My Favorite Room



Hi! So excited today to be sharing My Favorite Room (in our house) over at Rene's blog, Cottage & Vine! I know you all follow her already, she's like really famous! Such a lovely style, and she's one of those generous, kind-hearted bloggers...always doing what she can to make this lil' ol' community we got going on here a better place. (If you don't read Cottage & Vine yet, you will. Every Wednesday Rene asks a blogger to show and talk about their favorite room, it is a really interesting series.)

Head on over there to check out which room I picked. Any guesses? (Ok, pretty much the only one around here actually done!) Thank you so much for having me, Rene!!

Ps. If you missed the next Mood Board Monday inspiration post, go here.

The Next Mood Board Monday: Dinnerware and Dining Rooms



Let's keep the ball rolling and do another Mood Board Monday party, shall we? (The last one - we rocked wallpaper - was so fun!) In the spirit of the upcoming holidays (especially Thanksgiving), where celebrating with family and friends around the table is so important, I thought it would be neat to use dinnerware as our inspiration! And we can all design dining rooms! What do you think?

Does Monday, November 14th work for everyone? That's the Monday of the week before Thanksgiving (about 3 weeks from now - woah, crazy how fast the fall is already flying by)...we'll get the party in well before the holiday, so this way we won't be stressed out the week of Thanksgiving..well, at least not about this:)

Remember, Mood Board Monday is all about seeing how different people are inspired differently by the same things. There's no budget, no real client (unless you want to really challenge yourself), no limits. Just you, a lovely set of dinnerware and the interwebz!

So, choose one of the following four sets of dishes as your jumping off point and create a dining room. Feel free (or not) to add glassware, stemware, flatware, (anything else that ends in "ware"), serving pieces, table linens...however detailed you want to be about the actual table setting is up to you. Also, if you're into it, you are more than welcome to throw in touches of holiday decor as well.

1. David Stark Wood Slices-Organic Dinnerware from West Elm

{Designed by David Stark, loosely sketched tree rings printed on Wood Slices Organic Dinnerware bring the natural world to your table in gleaming gold metallic}

2. Penumbral Doily Dinnerware from Anthropologie

{Delicate lines of dainty crochet work are impressed upon glazed terracotta.}

3. Chirp Collection, from Lenox Simply Fine Dinnerware, available at Macy's

{A splash of bright watercolor-inspired birds and florals adorn each plate and the interiors as well as exteriors of bowls and mugs.}

4. Philippe Deshoulieres' "Dhara" collection, available at Bloomingdales

{Dhara is inspired by the side designs of a poetry manuscript from Saadi. The colors are inspired by the traditional saris from Penjab and Cachemire. Philippe Deshoulieres has been producing porcelain in the Limoges region of France for six generations.}

Hope you like one of them!!! For anyone unfamiliar with the concept of the Mood Board Monday McLinky party, here's the general idea (we would love to see some new faces and hopefully lots of you back from previous parties):

1. This is a fun way to share all of the creativity out there and showcase how we can all start from one inspiration point and end up with a variety of ideas.
2. To be a participant, you need to create a complete mood board for a dining room using one of the four sets of inspiration dinnerware shown here.
3. On Mood Board Monday party day (Monday, November 14th in this case), come back here to link up to the party. You will need to include your sources in your post and give a brief description of the room and how you used the inspiration item.

Thanks so much! Feel free to spread the word - the more bloggers, the more beautiful rooms! Can't wait to see the dining rooms you guys "cook" up:)

Ps. Check out our previous Mood Board Monday Linky parties here: MBM01, MBM02, MBM03, MBM04, MBM05, MBM06, MBM07, MBM08, MBM09 and MBM10.

More Fall Around Here



The bookcase in our foyer got a quick change to take it into fall. Here's what it looked like this summer:

Here it is now for fall:

I swapped out the sun/floral print in the frame for this bird image from an old Cavallini calendar (similar to this). My vintage glass fishing float got replaced with dried gourd, one of my #13 blue Ball mason jars, and two old aqua apothecary bottles that I recently found at a flea market in our supermarket's parking lot:)

I kept my old Hardy Boys books (helps tie in to the vintage book thing going on on the mantel) and just added a mini white pumpkin to the shelf with the white pitchers/bottles. Easy and quick, gotta get this stuff done during nap time:)

I always put mini pumpkins in the transom window above our front door, but they look better this year now that the door's black. Yay!

The ledge shelves above the couch in our family room got a quick redo for fall too.

Love this photo of Maura's feet taken during her photo session with Sarah of Afterglow Photos when she was 10 weeks old.

For some reason this old wooden vise (from the early 1900s) that I got during my first trip to Brimfield in 2009 makes me think of fall and harvesting, even though it was only used to hold pieces of wood together.

I bring out this wheat bundle every year. This time I just changed the color ribbon on it to green to tie in more with the color scheme of the vignette. I bought like 6 of these wood chunky candlesticks at our neighborhood yard sale this year...not sure if I'm eventually going to paint them or not, for fall the wood is working well.

And...that's all I got:) Stay tuned next week for the inspiration for the next Mood Board Monday!

This Year's Fall Mantel



My fall decor usually starts with a big trip to the garden center/nursery for lots of real pumpkins, gourds, berries, and whatever else strikes my fancy while I'm there. Then I come home and go from there. This year though, between trying to save some money, it getting harder and harder to do long, drawn out errands (that involve thinking and focusing and imagining) with Maura because she doesn't want to sit still, and the fact that the pumpkin harvest got hit pretty hard up here led me to try a different route. Work with what you already have. Or at least cut way back.

This was not what I had in mind when I started out, but here's where she ended up. (I think I just gave my fireplace a gender.)

My only new purchases were this grapevine wreath from Michaels ($2.99) that I hung on the mirror and the two white mini pumpkins.

I ended up with a kind of vintage book and dried botanical theme thing going on. That screams fall to you, right?!

I had/read a bunch of these Cherry Ames books when I was a kid (she's a mystery solving nurse, you already saw my stash of Hardy Boys books here).

Finding this beautiful book I had of my grandmother's stashed away sort of inspired the whole look. She signed it in pencil, with her maiden name - and she married my grandpa when she was 19, and the date June 12, 1937.

I'm not sure why I have this red book or who it belonged to, but the inside cover is signed in pencil with "something (Maria maybe? its hard to read) Muller 1907". In this case I faced the spine towards the wall because it served me better to have the golden carmel color of the old pages showing (to help balance out my long skinny wheat bundle on the other side) than the red of the cover.

Something about this James and the Giant Peach was speaking to me. I like the peachy tones in combination with the sea foam and turquoise and green of the other books. The illustration is so charming and doesn't Roald Dahl just sort of bring back good childhood memories? It was given to me when I was 10 by my aunt. She signed the inside cover with a message and the year 1987. (What's with all these dates ending in 7? Maybe these books were meant to come together here!)

On the left side of the mirror, next to Cherry, I cut out and framed a page from a collection of Beatrix Potter stories that I have. I tried to choose one that sort of gave off a fall vibe (scarecrow?) and had similar colors in it to the rest of the pieces here. I had this yellow frame lying was a bit too vibrant, so I just white washed it a bit with some white acrylic paint to tone it down and blend in more with all the soft shades of cream and butter, etc. that are going on.

Do you think the mantel reads fall enough or is it too subtle for you? Thanks!

PS. To see how fall has gone down in past years at our place, check out the 2010 mantel here and the 2009 one here.

**edit: Sweet! I'm linking this up to the Saturday Nite Special over at Donna's Funky Junk Interiors. She's got a Fall Mantel party goin' on and a linky for Home Decor and Crafts, Sewing and Cooking projects. Phew! Lots of awesome inspiration all in one place:)

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Foyer Update: Antique Fish Prints



Hi! How was everyone's (hopefully) long weekend? The weather was GORGEOUS here in Massachusetts, it felt like summer:)

Last week, I posted about how I finally painted the inside of our front door black. Over the weekend, I hung up the four antique fish prints that I got at the Brimfield show this May (hand colored engravings from 1827-1834, done by French naturalist and zoologist Baron Georges Cuvier ). I bought them specifically for the foyer, to go on either side of the front door.

On one side of the wall we have this pesky light switch. It pretty much dictated where the prints would go. I framed and hung them horizontally, because the light switch is fairly low on the wall and I was worried that if I went with vertical frames, the one under the light switch would start to get really too low on the wall. Plus maybe it helps to balance out all the vertical planes of the door, side window panes, etc.? (Please answer yes.)

If anyone is really paying close attention, you'll notice I did not use all of the original prints I bought at Brimfield. I actually cut up some of the pages to frame bits and pieces of them separately. Is that a big no no? Probably, but I thought it was better than abandoning the whole project and having these beauties sit in a box somewhere because I didn't like how some of the pages were cropped when trying to fit them into my mats.

The gigantic fish eye isn't buggin' anyone out, is it? I think this kind of stuff is so an illustration major in college I appreciate the technique and they kind of remind me of the technical drawings I used to have to do both as a product designer and a 3d animator.

Just for kicks, here's the foyer before before before (going way back to before we had the cherry floors sanded and restained in dark walnut, before the door went black and before said fish art):

And here's the after, as seen from the upstairs landing:

Foyer Update: Black Front Door



Sorry, we've kind of been living in baby land around here on the blog lately! I did just manage to accomplish something home related that doesn't involve our just-turned-one year old though:)

Way back in February I posted about wanting to paint the inside of our front door black. I even bought the paint then but had to wait until the weather warmed up. The summer came and went, but I finally managed to get 'er done a few weeks ago.

Here's the before. Kinda boring, even though we have this awesome transom window.

And now, after two coats of Benjamin Moore straight-off-the-shelf Black in semi-gloss.

I love it! It's definitely much more dramatic. The black attracts your eye, so its a focal point now.

{sorry about the terrible pics, its hard to get good shots in here because the light is always flooding through the windows}

Sweet, I love crossing things off the to-do list! Stay tuned next week for another quick, mini foyer update. And still gotta find a lantern to put in here in place of our current chandelier (posted about that way back in January...oops!).

Anybody else considering painting any of their doors another color other than white?

Old School Paper Chains



Maura's nursery got a super quick and easy update this week...old school paper chains hanging from the ceiling!

For Maura's first birthday party (pics of that hopefully coming soon), my sister (in from London for a few weeks) and I made a bunch of paper chain garlands to use as decor.

{scrapbook paper from Michaels cut into strips 1"wide by 10" long}

{my not-normally-crafty sister (she's in finance, people! if she can do this, you can do it!) using a mini stapler to attach the paper rings together, in totally random color/pattern order}

They looked so cool that I couldn't let them go to waste after the party. It took 5 minutes to hang them from the high sloped ceilings in the nursery (using clear push pins) and they add such a fun, whimsical element to the room!

For $13 and not a lot of time, I think they pack a big punch. Plus I like that they're a nice personal keepsake for the baby...made with love by her mama and auntie for her very first birthday.

{do not try this at home, or maybe you already have - standing on top of the dresser to get better blog pics!}

I think she likes them:)

Linking up to the DIY Project Parade over at the DIY Show Off (this was so easy it shouldn't even count as DIY!) and the Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop at Homemaker on a Dime.

The DIY Show Off

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