• 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.  



    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?


  • 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.

  • Butternut Squash Pie

    As soon as the weather begins to cool, my food cravings change.  During summer months, it's completely normal for me- and everyone else, I'm sure- to want watermelon for dessert, canteloupe and proscuitto salads, shrimp cocktail and BBQ...  For most folks, it seems they look forward to the days they can retire to Florida and eat nothing but pulled pork and fried fish all the livelong day. Folks live for summer food, all light and chilled and perfect.

    Not me, though.  

    I want fall.

    I don't want the leggings and pumpkin spice latte fall that seems to dominate Instagram and Pinterest feeds, though (seriously, pumpkin spice lattes?  Ick.).  I want winter garden foods.  Beet salads.  Black rice with root veggies.  Fingerling potatoes on my pizza.  And winter quash.  So many winter squash.  Stuffed acorns full of homemade sausage and garlic.  Spaghetti squash reamed out and baked into a steaming pan of homemade gratin.  Risotto made with sugar pumpkin and Gruyere cheese. Mostly, butternut squash pie.

    I stumbled across a recipe years ago for the pumpkin pie alternative of butternut squash blended into a nilla wafer crust.  A little timid at first, but lured into giving the recipe a shot (mostly because of the prospect of a solitary lick of Eagle Brand Milk- I won't lie), every fear of a dessert pie made of a traditional veggie melted away.  

    Originally taken from www.myhabitfix.com, I've altered the crust as well as the suggestion of stirring the filling- a direction that left the fiberous squash flesh a little too textured for many friends' taste.  

    Easy to make, with a warm, nutmeg-y scent that'll fill your house, this one will become a fall favorite, and may have you leaving the Pumpkin Pie of every fall holiday behind.

    Makes 2 Pies

    For the crust:

    1 1/2 boxes vanilla wafer cookies, finely crushed or ground

    1/2 cup melted salted butter, plus more, if needed

    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

    For the Filling:

    The innards of one large butternut squash, seeded, roasted until tender, and shelled

    1 can Eagle Brand Milk (less one taste, for sanity's purposes)

    3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

    3 eggs

    1/4 cup whole milk

    3 tablespoons all purpose flour

    2 teaspoons cinnamon

    1 teaspoon nutmeg

    Mix together the vanilla wafers and melted butter, adding more melted butter, if necessary, to help the crusts hold togeteher.  Press into the bottom and sides of two pie pans (either 8" or 9"). 

    In a Vitamix (or equivalent) add all ingredients for filling and blend until smooth.  Pour, slowly, into prepared pans.  Place pies into pre-heated 350 degree oven on lowest rack.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until the center is set.  If needed, cover pies with foil to prevent the tops from browning. Chill in the refrigerator.

    Make a MASSIVE AMOUNT of whipped cream by beating together one pint (or more... I love some homemade whipped cream) heavy whipping cream and a teaspoon of vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Heap whipped cream on top of pies and sprinkle with a light dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg.  

    You can store pies uncovered in the fridge for up to a week... if they last that long.


  • New Listing! 8919 Riley Avenue

    VERY well-kept and detail-filled 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home in the heart of Lyndon! Gorgeous kitchen opens to cozy living and dining areas. Bedrooms, full bath and master suite are on second floor.

    Only 6 years old- perfect for the first time Buyer, or someone craving a low-maintenance home.

    For more information, click here.

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors.

  • New Listing! 1629 Belmar Drive

    Adorable bungalow in Camp Taylor! 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths, as well as a bright and airy den, PLUS additional living space above the garage, which includes two large rooms, an additional half bath, and a large closet.

    With easy access to the Highlands, the Watterson, and St. X high school, this one won't last long! Offered at $141,500.

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors.

    Find more info here.

  • New Listing! 5100 Windy Willow Drive

    Sweet 3 bedroom, one-and-a-half bath home off of Ballardsville Road! Readily acessible to 64, 71, and the Gene Snyder, and incredibly close to Costco, The Paddock Shops, and Springhurst shopping. Roof, flooring, mechanicals, and appliances all less than 5 years old!

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors.

    Find more info here.