Archive | decorate

A pair of matching floor lamps – do or don’t?

We don’t argue all that often. But on this particular day, I was feeling feisty and he was being stubborn and so we fought.

Want to know what we were so passionately arguing about?

LAMPS.

pair-of-lamps

I know. Ridiculous.

Ryan thought a pair of floor lamps would look great flanking the couch in the living room.

I thought it would be too matchy-matchy and preferred a floor lamp on one side and a table lamp on a table on the other.

We certainly needed more light in our living room and there is already plenty of furniture, so Ryan’s main concern was that adding a side table would clutter things up visually. My main concern was that matching floor lamps just isn’t done.

When he left the room, I immediately opened my computer and pinterest-searched ‘matching floor lamps‘ to see if it was a decorating do or don’t.

pairoflampssofa

I didn’t find a lot (the table/floor lamp combo seems to be most common), but I did come across a few rooms that looked great with a pair of floor lamps on either side of the couch.

So I humbled myself, apologized for my stubbornness (and possible brattiness) and the next day we bought a pair of floor lamps.

And you know what? I actually really like them. They keep things modern, clean and less visually cluttered. The lamps we bought are sturdy, shiny, classic and add a touch of fancy to our casual living room.

Ryan was right. Matching floor lamps can be a great choice.

Here are a few rooms with matching floor lamps that helped me change my mind:

brasslamps

Gorgeous brass lamps in a very traditional room. (Source unknown)

pbchesterfield

Lots of symmetry happening in this room, but the colors keep your eye moving around. And I am in love all that natural light. (Potterbarn)

housebeautiful

While not exactly flanking the sofa, I do like how these lamps fill in the space. (HouseBeautiful)

light-fixtures-nordic-design

A more modern/Scandinavian approach to the matching lamps. (Source unknown)

pblamps

As with our room, because of the placement of the furniture, there isn’t a lot of space for an end table. The two lamps keep things clean and streamlined. (Potterybarn)

traditional

Keeping things elegantly simple in this rustic meets traditional room. (Source unknown)

Moral of the story:

My husband has good taste. Rejuvenation is my new favorite store. Big windows are a must for our next house. A pair of matching lamps look great flanking a sofa.

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My little sister’s house: builder-grade fireplace makeover

fireplacecropped

Last time, we drooled over my big sister, Amy’s gorgeous kitchen and dining room remodel here. Now we get to peek at my little sister’s house!

Hillary is married to Mike, they have three squishably adorable kids and just moved in to a new house three weeks ago.

This house is so great: it’s big, with nice open rooms and a great backyard that connects to woods with a stream. They are on a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood with a park nearby. They searched and searched for the right home, and this one was it.

Hillary and Mike are outgoing, so funny, and for sure our favorite people to hang out with (besides Amy and Eric, of course). Most nights are spent either entertaining friends or staying home watching shows together (they have a million), so it felt important to them that their home was pretty, comfortable and reflected their young, cool personalities.

The only problem? The house they bought was pretty builder-basic blah.

Neither are very well-practiced in home DIY’s, so my parents, Ryan and I spent a Saturday a few weeks ago helping with their first big house project.

Before they moved in, they had the walls painted a grayish-white and carpet replaced upstairs. Eventually, they’ll replace the carpet downstairs with new hardwoods and switch out the baseboards for something more substantial, but for now, they’re living with the beige carpet (it’s really not that bad) and trying to do small makeovers that make a big impact.

Their new fireplace was the perfect starting point.

Let’s begin with a before, shall we?

livingroombefore This is the real estate photo. Nothing terrible, but also nothing that says “we’re young and cool!” either. The fireplace looks like pretty much every other builder-grade fireplace with tile surround and a traditional maple-colored mantle.

Upon moving in, they took off the mantle and sold it on craigs list. Next, Mike and my dad pulled off the tile surround. Actually, I think they decided to cut it out and just replace the drywall because it would have torn the wall anyway.

Before we arrived to help, they had replaced the tiled area with new drywall and filled in the gaps with mud.

IMG_3086 Their vision for the wall was a panel of horizontal planks just in that middle fireplace section. They wanted no trim – just wood planks. Very clean lines, slightly modern, but also a little rustic. Doing the entire wall would have been great, too, but they really wanted to highlight the fireplace. Plus, those bookshelves are so great on either side and the lines of paneling going all the way across the wall would get busy.

To start, Ryan and Mike added vertical pieces of 1×2 screwed into studs.

IMG_3088 The outside 1×2’s didn’t go into studs, so they added drywall anchors. This way, the paneling had something to attach to.

IMG_3090 Then the boards went up! They used wood shiplap siding from Home Depot and had them cut the boards to size.

IMG_3094 IMG_3099 IMG_3102 Since Mike had already gone through the tedious work of installing the tv mounting hardware and hidden wiring, they decided to work around it. Someday, if they decide to take the tv down, they can easily replace the three planks to go all the way across.

IMG_3104 While all of this was going on, Hillary and I were upstairs building furniture for her office, the girl cousins were playing babies and the boys decided to put on a superhero fashion show.

boys They pretend like it’s just to entertain their littlest cousin, but I’m pretty sure they all thought it was the best fashion show ever. #lovetheseboys

Back to the fireplace …

IMG_3106 The sides were covered.

IMG_3109 IMG_3116 The tv went back up and voila! a modern/rustic fireplace makeover was complete.

IMG_3121 They haven’t decided yet if they will stain the wood – maybe tone down the raw yellowish undertones with a slightly gray stain – or paint it all white. My vote is to stain it just barely and wait until they change out the floors to make the paint decision. The natural wood looks so great in the room, but once the wood floors are down, they may find its too much wood. At that point, I vote for painting it white.

Mike and Hill thought about adding a chunky reclaimed piece of wood for a mantle (mainly because she wants a place to hang christmas stockings!). Once the wood was up, though, we all loved the modern simplicity. The stockings can hang from the bookshelves :)

Here’s the fireplace once again, in before and after format:

Builder-grade Fireplace Makeover / jones design company Such a great way to turn a builder-grade blah fireplace into a feature they are happy to have at the center of their family room. On to the next project …

SOURCES

Wall Paint: Rock Candy by Sherwin Williams

Wood used: Shiplap Wood Siding from Home Depot (like this)

Bookshelves: World Market Emerson Bookshelf (I have the same one in my dining room)

Couches: Ivy Tufted Button Linen Sofa in Dark Gray from Wayfair

Chairs: Ikea Strandmon Wing Chair in Light Gray

Coffee Table: World Market Wood and Metal Aiden Coffee Table

Side Table: Urban Outfitters Accordion Side Table in Brass

Thanks Mike + Hillary for letting us show off your home!

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My Sister’s House: A Timeless Kitchen Before + After

kitchen

I have two sisters: Amy and Hillary (here we are with our pretty mama). Amy is married to Eric and they have two of my favorite kids ever. They live in a family-friendly older neighborhood in Seattle, are UW graduates and big Husky fans, they love to entertain, work hard and make every party more fun.

Last summer, they basically redid their entire house. New floors, doors, windows, moulding, hardware, bathroom and the most fabulous kitchen and dining space.

Amy + Eric have made big and little upgrades to their 1953 house over the past 8 years – finishing out the basement, redoing landscaping, painting the old kitchen cabinets and adding stick-on tiles to the floor (a make-do job before they took the plunge on redoing it completely).  They are busy and active and took their time saving up and planning out before taking on this big renovation.

When I saw the finished kitchen/dining/living space, I was in love. It is so bright and open and classic and chic. You will be amazed at the transformation!

I’ve been meaning to take photos so I could share on here, but every time we’re over there, it’s a family thing and we make a mess of their pretty house (like taking over the living room with tables to fit everyone for thanksgiving or cheering for our Seahawks together).

Last weekend we stopped by to pick up the kids and I happened to have my camera in the car, so I barged my way in and took a bunch of photos. Ready to see?

Let’s start with the befores:

When you walked in the entry, the living room was the first room which lead to the dining room.

livingbefore

It’s hard to tell from this photo since there is already plastic up covering the dining room opening, but from the dining room is where you entered the kitchen.

door-tokitchen

The kitchen was cut off from the rest of the house and because they loved to entertain, it made group parties difficult.

After living in a construction zone with a make-shift kitchen set up in their basement laundry room all summer, their house was finally done. And it looks so good!

Here it is, in it’s classic, bright, and very chic glory:

livingroom

dining

chandelier

kitchen

frombackdoor

details

sink

kitchensink

shelves

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kitchenfloors

Isn’t it wonderful?!

They didn’t change the footprint of the kitchen, but by taking down the wall in between the kitchen and dining rooms and creating a half-wall with peninsula between the kitchen and living rooms, the space is now so much more open. They carried the oak floors throughout the kitchen, refinishing the originals and staining the new ones to match. Walls were painted crisp white, the original single-paned windows were replaced, classic white trim work was added and new can lights throughout. The kitchen received all new cabinets (gray on the bottom, white up top), counters are marble (the first etching was so sad! but now they are more relaxed about it), and the brass hardware tops it all off.

Did you notice the antique mirror in the dining room built-in? It’s my favorite part.

Just to really appreciate the difference, check out these side-by-side before and after shots:

beforeliving

kitchenbeforeafter backdoorbeforeafter

The renovation was such a success. It’s beautiful, of course, but I mostly love that by opening up the space, making the kitchen layout more functional and allowing for better traffic flow, Amy and Eric’s house works so much better for the gatherings they enjoy hosting. Because a home, after all, is for enjoying and sharing and no one does that better than my sister and brother-in-law.

SOURCES

Inspired by: Elements of Style by Erin Gates
Wall paint: Kitchen/living/hall – Benjamin Moore Simply White (trim/doors are the same color, different sheen)
Cabinet paint: Simply White (uppers), Benjamin Moore Cape May Cobblestone (lowers)
Hardware: Schoolhouse Electric, Edgecliff Pulls, Riverwood Knobs, all in natural brass
Counters: 3cm honed Carrara marble
Faucets: Grohe Concetto Single Handle Pull-Down Spray Kitchen Faucet
Dish towel: You Are So Incredibly Awesome from Paper Source
Doorknobs: Baldwin Round Reserve (I love these doorknobs!)
Contractor: Adam Hedin / Hedin Construction

P.S. Come back on Wednesday to see a project we just finished in my little sister’s new house!

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The kitchen was missing something …

I don’t live by many decorating rules. Usually, I just know what I like and go with it.

Sometimes, however, rules are helpful; they offer guidelines, checklists, tangible to-dos. As much as I don’t love rigid rules, I do enjoy helpful clear direction.

neutral kitchen, white bead board, slipcovered bench, chalkboard and natural wood tones / jones design company

In all my years of studying lovely interior spaces (nearly all 37 years of my life) and in decorating my own homes (especially this one), I have come across a mildly flexible, yet fairly accurate belief that there are a handful of decorative essentials that should be in each room.

Take natural wood, for example. A room – and particularly a room that is mainly neutral like in my home – looks drastically more pleasing to the eye and ‘finished’ when there is a touch of natural wood.

Let’s pause for a second and talk about that word ‘finished’. I’m not sure I ever want my house to feel finished. I quite like letting it be my canvas for creativity and allowing myself the freedom to move things, restyle, edit is part of the fun. Finished feels so final and I’m partial to a home that is adaptable. If you feel frustrated that your home isn’t ‘finished’, I’m completely with you and I say let’s quit trying for finished. Let’s instead go for ‘in process’.

Okay, back to natural wood.

Ryan and I have been on a decluttering spree. One area that got the royal pack-it-all-up treatment was our kitchen.

I’m always fiddling with styling the shelves and I’ve traditionally been a more is more type of girl.

But more recently, my style has drifted slightly to the less is more camp and I’m so very happy with how clean and open it has made our house feel, particularly the kitchen. Less clutter on the shelves feels so fresh – just our white dishes, a few white vessels and our glassware.

With this type of minimal decorating, though, there is a risk that things will feel sterile, cold, staged. Those are not words or feelings I’m going for when it comes to decorating our home.

After living with the decluttered/minimal/very white kitchen for the past few weeks, it felt like something was missing. I thought back through my list of essential decorating elements and discovered the problem: our kitchen was missing natural wood tones.

neutral kitchen, white bead board, slipcovered bench, chalkboard and natural wood tones / jones design company

My first step was switching out the old silver lamp that sat on the counter (you can see it here) for a chunky wood-look one. I found this great lamp at my local Target for around $40. It was just the thing to bring in that warm tone we were missing.

neutral kitchen, white bead board, slipcovered bench, chalkboard and natural wood tones / jones design company

Next, I added this simple wood round to the center of the table and topped it with a fern in my favorite zinc flower pot.

neutral kitchen, white bead board, potted fern, chalkboard and natural wood tones / jones design company

You can find wood rounds at craft stores (see source list below), but this one came to us in a pretty fun way.

woodround

For our little spring break trip, we rented a house that sat right next to a ravine of tall trees. During a big windstorm this winter, a couple of the trees fell and others we leaning dangerously.

One morning, the arborists set up their tree-cutting tools and we spent a good hour or so standing by watching the whole thing go down (pun intended).

Have you ever watched professionals fall trees? It’s pretty fascinating/fear inducing. My dad pulled out his camera and snapped photos while my mom struck up a conversation with the men, mentioning at one point wouldn’t it be so cool to cover a wall with tree rounds?! To which the men replied, “we’d be happy to cut a few for you”.

And just like that, from way up high, the tree-cutter sawed off a real wood round for both of us. #bestsouvenirever

Potted fern, zinc container, wood round / jones design company

I never know what to do with the center of an empty table and this wood round/metal vessel/fresh fern combo works great. You can still see over it while seated, it’s easy to move when the kids need more space to draw, and it adds one more touch of natural wood to the kitchen.

So for just $40 plus the cost of a new fern, the kitchen feels less sterile and more warm. Lesson learned: add a touch of natural wood to every room.

Add Wood Tones to the Kitchen / jones design company

SOURCES:

1  Oversized Wood Table Lamp | 2 Grand Maison Table Lamp | 3 Sphere Table Lamp | 4 Reclaimed Wood Slab Lamp | 5 Thick Wood Round | 6 Boston Fern (try your local nursery) | 7 Ridged Zinc Pot | 8 Striped Cache Pot | 9 Emilie Round Planter | 10 Metal Waves Pot

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

DIY Chalkboard Tutorial

Our House: Then + Now

The Kitchen Remodel (posted back in the olden days before pinterest made us bloggers up our photo game)

Thoughts on Open Shelves

When Our Kitchen Was In A Magazine!

Ipad Mounted In The Kitchen (we love it)

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subtle coastal decorating

This week is our Spring Break and we’re spending a few days at a little seaside town on the Washington coast called Seabrook. It’s darling and idyllic with walking paths and sweeping views and community parks, shops and cafes.

It’s our first visit to the area and I’m smitten. Water of any type has my heart; but there is something particularly breathtaking about the ocean.

beach

Last night after the kids went to bed (in their cute little room with four built-in bunks), Ryan opened up the back door and we stood out on the porch listening to the ocean roar. The stars were putting on a show, all was quiet and we just took it all in. How big and captivating is God’s magnificent creation.

Our short stay here has me thinking about all things coastal. The charming architecture with its natural shingles, deep overhangs, board and batten siding, metal roofs, dormer windows.

street

The friendly neighborhoods with wide sidewalks, front porches, window boxes and local shops.

daffodils

And interiors that celebrate the surroundings without being over the top.

The house where we’re staying has a decidedly coastal style, but it’s done in a very neutral, subtle way.

Tall, abundant windows with simple white trim.

dining-room2

A statement chandelier made of oyster shells.

oyster

Dainty starfish.

mirror

Pops of pretty turquoise.

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Shades of blue and gray.

chair

Woven baskets.

basket

Classic blue and white striped ticking.

runner

All this coastal loveliness makes me add ‘decorate a beach house’ to my bucket list.

If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway in Washington state, Seabrook is practically perfect in every way.

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If you only have a small budget for a bathroom makeover

I’ve been dreaming for some time about redoing our master bathroom. I laid out all my far-fetched ideas on this post, just because I needed to get them out of my imagination.

This is what I would do if we were going to redo the bathroom:

Master Bathroom Inspiration board / jones design company But we’re not.

At some point we’ll sell our house and even though updated bathrooms tend to increase resale value, that probably isn’t the case with our situation. We might be able to sell for a little bit more with a gorgeous bathroom, but not enough to make it truly worth the investment.

But, ugh, the bathroom is just so boring. See it in it’s blah state towards the end of this video (5:35 mark).

While the dream bathroom remodel was just not going to happen, we did decided to make a few small changes to see if it would at least look a little bit better.

Builder Grade bathroom painted / jonesdesigncompany A fresh coat of white paint went up on the walls (Sherwin Williams White Heron) and cabinets (custom color matched to the trim throughout the house) and suddenly it feels one thousand times brighter, cleaner and less-depressing.

Freshly painted walls and cabinets in builder grade bathroom / jones design company Freshly painted walls and cabinets in builder grade bathroom / jones design company This isn’t the finished product, yet. But I really wanted to show the in-process photos and also the stages of makeovers. Because, really, if all we did in here was spend money on paint, the bathroom already looks vastly better. We could leave it just like this and be fine.

That’s the thing about real-life house fixing-up. It takes time. And money. And energy.

We’ve been living in the same house for almost 10 years and have hated this bathroom from day one. But it just hasn’t been a big priority. We’ve slowly made upgrades to other rooms of the house and skipped over our bathroom thinking someday we would gut the whole thing. That was probably a bad choice on our part. We should have painted the walls and cabinets and replaced those terrible lights long, long ago. Sure, it wouldn’t look exactly like my pinterest board of fabulous, luxurious, dreamy bathrooms (seriously. You should look through my bathroom pinterest board), but it would be a big improvement and a prettier place to start and finish each day.
Freshly painted walls and cabinets in builder grade bathroom / jones design company So PHASE ONE is now complete: walls and cabinets freshly painted.

The total cost was a few hundred dollars. We hired our favorite professional painters to finish up the woodwork throughout the downstairs (a rollover project from 18 months ago) and decided to just lump in our bathroom painting projects in the bid. I don’t actually mind painting and it would have been much less expensive, but it takes me forever and I just don’t have forever to offer my bathroom right now. It was absolutely worth the cost of hiring a team who knows what they’re doing and can do it quickly.

I really think we could leave the bathroom just as it is now and I no longer hate it.

Yesterday I pulled a few accessories in to dress up the counters:

Bathroom Accessories / jones design company and used some of my leftover self-adhesive wallpaper to line the inside of the drawers:

Lined Bathroom Drawer / jones design company It’s the little things, I tell you. I smiled approximately six times today when I opened a drawer and saw that happy pattern. If I were more ambitious, I would line the sides, too. Maybe someday.

Now that the cabinets are fresh, we’d love to make additional upgrades. We’ll call it PHASE TWO. This will include replacing the lights, adding hardware to the drawers and cabinets and changing out the bathtub faucet (it’s one of those cheapy plastic crystal knob things). I haven’t decided what any of those items will be, yet, but you can bet I’ll share it all with you as we make the changes.

PHASE THREE is still up for debate. The tile countertop is not our fave. Never has been. Now that the cabinets are white, we’d love to modernize the counters, backsplash and tub surround. A solid surface maybe? We haven’t decided. I’ll do a little bit of research and see what the cost will be. We’re a little bit afraid that if we redo the counters, we’ll want to redo the floors which will make us think about adding a free-standing tub instead of the current one … and it just doesn’t end. Phase Three might never be. But we’ll explore our options.

So the moral of the story is:

Do the projects (however big or small) that make your house feel more like you in a timeline that works for your real life and real budget.

Even if it takes 10 years and multiple phases.

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How I installed wallpaper all by myself in just a few hours

wallpaperfinishedbench One afternoon and a few strips of self-adhesive wallpaper made for quite a pretty transformation of this little wall in our home.

If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you’ll recognize this sliver of wall as my old book page wall.

bookpagewall When we moved into our home nine and a half years ago, the first project I did was tape old pages from a thrifted french novel up to the wall that separates the stairs from the livingroom/hallway.

We wished we had bought the house earlier during the building process so we could have upgraded to an open staircase with railings, but when we asked, it was going to be some crazy amount of money to take down the wall and install the rails, so we just let it go. Because I wasn’t crazy about the blank angled wall, I decided to make it a feature. I carefully tore pages from that old book, used my double-sided tape gun to adhere them to the wall and they stayed that way for over 7 years.

It was a favorite wall of mine, but was starting to look pretty shabby. The pages (especially on the edge of the wall) were torn and worn and looked a bit worse for wear – kids will do that to a wall with tissue-thin paper taped to it. When we took the plunge and had our floors redone and walls painted white, I had to remove all those pages. It was a sad moment.

bookpagewalldown The paper actually came off fairly well. It took some work to remove all the sticky tape, but the wall was not damaged and I liked the look so much I figured I would just do it again with fresh pages.

wallbefore But I never did. The wall has sat blank for 18 months, begging for some attention.

When Walls Need Love (the vinyl company where I bought the dots seen on the big window) offered for me to try out their self-adhesive, removable wallpaper I knew right away where I would try it: that blank stair wall.

I have been know to try a few diy versions of wallpaper in my decorating career. I’ve hand-painted it (as seen in my office) and used gift wrap as wallpaper (as seen in Audrey’s old nursery and the laundry room – tutorial here). I’ve done all sorts of fake versions, but never the real thing. That just feels super intimidating and because wallpaper can be SO expensive, I haven’t wanted to mess up a big investment.

wallpaperafter The great thing about this removable wallpaper, though, is that you can’t really mess up. I did this wall all by myself in just a few hours. It probably wouldn’t have taken hours, but I had to move furniture and clean the floors and snap photos, so that took longer.

As for the results? I’m so happy. The pattern I chose is called Pixel Diamonds is is the right amount of graphic and classic for my taste.

wallpaperonwall Want to see the whole process? Here it is in animated photo form:

wallpaper I started by moving out the furniture. I can be very stubborn and independent when it comes to moving furniture. Ryan was on a conference call and I didn’t want to bother him. I also didn’t want to wait. So I stuck some moving pads under the piano and grunted my way around the corner (it now sits back where it’s been before in the little nook under the stairs).

Next, I wiped down the walls with a microfiber cloth just to make sure they were clear of dust and dirt.

matching the pattern wallpaper I started on the right side so that the edge would be perfectly flush with the edge of the wall. I’m not sure if it matters if you start on the right or left? It turned out okay moving from right to left. That first piece went up easy enough. I just lined up the right edge with the wall, peeled back the backing paper and smoothed it down from the top. The paper is removable, which was so nice. I had to lift and make little adjustments and it didn’t hurt the paper or the walls.

The trickiest part was lining up the pattern. There is a slight overlap (about 1/4″) and that helps a bit, but I had to spend some time getting it to match up just right. Again, the fact that it is removable makes all the difference. You can lift and adjust without much effort.

After all four strips were adhered, I went back over with an xacto knife and trimmed the edges. You can see on the far left that there is just a sliver left of the wall that didn’t get covered. I probably could have cut a 1/2″ piece of paper, but my goodness that sounded difficult and I figured you wouldn’t really notice the tiny bit of wall.

How I installed wallpaper all by myself in just a few hours! / jones design company I was so pleased with how the wall turned out. It feels like an unexpected pop of pattern and makes me smile every time I walk by.

wallpaperandchairs And now my book page wall-turned blank wall-turned wallpapered wall is again my new favorite.

If you have a wall or room in your house that is crying out for pattern, and you’re hesitant to go with ‘real’ wallpaper (the investment, the install, the permanency, the dreaded removal), I can’t recommend this self-adhesive, removable version highly enough.

SOURCES:

wallpaper

bench (no longer available from Marshalls)

buffalo check blanket

be kind art print

basket

tufted chairs

metal table

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The easiest way to hang a big photo (as seen in Audrey’s room)

One late addition to Audrey’s bedroom makeover (did you see the reveal? If not, here it is) was the big, adorable black and white photo. Audrey is the lucky little sister to three brothers that really love her and it seemed fitting to highlight their relationship.  How to hang a large photo print without a frame (it's super easy) / jones design company The photo was taken by my friend Paige when she flew out from Atlanta, stayed in what used to be the guest room (and is now Audrey’s room) and took the most wonderful pictures of me and Audrey and our whole family. This one of the four kids will forever be a cherished capture.
How to hang a large photo print without a frame (it's super easy) / jones design company One of the best and least expensive ways to get a big photo is to send it to an office store and ask for an engineering print. It’s just a black and white photocopy – definitely nothing special – but for $3.49, who cares?! The slightly pixely quality makes it artsy and you can order in several different sizes.

To hang, I decided not to poke holes in the print itself, but instead grabbed a few office basics and made up my own hanging method.
How to hang a large photo print without a frame (it's super easy) / jones design company I clipped four mini binder clips to each corner, then stuck to the wall with a thumb tack.

See? Easiest way to hang a big photo, ever.

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A Classically Cute Little Girl’s Bedroom Makeover (it’s Audrey’s and it’s finally done)

Classically Cute Little Girl's Room Makeover / jones design company

You may remember that I’ve been working on a bedroom makeover for our little girl, Audrey. I just looked back at the initial design board post and it is dated two years to the day that I decided to just be done with it. Two years!  

I was having such a hard time finishing her room. Do you have any spaces in your house like that? You have ideas, but not all are practical or in the budget and so you just wait, feeling this nagging sense of incompleteness every time you walk by.

Well, this weekend I just made the decision that it is done. Not because all of the ideas I have for her room are finished, but rather because it is good enough. It’s darling, actually. And even though the curtains are tacked up and we never got to the builtins, sometimes you just have to leave it alone. Check it off the list. Snap some photos and close this two year makeover chapter.

So here it is, Audrey’s classically cute little girl bedroom makeover. Enjoy a little peek …

(Sources and details after the photos)

Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Buffalo check duvet, striped rug. / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Dresser with lamp, art and framed ballet tickets / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Striped rug, gallery wall with favorite art / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Gallery wall with favorite art / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Close-up of the gallery wall / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company

Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. DIY pinboard, paper flower garland, doll bed / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Handmade doll / jones design company

Isn’t it sweet? The sun popped out earlier this week and so I hurriedly tidied up her room (let’s not even talk about all the little trinkets a nearly six year old girl loves to collect and scatter about her room) and took these pictures.

When Audrey came home from school that day she was delighted to see her room looking so pretty. It was really sweet. And you know what? She has no idea that I stopped short of all my ideas. She loves her room just the way it is. I suppose I do, too.

SOURCES

bed, dresser, doll crib + high chair: craig’s list finds by my mom

striped rug: Olin rug from Crate & Barrel

buffalo check duvet: Emmie Ruta duvet from IKEA

polka dot sheets: no longer available from Target, similar from Land of Nod

yellow flower pillow: no longer available from Target, but they really should bring this one back

hanging pleated medallions: get the diy tutorial here

wooden sign: Between You And Me Signs – read the post about the meaning here

lamp on dresser: no longer available from target

flower art: The Runner Up by Janet Hill Studio

sequin star pillow: Emily + Merritt for PBTeen, no longer available, similar in dots

gallery wall art: see post with sources and how-to here

valance fabric: Diamonds In the Rough from Minted

bulletin board: read tutorial post here

paper flower garland: no longer available, Target

handmade Audrey doll: see post with details here

double-line-tiny

Any thoughts or questions about sources? Let’s chat in the comments below!

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Turkish Towel Fail

At the top of my Christmas wish list was a stack of new towels. Not just any towels. Turkish towels.

towels

Ryan thought I was crazy. What’s wrong with our regular white terry cloth towels? 

I didn’t have a great answer other than these three mildly unconvincing responses:

  1. I have heard great things about the size, the softness, the absorbency of turkish cotton towels
  2. After a while, terry cloth towels start to smell … sort of like … used towels.
  3. I like how they look.

I mean, just look at this gorgeous bathroom with the big, fringed towels!

towelsblacktub
Granted, our bathroom is not quite so pretty (as seen in this video). But that doesn’t stop me from wanting pretty things to try to make my not-so-pretty space prettier.

Surprise of all surprises, Ryan bought me a set of four glorious black and white herringbone towels for Christmas. I washed them, dried them, folded them in a happy stack and tried one out for the first time last week.

turkishtowelsstacked

It was a major, major letdown.

There was zero absorbency, which is my biggest towel pet peeve. Come on, towel! Your job is to absorb water!

Also, my body was covered in lint.

Boo.

So now I have a pretty stack of towels that are completely useless.

Did I choose the wrong ones? Are there fake turkish towels and real turkish towels? Do I need to try washing them again? Any Turkish towel fans out there that could help this girl out?!

Your suggestions are much appreciated.

P.S. That pretty soap and oil is from Nash + Jones. Their packaging is spot on.

(source for bathroom photo unknown)

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If you were to just drop by (a video house tour)

I was thinking the other day … sometimes it’s tricky to understand how rooms flow together when just looking at pictures.  You’ve seen our house from every perspective I can think to show, but still it’s probably different in real life than it appears in images.

Video House Tour / jones design company

So today, I’m giving you a quick tour of our house in video form. Think of it as if you were to just pop by during the middle of the day for coffee and I was showing you around.

 

 
I hope you enjoyed your (virtual) visit!

Some things to note:

– Our house is very quiet and mostly clean during the day when the kids are at school. I function better when my space is picked up so I do lots of clearing off counters, picking pillows up off the floor and putting them back onto the couch, throwing random stuff in that basket on the stairs each morning after they leave for school. I do the same neurotic routine after they go to bed. And actually, pretty much the whole time we are home in the afternoon and evening.

– The kids keep most of their stuff upstairs and while I hound them plenty about keeping it picked up up there, I can’t promise that is what actually happens.  When they were babies we had more toys and books downstairs; now it’s pretty much all upstairs.

– I picked up a little before the video (as I would if I knew a friend was dropping by), but not like I normally would when taking photos of the house. Garbage bags of randomness to donate, storage bins waiting to be expertly organized, our bed unmade – these are daily realities and so I left them.

– What do you put in the middle of a dining room table when it’s not in use? This has been perplexing me for all of my home-making days.

– Our bathroom. Gah. I guess it just serves to remind us how far we’ve come on the rest of the house.

– The battery died on the camera at the end, hence the very abrupt ending. What I was trying to say through my rambling is that we are grateful for our house, thankful for the opportunities it has given us to host parties and small groups and have families live with us, and also the many ways it has opened doors creatively for both me and Ryan. This house is far from our perfect dream home and I could share a list of all the things we would like to be different, but 2016 is the year of renewing my mind and I’m choosing to see the positives :)

Let me know if you have any questions about anything!

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Cozy Up with a Pom Pom Blanket

Do you follow Annie @zevyjoy on instagram? If not, you might want to. Her photos are bright, soft, cozy and full of glorious neutral texture.

zevy joy

About once per week, she tags me as the source when questioned about where she found the pom pom blanket that pops up in many of her photos (a very sweet and unnecessary thing to do. I appreciate the mention!).

Pom Blanket by Zevy Joy / DIY at jones design company

I did post a simple tutorial a little over a year ago about how to make a pom pom blanket. This is the tutorial that Annie used and I’ll share it again today just in case you missed it. If you’re in search of a doable project to work on this winter that turns out very cozy and stylish and looks fantastic strewn about on a chair, a bed, a big sofa bed, any surface in your house, this pom pom blanket is the right choice.

pom pom blanket tutorial / jones design company

The best part about this project is that you don’t have to have any crafty skills to do it. Just find a blanket you love, some coordinating yarn, a pom pom maker and you’re set.

pom-blanket-supplies

// SUPPLIES //

blanket – look for a throw that has plainly hemmed edges. I made one with a gray throw  from IKEA (seen here), the teal geometric is from Target (no longer available). A cableknit throw like this would be great, or this plaid one would be cute, too.

yarn – I took the blanket in with me to the craft store and found the yarn that matched best. The teal was harder to match than the gray, but I ended up finding this nice Martha Stewart yarn and it was on sale (yay!). You’ll need lots of pom poms which means lots of yarn. I used almost two whole rolls (spools? skeins? I’m not sure what you call them) for one blanket.

pom pom maker – there are many methods for making pom poms, but this little tool makes it super easy and keeps them uniform in size and shape.

scissors, needle, thread

STEP ONE / make pom poms (about 30-40 for one blanket)

pom-blanket-make-pom-pom-1

Start by wrapping yarn round and round on one end of the pom maker. When full, move over to the second side and wrap. Close and trim the end of the yarn.

pom-blanket-cut-pom-pom

Now cut down the center of the pom pom maker (make sure you keep both ends closed)

pom-blanket-make-pom-poms-2

Cut a small piece of yarn and wrap tightly (as tight as you can) around the center to hold pom pom together. Pull both sides of the pom maker apart and fluff the pom pom.

pom-blanket-trim-pom-strings

Trim any uneven ends.

Keep going until you have a pretty stack of yarn pom poms (about 30-40 per blanket).

pom-blanket-pom-poms

STEP TWO / attach pom poms to edge of blanket

pom-blanket-sew-on-poms

Start by spacing the pom poms out evenly and deciding how close you want them to be. Then, using a needle and coordinating thread, stitch through the center of the pom and sew onto hem of the blanket. Be generous with your stitches to make sure the pom pom is secure. Continue for the rest of the blanket and then on the second end.

For about $25 and a few hours of pom pom making, you end up with this cozy, funky, super cute throw blanket.

pom-blanket-wrapped

So there you go. One simple project to try and a delightful instagram account to follow.

*Top photos by Annie at zevyjoy.com

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A Simple Christmas House Tour 2015

Simple Christmas Decorations for this house tour / jones design company

Confession: as much as I adore the Christmas season, I have been dragging my feet to put up decorations this year.

For a while now, I have been craving less, simple, clean, bright (hence the all-white walls). Putting out more stuff just felt crazy.  Plus, last year we went all out preparing for the Better Homes + Gardens magazine shoot and I feel like I used up all my good decorating ideas!

We finally added ornaments to the tree this past weekend and put out just a few of our favorite christmas things for a very simply decorated house. It still feels light and clean (at least while the kids are at school!) with a touch of cozy and sparkle. Enjoy a small peek!

ENTRY

Christmas Home Tour / holiday cards taped to the wall in entry / jones design company

We’re taping holiday cards to the wall for all to enjoy. Felt ball garland is from West Elm (which they don’t sell anymore, but this wreath is pretty darling), the mirror is from IKEA for just $49.

DINING ROOM

Christmas Home Tour / nutcrackers / jones design company

As a girl, I danced in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker. My parents gave me a special Nutcracker each year and so I have a small collection. The kids love them and since we don’t have a ton of decorations out, I figured grouping them all in a tray was a fun way to display them. (Tray is from Target).

LIVING ROOM

Christmas Home Tour / fireplace with garland and stockings / jones design company

The stag always looks so handsome with a wreath around his neck (this pom pom one I made. Here is the tutorial). The garland is fresh and nearly dried out, but it still looks pretty. We get cedar garland at Costco each year and you can’t beat the price. This one is actually doubled up because it is so long and it fills in a bit more.

Christmas Home Tour / stockings with glitter numbers / jones design company

The stockings are from West Elm (on sale for $9 each right now!) and I like to embellish them with tags or numbers or ribbon. The snowflakes are also from West Elm as is our tree skirt – which you can’t really see in photos, but it is the same white felt with pom pom balls all the way around.

Christmas Home Tour / chesterfield sofa with pillows / jones design company

The couch is always piled with favorite pillows. The fuzzy pillow is a steal at $21, Noel pillow is a few years old from Target, graphic pillow is from Target and the ticking pillows I made. That buffalo check wool throw just makes me happy (you can find them all over or try school house electric). Lamp is IKEA.

Christmas Home Tour / pillows / jones design company

We live near a tree farm and cut ours down on Thanksgiving weekend. This one is so pretty!

Christmas Home Tour / christmas tree in living room / jones design company

You may remember my rug debate in the living room. The first light one just wasn’t right for the room, so we bought this linen sisal rug from Crate and Barrel and it’s just what we were hoping for.

Grocery store flowers in modern arrangement / jones design company

Grocery store flowers made to look fancy by cutting them way down (here’s more on that).

Christmas Home Tour / vintage brass deer / jones design company

I found these brass deer at a vintage sale last christmas. I’m very in to mixing metals.

Christmas Home Tour / christmas tree / jones design company

KITCHEN

Christmas Home Tour / kitchen open shelves / jones design company

One of the best things about open shelves is the ability to style them differently each season. My basic dishes stay in the same spot, but I like to add in a few items that speak to the time of year. A few things to note: the lampshade is old from Target (it could be a super easy DIY with a plain lampshade, painters tape and black paint), the ipad mounted to the wall was Ryan’s genius idea (more details here), the striped bowls are from IKEA.

Christmas Home Tour / kitchen open shelves / jones design company

Christmas Home Tour / kitchen table and chalkboard / jones design company

The chalkboard (a great diy) reminds us of what this season is all about.

Christmas Home Tour / bottle brush trees on cake plate / jones design company

Bottle brush trees are from West Elm, cake plate is available on Amazon.

BEDROOM

Christmas Home Tour / bedroom in gray and white / jones design company

Just this past weekend I finished painting our room. It previously had a pretty deep teal/blue wall and gray elsewhere (see it here). But like I said, we are craving light! bright! white! so I painted the walls and ceiling the same white as the rest of the house (White Heron by Sherwin Williams).

And look! We put the white rug in here. It’s maybe not quite in the same style as the bed (no longer available from Restoration Hardware), but we’ll live.

Christmas Home Tour / bedroom in gray and white / jones design company

The lamps are nearly 10 years old from Restoration Hardware, duvet is Crane & Canopy, coverlet is Target, gray sweater pillow was made by my mom out of my dad’s old sweater (I love it) and the baby it’s cold outside pillow is from Northernly. We’re working on our nightstand situation.

Thanks for visiting today! As always, if you have any questions on sources I missed, I’m happy to share. Just leave a comment and I’ll comment back.

xoxo.

PS. Here are my House Tours from season’s past:

Christmas 2010 (so long ago! So much red and green! But a sweet message)

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2013

Decorated Play Room 2013

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White Pom Pom Wreath DIY (for under $20)

Make a pom pom wreath for under $20 / jones design company

How festive is our stag in his new pom pom wreath?!

fireplace

Last year I made a bunch of pom pom garlands to hang around the house (see an example here). This year, I thought I’d take the yarn pom pom thing a step further and make a big, fluffy, wintery wreath to hang around the neck of the stag head hanging above the fire place.

About the stag head: it was an on-a-whim purchase by Ryan when we redid our fireplace and it is such a great statement piece. I know deer heads have been all the rage, but I’m still into this one. We bought it from Restoration Hardware. Good news! It’s on sale now for over $100 off.

So back to the pom poms. I made a bunch using two full skeins of chunky yarn (be sure to use your 50% off craft store coupon as each pack is about $9). I had a few leftover poms in a different shade of white from the garland that I added in and the slight variation in creamy white is nice.

To make the pom poms, I use this large pom pom maker. You can see the exact pom-making steps on this post. For this large wreath, I used about 35 large pom poms (I probably could have used more).

To make the wreath, here’s what you’ll need:

pom-wreath-supplies

large pom poms / styrofoam wreath form / chunky yarn / tacky glue / embroidery floss / needle

(PLEASE NOTE: I bought the 12″ styrofoam wreath form at my local craft store for $5.99. The link above is some outrageous price, so don’t buy from there, but I just wanted to link you to the product so you can see exactly what it is.)

STEP ONE: wrap the wreath form in yarn

tie-to-wrap

Tie a knot to hold and start wrapping, keeping the yarn taught. You can add drops of glue every once in a while to hold the yarn in place, but it is not necessary.

wrapyarn

I’m sure you’ve seen wreaths just wrapped in yarn – they look very modern and pretty, so go ahead and stop the project at this point if you’d like :)

STEP TWO: add the pom poms

supplies-for-poms

You could add your poms in a number of ways – hot glue would work or that tacky glue. I just wasn’t sure how well the pom poms would stay with glue, so I decided to stitch them on using embroidery thread and a large needle.

sewpom

Thread the needle with a long piece of thread and knot the end. Run the needle through the center of the pom so it goes through the center knotted part to hold. Now stitch it to the wreath either under the wrapped yarn (but not through the styrofoam) or by wrapping the thread around the wreath and back through the pom to secure tightly.

sewpom2

As long as your embroidery thread matches your poms, go ahead and be messy with your stitching method.

progress

I stitched poms to the front and outside edge because I knew it was going to be a tight fit around the stag’s neck. You could fill in as much as you prefer.

With space for about three more pom poms, I ran out of yarn (oops!). Not a big deal in my case since it was going around the stag’s neck and you can’t see the top. But if you are hanging yours, go ahead and finish the wreath.

finished

Once it was done (ish) I pulled the stag off the wall, put the wreath around his neck and hung him back up.

wreathclose

What a fun way to add color and texture for very little time and less than $20.

fireplacewithwreath

We’re slowly adding in Christmas decorations to our house (I’m trying to go with white, white and more white) and this pom wreath is a great start.

stag-with-wreath

Need an afternoon craft? Give this pom pom wreath a try!

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The Hardwood Floors One Year Later

Update on Hardwood Floors / jones design company

Last November, we finished our biggest house project – new hardwood floors and freshly painted walls.

You can read all about each step:

the process for picking our floors,

picking the perfect white paint,

what the messy progress looked like

and the big reveal.

One year later and both Ryan and I still agree that putting in new hardwood floors and having all the walls painted white was well worth the money, time and mess.

woodfloorsfinished

Over the year, I have received a bunch of questions about our hardwood floors. Today, I’m here to answer.

WHAT TYPE OF FLOORS DID YOU CHOOSE?

We for months before finally selecting pre-finished, nail-down oak hardwood.

We talked about carrying the existing blonde hardwoods into the hallway and living room (see a before here). We talked about doing tile. We talked about just keeping the hardwoods and replacing the carpet. We considered installing cheap wood and painting it all white. We even dreamed for a second about doing concrete (and then quickly woke from that dream).

At the end of all that talking, we decided to go with the best quality floor in our price range in a dark gray/brown. It’s maybe not our perfect dream floor – I think we would both go with wide-plank, medium tone if cost was no object – but it was a great choice for this house.

The actual flooring that we chose is discontinued, but this one is by the same manufacturer, just a different color.

hallway

HOW HAVE THE FLOORS HELD UP AFTER A YEAR?

We’re a big, chaotic family. We live in the Pacific Northwest where it rains a lot. We have a dog. The neighbor kids are in and out. Our home is where we live.

So, yes, after a year of living on them, the floors show some wear.

(See that big scratch in the photo above? That happened on day one when we moved the piano back in. UGH!).

We typically take our shoes off in the house, so that helps keep the floors nice, but Atlas, our labradoodle, has done his fair share of scratching the wood. We just recently added the sisal runner in the hallway to help prevent his nails from scratching when he runs obnoxiously to the door every time someone comes over. I’ve considered putting socks on him, but then remembered that he ate socks like it was his job as a puppy and thought better of it.

One little trick we learned from the floor installers is to keep a Minwax stain marker on hand to disguise any deep scratches.

fixfloor

You just fill in the wood, buff it with a paper towel and the scratch disappears.

ARE THE DARK WOOD FLOORS DIFFICULT TO KEEP CLEAN?

We were warned many times when choosing a dark floor that it can be hard to keep clean. Our friends have super dark, glossy floors that are gorgeous, but show dust and footprints and require a bit more attention than what I have to offer my floors.

Part of the reason we went with the matte finish, hand-scraped, gray/brown floors was in an effort to hide dirt, not make it more obvious.  Thankfully, this is exactly what we have in these hardwoods. They get dirty, for sure, but hide it pretty well and clean up nicely.

dustmop

Ryan bought this industrial dust mop that I run across the floors daily to pick up dust, fur, crumbs and wool from our rug that sheds a lot. We mop with white vinegar + water once every two weeks (and by we what I really mean is Maria, our angel of a housecleaner).  Other than spot cleaning when there is a spill, I don’t do much else to them. I’d say the floors are quite low-maintenance.

woodfloors

Adding in hardwood was a big decision and investment for us and we’re so happy with the results. Having one consistent floor throughout the main level works wonders in keeping things visually cohesive and grounding the space. The color works well with our neutral color palette and we’ve been happy with how they’ve held up (despite our hard-handling of them).

And it’s crazy that a year has gone by so quickly.

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