My Friday Christmas Brain

I hope your season is going well.  All is good here, just in crazy mode and having to remind myself of the reason for the season. :)

Here are some things I’ve been thinging about:

Carrie, from Cosy Carolina, asked me to participate in her dream virtual stocking series and it was so much fun!!!  Come on, you all know it’s kinda fun to dream big when there’s no budget involved!  Here are some of my more sane ideas:


Check out the whole post over at Cosy Carolina to see how BIG I dream!  What’s on your dream list?

And thank you Carrie…I love all the sweet friends I have met throughout the country from blogging!!

So are you all decorated for the holidays?  We had a crazy Thanksgiving weekend where in addition to spending time with family, we went to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade…

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We continued our family tradition of cutting down our tree (with a thermos of hot chocolate)…

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And of course we watched Elf!!!!

We also decorated the house and had friends over for a tree trimming party.

One of my favorite scenes is the dining room where I took an angel I’ve had for years but displayed her with blue and white goodness I collected from throughout the house.



I also ordered preserved boxwood wreaths from Ballard for the dining room and kitchen windows.

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I love them and hope they last a couple of years!  (I just looked them up for you guys, but I think they must be out of the 12″ones, so here is the link for the 24″ version.)

I hope to get more photos from around the house before December 16th because I would love to link up HERE:

I can’t wait to see tons of decorating ideas from all these talented ladies!

Okay off to get a little shopping done before all hell break loose at 3 pm…I mean before my angels breeze through the doorway. :)

In the meantime here are two things that I thought you might like… The first is an awesome list of every Christmas special/movie airing from now until Christmas and what channel and time to record!  Hallelujah!!

 Holiday TV Guide 2014 | 97.1 WASH-FMHoliday TV Guide 2014 | 97.1 WASH-FM

And the second, I’ll leave you with a good cry this morning, since that’s what my friend Pete gave me when he posted this on Facebook.

Keeps it all in perspective.  Peace out and thanks for stopping by! – kate


Nap-Worthy Recliners on Thanksgiving

I can’t believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  Time just keeps racing on and wow do I have so much to be thankful for!!

So I was thinking about gorgeous tablescapes, but thankfully I’m not hosting…all I have to do is show up with The Pioneer Woman’s Pecan Pie :) …..

thanksgiving-willow-interiorsMartha Stewart

…but then got sidetracked by thinking about how you feel after Thanksgiving dinner!

National Nap Day

After the turkey takes it’s effect and the football is on…it’s all about the Nap!!  Now I’m usually not a big endorser of the recliner, but they have come a long way.  Here are some of my favorites:

Nap-Worthy Recliners- willow-interiors

1. Ethan Allen Randall Leather Recliner; 2. Crate and Barrel McAllister Leather Recliner; 3. Ethan Allen Paloma Recliner; 4. West Elm Sedgwick Recliner; 5. Arhaus Easton Upholstered Recliner

What do you think?  Do you like recliners?  Which is your favorite?  Feel free to pin these for a Christmas gift idea for your favorite man.

In addition to recliners, I was looking for the this fun Thanksgiving Banner that I had made last year.

how to make a thanksgiving banner/willow-interiors

You can see how to make this easy gift for yourself or others HERE.

So have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you like the recliners.  Personally, I’d prefer to curl up into one of these:

velvet chaise/willow-interiors


Thanks for stopping by! – kate

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Back To Life, Back to Reality (Do the rest of you think in really cheesy 80’s lyrics, or is it just me???) :)

So I hit send on Michael’s Room reveal post and headed into my favorite city (NYC) for a couple of days because the kids were off of school.  We came back late Saturday to a filthy home, one great bedroom and a crazy amount of love on the world wide web!  Thank you so much for all of your feedback and support!!!  I am still going through all the love and I’m still going through all these amazing rooms.

So back to client work and I found myself researching my local Craigslist.  Of course that turns into hours of passing on things that I or my clients don’t need…so I thought I would show you a couple finds for inspiration or if you are local, please, snag it up!!



I thought this set was cute.  I love the chairs.  A set of new bold patterned cushions or spray-painting them a bold color would make a big statement.  Pair them with a different table, maybe a game table or tulip table…
You could get this whole set for one of these from Ballard:

Macau Armchair-ballard-willow-interiors
More inspiration:
emily-henderson-willow-interiorsEmily Henderson


Jonathan Adler X-Bench – $400 (Bronx, NY)

Jonathan Adler x bench. Navy blue velvet (Venice Navy). Brand new condition. Retails for $745


Now I would love a pair of these under a console or at the end of a bed, but one would still look great as an accent piece and additional seating in a living room or maybe at the end of a twin bed in a kid or guest room.


willow-interiorsStyle Within Reach

Black & White with a touch of mint-willow-interiorsJonathan Adler

willo-interiorsElizabeth Dinkel Design



Acrylic Lucite Clear Living Room Square Coffee Table – One Piece – $95 (Fort Lee, NJ)


I have the rectangle CB2 version of this table, but I’ve never seen a large square one with the same waterfall edge.  I love these table, especially in tight spaces because they visually do not crowd the room.


willow-interiorsKristen F. Davis

willow-interiorssource unknown

Jennifer Backstein Interiors - living rooms - willow-interiorsJennifer Backstein Interiors

Dining Room Table and 10 chairs – McGuire Designer – $10,000 (Cape May, NJ)

This Grand Octagonal Dining Table, designed by John McGuire, features bamboo poles lashed in place with McGuire’s signature rawhide laces. The design has a center support of bundled bamboo. Horizontal bamboo members radiate from the center and join eight inner supports and outer bamboo legs to create this beautiful, geometric form.
The glass 1 inch Octagonal top is beveled without a scratch. The table comfortably seats 8 and the set comes with 10 Rattan Chairs that can be easily customized.
Excellent deal as retail price would be roughly $23,000.00.


Okay, that’s a lot of money, but I was so intrigued by this (and their awful photos) that I did some digging.  This is a gorgeous set!  It would look spectacular in someone’s beach house (ummm, please invite me for a cocktail!!!), but would really look great with many different styles.  What’s weird is that I found that they have it listed for $7,000 on Ebay??!  I would start negotiations at $5,000 and also look at the condition in person.  Here are some photos and McGuire Furniture’s website.




Alright, now I’ve got to go find stuff that I and my client’s can use, but your welcome for getting that awesome song stuck in your head for the rest of the day. :)

- kate

ORC — Finale — Michael’s Teenage Room


We’ve made it!!!  We are finished…finito…I quit!!  :)

Okay a quick recap because I know you are all here for the finished photos.  This has been my third One Room Challenge, the brain child of the brilliant Linda from Calling It Home.  It is a 6-week kick in the rear…and exactly what I needed to get Michael’s room done.   To see the step by step chaos of each week, here you go:

Week 1: We were inspired
Week 2: We finally made a plan
Week 3: We paint, and paint, and paint
Week 4: We are overcome with a sinus-filled head cold, procrastination and indecision
Week 5: We finally start the industrial shelving and make some big decisions

So here we are Week 6.  I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking, but here’s a little reminder of Michael’s baby blue pirate room, invaded with Anna’s old desk and Michael’s musical gear.

The plan was a little bit rock and roll and a little bit country (to represent his love of fishing).

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The plan was a little bit rock and roll and a little bit country (to represent his love of fishing).

michael's-room-willow-interiorsThe paint took forever!  There was a ton of prep work and then I had an idea to paint the doors and window glossy black.  The paint comes across as 20 different colors in these photos, but it is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (HC-172) and I love this warm gray.


michael's-room-willow-interiorsI love how the doors turned out and Michael’s fishing map is in it’s prominent location under the dresser.

michael's-room-willow-interiorsOn the dresser are some of Michael’s books, a vintage brass cannon and a small oil painting.


michael's-room-willow-interiorsI added lighting throughout the room because it only has one north-facing window and a wall sconce when you enter.  This side of the dresser has picture (in a Target frame) of one of Michael’s many catches, a little brass man full of guitar picks and a Michael original sculpture.

michael's-room-willow-interiorsMy favorite part of the room has to be this whole wall!  I am beyond pumped that I was able to build this wall of industrial shelving with a small writing area!  I have to count up my receipts, but I’m pretty sure I spent around $200 for the whole thing!  I was inspired by this shelving created by Traci from Beneath My Heart and decided to take a crack at it.  I hope to do a more in-depth post down the road, but let’s take a quick look at some of my favorite views.


michael's-room-willow-interiorsI love that our Harry Potter collection is so well loved!  And yes at 12, Michael already has a collection of bow-ties.

Michael’s electric guitar got a fancy new wall hook.

michael's-room-willow-interiorsThe salt rock lamp and agate bookend are both from HomeGoods and the three monkeys sculpture (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil) I found on One Kings Lane ages ago and have been holding it for this room.

michael's-room-willow-interiorsThe lighting in the guitar corner are three IKEA cords, paired with Edison bulbs and these cages that I found on Amazon.  I found the funky exposed bulb lamp on the writing area at HomeGoods and I felt it worked perfect with the pipe shelving.

michael's-room-willow-interiorsThe writing area is the perfect small perch because Michael wanted to preserve as much floor space as possible (I guess he cares more about hanging out with friends then a proper place for homework).  :)

The paperweight, wooden pencils and leather journal are from HomeGoods and the tiny George Washington bust was my husband’s when he was young.  The crocodiles on the sill are a small part of Michael’s collection. (Or are they alligators?  Don’t ask me??)
The bamboo roman shade is from Overstock (one of my favorite sources for woven blinds…secret’s out).  I purposefully left in unlined because this room is so dark my teenager would never get up…

My favorite hardware store hooked me up with small brass screw hooks and I rigged these shadow boxes with Michael’s collection of Harry Potter wands.  Now he can easily take them in and out.




That leaves the art wall and Michael’s bed.


I mentioned my art sources last week and the set of black mirrors I bought years ago from One Kings Lane and thought they were perfect for a boy’s room (and they reflect more light which is crucial for this room).  The eagle convex mirror and Celtic cross are vintage finds.

michael's-room-willow-interiorsThe light over Michael’s bed is an IKEA pendant and the painting is a vintage find.

michael's-room-willow-interiorsThe rock black and white photos are from various books and are simply taped to the wall with black electrical tape.  Easy to change out at music tastes change. :)


The bedding is a mix of Eddie Bauer fish flannet sheets, black, gray and blue flannel sheets, Lands End Navy fleece blanket, Target Threshold Sweater blanket and Urban Outfitters whale pillow.



And finally is my nightstand that was a chest I added casters to.  My two bow-tie prints I mentioned last week didn’t make it on time, so I just printed out place holders.  The real ones will look so much better.

So that’s a wrap folks!  This has been exhausting and fun and I have officially given all three of my children a ORC bedroom makeover.  Maybe I’ll do our room next time!

kevin's-room-willow-interiors          DSC_0130  Kevin’s ORC Room

anna'sbed anna's bed3  Anna’s ORC Room


A huge shout out to my cousin, Michael Morgan for most of the above photos!!!  He is a Renaissance Man of sorts…not only is he a great photographer, he’s a student studying psychology and co-owns the Jam Shop (an amazing musical journey for kids of all ages).  Oh and in his spare time he stages and decorates with his girlfriend Lindsey!  Not sure if he sleeps…  When I started assembling the room I started panicking over capturing it well enough…so I called my man and he took the time to come over just in the nick of time!  Thanks Michael!! No wonder my Michael looks up to you so much!

Thanks so much for stopping by and now I’m off to see the other 90 rooms!!!!  You can see them over at the ORC Headquarters.  This finale lined up perfectly with the NJ Teacher’s Convention, so we are headed into the city for some fun…peace out!  – kate


ORC Week 5 — Michael’s Teen Room — Do or Die Time

Confession time, I may have sent Linda a request this week begging her to open up the option of buying extra weeks (I mean come on, she could make a ton of money!).  In my true procrastination form, I kept putting off the giant elephant in the room…the industrial bookshelf.  Well it was time to put up or shut up…so last week I hit publish on my post and headed out the door with my photo/drawing and crazy lady notes to Home Hardware.

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It’s the one hardware store that they don’t look at me like I have 12 heads.  Sure they may think I’m bonkers, but they are creative and they don’t talk down to you.  Not only did I leave there with an awesome and simple hardware solution for my Harry Potter wand display problem (Hank did mention that was a first.  You mean everyone doesn’t have a Harry Potter wand display problem??), I came home with a plan and most of the supplies I needed to make this:



So we have progress and they should have the rest of the pipes in tomorrow that I need to finish this puppy.  It’s going to be the storage that Michael needs for his books and “stuff” and it also has what I’m calling a “writing area”.  I’m not sure I would call it a desk because it is only 11 inches wide but Michael was insistent that he didn’t want a desk because it would take up too much space.  I can’t wait to finish this and start styling.

Michael finally got his hands dirty on this project and on Sunday we prepared all the wood by sanding and staining.



He doesn’t always wear bow ties. :)  (Actually he did wear one Saturday night when he helped serve at a fundraiser in his buddy’s home, but he wouldn’t let me take a photo as he ran out the door.)  Here he is wearing the pink onion goggles that I bought my husband a while back (the only color they had, but FYI they really do help).  Safety first!

So I also put casters on this chest to raise it up to be his nightstand:


And just today I picked up this baby at the framers:


I had it framed in a simple black frame that I think will look great in between my two favorite doors!

As soon as Michael saw it he was back to studying and reviewing it with Dad.

I just noticed that of course he is wearing a fishing shirt from a trip fishing in Lake Tahoe two summers ago.  So I found this poster probably 2 years ago.  It’s water damaged and from 1947 and to Michael it’s pretty cool.  Each surrounding fish has coordinates to the map of where you can find them in salt or fresh water around this country.  When I looked into it before I bought it, I saw that these people were selling it for $950!  Granted there’s is in better condition, but I think I paid $50…

So you may have noticed I’m trying something different for the random sconce solution by the bedroom door…

This first picture is what we started with and I’m trying to “man it up” without replacing and rewiring…old house…need I say more?  Next, I tossed the top and just put in an edison bulb.  I like the look, but as a light source it was awful…and this room is dark to begin with.  I’m getting more edison bulbs for another project in 60 watt (this is a 40) so I can see of that works, but walking through Home Depot, this marbleized gray, white and black glass caught my eye.  And now it’s back to giving adequate white light.  So what’s your vote…edison bulb or marbleized glass??


Here’s a picture with it currently lit.  BTW, it’s really hard to photograph lighting!  (Note to self, take a darn photography class!)  Oh, and I painted the old brass base glossy black (I’m on a roll…my whole house may end up glossy black).


So this week was about painting and building, but last week was about shopping…so that means this week is also about receiving:


A lot of my artwork has arrived (yippeee) and if you’ve noticed this is Michael’s Bedroom that I’m renovating and I have yet to address the bed!  I guess I was hoping you wouldn’t notice. :)  Well my original plan started with finding this gorgeous scarf and shawl at Marshall’s.  I was planning on making them into pillows and that started my color scheme.

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I still love this idea, but had to abandon it. :(  Once the walls were painted Revere Pewter and the doors black, Michael’s current navy bed and dresser are looking a little out of place.  I do not plan on replacing or painting them in the near future, so I decided I needed to find blue, gray and black bedding to tie the room together.  Here are two of the many options I’m playing with right now…  I love a mix of patterns with bedding so you may see a couple of options next week.


I thought this was a cute pillow and am hoping to incorporate…


And I picked up this pouf at Target.


In addition to my shopping last week, I have been “collecting” for Michael’s room for quite a while.  This is a small sample of some of the “stuff” I can’t wait to style his room with…


And in an effort to keep it real, here’s what I’m greeted with every day I go in to work on my tween son’s bedroom.  And he has a hamper!  Oh and my 3 Halloween decorations just made it to the porch yesterday and we did not carve pumpkins this year!  Gasp!


So I’ve got to go get the rest of my plumbing pipes, but plan to spend a decent part of my weekend checking out all the amazing progress going on HERE and HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by and Happy Halloween!! -kate



ORC Week 4 — Come See the Imaginary Industrial Shelving!

Hello all!  Have you checked out the serious amazingness of what is going down at the One Room Challenge headquarters??  Unbelievable talent and inspiration!

So here we are…week 4 of the 6 week challenge to make over Michael’s little boy pirate room into a teen room.  We are talking a little bit rock’n’roll and a little bit country (I interrupt this post to let you know that Michael wants to make it perfectly clear that the only thing we mean by country is his enjoyment of fishing…and maybe Zac Brown Band…but that’s it!)  If you are just joining in here’s a quick recap:

Week 1: We were inspired
Week 2: We finally made a plan
Week 3: We paint, and paint, and paintWeek 4: We are overcome with a sinus-filled head cold, procrastination and indecision

I was hoping to show you some amazing industrial shelving today or least some in progress.  Does tape count?


So this is what I’m hoping the shelving will look like and was trying out different options.  At first I thought I wanted staggered widths on the shelving, but realized that I like them evenly spaced.  The woven blind just arrived and I threw it in there to see  if me likey.  I think with the wood shelving it will look great.  I need to get casters for the trunk on the right to lift it up to bedside height.  And then there is the rug (my excuse why there is no shelving yet).  I wasn’t planning on pulling up the poop colored carpet but I really dislike it…then I saw this rug in Marshall’s and fell in love.  I have called and/or visited every HomeGoods, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s in the area hoping to find a second one, but it remains elusive.  This is 5×7 and I need to combine two to make it large enough.  But even if I was to stumble on another, Michael is not a fan!!!  What??!!  Who ever said that the picky 12-year old who dislikes change was allowed to have a say?  I know that when this room is done he is going to love it, but he is panicking over every little decision.  So if anyone bumps into this Tahari rug in any of the above stores, please let me know!!

We are going to make believe that the bedding situation has magically been addressed (there are multiple shipments coming in from many directions and fingers-crossed that will work itself out).  Let’s take a quick look at some of the art options for the room.

I was eying this large US map with fish and their geographic locations for months in a local consignment shop.  Nobody was that interested in this water-damaged, warped broken framed piece of goodness except me, so I scored a good deal.  My thought was this was going to be a DIY project and I bought braces for the back of the frame…but the wood is splintering and the poster board is so warped I soon realized it was out of my league.  I am happy to report that this has been placed in the hands of the professionals and will be looking all spiffed up in a black frame to match the doors it will live in between.

fish map

Then I’ve got some other goodies in the works for a gallery wall and other parts of the room.  Below are some of them and if you’ve been following on Instagram, you’ve seen my humorous find (but maybe it’s only funny if you are a mom of boys). :)

sea circle
urban outfitters

urban outfitters

pop chart lab
I’m also planning on hanging his black electric guitar on the wall.

pop chart lab

Gentleman Rules Print - 11x17
GoodSouth (etsy)

Show Some Class - Sartorial Humor Quote Art Print 11 x 14
wellsillustration (etsy)
Michael loves his bow ties.

Typography Print / Dumbledore Quote / It Is Our Choices ... More Than Our Abilities / Wall Art / Inspirational Art
EntropyTradingCo (etsy)
And he loves Harry Potter.

Typography / I love you bigger than outer space / Poster Print / Movie Quote / Minimalist Wall Art
EntropyTradingCo (etsy)
This etsy seller designed this print for me and I had three made for each of my children’s room because this is what I always say to them. <3

In addition to these new pieces, I have accumulated (collected, amassed, hoarded…whatever you want to call it) other pieces over time that I will incorporate onto the walls and shelves.  I’m also hoping to incorporate some rock album covers or posters and Michael’s Playbills of Broadway plays that he has been to.  I’m still in the process of figuring out how to display Michael’s collection of Harry Potter wands.  I have two shadow boxes and am trying different hooks and such to display but make it so he take take them out as well…


So that’s it folks.  Time for some NyQuil, sleep (I’m writing this last night) and then today I will measure for the shelving components for the fourth and final time.

Peace out. – kate




ORC Week 3 — Half-Way Mark? Are You Freakin Kidding Me?

Hello folks! Crazy week here and we interrupt the craziness to bring you a brief peek at what I was able to accomplish this week…paint (yes, that’s it, deal).

In my defense, this is a one woman army and I abhor prepping to paint.  Like seriously despise it.  I should have probably hired this out, but I’m trying to accomplish Michael’s room on a limited budget and I like spending money on the ‘pretties’.  But this room, like Anna’s, is wood-paneled.

(Side story warning: We were adding our master a couple of years ago and had to close up a window in Michael’s room and I came home one day to see that the contractor had taken off a couple of the wood panels and underneath was rooster kitchen wallpaper!!!  In a second floor bedroom!  What the what?  I kid you not!  I’m always amazed by old homes and wish the walls could talk.  Do you know any interesting stories about your home?)

So the wood paneling needed tons of spackling and that was a pain so I also hit the store up for some caulk and also caulked where the paneling meets the ceiling.  Then in addition to cutting in all the edges I needed to paint each groove of the paneling because it’s a pain when the roller doesn’t reach them well enough.

Here’s what I mean:

willow interiors

If you are following along on Instagram, you got a peak into my brain when I thought maybe I should paint the doors and window in the room black.

Well, It is now my favorite part of the room!!  High gloss black!  This wasn’t the easiest walk in the park as these doors have a gazillion layers of paint of them, but I love them and more importantly so does Michael!

willow interiors

willow interiors

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The closet door has the original hardware that just needed a good scrubbing.  The main doorknob has been replaced with a dud…hopefully I will fix that in time…  Look at the high gloss!  The doors are dry in these pictures.

willow interiors
I still need to paint the window trim in BM White Dove.

willow interiors

I really dislike the carpet and I tore up Anna’s for her One Room Challenge but I don’t think I can pull it off this time.  Boys spend a lot of time on the floor and the wood floor beneath is not in great shape.  So that will have to wait until he’s a little older…


willow interiors  willow interiors
Love me some glossy black doors…I might have to do this elsewhere in my house.

willow interiors willow interiors
So then there’s the random sconce at the entrance to Michael’s room…the only hardwired light in the room!  He has lived with this flowery, fluted beauty for years, but I can’t seem to find an old-school one that has the switch right on it.  I tried an edison-style light bulb and I think it looks cool, but it too soft a light.  I have ideas for different task lighting around the room, but is a 12-year old boy going to go around and turn them on when he needs them…and is he going to turn them off??  I might need to get him The Clapper.

So let’s recap…we are half-way through and I’ve painted. :)  I have ordered a couple of things and I have to finish measuring for my industrial desk/shelf tomorrow.  I will have more for you next week!

Here are links if you missed my inspiration (week 1) and my plan (week 2).

And don’t forget to check out all of these talented people who have done more than paint…HERE and HERE.

Thanks for stopping by! – kate