Friday, February 28, 2014

Pin Picks VIII

The weather here is still so cold, but recently there have been blue skies and sunshine. I am finally starting to feel like all this white stuff on the ground will finally melt away soon, and there will actually be spring. It's put me in a colorful mood today. Or it is more like I need to see color since it has been so long!

Here are a few pictures I found around Pinterest recently. All ways to bring a little bit of color inside your home where you can enjoy it, but still stay warm!

mixing patterns
a hidden closet "office" in a kid's room, stocked with craft supplies
Oh Joy / Whimsy Pop Office
And I had to include this picture. Just love this blue and white striped coat from Kate Spade paired with the yellow skirt. Perfect for the early spring time. 
Kate Spade Striped Franny Coat_-14
Now I just need this freezing weather to end...Are you as ready for spring time as I am?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

One Room Challenge with Calling it Home: Now

So excited that Linda at Calling it Home decided to do an update to the One Room Challenge.

For those of you who are recent visitors to this blog, One Room Challenge involves putting together a room in 6 weeks. It was so much fun for me to participate in this back in the fall.

Week One was the before. This room so needed help.

I decided to put together a room inspired by the Greenbrier Resort. I always loved the interior design created by Dorothy Draper, and wanted to bring a little of that pink and green look into my house.

 The room re-do started with retiling the floors in Week Two.

For Week Three, I shared how I created my own fabric for the curtains.

The most commented on part of the laundry room was reveled in Week Four when I used green tape to create a wall treatment.

In Week Five I showed off all the items I was going to use to organize the space.

Week Six was the big reveal. I was so excited to be done!


Now for what the Laundry Room looks like as of yesterday....

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pin Picks VII

Sometimes you need new counter tops, but ripping everything out and replacing them with granite is just not going to happen anytime soon. A little refreshing might be all that is needed for now.

I had to share these recent pins I came across on Pinterest. All are different ways to DIY countertops on a budget. They would be a great improvement to any surface that needs a little pick-me-up.

If the counter tops aren't looking good anymore, just cover them up. Adding faux marble contact paper can make them look amazing.

Or put on an over lay of concrete. After these are buffed, the countertops will shine.
 photo fDSC_0476copy.jpg
Paint is always an option to fake the look of more expensive counters. You can either make up your own pattern or buy a kit specially designed for this project. It is super affordable and easy to do. It is amazing how much these look like granite.

And it doesn't end with just a stone look. Using chalkboard paint opens up all kinds of possibilities.
Annie Sloan chalk paint counter top Q could be a good way to makeover the kitchen counters until we can do a major remodel?
Of course there are always counter tops that just can't be saved. Replacing them with wood would lighten up a kitchen and give it great style.
DIY wood countertops
Were you inspired by these five ways to spruce up a counter top? Which would you like to try in your home?
For more inspiration be sure to check out my Pinterest boards. And be sure to follow all. I find so many other great boards to check out that way.

Linking up with Carolina Charm

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Find an Idea for a Unique Kitchen Backsplash

I loved the kitchen featured in the March edition of House Beautiful. Those shutters are such a great pop of blue, and the island works well for the small space. But what really caught my eye was the back splash behind the sink and cook top.
lee jofa lauretta fabric backsplash
At first I thought it was some kind of hand painted tile. But after I read the article, I realized it was fabric laminated between two piece of glass. Fabric as a backsplash! What a great way to incorporate more color and pattern into the space. This idea would be an improvement to any kitchen.  Imagine the possibilities!
So what do you all think? Would you try this in your house?


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Share a Great Find: Copy Cat Chic

Madeline Weinrib Westley Tibetan Carpet
This rug had me at BLUE.

But the price!!! Let's just say it wasn't going to happen. After a little research, I came across one that I think looks just as great, but much more affordable. Do you want to see it?

Then head on over to Copy Cat Chic. Once again Reichel is featuring one of my low cost finds. Be sure to check it out. The similarity is amazing.

If you are here for the first time, feel free to look around. I list ideas on how to make small improvements in your life from organizing a laundry room to decorating a bookcase. And I love it if you want to leave a comment and introduce yourself. Comments make my day! Also, check out my Pinterest boards for more inspiration, or sign up in the sidebar to get my blog delivered right to your inbox.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Read a Good Book: February Twitterature

twitterature monthly reading linkup short reviews
I have some good books to share today...
The Rosie Project 2
First, thanks to Anne for the recommendation on this one. It was a fun, quirky love store. Makes you feel like there is the right person for everyone.
Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Ballantine Reader's Circle): Hillenbrand, Laura
This one I listened to as an auto book during a long drive. It was actually the perfect format for this story. Listening to the description of the races, instead of just reading them, gave you more of that edge of your seat you were really listening to the announcer at the track. Great and inspiring story.
Also, have to share this. While looking on Pinterest, I recently come across a pin of a bookcase that covered a whole wall. While the picture was nice, it was the comment that really caught my eye. The person had said, "Nice looking bookcase even if books are old fashion."
Am I just old fashion that I still have books all over my house? Honestly, I haven't gone the Kindle/Nook route yet. I do prefer to read an actual book. Then again, I am the person who was still listening to tapes when all my other friends were switching to CDs. Looks like I might be behind again...
If you want to get some more ideas for good books (however you might read them), head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day
At our house we keep the holiday light and fun. My husband and I are celebrating by going out for dinner on Saturday night. I also helped my children pick out a really funny card for them to give to him. Each child got a chocolate heart surprise in their lunch boxes. Just a small treat, so they know that their mom loves them.
Today, I am sharing a Valentine themed list.
Easter has Cadbury Cream Eggs, Halloween has Candy Corn, and Valentine's Day has Sweethearts.
What would you do if you were given one of these?
Stamp your own Conversation Hearts.

The most romantic day of a Princess's life.

Do you still need to send a Valentine?

Inspired flower bouquets.

You could give something like this to the one you love.

And this is how it all started.
 What are you doing to celebrate Valentine's Day?


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Give a Valentine's Day Card

Did you know that we have a women named Esther Howland to thank for the array of Valentine cards given at this time of year? It all began in 1848 when she designed and sold her first elaborately decorated Valentine. Her cards, complete with layers of lace overlaid with colored paper underneath and three dimensional details, became so popular that she was dubbed the "Mother of the Valentine." One card even had a mechanical bouquet in which pulling a string moved flowers aside to reveal printed verses beneath.
File:Esther Howland Valentine card, "Affection" ca. 1870s.jpg
Giving Valentine's Day cards quickly became all the rage during this time. Dickens described in All the Year Round a card making workshop located in England this way:
[They are] in a long room occupied by nymphs, each one having at her elbow a pot, not of color this time, but of glue.  Strewn before each girl in apparent confusion, but really in regularly-assorted heaps, lie hearts and darts and doves and bows and arrows, and rose-buds and true lovers’ knots, and torches of Hymen, and every variety of emblem appertaining to love and matrimony… Some are paper, some are silk and velvet, some tinsel and gold-leaf.
Sounds like a lovely place to work to me.

This year, Hallmark estimates that 142 million Valentine cards will be exchanged.
Some will be funny....
NEW Silkscreen Printed Sheldon I Love You / Valentine Card - The Big Bang Theory Tv Show
Some will be for the current times....

Some will be inappropriate...
Inappropriate Thoughts
Some will be for people who love cheese...
And of course most will be romantic...
This is the card I want to give my husband...

Valentine's Day Cards,The Princess Bride,Valentine Cards,Funny Romantic,Westley,As You Wish,Paper Goods,Greeting Cards,Wesley,Romantic Cards
What kind of card are you giving your valentine?

Linking up with Serenity Now

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Share My Take Two: Design Post Interiors

If you are visiting for the first time, welcome. Feel free to look around and check out my blog where I list small improvements I make in my life in the areas of decorating, organizing and trying new things. Feel free to leave a comment...I love reading them. Or check out the sidebar, to subscribe by email or follow me on Pinterest, if you want to.

Today I am over at Design Post Interiors. I am so excited Beth asked me to participate in her Take Two Series.

Beth is such a talented designer. I love her style, and I am still swooning over the playroom she recently created for one of her clients.


In the Take Two Series, Beth asks about changes that were recently made in home and life.

It was easy to name my favorite change in my home: my bright green dressers I added to my bedroom. Learn more about that project here. And as a bonus, I talk about here how I organized the drawers with a pop of color and pizzazz.


The best change to my life was my goal to organize my house. I show here how I arranged the space under the sink in the bathroom. It's amazing how a little change can make such an improvement. I am now slowly working on the rest of the house. I know where a lot more things are located now than I did a few months ago, but there is still more to do.

The last question was about how you would spend $5. I loved that question, and it really made me think. It reminded me of a gift exchange I attended back near Christmas, where everyone brought a gift that was under $6. I was amazed at how creative everyone was with this, and pleased with all the great items I took home. Check out more about that here.

Be sure to come back tomorrow when I talk about the new addition to my dining room.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Collect Blue and White Art

Vincent van Gogh. The Starry Night. Saint Rémy, June 1889

The first art I ever acquired was a poster of Starry Night complete with Von Gogh in big block letters on the bottom. I put it on my college dorm room wall with poster putty. I thought I was being so sophisticated by picking a masterpiece to display in my space.

A few year later, after purchasing our first house, I found my next art piece. It was a reproduction of a vintage poster advertising French wine.  I think I bought it at Bed, Bath and Beyond. The color scheme of the piece started my temporary, but deep, obsession with the color scheme green, yellow and red. I happily decorated the bedroom in these colors to complement this art hanging prominently on the wall. (This time it was in a frame, and attached to the wall by hanging on a nail...see, I was moving up in the world.)

While these early pieces of artwork still have a fondness in my heart, as I moved towards my thirties, I decided I needed to have "real" art work. I wanted to purchase art that was created by someone, and not a mass-produced reproduction. It almost felt like this would show I was moving to a new stage in my least a new house decorating stage.

About the time I made this decision, I happened to be volunteering at an art fair. I walked by a booth, and I swear a beam of light shone on one of the pictures, directing me to look at it. (Ok, I am exaggerating, but I was really taken with the piece.) The artist told me how she took a Polaroid picture, and before it completely dried, swirled the image around with a stick pen. I had luckily stuck a twenty dollar bill in my pocket that morning, and that bought me the smallest print she had.

My next big art purchase was from an artist I found on Ebay. (I know still not such an adult that I would actually go into a gallery.) The painting he had listed reminded me of what the forest near my childhood home looks like in that early morning time just before the sun rises. Once again I fell hard. I needed it in a bigger size than what was listed to fit the space in my living room. After an email exchange, the artist agreed to custom make something for a price that was almost the same price as the couch that would be beneath it. As someone who just a few years before, thought that decorating with a poster was high times, the cost was a bit of a struggle for me to come to terms with. But after thinking about it for a while, I finally commissioned the painting. I am so glad I did. The painting still makes me feel calm and happy whenever I look at it, all these years (and a new house) later.


Fast forward a few years, and we have now moved a few times since I decided to work on my small art collection. Our new home needed something for the back wall of our dining area. I asked my dad, a professional photographer, if I could have some of his pictures to display.  I waited a few months, after all the paying customers come first, but finally pictures of flowers arrived. I love that my dad autographed them, and they look great in the room. And of course I was glad that blue and while flowers where included.



I continue to look for art that speaks to me. I wonder when my next find will appear!

Do you have a favorite piece of art in your home? How did you come across it?

Do you notice how I subconsciously gravitate to the color blue? Do you have a certain color that catches your eye?

If you want to see more ways to use that color, be sure to head on over to The Pink Pagoda and the Blue and White Bash. Also, be sure to check out Jennifer's Etsy store. She has beautiful prints that would look great in any room.

And for more blue and white eye candy, see what I collected on my Blue and White Pinterest Board.
Also linking up with the Remodelaholic and Serenity Now