Thursday, October 30, 2014

One Room Challenge: Week 5: Back to Basics

This is Week FIVE of the One Room Challenge™ Link-up, hosted and trademarked by Linda of Calling it Home! Each Thursday for six weeks I am showing you the progress I've made in my Entryway Revamp.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen this over the weekend. It's an address plaque to spiff up the area immediately outside the front door.
This succulent hanging address plaque from Etsy was on the style board I presented in week one.

The star detail on this door knob also influenced my original vision. Is there anything that evokes the 1950s like a star shape?? I have something being delivered today that should help me get that look.

I spray painted this coat tree gold during the beautiful weather this past weekend. It was 73 degrees on Monday and for Friday--Halloween--they are predicting snow. :(  All trick, no treat if you ask me.

via The Foo Dog Ate My Homework

But, I digress. The gold against the green velvet makes me think of this inspiration image.

And a quick look back at where we started five weeks ago...

I'm  not sure it's going to be that overwhelming of a transformation, but it will look better than it did before. And that's what counts. For sure. Right?

I still have a lot that I want to do. I haven't even bought a paint brush to do the stenciling in the powder room. And above is what happened when I tried to mix the paint. Turquoise and black do not make the shade of blue I was going for.

Now go check out what everyone else has been up to! There is so much good talent and creative inspiration involved in this challenge!  

Read about my week one, week two, week three, and week four

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

OMG! OKL garden stool sale

It's a one-day only sale on garden stools at One Kings Lane with prices starting at $35. Hurry!!! One day only and these prices will NOT last long!
If you need an invitation to shop One Kings Lane, please use mine here.

If you need some inspiration for how to use a garden stool in your home, please see below. :)

I love the vibrant colors of this wing chair. Notice how easily a garden stool can be pulled up to a chair to create a comfy place to sit.

BDG Style
A garden stool works great next to a sofa too, and can be styled perfectly with just a few books and a small vase of flowers.


At this price point, why not buy a pair of garden stools and put them under a desk?!


Or under a console in an entryway? 

Garden stools fit a variety of decor styles, are small & easy to move, and can offer a pop of color in an otherwise neutral space. 

 Here again are a few of my favorites from the sale. Get yours before they are gone!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

24 Hours in: Northern Michigan: My Mini-Vaca

Do you love fall colors? How can you not?! So get in your car or head to your nearest airport, because you need to take a trip with me to northern Michigan.

via Marty All Over Michigan
Where I live in East Lansing the leaves have mostly fallen off the trees. But north of Grand Rapids? As of last Thursday, they were still in their full glory! 

My mom, Sophie Kinsella, and me

I headed "home" for a mini-vacation in the middle of last week. My mom and I were off to a National Writer Series event with Sophie Kinsella, whose latest book Shopaholic to the Stars had been released the day before. We are huge fans of her books; I binge read everything under her pen name before the event. (She also released several best sellers under her given name Madeleine Wickham before the first Shopaholic book was published.) Anyway, Sophie/Maddy is absolutely just as funny and sweet as her characters!

This was my outfit inspiration for the night. If you haven't read Shopaholic, the main character, Becky Bloomwood, loves fashion. Whatever I wore had to be Becky-worthy. My outfit was put together within the limits of my budget: black crewneck from Old Navy, fleece leggings, emerald green jeweled flats from Target, and statement necklace from Anthropologie. And Sophie/Maddy complimented my necklace!! (It's also the necklace I wore on my wedding day. That thing gets around!)

When we got to downtown Traverse City, my mom and I stopped at Espresso Bay for some coffees while we chatted in the big sofas by the fireplace. You must check out this post which has even more great information about the area and nearby Suttons Bay.

Then we headed out for a bit of shopping in the cute downtown boutiques. In high school I spent a lot of time and babysitting money in Traverse City; in fact, I think I drove up at least once a week. Ah, to be a teenager again! My favorite store back then was a funky place called Irreverence that sold Doc Martens, manic panic hair dye, and message tee-shirts. Sadly, it is long gone. A women's clothing boutique called Kay's is in the space now, I think. Although the ladies working there didn't remember Irreverence, they did love my camel swing coat. :)

After shopping my mom and I headed over to Sorellina for dinner. It was AMAZING! We ordered bruschetta and the house red wine to start, followed by their eponymous salad. It's a baby spinach salad with candied nuts and feta topped by a citrus vinaigrette like no other. 
photo by Carin Cryderman
My mom and her friends call it "the Italian place" and love to go there when they are in town shopping. She and one of those good friends are in the center of the above photo by my friend Carin. 

My parents live only about an hour from Traverse City; however, if they did not I would have loved to stay at the Park Place Hotel, which is where I'm quite sure Sophie/Maddy stayed because I saw her walking back there from shopping before the event!

The hotel is within easy walking distance of everything in downtown Traverse City and has a gorgeous view of the Bay. The number one reason I want to stay there, though, is its verdigris tower. It's just architecturally so beautiful.

Before heading home the following day, I went off on a little research/shopping adventure in my hometown and discovered Orinoco, a hair and makeup salon run by New York-transplant Vivienne Kessler. The salon is inside her home which is a historic old Victorian home. She even has her own line of mineral makeup!

I also stopped at the Ideal Kitchen and took home one of the cutting boards shown below, shaped like my home state with a star denoting my hometown. 

Overall, a fantastic mini-vaca in the middle of the week!

Friday, October 24, 2014

One Room Challenge: Belated Week Four

Welcome back to my version of the One Room Challenge™ Link-up, hosted and trademarked by Linda of Calling it Home! Each Thursday for six weeks I'll show you the progress I've made in my Entryway Revamp. This is week four--and I'm late! 

If you're new here you can catch up with week one, week two, and week three

For those of you who've been here all along, THANK YOU!!! Your words of encouragement have meant the world to me!!

The reason that Week Four is so hard, in my humble opinion, is that my scatterbrained self loses interest and goes off on a mini-vacation and re-styles shelves instead of just finishing what I've started. 

But, I got a few key things done in the entryway for this week so there is some progress to report.

Last week I had mentioned the problem of how to hang the velvet drapes. I decided to buy two tension rods and mount the curtains below the bulkhead. Bed Bath & Beyond had them. Not only were they less than $10 for the two but I had a gift card. Cha-ching!

The drapes still need to be steamed but here's a rough look at how they appear in the space.

Since the rug is a peacock blue with greenish tones, the drapes work with it. Anyway, I like the mix of colors.

I also worked on framing some art and styling the etagere in the powder room. The blue photo above was a postcard I picked up when my husband and I were in Saint Paul last month. The mat is a Farrow & Ball lotus wallpaper sample that I trimmed to fit.

I mixed frame materials with abandon for this vignette: black, brass, and stainless. I like the eclectic feel of it. The image inside the above frame is a note card that shows downtown Lansing, Michigan, in the 1950s. That's around the time that our house was built and just down the road from our house in East Lansing. 

The blue and white tray is Threshold for Target. The silver metal frame has a notecard image from Michigan artist Mary Brodbeck. The part of the wallpaper sample I cut out for making the mat above, I put in the black frame in the center. It seems like it kind of ties the two areas together.

I also decided to turn this huge Ralph Lauren fabric sample into a curtain for the small window in the powder room. It's a high window and the shrub blocks any visibility, so a curtain is not necessary but I think it will add a nice detail. Again I mixed metals, using a black IKEA rod with brass curtain rings. 

Still to do? Paint. I need to re-paint the front door step, which is peeling and unattractive. However, it might be too cold now to do any outdoor painting. :(  I also need to decide, once and for all, about the stenciling in the powder room: wall or ceiling?? There might be a spray paint project involved. And you all know how much I hate fear painting, right?? There's also a DIY I'm dying to try. A bit of closet organization. Finally a little zhushing and I should be done!

Now off to see what everyone else is up to... The pros are here and link-ups here. Good luck everyone!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

High Five Enlightenment Friday

I have been on a quest for enlightenment this week. Truthfully, I want my house to look like a magazine spread every single day. I want to wake up with perfect hair and float around not really doing or feeling anything. It seems so much easier than real life.

Mama has gone to the mountain. Even if it's just an image of a mountain in a mural from Walls Republic.

Here are the five things I enjoyed this week, otherwise known as the Friday High Five.

1. Sabbath
Even if you are not religious, the concept of a sabbath is helpful. I think of myself as being really laid back. It's not until I start to think about taking a rest that it hits me how much I like to go, go, go and do, do, do. Becoming Minimalist has a nice post here.

2. Mentoring Moms
Sally Clarkson has a nice post about practicing contentment in the midst of overwhelm that is helpful for moms or those who are mothering their inner child. At the end, she asks what two things you will do this week that will be like therapy for your soul. 

I also liked the ideas that the author of Bringing Up Bebe posted in this op-ed.

3. Yoga
I have lists of things to do to take care of me that I mostly keep in a desk drawer and ignore. But on Tuesday I found myself driving to my favorite yoga studio for a class with my favorite yoga teacher. It's been at least a year since I have been in her class and eight months since I've even done a downward facing dog. Why?!

4. Habit

Two new books are available for pre-order about the genius of developing habits that make life easier. You can read more about The Sweet Spot by Christine Carter and Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. I've been thinking about my own little habits and how they can help me have my best life. Then, blam-o, this morning Momastery posted about the habits of strong women. There's something in the air...

5. Shedding
I haven't totally at all kept pace with the daily purge from A Bowl Full of Lemons this month, but I was inspired to jump in where I am after reading this piece on the Art of Simple. Instead of focusing on what I am lacking, maybe the key is to notice how much I have??


And to wrap it all up, this image from 1971 shows a movie theater on the main street of my town, which is where the movie Batman vs. Superman was filming this week. Although Ben Affleck was in town and I work in a building called the Hall of Justice, I did not see him. That's alright. I'm okay with a quiet life. And I'm learning to be okay with a messy, imperfect one, too.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One Room Challenge: Midway

Welcome back to my version of the One Room Challenge™ Link-up! Each Thursday for six weeks I'll show you the progress I've made in my Entryway Revamp. This is week three. Read about my plan in week one and purchases in week two

The midway point for any project seems to inspire a crisis of confidence. Yes??? Anyway that's where I am for week three. But I will carry on and it will be so worth it in the end.

The taming of this shrub is just about the only tangible thing I got done for this week. 

It still overhangs the door a bit. 

It is more top-heavy than I would have liked and there is this empty spot, all of which has to do with how the branches were growing, I think. 

But whatevs, moving on...
On the left we have the current door sitch. On the right, a rough mockup of what it would look like without the storm door. So much better right?! Especially with the new house number feature. But the door needs something. Texture perhaps. And the step desperately needs to be re-painted.

Coming inside, this is as far as I've gotten with the powder room stenciling. I listened to the words of encouragement from y'all and definitely think I want to go forward with the ceiling. But there are ways to make the stenciling easier, I think. 

Finally, my last problem. I want to hang the green velvet drapes I showed you last week here on either side of the front door. The only problem are those bulkheads. If I hang a curtain rod low enough to go beneath where the two intersect, we won't get the door open. If I hang it above, the rod won't go all the way to the other wall. I've already purchased the drapes, though, and there's no way I'm giving up. The drapes will give the space such a rich, luxe feel. 

So, here's to hoping that I have anything more to show you next week! Time to check out everyone else. Check out the Wednesday 20 here and the other linking participants here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Down the Rabbithole

It started with a little glimpse of the blue and white in this vignette on One Kings Lane...

via OKL

The rectangular jar in front is available for only $19! And there are a lot more inexpensive, small blue & white items in the "It's Tradition" sale, which ends in three days.

Since shipping is free on orders of $350 right now, I found a few more things I love. Christmas is in less than 75 days so many of them could become gifts, I suppose.

Apple Cutting Board
Apple orchards. Apple cider and plain donuts. Apple and autumn both start with the letter A so maybe that's why they are so inextricably linked in my mind. This lovely board would make great kitchen decor.

Four-Leaf Clover Dish
I'm part Irish (the fun part!) so I have a special affinity for four-leaf clovers. My luck has run out with this sale, though, it's sold out.

Bamboo Umbrella Holder
So is this stunning bamboo umbrella holder. I guess I'm going to save $350 today by not buying anything... 

These were my favorite foo dogs from this sale that Jennifer posted about last week.
Pendleton Throw
This blanket is still available and reminds me of many other items in this sale, which just started and is chock-FULL of good stuff for picnicking or tailgating or man-caving!

via Holly Mathis Interiors
There are lots of vintage pennants in the sale. Which could be framed like in Holly Mathis's entryway. Isn't that a creative way to display them? I love it!

Stacy posted about this beautifully mixed Soho loft. I love how the decor isn't spare and modern like so many lofts of the recent past. Actually I'm a bit obsessed with the drapes. Doesn't it give the space an elegant feel??

Finally, today is free ship day at Pottery Barn so a good time to stock up on pillows and frames (or xmas gifts).

Happy Monday! 

p.s. One King's Lane didn't pay me to tell you about these sales, but they are an affiliate company, meaning if you join their site through my link and make a purchase, we'll both get $15. Win-win, right?!


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