7th House on the Left


posted by Ashley  /  8 Comments

Inspiration is everywhere… magazines, interior design shows on TV, Pinterest, books, blogs, your favorite restaurant down the street, or even your favorite hotel getaway. I’ve talked a little about my magazine obsession (more on that here) and how I’m pinning away on Pinterest (check out that post here). On top of those things, I’m amassing a rather large collection of interior design-oriented books.

To prepare for our monthly His + Hers Favorite Things posts, sometimes we take note throughout the month of things that caught our eye or new “can’t live without” items (such as last month’s Off! Clip on Fan!). As I looked over my favorites for this month so far, I noticed I already had three interior design related books on the list. Rather than cramming them all in a Favorite Things post, I thought it would be fun to talk about them in little more detail in a dedicated post.

Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney – I LOVE this book! It’s the newest addition to my collection of “favorites”. Being a huge fan of Design*Sponge, I had this book pre-ordered for months and it finally came in the mail a few days ago. Ever since, I’ve been devouring every single page, one by one. It features everything the blog covers and more, including photos of ridiculously gorgeous spaces, sneak peeks, DIY projects, flower arrange how-to’s, and before & afters. Grace also talks about the early days of the Design*Sponge blog and how the columns were born.

The book starts out on a very high note with a forward by Jonathan Adler, then moves right into a sneak peek into the home of Genevieve Gorder… two of my favorite designers right at the very front of the book! After pages and pages of beautiful photos of amazing spaces, just when you think it can’t get any better, the DIY projects begin. Let’s just say I can’t wait to try out some of the projects for our house. I could seriously go on and on and fill an entire post (or maybe two or three!) about my love for this book, but I want to share another awesome read as well!

Bottom Line: This book is well-organized and simply fantastic! It’s a great read for those wanting a sneak peak into some of the most amazing spaces, DIY enthusiasts looking for new and unique projects, and anyone who enjoys an inspiring before and after every now and then. As an added bonus, the cover looks great on the coffee table!

Home Rules by Nate Berkus – I know this book has been around for a while (since 2005 to be exact), but I just recently snagged a copy at Tuesday Morning (for only $7!). Even though it had a small price tag, this book is FULL of tips on how to easily create a home you love without the stress. Nate takes you room-by-room and outlines ways to make a good space into a great room that fits your lifestyle (or the lifestyle you want).

nate berkus

One of my favorite features throughout the book  is the “Ten Questions to Ask Yourself” section in each chapter. The questions really help you think through your needs for the space without feeling too overwhelmed. For instance, when it comes to the bedroom, a few questions include, “Do you like a bright, sunny welcome in the morning, or is dark and enveloping more your style?”, “Would you like a bed to climb up into – or keep it on the down low?” and “Do you like watching television in bed? Is movie night your idea of a weekday vacation?”.

Bottom Line: This book is full of simple, step-by-step instructions on how to make a space a home – making it a good read for a person just moving into his or her first place, or someone simply wanting to refresh his or her current living quarters.

Decorate by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick – I’m a huge Holly Becker / Decor8 fangirl, so it’s no surprise that this book is on the list of my current favorites. I was already expecting great things from this book before I cracked the cover for the first time, but it still managed to exceed my expectations! The book is divided into four sections: Space Matters, Setting Your Style, Room by Room, and Attention to Detail. Each one is filled with practical tips from designers in layman’s terms – which makes it even more fun to read for non-professionals like myself.

Another thing I love about this book is that it appeals to so many “style audiences”, including modern, vintage, industrial, cottage, natural, funky urban, bohemian chic, mid-century, contemporary, modern glam, etc. There’s definitely something for everyone. And if you aren’t really sure what your personal style is, the “Setting Your Style” section helps you figure it out and gives advice on how to incorporate it into your home in an easy-to-understand fashion.

Bottom Line: A must have for any interior design enthusiast (of any style!) and another great jewel for the coffee table. You’ll find yourself making notes and marking pages with Post-It Notes!

So, how about you… Do you have a favorite interior design book from which you gain inspiration?


posted by Ashley  /  7 Comments

Welcome to another installment of Etsy Thursday! We were down one post yesterday due to… life. We write posts as things happen around the house, and for the past few days, all that’s been going on around here was a whole lot of nothing. Stupid me pulled (very badly) not one, but two, muscles and ended up spending yesterday in bed and highly medicated. The medicine bottle says, “Do not operate heavy machinery,” and with the massive amount of drowsiness it gave me, maybe they should have listed computers, too. While I was out of commission, Greg was busy juggling work, Bentley and taking care of me, hence the mystery of the missing Wednesday post. But that’s enough of the mundane stuff – let’s get on to the best of the best on Etsy!

These New York Letterpress Coasters from Moontree Press first caught my eye because of the cool color combo. I love the gray with the yellow, green, orange, and teal-ish blue. These would be great for a New York-themed party (maybe a bon voyage party for a friend that’s moving to the Big Apple). These would even make a great art piece! Just frame one in a small shadowbox frame on a solid mat for a simple piece of art that makes a statement.

By now, most of you know I’m a total font geek! It should come at no surprise, then, that as soon as I saw these these Vintage Wood Type Letters from Monki Vintage I absolutely fell in love. A must-have for any fellow font fanatic.

I’m obsessed with graphic patterns, and sometimes it’s hard to find pillows with graphic patterns in “big box” home decor stores. Luckily, Etsy is a great place to find them! One of my favorite Etsy shops to scout out graphic pillows is Willa Skye. Ikat, chevron, lattice, zebra, graphic florals… they have it all!

I’ve mentioned a few times that I keep little notebooks in the top drawer of my desk for those spur of the moment ideas and barnstorming sessions. In light of that, I’m loving this Dragon Scales Notebook Jotter by Wit & Whistle. It’s small enough to keep in your purse or tuck away in your desk drawer. And, most importantly, it’s so cute!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of Etsy Thursday. We’re going to be resuming regularly scheduled programming tomorrow, so we’ll be posting a brand new post in the morning! Stay tuned!

Do you have any current Etsy favorites? Share them with the class in the comments section!


posted by Ashley  /  12 Comments

…dog toys, that is. If you’re a dog owner like us, you probably have dog toys strewn around the house. Bentley likes to scatter his toys around the house (most commonly up and down the hallway and hidden in the couch cushions), but he always seems to know where each one is – especially when it comes to his tennis ball, Kraft Ruff Parmesan toy, and Rufus (his BFF). If I say, “Go get Rufus!”, he scampers as fast as he can, slipping and sliding on the hardwood floors as he goes, and promptly returns proudly wagging his tail with Rufus in his mouth.

dog toys

You may remember a few weeks ago I mentioned I was on the hunt for accessories at an antique mall in the area (read that post here). I was also looking out for a vintage crate to use as a toy box for our little ball of energetic, toy-loving fur. I found a lot of crates, but they were all much to large for our 10-pound dog.

Last week, a friend of mine was driving down from northern Virginia and stopped at an antique store on her way back into town. While she was there, she found a small, vintage crate that she thought would be perfect for Bentley. She gave me a call and asked if I wanted her to pick it up for me and I, without hesitation, said, “Yes!” After all, if it ended up being too big (or to small) for Bentley’s toys, I could always find another use for it. As far as I’m concerned, you can never have too many vintage crates around the house.

It was perfect! Exactly what I was looking for and the perfect size for his small toy collection. Dfusefinitely worth the $15.

The side of the crate has a partial label that says “…aum’s Horse and Stock Company”. Some of the label has come off over time, but the rest of it is pretty secure, despite what it looks like in the photos. After doing some investigative Googling, I found that it is actually a vintage advertising veterinary box from Baum’s Castorine Co. of Syracuse, New York and once held 10 pounds of food. What kind of food, I’m not really sure – though I assume it was for some sort of farm livestock. The company was founded in 1879, so there’s no telling how old this thing is!

I love the “rusticness” (Hey… dictionary.com says it’s a word!) of the wood. Even though the crate is small, it makes me even more anxious to find a piece of reclaimed wood for the mantle we have planned for over the fire place (read more about our thoughts on that here) and  that coffee table I wish we would have snapped up!

FYI For some reason the floors look more red than they actually are in person in the above and below photos. I think it’s the light bulbs in the living room. Ugh! Moving on… Bentley is a big fan of the new addition as well. It’s the perfect size for him at 6″ high, 11″ wide, and  7.5″ deep. He can get toys in and out (Yes, he actually puts toys “away” from time to time!) without choking himself in the process.

Speaking of “vintagesness” (That one’s not even on dictionary.com), the other day, I ended up going back to the antique mall to buy the brass bunny I stalked in this post. Our backyard seems to be the local hangout for the neighborhood rabbits, so it’s going to make a fun conversation piece.

Our new little buddy is solid brass and I was able to snatch him up for only $12. (Thanks for not running out and buying him before I got back to the antique mall!) Like all of the accessories in the house, he’ll probably end up a few places before finding the perfect final spot. But for now, he’s hanging out on the table behind the couch.

How about your house? Are the dog toys taking over? Does your dog have a particularly favorite toy like Bentley?

Oh yeah! Tonight’s the night… the season fanalie of HGTV’s Design Star. Have you been watching this season? Who do you think will walk away with their own show? Meg or Karl?