Exercising Restraint

Hey hey hey!!  I am back from my glorious Mexican vacation and I ain’t gonna lie- it is hard to get back to real life.  Too much money spent and nothing to do now but laundry and catch up on work!  My little bit of a tan is already starting to fade!!

The exciting news is that we had two rooms in our house painted while we were away.  I am pleased at the result, but it always takes me a while to adjust to any visual change in my home, even if it is a change for the better.  One of the rooms we had painted was my daughter’s and we moved all of her furniture and toys into our dining room so they had better access to her room.

When the time came to put her room back together, I found myself really editing what I chose to put back into it.  Now our dining room table is filled with decorative accessories that I opted not to put back. I have drawn the conclusion that in many rooms in my home, I simply have too much stuff.  Too many accessories.  I think my husband agrees ( he secretly thinks I am a hoarder!)

So, this time around I am really exercising restraint.  Less is more.  Negative space can be just as inviting and beautiful as a room full of objects.  While, I am still far from a minimalist, I found the images below inspiring.  You can tell that restraint was exercised in each space.  Each one simple, but beautiful.

 

Minimalist 7

Via

Minimalist 3

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Minimalist 5

Via

Minimalist 2

Via

Minimalist 8

Via

Minimalist 4

Via

Minimalist 9

Via

What do you think?  Is it too stark for you?  Do you ever find yourself constantly editing your spaces?  I am by no means a minimalist, but I do find myself constantly evaluating if something is needed in a space.

I know one thing for sure, it is much easier to keep clutter at bay with a minimalist approach!

I have Spring fever, so hoping to have some Spring-inspired posts soon.  If I can’t be in sunny Mexico, at least I can dream of Spring.

xo,

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Bohemian Mexican Style

Hi everyone!!  I don’t believe I have mentioned it here on the blog, but I am beyond excited that I am taking a cruise to Mexico next week!!  I am not a hug fan of winter (yes, I know . . .boo hoo California girl), so the thought of going somewhere tropical in the dead of winter has me giddy. My entire extended family is going so hopefully it will be tons of fun, but with family, you never know!

Mexico 1

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So of course, I am already thinking about what I am going to scout out in the world of home decor. I have always loved the bohemian style of Mexican decor.  I really love their textiles, so that is what I plan to be on the lookout for.  From vibrant patterns to simple whites, these textiles have something to offer everyone.

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Mexican Decor 1

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Oh, I can feel the warm breeze already.  Do you like the relaxed bohemian style of modern Mexican decor?  I enjoy it, but would use it as an accessory or accent rather than the design for an entire room!

I will be taking the week off from blogging, but you can follow along on my travel adventures via Instagram!

xoxo,

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Framed Wallpaper

Hi everyone!!  This week is just flying by and I am soo excited because tomorrow we have painters coming to start painting the interior of our home.  Yay!!!  I opted to go for navy walls for our hallway as I talked about here, so that is where he is going to start.  I can’t wait to not see dirty finger-prints running down our hallways!!

Since we are painting all the rooms, I have been thinking ton about what I am going to do for Audrey’s big girl room.  I know I want to use pale pink and gray in the room and will be painting the walls a light gray.  However, the other day I ran across a wallpaper I was swooning over.  It would be totally cost prohibitive to wall paper her entire room, but then I got thinking about buying a roll and then framing it.

Look at how amazing it looks in the photos below:

Framed Wallpaper 2

Brittany Ambridge

Framed Wallpaper 1

Chloe Warner

Framed Wallpaper 6

Hunted Interior

Framed Wallpaper 4

Laura Tutun Interiors

Framed Wallpaper 3

Asthetic Coiseau

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Elements of Style

Framed Wallpaper

Apartment Therapy

They make such an impact and are a great alternative to traditional art, don’t you think?  I am drooling over the frames used in the photos above, but I think it would be relatively easy to DIY one.

What do you think?  Have you ever used wallpaper in a non-traditional way?

Until next time!

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Book Review: Learning to See Creatively

Hi friends!  Ever since I started blogging, I have been trying to improve my photography skills. To be a truly great blogger, you really have to be a jack-of-all-trades.  A creative, a writer, a photographer, and a tech guru all rolled into one.

Looking back at my first photos on the blog, I want to cringe.  There is so much more that goes into creating the perfect photos than most people realize  Things can look so great in person and just turn out ho-hum in a photo.  I am by no means an expert photographer, but I have picked up a few tricks along the way, mostly by trial and error.  I am always looking to add new skills to my arsenal.  I didn’t have the time to take a full-blown class, so instead, I picked up the book Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson.

Learning to see Creatively

This book completely changed my perspective on how I approach taking photos.  The book starts out challenging how we see photography  It distinguishes human vision versus what we see in “camera” vision.  It challenges you to move around, climb a tree, lay on the ground, or do whatever you need to do to have a different view of your subject.

Peterson also spends a considerable amount of time analyzing what makes for a striking photo. The elements of shape, form, pattern and color are all analyzed.  The most practical part of the book was the chapter on composition.  It details tricks of the trade, such as the rule of thirds that help the pros compose award-wining photos.

The book is filled with color soaked, beautiful images.  There are many side-by-side photos of the same shot explaining why one is a better photo.  Each image also details exactly what setting the camera was on, so it can be understood and possibly recreated.

I have to admit that the book is lacking in one regard.  It has a small chapter on Photoshop.  In my opinion, too small.  It is a very small chapter and really emphasizes that one should not be relying on Photoshop to create the perfect photo.  I suppose if you are truly an expert photographer, like the author Photoshop is not really needed to create the perfect image.  However, for me, who is sometimes taking in photos in less than ideal conditions, it can be a godsend.  At the end of the day, I suppose if you want a book all about Photoshop, you can read one of the hundreds on the subject.

Anyone from a novice to a professional photographer can take something away from this book. For me, the best parts were the tips on how to think outside of the box when approaching your subject.  I still have so much to learn, but this book has inspired me to keep practicing and experimenting.

xoxo,

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**I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.  All opinions, as always, are my own

 

The Money Pit Update: Roman Shades

Hi everyone and happy Friday!!

I have been furiously making plans for updates to our new (ish) home.  One thing that came along with our beautiful old home (aka “The Money Pit”), was tons of beautiful old windows.  The home is on the corner of a very busy street, so privacy is a concern for us.  In addition, our new bathroom renovation, that I wrote about here, left us completely exposed to our neighbors.  Eek!

So, when Blindster reached out to me with an opportunity to try out some of their window coverings, I jumped at the opportunity!  I felt that our kitchen, which faces the busy street and our new bathroom were the best places to start.

I have always been a huge fan of Roman shades and have even contemplated DIY’ing some of my own. For our new bathroom I chose their Premium Roman Shades in this fun graphic print. How perfect does it go with my black, white and brass color scheme?

Blindster 5

The shades obviously go all the way down, but I love the way they lay when they are pulled up half way!

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Blindster 7

For the kitchen, I went with this pattern in the Premium Roman Shades called Kitani Indigo.  I was a little unsure about how the pattern on the fabric would look in person, but I cannot tell you how much I love these shades.  The fabric is beautiful and the print modern, yet classic with its blue and white tones. It provides the perfect amount of privacy and they are so easy to open and close.

Windows can be so challenging to photograph, these photos do not do justice to how beautiful these roman shades are.

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Here is this fun pattern up close.  I LOVE it so much!

Blindster 4

 

Going with a custom product like this was the perfect solution for us.  As our home is an older home, the windows are difficult to fit.  That was no problem at all with their online measuring guide that helped me completely customize the shades.  You can even customize the type of lining and sides the pulls are on. And if they don’t get it right, they have a special Fit-or-Free policy that guarantees your money back!

The shades arrived lightning fast and were a breeze for me (aka my husband) to install. We have had the shades for about 2 weeks now and they are a dream come true.  I no longer have to worry about my neighbors getting a peep show!

We have so many more windows to cover in our home.  We plan to plug along room by room. That is the thing with window coverings; they can be so expensive, it is hard to do an entire house at once.  Blindster is such an affordable option, you practically CAN afford to do an entire home Right now they are offering 25% off everything.  You can see their Facebook page for details.

Tell me how do you cover your windows.  Shutters, blinds, curtains?  Do you do it for privacy or more for looks?

Until next time . . .

xoxo

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**This is not a sponsored post.  Blindster did provide the shades.  All opinions, as always, are my own.

Ways to Add Architectural Detail to Your Home

Hi friends!  I hope your 2016 is off to a great start.  I have been obsessively making plans for our new home.  I seriously need to slow down and take it one project at a time.  It is just all too exciting!! Today I want to share some inspiration photos on some easy ways you can add architectural detail to your home. We are blessed to live in an older home with amazing molding, arches and built-ins.  We even have what I call “diamond door nobs.”  I wrote all about my love of these vintage door nobs here.

Even though we are blessed with these character-enhancing features, I am still feeling the need to add more.  I would love to add a bit more detail to our doors, walls and ceilings as in the images below.

With a relatively simple DIY, you can add decorative paneling or molding to any door.  If you have builder grade doors that are as they say “plain”, this is such an easy way to add interest.

Decorative Trim 2

Little Green Notebook

Decorative Trim 1

One Kings Lane

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Driven By Decor

Since we already have some decorative trim, how fun would it be to accent it with gold to really make it pop like the trim below?

Decorative Trim 7

Let’s not forget about the ceiling.  How amazingly grand are the two ceilings featured below.  That may be too much of a project for us for now, but wow, what a statement it makes!

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House and Home

Decorative Trim 4

Via Pinterest

An easier DIY version with a similar impact is adding a ceiling medallion.  These can even be purchased at the big box stores these days.  I am really considering doing this to give a “wow” factor to our dining room chandelier and ceiling.

Decorative Trim 6

Bijou and Boheme

What do you think? Could your home benefit from one of these DIY’s?  It’s all in the details right?  It has never been easier to fake architectural details!

xoxo,

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Navy Walls

Hi friends!  Happy Monday!!  I am hoping that some of you have the day off and are relaxing.  I do, so I am just here, at home, obsessing about paint colors 🙂  I posted here all about my home decorating goals for 2016.  On top of that list is to paint the entire inside of our house.  Needless to say, I have been thinking about paint a lot!!

As you enter our home, there is a long, narrow hallway that has two architectural arches.  I was thinking of painting it a light gray.  However, a friend of mine recently convinced me to go with navy.  The hallway is long enough, there is lots of natural light and white molding to contrast the blue, so I think it will work.  I am inspired by the way navy used in these spaces.

How gorgeous is Aerin Lauder’s home.  This was the image that had me starting to consider navy.

Navy Walls

Harper’s Bazaar

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House and Home

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Dabito for West Elm

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Lisa Petrole

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House to Home

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Grant Scott

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Home Bunch

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Christine Hendrickson and Pontus Wahlgren For Apartment Therapy

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Horchow

I love the blue in this last photo.  I actually pinned it because of the sofa.  I am on a quest for a stylish sectional and this one fits the bill.

What do you think?  Do you believe in the old adage, “small spaces need light colors.”  That phrase was holding me back.  Sometimes you just have to break the rules, right??

Until next time.

xoxo,

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What’s New at Ballard Designs

Hi lovely readers!  I picked up the new Ballard Designs catalog over the weekend and was pleasantly surprised to see they had a variety of new items.

The style at Ballard is right up my alley.  It is founded in the traditional, but they also throw in modern and whimsical accents.  Here are my picks from their new catalog:

Ballard 2016 1 The new Octavia bookcase is just so fun and unique.  How fun would it be to display decor accents in the little octagons?  It comes in a variety of colors as well.

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The Felicity line of acrylic end and coffee tables are just what I mean when I say that Ballard injects a little modern into their traditional designs.

Ballard 2016 The nailhead trim adds so much to the simple lines of the Haynes dining chair.

Ballard 2016 4 I am not a huge fan of animal print, but I find the antelope print on this rug to be so serene.  I would love to incorporate it into one of my neutral spaces.  Here it is used in a living room.  So rich and luxurious, right?

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The imperfect chevron print on these pillows would create a graphic punch in any space.

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I am on the lookout for art for our new home and I have always loved the dreamy abstract art from Ballards.  This blue piece from the new catalog is no exception.

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If you have been reading the blog for a while, you know I am a huge fan of faux bamboo.  Can’t get enough of it!  This bamboo sconce would be perfect in an entry way or hallway.

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One of my favorite things I saw in the catalog was not even something new.  It is a deal they are running on the Dayna chairs.  An oldie but a goodie.  It is one of their Best of Ballard sales.  You can get two side chairs for $399.00 or an arm-chair for $249.00.  Did I mention how much I love faux bamboo?  If you are a fan too, this is a great time to pick them up on sale, as they rarely go on sale.

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Images courtesy of Ballard Designs

What do you think?  Are you a Ballard fan?  Do you have anything you are swooning over that is new?  Do tell in the comments!

xoxo,

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Home Decorating Goals for 2016

Hi everyone!  Since it is the start of a new year, I thought I would share some of my decorating goals for 2016 with you.  Yes, some may set personal or career goals, but me, I set decorating goals.

This year in particular I do this because we just purchased our dream home, and while it has excellent “bones” as they say, it needs a little TLC.  We have already remodeled a bathroom mostly in part because the former owners paid for that as part of the sale  Long story.  You can read about it here and I plan to have a post with beautiful photos as soon as the custom art and window treatments I have ordered arrive.

First off, the entire interior is going to be painted.  The exterior will be next, but is a lesser priority.  I have thought long and hard over what palette I want and I can’t believe how indecisive I am being!!  I am pretty sure, however, that the colors will include some bold color choices.  However, every time I think I am sold on a bold color, I see images of a beautiful neutral room and I second guess myself.  I think I am going to trust my gut and go bold.  After all, it is just paint, right?

Paint Colors For Sonoma Way

JVW Home

Next up is the hardwood floors.  Our 1920’s home is blessed with an entire home of hardwood floors. However, they desperately need to be refinished.  They are a light-toned honey colored wood and I think they will stay that way.  I want the entire space to feel light and airy.

Hardwood FLoors for Sonoma

Design Chic

Third, we are going to have a larger opening cut out for a new refrigerator.  I wrote all about it before, but basically our home currently has the smallest fridge EVER!  It is seriously a small step above a college mini fridge.  It is ugly and not functional at all for our family of four.  You can read about how I attempted to glam it up with gold duct tape here.  It upgraded it a bit, but I am ready for a real upgrade!! I think this is one home improvement that will definitely improve the quality and efficiency of our lives.

Fridge wM

Finally, like many older homes, many rooms in our home do not have  lighting wired.  Many of the bedrooms rely solely on table and floor lamps and they simply do not provide enough light.  We have a bid from our contractor to wire the rooms and it will be one of our first projects.  The fun part is going to be picking out new lighting!!  It can get really expensive, so it will probably happen space by space as our budget allows.  I hate those things- budgets!!

Lighting for Sonoma Way

Design Indulgence

Do you set “home” goals as well?  Please tell me I am not the only one!!!  Keep checking back as I will update and show you how each goal is coming along (project “money pit.”)

Contractor is set to come out on Monday to remove the “mini fridge” and create a new opening.  Happy Dance!!!

Until next time . . .

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6 Ways to Decorate with Pantone’s 2016 Colors of the Year

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Architectural Digest

Hi lovely friends!  I hope that 2016 is off to a wonderful start for you.  I was sooo sick over New Year’s Eve and the first of the year that I feel like I am getting a late start on things already.  Isn’t that just life sometimes??

So, those of you who follow design trends know that Pantone (THE authority on color) announced its color of the year in December.  For the first time ever, it has selected two colors.  They are two complementary colors called Rose Quartz and Serenity.

Pantone Announcement

Many people might find them very pastel and too sweet to use in their homes, but see how they are used in the spaces below.  They might just change your mind and have you dreaming of these bubble gum hues.

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Style Me Pretty

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The English Room

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Ryann Colleen

Pantone Color 2016 3

French by Design

Pantone Color 2016

Jonah Podbereski

Pantone Color 2015

Ashley Capp

They need not be limited to children’s rooms and work with a variety of color pairings.  I like how they are paired with browns and dark teals to tame them down a little bit.

Pantone Color Combo

Image via Pantone

There are ways to incorporate these distinct colors in more subtle ways.  No need to go and get a can of pink paint!  These accessories can help you add that pop of pastel without a major commitment.

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Pillow/ Tumbler / Rug / Lamp / Dishware / Bowl

What do you think?  Yay or Nay?  I think they are fun and am probably going to use a variation of rose quartz in my daughter’s big girl room.  I definitely like them better than last year’s wine-colored Marsala.

You can read all about Pantone’s prior colors of the year here and here.

Until next time.

xoxo,

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Pillow /  Tumbler /  Rug /  Lamp / Dishware / Bowl