Home Bar

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Why is it that when the time comes around for family photos (or any type of photos for that matter) I immediately feel like I have no style sense, whatsoever? Anyone else? Ah, well…that’s what style bloggers and Pinterest are for, right?

I posted a few days ago about the paint transformation on this little piece of furniture and now I’m showing you how I dressed it up. (In case you missed it, click here for the transformation and product info) I wanted to downsize our bar area and put it in a less focal area of the dining room. This piece worked out great for that because it is about half the size of the buffet I was using for the bar area.

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I wanted to keep the décor really simple since it is such a small area. On the bar top, I stuck to a tray for alcohol and a simple arrangement. This wooden tray has moved throughout my entire house! I’ve used it to hold a candle surrounded by potpourri on the table in the breakfast nook, a small flower arrangement, candle and a framed photo on the coffee table and now alcohol on the bar. You can really get a lot of use out of a little tray like this. Those eucalyptus stems are one of my favorite fall finds this year, from Ikea. I should have grabbed so many more! The little watering can is also from Ikea and contains 3 stems.

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If you remember the post of my home bar from a few years ago, you’ll recognize those shelves. Originally, I had stained the shelf with dark walnut stain but wanted a lighter look this time so I just painted over it with 2 coats of white chalk paint. Click here to see the last home bar I set up. I loved it at the time, but definitely a bit darker and heavier than what I’m going for these days. In the post that I linked above, I talked about how I made the shelves, I put these together with some items from Lowe’s. Really basic. However, if you aren’t into that and want something that’s ready to go, I’ll link a few shelves below that I like. The rope handle jar is a few years old from Pottery Barn but I linked something similar below. I love using something like this to fill a space because you can put anything in it to match your décor and easily switch it out for the next season or holiday if need be. Plus, it’s a good way to add some height and color to a shelf or table.

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I’d love to hear what you guys think of the new look! And I’ve linked sources below, or similar items if it’s no longer available, so you can create a similar look in your home.

Click the items below to shop the look!

Enjoy!!

 

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Gallery Wall

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You know the best way to wake up early on a Tuesday morning? To the sound of your dog getting sick. I mean, nothing gets you to jump out of bed and on your feet faster. And then try going back to sleep after that. Two things that I thought would be an issue having dogs with a baby or small child. 1) That the dogs would take or chew on the baby’s toys and 2) the dogs are going to get a little “thicker” when the baby starts eating solid food and can therefore feed the dogs 🙂
Until now, neither have been an issue. The other day, Landon was sitting on one of his little chairs that has toys attached to it, eating a teething biscuit. By the way, teething biscuits have to be one of THE messiest foods I’ve ever seen! Anyway, my mother-in-law was cleaning him up after he finished and Ella, sneakily and one by one, grabbed the toys which were now covered in biscuit crumbs. The toys were (<– notice how I said “were” not “are”) those round plastic rings, bright colored that stack on a cylinder and form a pyramid. Super flimsy and took no time at all for Ella to demolish while trying to eat every crumb she could find. I found the leftover plastic under our bed with some of the consumed plastic making it’s appearance this morning.
Welcome to our little slice of crazy town!

We have been so lucky to have some amazing photos taken over the last year and a half since finding out a little babe was on the way. Something I’ve been so bad about, in recent years, is displaying personal photos at home. This, to me, is such a down side to all the technology we use on a daily basis. Our photos are all contained on phones and computers and rarely make their way onto paper and into our homes. Why? One of my favorite things in other people’s homes is seeing all their personal photos, their family & friends, big events, love. I am resolving to have more photos printed and finish my home spaces with this personal décor detail.

I had this large wall space in our living room and went back and forth about what to put there. We did have a gallery wall in the house before, but it was all wedding photos and the location wasn’t a noticeable spot where people would stop to look at it. I asked Jeff if I should replace the current gallery wall or move it to the large wall in our living room. His response, “put it in the living room so we will actually see it everyday and enjoy it”. Yes! Too often, gallery walls are hidden on stairwells and in hallways where people don’t see them as often. Bring those photos to a prominent location!

I went with a grid style gallery wall, very uniform and pretty easy to put together. I have seen some gallery walls that are asymmetrical and I do love them, but I am just too “straight line, symmetrical, matchy-matchy” for that style. Maybe someday I’ll step outside my comfort zone, but until then, here are a few tips to help you create your own grid-style gallery wall…

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1. Determine the space and size of your gallery wall
Figure out where you are going to put your new gallery wall. Chances are, you already have a blank wall in your home that you struggle with filling or decorating. Next, think about how big you want the gallery to be. This will give you a measurement from top to bottom and side to side and help you know what size and how many frames you can fit in your space. For instance, my space was about 42″ x 51″. I had a pretty particular look I wanted, so I had already picked out the frames and therefore knew the exact measurements. I used an 11×14 frame that was matted for an 8×10 photo, plus the width of the actual frame, it left about 2″ between each photo if I did 3 across and 3 down. This part may take a little configuring, just be sure to measure the actual frame because depending on the thickness of the frame, it can add an additional 1-2″ to each photo.
2. Choose your frames
Here’s a tip if you want a uniform look, use a frame with matting. This will help separate the photos from each other as well as “tone down” the photo so that each picture isn’t competing with the one next to it. I was going for a black & white theme and found these frames for an amazing price at Michael’s. This frame is normally $23, but Michael’s regularly has sales on their frames and they usually do it by brand. These were 60% off last week!!! While they are no longer on sale, they do have a few other brands on sale right now. If you find one you like that is full price, it’s worth it to just keep checking back for sales.

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3. Choose your pictures & print
For the uniform grid look, you need to choose all vertical or all horizontal pics. I know I know, duh! But, I started picking out photos and then realized I was choosing both and had to go back and do it again! Another thing I did for uniformity was adjust the color of the photos before printing. The main reason I did this is because I used photos from all different photo shoots and 2 different photographers who have very different editing styles. Some of the photos were bright, vivid color and some were more muted. Plus, with different outfits and backdrops in each shoot, it just made for a lot of different looks going on. By adjusting the color, it helped make all the photos look more like they went together. I don’t have any fancy photo editing program, just the one that came loaded on my computer. All I did was edit the saturation of the photo to pull some of the color out. When I found a color level that I liked (I used -65 but it will probably be different on all computers/programs) I adjusted all the photos to the same level. Note: When you do this, make sure you “save a copy” of the photo, don’t save over the original, just in case you don’t like it, plus, you don’t want to loose the integrity of the original photo. Obviously this step isn’t necessary. I also did this because of the black & white look I was going for. I wanted to use my favorite photos but I didn’t want them completely black & white so this allowed me to get the look I was going for while still keeping a little color. As far as printing, if you are using professional photographs, chances are, your photographer will have a suggestion as to where to print them for the best quality. Our photographer uses Smugmug, but also suggests Shutterfly as a good place to print.
4. Hang your photos
I’ll be honest, I was not super technical with this part. I hung the center photo where I wanted the center of the gallery to be. For the photos directly above, below and beside the center photo, I just measured out the height or width of the frame, plus an additional 2″ for the space between each photo. Because I was just sort of winging it, I did have to make some adjustments. Just step back and check after you hang each photo because it may look even up close but once you step away you’ll be able to tell for sure. If you want to be more technical about it, you can pick up a laser lever at the hardware store. This one from Lowe’s is $20, attaches to the wall and will easily get the job done. If you are using a laser lever, your laser line is going to be where you hammer the nails into the wall so be sure to adjust down a bit from where you want the top of the frame to be.

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Now go get those photos printed and start enjoying them! 🙂

Spring Décor Favorites

I’ve been shopping up a storm lately.

Ok, that’s not really something new. I guess the difference is, I’m being very particular about the things I buy for the house. Only making a purchase for an item I’ve really thought about, searched it out and have a specific spot for it. In the past, I would just go shopping, see something I like, buy it, and then get home and not really like it with anything else in the room.

So, lesson is, be deliberate with my home purchases. Because of this, everything I have purchased recently I am IN LOVE with! Because I really thought about the look I was going for or exactly what I wanted for a specific spot, it’s all working out so much better.

I thought I’d share my top 10 home décor purchases from this spring in hopes of inspiring you as well 🙂

One of my favorite places to shop in Portland is City Home. They have a great aesthetic, a little urban, a little rustic, a little eclectic. AND, they carry Magnolia Home, the home décor line from Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper. Jackpot! I stopped in there a couple weeks ago to pick up some barstools…also listed in the top 10…see below 🙂 …and happened upon this gorgeous hurricane vase. I pictured a candle burning and the glow seeping out through the laser cut tin and I was in love. Then I realized it was from Magnolia Home. Done and done.
Kinder Hurricane Vase

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So this isn’t a purchase per-say. I buy flowers. A lot. And my favorite thing right now is using canning jars as the vase. Simple, yet the jar seems to give it a little something more than just a plain glass vase, don’t you think?

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Those barstools I mentioned…I’ve been going back and forth on which barstools I wanted for quite some time now and I kept going back to these. I like the combo of the metal frame with the wood seat, rustic but still clean looking.
Backless Counter-Stool w/Wood Seat

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Have you heard of a black thumb? This girl has 2! Seriously, I kill all plants!! So, when I saw these faux boxwood trees at Ikea, no brainer.
Faux Potted Boxwood

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My mom picked up this little cutie somewhere in eastern Washington. The cutest little farmhouse soap dish I’ve ever seen!
Metal & Stone Soap Dish

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Black & white décor…it’s my obsession lately. These stripe pillows from Ikea were an easy way to update the color scheme in my living room.
Stripe Cushion Cover

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These little faux sage plants are making their way all through my house. Some in the nursery, some in the living room, powder room. Something about spring just makes me want to put plants everywhere. Faux plants, of course 🙂 at least in my case.
Faux Potted Plant

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Like I said…plants…everywhere. But this lemon tree! I couldn’t resist!! It’s adorable, no?
Unfortunately, it looks like Pottery Barn is already sold out 😦 They do have a matching wreath though

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Disclaimer…this photo is NOT my home. I’d love to take credit for it, trust me 🙂 This was actually my inspiration photo. Since seeing this, I’ve wanted a steamer trunk to use as a side table. I’m halfway there 🙂 My mom found a vintage trunk similar to this one, just need to have it fixed up a bit and I’ll be ready to go! You can find trunks like these at vintage and antique stores all over.

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Final purchase! The Hektar Lamp from Ikea (again, picture is not my home). I love love love the scale of this lamp. The lamp shade is oversized and it’s a nice tall fixture. I had been searching for a floor lamp for our dining room and finally came across this little beauty.

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Happy spring and happy shopping friends!

Inspired by…black & white

We are going on hour 12 of baby sleep! He woke up at 5:45 to eat, but other than that, has been out since 9pm last night 🙂 I’ve been doing a little trial and error as far as sleep routines go and we may have found a good balance yesterday. I’ll keep it going for a few days and report back if continues to be this successful.

I’ve been having trouble finding inspiration and getting projects done these days, mostly due to lack of time to just sit around surfing Pinterest or having an extended period of time to accomplish anything. I started my first building project since Landon was born about a week ago and, so far, I’ve only completed step 1. Insert face palm emoji here. I think I need to learn to let go a bit, especially the expectation of always having a clean house. I wake up when baby wakes up. Take a shower and get ready for the day during nap #1. Pick up the house, do dishes and laundry and check emails, Insta and Facebook during #2. Run errands during nap #3. By this time it’s usually 2 or 3pm and it leaves 1 or 2 more naps, one of which is usually spent getting dinner ready. This 12 hour sleeping situation could really help me out if I just stay awake after that 5 or 6am feeding, so, Landon…let’s keep this up…okay?

I am excited to share my first building project in a long time with you guys! I am building floating corner shelves in the nursery. They are actually pretty easy and are such a great way to fill space in a functional way in those awkward corners that you never know what to do with. Anyway, until then, I thought I’d hold you over with some inspiration. I’m loving the combination and contrast of black and white right now. I still LOVE all white neutrals but I really like to add black (especially wrought iron) or wood accents.

Enjoy!

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Inspired by…Grain Mill turned Farmhouse

My mom is really going to LOVE this post 🙂 Pretty sure her dream is to turn an old barn into a home. Or at least into an event venue that she can run a business out of. Well mama, here is your inspiration! This is a 161 year old grain mill that was bought and remodeled by a couple of antique dealers, obviously they knew what they were doing.

The first image is the before…and the transformation is just magic. Now let’s go find a barn to buy mom!

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Original article from Country Living

Inspired by…home of Lauren Conrad

I’ve featured the home of Lauren Conrad before, her single-girl Beverly Hills penthouse apartment. Now…she’s unveiling the remodel on her new Pacific Palisades home she shares with her husband. What can I say…I like her style! The home is a wonderful mix of Bohemian elements, glamour and feminine style.

I don’t know if I’d ever have the guts to attempt the open shelving style, like you see in Conrad’s kitchen and dining room. It sure looks pretty though. I’m also slightly obsessed with the rustic wide plank flooring and EVERYTING about the bathroom.

Enjoy all the pics! And for those of you tracking the progress…yes, I am 2 days past my due date and no baby yet…

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Inspired by…Joanna Gaines’ Laundry Room

Is my love of Joanna Gaines’ decorating style too creepy? Just wondering…

Not that it will change my opinion or make me stop following her blog and Instagram. I just can’t help it! Her style is the perfect combination of farmhouse, airy and chic. It never looks overdone, but rather, well…perfect? She shared photos of their laundry/mudroom on her blog and I am obsessed! In my next house, I think I need to stay away with anything with a basement level because my laundry room will never look this bright and beautiful hiding away downstairs!

I’m also loving concrete countertops right now and keep going back to that as an option in my kitchen. Thoughts? Has anyone done this? DIY style? Did you regret it?

On a completely unrelated side note,  we had our 37 week check up today and baby boy is head down!!! No need to worry about having an external cephalic version! I truly was stressed about it. Part of me wanted to decline having it done because it feels somewhat unnatural. If he could turn then he would turn, right? On the other hand, doctors do it all the time, so what am I so afraid of? Either way, no need to make that decision! 3 weeks until due date…stay tuned!

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All photos from At Home: A blog by Joanna Gaines

Inspired by…Anderson Cooper’s Brazilian Vacation Home

As I sit here typing this post, I’m in the lab waiting room in the middle of my glucose tolerance testing. What a fun way to start the day…got here at 7:30AM, had blood drawn and then drank the nasty sugar liquid. I think they should have to give at least 2 flavor options. As a child who NEVER liked orange soda, seeing that bottle of orange liquid made me a little sick just thinking about it. Then again, if option #1 is orange flavor, option #2 would probably be grape or cherry…and that wouldn’t get me anywhere. Guess it is what it is. On the bright side, I have 2 hours to sit here and get some work done and my selfless hubby is sitting next to me, enduring the boredom so I don’t have to be alone. Actually, who am I kidding…he’s not bored…he’s on his I-Pad watching old clips of Seahawks games, getting excited for the upcoming season where I’ll no longer have a husband on Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights. 🙂

I also had baby shower #2 on Sunday and it left me feeling happy, loved and so excited for our little guy to be here. The amount of love and excitement our friends and family have for him and for us is so sweetly overwhelming. It would be hard to not be excited after a celebration like that. One more shower to go and I have so much organization, unpacking, washing and folding to do! It’s going to be a very busy 12 weeks!

Just stepped away to get the 2nd blood draw. One more in an hour and then hopefully all goes well and I don’t have to come back for the 3 hour test…yikes.

I saw the photos of Anderson Cooper’s vacation home in Brazil a while back and knew immediately that they would be my next inspiration post. The home was built in Trancoso, a remote village overlooking the ocean and was designed to look and feel like the village it is nestled in, with rustic architecture and minimalist deign. Cooper used designer and real estate expert, Wilbert Das, to desing the home, and it is nothing short of a tropical paradise.

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Original article and photos from Architectural Digest

Inspired by…Sag Harbor Country Home

I’ve been working like a mad woman on so many different things…baby shower details, baby registry lists, nursery design, plus getting some random projects finished up around the house before baby arrives. Planning for baby is so much more overwhelming than you originally think it is. I want to tie up loose ends on things that have been sitting that I know will not be a priority after baby arrives, plus baby classes, all the things you have to think about and buy (some of which requires research into the best of the best, if you’re crazy like me) and on top of that, not always feeling the greatest while doing it. Not to mention working a full-time job. I’m tired just typing this!

Anyway, I feel like this blogging journey has been a juggling act since I went back to work…how do I run a household, complete DIY projects and remodeling, post to the blog and have time for work, family and friends. I guess it sounds like I’m complaining but a part of me loves juggling it all. Blogging for me is a bit of a release, a happy place. I get to do, write and post about things that I love. So while it may make me crazy from time to time, I do it because I love the feeling of accomplishment I have after finishing a project and posting about it.

Adding to that, a new baby and all that comes with it, I have been feeling even more like, how do I do it all. My friend Janine sent me a link to a You Tube video by one of my favorite bloggers, Damsel In Dior, and it was a great reminder of how to keep it all doing when you’re trying to do it all. So for all my fellow bloggers out there, or if you’re thinking about starting a blog, watch this video…

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I came across this Sag Harbor country home on My Domaine. The photos and original article are from the August 2016 issue of Elle Décor. The home is owned by Mona Nerenberg, who owns a home design shop, Bloom, in Sag Harbor, NY and was co-designed by Mark Cunningham. I may very well do a separate post on Bloom because it is the chicest little rustic shop I’ve ever seen! And side note, it is frequented by Martha Stewart and Gweneth Paltrow…NBD. Anyway, this is home is the epitome of chic, rustic, country charm and looks like the kind of retreat I could hideaway in forever!

Excuse me while I go house hunting for a country cottage just like this 🙂

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Inspired by…Nursery Decor

I’ve begun the task of building my baby registry…this is no small task! Having a baby is like planning a wedding. I start to research one item that I want or know I need and during the process, I end up finding 5 other items that I’m supposed to have on the list! Who knew so many gadgets go into raising a baby. The list of things I need to choose, decide between or research grows by 10 each day…never ending.

On top of this, I’m not very good at planning an entire room just by looking at photos so it’s going to be so hard for me to choose nursery décor and not just go buy it all myself! When I design a room, I build piece upon piece, starting with 1 main furniture item, decorating around that and the moving onto the next furniture item. Many times, I buy things in 2 or 3 different colors, patterns or styles and bring it home to try it out with what I already have to make a decision about what I like best. How is this registry thing ever going to work!?!?

Case in point…it took me about 2 weeks to find a crib that I like. I finally picked one out that is the color and style I want and will work for either gender. Of course, the one I picked is $900! I know this is an investment, it turns into a toddler bed and I can use it IF we decide to have more kids later on, but still! Then, as I was searching high and low for other cribs, I came across a gem! I want a rustic, French country look but many cribs that fit that description are very girly and would be tough to make work for a boy’s nursery…if that is what we have 🙂 …plus, I want white furniture in the nursery and most of the shapes and styles of cribs I like don’t come in a distressed white finish (off white maybe, dark brown, smooth white, but no distressed white that I like) So I found a really simple crib with “shutter-like” head and foot boards.

Now, it only comes in dark brown, however, it is only $200!! My plan is to chalk paint and distress it to get the look I want. The crib should arrive in 2 weeks so I will post an update when it comes and let you know how it turns out! In the meantime, here are some of the photos inspiring my nursery décor!