Category Archives: home design

this or that: styling a cozy reading nook

cozy-reading-nook

1: Embroidered Paris pillow, catstudio (I’m obsessed!) | Sheepskin | Throw | Lamp | Mug
2: Pillow | Vintage kantha throw | Art | Book

There’s nothing I love so much as a cozy reading nook. Something welcoming, comforting and stylish, but a little bit fun too. Besides being a perfect excuse to curl up with a book (or the latest Vogue), a well-styled reading nook just instantly makes me feel calmer and more relaxed somehow, even when the rest of my house is a shambles.

I happen to love my current nook quite a bit. It has a picture-perfect view of the pond out back, and in the morning, I get just the right mix of sunlight and crisp breezes when I settle in with my cup of tea. 

But even spaces you love can use a little update now and then. Luckily, there’s nothing easier in the world of interiors than creating (or updating) a reading nook. All you really need is a chair, a lamp and maybe a side table (you’ll need a spot to set your tea, after all), and the possibilities become infinite. It’s like the little black dress of design – classic and always ripe for reinvention.

So, I decided to have a little fun with the options, and loved the results so much, I thought I’d share. The one on the left is so relaxing, simple and elegant – I feel calmer just looking at it! But the other is so cozy and inviting. What’s your pick, friends? (As you may have noticed, someone in my house has already cast her vote…)

 

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make over my house: the easiest living room update

{Editor’s Note: This living room update came together in partnership with my friends at Lulu & Georgia, but as always, opinions and picks are 100% mine. Thanks for supporting the wonderful businesses that keep the lights on at SMC HQ!}

lulu-georgia-makeover-1

Grey pillow | Blue pillow | White Throw | White Jar | Photo Frame | Giraffe | Zebra dish

Friends, most of you have seen my casa by now – the whole “make over my house” saga was front and center at SMC for quite a while. And while I adored everything about the finished product, it’s been a couple of years, and things were looking a little worse for wear. Plus, sometimes a girl just needs a change. But I was in no way mentally prepared to undertake a complete overhaul of my space again. And really, it didn’t need it – the room still has a great foundation. It just needed a little nip/tuck to make things feel shiny and new again.

So, when Lulu & Georgia asked if I’d be interested in updating a room and showing it off, you can imagine how long it took me to say yes. Read on

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cozy luxury

Because it’s freezing cold and dreary grey in so much of the world today, I thought we could all stand to spend a few minutes fantasizing about warming up in style. Don’t you agree?

library house jessica helgerson

Is there anything cozier than a room full of books? One of my favorite designers, Jessica Helgerson, created this Library House, and truly, it is a dream cottage for any time of year, but especially when it’s cold and grey outside. (I highly recommend treating yourself to a look at the full gallery of images.)

Now that you’ve got a dream house to hole up in, you’ll just need a few more touches to keep things cozy… Read on

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must reads: november

November must reads, via shopping's my cardio

I have to warn you: there’s only one fiction title on this month’s Must Reads list. Not that there isn’t wonderful fiction to be found – my shelves are groaning with books I’ve yet to read – but this time of year is when the really wonderful eye candy books start to appear. The best cookbooks, design books, cheery gift books – all things you’d want to give someone for, say, a holiday that’s coming up on you faster than a freight train. I’m holding a few back for the holidays, but some are just too good to keep from you for one more moment.

Just promise me you won’t let the shortage of traditional page-turners deter you – whatever their genre, more than a few of these books are just begging to be read cover to cover.   Read on

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make over my house: the organized office

white-office-inspiration, via shopping's my cardio

I’m in the midst of completely redoing my office (which is also my library / guestroom / furniture storage area), and my inner OCD is really coming out to play. Normally, I don’t have a modern bone in my body when it comes to decor, but suddenly all I can think about is minimal, white spaces, no clutter, and a hyper-organized office. (I blame our recent downsizing…clutter is contagious when your square footage is suddenly cut in half. Read on

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friday finds: summer projects

DIY art ideas, via shopping's my cardio

Happy Friday, friends! Well, it’s happened: we’ve come to that time in the summer when the days are long, and my ambition is high. I have so many summer projects brewing in my tired little brain, it will be a real miracle if I can settle down long enough to make one or two of them happen. Specifically? I’m so glad you asked. Read on

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kickstart my friends at comma workshop

Comma Workshop Kickstarter, via shopping's my cardio

I am so very, very excited for the Comma Workshop team! Remember them? They make those stunning quilts I showed you a while back, covered with quotes, verses and other beautiful things with which I am entirely, completely obsessed.

Well, in the hopes of starting a new, lower-priced collection (so that the rest of us can have one of their breathtaking designs), they’ve launched a Kickstarter to fund the collection, so that they can do it right (sumptuous fabrics, fair wages…you know, important things). The first new collection features Thoreau’s Walden, and it is – predictably – perfection. Read on

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