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Avid DIY'ers, bargain hunters and style gurus bringing you real interior design that is fabulous, functional and frugal.

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    Burlap as upholstery?  
    Uh, yea-uh! Okay, so I don't want to snuggle down on a burlap sofa, but what about something you put your FEET on? Ottoman cubes slipcovered in burlap sacks are just the thing to give you that touch of burlap without the itch.

    Burlap Slipcovered Ottoman cubes, coffee bag slipcovers

    For our ten-year wedding anniversary, we vacationed in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii. 

    We toured a coffee plantation and I fell in love with the old, printed, burlap sacks they use to transport the beans.

    coffee burlap sacks, coffee bags

    A couple of years later Shawna owner of "Happy Chair" had some gems in her booth at the Metrolina Expo Antiques Extravaganza in Charlotte, NC. Of course, her brilliant, creative mind thought to put burlap on the back of her chairs (No scratchy itchy burlap on the parts you touch). 

    slipcovered ottoman cubes made with burlap coffee sacks

    Fast forward a few years and those burlap coffee sacks were still in the back of my mind. This is pretty incredible considering how quickly I tire of things. 

    These cute ottoman cubes were a light and bright addition to my keeping room (IDK why they call it this; what are we "keeping" in there?). For a cozy fall and winter look, I thought they'd look great slipcovered.

    And then, the Ah-Ha moment! A way to incorporate some texture into the room to compliment the stone fireplace and use the coffee sacks that have been stored in my closet for six years. 

    Ballard Designs was teasing me with their burlap pillows, burlap ribbon, and burlap Christmas stockings.  So much, that I created a Pinterest Board just for BURLAP. Follow it, it's fun!

    I measured my cubes and sent the sacks off to Anna the slipcover Guru. Check out her website and order some custom-genius!

    When I picked up the slipcovers, Georgia wasn't a huge fan of the smell. She insisted on thoroughly rubbing her entire body all over them until they smelled like dog. 

    There we go. Doggy-licious. 

    A note about Georgia: We don't know WHAT breed she is. If you have any guesses, we'd love to hear them. She's a pound puppy from the Orange County (NC) animal shelter. 

    And apparently, she likes to be photographed!

    slipcover ottoman with burlap

    I love the way you can separate the cubes to use individually, or group them together in one big square. 

    These little boogers are just SO versatile. 

    I found some more inspirational upholstered cubes around the web. Have you done anything with burlap or grain sacks? We'd love to see!

    If you are crazy about Happy Chairs and Shawna's mad skills, check out the Pintrest Board I created here! And don't forget to FOLLOW ALL of Decor You Adore's Pin boards for thousands of pins that will inspire and amaze!

    Linking up today with some fabulous blogs. Hop over and check out the talent!
    And for the love of Pete, leave me a comment if you like my ottomans or better yet, LIKE it on Facebook. I'm starting to get a complex about so few comments!

    Reasons To Skip The Housework
    Serenity Now blog
    Simply Gloria
    Weekend Bloggy Reading

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    Spectacular vintage surveyor's tripod re-purposed into a floor lamp.

    tripod lamp made from old surveyors stand

    I found this one at the Metrolina Expo Antiques Extravaganza in Charlotte, NC. This particular vendor has a knack for turning everyday items into nifty treasures.

    It stopped me in my tracks. I love to infuse a bit of vintage into my design style. A room looks lived in and interesting when it contains something OLD, stylishly paired with your new treasures!

    It's made from an old surveyor's tripod. It had just the right amount of charm and age and for $250, it was coming home with me. 

    I tried it in every room in my house (as I do with most things). If you buy what you LOVE, you'll find a spot for it, I promise. 

    A room with all new items can look like a furniture showroom. To evoke character and charm, try adding a vintage piece! 

    With a new linen shade, it's right at home in my family room. You can read about my gallery feature here.

    Search ebay, craigslist or flea markets for a surveyor's stand. A simple lamp kit from the hardware store, and you can turn it into a statement piece. 

     If you don't enjoy the hunt, JC Penney has one: no flea market search required!

    Lamps Plus has one too!

    If you are industrious and want to make one for yourself, these old tripods are readily available on Ebay. I love the rustic, steampunk qualities of this one. 

    Have you tried this project yourself? We'd love to see your result, and as always, we ADORE your comments!
    Linking up with:

    Cherished Handmade Treasures

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    Hey Gang! 

    I feel like I'm on a roll with all these house updates. We've emptied two of our three storage units but I'm still not parking in the garage. One box at a time I suppose.  

    I've finally had a few minutes to blog about all the progress we've been making. I might even have to work on another house tour in the very near future- whoa!!

    One of my goals for our new bedroom was to create a cozy, serene space. Our last bedroom was beautiful but ginormous and I just couldn't achieve that sanctuary I craved. I was spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave and the room never seemed quite "finished". 

    One of the things I really like about our new bedroom is that it is smaller. Yes, you read that right. In this day of supersizing, my hubby and I actually decided to sell our McMansion in favor of something we could bite off AND chew. A mere two months after the move, I feel like I'm closing in on serenity.

    On that note, I thought I would share my top 5 tips to turn your bedroom into a cozy, serene sanctuary.

    1. Replace your wooden bed with an upholstered headboard.

    I really wanted an upholstered headboard but decided I couldn't live with looking at the unkempt covers at the foot of the bed. Since I don't have the time or patience to constantly straighten and adjust the covers AND I'm trying to avoid a one-way trip to the looney bin I opted for this awesome tufted, upholstered bed on Amazon. 

    There are a ton of upholstered headboards to choose from out there! And, there's no need to break the bank--even Target has some really great options.

    2. Layered Bedding

    Layers are key. You may recall my tutorial on making a bed to adore. I reused my bedding from our last house. It's too cozy not to, don't you think? Everyday this bedding inspires me to actually make the bed and it makes me smile to see the layers fluffed and in their places. One of life's simple pleasures, ya know?

    Of course, no bed (or room) is complete without a monogram!

    3. Frame your view
    Fabric is the quickest, easiest way to achieve a "designer look". I went for a bit of luxe in the drapery. The silk fabric definitely amps up the style factor in the room.  

    Check out this view! Not a bad way to wake up.

    4. Create a nook

    The settee (at the foot of the bed in our last room) fit nicely in the corner. How cozy would it be to curl up with a cup of coffee and watch snow or leaves falling. HaHa! Who am I kidding? Moms don't do that kind of thing! But, having the nook gives me hope that it MIGHT happen. Do you have room for a small chair that you can adore?

    I thought you deserved a close-up of my fine, feathered friend. How cute is he??

    5. Add pillows and maybe a throw. 

    Cozy up that corner you've createdwith pillows and a throw. Who knows? You may actually get to wrap up in that throw one day. 

    If you don't have the space for a nook, add pillows on the bed. Remember: there aren't too many pillows unless they are falling off the end of the bed after its made.

    Keep in mind that Rome wasn't built in a day. If time and budget don't allow a full makeover, add a pillow or start looking (and saving) for the perfect drapery.  Just keep moving toward your goal of a space for respite and relaxation at the end of a hectic day!

    Sharing today:

    The Chicken Chick
    52 Mantels

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    Hey Y'all! TGIF! We're looking forward to the weekend with these fab fall temps! A great weekend to put on a crockpot of chili!

    In addition to yummy fall treats, you can make this weekend a productive one too. Try one of these great ideas and make your home just a bit cozier!

    Priyam at Simple Joys decorated her stairs for Halloween.

    Cheryl at the Tidy Mom blog made this cute Monogram Wreath for fall. You know we adore a fall porch!

    In non-seasonal news, Traci at Beneath My Heart crafted her own file cabinet for her office.

    If you can sew a straight line, you can make custom window treatments for your home. Just ask Liz from Designing Domesticity.

     EcoSalon shows how to make this adorable reclaimed-frame chalkboard.

    I've seen these on Pinterest over and over again and always thought I'd take the time to make some for my boys. Any avid reader would love Raising Olive's great tutorial.

    If Patrick has any free time this weekend (or the next), I think these would be the perfect Christmas gift for my in-laws! Check out the Homeandaway blog for all the details on how to build this cute planter.

    After you finish your beadboard planter box, why not jazz it up with a little woodland goodness? Leave it to to come up with this cute and simple woodsy arrangement. 

    Of course there's always our easy, DIY pumpkin topiary.

    And this last one is so fun! It would be a great project to tackle with the kids (or grandkids)!

    How cute are these? Owls are big this season in home decor and are perfect for fall. Check out the tutorial here.

    BONUS: you can make them any color to complement your decor. 

    I hope you've gotten a bit of inspiration from our roundup! Enjoy your weekend!

    Sharing at these lovely places:

    Liz Marie Blog

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    Lately, we've been swamped with questions about how to tackle some tricky design dilemmas. When you have an odd shaped room, a dated design, or a wonky elephant in the room, it's time to hire a professional. 


        1. Designers help you realize your vision

    Professional designers can creatively take your vision and bring it to life. A professional designer will listen to your wants and needs and translate that into something that will work for your family.

    Our most popular package is the Some Like It Haute! With this service, our clients receive a detailed mood board with selections of specific products to purchase.  

        2. Designers don’t just make things “pretty”

    Designers take a strategic path to effectively create a room paying attention to details like scale, proportion, personal style and budget.
    Source: House Beautful

       3. Designers know when to break the rules

    The thoughtful use of design theory and principles, grids and ratios, psychology and color theory may be the rules that designers follow, but a good designer knows when to veer off the beaten path. Who would have thought that lavender grass cloth wallpaper could work? A designer; and she was right!
    lavendar grasscloth wallpaper, purple interior design
    Source: House Beautiful

       4. Designers can see past visual clutter

    A good designer can develop strong concepts that will stand out amongst the visual clutter of kids’ toys and a pile of laundry, revealing the best design solution for your space.

    brick fireplace renovation, slate modern fireplace
    A good designer has the vision to foresee this dated brick fireplace becoming this amazing modern marvel.

       5. Designers are worth their weight in gold

    Every budget can benefit from a designer’s eye. Even a 30 minute design consultation at an hourly rate can give you the guidance to implement some of your own concepts. Totally lost? Let a designer walk you through the process: Our Devil's In the Details package can provide you with design service from start to finish. A perfect example is our client's playroom shown here:

    playroom before and after, interior design services
    It's hard to imagine this office transformed into a little girl's dream playroom.

    Very happy clients indeed! See this playroom reveal here.

    Many of our clients want to implement the design plan on their own timeline. Once a PLAN is in place it's easy to add items as they go on sale or when your budget allows. As a matter of fact, our most popular service is our"Some Like it Haute" package. Click on the link to read more about this. It makes an excellent Christmas gift too!

    interior design services, interior design mood board

    We are offering a special rate of $200 for the month of November on our Haute package (a savings of $50).  

    Spaces are filling up fast, so if you'd like us to come take a look at your room, contact us right away and your dream room will be ready in time for Christmas!

    Linking up with:

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    Today I'm sharing a project I've been working on diligently for two years.

    wine cork demijohn lamp

    Some smart person took a vintage demi-john wine jug and turned it into a lamp. I loved the color and the size of it from the second I saw it. It's gigantic: about 2 1/2 feet tall with the shade.
    This is what it looked like when I found it.
     I enjoy crocheting from time to time, but I wouldn't say I'm a yarn-lover by any means. And you know I could never leave that pink yarn in there. I don't know why, but I've never liked pink.

     I never intended to use it as I found it with the balls of yarn, but I could see how someone could pull that off. Wine corks actually were not my first thought either. I thought about pinecones, or possibly shells, although that brings back visions of those 1980's fillable lamps. 
    This can still be done tastefully.

    This one by Homeroad is really cute.

    Thinking ahead to Christmas decorating, ornaments might be cute. 

    But alas, my love of wine corks won out and I became a serious collector.

    I drank and I drank and I drank. No, just kidding, I didn't drink all that wine! My friends all helped me with my design "problem"! What are friends for after all?

    This is what it looked like after three months of serious dedication. Good grief! Must. Drink. More!

    And after two years of leaving it at the beach house for others to assist, it's almost full. I'm so proud. 

     What do you think? Isn't it glorious in it's unique-ness? I'm in love (and not because I've been drinking).

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    2-story indoor stone wall, stone fireplace, stone veneer

    Happy Monday! We're spotlighting this fab rock wall to get your week started right! 

    Chris, one of our go-to contractors, and his wife Kelly are serious DIY enthusiasts. You may recall that he helped Patrick build the uber-awesome farm table and has pitched in on more than a few Decor You Adore projects. We even featured their dining room-turned-pool-hall awhile back. 

    Well, they're at it again and with gusto! They started with this:

    Although beautiful and certainly dramatic since it IS a 2-story room, it's still kind of your average builder basic...boring.

    They decided to take it up a notch...

    Here's one of the first pics of their progress:!


    And, here's the finished project:

    This is so cool! It definitely adds warmth and character to the room. Bonus: when they decide to sell, it puts their home way ahead of others of similar style and price.

    Have you attempted a DIY project? Small or large, we'd love to hear about it and see lots of pics. Maybe we'll even feature it on our blog. If you're featured, we will send you one of our favorite home decor finds, a monogrammed candle from Twinkle Star gifts. Email us today and showcase your hard work!

    Linking up today with:

    Skip To My Lou

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    Happy Humpday! Wherever you are, I hope you are getting your pumpkins carved and replacing that Halloween candy you already ate!

    Have you been seeing all these cozy cableknits? They are everywhere!

    These little cuties can take you all the way through Thanksgiving with style- just like the lazy girl suggested.

    Etsy Cableknit Pumpkins
    Holiday festivities are quickly approaching! Be ready to thank your hostess properly with one of these!


    If you are industrious and good with knitting needles, try this DIY from Thimbleanna

    I wish I was that talented!

    There's nothing more cozy on a cool fall day than curling up with a cableknit blanket. 

    Naturally, you can find one at Restoration Hardware. A bit pricey, but fantastic, nonetheless. 

    Italian Wool and Alpaca Throw
    Here's a brilliant idea for those past-their-prime sweaters in your closet!

    Wonderful Re-purposed Cableknit Candle Sleeves
    And, if you love the look but are just too hot natured to embrace this trend, try this from our friends at Pottery Barn:

    It is actually wax, not sweater material! Awesomesauce! 

    Don't forget to send us your proudest DIY projects for a chance to win a prize from Twinkle Star gifts!

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    I'm sure you're in a candy coma like the rest of us. OBVIOUSLY we love our children too much to rot their teeth with all those sweets. So, we do what a good parent does, cull that candy bucket a bit...mainly the chocolate and the skittles...if you know what I mean.

    If you followed the lazy girl's guide to fall decorating, you're not ripping down too many spider webs or shelving bats today. You're taking down your three Halloween decorations and leaving most of your fall decor in tact to take you through Thanksgiving. 

    BONUS: Since you're not disturbing the decor, you can avoid dusting the bookshelves and your buffet for another few weeks!

    However, it IS time to start thinking about Christmas. Of course I've been swooning over Christmas stuff for awhile now because I'm clearly a retail sucker careful planner. I may or may not have already purchased this craZy awesome pillow from Pottery Barn.

    Besides being a beautiful season of friends, family and sweet celebration, I LOVE how the house feels with all the decorations you've collected through the years. And, the centerpiece to all this fabulosity is the Christmas tree. That is unless you have absolutely no idea how to decorate it and end up breaking stuff and saying bad words instead of humming Jingle Bells and drinking egg nog. 

    Good news: this year, there's help. Professional help, that is. I never knew how awesome my tree could look until Jacki helped me take it up a notch (or three!). 

    Check out some of our handiwork from year's past:

    And more Christmas aWeSoMe!!

    Jacki and I both went nuts for chocolate brown decor so we didn't want our Christmas tree to completely clash with the surrounding interiors. I love the old world feel of the coppers and golds!

    The good news is that the red and green rules of yesteryear are history! Anything goes! 

    Is your living room fuchsia? Make your tree work with it! Some metallics mingled with pink ribbon would make anyone's holiday HAPPY!

    For nature lovers, there are animal prints and natural fiber ribbons like jute and burlap that can be interspersed for a more rustic feel.

    Really, the possibilities are endless!

    In addition to trees, we can do:



    This garland started as a pre-lit, plain garland and a sppol of ribbon and a few ornaments--presto, change-o and voila!

    If you're in the Raleigh/Cary/Apex area and want some amazing, yet affordable holiday decorating, contact us today! We're taking orders for custom wreaths and garlands now and starting to book in-home holiday decorating appointments. Hurry, there are only two of us so space is limited! After-all, we have to decorate our houses too! 

    Linking up with:

    Liz Marie Blog

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    We were recently given the opportunity to redesign a living room for a busy family. It was definitely a challenge, but we're up to it!

    Our clients are an active family that want their space to work as hard as they do, but they didn't know where to begin. 

    Some of the dilemmas are: 
    1. Where to put the TV when it's competing for the main focal point in the room: over the fireplace?
    2. I have so many openings and traffic patterns, where do I put the furniture? 
    3. How do I remove a fireplace hearth that we never use and don't want?
    4. What can I do with an asymmetrical built-in that is too deep and awkward in the room?
    5. How can I utilize both sides of my long, narrow family room?

    The homeowner chose our most popular service,  "Some Like it Haute".  This service provides a fresh perspective with the flexibility to implement the design as time and budget allow. Click on the link to read more about this. It makes an excellent Christmas gift too! 

    There were some great inspiration rooms to motivate us:

    narrow buit in next to fireplace, stools around coffee table

    stone fireplace, asymmetrical tv fireplace

    Finally we suggest eliminating the hearth all together to make a more modern, streamlined design similar to this:

    We suggest facing the brick with a gray slate and extending the mantel across the built-in. After removing the existing built-in, our contractors would dry wall the upper portion and reinforce the wall to support a tv arm mount that would allow the tv to swivel and extend for better viewing. 
    asymmetrical fireplace marble modern tv

    Here's a peek at the whole design plan with paint colors, furniture selections and accessories.
    With our design service, we provide a detailed spreadsheet with product selections and "clickable" links to purchase all the included items seen on the mood board. How cute are these purple stools?

    For the client's second room (it really is a separate space), we suggested turning it into a gaming area for the kids. 

    When finishing the session with our client, we go into greater detail about furniture placement, sources and costs. But, we hope you enjoy a small glimpse of how we address one client's design dilemma! 

    If you would like your own consultation and custom mood board, contact us today! We can visit your space within the Triangle or consult with you virtually.

    Linking up with:

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    There is nothing more exciting (or nerve-wracking) than building a house from the ground up. Choosing every tiny detail can be FUN if you are a psychopath like me OR, it can be exhausting if your day job is working with a bunch of techies in an IT department. 

    When your expertise is in the language of Java Script, the best thing to do is hire a professional.

    SW Samovar Silver, SW Foggy Day, Exterior Paint color

    Thankfully, our clients did just that. As we started the project, one of the earlier decisions regarded outdoor finishes and facades. While a color may look good on a paint chip, you are probably going to need the help of a pro to help you nail down exterior paint colors...the first time that is. 

    We all have one of these in our town, if not our own neighborhood. Right? The blazing neon blue or bright pink house? I rest my case on the importance of choosing the right paint color. 

    We started by having the client fill out a short, design questionnaire.  I discovered they are drawn to the soothing, cool, gray-blue tones.

    I immediately thought of Catherine's new home and her Mudroom color. SW Samovar Silver. It changes as the light hits it from a dusty blue to a silvery blue gray. Perfect!

    A quick Google search turned up some lovely images of Samovar Silver. This was my favorite:

    The home builder only uses Sherwin Williams paints-- which is great paint!

    Clatter, whisk, whirrrrr... that's the sound of me flipping through my handy-dandy paint deck.

    Their paint palette:
    sw samovar silver, sw snowbound, sw rock bottom, sw foggy day

    SW Samovar Silver exterior color
    SW Sea Serpent front door color
    SW Snowbound trim
    SW Rock bottom shutter color

    Here's what happened when the palette came to life:

    The house is very vertical. To ground the stone and make the silver seamlessly blend with the exterior, we added SW Foggy Day on peak as an accent. The batten boards remained the trim color for a little pop! I can't wait to see it with the shutters.

    SW Foggy Day makes the perfect accent color on the peak of the house.

    Exterior color: SW Foggy Day

    SW Foggy Day exterior paint color

    I think it translated well to exterior paint, don't you? Stay tuned to see how beautifully our interior paint choices turn out!

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  • 11/11/13--06:31: A Navy Door to Adore!

  • Jacki and I were off on a two-state shopping bender this weekend. It was full of adventure and mishap, but fun for sure. What could top a Moms Gone Wild shopping trip? Giving a boring builder white door a fresh makeover!

    I was inspired by these:


    The builder was supposed to paint the door some sort of army green--barfapalooza! I ended up having them leave it white--yawn!

    Although the door is boring, the fall decor still looks ah-mazing!

    I used Sherwin Williams Naval from their Pottery Barn line. Love it!

    I didn't add my wreath yet because I want the door to completely dry. When I do, the autumn arrangement is really going to pOp! 

    What do you think? Leave us a comment, we adore hearing from our readers!

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    best bunkbed designs

    Today, I'm pondering whether or not my boys could share a room. They share when we go to the beach, but aren't particularly happy about it. 

    white bookshelf bunkbeds with trundle
    Holy Moly I've moved these bunk beds around more times than I can count. The room is Teeny-Tiny but we needed to pack in as many kids as possible. Because the room is so small, I ultimately decided to forgo the trundle.
     When I had them in the center of the room, they really cut off the space. Plus the floors are so uneven, when you slept in the trundle, you ended up rolling back under the bottom bunk. 

    Still, it's an improvement over what they looked like when we bought the house.

    If I'm dreaming big, I would love to do some custom beds in the cottage where everyone could have their own space.
    nautical inspired bunkbeds

    bunkbed rails

    This is one of my favorites because of the nautical-inspired details.

    The railing on these bunks is spectacular.

    Netting! What an ingenious idea!

    Another smart use of limited space-check out the drawers in these steps!

    Talk about rustic luxe...

    Catherine- did you see these? I know you love some navy and gold!

    I love the green, don't you?

    Judging from all the nautical-inspired decor, it seems people are really looking for ways to maximize sleeping quarters at their beach cottages! A great idea since you spend so little time indoors when visiting the beach.

    Lastly, check out this precious, girly set up! It even has a porthole for late night conversations! Adorable and so open and airy!

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  • 11/18/13--03:00: Ikea Hack: Vittsjo Shelf

  • You may recall my earlier plans for the office, I shared them before we even moved

    Earlier this year, I decided I would not have a dining room in the new house. Besides the fact that we never used it, I was inspired by fellow blogger, Emily Clark and made it my home office.

    Emily Clark's dining room turned home office
    While Emily opted for built-ins with a library feel, we wanted something less permanent since we don't think we will live here long-term. However, it is the first room guests see as they enter, so there is a lot of pressure to keep things tidy. And, this house has NO storage. 

    I didn't like having all the stuff cluttered on the credenza and especially HATE seeing the printer front and center -- seriously un-cute!

    View from the front door
    I remembered another dining room turned home office from our anti-dining room post. Don't you love this clean-lined minimalist set up?

    I LOVE it! I love the shelves and the way Duo Ventures styled them. As big, Ikea fans, Jacki & I knew these were the Vittsjo shelves. 
    Since my walls are navy (SW naval), I thought black would fade into the background. 

    You don't have to go further than a google search to see that the vittsjo shelves are everywhere, in a bunch of colors:
    Ana Antunes

    So I went to Ikea...on a Saturday...big mistake. The website said they had plenty. They did not. Ikea is 2.5 hours away from my home. Not cool. In an excellent stroke of luck, Jacki's sister-in-law was going to Ikea the next day and picked them up for me. Thanks Jenny!

    This is what they looked like:

    Here are most of the pieces:

    Three cans of spray paint later, this is what I had:

    The hubby felt sorry for my severe lack of spray painting skill and took over. Thank goodness! It looked a lot better after he was finished.

    Here's where it landed:

    While I was at Ikea, I snapped up some magazine storage boxes and some other boxes for storing office supplies. I was so excited, I had to get busy styling. I did curb my enthusiasm long enough to avoid scratching the paint job on the bottom shelf with the printer and box. 

    After letting it dry overnight (read: before coffee) I moved the printer to its new spot: 

    I love it. What do you think? I'm not finished with the room yet so I'll keep the rest of the details under wraps for now. But, stay tuned. I'm very obsessed with focused on this project so it won't be long now.

    Sharing today with: It's So Very Cheri

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    garden and gun, antlers, nature decor, antler wreathThe question "How many points?" can have a myriad of meanings in the South. On any given fall weekend, the reference could be to the scores of the ACC or SEC football game, the upcoming Tobacco Road basketball rivalry or the rack of the latest trophy buck. 

    Not only are women joining their mates for early morning hunts, they are making more than venison stew. Have you noticed all the nature inspired Christmas decor this season? Most notably the use of antlers in home decor is HOT!

    OMG! Yes, that is a pail full of antlers &  a bucket of cotton stems too!

    We have a local garden shop that never fails to wow! us with their holiday designs. From wreaths to garlands to soaring trees, we were swooning over the merry fabulosity of it all.

    This tree was inspired by the iconic Garden and Gun magazine. 

    Check out this little fella! Isn't he's just oozing southern charm?

    Not to be outdone, Jacki snagged a few antlers and went home inspired and determined!

    Here's our (that's the royal "our") version of a garden and gun themed wreath:

    garden and gun, antlers, nature decor, natural wreath antlers

    Jacki is so talented! I love it!

    If you're in the local area and need a little wreath love, you know who to call! We are also available to decorate your tree! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

    Next week we *should* have a tree or two up at our own homes! I can't wait to show you!

    If you "just gotta have it", this wreath is available for purchase for $120. It's a 30" pre-lit wreath with snow covered pinecones, a cute little bird and his nest, and don't forget the antlers!

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    step by step how to decorate a christmas tree metallic copper brown

    Christmas evokes many happy memories for me:

    As a child, I can remember listening to Bing Crosby belt out his holiday hits from the record player while we jammed and the tinsel flew onto our K-mart tree. No, it wasn't fancy, but it was the process that I enjoyed. I guess it just felt like Christmas once we were allowed in the formal living room to decorate the tree. Since my feet only stepped on that white carpet twice a year, it really was a privilege!

    Fast forward to present day and turn on Rockin' Holidays (the best Pandora station I've found), pour a piping hot cup of hot chocolate and get busy bringing Christmas to your adorable abode!

    Since my days of tinsel tossing, my taste in Christmas decor has evolved. And, like everything else, I really like a tree with layers. Seriously, my hair has layers, my bed has layers and so does my Christmas tree. 

    I had to start my own tree before Thanksgiving (tsk, tsk I know!) because we're fortunate enough to be able to help our clients decorate their homes for the holidays.

    brown, copper, gold, natural Christmas tree

    And, like your grandma's famous apple pie, there really isn't a recipe. But, this year I slowed down a bit and tried to break the process into manageable steps so our readers would be able to make their trees a little more spectacular as well.

    So here goes:

    Step 1:
    Lay it all out. I make an assembly line of picks, sprays, pinecones, ribbon and ornaments.

    Step 2:

    Fluff your tree and check lights.

    You can't expect a tree that's been crammed in a box all summer to come out and stand at attention. Not gonna happen. You have to put on some gloves and tug, pull, fluff and splay each and every branch.

    Step 3:
    Begin with ribbon. A pretty bow at the top of the tree makes a beautiful statement.

    Don't stop with the ribbon on top! Integrate the ribbon into the tree by weaving it in and out of the branches. Start at the top and go down. Don't wrap it around the tree. Trust me on this!

    You can also add decorative mesh in the same manner.

    Step 4:
    Add picks, sprays, branches and if you are daring, something BIG like this fat metallic sequined reindeer!

    Step Five:
    Go deep! Insert ornaments deep within the branches to hide holes.

    nserting large objects in your Christmas tree, reindeer tree

    Step 6:
    Add your (non-sentimental) ornaments...en masse. Catherine always asks me, "Is three enough?" NO! The key to an awesome tree is repetition. More is More! Don't just grab one box of gold ornaments, buy five! I put about 50 plain balls on my tree before ever opening the box of family ornaments.

    Pottery Barn star tree topper, metallic Christmas tree, copper, gold brown tree

    Step 7:
    Add your special ornaments. Everyone has those meaningful ornaments that are special to your family. One of my favorites is this manatee:

    manatee christmas ornament

    Last Christmas we had a series of gifts for the boys to open with hints about where to look for their next clue. The final clue led them to the tree where this manatee surprised them with a trip to Florida where we actually got to swim with the gentle giants!

    copper bird Christmas ornament

    What do you do if you have a popscicle stick, pipe cleaner reindeer your child made in Kindergarten? You might consider a 2nd tree if you have a theme going on the main tree. Or, just embrace it and put that pipe cleaner reindeer front and center.

    Step 8:
    Stand back and admire your work. Look for holes, or a section that has 7 birds. We don't need a flock on the tree. 

    Christmas morning is always such a fun time for our family!

    Step 9: 

    Sad, but true. After the kids go to bed, you may need to relocate a few ornaments.

    how to photograph a christmas tree
    Thanks to my wonderful husband, Patrick, for doing five hours of math homework with the boys, cleaning up after a stomach bug, and then taking pictures of the tree for my blog.
    Most of all, remember to enjoy this time... Especially if you have children or grandchildren helping you decorate. These are the memories they will have when they are our age.

    Linking up with:

    Tuesday To Do Party

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  • 12/05/13--06:29: It's Christmas Y'all!

  • Spray paint it, fry it or stick a bow on it. It's Christmas y'all! 

    We showed you how to decorate your Christmas tree like a pro! Now, we thought we'd give you a quick look at the fun, family tree we whipped up at Catherine's house.

    This year, she changed from copper and gold to red and silver and had a ton of fun, new ornaments! Here are a bunch of them displayed for inventory and easy access.

    I love these playful picks!

    Go ahead and get right with the idea that you'll be sporting at least one fleck of glitter until February if you do Christmas right!

    I couldn't wait to get my hands on those giant disco ball ornaments!

    Of course we had to start with a good fluffing. Trees have a rough summer ya know!

    Ribbon! Squeal!!!!

    I could not resist highlighting this ornament. Under the snowperson called mom, it says weird person. Her kids know her well!

    The same adorable kid hung these:

    The initials for his first name and his Dad's first name...side by side. 

    I love the ornament Catherine got for her hubby!

     Isn't this cool? It is a cross between Dr. Seuss and the 4th of July! Awesomesauce!


    Random, exploding, dripping with ornaments tree=perfection!

    Merry Christmas y'all!

    Random, exploding, dripping with ornaments, tree. Perfection.

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    Recently we showed you how one of our client's took the design we suggested and ran with it. Well, she's still running and we popped in to check out her most recent progress. 

    You can read all about the original design but here's the Cliff notes version: 


    Our suggestion:

    Although we suggested another sofa, hers was relatively new and she wasn't ready for another one yet. But, she immediately rolled up the old rug and sold it on craigslist

    Then she ordered this orange, geometric rug (from eBay) and added some fun pillows to get the ball rolling.

    Next, she started adding different pieces of art from her new color palette. 

    The homeowner wanted to paint the walls a gray color but didn't care for Revere Pewter once she sampled it on the wall. In fact, she sampled about 50 different grays to find the perfect color. Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl turned out to be the winner.

    Here's the room now:

    How happy is this??

    A fresh coat of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl paint and an ottoman/coffee table swap with a friend really do make this decor you can adore! She also had our awesome seamstress make a custom slipcover for the Craigslist chair we suggested and she scored.

    Fabulous, functional and pretty frugal = a win!

    BONUS: Speaking of frugal, check out what she did with all those paint samples:

    Since they were so similar, she mixed them together and had enough paint to freshen up her adjoining powder bath. Now, THAT is using what you have in a fun, frugal way. You go girl!!!


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    christmas decorating with pine cones
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    We went to Blowing Rock, NC a few weeks ago, and I'm just now getting around to showing you what I picked up along the way.

    Yes, I have three children, but one didn't want to hike on this day. It's never easy!
    While hiking through the woods, we picked up a bunch of pine cones, birch bark and branches. To kill any critters they may have hitched a ride, I baked them for 30 minutes on in a 300 degree oven. (Sprinkle with cinnamon for a wonderful scent.)

    Of course they are beautiful on their own:
    In our part of North Carolina we don't see much snow. A dusting once in a while or an inch or so of the white stuff is typically all we see. So those of us who crave snow find ways to make it happen.


    To simulate real snow, I first applied "True Snow" which is like a think paste of glue for lack of a better description. 

    Add caption

     Then, I lightly sprayed the cones with Snow in a Can flocking.

    how to add faux snow to Christmas decorations

    Don't they looked like a light snow has just fallen?

    Antler wreath with river birch, pine cones, cedar and antlers.
    Antler wreath with river birch, pine cones, cedar and antlers.

    Look how pretty they are on our client's garland! It's not too late if you want us to make YOU a garland. Just email us!

    Flocked branches and pine cones on a teal and gold Christmas garland.
    Flocked branches and pine cones on a teal and gold Christmas garland.
    Teal, silver, gold Garland, flocked 
    Naturally, I used these pine cones ALL over the house. Here are some more photos to inspire you to take a nature walk and pick up some natural elements for your Christmas decorating this year.
    Find this awesome painted birch candle here.

    Jacki's mantle

    pine cone wreath, burlap ribbon wreath, moss ribbon


    Pottery Barn Kids Bunny Woodland Christmas Stocking

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    The holidays are in full swing and the time has come to finish that last minute prep before welcoming your guests. Even if you aren't expecting a big crowd this season, you wouldn't be reading our ever-so-humble blog if you didn't like to keep your abode at its best.

    Here are our Top 5 tips to get ready for ALL the upcoming holidays with plenty of time to obsess over what you'll wear for the festivities.

    1. Create an inviting entrance-

    We told you all about getting your front porch ready to party for the fall! If you had your big hurrah at Thanksgiving or you scared the living daylights out of the entire neighborhood with your Halloween haunting, you may not be channeling your inner Clark Griswold. Do not fear! 

    Go for classic and simple. Start with a wreath on your door. If you don't want to pay big bucks for a custom faux wreath, go to the Christmas tree lot and either a) get some scraps and make your own OR b) get a fresh wreath. Put a bow on it and call it Christmas. Whatever you do, get a wreath and a Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza door mat. Seriously. Non-negotiable.


    2. Decorate for the season. 

    Jacki and I have holiday spirit in spades and like to have Christmas explode in our homes. That *may* be extreme-mind you I'm admitting nothing. 

    While it isn't necessary to go to the lengths we enjoy, try adding some festive touches. If you don't want to go all out, go for a table top tree or a pretty tablescape on your dining room sideboard and/or entryway table. 


    3. Clean the place. 

    Do I really need to explain this? I'm not talking white glove ready, let's be real. Pick up the Barbies and/or Legos, get the rings out of the toilet and generally make sure you're in no danger of being shut down by the health department. Seriously, would you want to nosh on something that came out of this kitchen?

    4. Give your guest a little breathing room.

    I did a whole post on getting your guest room ready so I won't go into too much detail. Remember, whether you have a dedicated guest room or not, no one enjoys being on top of one another. So, carve out some space for your guest. Kick the kids out of their rooms and build them a "fort" somewhere else in the house. They'll love it and it will only be for a few nights anyway. 

    5. Make it special

    Even the smallest gathering deserves special attention. Whether it's placecards at your big meal or a lit votive at each setting (not for the kids!), do a little something to let your guests know they are worth the extra effort! Other ideas might be an arrangement of fresh flowers or even a small prize for a game! OR- multi-task...the flower arrangement can be the game prize. Remember, thoughtful doesn't have to be expensive!

    I guess my final advice is to relax and enjoy time spent with family and friends. This whole hectic holidays gag is for the birds! Yes, it is a busy time of year but it is not a race!

    Merry Christmas Y'all!

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