Good Morning All! Happy Monday, Happy October and Happy Fall! As the temperature falls and we head further into October, I am looking forward to an amazing birthday month full of adventures and exciting challenging projects that will require me to learn more DIY tricks o’ the trade.
As the leaves begin to change, I have been searching for Fall decor inspiration…. Here are some pics of amazing tablescapes from around the web I thought you might enjoy:
and some front porches and entries all dressed up for Fall:
Morning All! Happy Monday…you got this!! Lately, I have been feeling like I need to inject a little more pretty into some of the hardworking areas of the house. A quick pick-me-up (because let’s face it that is the speed life is moving at these days) is to break out those trays you have stored away and corral “like things” in a way that makes you feel both more organized and stylish! Think clean, not cluttered. Some of the best areas to get the greatest impact are the kitchen, the washroom vanity, and the home office (all places things tend to linger). Here are some inspirational examples from around the web:
For the washroom:
For the kitchen:
For the Kids and/or Home office:
and a Gorgeous Tray Bar (perfect for all the upcoming holiday entertaining):
So pull out those trays you have tucked away and pick one area of your home to stylishly organize. And don’t shoot the messenger but before you know it, we will be bringing out our holiday items like this adorable kitchen coffee set-up:
Morning All! Isn’t it funny how you can tell a lot about what you have going on in your life by reviewing your Google searches? Last night I stayed up way too late because I had mom-brain. You know, when you cannot turn off the to do list from constantly cycling through your head. I notice that this vortex of stuff keeps coming back when Fall arrives and we hit the ground running with back-to-school routines. So, while awake, Google was my co-conspirator.
Let’s see, there was “how to get sticker residue off clothing after it has gone through the dryer” (yep, missed one while trying to clean the new back-to-school clothes); “does a pet feel loss” (we lost our beloved 14 year old cocker spaniel a few weeks ago and our other poor spaniel has major anxiety and follows me everywhere); “best healthy treats for dogs” (for the aforementioned lonely spaniel); “ear buds that don’t fall apart in two days” (tackling more items needed for school); “what to make for dinner with rice, salsa, and eggs”; (didn’t get far with that one and definitely need to get to the grocery store); “how to build a DIY farmhouse chic counter” (for a project I am working on)…. And on and on it went.
This Monday will now require an extra caffeinated boost but I am up for the challenge. I have been spending all the free minutes I can squirrel together working on a small office break room refresh. The floors were recently updated and cabinetry is being reallocated to allow for bar/cafe style seating and the addition of a computer workspace. The layout and location of things will require minimal changes, but this project is mostly about paint…lots of coats of paint. Two weekends ago I primed and painted all the wall paneling which included three coats of color on top of the primer. This weekend was the ceiling (three coats!!!) and the trim which, had I originally picked the color I ended up with, could have been two coats rather than three. Sigh.
I chose Benjamin Moore’s London Fog for the wall color because I wanted a soothing neutral, it worked well with the existing floors, and I had an extra gallon of it:
I had to google how to get sticky strips off the wall because we had hung an antibacterial lotion dispenser on aging wall paneling years ago, which was not the best combination. I found the answer by implementing my new Dyson hairdryer (notably not its intended purpose), and it worked like a charm to loosen up all the sticky residue which I then scraped off without hurting the underlying fragile paneling:
This room will be predominately used for lunch breaks, so I purchased these bright stools from Target for a pop o’ color:
and I am inspired to create a custom counter height eating area like these:
Of course this project needs to be completed next week and I have been chipping away at it each weekend between Soccer games and the last vestiges of Summer- last swims before the pool closes, last rides on the boat, hustling to complete outdoor projects etc. Hence, the gold stars and to do lists. Sometimes it is important to recognize that we are doing something to move projects/plans/dreams forward, even if we are not at the stage we thought we would be. #juststart I am giving myself a sheet of gold stars for getting everyone back into the routine that Fall brings and all its extra googl-ing craziness.
Hi All! Happy Tuesday! I have been trying to get some small projects tackled around the house before back-to-school craziness sets in. One item on the to do list is to have some chairs finally reupholstered. Every year I think to do this project around the holidays (when I need the extra seating) so instead, I am pulling the trigger and getting them d.o.n.e. Which leads to the big question….what fabric do I use? How do I possibly narrow down the infinite awesome possibilities? I went back to my Pinterest folder, saved for this very occasion, and found some really fun options. I have two wing chairs I am repurposing, along with a cool chair for hubs office (which will have to remain a surprise for now in case he reads this).
I want to do a modern twist on the classic wing chair design, so I am contemplating something like this:
So you can see I have really narrowed it down…Yikes! I think I am going to need more chairs! And while on the wing back chair topic…here is some additional eye candy:
Hi All! I have been spending mucho time on Pinterest lately researching paint colors (see yesterday’s post) and gaining some layout inspiration for a project I am working on which I will share later….aaaaaannnnd while on Pinterest I got sidetracked (shocker!) drooling over ribbon and trim details on all things decor and fashion. It is such an easy way to update a look and make it totally personal. I bought these curtains from West Elm (similar here) a few years ago and added pink greek key ribbon to them for my older daughter’s room, and loved the key tape so much I recently added it to pillows for her as well. Coordination and personalization…Done!
And for the love of navy, I added the navy key tape to my fav curtains du jour for the dining room:
and then on some pillows for the living room (did I mention I love navy?):
and solid navy for a lampshade in my younger’s daughter room (along with a pop o’ polka on the pillow):
and I love my stripes, in navy of course, so naturally I added some to the bamboo shades we hung in our kitchen:
Here are some great trim options from around the web that would also make fab DIY projects:
Why not add some ribbon to a pinboard just in time for back to school like this one from PBTeen;
Love the infinite possibilities of adding multiple trims to a solid pillow case like this one shown at BHG;
Here is another drape option (though no longer available at Serena & Lily ,p.s. they are having their tent sale through 8/7);
And I would be totally remiss if I didn’t add some fashion pics that showcase all things ribbon (and bows!):
My daughter chose these cute sneakers with ribbon laces for back to school (guess some things are really genetic);
Although this tank sold out, it would be very easy to add your choice of ribbon to a simple top for some DIY fashion;
and there are many examples such as this one of gorgeous necklaces with ribbon tie closures;
and lastly, while technically not trim, here is some arm candy with a purpose, which I ordered stamped with Perspective as “my word” because I truly believe it is how you choose to look at things that defines your journey;
Hi All! Welcome to August…wait, what!? Not sure how it is 8/2 already! Anyhoo, Happy Wednesday! Not sure if anyone remembers the Friends episode with Monica’s closet? She is OCD with organization and cleanliness, but her friends discover her messy closet where she hides everything and it all comes tumbling out? I think we all have a closet, drawer, or in my case, basement, that could use a little more….. ahem, attention. Or at least I am hoping we all have that space of de-organized horror because, well, misery loves company right? Well I am giving us all permission to NOT tackle those over the Summer as planned and instead get outside and enjoy some Vitamin D.
In other news, I saw this fabulous pic from the latest issue of HGTV magazine. It stopped me in my tracks because of the amazing wall color… The velvet green couch doesn’t hurt either. It got me thinking about the dark moody paint colors that seem to be everywhere lately.
My own living room is a rich chocolate brown that I have been itching to change, despite the fact that 1) I still like the color; 2) Hubs thinks I’m nuts to change it; and 3) It would be a huge undertaking that would disturb a room in the house that we use everyday. Even if I painted at record speed it would be at least a three week project to pull together-did I mention hubby thinks I am nuts!? Still…I cannot help but dream about pulling the trigger on a rich navy like the HGTV one, or a warm dark gray that would pair oh so nicely with the light pine floors. Sigh.
While I debate some more, here are some pin-worthy inspiration photos of how to implement this moody paint trend in your own home…
A beautiful dark gray (leaning toward black) powder room:
and this amazing navy living room (looooove those moldings!):
and this gorgeous gray creates a blank slate for this dining room from MA Allen Interiors (fell down the rabbit hole perusing their amazing portfolio):
and I love the use of Benjamin Moore’s Cheating Heart, on these kitchen cabinets (p.s. the hardware is amazing!):
and this warm bedroom:
and one of my Favs, Benjamin Moore’s Nightfall, as used by Driven By Decor as the backdrop for a gallery wall:
and this serene chocolate brown living room:
and a corner of my living room in a deep chocolate brown from Olympic called Granite:
and lastly, a gorgeous exterior with a pop o’ color- I love it because it reminds me of the Adirondacks…
Off to the pool to soak in some much needed sunshine! Have a wonderful Wednesday All!
Hi All! Give yourself a high-five- you made it to FRIDAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!! Woo hoo! What’s on tap this weekend? Well hubs and I are celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary with a quiet 24 hours to ourselves. I booked a couples massage, scoped out some restaurants and previewed an art fair I am thinking of perusing. Also planning to take kiddos to a movie this weekend and get some overdue yard work done. It is supposed to be sunny and gorgeous all weekend…cannot wait!
So lately I have been feeling totally blech about my style, or rather “overall lack of pulled togetherness.” Perhaps this is because we have NO (and this is not an exaggeration) local shopping options, or perhaps it is because I have happily slipped into the Summer mode called “hair-on-top-of-head”. Regardless, I am feeling the tug of a Fall rebirth to my style. I always look forward to the doorstop edition of the Fall Vogue, and although I am not rushing a Summer that is already moving too fast…here are some fun Fallish pieces I am loving, including my go-to fav, blazers.
Hi All! So we in NY don’t head back to school until after Labor Day, but I know many of you are heading back in early August, including college students who have the exciting opportunity to set-up an amazing dorm room! Here are some fun ideas to personalize your room and show.your.unique.style!
ONE: Personalize your room with artwork or download some of the amazing printables out there.
TWO: Create a custom headboard. I constructed an upholstered headboard for my older daughter’s room using this tutorial and it was easy peasy and can be done on a budget (not speaking from experience or anything, but when you totally change your mind next month it is easy and cost effective to alter).
THREE: Organize your desk area to study.in.style! I was out and about at one of my favs, HomeGoods, and saw these awesome options to give your desk area some PIZAZZ!
Below is one of my favorite pics pulling the look all together:
and lastly, I have been informed by my kiddos that we are doing this at our house for all their homework necessities:
FOUR: Bring in something living. Adopt a plant, orchid, or succulent and it will make the room feel more like home. When I met hubby in college he had a palm-like plant in his senior suite they named Kiki. She actually made it to our first apartment together.
FIVE: You can never have enough bins or storage containers. They hide messes, organize like items, store things, and….did I mention hide messes?
And, as I read this over, I realize that while the top five things apply to ladies and gents heading to college, my inspiration tends to be more for the ladies. So guys, PBDorm has a cool Lookbook for more gentlemanly dorm room designs.
Hi All! As many of you know, Hubs and I are still going around and around on whether to sell or stay in our home having been here 8 years(!!)….. and having not yet found something we love enough to make us move on. Sooooo, in the meantime we are doing some updates to refresh things in the kitchen. The cabinets are in good shape so we started by retrofitting the pantry area to accommodate a 30″ double oven. The oven that came with the house was closer to 24″ and never fit hubby’s prized turkey roasting pan that is still packed away in the attic unused. We have already updated all the other appliances in the kitchen, so we bought a double wall oven to match (stainless as well) and I cannot wait (for hubs) to use it!
I am also looking forward to replacing our laminate countertop and backsplash. It has served us well (I still think laminate has gotten a bad name) but it is time to move on and try something new. I painted all our upper cabinets Simply White (Ben Moore) and the lowers a gray color called Dragon’s Breath (also Ben Moore). All the walls are a light gray called London Fog, so things are much lighter and brighter after making those initial changes two years ago. I am using these inspiration pics for light and bright backsplash and countertop choices, and am sourcing different coordinating options ASAP.
We are also building in the refrigerator that we purchased a few years ago and, like the current wall oven, it was too large for the space where it previously resided. So we plopped it in another area and it has sat there sticking out into the room creating a bottleneck in kitchen prep. Needless to say I am VERY excited to get the fridge in its own designated space. We had gorgeous millwork done for the kitchen entry from the dining room, so I am planning on replicating that on the fridge built-in. Although I also saw this gorg and practical (what!?) pic on Pinterest soooooo……
In order to build-in the fridge we will be moving it 15″ , so we will gain new upper and lower cabinets that we are having made to accommodate more storage. That will enable us to remove the IKEA piece we have been using as an island buffet, and instead add a nice eat-in area, possibly with a banquet under the windows.
I have been dreaming about these pics for inspiration:
And here are some amazing organizational pics to get me inspired as I am getting closer to ripping things apart:
Looking forward to getting the oven in this week or early next, and then tackling some of the kitchen projects around the Holiday Season toward the end of the year.
Hi All! We had a wonderful weekend celebrating our friends’ wedding, for which I had the pleasure of assisting with the design and decor for the tented reception. It was a 40 x 80 tent, so with such a blank slate we turned to Pinterest and made.it.happen! This was a DIY adventure, so when the tent was delivered on Wednesday we jumped in immediately to pull it all together in time for the Saturday afternoon wedding celebration. There were a few hiccups along the way, but everything got done and it went off without a hitch. Below is a pic via Pinterest of what a 40 x 80 tent looks like. I was so busy getting things checked off the list, I didn’t snap our own “before”:
If you are planning your own tented event, wedding or otherwise, I cannot stress enough the importance of creating a traffic flow for guests. We chose to place the bar outside and to the side of the tent in order to create a cocktail and appetizer area. This moved guests away from the tent when they arrived, providing the wait staff a clear path to setup the buffet tables and prepare for dinner service. Additionally, be sure to have a clearly marked area for cards and gifts so guests aren’t having to carry them around while balancing their cocktails and appetizers.
Another important consideration for a tented venue is lighting. The Bride rented globe chandeliers from the tent company, and strung up tons of twinkle lights around the inside perimeter. There were brief periods of overcast weather right as people were arriving, so I was happy we added the globe lights to create a lovely glow.
For the table decor, the Bride purchased mixed vintage plates and flatware and rented goblets and glasses for water. I made 16 table runners from a bolt of light pink chiffon fabric I found on Amazon. I was able to cut it without worrying about frayed edges because I pooled it at the bottom and then tied a satin ivory ribbon on either end of the table (the ivory wired ribbon was purchased from PaperMart). Here is the inspo pic (so glam!):
In addition to vases of hydrangeas on each of the tables, we rented potted plants and trees from a local florist, which made the space feel more intimate and polished. The trees are European Hornbeams and served double duty to provide lighting as well as hide the center poles of the tent. We added white petunias around the tree bases to define the spaces and add even more color.
The Groom’s father made the cool wooden circle slabs for each table (you can find some here and here), which ended up being the perfect bases for the hydrangeas. Due to the humidity, the cold water in the vases caused them to really sweat and thankfully the wooden bases absorbed all the moisture keeping the chiffon runners dry. Flameless candles in various sizes, along with table numbers purchased from Etsy, completed each tablescape.
Lastly, I created this arbor using a rebar base that the Groom’s father built. I purchased floral cages here and affixed duct taped them into place on the rebar. I soaked the foam overnight because it was over 80 degrees with full sun on the day I assembled it. I was so nervous I kept watering it and thankfully it all held up and stayed fresh! We wrapped it all in an ivory muslin fabric that also held up to the passing showers and humidity of the day.
Here are some additional inspiration photos you may find helpful if you are planning your own tented boho chic wedding celebration:
We all had an amazing time, including my kiddos who had the honor of being a part of the flower girl party. The evening was capped off by a visit from the ice cream truck which was thoroughly enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Congrats to B and Z and thank you for letting us be a part of your special day!