21 March 2017
Are you all planning to watch the new HGTV series Home Town tonight? It’s at 10 EST, right after Fixer Upper – and if you love Fixer Upper, you probably will love Home Town! They both have a sweet, talented, smart, very-much-in-love couple at the center; small town coziness; fun house transformations; and a Southern heartbeat. Plus, Erin from Home Town wrote my favorite Southern Newlywed interview ever, and has been one of my favorite blogs to read for a few years. (She writes a short note sharing the best thing that happened that day, every day – admirable!) It has been so fun to see the show develop on her blog, from the first covert mentions (before they could even talk about what was going on but it was obvious something was up), to the pilot’s debut last year, to the past few weeks building up to the premier. They are an easy couple to root for and it has been so fun to do so!
We also have some of Erin’s original art hanging in our home! Before she became an HGTV star, she was a wedding and social stationer. Though she’s now using her drawing and watercolor skills to help Laurel-ites imagine home renovation possibilities, she used to create house portraits for people like me! She drew both of our family cottages (that’s one of them under her pen, up there), and they hang proudly in our main room. Since we live far away from Maine, I love walking by their sweet facades every day. I’ll always be grateful for her talent in bringing them to life!
Join me in supporting this sweet Southern couple tonight, friends? 10pm EST – I’ll see you there!
P.S. I am going to Laurel next month – counting down the days!!
19 January 2017
I am not one of those people who had the nursery tied up with a bow by the time their second trimester rolled around – in fact, we were still adding the finishing touches several months after our girl arrived! On time or not, I’m happy with how my vision came together, and on a budget of less than $500, too. Let’s take a little tour, shall we?
Not to start off on a negative note, but I used Jenny’s pelmet tutorial for the blue buffalo check curtains and MAN it was a beast. I don’t know if I was doing something wrong, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I will begrudgingly admit the pelmet is still on the wall and looks good a year and a half later, though, so I guess it worked out in the end…?
The dresser was a vintage find at the Raleigh Flea Market (I LOVE the color of the wood!), and the painting was a very special gift from one of my best friends – she made it herself after the wallpaper I was considering was discontinued! So talented!!
One of the main differences between my nursery inspiration and June’s finished room is the crib skirt. I originally planned to do blue toile like Jessie, and even ordered a blue toile skirt off of Etsy, but when it arrived it just didn’t seem right. A few months later I bit the bullet on a favorite Liberty of London fabric, and my aunt graciously sewed it into a skirt. The fabric itself was not exactly cheap, but it’s my favorite thing in the room and added the feminine note the space was missing!
That little cat is the first stuffed animal we bought for June, when we were in Paris and I was pregnant!
My amazing aunt also KNIT this horse mobile after I showed her an exorbitantly expensive one I had fallen in love with! I have absolutely zero sewing skills, but it’s definitely a goal of mine to learn so I can one day make my niece or granddaughter’s nursery dreams come true. Gotta pay it forward :)
Let’s talk about one more project that may or may not have been worth my while. We wanted to have a line of scripture or a hymn on June’s walls, and while I considered a beautiful piece from Between You and Me or House of Belonging, I was scared off by their pricing. So I decided to make one myself, and while I am mostly happy with how it turned out, it was a lot of work! AND, I knowingly had to spell one alleluia wrong, because I couldn’t fit another L on that line!! Argh. Oh well…
Missing a few nursery-specific items you expected to see? June’s glider and changing station are both downstairs in our bedroom, because that’s remained our hub of activity for the most part. We also recently hung her baptism cross over her crib, and it’s one of my favorite additions!
I’ve listed sources below, but if you have any questions, ask away! I’m happy with how June’s sweet space came together, and hope you like it, too!
All photos by the very talented Nancy Ray.
Wall paint: Simply White by Benjamin Moore (were I to get a redo I would paint the walls Love & Happiness by Ben Moore instead) | Buffalo check fabric: Calico Corners in Blueberry | Twin bed: Craigslist | Pink pillow: Target | Blue quilt: Garnet Hill | Dresser: Vintage | Wooden frame: Target | Horse painting: Custom | Lamp: Target | Crib: Hand-me-down | Liberty print fabric: Alice Caroline Supply | Mobile: Custom | Sheep rocker: Pottery Barn | Faux sheepskin rug: Ikea | All Creatures art: DIY | Book bin and stool: Homegoods | Sunshine banner: Small Branches | Felt balls for garland: Gracie & Marie | Flush mount light (which you can’t see in these pictures, but is really cute!): Pottery Barn Kids
17 October 2016
No one would ever accuse me of being the hare in the home decorating race. We take it slow around here, by choice and by necessity, and that’s okay. In the last year, we have made a lot of progress – new art over the mantel, new dining room chairs, a new rug in the living room, a nursery! – but there’s one room that always seems to fall lowest on the list of priorities: our master bedroom.
After upgrading to an (amazingly comfortable!!) king mattress a few years ago and buying sheets to fit it, we pretty much called it a day in our room. (I largely skipped over it in last year’s house tour.) But recently, it was decided that we needed to shoot something for work in – you guessed it! — our bedroom, and though I was a bit panicked at first, I’m so glad I finally had the kick in the pants to make some improvements!
For the project, we hung two large (16×20) prints of our wedding vows over our bed. Simply Jessica Marie did the watercoloring, and I absolutely LOVE how they came out! The softness of the technique means that the pieces read more as art and less as bold typography, which I think is appropriate — they are, after all, some of the tenderest and most personal words we’ve ever spoken. The prints were framed by Framebridge, and you can get a discount code in the Southern Weddings post!
To spruce up our shooting angle, I first added three velvet Euro pillows from Pottery Barn. (I hate to say it doesn’t look like they have our indigo color online anymore – but you might be able to try in store?) The total for the three pillow covers and feather fills was $150. Not cheap, but they are a far less expensive way to add definition than a $1,000+ wooden headboard! (I’m still hoping to get that bed eventually, but it will probably have to wait a few more years!)
The gold lumbar pillow is from Anthropologie. (The bedroom in this home tour helped me visualize the mix of pillows I wanted.)
I also added two brass task lamps from Target (on sale right now!). A little light styling and one adorable tuxedo cat later, and we were in business.
I think the best home decor improvements change how you live in your space for the better, and these, though simple, definitely fall in that category. We make our bed every day now, since it looks so nice all done up, and it’s way more comfortable to read in bed at night! (Plus, June loves climbing all over the pillows.) For years I felt like I had to wait for that dream bed to make any improvements in here, but I’m so glad I finally took the first step!!
All photos by the wonderful Callie of Nancy Ray Photography!
27 November 2015
I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings!! Between our birth class, visitors, travel, big work events, Articles Club, birthday parties, our church family group, and showers, November has been an exceptionally busy month. I am so grateful for a few days off work and without activities to relax a bit — and tackle a few things that have been on my to do list for weeks!
One thing I did accomplish this month, though: finally pulling the trigger on new chairs for our dining table!! It should be well known around these parts that I tend to agonize over home decor purchases, especially ones that come with a large price tag. (For proof, see here, here, and here.) Though I think I have a strong design sense, I can’t help researching every possible option, and then second guessing everything a few times just for good measure. I’ve been researching and debating options for this space for about a year now, so it definitely felt good to finally make a decision!
You can see where we started thanks to our most recent home tour:
Our former chairs were given to us for free (yay!) from a friend’s parents when we moved to North Carolina, more than six years ago. Though I liked the general shape, they were lightly dusted in glitter and fluff (the chairs had been in their craft room!) and they didn’t work super well with our wood floors. Here are a few of the things I considered as I looked for replacements:
— Between the teal upholstered bar stools close on one side and the tan sofa close on the other, there were a lot of surfaces with which to coordinate.
— I loved the idea of at least some upholstered options, but was having a really hard time getting over the idea of keeping them clean.
— I couldn’t decide whether to go with a color (probably blue or green) or something more neutral, like white. Would white chairs with a white table be too much white? Or maybe I should go with black, but would they be too dark with our floors? What if we added a rug under the table down the line?
— I loved the look of bistro chairs and thought they’d be durable and practical, but worried about their trendiness and whether I’d like them long term.
— If not a bistro style, should I go with an Eames style, a Windsor, a industrial type metal (too cold?), or a cafe chair? And should I get different accent chairs for the ends???
These thoughts and more looped through my mind for months, accompanied by some of this inspiration:
From top to bottom: Design Sponge, i suwannee, Style Me Pretty, Alice Lane Home, Scandinavian Apartment Ideas, Style at Home, La Dolce Vita, Design Sponge
When I just couldn’t seem to come to a decision after months of deliberating, I finally sent pretty much all of the above in a big messy email to my sister-in-law, pleading for help. Even just the act of writing down all of my options was helpful, and once I had her opinion, too, I felt ready to make a decision: we were going with white Windsor chairs. I did consider a few Wayfair options, many that were 50% of the price of our final decision, but in the end the reviews made me a bit nervous, as I want these chairs to last for a long, long time.
So, what did we decide on? We went with the Willa chairs in white from Crate & Barrel. I snagged them at 20% off during a dining sale (yippee!), and bought them in two installments to soften the budget blow a bit. I also had them shipped to the store, so there was no shipping cost.
We have been super happy with them so far! I think they play nicely with our antique table, and they definitely brighten the space. I also like that the set is a neutral base so that seasonal decor can be layered on top. We’re still considering adding upholstered chairs to the ends (maybe these?), but for now, I’m calling it a day.
…except, of course, that now I have my sights on a bed for our master bedroom. I currently have about 20 different styles and options pinned. Maybe you’ll hear from me in two years :)
Anyone else in my same boat with home decisions?? What do you think of this one?