Posts tagged ‘Decor’

December 26, 2014

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

Ok, so technically, Christmas is over, but I’m never one to blog on time, right? This year, family photos were taken in front of our tree, so I had a really good excuse to out-do myself with tree decorations. This year, I went a bit nuts with silver and gold ornaments as well as bows and icicles.

I’m just tickled with how it turned out.

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Merry Christmas, Friends!

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September 19, 2014

Exciting Things

There’s something very exciting coming up for the House on Penny Lane. Are you excited? No? Not yet? Well, I can be excited for the rest of us.

At the end of this year, we’re getting a new sofa! A sectional to be exact…

Our IKEA sofa has served us well during the last seven years. It was our first big purchase together and, for each of us, our first real grown up sofa. But lately, we have begun to outgrow it. We’re hosting more and more get-togethers at our house while also spending more and more time stretched out/cuddled up just the two of us. And we just need more room.

And lucky for us, our living room can handle it. It’s kind of huge. Check out my sweet rendering. It’s like looking at my house through a Simpson’s episode.

 

And I never miss a chance for a mood board. This thing makes me giddy. Especially because the majority of the items pictured are ones I already own. This, by the way, is an update to a mood board from way back in 2010. We were just young chicks then, so it’s interesting to see how our tastes have grown in the last few years.

 

 

1.     Our wonderful wood floors. I still dig the high contrast between them and our walls.

2.     With the addition of a larger sofa, we will also need a larger area rug. Our current rug is a $170 8’x10′ shag rug we found at Home Depot. Such a steal and hides stains amazingly well. The new rug is actually made up of carpet tiles, so if one gets stained, I can just remove and replace it with a fresh tile. I’ve also heard the tiles are way easier to clean than a regular rug, so let’s hope any stains that do pop up can be taken care of quickly.

3.     My $30 a piece Craigslist chairs. I recovered them just last year, so they’re not going anywhere any time soon.

4.     Our 70s coffee table. Another awesome Craigslist find.

5.     THE SOFA. I am so excited by this. Pretend this picture is of a sectional with a chaise instead of an ‘L’ shaped sofa. I chose a fitted back to avoid the inevitable slouchy back cushions. The fabric will be a microfiber velvet in a very dark, almost black, charcoal.

6.     Our sofa table. It came from CB2, but is unfortunately no longer available.

7.     Our favorite IKEA Besta media cabinet.

8.     Our vintage walnut lamps. I am so glad these are not glass or ceramic. They would have been broken a long time ago. *Cough* cats *cough*

9.    My Valentine’s Day Fiddle Leaf Fig.

10.   Our current accent pillows, throw, and our Franco Albini Ottoman.

11.    With the new sofa, I should be receiving some throw pillows in the fabric of my choosing. So here’s my choosing! Kind of an Ikat print with cream, charcoal, linen, plum, and cranberry colors. It’s super pretty and this pic doesn’t do it justice.

12.   Think I can talk Rob into some light colored faux fur throw pillows? I hope so. We’ve got a lot of sofa to cover.

13.   I think a nicely colored Persian style rug would be beautiful layered over our future area rug. This will take some obsessing, hunting, and deliberation, so don’t expect to see this placeholder filled for some time.

 

So what’s been a recent exciting addition to your home? Tell me about it in the comments below!

September 6, 2014

Dusting Off the Cobwebs

Hopefully there are people still out there who are willing to listen to my ramblings. Blogging consistently is challenging and I’ve just lacked the energy and inspiration to continue. Luckily, I do have some new and exciting things coming up for the House on Penny Lane. I’ll fill you in a bit more on that later. For now, I want to show off a quick and easy redo of our guest bathroom.

The guest bathroom was one of our first rooms to “complete” when we first moved into the house, mainly because it had the most bewildering decor of the entire house. Picture, if you will, matching wallpaper and window treatments featuring ladies’ hats and handbags in a lovely checkerboard pattern made of blue striped ribbon. Yes.

We removed the wallpaper and window treatments, painted and retiled the floor. The improvements felt like a breath of fresh air, but have recently revealed themselves to be merely an offering of a blank slate. While the rest of our home filled itself with texture and character, our guest bathroom sat blank and empty. It was time to add some life.

As a reminder of what the room looked like before, here are some phone pics I took of the space while contemplating my next steps.

      

Here’s the updated look.

My first step was switching around some art. Sometimes I love placing small pieces of art on walls that should really have large pieces, just because it’s unexpected. But the piece above the toilet just made the rest of the room feel so expansive, which only added to the empty, blank slate feeling in the space. So I moved the piece to the wall next to the door and added a larger piece of art above the toilet.

I would have loved to do something with the mirror and the light fixture, but I just didn’t have the budget to allow for those changes. Maybe further down the road. Right now, we’re just talking cheap improvements that make a big impact.

The next step was adding texture. This bathroom is used most by visitors that are only staying for a couple hours. So I really wanted to make the bathroom feel like an extension of the living room, not just the room that visitors would spread out their hygiene products in order to get ready in the morning.  So I added a runner to make the room feel less bathroom-y. It also added warmth and texture to an otherwise cold space.

Next was filling up all that counter space. I found the round basket at Home Goods on clearance for $5. I filled it up with toiletries that may be needed by overnight guests. Things like shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. The Himalayan salt votive and marble tray also came from Home Goods. The hand towel and picture frame came from World Market and the soap dispenser came from Target. The floral stems came from Hobby Lobby. I’ve been on a faux floral kick lately and I recently realized how nicely the forms can fill a space, even if they’re not real. I’m no longer above having fake flowers, as long as they’re reasonably realistic looking and arranged well. The large vase, art, and other small pieces were items I already owned, but had no home for.

I’m planning on adding a DIY curtain for the window, but just couldn’t wait to share what’s finally happening over at our place.

Altogether, I spent about $60 on this space. I’d say it was money well spent.

Oh, I forgot to mention… we added framed picture of Polly because we consider this room hers. She loves drinking water out of the leaky faucet. I have proof.

December 31, 2013

Christmas Craftiness

I’m racing the clock to turn in a post about the Penny Lane Christmas before the new year rings.

Every Christmas, I get the urge to be super crafty. I think it’s because crafty Christmas decorations are far more acceptable than crafty Tuesday decorations. It’s late. I don’t know what I’m saying.

This year, my craft was an Advent Calendar. I’ve been wanting to put one together for the last few years, but never had a design fully conceptualized until this year. I have Pinterest to thank for a plethora of options from the store bought to the simple DIY to the crazy design-y DIY.

Here are some of my favorites.

image courtesy of unusuallylovelysquarespace.com

image courtesy of relocatedliving.com

image courtesy of pichouline.com

In the end, my final design was driven by circumstances and opportunity. Due to our beloved fig tree, we relocated the Christmas tree to our dining area. Opportunity came from a blank wall next to the tree that needed to be filled. Circumstances came from trying to create the calendar almost entirely from materials I already owned: a 24″x48″ canvas with layers upon layers of different paint color from its previous lives, white paint, colored construction paper, double stick tape, and gold paint. All I had to buy were the containers and velcro.

I painted the canvas white (the same white as our walls), laid out a grid for 24 boxes (yes, I was the girl who bought out all the 3 inch paper mache boxes from the metro area Hobby Lobby stores), painted gold numbers on construction paper, labeled the boxes, and attached them with vecro.

The boxes are currently empty, but over the next couple of years, I’d like to fill them with small ornaments each to symbolize a different bible verse telling the story of Christmas.

What about you? Do you get crafty during Christmas? What have you made recently? Tell me in the comments below!

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I’ve been away so long and feel a bit like I’m talking to an empty room, but I’m doing it anyway.

We just hosted our third (third?) Thanksgiving and I feel like I’m getting a little better each time. This year was all about acquiring a complete set of dinnerware. A typical table setting count for our Thanksgiving dinners has been 8, and in previous years, we have made do with glassware and flatware in sets of no larger than 6.

So what do I do when I want new flatware? I hit up Ebay for a 24k gold set, of course. I found a great, used, vintage set on Ebay called Florentine. It was much less expensive than buying new and further idealizes my Vintage-or-IKEA product selections.

And what do I do when I want new drinkware? I arrange an IKEA trip, of course. We also managed to get some additional folding chairs for when we have extra guests.

2013 Tablescape

Next year, I’ll work on a better Tablescape image. I get so caught up in getting the food ready that once it’s on the table, we all dive in. I did get talked into taking a picture of the bird in all its glory.

Bird 2013

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

June 2, 2013

Troublesome

My troublesome master bedroom was requiring some ‘Frasier’ inspiration. I had furniture I loved and pretty bedding to go with it, but it still wasn’t working for me. After much deliberation, I realized my biggest problem was how I was treating the lines of the headboard. With the overall height of the headboard at only 26″, it was even more difficult to accessorize.

So I took a cue from Emily Henderson on how to style my nightstands. The most important step? Lighting. I had originally considered the usual table lamp, but with an only 11″ tall headboard and no great way of corralling electrical cords, I decided against them. Instead, I installed sconces centered above the headboard for easy reach.

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The sconces functioned well, but having them centered just above the headboard really disrupted its low, elegant, albeit challenging, line. And don’t get me started on the Euro shams. If my goal is keep that continuous line, I was majorly failing. So I started entertaining other options for nightstand lighting.

I really loved the idea of hanging pendants centered above the nightstand, a la The Brick House:

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image courtesy of the brick house

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I bought vintage pendants that were originally a mono-point hardwired fixture and rewired them to be two separate plug-in swag pendants.

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But when I test hung them in our bedroom for placement, I decided they were totally off. The combination of the teak bed with the brass birds and the swag pendants was far too Bohemian for my taste. Much more like Frasier’s free-spirited one-time girlfriend, Caitlin, than Frasier himself.

Finally, I put my Frasier hat on. What would Frasier do? I obviously couldn’t do table lamps, sconces, or pendants. The only thing left was a floor lamp, which would need to be able to reach at least Rob’s side of the bed, considering he used the wall sconces the most. So, I started looking for a classically shaped floor lamp and found this beauty at a local vintage shop for a great price.

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It may not be the Arco floor lamp, but it very well may be as close as I will get to one. So here it is in my space.

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And here’s my sort-of-styled nightstand.

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Where do you draw inspiration from? Do you have a troublesome room that has taken some time to complete?

May 28, 2013

What Would Frasier Do?

I am often full of ideas and easily inspired, but there are times when I can get hung up on a space. In those times, I will often think, ‘What would Frasier do?’

I have always been a big fan of the show ‘Frasier’. The televised combination of witty puns, a drizzly climate, and thoughtful interiors is right up my alley. I remember watching syndicated episodes on TV right before bedtime when I was in high school. High school. And here I am, over 10 years later,  wrapping up our bedtime viewing of the series ‘Cheers’ on DVD with plans to continue with its spinoff, ‘Frasier’, on DVD for the third time.

In other words, I like ‘Frasier’… a lot. I also like Frasier’s apartment. I see it as a wonderful combination of classic, eclectic, and contemporary. For those unfamiliar, here’s a floor plan and interior rendering.

image courtesy of Nils Gleissenberger

(I can’t attest to the accuracy of the floor plan considering many story lines included Daphne making trips to a community laundry room.)

So some of you may be thinking, ‘What would Frasier do?? But your interiors look nothing like Frasiers…’. True. I’m inspired by the essence of Frasier’s apartment. Clean lines, neutral colors warmed with wood tones, and a touch of tribal motif. Whenever I need inspiration for creating a warm, classic, masculine space. I think of Frasier.

Stay tuned to read about how I applied this inspiration to a troublesome room of mine.

April 9, 2013

Insta Decor

If you’ve been paying attention to my instagrams (I’ve magically included a feed at the sidebar), you’ll have noticed some new master bedding. Our bedroom is nowhere near finished, but the improvement is definitely worth noting.

I purchased the euro shams during my first ever Home Goods visit in California. The fur throw was also from an inaugural visit to World Market (both stores, by the way, are everything everyone says they are). Once home, I found the duvet cover at Target. I love it all.

 

 

February 2, 2013

Kitchen Improvement Baby Steps, Part 2

I promised a full post wrapping up my first baby step to improving the kitchen, so here goes. Let’s start with the Befores.

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011

These pictures were taken in 2011, but not all that much had changed before this past November, including my choice of pajamas. At this point, I was unhappy with practically every surface in the kitchen, but I knew I couldn’t afford any upgrades anytime soon… if ever. So, instead, I started thinking about ways I could improve the feel of the space without putting too much money into it. I came up with a plan, starting with addressing the items I disliked the most about the space.

1. The upper cabinets above the peninsula. I despised them. They got in the way of many conversations being had. I wanted to tear them down, but that meant patching the surfaces beyond. I had to be prepared for whatever state they may be in. I’ve had experience patching gypsum and texturing walls, so I felt confident I could fix whatever happened to the ceiling in the process. The wall, not so much. The backsplash tiles were cut around the upper cabinet, so if I took the cabinet off, the raw edges of the tile would be exposed. I do not have experience in tiling, so I did not feel good about that. Luckily, I had an idea. I designed a wood trim piece to cover the cut tiles and had a friend build it for me. I then painted it and liquid nailed it to the wall. You can see the down and dirty pictures here at my previous post on this subject.

Kitchen Progress

2. The dark and creepy window nook. I loved this window space when we first looked at the house. I thought it could be a cheerful space to grow herbs and other plants. Instead, it became a black hole that constantly felt empty, yet overcrowded. After staring at pretty kitchen windows on blogs, then at mine, I realized a curtain was the first step, and I could make it myself. But first, I painted the window frame to match my tile trim. Painting the trim white helped to brighten up the area and made it feel much cleaner than the old, worn stained frame did. I then got to constructing my curtain. I found a pretty simple tutorial here that is so easy I was able to start and finish the project in an evening. I then took the “less is more” approach to accessorizing the nook by removing everything I didn’t love. I was left with a knife block, a couple plants, three glass canisters (which each hold flour sack towels, dish detergent and fresh light bulbs) and a frosted mustard bowl to tie in my accent color.

Kitchen Curtain

3. Lack of interesting and cohesive accessories. What accessories I had were merely parts that did not add up to a cohesive look. Accessorizing is not my strong point, so I experimented with my accent color in various patterns. I mixed the geometric curtain with striped tea towels and a southwest style rug. Mustard colored bowls, a print with bits of yellow and produce helped add fresh color to the space.

Kitchen Accessories

4. The furniture in the space doesn’t accomodate the activities that take place there. Sure, a dinette table belongs in a dinette, but what if the dinette table only gets used as a mail sorter and a coat rack? The table just took up space and made it difficult to vacuum. What I noticed most was that guests preferred to stand close to the peninsula to watch whatever activities were happening in the kitchen. So how about some stools?

Kitchen Stools

Ok, enough ‘splainin’. Let’s get to the Afters!

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Baby step one is done. My plan, now, is to live with this progress a while and decide if anymore steps should be taken. At this point, those steps are painting the upper cabinets or painting all of the cabinets. We’ll see!

January 24, 2013

Sneaks

This blog may not have been bustling lately, but I sure have!

I’ve been working on lots of small projects, but nothing that seemed complete enough to warrant a blog post. Which is really just unfair. So I’ll compromise. Instead of a full-blown post about this and that, I’ll share little sneak peeks and give you the whole lengthy spiel when things are more complete. Deal? Ok, here goes…

Kitchen Window

Yellow Chairs

Kitchen

Elephant Ear

Crucifix

Yellow Chairs

Frame