A Powder Room for the Birds

I made some changes to our half bathroom on the main level yesterday and then last night I had a dream and glanced into my future and saw this:

Bird Lady of Central Park

But I guess that’s better then ending up a cat lady:

You pet your lifeAnimal Hoarders

I’ve been hoarding birds, but thankfully only paper versions.  Now that I’ve collected enough of them I decided to add them to our main level powder room.

 powder room 1/willow interiors

This is a tight room to shoot, but it is a powder room off of our mudroom with a pocket door.

powder room2/willow interiors

Above the mirror, is my butterfly taxidermy (that freaks the kids out).  I found it while on a trip with my husband to Denver and the two birds over the mirror are from one of my local stores, Town Home and Garden, that I mentioned HERE.

powder room3/willow interiors

Over the toilet I was excited to hang my framed vintage birds.  I saw these in a consignment shop and left empty-handed.  I laid in bed that night picturing people going into the store and picking them off slowly by pairs or, horrifically, by ones!!  What a sad and lonely life for this family of birds!  So I had to go back and get them all! :)

powder room4/willow interiors

powder room5/willow interiors

The two long frames on either side of the sink are also consignment finds.

powder room7/willow interiors

powder room6/willow interiors

And I made the relaxed roman shade a couple of years ago with this fabric.

powder room8/willow interiors

The details in these prints are so pretty and the brass hanging rings shined up beautifully!

So, there’s my bird room.  Please be nice to me when I retire and spend my days on the park bench feeding and talking to my friends.

On a side note, we were recently telling the kids about this movie…imagine if we watched it!!  They would never use this bathroom again…hey, but then it wouldn’t get as dirty…hmmm. :)

The Birds (1963) Poster
Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds

Later, – kate

Estate Sale at Something’s Gotta Give House in the Hamptons!!!!

I love that I’m not the only design nut out there.  Shortly after posting yesterday about my obsession with a rug from Something’s Gotta Give (okay, I’m obsessed with the whole damn house), my friend Linda posted on Facebook that there’s an estate sale at that house TODAY!!!!!!!  I am dying!!!  I immediately MapQuested it (that’s a word, right?) and it told me that the house is 2 hours away in the Hamptons on Long Island.  Now if you are from the tri-state area you know that two hours to get from New Jersey, through the city and over to Long Island on MapQuest translates to a possible 3-5 hours….maybe even a week and that’s just to get there!!!!  So I’m going to sit here in New Jersey and stew over this while I check out some pictures of the sale.

Something's Gotta Give house/willow interiors

Before we look at the sale pictures, I should mention to you that just the front exterior of this house was used in the movie.  Imagine pulling up to that every day!  The interior and pool scenes were all created in studio, which is fascinating too.  Here are some of my favorites:

Somethings-Gotta-Give-house/willow interiors

Now do you see what I mean!!!?

I thought this was pretty neat…it’s amazing the beauty and ‘fakeness’ they can create in a studio:

Somethings-Gotta-Give-pool/willow interiors

(All of these photos are from Hooked on Houses…highly addictive if you are obsessed with movie houses and celebrity homes…Love it!!)

So back to real life….hahaha, I crack myself up!  The real 8,000 sq.-foot house is right on the beach in Southhampton and, I’m sorry to say, is not for sale…shucks!  It never even made it to the market!  Hotel tycoon, Jimmy Tisch, CEO of Loews Corporation, just bought this 11-bedroom summer cottage for $41-million!!!  According to The Daily News, it’s previous owner, Alan Meckler, CEO of Mediabistro.com, made a killing on the sale, having bought the two acre lot for just $5.5 million in 1999!

Okay back to the sale.  I was trying to see the house and they didn’t help me out too much.  But you can tell that there are amazing built ins and mill-work through out…  I also love their American art collection and pottery:

Somethings-Gotta-Give-estate sale/willow interiors

Somethings-Gotta-Give-Art Sale/willow interiors

So a giant thank you to Linda for being a design fanatic like myself.  Now I just need someone to pop in at the estate sale and get me some better pictures on the interiors.

I know what movie I’m watching this weekend.  Happy Friday! – kate

Combining Two Smaller Rugs–A Match Made in Heaven

combining two rugs/willow interiors

As my kids would say…”Epic Fail” in posting this week!

So let me show you a quick project I did a couple of months ago.  I’ve been holding off because there is so much more I want to do to our family room, but life isn’t perfect and neither is my family room.

We had this old rug from our condo days, it’s perfectly fine and it fit in the family room.  So that’s where it went…but it’s always bugged me.  I envision making our family room “funner” (sure that’s a word) than the rest of the more traditional 95-year old house we live in and this guy wasn’t cutting it…

willow interiorsSidenote: I know my fiddle leaf tree is dead.  My children tell me I have a black thumb (and that’s pretty accurate). :)  Meet Ralph… (his container now reads R.I.P. Ralph). :(
RIP Ralph/willow interiors

So I had been on the hunt for a large “fun” rug.  I love Madeline Weinrib’s cotton, colorul rugs, but did not want to spend the money on something my kids literally eat ice cream on every Friday for Family Movie Night.  And then there’s the Something’s Gotta Give rug that I spied:

Something's Gotta Give in Architectural Dig/willow interiors

Y’all watch movies and freak out over the interiors, right?  That’s not weird or anything?  If not, rent this movie today or click here to see this entire beauty!  I could move in tomorrow and die happy. :)

So then started my obsession with dhurries (The Wikipedia gods will tell you that a dhurrie is a thick flat-woven rug or carpet used traditionally in India as floor-coverings.)

The brilliant people at Aspen Carpet Designs now sell their Beach House Striped Rug they say is inspired by the rug in that movie!!

9x12 Premium Dark/willow interiors

I was all set to order one and then walking through Home Goods. I saw these navy chevron rugs and fell in love!  But they weren’t large enough and then it hit me could I connect two…they were $50 each!!!  Worst case scenario, it was a $100 mistake…Sold!  I made sure the lines matched up right there in the store and headed home to figure it out.  I knew I wanted to tie blue and orange together because of the kids’ artwork that I had framed for the room.  I had also found a great large rustic orange tray for my ottoman so I was thinking orange.  Off to Michael’s for some orange yarn…

famroomrug/willow interiors

Here are the quick easy steps:

combining two rugs/willow interiors

Needed: yarn, large sewing needle, duct tape, ruler, sharpie and scissor

  • Flip the rugs over (making sure they are exactly how you want it to look) and duct tape them together.
  • Using a ruler, draw two straight lines an inch apart (so a half inch off the center).
  • Make hash-tags every inch down both lines.
  • Thread the yarn onto the large needle (I doubled threaded the yarn so it would be thicker).
  • Start one end, making a knot of the bottom side of the rug and then head up using whatever design you choose (i made x’s on the top side).  Knot securely at the end.
  • Voila!

So in the end my two 5×7 cotton dhurries got me a $100 10×7 rug that I can replace once it gets too much ice cream on it.

I forgot one tip…it can take awhile to sew so I recommend pairing the job with a nice Cabernet while enjoying above mentioned Friday Family Movie Night.

combining rugs/willow interiors

Thanks for stopping by! – kate

i will be forever changed

i will be forever changed by that day

i will be forever changed by the loved ones lost that day

i will be forever changed by the images i saw on television and in person that day

i will be forever changed that my husband made it home that night and others didn’t

i will be forever changed by the tremendous acts of heroism

unfortunately, i will be forever changed by hatred i don’t understand

but i will make damn sure that it changes me for the better

and i will never forget

willow interiorsPhoto by Thomas E. Franklin/The Record, NJ



Traditional Decor and Contemporary Art — Perfect Together

Art is such a personal choice and it can also be a huge investment.  When thinking about what I gravitate towards, gallery walls filled with different art is definitely up there for me.  I’m currently finishing up a wall in our living room and I can’t wait to show you.  But recently I can’t get the idea of traditional decor paired with contemporary art, specifically one large piece.  Here’s what I mean:

trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorsKen Fulk

trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorsHamilton Design Associates

trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorsStephen Knollenberg

trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorssource unknown

trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorsDesigned by Tricia Roberts Design and seen HERE

trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorsSteven Sclaroff

 trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorssource unknown

trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorsMiles Redd

trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorsMiles Redd

trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorsArchitectural Digest/Alexa Hampton

trad decor + contemp art/willow interiorssource

Great, now I want to ditch the whole gallery wall and spend my kids’ college tuition on huge contemporary art!  So what do you think? Are you a fan of this look?

I also wanted to shout out a huge thank you to all my Facebook “likes” when I started my page the other day!!  Thank you!  And if you want to follow along, click HERE.  And if you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that my family had a huge weekend…I’ve got another sister!!!  Welcome to the family Jessica and congratulations to Tommy and Jess!!!

wedding/willow interiors

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (cue the music)!

Okay, I swore I was going to be just like this guy this year:

Apparently I was all talk.  See for the first time ever I was so excited for today…everyone’s been at each other (alot!) and momma needs a schedule!

Then this morning arrived…

Michael, 7th grade, Kevin, 2nd grade and Anna, 8th grade

Mike wouldn’t wear his new shirt, but combed his hair without being asked (you don’t understand…this is huge!).


Anna got her braces off yesterday, she looks like a young woman and it hit me like a brick wall that she’s going to be in high school next year.


And then I walked Kevie to his class and he was so nervous.  He found his seat, sat and wouldn’t look around to see all his friends.  After a couple of minutes, I leaned down to tell him that I was heading out and intently keeping his eyes on his word puzzle he shook his head no.  I quickly put on my sunglasses, stayed another minute, kissed the top of his head and headed out cursing the fact that my car was a mile away and I needed to keep it together at least until then…

IMG_3215He did look up for one split second.

It’s all good, but as usual, it’s all going too fast.

So using (or stealing…however you choose to look at it) the sentiment of my friend Elizabeth….Happy New Year!!!  Here’s to a fabulous year!

PS  And if you’re like me and haven’t cried enough today, Taylor Swift has penned a note to those kids that are not looking forward to today, saying to a fan that has been bullied, “Just don’t let them change you or stop you from singing or dancing around to your favorite song.”  You can read the whole note HERE, now I’ve got to go to the grocery store and the gym, and clean the house before pick-up…oh crap, it’s a half-day.  I better leave now to get a parking spot. :) – kate