Before and After, Decor, Home, My house

House Tour: Living Room

This is another one of those posts where I’m like, “What? I didn’t write that post yet?”. I mean, I’ve talked about our living room’s gallery wall and pink chair plus every detail of our foyer (which is part of our living room), but I’ve never talked about the living room itself. It’s even been featured on Apartment Therapy and yet I haven’t given you a full tour of the room! So, since I’m sure you’ve been dying to know where I got every last bit of it, here is the full tour and resource list. (And of course a beige-tastic “before” photo to start things off!)


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Paint: Benjamin Moore Teal

Rug: RugsUSA

Frames: Kohls

Manhattan Map: These Are Things

NYC area art: Aaron Straup Cope from 20×200

Canvas prints: Shutterfly

More detailed info about the gallery wall can be found here.


Media Console (we have two pushed together):  CB2

Copper balls: Design Within Reach Annex (read their interesting history here and here)

Apple Bookends: Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler


Woven rag bench: Threshold at Target

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Chair: PB Teen with my custom dye job (no longer available at PB Teen so try this one instead)

Je T’aime pillow: Atsuyo et Akiko

Garden stool: Home Goods

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Roman shades: Handmade by the former owner. They came with the house!

Arc lamp: CB2


Brass candlesticks: Unique Thrift store (about $2 a piece!)

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Coffee Table:  old one from Pottery Barn (similar here)

Couch:  really old one from Macy’s (similar here)

Pillows: printed on left (Country Lanes via Etsy), Monglian lamb (Pier 1, similar here), printed in middle (Nora Jane via Etsy), velvet (Crate and Barrel, similar here), printed on right (Eleen via Etsy)

Pink cashmere throw: Ann Taylor (Yup, you read that right! It was from a few years ago.)

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Lucite Tray:  Jonathan Adler

Brass bowl: Nate Berkus for Target (no longer available)

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Foyer table:  Serena and Lily (Scored for less than $100! Read the story here.)

Lamp: Target base and shade

Chevron bowl:  Jayes via One Kings Lane

Runner:  Ballard Designs

Mirror:  it was my grandma’s :)

Hi letters:  Land of Nod with Krylon Metallic Spray Paint (read the tutorial here)

Orange frame:  C. Wonder

Brass bowl:  Nate Berkus for Target (no longer available)

More about the foyer in these posts: the inspiration, the decorations, the table, and the reveal.


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Dining Room and Hallway Paint: Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray

Antique chest:  My parents bought it at a neighbor’s yard sale over 20 years ago!


Map:  Future Map


Snake tray – Furbish

Skull box – a gift

Brass bunny – Antiques and Collectibles Too (read about where I found him here)

Turquoise vessel – TJ Maxx

Chevron urn – Nate Berkus for Target (no longer available)

Hope you enjoyed the Living Room tour. It sure is a lot more colorful than it used to be!



Check out more House Tour posts here.


Sue at Home

Before and After, Decor, Home, My house

The Big Reveal – Foyer Makeover Part 3

I know I was really teasing you with the last 2 posts about my foyer makeover (inspiration here and finding the table here) but without any further adieu, I give you OUR FOYER:

It’s still a work in progress so don’t go getting all judgmental on me! As I mentioned yesterday, the table is the South Seas bar cart from Serena & Lily. Let’s take a look at the other details.

Right now the foyer is borrowing a lot of things from around the house. The one thing that’ll stay for sure is the mirror. It used to hang in my grandparent’s living room so sorry, you can’t have it! It has a weird, streaky, antiquey look to it which makes it perfectly imperfect. (I know my grandparents are looking down from heaven and loving that I’m using it. But I can bet my grandfather, a simple man who did not like change or forward-thinking, would have have had something to say about my decorating choices. His favorite line was, “That’s…different.”)

A nice bonus about the mirror is that everyone in the house – from the smallest to the tallest – can see themselves in it.

The bowl is from Jayes but I bought it on One Kings Lane so it was a little cheaper than they are on the Jayes site. One Kings Lane features Jayes products quite often so I suggest signing up for emails if you’re interested. Why all the sunglasses, you ask? Well, the ladies of the house like to have choices and anyone with kids knows that you can never have too many. I can’t explain it but somehow kid’s sunglasses just evaporate. I pick up at least 10 pairs at The Children’s Place each year because I believe that $3 each is a fair price to pay to ensure no one has a tantrum in the park because it’s too sunny.

Plus, sunglasses really complete a look, dontcha think?


The vase is one of my many turquoise vases that get moved around the house whenever I feel that a room needs some color. (The collection is like a disease at this point. I. can. not. stop.) My mom bought this one for me at Sylvester & Co in Sag Harbor many years ago but I found a couple of similar styles on the site Design Darling (which BTW has lots of goodies that I would love).  Sidenote: Yes, that is my cell phone charging there. I decided to leave it in the picture in an effort to “keep it real” because even when my phone is not there, the charger will be. It ain’t pretty but I really hate editing out something like that. And yes, this house gets a lot more “real” then just a charger laying around but I don’t think you need to see Lily’s balled up socks that she leaves all over the house, do you?

On the bottom shelf is my custom acrylic tray from Jonathan Adler. Pablo got it for me for Christmas and it has been on the living room coffee table since then but I thought it was pretty cute here. Before you get jealous that my husband is cool enough to know to get me something so awesome, just know that he selected it from a list of  approved gift options from Miss Controlling over here. (That’d be me.) I know you might think I’m crazy to do that but this is the man who gave me a cheap packaged fragrance set for my birthday the first year we were dating. Oh, the horror…

Speaking of Jonathan Adler, did you see his Shelter Island house (with hubby Simon Doonan) in Architectural Digest? It’s to die for. Oh, and I just discovered that he has a Manifesto on his site that has some similar ideas to my own Manifesto. His made me laugh out loud – especially the second one! So true.

Another thing I wanted to share is how the plugs fit right into one of the openings on the bottom shelf. That’s one of those happy accidents that you couldn’t plan if you tried.

The last element is the lamp. Right now it’s on loan from our bedroom. (One guess who’s side of the bed I stole it from. Sorry sweetie!) There are a million similar ones on the market now but I got mine about 10 years ago from Martha Stewart’s website before she had all kinds of licensed products at Home Depot like she does now. Here’s a similar version at Lamps Plus and one from Amazon that’s cheaper (and looks it). I love how it looks in the space but I do want it back in the bedroom asap so I need to find something else to replace it. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post when I’ll try a bunch of different options.

And in an effort to REALLY “keep it real”, I’m going to show you why I referred to this space as “not really a foyer”.

And I’m going to show you one of the most embarrassing, yet beloved, pieces of furniture in my house – the old comfy sofa we got at Macy’s 10 years ago.

What did you say? Is that a bi-fold closet door I have, you ask? Why yes. Yes, it is. Are your eyes bleeding yet?

Maybe this will make you feel better: a shot of the space when we first saw the house. No, don’t adjust your monitor. It really was that devoid of color. I know. It makes me sad, too.

And don’t forget there’s more I want to do. Like adding some little stools or poufs to the side of the table. I’d love to get some X-benches. Maybe something like a pair of these from Ballard:

And I’m still dreaming of adding a large section of wallpaper in a frame. But we’ll see if I ever have the bravery to add wallpaper back into my house. You know all about my love/hate relationship with wallpaper. But still, I’d love to do something like this:

What do you think? And could I ever choose a piece of wallpaper that I could commit to? I’m quite the commitment-phobe, you know. And please…tell me what you think? Is it fabulous and functional? Or plain and boring? Is it fancy? Casual? Simple? Is the table too beachy? Rustic? Or is it perfect? I’m kinda feeling like it’s a decent start but it certainly needs a little personality and love.

Please don’t forget to click that link below if you haven’t already (where it says FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL).  That’s where you can sign up to receive Sue at Home in your inbox so you won’t miss a moment of the excitement! LOL…


Sue at Home 

Decor, Home, My house

Making a Gallery Wall in 3 Easy Steps

I’d like to take you through a tour of our living room gallery wall. It’s been a work in progress for over a year and I’m sure it will continue to morph with every crazy whim that I have. For the purposes of this experiment, please avert your eyes away from the ginormous television. It will be there only until it craps out and I get a more reasonably sized TV. Don’t get me wrong – Mama loves her TV. How can I not?  It brings me such beautiful gifts – like Mad Men and Happy Endings. But this size was more suited to the long living room in our old house and right now, it’s just messing with my gallery wall.

How I made my gallery wall in 3 easy steps

Step 1: Research.

I went on to my beloved Pinterest and searched “gallery wall” to check out what I liked and didn’t like. I compared every option: matching frames vs random ones, symmetry vs asymmetry, small pics vs large pics, color vs black and white, taking up a small section of the wall vs spanning the majority of the wall, small spaces between frames vs larger spaces between frames. I also spent a lot of time just sitting on the couch starring at the wall. (Hard work, I know, but I swear my gears were turning). Pinterest was a great way to figure out the look I wanted before I commited to anything.

Step 2: Determine a layout

I cut up sheets of newspapers in the size of my frames and moved them around the wall until I found a layout that worked. I didn’t take a lot of pictures of this process so I’ll just refer you to my favorite DIY home bloggers on the planet, Young House Love, because they’ve already written the best gallery wall tutorial ever.
I made the mistake of hanging empty frames and then trying to find the art for them. Big mistake. It’s like “Gallery Wall Murphy’s Law”: When you need 3 large vertical pieces of art, you’ll only find small horizontal ones that you like. In time I gave up and started moving things around to get them to fit.

Step 3: Be patient 

If you throw things on their quickly, you won’t love it.  Let it come together over time and it will feel totally personal. Mine is still a work in progress.

So, what’s on the wall? Let’s take a closer look.

Canvas of Aruba water – I took about 50 pictures of the water in Aruba to try and get the perfect shot of the perfect water but I don’t like how it came out on canvas. (Note: Printing on canvas makes your pictures kind of washed out.) It’s ok against the teal wall but I don’t love it.

Isn’t the original so much better?

Swatch of fabric – I absolutely LOVE this fabric and I only have a couple small swatches of it. It’s from Raoul, it’s a fortune, and it’s divine.

New York metro area map by Aaron Straup Cope via 20×200 – If you like cheap art (and who doesn’t?) I highly recommend this site. I particularly love this one because 1) it has all my favorite bright colors in it, 2) it doesn’t necessarily look like a map so it’s kind of like a little surprise, and 3) it extends beyond Manhattan to include our current home area out in Jersey. It reminds me that even though we’re not in our beloved NYC anymore, we’re not that far away either.

L’s painting  – L brought this home from Preschool and it immediately filled an empty frame. I absolutely love it. (And not just because she made it.) I think it needs a bright pink mat, though. I’ll have to buy some neon poster board and DIY that.

S’s canvas – This is S’s abstract take on Aruba. I love the colors and the way she made orange by putting neon pink over yellow.

Canvas of L and S – I absolutely love this picture. I call it Thelma and Louise. Funny thing: all the other kids were just riding the ride like normal human beings and only my crazy kids were screaming and waving. They sure do know how to have fun!

Manhattan neighborhood map from These Are Things – Yes, this is a recurring theme. We love NYC. We miss NYC. Even though we’re happy to have a house with a yard and great public schools, we dream of our years in Manhattan and hope that one day we can have a little pied a terre in the city. (It’s a pipe dream but not one I’m going to forget very easily.) I kind of hate that it’s the only one in a black frame. I went with the “cheapo use-what-you’ve-got plan” on this one but I really do think I need to get a white frame. (Or maybe I should save my money and put it in a “Manhattan pied a terre” fund!)

Panorama of Aruba beach – Aruba is a place that means a lot to us. We go every year with my parents – we even got engaged there. I took these pictures over 10 years ago and had them hanging in our apartment in the city. It’s 7 pictures literally taped together. I still love the blue mat.

Mom’s painting – (I mentioned this one back in this post.) My mom has taken some watercolor classes and though she’ll go on for an hour about all the mistakes she made, I think it’s perfect. Sidenote: my dad calls me ladybug so that’s why she gave me this one instead one of the many snow scenes she’s done. (They’re not really my taste but they kick that Kinkade guy’s ass. Too soon?)

Pablo and baby S – One of my favorite pictures ever. I had just fed her in bed and l laid her toward him and stood over them to take the shot when she gave that big post-breakfast yawn. Other than placing her there, it wasn’t styled or tweaked at all. The wrinkles of the duvet were so perfect, I couldn’t have ever staged it that well if I had tried. And I shot this on my old point and shoot Olympus. Not bad for a pocket camera.

That’s it. So what do you think? Do you have a gallery wall? If you could put anything on one (and you can! There are no rules!) what would it be?


Sue at Home

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the TV console is the Chill Media Console from CB2 (we have 2 of them). The paint is Benjamin Moore Teal. The chair is the Reese Chair from Pottery Barn Teen but sadly they don’t sell it any more. But they do have this beauty. I’m kinda loving it. Chair? Pied a terre? Chair? Pied a terre?