The Space Between

In our home, the kitchen and living are open to each other. You can stand in the kitchen and see into the living room and vice-versa. The open space great for entertaining, especially for get-togethers focused around sporting events. You can stand in the kitchen enjoying a few delicious treats and still see into the living room to watch the game. It’s a win-win!

A few years ago, we painted the wall that connects the kitchen and living room. But there was a blank space still left between the two rooms. Here is a photo taken right after we painted the wall in between the two rooms. (Check out that crazy couch. 🙂 )

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Earlier this year, we added a functional organizing area between the kitchen and living room to connect the two spaces.

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BJ and I looked at several options for this space before finally deciding on this Ikea Hemnes sofa table. Here are a few of the tables and benches we considered.

 

 

 

Threshold™ X Console Table Threshold™ Fretwork Console Table

Threshold™ Storage Bench with Slatted Doors Unfortunately, with these tables and benches we encountered two deal breakers. First, the tables and benches weren’t wide enough for the space and second, they didn’t offer enough storage. Our goal for this space is to connect the two rooms and still be functional.

We chose the Ikea sofa table because it met our criteria for the space and it also looks great with our Ikea Hemnes coffee table, and our kitchen island. The white really stands out against the blue wall and dark cherry kitchen floor.

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To make our sofa table more functional, I added these large chalkboard crates from Target. We’ve divided the crates into my mail, BJ’s mail, coupons and take out menus. These are items that we traditionally store in the kitchen, or that we inevitably pile up on the kitchen island making it unusable. With the large milk crates, we can store all of our mail, menus and coupons so they are easy to find and tucked out of the way of our daily kitchen use. If you are looking for a DIY alternative to these crates, you could find old milks crates and paint them with chalkboard paint. We decided to go with the option at Target because they were exactly what we were looking for.

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On the top shelves, I added some of our colorful coffee table books, and added a tray on each end for BJ and I to store little odds and ends.

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Our mail bins even have their own bouncer. Don’t mess with Zoey.

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Now this is a fully functional and fun space for us to enjoy. What area of your house to could benefit most from a functional space like this one?

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Pinterest Picks: Dinner Party Time!

It’s almost the weekend! Is anyone attending or hosting a dinner party or fun gathering with friends and family this weekend?

Even though the stores are already advertising for Christmas, outside it is still fall, and fall is the season of the ultimate fall dinner party: Thanksgiving. To gather some ideas for a fun dinner party, I searched Pinterest and here are a few of my favorite pins and ideas. I also started a new board called Dinner Party Time! for those interested in following as I continue to find more dinner party ideas.

I love decorating with pumpkins, especially unique looking pumpkins. A pumpkin can also make the perfect chalkboard for your party. You can use your chalkboard pumpkin for your menu or drink list. All you need is some chalkboard paint and chalk.

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Leftover small pumpkins from your Halloween displays can also make great centerpieces.

Beautiful for the Thanksgiving holidays or a fall dinner party

Speaking of chalkboard paint, I love the idea of using chalkboards to label each of your appetizers or desserts. Just be sure the chalkboard paint is food safe! You can also use slate dinner pieces. Slate is a natural chalkboard. In this photo, they painted the table runner with chalkboard paint.

BEER-TASTING PARTY - Host a pub-inspired beer-tasting party complete with cheese pairings, soft pretzels, burgers and, of course, a variety of craft beers.

The last few pictures are for a themed-dinner party. With the explosion of craft breweries, you can gather up your friends and invite them over for a craft brew party. Each guest brings a growler or bullet with their favorite local beer and then you can kick back and enjoy good food and good company for the evening.

We Set A Place For You/Fall FeatureCraft Beer and Cheese Pairingsmint love social club: {party inspiration: craft beer tasting party}

Have a great weekend everyone!

Picking the Perfect Palette: The Loft

Fall is on its way and soon we will be diving in to our indoor home improvement projects. When it comes to painting our house, we always wait until the weather is cool enough to open the windows and pull in some fresh air. Fall is usually a great time because the air is not too moist and sticky. In the meantime, we are deciding on the color that we will paint our half wall in the loft and hallway. I chose a palette of yellow, blue and blue/green paint chips for our alma mater color scheme and taped them to the wall using painter’s tape. Now we can see our choices on the wall while we make our decision.fbfs_colorchoices (6)With this palette, I chose complimentary colors to our existing room colors. We have several different shades of blue in our room which is why I chose the blue and blue/green chips for our palette. I chose the gold and yellow chips to complement our maize yellow pillows. I like the idea of the golds being closer to the shade of the pillows because we do not have several different shades of gold existing in the room.

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The color that we choose for the loft will carry around the half wall and down the catwalk hallway. With that being said, we need to choose a color that compliments both the loft and the hallway. I think I’m leaning toward the golds,  but I can’t make up my mind. I also really like the blues. Decisions, decisions.

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On another note, you might’ve noticed that we have new curtains in our loft. I liked the previous curtains, but they were slightly to short. Some folks like their curtains to be just above the ground but I prefer the curtains to touch the ground. Finding out the curtains I bought were too short was definitely a lesson learned. Always measure before you buy! fbfs_colorchoices (4) copy

When I went back to West Elm, where I bought our gray curtains, I found the same pattern in dark blue. I like the dark blue even better than the light gray and this time I made sure to buy a longer length. fbfs_colorchoices (2) That’s it for now. I’ll keep you posted on our paint chip selection process!

Summer Time and the Decorating is Easy

I love great clearance finds at Target. With back to school season right around the corner, that means summer seasonal items are now on clearance. I love perusing Target for clearance items during these seasonal switches.

Tip: for those who are not familiar with where you can find Target clearance sales, they are sometimes found in the aisles, but they are also on the back side of the aisles. Below is a diagram of what I mean by the “back side of the aisles.”

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My latest Target clearance find is this tall teal vase. It was originally $29.99 and I bought it for $14.98.

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Sometimes you can hold out on these finds and come back a few days later when the prices are marked down even lower. However, you take the risk that the item might not be there when you return.

As soon as I saw this vase, I thought it would look great on our dining room table. I really enjoy decorating the dining room table for each season and I thought this vase would look great with some late summer decor.

I picked out the vase filler below to put in our Crate and Barrel glass vases to compliment the teal vase. The filler is a mixture of floral, greenery and seashells.

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After I added the filler, our Crate and Barrel clear glass vases looked like this:
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For the teal vase, I chose a simple flower arrangement of three sunflowers, two yellow and one white. Because the vase is so tall, if you use big thick flowers you can go simple and let the flowers lean on the edge of the vase. If you want a fuller look, you could add more sunflowers and some additional greenery or filler. You could even leave the vase empty because the color will let it stand on it’s own.

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Our completed table is bright and colorful. I’m really enjoying the color combination of teal, orange, yellow gold, white and green. I love this color combination.

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Have you ever found a great item on clearance and couldn’t wait to bring it home? What’s been your favorite find?

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. 🙂 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?

Pinterest Picks: Summer Table Settings

Summer is almost here and I’m so excited! The first official day of summer is still a few weeks away but I’m already thinking about BBQs, picnics and pool parties.

I’m looking forward to enjoying dinners out on our patio again. To spruce up our outdoor decor, I bought this yellow-green hurricane for our patio bistro set during the Crate and Barrel 20% off outdoor sale.

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Inside of the hurricane, we added an indoor/outdoor battery-operated led candle from Target.

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Our new hurricane inspired me to put together a fun summer table arrangement for our bistro set. To find some ideas I searched for “summer table setting” on Pinterest.

Here are a few of my favorite pins:

I love how the table setting below incorporates red, white and blue as well as a coastal theme with the seashells. The yellow flowers also give off a bright summery feel.

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This table setting incorporates a few of my favorite summer colors. I love the bright yellow and green dinnerware and patterned napkins.

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I love lanterns and this table setting reminded me of our wedding. For our wedding, we incorporated lanterns as our table arrangements. We still have the lanterns and use them in our home decor.

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This summer table setting is simple and classy. The clear milk jug vases and white flowers are an elegant touch. I could definitely see us incorporating a simple flower arrangement in our own summer table setting.

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This last table setting is a fun way to use fresh fruit in a centerpiece. You could even put a cute little sign in the fruit arrangement that says “please enjoy.”

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After I looked at all of the summer table settings on Pinterest, I put together this setting  for our bistro set. What do you think?


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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?

Spring is in the air…


It seems that I’ve caught Spring Fever. No, it’s not the latest strand of the of flu, it’s more like the longing for warmer days and plentiful sunshine.

The weather this weekend, despite cooler temperatures, was beautiful. To celebrate the coming of spring and spring flowers, I put together two new wreaths for our front door.

My first wreath was inspired by this pin I found on Pinterest:

DIY spring wreath

Here is my interpretation of the same wreath. I chose the peach, light green and white flowers because they go nicely with our cranberry front door and the white letter really pops against the darker background.

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This wreath was very quick and easy to make. To make a similar wreath, you will need the following:

  • 5 hydrangea stems
  • Grapevine wreath
  • Letter of your choice
  • Glue gun

First, I cut each of the stems down to one inch and arranged them into the wreath. Then, I turned the wreath over and used the hot glue to secure the stems sticking through the back of the wreath.

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Next, I put hot glue on the back of the part of the letter that touches the wreath and then held it in place on the wreath for a few minutes while the glue set up.

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Leave the wreath with the flowers and letter facing up for a few hours so the glue on the flower stems and letter can set completely.

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Once the glue is set up and dry, you can hang your wreath for display!

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I also made this next colorful wreath because I really like yellow, teal and green together and couldn’t pass up these flowers while I was at Michaels. These bright colors together make for a really fun color palette that works well for spring or summer. And who doesn’t love gerbera daisies? To quote Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail: “I love daisies… They’re so friendly. Don’t you think that daisies are the friendliest flowers?”

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This wreath was more complicated to assemble than the first wreath. I first organized all the flowers and instead of using hot glue, I used floral wire. After I was finished, I realized that using hot glue would’ve been easier and faster. You can use hot glue like I showed on the wreath above and it will be easier.

Next, I wrapped the ribbon around the top half of the wreath and then I clipped on the butterflies. Not terribly complicated, but using the floral wire really slowed me down.

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While I was outside this weekend, I also spotted this little guy sneaking up. I hope he is not coming up too soon because they are still calling for some and ice coming our way in the next few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed that he doesn’t freeze!

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Are you getting excited for spring? Have you made DIY projects to celebrate this bright and colorful season?

Christmas Candy: Meet Mason Jar

Mason jars have many practical uses. Outside of canning, they are popping up in wedding and home decor. I love them because they’re an easy and inexpensive way to display just about anything. This year, I incorporated a few jars into our holiday decor.

My parents recently gave us canned peaches and canned salsa in mason jars. After we finished eating the contents of the jars, I cleaned and saved them to use a candy jars.

I chose to use wrapped candy, but you can use other candies such as gumdrops or ribbon candy. To keep the unwrapped candy fresh, just add lids.

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The mason jars I have are all different sizes and shapes. The different sizes and shapes worked out well for my display because I have different quantities and sizes of candy.

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I hope everyone is all ready for Christmas. One more day! I’m hoping for a white Christmas. How about you?

Christmastime is here

Christmas time is here, happiness and cheer. Fun for all, that children call their favorite time of year…

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I could listen to the Charlie Brown Christmas album on repeat for hours. There is something about that music that is calming. With all the hustle and bustle, it’s nice to take a moment to relax around Christmas and enjoy the season.

Speaking of enjoying the season, BJ and I always look forward to winter because we love snow. I love the way everything looks with a layer of snow. It’s like natural glitter coating everything in a sparkling white. This year, for our dining room Christmas tablescape, I wanted to capture our love for winter and snow.

Remember the Crate and Barrel vases I mentioned in our last post? I decorated the vases using faux snow and vase filler from Target.


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The Crate and Barrel clear glass vases joined our tablescape along with our reindeer placemats, a few pine cones I found in our bin-o-seasonal items, tea light candles, our reusable wedding centerpieces (aka Ikea lanterns) and a floral arrangement consisting of poinsettia, mistletoe and willows. The flowers are arranged in a tall ceramic vase I bought on clearance at Target for around $3.88.

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I’m really happy with the way the clear glass vases look on the table with the rest of our tablescape.
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Here is a closer shot of the tall ceramic vase I purchased for less than $4.

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And here are our Christmasy-pine cones and tea lights. The pinecones are snow-capped and the white snow has a little bit of glitter in it to make the pinecones sparkle.IMG_2640
Below is the full tablescape in all it’s glory. I think may leave it up past Christmas. Maybe I can find some neutral snowflake/winter placemats and some different flowers for January and February.


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Do you capture your favorite parts of the season in your home decor?