Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Trend Alert- Linen Bedding

It's somewhat of an oxymoron- putting the words trend and linen together, but lately I've been seeing it everywhere.  We have owned our white linen duvet for about four years (it takes a break in hot summer months), and it's remains a purchase that I stand behind.  Like a lot of people, I have a tendency to get tired of pattern more quickly than I (or Connor)would like. So I use pillows for pattern and texture and while my simple white linen duvet stays put. We are currently in the middle of changing up our bedroom scheme, and I love that it's as simple as changing out some pillows. If I haven't sold you yet- our linen duvet gets softer with each wash, and looks best a little "wrinkled"- which is super ideal with little ones. (This is not an add, I just really like linen:).
 Here is our bedroom with it's linen duvet and old set up of pillows:
I also used linen bedding recently in designing my in-laws bedroom:
How beautiful is this set-up by Holly at Avenue Lifestyle? She is a master at using linen.
Below is one of my most favorite images (also from Holly), I love how she mixed different shades.
I don't naturally gravitate towards pink (in such a large scale), but I'm really loving this mauve linen. It feels more subtle.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Having a plywood moment

I'm continually impressed with plywood. It's extremely affordable, yet can be used in high design spaces. Since making our faux marble dining table from plywood, I've been scheming about other ways I plan to incorporate it in my home.

One of the main reasons I keep coming across plywood is because I've been looking for alternatives to Reese's twin bed…we painted the frame white before realizing that our three year old LOVES picking at painted furniture. Since painting the bed countless times (10 maybe?), I'm ready to give up….and I'm ok with that since I paid a measly $20 for the bed. I love this option below:
I love the black painted plywood backsplash with the brass faucet. 
I've seen a few plywood playhouses around the web, but how darling is this plywood wardrobe for a little girl or boy's room? 


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Earth Day.

I realize Earth Day happened last week, but today it was 30 degrees outside so I refuse to consider this post late. Our patio-the reason we want to make it a nice space? Sure I love having a well designed space to look at from the kitchen, but it's so much more than that. It's a place for us to enjoy with our girls, and for Connor and me to retreat to after the girls are down for the night. A place for us to sip our wine/moscow mules and just talk about whatever we want without interruption. But it's also a place for us to to entertain. We love hosting out of town guests, and we get a lot of visitors. We love it. We have lived all over the country and made some really wonderful friends along the way- so much so that they are willing to travel to us wherever we live. I don't for one second take this for granted! Because of that, we give a lot of thought to making our home conducive to hosting out of town guests. So along those lines, here is my current inspiration for our balcony. I'm really loving the idea of a privacy screen to make our balcony more cozy.

And here is my moodboard for the space. I already have some Homecrest chairs that I found on craigslist, we are turning our old bench that Connor made (originally for the dining room in Indianapolis) into more outdoor seating, using a rug I found on craigslist, and adding some plants and pillows. 

1. Bench
2. Plants
3. String lights
4. Homecrest Chairs
5. Rug
6. Eye pillow
7. Leaf Pillow
8. Black planters

Thursday, April 14, 2016

DIY Faux Marble Dining Table/ Ikea Hack

It seems as though I've become somewhat of an expert on faux marble the past couple months! I have been brainstorming dining table options ever since we found our MA home and realized that our original dining table was too large for the room and the tulip table too small for our family (let alone guests). Long term? We are planning on buying a house in a year or so and the wood dining table that we made in Indianapolis will become an outdoor table and the tulip table will be used as a breakfast table.
Back to the faux marble table. I wanted to find an affordable option since we needed four dining chairs, and we always prefer to put our money towards travel over things. When I stumbled across this tutorial (by Erin of Earnest Home Co. ) for faux marble countertops I knew instantly I wanted to make a dining table. Aside from the fact that our table looks like real marble and it was actually a relatively cheap DIY, I also love the fact that I can have "the look" of marble without worrying about my kids (or me, let's be honest) ruining it. The end results blew our minds, it looks even more beautiful in person! 

Here's what you'll need:
-An underframe
-Wood tabletop
-White primer
-Black paint (to make a couple different shades of grey)
-Brushes of a few sizes
-Softening brush
-Feather (although I ended up preferring a brush)
-Sea Sponge
-Fine white glitter
-Disposable plastic drop cloth
-Parks Super Glaze (bought at Home Depot)
-3 containers (with measurements on the side) for mixing the super glaze

We bought this under frame from Ikea because it seemed the most sturdy. I'm sure you could also make one from pipes (theres tons of tutorials online for that). In hindsight, Connor wishes we had put the table together before painting it so we could have made the whole thing more secure without having to worry about ruining the tabletop, but then we would have also had to worry about the epoxy getting on the frame.
After buying the frame, we went to home depot and bought a sheet of wood for $50(a slight upgrade from plywood). I sanded it and rounded out the edges before painting it with the white primer. Then I followed this video that Erin shared on her site. Now I'm going to be honest with you- this was a totally nerve wrecking process! I was terrified of ruining the table. Thankfully Connor was there to keep me calm and remind me that we could always paint it white again. So, we followed the technique in the video- me with the brush and the sponge, and Connor with the softening brush. It really helps doing it with someone else, even if to have a second pair of eyes. The softening brush is KEY…..we used a big fluffy staining brush and that worked just fine, but  you definitely want something big and fluffy. 
The process goes like this:
1. Twist the brush (with grey paint) using the technique on the video
2. Go over it with the watered down white paint "glaze"
3. Then go over it with a softening brush so that there are no sponge marks or brush strokes
Now I consider myself a very average DIYer- I have a lot of great ideas, but when it comes to actually doing a project I get impatient and make a lot of mistakes along the way. Lucky for you! Here are some of the tips I learned the hard way:
1. DO NOT put too much grey paint on the brush, less is more here. The sponge will get messy, the surface cloudy, and you might even mess up your softening brush.
2. DO NOT use a grey that is too dark. Err on the side of too light. You can always add in darker bits.
3. DO NOT use a squeegee like the Super Glaze instructions suggests, we found a scraper to be a thousand times better.

We ended up painting the table top and putting on a coat of super glaze before I realized that I preferred a lighter looking marble. In my opinion it looks more real. So we made that first attempt the bottom of the table. Here is what it looks like:
We also used the squeegee with the super glaze on this side and it made the glaze too thin and it did not have the thick finnish I wanted. On the second round, we started with a lighter grey for the marbling and I was much happier with the results.

I know I didn't include a ton of pictures of the process, but that's mainly because I think the video by Danika of Gorgeous Shiny Things is the key to success here. After we finished marbling, I noticed from a couple angles there were different shades of white that looked very fake (for lack of a better word). In the wrong lighting it looked like bad highlights or something. I took a picture so you can see here:

Anyways, I decided to take my chances and pour the glaze hoping it would even out…..and IT DID! So don't be alarmed if you experience this. I also added the fine white glitter that Erin did to look like mineral deposits and it worked like a charm. Here we are pouring on the glaze and moving it around with the scraper:
With the super glaze its crucial that you follow directions to a T- with the mixing and the measurements. You really don't want to scrape the super glaze but rather "move" it (as we learned on the first round). Again, the squeegee didn't work for us here, it created ridges and made the coat too thin. We watched the edges for drips…this is key because as the epoxy settles it moves and drips. So don't leave it until you are sure it's done moving. We used a hair dryer to get out any air bubbles. We let it dry for three days, and after that we still found that some of the sides of the table were a little sticky. We used nail polish remover on those small areas. You can also use clear nail polish on any small imperfections from the super glaze. 
The end result is incredible. The glaze is what sells the table as marble. I really didn't want a table that looked like a really nice fake version, and I'm very pleased to say that it looks like the real deal. More on the dining room later!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Product Highlight: Outdoor Pillows

Last weekend, I found some awesome retro patio chairs on craigslist (old news if you follow me on IG). We don't have a yard, so our only outdoor space is the two balconies off of our second and third story unit. I love the idea of making it into a beautiful space for us to enjoy as a family as well as the plethora of out of town guests planning to visit us this summer. After purchasing the chairs, I decided to do a quick internet search for outdoor textiles to make our balcony more cozy.  I was appalled to see how expensive outdoor cushions/pillows are, not to mention the limited options. So when I stumbled across Spociety 6 and noticed that they had an outdoor cushion option for all of their pillows at reasonable prices, I felt I had to share. Below are some of my favorites:


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The girls shared room

Like any transition with kids, I thought that putting the girls in the same room would mean less sleep for a while. Instead, we've been getting the same amount of sleep as before (more would be nice, I'm not going to lie) and the transition itself has been super easy(sorry for those of you with the opposite experience!).  While our oldest has never been a big sleeper, she seems to want to stay in her room more at night because she has a buddy sharing her room now. And, as much as I would love for them to fall asleep right after we kiss them goodnight, hearing giggles coming from their room is possibly the sweetest thing I've ever heard. 
What has been hard is designing this room! This room seriously has had me stumped for the past month. The small size is probably the biggest obstacle- it feels full with just the crib and the twin bed. Its current status is somewhat of a disaster. The bed and the crib make an "L" shape (due to a little one grabbing books off the shelf and into her crib from the original parallel position), and it just feels awkward. There are navy blackout curtains temporarily strewn up(because sleep). I searched and searched online for shared baby and toddler bedrooms to get inspiration from and there was not a ton out there….at least when it came to tiny rooms. So, here is what I've come up with for their shared room. You will recognize a lot of things from Reese's old room, but I'm bringing in some new color and pattern (maybe another stencil!). 

3. Crib
7. Paint color- Sherwin Williams "Copen Blue"

Monday, March 14, 2016

Faux Marble Makeover

Finding our Boston apartment was little more than a miracle- we had one day to find it, it was a perfectly located close to Red's work in the city, a decent price (for Boston- it's all relative really), and more square footage than we had hoped to find. Not to mention- it is a super charming home with built in cabinets, beautiful wood floors, and detailed ceilings. One of the only things I wasn't crazy about in the house was the blue countertops. Royal blue to be exact. As renters though, you learn to focus on all the good and then just deal with the bad. Last week, Kirsten from Simply Grove posted about her faux marble countertops (and how they are going strong after a year and a half of use) and I knew I had to try them. This simple DIY cost me around $20, and I can easily remove it when we move. Aside from looking 1000x better, it also brightens up our entire kitchen.
Here is the before picture:
The after:

HUGE difference, right? I still can't believe it. I will say that applying windex to the surface before applying the marble adhesive made the world of difference. So please save yourself the frustration and do that first so as to avoid air bubbles. You can purchase your marble adhesive here