Tag Archives: west elm

My new work area

My craft area in our bonus room has come a long way. I love the changes we made to accommodate my renewed interests.

First off we made a floating sewing table in one of the alcoves. It was a great use of space. I got a cool new chair from West Elm and a desk lamp from CB2.

We moved my crafts project table (which was originally purchased from pottery barn) to be floating, so I can now work around all sides. We added a new bookcase (from West Elm) to help organize finished projects and ongoing projects; added storage baskets (felt gray one from West elm, Green tray also from West Elm, Dark weaved basket from Pottery Barn and the wood tray from Crate and Barrel).


The bookcase adds a framing element to my craft area and the new reading area. And today, our new couch (from CB2) arrived which adds a nice reading area which sits on the other side of the bookcase.


So that’s my new work area.

I also wanted to share two of my favorite walls I painted in our house. The first is my sons room which are squares that slightly wrap around the room; and the second is the guest room which is painted orange and I used white vinyl to create a tree and individual leaves decal.

Designing Sean’s Playroom

We moved into our house just over 4 years ago, and we knew we were not going to use the formal dining room for that specific purpose. We made the decision to make it a playroom for our son.

Slowly over time, as he has grown (Sean is now 5), we have added pieces to this room to make it as functional and clean as possible.

The first thing I did to make it look more age appropriate, I hand cut safari animals decor (hippo, giraffe, elephant and lions) out of a very large roll of vinyl. I placed all of these as a border around the mid section of the wall.

The light is our favorite thing in the room. This light (coral pendant) is from a great New Zealand based designer, David Trubridge, who is based in Hawkes Bay where my parents reside. While we purchased this in New Zealand, his designs are now available in the US.

By the time Sean was 3 we definitely needed storage – my husband wants to give Sean the PlayMobile toys he remembers as a kid; myself, its Lego sets, and then Sean has a collection of Thomas the tank engine and rubbish trucks (garbage trucks). To store all these, we bought great Lack hidden mount shelves from Ikea, and storage boxes that we arranged in a stair design. This way we can use the tops as additional shelving. The storage boxes are eco-friendly recycled fabrics from Way Basics.

We bought the colors palette together with the stripped rug, which again was bought from Ikea (however in Germany).

The room has a great bay window for natural light and we use the area for his desk. This desk is from Land of Nod and has three levels and grows with Sean – we recently raised this table to the next level. It has a cool paper roll feature on the side.

The two bean bags in the room made by Beanz (a New Zealand company), can be used for both inside and outside. We use these all the time on the deck, for watching movies/TV in the lounge and for reading or relaxing in Sean’s playroom.

We added some of Sean’s art work on the wall, in bright-colored frames and alternating but matching colors.

The last additions were his cool chairs from West Elm with the homemade chair bags featuring safari animals, which were needed when we raised his table.

The best thing about this room, is by having a dedicated play room, we seldomly have toys else where around the house. They stay contained in this one room 🙂

Summer Herb Pesto

The basil in our garden went chaotic this year and I needed to find a good use for it. Everyone suggested Pesto. I found a great recipe on allrecipes.com. I am not a huge fan of pesto – it is a little too strong, but the spinach and other herbs in this recipe complement the taste and makes the pesto a little more subtle. All the herbs came from our garden.


I made two batches and it looks like I will still have a third batch before my basil is done :-). I froze my pesto into 2 inch ice cubes (this large ice cube container I found at Crate and Barrel but it is now available at West Elm as well). I plan on defrosting them into small glass containers for Christmas gifts.


We also used the fresh pesto to make tortellini pasta with a pesto sauce, and a chicken pizza with pesto sauce. Both were great but I preferred the pizza.