HOME: SERENA AND LILY INSPIRED KITCHEN TABLE

I find coastal home decor inspiration everywhere.  Whether I’m scouring Pinterest, checking out other bloggers with a coastal style, or google searching “coastal home decor,” the one brand that never fails to inspire me is Serena and Lily.  I will sit for hours and study their catalogues (one of the few print catalogues I still get in the mail!).   Known for their coastal yet refined style, Serena and Lily is an absolute favorite among people who love that easy breezy, casual, and classic style associated with living along the coast.  Everything they design is always so welcoming, something I always strive for in my own home. 

When Rob and I realized we quickly needed to upgrade our pub style kitchen table to one that would accommodate Lilly, I grabbed all my Serena and Lily catalogues and spent hours looking for inspiration. Our kitchen in general is small. Our house was built in the late 1970’s, and although many modern improvements have been made, the rooms are small and the ceilings are low. I knew we were limited in the space we had for a kitchen table.

I found a few round, white tables from Serena and Lily (here and here) that I absolutely fell in love with. Unfortunately, my bank account cannot support the steep prices of this brand, so I took the advice of my friend Claire from Home With the Wileys: I identified the elements of the piece of furniture I loved and started shopping around on sites I knew we could afford (Wayfair, Target, Birch Lane, Pottery Barn, One Kings Lane, etc.) After several weeks, I found an almost identical style to the table I wanted at Birch Lane, at a much happier price point (sadly I can’t link it because it’s already sold out!).

The table arrived within three days, and although it took a little getting used to, I have come to love this table. It’s the perfect fit for our space. The white brightens up the space and the simple, modern style helps the space feel larger.

For the chairs, I knew I loved the Serena and Lily Tucker Dining Chairs in white. I love this classic look of a chair – reminds me of early American life (think Williamsburg). These spindle chairs are easy to shop for and I originally found some I liked at Target. But after two different shipments of damaged chairs and having to deal with the hassle of sending them back, I decided to start the process over again.

I had been eyeing some of these wood spindle chairs on Overstock from the Safavieh line and on a whim, we decided to try these in a curved back instead of the upright back. And oh my gosh. We LOVE these chairs. I think I love them more than the table. They arrived in three days and were UNDAMAGED. Plus, it took Rob about ten minutes total to assemble them. WIN.

I absolutely love the classic, coastal, and casual feel we created in our kitchen nook. The white brightens up the space so much and the clean lines help the space feel larger. I wanted this space to be a space where we hang out as a family and share special meals. Already, it’s one of our most used spaces and I’m so happy with it.

Although I love the Serena and Lily style so much, at this point in our lives we need to be more economical with our purchases. For anyone else in the same boat, you can absolutely get the Serena and Lily look for less. Just be specific in what you are looking for and you will find it. Thank you Serena and Lily for the endless inspiration. Someday I dream of owning one of your beautiful pieces!

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: HOW I KEEP OUR HOUSE ORGANIZED WITH A TODDLER

I love to clean and organize.  It’s probably one of my favorite pastimes and definitely my favorite chore.  Before Lilly, I would spend our entire Saturday morning deep cleaning our house.  Cleaning and organizing has always been my activity that de-stresses me, allows me to process whatever is going on, and it genuinely brings me joy.  

Before kids, I always used to say, “my house is going to stay clean even after I have kids.” And guys, so far that’s been manageable with one kid (I can’t say what will happen if we have more). Below are some tricks that help me keep our home organized and clutter free.

Invest in Quality Baskets

Baskets are my best friend. I can’t have enough baskets. Baskets are so good at hiding clutter. We have diaper baskets in almost every room – that way we can have quick access to diapers, wipes, lotion and whatever else a baby and toddler needs. I love to store baskets under coffee tables and on shelves because it looks pretty and it hides the chaos inside the basket. I also use baskets in our kitchen to hide our aprons and cookbooks (we just don’t have enough counter space, wall space, or cupboard space). I also use baskets in closets, under sinks, in L’s playroom – literally everywhere. I also love to leave them out in the open and fill them with magazines, books, or blankets.

Target, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Pottery Barn have some excellent options.  I also love the Serena and Lily ones, but those are $$$.  Here a few styles that I love: 

Pottery Barn Beachcomber Handwoven Seagrass Large Tote 

Pottery Barn Havana Handwoven Seagrass Utility Basket (I have about 8 of these all over the house!).  It also comes in a lighter shade.

Pottery Barn Metallic Woven Wool Storage – we have one similar to this in pink and it’s my favorite basket! 

Target Decorative Toy Storage Basket – we have this in pink in Lilly’s room and I love it!  

Target Large Woven Storage Basket – we have four of these in white under L’s changing table.  They are perfect for storing diapers and blankets! 

Colonial Mills Boca Raton Basket – we love this for storing L’s stuffed animals! Amazing quality. 

Tidy Up Before You Leave a Room

This is something I try to do, and it does work 90% of the time. Before we leave a room where we’ve been playing, I try and put everything away and in its rightful place. This might seem silly, but it’s so much better than spending a half hour going all around the house, picking everything up after L goes to bed. It truly makes a huge difference. Plus, we make a game out of it. Luckily Lilly is a helper so if I ask her to help me with something she is always willing and ready.

Designated Play Area

Fortunately we have a designated playroom in our house. Keeping her toys, books, and stuffed animals all in one area of the house certainly helps with keeping the rest of the house organized. And it helps that this room is separate from the rest of the house (it’s right off of our entrance from the garage and there is a bathroom connected to it. I think it’s technically a downstairs master, but we use it as the playroom). Even if you don’t have a playroom, you can set aside a space in your house for the kiddo’s toys (use those baskets!) and it will definitely help with keeping things tidy.

Always do the Dishes 

This can be an annoying task for sure, but my mom always taught me to clean all the dishes before you go to bed.  If we use dishes after dinner, I always make sure I hand wash them and put them away before we go to bed.  Most nights I do not want to do this task because I’m so tired.  But every morning I wake up and I’m so glad I did.  It truly makes a difference in the morning! 

And that’s it folks.  These are things I do every single day that keeps our home tidy and organized, something I very much value.  Hopefully one or more of these ideas will be feasible for you.  Happy organizing!

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: A COZY LITTLE PRINTS GIVEAWAY

When I started blogging for fun (almost!) three years ago, I never imagined that blogging would result in friendships from around the country.  Literally.  I have formed so many wonderful relationships and even met a few other creatives in person.  I have often thought about quitting my blog, and even Instagram for that matter, but time and again the friendships I’ve formed with so many people and their never sending support keeps me going.  

One of those people who I connected with instantly and who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders is my friend Sarah from Cozy Little Joys.  Sarah and I have bonded over everything from classic style, to motherhood and raising our two toddlers, to blue and white obsessions, a love for stripes, gin and tonics,and so much more.  She inspires me daily with her positive attitude, real-life honesty, and as of most recently, her courage to share a new passion during these difficult times.  

I’m so excited to share Sarah’s newest venture – the Cozy Little Prints Studio!  Cozy Little Prints started as a creative outlet for Sarah to help ease stress and anxiety during a very challenging time.  Cozy Little Prints is a collection of original watercolor paintings, ranging from fresh blooms, to architecture, botanicals, ginger jars, classic style, and coastal art.  You can purchase digital downloads of Sarah’s artwork on Etsy, as well as working with Sarah on commissioned pieces. 

In honor of the launch of Sarah’s new venture, Sarah, our friend Caitlin from Lemonade Press Blog, and myself are giving away three watercolor prints from Sarah’s blue and white lemon collection! Head to our Instagram’s to enter to win! 

Slainte,

Shannon