Monday, July 29, 2013

Smaller Table=More Space

Have you seen the new Threshold collection at Target? There's not one item from their collection I would not love to have in my home! I just purchased two new small tables to replaced an old coffee table that was too large for the space--what a difference a small change can make.

 Here is a photo of the old table in our den that I posted back in March.

It looked fine in the photo--the soft color worked with the grays and taupe's in the room, but in real life we just keep bumping into it. When the grandchildren came to visit there was very little rug space for them too play on. I've been looking for two small tables for a while and since the budget for this was low Target was the perfect solution.
The new tables take up very little space but are large enough to hold a book or cup.

The chestnut finish is a nice contrast to all the grays in the room.
I'll probably sell the old one on Craig's list if my daughter, Ariel can't use it in her new home. Anyone locally interested?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kennebunkport, Maine

Now I understand why Martha choose Maine as the spot for one of her vacation homes--pristine, clean and gorgeous! Last week we slipped away for a few days and vacationed in this beautiful area of the Northeast.
It took George Bush to make Kennebunkport known to most of the country, but New Englanders have enjoyed this quiet coastal Maine town for years. In hot weather the beaches are a major draw, but Kennebunkport's many small boutiques, art galleries and restaurants make a visit fun at any time of year.
Not only is the beach magnificent, so is the rural countryside... 
 
And, like most small New England towns Kennebunkport is totally charming...
 with fantastic shops to explore...
I bought myself a small souvenir...
...the stacked rocks on the bottom right--I love the organic sculptural look of the stones.

We stayed at a bed and breakfast that was recently remodeled by a Boston based interior designer and it was filled with ideas I want to incorporate into other projects and my into own home...

I am totally stealing this idea of using three prints in vertical frames (it's called a triptych) to use above my sofa in our new living room. Maybe I'll blow up some photos I shot of the ocean.

The decor was a mix of old and new...my favorite look. Check out the old wood table contrasting with clear ghost chairs in their wine tasting room.

and the pop of modern yellow chairs and pendant lights against the traditional wallpaper and oriental rugs.

Metal wall art instead of pictures? Why not?

Love their breakfast board with all the condiments presented in mini containers and the Moroccan inspired wallpaper just made the dining room come alive.
Definitely one of my favorite spots to vacation!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Here's Why I haven't Blogged Much this Summer

Our new home still needs lots of paint and furniture make-overs but there's not a whole lot of decorating getting done with three little ones in the house this summer...
Trust me, you don't want to see my house but these guys are sure cute...
Anyone else have summer guests?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Party Supplies at Walmart

If you don't think of Walmart for party supplies, think again!

I ran in for paper goods and found so many adorable party supplies perfect for throwing together a quick party.
A perk: you can't beat the prices.


They had a nice selection of pretty plates...
in various colors...
and matching napkins...

Using ball jars for drinks at parties are all the rage...
these are ready to go...no punching holes in the lid or buying extra straws!

Nice selection of candles...

and my favorite balloons--polka dot.

Pretty lollipops perfect for goody bags or a candy table...

Paper tissue balls to hang above a table...

A fantastic selection of pinatas for a child's party...

and a nice choices for wrapping paper...
Check it out before your next party!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Inspired Design from Starbucks

If you read my blog you know how much I love Starbucks coffee, but I also love their interiors and learn from the designs of their coffeehouses. Their designer's mission is to create a spectacular Starbucks cafĂ© experience that is steeped in the local culture and designed to reflect the unique characteristics of each neighborhood. 

Here are some design ideas I learned from their shops...
Many homes, especially newer ones have popcorn ceilings. It can be expensive and messy to scrape and remove the popcorn texture. Instead, consider covering the ceiling with wood--it will give the room instant warmth. 


If you're dealing with a ceiling that has lots of unattractive things in it (like air conditioning, attic fans, vents, etc.) paint it all a saturated dark color. All those things will almost disappear into the darkness.


Simple pendant lighting can instantly update a room especially when used in multiplies. The good news is it's cheap and easy to put together yourself with simple cylinder lampshades from Target or Ikea.


Black frames and white mats make almost any picture look great. Print some photos or cut up a book with great pictures and frame in ready-to-go frames.


Take your favorite photos to Staples and ask for giant blow-up engineer prints. Using wallpaper paste, glue them to a wall instead of wallpaper for cheap and unique wall covering.


Made of wicker, fabric or wire, large baskets not only look great but keep anything more organized from toys, shoes, bottles or magazines.


Solar shades are mostly used in commercial spaces they work just as well at home to block out glare and hot sun while allowing you to see outdoors.

So, next time you're getting a frappuccino don't ignore the beautiful interiors!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Projects

I still have so much more to paint and decorate in order to finish our new home but things are slow going this summer--we have our daughter and family (three kids under the age of five!) staying with us while their new home is getting ready for move in.

Needless to say, I don't get very much done, but here are a few things I managed to complete....


Roman blinds are finally up in the kitchen. The shades are great for keeping out the hot sun on summer days and giving us privacy at night.
Visually, I have a lot going on in the kitchen so I opted for plain fabric shades in a parchment color. I order them online from blindster. It was my first time working with them and I am very happy with the quality and look of the shades.
I found their prices were much less than other sources for custom blinds.

Curtain panels are also up in the master bedroom. The rods from Ikea which were spray painted gold.

And, this is why I love Craig's List...
I found this older Room and Board dresser with matching mirror for $200. Check out their website and see how much their dressers cost new!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day Trip: Stonington, Connecticut

One of the things I love about living in the Northeast is being no more than two hours away to so many things...skiing, great cities and of course the beach. Over the July 4th holiday we visited a small beach town on the Connecticut sound, Stonington.
Stonington is called “the most beautiful seaside village in New England.” Because it's a narrow, mile-long peninsula pointing into Fisher’s Island Sound and Little Narragansett Bay, nothing is more than a short walk from your car or boat. It took us only one hour to drive there which made it perfect for a day trip. Here are some of my favorite sights from the day...

From “The Point” you can view three states--Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York. Stonington Borough is a major yachting center with all the amenities and the beautiful harbor boasts boats of all types and sizes.
❤ Connecticut.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Zelda's First Birthday

Our third grandchild, Zelda recently turn one so we marked the day with a small family celebration at home.

Since it's summer, strawberry lemonade seemed like the perfect beverage to serve with dinner. I made the little flags on my computer and found the small bottles and straws from Shop Sweet Lulu--perfect for little hands.


Zelda's big sister and brother enjoyed the cool drink on a hot day.

We baked a chocolate birthday cake topped with vanilla frosting and added little bird cake toppers made from balsa wooden shapes found at the craft store.
It was easy to cover them with patterned paper. The "eyes" are sewing pins I pushed through the soft wood.  They are taped to wooden skewers cut down to size and inserted into the cake.

Round photo stickers from Vistaprint are inexpensive and so useful from everything to decorating cups and napkins...
to favor tags, invitations and thank you notes.

Zelda loved the cake...
although more landed on the floor than in her tummy!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Easy Perennials

Before this spring, I starting planning the garden in our new home. I found these easy perennials on Better Homes and Garden's website--they are not only beautiful but also low maintenance. Here are some of the flowers I planned for the garden...
Astilbe: I planted this in our last house--it's super easy to grow and I love the feathery plumes.
Phlox: I also had this one growing in our last house...gorgeous purple blooms, end of summer.


Coral Bells: This is a shade loving plant which I'll put against the house in a shady spot.
Purple Cone flower: Another easy
perennial that grows all over New England.

Pincushion Flower: I never tried this plant but I love to incorporate blues and purples so I'll give it a try.
Sedem: A no-brainer--so easy to grow.

Beautiful, right?
Well, they are just going to have to wait until next summer because here's what our yard looks like now.

Yep, most of our backyard looks like this after two weeks of heavy rain. 
We we told we need to install a curtain drain to control the flow of water that's coming from a sloped yard.

The things you learn when you move into a new house...
:(
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