FRIDAY Q&A: HOW I START A NEW DECORATING PROJECT, SURVIVING SEVERE MORNING SICKNESS, THE NEEDLEPOINT CANVAS I’M WORKING ON, AND MORE

Happy Friday, friends. We welcomed even more snow this week (truly didn’t think it was possible) and my heart goes out to everyone down south who’s much less prepared for this kind of cold than we are. If you’re looking for ways to contribute, this is a great list of organizations in Texas that need help right now. I hope you’re all hunkered down at home, staying warm, and joining me in the countdown to spring! Stay safe out there. xx

1. Baby items you can’t live without!

I get a lot of questions in this vein so I finally sat down and wrote out my ultimate baby essentials list here! I hope it’s helpful. 🙂

2. How do you start a house decorating update? So many ideas but don’t know where to start!

It really depends on the room, but I would make a list of all the pieces you already have and know you want to reuse (whether that’s artwork or a sofa) and then start going through any inspiration images you’ve saved on Instagram or Pinterest to get a feel for other pieces you’d like to introduce. You can whip up a design scheme (like the ones I shared here, here, and here) in Pages or Photoshop or do things the old-fashioned way and print out images of what you’re thinking — there’s a reason interior designers are always pinning fabric samples and paint swatches to see how it all plays together! I’m more likely to live with a room that’s completely empty (our dining room currently has a table and no chairs for instance!) than to buy something short-term just to fill the space, so know that decorating is a process and not something that has to be completed within weeks of moving into a space.

3. What are a couple classic pieces of clothing you think everyone should own?

Dark wash and white jeans that make you feel amazing, a cashmere sweater, a striped shirt, and a blue or white button-down.

4. I currently have severe morning sickness. Any suggestions on how you got by?

I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that! I had hyperemesis for the duration of my first pregnancy and the only thing that ultimately worked for me was going on prescription medication to curb the nausea and vomiting. If your doctor has ruled out hyperemesis, I would try eating smaller and more frequent meals, using peppermint oil, and keeping these nausea relief candies on hand.

5. Things you wish you hadn’t spent money on for your wedding? (From a future bride!)

Congratulations! This was something we were really thoughtful about from the beginning (we were engaged for 21 months!) so I don’t have any regrets in this regard, but a couple things that were less splurge-worthy for us personally were the flowers (we had simple “monobotanical” hydrangea bouquets on every table and felt we didn’t need anything over-the-top that would compete with the rest of the setting) and our wedding cake (we went with the least expensive option on the island, ordered a super simple cake, and added a few real hydrangeas). A couple things I’m really happy we splurged on were our band and our videographer — one kept all our family and friends on the dance floor all night and one gave us the ultimate gift to remember every detail!

millie's nantucket needlepoint canvas design darling

6. Please share more about the Millie’s needlepoint canvas you’re working on!

My mother-in-law had it custom painted by Two’s Company in South Carolina after sending them a photo of the matchbook from the restaurant. I imagine the artist could make something similar in any size you’re looking for, but since this is the largest canvas I’ve done, I’m excited to have it turned into a lucite serving tray!

7. Recommendations for how to get a built-in dining area built?

I would round up a ton of photos of the look you’re going for and then find a finish carpenter in your area to execute your vision. I’d ask family and friends in your area if they have anyone they recommend; I’ve also gotten a ton of amazing recommendations for various house projects from the realtor who sold us our house! 

8. I would love to see your picks for a formal dining room wallpaper! Leaning towards blue and white.

I love the idea of a rich navy grasscloth in a dining room (with white wainscoting underneath? swoon!) but I also love this, this, this, and this!

9. Maternity dress recommendations for a drive-by baby shower in CT in March?

Congratulations! I would do something like this, this, or this with a colorful sweater thrown over your shoulders. 

10. A trip you’re most excited for with little ones?

I don’t see us heading anywhere besides Nantucket in the foreseeable future and I can’t wait to have both little ones there this summer. And of course we would love to visit my Grandy in Florida and Will’s parents in Dallas when it feels safe to do so. But even if Covid were no longer an overarching concern, Teddy is absolutely nonstop at this age and I think bringing him on an plane for anything more than a few hours would be more stress than it’s worth! I’ve still yet to spend a night away from him so maybe Will and I will take our first solo trip together sometime after we’ve both been vaccinated… That sounds like an actual dream right now!

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  1. I missed the boat for submitting this question in advance but wanted to ask about your ordering tile/hardware/finishes for your interior projects. Do you tend to order the materials yourself or does your contractor do it? I know you often share links to thinks on Wayfair, so wasn’t sure if that was actually where you were purchasing a lot of it. I know contractors often add a markup when they order on your behalf and I’d love to avoid that, but I’m also scared of ordering the wrong thing in the wrong quantity or something and derailing the progress! Any insight on your process would be great.

  2. Thank you for answering my wallpaper question! I do have white wainscoating 🙂 I love the idea of grasscloth, I know I’ll never tire of that. Have a great weekend!