Posts tagged ‘Mood Boards’

September 19, 2014

Exciting Things

There’s something very exciting coming up for the House on Penny Lane. Are you excited? No? Not yet? Well, I can be excited for the rest of us.

At the end of this year, we’re getting a new sofa! A sectional to be exact…

Our IKEA sofa has served us well during the last seven years. It was our first big purchase together and, for each of us, our first real grown up sofa. But lately, we have begun to outgrow it. We’re hosting more and more get-togethers at our house while also spending more and more time stretched out/cuddled up just the two of us. And we just need more room.

And lucky for us, our living room can handle it. It’s kind of huge. Check out my sweet rendering. It’s like looking at my house through a Simpson’s episode.


And I never miss a chance for a mood board. This thing makes me giddy. Especially because the majority of the items pictured are ones I already own. This, by the way, is an update to a mood board from way back in 2010. We were just young chicks then, so it’s interesting to see how our tastes have grown in the last few years.



1.     Our wonderful wood floors. I still dig the high contrast between them and our walls.

2.     With the addition of a larger sofa, we will also need a larger area rug. Our current rug is a $170 8’x10′ shag rug we found at Home Depot. Such a steal and hides stains amazingly well. The new rug is actually made up of carpet tiles, so if one gets stained, I can just remove and replace it with a fresh tile. I’ve also heard the tiles are way easier to clean than a regular rug, so let’s hope any stains that do pop up can be taken care of quickly.

3.     My $30 a piece Craigslist chairs. I recovered them just last year, so they’re not going anywhere any time soon.

4.     Our 70s coffee table. Another awesome Craigslist find.

5.     THE SOFA. I am so excited by this. Pretend this picture is of a sectional with a chaise instead of an ‘L’ shaped sofa. I chose a fitted back to avoid the inevitable slouchy back cushions. The fabric will be a microfiber velvet in a very dark, almost black, charcoal.

6.     Our sofa table. It came from CB2, but is unfortunately no longer available.

7.     Our favorite IKEA Besta media cabinet.

8.     Our vintage walnut lamps. I am so glad these are not glass or ceramic. They would have been broken a long time ago. *Cough* cats *cough*

9.    My Valentine’s Day Fiddle Leaf Fig.

10.   Our current accent pillows, throw, and our Franco Albini Ottoman.

11.    With the new sofa, I should be receiving some throw pillows in the fabric of my choosing. So here’s my choosing! Kind of an Ikat print with cream, charcoal, linen, plum, and cranberry colors. It’s super pretty and this pic doesn’t do it justice.

12.   Think I can talk Rob into some light colored faux fur throw pillows? I hope so. We’ve got a lot of sofa to cover.

13.   I think a nicely colored Persian style rug would be beautiful layered over our future area rug. This will take some obsessing, hunting, and deliberation, so don’t expect to see this placeholder filled for some time.


So what’s been a recent exciting addition to your home? Tell me about it in the comments below!

December 30, 2012

Kitchen Improvement Baby Steps, Part 1

Over the holidays, my focus has been on improving our kitchen. Even at its best, it has been strangely cavernous yet very bright. It lacked any interesting characteristics to warrant it being the heart of the home and where we would often find guest congregating during parties. I attempted, many times over, to rearrange countertop accessories to improve the interest, but it was never enough. We didn’t have the money for a complete kitchen renovation, so I came up with some baby steps in hopes that I would find a comfort zone somewhere in the middle.

Kitchen Before

Many times, I would find myself prepping food inside the kitchen and ducking to be able to chat with friends on the other side of the peninsula. So step one became tearing down the cabinets above the peninsula. It was a bit of a scary step to take, like stepping off a cliff, because we weren’t sure what kind of surfaces we would find behind the cabinets. Would we have to patch large areas of the ceiling with sheetrock? Would we have to patch the tile backsplash? These lingering questions became the reason why we waited so long to take this first step, but finally, I had had enough. The day after Thanksgiving, Rob and I tore that sucker down.

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

We were left with some surprising and not-so-surprising surfaces. Not-so-surprising were the tile edges cut around the now non-existent cabinet and the once hidden wall texture that was now exposed and out of place next to the remaining texture-less walls. The tile would either have to be patched or covered in some way so that the rough edges would not be exposed. The textured wall would either have to be sanded down or the remaining walls would have to be textured to match. The surprising was the already textured ceiling that required very little additional patching to blend with the exposed ceiling.

And then the real work began. I decided to go ahead and texture all of the walls in the kitchen because the flat walls felt cold and out of place with the rest of the house. I then primed and painted both the walls and the ceiling with Sherwin Williams Shoji White in a flat finish. I had a little wood ledge made to cover the cut tile pieces. I originally tried staining it, but couldn’t get the stain color dark enough. I also realized I didn’t want a dark brown stripe that was the trim seemingly hanging in space. Another reason I decided against staining the trim was because the next kitchen improvement baby steps would involve painting the upper cabinets white. So why stain the trim only to paint it later on?

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Oh, we also replaced the outlet and switch covers and re-caulked the counter.  It’s amazing what a difference those small changes can make. The final item to complete before wrapping up baby step one is accessorizing – a big step all on its own. I created a quick mood board for the kitchen.

Kitchen Mood Board

The easiest way to unify a space is through color. I already had several yellow items in the kitchen, so it only seemed natural to continue with that theme. The rug was a Christmas gift from Rob. I’ll also make a curtain with white and yellow print fabric, frame and hang a print, and replace our kitchenette table and chairs with bar stools (the brass pull is for future baby steps).

Jin on the Kitchen Rug

Jin is already enjoying the new rug.

September 3, 2011

Nate & Aurelio

It’s been quiet over at the house on Penny Lane. Luckily, some friends of ours, Nate and Aurelio, have asked me to help them spruce up their digs. I have a limited budget of $1000, but I think I can do a lot with their space. I won’t post pictures of their place until I get their permission (haven’t thought of asking, yet), but they have lots to work with including a couple of great wing back chairs and a stack of men’s hats. The big piece they’ll be getting is a sofa and I’ve found the perfect one at, where else, IKEA. Besides the sofa, they are mostly in need of lamps, rugs and accessories and paint.

They haven’t seen or heard any of my plans, but hopefully, they like it, cause I’m pretty sure it’s what they’re getting. My inspiration words for their new space are vintage, tribal, masculine. Here are some spaces I’ve used for inspiration:


image courtesy of



image courtesy of


image courtesy of


And now for the beginnings of their mood board. Not many accessories have been added to the board because I get the feeling it will be what I can find on the cheap. Below are the definite must-haves.


January 19, 2011

The Final Frontier

Sorry for the lack of posts. Some wonderful stuff has been going on at the house on Penny Lane and the last thing on my mind was, well… the house on Penny Lane. Fortunately, Rob has forced my mind back with the state of his office.

Around these parts, Rob’s office is very much the final frontier. Its potential has been the last to be explored, not to mention it’s the last room on the official tour, which ends very much with a whimper.

So here’s the mood board!

1.  Our beautiful wood floors extend all the way to even Rob’s galaxy.

2.  A geometric black and white rug will bring pattern to an otherwise monotonous room.

3.  A Besta desk from IKEA. I’ve been eyeing this desk for a while. It’s long and narrow – perfect for seating two (if needed) in a small space.

4.  Good ol’ Billy bookcases from IKEA. We already have 3  of the larger units, we just need a couple thinner units to fully span the wall in the office. I’m trying to talk Rob into adding doors to the bookcases, but we’ll see.

5.  A black drawer unit from, who else, IKEA. This will be the perfect landing pad for the printer and any other necessary electronics that we don’t want stored on top of the desk. I chose black over white for a bit of unexpected contrast amongst the furniture with an added bonus of camouflaging our large, black printer.

6.  Clocks! Rob is a man who loves clocks. Well here’s your chance, Rob. Choose one or choose them all! Have a wall of clocks, I dare you!

a.  Solar system clock: very fitting for the galactic office, no? This clock depicts heavenly bodies orbiting around the sun.

b.  Giant flip clock: my personal favorite.

c.  Slim wall clock: I thought this might work well mounted on the narrow bit of wall between the two windows in the office.

d. Grayscale clock: a clock after my own heart.

e. Multicolored clock: unexpected, right?

Guess what? I already know which clock Rob has selected. Can you guess which one it is?

October 31, 2010


Are  you ready for another mood board? Sure you are!

This time I’m tackling the Guest Bedroom, which has had a significant amount of use despite the fact that it lacks a bed.

1.  Our dark wood floors have been installed and they are beautiful!

2.  To soften and add warmth to those wood floors, I’d like to throw a couple of sheep skins around the room.

3.  Not an original idea in the least, but I’m very excited to add a chalkboard accent wall behind the bed. This wall used to be an accent in a different way, with wallpaper that matched the ceiling border around the rest of the room. Having torn down that full-height wallpaper, we were left with three textured walls and  one completely flat wall. Rather than go through the pain and agony of putting our own texture on that wall, we decided to take advantage of its flatness by painting it with chalkboard paint. We’re hoping our guests will leave us notes on our “guestbook wall”.

4.  I am totally digging this bed from IKEA. Surprisingly, there are very few beds at IKEA that I actually like, most being super modern, which I did not want for this room. This bed will bring a slight feminine edge to the house, which we are greatly lacking.

5.  You’ve seen this side table before. I guess you could say this is the inspiration piece for the room and why I didn’t want anything super low or super modern for this bedroom.

6.  A bookcase is already in place and being used in the Guest Bedroom. We thought it would be a great place to store a few books and framed photos for our guests to enjoy.

7.  We had this same IKEA light fixture in our bedroom back at the townhouse. We loved it and thought the Guest Bedroom would be the perfect place to install another.

8.  I’m thinking the drapes are a great place to infuse some interest to the room. This is the same color of yellow that’s in the Kitchen and Living Room. It’s terribly trendy, but it makes me happy.

9.  A small, white lamp is in order to place against the dark chalkboard wall.

10.  And if there’s room left after cramming all of this stuff into our teeny, tiny Guest Bedroom, we’ll throw around a plant or two for good measure.

So check back with us! We’re currently priming the walls for paint and planning a quick trip to IKEA for a bed!

January 4, 2010

I Need More Green.

It’s obvious from my previous inspiration posts (here and here) that I have a lot of ideas.  The most challenging thing is keeping those ideas organized. has been great for corralling items or images that I find online.  There, I can create lists that can be divided into sections.  In my ‘Home Reno’ list, for example, I organize my items by room or, more specifically, by item like window treatments or lighting, when too many options become available.  Kaboodle is great when I want to remember ideas, but it doesn’t allow me to visualize my ideas working together.

Over at one of my most frequented blogs,, they have regularly put together a thing called a mood board.  A mood board is a collage of items and furniture for a room or area that allows the viewer to get a better idea for how those items will work together.  I’ve created my own mood board, both to clarify my design intentions to you, the reader, and for my own benefit and amusement.  The mood board has definitely helped me to hone in on what items will best achieve the look I’m going for.  The mood board I’ll be posting today is for the living room, but I hope to compile boards for the rest of the house once my ideas have settled a bit.

One of the most important items for the living room, paint, has gone unnumbered, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see it.  I plan on painting all of the walls in the living room white.  Which white has yet to be decided, but you don’t want to be bored with that, right?

1.  I’d like to replace the current beige carpet with dark wood.  My dad said it best when he described the affect of a dark floor as receading, making the space feel larger and allowing the furnishings to contrast against it.

2.  I haven’t picked out a specific rug, but I know I’d like it to be light, textured and large, to fit my large living room.

3.  The Ikea Kramfors sofa.  One of the two items shown that I actually have.  I’ve debated getting a new sofa, thinking something in a fabric would go best with my dream #5, but I don’t know how I could part with the Kramfors. It’s large enough to seat 3 people, or more if you include the extra wide arms as seating.  The wide arms and back also double as side tables and a console table for drinks (coasters, though, please!), remotes, laptops, books, etc.  It has held up remarkably well to the cats and can be spillt on and wiped up incredibly easy.  I love my Kramfors.

4.  I am most excited about this item.  Pictured is a stool from ikea, but I have gone through several different options for a coffee table/ottoman.  This is one of the most attractive and cheapest options, but at 23″, it could be larger.  I may be able to remedy this by buying a few and scattering or stacking them in front of the sofa.

5.  Ok, so #5 is pretty exciting, too.  I have always wanted an Eames Lounge.  My dad had one when I was growing up and so did Frasier.  Who wouldn’t want one?  I worried that it would be leather overload when paired with the leather sofa, but I think with the tan color and matte (with time) finish, it will work.  Rob and I hope to be able to buy the lounge chair for either our 3rd (leather) or 5th (wood) anniversary.  It’s looking as though it will be our 5th…

6.  This is another item that has been difficult to pin down.  I’m wanting a slipper chair that’s not too boxy, with light, textured, fabric upholstery.

7.  White, sleek, sculptural side tables will contrast well with the low, textured #4 ottoman.

8.  A wood slat bench behind the sofa will bring in a different texture, more seating, and more surfaces for placing lighting, books and the like.

9.  Several of these bookcases placed end to end will create a nice built-in look for the TV, all of its components, and whatever else I feel like storing.

10.  The second of the two items I actually own, this floor lamp has a nice, big drum shade with a light texture, good light output and cute pull-style switch.

11.  A glass, fillable table lamp is a great way to bring in extra texture by filling it with items like pine cones, coffee beans, and starfish.

12.  I find drapes to be surprisingly easier to manage with cats than blinds.  Blinds enevitably get pulled up 18″ to allow the cats to look outside. If they’re not, I’ll be woken up at 3 am to a cat slamming the blinds against a window in attempt to get behind them.  That, or the cats will just chew through them.  We had a Polly shaped hole in the plastic blinds at our old place.  Plus, drapes let in a lot more light when opened, absorb sound and soften the aesthetics in the room.

13 & 14.  It took me a while to decide on an accent color, but I think green is it.  It will go with whatever plants I bring in, be cohesive with whatever season we’re in, and the kitchen accent is already green, so it’s an easy decision.

15.  It looks like a mirror, but it’s actually an aluminum tray for the ottoman.  It will make the surface of the ottoman more stable for setting food and drinks on.

16.  Yes, a big, sculptural floor plant.  I don’t know where it’s going to go, but it will look great and bring some much needed nature into the room.

So there you have it.  My living room mood board.