Friday, October 29, 2010

IKEA Fridays - Meet Persika and Farm

So all this week, I've been writing about fall decorations and Halloween party ideas.  I wanted my IKEA post this week to stick with this theme so I'm going to start with this inspiration photo.

(image from hgtv.com)

Isn't it lovely?  Like I mentioned on Monday, using natural twigs, leaves and branches are great way to add a touch of fall to your decor.  Check out that white vase.  A white vase is so versatile because it goes with any holiday, event or season and because it's solid, you can put together an arrangement and not have to worry about how the stems/branches look at bottom of the vase.  It makes it much easier to put an arrangment together.  Here are 2 great vases from IKEA.

Meet Persika.  It has a similar shape to the vase in our inspiration photo and I love how this modern shape will look with some rustic branches.  I think the contrast is striking.

Meet Farm.  Aren't these great?  Can you imagine them all grouped together with some small twigs tucked in?  Understated and beautiful.  I'll need to pick these up on my next trip!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Party Preview

So, we're starting to count down to the big day or should I say big night?  I thought I'd share with you some of the things I have in mind so far.

Decorations:  We're going simple here.  I loved this tablecloth idea from Martha Stewart.  She created it using layered crepe paper and streamers, but I think I'll also use tablecloths and fabric. I had a hard time finding crepe paper that big. 

(image from marthastewart.com)

Favors:  We'll be using these adorable trick or treat bags from Packaging Specialties.  One of my favorite stores!

(image from ps-stores.com)

Food:  We're having a snacks and dessert party for all the kiddos.  One of my favorite go-to snacks is this delicious Caramel Corn recipe from Savory Sweet Life.  Alice's blog is amazing!  This blog was on the first ones I started reading and it's been a true source of inspiration.  Her recipes are delicious and foolproof!

(image from savorysweetlife.com)
 Ok... those are just a few things my friends and I are working on.  Hopefully I'll be able to post some pics of the party next week.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Treat Box

Love is in the details.  How fun would it be to hand out treats in these fabulously creative treat boxes.  Like I mentioned yesterday, the blogosphere is amazing!  This box is designed by an artist from Melbourne, Australia.   Bee's blog, honey jumble is adorable with TONS of great artwork available for purchase.  Click here to see her blog and download the template for FREE.  Thanks for sharing Bee!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Paper Dolls

The blog world is full of creative and talented people!  This artist and blogger is in Indonesia!  Aren't these are adorable!  What a great craft for your kids!  You can download them for free at Babelisme.

Thanks for sharing your creativity!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why It Works - Fall Decorating

Gosh, it feels like we were just talking about going "Back to School" and now we're full swing into fall.  Every year, it takes me a little while to get into the "fall" mood as summer is really my favorite time of year.  But by now, I've caught the fall bug, and I'm really getting inspired to get our home looking and feeling comfy and cozy.  For this week's WHY IT WORKS post, let's talk about some inspiring front doors and porches.


One thing that all these porches have in common is their use of natural elements to bring in the look and feel of fall.  I love that!  This type of decor is casual, timeless AND economical.  Plus, this type of decor can last all the way through Thanksgiving.  Everything you need for these outdoor looks can be found at your local grocery store or home/garden store.

  • Pumpkins.  I have to admit, I really prefer to display pumpkins and gourds "au natural".  They are so gorgeous on their own!
  • Mums.  These are quintessential fall flowers and you can find them everywhere!  I bought a few for my front porch and they were 2 for $5.00!  If you take a close look at these photos, you probably won't need more than 2 or 3 plants.
  • Branchs/Twigs.  I love using these for decoration.  I actually prefer branches that are completely bare.  They are so beautiful and sculptural AND I don't have to worry about falling leaves after I've put together my arrangement.  :)   


  • So, step one, look around your own yard and see what you already have that you can use.  Are you pruning your trees and shrubs anyways?  Ask friends or family.  Most likely if they're pruning, the branches are just going in their compost bin, I'm sure they'd love to share!
  • Pumpkins and mums.  They are everywhere!  Look at this photo to the right and you can see you can get a stunning display with just 3 mums and one pumpkin!
  • Composition.  Use these photos for inspiration.  In the first photo they've used 4 large pumpkins and 5 small ones and in the last photo they have 3 pumpkins, small, med. and large.  Take the photos with you or write down what you need.  I will often take pictures with me to the store so I know exactly what I need.  Most of us don't have the time to be going back and forth to the store.

(all images from hgtv.com)
Check back often this week as I will be posting Halloween party ideas everyday.  And if you haven't gotten a chance to notice all the gorgeous leaves this season, slow down and LOOK!  :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

IKEA Friday - Meet EPISTEL and friends

On Monday, I blogged about House Beautiful's 2009 Kitchen of the Year, designed by Ina Garten. 

I LOVE this East Hampton, casual, but classic style!  Here are some great IKEA pieces that will help achieve that same feel.  See if you can spot all of my inspiration pieces from Ina's Kitchen. 

First up, meet EPISTEL.

I have several of these bowls and they are absolutely the perfect size and shape!  I regularly use these as fruit bowls, snacks for parties, and of course as serving bowls.  I use these all the time!  For $6.99, you can't beat it!

Next, meet SOCKERART.

This is the perfect container for storing/displaying your kitchen utensils next to your stove.  They come in 3 heights, I think the 8 3/4" works best for most spatulas, wooden spoons, etc, but you can experiment and see which ones work best for you.  If you have lots of cooking utensils, store them by type in different crocks.  (1 for wooden spoons, 1 for whisks, 1 for spatulas, etc.)  Great price at $12.99

Finally, meet  EGBY. 

I've considered doing a post on this lamp all on it's own.  It certainly deserves it, it's one of my favorite table lamps from IKEA.  I love adding a small table lamp in the kitchen.  It really helps create a soothing mood, and is a night touch when you're ready to turn off those bright overhead lights and want to just relax in your kitchen with a cup of tea.  This little guy is the perfect size and shape and only $19.99. 

Alright, there you have it.  A jam-packed IKEA Friday for you this week!  Now, did you spot all 3 pieces in Ina's kitchen?  Have a great weekend!  See you Monday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Halloween Party to come

It's official!  We'll be throwing a small halloween party.  I'm not a fan of the scary, gouly parts of Halloween.  What I do love is that it's our first chance to celebrate the changing season, the crisp fall air, and the joy of cozying up inside.  I'll be sharing many ideas and inspirations in the weeks ahead. 

For now, you can click here to see Caroline Armelle's blog and her great fall inspirations.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why This Works - Ina's Kitchen

I was helping a friend collect ideas for her kitchen remodel, so I've had kitchens on the brain.  Well, here's an old favorite.  Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) designed House Beautiful's Kitchen of the year in 2009.  It was of course inspired by her own East Hampton kitchen.  This is classically gorgeous.

(images from House Beautiful)

  • I always love the contrast with light and dark.  You see it work beautifully here with the white cabinets and dark countertops.  White dishware and dark stools and dark floors. 
  • Open shelving.  It is a very popular trend right now to incorporate open shelving in the kitchen.  It's practical and gives a casual, restaurant feel to a kitchen. 
  • Storage in the island.  Genius!  Try to get as much as you can out of your island by incorporating cabinets, a wine rack, drawers or bookshelves.  We even managed to conceal our garbage and recycling bins in the island using a sliding drawer.   


  • If you're looking for an instant way to update your dishware, go for white!  You can get it anywhere and you can hardly make a wrong choice in white.
  • Containers.  Take another look at the containers on your counter.  Are they pretty to look at?  A couple of my all time favorites are these 2 jars: 

Target and the Container Store have a great selection of containers like these. 

  • Color.  Notice how much Ina has in the space, but it doesn't seem jarring.  It's because she has kept her color palette very simple.  If you like displaying things, balance that out by keeping the paint, patterns and furnishings very neutral. 

Later this week on IKEA Friday.  I'll highlight some pieces that will help you get this classic, East Hampton look in your kitchen.

Friday, October 15, 2010

IKEA Fridays - Meet Minnen

This is one of the most adorable beds I have every seen!  Meet Minnen.  Isn't she sweet?  She comes in black and white and is $149.  I'n considering this one for our when our lil' one needs a big girl bed.  You can even spray paint it.  Maybe red?  pink?

I first saw Minnen in this inspiring room.  I can't stand it!  Too cute!

image via ohdeedoh

Off to the pumpkin patch this weeekend.  See you Monday!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hooray! Miners rescued!

Did you see the Chilean miners being rescued out of the mine last night?  Can you imagine being underground for 69 days?  The human spirit is truly amazing.  I originally had a different post scheduled for today,
but I was so inspired by the miners' hope, faith, and resilience.  

(from cnn.com)

"We 33 miners are walking hand in hand with God," miner Mario Sepulveda reported on August 31, about 26 days after the mine collapsed and nine days after the world first learned they were alive.

Here are some prints I found on Etsy that I find inspiring too. 

Remember, each day is a gift.  Live it that way.  :)

(etsy seller fotofoto)

(etsy seller MeganRene)

(etsy seller thebigharumph)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sparkling Pumpkins

I wanted to share with you a quick and easy craft project I did.  With the exception of Christmas, I don't usually do too much holiday decorating, but I do like to add some seasonal touches using things like seasonal flowers, fruits, or vegetables.  This year, I glittered mini pumpkins!

If you watch the Martha Stewart Show, you've seen her glitter everything from chairs to little birds to Easter eggs.  She glitter everything!  Well, I finally got on board and did my first glittering project!  It was so easy and her glitters are truly gorgeous!  This whole project cost less than $5! 

All I did was dilute some Elmer's glue with water, paint the glue on the pumpkins, sprinkle glittter on the pumpkins and voila!  It's best to paint the glue on in sections so that you don't have alot of wet glue dripping.  My 4 year old even helped me with this project.   

Pretty aren't they?  The rest is all staging.  I put the pumpkins on a cake pedestal, used reindeer moss that I had, and topped it with a chicken wire cloche I bought a few weeks ago at a flea market for $8!  If you don't have a cloche, these little pumpkins would still look great on a pedestal, platter, or small bowl.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Serena and Lily

My inspiration room comes from the pages of the most recent Serena and Lily's catalog.  I swear I heard a choir of angels sing as I was flipping through each page, they were so beautiful.


Their current selection of fabrics are GORGEOUS!!  They are graphic, classic and just ridiculously beautiful.  I love how they delicately combine old and new,  tailored and rustic, bold and soft. 

  • Color palette.  Personally, I love using soothing colors in a bedroom.  There was a time when I had a red wall in our master bedroom and it worked, but right now, I'm loving pale blues, brown and grey.  Take a look around your master bedroom.  Remember this is the room where you literally come to rest.  Is it soothing?  Does your room help you feel calm?
  • White linens.  I'm a big fan of white linens.  They make you feel like you're in a luxurious hotel room.  Plus, you can get beautiful white linens at any price point and they match ANYTHING.  Beautiful and practical, music to my ears!
  • Found pieces.  Do you have items in your room that has a story?  It can, but doesn't have to be furniture.  It can be an old photograph, letter, book, etc...   Found objects add character and helps keep any room from looking like a showroom.  You want your spaces to reflect you and your story.
Here's more inspiration from serenaandlily.com

Friday, October 8, 2010

IKEA Fridays - Meet MASKROS

I saw this gorgeous light fixture a few months back when IKEA came out with their new catalog.  She's a showstopper!  I love how it's modern and playful.  With a diameter of 32 ", it definitely makes a statement. 

For $89, you certainly get high impact for little money.  Especially when you consider these designer pieces from Design Within Reach with a similiar vibe.

(the random light, $587)

(the nelson criss cross ball pendant, $360)

I'm thinking this would be awesome in a little girl's room.!  I'm considering this one for my little girl's room.  Check it out in this space too!  Drama!  ( I think it looks larger in this photo than in person.)

(image via little green notebook)

By the way, if you're in the market for a kitchen update.  IKEA is having a fantastic sale!  Check it out here

Have a great weekend!  See you Monday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, I shared 2 of my favorite plants in my garden, hydrangeas and roses.  Well, here's another favorite.  My lavender!   With the weather getting colder, I'm starting to prune my lavender bushes, but I also decided to harvest some of the dried flowers.  Surprisingly, they still smell incredible!  Seriously, the aroma of lavender is amazing!  So soothing and relaxing! 

This plant just keeps giving and giving and all they require is a sunny spot,  They have filled my backyard with the sweet smell of lavender all summer long and now I still get to enjoy them at home and use these as gifts!  I only planted these 3 years ago and they've at least 3 tripled in size.  What a great investment.

There are many varieties of lavender.  I have English lavenders and I prefer the look of them to the Non English varieties.  Here's a handy website for more information.


So, if you have a sunny spot in your backyard, close a deck or a path, go with a lavender bush.  You won't be dissapointed!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Room Makeovers!

I'm in the process of building my online portfolio and I'm looking for projects!  Take a look at my Design Services page for more details! 

via houseandhome.com

Monday, October 4, 2010

Greetings! An Entry Inspiration


I came across this blog, My Sweet Savannah, a few months ago.  I love Melanie's casual, shabby chic vibe!  Her photos are gorgeous and she has some great tunes on her blog to boot.  Love it! 

image from My Sweet Savannah

She posted this photo of her entry and I'm inspired to re-do our entry in a similiar way.  We all have an entry way in our home.  For many of us it's the garage door and for some of us, it's the front door.  Either way, this humble space is what sends us off on our day and it's what greets us at the door when we end our day.  What a compelling reason to make sure this small space is special.  This space speaks to the heart of "elevating the everyday".

So evaluate your entry and how does it make you feel?   Does it make you feel happy?  Is it functional? Functionality in an entry is key!  Nothing robs good design more than clutter!

What I love most about Melanie's entry is the stripes and the framed photos.  The stripes give a such a sense of movement to the space and the photos, well, again, what better why to start or end your day than by looking at beautiful photos of the people you love most.  Also, can't forget about function.  The hooks are practical and beautiful. 


For me, I'm considering painting the stripes using Restoration Hardware Paint in Latte.  We've used this color in our great room which is right off of this entry.  It will tie both spaces together perfectly.  I'm a big fan of Restoration Hardware paints.   The colors and finishes are gorgeous!  You really can't go wrong with any of their colors. 

Frames, I think I'll go back to my trusty Ribba Frames from IKEA. 

This project is now officially on my to-do list and now that I've publicly declared it... more motivation to "get to it!"  Stay tuned.  For more photos of this beautiful home, click here

Friday, October 1, 2010

IKEA Fridays - Meet EXPEDIT

Happy October!  This week's pick is an old IKEA favorite, EXPEDIT.

This bookshelf is so practical and versatile it can take you through every life stage; childhood, the college years and well beyond.  At some point, some of us may have even hastily tossed one away.  I love pieces like this.  They appear plain and boring at first glance, but with a little creativity and inspiration they take on a life of their own.  I love seeing pictures of how people creatively style and use their EXPEDIT.  The possibilities are truly endless!  This first photo is from the studio of one of my favorite blogs, Making it Lovely.  Nicole is very talented and is constantly bringing new ways to "make things lovely". 

image from makingitlovely.com

Enjoy these other inspiring examples.

image from ish and chi

image from apartment therapy

image from ohdeedoh


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