Spring Around the Chalet

This Spring was long in coming here in Northern New Jersey. We had buckets of rain and the temperatures stayed pretty chilly until just the end of last month - but friends it came and how lovely it all looked! We are on the cusp of the Summer Solstic and temperatures have remained pretty mild. Now, of course we want it to warm up so we can enjoy the swim club! ha!

perfect+chalet+.jpg
IMG_0625.jpg

We have a small Peonies bush.

IMG_0662.jpg

The Bearded Irises spread every year.

IMG_0663.jpg

These Siberian Irises were a gift from my sister - she brought some over from her garden!

IMG_0245.JPG

Nothing better than these old growth Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurel.

IMG_0251.jpg
Cherry Blossom.JPG

Our Cherry Blossom Tree is gorgeous - to think this was an add-on when we redid the landscaping in 2014.

Chalet.jpg
IMG_8909.jpg

We have two lilac bushes on the side of the house between the kitchen door and driveway and on the side of the garage - the blooms are many and they smell glorious! If only they didn’t make my nose run I would bring some inside.

IMG_0242.jpg

These pots by the kitchen door are filled with chives and day-lilies.

please follow along....PNG

Til next time - I hope you get outdoors to enjoy the weather and some beautiful flora!

Gold Heart Meryl.png

Chalet Design

May 2019

May 2019

In January I shared a piece Design Shift where I mapped out how I got to our new Crate and Barrel Couch and the evolution of the changes that have taken place in the Chalet decor since last summer. I followed up with Inspirational Images sharing images of spaces and designers who were inspiring me in the direction of my rug search.

Today I’m wrapping up this conversation. If you follow along on IG than some of these changes aren’t new but, let’s dive into the final result anyway…how I got where I am today June 12th, 2019.

September 2018

September 2018

Here’s a bit of the backstory if you’re unfamiliar - So last summer - when no amount of pillow swapping would cure my angst about the decor in the Chalet. I pulled the trigger with my husband’s blessing and ordered a new couch. I felt the taupe theme that was in our livingroom for 10 years had to go.

Here’s what the space looked like last fall.

I ordered the couch and found my round coffee table at Home Sense and I was off to the races my friends!

October 2018

October 2018

Once I had the coffee table and couch I worked my way around the Chalet refining book piles, editing picture frames and in general making it tighter. Layered is great but, messy and unfocused is not. When I got to lighting - I adding a new drum shade to the vintage Chinese lamp - a new smaller more modern lamp for the black Chinese cabinet and I went mid-century modern with the set of green ceramic for the diningroom - all purchased at Home Sense. I lessened the amount of decor on the mantel - limiting them to one side and focusing on a sole piece of art by Allison Ford on the other. I made pillow covers - you can spy one on the leather chair above. Then we moved some chairs around between the porch and the livingroom.

IMG_7594.jpg

While trying to figure out the rugs - as you read in Artistic Artery - I pulled all the art down and repainted our Hall Behr Paint Pink Prism. Our Bedroom is also Pink - I love pink - to me it’s a neutral. It makes everyone happy who sees it. I also lessened the approach when I rehung the art - taking my time to focus on a portrait gallery - I put some art away.

The process of finding new rugs took about 6 months. I looked and looked - I vacillated over the design direction. As is my curse I like so many styles. Our old rugs were Pottery Barn - and to span the challenging length and width of the Chalet livingroom and den area - 10 x 24 - I had previously gone with 3 rugs. The Images above show the progression of the Rug hunt. Top left was a Crate Kids design I tried to order but, it was Sold Out! It still makes me cringe! Then I decided to shift my focus to a layered look ordering the top middle geometric design from Rugs USA - I thought I would layer a rug I have over it - they were delivered all the furniture was moved but, the moment Steven started rolling out the rug I said “Stop it’s bringing on a Vertigo Episode” so back they went and the hunt continued. Finally I ended up at my local Crate and Barrel store (I really am a big fan of this brand -Hello Brand Ambassadorship anyone? my dining table and glass door cabinets in the diningroom are from Crate) there I bought three Baxter Rugs a 5x8, a 8x10 and a 6x9. They are made of New Zealand Wool and have shed little to none. I’m very pleased.

IMG_9933.jpg

I completely restyled the little spot in the diningroom last month. I love it now! I still needed to change the shade to a modern drum shade - it took a while to find just the right one. Many shades were either too small or too large. I just picked up the pretty patterned number below on Monday at my local At Home store - while I was there working with a client.

June 2019

June 2019

June 2019

June 2019

Will I say that I’m done… NO… I still think I may want to add a layering rug under the coffee table to make the room pop more. I would love more pattern; recently I added Bessie to the wall, more books and collections to the Coffee Table and here we are. The design scheme is more streamlined and I’m pleased… I no longer think my style is Cacophony of Crap! I think my style has traditional elements with a bit of Modern, Chinoiserie and Vintage thrown in. I’d label it:

Traditional Mix.


please follow along....PNG

Til next time!

Gold Heart Meryl.png

Lovely Ladies!

instagram%2Bimage.jpg

You know what’s exciting!?! When Social Media turns into actual friendship.

Instagram has introduced me to - so - so many wonderfully inspiring individuals but, these gals… this tight-knit group has become my crew… let me introduce you to these sweet friends!

My Lovely Ladies!


Aileen Grodzinsky

Aileen Grodzinsky

Aileen Grodzinsky @homemadehappinest is a fellow Jersey gal; who is as true blue as they come. I was thrilled not only to follow and connect with her but, to meet in real life. The things that make this lady tick are anything and everything Lucy (her sweet 6 yr daughter) and Steve (her loving hubby), beautiful art, creating art, flowers, being with close friends and family, cheap wine, craft beer and amazing food. She’s passionate about creating a home that is cozy, happy, unique, eclectic, realistic for their everyday lives and oozes them! She, Steve, Lucy, Grover the dog and Henry the bunny moved into their new home in December of 2018, only 5 months ago! Aileen is having a blast making this house a home one room at a time. Currently having a major love affair with the color pink, all things floral and peel and stick wallpaper! She works full time in the promotional products industry creating cool swag for companies like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn! She has a BA from The New York School of Interior Design and although she’s never followed the interior design path professionally, it’s always been a serious personal passion. So, picture her on any given day painting a floral piece with Lucy painting her own masterpiece right by her side, moving the furniture around or switching up a gallery wall just because the mood strikes her or simply faffing about her home with all her knick knacks, because doing all that sparks some serious joy for her. Her tag is #eclecticallyspeaking and her Insta feed is about her awe inspiring home.


Alene Conner

Alene Conner

Alene Conner @aconnerhouse this fun momma is a thrifting maven - another jersey gal who’s originally from Wyoming, her family moved here while she was in High School. She says she’s a country girl through and through. She shares her thoroughly thrifted home with the man who swept her off her feet 15 yrs ago - they married after knowing each other 8 months. They are the parents of 4 sweet kiddos. When Alene is not on Mom-Duty you’ll find her hunting for treasures. In the last couple of years she’s discovered a love for interior design and styling using mostly thrifted finds. Alene says creating an Instagram account has allowed her to make wonderful connections with amazing people from all over and fueled her desire for a creative outlet. Her Insta feed is about her home and her thrifted finds.


Alison Sheffield

Alison Sheffield

Alison Sheffield @sheffield_interiors is an incredibly talented lady from Cohasset, MA. a designer who’s has spent the past 4 years turning her house into a wonderful home. To put it mildly, she LOVES her house. It’s the only one that could get her out of the city of Boston after 20 years. It’s a charming antique cape with a bow roof. She’s been designing homes for other people for about 15 years. Her style is described as youthful-traditional or updated-classic. She wants all the wallpaper, pattern, colors and rugs but, nothing fussy. And art. Always art. She loves her job and wouldn’t do anything else. She’s a mom to her two boys (11 & 14) and wife to Stephen. They have two cats, Otto & Puck and a rescue pup named Evvie. Her Insta is a little bit family, some client work and a lot of her gorgeous home.


Cameron Jones

Cameron Jones

Cameron Jones @cameronjonesinteriors is a delightful lady from North Carolina, who’s addicted to Mexican food and HGTV.  Her happy place is with a glass of red wine in her hand but, nothing brings her more joy than her two young kiddos and her husband. Her family is her main job and her first love, interior design is her second. For as long as she remembers home design has been a huge part of her life. Growing-up she dog-eared hundreds of design magazines and home catalogs and still has notebooks filled with spaces and DIY projects that inspire her. Her grandmother owned beautiful art and furniture, much of which her grandfather brought back from Europe while he was serving during WWII. Many of those pieces are in Cameron’s home today. She loves the sense of history and authenticity they bring.  One of her favorite aspects about interior design is the challenge of mixing antiques and sentimental pieces into the design while making them work for her clients modern lifestyle. She’s a huge advocate of mixing styles, periods, patterns and colors. Also, she loves the thrill of scoring a good bargain or a truly unique find - some of which end up in her shop @shopcameronjonesinteriors. To her, design should be meaningful, purposeful and possess the ability to evolve as your life does. She believes your home should reflect the things that make you happy. Her Insta feed is a mix of her home and client projects.


Cher Gumin

Cher Gumin

Cher Gumin @cgumin is a sweet thrifting soul from the suburbs of Cleveland, OH. She studied fashion in college and worked in the Visual Merchandising field. Once her son Cullen Michael arrived he became her focus - the center of her universe and she dedicates her days to him. IG is a creative outlet for Cher and her enthusiasm for interiors. She loves adding new items to her home and is passionate about shopping vintage before buying something new. She’ll take those thrifted finds - fix them up and use herself or she sells them. She flips furniture! Which I think is so cool! She has a deep appreciation for all design styles. Her Insta feed documents her ever changing home.


Friend: a favored companion
— Merriam-Webster

Chris Whitehead

Chris Whitehead

Chris Whitehead @green.see.home lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts. She’s a fan of all things hearth and home, with a healthy dose of organized and balanced living. She and her husband Greg bought their 120 year old farmhouse with the intention of renovating and flipping it within 3 years but, they are still there 20 years on. They became serious weekend warriors and DIYers over the years and are still updating it today. They are about to be empty-nesters when their daughter heads off to college in the fall and perhaps that has been the impetus for the serious refresh they’ve got going on right now…they just keep going from room to room! Chris loves layers, textures and mixing new with vintage finds. One of her favorite things to do is to style, organize and update her interiors by shopping her own home or doing the same for her clients. As a relative newbie to social media, what began as a creative outlet and an open mind to see where it would lead, has blossomed into endless inspiration and incredible connections formed with a wonderful community of creatives. And don’t worry she and Greg won’t be completely alone in September - their two pups, Monti and Joey will keep them busy. Her Insta feed centers on her home and it’s updates.


Jessica Rhodes

Jessica Rhodes

Jessica Rhodes @parkanddivision is the face behind the interiors and DIY Blog Park and Division - where she writes about her home renovations, inspiring interiors, thrifting and furniture refinishing. She hand-painted a faux runner down her staircase that is unbelievable and must been seen. She’s a married mother of two boys and resident of the Adirondacks region of upstate New York. Family and country living inform her antique meets modern design style. Her Insta feed is devoted to her home design.


Morgan Swenson

Morgan Swenson

Morgan Swenson @thehappycocoon is a mom who lives in Utah with her 4 kids and her best friend/husband Chris. Her IG account is a visual diary of the evolution of her home as she and Chris add charm and character while working within a small budget. Her design philosophy thus far has been that she wants anyone who visits their home to be able to say “my grandma used to have that” - and so far - it’s working friends.! She loves to thrift and is endlessly inspired by the magic people are able to create using second hand items. Her tag is #broughttoyoubythrifting Her passion for vintage and her cheapness is what introduced her to thrifting but, what has kept her going back is - the puzzles. If you like either of these things stop by and say hey to Morgan she likes making friends! Her Insta feed is about her home, her thrifted finds and a bit of her family.


Remy Kenney

Remy Kenney

Remy Kenney @honeyfitzyachtclub lives in Louisville, KY. with her husband Matt and two daughters Reese age 4 and Charlotte age 2. She started her e-commerce coastal decor shop Honeyfitz Yacht Club in October 2018. It specializes in vintage pennants, flags and other nautical treasures. She started her Instagram page as a way to promote the shop but she’s been surprised by the amazing community she’s become a part of on this little app! The support received from friends she’s never even met in person means the world to her. Her Insta feed is about her home and her Decor Shop.


I read this on Instagram:

Don’t Use Social Media Less. Use it More Intentionally. Follow People Who Inspire and Motivate You. Engage with Experts You Can Learn From. Create Genuine Positive Friendships!


please follow along....PNG

Without this app - we would never have met - women of different ages, backgrounds and geographical areas across the United States! I so dearly hope you have a crew!

Go check these ladies out - on their sites and on Instagram and give them a follow!

Til next time!

Gold Heart Meryl.png