I’ve been itching to upgrade and re-decorate various elements of our house recently, in part owing to the wear and tear (er, outright destruction…?) attributed to our puppy, and in part owing to the intense impulse to nest I’ve been experiencing since getting pregnant. Mr. Magpie and I have been putting off a number of purchases and enhancements for various reasons–not the least of which is the very pragmatic observation that investing in new upgrades now, while we have a puppy and newborn, may not be the best in terms of timing (or longevity of improvement). Still, a few of the items at the top of my purchase list:
Pick 1: The Patterned Armchair
Tilden has chomped all over a “vintage” leather armchair in our front living area (I place vintage in quotations, semi-sarcastically, because it’s a leather armchair from Mr. Magpie’s bachelor pad that was already a little worse for the wear prior to Tilly’s arrival), and it’s a sad and sorry mess. I’d like to replace it with a patterned armchair like this gingham lovely from Society Social ($1,235), whose fabric was designed by the epically talented illustrator Inslee Haynes, who, incidentally, I’ve recently reconnected with after she designed the save-the-dates for my friend Alison’s wedding! I also love this spotted style ($1,150) she designed. In fact, I freaking love all of the chairs from Society Social — so chic, and super cool that all of their upholstery is custom-made to order, so they can work with you on fabrics, trims, piping, and other custom details. (Also, the company was founded by a woman, Roxy Te, and the entire operation takes place in a family-run factory. Love.)
Pick 2: Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
I am obsessed with what a little greenery can do to a room–it can totally bring it to life, make it feel fuller, give it new legs. I’ve wanted a fiddle leaf fig tree forever, but sadly learned from our local nursery that the plant would likely not survive in our front living area (the only logical spot for one) given the north-facing windows. These plants need a lot of light. Wahhh. Because, look how amazing:
I recently discovered that there are some pretty amazing faux versions, though. And while I’m generally allergic to faux florals (not literally allergic, just…not a fan), I may have to make an exception, because some of the options out there are seriously life-like. My top pick? This Pottery Barn style ($299). I’m also contemplating this $179 version from World Market, which looks pretty realistic and comes in at a more comfortable pricepoint, or this $109 style.
P.S. — You can always upgrade the “planter” these faux styles come in. A woven basket like this could look amazing in a girly bachelorette pad living area (or one of these affordable sisal baskets from Etsy!), or a mid-century modern style like this would be unreal in a sophisticated living area.
P.P.S — Speaking of faux, I LOVE these faux palm branches for a well-styled bookcase ($12 each).
Pick 3: The Upgraded Pillowcase.
Sometimes, it’s the little things. We recently moved all of our guest room stuff into our former office to make space for the nursery, and, in the process, had to shelve a pretty pink bedding set from Matouk because one of the walls in the office is painted a deep red color. (P.S., on the Matouk linens I have: I believe it is the Butterfield, or something similar with scalloped edges — swoon — that I’d first splurged on as a recent college grad.) We instead used our old bedding set (a pretty platinum gray situation from Pine Cone Hill — you can still buy select pieces from the set on ridic sale here). Once it was all situated, the room felt a little…monotone. So I added these pretty, affordable patterned shams ($19 apiece!) as a quick fix. (Matching quilt also available..)
I think I may finish the look with one of these amazing pique monogrammed shams in the European Sham size (26 x 26, $114) from Etsy store PeppermintBee. I connected with the store’s owner and she emphasized that she does a lot of custom work to match colors, styles, etc. I love that these are done on a cotton pique fabric–so luxe and sturdy at the same time.
Pick 4: New Bath Towels.
I’d also like to snap up some elegant new bath towels for our guest bath and master bath. About two years ago, I invested in the gorgeous “Etoile” bath towels from high-end linen-maker Yves Delorme after falling in love with them during a stay at The Carlyle Hotel in NYC. They are the softest, fluffiest towels ever, and you can actually score them at a good price on Amazon in select colors. However, my main gripe with them is that they lost their color very quickly, and this was even after I’d been instructed to “only use Dreft when washing them” (Dreft is a gentle detergent most commonly used for infant clothing), which, honestly, was a bit high maintenance and annoying. (Who do they think they are, the Mariah Carey of bathroom linens?!?! SHEESH.) It meant I had to run a separate load of laundry *just* for those towels. After about a year or so, I’ll admit I’d occasionally toss them in with the normal laundry (#REBEL!), and, over the course of the last two years, their pretty sage green hue has gradually, sadly mellowed into a vague yellowish-white. Womp womp. So, I’m looking for something new. I love the pattern on these John Robshaws ($50 for bath towel, $25 for hand towel).
I also really like a big block print monogram on a towel for our master bath — so it’s not too girly for Mr. Magpie. Mark + Graham has a nice set with some cool block print monograms available, and I also already own a few sets of these gorgeous Matouk white towels (love the white-on-white monogramming).
Pick 5: Elegant Bed Linens
Speaking of linens, have you heard about Hill House Home? I’m obsessed with this relatively new bedding company, which was (incidentally) founded by a fellow Wahoo who was recently selected as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30! (Hell yeah, UVA! All of these rad UVA alum female founders, including the lovely Christina Bryant, whom I just featured recently.) I especially love these mini embroidered pillowcases ($48) with their cheeky expressions, but all of their collections are super chic, with a Euro minimalist kind of elegance. (P.S. — they are NAILING the hand-embroidered trend I’ve been drooling over.)
Pick 6: The Porcelain Dog
I think I need this porcelain greyhound ($99) to sit next to my fireplace. He looks like his name is Fitzwilliam or Darcy or something.
Pick 7: The Brass Figural
I’ve been HUNTING for more a more affordable version of this cool brass hand figural ($157), but to no avail. I think I might just need to splurge on this bad boy. I need it for the little coffee table situation in my breakfast area. She would complete the look. I first fell in love with this little piece after seeing it in the snaps below from blogger Lemon Stripes’ home. Don’t you love the styling?! The colors are amazing! I actually just featured these snaps a week or so ago when drooling over her coffee table book collection (I just bought this).
Pick 8: The Succulent Wreath
Pick 9: The Linen Bucket Chair
The nailhead-accented, linen style of this little club chair from Target (!!! — $212 apiece) is SO to my taste. Surprise, surprise: I want it in the pink. Now where to put it…
I first spotted this elegant throw from St. Frank Textiles ($225) on the beautiful Instagram of the blogger behind Daily Cup of Couture (how precious are her babies?!) and fell in love with the colors and texture–and, after featuring the founder of St. Frank last week, it only felt appropriate to mention it here again! I think I need it in the pink or the sand.