Thursday, November 19, 2015

Real Life Inspiration

I am so excited for today's post, and I really think you all are going to LOVE it, too! 

Today I am showing you the home of a real life renaissance (wo)man! Carin is all-around amazing! She is a writer, photographer, and fantastic mom

She is also a thrifter extraordinaire who seems to have a magic touch when it comes to decorating her home! The first time I saw her house I knew I had to share it here. I hope you will be as inspired by her style as I am!

One of the first things Carin did when she bought her house two years ago was to paint her front door yellow.

It is so bright and cheery, and I love the addition of this wreath with its Parisian-feeling black-and-white striped ribbon.

The house is a cozy Cape Cod in the Chesterfield Hills neighborhood of East Lansing, Michigan. On a Saturday afternoon in the fall you can hear the crowds inside Spartan Stadium. Carin's street is full of lovely older homes and friendly families. 

Most of the artwork has been picked up from thrift stores Carin visits on her lunch hour. This beach scene above her fireplace reminds me of the beach at Lake Michigan. The three perfect pears bring some vibrant color to the otherwise moody color scheme.

I think Carin made the pillow cover on the right using fabric paint and a potato-stamp. It references the larger hot pink cross on the pillow opposite it (see it poking out down there??)

The gallery wall over the fireplace includes a mix of landscapes and portraits. 

Here's a glimpse over the back of one sofa toward the front door. Carin knew she wanted to have two sofas facing each other in the living room to create symmetry.

Looking toward the other corner of the living room you see this beautiful piano that she recently acquired from a friend.

A gallery wall hangs around the TV, directly across from the gallery wall that hangs over the fireplace.

Coffee table books and a photo of one of her three daughters as an infant further soften the TV area.

This built-in display case near the kitchen is one of the first things you see when you walk into Carin's house. All of the vases are items that she has picked up while thrifting. Isn't this mix of neutrals perfect? I love the way Carin has arranged these pieces!

This pair of orange chairs was a recent acquisition for Carin. She wanted something with a lower profile to sit behind her pair of sofas and add to the seating in the house. And see that mid-century modern Eiffel chair in the background? Also thrifted!

She removed the skirts at the bottom of these chairs to give them a cleaner, more modern look. Don't they have amazing lines?? LOVE them!

This is the dining area. I like how Carin mixed the dark wood with white chairs. 

The shelving system was a utility shelf left behind by the former occupants which Carin painted gold and styled. She is a fearless painter!

I think Sojourner Truth, Eleanor Roosevelt, and a first edition of one of the finest textbooks on art history there is tell us a lot about who Carin is.

The view from the kitchen through the pass-through.

A detail shot of the cups inside the built-in corner cabinet. These cabinets are common to the era in which Carin's house was built and add to its character.

Carin used chalkboard paint in her kitchen and has some inspiring quotes posted around

As a mom, I really appreciate this one.

 She DIY'ed these concrete countertops. 

... and also did the subway tile herself. Using this small lamp in the corner of the kitchen is  a charming alternative to under-cabinet lighting.

This is the second wall color that Carin has used in her hosue and it makes the space feel bright while still adding a nice hint of color. She is thinking of painting again, though. The airy drapes are from IKEA.

Upstairs is a huge room that Carin and her daughters use as a studio.

More Parisian-inspired black and white stripes. This is simple to do with paper wrapped around tin cans. Using multiples of the same makes it look so cohesive.

This home is so full of creativity!

This little nook looks out on the street in front of the house.

And this window looks out on the private backyard.

"Create your best life with your consciously chosen thoughts and words." This quote sums it up perfectly! Carin inspires me to live this way. I hope she has inspired you, too!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wedding Wednesday

December is the most popular time of year to get engaged, according to The Knot.


And what could be better than a destination wedding to somewhere that is always beautiful?!


I'm talking about Santa Monica, California, and specifically the super glamorous Fairmont Miramar Hotel. Doesn't it have an old Hollywood vibe??


An outdoor wedding is almost guaranteed to be perfection under the palms and the Fairmont's unique fig tree.

Camels & Chocolate

Can't you just imagine this twisty, centuries-old tree strung with twinkle lights?!

Style Me Pretty-Hawaii
An indoor reception can also be elegant in a gorgeous setting like the Fairmont Miramar.

Style Me Pretty-Chicago
These magenta table linens and tall florals make the room. And I am such a sucker for Chiavari chairs... Worth the splurge!

Studio DIY
Depending on the time of day and level of formality, a piece of fruit might make a sweet place setting.   

One Love Photography via

This gorgeous flower bouquet includes figs and berries! It's a nice nod to the giant fig tree in the courtyard at the Fairmont Miramar and to other aspects of the area's history. Mixing magenta, pink, and orange makes the color story more interesting.

J. Crew
It would be so fun to let bridesmaids choose their dress from a store like J. Crew and have a mix of colors and styles. Especially since the Fairmont Miramar is so close to the beach...

Other local attractions include Knott's Berry Farm, an amusement park on the site of the former berry farm that made the famous jams and preserves.

... which would make these tiny jars of jam such a cute idea for a wedding favor.
Style Me Pretty
My own (2nd) wedding day was the happiest day of my life!!! And it's so fun to think back to that celebration.

Wednesday Wrap-Up

Per usual, I have just. so. much I want to share with you all! But where to begin??

There is this beautiful sale; I literally want one of everything. The white walls and blonde flooring remind me of my house, but the bright repeating accents, stacked art and layered accessories, as well as the cozy textures (fur! velvet!) are inspiring me to change things up for the holidays. And how great are those wreaths above the beds?!

River City Mrkt

Speaking of wreaths, one of my favorite flower vendors from the East Lansing Farmers' Market will be selling wreaths at the River City Mrkt, a pop-up holiday shop in REO Town that starts tomorrow. You can see her gorgeous dahlias here -- and I changed my profile name on IG, which has had a cascade-effect and now I'm going to have update links all over the place... #oy

Fast Company

The weather in Michigan has been over the top amazing lately (sunshine and sweaters instead of snowsuits). However, I am beside myself with excitement for Christmas and all things alpine!! I think it has a lot to do with this article's message of embracing the cold and snow. Whatever the reason, I have been counting down the days until the local radio station switches over to Christmas carols and I think we may get our tree earlier than ever this year!


Of course, I am also still looking forward to Thanksgiving. This year we are hosting my parents at our house so I get to dream up the menu. I may not love making dinner every other night of the year, but I do love planning a Thanksgiving feast. Isn't the way Gwen mixed the traditional dishes above with the magenta candles so fun?!

Finally there is this stool, which I reluctantly passed up in my local Freecycle group. I love its square steadiness and the aged brown leather and the 1970s shape. Truly, it was love at first sight. But there is only one and I really don't have a place for it and I really need to avoid even thinking about it. 

That's what's new in my world. What's new with YOU?! {Linking up with Jessi and Jenn for What's Hap"pinning" Wednesday}

Thursday, November 12, 2015

One Room Challenge Reveal Day!

This is it! One Room Challenge Reveal Day. 

First, a huge thank you to Linda of Calling It Home who dreamed up this semi-annual kick-in-the-pants to make our world more beautiful, one room at a time, and then for opening it up to anyone who wants to blog along in fall of 2013. 

I have met so many great design lovers who I now call friends through these challenges; I have been inspired beyond words; and I have had the chance to hone my decorating skills and learn new things. The bonus is that I have a few more "finished" spaces in my home now, too! 

For this go-round, my project was our family of four's main bathroom.

And the project nearly died last week. There was no week five update because I knew I couldn't get the drywall fixed or the floors done in time. 

Just painting this vanity in a glossy black did a lot to transform the space, although you can see the blingy original floor and absence of baseboards. 

Switching out the old roller shade with this new top-down-bottom-up shade has made a world of difference, too. It's great to have light streaming in all day without losing privacy. I also like how the honeycombs of the shade mimic the louvres of the cabinet doors.

The citron stripes were a last minute addition because I wanted some more color and interest. I pulled together some pretty soaps, a cup for cotton swabs, and perfume on a tray with some funky art. Voila! Bathroom styling.

I did the same for this shelf, using succulents in glass pots, a candle, and a trio of cosmetics in dark bottles. The oversized faux orchid on the counter is the icing on the cake for me in making this space feel slightly tropical and yet still glamorous. 

The thing that messes us up the most is the picture in our head of how it's supposed to be. 

That was nearly the case with my #backtobasics bathroom. In the end, the philosophy of "use what you have" saved the day. 

My humble tips for bathroom styling:

1. Add some art
I used black frames to pick up on the black vanity. The art over the towel bar was a wedding gift but also reminds me of the hotel where we got engaged, honeymooned, and celebrated our first anniversary. The photos above the etagere are of where we had our first kiss (although I shot them years before we even met). And the last minute addition across from the window is actually a page from a calendar that I matted and framed with this tip.

2. Nature
You can't have too many flowers or plants in my opinion. I mixed the faux orchid with the succulents and an aloe (on top of the etagere).

3. Don't limit color
I could have stuck to one or two colors but I thought it was more fun to have a mix.

4. Clean, clean, clean
To make it even easier to keep the space sparkling, I left the Mrs. Meyers spray on the counter. Not only is the bottle attractive but it also smells amazing!

5. Don't give up!
Do what you can, with what you have. Even if your house is a hole in the side of a mountain, a little styling can still make it feel beautiful!

Now, in the same way Ferris Bueller asks at the end of his eponymous movie, "What are you still doing here? It's over. Go on!" -- head over to Calling It Home to check out the other participants here and here.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...