Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Green Dream Home

Hi guys!  I’m Rachel’s sister, Gwen. I just wanted to say a quick hello and welcome to Just a Touch of Gray! 
My sis and I have both grown up with a passion for the environment, but I’m not sure how it really happened. Growing up in the Midwest we seemed to be less aware of all the trendy happenings around the rest of the country.  The only thing that comes to mind is that 70’s looking crying Native American commercial worried about the trash on the side of the road.
{Come on. You guys remember this, right?}
Well, it must have stirred something in us!  I can remember the time we were so young and went door to door preaching to our neighbors to recycle their newspapers and then collecting them to be sure it happened.  (Activists at such a young age, our parents must have been so proud!)  We even started our own recycling club called F.O.R (Friendship of Recycling) underneath the stairwell in our basement.  Making use of every space we didn’t know how green we really were!  I know what you’re thinking… they sound more like eco-geeks!    
And now, while neither of us live in tree houses, peddle stationary bicycles in the closet to keep the electricity going or check up on our neighbors to be sure they know which day the recycling goes out, we continue to share a love for our planet and do what we can to be environmentally friendly in a modern world.

As former Secretary of F.O.R I’d love to share with you my “Green Dream Home” pictures and ideas if you’ll allow me!  I must start out with my all time favorite HGTV’s 2008 Green Home Giveaway in Hilton Head, SC:

 Who could resist this sunny bedroom?  Doesn’t it just scream hello day!  Large windows let in plenty of sunlight but can be specially made to reduce excess glare as well as energy loss.

I love the idea of using environmentally friendly fabrics, earthy colors and rustic wood.

The backyard is so inviting and makes use of the “local resources.”  This would definitely be an upgrade for F.O.R from underneath the stairwell J

The living and dining room has a very organic feel to it.

This neighbor is using their bins!  Check out the white frame collage in the laundry room.

The garage doubled as as the control center for solar power distribution as well as rainwater harvesting and recycling.  Not so bad, right?
Images {via}
The 2008 Green Home is registered with the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED for Homes program. LEED certification is a system for ensuring that homes and buildings are designed to be energy and resource efficient and healthy for occupants.
Hope you enjoyed!  And don’t forget your reusable shopping bags today!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meet my Sister, Gwen

I am so excited to introduce you to my beautiful sister, Gwendolyn... 

We are just 16 months apart in age, but are currently living 400 miles apart-- too far if you ask me! Charlotte, NC is where she calls home along with her fiance, Mark. She will be guest posting a segment we're calling Green Dream Home. I'll let her explain more later, but I just had to give you guys a heads up! I'm excited about it! Growing up her creativity has always shined, and I know you guys are going to love what she has in store for you!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bedroom Flooring: Carpet or Hardwood?

{Our oh-so-soft shag!}
When hubs and I first moved to Nashville 4 years ago we always rented houses with hardwood floors throughout (except bathrooms and kitchens). Well that was no different when we bought our first home. However, growing up and through college I always had carpet in my bedroom, so my feetsies had a major wake up call when everything was hard surfaces. {I'm serious. It took awhile to get used to!} Now I'm not complaining, I prefer the look of hardwoods over carpet. But it wasn't until we purchased a rug for our bedroom that we found what we had been missing out on all these years. Oh the softy goodness of waking up to a rug under foot. HEAVEN I tell you.

 So that leads me to this question... do you prefer hardwood, hardwood + rug, or carpet for your boudoir ?

I don't think I would mind the bare wood with that fire going!

Love the ceiling here. The traditional runner is all this room needs 
for a little added comfort under foot.

Looking a little skimpy coming out from underneath the bed, 
but I guess it could do the trick.

I know which side of the bed I'd want to wake up on!

Love the layered rug look!

Now I'm a hardwood kind of girl myself, but it's rooms like these that could definitely make me change my mind...

The colorful pillows and throw really give this room the punch of color it needs to stand out from the white walls and builder beige carpet. This room would not be the same without the pops of black. 

Beautiful room, but are those Bambi stools? Ek!

I'm a sucker for window seats. Cute side table lamp too!

I like this room, but I would change up the matchy matchy mirror.

 Love the rug and tufted bench {the valances (keep the panels) and chair would have to go}

 Complete with mirrored 4 poster bed, this room would be perfect for the ultimate glam girl.

Those paneled walls are gorgeous. Love the colors here.

One day I hope to have a bedroom with symmetrical windows like this one. I'd hang the curtains just like this. I'd take the chandelier while we're at it too.

 Casual and cozy - would make a great guest room.

 {images via here, here, & here}

So what'll it be? Carpet, hardwood, or rug?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wallpaper Powder Rooms

Oh how I wish I had a tiny little half bathroom to wallpaper...

Maybe with a green paisley....

Or a pretty grey... 

Or a shiny metallic...

Or perhaps a girly print...

Or maybe even lean more on the masculine side...

Or perhaps a large, neutral print....

Or something more graphic and cheery...


Or something bold {and borderline dizzying}...

Or more calming... 

Or even only half of the wall...


Regardless of color, shape, and sheen... one thing is for sure. If I had a powder room it would be dressed up in beautiful wallpaper in no time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Feature {Industrial-Natuical Kitchen}

While browsing House Beautiful this kitchen designed by Anik Pearson caught my eye. It is "modern-meets-maritime", and it is way cool! Definitely not your average kitchen. There was clearly a lot of thought and creativity put into this space. I love the combination of materials - everything from the oak board cabinets with metal details to the poured concrete cabinets.

Of course I love all the shades of grey!

 The super long and sleek handles are actually boat hardware directly from the catalog- neat!

The exposed screws are a nice touch!

I know hubs wouldn't mind chefin' it up at this workstation.
One day we'll have a gas cooktop babe, one day.

I'd like to pretend there is not a brick wall outside this window but instead a picturesque view of a marina full of catamarans and tall sails...
all above photos via House Beautiful

Something more like this...

Yes, that's much better!
Groton, Connecticut

Have a great weekend! I'm off to the beach... 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Southern Flourish

Congrats Laurel-Dawn on your feature AND cover shot for Southern Flourish online magazine!! You see I knew Laurel-Dawn in college {war eagle} and to my delight stumbled upon her blog not very long ago. Her home is tastefully decorated from top-to-bottom and is totally magazine cover worthy. See for yourself... she talks all about it on her blog - Abode Love ! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Upholstered Headboards

Ah, I just love the upholstered headboard look these days. My husband and I DIYed one last year that I will show you as soon as I can take some updated pics of the bedroom. But for now here is some inspiration... 

What a gorgeous neutral space this is! I love the curved and detailed ceiling, the comfy yet elegant chairs, and the starburst mirror above the bed. The euro pillows, super thick mattress, and fluffy down bedding make this room look extra plush!

Need a little Tiffany blue in your life? I love how they mixed it with ivory and black.
And that little window seat is too cute!

This headboard is all about the tufting. And can I get a War Eagle anyone?!
Auburn fan all the way here... and this is just how to make the orange and blue color scheme look oh so chic. I love the pillow combination.

Check out this red velvet headboard with white piping and buttons!
I am loving it with the coral print french stools!

Oh green... my favorite color!
Loving the nailhead detail here and the cute floating end table.

I LOVE the dark contrast the walls give the room. The symmetry in the space is spot on. 
I'm also digging the shape of this headboard. And I can't help but notice the little pop of green from the plant.

To me this room has sort of a global look - from the unique end table to the fabric on the pillows. I like the bedding and the textured of the fabric the headboard and foot board.

I think I love everything about this room. I mean it's goooorgeous! So calming and relaxing... I would love to walk into this room every night to lay my head! I mean, just look at the chandelier!

And last but not least... How fun is this room!? Love the mix of bold, funky patterns. They work well together because they're in the same color family. This would make such a cheery guest room!

Feeling like tackling a weekend project yet? There are tons of tutorials out there to make your own upholstered headboard. I'll share the one we used and show you our results soon. It's totally do-able project! The most time consuming part for me was choosing the fabric! Good luck!