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How to Make Emoji Rice Krispies Treats

13 Aug

Hi all! I’m back with some more creativity in the kitchen. Emoji Rice Krispies Treats! (Just look at how good they came out. Believe me, I’m more shocked than you are!)

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats main

Before we get started, I need to give major props to Mister Krisp who is the one-and-only inspiration for this project. If you don’t know about her — and yes, this Mister is a her — Jessica Siskin is a NYC-based writer who just happens to make amazing dessert art with Rice Krispies treats. She has a huge following on Instagram and one of her most famous projects is her emojis. (While you’re checking out her Instagram, be sure to note her Rice Krispies tacos,  her Rice Krispies burger and oh yeah, her Rice Krispies Drake. I figured the emojis would be a great project for me and the girls to make to take to a barbeque today. (Shout out to Kelli and Rob!)

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats ingredients

The ingredients you’ll need are: 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal, 3 tablespoons of butter, a 10 ounce bag of marshmallows, yellow food coloring, Pam cooking spray and frosting in the following colors: black, white, blue, red and pink. I bought tubes of Wilton decorating icing in black and red and then made a quick mini batch of white icing and used food coloring to make the other colors. (Note: I do NOT recommend the Wilton Ready-to-decorate cans. The frosting comes out too fast and it’s very hard to control.) For supplies, you’ll need a round cookie cutter and a Wilton #3 round piping tip. (If you want blush on some of the blushing emojis, you’ll also need red food coloring and a foam brush.)

The Rice Krispies treat directions are right on the cereal box: you melt the butter in a big saucepan on low, then add the marshmallows. As they melted, I added about 5-6 drops of yellow liquid food coloring to get the emoji color.

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats melting

Then you remove it from the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies. We laid wax paper on cookie sheets (just to protect the table) and dumped the mixture in the middle. Then I used a spatula coated in Pam to spread it out and press it down so it was flat. They should be somewhere between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch high. I kind of like how fat this one in the front came out and it’s about a 1/2 inch.

Sue at Home emoji rice krispie treats close up

After you’ve got the mixture all spread out (you might need more than one cookie sheet), use the cookie cutter to cut circles. (You can spray it with Pam so it doesn’t stick.) You’ll want to use a flat spatula coated in Pam to lift them. Do not underestimate the stickiness of melted marshmallows! Pam is your friend. Pam is sort of like the most important ingredient in this whole recipe. Use her wisely! In fact, Mister Krisp even advises spraying it on your hands to mold Rice Krispies treats. We did just that and reworked the leftovers into a new layer of Rice Krispies treats to cut from. (Like those pictures behind Sophia? You can read all about our photo wall in this post.)

Sue at Home emoji rice krispie treats cutting

Sidenote: On the first batch, I completely forgot the food coloring! We decided to still use some of them (I mean, they taste the same!) even though they looked more like rice cakes. Oops. You can see the difference here.

Sue at Home Emoji rice krispie treats 2 colors

All you have to do after you cut them is pipe on the frosting. I know this may sound daunting but if you’ve ever piped “Happy Birthday Whoever” onto a cake, you can do this. It’s just a series of little half circles and lines, plus some hearts, tongues and teardrops. (I kept this image from Mister Krisp up on my laptop as I worked.)  I don’t have any shots of me actually piping it because my assistants were totally over me at this point but here’s my advise: keep the piping tip close to the Rice Krispies treats, move slowly, and squeeze hard. As long as you stay close and go slow, you can’t screw it up.  If I ever make this again, I’ll invest some more tips because the biggest annoyance was taking the tip off and washing it before starting the next color. Here’s a process shot with just black and white icing.

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats black piping

But they really come to life once the other colors are added!

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispies 4 vert

Some of them, like the little guy on the bottom left below, call for blush. I couldn’t find a tutorial from Mister Krisp so I just figured it out on my own.

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispies 4.2

I used some blood — just kidding! — but seriously, doesn’t it look like blood? It’s actually red gel food coloring. I put a little on a plate and used a foam brush to just dab a little color onto his cheeks. Just be sure to blot it A LOT on the paper plate before putting it on the emoji. I think it worked out pretty well for those little shy guys!

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats blush collage

It was an easy, though somewhat time-consuming, project that looks a lot more impressive than I thought it would!

So, tell me…what’s your favorite emoji? I probably use the smooch lips the most because I “speak emoji” with my kids more than anyone else but I am partial to the wink and the heart eyes too!

Hope you’ll try this fun project!

XO

Sue at Home

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispies Treats Pin

Sophia’s Tween Room Update

16 Mar

I know I’ve been missing in action for more than a few months but rather than discuss all the very boring reasons I haven’t been around (like less projects happening and less time to report on the few I have been doing), let’s just get to it, okay?

Sophia recently turned 10 (how did THAT happen??) and her big gift for her birthday was a bedroom update. She got a new headboard, bedding, a recycled rug (we got a new one for the living room and moved the old living room rug into her room), plus a full closet makeover. I also made a no-cost bulletin board for her with some old stuff we had around the house. Let’s see how it came out:

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Her new white velvet headboard is from Amazon, the chevron shams and white studded pillow are PB Teen, the pillow cases (and matching sheets) and the turquoise pillow are from Target, and the pink cashmere one is an old one we had from Ann Taylor. The furry blanket on the end of the bed was a cheap Marshalls find.

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Sophia also recently made some washi tape updates: some stripes on her nightstand, a “framed” jewelry display and some decorations on her lightswitch.

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Her curtains and her corner shelf are the same.

sophs room 086sophs room 083I can’t remember if she had the turquoise marquee heart when I last shard her room. It’s from Target but I don’t think they carry it anymore. Sorry! You can find a similar one here.

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She wanted a bulletin board so I took an old one I had in the attic and spray painted the frame gold. Then I covered the cork with some old wallpaper that I’ve had in the attic for years. (See? Hording craft supplies does pay off!)

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I love that she put up a mix of photos, some pages from the Crewcuts catalog, and pictures of her favorite stars (like Taylor Swift and Meghan Trainor) that she cut out of M magazine. (I love that my little big girl loves magazines as much as I do!)

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Her desk/vanity looks pretty much the same. I think it’s her favorite thing in her room!

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But her closet is totally new! I’m hoping to write a post with all the details of the makeover soon.

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I love how the rug pulls the room together.

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It’s been a gradual evolution over the last four years but hopefully it’ll stay like this for awhile.  (Knowing Sophia, it won’t. I wonder where she gets that need to make changes all the time?)

Here are all the other posts I’ve written about her room if you want to see the changes.

A New Old Desk by “Sophia at Home” (the one where Sophia remodels a deks for her room)

Sophia’s Room Update (the one where she gets a new mattress and we rearange the layout)

House Tour: Sophia’s Room Part Two (the one with all the resources)

House Tour: Sophia’s Room Part One (the one with the inspiration pictures and ideas)

I’ll be back soon with all the details about her closet remodel. (You will not believe the before and afters!)

In the meantime, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @sue_erneta for the day-to-day updates!

XO

Sue at Home

A New Old Desk by “Sophia at Home”

15 Sep

Hi! I’m Sophia, Sue’s nine year old daughter. Today, I’m going to show you how super easy it is to redo a desk for your room in just one weekend.  Welcome to Sophia at Home!

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Step 1: Ask mom for a desk for your room for the millionth time.

Step 2: Rearrange the furniture in your room for a few minutes with your mom to see if a desk will even fit. Mom gets that look in her eyes that she gets when she’s got a good idea. You can practically see the lightbulb above her head!

Step 3: Say thanks as Mom and Dad present you with a dirty old wood desk that’s been hiding in the attic for years.

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It’s pretty gross looking but you love it anyway. (You decide not to mention that the little cube is never going to work as a chair. One thing at a time. One thing at a time.)

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Step 4: Have your assistants bring it outside to the deck and gather all the supplies you’ll need: sanding block, paper towels, painters tape, primer, paint, paint brush, foam roller, paint pan, screwdriver (to open paint cans), and a hammer (to close them). Make sure you’re using Benjamin Moore paints. Duh.

Step 5: Start by sanding the top and sides of the top. (You’re only painting the top panel and leaving the legs au natural ’cause you’re cool like that.) Towel all the dust off after. Note that you should be wearing “work” clothes but that’s no reason to not have on chic protective eyewear.)

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Step 6: Tape around the edge with painters’ tape. (Multi-colored manicure optional.)

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Step 7: Paint the top with primer. Make sure you paint with the grain of the wood!

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Step 8: Get bored and take a break while your assistant finishes up.

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Step 9: Let your primer dry and call it a day.

Step 10: Get back to work in the morning. Roll on Benjamin Moore’s Mountainview (aka mint). Luckily your mom had some leftover from painting the inside of the kitchen cabinet. This is what your mom likes to call a “no cost DIY”. Note: jammies make for great “work clothes” in a pinch.

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Step 11: Let it dry and then have your assistants carry it back to your room. Thank mom profusely and then tell her about the chair problem. (Make sure you break it to her nice and easy.)

Step 12: Watch the lightbulb go off over mom’s head again as she remembers an old chair she originally planned on painting for the den for this project. It’s currently collecting dust in the garage. (Mom gets so excited about having a solution that she forgets to take a before shot of the chair but luckily she has this one from when she bought it. It’s the little black one on the left which she picked up for $2.99!)

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 Step 13: Marvel as mom takes the chair apart and proceeds to paint the legs with gold spray paint and the seat and back in paint that match your ‘new old’ desk.

Step 14: Bask in the glory of your awesome new cost-nothing desk!

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The old-school keyboard tray is now a drawer for my school supplies, jewelry, and other important kid stuff,

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Because this is a combo desk/vanity, earrings have the same prominent placement as pencils.

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Isn’t the chair unrecognizable? I love it!

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Thanks for letting me crash the blog, mom!

Bye!
XO

Sue SOPHIA at Home

A Lalaloopsy Party for Lalalily

1 Aug

I’m back today with a belated post about Lily’s Lalaloopsy-themed birthday party. You might remember back in May, I showed you the DIY invitations I made using cardstock, washi tape, some Picmonkey layouts, and a custom Lalalily logo that my awesome sister-in-law made. (Lily says thanks Aunt Paola!)

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We lucked out with the weather once again for Lily’s party which was good because it was at our house. 

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A sign on the door with the custom Lalalily logo greeted guests and let them know they were at the right house. (FYI: That’s a Lalaloopsy doll. And a Lalalily.)lalloopsy party 034

We hired a face painter from Bella Faccia who worked on all of the kids. She came early to do Lily and Sophia and when kids arrived they got a numbered sticker on their hand so they wouldn’t have to stand in line. Ann did an amazing job and all the kids were thrilled! 

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Note to local friends: They’re the ones that are always at the Westfield streetfair on the corner of East Broad and Prospect. They’re not cheap but they were worth it!face paint collage

We also “hired” Sophia and her friend to do temporary tattoos for all the kids. We used an old Discovery Kids lemonade stand as a tattoo booth and I let the kids decorate it with neon signs I bought at the Dollar Store. They took their job very seriously and even made sure all the dads and grandpas were covered in tattoos!

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As for the desserts, I made two cakes and some chocolate covered pretzels which were so ridiculously delicious they were the surprise hit of the party.  Details coming soon. (Actually that’s a lie. The real surprise hit was my pomegranate margaritas. The kids loved them! Kidding. But they were awesome and you’ll get the recipe for those soon, too.)

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I decorated the pretzels with some rainbow colored sugars that I already had. (I mean, doesn’t everyone have decorative sugars in every color of the rainbow like I do?)

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I decorated one of the cakes with button lollipops from Oriental Trading. (It’s a Lalaloopsy thing. Don’t ask.)

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The other cake got a two-sided sign with that custom Lalalily logo. I made it by making two prints on cardstock, using a plate to trace a round shape on the top, cutting it, and then attaching the prints onto three skewers with tape. That makes it sound complicated but it really was very simple. And certainly simpler than writing the logo in frosting or crafting it out of fondant (which is far past my cake making skill set).

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Lily was not very excited about her mini Lalaloopsys being on the cake but after I promised that I’d clean them up, she allowed it. (I starting having flashbacks to a similar glue and Polly Pocket situation with Soph’s school project that strangly is my most read post. I guess a lot of people need to build wigwams.)

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If you know me, you know I like some colored cake (Exhibit A: Lily’s rainbow cake!)  so it may come as no surprise to see that the cakes were pink and turquoise inside. (Bonus: Duncan Hines has made it just too easy with pre-colored Blue Velvet and Pink Velvet vanilla flavored box mixes!)  

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For favors, I filled bags from Oriental Trading with Lalaloopsy art kits for the girls and Batman Lego sets for the boys…

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…and then used washi tape to attach labels to each bag. 

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Lil had a great time and we were so happy to have my parents with us to celebrate! (Note to self and anyone considering having a face painter at your kid’s birthday party: Just remember that your kids will look like this in any nice family pictures from the soiree. As long as you’re cool with that, paint away!)

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Check out some other birthday parties here:

Lily’s Rainbow Birthday Party

Lily’s Luau Birthday Party

Sophia’s Glamtastic Birthday Party

 

Hope you’re all enjoying your summer!

XO

Sue At Home

 

 

 

 

Half Bath Design Plans and Resource List

27 May

When we last left off, I had introduced you to our tiny half master bathroom complete with bad wallpaper and all the periwinkle blue tile you could ever dream of.

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I was inspired by this Laduree box and I became obsessed with the black, green and gold pallette before I decided to add a lot more white to the mix. In fact the mix is more like TONS of white with black, green and antique brass as accents.

half bath laduree photo (1)

Here are each of the elements we are planning on and how we chose them.

1. WALL TILE – White beveled subway tile halfway up the wall, with gray grout. Similar to this image from Sticky Bee but possibily with a thicker grout space.

How we picked it: We were planning on subway tile and then I spotted the beveled version in a hotel bathroom in NYC and I was smitten. The dark grout is a cool industrial look and I think it will be easier to keep clean.

white beveled tile

2. FLOOR TILE: Circulos Black encaustic tile from Cement Tile Shop

How we picked it: I was planning something basic, like a white hex with black in it somewhere–something like one of these–when Pablo (yes, Pablo!) asked about the bathroom below (that I had pinned from Marcus Design) and we both fell in love.

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marcus design bathroom

3. THE VANITY – We’re going to paint our current vanity black and we’ll get new hardware and a new faucet.

How we picked it: Well, we already have it. And there aren’t a lot of vanities that are less than 18″ deep (that’s the space we’re working with) and I’d rather work with what we have then go custom to the tune of cha-ching cha-ching.

4. THE FAUCET – I’m still on the hunt for the right inexpensive antique brass one. This shinier one from Kohler is a placeholder for now.

kohler faucet

5. THE KNOBS – New pulls  from Anthropologie for the vanity. (They’ll be turned vertically.)

How we picked them: Duh. They’re brass and they’re green!

anthro pull

6. THE MEDICINE CABINET –  Rivet Medicine Cabinet in Antiqued Brass from Restoration Hardware

How we picked it: I had almost given up on finding a medicine cabinet that I liked when I found this baby. I felt like I had looked at Restoration Hardware a million times but seeing this amazing one in the home of Erika Bearman in ELLE Decor made me take another look. I liked Erika’s but the Rivet had me at hello.

rivet medicine cabinet

7. THE LIGHTING – Vintage Barn Sconce from Restoration Hardware

How we picked it: I really thought I wanted some long skinny brass sconces to go on either side of the mirror (something like this) but since the space is so narrow, I just didn’t want to worry about having them fit so I decided to install a light above the mirror. Problem is, all of the double or triple bathroom lights I found were just so “bathroom light-ish”. Do you know what I mean? I guess I just wanted something more original and since the subway tile and dark grout was so industrial looking, I figured I’d stick with that look and add this cool gooseneck with just a touch of antiquey brass. I picked the color because I didn’t want the medicine cabinet and the light to be too matchy matchy. Coordinating? Yes. Matchy matchy?  No thank you. (Look how cool a gooseneck looks in this bathroom.)

vintage barn sconce

8. THE ARTA pair of 20 x 30 banana leaf prints from The Aestate on Etsy.

How we picked it: I really, really thought about using wallpaper above the tile on the top half of the wall–and I still might. But for now I think we’ll just paint that white and add some art. I love how these mimic the feel of an amazing banana leaf print wallpaper at a fraction of the cost.


the aestate

It’ll look similar to this but we’ll probably use some black frames.

banana leaf

9. THE HOOKS – The Anthropologie hooks I already mentioned in this post.

How we picked them: Green. Brass. Done.

anthropologie hook

10. THE PRETTY ACCENT – And just for fun, I’m planning on adding one of those malachite bowls from Hillary Thomas that I’ve always wanted.

How we picked it: It’s malachite, the love of my life.

malachite bowl

I’m still on the fence about the towel /towel bar and the toilet paper holder. I think I like the Pearson style in brass from Pottery Barn and they’re priced pretty well so I might just get those. I was thinking of getting a towel ring instead but then I remembered I don’t like towel rings because I feel like the towels get all bunched up and they never dry. Anyone else feel the same? Or…do you like how Reichel from Copy Cat Chic used West Elm’s turkish hand towel with Urban Outfitters brass hex towel ring? Cause I do! I’m just not sure it’s for me.

copt cat chic

Anywhoooo, let’s get back to my design.

Are you ready to see how it looks all together?

Through the magic of Polyvore, I give you…..my bathroom.

TA DA!

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I’m so glad I made this on Polyvore because it really gives me a good idea of what it will look like when it’s all together. It’s definitely very bright and white–which I like–but it’s good to know that going in. I’ve started buying the elements needed and I’m building my crew slowly so hopefully we can get started in a few weeks. Wish me luck!

XO

Sue at Home

Half Bath “Before” Shots and Design Plans

23 May

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that I’ve finally broken ground on my half bath renovation by yanking a couple loose tiles off the wall.

By the way, I also ripped down the wallpaper. Yup. I’m crazy like that.

half bath instagream photo

Unfortunately, that’s where the reno stopped. You see that thick cement that was behind the tiles? That’s known as a mud job and it’s going to be a serious mess to take out. I’m getting a team on board to make this change happen but in the meantime, let’s look at the befores of this blue tile half bath and a peek at my design plans.

You’ll remember that this is the small bathroom off of our small master bedroom. (See more about that here.) It’s only a half bath because…well, who would want a shower in their master bath? (This girl. That’s who. And no, I’m still not getting one. )

Let’s go inside.

Oh yeah. That’s a lotta blue tile and tan checked wallpaper.

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There’s a window that lets in some nice light but that’s about the extent of the good stuff.

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We’ve got two “fancy” hooks from Target that we use to hang our towels on. (There’s not much room in the other bathroom to leave them there.) This was an upgrade from the wooden ones that were there when we moved in. Gross.

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Did you want to see my toilet? No? Well, then marvel at the grimy tile floor. (P.S. The toilet’s staying. The blue porcelain toilet paper holder? Not so much.)

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The vanity is…well, it’s pretty cheap and ugly. And we’re keeping it. No, that wasn’t a joke.  You see, the space between the wall and the doorway is tiny. And it can only accomodate a vanity that’s 18 inches deep or less. Have you ever looked for a vanity that shallow? The pickins are slim. And yes, I know we could have something custom but I just don’t want to get into that. (And the cha-ching that would go with it.) The plan is to paint it–either white or black–and change the faucet and hardware. Sidenote: Dontcha love the tinfoil and duct tape used to cover the vent? It’s right above the furnace and it’s the strongest vent in the house so this room–the smallest one in the house–has the most heat blasting into it during the winter. Make sense? I didn’t think so either.

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A medicine cabinet is a necessity (as is the vanity storage, which is another reason we’re keeping it) so as much as I would like to just slap a huge mirror up there, we need to replace this with something with storage. (Spoiler alert: I already found one and it. is. awesome!) The light, obviously, is going too.

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Overall, it’s not a horrible bathroom. It’s just not us. Because we’re not 1955.half bath 137

 Now, onto the good stuff. The inspiration for the new design!

Someone sent this box of Laduree macarons to me over a year ago and I put a picture of it on Instagram with the text “I’m getting SO inspired by this Laduree box! Bathroom makeover palette perhaps?” It’s proof that inspiration can strike from anywhere!

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Since then I’ve been on the hunt for bathrooms in black, green and gold. Stuff like this:

pinterest green tile

And this:

malachite wallpaper

And this by Nate Berkus from Architectural Digest:

nate berkus AD

And this from Apartment Therapy:

apt therapy palm wallpaper

I thought about malachite (which I love) and wallpaper and malachite print wallpaper. And I thought about the banana leaf wallpaper shown above and the other banana leaf wallpaper. (Did you know there were two different ones? I didn’t until I found this awesome blog post on The Glam Pad. Apparently, the famous one from The Beverly Hills Hotel is called Martinique but the one at the Greenbriar is actually Brazilliance. Who knew?)

But ultimately, I felt it was all a little too dark and busy and dramatic for this tiny half bath.

Then I thought about adding in white. LOTS of white. And using the black, gold and green as accents. And then this happened. This being  that I stumbled upon this AMAZING powder room renovation that Jessica Waks posted on Style At Home.

malachite mirror

People. It’s a malachite-trimmed mirror. My head nearly exploded! Even Pablo was excited about it when I showed it to him. But then I saw the price. Unfortunately, this mama is not getting a malachite mirror for “price upon request”. (I can’t seem to find the exact price right now but I recall it was something like $3500 or maybe more. Obviously it’s from Made Goods because everything they make takes my breath away. Ya know, like a turquoise shagreen table or a gold nugget lamp or A MALACHITE MIRROR!)

But the look of the whole room did show me that more white was the way to go. So I’m going for a much cleaner, more modern, white bathroom with hints of black, green, and plenty of antiquey brass.

Soon I’ll be back with the full design plan but for now just marvel at the gorgeous new hooks and knobs I picked up at Anthropologie to get the process started.

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Do they make you as excited as they make me?

XO

Sue at Home

House Update: New Batik Pillows and West Elm Lamp

20 May

Ah, how I love a batik pillow! Remember back when I told you about those Amber Interiors ones that I was dying over? And remember how they were crazy expensive?

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Well, my Etsy substitutes from OrientalTribe11 arrived and They. Are. Perfect!

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They took a little while to get here–I mean, they were coming from Thailand after all–but they are as beautiful as I imagined. I was a little afraid how the navy and white batik would work with my teal walls but I think it’s divine. And obviously, I love the neon pink and orange accents. (Apologies for the couch that looks like a saggy elephant’s ass. I promise that what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for in comfort.)

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They’re made really well. I’ve had them for awhile now and I’m so happy with how they look. Check out the detail:

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The room looks so much better with some more streamlined pillows. Remember the hot mess of pillows I had before?

pillows collage textSidebar: And see the change in that doorway to the right? I painted the hideous wood paneling in the playroom (including that stairwell that leads to it) so I’ll be telling you all about that change soon. (And yes, that means that I totally broke my resolution!)

And looky here, another change!

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Did you spot it in the foyer behind the couch?

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We got a new lamp from West Elm and I am loving it!

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It’s the Geodesic Table Lamp and I love the openess of the brassy base. Plus that tan lampshade is so warm and sophisticated. I feel like it’s the look I was hoping for when I got the Nate Berkus for Target one, but this one…well, you get what you pay for. (No knock to Nate of course, his is still damn good for a $50 lamp!)

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It’s coming together one little bit at a time.

XO

Sue at Home

P.S. I feel like whenever I show the living room, the paint color never reads right on camera. So, here’s a swatch of the real color: Benjamin Moore Teal.

benjaminmooreteal

Hallway Gallery and Runner

12 May

When you last met my hallway…what? You’ve never met my hallway? Oh the shame. Let’s get better aquainted.

Back in 2010 when we moved in, our hallway had brown wall-to-wall carpet (yikes) and poorly textured creamy walls.

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It only took about a month before we ripped out the carpet and had the wood floors underneath refinished. We went with a dark stain downstairs but we kept the hall pale to go with the floors in the bedrooms. Check out 2 year old Lily showing off the pretty hardwood back before I fixed the stair risers. (Doesn’t she kind of look like a ghost? Boo!)

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A few months after that, Pablo attempted to skim coat the walls (I’ll give him an A for effort) and we painted the walls in Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray with Cloud White trim.

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That was three years ago and everyday since then I’ve had the intention of hanging some extended family pics up there. And now it’s done! Well, not done. More like a decent start. (You’ll also notice I’ve sort of learned how to use my camera too.)

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I shopped for the runner for a loooooong time. That problem with my expensive taste and limited budget got in the way but eventually I fell for a pretty kelly green wool flat weave rug in a Jaipur catalog my mom had borrowed from a local decorator. I was contemplating getting one (and even paying the expensive-for-me $200+ price) when this beauty popped up on One Kings Lane for only $149. I had to go for it. Lucky for you OKL has it right now, too (for a few bucks more).

OKL rug

The next step was the frames and since you know me, you can imagine I tried to go inexpensive with some of the offerings at Target, Kohls and Ikea. But they all just looked too cheap to me so I ended up getting most of them at Pottery Barn. (I can’t say enough nice things about their gallery frames. Just go buy them and thank me later.)

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As for the pictures themselves, the focus is on extended family: the girls’ cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. (I felt I had thoroughly covered the 4 of the us in our dining room photo wall so it was time to spread the love.) You’ll notice most of them are super casual.

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hallway 050One of the favorites is this picture from Thanksgiving a few years ago. It’s the last time we had my family and Pablo’s family together so it’s got a lot of VIPs in it.

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The walls look a little sparse for now but the goal is to fill it up top to bottom. Something more like this.

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It’s coming together but don’t look up! If you do you’ll see cracked and peeling paint and one of the noisiest flourescent lights in history.

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Take a closer look at that texture.

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We’re bringing some pros in soon to fix it up and I’ve got plans to replace the light, too. I’ll keep you posted.

And the view from the bedrooms needs a little love too. See that space above the stairs? hallway 056

 I’d love to put something inspirational there so we see if right before we head out for the day. Ya know, something like this:

seize the day

OR

don't forget to be awesome

Maybe we could even jump and smack it like the Notre Dame football team does with their motivational sign…?

play like a champion today

So it’s still a work in progress but I’m happy with the changes we’ve made. It sure is nice to see Mimi, Papa, Uncle Steve, Auntie, Jonathan, Bobe, Grandpa Steve, Uncle Francis, Aunt Nicole, Baylee, Arianna, Carter, Aunt Paola, Aunt Alex, Eliseo, and Weli everday.

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XO

Sue at Home

Sue At Home in Ladies’ Home Journal

1 Apr

As you may know by now, I am the Fashion Editor for Ladies’ Home Journal magazine. So when some of my fellow editors wanted to photograph a story for the April issue about bringing spring color into your home, they thought of my colorful abode and more specifically, my hot pink chair.

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My pink chair (you can read all about it here) has gotten a lot of love in the past. It’s one of my most read posts, most repinned pins, and it was featured on Emily A Clark’s blog, Centsational Girl’s Best of DIY site, and Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color. (Hey look! There it is again over in the sidebar! Click there for more living room pics.)

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But this time, it’s in a magazine. A huge national magazine. (OK. I know that I’m one of the editors so it’s kinda like nepotism but still, I’m happy to be included!)

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So on a chilly day in January, I was pleased to invite two of my fellow LHJ staffers and a small photo team into my home for the shoot (the zero-minute commute was kinda awesome too).

Right away photographer Jennifer Causey and her assistant got to work setting up lights and reflectors and getting my pink chair ready for its close-up. I usually prefer a neutral pillow on the chair but for the purposes of the story, editor Lauren Piro brought lots of bright spring-y options. The yellow one from Target was the clear winner.

pink chair in LHJ

Note: The chair has faded A LOT and is due for another dye job but I just couldn’t get it done before the shoot, So yes, she has had a Photoshop touch up for the LHJ final image you see below. When it gets a little warmer, I’ll be ok with dying on the deck again!

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But the chair wasn’t the only image shot in my house. We also put some artwork from Society6 on my bedroom dresser and styled it with some of my jewelry.

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Do you know what it’s like to have a photo crew, including some of your coworkers, in your bedroom on a Thursday afternoon? It’s weird, people. It’s weird. Luckily, one of those fellow coworkers is my dear friend, our very talented photo director Clare Lissaman, who always knows how to put people at ease on a shoot.

The story also featured my painted kitchen cabinet. It’s one of my favorite DIY projects in my house (you can see it up top in my header collage) but I’ve had such a hard time getting a good shot of it for the blog so that’s why I’ve never written about it.

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The cabinet looks so pretty that I almost don’t notice the fugly countertops!

So how was she able to get that brighter shot in my windowless kitchen? What photo skills does Jennifer have that I don’t have? This big ass light, that’s what! (And I’m sure she has lots of other great photo skills too! But the light helps.)

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That beauty totally brightened up the space.

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I was totally thrilled to be included in the issue and I want to thank my co-workers for including my home and supporting Sue at Home. If you’d like to order a subscription to Ladies’ Home Journal, just click the affiliate link in my sidebar.

With the happy spring weather, I’ve decided to come out of my hibernation and I can’t wait to get some spring projects happening soon. Stayed tuned for our newly painted playroom, a new headboard, a hallway makeover and…drum roll…a complete bathroom renovation!

XO

Sue at Home

A Remarkable Renovation: 43 Church Street in Westborough

3 Mar

Last summer when we were visiting my parents in Westborough, Massachusetts–the town I grew up in (remember I told you about it here and here?)–I drove past this stunning house on Church Street and it stopped me in my tracks. I just couldn’t believe that I had never noticed it before. Well, that’s because it didn’t look like this when I lived there. 43church 225

Back when I lived in Westborough,  it looked more like this.

43 church as it was

Lucky for me, the stunning house had a sign out front that said 43churchst.com. So, I checked it out and found the story of how Michael Fitzpatrick (a very talented wood furniture maker) and his wife, Dr. Jean Keamy, had purchased the house with the intention of renovating it and bringing it back to its former glory. I mean, look how gorgeous it was back in 1880.

original house

Their website is great and it shows lots of process shots but I was dying to see it inside, so I emailed Michael and asked if he would let me–and the Sue at Home readers–take a peek. He could not have been more gracious and welcoming so the next time I was in Westborough, Pablo and I went to take a look. (Yes, it’s taken me over 6 months to write this post. What can I say, it’s got a LOT of pictures.)

They brought the exterior of the house back to its original style except for the addition of this porte cochere on the side. No need to Google it. “Porte Cochere” translates to Carriage Porch.  (It’s like a fancy carport.)

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Here’s the back of the house.

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As they were building the porte cochere, some birds decided to make it their home so they continued building around the birds and now they’ve got permanent houseguests. See that little square in the picture below? That’s how their little feathered friends get in and out.

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 Michael restored and built reproductions of all the exterior millwork himself. (See more about that in this video.)

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I especially loved the pale blue painted porch ceiling. Let’s go inside, shall we?

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While they respected the aesthetic of the original structure on the exterior, they opted for a more modern interior with an open floor plan and a focus on function. I loved all of the clean simple furnishings.

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The floating stairs–that connect all four levels–let in tons of light.

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This little sitting area connects the living room and kitchen.

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I love how the color of the mid-century chairs is picked up in the kitchen backsplash.

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The center column in the house, which has a small bathroom and an elevator on this floor, also includes this built-in bookshelf. (Note the wood carved grate. Yup – that was made by Michael, too. It’s the details like this that make this house like no other I’ve ever seen.)

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Here’s Michael showing us the diary of Mary White Forbes that they found in the house.  The entries are dated 1850-1857.

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The kitchen is a story itself. Every single shelf and drawer is completely thought out and made for full function.

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The wood veneer is Black Palm from Ecuador, a renewable resource. (Now’s a good time to mention that 80% of the materials that were taken out of the house at the time of demo were recycled to other homes around New England.)

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Adjacent to the kitchen is the dining room. That low table on the right is one of Michael’s designs made for a show at the Fuller Craft museum.

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Check out these small “floorlights” that connect to the basement below. (Remember those. You’ll see them again.)

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These amazing doors (from Thailand, circa 1780) were bought at auction. They lead to…

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…a small music room in the back of the house.

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Now, let’s go downstairs.  This spooky little pod is the entrance to the future darkroom.

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Of course, we had to go inside.  Here’s Pablo on the other side.

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They’re also working on a screening room that hasn’t been furnished yet. And the little space below is the future wine cellar. See those little skylights? Those are the floor panels we saw in the dining room above.

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I can’t get enough of these beautiful steps. Let’s go upstairs again.

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Here’s another one of those Michael Fitzpatrick grates.

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The entrance to the master bedroom.

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Here’s the TV in the bedroom. On the right is a jewelry box that Michael made for his wife as a wedding gift. This house is a fully wired “smart” house. I think the coolest feature is the keypad near the bed where they can put the house to sleep with the touch of a button: the garage locks, all the lights turn off and the thermostat sets to a predetermined temperature. Need the use the bathroom in the middle of the night? No problem. Motion detectors track their way back to bed and turn off the lights as they’re no longer needed.

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Of course the tub is surrounded by wood.

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Now, let’s go all the way to the top floor.  There’s a large TV room that has a balcony.

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The teak woodwork in the upstairs bathroom was my favorite.

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Out on the balcony, we get a better look at those shingles and the stunning millwork.

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And before we leave, we need to take a look at Michael’s wood shop in the back garage. There are lots of plans to renovate this space next.

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One of Michael’s beautiful veneer topped tables.

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Some more tables with mid-century hairpin legs.

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I’d like to thank Michael for the tour of his beautiful home.

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There are so many other rooms that I didn’t show here because they’re yet to be finished so stay tuned to 43churchst.com for Michael’s updates.

XO

Sue at Home

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