HouseLovely Tour

HouseLovely Tour

Hello friendly faces! Happy Friday! I am so excited to be bringing you another addition of HouseLovely! I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO SEE THIS HOUSE! You are in for a treat!!!!! But first some quick notes...

Just wanted to give you all a heads up that we will be leaving for Ireland early next week. We are going to Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare, where our friends Liz & Matt are getting married! Going to a country we've never been to before ++ witnessing our friends get married ++ a kid-free trip= EXTREME EXCITEMENT HOME ADDITIONNNNNNNN!!!!! 

I have to brag on Liz for a second. Not only is she a lovely, kind human who is basically a living saint, she is also sooo creative! A few weeks ago we received this hand-delivered box at our door...

It's our "Flight to Ireland" kit! Everything we need for a smooth plane ride-- eye masks, a carry-on cocktail kit, even tumblers with their crest on it! (Yes, I said crest. And yes, I refuse to drink out of any glass that doesn't have a crest on it from here on out.) To get you in the mood the box included a playlist with some of their fav irish music. So beautifully packaged and complete with a little book outlining the itinerary of the trip. I MEAN HONESTLY! I'm basically a terrible flyer. (TERRIBLE. Like I was googling probability of dying in a plane crash earlier this week, terrible.) But seeing this actually made me EXCITED for the flight! 

Anyway, this MAYYYY effect my posting next week. We will be gone through the weekend. Imma do my best to watch The Bachelorette and bust out a quick post (that's just what hard-hitting journalists like myself DO, you see...) but I may be a few days behind. I can't decide if I'm going to bring my computer or not. I'M LIVING ON THE EDGE!! 

Either way I promise to come back with lots of pics and stories and possibly a thick Irish accent if all goes as planned!!!!


Who: The Ponnuru Family. Ramesh, April, Mary (12), Betsy (6) 

Where: Alexandria, Virginia

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What's your family motto? 

TBD (Editor's Note: She says TBD but what she really means is "Tres Beautiful Design." TRUST ME.)

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I started out with a very neutral backdrop, and kept the bright colors to the accessories. I found gorgeous designer fabrics online and had pillows made out of them on Etsy. I switch them out seasonally.

Pillows are a fun, inexpensive way to completely change the mood of a room. Don't be too matchy-matchy and consider investing in some gorgeous designer fabrics from pillow shops on Etsy. You may not be able to cover your entire sofa in your favorite Scalamandre print, but a 22" pillow in the same fabric will make a huge impact. 

I love boxes! This little corner is home to three: a Chinese leather hatbox I picked up in Hong Kong; a lovely rosewood box inlaid with ivory and brass from India, and a small marble box topped with a sweet brass bunny.

What's your favorite place in the house?

My kitchen. We expanded it when we remodeled, and even though my builder pressured us to add an island, we chose to keep it open and never regretted it. I love black and white, I think the checkerboard marble floor gives it a timeless quality. 

What's your favorite "big box" investment piece? 

Our mirrored chest from Z Gallerie like the one below...

Click HERE for the link

Click HERE for the link

Chinoiserie love! The green walls make the dining room feel warm and inviting. I've had this botanical screen since we were newlyweds in a rowhouse on Capitol Hill and I don't think I'll ever part with it. I found the ceramic pot with those amazing gold balls on a trip to the Amalfi Coast last summer; I still can't believe it shipped in one piece! The silver tea and coffee service in Gorham's Fairfax pattern was my thirtieth birthday present.

 What's your favorite unique piece of furniture or decor? 

Our vertical bookshelves. (Sometimes called Sapien bookcases.) They are a really fun way to store a lot of books in a small space and have them look interesting as well. I chose metal as opposed to wood because the thin metal shelving completely disappears between the stacked books.

Editor's Note: And because April is TOO LEGIT TO QUIT, she provided us a visual aid for what the shelves should look like:

YES. ALL OF THE YES. FULL TO THE BRIM WITH BOOKS.

YES. ALL OF THE YES. FULL TO THE BRIM WITH BOOKS.

NEGATIVE, GHOST RIDER. TOO BARE LOOKING.

NEGATIVE, GHOST RIDER. TOO BARE LOOKING.

Where to buy: You can find them just about anywhere these days. Overstock has quite a few at different heights. Some can even be mounted on the wall, which is a cool look and perhaps a bit safer if you have small children who like to pull at things. The Container Store also has a good one. 

Can you tell I love Chinoiserie? This little study is home to blue and white porcelain and pillows to match. The mirror is made to look like porcupine needles.

Porcupine mirror, blue and white porcelain, sconces are by Visual Comfort.

Porcupine mirror, blue and white porcelain, sconces are by Visual Comfort.

Editor's Note: After April sent me this picture of her mantle, I went and ripped everything off my mantle and burned it at the stake, because it was no longer worthy. JKJK I didn't do that. But I wanted to. I asked her to give us some mantle styling tips....

My weakness is pairs-- I just love symmetry-- and some days I look around and see two of everything. I was determined not to do that with my mantle, so I went for a grouping of blue and white chinoiserie porcelain instead. With a long mantle like mine, I find that a collection often works best. Just be sure you vary the heights of the objects, and try to have a focal point where the eye can rest. 

What's the cheapest thing you do to make it lovely?

Lighting. Put dimmers on everything and take it down a few notches in the evening. As my mother would say, "We're not operating in here!" And candlelight works magic on rooms--and people too!

Backyard #goals.

Backyard #goals.

Editor's Note: There's more where that came from too. The Fun Fact is that April recently sold this house (shout out to MY MOM who was her amaz realtor!!) and she's building a new home in Alexandria. Check out the video below for an ENTIRE HOUSE TOUR!! 


WOWZERS MEOWZERS!!! (That's a Joel-ism right there.) What a fantastic house!! The amazing thing is April is not a professional decorator. Though she totally could be!! She's just a regular human like you and me. (SHOCKING INFO, I know.) She definitely has figured out how to make her home warm, inviting and beautiful! I can't wait to force her into allowing me to showcase her next house!

P.S. In case you missed it, be sure to check out our kick-off to HouseLovely with Kelley's FABULOUS home found HERE (I've also added a link in the menu bar!)

And as always...

I'm always looking for more HouseLovely submissions. If you wish to submit your house- please do! Write "HouseLovely" in the "blog post ideas" box below! If your in the DMV area, I can come, interview and take pics! If you live far away-- fear not! Just answer the 5 questions I asked above and submit me some pictures of your lovely home! I look forward to featuring YOUR place on HouseLovely. 


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