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 ūüôā ).

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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.¬†


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 ūüėČ 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.


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.


(This space uses Metropolitan for the walls and Hale Navy for the cabinetry!)

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!

North Fork Installs & Progress

We had a whirlwind of a couple days at the beginning of our week in the North Fork taking care of initial installs for two different projects. We had to deal with some weather-related trials and tribulations but are very happy with how everything is coming along! In case you missed our instagram stories, we wanted to share some behind-the-scenes and progress shots of everything that goes into a successful install.

We had two entire homes worth of furniture ordered and delivered to our receiving/moving company in New York. We created spreadsheet after spreadsheet tracking the status & location of each and every item in hopes to make the installs go as smoothly as possible. We also packed two cars full of smaller items that we had sent directly to our office.

Install day arrives! We’re excited to get everything in place and see it all come together in the home. Buuut, it happened to be one of the windiest days we’ve ever experienced. Not exactly ideal conditions for moving all that furniture into two different homes. But, we kept saying at least it’s not snowing or raining!

Despite a few hiccups and delays in our day, we still got everything accomplished. Take a look through our photo recap to check out some of the process and progress! (It’s certainly not all glamour!)


A loft space with a tight spiral staircase posed a few issues in getting all the furniture up there, but we managed (somehow!)

And here’s a look at the living room & dining room as we were wrapping up. Almost there!

#SoundShoreProject, Guest House 

The Guest House is a modern space that we added some finishing & styling touches to. We added super cool pillows in the bedrooms and finished off the living space with some fun accessories.

#SoundShoreProject, Beach Cottage

Juxtaposed on the same property is this adorable beach cottage with the most gorgeous ocean views. Almost all of the furniture is there–we can’t wait to go back in the warmer months to finish styling!

Despite 50 MPH winds and unheated homes, we really accomplished a lot over these two days and are thrilled with how everything is coming along so far–this is all a work in process still! Stay tuned to keep up with more progress and the final reveals coming soon.

Seriously, check out those winds!


North Fork Photo Shoots: #InletDriveProject Reveal

We recently had a few photo shoots in the North Fork and we’re super excited to have finally received the images back from our #InletDriveProject! We haven’t had time to get them up on our website¬†yet so you saw them here first. Enjoy!

#InletDriveProject, Mattituck NY.

For this home, we were dealing with an awkward existing built-in in the dining room and our client wanted to make better use of the space. We added a more functional built-in with a bench seat to add more purposeful seating in this dining area. At the top of the stair landing is a small space that our client wanted to turn into a quiet & cozy living area. We also updated three of the bedrooms to give a cohesive refreshed look throughout!

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(All photo credit to Kyle Caldwell Photography)



Sunday Inspiration: Kids’ Bedrooms

It’s school vacation week which means you’re either going away on a little break, or you’re at home trying to figure out what to do while the kids are home. If your littles have been begging for a fun refresh of their bedroom, maybe this is the week to start gathering ideas and inspiration & start tackling that project! Here are some of our favorite kids’ bedroom ideas to get the gears turning and to give them a space that they (and you!) will love.

Cozy nooks.¬†Give your child a litte space of their own to read, write, draw, create, play–you name it.

Love the idea of using chalkboard paint in their bedroom. And how cute and cozy is that adorable little corner?!

Mini Man Cave–is that not the cutest thing ever?! And that animal wallpaper is probably my new favorite thing. (That particular paper is removable peel and stick, so cute AND easy!)

Love this daybed piled with the cutest pillows. And again, that wallpaper!!

Shared spaces.¬†If your kids are coexisting, here are a few bedroom ideas that we think they’d be¬†happy¬†to share.

Something different. Here are a few of our favorite unique and awesome bedroom spaces that I wish my parents had thought of when I was a kid, to be honest.

Does it get any more cool than these adorable jungle oasis bedrooms? Bonus points for these bed frames being simple enough to DIY!

And this awesome bedroom that looks like a cute little backyard cabana.

And having your very own mini rock wall in your room?! Yes please!

Maximizing the space.¬†If you’re working with a smaller space, there are lots of great ways to maximize & make the best use of the space with different storage solutions.

This small bedroom still feels super bright and open and looks absolutely adorable, with plenty of storage space under the bed.

Everything in here is tucked away neatly on built-in shelves!

Love the wallpaper on the back of the shelves and love the incorporation of the bench seat!

Cute wallpaper was a common theme throughout here. Kids’ rooms are a great place to add a fun wallpaper, especially when it’s as simple as peel & stick! Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or a complete bedroom makeover, we hope we helped inspire you to make some fun changes in your kids’ bedroom!

Calm & Collected

Ever since Tidying Up With Marie Kondo came out on Netflix, it seems as though everyone has caught the KonMari bug. Everyone is cleaning up, de-cluttering, organizing, and paring down on the things they don’t need; making room for only the things that #SparkJoy. We’ve even started to bring the KonMari tactics into our own homes over the past few weeks! In the spirit of tidying up, we wanted to talk about displaying your unique collections and treasures in your home without the clutter & chaos. We think collections are really cool and deserve to be on display! However, there’s a fine line between a tasteful collection showcase and borderline hoarder situation that we’re trying to help you from crossing ūüėČ

There are sooo many trinkets and things that can be collected, depending on what it is that interests you. That being said, not every method for displaying will work for each of those different things. It takes being a little creative to come up with the best way to effectively display your prized possessions. Here are a few of our favorite unique collections and how they were showcased in their homes!

1. Feeling Lucky. If dice is your thing, we love the idea of displaying them in a shadow box like this one to be hung on the wall and serve as a unique piece of artwork.

2. Hats off.¬†Hats are bulky and awkward to store, and take up space in your closet. Why not display them on your bare walls! Look how cute they look on display in that staircase! There are also plenty of hat racks out there, so show em’ off!

3. Stick a Fork In It. Antique silverware makes for a beautiful and interesting collection. Having it on display in your china cabinet is one thing, but making artwork out of it makes it even that much more interesting. Love the idea of arranging everything in different directions to create more of a pattern like this one, too!

4. All Buttoned Up.¬†You know all those extra buttons you get when you buy a new sweater in case one comes out? I never know what to do with them, but putting them on display in a clear glass jar looks cute & you’ll know exactly where to look when the moment finally comes that you need to replace the one that fell off.

Also really cool as framed artwork!

5. Screw it. Absolutely love the idea of displaying your favorite corkscrews in a gallery wall rather than shoved away in a drawer. Hey, different types work better for different bottles!

(Alright, so maybe this is what we’re telling you¬†not¬†to do, but look how fun they look all together!)

6. Roll With It.¬†If you’re an avid baker, maybe rolling pins is your thing. Love the install of all those rolling pins hanging from the ceiling in this restaurant…

…but for containing your collection in your own home, setting them in a cool canister with some cutting boards on your counter tops will do the trick!

7. Fill Your Plate.¬†Decorative plates are another common item to collect. There are lots of great ways to display these collections right on your walls! We recently re-discovered the awesome line of plates and saucers from John Derian–definitely worth taking a look to add to your own collection!

8. Out To Dry.¬†So. Cool. Maybe vintage clothes pins isn’t the exact thing you need, but after seeing this picture I’m inspired to start collecting them myself! Cute in a fun little arrangement in a jar on your shelf or mantel? Sure!

(P.S. this image is used on the back of the coffee table book¬†‘Collected: Living With The Things We Love’¬†if you’re interested in reading more about displaying unique collections in your home!)

9. She Sells Sea Shells and other beachy things! Everyone has a soft spot for the ocean, and probably at some point in time has collected rocks, shells, sea creatures, you name it. There are plenty of ways to curate a nostalgic collection without overdoing it. Also love the idea of labeling each jar to mark where you collected them from!

Here’s a look at Caitlin’s ocean treasures in her own home, paired with a few bits and bobs from her other collections!

10. Say Cheese. Seeing how cameras have evolved over time is really interesting. Antique old cameras make a really cool display on open shelves or hanging directly on the wall!

11. The Key To My Heart. Old fashioned keys are so cool. Like any item in a collection, each one holds an interesting story. Similar in shape & size to silverware, keys are great to display in a frame or shadow box to make a unique piece of artwork.

12. Causing a Raquet. Tennis raquets and other sporting equipment collections make for a really fun install in a bedroom or game room.

13. Hammer Time.¬†We love the idea of displaying your old tool collection directly on your walls. It looks cool & industrial and you know exactly where everything is when you’re looking for it to actually use!

14. Makin’ it Rain.¬†Watering cans and other garden supplies look absolutely adorable on open shelves in a cute little farmhouse shed!

Whatever your collection is, dust it off and display it with pride! However, a large collection of items in a home can be overwhelming, so be sure to select your favorite pieces that you feel are most worthy of being on display in order to alleviate unnecessary clutter on a shelf or surface space. When it comes to displaying a collection, organization is key. In order for your collection to look beautiful in your home, it should look curated and purposeful, and serve as decor or artwork rather than as extra junk.

The whole KonMari method entails getting rid of the things that we don’t need or don’t love. While it may be difficult to part with some of these things, paring down on your collections allows you to enjoy your most beautiful things in order to showcase the things you love the¬†most.¬†

Happy collecting! ūüôā


Photo Shoot Styling: Process & Secrets

We’ve been so thrilled to have the opportunity to capture so many new projects recently with the help of some extremely talented photographers. With two shoots last week and another three this week, it’s something that’s been weighing heavily on our brains and keeping us extremely busy lately! Not in a bad way–we love prepping for our photo shoots and getting our newly completed projects in tip top shape and ready for the spotlight. We wanted to share some insight and behind the scenes of what actually goes into a successful shoot, because it’s¬†way¬†more than just a pretty picture!

About two weeks prior to the scheduled shoot date, we start making lists (mental and physical!) of anything and everything that we may want to have on site to help spruce up the shot. (Secret: a completed space¬†still needs a fair amount of finishing touches to fill it out to our liking! It’s easy for a space to seem bare once captured in a photo, so we say the more the better, and whatever we don’t use can just be packed away.) These lists include anything that we can think of right down to the smallest of details, including the cleaning supplies, the steamer, the tool kit–you never know what you’re going to notice and what you’re going to have to touch up come the day of the shoot!

lists .jpgWe do keep an inventory of styling accessories, books, planters, etc. that we try to incorporate as much as we can into our shoots (see some of our go-to’s and favorites!) however we often need to make a final haul to find some extra items to fill the shelves, accessories to spruce up the bathroom, fresh white towels, throw blankets, you name it! We usually leave with multiple carts full of stuff when prepping for a shoot–especially when there’s three shoots in one week! Just call us crazy bag ladies ūüôā

51783573_333297143948663_68596254124277760_n.jpgAnd of course, there’s the flowers and plants. We generally finish off our shopping a day or two before the shoot with a stop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s to get gorgeous fresh blooms to pop some greenery and color into the space. (Sometimes, even potted plants from our own homes make a guest appearance on our clients’ shelves for the sake of the shoot!)


Before the day of the shoot, we go to the site to do some initial styling and get everything as ready as we can because we don’t want to run into any surprises the day of! Here’s a glimpse at what the styling day consisted of for these projects.

Then, the final finishing touches before the photographer arrives. This is when flowers are cut for their vases, everything gets a final once-over cleaning, pillows are fluffed, fresh fruit and produce is laid out on the counters, and everything is looking perfect and ready to go.

What you may not know¬†is behind that perfect shot, things are often actually not that perfect at all… We select the shot that we think best captures the space, but what you don’t see is that everything that we don’t want to be seen is usually hiding right behind the camera–secret’s out!

Our photographers truly do an amazing job at capturing our projects, and it takes a lotttt of hard work to get them looking the way we want them to show them off to the world. It’s so rewarding to capture our projects at their fullest potential and we can’t wait to share all new content with you! Here’s some more behind the scenes and process, sneak peeks & teasers that we’ve gotten from these most recent shoots so far!


Friday Inspiration: Game On!

We’ve been having a lot of fun designing rec/game/play rooms for a few different projects lately! These spaces have to be versatile enough for the whole family to enjoy but still serve as a space for fun and games. When we went to High Point Market this past fall, we were inspired by the prevalent influence of the inclusion and importance of game rooms in a home. We loved seeing all sorts of cool & unique pool tables, ping pong tables, shuffleboard tables & more featured in many of the showrooms. Here’s a few inspiration images that helped to point us in the direction of the game room look we’ve been going for.


(We think this glass top ping pong table is absolutely gorg!)

And here’s a peek our in-the-works design board for the rec room at our #RyeBeachNewBuildProject!

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