December 5, 2019

Our Christmas Family Room

Stone fireplace with white mantel and classic plaid Christmas decor -
Today, let's take a peek inside our family room, all decked out for the holidays. I already shared our new European Fir Christmas Tree in an earlier post. I love how much cheer this large tree adds to this space.

December 4, 2019

Our Christmas Living Room 2019

Whimsical holiday decor in a Christmas living room -
Our living room is always such a fun spot during the holiday season. I enjoy displaying our most treasured, collecting Christmas items in this space.

December 3, 2019

Our Christmas Kitchen 2019

Hello friends. Today, I am excited to share one of my favorite rooms to decorate for the holidays - our Christmas kitchen!
The old vintage sled is flying over the island once again. It's becoming a tradition for us at this point and I think we'd probably miss it if we didn't have it up there. I decided to go with a Gingerbread/Baking theme this year. I enjoy baking throughout the holiday season and it brings back memories of baking with my mom and grandmother. Like so many of you, we still use the same recipes each year that I did back then and I love passing that tradition down to my kids.

November 26, 2019

The End of a Chapter

I once heard it said that one of the wonderful things about having pets as a part of your family is that they help you to divide your life into chapters. I think that is so true.
Keeper joined our family at Christmas 9 years ago. We still had 3 young boys and her arrival was so exciting for us all. A highlight of our kids' younger years for sure!

November 18, 2019

A New Festive Fir for our Family Room

Balsam Hill 12 Bloggers of Christmas, European Fir, cabin Christmas -
*I partnered with Balsam Hill for this post but, as always, all opinions are my own.

Today marks the official start of the most wonderful time of the year here on my blog! I am excited to begin sharing the Christmas decor that I have been hard at work on for this year. And today we are beginning with a wonderful new addition to our Christmas decor this year - our very first Christmas tree from Balsam Hill. Be sure to read through to the end of the post to enter Balsam's Hill Twelve Days of Giveaways and also to find a coupon code just for my readers!

November 14, 2019

Flea Market Decor Magazine and Christmas Planning

Hello friends! I've been fully immersed in decorating my home for Christmas for a couple of weeks now and I can't wait to begin sharing it! A highlight for me this past week was when Flea Market Decor magazine came out in print. It's available on newsstands and digitally now! Our Christmas home from last year is one of the homes featured inside.

November 5, 2019

Fall Decor in Our Master Bedroom and Bathroom

Do you decorate your bedroom with the seasons? I never used to but lately I have really been enjoying it. You don't have to add too much. Especially in a bedroom or bathroom, I think just a few changes with seasonal color can go a long way.

October 22, 2019

Fall in the Adirondacks 2019

I'm not really sure what it is I love most about fall. The colors? Definitely a big part of it. The smells? Nothing smells quite like the leaves on the ground during this season. But I think what intrigues me most about this season is the bittersweet change in the weather. The signal for a cozier time of year which is music to this homebody's ears.
These pictures were taken across the span of about 3 weeks from late September into mid-October. We follow the color as it changes first in the higher elevations and finally ends down by the lake. It was sad to leave this weekend because the next time we head up up there, the trees will be bare. I can't remember a prettier fall than we saw this year.

October 16, 2019

Getting Cozy & A Bit of Halloween

We're heading into the cozy season of the year, ready or not. Every year, I seem to fight the fact that the days are getting shorter and colder and then before I know it, I'm embracing the cozy feel. And just in time, because we are expecting a lot of heavy rain later today and tonight here in NJ.

October 14, 2019

Fall at the Cabin

Hello friends! I'm on a roll with updating this blog. Today, I thought I'd share a few pictures of our home away from home, or family's shared cabin in the Adirondacks.

October 9, 2019

Fall Living Room Decor

Colorful fall decor in cottage style living room. Ikea Stocksund chair. www.goldenboysandme.comI knew I wanted to keep our fall decor both colorful and cheerful in our living room this year. This room is flooded with light from the large window at the front of our house, as well as the windows in our kitchen. I started with this pop of rust with a sign from Dandelion Wishes Home on Etsy. I love the saying!

October 8, 2019

Season of Change

I have always wanted to spend a chunk of time in the Adirondacks just as the leaves are changing. To really appreciate and photograph the beauty of this season and devote some uninterrupted time to writing. Most years during foliage season, we plan a weekend trip around the busy school schedules that coincide with the arrival of fall and cross our fingers, hoping for some pretty fall color - but, often times, not getting the timing quite right. It seems Mother Nature has her own timetable and we can only predict so much. 

October 2, 2019

Fall Kitchen

Farmhouse kitchen with fall decor and farmhouse sink -
Happy October and welcome to our Autumn kitchen. I think my favorite added element in this space at this time of the year is the warm light that floods the room in the afternoon. I especially love how it reflects on the copper pots that hang on our DIY pot rack. Our pot rack holds a combination of useful and decorative things. I hang our often-used colanders, cheese grater, measuring cups/spoons and tea pot on here and it's super convenient to have them right over the island.

September 19, 2019

Our Fall Family Room

Fall decor, fall mantel in rustic style famiy room with stone fireplace -
I love decorating for fall and this year our fall home is one of several homes featured in the Autumn issue of Country Sampler Farmhouse Style magazine. I have to admit it is a bit difficult to see my home styled and photographed by someone else, it just doesn't have the same "feel" to it, but it's exciting nonetheless. 

September 16, 2019

Going Up the Country

Do you have a road trip playlist? The one we created on Spotify and listen to most often is titled, Going Up the Country. We are, in fact, usually headed upstate when we hit the road, also lovingly referred to as up the country. That's also the title of the first song on my playlist, followed by Rocky Mountain High by John Denver. I just have to listen to both of those songs on the 3.5 hour trip to the Adirondacks. It's required listening! :)

July 19, 2019

Our Summer So Far

Hello! Oh my gosh, I have neglected this blog and I feel terrible about it. I don't even have a good excuse, other than, you know - LIFE. And Instagram, which I love, but will never completely replace blogging for me. This little blog is what started my home decor journey and I am not going to let it go. So, let's catch up a bit, shall we? Let's start where all things begin - in the home.

June 8, 2019

Adding Layers of Color to our Home

Hello friends! How has your late Spring been going? Mine has been busy! My youngest was playing 2 sports (lacrosse and track) while finishing up his middle school years and my middle son is finishing his senior year of high school. Lots of fun milestones and activities around here and I have to admit that I am looking forward to those quieter Summer days by the pool in the not-so-distant future. But first, I need to get through a senior prom, 2 graduations and a magazine photo shoot - all within the next week and a half. As for our house, I've been completing lots of little projects to add lots of color to our space!
Entryway with colorful cottage style decor -

May 29, 2019

Library Card Catalog TV Stand

Hello friends! I recently gave our family room a bit of a makeover and I'm excited to share it with you today. If you are following along on Instagram (where I post much more frequently - you can find me here), you already saw a picture or two but I will share more of the room in this post. I mentioned in an blog post earlier this year that I was looking for a vintage piece of furniture for our family room television. I'd grown tired of the look of the big white wall unit that housed our tv. I've been scouring Craigslist for an old card catalog or apothecary cabinet with no luck. I will keep looking, but in the meantime, I found something that I thought could work on Amazon. You can find it (affiliate link) here.

March 29, 2019

Spring in Our Family & Mud Rooms

I went all out with Spring decor this year because I am just so ready for the warmer weather. I added a few things from my collection of Spring items to our mudroom for fun. It's been a few days since I took these pictures but it still looks pretty much like this - with the addition of a bunch of Spring sports items strewn everywhere. Moms, I know you can relate. This is a very busy season for kids as they finish up the school year!

March 26, 2019

A Quick Powder Room Update

We've been in our current home close to 12 years now and some of the projects we completed when we first moved here are already feeling a little dated. We have a small powder room just off of our (also small) mudroom that we decided to give a little bit of an update. This ends up being the bathroom that we use often along with our guests, so even though it's small, it is a well used space.
DIY Powder Room Makeover using FloorPop tiles -

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!

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
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 -
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
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.