If you’ve been following along on our home renovation, you know that we’ve done (and are still doing) a lot to make the space our own. I am still not quite settled into my new studio (although it is doing much better than the rest of the house right now). I had a few ideas about the feeling I wanted to achieve in this space – white walls, lots of natural light, plenty of storage and since this is KZ headquarters I wanted to make sure to get a little color in there too. These photos are roughly what I have in mind – My dream has always been to do more than just art, but also to host events, collaborate with other creatives, set up photo sessions and create without limitations. This space opens the doors to many of those things. Still left to do in the studio – replace the light fixture, install shelving, hang bulletin/mood board and purchase/hang curtains. To see more of my inspiration, check out my Studios & Work Spaces Pinterest board.
Setting the table ranks right up there as one of my favorite holiday activities. This year I wanted to create a comfortable and carefree vibe that felt fresh and modern yet had enough fall tones and autumnal motifs to make it season appropriate. Instead of the usual warm reds, oranges, tans and taupes, I was inspired to switch it up with plum purple and yellow. I also paired natural materials like wooden bowls and trays with shiny elements like polished silverware and mercury glass votives.Forget the fancy centerpiece and try a fresh floral garland instead. It feels festive and fun, and it will last throughout the holiday season. Nestle smaller floral arrangements, white pillar candles and wooden candle holders with white tapers around the garland. Scatter acorns to fill in the gaps. Incorporate seasonal fruit or vegetables when possible. This time of year I love persimmons. They add an outdoor vibe and a pop of color.Use a variety of sizes, textures and colors to decorate your table. Create layers. Use napkins, place cards, napkin rings, silverware or any little decorative elements. A name card topped with a few sprigs of wheat is a one minute DIY that makes it feel like a party. Mix and match. I used two types of glasses (goblets and vintage coupes), two different sets of cloth napkins, three types of dishware and a combination of crisp lines and curves to offset one another. Pay attention to every last detail. Consider whipping up a cocktail that fits the color scheme. For this one, I mixed equal parts ginger beer and pomegranate juice. Add a splash a whiskey if you’re feeling bold.Every party needs a cheese plate. The perfect one has a lot of variety and textures. Here I used harvest fruits and vegetables, smoky almonds and broken up bits of Taza dark chocolate. Olives are contained in small bowls to keep things separated. Artisan bread is torn into pieces and there are several different cheese options (soft and hard). I used Frisian Aged Gouda, Delice de Bourgogne Brie and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar all served on a big wooden board. You could also add dried fruits, honey or fresh figs. The more pairings, the merrier! What ideas did you take away from this organic modern holiday table? Will you be recreating any of them in your home? I hope you are feeling inspired for the upcoming holiday months!
photos, concept and styling by kate zitzer
I wish these ladies below were actually something so I could be one of them for Halloween. I haven’t decided what I am going to be yet! Have you? A few years ago we dressed up as Wayne and Garth and it was one of my favorite costumes ever! Tonight we are going to a friend’s Halloween party, and we’ll be bringing a pitcher of this apple cider sangria. I hope everyone has a safe, but fun and creepy, weekend!
One of my favorite stops on my trip to DC was the Botanic Garden. Filled with climbing vines and hanging fruit, vibrant orchids and lush palms, it’s dedicated to demonstrating the importance of plants to the well-being of humankind. Some of their plants were so fascinating - deep green hues and bright purples, stripes and patterns, etc. I wandered around there for hours - it was so peaceful and inspiring! photo credit kate zitzer
The month of October I’ve been swamped – lots going on over here and not a lot of downtime. As much as I hate having to shuffle my artwork to the back burner, house projects, travel plans, parties to prep for and friends to see have made it unavoidable. Plus when you are a one woman show, it can become quite daunting to manage all of the priorities by yourself, and sometimes certain things have to give. In previous years I’ve been very dedicated to my art. I try to set ambitious, but realistic, goals for myself. This year, because of everything else that’s going on, I knew that I would have to be a bit more flexible and not so hard on myself with meeting my goals. I hope to get back into the creative swing of things soon! Above are a few images of what’s been keeping me so busy lately via Instagram. Instagram has become such an amazing way to share life’s little moments, so if you aren’t following me there yet, be sure to check it out and please say hello – I’m always looking for fun new people to meet and follow!
photos source kzbykatezitzer Instagram
Any free time we’ve had the last couple of months has been dedicated to working on our new home. Rooms are finally starting to come together and I am thrilled with our progress! To save time (and our backs) we hired a floor guy that a family member recommended. In less than 24 hours he sanded down and stained all the wood floors a dark espresso color. I love it! While the floors were drying and curing, we started painting the walls. I picked out several different paint swatches and narrowed it down to a few different samples. After testing them out on the walls, we decided on Super White in a matte finish by Sherwin Williams for the main floor, Gray Owl in the family room and Half Moon Crest for the den both by Benjamin Moore.
Once the floors were dry and the rooms were painted, we moved on to installing the new baseboards. The baseboards are 5 1/4” tall and we choose a simple, not over the top, clean modern style. Marc painted all the boards first letting them dry over several days. We choose Ultra Pure White in a high-gloss finish by Behr. To install we used an air compressor and pneumatic brad nailer securing the nails every 12-16 inches along the entire length of the baseboard. Once they were secure we began caulking all the gaps, nail holes and seams following up with a touch up coat of the same high-gloss paint. We will be able to finish installing the rest of the baseboards once our new doors are installed and when that’s done we will be able to move in our furniture!
Most spaces are still a work in progress but here is a peek of where we are at – walls are painted, window trim is being painted, speakers are installed, baseboards are being installed, electrical outlets are being switched out, new vents are being installed and light fixtures are being replaced. We have some major cleaning to do (like every surface in this house), but at least we are starting to see some of it come together. We’ve also gotten a lot of help with this renovation from our friends and family and we’re so grateful - thank goodness for awesome parents and free labor!
I also wanted to give you a peek at the progress we’ve made in my new studio. Here’s how it looks with new floors and fresh paint - a clean slate really! We just need to paint the closet, paint the window trim, install the door, trim and the rest of the baseboards, replace the light fixture and furnish! To see all the before photos of our new home, click here.
A few weeks ago while I was in DC, we rented a car and early one Saturday morning set off toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was warm and beautiful and no complaints here. The autumn colors were just barely starting to tip some of the trees. We made stops at Breaux Vineyards, 868 Estate, the Barns at Hamilton Station and Doukenie Winery. We wrapped up the day at Bluemont Vineyards sipping rosé, devouring fresh-baked baguettes and creamy mozzarella and watching the sun set off the terrace. I wish every Saturday could be like this.
photo credit kate zitzer