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Archive | our house

steppin’ up

When you live in a house with little ones, sometimes practical things {like step stools in the bathroom} are essential.

I was growing tired of seeing our perfectly-functional-but-equally-ugly plastic stool in the guest bath and so I was excited to find this wood version at IKEA. It actually is quite attractive in its bare form, but also pretty painted.

One afternoon, my No. 3 and I set to work painting the stool.

I’m not always excited about doing painting projects with my kids, but this actually taught me that 1. they are capable and 2. it can be fun.

After a coat of primer, we rolled on our paint. I used Sherwin Williams Rushing River, which is also the color used in Audrey’s nursery on her bed and shelves. One of my faves.

Two coats of paint and a few days to fully dry, and it now sits in our guest bath.

The perfect little perch for this cutie-pie.

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pleasantly surprised {a new dining room display shelf}

Sometimes you buy furniture from inexpensive sources and you end up with a flimsy particle board table that never quite stands level.

Other times, you order a bookshelf and hope that it will turn out to be more like the online photos than what past experience tells you it will be.

Hip Hip Hooray … this one is just like the photos online, or maybe even better.

Our new Emerson Shelf {purchased from World Market} is real wood and real metal. Surprise! It’s substantial and industrial and was such a great price for what it offers in style and utility.

It now lives in this awkward little cutout in our dining room.  Changing displays is one of my favorites so I look forward to switching things up ever so often.

Glittery pumpkins {from Target}, white serving platters, a little bit of faux greener and my favorite bookpage decoupaged pumpkin take center stage.

Linens are stored in the vintage locker baskets.

If you are looking for a large shelf for a fairly inexpensive price, this handsome shelf may be the one.

{don’t forget to sign up for World Market’s mailing list to get a 10% off coupon!}

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displaying books in the playroom

One year in college my best friend {and roommate} made fun of me because I brought with me a few of my favorite children’s picture books.  Not only did I travel with them from Seattle to LA, but I proudly displayed them on our coffee table.  And I’m not talking about sentimental books that I had as a child. Oh, no. These were ones I had purchased myself, probably that summer, just because I loved them so.  I don’t know … there has always just been something charming and wonderful about illustrated children’s stories. I remain unashamed.

Now, a few years later, I have an appropriate excuse to collect children’s books and believe me, our house is full of them. So rather than tuck them away spine-side-out on a bookshelf, we proudly display them on the wall.

We just moved pretty much every room in the house around, so what you’re seeing here is a sneak peek of the new playroom {recognize those stripes? This used to be the boy’s bunk room}. I’ll share the rest of the room soon, but wanted to show you a super simple way to display books.  Perhaps you’ve seen this elsewhere – this is not necessarily a new idea, but it’s a good one.

These picture ledges are from IKEA and are made to display art, but they work just as well holding books. They are narrow and just right for layering – you can really pack a bunch onto each shelf.

One of the best things about it is that kids can see the covers when choosing a bedtime story and they can easily put them back. Big bonus.

Favorite picture books hang out on the shelves, while paperbacks, bibles & devotionals, star wars books and Dr. Seuss go in baskets below. Surprisingly, they actually do stay categorized like that.

Functionality is great, but my favorite part is seeing all of those darling illustrations.

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a problem spot

I have a problem.

It is not particularly big or of great importance, but it has bothered me for, oh, six years now.

Here it is:

What were our builders thinking putting all of these switches, thermostats, outlets on one wall with such random placement?

From the front door, this is what you see going into the living room. Not really enough space to put a piece of furniture on the wall.

And from the living room looking toward the dining/entry. The wall sits at the foot of the stairs.

What in the world do you do with a wall like this?  I’d love any suggestions!

And while we’re at it, please share any problem spots that you have in your own home. Maybe we can brainstorm together to find a simple solution.

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new curtains for the entry

Like many new construction homes, our front entry has a nice tall door and sidelight windows on either side. These are great for letting in natural light during the day, but not so great for privacy in the evenings.

It was Ryan’s idea to hang curtains – brilliant!

We originally hung white IKEA panels, but I decided to play musical curtains and move pretty much all of the window coverings from one room in our house to another.  With all the moving around, our front door was left bare.

And then I remembered this gorgeous fabric I had ordered months ago:

It’s called Westminster in Aqua from Calico Corners {and happens to be on sale right now!}

Because the fabric was fancier than I usually go for with long drapery panels {I’m an IKEA girl} I really wanted them to be sewn correctly – and lined. So I followed these instructions and surprisingly, they turned out beautifully.

Curtain tiebacks are not usually my favorites, but they work great in this instance – keeps the curtains out of the way when pulled back during the day.

Here’s how they look when pulled.

They add a nice dose of pattern and color to an otherwise neutral area in our home.

Want to see more of our house? Click below for the tour.

And for the winners of the art print giveaway:

Each will receive one of every art print in the shop!

Thanks again for all of you who purchased a print this weekend. Your support for my artwork and business is encouraging, humbling and a great blessing.

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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.

path

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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