I remember when I bought my first piece of art for my home – I felt like a real adult! Choosing art can be tricky – however I believe that it should speak to you, it should be something that you see and think “I absolutely need this in my life”. Art can be expensive – however it doesn’t have to be, and if it is – it’s an investment that is worth making. While I’m no curator – I wanted to share a few inexpensive pieces, all under $300 that I love, maybe something to get you started – or to add to your existing collection. Art truly makes a house HOME.
Some of my favorite places to shop – West Elm, Pottery Barn & Studio McGee.
Happy New Year! I hope you’ve all had the best holiday. I can’t believe it’s been an entire year since I started this little spot — it’s seriously just been JOY. I love sharing & connecting with you all. I thought nothing would be more fitting than sharing what’s coming in 2020 for RFD.
Before we get into that – I love a good project, mostly I love when a good project is finished. Sometimes I think someone might think I’m a little crazy for changing things around my house so much – or think, “it’s only 10 years old – what is there to change?” I look at my home as I do my life – it’s ever evolving. My style is ever changing. When we built our home 10 years ago, we were 21 and 24 years old — how it served me then is very different than how it serves me now. I CAN however say the last two years – we’ve really made it feel more like us than ever before, it feels so GOOD. Just as my style is ever evolving – so are my thoughts on moving. This last year we looked at several homes – new construction & already existing. We found two that we really, really considered – something just didn’t feel right when it came down to it. So can I say that we’ll be in our little 2300 sq foot spec home forever? Nope. I don’t know what the next year will bring – but for now, we’re embracing all the improvements we’ve made, future projects & continue feeling extra thankful for our little space.
First up – our laundry room. This is the LEAST functional space in our home – shouldn’t it be one of the most? We’re changing that this year. I have some big plans (maybe including knocking out the linen closet in the laundry room to open it up a bit), re-tiling, adding a barn door in the hallway and changing up some of the decor aspect of it. Below is my inspo board for the space — I’m thinking late spring / summer timeline wise.
We refreshed our master bedroom last year – this was by far my most liked & shared project over on IG, I’m still totally obsessed. We’d planned on adding a wood beam to our vaulted ceilings all along – it just didn’t happen this last month. So it’s carrying over to 2020. Here’s a photo of our room currently — & an idea of what I’m looking at beam wise.
You guys, this has been on my house to-do list for TWO years. I don’t know why we haven’t just made it happen – it’s actually a relatively easy and inexpensive project. Finally replacing those builder grade exterior lights — front porch, both sides of the garage, side door & back door. I really like these below – but still browsing.
Last – I’m hoping to add some white ship lap in our basement family room. Really just to add some extra dimension in our long and extra large space. I’ll for sure share some before & after’s – I think this is towards the bottom of the list for now. I’m so excited about each of these changes! I can’t wait to share with you. I would LOVE to hear what your working on in 2020 for your own home. Happy, happy New Year! I hope it brings you nothing but happiness. Xoxo.
PS: Want to stay in touch? Drop your email address in a comment below to receive my monthly newsletter. Decor tips, favorite finds and recipes – delivered straight to your inbox. (I promise to never spam you!).
Have you ever been someplace that feels straight out of a dream? That you feel you could return to over & over again – even doing the EXACT same things and be happy? Carmel is that place for me. I can’t imagine anyone not absolutely loving it here – & wanted it to be my next weekend travel guide — hoping that you’ll all plan a visit in 2020!
Carmel by the Sea is a small beach town on the Monterrey peninsula – it’s slow paced, famous for it’s galleries, dog beach & the Carmel Mission. It’s truly a little peace of heaven – if your into wandering, eating, shopping, WINE – it’s an absolute must. Not to mention the fairy like cottages & beautiful homes throughout the city.
Getting there: We typically fly into San Jose – Carmel is about 1.5 hours from San Jose, & it’s the most beautiful drive along the coastal HWY 1. A few stops worth making along the way – Santa Cruz, Capitola & Monterrey. It’s easily accessible from San Francisco too if your wanting to make a longer trip. Check out my travel guide for SF here.
Where to stay: My two favorite affordable lodging options – if your wanting to be away from it all, but less than a 10 minute drive from Ocean Ave – Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley is so perfect! It sits on 850 acres of some of the most beautiful valley & golf course. Be sure to dine at Edgar’s – the herb crusted salmon is my favorite. Second, if your wanting to be right in town – walking distance to the beach, shops and restaurants – the Candlelight Inn is probably one of top five favorite accommodations, ever. Recently remodeled – gorgeous rooms, big bathtubs and fireplaces & my favorite part, each morning they leave a small cooler bag with fresh fruit, muffins & pastries and yogurt in front of your door – without disturbing you. There’s also a great outdoor fireplace and seating in front to wind down with a glass of wine after wandering. Regardless, you can’t go wrong with either choice. If your looking to splurge – we haven’t stayed here yet, but it’s totally on my bucket list – & just outside of Carmel by the Sea in Big Sur. And another bucket lister too – this iconic hotel, co-owned by Doris Day.
Must do’s & must eats: Honestly, my favorite part about Carmel is how low key we typically keep our weekend there. It’s so relaxing! But there are a few things that are worth setting time aside for.
The Carmel Mission, founded in 1797 is such a beautiful piece of history – & worth spending some time exploring. We visited just last month and got such a gorgeous glimpse of the rare fall colors!
Stroll along Carmel Beach, if your like us – preferably with a coffee & pastry in hand from Carmel Valley Coffee – (if your a dog lover, this is heaven! If you aren’t – just a warning, this is an off leash dog friendly beach). Walk, bike or drive – the17 Mile Drive along Pebble Beach. My favorite stops along the drive – Spanish Bay Beach – a great spot with picnic tables & wooden board walks, Fanshell Beach (pictured below) – get out of your car and spend some time here, some of the most beautiful coastline in the world!, & the Lone Cypress. Make sure to stop at the Pebble Beach Visitor Center too to check out some awesome golf history.
During our weekend last month we visited Folktale Winery & Vineyards for the first time ever – and it absolutely won’t be our last! We’re already planning a visit back next summer you guys, this place. So beautiful. Some of the best local wine & great food. We spent the afternoon taking the vineyard tour (book in advance!), wine tasting and having an early dinner. I can’t say enough how much we both enjoyed this.
Drive down through Big Sur – pull over like every FIVE minutes and take in the views. Make sure to stop at Bixby Bridge for a photo op – (hello my fellow Big Little Lies fans!). This entire area & coastline is literal heaven. I could write an entire post on just HERE, hmmm – maybe I should?
A few favorite places to eat. Food – it’s always the most important part of my wanderings. La Bicyclette, Little Napoli – get the eggplant parm, you won’t regret it; and Katy’s Place for breakfast. Carmel is full of little shops and restaurants – we haven’t been disappointed yet!
& saving one of my favorite parts of this town for last, Carmel is full of secret passageways & tunnels, leading to some of the most charming little courtyards and shops. Read here for an in depth guide on where to stop & wander.
Happy wandering readers. I hope this gets you kick started on planning your trip to Carmel by the Sea. I’d LOVE to hear if you make it there! Xoxo.