Friday, July 28, 2017

Creating Cohesion, Part 3

Over the past year and a half I've discovered how much of a difference plants bring to a space. They add a necessary life to your home. A glance of green leaves just seems to bring a vibrancy to a room that can't be captured otherwise. There are also lots of positive health affects of having living plants in your home. Some can help purify the air, they release moisture into the air helping with humidity, and some can provide a lovely scent. The internet is littered with articles about plants improving human life, so if you're really interested in the benefits, give it a good ol' Google search.

In the first two parts of this series (here and here), we managed to clear things out and determine a color palette. Now that you have a great base settled, adding the natural element will dramatically enhance your space. First, it shows that you are a responsible adult and can take care of something that's somewhat high maintenance (*ahem, see the exception below). Also, plants are a little unexpected. While you may be used to seeing a vase of fresh flowers, or the unfortunate elaborate silk floral arrangements that seem to hang around well after their lifespan and collect dust, plants tend to be a little more unique and free-flowing.

While doing some research for this post, I came across a great article on Lauren Conrad's site. It goes into how to plant for interiors, how to deal with dead roots, and other basic information for beginners. She also had this pretty illustration of the best plants to keep alive.

*Now, I say all of this with a grain of salt - I'm the worst of the worst when it comes to keeping plants alive. Throughout the past three years, I've killed about 15 plants. Finally I've come to terms with this fact and switched to faux plants, but it was really rough going there for awhile. That being said, I cannot give you any good advice for keeping your plants alive - you'll have to do your own research on that.

If you fail like I have (eventually I'll climb back on the horse for another go, but it's just too soon), find yourself some good looking faux plants. I suggest you stay away from ordering online, unless you have seen them in person first. Do your research. It's easy to find bad-looking fake plants. To help you get started, I am including a couple of resources that I've found.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

The first three are from Ikea. They have decent faux plants at great prices. Make sure you look for good ones, sometimes they have been picked through pretty well. "Replant" them into a nice pot and you're good to go. The second three are from Pottery Barn. They are little more expensive but look really good in person.

Now, to further inspire you and prove why you need plants in your life, a little selection of some of my favorite rooms.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Patio Mini Makeover

Back in May I shared a few things I wanted to do to our patio to really take it up a notch. Instead of following my plan for a simple makeover, which included about three new things, I basically scratched the plan and went for something completely different. Make sure you check out that post after this one so you can laugh at my well-laid plans.

Enough laughing, let's move on to the good stuff. Next summer I'm hoping to gut our existing patio and have a new one poured or install pavers, all depending on our budget for the year. So this mini makeover consisted of some new furniture pieces and some plants. Of course I have no before photos because I'm mega lame, but the only thing on our patio at the beginning of summer was our small swing, an old coffee table, and a gorgeous mosaic top table I had made. Here is the after.

We picked up this gorgeous dining table from Ikea, along with a couple matching chairs and from there my simple project was thrown out the window. Then I discovered this great lounge set on Wayfair for a steal so I figured I may as well go all in. Now when we install our new patio next year, theoretically, I won't need to buy a single piece of furniture for it. Theoretically.

The sign was a DIY project by yours truly. I was inspired by my friend who offered me the piece of metal. I loved the color and knew it would go great against the house - just barely contrasting, but the perfect background color to add some teal and green.

The dining table is made of pretty acacia wood in a warm tone that goes well with the brick. To keep the wood from really overwhelming the space, I opted for metal chairs in the middle. The best part about the table is that the ends can drop down and take up a much smaller footprint, which is how we will leave it most of the time for the two of us. When my order from Wayfair arrived, I was really happy to discover the color matched my dining chairs almost perfectly. The loveseat is also the perfect length for my short self to stretch my legs out while reading and sipping on iced tea.

Since our house is this pretty shade of rusty brick, I wanted to really pump up the color by adding complimentary shades of blues. My outdoor mats really set the tone and it was so easy to find various shades of blue and green to add in with the accessories.

Since I didn't want to plant anything permanent until next summer, a couple of potted plants were the way to go. The yellow and orange added a fun bright look. Now I just need to keep them alive; yikes. Our dear little swing still fits perfectly with all these new pieces, which is great because we can now seat so many people.

The only thing still missing is some kind of storage. I still really love the wooden storage container from Ikea, but I think it would be too small now, considering I doubled my number of cushions. If you have a great cushion storage container please leave me a link in the comments!

If you're wondering about my darling mosaic table, she actually got moved out to our fire pit along with the blue metal chairs. She's the perfect size for KJB and I to eat at while roasting over the fire. I also spray painted our existing metal chairs blue so they all match. I may share that set up in a separate post later if you're interested! I've listed all my sources below in case you are needing patio furniture of your own. The best part about buying now is nearly everything is on sale!

Dining table | Wood chairs | Metal dining chairs | Lounge furniture set | Table runner | Cloth napkins | Lumbar pillow (similar) | Square pillow (kinda similar, great source regardless) | Throw blanket | Tuorquoise floor mat | Blue and green floor mat (similar color) (similar pattern here, but more of a rug instead of a mat)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Creating Cohesion, Part 2

Creating a color palette for your home can be overwhelming, especially if you have a large home. But this is a fun, creative project, so feel free to let loose a little and play around with online tools to help you visualize.

Starting the process can be a bit daunting, so to ease you into the process, I'll share a few of my favorites in the image below. Following these steps and the selections below will get you started.

The trend cycle of neutrals can change, but they tend to last longer than colors. My best advice to to consider what type of environment you want to create and the architectural style of your home. Warm tones (A, B, and C below) tend to work well in spaces that are traditional, primitive, transitional, arts and crafts, Asian, country, French, and Mediterranean. Cool tones (D, E, and F below) are more popular in art deco, coastal, contemporary, eclectic, mid-century modern, modern, and shabby chic.

Once you choose your neutral, this will be considered your field color and you will paint all walls this color, with the exception of your accent walls. The next step is for those with painted trim and doors. You have a couple options here as well, and again you will want to consider your style. Contemporary homes typically have white trim, but it is also increasingly popular to opt for a taupe (see G, H, and I). If you decide to choose taupe, your selection should contrast your field color.  Go two steps down on your paint deck. If you selected a cool tone field color also move a couple of strips to the warmer shades. If you selected a warm tone, move a couple of strips towards the cooler shades. This helps to really neutralize the color and add contrast. If you tend toward an eclectic style, skip selecting a trim color and go for one of your accent colors. It should be colors that are almost black, like midnight blue, forest green, oxblood (see J and K below). This will add a lot of interest and look super unique. For modern, art deco, and mid-century modern black or very dark gray will accentuate the lines of your home (see L and M below)

a/ Sherwin Williams Macadamia b/ Sherwin Williams Softer Tan c/ Sherwin Williams Panda White d/ Sherwin Williams Passive e/ Sherwin Williams Gray Matters f/ Sherwin Williams Argos g/ Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls h/ PPG Winter Mood i/ PPG Shadow Taupe j/ Sherwin Williams Ripe Olive k/ Sherwin Williams Charcoal Blue l/ PPG Phantom Mist m/ Sherwin Williams Inkwell n/ PPG Aria o/ Sherwin Williams Ceiling Bright White

Next is the fun part, choosing accent colors. This will really be your preference, but I do have a couple of tips to steer you in the right direction. Unless you want your entire house to be very light and pastel, select your colors from the middle of the paint deck strips. The colors here will be saturated but not so dark that your colors all look alike. The number of accent colors depends on your personal taste and how big your home is. The bigger the house the more physical space for more colors. My home has eight rooms total and I selected eight colors but only plan to use four for paint colors. I can use these extra colors as inspiration for other decor like pillows, art, and rugs. Also, if I get tired of a color, I already have a batch of accent colors to choose from.

Last but not least, ceiling color is incredibly important! Unless you have an interesting architectural element that you want painted your trim color, I encourage you to opt for a cool white. Even if your walls and accent colors are warm, you don't want your ceiling to come across dingy and dirty. A bright and cool tone of white will keep your space from feeling enclosed.

For reference, my home is mid-century modern but I do tend to bring in a lot of eclectic elements. My doors and trim are all wood, so I don't have a trim color. If you're not sure what your style is, head over to Havenly and take their style quiz. It's fun because it's short and scary accurate!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beat the H E A T

Pool float - Flamingo or Swan preferred.
Keep your ice from melting in a pretty seafoam version of the best cup ever.
In 20+ years your face will thank you from protecting it from UV rays.
Constantly smell like summer with notes of bergamot, amber, coconut, vanilla, and mandarin. Yasssss!
I've blogged about this bronzer so many times you're probably sick of it. Let me force it down your throat some more.
Every shop everywhere has tassel earrings. Get you some so you're not left out.
Because it keeps the mosquito's away and when you forget to put it on, it clears up the bites in a snap.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Creating Cohesion, Part 1

Happy Friday my dear friends. Even though we have summer showers in our forecast today, I'm patiently waiting for my clock to hit 5:00 so I can start my weekend. It's my second long weekend in a row and I'm looking forward to keeping it low-key and spontaneous. That's the best way to spend summer weekends!

Today I wanted to kick off a new series on the blog to address a topic I think many lust after: creating cohesion in their space. Over the next several months there will be all kinds of insider tips to taking your home to the next level. So many of my friends are in the same boat: they still have some of those college furniture pieces that have definitely seen better days but they also have some great things they have invested in. How do you mix and match those pieces and still make your space seem "finished" or "adult" and not a hot mess? So far, I have a list of my favorite five things you can do to tidy up the loose ends in your home and feel confident about your space, including my favorite, selecting a color palette.

To start us off though, I'm keeping things really simple. The first step of any project is to clear out the clutter. Did you buy that vase just to take up space? Get rid of it. Has that rug been a hand-me-down for a couple years? Pitch it. To make it super simple for you, here is an easy checklist to follow.

1. Did you buy it?
2. Did you buy it because you love it?
3. Was it gifted to you by someone special?
4. Does it work (if it's an appliance or electronic)?
5. Does it evoke memories or happy feelings?
6. Is it appropriate for some room or space in your home?

Comb through your shelves, drawers, and hiding places. If the items you find don't meet most of these, I strongly encourage you to donate it or sell it in a garage sale. Do not keep things that you feel obligated to keep. If something doesn't fit your style but is still in great shape, offer it up to a friend who may love it. (But don't make them feel obligated to take it either! No one likes an instigator.) More often than not, your home is filled with place holders - impulse purchases or "this wall needs something" purchases that have little purpose or meaning.

Clearing out the clutter will make you feel lighter and less stressed. It's proven that not having a focal point, a place for your eyes to rest, can increase anxiety levels. Isn't it bizarre that the one place we are meant to feel most relaxed could actually be stressing us out?! So this is the first step. Lighten your load, then come back to see part two.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Feelin' all the patriotic feels today. So much so I may just buy me a dog to carry around in a tote. That might be a little much though, so instead I'll dress in some stripes and eat cold, themed foods. Like the rest of America. ;)