*So inspired by the photo above (source unknown — found on Pinterest), which is a reminder to be unafraid about mixing patterns and styles. We have the same Stark antelope rug in our current living room as the runner seen above and I love the way the house above pairs that animal print with ladylike details and colors. Chic! Also, the runner is $160 and such a good way to introduce that pattern in a foyer or hall!
**Note that many home furnishing stores are running Memorial Day promotions, including my beloved Serena & Lily, which is offering 20% off everything. I know many of you use these promotions to upgrade your lighting to their lovely styles, including this hobnail and this fun style which comes with a scalloped shade. Their Balboa coffee table has also been very popular with you ladies!
Mr. Magpie and I sat down one evening and went through photos of our new home to generate an exhaustive list of needs, wants, and wishes for each room. There are some things we may never do (there was talk of a semi-elaborate reconfiguration of the basement at one time), some things we likely won’t do for awhile, some things we aim to have done in the first year or two, and some things we plan to do immediately. At the top of the latter list are putting up a new fence around the entire backyard — the current fence goes only partway around and we need the entire space enclosed, and while we’re at it, plan to put up something to our aesthetic tastes that runs around the entire perimeter — and buy some pieces of furniture we feel we must have in order to have a functional home. We are generally of the mind that we prefer to go slow and steady on the furniture-buying front to fully understand how we will use the space and to avoid rushing to purchase items we will later feel “smeh” about, but there are a handful of items we will need to make use of spaces we were not fortunate to have in Manhattan:
1 // Sectional for Family Room. I’m pretty dead-set on something from Pottery Barn. I’ve written about this elsewhere but I find their products well-priced and of good quality for our young family. I like this slipcovered, roll-arm style the best. It’s sounding like it will get to us some time in 2024 at this rate…I really have no clue which color to go with. It feels like they have 95 shades of cream, taupe, and gray…?
2 // Media Console for Family Room. We’re moving all of the furniture in our current living room into our new basement, including our much-loved Jayson Home couch and Room and Board media console (in white). Have I already talked your ear off about Room and Board? They make really, really good quality pieces. The console weighs a shipping ton and is in great shape despite its prominence (and therefore vulnerability to destructive little children) in our living room, and we also have a drop-leaf dining table from them that has impressed us to no end. Anyway, Mr. Magpie is very…particular about the placement of the TV on the wall and its relationship to his fancy speaker and sub set-up (he swears by Kef if you are in the market), and he loves the media console because it’s the perfect height to sit beneath a big TV without requiring viewers to angle their heads up to watch. Plus, it has those convenient cut-out shelves perfect for the various technology boxes and speaker gear he has. So we’ll be moving all of that into the basement to create the movie-watching experience of his dreams, along with a new TV down there whose dimensions he continually, vaguely rounds up. (“Oh, it’ll be like…80 inches or something.” Hm.) For the family room media console, one of the things we are thinking we might like to do in the next few years is have some custom built-ins installed in the family room and in Mr. Magpie’s study — and maybe in the basement, too? But for now we want to buy a console for the space as we don’t intend to undertake that project in the immediate future, while we’re still figuring out how we will use all of the spaces and what we’d like to store where. A few consoles I found attractive in my initial hunt:
THIS S&L — MR. MAGPIE WILL PROBABLY THINK THIS IS TOO TALL / NOT IDEALLY CONFIGURE FOR TECH GEAR
I WISH THIS CAME IN MORE COLORS — SO GOOD, BUT NOT AS INTO THE BLACK/GUNMETAL
3 // Desk Chairs! We’re finally treating ourselves after somehow muddling through with more decorative chairs for the past year. Mr. Magpie has his eye on one of these Herman Miller styles, but I’m gunning for one of these Laura Davidson beauties for $300. I first heard about the latter from a Magpie reader whose interior designer had recommended it as an attractive desk chair (didn’t know they existed prior) and then my chic cousin mentioned that she has one and adores hers. I love the saddle brown leather (looks so expensive!) but will probably go with gray or even white to fit with my to-be-determined writing nook aesthetic. There is a sitting room off the master bedroom that is just perfect for my writing! It looks out on dense foliage and I’m planning to place my desk right in front of the window and happily write my days away there. I want to eventually wallpaper the room (I have always had my eye on Osborne & Little’s Farfalle print — maybe I’ll take the plunge in that room!), but for now, it will be home to my little white desk, my new office chair, and those tall leaning bookcases that are currently in our living room to house all of my books and cherished decorative objects. Maybe one day I will also upgrade my desk (which has been with me since college, if you can believe it) to something spectacular like this or this, but
4 // Outdoor Dining Set. The new house has a lovely covered porch that overlooks the backyard. We thankfully inherited a white wicker seating set for one end but need a dining set for the other. My sister generously offered us a beautiful stone-slab outdoor table that used to belong to my grandparents (!) that has these cool white wrought iron legs with ivy leaf detailing — hard to describe. We aren’t yet sure if we are going to take it, but if we do, these S&L dining chairs are basically tailor-made for the table. It’s kind of unbelievable! Very similar white iron legs! If we choose to go a different direction, I shared some of my other favorite outdoor pieces in this post and will probably narrow in on one of those options! I was also intrigued by the Magpie who mentioned she purchased a classic teak set from a local shop, as the current owners had a teak table and chairs there, and my parents-in-law were encouraging us to follow suit. We will see where we land. I will absolutely keep you along for the ride.
5 // A Charcoal Grill! Mr. Magpie was heartbroken when he sold his Weber kettle before we left Chicago. I remember him coming into the house, dejected, just after he’d seen it off — it was like losing a part of his identity. Mr. Magpie and his grill are like extensions of one entity. He’s eyeing one of these “Performer Deluxe” ones.
6 // Counter Stools. As you know, I’ve always loved the look of these S&L ones, but I’m not sure the vibe would work in the kitchen, which has darker countertops and a more traditional (not coastal) feel to it. I’m wondering instead about some of these options:
THESE WOULD BE CLOSE TO PERFECT BUT I’M THINKING THE IVORY UPHOLSTERY IS A BIG NO WITH SMALL CHILDREN
ADORE THESE WOVEN ONES — SO FUN AND ARCHITECTURAL, AND WELL-PRICED, TOO
REALLY LOVE THESE BUT AGAIN NOT SURE THEY’D FIT THE VIBE OF THE KITCHEN…
Future state, I would love to put up window treatments in the kitchen and family room (just off the kitchen) that tie the whole space together. The current owners have simple solid colored drapes that will be perfect for now but I am interested in turning up the volume as I slowly decorate the home. I’ve always loved Schumacher’s Citrus Garden pattern and think it would be so fun to install a little roman shade in that print above the kitchen window above the sink (that overlooks the backyard) and then have drapes in the family room that match. But maybe that’s too bold given all of the windows in the family room? Maybe something like Quadrille’s China Seas or Schumacher’s Acanthus (both in my preferred dusty blue colors) would be better for such a big space.
6 // Pendant Lights for the Kitchen. A small aesthetic preference, but I loved everything about the kitchen except the pendant lights. The kitchen currently has three running down the middle of the island but I think I will cap the center outlet and just install two bigger ones. A few I love — not all of them will be perfect for the kitchen but wanted to share them all here —
Also sharing a roundup of some favorite home recent home finds here…
IN LOVE WITH THIS WHITE NIGHTSTAND — ESPECIALLY FOR A NURSERY/LITTLE GIRL’S ROOM, BUT ALSO KIND OF JUST LOVE IT IN GENERAL…THAT PULL-OUT TRAY IS SO CLEVER!
THIS LOVELY CUPBOARD IS 50% OFF!!! — HAD CONSIDERED THIS FOR OUR DINING ROOM FOR EXTRA STORAGE IN OUR MANHATTAN APARTMENT! SO GORGEOUS!
SET OF 2 WHITE BATH MATS — LOOK LIKE A FANCY HOTEL! PERFECT FOR A DOUBLE VANITY
THINKING OF USING THIS MAT IN OUR HARDWOOD FLOOR KITCHEN
THIS RUG IN THE BLUE AND WHITE IS SUCH A GOOD VALUE FOR SUCH A CLASSIC LOOK — GREAT FOR A NURSERY / LITTLE BOY’S ROOM, AND ONLY ~$200 FOR AN 8X10
I’VE FEATURED THIS $200 LAMP IN THE PAST BUT IT IS JUST SO GOOD…EYEING A PAIR OF TWO FOR AN ENTRYWAY CONSOLE SITUATION IN THE NEW HOUSE
COASTAL BIRDS ART SET — SO CHIC IN A LIVING ROOM
CHIC TUFTED BENCH FOR A LIBRARY/SITTING ROOM — I FIND SUCH GREAT STUFF IN THE JAYSON HOME CLEARANCE SECTION, AND IT ALL FEELS SO ONE-OF-A-KIND
P.P.S. I will miss Manhattan.
P.P.P.S. How do you rate your risk tolerance?