from house to home.

Did I mention that Gabriel owns a house in Sacramento? Did I mention that it's 3,000 square feet? Did I mention that sans a few beds, a table and two sofas...it's near bare? He purchased his home while on leave from Iraq two years ago...and until this week had only spent a handful of days here. There's so much blank canvas in this home that my brain is exploding. Like when I used to paint regularly, the wide-open challenge is exciting, but this blank canvas has me a smidge overwhelmed.

We decided we could take on one room on each visit to Sacramento...a few rooms a year. There are twelve rooms, and at some point we'll have to get ambitious, but starting small seemed wise. So, we decided to start on this room. The awkward extra living room.

It's off the front door, which is to your right in this image. Is it a living room? No. There's already one of those. How about a family room? No. That's covered. Perhaps this is where proper folk receive guests, hang their coats and store their galoshes? We have no clue. I've never had a room that wasn't deemed by space limitations and function. So, we're transforming it into a cozy little reading room. Gabriel sweetly mentioned that this might be a great room for me to write, read and blog from in the future, as well as a warm space for welcoming guests. He also told me to go wild. (This was before our first fight...so I know those instructions weren't just a rescue effort.)

My first instinct when decorating is...shabby chic. But, shabby chic is so wrong in this man's modern home. Instead, I'd love to move into a modern, tailored look...something more suiting of a masculine man, and the very feminine girl in his life. I'm thinking clean lines, whites, metallics and pops of color brought in through pillows, rugs and throws.

Our first goal was to pin down chairs or seating options for the space. After trips to Pottery Barn, Z Gallerie and countless hours website shopping, here's what stole our heart:

The Chloe, exclusively for Macy's. I spotted it in the Macy's gallery, and just about lost my mind. I may have squealed while cutting through half of the gallery to get to its side. Of course, the model I first spotted was a chair...and it was aqua. But the graphite sofa and loveseat were nearly as fetching, loss of aqua aside. Gabe quickly warmed up to the button-tufting...something I'd not expected. Before we knew it we were chatting with a sales associate, and making plans to return next week when it's on sale. I'm in love with it.

But here's where I need some help: Is there a website you crafty chicas use to create moodboards? Although our seating will arrive at the house in the next few weeks, we'll be long gone. He'll be back in Iraq, I'll be back in Wisconsin, and we won't return to the house until June. So, I've got a few months to scheme + dream of rugs, curtains and other accessories, but need a place to track and lay it all out visually.

Got a suggestion?


  1. ahh i am totally jealous of that blank canvas (and all of that glorious space!!). it's good you have time to dwell on what else you want included around that gorgeous sofa. then you will make sure you get exactly what you want, and have time to find it all at good prices!
    (no idea about the moodboard, btw, sorry!)

  2. The room is a "sitting room" even in these modern times and I love the couch! May I suggest black, metal and a burnt red for accent!!!

  3. i know christmas just got over but i can totally imagine garland up the railing, stockings and a tree in the corner. with that being said, maybe you could have deep red or green accent colors so it could be your ultimate christmas-y room in the winter? :) also for moodboards, try mydeco.com!

  4. we are in the process of buying a new home and will be buying new furniture for the formal living room. we aren't formal but the rooms is there so we decided to do a modern classy look. THAT is the couch we picked from macy's. I LOVE IT. We haven't closed yet, well we haven't even made an offer (but we did find the house) so we haven't bought it yet. although if its on sale next week then we may just go ahean an purchase it and store it in our current living room (we don't go in there anyway so who cares if its cramped with old and new furniture.)

  5. Chloe is pretty.

    What a fun project... an entire house.

  6. I love that you get to do this! I'm sorry I don't have a suggestion for you as far as sites go. I know you will do an amazing job :)

  7. Wow so fun! The Chloe is a charmer. So impressed that he warmed up to it!

    I just started using tumblr and am addicted!! It's such a great place to collect all the little images that make you happy. It would be perfect for decorating inspirations.


  8. Since you have to go with grey, I think aqua cushions would make a charming accent!

    I'm with Jessica. I collect so many pretty pictures on my tumblr.

    And Bethany, I have to say... I'm so impressed with your positive attitude about the long-distance thing. I love that you are planning and decorating, and not dwelling on the fact that it will be June before you're back here together. When Alan lived in England, I was terrible at that. A week or so before we'd be heading our separate ways, I'd start getting all weepy and maudlin. You're a stronger girl than me!

  9. I am no help at all but I just have to tell you: that couch is out-of-this-world gorgeous! I'm in love. I know you'll do a beyond fabulous job decorating the rest of the space. you have a great, artistic eye. have fun!

  10. A study of your own - AWESOME. That couch is amazing, will look absolutely gorgeous

  11. That sofa is great. I think that a lot of people use Polyvore for moodboards. I haven't really tried it myself. I tend to rely on plain old PowerPoint for that sort of thing, but its not great.

  12. I can give a second to polyvore. You can find some great tutorials about setting those up too. I had one saved somewhere but for the life of me I cant find it! If I do I will send you a quick email with the info *smile* Have fun!

  13. Eek after I hit post I found the tutorial!


    it is actually not for polyvore but you can use photoshop or gimp. Hope this helps!

  14. That is the perfect start to a perfect room. You can do modern and shabby chic in the same room. Now that you started with what could be the heart of the room. Find a fabric or pillow or some accessory that has colors and shapes you love in the pattern. Then just add little by little to your "color pallet" it will come together as you go. Your shabby chic could be your writing desk with a contemporary chair? Just an Idea.

  15. lucky girl! a whole empty house to decorate........ I love the couch. But don't get too ahead on the decorating b/c you need to save room for potential, ahem...... wedding gifts. :)

  16. What an amazing challenge you have and I would love to have a blank canvas like that to start again. We built our current house and I can't tell you how much I would love to do it all over again just so I could have that blank space to work with!

    I am a huge fan of Tumblr but if you are wanting to keep an easy record of where you saw things (online etc) I can highly recommend Pinterest because it links it all for you. It is by invite only so I will send one to your email and if you want you can decide to use it, if not then no worries. Happy planning!


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