In a design world filled with neutrals and simple decor - which I love, don't get me wrong - art is a great way to add color, pattern, texture, and above all, personality into your home! Art can make a bold statement:
Are you familiar with Waterlogue? For the un-initiated, it is an iPad/ iPhone app that allows you to transform your photograph images into a "water color." I first came across these images on Instagram about a month ago. I'm one of those people that tries to avoid the latest trends because I think "I'm too cool for that!" (HA!); so naturally I avoided the app at all costs.
I lasted almost a month before I saw this app creep its way into the blog universe. Upon seeing what bloggers were doing with the images (Shine Your Light, here and Imparting Grace, here), my first reaction was to jump as quickly as I could onto the first iDevice I could find and buy myself that app!!
(My new "water color" image hung above my nightstand)
I'm quite sure this is going to be a rambling post. Unlike the projects I've worked on for clients, I haven't put together any succinct "inspiration" board for my own living room re-design. I've turned ideas over in my head as to how I could nicely present my living room plans. Yeah, that won't happen because, I suppose, my plans just aren't succinct or thought out!!! Ha!
(My "in transition" living room)
Ok, that is somewhat untrue. Succinct? No. Thought out? Yes, kind of. I've always known that I wanted my living room to have a specific feel: comfortable, cozy and warm while still being light and bright. Also, relaxed and sophisticated all at once. Hmmm....
So....I'm trying to get together a post about plans for our living room re-design. It's taking me longer than expected because I seem to have lost my mind today. Organizing photos and thoughts isn't in the plan so, to break up the blog silence I thought I'd share a before and after of an entryway I recently worked on. If you follow me on Instagram, you may already have seen this one:
Shortly after I started this blog, I started receiving phone calls from people in my community asking me for help with their homes. Today I'm going to share pictures from the very first couple I helped! Although we started their makeover about a year ago now, we are still working on pulling the finishing touches together.
(one of my favorite and most impact-ful features of the room is a pair of Ikea mirrors we added to the TV wall)
They had their second baby shortly after we purchased the upholstered pieces and they wanted to take some time off to adjust to the changed family. Once we started meeting again and decided on some of the finishing pieces, their basement flooded and they had to redirect funds to fix the basement!
I thought today I would share the Valentine's I made with my son to pass out at his pre-school class. This idea is not original, I saw it somewhere on the internet! But, I had fun doing these with my son so thought I'd share the Valentine's, and a few outtakes, here!
My son LOVES posing for pictures and reviewing them, so this one was fun for us. We had a photo shoot, and I chose the best picture and uploaded it to Costco photos (since I had to shop there the next day anyway). Costco Photo has lots of border options, and I found this one under their holiday section. For $2, I ordered 20 4 x 6 photos and for another $1.50 I found the heart pops.
If you've been around this blog you might now that I'm a big fan of orchids. I filled my home with them last winter / spring because of the ease in care (two to three ice cubes once a week) and the longevity of the flowers (mine bloomed all winter/spring).
For some reason, though, it never crossed my mind to group these flowers. But as I cataloged and reviewed some of my favorite inspiration images for my own home, I kept noticing these plants grouped in one pretty vessel together. I started to wonder how I could get myself one!
Last week I was shopping our local Mariano's (a Midwest grocer that I LOVE!) and saw that the floral department was selling one for $75. I didn't care for the bowl (for my house) but casually asked the woman working the department how she put the centerpiece together. She was really helpful and in case you are wondering, I did buy flowers from her, so I didn't feel that bad! I decided I could recreate my own centerpiece for a little less money.
I've made a lot of promises that I haven't kept on this blog of mine! Most recently I promised to share Christmas pictures from around the house.... never got to it!
(Picture taken at Christmas time. This wreath is still hanging since it is "winter-y." That's my little artist, painting away)
So, I'm done making promises. However, I'm ready to break my blog silence. I think after so long away, I've had trouble deciding where to start. Lot's of post ideas are running through my head. Although the blog has been silent, I still have lots going on around my house as well as client design projects I'd like to share. I'm just going to have to make the jump back into this game.
If you stick around to read this blog in 2014, here is a glimpse of what you can expect to on the home front. I'm focused on adding the finishing touches to our home. At any given time, I have at least 5 - 7 near term household projects floating around in this head of mine. We've already started knocking away at a few of them this year (err, we hired out help). So far, we've updated our fireplace mantle:
We are waiting on a Statuary Marble slab and surround, but the change so far has been dramatic; just check out the before pictures below:
The above is two photos I "merged" from the real estate listing. Just in case you don't believe me here is another picture right after we moved in and had made some pretty major updates (new electric, new drywall, new floors, etc.):
Using the same contractor (Jim's Handyman Services, if you happen to be in the western 'burbs of Chicago), we added a built in bench with storage to our family room (on which I happen to be sitting as I type):
Ok, this is a really poor instagram shot but it's all I've got. As an aside, you can follow me on Instagram here where I share home projects/client updates in real time. Anyway, we really enjoy having an extra table for breakfast / lunch (this room is open to our kitchen). It is nice to have the additional storage for toys/legos/art supplies. There are more additions in store for this room as well, so stay tuned.
Most of my household projects involve adding the finishing touches to our home, including window treatments, art, and organizational systems.
(our master bedroom, with new rug and window treatments)
However, the biggest ongoing project is a bit of a re-design in our living room. I will dedicate another post reviewing all of my plans at a later date, but it all started with the purchase of this sofa:
(colorwise this shot of the room is bland right now, but I have plans to add in a lot more interest very soon!)
I hope to be back later this week to share a few shots from recent client projects!
Christmas is by far my favorite time of year for many things: time with family and friends, spreading good cheer for all to share.... :) , good food, baking (anyone who knows me knows this is a lie), lots of fires, hot cocoa, which may or may not be spiked with Baileys, and last but not least, holiday decorating! I've been busy decorating our home for the holidays and will definitely share my decorating here on the blog. I hope to have a tour ready by Monday to participate in various link ups that are being hosted. Before that, I wanted to share some projects I've worked on this week.
I purchased new stockings this year (this came after my DIY sweater stocking FAIL that I tried last year and never shared here). I went with the plain white Pottery Barn Velvet Stockings:
I like pretty pictures of pretty things (which likely explains my pinterest obsession). This post has neither of those things. Wah waaaahh....
Anyway, what this post does have is two easy tips I used to make my kitchen - and brain - a little less cluttered:
(My new file system)
Can I ask, are we the only family that has an uncontrollable mail problem? Each day, we receive thousands (okay, exageration) of pieces of new mail that have a way of taking over our kitchen counter and table top. I had a file box that I kept in a kitchen cabinet that was a solution at one point. It had a habit of staying in the cabinet and never coming out.