{ being a bride }

Oh hi, little blog :). Even though I have lots of design material I could and should be sharing with you, I'm going to put it on the back burner for just a little longer (I mean, what's another week?) because I feel compelled to write about something that's been on my mind lately.

For those of you who don't know me personally, my husband Trevor and I got married a few weeks ago, in a private wedding ceremony in Charlottesville, VA. I'm going to go all into the elopement and why we did it and all that jazz at another time, but this is a little more specifically about my experience being a bride.

First of all, you should know that I didn't always think that I would want to elope. It was something that I realized a couple of years ago, but before then I imagined I would do a traditional wedding with guests, tons of flowers (give me ALL the flowers), favors, dinner, brunch, bachelorettes and the whole nine yards. I worked in two bridal boutiques in high school and college, so the vision of what I thought I would look like on my wedding day was always pretty clear. I had lots of time to ponder it while watching soon-to-be-married ladies come in and try on dress after dress. I knew that I would one day wear a lace gown with an illusion neckline, long loose curls, and a floor length veil; I'd also OBVIOUSLY be in the best shape of my life.

Being someone who is involved in design, super detail oriented and at times a (tad) particular about aesthetics, it became clear to me at some point that it would be far too easy for me to get off track while planning a traditional wedding. It was really important to me that my wedding day be about the marriage and not about the place settings or the furniture rentals. Not that it's wrong to be excited about those things. It is exciting! I'll be the first one to say that I love a good wedding. But I knew in my heart that at the end of the day, I wanted to focus on one thing and that was marrying Trevor. For these reasons, I really wanted to be as laid back about everything that day as I possibly could. Including my appearance. I bought my dress online, did my hair and makeup in about 15 minutes and shopped for shoes and earrings the day before we left, but ended up wearing Target sandals because they were easier to walk in outside. 

When I got dressed that day, I felt beautiful because it was a beautiful day, literally and figuratively. There was nothing extraordinary about what I was wearing or how my hair looked. It was definitely a step up from my usual jeans and t-shirt, but basically, I looked like me, not a Pinterest bride. I wouldn't trade that Trev and I got to go for a hike (in the loosest sense of the word) through the mountains, have a leisurely, late breakfast together while watching HGTV, play several games of Catch Phrase and sit by the fireplace just so that I would have had more time to get ready or go to a salon. It was a decision that I made based off of how I wanted to spend my time that day. And even so, when we were going through our (insanely amazing and ridiculously gorgeous) wedding photos by Anna Reynal, (who I just need to gush about in an entirely seperate post because I just love and treasure her so much - again, photos will be forthcoming!), I couldn't help but overanalyze every hair on my head and flab on my body. Was I a BRIDE even though I hadn't lost 10 pounds the way you are supposed? Could a BRIDE stand to have her makeup applied [pretty much] the same way she would wear it to work? 

The answer is yes, but it's really hard to remember this when you're constantly faced with "10 DAY BRIDAL BOOTCAMP" or "HOW TO NOT LOOK FAT IN YOUR WEDDING DRESS" or "5 WAYS TO LOOK YOUR BEST ON YOUR WEDDING DAY." Because the usual you is not good enough to get married? Do grooms have to go to bridal bootcamp?! Why am I the only one that has to stop drinking beer?! It's not that I think it's wrong to want to look beautiful on your wedding day; it's the immense pressure of what that means to so many of us. And how much it takes the focus off of what matters.

So. FUTURE BRIDES OF AMERICA. PAST BRIDES PICKING YOURSELVES APART. Relax. The sad truth is that in 30 years we will all look back at our wedding photos and most likely wonder what the hell we were wearing anyway. The love and joy will be timeless. <3


{ CBI designs: living room storyboard }

Oh dear. It's been a while y'all. I'll skip out on telling you my excuses for not posting for the most part. Basically, I've been focusing in other areas of my business and life and not devoting as much time as I could to producing new content for you, which then makes me feel like I have nothing worthy to blog or share. Blogging has become a complex creature. It's so easy to check in with you guys on Instagram and Twitter these days that my regular posts begin to feel mundane and unnecessary. But not todayyyyy!

I'll be able to go into more detail soon enough, but the gist is that I recently worked on a little project designing a little DC condo (a living room, bathroom and bedroom, to be exact) and I thought it would be all kinds of fun to share the design plans with you guys here on the blog. First up? The living room.

Here's a super simple floor plan to give you an idea of how it would be laid out:

I still think a chaise or something of that nature between the sofas and the two side chairs would be great to fill that space a bit. That aside, I would toooootally live in this room. My client was a single lady who just moved into her first condo and wanted to create a home that was feminine, versatile, felt collected over time, and would evolve with her through the years. The great thing about all of these pieces is that they are super neutral and practical, but easy to dress up. I'm all but obsessed with the idea of acquiring my own moroccan coffee table, but I'm not sure Trevor is on board. And one day I'll have the space (and the budget) to have two full sofas facing each other. It's the perfect seating arrangement.

When Trevor and I were finishing up our apartment for the Style Me Pretty Living shoot, we needed a large piece of art for over the bar but really didn't want to spend a lot of money. I grabbed a piece of marbled paper from Paper Source and framed it in a large Ikea Ribba frame and called it a day. It worked so well that I went the same route with this design, selecting two of the Ombre Wrapping Paper sheets. I'm all about investing in original art when your budget allows, but this is an easy way to add color and interest without breaking the bank (And allows you to save up for an investment piece in the future!).

I know I totally could have gone with jazzier curtains, but I think the beigey tones in the couch and curtains keeps things feeling calm and serene, and you can't beat the price. Doing window treatments "right" costs a ton of money, so its an area I tend to cut corners with. (When it makes sense to :).)

I also recently wrapped up a really awesome project in the 'burbs for a super sweet family, and I have to say, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing my little vision come to life. This particular family opted for the Design At Your Door option (even though they are local), and they executed every detail so well. Honestly, the easiest clients ever! So things are hoppin' along over here y'all. I have more fun things to share with you so please stay tuned! Hope you all have the best day <3



{ inspired by this: built-in outdoor seating }

I've decided to ignore last nights snow and my cold house this morning and instead go (mentally) to a warmer, happier place: this lovely little deck. 

Sometimes simple just hits the nail right on the head, and it most certainly does in this case. Texture, plants, white, warm wood, dusk. Could it get any more beautiful? We've just recently decided (i think...) to stay in our little apartment, which means the best outdoor space I've got is a fire escape off my kitchen, but a girl can dream. Besides, that decision was made BEFORE we decided to adopt a second animal (a terribly sweet three legged kitty...more to come on that). So I think we should revisit this decision :). We'll have to wait and see if Trevor agrees with me.

photo via

{ a brand new week}

Oh man, I am so ready for this week. After a refreshing weekend of beautiful weather, long runs and relaxation, I'm feeling spleeeendid. I'm planning on spending today running some errands, and picking up some pieces for a fun shoot I'm working on this week. I'm thinking this week is a perfect time for that impromptu trip down to DC that I keep talking about, too. :)

Everything literally feels brighter when the sun comes out folks <3. Have a happy Monday! XO

image via 

{ where i've been… }

I've been a little stressed these last couple of weeks, y'all. I'm busy, but it's kind of more than that. i just have this nagging feeling like i'm forgetting something, like, all the time. Or I feel anxious but I can't put my finger on why. and isn't that the worst?

Sometimes when I go through phases like this I have to step away from blogging because I put too much pressure on myself to create a "good" post. Eventually I get overwhelmed and choose to post nothing at all.

Which is almost what I did today.

But then I realized I needed (for my own sanity) to check in and say hi. I'm slowly but surely coming to terms with the fact that things can't always meet my vision. I can't always maintain two jobs, a relationship, a blog, an apartment, laundry, dinner, bentley, myself and it all look and feel perfect. Sometimes we have to order take-out because we're both too tired to cook or we haven't gone to the store, and I can't feel bad about that. It's just life, and it's only a problem when I make it one. So no more of that! Right? Right. (Ha…if only it was that easy.)

I'm not really sure where any of that was going, but I think what I'm trying to say is: Happy Hump Day! 2 more sleeps until Friday. <3

both photos via my instagram


{ weekend getaway - Palihouse in Santa Monica, CA }

Alright. I'm officially obsessed with Palihouse in Santa Monica and need to see this place in person STAT. It's pretty rare to find hotels that are designed with this much personality. See for yourself...


I mean...can you even? It looks like rooms start around $350, which I'm not saying is a steal by any means, but I wouldn't have been surprised if it was much higher. I'm adding this to my list of 800 billion hotels I need to stay at in this lifetime. 

I don't know what it is about hotels. Even when I was kid I would just be ELATED at the idea of staying in one - even as simple as the Comfort Inn. There's just something about it that feels so special. I often have fantasies of getting a room at a hotel downtown here in Baltimore after dinner one night, just because. No matter what the circumstance, staying in a hotel almost always feels like a vacation. It's special.

On another note, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I definitely have some work to be done but I'm looking forward to dinner out on Saturday night, some much needed R&R, and getting the house in order for the week.

Happy Friday :). lovelovelove.

{ inspired by this: soapstone counters }

I can't get enough of soapstone counters lately. I always thought that when the day finally comes to own my own house and do a kitchen renovation that I'd go for marble counters, but there's something about the weightiness and depth of soapstone that I just love. It can feel traditional, farmhouse, modern, or contemporary depending on the rest of the finishes and styling. I really love it paired with some substantial hardware like in the second and last photos above. I know everyone on earth is talking about Lauren Liess' kitchen, but can you blame them? It's to die for.

On another note, yesterday was absolutely non-stop and I think I'm still recovering. I'm gearing up for a hectic day today (both work and life related), but hoping to fit in a quick afternoon run and a major apartment organization session. Trevor and I experienced a Wash and Fold service for the first time yesterday, and my God...I think I've died and gone to heaven. It's AMAZING. ALMOST ALL OF OUR CLOTHES ARE CLEAN and I had no idea it was even possible to fold them this neatly and nicely. I wasn't planning on making a routine out of this service but I don't know if I can go back...

Happy Wednesday, y'all :). lovelovelove.

photo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

{ favorite budget furniture finds from World Market }

Over the years I've come to realize that my favorite place to invest in a room is in fabrics and textiles. It's the easiest way to elevate and customize your space, and while it can be expensive, it's typically not quite as much as custom furniture.

Striving to invest more in textiles as opposed to wood furniture (like coffee tables, desks, etc. - unless you're going with antiques and then that's a different ball game) means that I've been browsing for some staple budget pieces for those times when you know you need to fill a nook or corner, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg doing so. Here are four of my current favorites right now from World Market:


I love that these pieces would still add some character and interest while not breaking the bank. i love the lines of that asian media stand and mid-century style desk, the tribal chair adds a touch of texture, and that lime green armoire is fun but sophisticated all at once.

shop the post below, and have a happy thursday! 

{ simplifying the living room for spring }

I'm SUCH a seasonal person. I absolutely love the transitions from one to the next, and all the special components of each. When fall and winter came around, we made sure to add lots of cozy layers to our apartment, but now that spring is (supposed to be) here, I'm craving some simplicity. One of the easiest ways to style your home for spring without running out to the store and buying hundreds of dollars of new pillows and art, is just to subtract. After all, this season is all about spring cleaning and simplifying.


(Feel free to just ignore the awful photos, me peeking out in the mirror there and the scratches on the coffee table tray ;))

If you remember, just a few days ago our little apartment looked like this:

much better image than than mine, by the wonderful Love By Serena for Style Me Pretty Living

much better image than than mine, by the wonderful Love By Serena for Style Me Pretty Living

The plush rug and the graphic brown and black pillows just felt too heavy for this time of year. I really didn't want to spend much money, so I switched out the rug with this 4x6 from Dash and Albert, layered over the same simple and inexpensive IKEA jute rug from before. The Dash and Albert rug was originally for my office, but I've been switching some things around so it's in the main room for now, and I must say, I'm loving it. It amazes me how instantly the whole room feels lighter.

I almost bought the most AMAZING set of velvet yellow pillows with this adorable jute detail on the edges at HomeGoods the other day to add a little spring color to the mix, but decided to pass at the last second. I'm kicking myself a little, but I made it work with what we had by taking away the graphic ampersand pillow and turning the brown patterned pillow on it's other side, showcasing a natural, simple linen fabric that softens and lightens the leather couch. After that it was just switching around a little art above the couch (which still needs to be properly hung but I have a feeling Trevor will make my little framed doggie fabric go back to it's old home on the shelf…) and bringing in more plants. I also switched around the side tables since this one feels airier and not quite as heavy as the leather ottoman stacked with books. It's the little things that make a big difference this time of year, don't you think?

How are you introducing spring to your home? I'll definitely have to make a trip to pick a few additional items up soon, but I think this is a good start!

{ three ways that i want to "bloom where i'm planted" this spring }

In last weeks SMP Living interview, I mentioned one of the best pieces of advice ever given to me by my dear Granny  was to "bloom where you're planted." Well, this season I'm going to do my best to act on it. 

Here are three ways I want to bloom this spring:

finish and organize my office space
I think I've mentioned it here a time or two before but I truly am dying for an office to call my own (with a work buddy, of course). An inspiring place to work that is  far away from my unmade bed, dishes in the sink and other household duties that glare at me while I'm trying to get work done at home would be utter bliss. BUT, that's not in the cards for now. So I must bloom where I'm planted, which is my little office in my kitchen. I did quickly get it together to make it semi-functional myself (which many of you saw in the SMP Living feature) but it still has a long way to go before it's a truly functional and enjoyable space. I'd love to switch out the desk chairs, maybe relocate the (FABULOUS) Chasing Paper wallpaper to another wall in my home (yes, that's possible!) and switch it out with a wallpaper that is a little brighter/bolder. I've got a new rug from Dash and Albert, and I'm planning on finally organizing and styling those back shelves. We're gonna make it work, people!

explore my city and the areas surrounding it
i don't have the extra money to do a ton of traveling right now, but in order to scratch the itch i'm going to make more of an effort to visit the places that are easy for me to get to. one of the best things about living in baltimore is how close we are to DC (just a 30 minute train ride), new york (3 1/2 hour bus or car ride), the beaches in delaware, the vineyards in virginia, as well as an inexpensive bus ride to boston and farther up the east coast. i'm ready to get out of my little rut that i feel like we've all been stuck in with this long, cold winter.

move it outside
in an effort to cut down costs, i really want to back away from paying gym membership fees for now. i might start back up again when we're in the dead of summer, but spring weather is the perfect time to take your workouts outside. fresh air and sunshine + getting your heart beating is just about the best medicine one can take. so rather than fretting about not having a gym to work out at, i'm going to take advantage of the great outdoors and challenge myself to some fun, new outdoor workouts. 

what about you guys? how will you bloom where you're planted this season?

{ shop for: woven textures }

i came across this photo the other day and it reminded me why i love using woven textures in design so much. so simple (and often very affordable) while still making a huge impact. layering textures is one of my favorite ways to add interest to a room. if you're like me and constantly changing your mind, focusing on textures rather than color can be an easy way to keep your pieces versatile.

{ TGIF }

well, i am certainly ready for the weekend. tonight ANNA is coming over for a girls night dinner and a nancy meyers movie date. god, i don't think anything makes me quite as happy as a nancy meyers movie. i wish i could live in one. it's just instant happiness. 

my hope for this weekend is to balance a weekend of relaxation and productivity. i find that i either spend so much time relaxing that on monday my house is still a mess and i'm disorganized and in a funk, or i spend the whole time trying to get everything in order that it feels like the weekend never even happened. i want to make an effort to stay in bed late with a cup of coffee reading a good book and cuddling with my little family, but not let it get me into a slump for the rest of the day. we'll see how that goes. ;)

thank you all again for the wonderful notes and messages this week. you're the best. i'm feeling so inspired and ready to share content next week that i feel really good about - so stay tuned. and until then, have a happy weekend! lovelovelove.

{ huge thank you + what life is really like before a photoshoot }

{photo by the amazing Love By Serena for SMP Living}

I just wanted to send out a huge thank you to all of you for your extremely kind words about our feature yesterday on SMP Living. I was beyond excited when Jacquelyn reached out to me for the feature, and seeing it come to life was such a dream come true. Most days my life is pretty mundane, and I'll be honest, getting ready for the shoot was tooootal chaos. I mean literally y'all, I had to stuff so many random things in drawers and nooks and crannies so that it wouldn't all be in the way of the shoot, and I STILL don't know where anything is! I was getting ready for this thing until the very last possible second. I think I got dressed five minutes before Serena (the amazing photographer) got there. I didn't even have time to shower. So there's that! Most things aren't as glamorous as pictures might have you believe, but we are so, so thankful to have this little home of ours captured so beautifully, and couldn't be more grateful for all of your kind words and comments.

As a decorator, it can be hard not to put a TON of pressure on yourself when it comes to your own home. I wanted this apartment to reflect my style and taste in every way, but it's not just mine. I share it with this wonderful guy and that means that even if every corner isn't exactly as I would design it, it's a combination of both of us, and I think that makes it all the more special. I am a huge advocate of creating homes that are lived in, personal, reflective of those who live there, and have an easy elegance about them. No one wants to live in a museum. If my dog couldn't cuddle up with me on the couch, I'd be horrified. I hope that comes through in my designs and client work.

If you're interested in working together, please don't hesitate to hop over to my website and learn about the services we offer. Whether you live in Baltimore, DC or across the nation, there's a plan for you. Thank you all so, so much again for the support. It means the world!


{ where to start when designing a room }

one of the main issues i see my friends and family have when designing a room from scratch is not knowing where to begin. an empty room is one of the most glorious but intimidating things on earth. (alright, probably not on earth, but just go with me here.)

most designers have their own process that they use when starting from scratch, so there is no end all be all method. i read a great article the other day on a designer that i really love who always begins his designs with the walls, which i found really interesting. i absolutely love shopping for fabrics and textiles, and since that's where i'm most inspired, that's typically where i begin. one of the BEST pieces of advice for those who are trying to decorate their own home though, is to begin from the ground up. many times a rug will give you an instant color scheme to pull from, which takes the guess work out of figuring out what goes with what. 

here's a simple little doo dad that i put together in photoshop as an example...

now that's pretty basic - it's got just the essentials for the most part so use your imagination and build in some art and accessories, but you get the gist. 

so i started with the rug, and when i came across that peacock blue sofa it was all over, y'all. it perfectly picks out the deeper blue tones running through the carpet. the pillows and lamps were colors that i took from the rug as well, and the chair, tables and ivory paint are neutrals to keep things feeling grounded and sophisticated (though now that i'm looking back at the room i'm thinking crisp white paint would work nicely too).

another key component to take into account are the shapes in the room. the sofa and side tables are all square and streamlined, so i wanted to be sure to add in some curves with the coffee table and chair. if you were to put in a square/rectangular coffee table instead, it might look more like this...

while i love the coffee table itself, it all feels a bit too boxy for me. which look do you prefer? any tips for others on how to approach the design process? do tell!

{ TGIF + a new website! }

happy friday everyone. i am so very thankful for the weekend to be here. i've been spending a lot of time with my sister this week, and it's been so wonderful to get to have some quality time with her. there's just nothing quite as wonderful as family. i'm playing catch up a bit today, as i had a few more important things to tend to this week that took me away from my work for a little bit. luckily, i have amazing clients that are very understanding. it feels good to be getting back on top of things, and i'm looking forward to a fresh new start next week.

in other news...i finally have a big girl website! while Caitlin Creative is definitely sticking around here in the blog world, i decided that as far as my business goes, i'm ready to return to my roots.

hop on over to see the new site if you'd like! i'd love to hear any feedback. 

sending you all lots of love and a happy weekend!

{ products i'm dying to use for my clients }

you know those pieces that you just can't get out of your head once you see them? like you look for every opportunity possible to be able to use them? well. i do. and i'm very impatient about it. 

there are about a zillion more wallpapers from Osborne and Little that I could list here (i want to use them all), but i think this one would be so darling in a kids room. 

i love this one too. is there anything more classic than blue and white? {via}

Ann Sacks has some of the most beautiful tile i've ever seen - i love the movement and pattern that this has. it's unique while still being classic. {via}

i love that this fixture feels rustic and a little traditional but modern all at the same time. 

i'd love to use this one in a more traditional setting - i actually designed a "fake" room around it the other day when i was just trying to free up some creative energy and do something without thinking about scale or budget or floorplans.

so there you have it - a few pieces i'm loving lately. thoughts? what treasures can you not get out of your head these days?

{ inspired by this: family-friendly bungalow }

i truly find myself inspired by so many types of design, but my favorite homes tend to be elegant (without being fussy), layered and collected (without being cluttered), and simple (but not lacking interest).

what i really love about this home is that it's exactly that: a home. design is not just about creating a beautiful space. it's about creating a space for people to live in. to sink into the couch and watch television in. to have their family over for dinner. to ring in the new year. and they can't very well do all of those things if their home feels like a museum. 

the gallery wall full of family photos, a classic roll arm linen sofa, and plenty of textures make this home feel interesting, personal, and completely approachable. 

what's inspiring you lately? happy hump day everyone! lovelovelove.

all photos via domaine home with interior design by jute.