Thursday, May 24, 2012

Au Revoir!

Euroair France Print
Today's the day! In T minus 4 hours we will be on our way to KCI airport! After a quick layover in Chicago and an 9.5 hour flight we will be in Paris, baby! We are renting a small teeny-tiny apartment in the Marais, or 3rd district, for seven nights.  Then we fly to Rome where we are renting a slightly less teeny-tiny apartment near Camp di Fiore for five nights.  I'm really anxious right now and I'm just ready to be there!  I probably won't blog while we're there so I will update everyone on the trip in a couple weeks after we get back!

~Au Revoir Mes Amis~

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Entryway Light

One of the nice things about our home is that almost all of the light fixtures have been updated.  All except the lovely shiny brass chandelier in the entryway which I'm sure is original to the house, so circa 1989.

Not so pretty.  I mentioned in this post that I really want to replace it, but the problem is that I have very little money to spend on things like entryway chandeliers at the moment.  My brilliant hubby may have come up with a solution though.  See this light in the formal dining room?

It's a perfectly nice dining room chandelier, except we're not going to use the room as a formal dining room.  Since we already have a great dining area off the kitchen we're going to make this room into a library/sitting room or something along those lines.  The chandelier hangs pretty low so anytime you walk through the room it's quite easy to bump your head on the chandelier.  After Ben had done this a couple times he suggested that maybe we could move it to the entryway and replace the light in this room with something inexpensive or DIY.  I brought this up to my parents when they were at the house Sunday and they both liked the idea.  It should be pretty easy since the previous homeowner left the chain for this light which looks plenty long.  I played in Picasa a little bit and here's an idea of what it would look like. 

What do you think? Does this look right as an entryway light or does it scream "I'm supposed to be in a dining room!"?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Singing the Blues

Hello everyone! I'm back to blogging after a very busy weekend.  My hubby graduated med school Saturday and we had a wonderful graduation party for him at his dad's house.  Sunday we celebrated my birthday with my parents who were in town from Illinois.  We also got to show them the house for the first time which was a lot of fun.  I think they loved it!

Today we got back to real life after we had a goodbye lunch with my parents.  Ben and I headed to the Sherwin Williams store to pick out paint colors for our living room.  We are hiring a professional painter to paint all the wainscoting and trim white, and since they're already going to be there we're having them paint the top half of the living rooms walls as well. 

I'm sure everyone who has painted a room will tell you this too, but picking out paint colors is hard! Especially white...who knew there were 30 shades of white to choose from? We asked the salesman his advice and he said Dover White and Alabaster are both very popular so I think we're going with one of those.

Then it was time to choose a color for the top half.  I've lived it beige and boring apartments for the last four years so I'm ready for some color baby!  Naturally since blue is my favorite color that's what I chose.  Ben told our painter this the other day and he said blue would clash with the carpet, which I think is ridiculous. He suggested that instead of blue we should choose a shade of espresso because that's what they're doing in a lot of high end homes now.  Sorry Charlie, that is too boring for my taste.  Go big or go home right? I had a good idea in mind of the blue I wanted for but of course it was still hard to choose an exact color.  I narrowed it down to three:  Briny, Freshwater, and Jamaica Bay.  They whipped up three sample-sized quarts for us and we took them back to the house so we could try them out.  Ben and I both got into the painting action.


Here's what the wall looked like after we got the three colors up (the letter underneath is the first letter of the paint color).

I like the freshwater but it's a little light.  Jamaica Bay is pretty too but not quite right.  At this point I'm liking Briny the best.  However, after we had given it a little bit of time to dry it was looking really teal.  Not what I am going for.  So, it was back to Sherwin Williams to pick up sample number four, Cruising.  It's the same hue as Jamaica Bay but one step darker.  Ben painted that on the wall for me to check out.

And here's what all four of the paint samples look like together:

I still don't know.  Cruising is darker than Jamaica Bay, which I like, but I'm not sold on it.  Is it too blue?  This is so difficult, because on the paint chips the colors look completely different, see?

I even went back onto Sherwin Williams' Paint Visualizer and "painted" a photo of the living room with each of the different blues.  They look totally different online too.

Jamaica Bay
Do you see why this is so difficult? We're going to let the paint dry until Wednesday and at that point we'll choose a favorite.  I'm just really nervous because we're paying a painter a lot of money to put this up for us and if we don't like it we'll have wasted a good amount of money.  This is also all getting done while we're in Europe so it's not like we can just do one wall and see what we think.  It's all or nothing.  Any feedback is welcome because I am stuck! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Random Loves

Today's post is a little random.  It's my last day ever at the bank so I'm a little distracted, and putting together a well thought out post is just not happening.  Instead I'm going to share a few wonderful posts from some of my favorite blogs.  

The first is this post by the always wonderful Emily Henderson.  Ladies and (gay) gentlemen, do yourself a favor and look at her post right now, if for nothing more than the drool-worthy pictures of Ryan Gosling.  Once you've regained your composure take a minute to read her post.  She has actually written a really smart and helpful guide to picking out the right gray paint color by comparing them to different photos of Mr. "Hey-Girl".  It sounds kind of stupid when I write about it but it really is a great article.  

Next up is this post from Keller Creative.  I absolutely love what Kim has done with her screened in porch.  It is such an inviting space and I can totally see myself hanging out for here for hours.  I haven't done anything with our new deck yet but eventually I would love to recreate this look.  

Lastly, I'm sharing Kristen's living room from 6th Street Design School.  I love just about everything about this space, but I especially love the fabric she used for the curtains.  I've also seen it used on all sorts of furniture, including these pieces from Target (both are on sale right now!)

Desert Blue Storage Bench

Abstract Print Slipper Chair
That is all folks.  I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

With a Side of...

Want to make a statement in your living without spending a lot of money? Try adding a unique side table!  There are so many options out there in every style from rustic to industrial to glamorous and in a wide range of colors.  It'll add the right amount of personality to the space without overwhelming it, and if you grow tired of it you can get a new table without spending a lot of money.  The tables below range from $29.99 to $399 so there is an option for every budget.  Which one is your favorite?
Bolero Accent Table $229

Campaign Accent Table $99.99

Driftwood Side Table $399
Macau Accent Table $64.99

Ginger Salt Side Table $299

Jai Drum Table $149.99

Mimic Lemongrass Cube $79.95

Tribal Carved Wood Accent Table $149.99
Washer Accent Table $199

Sidney Storage Drum Table $114.99

Recycled Wood Table $179
Green Folding Accent Table $29.99

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Etsy Explorer: Alicia Bock

Today I'm featuring my all-time favorite Etsy artist, Alicia Bock.  I first came across her shop about four years ago and I made my first purchases in early 2010.  I started with three prints that I framed in some old gold frames that used to belong to my grandparents.  
Springtime in Paris, Eiffel Tower, Bow
I also bought her Paris calendar for my desk at work.  After I had used the calendar I repurposed one of the pages by just cutting off the calendar part and popping it into a $5 frame from Hobby Lobby. It's the carousel picture on the far right side of the shelf above my bed.

I had told my friends Kate and Rachelle about how much I love my Alicia Bock prints, so for my birthday two years ago they bought me a sweet butterfly print (I think it's been discontinued).  It's proudly displayed on my living room gallery wall (it's on the top row, second from the left).  

She's not exactly an undiscovered artist; her work has been used on the sets of the 2nd Sex and the City movie, Grey's Anatomy, and How I Met Your Mother.  She's also been featured in Better Homes and Gardens and People Magazine.  She has so many amazing pieces that it's hard to choose favorites, but here are some more prints that I love.  

The Blue Hour
Beach Photograph
Ferris Wheel
These all have such a dreamy quality that I absolutely love.  I have two more calendars from her that I bought on sale this spring for $5 each.  I'm planning to frame a bunch of them and hang them in a gallery wall somewhere in the new house.  Stay tuned!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Blog Crush: Danielle Oakey Interiors

Have you checked out Danielle Oakey's blog yet?  If not you are missing out, she is fabulous.  I'll admit that the first thing that caught my eye wasn't her style; in her "about me" blurb she mentions that she is married to a third year medical student, something I know a little about :)  As I spent more time reading her posts I started to fall in love with her decorating style.  She creates wonderful mood boards for her clients (she's actually a legit interior designer), and she's done an amazing job decorating her house on a budget.  Take a peak! 

all images via danielle oakey
She has some great DIY tutorials for projects like a fabric covered headboard and the faux deer head she made for her daughter's room.  And if all of the above isn't enough to make you want to start following her site, she also has free artwork!

Just leave a comment here and she will email any (or all 3!) of these adorable chair pictures.  They would look fabulous in a gallery wall, don't you think?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Trending: Sunburst Mirrors

I have been seeing sunburst mirrors everywhere lately and I love them.  They look wonderful almost anywhere: over the fireplace mantle, in the dining room on an accent wall, or over the bed.  Sabrina Soto even featured them in the latest episode of The High Low Project, (btw, I'm so happy that show is back on the air, I thought it had been canceled!).  The problem with these lovely mirrors is that they can be quite pricey.  The first "high-end" version of Sabrina's room featured six sunburst mirrors that collectively cost over $2500.  That's over $400 each!  I did a quick search online and discovered that $400 is actually an average price.  This little gold-leafed beauty costs more than double that at $847.50!

There is just no way I can afford to pay that much for a mirror, so I did a little shopping and rounded up nine beautiful sunburst mirrors that all cost under $100.

     1.  Home Decorators, $59
     2.  Home Decorators, $69
     3.  Hobby Lobby, $49.99
     4.  Ballard Designs, $99
     5.  Ballard Designs, $79
     6.  Kirklands, $59.99
     7.  Home Depot, $34.97
     8.  Target, $24.19
     9.  Target, $84.99

Aren't these wonderful? They are definitely going on my to-buy list once I save up some more money for decorating the house.  

This weekend will be a busy one for me.  I'm working my last Saturday ever at the bank, then heading to Maryville for Ben's 7-year-old sister's dance recital, and then trying to meet up with a bachelorette party downtown.  Sunday I'm just going to try to get some stuff done around the house before the craziness of graduation week is upon us.  

I hope all of you have a fabulous and relaxing weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New House: Everything Else!

Well my home tour concludes today with pictures of the rest of the house, starting with the dining room and ending with the unfinished basement.  I don't have any plans to update anything right away, but I really want to replace the lovely hanging brass light in the entryway once I save up a little more money.