Monday, April 30, 2012

Meaningful Pieces

On my first post, I pictured our dining room table that used to belong to my husband's parents that I now love and have embraced.  I wanted to show you a couple other spots in my home where there is a sense of coziness from the mix of new, special, and handed-down items.   For most of us, a fireplace is a fun spot to decorate, especially for the holidays.  I love changing the look of the mantle because in most homes with a fireplace, a mantle is a natural focal point.  Recently when we changed the wall in our dining room (see last post) to a collage, we removed a large painting.   Although I liked the painting fine, it really wasn't what I thought was my style.  Then my husband reminded me that his aunt had painted it!  I had forgotten that.  We had inherited the painting from his parents' house.  He put it up on the mantle and I have to say I love it.  The colors are great, it's a simple, meaningful scene, and the artist is family.   How cool is that?

Another spot in our great room that has more items from my in-laws is this wall with these great chairs.  They instantly went with our more rustic feel of the room and the light leather lightens up all the wood and other dark furniture!   We moved our old chairs to the basement and put these on either side of a piece that I love---a $100 solid piece we got from a JCPenney Outlet furniture store! The lamp is a clearance find from Target, and you may recognize the yellow flowers--they are the same flowers that I have in vases on my dining room table (again, see first post).  Guess what the flowers are in on this buffet--a pitcher and bowl that was hand-made by my mother-in-law!  So special.

Great room wall
The pics are of my great kids.  They need to be updated.....but I still love having all of them on the wall like that!

I hope I inspired you to look at things that were given to you in a different way.  I know I have!
Nothing is more special and meaningful than something that was made by or belonged to someone you loved.  The best home decor store couldn't sell a painting by an aunt or a piece of pottery made by a beloved mother.  Priceless!

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Creative Walls

I love seeing what people do with large walls that they need to fill.  One big piece of art?  A collection of plates or framed photographs?  A mixture of both?  I have been inspired by many collages I have seen in magazines and on the internet.  I even created a board on Pinterest called Fillin' Up the Walls.  There are some great ideas out there!

My dining room wall

We recently painted our dining room the same color we painted our kitchen a week ago--a soft vanilla color.  The dining room was a celery green color.  Before that, the previous owner's had it painted  SPONGED a DARK METALLIC GOLD!!!!!  Let's just say it was the first room we painted when we moved in.  With our new, brighter room,  I wanted to put a slightly eclectic collage on the far wall.  I looked and looked for the plates I had envisioned.  I actually found the perfectly colored and patterned plates at Target.  They are acrylic, inexpensive, and we hung them with Command picture hangers, so no holes!   They coordinate with the color palettes I have going on in the adjacent kitchen and eating area off of the kitchen.  I found the old, rusted, metal "H" at my favorite little local store.  The picture is one of my favorites of our 4 children (that is actually about 4 years old)  at a pumpkin patch up on a tractor.  The basket?  I bought this thinking I'd put things in it and then realized it would go perfectly on the wall in my collage.  I'm not sure I'm totally done with this wall, but like what I've done so far.  This makes me want to be more daring with other walls in my home and try new arrangements and designs.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Lighten Up!

Isn't it amazing that just the word "light" brings feelings of peacefulness, brightness, happiness, and calm?  Think about it.  What images came to mind when you think of light?  Now think about the word dark.  Different images and feelings, yes?


Whether you are referring to lightening up a mood or a space in your home, light always feels good to the soul.  I mean, who doesn't want to feel in a light, happy mood?  I know when I feel in a darker mood or am having a bad day, I feel like crawling under the covers in yes, a dark room.
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Meaningful Weekend

On Friday nights, I have this dreamy vision of what the weekend will hold in store.  Okay, the cleaning part isn't so dreamy, but I think about spending time with my family, sleeping in a bit, having extra coffee in my jammies, tackling those projects around the house.

Bulldogs and Babies
Then reality sets in and I realize we have volleyball and soccer games.  I mean, I am grateful my kids are in sports and active and having fun, but I have to say I get a teensy bit irritated when I look at the weekend schedule sometimes.  Then,  I realize a couple of things.    I realize that I love my kids more than anything. And that my kids are healthy enough to play sports, some kids aren't.  And that some people wish more than anything that they could have children so they that could go see them at their games.  And some people, like my dear friend, Lara, wish their child was still young enough to be at home and not all grown up and out of the nest.  So, you see, I'm not so grumpy about the sports after all.  I'm over it.  Unless it's an 8:00 game.  :)

Happy Friday Everyone!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Landing Zone

Does anyone else's kitchen island or counter become the Central Landing Zone?   It has come to the point where I am moving things around on it just so I can add more things.  The mail, homework/papers from school, receipts, my husband's work papers,  random barrettes and other 6-year-old pretties, important papers---they are taking over!  I swear I clean it off constantly.  In order to get things under control, I started searching for some great ideas.

 I love how this message center holds small papers, keys, and places to write messages and could get some clutter off of the counter.

As appointed Captain of All Papers and Things Important in my house, I feel a huge responsibility to know where everyone's papers and important things are.  With 3 kids bringing home treasures and papers from school, a husband who brings papers home from work, and a dog who thinks that papers are somehow tasty and can and has eaten papers off of the counter that are important, I am at the brink of being able to handle it all without some type of system in place!  I do have organization for our bills and those kinds of papers, it's the dreaded "Landing Zone" that I'm struggling with.  This message center would hold all of the important papers and each slot could be labeled and personalized for each of us.  Love that!

Here's another great idea if you have the space, an old dresser that has a great surface, lots of drawers for  all sorts of items, AND looks great!  I love how it's personalized and looks special.  I might have to find a space for something like this...

Harbour Breeze Home
How do you control the incoming variety of goodies that enter your house?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Embracing Your Nest

Welcome to my first post!

I always want my home to not only look good, but feel good.  I want each and every corner to have a purpose, meaning, and make my eyes dance.  Do you know that feeling?  In the craziness of our days, we all seek to come home to a place that reflects our style and personality, and feel relaxing, cozy, and meaningful.  We can all dream of having our homes look like they were straight out of magazines, and, although some really may, that is not realistic in these parts.  It's funny how I can trip over the same toy or not be bothered by an empty toilet paper roll, but I will instantly notice how a picture is crooked or that maybe my curtains don't match that well after all?   Am I alone here?  I hope not.

In embracing my imperfect nest and life, I strive to make the 6 of us that live here feel loved and cozy and warm, like a favorite old blanket.  There are pieces in my home that once were not my style, yet now they seem perfect for life right now.  My husband's parents sadly both passed away in the last 3 years and we now have their dining room set.  While the table is not perfectly our style, I have embraced it.  The style is not nearly as important as it's history and meaning.

Our table decorated for Spring

I have found that with a little creativity and a lot of heart, I can design and decorate and it actually feels better than going out and buying all new.   A few years ago I couldn't have said that.  On my table I used vases that were formerly on my mantle and put flowers in them that I have had forever.  My little bunny friend is a new find from Pier 1, I couldn't resist  his neutral color and simplicity!

So what about you?  Do you have a piece in your home that you have embraced?
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