All “Home + Design” Posts

Rug Hunt

Rug-Hunt

We’ve sloooowly been getting rugs for our house. We finally got one for the living room (this one) and it feels like pure luxury (I waited so long for a good sale to get it). I swear Eleanor is much more content playing by herself all of a sudden because of it. She has a place to sit and play with her toys and June to lay and roll around comfortably. It’s amazing how one seemingly small addition to a room can make all the difference. I also recently got a few rugs for Eleanor’s room too, fingers crossed it makes her room a more inviting place to play in now too. Her room was a little harder for me to figure out the right rug for because it has a lot of weird angles and walls. In the end, a lovely soft flokati round rug was the way to go and a darling handmade, wool rug like this one, only a badger, for right by her bed.

Now I’m on the hunt for a colorful kilim rug for our spare room. It’s a small-ish room, at least for all that we use it for. It’s our workhorse room. It’s an office, where our projector is for movie/tv show watching/wii playing, and a guest bedroom (our couch in there turns into a bed). The walls are all painted white, the desk in there is mostly white and some light-stained wood, and the sofa-bed is a charcoal grey color. There are a few colorful pillows on the couch, and some green plants in there as well, but mostly it’s a neutral room. This is why I was thinking a colorful kilim rug might be nice. The key is big enough, soft enough, and not having to sell a limb to afford it…

I’ve been looking on overstock, ebay, eSale rugs, and kaya kilims mostly…

Where do you guys look for rugs? I would LOVE more ideas!

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One Tiiiiny Part of Our Kitchen Remodel is Complete?!

Kitchen Remodel-Breakfast nook built-ins

In February we started the work of remodeling our kitchen. We knew it would be a slow process as we are doing some of the work ourselves and still saving more funds as we go. But, as remodel’s usually go, we came across some major wrenches (aka, the dumb chimney taking up precious space in our teensy kitchen that needs to go) that are going to cost us more time and money than we originally thought…

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Art Wall Of My Dreams

Pegboard Art Wall

Over the past couple weeks my husband and I installed this arts and crafts wall, aka the wall of my dreams. I first saw the idea here and shamelessly stole it ASAP. Our arts and craft supply situation was driving me batty — a bottomless abyss of bins that were a complete mess and totally unusable. We could never find anything, didn’t ever know what we had or didn’t have and I would end up just leaving a mess of random supplies on our breakfast nook table for Eleanor. At least that way she could see some of what she had and would be inspired to make art and occupy herself happily. But the mess of supplies on the table I knew wasn’t sustainable. Between my neat-freak self and actually needing the space on the table to eat, etc., it was not a permanent solution. So when I saw this brilliant idea, it was like angels, choruses,  all the stars aligning, the whole thing.

I feel like when you come across an idea this good, it must be shared. So, without further adieu, read on for my how-to process in putting together the wall…

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DIY Advent Calendar

DIY Advent Calendar

Even though I’m 4 days late, I was determined to make an Advent calendar this year for Eleanor. It was a tradition we sadly didn’t do consistently growing up but when we did I loved it. I showed Eleanor the calendar this morning. I took down bag #4 and gave it to her, her whole face lit up as she reached her hand in the bag, before she even discovered the chocolate kiss and little candy cane waiting for her. She gets it, and is already anxious to open another bag :) It was the sweetest thing to watch and made me so glad I made it happen this year.

I ended up making one because I couldn’t find any that I especially liked. I saw this bag idea floating around Pinterest and knew it would be so simple to make anyway. I decided to get cloth muslin bags instead of paper bags in case I’m not up for making a new one next year and just want to reuse this one. Each bag is filled with either a few Christmas treats, a small toy (little bracelets, wooden tops, etc.), or a Christmas related activity that we can do together as a family (get hot chocolate and take a trip to Peacock Lane to look at the Christmas lights, have a big Christmas Eve feast and then read the Christmas story together, etc. A few more of the activities are pictured below). I also got a few wooden nativity Christmas ornaments that are in a few of the bags for Eleanor to put on the tree. Fun for her to do and an opportunity for us talk about the story of Christ that my family celebrates this time of year.

My advent calendar isn’t anything incredibly fancy or elaborate but I love how it turned out. The simplicity of it reflects what I’d like our advent to be. I especially love the bags filled with notes of meaningful, fun activities we can do together as a family to make this Christmas season extra special, create warm, fond memories for Eleanor, and slow us down to think about how blessed we are and the hope that surrounds this time of year.

Continue reading for the details of the materials and how I made it, if you’re interested…

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How To Frame Large Art: On The Cheap

Framing on the cheap

Framing is e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. Am I right, or am I right? Especially for larger pictures or pieces of art. I have quite a few big, tall walls in my home and have all these wild dreams of filling them with huge pieces of beauitful art and pictures of our family. The problem is I’ll have to sell my soul and maybe even my daughter to afford them, turns out. Needless-to-say, I am constantly trying to figure out how frame on the cheap. I’ve gathered quite a few ideas from around Pinterest, other people’s homes, blogs, and even some of my favorite shops around town. For starters, I thought I’d share one of the first cheap framing projects I did when we moved into our house…

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My Therapy

Since I’ve been working like crazy on the outside of our house all spring vs. the inside, I thought I’d share some pictures of my garden with you. There are still some projects left to do, but it has come a long way since we moved in. I’ve been loving getting my hands dirty and watching it grow. It’s truly one of the places in my life where I feel most content.

It seems very safe to me to be surrounded by green growing things…

Barbara Kingsolver

Jasmine Flower

This Jasmine is what dreams are made of. It has grown so much already since I planted it just this past March. I’m going to look forward to its fragrance every year.

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Mantel Series / 04

Adding green to your home

Adding green to the interior

I love the idea of using leaves and green foliage in a vase in place of flowers for a change. Especially when it gets into late fall and winter when flowers are harder to come by and more expensive.

I used a simple split-leaf philodendron for my mantel this time. I had one on my dresser in our bedroom and though it worked fine there, it dawned on me how much better it would work in a bigger space like our living room. It is a significant size and overwhelmed my dresser a bit. I like the split-leaf because its simple, lasts forever, and it’s dramatic. It makes a statement in a simple way. I like that.

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Mantel Series / 03

Lupines

Lupine

It’s lupine season! Lupine’s are a local wildflower that thrive in the Pacific Northwest. I love seeing them come up every Spring around Portland. I think I’m going to try planting some in my garden this year. The only thing is their blooming time is so, so short. I feel like they start to fade only after a few weeks. Maybe that’s why they’re especially beautiful to me. The scarcity of them.

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The Canvas Awaits

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

So we finally finished painting the entire upstairs of our house. It took like a year, people. Granted we had a lot of other projects in process at the same time, but STILL. A YEAR. Did I mention how awesome toddlers and homeownership go together?

We ended up painting the upstairs all white. Benjamin Moore’s “Chantilly Lace,” to be precise. Side note: paint names are ridiculous. The color, however, is not. It’s a lovely, bright white. We went with all white for two reasons. First, if the walls are anything but a neutral color I feel stressed and limited. Neutrals are super calming to me and I want to feel free to pick whatever art, rugs, furniture, textiles I want. I don’t want to have any constraints or rules to follow decor-wise. Stresses me out. Secondly, our upstairs is tiny. It consists of two teensy bedrooms (ours and Eleanor’s) and a lot of angled walls and ceiling. The plus is there are tons of windows up there. So I had a hunch painting it all white would make it feel much bigger. And it did just that. The white walls combined with all the light from the windows makes it feel so much more spacious and airy up there. I love how it turned out.

Now that the canvas is finally done, I’m ready to start the fun part: decorating! First on my mind is art…

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An “Entryway”

Entryway Style Board

When you live in a small 90 year old bungalow house in the city, there’s really no such thing as an entryway. There’s a door, yes, and the act of entering the house, certainly, but an entryway? Not really. Regardless, it’s nice to nod to the idea of one. Gathered here are a few things I wouldn’t mind including in the space closest to our door. Most desperately needed? A credenza. If I have to walk across the room to set my keys on our built-in book shelves and see that awful pile of junk front-and-center in our living room one more time I might lose my mind…

…Patience. A virtue I’m slowly, and painfully, learning as a homeowner. The laundry list is looooong and never-ending, my friends. For now, I’ll just make a bunch of style boards like these and keep dreamin’.

What do you do for an entryway? Do any of you actually have one?! What items/furniture are must-haves for yours?

(Credenza, stool for sitting to put on shoes, split leaf philodendron and air plants to warm up the credenza, killer lamp, kilim runner)

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