The big day is finally here! I get to reveal the space that has me so inspired and I cannot wait to share with you my thoughts and processes to how it ended up the way it did. I’d like to take a quick moment to thank hayneedle.com for working with me through the whole process, suggesting pieces that went with my inspiration images, and helping to find a desk that was just the right size. What I had initially wanted they gently veered me in another direction and I’m so thankful they did. Before we get started, let’s take a peek at what the office looked like before. There is a similar concept going on, but the desk is smaller, coming out of a different wall, and the adjacent walls didn’t have much going for them in terms of storage or workspace.
My biggest issue overall with the was the space used to be, was that I didn’t have enough room to spread out, get messy, and create. We had a fine table for business, but soon after this photo, I got a large monitor and started docking my laptop which took up more space, plus, that little end of the table wasn’t going to work well for photoshoots, messy projects, or creating prototypes for my shop designs. I had my sewing machine, surging machine, and cricut all in a closet and rarely used them because they were a pain to drag out. Then when I did drag them out, I had to drag them downstairs to the dining room where I had more space (and outlets).
Today, it’s a totally different story, and I am so so happy you’re here to hear it.
Happy Monday, Friends! How was your weekend? Mine unfolded somewhat like a novel of epic proportions. It started out innocent enough. On Friday morning I took Matty to the airport to catch his flight to Jackson Hole on his annual guys ski trip. It was an early flight, but that was fine, because it just meant that I got to hit the ground running on my weekend DIY projects a bit early.
After leaving the airport I took my graph paper, pencils, and calculator to Starbucks to get down to business on my weekend project – applying paneling to our office ceiling. I hate hate hate the star-shape textured ceilings we have and have always wanted to do something about it. The goal was simple enough… I would apply molding to the walls just 1/2 inch from the ceiling, then wedge paneling into the gap, staple to the ceiling, and voila, new ceiling. I also anticipated the ease at which I would complete this project, alone.
This post should be more appropriately named “while the cat’s away, the mice will play”. Do you know that most of my big design changes in the house go down in late January? That is mostly because Matt is out on his yearly ski trip with the guys and some of my more radical ideas can take place without judgement. Matt doesn’t really care to much about what we do from a design perspective, but his logical side sometimes derails my desire to make a quick change. This weekend, I’ve got a BIG change in the plans to create a more efficient home studio space.
I’m always a little sad the day that I take down my Christmas decorations and this year was no different. The tree, garlands, and wreaths had been deconstructed and our tree had been planted (we buy a bulb tree with the roots in tact so that we can add it into our one day wooded land). When I was finished putting it all away, it felt stark and without personality.
I remember thinking about when we lived in Vail, Colorado and the cozy feeling of Christmas would stay with us throughout the winter. Snow stuck around until May and with it stayed the twinkling lights and lush greenery. I got to thinking about winter decorations vs Christmas decorations. What is it that keeps us feeling cozy and wintry and keeps spirits bright and warm throughout the coldest months of January and February?
A quick scan of Pinterest showcased some of my favorite winter looks. Lots of white, twinkling candlelight, natural branches, antlers, and sheepskins. In my house I began pulling out the sheepskins and draping them on furniture. I put lights under a cloche instead of on a tree. I removed the tartan ribbon from by boxwood wreath only to replace it with an oat colored one. A feeling began to come together that was decisively non-hoiday, but was still warm and sung. I honestly don’t even think that having a couple of small evergreens flanking the door would be off base.
There was something about living it the mountains that made all that woodsy decor totally ok during the non-holiday months. I miss that mountain feeling and throughout this week will still make some changes to implement it in my house.
I told you in a previous post about my love for boozy hot chocolate that one day I would tell the story of Matt and My adventure moving to the great west. Today seems like a perfect opportunity because each year the post-holiday time period has me totally missing the mountain life.
With Christmas in just two days, it’s the calm before the storm in my house. Gifts are wrapped, the decorations are all up, fresh flowers are in vases, and the bar and table are set. I’m probably at the grocery store as we speak preparing for the games and dinner we will have at our house tonight with our closest friends.
You guys have seen some of these photos before, but most are new. I wanted to give you a peek at the big picture and how my personal take on the Colonial Christmas theme this year has played out throughout the house.
Before we get on with it however, I’ll let you know a few things about my decor strategy. When I litter my house with holiday cheer, I’m usually not so cheerful when it comes to clearing it out. For this reason, I’ve picked just a few places where I really focus when decorating. And, don’t get me wrong, I do not skimp on these areas, but it’s much easier to clear out when its all concentrated in groupings.
This year, I went all out on the living room (obviously), the entryway (because I love decorating the stairway), the dining room for the clear tie-in with entertaining, and a little sprinkle in my bedroom. That’s all! Aside from a holiday floral arrangement and tubs of cookies, there is no evidence of Christmas in my kitchen. I didn’t decorate my guest room, office, or bathroom. Now, I’ll probably break down and put some floral arrangements and maybe a cute guest towel in my bathroom tomorrow, but I won’t photo it because it’s the worst room in the house and the lovely shell-shaped sink just doesn’t scream ‘holiday spirit’. Still without those rooms, it’s a fairly long post with lots of photos, so buckle up!
I love a good holiday scent – specifically anything Christmas Tree related – spruce, fir, whathaveyou. I find, however, that with the bajillion of candles that I have in this house, there is just no need to add more. So I’ve developed a little trick to turn the plain votives that I use so much into scented candles.
Years ago, I bought a Balsam & Cedar home fragrance oil for about $5, but realized that burning it straight was a little overwhelming, so that is when I developed this little trick. I simply add the oil to drugstore epsom salt and surround a plain glass votive with the salt. Then, when the plain candle burns, it warms the salt, giving off a much more subtle scent than just the straight oil in an oil burner.
Not only do you use less oil, but then you don’t have to buy a burner! I’ve told you guys how many of my DIYs stem from being super cheap! See the step by step photo directions below.
Guys! I haven't done a video in so long! I have been wanting to do so many, and each time I'm shooting a DIY,
When it comes to decorating for the holidays, I always try to incorporate the color palette that I'm using on my tree and trimmings into
Welcome to the second stop in our holiday home. On Monday, we showcased our porch, complete with some primitive, rustic touches that were inspired by a recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg and the theme continues as you enter the house. The entryway is really the most decorated place in our home (besides the tree) because it’s visible from the kitchen, the bar, the living room, and the stairs.
The open white bannister offers the perfect place to really go wild and that’s exactly what I did.
I begun the entire transformation with loads of greenery. This was important because our stairwell doesn’t have an electricity source, so usually my garlands aren’t lit, but this year they are! The Martha Stewart LED garland (available at the Home Depot) is battery operated! I really lucked out finding it. It’s a bit pricey, but if you (like me) had been wanting to light up a certain spot in you house, you’re gonna love it!
Deep, generous swags on the garlands makes the whole stairway look lush and plentiful. Magnolia leaves, dried whole oranges, faux apples, and real pomegranates punctuate the peaks of the greenery. A cinnamon and dried orange garland swags between the greens and adds a wonderful smell!
A few changes to my regular gallery wall – adding in winter photos and draping a sheepskin over my usually polka dotted chair add a touch of coziness.
The monogram wreath was one of my favorite (and easiest!) projects I did in the entryway. The full tutorial will be up next week! Keep reading for tons (literally, there are 16) more photos that show all of the detail and feelings I was trying to evoke in this room.
Happy December! I’m so excited to finally be sharing the start of our holiday decorating. Last month, I revealed the Colonial style theme that was inspiring my decor this year due to a recent trip to Williamsburg. I was intrigued by the dried fruits, natural berries, and loads of greenery used to decorate the historical town. I shared an interview with Liza, a wonderfully knowledgable woman who inspired my decor decision.
It was really important to me to make damn sure that although I’d be channeling a throwback, historical style, my decor would have no similarities to that ‘country’ style you see at Christmas craft shows. In order to keep the historical visions from getting too country, I made sure to keep the decorations as natural as humanly possible and interjected touches of classic Christmas style. To get this all done, it made perfect sense for me to partner with the one person I feel exudes country style in a very upscale way – Martha Stewart. I worked with her team to find just the right garlands and greens that matched up with my colonial theme.
I started with a foundation of lots of lush greenery using Martha Stewart Alaskan Spruce greenery (available at The Home Depot) because it looks the most ‘real’ with a lighter green/gray color. It already had the pinecones included, so that was one less thing that made the list of embellishments needed. I’ve spoke about this before, but it’s really important to me not to start from scratch each year and to utilize what I have at home to get the perfect look. Starting out with good greenery means that I can change up my embellishments year after year without spending a ton of money every Decemeber. Getting just the right balance of natural and festive decor for my greens was easy with a few key elements. Keep reading for all of the steps, sources, and tons more photos! Also, we have a HUGE announcement as well at the way at the bottom of the post!
For whatever reason, I always decorate the front of my house, but never the back door. The reason this is odd to me is that the back door is the one people use. I know the only person who steps foot on my front porch is the UPS guy. Even the FedEx guy knows to come to the back!
With holiday guests coming into town this week, I wanted to jazz up the back just a bit to make it feel welcoming and autumnal, but I didn’t have much time to work with. I wanted to start with my old lanterns which were galvanized (silver), so against a grey house, they just disappeared. I’d been eyeing some beautiful copper lanterns from Terrain and thought that I could stave off the inner desire to spend over $300 on new lanterns by painting my old ones.
Although I realize that they don’t quite look identical, I did manage to save some money and get an almost instantaneous change by just using some ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape and hammered copper spray paint. A few flowers and some colorful leaves that I stole from the neighbors yard, and we were visitor ready. See the ugly ‘before’ and then what a difference 30 minutes made next!
It’s that time! I know we still haven’t had Thanksgiving and I’m usually very very strict about posting Christmas ideas until after Turkey day, but I just can’t resist this year. Partially because I’m so excited about my theme and partially because I may have already decorated some (guilty!) and am just too excited to wait.
You all know that I have a somewhat historic home. It’s historic in the sense that it was built forever ago, but with all of the generations of updates and upgrades, it can hardly be considered in historic shape. I’ve always had a bit of a struggle to decorate the nineteenth century home in a way that doesn’t feel, well, old. For this reason, I’ve always stuck with a neutral and sparkly decor palette. There is something about the neutral palette at Christmas, however, that can seem underwhelming. When ‘Good King Wenceslas’ or ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ wafts over the speakers, I wish my home was decked with everything decedent and richly colored with bountiful cakes and sugared fruits adorning my table and mulled wine drunk from pewter. Isn’t it funny how just a song can put you in a certain frame of mind?
So, this year, I’ve decided to succumb to the deep rooted desire of my home to be dressed in old world holiday cheer. And where else would I look for inspiration that to Colonial Williamsburg. You know how I absolutely loved my trip there this fall and I was so intrigued by their holiday traditions, that I wanted to use the colonial decor as my framework.
I had a general idea for how I wanted to take the decorations, but I wanted more information on the how and why behind style, so I reached out to Liza Gusler, the licensing manger for Colonial Williamsburg’s product line, who was so welcoming and informative during our trip in October. I am using her guidance and advice as the basis for our decor, and I was shocked by some of her insights! We asked her some of the burning questions we had about the history of the holiday in Colonial times and loved hearing her insights! It’s a long-ish interview, but it will definitely frame how we decorate and give a little insight into some of our current traditions!
Before we all get carried away, please know that (so far) the store front is just a mere idea. I first told you all