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3 Tips for Selecting Nursery Window Coverings

Before becoming a parent, I had no idea just how important window treatments were in nurseries. Aside from their appearance (though that’s pretty high up there too), it’s their functionality that make them an essential part of daily routines with a babe.

When we converted our guestroom into the nursery last year, we kept the inexpensive white blinds from the guestroom, because they were only about a year old, and seemed as though they’d work well enough in the nursery too. Little did we know they just weren’t going to cut it, especially as we began trying to help our daughter, Sylvia, learn day from night and her bedtime became earlier and earlier.

If you’re nursery planning for a bun that’s in the oven, or looking to update existing shades in your little one’s room, read on as I’m teaming up with window treatment experts, Premier Curtain Studio, to highlight 3 key things to consider when picking out nursery shades!

Learn what to look for when picking nursery window coverings to help make everyday life easier when it comes to naps and bedtime.

 

  • Fast, One Hand Maneuverability – When looking for window treatments, do yourself a favor and choose ones that are designed to make opening and closing them (something you do several times a day) easy and fast. Our old, blinds were able to be drawn/closed with one hand, but winding that long cord up on the wall hook (so it wasn’t left puddled on the floor) took what seemed like an eternity when I had a crying, tired baby in my other arm. And don’t get me started on the crooked way the old blinds would stack when pulled up!
  • Cordless Design – Window shades with accessible pull cords can pose a safety hazard for little ones as they begin moving around on their own. Go cordless for peace of mind that your little one’s room is a safe space for them to play as well as sleep.
  • Black Out Lining – Especially during Summer months, little ones usually need to hit the hay before the sun goes down. Black out lining is a opaque fabric layer that’s sewn into the shade or drapery panel and provides extra daylight blocking power. Some babies also seem to nap a little better during the day with a darkened room, so it’s a definitely a feature worth considering!

 

Learn what to look for when picking nursery window coverings to help make everyday life easier when it comes to naps and bedtime.

After 3 months of taping classy, black garbage bags over our blinds, as recommended by our pediatrician, until we could invest in black out lined shades, we have finally upgraded to a beautiful set of cordless roman shades with black out linings from Premier Curtain Studio for Sylvia’s room, and they make such a huge impact in how the nursery looks and functions.

Premier Curtain Studio is a custom and semi-custom fabricator specializing in window treatments, pillows and ottomans. As someone who sews, I’m very aware of the skill and attention to detail that goes into crafting window treatments, and I’m super impressed with the quality of our shades. I also love that they’re made here in the US.

We chose Linen in color Dove for the shade which is a poly/linen blend and has the look of natural, undyed linen. Very nuanced yarns and texture. I’d recommend ordering samples (they’re free!) to get a sense of the look and feel of the fabric. Digital pictures just don’t do their beautiful fabric options justice.

Learn what to look for when picking nursery window coverings to help make everyday life easier when it comes to naps and bedtime. Learn what to look for when picking nursery window coverings to help make everyday life easier when it comes to naps and bedtime.

  Learn what to look for when picking nursery window coverings to help make everyday life easier when it comes to naps and bedtime.

Professional Details. The cordless shades have this genius, discreet mesh loop at the inside bottom that makes it easy to operate the shade without having to pull down on the shade fabric which could collect hand oils over time.

Learn what to look for when picking nursery window coverings to help make everyday life easier when it comes to naps and bedtime.

This post was created in partnership with Premier Curtain Studio. All opinions are my own.

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8 In DIY/ Interiors

How to Style Your Media Console

I have a complex love/hate relationship with the TV. Netflix and of course, The Bachelor, are integral parts of the simple American life we lead, but that black hole of a rectangle throws a big ‘ol wrench in making your media console area look good, am I right? For years, while watching TV at night with my husband, I’ve secretly also been analyzing our media console trying to figure out the best configuration and way to style it out.

Since we all have TV’s, and they’re probably not going any where anytime soon, why not make the most of this area? Today, I’m teaming up with interior designer and vintage curator, Tasha Schultz, of Tchotchkes Design Studio to demystify the process and share concrete tips for creating a balanced composition around the TV.

Get interior designer Tasha Schultz's fast and friendly tips for styling your media console with a mix of thrifted and new accessories. Get interior designer Tasha Schultz's fast and friendly tips for styling your media console with a mix of thrifted and new accessories.

Let’s take it from the top, shall we? Here’s bare-bones look at my TV area. So sad and cold feeling. The media console is a two piece Besta cabinet from IKEA that we’ve mounted to the wall with a finished height of 31″. The TV is attached to the wall with a pivoting arm mount 11″ above the console. The designer in me wants the TV placed higher on the wall than it is, but the TV watcher in me (and my chiropractor too) want it placed at sitting eye level. We’ve mounted it about 6″ higher than “sitting eye level” as a compromise.

Since this 1936 house of ours has plaster walls in all it’s crumbly glory, we decided not to run the cables behind the wall and instead, run them down through a grommet on the top of the cabinet.

Get interior designer Tasha Schultz's fast and friendly tips for styling your media console with a mix of thrifted and new accessories.

 

Get interior designer Tasha Schultz's fast and friendly tips for styling your media console with a mix of thrifted and new accessories.

Get interior designer Tasha Schultz's fast and friendly tips for styling your media console with a mix of thrifted and new accessories.

Adding visual interest to your TV area doesn’t have to run you the big bucks. If you follow along on Instagram, you may remember Tasha and I venturing out to one of our favorite thrift stores in Minneapolis, The Salvation Army (North Loop) to look for accessories. With thrifting, you don’t always know what you’re going to find, so we didn’t have specific pieces we were necessarily looking for, we just knew we wanted to add height and texture on either side of the TV and something low slung to hide the Apple TV.

P.S. Are you not dying over Tasha’s vintage plaid dress?! BECAUSE I AM!

Back at my house, we used a combination of our thrifted finds, vintage pieces from Tasha’s Chairish shop, and a few new, store bought elements to turn this sad, naked TV corner into a happily dressed media center. Here are Tasha’s fast and friendly tips to pull everything together:

  • Start with Greenery for Height and Texture – On the right of the TV, we’ve used two low maintenance plants in matching plant stands that we found thifting. Plants add a wonderful organic texture and stands give the plants a nice height boost.
  • Use a Low Slung Piece Below the Mounted TV – If you have small electronics like an Apple TV that can’t be hidden within a cabinet, use a long and low decorative piece like our wooden horse to keep it out of plain sight.
  • Conceal Electronic Cords – Ikea cord covers are less than $10 and can be painted to match your wall color. Done and done.
  • Stack Pretty Books for Height and Layering – To the left of the TV we’ve used 2 hardcover books as a platform for grouping accessories.
  • Use a Range of Materials and Textures – Marble, wood, brass, terra cotta and greenery all work together to create visual interest and draw your attention away from the TV.
  • Get Creative with Unlikely Storage – If your media console is wall mounted or up on legs, capitalize on the space underneath with book storage. They don’t need to be “cool” design books either. Here we’re using a mix of Erin’s college textbooks and new mama books!

See a piece you likey?  Wooden Horse Box | Marble & Brass Lamp | Matisse Print | Mala Beads | Pyramid Object | Embroidered Pouf | Media ConsoleTV Wall Mount

 

 

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10 In Interiors

No Makeup Home Tour: My Place IRL

When Kyla of House of Hipsters asked if I wanted to be apart of the No Makeup Home Tour she was hosting, it was an immediate ‘yes’ from me. I feel like it’s easy to only share the pretty shots of our homes online, and for the most part I feel like that’s what people follow along for: inspiration. But only posting those perfectly coifed shots, starts to set an unattainable standard of perfection that’s just not feasible if you have a family, actually live in your home, or are a real, live human person. All this to say, here’s a raw look at my house: dirt, cluttered shelves, baby bottles, and cords in all it’s everyday glory. Eat your heart out!
 
A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all.
 
Our home is a duplex. This first image is a shot of our foyer where we split between units. The stairs lead to our tenant’s upstairs apartment and turn left from the foyer and you’ll find yourself at the door to our home on the main level. I don’t often use the word ‘unit’ in relation to our space, as it takes any ounce of homey-ness right out of our home. Sometimes I call it the ‘owner’s suite’, but that seems too pretentious for a no-makeup post, so I’m sticking with ‘unit’.
 
I don’t share this space often because we really haven’t touched this area since moving in, other than refinishing the front door, adding a plastic runner to protect the carpet (très chic, oui?), and throwing in a few accessories. The previous owner put in this black slate, which I really actually like, but it’s really tough to keep looking nice as it shows EVERYTHING. I have a pretty Moravian Star on order for in here and one day I’d like to paint it a moody, dark color.
 
 
 
A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all. A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all. A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all.
 
Our unit is small: one hangout space, a modified galley kitchen and one bathroom, so when there’s a big mess in one area, it’s easy to feel like the entire house is a wreck because of the small size we’re working with. We keep our home pretty picked up, but it’s definitely not always styled to the extent that you see it on Instagram. There are toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail, and laundry happening throughout the day, and we don’t live every day with as many throw pillows on our sofa and bed as you see when it’s styled out. 
 
The first living room photo above shows 2 doors. Behind skinny door #1 (on the left) is the coat closet, and behind door #2 (on the right) is the foyer.
 

A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all. A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all. A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all. A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all. A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all.

Alright, so our bathroom…I cannot even believe I’m posting this, but this is one of the only spaces we haven’t touched, and it’s BAAAD. Needless to say, everything but the tile floors and porcelain tub need to go!

A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all. A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all. A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all. A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all.

I keep our office/guestroom pretty sparse, so it’s a blank canvas for working on projects and photographing them along the plain, white wall. I have a collaboration coming up with Sara from The Forest Fern, and so that’s the black tassel project you see hanging on the moveable rack. When I’m photographing projects in here, everything often gets piled on top of itself in the corner with the wall shelves–out of lens view.
 
Guest linens are stored above the murphy bed and all my background substrates (like foam core and matte boards) are stacked vertically next to it.
 
A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all.
 
Our bedroom–where do I begin? It’s just kind of a forgotten room that I *hope* to tackle soon. It’s still painted the previous owner’s blah beige, along with the previous owner’s blah beige carpet. I dream of tearing out this carpet, but someone in the last 90 years, laid asbestos faux wood vinyl tile OVER the hardwood floors in here and the nursery. Ugh.
 
A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all. A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all.
 
Sylvia’s room stays pretty clean these days, because as a 7 month old, her toy situation is still pretty manageable. I have these cute Emily Windfield Martin prints that I want to frame out above the changing table eventually.
 
 
A no-makeup, real life look at my home via House of Hipster's Fall Home Tour: toys, cat food dishes, stacks of mail and all.
 
Thanks for stopping by today! I’ve linked to all the uber-inspiring bloggers’ real-life home tours below so make sure to go check them out as well. And a big thank you to House of Hipsters for organizing the tour! I’m hoping to do more IRL peeks in my Instagram stories too, so if you enjoyed today, hop over to Instagram to follow along!
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In DIY/ Interiors

Pro Tips for Cleaning Your Vintage Rug

Kitchens, by design, are nearly entirely hard, wipeable surfaces, so I love the warmth and texture vintage rugs bring to these kinds of spaces. I have two Persian rugs that I switch back and forth with in my kitchen throughout the year, and whenever I post photos of my kitchen with the rugs on Instagram, I often get the question, ‘Doesn’t your rug get spilled on?!’ or the comment ‘You’re so brave to put a vintage run in your kitchen!’ Find out how to clean your wool vintage rug from rug expert, Kim Gunther from Woven Abode. Click for deets!

To answer that question…Uh-huh! Little spills and food are ground-in weekly; dare I say daily? Earlier this year, I was removing a BIG family size, take-and-bake pizza from of the oven, and accidentally flipped the ENTIRE pizza upside down on the rug pictured above. Ugh, cue near meltdown fueled by starvation. After running back out to order another pizza, tasking Ken with removing it from the oven this time, and devouring it at warp speed, we took the rug downstairs to rinse it off in the laundry area. I’ll spare you the saucy details, but obviously rinsing off the rug didn’t cut it. So how the heck do you clean vintage rugs anyways?

The rug is from Kim Gunter’s rug shop, Woven Abode, so I contacted Kim, and asked her to walk me through how to properly clean it. She’s a pro, guys. The cleaning went so well I went to town with the rest of my wool rugs, both vintage and new. Most recently I washed my white West Elm rug, and snapped a few pictures of the process. Hopefully you haven’t dumped an X-tra large pizza face down on your rug, but if you have, we have your back.

Find out how to clean your wool vintage rug from rug expert, Kim Gunther from Woven Abode. Click for deets!

To clean your wool rug, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vacuum
  • Bathtub
  • Woolite or Comparable High Quality Wool Detergent
  • Drying Rack – I use one similar to this Ikea rack.

 These instructions pertain to unbacked natural fiber rugs.

1. First, remove as much dust, dirt and pizza crumbs from the rug with a vacuum as you can. The best way to do this is to first vacuum the rug while it’s upside down. Then vacuum the top. Repeat these steps until no dust/dirt falls out when you vacuum it upside down.

  Find out how to clean your wool vintage rug from rug expert, Kim Gunther from Woven Abode. Click for deets!

2. Then soak the rug in a luke warm tub of water + 1/2 cup of Woolite. Soaking length will depend on how soiled your rug is.

Find out how to clean your wool vintage rug from rug expert, Kim Gunther from Woven Abode. Click for deets! Find out how to clean your wool vintage rug from rug expert, Kim Gunther from Woven Abode. Click for deets!

3. Finally, squeeze as much excess water out of the rug as possible, and let it dry on a rack in the sun. If you don’t have a rack, you can also lay it on the grass where air can get up underneath and dry  it out. Just make sure to flip it over after a few hours.

So there you have it. Easier than you might think, right? I love Kim’s process because she uses tools you probably already have lying around the house. 

I most definitely have more confidence now rolling out my pretty vintage rugs in messy areas like the kitchen and dining room, and hopefully you do too!

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LESS DIY INCLINED? Kim says you can also take your rug to an actual rug cleaner. “If you Google antique carpet cleaners you should be able to find one in your area. However, sometimes it’s tough to find them because carpet cleaners will pop up. Just make sure they are not people that come out and clean regular carpets because they will destroy it.”

If you’re in the market for a rug, pop over to Woven Abode, and browse Kim’s fantastic curated selection of hand-knotted vintage beauties. She adds new rugs weekly!

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In DIY/ Interiors

Mindful Design: Redefining Luxury with St. Frank Textiles

Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank.

One of my most favorite design trends or movements at the moment is the concept of mindful design. Socially conscious by nature, mindful design is the push towards surrounding ourselves with unique, handmade pieces in our homes–ones that are made of high quality materials from ethical sources.

It’s knowing the stories behind our belongings: Who made them? Where were they made? How were they made? And I think it’s a new way of defining interior luxury. I’m always on the lookout for brands, like St. Frank Textiles, who resonate with this approach, deviating from the mass market and bringing something more meaningful to the table.

Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank. Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank.

I was first captivated by luxury home decor brand, St. Frank, and their extensive framed textile offering on Instagram.  The more I learned about their mission, the deeper in love I fell with their company as a whole. I think we can all agree that St. Frank’s one-of-a-kind pieces are the stuff interior dreams are made of. But beyond simply offering beautiful pieces for the home, they’re committed to curating product with a story. St. Frank works with artisan groups in 25 countries around the world with a goal of preserving traditional crafts within these communities. Their collection includes the most luxe framed textiles (my personal favorite!), soft goodsaccents, accessories anyardage.

Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank. Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank.

The framed textile I have in my living room is the Biddew Noir designed by fiber artist, Johanna Bramble. It’s constructed with labor-intensive Senegalese weaving techniques rarely used anymore, as it requires two weavers and meticulous attention to detail. It’s praised, though, as being the precursor for mechanized Jacquard weaving (an extremely complex weave structure!).

I chose the Biddew Noir for my home because I love to the graphic hexagonal, yin-yang design, but I later came to find out that in Senegalese culture, woven textiles like the Biddew Noir, are often presented at big life moments such as the birth of a baby. The hexagon is a universal symbol of wisdom, life, and health, and so with the arrival of our daughter, Sylvia earlier this year, this symbolic textile could not be a more perfect addition to our little home!

Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank. Apply the concept of Mindful design to your home through beautiful handmade home decor from St. Frank.

Into this post? Please share the love! Don’t forget to pin for later too!

Weaving photos courtesy of St. Frank.

This post was sponsored by St. Frank. However, I only work with brands whom I love. All opinions are my own.

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In Interiors

Serene & Minimal Nursery Design: Get the Look!

As you guys know, any time I feature an interiors project on Francois et Moi, I always do an accompanying ‘Get the Look’ post to make it easy to call out each element used in creating the design. And today is no different! Get the look for Luxe + Lillies’ serene nursery feature (Missed it? See it here!) with the thorough round-up below. I’m especially smitten with the handmade wire deer head and gold piggy bank! Get the full round up of sources for this serene & minimal nursery!

 

a. Swaddle Blankets b. Wire Deer Head c. bamboo shade d. little boys print  e. mini crib f. crib sheet g. book ledge  h. wire basket i. glider j. side table k. harem pants l. baby moccasins m. deer head print n. cross print o. gold piggy bank p. changer q. dresser

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1 In Interiors

Luxe + Lillies’ Minimal & Serene Nursery

It’s my absolute pleasure to share with you the newly completed nursery of brand strategist & the brains behind Luxe + Lillies, Keely Hirschmann. Keely and I first connected through Instagram and bonded over our 1-month-apart due dates + a mutual love for crisp, minimal design. She’s the kind of person, where 5 minutes into meeting her,  you feel like you’ve already been friends your entire life.

One afternoon over lunch in late December, she showed me an iPhone snap of how her nursery was coming together, and my knee jerk response was to ask if I could share the space on Francois et Moi. I love the minimalist approach Keely took with clean, white walls and furnishings, balanced with natural textures and playful accents. What a lucky baby, wouldn’t you say? I hope you have as much fun as I have exploring the nursery and learning a bit about Keely and her design inspiration for the room!

Load up nursery inspiration with Luxe + Lillies' minimal and serene nursery! Click over for every detail including sources!

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In Interiors

Francois Renovates: Nursery Get the Look

As promised, today I’ve got all the sources used to create the nursery look compiled in one place! You may notice we stayed pretty true to the original concept board with the exception of the crib, accessories and some of the art. The yellow applique pillow, mobile, knot pillow and doorknob banner are DIY’s that will be coming at ya (some) as video tutorials in the month of February, so stay tuned! If you missed the full reveal and video tour, head here to check it out.

 

Are you getting your nursery ready? Come check out all the sources we used to achieve our nursery look! Continue Reading →


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