Philips sent us some lightbulbs to use to in our new house (which we really needed) and when I opened the box and saw they were energy efficient bulbs I was sort of a skeptic. I feel like for years people have been telling me that LED bulbs emit as beautiful light as regular bulbs. But every time I try a few the light is so bad I have to switch back. Lighting makes SUCH a difference in a room and I’ve avoided LED lightbulbs because the light was so ugly. When we put a room together we usually have an overhead light source for function but we prefer not to use it. Instead we have a few lamps around the room to create ambient lighting. Since we moved in last month we hadn’t really gotten our lighting set up so we worked on it last week and I told Paul to try the new lightbulbs. When I came back in the room I couldn’t believe they were LED bulbs. The light was beautiful. The next day I placed a giant order for all the bulbs in our house. My friends started making fun of me because they would come over and all I wanted to do was talk about how great the new lightbulbs are. The bulbs last over 20 years (!) and are super energy efficient. And most importantly (for me) I can’t tell a difference between the old and the new. Right now, Philips is hosting a giveaway for a $3,000 lighting makeover! By entering, you could win a design consultation, new bulbs and fixtures for your home! Click here to learn about all the details.
Our new house has a really great mantel in the living room and when I was decorating for Christmas I knew it would be perfect for a fresh garland. Bay leaf garlands are great because they’re not only beautiful, but they also make the whole house smell amazing. Plus when they dry out they still look beautiful. I order mine from the Flower Mart, they are usually $4-$6 a foot.
This post is sponsored by Philips: make your holidays shine with the right lighting.
Photography by Gaby Esensten for Oh Happy Day
I’ve been obsessed with the new Holiday Collection from Serena & Lily. (For example here, here, and here.) They asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted to be a part of their holiday blogger contest and I jumped at the opportunity. Me and 4 other bloggers decorated rooms in our homes using Serena & Lily holiday products. I chose to decorate the Christmas tree in my living room with their beautiful ornaments, string paper lights and giant snowflake lights. (Their ornaments are the prettiest glass ornaments I’ve ever seen.) They are hosting a contest on Facebook where everyone can vote for their favorite blogger-designed vignette and enter for the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree at Serena & Lily. Click here to visit their Facebook page and enter to win. (And please please pretty please vote for me!)
Photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day
Woohoo! I’ve got some “after” pictures of our bedroom today. After renting apartments for years it feels pretty liberating to be able to do ANYTHING I want to the apartment. The front bedroom (that we are calling the Master bedroom) is a beautiful space with Bay Windows. The trim had been previously painted white and it had white walls. So it was definitely a blank slate. When I went looking for inspiration for our house I kept searching for “Modern Victorian” I want to keep all the amazing details that make me love the apartment, but I want the space to feel modern and fresh.
I kept coming back to Jenna Lyon’s Brownstone, probably my favorite example of this. What I like about the room is it still feels fresh several years later. They take risks (like painting everything black!) but there are a ton of architectural details and everything feels modern and a little sparse. I loved how they had painted their trim black too, not just the walls. It gives the room a whole different look than accenting the room with standard white moulding. After weighing my options I became obsessed with painting my whole bedroom black. This might not seem like a risk to some people but I have spent my whole life trying to figure out how to make my small cramped apartments feel “lighter” so to actually make some thing darker on purpose seemed scary to me. Coincidentally Valspar contacted me about the same time and I told them I would LOVE to work with them considering all I do is think about paint colors all day. So I started looking for the “perfect black.” Valspar has an awesome Love Your Color Guarantee where if you aren’t happy with your first color you can have another color “on them.” It’s a pretty amazing guarantee because anyone who paints a lot knows that sometimes, no matter what you do, the paint colors don’t turn out how you thought they would. It was so nice knowing I had the option of switching colors if I didn’t love the bold color I originally chose.
Click through for details and more photos!
Yesterday I shared photos of the front half of the house and today is the back of the house. The back rooms are some of my favorite rooms and I think the kitchen and bathroom hold the most potential for transformation (in general the bones of the house we want to keep as-is.)
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If you follow me on Instagram then you saw the news last month that we bought a house! Technically its just a flat (not a single family home) but we couldn’t be more excited. I made a list of goals when we were first married of things I really wanted to do over the next 10 years or so. The first thing on the list was: Buy a House in San Francisco. It was very unrealistic when I made that goal so the fact that we actually did it is thrilling. I cried when it became official. It is a beautiful 3 bedroom Victorian flat near Dolores Park. The apartment is 1700 square feet with a large kitchen, dining room and even a guest bedroom. It has beautiful original details and the apartment has been very well taken care of. We would like to eventually update the kitchen and bathroom and even knock out a wall or two but we are going to put that all on hold until our bank account recovers from that hefty down payment. The apartment is amazing but isn’t perfect. It doesn’t have a parking spot or a backyard and living on top of and below neighbors (even if they are nice) isn’t ideal. But the pros outweigh the cons a million times over so we feel really good about it. It is the perfect first home for us.
If you’ve been reading this blog any amount of time then you know we have a habit of living in small spaces. Our first apartment was a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco (pictures here, I cringe when I see these BTW.) After that we moved to a medium sized one bedroom apartment on Nob Hill, we had some children and they slept in a closet. After that we moved to a two bedroom apartment in Paris (Paris has cheaper housing than San Francisco so we upgraded!) Then last Spring we moved to our current 500 square foot apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco. We won’t move into the new house for a few months but home decor has been on my mind a lot. I hope you’ll indulge me a bit as I post about the new place and the projects we have in store. I’ve been waiting to own a house for so long I can’t believe its actually here. Here is a little peek of our long San Francisco hallway.