Thursday, October 23, 2014

Easy Halloween Picture Banner

I've always loved displaying pictures of my kids during the holidays as part of my decorating.  So many fun memories are made each year!  I love to have them out for our family to look at often.

In my previous house I made this aqua frame for my family room so that I could easily switch out seasonal pictures.

But the frame wasn't working in our new family room so I decided to just hang the pictures across my fireplace mantel.

It turned out cute and was SO easy to do.  It took a whole 15 minutes and my kids love it!  I already had a lot of these past Halloween pictures so I just developed a few more recent pics to add to the banner.  (All of the pics are 5x7)

 I used thick burlap from the craft store and just folded it in half.  

 I moved a picture so you can see what the burlap looks like underneath.  

I was trying to figure out how to attach it without damaging my mantel or the paint so I wrapped the burlap up on each end of the mantel...

and then just pulled each end underneath the lanterns (the right end was much longer than the other to reach the opposite side).  I did this at first just to see if the burlap would work and how it would look, but it held everything so well I just left it like this.  No need to come up with a fancy attachment and make things harder than they need to be!  Especially for something seasonal that I will take back down soon.

 Then I just used clothespins to attach the pictures.  

*sidenote:  I did a little happy dance when I went to find my clothespins!  No searching because they were organized so nicely with all of my school/craft supplies in a labeled bin in my office.

Made me want to ditch the mantel decorating and start organizing another office cupboard!  But that's my problem.  I start too many things and then don't finish anything.  So on that note -- back to the topic at hand.  :)

 The clothespins and burlap worked great.  Like I said, so easy.  

My kids love the banner and having our favorite Halloween books out.  Makes it really feel like October.  They come over to this spot every day to look at the pictures and read a book or two.  I especially love walking in the room and seeing one of my girls reading to Kole.  So sweet.  

Looking back at these pictures makes me realize once again how quickly my kids are growing up.  It's a good reminder to me to slow down and enjoy this fun time of year with them.

Happy October friends.  


Monday, October 20, 2014

Our new staircase

This weekend as I was putting away the kids' new Halloween costumes (they've been running around in them all week so excited for Halloween) I suddenly flashed back to this week last October.  Around this time one year ago we moved into our new house.  I truly can't believe we have been in the house a year!  I still feel like we just moved in.  I use that excuse all the time when people come over to explain away the state of my home.  Ignore the mess and the empty rooms!  We just moved in.  A year ago!  Ha!  Might have to come up with a new excuse.  :)  I decided in honor of our one year house anniversary I should finally show you our stairs!  (If interested you can see the beginning stages of these stairs here.)

I don't know why I have such a fascination with stairs but I do.  I had almost every detail of this staircase already designed in my head before we even met our architect (Coastal/Craftsman with a modern twist!).  First of all - that runner!  Chosen by some of you!  I love it.  So thank you to all of you who voiced your opinion in this trendy vs. safe post and helped me make this decision.  I'm so glad I listened to all of you!  (And to my husband who likes to remind me that he chose that runner too - I just didn't really listen to him until all of you agreed.)  :)  I love this view of the stair runner because it ties in so nicely with the mudroom baskets you can see down the hall.  Not really planned but I'll take it!

I wanted to do something unique that I hadn't seen before so we came up with this fun detail on the side of the stairs.  I worried that it might be too busy, but everything else is so clean and simple that I think it works.  I'm excited to dress these stairs up for the holidays!  

Simple inset panels that match the molding throughout the house.  My favorite look.  :)

This is a view of the hallway with the formal dining room on the left.  

 You come to the stairs  quickly after entering the house through the garage.  Mudroom, laundry room, and powder bathroom are on the left.

Then my office (dutch door you can see on the right).  The main living areas (kitchen and family room) are across from the stairs.  

I decided to stain the top of the molding to match the treads and railing.  

Sorry.  Just realizing now I took way too many pictures of the stairs.  

One of every view from every angle apparently.  

Obviously they take me to a happy place.  Mostly happy that they are actually finished and we can enjoy them.  When you're building it feels like you'll never reach that point!  

I loved this modern light fixture and knew early on that I wanted to use it somewhere in the house so I was thrilled when I realized it fit perfectly over our stair landing.

I think it works with all of the clean lines in the molding.  And I love how pretty it is at night!  It really lights up the staircase. 

It also ties in nicely with the black and white striped rug in the upstairs laundry room.  The only thing in the upstairs laundry room!  Other than hampers full of dirty clothes of course.

I'm planning on bringing more black in the upstairs hallway at some point next year when I get around to finishing the upstairs.  I've made a lot of progress in the girls' rooms!  But at the rate I'm going I'll have pictures ready to share with all of you around 2016.  

You'll have to cut me some slack because after all, 

we did just move in.  


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fiddle Leaf Fig Fail

Fiddle Leaf Fig trees.  They have been all the rage in design for a while now.  

Popping up on blogs and in home decor magazines right and left. 

They seem to look amazing and just 'work' in any style of room.

Adding personality.. 

and life to every space they fill.  

I am a fan.  

So a few weeks ago when I was at Home Depot picking up some plants for my kitchen and happened to stumble upon this beauty it was love at first sight.  Such a gorgeous plant!  So healthy and green and just ... cool.  I paused for only a minute - unsure if I could actually keep it alive - but once I was told Home Depot has a one year warranty/return policy on all plants I knew we were in business.  This beauty was coming home with me.  

I raced home so excited about my new plant.  I set it in the only basket I could find knowing I'd have to figure out a better pot/basket for my plant later.  I placed it in the family room corner I had planned for it, stepped back, and waited to hear angels sing!  

But the angels didn't sing.  

Instead they just sort of squawked.  My fiddle leaf was way too big for the space covering half of my bookshelf.  I moved it around in the corner and just couldn't make it work.  No matter how I placed it, it just didn't look right.

 So I tried it on the other side of the room behind the chair.

Which looked AWFUL.  

Angels had left the building at this point.  

Then my husband walked in and said "what's with the ugly 80's plant!?"  

WHAT!?  That isn't just a plant!  I told him.  It's THE Fiddle Leaf Fig!  And they are all the rage.  

Just apparently not in our house.  

I moved the plant to a few different rooms and still wasn't feeling it.  

The magic was lost and I could tell it wasn't meant to be.

 So I took it back to Home Depot.

 And bought another $2.00 fern for the kitchen.  

They might not be popping up right and left in the design world, but they suit me just fine.  

Plus the angels (and my husband) seem to agree.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Modern Decor (my sister's house)

I'm back!  Still haven't unpacked.  Does anyone else struggle with this?  I tend to not unpack very quickly after a trip.  I keep living out of my suitcase until days later.. holding on to the vacation not wanting it to end. Apparently blogging trumps laundry AND unpacking.  :)

Sharing a few pics of my sister's beautiful home today!  Thought I'd start with her gorgeous back yard...

I love this yard.  So many beautiful trees!  And large enough for kids to run around and play.  

On one side she has a sand pile covered by trees and vines that make it shady in the summer.  Our little boys spent hours here last weekend.   

She gathered some branches from her yard and put them in this owl for simple Halloween decor on her back porch.  Her kids made and hung the bats.  

Car has always loved more of a modern style.  She and her husband have completely renovated this house.  I wish I had before pictures!  They have done such an amazing job.  I love visiting and checking out their latest project/addition.

I wanted to get more of the center of this room but all you could see out of her big beautiful window was our huge 15 passenger van.  Ha!  :)

Isn't it all so stylish!?   I didn't have time to get all of the pictures I wanted to so I'm just sharing a few shots I quickly took before I walked out the door.

This is part of her kids' playroom.  Isn't the wallpaper fun!?  

They recently re-did their kitchen and are working on their master bedroom - plus her kids' rooms are  adorable!  I wish I would have had time to take more pictures.  We were too busy laughing and eating.  ;)  I'll have to take more next time I'm there.  She does such a beautiful job decorating everything and even though her style is a bit more modern than mine, I go into her house and just LOVE it all.  

Thanks for letting us take a peek inside your beautiful home Car!  
Love it and love you.