Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rainy Day Dreaming for Sunny Days Ahead

I've been feeling some serious rainy day blues this week :( here in Minneapolis it's been chilly, rainy, gloomy, and gray since Sunday - wait - Oh-geeze-crap-no... Is it only Wednesday?!  Okay, sure it's only been four days but honestly it feels like a full seven day week should have gone by!  Time seems to creep by pretty slowly when the morning, afternoon and evening are the same kind of gray I suppose?

In an effort to shake off this rainy day funk, I've been looking for some fun outdoor landscaping, gardening, and decorating ideas.  We can only hope all these April showers mean May flowers and sunny days ahead, right?!  The hubby and I have spent the last few summers cleaning up the look of our yard and deck (along with a post tornado revamp & tree planting) so with all of that back-breaking work behind us, I'm hoping to have a little fun with getting it to have a cozier feel...
Images via Completely Totally Madly | Home Ideas | Real Simple | Flickr | Mrs Sunshine | Tansuo8 | Elle Interior | Randy Interiors
I'm mainly thinking we need more greenery on and around our deck, some kind of pretty outdoor lighting, and perhaps adding some more privacy with climbing vines?  I'm digging those slouchy vintage style chairs & planters grouped in varying heights.  Can't wait to get my hands dirty, come on SPRING!!!! 

I guess it's good to get a head start on my outdoor ideas/to-dos when it is rainy & crummy outside so that I'm ready to go when we get our first warm sunny day- also makes me shutter at the thought of how crazy Home Depot will be on that day but I know I'll still end up there, happens like that every year!   

***   What about you?  *** 

Feeling some rainy day blues too?
Have you started on any outdoor ideas or to-do's?
What other ways have you added subtle outdoor privacy screens/walls?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Our Bathroom's *Beastie* Twin?

Since posting new images of our Mini Chalkboard Wall Bathroom last week, I discovered while doing some random Pinterest cruising that it has a TWIN!  Same size, shape, chalkboard walls (half for ours), and even the same Elfe sink!  Crazy/funny/weird right?

Turns out Mike D. of the Beastie Boys is the owner of this twin-like mini chalkboard bathroom and he shared it while touring the New York Times through his newly renovated Brooklyn Town House.
Loved the simple eclectic look and feel of his place!  Lots of beautiful unique light fixtures too!

Anyway, I found it because I had been noodling (I'm really into "noodling" now) on a paint change on the lower half of the walls.  I thought about making it all chalkboard paint or even doing some black and white striped wall paper.

What do you think?  

Is it time to ditch that baby blue color on the bottom half for all chalkboard paint?
Or should we try some stripes on the bottom half?

It'll be mainly a relaxing weekend for us, my dad's in town for a visit and we'll be catching some Twins vs. Tigers action :)  Fingers crossed my dad won't try to embarrass us- yep we're 29 & 30 years old but he usually reminds us that we're never too old to have dad embarrass us in public :) I'll keep you posted, ha!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Five Year Refresh Week #4: Our Mini Chalkboard Wall Bathroom

Time to finish of our Five Year Refresh week with our last room- Our "Mini" Bathroom!  But first, I must post a warning message regarding the chalkboard painted walls because I took photos of the room with whatever was left written on them.  Ahem, here's the official warning :)

WARNING: The following images feature content on bathroom walls that may be offensive to some readers... also could be hilarious if you are not offended by toilet humor - Anyway - it is not our intention to offend anyone and if you are, our friends did it.  Okay, end warning.

That warning probably made you too curious now, so here is an updated look at our "Mini" Chalkboard Wall Bathroom....

It's been a while since we've talked about it on the blog (sheesh, it was back in 2010!), but this is how it looked when we added the chalkboard paint to the top half of the walls....
I decided to take that empty ornate frame down and replace it with the large letter "Z" I picked up at Junk Bonanza last year.  I figured since that space is soooo teeny-tiny, it would be fitting to have a cartoonish-ly large piece of wall art in there :)
Other than that, nothing much has changed in that room other than the constantly evolving content on the walls :)

Well, that wraps up all the rooms from my Five Year Refresh week!  If you missed any, click the links to see our Living Room, Vestibule, or Dining Room.

Which room had your favorite updated look?
Which one made you miss the old look?
Did our chalkboard bathroom walls offend or make you laugh?

Have a wonderful Easter holiday!  I'm hoping to see our very own chubby Easter bunny again tomorrow!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five Year Refresh Week #3: The Dining Room

Ready for room #3 in our Five Year Refresh Week?  Let's take a fresh look at the Dining Room from a whole new angle!
Did you catch my Sadie pupper in that photo?! She's stealthy and adorable!
The 'new angle' part is because I don't think I've ever shown a photo of our house from this corner of the dining room looking into the living room and kitchen.  Gives you a new viewpoint on the layout of our house right?  Aside from the new view though, the dining room itself is looking quite different from before!

After we finished up the new look in the kitchen we had to make some changes so that the two rooms flowed together well.  Here's a reminder of how it looked the last time we shared photos of it....
Still fresher and nicer than the previous red paint look, but it still needed a cleaner, simple, slightly more modern touch to match the new look and feel in the kitchen.

So, I made a few changes and I think this style fits us much better now...

Some of the changes you might have caught are the new dining chairs, barstools, and some wall art.  We had been getting a little tired of our dining room table & chairs, but instead of getting a whole new set we decided to get two new chairs (Ikea Nils chair $79.00) for each end of the table to give it a little bit of a new look.
I draped two cowhide skins over the end chairs to add in touch of pattern (and fun?!)
We decided to add barstools (Ikea Franklin barstool $39.99)  as well by the dividing wall to the kitchen because whenever we have guests we seem to gather around there (our Superbowl party is a good example)...
The tough part is that the dividing wall used to be a whole wall with upper kitchen cabinets and it was opened at some point by a previous owner and were were unable to lower the height of that top counter top due to electrical wiring inside the wall (which is maybe why that previous owner kept it at the height?).
So, it is slightly higher than typical bar height but we've been using those two stools like crazy... why the heck did we wait five years to get them?!?!

What do you think of our updated Dining Room space? 
Do you think the looks pairs better with the new look in our kitchen?
What about using new end chairs at the dining table to give it a newer look without a whole new set?


If you missed any posts from my Five Year Refresh Week, click the links to see room #1 The Living Room and room #2 the Vestibule 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Five Year Refresh Week #2: The Vestibule

Okay, I know I promised a room each day this week so I'm sorry I was unable to get room #2 in our Five Year Refresh Week posted yesterday, wa-wa!  I had a project that needed extra attention come up at work and needed to turn 100% of my focus that'd-a-way for a couple days.  I imagine you'll forgive me.... or perhaps it went unnoticed and I shouldn't be calling attention to it now?!  Ahem, anyway....

It's time for room #2 in our Five Year Refresh Week!  You may remember it's the room I refer to as the "vegetable" but now you can take a look at how we've refreshed the Vestibule since you had seen it last....

The look isn't too drastically different really if you look back...
... and I supposed it is because we've learned and experienced that you can't really fill that small entryway space with much, especially if you intend to use it for coats and shoes :) fills up fast!

The ONE thing we have added is this new Smith and Hawken Woven Wall Organizer with Chalkboard Labels $24.99...
It's genius right!?!  Such an easy way to add wall storage and the look fits in well with any space or decor really.  All the mail we get through that old front door and it's old fashioned mail slot can store in that top cubby and all the doggie stuff (poo baggies, collars, etc.) goes in the bottom.  It's perfect and easy!  Fit right on the hooks we already had in the vestibule too!

Like I said, aside from that addition all else is the same but I have to share a MUCH prettier photo of the vintage light fixture we found at a local architectural salvage shop since I thought the photos in the older post didn't do it justice!
Ugh, that warm copper metal and one-of-a-kind find look still gets me :) 

What do you think of the new wall storage addition?
How about the closer look at our salvaged light fixture?

Promise to be back tomorrow with room #3!!!  Not anticipating any urgent work projects... I hope!  That'd be crummy for a Friday :)  See you tomorrow!


- If you missed Five Year Refresh Room #1 click here to check out the new look of our Living Room -

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Five Year Refresh Week #1: The Living Room

Time to kick off our Five Year Refresh Week with room #1- The Living Room!
The last time you saw it was probably when we had it decorated for Christmas, but before that he last time we shared it was in 2012 when I had updated the look with some blue pillows for spring.
As you can see, things changed quite a bit in this room!  I was trying to bring in some more color and personality, sort of similar to the goal we had in the kitchen I guess?

Overall, I just wanted it to feel more like us and be filled with more of the things we love instead of feeling like a showroom or something.  I guess it's a bit funkier/weirder, but that is us really I suppose :) Here's a look at some of details...
In a nutshell, the main changes are the coral rug, black and white striped dec pillows (Ikea Vargyllen covers $4 each and Lappljung covers $10 each), new wall art/photos, and in preparation for spring/summer we stored our firewood inside the hearth of our fire place- I had seen that look a lot on Pinterest and loved the idea.  Stylish and functional storage, who wouldn't love that?!

For the wall art and photo ledge, we printed and framed photos we had taken during our last trip to Europe and my India/China work trip.  I also added in a hand drawn Tree of Life that I picked up at the Delhi Haat market in India, up close it is sooooo incredibly detailed and gorgeous!
The framed print on the wall (right image above) is the one we found at an antique bookstore in Prague.  Glad we finally got it framed and found the perfect spot in our living room for it!

Last to highlight is this old rattan Ikea chair!  I don't believe they even sell this anymore, we had it in our basement and I decided to resurrect it and paint the legs black (were silver/steel originally).  The black legs made it look a touch more modern I think?  Then, once I layered on the faux sheepskin and black+white dec pillow I was in love :)
I can't lie, I'm pretty smitten with that corner of the living room now! 

That's it for our living room refresh, now I'd love to know what you think, don't be shy!
What do you think of the Living Room's refreshed look?
Do you like the warmth of color we added in the room?
What about the fireplace hearth or photo ledge?  Good changes?

I'll have our Five Year Refresh Week room #2 to share tomorrow!  Hope you'll swing by!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Five Year Refresh Week!

I am back and feeling refreshed from my Michigan style Spring Break!  During my break, I thought of something fun I wanted to share on the blog this week, sort of to honor of our five year house anniversary.  Here's the deal...

You know we've done some BIG room redo's over the past five years but I realized that quite often I change up the decor a lot and don't always share those room changes in a blog post.  So in honor of our five years, I thought I'd share a few rooms and show how we've refreshed the look since they last time you might have seen them on the blog.  Sound fun?  I hope so!
A little blurred-out preview of each room! Can't give it all away :)
I'll be sharing a room each day for the rest of the week and we'll kick things off tomorrow with a fresh look at our Living Room!  Hope you'll be back to check out all the Five Year Refresh Week rooms!

It'll be a fun change of pace around here, I'm excited so I hope you are too!!!

Which rooms are you hoping to see?
Do you frequently change up the look of your rooms too?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Break at the Beach

This week is Spring Break for a lot of folks and like many of you I'm spending it at the beach!  Unfortunately, it is only 50 degrees where I am and the lake is still partly frozen.  Lake Michigan that is...
So no suntanning or salty rimmed margaritas included, just a nice little break from my Minneapolis life back in my hometown visiting with family & friends.
Beach cartwheels were necessary even though it was chilly!
I'm looking forward to visiting with my nephews tomorrow but so far I've been able to soak up lots time with my sister Holly and my niece Brynn!
That little blondie is just the cutest AND she's not afraid of me anymore :) my extra auntie hours paid off!

Hope those of you also on Spring Break are spending it somewhere warmer and if you're at home I hope you get out for some fun with family & friends!  Either way, it feels good to get a break from the normal routine right?

How are you spending your Spring Break this year?

If you aren't hitting a hot sunny beach, what do you enjoy doing (shopping, working on a project, night out with friends, etc.)?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Look at the New Kitchen Decor and Updated Before & Afters!

I finished adding in all the new little bits of decor so our kitchen update project is all wrapped up!  Well, I guess I should say wrapped up for now.  Who am I kidding, I know I'll continue to change up the decor from time to time :) but as of now this eclectic mix is feeling perfect with our new black and white color scheme!
It's a happy change from the traditional look we had going on before and I LOVE that we can add in any color when it comes to decor- that was pretty much impossible with all that red everywhere!

Here are all the updated before and after photos...
Kitchen paint color: Behr Wheat Bread & Martha Stewart Francesa (both from Home Depot)
Stove alcove paint color: Martha Stewart Francesa (Home Depot)
Nook paint color: Behr Wheat Bread (Home Depot)
I think our kitchen nook is my favorite part!  That space has been a pain in the buns to figure out since the day we moved in five years ago, I never thought I'd see it looking so nice!

We added in two Fintorp wall storage rails ($9.99 each) and coordinating hanging hooks ($2.99/ 5 pack) for storing some of our nicer pots, lids, and wood cutting boards.  I rounded out that wall by hanging our old window frame turned chalkboard vertically and placing our vintage black & white stool beside it.  We decided to keep our hutch/barmoire on the other wall (click here to see how I revamped that $40 hutch found at the Salvation Army!).  Now let's talk about the rugs...
Maybe you already noticed but I did indeed decide to layer two rugs in the nook... and after writing a post asking what ya'll thought of the layered rug idea I know that most of you probably hate it :) The truth is that I got the idea to do it when I was laying those rugs down separately trying to decide which one to go with.  Then when I had one laid over the other still comparing I suddenly realized that it looked right.  So that is what stuck!  I'm sure one day it will change anyway though but I have to say that the two rugs help to sop up all the water that dribbles out of Sadie's mouth after she has a drink from her water bowl :)
The other rug is the Hand-Knotted Kazak rug from that I ended up keeping.  I love how vibrant the color is and thought it brought some warmth into the color scheme.

Some of my other favorite new things are these metal Kalaset espresso mugs ($5.99 / 2 pack) and muted blue Dinera coffee mugs ($9.99 / 6 pack set) from Ikea.
I also found these Threshold salad plates on a random Target trip ($3.99 each) and had to have them!  The pattern on them had an organic handmade look and each one was a little different, love them!

Lastly, we added some wall art above the archway to the nook.  I wasn't totally sure what I wanted to add when it came to the pictures, I thought food related things seemed kind of cheesy- hmmmm, maybe I should have framed just pictures of cheese, I heart cheese :)  but I ended up deciding on a few old map type prints along with a couple photos from our last trip to Europe.  I thought the group we ended up had the right mix of color for the wall.

Well that's it... for now of course!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend everybody and let me know what you think of the kitchen!

What do you think of the new kitchen look?

Which new decor details do you like?

Do you think the two layered rugs look right or just wrong?!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kitchen Preview Photo!

I just finished up taking photos of our updated kitchen look!  Our black/white paint isn't the only new look in our kitchen now, can't wait to share it all!  I'm sifting through all the photos I took now for the full post, but here's a quick preview pic until then :)

More to come!  Hope you'll swing by again tomorrow for the rest!  

PS- Be sure to weigh in on my Layered Rug idea!  I made a decision before taking the photos so I'm starting to get a sense of whether everyone will like or hate what I did :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Layered Rugs- Stylish or Stop It?

My rugs arrived last week.  One ended up looking great in our kitchen but sadly the other did not, wa-wa :(  With the floor in our kitchen nook still looking bare and empty, I started sifting through some of the other accent rugs I had at home (I've accumulated a lot in the past 5 years) which lead me to a new idea...

What about layering a couple rugs?  I've been seeing a lot of layered rug looks on Pinterest lately and when done right, I think it is a chic look!
Images via Flickr | Honestly WTF | Sadie & Stella | Erika Brechtel | Uncovet 
The thing is, I'm just not sure if it's a look we can pull off or not?  I have a few good candidates for layering into the space....

I'm going to play with them a bit and see if a good look comes together but if it ends up looking like a hot mess I'll just scrap the idea :)

What do you think?

Do you think the layered rug look is stylish?


Should the layered rug look be stopped