Archives for March 2012

my day in pictures…and a break

Today, like most of my days, is full of to do’s.  There always seems to be an errand or two to run. And of course things to do around the house.  Next week things will be quiet on my blog while I enjoy some family time.   But I’m still here today… so I’ll share a bit of my day, in pictures…

My first stop this morning is to drop these newly painted frames off at a clients house.  She is creating a gallery wall of cream colored frames.  Different sizes, shapes and styles. But all painted the same cream color.   I’m done painting, they’re done drying…so off to my clients house they go!!

I am treating myself to some freshly painted toes and fingers in preparation for my sisters wedding. I do love a little pampering (especially when a gift certificate means that the pampering is already paid for!)! Here is my gel manicure.  I know, I’m a simpleton…getting such a plain, neutral color. But I love it.

But my favorite part of the day was the pedicure. That warm water.  The massage.  It was a real treat.

And a great end to an already great day…dinner and a movie with Dan!  We grabbed some food, then got to see the Hunger Games!!  We both read the trilogy and have been anxiously awaiting the movie.  So tonight we got to be spectators and see how they transformed the book into a movie.

I’d say overall it was a successful and productive day!!  Just a reminder that next week will be quiet here on the ol’ blog.  So have a great week, everyone!

Jen

linking up to:

life rearranged

 

How can you use spring trends in your own home?

At Home in the Northwest is having it’s first guest blogger today!! Lori May, from Lori May Interiors is a friend and former coworker of mine (ok….she was more than a coworker….she was also my boss!).

She’s a very talented interior decorator so I’m very lucky to have her share with us today. You should go over to her blog and look around at some of her amazing work! Welcome Lori!

Hi everyone,

I’m so happy to be visiting here at Jen’s blog today.  Jen and I go way back and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be back in touch after so many years.  To be contributing to her blog is an honor and I hope you all enjoy my posts about my passion, interior design.

Today I want to talk about a 3 of my favorite spring trends and how you can use them in your own home.

Let’s start with my favorite.  The pantone color of the year:  Tangerine Tango

I have always loved this color.  I use it often and you can too.  Here you see it used together with one of my other favorite spring trends, the geometric print.  (We’ll get to that one in a second.)  This photo shows how you can take your large pieces like the sofa in a neutral color and add in splashes of tangerine.

You could also take a more bold approach with paint.  Using a touch of the same orange on the chairs and the natural elements make this space work.

This is a great example of using two bold colors in the same space.  Can you tell why this works?  First, the orange and aqua colors are complimentary.  The work well together.  On the other hand, the dark chocolate walls and the pop of white balance the two bold tones.

Finally, this is an example of adding just a hint of the color of the year to your space.  Placing the throws on the chairs is an inexpensive and easy way to update your home with color.

Let’s move on to my second favorite color for spring.

Raspberry!

Yes, I know you might call it pink, but doesn’t raspberry have a nice ring to it?  Most of the time, when we see this shade it is used in little girls’ rooms.  But, not this season.  It’s all grown up and I love it.  Here the walls are painted a deep shade of raspberry and the color is then picked up again in the accessories.  Again, a neutral palette is used as a backdrop to this intense color.

I love how Sarah Richardson uses raspberry in this master bedroom.  It’s soft, feminine and so beautiful.

Remember that a little bit of raspberry can go a long way.  Sometimes a bright rug or barstool is all you need.

This is another shot of raspberry, but also shows our last spring trend of the day.

Geometric Prints

Remember that sofa of grandma’s that you had no idea what to do with?  Find a gorgeous geometric print and reupholster it!  Take a look at this lovely piece.  Don’t you love it?

source

You could also use a more neutral print if the raspberry is too much for you.

source

Here’s a great example of how you could add a geometric print to your bedroom.  If you’re really handy, you might even be able to make this a fabulous DIY project.

source

This neutral space gets it’s pop from the geometric patterned curtains.  This is an easy change to any space.  I am in the process of changing out my own family room window treatments to a lighter linen geometric print.  It’s a small change that makes a big impact.

source

This space is the opposite of the last image.  Even though there are several neutral elements, the bright color is the backdrop.  The geometric prints gives us a look at how black and white can really pop.  The turquoise, black and white color palette would be easy to replicate in your own home.

source

For those of you who might be a bit apprehensive about using the geometric prints on your furniture or windows, how about mirrors?  These mirrors give the same effect without too much of a commitment.

So, what do you think?  Which one of these trends would you use in your own home?  Do you have a favorite?

Thanks for having me Jen!

linking up to:

the shady porchsavvy southern style, chatty chics, sew much ado, southern lovely, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, somewhat simple, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, the shabby nest, finding fabulous, at the picket fence, stuff and nonsense, chic on a shoestring decorating, toys in the dryer

$75 Fireplace Makeover

One evening this fall, my friend Julie decided it was time to tear out her  fireplace facade.  The builder used sheet rock for the mantel and a tile surround that Julie did not care for.  After living with it for several years, Julie was done and off it came!  Not sure how to proceed, their fireplace stayed like this for a few months.

I figured with a little wood and some effort, I could give her fireplace a new look for not too much money.  Julie took me up on my offer and we started planning.

Kevin and Layla at The Lettered Cottage were our inspiration for this project.  They did something similar with their fireplace and I hoped to create something like it for Julie.

The first step was getting rid of the the gold on her fireplace insert. You might remember my post a few days ago when I did the same thing to our fireplace. With a little high heat spray paint, the gold was gone in a flash!

Thin plywood was measured and cut into a triangular piece for the mantel top.

The same plywood was used for three different sections that became the background of the new fireplace (see numbered picture below). I don’t have a table saw, so I brought the measurements with me and the kind people at Lowes made the cuts for me.

I used a primed 1×6 for the mantel and ‘L’ brackets were attached to the back.  By attaching the L brackets to the mantel top and face, I could avoid having to drill holes through the front (which equals less touch up work in the end).

Once the mantel face was hung and the mantel top was nailed down, I cut molding with mitered corners to trim around the fireplace insert.

After all of the molding was nailed into place, the corners were spackled and the edges caulked.  Then the entire mantel was painted white.

The new mantel was fun to decorate with a splash of bright colors too!  Julie painted some of her existing accessories and I helped her put it all into place for an updated look.

And one last look at the before and after…

It’s amazing what $75 and a little bit of work can do!

Jen

linking up to:

between naps on the porch, the southern institute, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, tip junkie, debbie doos creations, romance on a dime, the shady porchsavvy southern style, chatty chics, sew much ado, southern lovely, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, the shabby nest, finding fabulous, at the picket fence, stuff and nonsense, chic on a shoestring decorating

Rainy Day Fun – an indoor jungle gym

About a year ago,  we finished a 500 square foot addition on the second floor of our house.  While the kids’ toys were getting smaller (polly pockets and lego’s), the kids were are bigger and more active.  Our hope was that a new playroom would give them a place to run, jump, play and be loud.  And a place where the noise and mess could be hidden behind a closed door!

Here is our house before construction began…

The house before...

And three short months later, construction was complete!

The house after...

We live in a part of the country where we often see this in our backyard…

Rainy weather isn’t always conducive to spending time outdoors, so we created a small indoor jungle gym in the new playroom.  We were inspired by some friends who did something similar in their basement (OK, maybe ‘inspired’ isn’t the correct word….we basically copied their idea!).

The rings are from Ikea and were relatively inexpensive.  The line is called Ekorre, but unfortunately, I cannot find it on their website anymore.  A set of two rings was $10 and I believe the ladder was $20.  Hopefully they will carry it again soon because the price really can’t be beat!

Installing them was easy (thanks to the help of our builder!).    I purchased two 2×4’s and painted them the same color as our ceiling.  Lag bolt screws were screwed into the 2×4’s at even increments.

via lowes.com

Our builder drilled the 2×4’s into the cross beams in the ceiling, using giant screws to secure them into place.  Then, we clipped the Ikea rings and ladder onto the lag screw bolts.

They are so secure that Dan and I can even hang from them!  But mostly, it’s kids under the age of 8 that are caught swinging.

Thank you to our friends for the great idea!  The rings have been a great indoor activity on many rainy days!

Jen

linking up to:

the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, house of hepworths, the brambleberry cottage, somewhat simple, aka design, happy hour projects, romantic home, shabby nest, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, my repurposed life, it’s a hodgepodge life, fingerprints on the fridge, chic on a shoestring decorating, redoux, a glimpse inside, days of chalk and chocolate, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jellosweet talk shop, toys in the dryer, a simply klassic home, six sisters stuff, be different act normal, i heart naptime, sisters of the wild west, nifty thrifty things, my 1929 charmer, i should be mopping the floor, making the world cuter, diy home sweet home, sumos sweet stuff, craft o maniac, embellishing life, the southern institute, between naps on the porch, how to nest for less, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, tip junkie, debbie doos creations, romance on a dime

$5 Fireplace Makeover

When our house was built (in 1997), brass seemed to be the primary fixture choice for home builders.  Therefore, we have LOTS of brass and gold through out house. Rather, we DID have lots of brass!  I have made updates over the past few years….new hinges and doorknobs, new bathroom faucets and towels bars…  And now it’s the fireplace’s turn.

Did you know that getting rid of the gold on your fireplace is quick and simple?  For $5, you can purchase a can of high heat spray paint… and in no time, you can say ‘bye-bye’ to the shiny stuff!

The gold fireplace accents literally just pull or pop off the face of the fireplace!

Take the fireplace pieces to a place that is safe to spray paint (i.e. a well vented garage or outdoors).  Often times, when painting a smooth surface, it is recommended to rough the area up a bit with a fine sandpaper or steel wool.  But this old fireplace has it’s fair share of scratches and roughing up. So I skipped that part and started spraying!

The paint went on smooth and dried really fast. I was able to do a second and third coat and put everything back on the fireplace the same evening.  I can’t believe how great it looks!

The ‘after’ picture below is so dark!  I think it’s because there is no more gold for the light to reflect off of  (or maybe it’s bad lighthing….but I like to think it’s the absence of the gold!)

One last look at the before….

And the after….

Seriously, I bought that spray paint almost five years ago and it sat in our garage.  Why on earth did I wait so long to do such an easy project?!  Now what to do with that Victorian scroll work on the mantel – ugh!  That’s a project for another day.

Jen

 linking up to:

the sweet talk shop, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, craft envy, be different act normal, stylish once again, i heart naptime, a simply klassic home, flamingo toes, nifty thrifty things, diy home sweet home, craft o maniac, the southern institute, i should be mopping the floor, how to nest for less, my uncommon slice of suburbia, home stories a to z, todays creative blog, tip junkie, the lettered cottage, savvy southern style, the thrifty home, trendy treehouse, chatty chics, laugh love and craft, the shady porch, mrs. hines class, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, house of hepworths, the brambleberry cottage, somewhat simple, aka design, happy hour projects, romantic home, shabby nest, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, my repurposed life, it’s a hodgepodge life, fingerprints on the fridge, chic on a shoestring decorating, redoux, a glimpse inside, days of chalk and chocolate, sisters of the wild west

Powder Room Cabinet

We live in a two story house.  And after the kids ate breakfast, it seemed like too much of a hassle to trek back upstairs to brush teeth.  So I converted a little cabinet in our powder room to hold all of our morning essentials.

The cabinet came with glass doors.  I didn’t want everyone to see our toothpaste mess, so I used a piece of black toile material to hide everything.   It looks great outside…but from the inside, you will see that my tool of choice was a staple gun.  It wasn’t a time consuming project…I created pleats in the material and stapled it into place. Not my finest and most detailed work, but it did the job!

The cabinet houses toothbrushes, toothpaste. sunscreen, a brush and comb, rubber bands, hair gel and more.

The kids can now brush their teeth and get my help if they need it without all of us running back upstairs every day (am I sounding lazy? It’s not THAT hard to go back upstairs!).  But I must say, I love the convenience that the cabinet provides.  And an added bonus, it’s cute too!!

Thanks for reading!

Jen

linking up to:

my uncommon slice of suburbia, home stories a to z, todays creative blog, adventures of a diy mom, romance on a dime, knick of time interiors, our delightful home, uncommon designs, michele raven designs, savvy southern style, the thrifty home, mrs. hines class, chatty chics, a turtle’s life for me, polkadots on parade, happy hour projects, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, somewhat simple, the sweet talk shop, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, craft envy, be different act normal, stylish once again, i heart naptime, a simply klassic home, flamingo toes, nifty thrifty things, diy home sweet home, craft o maniac, the southern institute, i should be mopping the floor, how to nest for less

 

Tag…I’m it!

My friend, Lori, at Lori May Interiors, tagged me in a game of Q and A for bloggers. The past few weeks have been busy and I haven’t done my usual amount of blogging.  So today I decided to sit down and answer the questions.  For those of you that don’t me personally, maybe today will help us feel a bit more like friends!!

1.  Do you have a pet…and if so, what kind?

I guess I have to answer yes, since we do have two fish. Though are fish technically a pet?  We don’t have anything that my kids would qualify as a pet. I don’t do poop clean up, and I’m not a huge fan of hair on my furniture (my apologies to dog and cat lovers.  But right now, it’s not for me).  We did ‘give in’ to our kids’ constant request for a pet…they each got a beta fish in August. But honestly, even the daily feeding and weekly (read: monthly :)) bowl cleaning is a bit much for me!

2. Do you watch reality tv?

If you don’t watch reality tv, then please skip to question #3 before you pass judgment on me.  If you are a reality tv viewer, then please continue reading.  Yes, I LOVE reality tv.  The Bachelor, Biggest Loser, The Kardashians, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Khloe and Lamar, Tori and Dean, The Amazing Race, Celebrity Apprentice…..what am I missing? Oh my gosh – do I even have a life? How do I watch all of those and still find time to keep up my house, blogging and spend time with my family!?

3.  If you could change anything about your home, what would it be and why?

I really do love our house and love the layout. And while it is 15 years old, the builder did a great job using white cabinets and white trim as to not date the house.  Having said that, the striped wallpaper in our master bathroom and gold fixtures really need to go….and the carpet  too (yes, there is CARPET in that bathroom)!

4.  Is your desk neat or messy?

When I started writing this post, my desk was messy.  Please prepare yourself….this picture is not for neat freaks.

GASP! What a mess!!

But tonight, I can honestly say it’s tidy!  Dan worked this weekend so the kids and I spent a quiet Saturday at home.  They played in the playroom and garage (see question #10) and I spent some quality sorting and tossing papers at my desk.  It’s such a happier place now!

 

5.  What is your favorite home resource? Online or actual shop?

I think my very first favorite resource is actually shopping in a store.  Being able to touch and see the product in person is so valuable.  But for convenience, catalog shopping is a close second. I love getting the mail everyday, and when there is a catalog for me, it’s even more exciting! Online is also a great resource for covering a lot of ground within a short amount of time. But colors can vary so much with photography and computer screens that I don’t always trust online…so I’d say my primary choice is hands on shopping in a store.

6.  Do you DIY? And if so, what is your favorite project?

I do DIY – quite often. I love a good project and love creating.  My favorite project since blogging has been my $7 personalized doormat.

 

The doormat has been one of my most pinned pictures on Pinterest and received a large amount of hits on my blog, so it appears to be a favorite of my readers as well!

7. What is your favorite food?

Ice cream. Need I say more?!

8. What is your favorite design trend right now?

Industrial….I’m very drawn to industrial lighting though haven’t decorated with any in my house.  And I love Tolix styled chairs.  I love the simple design paired with a farmhouse table. And they appeal to me as a mom too – easy clean up! Wipe it down and you’re done!

via greige design

9. What’s your favorite childhood memory?

In middle school, my family went away for Christmas.  We got to ski during vacation and sled on Christmas day.  It was one of those trips that was exactly what you thought a Christmas vacation should feel like.  Family time, skiing, sledding and snow.

10.  What is your favorite room in our home and why?

Last year we added on 500 square feet for a new playroom.  The kids playroom used to be in our dining room.  As toys migrated into the kitchen, I would often literally just kick them back into the playroom.  Now the kids have 500 square feet for all of their toys.  We can close the door. Let them be loud and let them make a mess.  I think it’s great. And I THINK the kids like it.  But I KNOW my kids love our garage.  It’s cold in there, it’s dirty and the cement floor is cracked. But it turns out, when you back the cars out of the garage, it makes a great place for rollerblading and playing!

Apparently the garage makes a great place to play “office” too!  Why would you play in a brand new playroom when you can play in a cold, dark garage!?

11. Why did you start blogging?

Over two years ago, I was searching online for inspiration for a centerpiece.  That research led me to the very first home decorating blog I’d ever seen, Somewhat Simple.  And that day, my love affair with blogging was born. I immediately thought “I could do that!” but I struggled with feeling like I had anything unique to offer the blogging world.  While my ideas may not be all that different, I have my own voice in my writing, which makes me unique.  It took me two years to get the courage to create my own blog, but better late than never.

And now Tag – YOU’RE it!  It’s the following blogs turns to answer questions:

It’s a Hodgepodge Life

A Simply Klassic Home

How to Nest For Less

Mrs. Hines Class

AKA Design

Rules
*You must post the rules
*Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you; then create 11 questions to ask the people you’ve tagged
*Tag 11 people and link them in your post (Sorry – I only selected 5 blogs!)
*Let them know you have tagged them

And here are your questions:

1.If you had a spare $1000, on which home decor project would you spend the money?

2.What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?

3.What is your ideal date with your significant other?

4.How would you describe your decorating style?

5.Why and when did you begin blogging?

6.Do you watch reality tv?

7.What has been your favorite/best post from your blog in the past year?

8.If you had a free day to shop in a nearby city, which home decor stores would you make sure to visit?

9.When do you blog/How does blogging fit into your day?

10.In which sports activity do you or would you participate?

11.What is your favorite decorating trend right now?

linking up to:

stylish once again, a simply klassic home, create with joy, my 1929 charmer, under the table and dreaming, homemaker on a dime,  i heart naptime, sisters of the wild west, nifty thrifty things, the sweet talk shop,  i should be mopping the floor, between naps on the porch, making the world cuter, diy home sweet home, skip to my lou, sumo’s sweet stuff, craft o maniac, our delightful home, the southern institute, home stories a to z, how to nest for less, todays creative blog, tip junkie, my uncommon slice of suburbia, adventures of a diy mom, romance on a dime, knick of time interiors, uncommon designs, michele raven designs, savvy southern style, the thrifty home, mrs. hines class, chatty chics,  a turtle’s life for me, polkadots on parade, happy hour projects, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, somewhat simple, the sweet talk shop, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, craft envy, be different act normal, stylish once again

Planting Sweet Peas

I know it’s early to think about planting seeds in your garden, but believe it or not, it’s time to get your sweet peas in the ground!

If you would like to see this later this summer…..

via pinterest

…..then you need to run out and buy a packet or two of sweet pea seeds!

To prepare the seeds for planting, you need to first soak a doubled up paper towel with water.  Then place seeds from packet on the paper towel.

Fold up the wet paper towel. Place in a ziploc baggie (I leave the baggie open…) and place on a window sill for several days.

Feel free to peek in the bag after a few days to check the progress. You will hopefully notice the seeds are starting to sprout.  After 7 to 10 days, nearly all of the seeds should be sprouting and will be ready to put in the ground outside.

Prep your garden….loosen the soil, remove the weeds and dig a small trench for the seeds.  I put a trellis in the ground now, so I can see where the seeds will need to be planted (Note: you will need something for the sweet peas to climb up as they grow. You can be creative – you don’t have to use a trellis specifically made for the garden).

Put the seeds in the ground and cover them with dirt.  I like to plant the sweet peas both in front of my trellis and behind it as well, so that I get a nice bundle of blooming sweet peas in July.

And lastly, don’t forget to spread slug bait!

Happy planting!
Jen

linking up to:

between naps on the porch, making the world cuter, diy home sweet home, skip to my lou, craft o maniac, our delightful home, i should be mopping the floor, the southern institute, todays creative blog, tip junkie, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, adventures of a diy mom, romance on a dime, uncommon designs, how to nest for less, primp, savvy southern style, laugh love and craft, the shady porch, polkadots on parade, the brambleberry cottage, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, stylish once again, a simply klassic home, create with joy, my 1929 charmer, under the table and dreaming, homemaker on a dime, i heart naptime, sisters of the wild west, nifty thrifty things, the sweet talk shop, centsational girl

sprucing up the front porch

In October, I put some fall plants on my front porch.  Surprisingly, they survived the winter!  But now, they are done.  They have overstayed their welcome on my front porch and need to catch a ride to flower heaven. Here is a look at their frowning faces….

So I tossed the old flowers and put some fresh dirt into my containers.

And after very little work and only a few minutes, my primroses from Costco were happy in their new home!

Look at all that color!  It’s like a breath of fresh air.

It was a simple $10 update and it really brightened up my front porch!

And remember when I planted my bulbs this past fall?  Look what is starting to peek it’s head up and say hello!!!

Don’t look now, but I think spring might be just around the corner!!

Jen

linking up to:

six sisters stuff, the sweet talk shop, wayward girls’ crafts, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, between naps on the porch, making the world cuter, diy home sweet home, skip to my lou, craft o maniac, our delightful home, i should be mopping the floor, the southern institute, todays creative blog, tip junkie, home stories a to z, my  uncommon slice of suburbia, adventures of a diy mom, romance on a dime, uncommon designs, how to nest for less, primp, savvy southern style, laugh love and craft, the shady porch, polkadots on parade, the brambleberry cottage, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, somewhat simple, house of hepworths

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