Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Adding a Little Cracked Pepper to Our Outdoor Kitchen

We took a nice long break from our work on the patio project. It sounds so dramatic to say we got burned out, but I think we did. Not only is this project big, but it's messy, time consuming and expensive! Most free weekends last spring/summer were spent working on this project and by early fall we were TIRED. So, we took a long winters rest and now we are starting to feel motivated to get started up again. But before we crack into the heavy lifting we feel compelled to correct a mistake (ish) we made in terms of color. You may remember we opted to paint the back fence/wall the same color as the house (a light taupe) and the brick + front facing fence the same color as the trim (white).

While we liked the look, the white brick is not so white anymore from the smoke that comes from actually using the pizza oven. Yes, the pizza oven is functional even though it's not pretty and we have used it numerous times and each time we do the white brick gets less and less white.

It just looks dirty and it's obvious it's only going to get worse the more we use the outdoor kitchen. So, we decided painting the brick a dark color was the way to go. I wanted something dark, but not jet black. After bringing home a few samples we landed on Cracked Pepper by Behr. It's a deep charcoal with a hint of blue. While Croix napped on Sunday afternoon, I got busy and painted most of the brick. I left the meticulous painting (edges) to Brent, so you can still see bits of the white popping out but I think I like this direction....

What do you guys think? 

All photos are my own. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fake Plants and the People Who Love Them

I love plants but they can be tricky, tricky little beasts. I've gotten better at tending to my plants over the years but I still struggle to keep some of them alive. My two biggest areas of struggle are my succulent wall and any plant/flower I try to keep on our coffee table.

The succulent wall is hard because a.) succulents in general are just such divas, water them too often they die. Don't water them enough, they die. And b.) my succulents are housed way up high above the built-ins in my living room, so climbing up to them, water in hand and tiny boy child wanting to assist is a task all on it's own. As for the coffee table, the only issue here is Croix likes to touch, move, knock off, rearrange and play with any and all the things on the coffee table. So, putting anything with actual dirt and or fragile petals/leaves atop it is just a bad idea.

Lucky for me, I was recently contacted by Silk Plants Direct to try out one of their products. A fake plant that looks real, is not fragile and requires zero upkeep sounded like an idea I could get on board with. The website is full of great options in a range of sizes, price points and variety of plant. I finally I ended up choosing this plant with my coffee table in mind. When it came in the mail I was luke warm about it. The container was a little more country-eque than I prefer, but I fluffed up the leaves and arranged them to hang down around the planter like they do in the photo on the website. Once on the coffee table I was pretty happy with it.

While I was on the whole fake plant train I happened upon some great fake succulent options at Hill Street Warehouse here in Atlanta and at Scotts Antique!

Both had tons of options and you could buy them individually to create the fullness and arrangement you were looking for. I picked up a few and added them to my succulent wall.

Now, the wall is a nice blend of real and fake plants and I'm pretty happy with it.

Gone are the days when fake plants automatically equal tacky. There are and will always be cheap (looking) options out there, but there is a whole world of fake plants on the market that just make sense to incorporate sometimes. As is always the case, make selections for your home that works best for your lifestyle and maintain the overall vibe you are going for in your decor. In my season of life right now, faux plants are a lifesaver and I'm a fan!

All photos are my own. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Junior League Tour of Kitchens 2017

One of my very favorite projects is going to be on this year's Junior League Tour of Kitchens! 

Photo from Junior League Atlanta's website
For those of you unfamiliar, The Junior League of Atlanta hosts this event each spring. 14 kitchens are on display for self-guided tours throughout the Atlanta area. Bell Cabinetry & Design, the company I work for, has featured kitchens on this tour for years, and while we are always excited for our projects to be included, I am especially excited for everyone to get to see this year's house.  

As a designer, I see a lot of pretty spaces, and have a lot of fun clients, but this house and the family behind it are special. These homeowners have incredibly good taste and have been collecting pieces from all over the world to incorporate into their home. They wanted to create an environment that mixed old with new and they did so beautifully. Every single element was selected and collected with purpose and loads of consideration.  The house is layered with details and pieces that have heart and depth. Everywhere you turn there is a conversation waiting to happen; whether it's because of the age of an individual item, the story behind the find, or the fact that certain pieces from current stores like Restoration Hardware can sit alongside elements from centuries past and work so beautifully together.  The kitchen sits as the true heart of the home and is striking with white shaker cabinets, a pewter countertop on the island (!!!!), a Scagliola Stone hood and french limestone on the floors. 

Photo my own. 
It's a stunner for sure and a home you definitely want to check out while you have the chance. The event will be later this month - March 25th and 26th. You can buy tickets here or at the door the day of the event. Our kitchen will be open on Saturday from 10:00 - 4:00 and I will be hanging out all day so please stop by and say hi! 

The full write up and more pictures are in this month's Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine on stands now. 

Unless otherwise noted all images from Junior League of Atlanta.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bye Fan. Hi Chandelier

I hope you are not sick of hearing about our living room, because I'm back today to talk about it's newest addition...a chandelier!! 

The room started with a fan and while I like ceiling fans and certainly enjoy the cool breezes they create on a hot summer's day, sometimes a room just needs something a bit more special. You all have seen this space take shape over the last year, and with each layer we added the modern (ish?) inspired ceiling fan just felt more and more blah and out of place.

If you've ever worked at putting a room or a house together, you know that each element is like a piece of the puzzle and the more you force a fit, the more frustrating it can be.  I had a general idea of what I would love, but knew that I would know it when I saw it. And I was right....Last weekend we headed to Chattanooga for a little family hang-out and popped into one of my favorite spots - Southeastern Salvage, where I saw the light. A 36" wide x 36" high, 8 arm chandelier with a dusty putty finish.

Standing in the store we loved the finish and feel, but we questioned if the light was too big, specifically tall for the room. We have 10 foot ceilings in this space so we thought it would work but knew we would have to hold it up in the room to see for sure. So, the next day we did just that. Brent and his assistants got busy removing the fan...

And then he and my Dad attempted to hold the light up with all of the protective covering on it (for ease of returning if it didn't work out) so we could see if the scale felt right. Trouble was, with all of the extra wrapping around the light it did appear to hang too low. So, we bit the bullet and unwrapped the beast to get a true sense of what the light would look like in the room.

Thankfully once stripped down the height was fine and the light felt proportional and fitting for the room.

We are loving the finished look the chandelier gives to this room! 

There are two more items on this room's to-do list: Find/buy a leather chair (Brent wants recliner) and design/buy built ins for the back side of the room. Neither of these are at the tip top of our priority list so I truly feel like this will be the last time we talk about this room for a while. Insert all other rooms in our house saying a silent prayer that this is true.

All photos are my own. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chit-Chat ((feb 17'))

Every now and then I thought we could break up the normal design/house related posts of 2017 with a little chit-chat about nothing and everything. Sound good? Ok, great, let's start.

I found eucalyptus at Trader Joes and I'm addicted.

Not only does it smell amazing but each bundle is only $2.99 and has been lasting over 2 weeks with some water in the vase! You may have noticed some eucalyptus on my coffee table in this blog post and on the center piece of my breakfast table in this Instagram photo.


Photo from Jack & Ella Paper

A few weeks ago I ordered this grocery list and now I actually look forward to meal planning and grocery shopping!

I love ramen.

I've always loved the packs of ramen you get in the grocery store (terrible for you I know...) but after visiting Japan a few years ago my love for ramen went to the next level. Lucky for me, Brent stumbled upon Hajime - Homemade Noodle Bar and the ramen is SO good and reasonably priced too! Atlanta people - GO!


s o c i a l     m e d i a     Favorites:

Instagram Design Account: namdangmitchell
Instagram Stories: LivingwithLandyn 

About a month ago Brent and I started going to Passion City Church in Atlanta. Great music and relatable messages. We really like it.

For year's I have been using NARS bronzer which is pretty pricey. But because I'm pretty makeup simple minded, I've never been brave enough to try something else. Well, lucky for me (?) I forgot my bronzer on my trip to Orlando last month and ended up borrowing bronzer from my friend Melissa. Welllllll, that bronzer I loved and guess what? It's $6.49 AND IT COMES WITH A BLUSH that I also love.

Do you guys like posts like this? Let me know......Happy Valentines Week! xoxo

Unless otherwise noted all photos are my own. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tree Swing

Croix is officially a walking member of society. He went from taking a few teeny tiny steps when bribed with an iPhone, to basically running! He loves to show off and practice his new skills pretty much constantly and his favorite place to do so is outside. Lucky us, winter 2017 has been pretty mild and most days it feels more like April than February, so in the afternoons you can find us in the driveway, the grass, the neighbors grass or even the street (holding my hand like the little cherub he is of course) (hahahaha).

As fun as it is to watch him explore, we thought he might enjoy a swing.  He loves to swing when we go to the playground and having his very own in our yard would be a way to take a fun break from all the walking falling and running while still enjoying the outdoors. We've talked about creating a whole play area in the side yard in the future, but in the interim a single tree swing sounded fun and charming, so we started researching and found this little swing on Etsy.

Can you even deal with the cuteness?

We installed the swing right into a magnolia branch (does it get more southern?) using these metal I-Hooks Brent picked up at Home Depot.

The swing came with everything else and the whole install process took about 5 minutes.

 Happy, charming and makes Croix laugh uncontrollably - check, check, check!

All photos are my own. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Living Room Updates // Coffee Table + Curtains

Before Christmas we checked off 2 more boxes on the living room front, making this space one giant step closer to D O N E.

At this point I'd say it's safe to assume the other rooms in our house are definitely starting to give the living room the side eye. Ok, on to the details....Up first....

A Coffee Table

A coffee table had been high up on our priority list from day one. The coffee table we had purchased from Scott's Antique for our last house was not big enough for the new living room set-up, so we sold it on Craigslist and kept our eyes open for a new one. Trouble was, with every option we saw, we became less and less inspired. We had either seen it a thousand times or it was too sharp (Croix), fragile (couldn't use it as a table when we eat our dinner in the den for fear of spills) or it was the wrong size. We know how we live and we didn't want to invest in a piece that would feel too fancy or too dangerous or too run of the mill.  In addition, with a new tiny, mobile family member to consider now we wanted to be mindful of a selection that would be pretty, functional and safe-ish. So, as is typical right around the time we stopped talking/looking for a coffee table we found one without even trying.

One Saturday afternoon before a UGA game we ran over to Publix to grab some homemade pizza ingredients (yes, the pizza oven is up and running...more on that later....) and popped into Nadeau, a furniture store in the same strip. We were casually perusing around when we came upon the coffee table.

I'm not going to say it was definitely the donut detailing that stopped me in my tracks, but this detail didn't hurt. Not only did we like the color and details but it was the right size and the right price so we bought it, loaded it and Croix has been walking around it, knocking anything and everything off of it from that day forward.


There are a lot of windows in our living room. Two high ones on either side of the fireplace and then an entire wall of windows/doors with glass that looks out to the patio. We love all of the natural light but in the late afternoon the sun that streams through is so intense that it makes it uncomfortable to sit in there, especially to watch TV. So, curtains have also been high up on the priority list for sometime. Trouble is, it's real hard to pick curtain fabric when you don't have much direction for the overall vibe of the space. I didn't want to commit to curtains and then box myself in to bringing the rest of the room together around them. So, we kind of sat back and let the room organically evolve and then by late Fall the room was really starting to come together with our new built-in doors + succulent wall and giant art for over the couch so I felt comfortable moving forward with curtains. 

We headed to several fabric stores and hung up our favorite swatches on the walls around the windows to see which one would be the winner. 

In true "us" fashion those swatches hung there for um....months. Ugh, yes months. BUT finally we narrowed down our favorite and our in-family seamstress  (Brent's Mom, Cindy) got busy making them for us. 

We planned to use the metal rod hardware we had used for our living room curtains at our first house, however when we went to install them we quickly figured out that wouldn't work. The span was too long and the weight of the curtains was literally pulling the brackets out of the wall! Oooooh the joys of home improvement projects. At the end of the day it was the fact that 3-4 smaller rods had to be screwed together to achieve the length we needed. We ended up finding a wood rod that is a lot more sturdy because it's broken up into only two pieces that meet in the middle.

We ended up going with a nubby rough cotton weave. The color is very similar to that of the walls so the curtains add layers of texture and interest without overwhelming the room with another statement.   The ceilings in this room are 10' high so in order accentuate the height we hung the curtains right under the crown moulding for a little drama. We also ordered enough fabric so the curtains could actually close all the way. This is especially nice in the late afternoon when that sun is pouring into the room.

Slowly but surely this 2nd house of ours is coming together. As much as I sometimes wish I could just blink and it would be all done it's pretty fun watching it take shape, layer by layer, piece by piece.

All photos are my own.