Category Archives: Decor

05.18.15Sunday Show (this is a loooong post)

Today instead of Sunday Sew I decided to do a Sunday Show… you like how I did that, eh eh? Ugh I am so lame. Moving on ha! We are in the midst of selling our home so I am super swamped trying to keep it spotless for showings, wrap up the school year with all the activities and testing AND work on some new fun exciting patterns that I have been dying to get out (yay for hiring a grader!). I thought I would share a little walk through our home with keeping in mind these are not at ALL my normal artistic style photos that I would do for the blog but the actual photos that are on the listing. Now some of you may be saying “Um, Kelly, didn’t you just BUILD and move into this house seven months ago?” Why yes, yes we did, and we LOVE it. The issue isn’t the house at all, the issue is a major change in life goals that Chris and I decided while we had a week to just talk talk talk talk talk until we passed out in Aruba a month back. I remember one day running to several different play dates, to Costco, then the grocery store, then to karate then to irish dance then back home where I made dinner cleaned the house did homework, bathed children, read stories (we just finished The One and Only Ivan and just started Wonder and love both) and then fell exhausted onto the couch. I sat there on my own and thought: “If I could have my dream life what would it be?” Now don’t get me wrong I adore my kiddos and would never ever change being a mom for ANYTHING on earth. I would however change the way I feel at the end of these crazy chaotic days. I have felt pretty disconnected from the world around me because I feel like I am ALWAYS running. Run here, run there, hurry hurry hurry, spend spend spend. It was something that I did not feel in either Timor (for the super obvious reason that there was literally no where to go) nor in Paris (where they cherish mellow meals and do not believe in over scheduling their children). I promised myself that I wouldn’t get caught back up into it when we moved back but somehow once here I started telling myself that if my kids weren’t in Karate, Irish dance, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, scouts etc. that I was somehow short changing them and was a bad parent. I got TOTALLY sucked in to the busy parent vortex. As I sat on the couch on that exhausting night I thought if I could be anywhere I would be with my family a big plot of land in some little old town in Europe, more specifically either Ireland or France. I then thought, if that is what my dream is why on earth aren’t we working towards that? Why in the world are we buying yet another investment home in a town we never plan on living in again? This started the discussion with Chris about where we want to end up when we retire (we have zero intentions of leaving the foreign service we both love Chris’s job). We both are the type of people that when we dream, we dream big. So a new dream was concocted on the sunny island of Aruba and we have slowly been making changes to someday reach that goal. Now, there are some big things that will make this end goal easier for us then it is for most. For starters I am an Irish and by extension EU citizen, and we are in the process of getting said citizenship for our kiddos. This means that all of us will be dual EU and US citizens. This also means that all of us can own property in the EU with no problem and no horrid red tape. Without this there are lots of different and some times extremely tedious hoops you would have to jump through depending on the country you are wanting to buy in. Secondly Chris and I and the kiddos are really used to living abroad so there are none of us (currently) who feel like it is a HUGE overwhelming change, and a few of us speak French pretty well (wink wink). Lastly and most importantly, I have a crazy supportive husband who, luckily, suffers from as much wanderlust as I do (we blame it on our genes after reading THIS study). Is this happening over night? In the next ten years? No. The end goal will probably not be reached until Chloe is off to college and Chris has retired from the foreign service, so we are talking 15 years at the earliest. Will it be worth the wait? My bet is heck yes it will. I now find myself daydreaming about my grandcuties coming to stay with us at our Irish farm house or old French manor and being able to swing on tree swings and run for acres. Can I wait 15 years for a dream this big? You better believe it! I will only be 49 in 15 years. That’s still pretty young if you ask me! So to make a short story looooooooonnnngg a house in Herriman doesn’t fit into some of the steps we have decided to take to get us to that end goal. Do I regret building the house? Not for a minute. I have loved every second in this house and am actually hoping we are able to sell it to a great family instead of watch renters slowly tear it apart. So now if you have read that entire rambling tangent from my usual sewing talk here are some fun pics of our current home.

Let start with the boys room. They have all the same bedding they had in Paris that I got at the ikea there. The only bummer about them is the fluffy soft duvet’s are European size so a few inches smaller all the way around so I can only use them in the future with European duvet covers. So even though I am fairly sick of the ABC I am not about to spend money on two new down comforters and covers.

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The stag head is a cardboard one that I papier mached with pages from thrifted French books. I also glued the map paper to the “EXPLORE” letters. The rug and hanging baskets are Ikea. The bunk bed is a hand me down I painted.

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The giant school map is a score I got at a farm sale in Maryland right before we moved to Paris. The clocks are set to SLC, Kabul and Sydney. We had that tressel table made for the boys before we left East Timor, as well as the frame hanging above it.

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I love how HUGE the windows in our house are. I mean don’t get me wrong I didn’t love it when we were buying window coverings but MAN do they let the light in. The boys have a large walk in closet that actually has a little secret passage that goes through to the walk in closet in the guest/ my old sewing room. (The metal shelf is Ikea, the head dress we bought at a party store in Paris).

Next to the boys is the girls room, which aside from the master is the  biggest room. Our original plan was to have the girls in the bedroom that was attached through the walk in closets through the tunnel and have this room be a play room. Then we moved in and realized how few toys our children have these days. The boys have legos, the girls a play kitchen and dress ups (and recently added knock off AG dolls). I did not need this much room for a sewing room so it went to the girls. Their closet is ridiculous in size and even has a large window in it.

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The girls bedding is all from Land Of Nod  except for the red striped pillows I made from tea towels I bought in France. The striped blankets we all LOVE and are from West Elm. I swear they go on super sale every few months. Their darling lights are also LON and a gift from a dear friend. Their furniture was a super score from the vintage yard sale FB group of belong to here. Their play kitchen is of course Ikea hacked. Chris brought back the geo’d book ends from Brazil when he lived there and for some reason Evie has become super attached to them. She also demands I leave the pink storage bin tucked under her kitchen so she can stand on it and reach things that are “up high”… I am guessing that is part of her make-believe play.
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The baskets that hold their AG doll clothes and kitchen utensils were made in East Timor. I love the over the shoulder carrying handles and really regret not purchasing more. The “Toi & Moi” canvas I made with a blank canvas and gold paint pen, the “All you need is love” print is from The Caravan Shoppe. I made the pennants above both their beds and took both the portraits in the flower crowns I made them from flowers in our garden in Paris. 

I didn’t take very many pictures of our guest room because it is the most neglected room, so on to the master. This room is HUGE! I seriously don’t really know what to do with all the space since Chris and I don’t own that much furniture. The embassy always provides dressers etc. so we just haven’t really ever bought any.

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I mean seriously! It is so sparse in there ha! If we were staying longer there would for sure be prints and mirrors all over this place. But as it is I put up a floating credenza and the fireplace we found in England flanked by my Paris flea market chairs and called it good. Each one of those books I bought at a second hand book store right by Notre Dame. I could only manage to buy a few at a time to bring home on the metro so the owner got to know me over the years ha! The girl who bought armfuls of totally random French books. OUr headboard is one of the two giant windows pulled out of a French home that we bought at the Puce in Paris and drove home with tied to the top of our mini van on the peripherique. Chris brought the big rug back from Iraq and I have never really figured out how to tie it in awesomely. Master bedrooms are certainly NOT my forte ha!
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Our master bath is good size with a humonodo tub which I LOVE. We did chevron tile on the floors and I LOVE it. It is very cold though so in the end I guess I am glad we didn’t do it through out the main like I had initially planned. I didn’t take a picture but the bathroom opens to our humungous walk in closet. When I first saw it framed I thought for sure it was a mistake. But it wasn’t and we have since made one half of it my “sewing room”. It has built in shelves for fabric storage and I can make a massive mess and no one will EVER see it so it works pretty good.
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When you walk in the front door of our house you come into this room.
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This is our “no one ever sits here but I take pictures here constantly” room. My desk is also in this room and where I am sitting currently. It is funny  because I just now noticed that our family picture on the far wall is framed perfectly in the mirror above the fireplace. Chris just about died when the other day I sent him a screen shot of a rug from West Elm (he is trying to buy one I will like more this time around from Afganistan) and it had a stack of frames sitting next to the couch. He asked if that was a thing now. I honestly just hadn’t gotten around to ever putting them up somewhere but now I am just going to leave them ha! Yay for laziness working to my advantage! They were all purchased from this bizarre thrift shop in Belgium. The guy was turning it into a burlesque and was just trying to get rid of things. We got all the frames, a gorgeous old door and a green velvet chair for ten dollars. I still cringe thinking about the incredible glass and wood case he was basically giving away but we couldn’t fit in the van, darn kids got in the way ha! The throw pillows were a recent impulse purchase because Chris isn’t here right now which means I can sneak some pink into the decor right? The poufs are from Morocco, the couch thrifted in Maryland, the coffee table an Ikea hack, the rug West Elm, the fireplace purchased in Paris and the mirror was my christmas gift last year and is from Anthropologie. The stag head on the far wall is from White Faux taxidermy and the painting was a 2 dollar purchase at a thrift store I found just outside Paris and I am crazy about it.
Through this room is our family room, dinning room and kitchen in one big open floor plan.
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I think I have a small obsession with Ikea’s floating besta credenza. But it is just so clean and simple looking I love it. The ladder, coffee table, macrame planter and gold record holder (used as a plant holder) were either found on the streets of Paris or thrifted. The little chairs are from Ikea and recovered by me (tutorial coming someday). The couch is from West Elm and attracts lint and kid dirt like CRAZY. The rug was our big purchase in Morocco and the way I protect it you would think I had birthed it.

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The living room flows right into the dinning room which flows right into the kitchen.
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Our dinning room is home to the table I built last year.  I don’t know how I am going to say goodbye and stick this thing in storage for years on end. I am thinking of disassembling it and taking the legs with me and building another one in Australia.
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It is fun because a few times now I have shoved it up against the wall and used it in photos because it looks like a great old floor. I remember vividly placing all the food on it at Thanksgiving and thinking: “please please please don’t collapse”. I replaced the light fixtures with ones that I fell in love with from IKEA. The ones we had before were probably nicer looking but I love the black and white cord and gold accents on these. We have the original ones down stairs so if the next owners move in they can put them back if they prefer. My favorite piece of art is hanging on this wall so I can look at it multiple times a day. My talented friend Elizabeth painted it for me and I brought it back on the plane. Next is the kitchen.
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SInce the original plan was to rent we knew we couldn’t put in marble so instead with went with a white quartz with pretty veining (that sadly you can’t see in the pics because I blew it out) so it gets the same sort of feel but with much easier up keep. While I wanted to do with all gold fixtures Chris talked me down and we went with silver which he asserts will stand the trend test much better.

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From the beginning I knew I wanted some floating shelves. In the end it was quiet the experience as I originally tried to build my own renting all sorts of crazy tools and ending with me on my kitchen floor sobbing at four in the morning to poor Chris who was halfway across the globe probably thinking: “Oh my gosh she is destroying our brand new house”. In the end I purchased the hardware and shelves from Anthropologie and mounted them easily in minutes.
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It kind of cracks me up how many outlets we have in our kitchen. 16 in total. Who in the world needs that many outlets? I wish I had know and I would have asked them not to put so many. I feel like they are all over the gorgeous subway tile. Then there are two on the side of the island. For someone who keeps all of zero appliances on her counter it seems a bit like overkill. But maybe the next owners will appreciate it. Last but not least is our little mudroom.
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Painting this little area black was super nerve wracking but in the end I LOVE it. I know it is not for everyone and future owners will probably paint it white but for now it makes me happy. I love having a place for the kids to put their coats and shoes right when we walk in the door and stash all sorts of random stuff in that little wire rack.
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We have a little powder room connected to which is nice as well. The rug and pillow are from Urban Outfitters, the little giraffe fella holding my favorite scarf is from Anthopologie. The coat rack is a pice of an old wine barrel refashioned into what it is now. I love how it curves out away from the wall. The wire rack is from one of my fav home decor stores in Europe Maison Du Monde. I could easily furnish my entire home with just items from that store. If you are ever bored have a look it is really fun! So thats it aside from the guest room, laundry room and other bathrooms, oh and the unfinished basement. Thats all the fun stuff I guess. So now if you ever come to our home you will know where everything is! I figured since we had it all documented I might as well post it right? Then when we look back twenty years from now and say “Remember that awesome house we owned for a few months” we will have pictures to go with it!
Cheers!
Kelly

10.23.13{decor} Ikea Hack Lamp

I have been working like a crazy lady on making our apt feel more like “our” apt the last few months. It is a real challenge when you move into a place that is furnished by someone else (read: middleaged-government-working-male-who-I-am-sure-is-very -nice -but -I- would- never -want -decorating- my- apt). They are furnished in an effort to save the government mola. Instead of shipping our stuff all over the globe every few years we just move in with some sheets and pictures. We have to find little ways to add some spice with out spending to much money and adding weight to our stringent weight limit. Well this week I finally finished Chloe and Evie’s room! The final touch was a much needed lamp on their little dresser (which is STUFFED full of dress ups). I didn’t want a boring old lamp but their room already has enough going on with out adding something obnoxious and attention grabbing. Ikea has beautiful clear glass lamps right now in various sizes. I went with the mid size (and at first bought a comically small lamp shade, fat lamp in a little shade ha!) and I LOVE it. All it took was some washi tape, some painters tape and some gold spray paint.

Can I just say it is down right impossible to get a picture of a glass lamp like this with out icky shadows. I tried everything ha! Oh well thus is life right. Now if you look close you can see how ridiculous I look when I take pictures! If you would like a super spunky lamp for yourself or your cuties room here is how I did it:

After buying your lamp from Ikea take your washi tape and create a pattern of triangles along the bottom of your lamp. I made mine in various sizes. I didn’t want it to look too even and mainly I didn’t want to have to measure anything. While you are taping be sure to tape up the beginning of your chord so it doesn’t get painted. Unless you want it too, rock that cords world with some paint if you feel so inclined.

Once you have created your triangles go back over the edges pressing firmly to make sure no paint will eek through. Now grab your large painters tape and tape over the rest of the base of your lamp being sure to overlap well with your washi tape. I tape all the way up the neck of mine. You do NOT need to do this, it was a pretty big waste of tape in my humble opinion. But you know, efficiency and all. Again once you have taped it all go back over and press firmly so it is all sealed up.

Now take it outside and spray a nice even coat. I only did one coat. The reason being I don’t like to let paint completely dry when tape is involved. I always end up taking up some of the tape with me if it dries all the way.

Carefully peel up your tape. I made sure to lift the tape with the exposed edge first. And if you are wondering why in the world the light bulb is on it is because last time I stepped on a light bulb while doing a light project. Yeah. Ouch. Not repeating THAT mistake.

I decided to go hog wild and also spray paint my lamp shade… and a toy giraffe. Apparently I wanted to get my moneys worth out of that bottle of spray paint. Success.

Put your lamp all back together and take it to its new home.

Stand back and enjoy your lamp with attitude.

The dresser it is sitting on is also from Ikea. The corner brackets were ordered online from Lowes but the pulls are from Ikea as well. The girls have pretty much destroyed the paint job on this dresser over the past few months. Who knew barbie feet were so brutal?

Cheers!
Kelly

09.12.13{decor/sew} Anthropologie Tassel Pillow Knock Off Tutorial

So um, long time no see! I hope your summer was amazing! Ours went by way to fast. But I am excited to be able to start sewing and creating again! We have slowly been working on making our apartment here in Paris reflect our personalities more. We want to of course save where we can and throw pillows are ALWAYS one of the areas I try to cut corners. Pillows are just so gosh darn expensive and so easy to make. When I came across Anthropologies tassel pillow (found HERE)  I really really wanted it but if I am going to spend almost 100 dollars at Anthro it is going to be for a dress, not a pillow ha! I thought it would be easy enough to knock off and it TOTALLY is.

All you need is:

White velvet fabric (or if you are like me you buy a white velvet pillow from Ikea) cut into the size square of your choosing (mine was 26X26 square)

Embroidery thread or yarn (depending on the look you are going for) in similar colors to that of the anthro pillow. I went with yarn because I wanted it to be cheap and I could get a lot more for way less but if you want it to be just like the anthro go with embroidery thread or buy cheap pre-made tassels and skip the whole thing :)

A small piece of rectangular card board

Scissors, pins, sewing machine etc.

First I sat down and made four tassels in each of the colors. I followed the fantastic tutorial below via Martha Stewart found HERE.

It goes really fast and soon  you should have a whole pile of tassels to work with.

Mine are not perfectly equal but close enough that you wouldn’t tell a difference from a distance.

Once you have them all, grab your two pieces of velvet fabric and lay them right sides together. Take your tassels and line them up along the pillow at an even distance from each other.

Once you have them lined up you will want to sandwich them in between the two layers of fabric and pin them in place. Depending on how much you want your tassels to “dangle” pull the excess away from the edge of the pillow.

Once you have pinned them in place stitch along the edge. I personally used a zipper foot so I could get right up next to the tassel. I also did one side at a time because I used a prefabricated pillow. If I had made the pillow from scratch I absolutely would have pinned them all at once and sewn all the way around at once. Since the pillow I used had a zipper I made sure to place the tassels in between the zipper and the piping.

If you did not use a zipper be sure to leave a small opening so that you can flip the pillow right side out. Once you have sewn around the pillow go a head and flip it right side out being sure to pull the corners out well.

I went around and pulled slightly on each of the tassels to help them lay nicely and to make sure they were well attached.
Grab your stuffing and stuff away! I like my pillows to be a bit floppy but you can firm it up if you want it to be more of a floor pillow as well. Hand stitch the opening closed. Your done! Mine i hanging out on our couch in the living room and it makes me pretty happy every time I look at it.

The wall is a much deeper blue in person (I have a dickens of a time photographing that wall) and the pillow really lightens things up.

So grab some yarn and a little cardboard, throw on a movie and wined away!

Cheers!

Kelly

09.01.13{sew} Waverize It! Anniversary Challenge.

I was thrilled when Joann‘s asked me to participate in their celebration of 90 years of Waverly fabrics! Holy cow! 90 years?!?! They are having a super fun contest with great prizes with Waverize It!. You can read all about it and enter HERE. Bummers for us bloggers we cannot enter. BUT we did get to receive two yards of surprise Waverely fabric and were asked to “waverize” something we use every day with it. I actually knew right away what I was going to do, I was going to spruce up my super lame and dreary Ikea computer chair. I sit in this chair I would say for a good hour every day and it just did not match the rest of my  little workspace. I was lucky and received some fabric I thought blended quiet nicely.

The project itself took mayyyyybbbe an hour. I took apart the chair (this would have been easier if I had done it right when purchased it but it was an easy disassemble) and laid the “seat” piece on the wrong side of the fabric, then cut around leaving a LARGE excess. I took my staple gun and stapled down all the raw edges to the  bottom of the chair, pulling it taught as I went. The corners I simply folded nice and tightly achieving clean lines as much as a could. I then made a slip cover for the back rest of the chair using the same method you would for chair cushions etc. I then slipped in over and hand stitched the opening closed. I reassembled the chair and TADDAH! No more ugly Ikea computer chair!

I am pretty excited about the fact that this cost all of zero dollars (thank you Joannes and Waverly) and just a yard and a half of fabric. I love projects like this because if I decide to change the decor of the room it is a quick and easy change as well. Plus it is sooooo much better then the big black monster it was before ha!

Cheers!

Kelly

06.11.13{decor} Sprucing up the laundry room

For the first time ever I have a large laundry room. I was particularly excited to have a place to hang the pictures from THIS photoshoot. I also was excited to be able to have a place to dump all our dirty laundry and close the door and walk away… just walk away. Aside from hanging the pictures I have been trying to think of easy ways to make this space more inviting with out spending too much mola. I have loved the laundry rooms I have found on pintrest and decided I needed to just suck it up and get started so I actually want to spend time in this room. The first project I decided to tackle is an ironing board cover. I could not believe when I googled “ironing board cover” all the posts that popped up. Plenty of excellent tutorials so unless I do something wildly different you won’t see one here. What I didn’t get hung up on was fabric choice! Do I go bold because it is a little space and can handle it?

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Do I stay classic so that if my taste changes I won’t have to redo this project in the future?
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Do I give up ironing completely and we all walk around wrinkled? I am not going to lie that is somewhat tempting….

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I thought this burlap one look super cool and I am a huge fan of anything burlap. But I can’t imagine actually ironing on it.

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I want the room to be fresh and clean… um, like laundry ha! Have any of you made a ironing board cover and loved the print you chose? Should I take the dive and go bold?

Cheers!

Kelly