Sherwin Williams Color of the Year for 2020: “Naval”

As much as we disagreed and didn’t care for Sherwin William’s “Color of the Year” for last year, we were much more excited about the recent announcement of the color choice for 2020: Naval, a classic and timeless navy blue hue.

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As always, a company’s choice for the color is a reflection of current events, mood & mindset and forecasted design trends. The reasoning behind the dark moody navy color stems from America’s current mental state and the need and desire to relax more. Naval was “designed to inspire a sense of restfulness and tranquility” within the home. Americans are statistically some of the most stressed out people in the world, and it only makes sense that we seek out anything we can to help relieve tension, right down to the colors that surround our everyday lives and fill our homes.

We love Naval for obvious reasons. It’s classic, it’s timeless, not to mention it nearly matches our logo color that we selected a while back! Look at us, being on trend ahead of our time 😉

White on Blue

But seriously, how could you go wrong? Unless you hate blue, of course, but we happen to love it (in case you couldn’t tell!) We’ve said for a while that certain colors can still act as neutrals and Naval is no exception to that. Though it is still a color, it serves as a neutral in the sense that it’s meant to be layered and played around with. It’s no doubt a bold color choice as an accent wall, kitchen cabinetry, etc. but at the same time doesn’t feel too daring. We think it’s workable and easy to incorporate–if you’re feeling inspired to add this years’ color choice (or very similar colors) to your home here are a few more inspiration images of ways to use it for yourself!

We still love this kitchen in the South End that we did a few years back and while the cabinet color isn’t technically Naval, it’s pretty darn close and love the way it looks in this home!

In addition to the color as Sherwin Williams releases as the color of the year, they also release an entire palette that complements and parallels the ideas behind the forecasted color trends. This years’ entire palette is designed to soothe and nurture the mind, body, and spirit. They separate the rest of the palette into five different words or categories and this years’ categories are Alive, Mantra, Play, Haven and Heart. Check out the rest of the palettes below! Haven_Heart_Mantra_Play_Alive_

How do this years color choices resonate with you? How are you thinking about incorporating them into your own home? Love them? Hate them? Let us know!

End of Summer Round-Up

Well, it’s Labor Day weekend which is the unofficial end of summer. They keep seeming to go by faster and faster, don’t they?! While we could have used a few more days basking in the sun on the beach, we are looking forward to cooler temperatures, less humidity & colorful crunchy leaves (and for some of us, pumpkin spice lattes!) But before all that happens, we wanted to reflect on some summer spaces & beach homes, some of our own designs that we’ve been working on over the summer, and some inspiration from others. We’re not ready to let go of it just yet, so here’s a look back at some of our favorites.

Our own work. We love getting the opportunity to design a summer beach home for a client, whether it’s on the North Fork or on the North Shore!

#SoundShoreProject

Our Sound Shore Project located in Jamesport, NY is the epitome of a classic beach cottage that we facelifted by painting a fresh, bright white paint throughout and filled with gorgeous new furniture  Not to mention the most beautiful views overlooking the Long Island Sound and stairs to the beach right from the back yard. The perfect place to spend the summer, if you ask us. We haven’t had a chance to have this cutie professionally photographed yet, but here’s a few glimpses of what’s going on in there.

#ShelterIslandHomeProject

While this was actually this home’s second summer after completion in the Spring of 2018, we still love it endlessly as it serves as the perfect beach/summer retreat for a fun young family. Just steps from the Shelter Island beaches, it’s laid-back, casual vibes have us wishing we could go back here every summer!

#SigsbeeRoadProject

We love this home for similar reasons as our Shelter Island project–an adorable beach cottage in Mattituck, NY that we completely gut-renovated and modernized to better fit the family’s style and personality. Complete with stunning views of Peconic Bay, it’s another perfect summer home that’s suitable for sandy feet.

#MarbleheadReno

When you think of a home in Marblehead overlooking the ocean, you might immediately assume summer home–and it is! The only kicker for this one is that it’s actually going to serve as the family’s full-time residence, which meant that we had to design with the cold, snowy New England winters in mind as well. We’ve been busy busy working on this home over the course of the summer and are so excited to finally see everything starting to come together. Our goal for this home was to design with the obvious coastal Marblehead vibes in mind, all while keeping it fresh and modern and with the ability to seamlessly transition from season to season. Here’s a few progress shots and some of our design boards for this home.

Others that we love. While we love reflecting back on some of our own work, we also love gathering inspiration from other talented designers and seeing what they’re up to as well. Here’s a few of our favorite spaces with beachy~summery vibes that we’ve pinned, saved, liked, and kept an eye on over the course of the summer.

We hope everyone enjoys the last few days of summer and has a great Labor Day weekend!

Project Reveal: #WatertownStreetProject

If you follow us on our Instagram, you may have already seen a few posts from our #WatertownStreetProject–if not, you’re seeing it here first! We’ve been a just a littttle busy this summer and haven’t had time to add these photos to our website yet but still wanted to share them. This was a fun project for a family who wanted to add some personal flair to their main living & dining space. We took cues from the family’s love for global travel to create a modern yet worldly feel in a space that the whole family can enjoy together. We love the mix of textures and interesting pops of color in here (especially the bold blue statement sofa) and we’re so happy with how everything came out!

*All photo credit to Kyle Caldwell Photography

We’re Going to Brimfield!

We’re so excited to be heading down to Brimfield tomorrow! We’re looking for found objects to add to our inventory for styling accessories, furniture pieces, artwork, textiles, you name it! We love the idea of incorporating old antique pieces into new designs and we can’t wait to see what inspires us when we’re there. Here’s a look into our Pinterest board to get a feel of the vibe of some of the stuff we’re hoping to find and take back with us 🙂

P.S. any tips, tricks, suggestions or pointers you have for us for when we go are gladly accepted! Do you have an antique piece or collection that you love? Let us know, we’d love to hear about it!

Things We Love: Contrasting Painted Trim

When it comes to painting trim, the obvious choice seems to be to go with a simple coordinating white. But, something we’re loving (and would love to do in a project!) is white walls with a bold or contrasting painted trim. Painted trim helps to add a pop of color and visual interest when you don’t want to commit to painting the whole room. Besides, it’s just paint! Easy to switch out if you decide you hate it after all. Here’s a few of our favorite inspiration images for painted trim in all different areas throughout the home.

What’s your take on painted trim? Love it? Hate it? Let us know 🙂

Rainy Day Refresh

We’ve been so lucky to have gorgeous sunshiny warm days for FOUR consecutive days now, which is a miracle with all the rain we’ve been getting prior! (You can totally blame me for jinxing it now.) Since the rainy days are sure to return eventually, we’ve come up with a few ways to make your gray days a little less dreary with small projects and improvements that will refresh your space in just a rainy day’s (or rainy weekend’s!) time.

Paint a room or an accent wall. Easily transform any space by giving it a fresh coat of paint to bring it back to life. Especially if it’s something you’ve been putting off for a while, a rainy day is the perfect time to finally tackle it! Just make sure you picked out the paint color in the natural daylight first 🙂

Rearrange your furniture only if it’s practical! Some spaces really only allow for one layout with the furniture you have, but if possible try switching around your seating area or bedroom furniture to give the space a simple and quick change of scenery.

Create art for your walls! Pick up a pencil or a paintbrush and create something that you can hang on your walls that will help to add something fresh to the space.

Buy a new faucet. Sink. Light fixture. Hardware. Door mat. Rug. anything! It’s amazing how even tiny changes such as hardware can make your space feel revived and refreshed. Find something new that you love to replace something that may have done its’ time.

Clean/organize. A rainy day or weekend works wonders on the cleanliness and level of organization in a home. Use the dreary weather as an excuse to stay inside, vacuum, dust, and find homes for things that may have been just laying around otherwise.

Refresh your front door or entryway with a new paint color on the door or fresh planters. (More suggestions for ways to step up your entryway game back on our Shut the Front Door! post)

Frame photos that have been waiting for a home and create & install a gallery wall!

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Here’s Caitlin installing her gallery wall in her own home!

Make up your bed with fresh bedding or new pillows.

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Fresh linens and pillows in our #HaywatersProject master bedroom. 

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A crisp & clean made bed at our #LandsdowneStreetProject. 

Refurbish or repurpose an old piece of furniture. Turn something old into something new! Give a piece of furniture a second chance at life by DIY-ing it to serve a new function or purpose. (Helps to eliminate furniture waste from landfills!)

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Transform an old dresser into a bathroom vanity! https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg1TlaalDFO/

Apply StikWood, Tempaper, etc. somewhere to create an accent wall. Or regular wallpaper, if you’re up for it. Stikwood and Tempaper are self adhesive for super easy application to quickly add some visual interest or texture in any space!

 

The sunny warm weather will be here to stay so soon (I hope!) but until then, these quick projects will help to refresh your space and you don’t have to feel guilty about staying inside to get them done when it’s pouring outside!

 

Repurpose, Refurbish, and Recycle: Keeping Furniture Waste out of Landfills

As designers, one of the main goals is to be as eco-friendly and environmentally responsible as possible. Though it does create a fairly significant challenge, especially in this field, we recently decided to make it part of our mission to make more sustainable choices and incorporate products and materials from more companies that pride themselves on being environmentally concious and eco-friendly.

That being said, we recently read a fact that completely blew our minds and realized that it was something we wanted to bring attention to. Prepare to be shocked:

9.7 million tons of furniture is dumped in U.S. landfills every year. 

EVERY. YEAR. !! Remember that a ton is 2000 pounds, multiply that by 9.7 MILLION, and what you get is a number with a lot of zeros that most people can’t even fathom.

9.7 million looks like 9700000. Times that by 2000 and it looks like 19,400,000,000 also known as nineteen billion four hundred million POUNDS OF FURNITURE WASTE. This is an insane number when you think of it as just one category of something that’s sitting in landfills.

Furniture is the number one least recycled item in a household, majorly due to the cheap & fast industry in which furniture is not meant to last. While this is nothing we can single-handedly solve on our own, every little bit helps in raising awareness of this fact so we’ve come up with a few ways to alleviate furniture waste as much as possible.

1. Donate. Before dumping your old furniture on the side of the road, consider whether or not it is still in good enough condition to be donated. Charities, non-profits, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and even animal shelters will gladly accept most furniture donations for a second use. Do some research to find what type of donation facility is best suited for the furniture you’re trying to get rid of!

2. Repurpose. Scroll through Pinterest for a bit of inspiration to see if it’s something that can be turned into a DIY project. A lot of furniture can be given new life by adding a fresh coat of paint or reupholstering. Or, maybe it’s something that can serve a new use all together!

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An old dresser that was transformed into a bathroom vanity. https://www.instagram.com/p/BqNDcD-hYA_/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=104xt9knnqz1i

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The style of this hutch was completely changed with a crisp clean paint job. Original source unknown.

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A dresser that was completely transformed just by removing the veneer from the outside. https://www.dododsondesigns.com/removing-veneer-wood-dresser/

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A dresser that was given a makeover just with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. https://designs.generalfinishes.com/posts/coastal-blue-and-antique-walnut-dresser#slideshow-0

3. Measure twice, buy once. When purchasing new furniture, be 100% sure that it will fit in your space to eliminate wasting packaging for returns back and forth. This also eliminates the waste & creation of unnecessary furniture if you’re sure that it will work.

4. Curbside recycling programs. If you do a little research, you may be able to find a curbside program near your home. Just make sure that they’re actually recycling the furniture that you leave out, not just picking up and taking it straight to a landfill.

5. Sell online. There are plenty of online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to sell furniture on if it still has some life left in it. Or, you could do it the old fashioned way and have a yard sale. Gives the furniture a second chance and gives you some money back!

6. Ask around. Someone always knows someone who has a a freshman starting in college or a brand new apartment somewhere that would gladly accept some mismatched & miscellaneous hand-me-down furniture pieces.

7. Invest. We know that good furniture is expensive and definitely adds up quickly, but if you invest in pieces that are crafted with quality and built to last, they will be able to travel with you through multiple moves and live on for generations down the road. Here are some heirloom/investment pieces from a few of our projects:

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Living room armchairs at our Marlborough St. Project.

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Dining room furniture at our Wickham Ave project.

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Dresser at our Decatur St. project.

When it comes down to it, focus on quality and long term use, rather than buying something quick and cheap just for the sake of having it. If something is inexpensive, it is likely due to the fact that it is cheaply made and will probably fall apart on you within a few years.

Furniture in landfills is a also a huge waste of valuable materials and is a missed opportunity for the economy as it could provide thousands of job opportunities if people were hired to refurbish, take apart, and redistribute furniture materials for different uses. This would guarantee that resources are kept within and cycled back through the economy rather than wasted in landfills, or incinerators which increase the amount of the CO2 that gets released into the atmosphere.

Repurposing, recyling, and proper disposal of your furniture is SO important. Spread the word and do whatever you can to help bring those numbers down & to keep furniture waste out of landfills!

 

 

Let’s Bring This Outside: Outdoor Patios & Porches

Warmer, sunnier weather is riiiight around the corner (fingers crossed) which means it’s time to start thinking about your outdoor spaces! These April showers sure are getting the best of us but before we know it we’ll be sipping cocktails on our patios and porches again. To get you in the summer spirit we wanted to share some thoughts and inspiration for creating the perfect outdoor space. Whether it’s a front porch with a few chairs or a full outdoor living space or anything in between, it’s time to get it ready for the summer season.

Just as there is when designing an interior space, there are lots of factors to consider when planning your outside space as well. There’s more to it than picking an outdoor dining set and calling it good (unless that’s your style, then we’re not judging). But actually, an outdoor space can be just as beautiful and layered as your interior space, so why not bring the indoors outside to enjoy those warm summer days?

Fabrics. Obviously the right fabrics have to be used in order to prevent mold, mildew and other weathering. Just about every major fabric company out there carries fabrics that are suitable for the outdoors, so the options for pillows, upholstery on outdoor furniture, and drapery panels are essentially unlimited.

Finishes & materials. Material selection comes down to the look that best suits you. Some of the most common are aluminum, wicker, resin, wood, and concrete.

Furniture. The actual type of furniture plays a huge part in what your aim is to actually use the outdoor space for. Are you going for an outdoor bar? Outdoor living room? Casual lounge? There are so many furniture options out there to work for any kind of space that you’re trying to achieve. Outdoor spaces also create a fun opportunity to incorporate elevated seating such as hammocks and swings.

Landscaping and greenery. Whether you incorporate your outdoor space into existing landscaping or add fresh new plants, trees, and shrubs, greenery is an important addition to the aesthetic of your porch, pergola, or patio.

Lighting. Find a way to add in subtle lighting so you’re not in the dark when it’s just such a perfect summer night that you don’t want to go back inside yet. The most common way to do this is with string lights, but there are lots of cool outdoor pendants and chandeliers to help light up your outdoor space as well.

Rugs, throw pillows, blankets & accessories. These are the finishing touches that add the extra layer of creativity and help to complete your outdoor space. Ok, so you may have to bring in the blankets or store them in a safe place to protect them from weather but as far as pillows, rugs, and accessories, there are tons of options that are appropriate for outdoor use so layer it up and style away!

More to love: a few more inspo images for some super cool outdoor spaces!

We’re currently working on the design for a few different outdoor spaces that we can’t wait to see come together just in time for summer 🙂

Houseplants: Tips, Types, & Favorites

Let me start this off by saying that I am in no way a plant expert. I’ve had several rounds of succulents that just couldn’t seem to make it no matter what I tried to do to take care of them. I’ve now had a few for quite some time that (fingers crossed) I think are going to last me a while! That being said, coming from a non-plant expert, I’ve done some research and wanted to share some thoughts on tips, types, and NFDCo’s favorites for when it comes to using houseplants for styling. (May or may not also be using this as a guide for myself for my own future plant endeavors 🙂 ).

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Umbrella tree & succulents in our “Sigsbee Road Project” Dining area.

There’s no universal formula to keep every plant alive and thriving & different types of plants have different needs; whether it’s high sun exposure or filtered indirect lighting, cool, dry conditions or warm & humid temperatures, in the bathroom or in the kitchen. All are factors to consider when trying to keep your plants alive and well. We’ve rounded up some of the different types of plant situations and what works best where and why–and some of them may overlap from one category to the next. Here are some of our thoughts!

Beginners. If you’re just starting to incorporate houseplants into your home, it’s best to go for plants that grow easily and can withstand sporadic watering, inconsistent temperatures, and uneven light. AKA, the plants that can put up with anything, no matter your green thumb (or lack thereof). Some of our favorite plants for beginners that are almost sure to stay alive include pothos, spider plants, snake plants, and certain varieties of succulents and cacti (although, some types of succulents are actually very difficult to care for properly, that fact I am an expert on and know from personal experience!)

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Spider plant at our “Turner Hill Project” stairway. 

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Pothos in our “Shelter Island Home Project” kitchen. 

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Snake plant in our “South End Reno Project” living room.

Green Thumbers. Maybe you’ve got your plant care down to a science and have the ability to take care of some of the more difficult plants that are picky about their watering, amount of sunlight, temperature, etc. In that case, some of the most difficult plants to keep alive in your home are fiddle leaf figs, Boston ferns, orchids, zebra plants, and banana plants.

Fiddle leaf figs are among the most sought after & trending plant to want to keep in the house, but they are very temperamental when it comes to getting just the right amount of sunlight–not too much and not too little–and also don’t do well with changing it’s environment should you decide to move it from one room to another. (Fun fact: we have a fiddle leaf fig in the office and he’s thriving! We think the secret may be dumping our leftover tea & coffee into his soil but we’re not entirely sure!)

Boston ferns provide lush greenery but are also very needy. They will crisp if exposed to too much sunlight (same though) and prefer indirect light, the soil needs to be kept damp at all times and can’t bear temperatures that are too hot or too cold.

Orchids are beautiful and add a pop of vibrant color but have extremely particular needs for sunlight and watering. The Royal Horticultural Society states that orchids should be placed “in indirect light near a north or east facing window” and they need to be “watered once a week but not so much that their roots would become waterlogged.” How’s that for needy?

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Orchid in our “Turner Hill Project” living room. 

The funky contrast of the leaves on a zebra plant certainly adds interest when incorporated into the home, however must be kept at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit all year round, and also are a tropical plant that require 60%-70% humidity.

Speaking of tropical, banana leafs are used for playing up a tropical look within a home, but they also require 12 hours of light per day as well as a fertilizer mixture every month, and just the right amount of watering for the soil to be kept moist.

Bathrooms & showers. Plants that can endure (and thrive!) in low light, high humidity, and temperature swings are best for bathrooms and showers. Certain plants in the bathroom help to purify the air and keep the space feeling clean and fresh. Some of the best plants to keep in bathrooms are aloe, eucalyptus, (extremely beneficial to your health when hung in the shower!) bamboo, spider plants, Boston ferns, cast iron plants, and peace lily.

Bedrooms. There are several plants that are beneficial to have in the bedroom due to them promoting better sleep, improve air quality, boost your mood, and reduce stress (yes please to all of these!). Snake plants, pothos, philodendron, rubber plant, (yes, this is an actual type of plant, not fake!) lavender, aloe, and peace lily are among some of the best roommates in terms of plants to keep in your bedroom.

 

Kitchen. Of course in the each of the different rooms in the house, the amount of light exposure, temperature, etc. all have to be considered and the kitchen is no exception. When it comes to keeping plants in the kitchen, English Ivy is great for air purification (but toxic to pets!). Aloe is great to keep near the stove, in case an accidental burn occurs you have easy access to instant cooling relief! Spider plants help to remove odor and pollutants in the air. Jasmine offers a fresh smell and will leave your kitchen with a sweet, clean scent. And, we’re always a fan of home-grown herbs hung in a sunny kitchen window or growing in pots on your counter tops!

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Aloe & herbs in our “Pine Neck Project” kitchen.

Pets. If you have pets in your home, it’s definitely important to be mindful of plants that may be harmful or toxic to them. You can still breathe fresh life into your home while keeping your pets & kids safe by choosing Boston Ferns, Blue Echeveria (type of succulent), baby rubber plant (*only the American or Baby rubber plant is non-toxic. The other rubber plant mentioned earlier is actually poisonous to pets!), Swedish Ivy, Parlour palms, spider plants, cast iron plants, Haworthia (a succulent that looks like aloe–aloe IS toxic to pets and children), and basil (one of the only herbs that isn’t toxic to pets!), just to name a few! There are plenty of pet-friendly plants to choose from to make sure your four legged friend won’t be harmed, just be sure to do your research before purchasing or having plants in an area where pets could reach and nibble on.

There so many plants out there that will enhance your home, but many different requirements for all the different types. Any research you can do for proper plant care will help to improve the longevity of your plants’ lives! From one non-expert to the next, hope this helps in selecting and taking care of your next houseplants!

 

 

Spring Equinox: In Full Bloom

Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking 😉 It’s the first full day of spring which means: brace yourself for floral everything! I love what the start of spring signifies in terms of renewal, a fresh start, new life & new hope, and I love that it brings fresh blooms and color back into a bleak, gray post-winter world. While we do love seeing the reappearance of spring florals in fabrics, wallpaper, clothing, etc., we can’t be alone in thinking that it can be a little overdone, especially at this time of year. Don’t get us wrong, we obviously welcome spring and warmer weather with open arms and want to celebrate that by sharing some of our favorite more unconventional, less traditional applications and uses of spring florals. There are several ways to incorporate florals and botanicals that still freshen and liven up a space while celebrating the changing of the seasons in a bit of a different way than the usual or expected. Here are a few our favorite out-of-the ordinary spring florals!

Botanical sketches. I love the simplicity and delicate beauty of botanical sketches, whether they are more detailed or abstracted line drawings.

Pressed flowers as art. (Or, artwork that looks like pressed flowers, for that matter). There’s something about preserving the beauty of living, growing things that I just can’t get enough of. Such a cute way to put your favorites on display and to welcome spring!

And how cute are these pressed flower plaques for an even more out-of-the-ordinary way to incorporate florals into your home?!

Floral wallpapered ceilings. For a bold pop of floral in a bit of an unexpected place. (Check back on our Design Dilemmas post for more thoughts and inspiration for wallpapered ceilings!)

Floral wallpaper framed as art. For when you don’t want to commit to the whole wall, a smaller piece of a cool wallpaper looks just as beautiful when framed as artwork!

Floral wallpaper murals. For when you are feeling bold and do want to make more of a statement.

Leafs and greenery. Not quite floral but still botanical–a fresh pop of green leaves or ferns help to welcome spring just the same!

Bugs, butterflies, and birds. Ok, again not quite floral, but all three signify the return of spring & warmer weather just the same!

Vintage botanical prints. Similar to the look of botanical sketches, vintage botanical prints help to bring in a subtle pop of color in a delicate but beautiful way.

Floral pillow refresh. One of the easiest ways to refresh for spring is with a fresh batch of pillows. Swap out your cozy winter pillows for some fun & colorful floral pillows to welcome the changing of the season.

Flower walls. Real or fake, we love the visual impact that these strung-together flowers creates on a wall.

Black & white floral. For all the neutral people out there, there are plenty of black and white or monochromatic options for freshening up your home for spring.

All the rest. Florals that don’t quite fit into any of these categories but we still love & feel inspired by them!