Tuesday, December 20, 2016

You Were Always Jealous of that Lamp: Part II

Have you been on the edge of your seat waiting for this post ever since you read "You Were Always Jealous of that Lamp: Part I"?  I know I have and I live here.  

Let's start with the dining room...

I put an ornament garland between the two lamps on the sideboard and the table I left empty because we actually use it a lot, but not to worry the bar cart got big time merry.

I arranged tree clippings with blue snowflakes in a vase and anchored them with blue and orange ornaments to coordinate with the rug {you can see the rug reflected in the mirror in photos below}.  A bowl full of oranges sits on the bottom.  I use one of those oranges every morning to make smoothies and always feel slightly upset that I'm taking away from my Christmas decor.  Luckily I'm resourceful and know where to get more.

I made a swag with tree clippings for the mirror and draped it with live garland.

More tree clippings and ornament garland on top of the built-in hutch 
along with a nativity family on display.  

Let's go into the kitchen- look another ornament garland on top of the pot rack.

I've never really used poinsettias before but this year I decided I loved them,  
probably because Trader Joe's sells them for $2.99 and I'll buy whatever they tell me to buy. 

 Speaking of TJ's, my favorite seasonal discovery this year has been their Coffee Cup Celebration.  It's a 20 pack of K-Cups with 5 different holiday flavors.  Do you want to know what the flavors are?  Ok I'll tell you: Wintry Blend, French Vanilla, Caramel, Gingerbread, and Chocolate Mint. 
It's the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning.  

I have this stovetop potpourri simmering almost non-stop.  
It's a mix of citrus, rosemary, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and spices.  
I refill the water as needed and freshen up the ingredients about once a week.  
It makes the house smell jolly.  

Moving over to the shelves and eat-in table...another poinsettia and little seasonal touches.

Live wreaths on the windows, one inside and one outside. They both seem equally happy, 
I just mist the indoor one with water every few days.  

Since we don't have a tree big enough to put gifts under I've been 
sprinkling them around the house as decor.  It's quaint. 

I always have a Spode Woodland china plate on display and change up the animal for the season so right now it's a reindeer.  There is also a little nativity set over here- the white ceramic pieces 
next to the baking jars.  

The recessed lights above the shelves are Philips Hue lightbulbs and it creates quite 
a festive atmosphere for the girls while they dine.  

 They're just thrilled about it.  

I was looking for a way to display Christmas cards and decided to start taping them on the window above the sink.  Cards featuring dogs received priority placement, naturally.  

Merry Christmas!

**This post is not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned.**

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

You Were Always Jealous of that Lamp: Part I

Merry Merry! While I don't have a leg lamp I do want to show off some Christmas decor in an effort to ignite feelings of envy.  That's what the season is all about.  

Let's start with the entryway. Free was the goal for the planter- tree clippings from Lowe's and magnolia branches I snipped off a tree in the backyard.  It looks unruly and messy but still contained- in other words: it's perfect.   

The door trimmings are all from Target, the garland and "Merry Christmas" are new but the wreath I've had for a long time.  I wanted a mix of metallic with the natural greenery and the stars make our historic plaque pop.

The front door has been painted Benjamin Moore's Wrought Iron since the last time you've seen it and I'm so happy with the color.  It looks so nice with the dark storm door and plaque.  

Now moving inside...

Mini boxwood wreath on the gazelle hook.

Snowflake ornaments on a metallic branch and wise men on the entry table.  

 Do you want to come into the living room? Sure you do!  

Last year when I was taking down Christmas decorations I threw my fake white tree out to make sure it would never be used again- it had turned yellow but I still kept using it,  grimacing a little more each time I put it up. This year I wanted a simple natural tree with nothing but white lights.  

I got a little tabletop tree from Lowe's because it was just easy.  I knew right where I could put him and didn't have to strap it to my car or move furniture around.  
He's flat out cute and looks so sweet glowing at night.    

Moving over to the console...we upgraded our media console and 
TV over the summer and they fit the scale of the room so much better.  
The TV will be mounted eventually but the walls need to be painted first.  

This vase and white branches always live here, but got dressed up for Christmas with white lights and metallic snowflakes. 

Underneath I framed some wrapping paper and strung lights and an ornament garland.

White and green was the theme for the mantel. 
Live garland from Trader Joe's layered in with seasonal decor I use year after year. 

Apparently I was really into putting white lights into containers this year...
two on the console and this lantern by the mantel.

Come back next week for "You Were Always Jealous of that Lamp: Part II" where we'll take a gander at the dining room and kitchen.  How's that for a cliffhanger?  

**This post was not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned**

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

From Darkness to Light

Have you ever looked at a room and thought "this would be SO much better if only the walls were a dark semi-gloss with an even darker high-gloss trim that is completely inconsistent with the rest of the house"? Me neither.  But apparently someone did because that's what the room we call the "study" was sporting when we moved in.  

I tried to make it look decent enough: like when I introduced the desk and when the new light fixture went up.  But most of the time it looked like the photos above and below.  Dark, cluttered, and kind of gloomy. Also, notice the overflowing laundry basket in the corner?  That served as Matt's "dresser" for over a year.  Yikes.

Enter the whites from left to right:  Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee, BM White Dove, and 
BM Alabaster.

White Dove was so...white and Alabaster had a touch of pink undertones which was pretty, just not the right hue for the room.  Swiss Coffee was the warm-but-not-too-creamy color I had in mind.

The girls agreed that if I would hire a painter they would oversee the work at no charge.  In an effort to completely rebel against the gloss paint lovers anonymous group that had been the room, I went with a matte finish on the walls and an eggshell finish on all trim.  I thought about using a flat finish on the trim but then remembered that I have two dogs who shed black, white, gray, red, etc. etc. and thought better of it.  The upkeep would have been a little much. 

The trim color is BM Pale Oak and it is spot on.  Traditionally, the trim would have been the lighter color and the walls the darker color, but I had been wanting to try a tone on tone reverse wall/trim pairing and I'm so happy with the results.  The effect is striking yet subtle.  Pale Oak doesn't commit to being gray or tan or beige- it just gently anchors the white walls.  

Above photo is the room with fresh paint and an upgraded dresser, but pre-rug and still with the old couch.  Today we're looking more like the photos below...

A new desk chair in weathered oak looks so pretty against the walls and the desk.  The new bookcase sits against a formerly empty wall and serves as form and function.  It is so handsome and provides much needed storage in here for Matt's growing library.  I grouped the unruly cords in a storage tray under the bookcase. Such a necessary evil, those cords. **This is where I would like to say a word about cord covers: I hate them.  I think they draw more attention to cords by making them look needlessly gaudy.  Just thought you should know.**

The rug and blanket are Pendleton.  

All furniture {except for the desk} is Restoration Hardware.  

The chair and ottoman, I love them.  They are so cozy, but I haven't decided if they will stay in this room. The thing is, they are so much lighter than I was anticipating.  I ordered several fabric swatches and ended up choosing "natural" in Belgian linen which looked significantly darker on the tiny swatch than it does on the actual pieces.  Lesson learned.  The pair might be relocated to the bedroom once we get going in there and I'll find something else for in here, I'd like for the upholstery to not be so stark against the warm rug and warm walls.  

Birdie enjoys the chair but Shep tends to ignore it while occasionally making a snarky comment about how it was a custom order and cannot be exchanged.  I really need to get it together.  

**This post is not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned.
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