30 June 2011

Before & After Thursday

Ever since completing my first stencil project, I'm crazy about stencils. I am just itching to use one on a wall to get the look of wallpaper without the crazy price tag. This dining room at Our Fifth House was already very pretty. But when Carmel stenciled one wall, it took it from pretty to Oh.My.Heavens.



{Do I hear lids popping off of paint cans???} I seriously can't wait to do something like this! Go Here for Carmel's great step-by-step tutorial, and Here for lots more pictures of her finished dining room.

28 June 2011

I have a dream {house}

It's been floating around in my mind for almost as long as I can remember. Even as a kid I loved to think about it. At night as I was falling asleep I'd be decorating it in my mind. If I saw something in a magazine or read about a decorating idea that I loved, I'd find a spot for it in my mental dream house. If I was sad about something or having a bad day, I would envision myself in that house, and I instantly felt happier.

I'm still the same way. If I'm having a day that makes me want to rip my hair out, I can think about myself someday living in that house in my head and it makes me feel better. It's like the equivalent of a baby's thumb sucking- it's how I self-soothe. And I am still decorating it in my head while I'm falling asleep at night. Even though it looks totally different from the house that I envisioned as a kid, it still feels the same.

I wish I could show it to you. It's freaking amazing. And I am completely. determined. to have it.

{This isn't it, but it's the closest thing to what I'm picturing that I could find in 5 minutes....so something sorta like this. But with a third floor. And a basement. And maybe a small second-story porch.}

Am I a wacko, or does anyone else do this??

27 June 2011

The power of rugs

No matter how beautifully a room is decorated, no room is complete without a rug. They help to define different areas, especially in a house with an open floor plan. Plus they just make everything look so finished.

Currently, only one room in my house has a rug, and that's my living room. Every other room is impatiently waiting.

My husband can't understand why, with three kids, I want to stick a rug under our dining room table. "It will get food all over it!" That's okay- that's what vacuums and Resolve are for.

I keep trying to show him that as it is, our table looks like it is lost at sea.
It needs something to ground it- a safe, island of rug.

Thanks to this beautiful jute rug that I got for Christmas, my living room furniture doesn't look like it's floating aimlessly over an ocean of tile- it's perfectly anchored by the rug.

{My favorite part of this rug: the pretty fringe at the ends!}

Some people may feel that if you have beautiful or expensive flooring, the last thing you should do is to cover it with a rug. But I think that there's ALWAYS such a thing as too much of a good thing. No matter how nice a floor is, it doesn't mean that every square inch of it needs to be exposed. (It's just like with people- look at Giselle: she's gorgeous yet she still wears clothes!)

Look how these already pretty rooms look so complete and pulled together with their rugs:

The moral of this post: don't leave your poor furniture adrift on an open floor. Give it a safe haven with an awesome rug!

23 June 2011

Before & After Thursday

Today I'm featuring a project done by Courtney at Project Pretty. She's been here before. This newest project of hers goes so perfectly with yesterday's post, and has chased away any indecision that I had about what color duvet cover I wanted to use. The answer: I'm sticking with white. And I don't know how, but if there is any way under the sun that I can get something that will look even half this pretty, I will be thrilled.



This seriously takes my breath away. Visit Courtney's blog to read more about this project. 

22 June 2011

Thinking about bedding

My headboard plan has me thinking about beds. Currently, this is what my headboardless {yes, I'm aware that's not a word} bed looks like:

We've had the white, down-filled comforter since we were first married, and I've always talked about getting a cover for it but never have. I really like the brown and silver color scheme that I've got going on with the pillows because it ties in with the colors of my living room. But I've been looking around at other color options and I like the look of a black and white duvet cover because it looks really simple and modern. 

I've also been thinking about adding some green to my current color scheme. I got this wrapping paper from Target when it was on clearance a few months ago. 

I didn't know what I was going to do with it when I bought it {Not wrap presents with it though! Why use something this pretty just so it can get trashed?!} but I knew it had promise. Now I've been going through my room trying to decide what I could cover with it. I've looked at green duvet covers as I've imagined my new color scheme, but I don't know if I'd want that much green in my room. 

I definitely want to get a cover for this comforter, especially once I have my new, pretty headboard up (in the next house). 

20 June 2011

I have a plan

I'm going to turn this:
(+ one more)

...into a headboard.

Something like this:
I'm not going to bother putting it up in this house because we're only here for another month. But once we move, my husband and I will finally have a headboard. Hooray for shipping pallets!

17 June 2011

My husband is the best

Look what he brought home to me yesterday:

I'm back to floating through shipping pallet euphoria as I dream up what to do with this baby.

Happy Friday!

16 June 2011

Before & After Thursday

Remember how I mentioned in a post awhile ago that you could follow a tree-trimming crew to get a tree stump to use as a table?? Well that's not exactly what Alicia from Thrifty & Chic did, but it's close enough to let me know I was on to something. She got tree stumps from a tree lot and used them as a coffee table.

Her already-insanely-gorgeous living room

And the even more gorgeous

I love that she used more than one to make a grouping of little tables.  She explains in her post how to choose the right kind of stump so you don't bring home a tree full of bugs. This is the best idea ever! 

15 June 2011

Foiled plans

Ugh, I'm so frustrated. I just went outside to clean off a shipping pallet that I {thought I had} saved from the trash a few days ago, only to find that it had been taken from my side yard.

I've been wanting a shipping pallet forever. I know, they aren't that hard to come by. It's been pure laziness {and okay, a little bit of shame} that's kept me from driving behind a store and throwing one into the back of my car. But every time I pass a dumpster and see a pile of shipping pallets next to it, my mind starts spinning with all the possibilities that those big wooden squares carry.

So you can imagine my delight when a few days ago I came home to find that our landlord had had our yard sodded, and the pallet that the sod came on had been left leaning against a tree in our front yard. Score! I abandoned my car with my kids and groceries inside, sprinted up the driveway and dragged the pallet to the side yard for safe-keeping until I could figure out what I wanted to do with it.

I've been riding a euphoric high for days thinking about all the amazing decorating potential I had leaning against the side of my house, so to go out and find that it's GONE is so depressing.

Think I'm crazy? Just look at what these unassuming pieces of wood can be turned into:

A plate rack

A daybed

A focal point

A headboard

A coffee table

A dining room table

And look at this- a whole house made from shipping pallets. Now you understand my frustration. That pallet from my yard had the potential to be the first piece to my next house.

I'm more determined than ever to get my hands on one again. Maybe I'll cruise around the back of Home Depot one of these days...I'm sure it's a shipping pallet graveyard back there. And when I do bring one home, I won't leave it in my yard!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

14 June 2011

I changed my tabletop again

For a few years my dining room table was decorated like this:

Then, in an effort to make using this table more simple, I recently changed it to this:

I've been really unsatisfied with it though; for whatever reason this just hasn't felt right. I wanted it to be so awesome that it gave me chills when I walked by, and I've been goosebump-free ever since putting this together. 

Last week while painting my little accent table silver, I brought a couple more things from around the house out to the garage so that I could also paint them in between coats on the table: 

This mirror, that I bought online several years ago and that doesn't go with anything. {It's been hiding out in my room}

And this faux-wood bowl that a woman who I worked with years ago gave me when she was cleaning out her office. 

I sanded them both and painted them with the "Tin" shade from Martha Stewart's Precious Metals paint line. I knew I wanted the wooden bowl to replace the stack of plates between the candles on the table, so when everything was dry, I brought them inside and tried the bowl out on the table.
Way better, but something was still missing.

I picked up my mirror to put back in my room, then had a thought....

Now we're talkin'! I felt a little tingle up my spine, and I knew this was my new centerpiece.

I was momentarily deflated when I realized that the space between the mirror edge and the table edge wasn't big enough to fit a plate and cup, so it would have to be moved every time we ate. I tried removing the mirror again to get another look at how the arrangement looked without it, and it was blah.

So then I said screw it and stuck the mirror back. Who cares if I have to move it for meals? At least I can pick everything up together so it'll be simple. And it looks so dang good. 

I'm also happy to have some of my cute artichoke tea-lights back on the table. If you're wondering where my stack of plates got put, it's on the kitchen table (which is where this wooden bowl used to be).

It feels so good to be satisfied.

13 June 2011

Mirror, mirror, on the {desk?}

Mirrors are definitely having a moment.  I love the look of bringing mirrors into a home by having them on the furniture- it's super glam and trendy, but at the same time looks very classic, so your house isn't going to look dated in a year if you've decided to incorporate this style.

It looks gorgeous whether the furniture just has mirrored accents-

{Loooove this vintage stereo cabinet with it's custom mirrors, done by Mandi at Vintage Revivals!}

...or if the whole thing is completely covered:

{I've been really wanting this desk from West Elm- Hubby, take note!!}