Allow me to convince you:
I love me a pink sofa and whatever you call it: Millennial Pink, blush, etc., it's here to stay. What's great about light pink is that it can bring in color without being scary and plays nice with other colors you may already have in your home. At first glance, it could seem too feminine but if you bring in colors like black, deep greens, mustard yellows, and/or graphic patterns to your space, your home won't turn into a princess palace. Promise.
Allow me to convince you:
So far my One Room Challenge room is going really well. See my previous post for befores of the space and what my plans include so this all makes sense!
I've had some wins this week:
I found someone to reupholster the chair going into the space for a great price and THEN I found gorgeous leopard fabric at Hobby Lobby to cover it on clearance for $8/yard! The other stuff I was seeing was easily $20/yard and I needed 9!
We also got the wallpaper hung on the long wall in the space. I've been wanting to do this for awhile so that was exciting! It's not easy to put up removable wallpaper but it's definitely easier to take off and that's why we chose it.
This photo gives you a little sneak peak of it along with the gorgeous maple bird's eye + white media cabinet I scored a couple weeks ago for under the TV. It's BEAUTIFUL and was a great price. I LOVE that it's a mix of wood and white so the space doesn't have too much warmth with the wood wall adjacent. I was REALLY wanting some burl wood in the space and this is the next best thing; plus the curves on the drawers read very art deco and that's exactly what I was going for.
We still have to hang the TV on the wall and then I have to decide if I want art above it. The wallpaper is busy enough but I do love the idea of hanging this brass fan I saw at a local store over it:
In the middle of hanging the wallpaper, Jared and I went to Hobby Lobby (again!) and got tons of faux greenery for my plant wall. It was 50% off and still cost $300 but I am hoping I can return some in the end. We had fun being weirdos in the plant aisle and Jared enjoyed mocking me. Also, neither of us ever wear all black so I'm not sure what happened that day?!
I'm still trying to decide what ceiling fan color I want to go for. I polled everyone on IG and it seems white and black were 50/50. I nixed my lucite fan idea after someone reminded me how dusty they get and how that would show all the dust (thank you Alix!).
Is it a time to be bold or not to be bold??
In a perfect world, a gorgeous chandy would go over this space, but there is no central air in the cottage (just wall units) and we need the fan for added flow.
I would normally choose the white so you hopefully don't even notice it much ('cause ceiling fan). But the ceilings are tall and I feel like I need something to punctuate it-- especially with so many dark colors (green sofa, black and white rug, leopard chair) on the ground. The before shows the entire space again for reference:
Then again, the wood wall draws your eye up so it may be fine. I'll decide as the room comes together more. What do you think?
I am now planning on adding some pretty lighting in another area though. I have a little trick up my sleeve for lighting them that doesn't require hard-wiring so that makes it easy and renter friendly.
I think they pair well with the modern/glam/art deco vibe I am going for.
I'm so excited to finally share with you my plans for the One Room Challenge! I hope you will follow along over the course of the next 6 weeks and see how I transform my space. In a nutshell, I will post here every Thursday with an update on the room and then on November 7th, all the guest designers will reveal their spaces. The 20 featured designers post on Wednesdays and there are some realllllly good ones this time so make sure to catch them too. You are going to be blown away by the talent behind these rooms. Chances are, you follow someone participating in the Fall 2019 ORC-- so support them, cheer them on, pay attention, because it's a lot of blood, sweat, tears and money! ha!
Just a little background in case you are new around here: my husband and I and our three kids moved from Iowa to Florida this summer to follow our dreams. He worked as an engineer for 10 years, I was a part-time interior decorator working with clients and together we did flips on the side in the Des Moines area. To make a VERY long story short: we had a dream of working together and gaining more margin in our lives by being our own bosses. We couldn't afford for Jared to quit his job unless we did something crazy-- so we did! In May he quit, we took our life savings and we moved to a part of Florida that is close to our hearts to live our dream. Why Florida? Because there was this teeny tiny (literally) thing called a "free" house here that we could live in while we got on our feet in a brand new place, AKA, my mom's 700 SF vacation cottage. And the fact that it's two blocks from the ocean might have also been a factor ;) We launched our online shop, Coco & VIv, two months ago and we have been working hard and taking on odd jobs ever since. Uber anyone? It's a dream, and though it's scary it's also incredibly fun.
OK, enough about that, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ONE ROOM CHALLENGE!!
Now that you know how we came to live in what I refer to as "my mom's vacation cottage", everything I'm about to say will make a lot more sense. When we first moved here in June-- I swapped out some of my mom's stuff for my own but left all of her main furniture pieces. I styled the space with things I already owned, added plants and called it good-- for the time-being. The meld of our designs was cute but still more boho than my true style. I decided I wanted to take the space to a more modern and glam place and that's what this design is all about. Of course, I will be incorporating plenty of tropical and whimsical elements along the way.
Here's a photo of the house the day we moved in:
My mom had it decorated in a cute Nautical style but since I knew living in such a small space with kids would be hard enough as it is, I really wanted to make it feel like "ours". She gave the okay as long as I put everything back when we moved, and that's what I plan to do.
Here was the space a few weeks later once I got my stuff in there. This is all stuff that was already here or is from our previous house-- except Viv, my favorite pet Leopard.
And if you are wondering what the other side of the room looked like at this point, just imagine a hot mess complete with random hooks, outlets and one (yes, one!) strip of wallpaper on the wall as I prepare to redo this space.
So without further ado, here is my concept for the space:
You may recognize the rugs and sofa from our last house (the green sofa is making a comeback, baby!!) but with a new and improved "Miami" flair. I want the space to be several things: lux, glam, art deco, tropical, modern, Palm Beach preppy, graphic and colorful. That is a lot to achieve with one look but I think I can do it. It seriously helped that I came up with this concept of my personal interior style so I can reference it when making decisions and asking myself "but is this really me?". I highly recommend taking the time to do something similar.
I've been showing you sneak peaks of this palm wallpaper on IG for awhile now. It's going to go over a huge central wall that spans the entire cottage. That wall is also the wall opposite the sofa where the TV is. I'll be jazzing up that side of the house in a big way starting with a gorgeous piece I found on Marketplace with curved drawers and maple bird's eye wood details. The piece in the moodboard is just representative so you will have to stay tuned to see it IRL :) The wall decor above the TV is representative of a gorgeous giant brass "fan" I found and am hoping to hang above the TV. However, I want to see how the room comes together before I make a final decision on that.
One of the main concepts for the space is bringing in some Art Deco inspired pieces. Art Deco design has a lot of curves and I was SO excited to find two Milo Baughman designed pieces for a steal on Let Go and Craigslist. First, the brass coffee table (which doubles as a sculptural piece as each circle pivots) is SO cool! And the upholstered chair in the corner is a show stopper. The chair is vintage, so again, this black chair is just representative of what I will be doing once it's recovered. But think curves on curves, black velvet and fringe.
The focal-point of the room will be the neon sign I custom-ordered for the cedar wall. We are essentially living in a rental so the wall has to stay as is. It brings some interest but also makes the room feel more dark and rustic than I would normally lean toward. To counteract that, I'm packing a punch with a faux "live" plant wall and a big neon sign.
Something like this lovely inspo:
The sign will actually say something totally different than what's in the moodboard but you'll have to wait to see that too ;)
Of course, in true Rachel fashion, I'll be bringing in tons of pattern and glitz and glam. There's a lot happening that's not depicted here but it wouldn't be fun if I told you everything up front, now would it?? And truth be told, there's still several details that I haven't figured out yet-- heaven help me!
So what do you think? It's everything I love wrapped up into one design and I'm so excited! I hope you follow along and that you check out some of the other designers participating in the Fall ORC. See you next Thursday right back here! And for more constant updates-- follow me on IG at @serene.and.co for lots more details and shenanigans.
Thank you to Better Homes and Gardens for featuring this event-- I'll always love you guys the most since you are from my hometown! And to Linda of The One Room Challenge for all of her hard work at organizing this crazy cool thing! Make sure you head to this blog post to see all of the other super talented guest designers and read about their plans, and this post to see what the featured designers are up to this week.
We decided to do a mini-makeover for the front door area and fall-i-fy the space a bit. As always, we aren't able to do anything permanent to my mom's cottage (where we are staying for this year) so I had to get creative with ways I could jazz it up without hurting the door/window etc. I also had to think through how I could get this area to coordinate with my interior vibe AND the exterior yellow of the house. I'm excited by how it turned out and if this front door is the first aspect of my style one sees when coming to our home, I think it makes complete sense with what you see on the inside. Or will see, once my One Room Challenge space is done ;)
I put together a moodboard of how I achieved this look which is at the bottom of the post. I also linked to my sources there as well, including some alternative wreaths/plants for those of you in a cooler climate.
One of the main aspects of the design were these "malachite" pumpkins. I spent about an hour with Jared and Ellery perfecting our pumpkin painting yesterday afternoon. It involved a lot of trial an error. I am not a DIY blogger so don't
expect perfect tutorials but I will give you a short run-down if you want to try to achieve the look yourself.
A large storage tote
A large garbage sack to line the tote
Spray paint (colors linked at bottom)
The trial and error came in during the dipping process. At first, I swirled the pumpkins around in the water and quickly realized that made them look more marbleized. I was going for a malachite look which is essentially rings inside of rings. So after awhile, we just started dipping the pumpkins straight into the water and straight out-- carefully.
For the malachite look, it's important to spray a lot of paint into the water, and then with each subsequent color, spray the paint inside the color of the one before. You will get rings this way. The hard part is dipping the pumpkin and keeping the rings intact once on the pumpkin.
It wasn't perfect and they aren't exactly like malachite but I think you get the idea. I like them and would be happy to put them out next year.
I ended up adding mini faux oranges to the wreath in an effort to bring in a little more interest. Orange is undoubtedly a fall color but I thought, in the form of oranges, it feels more fresh/fun and on par with my Florida style.
I made the stripes on the glass by using electrical tape. This aspect stumped me for awhile. I wanted to add something fun to the door by putting up removable wallpaper or decals or just *something* other than the backside of a blind! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that wouldn't work. Anything opaque wouldn't let light in when the bamboo blind (on the interior side) was up. I spent a long time looking up "window film" and all the patterns were too granny for me.
I ended up purchasing black masking tape off Amazon but once I unrolled it, saw that it's only black on one side and would require me to put it on the outside of the window! I wanted the stripes to be black on both sides so they looked good from the inside or outside of the house. And, preferably, I wanted the tape to go on the inside of the window/door to make it last longer.
Minutes before we put this space together, Jared suggested electrical tape and it worked perfectly! It went on easily (I just used a ruler and eye-balled it) and it should last for awhile-- albeit, not forever, but that's OK for our situation.
This was a fun and easy project and makes me happy to walk through the front door now :) See below for sources:
Magnolia wreath alternative
Boxwood wreath alternative
Faux orange sprigs
Real Fiddle-Leaf Fig
Faux Fiddle-Leaf Fig alternative
(I have heard awesome things about these QVC faux plants)
Blush Mad Cap Cottage rug
Leopard door mat
Wide faux pumpkin
Tall faux pumpkin
Black faux pumpkin
Bright green spray paint
Dark green spray paint
Black spray paint
When Jared and I considered uprooting our family and moving across country, the main concern I had was for our kids. I was worried about taking them out of their schools, away from their friends and family and just completely mixing up the scenery of their lives. At that time, I drew courage from the fact that I moved a lot as a kid and it seemed to work out well for me; I developed a resilience and love for change that has carried me through my whole life. In fact, my mom had uprooted me when I was exactly my middle daughter's age, to move to the very place we just moved. We lived in Florida for two years and it was the best two years of my childhood. That being said, my kids are not me, and I knew we really had to tread carefully and think this through so that if we moved, they could have the best opportunity to thrive.
Here are a few things we did to build unity and encourage our kids during the decision-making process. We weren't perfect but I think these things have helped us to all adjust, and at the very least, it helped me to know we were listening to them and hearing their needs.
Ask kids their thoughts and feelings about the big decision
This goes for any big decision with kids. Involve them in the process, ask them what they think and feel. Of course, they won't be making the decision for you but it's also very important to get their take on it so they feel validated and not blind-sided by a big change.
For us, this looked like frequent small conversations throughout the entire 9 months we were chewing on our future. It started out with, "What would you think if we moved to Florida?". We chatted about it often and made sure to emphasize that it wouldn't always feel like the Florida vacation they were used to.
As the time approached to really make a final decision, the discussions became more in-depth and serious, which leads me to the next thing.
Make a pro and con list together
A couple weeks before we fully decided we were going to try to move to Florida, we sat down with our kids on vacation and made a pro and con list. We made it fun and did it while at lunch on vacation one day. We all took turns sharing what we thought the best and worst things about moving here would be. For me, the beach, golf-carting, grilling all-year-round and working side-by-side with my husband were my pros. Leaving our family, friends and church were my cons. The kids were very excited to be near Disney and Winter the dolphin but were also nervous about starting in a new school. It was good to hear exactly what they were thinking and to talk through it with them. It also helped us determine how serious their fears were and how grounded their excitement was. In general, by the time we made the full decision, I think we all had a very balanced perspective on what this big move would really entail.
One thing I tried to do regularly was share my real emotions about it with the kids. Of course I was excited and talked frequently of that but I was also super scared to be giving up so much for such an unknown. We talked through these real fears together, we prayed together, and they probably even saw me crying a bit. The kids knew we were nervous, but also that we were looking forward to the move and were depending on God to help us though. We had some great opportunities to talk about making wise decisions and how leaps of faith are often good AND hard. We wanted to be transparent (without scaring them or making them feel like we were unreliable) so that they could share their emotions too. Big changes, even the fun ones, are still hard on everyone.
It really is true that kids are resilient. Some have a harder time with change than others, but if you are paying attention you can help them through those moments and use it as an opportunity for growth in their lives. We have had our growing pains with this move but overall, it has been a very sweet time for our family that we will always cherish.
I have found that it can be tricky to find Art Deco inspired pieces without breaking the bank. I've been looking for my own home and I thought it would be fun to compile some of my findings into a moodboard for you! See below for all links, and click through the items to see all your color options.
Starts with lighting and goes in a clockwise circle:
Globe table lamp $71.99 (on sale!)
Mirrored sconces $79.95/ea
Deco chandelier $299
Deco mirror $49
Arched table lamp $79
Blue vintage candle holders $15
Vintage pink deco vase $48
Blue vintage vase $36
Metal deco bed $449
Green quilted pillow: $22
Purple bolster pillow $12.74
Vintage deco swan $32
Round dining table $648
Brass and pink dining chairs $143
Blue and brass velvet dining chairs $211/set of two
Green velvet dining chairs $124.99
Gray petal dining chair $233
Magenta side chair $161/set of two
Pink channel-tufted bed $699
White side table: $149
Vintage brass fan candle holder $65
Gold velvet armchair $399
Green velvet club chair $209 (on sale!)
Round mustard pillow $29
Gold Shell Bookends $29
Blue curved Parisian sofa $929
Pink curved sofa $1235
Black and brass coffee table $381
I was pretty excited about the pink velvet and blue velvet dining chairs-- they are so beautiful for a great price. That dining table kills me and THE ARCHED BED is just like the Anthro version for a fraction of the price! Woohoo! What are you digging the most on this round-up?
*Links contain affiliate links
My husband, Jared, and I recently came up with a mission statement for both our companies (Serene & Co. and Coco and Viv) and one of the things we realized encompasses a lot of what we do is the idea of being bold. Obviously, my interior design style isn't for the faint of heart. I've never been one to shy away from color and if I get the chance to add in a bold stripe or some glitz and glam, I will always take it. Nevermind the fact that red lipstick and statement earrings are some of my favorite accessories.
Additionally, I've never been afraid of change and am the friend that always gets "nominated" to speak for the group (not sure how I feel about that- ha!). And obviously, cheering on my husband as he quits his job that supports us so we can move 1,400 miles from our friends and family to pursue our dreams isn't exactly a subtle move. And this is just one of the "wild hairs" we have pursued.
All this got me thinking that we really do stand by the idea of "going bold" and that tends to overflow into our life on The Gram. Jared and I both tend to be very firm on what matters to us and like to major on those things. We don't want to sit on the sidelines willy-nilly while life passes us by. We want to seize the day, as they say, and not miss a moment of the opportunities in this great, big, beautiful life. Let's be honest, I could probably have the phrase YOLO tattooed on my arm.
A note on this before we go further:
I do want to say, I think it's very important to distinguish that "going bold" isn't something one does blindly or every time. There is a time for boldness (think, statement pillow) and a time for restraint and I will never tell you that I think if you always go bold you will "win" at life or whatever the latest self-help books are saying. I mean, if you are always bold, then what qualifies the daring? I will say, that I think a lot of people are afraid to go bold and I yearn to encourage those to step outside of their comfort zones once in awhile as I believe that's where true growth comes from. Plus it's just pretty darn exhilarating.
I remember being a teen and having a friend ask me how I incorporate color into my clothing. I was surprised by this question as it was second-nature to me and something I didn't even realize I was doing differently. If people are afraid to interject jewel tones into their home or wardrobe, how much more are they afraid of taking risks when it comes to the big decisions in life? So, what if when you are feeling that way, you asked yourself this...
"What's the worst that could happen?"
Really though, what is it? And then go deeper... what's worse than that? And then ask yourself, how likely is it that that will happen? This question doesn't solve everything but I think it lays to rest 98% of the usual arguments about why one feels they can't go for something.
The fine print: please also use common sense, wisdom from friends and prayer while staying true to your values, personality and passions. There is absolutely times to stay put, be content, create space or tough it out and you will have to be the one to distinguish what time it truly is. But also, just make a decision!!
Right after we decided to move to Florida, the "what's the worst that could happen?" question was a frequent one for me. I knew we weren't doing anything inherently wrong but it was still so scary so I laid it out... what really was the worst thing that could happen if my husband quit his job and we moved across the country? Well, it really came down to the fact that we could lose all our money, I would look like an idiot and then possibly have to move all the way back home (haha that actually does sound totally awful!) But even that wasn't enough to stop me from going for it. 'Cause what if it worked? What if we really were able to work full-time together for ourselves all while living in our favorite place and growing closer as a family unit at the same time? The strong possibility of the good, outweighed the fear of the bad.
I don't have all of this figured out. I have gone bold and had it crash and burn (thank you, therapy, for helping me through this). I have gone bold with my knees shaking. I have even bought the wrong neon pillows and have had to return them ;) But each time, I have learned and I've gained confidence, clarity and faith for the next bout. I've also had some incredible wins that I never could have foreseen had I not taken a step of faith into bold and unknown territory.
I would love to talk about this topic and where you desire to go bold but simply feel stuck. It can be design-related or life-related. Hit me in the comments!
When it comes to making decorating decisions, I have found it's very important to know your style and exactly the type of things that comprise it. After moving, I've decided to take on a subtle shift in style by adding some more Art Deco elements to my spaces. I have always loved Art Deco design but marrying so many things together (regency, boho, modern etc.) can get tricky and Art Deco got left off my radar for awhile because I wasn't sure what to do with that piece of the puzzle.
It wasn't until my Florida friend, Molly, said something about my style being "more Miami" that it clicked. Miami is tropical, modern, bold and art deco. My style is like Miami! After that, I spent a couple hours on Pinterest looking up inspiration like this (not all from Miami, btw)...
The fabulous Plymouth Hotel
BAM Karaoke Box Paris #alsodead
I hope after seeing all those images, you will understand how I got to this moodboard. I really think this board is all-encompassing when it comes to my style and will help be a great visual representation when I plan a room so I can stay focused and cohesive-- which I need! A lot of these elements are placeholders but are meant to convey the idea of something I own or could see in my spaces. So let's break it down...
Elements of this style and moodboard:
I love Venn diagrams (maybe because they are a visual way to organize things) so while thinking through this style, I really thought of a Venn diagram and how Palm Beach Regency and Art Deco styles overlap. The color-palette of green and pink is something you would see in both, in addition to velvet and brass. But then putting elements of each all together makes a style that is unique and adds layers to my designs by being different than the next guy. I am passionate about combining styles to make your own and not just doing what everyone else is doing (you are unique, afterall!), so what styles do you love and how could you pair them to create your own vibe?
Hello friend! I am Rachel Serene, lover of color, anything tropical, Palm Beach and Art Deco styles.
Our family recently moved from Iowa to Florida to follow our dreams. There have been some twists and turns but we are so thankful for where we have ended up. Read my "pivot" blog post for more deets.
Thank you for following along on my decorating and family shenanigans!
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