The Design Confidential Room Envy // A Tall Drink of Water + 5 Things

This room is everything. Really it's more like a wall within a room, but still... soooo good. This space is like a tall drink of water in the Sahara - relaxing and serene yet filled with life, warm and calm like a gentle breeze in the hot desert sun. It draws me in like a stressed out mama to netflix with the promise of hours upon end of binge watching the last season of Peaky Blinders (so good - by the way).

It has been a while since I have posted a Room Envy article and 5 things so I thought today would be the perfect occasion! If this is your first Room Envy + 5 Things here at the House of TDC, you can read past articles here, and they are basically my chance to share a room or space that seems to represent a life or lifestyle worthy of envy and 5 things about me that you likely don't know. A little up close and personal with a bit of pretty inspiration thrown in, so here goes...

1 // I am supposed to be at ALT this very minute and instead I am sitting here with a sad face moping about how fab last year's ALT was, while I focus on everything I am missing out on. Ya, a pretty positive way to handle things, no?

2 // I turned 35 in November. In many ways it was unremarkable, which I consider a good thing, because it is not lost on me that I very likely seem older to younger people and I am now officially no longer part of the young adult crowd. At 35 I can't even stretch my imagination to claim such a thing. It isn't as if I could at 30, but I guess it finally dawned on me that I am now seen differently from the outside world than I feel on the inside. It is a weird dichotomy, to be sure.

The Design Confidential Room Envy // A Tall Drink of Water + 5 Things

3 // I get to have my wisdom teeth removed in two weeks. Yep, lucky me, at the not-so-young age of 35 I get to party like a young buck with nothing but a popsicle and water diet. Maybe I will lose 5 pounds in the process... A gal can dream can't she?

4 // This Room Envy space is actually the inspiration for my Dining Room. You saw my unlikely nightsand turned dining room storage and display and I will be sharing other tidbits next week. I am not sure how close to the original inspiration the room will actually be, but it was a fabulous jumping off point.

5 // I am working on one of the greatest makeovers of all time, while I am chipping away at the Dining Room. It is a whopper of a before and after reveal, I can say that for sure and I am not even close to the after yet. Well that isn't precisely true, I guess I am more than half way finished and it is incredible already. I will be sharing the before pictures with you next week also! But you have to promise not to judge... or at least not to judge to harshly, eek!


Images Via

The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

Oh yes, my fabulous unlikely nightstand has a new home. It seems like every time I finish a space, I systematically undo everything good about the space and start again in some way. Obviously I have a loose screw. But in my defense, I have been on the hunt for a vintage dining room table and chairs for some time, and I recently found something that made my heart skip a beat (I will share all about my new beauty later in the week) and that something happened to be blond. Now, I don't mind mixing wood tones, or metallics for that matter... obviously. Once I found the table I took a good look at my Master Bedroom and felt like with recent changes I have made in there, this gorgeous shelf was a bit of the odd gal out, if you know what I mean. Since she is blond like my table for the dining room, it got me thinking that it would perhaps be the perfect thing to fill this awkward wall that spans clear to the second story. Such a tricky thing to style since it is relatively narrow but super duper tall. It would be overwhelming to go all the way up, but not going up high enough would be equally not perfecto. These shelves with their height and open framework are the perfect compromise of size and weight and I couldn't be happier with the new space for me to store and display my goods.

Truly equal parts form and function here. Yahoo.

Master Bedroom for The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

The shelves in all their glory in the previous space, worked with the headboard situation I had going on at the time this image was shot. But alas that has also changed in the last month (I know... such a horrible blogger who takes years to update you all) and so there isn't much left to tie these shelves into the space anymore. Of course this leaves a rather large gap in my Master that will need to be addressed real quick like because it is making me twitch when I walk into this now undone room. Seriously.

Just for the hell of it, let's take a look back and see how far this unlikely nightstand has actually come. It feels pretty monumental to me, but I still have so much work on the dining room to finish before it feels truly full circle I guess.

Unlikely Nightstand for The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

Her modest beginnings as a brand new member of the family, nearly a year ago (or more? eek). Oh how my eyes lit up when I stumbled upon her, left out in the cold as someone's trash. A little bit of TLC and she was shining bright in her new home as my unlikely nightstand.

Master Bedroom Makeover for The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

As this space grew and morphed into my dreamy master bedroom, so did these shelves grow to feel a bit more grown up and complete.

Weekend Wall Challenge Art Update for The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

As I updated the art, and focused on the gallery wall flanking these shelves, the more spectacular they became... until I threw a wrench into the whole plan and ripped them from their comfy surroundings and put them into an entirely new space and with an entirely new purpose. Yikes! It's a damn good thing this new arrangement feels like home for these shelves... for now.

Penn undecorating for The Design Confidential Styling Bookshelves // The Evolution of My Unlikely Nightstand

Of course no project would be complete without this cute face helping dismantle everything I do as I go along. Oh how my boys both love to decorate and undecorate. They Must get it from me?!

The Design Confidential Vintage Vulture // My New Old Sofa + DIY Reupholstery Or Leather Restoration

That new year nesting fever has kicked into high gear around here and I am project crazy at the moment. But I would be nothing without a hot mess of vintage goodness to work over at any given time. When it comes to vintage, there are a few things I am constantly on the hunt for... Seating, Tables, Good Lighting and Art. Naturally, after years on end of this quest for the perfect vintage gems, my collection of chairs is a tad out of hand and at the moment I seem to be swimming in sofas. Don't even get me started on vintage art - for a gal who hates clutter and chaos, I sure know how to create it with the blink of an eye and 10 minutes at a thrift store, antique fair or craigslist. Eek

But, like all good things, with time and patience and some hand cramping from excessive craigslist trolling, you will of course find some winners in your price range (mine equals dirt cheap). When the Bird (Penn) decided to flex his creative muscles on my sofa (not once but twice with permanent marker and ink) I decided it was time to switch gears from my ongoing hunt for dining room tables and chairs (a story for another day) to sofas and loveseats. And then I did. I stumbled head first upon a fairly deceptive ad on craigslist (and by deceptive I mean - not easy to see it's gorgeous potential and very likely to scroll right past it) and with a few back and forth emails with the fabulous gal who had this listing, I knew it was going to be mine... oh and it came with a matching Loveseat. I mean... can we say meant to be? The price was perfect for me and she was selling both pieces for $175. The fabric was in good condition with no rips or tears and while the color was not ideal, I knew I wanted to reupholster them in leather (or faux leather which is basically vinyl - cuz I have 2 boys and I'm cheap like that).

Anthropologie Sofa Inspiration for The Design Confidential Vintage Vulture // My New Old Sofa + DIY Reupholstery Or Leather Restoration

This beauty looked just enough like my favorite sofa of yore - that no longer exists and was never actually affordable anyhow - to make me think this caramel slash lager colored leather (vinyl) would be perfect.

Can't you see it now. So dreamy. I immediately called several upholsterers in town and then promptly sat in the corner to cry once they all told me that even with supplying my own material (which of course they don't recommend, duh), the labor alone would be several thousand dollars. How could this be? Did I just happen to call the most expensive upholstery peeps in the biz? It's possible, but not that likely. Which means it is simply not affordable for the average person. So close yet so far away.

Thus began my new quest for a way to make this baby into my dream sofa. Now, I am pretty confident when it comes to my DIY abilities, I mean this is after all a DIY blog and I have after all been known to rock out a DIY project or two here and there... but you guys, I'm not precisely an ace on the sewing machine and leather (vinyl)? Seems so easy to screw up. With the exposed frame and a mix of sectioned and loose cushions - well reupholstering this guy wouldn't exactly be as simple as a staple gun and some tufting - not that, that is simple anyhow.

Arm Detail for The Design Confidential Vintage Vulture // My New Old Sofa + DIY Reupholstery Or Leather Restoration

So I decided to really get up close and personal with this guy. If you take a good look at the arm in the image up above, perhaps you will see what I saw. It looks like this baby might well have been a leather (vinyl) beauty in a past life. Which of course got me thinking. It certainly needs a good cleaning, and I can see areas where there is still leather showing, and wouldn't you believe it is the most gorgeous color of caramel lager that I ever did see. But alas there are areas where the leather (vinyl) has worn clean down to the fabric and so much so that it did indeed originally seem as though it was fabric. But there is a moderate amount that isn't half bad which led me down the rabbit hole of leather restoration and what that entails.

There are a million and one videos on upholstery, so if I stripped the existing upholstery off and used it for a pattern, I might get relatively close in my finished version. But those seams, eek. I have never sewn anything other than curtains successfully and I don't see leather (vinyl) as being very forgiving. Once a hole has been made, it isn't as though you can back out of it and not have it show. Eek. Now I do think I have  a decent amount of confidence in my ability to paint, and feather, and work a surface until it is somewhat perfect, and this is what restoration seems to involve. But how will it look? Will you know it has been restored since I am nothing close to a professional at leather and vinyl work. Will it look like a weird shiny surface? 

Oh what is a girl to do. This is causing me heart palpitations and I'm entirely unsure where to go from here. I might purchase a restoration kit and test it out to see what exactly it entails and how it looks. No harm no foul if it goes awry and I have to go back to my original thought of reupholstery.

Do any of you have experience with leather restoration or upholstery? I'm dying for some advice and input here.... I'm scaaaaarrrrreeeeed, but dying to get this baby up to snuff.

The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys and Shower Curtain Basket Towel Starbust Mirror Brass Blue White Shibori

I’m not sure when or even how, but somewhere along the line my tiny baby bird became a much bigger babe and moved right into the glorious age of bath time water sports and other miscellaneous shenanigans. Oh the pride he shows as he helps most of the water out of the bath, oh what an adorable nightmare it is. Naturally, I thought this was a good time to move him into his own bathroom. Of course where there is a new space to be used, there must be style and function in place.

Shower Curtain / Bamboo Bowl / Mirror / Basket / Tank Basket / Bath Towel / Hand Towel Gray

Starburst Mirror Tank Basket Brass Planter Shibori Shower Curtain Tea Towel Hand Towel for The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys

I knew Target would have everything I needed and I didn’t leave empty handed. Not even close. I think they should make carts that can attach to each other like a train, just in case you do an impromptu redesign and you don’t plan your cart packing as well as you could have.

Mirror / Basket / Tank Basket / Bamboo Bowl / Bath Towel / Hand Towel Gray / Shower Curtain / Gray Marble Towel

Blue Ceramic French Bulldog Cookie Jar Wooden Sphere Hammered Brass Tray Framed Landscape Photography Feather for The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys

There is a connecting bath between Penn’s room and Blake’s room that they will ultimately share. Until now, neither of them have really used this bath much. With the 5 year age difference between them, they have different needs in this space. My biggest babe is now able to do much of his bathing and bedtime routine himself, but the little babe is not and is still a general hazard where many of the bath time tools are concerned. Storing items like q-tips in containers is a must and the French Bulldog Cookie Jar is perfect for my little animal lovers.

Framed Art / French Bulldog Cookie Jar / Wooden Sphere / Hammered Gold Tray

Basket Towel Holder Throw Blanket Navy Moroccan Pillow Teal Arrow Stripe Rug Gray Chunky Rug Woven Bench Brass Planter Shibori Shower Curtain for The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys

The floors in this space are tiled so rugs are also an absolute requirement in here, especially with the extra splashing going on these days. There are no towel bars near the actual place where a person might be looking for one, so a basket serves as easy storage with extra towels for those particularly wet and wiggly kiddos of mine.

Arrow Rug Teal / Chunky Rug / Bench / Throw / Pillow / Basket / Wastebasket / Shower Curtain / Hand Towel Gray

Himalayan Salt Lamp Night Light Bamboo Tumbler Toothbrush Holder Framed Landscape Art Bamboo Soap Dispenser and Hand Towel for The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys

I found these fabulous kitchen towels to use next to their sinks, and love the pattern and interest they add. A big focus on hand washing is always happening in this house so they each have their own soap dispensers and Penn (the littlest) has a bench that can be moved next to the sink so he can reach. When he isn’t washing hands, the bench can be used by Blake for sitting (shocking I know) so he can remove those tricky bits of clothing that love to stump a 7 year old, like socks!

Gray Marble Towel / Salt Lamp / Bath Towel / Hand Towel Mint / Soap Dispenser / Tumbler / Framed Art

Blue Ceramic French Bulldog Cookie Jar Hammered Metal Tray Brass Wooden Sphere Bamboo Soap Dispenser for The Design Confidential New Year New Beginnings // A Shared Bath for the Boys

With both boys wanting to be big boys so very badly, a new space decorated just for them with their particular needs and wants is pretty exciting.

Wooden Sphere / Hammered Gold Tray / French Bulldog Cookie Jar / Tumbler / Soap Dispenser

This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Home Décor for modern luxury made easy.

The Design Confidential Holiday Traditions Gifted // Under the Tree to Wear for Me

Happy New Year my friends! You might have noticed I took a few days off and had a bit of a breather from the blog and all the crazy. It seems to be somewhat crucial for me to check out for bit here and there in order to keep my creativity flowing and maintain that level of insanity that this biz seems to demand. This ain't no job for the weary, that is for sure. Are you all adjusting to the fact that it is 2015? So weird, right? Sounds so futuristic. Can you imagine when it's 2020 or 2025, I mean... those are the dates when the movies tell us that robots rule the world and earth is on the verge of total destruction. Maybe we will actually have hover boards and flying cars for personal transportation by then? Not sure if that seems exciting or terrifying, eek!

I want to hear all about your holiday! What did you find under the tree this year? Tools, tech, clothing? All my faves... We had an amazing Christmas and I am so excited to start this year off with a great many new things and some pretty fabulous projects in the works. But first I thought I would share some of my favorite gifts this year.

// Image above from my Holiday shoot for Domino.com / Designer Traditions

The Design Confidential Holiday Traditions Gifted // Clothing and Accessories Under the Tree to Wear for Me

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

If you know me in real life, you know that I am casual 99.9% of the time. With small kids in the house and an active and busy lifestyle, I find myself decked out in yoga pants and pullovers more often than not. I guess I finally got smart and figured this out because it prompted me to get out there and find clothes and accessories that suit my barefoot laid back lifestyle well but also look cute without being fussy or uncomfortable, duh. I have obviously been living in a cloud for the last 10 years but there are some crazy cute things in the active wear department. Guess I'm not alone in my yoga pant wearing mindset. The yoga pants and cape hoodies above are absolutely to die for. That bag is a backpack, cross body bag, or tote and is just so fab - it's unisex by the way and comes in a gray version too. Love it. With a 2 year old, I am just now getting back into wearing earrings. I don't like anything over the top unless I am going out, so pretty much never these days, but a casual everyday pair that won't rip my ear if the babe gives it a yank is a great way to ease back into real people world. This perfume is how I am smelling these days. Is it weird to know how I smell? Maybe.

I'm also a runner, now that you might not know even if you know me in real life. I am over the moon about running and I have started to outfit myself with gear that makes this more of a focus in my life. The trail shoes are amazing and the etip gloves let me fiddle with my phone as I jog along which is good because apparently my ADD carries over from design right into music choices. Naturally a pair of earbuds that won't fall out to listen to the first 20 seconds of each song is kind of great too. I have small ears so the wireless headphones don't work for me but these twist lock and stay in, it's wonderous.

If you are part of the yoga pants club for women (or men... I won't discriminate) and you have some casual faves, I am dying to know!


The Design Confidential 6 Sanity Savers // How to Beat the Post Holiday Backlash

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! It has been nice to unexpectedly have a couple of days to just relax and enjoy my family. We have had a few rather unplanned sick days for everyone here at Casa de TDC. But, I am chomping at the bit to de-holiday this place and tackle the excess once and for all. I am one of those neurotic organizing freaks when I get my hands on a space and so I thought I would share a few of my post holiday backlash beating tools.

1 // $15 Indoor / Outdoor Shelving - Yep you heard me correctly... $15 folks and the max weight per shelf is 55 pounds which is almost the same (and in some cases better) as the max load for the much more expensive shelving units. The only drawback to these inexpensive variety is they aren't very deep, in which case a second unit to attach to the first will fix that problem right up. Wouldn't these look fabulous in brass?

2 // Baskets - Goodlooking oversized baskets, like this one, this one and this one, in a variety of patterns and shapes is one of my absolute favorite clutter busters. This is especially true where toys are concerned... and pillows, I seem to be drowning in both at any moment of the day and in particular after Santa has paid a visit to these kiddos.

3 // Vacuum + Steam Mop Combo - With virtually an entire first floor filled with ceramic tile, kids and dogs, and nothing short of a revolving door during the holidays (and most of the time) the amount of debris and subsequent cleanup is constant. This is a a major time saver.

4 // Ziploc Bags + Space Bags - From freezer bags to suction powered space bags, these convenient items save me a ton of space and are my easy solution for storing away bedding, seasonal clothing, ornaments, garlands, and other holiday ephemera once the holidays and winter months are behind us. The large ornament boxes would work well for those special breakable decorations, but with kids and dogs I have none of that. All of my shatterproof, snowflake and paper ornaments get divided up by type and put into Ziploc bags and then placed in plastic bins till the next time I am ready to decorate the tree.

5 // Plastic Bins with Latch - Perfect for storing your holiday decor (all those organized bags of ornaments we talked about) and still letting you see what is inside so that next year you don't have to open every bin to find what you need. The latch mechanism on these seems to be essential for long term use and helps for those of you who like to overfill (like me). The long low bins are perfect for storing giftwrap you don't use year round and if you are clever with your packing, will typically house gift bags, boxes and ribbon rolls too. 

6 // Upright Deep Cleaning Machine with Scotchguard Protector - I have mentioned the children, the dogs, and many holiday visitors in addition to a pretty decent amount of rain this year and so this is an absolute must. I can only keep up with the spot cleaning for so long before it is simply a much better use of my time to pull out the carpet cleaner. Because let's be real, with the type of messes that happen with young boys and dogs, spot cleaning is relatively useless and frustrating. I am always so happy with how the carpeting looks after it's professionally cleaned but regular cleanings by professionals are simply not cost effective so having a personal unit to clean with when I need to is critical for my sanity. With scotchguard protector it will last longer than 5 minutes before someone spills wine, tracks mud, or one of the dogs throws up. That makes me a much less frantic mom and one who isn't cringing at every potential mess one million times a day.


This post is brought to you in collaboration with BISSEL. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for The Design Confidential, I heart you guys!


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