Thursday, May 29, 2014

Decorating Our Home - Main Level

We're coming up on a year of being in our home, which is really hard to believe. There are many things that we want to do to our house but we know they will take time. We've done some not-so-fun things like added a new roof, added insulation to the attic, new windows for our sun room, new lighting in our family room and living room. I suppose that's a lot.

I'll be honest, we really haven't done much cosmetically to our house. I really think it's important to live in a home for a while before making decisions. For instance, we haven't painted the main living area at all because we're simply not ready for it yet. We have a long list of wants but will need to prioritize them when the time comes.

What I have created are "moments" in our home, which are small areas that have been spruced up until the big projects get done. You know what I mean, don't you?  (Sidenote: you must read Melissa's post from the other day on decorating your home. It's really well written and so many great points made that I think you would all enjoy).

Here is a small tour of our main level living area and a few of my "moments" that I've created to enjoy until the big picture gets worked on more...

Remember my love seat that I had reupholstered? It's currently in our living room on the main level of our split level home, and it will most likely stay put when we get the rest of this room in order.

This is one of my favorite spots to sit and read and have coffee. The side table I had picked up at Target last summer, and the 3-tier plant stand on the far left was a consignment store find that I love. Here is a more recent photo of my plants - another area that might not look like much but makes me very happy.

I've also spruced up the pillows a little bit. The floral pillow in the back was a Target purchase, and the leaf pillow is by Chanee Vijay which is a favorite of mine. I love how it looks broken in and casual. It was one of her early designs and I always admired it. And then the animal print pillow in the middle was crafted by Therese Marie Designs for my Habitat room and I love what it adds to my pillow vignette here. Therese added a faux flange to the sides, so I've actually flipped it around so that the trim is seen at the top (I change my mind like that sometimes - tomorrow it will be on its side again).

We have a large window behind the love seat that is currently bare, so I've picked out some panels to use on either side of the window and I'm pretty excited to see them installed. Here is a photo that I took with a hint of the window panel fabric on the right.

I think the horizontal stripe is a nice contrast to the other prints that I've added with the pillows. And the panels are neutral enough that I could use them elsewhere as well. There is a sliding door opposite this window that will get a treatment as well and I've contemplated using the same panels to keep the look cohesive. The panels are the ivory jute striped Sahaj curtain panel from World Market and they are on sale now (maybe I should buy more). They are great from what I can see so far, but I'll do another update once they are up.

I also picked up this wingback chair below this past winter and it sits next to the love seat for the time being (minus the cabinet which I just sold so envision the chair pushed back more to the corner). I'm not sure if it will stay here or not, but it's a very comfortable chair and we enjoy having it in this room. It will need to be recovered eventually, but I love the shape of it.

And then to the left of the photo above is our fireplace which you can see a glimpse of below. I'd like to beef up the mantle at some point and give it a mini-makeover, but I'm enjoying playing around with the mantle for the time being (who am I kidding - I move things around weekly I think).

There you have it - just a few of my favorite moments from around our living room. By bringing in plants, pillows, and some meaningful objects, you can create a look that can be tweaked easily once you're ready to really dive in. Our progress is slow and steady, but the process and the journey (as Melissa puts it so perfectly in her post) is really a lot of fun. Mixing items both new and old and meaningful to create a look that we love and that is home.

I'd love to hear about some of your favorite moments at your house.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What's Blooming In Our Garden

Ever since we wrapped up the Habitat house things have continued to be busy, and this weekend is our neighborhood yard sale so we're getting ourselves organized for that and doing a big clean out.

I wanted to share a few photos of what's blooming in our garden while I had a chance because it's too pretty not to share.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen a few of these over the weekend, but even since Saturday things have bloomed even more.

I'll start in the front of our house in the perennial garden. This first plot is at the bottom left of the driveway when you're looking at our house. The ornamental onions have bloomed and look so pretty up against the oxblood colored leaves of the Japanese maple behind it.

Here is a before and after of what the ornamental onion looks like before it blooms and after it blooms. The before photo was taken on Sunday and it has since bloomed. 

These are columbine flowers which are new to me.

Then moving to the right of the driveway we have the most beautiful bearded iris. I wasn't familiar with iris at all until seeing them here at our house and thank you to Dana for identifying them for me. They have the slightest sweet scent to them once you get up close.

If this isn't nature at it's finest...the colors!! The most beautiful violet and vanilla next to the punchy lime green of the leaves - what a combination! I had to cut a few and put them in my Taylor Ceramics vase.

I believe these will also be iris. The blooms appear to be more yellow in color.

Another surprise, in addition to the bearded iris, are these forget me nots.

And walking up toward the house, we have lily of the valley along the walkway leading up to the house.

And two white azalea bushes underneath our front windows to the right of the walkway. I was worried about these but they seem to be doing fine. They'll need a good pruning once they're done blooming.

That's it for the front of the house. I'll do another post with some photos of the back of the house. A portion of the back is mostly shaded throughout the day, but the back deck gets full afternoon sun. Because of the full sun, I had to choose a few annuals for planters accordingly. I mixed it up this year and went with portulaca, marigolds, and a dark purple sweet potato vine.

I love the pink and the orange together against the deep purple of the vine. You might be wondering what I've done with the planter. I planted the flowers in my yellow ceramic planter, and then placed that within a white wicker decorative planter I had gotten last year for $1.00 at a yard sale.

I had another planter in this spot last year, but I've since moved that one to the front of the house closer to the bottom door. I'll take some photos of that area soon to show you. I found a wicker planter similar to the one above on Craig's List and it was going for $75.00, so I think getting this one for a $1.00 was a big score.

Spring has certainly been pretty around here. I've been enjoying all of the flower surprises.

I'd love to hear what's blooming near you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Miles Redd Inspired Window Treatments

Are you familiar with the Miles Redd ruffle?

A flirty detail added to the leading edge of a drapery panel and inspired by Rose Cumming, this is just one of Redd's signature details that I just happen to admire. A lot.

After I had drafted my layout, color scheme, and major elements of my room at the Habitat house, I knew I was going to have to scheme up something for the windows. I wanted something that would be inexpensive, simple, but also thoughtful and feminine.

Because the walls were going to be a key component for the room, I didn't want to distract the eye in any way with a busy pattern or color so I decided on simple "white" IKEA panels. I figured I would use those to blend with the windows and jazz them up somehow with some detail.

Inspired and hopelessly devoted to the window designs of Miles Redd that you see at the top of the post, I purchased 2.5" eyelet ruffle trim from Joann Fabric and used stitch witchery to attach it to the leading edge of my IKEA panels. I was a little nervous if what I had envisioned would work, but it did and they looked so pretty in the room.

The ruffle trim was the perfect feminine touch that these panels needed to mingle into my room flawlessly. Unfortunately because of the size of the room, I couldn't get the best photos but I hope you can appreciate a few of these that I was able to snap.

This one will give you a better feel for the full-length of the detail on the panel, but the lighting is a bummer.

**Side note: There could be an entire post written based on these two photos about selecting a paint color, but that will have to wait for another time. I will tell you that my choice in wall colors had to do with the time of day the showings would be held (11-2) and the position of the sun. Note that these photos were taken at 6pm on a rainy day.

And here is a photo of the panel on the left closest to the chaise.

Despite the lousy lighting in this photo above, I still love the impact of the ruffle and the dose of girly it brings to the room in contrast to the dark blue perhaps masculine walls.

Sigh...I heart the ruffle.