Monday, August 29, 2016

Living Room Update: August 2016

After our two week vacation on the cape, I returned home feeling refreshed and inspired. I wanted to channel all the sun and lightness from the summer into my home. It didn't take much - just some rearranging of all things white, adding some live greenery, and more reflective mirror action.

After a trip to T.J. Maxx and Marshall's, a climb into my attic and some shifting of throw pillows; my refresh was complete (for now, let's be honest). Nate Berkus suggests taking everything out of a space, and then putting it all back together when you are needing a refresher not a re-do. Even just moving a potted plant from the floor to the mantel can give it a whole new life! details below...
I replaced the large statement clock above the couch with two mirrors. The original plan was to find one long, large, rectangle mirror but when I spotted this pair at T.J. Maxx, I decided a pair would be more interesting but still give the same reflective effect desired. Three mirrors would be ideal, unfortunately a third wouldn't fit on the wall.

I've been having so much fun with this bookshelf ever since I moved it to the living room (read last year's update here). After studying Emily Henderson's instagram pictures and reading her new book - she is my new blogger/designer crush - I realized what my style was missing: greenery! Live plants to be more specific. I had them around the house in corners, but I've never displayed them before. When placed strategically, plants add immediate sophistication and beauty. I'm planning to add some interesting cacti asap.
My new favorite thing is to take off a hardcover book's sleeve. So many books have unusable covers when styling but underneath you will find a beautiful book. When I go thrifting or to yard-sales, I'm constantly peeking behind old book sleeves hoping to find a color I can use in my home. I found all of these white books, pictured above, right here in the house! I scored the silver-plated vases during Paul's parents move. After some polishing, the silver came through brightly adding a nice balance to all the gold I tend to gravitate towards.

Your styled shelf, vignette, dresser, etc should always have personal elements to it. A picture is a great solution but heirloom pieces, travel souvenirs, or memorable gifts take the space to another level. Above is a clock I found in my mom's basement. It was a wedding gift to my parents from a close friend of my Dad's. While it isn't my mom's style anymore, it is certainly mine!! I love that I have a little piece of my parents story in my living room.
Last year, I moved the TV over the fire place. It makes so much sense in our little living room but gosh I missed the gallery above the mantel. Enter: TV gallery. I've seen a few bloggers doing this and thought it was a great solution, especially since we have the smallest flat screen ever. I chose large pieces that can be appreciated without being fully visible.

This plant was sitting in a corner, unappreciated. It was promoted and is thriving high up on our mantel. The sweet little frame is a thrift find and I will never replace the 4-month old picture of Roswelle.
These candle sticks were a wedding gift and were up in the attic because I used to think I could only use them during fancy dinners. But they are the PERFECT solution to balance out the other side of the mantel. Also, I love that they are crystal, which compliments the clock and is a nice change from the typical brass I see so much.
We use our gas fireplace every night in the winter, but in the warmer months it is just an eyesore. I picked up this white whicker breakfast tray on the side of the road two years ago. It has been in my guest room since then but was mostly getting in the way. It's the perfect height for in front of the fireplace and provides storage for current magazines and a basket full of throw pillows and blankets. 

That's all y'all! Hope you enjoyed the tour and found some inspiration for your spaces! 

Be sure to check back this week for newborn pictures of sweet baby boy, Declan Rock! (Instagram preview)

<3 Lauren

Monday, August 8, 2016


I have officially been in my 30's for a full month! I decided it was time to write about this milestone birthday. I was lucky to spend the day with family and close friends at my Mom's lake house in North Georgia.  It was a comfortable, cheery, and celebratory day!

In the years leading up to 30, I have learned that truly loving myself allows me to love others better.  I'm making every effort to walk towards the mess and complexities in life, and embrace them (not easy!). I'm beginning to realize that we don't need to fix each other, we just need to listen to each other.  Everyone has a story, and it is healthy for our stories to be told.

My hardships, challenges, and times of grief have turned into ways to connect with others - whether it be with family, friends or strangers. When I share my struggles, and tell friends or family what is really going on, I find that this opens the door for a more "real" relationship.  It's not awkward, it's refreshing (and relieving in a way).  I've seen this when sharing about the passing of my Dad and I'm seeing it happen now, as Paul and I continue to make every effort to bring another baby into our family.  I'm trying to embrace the twists and turns in life while resisting the urge to be fearful.  

In my 20's I tried to figure out who I wanted to be; and I pray that in my 30's I'll spend more time loving and accepting the person, mother, wife, daughter, and friend that I am. 

Many, many thanks to my mom for ordering this beautiful cake (gluten free!) by Jackie Scarborough. She is a local baker in Dawsonville, GA and incredibly talented. Highly recommend! you can contact her at

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Welcome to the world, Christian James

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of capturing photos of sweet Christian James Thalmann. Born on May 31st he is only a few weeks new. A baby brother to his two older sisters, Neive (4) and Jane (18months), he has completed this now family of 5!

I refer to newborn photography as a privilege because I really do feel honored to be asked into a home of a new baby. Laundry is not done, breakfast dishes are not put away, pajama pants are being worn, but there is love bursting at the beams and so much magic to be seen.

I hope you enjoy these, and if you live in the greater Boston area, I'd love to photograph your new baby! you can contact me at 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Itsy-bitsy Back Patio

I've lived in our Dorchester townhouse for 4 years and I can't believe it has taken me this long to make use of our back patio.  It is super small but it is such a game changer in the warmer months.

This past Mother's day all I wanted was to fix up the teeny space. One Ikea trip, one amazon purchase, and one trip to Home Depot; we were set. I've detailed the items with source links at the end. When we set this up in the beginning of May, we were coming out of a very chilly, gray "spring" so I added lots of color to the space; hence the variety of selections in flowers. I'm looking forward to changing the style of the flower boxes in the different seasons.

Every morning I have the same routine.  Paul gets Roswelle up (mostly because she literally wakes up calling out for "da-da") and while they say their good mornings, I go downstairs to flip on the coffee, open the blinds/windows, and open our kitchen door to our little back patio. We have a screen door that keeps any pests out but lets the cool morning air in and opens up our kitchen for a breezy, feel good start to our day. I will grab my cup of coffee and spend some time outside clipping any dead leaves and checking on the soil. Roswelle loves the task of watering the plants. Even if it is only a few minutes, it can be a really meditative way start the day.

To really appreciate the update, I feel that before pictures are in order.

And now onto the details...
Lucky for me, my mom, who has a wonderful green thumb, was in town to help.  I was clueless!
{line any baskets with some strong plastic to help with water absorption. We cut up a large trash bag and it has worked well}

{make sure to poke the lining with skewers or a knife to allow healthy draining}
{start with one layer of soil before adding your plants}
{look outsdie the box and up to hanging baskets! repurposing the flowers to boxes is a great option}
{break up the rooted soil before re-planting}
{thank goodness for IKEA when decorating city spaces}

1. Amazon Flower Boxes  (comes with coconut liner)
2. Ikea outdoor rug
3. Ikea Table and Chair set 
4. Potting Soil
5. Miracle Grow Quick Start
6. All flowers were from Home Depot