January 2017 - The Surznick Common Room

Monday, January 30, 2017

Surznick Reads: January 2017

The first month of 2017 is already coming to a close, which is a bit hard to believe if you ask me. We have a lot of good books lined up for the year, but we had a bit of a slow start. We're going to keep up this feature anyway, even though we're showcasing less books than in years past. So without further ado, our first Surznick Reads of the new year!

Sarah's Reads!

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
From Amazon.com: "Like many young Americans, Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between enthusiastic carnivore and occasional vegetarian. As he became a husband, and then a father, the moral dimensions of eating became increasingly important to him. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill. Part memoir and part investigative report, Eating Animals is a book that, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, places Jonathan Safran Foer 'at the table with our greatest philosophers.'"

I just read over Nick's review of this book from November and can find little to add that he hasn't already said. I've been thinking about 'Eating Animals' constantly since finishing it last week. Even as a vegetarian, much of what Foer outlined in this book was eye opening and new to me, from traditional animal husbandry to the sheer number of factory farmed animals per year. What sticks out to me the most is the extreme impact that the meat industry has on the environment (25% of global land use, land-use change, and forestry emissions are driven by beef production, including conversion of forests in the Brazilian Amazon.) 'Eating Animals' is now 7 years old and the Earth has been continuing to warm year after year. The meat industry isn't helping things get better, though there are more sustainable ways to eat meat. All in all, I'm not here to push a vegetarian agenda, but this is a book I would encourage everyone to read, vegetarian or not.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Nick's Reads!

Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa by Haruki Murakami
From Amazon.com: "A deeply personal, intimate conversation about music and writing between the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author and the former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In Absolutely on Music, Haruki Murakami sits down with his friend Seiji Ozawa, the revered former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for a series of conversations on their shared passion: music. Over the course of two years, Murakami and Ozawa discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from Bartók to Mahler, and from pop-up orchestras to opera. They listen to and dissect recordings of some of their favorite performances, and Murakami questions Ozawa about his career conducting orchestras around the world. Culminating in Murakami’s ten-day visit to the banks of Lake Geneva to observe Ozawa’s retreat for young musicians, the book is interspersed with ruminations on record collecting, jazz clubs, orchestra halls, film scores, and much more. A deep reflection on the essential nature of both music and writing, Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros."

I realize that to many people this book probably sounds like a total snooze. It's not. It is a bit tricky to explain, but the passion with which these two discuss music is infectious. Whether you're an orchestral music buff or not, anyone can get behind the conversation between renowned author and famous music conductor. They're funny, profound, and inspiring. I received this book as a gift from a friend, and it was the perfect gift - just two old guys geeking out together over a shared passion for music. Some of the more technical aspects of Ozawa and Murakami's discussions may be lost on some readers (and were certainly lost on me), but many of their overreaching themes and the discussion surrounding what it means to make true art was incredible. This is a great read. If you're looking for something inspiring that may be out of your normal reading zone, I definitely recommend this.

My rating: 4 stars

Here's to another month of good reading! We hope you are all enjoying some good books too. Share what you're reading with us below!

Sarah & Nick

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gifting Art with Minted

Valentine's Day is around the corner, as I'm sure you know from all of the pink and red filled candy aisles at the grocery store, and many people are starting to think about what to gift loved ones for cupid's holiday. Nick and I have never been much for V-Day gifts or even a special dinner (other than heart-shaped pizza), but if we do exchange gifts, I want it to be personal and meaningful.

When Minted reached out to us about their Valentine's Day collection and giving art as a gift, I couldn't believe that it hadn't crossed my mind before. No one ever really thinks to give art as gifts, but as new-ish homeowners, I just love that idea so much. We have so many blank spaces to fill in our home and I'm sure others do too. The idea of giving someone a piece of art that they can hang and reflect on for years to come is so much more meaningful than a box of candy or a teddy bear.

We're in the midst of a few projects right now, like the bedroom, dining area, and guest room, and we're definitely going to need beautiful art for each space. For Valentine's Day, Nick and I are each going to pick out a Minted print for each other - I'm excited to see what we pick! (We'll update this post once our prints arrive so you can see too!)

Below are some of my favorite individual art pieces from the Minted Valentine's Day collection:

Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha - This would be great in a gallery wall or above a desk, perhaps to brighten someone's work day.
Forty-Six - If you know my obsession with keys, this one will come as no surprise to you.
Pretzel - Pop-art pretzel, what's not to love?
French Dreams - I know so many people that have visited Paris recently - this would be perfect for them.
Shining Statement - This floral piece is so gorgeous. It would be pretty above a bed!
Summer Tanagers - I love abstract pieces that you can work into any room or gallery well. This watercolor print is so cool.

By the way, one of the best things about Minted is that you can order your prints already framed, which makes this gifting process easier than ever. If you're looking for something super personalized, Minted offers a Minimalist Quote Keepsake, where you can completely customize a print with a photo and quote of your choice. You can learn more about this and all of Minted's awesome Valentine's Day gift ideas here (I really love the custom map prints too!)

From now until the 30th you can take 20% off all foil Valentines cards and gifts, and 15% off all other Valentines cards and gifts with code BEMINE.

If you're interested in purchasing art for a loved one this Valentine's Day, make sure you order by the cutoff dates below to receive your pieces in time!
  • Ground Shipping: 11:59 pm PST on February 1
  • Priority Shipping: 11:59 pm PST on February 4
  • Expedited Shipping: 11:59 pm PST on February 5
  • Rush Shipping: 11:59 pm PST on February 6
Happy gift giving!

Sarah & Nick

This post is in collaboration with Minted, but all opinions and favorite pieces are our own. Thanks for supporting the companies that support the Common Room (can't wait to show you our new art!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

20 Questions with Surznick

Hi everyone! It's been quite a while since we've done any sort of post introducing ourselves or sharing a little bit about who we really are. Last year was an exciting year for us, and we wanted to say welcome to some of our new readers and friends by putting up a few "get to know us" questions. We're glad you're here, and we hope you enjoy hanging out with us!

Ok, here we go:

1. What is your biggest fear?
S - My mom and Nick dying (starting this out on a really depressing note, here...)

N - Aliens.

2. What would you change about yourself if you could?
S - Sometimes I say the complete opposite of what I'm trying to say (mixing up off/on, inside/outside, etc.) It's like wires in my brain get crossed and I have no idea it's happening until Nick corrects me.

N- Stop myself from interrupting people. I get SO excited during other people's stories, and I have this overwhelming desire to show that I am connecting with them and can add/agree with/bond over all the similarities I'm noticing when they're talking, but really I'm just being rude and interrupting them. Also, every single time in the history of the world that Sarah has cracked a joke, I immediately say the same joke, but try to make it funnier. That's got to be so annoying. I'd like to change that.

3. What makes you laugh the most?
S - Nick. He's the most hilariously weird person I know and I couldn't even begin to describe why he's funny. He just is. (Edit: After reading his responses to these questions I think it's obvious that he's funny.)

N - Blooper reels. These are truly such a simple pleasure in life. Some of my favorites are Parks and Recreation, and I love all the old ones they would play after each episode of Home Improvement.

4. What did you want to be when you were small?
S - Very early on I wanted to be a hairdresser. Eventually I changed my mind to teacher, and later veterinarian.

N - There were more than a few things on my "when I grow up" list. Notably among them were: professional soccer player, scientist, volcano chaser, bald eagle trainer, and window repair truck driver.

5. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
S - It's a toss-up between drinking an iced latte and exploring a new city, or laying on my couch and binging a Netflix series.

N - Murder without consequence. I mean, probably just pointing to a map and exploring somewhere new.

6. What would you sing at Karaoke night?
S - 'Punk Rock Princess' by Something Corporate. I've been "planning" to sing this at karaoke for a few months now but never have enough liquid courage.

N - Well most recently I sang "All Star" by Smash Mouth. That was a real bucket list moment. But, if the crowd is just right and rowdy enough, I think "Fat Lip" by Sum 41 could be pretty great.

7. Which would you rather do: wash dishes, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, or vacuum the house?
S - Wash the dishes

N - I hate the thought of mowing the lawn, but once I start, I really love it. Still, I'd rather wash dishes. Mowing the lawn is too loud for listening to music.

8. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

N - Pizza (pizza)

9. Who is your favorite author?
S - Right now I'd say Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm currently reading "Eating Animals" (my third Foer book) and absolutely loving it. I really enjoy his writing style and have yet to find a book of his I don't like.

N - I've always been a super huge Vonnegut fan, but it's been a long time since I've read anything by him. No one has "officially" overthrown him, but I really like Jonathan Tropper, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Chuck Klosterman.

10. Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why?
S - While I haven't been to either and would love to visit both, I'm going to say Alaska because my best friend is currently living there (hi, B!) and her photos of Alaska are GORGEOUS. I'm also not much of a beach person.

N -Alaska, baby! I love the cold, and I'm a huge fan of mountains, and all things forest, and snow, and wildlife, and pretty much anything. (I mean that. I'm a fan of pretty much anything.) I know Hawaii has a lot of mountains and tons of cool stuff too, but my Instagram vibe is definitely more "Alaska," ya know?

11. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
S - This is tough because I'm not really a history person, but I would say sometime in the 50s for the cute dresses.

N - This is a tough one, but I like the whole roaring 20s idea. It'd be fun to do some good natured illegal activity, and be right on the edge of learning how to lash out and be a bit outrageous for the first time.

12. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
S - My phone

N - Music. If I didn't have actual music to listen to, I'd drive myself bonkers singing the songs I'd wish I was hearing.

13. What would you do if you won the lottery?
S - Pay off my student loans. Pay off our mortgage. Quit my job. Travel everywhere.

N - Boring answer, but pay off all my debt. Pay off all my family's debts, and make myself cozy to live a regular life. I'd likely still want to work, but with a much diminished sense of necessity, with more freedom to travel and explore.

14. What's your favorite holiday?
S - Halloween! I love dressing up, the scary movies, the parties, the cool fall weather. It's the best time of the year.

N - Halloween. I love spooky stuff, especially old scary music and some good spooky party tunes.

15. What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
S - Nick, a good book, and a good album.

N - Is Sarah an item? (We'll just say yes) A guitar and a toolbox (you know, for some light recreational woodworking for when I get bored.)

16. Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest?
S - Certainly not hearing or sight... maybe smell?

N - My taste. As weird as it is, I can't hear for beans, and I have a super critical palate. I'm always like "Woah, this has such a strong _____ flavor" and Sarah's just like "what does?"

17. Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?
S - Milton Hershey, although I don't know exactly how (I need to Ancestry.com myself.) My family is from Lancaster County and my mom's maiden name is Hershey.

N - No.

18. What was your first job?
S - Cashier and key cutting extraordinaire at a hardware store.

N - Kitchen worker at a hospital (basically a nightmare scenario).

19. If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be?
S - A cat. (Is that too predictable?)

N - I want to say something cool, but the truth is probably just the most obnoxious, annoying, curious puppy in the whole world.

20. What is one thing you will never do again?
S - Eat meat.

N - Wear boot cut jeans.

Thanks for reading!

Sarah & Nick

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tomato Herb Bisque

Everybody loves tomato soup. As kids, Sarah and I (and every other human in America) would crave the coveted grilled cheese and tomato soup meal. As we embark as adults to find a suitable alternative to the classic red can, who should come to the rescue but none other than Minimalist Baker.

Over these past two and a half years of being vegetarians, we have recreated countless numbers of Dana's creations, and every single one of them is delicious. If there happens to be anyone that reads our blog that doesn't frequent the Minimalist Baker blog, we hope that seeing the recipes here help show you the light.

This particular recipe came from the Minimalist Baker cookbook. It has been a lot of fun to flip through physical cookbooks to choose and read recipes instead of scrolling through Pinterest or Google results. This book is beautifully designed with amazing photography, and every recipe is a hit.

Here's what you need: (Recipe via Minimalist Baker)
For bisque:
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 14 oz. can coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. dried dill
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup

For croutons:
- 2 cups bread, cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. dried basil

Here's what you do:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Add soup ingredients to a large pot and heat on the stove until simmering. Reduce heat and stir every few minutes.
- Cut up bread cubes and add to a medium bowl. In a separate dish, combine olive oil and spices and stir to combine. Pour over bread cubes and stir to cover.
- Pour croutons onto a baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
- Serve soup topped with croutons.

As soon as we made this for the first time, it instantly sky rocketed to the top of my comfort food craves list. The creamy texture and sweetness that comes from the coconut milk is, to me, really what puts this soup over the edge. Every bite, combined with these perfectly seasoned croutons explodes with flavor. Brightness from the dill cuts down the richness of the coconut and tomato, and balances out the entire dish.

You can (and should) purchase Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking book HERE.

Hope you all have a great week ahead and you get a chance to try some of this incredible soup!

Sarah & Nick

Friday, January 20, 2017

Nashville, TN

Last weekend we packed our bags and hopped on a plane to Nashville, TN to spend our long weekend in the Music City! Neither of us had been to the Nashville before and we had such an awesome time. The flight was only an hour from Pittsburgh, so we're already itching to go back and check off more things from our huge Nashville to-do list. For now, we'll stick to recapping this visit - enjoy!

Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Hotel Preston, which was located between the airport and downtown. It's an affordable boutique hotel that had fun and interesting offerings, like lava lamps and pet fish that you could borrow for your room.

We actually didn't spend any time in the hotel other than to sleep, but it was a quick Uber to and from downtown, so it worked out well for us!

What We Ate (and Drank)

Barista Parlor - Our first stop of the trip! Barista Parlor is a well-known coffee shop in Nashville with a few locations around the city. We visited the East Nashville shop and sipped our coffees until it was time to meet friends for brunch later that morning. The atmosphere of Barista Parlor is pretty hipster-y and cool. It looked like they had some bomb breakfast sandwiches, but we sadly didn't get any. -S

Five Daughters Bakery - I'll admit I was mostly drawn to Five Daughters Bakery for their pink neon sign, but we picked up two of their '100 Layer Donuts' to have for breakfast the next day and they were so stinkin' delicious. I wish we'd gone back to get more. -S

The Wild Cow - We were really excited to meet our friends Jordan and Bethany for our first meal in town at an all-vegetarian restaurant in East Nashville. The food at this small space was seriously good and the menu was huge. We all got some sort of sandwich, (reuben, Philly cheese steak, buffalo) but I'd love to go back and try some of their incredible sounding soups, salads, and other entrees. If you decide to go, be sure to pet all the friendly cats you possibly can. -N

Crema - Another well-known coffee shop! Crema was small and cozy with a very clean and minimalistic interior. It was pretty packed inside and we were just getting coffee to go, so unfortunately we didn't get to sit and take in more of the atmosphere. I did particularly enjoy my almond milk iced latte on a rainy afternoon. -S

Burger Up - After walking down 12 South and poking our heads into a few of the shops, we decided to grab dinner before Jordan and Bethany headed back to Atlanta. After one peek at Burger Up's menu, we knew we had to eat there. Everything was SO good - the veggie burgers, mac and cheese bites, truffle fries, sauces, and even beers. 10/10 would go again, even though the place is rumored to be haunted. -S

Biscuit Love - Trying southern biscuits was really important to me on this trip, so I'm glad we got to visit Biscuit Love. We had to wait in a really long line to get inside, but we weren't in a rush so we didn't mind. Nick had the decadent biscuit French toast topped with lemon mascarpone and blueberry compote, while I stuck with my savory breakfast of vegetarian grits topped with dippy eggs and a biscuit on the side. Delish. -S

Tennessee Brew Works - Anytime we visit a new city, it's important to us to try some local beers. The best and easiest way to do this is to head straight to the breweries. Tennessee Brew Works was our first stop after breakfast Sunday morning, and no part of me regrets these delicious morning beers. All 5 of the samples we got in a flight were incredible. The atmosphere was this sort of new rustic meets industrial, hipster meets country that A LOT of Nashville seems to be. This place looked like a fun nighttime spot, but it was totally worth it for the great beers. -N

Jackalope Brewing Company - Next on our brewery stop, Jackalope didn't disappoint. The atmosphere here was a lot more modern coffee shop/lounge space, and the beers were top notch. Overall, the vibe here was more of my speed, and I loved the beer names (like the Coffee, Stills, and Mash)! -N

Nelson's Green Brier Distillery - When you're looking for breweries to visit, distilleries count as two! Nelson's Green Brier Distillery was a pretty cool place with some great whiskey. Whiskey is generally my spirit of choice when reaching for the bar cart, so I was really happy to have some true Tennessee Whiskey right from the source. -N

312 Pizza Company - After our day of brewery and distillery hopping, we were in a pizza mood. We wanted to get pizza at the Nashville Farmer's Market, but sadly it was closed. The next closest pizza place happened to be 312 Pizza Company, which did not disappoint. You know we love our Chicago deep-dish pizza. This was so good and exactly what we needed after our long day. -S

Piranha's Bar and Grille - The best thing about being a Pittsburgh fan is that no matter where you go, you're in Steelers Country. Last winter we watched the playoffs at a Steelers bar in Chicago, and this year, we had a blast watching the game at Prianha's Bar and Grille. Its so great to be in a strange city, and still have a spot to watch the game. -N

What We Did

When we first arrived in Nashville, we headed right from the airport to Barista Parlor and spent the rest of the morning walking around East Nashville. We found a few colorful walls and murals to take photos of and enjoyed just looking at all of the pretty houses in the area. After breakfast with Jordan and Bethany, the four of us walked around Five Points and checked out the different shops. None of us bought anything, but it was a fun way to get to know the area, and to meet the local cats.

Visiting Pinewood Social and seeing the totally Instagram-able bowling alley was high on my list of things to do, but didn't seem very practical since we weren't planning on bowling at all during the trip. I didn't realize that Pinewood is actually a bar/hangout/social space that happens to have a bowling alley in it, so luckily we had the opportunity to just poke our heads in, snap some photos, and head out.

Third Man Records - This place was awesome. Part music history museum, part record store, part music store, part collection of the coolest stuff. Jack White owns this place, and it is riddled with platinum records hanging on the walls, rare guitars and collectables, books for sale, and a make your own record machine (to name a few of the cool things in there). It was also pretty exciting to seeing 3 of White's Grammys in the display case (no big deal...)

After Third Man, we headed to 12 South, which was home to so many cute shops and colorful walls. Standouts were Craft South, the blue and white striped wall outside Draper James (Reese Witherspoon's store), Sprinkles cupcake ATM, White's Mercantile, and Burger Up.

We ended our first day in Nashville on Broadway. Broadway is pretty much what it looks like. It's an insane strip of neon lights, mega-bars, and constant live music. Every floor of every bar has a band playing, every night. It's truly awesome to realize how central music is to this community, and the level of talent that tends to generate. It's so great to have such quality live music wherever you look. Though the bands were incredible, Sarah and I were still backpacking it at this point of our trip, since we hadn't yet been to the hotel. Because of this, most of the bars we tried to get into wouldn't let us in with our bags. So, we just hopped around and found places that didn't have a security guard checking people at the door. Pro tip: don't wear a backpack and try to bar hop.

To escape the craziness of Broadway and find a more peaceful spot to catch an Uber, we walked across the Pedestrian Bridge to the other side of the river. Though I'm sure its an awesome view in the daylight, the night time view isn't half bad either.

Carter Vintage Guitars - This place came as a recommendation from some friends, and I'm so glad we spoke with them before we left or we would have missed this place. I had no idea that a guitar store could be this awesome. And I love guitar stores! This place has some of the coolest, rarest guitars around and it is so much fun browsing through them. Carter Vintage Guitars is PACKED with hundreds and hundreds of guitars, banjos, mandolins, basses, amplifiers, you name it. I was thiiiiiis close to walking away with a 1955 Fender Stratocaster, but I was $28,500 short on cash.

And that's pretty much it for this trip! Don't worry, Nashville... we'll be back.

Sarah & Nick

Monday, January 16, 2017

Pittsburgh Blogger Posts We Love (V)

We are currently in the airport in Nashville, waiting to catch our flight back to Pittsburgh. We'll be back on Wednesday to share a recap of our trip, but for now, enjoy some of our favorite Pittsburgh blogger posts from the last week!

1. Wellesley & King - My New Year's Wardrobe Resolution
Lauren's post really spoke to me since I am also in the midst of a closet clean-out and finding my style. Her goal for 2017 is to create an intentional closet and hone in on her personal style. I hope that I too can find the clothes that make me happy and the best version of myself!

2. Fooduzzi - Sriracha Almond Butter Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Nick and I have been actively trying new recipes this year and I'm dying to try this one from Alexa! I really only eat Brussels sprouts when roasted, and the addition of almond butter and sriracha sounds fantastic.

3. The Curvy Blogger
Mandy doesn't post much on this blog anymore, but when she does I love seeing what she's wearing, plus her photos are always gorgeous! Following along on her 188sqft blog is a great read too!

4. The Almond Eater - Green Banana Bread Smoothie
We make the same smoothie for breakfast every morning, day in and day out. I really want to try this smoothie Erin made - it sounds so good and is packed with good-for-you ingredients!

5. Summer Wind - 10 Ways to Declutter Your Life in 5 Minutes
I'm allll about the decluttering right now, so Sydney's post came at a great time. I'm going to go through this list when we get back home today!

Sarah & Nick

Friday, January 13, 2017

Bedroom Inspiration & Ideas

Since we moved into our house last summer, we've actually been sleeping in what will become our guest bedroom. We planned on buying a new bed, so we kept our old bed to use as a guest bed. At the time we didn't have a new bed yet and it seemed silly to put the "guest bed" in the master bedroom only to move it again later.

Now that we cleaned out the master bedroom closet and added the open closet system in the guest bedroom, the master is completely empty. We've finished up some of the higher priority projects (music room, basement, bookshelves), so we're totally ready to take on the bedroom and I'M SO EXCITED.

Today we're sharing some before photos of the space, plus inspiration images and ideas we have for the room. Let's get started!


As you can see, it's small, but I think it will actually feel pretty spacious since our dressers and closets are in the guest bedroom. It has two windows which let in nice light during the day. Other than that, it's a total blank slate.


one  /  two  /  three

We want this space to feel bright, airy, and relaxing. Our last bedroom was so dark and dingy, and I just hated being in there. Rooms that let in a lot of light and don't have too much clutter make me happy, so that's what we're going for (as best as we can.) These spaces are all a bit different, but have things we want - a colorful, upholstered bed as a focal point, white or neutral walls, mid-century style nightstands, and cool lighting.

As far as color, we know we're going white and blue. I picked out our navy blue bed before we even closed on our house and it's been sitting on my Amazon wish list for months. We also recently acquired beautiful blue and white wallpaper from Poppytalk x Milton & King that we plan on hanging on the wall behind the bed. We want the bed and wallpaper to be the focal points of the room while keeping artwork, lighting, furniture, etc. pretty neutral and nonintrusive.


So right now the things we are for sure on (as mentioned above) are the bed and the wallpaper. I'VE BEEN DREAMING ABOUT THIS BED FOR SO LONG. I recently won two rolls of the beautiful 'Shoreline' wallpaper from Poppytalk and think it's going to look just gorgeous behind the navy blue headboard.

As far as lighting, we are 1000% getting rid of the ceiling fan, as we have (or will be) in every other room of the house. We have a gold/brass theme going with new lighting, so we'll be keeping that up in this room too. Rather than lamps on the nightstands, we're leaning towards swing arm sconces. I like the black on the sconce pictured above, plus they're a great price. I also really love the chandelier (and included it in our lighting roundup back in November) - I'm determined to use it somewhere in the house.

We have this cozy shag rug in our basement right now and we are crazy about it. I think we'd like to keep the rug solid so it doesn't compete with the wallpaper, and we love the texture of this one. These nightstands are a contender - I like that they aren't too bulky. The review images from customers actually make me like them more than the product photo does.

Of course, this is all fun and pretty stuff. We'll have some hard work to do before we even lay a finger on a paintbrush. First things first, we'll rip out all of the trim and patch/resurface all of the walls (especially the wall that the wallpaper is going on.) We'll re-trim the whole room, including around the windows, like we did in the music room. We also want to take out the rod in the closet and install shelving that we can use for extra linens, towels, pillows, etc. (Since our closets are in the guest room now, we don't this space to be wasted.)

There's lots to do and we can't wait to get started and share everything with you here. So now that you've seen our ideas, tell us what you think! What do you love/hate? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations for us? We'd love to hear!

Navy blue bed
Wall sconces

Sarah & Nick