Wednesday Five - 26

Hey There! It’s Wednesday again. The final Wednesday of the month. And, as happy as I am that April has brought us some milder weather, I’m also happy to be done with the cliched April showers. Bring on the May flowers!

1. We were on a podcast. WE WERE ON A PODCAST!!! If you somehow missed this (which is sorta hard because we’ve been shouting about it for a week now), we were guests on last week’s episode of Michele Binette’s Business Homies podcast. We talked about Install Day - behind the scenes process and strategy that goes into completing a full service interior design project by fully accessorizing and styling. Spoiler alert: it’s not all that glamorous and there’s a TON of work involved. It’s also our favorite part of the process because it brings our creative vision to life and is the key ingredient to a truly magical transformation. If you’re a designer, you might be interested to compare your apples to our apples. If you’re a DIYer (or just curious), you might be interested to apply some of these tips to your own magic.

Funny behind the scenes moment that you’ll totally pick up on if you listen: our computer nearly died in the middle of recording. About 30 minutes into our conversation with Michelle (it’s done face-to-face, but only our voices are recorded), we saw the “low battery” warning pop up on our computer. Easy fix, right? One person plugs in the computer while the other keeps talking.

Well, if you can picture this, Sonia and I were sitting awkwardly close (so Michelle could see us both in her screen) at her dining room table, which is in the center of her dining room and not close to any outlets. So…we did nothing, thinking we might be able to squeak out the remainder of the interview without needing to plug in.

Mind you, all this is happening in silent acknowledgement - both seeing the low battery warning, both deciding to do nothing. We didn’t want to interrupt the conversation or let Michelle in on the hugely rookie mistake we had made. When we were at 2% battery with a solid 15 minutes left, we had no choice but to shuffle, side-by-side, across the room, while continuing our conversation, until reaching the outlet…several miles away. You’ll hear Michelle comment on this around 55 minutes into the podcast.

2. Speaking of Install Day, we had one on Monday! Our first bathroom. We’re keeping the full reveal underwraps for now…in due time…in due time. But we’ll be back next Monday with a living room Install - so get on Instagram to catch sneak peeks in our stories. Also, I recently heard Instagram referred to as “The Gram”. Try saying “the gram” out loud if you’re not 17. You’ll feel like The Gram, meaning a 92-year-old grammy. Awkward.

3. I came across a fun blog post from Room for Tuesday that I wanted to share: 6 Ways to Style a Bar Cart. We all love bar carts, especially in the summer when they’re on a patio stacked with fresh lemonade, a bowl of strawberries (for garnish) and an ice bucket full to the brim. Summer dreaming around here. Summer dreaming.

And now, some novelty ice trays


dinosaurs / water bottle sized (genius!) / airplanes / lemon ledges / Little Mermaid / cactus

4. #GrayOakPlantClub - Every Monday we post (on FB and IG) a photo of a plant used to style one of our projects. We tell you a little about the plant and give you some tips on using plants to style your home. We would love you to “join” our club by posting pics of ways you’ve incorporated plants into your home (or into your interior design project) and we’ll feature the photos on our Instagram stories every Friday.

5. Finally, World Market is having a 20% sale on outdoor furniture, decor, everything. And I want so much - outdoor string lights, a couple modern rocking chairs, acrylic stemless wine glasses…all of it. Thank goodness my house is still in the middle of a massive renovation and buying all this stuff is out of the question, or else I’d be broke.

Until next Wednesday!

- Leah

* This post contains affiliate links*

Wednesday Five - 25

Hi There! I finally pulled off a Wednesday Five! And it sort of feels like I’ve moved a mountain. Taking the past few months off blogging was not part of the plan, but it had to be. Sonia and I have been full force on client work and I’ve been squeezing in work on my own home renovation. Oh, and March was full of puke and fevers.

So, yeah. It wasn’t even a choice to ignore this blog for a bit, it simply happened. And thank goodness it did. Having one less thing to manage was relieving and necessary. Here’s the thing (that I know you know): we can’t do it all. And I find it pretty annoying (to put it in non-hostile words) when someone pretends that we can and tries to tell us how. If we want to do it all halfway and sloppy, and make silly mistakes, and not sleep and feel endless crazy, them maybe we could attempt to do it all. But, if we allow ourselves the grace of prioritizing and taking a breath instead of charging onto the next thing, then the truly important things will get done. In time.

And now, let’s dive in.

1. Are anyone else’s kids bathrobe obsessed? My daughters love them some bathrobes - a good terrycloth one out of the shower, a thick fleece one with some slippers to cozy up and lounge, a pink one with ruffles because. And so I’ve become quite the connoisseur of little girl bathrobes and can personally vouch for all three of these (if you’re in the market). Click photo for sources.

2. Way back in December, we breathed a huge sigh of relief upon learning that Joanna and Chip Gaines would be back on TV. There weren’t details as to how and when, but it was promised by Chip himself. We recently got some of those details: they’re not coming back for a show, they’re coming back as a whole friggin channel. This is the least surprising news I’ve heard in a long time (unlike all this scandalous stuff about Prince William and Kate!!!). They’re taking over the DIY Network and, I imagine, giving it a serious Magnolia makeover. It’s underway and planned for release/start/don’t-know-the-phrase in 2020.

3. Did you know that Jonathan Adler has an affordable home decor line that’s available on Well he does and it is. Here are some of our favorite pieces. We used the glass knot in a recent project. It’s a great shelfie piece.

Gray Oak Studio - New House by Jonathan Adler Roundup

candle holder / white glass knot / blond wood cocktail table / black and white “wink” tray / pedestal table / upholstered dining chair / grid box

4. We have two installs scheduled for the next two weeks. Love us some installs. Be sure to check out our Instagram feed and stories for behind the scenes.

The first is a bathroom! Here is what it looked like the last time we showed you progress.

Gray Oak Studio - Wednesday Five - stacked white subway tile wall
Gray Oak Studio - Wednesday Five - Black hex tile bathroom

And the second is a family room with an incredible fireplace transformation. Here is what it looked like at the beginning of last week.

Gray Oak Studio - Wednesday Five - Lovell Family Room Before Photo

5. Let’s quick chat about the Rule of Three, shall we? It’s design theory that groups of 3 are more appealing than groups of 2 or 5 or 9…or any other number. The theory has a couple layers, but boiled down - the human eye prefers seeing things in three because it helps us decipher the center, a comfortable focal point.

If you’re interested in learning more, here and here are some quick articles. The easiest way to begin incorporating the Rule of Three into your home is your surface styling - a coffee table and or console. You probably don’t have to add much or subtract much, just cluster things a little differently. Here are a couple quick examples of the Rule of Three in our design.

We used three books under this lovely Monstera plant in on Dover Project. And, the mirror, framed print and plant also act as a cluster of three.

Gray Oak Studio - The Rule of Three in Interior Design

And here are a cluster of three white vases on a console from our Homestead Entryway. While this frame gallery has far more than three items, there are three mirrors within the bigger plan (check it out our blog post reveal to see - here).

Gray Oak Studio - Rule of Three - cluster of white vases

That’s all for this week. Maybe we’ll be back next Wednesday…sign up for our email subscription and you’ll be the first time find out (ahem, shameless plug).

- Leah

* This post contains affiliate links*

High Point Market - Spring 2019 Trends

It’s been a long (LONG) time since I’ve shown face on the blog. For no reason other than we’ve been wonderfully busy with client projects. We have our first master bedroom projects underway (2 of them!), our first bathroom project (gut reno) scheduled for install in a couple weeks, a commercial office almost completed, a family room (our favorite) with another fantastic fireplace transformation and lots of fun consultations. Oh, and I’m also in the middle of a massive, amazing renovation to my own home (check instagram stories for updates).

You get the point.

But, after a whirlwind weekend at our first trip to High Point Market, I needed to make time to share all the amazing things we saw. It was designer Disney Land…and we can’t wait to go back.

Because High Point is a market for wholesale buyers, the trends we spotted will hit the retail market in a few months (end of summer/fall). But, I’m including pics (and links) for examples of each trend that are currently available. So, you’ll be ahead of the curve. Speaking of curve…

Curved Furniture

We spotted curvy sofas, accent tables, consoles, you name it. Most were a concave curves, but there were some convex too. This was probably the trend that we had the hardest time loving. There was a fun 80’s throwback feel to it, but…there was an 80’s throwback feel to it. In the right application, it could be show-stopping. We’ll have to see how long this one lasts.

Textured Furniture

Furniture covered in lacquered linen, lacquered raffia, shagreen and leather were absolutely everywhere. E-VERY-WHERE. Cane fronted consoles and cane chairs were everywhere. Brushed and hammered and otherwise manipulated metal was everywhere. Cerused and weathered woods are still everywhere. Conversely, smooth anything furniture is most definitely out.

Cane front console table

Cane front console table

Lacquered linen covered chest

Lacquered linen covered chest

Shagreen top desk

Shagreen top desk

Resin Top Tables Molded to Look Like Wood

If I got $1 every time a sales rep told me that the table we were looking at was not made of wood (though it looked like it), but instead made of resin that was poured into a mold made from wood…I would have been a bazillionaire. It actually became comical. Sonia and I had a hard time faking our amazement after a while.

Drink Tables

These tiny guys are the new pouf. Forget something cushy for your feet, you now need something mini for your drink.

Gray Oak Studio - High Point Spring Market 2019 -  Drink Table Trend

Object Wall Art

Object wall art and 3-dimensional art ruled. Which meant that shadow boxes also ruled. We saw framed mini Turkish rugs, framed faux vegetables, framed agate, framed gold leafed leaves (ha), framed…everything. It felt like tobacco baskets, macrame and juju hats were the gateway object wall art, and now the sky is the limit.

Rice paper

Rice paper

Gold Leaves

Gold Leaves




LED Chandeliers

Tech in lighting is happening. Some of it feels very Star Wars. Get ready.

may the force be with you

may the force be with you


Solitaire Lights

These are mini flushmounts that are used in place of recessed lights. The trend of regular flushmounts replacing canned lights has been happening, but these guys are mini - the size of recessed lights. Like curved sofas, we think they could be really awesome if done right.


Saturated blue tones and soft blush tones were still very prevalent. But, green was queen. Big time. We saw it on all sorts of upholstered pieces, leather included, in rugs, in art, in decor. It seemed to be incorporated in every “new to market” vignette.

This guy is coming out in Green leather later this year (probably august)

This guy is coming out in Green leather later this year (probably august)


So, what do you think? What will you incorporate into your home? What will you admire from a far? And what do you think is just bananas?

- Leah

(with Sonia...we spotted the trends together…duh)