

Nutmeg Amber, is a rich, cozy smell that combines ground nutmeg, blackberries and golden amber.

Frosted Currant is bright and festive with crushed pomegranate, currant and green moss.

Juniper Twig is Christmas at its best, fresh fir, cedar and grapefruit.

And the metal tag that hangs from red and white bakers twine
 is such a sweet touch!


2.  Two of the many holiday wall signs that we will be selling.

3.  Bottle Bristle Trees with a modern twist.  
I LOVE the muted gold wood cube that 
anchors these 3 trees.  

Available in green and cream.

Since I have seen holiday going up in a few of the national chain retailers I figured kinda fun to tease it up here!  


when life and design converge

Just the other day I stumbled upon an amazing array of vintage African tapestries.  I am talking about Indigo Blue on steroids!  And thankfully I was working with a budget because I could have bought every single one of them.

I did buy a handful and they will be for sale at my shop.

I can't wait to chat with customers about how to incorporate them into their homes.

The timing of this new addition to my shop it kinda fortuitous as my oldest is spending 10 weeks in Tanzania as part of a GAP year break from college.  

Back in June when she was planning her trip she bought one of the tapestries and re-arrangeed her bedroom around it. 

She was excited and looking ahead to her travels.  She shoved off three weeks ago and is having an incredible experience.

Have you ever felt so happy for your child that you thought your heart would burst?  That's how I feel about her adventure.  

Yesterday she posted pictures that took my breath away.  

What goes through your head when you are camping in tents on the edge of the Ngorongora Crater and watching the sun rise?  

Or when you travel by Jeep through the Serengeti National Park learning how birds and elephants are two species that live symbiotically? 

So rather timely that I should stumble upon my friend from West Africa selling the tapestries.  It felt like my purchase was meant to be.

Sometimes life hands us situations that force us to make difficult decisions and hard decisions are never easy for anyone old or young.  But to be able to turn it into something that gives you the adventure of a lifetime makes me SO proud of my oldest.

A lifetime of adventure is waiting Megs. 


Recycling design

Design is a funny thing.  

I think it's often hard to find our design voice when we are constantly besieged with trends.  

I like trends but I am not a fan of using them to drive our design choices.  I am more of the school of thought that your home should be a collection of you, pieces  that you build upon to create a place you love.  And a place that you will love for time to come.  

We talk so much about saving our world and making our footprint smaller and the 3R's.  But if we change the decor in our homes each time the trends change then we mine as well all drive a gas guzzler and throw our recyclables in the garbage can.

Design shouldn't be disposable.  Good design should withstand the test of time.  It should last through a handful of trends.  And sure, I too like to change my throw pillows with the seasons or holidays but the larger, key pieces stay put. 

The other day I was lying on the couch after dinner catching up on the pile of home catalogs that fill my mailbox each week when I glanced up and looked at the light blue walls of the living room.  We painted the living room when we moved into the house 8 years ago.  For the past 2 years I have thought about painting them white or light grey...trendy colors.  But when I looked up the other day I still liked what I saw and I was glad that I hadn't changed it to go with the tide.  

Don't be bullied by trends.  

Find your design voice and own it.