Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dwell Vintage Collection

There are a few companies that can do no wrong by me.  Dwell Studio is one of them.  I just eat up everything they come out with.  I think their patterns and fresh take on colors are just genius.  Their look is modern, yet somehow classic and timeless.  The downside is...they are definitely not cheap. 
So, I was so excited to see them come out with their new Vintage Collection.  Funny... new, vintage... what an oxymoron!  :)  They brought back some of their classic and favorite collections from the past 10 years and as they put it, "bring back the price tag from 10 years ago as well."  Woohoo!

Here's their Trellis Dove Duvet Set from the Vintage Collection for $150.  Not bad for a duvet and 2 shams.

Here's their gorgeous Gate Ash Duvet set from their current home collection for $280. 

(all images via dwellstudio.com)

So, if you really love Dwell and want to get the look more affordably, check out their Vintage Collection!  It's gorgeous!

PS... Tomorrow is the last day to enter my Vinyl Decal Giveaway.  I'll be randomly picking a winner tomorrow night at midnight and posting the winner on Friday!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lacing Up My Running Shoes

It's that time of year again when I start trying to shed that winter coat. I love running, but I tend to hibernate in the winter.  :)  I've been running for many years now and it's one of the best things I've done for myself.  I've done 2 full marathons and many 1/2 marathons.   Finishing a marathon is one of the most exhilarating experiences you'll ever have.   If you've ever thought about it, go for it!

Anyone can put on a pair of sneakers and get out there! One of the things I enjoy most about running is the bond I've created with my running buddies.  Running sounds like a solitary activity, but it's really not.  My running buddies and I have gone through 3 babies and truly cherish our weekend runs as special time just to take care of ourselves and to catch up with each other. It's amazing how much material we can cover in an hour or two!

Here are some of my tips on running:

  • Go to a running store and get professionally fitted for running shoes, not just athletic shoes. You'll be thankful you did!
  • Find some friends. I'm not a solo runner and rely on the support (and peer pressure) of my running buddies.
  • Sign up for a race! Find one that suits you and start off easy. Nothing like some cash to make the commitment more real.  I'm signed up for a 12k in a couple of weeks and the Seattle Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon in June.

What is something you've always wanted to do just for yourself?

Monday, March 28, 2011

WHY IT WORKS - Making an Entrance

Happy Monday everyone! Our inspiration room for this week comes a blog I recently discovered, Cape 27 Blog. This room caught my eye because I love how Jessie was able to "create" a beautiful entry in a very open concept room. A lot of homes have open concept rooms where the moment you walk in, you have a hallway and an open space either on your left or right. Often, it's challenging to figure out how to create a nice landing spot when everything is so open. Here's how I think Jessie successfully did it! 


(via cape27blog.com)
Click here to see more photos of Jessie's beatitful home

  • Rug/Runner. This visually creates a nice landing spot or path and naturally invites you into the space. I would do one or the other. Having a rug and runner might be too much.
  • Coat Rack. We have a coat rack in our front entry too. So practical and welcoming. Without any words, it just says to your visitors, "Take your coat off, relax, and stay awhile". :)
  • Console Table. Without a doubt, console tables are my favorite pieces of furniture ever. There are so many things that can be used as a console table; a desk, dresser, sideboard, bench.  The more creative the better!


  • Rugs.  Use rugs to create spaces within a space.  I love how Jessie used a runner for the entry area and another area rug to create a visual border for the living room space. 
  • Furniture Placement.  This arrangement works great!  It keeps everything nice and open.  You can see a bit of an armchair opposite the sofa.  Another possible option is to put a small sofa or pair of armchairs opposite the console table.  This would more formally create 2 distinct spaces.
  • Accesorizing the Console Table.  There are a few tried and true things that always work.  A mirror, a great lamp (you don't need a pair), potted plant or fresh flowers, photographs, a tray or beautiful dish as a catch all and baskets for additional storage. 
  • Bench/Hooks.  Another option for console table is a bench and hooks for coats/bags.  This might be more practical for your space and works just as well in creating a beautiful landing spot.  Pottery Barn has some great ones as inspiration.


I notice I post more on entrys than any other room in the house.  It's because I believe entrys set the stage for you and your visitors to exit THE world and to enter YOUR world.  You want to open your front door and say "Ahhh... I'm home!"  It sets the tone and is the first and last thing you and your guests see.  This is probably why I'm so big into invitations.  It's the setting of the tone and wetting the palette for more to come.  All this to say, don't neglect your entrys.  Often they become just dead space and just pass throughs, but they really are so much more than that.  Invest the time to bring your entry to it's full potential!  :)  You'll find joy in it every time you leave and enter your home and isn't that what "elevating the everyday" all about?  :)

Friday, March 25, 2011


Here's a new line from IKEA that I just saw.  MICKE is a new office series with desks, file cabinets and drawer units.  The desk is my favorite piece.  I love the clean lines and the 2 drawers.  Rather than using it as a traditional office desk, I think this pice would work beautifully in an entry as a console table. This is the type of modern piece that would look fabulous paired with an ornate lamp or a vintage looking mirror.  It's practical and versatile.   Not bad for $79!

MICKE reminds me of one of my favorite desks/tables, the classic Parsons desk.  These are from West Elm and start at $300.

Have a great weekend and see you Monday!

My Vinyl Graphics Give Away ends next Thursday so enter if you're interested!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Give Away! Wall Decals!

Thanks for all the great feedback with our finished shoe cabinet.  I have to say, one of my favorite elements is the number decals that I got from Leen the Graphics Queen.  Decals are great way to personalize any space.  They are inexpensive, easy to use, provide instant graphic punch and, once you're ready for something new, you just peel them off!

I'm so excited to be able to offer a $25 gift certificate to spend with Leen the Graphics Queen.  Leen has a great etsy shop with hundreds of beautiful designs!  Leen was so great to work with!  I didn't see exactly what I wanted in her shop so she created custom graphics for the shoe cabinet.

Here are some of my favorites from her shop:


1.  Go to Leen's etsy shop and then leave a comment on this post
about how you would use her decals to personalize your space.

*The contest will close at midnight next Thursday, March 31st. 
*One entry person

One random winner will be selected and will be posted on Friday, April 1st.
(No Aprils Fools jokes here.  :)

Good luck and I can't wait to hear about your great ideas!

Monday, March 21, 2011

WHY IT WORKS - Penelope's Room

I've mentioned before that I've been collecting design ideas as we put together a room for my 1 1/2 year old daughter, Evie. I'm so excited! Nothing like a redecorating project to get those creative juices flowing. My husband on the other hand is bracing himself for some DIY weekends. :)

Here's a photo I found via ohdeedoh that I find oh so inspiring.  Here's what I love about this room:


(via melissaesplin.com)

  • The Color Palette.  I'm particularly fond of non-pink room for little girls.  I just love that it's unexpected and fresh.  Isn't the peach, orange and yellows in this room so charming?
  • Wall Treatment.  I really love the scalloped border.  So eye catching and graphic.  Melissa created this one using contact paper.  I'm leaning towards just painting the ceiling in Evie's room and keeping the walls off-white.  I think I could create the same effect with paint.
  • Repitition of Color.  The best way to give your room a put together feel is to have your splashes of color spread throughout the room.  I like to have the colors talk to each other.  :)


  • Paint Treatments.  There are so many fun ways to work with paint.  Paint is THE cheapest way to change a room and there are a ton of great ideas out there for using paint in unexpected ways.  I've been so happy with our painted striped walls.  I've also seen some great stencils, like these ones here.  The scallops here is just another great idea.  Again, Melissa used contact paper, but once you make a template, you could easily do this with paint.  Click here for her tutorial.
  • White furniture.  Use white as a unifying color to bring all your different pieces of furniture together.  White paint or spray paint is easy to use and you can't go wrong.  White furniture will work in any space, any time.
  • Splashes of color.  The best and most economical way to bring in color is through large pieces that can be changed and isn't a forever investment.  Rugs, bedding, artwork, pillows are all high impact, low commitment ways to bring great color into a room.

Click here to see more of Penelope's nursery. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan With Love


In lieu of our usual IKEA FRIDAYS, I'm participating in a Bloggers Day of Silence in respect of those who are suffering and have endured great loss in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  The tragedy in Japan has been so vast and great that I've hardly been able to wrap my mind around it.  Click here to view some moving before and after photos to only start to put in perspective the level of devastation.  Japan is truly a nation that has been brought to its knees and needs so much of our prayers, generosity, love and support. 

There are so many good organizations that are doing all they can do to rush aid to Japan, Shelterbox is just one of them. Shelterbox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide. They are already on the ground and working!  Click here to learn more about For Japan with Love and to donate.

Some other wonderful charities are: Worldvision, Samaritan's Purse, and Mercy Corps.  Thank you for your generosity and may we continue to pray for an outpouring of God's grace, mercy and love on the people in Japan.

See you Monday. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Everything AND the kitchen sink

I have to admit, one of my pet peeves is looking at all the glossy and styled kitchen photos in magazines and not seeing how people really live in them. I'll often look at pictures and wonder, "Where do they keep their dish soap and hand soap? Where's the sponge?" Admittedly, not glamourous stuff, but oh so essential. Why else would we be at the sink?

So, here's a short, practical, (not so glamourous) post inspired by my own kitchen sink. Remember, my goal for this blog is to inspire beauty in the everyday. Well, no better place to start than the sink right? :)

Here's my kitchen sink:

When we were designing our kitchen, I had a few must haves for the sink. I knew I wanted one single basin sink, preferably a farmhouse sink and a tall gooseneck faucet. A single basin sink suits our needs much better. With our old double basin sink, I could never properly soak a pan with a long handle. Also, the gooseneck faucet is key to washing and filling big pots.

I'm loving these 2 recent additions that I want to share with you.

First, I love foam soap pumps. They are so practical! The foam definitely makes it easier for small hands to spread the soap, and we use 90% less soap! It's amazing! We were reusing our Bath and Bodyworks pump for awhile, practical, but I wanted something more attractive. I was happy to find this foam soap dispenser at Crate and Barrel for $14.95 . I love it's sleek, clean shape and it works great.

Second thing that I love is our Simple Human Automatic Soap Dispenser. A friend of mind turned me on to these and I love mine! No more dripping around the soap dispenser and getting the edge of the sink all wet. Getting these at Bed, Bath and Beyond with a coupon is the best way to go. Oh, and one more thing... Simple Human has GREAT customer service. We had one that stopped working, they paid for shipping for us to mail it back and mailed us a new one!

There you go! I hope I haven't bored you to tears, but it's things like these that truly mean, "elevating the everyday". Have a great day!  Next week, I'll be talking about how to style your toilet.  :)  Just kidding!

Monday, March 14, 2011

WHY IT WORKS - A Green Room

Happy Monday!  St. Patrick's Day is coming up on Thursday and I thought it would be fun to use it as inspiration for our WHY IT WORKS for this week.  Green is one of my favorite colors, gray is up there too.  Green never goes out of style.   It's the color of spring, freshness, life and to me, joy.  Here's a lovely home I saw over at House Beautiful and it showcases several good design principles that we can all use.


  • Window Treatments.  There are so many options for window treatments, almost too many options.  I know I've been paralyzed as to which one to choose as they are expensive and you don't want to make a mistake !  This photo showcases a good option; woven shades.  Woven shades add a natural element to any room whether it's modern, contemporary or traditional.  Any room feels more inviting with a bit of nature tucked in.
  • Wall space and art.  When looking for places to hang wall art, consider the space between your windows.  Whether wide or narrow, many times these little areas are just the right place to hang art.  With the framing of windows on either side, you already have naturally symmetry and a focal point.
  • Floating furniture.  We've heard this from designers over and over again.  So many of us make the mistake of pushing all of our furniture up against the walls thinking it's going to open up the room.  In many cases, it just makes rooms feel disjointed and uninviting.  Take a look at our inspiration photo.  It's a large room and imagine if all the furniture was placed along the perimeter... it would really leave the room feeling empty and cold.  With the furniture floating inside the space, it feels full, cozy and comfortable.


  • Ok.  Let's review.  Consider woven shades for window treatments.  It's a timeless choice that is versatile and gives texture and life to a room.
  • Wall art.  Reconsider those spaces between your windows or on the side of your windows.  Could they work for you?
  • Float furniture.  Don't be afraid to experiment and move furniture around.  In my experience, often you can't really tell unless you see it and feel it.  All it takes is some man (woman) power.  :)

Friday, March 11, 2011


I've been saving pictures of these curtains for some time now and have been excited to share them with you! If you're considering window treatments, consider the STOCKHOLM BLAD curtains. They come in 3 colors, brown, blue and green. They are a steal at $59.99 for the PAIR!

They are graphic, have a "natural" element and are neutral enough to work in several different types of rooms as you'll see in the following pics. It's so much fun to see IKEA pieces used in action and how they can take on different look as you put your own spin on them.

First up, meet STOCKHOLM BLAD in Brown.  Sarah Richardson used it in a nursery in this image via hgtv.com.  The palette and the pattern is not traditionally "nursery", but really works to create a lovely, calming space.  

Next up, here's STOCKHOLM BLAD in Blue.  The shades of blue on this crisp white panel is so classic.  In this photo, Sarah Richardson used it again in a room she created recently for the 2011 Toronto Design Show.  I love the modern, crisp feel it gives to the whole room.


Lastly, here's STOCKHOLM BLAD in Green.  I love how bright and chery this color combination is!  In our last photo, Lauren, from Pure Style Home used it in her son's room.  So great!

I hope these photos were inspiring to you and help you to get those creative juices flowing!  Have a great weekend and I'll see you Monday!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

FLOR Carpet Tiles

FLOR tiles are great!  If you're unfamiliar with FLOR, they are carpet tiles that are made from renewable and recyclable content.  They have a great range of patterns and colors that you can customize and fit virtually any space. 

I first discovered FLOR when we moved into our  house and I wanted an area rug that was beautiful, durable and economical.  Our rug has worn incredibly well over the past 3 years with 3 kids!  We've had our share of stains and spills and everything has come out!  If we happen to get a stain that won't come out, we can simply replace that one square.  I also love the firm, rubber backing that doesn't slide and doesn't require a carpet pad.

But the thing I like THE BEST about FLOR is their customer service.  I was shocked when I called FLOR to ask some questions about color and a real person actually anwered the phone AND answered all my questions then and there!  No tranferring, no waiting.  Unheard of!

Here's a few designs I've put together for our kitchen.  Still undecided...

(ins and outs)

(shirt stripe)

(All images from flor.com)

Monday, March 7, 2011

WHY IT WORKS - A Charming Living Room

Hello!  Here we go with WHY IT WORKS Mondays!  Here's a room that I saw way back and just dug out recently.  It's amazing how good design is timeless. This room was published in House and Home back in 2009.  I know only 2 years ago, but the colors and ideas remain just as fresh today.  Here's the break down.

(via houseandhome.com)


  • Color Palette.  Man, isn't this room just plain beautiful to look at?  That framed textile is just gorgeous!
  • Lines.  Notice how the lines of the couch, side chair and table are curvy and "light".  Nothing big, square or bulky.  It plays off the circles of the artwork and makes the whole room feel light and playful.
  • Pops of color.  Notice how the colors in this room just dance around.  A splash of yellow in the garden stool, some magenta in the side chair, lovely colors in the throw pillows and all nicely balanced out with a creamy white rug, lamp and accessories.


  • Framed textile or paper as artwork.  I love this idea!  There are so many beautiful fabrics and papers out there.  There's a print and color palette for everyone.  Frame it up and you add instant graphic punch to a space.  Best thing, you put it together yourself, so it's one of a kind!
  • White lamps.  The lamps in this room are interesting.  They almost fade into the background and you hardly notice them.  It allows the artwork and furniture to pop into the foreground.  Maybe try this same technique in your space.
  • Throw pillows.  Boy, sometimes placing throw pillows on a couch or a bench can seem like putting together a work of art in itself.  There's a fine balance between too much and too little.  I like this arrangement that they have. 3 on one side and 2 on the other.  All coordinating solid colors.  Nice.

To see more photos of Emily Walker's charming home, click here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

IKEA FRIDAYS - Meet Trollsta

Happy Friday!  It's been a crazy, but great week!  In going with the same theme from Tuesday, girly and flirty,  I'm picking one of my favorite finds as of late, the TROLLSTA sideboard.  Check out those legs!  I'm thinking this would be great as a media console!  I'm already envisioning it with some accent paint, maybe painting frames on the doors and some great hardware.  It'll cost you $349 to bring her home.

Here's another great picture of TROLLSTA in yellow (now discontinued). 

(via design sponge)

See you Monday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Welcome readers new and old!  Imagine my surprise yesterday when I got an email from Apartment Therapy telling me they are featuring my HEMNES shoe cabinet project on Ohdeedoh!  What a thrill!  Click here for the link.

Ohdeedoh is a great site and it was the first site that hooked me into the vast world of  blogging.  I remember spending endless hours devouring all the creativity and wonderful ideas.  I was so inspired!!  I NEVER thought that something that I would do, would be featured on anything as big as Ohdeedoh.

I started my blog 6 months ago with very humble aspirations.  My joy in doing this blog simply comes having a forum to express my creativity and to inspire others to live well.  For those of you who have followed me, I hope you've enjoyed the journey so far.  And for those of you who are just joining me, WELCOME!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Score at IKEA!

I went to IKEA last night just to pick up 3 RIBBA frames and I had a list of a few things I wanted to check out in person.  This trip was more of a scouting expedition.  I wanted to check out BADALEN, an upholstered headboard.  This headboard mounts directly to the wall and would be perfect for my daughter's room.  I alreay have a platform bed and all I'm looking for is an upholstered headboard to soften it up.

The shape was basic enough, and I figured this would be a timeless piece that I could easily reupholster over and over again.  It's $199.99, which I thought was a little steep, but I just wanted to check it out. 

Boy, was I happy when I saw that it was on sale for $49.99!  I think they're discontinuing it.  I GOT IT!  Run out to your local IKEA if you're interested too!

The blue stripe fabric doesn't even come attached, it's a slipcover which is perfect!  I don't even need to use it and I can just go ahead and staple my own fabric around it.  :) 

I'm using this room from Monday as my inspiration.

I've been doing some fabric research and here are some front runners.  These are all from buyfabrics.com and are less than $10.00/yd.  I have my favorites.  Which ones are yours?


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why It Works - A Little Pink

Hello everyone!  Sorry the late post starting off this week.  I have to admit, I was a bit distracted by the Oscars on Sunday AND I was having some techinical difficulty.  All is resolved now.  :)

Speaking of Oscars, I do have to say, I just love Colin Firth.  Isn't he dashing?  I first fell in love with him as Mr. Darcy in BBC's Pride and Prejudice.  (*swoon*)  I haven't seen The King's Speech, but I definitely hope to soon.  What a great story!

I can't talk about the Oscars without talking about fashion.  One of my favorite dresses of the night... Melissa Leo's Marc Bouwer dress.  There wasn't too much talk about this dress, in fact it was on someone's worst dressed list, but I think it's beautiful.  I really like the lace and the cut.  Classic and timeless.  What do you think?  Now, I'm not saying anything about her acceptance speech.  :)

OK, onto Interior Design.  This week for WHY IT WORKS, we'll be picking apart the "pink" room featured on this the March issue of House Beautiful.  I think this room its feeling of fun and girly, but modern and graphic.  I'll be referring back to this photo when redoing our daughters room next month. 


  • Color.  This is Pink Begonia by Benjamin Moore.  Again, what an easy way to use bold color when you have great white millwork.
  • Lines.  Take a look at all 4 pieces of furniture in this room.  They all have exposed legs, curvy lines and great details.  This is what gives the room its "fun" factor.
  • Pattern.  I'm really loving chevrons these days.  My favorite piece is that yellow/white armchair.  This picture is a great example of mixing patterns and colors.  It really works!

  • As I've said before, don't be afraid of using bold color.  If you plenty of white to tone it down, it can really work in any room.
  • Furniture.  Think about the feel you want your room to have.  If you're going for light and airy, stick with pieces that are quite tailored and have exposed legs.  Notice there isn't anything bulky or oversized in this room.  Now, if you're going for loungy and warm and have the space for it, definitely go for things that are a little more billowy and fluffy.
  • I'm loving this color palette:  pale pink, golden yellow, light blue and white. 


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