March 16, 2019

A Bit of Spring

Hello friends and Happy Weekend! I usually don't do much decorating for Spring but this year, I am so anxious for warmer weather, that I seem to have gone all out. Try not to notice the snow on the ground in many of these pictures. As I type this, it is a delightful 70 degrees and my yard is a muddy mess of melting snow. I'm not complaining - even as my dogs track mud inside every. single. time they come in from outside!
In my kitchen, I made a green and white check skirt for for the farm sink from a $10 tablecloth that I purchased at HomeGoods. Sadly, I can't sew, but I used my iron and some fusible web and it came together pretty easily. I used matching napkins as curtains.
I knew I wanted to add some yellow in here and these little yellow wreaths (from Joann Fabric and Crafts) work well to add a spring feel to the kitchen windows.
Over in the dining area, I added a couple of new finds from Michaels. I thought the little bunny rocker was adorable and the green and white gingham plates add just enough color to dress up the hucth. Oh, and there's the rest of that tablecloth used as a runner on the table.
I continued with the yellow and green touches in the living room. I searched high and low for spring green throw pillows and ended up finding a 4 pack of pillow covers for $18 on Amazon.
I have more pictures to share of our family room but I will save them for next time. Have you added any Spring touches in your home?

March 7, 2019

Master Bathroom Refresh

It has been six years since I first shared our Master Bathroom project that launched this entire blogging journey for me. Six years!! I still love our bathroom and consider it a great investment into both our home and also as a private space away from the craziness that inhabits the rest of our house, full of teenagers and dogs.
Sherwin williams sea salt, carrera marble, arched mirror, behr opal silk www.goldenboysandme.com
Quite suddenly, I decided that I needed a little more color in here. The walls are painted Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams and, other than a few accessories, that was it for the color in here. Six years ago, I wanted a mostly white, serene and spa-like feel, which I loved and enjoyed - and staunchly defended to many critics. But now I am in a season of life that just seems to NEED more color. Perhaps a mid-life home decor crisis? I mean, I am in my mid-40s - seems to have arrived right on time. Yikes, is my blue green vanity actually the equivalant of a middle aged guy's red corvette?? Side note, have you read Brene Brown's essay on midlife? Powerful and thought provoking, just like all of her other work.
Sherwin williams sea salt, carrera marble, arched mirror, behr opal silk - www.goldenboysandme.com
Back to the bathroom, I hemmed and hawed for months about what color to paint the vanity. My first thought was grey, but that felt too neutral. Too safe. I started thinking about the colors of sea glass and how calming they are. I already had the Sea Salt paint on the walls, so what could I add to that? Many paint swatches later, I ended up choosing "Opal Silk" by Behr and with every stroke of the paint brush, I told myself I could always go back to white or grey. The vanity needed a fresh coat of paint anyway, right? That's how afraid I was to add color in here.
built-ins in master bathroom -www.goldenboysandme.com
Here's the thing with adding color - once you start, the whole room's personality seems to come to life. I made a few changes to the accessories in the built-ins. Then, I found the rug at HomeGoods after I had painted the vanity and wasn't quite sure if the new vanity color went well enough with the paint color on the walls. It felt serendipitous how the addition of the rug brought all the colors together.
So, six years later, besides adding color, what else would I change about this bathroom? Not much. I think a lot of the design choices in here will stand the test of time. I love the marble countertop (I lamented so greatly over that choice and it has held up remarkably well), the faucet choices and especially the built-ins. I am so glad we put the extra effort into that added charm.
And what would I change? The tub is acrylic and was a budget friendly option, but if I had to do it over again, I would have opted for cast iron. I am a devoted bath-taker and the acrylic definitely has a cheaper, less sturdy feel and doesn't hold heat as well as cast iron. I would prefer a higher end shower at this point, but all in all, I still feel satisfied with how far we spread our $7,000 investment in here.
Whenever I catch a peak of the vanity from our bedroom, it makes me smile. I feel like it has breathed new life into one of my very favorite spots in my home.

Sources (including some affiliate links):

Mirrors - Amazon
Rug - HomeGoods
Coral Print Towels - World Market
Sconces - Hampton Bay
Floor Tile - Lowes
Shower Base and Glass Doors - Amazon
Tiered Wire Basket - HomeGoods, similar
Chandelier - Overstock

January 29, 2019

Winter Decor

Hello! I am emerging back into the world after a bout of the flu that passed through 3 out of 5 of us in the last couple of weeks. The shift in perspective always amazes me when illness strikes. It causes me to take pause and be thankful for my family's health in a new way, if only for a short time. I never want to take it for granted and, as horrible as it is being sick, I am grateful for the reminder.
I have been adding some cozy layers to our home for winter. I spent countless hours on the sectional in our family room. As soon as I was well enough, I took all the slipcovers off and gave them a good washing. I remain a huge fan of slipcovered furniture for that very reason.
I spent a lot of time with Netflix while I was sick. Have you seen "The Staircase"? I think it's been out for a while, but I watched the whole thing over the course of a couple of days and I am still left wondering if he did it. If you've seen it, what do you think? I also read a couple of books. I loved One Day in December and I am currently finishing Kitchen Yarns. There's nothing quite like a warm fire and a good book in January.
We are considering a new project for a long wall in our family room. I spend way too much time perusing home tours on Zillow of charming New England homes. One of the elements that many of those homes have is bookshelves, lots and lots of bookshelves. I always think that homes filled with shelves of books house the most interesting people, don't you? 
I tried a new arrangement for the furniture in our family room after the holidays and I dare say it is my favorite yet. The corner fireplace can be tricky, but I angled the sectional towards the fireplace with our Pottery Barn console behind, and it added instant coziness for the winter.
One more change I am considering is retiring the big wall unit that currently houses our tv. For now, it's separated from the bookshelf pieces, but I am on the hunt for a new piece to put the television on. I'm hoping to find some sort of interesting piece - maybe a card catalog or apothecary cabinet? - so I am not rushing into it.
Do you have any home projects planned for the new year?

January 15, 2019

DIY Pot Rack Tutorial (Finally!)

Hello and Happy New Year! I am starting off 2019 with a DIY post that I have been meaning to put together for quite some time. It was #1 on my Blog To-Do list for the new year so here we go!
I have loved the idea of both the country style and functionality of a pot rack for years.  However, I held off because I worried that it might close in the ceiling and make our kitchen feel smaller. But my main concern was that it might just seem too kitschy and cluttered. And then one day I decided to just go for it - not really sure we would end up keeping it. Many of our projects start out that way - we figure what do we have to lose? Worst case scenario is we end up spackling some extra holes in the ceiling, right? We didn't have any sort of plan to go on other than a couple of old pictures from country magazines found on Pinterest. I knew I wanted it to be wood rather than metal, more rustic than refined - and have space to display some fun decorative items above the pots.
Here's a list of the supplies we used, all purchased at Home Depot.
We started by building the frame of the pot rack from 1x3's made of pine that we stained using Minwax stain that we already had on hand from other projects (color Special Walnut). Our pot rack measures 60"x 20.5" because we wanted it to be a slightly smaller rectangle than our island (which measures 64"x38" including the granite overhang). We used screws that we countersunk to connect the three 19 inch pine cross pieces. We didn't worry about seeing the holes for the screws because we wanted it to look rustic. You can see the screws in the close-up below.
On the corners, we attached 2" metal corner braces that we found at Home Depot to add more rustic charm. Then, we added some chicken wire to the top of the rack with staples, again for that country look and so I could display some fun items. Finally, we attached 4 metal hooks to each corner.
We knew the pot rack needed to be sturdy so we also attached two 1x3 planks of pine directly to the studs in the ceiling using screws. Then we attached 4 of the same hooks on the pot rack to the ceiling planks. We used chain, purchased at Home Depot, to connect the hooks on the ceiling to the hooks on the pot rack.
Then came the fun part - accessories! I picked up these hooks in the houseplant section of Home Depot and they ended up working well enough. They came in a 2 pack and it seems like I never have enough! I just found this package of hooks on Amazon and they seem like a much better value. I simply hang the hook from the chicken wire and then hang the item from the other side of the hook.
I've been slowly adding some copper pots to my collection and I change up the top shelf items with the seasons. But the best part is the function it adds. On the backside, I have lots of useful items like a colander, tea pot, cheese grater and measuring spoons. It's great to be able to just reach up and grab what I need when I am working in the kitchen.
My very favorite season with the pot rack so far was fall. I think the copper works best with the colors and warm light of fall!
Overall, this project was quick and affordable and added so much style and much needed storage to our country kitchen.

December 29, 2018

A Few Favorites of 2018 - Podcasts, Phones and Projects

Hello friends! With only a few days left in 2018, today I thought I would share a few of my favorite things I learned and found this year. Some are free, and some cost quite a lot, but they have all had an impact on my life lately, including what camera I used to take this picture of the morning light at our kitchen windows one morning just before Christmas.

December 16, 2018

Preparing for Christmas at the Cabin

This will be our third year spending Christmas day at our family's cabin in the Adirondacks and it has become our family's very favorite tradition. This is pretty much how we all feel when we run away to the mountains after such a hectic holiday season! :)

December 8, 2018

Christmastime Fun in Snowy Vermont

I always wanted to visit Vermont during the holiday season and this year we finally made it happen. We've made a couple of trips to the Vermont Country Store, which although a major tourist destination, still manages to maintain its old time charm. But never at Christmas. We took a beautiful drive from our family's cabin in Upstate NY over the nearby Vermont border and the snowy trees were gorgeous. It was snowing on and off during our drive and felt like being in a real life snow globe.