Brainstorming: Master Bedroom

This is probably super optimistic since we now have a demanding baby in our household, but our next project room is going to be the master bedroom.  This room is way overdue for some TLC since we’ve done nothing to it since we moved it.  Heck, Matt just fixed the closet door so it actually stays closed!

There are a couple reasons I chose to tackle the bedroom next.  Part if it is because we now have a kiddo (whose toys will gradually start taking over the house) it will be nice to have an adult retreat space.  I’ve also been spending more time in this room lately and it’s really hit me just how blah the space is.

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Yaaaaawn. Also, please pardon the mess.  I didn’t even get a nap in today and had no motivation to style a Before shot.

So what’s the plan?

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Thankfully this room only needs cosmetic work so the bulk of the work will be painting. We also need to replace our mattress so we’ll be upgrading to a queen sized bed (and actual bed frame). I also want the headboard to really be a focal point of the room and the entire wall behind it will be painted a bold accent color. After that it’s a matter of replacing pretty much all our existing furniture and getting a rug that’s the proper size for the space.

Not gonna lie, but this makeover will probably take a while.  I’ll hoping we can at least make a start on the painting while Matt and I are still out on leave.  We’ll see since we’ve got a couple other (smaller) projects we’re trying to finish up too.

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Nursery Inspiration

Who’s excited???  It’s been a while since I put together a mood board and possibly the best part of pregnancy is brainstorming decor!  I had a few ideas floating around, but wanted to wait until we knew if we would be having a boy or girl.

Well, it’s officially a boy!

So here’s what I’m currently thinking:

Nursery Mood Board

I wanted something fun and child-appropriate without being overly cutesy.  Baby won’t have any opinions on decor for a while (if ever), so the nursery is really more for mom and dad.  I also wanted to keep the basics of the room pretty gender-neutral so if we have a girl sometime in the future we can reuse our baby gear easily.

As I mentioned before, my starting point was a set of Zoo Portraits–fun and whimsical without being sickeningly cutesy. The ceiling fan I fell in love with early on and nearly talked myself out of it! Everyone thinks I’m nuts when I start gushing over a ceiling fan, but isn’t this one just fabulous?

I didn’t want to fall into the muted, monochromatic trap that a lot of baby rooms fall into.  Bold colors and high contrast are easier for a baby to focus on, so I wanted pops of brights, especially in the mobile. Plus, it’s just more to my personal liking. The lime and redish-orange I plan to work into some more accessories and storage pieces.

My current thoughts on paint are to paint the ceiling the same minty-aqua as the light fixture and then go pretty neutral on the walls.  I think by the time I’m done there will be a lot going on around the floor and walls that will be better balanced by a bolder ceiling.

The Eames elephant probably won’t make it into the final room since it’s definitely splurgy, but a girl can dream, right?

 

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Pantone Color of the Year 2017: Greenery

If you’re more on top of things than I am at the moment, Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year is probably old news.  I’m super excited about this year’s choice though!  No offense Pantone, but last year’s colors were kind of bland… and essentially baby boy blue and baby girl pink.  This year though, they’ve given us Greenery.

Pantone Greenery 2017
Pantone 2017 Color of the Year

I happen to love green.  I loved the year of Emerald (2013) and now we have Emerald’s fresher younger cousin!

If you happen to hate green, that’s cool.  You’re not under any obligation to use or even like the Color of the Year (I pretty much ignored both of them last year…).  What it means for the green-lovers out there though is that we should be see a lot of bright, springy green popping up in stores.

Here’s a like green inspiration to help kick off your year.

pretty colors for your walls — MFAMB :: My Favorite And My Best:
Via MFAMB

There is, of course, slapping that sucker right up on your walls!  I love how they worked a gallery wall in with a bold color here.  You need to be aware of the colors in the the art you’re using for it to really look polished with a bold background, but if you have a lot of black-and-white art it’s pretty much guaranteed to look smashing.

Botanical love seat.:
Via Marks & Spencer

If you’re really gung-ho for green you can also just completely immerse yourself in it.  If you’re going for a monochromatic palette, just make sure to bring in plenty of texture to keep it from looking flat.

The 32 most beautiful kitchens in Vogue to inspire:
Via Vogue

Some people are afraid to bring color to their kitchen cabinets. I get it, it’s a lot of work to repaint it all and, let’s face it, color trends (and our own personal preferences) come and go.  If you don’t mind the elbow grease, adding a punch of color to kitchen can look pretty amazing.  Heck, if you have an island, just making that a bright focal point could really bump your kitchen to the next level!

Welsh House | Ben Pentreath Ltd.
Via Ben Pentreath

Another one not for the faint of heart… Not gonna lie, painting trim is beastly!  I can guarantee you I would never do this, but not because I don’t like the the look.  I’d probably just change my mind before I ever finished painting and have to start all over again.  I’m fickle like that.  If you don’t want to redo all (or even a single room’s worth) of your trim, maybe just a door update.  I happen to love me some bold front doors.

green bathtub
Via HomeTalk

If cabinets and trim are too much work, but you’re lucky enough to have a claw foot tub, this is another way to colorize a fixture.  Painting the exterior tub base is also super easy and can be done with just a little sample pot of paint!

15 Unique Places to Add a Pop of Color to Your Home
Via Brit + Co

You may have guessed by now that I’m kind of diggin’ the black-white-and-green combo.  I think it’s fun and lively without being too in your face.  Plus, green accents are easy to work in and switch out if you like to change up your decor periodically.

Green chairs
Via My Ideal Home

Green’s not just for stark black and white spaces.  A nice neutral palette with some natural wood plus pops of green will make for a cozier space.

Botanical inspired house in London
Via I Have This Thing for Interior

One of my favorite things about this year’s Color of the Year choice is that it’s even pretty awesome for color-phobes (don’t worry, I still love you).  Even if you aren’t super into colorful walls or furniture or accessories, you may still enjoy plants!  And like it’s name suggests, this is a color that really pulls from nature.  Plus plants pretty much go with everything!

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Merry Christmas from Flat-Pack & Vintage

Whoo-hoo! It’s almost Christmas!  I’ve been busy with holiday stuffs so I’m behind on house stuffs, but here’s some fun stuffs for your holiday weekend.

DIY 2016 Dumpster Fire Ornament.  Daaang this year was rough.  Not only was it possibly the crappiest election year ever, but amazing people were dying left and right.  I may be making one of these…

Did you know Kentucky Christmas is a thing in Japan?  I didn’t, but their commercials are kind of amazing.

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Our current tree-topper is a star from the dollar store which is a little too dinky for our new tree, and also doesn’t seem to fit the floofy top spike of the tree,  I love the modern-ness of this Himmeli-Style one!  I think it’s made my holiday to-do list too!

Here’s a roundup of the cookies we made this year. Even though it’s probably too late for cookie-baking for most of you, you may want to file these recipes for next year.

Gingerbread cut-outs (I use orange zest instead of lemon)

Apple-Cranberry-Walnut Rugelach

Mint-Chocolate Fudge (I just top it with the mint layer and don’t marbleize it, laziness FTW)

Self-Frosting Anise cookies

Sugar Cookie Cut-outs (ok, didn’t actually make these this year, but I usually do)

 

Wishing you a very merry whatever-holiday-you-celebrate!

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Dreaming of Black Doors

This past weekend we vacationed it up lakeside in honor of the 4th.  Tons of fun, but no housework got tackled.  Totally worth it though.

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We are almost ready to tackle the painting the upstairs hallway and this area is packed with doors. The trim is for sure going to be white, but I’ve seen a number of examples where people paired white trim with black doors and I have to say I’m totally diggin’ it.

Via Manhattan Nest

 

Hallway Before and After Mockup
Via Making it Lovely

What I love about both these examples is that they’re used in homes that are similar in age and style to mine.  I think the brass hardware looks especially amazing on them.

I think the trick is to not use a straight-off-the-shelf pure black; you need something with a little bit of depth to it.  I also think a very dark stain (like an espresso, ebony, or java) could look pretty awesome too since you’d still see a little wood grain.  Plus, since this will probably end up being more trendy that classic, doors are pretty simple to repaint if you feel the need to bring them back to white.

I don’t think Matt’s going to go for it*, but what do you think?  Black doors: yay or nay?

 

*In fact he just told me he doesn’t like it.  Party-pooper.

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Friday Favs: Ceiling Fans That Don’t Suck

Yup, you read that right.  Ceiling fans get a pretty bad design rap and it’s often rightly deserved. Unfortunately, in some places (like, say 100+ year old homes that don’t have central air) they’re quite necessary.  They don’t have to be eyesores though!

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1  //  2  //  3  //  4  //  5

I think decent looking black/brown fans are the easiest to find.  If you have a taste for mission/craftsman or industrial you’re especially in luck.

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If you’re into mod, you should have pretty good luck with silver finishes too.

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White I think is the hardest, which is a bummer because they’re the most likely to recede into (but they should still look good though!) A number of the options above come in white but I think the white finish looks cheap on lot of them.  These guys stand out from the pack a bit though.

You know what was cool about all of the above?  Everyone one of those was under $300. Not dirt cheap, but not ridiculous either.

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1  //  2  //  3  //  4

If you’re in a place to splurge there are definitely some more beauties out there.  I really wish I had a place for #3, that one may be my favorite out the entire roundup!

Friday Favs: Inviting Entryways

Even if I haven’t shown it, I’ve had entryways on the brain lately.  As you’ve seen I have a (very) basic concept lined up for our entry, but I feel like it could use a little more oompf.

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Via Modern Jane

If you search for entry inspiration on Pinterest you’ll find a lot of board-and-baton treatments and lots of cubbies.  There’s nothing wrong with these by any means (they do have the big 3 necessities for entries: storage, seating, shelving) but they’re not for everyone.  I do love this simple little black and white corner though.

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Via Luxe

While this one may be lacking in storage, it makes up for that with impact.  If you have a nice, big, blank wall a large scale art piece is a great way to add some major drama.

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Via Manhattan Next

If you have a narrow space, you can still fit in plenty of storage.  I can’t imagine not having a place by the door to dump keys and mail.

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Via A Beautiful Mess

This wonderfully cheerful entryway makes me want to wallpaper mine!  The combo of the wallpaper, painted door, and light fixture coordinate for just perfectly for creating drama without overwhelming the senses.

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Via The Fox & She

That door makes me drool a little.  Amazing doors are right up there with staircases on my swoon-list. But moving on.  All the other pics I’ve shown are nicely walled in, but you shouldn’t be afraid to float furniture.  Here a console table doubles as a sofa table which leaves the space feeling open but giving some useful storage.

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Via Simply Grove

If it were me, I’d stick a small table in here for my daily mail dump, but if you can handle more minimalism, go you!  I still love the contrast happening here–white walls and black stairs, traditional architecture and mod furnishings.

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Via HGTV

More storage, seating, and shelving!  I love that drawer unit bench though… like I may straight-up copy this look in our mudroom.

Stairs + Hallway: Concept

The weather’s been pretty nice so we’ve been focusing a little more on the yard, but our entry/stairs/hallway is still very much on the to-do list.  It’s not getting a huge makeover* but it’s going to get a paint-pick-me-up and styling to make it blend with my look for the rest of the house.

stairsConcept

For the walls I’m going to stick with my go-to neutral of Benjamin Moore Paper white.  It’s a nice, fresh, ever-so-slightly-cool gray that should help brighten things up.  The trim is going to be Benjamin More Simply White (like all my other trim).  This should also really help brighten things up since our stairs are a tad dark at the moment.

I’m a little torn on what to do with the stairs… the caps on the newel posts need to be replaced (half of them are missing trim), and we need 2 spindles replaces (one’s missing and one’s broken) but I don’t want to paint the whole railing.  I like the idea of a two-tone railing because I feel like it will keep a lot of the wood but blend into the white trim everywhere else, I’m just a little afraid it’s more of a trendy look.

The plan for now is to paint everything else and leave the railing for the very last.  Paint on the other surfaces can make a huge different in how a single element stands out.  The railing will for sure being getting some refinishing work either way because not only will I have to try and color-match any new pieces, it’s kind of worn in spots and could use a little pick me up.

Because the stairwell has a nice big, open wall, it’s will be getting some art work for sure.  We have a handful of pieces that I’m not sure will work in other rooms, but the stairwell should be a nice blank canvas for them.

 

*At least by my standards

Friday Favs: Happy-Hour All Weekend Long

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  While it’s really a time to honor our Nation’s deceased veterans, the focus tends to be a little more a little more on barbecues and booze (….and appliance sales…. go ‘merica*).    The good new is that with a long weekend you can do both!  Attend a Memorial service, spend some beautifying a loved one’s grave site…and celebrate with friends and family.

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And if you like your celebrations on the boozy side, here are some cocktail recipes for you to try out.

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Rosemary Gin Sparkling Lemonade Via Creative Culinary

Matt and I are both mad for Gin + Tonics… although I’m a little more open to variation than he is.  Rosemary-gin-lemonade?  Sounds deliciously summery.

 

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Fruit + Tonic Via A Beautiful Mess

If lemonade isn’t your jam, maybe try a different fruit with your g+t.  I think the blackberry sounds especially amazing!

 

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Peach Sangria Via Tori Avey

Our go-to Sangria recipe is, oddly enough, more winter-friendly, using oranges, lemons, and limes.  Peaches just started appearing in stores here and I cannot wait to try this more seasonal recipe.

 

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Classic Mojito Via Chef Savvy

Mojitos are one of my favorite summery drinks, and I just planted some mint this year (if you do grow your own mint make sure you keep it in a container otherwise it could take over).  You can also easily make mojitos by the pitcher.

 

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Caipirinha Via All Recipes

Ever heard of a caipirinha?  Most people I know haven’t, but they’re all missing out.  It’s basically a Brazilian margarita–delicious, simple to make, and massively boozy (so be careful about how fast you go through them!)

Looking for more?  I’m a little biased towards gin and rum so if you’re looking for something else Total Wine’s website has a recipe index by type of liquor.

And of course, please be responsible people.

 

*I feel like there really needs to be a be a proper sarcasm tag in HTML…

Friday Favs: Kitchen Gear

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Matt likes to cook and I like to bake, but with limited space we haven’t amassed a huge collection of kitchen gadgets (and I’m actually not a fan of super-specific gadgets).  I thought I’d share some of our favorite kitchen pieces though.

 

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Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

Ohhh yeah, the highlight of any wedding registry, right?  If you don’t do any significant baking you probably don’t have to go this fancy, but for me it’s awesome (especially come my annual Christmas Cookie Bonanza).  I haven’t bothered with any of the uber-fancy attachments, but I do really like the flex-edge beater.  I also feel a little lame that I stuck with the classic stainless steel when there are so many color options out there, I just figured there were cheaper ways for me to change up my kitchen color scheme.

 

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Food Processor

The first food processor I got Matt was a little mini-prep one.  It was amazing for dicing onions and chopping up things for guacamole…. but then we discovered the joy of using a food processor to cut in butter so we upgraded to a bigger model.  Matt makes scones every Saturday so he actually uses this one more than me!

 

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Electric Kettle

I’m a big tea drinker, and Matt’s the only coffee drinker in the house so we don’t have need of a full coffee maker.  An electric kettle though?  It makes us both happy, and this one also looks so cute on our counter! Personally I prefer the ones where the kettle is independent of the heating element, but this particular one is a little heavy because it’s ceramic.

 

Pastry Blade
Pastry Blade

It looks so simple, but it’s so useful!  Anytime I’m working with a stickier dough it help to cleanly remove it from my rolling surface and get cut-out cookies off without deformities.  It also will do a great job scraping off cutting boards if you want to compost or just don’t have a garbage disposal.

 

Oxo spatulas
Oxo spatulas

Spatulas are pretty standard cooking gear, but these specific ones are my favorite.  They’re one solid piece so you don’t get ickiness building up in between the blade and the handle.  As I was putting this post together it looks like more places are making solid spatulas… plus some in fun colors!

 

Cookie scoops
Cookie scoops

What’s my secret to perfectly proportioned muffins and cupcakes?  A cookie scoop.  It’s super easy to get the batter from the bowl to the pan and a large (3 Tbsp) is the perfect size for a standard muffin tin.

 

Oxo salt and pepper shakers
Oxo salt and pepper shakers

I have a nicer set on our table, but for the counter I love these because they’re a combination shaker AND pour spout.  Cool, huh?

 

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Parchment paper (in sheets!)

You can find rolls are parchment paper most places, but the flat sheets are kind of amazing.  No ripping, no curling, just easy-peasy.  (Also, if you’re in a bind you can substitute a cut up paper bag for parchment… just never use wax paper as a sub).

 

Ricer Cooker
Ricer Cooker

You know how I said I didn’t really like task-specific gadgets?  This one’s the exception.  Sure, it’s not that hard to make rice on the stove top, but having to get it just right when you’ve got other stuff happening?  It can be a little putzy and this guy takes all the guesswork out it (plus a lot come with a steamer so it’s not totally a single use gadget).  It’s also no more work to clean up after than another pot you would have used to make rice anyway.