Spring Vignettes: Ledge Shelves



Here's how the ledge shelves in our family room are looking now that they got switched out for spring. (There's three spots in our house that I decorate seasonally...the bookcase in our foyer, the mantel in our living room and the shelves in the family room above the couch...check out the bookcase for spring here and the spring mantel here.)

You've probably noticed that I use the same stuff all year round (frames, white pitchers, glass bottles, mason jars, books), just move things around, change out the book colors, swap out the prints in the frames, etc. to make it work for that particular time of year. (The point of this is to not spend any money and put out for decorative use stuff that has to be stored somewhere anyways.) Sneaky, huh?! In this case, I cut a page out of a flower field guide book I have and literally taped it to the front of the glass because I didn't like the way the tint of the glass was changing the color of the botanical page. 

The smaller yellow frame (which I painted a bit for last year's fall mantel) got a fern print that I found on vintage printable.


Also making an appearance, lots of white ceramic pitchers and milk bottles...


...two old aqua apothecary bottles I found at a flea market in the parking lot of our local grocery store (which were used on last year's fall bookcase - you feeling me on this whole can-work-for-every season-thing?!)...


...and my two "vintage" Cherry Ames books that I read as a kid (which coincidentally were also used in last year's fall mantel).

How's your spring decorating going? It is cold and pouring cats and dogs here today.The other day it was in the low 80s and we needed the AC. Welcome to April in Massachusetts:)

Dining Room Update: Bamboo Blinds and a Question



Our dining room has been a slow work in progress since we moved in like six years ago. And when I say slow, I mean slooooow. It just took me exactly a year to order and hang bamboo blinds on the windows in here!! But they're finally up and I think they look awesome:)

If you remember, last April, I stole the drapes from the living room where I didn't really like them and moved them here into the dining room, where I really like them. In that post, I also mentioned that I wanted to swap out the ugly plastic roller shades for bamboo blinds, but had hit up all the local suspects (Lowes, Home Depot, Target, BB&B) and wasn't finding what I wanted or the right size. Blogger buddies Carrie and Casey both commented that they had always had good luck with Overstock, so I checked them out and immediately found something to fit the bill (thanks, guys!)...the Tuscan Bamboo Roman Shade (27" x 54") for only $21.99 each! Sweet.

Oh gosh, they look sooo much better than those old roller shades. We don't really need huge privacy in here, so I'm not too concerned that you can still see slightly through them from outside at night. I mostly wanted something that looked good and would provide a bit of screening if we are actually in here dining at night, or working on a project at the table, having a party, etc.


I do have one question though. I haven't yet installed the little cleats that hold the pesky, long cords yet. Where do you guys usually put them? Just somewhere sort of halfway up the window casing (on the right side of the window)?

Here's a before and some afters of how this room has come along. Here it is when we moved in:

Then after we painted, bought some furniture (sorry about the puzzle!), redid the floors, got new lighting, and found a rug:

Here's after we hung up the drapes, but still with old roller shades:

And now with the new bamboo blinds! (Sorry, couldn't take the "after" shot from the same angle because of the complete construction zone that is the table from working on our new baseboards, which you can see a bit of here!)

Psyched that I can cross this item off the to-do list!

Real Rooms: Play date at Melissa and Morgan's



I had to share some shots from this super charming house with you guys! Maura and I were at her friend Morgan's/my friend Melissa's last week for a play date. (Their home was built in the 1850s and is located right downtown in a very historic New England area.) And while I started taking pics of the two kids playing, I soon switched to taking pics of the really good looking stuff in the background!

Just so you guys know this is completely legit, let's kick off the tour in the play room:)

{Morgan's the one with the squishable cheeks in cute skirt and leggings, my kid's the one in the back with a mullet and overalls!}

I love Melissa's family room. They've got three fireplaces...one here, one in the adjoining dining room and one in Morgan's nursery!

It's so cozy - the sea grass rug, large antique map, light and airy curtains, comfy ottoman...this is definitely a good place for playin'.

In the dining room, Melissa painted her chairs (and the legs of her table) a lovely grey and this old dresser that she uses as a sideboard got a coat of green.

Check out the beautiful sun room they just had renovated! Love the tall bead board with that plate rail. Melissa's got some outdoor furniture here now temporarily and was asking me what she should do with the space (the other half you don't see is a sort of mud room, with a bench, baskets, hooks, etc. and their kitchen is right up that step, through the french door on the left). Uh, sit there, have some coffee and enjoy the view?!! Looks good to me:) That's why I'm taking a photo of it, baby! But in all honesty, does anyone have any ideas for this area? Melissa wants it to be useful for their family.

Morgan's nursery is so cheery and sweet with buttery yellow walls and green, pink and white accents.

I love the pops of green (whether its wall color, accent pillows, painted furniture, plants) that Melissa has managed to infuse everywhere. It really unifies everything and definitely adds that spring touch this time of year.

PS. Today is Melissa's birthday and on Thursday she is going in for a scheduled c-section to meet her second baby girl:) So let's show her some comment love...when I asked her if I could put her on the blog, she was in disbelief that anyone would want to see pics of her house!!

Thinking Outside of the (Kid's) Box



I got the PB Teen and Land of Nod catalogs in the mail this week, and despite the fact that I'm not working on a nursery, kid's room or tween room, I dog-eared a lot of pages in those babies!! So I thought I'd do a post on some of the great stuff you can find from these two guys and apply to almost any other kind of room. If you remove a lot of their furniture or accessories or window treatments or art from the context of a kid's room where everything else is kid too, they become just good finds. Anyways, the point is not to forget sources like these when shopping for your bedroom, or family room, or wherever:)

Here's some of the things that caught my eye that I think could be applied in lots of non-child related scenarios:


1. Broad Stripe Rug (in pink, blue or grey)...Land of Nod
2. Traveller's Kilim Rug (in warm or cool)...PB Teen
3. Zig Zag Zrug (in grey, blue, orange, khaki or pink)...Land of Nod
4. Leaf Medallion Lurex Rug (in pool/navy or pink/coral)...PB Teen
5. Magic Carpet (Non-Flying Edition...in green, pink, lavender, aqua and khaki)...Land of Nod
6. Zoe Rug...PB Teen
7. Stark Concepts Extreme Express Rug...PB Teen
8. Tribal Dhurrie Rug...PB Teen


1. Wood and Wire Wall Multi Basket...PB Teen
2. Adjustable Architectural Wall Lamp...PB Teen
3. Bradley Funnel Pendant...PB Teen
Emerson Sawhorse Desk...PB Teen
5. Periodic Table...Land of Nod


1. Shell Swag Chandelier...PB Teen
2. Bare Bones Wall Art...Land of Nod
3. As Seen in the Sea Wall Art...Land of Nod
4. Hanging Around Woodgrain Pendant...Land of Nod

Pretty Pattern...

1. Authentic Block Print Quilt and Sham Paisley...PB Teen
2. Balboa Beaded Geo Pillow Cover...PB Teen
3. Khaki in the Mix Dot Curtain Panels...Land of Nod
4. Bullseye Wall Art...Land of Nod
5. Zig Zag Strapping Baskets (in black, aqua, blue, green, pink and yellow)...Land of Nod
6. Peyton Organic Duvet Cover and Pillowcase (in navy or pool)...PB Teen

What do you guys think? Would you/have you ever ordered something from a place like this to use somewhere other than a kid's room? What are your favorite unexpected, out of the box go-to sources?

Ps. Have you ever actually read-read the Land of Nod catalog? Those guys are funny, they have a great sense of humor:)

Spring Vignettes: Mantel



Hi there! Made a few switcheroos and added a couple of things to my winter mantel (which was not very wintery at all...just more like a normal-random-could work all year-matches the color palette of the room mantel) and now I have a spring one:)

First thing I did was throw up these capiz shell garlands (from West Elm a long time ago) that I also used in my summer mantel last year.

I kept both pieces of "art" in the dark grey frames the same - the Physical Map of the Pacific Ocean (a page cut out from an old atlas) and the antique fish print (lying around from when I framed a bunch for our foyer).

I've discovered I just love educational, informational nature drawings and things, so I hit up Vintage Printable for some replacements for the two brushed silver shadowbox frames. Under the Animal Gallery, I found this
butterfly chart (from the Gov't Printing Office of India) which went in the big frame on the left.

Then, after removing the little glass apothecary bottles that were here, I added a nest and eggs.

The small frame on the right got this Eggs of British Birds chart (also from the Animal Gallery - my sister lives in London...its totally relevant!)

And then this cute little birdie statue (from Target, I think) rounded things out.

The "P"s weren't bothering anyone (at least, I didn't think so...shute, are they bothering you?!), so I left them in:)

Spring Bookcase with DIY Chalkboard Botanical



I always seem to be a little late transitioning over to the next season, but I'm finally starting to get some spring decor up around here. I started with the bookcase in our foyer, knowing I wanted to bring back out the totally faux terrariums I made last year.

Next, I wanted to keep riding the chalkboard train, but I didn't want to do more text like I did for Christmas. I love botanical drawings, so I thought it would be fun to attempt an easy one of my own. I went with a fern because I like them, but also because compared to pretty much every flower out there, they are easy to draw (just lots of little repetitive hatch marks)!

I literally copied this entire thing (text included) from a fern botanical print I have hanging in my family room. Took it down off the wall, brought it into the kitchen and used it as reference to draw the chalkboard one, then went and hung it back up. The whole thing took about a half hour. I really love how something so organic and colorful translates to bold, graphic and high contrast when its only white on black.

After that I just did what I always do to fill in the rest, ran around the house finding stuff I already had in the appropriate colors now that I had a sort of palette going. Some glass and ceramics in greens and muted blues on the middle shelf that Maura still can't reach.

The bottom shelf stays the same throughout the year...rectangular woven basket/box that we keep a bunch of papers in and Paul's old baby shoes. I just swap out the books the shoes are resting on for ones that match the current color scheme, so in went green and faded blue-grey.

The second shelf from the bottom is always the hardest now because Maura usually ends up playing/messing with whatever I put there. I brought back out my vintage (a nice term for stuff I used when I was growing up, I'm 35!!) Hardy Boys books, but I thought the bright turquoise of their covers was a little too much color. Then I **gasp** did something I said I would never do (being a reader and book lover), I turned them around so only the ends of the pages are showing! And I love how it looks!!! Its like just enough and ended up creating this great texture.

This ended up being one of my favorite looks ever that I've had going on with this bookcase!

Do you guys already have all your spring decor up? I probably won't be back with another post this week, so hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend!!

Round Here



Hi! Hope everyone had a good weekend! Besides new baseboards, we have some other fun things going on around the homestead.

I had to wait two weeks, but I finally got the email from Overstock that that rug we talked about for our family room was back in stock! Put in the order and it was here a week later (it just arrived on Friday). The colors are slightly different that what the site showed, but I was expecting that, just wasn't sure in what way they were going to be different. Just got a rug pad at Lowes over the weekend, so now we have to clean the floors up a bit, move the furniture and get that baby laid out. Can't wait!

{sneak peek...rolled it out a little to see how its going to look!}

I finally also ordered bamboo blinds for our dining room windows! (First blogged about that last April! Ok, so it only took me a year! Not bad.) They came in the mail last week too, so now we just have to hang them up.

I am really proud of myself! Things are actually getting done around here. Usually I move at a snail's pace, and now I'm moving at a _______________ (insert random insect or animal here that moves slightly faster than a snail) pace! Go me:)

Have you guys been impressing yourselves lately too?!!

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