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Dining Room // Pendant

18 Dec

Well friends, we finally installed our rad new pendant! If you feel like testing your communication skills for fun, try hanging a light with your spouse. It was like World War 3 in our dining room for a few hours. Alas, she’s up and I am thrilled!

Here’s a little before photo with our vintage Danish dining table and chairs:


This is no epic after photo, but that’s actually what I love most about this little change: all we did was switch the pendant and it made a HUGE impact.




Of course, the Christmas garland won’t be up all year but it went up at the same time as this light so you get an after photo and a look at our holiday decor…double whammy! Just what you wanted, I know.

Someday, we’d like to swap out the slate floor for wood and there may or may not be wallpaper going up in the new year. I’m crossing my fingers we can make the wallpaper happen soon!

Happy Hump Day!

Carpe Diem,


Light source: West Elm

Dining Room // Inspiration

4 Dec

I’ve been on the hunt for a dining room pendant since Spring (oh, such a rough life). I knew we’d go with the Sea Anemone for our foyer and the Coral David Trubridge for our living room, but the dining room stumped me. Slowly I began to realize I was attracted to the same style light; architectural, metal, understated yet dramatic.






I’d happily live in any of those spaces. Agreed? I know you’re dying to know: I did find a pendant and it was love at first sight. This stunner dropped me dead in my tracks at…believe it or not, West Elm (I literally couldn’t believe it at first). At only $249 it was already a great price, but then I scored this baby steeply discounted during a lighting sale as well. WINNER! It is possible to get awesome lighting for cheap! We’ll be installing her this weekend, which means a “before & after” next week.

Happy Hump Day!

Carpe Diem,


Image sources 1/2/3/4/5

BurnCycle // Get The Look

14 Nov

I’m pretty stoked how BurnCycle’s front seating area turned out. Although there are not many elements, we (okay, maybe just me) heavily debated those elements. Compared to every other detail involved in opening a spinning studio & starting a company, this was very minuscule, BUT we needed a seating area and it needed to be awesome. See the inspiration here & the final photos here. Here’s how to get the look:

BurnCycle Shop List

Bike Lights // DIY comin’ at ya next week. You won’t believe how simple & cheap it is.

Benches // These are knock-off Barcelona benches from

Terrarium & Leafy Plant // I stopped into a local flower shop in the Pearl District (hey, Sammy’s Flowers – you guys are wonderful!) and purchased a pre-made terrarium for only $39. The best thing about terrariums is they are really hard to kill. Really, really hard to kill. Bingo! We picked up a few Medrone branches from Sammy’s Flowers for the photo shoot, but a Fiddle Leaf Fig would be a more permanent option.

Orange Lacquer Tray // We needed a pop of color on the clear coffee table against the neutral rug, which made this orange tray from West Elm the perfect solution.

Orange Pillows // Another pop of color on the minimalist style bench. I love the oversized scale on these and guess what? They’re Ikea.

Acrylic Coffee Table // We wanted something simple, modern & almost non-descript…enter the classic acrylic table from CB2.

Jute Rug // I love these rugs for multiple reasons, mostly because they offer great texture while being neutral & simple. Although Jute is uber durable, it is not soft (which is also why it works in a spinning studio where everyone always has shoes on…hopefully). We got this one from Target, but for a home, my personal favorite is this super soft wool/jute combo from Pottery Barn.

There ya have it! What do you think? If you’re in PDX, swing by BurnCycle for the best work-out of your life and to see this beloved seating area (obviously, the latter is exactly why you’ll go).

Carpe Diem,


*image source for terrarium (how gorgeous is that online shop based in Seattle?)

*image source for fiddle leaf fig unknown, found via Pinterest


13 Nov

BurnCycle has officially been cruising through its first two months of spinning and guess what? They’re ordering more bikes this week thanks to continuously sold out classes. Before there were spinners on the bikes though, the space looked like this:


Also known as Banner Bank. Now, that glass room is gone & the majority of the space above is the actual spinning studio. We converted the back storage room area into two bathrooms; one large locker room for women with 2 showers and a separate small locker room for men with 1 shower.

With a lot of demo, a thick coat of new paint, and some killer branding, this lovely corner in the Pearl District now looks like this:



There are three elements in this build that made the world of a difference: polished concrete, white walls and a black ceiling. None of which existed before we got our hands on it. Yes, I literally debated concrete stain options with the builder. No, concrete doesn’t just naturally look like that despite preconceived notions (how annoying, right?). Of course, the furnishings & awesome lighting make a huge impact as well.  I’ll be sharing how to get “the look” of the little seating area tomorrow (with the rad-tastic cheap sources)!

I’ll also be sharing a DIY on the ah-maz-ing bike lights! All my sisters idea & executed by my pops. When I say tomorrow, I promise tomorrow. Unlike last time when I said “soon” and that was 2.5 months ago. I’m back on the blogging bandwagon. Pinky promise.

Carpe Diem,

*All “after” photos by the crazy-talented Ty Milford. Go now & drool over his photography. Killer branding by the also crazy-talented Laura Schalk.

BurnCycle // Inspiration

30 Aug

It’s really convenient when a family member decides to start a spinning studio that she has an interior designer for a sister and a father who once owned a construction company. Boom: insta-family business. Insert my sister starting BurnCycle, a boutique full body cycling studio.

Now, this is her baby, so I am just here to help finesse her vision (and make decisions that nobody wants to, like what color rubber trim or bathroom stall to choose). Regardless, there is always inspiration involved!

Concept: Simple, clean-lined, organic, industrial, funky. Key word: funky. There may or may not be a giant photo of the Dalai Lama riding an indoor bicycle involved. It has to be so good, that people keep coming back.

Screen shot 2013-08-28 at 8.58.32 PM

Modern Funky Interior

I love how simple these interiors are, yet they are far from boring. The minimalist-modern aesthetic is the perfect combination, with a serious punch of wow.

Grand opening is end of this month and I’ll be sharing final shots in the near future. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Carpe Diem,


Hotel photography by Manolo Yliera.

Interiors photo by Saulo Lisias.

Before & After: Exterior Paint

6 Jun

Finally. The very first before & after of our home…on the world wide web. Yikes. It’s been a while since I looked at these before photos and seeing them again reminded me how far we’ve come with just one DIY: the exterior paint job.

Here’s our 1967 Ranch before:






From our inspiration, we knew we wanted gray. But, there are far too many paint options in this world (can I get an Amen?!) I looked through paint wheel after paint wheel and decided upon two samples: Benjamin Moore Deep Space (right) and Anchor Gray (left).


I decided Anchor Gray was too safe and took the plunge for Deep Space. It made the world of a difference.






Pretty amazing what a coat of paint can do, isn’t it? Also, we removed the shutters + added some spicy new house numbers. They were our very first purchase for this home and I absolutely love them. Maybe a little too much…as in, I shouldn’t be that attached to house numbers. But, you’ve got to admit they’re amazing + were only $6 each from Home Depot.

Next is the front door + painting the screen door a bit more orange and then, someday soon, staining the deck.

There ya have it, friends!

Carpe Diem,


Exterior Paint Inspiration

22 May

When Zach and I were on the home hunt, we knew we wanted to paint our future home gray. After inspections, we decided it need a few exterior repairs and therefore a paint job as well. So, that giaaaaaant project got moved up to this summer…asap. Days of prep….days, I’m telling ya. Then 3 solid days of manual labor…thank God for my father, who can do anything to a home that needs to happen. And randomly (or not if you know my family) had a spray paint machine. Alas, we saved a boat load of $$ and it was our first foray into home-ownereship. WOAH. Good thing we love the color because we ain’t doing that again! (But seriously, if you semi know what you’re doing, you can do it yourself!)

Back to the fun stuff. Pinterest, as usual, came to the rescue for inspiration.

Dark Exterior Paint via Ciao Darling 1

Dark Exterior Paint via Ciao Darling 2

Dark Exterior Paint via Ciao Darling 3

Dark Exterior Paint via Ciao Darling 4

We have an adorable bright red screen door that is going to get a fresh paint job as well. I wish I could remember where my inspiration for a high gloss black door came from, but here is a great photo of what the front & inside of our door will look like shortly (if all goes as planned this weekend)!


I’ll be back shortly with before photos of our house & paint samples! Can’t wait to share the afters…it looks like an entirely different home and truly feels like “ours” now.

Happy Wednesday!

Carpe Diem,


Images via Pinterest 

Gettin’ Cozy.

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

Last weekend was spent in South Lake Tahoe mostly on the mountain, but equally as much cozied in front of our big fireplace. Since then, I’ve continued to crave the simple life of huddling up in front of a fireplace where your main priority is to do nothing at all. With good company. With a good glass of wine or a big cup of tea. Something about a fireplace takes me back to the simple, truly enjoyable things in life, away from being sucked into our smart phones, constantly needing to be in the loop.

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite fireplaces that I would happily plop in front of any day!

Cozy Fireplace via Ciao Darling Blog 1

Cozy Fireplace via Ciao Darling Blog 3

Cozy Fireplace via Ciao Darling Blog 4

Cozy Fireplace via Ciao Darling Blog 5

Clearly, I am drawn to crisp whites with natural elements such as brick, concrete and a rustic woods. I couldn’t resist sharing these two colorful fireplaces as well:

Cozy Fireplace via Ciao Darling Blog 2

Cozy Fireplace via Ciao Darling Blog 6

I love the use of colorful, bold tile in an otherwise traditional white setting. The Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs is on my list of hotels to see, this fireplace being just a tiny glimpse of the color explosion that is the hotel. Not only is this fireplace chic, modern and invigorating, it’s also outdoors. Major bonus!

Who’s ready to spend Valentine’s day cuddled up in front of one of these babies? I am!

Hug those you love extra close today. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Carpe Diem,


Images 1/2/3-anyone know?/4/5/6


31 Jan

I know outdoor chandeliers are no new concept, but ever since I’ve started dreaming and scheming for a girlfriends outdoor vineyard wedding this summer, I’ve become slightly obsessed with the idea. The drama! The flair! The light!

outdoor chandelier 1

outdoor chandelier 2

outdoor chandelier 4

outdoor chandelier 5

I simply love the idea for events, but I also love the idea for dressing up a backyard too. As we’ve been on the house hunt, I will soon have my very own back yard for the first time e-v-e-r. I’m thinking it might need a chandelier. Let’s see if I can convince the Mr. on that one though!

This Ikea chandelier could do the trick. It is also ideal for outside because well, it’s 40 bucks and really won’t last more than one summer, let alone one impromptu rain storm. Here’s what I’m going for (I’ll take the house too…)

outdoor chandelier 6

What do you think? Am I crazy? In my opinion, chandeliers are always a good idea. Champagne too.

Happy Thursday!

Carpe Diem,


Image 1/2/3/4/5

High Point Market

11 Oct

Friends, I am leaving for High Point Market on Sunday. Words can not express how pumped I am to be attending the nations largest furniture mart for a buying trip.

As in, this is how **seriously stoked** I am….

TrotterPup Instagram

LET’S DO THIS! Shopping is my cardio….

TrotterPup Instagram

Hopefully I look like this….instead of the first-timer youngin’ that I truly am…

TrotterPup Instagram

And this will be me by the end of the trip….

TrotterPup Instagram

Follow us @vanillawood on Twitter (#hpmkt), Instagram and Facebook for daily updates!

Carpe Diem,


PS. Follow TrotterPup on Instgram for more photos of the precious pup above. It’ll surely brighten your day.


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