simple is beautiful

A Client Project Sneak Peek!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Hey everybody! Happy Friday!

Back in October, a local family I am friends with asked for my help with a few rooms.  They were planning to host Thanksgiving and wanted to make changes stat!  Even though design is a process which takes time, often with lots of changes along the way, I love it when clients get to work and make it happen quickly. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes, for whatever reason, it isn't.  In this case, they went right to work!

Our main focus was the eating areas - the dining room and eat-in kitchen.  Art was also needed for the family room which I will share in another post once I can get by to take more pictures.  The homeowners wanted the dining room to look like a dining room.  They felt that it had more of a "hallway" feeling because it connects the kitchen to the family room and lacked dining room details.  The room could handle a larger table for starters, a neutral rug that would not compete with the rug in the family room, a sideboard with additional lighting, and art for the long wall opposite the new sideboard.
Here is the plan I gave them.  In my opinion, the best way to make a dining room look like a dining room is by adding chair rail and/or wainscoting.  She wanted a nice yet comfortable room.  Not too fancy, but something suitable for a young family with three children.  I made all of the selections with this in mind.

Here is a the after.  Talk about a major difference!  Didn't they do a fantastic job pulling everything together?!  By the way, the room to the left is the kitchen and I just adore the new wall color and curtains. More pictures to come.

Have a great weekend!

My Secret Wreath Hanging Method

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Last week when I shared my DIY pine-cone wreath, a reader left a question about how it was hung.  About two seconds later, my family and I packed our bags and headed out of town for Thanksgiving.  It suddenly occurred to me that I never followed up with the details and that a post was due.

I'm not a fan of big fan of bows, but I do like pretty ribbon or in this case fabric.  I could hang our wreath on a wreath hanger, but the location of the door knocker makes it difficult and the wreath flops back & forth.    So what I do is this.  Que the Mission Impossible music...

Taking the fabric or ribbon that has been cut to the length needed, I hang the wreath using thumb tacks like these.

This is a view of the very top of the door (which is made of wood).  The number of tacks I use varies depending on the weight of the wreath.  By the way, this wreath is heavy.  I used seven tacks total.  After the tacks are in place, I cut off the excess fabric if there is any so that from the inside of the door you do not see the ribbon.

As if ya'll aren't completely sick of seeing my front door...I used this same method a couple of years ago using jute upholstery webbing and still receive questions about it.

If you like to hang wreaths on your windows, this trick works on windows as well.  However, it might require wooden windows.

Hopefully this answers the question.  So are you all decorated for Christmas or like me and waiting until the mood strikes?

A Christmas Tree Skirt Round-Up

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What are your thoughts on Christmas tree skirts?  In years past I have been know to sling loosely place burlap at the foot of our Christmas trees.  This year I might need something that more closely resembles a tree skirt.  There are so many great tutorials out there that creating my own design should be easy enough.  On the other hand, there are lots of adorable ones that someone else labored over - even better!

Here are a few of my favorites...

Seams Clever, 150.00

So now it's your turn.  What do you use to hide the tree stand?

Thanksgiving on Instagram

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hi friends!  Have you recovered from Thanksgiving?  I'm not sure that I have yet.  Once a year we get together with my husband's family.  The cousins get to reconnect as do the adults.  Such good times!  This time, we (adults) hit the karaoke bar and walked away with a blackmail video or two - yikes!  Nothing says closeness like singing Paradise By the Dashboard Light with some of your favorite people.  Anyway, we don't get to see each other often enough, but when we do we have the best time together!

If we are connected on instagram, (cottageandvine) forgive me for repeating myself, but I thought I would share a few pictures that I posted over the weekend.

Each year over Thanksgiving, I beg a family member to take pictures of us.  I still need to go through them all and make a selection for our Christmas cards, but this was one of my favorites.

After eating a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner made mostly by my mother-in-law (who by the way did not sit down until Friday), I vowed never to eat again.  The food was delicious as always - thanks Kathy!

If you are looking for a crowd pleasing appetizer I highly recommend this one.  Can you see how many hands are reaching for it?  It was that good!

I always, always enjoy these girls!

One of the best parts of our visit is seeing how the cousins interact.  I love to see how our boys handle themselves too - setting a good example for the young ones.  Sometimes I hear myself in them - not sure if that is good or bad ;).

We returned home to much cooler weather and enjoyed our first fire of the season.

My head is reeling with client work, the holiday to-do list, etc.  I say this every year and this time is no different.  When it comes to decorating, I'm going to keep it simple.  I already feel overwhelmed with all the decorating I see going on everywhere.  Do you?

Black Friday Sale!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cottage & Vine on etsy is having a 24 hour sale!  Everything is $5 off.  Get a jump start on some holiday shopping and head on over. 

P.S.  Did you know that Etsy now offers gift cards?


Thursday, November 22, 2012

 As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I hope you are all enjoying your day, eating way too much, and just soaking in everything around you.  Thank you for making Cottage & Vine one of your regular stops!   

Happy Thanksgiving!


My DIY Pine Cone Wreath

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend before last, I begged invited my family to take a walk with me and gather pine cones to make a wreath.  It was a beautiful fall day and the perfect time to slow down and enjoy being outside.  We ended up gathering two plastic grocery bags full which ended up being exactly the amount needed to make a wreath  with only a few left.

Pine cone wreaths are all over pinterest so I won't bore you with all the details, but I will share what worked for me.  First of all, this project took a looooong time!  So I worked on it when I could.  I used an 18" Styrofoam wreath which I spray painted black.  Brown would have been ideal, but I already had black and it worked fine.  Next I began hot gluing pine cones on.  Really, you just do it the best way you can fitting the different sizes in where they fit best.

(sorry about the blurry picture)

My strategy was to glue the inside edge and top saving the outer edge for last.  

I looked everywhere for the perfect ribbon to hang my wreath, but never quite found what I was looking for.  So I bought a yard of satin fabric and cut it into a wide strip (about 6-7"?).  It is attached to the top of the door with push pins.  If you need to see this step, I can add a picture later.

By the way, for those wondering, the new door color is Sherwin Williams, Courtyard.

My posts will be sporadic this week and the etsy store will remain closed until BLACK FRIDAYThe store will re-open Friday and all items will be $5 off including custom orders.  Don't miss out!


New post showing hanging details 

Thanksgiving Tablescapes

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some of the loveliest tables aren't even about the china or silver, but rather the natural elements that suggest the occasion.  I love fine china and silver as much as the next girl, but what really makes the table for me is a thoughtful arrangement, hand made place cards, or special linens.  Enjoy!

(original source?)



Martha Stewart Home Office & a $100 Giveaway With Staples

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm big on being organized; I'm not always the best at it, but I like to know that there is a place for everything with everything in its place. Additionally, I'd like for it all to look good.
That is why I was thrilled to learn about the new product line, Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery ™ sold exclusively at Staples (both in stores and on line)! Unless you've been living under a rock, you know how organized Martha is and how amazing everything looks when it's all arranged and orderly. My excitement only grew when I was one of the bloggers chosen to receive and review the new home office collection! And just in time, with the recent changes to the office, no less!

In order for my home office to run smoothly, there needs to be order and all the little things I use daily should be organized and within reach. The Stack+Fit™ system is perfect for corralling those little things that tend to get lost on a desk. The system is completely customizable so you can have the exact size and configuration you want. Each piece is designed to fit perfectly atop or alongside (sometimes inside) the rest. The Shagreen finish is pretty enough to display anywhere. By the way, I'm also really enjoying the lined sticky notes for reminders and lists!

If you're like me and need a mobile office, you will love the accordion file and document sleeves. I find these especially helpful for keeping my client work organized and presentation ready. The best part is it all fits neatly inside my bag when I'm heading out the door.

Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery also has me ready for the holidays with beautiful products that are durable enough to mail and pretty enough to sit under the tree. That's two jobs well done! These holiday products are only available in-store at Staples. I have even been using the journal to plan upcoming events and found the entertaining tips in the back of the journal to be extra helpful.

Labels, one cannot have too many! I'm pretty sure these Chalkboard Labels were created with me in mind because they can be cleaned and repositioned. They are great for smooth surfaces like glass, plastic containers, and metal boxes and come in various sizes and styles. Don't be surprised if you see these popping up in more places!

These are just a few of the great items I received. To learn about the product line and all of the simple and stylish ways to get organized visit Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery to browse, then purchase items from the collection at Staples. You can also like Avery on Facebook!

I'm so happy to have the opportunity to share this giveaway with a lucky reader. In order to enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Staples, let me know your favorite organizing tip!
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 11/14/12-12/14/12.
Be sure to visit the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Sister Parish Book Review and More

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Over the summer I was asked to review the recently released Sister Parish, The Life of the Legendary American Interior Designer.  I have so enjoyed pouring through the pages of this book and learning more about the tastemaker responsible for the American Country look.  The book is written by Apple Parish, one of Sister's daughters and Susan Bartlett Crater, a granddaughter.  This look into Sister's life includes unpublished memoirs as well as interviews of family members and interior designers.  What I have enjoyed most is the memoirs by Sister herself and the glimpses into her personal life, thoughts about clients, and her decorating process.

Since reading the book, I have been thinking a lot about Sister Parish's lively interiors and use of color.  So it was such a treat seeing her great-granddaughter's apartment in the November Lonny.  Did you see it?

Good design definitely runs in the family.  And just like that, I want to paint a room blue.  ;)

Cottage & Vine Paint Colors

Monday, November 12, 2012

How was your weekend?  We managed to cover a lot of ground - everything from the Seagrove potteries to art shows and parties.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous which made it even better.  Today the kids are out of school so technically it is still weekend.

I receive so many emails about our house colors so I thought it would be helpful to pull them all together for you.

Starting from the top, SW-sensible hue is the color of our dining room.  It is a gray that has quite a bit of green in it.  I really believe this color transitions well to the view of the evergreens in the garden. 

Our living room is painted BM-white dove.  White dove is a perfect white (in my opinion) because it has a good bit of warmth, but is still clean and fresh.  This room receives early morning sun and then late afternoon sun from the dining room.  I love how light and airy the room feels all day.

BM-gray owl is the color in our kitchen.  This is quite possibly the most perfect gray!  This neutral gray works with practically any other color. 

The master bedroom is still work in progress.  I have plans to paint the back of the built-ins another one of my favorite grays (SW-urbane bronze).  The wall color in this room is SW-frosty white which is at the top of the same strip as sensible hue.  Again it does have some green in it, but it reads really light gray.  The cool(ish) undertones of the walls are balanced lots of golds and cremes.

We wanted my husband's office to have a deeper, more manly feel about it so we went with SW-intellectual gray.  I really like the feeling of the room - cozy & warm.

We recently painted the ceiling in my office Glidden-icy teal along with the campaigner chest.  To keep the color from being too cool, I brought in lots of gold, blacks, browns, and natural textures.  In case you are wondering, the walls are Glidden-white.

Last but not least (well technically it is least considering the size), our black bathroom.  I have gone round and round with what to do in this tiny space.  The vintage tile is in good shape so I decided to take the dramatic approach and paint it BM-black.  The finish is semi-gloss which I recommend for an unventilated bathroom such as mine.  I have used this black on our stair rail, the mirror in our front entry, as well as other random pieces of furniture.  This is my favorite black!

I may be adding more to this post as rooms are updated or if I can provide better pictures to represent the colors.  I hope you have found this helpful.
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