good stuff

Been up since dark, but have light-filled spaces on the brain.

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Calacatta countertops are perfection in this kitchen.  I’ll take a few honed slabs of those, please.

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Also love lanterns above islands, tables or beds.  Just had this lantern installed in a Texas client’s master bedroom.  She sent me a pic and I love!!

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The walls in this fabulous living room are painted Pavilion gray by Farrow and Ball, the overall effect has such a fresh and happy wintery white feel.  

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Here is a snip of Pavilion gray.  A clean, crisp grey I would strongly consider in my home.

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And what is life without stacks of creamware and gorgeous white serving pieces?  Meaningless, I tell you ; )  Such a perfect little nook.  I can’t imagine ever having a cabinet that organized!

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I’m off to drive to two hours to ride a German warmblood who currently has my heart.

Happy Wednesday!

By Seleta | 2 Comments

rental keeping room redo: part two

Whenever I work on a room, no matter the budget, I always go through a selection process.  It can take a little time and is especially challenging when it’s your own space – mainly because you lose objectivity.  My struggle with this room was choosing the pillows and art.  I like too many fabrics.  It’s really a problem.  Our walls and main upholstered pieces were so neutral that I knew the pillows and art would bring in some much needed punch.  I also had to take into account how much the pillows would be totally abused enjoyed by our kids and pets.

Budget was slim, but I knew we needed big, squishy pillows in magical fabrics.  So I went shopping at Tracery.  Oh man, there were so many good ones – choosing was difficult.  I narrowed it down to three main styles:  zebra, navy, or zig zag.

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LOOK ONE:  Navy zig zag pillows with collage wall.   I took out the cream side chair so you could see the art wall better.

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I loved the richness of the navy.  But I was concerned about the velvet showing disasters from the kids – and I do mean disasters.  It can get a little nuts around here.  I also liked the eclectic feel of hanging my favorite art pieces in a grouping.  They’re all sentimental paintings – from the abstract small piece by our youngest when he was five, to the beautiful horse painting that was Peter’s first piece of art he bought on his own.  It was before I entered his life- ironic it was a horse.

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LOOK TWO:  Zebra with acid green accents and bird prints.  Both of my daughters liked this look best.

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Loved this grey ottoman from Tracery, it adds a wonderful layer of texture and is super practical.  The owl vase is from T.J. Maxx and the turquoise throw is from Target, both from a while ago.  Sorry, this pic seems a little blurry…either that or my eyes are just really tired.  

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These prints are taken from a Cavallini calendar - soooo easy to pop them in frames and hang.  I love the classic look and how comforting an organized grouping like this is.  It really directs the eye toward the focal point, which is the view.  Best of all it’s super affordable if you’re on a slim budget.

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Design note: When decorating a rental, try to keep your investment in staple items you can take with you to your next space (a well made sofa, rug, lamps, custom window treatment panels that can be hemmed or taken out), versus investing in upgrades that stay with the rental.  It’s very tempting to upgrade moulding, doors, hardware, lighting fixtures, etc. in a rental property, but keep in mind you will not get your money back in those investments.

I thought carefully about the different looks.  As you might expect, I went with a combo of these looks which was the final result I posted here.  Zebra with pale blue accents and the gallery wall.  What can I say, I love any accent piece that has a wild flair.  As far as art goes, I couldn’t resist seeing our sentimental pieces every morning and night –  I spend the most time in the kitchen.  I ended up transferring the Cavallini prints to our family room above a sectional.

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Thanks to my two little helpers that day.  They assisted in moving things around and offered their (sometimes quirky) opinions, although they tended to like all the looks.  You can see we worked until dark ; )  Herringbone throw on the back of our sofa from Pizitz - my favorite.  

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Share which look you liked best – or feel free ask any rental design questions in the comments below in case I missed something.  I’ll do my best to answer back in the comments.

Room sources are listed in this previous post.

Additional sources:  Floor lamp and pillows- Tracery; small bench under pictures – Scott’s ; frames – IKEA; bird prints - Cavallini calendar; white trophies and metal side table – oldies from Target; picnic basket – vintage.

By Seleta | 5 Comments

rental keeping room redo: part one

A while ago I told you about our “bay house” rental – a home we live in during the busy tourist season.  I’d like to share with you one of my room redos in this house, the keeping room.  **Let me emphasize this is only a rental – not our forever home – so keeping all changes simple and budget friendly was top priority.** I know many folks rent, so I thought this post would be helpful since it can be tricky knowing what to change or not change in a rental situation.

It would be an understatement to tell you this home was in dire need of a color and style intervention (ie:  a raging  pink dining room with 12 ft ceilings).  I redid the keeping room on a minimal budget.  This room was important because it’s part of our command central, the kitchen, and has one of the best water views in the house.  The house was offered to us furnished (pictured below) but we chose to bring in our own furnishings.  Here’s how the keeping room looked on our first walk through:  lemon yellow walls, red accents, blinds, plaid, dated tile floor.

simply seleta bay house before

And the AFTER.

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A simple wall color change and new furniture arrangement were a HUGE help to this space.  Suddenly the room felt  much more grand, yet still cozy.  And we could finally enjoy the water view!  Note:  the rug should be bigger, but I grabbed the size that was in stock at the time for the sake of pictures.

As I was shooting the “after,” my youngest instantly appeared with his favorite cars in hand and found a spot to play…he loved the soft, chunky feel of the jute rug I picked up from Tracery Interiors.  Who says kids don’t appreciate design?!

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The natural light flooding into the room adds to the warmth of the room’s whole aesthetic.

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I had to plan this room redo carefully.  There were three main factors to consider:

1.  The budget.  It was basically vapors, so I knew I needed to work with existing pieces then add in accent pieces with interest and texture.

2.  The view.  The windows overlook the beautiful blue bay, which you can’t really see because the of light coming in and the fact that I’m not a professional photographer).  In the case where your room overlooks a view with great dimension and color (garden, big yard, pool, etc.), you have to consider that feature as existing pattern and texture in the whole room’s design –  it’s a key part of the room’s aesthetic.  If I brought in all kinds of patterns and bright colors, it would overshadow the prettiest feature in the room, which is the view.  So I decided to keep things soft and neutral to give the water view center stage.

3.  The owner.  This is always a primary consideration when  working on a rental home.  Before implementing any changes, I sent all colors to the owner for approval – knowing that they would probably say yes if I kept it neutral and classic.  I also requested to have the oak-stained kitchen cabinets professionally painted a beautiful cream, but the owner preferred to keep them stained (insert shocked face here).

A little design trick:  If you need more seating in a room, but don’t want to obstruct a view, or the room is tight on space, try using a Ghost chair for accent seating.  I bought my Ghost chair from Joss & Main a few years ago, love it.  I’ve used it in so many settings, including one year as my desk chair.  

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The big changes I made here were paint color, removal of blinds (folded and boxed them neatly so we can put them back up when we move out), new furniture arrangement, and task lighting addition (lamps).

Wall color: Benjamin Moore’s “Creamy.”  I had never worked with this color before and ended up really loving it.  I discussed  our rental house paint color palette in this previous post.




1.  Rug, floor lamp, zebra pillows, inlay tray on ottoman:  Tracery Interiors.

2.  Sofa and arm chairs:  Pizitz  Home and Cottage.

3.  Ghost Chair:  Joss & Main.

4.  Storage ottoman and slipcover on side chair:  Ballard Designs (Ottoman here – bought it forever ago at the outlet; slipcover also from outlet, more here).

5.  Linen window treatments:  custom  made (had these many moons).

6.  Turquoise lamp, horse on table, light blue tray, and basket:  Homegoods

7.  Metal side tables and turquoise throw:  Target (from last year, but this similar side table is so mod and cute).

8.  Wooden rods, rings, and finials:  I bought an inexpensive white wood set and spray painted them bronze.  All from Home Depot.

9.  Leopard Pillows – Caroline Cole from 12 years ago – they are actually STILL available! Over here.

10.  Round table in between chairs:  so old I can’t remember.

.      .      .      .

Next post is PART TWO of the keeping room.  You’ll see a few different looks in this room – yes I had a hard time making up my mind on a few accessory items.  I’ll share with you all the fun I had selecting the pillows from Tracery, and two different styles of hanging art on the wall behind the sofa.

By Seleta | 13 Comments
  • Simply Me

    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my husband, fabulous four offspring, happy horses and frisky fur babies. A former TV personality turned Designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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