Archive | our house

things I like: ferns

I have a slight love affair with ferns.  Their bright, fresh color, delicate texture, slightly wild arms going every which way … they add just the right feel to my otherwise neutral rooms.

{in my office}

{on the front porch}

{in the kitchen}

{in my favorite little nook of the house}

{and on the coffee table}

In a home dressed with mostly gray, white and taupe, mixing in natural greenery adds interest, texture and life.

Plus, they only cost a few dollars at the hardware store. And that’s a bonus if you’re anything like me and have a difficult time keeping houseplants healthy.

Keeping my love of ferns in mind, I now have a pinterest board dedicated to the lovely foliage.

Click here to see more fern inspiration.

Please tell me, do you have a plant-crush?

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what’s on your coffee table?

Have you ever noticed in beautifully decorated living rooms that the coffee tables are always accessorized?

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There is usually a collection of books, flowers, candles, maybe a tray to contain odds and ends.

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I know life in a photograph is much different than real life. Especially if you have little ones running around the house. Candles on a coffee table don’t mix well with young children. Neither does a bowl of candy.

And yet, I still believe you can have a pretty, accessorized coffee table even with children.

Here’s what we do in our house:

This is our main living area {although we do have a separate room where movie watching is done} and the kids are in this room a lot.

Notice that nothing on the table is precious. A fern in a basket, stack of books, melamine tray with magazines, vase of flowers.  I like it all and have done my best to teach the kids to respect my things, but if something were to break, I would not be crushed. I think that’s the number one rule of decorating in a household with kids: train them to be gentle, but expect that something could break at any moment.

On the bottom shelf of the coffee table are a stack of puzzles and a basket of books for easy entertainment. And proof that kids do hang out here. I want my kids to know that I care about having a pretty house, but I also want it to be usable.

On the table:

the most amazing bouquet of peonies and sweet peas from Pike Place Market . mirrored coasters {anthropologie long, long ago} . stack of decorating books with vintage bibles on top . yellow flower napkin ring {pier one} . alphabet tray {target long ago} . magazines {do you read matthew mead publications? So great} . fern {from the grocery store} . silver bowl with vintage word cards . vintage metal basket {found}

coffee table: wisteria

zig zag rug: urban outfitters

I’d love to know … what’s on your coffee table?

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the kids’ bath needs some style

Our upstairs bath looks like this:

Basic builder-grade everything.

This is considered the kids’ bathroom, but since we moved our master bedroom upstairs last fall and made our downstairs bedroom into a media room {great use of the space but I do miss our own bathroom!} we now all share this bath.

It is a good size, with lots of counter and storage space. But what it offers in function, it completely lacks in style.

Like this terrible formica that looks like a cross between quinoa and fish eggs to me … not a good look for the bathroom counter.

I have been wanting to do a little redo on this space – probably not a full renovation {as much as I’d like to} but something to make it more us.

While walking through Target the other day I saw these adorable cups:

For some reason, they just said kids’ bathroom to me. I bought one for the boys and one for the girl. I would love to somehow use these cups as the inspiration for the bathroom.

Then I clicked around pinterest for a bit and found these fabulous bathrooms to further inspire the space:

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So I’m thinking white, blues, woven baskets, new lighting & mirrors, hardware on the cabinets, maybe wood planked walls {my fave} and a built-in between the sinks.

Totally doable.

We’ll see when I get to it …

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our mudroom

We bought our house 5 years ago based off a floor plan we found online.  One of our favorite features was this mudroom. It connects the garage to the rest of the house and is such a great dumping ground for our busy family.  The only negative about the space is that there is no window. Which means it is pretty dark. We painted it a dark chocolaty-green-gray color a few years ago and it became even darker {that’s what you get when you use a can of paint you have laying around}. Last summer Ryan added white bead board paneling and a row of hooks on all four walls and that made things a bit lighter and much more functional. But it still needed some freshening up.  I finally finished putting the space together and I’m excited to share it with you today.

The walls are now Revere Pewter {Benjamin Moore} and it feels so much brighter!

I moved the woven pinboard in here to put some favorite family photos, art work and mementos – it sure adds a personal touch and some much needed color and cheerfulness to an otherwise boring room.

We bought these numbers at the hardware store to identify hooks for each backpack.

Above the hooks is a new print that I just adore.

This is the wall with the door that goes out to the garage. Its nice to have a little bench in here.

And the back wall …

I painted stripes on the ceiling just for fun. I like it. Ryan –  not so much.  We also switched out the light with this industrial one from the hardware store {$25!}.

One of my very favorite features of the mudroom is the automatic light Ryan so brilliantly installed. It has a movement sensor so it comes on when you walk in the room and turns off after a minute or two. We have a few of these throughout our house in places where its easy to forget to turn off the light {the pantry, under-stairs closet, master closet}.

Now let me share with you another genius tip I got from The Nester.

I buy one brand of socks – two lines for the older boys {is it weird that they share socks?} and one line for No. 3. Audrey gets her own girly socks but shares a basket with #3. AND I don’t match and fold them. Just throw them in the basket. It saves on time when folding laundry, makes it easy for the boys to find their socks and best of all, there are no more mismatched socks in our house. Thanks Miss Nester.

Each kid also has their own bin of shoes.

Can you tell who already has a shoe-obsession? Naturally, she gets the bigger bin.

Speaking of shoes … these are her current favorites {and mine too}.

They are from my favorite shoe designer Joyfolie. Come back tomorrow for a generous discount for JDC readers.

A few details:

So that is our mudroom. I love how it turned out. Bright, cheerful, useful, organized and personal.

And it will never again look as nice as it does in the photos.

… SOURCES …

paint color: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

light: warehouse pendant from Home Depot

be filled with joy print: The Wheatfield by Katie Daisy

black numbers: Home Depot in the mailbox and house number section

galvanized wall organizer: PotteryBarn – no longer available

sock baskets & shoe bins: IKEA

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the stockings are hung {our house tour}

monogram on front door

Have you seen all of the gorgeously decorated homes around blogland? It has been so fun to see how each person fluffs their house for Christmas.  Today I thought I’d share our home with you.

There are plenty of photos ahead, so I’ll keep the words to a minimum. Enjoy!

entry

entry table

chair in snow

christmas package

bath roses with paper flowers

living room

nutcrackers

living room 2

christmas packages

the sofa

garland

coffee table

fire place

living to piano

piano

kitchen

kitchen to dining

jdc art print

cake plate

candy canes

hot cocoa

o holy night

dining room

christmas tree

Merry Christmas from our {finally} decorated home to yours!

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office desk

A few weeks ago I showed you my new office desk in it’s raw state.

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At that point I was thinking I would add a skirt. But once it was sanded

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primed

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painted {two coats of Sherwin Williams Cashmere paint in Rushing River}

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given a band of white grosgrain ribbon

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and some silver nail head trim

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I ended up really liking its modern simplicity.

So here she is now living happily in my office.

jdc office from doors

jdc office

I needed more storage {and display space} and so I installed three rows of shelves. I put them up myself. Into studs. I am quite proud.

IMG_4157 IMG_4158jdc office desk with nailhead trim

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jdc office rolled paper flowers

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{one of my all time favorite photos from our first trip to New York}

jdc office ribbons

{a current display of neutral ribbons}

jdc office boxes

{boxes of envelopes at the ready}

Now do you want to see my next project?

jdc chair

It is time to reupholster this handsome chair I have neglected for over five years.

jdc chair

It actually needs to be re-padded and tied too. I have never reupholstered anything, so this one might be ambitious for a beginner, but I’ll give it a try one of these days.

Questions about my office? Here are the past posts:

office {part one}

office {specifics}

office {rearranged}

painted wallpaper {tutorial}

painted wallpaper {clarified}

enjoy!

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refrigerators

Let’s talk about refrigerators for a minute.

This is what ours looks like:

refrigerator with pictures

In a world where stainless is the preferred choice, ours is white.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

Have you ever noticed that refrigerators in magazines are always bare? They don’t have random photos, calendars, invitations, school work & artwork stuck haphazardly to them. At least not in the photos.

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I think Ryan would prefer a cleared off refrigerator. But I rather like the odd assortment of paper goods stuck to ours. It tells me there is life going on in this house.

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It is a place to show off my kids’ spelling tests. To display their crazy artwork {a black pumpkin on fire? Not sure what’s going on there :}.

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It makes an easy spot to put a few favorite photos, to test out a new art print and to stay organized with our weekly calendar.

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And where else do you stick cute invitations?

If I could build my dream kitchen it would probably look a lot like this one:

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I love a restaurant style glass door refrigerator.

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But for now, we have a white fridge covered in little pieces of our life.

And that’s pretty beautiful, too.

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popping in on this saturday morning

Happy Saturday! I’m not regularly a poster on weekends, but the kids are busy watching saturday morning cartoons {which are no where near as wonderful as I remember them being when I was a kid. Whatever happened to the Jetsons, Dennis the Menace, Strawberry Shortcake? Those were way better than weird shows like Horseland and Trollz} and I have a second to say hi.

So, Hi. Hope you are having a nice weekend so far.

I also wanted to clarify that when you sign up for JDC | monthly, you gain automatic access to the current month’s collection. I release the new designs on the 22nd of the month, but they remain available all month until the next collection is released. In other words, if you sign up on August 22 – September 21, you will receive September’s collection. If you sign up on September 22nd – October 21, you will receive October’s collection {and I may or may not also give you the link to the previous month. Wink, wink}.

Hope that makes sense. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.

sign me up dotted

And now let’s talk about a few gorgeous rooms.

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I’m loving the striped walls and that ceiling. Our mudroom is half-way there with bead board paneling and hooks, but I have been trying to decide what to do with the walls. This might push me over the edge for painting stripes.

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I know this is a christmas image and I am not ready for christmas, but I do love the fancy frame on the chalkboard {and the pretty writing}. I feel the need for a big chalkboard in our kitchen {where the Mt. Rainier map currently hangs} for things like a weekly bible verse, schedules, places to doodle and I’d love to create something like this with molding pieces. Or, rather, I’d love Ryan to create something like this with molding pieces.

And then there is this:

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I pinned this a few days ago with the statement “a painted piano … cool or destructive? I’m thinking cool and I’d like to do it to ours.”.

What do you think? Paint our perfectly fine, but boring piano, or leave it alone?

This is what it looks like:

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I have fallen out of love with the crazy bird collage wall {posted here} and so I’m in need of a new look for the piano nook.

Okay, time to sign off. Audrey is currently sitting on my desk pulling apart everything. Ah, children. They have such boundless energy.

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the state of affairs

Melaine from My Sweet Savannah is coming over with a friend for lunch in a few days.

And this is what my house currently looks like:

messy living room

messy boys room

messy stairs

messy dining

messy kitchen

messy office

Ummm : looks like I have some picking up to do!

This is what happens when A} you’ve been out of town for the past 10 days B} you have four young kids who are quite proficient at scattering toys, clothes and pillows and C} you decide to re-arrange your office instead of cleaning.

Priorities, I tell you. Priorities.

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our backyard

We moved into our current home five years ago. We had just sold our darling, but major fixer-upper {or perhaps tear-down} 1920’s bungalow and were beyond thrilled to have a new home {read: without rodents and a sagging foundation}.  At that time our eyes were so engaged by the large rooms, functional kitchen {with a dishwasher!}, multiple bathrooms and charming neighborhood that we didn’t think too much about the teensy tiny backyard.  And we definitely didn’t pay much attention to the towering houses surrounding us on all sides.   If we could do it again, we would have bought a home situated on the edge of the neighborhood, but those are the things you learn once you move in.

So over the past five years, we’ve done our best to transform our little piece of land into something usable and pretty. Let me share with you our backyard.

backyard before

backyard after

We decided that since the lawn was not big enough to really enjoy, we pulled it all out and created a large patio for entertaining, a fire pit/patio for our table and a place for the kids to play.

trellis

Last summer, Ryan built a trellis {it is our attempt to distract the eye from the ginormous house behind it : you don’t even see it, do you? Wink, wink}.  I love how it turned out {my best friend calls it a totem-pole-trellis} and will really love it when it is covered in flowering clematis vines.

patio

The patio furniture is a new addition awaiting some new pillows.

from the right

The area on the left on the yard is my favorite. The plants have had a chance to grow and the stone path is a look I love. We built in a patio for a fire pit, but currently have our table & chairs there.

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stone walk

patio table

table towards house

On the right side of the yard {which you can see beyond the patio below} is a play set for the kiddos with swings {their fave}.  While it is not a big yard, I do like that the kids have a spot to dig, swing and play pirates.

patio towards playset

It is the work-in-progress part of the yard. We’re not exactly sure what to do in that back section where the wheelbarrow is {a mini garden? shrubs?} and I am hoping to finish the path this summer and plant ground cover to add some green to the mix.

playset

There is always work to be done and I’m sure things will change and grow with each new season, but we are happy with what we’ve created so far. Even if we are surrounded by houses on all sides.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share some close ups of favorite plants in our yard.

Do you have a favorite backyard plant? Please share :

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ahhh … that’s better

A month or so ago I posted photos of our not quite finished living room.

living before

As I was looking at the photos after I posted, I felt like it looked way too cluttered. It doesn’t help that there is a cord hanging down from the tv, but the shelves looked knick-knacky and needed to be re-staged. And, of course, we wanted to rearrange the furniture.

This how it looks now:

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Doesn’t it look much more open and clean? We’d still like to resurface the fireplace {see below} and I need to hang a few of our new family photos on the blank wall on the right.

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We brought in our old church pew {one of my very favorite pieces from my m-i-l} and Ryan bought me a new coffee table {when it was in stock and on sale} that I love.

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I wanted the shelves to be lighter and more neutral this time around, so I turned the books around {appalling to most booklovers} and used some white pieces from the kitchen.

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The basket on the bottom shelf holds toys for the baby

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The left side holds the components for the tv, a basket full of dvds and black leather boxes with more toys and diapers. Not as pretty as the right side, but it does the trick.

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A few of my favorite pillows {made using the ruffle pillow tutorial & gathered flower tutorial}

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lilacs

I’m feeling good with the changes so far.

I tried my best to be like Layla and photoshop the fireplace to see a few different resurfacing options : here is my very rough depiction.

option one: barnwood Continue Reading →

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our bedroom

Why is it that the master bedroom the last to be finished? Experts always say that you should create a bedroom space that is comfortable and private to honor your marriage. But oftentimes the master bedroom consists of a hodge-podge of furniture, a dumping zone for laundry and a very undesirable place to relax.

Here is what our room looked like two years ago:

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It wasn’t horrible, but never came together as I had hoped. The walls looked too fleshy, I stole the gray curtains to use in Audrey’s room and furniture was moved in and out until we just had a random assortment of things that didn’t work.

When Holly came to visit in February, I took full advantage of her decorating brain and she helped us design our new master bedroom.

We don’t spend much awake time in our room, but still really wanted a space that felt peaceful, sophisticated and a little bit sexy where we could, you know, sleep.  So here is what we now have:

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Continue Reading →

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the piano nook

This was our piano nook yesterday morning.

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Nothing terrible about it, but pretty hum-drum.

This is it today:

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Color, texture, pattern – a little crazy, but a fun change.

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I have been waiting for inspiration to strike, and it came unexpectedly when I found this book:

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I bought it a few months ago on clearance because the cover was torn. It has great illustrations and I figured I could use the pages as art.  On a whim, I cut out the pages and started randomly sticking them to the wall above the piano.

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I used glue dots to attach them to the wall . I’m not exactly sure how the wall will hold up when I remove the pages, but sometimes you just have to go with it and deal with the consequences later.

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Adorning the piano is a new frame of our family initial with date we were established. Love how it turned out.  And next to it is a favorite verse.

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I’m not sure how long the birds will live on this wall, but for now, they add some life and color to an otherwise boring space.

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One more thing today : I posted this one year ago, but it seems appropriate to post again today!

You hear stories all the time about terrible mothers-in-law. They are overbearing, protective of their sons, want to tell you how to be a wife or raise a child, how to cook a meal or make a bed.

That is not the case for me.

I have a mother-in-law that I not only love, but I genuinely like.

:: She accepted me the first day we met {with her love of girly things and the fact she had two very un-girly boys, I think she would have loved any girl that walked through the door!}.

:: She adores her grandbabies. She is the kind of grandma who lets the kids dump out the entire lego bin, gives them a full ball of yarn to create spider webs in the living room, and provides them with their own mini shovels to help her dig in the garden.

:: She has given me over half of what I have in my house {pretty much all the cool stuff}.

:: Every time we spend the night, she gets up with the kids. For someone who loves sleep as much as I do and gets as little of it as I do, this is the best gift ever.

:: She dealt with a horrible first marriage and raised her two boys on her own and really doesn’t hold bitterness for a situation that would have ruined the average woman.

:: She gave me my amazing husband.

I love you Grandma Nonna.

You probably love her too because she inspired some of the best projects ever:

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Appropriately called the ‘nonna wreath’

and

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the flower pin.

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our living room

Welcome to our living room {beware : I went a little crazy with the photos}

from stairs 2

You may have noticed that the link to this room on the our house page is inactive. That’s because I’ve never done a post about it.

tall from stairs

While it is the main room in our house and the one we hang out in the most, it is not yet ‘finished’. And so I’ve been waiting and waiting until it is done before taking photos and sharing it with you all. But truth be told, I’m not sure if the room will ever be completely done, so I might as well show you how it looks in its mid-finished state.

from corner

When we first moved in, the walls were all the same relaxed khaki color – which is a nice color, but we wanted a bit of definition. And because the room is one of those with walls that never end, we weren’t sure how to paint just the living room without having to continue the color up the second story, into the hallway and around the corners. Plus we are a teensy bit lazy and painting two stories sounded like way too much work.

from bar

So Ryan installed trim at about ceiling height and we painted the bottom half Slate by Restoration Hardware. He also trimmed out the doorways so that we didn’t have to deal with rounded corners and how to paint a straight line on those terrible things.

from kitchen 2

When I say the room is unfinished, I’m mostly referring to the fireplace.  It is a perfectly fine fireplace {I like the white mantle and love that I just have to turn on a light switch to start a fire} but I’ve never been a fan of niches and we have a large irregular one on that massive chimney.

from sofa

On Christmas Eve this past year we decided Santa should buy us a ginormous tv. What a nice Santa to oblige. So we installed it overtop the cut-out with a plan to cover it somehow, but as you can see, we haven’t covered it yet. Or hid the cord.

chimney

So our thought is to clad the fireplace chimney {is that what it’s called?} with old barnwood, or maybe horizontal siding painted white. We’re not sure. And we’re not very good at making decisions like this, so we’ve left it alone. I need Layla to do one of her fancy presto-chango things for me so that I can visualize what it would look like.  But I’m pretty sure either would be better than the hole-behind-the-tv look.

from stairs

This is the view of the room from the front of the house. Ryan’s great idea is to install a roll up garage door where the windows are which would open to our back yard. I LOVE roll up garage doors and would totally go for it if not for our itsy bitsy backyard that backs up to another house directly behind us. We’ll save that one for our someday house where we have an expansive yard with a pool to look at.

from stairs 3

The hanging thing is from Potterybarn and used to hold hanging star votive holders. I am waiting for inspiration to strike to figure out what to hang next – something sort of Anthropologie-ish, I’m thinking.  I wrapped the wrought iron with jute rope to add texture a few months back and I like the change.

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dresser

When we moved in, there were cabinets on either side of the fireplace that were terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ones. So my dear husband built me some new ones which I love.

left bookshelf right bookshelf

I am not sure how to style these shelves, so we currently have a random assortment of things I like: books, photos, plants, silver things.

bird

candles

books

See that computer tower hidden back there? That is hooked up to the tv so that it can also be used as a big computer screen. My husband is cool like that.

On the shelves live a few baskets to hide the everyday essentials that I prefer to keep out of sight.

dvds

Like dvds, diapers and wipes, toys

toys in bins

and more toys.

toy baskets

As you well know, I am a neutral girl. I try to add some color with throw pillows, most of which I sew myself. There are currently blue and yellow ones on the couch, but just a few weeks ago I had a funky print with some green in it and the month before that I went with simple white. I don’t think I’ll ever live in a house that remains untouched for years and years. I just can’t commit.

sofa

We have splurged on a few basic pieces for the room. A linen sofa has forever been on my wishlist and when we found this one, I was sold. It is Lee Industries {I think} purchased at Crate & Barrel.  For us it was a splurge {but worth every penny} but then when I see that some sofas sell for thousands and thousands of dollars, I don’t feel so bad about ours.

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Our tufted chairs are from #1 Allen upholstered in a durable mohair-like fabric. I’m a bit protective of the furniture in here and I fully realize that it is silly to have a linen sofa and fancy chairs when this is the living room and you have four kids.  Not practical, but oh so pretty!

curtains

The curtains are from IKEA {what a shock}. I recently visited a new friend while in Texas and she had her curtains done with gathers at the top and I fell in love. I came home, sewed on strips of gathering tape {who knew there was such a thing!} and gathered them until I liked their ruffliness.

airplane

When taking photos I noticed a paper airplane that has probably been stuck up there for weeks.

So there it is : our living room.

Curious about sources? Here they are:

paint: Slate by Restoration Hardware

sofa: Crate & Barrel

chairs: #1 Allen

rug and curtains: IKEA

ottoman: a hand-me-down from my mom

pillow with yellow flowers: Dwell Studio for Target

pillows on sofa: made by me. Assorted fabrics I’ve been collecting.

pillows on tufted chair: made by me. Chipper fabric in back, flower tutorial coming soon

Anything else?

oh, the silver lamps. They are great and are from Restoration Hardware.

I’ll keep you update when changes are made to that fireplace. It may be months from now, but it sure will look nice!

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the spot that represents my style

I have a favorite spot in our house.

the spot

While our kitchen, Audrey’s nursery and my office are really wonderful spaces, for some reason this little hallway just makes me happy.

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It lies between our living room and the front parts of the house and is the half wall of the stairway. If we would have purchased our home just a few weeks earlier in the building process, I would have asked for an open rail staircase. But the walls were already framed and dry walled and the builder wanted something like $3000 to tear them out and add a railing – as you can see, we opted to keep the wall as it was.

table

One of the very first things I did to ‘customize’ our house when we moved in was add the book pages to the wall.

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I just tore the pages out of an old book then used my tape gun with double stick tape to adhere them to the wall.  They’ve been up for nearly five years and still look great : other than the spot nearest the edge of the wall where an unnamed baby who lives in our house takes great delight in pulling the paper off the walls.

I like to change out what is on the table – but a tray to hold my keys and other random things is a must. Most often an assortment of hair clips, ponytail holders and stray bobby pins can be found there {do you wear bobby pins? If so, do you find them all over your house? Not sure why I take them out so often and leave them in random places :}. My Stella & Dot flower ring usually lives on the tray too. It is just too pretty to hide away.

tray

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Lately I’ve been in to collecting things with the number six on them {because I have six people in my family}.  I really love anything with a graphic number or letter on it.

art-print

I popped a new art print in an old frame without glass and love the hint of color it adds.

bibles

Other favorite collectables are old books and {particularly} bibles.

old books

bowl

bird house

I posted the space last summer {you can see how it was decorated for the summertime here} and at the end of the post asked this:

Do you have a favorite spot in your home that best represents your design style?

I think it’s a pretty fun question.

This spot is a good representation of things I love – old books, vintage silver, fresh greens, natural baskets, a slightly modern table with feminine and meaningful accessories. I have no idea what to call my style, but it is represented pretty well with this little spot.  I think that is why it is my favorite.

So how about you? Do you have a place in your home that best displays your style? Do share!

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