When Susan and William Brinson started looking for a house, they knew it had to have one thing — character. Susan grew up in a military family, and craved a home that spoke to her in a way that the bland houses she spent most of her childhood in never did.
“I told William: I want you to gasp a little when you walk in. There was only one house that made us gasp and it was this one,” she writes on the couple’s blog, House of Brinson.
This upstate New York Greek Revival home was built in the 1850s — and now the Brinsons are tackling a full remodel in order to turn it into their dream home.
“The house was formerly owned by a famous horse breeder and has had many famous guests as a result,” says Susan. “Back in the 1860s the house was called Stony Ford so that’s what we’re calling it in 2015!”
Among the numerous renovations, the couple is redoing the guest room — which they’ve named the Young Duchess Room, after one of the original owner’s horses. We’re excited to work with them to help transform this beautiful space!
“Stony Ford sat empty for a number of years and so we do the renovation work. I never thought I’d remove so much wall paper,” Susan adds. “The house is a diamond in the rough! We’ll share the entire process with you from the down and dirty renovation to the fun decorating as we make Stony Ford our home.”
Follow along here on the Pottery Barn blog, at House of Brinson, and on Instagram with #PBandStonyFord.
Justina Blakeney knows that the perfect party doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Getting your DIY on will help keep money in your wallet — and it can give your party some personal flair with minimal effort. These DIY summer party decor ideas from Justina couldn’t be easier — and we love the life they lend to her stunning tablescape. Take a look and get inspired for your own summer party decor, below!
Philodendron Leaf Chargers:
“Instead of (or in addition to!) traditional chargers use tropical Split-Leaf Philodendron leaves to under your dishes to create a pretty pop of green and an added layer of visual interest to your tabletop.”
Leafy Name Tags:
“Using twine, a leaf, a hole punch and a gold Sharpie, punch a hole in a leaf, write your guest’s name it with a Sharpie and thread the twine through the leaf and add it to the glass. It looks refreshing, can be used as a place-marker and throughout the evening guests will be able to keep track of their glasses, which means less washing!”
Leaf Wrapped Glasses:
“To avoid wet hands when cups get sweaty, use twine and a large tropical leaf (like a banana leaf) to wrap the cup in a leaf! It saves the hand from getting wet and looks very festive, too.”
“Succulents make great centerpieces, and furthermore, they make lovely take-aways for guest once the party is over. You can use any kind of vessel (even coconut shells!) and fill the bottom half with pebbles (succulents have shallow roots). Fill the rest with cactus soil and after planting your succulent, cover the top in white sand to help it look polished.”
Written exclusively for Pottery Barn by Christy Hulsey of Colonial House of Flowers.
When Design Studio South and I set up our Pottery Barn Easter tablescape, we wanted to challenge the tired, expected spring pastel palette that we see too often. These chic, chalky Easter eggs are ridiculously easy (it’ll take all of 5 minutes) and inexpensive — they added just the right element to our table, and can help give your crazy, artificial looking plastic eggs a simple makeover.
PS: Don’t forget to check out the full tabletop & our tips here!
• Plastic Easter Eggs
• Stone Spray Paint
Lay out your plastic eggs. Open each egg and place the halves in a line.
Choose your paint colors. Tip: Select a paint with a texture, like stone (which is what we used here). The paint’s speckling gives each plastic eggshell a very au-naturale look.
Spray with your paint and let dry — that’s it!
Now celebrate with a glass of wine — you deserve it! In a matter of minutes you’ve crafted some seriously stylish DIY Easter eggs that are easy on your wallet and gorgeous on your table.
Photographer: Rach Lea Photography
Styling: Design Studio South
Floral Design: Christy Hulsey, Colonial House of Flowers
Styling: Amanda Currier, Colonial House of Flowers
Small Bites: Brownie Brittle
Pralines: From the Kitchen of Azure Rountree,
Calligraphy: Low Country Paper Co
Flower Selection: Mark Jackson, Cutflower Atlanta
Floral Supplies: Syndicate Sales
Venue: Georgia State Railroad Museum
If you’re lucky enough to have a laundry room, odds are it’s small — and not exactly your favorite place to spend Sunday afternoons. But even if you dread doing laundry, you can still make the space neat, clean and actually enjoyable to spend time in.
Mandy of Waiting on Martha took that very approach when tackling her tiny laundry room makeover. “My laundry room is so small I can’t even walk in and turn around, so keeping it clutter free and maximizing the space is extremely important to me,” she says. She couldn’t add more square footage, so instead she made use of the existing space with new tools to help her reorganize and refresh the room.
Get her tips & tricks and see her laundry room makeover below!
Photography by Rustic White Photography
Combine wherever you can. Mandy traded out two old hampers that were taking up space for our Perry Divided Hamper. “Laundry is a necessary evil, but at least my PB hamper makes it easier,” she says. “With two compartments I can easily pre-sort colors, whites, and delicates.”
Search for unused storage space. The unused empty slot above her laundry cabinets proved to be the perfect spot for our Benchwright Baskets. Now, they store her paper towels and out of season blankets.
Make the most of vertical space. What on earth is vertical space? Your walls, of course! It’s easy to forget about your four walls as an easy place to store things up and off the floor. We love how Mandy made use of door hooks to hang her vacuum and other laundry room storage items.
Keep everyday items on hand. A small Newport Basket takes up minimal space on top of Mandy’s dryer, and holds her laundry must-haves — detergent, iron, steamer, etc.
See Mandy’s linen closet and bathroom makeovers, too!
The linen closet is one of the hidden organization downfalls of the house. Small, and usually tucked away in a hallway or back room, it’s easy to forget about it until you’re hunting for guest towels and bedding during the holidays.
But it’s also one of the easiest spaces to tackle when it comes to home organization — one good afternoon and a few key organizing tools will result in one seriously sparkling and satisfyingly clean space.
Mandy of Waiting on Martha did just that this past weekend, using some of our favorite baskets. Take a look at her space and smart organizing tips, below!
Photography by Rustic White Photography
Handwritten tags by Jenn Gietzen
Break out the baskets. Baskets are the fastest way to keep your linen closet tidy, towels folded and bedding from falling off the shelves. Do what Mandy did and mix and match — some woven, some wire. “I love that you can see what the wire baskets are holding,” says Mandy. “Like my favorite striped beach towels!”
Label, label, label. “Baskets are one of my favorite ways to organize, but sometimes it’s hard to see what’s all in them,” says Mandy. “My solution? Group similar items together and label each basket with a handwritten tag.”
Group by kind. “The Newport baskets are my absolute go-to,” says Mandy. “I use the larger size to hold bedding and linens, the smaller size is perfect for cleaning supplies, bathroom necessities and everything you need to cure a cough or bandage a wound.”
Check out Mandy’s mini-bathroom makeover here.
See more of our experts’ organization tips here.
Home makeovers are pretty intimidating. It’s easy to gush over before and afters and daydream about your own extreme home makeover, but when it comes to execution, budget and time can become huge barriers.
This year, we’re embracing the idea of a mini-makeover — small refreshes and organization projects that can transform a space while cutting down on time and money. Not sure where to start? No problem — that’s why we teamed up with Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha to tackle three common problem areas in the house.
(Photography by Rustic White Photography)
Take a look at her mini-bathroom makeover here to get inspired for your home! And stay tuned for Mandy’s linen closet and laundry room makeovers.
Is your bathroom feeling cluttered? Don’t worry, you don’t need new built-ins to keep your bathroom organized — these glass vessels can keep everything from makeup to sea sponges looking pretty.
Mandy’s tip: “I’m a sucker for great beauty products, but I hate having them roll around in my bathroom drawers. My solution? PB glass vases are an easy way to hold and display all the products I use on a daily basis.”
Searching for more storage in your bathroom? This bathroom floor storage maximizes vertical space in small bathrooms without sacrificing on style.
Mandy’s tip: “PB’s Grant Floor Storage allows me to organize and display all my bathroom necessities from perfumes, products, to waters and candles. Plus the Grant’s ‘arms’ are great for hand towels and keeping my bag off the floor.”
If you have the space, consider a portable hamper in your bathroom — this one is surprisingly chic, and makes it easy to keep dirty towels off the floor and in the laundry room where they belong.
Baskets solve just about any organization problem in our book. Mandy chose these wire baskets for their durability and timeless style. They’re perfect for keeping fluffy towels and other bathtime necessities on hand.
Feeling inspired? See more of our experts’ bathroom organizing tips here.
At the peak of winter weather (Rain, sleet, snow — the works) we often find ourselves craving fresh, clean and colorful style.
Kiana Underwood of Tulipina’s work certainly fits the bill. We’re big fans of her work (see here, here and here for some of our favorites), and these brilliantly hued centerpieces suit our blue Cambria Serving Bowls beautifully.
Take a look at her refreshing take on DIY flower arrangements for winter, here:
(written exclusively for Inside & Out by Kiana Underwood)
I am always a fan of bucking tradition (in general), and especially when it comes to holiday flower arrangements. There is so much variety to be had outside of red, green, gold, and silver for the holidays. With this in mind, I created a couple of DIY designs that are a bit outside of the norm in terms of both flowers and colors for the season.
This time of year here in Northern California, camellias are in season in all sorts of shapes and colors. So, I thought they would make a lovely addition to this holiday centerpiece. In my opinion, they are just as beautiful as roses.
The color combination, along with the lovely bowls, makes for a vibrant and cheery centerpiece. The arrangement inside the lighter blue bowl is intended as a corner piece, hence it has more height and variation to it. With each design, there is just enough to tie each distinctly to the holiday season without looking like every other department store or holiday table arrangement.
I hope you have a lovely holiday season!
Floral design and styling by Kiana Underwood
Photography by Nathan Underwood