Life & Design: In Transition


  • Editor’s Note:  Lauren has recently joined us at L. J. Wagner Home Interiors; and we are thrilled to have her on staff.  She has quickly proven herself to have a wonderful eye for Interior Design; and a large heart for her clients.  Stop in soon to see Lauren; she would love to help you with your next Interior Design project!


Life & Design: In Transition


a :  passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another :  change

b :  a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another

Transition: Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2015, from

Transitional Style (also known as “updated classic”, “classic with a contemporary twist”, “new takes on old classics”) in interior design and furniture design refers to a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, midway between old world traditional and the world of chrome and glass contemporary; incorporating lines that are less ornate than traditional designs, but not as severely basic as contemporary lines. As a result transitional furniture designs are classic, timeless, and clean.

Transitional Style. (2015, August 17). Retrieved August 26, 2015, from

Transitional Style Photo

Small details make a HUGE difference in styling. Find a style you like? Customize it with a small trim, or contrasting pillow to truly make it your very own!

Over the past several months my family and I have been in a seemingly constant state of transition. Our passage from one place, one job and one home to another is ongoing. Due to my husband’s job being eliminated we were in need of finding new jobs and a new home. On top of this, we welcomed our second son into the world in early June. When it rains, it pours, right?

Transitional style can incorporate a fun & comfortable look and feel.  It does not necessitate “hard, stiff” upholstery that many of us may think of when we imagine what “contemporary furniture” might be.

This journey of transition has led us to a familiar place but with a new perspective. Moving “back home” as an adult who is now married with children has brought on a whole new adventure in some of the same old places. Typically when worlds collide we anticipate chaos and disorder, which is common. But there is also something new and different that is created in the process.

In design, transitional style brings together the curves and elegance of the traditional with the simplicity and practicality of the contemporary. This blend of traditional and contemporary create a style that is sophisticated and clean. It becomes timeless and classic. Transitional design utilizes neutral tones, often in a monochromatic scheme, on furniture and flooring. Color is used in artwork and accents. While many may think that a monochromatic color scheme is boring, it allows you a new perspective to see and appreciate texture and pattern. It also provides a fantastic background to highlight pops of color.

As I continue to move through this current transition in life, I am finding that coming back to a place I have known with a new perspective is allowing me to appreciate both the old and the new. I am learning how the marriage of my past and my present, just like the traditional and the contemporary, can create a beautiful and timeless work of art.

If you are like me and are drawn to the warm wood tones of the traditional and the clean lines and neutral palette of the contemporary, you may find comfort in the transitional style. Also, if you find yourself in the midst of life change; take heart in knowing that there is beauty and adventure to be found in the transition.


Hoosier Girl….Hangs It Up!

Hoosier Girl….Hangs It Up!

Well, I’ve healed up pretty well from my bee stings; and we’ve moved into our new house!  A good amount of the boxes are empty; and the main level is in pretty good shape!  But please don’t go into the basement yet!  Yikes!

One of my favorite things to do when decorating my home is wall groupings.  I’m all for one big picture, but if I can do a few well placed wall groupings then I’m a happy camper.  I love to mix pictures of a similar theme or color palette.  An interesting shelf or sconce and maybe a vintage plate or nicknack that I’ve dragged home from a trip can add interest.

Living Room Preparation

Living Room Preparation

Here are a few that I’ve done at home in the last few weeks since I haven’t written you.

This one is my foyer/living room. I papered the accent wall, positioned the piano, and then started on the wall. First I laid everything out on the floor, keeping in mind the space that I had to fill. I usually do this by laying out a couple tape measures or yard sticks. I laid out the paintings first and then filled in with vintage plates from my Majolica collection. Then I just started tapping nails into the wall.

Wallhanging complete!

Wallhanging complete!

It seems like if you start from the bottom and with the biggest pieces the rest just kinda falls into place. I finished it  off with my little metal swallows. They are made from old oil  tins from Haiti. I found them in a charity based shop in Old Town Chicago. They really tie in with the painting and add a  bit of humor to the room. They were worth the $12 that I  paid.

The next room I did was the guest room. Obviously, I love old plates and I had to figure out a place to  use  some so they weren’t just hidden away in a cabinet or hutch.

I loved using my Grandmother's Transferware plates in the Guest Room!

I loved using my Grandmother’s Transferware plates in the Guest Room!

These brown transferware ones are so  beautiful to me. The depth of the chocolate adds warmth and coziness to this little room. The vintage  gold sconces have been  in my collection for years and have been in lots of different room. The roses on  them are repeated in  the vintage print that  anchors the grouping. A friend and I had a great time  hanging this together. Sometimes a second eye or  helping hand is a big  help when hanging a grouping.  They can stand back while you hold things up to the wall and give you the  “yay” or “ nay “ that  is needed  to get balance.

Family Pictures make great wall-hangings!

Family Pictures make great wall-hangings!

I hung a large group of family black and white photos in the stair well  to the basement. This was like putting a puzzle together.  But since  they are all of the same palette it went up rather quickly. I added a  few more after this picture was taken and can add  a few more as I collect them. That’s the fun of it!

Burlap wrap w/ nest.

Burlap wrap w/ nest.

The large nest on burlap and sconces hang in the living room over the sofa. Because I  have so many  little accessories in the room, I wanted to keep  this area simple. You’ll  notice that the nest canvas is  only hung about 2”  above the sofa and comes to within  about 4” of the ceiling. This is OK.

Better a little large then way too small; or it ends up just floating  in “space” on the wall.  The best part of this is that every night at 6:30 the battery  operated timer  candles come on. No melting wax, no soot, just a beautiful ambiance.

Hanging a set of small pictures vertically can be a unique fun look!

Hanging a set of small pictures vertically can be a unique fun look!

This triple set hangs vertically in another area of the living room  and the double set of florals is in the  hallway.  Sometimes a group  of two or three is more interesting than one long

Vintage prints in my hallway.

Vintage prints in my hallway.


It’s a good space filler! Plus, it creates a unique look not always seen.

A fun eclectic mix gives your room personality!

A fun eclectic mix gives your room personality!

This last grouping is in Mr W’s office. It’s a fun jumbly mix of new etchings, vintage prints, faux antlers, a shelf, dishes, and metal plaques that my uncle brought back from London in the 70’s. I guess I would have to say this one was the most difficult because of all the small components. Don’t try this more involved one your first time out. Work up to this. It took me a few tries and additions to get it right. Because it’s made up of many smaller items it takes more trial and error. I started again with the two bigger pictures. I overlapped the bottom one across the corner of the one on the right. Then I used small nails behind it to keep it balanced off the wall. Next came the shelf and then the rest took some thought and patience.

Well, I hope you like seeing what I’ve been up to. It’ s been fun setting up a new home for us to get cozy in. I’ll try to share more details as we go along. I want to show you the patterned carpets I chose as well as the furniture pieces.

Til next time,

Hoosier Girl

Hoosier Girl….finds a treasure!

HOOSIER GIRL….finds a treasure!

Ya know….sometimes a deal isn’t a deal.

My Lucky Day!

I was just thinking that a big fern would look great on my new porch, but it’s kinda late in the season.

I’ve got plenty of other things to worry about and spend my money on with the new house.

As I walked our Golden Retriever, Winnie, this morning I came upon a great deal.  Somebody had thrown away a HUGE fern in their trash can.  I didn’t want to carry it on the whole walk around the park, so I thought about how I was going to quickly retrieve it from the can, smack down the lid, and head for home before anyone saw my tackiness!

I saw a friend along the way and told her of my good fortune.  “Go for it!” she said; encouraging me that a little late season recycling was a good thing.

Armed with a new courage and a “lucky day” attitude, I headed for the treasure chest disguised as a trash can.  Open lid, retrieve fern, shut lid quickly, and head for home as if I always walk the dog while carrying a gigantic fern.  Yes! I did it!

Smiling at my luck, swinging my new fern, I took about 12 steps.  WAM!  Something got me.  I looked down at my leg on the fern side and saw a swarm of bees attacking me.  Dropping my fern, the swat dance commenced in full force!  Get ’em!  Get ’em!  Get ’em!

They are not as friendly as they look!

 Too late – they got me.  Wow, bee stings hurt right away, don’t they?  Limping and swatting all the way home, I was  crestfallen  at the turn of events.  No free fern, and now, in addition to the poison ivy I had picked up while weeding last week,  I now had  a good 4-6 bee stings around my thigh.

 Just let me tell you that you should NOT google what to do for a bee sting.  (that was Mr. W’s advice)  It says to rub it with a  Plantain leaf.  Where am I gonna get one of those?  This isn’t Jamaica!

 Two more bees flew out of my drawers and around the bedroom when I got home, the warm shower water made it really  hurt,  and the Benadryl made me drowsy.  Other than that it’s been a pretty good day.  But TGIF!

Lesson learned…..

Hoosier Girl