Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured on Better After Blog!

Today is a great day...
1. it's FRIDAY!  and...
 2. I just noticed that my dining room makeover has been featured on Better After (THANKS LINDSEY!)  If you don't follow her blog, you should!!  She showcases great before and after projects - lots of eye candy!

Click HERE to check it out!!!

 Happy Friday, everyone!
Emily

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Budget Fireplace Makeover

When Justin and I first bought our house, one of the aspects we loved about it was that there is a wood burning fireplace!  HOWEVER... it looked like this:
 

CONS:
-Dark brick color (same as the exterior of our home) makes the room feel darker.
-Hearth and mantel are dirty cement... there is nothing appealing about it!
-One side is against a wall and it is off to the side of the entire room!
-The track lighting is ugly...!

PROS:
-It functions!  That's always a good thing!
-It doesn't look completely terrible... I knew I could work with it :)

So before Justin and I moved in we had some MAJOR paint parties... like literally paint every room, ceiling, baseboard, door frame, etc. kinda parties...!  I remember we decided to start tackling this project around MIDNIGHT one winter evening (we are nuts) and immediately regretted that decision.  After cleaning the bricks, we started with a couple coats of Olympic Masonry Block Filler.  It's a primer for fireplaces that helps fill in the tiny cracks and pores in the brick and mortar.  It is amazing and totally frustrating how much paint the brick absorbs.  You really have to slop it on to fill in everything!  We then used one of my favorite paint colors, Swiss Coffee by Behr.  It's a really creamy white that gives warmth to the space.

After a couple coats of paint, the fireplace looked like this: 
Big difference... but I still HATE the cement hearth and mantel and I still cringe when I look at this picture!  I'll show you a closer look at how gross this cement really is:
YIKES!  It has looked like that since about January 2012...

I've had very grand plans for this fireplace... like a complete overhaul... (as you can see my drawings on the left-hand side of the above picture) however, I want to make sure it would coordinate with other future plans I have for our wet-bar and kitchen... so I will just hold on to those ideas for now :) and keep saving.

I finally painted the hearth and mantel a couple months ago (not sure why I didn't paint it from the beginning!?)  Here is what it looks like today:
Picture - Goodwill | Candle Holders - TJ Maxx CLEARANCE! | Basket - Marshall's | Blue Throw - Target
Big improvement but it still needs work!  I did a rendering of what I would like to add in the near future:
  
Okay so lets start with the big piece... a new mantel.  I would love to remove the cement piece and get a nice piece of reclaimed wood.  Wouldn't that be lovely?

Next I would like to refinish or re-frame my Goodwill art-piece.  The current wood frame is a yucky cherry stain that just isn't my cup of tea.  I'm thinking something more natural looking.

I'd also love to add a beautiful pair of blue and white Chinese porcelain vases.  This pair runs a mere $460... so I think I'll keep looking.  It's hard to find pairs for a reasonable price!

On the hearth, I would love to add a Boston fern to the opening of the fireplace.  I am considering an artificial one, since it will get very little natural light.  I haven't seen any nice ones in person, but I figured since no one will be close to the plant, it might not be too noticeable?  We shall see!

I already ordered the adorable striped copper candles for my candle sticks.  I can't wait to see how they look in person.

So that's all I have for now.  I'm sure I will totally change the decor once we start using our fireplace this winter... but I'm liking this much more than the sparse look I had a few months back.

What do you guys think?  I'd love to hear from you :)

Happy Sunday and GO CARDS! (we will be cheering at the game tonight!!)
Emily

Monday, September 29, 2014

{Wife Approved} Man Cave Makeover!


Hey Everyone!

I've recently been given a unique opportunity to help with a new company's marketing campaign.  The company is called Man Crates, Gifts For Men and they ship fun gifts for men in custom wooden crates that you even have to open with a crowbar!  Their mission is to end the difficulties that have long been associated with buying gifts for men.

http://www.mancrates.com/content/img/summer_slider2.jpg

To coincide with their "Man Cave Makeover" Campaign, I've been asked to create a design board featuring gifts a guy could use to decorate his man cave; taking it from lame to stylish!

The man cave is a ritualistic spot where men retreat in order to watch sports with friends, spill beer, shout at the TV, and tell the same 8 stories over and over again. Man caves come in all sorts of interesting shapes and spaces, be it in a basement, a garage or the classic shed.  However, as original as these spaces are, when it comes to decor they tend to all look the same. A cheap neon beer sign (or beer mirror), a dart board and of course a mini fridge.  That is the case NO LONGER (or at least at my house, hehe!)

I used my hubby as inspiration and created the following mood board!  Hope you enjoy!

Good, right?!  Let's start with the foundation.  I chose Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore the walls.  It's a nice neutral backdrop, perfect for a dark cave-like basement. 

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/af/19/03/af1903e67ed9ca79049d8526a381cb21.jpg
I chose an indoor/outdoor rug from Overstock to combat those beer spills!  It's currently on sale and you can snag a 6'7"x9'6" size for $141.94 - what a steal!

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/c1/07/46/c10746641cf5a02e61d3ac975be8ce01.jpg
I wanted the lighting to have an industrial feel.  I love this Pendant Light DIY by Design Dump using a cheap Home Depot light fixture.  I may just have to recreate this someday!  I also LOVE this Industrial Grid Wall Sconce from West Elm.  It feels like modern version of a neon sign you'd typically see in a man cave! 


Martino Leather Sofa - Furniture - Macy's
This leather sofa from Macy's is perfect for stain-resistance and durability AND it is still stylish.  The clean lines give it a modern feel and the warm caramel color keeps it from looking too dark and dated.  It's a far cry from the typical bulky, shiny leather couches most man caves have.


Bali Toss Pillow Collection
Night Blue Herringbone Cotton Throw Pillow | World Market
These pillows add a pop of color to the room and are also a great price! (here and here)

Vintage Montana Postcard: Many Glacier Region, Glacier National Park, Mont. -- Photo by Hileman.    Great 1930s linen postcard in excellent Nate Berkus™ Studded Wall Mirrorhttp://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/e5/aa/a5/e5aaa5672b3837811690c9f14ac2ce4f.jpg
Hanging above the sofa I chose a vintage postcard of Glacier National Park, which is one of Justin's favorite places.  All it needs is a nice matted frame to make a larger statement.  Next is this drool-worthy Nate Berkus wood/studded mirror.  I wish I had a spot in my house for this guy!  And last but not least, this creepy teddy bear photograph by Kent Rogowski!  The artist dissected the bear and sewed him back together inside out.  You may think I'm weird for choosing it... BUT when I first saw it, I was reminded of the teddy bear on Breaking Bad (Justin's FAVE show)... don't you think?!? 

http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130801004213/breakingbad/images/1/15/PinkBear.jpg
Maybe just a little?  Well anyway, I like to keep things a little weird, and he matches my red shelving unit!

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c4/3b/b2/c43bb2d7558d08964a48ba11dae910e7.jpg
This coffee table from World Market provides warm wood tones to the room and is sturdy enough to withstand those rowdy game days.

http://rk.weimgs.com/weimgs/rk/images/wcm/products/201430/0152/img25c.jpghttp://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/b2/ba/87/b2ba871800b7226845eb1fc930e8a095.jpg
This slate coaster set from West Elm is the perfect masculine touch and will keep your coffee table free of ring marks.  Bonus:  they can also be monogrammed!  This book from Crate and Barrel chronicles nearly 500 beer cans collected from 30 countries - a fun read for beer lovers :) andddd it's on clearance.

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/49/6c/9a/496c9ad38de60c6ded0c38107406c8d1.jpg http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/1e/a9/55/1ea95539ce380aa1db296b0c6cbdbf4b.jpg
This Target metal accent table is a great price.  The brass color gives the room more warmth and it is virtually indestructible!  Just add a little braided hardy succulent for some color!


UO X Crosley AV Room Portable USB Vinyl Record Player - Urban Outfitters KALLAX Shelving unit - high gloss red - IKEA
Now for my favorite part!  I got my hubby this record player (in a different color) a few years ago and he LOVES it.  Not only does it look totally AWESOME, but it is also easily portable and has an auxiliary connection so you can plug in your iPod!  We listen to records all the time now.  The Ikea Kallax shelving unit is perfect for record storage (Justin has TONS) and I love this glossy red color they offer - and SUCH a great price at $64.99.

 
Records are always a great gift for guys (if they have a player, of course!)  Here are a few recommendations for the indie rock lover in your life!  (Beck, Flaming Lips, and Goastt)

Well that's it!  What do you think?  I'd love to hear your comments.  Are there any unique gifts for men that you've seen lately?  How would you decorate a man cave!?

Thanks for looking!
Emily


Friday, September 19, 2014

What's Your Decor Style?

Hey All!

Domaine Home (one of my favorite design blogs) posted a fun quiz today that I wanted to share - What's your Decor Style?!  I got CALIFORNIA ECLECTIC, which I LOVE.  It says:  "You love the combination of midcentury modern lines with organic pieces, ethnic textiles, and plenty of plant life. An expert at layering, you never met a brass accent piece or large-scale photograph you didn’t like."  Totally reminds me of Emily Henderson, my idol! :)  I love the easiness and casual vibe you get from this style - for the most part I would say it is pretty accurate (especially the brass accent piece part!)



Take the QUIZ and let me know what your style is!  Do you think your results are accurate?

Have a great weekend!
Emily

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dining Room Evolution

Hello - it's been quite awhile!  Although I haven't posted since Spring, I have been quite busy working, plotting and planning all of the home projects I want complete (more on that later). :-)

Today, I wanted to share photos of my dining room!

When Justin and I purchased our home in January 2012, our dining room looked like this:

AHHH!  A little heavy on the burgundy, no?  This room was so dark and dated.  I mean, those silky curtains?!?!?  The pealing wallpaper?  The light fixture also wasn't my fave, but I knew I could get some $$ for it on Craigslist to use toward the redecorating!  It all had to go!

When choosing paint colors for our home, I normally go the soft/neutral route and add pops of color... BUT for this room I really wanted to go BOLD.  I thought ripping out the wallpaper and adding white wainscoting would really add some character, brighten the room and also balance out that BOLD color I wanted.  I ended up choosing Benjamin Moore, Surf Blue. 

Here's what she looked like after the paint job!
 Don't mind the ugly brown ottoman.  I used to let my puppies sit there and look out the window until I realized that Wylie (my papillon) was EATING THE WINDOW SILL!!!  Literally.  Let's just say we got rid of the ottoman and I had a fun day of trying to recreate a window sill with wood putty (white window sheers help to disguise it now :)!!!)

I love this paint color so much - so bright and fun!  I think my whole family thought I was a little cuckoo when I showed them the paint swatch, but they are all on board now!  My MCM dining room table was a Craigslist find and comes with 3 leaves.  Our beautiful credenza is a Broyhill found at one of our favorite STL shops, Momoderne, and so was our awesome Sputnik light!  Justin bought me the light for my birthday!!

Over the past couple years I have slowly collected and added to this room and it feels so much more complete.  Here is what our dining room looks like today:
So pretty.

I will never tire of my sputnik light or my mirror! 


The bar cart is vintage and belonged to my great aunt.  It was in pretty rough condition, but is looking good after a fresh coat of gold spray paint.

This cute little chair is from Justin's grandmother and fits perfectly in this corner.  I love the spindle-y legs!

The lamps are from TJMaxx.  I love how they have an acrylic base!  The brass planter is a thrift find and used to have a beautiful living orchid in it until I accidentally killed it... oops.  I bought a nice fake stem from Hobby Lobby and no one can tell the difference... Shhh!  Now, I don't have to ever worry about watering it again ;)  The antler was found by Justin while he was hunting for morel mushrooms...mmmm...!

 I just purchased these two upholstered chairs from TJ Maxx.  I love the Greek Key pattern and the color looks great in the room. 

And just for fun, I decided to set my table for {an imaginary} dinner party!

The rug is from RugsUSA and I purchased it over Labor Day weekend for 70% OFF!!!!  Talk about bargain!




One last before and after:

BEFORE:

AFTER:

I hope you love it as much as I do!  Have a great weekend!
Emily

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pantone Switching It Up!?!

Pantone just announced a NEW Seasonal Schedule and a NEW Color for Spring 2014.

A.K.A. Radiant Orchid is OUT.
Not Cool, Pantone. Not. Cool.
Image via Apartment Therapy
 While I like the idea of changing it quarterly to relate more to each season, personally, I like to see how designers can incorporate the same color throughout the entire year (by changing the decor around it or using lighter/darker shades of the color)... truly seeing how versatile the color can be!  Also, I am obsessed with Radiant Orchid so that adds even more fuel to my fire. (Am I making any sense or am I just talking crazy and caring about unimportant subject matters???)

Here are some examples:

This first image seems very Spring-like to me with the light walls, light colored bedding, and light tones of "radiant orchid" used.  Isn't this room beautiful?  I love how the touches of blue mix with the purple in the artwork.  (This picture actually inspired me to add some purple touches to my mostly light blue master bedroom - photos to come!)
Image via House & Home

This image seems more fall-like to me.  I love how the rich wood tones, brass and berry-like hues add a deeper dimension to this room.  I seriously LOVE what Kate did with this space (using beautiful World Market goodies!)
Image via Centsational Girl

So I'm not sure if I made my point to any of you but, basically, I'm just not ready to see Radiant Orchid go! :)

I mean, look what they are replacing her with...
Image via Apartment Therapy
Definitely not as good (in my humble opinion.)  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE green.  It is my FAVORITE color.  This, however, is just too abrasive and bright for my eyes :)  I prefer a green with more blue tones rather than yellow.  Most likely, the only way I will be incorporating this color is with lots of plants!

Here is an image of how it's incorporated in the home.
Image via Apartment Therapy
Meh...

Anyway, just thought I would give you an update in case you hadn't heard the "big" news!

This better be an April Fool's Joke... oh, wait...! :)

xo,
Emily