l o v e l y t h i n g s


before & after living room plus a new holiday tradition

This was our living room before...

One year later.... The height of the moldings on the walls were designed to incorporate our wave and pier photos taken by surf photographer Tom Servais.

We collect sand from every beach when we travel.
The long mantel gave me plenty of room to add a new family tradition.  24 days until Christmas.  Each day my kids take turns opening a small gift counting down to December 25th.  They are so thrilled, but I think it may have been more fun for me to find 12 little gifts for each of them that were meaningful and without spending a small fortune.
The entire mantel, built in bookcases and white brick was inspired by a photo in House beautiful October 2009.  The room was designed by Aaron Home and the title was, "You'll Never Get Tired of Keeping it Simple."  It was perfect!  Our contractor added a few things that made it look more traditional, but what I loved about it were the clean simple lines...so it went back to the original plan.  I have always loved white brick and we were able to use it into a few areas around our house.
                                             Aaron Hom design as seen in House Beautiful. 


  1. omg. seriously this is so, so beautiful. oh my, those bookcases are to die for. and i love that you collect sand from all the different beaches you've been to. this is just fantastic, i love every single thing about it. i love the black and white photography and wainscot. yikes, amazing.



  2. Beautiful, serene and the space is so airy.
    Love the built in storage and the mirror detail above.

    What an ingenious idea for and advent calendar.

    You must be thrilled with the results.

  3. Janet,

    Thank you! You are too kind...but I must not let you think I live in Newport. We live a little further south in Dana Point.


  4. Oh so FABULOUS!! I really love what you have done...off to read more.
    Thanks for stopping by today.

  5. Love the new room! I love white painted brick! The little galvanized buckets look so cute lined up on top! What a great idea!
    Fric and Frac

  6. I am so happy you shared your house! I am completely blown away. It is absolutely gorgeous. Can I come stay for a bit?

  7. i want your living room!!
    i like your blog:)

  8. Annie, it is just beautiful. I love all the painted woodwork and the brick...and your B&W photos! The Aaron Hom Image is one of my favorites as well. Your pails leading to Dec. 25 is just precious - LOVE it! You must be over the moon with the way your house is turning out (inside and out!).

  9. gorgeous! What a beautiful room you have.

  10. your house is gorgeous and i love the your 24 days of christmas! thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind note...

    your blog is lovely and look forward to seeing more of your beautiful home..:)

  11. So gorgeous! Just lovely, everything.

  12. Your living room looks fantastic! I love all the beachy elements, especially those b&w pictures!