Guest Bloggers

Pink Loves Brown: Favorite Things

August 19, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Pink Loves Brown

Hello there. I’m Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely and Pink Loves Brown. I’m so excited for Holly, and I hope she’s settling in and enjoying her new home and her new country! I’m honored to fill in today as part of Holly’s guest series, “A few of my favorite things”. If you’re familiar with my blog Making it Lovely, you know that I’ve chronicled the work I’ve done to my house since moving in two and a half years ago. Here are five areas of my home that I love and that make me happy. Hopefully they’ll make you happy too.

Pink Loves Brown: Favorite Things

I adore my pink living room! It’s feminine but not girly, modern but not stark, graphic but not too intense. Of all the rooms in my home, the living room probably best exemplifies my style. Each piece of furniture reminds me of what was going on in my life at the time. The couch was the first big furniture purchase my husband and I made.  The coffee table was an impulse purchase that I didn’t even have room for at the time, but I knew we’d someday have a home and it’s proven to be perfect here. The rocker of course will always remind me of my baby Eleanor, because we bought it for her. And the zigzag rug (you can just see a smidge of it in that photo) reminds me of doing the National Stationery Show last year, because we bought in while we were in New York for the Pink Loves Brown booth.  I love being surrounded by beautiful things with such wonderful memories attached to them!

Pink Loves Brown: Favorite Things

Ah, the wallpapered dining room. My husband and I did that while I was five months pregnant. Then again, that wasn’t so unusual… I tackled a lot of projects throughout my pregnancy! I can’t just sit still. Anyway, I always knew I wanted wallpaper in the dining room but it took me two years to settle on a pattern. In the end, I chose a pattern that I had considered right from the beginning. I tend to overthink things sometimes!

Pink Loves Brown: Favorite Things

I spend a LOT of time in my daughter Eleanor’s room these days, so this photo makes me particularly happy. I read to her in that chair, I feed her there, we take naps together in it, and I soothe her by rocking in it. Some days are hard as I’m going through them, but looking back I know I’ll see that overall this has been a very, very happy time in my life. I couldn’t have imagined that fifteen pounds of cuteness could make me so happy.

Pink Loves Brown: Favorite Things

What can I say?  This makes me smile. All my pretty shoes and my patterned dresses above, all organized neatly behind closet doors. I think I’ll have to add some wallpaper to the inside of my closet and then it will be just perfect. A happy little surprise just for me, that I can see every morning.

Pink Loves Brown: Favorite Things

The room won’t stay like this for long, and soon my baby will be sleeping in her nursery instead of at my side. Right now though, I cherish her closeness. The cradle is a family heirloom on my husband’s side, spanning several generations. Eleanor’s father, cousins, aunts, grandmother, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather have all slept there, and now it’s her turn.

I’d like to talk a little now about inspiration. I’m often asked about what inspires me to design new stationery or pull a room together, but it’s a hard question to answer. I’m always filing ideas away, whether I’m out on a walk, watching TV, reading magazines, or just sitting on my porch. I think the easiest reference point would be blogs though. I love blogs! I read new posts over breakfast every morning, and I save particularly interesting photos to a folder on my computer called “some things I like”. I have everything sorted from there into sub-folders, and I like to just browse through everything from time to time. Sometimes I pick up on a color combination, other times I might pick up on a particular room arrangement. Either way, I’m often inspired after my morning read!

Oh, and I know it’s probably a huge cliché, but I’m also inspired by my daughter. Sometimes I look at her, and she strikes me as so beautiful and lovely, I want to make her world a fitting place for her.

In parting, I’m leaving you with some of my favorite advice. I try to remember and act on these three quotes (though I’m sorry I don’t know to whom they’re attributed):

“A good idea today is better than a perfect idea tomorrow.
“Don’t let best get in the way of better.
“Done is better than perfect.

They all embody the same idea.  An idea that is hard for the perfectionist in me to act on. It’s so easy to be paralyzed by the pursuit of perfection that you end up doing nothing! Remember how I said I tend to overthink things? Sometimes when I’m working, I just have to force myself to hit “publish”, “send”, or “print”. Then I do it, and I’m always so much happier afterwards. -Nicole.

(images: nicole balch)


  • Reply InkSpot Workshop August 19, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Great job over here! Looking forward to new posts and I always love seeing your adorable bungalow and new bundle-o-joy.

  • Reply Marlene August 19, 2009 at 8:01 am

    You have a beautiful and cozy home.
    .-= Marlene´s last blog ..Whimsical Bird Print =-.

  • Reply Claire August 19, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Beautiful, love the soft pink in your living room and the way everything works together so well. You’re right it’s the perfect mix.
    .-= Claire´s last blog ..Ribbon rack =-.

  • Reply Petra (petrified in pink) August 19, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Your home is so lovely and you’re such an inspiration to me, I wish I had half your energy and sense of style! Being somewhat of a perfectionist myself I love the advice you quote, I will put them on my inspiration wall in my office (I just started working from home), so they’ll remember to just do it already:-)
    .-= Petra (petrified in pink)´s last blog ..Som utlovat: recept på världens godaste kladdkaka (signerat Petra) =-.

  • Reply cheryl R (clee') August 19, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Lovely pics and writing. I too am a recovering perfectionist! But let’s not change too much; I hear so often in arts and entertainment “s/he’s so hard to please – s/he’s such a perfectionist” – and it seems that person is the one whose work I admire the most. We just need to be able to retain our high standards while actually finishing projects – and you seem to be doing that very well.

  • Reply Martha August 19, 2009 at 9:04 am

    I have a sourcing question… the felt (?) flower on your bed side table comes from ____________?

    I like to have fresh flowers around our apartment but I don’t do it often enough. Something like that little yellow guy would help to brighten up a vase with no water required.
    .-= Martha´s last blog ..Getting Ready to Paint the Living Room =-.

  • Reply Natalie August 19, 2009 at 9:09 am

    That chair in the coral and cream print is amazing. I will endeavour to possess something at least a little bit similar to it in my lifetime!!
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..The great #twitterbreak =-.

  • Reply honey living August 19, 2009 at 9:19 am

    thanks for sharing your beautiful home. i love the variety of textures and colors you use…and i agree, your living room is soft and pretty, but not overtly feminine.

    i share your feeling about the importance of having spots in your home that make you feel whole and recharged. earlier this summer, i posted about the importance of lovely outdoor spaces. you and your readers would probably relate. i’d love for you to check out my post here:
    .-= honey living´s last blog ..tiny treasures…squeaky clean =-.

  • Reply Laura August 19, 2009 at 9:30 am

    While pink is not my color, Nicole, you pull it off perfectly! And I absolutely love the rug in your living room! And, though you didn’t show it, your library is one of my inspiration rooms! Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Desk Decision In It’s Final Hours =-.

  • Reply Nuit August 19, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Nicole, your blog is a lovely daily inspiration to me… and I am always looking forward to little Eleanor’s monthly photograph. xo
    .-= Nuit´s last blog ..Pure Bliss!!!!! =-.

  • Reply City Chic - Jamie August 19, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Your home is lovely! I would have a smile each morning I pulled open that shoe storage as well :) Thanks for sharing your inspiration!
    .-= City Chic – Jamie´s last blog ..Sunday Afternoon with Amy Butler’s Software =-.

  • Reply montague August 19, 2009 at 10:22 am

    i love your home – thank you for walking us through it!
    .-= montague´s last blog ..ferragosto =-.

  • Reply The Bella Girls August 19, 2009 at 10:24 am

    What a wonderful post. Your home is truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing.


  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente August 19, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Ahh…Nicole’s home is so incredibly beautiful….I love all of the beautiful colors(so want to paint my dining room a pink like that), love the astrid chair, the art, the nursery, the basinet….just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your home with us Nicole and I am so glad you said that “done is better than perfect”, cause what I get done is far from perfect but, it does get done!( most of the time :)
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..It’s my bag, baby! =-.

  • Reply Casey August 19, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Beautiful home! I love the quotes, also – especially “Done is better than perfect.” Might be a good one to tell my boss….though, probably not the best idea! :)
    Thanks for the inspiring post.
    .-= Casey´s last blog ..Boot and Bonnet MINI Cooper Tote =-.

  • Reply Jennifer August 19, 2009 at 11:45 am

    All lovely photos! I love your dining room and look at all your glorious shoes! So pretty, such eye candy!

    I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far!

    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..An obsession of mine………. =-.

  • Reply Brandi August 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    One of my favorite “favorite things” posts. I always love reading your blog. Your style is amazing and watching you as a mother is just as fun. Everytime I pull your blog up it makes me smile. It’s the colors. They are some of my favorite, I only wish I could incorporate them as well as you do in my everyday life.

    I’ll keep thinking about it…. and one day, maybe I’ll just do it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply Nicole August 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I love your blog, and it’s nice to catch you elsewhere every now and then!
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..Something New: VivaTerra Registry =-.

  • Reply Six Different Ways August 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Two of my favorite blogs in one place! Nicole your home is so lovely and such an inspiration to me as I start to decorate my first home. Wonderful post!
    .-= Six Different Ways´s last blog ..Another Unique Rug =-.

  • Reply Claire August 19, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    What a cute home. Thanks for letting me know that I’m not the only one that takes comfort in knowing her shoes are arranged in a presentable manner.
    .-= Claire´s last blog ..HOW TO CLEAN GLASS SHOWER DOORS =-.

  • Reply Susan the shoppe owner August 19, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    This is a lovely sharing of favorite things. I love the little Black Apple prints throughout, too.
    .-= Susan the shoppe owner´s last blog .."Trust me. It’s the right thing to do." =-.

  • Reply Genelle August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    “…paralyzed by the pursuit of perfection…” I can relate! I overthink things too and get NOTHING done. I’m learning to “Just Do It” and remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Thanks for the great quotes! LOVE your website! My green suitcases are displayed in my new office space (I haven’t even taken the tags off because I love them too!). (Photo on my blog:
    .-= Genelle´s last blog ..DESTASH – Bridal Accessories, Satin Roses =-.

  • Reply Marian August 20, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Very lovely use of pink throughout! I also follow your blog.
    .-= Marian´s last blog ..Thanks Melissa! =-.

  • Reply Making it Lovely August 20, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Thanks, everyone!

    Martha, the felt flower was from a craft show several years ago, but the I think the maker stopped making things shortly thereafter.

    Genelle, I love that you even kept the tags on the suitcases! :)
    .-= Making it Lovely´s last blog ..Double Feature =-.

  • Reply mrslimestone August 20, 2009 at 10:07 am

    So smart to organize your “some things I like” folders. I just keep everything haphazard and never know where to find it when I’m looking.
    .-= mrslimestone´s last blog ..More Brooklyn: Greetings from Coney Island. =-.

  • Reply resalikescolors August 20, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I’m envious of your shoe storage! Where did you find those drawers?
    .-= resalikescolors´s last blog ..a day out =-.

  • Reply Jess August 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    “Don’t let best get in the way of better.“ is EXACTLY the quote I needed to hear right now. Thanks for my new mantra!
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..peaches =-.

  • Reply silvie August 23, 2009 at 11:27 am

    wheres that painting from the one with the yellow backround with the girl with brown hair and flowers? i love it

  • Reply Georgia @ Yeah Hello August 24, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Thank You for the lovely advice! That’s so realistic, about not sitting on good ideas for too long … I struggle with that on a daily basis.

  • Reply Cindy August 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    i also have an ikea wardrobe w/ drawers like that. putting shoes in there is such a great idea! i might just have to do that!
    .-= Cindy´s last blog ..Te + Alex’s Wedding, Part I: Buddhist Ceremony =-.

  • Reply Rushi November 11, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Hey, thank you very much. I am trying to repaint my living room while keeping my existing furniture and this is the exact combo I was lookin for but was not sure whether they’d go together.. But they do. simply awesome.. Thanks again…

  • Reply Charlotte January 23, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Hey, just finishing off my living room now and love your blog. I have to ask, where did you get the yellow print with the girl/flowers? I LOVE that, never seen a print like that one!

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