Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Autumn decor

Saying that you are decorating for autumn (instead of Halloween) allows you to really string out your decor for a lot longer than you would otherwise be able to do ;)  Here are some beautiful decor ideas to get you started thinking about how you can incorporate some autumn into your own home.

This is a really simple idea that can also be done on a budget.  These goblets can be purchased from Christmas Tree Store, Walmart, or even Dollar Tree (if they have them).  Acorns can be found in your yard or the park :)

 This is the same idea, but a little dressier.  The acorns are sprayed gold, but can be done in any color that you feel would match your fall decor or the decor that adorns your home all year round.  The candles also make a nice addition to what is going on in this tablescape!

This could be a project that you can pawn off on your kids and re-touch after they go to bed.  The pedistols can be purchased cheaply at Savers or Salvation Army and then sprayed to unify the decor a bit.  Love this idea.

Another fun pumpkin idea.  I think you can figure this one out yourself :)

 This pumpkin flower pot would be fabulous on a porch or a deck in the back.  It would look so pretty with bright color mums.  I can just picture a pop of color from pink or purple mums and the sharp contrast of the dark green stems and the orange pumpkin.  You could do this with a real pumpkin (although that would entail a bit more work) or a faux pumpkin, which you could use year after year with little repeated work.

These lanterns are EVERYWHERE right now!  They are fairly cheap at Christmas Tree Shop, but you can also get them at TJ Maxx and they seem to have more of a variety.  This would look great on a front stoop or in an entryway mudroom. 

Halloween hauntings

Halloween is such a fun holiday and I adore decorating for it (and maybe going a little bit over the top)...  Here are some amazing Halloween decor ideas.  Some are simple while others require a bit more  effort.  All worth it, though!

You can do this with cupcake liners and plain white paper that you print out from the computer.  You can simply punch holes in the cupcake liners and string a ribbon through them to hang the banner onto your mantle.  So fun!

These homemade candles are super easy and really fun.  Simply use a sharp knife to carve out a place for the votive candle and there you have it!  Simple, cheap, Halloween centerpieces!  You could even paint these for a more unified feel that better fits your home!

My mom used to do this when I was little (and even when I wasn't little) but on a much larger scale.  She made these life size goblins and ghosts and taped them in the window on Halloween night with backlighting, making it look like there were ghosts in every window.  Everyone loved it.  This is a similar project, just on a smaller scale.  You can find tons of images on google and trace them onto black construction paper.  Then, all you have to do is tape them into the window!

One of the things I really love to do when I decorate is to stock up on holiday decor items after the holiday has passed.  Things are SO much cheaper once the holiday is over, and as long as you can muster up the patience to wait until next year, you will save a boatload!  These feather wreath is something you could purchase after the holiday and the eyeballs are a DIY project that you could easily do with Styrofoam balls.

This decor is particularly pretty and the chalkboard sign makes for an interchangeable piece of spookiness that you can decorate daily, weekly, or your kids can decorate themselves whenever they want to do some drawing. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Small price, big style

I love the idea of taking something cheap and making it look expensive.  I want my home to look Pottery Barn-esque, but I hate the price.  These are just a few great ideas to spruce up your house at an extremely reasonable price!!

1. You can easily re-create this look by purchasing a cheap floor length mirror and some strips of wood and embroidery hoops.  You can get a floor length mirror from Walmart, Target ... or Walmart (probably the cheapest ... I love Walmart).  The embroidery hoops you can also get from Walmart and the wood strips are readily available at Home Depot or Lowes.  Start by finding a glossy spray paint and spraying the embroidery hoops and the strips of wood at least twice to make sure they are fully covered with the paint.  Use a small amount of hot glue to attach the hoops and wood to the mirror and voila - Pottery Barn style.

2.  This is another idea that I love.  I adore the idea of using small amounts of wallpaper in unique ways.  Plus, my husband hates wallpaper so I want to make sure I can easily remove the wallpaper myself if I ever need to :)  Like I have said in previous posts, you might also be able to get a deal because you can use left over scraps or a small amount that is left on a roll.   It depends how many stairs you are using.  You could even wallpaper every other stair or every third one and still get a beautiful effect for less money.  What I like about this particular DIY trick is that the wallpaper is subtle because it is the same color as the stair trim, yet very intricate if you really look at it.

 3.  When we tiled our basement (all 800 sq ft) a year and a half ago, it was a PROJECT.  It was back-breaking, time consuming, and a plain-and-simple pain.  It took us a LONG time and after it was finished, wiping away the grout made me want to hurt someone.  We wiped and wiped and wiped ... you get the idea.  And because my husband was in the paint business, he knew what he was doing.  I kept thinking that the process would have been bearable if we weren't stuck with all of the cloudy grout.  And now I have the solution!  Instead of using grout, put a small strip of cuttable tiles in between the large tiles.  And, this is so much prettier and easier than grout.  It doesn't get dirty and it is easy to clean. 

4.  This is a really simple DIY.  You can find these shelves in all different sizes and lengths at Christmas Tree Shop.  I actually just did this project and it turned out great.  The shelves are good for things that you use a lot and want to keep out, but you don't want all that stuff on the bathroom counter.    Or, this is also perfect to add a little bit of style with items that you don't plan on using at all ... things that will just add some style to your space.   

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mixing patterns like a pro

Mixing patterns is NOT easy.  But, it makes for very interesting decor palette in any room.  Here are some rooms that have done the "mixing pattern thing" very well.  They all have a sense of cohesion that is hard to get if unless you really know what you are doing.

1.  I am in awe of this bathroom.  I am sure this is a wallpaper, but I can't imagine why someone would spend the money on this particular wallpaper when this pattern would be so easy to do yourself with a stencil and some paint.  The gold spots really pull out the golden tones in the shower curtain and it is not too much pattern because they stopped after the wallpaper and the shower curtain and did a plain white rug.

2. Love love L.O.V.E. wallpapered shelves.  It is so easy and it can even be more affordable if you can use scraps or get smaller leftover pieces (I guess those would also be considered scraps).  You could also paint or stencil onto the back of a bookshelf (which would be A LOT more affordable).  This space works because they stuck with a few different colors and then chose different patterns to mix.  The blue in the bookshelf pieces, the throws, and the rug ties in with the brown very nicely.

3.  This space is very simple but elegant.  The pillows are mostly black and white but with a touch of teal (also in the rug in a slightly different hue).  The walls are really stark and there is a lot of white in the room, so the pops of color serve to really brighten up the space and give it some flair.  (Love the mirror on the center wall, too!!!)

4.  This picture only captures snapshots of a few mixed patterns throughout these two spaced, but you can see enough to know that it all works.  Tufted headboards are so pretty and the hot pink is such a statement.  The plain wall behind the headboard leaves room for some pattern on the throw pillows (oranges, grays, and lime green) and the black and white zebra rug.  The bathroom wallpaper plays off the colors in the bedroom rug, with another pop of the lime green in the small stool under the towel rack.

5.  Mixing throw pillows is an art unless you are either carrying them all around with you all the time until you find the perfect mate, or you buy them all at the same place on the same day.  Unlikely.  The last time I was buying pillows I went to Walmart and picked up a bunch of free color samples that I thought would match the pillows I had (I took a picture on my phone to go off of).  When I got home, I picked the one that was closest to the colors in my throw pillow and kept that in my purse.  Much smaller than the actual pillows.  Plus, if it looks bad when you actually get it home, you can always return them.  The mix of pink, teal, gray, and black here is so bold and daring.  The pillows all flow well, even though none of them contain the same pattern.

Happy styling!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Elegant bedrooms for girls

Even though I don't have kids, I often think about how I will eventually choose to decorate their rooms.  It is so tricky to find a balance between babyish and sophistication.  Even though I am forever changing my decor, I would like to think that I wouldn't do that if I were truly happy with the whole scheme of the room.  

1. This room would be great for a young teen or even a little girl.  I really love the material used for the tie curtains and the mix or prints on the bed.  The black and white stripes are so bold and the mix of pink and floral is so girly.  Well done.

 2. This room would be great for a young girl - a desk to do homework at, a stylish set of bins to keep toys or shoes in, and a bulletin board to display all her likes and obsessions of the moment.  I love the area rug and how they use shades of teal to tie everything together.

3.  At one point before I got married, I swore to my husband that I would never want to use wallpaper because it was so dated looking.  I have totally changed my tune.  Although it can be really difficult to get off once you are sick of it, there are so many pretty patterns that can serve as a focal point to any room.  This wallpaper is made up of my two favorite colors - and I love it.  The mirror over the bed could be any second-hand or thrift shop find, spray painted the right color.  Even though the rest of the room is relatively plain, there is a lot that you could do in the room that doesn't overpower what is already there.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Style for less

Everyone is looking to save money and have great home decor at the same time.  Easier said than done.  But, there are tons of ways out there to do little things in your home that pack a big punch of style for less.  Here are a few I have found.

1.  This is such a genius idea.  All different flowers, painted one color, and glued to a canvas or the back of a clear frame.  You can keep it open or put a clear cover over it.  Either way works.  What I love about this is that you can use many different types of flowers but the color gives them a sense of uniformity.  This is such a statement piece.  If you are brazen enough, you could always go to a craft store like Michaels or AC Moore and ask if they have any stem-less flowers that they would be willing to sell to you.  Who knows, it could be a VERY inexpensive craft project!

2.  Crates are a great way to add style to your home and this way makes it very useful as well.  You could do something like this with an old chest as well ... that would look nice and also incorporate a vintage feel into your home.  Just make sure that the wood is treated so that it won't rot or transfer any color onto whatever you put into it.

3.  What a great coffee table idea for an outdoor space or a porch.  I believe they sell these tin containers at Christmas Tree Shop from time to time.  They are usually used to keep drinks cold, but I like this use so much better!  And, if you don't secure the tabletop on, it can also be used for storage as well (maybe for the pillows if this is an outdoor space ... you wouldn't want them to get moldy if it rained).

Monday, August 19, 2013

Navy throw pillow throw-down

Oh, throw pillows.  They are such a great way to add some style to a space in a small but powerful way.  I am loving these navy throw pillows as an alternative to the harsh black that you find in many rooms.  With a colorful couch (or merely one that is not black or brown) these navy pillows would be perfect.  Colorful ones to follow on another post.  Also, check out this shop on Etsy.  It's called The Pillow People and they have an amazing, stylish, and beautiful selection of pillows.  Anything you could ever want!

1.  Love these.  The starfish and seahorse pillows would be great next to one another.  The inverted colors serve as a great contrast, yet they are still cohesive.  These could also be pretty on a color block comforter or on something that already has a saturated, bright color.  This set of three 16x16 pillow covers is ONLY $48.00.  Here is the link...

 2.  Great variety here.  I really love the chevron pillow and the anchor pillow.  And the peacock pillow.  And the coral pillow.  OK, I love them all.  Each 16x16 pillow cover is only $16.00.  These are also all available in different sizes, so if you are looking for something smaller or larger (12x12, 18x18, check out their site). SO affordable.  What I really love about pillow covers is that you can pick the type of pillow you want - hard, soft, etc. and then just put the cover over it.  Fabulous.  Here comes the link...

3.  Love this nautical pillow.  It would be great for a beach house.  Or any house.  I am thinking this pillow, the chevron one below, the starfish pillow, and the seahorse pillow???  Although any of these would be a lovely combination.  This pillow cover is 16x16 and once again, is $16.00.  
Ready for the link...

4.  These are also so pretty.  They would look great on a grey couch or a tan couch.  I love the white showing through in these particular pillows because it serves to brighten up the room, particularly if the colors are a bit dark.  These pillow covers are for 20x20 pillows and the pair is $36.00  Here is the link...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lilly Pulitzer love

I would die for Lilly Pulitzer clothing.  Or shoes.  Or bags.  You get the idea.  Here are some Lilly dressing rooms that you could draw design inspiration for your home.  The designs are a bit over the top, but you can certainly take a piece of her design and incorporate it into your closet.  Especially if you have his and hers closets, since I'm sure no man would be a fan of this much color!!

1.  What a pretty space to try on clothing.  LOVE the area rug in the middle, which shows up in many of the Lilly dressing rooms.  The teal door is such a pop of solid color.  It really stands out amongst the patterned wallpaper.  And for some reason, this space just works.

 2.  Now these are my colors.  The wallpaper is a bit busy, but I love it nonetheless.  Same rug as the first picture ... LOVE.  The white doors are nice with the wallpaper being so busy.  It serves to show off any piece of clothing hanging on the outside of the door, unlike the doors in the first picture.  

3.  This wall would be so perfect for a feature wall in a baby's room!  I love the cityscape motif and the black racks offset the blue and white colors on the wall.  I'm not exactly sure what is happening on the floor, but who cares.  It's Lilly Pulitzer, and she can do whatever she wants.

4.  Again, the same pretty rug on the floor.  What a unique design on the walls.  I love the blue and white walls mixed with the pink in the area rug.  And the patterned bench, even though it's a very different pattern, is great in the room as well.  Oh, Lilly Pulitzer.  You did it again.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chalkboard bliss

Chalkboards at home are becoming increasingly popular and very DIY-friendly.  There are so many different options for so many different purposes!  This will absolutely not be my last chalkboard post...

1.  I like this idea because you can paint right over it when you don't want it anymore.  It is so easy ... just tape off and paint on the chalkboard paint (which you can even DIY now; there are recipes for it everywhere!).  Personally, I am a Sherwin Williams girl, and they sell awesome chalkboard paint there. Just be sure to ask someone about the particular surface you are putting it on just to make sure it will adhere.  Some surfaces are not meant for chalkboard paint, so you just want to make sure you have all the facts before starting a project.

2.  I really like this idea for a party.  This chalkboard window is great for writing menus on and changing them for dinner parties, kids birthday parties, or whatever other kind of party you may be having.  

3. Love love love love love antique frames.  I have them all over my house, painted in all different colors.  Even this one is not painted, I love it because the gold really makes the black chalkboard pop.  It is definitely a statement piece over a small table or bureau in the dining room.  What a fun way idea.

4.  This chalkboard is much the same as the one before, but it is in a different room.  I like this in the family room because everyone can take part in the chalkboard messages.  It can display a football schedule (as seen here), fun messages from one family member to another, or even rules of the house. Not to mention that it looks fab...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Around the house tips and tricks

There are so many great ideas floating around on the internet that will serve to make your home more organized and useful.  Some of the ideas are so simple but they provide needed organization and more clear, defined spaces that make so much sense!

1.  This is a laundry room that seems small, but it is so cute and well done.  The space is very well utilized and I don't think I could have done it any better myself.  The baskets up top serve as storage for items that are not used often (that a boyfriend/husband need to retrieve) and the sliding cabinets provide needed drying storage for items that you can't put in the dryer.  I love the counter tops here too - nothing fancy, looks like plain laminate, but it surely serves a great purpose.  Love this space!

 2.  When we were selling our house, I always used to heat random things up on the stove to make the house smell pretty ... and it worked!  People always commented on how nice the house smelled, including our realtor!  There are so many different options, but here are a few.  All you have to do is put a few things together on the stove and let it simmer for a while, until the smells resinate through your home (make sure you always keep enough water in the pan so it doesn't burn - that will defeat the purpose of the whole thing!).  Then you just let the mixture cool and throw it in the garbage!  Easy as pie!  I'd love to hear your comments about what you have tried and how it worked!

Potpourri - 1 cut lemon, 1 cut apple, 1 cut orange, 3 cinnamon sticks, water to cover
Holiday Potpourri - 1 cut orange, 1 cut lemon, 1 bay leaf, 2 cinnamon sticks, handful of cloves, water
Spice Potpourri - 2c water, 1/2c sugar, 1c pineapple juice, 1c orange juice, 1 lemon, 4 cinnamon sticks, 1T cloves
Apple Cinnamon Potpourri - 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 cut apple
Lemon Basil - (my personal favorite!)  2 cut lemons, a handful of fresh/dried basil, water
Cider Pumpkin Potpourri - 1 can of pumpkin puree, 4 cinnamon sticks, a handful of cloves, 1 apple, 3 T vanilla, a pinch of nutmeg, apple cidar (I used 4 cups, but you could adjust it any way you want)

 3.  Another great idea.  I always struggle with how to organize my KitchenAid mixer and accessories.  I usually store them in the bowl, but there isn't really enough room to do that, so some end up scattered around the kitchen.  This is such a great idea and you could use Command hooks so you don't ruin the inside of the cabinets.

4. GENIOUS!  Plastic bags are always lose under our sink and it is hard to get them out.  This is a great, organized solution for garbage bag storage.  You could do this in a pantry or under the sink (for kitchen trash bags).  This would also be really useful in the garage for trash cans located there.  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ravishing rugs

I really love a pretty area rug that works to make the room cohesive.  There have been some really pretty rugs floating around on the internet, and if you want to find one it isn't very hard to search for and find one that suits your home-style.

1. This rug is so much fun and provides a fun, colorful pattern in any room that is somewhat monotone or filled with tones of teal.  I love the colors that make up this rug and the contrast of the rug against the dark flooring!  You can find it here...

2. This area rug has a pattern that is very popular, but much more neutral than the first rug.  I like this rug because it has both grey and tan tones and would go well with a color scheme that involves either of those colors.  Very pretty.

3.  I LOVEEE this rug.  It is so bold and aesthetically pleasing.  I love the green and the shapes and the grey (I know, I obsess over the color grey).

4.  I know, more grey.  But I just can't stop.  Another neutral rug with a pretty, but not overwhelming pattern.  I love the zebra pattern and the color-on-color variations.  Here is the site!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Backsplash wonders

 Everyone wants a backsplash that compliments their countertops and adds value and beauty to their kitchen.  BUT, it can be very hard to pick the right backsplash.  Do you want something eclectic that is really funky and different?  Do you want something subtle?  Do you have a relatively plain kitchen and want to add some fun with your backsplash?  The "right backsplash" is probably different for everyone, but here are a few I am loving right now...

1. Love. Love. Love this backsplash.  It is so pretty.  I think the reason that it works so well in this space (although you can only see a small portion of the space) is because the counter tops are so plain and the decor plays off of the white in the tiles.  Grey and blue are my two favorite colors, so this one is a winner for me!

2.  I think a lot of people these days are deciding that a subway tile backsplash is right for them.  It is fairly versatile, particularly because subway tiles come in so many different colors and are pretty plain.  I think the light blue was a good choice for this particular kitchen because it is a nice midtone.  It goes well with the super dark cabinets and the very light countertops.  And don't even get me started on the chalkboard cabinet.  Love built-in chalkboards in the home.

3.  This is another backsplash that I love.  It achieves a very specific look, but I like it because it can be used with virtually any countertop you have.  I think it looks nice with these very light countertops, but it would also provide a great contrast with a very dark countertop.  Here it contrasts the dark cabinets.

4.  This backsplash is a bit more prepster.  It works really well with the plain countertops and brings a bit of playfulness to the kitchen.  This is a perfect backsplash for a kitchen with white cabinets.  I think it would even work with a darker countertop, as long as the cabinets are light.  Pretty!!