The Surznick Common Room

Monday, December 31, 2018

Before & After: Master Bedroom Makeover


This post has been a long time coming, but we're stoked to finally share it - our before and after bedroom makeover! First, let's take a little trip down memory lane. This is what our master bedroom looked like when we moved into the house.


Basically just an empty, white room with bad trim. Our plans for the space were resurfacing and painting the walls, swapping out the trim, framing and trimming the windows and closet, swapping out the door, reconfiguring the closet, furnishing, and decorating. You can see some of our decor ideas here.

You may remember that we finished the bedroom door several months ago. In fact, the majority of the room has been complete for months, but we had some final tasks to finish up before it was ready to share. Now it's all complete, and she's lookin' good.


The showstopper of the room is definitely the blue swirl wallpaper from Milton & King x Poppytalk. We actually won this wallpaper in a giveaway and were so excited to use it in our room. It just looks perfect behind our navy bed, doesn't it? This is real wallpaper (meaning it has to be applied with paste), so we were a little hesitant to hang it ourselves. Luckily we were only doing one wall and it's a pretty forgiving pattern (no continual pattern between sheets), so it was worth it for us to DIY instead of hiring it out.


I feel like a real adult having sconces for our bedside lights. We decided to get plug-in sconces rather than hardwired though, just in case we ever decide to switch up the layout of the room (not likely considering this is a small bedroom but who knows.) They're the Crosby Swing Arm sconce from Target and we dig them a lot. We did have an electrician install outlets on each side of the bed (where the sconces are plugged in), and they have USB ports (!!!) for our phones, which we love.


To the left of the bed, you'll find some pieces from our old apartment - our salvaged ladder and our copper pipe plant stand (that fern is faux, btw!) Next to them is my "desk", but really it's more of my vanity. I keep my laptop here, but mostly just so it has a home. This is where I do my makeup in the morning, in front of this awesome hanging mirror we grabbed on clearance from Target a couple years ago.


In the gallery above my desk we have a 'do-not-disturb' door tag from Ace Hotel Pittsburgh, where we got married. It was a wedding gift from a friend and a lovely reminder of our wedding day. We also have an art print from Minted (seen in this post) and a print from Juniper Print Shop. The blue mobile/hanging is from Urban Outfitters, many years ago. The desk itself is from Amazon, and my chair is a spare that we didn't need at our dining room table.


You may or may not remember the closet system we installed in our guest bedroom last year. Both of our dressers and closets are continuing to live in the guest bedroom, and it really works out great for us. The master bedroom is small (only 9.5' x 12.5') and we just wouldn't have the room to house our clothes/dressers in there. With that said, we decided to turn the closet in the master bedroom into a linen closet. We were really lacking space for towels, extra sheets, blankets, pillows, etc. and knew this would be the perfect space. The shelves are pine and turned out beautifully - Nick built them and they're holding up great. We added simple bifold doors from Lowe's that we dressed up with trim, just like our bedroom door.


So that's our master bedroom! This room is definitely my favorite in the house. I'm by no means an interior designer, but I'm proud of how I decorated and styled this room. To me it's beautiful, cohesive, and calming. It's truly the first room in our house that is done 100% (not even the music room is done done) and that feels really freaking good after 2.5 years in our house. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

I have a full source list for you below, but if there's anything you have questions on, be sure to leave us a comment!

Desk/Vanity - Amazon
Eames Desk Chair - Amazon
Mirror - Target (old); similar
Glasses Holder - Amazon
Cat Ring Holder - Target
'Not Now' Art - Ace Hotel Pittsburgh
'Ha Ha Ha' Print - Minted
'I Like You Very Much' Print - Juniper Print Shop
Mobile - Urban Outfitters (old)
Copper Plant Stand - DIY
Faux Fern - Target
Ladder - Vintage (Read our post about it here)
Gray Throw - Target
Wallpaper - Milton & King x Poppytalk
Pipe Prints - Juniper Print Shop (No longer available; Read about how we print engineering prints here)
Bed - Amazon
Chambray Sheets - Target
Pink Pillow - Target
Quilt - Target
Yellow Throw - West Elm
Nightstands - Amazon
Sconces - Target
Wall Hanging - Target
Wake Up Light - Amazon
Brass Ceiling Light - Illuminate Vintage
Black Circle Print - Minted
Blinds - Home Depot
Closet Doors - Lowe's (Read about how we add trim to our doors here)

Thanks for reading!

Sarah & Nick

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Couples Costumes Through the Years


October is finally here and we are in full-blown Halloween mode. It's no secret that we love fall and Halloween, and this year we're especially excited because it's our 10th Halloween together! So in the spirit of the best season of the year, we thought we we'd take a trip down memory lane and share our couples costumes through the years.

With 10 years together, there have been quite a few couples costumes. There's a few years missing where we flew solo, and in fact, this year we're not coupling up (I've had my costume in mind for awhile and there's not a good pair for it!) While I'm a little sad to not have a costume partner, looking back at all of these couples costumes is getting me inspired for next year's looks.

So without further ado, here are some classic Surznick couples costumes. Let us know which is your favorite in the comments below!

2009 (Our first Halloween!) - Bill and Sookie from True Blood
- We bought bottles of True Blood from the HBO shop. It was a delicious blood orange soda.
- I still have this Merlotte's shirt and wear it regularly!


2011 - Danny and Sandy from Grease
- It's not uncommon to find us dancing to the Grease soundtrack in the car. This costume was a natural fit for us!


2014 - Margot and Richie Tenenbaum
- "I think we're just gonna to have to be secretly in love with each other and leave it at that, Richie."


2015 - Spaghetti and Parmesan Cheese
- Nick was spaghetti the first year we met in college (and were not yet dating.) I have always LOVED this costume, so I new I had to make a pair for it!
- We shared a tutorial for this here.


2016 - Agatha and Zero from Grand Budapest Hotel
- Back on the Wes Anderson theme! You can see more this about costume here.


2017 - Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox
- With all of the wedding planning going on last year, we didn't really do anything for Halloween, but we dressed up to hand out candy!
- Nick (not surprisingly) bought nothing for his costume. The lumberjack attire is pretty normal.


You can see more of our Halloween/fall related posts from prior years here, here, here, here, and here!

Happy (almost) Halloween!

Sarah & Nick

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Our Best of the Burgh Favorites


This summer marks five years of Pittsburgh living for Nick and I. We're pretty big fans of this city we live in, and over the years we've accumulated maaaaany favorite restaurants, bars, shops, and more. We're not alone either - earlier this spring thousands of Pittsburghers cast their votes for Pittsburgh Magazine's Best of the Burgh 2018 picks. The winners have been announced, and this week is the celebration!

The annual Best of the Burgh party is happening Thursday, July 19th at Stage AE from 7-9:30 PM and we are STOKED to go celebrate! This event brings together over 30 Best of the Burgh winners to share their products, food, and drinks all under one roof for over 500 guests. It's a really fun and unique way to see some of the great things Pittsburgh has to offer. So in honor of this week's party, we wanted to share some of our favorite Best of the Burgh winners this year! Without further ado...


B52 Cafe - Winner of Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly
Conveniently located down the street from us, B52 is one of our absolute favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh. Their entire menu is vegan and so, so good. I LIVE for their seitan shwarma wrap and cashew cheese toast with raspberry preserves.

La Gourmandine - Winner of French
Just a few blocks down the road from B52 is La Gourmandine French bakery. For a quick bite and a coffee, this is a go-to spot for a morning walking around Lawrenceville. My order - a brie tart and almond croissant.


Burgatory - Winner of Burger
Any place that has a build-your-own burger with endless vegan options is an A+ in our book. Make sure to go on Tuesday - that's their specialty vegan milkshake night!

Piccolo Forno - Winner of BYOB Restaurant and Italian Non-Chain
Piccolo Forno is where Nick and I celebrated after closing on our house two years ago. Their wood-fired pizzas are so mouthwatering - our leftovers usually don't make it all the way home. My order - the quattro formaggi pizza.

Point Brugge Cafe - Winner of European
A new discovery, but one we're going to keep going back to for sure. Word on the street is that they have the best fries in Pittsburgh and we would have to agree. Their Brugge Frites are the best we've had outside of Belgium.


Millie's Homemade Ice Cream - Winner of Dessert and Frozen Treat
You can't have the Best of the Burgh without Millie's. Their scoop shop in Shadyside is one of our favorite places to visit in the summer. With a dozen or more homemade flavors on the menu, Millie's is killing the ice cream game. We can't get enough of their vegan dark chocolate - it's like a pudding cup!

Eat'n Park - Winner of Family Friendly
We know it may not be fancy or one-of-a-kind, but when you need a cheap breakfast on a Sunday morning after karaoke night at Nico's, Eat'n Park is your place to go.

Mad Mex - Winner of Mexican/Tex-Mex
Seitan wings, Pennsyltucky fried tofu, burritos options out the wazoo, margaritas, beer specials... what's not to love about Mad Mex?


Stage AE - Winner of Place to Catch Live Music
Despite the above, eating and drinking isn't all we like to go in Pittsburgh. We're big concert fans too, and Stage AE is one of the best places to see our favorite bands.

Check out of the full list of readers choice winners here! (Some of our favorites are in the Pittsburgh Magazine editor's picks too.) We're excited to celebrate them all at the Best of the Burgh party on Thursday. If you want to join, tickets are $35 and can be purchased here (your ticket gets you two drink tickets and a t-shirt!) The party is at Stage AE from 7-9:30 - we hope to see you there!

What are your Best of the Burgh picks? Let us know!

Sarah & Nick

This post is in collaboration with Revive Marketing Group. All opinions (and favorite places in the Burgh) are our own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support the Common Room!