Category Archives: Design Inspiration

Shutters, Doors and Paint Colors… Oh My!

I feel like our house has had a broken arm coming up on a year now. Last spring we had a doozy of a windstorm that demolished one of our front shutters. That is until this weekend when my sassing finally paid off and Ben replaced it…
The original plan was to hang the missing shutter, wash off the others on Saturday, and then paint them on Sunday. I ended up being paralyzed with fear about picking the wrong paint color in a hurry, so (to the horror of our neighbors) this mismatched look is what’s going on right now.
My initial thought was to paint the shutters a neutral color (like muddy brown or gray) and then paint the front door a fun pop of color. I like the muted yellow.
If we went red again, I would want something more like this fire engine red. I’m not sure if it would work with the muted red stones on our house though.
I’ve also been drawn to blues a lot in my Pinterest searching. I think it would be a nice complimentary color for the stone.
I’m also keeping in mind that it would be nice not to have to repaint when we put it on the market someday. I could go with more of a muted tone of a color I like such as this soft turquoise – love it! I think ultimately I’m going to have to paint the porch a neutral color as well so it doesn’t clash with my vision.

So what do y’all think? This could make or break our curb appeal (no pressure)!

Door images found here.

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A Natural Christmas

I was at Hobby Lobby the other day wandering through the Christmas aisles (which have for reals been up since July) and realized that I am being drawn to more of a natural look for Christmas decor.
Even at 50% off, 2 of those jute Christmas trees would run me $30! I do have a gift card there after returning a print from our dining room. Hmmm…
I absolutely love all the natural colors and textures used on this tree. Oh, and I MUST figure out a way to DIY that monogrammed burlap tree skirt!
This would be the perfect sparkly ornament to go on that tree! How fun would it be to make these for friends that you normally wouldn’t exchange gifts with? Of course last year I went out and bought lime green and powder blue ornaments because I was tired of the red and gold ones we always used – grrrr!
I’m thinking that vase with tree branches and brown cards tied to them would be the perfect natural-looking centerpiece for my table! Now my wheels are spinning on how to recreate this look throughout our home on a budget. I’m thinking I’m going to need burlap, lots and lots of burlap:)

Do you have a Christmas “style” or do you just throw everything up that happens to be in the boxes up in your attic like we usually do? Where is your favorite place to buy affordable Christmas decor? Am I the only crazy person who has had Christmas on the brain since Starbucks switched to their holiday cups?

Christmas decor images found here, here and here.

My Perfect Day

Ben recently said that he likes reading my blog because it makes him realize that I don’t just sit around. I was contemplating having a Twilight movie marathon on this cool foggy day, but then I got a second wind and knocked a bunch of stuff out. Here’s a glimpse into my life:

7:30
Roll out of bed, throw on clothes, pick up the house and take Ben to work.
8:15 Try to figure out a way to fix a frame. Ben put off hanging my dining room frame collage until last night and immediately ran into a problem. The first frame he tried to hang was a B&W print we got at IKEA several years ago.
Unfortunately, when he put it up all the little clips that held the back wood piece to the frame popped off and we have no earthly idea how to fix this. You can’t hang it by the frame itself because it’s too flimsy. Ugh!

8:45
Give up fixing the frame, go to Sam’s to fill up with gas and pick up pics.

9:00 Go to Target and grab a no-water chai latte, floss, brownies and an anniversary card for my rents.

9:30
Stop by Hancock Fabrics for some cute fall ribbon (got super excited when the cashier gave me a 20% off coupon to use).

10:00
Get home, change into work-out clothes, wash make-up off and get a text from a friend asking if I can stop by to see some staging she’s done in her house.

10:15
Project Brownies
I knew I didn’t have time to bake a dessert for a women’s retreat I’m going to this weekend, so I did the next best thing. I bought some two-bite brownies from Target and decided to make them pretty.
I don’t have a fancy sifter, so I improvised with this egg separator to sprinkle powdered sugar over these babies and it worked like a charm!
It’s amazing what a pretty plate (which I got at Williams-Sonoma Outlet awhile back for $5) and some powered sugar can do for some store-bought brownies!

10:30
Project Fall Ribbon
Remember that ribbon I picked up at Hancock’s? I recently made a mossy T that I hung in front of a mirror in our living room. I wanted to step it up a notch by changing out the gray ribbon with some cute paisley ribbon for fall.
Here’s a wider shot and I love how that little touch makes it look warmer. Of course, in like 2 seconds I’ll have to switch it out again for Christmas:)

11:00
Realize that there is absolutely no time for working out or a shower.
Throw on some clothes and decide it’s going to be a mascara and lip gloss day!

11:15
Jump in the car and drive to my friend’s house.
Walk into her gorgeous new house with this beautifully staged entryway. Her hubby found that branch in an alley behind a store. Love that orange chair paired with the turquoise vase! She’s debating painting the wall black.
Next, she showed me the fireplace in their master bedroom (so jealous!). She borrowed the pear candles and artwork from other rooms they had them in at their old house. She also wrapped an old vase in burlap and used some ribbon given to her by her grandmother to keep it in place. Repurposing at its finest!

12:45
Sat in my car, transferred the pics from my camera to my laptop and filled out my parent’s anniversary card.

1:00
Ran by the bank to deposit a check for Ben and the post office to mail card.

1:15
Finally made it to McAlister’s to eat lunch and blog – whew!

When I recently blogged about my career change and not knowing how to explain to people what I do, this day is a perfect example of that! I. Love. My. Life. Now, to see if I can squeeze in a work-out and a shower before the retreat:)

Any tips on how to fix our sad IKEA frame? Who else out there loves staging store-bought food? What would be your perfect day?

Dining Room Art Take 2

I must admit that Ben and I have been letting the sun go down on our anger (a.k.a. disagreeing on dining room art). This is what it looks like today after I recently purchased a print and used a frame I already had.
After living with this option for a few weeks, I’m not loving it. I emailed this pic to Ben asking him what he thought about hanging multiple white frames on that wall with B&W pics and mementos that mean things to us.
His response was that we would be putting a lot of holes in the wall and personalizing our home. I’ve taught my man well in recognizing the difference between staging and personalizing, but I’ve been pouting ever since.
I wonder what Mr. Holes in the Wall would think about this colorful plate art display? I heart it!
This might be a compromise to hang floating shelves with frames leaning on them and only a few hanging on the wall.
I’m always a sucker for a good tree mural. I love how the chair rail height shelf breaks it up while adding display space.

The root of our argument was really whether we should be personalizing our home (since we’ll be staying in Memphis for awhile) or keep it neutral to sell (since we want to end up in OK). Gotta love being married to a therapist!

So are you Team Monica or Team Ben (we’re considering making t-shirts)? Anyone else second guess an art decision? Which option is your favorite?

Images found here, here, and here.

Dining Room Art Take 2

I must admit that Ben and I have been letting the sun go down on our anger (a.k.a. disagreeing on dining room art). This is what it looks like today after I recently purchased a print and used a frame I already had.
After living with this option for a few weeks, I’m not loving it. I emailed this pic to Ben asking him what he thought about hanging multiple white frames on that wall with B&W pics and mementos that mean things to us.
His response was that we would be putting a lot of holes in the wall and personalizing our home. I’ve taught my man well in recognizing the difference between staging and personalizing, but I’ve been pouting ever since.
I wonder what Mr. Holes in the Wall would think about this colorful plate art display? I heart it!
This might be a compromise to hang floating shelves with frames leaning on them and only a few hanging on the wall.
I’m always a sucker for a good tree mural. I love how the chair rail height shelf breaks it up while adding display space.

The root of our argument was really whether we should be personalizing our home (since we’ll be staying in Memphis for awhile) or keep it neutral to sell (since we want to end up in OK). Gotta love being married to a therapist!

So are you Team Monica or Team Ben (we’re considering making t-shirts)? Anyone else second guess an art decision? Which option is your favorite?

Images found here, here, and here.

Wishin’ For Fall

Since the weather has been getting down into the 60’s at night this last week, all I can think about is fall being right around the corner! Growing up, summer was always my favorite, but as an adult it’s tough to beat brisk weather, fun scarves and transitioning back to hot Starbucks drinks that warm your soul.
I absolutely love this fresh, nature-inspired photo and think it would look fantastic on a mantel or in an office year-round.
Even though we normally think of fall colors as warm browns and oranges, I like these fun party decor ideas that incorporate lime green.
I have this dream of having a different door wreath for every season. My mom used to do this when I was growing up and it’s an easy way to spice up your curb appeal. I’m also loving this turquoise door. Hmmm…
I emailed this delicious pic and recipe to Ben today and we’re going to make it for dinner tonight – yum! Gotta love those fall soups, stews and chilis.
I’ve had a thing for white pumpkins the past few years and wish I could find some real-looking fake ones that I could use every year. This is such a cute, yet simple looking mantel – love it!
Most importantly, the other day I found my perfect fall signature ring! I’m very picky with my rings, but as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one. Ben confirmed this by saying that it did in fact look like an “m ring”.

What’s your favorite thing about fall? How do you incorporate seasons and holidays into your decor? Let’s all close our eyes, tap our heels together 3 times, and think to ourselves, there’s no season like fall!

Kitchen Plans

After having given up on doing any major kitchen renovations, we met with a second angel contractor on Monday. He gave us a very different estimate and we feel really good about working with him. Not only that, but he also does property management and we hope to use him for that as well!
In the next few weeks we plan on installing a dishwasher and disposal, replacing the bottom cabinets, countertop and sink. We’ll also install floating shelves above the dryer for more storage, get new window treatments and paint!
Here are the neutral colors I snagged from the Benjamin Moore website. Natural Wicker for the walls, Paris Rain for the cabinets and Cloud Cover for the trim. There was a “buy 1 get 1 free pint” coupon at our favorite BBQ place next to Ace, so I got 2 pints of trim paint and a gallon of the others (which were 15% off!).

We’ll also be putting doors back on the top cabinets and possibly replacing the stove. I told Ben that I may not want to move after we redo this kitchen. If only I could take it with us to Oklahoma! We think of this as a long-term investment because honestly, who wants to buy a house without a dishwasher? So what do you all think about our sudden change of heart?