April 2, 2012

Still Painting

What's new? I've been busy. I'm still painting...and rearranging rooms, organizing closets, hunting for fabulous decor, and helping friends and readers in their homes - you know, in between being a full time mom to four kids seven and under, being actively involved in our church, hanging out with friends, and keeping up with American Idol.

Blogging has slowed down, but I haven't. See you around!

September 14, 2011

Bored With the Bedroom - The Paint

With new bedding on the bed, Step 2 in the Master Bedroom Makeover was to select new paint for the walls. The current shade of blah, blah blue wasn't going to cut it.

New bedding, old wall color.
With green in the new bedding, my first thought was a new shade of blue for the walls - foliage and sky, maybe? I don't know, but I ran with the idea. I quickly selected a light blue that reminded me of the open sky: Quicksilver by Sherwin-Williams, and two gallons later, the room was much lighter.

Quicksilver on the walls made for a much lighter room.
I wasn't so sure about it.... Dave, on the other hand, was sure - sure that he hated it. Back to the drawing board. This time we {mostly me, but Dave, too} spent a ton more time pouring over paint chips. I'd lay the front runners on the new bedding, and we'd weed out anything that seemed too light, too dark, too green, too boring, too anything but the right choice.

We loved our duvet mixed with dark brown sheets and a crisp white coverlet and decided to take our cue from that whole ensemble. Our trim already accounted for the white factor; maybe we should steer our paint choices toward tones of brown or greige.

About that time, I stumbled on this little number, Gray Area by Sherwin-Williams.

Bingo! I kept the paint chip on my nightstand for weeks, mostly because I was too busy to paint, but also to ensure that I loved the color. And being able to throw the paint chip on the bed on sunny days, rainy days, in lamp light, candlelight {Back it up! TMI!} ensured that we really did love the color.

In spending so much time getting to know Gray Area, I started to get warm fuzzy feelings toward his deeper, darker, and also very attractive close friend, Adaptive Shade. {Who thinks of these names over at Sherwin-Williams? Gray Area and Adaptive Shade are not very creative. Good thing they have their looks going for them.}

Adaptive Shade happens to live on the same paint chip as Gray Area - an excellent indicator that they work and play well together.

What if, I thought, we painted Adaptive Shade on the wall behind the bed as kind of a focal point and Gray Area on the other three walls? Bingo again! I picked up the paint, and working together, we put our plan into action.

Sherwin-Williams Adaptive Shade behind
the bed creates a darker focal point for the room.

Gray Area meets Adaptive Shade.

The grayish-brown on the walls gives off an earthy {yet modern, we think} feel to the room. Plus it matches our old drapes. Yay for not having to shop for those!  

We're really digging the new color on the walls mixed with bright white trim, and green and white in the bedding. It's cozy. This makeover was making progress.

September 13, 2011

Bored With the Bedroom

Note: The title does not read "Bored IN the Bedroom." It clearly states "with."

Now that we've cleared the air on that, I can freely share my bedroom woes.

Our master bedroom takes up nearly half of our recently remodeled basement. When we designed the space, our wish list included a bathroom, a walk in closet, and a good amount of space to call our own - a retreat. Four kids warrants having a retreat room, you know.

While our bedroom met everything on our wish list structurally, it wasn't fitting the retreat part of the bill. I was feeling bored, not at all inspired or like I was in a haven of rest. Dave and I recently decided to turn a corner of the master bedroom into a home office, so I definitely needed to work on the inspired part. A cool blue on the walls paired with the brown and blue bedding felt outdated and blah.

Did you catch that the arrangement on the
shelf above the bed spells "OWL"? Who did that??
We knew we'd like new bedding and new color on the walls, and we wanted the room to feel cozy, maybe a bit modern, and of course, like a retreat. And remember that we were looking forward to a new office space, too, so professional? Creative? The list of criteria had grown to include: cozy, modern, retreat, professional, and creative - that's a tall order.

We have a beautiful tree outside our bedroom window. When the drapes are open in the summer, we look out and just see sky and leaves.

It's so peaceful to lay in bed and look at the leaves, and I tried to keep that peaceful feeling in mind while I searched for inspiration.

I stalked all my usual hot spots: favorite blogs, decorating magazines, and catalogs. I dog earred pages and bookmarked any contenders. Time and time again, I kept returning to Pottery Barn's Fern Organic Duvet Cover.

Image Via

Image Via

To look at it almost made me say, "Ahhhhh". It was refreshing yet cozy, vibrant yet calm. I liked it. Dave liked it. I ordered it. Bedding is a great place to start when you're decorating a bedroom, and it felt great to have found our starting point.

With the new bedding, we had managed to bring a little bit of the outside in. 

Most mornings I make the bed. I like clean lines and the tidy look of a bed that's put together.

But some mornings, I can't bring myself to make the bed - it's too cozy. Those days, I want to crawl back into bed as soon as I enter the room.

Earthy, modern, calming, and cozy - the bedroom was on the right track.

September 8, 2011

Reader Rooms: Fun and Funky Girls' Room

I've known Melanie for almost five years. She sort of danced into my life, or rather, we danced into hers, when Greta was three years old. Melanie owns the wonderfully fabulous dance studio in our town, and Little Miss Greta could not wait to get her groove on. Fast forward four years, and Greta just turned seven. She's still spinning and tapping and jumping and jiving. Frankie launched her own dance "career" last year, and boy, can she shake her little booty. A new year of classes starts next week, and the girls can't wait.
Greta ♥'s Dance, and Frankie always dances with a :)

Melanie sent me an email asking for help with her daughters' room. Addison was almost three years old, and she was about to have a new roommate, an adorable baby sister named Brynn! I was thrilled for the opportunity to jazz up the girls' room, and Melanie and I talked for awhile to devise a plan. Currently, the girls' room stood with light brown walls and touches of pink added in the bedding, drapes, and accessories.

Addison and Brynn's room Before - Not very vibrant.

Addison slept in the crib-converted-toddler-bed {which Brynn would soon need!}, and a changing table, glider chair, and a low chest also sat in the room. Melanie knew she wanted a space with bright colors for her girls - maybe raspberry, teal, lime green. She wanted to incorporate Addison's dress up clothes into the space and knew she needed room for a twin bed, a crib, a dresser, and a changing table. A little sparkle and flash topped off the wish list. Let the fun begin!

First, we assessed the girls' furniture for what could stay, what had to go, and what needed to be added to the room. We decided the glider chair could be moved to another spot in the house, as could the low chest that used to sit against a wall. The crib and changing table would obviously need to stay, and Melanie would need to acquire a twin bed for Addison. Another priority was a dresser to hold extra clothing; two girls = lots of clothes! With a plan in mind for furniture placement, we moved on to ideas for jazzing up the space. 

Melanie and I planned for a chair rail to be installed high on the walls of the girls' room to allow for two paint colors - a two-tone effect for more fun. I gave Melanie lots of bright blue paint options for the walls, and she chose a beautiful teal {Blue Jewel by Behr} to go above the high chair rail, providing a bright pop of color, and a more muted teal {Behr's Windwood Spring} for below. Melanie's parents had been keeping the headboard and dresser that she'd used as a child, and they said she could take them for the girls' room - score! She planned to paint them both to match the room {a girl after my own heart!}. Her hubby got the chair rail installed pronto, and he and Melanie busted out the brushes and rollers and had the walls painted in no time.

With the original color scheme of teal, raspberry, and lime green in mind, we kept our eyes peeled for bright bedding to match. Since the walls were shades of teal, we looked for bedding options in raspberry and lime to add to the funky, girly vibe of the bedroom. We eventually hit the jackpot with a bright pink quilt and decorative pillows and accessories in other jeweled tones. Melanie's mother-in-law pitched in to sew a gorgeous lime green crib sheet and changing pad cover. This bright and fancy room was coming together!

We began to think about finishing touches for the room: a new lime green valance to replace the light pink drapes around the window, pretty jeweled light catchers to hang in the window and make the sunlight dance, and a sparkly chandelier to add pizazz. New lime and teal baskets for the changing table took the place of the old light pink caddies to hold all sorts of changing table necessities. I suggested that we wed function and fun and display Addison's dress up costumes with a mirror for her own special staging area. The fancy dresses now hang in a row of hooks beside a tall mirror, perfect for a princess!

And now for my favorite part: Before and After shots!

Before - Brown and a little Blah!
After - Bright bedding, accessories, and paint shine under the new chandelier.

Addison used to use the crib as a toddler bed.

Custom lime crib sheets and a bright blue dresser pop in the room.

A little sleepy...

Addison's new bed is fit for a dancing
queen! Lots of color and texture for lots of wow!

The glider chair and pink drapes were removed.

New window treatments, costumes on display,
and a fun and organized changing table complete the room.

Melanie writes: "I am so excited about how these little changes have made my home more warm and inviting. Working with Susie has taught me to always be looking around for inspiration. I am starting to see decorating ideas everywhere and then thinking "now how can I do that myself?" With her help...I am truly "Loving Where I Live!"

Yay! I'm so happy to have a part in inspiring others to love where they live. I had a blast helping Melanie in the process of converting her girls' room from brown to bold. I'm not the dancer Melanie is, but this transformation makes me want to jump for joy!

September 7, 2011

Don't Leaf Me Behind

During the school year, we have a family ritual of driving the school-going kids to school every morning, either Dave or I will walk them to their classrooms, and sometimes, we'll swing by our favorite coffee shop, The Hazelnut Tree, on our way home for coffees, hot chocolates, and yummy breakfast treats. While the staff whips up our drinks, I love to browse through the selection of candles, home decor, jewelry, and artwork for sale at the shop. We just so happened to swing by today, and lo and behold, I spied a set of gorgeous glittery leaves hanging in the front window. I'd seen them around this same time last year, but by the time I got around to stopping by to check them out, they were out of the window; they had been sold. I had been leafed out. {Get it? "Leaf"ed out?!} I was wasting no time this year; I had a gift card to The Hazelnut Tree that someone had gifted me for helping with a decorating project, and I knew these leaves were coming home with me - today!

Insert excited dance here: The leaves are in the house!

Unwrapped and ready to sparkle!

The sparkly leaves now hang in my window, not The Hazelnut Tree's! {Well, technically the same leaves still hang at The Hazelnut Tree. Mine were just taken from their supply of extras.}


I slipped some fishing line through the loops on top of the leaves and around the curtain rod above the windows so the glittery foliage seems to float. Raffia ribbon or twine could replace the fishing wire to add a pretty spin on the project, too.

Such a simple way to add a little shine to the season. Happy Fall!

September 6, 2011

I'm Falling for Fall

Open the windows wide; let that beautiful rush of fresh, cool air flood your home. Can you smell it? Fall is here. Kiddos are back to school, I'm drooling for apple crisp, and the daylight hours are dwindling. But the surest signs of the season showed up in my mailbox last week: Pottery Barn's and Restoration Hardware's Fall Catalogs.

I'm pumped for new projects and inspiration to make my home pretty for autumn.

Pottery Barn dressed up their Spire Pillar Candelabra for fall with antlers and gourds. Easy peasy!

Restoration Hardware has me gaga over their gorgeous Orb Crystal Chandelier. I'm dying!!

Here it is pictured in a room. The X-Large version is priced at $4495. Do you think Dave will go for that? Me, neither. But I can find my own way to add sparkle to my home on the cheap. You better believe I will.

I might try my hand at another corn candle ring. I stole the idea from last fall's Pottery Barn catalog. You can read how to autumn-ize your own candles here.

I'm excited to wear cute boots with flirty dresses. I'm currently crushing on these boots {way outta the budget!}.

Image via
 How adorable would they be with this dress from Anthropologie?

Image via
I'm ready to cheer for our small town's high school football team on chilly nights with a blanket and hot chocolate {Dave and I live in the town where we grew up; we're loyal fans!} and take a trip to our favorite apple orchard. I'm ready for bonfires, hot apple cider, and comfort foods. Goodbye, summer!

It's official. I'm falling for fall.
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