how to hang platters on the wall

Do you watch Fixer Upper on HGTV with the darling Chip and Joanna Gaines? It’s our favorite. Ryan and I don’t watch much tv together (I don’t know, something about project runway just doesn’t capture his attention like it does mine), but we love being inspired by the makeovers done to the houses on this show. If you haven’t seen it yet, oh my, you should. So good. Or maybe not because it will make you want to buy the worst falling-down house and make it wonderful.

Anyway … you’re probably wondering what Fixer Upper has to do with hanging silver plates on the wall? Well miss Joanna (who has fabulous style) always hangs something unconventional or dimensional on the walls of the homes she styles. Now she goes more country/rustic than I do in our house (think chippy gates, architectural salvage, child-sized chairs) but hanging vintage silver platters on the wall in our dining room is in line with her dimension/unconventional wall concept.


It’s interesting and personal and neutral.

Oh, and super easy to do.


All you need is a collection of silver platters (or any pretty dish) and plate hangers.


My mother-in-law gave us most of the silver found in our home – she bought it all at thrift stores and grew tired of it. Lucky girl, I know. And a few of the pieces were my grandma’s. I like it slightly tarnished and maybe shine it once per year. Or maybe not.


You can find these spring plate hangers at your hardware store or online here. They come in a few different sizes, so just make sure you find the ones to coordinate with your plate size.


Hook the top two arms on the top of the plate then stretch it down to hook onto the bottom of the plate.


Next, tap in a nail to the wall (I eyeballed this arrangement because I’m not patient enough to measure).


Then hang your plate up. Easy as can be.


When hung in a group, the plates look so pretty.


I love having them out rather than stacked in a drawer and their silver sheen is just right for the dining room.

Moral of the story is: look around your house and see if you have anything laying around that might make nice wall art.

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sources for entry, office, bath & dining room

The first half of the fall tour was fun, right? I loved pulling my house together and giving it a fall look (if you missed the tour, you can see it here). There were many questions about sources for items shown and I’m all about sharing!


Not that you are going to go out and purchase everything you see here, but hopefully it helps show what can be done without spending tons and tons on furniture and accessories.  For the fall tour, I mainly shopped my house – rearranging furniture, moving around accessories, pulling out a few fall decorations I keep stored. Like I said on the house tour, I recently quieted the house and striped it of all of it’s ‘stuff’. It was the best thing for me! I actually had a semi-difficult time putting things back out because it was just so nice to have clean surfaces, bookshelves, walls. But it was time to put things back together and I like the more edited version of our house this time around. I’m sure things will change (as they always seem to do around here), but for now, this arrangement suits us.

Okay, back to sources. Let’s start with the entry. Most of these items are new-ish because I was ready for a more simple and open entry (see the entry before here and here). This looks feels very minimal, yet practical.


mirror // boo. I can not find it on the ikea website. But it was cheap – like $49ish – and big with clean lines.

bench // sorry, no link. Marshalls/tj maxx/homegoods are hit or miss – on one particular day, it was a hit for me when I found this sturdy bench.

hook // you can’t really tell from the photo, but this monogram letter hook is super cute. It’s an L (naturally).

scarf // if you’re looking for a perfect everyday scarf, this is it. Soft, easy to wear, a purchase with purpose.

bag // I had been eying this striped/leather bag for forever and bought it to carry my laptop to Rwanda this summer. It is perfect in style and size for my 15″ macbook and I opted for an outside zippered pocket for extra storage. I wish the stripe fabric was a little sturdier and durable, but I would still recommend it. Plus, I love that the company provides work for women who otherwise would not have a job (learn more about better life bags here).

rug // trendy? yes. But inexpensive and graphic and dark enough in the entry to hide dirt. It slips around so it needs a rug pad under to hold it in place.

There is a little welcome decal on the mirror that doesn’t show in the photo, but it is super cute and from here.


shelf // you will never believe how inexpensive this shelf is … $49! It’s surprisingly nice for the price and keeps things modern in the bath.

frames // silver frames were all the rage years ago, but I still like them grouped with my little darlings’ photos.

mirror // from my grandmother. I love it all chippy and gold.

painting // it’s my first large-scale painting (proud moment) that I turned into prints available in the shop.

towel // these soft hand towels are my favorite.

stool // such a great basic that can be stained or painted any color.


wallpaper // the world’s most time-intensive diy, but totally and completely worth it. 4 years later, it’s still my fave.

chair // my search for the perfect office chair led me to this handsome but too-short one, so I added casters.

rug // an oldie that is no longer available at ikea, but you can get a similar one at crate & barrel.

frame // another vintage chippy gold frame (I sense a theme …)

sconces // this whole collection of lights is so good. Especially the black & white striped cords.

desk // salvaged door + ikea table legs + ribbon + nailhead tacks. dining-room-sources

window // we found the large window at our favorite salvage store in Seattle, hung it from barn door tracks and it works as a great room divider between the entry and dining room without blocking light.

chairs // no longer available, but these are similar. I just wouldn’t recommend them for everyday use if you have kids who make crumbs.

table // no longer available (unfortunately). It’s one of the first pieces of furniture we bought as a couple. We found it at the restoration hardware outlet store for a steal. It’s super heavy and will stay with our family for a long, long time.

light // another find from the rh outlet store. Again, for a steal.

shelf // great lines, made well, fun to style. Great option if you’re looking for an affordable, but nice bookshelf.

runner // one strip of white butcher paper, a second strip of $1 target wrapping paper. I bought every roll they had in my store and wish I had 10 more. I love this paper.

pew // my favorite thing my mother-in-law ever passed down to us. She bought it years ago from an old church. It’s rickety, but so, so charming.


So there you have it – all the sources. As always, let me know if you have any other questions!

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fall house tour

Fall is my favorite. Truly it is. So naturally, I like a cozy decorated-for-fall home. This year, I am just coming off of quieting the house and it felt really good. When putting accessories back in to each room, I was really selective and picky – nothing made it back that is not practical, pretty or meaningful.

It was a mad dash to get the house photo-ready, but I made it (just barely!).


I’m so pleased to be joining an insanely-talented group of bloggers on the Finding Fall Home Tour. You can start at the beginning here and I’ll link below to the next stop. If you are coming from Rhoda’s lovely tour, welcome!


Today I’d love to show you the front of our house (the entry, half bath, my office and the dining room). Next week, we’ll continue the tour with the living room and kitchen (I’ll give you a few sneak peeks of those rooms today because I’m terrible at waiting). As you will see from the photos, I’m slightly addicted to neutrals and try to keep things interesting by adding a ton of texture. Pattern, sheen, metal, varying wood tones – all of these elements are the base of how I love to decorate.

Shall we begin?! Welcome to our home …

// E N T R Y //

When you step into our house, we have a nice open entry. A full mirror, graphic rug and sturdy bench work well in our busy household.




// S M A L L   B A T H //

Right off the entry is the small bathroom our guests use.


Lots of mixed metals in there! (and a big pumpkin painting that I still can’t believe I painted).

// O F F I C E //

Of all the rooms in the house, my office is my favorite. It feels cozy and fresh and is where I go to work, create and just be emily.


I recently pulled out the carpet (!) and have yet to replace the floor. I honestly like it one hundred times better even with just the painted sub-floor. The rest of the carpet in our house better start counting it’s days because soon it is all coming out.


(see more of my office and the painted wallpaper here and here).

// P I A N O   N O O K //

Off the entry and across from the dining room is this bump out where the stairs are that fits our piano perfectly. Last week, I painted it white. It was a pain, but it looks great and it was well worth it (tutorial coming with tips for how to paint yours if you are so inclined).



// D I N I N G   R O O M //

Our dining room doesn’t get a ton of use but it’s one of the first rooms you see when you walk in the house, so it’s important that it sets the tone for the rest of the house. It’s currently decorated with neutrals (of course) and a pretty mix of textures.







In the corner, the bar cart is host to our annual thankful tree (see the first year here, and last year’s updated look here).


The tags are ready for the kids to write on earlier than we usually start, but I think it will be nice to spend the whole fall season being intentional about giving thanks.



As promised … here’s a little peek at what’s happening in the rest of the house:


Stop back next week for the full details.

Thanks for coming by today! Up next on the tour is my cutie friend Ashley from The Handmade Home. If my house feels a little too neutral to you, you’ll love Ashley’s because she is not afraid of color and uses it so beautifully. Can’t wait to see what personal touches she’s added to their home.


You can see the whole line-up of fall house tour bloggers here, get fall decorating ideas galore on the BHG + Finding Fall pinterest board, and be sure to sign up for Better Homes & Gardens 100 days of holidays list.

p.s. a new WEEKLY GIVEAWAY is open today … click here to check it out and enter to win!

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artwork for Audrey’s room

Remember how I was re-doing Audrey’s room? Here is the cute inspiration board:

Well, it’s still unfinished.

I made some progress back in March, but since then, nothing has happened. I am waiting on the biggest part of the project which is a whole wall of built-ins to go around the window. I have it designed in my mind but I haven’t pursued anything because I know what I want will be more than I want to spend on having it built. We could try to do it ourselves, but again, that takes time and we don’t have a ton of that laying around right now either. And then there is the option of doing a good ikea hack and building in pre-made bookshelves (something like this) but I haven’t found items with the correct dimensions for the space. So that’s what’s holding me up. One of these days I’ll figure it out.

In the meantime, I’ve been collecting artwork to hang on her walls. Audrey is fun and full of personality and I’d love for her room to reflect some of that through a whole wall filled with art.

The collection started with Miss Paige’s (as Audrey calls her) horse canvas.


Paige has such a beautiful collection of photographs-turned-canvas prints to choose from so I let Audrey take her pick and she selected the horse (whom she named Clover). Any of the prints would have been beautiful, but I’m so glad she chose sweet clover.


Paige has offered JDC readers a discount on all of her gorgeous canvases – hop over to her shop to see them all.

We also chose a few favorites from Minted.


This illustration reminds me of something out of the Madeline books – so cute. Adding in a graphic black & white drawing will work well for tying in the striped rug.


And this is a fun print as well with the personalized name and pretty watercolor look. I ordered it with the frame for only a few dollars more and it was well worth it.

Minted has nailed the market for holiday cards, but did you know they also have a great selection of artwork? Lots of choices for kids and adults alike. I also like that minted supports independent designers and gives them a platform to showcase their artwork.


From now until September 21st, take $25 off your order of $200 on any art orders.


And, of course, I’ll be using some of my own designs in Audrey’s room.


Like the love one another print and a twirl print (lettered by Lindsay Letters).


You can see all of the artwork in my shop here and take 15% off your order with code GRATITUDE. Also, shipping is always on us!


I’ll keep adding cheerful artwork to her collection and someday (hopefully soon!) I’ll get the whole gallery hung on her walls. I’ll be sure to post photos along the way.

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DIY Seahawks birthday invitations + graphic design class now open!

If you haven’t gathered this from countless previous posts, let me tell you a not-so-secret secret about me: I am an in the moment kind of girl.  Casting vision, long-term goal-setting, meal planning, scheduling posts – these are not my forte. I’m a night-before, whatever is right in front of my face or on the to-do list today type which mostly works out fine. I like being flexible and I’m pretty good at pulling things together at the last minute.

Like my son’s birthday party, for example.


It’s coming up this weekend and we just figured out what we’re doing for his party. It’s been on my radar – just not glaring enough to do anything about it (see? not very forward-thinking). But we’ve come up with a plan (Seahawks watching party!!!), planned out the food (football game snacks, gatorade to drink, chocolate covered s’mores for dessert) and written the guest list. All that’s left are goodie bags (a big deal for a nearly-nine-year-old) and decorations (I’ll figure those out later – see below).

Oh, and invitations.


There are countless ways I use graphic design in my everyday, but making my kids’ party invitations ranks at the top of reasons I love knowing my way around Adobe Illustrator.

First, I like that I’m not limited by what’s available in stores as far as themes go. Any design/colors/motif is possible.

Second, I prefer an invitation where I don’t have to hand write in the details. By making them myself, I just type it all out which makes them easy to read and less time-consuming for me.

Third, invitations always set the tone for the party and even if it’s not over-the-top extravagant, it’s nice to put some personal touches into kids’ parties.

And finally, there’s no need to think weeks ahead (thank goodness!) and spend extra money ordering custom invitations online. All it takes is a little time in front of the computer, a printer and a few pieces of nice paper.


Now, I’ve been designing invitations for quite some time (see a bunch of examples here), so the process is pretty quick for me. And it can be for you, too. This invitation is a mix of a free printable background (the playbook diagram – so cute!), free kraft paper digital scrapbook paper, and a Seahawk icon copied from the internet. Nothing too fancy! I made the yard line markers/numbers with a font called Stamping Nico (from and the main text is Trend Sans (from The design is simple, but playful and I like that it is seahawk-y/football-y without being obnoxious.  I also like that they were finished in time to give out a few days before the party.


I know not everyone wants to make their own invitations, so my feelings will not be hurt if you click away at this point …

* BUT *

… for those of you who would like to create invitations and stationery and logos, blog graphics, artwork and postcards for your husband’s (or your own!) business, I’d love to help you learn how.


This past spring I launched a great online class called Simplified Graphic Design teaching beginners how to use Adobe Illustrator. I LOVE THIS CLASS! I love teaching it and answering questions and hearing about how it is helping ladies finally feel confident using a seemingly complicated program to unleash their creativity. The class is made up of 12 video lessons that all take place online. You can go at your own pace and have access to the videos for as long as you’d like (no pressure to hurry through!).

I teach the most common and practical tools/steps/techniques needed for everyday design and share all of my best resources for fonts, graphics, inspiration and tools.

If you’ve been wanting to learn a new skill, need a refresher course on Illustrator, or have been dying to know how people make all those awesome graphics, this is totally for YOU!

>> For all of the details and to register, click here <<

p.s. space is limited and the class has sold out each time it’s been offered, so be sure to grab your spot.

p.p.s. I’ll be browsing pinterest for great football party decorating ideas, but if you have any brilliant ideas, I’m all ears …

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