Friday, August 29, 2014


"Style is caring about how you live and how it looks, and putting thought and effort into doing it all with élan. It's that isn't expensive, but it does take thought and time."

artfully arranged clawfoot tub

I received a free copy of Better Homes and Gardens magazine in the mail this week and I was flipping through it in bed last night when I came across that quote. I like that description of what style is and what it means. Style is caring--so very true. When we view our living spaces as creative and artistic canvases and put love into making them beautiful, that's when style is born.

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! Make it a stylish one. ;)

(Image Source)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

House Tour: My Piano Studio

I've shared quite a few glimpses into our home on this blog but I'd love to do a little tour, room by room, starting with my piano studio. I hope you enjoy!

baby grand/upright in home piano studio

piano studio

Monday, August 25, 2014

What I've Learned

Over a year ago I wrote a "What I've Learned" post and it was fun to think about all the little (and big) things life had been teaching me. Here's round two! Tell me in the comments--what have you been learning, friends?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Living Room Gallery

At long last, I wanted to share some photos of the gallery wall in our living room. It took a lot of plotting and arranging and re-arranging to get it just right but we really wanted to make sure we loved the design before committing to it. And love it we do! I'm also happy to say that everything on this wall was something we already had, including all of the frames.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We're On The Map

I guess I'm still not quite used to living in a place that's "on the map," so to speak. I still think of Charlottesville as a hidden gem, a near-perfect combination of small town and bustling city, a place most people wouldn't necessarily think to live in but almost anybody would want to live in, if they only knew how awesome it is. Does that make sense?

So when I saw this Design Sponge post on things to do in Charlottesville I was surprised/excited in the way you'd be surprised/excited to see your name show up in the local paper. Other people--hip Brooklynites no less--know about/care about/have interest in Charlottesville?! I know that this viewpoint doesn't make sense because it's a college town, it's quite a good-sized little city, it's only 2.5 hours from D.C., it's become a huge destination wedding locale, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a big draw, and Dave Matthews is from here. People know about Charlottesville, Kate!

I suppose you could say I'm the opposite of jaded when it comes to our new town. I'm pretty proud of it, and it makes me proud that Design Sponge thinks CVille is worthy of its pages.

Anyway, I'm slowly coming up with my own list of "must do" things in the area and my brother's visit last week was a great chance to explore. One of the highlights was a trip to Castle Hill Cider. The drive alone, through fields and cow pastures and mountains and old estates, was worth it, and it was fascinating to learn about the cider-making process and we enjoyed our walk around the beautiful grounds. (These shots were captured by my brother, obviously!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Old Project, New Home

In the few years (!) that I've been blogging I've published my fair share of DIY posts. These posts have been some of my favorites to write up. One of my girlfriends recently asked how I find the energy for the projects I do (she was looking at this as she said it) and I surprised myself by answering that on the contrary, creating things gives me energy. I wasn't expecting that response to come out of my mouth but it's actually spot on. Making things lends me creative energy.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to show you where some of my past projects ended up in our new home. Shall we take a little tour? 

My hanging bird mirror has found a lovely little home on this tiny rectangle of wall in our hallway. There was no question this is where it belonged and we didn't try it anywhere else!

Monday, August 18, 2014

To Try: Orange Lipstick

It's only August and the days are still hot, but in the early morning hours I've been getting a small taste of fall. I live for these cool, crisp mornings and they make me eager for cool, crisp days, the kind where you need a sweater from dawn to dusk and you're the perfect temperature all day long.

With every season change I usually like to do/try/wear something new. This fall, I would love to try orange lipstick. Which I realize sounds like the most garish thing ever when I write it out, but just look at how striking and lovely this burnt orange lip color is!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Studio Website

Hi friends! I've been missing this blog over the last few days but I've had a great excuse for not writing: my little brother was visiting! He left this morning on the train to D.C., and while his visit felt too short it was oh so sweet. We had tons of fun and it was a blast having him here and showing him around our new town.

Friday, August 8, 2014

DIY Marble-Top Copper Plant Stand

I can hardly contain my excitement for this DIY! I spent a few days gathering materials and talking over the design with my husband, but the actual project I tackled in about three hours on an afternoon when my husband was in Richmond for some work things. It was finished when he got home and I was practically squealing and jumping up and down and demanding high fives the second he walked in the door. I don't think I've ever been more proud of something I made myself!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Turkish Brass Pepper Grinder

Don't you love it when you receive a gift that is just what you needed/wanted/have had your eye on for months? That's what happened with this gorgeous, brass Turkish pepper grinder we recently got as a housewarming gift, and there's a funny story to it too.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Becoming Un-Stuck

We've been in Charlottesville for just about two months now. When family members and friends ask how we like it, it's not an exaggeration to say that in so very many ways, living here has been one enormous upgrade. And it's made me think--would I have noticed all of these small but really, pretty huge, luxuries and beauties and wonders had I not spent two years struggling to find my way in a place that never felt like home, a place far from everything I knew and that I never really cared for?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Painted Jewelry Case

Last week I had a burst of creative energy and inspiration, so this week I'll be showing you some of the fun projects I worked on! Our home is feeling so cozy and so "us," which is exactly the quality I most want it to have.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Musings

I had the best afternoon yesterday. Without saying too much (there will be a post coming on it next week) I spent about three hours cleaning, measuring, cutting, and assembling copper pipes. And then turned them into something I'm awfully proud of. As far as DIYs go it was a first for me, and it might be my favorite project yet.


I taught my first piano student this week! Hooray! It was a fantastic first lesson with a very interesting student and I feel so lucky to be able to do this job that I love. First lessons are a little nerve-wracking for me--it feels a bit intimidating to let strangers into your home, have them sit at your piano, and proceed to talk for 30 or 60 minutes about one of your deepest passions. It's a vulnerable business I'm in and anonymity and privacy aren't really available. But that's one of the reasons it's so rewarding. I ended the lesson really believing I'd passed on something valuable and important and enriching.

Designed by Jackie's Design Studio