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! 🙂

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

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

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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


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

Anna’s Teenage No Pattern Aqua Room — Finally!

Yippee!!!  It’s done…kinda.  Thanks for your patience.  The artwork is coming but it was on my computer that needed an emergency new hard-drive.  When my computer started acting up last week, I called my computer guy.  Steve Holder (Fix My PC2), who we found over 7 years ago in the church bulletin, is not only quite versed in technology but he’s a really nice guy.  He told me that I needed to shut my computer down immediately because the hard-drive was failing!  Then he had it fixed with a new hard-drive in a couple of days.  So if your are local and need computer help give Steve a call!

So art is coming, as well as an improved closet, a built-in bookcase and huge bulletin board.

Here’s reminder of what we started with:

willow interiors

And here’s where we are at:

annas room final/willow interiors

annas room final2/willow interiors

I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking and I’ll point some of my favorite parts.

anna rm/willow interiors

When you make a right after entering her room here’s what we see.  Anna has quite a collection of nail polish so I decided to display them and get some color in the room (because there’s not enough color with those walls?).  I intended to replace the ugly original sconce, but then was leery about pulling such an old relic off the wall.  In the end I decided to gold leaf it and steal some crystals from the chandelier.  I’ve never gold leafed anything before.  It was fun and now I want to gold leaf everything.  I love the way Grandma Monroe’s jewelry chest came out painted in glossy white.

Then you move around to two windows with Anna’s new vanity in between.  Well, new to her.  I found this beauty on Facebook for $200 and painted it glossy white.  I decided to add a surprise pop of pink and pretty lined drawers inside.  Anna loves keeping her stuff organized and we mixed and matched pretty containers, old and new to keep all her pretties in line.

annas vanity/willow interiors

anna vanity/willow interiors

anna's vanity/willow interiors

The little bust holding some of Anna’s bracelets is one of my favorite vintage finds.  The lamp got a make over with some gold leafing and I sprayed the inside of the shade gold and painted the outside pink and glued on some navy pompoms.  The mirrored vanity tray holding Anna’s Taylor Swift perfume collection was my mom’s!

This corner is where I am having a handyman stop by next week and build in an Ikea bookcase so that Anna will have more room for her books and snowglobes.

anna's bookshelf/willow interiors

Then we get to my other favorite part…the bed!  If you recall, there was a window jammed in this corner and it always bothered me because this is where Anna wanted her bed.  So I came up with a plan to make a canopy to hide the window (relax, she’s got two others).

anna's bed/willow interiors

I take a sewing class, so my instructor helped me hatch a plan and here is the end result.  I bought white panels from Country Curtains and a white bed-skirt from Kohl’s and attached navy grosgrain ribbon.  The chandelier was her old white one that we sprayed gold and one of Anna’s favorite items is the furry rug from Home Decorators.  We also pulled up her old carpet.  I found the pink wire table and elephant at HomeGoods.  The elephant was originally green and I sprayed him pink.  It wasn’t right so I sprayed him white and then played around with some blue and white paint.  I love how he turned out!

I wanted to try and make an upholstered headboard.  In the end I made a quickie one that I attached to her original headboard and actually got the monogram done at the embroidery t-shirt kiosk in the mall!  We tried many different bed covers and no-pattern-girl shot them all down.  I was walking through an estate sale and saw this vintage white coverlet with raised chenille polka dots on it.  It was spotless and they sold it to me for $5!!!  I bleached it and Anna loved it.  While it is plain the texture adds something to give it interest.  I had to find one pillow with all of our three colors to tie everything together and found this at Verdi Blu, a colorful store in Glen Rock, NJ.  The pillow in the foreground was actually a pillow I made years ago when Anna first said she wanted a turquoise room.  I made it out of a robe I bought her while visiting Chinatown in San Francisco.  Once Anna decided on a turquoise this was a little too blue.  I don’t care… it’s staying in the room..deal with it. 🙂

anna'sbed/willow interiors

anna's elephant/willow interiors

So in the end, Anna and I are still speaking and we both love the room.  We’ve reused and reinvented and worked within a tight budget, but I don’t think it looks it.  I will be giving more details and updates as we add artwork and stuff.  I am completely dying to check out everyone else’s rooms in the One Room Challenge!  It has been so fun meeting other design addicts and can’t wait for the next one in the fall.  What room will I do next?  I think I’m going to get to Micheal’s room this summer.  He’s the middle child and now that I’ve done Anna’s and Kevin’s room he’s definitely going to need therapy as an adult. 🙂


Thanks so much for stopping by! – kate

Anna’s Teen Room — Final ORC Sneak Peak

Okay, I know today is the day, but I’m typing this on my iPad and need to take proper photos in the morning and download them on to my new hard-drive (that needed to be installed today on my less than two year old Dell).

So here’s a sneak peak…I promise more is coming and I am dying to check out everyone else’s rooms over on Calling It Home.

Peace out!
– kate

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Week 5 ORC — One Week More

Hello!  Here we are…one week left of the One Room Challenge and man do I have a lot to accomplish this week!  At this point, whatever gets done gets done and I might extend the timeframe.  I vote for an 8-week challenge!! 🙂

I did get quite a bit done this week and have got a corner of the room to show you:

anna's vanity/willow interiors

The vanity is done and in the room.  Check out the surprise drawers on the inside!

anna chair/willow interiors

I think the bench came out cute too!  And Anna’s loves her furry rug from Home Decorator’s.

This is what the vanity and bench used to look like:

willow interiors

Check out that bench!  And the brass handles shined right up with some Brasso!

The window treatments are coming along:

anna window/willow interiors

I ordered two of these roman shades and ironed on navy grosgrain ribbon.  I even did mitered corners!  I still have to finish the other one and the matching canopy.

A couple of other things going in the room:

willow interiors      DSC_0035

Grandma’s newly painted jewelry chest and some old white hooks got sprayed.

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I found this guy in HomeGoods and Anna loves elephants!  But he’s currently outside drying…or I should say she… 🙂


What else is going on over on the play-set you ask?  Even though it’s really windy, it finally stopped raining, so I headed out to spray Anna’s original chandelier.  The neighbor’s think I’m crazy…and they are not far off.

willow interiors

So we’ll see what I can accomplish in time for the reveal.  Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by and go check out all of these amazingly talented people HERE and HERE. – kate



Week ? ORC–Do or Die Time

I think it’s Week 4 of the One Room Challenge??  I know it Friday…not Thursday when I was supposed to update y’all.  Thank God Linda keeps the link open for us procrastinators.

If you want to start from Week One (and watch the process of a woman losing her mind), click on these:

Houston, we have a problem! — One Room Challenge Kick-Off

One Room Challenge Week 2 — The Room is Still Turquoise

ORC Week 3–At a Standstill and Freaking Out

Speaking of Linda over at Calling It Home, who graciously hosts the bi-annual 6-week ORC, I wonder if she offers complimentary marriage counseling after it’s all over??  Because I’m certainly going to need some!  Now my husband is a wonderful man and a phenomenal dad, but he’ll be the first to tell you that patience is not his strong suit.  🙂

Anna’s room is in shambles and so is the hallway outside of her room.  90% of her belongings are still on the floor in our room.  And then you head downstairs….the living room is holding a large rug delivery that needs to head up to her room, the dining room table is covered in ribbon, trim, curtains, rods and bedding, and the family room is covered in large pieces of furniture in different stages of painting (I didn’t want to risk her beautiful glossy white vanity getting pollen, bugs or woodland creatures stuck to it.)  The only spotless rooms are the kitchen (like I have time to cook!) and the bathroom (like I have time to shower!).  But we do have progress and hopefully I have more pretty pictures to show you next week.

For now all I’ve got is an idea (meaning it has not been executed…so don’t hold me to it) for artwork in the room.  I had lots of options and ideas and started showing them to my client.  All of my options went down something like this: “Nope, no, definitely NO, hate it, eewwww, you call that art, that’s stupid, no and not gonna happen”.  Then my darling 13-year old tells me she hates art!!!????  WT_ (I’m not going there…she might read this).  But seriously, who hates all kinds of art???

She did say recently that she likes Grey Malin’s beach photography (I’m obsessed with his work!!  Seriously LOVE!)  Well, I can’t swing that for her room right now, but that did get me thinking about photography…  We love to travel and Anna especially loves theme parks and our beloved Jersey shore and boardwalk.  So I’ve come up with the below plan and I don’t think I’m even going to run it by her (this is no longer a democracy…we have two freakin weeks left!!!!).

anna's wall/willow interiors

Left to right, top to btm: Seaside Heights, NJ, Lake Tahoe, NV,  NYC, Virgin Islands, NYC, Anna’s hands (BTW, Taylor Swift does this), Seaside again, Yosemite National Park, CA, Seaside Park, NJ, Sligo, Ireland and Killington, VT.

Now I better go finish painting so we can get our house back.  I can’t wait to sit down with a glass of wine tonight and check out everyone else’s progress!!!

Happy Friday and thanks for checking in! – kate

ORC Week 3–At a Standstill and Freaking Out

Hello all!  Okay, I’m kind of in panic mode here so if you don’t want to hear a crazy lady rant, I totally understand if you scroll through quickly and check back in next week.

.:LAND:. Screaming Crazy Lady Bumper

If you’re up for crazy lady rant, here you go:

I got stuff done this week, but I’m not nearly where I want to be at the half way mark!  Once I get some packages that are in route, I see a lot of late nights in my future!

On a side note, we had an amazing family day yesterday!  We went into the city and saw Les Miserables that’s just back on Broadway!!!  I have loved this show for many years…as a child I named our dog Cosette (a weird side note on a side note…got to college freshman year and met my new roommate…turns out she too loved Les Mis and …ready for this…named her dog Cosette as well!!!!!  Weird!  Match made in heaven!), took my husband to it when we were dating and have somehow gotten my children to love the music and know every word of it.  This week was supposed to be spring break, but now we only have today and tomorrow off (due to that awesome winter we had this year…do you remember?…I just woke up yesterday, April 16th, with snow on the ground in NJ…I remember!!!!), so we cut school yesterday (makes things even more fun!) and went to the matinee.  It was so awesome to see the kids enjoy every second of it.  The two older ones, our thespians, loved the whole thing!  Kevin, age 7, loved it, but I think some of the story lines went over his head, thankfully.  It made our decision to bring him perfect when he leaned over two notes into a song and said, “Mom, this is One Day More!”  Another side note, I have been known to blast this song from my car with all the windows open as I drive up the red zone drop off of school on the last day before summer.  Depending on the year, the kids will join in the fun or cower on the floor of embarrassment….good times!  As I type this, they are playing videos games singing, “Do You Hear the People Sing?”.  🙂



Les Miserables — Instagram

Can you tell when I’m freaking out about a lot of work I have to do, my mind is all over the place and I procrastinate! (Hey, I warned you!)

Here are two pieces I was hoping to show you in the room, but they are only partially sanded and I’m hoping to tackle more of them today.  I am painting them both white.

jewelry case

My mother-in-law gave this to me years ago and I think it’s going to look so pretty in Anna’s room.  (I don’t know where I’m going to put my jewelry now!)  I love the pink inside and that fact that it’s from Anna’s grandmother!

anna's vanity

I love this vanity!  Anna has been asking for a vanity forever, but I did not want to spend a arm and a leg (she’s wanted THIS one) and we also wanted one with plenty of storage.  The fun part about blogging is I’ve met some awesome and talented people.  One such person is Kris (Driven By Decor).  She is also doing her daughter’s room…so we are in the same boat in some respects.  Anyway, she posted about Facebook Tag Sales…I had heard of these but wasn’t sure how to access them.  Once I read her post, I joined a couple of sites and this gorgeous vanity is my first purchase.  It was just one town over and I got it for $200!  I can’t wait to see it in the room!

Okay, I could bore you with pictures of trim, ribbon and white curtains that I have ordered from all over the globe (seriously I’ve been tracking my pom pom trim as it left in a container from Thailand…I’m happy to report it’s in Kearny, NJ!!), but we’ll see what gets here in time to concoct a canopy and window treatments…wish me luck!

Happy Passover and Easter everyone and don’t forget to stop by Calling It Home HERE and HERE to read about people actually getting stuff done! 🙂


Thanks for stopping by! – kate