Weeping Willows, Golden Light and A Beauty

Who knew senior year would creep up so quickly… It seems like just yesterday I was pushing you in the jogging stroller, chasing you around the park and watching Lemonade Mouth with a room full of 4th graders. You always had the chubbiest (cutest ever) of cheeks, the biggest smile and loved (still) keeping your sisters in line! This year is bittersweet for sure. How did it go by so fast?!  We are so proud of the young woman you’ve become! Can’t wait to see what you accomplish…Oh the places you’ll go! (GO IU;) XO, Mom


Teen Musings & Favorite finds

When my teen daughter (Emma) discovered pinterest, there was no turning back. I started following her and loved getting a peek into her creative side (outside of our sofa chats). While she excels in school in Science and Math, she still has a deep love for all things creative; art, design, words and fashion. I thought it would be a fun learning experience for her to take over a guest blogger spot on simple.modern.life. She will share whatever is catching her eye on the teen scene. Enjoy!!

Meet Miranda Burnet the entrepreneur behind Flash tattoos“- While no one in this family has permanent ink, we can’t get enough of the temporary tattoos around here. These have fabulous staying power compared to others and the manicure tattoos will stay forever with a topcoat of polish over them. Brilliant Miranda!



20 Forms Of Simple Happiness You Can Find In Everyday Life– “Laughs with friends are the best”

Elite Daily



Lokai bracelets

Such a cool message behind these bracelets. Injected in the black bead is mud from the Dead Sea. In the white beads are water from the top of Mount Everest. The highest and lowest points on earth. So whether you’re feeling on top of the world or down on your luck, these Lokai bracelets remind you to stay humble, hopeful and to keep moving forward. Lokai bracelets!!! Only $18 per bracelet, and 10% of that goes to charity.



Beauty Need to know-So helpful to keep it fresh!






Apartment Love! Color, color, color on white!

Color Therapy


P.S. Meet your teen savvy curator, Emma Forsyth

The Art of Dark : Home Trending

I started seeing this trend a little less than a year ago, scattered here and there around my circle of artist/blogger friends. I was so intrigued and drawn to it. In a world where stark white walls had made a massive come back, it was nice to see a little bold yet subdued contrast show up on the scene. We made a move from the southern U.S. to Chicago almost three years ago, where the sun was abundant and so are larger homes. While I love our 1914 home with all it’s character and convenience to the city,  it’s a bit “cozier” than our home in Houston. As a photographer, I was challenged with not only working with totally different natural light year round, but how to utilize/maximize a smaller space with impact for our family. A few weeks back, I came across a post via my talented friend Doreen Kilfeather. Her home in Dublin, Ireland was featured via Image Magazine . I fell in love with her art of the dark and the use of color in her home. I reached out to Doreen and asked if I could feature this in a new post, since I had decided to renovate my workspace to include her signature color of Hague Blue by Farrow and Ball. Most of our home, which we lovingly refer to as our “lake cottage” is light & airy washed in shades of white and soft gray on the walls with pops of color included from fabrics or accessories. I felt it was time for my little office to own it’s coziness in a bold way. I will post a before and after when this project is complete.

Here are a few words from Doreen:

“Hi Karen, How lovely to hear from you! Good for you going to the Dark side – It’s pretty wonderful isn’t it!  Just this weekend,  I painted my under the stairs loo in Hague Blue. Its a very small dark space and while most people recommend using light colours to brighten it all up , I feel its best to embrace the true nature of a space. Many a dark space is better off owning the darkness rather than trying to be something it never can be. The other thing I adore about dark paint ( particularly Hague Blue ) is that pieces of art – be they paintings or photos – look incredible against the dark background. You must post some pictures of your office once its all done. I would be delighted for you to use the link to the article. It was a piece run by Image Magazine here in Ireland.

Looking forward to seeing your posts xx”

Outside of her kindness and stunning home, Doreen’s work is wonderful. If you want to get lost in some gorgeousness, spend some time exploring her moving images. I love her art below brought to life on a wall in such an artistic way.

Photography by Mark Scott

Image Magazine
Image Magazine


Here is an additional home featured that I love as well. Photography by: Doreen Kilfeather

Image Magazine
Image Magazine


For more inspiration in the U.S., Serena and Lily has a wonderful spring catalog that features gorgeous use of bold paint.


Up next, another look I can’t get enough of right now – black trimmed windows & doorways contrasted to white walls…

Minimalist Decor Style: You stick to a color palette of black and white, and natural and metal hues.- you sure do
Minimalist Decor