Tag Archives | Decorating

Thoughts Lately

Hey guys, its been a while.  I’ve had some posts brewing in my mind lately but how to push past the months long hiatus without some kind of explanation?  I was a bit burned-out.  Feeling dry.    I realized I had let some things slide in my own household while I worked on other homes.  I grew discontent with my own home while I perused Pinterest in search of what would make certain rooms just “perfect.”  I over stuffed our closets and drawers, looked with angry eyes at our comfy old couch, and just plain forgot about my love of lighting candles and playing music in the house.  Its like I just forgot about the whole beauty and purpose thing.  It was weird and it wasn’t me.

The truth is I took a break this summer from most things “work” related.  I took on a few projects that were simple and enjoyable to me, like a precious miracle-baby’s gallery wall here…

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And I took on a few projects around our house that I had neglected that I do want to show you.  I pondered ideas about minimalism and how we stuff our lives with stuff that we don’t truly care about in order to fill some kind of hole within us and that this practice actually has a much wider negative impact than we ever imagined (here’s a simple explanation of the idea behind minimalism that I love from a blogger I love as well).

But in the meantime I rediscovered what got me started in this whole thing in the first place- my love of beauty and my love of home.  One of the things that really helped in my thought process was this article by Emily from Jones Design Company.  She had just returned from a months long road trip around the country, and after living in an airstream trailer with her family of five she was wondering how she’d feel about returning to all of their stuff.  Would she despise it and long for the simpler life on the road?  Would she give it all away?  Would stuff even matter anymore or would absolute minimalism be the way for her? Here are my favorite quotes from the article:

Our homes are here to serve us. They are meant to be a place of comfort, protection and joy. They are where we do life, where we invite others in, where we gather and grow. They are the backdrop of our lives and important ones at that.

The idea of minimalism has its benefits; there is much to be appreciated and adopted about a life free from excess…

But there is also nothing wrong with surrounding ourselves with the things we love and intentionally filling our homes with beauty…

The goal of our homes is to be comfortable, safe places where we want to spend time and invite others in. Is my house serving me in this way? Is yours?

That’s the important question.

Are our homes doing their job?

I know that everyone is different and after a life changing trip like that, many people will come to different conclusions.  But as a fellow lover of home as well as beautiful things (yes, things), I started looking around my home and wondering how I’d feel after a trip like that.  Would this place feel like home to me?  What were the things driving me crazy here and did I have control over them?  Just a few examples:  my crazy over-stuffed disorganized closets & drawers; my master bedroom that had become a holding place for junk; my living room rug that needed to be replaced; my eleven year old couch that’s a little frumpy and bursting at the seams, but seems to be like that comfy old pair of jeans.  What were the things I could accept and make better not by replacing but by changing my attitude about?  What would make sense to actually replace? What could I roll up my sleeves and do something about without necessarily spending money on but just putting in some old fashioned elbow grease?  What needed to be purged and how could I think even more intentionally about what I bring into our home?

I know I’ve talked about this before and maybe I talk about this a lot.  I guess its just something God is continuing to teach me: contentment is the theme here.  The last thing I need more and more of is stuff.  What I do need more and more of is gratitude, contentment, love, and joy.  These are what make home feel like home.

Thanks so much for reading.  I hope to be back here more and sooner this time. 🙂

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Getting the Bones Right

So today I’m sharing one of those projects I mentioned last week!

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This project has been so much fun but also one I’ve had to remind myself and my clients that is a marathon, not a sprint.  That’s because we’ve been changing the bones of this house.  Bone changing transformations don’t happen overnight (unless you’re on an HGTV show and then it only seems to take an hour!).  They actually take a lot of time, make a big mess, and require a lot of decisions to be made.

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We are still working on the actual decorating phase at this point, but we had to take our time getting the bones just right- things like flooring, wall color, counters, hardware, fireplace stone, bannisters, lighting, etc.  Everything before was super dark and formal- black counters & cabinets, dark iron scroll work on the bannisters and light fixtures.  They wanted a more casual, light and bright look.  My client loves vintage and unique finds (like this beautiful old door on the fireplace!) but it just didn’t work with the old bones.

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Now with the bones of the house just right, the actual decor and styling of the house will be easier, and in fact less will be needed because the house itself can stand so well on its own.

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Hope you’re having a great week! I’m looking forward to sharing more of this project as it unfolds.

xoxo ~Bethany

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Big Boy Room Planning

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As my youngest approaches three, I’ve been looking for inspiration for his room and what to do next.  We went straight from the crib to a twin bed for my oldest son and a queen bed in my daughter’s case– it was our old bed and is used as the guest bed when we have visitors.  But I just can’t decide what to do with Will.  I think because he’s my baby and I’m somewhat in denial.  Also, he’s still just happily sleeping in the crib and has never tried to climb out.

I don’t want to change much in his room, so I’d like to keep the colors and simplicity of it all and just add in a bed and new bedding.

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You can see the rest of his current room here.

Here are a few images I’ve been looking at for inspiration.

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I love all the fun textiles on this built in bed from designer Caitlin Wilson‘s son’s room.

Whaling City Cottage

And how fun is this bright room from Whaling City Cottage?  I love how the bed and bedding is pretty simple.  The walls and the artwork do all the talking here.

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I’m pretty sure this space by designer Nam Dang Mitchell inspired Will’s nursery somewhat for me.  I’ve had this image pinned for a long time.  I love all the colors, pattern, and the richness of that vintage rug.  But yet there’s something about it that feels a little too grown up to me.

When designing a nursery for my babies, it kind of gets to be about me and what I like; then the big kid room is more about the kid.  When you’re creating a nursery, you don’t yet know the personality of your baby.  They don’t have many toys and the ones they have can fit cutely into little coordinating baskets, etc.  As they grow, they start acquiring bigger toys, their own interests, trophies, giant lego creations, posters, etc.  I want to give them a space that feels like it belongs to them that they can add to and create in.  Its got to have enough space to handle the color of their toys, art, books- everything that comes with being a kid.  So no three-four color “schemes.”

I think that idea is what draws me so much to this space, found on HGTV.

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I love how there’s so much color and pattern going on but its not overwhelming.  Its definitely not matcy-matchy, but it works. The toys and artwork feel right at home, as they should.

So those are my thoughts on big boy room planning on this rainy Monday morning!  Changes probably won’t be happening until this summer, but at least I’ve got some ideas flowing.  We are also looking into doing a toddler bed for a while and just delaying a bigger change, so that might be a possibility too.  I’ve never done that before, but like I said, this one’s my baby so things are a little different, haha!  How about you?  How did you change around your kids’ room when getting rid of the crib?

Oh, and all of these rooms I found and pinned on Pinterest.  If you want to check out more of what I’m pinning- follow me here!  Happy Monday!

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Three Things on a Thursday

Hey there!  I’ve been away for a while, but today I’m back with three things, perhaps random, but its what we’ve been up to lately…

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I was just on a quick trip with my husband, Paul to the midwest.  We were there for my cousin’s wedding, but since our 12th anniversary was a few weeks ago and my 33rd birthday was just last week we decided to make a little extra celebration out of it and stayed in Chicago a little longer just the two of us.

Cloud Gate

 

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Our favorite thing about traveling together is food.  While we are eating a meal we are literally planning where we will eat our next meal.  And Chicago has got some great eats.  The weather was not the greatest, but we definitely got to experience why its called “the windy city.”  Check out Paul’s Instagram for more pictures.

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Amazing cinnamon rolls at an adorable Swedish breakfast spot

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Stunning sunset views from the Hancock building

Next up, we’ve been having fun taking some new pictures for HandUp Global Goods.

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This company has a special place in our hearts and I’d love for you to take some time and read about them and maybe even find a bracelet or two when you get a chance.  I’ve blogged about our photos for them before here. Creating these photos has been such a fun way for us to combine my love of design and fashion along with Paul’s skill and creativity behind the camera.

I bought some grocery store flowers and a few props and had no idea where things would end up.  We knew we wanted springy, fun, and colorful but just went from there.

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Our old white Corian countertops have come in quite handy as a backdrop.

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You can see a few more of the pictures on HUGG’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

Lastly, have you seen the new line for kids’ bedrooms at Target?  Maybe I’m late to the party here but its called Pillowfort and is so adorable.

Pillowfort

They’ve got bedding, rugs, wall decor, adorable pillows, lamps, etc. I’m researching big boy beds and bedding for my littlest (*sniff *sniff*) and am loving some of these combinations.  Anyone gotten anything from this line yet?  What are your thoughts?

I hope you’re doing well, I’ve missed you all!

xoxo

Bethany

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Spring Living Room Tour and a Paradox

I realize that I’m a decorator/stylist blogging here, and I haven’t shown you pictures of my house lately.  The thing is, it doesn’t change that often.  Maybe this is kind of a paradox in the decor blog world, but truthfully, I have some minimist tendencies and once I get a room “right” for me, I like to leave it alone.Spring Living Room_2

If you know me in real life and you’ve seen any of my closets or my garage you’re laughing at the thought of me being a minimalist, aren’t you?

But, I don’t really shop much for my home.  I mean, I did when I was first decorating each room.  But now, I like to use what I have and I don’t like bringing in anything that isn’t going to add a lot of purpose.

After coming out of a little season of some major discontent, I pulled open the shades a little higher, fluffed the pillows a little more, and started seeing things (literally and figuratively) in a whole new light.  Fluffing smushed couch cushions, bringing in some fresh greenery, and clearing out clutter can really make a world of difference in how I feel about my home.

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I have a small assortment of pillows and covers that I change out somewhat seasonally, but really its more just about what sort of colors are “speaking” to me at the moment.  Right now, I’ve been wanting subtle neutrals, not a lot of brightness.

I changed out the coffee table books and added in a small succulent that was a gift from a sweet friend.  I’ve had it for a few months and have not killed it, so I’m calling that a success!

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The top two little books on the coffee table are ChatBooks made from getaways Paul and I took together- one in New York City, the other in San Francisco.  I used to keep them on the shelf, but they’re so pretty and I love having them down where we can look through them now.

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I’m still really enjoying the ottoman and side table here for early morning moments of quiet.  Of course, we use it all throughout the day, but it is totally my happy spot.

I haven’t changed or rearranged the bookshelves one bit with the exception of adding or changing out books as they are read or loaned.  These shelves are as functional as they are decorative for us and I love the practicality of them.

Spring Living Room

New around here? Check out my shelf styling tips here.

If I’m being truthful with you here, what I’ve really been wanting is a new couch.  It just isn’t in the budget right now though so instead of buying a bunch of smaller and less expensive things to fill that void, I’m making peace with waiting.  I’m working to get the “bones” of my house right and I don’t want to fill it up with things I don’t need.

Less really can be more.

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Springtime: Bringing the Outdoors In

Hey there!  I took a week off for spring break and we headed to Disney World with my parents!

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Paul and I also celebrated our 12th anniversary this past weekend.  We are getting back to normal life today and it was funny, as we drove home from Florida (yes, we drove!!), we realized Spring had come while we were gone.  The grass was greener, the trees were budding… all those little things you sometimes don’t notice happening right in front of you but when you’re gone for a week and come home to bright green, its pretty fun.

I really don’t do anything different in my house for springtime- I don’t have any Easter decor or anything like that.  But I do get an itch to pull the shades up a little higher, let the doors swing open and see the outdoors.  After a week of being gone and the doors being locked up tight the house felt kind of stale.  We had barely unpacked and I was grabbing the garden shears to pluck a few branches from the backyard for my vase on the mantle.

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Its such a simple thing and it didn’t cost me anything.  But now I feel like its springtime inside my house, too.

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I’m no florist and I know these aren’t arranged perfectly, but its just a nice shot of leafy green in the living room.  So simple and easy.  I’m terrible with things that need to be watered, nurtured, and that kind of thing, but something that can be cut off and stuck in a vase?  Perfect!

Springtime clippings

This is an old picture from a clipping I got from a huge weed in my backyard.  It made for some beautiful greenery!!

 I’ve discovered its kind of a stylist trick.   Check out some of your favorite rooms on Pinterest or blogs and I’ll bet they have some leafy goodness happening in them as well.

Turner Davis Interiors

Source: Turner Davis Interiors

What would this room be without that giant tree branch stuck in that vase?

House Seven

Source: House Seven

Breakfast Room

This is my breakfast room– I snipped that branch from our front bushes just that morning and stuck them in a bud vase.

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Source: Lauren Liess

 

Hello, adorable little frond in a milk jar!

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And here’s one more… this branch was taken off a tree just for our photo shoot of the Montgomery House.  Leaves and branches just bring in so much texture, color, and a freshness from the outdoors!  Flowers of course are nice, but can be pricey if you want to have them all the time.  I like to splurge occasionally, but what could be better than free beautiful greenery?

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Decorating UNschool: My Favorite Recipe for Windows

This post is part of my Decorating UNschool series… if you’re new here, you can find the introduction here and the other posts here.  Thanks for stopping by!

Nothing makes a room feel more finished than some beautiful curtains.  They are the icing on the cake and the jewels in the crown.  Often when I visit someone’s home for a consultation, I feel as though all they need are some beautiful long curtains for their windows and the room would have such a finished and put together feeling.

I know it can feel overwhelming, because there are so many options out there.  How and where do you get these beautiful and elusive curtains?  How do you hang them?  Aren’t they expensive?  How do you choose what color or pattern that will go with what you already have?

If you find yourself overwhelmed with those kinds of questions and decisions, I’m here to make it really simple for you:  Long white curtains hung high and wide on a black rod.  I’ve found this to be a pretty widely used and no-fail solution.  I’m not saying its the only solution, but I’m saying if you’re feeling paralyzed by the massive number of choices out there and you’re just not sure how to proceed, here’s a way that will look great pretty much every time.

Living Room // The House of Figs

Ikea Ritva curtains in my living room

The Ikea Ritva curtains are my absolute favorites.  They have a linen-like texture, are not super bright white (so they even look great on white walls) they hang so nicely, are a great price, and come in two lengths: 98″ and 118″.  Super long compared to your standard 88″!  The longer they are, the higher you can hang them.

Spa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Two sets of Ikea Ritvas give fullness on each side of this master bedroom window seat.

The curtains should at least hit the floor and its okay if they puddle a few inches on the floor, but they should not be above the floor (unless you’re going for a specific look that is several feet above the floor, for example in a kitchen window). Do you remember that phase in the late 90s and early 2000s when if you wore your jeans too short it wasn’t hipster or ironic it was just plain dorky?  That’s how your curtains still feel if the wall is showing.  You don’t want to have highwaters on your windows, okay?

Sometimes when there are multiple narrow windows in a row, I like to treat them as one big window.  For example, in this living room below, it would have felt fussy to have too many curtains in between each narrow window behind the couch.  The homeowners hung one long rod all the way across three narrow windows and hung one panel on each side (sorry the pic doesn’t show them all).

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Long Ikea curtains hung high and wide in this living room.

For this wall of windows, where the wall itself is sort of a focal point of the room, we put panels in between each window.  I also adore the texture that natural fiber shades bring in.  The bamboo shades in my house are from Lowes (kitchen and kids rooms)  and Select Blinds (living room). In this client’s home, the windows had beautiful moldings, so we hung the bamboo shades on an inside mount.

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These are the Ikea Lenda curtains with tab tops in this master bedroom.

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source: The Nester

Fixer Upper Curtains

Even Joanna Gaines knows the secret of beautiful white curtains.

And now, how to hang them?  This drawing perfectly illustrates where your curtain rod should go.

Both windows are the exact same size, but window 2 has a much longer rod that is hung higher and wider.  My preference is all the way to the ceiling (or just under crown molding) if possible!  As you can see the window panels are not covering hardly any of the window at all in the picture on the right- allowing more light and the appearance of a bigger window.  This gives the whole room a larger and more designed feeling.

Curtains hung like this also take up more wall space, so there is less of a desire to hang “littles” in between windows or near windows because you have the big beautiful curtains.  When you focus on the main important pieces of the room: “the bigs,” you find you don’t need as many “littles” to compensate or fill in for what’s lacking.  When you have great lighting, a great rug, curtains that are hung well, a furniture layout that works well for your family, it really is true that “less is more.”

So what do you think?  Do you have curtains in your home?  Have you ever bought Ikea curtains?  I do love beautiful patterned curtains as well, but white or cream curtains are definitely my favorite!  How about you?

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