real life decorating with perks


it's fiona's room.

mostly completed.

and that is what makes this so super real life.

real life bc i never got the bedding that i truly wanted.

mostly bc i can't find anything that i like/love that i can afford.

but also bc it is hard to find anything that goes with designers guild orangerie fabric.

a fact i hadn't considered. 

it's SO specific and bright.

taking suggestions here people.

oranges and purples were too much.

pinks and blues were too much.

and it's honestly so hard to find girl bedding that isn't one of those colors or lime green.

i just stuck with what i had and added some black and white tile fabric pillows and a deep green mohair velvet pillow.




i got those pink lamps when i was going to paint her walls a dirty mint green.

except the mint looked aqua and it looked also like ass.

so the pink lamps sort of aren't my ideal.

but they look fine.

and since they were a cheapo craigslist find i don't feel bad for replacing them sooner than later.

or never. (i'm tired)

the little dresser was also a CL bargain.

i took off the day glo orange stain and replaced it with a subtle whitewash and barely there waxy sheen.

the butterfly is real (dead) and it's amazing and it comes from ben the butterfly guy on etsy. (you're welcome)



the desk makes me extraordinarily happy.

the color is so unexpected and that was pretty much what i was going for with this room.

i just didn't want it to be another typical girly bedroom.

the bench never got covered for some reason i don't remember..


who knows.

either way it WILL and when it does i will surely show you.

remember it will be covered in hot pink faux ostrich.

also the curtains never got hung bc only 2 of them arrived bc of a fabric quantity snafu.

no biggie.

her blinds work fine.

but the curtains are a cream linen with pale plum ball fringe.

and as soon as they go up i will photograph those as well.


wanna know what else didn't arrive?

her photo mural like this:



something like that is going in that blank wall space.


in the meantime fiona hung this..


it stays.






i guess it's time we talk about the perks.

i'm sure many of you are wondering how someone on such a tight budget can afford designers guild, windsor smith and custom bedskirts and curtains...

well, they are part of a deal.

a trade off.

i am trading design work and paintings for nice fabric and sewing/upholstery skills.

the fine lady responsible for the gorgeously made headboard, custom linen bedskirt and curtains, riad and mohair pillow(s) is none other than kimber from house of pemberley.

she is incredibly good and i strongly urge you to at least order some pillows or a headboard from her.

i based the headboard on the st. germain headboard from serena and lily and she delivered an exact replica.



so there you have it..

is it totally finished?

not exactly i guess..

but i'm fine with that.

it's fun adding new things as i find them.

plus decorating SHOULDN'T happen all at once bc then it just looks, well...decorated!

i decorated this room for fiona, not for me.

ok maybe the green desk was all me but that's bc fiona suggested i paint it purple too.

she also suggested i put stickers all over the wall.

settle down sally.

i think it's about taking what the kid loves and incorporating it into tasteful decor.

for example: the cat poster.

fiona is OBSESSED with cats so i found art that worked with the decor, rather than kitty sheets.



that's how you do it i think.


and i am pretty sure she loves it..

but she is already "over" purple and needs "blue".


i broke her hula hoop.


just kidding!!!

i hid it.


no i didn't!!




 all photos brian bice






as a parent, nothing will make you as proud when..

1. your kid uses good manners in all situations (we have not achieved this as parents).

2.  you kid proves they are smarter than almost everyone, including you (this we got covered).


the other day fiona was accpeted into the TAG program at her school (Talented and Gifted i.e. "nerd").

this is a great thing to be a part of.

for one it goes with her everywhere, through all the days of her school life.

and it will also give her an edge over the other kid when it's time to go to college.


in addition to entrance into nerd kingdom 


her teacher sent us this email this morning:





"you can be the fairy who glitters all the strawberries"






 my kid makes lists..

watch tv (CHECK! her priorities are clearly in order)

read, bookstore! (good idea. better than #1)

get tap meshur

(in kid spelling that was- 'get tape measure' but i am unclear on what she needed to measure)

eat lunch (yes. important.)

meet at work (meet who?! work?! what?!)

school! (at least she's excited about it or maybe that's 'school!' like...grrr!!!)

fix leak! (perhaps this is what she needed the tap meshur for?)

clean house ( if)

buy a toy (with her job money i guess)

park! (obvious choice)

eat dinner (yes. a kale salad please)

vampire (???!)

prepare for tornado! (woah. yes. good thinking)

go home and have fun! (yes. always.)



for some reason today i missed her more than usual.

that happens from time to time while she's at school.

and i cry a little inside for slipping time and curse it.

i saw this on the table and almost picked it up and closed it.

having maybe never seen it at all.


it made me laugh out loud.


my girl is quirky and odd.

inside a such a pretty package.