Settling Into My Style

Recently, while reading a post at Young House Love, I had an epiphany.

My girl Sherry writes:
Even if it means doing things that might not have mass appeal – as long as something speaks strongly to us, we’re in. There’s actually freedom in letting go of the notion that your house should please everyone who walks in the door. It allows you be more true to yourself and your place starts to feel more special.
As I sat in my cubicle at work (or "cuticle" as one of my co-workers calls them) a smile of contentment came across my face and suddenly I mentally let go of all I was unconsciously clinging to when trying to make decorating decisions for my house.

The truth is, and I don't mean this as harshly as it will read, but...


Seriously, if you think about it, why should you care what others think of YOUR home? Sure, we all love for folks to gush over our creative ideas and fun designs, but usually the best homes come from folks who step outside the norm and create a place of warmth and style by just being themselves.

When I read Sherry's simple, yet kinda obvious thoughts, I decided right on the spot to quit caring what someone else might say or think when they visit my home. Everyone has different styles but that doesn't make one right or wrong or better or worse. It makes us DIFFERENT and UNIQUE and essentially MORE INTERESTING.

Since pretty much 100% of our friends live in other towns and states, I don't usually have anyone with which to share my decorating fun so the sharing generally trickles over to my mom. She is "Traditional Trish" with a capital T when it comes to home decor! She and I have completely different styles when it comes to decorating. She's all oriental rugs, solid mahogany furniture, beige/blue/cream color schemes, and totally a slave to the "you should haves" in your home (i.e. a formal living room AND a formal dining room AND a casual family room). I, on the other hand, am a bit more adventurous and tend towards the modern when it comes to furniture, accessories, and color. I can just as easily fall madly in love with the modern decor at IKEA as I could a beat up and creaky old piece of furniture with some history. I try to combine these things in my home as much as possible - like when the opportunity strikes and the right piece at the right price falls into my lap.

But while sharing with mom should be safe and fun, for me I end up disappointed a lot. I want my mom to enjoy my home as much as I do - to see if for what it is and appreciate the difference between us. I can appreciate her style even though I wouldn't necessarily replicate it in my own home. But I feel like she doesn't always appreciate mine. It kinda makes me sad. I can hear the doubt in her voice when I describe my latest paint project, or the new throw pillows I got, or the color scheme for the next room. It's a doubting sound that can only come from someone who clearly doesn't have the same style as me. I get that, I just with the doubt wasn't there. It makes me feel like my personal home style is wrong - and it's NOT!!! It's just different!

After my YHL epiphany though, I'm having so much more fun finding and shopping for things online and in discount stores or wherever I might be now that I "don't care." I feel incredibly free!

For instance, here are a smattering of things I found at Home Goods the other night that wouldn't be caught dead in my mom's house, but I found charming and interesting and wanted to bring them all home with me. Unfortunately, they were a bit too rich for my wallet and so they stayed behind at HG.

I simply love these fun chairs. I can totally see them as head chairs at a dining table as fun punctuation marks to an otherwise simple table. They've been in the store for a while now and at $120 a piece, I'm not quite ready to buy, but I'm thinking about it!

Then there's this fun little guy. They had lots of these. Some in white, some in black, some in red. The white was by far my favorite and I love that they are sitting on Lucite stands. They would be amazing bookends. For now, they still reside in the store, but I might go back and grab a pair!

Lastly, they had 3 of these gorgeous and fun carved wooden trees. This was by far the best one, but again, at $50 a piece it wasn't the right time or in the budget to bring one of these bad boys home. I was kind of smitten with them, though. Totally beautiful as mantel pieces. I can see one at each end of my mantel. These trees were so unique. They were about an inch thick and very sturdy. I just loved 'em!

The things that "speak strongly" to me are usually bright and colorful with personality. I'm not going to deny myself any more! WOO! While there are certainly parts of my house that I have decorated more traditionally, I always find that there's a piece that sneaks in that's more fun and loud.
Take our living room rug for instance:
We don't own those sofas anymore, but I love the mix of the modern sofas and rug with the classic mission-style coffee table and the classic bungalow physical features in this room. I swear that rug was made for our house.

Hopefully, I've made some sense here. I haven't been having all the fun decorating our amazing house as I wanted to when we first moved in. After realizing that caring so much about others opinions of my house were actually holding me back, I've dropped all that and am moving forward for ME. I hope that I can find happiness in the decorating journey ahead!


Please Don't Laugh & Ideas

So. Duvets. Again. I know, I'm completely addicted and obsessed. But a girl must be satisfied so here goes.

I put my lovely new West Elm Sketch duvet on our new bed a while back as a final solution to the mega Duvet Drama of 2011. I had all kinds of plans which involved keeping the red accent wall around the windows, painting the rest of the room the fabulous grey-blue that I've used in my kitchen, and using the old queen sketch duvet to fashion no-sew curtains. But all the motivation and excitement died and stagnated and the current state of our MBR has me feeling bleh.

One wall has 3 colors on it. Yes, THREE. One being the original color, 2 being the first new color, and the 3rd being a large sample spot of the grey-blue. However, the first new color is not painted all the way to the ceiling. We have 10 foot ceilings in our MBR and even on my tallest ladder, wearing clogs, and standing on a stack of books, I couldn't quite reach the top to paint the trim line (at least not neatly). So I just stopped and figured I'd get to it later when I had a better ladder solution. It hasn't happened yet.

I have 3 large and sloppy sample spots of the grey-blue. Two are over top of the unfinished first new paint job. One is in the corner over by the window so I could see it next to the red accent wall. All of the samples were placed based on different light and shadow areas in the room so I could get a good idea of how it would look in any light situation, day or night.

But again, because I know I can't reach the ceiling, I'm very unmotivated to start painting the room.

Until I got the duvet itch.

I decided it was sort of over the red accent wall. It's kind of dark and I think the lighting in our room isn't doing it any favors. (Thanks fan whose 4 lights only point straight down in one giant beam of light.) I have laid on my bed many a night looking around trying to figure out what it is I want to see when I'm in my bedroom. What is it I want to see when I come upstairs and round the corner of the staircase and see my bedroom in the distance.

I want cheer. I want happy. I want spunk and personality. And so I went on the hunt for yet another duvet. An unexpected, but tasteful duvet. A vibrant duvet with "Kelley" written all over it. And then I found this at Garnet Hill:

SHUT. UP. Yes, those are artichokes! And I'm dying over them!

I couldn't deny their whimsical charm and punchy fresh color!

Here's the greatest part. When I first found this duvet on GH, the king was $118 and each standard sham was $30. Then, yesterday as I went back to look at it and admire it, it was ON SALE! It was the "sale of the day" and the duvet was marked down to $88 and each sham was $22 each! SCORE. I quickly snatched them up!

It didn't really dawn on me what "sale of the day" meant until I went back again this morning to get the screen captures of the bedding and saw that they were back up to their original prices of $118 and $30. How freaking lucky was I to visit the page the ONE day they were on sale. I totally patted myself on the back, yo.

So part 2. I was flipping through some pics of our last house on my Mobile Me page and I came across these photos I took for the listing when we were trying to sell the house:

That's the color I want to paint our new room. It's bright, it's neutral, and it's actually a color rather than being plain ole beige. Beige works for me sometimes, but not this beige. It's a builder stock beige, it's flat paint and it feels like a chalkboard (nevermind all the dings and nicks and scratches it holds).

The color in the photos above came about when I decided to repaint our room from this...
...in the hopes that the lovely salmon color I selected would not scare off any potential buyers. By the time I got done repainting, I was in love. The room was bright and fresh and that's EXACTLY what I want for our current bedroom.

I think the yellow-ish walls paired with the artichoke duvet and some fun pillows like these beauties I found on Etsy (mostly from TheCottageCupboard).
The Cottage Cupboard

The Cottage Cupboard

The Cottage Cupboard


And some plain jane texture from Crate & Barrel.

So what do we think? Are we loving this? I am! I am loving the blues and bright blues right now! The Cottage Cupboard is my BFF as well. She makes curtains, too. Wonder if she'll make them to coordinate with all her other fabulous goods? Guess I have to buy something from her first.

But on the blue and greens note, today I bought some towels for my newly painted hall bath. I got them from Pottery Barn Kids because they were cheaper and came in fun colors. Right now the bathroom is all green with the yellow toile shower curtain. I purchased these with a surprise monogram detail on the bath towels that I will reveal when they arrive.

I got this color for the larger bath towels:
(and no, the monogram I selected will not look like it came straight out of an elementary school).

And I got this color for the hand towels
(which could not be monogrammed. Weird?)

I hope you all are currently dying while reading this because I'm so excited about my fresh and colorful house! I am loving my plans. The blues, yellows, and greens have really captured my soul during the year we've been in this house. The bungalow just screams for some whimsy and our fabulous green tiles around the fireplace and in the kitchen really lend themselves to some fun decorating decisions.

As always, stay tuned for lots of "after" pictures!


A Citrus Bathroom

I've had an annoyingly disgusting cold since last Friday, March 18 and I was at home three days last week. UGH. I'm still not much better, but at least am functioning and up off the couch/bed.

Over the weekend, I actually took some pictures of our hall bathroom. I've been slaving over this bad boy for a week! I completely repainted EVERYTHING in there. The walls, the wainscoting, and all the trim. It's been a lot of work (and I still have one small area of wainscoting to tape and finish), but it's been worth it. The bathroom feels so much cleaner just to have a slightly less white trim color that's shiny and clean. It makes it look brand new.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I started painting this bathroom using 2 colors of paint that were left over from painting the guest bedroom in our previous house. Both of these colors were flat paint and after I painted the first coats in the bathroom I realized I really need something with more sheen so I bought a quart each of 2 similar paint colors (they didn't have the colors I used previously) and finished the job.

Before I reveal, let's just recap. Here's what our bathroom looked like the day of the inspection. Cute, but not my personal taste in paint color.

And now for the reveal! I messed with the white balance on my camera for a bit until I captured the room in as true-to-life colors as I could get. Hopefully, it reads well on this blog post.

Wall color: New Avocado (Valspar, semi-gloss).
Wainscoting color: Crushed Cumin (Valspar, semi-gloss).
Trim color:
Homestead Resort Jefferson White (Valspar, semi-gloss).
Shower curtain: Pottery Barn.
Circle rugs: IKEA.

I actually mixed the quart of New Avocado with what was left of the original flat paint color. It helped cut down on some of the shininess and it made the paint supply greater. I went with semi-gloss paint since this is a bathroom and I didn't want steam streaks on the walls.


I still need to dress the room. I need curtains and towels and I want to relocate the towel bar and towel hooks and to hang pictures. I also want to liven up the shower curtain. Monogram? Grosgrain ribbon border?

And, don't be fooled by the cleanliness. This is what's to the right of the shot...


It's Been 11 Years...

....But we still manage to get together and yuck it up like we did in college!

Well, maybe it's not QUITE the same (or crass, curse word-laden, or sassy), but it's fun nonetheless and it's nice to involve our husbands, kids and dogs.

Saturday, Seth, Three and I drove to Dobson to Merry Alice and Brad's lovely house for a Salem girls get-together. This was the first gathering that would include all the kids. I think the last time we gathered with kids, everyone was just on their first off spring. Now, the majority have 3 each!

There was a total of 16 adults, 15 kids, 3 babies in utero, and one dog at the occasion. Thankfully, Merry Alice had a spacious home both inside and out!

Everyone brought food and a few of us plopped right down at the table and proceeded to eat our way through some catch-up conversation. The food is always delicious at our get-togethers and this time did not disappoint. YUM!

It was so good to see everyone. It amazes me that there are so many kids (I haven't contributed a single one!) just 11 years after we graduated. There are more kids than there are years between graduation and the present. The ladies have been busy! I can't believe how big and grown some of them are. All are precious and gorgeous just like their mommas!

Here are some pics from the day.
Some of the yummy food.

Katherine's evil delicious corn dip.

Ruffle pins for all the girls! Thanks Katherine!

My fur baby.

Three holds down the couch (against her will).

Westie exploring the play grounds.

Lisa and her littlest little one, Elizabeth Bennett.

Laura looking adorably preggo.

Here we are trying to convince children and dogs that they WANT THEIR PICTURE TAKEN.

John Barrett begging, "LET'S GO, MOMMA!"

Gena, also adorably preggo, peeking around Dave .

Miss Bennett

Bell showing off her tooth!

Bell taking her first slide.

This is the best I could manage to post of the group shot. I am seriously fat and gross.

Toile is TDF

Over the weekend, several projects on my to-do list got finished and/or started and as horrid as the photos below are, I'm excited to share these changes with you.

FINALLY bought something with my Pottery Barn gift card from Christmas that arrived and I didn't hate! As we've made changes to our living room during the past few months, I've ended up with colors I am just loving - and that surprised me! The green, yellow, and blue sound like a toddlers, room, but the hues of these colors have won my heart. They are more "harvesty" and not at all primary.

When I finally got another merchandise credit card from returning the last duvet from PB I ordered, I was glad I had waited so long because I had the perfect idea for the next PB purchase.

Here they are! Yellow toile curtains. Linen, blackout liner, perrrrfect.
The photo was taken TOWARD super-bright daylight and a window using my iPhone so sorry for the poor quality. I have taken more with my big-girl camera at night and those will be coming soon.

We had to move the sofa to the other side of the room to hang the drapes and with the move, we decided we liked the new arrangement and we're going to keep it for a bit. I didn't really want to cover up those gorgeous drapes with a big ole couch anyway!

Next up, the hall bathroom which is withing eye-shot of the living room. I ordered the matching yellow toile shower curtain to pull that great fabric to another room for a little repeat design. When I hung it, there was a tan & red rug in there at the sink. It looked none-to-good (could I use anymore hyphens today?) so as a temporary fix, I tossed in 2 spring green circle rugs I have from IKEA (shocked?), and I feel in LOVE with the yellow and green combo!

Funny how things work out. I had some leftover paints from painting a secondary bedroom at our previous house in our garage. You might remember this picture.
I pulled them out to do a couple of test spots and it was a perfect match. Ooooo, free paint project! you can see the green circle rugs in the pic, too. Soooo, now all of a sudden, my hall bathroom is well on its way to awesomeness! I love it's cuteness so much, but unfortunately, this is all I have to show you for now.
Again, kinda bad photo because I took it right next to and toward the light streaming in from the window. Just know that the darker color on the bottom of the first picture is above the chair rail in the bathroom, and the lighter color on the top of the first picture is painted between the slats of the wainscoting in the bathroom. It's SO GREAT. I can't even tell you, but I will show you just as soon as I'm done and can take pics.



Here's the lovely new addition to our family room.
Originally, I thought I was going to paint it. I assumed it was in bad shape, but when I got to check it out up close, it's really not. There is a spot on the top where clearly some sort of wetness messed up the finish, but nothing that doesn't add a little character.

The table is actually really nice. It's super heavy and loaded with intentional wear and tear marks. I'll be taking some details shots later, the pic above was snapped with my iPhone as I was headed up to bed last night.

Just wanted to share! It's a great size and the perfect proportion to the chair. It's just what that side of the room needed.


This Just In...

I snagged this great table for $70 from Shelton's this morning during my super-early lunch hour with the hubs. What do we think? Great find? Piece of crapola?
I happen to love it. I'm going to paint it and use it as a lovely side table to the wing chair in the family room. The legs. They are killing me. I love me some turned legs. I have a pair of antique candlesticks with the same turn detail so this piece caught my eye when I saw it on their web site.

We went over directly.

The guy tells me that some ladies asked him to buy that piece and that in turn they'd come buy it from him. But they haven't showed. So he said "Yer here and they're not." So I bought it.

Also, I've been eying this piece for a few weeks now, too:
They put a little price sticker on everything and then tell you everything with a price sticker on it is half price. It's glorious that little mind game. This baby is marked at $399, so it's really $199. And I love her. She's petite and is only about as tall as I am. And probably about as wide as me, too. That's good for the cabinet, bad for my booty. But I am without a spare $200 so I have to let her be.


Mellow Yellow

As you may remember back during the Duvet Drama 2011, my last purchase-then-return came from Pottery Barn. I returned that sucker maaaaany weeks ago after having made said purchase using a merchandise credit card from Pottery Barn. Over the weekend I FINALLY got my "money" back in the form of another merchandise credit card and was once again restocked with all $300 in Pottery Barn gift card moneygoodness.

It's worked out well to have waited since December 25th when I received the card, to actually USE it in a way I think will be splendid. Since Christmas, we've swapped our sofa, coffee table, and kitchen paint color. All of these things helped me decide on what to spend this $300 on since it's been burning a hole in my pocket since its receipt.

Originally, I had these drapes on my Christmas wish list and they were going to go in the living room:
They would've worked well with our old sofas, but now I'm glad I got the gift card over the drapes, because as luck would have it, here's what I ordered yesterday and I know they are going to be so much better:
Yes, they are the SAME drapes, just in yellow. Get oves.

Since the arrival of our new brown sectional, I have a distinct craving for yellow in the room. We already have some yellow throw pillows as well as other pillows with yellow in them. I think these drapes are going to be fab and really add a splash of color to the room. I'm excited to see them come.

Additionally, I found this table which I'm loving and oddly, I found it BEFORE I ordered these drapes. Now all I need is someone generous to give it to me for my upcoming March birthday.
Don't you want to eat it? It's so fun and whimsical. It's technically a small console table and I *might be able to use it as one, but also, it could be a great side table for our leather wing chair in the living room. I swear to post soon with pictures of our new living room furniture and layout. It would make it easier for you to picture the cuteness.

Moving along, and in keeping with tradition, I also ordered this to go in our downstairs/only/guest bath:
She's the shower curtain in the middle if you couldn't figure that out.

Our guest bath has a black vanity, white plate rail wainscoting, and the black and white mini tiles on the floor. I love combining black, yellow and white, and I though the proximity of our bath to our living room warranted the use of the same fabric in both places to tie the rooms together.

Actually, the colors in the shower curtain photo are pretty much all the colors in our downstairs living space with the addition of brown. I'm enjoying the color scheme I've sort of fallen into. It's springy and fun, yet somehow warm and cozy. I tend to decorate with extremely warm colors, but I'm loving my surroundings! I think most of it is grounded in the green and that's why it's working for me.

I painted our dining room a fun watermelon color last summer, but now I'm thinking of changing it. Not that I don't like it, but just to coordinate a bit more since the rooms are so open to each other. I'm either going to paint it the same delicious color of grey-blue I used in our kitchen or possibly yellow to pull those curtains into the dining room. Either way, I want to do a stencil treatment in that room. We also have the plate rail wainscoting in there, so it wouldn't be nearly the doosie of a job as a room with full-height wall surfaces to paint.

I'm thinking of using this stencil since it's so simple and classic:
We're on a budget this month so using items we already have (like paint) is key!

Stay tuned to be sure I follow through on my promise to post new living room pics :)