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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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).
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.
We’re going to be working on a couple different projects over the next few months–yard Before pics coming soon!–so I figured some outdoor corners would be nice springtime inspiration for all of us!
Not gonna lie, but I’m really not a fan of grass. It’s kind of boring and you just have to mow it constantly. A little bit of river rock filler though? Nicely textural and will really make the plants pop around it. Plus I dig the ever-so-slightly overgrown look this little corner is sporting.
Gravel can also make for a cute patio area. I love how they paired it with pavers here to make a more stable area for the table and chairs. Also, did you notice the A/C unit? I barely did.
Pavers, wood decking, mulch, AND gravel? Whoa! I love the mix though… as you may have caught on I think texture is a huge part of landscaping and this setting seems delightfully low maintenance.
I’m also a sucker for ponds, but I’ll never talk Matt into one in the mosquito haven that is Minnesota. Maybe a nice little bubbling fountain to kill the standing water….
Or maybe a dry creek bed? I love the look of these and they can help out with drainage in problem areas.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the new(ish) fad that is the She Shed? This kind of makes me want one…. Plus, I LOVE the look of ivy, but I know it’s terrible for homes. I might sacrifice a small shed to it though.
If you want another way to get your low maintenance (after it’s done anyway) texture groove on, how about an rock rug? I don’t think I’d have the patience to make one, but they are pretty swoon-worthy.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I am a HUGE sucker for staircases. You have no idea how thrilled I was to find a house with a pretty impressive set of stairs.
A more traditional vibe than what I usually post, but this one is probably the most similar to the stairs in our house. I think the two-toned look is fab and I’m seriously considering duplicating it.
Exposed brick may be another love of mine. The sleek modern stairs paired with the more industrial brick is also a contrast I’m particularly fond of.
While this is clearly not for households who have need of a handrail, I love how bright and airy this is (bonus points for a cozy reading corner)! Also, can we take a moment to collectively swoon over those beefy wood treads?
Maybe your stairs aren’t already making an architectural statement, but this ombre paint treatment would make even the simplest of stairs pop.
If you fear no pattern you could also opt to wallpaper your risers… or stencil, or tile. I saw a similar treatment with white textured wallpaper that was pretty divine as well. Plus if you use a removal wallpaper you can easily swap it out as your tastes change.
Maybe you have some outdoor stairs that you want to stand out. How amazing are these aged aqua steps??? I wish I had a place for them in my life right now.
If you have a small yard and want to maximize your greenery I think using glass steps over plantings is kind of ingenious.
Ok… so it’s really more Saturday Favs today but we had family in town last night so I was little distracted. It won’t happen again.*
It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a bibliophile… in fact I may even be a bit of a book hoarder. You’d think e-books would have made it easier, but I while I use my Kindle app occasionally (mostly when I travel) I still love books. The feel, the smell, the joy of being in a book store… it’s all wonderful! This is followed by a pressing need to store my hoard of books.
Floor to ceiling bookshelves and a library ladder? Be still my heart!
It’s pretty well accepted that technology in the bedroom can be disruptive to your sleep, but surrounding yourself with books? That seems pretty dreamy to me.
If a slightly moodier library feel is more your vibe (and you’re not blessed with super tall ceilings) you can frame out your wall ‘o books in a deep color.
Or you could opt for a brighter color for a funkier vibe. I’m kind of in love with that daybed too.
I’ve always been a sucker for attic spaces, but I think this wall of books is especially spectacular.
Got a goofy little alcove? You could turn it into your own personal mini-library.
*Actually, I’m pretty sure it will.
**I found this image on Pinterest, but it only seems to link back to Tumblr pages and other round up style posts so I have no idea what the original source is. If you do, please let me know and I’ll update accordingly.
I am ridiculously in love with the pink rug in our dining room! It’s so fun and vibrant and adds a whole new level of dimension to the room. I had originally planned on getting a neutral rug for the space (yaaaaawn) and then I stumbled across this article on Apartment Therapy talking about how pink is the perfect rug color for almost every room. A slight exaggeration perhaps, but they had some fabulous examples and I was SOLD.
If you’re ready to hop on the pink train here are some more rugs to consider–and all are under $300!
So this was the rug I originally wanted for the dining room. I love the balance of color so it doesn’t seem completely overwhelming. Unfortunately it wasn’t available in the right size when I was actually ready to buy it, but my alternate worked out beautifully too!
Bright not your thing? No problem. Pastels aren’t just for baby girls!
This rug would look uber chic in the right room. Anyone else kinda dig the black-white-blush-gold palette? It’s hard to tell from the image, but the rug is super plush so it would provide a soft but textural base.
One of my favorite things about living in St Paul is that we’re about 20 minutes away from IKEA. The good news for anyone who doesn’t live close to an IKEA is that they’ve started offering a lot more of their furniture for purchase online.
IKEA has some great basic pieces, but sometimes they need a little extra oomf so your house doesn’t end up looking like an IKEA catalog.
Young House Love turned an Expedit (now Kallax) into a stylish changing station for their baby, but this same look would make a great credenza or TV stand too.
Card Catalog style drawers + secretary desk? I can hardly think of a better upgrade for a TARVA dresser.
If paint is more your skill level it can still make a huge difference and transform a simple shelf into something a little more glam. A VITTSJO unit was used here, but you could also ramp up a $15 HYLLIS too!
The RAST dresser is one of the most hacked IKEA pieces I’ve seen (I’ve hacked it myself too!). I love how it’s been turned into a fabulous little nightstand here.
Another simple paint upgrade, this time with a SNILLE chair.
I think these built in BILLY bookcases are one of the most divine things ever! And the addition of a library ladder? To DIE for!
Need some extra storage for the kitchen? This island looks fancy, but is really a pretty simple hack, needing just some paint and a new top. This one used a BEKVAM kitchen cart, but if you want a little extra storage you could use a FORHOJA too.