Monday, January 30, 2012

Burlap Wreath

I am a fan of double duty decor. I enjoy having decor that works in my home year round and since I really enjoy making wreaths (feel free to check out my autumn wreath), and Valentines Day is coming up, I thought why not make a Valentines Day wreath?

Here are the steps:
  • Gather materials which include: wire, burlap, scissors, ribbon and pliers.

  • Cut lots of squares of burlap (I didn't cut my burlap perfectly because I knew I would trim the burlap after the wreath was finished.) 
  • Make a circular form with the wire (you could use a clothes hanger)
  • Thread the burlap onto the wire form (This takes some time - I watched Secretariat while doing this task - great movie!)
  • Twist the wire closed with pliers
  • Tie ribbon to finished wreath and hang
A cute and free wreath (I had the materials left over from other projects). I can update year round for our decor by removing the ribbon, adding embellishments or changing the ribbon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valentines Day Inspired Decor

Hi! Thanks for stopping by!

As I look at the calendar I can't believe that it is near the end of January already! As January comes to a close, February is quickly approaching and with it comes Valentines Day or as Abigail calls it - heart day :)

Valentines Day has got me thinking about how people use the colors synonymous with Valentines Day - red, pink and white in their decor. The color red is an intense color and is a color that can overwhelm a space. I like to temper the use of red with white and cream.Pink is a color that can take a juvenile turn very quickly. I prefer to use pink as an accent color and as with the color red, I like to add cream or white to the palette.White is fresh, clean and works in either a modern or country application. White looks great alone but it also plays well with others as you can add any color to a palette with white as its base.

Here are a few rooms that I think have struck the balance of these colors and decorated with them beautifully.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hall Closet Reveal!

In our home, we decided not to build closets in the bedrooms. We do however have one hall closet that I used as a catch all/cleaning/linen closet.

We opted from building closets for two reasons : a) we figured we would use open shelving and armories to contain our clothes and unmentionables. That hasn't entirely worked out - more on that in another post. b) generally closets get filled with junk until you can no longer close the door and then something has to be done before you end up on an episode of hoarders.

I decided I have to clean our closet out, organise it and give it a fresh coat of paint. I figure when I have to open the door to get my mop and bucket I might as well have everything in its place - right? Plus it is so much more enjoyable getting that mop and bucket when everything is in order.

The challenge that I had in this closet makeover is that I didn't want to spend a lot of money in here - it is after all a closet and I would rather spend our money on living room furniture (it's all about priorities). I also wanted to have a distinct purpose for this closet so it wouldn't be in a state of chaos again.

This is the closet before the makeover in all its disorganized glory:

I know - pretty bad huh? *hanging head in shame* Please Don't judge!

And here is the closet after the re-do:

Much better!

Now this closet has a defined purpose as a utility/storage space. We have a large laundry room where I will be storing all the linens and such. As you can see we shop at Costco :)

Before the makeover everything was on the floor in a pile of disorganization. I can't even begin to tell you how nice it is to grab my cleaners or paper towel and not have to fight with a mound of clothes.

As I mentioned at the top of this post, I didn't want to spend a lot of money in here and as it turns out I didn't spend any! I used paint that I had used in our pantry makeover and the shelves, trim and hooks were already in the closet - they just needed a fresh coat of paint.

The piece of advice that I would like to share with regard to any space in your home that you may be struggling with organizing is: to clean it out, and define its purpose. Before my closet was a catch all mess. When I was putting things back into the closet, I only put back things that were related to cleaning and storage. It is much easier to keep a space organized that way, and hopefully the producers of hoarders will not be contacting me any time soon :)

Monday, January 16, 2012


Happy Monday Friends! I hope you had a great weekend!

After reading Layla's post on the word of the year, it made me think about what my word will be for 2012. I really like the idea of choosing a word to help motivate and encourage you through the new year. Often times when we make new years resolutions such as to lose weight and don't see the results right away we get overwhelmed, frustrated and give up. I've been there - haven't we all been there?

My word for 2012 is FORWARD. To me, FORWARD is a positive word, one that helps me to remember that I can get through anything, I just have to keep moving. FORWARD reminds me to be accountable for what I accomplish each day, each week , each month. I want to keep pushing FORWARD every day this year, I no longer will live in the past, think about what might have been, what should have been and what I didn't get done. FORWARD will remind me that staying in one place or looking back is not an option. I will not only move FORWARD but pay it forward. I am very blessed in my life and I want to share those blessings with others whenever possible. I will have to move out of my comfort zone, achieve and fail at times, and that will be okay -  one must fail to grow after all.

Moving FORWARD also ensures that I stay positive and optimistic. I desire great things this year personally and professionally and in order to achieve these things, I must check procrastination, and excuses at the door and embrace discipline, optimism and patience.

I hope you will move FORWARD with me in 2012!

All images via.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Closet Inspiration

Happy Friday! Today is going to be a busy one because we just got hit with a lot of snow overnight - the heavy kind, and I have to shovel the walk ways. Abigail will be happy though because she loves snow and all the joy it brings like snow angels, forts and snowmen!

This weekend I am going to be transforming our hall/linen/utility closet. It seems to be a catch all for everything with no real organization and I decided that I need to do something about it.

As with any new design or decor project I begin, I always look for inspiration photos to get some ideas and a sense of aesthetic that I am drawn to. I always recommend this step to anyone beginning a project.

A few things that I know I want are two shelves for storage and a series of hooks for hanging items. Other than that - I'm open. Let's face it, I just want to open the closet door and not have things fall on me :)

Here a few pics that caught my eye:

All images via.
I hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Stacking Stool Transformation

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend!

I decided that this weekend I was going to tackle a DIY project that I have been putting off out of fear of failure. Yep, I said the f word - don't we all feel this way at times? I have decided that in 2012 I am going to push through my fear and have a positive attitude in all I do.

Really isn't that the secret of success? A positive attitude?

Image via

One day the mister came home with 2 retro stools that he found in the ditch.

As soon as I saw them I knew that I would be able to update them. Sure they are tired looking and dated but they were still very sturdy - and free!

As I mentioned here I am planning to entertain more this year and it seems as though whenever I had entertained in the past I was always scrambling to find a few more chairs. Well these little stools are perfect for extra seating during a meal or during a serious winner take all family game of monopoly!

I started the transformation by purchasing some fabric with a feminine pattern, two packages of floor protectors for the legs of the stools and gathering the rest of my supplies which included a drill and bits, white spray paint, twine, stapler and staples.

I took the seat off of the stools so that I could spray paint the legs and attach my fabric. The cushions were attached to the seat by four screws so that part was easy peasy.

I  sanded the legs very lightly with a sanding sponge and spray painted the stools legs by applying several thin coats of spray paint so that I didn't get any drips during the application process and that I achieved a nice even coverage.

While the legs were drying I decided to upholster the seat cushions. I must mention that the original cushions were covered by a vinyl material that was in fine condition and because the material I was recovering the seats in was heavier weight, the vinyl pattern didn't show through so I didn't see any point in removing it and it adds a bit more cushion.

I simply placed the cushion on the fabric and cut around leaving a few inches of fabric on each side to fasten the fabric with staples to the cushion. I attached the fabric using a staple gun and 5/16" staples stretching the fabric so it was tight before I stapled it.

Once I had both seat cushions upholstered and the legs were dry, I found some twine and thought that I would wrap twine around the legs of one of the stools to add a bit of a rustic touch to it and for added interest. I then reattached the legs with 4 screws per stool in the same manner as they were attached originally.

Because we had most of the materials already this was a very inexpensive project. The only costs were the fabric and two packages of floor protectors total cost of $25.00 taxes in .

I am very happy with the way these stools turned out and it proves that one persons trash really can be another persons treasure!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Book Storage is Child's Play

I am in the planning and design stages of my toddlers big girl room and one area that I really need to address is proper book storage.We read a lot in this house, and that is certainly something that I want to encourage as Abigail gets older. Abigail has a lot of books and I want her to be able to access them safely and on her own when the desire strikes to read and imagine.

I have been scanning the web and books in search of great children's book shelf ideas and I can honestly say there are so many creative people! Here are a few of my favorites in no particular order :

I really appreciate how this shelf although simple in design, is painted in a vibrant shade and accented with a decal to add interest. The size of these particular shelves is also nice because they work in small spaces without overpowering the room like some of the larger shelving units can.

I like that this book case is similar to a piece of furniture so it can be used in other rooms and still look great. Because of the shallow design, it doesn't take up a lot of floor space. I also like that it provides easy access of the books for the child.

Isn't this book shelf fun? It is really a conversation starter and would certainly add interest to any room, particularly a child's bedroom. You can choose to paint it a vibrant color as demonstrated here or keep it more neutral - both would be fantastic!

People are so creative! Rain gutter as a book shelf? I never would have thought to use it in this way but doesn't it look great? I like the functionality of having the gutter installed at a level that makes the shelves accessible to the little ones.

Although this unit is quite shallow it does have great height to store numerous books and small toys. Because it is wall mounted it takes up no floor space and because of its depth it doesn't pose a risk of bumping into it.

I will keep you updated as the big girl room design progresses and I am certain one of these bookshelf designs will be in her room!

All images via.