Sunday, January 31, 2010

Heart Wreath

Our front door needed a little Valentine's love, so I made this heart wreath.

Can you tell what it is made of?

Love that stuff.
I can't take credit for the idea though. I saw it over at Crafterholics Anonymous. For a full tutorial, click here.
After seeing Linda's wreath, I remembered that I had some left over burlap from some Christmas decorations. I grabbed it, scissors, and a wire hanger. I cut the strips of burlap without measuring, and I made the shape of the heart with the hanger without cutting (as Linda instructs). It was super easy, and quick. When finished, I grabbed some red ribbon from my ribbon stash, hot glued it to the back, and slapped it on the front door.

What's on your front door this time of year?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Firing up the Mantle


I am joining the Beth's Mantel Party over at The Stories of A to Z this Friday!
So here is our "mantle" for your viewing pleasure. (Click on any of the pics to enlarge)

You probably noticed that we don't exactly have a mantle on our fireplace, but I've made do with what we have. The shape of the area is rather odd. Rather than an area to accessorize directly over the fireplace, the area is off to the left.

I change up this area every so many months, especially during the holidays. After Christmas I only had the two pictures there and was stumped as to what to do from there. I didn't want anymore candles in the area, but needed some height. So I added the woven vase. I went back and forth as to what to put in the vase, and went with the faux green ferns.

I love the look of lanterns, and since we don't light the fireplace very often now (it costs about $20-$25 just to use it for one evening!). I liked the idea of having big chunky candles to light in the lanterns to have that pretty soft glow in the evening. You can't really tell from the pic, but the lanterns and the candles inside are really big. And I love the candles! They are flameless (a must with little ones around) but are made of beeswax so they look very real. And they are on a timer, so I never have to open the lanterns to turn them on/off! And last but not least, they are vanilla scented.
Then once I had the lanterns in place, I realized the fireplace was very dark, so I added the faux orchids to brighten up the area. And again, since we don't light the fire that often, it's no problem having them right there behind the screen.

Here you can see our window seat area next to the fireplace. The lightening was bright, so you can't see the white wooden blinds there behind the drape. (And if you are like my friend Elise, you'll notice the drapes are a bit short. I blame that one my husband, and will be taking care of that problem as soon as I can.)
Also, you'll notice that we actually painted the fireplace area a totally different color than the walls of the room. We wanted the fireplace to stand out, and I am so happy we chose to do that.

The Breakdown:
Mirror: Found at Sam's club way back when we first bought the house. I can't remember how much it was, but I remember that it was a good deal.

Bronze Leaf Candle Holder: We received this as a Christmas gift a few years ago. It's from Pier 1 and it looks like it is on clearance now!

Woven Vase: I scored it Kohls on sale! It was one of those times where I knew I wanted something for that spot, but had no idea what til I saw the vase.

Faux Ferns: I grabbed a bunch of these this past summer when they were on clearance for like $1 a stem at Peir 1. They are no longer online, but I am pretty sure I saw them in my Pier 1 recently.

Firescreen: We bought the firescreen at Target several years ago, and they no longer seem to have them. But they have one similar now.

Lanterns: These are from Ikea. I had seen one on display earlier in the winter but they were all out. I never got around to ordering them (hate to pay for shipping) so I was super happy when they had them back in stock last time we were there! And at only $15 each they are a definite score.

Candles: We found the amazing flameless candles at the The Old Candle Barn, a great place that I love to go to whenever we are in Amish Country. Unfortunately, I threw out all the packaging and now can't remember the name of the company that makes them. I'll let you know once I track it down.

Orchids: I found the orchids at the Pottery Barn Outlet for $5 a stem. I also got a back of natural river rocks while there for $8 a bag. I already had the pots, which are from Ikea and had originally help real plants which I promptly killed as always. I picked up some floral foam from Michaels and put it all together to get what you see in the pics.

Do you have a fireplace mantle? Is it traditional or an oddity like mine?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tweet Tweet

I love birds . I know that my love for the feathered creatures comes from my dear, sweet Granny who I lost just a few short years ago. She was a bird lover. After she passed, I began to notice birds around me much more and now feel pulled to them in a way I wasn't before. I guess they let me feel close to her even though she is no longer physically nearby.

And lucky for me, birds are now a hot trend in the decorating community. Pottery Barn recently released their spring line, and it is full of, you guessed it, birds! And since I am already tired of winter and am thinking about spring and spring decor, I have a long wish list now. However, I very rarely pay full price for anything at Pottery Barn. I usually shop for comparable items at places like  Home Goods or Target, or I hit up our local Pottery Barn outlet. Unforunately, falling in love with a new line is a curse though because none of this stuff will be at the outlet.

These pillows would be lovely on my living room couch! And they are just the right colors, especially the red and gold one. I like that they would transition the main room of my house to spring and summer, without changing the regular color scheme (which tends to lend itself best to fall and winter).

And how sweet are these little birdie candles?

And there are always plenty of glass jars, vases, etc around my house to fill with lovely things, and these speckled eggs would go nicely with the bird theme for spring. I do know that I see similar eggs all over the place come spring such as Micahels, JoAnn's, etc so I will plan to puchase them there with coupons!

I am also intrigued by the look of old bird cages. I love the new light weight wire bird cages from Pottery Barn. think I may keep my eye out for some. Hopefully I will come across some cheaper ones at Home Goods, Target, JoAnns, or maybe even a thrift store.

Lastly, I must have these bird salad plates. The are breathtaking. I host Easter every year, and every year I wish for special Easter dinnerware. But I've never been able to bring myself to buy plates that are so obviously Easter themed that I can't use them any other time of the year. These, however, would fit right in with my solid cream and green dinnerware that I already have and could be used all spring and summer. I haven't totally given up on finding something similar, so I am still looking. However I have a feeling I'll be treating myself to these soon.

Are you thinking about spring yet? What are some of your favorite items to decorate with that time of year?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mastering the Master Bedroom

My husband and I have been married for 8 years and for over 7 of those years we had a hand-me-down bedroom. It worked and was fine with us. When we moved into our home 7 years ago we decided we wanted to worry about furnishing and decorating the parts of the house that guests saw whenever they came over. And since not too many guests recline on your bed in your bedroom over dinner and drinks, we continuously moved our bedroom to the bottom of the list. But last March we finally put ourselves first and bought our first ever bedroom set. From there we decided to start from scratch, which meant all new paint, bedding, drapes and decor. 

First we bought the furnishings. We shopped around at big chain furniture stores, but ended up buying from a smaller local furniture company. We were very happy working with a family owned business, and got a fantastic deal on great, well made furniture. We got the bed and two nightstands as well as a unique dresser.

After having a very dark bedroom (red and tan) for several years, we wanted to really brighten things up. We painted the walls a very light color of green.

(Note: You can click all pics to enlarge them.)

Can you tell which side of the bed is mine? (And yikes! We need to hide that power cord.)

I love to have fresh flowers around the house. Normally, I like to have white and green flowers in the bedroom, but I had to go with yellow this time. But I kind of like it! Extra pop of color. I also love using old glass carafes as vases. I try to remember a rule that my sister in law taught me (she has an interior decorating background) of arranging items in 3s (Tall, Medium and Short) and in a  triangle formation. A great trick to acheive height when you need it is to use hardback books. Just take the cover off and you have a very classic look. Personal photos (ours are from our wedding) are always great, especially in a personal space like the bedroom. But remember that you can frame other things as well. In the small frame next to the flowers is our table card from some close friends' wedding.

The wall where the dresser is looked sort of empty, so we added sconces to either side. And I put all of our perfume and cologne on a tray...easy access and a pretty display.

The Breakdown:
Furniture: Hooker from Moore's

Bedding: Pottery Barn Outlet

Lamps: Pottery Barn Outlet

Drapes: Bed Bath & and Beyond (With a 20% off coupon! Remember, they never expire)

Sconces: Kohls (During a buy one get one free on lighting, so we also got a great item for our new master bathroom.)

Prints: Ikea (These have been with us through 2 apartments and now our home.) 

Tray for perfume: Micahels (With a 40% off coupon. Available each week in the Sunday paper or you can always fine one online to print out. Never ever go into Micahels, AC Moore or JoAnn's without a coupon...and they all accept each other's coupons.)

Flowers:We get our flowers from the Acme Grocery or Produce Junction, a local produce place. Cheap! The flowers in the pics here cost a total of $8 for 2 bunches, which made a total of 2 large and 2 small bouquets.

We still have a few things to do to the room. (Did you notice the doors to the closet and bathroom? Yep, white trim and beige doors. We'll get to it eventually!) And I still feel like we need a few things here and there to make it a bit more cozy. But all in all, I love our bedroom now and love ending each day reading in my cozy get away!

So, tell me, what is your master bedroom like? Just a place to sleep or a relaxing escape?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pantry Door

Thank you so much to all of y'all who have stopped by, and especially to those of you who have left comments. I truly appreciate your support in this new endeavor!

It sounds as though everyone is interested in hearing about our master bedroom so I will plan to photograph that this evening. (Hopefully there aren't too many toys, books, water bottles, etc scattered about the room!) About a year ago my husband and I began to weigh our options and started looking into selling our townhome and purchasing a single family home. Long story short, it didn't work out. Instead, we decided to put more work into our home and to truly make it a place that we love. And the bedroom is the first room we tackled! So it is fitting for it to be the first room I present here on my blog. I will post all of the pics along with a break down of where we purchased all of the items.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share one of my favorite decor spots from the past few months--the pantry door in the kitchen.

The breakdown:
I purchased it at the post-Thanksgiving sale at Target for around $5. It is very neutral with creams, greens and browns. I hung it with a wide satin ribbon from my ribbon stash.
We gave the door a fresh coat of white paint and changed out the doorknob from an outdated, badly scratched brass knob to an oil rubbed bronze knob that we purchased at Home Depot. If I remember correctly, the new hardware ran around $25-$30.
The decal says "KITCHEN the heart of the home". I ordered it from Wonderfully Wordy. Shelley is super sweet and very easy to work with. I believe the decal was $15 and it was very easy to apply to the door.

So there you have it! An easy do-over on what was otherwise an overlooked door in our home.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hi Y'all!

I have spent months now pouring over other people's home decor blogs. I have been inspired and have spent the past year decorating and redecorating our home. But I still have so much to do! I am ready to join the home decor blogging world where I can share my own ideas and inspirations. So to get me started, let me know what you'd like to see me post about first:
Our Master Bedroom
Our Fireplace Mantle
Our Mudroom
Whichever gets the most votes wins! Just leave a comment and let me know what you want to see first.
And thanks for stopping by!