Monthly Archives: June 2013

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Grey House Design Studio-- LUMA STUDIO


I’ve talked before about our time in London, how it’s magical, and how basically anything that comes out of the UK seems more cool than anything out of the US (to me, at least).

For John’s birthday, I really wanted to get him something special. Typically, we tell each other what we want for our birthdays, and order it online. We go as far as wrapping the presents up and all of that, but usually we know exactly what we’re getting. He hadn’t given me any ideas and I was really struggling to think of what to get him. Something new for recording music? A new pedal for his bass guitar? Then it hit me.

When we’ve been to London in the past, we’ve been so, so lucky to be able to stay with our friends Eamon and Lucie. They live in a three-story flat in Bethnal Green, which is a district in East London.

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Aside from their home being seriously amazing, they have the Luma Studio on the first floor. Lucie and Mark run Luma, and you can feel the creativity as soon as you walk in the house/studio! Luma does screen printing, print management, and even workshops!

photo courtesy of

While walking around in London, there are small shops that sell alcohol, magazines, candy, etc. Kind of like a QT or a Circle K here, except without the gas. On the doors of these shops are the “drink specials” for the different beers and ciders that the shop has, with prices marked out and changed. The tags are bright neon colors, and Luma had the idea of making a screen print called “English Landscape” (cheeky, ey?)  to look like these drink signs. When John and I saw the print on their website two years ago, we at once felt nostalgic for London and I knew we had to have the print in our house eventually. John’s birthday was the perfect excuse, and I was going to get it here under the radar to truly surprise him. I was SO excited!

I contacted Lucie and she was so very sweet to ship the print out to me right away. I told her my plans to surprise John with it, and the countdown was on! Getting a print from overseas and getting it framed in time would be cutting it very, very close to his birthday. Could it be done?

It came! And just in time. I took it the very next day to Aaron Brother Art & Framing. I have never had something professionally framed, so I really had no idea what to expect.

They gave white-glove service, (literally) and walked me through the entire process.

The Sales Associate showed me over to the selection of frames, and immediately went to the gallery style, black glossy frames. While I’m sure that would work I wanted this print to stand out and be ridiculous. Obviously, I chose the gaudiest gilded gold frame that they had (say that three times fast!). I left the store knowing the print was in great (white-gloved) hands, and went back to pick it up the very next day.


I had also ordered a DVD of The Strangers for John as this is one of his favorite movies, so I played a little trick on him the day of his birthday. I pretended that was the only gift that I got for him. After he opened it, we sat there for a minute and then I said “Oh, wait I think I forgot something!” and brought the print out from its hiding spot behind the curtains in his recording room! To say he was surprised is an understatement. He had totally forgotten about the print even existing, definitely didn’t expect me to order it and have it framed, and was so happy that we’d have another reminder of our time in London. Go me!

The custom frame including the matte and labor came out to be about $140. It wasn’t cheap, but was well worth it. If I would have framed this myself, guaranteed there’d be a dog hair or a fingerprint makeup smudge on the print somewhere!

“English Landscape” now hangs proudly over our sofa and reminds us of magical vacations filled with amazing friends, great drinks, bacon sandwiches, rain and love.


Head over to Luma’s page at and check out their work. They have some truly amazing pieces on there and deserve all the support they can get! You can also follow them on Twitter @StudioLuma

Cotton and Flax



You know when you get into an internet rabbit-hole and aren’t quite sure how you got there? It’s not always a bad thing, and sometimes you end up finding really simple and amazing home goods, like at Cotton & Flax!

The tagline on the Etsy shop from California is: Cotton & Flax is a line of natural home goods which are entirely handmade. Featuring bold patterns and sophisticated colors, each item is handmade by the designer and built to last.

Natural, handmade and built to last usually add up to being pricey, but that is not the case with Cotton & Flax.

This pillow is listed at $40, and the grey one above is currently on sale for $22!

OK this grey linen tea towel makes me want to slap someone. It’s so cute and the color and print just make it a bit whimsical, don’t you think?

So we already have about 12 sets of varying coasters, but I may need to make it 13. These gold 100% wool felt coasters are hand printed and absolutely beautiful.

They also have hand screenprinted postcards that are pretty amazing. They are standard USPS postcard size, which means you can use the cheap postcard stamps. Why not send one to a friend to let them know you’re thinking about them, send a thank you note, or send one to someone for no reason at all! Getting mail that isn’t a bill is definitely a highlight in adult life and the fact that you took time to think of someone else will definitely make their day!

It’d be easy to brighten up a room with a few new throw pillows or change out your stained kitchen towels with some new beautiful ones. Small pieces can have a huge impact on changing the feel of a room. If you’d like to visit the Cotton & Flax shop to browse around, here is the link: Cotton&Flax

I am loving… all things Turquoise

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  • I don’t think that loving black is being in a rut or a slump. I think it’s classic, mysterious, simple. But it is easy to get stuck in a routine of black as your go-to color. My head-to-toe black outfits for the work week are sure a site in the Phoenix summers. And when I’m shopping for home decor, I always gravitate towards a black and white palette. So, boy is it exciting when another color grabs my heart and makes my mind start to spin.

    Enter TURQUOISE.

    The kitchen of the Miller House, designed by Eero Saarinen with interiors by Alexander Girard makes me absolutely weak in the knees.

    Look at that color! The use of reflective surfaces to make the space appear larger, the unobstructed views of nature through the floor-to-ceiling windows…Can you imagine baking in there? Baking EVERYTHING?

    What about this turquoise butler’s pantry? I don’t even have my OWN pantry, let alone one for my non-existent butler, which makes this amazing color all the more spectacular!

    Veronica Swanson Beard’s kitchen in Manhattan is a wonderland. The bold color choice was applied to all of the cabinetry, and you can see that they maximized the space by bringing the cabinets all the way up and adding about 12 inches or more of stacked crown moulding. How do you ever reach those you ask? Probably on your turquoise diamond-encrusted ladder. AND you don’t store things in those that you need more than once or twice a year.


    Let’s bring the scale down to turquoise pieces that you can easily bring into your home. This wingback chair with nailhead trim is killing it.


    Can you imagine having your Saturday morning coffee in that bad boy? The piping and tufting buttons add that perfect little contrast, like a sparkly jewel on top of a perfect cake!

    It’s easy to think that once you have that perfect wall color, you wouldn’t want to cover it up. But really, adding the mirrors, frames and sconces over this gorgeous wall color just makes it stand out even more! A focal point was created here, on a wall that could have easily been skipped over and forgotten.


    This laundry room was made beautiful and simple, just by painting a whimsical color (Rivers Edge by Behr) and adding some inexpensive decor. The frames, the shelving and the chandelier could easily be purchased at IKEA, probably for less than $100 total. And after a little effort and a little cash, you suddenly have a laundry room that is less laundry, more ROOM. Who wouldn’t want to work a little in there?


    Want a way to test drive turquoise in your home without a big commitment? Try a turquoise Dhurrie rug from Z Gallerie! The 5′ x 8′ size is $249 and is an easy way to update a room, bring in some color, and unite a furniture grouping to have purpose.

    I really like incorporating a vibrant color like turquoise in a solid piece of furniture, such as a chest of drawers. This one, also from Z Gallerie is super cute, but at a cost of $499, I’d almost rather find a vintage dresser at a thrift store and paint and distress it myself. There is just something about a piece of furniture that you’ve put hours of labor into making exactly how you want it (and doing it for much less than buying brand new in the store!). That being said, if you got the bucks, why not pay for someone else to do all the hard work?


    There are a lot of ways to incorporate a new favorite color into your home. Small accent pieces, painting a room or accent wall, large pieces of furniture, a rug, a throw… the possibilities are endless! I’ve already got a few little projects spinning inside of my head that will bring a bit more turquoise into our home. I can’t wait!!

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