Dining Room Redux

Hello, it’s been awhile since I’ve checked in. We have been working on the 2014 Apartment Therapy Style Cure here at the Cook house and our dining room has been getting an overhaul! We have obviously missed the deadline that Apartment Therapy set but we are hoping to have it finished in time for Lilla’s 5th birthday in a couple of weeks. So I’m going to share our inspiration with you today.

414d0e0b2174375e3cc3d98f3c072e97fe90b848bb9e7c901e4f7a91ad1197dd720da81c1b1d91f6e9d3e725e055075bdbf0f39ff64830fae82df0d09e0f9057So We are thinking warm woods, ethnic textiles, plants, industrial metal, light, bright and family friendly.  Mabye Hippie meets Farmhouse or Hipster Country?

We need kid friendly seating since we have a 2.5 year old and almost 5 year old so we decided to go with white metal Tolix style dining chairs. Are they my favorite? No, but I don’t have to worry about the kids ruining them so I’m cool with it (rug compensation?). We plan on pairing these with a matching table with a rustic wood top. We also love all of the benches going on in our inspiration but I have yet to find one that I love that is in the budget.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these Kilim Rugs. The graphic shapes help offset some of the farmhouse direction that the metal chairs and rustic wood table can go, which isn’t our thing. I mean these guys are cool enough to make up for a lot. We wanted one without red but with orange, some pastel pink for the girls and mint to tie into our rental’s existing paint color. Not too much black and finally some white/cream to tie back into the white metal chairs and table base. We also have an odd sized dining room so we will be getting a vintage rug to accommodate the narrowness of the room.
*The link on these beauties only goes to Loom Rugs because they’re sold out, so sad.

I would love to get a fiddle fig tree for our dining room but I haven’t found one yet. They make such a statement, but I’g guessing that if I can find one it won’t be that large. We might move our snake plants in their Case Study Planters from our room into the dining room for now.

So that is what we are currently up to. Check back soon for an update!




Modern Indoor Planters for Snake Plants

Indoor Planters I recently picked up some Sanseviera plants, more commonly known as the Snake Plant or Mother in Law’s Tongue. Now I need some awesome planters to put them in. I am debating between the Case Study Planter with Stand or the PODs Planter Version 1.0 Half Skirt and Stand. As you can see I really like that leggy look a stand gives you. Both of these are similar in price, but if budget isn’t an issue I would suggest the Vessel Architectural Pottery Planters and Stands.  I’m planning on getting them in white. I really like the matte finish of the Case Study Planters but I also like that the legs are black on the POD Planters, plus how cool is that shape. You could mix one on a stand with one of the floor like Hither & Thither or use multiple different planters like Emily Henderson did for the Moby pop up.  I think I’m leaning towards a pair in different sizes since I have two of the same plant but in different colors (one is dark and one is variegated).  If the plants had different shapes I would want to mix the shapes of the planters as well. I might pick up a third plant, a different variety that has wider/rounder leaves, and get one of the planters that sit on the floor (Case Study with Plinth or POD Planter Full Skirt). I don’t really think any of these planters are a bad choice. so whichever one we choose I’m sure it will be amazing!


Finding Beauty

Cheek, Nose and Cupids bow

Have you ever looked at your face. I mean really looked at your face. Not getting ready for the day or finding flaws, but have you ever really looked at yourself. If you did I’m guessing that you, like me, would be pleasantly surprised to find that you are in fact actually quite lovely. Too often I get hung up on how horrible my skin is or how much I currently hate my hair that I forget about my face. The face that is my husband’s favorite and my daughters’ greatest comfort. But beyond that, when you remove the whole that makes it you, I think you can start to appreciate the beauty of yourself. I believe in finding beauty in all things. I search for it in the things for my home, the clothing I wear, the names for my children (current and future). If it is tangible, I want to make it beautiful. This of course extends to myself as well. I think so many people assume that you are either beautiful or you aren’t. I think they are wrong. I think that it is all in how you present yourself.  The whole is greater than the sum it’s parts if you will. (Gestalt for any other artist/designers out there) There are patterns that exist within all of us; proportions, shapes, colors. Patterns that when repeated, create comfort, and in that comfort is where we find beauty. How will you be able to identify these things and furthermore re-create them if you don’t even truly know what you look like? Beauty is important. Knowing your own beauty is a powerful thing. But you have to work to see it, and you have think about it to enhance it. I have recently found Into-Mind by Anuschka Rees of Berlin (thank you pinterest) who shares my beauty philosophy of thoughtfulness, planning and much more. I would highly recommend checking her out! I find it so exciting to cultivate myself into a thing a beauty and want to lead the way for my daughters to find their beauty as well.

“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.”
- Elise De Wolfe


Preparing for Deployment at Home

Normally I post about design, inspiration and beauty. Today, I am going to post about what is going on in my life instead. My husband, Ross, has been gone for the past 9 days (only 3 more to go) at SRP to prepare for his upcoming deployment to the Middle East. As a stay at home mom of two small children this is particularly trying. Especially, when I know that pretty soon this is going to be the norm for the next 9 months. We have been trying to conceive baby #3 for awhile now and it’s looking like it won’t happen before he leaves. Which may be for the best, I’ll just have to trust God in his timing. In the first week Ross was gone: I locked us out of our house, got milk fever, the girls got sick, my mother-in-law hit a deer in our car, and that’s on top of the normal adjustment of daddy being gone for the girls. I’m still trying to figure out what our plan is for when Ross deploys, but I’m thinking it’s not this. How can you be a full time stay at home mom and not have anyone coming home? Short term, I can do that, but for 9 months? So we’re at a crossroads. It has always been very important for me to raise my children. So the thought of putting the girls in daycare feels like I’m giving up on them, but in the end I think that will be our best option. What will I do with that time? I have no idea! Getting a job would be good to help offset the expense of childcare. I could also go back to school.  Either one of those could be good choices.  One of my biggest struggles with deployments is how to make it feel like we are still moving foward, together, in our life. Instead of just waiting for him to come home so life can start again.


Let Me Paint You A Picture

Bill MurrayThe NeighboursThe Separation
Without A Doubt Part 2Rachel in Furs
Ophelia’s Dream - Custom Couple PortraitWilliam Henry Harrison

The very nature of a portrait is slightly creepy.  Maybe it’s because when I think of someone painting a portrait I think of Napoleon Dynamite’s portrait of Trisha or some Renaissance stalker.  There is no escaping the subjects in these portraits.  They are front and center and little bit too close for comfort.  They can also be humorous.  Of course Bill Murray’s head on a uniformed body is funny, but somehow I also find portraits of lesser known presidents to be humorous as well ala William Henry Harrison.  Famous presidents portraits are not so funny, but I still have a soft spot for Honest Abe and would love to have some sort portrait of him, maybe in a guest bedroom, just in case.  I think these would be great antique store/flea market finds because it’s not really about them being great art.  The dipped affect is also a great idea if you find something that is a bit too creepy on the bottom half (cat lady with all her “babies”).  I will be trying to find some of these not quite right portraits for my bedroom.  I’m only interested in a couple but I would love to see a gallery wall of these in someone else’s house, maybe in the bathroom, now that could get uncomfortable.

Emily HendersonMarcus HayPilar GuzmanEmily Henderson
Two of these are from Emily Henderson, but what can I say, that girl has major style and totally gets quirky art.


Blond Ambition – Part II

The Good
I love that blonde hair makes me feel more put together.
There is something about blonde hair on me that makes me feel like I look put together. I think it’s the unnaturalness of it. Blond hair equals I obviously care about how I look; I go to the salon. Where brown hair is more I’m a mom and don’t have time to think about how I look.

I can wear less make up with blonde hair.
Specifically in the eyebrow region. I was not gifted with thick eyebrows (Scornful look to my lovely younger sister with dark thick beautiful brows). Mine are sparse and lighter in color which looks more natural with blonde hair. I’m a blush, brows and lashes girl so this is huge. (One day I hope to graduate into a statement lip girl)

The Bad
Very short very blonde hair is a very specific look and that look can over take you.
When all anyone sees is your hair that’s a bad thing. (Also being compared to Miley Cyrus not so much fun. How about Kate Lanphear or Michelle Williams people!)

Your hair becomes the ultimate accessory that is your signature piece.
Very blonde and very short are two very distinct things and together it starts to add up. See above. Even if my hair were long the blondness would still be distinct.  This distinctness acts like an accessory that you are always wearing.

It looks like I am trying too hard.
This is the flip side of looking put together. Take it two steps further and you fall into a sterotype. My style is minimal with bold and edgy accents, but I want to steer clear of punk, and nothing says punk like a bleached asymmetrical hair style, think Agyness Deyn or Miley Cyrus.

I am no longer blonde. In the end I wanted to grow out my hair more than I wanted to be a blonde and maintaining that color resulted in a lot of damage.

** Notice that Miley Cyrus and Kate Lanphear’s hairstyles aren’t that different but their styles are and I personally much prefer Kate.