James Kicinski-McCoy is a writer and blogger, specializing in strategic marketing and branding, is a co-founder and editor of Mother Magazine, and co-owner and creative director of Two Son. She lives with her husband and four children in Nashville, Tennessee.
Of course, we are still over-the-moon with excitement about owning our home, and we are starting renovations over the next few weeks. One thing I am really looking forward to are new floors upstairs. We currently have old, ratty, pet-stained carpet up there, so ripping that stuff up and laying new floors is at the top of my list. I have also been dreaming of refinishing the main floor’s hardwoods ever since we moved in. They have some water damage and could use some TLC. Aubrey loves white-washed wood, but I am apprehensive about keeping it looking clean and fresh with kids running around and think a nice neutral wood tone is best.
I think the thing that I am most excited about is replacing the tile in all of the bathrooms (we have four) and laundry room. The house is going to be very minimal, clean, and modern, but I get to have a little bit of fun in the bathrooms with the floors. This Instagram page is making my job of decision making very difficult. I’ve gathered a few floor inspiration photos below to help move the process along. Please feel free to share any of your favorite tiles, wood, concrete, stains, or finishes, as I am always looking for inspiration.
Now all of this floor talk has got Hot Chip stuck in my head. Not a bad problem to have, I suppose!
One of the spaces that is top priority in our upcoming renovation is our kitchen. While ours is bright, white, has great space and is full of quality appliances, it’s outdated, the fridge leaks, the hardwoods are warped, the stove top burners aren’t reliable, and it could just use some upgrades overall. Our kitchen has a connected eat-in dining room, much like this kitchen in the photos above and below, which we also want to upgrade a bit.
My biggest struggle with our redesign/remodel, besides maintaining a budget, is that I want to make sure that the house is open, clean, and minimal with plenty of storage and without being too trendy—example: subway tile. While I do like it, it’s everywhere and a little overdone, in my opinion. I don’t want my home/kitchen to feel like every coffee shop in town, so I’m looking to find unique, yet simple, classic design elements that I will love for years to come.
The spaces above have the most beautiful flooring, the stainless appliances are a dream, and of course, I am a huge fan of the white-washed walls and cabinets. Here are some more kitchen/dining spaces that have aspects that I love…
So… a little exciting news—we close on our house next week. We’ve been trying to convince the owners of the home we rent to sell to us for the past year and a half and finally “it’s all happening” (said in my best Almost Famous impersonation)! This old house has great bones, terrible bathrooms, a lot of space, and an insane backyard view, which we have made our home after renting for the past three years. We have a long list of remodel plans that we are anxious to get started on; hardwoods throughout and refinishing those existing on the main floor, new bathrooms and kitchen design, deciding between fresh siding or stucko on the exterior, paint colors, fencing, landscaping—these are all at the top of our list, plus many more including a couple of major structure renovations that we will have to tackle over time. Needless to say, we’re excited and have been nose deep, looking at homes and interiors, finding inspiration for this place. Can’t wait to share bits + pieces of the journey with all of you.
I’ve pulled together ten of the most iconic homes from different celebrities during Hollywood’s heydey in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. From sprawling Palm Springs mansions to Manhattan apartments, these homes reflect an air of “Old Hollywood” glamour that simply doesn’t exist off-screen today. Hope you enjoy as much as I do.
Frank Sinatra’s Palm Springs home, “Twin Palms”. (Palm Springs Style)
Elvis Elvis Presley’s Memphis home, otherwise known as Graceland. (Graceland)
Charlie Chaplin’s LA home, nicknamed the “Moorcrest estate”. (LA Curbed)
Elizabeth Taylor’s “Casa Elizabeth” in Palm Springs. (Telegraph)
Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood home. (House Beautiful)
Marilyn Monroe’s upper east side apartment. (Harper’s Bazaar)
Sophia Loren’s former Italian villa. (Previews)
Ava Gardner’s London apartment. (Reveur de Mort)
James Dean in his NYC apartment. (The Selvedge Yard)
This week, we’ve partnered with Leesa—the TOM Shoes or Warby Parker of mattresses, if you will! For every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter, which is pretty awesome. Leesa has done away with the awkward showroom experience by creating a luxury mattress that is ordered completely online, ships directly to your doorstep for free, and is compressed in a box the size of a mini-fridge. The 10″ mattress comes in all sizes and is crafted with 3 unique foam layers, including 2″ of memory foam and another 2″ of a really cool latex-like foam called Avena™, which is perforated to keep you cool like the other side of the pillow. And, Leesa gives you 100 nights to try your new mattress—risk free, so there’s really nothing to lose.
We’ve slept on our new Leesa for a few nights now. The verdict—this mattress rules! It’s incredibly comfortable. Just the right amount of firm and just the right amount of soft. The good news: we sleep like babies. The bad news: it’s really difficult to get out of bed in the morning. I cannot be held responsible for snooze button abuse.
Reader perk: Leesa is offering the first 100 readers to redeem promo code BLEUBIRD at checkout, $75 off your order! Click here to start sleeping better!