A few weeks ago, I was super stressed-out and spent my Sunday pretty much ignoring everything in my life and decided to make pillows instead. As you do. When I bought the napkins/dishtowels for my deck pillows at World Market last summer, I also picked up 3 of the same ikat print napkin in blue. I thought they might look good in the family room.
Because of the size of the deck pillow inserts, I cut off the jute trim for those, but I liked it and wanted to keep it on these.
For the backside of the pillows, I decided to use some leftover fabric I had from the Mini Blind Roman Shade project. It’s a nice, heavy off-white linen-y fabric.
I trimmed the fabric to the same size of the napkins, plus an inch all around for seam allowance—mind you, the napkins were not perfectly square, nor were they even the same size. Then I hemmed the white fabric and sewed those pieces to the napkins right sides out. I sewed 3 full sides and about 2-3 inches in on either edge of the 4th side.
So then I knew I had to find some way to close these suckers, so enter my third napkin. I trimmed off the jute on this one for my ties. I cut each of the 4 edges in half and hemmed one edge. The other edge would be sewn into the pillow.
With the trim-less, unfinished edge napkin, I cut it in half, then turned my pillow inside out and sewed the long edge of the napkin alongside the bottom hem of the back side of the pillow. I also sewed my ties to the inside of the front and back.
Finally, I put the insert inside the cover and tucked the flap around the bottom of the pillow.
Fairly easy! And no zipper to fool with.
These napkins are no longer at World Market, but here are a couple they have now that I thought would make cute pillows.
And then your couch can look like this:
They took me a little bit to get used to—for some reason I tend to dislike new things until I live with them for a little bit. But now I really dig ‘em!
And as I’ve said before, if *I* can make them—anyone can.
Hope you had a good weekend! We tackled the closet in the nursery—”add shelving” turned into “re-design and re-paint the entire closet,” so that was surprising… But it’s almost done! 6 weeks to go…
Last summer, I posted about my favorite summer party drink, Summer Beer. (Clearly, it’s for the summer.) And a ton of you have taken a liking to it too as it is BY FAR the #1 post on my blog.
So, with Cinco de Mayo fast approaching, I thought I’d add an amigo to the Summer Beer arsenal… say “¡Hola!” to Mexican Summer Beer!
Mexican Summer Beer is a little less sweet than the original version, but on a hot day in Guadalajara, that could be a good thing!
Here’s what you will need to get the fiesta started.
The structure is the same as the original Summer Beer: 4 cold light beers, a can of frozen juice concentrate and vodka.
In this case, I am using Corona Light, Limeade and (again) Tito’s vodka.
I combine them all in a pitcher and stir it up. I do feel like the drink “holds” better if its made in small batches, vs. making a huge vat at once. However, if you’re having a big party I think it’s fine to double up, but the beer will go flat if you make too much and let it sit out.
I also prefer to fill the glasses with ice instead of putting it in the pitcher to avoid watering it down. Mexican Summer Beer is also good with a few squirts of fresh lime—and perhaps a salted rim?
I’ve seen those Budweiser Lime-a-Ritas and I’ve wondered if they are similar to Mexican Summer Beer. I’ve also wondered if an orange-flavored vodka might give it a little more of a triple-sec vibe, bringing it closer to a margarita flavor. I will have to try these strategies one once the baby is on the outside and report back.
Add some chips and salsa and perhaps a sombrero or two and you are ready for a great Cinco de Mayo party. Or a Seis de Junio. Or a Cuatro de Julio…
Would you try this out? (I mean, you really don’t have much to lose…) How about the can’t-miss classic version? I’d love to know!
PS. Need to chill a drink in a hurry? Here’s the fastest way.
PPS. I’ve been updating some old posts and, unfortunately, they’ve been re-sent to my e-mail subscribers and re-published to RSS feeds in the process. My apologies for accidentally spamming you!
Nesting is in full force, y’all. So, I thought I’d update you on some nursery progress—it’s the least I can do since I haven’t updated you on anything else lately.
First of all, I revised the moodboard:
I tried to streamline to colors a bit from version 1.0. I thought things were getting a little too wackadoodle and I really wanted to focus on the navy and yellow with small hits of red and turquoise, plus the awesome pattern of the pillows.
First, I started digging on these sconces from Pottery Barn and then I found them brand new on ebay for almost half price. Hooray! They swivel right and left, but are somewhat unobtrusive while you’re sitting in the bed. I mentioned my plan for the pillows in the last post, too. I made a big, long lumbar pillow for the bed and a smaller one for the chair.
Hey look, somebody needs to iron shams! As for the lamp shades, should I add some trim?
Here’s the pillow for the to-be-delivered-any-day-now chair. It’s currently chilling in the Baby Mod Olivia crib with some stuffed animals waitin’ on a friend. (And yes, they will vamoose once the kiddo starts occupying the crib.)
Next up, taking a cue from the Jenna Lyons playbook, I painted the beat-up cream dresser (which you can see the before in slightly more detail here) the same color as the wall – Benjamin Moore Hale Navy. And I sprayed the handles turquoise. Can’t decide if they need a little dimensionalizing with some rub ‘n’ buff/ general distressing or if the flat color is working.
This is the (apparently now sold out from Urban Outfitters) aqua reading lamp I got to go in this little nook. I’m afraid I’m going to hate how it shines in my face while I’m sitting down, so…we’ll have to see about that. It looks cool, though. I’m thinking about making a homemade diffuser? If you have any ideas on how to do that, please share!
And once I organized all the gear from my baby showers, Taylor and I rolled out the new rug. WITH a crib and a double bed still in the room, I might add.
So that’s where we are right now! Still on the list: figure out some sort of shelving situation for the closet, figure out what art/mirrors to hang and where, sew the crib skirt and possibly some bunting, wait for the last of the pieces I ordered to arrive.
I’m hoping to be back sooner rather than later with some non-nursery projects, too!
So, I’m not sure who stuck it out through the entire video in my last post, but the big surprise at the end was…we’re having a baby!
Among many thousands of other things that having a baby means, one thing’s for sure: we need to decorate a nursery! So, here’s our plan:
Aaaannnd….It’s already changed.
But let me walk you through it.
First of all, the room we are using as the nursery is our formerly Moody Glam room. We’re keeping the paint, the shades, the dresser, the bed, the red nightstand and some artwork. But it also has to get babified.
The first sign it’s a baby’s room? The crib. I picked Pinterest’s fave and mine, the Baby Mod Olivia from (of all places) Walmart. I wanted it all white though, so I painted the rail and feet. We took a piece of the crib to Home Depot and they color matched the rail and did an awesome job. The finish isn’t quite as smooth as the factory-made white parts, but that may have something to do with painterly impatience.
I’m adding the Larkin Swivel Glider from Ballard Designs, a very generous Christmas gift from my Dad and Stepmom. It’s on order and I can’t wait until it gets here. I loved how it was a fully upholstered chair, but not super honkin’ big.
The jumping-off point for the color choices is this fabric: Waverly Santa Maria Desert. I loved how it was fun and playful, but still sophisticated. The “black” stems on the yellow tulips read a bit more navy in real life.
And then after I proudly brought a swatch home and declared to Taylor “I don’t know why but I just think it’s perfect!” He suggested I back up about 10 paces into the hallway and take a gander to the right.
And I thought I was so original. I ripped off ourselves.
Anyway….so the fabric is a smidge girly, I admit. And we don’t know what gender the baby is. So for that reason I’m just using it for a pillow on the glider and another long lumbar throw pillow on the bed. I figure those pieces of furniture are mine and not the baby’s so it doesn’t matter. And luckily I have a husband who believes there’s no reason boys can’t deal with a little pink, so… we’re going with it!
For the rug, I really liked this trellis rug from Rugs USA. (Word to the wise, wait for a 50% off sale. I settled for 35% off but shoulda waited.) I saw a lot of rugs that were yellow in the background with the pattern in white. This was one of the few I saw that was the reverse.
Moving on to the dresser: my original plan, which I still really love the idea of, was to get an Ikea Expedit and add some drawer/cabinet inserts, pop on a few legs for extra height and have a piece that can grow with the kiddo for toy and book storage.
I even jumped the gun and bought some cute legs which I painted white and rubbed-n-buffed the metal tips gold. But, then we actually got in the room to rearrange it and discovered that if I really wanted to keep the double bed (which I did) the Expedit had to go buh-bye and the smaller dresser had to stay. So, we’re going with plan B which is to use the current dresser, partially pictured below.
Here’s the floorplan:
We left a little room on the right of the bed for someone to get in and out of it. And I’m totally excited about using Jenny’s brills idea for a built-in nightstand.
As for the crib bedding, I did get the 2 crib sheets that are pictured in the lower right corner of the moodboard. (I’ll reinsert it so you don’t have to scroll.) But the crib skirt was a bust because you can’t see the stripe because of the rail, so I’m still on the hunt for that. What else… the red mirror might be the eagle mirror from this post or I might go with the white mirror that used to hang in the living room. The toy box is representative of one my Dad made me when I was a kid and will probably not come into play until baby phase 2 and may or may not be yellow at that point. Those white things over the crib sheets represent some sort of shelving within reach of the changing table. I’m seeing sconces somewhere…either over the bed or the chair. The navy chevron pillow is probably not happening either. I think I’m chevroned out.
So THAT is the plan! What say you? Last weekend I busted out the sewing machine for some pillow making and I must say they made me pretty darn excited! Will take pics soon and show you guys.
This was a crazy year. Mostly good, but all crazy.
For the past 4 years, Taylor and I have put together a little video of the photos from the year. It’s a little deceiving; it looks like we are always having the time of our lives, traveling around the globe, smiling for the paparazzi. And in general, that’s pretty true. What they don’t show are the long days at work, the personal challenges or the hours spent (wasted?) on Facebook. But overall they remind us that we’ve got it pretty good in this here life.
Here’s the 2012 edition. For the soundtrack we try to pick the most ubiquitous pop song of the year. Cheesy, yes. But that’s kind of the whole point.
If you make it all the way through the credits, there’s a little surprise there at the end.
Some of the highlights of our year included:
Hosting a New Year’s Eve party where the guests with kids outstayed everyone else
Heading to Alt Summit to get my blog knowledge on
Shopping for Sadie’s 8th grade dance dress (this may have been one of the personal challenges I referenced above)
Spending lots of QT with our families
Heading to Cabo for a Girls Weekend
Taylor’s trip to Vegas for our friend Julian’s bachelor party
My cousin Merchi’s surprise 30th birthday party
Design jobs for some awesome friends and clients, including David’s Gallery Wall
Moving my Mom closer to me
Seeing my campaign nightstands in HGTV magazine
Seeing all our family members on a whirlwind “planes, trains and automobiles” Christmas break
Thank you for being part of an amazing year and I’m excited to start the roller coaster called 2013!
So…it’s 2013. What? I trust everyone had a nice December. All your homes across blogland looked absolutely beautiful. We had a pretty tree which is now sitting next to me, undecorated. I can hear needles dropping with every keystroke. Someone really needs to vacuum around here.
I thought I’d update y’all on the state of our living room. Awhile back I posted an in-progress mood board of some of the changes I hoped to make.
- Replace the french side tables with something more modern
- Repaint with a less-pink gray
- Replace the rug with something neutral and add a zebra hide
- Rethink the art over the sofa
- Reupholster the bergère chair and possibly the velvet one
- Replace the lamps
Presenting, side tables:
Better, right? The scale is right and they even have antiqued mirror tops, which make them modern and yet ANTIQUE. I found them on Craigslist and when I went to pick them up the girl had this pillow on her couch and a house layout identical to ours. I think they were meant to be ours. Love Craigslist karma.
If you compare the before and after photos above, you’ll also notice the SLIGHTEST difference in the paint color. I spent a Sunday repainting the room from Martha Stewart’s Whetstone Gray to Behr’s Silver Drop. I finished and Taylor and I looked around and I said, “No one is going to be able to tell the difference.” But *I* can tell and that’s really all that matters. The old color was chosen to go with the pink in the rug, and it just did not transition well to the more neutral gray in the dining room. Drove me nuts!
Speaking of the rug… I ordered a seagrass rug from Myers Carpet here in Atlanta. I went big with it. Like, 15’10 x 11’6. I wanted it almost to be wall-to-wall. I think there’s about 12″ of floor showing all around.
It’s definitely not plush, but it kind of feels like you’re getting a foot massage when you walk on it barefoot. We’re still planning on the zebra—just haven’t gotten there yet.
I took down the mirror that separated the two beach prints. I feel like they work much better together. I wish I had 3 of them, to be honest. The long term plan is for Taylor to paint something for this space, but that might be awhile and I couldn’t live with the nakedness.
I finally put to use a pretty Tiffany platter that we got for our wedding. And a succulent that I’m sure will kick the bucket any day.
On the flip side of the room I added a sheepskin to the velvet chair. It never really works with a pillow, so this was a nice way to make it a little cozier.
I’m still digging the color scheme.
And I have a plan for the back of the china cabinet to pull it all together a bit more. It involves Rachel Zoe wrapping paper. Bananas, no?
Here’s the little white corner table. Another Craigslist score. The glazing job has grown on me.
So to recap where we are:
- Replace the french side tables with something more modern
- Repaint with a less-pink gray
- Replace the rug with something neutral and add a zebra hide - Rethink the art over the sofa
- Reupholster the bergère chair and possibly the velvet one
- Replace the lamps
The last two are not super duper urgent priorities at the moment. Those would be the 4 suitcases waiting to be unpacked and the laundry to do and the thank you notes to write… But we’ll get there.
If you’re still checking in on me after my sporadic posting this fall, I really appreciate it. I thank you so much for the time you spend with me!
So I pretty much just had the awesomest Thanksgiving week ever. I took off Monday and Tuesday, giving me the entire week off. And? I didn’t have to go ANYWHERE. It was pretty life changing. And the total opposite of Christmas, when we’ll go everywhere, so I’ll take the couch time when I can get it.
We had a nice family Thanksgiving with the kids and my Mom here. We also welcomed our friend Angie and her lovely parents who might as well be family too. I used our wedding china for the very first time and felt all grown up.
The wine glasses have been used once or twice, however.
I went with a sort of ombre flower plan. Our chair fabric has purple, pink and orange in it so I bought flowers in those shades and went down the long table from darkest to lightest.
Working in small, low arrangements, I went with the cheapie alstromeria found in grocery stores everywhere. Although I love gorgeous flowers, I think the “use cheap items in multiples for a big impact” theory works too.
Taylor did a bang-up job on the turkey, using the Big Green Egg. Sadie’s not so sure.
I was impressed with his herb collection, though I totally can’t stand parsley. He snagged the rosemary before I could shoot the picture, though.
And it was nice having Mom join us from just up the street! She’s doing really well with her treatments.
And, BEST OF ALL, we finished the turkey leftovers today. Wahoo!! I don’t think I could take another day of gravy.
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving weekend and took at least 1 nap.
So before all the leaves fell off the trees, I wanted to share with you the end of the deck saga. Long story is, we love it.
The sectional sofa is from Target and it’s awesome. I bought it online and on sale, and though it still wasn’t exactly a steal, it was considerably less than similar pieces from Frontgate and Crate & Barrel. I did buy furniture covers (from Crate & Barrel, actually, along with the short green table) and we keep it covered during the week. So far, it hasn’t gotten caught in the rain yet. And depending on how cold it’s gonna get this winter, we may bring it in the basement.
Here you can see the center of the herringbone pattern. We really liked this look over the straight decking boards. And our railings have aluminum pickets (which never need to be painted) and the “Double Stack Cadillac” rails, which are the signature of our builder. We felt it added a little somethin’-somethin’ that makes it look more finished.
The patio set was from Taylor’s Dad. It and the Big Green Egg kind of set the tone for my green color scheme.
Along with all the greenery in the background, I figured a “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” plan of attack was the way to go.
So those are the details. How about a big picture? Here’s the back of the house before:
We really like the bow front. It brings you just a smidge closer to the trees, which will one day crush us all.
There are two ways onto the deck, one straight off the carport and the other through the kitchen.
We have several tables in our basement. This small one is perfect for a little drink station. I forsee some Summer Beer action in several months… The napkins-as-tablecloth are from Target.
Ithink that about wraps up the tour! Hard to believe we started this back in May and now it’s done. Just in time for 50-degree weather…
The deck is done! And it is extremely difficult to photograph! So while I figure that out this weekend—I think the solution is morning sun—I will catch you up on the build and some of the choices we made.
First choice? This is not a DIY project. We saved up the cash, drew up a plan, researched contractors via referrals and Angie’s List, got bids and pulled the trigger.
Then a load of lumber arrived in our carport.
Then some very nice workers spent a week at our house building the whole thing.
It was so crazy to come home each day and see the progress they’d made. I could so get used to paying people to do things around my house other than the whole paying people thing.
You’ll have to stay tuned for the full after photos, but let’s chat about some other details.
First, Taylor quasi-begrudgingly refinished the grill table to match the stain of the deck, which is Chestnut semi-transparent oil-based deck stain by Sherwin-Williams.
We designed a custom nook just for the table, so we couldn’t justify putting the table into its nook with the wrong color stain on it.
Then, there was the issue of converting a window in our kitchen to a door that walks straight out onto the deck.
If you ever need door or window work in the Atlanta area, I can’t recommend New Life Windows and Doors highly enough. Todd (the owner) is a true craftsman and extremely detail-oriented. Let’s just say he does not use my measuring system of “39 and a half and 2 lines past the half.” He contracted a mason who sourced bricks to match our 1950s-era house to turn the window frame into a door frame that looks like it is original to the house.
Pretty impressive, right? I did freak out a little when I came home mid-door hanging process to find this scene.
They carefully removed the paneling (along with an electrical outlet) and replaced it once our outdoor electrical work was done.
For finishes, I picked out this door handle set—things you don’t think about picking out until you have to do it. And by “have to do it” I mean running to Home Depot on your lunchbreak because the door guys are at home waiting for the hardware you forgot to pick out.
They had a set that was a little less expensive—the one that the Young House Lovers just used on their new deck door, oddly enough—but I preferred the squared-off lines on the plates of this one. Also this one features the SmartKey system, so you can easily re-key your locks yourself (should the need arise) instead of having to get a locksmith.
Then for lights, I picked out a super cute sconce from Quoizel Lighting. I believe it is called “Ironwood.” I love the jaunty curves at the top and the ring. I originally wanted #5 in this sconce round-up, but upon further inspection, it was plastic and that just didn’t sit well with me.
Then on the corners of the house—the one closest to the carport and the one closest to the grill nook—we put in these flood lights from Progress Lighting. I liked how simple and unfussy they were. We also put them on a dimmer so that we can control the light better for nighttime ambiance. On our patio we had motion-controlled flood lights and you’d be sitting out there, mellowly enjoying your third glass of wine and someone would get up to go the the loo and all of a sudden it was like you just got caught escaping from Alcatraz.
I think that about covers all our decision making. And, don’t forget I got an outdoor sectional and made some pillows for it. As well as revived a plant stand from Goodwill. Here are some Before shots. Wish me luck with the light this weekend and I’ll be back next week with true “Afters.”
When we were planning our Spain trip I remember thinking that I had to track down a Zara Home and check it out. Then I completely forgot about it until we were on a double decker tour bus and we sped past one and I thought, “Dangit! Meant to go there.”
But never fear, because Zara Home is now in the U.S.!
And what is that I spy? It’s their Walton Mirror.
Which looks a heck of a lot like the one I picked up at the thrift store. (And am hoarding for something special.)
And the one Jenny hung in her entry way.
I think I paid under $30. Zara’s is $80, which is not insane. It says it’s wood… Zara’s is 21″ tall, which is the Mama Bear between Jenny’s Baby and my Papa.