Monday, March 28, 2011

Decorating in the Stacks

What kind of librarian would I be if I didn't take the time to share some of the awesome ways your local library can help you create a beautiful home - on the cheap?!?! Here are three hints for ways the local library can save you some decorating dough.

1. Free magazines
This one is sort of a, "duh," but I thought I should share it anyway. If I'm not sure if I love a magazine, I like to check it out at the library for free, then decide if it's worth buying. My library also has a free magazine bin where patrons can donate old magazine and take home new (to them) magazines for free.

2. Library discard sales

I love to find sweet old books to use in little vignettes around the house. They rarely cost more than a dollar or two and are so much fun!

I also keep an eye out for books with fun illustrations or color plates. You can scan them or cut them out for framing.

3. Unusual books

Of course the craft and decorating books are great resources, but it's totally worth scanning the rest of the non-fiction section for out of the box ideas.

I was browsing the shelves the other day and picked up this little gem. I'm feeling a trip to the hardware store is in order so I can buy some nautical-looking rope and start tying some knots.

I think this would make a really cool wreath.

I have always want a monkey's fist door stopper, so I definitely need to try this.

I'd love to stitch a few of these together to make a unique table runner.

What's the best thing you've found at your library?


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Home sweet home plans

The big excitement around the roost this week are our newly finished house plans! Click on any of the images to see them larger.

The front

I am so in love with the porch and stone columns! I think the dormer adds a lot of charm.

Right side

The long, narrow window will be in a bathroom. You can see how much our lot will slope!

Left side

I think this deck is going to be awesome! I already have plans to put in a paving stone patio between the deck and the front porch.


Some of my favorite features: The corner fireplace, french doors with transom leading into the library, the doublesided closet perfect for coats, hide-and-seek, and trips to Narnia, and the lovely, open kitchen - with dishwasher!


Yay, for walk in closets, walk in showers (with rain head!) and lots of storage under the eaves and in the attic.

We are so, so excited to start on this project! We hope to meet with the bank next week to get everything set to go. If all goes well we may be able to break ground in mid-April!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Looking in the bright side

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably figured out that I go for soft, natural and muted colors with pops of red. I am super comfortable with this style of decorating, but I couldn’t help stepping out of my comfort zone and going for something a bit more bright and colorful for a little spring display.

I started with a stack of books with bright red, blue, and yellow bindings. Then, I topped the stack with an impromptu cloche assembled from a milk glass candle stick, a pretty salad plate, and a cheese dome.

I filled the cloche with two chalk eggs and a shredded paper nest. To finish things off, two bird votive holders provide a little whimsy from their book perch.

Simple. Easy. Done! Sometimes it’s fun to try a little something new!


Monday, March 14, 2011

old books and new flowers

Inspired by Pottery Barn’s stack of books,

I decided to give the look my own take by arranging a few stacks of twine tied books in my favorite basket. I added a little extra color by popping in a few fabric flowers for a touch of spring.

These flowers are super easy to make with a few fabric scraps, a couple of stitches and some beading or floral wire.

To make a flower, stack three fabric circles on top of one another.

Then, fold the stack in half and take s stich in the middle of the folded edge. Fold the flower in half the other way and take a few more stiches until you like the shape. I stuck a beading pin through the middle of the flower for a simple stem.

Normally, I have decorating ADD and like to change things up all the time, but I’m kind of digging the fact that this little arrangement will work nicely until the summer.

Maybe it’s the perfect blue/green of the basket, or the texture and smell of the old books, or it could even be the almost-but-not-quite neutral tone of the flowers … whatever it is, this simple little vignette is making me smile today!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Style Engine

Remember how much fun it was to take magazine quizzes when you were in high school? If you were like me, you spent hours with your best friend determining who was your celebrity crush, what kind of jeans fit your style, and how you could best change up your beauty routine. Sometimes I kind of wish my beloved decor magazine came with quizzes so I could relive the fun and learn something more useful than to avoid orange lipstick. Thankfully, we have this fun thing called the Internet, and it's has lots of home and decorating quizzes!

Today I found a new-to-me quiz from sproost called the Style Engine. You get to rate a series of living rooms as LOVE IT, LIKE IT, JUST OK, DON'T LIKE IT, or HATE IT. from your choices they determine your style. I have to say, these quizzes aren't always very accurate, but they pegged me pretty well...

These are two of the inspiration pics they gave me:

I love pretty much everything here except for the rug. The sofa and windows are my favorite parts.

This next picture is even more my style.

Yeah. Bead board? Love it! Coffee table? Love it! Sofa? Love it! Transom? Love it!

Take the quiz and let me know what style it gave you. We can have a little blog slumber-party-style gab session!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Living room game plan

As promised, here are some pics of where my racket press frame landed!

As I was deciding where to place the frame, I realized how many other game or sports inspired items I had tucked away. Since I like all things whimsical and fun for spring, I decided to go for a vintage game theme in the living room and make little vignettes with all my treasures.

My new frame, a bowling pin, and a whirly toy look right at home on this bookshelf.

A wire basket full of vintage croquette balls add a splash of color to a nearby shelf.

On the coffee table an old silverware sorter holds letter dice, dominoes, pick up sticks, and the classic ball in a cup.

I nestled the box in a blue tray to add a bit of color and interest. Even the sofa pillows are getting into the act with their vintage bicycle prints!

I'm really loving the cheerful and not too serious vibe of this new decor!

I guess spring brings out the kid in me!

What do you think? Am I silly to decorate with game pieces?

More about the bookshelf makeover here and here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

pressed for a frame

A few years ago I spotted a cool idea for making a frame out of a racket press, like this one:

I loved the idea, so I went on the hunt for my own racket. I found this one at a Goodwill for a buck. It actually came with a badminton racket which I promptly donated back to the store.

To make the frame, you'll need to gather a few additional supplies: foam board, scrapbook paper, craft knife, hole punch, and a glue stick.

Use a craft knife to cut the foam board the same size as the racket press. And yes, that is my duvet in the background. I often craft in bed while watching vintage episodes of SNL on netflix. What?

Cut two pieces of scrapbook paper the same size as your foam board. Cut a hole for the photo in the foam board and in one sheet of the scrapbook paper.

Line the photo up with the hole and glue to the uncut scrapbook paper. Next, glue the foam board on top of the paper, and glue the second sheet of scrapbook paper on top of the foam board.

Finally, punch holes ( I used an eyelet setter)  in the corners of the foam board sandwich, and screw the sandwich into the racket press.

Ta-Da! This is such a cheap and easy peasy way to add some whimsical decor to your home!

Check back tomorrow to see where my new frame landed, and take a peek at my spring-i-fied living room.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Orange you glad spring is here?

OK, so spring isn't "officially" here, but as soon as February ends I go into crazy spring decorate/clean/buy new clothes mode. I've been wanting to bring some new colors into the kitchen, and a weekend trip to Ikea provided just the spring pick-me-up I needed to freshen things up for a new season.

For $2.99 I picked up this great table runner with red, pink, orange, and gray stripes. It was just the thing to help tie some orange and pink in with the red that already dominates the kitchen.

I already had a huge carton of tangerines from Trader Joe's, so I used them to fill a big glass canister. I also stuck in a few leaves for a pop of green.

I shopped the house to decorate this little nook. A few pieces of milk glass, some silk flowers, and a little fresh greenery, made things all nice and perky.

At Ikea, I ignored my black thumb and picked up two pretty succulents to brighten up the buffet.

Plopped in fresh white pots, they make me a little giddy with spring fever!

What makes you feel all spring-y?

P.S. our house plans are almost done! I can't wait to share them with you!