365 Days of a Happy Home

This blog grew from a challenge to post an image a day of something that made me happy.  I did the challenge and decided to tweak this challenge for MJG Interiors.

Who doesn’t love a Happy Home? We certainly do!  Each blog post will contain one idea of something that contributes to a Happy Home. Check back often for ideas and ways to make you feel happy in your home! As always, leave us comments! Agree or disagree, there is no wrong answer. However, there is lots to learn!

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Day 149: Foyers!

by MJ Gourd


Day 149 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

The more formal entrance to your home is known as the foyer. It should say “Welcome Home” to whomever enters. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. So, make sure the area has clean walls, a rug to catch muck from wet shoes or boots, a small table to collect keys or mail and mirror to check yourself before you leave the house.

Here are a few foyers we have had the pleasure of designing… What’s in your foyer?

 Leather wrapped mirror over the small mahogany sideboard are just a few extras in this bright foyer.

Leather wrapped mirror over the small mahogany sideboard are just a few extras in this bright foyer.

 We picked Benjamin Moore’s Bold Blue (a color found in the rug) for the inside of the door. It’s a nice contrast to the grass cloth on the walls.

We picked Benjamin Moore’s Bold Blue (a color found in the rug) for the inside of the door. It’s a nice contrast to the grass cloth on the walls.

 Adjacent to the front door shown above, there is a cozy love seat and pinch pleat drapes to warm up the space.

Adjacent to the front door shown above, there is a cozy love seat and pinch pleat drapes to warm up the space.

 There wasn’t much space here, but we could fit this antique side table next to the door. It’s just enough space to drop the mail or your keys. The trim color (Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal) is a nice contrast to the walls and helps to define this cozy space.

There wasn’t much space here, but we could fit this antique side table next to the door. It’s just enough space to drop the mail or your keys. The trim color (Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal) is a nice contrast to the walls and helps to define this cozy space.

 This large foyer has a separate mud room complete with a bench and pegs. The walls are v-grove panels painted the same color as the foyer, Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Grey. The difference in texture adds visual interest.

This large foyer has a separate mud room complete with a bench and pegs. The walls are v-grove panels painted the same color as the foyer, Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Grey. The difference in texture adds visual interest.

 There is beauty in the simplicity of this foyer. The reclaimed antique brick floor can handle the elements brought into the house. The antique ogee framed mirror and antique bench complement the space.

There is beauty in the simplicity of this foyer. The reclaimed antique brick floor can handle the elements brought into the house. The antique ogee framed mirror and antique bench complement the space.


Day 148: Studio Style

by MJ Gourd


Day 148 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

Is your Happy Home defined by just 4 walls?  Or are you fortunate enough to have an "in law apartment" or separate out building on your property that you use as a guest house?  Maybe you Air BnB this space?  (Yes, I think "Air BnB" can be used as a verb!)  In either situation, you understand it can be tricky to fit in  a place to cook, dine, sleep, bathe and live into a compact space and still be able to breathe!  Here are some places we have had the good fortune to tweak for compact living!

 This kitchenette in an apartment over a garage has enough counter space to prepare a simple meal.  There is an under counter refrigerator with a panel to match the cabinets.  A high shelf will display glassware and dishes.

This kitchenette in an apartment over a garage has enough counter space to prepare a simple meal.  There is an under counter refrigerator with a panel to match the cabinets.  A high shelf will display glassware and dishes.

 Here is another galley style kitchen in a barn renovation.  We were tight on space and wanted to work around original posts in this 150 year old barn.  Again, shelves to display glassware, dishes and bowls.  Using shelves instead of upper cabinetry gives an openness to a tight space.  We added track lighting from a beam near the ceiling to highlight that wall.  The SMEG retro fridge is tucked in under a set of stairs.  This galley kitchen is separated from the living space by a half wall.

Here is another galley style kitchen in a barn renovation.  We were tight on space and wanted to work around original posts in this 150 year old barn.  Again, shelves to display glassware, dishes and bowls.  Using shelves instead of upper cabinetry gives an openness to a tight space.  We added track lighting from a beam near the ceiling to highlight that wall.  The SMEG retro fridge is tucked in under a set of stairs.  This galley kitchen is separated from the living space by a half wall.

 In this tiny bathroom we used a smaller sink in order to have more counter space.  We tucked a walk in shower into a corner (you can see the reflection in the mirror).  Here we opted for a glass shower door to make the space feel bigger.  

In this tiny bathroom we used a smaller sink in order to have more counter space.  We tucked a walk in shower into a corner (you can see the reflection in the mirror).  Here we opted for a glass shower door to make the space feel bigger.  

 This compact sofa from Kravet is actually a sleeper!  When you are short on space a sleeper sofa, day bed or futon are great options. 

This compact sofa from Kravet is actually a sleeper!  When you are short on space a sleeper sofa, day bed or futon are great options. 

 If you are still at a loss for ideas, head to your nearest IKEA!  They never disappoint with what they can do with a small space! 

If you are still at a loss for ideas, head to your nearest IKEA!  They never disappoint with what they can do with a small space! 

Have you recently moved into a studio apartment or renovated a small space lately?  We'd love to hear from you!  Comment below or send us images at hello@mjginteriors.com 


Day 147: Outdoor Folly!

by MJ Gourd


Day 147 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

Spring is finally here in New England and everyone wants to be outdoors.  Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate!  So, when dreaming of being outdoors, I am reminded of some great projects we have been involved with and the follies for inspirations.  Do you have a folly in your yard to make you happy?  Here are some pictures for your own inspiration...

 Functional and Beautiful!  This pergola was designed using the geographic location in order to provide the proper amount of shade most of the year.   Thanks Ramsay Gourd Architects for your keen understanding of how this all went together! 

Functional and Beautiful!  This pergola was designed using the geographic location in order to provide the proper amount of shade most of the year.   Thanks Ramsay Gourd Architects for your keen understanding of how this all went together! 

 To the right of the pergola we placed a pool house.  As you will see in the next picture, it is a great place to get changed or take a nap!

To the right of the pergola we placed a pool house.  As you will see in the next picture, it is a great place to get changed or take a nap!

 Great for napping by the pool (there is even a trundle bed under the day bed).  And cold drinks are stored in the fridge in the right side cabinet.  

Great for napping by the pool (there is even a trundle bed under the day bed).  And cold drinks are stored in the fridge in the right side cabinet.  

 This image is courtesy of Ramsay Gourd Architects.  This pond house cantilevers over the pond for a great jumping off point.  It doubles as a ice skating pavilion in the winter time. You can sit on the edge, put on your skates and off you go!

This image is courtesy of Ramsay Gourd Architects.  This pond house cantilevers over the pond for a great jumping off point.  It doubles as a ice skating pavilion in the winter time. You can sit on the edge, put on your skates and off you go!

 This adorable doll house is available through Jamaica Cottage Shops.  We love the double doors on the end. They make storing larger items so much easier.

This adorable doll house is available through Jamaica Cottage Shops.  We love the double doors on the end. They make storing larger items so much easier.

 Another beauty from Jamaica Cottage Shops is this greenhouse.  Super cute!

Another beauty from Jamaica Cottage Shops is this greenhouse.  Super cute!

 Dream big for your Happy Home!!!  Take inspiration from the Pagoda Tea House at the Marble House in Newport, RI.

Dream big for your Happy Home!!!  Take inspiration from the Pagoda Tea House at the Marble House in Newport, RI.

 Outdoor follies can provide their own space for inspiration.  Here is one of my favorites located on Garden Island in Lake Champlain off the coast of Charlotte, VT.  It is built into the cliffs of the island and impossible to get a photo of unless you are out on the lake in a boat.  This will have to do for my inpiration!  I'll take it! 

Outdoor follies can provide their own space for inspiration.  Here is one of my favorites located on Garden Island in Lake Champlain off the coast of Charlotte, VT.  It is built into the cliffs of the island and impossible to get a photo of unless you are out on the lake in a boat.  This will have to do for my inpiration!  I'll take it! 


Day 146: Relaxing Color!

by MJ Gourd


Day 146 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

Life is stressful!  Our surroundings can calm us down or send us in a tail spin!  Why not surround yourself with soothing colors in your Happy Home?  Here are some of our favorites...

  Benjamin Moore's  Province Blue on the vanity is a nice compliment to Ben Moore's Summer Shower on the walls.  These colors, along with the marble floor and vanity top help to create this relaxing bathroom.

Benjamin Moore's Province Blue on the vanity is a nice compliment to Ben Moore's Summer Shower on the walls.  These colors, along with the marble floor and vanity top help to create this relaxing bathroom.

 White on white on white!  Ahhhhh!  The Simply White trim with the Dove white walls and the marble help relax us.  Add the polished nickle faucet and sconce plus the children's silhouettes and we just have to smile.   

White on white on white!  Ahhhhh!  The Simply White trim with the Dove white walls and the marble help relax us.  Add the polished nickle faucet and sconce plus the children's silhouettes and we just have to smile.

 

 More white on white with pops of blue.  Sweet dreams!

More white on white with pops of blue.  Sweet dreams!

 Change rooms, change focus without losing that relaxing feeling.  Tan walls with a flat finish surrounded by chocolate brown trim with a satin finish.  Don't you just want to cozy up with a good book?

Change rooms, change focus without losing that relaxing feeling.  Tan walls with a flat finish surrounded by chocolate brown trim with a satin finish.  Don't you just want to cozy up with a good book?

 The walls are  Ben Moore's  Woodlawn Blue and the trim is Kendall Charcoal.  It easily brings you into the office where the trim is Kendall Charcoal with Muslin walls.  

The walls are Ben Moore's Woodlawn Blue and the trim is Kendall Charcoal.  It easily brings you into the office where the trim is Kendall Charcoal with Muslin walls.  

 The two tone walls in this dining room help to create an intimate setting for a dinner party.  I like to use a darker color below a chair rail.  It helps to ground the space.

The two tone walls in this dining room help to create an intimate setting for a dinner party.  I like to use a darker color below a chair rail.  It helps to ground the space.

Where will you use calming color?  Share your ideas and comments with us!  We love to hear from you.


Day 144: Kids Bedrooms!

by MJ Gourd


Day 144 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

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Want to make your kid's bedroom have some longevity?  It's hard to pick just the right furniture and decor to grow with your son or daughter.  Take a look at these kids rooms we have done that can easily transition to the next stage of life...

 The loft bed shown here and in the photo at the top of the blog is from CollegeBedLofts.com.  It came disassembled and unstained.  We could stain or paint whatever we wanted.  There are added features that we didn't choose like a desk  or bookshelves.  We placed a PBTeen sectional underneath for hanging out or sleepovers.  This set up works well from middle school through high school.  It can be made feminine by the paint color, bedding and art. 

The loft bed shown here and in the photo at the top of the blog is from CollegeBedLofts.com.  It came disassembled and unstained.  We could stain or paint whatever we wanted.  There are added features that we didn't choose like a desk  or bookshelves.  We placed a PBTeen sectional underneath for hanging out or sleepovers.  This set up works well from middle school through high school.  It can be made feminine by the paint color, bedding and art. 

 We decorated this room for a 2nd grade girl.  The dandelions on the wall are custom, and can be re-positioned or removed very easily.  They mimic the dandelions in the shade fabric ( Duralee  Fabric).  With a few tweaks (stuffed animals) this room can easily take this young lady through her middle school years.  

We decorated this room for a 2nd grade girl.  The dandelions on the wall are custom, and can be re-positioned or removed very easily.  They mimic the dandelions in the shade fabric (Duralee Fabric).  With a few tweaks (stuffed animals) this room can easily take this young lady through her middle school years.  

 These headboards (made from skis my client no longer used) can go in a boy's or girl's room.  They are fun for any kid who skis, no matter what the age!

These headboards (made from skis my client no longer used) can go in a boy's or girl's room.  They are fun for any kid who skis, no matter what the age!

 These built in daybeds are ready for any preteen and can take them all the way through high school.  The built in shelves have a charging station (you've got to keep your devices charged!) plus a dimmable night light (for those afraid of the dark...come on, you know who you are!)  The grey and orange paint can be made more masculine or feminine with pillows and bedding.   

These built in daybeds are ready for any preteen and can take them all the way through high school.  The built in shelves have a charging station (you've got to keep your devices charged!) plus a dimmable night light (for those afraid of the dark...come on, you know who you are!)  The grey and orange paint can be made more masculine or feminine with pillows and bedding.   

 This is definitely a young girl's room.  But, remove the Raggedy Ann dolls and it can work for a middle school or high school girl.

This is definitely a young girl's room.  But, remove the Raggedy Ann dolls and it can work for a middle school or high school girl.

 Here we are back at the 2nd grade girl's bedroom.  Her desk is a bit small for an older child, but the lamp, desk chair and book rack can transition nicely as she gets older.  She'd definitely need new art work, though! 

Here we are back at the 2nd grade girl's bedroom.  Her desk is a bit small for an older child, but the lamp, desk chair and book rack can transition nicely as she gets older.  She'd definitely need new art work, though! 

How have you created your kid's room to grow with them?  We'd love to see your pictures!


Day 143: The Well Equipped Bathroom!

by MJ Gourd


Day 143 Of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

 This is one of our favorites...wall to wall mirror glass, double sinks, marble top, lever handle faucets and high gloss vanity!

This is one of our favorites...wall to wall mirror glass, double sinks, marble top, lever handle faucets and high gloss vanity!

These days a standard bathroom will have a toilet, sink and a shower/tub combo.  A "Well Equipped" bathroom takes those standard items to the next level, but without going over the top.  Perhaps the toilet is "comfort height" with an elongated bowl.  The vanity has double sinks with lever handle faucets (easy to turn on and off). The shower has at least one glass wall, a rain head and a hand held shower (easy to clean the shower with this) plus a hidden niche for shampoo storage.  A "Well Equipped" bathroom doesn't have to break the bank.  Here are some examples of bathrooms we have provided for our clients that we would consider "Well Equipped":

 This small bathroom had room for a shower but no tub.  The entrance to the shower is all glass.  This along with the darker tile on the lower half of the walls makes the space feel bigger.  We added a handheld shower for easier cleaning.  

This small bathroom had room for a shower but no tub.  The entrance to the shower is all glass.  This along with the darker tile on the lower half of the walls makes the space feel bigger.  We added a handheld shower for easier cleaning.  

 What about a bench in the shower?  We matched the bench top to the vanity tops...local marble!  We also tiled the ceiling of the shower using the small glass tile in the decorative band.  Its a colorful surprise once you're in the shower!

What about a bench in the shower?  We matched the bench top to the vanity tops...local marble!  We also tiled the ceiling of the shower using the small glass tile in the decorative band.  Its a colorful surprise once you're in the shower!

 Don't forget to hang a robe hook by the tub or shower.  You won't regret it!  Neither will your guests!

Don't forget to hang a robe hook by the tub or shower.  You won't regret it!  Neither will your guests!

 Low on wall space for towel bars?  How about adding robe hooks to the back of the door?   We had fun in this boys bathroom and used pipe fittings to create this sturdy towel holder.  

Low on wall space for towel bars?  How about adding robe hooks to the back of the door?   We had fun in this boys bathroom and used pipe fittings to create this sturdy towel holder.  

 In this renovated barn we added a window seat with cushion made out of indoor/outdoor fabric (from  Donghia ).  We also added a "train rack" for extra towel storage.  Notice that we added a back splash behind this stand alone tub.  It is attractive and will save the walls from water damage!

In this renovated barn we added a window seat with cushion made out of indoor/outdoor fabric (from Donghia).  We also added a "train rack" for extra towel storage.  Notice that we added a back splash behind this stand alone tub.  It is attractive and will save the walls from water damage!

 In this renovation we were able to reuse a cast iron claw foot tub.  It fit nicely in the dormer's eave.

In this renovation we were able to reuse a cast iron claw foot tub.  It fit nicely in the dormer's eave.

What can you do to make your bathroom "Well Equipped"?  Share photos, we love to see what you've done!