One Room Challenge | Week No. 4

October 22, 2014

It's Week 4 of the One Room Challenge! Where has the time's crazy how quickly the days fly when you're working against a deadline. Today I want to talk about fabric selections and custom projects. I also wanted to talk about some of the frustrating set backs that have happened but it's only week 4 and I have a feeling that post needs to wait till next Wednesday since I'll more than likely have a few new "issues" to add to the list. Like most all big projects, this one has had a unique set of unforeseen issues and I think I now know why the word "challenge" follows One Room in the name. But let's talk about the good and pretty this week!


Hiring Bailey was a no-brainer for many reasons. One of those reasons: she has an insane talent for unique color pairings and fabric mixing. I could never (and I mean never) have gone out on my own and found the selection of options she presented me when we first started planning the room. As I mentioned in last week’s ORC post, the bed was the catalyst for the room re-design and easily became the focal point of the room when we selected Room & Board’s Portica Bed. Bailey and I both knew that curtain panels were for sure happening and after giving her a few words of what my brain was thinking (“pretty, edgy, bold”) she started pinning fabric choices that fell in-line with the vibe we had in mind.

There were a lot of great options for the what could be used for the bed curtains. Being the great designer she is, Bailey ordered in samples of four of our favorites so we could see the scale and color in person before making the final decision. This is where having a designer is so important (for me at least)  – I probably would have just looked on the computer and pulled the trigger on a choice, and gone all in with an order. Tisk, tisk. Seeing the scale of the fabric options is what led us to our final choice of “Storm” by Lindsay Cowles. All her prints are gorgeous works of art but this was the clear winner to us! (you can see the other options we pondered stacked on the left in the first collage!)

Bailey and her team drew up plans of how the curtains should be constructed and determined how many yards of fabric I should order. One the prettiness arrived (and it is seriously so unreal in person), I took it and the plans to a local seamstress in Dallas so the magical transformation of raw yardage to glorious bed panels could take place. Finding a good seamstress isn’t always easy…I asked several friends who I know have done recent house projects for recommendations and Albertina (another ORC participant) led me to her go-to seamstress – a skilled and trusted woman who’s work I was able to look at before determining she’d be a safe bet! Curtains are coming at the end of next week…just in time for the November 5th deadline! Can’t wait to install them on the naked and waiting bed.

So. One the curtain fabric was picked, Bailey turned her attention to the upholstered arm chair I already had. The photos of it with Blue Moonbeam were the only ones I could find but you can tell that it was originally covered in a heavy linen. Linen is great but this chair was handed down from my grandparents (thank you Mimi and Papa) to Sally before becoming mine and the seat and arms had managed to get a few stains. I’m glad I wanted so long to address it’s less than perfect appearance because the room re-do made for the perfect excuse to get it done.

The artistic and bold bed panels had me thinking a floral might be a pretty option for the chair. Usually florals sort of scare me. I like looking at them but was unsure if I’d like living with them. But Bailey turned it out once again and introduced me to the pretty “Elizabeth” fabric by Schumacher. Done and done. I sent a photo of the chair to the upholstery woman Sally and I had used before (again, word of mouth and asking friends got us this contact!) and she suggested it would need 6.5 yards to be covered. The fabric was ordered and I dropped it and the chair off to be reupholstered. I’m glad this was one of the first things I did because it takes 3-4 weeks for the job to be done!

The last fabric chosen was for an accent pillow on the bed. We’re still deliberating on which Biscuit bedding will dress the new Room & Board mattress but a special pillow was already a required asset. Scalamandré’s cut velvet “Tigre” in pink. Done and done. It makes me smile. Bailey bought the yardage on eBay since the fabric’s back ordered till December. You go, Glenn Coco!!

When we first started the project Bailey and I were wondering what we would do about a huge existing eye sore: Blue Moonbeam’s massive kennel. I had been keeping his palatial kennel in my bedroom because it seemed like the natural option. He only goes in there when I leave the apartment because unless in a secure and puppy-proofed environment he tends to destroy things while he waits for mama (me) to return. Bailey came up with a genus idea to build a console of sorts that could “sit” on tome of the kennel and be covered with a fabric skirt – the idea being that when not in use it would just look like a skirted table. Loved the idea and we were this close to working with a carpenter to do it but the more I looked at the scale of the kennel, the more I thought it would look like some massive, weird alter if we covered it.

Plan B: I did some rearranging in the main space of my apartment (the living, dining, work, and kitchen area are all in one big space) to find a new cozy spot for the kennel to sit. Then Bailey and I started thinking what would come into the room in its absence. Bailey was envisioning a 5-7′ piece that was console height but offered drawers and storage. And she was thinking it should be vintage. Errr…vintage and antique shopping is not in my bag of tricks. But she sent me to Scout, a great design studio in Dallas with a curated selection of one-of-a-kind vintage offerings. Sally found TONS of great furniture pieces there before her move and loved working with the owner, Flann, so I was less scared about my shopping adventure. I found three options I felt fit the bill and consulted Bailey. She picked my favorite – a Moroccan inspired console with six drawers and two cabinets that feature super special brass detailing. I LOVE it. It’s the perfect length and width and will sit across from my bed with hopefully a pair of lamps and lots of pretty things on top. Scout offering in-house painting so we are going to be lacquering it a stormy blue color that will perfectly compliment all the yum fabrics. It’s Benjamin Moore “Gentleman’s Gray.” The drawer pulls will be swapped out with these and then I’ll probably pass out from furniture love.

>> Previous One Room Challenge posts: Week No. 1 // Week No. 2 // Week No. 3

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Peace. Victory. Mickey Mouse hand. Whatever you see when you look at this, the one thing you should know is that it’s a leather sticker. You heard us – leather sticker. Our sticker books didn’t have any of these back in the day, did it? So maybe…we can get this Anya Hindmarch fun for a phone case? Or clutch? One stuck though…it stays for good! Also available in a thumbs up and pointy finger.


Crystal Frames

Molly wears glasses and Sally does not. Realistically, M should be wearing prescription lenses around the clock but thinks she looks like a nerd in them (her own words). We both love the look of clear frames because they really almost disappear on the face and heart the Nash style by Warby Parker big time. Basically, Mol needs these on her face. Now!



Birthday Suit

October 21, 2014

This technically isn't my birthday suit - if it was I would be naked - but it is an outfit posted on my birthday so the cheesy title is going to stay. If I could, I'd spend the whole day in my pi's and binge watch Friday Night Lights on the couch with Blue. But as luck has it, I have a pretty packed day (baking a cake and doing other important birthday girl things) and being in leggings all day is the next best thing to wearing pajamas. Gotta love stretchy pants that are nice enough to pass off as street appropriate and stylish. I found mine at White House Black Market and fell for the seams down the sides and up the back.


The other nice things about these here leggings? They’re not called “Instantly Slimming” for nothing…my long sweater conceals the fact that they have a wide, high band (comfy for a tummy that will soon be full of pizza and cake) and there’s an inner panel down the leg’s outer seam that keeps things nice and smooth. Even if it’s not your birthday you should take a look at WHBM’s Legging Studio as they have lots of other cute/chic styles.

And because it’s October 21st, I can’t help but give a loud shout-out to my birthday twin and best friend, Mary! Mer – you’re the absolute best and I’m the luckiest to have you as a soul sister, chocolate-loving comrade, faithful listener, photog pal, loyal friend, and fellow Libra. You inspire me in more ways than I can put into words. Can’t wait to celebrate our birthdays today/tonight!

P.S. If you love my new Daniel Wellington watch, you’ll love that the brand is offering all A Piece of Toast readers 15% off their site from now till November 30th with the code “apieceoftoastblog.” Very. Nice.

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Interiors + Decor

Angel Without You

You’ve probably seen the work of artist Tracey Emin on Pinterest or the internets – maybe without realizing that the standout neon pieces you love happen to be hers. We love them too. And while they are too expensive for us to buy, Tracey’s book, Angel Without You, features 120 of her illuminated art pieces. We think it would totally light up our coffee table book collections.


Combo Dress

The contrast of materials – crepe on top, satin on bottom – and the vibrant colors blocked with black make this Cynthia Rowley dress one worth wanting. It’s a simplistic tunic dress made special…and with the Shopbop Friends & Family sale happening right now, we might have to scoop it up! Use code FAMILY25 from now till October 16th to get 25% off your order! Hurry, hurry…


Toast Talk

October 20, 2014

I've got a birthday tomorrow. I'm excited because it's a great excuse to bake my mom's homemade chocolate, chocolate birthday cake and I get to spend the day celebrating with my birthday twin, Mary. I'll be turning 27 - really nothing remarkable in terms of milestones but another year older all the same. Age is a tricky thing. We add a number each year and we compare and contrast where we are in relation to people similar in age. Sure there aren't written expectations telling, "By age 27 your life will be here," but I for one always had a pretty clear vision of where I'd be after turning 25. Let's just say that my current spot doesn't fit my well intended visualization. Right now I'm living more "in the moment" than ever before and I recently did myself a favor by lifting any expectations I might have had off my shoulders.


I am a very lucky girl – and if you would have told me this time last year I’d be where I am now I’d have been all, “Oh maybe, who knows, hehe.” Getting to work from home and have an insanely flexible schedule? Having a puppy baby who is the light of my life? Living solo and doing a dream bedroom makeover? Consistently adding trips to my calendar and going on them with people I love? I mean, call this a humble brag if you will but I am proud of where I am and the fact that it doesn’t align with my so called expectations doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome. Different isn’t bad. Having happiness and health is enough – all the other aforementioned luckiness is just icing on the cake and I need to do a better job remembering that.

But do I still have goals and dreams for the future? Of course. I want to fall head over heels in love. I want to own a home and have children. I want to continue to live life authentically – for me part of that means letting things evolve organically and being open to an unplanned and unknown future. So, I’m looking forward to celebrating 27…even if it’s not “my year” it’s still probably going to bring a lot more goodness (and most likely some pitfalls and learning experiences) and I’m fine with going into my new age one day at a time.

And seriously…I’ve kind of been counting down the days till tomorrow for the chocolate cake.

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Alexis Hat

Let’s talk about hats. The two of us bought matching wide-brim black straw hats from Haute Handcrafted Accessories while at Alys Beach (sneak peek here!) but we’d like to acquire a wool hat for colder weather. And since we already have black hats, why not get Otte’s classic Alexis Hat in off-white/beige? We have it in dark green and it’s sort of the best…

Interiors + Decor

X-Ray Tray

Halloween is three weeks away and the spooky holiday makes for a great excuse to scoop up some scary-cool accessories. Mary bought this X-Ray Skull Tray from West Elm and we are a little jealous of the festive statement it makes this month and it’s chic skull factor when on display after October. Might be a good time to buy it now that it’s on sale!

Alys Shoppe Trunk Show

October 16, 2014

One of the most obvious things we realized while being a part of South Walton Fashion Week was what a culture of creatives the Florida region has. This was grandly apparent while watching the runway shows but also celebrated in a more intimate setting by the Alys Shoppe during the event the hosted last Saturday. Megan Trent, our dear friend and the director of retail for Alys Beach, is not only dedicated to sourcing clothing, accessories and lifestyle items that compliment the overall aesthetic of the beach community that is Alys - but she has made a point to include local designers and American-made brands that are unique and inspired. Each time we visit with her we learn about a new line or a fun, fascinating tidbit she found out from a designer. The behind-the-scenes storytelling Megan offers is just one of many reasons we love her...and when she invited us to co-host a shopping event at Alys Shoppe that would feature New York designer Jin Seo of 51INC and local loves Christie Casillo of Coastal Road Designs and Gaelle Le Geoff Haute Handcrafted Accessories we were honored and excited to be part of such talented company!


Getting to meet all three designers and see the passion and love they feel for each of their brands was hands down our favorite part of our Alys and South Walton Fashion Week trip. From watching Jin layer and style her chic sporty pieces, to seeing Christie demonstrate how her limited edition handbags are reversible and the ways they can be customized, and having Gaelle find hats to perfectly (and we mean perfectly) fit our heads – it was so inspiring to see them all in their elements and loving what they do during the Shoppe event.

Fashion can be a very emotional art form. Sometimes the two of us look at beautiful things and we easily consider ways we could wear it or determine if it fits (our style and our budget) but we don’t necessarily wonder about the actual people behind the pieces. Just getting to know the stories and journeys of the three talented women that Megan (who is also uber talented and has a serious eye for buying and curating) connected us to has made us re-appreciate small brands and the small retailers that tell their stories with such affection.

Aside from the mushy love fest of being generally obsessed with everyone, the Trunk Show brought in tons of great 30A locals and visitors alike (even some of the SWFW emerging designer contestants!) and we all had a great time devouring snacking on cupcakes and trying on clothes and accessories. Alys Shoppe, you can count us in to be co-hosts anytime!

Trunk Show Designers: 51INCCoastal Road DesignsHaute Handcrafted Accessories  << Just like in yesterday’s blog post, if you see something you love, call the Alys Shoppe at 850.213.5550 with questions and orders.

Another big thanks to Jackie Ward for the beautiful images of the in-store event and for taking a some shots of our outfit from the shoppe!

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