July 23, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
The summer months have been crazy busy for us and with that craziness many (ok, most) of the projects on our home centric to-do list have been pushed to the back burner. By far the room that has been most neglected is our dining room. It’s a big room with loads of natural light and it’s also the first room you enter when you walk in our front door so having it look a fright still stacked high with boxes is unacceptable. All of that said, I’ve committed to knocking this room out and completing it’s makeover over the course of the next few weeks. Want to see what I’m planning? It’s going to be good!
First, a glimpse above at the “before” state of our dining room from right before we moved in. The large doorway to the right opens onto the living room and the front door to our house is to the left. So far we’ve painted out everything and ditched the cheap yellow oak trim and the ghastly yellow walls. The walls are now Sherwin-Williams Aloof Gray and the trim is crisp and bright, painted out in Sherwin-Williams Pure White. That alone has completely transformed the room! (I’ll be sharing progress photos soon, I promise.) My go-to style is a mix of vintage, classic, boho and New England prep, and I think my inspiration for our dining room makeover is a perfect example of my rather eclectic style. Modern and colorful mixed with loads of neutrals and a few traditional elements thrown in the mix.
I’ve been scouring Craigslist for weeks (possibly months) and I think I’ve finally found the perfect vintage farmhouse table. (Fingers crossed!) I love our current table, but it’s undersized for the space and we need something larger for big family dinners, too. The table I’m hoping to bring home this week is very similar in style to this table from Pottery Barn, but with a price tag about 1/10 of the size. No matter what happens with the table, we’ll be keeping our existing chairs, which are a classic Windsor style. I scored ours on Craigslist a few years back (of course), but they’re similar to these chairs from Crate & Barrel.
Another major upgrade is the lighting! We’ve already ditched the dated 80s train wreck of a chandelier and swapped it out with this gorgeous pendant light from Kenroy Homes. It’s the perfect mix of modern and timeless, and I love how it looks. Underfoot I opted for an area rug from Flor in their Remembrance pattern in the teal color. It has the feel of a distressed Turkish rug that I think is utterly gorgeous. I’m hoping to get it assembled and in place this week once I sort out whether or not we’re bringing home a new table. Right now I’m leaning toward long, simple white drapes, but I’m still playing with the idea of DIY shibori curtains, too. Our large oversized art print from Minted will be taking center stage in the wall decor department, but I’ll also be hanging the Pottery Barn pillar candle sconces I’ve had for years. (They’re most similar to these.) Other than that, it will just be little details like hints of metallic gold here and there, and finding a way to display some of my favorite glassware.
Updates to come soon! I cant’ wait to get this space finished and show it off to you guys. It’s long past time that we make this house feel like a real home and I’m excited to see it all come together. Stay tuned!
[1: Sherwin-Williams Aloof Gray | 2: Abstract Herringbone art print from Minted | 3: Nate Berkus window sheers | 4: Farmhouse table | 5: Pottery Barn wall sconces | 6: Flor Remembrance in Teal | 7: West Elm gold flatware | 8: Crate & Barrel windsor chairs | 9: Kenroy Home Sanborn pendant light.]
July 22, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
A couple months ago I was honored to host a picnic for some of my best girls in collaboration with Martha Stewart. Not unlike a lot of ladies in general and countless lifestyle bloggers specifically, I’ve been a fan of Martha for decades. Even as a little kid I remember watching her on television and flipping through the magazine knowing full well that someday I would grow up and have the prettiest house, all dutifully organized to perfection, to serve as the backdrop for hosting killer dinner parties. While I don’t exactly have that amazing house just yet, I am pretty crazed about making sure my towels and sheets are folded just right, so I’m on my way, don’t you agree? At any rate, today I am over the moon to share that my work is being featured by Martha Stewart! I don’t have many words that sum up how cool that is to me, but “Look, Ma! I did it!” seems to work pretty well. See the feature here!
Of course, another thank you is owed my amazing mom and also my girls Darlene, Erica, Carolynn and Alice for being a part of the festivities!
[Design + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
July 22, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
The last couple of weeks I have been seriously loving summer. The weather has been hot, the sun has been blazing, the humidity has been through the roof. Today is no exception! By 8 o’clock this morning it already felt like a blast furnace outside so I’m not-so secretly hoping I can wrap things up in time to sneak off to the lake for a couple hours this afternoon. I have a heavy project load I’m working on at the moment, so I’m not quite sure that’s going to happen today, but in the meantime I’m loving all things summer. And with summer comes the perfect excuse to get crafty! From coolers to picnic table makeovers to the perfect tie dye sheets, today I’ve rounded up 10 of the best summer DIY projects!
Ready to spice up your summer with a fun craft project or two? Click through for 10 of summer’s best DIY ideas!
July 21, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
This post was sponsored by DRY Soda Co. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that so
generously help The Sweetest Occasion keep the party rockin’!
I’ve been a huge fan of DRY Soda Co. for a few years now, ever since Jenny introduced me with these lavender ice cream floats. I love that their sodas are crafted to be less sweet than traditional soda, sweetened with just a minimal amount of pure cane sugar. Plus their flavors (like Blood Orange, Lavender, Vanilla, Cherry and Rhubarb) are a bit more sophisticated and grown up for those of us who like to think beyond the cola. Because of this, DRY sodas make the perfect cocktail mixers! Today I’m excited to be partnering with DRY to share this spiked cherry limeade with you – it may just be the perfect summer cocktail!
- 4 oz DRY Cherry Soda
- 4 oz fresh limeade
- 1-1/2 oz vodka
- 1/2 oz grenadine
- Limes and cherries to garnish
Fill a mason jar or cocktail glass with ice. Add limeade and vodka, top with soda and then add grenadine. Gently stir to combine. Garnish with fresh cherries and/or lime slices and sip away! For the limeade, fresh homemade limeade is best, but you can substitute with a ready made option. (For making limemade at home, I follow this recipe.) To make this spiked cocktail into an alcohol free mocktail, simply skip the vodka and add a little extra DRY cherry soda.
[Photos + recipe by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
This post was sponsored by DRY Soda Co.. Read more about our editorial policies.
July 21, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
Hi, everyone and happy Monday! I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Ours was hectic, but a lot of fun, which seems to be how every weekend is shaping up for us this summer. I’m thinking we need to carve out a few days to just be lazy and sit by the water and not do much more than a bit of kayaking and lemonade sipping at some point this summer. In the meantime I’m not complaining, because I love getting to make so many amazing memories with our family and friends. Now that it’s Monday, it’s color palette time! Right now I’m loving this romantic combination of lilac, scabiosa and hyacinth. Add in a bit of clover and burlap and you have a timeless summer color palette that’s just so pretty.
[Photos, from top: Sunday Suppers | Kate Osborne via BRIDES | This Gal Cooks.]