HOME + DESIGN

January 18, 2017 |

OUR KITCHEN: THE PLAN

Lately we find ourselves browsing the web for some interior design inspiration at night, bookmarking different tile companies, vintage shops, and etsy finds. It’s something we enjoy doing when we have a little down time. We often think about who the original owners of this house were and what the street looked like. While watching Miracle on 34th Street on Christmas morning, we had a good chuckle with each other…our house was built 17 years before that movie was made. Just a little crazy. 😉 We love it though. The idea of so many families here, parties, and love…hopefully. Who knows?! There can be some crazy stories about this place too for all we know, but the idea of making this house our own, a safe haven, a comforting little place for us to retreat to after a long day, makes us so happy. READ MORE

January 17, 2017 |

A Neutral Fabric Sofa

Loloi rug | Osborn shoes | Vintage portrait art

After throwing around a few ideas for the living room and lusting over some of these pretty neutral living rooms, we think we’re going to take the plunge with a neutral fabric sofa. We are still holding on to our brown leather one from West Elm (I love that baby too much to sell it), and are thinking of using it in a studio space. For now we just want to mix things up (for us), with a black, gray, and white color palette. When we look at our current leather sofa, all we see is boho, which is pretty silly because it can totally be styled multiple ways, but we’re thinking we need a fresh start in this house. Clean and simple. Here’s a round up of a few favorites we’ve found:

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January 11, 2017 |

The Current State of Our Home + Living Room Inspiration

We’ve been buried in home decor books, pinning to our home boards, moving furniture around daily and trying to give this sweet old lady of a house the best layout we can give her.  It’s been a month and a half since we moved in and we are slowly figuring things out.  When we moved in the night before Thanksgiving, we knew it would be full holiday mode for a while before we even got to the “normal” home style, so when we took down all the Christmas decorations a few days ago (that wreath was the last to go — it still smelled so good!), it was the first time since we moved in that we got to take a really good look at our Tudor.  Our sofa has been moved to three different places since we moved in, and we’re thinking the third time was a charm.  Our living room is a narrow rectangular shape, so we are trying to create an intimate seating area that allows for conversation without having to yell across the room.  Bigger isn’t always better, and we found out quickly that we’d rather have a functional space than a space that just holds a lot of our things.

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December 10, 2016 |

A Clean Slate

new-darlings-dining-room-07image source

When we started looking for our home we had many specifications, just as any Property Brothers fans would have…a certain style, flooring, x number of bathrooms and bedrooms. In our previous apartments we had created a small cozy home for ourselves among many plants and our mid-century and boho favorites, but as our search for a house continued, we became enamored with the quirky ins and outs of the old homes in Phoenix. We quickly realized we were being drawn to other styles. For a while we were set on a mid-century Haver home with cement floors and minimal open concept, but then we laid eyes on our 1930s old lady of a Tudor home and we were completely smitten.

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November 27, 2016 |

We’re Home!

New Darlings - We Bought A HouseHoney, we’re home!  After what feels like forever, we bought a house!  The night before Thanksgiving, we were handed the keys to our very own 1930’s Tudor home here in Phoenix.  We have some really big things planned for this old beauty, but it’s home, and we are beyond excited to share this experience with you guys.

Since we started our house hunt back in March, we saw more houses than we can remember.  From the modern cookie-cutter to the completely gutted, mid-century homes and even a few 1940s WWII brick bungalows and Craftsman style houses.  We knew we wanted a charmer, but didn’t know how to describe exactly what we were looking for until we found our Tudor.

New Darlings - We Bought A House!It’s hard to put into words exactly what we were feeling when we first opened the door to our house on move-in day.  Our hearts were pounding, our eyes were teary from the entire drive over, and we stood in the living room of our empty house with huge, giddy smiles on our faces.  We are overwhelmed at the wall of boxes that now line the walls over here, the work that is ahead of us, and the new routine that awaits, but we have never felt so good to be home.  Whatever ends up happening here is ours.  For better or worse, we will go through it together and create memories (good and bad) within these walls, and as we spend our first holidays here, we can’t help but feel incredibly grateful for the journey that led us here.  Here’s to new beginnings, a crazy new journey to embark on, and our first HOUSE! WHAT?! THIS IS CRAZY!!!

Thanks so much for all your support and encouraging emails throughout this whole process. We loved hearing about your personal experiences with buying a home. Also, big thanks to our realtor and friend, Michelle Renteria. We couldn’t have done this without you! You knew exactly what our vision was from the start and we couldn’t be happier. 🙂

November 15, 2016 |

The new Domino book!

New Darlings - Domino Book - Giveaway

Camp Collection romper | UO blanket and socks | Eye Buy Direct glasses | Domino book

Nursing a nasty cold this morning with some tea and puppy cuddles (Henry will take any excuse to nap on the bed), while going through the new domino book. Last fall we had the pleasure of shooting with Michael Wiltbank for domino magazine. We posted about it a while back when the feature on their website came out. (You can view it here.) At the time we were completely unaware of the new book they had been working on, but were pleasantly surprised when we received an email from the team in June asking if we would like to be involved. Of course we said yes!

Our passion for interior design is something that we didn’t really discover until the last several years or so, which is pretty funny when we stop to think about it because it’s such a big part of our every day lives, as well as our blog. Maybe it’s because over the last few years we’ve actually had a place of our own to express our style in and experiment with various patterns and textures. We’ve always been obsessed with interior design shows and we love a good before & after photo, but it wasn’t until we moved into our last apartment that we really felt the creative juices flowing and found ourselves reading more about mid-century design along with various architects.  Our style has recently taken a turn and we’re slowing gravitating toward something a bit different. We have so many ideas floating around for a future home, but until then we’re gaining a lot of inspiration from this pretty pink book below.

new-darlings-domino-book

Divided into various topics such as seating, artwork, shelving and entertaining, the book has a little of everything to help you identify you own style and then fully execute it. We have definitely spent many hours hunting down a light fixture or textile that we’ve admired from a photo, so the mood boards complete with product sources are a nice touch!  We are so honored to have been able to contribute to the book, sharing our love for filling our home with plants and how we use them as a design element.

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There are so many incredible features in this book including fun flooring with Elsie from A Beautiful Mess, lighting solutions with Stephanie and Robert from Workstead, and DIY shelving with Claire Zinnecker.

We’re giving away a copy of the book on our instagram, so head over there and tag a friend who you’d love to share it with or gift it to for the holidays! Good luck!

Shop the post:

November 13, 2016 |

Cozy at Home with UO

New Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban OutfittersNew Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban OutfittersNew Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban Outfitters

We found ourselves traveling again quite a bit the last few weeks, and although we enjoy new places and a change in scenery is always a nice refresher, we’re looking forward to staying home with the holidays quickly approaching. We’re still hoping to get into a home of our own for the holiday season, but that’s all still pretty uncertain and we’re trying to take it day by day. Half of our apartment remains in boxes (you can read more about that here, incase you missed it).  We probably should have unpacked everything and put things back in order, but I guess you can call it wishful thinking on our part. Regardless of the state this apartment is in, we still want it to feel cozy and embrace the change in seasons.

New Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters sweater, socks, blanket | Levi’s denim | Instax camera

New Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban OutfittersNew Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban OutfittersAlthough we have moving on our minds, we’re quickly learning we can’t neglect our current space, which we were kind of doing maybe just a little bit. It really affects how we feel when we’re home and to put it simply: we like to be home, whether it’s with friends, with each other, just watching a movie, or curling up with a book in our pjs. We thought we should give our space some TLC, so we gave our bedroom a refresh for fall, with soft mixed patterns, warm textures, and a few twinkling lights from Urban Outfitters. It’s just a few very small additions, but they really make the room feel so inviting. When we were living in NY we had our room lined with a bunch of little white Christmas lights. It was always so calming to turn those on at night or during a cold and rainy winter day. They definitely offered a sense of comfort.

New Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters sweater, shirt, socks, blanket, pillow | Eye Buy Direct frames

New Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban OutfittersNew Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters candles and mug | Camelback Flowershop cactus and planter

These candles made our room smell like fresh baked cookies and it was glorious! Add some tunes by Iron & Wine, take a few moments to de-stress from whatever may have consumed your thoughts this week, cuddle with your pup and loved one, and you have a recipe for the ultimate Sunday.

We recently upgraded our record player to the Audio-Technica with external speakers, and what a difference! We’ve had our eyes on it for a while. If you’re a music lover, definitely take a look. 🙂

New Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban OutfittersNew Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban OutfittersNew Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban OutfittersNew Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban OutfittersNew Darlings - Cozy at Home with Urban Outfitters

#UOGifted

Our favorites from Urban Outfitters for cozy days at home:

Thank you to Urban Outfitters for sponsoring this post. As always all thought & opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that hep support this blog.

October 25, 2016 |

The House Hunt Continues…

New Darlings - Bedroom Somehow this is the only room that stays neat lately. It’s embarrassing, but true. We’ve been up and down with the whole house hunting process, getting so close, and then having to start over again from square one. Part of our living room and dining room are in boxes. Yes, we got all the way to that point, where it seems like you can begin packing, only to have to turn back. Having our bedroom as a fresh and calm place to wake up to has been a major help throughout all this. We’ve been trying to put everything into perspective, and not stress about this very long, drawn out process.

New Darlings - Boxes

Back in late August, after seeing about a dozen houses, we found one that seemed perfect for us. It was a little 1940s ranch with a lot of windows on a cheery little street. It checked off most of our wants and needs in a home and was only listed for a few days.  Knowing how quickly everything around here has been going, we put an offer in the night we saw it. There was a bit of back and forth and negotiating (which we know is normal, but man was that a stressful 24 hours), and then our offer was accepted! We were over the moon, nervous, excited, and ready for the next steps. Our inspection came back great, which was a sigh of relief. You never know what you’re going to find with a house that old, but hearing our inspector have nothing but great things to say about the place made our hearts even more full about moving into that house. Not too long after, our loan was completed and we received the preliminary thumbs up of approval. Naturally we began envisioning where we would place furniture, ideas for the bathrooms and kitchen. It all was looking good and then somehow with each next step, things went sour and the process became more difficult. The appraisal came back with some issues, the mortgage insurance company was having trouble obtaining documentation on the historic tax rate, the list went on and on and on.  It went on for well over a month.  The morning of our closing date came and that was pushed back as well, three times. After doing everything we could possibly do with this house, we decided to finally walk away from it after 50 days of uncertainty.

Towards the end of it all, it was something we knew we had to consider seriously, but it definitely stung signing those papers. We had visions of holidays and birthdays in that house…plans for the yard. You can imagine where our heads were at. My family moved around a lot when I was younger and after going through this whole process, I could not imagine how they did it, especially with three kids. However, everything happens for a reason, right? Well that’s what we keep telling ourselves. We know everyone’s experience with buying a home is different and it’s something we have to keep reminding ourselves. When we lay down at night and find our way to various listings on Zillow and Trulia, scrolling through picture after picture, we can’t help but think maybe after all, it just wasn’t the right place for us. Maybe the process was that difficult, because it wasn’t meant to be the place we “settle down” in.

We’re keeping our heads up, our eyes open, and just letting the universe lead us where it may. This week will be a fun one with Halloween parties, puppy play dates and a birthday thrown in there too. We have a lot to be thankful for and know this is just a bump in the road…a long and winding road. 😉

October 19, 2016 |

The Crafter’s Box

New Darlings - Crafter's Box - Wooden Scandinavian beads New Darlings - Crafter's Box - Wooden Scandinavian beads New Darlings - Crafter's Box - Wooden Scandinavian beads New Darlings - Crafter's Box - Wooden Scandinavian beads

When I was in elementary school on Friday nights, I used to go with my mom and sisters to my mom’s good friend’s house. The kids would play and run around in the yard until we tired ourselves out, while the adults would drink coffee after coffee and craft for the holidays. I didn’t think much of it when I was younger, I just remember them making little village setups with festive ice-skaters and wreaths for every occasion. They clearly enjoyed themselves and my sisters and I loved seeing what they made at the end of the night, along with taking home some extra ribbon. Now I realize, it was more than them just getting their craft on, it was a stress reliever and way to gather with friends. I took on the crafting gene I guess, taking every opportunity to create a Halloween costume or paint in my spare time. My ultimate favorite when I was younger was the weaving loom. Anyone remember those? Oh man, I think everyone in my family received several pot holders from me that year.

I recently had the pleasure of getting an early kit from The Crafter’s Box, for their November project. I discovered them back in April when I began chatting with Morgan, the creator of The Crafter’s Box. She described what she was building as an “artisan-led community” and I was so intrigued by what she was creating. They offer monthly crafts and online workshops with everything from fiber arts and block printing to leather working and weaving.  When you sign up you receive instructional videos and kits with everything you need, which is a major plus, because I don’t think I’m alone when I say, sometimes the most difficult part of getting started on a project is dragging yourself to the store for materials. 😉 I’m really excited about the November box by Lynn Muir, which features Scandinavian wooden beads for the holidays. It really brought back some memories for me and I’ve been enjoying putting together some decor ideas for the coming months. (I know Halloween hasn’t even come yet, but I’ve already got Christmas on the mind. I know…I know…)

Here are some of my favorite ideas below:

newdarlings-craftersboxI began the garland, which is a bit of a larger project, but it seems like once I get a nice rhythm going it will be a breeze. The ornaments and napkin holders may be a great place to start for a craft night. The beads are pretty versatile for any time of year, so a Thanksgiving tablescape with these could be fun too. I’m thinking a little dessert potluck, Frank Sinatra spinning, and crafting with friends next weekend may be in order. 😉

Anyone else into crafty projects like this?
I would love to hear what you like to create in your spare time!

August 30, 2016 |

I Think I’ll Head Home

New Darlings - Robert and ChristinaHis: Topman shirt and jeans 
Hers: Sloane Rouge blouse c/o Sisters of Nature | Urban Outfitters shorts | bag c/o Sezane | glasses c/o EyeBuyDirect

We’ve been talking a lot lately about house hunting, as it’s pretty much the only thing on our minds these days.  We figured it was time to get a little more real about the process and where it all started. So here we go…

New-Darlings-Home-Tour-1stApartmentNew Darlings-1st ApartmentOur first apartment in AZ, where we lived for two years.

When we first moved to Phoenix, three years ago, we lived in an apartment in a part of town that we didn’t really love.  It was a very nice, quiet, suburban area which was great for running errands and going for walks at the local park. There was everything we needed right there, a minute or two away, but there wasn’t much culture or many interesting places to check out.  We had to typically drive anywhere from 15-45 minutes to go to the places we have come to enjoy so much.  The first two years here were tough as we were transitioning from our New York lifestyles, to our new jobs, and our new neighborhood.  It definitely wasn’t easy and at times we really second guessed ourselves.  We had moments in the first eight months where we really thought we might have made a mistake.  Back in NY we weren’t living in the city…we were in the suburbs, which we didn’t love. We considered moving to the city or Brooklyn (where many of our friends were moving to), but after a lot of back and forth we decided we needed something completely different…and what’s more different than the desert? Even though we (accidentally) found ourselves going from a NY suburb to an AZ suburb (more on that another time), there were a lot of changes that were difficult to get used to in the beginning. It was a total culture shock, not a single thing was familiar, but we quickly reminded ourselves that’s what we originally wanted. That unsure feeling slowly went away as we started to find places we loved and people who felt like friends we’ve had forever.  It kind of all came at once.  It rushed over us and one day we just knew we didn’t want to live anywhere else.  Phoenix was the place.

New Darlings - Boho Living RoomNew Darlings - Office - Midcentury BookshelfApartment #2: Our little casita!

In July of 2015, we moved in to the first place that really felt like home.  We were in our ideal neighborhood.  It was a casita-style apartment with no one above us or below us, and we were only attached to our neighbor by a brick wall that ran along our dining room and living room.  It was great.  The complex was built back in the 60’s; it had character and great light and we’ve come to learn that it’s not always easy to find those qualities in an apartment.  We really enjoyed our space, but not the issues that came with it.  As one could imagine, an older apartment doesn’t always feel so charming when you have water leaking from your ceilings and maintenance pretty much living with you from 9-5.  Despite how much we loved the apartment and how much time we put into making it feel like our own, the issues really took a toll on us.  We work from home and need a space that feels creative and most of all clean, and for two months we just didn’t have that… there was dry wall falling from the ceiling some days and during the last few weeks we were there, pots were constantly on the floor full of leaking water. With just six weeks left in our lease, we decided to leave. It was tough, because 1) we had already created so many wonderful memories there in such a short time and 2) it all happened way too quickly. We had some travel plans coming up, so we felt like we just had to make a decision fast.

New-Darlings-Phoenix ApartmentNew Darlings - Dining Room - BasketsApartment #3!

We found a brand new apartment complex which was pretty appealing…we knew the likelihood of water and ceiling issues would be a lot less, and we would still be in the part of town that we loved spending our time in, so we figured we’d give it a try.  So here we are… three months later… and this brand new, cookie cutter, not so bright apartment is not exactly the place we hoped it would be.  It’s clean and safe and we’re super thankful to be here, but it doesn’t feel like it’s ours and well…that’s probably because it’s not.

Vintage HomesHow awesome are these advertisements from the 40s and 50s? (via Pinterest)

That’s when we really started talking about houses.  We’ll be honest.  We never saw ourselves owning a house.  We like to travel and never saw ourselves with a huge family, so we always thought apartment living was the way we were going to live.  It’s great to have a maintenance team on call if anything goes wrong, we have a fitness center, and a pool.  It all sounds great, but at the end of the day it doesn’t belong to us and we’re starting to understand all the fuss about being a home owner.  We know nothing is going to be perfect, and hey, what fun would that be? But at the end of the day we would feel so much better knowing that the money we’re putting towards where we live, will be for a place that we will own and can create memories in for years to come. So… we’ve been looking… A LOT!  We started looking many months ago, when we had some family in town.  Mostly out of curiosity and let’s face it, it’s fun showing out-of-towners different neighborhoods and discovering new areas for yourself, too. We are on the hunt for a charming, historic home here in Phoenix.  We have seen some beauties out there, but apparently so has everyone else, because they are going quick!  We mentioned it a bit on instagram. We’ve missed out on a few already, but we are staying vigilant and waiting for the right one to come along.  We would love something from the 1930s to 1950s with little touches from those decades.

We’re excited, a little nervous, and hoping to find something before the holidays roll around, but the beauty is there’s no urgency, like in the past. We can really take our time and enjoy the process, no matter how nutty it may make us at times.  It’s pretty crazy how life works…how you end up in places and walks of life you never thought you would, but this journey has been so incredible so far! So, here’s to the next part of our lives. We’re so happy to be able to share and document it here.  Stay tuned!

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