Lighting the way (into the house)

Help Picking a Light for the Entry

So, I’m pretty sure I’ve conveniently forgotten to mention that we’ve been living without a light in the entry way for a month.  That’s right.  Sometime around the New Year the last bulb in the gorgeous 80s smokey glass chandelier that came with the house burned out.  We had no bulbs that would fit & I wasn’t about to waste money on a light I hated.  (It was so ugly that I never even snapped a photo of it.  I know, I know.  Terrible blogger!)

It’s not that we haven’t tried to replace it, I promised.  But we have tall people in our extended family and relatively low ceilings & I don’t want anyone having to duck to avoid a light in my house!  So turns out I really do need to stick to flush mount lights & the light really does need to give off enough light so we can find our gloves and other winter gear in the entry closet!

Even though I KNOW I need a flushmount I’m still stuck on which one to get, so I need your help!

Here are some of the front runners.


Mink Lavery Harbour Point


I like the  look & think it will fit nicely with the styling in the living room, but Amazon is really unclear as to what kind of bulb it takes, so I’m concerned…  I’m also worried that the finial will drive me bonkers.



I like that the satin nickel of this light will tie in with the bathroom finishes & the new kitchen light, but I’m concerned that it’s too modern.  I’d love it in ORB.

Allen + Roth


Light three has all the same problems of light 2.  I spotted a similar one  in ORB a while back, but it was out of stock everywhere & now I can’t even find it online to show you.

Mika Lavery Flushmount


This light was found when I felt inspired by the lights Gretchen from Boxy Colonial are considering for her son Abe’s nursery.  I think ORB is the right choice, but does the style work with the rest of the decor on the main level?

As you can tell, I am paralyzed by indecision.  And until I get over that, I get to arrive home in the dark & invite guests to take off their coats by the ambient light coming from the stairwell and the kitchen…

Which light would you choose?  Or do you have a different suggestion?

Sarah Signature


Design Collaboration: Ocean Inspired

It’s time for our monthly Design Collaboration.  This month we were all inspired by this gorgeous Ocean pic.

Color Curl

Since I’ve been updating our powder room (and thinking about what to do with the upstairs bathrooms which both have blue in the lovely linoleum I’m planning on working with for now) I immediately started thinking about doing an ocean inspired bath.

Ocean Spa Bathroom #thissarahloves

Towels / Art / Light / Hooks / Towels / Vanity / Bath Mat / Art / Towels / Paneling / Curtain


Check out Carissa Miss’s Coastal Living Room:

“Been feeling the winter blues? I have! With thoughts of the beach I want to escape to this coastal retreat living room! Going to redesign my living room now! Visit for sources.”
Carissa Miss - Coastal Living Room


Stop by Lizzie from Living Pretty Blog‘s Ocean Inspired Bedroom:

“I’ve been digging the French vibe lately, so I knew that bed would be my starting point for an ocean-inspired retreat. Stop by for sources.”

Living Pretty - Ocean Inspired Bedroom


Visit Tracie from Cleverly Inspired‘s Coastal Living Room

“The touches of gold pop against all the ocean blues…kind of like how the sand warms your toes before getting to the cool ocean:) The coastal family room is a place I would love to spend long afternoons sipping a favorite drink and reading a great beach read. It would be a comfy spot year round!”

Tracie - Ocean Living


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Powder Room Update – Phase 1

Ah yes, Phase 1.  Because the vanity cabinets hate me.

Powder Room - Phase 1

Here’s what we’ve done:

  • Painted the walls (in a grey/blue oops paint color I found at Home Depot)
  • Replaced the “Hollywood Lights” light fixture for this one
  • Switched out the TP holder for a sleek “easy load” one
  • Added a towel ring (from the same collection as the TP holder)
  • And we exchanged the unframed builder-grade mirror for a classic frameless one.

Powder Room - Phase 1 - Favorite Towel

Powder Room - Phase 1 - Art

We also added one of our West Elm hand towels & some art (from South Africa) above the toilet.

Powder Room - Phase 1 - Bright Lights

The to-do list is still pretty long!

In the shorter term:

  • Repaint the vanity
  • Add new hardware to the vanity
  • Switch the tissue box cover for a sleeker one
  • Add some more decorative touches

In the much longer term:

  • Replace the toilet with a white one
  • Replace the vanity with something less cumbersome & without a scallop sink
  • Re-tile this bathroom, the entry, and the kitchen

Can you believe this is what we started with?

Powder Room - Before


Ahh so much better!Powder Room - Phase 1 Mirror

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Snow Day(s)!

What did you do this week?  Here’s how Penelope spent her snow days.

Working from home (with a heated blanket).

Working from home  #penelopepoodle #thissarahloves

Watching the neighborhood kids play in the snow.

Watching the Snow #thissarahloves

Inspecting the fluffiness of the snow.

Walking in the Snow #penelopepoodle #thissarahloves

Hoping the sun will bring some warmth.

Sun Shine #thissarahloves

Defrosting in the sun.

Sunning #penelopepoodle #thissarahloves

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Or socialize with me here!


Floating Around

Sorry, I couldn’t resist that lame post title.  That’s what happens when you blog after an 11 hour work day!  In the midst of updating the half bath (no, we’re not done yet.  Painting the vanity is turning out the be much more difficult than I hoped it would be) I decided to hang the floating shelves we got at Ikea. (We got the 43″ ones in high-gloss white.)

Floating Shelves - Dining Room - Wine Bar Side

We got really lucky with the stud placement & I could get each side of the bracket into the stud, so we’re pretty sure these are stuck to the wall until we decide otherwise.  I loaded them up with all of our stemware that doesn’t fit in the wine bar below – which is most of the tall stemmed glasses.  Hopefully now that they’re out in the open we’ll be more likely to use the nice glasses.

Floating Shelves - Dining Room - Details

Floating Shelves - Dining Room - Details 3

Floating Shelves - Dining Room - Details 2We picked up this wine bucket and wine coaster at Target on their after Christmas sale. I love the combination of wood and stainless steel.  I some more of our African decorative items to the shelves to pick up some of the other colors in the room. Overall, I’m really happy with how these turned out! Exactly as I had pictures ever since we re-did the wine buffet back in our old apartment!

Floating Shelves - Dining Room - Wine Bar

Ahh look how nicely that fills up the wall. Wine bar, complete!

What did you do this weekend?  Any snow where you are? (You should follow us on Instagram for project & Penelope updates.)
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Just a few things on a Friday

Happy Friday everyone!

Last Friday I came home and decided that I needed to paint one of the vanities in the house as a test run for painting kitchen cabinets. After going back and forth, I decided on the main floor powder room, despite the fact that we were having 2 sets of guests over that weekend. (I figured they could just use the upstairs guest bath.)

It started with just taking the doors off the vanity & before I knew it, I was calling Andy over to pry the 2″ long screws out that held in the tp holder and help me take the mirror down.  Yep, that got out of control quick!  We found that our half bath used to be a LOVELY shade of salmon/pink.

Powder Room - in Pink

It was a hectic week, so after patching and sanding and patching and sanding on Sunday, I closed the door & ignored the bathroom until last night, when I taped and quickly painted the first coat (at 10pm).

Powder Room - Painting #thissarahloves

I wish I could share a better picture with you, but we took out both the bathroom and hallway lights & this room gets zero natural light, so this is the best I can do for now. It’s a grey/blue and it definitely needs a second coat!

But since you don’t come here to see grainy pictures of my not-done half bath, here’s what we changed in the dining room!  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that this rug hopped in our cart on our recent Ikea trip. (I swear we were only there to pick up floating shelves for the living room!)

New Rug - Dining Room #thissarahloves

And here it is in context.  Along with our GORGEOUS West Elm pendant light. (Have I shown you it yet?)  Our table really needs to be replaced with something more substantial and with something that fits with our style.  I’m hiding this one under table cloths for now!

New Rug - In context 2 - Dining Room - #thissarahloves

Have you done any late night painting recently? Or perhaps you started a relatively small project that snowballed out of control?  I can’t be the only  one, right?

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Small Additions in the Living Room

When we bought out house we moved significantly closer to Ikea, which makes a quick Saturday morning trip much more feasible.  We popped in on Saturday morning to pick up some white floating shelves to install above the blue wine bar. (Spoiler alert: We haven’t added them yet!)

Of course, a few other items also hopped into our cart.  I’ve been meaning to add some plants to our house, but since I’m pretty good at killing them, I’ve been hesitant.Small Additions - Succulents


These little guys were too cute to resist and I’ve always loved these white Ikea pots. They’re even more adorable in the miniature sizes! Fingers crossed that we don’t kill them soon.

Small Additions - Succulents on the Buffet


I’ll be back to share some more small updates we’ve made around here.  The living area is coming together nicely! Have you made any small updates around the house?


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