Fantastic Foyer

Hello everyone! We hope you had a great Fourth of July! We had a great time celebrating with family this holiday.

So, you might be asking, what have we been up to lately? Well… a lot, actually. Keep your eye out for new posts coming soon.

Up first is our recent foyer updates. A few months ago, we started designing a larger layout for our existing foyer photo collage. We finally finished the collage and also added some artwork and and a mirror to our foyer. Since we brought in our (very heavy) 22ft ladder for the collage, we decided to go ahead and hang our artwork and mirror before we put the ladder away again.

You might remember the paper templates I created to map out where we would hang out new additions to our photo collage. Not only did they help us to visually see how we planned to hang the photos, they also served as a way to tell where to place the nail on the wall. Once we hammered the nail hole using the paper template, we removed the paper, put the nail(s) back in the wall and then placed all the photos.

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In order to hammer on the wall, we first removed all of the photos and left their nails in the wall. I took a picture (seen above) of all the photos so we would remember how they were arranged. While the frames were down, I swapped a few of the photos for new. After we finished hanging the frames we got out our trusty level.
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And here is our finished collage!

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Thanks to a friend who told me about the Kirkland’s Friends and Family sale a few months ago, we found a great inexpensive mirror to hang in our foyer and help distribute the light from the window. Here is the empty wall before the mirror:
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And after:

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From the upstairs guest bedroom there is a nice view of the stairs from our new mirror.

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In addition to the mirror, we also found an inexpensive painting to hang above my office door. I love the scene in the picture. It’s raining but the bright red umbrella looks so cheery. My mom also said that the couple in the photo remind her of BJ and me. ūüôā I would definitely wear that coat.
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Here are a few more photos of our updated foyer, including BJ’s Formula One vintage wooden photo. I posted a photo of it on our Instagram.
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How do you dress up a large wall? With photos, artwork, or both?

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Photo Finish, Part 2

Last weekend, I started planning the addition to our foyer photo collage. As you saw in our¬†last post,¬†Photo Finish, we added a few new photos to our stairway wall leaving our two collages looking a little disconnected…

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To connect our two collages, I chose three different frames from our “stock pile.” I chose one 11 x 17, one 8 x 10 and one 5 x 7 frame. Next, I made patterns of the frames using white printer paper and painter’s tape.

After I finished making the frame patterns, I started the process of arranging the photos on the wall. Of course, this proved to be more challenging than I planned because it felt a bit like I was playing Plinko on The Price is Right. (I love that game!)

Okay, I’m kidding, but that would be fun!! (Well… Until all the frames crashed to the floor, right?)

To place the patterns on the wall, I leaned over the upstairs half wall and taped the patterns down using more painter’s tape. Once I taped the pattern to the wall, I ran around the upstairs hallway to the other side where I could see the entire collage. I did this several times before I was happy with the patterns’ positions.

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As you can see, I went through several arrangements before I was¬†satisfied. After staring at the collage for awhile, I realized that I needed something at the bottom. To balance the overall collage, I took the 8 x 10 pattern and added it to the bottom right corner of the foyer wall. Perfect!¬†IMG_3775Now that I’ve decided on the locations for the frames, I need to choose new photos and decide if I want to change any of the existing photos. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Do you like to hang photo collages in your home? If so, what is your favorite type of photos to hang… portraits, scenery, flowers, etc?

Photo Finish

A little over a week ago, we added three new frames to our stairway wall. The top right frame was based on a pin I found on Pinterest. I made the printed quote using Pages on my computer and then I printed my design on to plain white paper or you can also use card stock.
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On the other side of our stairway, we already have several small frames lining the wall. Eventually, we will add to these small photos and make this collection more of a collage of photos.

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Speaking of collages… Our collage on the foyer wall looks like it needs a few more photos to continue on to our stairway wall. Right now it looks like something is missing from the top left corner of the foyer wall.

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I bought a few frames during our last trip to Ikea that I was planning to use in our bedroom, but now a few of those frames may find a different home in the foyer. It’s time to get out the paper and painter’s tape and start planning the blending of our two collages!

Do you have any projects planned for this weekend?

Holy ginormous wall, Batman!

It’s no secret that the wall in our foyer is large and rather daunting. I’m always trying to come up with clever ways to decorate that huge wall. So far, I’ve decided that whatever we do has to be made up of small pieces. The thought of hanging something large and heavy that high makes me¬†queasy. I would be so afraid that it would come crashing to the floor just as someone walked underneath of it.

One idea BJ and tossed around is similar to this picture I found on Pinterest:

Our thought is to take one of our favorite pictures of a mountains landscape and break it into several smaller pictures. Like a mosaic.

We also thought about several wall sculptures, like these:

One concern is that we do not not want to take away  from our photo collage on the other side of the foyer.

We’re still tossing ideas around. Once we finally decide on a plan for this wall, implementing it is going to be a bit of a challenge. Because the wall is so large, it will require a very large ladder and more bravery than it took to put up the photo collage on the other wall.

Until we make a decision, I’ll be working on my bravery.

Quick Christmas decorating project and poinsettia ornaments

Need a quick way to decorate your home for the holidays? If you have leftover wrapping paper and a few frames, you can put together fun Christmas decorations to set around your home.

Remember the wrapping paper frames that are sitting on our kitchen island?

With a quick change of the wrapping paper, we have Christmas frames sitting on our island.

You can change the paper throughout the year for different holiday decorations. If you receive a gift wrapped in beautiful paper and you can’t bring yourself to throw it away, why not use it in a picture frame?These frames are great to put in bathrooms and guests rooms. They are a nice holiday touch without taking the time to decorate every room in your house.

I love this project because it took me around 15 minutes this morning to switch out the wrapping paper in the frames. If you would like to read more about my wrapping paper frame project, visit my earlier blog post here. 

And if you’re looking for a few inexpensive Christmas ornaments, you can make Christmas¬†poinsettia¬†ornaments.

First, cut a paper towel or toilet paper roll into 3/4 inch strips.

Next, take each strip and use your fingers to pinch the ends. Holding each end, push toward the center of the strip to create the poinsettia petals. If not, they will look more like daisies as seen above.

Next, lay out four strips and put them together in a star pattern and then take another four strips and cut slits on each side of the strip. With the four slit strips, hook the strips together until you have a finished flowers that look like this:

There should be four petals on the bottom and four on the top.

If you would like to add the centers to the poinsettia, you can use Q-tips cut in half, or you can leave the flowers as is. Finally, spray paint your flowers in your choice of color. I chose a deep red because I love red poinsettia.

Once your poinsettia are dry, you can hang them on your tree with string! I used the flowers above to make a recycled wreath for an office competition. It’s a great way to repurpose paper towel rolls.

Happy Decorating!

Fall is on its way!

It’s starting to feel like fall again! The weather is back in the 70s, college football season is among us, pumpkin lattes are being served and the leaves are starting to turn a little less green. It’s time for football games, sweatshirts and hot chocolate.

Fall officially begins on September 23 this year, but today certainly felt like autumn weather to me! It was a gorgeous 65-70 degrees!

The forecast for this week is going to be awesome! Only getting into the 80s one day (courtesy of weather.com):

If you search for “Fall” on Pinterest, the boards are literally buzzing with inspiration for home decor, fashion, photography and more. I love it! Fall is one of my favorite color palettes with the deep oranges, reds and yellows!

To help celebrate the coming of Autumn, I changed the scents in our wallflowers to fall scents and I started decorating for the chiller months.

Since it’s not officially Fall yet, I decided to only get out a few of my autumn decorations. I still have more stored away in our spare bedroom closet and I will continue to bring them out over the next few weeks. I didn’t want to go to crazy this weekend. After all, I’m one of those people that complains about retail stores decorating for Christmas before Halloween.

Thanks to a long holiday weekend (Happy Labor Day everyone ūüôā ) I had some time to work on projects and get the house cleaned up for friends and family that will be visiting us later this month. On Saturday, I picked up some square frames for a project I’ve been wanting to do for years, but just never got around to it. I’ve had some fabric remnants siting around and I thought it would be great to use them as wall decorations. This weekend, I finally completed my project!
If you’re interested in doing this project, you will need four square frames, four fabric remnants and scissors.
From the fabric remnants, I chose four pieces that I liked and cut them to fit the frames. Pretty easy!
The finished product turned out bright and colorful:
I chose the bright colors to go against the purple wall in my office. Later this evening, we are going to hang the Ikea shelves in my office. I’m excited! Once we get them up and I get everything organized on them, I will post with pictures of the finished project. More to come soon!

Home Decor Guilty Obsession #1: Crate and Barrel

It’s hasn’t been that long since I discovered Crate and Barrel and fell in love. After living in a small town for most of my life, I never came across a Crate and Barrel store. Not even in my trips to multiple big cities. Now I live only 45 minutes from Crate and Barrel and sometimes it takes serious willpower not to drive there and spend endless amounts of money. I love their modern yet comfortable furniture and their classic homewares. We have several accessories from there including vases, coasters, glass fish and picture frames. We also have kitchenwares such as beer mugs, champagne glasses, stemless martini glasses, pitcher and ice cube trays. BJ and I can go into a Crate and Barrel and spend hours just browsing the store. One of our favorite things to do is to look at all the fun toys on the kitchen gadget wall. We also browse the furniture upstairs and sit on nearly every couch in the store! Each time we go there, we usually come home with another decor piece or kitchen gadget. I would buy nearly everything in the Crate and Barrel store and that is why they made my list for Home Decor Guilty Obsessions.

Here are a few of my favorite Crate and Barrel finds:

These beautiful champagne glasses were given to us as a gift for our wedding.

The pitcher in the middle was also a wedding gift and the dark blue stemless martini glasses we found on sale during one of our visits to Crate and Barrel!

The heart-shaped bowl below was a gift from Crate and Barrel for creating our wedding registry there!
Crate and Barrel is also a great go-to place for wedding and Christmas gifts! I love buying gifts for friends and family. They also wrap the gifts in store in their fun white boxes.
There are Crate and Barrel stores all over, but my favorite one is definitely the store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. One year, we went to Chicago to do some Christmas shopping and several of our gifts came from this very store! (It’s also down the street from where get got engaged! We went shopping there the same day BJ popped the question!)
Keep in an eye on future posts for more of my home decor guilty obsessions!