Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Let It Be Something Good.

Hey there!

This piece of art hangs in my sister's house, and after a crazy, somewhat surreal week, it's never resonated with me like it does right now.

It's not for us to say what today will bring, so today, you have a choice to make:

I promise I'll be back soon with some more projects, and less existential pondering of our place in the universe.  Maybe.  ;)

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Feels Like Fall! [Fall Decor]

So it’s the third week in September, and you’re probably thinking.. “Hold up, Emily! This is the longest you’ve ever waited to decorate for fall!  Whoa!” And if that were the case, then yes, that would be a milestone.
Buuuuut, it’s not true. 
Like, the nanosecond the clock struck “September,” it was ON.
I’ve just been showcasing restraint in blogging about it so you’d think I was chill.
Busted. : )

But in a way, I have chilled out a bit this fall, thanks to the addition of my favorite planked wall (because it’s my *only* planked wall ;) ) above the Mantel O’ Doom.
The wall and brightening up of the fireplace is like a breath of fresh air in here.  Everything is light and bright, and I feel like I have the freedom now to pare down and scale things back in that space.
Instead of layering lots of pieces up there to try and offset the bright wood tone, this year I’m simplifying and really enjoying the result.

I love natural elements and adding different textures, and fall is the perfect season for that. 

These rattan pumpkins have been spotted in different places around the house over the years, but never made it onto the mantel because the dark brown accentuated the orangey wood and made things feel darker.  Not anymore! 
Now they help ground the space and with a couple autumn-colored leaves, it’s feelin’ a bit more like fall, y’all. 

I kept the black frame because I like the height it adds without being heavy or clunky.  And, it’s an easy vehicle for hanging things in front of that window without having to nail in hanging hardware or tape something to the wall and risk damaging the paint job.
This time, I turned it vertically to draw the eye even further up, and whipped up some quick garland with furniture webbing and some jute twine I found in a drawer.

I liked the warm, reclaimed wood on my photo frames, so I kept them up and tossed up some dried prairie grass-type, uh, stuff.  I’ll probably swap out the photos with something a little more “fall” once we make the annual trip to the pumpkin patch, but for now what’s in there is fine.  I mean, it’s been 90-100 degrees here for the past week, so a little lingering summer is probably all right. : )

I stuck to natural elements for the rest, and I am really enjoying the relaxed, rustic vibe.

You know, just an antler hanging out with a crow on a reclaimed wood tray..  totally natural, right? ;)

 I brought up my corn husk wreath and instead of over the fireplace like last year, this year he’s hanging out on the front door. 

You can find directions for how I made it HERE.

Just need some pumpkins and a gourd or two to spruce up this spot and we’ll be good to go.
I snagged a bunch of small pots of mums over Labor Day weekend when Lowe’s had them 5/$5. 

They are easy to take care of, and add an earthy pop of color to the space.
They're juuuust starting to open up, which is perfect.

And when I’m done I have the option to pop ‘em in the ground, or if not they were so cheap that I’m not going to sweat tossing them at the end of their run.
We’ll see.

Now all I need is some crisp fall air, some hot homemade soup and a snuggly blanket.
Who’s with me? 

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In the Navy [Dresser Update & Storage Solution]

So, our house doesn’t have an upstairs linen closet.

Well, check that – it DOES… it’s just that our builder placed what is typically seen as a “hall closet” in our master bedroom. 
I actually quite like it there.
It’s convenient, having it in our room cuts down on the kids rifling through it like I used to do growing up, and it’s a nice size for added storage.

Our upstairs isn’t a typical long hallway with bedrooms.
(the picture on the far left here is taken from the landing - the stairs go down the the left)

Instead, we have a large landing that is surrounded by 4 bedrooms and a bathroom on all sides, save this one wall.
But there are some things, like spare linens and extra blankets and towels that I want our guests to have access to… without having to creep through the master bedroom.

A while back, I took this vintage chest of drawers that had come to college with me, gave it new paint and handles and put it out there for linen storage.
It worked fine, but it was kind of dinky for the large wall.
Then I found this awesome brass mirror at a flea market and knew I wanted it on this wall.
But you can see above, clearly it was too large for my drawers.
So, I consulted my friend Craig and his List, and came up with this guy.

[sorry,I forgot to snap a true “before” pic prior to taking off the original handles]

He hadn’t been touched in *literally* 50 years, according to the owner, and needed some freshening up.
But, the price was right and the size was just what I was looking for, so I got to work.
I invested some major sweat equity prying off these gross old pulls:

They had been attached normally, but apparently they were loose, so someone had used some sort of industrial adhesive on the backs as well (funny, I would have just screwed them in tighter.  Huh. ;) )
AND, someone had evidently whacked them with a mallet for good measure, because Sweet Fancy Moses were they stuck on there good!
You can see, after muscling the needle nose pliers to work these jobbies off, I had some serious repair work in my future.

But, once that was done, the fun part started!

After a good scrubbing and priming, I used Sherwin Williams Naval to give it a rich, deep blue.

The colors in this pic aren’t reading true, but in real life it looks closer to the color second from the bottom in this pic – it’s more like the color smack dab between a true navy and a peacock blue.
As is the case with any deep, saturated color, it took several coats (4!!) to get a deep even color, but once it was done I was so in love.

To switch things up and give it a bit of a nautical flair, I added bedford brass cup pulls and knobs [Martha Stewart line from Home Depot].

The original 6 round knobs across the top was a bit too busy for me, so I filled in the center holes and added a brass name place to break things up.
I lined the drawers with a fun fabric in a pop of color that I forgot to snap pictures of (oops!) and now it’s all set for some fresh, clean guest linens!


I was worried that the dresser would bump out in the space too far and make it difficult to maneuver around, but clearly, the spacing is fine.  It's officially Newman-approved. :)

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