simple is beautiful

Idea for Displaying Your Child's Ribbons and Client Work

Thursday, February 23, 2012

If you have kids who participate in individual sports such as swimming or horseback riding, then you know how many ribbons come with the sport.  I recently worked with a client who wanted a storage/display solution for the ribbons that were taking over her daughter's room. 

I showed her this image and she loved it!

I suggested using a large 24 X36 cork board, around $35 from an office supply or big box store.  To achieve this layered look, start pinning ribbons using thumb tacks at the bottom and work your way up.  The more ribbons, the better.  

This was all part of a mood board plan for the room.  The wall color (bright green) and furniture (black) were remaining in the room. For some reason I cannot upload a before picture.

Because the walls are such a strong green, I thought it was best to go with white bedding and bring color in through accent pillows.

I also planned a mood board for the adjoining bathroom.

I went with a strong pink for the cabinet base and decorator's white on the walls.  Mom likes it and my fingers are crossed that her daughter does too.  Is it possible for a mother and daughter to agree?  We shall see...

In Search of the Right Color

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We all know how difficult finding the right color can be for our homes.  I am excited to let you in on a new website called My Colortopia that makes this sometimes daunting task easier for us.  Do you recognize any of the famous bloggers?  They are all contributors who will help guide you through the process of finding colors that are right for you.

I invite you join me here to learn more about what My Colortopia has to offer and a fun little quiz that will help you find colors that fit your lifestyle.  By the way, have you ever wondered how I go about choosing colors for a room?  You can find out right here.

DIY Abstract Art

Monday, February 20, 2012

One of my favorite ways to round out a traditional room is through modern art.  Because original art doesn't always fit into the Cottage & Vine budget, I attempted to paint an abstract myself.  Artists, please avert your eyes.  This in no way compares to your talented hand and eye, but it does make me happy to see a splash of pretty color where I needed it most.

 To get started, I picked up a 20 x 24" canvas from Micheal's for around $10 with a coupon.  We have a stockpile of acrylic craft paints in random colors.  My goal was to bring colors in from the floral bed pillow. 

This is not a very scientific or even artistic approach, but I began randomly painting colors on the canvas, layering, and blending as I went.

Here is the final result.  It reminds Mom and me of a bed of peonies.  You might have to really squint or stand on your head ;) to see it too.
The chest of drawers was given to me when I was a little girl.  The four post bed is one of two beds that Dad made.  Both are very traditional, but with the right accessories and art it all balances out nicely.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What a difference a little trim makes.  Over the weekend I picked up some ribbon from Joann's and stitched it onto a pair of linen curtains.  It really makes this neutral room pop!  This is a table by our front door and I try to keep a fresh branch or flowers (this time camellias) from the garden here as a welcome home.  It only seemed fitting to use an owl vase here.  We have a pair of Barred owls in our neighborhood and they have been calling for each other in the early evenings.  The first time my son and I saw them we felt like we were in a Harry Potter movie.  It was incredible!  Their call sounds like "who cooks for you" and you can hear it right here.

Happy Valentine's Day!


We Buy Gold...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It is no secret that I have always loved gold, que Barbara Mandrell singing "I was country when country wasn't cool".  You young people have no idea what I am talking about do you?  Crickets.  There are a few diy projects using gold paint that have me wanting to clear off my schedule for the next day or so and get creative with a can of gold spray paint.

Just look at these fun projects...

Dad made several trays like this and I think adding gold stripes would be the perfect update, by A Daily Something

Gold staples, what?!  This idea by Twig & Thistle - brilliant!

This chair by Brittany Makes makes me want to go to thrift store asap!

Love these gold trimmed business cards by Camille Styles!

We all know Cassie is the rock star of DIY.  She has me wishing we had held on to all those animals I used to trip over back in the day.  Who knew a plastic elephant to be so chic?

Do you have a gold project you would like to share?  Leave a comment.

Styling Around the TV

Monday, February 6, 2012

Many of us have a love/hate relationship with our tv's - especially when there are multiple focal points in a room such as fireplace and tv.  I have touched on this topic before here and still receive questions about what to do because each home comes with a unique layout.  Because of the complicated layout of our family room, with no regrets we made the decision to mount the tv over the fireplace.  It was absolutely the thing to do for us.

For quick reference I created a pinboard called media on Pinterest where I pin examples of how tv's fit into decor.  Many of the images are of tvs located over the mantel, but here are a few examples of keeping the two focal points separate.

Turner Davis via Decor Pad

This image reminds me of a plan that I created for one of my clients.

Check out more here on Pinterest.

Savor NC - Before & Afters

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Friday!  I thought I would leave you with some pretty eye candy from my home state of North Carolina today.  Everyone loves a good before & after and these three rooms will not disappoint.

 The first room is by Kathryn Dixon.  The use of soft blues/grays and creamy browns set the mood for this peaceful living room.  The furniture arrangement gathered around the fireplace adds to the rooms relaxing vibe.  The pops of color through flowers and the blue throw give the perfect punch, no?

 Also by Kathryn Dixon, a very convincing example of going white with kitchen cabinets; in this case BM White Dove.  Mixing carrara marble on the island and black granite on the counter tops was an excellent way to bring contrast while keeping this kitchen fresh and airy. 

 The next room is by Emily Taft.  This is a perfect example of how a few key accessories and fabrics can make the difference between traditional and modern traditional. 

You can read more about these transformations right here

Today, this special boy turns 16 so let the celebrating begin!  I plan to make "you'll love me forever cake" that I learned about from Tessa because like his mama, this boy loves him some chocolate.  Have a great weekend!

New {to me} Office

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lots of changes are happening around here and one of them is the location of my office.  For too long my office has been located in a room in the northern end of our home.  The room receives little natural light and I'll just be honest, it can be depressing to work there.  Natural light makes me one happy girl so I have decided to takes my business to the sunroom.  The other day, my husband and I made a road trip to Ikea to check out the desks.

I really like the look of a parson's desk, but no luck.  I did however find this desk.  This scale was perfect and the finish & lines are similar to what I wanted.  I need to find the right hardware - most likely brass.  The bonus is the price - $80.

While I was there, I snapped a few pictures of things that caught my eye.  Maps are so cool - especially big ones!  I could see this framed out or dry mounted and hung on a large wall in maybe a masculine office space or den.  Love the picture lights too.

Clients are often looking for media storage and something to accommodate a flat screen tv.  I really liked this sideboard because it doesn't scream dvd/cable box.  The keyhole is a fun touch and I suppose it could be painted and fun hardware could be added.

Wicker is a great way to add texture to a room, but sometimes the finish/color can be a little off.  This wicker chair is perfect for around $80.

You know how I feel about organization.  Textured  magazine holders & hat boxes are now on my wish list.

Many of my clients ask for ways to add a modern element to their otherwise traditional homes.  A piece of modern art can do wonders to change the feel of a room.

I know we have a love.hate relationship with Ikea lighting, but these funky lights definitely have their place.  Again, a great way to change up a traditional room.

Good gussy, have you seen their tile?  The penny tile is my favorite, but the others aren't bad either.  If you have purchased Ikea tile I would love to hear from you. 

Channeling my inner Iron Chef...I could never go the industrial kitchen route, but have always loved the look.  Do you?

So tell, have you found any Ikea favorites lately?
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