Wayfair Launches Birch Lane

If you haven’t already heard, let me share some fun retail news with you!  Wayfair launched a new company today called Birch Lane!

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Birch Lane focuses on traditional furniture and decor.  The website says that it’s a “new destination for classic style”.

Sounds intriguing enough for me!  So let’s do some shopping!  Here are a few of my favorites….

The Delaney Bed caught my eye.  It looks very ‘Restoration Hardware’.

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I’m always on the  hunt for new kitchen chairs.  {I hate to admit that we’re still using the set that I bought for $50 when we were first married!} The Emerson Dining Chair looks both comfortable and easy to keep clean {if you have little ones in the house}.  And being that they share a name with my 8 year old daughter, I couldn’t help but love them!

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The Tenley Rug is versatile enough to go in most rooms! And it looks like it would be soft on your bare feet too.

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The Brighton Metal Chandelier surprised me…..I thought it was wood at first glance!    It’s metal and it’s a show stopper.

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Then there are these mirrors!   They have an antiqued, mirrored center and they are sold in a set of 3.

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And if your table needs some decorating, there’s the Paige Runner.

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I think you can see that it’s a website worth checking out!  Go over to birchlane.com to see for yourself!  I always love a new resource for finding home decor! Thanks to Birch Lane, we now have one!

jen

Christmas Around the House

Last week, I showed you my entry and the mantel, all decorated for Christmas.  Today I’d like to show you a few vignette’s around my house…

…the family room…

I bought that santa in Amish Country before we left the east coast. I love pulling it out every Christmas.

And oh dear…is that a lantern? {I mentioned last week that I may have a bit of a lantern obsession.}  I love the red color…It adds some color sitting in front of my lit branch arrangement.

…kitchen…

What’s that? Another lantern?? It’s filled with small pine cones and faux red berries.  I also have my ‘joy to the world’ chalkboard and advent tree displayed in our kitchen.

…bedroom….

We have the red bedding year round, but it’s even more season appropriate this time of year!

The Ikea wreaths are hanging from red Costco ribbon.

…dining room…

I love those little trees {also purchased at Ikea}.  Pinecones and faux holly brighten up the base of the trees.

And old books tied with striped ribbon {ribbon is from Michales}.

…powder room…

And I can’t help but leave you with one last lantern picture…

Thank you for taking a quick tour around my house!

jen

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southern hospitality,  savvy southern style,  a thoughtful place, at home in the northwest

Decor for the New Year

So Christmas is over. And that means it’s time to clean up all those Christmas decorations.   But does it mean that winter is over?! No!  In fact, winter just started a few weeks ago.  Spring may have arrived in the Smith and Hawken section at Target. And cadbury eggs may be at the check out in Safeway. But my house isn’t ready for spring decor.  I’m not ready to put away my pine cones and candles…so I didn’t!

I did take down all of my “Merry Christmas” and “Noel” decor.   And I transitioned a few things from Christmas decor to winter decor.  Take a look! (and hopefully you don’t think I’ve fallen off my rocker by calling this a ‘winter look’ when it still clearly looks like Christmas!)

BEFORE – Christmas Mantel
AFTER – Winter Mantel
AFTER – Winter Mantel

I was browsing through the after Christmas sale at Target and found these trees on sale ($22 for the set!). I love them!  Maybe they are the reason I’m not wanting to pack up all of my winter decor!   I’m fairly certain that if we were on vacation at a snowy lodge, there would be white twinkling lights on trees.  So that alone is my justification for keeping these cuties up!

They came in red pots, but I wrapped them in some burlap to soften their look. I like them so much better with the burlap and twine!

On my front porch, I removed the holly from the greens, changed my chalkboard sign and removed the belt from the santa pillow. Quick and easy update for a fresh, new look!
BEFORE – front porch
AFTER – front porch
AFTER – front porch
The greens were officially dead on my dining room table. So it was in dire need of something new.  We just received a fun red tree as a gift, so the dining room table seemed like the perfect place to put it on display!
BEFORE – dining room
AFTER – dining room
And finally, here is the new look on our dining room hutch.
BEFORE – dining room hutch
AFTER – dining room hutch
That’s it from here!  Our home is still decorated for the appropriate season…winter! And maybe if we’re lucky, we might even see snow to go with my decor!
Happy New Year!
Jen
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Dining Room Reveal

It’s done! The dining room is complete.  Wall decor hung. Light fixture installed (and working!). Christmas decor in place.

Thank you for waiting so patiently for my reveal.  It’s been done for a bit, but the days have been a touch gloomy and I’ve had a hard time photographing it in what little natural light we’ve had. But the pictures will have to do the job, good lighting or not….you’ve waited long enough.

Here are the before pictures (or to read the post, click here.)

And now, I introduce to you, the dining room!!  (Drum roll please…….)

Slipcovered parson chairs, from World Market.  It is a light, neutral color, but the face that they are slipcovered allows me to take them off for a quick cleaning.
Red lanterns from Lowes cost only $6 each.   And by adding fresh greens, pine cones and berries, I had a full centerpiece that was low enough to not block visual space when we sat down to eat. (Decorating tid bit: before you throw out your fresh, green wreath after Christmas, take off the pine cones and fake berries.  Toss them in your Christmas decor bin and re-use next year when decorating!)
I hung a fresh wreath with some satin ribbon.  It added nice color to the room.  There isn’t a ton of wall space in this room so the window provided the perfect background for the wreath.
New light fixture from Ballards – hung by yours truly!  I love that you can see the texture in the drum shade.
The dining room table is also from World Market.   The color of the finish is just what I was looking for.  It’s rustic looking, which is perfect for our family of four. My hope is that any new scratches or dents will just blend right in!  It came with two breadboard leaves too, which we have already put to use.

I have some of my grandmothers old silver trays. They don’t get much use so hanging them up seemed like a great use of my dining room walls (which I’m still itching to paint a different color. Dan still likes the red.  So we’ll keep that through the holidays and leave that project for another day).
What do you think? I hope it lives up to the anticipation.  We are sure enjoying it!!  
Thanks for reading.
Jen
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Let there be light!!

Good-bye old friend….But we were every really friends? Or were we just forced together by circumstances?  You were a light fixture and I needed something to illuminate the toys and children at my feet.  Thank you for serving our family for 5 years, but I am sorry to inform you though that you have been replaced by a newer, prettier model.  I’m sure someone will snatch you up at the Goodwill and put you to work again.  For now, please enjoy some rest during this holiday season.  You deserve a vacation.
Yes, I did it.  I got the crazy itch to install that darn dining room light on my own.  Dan was at work, clueless to my wandering mind.  Thanks to a quick tutorial on You Tube, I was in business.  Black wire to black wire. White wire to white wire and green to green. Easy, right? Well, easy for most.  But this being my first venture with electricity, it took me a bit longer than expected.  Three hours to be exact!
The light box in my ceiling was smaller than the metal plate needed to hang the light.  This meant that the head of the screws ran into the ceiling instead of into the light box.  So most of my time was consumed with finding a shorter screw. I was certain I had some that would do the job. So I searched. And searched.
After not having any luck, I decided to switch gears and cut the wires and cord shorter.  They gave me plenty of cord….about 2 extra feet to be exact!
 And of course, I didn’t have the proper tool to cut the wires.   
I tried cutting a test piece to see how my scissors would fare.  I was so careful. And so unsuccessful.  So off to Lowes I went.  
I needed shorter screws and a wire stripper.  The wire strippers was a quick task.  I even had the nice gentleman cut the cord and wires for me.  The screws became an issue all of it’s own. Turns out the decorative ‘nut’ would only thread onto the long screw that came with my light fixture! Even though they measured the screw, and the nut, it would not thread onto a new screw.  So my only option was to cut the provided screws.  I got a new hacksaw blade to just make sure I had the proper tools since I wasn’t sure how sharp our blade was at home.  Wouldn’t want to have to go back to Lowes!  The lights were off in our house and it was getting dark.  So I needed to get that light installed asap!
Once I got the screws cut (which only took a few minutes, surprisingly!), I was cruising!  I carefully connected all of the appropriate wires and ta-da!  Let there be light!!
We did put the pretty shade and light diffuser on too. And trust me, it looks great….but you’ll have to wait a few more days to see the final product. (Sorry that the light is all askew!  It straightened out when I put the shade on).
I need to finish decorating for Christmas.  And I’m waiting for a few plate hangers to come in the mail.  I ordered these adhesive plate hangers from allplatehangers.com.
So assuming those come this coming week, I’ll finish up the room and post the finished product !
Thanks for reading. And I hope you all are having a great start to your holiday season!!
Jen

New Light Fixture

Look what came in the mail last night!!  UPS delivers at the end of the day to our neighborhood. Even though I know that, I have to periodically look outside my front door, just to make sure they didn’t decide to arrive early.  And as always, they arrived around dinner time.  I’m not sure how I thought I could miss seeing the box….it is gigantic!

Here is a sneak peak (and I do apologize for the dark picture.  We have having tons and tons of rain here in the Pacific northwest.  And even though the curtains were open and the ‘light’ was shining in, the picture still came out dark.)  Hopefully you can see the texture  on the shade a bit though.  The shade color appears to be a perfect match to our chair slipcovers!! I do love that!

My biggest concern now is that it only holds one 75 watt lightbulb.  There is a diffuser that will attach to the bottom of the drum shade too.  Hopefully that will be enough light for our dining room. Unfortunately, that isn’t anything we can test out until the fixture installed!

The last point to ponder is weather we should TRY to install the light ourselves!  Neither Dan nor I have fiddled with electricity. And while I know people say it is easy, I have a proper respect for electrical things and have left that task to the pro’s in the past.

What are your thoughts? Should we try and install it ourselves? And do you think it will be enough light for our dining room?  I’d love your thoughts!

Jen

Dining Room Light Fixture Dilemma

We are in the market for a dining room light fixture. The one that came with the house was a bit much for my taste. I must have blocked the details of it from my memory because all I remember are lots of crystals and too much brass. And not a fun antiquey looking brass with great looking crystals. This was circa 1995 – too many cheap crystals and plenty of shiny brass. Since the room served as our playroom, a giant chandelier just became something that anyone over 5 feet tall would hit their head on when standing up.

So down it came. And thanks to Craigs List, someone else gets to enjoy all that brass and crystal in their home. And in an effort to be frugal, we put up a light fixture from another part of the house until we found something that suited us better. It too is brass and has been in the dining room entirely too long.
It’s time for a change….The search is on for something new!
I’m loving the drum pendant. Simple look with clean lines.
via west elm
I stopped by Seattle Lighting, after finding this drum pendant online.

via destination lighting

This is the 18″ size. And the bronze finish is actually more of a dirty brass (and after 2 brass light fixtures in the dining room, I’m ready for a change). The shade was shorter looking than I expected (only 7″ high). So I purchased the larger size, which had a 22″ shade that was 9″ tall. But it didn’t come in the soft white/cream color. So I bought the white. Turned out to be a bad decision. I got it home and didn’t like it. Didn’t care for the ‘bronze’ finish and the white was too much of a stark white.
Side note: Did you know how to figure the right size of a light fixture for your table? Measure the width of your table. Mine is 36″. Then you subtract 12″ from that. So in my case, any light fixture that is 24″ in diameter or smaller would be appropriate for our table. Thank you salesman at Seattle Lighting for that helpful tidbit of info!
After more searching online. I came across this fixture at Ballard Designs.

I ordered it in the natural linen shade, which has an 18″ diameter. The shipping confirmation was emailed to me this afternoon and it appears that the light fixture will be arriving on Monday. I’m concerned that it may not let off enough light. (I believe it only takes one 75 watt bulb). But here’s hoping this one works out!
Stay tuned….more on the dining room to come!
Jen

Dining Room Update

For the past 5 years, our dining room has been anything but a place to dine. Unless you wanted to sit at a tiny chair and table and eat amongst many toys. When we moved into our house, we had two very small children and no dining room table. So it made the most sense to make the dining room into a playroom.

(I’m being vulnerable here. Showing a room that is downright plain and boring. Please don’t judge me!)

A year ago, we took the plunge and put an addition on our second floor. This created a nice, big playroom for our growing kids and their increasing level of energy. (The addition is a blog post or two all by itself, so stay tuned for more pictures in the future.)
After the playroom was complete and the toys moved upstairs, there the dining room sat…..empty. I’m not exactly a fast decision maker when it comes to purchasing furniture for my house. I want it to be just right the first time. I am continually on the lookout for the perfect table and chairs at the perfect price (aren’t we all hoping for that!?) I finally decided to pull out my miter saw and build one myself. But I didn’t want to use just any wood. I wanted it to have character, age, history. Until recently, I stumbled upon our new table. A neearly perfect at a nearly perfect price!
So today we took a big step in the right direction! Here is a sneak peak.


The room isn’t complete so I can’t reveal the entire thing yet. And I have a few more chairs and chair covers to pick up tomorrow too. I still have to replace the light fixture. This is what is currently in the room.
The light isn’t exactly pretty! So stay tuned. There is more to come! We are entertaining in December so I am terribly motivated to get this room updated! Not sure if I can tackle the wall color by then, but the rest of the room will get a facelift for sure!
Jen
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