At my last house, I fell in love with the schoolhouse look when we added a giant chalkboard to our home. My new house has a few schoolhouse accessories too: a set of lockers, a plan for another chalkboard, and coming soon – some schoolhouse style wall charts. I fell in love with giant botanical art posters a few years ago and never had a perfect spot for it. When I found a spot in the new house, suddenly I couldn’t handle purchasing them at the price points I was finding. Luckily I found a lot of options for purchase when I looked a little outside the box.
As a bit of history, these botanical prints are often better known as Jung-Koch-Quentell charts. ArtPlantae has a well-researched background piece if you are curious about how these charts were used in German schools. You can also purchase The Art of Instruction which includes a look at all of the charts used.
Dog Rose Botanical Poster – The Evolution Store | $219
Hageman Cherry Botanical Chart – Pistils Nursery | $180
Garden Pea Wall Chart – Wallography | £89 (or about $115)
Jung-Koch-Quentell Chestnut Botanical Poster – Art Reflection Studio (Etsy) | $93
TIP: For this piece, using multiple search terms helped but even better was checking international sources since these pieces were originally made in Germany. I was even able to locate these prints direct from Germany but because of the language barrier I ultimately did not choose to pursue them. I did find British and Canadian sources for much less, even when considering shipping costs.
I’ve been trying to add some cosmetic updates to my bathrooms lately. One of the key changes each bathroom needed was a glamorous mirror that could fit the space.
Bathroom A needed some bling and shine. I immediately liked the Fenestra Mirror from Z Gallerie but at $349 I wasn’t going to be buying it. Luckily the Braden Petite Wall Mirror looked nearly identical (only ½” max dimension difference) but was at least $100 cheaper. Right now you can find versions at Wayfair or Shades of Light.
Fenetra Mirror – Z Gallerie | $349
TIP: Always check sites like Joss & Main, Bellacor, and Wayfair regularly. Items come and go as inventory allows. I managed to have some patience, saw it appear on Joss & Main and paired it with some free shipping and a $5 credit and paid $150 for the mirror. It went out of stock soon after so always be on the hunt!
The last time I showed off the third floor it was from the week I moved in. Immediately my husband and I had a goal for this floor. We wanted a place to relax after work, to put the job behind us, and to have our own urban oasis.
It was December when we moved in and before the end of the month we ordered a couch and coffee table. We wanted a sectional and while we checked places like Crate & Barrel and West Elm, we didn’t find the style or price point we wanted. We were about to give up after a C&B trip when on our way to dinner we passed IO Metro. I didn’t think I could afford what was in the window display but upon walking in I found a lot of things I liked. Even better, when the assistant heard my husband and I discussing some styles she helpfully let us know we could see even bigger markdowns at an end of the year sale. By the next week we knew what we wanted and placed an order.
Here’s what it’s looking like now:
The space is finally starting to work for us. We have a TV up here so we can easily binge Netflix while having a cocktail or a beer. We did some small upgrades to our HVAC system so we kept cool this summer. We still need to do some insulation work on this floor of the house so we are holding off on repainting any of it until we know what the damage to the room might be.
And here’s some of those pretty little details:
This space also nicely doubles as a workout space. I can just move the coffee table and do my Wii Fit or some video workouts right in front of the TV. I want to make the closet space on this floor more functional so I can store some small weights or equipment as well as games or other entertainment for when we have guests over.
I’m thinking for fall I will swap out the blue pillows with some orange ones and maybe add some new cozy throws to the space since I know this past winter we camped out here quite regularly. I know I’ll also want a floor lamp since I’ve been known to cross-stitch or read up here. I’m still on the hunt for something that might have that industrial modern vibe but is easy to access without having to stand up from where my butt is firmly plopped. The hunt continues but if you’ve seen something let me know!
- Sectional: IO Metro Bree Sectional
- Coffee Table: IO Metro Cohle Coffee Table
- TV Stand: Pottery Barn Rhys Large TV stand (discontinued)
- Rug: Ballard Designs Tabitha Rug
- Floral Pillows: World Market Emma Throw Pillows
- Blue/Yellow Pillows: Target’s Room Essentials 2-pack Suede Pillows
- Oversized Gray Pillows: Target (appears to be unavailable online)
- Kitchen Cabinet pulls: Liberty 3-in arched pulls
I mentioned before that I was looking for a way to turn my little dining area into some sort of drink bar. In February I was expecting some friends over for Galentine’s Day Brunch so it was a perfect time to set up the drink area.
I bought an older model Keurig for the area and stocked up on a few K-cups. In winter I’m definitely more of a hot coffee and cocoa drinker so I wanted to have some warm options.
I bought some cute mini spoons and a creamer from World Market, something to hold sweeteners from Target, a sugar dispenser from even before my time, a mason jar leftover from a batch of salsa, a sweets jar from Pier 1 and corralled it all on a tray from Ikea.
In the cabinets up above I keep some of the good stuff. You can see my Anthropologie mugs (gold available around Christmas), my every day mugs, some travel mugs, and a much nicer tea set for company. I have a few more sets still packed up. I also keep some tea and cocoa up here (and more cocoa in the cookie jar).
Kcups go in the drawer now that I have some handles on them. It makes it so much easier to open!
I also wanted to share a bit of my themed party for Galentine’s Day that I had. Galentine’s is a beloved day in the world of Parks & Rec and I wanted to honor it and some of my closest friends. The girls drove all the way across the river to come see my new house, drink some of that coffee/tea/cocoa or one of the endless mimosa combinations, and eat some skillet potatoes, a pancake bar, mini quiches, and croissants.
I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could so I only took some photos before and none during. Sometimes you just have to put the camera down and enjoy the moment! (And the mimosas)
I just bought a new rug. The photos on the Pottery Barn website made it look bright but I knew from the comments to expect more taupe than white.
This was the untouched reality (though without much natural light)
I’m totally into my new rug and how well it goes with my other art in my dining room but the taupe background fooled all my usual sites for extracting a color palette. They just kept pulling out the brown even though I wanted to see the greens, golds, pinks and blues. I even tried a site listed in the comments, Dominant Colors, but just ended up with more mud.
I finally found success over on Colourlovers. If you join the site you can upload a color and use a selector to choose which 5 colors you want until you have the perfect palette.
Knowing I have plenty of neutrals in my room already, I was searching for an accent color pulled from the rug that I can use to paint a piece of furniture I bought around Christmastime. The palette came out a little rainbowy but I think I have 5 really gorgeous colors to choose from.
Just from seeing each color, I know I already have a color much like the far right one in the room. I’m leaning towards the sienna shade or the more aqua one. What do you think would look best in the room?
I recently bought some resin Adirondack chairs (in blue) for my front porch. My house is white and my front door is red so I wanted to tie the color palette together with some Americana influences. I decided that pillows would be the easiest way to do this. My shopping trip left me disappointed. I could only find really expensive pillows or those with an old fashioned feel so I decided I’d just have to make my own pillow covers. I bought some waterproof outdoor pillows from Michaels with a coupon but when I went to the fabric store I found myself in the same conundrum– everything was too old-fashioned or too expensive.
The solution: a Target shower curtain. The modern rugby stripes matched my color scheme, the size of the fabric meant I’d have fabric leftover for future projects, and the shower curtain would add some waterproofing making the pillows more durable. I also came up with a pillowcase design that resembles a sham. That way you get a seamless look from the front but you can just pop the cover off and throw it in the wash.
This design can be made in under an hour. The main skills you need are measuring skills and the ability to sew in a straight line. You’ll sew 4 straight lines per pillow. You’ll need a flat surface, yardstick or ruler, a cutting device (rotary or scissors), washable fabric marker, an iron or pins (check under “making the hems” to see which you need), matching thread, and a fully stocked sewing machine.
Cutting the Fabric
First up, you’ll need to make the cut. Well, cuts. I have 2-16 inch square pillows so I used a simple bit of math to calculate the size of fabric I needed to cut out.
pillow height + 1 inch = fabric height
pillow width + pillow width + 8 inches = fabric width
If you want to cheat and avoid some grade school math, just get 16 inch pillows like I did. My fabric height was 17 inches (16+1=height) and my fabric length was 40 inches (16+16+8=40). I marked the first 17×40 inch section on the fabric and cut it with a rotary cutter, though scissors will work just fine.
Since I was using striped fabric and I wanted the pillows to match, I cut off some excess fabric before cutting out my second pillowcase section so the stripes would start at the same position for both fabrics.
Making the Hems
You’ll want a finished edge on these pillows so step #2 is to hem some edges. If you use a normal fabric you can use your iron to hold your seams but since my polyester wasn’t holding an ironed hem, I used pins to hold the edge.
Place your fabric right-side down. You’ll first want to fold over both of your short edges 1 inch and iron or pin it in place, then fold that same edge over 1 more inch and iron or pin this edge securely. You’ll want to sew each of these hems in place by topstitching through all three layers of fabric. I sewed about 3/4 of an inch from the right (folded) edge. Make sure to repeat this step for all the short edges on your pillows.
Creating the Pillow
Place your fabric right-side up. You should have something resembling a placemat in front of you right about now. You’ll want to measure out the halfway point on the long side of your fabric. I started with a 40-inch length of fabric and used up 4 inches making the seams (2 inches per side) so my fabric should be at 36 inches long now. I’ll want to make my center mark at 18 inches.
This next part is a little counter-intuitive so make sure to read it twice before attempting. My pillow is 16 inches in length so half of that is 8 inches. Place a ruler next to the edge with the 8 inch mark (or half the pillow length) of the ruler at the center mark on the fabric. Make sure your ruler is facing with 0 on the right end of the ruler for this part. Watch the images for clarification.
You’ll want to take the left (short) edge of your fabric and pull it toward the center. Pull the fabric until the folded edge lines up with the 16 inch mark (or your pillow’s length) on your ruler.
Now take the right (short) edge of your fabric and pull it toward the center. Pull the fabric until the folded edge lines up with the 0 inch mark on your ruler. Your fabric will overlap near the center.
Now you’ll need to pin the bottom raw edges together. Repeat with the top raw edges.
Sew a half inch seam along the bottom edge. Then sew a half inch seam along the top edge. Repeat with your second pillow.
Turn your pillow case inside out, pushing out the corners firmly.
Now you can just slide the pillows into the pillowcases and you are set! The hardest part of this project is just the measuring. With 4 straight lines even a beginner can sew these pillows. See how they add that pop of color my front porch needed.Pin It
I love Etsy for affordable and beautiful art but sometimes I can be overwhelmed because there are just so many good pieces and artists. I’ve favorited many shops and works over the years so I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. Right now I’m on a big watercolor kick so I thought I’d start there. I’d love to hear who your favorite Etsy artists are or if you have a shop of your own so chime in below in the comments.
Despite the name, Ron Krajewski doesn’t just paint dogs. I have seen him make amazing watercolors of sea turtles, cats, horses, and yes, dogs. I love how he’s able to capture the spirit of animals and bring a black dog’s coat alive in color. He even does custom pet portraits based on a photo of your pet.
Sarah Storm finds beauty in nature. She sells watercolors and watercolor prints of birds and other creatures you might find on a nature walk. I really love how she uses muted colors that still manage to pop in her works. You can save 20% in her Etsy shop through the end of March when you use the code SPRING20.
The Joy of Color is such a fitting name because Yael Berger has so much fun with color in her works. As a textile designer based out of Israel, Berger has an eye for color and pattern. Many of her pieces are inspired by nature with vegetables, trees, and fruits as a recurring theme. Her works don’t end there so make sure to look at her full collection.
Artist Katie Daisy mixes whimsical designs with watercolor. She loves the beauty of rural America and inspirational sayings. Her own art has caught the eye of brands like Target, American Greetings, and HGTV.
Share your favorite Etsy artists in the comments!
I was very hesitant to punch holes in my newly painted wall when we first renovated our house. At the same time, I was frustrated with how unfinished every room looked. Clearly this was before the great window rip-out and refinishing project. Eventually I just bit the bullet and went for it and never looked back. Seriously, there is nothing better than having artwork on the walls.
I’d used Art.com in college but buying a little fancier looking pieces and throwing on some frames tends to make artwork looks like it belongs in a home instead of a dorm room.
For the living room we chose two pieces by Edward Raymes, Solitude and Escape. They are no longer available on the website but can be found in other locations.
In the dining room we chose two prints, Oriental Bird on Branch I (pictured above) and Oriental Bird on Branch III. Both pulled colors from an art piece we were gifting and included colors from the room.
In the bathroom we have Teal Lily by Carol Robinson. We didn’t want traditional bathroom art saying “Bath” so we went with colors we liked. We’ll be changing the wall color to match it when we do the full bathroom renovation.
For framing, we planned to buy frames through Michaels, knowing they have large discounts and 60% off coupons. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize how high their markup was. We ended up ordering mats through private companies to save money but art.com was competitive from Michaels prices and I bet a local small business could have matched or beaten the prices. Maybe you can learn from my mistake.
While you can see the doily art that I made, this photo also includes one of my favorite Etsy pieces. The watercolor of Missouri by poppyandpinecone was only $10 but it set the color palette for the entire room. I just popped it into a Walmart frame and it was good to go. The artist gave great service and she has a wide selection of states and countries if you want a print of your own.
One of my relatives is an artist and he gifted me a piece of art of my choice for my wedding. It took a while until we figured out which room we wanted the art for but we ended up choosing a piece called Magnolias on Cole by Joe Mangrum. This piece is one of the most personal to us, knowing both the artist and that it was a gift for our wedding. The standard prints for the house give it some decoration but this piece gives the room life. We display it right in the dining room and based our other pieces around it. If you know an artist, see if they have a piece or would be willing to commission a piece you like. There’s something special about it.
I love cacti. That is, I love every cactus because they are basically impossible to kill. Every one of those “impossible to kill” indoor plants like succulents or jade has always died on me but the cacti of the world are willing to live for me. I won’t admit which plants I originally created this project for but let’s just say they’ve gone off to plant heaven and a cactus has taken their place. Thankfully it’s a great fit.
To start off the project, I went to Home Goods and bought a candle lantern that was marked on clearance because the paint had been scraped off in a spot. This was perfect because I wanted a copper color anyway. Here’s the step-by-step changes.
Step 1: Buy an Awesome Lantern
Step 2: Take out all the glass and spray paint it
Step 3: Put glass back in, admire work
Step 4: Put a Cactus in It
So to give a few more details, I used Rustoleum Hammered Copper Spray Paint. It ended up taking 2 complete coats so I have plenty of paint left for other projects. After I let it dry 24 hours I put the glass back in. Then I lined the bottom of the lantern with damp sand, some pebbles and potting soil. I added the cactus, spread some more soil in to secure it nicely, and then closed the door. Keeping the soil and sand damp is the key so everything doesn’t spill out the open door.
What projects have you been working on?Pin It
I’ve been looking at photos of Provence, France lately and I’ve fallen in love with the beautiful fields of lavender. How could you not fall in love with a countryside that looks like this?
So to bring the inspiration back home, I bring you this inspiration board.
Lavender Swoop Arm Tufted Chair Target $303.99
French Herb Wreath Viva Terra $69
Mikasa Lavender Lane 4-piece Place Setting Amazon $77.99
Lavender Field Print Etsy Artist GWENSART $12
Puckering Duvet Set Target $69.99
What other countries would you like to see some travel-inspired design for?Pin It