Does anyone else refuse to start Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving and then rapidly panic when they realize ohshit I only have 3 weeks to get this all done because I need to budget time for shipping and wrapping and WHY IN GODS NAME DID WE AGREE TO DO CHRISTMAS A WEEK EARLY THIS YEAR? Or is it just me?
So here we are, December 1st. You have 23 more days to shop, so here’s a little inspiration for you. Bonus: everything is under $100 and most things are under $50.
For the one who loves to entertain. Serving dishes and table accents are awesome options.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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’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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More storage, seating, and shelving! I love that drawer unit bench though… like I may straight-up copy this look in our mudroom.
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.
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.
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.
And if you like your celebrations on the boozy side, here are some cocktail recipes for you to try out.
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.
If lemonade isn’t your jam, maybe try a different fruit with your g+t. I think the blackberry sounds especially amazing!
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.
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.
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…