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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.

Ikea Hack: Faux Christmas Wreath

I love wreaths anytime of the year, but especially at Christmas time. I feel like you can drop a bucket of money on a beautifully full wreath though. I love the fresh evergreen wreaths especially but they are costly and they are short lived. I tend to go the faux route in my home, but am left with lackluster greenery wreaths and it makes me sad.

A couple years ago I picked up some inexpensive faux Evergreen wreaths from Ikea  because the sprigs were good quality and I think they were only like $12 each or something crazy like that. I’ve used them for the last couple years bare with just ribbon around my home, but I have been loving the mix of greenery that is so in this year especially the silver leaf eucalyptus. So my little brain started working and thinking maybe I could just insert some other greenery to give my faux wreath some more texture and fullness.

This is really so simple I feel silly writing about it, but since it’s taken me years to get this inspiration I thought maybe I would share and help you along. So here is one of the wreaths completed with added faux Juniper berry sprigs I grabbed for $2 at Hobby Lobby and a bundle of $2.50 fresh silver dollar eucalyptus from Trader Joe’s. So basically it was a really inexpensive upgrade you guys to an inexpensive to begin with wreath. Totally worth the couple hours effort!So here is what I gathered. I used about a bundle of eucalyptus for each wreath + two stems of faux Juniper sprigs. You need some floral wire + wire cutters as well.

So all I did was take my form which had two rings of wire on the back, and make little bundles of eucalyptus + juniper. Alternating between adding one spring of eucalyptus and then one sprig of juniper going around the wreath.I used the floral wire to attach to the bottom of my bundles and then wrapped the long end of the wire to the structure of the wreath form, you can see what I mean by the picture below. Just worked my way around the wreath form having all my sprigs going the same direction. It went rather quickly actually. Absolutely thrilled with the end product! Not bad for a quick afternoon DIY project.

Dining nook refresh with what I already had.

Hey Hey! I thought I would pop in and share my dining nook before it becomes decked with boughs of holly. I previously had a pretty full size farmhouse table with 6 tall ladder backs that made my farmhouse loving heart happy, but it never felt quite right.

We live in a small 1600 sq foot home and I feel like I’m always learning how our small spaces work best. So I sold the large farmhouse table and refurbished this one and love this area so much more!

When I wanted to makeover this space I really wanted to buy a beautiful new table, a pretty doily style jute rug, chairs from the Magnolia Home collection… I could almost here the repeated cash register and $$$ signs adding up. Instead of buying all new things I decided to look at what I already had and try  my best to pull it together that way. And I did. I had this neglected Pottery Barn garage sale table find in my garage for almost a year… and decided it was time to breathe new life into it. I love the pretty scroll feet and pedestal base. When I got it the finish had seen better days, but no matter! 
I love the bentwood-esque chairs that are actually metal. I grabbed them from Target, you can get them here, they also come in matte black! I’ve mentioned this rug numerous times before on our blog but it this rug is also a Target find, this one is hooked wool and very nice quality. Rylen has a bigger version of it in her family room. 

I like to put accessorize my dining tables with useful things rather than a fancy centerpiece. Just about every single time I walk into Homegoods a piece of blue pottery begs to come home with me. These couple pieces are the beginnings of my collection. The hand painted details on them just make my designer textile loving heart skip a beat. Plus those bowls are enormous and great for a big bowl of delicious soup. Or cereal. Whichever. 
The only new items I purchased for this area were the chairs. I already had the rug, accessories, and table. The poor table had been neglected and in my garage for over a year… yikes. I’m glad I kept it around. It is such a good feeling to makeover a space and make it beautiful without digging into your wallet to do it.

Ask a Designer: Large Walls with Farmhouse Flair

Hey hey! We have a treat for you today… we are launching Design Services here via The Collected House. We have been asked so so many times about consultations for spaces that our friends, family, and readers just can’t quite figure… and we are pleased to announce that we will now be offering online consultations!!! You can contact us for details regarding these services if you’re interested in partaking of the goodness.

To launch this exciting new facet to The Collected House, we wanted to start an “Ask a Designer” Series. I know a lot of times you just have these walls that totally escape you what to do with. Sometimes it takes a little tweak, or a couple little ideas and your space will totally be pulled together. A quick look from a Designer could really help ya along your way, and that’s what we want to help you with! So if you have a small design dilemma send us an email or message and maybe we’ll feature your dilemma paired with some FREE advice. #winning

So here we go, one of our readers contacted us.

Q: I have this huge front room that I am needing help with. I have a lot of space to fill on the walls but I’m having a hard time executing… I also love modern farmhouse style and your guy’s style.. not sure how to put it together?!”

So here is what her space looks like now from her snapshots, holy big walls! It looks like they may even be vaulted. Big empty walls are a common problem in newer builder homes. We have our fair share of large empty walls in our homes. 

In our homes we have added shiplap to big empty walls that add interest and immediate farmhouse flair. We like it because it adds texture and interest but is still simple and clean.

Here are a couple other ideas for wall treatments on large walls to add farmhouse feel. Painted white they add a craftsman feel, give your home character, and make those large empty walls feel less lonely. There are a number of ways to do these treatments on a budget too, which always helps when you’re filling larger spaces.

Via Fox Hollow Cottage

via The Wood Grain Cottage 

We love how Shayna from the Wood Grain Cottage did board and batten on her vaulted ceilings, it grounds the space but adds so much character!

Do you suffer from large empty wall probs too? Maybe these ideas helped you too!

Playful Room Redesign & Shopping online

Hey Hey! Jenna here. So excited to share this full room redesign that I recently completed for a Design Client of mine. I am lucky enough to work in the design field with people who are constantly reno’ing and choosing finishes for their home.

Rylen & I have wanted to launch more Designer content on our blog for a while and I thought this would be a great project to shop with. This one was unique being that I had helped them completely change every surface of their home with the General Contractor I work with, and then I was asked to go back in and decorate for them.

The other unique thing for this particular space is, I shopped for it entirely online. Gasp. I know.  At first I sourced from some Local furniture shops, which are fabulous, and usually have amazing customer service which typically in high traffic rooms especially, make the larger price tags worth it. This space however is a front sitting room that gets minimal use, and is really just to look at mostly. So I gave her two proposals one from the local shops which ended up being significantly more than the second which was filled with online ordering. We went with the latter, not worried about much need for warranties on these pieces. We saved a good amount of dough doing that option. I always think quality is important, the items we chose aren’t poor quality by any means, but I think when decorating and furnishing an entire home it’s important to know when to splurge and when to save. This low traffic space, was a great spot to save.

I source a lot from websites such as Wayfair, Birch Lane, and Joss and Main. Just to name a few. I also almost always buy all my rugs as well as curtains online. I meet a lot of people who can. not. fathom. shopping for such large items online but I have almost never had a negative experience.

We purchased the sofas, the chairs, the rugs, the curtains, the tables all online for this room. Shopping sites such as Wayfair and Joss and Main can save you a lot of money and provide more selections than what your local shopping situation can, with a lot less hassle.

So I have broken it down to a couple main points when it comes to buying big ticket items online. Some of them may seem common sense, but the very few times I have ever been disappointed were when I skipped some of my core rules.

I know better than that, and now you will too.

Tip #1: Measure! I mean this is obvious right? Maybe not. Measure your windows where you want your curtains to hang from down (usually 6″ above the window) Measure you wall for a sofa or chair or middle of your room for a coffee table. A lot of times you will see a good deal online and be swept away by the $80 chair and then it arrives and it is… miniature in not a good way. Ya know what I mean? A lot of times the price speaks to the scale when shopping for furniture and art pieces especially I have found.

Tip #2: Read Reviews! This one is important, especially when it comes to color as well as quality concerns. I have found that most people are in fact, well petty, and will voice any dissatisfaction that came once they unrolled or unboxed or lived with an item for a short amount of time. Wayfair has a great customer review section. I have really found it helpful. I also think the reviews on websites like RugsUSA and Overstock are very helpful as well.

So I  when I started this post I thought it may get heavy winded, but turns out that’s all I have for ya. I thought I had more tips, but turns out those two are the golden few. Those two things will help you score those online deals you want and find those pieces that seem to escape your local stores. I’m kinda addicted to having large sofas and chairs sent to me for free, right to my door. Much better than dragging the babies on shopping trips if ya ask me! 

Do you find those tips helpful! You’ll have to let us know if you take the leap to order online. I know Rylen loves to shop for things online too. She has scored quite a number of gems off Amazon. We’ll have to get her to share her Amazon picks!