I had a couple of different posts brewing for this beautiful Monday morning, including some photos of me wearing my white elephant gift and a little write-up on how to throw a super-simple weekend afternoon cocktail party (Stella & Dot baubles optional), but I managed to go an entire weekend without taking a SINGLE PICTURE of any of these things. My brain decided to flake out at the very moments I needed it most.

Instead, I designed an entire nursery after a being inspired by a client’s artwork, wall color and bedding choices! I’m hoping to see some photos of her actual room soon, but I had so much fun imagining what I would put into a light blue room with the Elephant and Stars paintings and Serena & Lily’s gorgeous Graham crib set.

I love the the gorgeous navy blue, sky blue and light yellow color palette with a touch of gray and plenty of neutrals. I wanted to be sure that the subtle pattern in the bedding was offset with lots of texture and warmth throughout the rest of the room, so I added a chevron wool and cotton rug, a carved wood side table and woven basket. Somehow, a couple of fun nautical accents (the Spinnaker lamp and vintage oars) felt right for the room too.

One of the things I always love seeing in kids’ rooms is a little reading nook. An easy-to-access sling bookcase and comfy, cozy bean bag, along with some favorite books make the perfect place to curl up together for story time.

What do you think? “Comfy coastal,” right?

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Sources {{Artwork, Senn & Sons; Bedding, Graham by Serena & Lily; Glider, Dwell Studio; Knit Pillow, Laura Ashley; Rug, West Elm; Elephant night light, Jonathan Adler; Carved Wood End Table, West Elm; Changing Table/Dresser, Pottery Barn Kids; Lamp, Serena & Lily; Sling Bookcase, KidKraft; Basket, West Elm; Oars, similar here; Bean Bag, PB Teen; The Great Paper Caper, Oliver Jeffers.}}

White Elephants.

01.24.12 | POSTED BY kim IN Entertaining, Etc., Family Life

I’m part of a cooking club that meets monthly, rotating hosts amongst the women who participate and each person bringing a new dish to sample. Some annual traditions have started to emerge in the three or four years I’ve been a part of the group, the most anticipated is always the December soirée that happens at home entirely decorated with Snow Village. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen and always gets everyone into the holiday mood.

I have a feeling the January, post-holiday white elephant gift exchange that was started this year is going to be a yearly favorite for the crew too.

The gifts were all over the board, which is to be expected with this kind of gift exchange. We had everything from fun home goodies like picture frames and an adorable bird creamer set, to a hand-painted ceramic tile proclaiming “cats rule” and a kama sutra kit (naughty!). I brought some brass pumpkin candle holders as my white elephant gift and wrapped them in simple kraft paper and twine, then added a hand-stamped and painted gift tag.

The gift that I ultimately chose was wrapped in a paper Trader Joe’s bag, which I loved and thought was hilarious. It’s something that can be worn, so I’ll reveal some photos of me in my white elephant prize tomorrow.

Happy Birthday to Me.

01.20.12 | POSTED BY kim IN Etsy, Family Life, Shop + Style

I haven’t made a birthday wish list since I was a kid, but what the hell, it’s about time I started up again. (Ahem, are you reading this, husband?)

1. Brand new BICYCLE from Public Bikes.

2. Yummy grapefruit scented candle from Jonathan Adler.

3. Bright ceramic pig planter from Fruit Fly Pie’s Etsy shop.

4. Gorgeous painting by Samantha French.

5. Party dress from Anthropologie.

6. Cocktail bowls and tray from Jill Rosenwald’s Etsy shop.

7. Alphabet rings from Catbird NYC.

8. Sugar jar from Paulova’s Etsy shop.

I told you I’d make up for actually relaxing on a weekend.

On our bonus weekend day, the hubs and I dropped the little man off at day care, stopped at the paint store and were home by 10:00 a.m. to start painting his Big Boy Room. Once we were home, it took a little while (like an hour) to gather supplies, move the furniture, wipe down the walls and trim, take down the light, remove the shelves and art from the walls and cover surfaces with drop cloths.

I actually still really like the “before” room. It’s fun, colorful and bright. But it’s just not cohesive with what we’re doing in the rest of the house, so I wanted to make a few changes.

With that, we got to work. We decided to swap out the aqua ceiling for a crisp white that matched the trim (Benjamin Moore ceiling paint in White Diamond, and replace the gray with a rich blue-gray color (Benjamin Moore Philipsburg Blue).

If you’ve ever painted walls in a 103-year-old Victorian, you know there are decades worth of paint layers to contend with, along with lath and plaster walls, which are by no means smooth and flat. Add to that a few earthquakes every year that shake the walls around,  and you’ve got yourself a tough painting job. Taping off the line is a futile effort, so it’s best to freehand the edging. No matter how steady your hand is, though, it’s still going to be a bit sloppy.

I plan to touch up the trim the next time I have some time, but it looks okay for the time being. (Clearly not evidenced in the photos above.)

The real problem is the giant blue paint spill. (OH SHIT!) Ironically this happened while moving the drop cloth. We planned to replace the carpet in this room at some point in the near future anyway, so it’s not a huge deal, but still kind of annoying.

Every time the little guy goes into his room now he says, “Oh! Painting on floor!”

Despite the little blemish on the floor, I absolutely LOVE our new room colors!

We still have a long way to go on creating the full effect in the room, but at least the walls are painted now! Bird by bird, right?

Like the new color?

Finally, a Real Weekend.

01.15.12 | POSTED BY kim IN Etc., Family Life, Interior Design

When I’m faced with a three-day weekend, it seems the first two days slip by and somehow, sneakily, become ACTUAL weekend days. The kind of days that are spent with everyone cuddling in bed until 7:15 (we have a 2-year-old, that’s sleeping in), wearing PJs ’til noon, watching football, reading magazines, finger painting on the floor and going out for a beer and burgers after all that relaxing makes you hungry.

The days weren’t totally unproductive – I did manage to address all of our “Happy New Year” cards, so don’t fret if you thought we’d taken you off the list, we’re just really (really) behind the ball this year.

The magic about this particular three-day weekend is that today is one of the rare days (and when I say rare I mean twice a year, max) when our son’s day care is open and my husband’s office is closed. It means a full eight hours to work together on any home projects we’ve been dying to get done, but never find uninterrupted time to do them.

The other day I posted a design idea board for turning my son’s nursery into a proper big boy’s room, so I think we’re going to take the time to paint the ceiling and walls. I’m not sure it’s realistic to think we’ll get it all done, but we’ll certainly try.

Between coats I’ll be editing some photos, doing taxes for the business, stuffing those addressed envelopes with new year greetings and working on commissioned paintings.

Do you guys have today off in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.? What are you doing with the extra time off?

As you may remember, my son turned two on New Year’s Eve (awesome birthday, by the way), so it got me thinking that we needed to think about transforming his nursery into a proper Big Boy Room. Ditch the crib, lose the aqua ceiling, orange rug and bright colors and trade it all in for a more rustic, manly look.

I like the idea of crisp white trim with moody gray-blue color and a menagerie of animal busts, prints and picture shelves on the walls. Add in a solid wood bed with a gorgeous wool blanket, a sleek glider with a cinnamon colored accents plus some nature-inspired accessories and you have yourself a solid Big Boy Room.

What do you think? Oh, and I’d like to do some more of these design boards in the future, do you like ‘em?

Sources {{Giraffe, Anthropologie :: Stag, West Elm :: Deer print, Berkley Illustration :: Surface mount light, Schoolhouse Electric :: Wood Industrial Letters, Restoration Hardware Baby & Child :: White shelves, West Elm :: Bed and quilt, Room and Board :: Wood side table, similar here :: Horse lamp, West Elm :: Glider, Serena and Lily :: Pillow, Room and Board :: Throw, Zhush :: Cowhide rug, similar IKEA :: Wood knot lamp, West Elm :: Striped bin, The Container Store :: Rattan baskets, West Elm}}

Back to work.

01.05.12 | POSTED BY kim IN Etc.

Today is my first “official” day back to work after a long holiday break and it feels REALLY good to be able to sit down with a fresh notebook, hot tea and renewed excitement for Senn & Sons. I started writing some 2012 goals and resolutions, and after a while I realized it looked like a giant to-do list, which no one likes to read…especially when it’s someone else’s to-do list. So I’ll spare you the tedious details of my plans for 2012 and instead just say that this year is going to be GREAT and filled with CHANGE. (Oooh, scary and exciting, right?)

Like so many of you, I’m attempting to “do it all” – you know what I mean – and I need to accept that there are only so many hours in the day and I can’t actually do it all. In order to balance my work with my life (work is meant to be just 2 days a week), I had to choose something to be set aside in order to move the business forward.

I’m going to take a little break from creating custom paintings for a little while to focus my energy on developing some awesome new products. (If I’m already working on your custom art, don’t worry, I gave myself a couple of months to finish existing commissions!) I’ve got ideas brewing over here and I plan to make as many of them as possible happen, but I need to step away from the day-to-day “work” in order to make it happen.

My Etsy shop will remain open and I’ll try to update it with new paintings regularly so it stays fresh. And when my new products are ready to launch, this is where you’ll be able to find them. I’ll also continue to post a few times a week on the blog – updating you on my progress with the products, side projects I take on during naptime and maybe even a few new things I’ve been wanting to do more of and haven’t had the chance.

I am anxious for what’s to come here on the blog and with Senn & Sons. Let me know what you guys think! What would you like to see more of here? I’d love to hear your ideas.

 

What’s up, 2012?

01.02.12 | POSTED BY kim IN Etc.

I know we’re already a few days into 2012, but I wanted to take the time to reflect on 2011 and look back at some of the things that made it truly amazing.

I launched Senn & Sons in April, just nine months ago. It’s been a whirlwind, and I had moments where I questioned why I was working 40+ hours a week yet my “full-time” job was still being a stay-at-home mom, but I have loved every minute of starting this small business and can’t wait to build it in 2012.

I loved writing (more than 100 posts!) on this blog too. It’s been a great place for me to share my new work as well as little projects I take on, people I am inspired by and places I’ve visited. Here are a handful of my favorite posts of 2011:

A few nursery mood boards and sharing real reader nurseries… Urban Jungle NurseryColorful Eco-friendly Nursery, and a gorgeous Stars & Stripes Nursery in SF.

Some fun projects like my chalkboard jars and super-easy jewelry storage amongst many others.

I also loved having visitors and special guests on the blog, especially since each of my guests is so creative and inspiring.

I liked visiting new shops and buying cool things too. Especially when it involved buying funky yellow shoes.

I took on a huge project when I signed up to participate in the San Francisco Birth & Baby Fair. I met so many great new mamas and mamas-to-be, got to give a free set of paintings to my lucky raffle winner and even met some new clients who now have Senn & Sons art in their homes.

My business has also grown enough for me to justify having a dedicated space to work inside my home. I spend hours in this space working on paintings and designs and couldn’t be happier with how the studio area turned out. But now I feel spoiled and only wish it were a bit BIGGER!

One of the coolest things to happen was probably my feature as a Found Local in the Bold Italic. I love being a part of the SF creative community and this was such a fun local thing to appear in.

I can’t wait for 2012. I learned so much in 2011 and look forward to building what I started last year. While I’m occasionally happy to just “see where things go,” I am definitely a person who likes to have a plan, even if it has to change along the way. Thankfully, I’ve had a couple of weeks to really sit down and think about my business and where it’s heading, and I can’t wait to share some of my goals for the new year.

Hope you all are enjoying the initial days of 2012 and feel refreshed for another great year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!