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!

Trending for NFDCo: Seeing Green

With St. Patrick’s day coming up this weekend, everyone is “seeing green.” However, we’ve been seeing green in a little bit of a different way. Maybe we were inspired by some of the rich & deep greens on the Benjamin Moore color trends palette for 2019 but we noticed that a lot of our saved Instagram posts as well as pins to our general ‘Design Inspiration’ board on our Pinterest were trending particularly in this color direction.

Here’s a few screen shots from what our “saved” pages & “recent pins” look like currently–it’s always fun to look back and see what common element continues to show up over any certain period of time!

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I love the use of dark hunter greens on kitchen cabinetry, bathroom vanities, furniture, walls, and tile. In terms of color theory/meanings and color psychology, green is a “down to earth color that represents new beginnings and growth.” The use of green in design also provides calming, balancing, and harmonizing effects as it promotes a connection to nature and the natural world. Green in design (especially some of these dark and moody tones that we’ve been seeing in our own inspiration) is beautiful because it is not too overstimulating but still adds a pop of color and interest. Here’s a closer look at some of our favorite spaces that have us green with envy!

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day weekend with some fresh green inspiration for your home!

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year for 2019: Thoughts & Inspiration

We recently attended a CEU at the InHome Design Center in Amesbury, MA where we brushed up on our knowledge about paint finishes and sheens and and a speaker from Benjamin Moore taught us about the color of the year and color trends for 2019. For those of you who don’t know, Benjamin Moore reveals it’s color of the year & color trends forecast around October or November for the year to come–(ok, so we’re a little late to the draw here!) but attending this event recently helped to re-spark some inspiration and the want to chime in on some of our thoughts for the colors in the palette that we’re loving.

The color of the year for 2019 is dubbed “Metropolitan.” It’s a neutral gray with cooler undertones. The statement about Metropolitan directly from Ben Moore’s website reads that the color is  “comforting, composed and effortlessly sophisticated” and it “exudes beauty and balance.” This choice of color is understated and far less aggressive than last years choice of “Caliente.” It is said to create a soothing & impactful common ground and we agree! It’s a nice, quiet and relaxing color.

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It’s interesting to learn about how and why the color is chosen, and it really comes down essentially to what’s going on with the world around us. A lot of the inspiration in the color selection comes from travels around the world and selecting the colors and hues that were most prominent in any given place. The decision for the color choice also reflects our mood towards the world around us as a whole and a neutral color choice reflects the idea that we may be more accepting and coming to terms with everything that is going on around us, but are still aware of it all just the same. Metropolitan is definitely easy to incorporate into just about any space being the beautiful neutral that it is–here are a few of our favorite “Metropolitan” interiors.

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(This space uses Metropolitan for the walls and Hale Navy for the cabinetry!) https://www.domino.com/content/benjamin-moore-color-of-the-year-2019/

Aside from the neutral gray itself, we love the palette that they’ve pulled together to complement the color of the year. This palette is comprised of a combination of both pale & muted pastels/neutrals AND rich, more deeply saturated, moody hues. Some of our favorites from the palette are Decorator’s White, Beau Green, Black Pepper, (which we recently used to paint custom nightstands for a client and can’t wait to see!) Kendall Charcoal, Hunter Green, Hale Navy, and I’ve surprised myself to find the Head Over Heels (pink!) to be interesting and refreshing within a space.

Here are a few of our favorites highlighted in interior spaces!

Here’s a shot of Kendall Charcoal used in our own Decatur Street Project!

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We always love learning about the color forecast and seeing what’s predicted to be on trend for the year to come. We would especially love to incorporate some of those darker deeper greens and blues from this years’ palette into some of our projects soon!