It’s that time of year again, with the holidays fast approaching and the anticipatory desire to add some special touches to our homes as we open our doors to family and friends in celebration of this special season! As I am always keen to incorporate elements that bring comfort, quality and elegance to our spaces during these festive months, I was ecstatic when the opportunity arose to partner with the amazing team at MagicLinen … they are a company that I have long admired for their superb offerings and sound production methods, so it is an absolute delight to share some of their gorgeous goods with you!

But first, let me share a little bit of backstory for those unfamiliar with the brand. MagicLinen is a small, family-run operation based in Lithuania which specializes in handmade linen textiles for the home, with an accompanying clothing line as well. Each beautiful piece is expertly handcrafted in their studio by artisans using only high-quality, European OEKO-Tex certified linen. One of the distinctive features of their organic linen is that it is stonewashed, a technique employed to soften the fabric without resorting to the use of any toxic chemicals, which ultimately lends THE most incredibly soft feel to the fabric. With a most exquisite array of colorways, ranging from muted, dusty pastels to a deliciously inky aubergine, they have produced such a stunning collection of fine fabrics used in bedding, tablecloths, napkins, aprons, curtains, garments, etc. which are readily shipped to customers worldwide. What I particularly adore about their textiles is how their linens manage to look and feel both casual and luxe at once, which is a quality I appreciate as it just amplifies the decorating possibilities!

‘Tis the season, of course, so I couldn’t help but choose a set of their festive table runner and napkins to create a holiday tablescape in our dining room, juxtaposing natural and refined elements…

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This very merry set is comprised of the Limited Edition Red Pom Pom Trim Linen Table Runner and the accompanying Limited Edition Red Pom Pom Trim Linen Napkin Set.

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This set is so perfectly simple and striking in its appeal!

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Because MagicLinen is especially known and loved for their bedding, I also chose one of their cozy waffle blankets and a pair of their linen pillowcases to use in our tiny guest room. I just love the interplay of the yellow and orange hues (their colorways are so fun to mix and match with!) in this bed I dressed just in time for holiday visitors.

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I am so enamored with the textural beauty that is their Cinnamon Waffle Blanket!

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Their Moss Yellow Linen Pillowcase is such a gorgeous shot of saturated color and so lovely to the touch. There’s nothing better than sleeping on crisp linen!

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And also, the blanket is perfect as a throw to keep warm on these chilly winter nights! It can move from bedside to fireside very easily…

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Now is the perfect time of year to treat yourself or a special someone with an amazing piece of artisanal linen which will certainly be cherished for posterity…check out their full collection of beautiful product at MagicLinen! Happy Holidays, everyone!

  • I have partnered with MagicLinen and received product in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% my own.
  • *Images and text by Astrid Insieme


With the holidays a recent memory and the new year upon us, I always feel that our interior spaces need a deliberate dose of refreshing. Not an overhaul, just a well-measured injection of new energy to revitalize the vibe in our homes to better align with the freshness of the new season. Organic elements, in particular, provide such a dynamic accent in home décor as they ground an environment and connect the senses to our more elemental core. And oftentimes, the smallest of details are what deliver the most aesthetic impact in a vignette, which ultimately sets the tone in a designated space. With these notions in mind, I was more than delighted to partner with The Bead Chest once again as I set out to add some novelty and interest to certain pockets of my home!

For those of you unfamiliar with The Bead Chest, they are purveyors of the most vastly impressive selection of beads I have ever come across, ranging from glass beads, to seed beads, to pottery beads, to my personal favorite, chunky and exotic bone beads which are as beautiful worn as they are displayed on a coffee table. I especially love this company’s laudable social mission of carefully sourcing their product through ethical trading in support of developing communities. What’s not to love?

Since I have an undying penchant for all things graphic and global in feel, I chose a combination of bone beads and a delicate strand of blue seed beads in the most enchanting turquoise hue. And here are some images of how I’ve styled them around our house!

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The beauty of these is just how effortlessly they can be added to a space, and yet create such a stunning – and interesting – visual effect! Drape them casually in a bowl, pile them on a shelf for added texture and intrigue…the options are truly endless!

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In partnership with The Bead Chest, they will be offering my readers 15% off all orders! (Just use the discount code AST15 at checkout on their site!) They are absolutely perfect to wear as is, to incorporate as a decorative home accent, or for use in any kind of creative project you can imagine. Their selections are already incredibly affordable, so this is a deal you definitely want to check out and take advantage of!

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  • I have partnered with The Bead Chest and received product in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% my own.

*Images and text by Astrid Insieme


It’s been quiet around here on the blog, but we’ve admittedly been incredibly busy! In our quest to finalize the remaining spaces in the downstairs of our addition, we have recently been working on a rather oddly-shaped room which essentially acts as a pass-through area between our new living room (which we were also fortunate enough to have decorated in partnership with Raymour & Flanigan!) and the stairs leading to the upper level. It’s a bit of a tricky space not only because of its bizarre L-shaped configuration, but also because of its inherently petite dimensions, unsightly HVAC duct work on one of the recessed walls that needed to be camouflaged somehow, AND the fact that this weird and tiny space is open and visible to the living room. Here’s what I’m talking about:


The new living room is off to the right, with a double wide passage. Notice the lovely HVAC duct that somehow needed to be concealed within the new design for this little space.


This is the back wall of the room…


And a view of the other wall in the room, with the start of the staircase leading to the upper floor.

So the plan for this space was to create a little lounge of sorts where we can chill and listen to music, with drink in hand. And ultimately, it would serve as a bit of an informal extension of the new living room so that people can still interact and flow between the two areas. With its defined purpose as being predominantly a media room though, the two major elements of consideration in the design were to include sufficient and attractive storage for our vinyl collection and all the necessary players and components, as well as cool and comfortable seating scattered throughout.

The first order of business was priming and painting the drywall, then designing a built-in for the recessed wall with the HVAC duct. Since it’s a narrow and recessed space, I thought it would be a perfect spot to store and display all of our vinyl in an artful way which didn’t take up too much space in an already small room.



My husband is clearly very happy to finally have a designated spot to house his music collection…haha!


Prepping for staining…


And voila…


With the built-in finished, baseboard and trims installed, walls primed and painted, and lighting installed…now the decorating fun could begin!

In partnership with Raymour & Flanigan, I had the pleasure of choosing some absolutely AMAZING chairs to incorporate in this space. I am honestly always floored by the variety and quality of their pieces, and I was ecstatic to have had the opportunity to select an incredibly unique array of accent chairs from their collection that brings so much beauty and function to our little media room. I wanted the space to be modern/graphic/bold given that it is indeed a media room, so I opted for sculptural and iconic shapes for the chairs. And I am so in love with how everything came together!

So here’s a peek from the living room, looking into the media lounge…


And here is the space in its entirety!





Despite the room being on the small side, it was important for me to create a few different zones, punctuated by seating and some kind of accompanying table or surface. Along one wall, I placed a vintage bar cart (it was actually an unloved, roadside find but was easily elevated to something rather special with some matte black paint and new brass hardware and casters) and the GORGEOUS Chilton Accent Chair in all of its chocolatey glory. I seriously can’t get over the sumptuous form and comfort of this striking little chair!


It’s the perfect spot to pour a drink and perch!


Sumptuous and striking chair number two comes in the form of the stunning Verona Accent Chair. She’s crafted from buttery, ruched leather and is an absolute showstopper! Am seriously enamored with the design of this very special piece.


The opposite wall is graced by yet another beauty of a chair with unique, sculptural lines. This time, the Omega Accent Chair steals the scene with her bold, blue beauty.


And the final zone is one which I’ve unofficially dubbed the “man niche” (no “man cave” around here, as I truly can’t stand the sound of that expression…haha!), because I wanted this particular corner to be my husband’s exclusive spot. He has long been an aficionado of mid-century modern design, and I was SO very ecstatic to find an Eames-style lounger and ottoman that was beyond PERFECT in look and feel, and encompasses everything he appreciates in a lounge chair. The Grayson Lounge Chair and Ottoman is masculine, tough, iconic in design and so ridiculously comfortable that it’s virtually impossible to remove yourself from. It is seriously the most perfect chair for chilling!




And there it is! One more room wrapped up in our ongoing renovation here at Insieme House…just one more space to put the finishing touches on downstairs, then we’re moving on upstairs!


  • I have partnered with Raymour & Flanigan and received product in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% my own.

*Images and text by Astrid Insieme







And so we’ve finally reached the finish line of the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge  … after six weeks of designing and doing, our little powder room is ready for her big debut!

Just to recap, this half-bathroom is a tiny, 5 x 5 ft space which previously found itself in this very crude state:

powder room before 2

My vision was to create a bold and dramatic jewel box of a room, fusing both traditional and global aesthetics in a way which felt fresh, chic and unique. I’ve always had a penchant for statement-making powder rooms, and I truly believe that the smaller the space, the more liberties you can take with your design choices! In essence, make it memorable. This powder room came together thanks to some amazing Craigslist finds, material from Home Depot and Lowe’s, some last-minute Amazon purchases, my amazing husband’s carpentry and masonry skills, and my own personal artistry on the walls. (You can check out previous posts to see the evolution.) And here she is now!

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We are so very happy with how it came together … thanks so much for following along and accompanying our design journey these past several weeks! Don’t forget to check out all of the other participants to see their transformations as well. A huge thanks to the One Room Challenge and House Beautiful for organizing and hosting this incredibly fun event!









We’re in the homestretch of the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge, with only a week left before the final reveal!

So let me quickly catch you up on what we’ve been doing in our little powder room since the last post. Basically, we’ve been tending to the final installations of all the disparate elements to pull the space together. This past Sunday, our plumber took care of installing the following:

Our new Kohler toilet (purchased at Lowe’s), which ended up being a perfect fit in our tiny half-bathroom. She was pricey, but so worth it!


As well as our glorious new sink and faucet, which I had sourced years ago in preparation for this eventual room:


I can’t even properly express how much I love this vessel sink! It is absolutely GORGEOUS! As well as this antique brass faucet, with its chic, bamboo design:


I found a matching toilet paper holder and towel rod (on Amazon) with an antique brass finish which is extremely similar to that of the faucet. Thankfully, they just arrived the other day and were installed last night. I really love how minimal and understated they are, while still evoking a bit of a glamorous feel:


(These are the stock product photos from Amazon, obviously…haha!) We ended up installing the towel rod on the side of the wooden vanity as opposed to the wall, as you’ll see in the final reveal!


We also installed the mirror, as well as the lighting. For the overhead light, I purchased an art deco-inspired flush mount fixture (Amazon to the rescue, once again!) with antique brass detailing and a low profile:


And the two wall sconces, which I’ve shown you before, were also finally installed:

wall sconce

But prior to installation, these guys got a bit of a facelift, as I wanted to infuse them with a bit of drama, color, and global flavor. I had a collection of wooden beads from India which I decided would be ideal to embellish the sconces with:



And I’m afraid that’s all I can show you at the moment! Check in next week to see the final reveal…I’m so incredibly excited to address the final details and start shooting in there!





And here we are at week four of the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge where the most recent development has been tackling the wall treatment in our tiny powder room. My vision was always to incorporate a graphic, high-contrast pattern in this space. Reminiscent of, but not exactly like this:

queen of spain wallpaper

You may remember that I previously shared this in my mood board as a reference to the look and feel I was aiming for. It is the Queen of Spain wallpaper by Schumacher, and this beauty has been a longtime favorite of mine. I really wanted the boldness and drama of a striking wallpaper, but ultimately, wanted to create the art myself directly on the walls. There is something incredibly visually appealing about the naivete of hand stamping (former art student here, obviously…haha!), and it was a technique that I thought would work perfectly in this 5×5 ft half bathroom. In keeping with the naivete of the approach, I didn’t want to overthink the materials either…and in fact, they presented themselves most serendipitously. Our place is essentially one massive construction site at the moment, and among the miscellaneous array of debris scattered here and there, there were some leftover rigid foam insulation sheets kicking around. Which we were repeatedly trampling over and which would randomly break off into irregular shards. And it all of a sudden just clicked: they would be the perfect elements for creating a free-form, graphic pattern that would read as primitive and abstract all at once. Perfect!


See the pile of them on the left hand side of the photo? They naturally broke off in ragged triangles, squares and rectangles, so to balance out the arsenal of geometrical shapes,  I carved out a circular form as well. The texture and materiality of the foam would also mean that I would never get a uniform effect from the stamp, which was also important to me, aesthetically speaking, as I was striving for spontaneity in the overall surface treatment. Sounds intense, but this was SUCH an easy and fun application…I just applied black latex paint (flat in this case) onto my foam stamps and let things roll:


(Please ignore my frightening appearance…it was cold and I was dressed like a DIYing vagabond as a result…hahah!)


And one by one, I would hand stamp the wall. I wanted the process to be extemporaneous and instinctive, so I didn’t measure or plan out any specific configuration for the layout…I just made sure to keep adequate spacing and a pleasing composition in mind and just rolled with it, quite literally:




So that’s just a quick peek, as I can’t give too much away at this point. But you get the idea!

Also, I finally sourced the pair of elusive wall sconces which I will be further embellishing before their final installation. I had to purchase them from two separate shops on Amazon, as each vendor only had one:

wall sconce


And lastly, we permanently installed the cultured marble counter on the vanity. It was previously dry fitted, but we took it off when I was working on the walls. We’ve also marked out the holes to be drilled out for the sink drain and faucet installation:


This weekend we’ll be finalizing the plumbing situation by installing the toilet, sink and faucet. As well as sorting out the lighting fixtures (sconces and overhead). Stay tuned for the penultimate week of the challenge…the final reveal is just around the corner, guys!





Three weeks into the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge, and fortunately we’ve been able to make consistent progress at a comfortable pace, and get things steadily crossed off the list!

So let me show you what’s been happening around here since the last post. The powder room finally got a door, which we purchased at Lowe’s.


Random but pertinent disclaimer: Please ignore the atrocious quality of some/most of these WIP shots, as Brian and I usually work on our home renovation projects at night (hence the horrific lighting) in our downtime. Haphazardly strung task lighting doesn’t exactly make for professional quality visuals…haha!

Where were we?

Oh, then the floor threshold went down and door trims were installed.


As you can see, there’s some patching, sanding, and painting going on at this stage.

I was so incredibly lucky to score two vital elements for the powder room – the mirror and a dresser to be customized into the sink vanity – that were EXACTLY what I had in mind for this space, on Craigslist. For nearly next to nothing, too; the mirror was $30 dollars and the dresser a mere $20. Seriously unbelievable…some finds are truly fortuitous!

The mirror I had long envisioned for this little half-bath had to be opulent and statement-making, with a nod to the antiquities. I had come across this particular image of a mirror which perfectly illustrated what I had in mind, being sold for an exorbitant amount on 1stdibs, and used it as a reference in my mood board for this room:

ornate mirror

And after some exhaustive online searching, this is what I was able to miraculously locate on my local Craigslist:


Totally worth the two hour drive to the seller’s house! I am SO absolutely in love with it! It’s crafted of hand-carved wood with a beautifully aged gilt finish, and is in amazing condition given that it’s nearly seventy years old. The only thing that it needed was a bit of gluing and reinforcing on one corner, and it was ready to go!

I deeply wanted an art deco, waterfall style dresser to customize into the vanity for the sink, and Craigslist came to the rescue, again! Unfortunately, in my zeal for getting things done, I completely forgot to photograph the original piece before we started modifying it for our needs (you’ll see what I mean in a bit). But it is extremely similar to the dresser in this reference photo (taken from another Craigslist listing) that I used in my mood board:

art deco waterfall dresser vanity

So the dresser obviously has drawers, but our plan for converting it into a vanity for the sink involved repurposing said drawers into two large cabinet doors (so as to access the plumbing and increase interior storage), as well as removing the wooden top to eventually receive a marble top and vessel sink. And here’s how we did it:


Drawers removed. Time to cut away and remove the wooden top, using a cordless circular saw:



Here, you can see that the top is now off, and we’re reinforcing the “floor” of the dresser for stability.

Next, the drawers were completely dismantled and broken down into individual panels so that we could use the faces for the cabinet door fronts. The back part of the new cabinet doors required some additional sheathing, so we just used the sides of the old drawers. Like so:



Then, we installed the dresser/vanity in situ, in the powder room:


And these are the new cabinet doors, which we have not yet installed as we are waiting for special hinges to be delivered. Hopefully tomorrow! We will be (re)using the old drawer pulls on the new cabinet doors, but haven’t installed those yet either.


We also dry fitted a cultured marble counter top (ordered from Home Depot) and it was a perfect fit!



And currently that’s where we’re at! Check in next week to see more of our progress as we start tackling the wall treatment in here!