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Rustic Lighting Ideas

May 16, 2017

Three words that make me shudder: builder grade lighting. As much as I love our house, that’s the same amount that I hate the ugly light fixtures that came with it.  But as excited as I am to replace every single one, I quickly learned that doing so would get very expensive in the blink of an eye, or the flick of a switch. I’m sorry.

So instead, I’ve opted to replace each light fixture as I finish decorating the room it’s in. A will still groan at the money we’re spending, but only a little bit at a time. So far the only light we’ve replaced is the one in the downstairs guest room, but it is definitely one that fits with the rustic feel I’m going for.


I would not be opposed to purchasing the same light for other rooms in the house, especially where we want to keep the ceiling as high as possible. A may have other opinions, especially as the person who had to install it.

My next target are the lights in the main room: living room mushroom light, kitchen pendants and light over the dining table. Since these will all be visible at the same time, I want to make sure they go together, but they don’t necessarily need to match perfectly.


I really like the natural wood tones of 2 and 3, but love the shape of the first option, especially if they were individual pendant lights over the island. Part of my would really like a ceiling fan for the living room, but have yet to find one short enough to not block the TV and attractive enough to not stick out like a sore thumb.

I could actually see the third one in our entryway (which surprise surprise needs a new light) as well, especially if I found something closer to the second option for over the dining table.  The real question now becomes where do I find rustic lighting that doesn’t break the bank?


Backyard Inspiration

April 14, 2017

Happy Friday, everyone! I have been looking forward to this long weekend for quite some time. It’s hard to stay inside in my office when the weather is so gorgeous. We’ve had dinner out on the deck a few days this week and started brainstorming some pretty massive improvements to the backyard. Luckily, Pinterest has a lot in terms of backyard inspiration and I’m pretty sure my plans have outgrown anything A could have imagined.

Our main focus is to maintain as much grass as possible for the dogs and still gain a little more flat space. We want to make most of the space we have, which isn’t huge, but can certainly fit everything we want. By removing some underperforming trees and shrubs, adding more grass and then using paver stones to create a second patio, we’ll make our little bit of land go quite a long way.  I foresee a significant amount of measuring and graph paper in our future.

The good thing about us taking on this project is that we care about different aspects, thus ensuring a really good finished product! A is all about the landscaping, but I’m all about the entertaining/lounging areas. So while he’s pulling weeds and watering a trillion times a week, I’m dreaming of fire pits and tons of string lights.

But I mean, can you blame me? Look at those string lights! Not only are they pretty, but they’d be really functional as our backyard is a bit dark.  I also love that round patio and fire pit, but think ours will likely end up being rectangular.  I would like smaller scale furniture around it, but think it may end up being folding furniture for off-season storage.

A is all about growing things (not weeds) in our yard. We’re going to make use of the space along our deck with one or two raised beds. I also really like the idea of growing herbs in planter boxes and just love those boxes hanging from the fence.  And maybe instead of herbs, we grow lots of flowers.

Once we clear the grill and storage container off our deck, we’ll have room for a nice dining set. It will be a change not to have to eat off of our camping table! I’m torn between the more classic picnic table look versus a more traditional dining set with cushioned chairs.  Comfort-level is a major factor as is the abundance of stinking cute pillows that could go on the chair. Is it wrong to pick out furniture based on the accessory potential?

No matter what kind of table we choose, we will want one that accommodates a large umbrella. Our backyard gets full sun during the day so we need some shade if we’re going to make use of the space prior to dusk.  I really like the grey and white stripes of the one above. It will look so pretty against our blue house!

Now, I have no idea when we’ll get all these projects done, but I have promised that this is the year we buy patio furniture so perhaps that purchase will push us along a bit. What do you think of my backyard inspiration? Also, how much work is a small backyard garden (for those of us who aren’t yard work people)?


Mudroom Inspiration

February 10, 2017

Do you ever get an idea in your head and find it absolutely impossible to backtrack or accept anything else? For me, that happens every once in a while, especially when it comes to visualizing how I want something to look. Our new house seems to be getting a lot of that. From my office to the guest room, I’ve had very strong visions for each room in our house. Our mudroom is no exception!

Our mudroom is a fairly small and dark space, but it has the potential to be so stinking adorable. I want to brighten up the space and add some character, but still make it truly functional as a first stop for the family.

One thing I am 100% committed to is having a church pew as the seating in the space. I would like an antique one that’s been whitewashed or painted white and distressed. Although if I could convince A to install shiplap along the longest wall, like in the last photo, I would totally consider a darker pew! I really like the light wood tone of the pew in the third photo and think it would have a nice contrast against our floors.

Once we’ve added our antique seating, we need to add storage. Eventually we want to grow our family and I would really like to catch everyone’s shoes, coats and bags in that one area. I’m torn between solid cubbies and wall hooks.  The room isn’t huge so the space saving aspect of the wall hooks is especially appealing.

I would love to add some color in the mudroom and a painted door would be so cute. I wonder if I can convince A that painting our garage door orange is a good idea.

What room in your house did you have the strongest vision for?


Home Office Inspiration

January 13, 2017

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has something fun planned for this long weekend; my hope is to tackle my office closet. It’s currently holding a bunch of random stuff and it’s long past time that I go through things and purge as much as possible. Why you ask?

Well I have big plans for that closet (and the rest of the room)! Ideally, I would love to be done with my office space by the end of 2017, but with such high hopes for it, I’m aware it may take a bit longer. Luckily my husband is fairly handy and willing to take on projects for me. Unfortunately for him, Pinterest offers me endless inspiration and I believe the sky’s the limit.

Before I show you the current (embarrassing) state of my office or my Pinspiration, I wanted to share the ultimate inspiration for my office: this above print. I found it at PaperSource a while ago (even before we had moved in) and knew that I wanted in my future office. The colors are so happy and vibrant and I know I’ll be able to find lots of fun coordinating pieces. Plus I really love the hints of gold.

Alright, on to the office space itself. Currently all the walls are builder’s grade beige, but I do want to paint them for the finished space. I’m currently torn between a soft gray and a white (you’ll see why in a minute).

This is the view of the room as soon as you walk in. A little sad right now, I recognize that. But it won’t stay that way forever! The folding work table and counter stool will stay in the room even after the redesign, but I would like the table to go lengthwise along the wall. It will slightly block the bathroom door on the very right hand side of the photo, but because it folds and has wheels, I’m ok with it.

The window needs some sort of treatment so it feels finished, but I don’t want to add anything that will reduce the amount of light it lets in. This room is one of the darker ones in the house, so I want to maximize any natural light it gets. Currently I’m leaning towards adding farmhouse window trim and calling it done.

To fill that large blank wall, I want to add a pegboard to store all the little, frequently used supplies that take up a ton of work space.  I love that the configuration can change as my storage needs change and still keeps everything right at my finger tips. I may trim it out with moulding so that it looks a bit more finished.

The adjoining wall will get probably the biggest makeover, thanks to my husband. All of the storage pieces will go as will the makeshift table that’s currently housing my printer and Silhouette. I do want to keep the orange striped rug (although I may move it to a different spot).

We will install white shiplap along this entire wall. I think it will really brighten up the space and give it the rustic feel that I want. But this is where I hesitate to paint everything a light gray and throw white into the realm of possibility. I’m a very visual person and like having examples to base my decisions off of; more Pinteresting seems to be in order.

The second piece of this wall will be a reclaimed door work table, also courtesy of my husband. We already own the perfect door, but have yet to figure out the design and installation. I like this version with legs quite a bit, but would want it to be counter height so I can use it standing.

I’m currently debating adding art or another peg board above the door table, but also love the idea of letting the shiplap shine!

The next wall is where I’m less sure of what’s going to happen. I definitely want to do a mixture of art and shelves, but I can’t decide if I want to keep the desk or not. I love my desk chair and would likely keep it even if the desk goes.

The only way I would consider keeping the desk if I refinished it. I originally thought white, but then I saw this brightly painted desk and it stopped me in my tracks.

As gorgeous as this is, I don’t know if my current desk is really paintable and if I even really need one. Currently it mostly serves as a catch-all space (which I want to minimize) so I may let it go.

Last, but not least, is the closet. As I mentioned before, it’s filled with all kinds of junk right now, but eventually I want it to hold all of my craft and business supplies. That reduces the visual clutter in the rest of the office and improves my sanity when I’m looking for a specific roll of washi tape.

And this is my dream craft closet! I love how perfectly organized everything is and how pretty it all looks!

As it is currently, my closet won’t work for this set up because the sliding doors. I want to replace them with French doors, but add a fun twist with see-through French doors! And yes, I know it seems a little scary, but being able to constantly see everything in the closet will help me keep it tidy. I really like the frosted glass in the below photo so it offers a little privacy.


So there you have it! My dream office inspiration. We have quite the list of projects ahead of us, but I’m hoping that by the end of the year, we can check this room off the list. Have a great weekend, everyone!


New House, New Christmas Decor

December 8, 2016

It’s no secret that I like decorating for the holidays. Actually, that’s a lie. I LOVE decorating for the holidays, sometimes more than celebrating the holidays. I don’t know what it is exactly, but there’s just something about a house decorated for a holiday that makes it instantly more homey. I loved the way our townhouse looked when it was all decked out for Christmas, so I was really excited to start adding Christmas decor to our new home.

I tried to reuse items that we already owned, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about having more space to decorate and, therefore, needing to add to my Christmas decor. That’s right. I said need.

Our dining room and kitchen have pretty strong color palettes that don’t let themselves to the holidays terribly well.  The orange and navy isn’t really a neutral background so I knew that I needed to add cheer to those spaces in a slightly different (and more subtle) way. The combination of white and silver was just the thing to go with my pre-existing color scheme and still being festive.

For the first time ever, I decorated the sills of the small cafe windows in the dining room and I’m so glad I did! They allowed me to use some of my taller silver and white trees as well as the most adorable tin and reclaimed wood sign I found in a shop downtown.



With a few touches on the windowsills, I turned my attention to the farmhouse table, my favorite surface in the entire house to decorate.  I wanted to continue the wintery theme and knew I was on the right track when I found these gorgeous silver chargers at Michaels and the snowflake napkins at HomeGoods. They’re simple which allows the focus to be on the centerpiece.


I purchased some fake greens at Michaels and laid them down the center of the table, adding smaller silver Christmas trees and mercury glass votive holders within them.  The small red berries in the greenery adds just enough color to the table, but isn’t overwhelming.  I then topped it all off with my favorite white reindeer.




I opted to keep everything very short here so that people could still chat over the centerpiece.  On Christmas Eve, I’ll add votives to the candle holders and the whole table will be all sparkly and gorgeous. I’m very proud of this one!

Next up was the kitchen where the orange accessories posed the largest Christmas decorating challenge. But this was not my first rodeo and this girl came prepared with orange Christmas ornaments! I repurposed these from a garland that used to hang over our kitchen window in the townhouse.

Another white reindeer, tree and chalboard-inspired printable went a long way in this corner of the kitchen.



In the coffee nook, I added one more white tree (seriously HomeGoods has a ridiculous selection right now) and a mercury glass candle holder (left over from our wedding) with some Christmas tree cuttings.  I love grabbing a few trimmings from our tree to add freshness around the house. Plus it makes me feel like I’m saving oodles of money by reusing trash.


The fresh trimmings carried over to the island where they were joined by red and while garlands and a few teeny tiny red ornaments. This is the most non-orange color of any spot in the kitchen, but since there aren’t any orange accents on the island, I wasn’t worried about them clashing.


I opted to go with more traditional Christmas decor in the living room, but still kept it in line with the rest of the house. Our super rustic coffee table got a very natural looking tree along with some tree trimmings.


I found these cute pillows at Michaels and loved that they were neutral enough to go with everything, including that adorable Merry Christmas throw that no one is actually allowed to use. A bowl full of Dollar Store ornaments on the side table completes that festive corner.



Then I turned my attention to my first time decorating a mantle! I repurposed two sparkly red trees and some pre-lit garland from my townhouse days. They frame the TV perfectly, something I’m still figuring out how to decorate around.

But the biggest news it that we finally have somewhere to hang our stockings! This fact excited me so much that I may have gotten a tad carried away with all of the adorable stocking holders there are out there.


My mom found these little dachshund holders and knew I had to have them! Sadly there were only two in the store so I went off on my own in search of new holders for A and myself.


Knowing that the dachshund ones were a bit rustic, I was very excited when I found these white marble trees! The wood base is similar to the dachshunds so everything looked thought out and planned which was my goal.

Did I say I got carried away with just the stocking holders? Because I definitely got carried away with stockings for the dogs as well. Look at those tiny bone buttons!

Not to be outdone, the fireplace hearth got a festive touch as well. I made that pillow myself when I was in the third grade and it’s been a part of my Christmas decor ever since I moved out on my own.


But what’s the point of Christmas decor if you don’t ever light it all up?! I love the quiet hours after dinner when it’s dark enough to plug in the lights and just enjoy all the coziness. 

Last but certainly not least is Burt, our Christmas tree.  Every year A and I go to the same tree farm and select a locally grown Charlie Brown tree. I considered skipping this tradition since A isn’t here this year, but he convinced me to go through with it and I’m glad I did.

With some lights, ribbon garland and our unique collection of ornaments, this little $10 tree doesn’t look too shabby! I love the glow of a Christmas tree and love that people can see it from the street.


I love the way it turned out this year and am excited to add to our Christmas decor for many years to come. Now, does anyone know how to keep a tree alive until spring?!