How I Blended Styles and Open Rooms

Jun 27, 2017

Summer is flying by here! I can't believe it's almost July 4th. My kids have kept me so busy since I stopped working a couple of weeks ago, but it's been so much fun to watch them play sports and spend more time with them. I can't say I'm getting much accomplished around the house yet. Hopefully, that will change soon because I have a lot of decorating projects and organizing to do. 

I did start organizing the kitchen cabinets the other day and decided to re-arrange my countertop decor too. I added more wood elements to warm up the kitchen with new cutting boards and a tray from another room. That tray was just calling out for a pretty orchid and the color feels like summer to me. 

I ended up moving the vase. I've been getting a little tired of the blue and white accessories lately and it was taking up a lot of counter space. The pineapple trend is one I love and roses by the sink always makes me happy.

One of the things I'm very conscience about is making sure my kitchen decor matches the rest of my house since it's so open. It could end up very farmhouse/cottage if I'm not careful. My living room has several modern touches and my breakfast room still holds the cottage style furniture from my old house. The kitchen has to perform a balancing act to marry all three spaces together. You can see how all three spaces flow together in the next few pictures.

One day I'll work on the breakfast room. I've already decorated it a million times in my mind, but when I look at the price for six drapery panels I break out in a cold sweat. Right now I'm thinking pinch pleated black and white riad fabric would be perfect. I'm sure I will change my mind by the time I get around to it!

I have rustic, light wood in each room to keep the spaces from being too modern. As much as I love the look of an all modern space my style flip flops too much to commit to one style so this is a good compromise. 

I have to admit that sometimes I dream of a silver and gold vent hood, modern pendant lighting and backsplash for the kitchen, and a contemporary coffee table. Then, I see a beautiful traditional space on IG or Pinterest and the planning starts all over again!

DIY Bathroom Mirror Trim

Jun 12, 2017

When we moved in to our new house almost two years ago I thought within the first month we would trim our master bathroom mirrors. That obviously didn't happen! I did finally get around to it and when I timed myself it only took a few hours out of our day. It's such an easy and inexpensive update, and it makes such a big impact. 

Here it is unframed.

And after!

There are a lot of tutorials out there, but I'll give you a quick rundown of how we framed ours since it might be a bit different. I like to glue the wood right to the mirror so you don't have the visible seam between the wood trim and the mirror caulk doesn't quite hide. You can also customize your trim to fit the style of your home. We had a craftsman trim on the mirrors in our last house, but this house needs something a bit more elegant with a crown moulding piece on top. You will need a saw for this project so that might prevent some of you from trying this DIY. If you are game, here's the process.

This is basically four boards glued to the mirror in a square with two trim pieces glued on top. We measured and bought pre-primed pieces at our local home improvement store. The top piece is a wider board at 5 inches and the side and bottom pieces are about 3-3 1/2 inches. Since these are pre-primed there wasn't any painting to do beforehand. If you are painting anything other than white keep in mind to paint before you install the pieces on your mirror. The backside will show in the reflection of your mirror. Once the bottom piece was cut to length we used liquid nails to apply it to the mirror. We also held it temporarily in place with screws underneath until it was dry the next day along with the blue painters tape. Then we cut and installed the side and top pieces. I installed a trim piece on the top that resembles crown moulding and a smaller trim piece at the base of the top board. The next day I removed the tape and screws. I caulked the seams and painted it the same color as our cabinets. Done!

There's still so much to do! I'd like to replace the mosaic tile around the tub. I "think" I can DIY it since it's such a small space. We replaced a small section of our kitchen backsplash in our last house and it was really easy so I don't see this should be any different. That's what I'm hoping at least! The walls need to be painted. I'm really not looking forward to that, but at least it's a small space. I need decor-art, chandelier, and a rug. The most expensive item is going to be the shutters for the windows. We have privacy windows, but they are truly hideous as you can see in this picture. Shutters will turn builder grade windows into something pretty and give you window trim at the same time. It's definitely cheaper than replacing them. Most of the work is going to be pure elbow grease. Lucky me!

As a side note, I am finally going to have the time to work on these projects. Tomorrow is my last day of work as a nurse auditor. I'm going to concentrate on my design and staging business for now. It's been a side job for the last few years, but I'm ready to focus solely on it and see where it goes. You might start seeing some of the projects I've been working on soon!

A New Rug for the Dining Room

May 25, 2017

I think one of the most asked question I get is about my rugs. It can be difficult to navigate through pages and pages of rugs online so I completely understand. I happened upon a new site called esalerugs on Instagram, and as I was scrolling I noticed one of the rugs advertised was exactly what I was looking for in my dining room. 

I haven't seen anything like it on my other affordable go-to rug sites-Joss and Main, Wayfair, and Rugs USA. I can't complain about the quality for such a good price either. Some of the rugs with a similar sheen will be very thin, but this one is much more plush. There has been absolutely no shedding either. It reminds me so much of the inspiration rug for this room, but at a fraction of the cost. 

Here is the before. I still love that gold mirror and go back and forth about putting it back in here. I'm not loving the blue I had in here at all now that I see it in a picture. I think it only stayed that way for a few days, thank goodness. There's nothing like a picture to tell you the truth about your house. I won't go there about weight and wrinkles in pictures. We all know.

Doesn't it look so much more finished with the new rug?

The builder grade windows and the chandelier are driving me crazy so that's next on the list. I also have a few more things to show you around here that aren't dining room related. We are so close to completing the first DIY project in the house almost two years after moving in. Better late than never!

Bring It On, Summer!

Apr 29, 2017

It gets HOT in Texas so all outdoor projects have a hard May deadline. The past month I've re-landscaped the front yard and spruced up the back patio. 

I added a pretty french blue color out here for the spring and summer. The fiddle leaf tree that was in this blue and white planter bit the dust so I tried it out here with a new bougainvillea that's still alive thankfully. I found the pillows at Pottery Barn and knew they would instantly go out here. I'm still shopping for a new outdoor coffee table since I'm not thrilled about the two ottomans pushed together. Once I find that and a new outdoor rug I can call this patio done!

I spend every weekend morning out here with my coffee while I watch Behind the Gates on AWE. If you haven't seen this show, you've got to check it out. Coffee plus fabulous houses makes the perfect morning!

All of the flowers are blooming and I couldn't be happier. 

This bougainvillea is huge! I made my son put his head next to one of the blooms for reference. He looks thrilled right?!

The weather is beautiful right now and we spend every minute we can outside. 

The boys are already in the pool even though the water was freezing this day. I went in Friday and it's getting warmer, but still too cold for me to get in all the way. 

Our new dining set is in! We are missing a chair in this picture, but we finally put it together. I found it online at Target and it's the same wicker as our loungers. Since the loungers held up so well the past year I decided to get the matching chairs.

I know this isn't how most people spend Easter, but we're not exactly traditional over here! We made a huge breakfast and enjoyed every minute by the pool. Just a couple of years ago the boys would be running all over the yard looking for eggs and now they are somewhat calmly enjoying breakfast. When they have bad table manners I threaten cotillion. If you live in the south you know that's every girl's dream and every boy's worst nightmare. It's a group of young boys and girls that have ettiequte classes and formal dances if you aren't familiar with it. I just have to say the c word and bad manners disappear.

We also installed these new outdoor lights from Costco over the dining area. I noticed it was a bit dark here even with the floodlight on and they definitely brighten up the entire space.

On to the front yard! It was a bit sad looking this year with dead plants and honestly just a poor design from the builder. All of our neighbors have amazing yards so I'm not sure why they skimped on ours, but we had to fix it. We consulted a landscape architect, but they wouldn't be able to work on it for at least a month so we decided to do it ourselves. Don't ask about the manhole with the circle of plants around it. I have no idea what the builder was thinking, but that drove me crazy to say the least. Don't mind my son out here playing basketball either. At least half the time I take a picture there is someone or my dog photobombing.

After! I just love my new maple tree. Even though I complain about the lack of landscaping from the builder, it's nice to pick out our own trees and plants. Most of our neighbors have oak trees and I like them, but I have always loved maples. The leaves are looking a little distraught on one side of the tree, but I'm hoping that's temporary. We also added junipers and roses. The flowerbeds are in the same shape as before to make it easy and we just replaced or moved plants instead. One day we'll get it professionally landscaped, but this is definitely good enough for now. 

Here's a closer look at the junipers and roses. The yaupon are so similar to boxwoods that act as a border. These were what was surrounding the weird manhole before.

We are finished with our summer projects with a few exceptions to the patio and we're waiting on quotes to come in for the balcony railing on the back patio retaining wall. I was all set on one contractor and then I never heard from them again. So, we're back to the drawing board, but at least it's not us sweating outside in the summer heat installing a railing!

New Artwork in the Dining Room

Apr 1, 2017

The new painting I bought for the dining room came in early! I actually wasn't sure if it was going to go in the dining room because I loved the gold mirror in there, but once I propped it up on the buffet I fell in love with it. The whole room just tied itself together. It grounded the mirrored buffet and the gray went so well with the drapes. I was worried it was a bit too traditional and that I would get bored with it so I had to live with it a couple of weeks. I can safely say it's going to stay because I still love it just as much as I did the day it was delivered.

Unfortunately, I had to admit the chandelier from the last post was just too small for this room. Here's a bad picture of it sitting on the table. It's really much prettier in person. This gives you an idea of how it all works together once I buy the correct size. When I try to save money, this is what happens.

I really did not want to re-pack it and send it back after putting on the crystals on so I decided to put it in the master bedroom along with the gold mirror. I'm going to try and find a similar one that's a bit bigger for the dining room soon. I'll update you on the master bedroom with the dining room cast-offs once my husband adjusts the chandelier. It's leaning to the side a little and it needs to be shortened a bit. At least he cut the cord too long instead of too short!

Here is the look I'm hoping for once the room is complete. I'm still not completely sold on the linen chairs at the head of the table since I don't really need them. I was completely sold on the rug until I saw the price. If price is an indicator of good style then I am a master at picking out lighting and rugs because I am always drawn to the most expensive ones. Champagne taste on a beer budget, story of my life!

Once I finish the decor I'd love to add trim work and do something with the windows. You can't tell from the picture, but the windows are hideous builder grade ones that are messing up my design. I've considered adding shutters (not my favorite look with this furniture), replacing the windows (probably not going to happen), trim work around the windows for distraction (but then I'd have to do the rest of the house and the windows are still ugly), or sheer drapes (does anyone do that anymore?). The view is very un-lovely of the fence and the side of the neighbor's house. I have a landscaping plan for that and it includes very tall Italian cypress trees. One problem solved!

I've been trying to get the backyard ready before summer is here so I haven't had much time to think about chandelier or rug shopping. We've been getting quotes for a couple of outdoor projects and just getting the quotes is a project! I'm hoping to be done with all of that by the time the boys are out of school so I can go back to finishing up the dining room. By then, it will be too hot to do anything outside so I'll want an indoor project. I'm spending as much time as I can outside right now with this great spring weather. Have a great weekend!