Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Mantel Inspiration

 The first day of October is tomorrow, and I can't wait to put some pumpkins on my fireplace mantel.  I saw this idea in an email from Kirkland's, and it reminded me of my own fireplace.  I even have a scrolled wall plaque similar to the one in the photo.  I love the candle sconces, too, but I don't think I'd want to commit to drilling them into the fireplace stone.
 I started looking for more ideas online, and I saw these three from BHG.  I'm loving the natural look for Fall.  The burlap bow and twine wrapped candles are perfect.
 I love this burlap wreath.  I'm working on two for my front doors, and will show what I came up with soon.
 This reminded me of my scrolled wall plaque.  Mine has a similar blue frame.
Here's my fireplace waiting to be decorated for fall.  I'm thinking about hanging the wall plaque on the stone so I can hang seasonal wreaths on it like a few of the pictures above.  I'd also love to possibly hang some candle sconces on the walls on either side of the stone to widen the visual space.  One day I'll be able to place beautiful ceramic urns filled with branches on the hearth, but for now it's a great place to play with Legos.  And one day I'll be able to remove the padded bumpers, but they've saved us from many trips to the ER, so they're not going anywhere anytime soon!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Show Off

My husband and I and 6 of our friends ran a Tough Mudder this past Spring, and at the end, you're handed an orange sweatband instead of the usual race medal. It's a big deal with people collecting them for every event they've completed. I wanted to find a way to show off my husband's, so I thought framing it would be perfect. I found this shadow box frame at Target. It holds an 8x10 photo--this is our group after we finished. I hot glued the scratchy side of a Velcro strip onto the mat (the mat came with the frame), and stuck the sweatband to the Velcro so it would stay in place. Now his keepsake is hanging up in his home gym. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Let's Talk Loafers

Tory Burch Jess Flat
 I didn't think much of the loafer trend for Fall until this image, above, landed in my inbox.  I'm a ballet flat kind of girl.  Tory Revas are for me like sneakers are for most people--I wear them everywhere & with everything.  I thought loafers were too bulky, too slipper-like.  I pictured myself having to abandon my daily uniform of fancy tees and jeans for silk pajamas.  But these loafers are a perfect hybrid--part ballet flat, part loafer--and I can't even begin to talk about the gold trim.  Metallic details get me every time.
J.Crew Darby Studded Cap Toe Loafers
 While I'm on the subject of metallic details...  I stumbled upon these studded loafers from J.Crew.  I like how they're slim and ladylike.  They reminded me of the jazz shoes I used to wear for dance class--soft leather, small stacked heel.  They look like they'd immediately mold to your foot.  I could picture these worn with a pencil skirt, an edgy-preppy look.
G.H. Bass & Co. Metallic Weejuns
I couldn't talk about loafers without talking about the original, G.H. Bass & Co. Weejuns.  I had a pair of classic black Weejuns in 7th grade, because the guys from NKOTB wore them, and I had to have them, too.  I wore them every day with my peg-rolled acid wash jeans and oversize tee shirts.  I love how they updated them in gold metallic.  (They have bright colors in patent leather & animal prints, too.)  I could definitely see these making their way into my wardrobe.  They'd be perfect with a pair of rolled boyfriend jeans and a cashmere sweater.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Target Roundup

3.1 Phillip Lim for Target
 I found myself at Target today for my weekly near-daily trip for essentials (bananas & Scotch Tape were on the list), and I couldn't help but take a few minutes an hour to check out some of the new Fall merchandise.
3.1 Phillip Lim for Target
 I knew that the 3.1 Phillip Lim collection was hitting stores over the weekend, and since I live in the suburbs, I knew it would still be in my store.  I loved this navy blue ruffled tank above and this LBD below.  And I spotted the trench at top when I looked online after I got home.  My wardrobe is pretty neutral, so I loved the pops of green on the collar, belt, and lining.
3.1 Phillip Lim for Target
I'm still shopping for desktop accessories, and I spotted this oblong Acacia wood bowl below in the kitchenware section.  I think it's supposed to be for bread, but I pictured it on my desk to hold all of the things I charge at night--my phone, GPS watch, Kindle.  Maybe I could drill holes close to the bottom in the back to feed the cords through.  I'll be keeping an eye on it and hope I can pick it up on clearance.
 I also loved this metallic tray, above, and could picture this on my desktop, too.  Maybe it could hold a few vintage vases filled with pencils & markers.  Or it could corral my insane number of magazines.  I didn't see these lamps, below, in the store, but again, I spotted them online.  I have that crazy aversion to lampshades, so these would be perfect for my desk.  I love their vintage feel, but I wouldn't have to worry about old, shoddy electrical wiring from an actual vintage lamp.  I can't decide if the lantern-looking one or the one with the curved arm is my favorite.
Even though I only came home with bananas, Scotch Tape, and a few Pre-K workbooks I found on clearance for my 4 year old, I came away with a lot of ideas for my desk and an excuse to go back (as if I need one!) to pick up that ruffled tank.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall Jackets

 The mornings are starting to become cooler, and it's time to start thinking about Fall jackets.  I love the moto-style jacket by Knot Sisters above with the exaggerated drapey collar.  It's the right mix of tough & feminine.
 I also love this light weight parka.  I spend a lot of time at my boys' outdoor sports practices and games, and this Topshop jacket would be perfect for those days when it's drizzling & the game is still on.
A drapey open cardigan is great casual option that looks much more pulled together than a hoodieThis one from Splendid can be worn with the sleeves down or rolled up & pinned at the elbows.

Check out these and a few more looks here.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fall Wreaths

 As I was pulling into my driveway this morning after dropping my boys off at school, I couldn't help but notice my wreaths on my front doors looked out of place.  They've been on the doors since the spring, and are faux blue & ivory hydrangea with green leaves on a twiggy wreath.  Perfect for Spring/Summer, but not so much for Fall.  I have double full glass front doors with white panes, so they really need wreaths or some other type of decoration to keep them from looking boring.
 I have a bunch of mismatched, tired-looking fall wreaths in a storage bin in the attic, and I'm hoping I can deconstruct them to make a matching set of wreaths for my front doors for this Fall.  I started to gather ideas from and Pinterest to serve as inspiration for my DIY project. 
I really love the colors in the chrysanthemum wreath at the top, the faux feathers and satin ribbon on the wreath in the middle, and the red berries on the wreath on the bottom.  Hopefully by the end of the week, my front doors will be ready for Fall!

Check out my favorite design blog, The Inspired Room, for more Fall inspiration.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Styling a Bedside Desk

Meredith Vanity Desk from Pottery Barn
 Our last house was a tiny Cape Cod style house.  It was our first "real" house after having lived in an apartment for years, so when we moved in, we bought our first "real" bedroom furniture, too.  We only had room for our queen size bed, a dresser, and one nightstand in our master bedroom.  

 Three years later, we moved into the house we have now, and it's nearly triple the size of our Cape.  Our bedroom is huge in comparison, but when we moved in, we didn't have it in our budget to change our bedroom furniture, even though we could fit a king size bed and another nightstand. 
Clermont Desk from Ballard Designs
 I purchased a small writing desk from Crate & Barrel that was in our sitting room area of the bedroom.  I just recently moved it to the side of our bed to act as a second nightstand.  It really fits in that space, and I like having a bedside table to charge my phone & hold my Kindle.
Bramwell Writing Desk from Pottery Barn
 The desk looks great next to our bed, but it's a blank canvas.  I've been trying to get some ideas on how to style it.  I like the idea of a table lamp, but anyone who knows me well knows I hate lamp shades.  Maybe an all metal task lamp?  I think I can pull the accessories together from pieces I have around the house and add a few things from Home Goods.  To be continued...
Warren Desk from Pottery Barn

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Keepsake Photo Albums for Kids' Artwork

I've been going through storage bins this week as a result of turning our bedroom sitting area into a home gym.  I'm trying to keep only the essentials and recycle, throw away or donate everything else.  I have a storage rule I put in place when we moved into our house three years ago, but that's a post for another time...  Today I came across my older son's artwork from his 1 and 2 year-old daycare/preschool years.  I have a really hard time throwing away my boys' work, so I've started to make Shutterfly photo books of their creations.  I only keep a few extra special pieces in a file bin that I have for each of them.  (Anything that's made with their hand or foot print is a keeper!)

The photo books are really quick & easy to make.  I lay a large sheet of white paper on the floor near a window.  Then I place each piece of artwork & photograph them, one by one.  I like to use the natural light from the window & turn my flash off.  Then I upload the photos to my computer & Shutterfly.  The whole photographing & uploading process takes about an hour.  

If I were super organized, which I'm not, I'd photograph the artwork as it comes home.  Instead, I store everything in a neat looking Bristol Storage Box from the Container Store on a bookshelf.  I use the bigger size, one for each boy, and when it's filled to the top, I photograph everything inside.

I use Shutterfly's Simple Path photo book option.  I choose an 8x8 hardcover photo book.  You then click "Add Pictures", choose all the pictures you want to add, and Shutterfly automatically adds them to the book.  You can look through it to make sure they're all oriented the right way, edit if you need to, and add captions if you like.  I just add the year & school name to the cover.  You can also choose the style book you'd like.  A lot of the styles are perfect for art books--the one pictured above is Confetti Splash.  I save the books in my "saved projects" on the site & wait to order them when Shutterfly is running a sale.

Looking through my now 7 year-old's creations from when he was so little, I'm glad that I saved these memories.  It will be fun to look through the photo book together when it's delivered in a week or so.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Faux Leather & Chiffon

I spotted this Mossimo top while shopping for bread, cereal, Daily Granite & Starbucks Discoveries CaffĂ© Mocha--you know, the essentials--at Target today, and I can't stop thinking about it.  Soft knit bodice front & sleeves, faux leather at the shoulders, and a chiffon back.  It also comes in a taupe with black faux leather & black chiffon.  Perfect with a pair of skinny jeans & black boots.  I might have to go back tomorrow to get it...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Our Home Gym Renovation and Welcome to Dress & Home

 Welcome to my blog about fashion and home decorI thought a great way to kick it off would be to share our new home gym renovation.  My husband works out at home every day, and he was doing his workouts in our family room and storing his equipment in his home officeThis situation wasn't working for anyone in the family--the kids would get in the way & we'd be afraid they'd hurt themselves with the weights, the dog would run through the room, the office was crammed with equipment...  So we decided to take an unused sitting room area of our master bedroom, add walls & a door, and create a quiet, tucked away home gym.
 We "hired" my dad who just retired as a full-time carpenter to complete the project for us.  We're very blessed he shares his talents with us!  (He just finished my brother's basement, too!)  He framed the walls, did all of the drywall, added base & crown molding, hung the door, and put down laminate flooring.  He and I painted the new walls and molding to match the existing color of the room.  (Windy Blue from Sherwin-Williams)
 We hung the TV from our family room on the wall of the gym.  We had been wanting to get a new TV for the family room for a while now, so this was the perfect excuse.  I found a small shelf to fit our DVD player at Lowe's.  We wanted everything in the gym to be mounted to the wall so we wouldn't have to worry about bumping into furniture.
 I really wanted to lay down a pricy gym floor, but the cost didn't fit into our budget.  My dad suggested a more affordable laminate flooring that would look like hardwood.  We laid it right over the carpet that was on the floor.  I wouldn't suggest this for most spaces, but it provides a little cushioning when you're working out.  I also have no idea how it will hold up.  The main reason I wanted something other that carpet was so the floor could be cleaned easily.  My husband vacuums the floor then uses a wet Swiffer to clean it.
I found these canvas bins at Home Goods.  I wanted something that would hold mats & the rest of the equipment so the space would stay neat and organized. 
 This is what the space looked like before.  It was a mess of storage bins.  The blue tape on the floor shows where the new walls went up.  Check back for posts on some smaller home projects I have on my to do list as well as posts on fashion & style.