Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kids Korner - Let's Organize

If you have kids or nieces/nephews or friends with kids, then you know that the "stuff" is never-ending. Clothing, toys, books, laundry - you name it.

This is my first post in my Kids Korner series in which I'll give tips for decorating with children in mind. This first post is dedicated to organizational items since they are certainly needed when kids are involved. The goal when organizing for kids is putting it away.

And just from my own experience, it really does bring such peace to have everything in a designated spot and off the floor.

Below I've rounded up a few of my favorites and also included a few that I thought would work well too although we have not personally tried yet.

Clockwise from top left:

This wooden storage bin from Walmart would be a great way to organize books in a child's bedroom. We have some collapsible bins that we use for books but I've been thinking about getting something a bit sturdier such as this. Similar items can also be found at Homegoods or TJ Maxx.

The adorable nesting bowls are cute and decorative but could also be used in a dresser drawer to organize hair accessories for girls or could hold art supplies in a craft area as well.

You can never go wrong with a basket. We use a rectangular basket in Allison's room for dirty laundry. Once the basket is full it gets dumped into the master basket for the laundry room. This round basket by H&M is a good size and looks durable enough for toys or books. And extra points too because this could really be used anywhere in the home.

I spotted this small fabric storage bin on Etsy in the Avery William Designs shop. It comes in a variety of fabrics and could also be stored in a dresser or changing table. We use something similar in Allison's dresser for organizing toiletries. These would also be great in a bathroom.

Cute storage with lids? Major score! I'm going to need a few of these for the girls closets at some point. They can really be used for anything though - small toys, card games, art supplies.

I have never used the wall hanger organizer but I think it's such a great idea. It can hold many items but is also compact and doesn't take up a ton of space. It could also be hung in a closet or playroom too - flexibility is key.

Lastly, these metal bins with lids (!) from IKEA are versatile as well. We use one of these in Sheila's room as a garbage can. These could be used in a variety of areas as well - playroom, bedroom - even in the garage for organizing balls and lawn games.

That's my round up for you - what are some of your favorite ways to organize the kids stuff?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Photo to Fabric

The fall leaves are brilliant. Brilliant! Especially after a good rain - the colors almost become richer when the leaves are wet.

I vividly remember stepping outside our first house in Conshohocken 2 years ago and seeing the most beautiful spread of wet leaves right there on our front steps.

I came across that photo the other day and saw a design project a few photos away where the colors in the fabrics selected mimicked the leaves in my first photo.


And this my friends is my inspiration for Photo to Fabric. Fun, isn't it?

Coral and berry mixed with a deep forest green, rich mocha, chartreuse, and a touch of lilac make things interesting.

Fabric sources on the right are clockwise from top: Victoria Hagan, Victoria Hagan (Four Seasons in Fall - how appropriate!), Peter Fasano (Kalahari in Lilac), Zimmer + Rohde ikat.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Styling Sessions: Building a Vignette

The other day I had posted a photo to Instagram and I realized that I had a styling lesson to share with you. I'm hoping to post a Styling Session each week or so to give a few tips on styling various areas in the home. Obviously I love the creativity in design, but I also really love the technical aspect to design. There really IS a reason why we do the things we do...let's demonstrate on a recent mantel vignette in my home.

Here is the photo that I had posted about a week ago.


This is the right side of my fall mantle. Maybe next week I'll show you the left but for this week let's focus on this image above.

I had anchored the mantel with that large round basket that you see there at the far left of the photo.
When I clear off my mantle to re-style I always start with a large object to anchor (tip #1). You could anchor in the middle, on both ends (think lanterns), or just on one end. I chose the middle anchor in the example above.

Then I build vignettes to either side of my anchor object. The trick to building vignettes is to keep the eye moving using various heights or haphazard movement (tip #2) and to vary your texture (tip #3) - smooth, shiny, rough, natural, round, angular, etc. And here's the method to my madness: I balanced the height of my round anchor basket with the height of the large rectangular wooden frame. And then I layered in my framed botanical print in front of that. I needed to bring the eye down a bit and add some warmth, so I stacked a small box on top of a book and topped it off with a plant. Bringing the eye even lower, I added that awesome mini basket given to me by my Mom. And to finish off the look, I added the candlestick at the end (Sheila put that candle in there - nice touch).

Layers, layers, layers.

And notice that I've kept my color palette fairly consistent - neutral with red/orange/green accents - my ode to fall if you will.

Now I want to demonstrate how changing 1 single item can change the entire look. I'm always changing my plants around - usually when I'm watering them I'll move them around the house. The other day I just happened to switch out my jade plant above with another plant and look how it changed my look...


Longer, dustier green leaves mimic the leaves in the framed print. The movement of this plant works a bit better and makes my eye happier. And the ceramic cream pot jives with the box and book - keeping the palette consistent. Eeeek...I LOVE this look - and all because I simply switched my plants around.

Here are the two looks side by side:


I hope you've enjoyed my Styling Session for today - I am certainly excited about this and I hope to bring you many more of these mini lessons.

And before you leave, here are my tips again:



What I'd also like to add is that you can apply these tips to various places in your home - it's not limited to a fireplace mantel like I've shown. You could use these tips for a coffee table, shelves, a console - the possibilities are endless.

I'd love to hear what you've been working on and of course if you have questions or ideas that you'd like me to post about let me know.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Curb Appeal

Yes, I have been MIA but I was feeling the pull and wanted to show you this little color lesson or "aha" moment. We have 2 exterior doors on the front of our house - one that we consider our "main" door that you enter from the walkway and takes you into our living room and then the other door that goes directly into our lower level/family room (we rarely use this door but it can't be ignored, right?).

Both doors are painted the same color - not sure what it is since we haven't touched it since we moved in but it's very similar to BM Wythe Blue.

Here is a photo of our lower level door.


Not so bad, right? I've had the wreath for a while now (purchased at Home Goods about 4-5 years ago) but it never really said "wow" to me. The colors in the wreath are yellow/orange/red but predominantly the yellow is the most noticeable, do you agree?  

Then a few weekends ago my Mom brought me a new wreath which was very thoughtful of her so I promptly put the new wreath on our front door and brought the one that you see above down to the lower door. Here is a photo of the other "main" door that we use mostly.


Much better, don't you think? The wreath that my Mom brought me is all red/cranberry and really looks nice against the blue/green door - and we all know that blue or green and red is a great complimentary color combination. 

So there is your color lesson for today - wreaths should compliment the front door too! 

Here is a side-by-side so you can see them next to each other.


The lighting is a little off but I think the door on the right looks much crisper and more pleasing to the eye than the left (ignore the nasty brick - that's a BIG project for the future) - the advantage to the door on the left is that we have room to the side to add some other eye candy with the planter :)  That will distract me while I look for another red wreath.

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When I'm not writing on the blog, I love to connect via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. I was thrilled when a few of my favorite bloggers joined Instagram recently as well - it's been fun to connect with Erin, Fran, and Camille through a different outlet.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Thrift Store Hunting Files

It's no secret that I love to shop thrift stores, consignment shops, and flea markets. I really really get the urge to go on the hunt. And it's a very budget savvy activity for anyone looking to decorate a home (although I must say I have friends that despise going to such stores so I know this isn't for everyone but I know a lot of you know where I'm coming from here). I've even started doing a little Craig's List hunting, even though that's still probably my last go-to unless it literally pops out at me on a quick search like this small vintage stool I picked up a month ago.

I love to find new spots (such as the St. Thomas barn sale) but I also love my old favorites too. One of my favorites is Impact Thrift. It's like a toy store of fun and I wish one of these days all of you will be able to come with me sometime.

Here is my loot that I picked up the other day...all for under $10.00.


I guess I have a thing for baskets and wicker these days because I picked up another basket a few weeks ago as well (I'll show that on another post). 

There was an entire 3 or 4 shelves dedicated to baskets, but these two caught my eye. The fish was quirky and of course textural, and the octagonal shaped plate of sorts I thought could be used on a mantle or coffee table at some point.


I always go over to the book section first when I walk into the store (the store is huge). This book, Furniture and Decoration - Period and Modern by James Aronson, caught my eye. Design basics never go out of style and this book is full of the fundamentals of design. For $1.75 I couldn't pass it up both to read and to use as a prop at some point.

The cups and saucers (I bought 2 sets for $2.75 each) were the real pretty finds for the day.


They are a discontinued Fitz & Floyd china pattern (Pareille) and I love the Hollywood Regency glam look that they have not to mention entirely functional for morning coffee. It was funny because quite a few women were glancing over the pieces as I was standing there as well.

I have a lot more items to show you that I've been accumulating - remember to follow me on Instagram for more updates.

Are there certain items that you keep an eye out for when you are out at flea markets?

**Local Friends - the St. Thomas barn sale is being held on a special night - tonight! From 5-8pm. I'll be there - let me know if you will.

***This post is not sponsored. I will always let you know if I have a sponsored post. I just really love going to Impact and find it to have great price points.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Framed Photos in Our Living Room

Today we celebrate my youngest little loves birthday. Hard to believe she is a year old already. I feel like we just brought her home from the hospital.



Maybe it's just me but I feel like when we just had one child it was hard to do anything, but now that we have 2 kids I find that I want to do everything (and try to do more with the girls). I don't know if that makes sense at all, but one specific thing I've been trying to be better with is photos. I wasn't great about getting family photos done when Sheila was an infant, but I really want to make a point to have family photos taken at least once a year.

We had some photos taken this past spring and I was so happy with them. My friend Jill did a really great job and I knew I didn't want to waste any time getting these printed, framed, and hung up on the wall. My prints showed up last week and I went out to AC Moore to get my frames.


(For any local friends, Jill is doing mini-sessions in the fall. They are a half hour long and perfect if you have little ones. Jill is awesome!!)

I'm SO happy with how this turned out. I've used these specific frames from AC Moore a few times and was really pleased with them. They are so easy to use - the glass just pops out of the frame and pops back in and they are only $8.00 (and I didn't even have a coupon - shame on me). Plus, I really love the slim line of black with the white matted photos.

Not only am I thrilled to have these on the wall but the girls love to look up at the photos as well. We still haven't really done much to this room but it's slowly coming along.

Here is another shot for transparency purposes of this wall - there are toys everywhere!


Our goal eventually is to have built-in shelves installed on either side of the fireplace. Oh and that pile of coloring supplies that you can see to the far left has been rectified for the time being. 

I've been on an organizing rampage with a first birthday celebration coming up. I'll share some photos next week.

How are you with printing and framing photos? I'd love to know any photo organizing strategies.






Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What You Can Find at a Local Flea Market

Part of the fun of going to a consignment shop or flea market is never knowing what you will find (at least that's fun for me and if you're reading this then I'm thinking you might think it's fun as well). I recently discovered a "Barn Sale" about a mile down the road from our house. The sale runs the second Saturday of each month from May through October. The favorite part of the sale for me is the bric-a-brac room which is all of the housewares, but this past month's sale drew me to the book portion of the sale for the first time.

There weren't a ton of design books but there were plenty of gardening and botanical books. This little book entitled Wildflowers caught my eye (my photo is the one on the right). It's small and I liked the vintage look that it had to it and the soft color palette on the cover. For 50 cents I figured why not. The Coffee Talk book intrigued me and that small chest of drawers is going to be part of my coffee station some day.


Now do you have any idea where I found the photo on the left? That is the photo of prop stylist, Ginny Branch, and I invite you to take a look at her website when you have a chance because you might recognize a few of the projects she's worked on.

I was browsing Pinterest this past weekend and saw one of Ginny's gallery walls. Isn't it great? I popped over to her site and browsed around for a bit, and came across the photo (above left) and grinned when I saw the Wildflowers book. Not that I needed any validation of my purchase, but it's pretty darn cool when you see one of your flea market finds popping up in a stylist's vignette.

Photo courtesy of ginnybranch.comhttp://www.ginnybranch.com/#/new-work/

And this is why I wrote this post because I knew that my readers would appreciate something like this. Am I right? Who else would understand how cool of a discovery this is?