Weekly Favorite Finds

Did you see the big reveal this week? If not, check out my finished craft room, because I think it’s pretty awesome. With that in mind, I wanted to share three items from that space.

Can you have too many lanterns? I don’t think so! I probably have one for each room in our house, because they are so awesome. The Malta collection at Pottery Barn is perfect for seasonal decorating, adding coastal flair, or creating a unique display. I really don’t know how to best describe my love for lanterns. They really are the perfect accessory. You can do so many different things with them, and I think part of my love for them is due to their versatility. If you all are interested, I’ll create a tutorial on how to decorate with lanterns this fall/holiday season.

When I was designing my craft room, I knew I wanted one of these bungee chairs. They are pleasing to the eye, affordable, and really comfortable. I started out with one in my office and decided to get another one. They also roll really well on my tile floor. Container Store has several color options for your space. Ryan actually just got a red one without arms for his office. Simply, it’s a great chair.

I’m not sure how my love for Dash & Albert rugs started. I must have seen one in a magazine or something. I remember looking at a collection of them while in Napa many years ago in this little décor boutique. I received my first one as a Christmas gift from one of my sisters. Yes, I ask for rugs for Christmas. Rugs aren’t even the weirdest thing I ask for…tile probably is. Anyway, there are many design and color options available to fit your space. I don’t have a local retailer that stocks them, but you might have one near you. My favorite design must be the herringbone, because I keep purchasing that particular one. I’ve got a striped one in my spare room too. My dad actually gave me that one. These rugs are also easy to vacuum and spot clean. I’ll be honest though, my cats have not tested these rugs. I keep these away from them, because I don’t even want to deal with it. Some items I just want to enjoy without the approval of my cats.

As always, you can visit the retailers of these products or order online. I’m taking a break next week, but I’ll be back soon enough. I’ll have a new travel post, so stay tuned.

Craft Room Reveal

I could see the potential the moment we walked into our home. My vision included finishing the existing spaces downstairs and increasing our square footage. We’ve now done both! What is now my craft room, started as a dark and uninviting space. We originally thought we’d use the space for Ryan’s den, but it wasn’t big enough. It was narrow and rectangular, which didn’t make for comfortable movie watching. I couldn’t find a ‘before’ photo, but here’s a work in progress one. The ceiling was gross, and we had to completely remove it. The original carpet also gave me a rash, because it was filthy. Hopefully, I’ve painted a pretty ugly image in your mind.

Craft before

The upstairs took priority the first few years, and we didn’t start working on the spaces downstairs until two years ago. Once I decided to turn this space into a craft room, it was full steam ahead. The room required demo, skimming, installation of a new ceiling, paint, installation of flooring, cabinetry, and more. This was such a fun room to design, and I’m so excited to share it with you!

IMG_3528IMG_3508

I wanted a station for my sewing machines and one for my computer. I needed plenty of storage for fabrics, quilting tools, and miscellaneous craft supplies. In planning for this space, I knew I wanted to display my collection of Demdaco angels too. In addition to all of those requests, I also wanted another space that I could convert into ‘Holiday Lane’ during the holiday season. This space was going to be mine, and it had to be perfect.

I’m so glad I added the faux shiplap accent wall and the floating shelves. This space is bright and perfect for creating. I feel inspired as soon as I walk into the room. Here’s a closer look at everything, including my art wall.

IMG_3510IMG_3519

There’s a touch of coastal in this space, which makes me even happier. If I could have only figured out a way to install a window with a beachfront view. Since we live in the woods, that would have truly been something.

I’m so glad that I can check one more space off our list. We both are really proud of how it came together. We spent many long evenings and weekends bringing this space to life. I hope the transformation inspires you to create a space you love. A special thanks to my husband!

Benjamin Moore White Dove on Walls | Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray on Ceiling| Armstrong Ceiling Grid Covers Available at Lowes | Elfa Craft Center at Container Store | Artwork from Mike Carroll Gallery & Cost Gallery | Dash & Albert Herringbone Ocean Woven Cotton Rug | Magnolia Home Scallop Bin Table | Container Store Bungee Office Chair |Dapple Gray Tile Available at Home Depot

Weekly Favorite Finds

I thought I would share a couple of my favorite pieces from my own closet. These items are also great for traveling.

I love comfortable yet cute shoes, which is why I own several pairs of Keds. I can wear them with jeans, shorts, or even a casual dress. They also don’t hurt my feet after a day of running around. These shoes are super easy to clean, and all you need is a magic eraser.

The linen shorts from Tommy Bahama are very comfortable. These shorts are also a comfortable length for those of us that don’t prefer shorts. With the humidity and heat in Georgia, these are a summer staple. I have found that just about everything from Tommy Bahama travels well.

I love a great vest no matter the time of year. Although I do not own the one in the photo, I own a similar one in black. These quality vests from Johnston & Murphy fit really well. They are a bit more expensive; however, they do go on sale from time to time. I love to pair mine with jeans, a top, and boots.

You can purchase any of these great products by visiting the appropriate company website. Be sure to check out my post from Monday regarding travel and packing. I hope you all have a great week!

Travel: Prep & Packing

Ryan and I will be going on vacation this month, and we can’t wait to get away. We both are much happier when we take the time to totally disconnect from our usual life. In the spirit of vacation, I thought I’d share some travel tips.

We plan our vacation destinations years in advance, and we focus on the details of each about twelve months before we actually go. For example, we already know we are going to Hawaii in October of 2018. So we will start planning that trip in October or November of this year. We probably take planning to the next level, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ryan and I actually create an excel spreadsheet for each trip. A spreadsheet typically includes: meals, activities, estimated costs, apparel, lodging, and transportation. By doing this, we maximize our time and avoid a debate about where to eat. I’ve included a spreadsheet from a few years back as an example.

Travel Plan

By creating this spreadsheet, we also have an idea of how much to save for the trip. Some of you may be thinking this is crazy, and I’ve heard it before. I promise you this makes a world of difference. We do allow for flexibility though, because one night we may not be in the mood for pizza. We can always change it, and we can access the spreadsheet anytime with our Dropbox app.

We both are now pretty OCD about packing as well. I used to bring way too much stuff, but I’ve learned that I don’t really need much depending on the destination. We typically each bring a backpack and one larger bag that we share. Here are ten tips I hope help you the next time you travel.

  1. Each person should have a backpack that includes their identification, boarding pass, Ziploc bag of liquids, forms of entertainment, phone, and at least one outfit. The outfit is a lifesaver if your luggage is lost or delayed. If you bring a purse, throw it in the backpack.
  2. Pack a collapsible bag for souvenirs. We have this one from Tommy Bahama, and it works perfectly. By thinking ahead, you save yourself a headache later. TB bag
  3. Roll your clothes instead of folding them. I won’t roll a bulky sweater or jacket.
  4. I started using packing cubes this year, and I swear by them. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. I use the smallest one for undergarments and tanks. I use the medium size for my shirts. Since I have a set of three, I use the larger size for bottoms and dresses. You can get these on Amazon or at Container Store. travel
  5. Bring an extra pair of socks and underwear.
  6. Pack a large Ziploc bag for swimsuits.
  7. Weigh your bag before you leave the house to ensure you won’t have a problem at the airport.
  8. Ladies, I recommend using a toiletry bag that hangs on a door. You can purchase one just about anywhere, but I have a Vera Bradley one that I’ve been using for years. I also keep mine stocked with the basics, which makes packing easier and faster.
  9. You can purchase travel size straighteners and curlers. I typically skip the blow dryer.
  10. Print out a checklist of some sort to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, and we recommend packing a few days prior to leaving.

 

I typically start filling our bag with my packing cubes. I then add smaller items (heating tools, hats, etc.) along the sides or in-between so that I don’t waste space. I place anything bulky on the top of my cubes, and I finish it off with shoes. I put the shoes in with bottoms facing up, because I don’t want those germs on my stuff. Any other items will be packed in the compartments of our luggage, like the side and front pockets.

So that’s how we get ready for a trip. Do you have a packing tip of your own? Share it below. Check back next Monday, because I’ll be revealing another room. Happy travels!

Weekly Favorite Finds

If you follow my blog or know me personally, you know that I love Hawaii. It is truly my happy place. The islands are where I feel centered and free from ‘busy’. We’ve been planning our next trip, and I’m beyond ready for a vacation. With that in mind, I thought I’d share three of my favorite pieces from my travels.

Let’s start with the beautiful painting of Isabella. I commissioned my dear friend Mike Carroll to bring Isabella to life for me again. This painting is hanging by our bed, where Bella typically spent her time. She used to sleep right by my head, and I miss that ball of fluff by me. This painting captures her so beautifully, and it is the first thing I see in the morning. Mike did an incredible job as always. I actually have several pieces in our home from his gallery that I’ll feature at a later date. If you get the opportunity to visit Lanai, I encourage you to visit his gallery. You can also check out his pieces by going to http://www.mikecarrollgallery.com or liking his Facebook page.

When we were in Maui last, I had hoped to find someone to carve another whale for me. I have a smaller whale, but I wanted a statement piece for our home. I couldn’t find a single person selling their carvings until the very last day. I came across a gentleman from Tonga, and he was actually carving on the lawn by the beach. He had this beautiful whale on a table, but someone had already purchased it. He offered to make me my own and ship it to our house. I was so thrilled when it arrived. This man has an amazing gift.

I’m always looking for beautiful pieces of art that capture the essence of Hawaii. When I saw this beautiful turtle, I knew I had to have it for our laundry room. This item, along with others, are made by hand. The colors and detail are beyond words. I honestly can’t remember the artist’s name, but I’m going to see if I can look it up. If I find it, I’ll let you all know. There are so many ways to see, enjoy, and purchase art on Maui. If you love art like I do, I can’t encourage you enough to visit Maui.

I hope these pieces inspire you like they inspire me. Part of creating a beautiful life is collecting beautiful pieces to enjoy.

 

Elfa Keeps It Organized

As a child, I frequently rearranged the kitchen cabinets and linen closets in our homes. I always told my mother that I would have cabinets that were organized, labeled, and always kept clean. She told me to wait until I was an adult and then report back.

I can happily report to you that most of our home is very organized. Lack of organization simply stresses me out. For that reason, I love The Container Store. One of my favorite collections is Elfa. I have incorporated Elfa into nearly every room in our home. It’s affordable, pretty to look at, and there are so many organizational options. I’ve included some photos below.

IMG_3490

Wrapping Storage in Guest Room

I love wrapping paper…like really love it! I probably have over a hundred rolls, and I love having some of that within reach. I can store tape, scissors, ribbon, and more on this one system. Easy and quick wrapping makes life simpler.

IMG_3491

Accessory Storage

IMG_3495

This over the door option is perfect for hats, scarves, and bags. It keeps everything in sight and organized. I can also rearrange it to accommodate future items.

IMG_3497

Craft Room Storage

 

One of my favorite Elfa systems is in my craft room. Not only does it allow for organized fabric, but I can also display some of my favorite things. I love that I can see and get to everything easily. No more losing tools or leaving items on the counter.

IMG_3505

Shelves

We wanted to display some of Ryan’s collection in his den, so we thought this would be the perfect solution. It was affordable, and I can adjust it whenever I need to. These Elfa solutions are very easy to put together, and they are constantly introducing new items.

If you look at my post regarding our master closet renovation, you’ll see Elfa in there too. It has made all of the difference in that once small and cramped closet. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to clean and live life when everything is organized. Do you have a favorite item or collection at The Container Store? Do you like it organized or messy? Share your thoughts below.

 

Weekly Favorite Finds

Since I am just worn out this week and ready for a nap, I thought I’d share some of my bedding favorites. There’s nothing like crawling into your bed after a long day.

I swear by duvet covers, and I purchase all of mine from Pottery Barn. I like their selection of comfortable, beautiful, and washable covers. Comforters are typically bulky and take up more space. I change out our bedding seasonally, so storage is an important consideration. I wash, fold, and store the covers neatly in a tote under the bed. The cover in the photo is actually one of the covers I have in our bedroom. Aside from storage, these are really easy to keep clean and put on the bed. Side note, I purchase my duvet inserts from Target.

I love pillows, so I thought I’d share a favorite cover and the inserts that I purchase. The Textured Linen Cover just about goes with everything. I like that the closure is a button too, because zippers just annoy me at times. Most of our pillows, even the ones I make, have a feather-down insert from Crate & Barrel. These fluff really well, but you can flatten them for easy storage. I know, I’m always thinking about storage. I’m also probably the only person that ‘collects’ bedding and pillows. You just never know what you’ll need if you decide to mix it up. The inserts are also really affordable and go on sale from time to time.

Visit the online sites of Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel to purchase these great products. Remember to check back every week for new additions!

 

Ryan’s Den: Update

Ryan has been wanting his own space forever, and it’s finally taking shape. This room captures his love for Snoopy and all things Peanuts. I’m so excited to share our progress with you, and I hope it inspires you to make your home a place you love.

If you don’t remember, this is what this space looked like in March after we started construction. This space used to be our unfinished garage before we had the window and walls added.

Den 2

Many weekends later, we now have a really fun room that we can enjoy. Take a look.

IMG_3465

More pictures of the space & décor thus far.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We still have quite a bit of work left to do in this space including: trim, painting, finishing the ceiling with grid covers, hiding television wires, and replacing the door to the exterior. We also have custom furniture coming and a couple of art pieces left to get. I’m hoping for a final reveal in September, so stay tuned.

Weekly Favorite Finds

It was another busy week at our house. I’ll have photos of the den to share with you very soon. I’m just waiting on some artwork that is being framed for the space. In the meantime, here are a few more of my favorites.

I thought I’d focus on furniture this week. Furniture should be durable, comfortable, and livable. I don’t have a use for delicate furniture in our house, because life can be messy. That’s especially the case if you have pets or children.

The Cottage Retreat Collection makes me feel like I’m staying in a bungalow on the beach . It was perfect for our spare room. The collection also emulates the coastal feel we were going for in our home. Our cats climb all over this furniture, and it still looks brand new.

Ryan and I have gone through many sofas, because our cats think they are scratching posts. A few years ago, I was determined to find a solution. The Ektorp Collection features a variety of slipcovers, which is ideal for our home. Once the cats destroy a slipcover, I purchase a new one. I then use the fabric of the used slipcover to make other items in our home. The slipcovers are also very easy to clean.  Not only can I have a decent looking sofa now, but the sofa is actually really comfortable.

We purchased the farmhouse inspired table for our dining room last year. It was affordable and very pretty. It’s also the perfect size for our space and coordinates with our hardwood flooring. It comes in two different sizes and finishes.

Visit the online sites of Havertys, Ikea, and Magnolia Home Furniture to purchase these great products. Remember to check back every week for new additions!

Weekly Favorite Finds

I thought I’d share some of my favorite products with you, so that you too can have a new favorite at home.

I chose these three products because of their durability and beauty. If I’m going to buy something for our home, it needs to serve a purpose and last for years to come . All three have exceeded my expectations.

The chairs are probably my favorite, because they’re classic and my cats can’t destroy them. Don’t tell my babies I said that. We purchased the chairs on sale over a year ago, and I wish I had made the switch sooner. Easy to clean and look amazing.

The cart is a new addition. I haven’t finished stylizing this beauty, but I can tell you the cats think it’s for them. The wheels glide nicely over our floors, and it was super easy to put together.

If you want to add storage that is pretty and casual, these baskets are perfect. I have them in several rooms, and they are quality. I just dust them from time to time as far as cleaning goes. I store books, shirts, papers, and more.

Visit the online sites of Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, and Lands End to purchase these great products. Happy shopping!

 

Remember to check back weekly for new editions.