Monthly Archives: October 2015

Vintage Adds Soul to Your Home

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Some vintage accessories at Found, in Poulsbo.

What are the differences between a “decorated” home and an authentic one? How can I make my home feel more like a reflection of who I am, who my family is, and be less concerned with it just looking pretty? These are the types of soul-searching questions I have been pondering lately. Don’t be fooled, I also want my home to look beautiful, but I want it to feel real, lived-in, and happy. Not contrived. One of the ways I personalize my home is through vintage furnishings.

This Sunday, in the Life section of the Sun, I’ll touch on the idea of adding vintage soul to your home; how mixing furnishings from different time periods give a home character and how collections of vintage accessories speak to your personality. Even refinishing an old piece creates a story and can imbue your environment with authenticity. How does vintage inspire your life at home?

I Survived the Home Goods Grand Opening

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It was a little crazy out there folks! Home Goods opened the doors of their new location at the Trails in Silverdale last Sunday, and boy was it hopping.  The store was looking bright, shiny and totally stocked- with merchandise, employees and shoppers. As I am generally not a huge lover of crowds, my plan was to get in and get out, without buying anything, and I stuck to my guns. But it was hard. There was so much good stuff! If you haven’t been to a Home Goods, it’s basically a giant version of TJ Maxx’s home decor section. The prices are totally reasonable and the inventory is deep. There were two huge aisles of throw pillows. Two! There were two huge aisles of lamps. Two! If you are in search of a brand new home accessory, of any kind, size or style, (no vintage of course), I highly suggest stopping in. Enjoy a few photos from my experience.

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DIY: Under-bed LEGO Table

Living in a 1920’s house has its charms and drawbacks. Storage space is tight, and rooms are small. I have two small children, and as you might know, they come with lots of stuff, and more specifically, lots of LEGO. My basement is mostly unfinished and therefore, I have no dedicated play room. My oldest is very nearly five years old and my youngest is eight months old. LEGO and babies don’t mix. So, the house rule is that LEGO bricks stay in Thomas’ bedroom.

Since Thomas’s bedroom is pretty tiny and floor space is limited, I needed to come up with a solution that could, quite literally make the LEGO bricks disappear at night. My theory is that creating a dedicated play area for these tiny pieces, makes their migration into common areas of the house a little less likely.

The under-bed space is largely underutilized as storage in general, and Thomas’ room is no exception. Since most LEGO play time happens on the floor anyway, I had it in my mind to create some type of surface that could slide under the bed at night. This is what I came up with.

Using a scrap piece of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), I had on hand, I crafted a rolling LEGO table. It was pretty simple to make, and you could make this piece just about any size you want. It took four easy steps.

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  1. Screw in four swivel casters with brakes. I used casters with brakes so the table won’t slide away from Thomas as he is playing on it. The only down side to this is that they are a bit tricky, so I have to help him set and unlock the brakes.IMG_0756
  2. Use a miter box to cut trim for the edges of the table. The last thing you want is for the LEGO creations to go careening off the side of the table when you push it under the bed at night. Meltdowns will ensue… I used a 1″ square cedar trim from Home Depot, but almost any type of decorative trim or quarter-round would work.
  3. Adhere the trim to the table. I used Gorilla Glue with clamps, then secured the trim with finishing nails.photo (17)
  4. Paint it. I used two coats of Behr’s Ultra White primer and paint in one. Of course, I had help, I’d be nowhere without my little shop assistant! If you wanted to, you could paint some streets on the surface, or glue down a few of those green LEGO building plates. We are not quite so sophisticated yet.IMG_0799

Done! The only challenge left was getting it to fit under the bed. Thomas’s bed is low to the ground, so I spray painted a set of bed risers that were collecting dust in the basement. We effectively gained a few more inches to accommodate those taller LEGO structures.

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I know that the LEGO obsession is likely going to last at least another nine or ten years, if not more, according to my teenage nephews. In that time, we may very well move to a different home with more room to set up for hobbies and play,  but this solution is working just beautifully for now.

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Check Out Salt House Mercantile

Photo from Salt House Mercantile.
Photo from Salt House Mercantile.

If you are headed to Bainbridge Island this weekend, you’re sure to see a nice showing of fall color as the Big Leaf Maples begin to turn their rich, golden hue.  While you are in Winslow, make a point of popping into Salt House Mercantile. This shop is so beachy and laid back, you’ll want to just stop and sit for a spell in it’s vintage leather club chairs.

The store carries lots of fun foodie items, candles, home accessories, and even goods catered towards the four-legged set. Find high-end cocktail mixers, snacks, and products from local businesses, like Bainbridge Beeswax Works. Salt House was also written up in the October issue of Sunset magazine. Rumor has it, the shop will open a Seattle location later this year, and I’ll let you all know when I have updated information on that.

Photo from Salt House Mercantile.
Photo from Salt House Mercantile.

Salt House Mercantile is located at 119 Winslow Way E., and open Monday – Saturday, 10 am-6 pm and Sunday, 11 am-5 pm. 

 

Paper Mache Letters Fun for Kids

Paper mache letters are a playful and low-cost accessory that can really add a fun element to any room. With limitless ways to hang, embellish and use these letters, you can personalize them to perfectly complement your decor. Easy to find at most craft stores, they are priced well and come in a variety of sizes and fonts. Decorating paper mache letters can even be a great craft to do with your kids.

At my house, I’ve used them in the nursery, in Thomas’ room, and in the living room, above the hook where Thomas hangs his coat. Each one was decorated with a different technique, and Thomas even helped me with both of his.

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In the baby’s room, the letters are hung above her crib. I spray painted them gold, and used garden twine and hot glue to make hanging loops. Because they are light-weight, I don’t have to worry about them hurting her, if they were to fall off the wall.

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The “T” above Thomas’ coat hook was made by layering torn pieces of scrapbook paper with lots of Mod Podge. Thomas helped me with this, and really enjoyed it. To hang this one, I looped a single length of garden twine under the crux of the letter, knotted it and hung it over a small nail.

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Thomas did all the work with the letter in his room, covering it with plain old craft paint. He did this one when he was about 2. Seeing it reminds me of the fun he had while he was making it, and how much he has changed in the last two years.

Cover these letters in glitter, paint, or paper, or wrap them in yarn or twine.  You could even just leave them plain. Hang them from the ceiling, on the wall or set them on the mantle. Letters as decor can quite literally, make a statement, or just add a touch of whimsy to your space.

Fall Color Combo: Indigo and Gold

Sleeping in is such a luxury, and a rarity at our house. We have a four-year-old and a seven-month-old. Our bedroom is only 10ft. by 10ft., and is connected to the only bathroom in the house. I sometimes catch myself daydreaming of the biggest, coziest bed, and the most cocoon-like (but large), bedroom, where sleeping late is the norm. Here is how I might layer this hypothetical room, to maximize those precious z’s.

First, I would paint the walls in this deep Indigo blue shade, by C2 Paints, in a matte finish, for a suede like effect.

Espionage paint color by C2 Paints.
Espionage paint color by C2 Paints.

Dreams of this proportion deserve an equally large bed. I’d be in heaven sleeping in the Bedford Slipcovered king-size bed from Restoration Hardware.

Bedford Slipcovered Bed from Restoration Hardware.
Bedford Slipcovered Bed from Restoration Hardware.

Next, I’d top my king-size bed with a sumptuous down comforter, tucked inside this dreamy duvet cover from Urban Outfitters.

Cato Henna Duvet, Urban Outfitters.
Cato Henna Duvet Cover, Urban Outfitters.

On the floor, I’d lay a soft, but modern rug in golden tones, for warmth. I like the classic look of this one via One King’s Lane.

Hermes Stripe rug on One King's Lane.
Hermes Flat-Weave rug on One King’s Lane.

Black out drapes to encourage every extra minute of shut-eye are a must. These textural navy blue panels from Target would do the trick.

Threshold's Uptown Stripe Light Blocking drape from Target.
Threshold’s Uptown Stripe Light Blocking drape from Target.

Just in case I want to read myself to sleep in bed, these simple swing-arm sconces would look beautiful against that inky blue wall color.

Envoy Swing-Arm Sconce by Schoolhouse Electric.
Envoy Swing-Arm Sconce by Schoolhouse Electric.

Add a couple of accessories, like these throw pillows and framed photos to make the room feel like home, and I’m pretty much moving in. A girl can dream, right?

Pillows, Crewel Modern Blocks and Bubble Knit by West Elm. Melina Frames from Crate & Barrell.
Pillows, Crewel Modern Blocks and Bubble Knit by West Elm. Melina Frames from Crate & Barrell.

Five More Fall Decor Ideas

I hope you had a chance to read my piece in Sunday’s paper featuring ideas on how to display the natural beauty of fall’s bounty indoors. As usual, I had too many ideas to include, and not enough time to get them all done. I’d like to share what I wasn’t able to fit in, to keep the fall decor DIY vibe going.

A natural fall wreath. I had hoped to make a grapevine wreath and add some bits of fall color. Use a plain grapevine wreath from JoAnn Fabrics and add cuttings from your yard for fall color and greenery. You could even attach a little decorative gourd.

12" Grapevine Wreath, JoAnn.com, $3.99.
12″ Grapevine Wreath, JoAnn.com, $3.99.

Metallic painted votive holders add ambiance and subtle glamour, especially when nestled close to a pumpkin. I’ve got some plain glass votive holders that could stand a little sparkle. Use Target’s Hand Made Modern multi-surface craft paint and painter’s tape to mask the votive holder with straight or intersecting lines.  The paint comes in all shades of metallic from Rose Gold to Steel.

Hand Made Modern Paint, Target.com, $2.49.
Hand Made Modern Paint, Target.com, $2.49.

 

A welcoming burlap banner. Cut triangles or squares of burlap and stencil a seasonal message on them. String them onto a pretty fall colored ribbon and hang in your entry way over the mirror or in the dining room window. Staples has just the type of letter stencils I like.

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Higgins Letter Stencils at Staples, $18.94.

Pumpkin centerpieces oozing with fall flowers. I have done these in the past, with great results. You could use a craft pumpkin for something everlasting, or just pick up a small- or medium-sized pumpkin from the grocery store. Scoop out the seeds and place a vase or jar inside for your floral arrangement. Dahlias and Salal, with cuttings of textural grasses or other bushes would look brilliant.

9" Craft Pumpkin at Michael's, $8.49.
9″ Craft Pumpkin at Michael’s, $8.49.

 

Glittering taper candles in simple candlesticks. Coat plain white taper candles with two layers of Mod Podge to ensure even coverage. Pour glitter into a shirt-box top, place the candle in and shake to coat. Do just one candle at a time. Let them dry on a piece of parchment paper. Martha Stewart has some absolutely beautiful glitters, found at Michael’s craft store.

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Since fall is well underway, I may just have to save these decor ideas for the winter season, but instead of pumpkins and copper paint, I’ll swap in evergreen branches and vintage glass glitter. Stay tuned…

 

 

 

Natural Fall Decor in Sunday’s Paper

See this and other ideas for adding natural elements to your fall decor.
See this and other ideas for adding natural elements to your fall decor in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun.

Hello friends! Just a quick post to remind you to check the Life section of the Kitsap Sun this Sunday for my column. This month, I’ll give you fresh ideas for bringing the natural elements of fall into your seasonal decor. Most of these ideas will work using things you already have laying around the house or possibly your backyard!