Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hello Stripes!

I'm happy to report that the striped wall was a success! 

Here is the before (sort of if you can imagine the wall without tape - the lighting is so bad in these photos)...for anyone curious or contemplating doing this, the taping and measuring is the toughest part, but it's really not that bad.  The painting is smooth sailing and fun!

And here is the wall in its current state...stripes!!  I love it and I love what it does for the room.  I love coming home and obsessing over admiring my new striped wall. 

Do those stripes rock or what?!

This weekend I'm hoping to hang the mirror to help finish off this wall - so stay tuned for more updates.

This is all part of my e-design project that I worked on with Kirsten.  She has been so helpful and encouraging through the whole process - and I've learned so much!  Can't wait to show you the final final result.


Don't forget to enter Abby's Joss & Main giveaway at A Delightful Design - giveaway ends on Friday, July 1st.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Heart Thrifting Day!

That's right...I <3 Thrifting Day is on!  This nationwide thrift shopping event is set for Saturday, July 9th.  It is being organized by the incredible Rashon aka Mr. Goodwill Hunting.   Check out his site here for nationwide info.  And for those of you in the Philadelphia area see more details below...

The Philadelphia shopping event is being hosted by Diane from InMyOwnStyle.  (If you have a chance take a few minutes to check out Diane's blog even if you can't make it to the event.  She's got so many great features and projects on her blog - not to mention her gorgeous house tour!)  The group will be hitting up four different thrift stores in Montgomery County.  Check out Diane's blog for more info on the event.  It's going to be awesome!  Let me know if you think you'll attend and leave Diane a comment on her post as well.  And there are t-shirts for this event although I believe Rashon is trying to restock as they were pretty low on inventory.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Tidbits

Happy Friday!  A few things I've been pondering this week...

My daughter's room is in desperate need of curtains.  Her room gets the afternoon/evening sun, and right now I have a fitted sheet thrown over her window to block out the light (whatever it takes, right?!)   I'm debating about this fabric:

Or going the geometric route:

Or better yet, maybe I'll do a pillow in the one that I don't choose for the curtains.  Mmm...

I had asked my Mom a few weeks ago about some doilies I remember around the house as a young girl. When my Mom came to visit a few weeks ago, she brought me a few to take a look at:

This picture doesn't do this piece justice but it is so pretty in person.   I'm just not sure where to put it or if I have the right spot for it in our home.   Here are a few more:

 Right now I just have them displayed on our dining room table (my favorite is the one on the right), but I'm debating whether or not to make something else out of them or maybe get them framed with a vibrant color background.  My Mom is not sure of the exact origin, but thinks either my Grandmother or her Mother made all of these.  The details are unbelieveable.

We've also decided on Sherwin Williams June Day for our front door.  I'm excited to see the transformation when it's all done - and I just saw that Sherwin Williams is running 30% off from June 26th-July 4th!  (I'm assuming it's a nationwide sale but just check your local shop)

Have you ever bought a candle online without smelling it in person?  I'm so curious about these candles...they were featured in House Beautiful a few months ago and I've been thinking about them ever since.

Etsy seller sydneyhale

I've got my Anthropologie birthday coupon burning a hole in my pocket so I may have a purchase or two to report back on next week.  I hope you have a great weekend!  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Keeping Up With the Times

I've talked in the past about how excited I am on Thursday mornings before I even have my second cup of coffee to open up the Home section of the New York Times.  Today's feature that popped out at me was the Q & A with Diane Keaton.  Did you know Diane is teaming up with Bed Bath & Beyond to create what they refer to as a tabletop collection called K by Keaton?  It is a line of stoneware cups, bowls, and plates inspired by the earth.

Let's take a peek...

K by Keaton dinnerware shown in grass and white (also comes in bark and wheat)

I love the endless possibilities of the white but really any of these you'd be able to mix and match with fun napkins or other pretty table linens.

And how about these appetizer plates...

Dishwasher safe.  Microwave safe.  20% BBB coupon.  Perfect!

Some other info I learned about Diane Keaton:
- Considered a serial flipper and she has bought and renovated several homes in Southern California
- This collection was inspired by her children and the need for durable goods in the kitchen - goods that were solid and well made.
- Diane is also on the board of the Los Angeles Conservancy for architectural preservation

What are your favorite dinnerware pieces that you go back to time and time again? 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Multi-Tasking Serving Tray

I've come to a conclusion that every home should own a tray of some sort.  And the best part about it is that you don't have to spend a lot at all on one.  I noticed recently that I am currently using 4 trays throughout our home.  Does 4 sound like a lot?  Maybe.  But they are all really being used in some way (and they were all inexpensive).

I picked up this tray a few months ago at Ikea.  I liked the bright blue color and print and you can't beat the $5.99 price tag.  I use this tray literally every day when I'm getting ready to feed my daughter a meal.  We eat at the table in our dining room, so I prep all of her food and other items needed for the meal and bring it all into the dining room in one swoop on the tray - easy in, easy out.

This is also an Ikea Barbar tray and I started using this one in our living room/entry area.  This as you can see is a catch-all area - catch all items that I don't have a spot for when I walk in the door.  I'm thinking this tray will probably stay here because I think the yellow and pink are nice and cheery.

There is a tray right next to this pretty yellow one, but it's not so pretty.  This one will probably go to another room at some point.
This one is also housing some random items I don't have a place for at the present time, but I like that everything is in one small area and I can move everything easily at any given moment like each night when I spend a little time prepping the walls for stripe painting.   This tray was a wedding shower gift and is from Crate & Barrel.  It is no longer available but it is very similar to the Quadrant tray.

And tray number 4 in our house is in our bedroom, and it houses most of my favorite pieces of jewelry and a random nail file, chapstick, and lipstick.

I got this tray for $4.99 at Marshall's about a month ago.  They had a ton of little trays like this that would be perfect in a bedroom or bathroom.  

Ok, am I tray crazy?  Maybe a little, but they are really useful.  And I didn't even mention yet how perfect they are for entertaining and having snacks/beverages on hand for when guests are over.  Throw together some cheese and crackers, lemonade, and a small vase of fresh flowers and you've got a great little snack - not to mention a pretty presentation all in one spot.

Here are a few more of my favorites:

Ikea; $3.99

Etsy seller ionesAttic; $26.00

Do you have any trays in your home that you use on regular basis?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Project Time

I finally got started on taping off stripes in our living room this past week.  I've been doing some work on it here and there at night.  The toughest part is taping at the top of the wall.  It takes a lot of concentration to make sure I keep the level straight.  I'm using these instructions given by Emily as a guide (thanks for the tip Kirsten!).  (**Side note - if you have not read Emily's blog I would recommend wandering over for a read - she just had BIG news that her home is going to be featured in Better Homes & Gardens!!!!  Her home is amazing!)

Back to the is a glance at what I've been working on.   I really really hope it turns out okay. This is I would say half way done...I really want to try to finish the taping this week so I can paint this weekend.

And here is a photo of the materials I'm using...Emily suggested using the large level (so glad my brother-in-law had the wonderful idea to give this to my husband this past Christmas!) which has worked out well.  And I'm using the Frogtape which I'll report back after painting to let you know how it works out.    

Level, tape measure, Frogtape, pencil - check, check, check, check.   Successful stripes on the wall - stay tuned...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dad's Day Finds

I guess I should have ran this a bit sooner, but I've got Father's Day on the mind as it is quickly approaching.  Some fun and some practical gifts to give to any special guy in your life (doesn't necessarily have to be a Dad) and what woman doesn't want to  spoil their guy with something they'd never buy for themselves, right?

The print below I've already purchased for my husband's birthday (which was in February so I don't have to worry about ruining the surprise).  Make sure you check out this artist - she has some great pieces of art and a lot focus on food which would be great for a kitchen or dining area.  This one is called Homemade Pretzels and a Brew - my husband's favorite.

Etsy seller workingwoman

And I really love these towels - I think they are simple but fun and would be great for a beer tasting party.

Etsy seller NestaHome

How awesome is this grill?  I've come to appreciate the charcoal grill as my husband is obsessed with the one that we have, but needs an upgrade and this would be perfect (and it comes in a fun color!)  It's a Weber which you find lots of places.

And I don't know about you, but both my husband and my brother love t-shirts.  They just can't get enough of their t-shirts (I guess you can't blame them for all the purses, shoes, tops, pillows, thrift store finds, candles stuff us women love and save up to buy).  Throwback Max is a favorite of my husbands.  They sell retro t-shirts in a variety of throwback sports teams from all over the country, which is a neat gift idea if you know someone that visited or have roots in a certain part of the country.  

And last but certainly not least...a laptop sleeve.  These are awesome.  Another testimonial from me on this because this was another Christmas present (last year) for both of us my husband.  The sleeve shown below is not the one that I purchased (I ended up getting a pinstriped sleeve) but this would have probably been my second choice.  I love how rugged it looks.  *Just make sure you get the correct size to accommodate your particular laptop.  I'm pretty sure if you see a fabric you like in a different size the seller will be able to help you out - another reason I love Etsy!

Etsy seller bertiescloset

Hopefully my gift suggestions help - I know it can be impossible difficult to buy for those guys - but we love it, right?  Any great gift suggestions for guys to pass along?  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jute Rug

I'm considering this rug for a few reasons.   It seems durable, adds some texture, and I like the idea that it could probably be pretty versatile whether moving into another room in our existing home or in another home if we move in the future.  And bonus points if I don't like it I can just drive 2 miles down the road and return it to Target.  The downside...the price tag...$600 (for the 8x10)!  Does that seem a little crazy?  There are no reviews of it either so I'm thinking it's a newer item for them.

Then, since I have the day off today and spending it with my daughter, I got the mail and browsed through the Pottery Barn summer sale catalog that arrived today.  They have a similar version (8x10) for half the price...price tag...$300 (and I can still return it to the mall also down the street if need be).

So what am I asking of all of you?  Help!  It would be great to hear any feedback on the Pottery Barn or Target rug if anyone has seen it, bought it, touched it.  And I'd also gladly accept comments on the jute rug in general.  

Why do I find rug shopping to be so impossible?

Happy Friday!  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I've Learned From Blogging

I haven't been blogging for very long, but I'm so glad I made the decision to join the community.  First and foremost (aside from blogging), follow your passion whatever it may be - sure I have a passion for my daughter, my husband, my family. That is a given.   But I also have a passion for design and for that, blogging is a wonderful outlet.  Here are a few of my top items that popped into my head that I've learned so far in this short amount of time (and I credit Jane from the great blog Modern Jane for planting this topic in my head that I've thought about all day).

There is a ton of support in the blogging community.  Even though I haven't been blogging very long, I already feel as though I've made some new blog friends that share the same interests - and that is a great feeling.  

Etsy seller Spreadthelove

Reach out and comment on posts that you are drawn to or e-mail a fellow blogger that you find common ground with - don't be shy - it's all good, we all love design and great DIY projects and of course a great before and after!

Etsy seller WilliamDohman

There are so many fun projects that await you right in your very own home, but these projects take time. Your home is a constantly evolving space for you to mold, create, and enjoy.  

Etsy seller thewheatfield

If you are itching to do something different with a room in your home, go for it!  What do you have to lose?!

LOVE the room and items that surround you.  And spread the love - if you're excited about something, I guarantee at least a few others will share that excitement.

Etsy seller thewheatfield

The power and versatility of spray paint.  Yep, spray paint.  Love.

Wow.  I could go on and on.  This may be installment 1 of many more to come.  So much I have learned in so little time, and so much more to learn which is very exciting. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Front Door

We have decided to paint our front door and get new hardware.  Right now the door is black with tarnished hardware.  We would like to paint it some sort of yellow (Note to self:  I really need to take a color theory class or get a good color theory book) and get new hardware. are the options:

Sherwin Williams - June Day

Sherwin Williams - Butter Up

Keeping this in mind that our house is brick...(sorry I thought I had a photo of the full front of the house but I could only find this little snippet to use)

We're also going to reuse this old mail/letters fixture that was on the door when we bought the house.  My Mom polished it up for us (wish I had a before so you could see how tarnished it was - thanks Mom!).

And possibly one of these from Restoration Hardware ($28 for the small sized knocker - it says polished brass but this photo doesn't look very polished to me?):

I tried searching our local Craigs List to see if I could find anyone getting rid of a good knocker - no go.

So Butta or June Day?  I'm thinking Butter Up.  Any other yellow suggestions for a front door?  What do you think of the brass hardware against the yellow?  Hubs is having a hard time with the brass.  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

State of the Planters - and Front Door Ideas

Here are a few pictures of the current state of our planters.  These first two photos are of planters in the front of the house and get full sun:

As you can see our house is brick, so I thought the yellow planter would look good against the brick.  The petunias are actually a very deep pink/magenta color, but they read a brighter pinky pink (did I just write pinky pink?) in these photos.  I LOVE the sweet potato vine variety I picked out this year (must repeat that again next year if I can find it).  And the sprout-like flower is really cool - but I forget the name of it.  You can't see in the photos but the edges of the leaves are pink and so pretty.

This next planter replaced the pansies that I had out front.  I just planted this one earlier this week.

The tall white flower is angelonia, and it's another new favorite of mine.  The pink flower is vinca, and the trailing flower is called creeping jenny.  

The planter below is one of two on our back patio.

Again, that fun sprout-like flower strikes again in this planter (can you tell how much I love it?).  The pink flower is a geranium, and the trailing flower is called live wire.  I saw this in a planter at the nursery and thought it was different.  

So that is the current state of our planters as of this morning.  I'll try to do a check-in each month. 

Since we are talking curb appeal, we have decided to replace our front door.  I found this image on Pinterest as a possible color scenario.  What do you think of the yellow against the brick?   

And just for fun, how striking is this front door?  I love the high gloss finish - and how pretty is the color of the molding?  You can see more of my front door images on Pinterest.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Giveaway at With Two Cats - and I'm Beachbound!

Lauren is doing a great giveaway over at With Two Cats.  One reader will win $100 to use as they wish at  Check out the giveaway here and you can check out Minted's great stationery, invitations, and other paper goodies here.   I really like the personalized stationery.  Here is one of my favorites:

And tomorrow my family and I are beach-bound!  I can't wait.  A dear friend and her husband were blessed with the arrival of their little boy a little over a month ago, so we are going for a visit.  I love the beach.  Here are some beachy cottage photos that I came across on Pinterest.  I love all of the pretty splashes of pink- pink seems unexpected for the beach which is what I like about these.  

Style Files via Pinterest

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dog-eared Carnival

(Research was done on how to spell the word dog-eared for the title of this post - writer's hunch was correct)

Does anyone dog-ear pages of a magazine as much as me?  I was taught not to dog-ear pages in a real book because it would damage the longevity of the paper, but boy do I know how to dog-ear the heck out of a magazine.

What's the point of this post?  One dog-eared page in particular from the June edition of Elle Decor keeps speaking to me - Page 71 to be exact.   That must mean inspiration.

Christopher Farr's Carnival fabric in green.  It's amazing and completely out of my price range, but the colors are beyond beautiful.  Please see the chairs in Exhibit A below.

Then I wondered if my eyes were deceiving me...another dog-ear occurs on Page 130.  As part of their 2011 top 25 A-list designers, Elle Decor chose Jeffrey Alan Marks as one of the 25.  His bedroom design below uses Farr's Carnival fabric on the bench, and it is awesome.

Jeffrey Alan Marks via Elle Decor

What's the lottery up to these days?

Basement Update

Instead of doing a full out remodel of our basement, we have decided to paint the paneling, get new carpets, and do an update to the half bath.  Here is what the basement looks like now:

The railing is staying.  The carpet will get replaced (is that orange/brown hideous or what?!) and the olive/brown panels will get a few coats of primer and paint (haven't decided on a color yet).  Here is another photo of the basement in all its glory.

It is actually a decent size space that we are using for some storage right now, but once we've revamped it a bit I think we'll be more inclined to use this space to actually LIVE in.

Also included in this update is the half bath in the back corner (envision to the far right of the door above).  Here is a photo of it now.

I actually don't mind the look of it right now, but it's in desperate need of a new sink and a new toilet (I'm not even going to show you the toilet - let's just say it's the same color as the sink).  But I love love love the exposed brick - isn't it great?  And I love the mirror, which has storage behind it too.  And then I'm not sure about the lighting - it's not horrible but I think we need new sconces.  

Anyone do a bathroom renovation recently that has feedback on the lighting for me?  I would entertain ways to update the sconces, but I'm thinking it's a bit hopeless.  I'm thinking that we may replace with something stainless.

I'll post updates as this project progresses.