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  • Spring Dreaming

    I'm not sure where you are, sweet readers, or where you may be currently reading from, but here in Louisville, Kentucky, Spring has either arrived, else it's taunting us in the worst possible way!  The last several days have offered sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60's to 70's.  My sunroof has been open, the daffodils are blooming, and I swear I saw a few mosquitos Monday night.  

    The arrival of bright weather (no matter how eminent the dreaded late-season snowstorm will be) has me looking forward to greener days, to fresh pedicures and farmer's markets.  I always wait anxiously for the first local honey of the season from my favorite farmer, as well as the crazy burst of color that I know the dogwoods and tulip trees will soon offer. 

    Aside from the surprising bloom of florals and the farm-fresh goodies I know I'll be consuming, I find myself itching to add a little more Spring to my life:

    ** Essie Polish **

    Essie's Fiji nail polish is my first go-to pedicure come warm weather.  Pale pink, but not too Barbie-ish, it stands out well against the March-trip-to-Cancun tan, and can make the tucked-into-boots-all-winter fair skin look bright and healthy.

    ** Les Bonbons **

    Last year, I made the mistake of not buying a pair of Rebecca De Ravenel's incredible Les Bonbon earrings.  Maybe it's because I rarely buy jewelry, or because I really only have one pair of earrings I wear at all, but I was scared to take the plunge on these girly baubles... This year, it'll happen, and if I'm still too scared to make the investment, these are another more affordable (and customizable!) option.

    ** Linen Bedding **

    While I just LOVE the new faux fur blanket for our bed, as well as the incredible softness and warmth it has provided this winter, I can't see myself leaving it on in the crazy Derby-season heat.  Enter Target to save the day (when does Target ever not save the day?). The new Threshold linen bedding is soft, light, and remniscent of a happy, lightling-bug-lit Spring Kentucky night.

    ** J. Crew **

    I'm not usually one for overly-feminine colors or ruffles in my wardrobe, but EVERYTHING in J. Crew's Spring collection has me swooning.  Are you kidding me with that khaki/ruffle/pleating/collared shirt/ballgown number?!? I'm sure I could sell a house in that thing.

    ** Smith's Rosebud Salve **

    When the sun comes out, forcing me out of my Winter hibernation, and my skin finally gets a little color, I find that I wear little makeup other than mascara and lip balm- namely, Smith's Rosebud Salve.  The formula is rich, and keeps my lips almost as hydrated as good ol' Chapstick, but the sheer pinky-red tint gives me just a hint of color.  While the tin doesn't offer the most conveinent means of application, the flat, metal container makes itself easy to find when I'm digging through my bag in the middle of the day. 

    ** Coconut Cake **

    Without fail, as Easter would approach, my grandma would turn out these layered coconut cakes that were light, fluffy, and covered-covered!- in shredded, sweetened coconut.  More often than not, she'd get creative and present a bunny-shaped coconut cake, complete with green-dyed coconut flake grass and jelly bean features.  While I won't be getting that themed, I might be trying out this meringue-like option from Martha Stewart.

    Happy Spring-ing, friends! 

  • Our Kitchen

    It's the heart of the home, the gathering place.  It's the steady and only sometimes chaotic muscle that allows us to churn out meals, morning coffee.  It's where we sit to read the paper, to tune in to NPR or listen to Yo-Yo Ma over Sunday waffles.  It's our kitchen, and its finally, truly complete.

    When we purchased our home 3 years ago, a kitchen renovation was the most important item on my punch list.  I cook all the time, and while I knew that I needed a large, adjustable-shelf fridge, a deep sink, and enough counter space to roll out dumplings, I also knew I wanted white cabinetry, marble counters, black and white floors.  I knew I had to allow enough storage to hide at least a good part of my dishes, and- at the request of the man- I knew we had to have a tv in there, somewhere.

    I designed the cabinetry layout myself, focusing on symmetry and balance, and rejoicing in the fact that I could rip out the above-cabinet soffits that made the long, narrow room feel so closed in.  Now, instead of seeing the blank wall that was there previously, when I look through the arch separating dining room from kitchen, I see my oven head-on, surrounded by matching cabinets on either side.

     

    My grandmother was the one who taught me to cook, to host, and I've honored her in here as best as I could; her portrait hangs on the wall in the breakfast area, and her recipe for Italian Creme Cake- a staple at birthday and holiday celebrations- is framed at the far end of the galley.

    Comfortable, beautiful chairs surround the breakfast table (a gem I bought at Target at least 10 years ago), and a sisal rug keeps the marble floor from being too-cold under foot when I'm eating while shoe-less. The silver-plated horns remind me of the cattle I had on my farm, and makes me feel like the table never really needs to be "set."  It's decorated enough as is, with the help of two glass candleholders and silver salt and pepper shakers.

    Now, we have a comfortable, beautiful kitchen that functions perfectly, and is a traditional enough design that it allows any future recdecorating to be a breeze. 

    Sources:

    Cabinets : Kraftmaid

    Appliances : Samsung

    Dining Table : Target

    Chairs : Mitchell Gold Bob Williams

    Curtains : Amazon 

    Gold Frames : Target (custom mat)

    Gold Urchins : Target

    Black Frame : Hobby Lobby

    Glass Candleholders : Z Gallerie 

    Horns : Scout on Market

    Salt and Pepper : Williams-Sonoma

    Books : Carmichael's/Scout on Market

    Tray : Z Gallerie

    Decanter and glasses : Williams- Sonoma

    Aiplant : Mahonia Studio

    Espresso Machine : Williams-Sonoma

    Teapot : Williams-Sonoma

    Oil Bottle : Target 

    Carafe : Crate and Barrel

    Sisal Rug : Scout on Market

    Light : Crystorama

    ** This post is not sponsored in any way **

  • New Listing!! 1360 Eastern Parkway #11

    Gorgeous Highlands condo, just a quick walk from Bardstown Road. 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, original hardwood and French moldings. New windows, new Levolor blinds, new appliances, and new washers and dryers in the building laundry room. Secured, keyfob entry, or dial-in access that can be accessed via the new owner's cell phone.

    Bright and airy, in a historic (1920) building. Offered at $131,500.

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan of Semonin Realtors.

    For more information, click here.

  • Open for Business

    Friends, readers, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the patience you've shown over the last year. Between taking what felt like months off between posts while losing Daddy and adjusting to life without him, then disapearing a few weeks ago to deal with the death of our pup, then suddenly losing my mom, I know I haven't stayed remotely consistent. Yet, every day, I log in and see that you've been here. You've been reading, you've been pinning, and you keep the blog alive- I can't thank you enough for staying with me. Thank you.

    I had the pleasure of showing a house today that boasted a line of open shelving in the kitchen.  A sweet little 1950's ranch, with only 1,200 square feet above ground, the owners had removed the wall between the living room and kitchen, tore out a too-obtrusive built-in eating area, and made this could-have-been-cramped-if-there-was-company home into an open, airy, easy-to-entertain-in space.  

    I've always loved the notion of open shelving, and it's an idea that's always been around; built-in china cabinets, rounded nooks in hallways...  It seems that designers have been using display shelving throughout our lives without us taking too much notice, then, all of a sudden, someone had the idea to remove the doors to their kitchen cabinets, and the trend took off.  

    ** original source unknown **

    ** from diy in pdx **

    ** Kristin Cadwallader **

    ** Martha Stewart's coffee bar **

    With resources such as The Home Edit, and almost-consistently styled shelves of Williams-Sonoma and Crate and Barrel catalogs, we as consumers (as well as lovers of houses) have inspiration at our fingertips.  Add in art, cookbooks, potted plants... whatever makes you happy.  The purpose of open shelving is to see the beautiful things we own; our grandmother's teapot, monogrammed salad plates.  There's no limit to your imagination.

    ** Williams-Sonoma **

    ** Williams-Sonoma **

    I realize that having such a well-curated kitchen isn't always the best option, especially if you- like me- would lose your mind to see a soup bowl missing, or could easily spot the chipped edge on your Le Cruset (it makes me CRAZY), but a singular shelf, or area of shelves to display barware, a funky collection of casserole dishes, or your copper pots would be easy to maintain, as it would be rarely mussed.  

    ** The Bayou Party Barn, Garden & Gun **

    As for my clients? If they move forward with this home, the wife says she'd "need prettier dishes." I'm excited at the thought!

  • Stripes for All!

    Last night, I had the pleasure of visiting with a potential new client whose home looked like something out of Apartment Therapy or a West Elm catalog.  The space was perfect- a sunny condo near our parks, with two bedrooms, a large living space filled with French molding, and one of the coolest rugs I've ever seen!

    Simple in design, yet bold in it's pattern, the black-and-white striped rug in her nursery/office was a graphic pleasure for the eyes, and I thought about the darn thing all night.

    Really, a bold, striped rug can be used in almost any room of the house, and- as evidenced by the photos below- compliments almost any sort of decor.

    From traditional...

    ** From A Thoughtful Place Blog **

    ** From Lonny **

    To masculine...

    ** From Lonny **

    ** source unknown **

    To small spaces...

    ** From Coffee Stained Cashmere **

    ** From 346 Living **

    While large textiles are usually a more expensive change to make to a room, sites like Overstock, Houzz, West Elm, and Target always offer inexpensive options.  Personally, my eye is on the 8' by 10' Reze Striped area rug for our soon-to-be-finished (I hope) basement family room.  Find it here.

    Happy striping!

  • Office Space

    It's taken so long for me to carve out a place and time to sit and write, or to make phone calls, or to play with the lighting of photos for listings.  I knew, when we moved, that I needed to have an office of sorts in our home that made me WANT to sit down and work!  After much hemming and hawing, (as well as surviving the great mirror disaster of 2015), my desk is finally getting the use it deserves, and has been decorated, rearranged, and coiffed to the point that it's darn near perfect.  It's a little feminine, and very well-used, and I don't see changing it anytime soon...

    All that being said, The Kinfolk Home features a few (a million) very clean, modern spaces, including the ones below.  It's so hard not to dream of a blank canvas, a white-walled work space where ideas can bloom.

    ** both via **

    I've found myself imagining a workspace like the ones above; clean, airy, uncluttered.  It seems that simple would be the best adjective here... a mix of woods, plain frames, wicker storage, and plenty of living green, helping the work-space-user to breathe, to think.

    ** from World Market **

    ** Rattan chair **

    ** hanging chair **

    The hair-pin leg desk from World Markret is an easy choice.  Affordable, a little funky, but large enough to hold all of your work, plus some.  I'd pair it with a rattan chair with a fun shape, or- to get really wild- a hanging chair.  Can you imagine swinging away at your desk while cranking out the day's tasks?

    ** from Mahonia Studio **

    ** In My Mind's Eye **

    ** via World Market **

    ** Crate and Barrel **

    Keep the art simple- black and white prints in black and white frames.  Add in something with a little life, like a terrarium, and something to make you smile, like a sweet Buddha statue.  The curved, gold light adds in a little sparkle.  

    I don't see me changing my office anytime soon, but the throught of this... a breezy, beautiful, light-filled workspace sets my heart a flutter.  I hope it does the same for you.

  • Dear Santa

    December 21... and I still have a few gifts to buy!  This year, like so many others, I havent stopped to think about what I should ask the big man (Santa, not Bryan) to bring!  Still, a girl can put in a last minute request, I assume.  Here's what I'm hoping for from the North Pole:

    Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in Mighty Moss

    If you caught up with me back in the Spring, you'll know that Clinique and I have had a major reconnection (more on my facial care later).  I've become slightly addicted to their makeup in stick form, and have an eye stick in a beautiful neutral called Lots o' Latte, but this one? Mighty Moss? It looks like it could add a little (or a lotta) drama.  Bonus: It's stocking stuffer size!

    Pickwick and Company Candles

    I stumbled upon Pickwick and Company locally at Mahonia, and found that Bella Dolce has a heavy, beautiful romantic air to it, and Oakmoss smells almost exactly like the lingering scent in the bathroom after my guy gets out of the shower.  Leather, Tobacco, and Moss has a lovely, woodsy aroma.  Hopefully, it'll be my next addition!

    Burberry Print Cashmere Scarf

    Burberry Fox Fur Collar

    If Santa sees on his list that I've been VERY good this year, perhaps he'll find it in his heart to gift a Burberry scarf.  The Cashmere is large, a little formal, and a little traditional, and the navy fox fur is a sweet party piece that would go well with LBDs of any kind!

    Ernest Hemingway Set

    Admittedly, as much of a book-lover as I am, I only read Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea for the first time this year, and immediately fell in love with his style, his easy flow.  While it may take a while for me to make my way through his collection, these gorgeous, jade-bound volumes would certainly look pretty on my shelf in the meantime.  

    #7

    #4

    Speaking of things to go on my bookshelf, the idea of layering art over the front of the bookcase dividers (like a client had done this summer) makes me just swoon!  For my basement library/family room/entertainment area/boozy lady cave shelves, the #4 and #7 abstracts from Beth Winterburn would bring some playful life! Bonus: At only $19.50 each, Santa can afford both!

    Cheers, sweet readers! If you're travelling over the next few days, stay safe, and have a very Merry Christmas!

  • The Un-Made Bed

    Confession: I've now gone 4 years without a bed.  

    That doesnt mean what you think it means.  I have a mattress.  I have a bedframe and box springs.  I have super-heavy cotton sheets that feel like you're being cuddled by a polar bear.  But, I have no real bed.  No headboard, no footer.  

    In 2012, when the man and I decided to sell the Manor house and downsize to suburbia, I knew I needed a change from the uber-modern, shiny white platform bed that we had, if- for nor other reason- that I scraped the hell out of my calves trying to get out of the thing every morning.  I'm short, so sometimes getting out of bed is difficult to begin with, but in the case of Z Gallerie's Jett bed, it was also painful.

    ** the culprit **

    For a while after delivering said torture device/bed to a couple in Indiana (who paid full craigslist asking price!), I began to toggle over what to do.  Should we buy the bed I'd had my eye on? Go bed-less until we move? For at least a month, we were relegated to having what the man dubbed a "floorbed," which was just our Tempurpedic on the floor of the bedroom.  It was hell for our bones to get out of in the morning, but our dogs were thrilled.  

    Finally, I gave up and ordered a bedframe and box springs, and we have a thing that's largely considered to be a "bed." The linens are great, and our quilt and matching dustruffle do the trick, but it's the one thing that's currently missing to make our bedroom feel really finished.  

    I'll be honest- I love, LOVE our bedroom.  We're on our second floor, overlooking the front yard, and almost everything in here is monochrome.  The walls are painted a beautiful mocha color with gray undertones (Valspar's Seine), and my dresser and nighstands are finished in a dark brown (Ashley Furniture's Naomi Collection- an inexpensive, but beautiful buy!!).  My desk and chair are a pale ivory (the Salon collection from Bernhardt), and our quilt and shams are an almost-shimmery pale gold (something discontinued from Macy's Hotel Collection).  Together with mercury glass lamps and abstract black and white art, I feel like I'm floating inside a latte- especially when the light hits things just right in the evening.  But friends, its naked in here.

    My initial thought was to head back to Z Gallerie for an upholstered number named Ginger.  One of the fabric options looks like a velvet extension of the wall color, and the massive height would definitely make a statement on the otherwise bare wall between our windows.  

    ** Z Gallerie's Ginger Upholstered Bed **

    Sadly, Ginger has been discontinued.  The fabric is still available, though, and I have a craftsman who has volunteered to build the headboard.  It's a thought.

    As of now, almost every room in this house has *something* that remains to be done before it could be considered truly, truly finished.  I'm waiting on new furniture for the living room, and a sketch is missing from the dining room.  New chairs still need to arrive for the kitchen... My foyer is perfect, as is the powder room, but my bedroom...  I just need to pull the trigger on this one thing.  Soon, friends.  Soon, this bedroom will be made!

  • On Thanksgiving, 2016

    It's no secret that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Regardless of my birthday on the 4th of July and the Derby (which is DEFINITELY considered a holiday for those of us in Louisville), it's Thanksgiving that always gives me the warm fuzzies.  There's no underlying motive- no pressure to pain-stakingly gift hunt, no obligation of buying a pink heart-shaped box of chocolates, no real religious undertones.  Thanksgiving- just a day to call friends and family, and invite them to dinner.

    This year, of course, was a little difficult, as it's the first holiday season without Daddy.  We decided that the easiest way to move forward was to open the house to friends, inviting those who may not have had anywhere else to go, asking entire families to shrug off roasting the perfect turkey, and letting me be the one to worry about possibly overdone poultry.  22 pounds of bird and 16 people later, we feasted for 8 hours, with friends making themselves at home on our stairs and sprawling in front of the fireplace, getting up every hour or so to stretch and grab another slice of pie.

    Like clockwork, we listened to Alice's Restaurant at noon and 6pm, and I swear, I could almost feel and smell B's mother's fireplace burning in Cleveland.  Thanksgiving just always feels like home. After everyone left, and my mom made her way upstairs, I laid on the man's lap and took a breath.  Our squishy little beagle curled up by my feet, and even though 2016 has been such a year of loss and heartache, I still found myself thankful- thankful for my teeny family and the opportunity we have to host holidays, thankful for our incredible home, which- despite its small size- can accomodate countless friends and family.  Thankful for the way that Bryan breathes and half snores when he's eaten too much turkey, and thankful for the way our dog does the same thing.  

    It's been a difficult year, friends, yet as I sit here, I can't help but think of how fortunate I am... Isn't that what thanksgiving is, after all?

    Cheers.

  • Dream Dining

    Yesterday, I had the pleasure of helping a long-distance client close on their new home- a two-story townhome, backing up to a fountain-filled lake in a secluded Louisville neighborhood full of geese and deer.  It really is a dreamy space, and- lucky for me!- really dreamy clients who have provided me with a Pinterest mood-board and *almost* given me free reign to decorate for them!  A commision check AND a project! Who could ask for more!?

    Their new home has a very cool layout; the large foyer has a staircase to the second floor wrapping around the left and rear walls.  The hallway to the right opens on one side to a bright kitchen and on the other, to a large dining room with tray ceiling and an INSANE amount of woodwork.  

    Its this room that has had the most of my attention, since my clients bought the Modern X-Base table from Wisteria.  L and D, as we will call my Buyers, seem to have a very updated French style about them- lots of navy, blue and white porcelean.  L is planning on turning a first floor bedroom (complete with private patio, overlooking fountain/lake) into a garden shed/office, for crying out loud!  These folks are fun, and have a massive amount of antiques.  How, then, do I make the new, funky X-base table work in what's supposed to be the most formal room in the house?

    ** Wisteria Modern X-Base Dining Table **

    ** Ralph Lauren Paint in Felt Green **

    L loves some navy blue and from the very beginning, she mentioned that she wanted to incorpirate the color into every room in the house.  For whatever reason, Ikept finding myself drawn to a gorgeous hunter green from Ralph Lauren called Felt Green, and I keep thinking that just maybe, coating the dining walls (from wainscoating upward) in this rich green and bringing navy in through the dining chairs and her porcelean would look incredible.  Inspiration? These cozy, jewel-toned areas:

    ** via House Beautiful **

    ** via Archetectural Digest **

    My thought is to bring in blue upholstered dining chairs as well as a large, ivory bookcase that L and D had in their former home.  The bookcase would be placed on the left wall, and then be filled with their books, yes, but also beautiful dishes as well as their blue and white porcelean pieces.  

    ** source unknown **

    ** source unknown **

    Blue and white dishes from their former bedroom would surround a very Kentucky-esque equestrian painting, also from their former home (and still available at Pottery Barn) on the right wall.  

    ** via Pinterest, original source unknown **

    ** via Pottery Barn **

    Centered, straight ahead as one walks in, I'd hang an oversized mirror, possibly black (to couple the dining chairs), but a bit distressed, like the one below, in an almost-ornate sort of frame, to reflect the light of a simple iron lantern.  Between the lighting, the mirror, and whitewashing the now-cream-colored woodwork, I see a bright, beautiful dining room that can reflect my clients' personalities, as well as blend their love of traditional elements and a want for something a little funky.

    ** source unknown **

    ** via Lamps Plus **

    There you have it, my dear readers- a jewell-box of a dining space for my clients' new Old Kentucky Home.