logan

He's (been) here!

As most of you know, Logan and I were expecting our first child in early February. Well, as I'm sure you can imagine - with it being almost mid April - he's here! In fact, he's been here.. for a little over 2 months already (which is crazy). Anyway, our little baby boy was born on February 5th, weighing 6 lbs 15 oz and measuring 19.75" long, and time has already flown by so quick! I have been wanting to post a little announcement on our blog to share with you the arrival of our baby boy, but clearly I've been a bit busy adjusting to life as a new mommy. But, today, I finally grabbed a few minutes to write this post.. so, here he is.. Welcome Baby Hayes!

First photo.

I've obviously got a couple months to catch you up on, so here are just a few more of the many photos we've snapped of him over the past two months! We, of course, think he is the cutest thing.. but we'll let you decide!

Cute bug.

While he was still only a couple weeks old, a good friend of ours (who is a professional photographer) offered to come shoot a few newborn photos of Hayes. While we haven't gotten those photos back just yet, this next photo is a quick snapshot of him in his hat and bowtie that we used for the shoot!

Hat and bowtie.

Since he was born in early February, it was pretty much too cold to head outside while he was still a newborn. But, when we had one of our first warmer days, Logan and I jumped at the chance to take our little guy for his first walk around the city! In the photo below, Daddy is babywearing Hayes in his Baby K'tan wrap - he loves that thing!

Walk photo.

Here he is all snuggled in his car seat with his adorable little knot hat! In this photo, you can really start to see his little cheeks filling out! He is definitely a good eater. =)

In car seat.

As I'm sure you know, newborns don't do too much besides sleep, eat and, well, poop. But in this next photo we caught one of his first little smiles. These are the moments we now live for!

Smile photo

And, in this one last photo, we'll leave you with a sneak peek at little Hayes' nursery! I will definitely be posting more photos and details on the design of his stylish nursery, but for now, this is all you get. =)

Crib photo.

Well, thanks for letting us share the arrival of our precious little boy!

Thankful Thursday - Babies and Clients

For a little something new.. today I'm writing my first post in a new series/category - Thankful Thursdays! I'm sure you've seen this type of series from other bloggers out there, but while I have wanted to include posts of this nature on my blog for a long time, this is my first! As you can imagine, by the name of it, it's a opportunity for me to take just one day out of any given busy week to write about something in my life, and in my work, that I am thankful for.. and today I am feeling particularly blessed and thankful, so what better time to break in this blog category for the first time, right? As the title of the post states, today I'm thankful for both the baby that's growing inside me, and the amazing design clients that I am truly lucky to have! I know, I know, these two things seem pretty unrelated, but you'll soon see why I combined them in today's post - let me further explain.

First of all, I am less than two weeks from my due date! Ahhh, that's crazy! I can't believe this pregnancy is almost over and that, in just a few short weeks, I'll be a first time mom to a little baby boy. This pregnancy has flown by and, I must say, it has treated me quite well - no major pregnancy complaints here - so, I've gotta be thankful for that!

Pregnant me!

But in addition to a happy healthy pregnancy, I'm more importantly thankful for this little life that is being entrusted to me! As it gets closer and closer, I'm really getting super excited for the day we finally get to meet our son, and I'm looking forward to each and every day after that.. when we get to hold him, nurture him and love him endlessly. I am already so thankful that I get to call myself his mommy! Oh, and I can't mention our little boy without, of course, mentioning my thankfulness for my amazing husband! I am so looking forward to the little family of three that we are about to become - how cute?

Ultrasound

So, how does all this baby talk play into my thankfulness for my clients? Well, here's how. So, we've been really busy working away on several client projects over the past many months (which is probably why the pregnancy flew by), and as we are getting down to the wire with the pregnancy, we are also getting down to the wire with wrapping up those client projects before I will be taking some maternity leave to enjoy time with our new baby and get into the swing of new parenthood! Well, I'm realizing that it's a difficult thing to plan for time off when you own your own design studio - there is no one to pick up the slack, or take over your duties while you're out! Ahh..

So, with my clients as a priority (as they always are), I've been trying to make miracles happen and neatly tie up loose ends and complete projects before our baby makes his arrival. But, to no avail! This week, I have realized that time is no longer on my side, and our baby boy could make his entrance any day now. Wow! If that's not nerve wracking enough, I've concluded that it is simply not feasible to think I can perfectly wrap up all client projects, then "clock out" for maternity leave, hehe. Instead, I'm sure I'll be working intermittently on design concepts, product purchasing, project management and scheduling installations simultaneously while I'm also nursing, changing diapers, napping and cooing over our new baby boy! But, here is where the thankfulness comes in.

Every conversation I've had with any of my clients regarding my pregnancy, my impending labor/delivery and my maternity leave has proven that I truly have the best clients! Their kinds words and overwhelming understanding about any delays to their projects, extensions of their design process, or how my work flow may change a little once I have the baby, have made me feel so thankful! Their understanding has allowed me to feel confident that I will be able to take on this new role as a mom, while still operating a successful design studio. I really couldn't be luckier to have such amazing clients who have all been super supportive during this new journey of my life. I like to believe it speaks to the great relationships and great service that they have come to expect from me and StudioVB. =)

Speaking of clients and client projects.. I thought I'd share a sneak peak of a recent client project that we completed just a few weeks ago - just in the knick of time!

Shea Project - Fireplace

Shea Project - Sofa wall

Shea Project - Window wall

Anyway, from the baby gifts our clients have gotten us, to the sweet words about how great I look during pregnancy (thanks by the way), to the advice on what to expect with a newborn, to the offers of bringing our little guy along to client meetings.. I appreciate our clients more than they know. Oh, and I also have to send a little shout out to all our trades and vendors as well, who have been equally as accommodating and understanding!

I'm thankful each day that I get to do what I love for a living and come into the homes of great people who I not only get to share in their lives, but who also invest on a personal level in mine! So, there you have it. Today, I'm thankful for clients and babies - one specific baby especially, hehe!

Our Exciting Apology

Ok, before you read any further, let me apologize! I know we've been pretty absent from the blog for quite a while now - you know, only posting every so often! And, I'm sure we may have let some of you down. Whomp whomp. So, we would like to say "we're sorry". But, there has been good reason for this and unfortunately we haven't been able to share that with our readers... until today! So, in lieu of a long drawn out teaser and long paragraph hyping it up, I'll just share with you a sweet little image that we've recently shared with our family and friends!

Pregnancy Announcement

Yep, after trying for many months, Logan and I are expecting our first child! Yay! And, as of today, I'm actually 19 weeks along (that's a little over 4 months), so the past several months have been full of excitement, joy, nervousness, morning sickness, and of course all kinds of initial baby planning! So, I hope you'll understand our little hiatus from blog posting! But, with settling into the swing of pregnancy and tackling some of the huge to-dos that come along with planning for a new baby, we hope to resume more regular blog posts.

You're probably thinking that, like many first time parents, we'll be consumed by all things baby, and that we will end up posting about baby stuff more often than not. Well, you are only slightly right! We may post details on the progress of our pregnancy, the design of our nursery, and stylish baby items, but don't worry, our main focus for our blog has always been "all things design" with a little bit of our everyday life mixed in - and that's what it will continue to be!

So, just for fun - here are a few close-ups of the photos from our pregnancy announcement shown above.

Logan with funny face!

13 week baby bump photo

Due date photo

Oh, and congrats to those of you who have good instincts - yes, last weeks Wordless Wednesday was a tiny little hint and precursor to today's news! We've been in the early stages of planning to convert our never-really-used spare bedroom into a nursery, so I've of course been browsing the web for lots of design inspiration!

Anyway, I'll leave you today with a more recent photo of me with my baby bump! Only in the past couple weeks has it made its first real appearance - which totally makes things more real! I'm enjoying watching it grow, and knowing that our baby is developing and growing healthy and strong. This photo is from a collection of weekly photos that I have been taking to chronicle this incredible journey.

18 week baby bump photo

Well, there you have it - that is our exciting news and that's the reason we haven't been blogging much! We are finally happy to be able to share it with you! We've already gotten so many sweet and kind words of congratulations and well wishes, and we want to thank everyone for that! We feel so loved!

Anniversary Escape

Back on September 19th, Logan and I reached our two year wedding anniversary, yay! Wedding Photo

See more photos from our big day here!

Wedding Photo 2

But, with a lot going on (as usual), that day came and went with just a few sweet anniversary-ish moments and a simple "happy anniversary hunny" exchanged between the both of us. Otherwise, actually celebrating our anniversary was placed on the back burner - which isn't a huge deal, since we're usually pretty low key anyway! But this sort of happened with our first year anniversary too, when friends of ours got married. So, last year, we spent our anniversary weekend at their wedding activities.. Fun? Yes. Celebrating us? Not so much.

So, before we let another year slide, we decided (on a whim) to actually get away for a few days and celebrate! It really is worth celebrating when you have someone so amazing, like I do, and you were able to keep him around another year. Haha. So, that's what we did. We took advantage of the holiday weekend and decided to travel upstate to a charming little town in the Pocono Mountains and stay a couple nights at a cute little bed and breakfast!

We chose the small town of Milford, PA - which, by the way, apparently made the list of the 10 coolest small towns by BudgetTravel. Anyway, it was a very cute place and it was a great place to relax and escape from the stresses of everyday life. Oh, and we had the best unseasonably warm and sunny weather you could ask for!

Milford sign.

We stayed at this beautiful little bed and breakfast, the Harrington House.

Harrington House sign.

View of Harrington House.

=Us in front of Harrington House

When we booked this bed and breakfast, like I mentioned, it was pretty last minute, so they only had one room available. It wasn't our first choice of their charming little rooms, but since we liked this B&B, we booked anyway. Well, when we arrived, a cancellation had occurred and (without our asking) the innkeeper had already moved our reservation to the room that had been our first choice! Now, on any other circumstance, I would have been disappointed that what we booked, and what we expected, was not what we were getting. I mean, can they just do that? But anyway, in this case, it was a good surprise and it was like an everything-works-out-for-a-reason moment. We ended up getting to stay in the room that we kept referring to when saying "well, it would have been nice if we could have booked that room, but we'll have a good time anyway." Haha.

So, anyway, here is our cute little room.

Thistle Room sign.

View of our room.

Second view of our room.

Typically on vacations, or mini-vacations as this one was, we like to just explore the local area and take it as it comes. As I'm sure you know, I definitely have an "itinerary" type personality. I mean, as a designer, it's all about planning, right? And, before we leave for any trip, you'll definitely find me researching the locale, googling cool things to see and do there, reading reviews on where to stay and eat and, of course, taking notes, making lists, and creating itineraries, oh my! But, surprisingly, once we arrive, I play it pretty cool. We usually like to just go with the flow, and use all my planning just as a loose guide. If we see someplace cool, we stop. If we're hungry, we eat. If we're tired, we nap!

Logan asleep on the bed.

Anyway, most of our time spent in Milford was walking the town, casually browsing local shops and eating yummy food!

Photo of Jorgenson's Deli.

Man and monkey sitting outside the deli.

Logan and I at our picnic.

Lots of the shops in this town were antique shops - be still my heart. This was one of our favorites. And, we have two new pieces to prove it. One you'll see below, the other we'll post about in the future.

Old Lumbaryard Antiques

Vintage printing press letters.

Me walking down the stairs with our new purchase.

Another favorite shop was this really fresh and stylish shop called Upriver Home. And, bonus, they have an online shop, so I now have a new resource, yay!

Upriver Home sign.

Logan reflected in wood mirror.

Glass bottles.

Industrial light fixture.

Stools and other stuff at Upriver Home.

Lastly, we heard if you visit Milford, you must visit Grey Towers. So we did.

Grey Towers sign.

As the sign reads, it's a national historic site, and was once the home of Gifford Pinchot, a Pennsylvania governor and America's first forester and noted conservationist. It's a beautiful stone building with gorgeous landscaping and exterior spaces. We did not take the interior tour. I know, I know, as an interior designer you'd think I would, but I have been on many period home tours, and this day, we chose to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery instead.

Grey Towers.

Stone column walkway.

Circular trellis covering.

Us sitting on a bench.

Well, I'm so glad we took time out of our often busy schedules to get away and celebrate us. I hope 50 years from now it will be no different. I am such a lucky girl to have found my one!

But, enough with the mushy stuff.. it's back to reality. When we returned home after our trip, we wasted no time starting on some new projects that we'll fill you in on soon.

DIY Striped Wall

So, a few posts ago we showed you a sneak peak at our third floor stair hall wall and the striped painted wall treatment we created to give it a little style. Well, as promised, today's post will show you exactly how we did it with easy to follow step-by-step instructions. However, before we get started, let me say that this project and technique can be modified to fit almost any project and the possibilities are endless - different colors, different finishes, different patterns, etc. So get inspired, be creative and go for it!

If you have a space that needs a little texture or interest, this is a pretty simple, though a tad time heavy (a few days), project that will do the trick.

As with any project, first you need supplies. So, here is a list of what you'll need (what we used)!

Supplies:

  • paint (we used three different variations of the same color - grey, with two different finishes - satin and semi-gloss)
  • paint brushes (one for each color, of course)
  • drop cloth (to protect whatever is below)
  • painters tape (and if your project is anything like ours - possibly a lot of it)
  • a tape measure or ruler
  • pencil
  • laser level (make's the project so easy!)
  • post-its (this is what we used to plan out the color pattern, you'll see below)
  • ladder or step stool (depending on the height of the space - in our case, there was even a point where I was on Logan's shoulders on the stairs to reach a place our ladder just couldn't - I apologize for not having photos of this, it was quite funny, but even so I really don't recommend it, haha!)

Once you have all the supplies, follow the simple steps below to create a happy horizontal wall pattern!

Painted Striped Wall How-to

  1. Determine and Design the Pattern. This can be any pattern you'd like - striped, zig-zag, etc. Here is how we designed the horizontal striped pattern that we decided on. We wanted varied width stripes (some 1", 3", 4", 6", 9", etc.) that we could paint varied colors. So, after a few sketches of how it would look, we started at the top corner of the wall and used our ruler and pencil to start marking the increments down the wall. We like to keep things casual, so we determined the stripe sizes as we went, going with whatever we thought looked best and balanced, making sure not to mark a bunch of narrow or wide stripes in a row.

Blank stair wall

Photo showing the pencil markings.

  1. Tape out the Pattern. This is where you'll use the laser level and painter's tape and probably the ladder. This step did take two people - so for those solo do-it-yourselfers out there, you'll have to find a DIY buddy! One of us held the laser level flush against the wall lined up with the markings, while the other applied the tape in line with the laser! Start at the top of the wall and work your way the entire way down. This is probably the most time consuming part of the process, but once it is done the rest is pretty simple.

Photo showing the pattern taped out on the wall.

  1. Determine the Color Pattern. Once you have the pattern taped out, you have to decide what colors you want to use. In our case, we decided to alternate the three colors randomly but thoughtfully. We did this by assigning a paint color to a post-it color and placing a coordinating post-it tab on each stripe as we planned out the color pattern. This way, we could step back, and see how the color pattern looked based on the colors of the post-its. Sorta silly, but worked well for us!

Showing our post-it pattern method.

  1. Start Painting. Once you've decided on the color pattern, it's go time! You'll obviously need all the painting supplies for this step. It went pretty quickly for us because Logan and I each took a different paint color and worked together. We are such a great team! Anyway, during this step you will most likely have to let the first couple painted stripes dry and come back to the project to continue. Some of the tape lines will be covering portions of the stripes you want to paint. So, you can either use the tape to your advantage and let the taped line be a stripe, or in our case, we let the first paint color dry, then removed the tape, and then taped that painted line in order to paint a new color adjacent to it.

Photo of the painted stripes

Logan painting the stripes.

  1. Pull the tape and voila! Once you've painted your pattern to your liking, let it dry, then go ahead and pull the tape to reveal your masterpiece. At this point, your wall painting project is complete.

The finished wall.

Another angle of the finished stripes.

We went a step further to add a bit of interest (and to add a sense of entry into our studio) by hanging varied size framed art up the stair hall. The artwork is framed photos of urban signage letters that spell out StudioVB, since this stair hall is the entry to our interior design studio!

Hanging the framed art.

Close up of framed art.

Valerie getting ready to hang the last frame.

The finished stair wall!

So, there it is! What do you think? Let us know your thoughts on this project. Do you have any painted pattern projects you'd like to share?

Flea Market Season

Between StudioVB work and projects around the house, I have been trying to get time to get out and enjoy the summer. I know I've said it many times before, but I am definitely a warm weather kinda girl. And, along with warm weather comes a ton of things that I just can't get enough of - the breeze through open windows (both in the car and at home), ice cream (yep, i'm a total sweet tooth), being outdoors (the park, the lake, the backyard, wherever), and one of my faves.. flea markets! Luckily, we have a few pretty good ones here in the Harrisburg area. Two of which are the Annual Shipoke Flea Market, where we went this past weekend, and the Williams Grove Flea Market that I am planning to pop by this coming weekend. The Williams Grove Flea Market is probably the largest and maybe one of the coolest. It's held at the old Williams Grove Amusement Park grounds, and the setting is totally cute and really quite cool. It has these great little shaded walkways strolling past some of the park's old buildings and old rides and attractions that remain, dilapidated but wonderfully aesthetic. It definitely shows the history of the place. Anyway, I will hopefully take some photos while I'm there to post in the near future.

But as for the Annual Shipoke Flea Market - it is very cute and nice as well. This flea market is set along the Susquehanna River in the quaint Shipoke neighborhood of Harrisburg and is only held once a year (hence the "annual" part). So, I always make sure to go because the people are nice, the setting is beautiful and the finds are often pretty good! This time, we went a little later in the day than I hoped, so you know some of the good stuff was already gone. Lots of stands had mostly glassware and ceramic chotchkies/tchotchke/chachka (I'm not sure I know how to spell that - I don't think I've ever written it out), and you know that stuff rarely sells! Anyway, here are a few photos from our day!

Shot of the flea market.

Another shot of the flea market.

Here are a few items we thought could be good finds!

A shot of a folding luggage rack and cute magazine holder.

A photo of a cool antique trunk.

A photo of Logan with an owl art print.

So, sidenote - here's the owl story! We had come to the Shipoke Flea Market last year, and had seen a piece of art with a really quirky little owl that we really liked, but we passed it up hoping on the way back through we could offer less than what it was marked! Well, that was a rookie mistake (even for these veteran flea marketers) because obviously someone else thought it was cool and snatched it up before we made it back through. We were so bummed - Logan especially, because of course it was my suggestion to wait it out. I can't help it, I guess I am too thrifty for our own good! But I learned that lesson well - if you are going to be heart broken if it's gone, bite the bullet and buy it when you see it! So anyway, as you can imagine, I haven't heard the end of it about the 'lost' owl print over the past year. So, when we came across this unique little print (I'm slightly convinced it's the same one), we snagged it right away! I hope I've redeemed myself. Now we just need to find a spot for it.

Back to our afternoon at the flea market! Well, of course, you always find some really strange or weird stuff at flea markets too, but that's part of the fun of it. So here are a few of those finds!

A photo of baskets full of barbies.

A shot of a van seat.

A photo of a motorcycle with toliet paper bungeed onto it.

Ahh.. nothing better than an afternoon at the flea market!

The New Ride

It's been almost a month that we've had our new vehicle.. and I have yet to post some snapshots of it and its sweet features. So, while there are actually a ton of other interesting things going on with us, and StudioVB, right now - they are keeping us so busy that I haven't been able to sit down and blog about them. So, until then, I'll just finally introduce you to the new ride! Unfortunately we haven't settled on a name for her yet. I'm hoping a couple of hours into our next road trip, one of us will come up with the winning name and shout it aloud in an exciting 'by George, I've got it' kinda way! Anyway, here she is, in her new home.. parked on our block!

Exterior of the vehicle.

And, that's where she is most of the time. Both Logan and I are blessed to be able to work where we live, which among many other benefits, means we don't have to drive very much. And living in the city, we are able to walk to get lunch, go to the park, visit friends, etc., which we love! Oops, went on a tangent!

Anyway, this actually brings up an important issue that I want to chat about. So, Logan and I make many efforts in our daily lives to live pretty environmentally friendly, but you might be saying, why did you buy an SUV? I know, I know, it's like the anti-green thing to do. But, it's not as horrible as you might think, and after careful consideration, we felt it was the right thing for us.

So, to clarify, here are just a few of our thoughts on why and how we made our decision:

  • We only need one vehicle in our family - one SUV is better than two vehicles, right? You know, we won't be filling two tanks, driving around two vehicles and polluting twice as much. =)
  • We go several (sometimes more than several) weeks on one tank of gas - since we drive very little - so gas guzzling is not huge issue.
  • When we do drive, it's often to go on a trip or because we need to transport large items, so driving a vehicle with plenty of space is a must.

And, here's how the Honda CR-V fit the bill:

  • It is a small compact size with a small engine, especially compared to some of the huge SUVs.
  • It is pretty fuel-efficient at 21/28/24 mpg (city, highway, combined).
  • It has 'ultra low-emissions'.
  • It has great storage features, both big and small!
  • And Honda has long been considered the 'greenest automaker'.

So, given all of this (and some other factors too), we decided to go for it! This baby will be in our family, well, hopefully long after we actually have babies, ha! And, I think it will serve us well.

Now, here are some more pics!

Front exterior of the vehicle

Shot of the black cloth interior.

Shot of the console in its up position.

Shot of the console in its down position.

Shot of the backseat.

Shot of the trunk of the vehicle.

Shot of the trunk shelf folded back.

So, what do you think? Do you like?

Oh, and remember the 'more interesting stuff' I said we had going on - well, don't worry, I have lots of cool projects and "before and after" reveals headed your way. So check back soon!

DIY Window Cornice

Our last post showed the beginnings of a window cornice DIY project, but we hadn’t showed you the how-to or the result. So, that’s what we are blogging about today. If you’ve got a window that needs a little love, a quick and easy project, that will add some dynamic interest to your space, is just what the design doctor ordered. Okay, that was cheesy, I know!

Anyway, to get started on the project, first you need supplies, right? So, here is a list of what you need (what we used), most of which you probably have lying around the house somewhere.

Supplies:

  • a lovely fabric (we only used a yard and a half, bonus!)
  • batting (same length)
  • a few pieces of wood (you can even use scrap wood, we did!)
  • a tape measure
  • pencil
  • saw (we used a jig saw)
  • drill
  • screws
  • scissors
  • spray adhesive
  • staple gun and staples (light duty works fine)
  • and L-brackets

Once you have all the supplies, follow the simple steps below to cornice creation!

Upholstered Window Cornice How-to

  1. Determine the dimensions. This is a personal design choice and is totally up to you. But, here are a few tips! The cornice should be slightly wider than the window casing, as it will need to fit around it. It can be as tall as you’d like it to be, but just remember to conceal the unsightly window treatment mechanisms (after all, that’s the true purpose of a window cornice). And I would make the depth of the cornice at least 4 inches; again, it will need to allow room for the window casing and any window treatment mechanisms such as the brackets, blinds, rod, etc.

Diagram showing the size of the cornice.

  1. Construct the cornice frame. This is where you'll use the wood, tape measure, pencil, saw, drill and screws. Measure out the dimensions you’ve determined onto the wood and use an accurate saw to cut into four pieces – the face of the cornice (the biggest piece), two side pieces, and a top piece.

The constructed frame for the cornice.

Image showing that the constructed cornice fits into place.

  1. Cut and wrap the batting. Once you have the cornice constructed, lay out the batting and cut the appropriate amount to cover all three visible sides of the cornice.

Image showing cut batting.

Then, wrap it pretty snug the whole way around. The batting really only needs spray adhesive to attach it to the wood, but you can always use the staple gun just to be sure.

Image showing cornice frame wrapped in batting.

Image showing batting step finished.

  1. Upholster the cornice. Now that the frame and batting are ready, you can start the upholstery part. Yay! Measure twice and cut once the appropriate amount of fabric to cover all three visible sides of the cornice, just like you did with the batting. Quick tip – if your fabric has a pattern (like ours did), make sure you line up the fabric on the cornice to ensure that the finished product will show the portion of pattern you really want. And if it’s striped, you really need to pay attention to aligning it so that the stripes are straight!

Image showing the fabric being cut for the cornice.

Now, it's time for the best, and hardest, part. Start in the center of the cornice. Wrap the fabric and staple one staple on each side, pulling the fabric pretty tight. Work your way outward from there, alternating sides to ensure the face of the cornice is evenly smooth. Do this for the entire cornice. As you come to the sides of the cornice, you may want to cut some of the excess fabric as needed.

Image showing the upholstering of the cornice.

Detail shot of the rolled under edges and the staples.

Here's how it should look when you complete this step!

The finished cornice.

The face of the finished cornice.

  1. Attach L-brackets to the wall. While you are marveling at the beauty of the cornice you’ve just created, prepare the wall for it to be hung. About ¼ of the way in from the outsides of the window casing, screw in two L-brackets that your cornice will rest on.

Logan screwing in the L-brackets.

Image showing the L-bracket placement.

  1. Attach the top frame piece. The top board of the cornice does not need to be upholstered since it will not be visible when hung. Slide the top piece in about ¾ inch down from the top. Make sure you know which is top and bottom, you don’t want to end up hanging the cornice upside-down. Once the top piece is in place, attach it to the upholstered cornice with very small screws (that won’t reach through to the pretty face of the cornice) with small L-brackets (we actually used the same size ones we attached to the wall to hang the cornice).

Logan screwing in the L-brackets on the top piece of the cornice.

Image showing the attached top piece of the cornice.

The finished cornice, before it is hung on the wall.

  1. Hang the cornice, and voila! Slide the cornice into place above the window and reach up under the cornice (it will probably be a tight squeeze) to screw in small screws through the L-brackets that are on the wall, into the top piece of the cornice. That's it!

The finished product hung on the wall.

Image showing the cornice in the space.

So, what do you think? Let us know your thoughts on this project. Does it seem easy enough? Did it improve the look and style of the window?

Well, what really matters is that we love it. And we do! It added that extra layer that was missing. Now, we only have to add a few (or more.. haha) layers - we're thinking backsplash, lighting, etc. We'll be bringing you more DIY projects soon!

Our Blank Canvas

First, and totally off topic from this post, I have to say… Yay, Logan finally had some time to publish his first blog post! I’m looking forward to being able to post more often with two authors and give our readers (the few that may be out there) more updates, inspirations and ideas. Of course, it will be nice to hear all of this from two, often different, perspectives as well. So, yay for that! Anyway, back to the topic of this post. In a couple posts back, we introduced you to our home as it looked when we purchased it – nothing but the bare bones. But, I think it might be nice to show you how it looked right before we moved in (with the renovation complete), with freshly painted walls, newly refinished 100 year old floors, and all the standard conveniences of a modern home. Since we had made an offer on the house early in the renovation process, we were able to choose some of the finishes, but unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to customize that much. That would be up to us! We look at it like this - we just lucked out on not having to do any of the fun, but often difficult, renovations like wallpaper removal, floor refinishing, relocating plumbing, ripping up old tile, etc. ourselves – maybe we’ll tackle that in our next home, haha.

Anyway, I dug (virtually) through photos to find some to share, and while we documented the renovation progress with hundreds of photos, it seems we failed to take good photos of the finished empty rooms, before we moved all our stuff in... bummer. Anyway, feel free to check out these pics from move-in day, but please forgive the cardboard boxes and random dropped placement of furnishings.

Empty living room.

Empty dining room area

Empty kitchen.

Empty bedroom

Empty hall.

Empty bathroom.

Bedroom with boxes and furniture.

Empty office.

So, our newly purchased house was pretty much a blank canvas for us to design and create into our own home. How exciting! I do remember being really excited, ha! Yet now, a little over a year later, I’d say we are still in the sketching stages of completing our work of art. But give us some time, after moving from a tiny studio apartment in New York City, we had very little furnishings to fill our home, and many of which we’d like to replace with “grown-up” pieces. We’ll get there slowly but surely. And if you know me, you’d know that I can make quick, innovative design decisions for anyone but myself – so imagine the analysis paralysis! If you’re not quite sure what I mean by that, I feel certain I’ll explore that in later posts! Stay tuned.

For now, we’ll hope to finish at least a few bits of our work of art (our home) and show you the progress as we go.

Ahh, the little things!

Hey! So, this is my first post. Valerie has been so diligent with posting (and having a great time doing it) that it has allowed for me to focus on a few other things while she types away. However, it’s time I get involved! Right now, Valerie is knee deep in an new design project, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to get my feet wet in the world of blogging and say hello. We are really excited about this blog and sharing our thoughts, feelings, ideas, inspirations, projects, and so on.

One of the many things that Valerie excels at, but I’m finding I have a hard time with, is knowing what, and what not, to blog about. In everything we do, she sees a blog opportunity. But, on the other hand, I'm not so sure you would want to hear about the turkey sandwich and diet coke I had for lunch. Therefore, I think I’ve been waiting for something huge to come along to share with the world : )

However, through this mini-struggle, and more specifically, throughout our everyday lives, I’ve learned that it’s not about the large seemingly profound things, but actually more about the little things.

So, something I’m going to be focusing on is remembering how important the little details are and how amazing it is to find beauty and inspiration in the smaller, or less world-changing and earth-shattering, things. Given this, I came across something small, (actually two small things) this week worthy of sharing in this blog post.

Our two cats silhouetted in the window.

So, I’m curious. What inspires you? What tiny thing, object, etc. made you smile today?

First Official Post!

Well hello there, welcome to our blog! This is the first post of our long-time-coming blog. Unfortunately, like lots of things in life, blogging got pushed aside as other things took priority. Nonetheless, it was our goal to get this thing launched before (or more realistically, at) the start of the New Year. With only a few days left of 2010, I thought I’d post a short introduction to get things rolling. So, who are we and what is this blog all about? Well, I’m Valerie and my husband and business partner, Logan, and I both plan to be authors of this blog (though I have a sneaky little feeling that I’ll be the one writing most often). Nonetheless, we are both creative, down-to-earth, driven and hopefully intriguing =). Discover more about us in the sidebar or in the ‘about’ section of the website!

Now, to answer the second part of the question, this blog is sprung from StudioVB (our interior design studio), so of course we’ll post often about topics related to interior design, our client projects, interesting finds, and quite frankly, anything artsy and creative. However, let’s face it, while we love what we do for a living, life is about a lot more than work. So, we’ll also write about the interesting, fun, strange and perhaps sometimes mundane happenings of our everyday life. This will, for sure, include our design and do-it-yourself adventures in our own home, which after purchasing last year, is still a work in progress.

You’ll see that we’ve given our blog the title be . love . create, not only summarizing the content of the blog, but named for the simple three word motto that directs our lives. Each word holds so much meaning, inspiration and possibility that we hope as we continue blogging might also inspire others. Stay tuned…