Where My Friends Live: Jessica & Dawson

LA home decor

My pal Jessica came to Raleigh this weekend. It was so fun, not only because she has a great group of friends that I am not-so-secretly plotting to make my own, but we also got to talk in real life about what we talk about every day online: blogging and our homes. When she asked me if I’d be interested in using some photos of her home on my blog, the answer was obvious. I’ve never actually been to Jessica and Dawson’s cottage, (why are you so far away, L.A.?) but now more than ever I am so excited to someday visit! Jessica always has the best ideas (like painting her ceiling metallic – genius) and I love seeing how real people with real budgets can take pieces that are more readily available and make them their own. Take it away, Jessica!

My husband, our furry child and I live in a tiny cottage in that’s around 480 square feet. We both work full time at challenging jobs. Since we won’t be living here forever, and we moved here with nothing, my goal was to be as quick and thrifty as possible in our decorating. I tried to find ways to combine low-cost pieces so that they looked really layered and chic. It’s been a challenge to find furniture that fits both our style, budget and the space.
Armchair, sheepskin and blanket from IKEA. Bookcase and pillow from Target. Coaster from a roadside market in Hawaii, aloe plant by a miracle and mother nature.

LA home decor

The dining nook was the first room that actually felt like us. When we first moved in, the entire room, including the ceiling, was painted bright pumpkin orange. I (with lots and lots of help from my in laws and friends) painted the living and dining area cream to calm everything down and help the space seem larger. I painted the ceiling metallic gunmetal gray (with lots of help from my husband, because painting ceilings is awful), which makes the room feel taller and helps better define the space. I also customized our curtains by adding a large stripe of teal to the bottom. That was an achievement because I have no sewing experience.
All dining room furniture from IKEA. Sheepskins and polka dot pillows (on dining room chairs) are from IKEA. Floral curtains from World Market, teal fabric and lamp from IKEA. Kitchenaid convection oven from Macy’s. Antler Candlestick from Z Gallerie. Framed art from friends/various sources. Quatrefoil mirror from Target.

LA home decor

Our cottage has a great yard with tons of very active rosebushes, so we always have fresh flowers for the house.
Bud vase from a relative’s basement, blue votives from my sister-in-law’s wedding. Small plate from Sur La Table and salts from Williams Sonoma. Silver votive from Target, silver dino by me.

LA home decor

My husband loves his TV so much. I customized the stand with knobs from Anthropologie. Robbie, our dog, has a basket for toys, which helps keep his stuffed animal obsession somewhat contained.
Bookcase and entertainment center from IKEA. Antler Candlestick from Z Gallerie. Bowl from Crate and Barrel, vase from a flea market.

LA home decor

The most time consuming project I’ve worked on to date has been wrapping our extensive movie collection. We don’t have a lot of space to store it, so I decided to cut down on the visual clutter in our living area and hand-wrapped all the cases in shades of white and cream paper. It took forever but I am so glad I did it – it makes a huge difference in the room. The animal hook is from Anthropologie and provide a great place for my bags and Robbie’s leashes. It’s one of my favorite details of the room.

LA home decor

My favorite project was painting stripes in our mini-hallway. The space is small, so I didn’t want high contrast. I used a very light cream in gloss over the darker cream eggshell base.  It’s super subtle and feels very chic.
Armchair, sheepskin and blanket from IKEA. Bookcase, pillow and frames from Target. Weird metallic stool thing from Home Goods. Painting by me, still-living plant by a miracle and mother nature. Cowhide from Wipelli Inc. Coaster from a roadside market in Hawaii.

LA home decor

When we first moved in, our bedroom was bright teal. With help from my wonderful in laws I painted it a calm gray. The throw pillow originally was white and gray, but had an accident in our washer – I actually prefer it teal. Because of all the patterns and textures, our room feels really relaxing and cozy, but still masculine enough that my husband doesn’t feel completely left out. The photo above our bed was a wedding gift from one of my best friends, who also took the photo.
Bed, bedside table, curtains, duvet cover and embroidered pillow from IKEA. Grey striped sheets and photo frame from Target. Photo by Alina Patel. Coaster from Anthropologie.


  • Kelsey

    SO cute! and i was wondering why those curtains look so familiar! I have the placemats made of the same fabric on my kitchen table! (which you (alison) bought me the matching blue napkins right before i moved!)

    • lovecitron

      Aah I love it! And that fabric!

  • Kathleen

    Beautiful decor! Painting the ceiling a metallic color is very clever. What a lovely cottage.

  • Amber

    This looks like such a grown up space and I love the metallic ceiling!

  • Frances

    too cool. what’s with the deer antlers? love the stripes. when you described them, i thought, “ouch, could be busy” very nice tho. got excited when I saw all the soft cover “journals” thinking they be sketchbooks. then “huh? wow!” you hand covered and printed all those? nice way to eliminate the jumbled busyness of DVD covers!!