Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bedroom Decor Ideas: Guest Post from Yorkshire Linen

Since we're in the business of home updates around here, I thought it would be a great time to share a lovely reader post!  Today, I'm happy to share a post with you from Kathy Joe.  Kathy Joe blogs over at Yorkshire Linen and comes to us all the way from the UK.  Kathy Joe writes about all kinds of decor and DIY ideas and today she is sharing tips to update your bedroom to create a pretty, cozy, and unique space!

Hi my name is Kathy Joe and I have a never ending passion for home decor. It gives me an outlet to explore my creativity and polish my instincts. I am so happy to be guest posting here. You can say hello to me here.

8 Ways to Achieve a Pretty Bedroom - with curtains and more
What most of us look for in a bedroom is a place to sleep, somewhere to be private and alone and a place to keep the things that we do not want to have on general display elsewhere in the home. It is an added bonus if our private sanctuary can be an attractive and welcoming place too. Bedroom curtains are very important as they provide not only privacy and security, but they add a great opportunity to enhance and extend the décor scheme too. Here is how to make the best of your bedroom so that you have somewhere relaxing and attractive all to yourself at the end of the working day!

Colour Pops
Bursts and spurts of unexpected colour and colours in unusual combinations can create a wonderfully welcoming effect, especially if it is carried through in the bedding, curtains and all the bedroom accessories. This type of colour scheme can save the bedroom from becoming too bland and neutral and provides layers of depth to décor.

Patterns and designs
Do not be scared to introduce swirls and repetitive patterns to your bedroom – but do take care not to overdo it! A little patterning can go a very long way, and the smaller your bedroom is the less busy the pattern should be. However, even a small amount of vivacious design can provide a tremendous boost to a bedroom theme and colour scheme. Patterned curtains are an excellent décor tool as they can transform the room with the simple act of being opened or closed!

Bold Stripe
Stripes are a fabulous way to give your bedroom an injection of colour and liveliness! If you want to make a statement in your room, opt for wide stripes in strongly contrasting, yet harmonious colour to infuse the room with a pretty layering of colour and depth. Curtains can be vertically striped to add height to the room, while horizontal bands stretch out the internal dimensions of the room beautifully. For bold choices of curtains, I strongly recommend Yorkshire Linen Co.

Go for Glamour
Make your bedroom ooze with gorgeous glamour by using sensual fabrics and textures throughout the space. Rich velvet or softly billowing silk curtains help to create your very own private cocoon in which anything can happen.

Strong Contrasts
Make a strikingly attractive room with strong contrasting colours in spacious blocks. Care must be taken not to let this colour scheme get overrun with fussiness – it needs to be calm not busy, so keep patterns to an absolute minimum (and preferably banish them altogether!) This décor style is great for people who abhor fussiness, curls and frills, but want an attractive and appealing décor theme for their bedroom.

Pretty Natural
Most of us love nature – the sweet singing of the birds, the sight of little lambs and calves frolicking in the fields in spring, and the lush tranquil greenery of the countryside gives us a sense of well-being and peace. Bring this feeling home by filling your bedroom with the pleasant sights of the countryside and enhance it further will natural air fresheners and fresh flowers. For decorating my room with fresh flowers, I always opt for Asda Flowers.

Revert to Childhood
Sometimes the ‘grown-up’ world can be a hard and unforgiving place and we just want to escape back into the safe and protected world of our childhoods! Give your bedroom one or two nostalgic touches that recall the best parts of your youth to soften the atmosphere and provide a welcoming and cosy air.

Beautiful bedrooms are achievable, with just a little ingenuity and imagination – all you need is some time, a modest budget and the desire to create the prettiest bedroom ever!

What are your favorite tips?  I love the glamour one; so fun!  Thanks so much, Kathy Joe for sharing!  

I'll be back on Monday to share more updates from our home.  I actually took all the photos of our master bedroom this week and will be working on getting those posted for Monday!  Be sure to stop back by to see how we've changed things!  (spoiler alert:  We didn't keep the walls hot pink...)

Do you have decor or style tips?  Maybe a thrift tip or DIY tutorial to share?  Feel free to contact me for guest post opportunities!  I would love to feature you!  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Signs of Spring

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend!  Our was packed to the brim and I was beyond thankful to have the opportunity to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ with friends and family!

Last week, I started our One Year Later Home Tour and shared the work we've done in our living room and some of my plans for that space moving forward.  Today, we're going in the front yard where we just recently finished what felt like a pretty massive make over.

When we bought our house last year, we were basically in maintenance mode on the yard.  We were focused on painting the interior and I wanted to give everything a full year to bloom so I could see what we were working with.  And in our front yard, we had lovely little brick edging and white stones/seashells around the front yard bushes like so:

And I don't know, maybe you like it.  But I really wasn't in love.  And hubs didn't particularly care to run the weed eater near those bricks either...

I've been really wanting a change and I was thrilled to have a few warm days without rain recently to fill those spaces in with wonderful, dark brown mulch.  


We ended up keeping some of the tarps and rocks under the mulch, but still moved a lot to the backyard.  We dumped them and then raked them out smooth under the deck to help prevent soil runoff under there.  

And the results: 

I love it so much.  I think the bright colors of the flowers and bushes pop so much more against the dark brown!  We've also got some wonderful flowers that are starting to come up through the ground again that I am getting really excited about seeing bloom!  Soon enough.  

It certainly was not an easy project, but one that I am so thankful to have completed.  It was really fun for us to do this project together and it definitely took both of us to get it done.  

Happy Spring!!  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A year later: Home Tour 2014 - Living Room

Happy Wednesday!  A month ago today, we celebrated a year of being in our home.  If you've been around here since then, you might remember our closing day here.

In so many ways, it's wild to think that it's already been a year, and in other ways, it feels like, of course, it's been a year - we've done so much here!

We've made so many changes around here that I'd like to share the updates with you in a little home tour series focusing on different parts of the house for each segment.  Today's post features the living room since that's the room we spend so much of our time and do most of our entertaining (in conjunction with the kitchen of course.)

Before we get started though, let's take a minute to remember what this space used to look like, shall we?

We really loved all of the natural light from those windows and that little alcove to the right by the garage entry (yes, the garage enters into the living room...muddy shoes stay outside, please and thanks.)

And I didn't even hate the green paint, but not knowing what the actual color was, and because it was faded in spots where things had been hanging on the wall, we decided to go with a neutral color for this room, and used Olympic's Vanilla Brandy.  And here's where we are today.  

Looking in from the kitchen
From the entry hallway

I was able to move an old dresser (that I scored for free from Craigslist) down to the garage entry, and am able to use that to display lots of fun photos and hide away all kinds of seasonal decor and craft supplies.  

And of course I hung a mini gallery wall above it.  Forgive the pulls on the dresser.  I just didn't want to invest in pretty pulls when I got it, not knowing how long I would keep it...and now I'm kind of used to the macaroni shaped handles.  :)

I actually think this would be the perfect place to add some beautiful built-ins since it's a part of the living room, but still kind of out of the way.  Having the dresser there for me confirms that the space would work for that, but I'm not ready to commit.  

Some of the updates that I know we want to add in here include (but are not limited to): 

 - Choose, buy, and install a ceiling fan.  You can really see it from these photos, but the ceiling is really high in this room and opens to the upstairs.  I love how open it is, but we also only have 1 thermostat for the house, so I'd love to have a ceiling fan to help bring cool the space and to provide overhead lighting.  

- Paint the fireplace cover black.  I want to get some high heat spray paint to cover the brass on the fireplace.  All black looks so much more updated as far as I'm concerned.  

- Expand the gallery wall.  Since I won't be installing built-ins in the near future, I want to continue working on this little space of a gallery wall.  

- Update the mantel for spring/summer.  I love the sticks, but it's looking a little bit drab for this season.  

- Do something (anything) decorative with the cubbies.  Right now, they are completely functional.  They store things.  And not in a fashionable, beautiful way.  In a movies should be stacked here and the xbox should go here kind of way.  I don't hate it, but it could definitely be improved.  

- Hide the cords from the TV.  

- Curtains?  Not sure if it will make the space feel smaller or more luxe.  Can't decide, but welcome your thoughts.  If we go with curtains, I'm not sure what style best will probably be a guess, check, and revise situation.

We really love this space.  I have had a ball making it ours and a place that we call home.  We've already made lots of wonderful memories here and I look forward to many many more.  

Next week, we'll do the kitchen and the rest of the downstairs.  Then we'll move upstairs.  Can't wait.  Stay tuned.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chocolate cake icing

If you've been around here for any length of time, you should know that I like chocolate.  I really like chocolate.

And so the other weekend when I just needed wanted to make a quick, easy, not a big mess treat, I began to look all over town aka Pinterest  for homemade chocolate icing.  I already had an extra box of cake mix left over from the coffee cake I made earlier this year, but wanted to add something special to it.  And so I made cupcakes with homemade icing.

I knew there was butter, milk, powdered sugar, and cocoa required, all of which I had on I basically searched for a simple recipe that used all those things.

I was inspired by this recipe by Lauren's Latest, and made a few minor adjustments.  Another win.

1 cup of butter, softened
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
5 cups of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla (because I also really like vanilla)
5 tablespoons of milk (you can use more or less to get your desired consistency)

Mix together butter and cocoa together in large bowl until smooth (do not proceed to lick the cocoa spoon before dropping it in the sink.  It's bitter...promise...)
Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar.  (I recommend stirring in powdered sugar a cup at a time to make mixing easier)
Slowly add in milk and mix well until you reach the desired consistency.  

This recipe should ice 24 cupcakes.  I ended up having some left over though, which I stuck in the fridge and proceeded to snack on for the rest of the week.  It tasted so reminiscent of fudge at Christmas.  

And let's be honest.  I only really made the cupcakes for the icing anyway...


Happy Monday, friends!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Proverbs 31

Just a little encouragement for you wives this weekend. 

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. 

Proverbs 31:10-31