Let’s Talk Trunks

Tristan and my decor tastes differ quite a bit, but we both share a love of antique/vintage objects – could be anything from a typewriter to a table. Last summer, we purchased this vintage trunk at a garage sale:

Let's Talk Trunks - TorieandTristan

It lives in storage right now, but I’m so excited that our future home will have such a statement piece that we both love. It also has practical purposes as a hope chest. I plan to put some wedding treasures in there and maybe some of our childhood memorabilia, at least until we have our own children and their stuff can go in it.

I’m gathering ideas as to how to decorate with our trunk. Here are a few functions I’m into:


Let's Talk Trunks -


Let's Talk Trunks -

Designed – for – life

Trunk and Zebra - Torie & Tristan

Belle Maison


Marcus Design Inc


Trunk and Bar - Torie & Tristan

Belle Maison

Trunk and Veuve - Torie & Tristan

Better Decorating Bible

and of course, TRUNKS AS HOPE CHESTS in the bedroom:

Bedside Trunk - Torie & Tristan

Belle Maison

Bedside Trunk 2 - Torie & Tristan

Redefined Home

Bedside Trunk 3 - Torie & Tristan

Feather and Black

Trunk by Bed - TorieandTristan

The Little Corner


You can find trunks like these at garage sales, antique stores, thrift stores, Ebay, etc. Or, if you’d like to start fresh, you can purchase trunks brand new from The Trunk Store. They come in lots of colors, sizes and finishes:

New Trunk - TorieandTristan

New Trunk Finished - TorieandTristan

What do you think of trunks? Any other uses you like?



I’m Dreaming of a Red Christmas

It’s bizarre. Ever since I got married, it’s as if I proved to myself once and for all that I am a grown up, and now my interests and aesthetic are free to become childish once again.

For instance, on my honeymoon while laying on the beach, all I wanted was a Saved By the Bell marathon session; the season where they work at a resort during summer vacation… Oh, the bliss of high school! I wanted Tristan to watch the marathon with me, of course.

During UW Husky season this fall, I would try to guess which fans were still students, and fantasize about what they were doing after the game – is there some sort of mixer? Do you have a cute little final you’re stressed out about? YOUR LIFE IS SO EASY. I miss those days (in that moment, I did, anyway).

Now a few months later, I’ve decided sacrifice my grown-up, candle-centric muted Parisian Christmas decor palette and add some fun red! Just last year, I swore off red forever, or something dramatic like that. Here’s what my last year’s decor looked like (sorry, a bit blurry):

Old Decor 2

Old Decor 3

Old Decor 4

Old Decor 5

Old Decor 6

Old Decor 7

Old Decor

As I type this, an episode of Sex and The City is on, and Samantha just goes, “Women with candles have replaced women with cats.” HA! That was me. But I still have a candle addiction so I don’t think it was just single person behavior. Anyways. Back to RED.

I’m thinking that the best way to integrate a new color without breaking the bank (a real possibility) is to do red Christmas pillows, add a few (red) candles, replace some of the wall art with some DIY red art, and make a red word sign for the tree – you know, those ones that say Tis The Season or something jolly.

Won’t you join me as I perk up our apartment with some RED this Christmas?



6 Flawless Christmas Exteriors

There’s something about those homes in iconic holiday movies — Christmas Vacation, Home Alone — that have me convinced that Christmas decor is only “done right” if it’s on a colonial home on Wisteria Lane, with tons of snow (jealous!). This of course is not reality…but like, isn’t it?!



Here’s the Home Alone one:

Top 5 Flawless Christmas Entrances - 6

Love the matching wreaths, 1-2-3!


Fun lanterns, no?

Top 5 Flawless Christmas Entrances - 1

I’m ALWAYS down for some topiary action, but I think even the neutral-to-mild topiary fan would find this version using gift boxes charming:

Top 5 Flawless Christmas Entrances - 2

I love “mossy” monograms! Totes on my DIY list for the front door.

Top 5 Flawless Christmas Entrances - 3

Aside from the architecture and snow, I’m gauging that swag, wreaths, and topiaries must equal “flawless” in my book, as those are the common features amongst most of these examples. Oh well… fact is fact!

Side note — I think it’s a blessing that I don’t have a front porch to obsess over because I just don’t think my mind has room to obsess over one more thing. Several times a week I post on this blog things I’m obsessing over and it’s NOT just a figure of speech. This newlywed Christmas business is exhausting!

What are some of the best Christmas exteriors you’ve seen? I know, tall order, as clearly I’ve captured them all. Just kidding! 🙂 I didn’t really explore the holiday lights realm. That might be an interesting research project! See? This is how the obsessing starts… some mild Google image-ing and a “quick” Pinterest search and before you know it, obsession!

Images from Wonderful Palmetto Life, Active Rain, The Gifts of Life, Style State, Decoration for Life, A View Along the Way



Winter Bedroom

I love me a good winter cabin/lodge vacation. I don’t ski or snowboard; when I go up to the mountains, I’m more of a read-a-book-by-the-fireplace-with-wine type of gal. It’s all about the snowy ambiance! This year, we’re planning to go to Lake Chelan’s Winterfest, and there’s a Wine Walk and Ice Lounge – done and DONE! Totally outdoorsy.

Stereotypically, lodge decor primarily consists of a wood and forest green color scheme, moose-shaped accents (such as a soap dispenser) and there must be a bear carved out of a tree trunk, somewhere, with of course accents of leather, plaid, and that tree pattern, and maybe fur (if you’re lucky!). Maybe some wolves, antlers and/or Native American flair as well. I will be the first to admit that these features definitely increase the coziness factor, even if they aren’t my particular style.

BUT ALAS – When researching my 2013 Christmas Decor Master Plan (this is an actual spreadsheet), I stumbled upon two bedrooms that took some of those stereotypical elements and made them quite chic. I don’t typically decorate my bedroom for the holidays, but I might have to start this year!

The first is from Pottery Barn:

Winter Bedroom v 2

I love how there’s actual pine tree branches, cones and birds on the print, yet with the mirrored nightstands, fur blanket, light wood accents, upholstered headboard, and black-edged monogrammed pillowcases, it looks completely modern! I actually have several of those accents already in my home (I’m sure I’m not the only one!), so I could fairly easily recreate the look by just buying the duvet set, which happens to be on sale.

The second is from Ralph Lauren:

Ralph Lauren Home 2

Ralph Lauren Home

They took elements that, combined, are often times too heavy or too boy-ish for my taste, such as dark mahogany, leather and plaid – but add a splash of leopard, red roses, black lacquer and a crystal lamp and all of a sudden, I’m obsessed!

I found these charming DIY monogrammed pillowcases from Sparkle Pants Girl, and LOOK – A tree! 🙂

DIY Pillowcases

I think the secret might be just to layer opulent textures and patterns… maybe it’s not so abstract after all. So many bedrooms these days are monochromatic (mine included!) to “help us unwind” at the end of a long work day. It’s just so nice to look at rooms with different color schemes with prints and patterns – ones that aren’t trying to be all zen-like and airy, but relaxing nonetheless.

What other winter bedroom accents are out there? Bonus points if there’s some sort of hunted animal :). Would love to see and hear about everyone else’s plans/ideas!



RIP Halloween, Part 2

Okay, I know we are OVER Halloween. I’ve already started developing my Newlywed Noel list – all of the new traditions I want Tristan and I to start during the holiday season. Thankfully, he’s more into Christmas than Halloween. ANYHOO – this will be the last post on Halloween.

I already shared our home’s Halloween decor this year. In past years, when my single self lived in a studio in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, I shared my seasonal decor pics on Facebook. But as I’ve bid adieu to my studio this year and now to Halloween, I thought I’d post a few of those pics now that I have an appropriate outlet to do so. RIP, little home!  : )






Check back for my 3 Recipes, 3 Days series starting TODAY! Happy Tuesday.



Best Daily Deals Ever

I thought I’d share my favorite daily deal site with you all: GroopDealz. It’s very much geared towards females, and Tristan probably would warn other husbands that it could result in your wife wanting to spend $15-$30 a day on its products. You’ve all been warned!

The site (and daily e-mail) features hugely discounted home decorating items, clothing, jewelry, monogrammed goods and kids paraphernalia. Some of the items are “so last year” (*ahem* chevron), but other items (jewelry in particular) look straight out of a J. Crew. catalog.

For instance:


You can buy it here for the next day. This is the J. Crew necklace it’s modeled after, for your reference. Not too bad, eh?

Other recent favorites of mine (now expired) include:

Convertible dress – usually these are $100+!


This gray two-tone watch is very Timex-chic. And look at all of the other colors it comes in! At that price, you could buy one for every outfit :):


And this monogrammed bag also comes in several colors/styles and is reminiscent of Longchamp’s popular Le Pliage bag.


Thankfully, many of these items resurface a few times over the next few months, so I’m hoping to have the opportunity to buy them later on.

You can subscribe to GroopDealz here. Happy shopping! 🙂