Thursday, May 30, 2013

Six Ways to Add Schoolhouse Decor to Your Home

Hi! I hope your week is going well. It has been a busy one here trying to get yard maintenance done between the rain showers. Hopefully the weather cooperates today because I would like to spend the evening hiking with the family.

Today I want to share a few ideas on how we can incorporate schoolhouse decor into our homes.

1. Chalk Boards

Adding a small chalkboard in your kitchen, foyer or home office is a stylish way for the family to leave notes or reminders to each other.

2. Schoolhouse Furniture

If you are lucky enough to find an old teachers desk or students desks in great shape - grab them! The craftsmanship in those desks were second to none with dovetailed drawers and solid wood. The teachers desks are great in a home office but you could also place one in your foyer to work double duty as a table to toss your keys, purse. etc., and conversation piece. Student desks can be added to the family room, craft room, or child's room to provide a sturdy place for children to draw and craft on.


Lab stools are another way to incorporate schoolhouse in your home and also look fabulous when used as seating around an island in the kitchen.

3. Lockers

These bad boys can go from drab to fab with a coat of paint. Or you can sand them down and keep the industrial, edgy look. Lockers are great for storage and you can use them anywhere in the home for added storage.

4. Industrial Pieces

Large, deep sinks often found in janitors closets are not just for commercial spaces. There are very stylish options on the market for residential applications, and when paired with a large industrial style faucet it ups the style quotient big time.

5. Lighting and Flooring

Linoleum has long been the standard in flooring for schools and of course in the home as well for years. Linoleum is a gem to clean, is hard wearing, and is available in a variety of colors and styles to choose from.


Schoolhouse lighting fixtures are a wonderful and practical way to add interest, personality and design to your home. You can install two or three pendants over your kitchen island, a wall mount fixture in a powder room, a ceiling mount fixture in your hall or any combination you fancy.

6.  Accessories

If you simply want to add a few schoolhouse pieces to your home instead of investing any large amounts for cash or floor space, simply add a few inspired accessories. Find fun and interesting ways to display maps or globes, or vintage teaching posters such as framing and displaying them as a grouping. Re-purpose lab beakers as vases. Add school bells, small clocks or typewriters on a table or if space permits, a bookcase.


Are you a fan of schoolhouse decor? What schoolhouse touches do you have in your home or would like to add?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Emerald Is The Color of The Year

Since Pantone named emerald as its color of the year for 2013, it has been popping up in fashion as well as home decor. I am a huge fan of any shade and any tone of green -always have been, always will be. Green is such an vibrant, energizing color.

This room is a showcase for the great combination of green and gold. The addition of the black in the rug, painting, window coverings and accessories give the eye a place to rest in a visually vibrant room.

When using a bold pattern or color such as emerald green, I always like to repeat it somewhere in the room so it looks deliberate and cohesive. In the above photo the decorator added pattern and color in the drapes and repeated the color in the artwork above the sofa and with the chair.

Another successful way to work with emerald (or any bold color) is to temperate it with cream and white. By adding the color through accents such as a throw or toss cushions - instead of committing to an expensive purchase such as a sofa, when the color trends change, you can keep up without a lot of work or cost.

Giving your furniture a new face lift is a great way to introduce an on trend color to your space. Applying paint with an interesting technique or pattern such as chevron in the above photo can take a ho-hum piece of furniture to another level.

Although emerald is certainly another bold color of the year I don't believe it is as polarizing as 2011 choice of honeysuckle. Emerald is also a color that plays well with others such as gold, fuchsia, yellow, navy, and brown.

How have you decorated with emerald? How do you incorporate on trend colors into your decorating?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Coffee Table Choices

Since our renovation at The Rustic School House we are still in the process of looking for a new coffee table and eventually new furniture. I have been gathering a few ideas for living room layouts with coffee tables of all sizes and types. Here are a few of my favorites.

Wooden Tables
Our old table is wood that matched side tables we bought as a set. I personally like wood tables because they are easy to wipe down and tend to look better with age and wear. 

Re-purposed Trunks/Natural Fibers
I love this look which to me lends more to a cottage style. If you are not a fan of the dark tones, you can easily freshen them up with a coat of paint. This style also works well as a multi purpose furniture in a small space.

Fabric/Leather Ottomans
I am seriously leaning toward making my own ottoman instead of a wooden table this time around. They provide another opportunity to inject pattern and/or color into the room.

Original Styling
In these living rooms they decided to forgo the traditional one linear table and either have a couple of tables grouped together, interesting material choice or no table at all.

Metal Edge
The metal tables break up the wood in each of these rooms and add a bit of interest with their patina and decorative metal work.

Ultimately when choosing a coffee table as in choosing any furniture for your home it should be a decision not made in haste. Think about how your family lives, your budget and style. Go to yard sales, browse online and visit your local shops and boutiques. You never know where your next "must have" piece will show itself next.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Rustic School House Spring Garden Tour

Although it has been raining a lot here recently I wanted to show our gardens just as everything is starting to come up. I will do a garden tour once each season so I can document how the plants change through out the year.

After much discussion we decided not to build any more gardens this year. We will see what next year brings but we have lots to keep us busy now and for the summer. We were going to do a raised bed for veggies but since we enjoy going as a family to the farmers markets in the summer we decided not to build one this year. I am going to plant a few tomato plants in containers and herbs on the deck. I really enjoy making my own salsa, spaghetti sauce and tomato soup.

We will start this tour on the west side of the house. These plants see mostly shade.

 Although difficult to see, there are two hostas in this bed and three bunches of yellow day lilies. I am always impressed by the size of the hostas as they grow larger every year.

The north side or rear of the house. Again, mostly shade.

These are spirea. One blooms with little pink flowers, the other with yellow flowers. These spread quite large and require pruning to keep them under control. We have another variety of spirea as a hedge along the rear property line. We assume it was planted when the building was a school.

This is a burning bush ( and Abigail's Hunter rubber boot). We currently have two of these and would like to plant more although the deer and rabbits seem to really enjoy the fresh buds of these plants.

The Eastern side where it is a full sun zone.

This glorious vine is a Virginia creeper and we would like to build a large arbour for it to climb on. We found her two summers ago while cleaning out the hedge at the rear of the property. We also planted shrubs at the base and in the fall it is quite a sight to see the leaves of the Virgina creeper turn bright red and the shrubs golden leaves.

This is one of many garden fences Mr.RSH and I build these past few years. As you can see, they do have to be stained again. I do that once a year but since it has been raining almost everyday, I have yet to get started on it. I will blog about that process when things get rolling.

Every year in the fall, since Abigail was born we plant a tree for her. Its been one of those traditions that we all look forward to doing. Now that Abigail is older and knows what is going on, she really likes nurturing her trees and going to the nursery to pick out a new one to plant. We have planted a weeping mulberry, a weeping pea shrub, a Japanese maple and another shrub whose name escapes me. It has really pretty yellow leaves in the spring that fall off to make room for green ones that stay until late fall.

A smorgasbord of plants. These guys see full sun and include a clematis .

These are Columbines. They like to spread so they are an excellent ground cover. We have them in a couple of our garden beds.

These will eventually grow into beautiful pink day lilies.

Clematis. This baby is a real show stopper when it blooms. We planted another on the other side of the bed in hopes that the two will mingle and provide a bit of a living privacy fence for us on the deck in the summer.

The front of the house or south side which is full sun.

This shrub is called a wine and roses wigela. It has the most beautiful pink blooms that the hummingbirds love.

A variety of hosta that is able to be planted in either sun or shade. We planted these bad boys in the front of our house alternating between barberry bushes.

This is one side of the front of our house. The two larger shrubs are called barberry's and the small plant in the center is a hosta. On the other side of the front of the house we alternated barberry shrubs and hosta. As the plants grow our hope is it will look balanced. Since we put the other bed in just last year all the other plants are small in comparison.

How are your plants coming along? Are you adding any new plants or gardens to the mix this year?