Denial should be my middle name. My youngest of two kids graduated college in 2013.
Sure, they come back for the odd visit. Oh, why is it that now that they are actually fun to be around, lol I hardly ever see them anymore? Not fair!
But here’s my issue. As I mope through my home, I frequently pass by their bedrooms that sit forlornly as museums of their youth. And maybe twice a week or so, a fleeting thought comes into my mind, that I really should do something about them.
Like, rent a backhoe and clear them out? haha
However, those thoughts suddenly became sheer panic as I just found out that we have been elected to host my husband’s family for Christmas. Eegads! The last time we did it, was at least 18 years ago and it was mighty tight in our 2,100 sq feet 3-bedroom home. But, we were all young and it sure was fun. But, it’s time to move on…
I mean, if I don’t do something about the two bedrooms now, when am I? The family is descending upon us on December 23rd. I just checked the calendar and that is just over 11 weeks away!
Please, please say that it’s not too late; I’m hoping that you’ll say it’s okay and will have some ideas to spiffy up the soon-to-be guest bedroom decor. My living room could use some help too. I am NOT expecting free advice, but imagine that lots of people feel overwhelmed about decorating, especially at this time of year. So, maybe a blog post on the subject? Pretty please?
Hi Holly! That Is a great idea for a post. BTW, I have a sister named Holly and she loves Christmas too!
It’s difficult to think about Christmas when the leaves are still on the trees and green. (at least in southern Westchester County, NY).
But alas with 11 weeks until the family descends, there is no time to waste! You still have time, but not a lot of time. If you are only ordering sheets, duvets, shams, etc. and they are in stock, then you should get them within a couple of weeks or so. For custom orders, the lead time is usually 8-10 weeks.
If I were in this sitch, I’d open up my ‘puter and head straight over to Serena and Lily.
New Customers can join S & L’s email list and get 15% off their first purchase!
That is, unless you happen to live within proximity to one of their gorgeous stores. (Most are in Cali)
Their flagship San Francisco store– just reeking with stylish sophistication.
If you don’t already know Serena and Lily are two women (Serena Dugan and Lily Kanter) started a company because they couldn’t find any stylish linens for their nurseries.
I first heard of the company about 10 years ago when I had a client who I was helping her with her home and then her nursery. She clued me in and I was very impressed with their collection of coordinated, stylish, fresh linens that didn’t shout BABY all over them.
A charming Serena and Lily Nursery
Pretty soon, I was receiving their catalog but what interested me the most is that they had started to branch out into other areas of home furnishings.
Wonderful upholstery available in many, many fabrics.
The adult furnishings, had a fresh, breezy appeal as well. Serena and Lily caught my attention because they managed to fill a rare void in the home furnishings market that was sorely needed.
Since then, the line has grown and grown and now encompasses thousands of different pieces for all rooms of the home and an ever-changing fresh line of fabrics to put on the many upholstered items.
I LOVE this company!
As a matter of fact, when I created my website back in 2012, much of the inspiration for colors and style was derived from their website. Since then, their branding has changed a little. What hasn’t changed is their philosophy of fresh, high-quality furnishings at a reasonable price-point.
When I purchased my home in 2012, the first thing I bought was
this shower curtain.
and the wonderful Harbour Cane Bed that I pretty much live on! (shhh… don’t tell anyone) ;]
I also got a laundry basket, some gifts.(please note that the ottoman and shower curtain were recently discontinued) Oh, and later on, I got that mirror too which is in my gray bathroom.
The bed is available in several sizes and they have added a white version which you’ll see in a sec.
One of the things I love about Serena and Lily’s product-line is that it neither screams out female or male. But, it is possible to make a room very girly OR very masculine.
The perfect girl’s room, featuring Serena and Lily Harbour Cane bed in white
The same Harbour Cane bed as mine which looks fabulous in this more masculine room. But, I could see a lot of girl’s liking this too.
Above is Serena and Lily’s new Fulton Tufted bed which I absolutely adore. I love the tailored headboard and the pretty legs and upholstered rails.
And here’s the really cool thing.
They have over 150 fabrics that all of their upholstered pieces come in.
Here is the Fulton bed in a different fabric (well, duh) and gorgeously dressed in their classic linens. This bed is so beautiful and reasonably priced starting at only $1,495.00!
But they don’t just have beds. In addition there are some gorgeous pieces of upholstered furniture– sofas, chairs, ottomans…
Take any upholstered piece like this fabulous Kent Chair
Here are just a few of the fabrics. I picked the big buffalo check in turquoise. And their app allows us to see each upholstered piece in that exact fabric.
How cool is that? There is also a choice of leg color, but I love the white option for many of the pieces.
But here’s the HOT NEWS, just off the press!
I do know that Serena and Lily accept Customer’s Own Material (COM)for their upholstered pieces, if you’re a designer and a member of their designer program.
But what I just, just, just found out, is that anyone can send in their own fabric.
That makes the options practically endless!
Getting Back to Bedroom Decor
A very small sample of bedding options.
Here are more S & L sheets and Sheet Sets.
A few of their many pretty pillows
They also sell fabric by the yard, if you’d like to make your own pillows, window treatments,
or a bed for your cute doggie!
Here, Summer Thornton created a fresh den with Serena and Lily pillows and on the vintage ottomans, a Serena and Lily fabric.
But there’s much more for your home and bedroom decor.
They also have some great bedroom design ideas.
Case pieces and tables and more beds both upholstered and not.
Some of their fabulous lighting.
Here in situ, in one of Studio McGee’s gorgeous rooms is the Mirabelle rug which also comes in charcoal now.
Suzanne Kasler used a S & L wallpaper in this cool bedroom
If anyone is interested, I have been given a promo code (below) and you’ll get 15% off if you are in the market for sheets and stuff.
Click here and use code GETAWAY15 – Valid – 10/6-10/14
Hope that helps!
PS: This is not a sponsored post even though it sounds like it is. :] However, some of the links are affiliate links meaning I might make a few cents if you click on them. As always, I only affiliate myself with brands and products that I adore, use myself and specify for my clients.
I love the Kent chair and the fabric you selected. You are so right about the freshness of S & L. I looked at the fabrics. The light and mid tones are clear, not muddy.
Mindful of the “time” question in your title I noticed that Jonathan Adler has some upholstered chair styles in stock, including the pretty chair style – but not the green velvet custom option – you highlighted in the previous post. That style offers 6, I think, options that are available for delivery in 10-14 *business* days. For custom options a walnut finish adds $300 to the price. Choose from 9 other finishes and it’s possible to acquire that style for Iess but probably only by New Years holiday. No, I’m not a shill for the company – just loved the style and versatility of your choice, Laurel.
Thanks so much Libby for your great research! I love Jonathan Adler too. It’s not for everyone, but it’s fun and cool.
Sponsored post or not, I like that you point out a specific source to find certain things. I have read your blog enough to get a sense of your decorating style and I appreciate that you are telling us, directly, what you like, and even where to get it!
The design world can be a bit too mysterious and stingy with sources, and I think that you are very generous with your advice. Long may you blog!
ps I’ve said this before, but you’re funny, too.
Technically this is not a sponsored posts. Nobody paid me to write it. I have done exactly two posts where someone did pay me to write the posts, but again, I love the product.
In this case, the affiliate links mean that I either make a nickel. Yes, a nickel if someone clicks on a link, and/or make a small commission if someone buys something.
I genuinely adore Serena and Lily. It’s a beautiful company in every way. Thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated.
I’ve had a couple people recently who felt the need to crap on me.
I know it comes with the territory, and I know it’s about them, not me. And I don’t mean a difference of opinion. That’s absolutely fine. It’s telling me in no uncertain terms that I suck.
But over-all, people are phenomenally kind and generous and it’s a lot of fun.
I was one of the people who made an earlier dig about this seeming like a sponsored post — but it was done with a smile as I’m sure most people’s comments are offered. It’s alarming that people are making gratuitous attacks on you. I’m not the blindly adoring fangurl type so nobody on social media deserves to be put on a pedestal and protected from harsh criticism. However, it sounds like what you’re being subjected to is out-and-out viciousness. I’ve seen it on Facebook; though I’m far from naïve it’s still a shocker to see extreme vitriol. Please be assured that your following has grown a lot because you are doing a super job and giving us enjoyable and informative reads. Thank you —
Thank you so much for your kind comment.
I certainly don’t need to be put on any kind of adoring pedestal. But I so appreciate people’s kind words.
And I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. In fact, sometimes, I don’t agree with me. haha.
Interior design as we’ve seen over and over again is not an absolute art. There are few if any hard and fast rules. And sometimes I change my mind.
However, the blog is elective reading, so my feeling is that if someone doesn’t like it, how I express myself, to move on and do something else.
I am not writing this blog to be harshly criticized. It’s easy for some people to hide behind their computers and say whatever pops into their head without thinking that there’s a human with sensitive feelings on the receiving end.
I think that we all need to be mindful of that and think how we would feel if someone said the same to them.
I enjoyed being introduced to Serena and Lily and the way you showed how their products could be utilized. It is inspiring and gives me ideas for my own home as do all of your posts. I teach sewing and I have told my students to look through catalogs and start people watching so they can “pin” ideas (or tear out pictures or take pictures with their camera) for clothing or home decor they want to make. To me, that is what this blog is for – to gain ideas that I can translate into my situation… not to provide EXACTLY the color, floor plan, and each individual item for the rooms. If you need that, hire a professional. Laurel, you do a fabulous job – I am so happy every time I see an email with your latest post.
Thank you so much for that Patti. I very much appreciate that.
I think a lot of people have no idea what goes into design and how much individual situations make a phenomenal difference.
One thing I did was take a sample of the wall color from Tracie’s pics to show why I don’t do long-distance paint consults. The colors ranged from lavender to brown and the color is a gray with some blue-green. It is true, everything in the photo has a cast on it, so it’s not that bad. But I was surprised to see how much green the color actually has that the photos didn’t convey.
First I must say that I covet that ottoman. Too bad they discontinued it. I have a tutoring business, and yes, people ask me to “help just a little bit” their child with their homework without wanting to enroll in the program. It happens to us all.
I’m sure doctors too get asked to look at this mole sort of thing. “yes, you need to get that checked out, hope you’re enjoying our evening out.” lol
And yeah… I hate it when stuff I love gets discontinued. Sometimes, it’s their vendor who does something, goes out of business, quality control goes down the drain. Trader Joes eliminated my favorite granola and I wanted to torch the place. lol
Even though I live far away and don’t have access to Serena and Lily I really love the post. I’m redoing my bedroom and was looking for some ideas to bring it into this millennium.
One of the problems I have when styling my bed is keeping it from looking too matchy. I love how Serena and Lily used colour and prints and added texture to make the bed look unique rather than matched.
Yes, their “sets” are not so matchy-matchy and that is another reason why I love them so.
And while Nancy pointed out one of their more expensive items, most of their offerings are affordable, at least in high-end terms. Obviously, for cheap sheets, one can do as I did and go to Target or as I fondly call them, Tarzhay. lol
Another great post, Laurel. I thought your readers might be interested in the extreme budget version of Serena & Lily’s white, $3,300 Pierson dresser that appears in the “Just In” section of your post. I recently bought the very highly rated (4.8 stars) Delta Children Haven 6 Drawer Dresser for less than $200 on amazon prime. I painted the piece black, changed the knobs and use the dresser to store fabric in my new, not quite finished sewing room.
I would love to see that, but the link doesn’t work. :[
Here are links to the $200 dresser both the one for sale on amazon prime and the one I painted for my sewing room (click pin for supersized photo).
Thanks so much Nancy. Looks very nice.
Laurel – You will get a kick out of this. I had a lady invite me to her home for dinner so I could give her ideas for her kitchen. I told her I work not for food but to buy food.
It is so easy to be invited to someone’s home and then the questions start firing away – “what do you think – – – – ” I want to be kind but I’m not there for business nor would I go to the home of a doctor and start stripping down for an exam.
BTW I had one doctor tell me “You have a flare for design” and I told him he had a flare for being a doctor.
I’m older now and more mellow so I can just smile and walk away leaving a pleasant compliment.
uh huh… the old I’m-going-to-bait-with-you-with-dinner-and-then-that-gives-me-license-to-pick-your-brain-for-free-advice.
Mellow-shmellow. lol I love what you said to the doctor!
Sorry — I had to comment on the above. My husband is a urologist. You have no idea the very personal medical questions he gets asked even while picking up at preschool or attending soccer games. 🙂 I swear he knows more secrets about our village than the local gossips. He laughs it off.
hahahahahaha! I needed that. I can just picture it.
“I have a little thing on my… mind taking a peak at it?”
We have experienced similar things as my husband is a fine woodworker (furniture etc) and I am an architect/interior designer. We are asked for advice about everything to do with house design and decor. My husband is expected to make superb furniture for a pittance. We also have friend who is a physician (and in our small town he specialises in cardiology and intensive care as well) but I have never ever asked him anything medical in a social situation even though we have consulted him at other times in his rooms. It is one of my bugbears and I detest the habit. Some people are always trying to get something for nothing.
Indeed. Some people don’t have appropriate boundaries. I’ll never forget my late aunt. I hadn’t seen her in years and out of blue when I was 6 months pregnant with my eldest son, she invited me out to dinner as she was visiting her daughter.
No sooner did we sit down then the barrage of questions ensued over the new kitchen she was planning.
The entire F***ing DINNER! She did not stop, except to stuff her face now and again.
I know that Ballard Designs also offers a COM program on a number of their pieces — including beds and headboard. Turnaround is about 6 weeks from receipt of material. And if Holly gets too overwhelmed by the amount of offerings and short timeframe, a lot of decorators (myself included 😉 offer e-Design for quick direction and turnaround. Good luck!
Great idea Amy!
Holly, last year at this time, I set out on what I thought was a modest renovation. I believe I will be ready to hang artwork next week. From my experience, I off good wishes and this advice. Get a plan: do a page for each room you plan to change listing every single thing you must purchase or have done (e.g. paint). Include swatches, colors, sources.
Then sit on that for a few days while you clear out those two rooms. It will percolate in your unconscious brain all the while, and you will avoid bad choices made in haste. Chances are your children’s closets and bureau drawers are filled with sentimental little somethings plus a lot of pure junk. The rooms feel forlorn because they do nothing but remind you of times past. Clearing them out will revitalize you. I promise. I went to Lowe’s and got large packing boxes and started with the closets—box 1, things for my children’s attics or homes; box 2, throw-away; box 3, donation. I used that Japanese woman’s recommendation to toss anything that made me less than delighted. I’d never imagined how undelighted some of the things I’d looked at forever made me, how they hung over my head like black clouds of “Need To Do Something With This.” I moved fast. The more I tossed, the happier I grew. I discovered some things I wanted to save for albums/scrapbooks and I put them in a small box. Though it was expensive, I shipped my children’s boxes to them before I rethought the matter. I let Pak N Mail do the packing. Charities will pick up things. The city will pick up the junk box. When you finish, hire someone to clean every nook and cranny. You will feel sooo virtuous, pure and clean.
Then run like the wind! Review your plan, use your computer for all it’s worth. And if you feel frustrated about something, employ a reputable designer to help you resolve your frustration. Unless your friends are designers, you probably should avoid putting yourself in their hands. Many designers will work by the hour or have assistants who will do that. When I reached a sticking point (oh how I wanted to paint my breakfast room green like one Laurel did for a client!), two words from a designer we all know and love set me free: “Cotton Balls” (Benjamin Moore Paint). Talk about pure and clean! If you need inexpensive floor coverings, do check out Safavieh on erugs.com or a similar site. If you currently read the Bible or other holy books of devotion daily, substitute Laurel’s posts and Rolodex for the next 11 weeks. God helps those who help themselves. Oh, and get any painter or other contractor to sign off in writing on a date. They might not keep it, but at least they will remember they have a deadline. Remind them politely.
If you manage all this, let us know and I will bake you a large batch of Lizzies, a southern fruity cookie that has enough rum or bourbon (your call) in it to revive any sagging spirits. I can just tell you are going to be proud of yourself.
Thank you so much Gaye! And I’ll tell you why. I don’t mind exposing a certain truth about me.
I am a designer, not an organizer or a particularly wonderful housekeeper. I do try to keep things in order, but it doesn’t come naturally to me and I have absolutely no advice to give in that area. Well, except to routinely throw out and/or give away before it accumulates too much.
Otherwise, if someone wants me to tell them how to do what you so beautifully, just stated, it’s not going to happen.
I don’t sew, upholster, paint, etc. I concoct things in my head and then I have others who do have those skills create for me.
There are some great ideas in your comment. And thank you too for saying such nice words about my products. I’m very proud of them and exceedingly excited about the new one. xo
Laurel, I am sorry at organization and housekeeping. I tend to keep stuff, saying I’ll decide what to do with it “later.” So when a friend told me about the de-cluttering woman and how well the plan had worked for her, I tried it. Modified, of course. Couldn’t believe it worked. I felt like I imagine an evangelist feels—called upon to spread the word. Sounds foolish, but it is a spirit-lifter. 🙂
Do you have a link to share with us for this magical being who can help us?
Her name is Marie Kondo, and her book is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
It is true. The method is simply amazing. Don’t think about it too hard, just try it!
Thank you so much! I will get that book. Lovely website she has. Notice how beautifully it scrolls. So many sites these days are so clogged with ads that trying to scroll through them is like pushing my 94-yr-old mother up a hill. lol
So pretty! Gonna start scheming some more. It’s good to know which of these brands you have experience with and are actually worth it. We don’t live in a major metropolitan area so the internet is where it’s at. Currently choosing some Crypton for the soon to be ours CR Laine sofa; gonna need some end tables!
Thanks Cathlin. They are the real deal. Years ago, I ordered some fabric swatches and the way they were presented was so wonderful. They came in a special folder with a ruler on it and some other stuff. That kind of attention to detail is very rare.
Lovely – and now I’m thinking I need that Kent chair in my bedroom 😇
Hi again Cathlin. I love that chair too!
I do love Serena and Lilly.
But, if she doesn’t have the budget for that I would empty the rooms and hide the left over kids stuff in the attic or basement. No need to sort it out now, hide it. : ) Then I would paint the rooms and buy a comfy foam thing for the mattress. For curtains I would go to Ikea if close or go to a fabric and buysolid white/cream fabric to make simple panels. If she doesn’t sew, use iron on tape to make a quick hem at the top and bottom. Use the whole width and you may not have to hem the sides. Then add a new quilt, sheets, a few pillows and a lamp.
Lastly, I love Laurel’s blue paint suggestion. Benjamin moore quiet moments. It is a soft grayed blue that is still pretty but not baby at all. I have been looking at blue swatches for a month and found this paint in a Laurel blog. My bedroom is going from every room in the house is gray to this lovely soft blue.
Oh, and lights or a little tree in the rooms. That would be fun.
Ok, I’ll stop now.
Great ideas Brooke, Thanks!
I was really excited about this post because we have the same situation here, but with our three just-out-of-college-and-successfully-into-the-real-world son’s bedrooms. Bringing in a back hoe has also occurred to us. 🙁 Like bfish, I was disappointed that the entire blog was devoted entirely to Serena & Lily. We have nice bedroom sets in each room, yes I will need linens, but first and most importantly what I was looking for and hoping for was ideas! That’s what I got from Holly’s initial email that she was looking for too, ideas and hope. We won’t need linens until we clear out the baseball bats, Nintendo posters, and university paraphernalia. I was hoping for color trends, window treatment ideas, and accessories. Hoping to see “Part Two” with some actual helpful ideas and not just an advertisement. Thank you.
That this wasn’t helpful for you. Perhaps you need to hire a designer for more guidance.
Patricia, the best thing you can do is clear those rooms out—pronto. A year ago I did that with my son’s and daughter’s old rooms. I described to Holly how I did it, and I promise you if you, the process will work for you and energize you to tackle either repurposing or redecorating the rooms. I too had good furniture, but I needed to change out floor coverings and get a settee reupholstered, get a new lamp and hang artwork. I do not recommend following that Japanese de-cluttering woman to the “T.” But her general idea surprised me at how helpful it was. She says look at an object and if it doesn’t make you feel happy, toss it. I organized a toss, and I swear to you the process gave me a high. I felt so free after that clean-out. Of course, you might plan to use the baseball gear and the old jock straps and the 903 prom pics. But probably not. Had I done nothing but clear those rooms of their earlier lives, I would have been a happier woman. I promise you that you will feel that way too. Remember, Laurel has lots of posts available that can guide you on everything from lampshades to full re-dos. One King’s Lane also has a lot of neat rooms and I’ve found some real buys on their site, especially the Vintage section. But once you’ve gone through the process of decluttering and tossing, you will have thought of how you want to use the rooms and the feel that you want them to have. Good luck.
I love One King’s Lane too and also a lot of their vintage pieces!
Gaye, you threw out their prom photos? The artwork and pottery? I didn’t know I could do that! How about your yearbooks? We have moved a lot and I just move it all to the next basement. 17 moves in 32 years and the basement keeps getting more boxes and bags.
This post has sparked some interesting comments. Who knew that it would touch so many of us!
And Laurel, my own closet is always a mess. I cannot organize and I tend to spend my days looking at pretty rooms online and reading blogs. Yours is my favorite because you are funny. I am putting some of your cool stuff on my xmas list but since they never really pay attention to that, I’ll buy it and wrap it myself. My husband started doing that years ago. It is pretty funny when he opens things that I bought him but didn’t buy him.
I can’t speak for Gaye, but you can do what my mother did. Put it in the basement (or don’t.) say, you had a flood and everything got wrecked and you had to dump it. awwww…;] (if it pains you to lie, just go down with the garden hose and create a little mini flood.)
In Mom’s defense, I believe that she really did have a flood.
OR, ask them first if they want it and if not… I don’t see any reason why you need to hang onto stuff they’re really not interested in keeping.
Laurel, Thank you for all of the great advice. I very much appreciate it and your humor. Rosemary
You’re very welcome Rosemary. Thanks for stopping by!
Is that gorgeous armchair (the one you blue checkered) from S & L? If not, can you tell me where it’s from?
It reminds me of a sofa at Crate and Barrel that I have my eye on.
Always happy when I get a new email from you! Love your blog.
Yes, it’s at Serena and Lily. It’s the Kent Chair.
Hi Laurel — That really did feel like a sponsored post, not that I minded looking at their products. I hope you’ll come back with part 2 and give Holly, and other readers some more tips on how to make the kids’ old rooms more stylish and guest-friendly, without a complete Serena and Lily makeover. Or, since your community has grown so much, there may be a lot of great reader suggestions. Thanks!
This is the thing with bedrooms. They are usually a bed, a couple of nightstands, maybe a dresser and maybe a chair or two and possibly a bench.
A lot of what I see in the market-place doesn’t agree with me. I find it too over-done. And Serena and Lily is a brand that feels perfect to me. In the post and even more on their website are zillions of ideas for making the perfect bedroom, and home, for that matter. Of course, not everything must come from them, nor should it, but it’s an awfully good start with quality furnishings at a great price-point. And also, every time I have ever spoken to anyone, they are super-nice as well.
Not everyone will like my aesthetic. I did another post about bedrooms and some of the beds were unmade and I got skewered by a few people. lol
After living in my home for 16 years I am finally able to renovate my original 1960 galley kitchen!
So far I have selected inset cabinetry in a soft white, a very sexy stainless bertazzoni range with black knobs, and I sloped stainless hood.( I already own a stainless fridge.)
How can I best layer the other finishes, (floor, hardware and countertops,) to make all of this white and stainless warm?
I’m thinking there has to be other readers who want a white kitchen without making it stark or cold or too modern or just plain boring.
Obviously I would love your advice!
There are several posts already here chock full of ideas. If you go to the sidebar, about a quarter of the way down is a little search box. If you type in kitchens, they’ll all pop up. Hope that helps!
Perfect. I will search out “kitchens.” Thanks so much Laurel!
I wish we lived closer. I’d take you out to lunch and we’d end up becoming best friends!
Your posts are so informative and instructional. I love how generous you are with your help.
Thanks for being such a fun, lighthearted and hilarious source of great info!
Oh, how sweet Danielle. I have a vacancy for a best friend!