Laura Rennie

Decorating

E-design // Two options for Lucy's den makeover

DecoratingLaura RennieComment

One of the projects I'm currently working on is an e-design for a den in Wyoming. Lucy and Glenn have two young children, two dogs and a cat. The family uses the room on a daily basis for TV watching, reading and playing games, and the pets are content to curl up on the couch.

The den has a tile floor and brick fireplace, and the wall colors are a mix of beige and what Lucy calls an "orangey-taupe." (EW. Sorry, Lucy, but that sounds awful.)

Lucy and Glenn both prefer traditional furnishings. Glenn enjoys displaying maps and doesn't want the room to feel too "girly" and Lucy specifically requested ideas for a reading nook. (There is a generous amount of space to the left of the stairs.)

My e-design service includes two quickly-created mood boards that I use to show clients a general "look" for their space. These mood boards do not always include every single item of furniture or decoration I'd suggest for the room — they are what I consider a first draft and simply a tool to show what the room could look like. I use the feedback I receive from the first two boards to create a final board, which goes more in-depth and includes a source list and instructions for implementing my design.

I would love to see shelves built into the two nooks flanking the brick fireplace. I also love the idea of hanging an oversized map over the couch. I didn't want to scare Glenn away with the first board and purposefully made it neutral and simple, with a light paint color. I liked the idea of bringing color in through a rug and accent chair, which would provide interest without overwhelming the space.

I have to note that I would NOT pair that specific coffee table with that couch — I simply liked the idea of a two-tiered coffee table. 

LPdenmoodboard1

Happily, both Lucy and Glenn loved the first mood board! Lucy wrote, "When I saw the mood board, I was like "why haven't we done this from the start!" I didn't see the potential in that room until I saw your ideas." 

The only request they had for the second board was to see an option that included both a couch and loveseat. I decided to show an option with color on the walls and more neutral furnishings. I envisioned their brick fireplace wall being whitewashed and warmth coming from the soft wall color and wood accents.

lucydenmoodboard2

My favorite pieces from the second board are the industrial coffee table and tripod lamp. But I was happy to hear my clients prefer the first board in general — it's definitely my favorite of the two!

I'm excited to get to work on the final look! Are there any pieces from either board that have caught your eye? 

 

 

Decorating tips // Where I shop for home goods

DecoratingLaura RennieComment

When I was a newlywed (at 21!), my home was mostly filled with hand-me-downs and items from our wedding registry. My husband and I bought a couch and coffee table for around $500 (huge mistake), I found a $30 area rug from Ross (which we used until just last fall) and I bought a few decorative accents, mostly from a sweet little shop called The Cottage in Dayton, Virginia.

One of my favorite things about our home is how it is a collection of things gathered along the way — some free, some inherited, some purchased from big-box stores and some hunted down at flea markets and barn sales. 

 Please excuse the grainy pic! In my living room I have curtains and a fireplace tool set from Target, a rug from Rugs USA, a basket from AC Moore, a blanket from Costco, a chair from World Market and a pillow from Marshalls. The artwork was from  The Cottage , the bird cage and deer were found in antique markets in Virginia and Kentucky respectively, my little brass dustpan and brush were taken during a shopping trip at my parent's house (ha!), the bowls were gifted to me (purchased on Etsy) and the vase and fake flowers are from Michaels. I know... I really need to replace the cheap vase and flowers with something else!

Please excuse the grainy pic! In my living room I have curtains and a fireplace tool set from Target, a rug from Rugs USA, a basket from AC Moore, a blanket from Costco, a chair from World Market and a pillow from Marshalls. The artwork was from The Cottage, the bird cage and deer were found in antique markets in Virginia and Kentucky respectively, my little brass dustpan and brush were taken during a shopping trip at my parent's house (ha!), the bowls were gifted to me (purchased on Etsy) and the vase and fake flowers are from Michaels. I know... I really need to replace the cheap vase and flowers with something else!


I've put together a round-up of my favorite places to shop (or browse for ideas), and I hope it serves as a helpful resource to you when you get stuck on finding an item and need ideas for where to look. You'll notice many of the stores are repeated in multiple categories, but this way you can go straight to "Art" if that's what you're looking for. Don't be limited by my list — there are tons of other resources for these items. Think of this as a starting point for your shopping needs! Need help picking out items that fit your style and home? I'd love to help!

Stores I frequent for all categories:

  • Ross
  • T.J. Maxx
  • Marshalls
  • Home Goods

Furniture

Art/mirrors/wall decor

Frames

Lighting

Curtains, bedding and throws

Rugs

Decorative accents and pillows

Storage


I find it helpful to use a separate e-mail account to sign up for store coupons and sale alerts. If you're reading this on 2/1/2016, many of these stores are offering big discounts or free shipping through the end of the day! Whoohoo! 

What are your go-to places to shop for your home? Have you ever been surprised by what you can find at a certain store? (I own two great lamps from Walmart, and both were under $30!)

p.s. Did you catch my fun new purchase on Instagram

 

Free printable // Sincerely Amy Designs

DecoratingLaura RennieComment

IT'S FREE PRINTABLE TIME, BABY! One for you and you and you!

I often hear clients and readers express frustration when it comes to decorating their walls. Art can add up, and it can be hard to figure out what size and type of art is best for a space. While I do think art is a worthy investment, I decorate my home on a budget and am grateful for a wide range of options, from flea market art to free online printables. I recently had the idea to reach out to various artist friends and feature a free printable on the blog each month. If my plan works out, I'll have a separate page dedicated to those pieces so you can easily find them and send the link to friends. 

I asked Amy of Sincerely Amy Designs if she'd be willing to create a printable displaying the verses that inspired my word of the year. Amy lettered the word "interiors" for my logo and has been a dear friend of mine since we shared an apartment eight years ago as juniors in college. She is an amazing calligrapher, and she's a great teacher if you're interested in learning!

I'm SO pleased with how this printable turned out. Thank you, Amy! This print would be gorgeous in a flat white frame or rustic frame. This 8x10 size is perfect for above your nightstand, over your entry table or even in your kitchen. But don't let those options limit you! I'm planning to hang it in either our upstairs guest bathroom or in our upstairs hallway.

Jeremiah17printable.jpg

Click here to download the file. (Simply saving the image above will not work — use the link to download to ensure proper size and quality.)

Enjoy! Please tag @sincerelyamydesigns and @laurarennieinteriors if you use the printable! 

 

Home tour // Old London rowhome undergoes huge renovation

DecoratingLaura RennieComment

We're going international! Today's home tour features a 17th-century home in London that has seen a lot of change over the years. The most recent update involved reconfiguring the interior of the house as well as adding two stories and a garden room linked to the house.

My family stayed in a four-story London townhome in 2007. My husband proposed to me during that trip! Needless to say, we have special memories of our time in the city, and I so hope we can go back one day! Maybe we'll try to stay in this house... 

Read more about this home here, or view the pictures in the slideshow below:

 photo by Catherine Macaulay

photo by Catherine Macaulay

 photo by Catherine Macaulay

photo by Catherine Macaulay

!!!! I love the breezy look of the bi-fold doors opening up the kitchen and garden room. The hallway between the two spaces is genius!

#couchgoals

 photo by Catherine Macaulay

photo by Catherine Macaulay

The English love a cozy kitchen, and so do I. I admire the mix of farmhouse and industrial decór in this space.

I could go on and on about this home, but I'm on deadline for an article AND have to shop for a client today. Darn! :)

Who wants to go to London with me? What do you love most about this home? I'm going to cheat and say "the back of the house," which includes the kitchen, garden space and den. 

 

Home tour // Architect updates his split-level home in D.C.

DecoratingLaura RennieComment

Today's home tour features a 1957 split-level home in D.C. — a VERY different space than the four homes I've featured so far. I fall more in love with this home each time I go through the slideshow. Part of what speaks to me about this home tour is the owner's clear appreciation of thoughtful design.

Read more about this home here, or view the pictures in the slideshow below:

(Pardon the green tags on these pics — they're screenshots from Houzz.)

 Michael K. Wilkinson Photography

Michael K. Wilkinson Photography

I love the simple yet stunning fireplace wall. Did you catch that the homeowner MADE his chandelier? I found the light I want for my dining room — it's this one. (I know I'm not the only one who envied the light-making abilities of Julia Robert's character in Runaway Bride.)

 Michael K. Wilkinson Photography

Michael K. Wilkinson Photography

The homeowner also made the art installation in his dining room. I am totally stealing this idea!

 Michael K. Wilkinson Photography

Michael K. Wilkinson Photography

Here's another art idea I want to use in my own home! I would have never thought paw prints could look so cool. Also, I would hug that dresser and Kazakh rug if I could. 

There are too many amazing takeaways from this home! I'm tempted to paint my ceiling, dip my puppy's paws in paint and frantically cut paper into geometric shapes and stuff them into frames. :) 

What do you like about this home? (Everything? Me too.)

 

Home tour // A Jane Austen-inspired home in Frederick and a Hillsboro, VA B&B

DecoratingLaura RennieComment

It's day two of Home Tour Week! I think you're going to enjoy viewing these unique properties, both of which were built in the late 1700's. It's neat to think of what these walls have seen.

First up is one of Frederick's oldest homes. Read more about this 1790 home here, or view the pictures in the slideshow below:

 photo by Michaela Dodd

photo by Michaela Dodd

My favorites: the original brick wall in the kitchen, the buffalo check wallpaper and the red windows and trim in the kid's room. Oh, and the leather rhinoceros ottoman is ridiculously awesome. I'm all about the quirk factor!

Next up is a bed and breakfast in Hillsboro, Virginia. I have a soft spot in my heart for bed and breakfasts. It's a dream of mine to someday co-own a B&B with my best friend, Laurel. I would run the house and Laurel would manage the stables. (Yeah, we're going to have horses. NBD.)

Back to the tour! Three additions have been made to the original house, which was built in 1765. My favorite fact about this home is that it's belonged to only two families. The first owners kept the house in their family for nearly 200 years!

Read more about this bed and breakfast here, or view the pictures in the slideshow below:

 Jalepeño Photography

Jalepeño Photography

This property! I DIE. (Want even more pictures? Click here.)

A stroll through the gardens? Yes, please! Champagne in the outdoor bath? Don't mind if I do! Party in the barn? I'm so there.


Old homes have such unique charm! What's your favorite room/detail?

Next up: a mid-century modern split-level home in Washington D.C.!