Styled Sign

After
Before

A few years ago I built this large wooden “board” (I’m not sure what else to call it?) over our couch to help fill the large wall that the couch rests against. My husband helped me add spotlights on either side, as we needed more lighting in this area. We fed the lights’ cords through the metal pipe you see on the right side to help hide them. I loved the whole idea of it, but I recently decided that this space was just too dark.

So how could I lighten this space? A white couch? Absolutely not. Three little kids and a white couch just doesn’t sound fun to me. Not to mention the cost. So, I opted for painting the board white instead 😉 I came across the beautiful “It is Well With My Soul” sign (see here for where to purchase) and knew I wanted it in my home…I had the perfect spot in mind!

I lightly sanded the whole board
…and painted it Swiss Coffee

Its amazing how much paint can change the looks of things! I replaced the brown (slightly sparkly) spot lights with these black farmlights from Home Depot! We have had one in our nursery/guest room for a while and I liked it so much I decided we could use a few more in our home 🙂

I am so glad I decided to lighten this space. It didn’t take much work but feels so much more open and cozy to me!

 

Thank you so much for reading about my little face lift of this area! Please let me know if you have any questions about the process!

xoxo,

Danielle

DIY Cozy Blanket

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I was cruising instagram and kept seeing all these cozy wool blankets. I looked into buying one and was a little shocked at the price! So, I went to my mom….”Mom, do you think you could make me a blanket for my birthday!?” And, she made it happen! I haven’t really tried my hand at crocheting, yet, but I wanted to share with you how my mom made this. Because if YOU crochet, you should make one. This would make a great Christmas present to someone special…or a present to yourself! 😉

Supplies (both from Michaels):

  1. 10 Balls Bernat Blanket Big. This made approximately a 55x70inch blanket with some yarn left over. Its not wool, its polyester, but its super soft and cozy! Each skein was $9.99 each but it was 40% off. (They have great coupons..and you can make several trips to get them with the sale price!)

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2. Jumbo Crochet Hook– US/50 (25mm) 10” longcrochetHere’s what pattern my mom used:

Cast on 40 stitches plus 1 chain.

*1 single crochet (sc) into 2nd  chain from hook.

Crochet 1 chain and then sc into 2nd chain from hook.*

Repeat * this pattern* until end of row. Chain 1 and turn.

Crochet this pattern row until you have desired length.

Cast off.

Attach yarn and single crochet into each chain around the perimeter of

entire blanket. If desired, may crochet second row for a wider border.

*Note:  at each corner of blanket sc 3 times into same chain so as to

create a squared corner.

(There are numerous crochet websites that will explain in detail stitches, casting off, finishing off where balls of wool are joined together. Two helpful sites are Crochet for dummies and YouTube: Crochet Guru).

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img_9504img_9393img_9633Now, go make a blanket of your own and share pictures of your creation with us:) Please contact me if you have any questions!

xoxo,

Danielle

Canvas Joy Sign

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I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep my house with neutral-traditional Christmas decor or bright and colorful! Such a dilemma! I decided to go with the fun colors in the kids play area and keep the rest neutral. I thought it was a good compromise and allows me to dabble in both…since I’m indecisive. 🙂

This “Joy” sign sees almost too simple to even blog about, but I’ll show you how I did it! img_0069I took an 8×8 canvas from Michaels and wrapped it with some merry & bright (thats what it made me think of anyways!) wrapping paper from Target’s dollar section. I used some strong clear packing tape to secure it.

img_0070I also had some adhesive letters stashed in my closet, from Target’s dollar section, and decided to spell out “joy”. I peeled off the backs and stuck them on the front.

img_0077And that’s that. Easy peasy, as my 4 years old says.

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This is a fun, easy, and cheap way to add some Christmas cheer! Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Danielle

My “3 Design Musts” (giving life to our homes)

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Hi friends! An interior designer recently asked me what my “3 Musts” were in design. My initial thought was, “Uh, no clue”, and I was slightly intimidated on how to answer the question (partly because he has 31 thousand instagram followers and partly because it sounded so formal). I thought about it long and hard…well, a day, and came to my conclusion. Just to clarify, I have zero design background or knowledge, so these aren’t educated “musts” but things I realize I try to do in every space and why.

My 3 musts:

  1. Sentiment– Something that is special or sentimental to me. Perhaps something I made, my husband made, a photo of those near and dear to me, a quote or reminder that I need on a daily basis, etc. I don’t just want my home to have nice things, I want memories and items that are unique to our family. Things that make it ours.
  2. Balance– This is purely for aesthetic sake! There is “formal balance”, when sides are symmetrical (matching), and “informal balance”, when sides are not exactly the same or symmetrical, however there is still balance created. I like to attempt informal balance.
  3. Tranquility- I want our home to be a place that feels peaceful, calming, and refreshing. One way this is done is by color. I try to explain to my husband that color can create a tone for the home…he’s still try to understand 🙂 My colors are gray and white with accents of wood and black. Those colors just work for me.

Perhaps you want your home to be bright and cheery with a lot of fun colors, or maybe dark and cool! There is not a right or wrong…it is just what fits our personality and interests. There are so many styles and colors I enjoy, but I try to stick with one…which is hard to do sometimes. The fun part about all being different is we can enjoy one anothers styles!

I want to share a paragraph from the book I’m reading, “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way” by Sarah Mae. This paragraph was so encouraging to me and really explains the why behind making our houses, homes.

You can give life to your home by making it warm and inviting, fresh and invigorating! You can give life to you home by making sure there are clean dishes to eat off of and clear spaces to walk in and organized papers that are easy to find when you need them. You can give life to your home by filling it with loving, true, and good words! You can give life to your home by building up the souls in your care and the souls who enter it. Your home can be a place where weary bones rest and burdens are lifted and laughter ripples through every room. All of these things make a home. You are a creator of beauty and peace and safe spaces. You are a homemaker. (pg. 19)

Don’t you feel as though this gives us a little perspective on why we do what we do? Or how important it is for us to maintain our homes?! Our homes are a place where our family can find peace, love, and comfort. There are so many aspects that go into giving our homes life. What we have on the walls isn’t the most important part, but it does help in making it “warm and inviting, fresh and invigorating” and “a place where weary bones rest and burdens are lifted”!

Now that you have read about my musts, I though it would be fun to do a little “tour” of my house over the rest of the week. For the next few days I’ll be posting pictures of spaces in my home on Instagram and briefly talk about how it fits my “must criteria”. This isn’t because I have mastered it and I think things in my home are perfect. In fact, its been hard for me lately not to compare to all the homes out there that are decorated to perfection. Thankfully though, it isn’t about making our homes perfectly decorated, but loved and comfortable for our own family to rest and make happy memories. And through this little tour you may learn a little about why I have what I do on the walls! 😉 What do you want people to feel when they walk in your home? Think about it! I hope this helps you figure out what you want for your home, how you want to give it life and make it special and unique to your family! Thanks for reading!

–If you don’t have instagram to follow along, I will post the pictures and captions when the week is over!

Painted terra cotta pots

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I had some extra succulents and pots laying around so I decided to plant and then paint the potted succulents! I hadn’t done a project in over a week so it was time. As soon as I get an idea to do something, I want to execute right away because when the creative juice start flowing… I have to take advantage. 😉 That creative juice isn’t always there! I looked at a few picture on pinterest and got to work. Thankfully, I had all the supplies at home.

Here is a list of things I used:

  • 2 small terra cotta pots
  • 1 medium terra cotta pot
  • potting soil
  • rocks (for the bottom of the pots)
  •  3 different varieties of succulents
  • white acrylic paint
  • foam brush
  • black sharpie marker

I planted the succulents first and then painted, but it would probably be easier if you paint, then plant. Live and learn! To plant I simply placed and inch or two of rocks on the bottom of the pot for drainage and filled with soil around the succulent. After they were planted I quickly cleaned the pots with a dry rag and painted them. I tried using tape to make a straight line but because the pots taper in towards the bottom the tape just wasn’t working, so I did it free hand. The lines aren’t perfect, but who needs perfect?!

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I had to do 2-3 coats of paint. The acrylic dries pretty quickly though so it didn’t take too long!

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My visual little self stopped to take a picture before I was finished. I do things like this all the time and my husband always laughs at me 🙂 . I actually like the look of the all white…with another coat of course!

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I decided to use a sharpie to make a pattern on one of them…just to add a unique element. I chose a sharpie simply because it seemed a lot faster than using a little paint brush and black paint! It was easy to work with and went pretty quickly. The design options you could do are endless!

I named the looks of the different pots just for fun, haha.

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And here is the final product! I hope this inspires you to paint some pots and have some fun with it!  Let your imagination run wild 🙂 Besides being a cute feature in your home, these would be great centerpieces for a party or gifts for a friend!

What do you think of this project, are you going to try it?! I’d love to know.

Read here for another diy succulent project!

succulent final

Kitchen Remodel

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Lets talk kitchen remodel! When we moved into our home I actually said to my husband “We don’t have to change a thing!” Ha! Well, once we moved in and started using it we noticed the rusty sink, the leaky faucet, the chipped tile, the peeling cupboards, and…the dirty pebble tech. So my husband gave the green light that we could remodel! First I want to start by saying that this remodel happened during my hard season, in regards to being a mom. Read about that season here. Our oldest was 19 months old, our baby was 4 months old and I was working night shift as a nurse then. So, let’s just say I’m glad the end result turned out alright 😉 I was a little overwhelmed in knowing where to start on the process, so I want to share the order we did things, hoping it may help any of you who are planning on remodeling!

If you’ve followed along from the beginning you know that I like to look at pinterest for inspiration before decorating any space. Read here for more about that. However, looking at kitchens on pinterest can be a little…discouraging. Some people have some amazing & very large kitchens… with huge windows and islands that are as big as my kitchen alone! I couldn’t really get a vision for how my little ordinary kitchen would look compared to those big fancy ones. Then I stumbled upon the picture below and it gave me hope! This was a realistic kitchen that was remodeled on a budget!

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Here are a few of our before pictures.

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We decided to paint the cupboards, replace the countertops, replace the sink and faucet, bring in our stainless appliances from our old house, replace the flooring, paint the walls, and remove the florescent lighting and replace it with recessed lighting. Our previous home was a 850 sq ft old home in the downtown of our city. Over 3 years of hard work we completely remodeled it. Because life was busier now with 2 little ones, and we were burnt out from the recent 3 years of continuous projects, we decided to contract out some of the work. My husband (and I 😉 ) did the demo, the backsplash, wall painting, and flooring.

So, where do we start?!  Well, before the kitchen remodel even began my husband installed a utility sink in our garage. It was so helpful during that time to have a sink bigger than our little bathroom sinks! We set up a mini kitchen next to it with paper products, a dish rack, etc.

Our next step was having the cupboards painted. This process took the painters about 2 days…I am so happy we didn’t do it ourselves! It would have taken months!

Around this time we went to the granite warehouse to pick out our gray countertops. There were about four gray countertops that “met my criteria” but we were immediately sold on the Lennon Leather. The leather part means it has more of an unfinished or unpolished industrial look. I love it!

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Once we picked the granite (I took some pictures and a sample of it), we then worked on picking the paint color. The countertops are a big statement, so we wanted to work off of that. Finding the right gray took a few tries…gray can be hard! Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter was the magic color!

Granite install day was very exciting!  Our kitchen was a lot of work for them because of all the seams with the raised bar. We talked about cutting it down to make it all the same level but I decided against it. I felt like the raised bar was a way to hide the sink area (we usually have bottles out, etc). If you walk in the house and there are dishes in the sink, you can’t see them  😉 Speaking of sinks, we decided to go with the single basin verses the double. We had it in our previous house and loved the space in it! We also went with a commercial style faucet to make more of a statement.

Once we had the countertops and paint color we decided on the pendant lights, bar stools, and flooring.

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As we were trying to decide pendant light placing, my mom gave us the idea to hang balloons where we wanted the lights. It was a great visual…and I’m a very visual person! I looked at pendant lights for weeks before I finally decided! The pendants were either too big for our kitchen or too pricey for our budget! And after all that looking It was actually my husband that found the ones we have!

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When we went to pick out flooring I knew I wanted dark wood with a bit of a worn look, so it wasn’t too difficult to decide on what we have. I loved the real wood, but for price reasons we went with laminate. Its really a good alternative and we are happy with it! I kept a sample of the flooring in my purse, and when I was out and about at Marshalls one day I found bar stools that matched well with the color!

We ended our remodel with painting the walls, new lighting, backsplash and finally, the floors! I feel blessed that we were able to make all these changes and I love being in our kitchen!

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One last before and after!
One last before and after!

If you are interested in the specifics of what we used, here they are:

Granite- Lennon leather

Cabinets- Frazee Paint, Swiss Coffee

Wall paint color- Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter

Pendant light- Savoy House Polished Nickel Vintage Pendant mini light. See here for link to purchase

Faucet- Commercial style faucet from Home Depot. See here for link to purchase

Flooring- Kensington, Sandy Hill Hickory

Barstools- Marshalls

Sink- 28in x 16in x 8in deep stainless steel, single basin

Back Splash- White subway tile

Thanks for reading about our process! I’m not an expert in kitchen remodel, but if you have any questions I’d love to help in any way I can!

Hallway

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I just want to share with you what I have recently done in an area of our hallway. I created a gallery wall around the AC control panel and carbon monoxide alarm, hoping it would help them blend in a little, and allowing a place for me to hang a few more pictures of faces that are important to me 🙂 I wanted to brighten the area a little, as there isn’t much natural light here, and give it a fresh clean look.

As I was working on decorating a few things in the kitchen one day these items were laying out and it gave me the idea for the look I wanted.

hallway inspiration

I didn’t end up using the framed quote, as it was too big for the area, but I liked look of the black and white.

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hallway close up      The aztec black and white picture is actually a small piece of fabric from Hobby Lobby. I bought 1/2 a yard with another project in mind but I stole a little piece for the gallery wall. The fabric was on sale so this little square probably cost less than 25 cents! I know I am not the inventor of framing fabric, but just want to remind you its a cheap way to add color and patterns! The black and white “G” was a free printable from Pinterest. Click here for the link. I have a few printables in my home and love them!  

I decided to hang this $3 wall bucket from target as a way to add greenery to the area, with keeping the surface free of clutter. And honestly, I don’t want to have to move anything off the top of the dresser to dust! The way the light shines in the hallway its easy to see dust on the surface and I want to be able to quickly wipe it off. When my kids are older I will probably have pretty things displayed on top of dressers and tables, but for now, simple it will be!

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I also want to mention the piece of furniture in our hallway. Because we don’t have a big entry way or coat closet near the front door (click here to read about our entry way), I decided I needed a piece that had plenty of storage underneath for diaper bags, purses, backpacks, etc. I found this piece in a local antique shop and it was just what I had in mind. The door is fairly hard to open so it keeps little hands from being able to open it and drag things out 😉  This has been a great place to throw our things in. I will add, sometimes things are thrown next to it instead of inside (because real life), but at least there IS a place for them when the house needs to be clean!

I hope this gave you some ideas, whether it be ways to decorate, or ways to make a space fit for you and your family!

 

Dresser wall makeover

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Just want to show you a little decor makeover I did over the dresser in our master bedroom. It’s amazing how much a look can change with taking away and adding a few things! I wasn’t really planning on doing it but…it just happened one rainy day  🙂  We’ve had a mirror above the dresser for almost 3 years and I could never seem to get any decorations how I like them. It seemed crowded and cluttered.

Before
Before! There is an empty frame on the wall because I was trying to figure out what to put there, and just couldn’t make anything work!

I took the mirror off and gathered some things I had around the house to get an idea of what I wanted.

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Black, white and gray are very calming and peaceful colors to me, so I decided to stick with those colors. Do you have colors that make you feel that way, or is it just me?! My husband thinks I’m silly but, I tell him its a girl thing!

I went to hobby lobby and found a few things I liked, one being this hexagon shelf.

Master shelf

I decided to stain the light wood on the shelf a dark color, to tie in the dark wood headboard we have. This is something I have done before…it’s an easy and quick way to tie things in! After a lot of standing, staring, and rearranging, I came up with the end result!

Master dresser 1

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I’ve been realizing lately I don’t like surfaces to have a lot of things on them, even if they are pretty things. I do, however, appreciate when other people have them! My life is busy and chaotic with little ones so I am trying to simplify. There are enough sippy cups, toys, mail, and clothes laying around our smaller house that more things out… stresses me out. Plus, I don’t want to move a lot of things around to dust!!  😉

This space finally feels complete and I’m hoping that maybe this will help you finish decorating a space in your house! What do you think of this little makeover?!

Entry Way

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entry with door
I want to share with you our little entry way. It is pretty simply, but the few things that are there are very functional. As I was browsing pinterest for entry way ideas (see here for some steps on decorating a space), this picture caught my eye.

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I liked the simplicity and the size and space is similar to what we have at our front door. As I was browsing target one day around this time I saw the same hooks in this pinterest picture (I thought for sure they were from some where expensive like pottery barn)…so of course I bought them! I decided to hang ours at a level the kids could reach. I was tired of jackets all over the living room, and they can’t reach up in their closet, so this was a way they could get their own jacket or sweater. One less thing for mom to do!

Shoes or an umbrella holder by the door just won’t work in our house with 3 littles, plus the front door area is our time out zone so…nothing can be on the ground there. Shoes would be scattered and umbrellas would be weapons.

cubbyI already had the wooden “clutter collector” as I like to call it, or the wooden cubby, from Home Goods. This has been a great way to reduce clutter on the counters and to *help* us keep from losing things. We put our car keys, phones, wallets, mail key, baby monitors, mail to be sent, etc. in it…it’s very useful. And I’m all about using what looks good but also serves a purpose, as space is limited in our house. Try to figure out what you need and what will work for your family as you’re creating your space. Make it yours, and make it useful. What have you found works for your entry way?! Please share:)entry final

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I found our entry way “decorated” one day, curtesy of my daughter!:)

 

In case you’re interested where I shopped for the entry way:

Picture frame: Target

Hook: Target

Wooden cubby: Home Goods

Black bucket: Target

Greenery: Michaels

Candle: Marshalls

Every Day in May

 

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I thought for the month of May I would choose an item a day to give away or throw away. A little spring cleaning! What do you think? Will you join me? I know I would like the accountability! If you’re like me, you have too much stuff. We live in a culture where we are blessed abundantly, but I think sometimes those material blessings can turn into, a stressful mess. And I’m not sure why I don’t declutter more often because it feels so freeing!

So, lets work on simplifying our life and getting rid of things we don’t need. Pick an item every day and remove it from your home. It could be a piece of clothing, a toy, a pair of old socks, a book, an old bottle of lotion under the cupboard….anything! Head over to Instagram and I will check in every few days to see how its going. If you join late, just have a total of 31 items over the month 🙂  Every day in may