#CurrentlyCrushing: Black + White + Quirky All Over

I love color. I really do. But everyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with graphic black and white. Few things add that crisp energy to a room, and it always goes with everything. EVERY room in my house has some graphic black and white, and I'm amazed at how little color is in my wardrobe whenever I do laundry. 

Here is a little selection of things high-contrast that I'm obsessing over, with a whole lot of quirk thrown in because...well, because life is too short to be boring.

  1. T-Rex Head Wall Mount by Near & Deer - So there's gold where white would normally be, but I DON'T CARE. This is AWESOME.
  2. "Warning! Boston Terriers Are Addictive!" Fabric by Missy Q - I can't decide what to make with this, but it will be in my house. Maybe a new dog bed for Gilley & Gus?
  3. Black + White Plaid Woven Street Shoes by Everlane - These look so comfy and cool and they need to be on my feet.
  4. Sonny & Cher Sunnies by Pared Eyewear - And these need to be on my face. NOW.
  5. Sloth Clutch Foldover by Fossil x Opening Ceremony - And this is the hat-trick for the shoes and sunnies, and is the cutest bag I have ever seen. EVER.
  6. Grip Tray by Finell - Perfect for klutzes, the rubber bands on this tray hold drinks in place. GENIUS.
  7. Rip Black Wallpaper by Stone Textile - I cannot wait to use this in a project, and I love that it was designed by a friend! 

That's it! That's my round-up of things I am obsessing over right now. Next week, COLOR!

XO Emily

Projects in Process, Now on the Site!

I've added a new section on this here lil' website for current and e-design projects, because it makes me happy to look at all together....and so you all can keep up with what I'm up to. It also makes it easy to blog about them. First up is what I'm calling "Modern Ranch Reno (with plenty of pop!)"

I LOVE this project! It's a remodel that won't start construction until next year, but that is giving us plenty of time for planning. First step: INSPIRATION!

When the clients told me they love bold colors and geometric patterns, I wanted to cry. It was music to my ears! And no kids! Don't get me wrong, designing kids' rooms is fun (I have an enormous Pinterest board filled with ideas for kids' rooms just waiting to be used for inspiration), but it can sometimes hamper design for fear of accident and/or injury. This project is just the cool couple, their dogs, and their wine collection - no one gets that lifestyle more than me.

She loves to sew and loves textiles (YAY!!!) and he loves all things techy, so there is going to be some super fun opportunity here. Below are the initial mood boards I put together. We will be adding more yellow/orange tones, but you get the idea:

The house is classic ranch style, and we are going to open it up by removing the walls that divide the dining room and the kitchen from the living room, as well as moving the ceiling beam to the center of the house. I've got grand plans in the living room for a large bookshelf with sconces (inspired by the one created by my friend and fellow designer, Sarah Stacy), as well as a new handmade tile fireplace and walnut built-in for the TV.

The kitchen will be greatly expanded and the current bay window will be replaced with large black-framed metal doors and windows along the back wall, along with a bar surface and concrete planter. I'm also planning a live-edge wood breakfast bar on the living room side. Between the kitchen and dining room will be a cool bar/lounge for moody relaxation, and the dining room will be much larger and brighter with fun pendant lights. 

That's all for now. The whole house will be redesigned, and I'm working on the master bedroom, bathroom and closet now. After that will be the mudroom, complete with dog wash, and the powder bath.

Did I mention how much I love my job?

P.S. Do you have a design project coming up and want to have some fun in the process. Let's talk.



ORC Reveals: A Shout-Out to All the Designer Badasses (and Why I'll Rock it Out Next Time)

I have to say, I'm glad I didn't succumb to my tenacious and stubborn side last week when I decided that the One Room Challenge wasn't going to happen for me this time. I HATE not being able to accomplish a goal like this, but with the injury, the skin cancer diagnosis, and my upcoming surgery I knew that I couldn't handle the stress. I needed to pause, breathe and reboot...and I feel so much better.

That being said, I have sure huge respect to all of those that were able to complete their mission and make those rooms amazing in the six week time - it's so much harder than it looks. But I'll be ready for the challenge in the fall, and this is what I've learned:

  1. DON'T DECIDE THE DAY BEFORE THE CHALLENGE STARTS TO PARTICIPATE. Know the start date (I'm looking at you, October 8th), and make a plan way in advance.
  2. CREATE A SCHEDULE AND DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO STICK TO IT. But sometimes life happens, and all you can do is your best.

I'm going to try to complete the High Contrast Design House Headquarters this summer, but I've got a master and guest bedroom that I know I can tackle in October. Until then, I'm obsessing over the finished rooms of so many of the Featured Designers, as well as the Guest Participants. Seriously, click on those links and get lost in all the beauty. Here are a few of my favorites:

Featured Designers:

Nicole Cohen of Sketch 42 and her little sis's fashion-forward bedroom makeover, that is girly but still so cool and edgy...and has AMAZING artwork:

Orlando Soria of Hommemaker, as well as a fellow designer and the West Coast Creative Director at Homepolish, created the coolest treehouse EVER. The yellow just puts a grin on my face and I want one in my backyard NOW!

Gwen Hefner, The Makerista, and her incredible transformation from a sad room with no windows to the coolest media room that is masculine, moody and modern. I want to binge-watch anything on Netflix there all day long.

And now for the real heroes, the ones who dove in all by themselves and rocked it out:

Guest Participants:

Christine Dovey, of Bijou & Boheme, and her insanely luxe Master Bedroom that gives me all the feelings. It's more traditional than I normally slant, but her signature addition of modern pieces and AMAZING art have me swooning.

A Storied Style's Grace Mitchell created the most amazing room for her little boys. The colors, patterns and textures are so magical, and the Lone Ranger and Tonto artwork are unlike anything I've seen. It's just all SO, SO GOOD!

Fresh Crush's Jen created a kid's room too - this one for her girls. The plaid/floral combination of the curtains is genius, and the color combination is so great. And again with the great artwork! She, like many of the designers, used the amazing Minted to dress up her walls with beautiful framed prints.

Well, that's all for this time. I'm a little bummed I didn't get to power through, but I am that much more inspired and determined to rock it out in the fall.

ORC: Taking a Pause for the Cause (Plus a PSA for Skin Cancer Awareness Month)


When I jumped into the One Room Challenge, I was worried that I was getting in over my head. I'd been dying to create the High Contrast Design House Headquarters I had been dreaming of, and then I realized the day before it started that the challenge was kicking off. Naturally, I thought, "It's fate!" But with the current work load, and the fact that I had very recently taken a bad tumble, I worried that I was biting off more than I could chew. But I was steadfast in my devotion to not quit. 

The injury kept frustrating me because I couldn't do much, and it just became such a stress. I was contemplating putting a hold on the whole thing, and then had a burst of "I can still do this!" energy last week. Then I found out yesterday that a mole I had removed on my scalp came back as a basal cell carcinoma. Yep, skin cancer. (cue me raising the white flag)

As much as I was freaked out for a bit, I knew that everything would be ok. It will be. It is not a melanoma, and I'll have more of the area around the spot surgically removed ASAP. Hopefully they won't have to remove too much hair because it is about an inch into my hairline, and I really don't want to look like a reverse unicorn. Since I am a person prone to self-torture, I immediately started Googling to find out more. Seriously, if you want to be absolutely horrified just Google image search whatever tiny thing you might have wrong with you and just wait for the inevitable panic attack.

What I did realize is that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Look at me - I just have to be so topical and "of the moment". Ugh, I'm the worst. Anyway, the reason for this long, rambling diatribe is to beg anyone who reads this to GO GET A SKIN CANCER SCREENING - especially if you are pasty white with light colored eyes, like me. It's so easy to catch these things early, and so dangerous to put it off. 

I'm obviously not quitting on my office makeover, but I am realizing I need to simplify things right now, take a pause for the cause and relax. Sometimes you have to listen to what life is handing you, even if you are stubborn like me, and take things back to the basics.

Now, go get your moles checked. Wear sunscreen and a hat. And remember that we can always take a moment to breathe and reboot.

P.S. Take a look here at all the amazing guest participants, and here for the featured designers. There's some cool stuff happening out there. I definitely plan on being back in the action in the fall.