Dec 27, 2012

great reads at rambling renovators

today, i am over at:

jennifer at rambling renovators asked me to be part of her series called "great reads", where she highlights some favorite blogs and their most popular well as some posts that deserve a second look.

be sure and check it out here!

some other participants in todays post:

Dec 26, 2012

affordable find: ornate mirror

i have long loved the queen anne mirror from jonathan adler, but at $595, it is a bit spendy.

one less expensive option is the hand finished silver moroccon mirror at $269.

but at $99, the walnut ornate mirror from PB teen is by far the most affordable! if you love the lacquered look of the queen anne mirror, you can always paint it!

happy shopping!

Dec 22, 2012

my top 5 christmas posts

i know i am not alone in saying...."WHERE did december go?!" it seemed to zip by at light speed, and i am certain that if i hadn't started my christmas shopping right after halloween, i would not even be close to feeling ready. but as i sit here in my pajamas, drinking some spiced cider, and reveling in the fact that i feel pretty darn relaxed, i am pretty confident that i am ready. bring it on, christmas. bring it ON.
this year, since i am SO ready for christmas, i wanted to write a fun post  to highlight my top 5 christmas posts of all time. and, by "all time", i mean the last 4 years i have been blogging. be sure and check these "old" posts out.  thanks to my scanner, and a decade of filing pictures torn from magazines, there is some pretty great stuff in my archives!

1. holiday door

2. holiday house

3. my holiday decor this year

4. holiday mantles part 2

5. diy crystal + nut garland

merry christmas friends!
here is to having a lovely next few days!

Dec 19, 2012

even more DIY felt gift adornments

i love that felt is easy to find, affordable, and can be used to make very fun and creative gift adornments!
in case you missed my first two posts about felt gift adornments, you can read them here and here.

here are two more ways to dress up gifts with some felt, ribbon, and a handy-dandy glue gun!

felt wreath:

 this wreath is incredibly easy to make and can be used again and again!
i used 2 sheets of felt, a simple form cut from cardboard, a glue gun, some ribbon and letter stamps.
i cut the felt circles with pinking shears, and folded them in quarters and glued them (see directions here) to my simple cardboard frame. i marked dashed lines where i didn't want any glue, to make it easier to lace the ribbon through.

after the wreath was complete, i laced ribbon through it, tied it to the box, and stamped the name directly on the wrapping paper.

circle felt garland:
this is another fun simple gift garland to make.
you will need some felt circles in 3 sizes, ribbon, a glue gun and some batting.

just put the larger circle down, place the ribbon on top, along with a tiny amount of batting. put a thin bead of glue on your smaller circle, and place on top of the batting. you don't have to use the batting, but i think it gives a fun 3D texture to the garland.

these are both so easy and easy, and can be used over again.
my other posts on felt gift adornments are some of my most popular posts!
read them here and here.

happy wrapping!

Dec 18, 2012

before + after: the power of an hour-family room

this client needed help with her family room, and opted for my pinterest board + phone consultation service. (you may be able to tell from the after pictures that this is the same client that i helped with this foyer consultation.)

she wanted the room to feel more cohesive, and welcoming.

the red chair was on it's way out, and she wanted suggestions for a replacement.
she loved red, but wanted to see it in smaller, more sophisticated doses in the room.

what we discussed during our phone call:
* my client had already ordered a pair of chairs from restoration hardware. we discussed placing a small metal table in between them, as well as a gallery wall above.
*adding some simple roman shades to the windows near the chairs to coordinate with the existing linen panels on the opposite wall.
*replacing the table with something with a lightly more rustic feel to add some texture to the room.
*layering a cowhide rug on a patterned natural fiber rug to boost the cozy feel.
*adding two ottomans to the end of the table for additional seating.
*replacing the red chair with a more neutral one, and adding some pillows with slight touches of red.
*adding a more simple lamp.

my favorite element in the newly restyled space is the combination of the two rugs, new table and the pair of ceramic stools. i love how all of the textures work together to add some personality and coziness to the room.

as you can see, the new tables, with the lighter wood and touches of  metal add texture to the room and contrast with the leather sofa.

the new chairs, metal side table and personalized gallery wall help make this area cozy and inviting.

interesting in working together to create a more beautiful and functional space?
you can read more about my services here.
i am currently taking clients for february and beyond!
email me at to set up a time to talk!

Dec 16, 2012

easy, affordable gift wrapping ideas

i actually shared some of these ideas last year, but i posted them too late to really, i thought i would be nice and repost them, along with a few new ideas.

 a page from a coloring book + a kraft paper tag with a large initial + colored twine.
 i got my twine at ikea, the coloring book from the dollar store, and cut the tag and initial out of card stock with my cricut. if you don't have a cricut, you can always print out a letter and cut around it.

 twine + initial + sprig of fresh greenery.
i used the cricut to cut the initial, and the twine is some that i have had in my craft box for years. the greenery is from my backyard.

large tag + buttons to make a snowman + stamp
i cut a simple tag out of car stock, and attached the buttons with glue dots.

 ribbon + holiday broach/pin
the broach can be used as part of the gift!

dollar store headband + craft pick.
this sequined headband came in a 3-pack at the dollar store. i added the feather craft pick and wrapped the gift in some crocodile wrapping paper.

 ribbon + wooden tag + patterned ribbon on dollar store box.
i removed the cheap looking ribbon from the dollar store box, cut a strip from some chevron ribbon and glued it to a wooden tag and tied it to the box with some coordinating ribbon.

Dec 12, 2012

mini office

when we were planning out the possible layout for the first floor of our house, i knew i HAD to have a small office, preferably near the kitchen. on the original draft that we sent to the architect, (which you can see here), the office was approximately 10' x 10'. we knew that in order to get everything we wanted and needed on the main floor, some things might have to be sacrificed.

we ended up getting more room in the master suite than we anticipated, but the office ended up being a little smaller. it is approximately 7' x 7'...NOT huge. i have affectionately nicknamed it my mini office. the office will need to house our family computer and printer, storage for bills and important documents, as well as office supplies, some books, and most of my fabric and wallpaper samples.

we decided to install a pocket door to make the room feel bigger. i also worked with the framer on the exact location of the door to maximize the space on the wall opposite the window.

i have a fairly compact desk, which needs to get refinished or painted. here is is in my previous rental house:
it is vintage thomasville, and is super sturdy, and only about 20" deep, which is perfect for my iMac!
it has one file drawer, and two smaller drawers, as well as a pencil drawer. it actually holds quite a bit, but i will still need some overflow storage.

in my new mini office, the desk will face the window. i love being able to look outside while i am on the computer. i plan on having some storage on the wall to the left of the window....i am still deciding whether i want full bookcases, with some closed storage on the lower half, or shelving above, with a work surface/storage below.

i am planning on reupholstering this vintage metal chair that i bought on ebay about 2 years ago:
i am completely in love with this chair, and cannot wait to transform it!

i would love to have a bench or some other shallow seating on the wall opposite the desk. i have this great bench that i found at a thrift store for $40 about 3 years ago. it also needs to be reupholstered. it is currently sitting at the foot of my bed, and is upholstered in tan vinyl.

i think the bench might just fit perfectly in my mini office....?

it sure is fun to dream about this little space being all organized and polished!

here are some pictures of other small offices that i am using as inspiration:
 i really like the continuous shallow work surface here..and the fact that the desk area is facing the window! i like the idea of open shelving above as well.

 great storage, and nice work surface.

 this one has some great built-ins too. its so quaint and cozy! little spaces like this look great
and function better with something smooth on the floor  like laminate flooring.

 the zebra rug and chandelier are pretty fab in this one. and i love how there is NO clutter...not something i am going to be able to pull off, but its nice to dream.

 just give me that eames chair, and i would be a happy girl! i have been wanting an eames management chair since *like FOR-ever. (ok, more like 1998)
love the window behind the desk, and the open cubbies under the cabinets....

 the textures and pops of orange in this mini office are perfect. (also notice the chair. again.)
i am also thinking of doing a simple roman shade just like this one....

 i really love the soft gray of the cabinets...and look, another eames chair! if i didn't already have that
cool vintage metal one, i would totally buy a chair  just like this!

 love all those boxes.

 isn't this little office sublime?
so pretty.

 eames + grey cabinets + storage boxes.
need i say more?

any suggestions? do any of you out there HAVE a mini office?
would you opt for more BOOKCASE tile storage, or more WORK SURFACE storage??
right now, i think i am leaning toward work surface, but i would love to hear ANY ideas and thoughts!