valentine's wishlist


Between meeting with contractors, gathering estimates, picking out new finishes and fixtures, finding furniture, and preparing for our closing tomorrow, it has been a busy couple of weeks! Unfortunately I think all of the running around has caught up with me and I have been a bit under the weather for the past few days...and what weather it has been! I admit I am happy that another ice storm has given me the excuse to stay home today and finally think a bit about what I would like for Valentine's Day! I am willing to bet that any one of these lovely little items on my wishlist would make me feel a lot better:

Red Zebra Scarf
Gold Elephant Earrings
Rose Quartz Coasters
Plum Pretty Sugar Robe
Pink Agate Coasters
Hanky Panky Roses

friday finds so far and a big ballard designs sale!


Before we moved from Boston, we got rid. of. everything. and up until about a week ago, the only furniture my husband and I had to our name was an Ikea dining room table and chairs (which we bought off of Craigslist) and two dressers, all of which have been vacationing in our storage unit for the past six months. Little furniture made for an easier move, but now that we have a house to fill, it has certainly complicated the next step. I got some shoppin' to do, and I have started! 

Here are my finds so far:

If you follow me on Instagram, you are well aware (from all of my shameless gloating) that perhaps my best find from the past few weeks was this set of dining room chairs and a table that I found on Craiglist for $200!!!:

and boom goes the dynamite

When we picked them up (we were only able to fit one of the six chairs in the back of our CRV, but luckily the rest of the set fit in the back of the seller's truck), I asked a bit about their history. Unfortunately, all I could find out was that they were originally purchased in Miami. I will do some more research, but in the meantime, might any of you lovely readers have some additional insight?

I also bought a bamboo coffee table! And although it was not this one, it was certainly based on it:

$1,338.75 from Interior Home Scapes

I fell in love with this vintage bamboo beauty, too, which was about half the price of the table above, but still about twice the price we wanted to pay--you know, after buying a house...:

$650 from Feelin' Vintage

Not to get my mother-in-law's hopes up--but as fabulous as this last one was, I thought it was a bit too far from future kid friendly. However; since I didn't claim it for myself, you still can! Although I will be very jealous... 

But fear not--we found one! A beautiful one! For $220!

$220 from Tim and Kim Show on Etsy

The best part? Shipping was ridiculously reasonable because Tim and Kim used Greyhound's shipping service, which I didn't even know existed and could consequently be my best find of the week! Plus I got to go to the gorgeous Greyhound Station to pick it up:

Good times...

Anyway, another one of my new prized possessions is the blue and white umbrella stand that I have been wanting for so long...

Here is my umbrella stand inspiration:

$688 from Christie's

Aaand here is my new umbrella stand!:

$88 from

SO: now we have two dressers, two dining room tables with chairs, a coffee table and an umbrella stand! I mean, what else could we possibly need?!

But to be completely honest, I admit I've also bought a bunch of other stuff, although none of it was really a find, per se :-/ Who needs a new roof anyway? Oh wait, we do...

Enough about me, let's talk about you! Did you hear Ballard Designs is having a 20% off everything sale for their 30th Anniversary?! It's true! You have through February 24th! Aaand go...

Here are my favorites from Ballard Designs:

Goodbye for now and have a great weekend!

the big announcement!


As I mentioned yesterday, I have two big announcements to make today!:

I think the first announcement is already quite clear, but if not...


For weeks now I have been working with the lovely Lisette from High Note Designs to give shell & chinoiserie a facelift. Although Lisette might beg to differ, I have been waiting as patiently as possible to reveal the new look to you all, and the time has finally arrived...


I began shell & chinoiserie nine months ago today, which is quite the uncanny coincidence given the timing of the new design reveal!

Here is a screen shot of my first post from May...and of my original design, which I sketched on construction paper with colored pencils!:

shell & chinoiserie has come a long way in the past nine months, and so have I! Read on for the second big announcement, but fair warning: I'm feeling a little nostalgic today...

While bobbing in Thailand's Andaman Sea last spring, my husband and I thought a lot about our future and made the difficult decision to move back to Charleston from Boston.

Blissful Bobbing...

We laughed, we cried...and then we got wrinkly from the water, so we dried off and celebrated with "a few" fruity drinks...

When we got home from our honeymoon, I felt more mentally prepared than ever to find a house to turn into our home, but logistically we just weren't there yet, so I started shell & chinoiserie as a way to collect inspiring spaces and places, as well as document my own ideas.

Blogging from Boston!

Soon after I started shell & chinoiserie, my friend Andrea of The Glam Pad--who has been so supportive of my blog since the beginning--helped me share the news that we would be moving, as well as my plans to share our progress with you all, which I have done, so my apologies if I sound like a broken record. But bear with me just a little longer...:

After a long summer of packing and saying some really sad goodbyes, August arrived and we made the move to Charleston...

...where we have been temporarily living in my family's home on a little, boat-access barrier island. Fun, you say? Yes--very fun! Fun for a weekend. Or maybe even a week. But not for six months...

My husband's hour and fifteen-minute-long commute to work currently consists of a golf cart ride, a ferry ride (if the ferry's running), and a car ride--most of which have been cold lately! Having said that, we have loved life on our little island, and have appreciated the opportunity to live rent free and lease free while we got our feet on the ground! But boy are we are desperate to get back to society...aaand delivery pizza!

So in the fall we started house hunting, and after an emotional and exhausting three months, the roller coaster ride has come to an end...


Our New Home!

As you can see, the home is not the Lowcountry style we were originally looking for, but we fell in love with the interior the second we walked through the door and we are beyond happy with the exterior, too. And after admittedly feeling so homesick for New England throughout the fall, we actually welcome the more traditional style!

One of my favorite parts? Many of the trees surrounding the home lose their leaves in the winter, and will therefor become quite colorful in the fall! That arch window above the front door will be the new shell & chinoiserie headquarters, so I can't wait to sit and watch the seasons as I write... :)

So much transition has taken place in my life since I started shell & chinoiserie last May, and blogging has been one of the few constants in all of the chaos. That and my saint of a husband. And YOU all have seriously been my cheerleaders, so THANK YOU! Thank you for your enthusiasm, support, and advice about blogging, designing, and life along the way--it is much-needed, and much-appreciated.

I am so excited to continue to share the next phase with you all here on the new and improved shell & chinoiserie. I am also excited to share more photos of our home than you would ever want to see as we update and decorate over the next few months! But for today I will leave you with the following two photos--perhaps not the most flattering, but certainly fun considering where we were a year ago and where we are now:

BIG announcement on the blog tomorrow!!! Aaand the bachelor...


I am so excited to make not one, but two BIG announcements on the blog tomorrow!!!

But first--can we talk about The Bachelor?!

I know, I know--it is my major guilty pleasure. And if you think I didn't hesitate to admit to you all that I watch the show (and love every second of it), well pffft! But I don't want to talk about the bachelor (especially after how he handled that "little sitch" with Clare last night), I want to talk about the scenery! 

It's no secret that I am a little obsessed with Southeast Asia and all of its tropical inspired spaces and cultural infused structures, so I was equally as excited as the show's champagne-laden ladies to learn that Vietnam was the next stop on their--wait for it--journey to find love.

But then it got even better when the limo rolled up to the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, a gorgeous new resort that I posted about in October!:

Almost a year ago now(!), my husband and I took our own romantic trip to the region when we spent our honeymoon in Thailand, so when our friends announced last fall that they would be spending theirs in Vietnam, I just had to share their most sacred trip with the world, duh!

When I posted about their trip last fall, I figured their photos were as close as I would get to Vietnam, but then there was The Bachelor... If you didn't get the grand tour given by Juan Pablo last night, I recommend you watch the episode on just to see the sights.

In the meantime, here are a few more photos for you:

Check out these decorative doors in Vietnam's Marble Mountains through which Juan Pablo and "Nikki the Nurse" (good Lord) strolled after repelling into "Hell":

Ummm...HELL-o! (Sorry--couldn't resist).

And how cool are these bamboo basket boats?!

Aaand as demonstrated by Juan Pablo and Clare on last night's episode, it doesn't take much to get this boat a rockin'... Tip your waitresses, folks.

Moving right along, here are some other pics taken by our friends during their Vietnam honeymoon as they explored the local sights surrounding the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. Much like Juan Pablo and his sauced suitors, our friends participated in a local lantern festival, as well as enjoyed Vietnam's fresh and fragrant local foods:

I hope Juan Pablo redeems himself next week, but if not, at least we'll have New Zealand! ;)

Enjoy, and hope to see you back here tomorrow for the BIG announcements!


bistro chairs for the blue and white bash!


It's par-tay time at The Pink Pagoda!

I would like to invite you to attend Jennifer's fourth Blue and White Bash today! If you are a blogger, you can link-up and share your own post, or if you are a reader, you can simply sit back and behold all of the beautiful blue and white!

Today is my third time attending one of Jennifer's bashes; the first time I brought a recreation of a blue and white room by Meg Braff, the second time I brought some blue and white ways to decorate for Christmas, and today I thought I would be practical by bringing some extra seating to the party...

This time of year, the thought of sitting outside at a sidewalk cafe, sipping on (insert preferred beverage here) while watching the world go by, sounds just peachy... But we're being practical today and for most of us, it's just not warm enough yet. Not even here in South Carolina, which--by the way--was covered in ice a few short days ago...

The good news? You can bring a little bistro home! These beautiful blue and white bistro chairs shouldn't be confined to sidewalk cafes, or even indoor bistros, but should instead be considered for a variety of dining decor. They add texture and color to a room, as well as a surprising element of sophisticated style worthy of any chic Parisian...

VoilĂ !:

bistro chairs

bistro chairs

bistro chairs

Katie Ridder and Peter Pennoyer's home via Elle Decor

bistro chairs

bistro chairs
Elle Decor, September 2007

bistro chairs
Hooked? Here is some bistro to bring home:

bistro chair
$159 from Pottery Barn

bistro chair
$289 from Pottery Barn

bistro chair
$299 from American Country

$232.95 from Maison Midi

$232.95 from Maison Midi

bistro chair
$103 from Decor N More

$329.95 from Maison Midi

$232.95 from Maison Midi

$272.95 from Maison Midi

bistro chair
$245 from Serena and Lily

bistro chair
$225 from Serena and Lily

bistro chair
$295 from Serena and Lily

bistro chair
$295 from Serena and Lily

bistro chair

bistro chair

Enjoy, and stay tuned for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT on shell & chinoiserie later this week!

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