simple is beautiful

The Gallery Wall: Onward & Upward

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Not so long ago, I began working on my husband's office.  He wanted a wall full of family photos somewhere in the room.  This is what it looked like until last week.  I knew this wall would change over time - it was just a matter of finding the time to work on it.

I took all the photos down and started the process.  We had lots of other photos from other places in the house to add to the collection so I knew that the wall would easily be filled in.

I've mentioned the toothpaste trick before (don't know where I first saw this), but it saved me a ton of holes in the wall.  I swear by it!

A few of the photos are old colored ones that I cannot part with, but I might re-think that in time.  While I love the look of all black & white, I also like color.  So I'll give that some thought. 

By the way, thank you so much for the great feedback about the dining room yesterday!  I can't wait to finish working on those details and will be sure to keep you posted.  I know how we all love to see work in progress ;).

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The Lantern is Up!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

You've gotta love surprises like putting something in your cart, pressing the check out button, then finding it on sale.  It turns out that my favorite lantern at Ballard was 15% off.  Even better, it arrived within days of placing the order.  We hung it that night and are thrilled with the way it looks!  If you recall, the reviews weren't consistently great, but I disagree.  Hanging it was a different story.  In fact, you might have heard my husband the night we hung it?  Picture us all standing on the table + our 13 year old trying to offer his help (the light weighs 30 lbs. by the way, so whoever said it was not heavy enough, what?).  Anyway, without boring you with the details, here she is!

Keep in mind, this is a work in progress room.  Now I need to change out the curtain rods for black (or I might just spray paint them) and what do you think about bamboo shades in here to warm it up?  The floors are bare and I go back and forth on whether or not to add a rug.  If I do it will most likely be this one.

I will try to show some other "work in progress" rooms with you this week.  Maybe it is the pending change in seasons, but I have the itch to change things up.


Back to School

Monday, August 27, 2012

And just like that, another sweet summer has come to an end.  This morning my husband and I sent our boys off to 8th and 11th grade.  I cannot believe I just said that.  Sure the house will be cleaner and the kitchen less busy.  But this momma misses her boys when they leave.  I am so proud of the young men they are becoming and I am so excited about their future.  Here's to a great school year!

P.S.  In case you are curious, I will be making 720 sandwiches before school is out next spring.  Yikes!

Fun Finds at IKEA

Monday, August 20, 2012

Last week when I picked up my shelf brackets at IKEA, I snapped a few pictures to share with you. Is it me or is IKEA getting better at bathroom sink bases?  They still have the ones that look like airplane sinks, but have definitely branched out from there.

I'm loving these dark walls and generous sink.  New hardware could completely change the look of this bad boy.

And here is the baby bear version which would work in our baby bear bathrooms.  Very tempting.

And now for the white option.  Don't think you could go wrong with any of the above.

Another thing that caught my eye was the layered bedding.  Love the stripes with paisleys AND the dark walls.  Well, and the gallery behind the bed isn't bad either.

More layered bedding.  I'll bet sales for the buffalo plaid have gone through the roof since the Southern Living Ideas House used it here.  Maybe it's just the Southern girl in me, but toile never gets old when used in small doses mixed with other patterns.

Looking for inexpensive art?  How about a butterfly poster?

Not a bad price for botanical prints.  So tell me, what have you found at IKEA lately?

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A Summer Sale With Radiance From Ruins!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

I know you love a good sale - which is why you will not want to miss this opportunity.

 My sponsor, Radiance From Ruins, is having a sale with items 30-50% off making some of them $10 or less. 

And with any good sale comes fresh new pillow covers that you had no idea you needed.  Pillow lovers, know what I mean?  I see a couple that have me re-thinking everything.  Oh dear...

Be sure to check out the full offering from Radiance From Ruins on etsy.  Happy weekend!

I've Been Everywhere Man

Well, technically not everywhere, but we sure covered some ground this week.  How does 1400 miles sound?

Before the trip, I asked my wonderful readers for advice on where to go and what to do in Pittsburgh.  Thank you for the great responses!  I wish we had more time to explore all of your recommendations.

Riding the Duquesne Incline was one of my favorite things we did.

  The views were absolutely gorgeous at the top!

I'm not sure how you feel about breweries taking over churches, but we loved The Church Brew Works ;).

We lucked up and found fun little local restaurants along the way.  The last three are all images of Palazzo 1837. 

And, while the mister was working, I got to do a little exploring of my own...

Be sure to check back later today for a sale announcement from one of my lovely sponsors.  Happy Friday!

Top Five Posts

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

While I'm on the road this week, I thought maybe some of my new followers might like to see what I've been up to on the blog with a look at the top five all-time posts.  Thank you to everyone who reads, comments on, and pins my projects!  I couldn't do this without you!

This was such an easy project and the shades stayed up about a year.  Now the windows are bare and I am contemplating cafe curtains, but believe the windows are too narrow.  I was thinking about painting the sashes black, but thankfully changed my mind before I actually did it.  Sometimes deciding not to do something is a relief.  Anybody?

Had I known this post would receive so much traffic, I might have splurged for a manicure.  That shot of my ugly thumb nail on pinterest makes me cringe every time.  A properly set table would have also been in order.  That is what I get for setting the table upside down and not looking at the picture before I posted it.  Oh well, never said I was perfect ;).

This was a surprisingly popular post!  If you are sitting on the fence about painting your stair rail, I say go for it.  I painted mine from white to black and it adds great contrast to our entry.  I have also recommended it to several clients such as this one and they are very happy with the results.  

It is kind of funny to me that of all the kitchen posts I have done, this one receives the most views.  For more updated photos, go here and here.  If you are curious about the beadboard backsplash, go here.  You can read about the cabinet doors coming off here.  And, rest assured that more changes are on the way, ha!

I think readers like it when I admit that I have no idea what I'm doing - which is about 99% of the time.  If you have a project you are afraid of, try using inexpensive fabrics to cut your losses.  If you mess up, no big deal.

Now, I must run to IKEA for shelving.  Have a great day!

Entertaining En Provence

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

When I think about entertaining, especially in the summer, I love the idea of creating a casual and comfortable dining experience.  The produce, fresh herbs, and flowers available this time of year are perfect for setting the tone.  I also love the idea of using natural textures, sage greens, and spa blues to create beautiful tablescapes. 

Often, the items we need to enhance the entertaining experience are within reach - think fresh branches of just about anything from the garden, burlap or linen table runners (no need to hem them, just let them fall where they will), and bowls of fresh produce are all simple ways to add color and texture to your table.

When it comes to decorating our home, I like to always keep texture in mind.  Also, I never want a room to look like it all came from one place.  Hand me downs, thrift store pieces, and even new finds from places like One Kings Lane work together to help me create a relaxed style - perfect for entertaining.

Get ready to soak up the easy elegance of the South of France without leaving your home. I partnered with the editors at Martha Stewart Living to turn their September issue's Proven├žal-inspired entertaining story into an exclusive get-the-look sale.  

For recipes and more visit Martha Stewart Living's website and pick up a copy of their September issue, on newsstands August 14.

One Kings Lane is an online marketplace for the home that brings members exceptional value on a spectacular collection of top-brand, vintage and designer items. One Kings Lane was the first in the home industry to introduce Flash Sales (in 2009), Tastemaker Tag Sales (in 2010) and Movie Set Sales and Estate Sales (in 2011) – all of which bring unique, exceptional items that are hand-selected and deliver tremendous value for their customers.  Speaking from experience, shop early because the good stuff goes quickly.  To sign up all you have to do is enter your email address, easy!

Here are just a few offerings from this inspiring event that will create the look in your home.

Now skip on over to check out this sale as well as all of the other great things on One Kings Lane.  Happy shopping!

A Thrift Store Lamp Makeover

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I picked this lamp up last year at The Salvation Army with plans to change the color.  Yesterday I finally whipped out the paint and picked up a new lamp shade.  There have been thousands of lamp makeovers so I won't bore you with the teeny tiny details, but I will share a little something that helped.  I used a paper plate to make a shield between to brass and porcelain.

Once I had the circle in place I secured it with tape and wrapped the cord and remaining base of the lamp in a plastic grocery bag.

The top was easy enough to tape.

Here are the paints I used.  First I cleaned the lamp well with 409 to ensure that the surface was clean and that the paint would adhere.  I applied one coat of primer and two coats of aqua.

I'm still working on filling the shelves with books.  I ordered a stack of books a couple of weeks ago from Half Price Books.  With books starting at $1 you can really stock up.  The curtains in this room are coming down...again.  The blue is just too much and I really want to go back to a clean natural linen look in here.  I know,  you don't have to say it ;).

I found the square shade at target which I adore!  It has a really nice linen texture and looks even better in person.  The old brass finial was one I had in a drawer and it totally adds the finishing touch.

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