Monday, April 29, 2013

Etsy Art

Etsy is a treasure trove of amazing artists.  The tough thing for me (and many others I suspect) is navigating the site, since there is just so much there.  I've found most of the artists I love through other blogs, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites here.  In turn,  I would love to know about Etsy artists you love as well!

I am crazy for the work of Clare Ellsaesser.  Love the moody feel of her paintings and her use of color.  I first learned about her work through Erika, and I can personally testify to how lovely she is in person!  I've had to pinch myself, as we have been in the process of working with her on a commissioned painting!  So exciting!  Will keep you posted :)  The prints in her shop, Tastes Orangey, are affordable and so beautiful.

 How amazing are the colors (again with the green!) in this giclee art print?!  11x17 for only $35!

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

I really feel that I need this archival print by Samantha French.  I was a competitive swimmer my entire childhood, so it only seems fitting.  Love the aqua tones contrasted by the black bathing suit too.

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

The art of Lisa Golightly is really lovely.  She captures children in such a sweet way.  Her etsy shop is called Kiki and Polly, and you can place a variety of different custom orders through her personal website.

Shop owner, dimdi, has gorgeous ORIGINAL watercolors of most any animal you can imagine starting at only $25 each!  Avocet available here.

I have almost pulled the trigger on a piece from the shop Painting Well multiple times, and now I am asking myself why I have not already done so?!  Her oil paintings are gorgeous and so reasonably priced.  All her proceeds go to benefit cancer research too.

Now it's your turn!  Please, please share your favorite Etsy artists!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Love Green

I know I talked about my love for green in my post about my chairs.  And maybe it's something about Spring (that keeps teasing us as if it's actually here to stay...for the record, I am not okay with the fact that I had to wear a down coat this morning and it is nearly May!), but I just can't seem to get green off my mind.  I love it in nature, I love it in small doses, I love it painted all over the walls.  I am convinced you really cannot go wrong with good 'ol green.

The bright, almost chartreuse color in these beds is so unexpected and yet it's the perfect little pop in this otherwise rustic and neutral room.

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

This house is gorgeous in and of itself, but the lush green landscaping is the element that puts me over the edge.  Black+white+green=perfection.

Since having come across this front porch, I am now convinced I need a painted white house with a kelly green door.  I'll take the cute little planters too.

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

This emerald green velvet sofa is just so elegant.

This shade of green is cozy and comforting when used all over the walls and trim!
Source: via Anne on Pinterest

Buffalo check is fresh and modern in this light apple shade of green.

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

Peter Dunham's Fiddle Leaf Fig wallpaper is so so good in this bathroom.  (Do I spy a bathrobe made out of the fabric?!)

I adore these glossy green lamp shades.  So perfect with the mix of pillows and even that little ball of moss!  {See the grapes on the table?  What do y'all think about that?  I'm betting those are glass, and I know it's a thing some people are really into.  I'm having a hard time getting behind it...}

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

On the other hand, I'm totally into these emerald green studs.  

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

When paired with navy and white, green feels classic and preppy.

The perfect muted shade of green takes this traditional bedroom up a notch.

 via Anne on Pinterest

These last two images are favorites of mine that I can't get out of my head. I love how the bright green curtain adds such a colorful dose of elegance to all those beautiful books!

And this dining room just feels so springy!  That light, grassy green still feels dressed up when paired with the traditional table, the sparkly chandelier, and the gilt mirrors.  I absolutely adore this room.

Anybody else loving green these days?!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lucy's Den {Before & Plans}

One of the fun things that has come out of this blog has been having friends invite me to help them with their decorating projects in their homes.  It's brought me in touch with old friends I haven't connected with in years, and I love that.

One such friend is Lucy.  She and I first met when we were both lifeguarding at a local pool one summer (back in the late '90s I think??? my gosh, that sounds like forever ago!).  I remember her as being super athletic and disciplined with her exercise regimen--and I'd be willing to bet neither of those things has changed :)  She's also just a wee bit older than me, but was so nice to me--I remember the high school me appreciating that.

Anyway, fast forward to present day, and she now lives in Richmond with her husband and two cute kiddos.  I was so excited when she asked me if I'd be up for giving her some ideas for window treatments in several rooms in her house.  Her home has great bones and Lucy has some really beautiful pieces as well.  Needless to say, I have been having some fun!

The first room we've been tackling is the den.  The room doesn't receive a lot of natural light, so Lucy and her husband wanted to make sure whatever window treatments they chose would not jeopardize the light the room did get.

The large blue oriental rug is obviously a big focal point in the space, so I wanted to suggest something that would compliment it.  The light blue wall color also needed to be taken into consideration.  We considered doing a printed drape, possibly in a darker blue, a taupe, or even a red pattern (The rug has some touches of red in it), but ultimately decided on a solid panel.  Going with creamy white linen drapes keeps the space feeling light, but also adds some warmth and texture without competing with the rug.  We are very excited to trim out the drapes in this pretty blue scroll flat tape.  They don't need the drapes for privacy in this particular room, so the roller blinds will be going.
The color in this image doesn't reflect the actual color, which is much more ivory/creamy.
Source: via Anne on Pinterest

This trim is so classic.

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

Since we ended up saving some money by using Ikea drapes, I suggested we brainstorm some new fabric combinations for sofa pillows.   Lucy may be second-guessing that decision given the number of emails we've exchanged with different ideas :)  She's been very patient!  

We thought about going a number of different directions but ultimately felt like the dark blue in the rug needed to be repeated on the sofa.  It seemed like red was the other color that jumped out at you from the rug, so we decided to bring a splash of that up to the sofa too.

I also recommended they relocate the pretty mirror above the sofa to the fireplace mantle (not shown), and replace it with a series of bird prints that would fill out the vertical space.  I actually own this set of prints myself, though I've yet to use them.  They are so pretty and so affordable!  I got the idea to frame them in these Target frames when I saw how Holly Mathis used them in her office.

Here's most of what we have planned together.  I don't have Photoshop, and I'm actually pretty new to even using PowerPoint (seriously, I am the opposite of tech-savvy), so don't judge.

And here's my best effort at showing you how it will look once it all comes together.  Only much better than this crazy looking rendering :)

I hope you enjoyed this little peek.  I think it's so fun to see what other people are doing in their homes--such a great source of inspiration! Stay tuned--Lucy's a very reliable blogger, so I'm betting she'll share the 'After' pictures with us :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Patio Plans {Part 1}

Now that Spring has finally arrived in southwest Illinois, we are spending lots more time outside.  I know all my mama friends feel me when I say that nothing quite compares to kid-friendly entertainment like time spent outdoors.

We have a small backyard with which we have already reacquainted ourselves after the winter-that-would-never-end.

Wade and Holland have been enthusiastically spending lots of time in their sandbox that we got as a gift from Philip's parents shortly after we moved into this house late last summer.  I think this sandbox is about my favorite part of our backyard, both functionally and aesthetically come to think of it :)  It provides a great place for the kids to play and how much do I love that blue and white striped canopy top?!  The answer is a lot.  (Philip actually found it on Walmart's website last summer I think, for those who may be interested.)

As for the rest of the space in our backyard, well, let's just say it leaves a bit to be desired.

You don't have an inverted, broken table on your patio?!  

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad space, and it has a lot of potential, but we have a couple constraints to consider.

Lovely dead flowers that should have been removed months ago...

First, to my knowledge, we aren't allowed to truly landscape the area.  It seems obvious to me that flower beds and shrubs would go a long way in softening up all the hard edges around the square patio and the rectangular fence, but no one's asked me :)  Secondly, we are moving in early August, so we probably wouldn't do extensive landscaping even if we could.

However, moving in four months does not mean we can't make this place a lot prettier and more enjoyable for the time we do plan to spend out here.  After all, our life does not begin once we get to California, now does it?  Life is right now, so I say why not make it pretty and functional?!  Who's with me???

The front of our house could use some love too.  I planted pansies in pots back in the fall and did a terrible job of keeping them alive.

Just so we all leave with a good taste in our mouths, here are some beautiful outdoor images that are inspiring me right now.

Source: via Anne on Pinterest

I think the thing I appreciate about all of these images is the use of pots and containers to bring in flowers and greenery. It can really have a big impact when you do it well.  We won't be planting shrubs in the ground at this house, but planting things in pots is definitely doable.  Hey, we could even take them with us if we so choose (even if in theory only :)

Boxwoods are such a timeless choice, and I love the dose of fresh green they bring.

The other situation that needs attention is our patio table and chair set (obvi).  We inherited this one from my grandparents, and while I'm fine with the style, it's not currently in usable condition.  Unless we can find a welder who can fix it (the base is bent and won't properly secure to the table top anymore) for a reasonable price, we may need to replace it all together.  Which begs the question--do I stalk Craigslist for a set or break down and buy a new set?  I kind of feel like if I do go the CL route, I should give myself a time limit--say two weeks max to find one?  I certainly don't want to waste the bulk of the mild spring days without a table!

Though my kids don't seem to miss having one (as evidenced by our recent impromptu picnic).  Who needs a table when you have a Mickey towel?

Perhaps I'll do some searching and let you know what I come up with!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wade's Room Tour {aka Decorating a Kid's Room for Cheap}

Wade's room came together rather quickly, mostly because I used a lot of things we already had.  {I know think I do that at least in part so I won't feel bad for wanting to re-do it so soon!} I wanted it to feel like a happy kid space, but one that I enjoyed seeing as well :)  His room is really small, which in some ways made things easier because there just wasn't as much space to take into consideration.  But of course being tight on space has its own challenges as well (not the least of which was taking these photos!).  All of that to say, both Wade and I like his room, so I'm calling it a win-win!

 Tip #1: It's probably no surprise that the number one way to save money when decorating is to re-use things you already own, especially furniture, which can quickly eat up your budget for your room!  All of the furniture in this room was repurposed.  Also, don't be afraid to think outside the box and use furniture that you may not have considered for a child's room.

I know Wade would want this angle shown--he loves his wall track!

The bed was mine as a child!  It served as a guest bed way back in the day before we had kids.  I think it's perfect for a little boy because its curves are tempered with some more masculine lines (like the headboard area).  Of course it could also work for a little girl too, should I change things up down the line (who me?).

My mom and I made the window treatment for Wade's old room back in Richmond.  It was actually a little too wide for that window, but it ended up being a perfect fit here!  Double bonus that the color and pattern worked with the new room too.

Wade's (pared down) old bedroom for our house listing.  I think you can kind of see what I mean about the window treatments being too wide in this space...

The bedside tables belonged to my grandparents.  They used them as porch furniture.  When I saw those midcentury beauties, my heart skipped a beat, and I just had to have them!  The tops were in rough shape when I got them, but nothing a little sanding and new paint couldn't fix.

I think they are great in this particular space because they don't take up a lot of visual weight in an already tight area.

I purchased the chest of drawers at an auction several years ago.  I like that it's low enough that Wade can reach his clothes himself!  Please don't look too closely or you will see evidence of many truck and car crashes.  The lamp and the chest top are really chipped and in need of a new paint job with a serious protective finish!

Tip #2: Shop at discounted stores like Target and Ikea.  Ok, I know this sounds obvious, but here's the thing--I think the key is to mix up your choices and be relatively picky.  So, while I probably wouldn't recommend grabbing all the coordinating pieces of a bedding set from the kid's aisle at a place like Target, I think it can totally work if you pick and choose.

For Wade's room, I knew he would think these sheets with the construction scenes were awesome.  But I wasn't really interested in buying the matching comforter :)  I think the best kid's rooms are the right mix of whimsy and kid, balanced by some classic, more sophisticated pieces.  If there happened to have been a matching lamp or something, you can bet I would have passed.  Too much matchy primary colored items, and you have quickly moved into a zone that rhymes with "slacky"  :)  (in my humble opinion!)

I paired the construction sheet set with a classic blue and white striped duvet, also from Target--but not part of their kid's line.  I love the bold stripes.  I think in a small room, such as Wade's, it makes a great impact.  I also love how the light green 'W' pillow is a nice relief from all the saturated, brighter colors in the room.

One caveat I should share--while I love the look of Wade's duvet, I actually really hate the material.  When Target tries to entice you by describing a material as "easy care," that's really a euphemism for nasty feeling-polyester-your down comforter will slide all around in it duvet cover.  Granted, it was only $25 for a full/queen size, but I seriously would have been better of with this one or this one.  I continue to wonder if I should just go ahead and buy one of those, but then what if we get to California and I decide I want to redo the whole look?  A bit of a dilemma it is.

I didn't think I needed a bedskirt with this particular bed, so I purchased a single fitted sheet from another section in Target to use as a cover for the box spring.  I chose a shade of blue that coordinated with the ones in the sheet set.

The lamps are from Ikea, and I thought the style worked in a masculine space, and I liked how the finish brought in a new color/texture to the room.  I also liked that their more streamlined, modern style was a nice counterpoint to the traditional bed.  They're also just really practical because Wade logs a lot of time reading books in his bed.

The stuffed animals are probably my favorite part.  They, along with the little toys (that of course I edited for the sake of these pictures :)  are what makes the room personal and unique to my boy.  It's fun and sentimental to think about when Wade got each one.

Tip #3:  Enlist your room's inhabitant to get in touch with their inner Picasso!  There is just nothing like little children's artwork!  So sincere, uninhibited, and personal.  In Wade's room, I felt like the space on either side of the window could use a little something to fill the vertical space.  I considered framing enlarged photographs, but this ended up being an even cheaper option, and I have to tell you, I'm kind of obsessed.

I simply purchased some small bottles of acrylic paint from Michaels in a palette of colors that was drawn from the fabrics I had already used.  I gave my little dude some brushes and some paper and let him go to town.

I'm no fine art connoisseur, but I think he did an awesome job!  Abstract and unique.  Inexpensive.  Made with love by my four-year old.  What's not to love?!  {As a side note, I should tell you I do have some ulterior parenting motives.  I need at least one of my kids to stay really interested in art so they can make beautiful things for me to hang on our walls.  I also need someone to take an interest in piano playing so I can justify having one in our home (and so we can enjoy the music of course)  This is all completely rational, right? }

Framed in inexpensive Ikea Ribba frames I already owned, the total cost of this project is hardly even worth calculating :)

Lastly, here is the closet area.

I maximized space in his small room by using a small bookshelf we already owned to hold books, extra toys, and shoes.  Please note the number of puzzles.  The child is a  whiz at puzzles! We'll go check on him before we go to bed ourselves and find that he's worked all of his puzzles before going to sleep. His floor is often covered with his completed puzzles :)

It only seems right that if we're going to talk about his room, then I should show you some pictures of the most important part--Wade!  Here are a few recent favorites.

He completed this new 100-piece puzzle all by himself!

Are you still with me?  Since I titled this "Decorating a Kid's Room for Cheap", I thought I'd include a cost breakdown of what I did.

Side Tables--inherited (cost to paint was minimal especially since I probably already owned the paint)
Lamps-$50 for the pair
Fitted Sheet (for covering the box spring)--about $12
Duvet Cover--$25
Stuffed Animals--gifts
"W" pillow--from Pottery Barn, given to us as a wedding gift (W for Worthington :)  but it works quite
                     well when your first name starts with a 'W' too!
Curtain--already owned
Frames for art--already owned ($40 total)
Art--maybe $10 total for supplies?
Chest--already owned (paid just under $100 I think?)
mirror--already owned ($30 at consignment shop)
yellow lamp--already owned (purchased circa 2006 from Target and later spray painted)
"W" statue--gift, I believe it's from Anthropologie
Custom sign hanging from mirror--made by a family friend and given as a baby gift
Framed cross-stitching--made by my mom, it used to hang in my brother's rooms as children!
Shelf in closet--already owned (purchased from Pier One circa 2004??? for who knows what)

Coming in at just over $120 total, I'd say I did a pretty good job of minimizing my costs!  Hopefully my banker (you know, my husband :)  will agree!

Linking up with:

Emily A. Clark

The Shabby Nest

Edie at Life in Grace: