Holiday Planters

Hi All! I have been working on some holiday planters and put together three for home (pics coming soon) and one for hubs office (shown below). While preparing to assemble them, I had a major lightbulb moment! I had purchased mixed green wreaths for the outer doors around our house and while unloading the car, I inadvertently set them on top of the empty planter.  The diameter was perfect, and it created the best base for my planter decor! I then added the floral foam inside and popped in some mixed greenery, white and frosted branches, and pinecones.  I could not believe my luck with how fast it came together using the wreath to fill-in the outer portion!  Needless to say I will be incorporating this technique for years to come.

Holiday Planter| Sara Langley Designs

Greenery Holiday Planter

Here are some great inspiration pics should you be planning to put together your own holiday planters:

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Happy Holiday Prep All!

Best,

Kelly

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Ding Dong! Holiday Hostess Gifts Under $25

Sara Langley Designs

Hi All! The Holiday Season is in full swing (our Elf arrived this morning, see above) and I am trying to remind myself to breathe because it is not yet December (ok, so it’s in two days, but I am sooooo proud of myself for getting started in November). And because it is a marathon of celebrations, I have found some Hostess Gifts for all the Holiday gatherings you will be attending, each under $25.00.

Happy Shopping!

Celebrate Tray, Nordstrom, $19 (here)

Celebration Tray

Kiehl’s Dry Relief Duo (in such cute packaging), $16 (here)

Kiehl's Lotion

Four Piece Candle Set, H & M, $17.99 (here)

Candle Set

Rosemary Tree, Lowes, $12.98 (here)

Rosemary Tree

Hot Chocolate on a Stick, 5 Pack (Yum!), Neiman Marcus, $25 (here)

Hot Cocoa Spoons

Serving Tray, Target, $17.99 (here)

Cheese Tray

Mini Lotion and Scrub Sparkle and Shine Set, Nordstrom, $19 (here)

Lotion Gift Set

Personalized Ornament, Mark & Graham, $19 (here)

Personalized Oranment

Cute Wine Bottle Stopper, H&M, $4.99 (here) and one of my fav blends under $20, Apothic Red, $11.99

Wine Stopper

Apothic Red Wine

Hope you enjoy your holiday gatherings all- ‘Tis the Season!

Best,

Kelly

 

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Decking the Halls!

Hi All! Nothing like several inches of snow overnight to get you motivated and excited to deck the halls!  I am hoping to get some preliminary decorations done this week ahead of turkey day.  Traditionally we add candles to our windows and decorate the front door and porch with greenery. I want to try something different this year, and here are some helpful inspiration pics I found for the front door.

A colorful snowman made of wreaths:

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and traditional greenery:

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and cute little gifts, in Tiffany Blue of course:

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and adorable skates:

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and gorgeous symmetrical displays, swoon:

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Hope this starts to get you in the holiday mood!

Best,

Kelly

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One Room Challenge- The Reveal!

Hi All! The day has finally arrived! I am so excited to share my One Room Challenge reveal with you! I chose to makeover my older daughter’s room, and her only request was to create some comfortable areas to relax, and to paint the walls pink.  To be honest that much pink kept me on the edge of my comfort zone for the entire project, but in the end it all came together and she is so happy with the result…and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to do it. Thank you again to Linda at Calling It Home for organizing this crazy adventure!

Here is the Entry BEFORE:

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and Entry AFTER (insert my giddy giggle):

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and BEFORE:

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and AFTER:

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Before, the headboard and wall that never got completed..

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and AFTER:

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The dresser BEFORE:

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The AFTER: I am so thankful to amazing friends for pulling off this incredible makeover of my late grandfather’s dresser. The lacquered grey is gorg in the room and each brass handle was polished to perfection…

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Simple styling on the bookcase…

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and a lap desk for use as a homework area…

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And then there is the wallpaper…which definitely provides the impact I was hoping for:

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I am so happy this all came together and sooooo thankful that an extra week was added to the challenge, as I was literally polishing the brass hardware on the dresser a mere 24 hours ago.

Source List (no affiliates used): Wallpaper (repositionable) | Gold Frames | Chair | Floor Lamp | Table lamps (Kate Spade @homegoods) | Nightstands (hardware sold separately) | Pink Pillow | Floral Pillows (my own custom, Sara Langley) | Bolster | Duvet | Rug | Bicycle Art @ home goods | Mirror | Drapery Hardware

Thanks for following along with my crazy adventure! You can view the amazing final reveals of the other guest participants here.

Best,

Kelly

 

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One Room Challenge- Final Week!

Sara Langley Designs

Morning All! Happy Thursday! It’s time for the weekly update for the One Room Challenge! There is ONE more week left so it is time for the last push before the final reveal next Thursday, November 16th!

This week had a few curveballs in that hubby threw his back out so the molding project that was on tap for the weekend had to be, well, modified. Thank goodness the amazing carpenter I have worked with many times was able to stop by to install the upper cove and lower quarter round moldings for me on a moments notice.  Phew! And apparently the walls are far from straight or plumb so I am thankful that we brought in the professionals! Now just a bit of touch up and caulk and they.will.be.done!

Sara Langley Designs

Sara Langley Designs

I am so in love with the wallpaper. It is repositionable, was easy to use (thanks Mom!), and gives the room the pop o’ fun I was looking for. The best part was that it was $29.99 a roll at Target!

Sara Langley Designs

I am still debating whether or not to paint the closet door.  SO tempted, but I think I will bring in all the other bold elements like the charcoal upholstered headboard and printed rug before I make the final decision. I am also so thankful that our 1930s house retained both its vintage door knobs and large baseboard moldings throughout the years because they add such character to all the updates we have done.

I am away for the next three days while hubby attends a conference, so I am heading to Ikea near where we are staying (lucky beak!) to purchase this rug, some pillow inserts, and figure out what I am doing for nightstands.

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In a mere 7 days this room will be complete!! You can see all the amazing progress of the other guest participants here.

Have a great day!

Best,

Kelly

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Project Sprawl and Inspiration Organization

Morning All! Happy Tuesday! So in working on my daughter’s bedroom for the One Room Challenge, many things were ahem relocated. The master bedroom contains the old headboard, artwork and nightstand; her clothing (since the dresser was taken to be refinished and painted) is stashed in bins; there are tools and paint cans tucked everywhere…anyhoo, lets just say this project has legs and I cannot contain it!  It is giving me slight concern that in doing one bedroom upstairs I may have disrupted the equilibrium of my entire home two weeks before Thanksgiving, but I am going to quell those fears  slight concerns with my usual M.O., making a list!

I found this great organization list that will get me back on track, and because I only have 14 days until my family arrives for Thanksgiving I plan to combine and conquer (who needs an entire day for their underwear drawer anyway)!  I will be out of town for 3 of those 14 days, but because I am traveling to a magical land that has the TRIFECTA of happiness- IKEA, Restoration Hardware OUTLET and a Container Store, I figure I can easily make up time with the proper tools right?

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So, while I formulate my plan for attacking the clutter and project sprawl here are some amazing drool worthy pics #inspirationorganization:

Jewelry Drawers:

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a Kid’s Room Closet:

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and Shoes:

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and Master Closet with orchids, of course:

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and Pantry:

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and Mudroom:

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and while the above pictures are wonderfully inspiring, they are also a bit of what my family calls “picture pressure” (sidebar: when cooking from a recipe book the finished meal is supposed to look like the photo…hence picture pressure). So, instead I will tackle one room at a time and try to have what my mom has called “realistic expectations.”

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Wish me luck!

Best,

Kelly

 

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One Room Challenge- Week Five Update

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Hi All! I totally blew through Week 4 of the One Room Challenge, and here we are into a new week! Sigh. The last two weeks got away from me because we had a wonderful party for my daughter’s birthday (which I posted links to above), I have taken on a few design projects for clients (to be pulled together before Thanksgiving), and I am chipping away at my daughter’s bedroom for the One Room Challenge. Chipping.Away. You can read about the amazing progress of all the other guest participants here.

This room is not exactly falling into place.  First, I decided to use a new spackle, which I love and it worked well, but it.was.stinky. Which meant that as each layer dried we cleared everyone out from the second floor and opened all the windows….which in turn slowed down the drying time. Then there is the paint color. I am still not sure I won’t be sneaking in and re-painting it (hows that double negative!) but trying to stay optimistic that when everything else comes into the room it will be the perfect backdrop.  My daughter loves the color, and even hubby, my gauge of whether things are a bit.too.over.the.top, thought it was a great shade.  I am just not 100% sure yet, even after painting two coats.

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So while I continue to debate the paint color, I am turning my attention to bedding and window treatments. I ordered this headboard in a gorg charcoal to soften the black and white accents I have planned (while also balancing the pink!):

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and I am having pillows made in this makes.my.heart.skip.a.beat Waverly fabric:

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and I ordered these adorable sheets with scalloped details:

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annnnnnd for the pops of metallic, these will do the trick:

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This weekend I am bringing my late grandfather’s dresser to be painted a high gloss gray which should look AH-mazing against the pink walls…whatever shade I end up with.  I need to spiff up the brass hardware on it and I think it will be the true show piece of the room. Hubby and I are tackling the upper and lower moldings this weekend, so I made sure to stock up on plenty of wine to celebrate checking that off the list!

It’s almost Friday!

Best,

Kelly

P.S.

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Top Ten “To Dos” to Get Ready for Overnight Guests

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Hi All! It’s the end of October…What!? Not sure how that happened but the countdown to all the Holiday goodness has begun at our house.  No matter what holiday you celebrate, if you are like me, there is an anxious excitement that begins to creep in as November arrives.  I typically try to pull together my lists as soon as possible (school parties for kids, client project wrap-ups, decorating for the home and office…you know the drill…) so that I can enjoy the season and all I have to be grateful for (rather than running like a woman with her hair on fire from one thing to the next).  Full Disclosure: I have not mastered this and every year there is a little bit of the latter, despite my best attempts to plan ahead #holidaygoals.

I thought I would share one particular list with you on this November Eve, because it is truly comprised of things you can do now to be sure your house is ready for overnight guests from now until the New Year. Here we go:

Number One: Check your bedding. Is it the right size, is it laundered and ready for use, do you have extra pillows? I always try to have an extra pillow for those who like to read in bed, and an extra throw blanket! Here are some of my fav finds:

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Faux Fur
Herringbone Throw
Herringbone Throw
Wool Knit
Wool Knit

Number Two: Fresh Towels. I love white towels because I can bleach them and know they are super fresh! However, one particular Thanksgiving we had a lot of family visiting, all sharing one bathroom, all with white towels….so in a pinch I grabbed clips, wrote names on them with a sharpie, and attached them to the individual towels while they dried. Lesson learned. Buy different sets of towels in multiple colors. The Nate Berkus collection at Target has worked well for me- they launder nicely, are budget friendly and come in a ton of colors!

Number Three: Fresh flowers. While this isn’t something you can necessarily purchase ahead, you can prepare your vases and have an idea of what you are going to implement. I like to include a small vase of flowers on the nightstand, as well as in the bathroom.

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Number Four: Toiletries. When I was a kid and would go shopping with my Mom, she would always buy toilet paper, some toothpaste, and hand soap. We still tease her about her epic collection of hand soaps. However, she was always prepared for company, and now even her grandkids check her holiday themed hand soap in the bathroom- what scent, what color etc.  Also, when overnight guests arrive, inevitably someone needs toothpaste and even though my husband is a dentist we too always run out! Sigh. So just stock up now and be.done.with.it.

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Number Five: Throw blankets and floor pillows. Tuck them away, put them in baskets, display them on the couch- whatever your preference, just make sure you have plenty. While we have family staying with us there are many a movie night and having cozy blankets and soft landing spots for all is imperative.

Number Six: When making your Menu and shopping list, think of snacks that are portable. Popcorn for movie night, last night noshing options, “between adventures” small plates.  Often I find we have breakfast and dinner together, but rarely a formal sit down lunch because everyone is involved in different things.  That means snacking moves to the main menu and you want to be prepared. I found this yummy recipe for mini cranberry pecan goat cheese balls that I am going to try:

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Number Seven: The mudroom. Whatever entry guests will be using, make sure it is cleaned out! I have always longed for a bigger mudroom space at our house, so it is really important that we clear out all the stuff we don’t use to eek out every extra inch of the space. We implement a “one pair of shoes stored in the mudroom” policy with the kids this time of year, otherwise they tend to pile up quickly! The same goes for the coat closets.  Make sure you have extra hangers and space for boots and shoes depending upon the time of year.

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Number Eight: Track down and count the cutlery, plates and serving dishes you plan to use.  I was so frustrated with overflowing kitchen cabinets a year ago that I pulled out everything I had not used and took it to the attic. While that did solve my everyday need for more space, I am now at a loss as to where I misplaced cake plates, my bundt pan, my trifle bowl….ugh. SO, I am trying to track things down now, rather than spending anxiety filled moments digging through boxes right before I want to use it!

Number Nine: So while, yes, number 8 above is important, so is number 9. Buy disposable. Yep! Just.do.it. Save yourself and your dishwasher from three meals a day, plus the aforementioned snacks, plus the large can.only.be.handwashed. serving plates….just buy it and thank yourself later. There are amazing disposable options that will enable you to have less time cleaning up and more time with your guests. You can use them for lunches and snacks and save grandma’s china for the main course.

Number Ten: The Bar. Last but certainly NOT least is setting up a “help yourself” bar area.  It can be alcohol (often important when entertaining) or a coffee bar, but regardless of what you are serving it is a huge help to both the host and hostess if this area can function on its own.  It is a huge time savings to create a coffee bar for mornings when everyone is waking up at separate times and can then serve themselves.  I like to add cocoa pods and tea bags to my coffee bar as well.  And for the evening, I typically set out the bar before I make dinner so everyone can help themselves to a beverage at their leisure. Sometimes we try new punch recipes, other times it is fun holiday themed mixers.

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and for coffee and cocoa:

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Good Luck with your own prep this impending holiday season!

Best,

Kelly

 

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Three Season to Four Season Sun Porch Transition

Hi All! Happy Monday!! I have been scheming to transition our sun porch from 3 season to 4 season for some time now.  We have hit the pause button on this project a few times because we are trying to foresee the big “issues” that may arise and impact the timeline and budget. However, I could reaaaaaalllly use a home office- one with a desk…and a door….that doesn’t also have to double as the dining room.  While I contemplate jumping into the project, here are some AMAZING porch pics:

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Have great week and good luck tackling the projects on your list!

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Best,

Kelly

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One Room Challenge Week 3

Morning! Busy little bee over here….this weekend we are having my daughter’s 9th birthday party, and I have been planning a fun celebration with family and friends. As such I made the insane decision to start the actual implementation of my One Room Challenge after this weekend. So it is now a six week challenge in 1/2 the time! Put some coffee on!

So far, I chose a blush wall color, purchased some repositionable wallpaper for a focal wall, and made a plan for the addition of crown and base moldings.

I purchased some lamps (an amazing HomeGoods find):

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And large scale artwork:

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And I fell for this bold rug that will create its own statement:

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I still need to find soft neutral curtains (see inspo pic below) and figure out what type of headboard I am doing. Yikes! But paint is going on the wall next week (and by that I mean I am painting my tushy off)! Woo hoo!

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And you can follow all of the amazing progress from the other guest participants in the One Room Challenge here.

Best,

Kelly

P.S. Mom, if you are reading this can you please come and hang some repositionable wallpaper? Pleeezzzzz!

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