Neutral Couch Meet Bright and Colorful Pillows

What is the quickest way to give your couch a makeover? Just add pillows! Our couch is a great example of how you can take a neutral couch and give it a quick makeover. FBFS_pillows-10

We have a large dark gray couch and on its own, our couch isn’t very exciting. With the addition of a few accent pillows, the couch is transformed into a fun space to relax.

So why not buy a bright couch, you ask? If you prefer, and your existing color scheme allows, chose a red, green, blue, white, yellow or orange couch and add neutral, patterned pillows for a great contrast. But if you already have a neutral couch, just add color and contrast!

To liven up our couch, we added pillows with color, pattern and texture. You can add a few pillows or several pillows. Incorporate pillows in different sizes, colors and shapes to create dimension and contrast to your couch. Be creative! Mix patterns, sizes and shapes in complimentary colors or go bold and bright with your pillows and patterns. Use your imagination. You do not have to play it safe! Your home is a reflection of your creativity and personal taste. Have fun while you decorate!

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Where did we find our accent pillows, you ask? The solid green and blue pillows are from Crate & Barrel and the faux fur pillows are from Target. My favorite pillows, which are the large patterned pillows, are handmade by my mom. I found the fabric at a local quilting shop and my mom offered to make the pillow covers so she could learn how to sew zippers. Because BJ and I have two cats and family members who are allergic to cats, we need to be able to take the pillow covers to wash before guests arrive. Zippers are essential!

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My mom did most of the sewing at her house when I wasn’t able to capture pictures, but here is a tutorial for those interested in adding a zipper to their own pillow covers. To make the pillow covers, my mom cut the fabric into one large rectangle shape and then she folded the rectangle in half with the inside facing out and pinned each side. She measured the fabric to be a bit bigger than the pillow inserts but each fabric rectangle folded to make a final pillow size of 26″ X 26″.

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Next, my mom sewed each side of the pillow. Last, she sewed in the zipper on the bottom before turning the pillow cover right-side out. My mom did a great job of sewing each pillow. The finished covers look amazing!

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Here is a look at the zipper on the bottom. FBFS_pillows-12

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BJ and I spend many evenings hanging out and watching movies/TV on our big comfy couch. Our cats are also fond of our couch and pillows. Zoey hugs the couch regularly (see below for proof) and Bentley often naps on the chaise lounge. FBFS_pillows-14

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The Most Magical Flower and Garden Show on Earth

Last week, BJ and I snuck away for a fun vacation together. Since I was a little girl, it has been my dream to visit Walt Disney World. I signed up to go on a trip in high school, but unfortunately, the trip was cancelled due to circumstances outside of the students’ control. Since then, I told myself that I would take a trip to Disney before having children. This Christmas, BJ bought us two tickets and wrapped them inside another smaller gift and gave them to me. It was the best Christmas gift I’ve received so far. I might’ve cried… okay, I did. I cried. While we were at Disney, Epcot was celebrating the International Flower and Garden Festival presented by HGTV. The show ended over the weekend, so if you didn’t get a chance to make it this year, here is a little peek at all the beauty that surrounded Epcot. I highly recommend visiting Epcot during the show in the upcoming years. It is neat to see all the Disney characters in flower form. EpcotFGF_1 Gardens were all over the park and the flowers were in full bloom. These dahlias caught my eye as we exited one of the rides. EpcotFGF_9 In some areas, the gardens were decorated to look like specific scenes. Many of the scenes use bright pink and red petunias. EpcotFGF_26 There were also floating flower pots on many of the ponds and lakes around the park. Each pots included different varieties of petunias. EpcotFGF_11 EpcotFGF_29 Throughout Epcot, there were themed gardens sponsored by companies such as Rain Bird. My favorite themed garden was a screened-in butterfly garden that allowed you to view hundreds of butterflies. EpcotFGF_25 EpcotFGF_24 And then there were the character topiaries. The topiaries were definitely my favorite part of the entire show. The detail was incredible. My nephew would love to see the Lighting McQueen and Tow Mater topiaries. Cars is one of his favorite movies. EpcotFGF_28 EpcotFGF_27 Here is Tinkerbell, she was located outside of the butterfly garden. She was difficult to spot, so you had to look closely to see her. EpcotFGF_23 Outside of the Epcot World Showcase, Sorcerer Mickey and his was putting his magic powers to work on the broomsticks.EpcotFGF_22 In the World Showcase, many of the characters were located in the countries they represent. For example, Woody was in the United States section of the World Showcase. EpcotFGF_14 EpcotFGF_16 Belle, Beast and friends were in France. EpcotFGF_13 EpcotFGF_12 And Captain Hook and Peter Pan were in England. EpcotFGF_6 EpcotFGF_31 Here are a few more of my favorite topiaries from the World Showcase. EpcotFGF_17 EpcotFGF_18 Even Snow White’s red lipstick and bow were stunning.  EpcotFGF_20 EpcotFGF_19 EpcotFGF_8 EpcotFGF_21 There were so many more character topiaries and other displays scattered throughout the park. There were also seasonal food stands located throughout the World Showcase. We didn’t get a chance to try any of the seasonal kitchen stands, but the foods looked and smelled delicious. The gardens all over Walt Disney World inspired me to come home and get to work on our gardens. It’s time to plant our veggie garden so I’ll have a few upcoming posts on our progress. In the meantime, look for a wrap up on our spring gardens coming later this week. We had an amazing experience at Disney World. Since it was my first visit, I learned a lot about how to navigate the parks and things to keep in mind for our next visit. I’ll share some of the things I learned in an upcoming post.

Patio Planning

We recently started planning out a patio design for our backyard. Currently, we have 10 x 10 concrete patio but we would like to add a more useful two-tiered patio made out of pavers.

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Before we started our design for the patio, we looked online at Houzz.com and Pinterest for inspiration and unique designs. We had some of our own ideas in mind but wanted to see how others designed their patios.

Here are some Pinterest pins of patios similar to our vision for the backyard:

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After we scoured the Web for inspiration and talked through our ideas, we came up with a plan of what we wanted to incorporate in our patio design (i.e. pergola, fire pit, gardens, etc). Next, we drew this quick rough design sketch using Adobe Ideas on the iPad (don’t judge our sweet finger drawing… we needed something quick… a more elaborate sketch is in the works).

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This sketch also helped us to decide where we are going to place our vegetable garden this year(more details to come). After the sketch was complete, we took a couple of rough measurements in the backyard so we could place the garden based on our sketch. That keeps us from having to move the garden or try to merge it in the design as an afterthought.

So what’s next? Our plan for the patio is to start building the two tiered section of the patio next year. In the meantime, we may add the fire pit this fall. With our design already planned out, we can add the sections as we want.

How do you tackle a large project like a patio? Do you hire a contractor? Do you do it yourself all at once? Or do you spread your project out and do it in smaller chunks over time?

Resolutions

Since we’re already over a week into the new year, I thought it would be good time to share my New Year’s Resolutions.

This year, BJ and are planning to take a step back from going, going, going and focus a little more time on ourselves as well as the smaller projects that have been on the back burner for some time.

So here is my list of 2013 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Develop a weekly routine for BJ and myself.

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BJ and I struggle with trying to get on a schedule each week. We are hoping that if we develop a consistent weekly routine, we can get a grasp on our morning and evening schedules and that will help us get more sleep, which we desperately need.

2. Develop a weekly meal plan.

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This is another “routine” that BJ and I struggle with, as I’m sure many couples do. You get home each night and think “what’s for dinner?” Then, if you can’t decide, you go get fast food, order a pizza, or go out to eat. BJ and I constantly fall into the “I’m hungry now so let’s do something easy” trap.

Instead of worrying about dinner each night, we are going to plan out our meals on Sunday morning so we can make sure we have all the ingredients we need. If we are missing any ingredients we will add them to our grocery list for the week.

A sub set to this resolution is that we are going to try to buy less junk food. If we have our meals already planned out for the week, we will be less likely to eat junk until we decide what we what for dinner.

3. Update the look and feel of FramebyFrameStyle.com

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One of my personal goals this year is to give Frame By Frame Style a fresh look. This includes a new logo, updated photo tags and visual upgrades throughout the site. Stayed tuned to see the changes as they happen!

4. Focus more time on smaller home improvement and DIY projects.

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Since we moved into our house in 2010, we’ve made a few major upgrades. We added a kitchen island, installed in ceiling speakers and crown molding in the kitchen and living room, and we tiled the floor in the dining room.

Now it’s time to focus on the small projects around the house like organizing the laundry room.

As we make minor upgrades around the house, I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

5. Organize our closet space around the house

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Our closets have been overtaken by stuff. Some of it we plan on keeping, some we just don’t know what to do with. This year, it’s time to take back our closet space and start giving/throwing away items we do not need.

So that’s my list!

Happy 2013 everyone! Here’s to sticking to our goals and making this the best year yet. Good luck with all of your resolutions.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Happy Halloween everyone! BJ and I had a fun time handing out candy tonight. We hope you have (or had) a safe night enjoying costumes parties or trick-or-treating! Don’t eat too much candy!

Zoey is spending her evening anxiously awaiting the Great Pumpkin to rise out of the pumpkin patch and bring toys to all the little kiddies and little kitties of the world!

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Have a great night!

Showing Our Home Some Love

Yesterday, we went to the first stop on the book tour for Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love and attended the panel session for their new book, Young House Love, 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love. We also had the very awesome, yet very brief, opportunity to meet them when they signed our copy of the book. BJ scored the award for most awesome amazing husband when he left the panel session to snag a place in line so we could get a (very limited) copy of the book. Best husband ever!

Here is our copy:

And… confession… I was super dorky and nervous when I met Sherry and John. I was so excited to tell them that they inspired me to write this blog and how I really enjoyed their blog and projects. I kinda got a little shaky and instead of calmly signing BJ and my name in their book, I think it probably looked more like scribbles. But with all the dorky, nervousness aside, I was super-inspired when we left the book show and I was so glad we went to hear them speak and got a chance to meet them and get a copy of their book.

So what’s makes a book signing with your favorite home improvement and DIY bloggers complete? A trip to Ikea, of course. We left the book signing with me super inspired and recapping the entire presentation for BJ (We tried FaceTime while he was in line, but it didn’t work. Boo.) The great part about all the things that John and Sherry mentioned in their panel session is that we are actually in the process of trying to show our house some love for an upcoming reappraisal. With financing rates as low as they are, we are hoping to take advantage and get a new lower rate on our loan. Part of the process is to have the house reappraised since we are on the edge of a few financing rates.

Sherry and John’s advice during the session was invaluable and some of it I definitely needed to hear… such as “design and use your house for how you live.” It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting your house to look a certain way because it’s what you think other people will like, but you should design your home for how you live. You’re the ones that live there every day and call your house your home, right?

So with a reappraisal on the horizon and me still inspired from the panel session, here is our “Show Your House Some Love for the Reappraisal To Do List.” Or at least that what I’m calling it.

1. Weed the garden and replant the potted mums

In September, I planted mums in our new pots out front and they looked great until the frost came in and killed them. They looked so pretty after they were planted. It was a bummer they didn’t stand up to the cold temperatures. I tried covering the pots with blankets on the nights they called for frost but it didn’t keep the cold from getting to them.

Today I went back over to Home Depot and picked up some new mums to replace the brown ones on our front porch.

2. Spruce up the loft so it looks like we use the space

Our loft is one of those challenging spaces that were not really sure what do with. But after listening to the Young House Love presentation, we decided to use the room for how we live. Here is the loft in its current state:

My master plan is to use our college alma mater’s colors in a tasteful way. While we were Ikea this weekend, we picked out some Poang chairs with blue cushions and I’m now on the search for some yellow-gold chevron fabric so I can make curtains and pillows We are also going to hang some photos of the stadium and campus. The idea is to make this space a movie/game area inspired by our college. But it has to be tasteful. We’re not about to plaster our school’s logo on the wall with a ginormous vinyl graphic and call it done.

While we were at Ikea, we also found our future loft entertainment/storage center:

3. Organize and clean the spare bedroom and BJ’s office

I haven’t talked much about our spare bedroom or BJ’s office because they weren’t much to talk about. After we moved in to our our house, the spare bedroom and BJ’s office quickly became the two rooms that we stuffed everything into and then ran out and shut the door behind us. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

This weekend, we conducted a major overhaul of the spare bedroom and BJ’s office so they are presentable, usable rooms in time for the reappraisal. And we want to finally use those spaces for the way we live instead of just stuffing them full of items we don’t want to deal with.

4. Finish the crown moulding and baseboard projects

Last year, we started putting up crown moulding in the living room and kitchen and here is where we left off:

We also ripped out the trim in the dining room when we tiled the floor last year and we haven’t had enough time to replace what we tore out.

The remaining crown moulding and baseboard are now purchased and ready to sand, paint and install.

That’s our list! This week we are going to jump in and try get the list accomplished before we have the house reappraised. It’s time to show our home some love. Wish us luck because it could get crazy around here!

A little vase filler goes a long way…

A few weeks ago, I was browsing the clearance racks at Target and I stumbled across this great vase. I think it was originally $17.99 and I bought it for $7.49. I thought it would be perfect for our bedroom to sit on top of the new dressers we bought at Ikea. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I love tall vases and this vase was a great find.

I was scouring the clearance section again at Target and over the weekend I found this beautiful vase filler on clearance! It was originally $10.19 and I bought it for $3.05!

Since it was such a great deal and I absolutely love the colors, I bought two!

Our master bedroom is full of deep rich oranges and greens and I thought the red and plum tones would complement the green and orange well. After I spent a few minutes arranging the filler, I came up with this:

It looks beautiful in our room on top of our dresser. It’s new home is next to tall arrangement of orange poppies.

I even had enough vase filler left over to use it in the arrangement of gerbera daisies by our bed. It looks better than the former sea shell filler that didn’t go with the decor of our room. I plan to incorporate the sea shells in our bathroom instead.

After the tall vase and the gerbera daisy arrangement, I still have some vase filler left over and I already have a few ideas of how to use the extra.

Have a great week everyone!