Friday, February 27, 2015

Cut The Clutter - Coffee Table Clean-Out

In an effort to clean and organize all our spaces and rid our apartment of the clutter we accumulated in 2014, I started down the road of cutting the clutter last month and it's been full steam ahead ever since!
You may recall that I tackled our entryway closet earlier this year and since taking on that project and seeing how effective having a clutter-free space has been for us, I started in on another un-organized thorn in our side: the coffee table.
Our hand-me-down coffee table that I've had for over 5 years has 4 generous sized drawers and while I'm grateful for the storage space, we definitely didn't utilize it properly...until now! Space is such a premium in our apartment and I've learned that in order to maximize on every bit of valuable real estate, everything we choose to keep in our apartment must have a designated space because when it doesn't, this is what happens:

We don't have a huge kitchen that affords us the luxury of a "junk drawer" so instead, the coffee table drawers have become our catch all for all the junk. There was too much junk in the trunk and it was time for the junk to go!
Like I did with the closet, the first thing I did was empty everything out and sort like items into piles so I could see what I was working with and how many bins I'd need to corral all this madness.
Side 7 rolls of tape really necessary? Looks like in an effort to find one roll of tape, I bought 6 extras. Guess that's what happens when your coffee table is bursting at the seams and finding anything, let alone tape, is next to impossible.
After I sorted everything out, threw away the trash, I realized that a lot of what had accumulated in the coffee table were items that were simply misplaced and belonged elsewhere. So after re-directing those items to their correct homes, I was able to see what I was working with and  headed to the dollar store to pick up some bins. The bottom drawers of our coffee table are pretty deep so finding bins for the bottom drawers wasn't all that hard however the top drawers are pretty shallow so I decided to forgo bins all together. All in all I needed 13 bins for both bottom drawers.

One of the things I learned through my last attempt at employing some storage bins in these drawers is that when the bins don't fill the entire space, it's easy for the drawers to end up in chaos. With too much free space between the bins, the easier it is to just throw things anywhere! When the bins fill all the available space, you're almost forced to put the item back where it belongs.

So without further adieu...
Here she looks all decked out in all her organized glory!! (guess I just decided my coffee table is a she now)
I decided on 8 bins for the right drawer and 5 for the left. After determining homes for all the contents of the coffee to the new bins, I decided to take it up another notch.
I used some card stock that I had on hand, traced the bottom of each bin onto the paper, cut out the card stock and placed the decorative paper in the bottom of the bin.
Taking the couple extra minutes to pretty up the bins really goes a long way. When it's not only organized, but it looks good too, I feel as if you're more inclined to keep it that way and for only a couple extra bucks, you really can't beat the cuteness of it all!
All in all, I'd say this coffee table, or junk table, was a total success and it feels so good to have another organized space checked off the list! How's this for a before and after:
With everything assigned a new home, we have no need to use the top drawers although I could see these top drawers turning into storage for envelops or shipping supplies, but for now, they're as empty as can be!
For less than $20, I'm so happy with the end result and this coffee table is no longer a thorn in my side!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hotel Bedding At Home

If you had to choose your favorite space in your entire house, what space would you choose? For me, the coziest space in our entire apartment is our bedroom, hands down. Why? My bed. It's the first place I go when I'm feeling under the weather and on those rare rainy California mornings, it's nearly impossible to make me leave. On the weekends when we don't have anything pressing getting us up and at em we extend our stay here to catch up on emails, check in on social media, or just talk the morning away. Let's also not forget to mention the huge chunk of time we spend here catching zzzzs and counting sheep. It's absolute heaven!
It all started after we moved into this apartment almost a year ago. In all my/our previous apartments, the bedroom had always been neglected when it came to comfort or design. I was decorating on a budget (still am) but I think in a lot of ways, this is usually always the case for most people. Since we don't all have unlimited funds, we tend to neglect and put little to no effort into one of the spaces we spend the most time in, but why? I'll tell you why! It's one place that most guests probably won't see so it's easy to close the door on the bedroom and tell yourself that one day you'll get/have the dream bedroom that you always wanted and instead, spend the time and money on the areas that will be most visible to any potential guests.
When we moved in here I wanted to make a real effort to give us a space we loved and one worthy of all the time spent here. We deserved it. And you deserve it too. Bedrooms should be a retreat...the place we go to unwind, refuel, after a long day at work, when we're feeling under the weather, or when we need a breather during the chaos of the day. Bedrooms should be the 1st thing on our decorating to-do list, not the last!

One of the easiest and least expensive ways to give a little love to your  room and give it that retreat like feel is to focus on the bedding. Hotels across the world (not of the Motel 6 variety) are known for their high end, sink yourself into, best sleep of your life kinda vibe. And who would object to sleeping in one of those luxurious beds every night? Not I.
The last time I was on vacation, I took inventory of the all the yummy bedding and realized just how intentional and important each piece of bedding was. There really is a science to doing up these beds that make them some of the coziest beds you'll ever sleep in. So it got me thinking...just because we aren't all jet setters living out of suitcases and sampling the finest hotel beds across the world, doesn't mean we can't re-create that feeling right in our own homes. Am I right?
And so it began. I got home and started re-creating that hotel style bedding using bedding I already had on hand but wasn't using the right way or at all. Showing the bed a little attention immediately brought the entire room leaps and bounds. It really does feel like I'm vacationing every night in a swanky hotel with turn down service. Let me break it down for you:
 First start off with your fitted sheet. You can choose to top your mattress with a feather bed or memory foam topper but it really isn't necessary. We topped our bed with this memory foam topper from Costco but only for support reasons. When selecting sheets eons ago we chose to go with the white Kirkland Signature sheets also from Costco which set us back about $80. They're 540 thread count and at $80, they're literally the best sheets I've ever purchased. But why white? Well...a lot of hotels use white sheets. White looks clean, crisp, airy, and it gives the feeling of comfort and relaxation. I was initially nervous when purchasing our white sheets that after several washes they'd end up looking dingy and dirty but they've held up extremely well and the white is just so clean looking that I'm not sure I'll ever go back to colored sheets again.
Next up is the flat sheet. Admittedly, I never used to use a flat sheet until recently because it was just another piece to wash, fold, fluff, tuck and I just didn't even want to bother. But guys...I've totally changed my tune. Do it! Use it! Don't be a flat sheet hater like I was. Why? For's especially great for those warm summer nights when its too hot for the blanket but you still want to be covered up a little. Aside from that, sheets are the softest part of your bedding. The higher the thread count the softer they are. With the fitted sheet as your first layer, the flat sheet as your 2nd and you tucked in between, your body is wrapped up in all that sheet goodness and it just cant get any better than that. Sometimes our blankets or comforters can be scratchy or stiff and sandwiching ourselves in between the 2 softest layers of bedding makes for heaven on earth!
To use your flat sheet, lay it on top of the fitted sheet with equal overhang on all sides. All flat sheets come with some sort of threaded line, embellishment on one side of the sheet so you know which side is which. As you can see in the picture below, my flat sheet just has some decorative trim to distinguish the top and bottom . Lay your flat sheet over top of your fitted sheet with he embellishment face down towards the top of the headboard. Like so:
 Next, layer a lightweight blanket on top of your flat sheet...not to be confused with your comforter/duvet. That comes next. Adding a blanket is optional. I added it as another layer of yummy coziness and the hotels do too. It's another great alternative to keep yourself warm without having to grab the heavy top comforter during those warm summer nights. We have this one that I got from West Elm on clearance but I also considered this one from Target as well. I chose to go with a light tealy blue for a fun pop of color but white would be super clean and crisp.
Once you have your layers ready, it's time to make the bed.
From the corner of the mattress, pull both layers toward you.
Pull both layers tight and wrap the corners toward the headboard...almost like you're wrapping a present.
Once your corner has been pulled tight, tuck the excess sheet and blanket underneath the mattress. Congratulations! You just made a perfect hospital corner! 
Fold down the flat sheet exposing your decorative trim over your lightweight blanket and tuck in both sides.
Now, fold your duvet or comforter in half, covering the foot of the bed. This will give you the flexibility to pull the blanket up on colder nights or leave it as is and just use the lightweight blanket and flat sheet.
 Now it's time to layer in your pillows. There's a bunch of great illustrations you can find on Pinterest that show several different pillow configurations, but I'll share what works best for us.
First up is our "sleeping pillows". We each have 2 and are unique for our specific sleeping preferences. I lay ours down flat, stacked on top of one another butted up against the headboard.
 The next pillow layer is our shams. We have 2 King sized shams from H&M Home that get propped up against our sleeping pillows.
 The last pillow layer is the decorative pillows. I have 2 white lumbar pillows that I got from Ross a long time ago and 1 grey sequin pillow that I got from Home Goods. I'm looking to replace the white lumbar pillows for something with a pattern to give the bed a little pop and to tie everything together, but for now, the white pillows look great too!
So there you have it! The perfect hotel bed right in your own home! Don't worry, I know you'll be thanking me later when you've just woken up from the best sleep of your life.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Light It Up

 I didn't necessarily need any new lamps when I found these ugly duckling ones at the Goodwill for $7 each and even though they didn't have shades and were pretty beat up, I figured with just a small upfront investment, they could be turned into swans. I loved the shape and how heavy they were so for $14, I couldn't pass them up considering similar style lamps go for quite a bit more.
The first thing I did was remove the price stickers and gave them a good cleaning with a little bit of Bar Keeper's Friend and a mixture of water. It really did the trick to get all the years of grime and in some spots, rust, off with very little effort.
Next...I taped off the socket, and cord with a little blue painters tape to ensure that no paint got into the parts it wasn't supposed to.
Then I sprayed both prepared lamps with my all-time favorite primer, Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer. It's my go-to primer for full coverage on any surface with just one pass!
After priming the lamps I gave them a light sanding with a super fine sandpaper just to ensure that they were super-duper smooth for the next step.
I sprayed the lamps using Rust-Oleum spray paint in Navy Blue in a Gloss finish. I didn't realize at first that I had picked up the glossy finish but after seeing the end result, I'm so glad for the happy accident. Overall I applied 4 or 5 (I lost count) super thin coats. To obtain a super glossy, flawless finish, thin coats definitely the key!
I'm totally obsessed with this color and the high gloss finish. I literally want to stare at my reflection in them all day long and am hunting the house to find something else to paint this deep, bold color! It can be such a classic color but playful and bold all at the same time!
To finish the lamps, I purchased 2 inexpensive Threshold replacement shades and finials from Target because when I purchased the lamps they didn't have shades and I wasn't digging the existing finials. Small investments yield big rewards.
The lamps are currently living in our master bedroom on our long dresser that sits on the wall opposite our bed. I love them here for now, but can totally see myself rotating them throughout the house because I have design ADD like that and because I just love these oh-so-much!
And don't they look good with my Greek Key Curtains?! Swoon!
These ugly duckling lamps sure did come a long way! What do you think? For about $25 a piece, I invested about $50 for 2 for what would've cost me for one!! Can't beat that! Nothing like the power of spray paint! Maybe now you'll give some poor, ugly, outdated lamps a shot next time you stumble across them! If you do, please share!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Teacher's Pet

I'm so excited to be back to share with you all a project that I just love!
The dining room, or dining area is actually a better term, is a shared space with the living room. Truth be told...I hate, let me repeat, H-A-T-E, shared living / dining spaces. I don't know why I've come to have this aversion to spaces such as these but I guess this is just one of the sacrifices of living in a small apartment. Our dining room, or lack thereof, has gone through quite a few changes since we moved in almost a year ago. It's so hard to find a style or look for the dining room that flows well with the adjoined living room without the 2 spaces being #twinsies. Not fun. So because of this little dilemma, this small space had undergone a few makeovers in our short time here.
When we first moved in, we painted the dining room wall a deep, dusty blue. I've been digging the deep, rich, blues for a while now and couldn't wait to try out the color pallet in our new back then apartment. I was instantly in love but as the weeks wore on I quickly fell out of love...not because of the deep blue hue we had chosen, but because our apartment gets very bad natural light so the darker color made the whole space feel claustrophobic and small. So a few months ago, I decided to paint over it with something lighter and it's completely brightened things up in here, up in here, you know, like that one song...
When we decided to paint for the 2nd time, I went with big, bold white & grey stripes and I love, L-O-V-E them! Shout out to the best mom ever for helping me out (hope you're reading this! You better be!). Anyways, since painting the stripes a few months ago, the wall has sat empty and totally needed something. I've been searching for a big giant mirror to hang on the wall because mirrors are great to reflect light areas that don't get a lot of natural light but dang, giant mirrors are expensive. This chick ain't rich folks. So I set out to DIY a giant mirror but dang, I ran into quite a few issues and haven't got around to overcoming them so...onto Plan B!
While perusing Pinterest I ran across this baby that I totally fell for and ding...light bulb moment. I just had to have it.

So Plan B quickly became DIY-ing a giant-ish chalkboard to hang above my $4 Thomasville buffet that's still waiting to get refinished (we'll talk more later on how awesome a deal this buffet was).

I loved the look of this chalkboard coffee bar wall above the grey buffet but knew I didn't want an entire chalkboard wall because I felt we'd go right back to feeling like we lived in the batcave if we did that. So. I took this inspiration and put my own apartment-friendly-un-batcave-like twist on the idea.

To start I made a quick trip to my local home improvement store and picked up a sheet of 4'x2' MDF for around $6. I also picked up a 1"x3"x10' piece of trim board (used for baseboards) for another $6 smackaroos and a can of black chalkboard paint for $10. Then I got to work.

First step was painting the MDF board with the chalkboard paint. I brushed on the 1st coat but then rolled on all other coats with a high density foam roller. Using the roller gave it a smoother finish overall but if you decide to use a brush, be careful not to over brush as the paint seemed to dry quickly. sure to mix your can of chalkboard paint THOROUGHLY before applying. When I first opened the can, the paint inside was blue. At first I thought I grabbed the wrong color (because chalkboard paint does come in many awesome colors) but once I began stirring I realized that a lot of gunk (not sure what else to call it) had settled on the bottom of the can and the more I mixed, the blacker the paint turned.

Chalkboard paint requires a 4 hour dry time so once I completely covered the MDF in chalkboard pain I waited 4 hours before applying my next coat. All in all I did 5 coats and I'd recommend at least 3 at the very minimum, more if you have the patience. The thicker the coat of chalkboard paint the easier it'll be to write on.

Fun little tip when you're painting something that requires multiple coats with long dry times in between - wrap your brush or roller in a plastic bag or Ziploc and stick it in the refrigerator. Totally abnormal to have a paint brush in the fridge, yes, but the paint doesn't harden and therefore you don't have to wash the brush/roller after each application while you're waiting to re coat.
While drying, I set out to make my frame. With the help of my handy boyfriend, we cut the frame pieces down to size. I have visions of chopping off my thumb so I haven't worked up the courage to do this on my own so I stand at a safe distance and snap pics while he operates the thumb slicer. 
We (I mean he) cut 2 pieces at and 2 pieces at for the frame.
If you don't have access to a saw at home, your local home improvement store can cut them down to size for you. Once all our frame pieces were cut I got to work distressing the wood. Because I like to buy perfectly good wood and then beat it up. To distress the wood I used a hammer, the can of chalkboard paint and even a fork. Don't worry, I washed the fork.
You really cant mess this up. It's totally random and to your liking. Just ding, dent, scrape wherever you want or not at all. You're the artist here!
Doesn't look like much here but once the stain takes hold, it'll bring out the grain and all those cool distressed imperfections you created.
Next up stain! I used my favorite of all time, Minwax Dark Walnut.
I went over each board with a generous amount of stain and let the stain soak in for 15 minutes before wiping off the excess. I always find that using old cut up t-shirts works well for the application and wiping off but the stain can be applied with a brush as well but it's kinda a pain to clean up afterwards. And don't forget to wear your rubber gloves unless you want stained hands and fingernails.
See what I mean about the stain bringing out the distress markings as if they had always been there?! Love!
Moving on...
At this point you can wait an hour, see how you like the color, re coat if necessary or just let the boards dry. Dry time is 4 hours. I chose not to re coat because I loved the look on the 1st pass so I waited the allotted dry time.
Next up, putting together the frame! For this part I used my new Kreg tool that I got for Christmas to drill me some pocket holes on both ends of my 2 side pieces of the frame to help screw this frame together. All in all I think it's a pretty nifty tool and cant wait to get better at using it. The possibilities are endless with this thing.
I wont go through all the nitty gritty of how to use this but you basically start like this:
and end up with this:

I then used a little wood glue on both ends, butted them up against the horizontal pieces of the frame and screwed everything together as shown on the diagram below:

If you don't happen to have one of these tools, you can still make your frame by nailing or screwing all the pieces together from the top and bottom. The exposed screws would give it a really cool industrial look!

Once your frame is all put together, now it's time to put the chalkboard backing on. I put a bead of wood glue down on the entire inner perimeter of the frame like so...

 Then I centered the chalkboard piece over the frame opening and nailed it down with 3/4" finishing nails.

This part was a little tedious but not too bad. It would've gone way faster had I had the right length nails for my nail gun but I didn't and didn't want to make another trip to the store so I did it the old fashioned way.

 Last step in fabrication of this bad boy is attaching the hanging hardware. I picked up some large d-ring hooks at the hardware store, measured down 6" from the top of my frame and screwed the hardware in using 3/4" wood screws.

And fabrication is complete! 3 cheers for a job well done and the newest addition to our dining room wall! Ain't she a beauty?!

 To prepare your chalkboard before using it, you'll need to season it. To do this simply take a piece of chalk and lay it on its side and rub the entire chalkboard with it.

 After wiping off the excess chalk dust, you're good to go!

I think the chalkboard is the perfect addition to this once empty wall and perfect to display the menu for special occasions or the use it to display the drink list for our makeshift "bar" that hangs out below.

 Now that we have something cool displayed on the wall, its time for a new light fixture that doesn't interfere with the line of sight! The chalkboard is just the start to some changes/additions I have in mind for this weird space but I think it's off to a great start. And now that I have a fancy new chalkboard, I better start brushing up on my chalkboard art skills! Check back soon for chalkboard art tutorials...till then, enjoy the weekend!

 Project Cost:

MDF board - $6
Chalkboard Paint - $10
Trim pieces - $5
Stain / Glue / Nails - already had on hand
Total Project Cost - $21.00

Not too bad!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Curbside Pick-Up

One of the things I love most is finding something old and dilapidated, adding a little love, and turning it into something beautiful. I found this beat up table sitting on the curb outside my neighbors house and couldn't scoop it up fast enough. I didn't necessarily need a table but who doesn't love free? It's amazing how many people discard great pieces of furniture on the curb or by the dumpster because they're a little worn and what I like to call "loved" but you can bet that if we're driving by and I spy a good piece that's been set out, I'll make my boyfriend turn around and pick it up! #dumpsterdiver

When I rescued this this little beauty from the trash truck it was in sorry shape. It had some pretty bad water damage on top, the Queen Anne legs looked like they had been chewed on by a dog or cat, parts of the table top had been spray painted but with the exception of the raised lip on top, it was solid wood!

Since this table had been sitting who knows where for who knows how long (it was probably living in a dungeon somewhere, lets be honest) I started by giving the tabletop a good sanding with my palm sander. I started with a coarse 80 grit sandpaper and worked my way to a 220 fine grit sandpaper to get all the finish off. Going over with fine grit sand paper on your last pass before stain really opens up the pores of the wood and makes it super smooth and ready to absorb the stain. Since I was planning to stain the top, the top needed to be sanded down to the bare wood. The wood top was veneer so I had to be careful not to sand through the veneer but enough to get the clear coat/stain all the way off.
I used the Black + Decker Mouse Detail sander for this project and it worked great to get into all the grooves and crevices.
Before I stained the top though, I flipped the table over, removed all the screws that connected the skirt to the tabletop so that I could prep the skirt and legs for paint. (Sorry, no pictures of this)
Since I wasn't planning to stain the legs, I didn't bother sanding those down to bare wood with the palm sander. With the curvature of the legs it just would've been a pain in the neck and it just wasn't worth it. So, to prep the legs, I grabbed a piece of sandpaper and gave it a light sanding  just to get all the gunk and dirt off and then used Elmer's paintable/stainable wood filler to fill in all the dings and gouges. Pieces of the skirt were a bit damaged and separating from itself in places so I used a little wood glue and clamps to fix it right up.
After the wood glue and wood filler had dried, I gave the legs a good sanding until they were smooth and primed it with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Plus spray primer. Let me just tell you, this primer rocks! This is my go-to primer whenever I'm working on a paint project because it has a thick coverage and goes on flawlessly. It's always good to prime a piece you're planning to paint because primer gives the paint something to adhere to and it'll prevent your paint from cracking, peeling, and it'll make your paint job last 10x longer. So even though it's an extra step, it's totally worth it in the end...the last thing you want to do is skip the primer and then have to re-sand your wood and start all over because your paint didn't stick the first go around. Been there, done that! #notfun
Once the legs had been primed, I noticed a whole new batch of dings, dents, and gouges so I made one more pass with the wood filler, let it dry, and gave it another good sanding until the legs were smooth to the touch. Even if you don't have to make a second pass with the wood filler, you should always lightly sand your piece after it's been primed. Doing so will ensure a super smooth surface for your paint and sand out any drips that may have occurred while priming. One thing about white primer or paint is that it really does bring out any imperfections so even though that meant I had to wood fill the legs twice, I was happy that the primer helped me see what I didn't the first go-around.
When all that was said and done, I sprayed the legs using Rust-Oleum's White spray paint in a Satin finish. You can choose to either brush on your primer & paint but for the smaller jobs, spray paint was easier and faster. Once the legs dried, I reattached them to the top and it was time to stain the top!
To begin staining the top, I wiped everything down with a clean cloth and made sure there was no leftover dust from the sanding. I conditioned the wood using  Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Conditioning the wood isn't necessary but doing so preps the wood to absorb the stain just as using a fine grit sandpaper does. The conditioner helps ensure even coverage of your stain and helps to prevent any blotchiness of light and dark patches. And again...if you went through all this trouble to sand the wood, why not take the extra step?!
The wood conditioner looks like milk in the can so don't be alarmed. I just used a cheap-o paint brush I picked up in the stain section that is specifically made for staining applications but you can use an old cloth too. Old white t-shirts work great for this! Brush on the wood conditioner and wait the allotted time per the instructions. Once you have let your conditioner soak in, white off any excess. You can kinda see in the picture below the slight white tint the conditioned part of the table vs. the raw natural wood. 
Do this at least twice while waiting the allotted dry time per the instructions on the back of the can and now you're ready for stain!
For stain, I chose to use Mixwax Wood Finish stain in Dark Walnut. It looks a little light in the sample but goes on super rich and beautiful. I let my tabletop dry overnight and then began staining the top in the same manner I described above. Brush or wipe on, let sit, and wipe off. Don't forget to wear gloves when staining, otherwise your hands will be stained for like week. This happened to me and it looked like my fingertips had turned black. Gross!
When staining, the longer you let the stain sit the darker the stain will be once you wipe it off. And if you aren't sure, wipe off the excess stain after the instructed time and you can always go over it again with another coat. I think I ended up doing 3 coats of stain before the color was where I wanted it to be. Also! Be sure to stain outside or in a well ventilated area that is free of dirt and debris. Stain is super stinky and while your stain is drying, you don't want a rouge leaf to stick to the wet surface and ruin all your hard work!
Once I was finished staining I let the tabletop dry for 2 days. It probably wasn't necessary to let it dry for so long, but better safe than sorry.
After the stain has dried, it's time for the last step! Clear coat & protecting all your hard work staining! I used Minwax Polyacrylic. The polyacrylic goes on the same way as the wood conditioner and stain. Brush, wipe, dry. Repeat. At least 3 times! Once you've applied and let all your coats dry, your table is...Done. Done. Done!
I went the extra step and distressed my table legs a little by taking some sandpaper and sanding some inconspicuous areas and the raised edges to give it that worn and rustic look that I love so much before clear coating my legs.

  It didn't take much but this free little table went from beat up and discarded, to a welcome addition to our house! It cost me $45 in materials to get this table in useable shape, but in all actuality it cost me less because with the exception of the paint, I still have more than half of everything else left to use on other projects in the future. So for a $45 investment, I think its well worth it for a solid wood table that I can now comfortably seat 6. Did I mention how pretty she is?!
Project Cost:
Table - $0 Fr-eeeeee!
Spray Primer (2 cans) - $10.00
Spray Paint (2 cans) - $8.00
Wood Conditioner - $13.00
Stain - $5.00
Polyacrylic - $9.00
Total Cost - $45.00

Thursday, February 5, 2015

I Love, Love!

Hello again my friends!
How is it already almost Valentine's Day? Where has the time gone?!
Today's post will be short a sweet...with Valentine's Day just around the corner have you thought about what you might surprise your loved ones with this Valentine's Day?
I've been lucky enough to have been shot by Cupid's arrow (yes, I know how corny I sound) and although I try to show my love and affection, 365 days a year, I always love Valentine's Day. Don't you?
If you're anything like me, Valentine's Day has snuck right up on you and you're frantically worrying about doing something sweet for your sweetie! Well you're in luck! I put together a few gift guides for all the guys and gals in your life that you might be showing some love to come February 14th.
Take a peek:

These gifts are sure to please your lady-love...I know I would be!
And we can't forget about the men in our lives. Here's what I rounded up as a gift guide for our men with a little help and input from my own!
Well? What do you think? Have you already decided what to get the honey in your life? Do tell!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Entry Way Options

I'm a very visual person, like almost annoyingly so, and when I'm trying to make decisions and I find myself stuck, often times I create a mood board to help me help myself! Creating mood boards takes time because quite frankly, the options are endless...and when you love design and home décor as much as this girl, there are just too many beautiful things and not enough opportunities to use them.

When choosing paint colors & wallpaper (i.e. semi-permanent decisions) or big ticket items like couches, dining room tables, or things that you aren't just going to replace on a whim (i.e. costly decisions) it never fails that I find my self mocking something up on the computer just to see how these things will look when it's all laid out in front of me vs. how it looks in my mind. And let me tell's worth the effort.

So when I decided that the little sliver of a wall that we call our "entryway" needed a little something, I immediately thought wallpaper and immediately knew I needed to mock something up before I pulled the trigger on something like that.

You might be thinking I'm crazy for wanting to use wallpaper but let me explain. This itty bitty entryway wall of ours is 30" wide and only 60" tall. Wallpapering a space this small is totally affordable on the pocketbook, it's a great way to make a statement, draw attention, and bring some much needed fun to an otherwise boring wall, plus wallpaper has come a long way over the years! And the best part? It's totally renter-friendly! Score! They now make removable or peelable wallpaper...perfect for renters, dorm rooms, or people that want the flexibility to change their mind without the hassle of wallpaper glue and steamers to remove it.

This is where the mood boards come in. I mocked up 5 different wallpaper options that I'm considering for our entryway and now I need you to help me decide!
Option #1
Option #2
Option #3
Option #4
Option #5
We already have the mirror, the jute rug, we previously built the shelf, and I plan to keep all 3 of these items in this space. I just cant decide which wallpaper I like the most. Will you help me?! I'm flip flopping between 2 of them...but I wont tell you which ones they are ;)
What do you think about the mood boards? Aren't they great? They really help me see a space come together when I'm stuck on the fence about a big change. Would they help you too? If you find yourself stuck on the fence about a design decision and need some help with a mood board, give me a holler! In the meantime, I'd love to know which wallpaper you'd choose!