Monday, March 22, 2010

The power of emotion.

We are in the beginning phases of getting ready to sell our home.
There are so many things on our "to do" list and it seems to be growing by the minute.
We find ourselves "discussing" what projects are top priorities and which ones should be at the bottom of the list. I have discovered yet another difference between male and female during all of these "discussions".
My husband is very smart, analytical, my walking calculator...I am creative, emotional, visual...quite a pair of opposites, but you know what thay say about opposites...

With all of the persuasive skills I have, I have tried to move my projects to the top of the list.
Things that will evoke emotion in a woman...a lovely laundry room, a spacious organized closet, and inviting kitchen and on the list goes.
Launrdry room from

This is the basic layout of our laundry room now, and if we weren't planning on selling...well, I could see this being next on the list.
Image by Mark Lund form Real Simple

photo from

This is image is the farthest thing from my closet, but it does make a girls mouth water...
image from Furniture online magazine

Image from Southern Living

I am in love with this kitchen - Image also from Southern Living

Jeremy on the other hand wants the house to be power-washed, grass to be green, and the price to be right...(I am not saying that is not important, just pointing out how different our priorities are during this time).

We have one of these right now, just waiting to be put to use....

So, I have concluded that in order to be successful in this adventure we are about to embark on, it takes two...we are both right all of these things matter and completing these will only help in the sale and showing of our little home. Wish us luck!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Room with a view

My personal budget for new decor around my house is small.
Especially if we are talking about something that is not functional but just real pretty.
This makes me sad yet resourceful...which I am so glad of. I am finding more and more ways to beautify on a budget, which is a fun challenge.

This is my space before:
I am ashamed to say that this has looked like this for about 2 years...sad little swatch on the window and all, but usually the bench has a lot more stuff on it.

But after a little bit of shopping my house and my mom's (thanks Mom).

We have this:

I had these plates from Wisteria for the longest time and they were always suppossed to hang on either side of the window. But when we went to hang them they just looked pitiful.
They needed some friends.
I had one silver platter that I had bought and intended it for a client, but it did not work out...and I found the other one at my mom and dad's house.
And it is almost identical, so it works out great.

Close up of one of the plates:

And I made this pillow - I got the idea from a wonderful blogger (can't claim it as my own).
I will try to give credit when I remember which blog it came from.
I got lost in blog world one day and you know how it can be...kind of like etsy because there is just so much good stuff out there.

If you're in a recession, there is always burlap...cost effective and stylish!

And here they are side by side the before and after...
I had great intentions of attempting a valance before this post, but did not live up to it...
maybe in March!

Linking up to the before and after party @ Thrifty Decor Chick

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The elephant in the room.

I know from experience that some of the hardest decisions for a designer to make are the decisions about your own home. I have struggled with it at times and other times it seems effortless.

I think part of the battle is that I am surrounded with too many options. I am constantly looking at fabric, paint, inspiration pictures, etc.
So, by the time I make a decision I come across something else that I love that I could have chosen.

To look at an example of this in my life we will have to take a walk down memory lane.
I was 22.
 I was a working woman about to move out on my own.
And I didn't own one single thing...Okay, I take that back. I had this.

A console my parents bought for me for my birthday.

And a pair of these -

That's right, only an interior design major in her junior year would ask for a pair of sconces for Chistmas and hold on to them for a few years until she had a place of her own.

My parents were big supporters of communal living in college - hence, the no furniture delima, I resided in the sorority house during the school year and would sub-lease in the summer. I have to admit, I loved it.

So, it was time for me to spread my wings and move into my very own townhouse.
I spent so much time selecting finishes for my very own was so exciting.
And this is what it looked like:

I had a clean slate to work often does that happen?
I didn't have a clean slate for long...because I bought this:

(and this is where the elephant comes in).
I found this beauty at Norwalk.
It was a floor model that was on sale and being that it was my favorite color at the time

(and in my small price range) 
I was SOLD.

Fast-forward a few years later, when my tastes change and so do my surroundings...Everything had to work around the RED sofa...I was constricted with what I could really do because of this purchase...
I definitely wasn't thinking that I would have a husband, baby, and 70 lb. dog that would all be fighting for a seat. Yes, I fit on there too, somehow.

I do love Big Red.
She reminds me of a stage of life that was a little simpler and a lot less crowded.
She has been good to us, but I think her days are numbered.

If I could have told the 22 year old Elizabeth what I know now I would have said:

1. Your style will change (so will your favorite color)
2. Comfort IS important
3. You will soon have to share this with a few people you haven't met yet, but you really make sure it seats 3 + a dog comfortably.

I am happy that I made the purchase. If I tried to convince Jeremy now that we need to buy a red leather sofa, it would take a lot of convincing...and probably wouldn't happen.

But like I said, I am ready for something new...maybe its just a slip-cover for now, but change is good.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If you think you're home is out of style, just give it 30 years.

My parents are doing some renovations in their home and with these renovations come the need to purge, clean, organize and purge some more. I have helped a little bit in the past few weeks and in doing so have been able to come across some goodies for myself.

Among the many things that were found was this book - Copyright 1982.

Now, I anticipated to see some dated photos...but the real reason for me keeping it was all of the "how to" projects that are in this little to make a roman shade, hang wall paper, make a bed skirt, the list goes on and on...

I was, however surprsied to see a picture of this kitchen.
Despite the window treatment and the light fixture, it seemed spot on to all the pictures in the magazines today. I bet someone bought this house in 1989 and covered it in wallpaper and country blue with a bunch of geese and now the people who own it are stripping the wall paper and trying to get it back to something close to this picture. How funny...

So, if you think your home needs an overhaul, just wait a few years, you may be back in style by then!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hook it up

The February issue of House Beautiful showcased 101 hooks.
Well, I never thought I was in the market for unique hooks but after seeing all of these beauties, I need some all of a sudden.
One source in particular caught my eye - The Hook Lady.
Another great thing about this site are the prices...and they have more than just hooks.
Here are a few of her offerings...

I love her - perfect for a beach house.

For the man in your life.

Dogwood Hook
I think your home has added value if you have a Dogwood tree, maybe its a Southern thing.

An owl to go along with the bird/owl craze these days.

A Victorian Double Coat hook - I like it.

I also liked these from the Knob Store.

I love a giraffe, not sure why, but I think this guy is very cute.

Also, perfect for you dog's leash - also offered in aluminum.

And of course there is always something great at Anthropologie

Pressed Flower hook - opaque

Dunluce Hook
This is one of my favorites.

It's functional jewelry for your wall!
Now I just need to find out where I can put them.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sometimes I wish I was OCD.

I am not a neat freak, but I am really trying to be more organized in 2010. I have a few things working against me though...

- A "quaint" little house - whenever I come home and drop the purse, diaper bag, etc. The house looks cluttered already. So, it is with diligence that I am trying to organize and to have a place for everything and everything in it's place.

- That brings me to obstacle number 2 - an adorable 18 month old who has toys that seem to breed and overflow from her room, to the living room, to the master bedroom...She even has her own drawer in the kitchen for "her" dishes and pots and pans.

I want my house to be kid friendly - don't get me is her house too, but with a house like ours there has to be some sort of method to the madness.

- And the third thing going against my efforts is one we all struggle with - TIME.

It's nap time, Do I -
a). catch up on the latest from the housewives of Orange County
b). take a much needed nap myself
c). organize and clean the house until I am exhausted and mad that I did not choose option b

I think the bottom line is this, there is always going to be a dishwasher that needs to be unloaded and laundry to do...but there has to be time to re-charge and do things I enjoy.

So, my goal is this...get the house as organized as I possibly can (keeping my organizational skills in mind) and take time to do the necessities and take time for myself...everything else will just have to wait. I know these moments are fleeting, so I don't want Libby to only remember her mom cooking and cleaning and not spending time playing or going to story time, and all the other fun outings we have.

Here are a few inspirational images that are motivating me to tackle the closets and laundry room in the next few weeks.
Hopefully I will have images of my own to share soon!

Hmm...I wish I had an two empty walls in my house, this would be so helpful.

Image from real simple.

Let me just pause to say; I think the mastermind behind behind pledge multi-surface was a mother with small children...I LOVE this stuff.

How cool is this bookshelf? After it has so many books on it you don't even see the bracket they are on. From MoMA

I love this office, its so pretty and organized.
So Organized that they don't even need the outlet below the desk...

Courtesy of Real Simple.

Whoever did this, I need their help - again image from Real Simple

I really like how this workspace is pretty and functional, but I think I would need a lot more space for function...also love the pottery.
Image from Cottage Living
And who doesn't love a basket - a basket simply says:
"Yes I have clutter, but look how cute it looks all stashed away in this natural beauty"

By the way choosing option a). listed above is almost always a huge mistake.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pantry - Before and After

Awhile back when my husband was out of town, I decided to tackle a home improvement project solo. I did this because I knew it would take some convincing to get him excited about taking a weekend to "spruce up the pantry".

It turned out great. This gave me confidence in a few areas; hanging wall paper, using power tools and not asking his opinion before I take on a project - which could be a bad thing...but what's done is done.

Our Pantry/ Landry room is a long and narrow space - like a hallway. I am currently working on organizing the laundry part of it, but the pantry part is done and I am so pleased.

Before - MDF shelving in a wood finish

After - Look what a little bit of paint, fabric and wall paper can do!

I need to give credit where credit is due - this post from Jenny Steffens was my inspiration.

And she was inspired by Eddie Ross.

This little part is a more recent accomplishment - I am so embarrassed of the before picture!

trash can, recycling bin, and dog food...

I bought this utility shelf from Target right after Christmas with high hopes for this space.

And a few supplies in the mean time...

And look what happened in one Friday night - I know, I am quite the socialite...

I bought a pre-made frame at Hobby Lobby and put the chalkboard paint directly on the wall. I had a hard time finding a cute chalk board that was reasonably priced and the right size. This worked out perfectly. - Total Cost for the chalkboard - about $23

I put the chalk and eraser in this cigar box we already had and I found this adorable lamp at an antique store for $18 -It was missing a shade. I knew it had potential, I love the shape of it and it was a steal because it is made out of china.
My only regret with this entire project is not doing it sooner.
I linked upi to Thrifty Decor Chick to share this project.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The latest Pottery Barn issue had these images in the front of the catalog and I think it expresses so much of what a lot of us are trying to accomplish this year - Lighten up, Simplify, Organize, Nest, Breathe, Slow down, and Enjoy our surroundings...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Before & After LOVE~

I think we all have to agree how much we love to see before and after pictures of anything...people, makeovers, homes, yards, furniture...I think it is just so inspiring how much something can change with a little bit of vision and hard work.
There is even a blog I follow that is dedicated to posting to Before & Afters, called Better After. Lindsey does a great job of posting instant inspiration for those who love this sort of thing.

That is the same reason I think we are all so drawn to see what something was and what it can become. I came across a project in the Lowe's - Creative Ideas magazine that really got my attention - mainly because I have a bathroom in my house that is the exact same floor plan and needs a little overhaul itself.

I love the white river rock and the white grout...but I would be mortified what it would look like after a week in my house. I also love how they did two panels for a shower curtain. This would work in my house because Libby is the only one who uses the bathtub and it is for a bath - not a shower so water would not be a problem.

I have spruced up our bathroom with little changes like paint and a shower curtain but I have not put this much effort in.
I am definitely inspired to do a little project in this space now but I just need to go one step at a time....

Today bead board is being installed in our master bedroom ceiling and I am so is going to be great!