(coastal bathroom)

Now that we are on day three of being stuck inside our house due to the Polar Vortex (out of snacks, please send help), I thought I would share the room in our house that makes every day seem like a beach day…the kids’ bathroom.

I am such a sucker for a nautical vibe, so I was excited to put it to work in this bathroom.

Coastal Bath Style | casual cool beach bathroom look; light blue vanity, marble hex, subway tile

I wanted the bathroom for our future children (they were just a gleam in our eye when we built our house — as my dad would say) to be fun, but neutral enough that it could grow with them, so we chose some classics that had a lot of character.  The marble hex tile is timeless and pairs really well with the light blue vanity (color tagged at the end) and carrara marble counter top.

Coastal Bath Style | casual cool beach bathroom look; light blue vanity, marble hex, subway tile

Pro tip: you can use a floor mirror horizontally on most double vanities.  We found this one at Homegoods for just $60!  We also found the cute wooden sharks from Homegoods (my fav).

We went with chrome finishes to lend itself to a fun retro beach vibe (think Beach Blanket Bingo).  We chose the Brantford line from Moen for the faucets and shower fixtures; I really liked the look with the smooth, rounded features and thought a single handle would be easier for kids than than two (so far so good!).

Coastal Bath Style | casual cool beach bathroom look; light blue vanity, marble hex, subway tile

We went with the classic ice white subway tile with white grout and then amped up the color with this fun shower curtain that just screams “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!” (right??).  I bought this curtain at Urban Outfitters (sold out), but also found it at ModCloth and Amazon.  The wicker basket from Target adds some nice texture (and storage!).Coastal Bath Style | casual cool beach bathroom look; light blue vanity, marble hex, subway tile

I love these light fixtures because they also give me the retro beach feels – and they were very inexpensive!  They were only $40 each from Home Depot (similar here).Coastal Bath Style | casual cool beach bathroom look; light blue vanity, marble hex, subway tile

Coastal Bath Style | casual cool beach bathroom look; light blue vanity, marble hex, subway tile

We picked up this awesome print at the Bucktown Art Festival, the day before our youngest son was born this summer.  I was a hot, sweaty mess, but it was a great family day.  Our older son picked out this piece by Jillian Nickell and I absolutely love it.  Love this one, this one, and this one, too.Coastal Bath Style | casual cool beach bathroom look; light blue vanity, marble hex, subway tile

These vases are currently available at Target (white and striped).  Loving all the textured pieces from the OpalHouse collection that are making this Polar Vortex particularly difficult because they are just so darn cute and springy.Coastal Bath Style | casual cool beach bathroom look; light blue vanity, marble hex, subway tile

Lastly, the color of this vanity is Sherwin William’s Krypton.  It really is an awesome color.  It is a grey that reads more light blue and picks up all the beautiful blue undertones in the marble countertop and floor.  If you are looking for a fresh, yet subtle light blue – this is your guy!

Alright, time to zone in from this mental vacation and back into subzero temps.  How soon is too soon for a mai tai?

Happy weekend, friends!  xoxo

6 Tips for an Easy Gallery Wall

For months, every time I would walk past the giant blank wall in our living/dining room, I would grumble to myself “I should do a gallery wall.”  I kept putting it off because a. I didn’t have enough pieces and 2. I thought it had to be a very complicated process.  I scrolled through Pinterest for inspiration and was intimidated by the pin after pin of paper cutouts of different sized frames on the wall – I knew I would never do that, I just don’t have the patience.  BUT, as it turns out, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.  Here are my six tips for an easy gallery wall.

img_5803Collect your art

  1.  Use pieces that make you happy
    • Obvious, yes, but initially, I was tied to the idea that all the frames had to be the same color (I, of course, wanted all gaudy gold frames), but then I found some sketches in black frames that I really loved.  So after much deliberation I finally said “eff it, who cares if it doesn’t match as long as you like it and it makes you happy.  You’re the one who lives here…”  So don’t restrict your wall to a certain color scheme or theme.  Instead, take the “more the merrier” approach and pick pieces that will make you smile whenever you see it.  Be original.
    • Hot tip: if you have an odd-sized piece you need framed, try ArtToFrame.com – I used it for the Musee d’Orsay piece on the far right.  I went rather basic, but you can input your size, frame color/material, and matting colors for an extremely reasonable price- this was $60!  Can’t beat that for a custom framing job.
  2. Pairs create balance
    • The above being said, it doesn’t hurt to have a few pairs of the same frame to help create a visual balance.  I filled the two 8×10 gold frames with wedding photos and then used the two black-framed sketches to create some uniformity amongst the rest of the wall.
  3. Include 3d objectsimg_5798
    • Incorporating interesting, 3d items will add an extra dimension and texture to your wall and bring that flat wall to life.  My husband had a bust of a Springbok collecting dust in a box for years.  It was from a hunting trip he went on with his grandpa as a kid.  Not only does it hold a lot of sentimental value to him, but it is also quite a beautiful animal that even a non-hunter can appreciate.  We paired the Springbok with a cool, metal-caged mirror from Homegoods to offset the flat art.  I realize not everyone has a Springbok in their basement, so try a mirror, wall-planter, or sculpture to add some depth. Go shopping in a realtive’s basement or try Homegoods – my go-to source for these types of pieces (and frames).

Hanging the art

  1. Lay it all out on the floor before you hang anythingthe artesian project gallery wall layout plan
    • This is my version of the paper cutouts and it is even better (imo) because you can actually see how the colors play against each other.  Balance is the goal here, so just keep rearranging until you get there.
  2. Use anchor piecesimg_5778
    • I used this vintage buffet passed down from my grandparents as the main anchor on this wall.  It offers some structure for the gallery wall and acts as a good first focal point and allows your eyes to move up and wander from there.
  3. Don’t be an exactoimg_5808
    • There is no need to measure each piece out when you actually start hanging – that defeats the idea behind a gallery wall.  Just be consistent with the spacing between all the pieces to create a sense of harmony.

Et voila, just like that, you have yourself an exquisite gallery wall, custom-tailored to you.  Now go have some fun finding your art!img_5794

6 Tips for an Easy Gallery Wall | The Artesian Project | www.theartesianproject.com

(home sweet home)

www.theartesianproject.comWe are now all moved in and could not be happier about it!  It has taken a week to unpack and get settled, but it is really starting to feel like home sweet home.  We are so glad we decided to take the new construction route as each and every decision in the house is reflective of us – from the floor plan and material choices, all the way down to the door hardware.

We are also thrilled with our location.  Each of our commutes have been cut in half and the number of insanely delish local restaurants and coffee shops within a stone’s throw is incredible.  Not to mention all the wonderfully welcoming neighbors we have met so far!  Our block has a great sense of community and we are excited to become a part of it.

The next few weeks I will be going through room by room and detailing all of the finishes and the process so that you can nab some ideas for yourself.

Until then, have a great weekend!

(wood you like to know the recipe for adding instant character?)

Woodshop101I have always had a penchant for vintage things with loads of character, but after taking Woodworking 101 at the ReBuilding Exchange in the Spring, I want salvaged everything. I took the class with my future sis-in-law and we absolutely loved it. We hand selected our own timber and used real badass power tools over the course of the 4 week class. I will eventually be using my tabletop as the basement bar counter top – chyea!  Sidenote: if you live in the Chicago area and have never visited the ReBuilding Exchange – GO! I have found many a pieces there for projects – including the mantel that turned into our headboard and is my favorite project to date.

So naturally, I now feel compelled to sprinkle the magic of reclaimed wood all over the new house: the recipe for instant character.  I have already designed built-ins around the family room fireplace that will be using the wood pieces as counter top and shelving (contrasted against white cabinetry) which I am incredibly stoked for.  Also, as mentioned above, I will be using the tabletop piece I made in class as the counter top for the wet bar in the basement – I also plan on taking a trip to ReBuilding Exchange to select a few thick pieces to turn into open shelving above the cabinets.  I have been hemming and hawing about adding beams in the family room or the master bedroom and I think we are settled on the master (I was worried the dark beams would bring down the ceiling height in the family room).  So without further ado, here are some of my fav uses of salvaged wood that I found on the interwebs that will *hopefully* be incorporated more or less into House Wagner 2.0.

Happy Friday!


Last weekend we ventured out to the burbs to work on cabinetry selections for the house.  We had a great meeting (albeit both of us slightly hungover) and started to make some major strides in nailing down decisions for the kitchen.  While we wait for the cad drawings, I figured I would share some of the inspiration I have been referencing that I found on Houzz.  Warning: if you have never visited Houzz, make sure you clear yourself a solid 1 – 2 hour window where you can be totally unproductive before you do.


>> This kitchen below is everything.  I knew we wanted a white kitchen with some contrasting elements and when I stumbled upon this photo it felt like love.  Black and white is so classic and sophisticated, yet the use of the mixed materials on the counters and walls relax the vibe a bit and lend themselves to a slightly rustic/beachy feel.  This will be the main focal point of the house and where we will spend the most time – and I can already picture hosting some great nights around this counter.

>> Here is another lovely black and white kitchen.  This one feels slightly more refined than the above.  I really enjoy the range hood pictured here – the horizontal orientation of the panels change up the pace quite nicely.

>> And one more for good measure.  This kitchen is absolutely stunning and extremely dramatic, but I just don’t know if we are cool enough to pull it off — the brass hardware, black cabinets, and marble counter tops are beyond cool.

So that’s what we’re thinkin.  Too much?

(renegade craft fair)

Screen shot 2014-09-05 at 5.07.47 PMThis weekend is the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park and I am super stoked to go.  I am a big fan of finding one-of-a-kind pieces with some spunk made from local artisans.  Plus, being in the events business myself I like to show support to other events and the industry. 

I went to the Handmade Market back in December and came out with a slew of gifts (what up Alapash & White Nest), so now with a new house (**hopefully**) on the way, I will be on the hunt to fill those blank walls.  I think it is important to fill your house with pieces that have a story to tell – a family heirloom, a souvenir from a vacation, or something with some character.  Here are a few of this weekend’s vendors that I am looking forward to scouting out:

  • Cartografika – hoping to go with a map-themed basement (my friends didn’t nickname me Cartesian Kristy for nothin), so these super cool prints would fit in juuuuuust right.
  • CHC –  these bags are so perfect it hurts.
  • Leroy’s Place – omg Hall & Oates earrings?  I could go for that…no?  More about my love for H&O later.
  • Line and Shape Ceramics – I think layering different textures on each other is the key to a unique space and these vases have a LOT of texture – and are very different.
  • Sarah Mimo Clocks – I mean, just look at these.  Want.
  • Studio Chris – vintage-esque posters for each Chicago neighborhood.  I see you Humbolt Park.
  • Territory Design – Beautiful, handcrafted pieces from all over the globe with proceeds going back to the local artisans
  • Yoder’s Wooded Lot – love me some salvaged wood functional pieces
  • speaking of salvaged wood, I also heard that the Rebuilding Exchange’s in-shop line, RX Made will be making an appearance at the fair.