Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Family Room: The Plan

Holly and I have a solid plan in motion for the family room and dining room. We still have some smaller details to work out, mainly with accessories, but this will come when some of the larger pieces are here and in place.

Without further ado, here is a design board that Holly created, which shows an overall plan for the family and dining rooms:

I am calling the look Cottage Farmhouse, with a bit of french, vintage and antiques and industrial thrown into the mix.

Let's talk details of the family room today, and I'll leave the dining room for my next post.

Occasional chairs:

I never did like those 2 striped chairs I previously had in here (you can see my before pictures here). They will be replaced with these two, slipcovered chairs:

Slipcovers = Mom's best friend when you have 3 sticky fingered munchkins running around.

The wingback chair is currently at the upholsterer, getting a new slipcover, which will hopefully be exactly like this:

Art for the walls:

As seen in the above design board, a series of 4 of these birds will flank the armoire. The prints are not only quite large, which was needed to fill that big blank wall, but they also bring in some colour into our rather neutral space. I am a big lover of botanicals, nature, and animals, so Holly was spot on when she suggested these.

Side tables:

Here's where things get a bit more fun and eclectic. To keep the room from being too sweet, we chose some more industrial-esque inspired tables:


I am loving this table, which will go beside the wingback chair.

This table I wasn't sure about at first. It is much more contemporary/clean lined than I usually go for, but when I envisioned it in the space, paired with a fabulous lamp and accessories, I thought it would be a nice mix to the otherwise more cottagey styled pieces (just as Holly told me it would!)

Coffee table:

Out with the 'serious' dark stained table, and in with this:

I painted the table a mix of 3/4 old white and 1/4 duck egg blue, and lightly distressed and waxed it. I thought a long time about painting this table but was nervous to. It took Holly telling me to do it, for it to actually get done. I love it now, and would have ended up selling it if it wasn't painted.  I will show more detailed pictures when it is in place and the accessories are added. This is an early morning picture, so it is hard to get a true appreciation for the colour of it.

It will be topped with a large round basket/tray.


This large basket of hydrangeas is now adorning the top, and filling out the space rather nicely. I hunted high and low both online and in stores for a basket for here. Wouldn't you know it, this was sitting in my bedroom the entire time. While I liked it in the bedroom, I like it even more in here. I looooove dried hydrangeas, and the colours of these are so beautiful, and work perfectly in the room.

Fireside Bench:

This is one of my favorite pieces. I can't wait to see it in front of the fireplace!! I brings a bit of french flirtiness to the space.


I am loving this barley twist lamp which will live by the wingback chair. We still are working out the details on the table lamps.

Still to decide upon:

Rug: once the ordered items are in we will see how it works in the space and replace if need be.

Accessories and pillows will be decided upon once fabric samples and furniture arrive. Think ticking, grain sack, toile and maybe some floral or graphic designs to mix it up.

When I saw the design board that Holly Mathis did for me, I was so excited. It is me exactly. It doesn't look like a designer just came in and changed up the whole room which doesn't represent the family who lives there. She suggested things I wouldn't have thought of, and yet they will be perfect when mixed with the other treasures we have. She also made suggestions that I can't believe I didn't think of. Things that seem so obvious, yet I couldn't find the right pieces (for example, the art beside the armoire) and just didn't get the room put together. She was respectful of the items I already had, and wanted to keep, and made them work in the room.

I plan to do a whole post on working with a designer, but I will just say that this is the best money we spent on this room. She not only has created a space that we will love and enjoy for years, but she has saved us money on mistake purchases, and has sourced out products that I would have spent much more money on if I was buying them locally. You will see more evidence of this in my dining room plan. I can't recommend working with a designer, and more specifically, working with Holly, enough.

Up next: the Dining room. Ohhhh, it's a goodie!!

Linking my family room design plan to these parties:

I'd love for you to follow along with me on Instagram,  Pinterest, and Twitter.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Dining Room and Kitchen: Before

Last time I showed you the family room before the big renovation.

Today, I'd like to show you the dining room and kitchen.

All of these spaces are very open to each other, so flow from one room to the next is very important.

Dining Room: Before

The dining room isn't actually a room at all, but more of a space in a bay window. The room is difined by the coffered ceiling.  You can see from this picture that it is very open to the family room.

Although I just made those roman blinds, they will be changing. Also, the lighting, while ok, literally matches every other light on the entire main floor. This will also change.

The table is hopefully being sold today, and a new table is en route as I type this. What till you see the new one.....it is fabulous!

The antique buffet is staying put, and some of the art, otherwise it will be completely different.

This room is also very open to the kitchen:

Kitchen: Before

I am most excited about tearing out this kitchen. It was installed in 2008, and while this is awfully new to be replacing already, not only is the oak cupboards not my style, they are cheap and falling apart. We have repaired many of the drawers so they'll close, but because they are made of particle board, the screws just aren't holding.

I don't know how many people who have been in our home have told us that they don't think the kitchen fits the home.

There are some nice features, which may stay, but for the most part, this is a total renovation.

When I look at these pictures, it looks much nicer than in person.

This cabinet is in a nook by the breakfast table. There's is so much potential to do something fabulous in this space!

 We are currently interviewing cabinet makers, and Holly and I will be working on the kitchen design in the next 1-2 weeks. So happy!!

We pretty much have the family room and dining room plans in place, and I'll share those with you next. I am anxiously awaiting a big order of furniture, and have furniture off to be sold, slipcovered.... phew! very busy, but very fun!

Next up, I'll show you our plans for the family room and dining room!
 I'd love for you to follow along with me on Instagram,  Pinterest, and Twitter. I'll be posting regular pictures on Instagram and Twitter showing our progress!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Family Room Update: The Before

In case you missed it, I shared some exciting news in my last post:

We are completely ripping out our kitchen and redoing it, the dining room, and the family room. ...............SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Excited!

AND, to top off the excitement, Holly Mathis is the designer helping me out with this project. Better than Christmas Day, I tell ya!!!

We are starting this adventure off with the Family Room.


It's the catalyst for this whole project. It is a hodge podge of furniture, most of which I didn't even like in the first place, and it doesn't flow with the rest of the spaces. That is all going to change, and very soon.

I placed a rather large order for some oh so pretty things, which are due to arrive between now and May (yes, something was backordered until May, but it's worth the wait).

This is what we're starting with. Keep in mind that I didn't replace most of the accessories after Christmas as I knew I was starting this project right away. It's even more bare than it usually is.

The sofa:

Restoration hardware, English roll arm, slipcovered. We bought it when we moved into this house 1.5 years ago, and love it. We splurged on our sofa, and it was worth every penny. I bought the slipcovered version so I didn't have to worry about sticky fingered little ones. Thank Goodness I did.....lets just say, a recent incident with a raspberry had me thanking my lucky stars for that decision!

The occasional chairs:

These striped numbers were bought for our last home. I liked them there, but definitely don't like them here. Funny how that happens. They are a linen/cotton upholstery and are stained and are not that comfortable.

The wingback is a great shape, and was my Grandmother's. I see upholstery or slipcovers in its future!

The armoire:

This was our first purchase for this home. It is a large piece, but we love it. You can read more about it, and its interesting features here.

It hides our tv and stereo equipment, and I do like being able to close it off when we don't want to watch tv (which we rarely do).

I look forward to finally finding something for the top of it! I have searched for 1.5 years for the perfect accessories, but to no avail.

The tables:

This is my serious coffee table. It is dark, formal, not me at all.

I do like the shape of it, however, and it was an expensive, quality piece. We have some plans for this!

The side table beside the wingback chair (seen in the picture with the wingback) was a Kijiji find that was to be painted. It was just here for now since I needed somewhere to place my coffee.

The other two side tables are ok, but we'll see if they end up staying or not!

The carpet:

It is a nice, large, wool rug in soft neutrals. Will it work in our new scheme?

The mantel/fireplace:

Last year I finally styled the mantel, and still like it. You can read about it here. We do have some new ideas, however, if I ever want to change/brighten it up!


Hello? Art? I took down the few pictures I had in here, as the scale was not at all right for the wall. We have some great pieces coming!

Remember that this room is very open to the entire main section of the main floor. The flow between this room, the dining room and the kitchen is something that we are keeping in mind as we pick out the pieces for each room.

Up next:

The befores of the kitchen and dining rooms, and then onto the fun stuff: the plan!!

Can I just tell you how much fun I've had this past week, working with Holly and picking out some wonderful new pieces? It's been absolute pure heaven!

I'd love for you to follow along with me on Instagram,  Pinterest, and Twitter. I'll be posting regular pictures on Instagram and Twitter showing our progress!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Working with Holly Mathis

It all started in the family room: I've admitted defeat.

Do you have a room in your house where you find it so easy to decorate? Your furniture just seems to belong perfectly there, and you've created a room which is a cozy haven for you?

I have one or two of those in my home. My family room is NOT one of them. I've struggled with this open concept space since the first day we moved in.

I managed to get some great pieces for it (sofa, antique armoire), but the rest of the furniture, brought from our previous home, just didn't seem to fit. It was a hodge podge of furniture, few accessories, and not very welcoming.

For close to 2 years now, I've tried to 'fix' the issues I had in here. This is the first room you see upon entering the house. It's the room we spend most of our time in. I just didn't feel settled or comfortable in there and I didn't know how to go about changing that.  Frustrating.

Then a magical thing happened. I found Holly. I know many of you know her blog and work already, but it was only a few months ago that I discovered her. I instantly knew that I would love to work with her. I knew that her amazing talent could help me finish my room into a special space that we love to spend time in.

I booked her (and honestly hadn't even considered an e design before I found her), and we got started this past week.

Well, one thing led to another, and now we are working on A MAJOR KITCHEN RENO AS WELL AS THE DINING ROOM AND LIVING ROOM SPACES!!!

To say I'm excited, well, understatement.

I love a good before and after, but I love even more when you have the process explained and shown. I plan to do just that for you.

First up, I will show you my inspiration pictures which I showed Holly. These aren't meant to be replicated, but I love the overall feel and effect of these spaces.

Living room inspiration:

Dining Room:



All of these images {and so many more} are from my pinterest account.

We have made a few choices so far, and even a major purchase, but the best is yet to come! 

I will share it all with you as we go through the entire process. We'll soon be interviewing cabinet makers.


I hope you follow along as we truly create the home of our dreams!! Next up, some more inspiration, and the before pictures.

I'd love for you to follow along with me on Instagram,  Pinterest, and Twitter. I'll be posting regular pictures on Instagram and Twitter showing our progress!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Chalkboard Trend

I think I first saw a framed chalkboard being used in Miss Mustard Seed's dining room. I loved it immediately and in the back of my mind, set plans to find a great vintage frame and make one myself.

Fast forward a few years later, and you see chalkboards everywhere.

The lettering is becoming more of an art, and there is so much inspiration out there to create a beautiful design.

I recently made two boards. Both these frames are vintage/antique. I simply painted a board with chalkboard paint (which I found at Home Depot) and tacked it into the frame.

You've seen my Christmas inspired board in my newly made over mudroom. I've finally changed it out to this:

I love old frames, and this one is no exception!

I pretty much directly copied it from a board I saw on Pinterest. (You can check out all my chalkboard pins under my inspiration file here). I've also seen a ton of inspiration on blogs. There are some amazing chalkboard artists out there!

I free handed the lettering, and used a chalkboard wet erase marker. You need to be sure to 'prime' your board first, or else the marker with permanently leave a mark.

I've learned this the hard way when I painted a silver tray. I now have to repaint it with chalkboard paint if I'd like to change the monogram. Priming basically means lying chalk on its side and rubbing the entire board with chalk. I then took a cloth and rubbed it in to even out the chalk.

The other chalkboard is in a wonderful old, chipped up frame. It's not yet primed or ready to go. It will be in the newly re-vamped laundry room.

Here's a sneak peak:


I, for one, hope this is a trend to stay. Well, actually, I suppose it really doesn't matter, since even if this is one trend to fade, I'll be keeping my boards regardless!

Linking my chalkboards to these parties:

I'd love for you to follow along with me on Instagram,  Pinterest, and Twitter.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Junk Gift 2012

You may recall, that if we're lucky, we receive 'junk' gifts for Christmas. If you're new here, you can see what these junk gifts are all about, and check out the 2010 junk here, and 2011 junk here.

This year, both my husband and mom bought me junk, and I think this may be my best junk jackpot yet!

Here is what they found:

Junk 2012:

This is the 3rd bust to grace our home:

I think a collection may be starting. This sweet boy joins 2 other girls. Love him.

You have already seen this dog weathervane, which my husband bought for me. I adore it. It's perfect in our new mudroom.

My Mom found this fantastic dog figurine. I'm not sure what it's made of (iron? pewter? it looks like brass, but it's not). I am now itching to add some more dogs to my home.  I've been eyeing up some Hubley doorstops, but they are quite pricey. I'll keep my eye out for one that fits the budget.

I love old silver, and my Mom came through with this bundle of silver utensils. Most are silver plate, but a few are sterling. There is even a set of 6 matching forks, with a beautiful pattern on them. Adore.

I've collected these David Winter cottages for a while now, and my Mom found me 2 more this year.

This ruler was from my Mom, to my husband.  I have seen them on blogs here and there, and was excited that he let me put this one in our office. I made it a star shape for now.

See how fun Junk gifts can be?

Linking my Junk to these fun parties: