Stripes, Check!

I can't believe it happened, but the stripes are done!

My goal of painting this past weekend was more of a pipe dream, or so I thought. But my husband was actually on board and we got it done over Sat/Sun during M's naps. What do you think?! I'm really loving it. Much to my husbands dismay, I'm now thinking of wrapping it around onto the next wall. We'll see if I can convince him.

I used Benjamin Moore Whitestone to get a true gray. I didn't want brown/taupe undertones coming through since the drapes and area rug on the opposite side of the room are gray. TIP: It's always a great idea to look at the color fan-deck in order to see the lightest and darkest colors in a series so you can clearly see what the underlying tones are. Then you won't get stuck with a color that isn't exactly what you had in mind.

I'm completely OCD when it comes to painting stripes. My thought is, if they're not perfect, why even do it? So every time we paint stripes (this is the second room), I measure and mark, my husband breaks out the laser level, I use the yard stick and remeasure again before penciling them up and taping. Sometimes it feels like it takes a bit longer than necessary, but stripes are so prominent I would be kicking myself if it wasn't done right. If you haven't guessed, I'm a total perfectionist most of the time.

Now that the stripes are done, I'm planning on DIY-ing a gallery wall from some artwork I saw in the William Sonoma Home catalog. If I can fit it above the couch, I'll go 3 across 2 down. I don't think I could handle a randomly organized gallery wall in my house, no matter how cool it looks in a magazine. There's something so calming about a grid of art or photography. Check out my Pinterest board to see all of my DIY Art ideas.

I'm so excited to get this phase going. It won't be done this weekend, but hopefully soon! Wish me luck.

Living Room Update

My living/dining room refresh is taking me so much longer than I expected! But I guess it always does, doesn't it? I've have to fit projects in around the girls and their schedules, which doesn't leave a heck of a lot of time for me to search for lamps, rugs, drapes, paint...

But I feel like I've finally hit the halfway mark and am rounding the corner toward the finish line - yippee!! The furniture has been completely rearranged, I've hung new drapes, added an area rug to the sitting area, bought a tripod lamp and two decorative lamps... It's been so much fun (and time consuming) searching for the perfect fits for the room. I've spent countless hour after the girls have gone to bed "researching", as I like to call it.

And it's also been a great lesson in restraint, if you can believe it. There are so many fun, beautiful, colorful accessories that I'd love to lose myself in, but wouldn't necessarily be good for my space. I have to keep reminding myself of the steps I need to take before accessorizing - dress the room with the right furniture pieces and drapes, THEN focus on the fun little things. Oh, and keeping my focus on just one room. It's amazing how searching through countless images of furniture, etc, makes me want to start adding/changing things in every other room in the house (I'm already planning out fixes for my bedroom!). Focus. Focus. Focus. I feel like I have adult A.D.D.

Luckily, I've gotten my furniture squared away, it's organized the way I want it, the drapes and big mirror/art pieces are hung on the wall. But over the Memorial Day weekend, I realized that my room is still just a big rectangular box, no architectural interest at all. I've been thinking of painting one of the walls an accent color, but after playing with the girls in their room the other day, I realized the living room needs STRIPES! I bought a gallon of Benjamin Moore's Whitestone for a very subtle gray. I'm planning on thick stripes, maybe  18" high with 10" stripes of the existing wall color, changing the width for more visual interest. Check out some of my stripe-inspiration images: 

Now onto my room...

BEFORE - a quick reminder of where I started

And ALMOST- AFTER

Before I started, I created a Pinterest board with all of the images and rooms that I loved. I'm going for a more Mid Century Modern look. I don't want to create a time capsule, just a hint of a time-warp (kidding!). The stripes will go on the wreath wall. And, of course, I need to add in decorative accessories. I'm imagining a big plant in the center of the wall with the ocean photograph, recovering the dining chairs with a printed fabric, creating a gallery wall in place of the wreath...the list goes on. 

As soon as the stripes go up, I'll let you all take a look. Cross your fingers for this coming weekend to get it done! Wishful thinking???

 

Picture This

Baby M's First Year Baby Album, no longer available at  Red Envelope

Baby M's First Year Baby Album, no longer available at Red Envelope

I'm in the throws of updating Baby M's First Year photo album. I've already had all the pictures printed out (love Snapfish), put months 1-3 in the book, but I hit a wall a few months ago and haven't gone back to it since - she's 15 months old already!! I have to get it done before I start forgetting what all the pictures are. The album I have for Baby M is a set of 4 mini-albums from Red Envelope, sadly no longer available. I tried my hardest to find a similar alternative for you all, but I'm coming up with nothing - how is that possible?!

Nevertheless, the idea of photographs and documenting our ever-busier lives got me thinking about how many frames I have around the house. I LOVE pictures of my family and display them everywhere, probably too many! But I just can't help myself. Every little smile, every moment of happiness (even the not-so-happy ones), deserves a frame in my book.

I've been slowly accumulating quite a collection of frames. Between Ikea, Pottery Barn, and a handful of other brands, I feel like I have at least 50 frames out and about through the house. Kind of crazy for a house that isn't insanely large, I know. I may need to start editing.

There are so many ways to make your pictures perfectly "you" - as if the content wasn't enough! The frame itself is a reflection of your style, the matting, the display. It all helps tell the story of you and your family.

Here are some great frame finds that you may enjoy - some I even have in my own house.

Sources (from Top Left to Right):

  1. Pottery Barn Rope Silver-plated Frame - I have this one in my own house. I love silver-plated frames and have a number of different "textured" frames, from rope, to basket weave, to branches.
  2. Zara Home Wicker-Effect Metal Frame - I love the nod to a more Southern-type of style
  3. Zara Home Bamboo Frame - You can't not love bamboo
  4. ZGallerie Anguilla Frame - I'll take a chevron print any day, especially in these very current neutral tones
  5. Pottery Barn Kinsey Enamel Frames - A great way to add a color splash
  6. ZGallerie Plexus Frame - A glitzy almost stone look
  7. ZGallerie Stella Frame - The combination of brass and silver adds a great historical touch
  8. Ikea Ribba Frame - I have various sizes and colors of this frame all around the house
  9. Ikea Virserum Frame - I also have a bunch of sizes and colors of this one!

A Beautiful Mess recently posted a great how-to on making your own patterned photo mats. Such a great idea and looks pretty easy. What a wonderfully creative way to personalize frames and make your photos look even better! And it makes me want to incorporate black and white photos in my own display!

I've also been fantasizing about putting together a gallery wall. I've seen so many how-to's and really like this one by Emily Henderson. How awesome to have something like this in my own house, I'd feel so grown up!

Source:  Emily Henderson

Do you have an obsession with photos/frames? How do you have them displayed? I'd love to hear how you've personalized your space.