Unexpected picture frame idea.

Hey! I am pretty excited of what I have to share with you guys today! It’s probably half because it’s amazing and half because I’ve had these printing trays laying around for almost 6 months waiting for something to be done with them. I will never admit which one it really is.

I’ve talked about Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market, and if you live in the Phoenix Valley I’m sure you’re familiar with this local antique market, but it’s a favorite event. I grabbed these vintage printing trays from a cute old man’s shop there and knew instantly that they would make really cool picture frames. I like to find new ways to display art around my home, most recently I used some old fruit drying racks to make regular picture frames look awesome, you can see that post here.What I loved most about these trays was the chippy emerald green paint around the outside, and the perfectly weathered wood on the inside of the drawers. The opening fit an 8 x 10 photo perfectly, and I just used thumbtacks to secure them believe it or not. So easy I feel a little like an imposter even posting about them, but I just loved the instant character that they added to my office space.

I love having a pretty space to sit and work, since I spend my time dreaming up inspiring places for other people… working in one just makes sense. I absolutely love finding interesting ways to display art especially family photos. These antique wood items add so much more than any regular store bought frame. Once you start using salvage pieces around your home it opens a whole new world of imagination when designing spaces in your home.


Creating an inviting entry way.

Hey Hey! Today I wanted to stop in and share how our entry way currently looks, as well as share the journey that (was not so quick but also) led it to how it looks today. 

I am a firm believer in the importance of a good looking entry way to greet your guests when they come to your home, I think it’s definitely a strong first impression… you can either show them what you’re all about… or not use the chance to wow them.

Our entry way happens to not be much of an entry at all, it’s really just straight into our front living room and a long wall. Long walls are hard to decorate because the scale always is so distorted on them. When we first moved in I put a cute piece of furniture on the wall and a pretty mirror but it never felt right. So eventually we added the board and batten with the picture ledge and it felt much better. I loved that metal bench, but back to it being an enormous wall and the scale never feeling quite right… eventually I ditched my super cute bench and bought a longer entry table from World Market, the Everett Foyer Table it did a much better job at filling the space I had. 

I finally got enough picture frames to fill up the top picture ledge, and hung them all up. I’ve gone through times of having a LOT of decorations on the table, but recently on my journey of quieting the house I removed a bunch of decor and just left a couple things, I’m in the mood lately of just letting my bigger items speak for themselves and I’m loving the results. The story of quieting this space is the same.  I think using this train of thought could help save you money too, instead of buying all the things you think are cute or charming… think if they could stand on their own or if they need to be part of a grouping… maybe let them go in favor of classic more statement making pieces.

It’s a little comical to me that it took me 4 years to figure out how to best address this space, when I get paid to figure out people’s spaces for like… a living. It’s harder in your own home I think, it takes living in a space for a while for it to tell you how it really needs to work for you and your family best. I’m finally learning to listen to this voice into my own home and have loved the results.

Girl’s bedroom redesign.

I’ve been gearing up for a room redo for my daughter. We have switched our kids around rooms a couple times in the last year trying to figure out which combination works best. So far, we’ve found she probably needs her own room, only sister problems. Anyways, I wanted to stop in and share the inspiration board for her space. I almost always throw one of these together when I’m redoing things, I always do them for design clients, but I find this visual aid board is quite helpful for me too. So here’s the plan. 
Sources: Wallpaper Bedding: PB Teen (no longer available) RugsUSA Stool

The way I approach redecorating is probably pretty normal, first I find one thing I really love, and use that as my inspiration. In this case it was the Duvet from PBTeen, it is chambray, embroidered, gorgeous, and I think she will be able to grow with it. Then I always try to factor in what I already have, and make a wish list as the very last step. I get a lot of comments about, “How do you redo your rooms so often?” And my secret for that is simple… I just slowly gather t things over time for my own home. Of course, designing for myself is a little bit different than when I’m hired to help someone because there’s rarely any time constraints on when things MUST be done. So that may be a luxury, but maybe something you can institute in your own home.

Could you just die over that removable wallpaper? I’m eager to fit that into her space. I think it’ll make her space a total showstopper. I am so excited to get her headboard built in that beautiful shape, and provide a tutorial on how that all worked out for ya guys!

Quieting the house.

I have been on a mission lately to “quiet the house” I think just after the busy season of the Holidays and all the celebrating but also pure busy-ness it’s nice to reconnect to your home and re-evaluate things. January is always this time for me. I feel as if, when you consciously edit the things you bring into your home it brings a peace to your life. A quieter room allows space to think, and live… which is important when we LIVE in our homes right. I have 3 kids, we really, really, REALLY, live in our home.  I find that taking out excess is liberating.

 When I am designing a space for someone’s home whether it is a full room redo, or just accessorizing I am very purposeful. I think about how they live, who lives there, what their lives are like, etc. all of these thoughts go into what I choose for their spaces. Sometimes in my own home, I get hung up on trends or just collecting beautiful things and I forget to edit…  just load in all the pretties and call it good.  If you look back you will see that this room had a busy rug, it had busy curtains, it had a lot of color and a lot of things. It was pretty but it never quite felt right or “me” or “us” by us I mean my family… I mean our home I always want to be a good representation of who we are. Whenever I edit my house and take out all the layers of crap and things that are just “things” and come back to classic shapes, a mix of textures, and a simple color palette I always feel more at peace and more at “home” which is always a plus when I am in fact home.

I thought I would share this space because its a really good example of a room I edited, I simplified, and I am loving.

Just because it’s quieter, doesn’t mean it is more boring… I let each item speak for itself. I have visual interest in a lot of places still. I added the layered frames on the wall for texture, but still in rather simple forms. I found the old wood pieces that are actually old fruit drying racks from Northern California at the fall Junk in the Trunk market in Scottsdale. I didn’t have a purpose for them when I bought them I just knew the wood color tone was so pretty… I had to have them. I am a believer in filling walls with art that means something to you, which is often for me, family pictures. Especially in spaces where guests are commonly greeted, like this one, our front room. So I layered some simple more modern-lined frames I found at Target over the repurposed old wood pieces and LOVE the combination of the two. So. Good.

I switched out the louder West Elm curtains with simple drop cloths. I have been asked multiple times if I had found drop cloths without a seam down the middle. And no, I didn’t. Mine have it, but it honestly doesn’t bother me at all. I think there’s beauty in little imperfect details like that.  I think with the new wall art, and the simple layers of pieces in this room each item feels more special, more purposeful, and more like home. I only kept pieces that truly speak to me. I love the tufts of the chesterfield sofa. I love the linen and the wood of the ottoman. I am obsessed with my antique dough bowl. The floral pillows mixed with the buffalo check rug. I find myself coming into this room more when I need just a moment of peace… which has me thinking I need to bring this way of undecorating and quieting into more spaces in our home.

Rylen’s Christmas Home

Well there is less than a week before Christmas and I’m just barely getting my home pictures up. Better late than never? This little surprise baby had rocked my world! We find out soon what we are having and I am SO nervous! I love being a “boy mom” more than I ever imagined  I would but I can’t help but think about the things I would miss out on never having a girl. I am trying to convince myself it will be okay either way! I’m glad that I have had Christmas to keep my mind off of it! 

I saw this adorable set of bells from McGee and Co. only to realize they had sold out! So I searched high and low and they were sold out everywhere! So I decided to make my own. I bought the bells from a cute etsy shop then tied them up with some twine. The wreath is from target.

We have bought a real tree every year since we’ve been married but this year we decided to buy a fake one I had been eyeing from Grandin Road. I loved that it looked not so perfect like most fake trees do. I really do love it. I didn’t think I missed the real tree very much until I walked into my mother-in-laws home and was hit with the glorious smell of her fresh tree. You just can not replicate that. 

I found this cute bucket for $20 at Junk in the Trunk this year. It was the only thing I ended up buying and now I’m going to have to find a place to store it after Christmas, but I think it’s worth it. 

I love the coziness this time of year brings. It makes me never want to leave my house! Hope you enjoyed my holiday home and have a very Merry Christmas!


Jenna’s family pictures.

Hey hey! Jenna here! I don’t have a fun project to share with you today… although they are 3 of the prettiest things I’ve ever made… haha. Rylen and I thought it would be fun to share our family photos with our readers this year. I always fret and fret over family photos.. .and it’s probably one of the hardest things to do… the outfit coordination and don’t even get me started on the day of the actual event. BUT man they are so worth it in the end. You get to totally ogle over your beautiful children. My friend Ashley from Blissful Baby Photography always does an AMAZING job capturing our hoodlums and making them look their best. She’s been photographing our family for years and I feel so blessed to have so much of her talent on my walls. The memories are absolutely priceless to me. 

DIY gathered look farmhouse style wreath

Hey Hey! I thought I would stop in and share the cute unique wreath I made for our front door this last week, it’s just beaming with farmhouse flair. Most wreaths from the store just don’t feel quite my style. Isn’t that so frustrating? When you have a total vision of what you’d like and it becomes near impossible to find it in your budget or even at all. I feel your pain, and I love when I find a way to make my own, whatever it may be, to bring my vision to life. This week it was a wreath for our front door,  so I’ve been waiting for Hobby Lobby to have a sale on all their foliage stems so I could make my own.  Finding good faux stems can be challenging, so a quick tip is that Hobby Lobby rocks. They have great looking faux greenery, and when they’re on sale you can grab them at a couple bucks a stem.

Before I share more details of the final wreath, here is a little Video Clip I put together of the process of making this wreath. I love interaction with DIY projects, so I thought this would be a great thing to put together.

And here are some more shots of the final project. For this wreath I grabbed a variety of faux lamb’s ear, eucalyptus in a couple varieties, magnolia leaves, lavender, cotton sprigs, and a couple frosted pine stems from the seasonal section. I wanted to wire the stems to the grapevine base but it wasn’t as secure as I liked… so I ended up pulling out my hot glue gun. I did however just wire in the pine stems so I can take those out at the end of winter and replace them with something more seasonal.  Since the wreath itself doesn’t scream Christmas I added in these bell ornaments that I found on a recent trip to Homegoods, and a scarf. I copied the scarf layering idea from one of my favorite bloggers, Nesting with Grace. If you don’t follow Brooke, you definitely should! She lives in a charming cape cod bursting with texture and gorgeous details. I love her style, so homey and warm.
I really was going for a gathered from the fields look… something that looks a little bit like a hodge podge but put together tastefully. I tend to start with my biggest pieces, in this case it was the magnolia leaves, and then I moved on to my filler florals, which was the eucalyptus. I cut the large stems into smaller workable sprigs. Once I added in my filler florals, I went in with the feature greenery which was the pine, and the lavender. Working in this manner really helps when you’re trying to evenly disperse greenery.

Another tip is before you glue or wire anything to the wreath form kind of do a dry run of laying it around the wreath form to make sure you get things on there evenly and how you like them before they’re secured. That will save you a big headache.
I am so thrilled with how this came together, next time you’re on the hunt like I was for something for your home and you can’t quite find what you’re looking for style wise… I highly suggest figuring out a way to gather materials to make your own. Little home made details really add so much to living spaces.

Family room touches of Christmas.

Today I thought I would share our family room with our minimalist simple christmas vibes we have going on this year. This space is ever evolving, it’s small but it’s where we spend probably the most of our time. It’s connected to the kitchen and dining room in our home. It’s gone though a couple different looks since we’ve lived here as we figure out how to best use this space.

I recently decided to get the longest sofa I could find for this room to accommodate as much seating as possible and be the most comfortable for lounging around during our frequent Harry Potter marathons (you don’t do that? weird. maybe it’s just us) I found one locally at Potato Barn Outlet. It’s a well known furniture store in the Phoenix Valley.

Next problem to solve was the table situation. I always like to have somewhere to set a drink or put your feet up at but this space was much too narrow for a proper coffee table so I’ve been hunting for an ottoman for this space. Over black Friday there were a number of sales on furniture from my favorite online sources, and I ended up snagging this tufted velvet number from Joss and Main. It’s currently out of stock, I found another one similar here.

While I’m sharing the ottoman I thought I would also share our family room area how it looks right now for Christmas. I decorated really light for Christmas this year, I just feel so busy and our house is full enough of chaos, I didn’t think I could handle like BAM Christmas in yo’ face. So it’s really simple, but still a festive and fun. I just had to share a snapshot of our dining nook from our living area filled with our jar snowglobes we made again this year. My kids love putting these together and they make the cutest simple centerpiece for our Christmas dining nook. I love little homemade touches that show who lives in houses… our home is clearly filled with little children who I want to enjoy living here too. I try to keep things light and fun for them… but pretty enough for my taste. Isn’t that the rub of motherhood.

Simple & Fresh Christmas Tree.

Hey guys! Jenna here again sharing my tips for making an inexpensive fake Christmas tree look full and pretty for the holidays.

I have been dreaming about getting a high quality faux Christmas tree but for one reason or another it never finds itself in my budget. This year I set out to make my inexpensive Target tree next level. I think it worked, and I spent barely any money doing it.

I had almost bought stems to fill in this tree multiple times, but I ended up waiting until the week before Thanksgiving and found that Michael’s had all their Christmas stems and trimmings 70% off. Through this sale I was able to buy all the pieces I needed including the ribbon for a steal of a deal, only spending about $80 for everything on this tree. Not too bad if you ask me. The greenery is pretty neutral in style so I envision myself being able to reuse it in future years even if I go different directions with my decor. I definitely see myself getting my money’s worth out of it. That’s one of my biggest tip for purchasing Holiday decor, if you invest most of your dollars on pieces that can be versatile and skip the more themey feeling pieces, they will prove themselves a better investment.

So what did I do to take my inexpensive tree to a higher level?

First I started by taking my additional stems of faux greenery and dispersing them evenly around the tree. Since it’s tucked in a corner and no one will ever see the back I skipped it. Gasp I know. Once the stems were tucked in, I started looping the thicker ribbon weaving it in and out of the branches. I cut my ribbon into about 6′ pieces. I find that its easier to work with, and I like the undone whimsical sporadic look with the ribbon loops. I think it makes your tree feel easy going and fun.

After I used my thick ribbon, that really helped fill in the sparse spots in the tree. I then moved onto placing my feature pieces. First being my larger feature flowers, then my large wooden snowflake ornaments. I used only about 8 flowers and 6 big snowflakes on my 7.5 foot tree. I just eyeballed it and tucked them where it looked right.

Last, my Joy to the World ribbon was tucked in. I worked in smaller 4′ pieces of this and just wove it here and there. Once I added the star I was done.

I love all the texture and relaxed nature of this tree. I think it feels elegant without trying and that’s kind of my jam.

Simple Centerpiece idea with Hearth & Hand.

I am so excited to share with you a really simple idea today for your centerpieces. It’s always so nice to have fresh flowers in your home but it’s a little bit challenging to arrange them, when I was gawking at the new Hearth & Hand collection at Target. I came across this galvanized rectangle vase with a flower frogger in it! It doesn’t look like much but you guys… it’s amazing let me tell you why.

You can find the vase I purchased here, it comes in matte black too.

Have you ever tried to arrange flowers and they kind of flop all over the place and it never turns  out the way you imagined? There’s a trick you can do with tape to make a grid to section off your vase but even easier… you can use a flower frogger. AKA that metal grid on the top of this piece. It splits up your flower container into smaller sections to keep your blooms in place as you arrange so they just don’t flop to the outside and smooth each other. A flower frogger is a secret to having beautiful arrangements. My other secret is Trader Joe’s, even other grocery chain floral departments are starting to carry just garden bunches of a singular type of flower so you can arrange them yourself. Trader Joe’s is my favorite because the price is so low and the quality in my experience has always been great. All I Did was grab 3 bunches of flowers, cut them to size with some pruning sheers, and created a very simple super basic design, kind of asymmetrical and a little modern. It took me maybe 15 minutes to do, and I think it’s such a stunning centerpiece! Here it is styled in our Dining nook complete with the “kids” christmas tree with all the cutest little creature ornaments they’ve collected over the years.  Seriously such a game changer you guys! The vase is very very affordable, and with the flowers it looks elegant but was really simple not to mention inexpensive. What do you think? You can definitely pull this vase out any time you want to fancy up a space in your home with a pretty floral arrangement.