Thursday, September 29, 2011

Piano "Mantle"


I have a huge, brick, two-sided fireplace, but for some odd reason, it doesn't have a mantle.  It also has a huge black wood burning stove in it that thrills my father-in-law to no end (he also enjoys the red countertops).  I, on the other hand, don't care how energy-efficient it is, I think it's ugly and I can't wait to get rid of the darn thing!  For now though, it stays - mainly to stop Max, and soon Emme, from using the fireplace as an alternative passageway from one room to the next.

Anyway, back to the mantle issue....I keep seeing all of these GORGEOUS mantles in the land o' blog and I want one!  So, instead, I'm using the top of the piano that the sellers of our house left behind.  (It also served as a hiding place for the snake)



It's not very seasonal...I've never been much of a seasonal decorator, besides Christmas, but I thought I'd share anyway.   I can't get too crazy because of the little people who live in this house...

Ahh, there is one of them now.

The sail boat pictures were both given to me by my mom, and the black and white photo is Max's namesake - my grandfather. 

The big square vase is from Pottery Barn, and I think someone gave me the seashell potpourri in it.

I don't remember where the metal star came from - probably ebay...I have a small collection of metal stars.  If you look really, really, really close, you can see a picture of me in a bikini (pre 2-babies, pre-30s) in the beach picture.

The vase of sticks is a collection from the yard.

I kind of feel like the middle is missing something, but I haven't found anything to put there that I like yet....any thoughts?
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Take Care -

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Max's Room - Almost Finished and a Sneak-Peak at Emme's Room

Max has been sleeping in his own room for about a week now.  If you're having trouble getting your toddler to sleep alone in his or her own room, all you have to do is.....actually, I have no idea...Bryan has been sleeping with him every night.  Sorry if I gave you a little glimmer of hope that you may ever be able to sleep alone with your spouse in the next decade.

I've actually been feeling a little bit of mommy overload lately....and am severely in need of some alone time.  Even taking a 10 minute shower without Emme screaming or Max pounding on the door sounds like a day at the spa to me.  Emme's nickname since birth has been "screech owl" because when she's mad, she doesn't scream, holler, cry...she screeches - shrieks.

 Between Emme's screeching and my constant "no"s to Max's death-defying stunts or attacks on his sister -- I imagine the neighbors have considered putting children services on speed dial at least a couple times.

Enough venting...I know how blessed and lucky I am, it's just been a rough couple days.  On to Max's room...if you'll remember Part 1 of his room redo -

There's the before picture....It's been a while since I've seen those pretty curtains....oh, how I miss them.

 I've since added a bed:

It's all about taking baby steps.  Still not a fan of the blue carpet that's throughout most of our house...not even a little bit, and it's going to be a while before it changes.

I bought this chest of drawers before Max was born to use as a changing table (we're tall people).  It was stained a lovely orange I primed it, painted it black and then white before distressing it.  I wanted to get new knobs, but I was about 9 mos pregnant, so I just used the original hardware, which I painted black and dry brushed with some white. The drawers are very temperamental, so it may be getting the boot soon.

We're planning to add some more toy storage, and I want to get a different lamp than the one that's on the chest.  There's no overhead lighting, so until we have that done, we are in short supply of lamps around here. I want to paint the step stool beside his bed.  I'm also planning to put some pictures on the walls from our trips to the zoo...after cars, animals are a fave around here (except for Scarlet, the black pug, Max enjoys tormenting her to no end)

Now, onto a peak at Emme's this rate, she'll be going to college before I finish it...remember, baby steps.

Here's my original inspiration and here are some of the details I've almost finished:

I don't I did this using hot glue, which I'm learning might rival duct tape for its vast number of uses.  Of course, more to come on her room....I know you'll lose sleep in anticipation of this!

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take care -

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kitchen Island

I've been looking for a "bean and seed" counter to use as a peninsula in our kitchen when we redo day.  So far, all of the ones I've found have been a minor least for my budget.  An example of the loveliness to which I refer:


Obviously, this one is much longer than what we would need...but you get the idea.  And I want to put it...

in place of this counter with the curved shelves on the end.  Neat-o, huh?

All of the counters I've found so far cost thousands.  So, when I was at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago, I found this...for $75 (please pardon the poor photo - it's currently sitting on its side in my still-unpacked garage)

It was in an old barn for a long, long time, but I love the wood handles and the metal tag-holders (not sure of correct name for those) and for the most part, the paint.

I'm love the chippiness and worn away areas, but not too fond of the red spray paint.  I haven't had a chance to see if I can sand away to spray paint and get a more consistent finish. I know if I keep the chippy look, I'll have to seal it so my daughter doesn't eat it.  If saving the current finish doesn't work, I'm planning to just sand the whole thing and re - paint it.  It needs a new top - I'm thinking butcher block....what do you think?  What would you do (please don't say, "throw it in the trash.")?

I need some advice on this one, so any you have to offer will be greatly appreciated!

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Thanks and take care -

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Free for (F)all Decor

Like many people, autumn has always been my favorite time of year.  The colors, the smell, football, the crisp in Ohio, we get the whole fall experience.  I was outside with the kids this afternoon, and played around some fall-ish decor ideas from stuff I found in our yard or garage.


Very simple - just an overturned wooden box with white candles scattered on top.  I think you could do 1 candle or 30....I'd just be sure to use varying heights and sit them on overturned cups (or something similar) to give more dimension beyond short and tall pillars.

Not really your typical fall arrangements, but it might inspire other ideas?  What's your favorite season and why?

Linking to

The Shabby Creek Cottage

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The Shabby Nest

Boogieboard Cottage


take care -


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Design Style - Farmhouse vs. Cottage

Metal, wood, natural fibers, chippy paint, rust, old stuff...these are a few of my favorite things.  I have always associated these items with cottage style, but today I came across a blog, LaurieAnna's Vintage Home, that made me rethink the classification of my  tastes.  Described as "Simple Farmhouse Living," a look through LaurieAnna's blog made me think, "farmhouse...farmhouse....yes, that's it, farmhouse!"  I love it! 

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="A display in LaurieAnna's Shoppe using an old camper she found on Craigslist.  Gorgeous! "][/caption]

I realize that style need not carry a title, but I'd always liked the cottage look, but I also love industrial items....and when I think about cottage+industrial = farm.  Right?   Charming porches with barn-style lighting.  Cozy dens with old barn-siding floors.  Bedrooms with chippy, rusted metal chests. 


 Farmhouse Barn door for bathroom - at

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="424" caption="Buckets of Burlap bedroom using barn siding and a cowboy tub."][/caption]


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="387" caption="Bookshelf made from wood crates/pallets"][/caption]


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="360" caption="Beautiful farm-style cabinet used for kitchen sink"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Barn Style Bathroom from Rustic Cabinet as shown in Country Living"][/caption]




So I live in a retro 70s ranch-style home that has red formica countertops and brown carpet in the kitchen.  Not screaming fashionable farmhouse.

[caption id="attachment_31" align="aligncenter" width="459" caption="You know you're jealous...we do appreciate the sellers leaving us the matching tea kettle.I can't WAIT to tackle this badboy!"][/caption]

Does this peak your interest to see more of my beautiful new home?  Well, it just so happens that I did a whole post showcasing it in all her glory!

I'm so excited to start on my next project with all these fantastical (I know it's not a word) farmhouse fun in mind!!


  I have a BUNCH of farmhouse-y and industrial chic purchases that I've made recently that I need to photograph and I'll get on that as soon as I can find a way to occupy my kids for 10 minutes....and when I can forge a path to that part of my garage!


I definitely suggest checking out LaurieAnna's beautiful blog and shoppe


I'd love to hear your ideas about style and design. 

take care -

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