Category: Decor

hotel lobby project update

April 8th, 2014   |   DecorLife

TheGuesthouseHotelLobbyProjectUpdate

Lately, more and more of my time is being spent on The Guesthouse Hotel project that I’ve worked on over the past year.

I’ve already shared the hotel branding before and after on the blog.

But the hotel lobby progress has been shared primarily through Instagram.

What started out as an empty lot last summer:

TheLivelyShowHandlingChangeGraceBonney

Good morning and happy Thursday Lively Show Day to you!

In today’s episode, I am talking with the candid founder of Design*Sponge, Grace Bonney.

If you’re not already familiar with Grace, she has a (hugely) popular design blog and is the author of Design*Sponge at Home.

TheLivelyShowKimVargo

Today I have a fun new episode of The Lively Show for you chalk full of actionable advice for starting your own business as an artist and adopting or rescuing a pet.

My guest today is Kim Vargo of Yellow Brick Home and The Pet Shop (her pet portrait business). She’s sharing about her unexpected journey to becoming a successful artist (over 700 custom paintings sold!) and pet rescue advocate.

HotelBrandingBeforeAndAfterAs many of you may have noticed after yesterday’s announcement, I launched a new With Intention site!

It’s pretty, easy to use, and very mobile friendly – which is important as things keep moving in that direction.

Anyways, I’ve also been working on another website redesign that I haven’t shared yet, the hotel!

As you may have seen over the course of last year, I have been the Creative Director for a local boutique hotel in Andersonville called The Guesthouse Hotel.

Last year I guided their brand redesign and website and this year I’ll be designing their new hotel lobby.

Here’s a quick look at the before and after at the logo and website (because there’s something so satisfying about a good before and after, right?).

 

Logo Before

GuesthouseLogoBeforeThough not bad, this logo was not quite hitting the right tone for the hotel.

It was clean and simple, but felt more “commercial real estate” than “boutique hotel.”

 

Website Before

 

AndersonvilleGuesthouseBefore

The same goes for the website. Clean and simple… but not extremely inviting.

 

Logo After

 

GuesthouseHotelLogo

To set the right tone, we selected Alex Yeske to design the logo and business cards.

Her eye for style was exactly the right tone for the new direction.

What I love about this logo is how relatively timeless it is. We considered some other more popular font styles, but stuck with this classic design that won’t look dated in a few years.

 

Website After

 

GuesthouseHotelWebsiteAfter

I personally designed the website and had Mr. Lively programmed it to life.

It’s easy to use and sets a much nicer tone.

 

New Photos

 

GuesthouseHotelPhotoI also encouraged the hotel to get new photos taken of the gorgeous units (they are actual condo-quality units with full gourmet kitchens, living rooms, etc.).

For this job, I recommended Daniel Peter, a Chicago-based photographer who I’ve worked with over the years for my own business.

 

Lobby Design

 

Because the lobby is actually still being built from the ground up (literally!), there is a lot to consider. But what was once an open hole last summer….

photo3

 

photo2

Will soon look like this!

photoAbove is a quick snapshot I took of the mood board I created for the lobby.

As things come together over the next six months I’ll be sure to check in with some updates — if that’s something you’d like to see!

 

 

PS – Thinking about signing up for a Life with Intention Online class? Each one is already almost 50% filled, so sign up soon to grab your spot.

 

armchair before & after

December 12th, 2013   |   Decor

ArmchairBeforeAfter

It’s finished! After months of finding the right armchair, finding the right fabric, saving for the reupholstery, and actually getting it recovered and painted, the coral armchair is now finally in the living room.

It all started last year, when I went super neutral in the living room.

LivingRoom

photo by 

Very, very neutral.

As you can see from the text on that image, I figured out that there was enough room in the back corner to fit an armchair.

After scouring Craigslist, I bought this guy for $75.

Armchair

The wood was in decent shape, but not great. And the upholstery was pretty worn, though not in such bad shape that we couldn’t live with the chair in its original condition for a few months while we saved for the makeover.

Then, I asked you what color you thought it should be (neutral, navy, or coral). The resounding majority confirmed the idea to go coral.

Here was the coral inspiration.

6eccbe498ccd830513af36fb0ecacbad

 via 

And here’s how it turned out.

CoralArmchair

Finding the right shade of coral fabric was a little tricky. After doing a lot of searching online and at Fishman’s in Chicago, I found that there aren’t that many shades of coral upholstery fabric in the perfect shade. Many were too rusty, red, pink, orange, or expensive.

Eventually, I spotted a Sunbrella fabric that was the Goldilocks of corals – not too pink, not too orange, not too pricey. Juuust right.

The fact that the fabric is designed for outdoor use is kind of a nice surprise. The quality is great (it doesn’t feel too stiff or outdoorsy) and I don’t have to be super stressed out about wear and tear.

For the painting and upholstery, I called on my friend Meg of Meg Made (her boutique just opened, by the way).

I’m also loving the new cream and grey striped throw from Nine Space. The neutral pattern ties in really well with the rest of the living room.

NineSpaceStripedBlanketMeg loved the blanket so much that she practically stole it from me when she dropped off the chair.

(Joe, if you are looking for any Christmas present ideas… hint, hint.)

CoralArmchair2Overall, I’m super happy with how it turned out. It was totally worth the 5-6 month process.

I’m also quite thankful that I am married to a Mister who doesn’t mind the color coral.

 

This post is sponsored by Nine Space (c/o the super comfy striped throw). 

TheHolidayDecorIsUp

My mom has a tradition of putting up her Christmas decor up at Thanksgiving and I’ve decided to follow suit. Which meant the day before our parents came into town last week, Mr. Lively, Mike (my youngest brother), and I hustled to get everything done.

Living in an apartment without a storage unit means we have limited space for holiday decor. But a tree, wreath, garland, and flower boxes help bring a little cheer to the Lively home.

This year’s Christmas tree has oversized “Charlie Brown” lights with an assortment of childhood ornaments. The tree skirt is actually an old Anthro tablecloth wrapped around the base.

ChristmasTree

The fireplace garland is a simple strand of pine we picked up at Home Depot when we got the front door wreath.

FireplaceWinterGarlandI layered our year-round white branches, some pine cones, and a handful of gold ornaments.

After the holidays, I’ll remove the gold balls for a winter look.

WinterGarlandFireplace(With Franklin’s affection for pulling down the hand towels hanging in the kitchen, we skipped the stockings this year.)

Outside, we dressed the patio for Christmas starting with the window boxes.

These guys were pretty tricky at first. With the frozen soil, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of pouring gallons of hot water on them or waiting three days for the soil to thaw inside in order to dress the boxes.

Just before I gave up on them altogether, I tried laying an old faux indoor garland on top of the frozen soil as window box filler.

And voila!

WinterChristmasWindowboxSo pretty. The middle layer is fake greens and berries. I anchored the garland into the soil by using gold pinecones attached to sticks. Just four pinecone stakes per box keeps things in place. No pots of boiling water required!

Then, I layered extra branches from the fireplace mantel and some branches from the Christmas tree at the bottom. Mixing the real branches with the fake ones really helps to make the whole thing feel more complete and authentic.

So besides the gold pine cone stakes I snagged at Home Depot, these boxes ended up being pretty much free.

In between the patio chairs we added a little pine tree, too.

PatioChristmasTreeJust in case you are interested, here are a few snapshots from the Thanksgiving week with our families in town.

Me, my mom, and Mr. Lively’s mom.

photo4

Dinner with my parents, Mike, myself, and Mr. Lively at Hugo’s Frog Bar.

photo3Franklin watching The West Wing. (No joke.)

photo2

And proof that I do cook… once a year.

photo

 

super easy holiday wreath

November 22nd, 2013   |   DecorWineday Friday

SuperEasyHolidayWreath

This weekend Mr. Lively and I are getting a Christmas tree and pulling out the holiday decor! Picking a Christmas tree is one of the top five most exciting moments for me every year, so to say I am excited is an understatement.

And though there is much to do before our families arrive for Thanksgiving next week, one item is already checked off the decor list: the wreath.

This year’s wreath was so quick and easy to make that I have to share it in case anyone else is looking for a simple look that takes about two minutes to assemble.

HolidayEasyWreathLast weekend Mr. Lively and I spotted this boxwood wreath, complete with a fuzzy red bow, at Home Depot for about $15-$20.

I simply removed the bow that came with the wreath and added a glitter “L” ornament from Pottery Barn Kids.

HolidayWreathDetail

After doing a quick search on their online shop, I couldn’t find these exact letters. However, they were sitting by the cash wrap last week… so I’d suggest calling a local Pottery Barn Kids store to see if they have them in stock.

Or, you could choose a glitter peace sign, skis, or sled, instead.

Or, you could pick a favorite (sturdy) ornament from your collection at home!

The options are endless. I would just make sure whatever ornament you choose is weather appropriate. Since our wreath is inside a hallway, I don’t have to worry about the L getting beat up by the elements.

After Christmas, I’ll simply remove the ornament and leave it up through the winter.

Now, it’s time to get a tree!

 

Thank you so much for reading and have a great weekend, guys!

a simpler look for the bedroom

November 19th, 2013   |   Decor

ASimplerLookForTheBedroom

A few months ago, I shared a new gray rug for the bedroom that I considered returning. As many of you wisely suggested, it was a bit much for the room when paired with the bright blue curtains and metallic wallpaper.

Before

RugInBedroomAnd though did I plan to return it, I got so busy that I never took the time to send the rug back and find a suitable replacement.

One day I may sell it or move it to another space, but thanks to some simple bedding updates the rug doesn’t look quite as overbearing anymore.

After

UpdatedBedding

Removing the faded striped sheets and discolored gold trimmed throw pillows means that the rug and wallpaper are the only patterns now — which makes the room feel much calmer overall.

To maintain interest with the solid bedding, I added texture via the throw pillows.

GoldSequinPillows

Enter: Emily and Meritt gold sequin pillows (tip: The covers are pretty reasonably priced and you can get inexpensive pillow inserts for these pillow covers at Jo-Ann).

Don’t they look eerily similar to my beloved gold shoes?

Love.

As for the duvet cover, I simply swapped the duvet in the guest room with the master duvet to add more texture at the foot of the bed. WhiteTuftedDuvetThen there are the sheets. I would qualify these bamboo viscose sheets from Nine Space as my first ‘fancy sheet set’ that I’ve ever owned.

NineSpaceWhiteBambooSheets

And I’m hooked.

They are so soft that they make getting into bed a pleasure… and getting out of it just a little more difficult.

 UpdatedBedding

So what do you think? Is the room looking more balanced now that the bedding is simplified?

 

This post is sponsored by Nine Space (c/o the incredibly soft white sheets) – and they are giving 20% off their entire store to JessLively readers until 11/26! Use the code LIVELY20 to get the discount on their (beautiful) home goods. 

finally! a campaign dresser

October 24th, 2013   |   Decor

FinallyACampaignDresserThe writing room (now known as the never-quite-finished-writing-room) got a new update.

For the first time ever, I have a legitimate campaign dresser (okay, chest)! I’ve been wanting one for years, but never found the right one. So instead, I have just collected campaign-like pieces.

SemiLikeCampaignFurnitureThe nightstand on the other side of the bed was originally a burgundy stain with bad hardware sitting on the street corner with a “free” sign taped to the front. After few coats of white glossy paint and some gold spray paint, he had a whole new look. But this piece lacks the traditional campaign metal hardware on the corners and the recessed drawer pulls.

Just to the right of the nightstand you can see a bit of the writing room desk. This desk was a Craigslist find and got a similar makeover with coats of white paint and again, gold painted drawer pulls. Though similar to the campaign chest, it was not quite there either.

Meanwhile the nightstand below, discovered in the dumpster, was found exactly as you see it here. It had a rubbed gold finish and a cream marble top.

OriginalNightstandThough it was nice, I was delighted to swap it for this new pretty chest.

CampaignChest

Hello, lovely.

This is a piece from Meg Made (now my second piece from Meg’s shop).

Since buying my first dresser from Meg and Joe, Mr. Lively and I have become friends with them. Which is wonderful. But it also makes it hard to not want to buy every single piece that they sell. Which means their new store in Chicago is both thrilling and dangerous for me personally.

Though I’d like to say that the writing room is “complete,” there is another project I have up my sleeve which will really finish it off… at least until I think of something new to do.

the easiest way to hang a gallery wall… ever

October 14th, 2013   |   Decor

TheEasiestWayToMakeAGalleryWallEverI’m sure it’s not surprising that the gallery wall in the writing room (aka guest bedroom) is continuing to grow.

If you look all the way over to the right, you’ll see a new Just Keep Going print (the third JKG print in the gallery) above the lamp.

The design might look familiar since it is the same awesome design that Jen Serafini hand illustrated for the Workshop At Home tote bags.

JustKeepGoingPrint

Now, it’s time to talk about the frame and how insanely easy it was to hang. It took less than 30 seconds to hang thanks to Mary Ann, the awesome entrepreneur and inventor behind Change of Art.

I first met Mary Ann as a business consulting client, and since then she has come to Business in the City. At our last meet up she generously gave me one of her amazing frames to try out for myself.

To see her hard work in action was a real treat. These frames are eco-friendly, made in the US, contribute to a good cause, and are insanely good-looking.

But better than all of that are the mechanics.

When you open the box, you find everything you need to hang the frames (well, except the hammer).

ChangeofArtSupplies

She even includes the nail!

On the back of the frame you don’t even have to remove the backing to insert the pictures. You just slide the photo you want to use in the top slot and your extra photos rest in the lower pocket. How cool is that?

ChangeofArtStoragePocket

Next, you simply take the template and the blue painters tape and apply it to the wall where you’d like your frame to hang. ChangeofArtGalleryWallPaperTemplate

Then, you hammer the nail on the white space indicated on the paper.

ChangeofArtWall

Mary Ann includes a circle piece with the nail. This circle piece fits into a groove in the frame so it’s also self-leveling(!).

ChangeofArtGalleryWall

It. Is. So. Easy. Though I only have one of her frames, her system is also sold in sets so that you can hang an entire wall of frames quickly.

Though I might sound a bit intense about this product, that is because I genuinely love this system and I am honored to know such a kind and innovative entrepreneur.

 

new home tour on pretty fluffy

September 23rd, 2013   |   DecorLifeStyle

NewHomeTouronPrettyFluffyLast week Franklin (and the apartment) got a feature over on the go-to site for stylish pet owners, Pretty Fluffy.

The home tour was shot by Kim – which really just meant it was a fun day of photography, home-working, and trying to get Franklin to stay still.

lively-pretty-fluffy-20

I always love Kim’s work, and it was awesome to see her home tour photos compared to images from the Design*Sponge home tour a while back.

There are new views of the apartment that weren’t shown before, and there are design updates around the apartment, like the guest room, which look so much better now.

WritingRoom

Click to see the home tour.

Enjoy the new shots of the home – and the tricks I use to stash all of Franklin’s stuff around the house while keeping things clean and cute at the same time.

Click to see the home tour.

 

PS – There is “Kim photo inception” going on in the first picture. The photo on the nightstand is from our wedding, which Kim also shot. I wonder if that happens a lot and I just never noticed it… 

photos by, via

bringing the patio into fall

September 19th, 2013   |   DecorStyle

BringingThePatioIntoTheFallNow that the weather is getting chillier, it’s time to do more than just break out the booties.

It’s time to “autumn-ize” the patio.

(It may not be not a real word, but it seems like something Mr. Autumn Man would say.)

To do this, we swapped the regular flowers which were slowly dying…

WideShotPatioFor very inexpensive yellow mums from Home Depot.

YellowMumsCute. Simple. And Mr. Lively’s favorite color.

YellowMumsWindowbox

We’re also using our plaid stadium blankets to stay warm. You can find great some deals on these vintage guys on Etsy.

Franklin also seems to prefer the fall, too.

FranklinFallPatioDoesn’t he look good with plaid?


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