Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Five Year Refresh Week #1: The Living Room

Time to kick off our Five Year Refresh Week with room #1- The Living Room!
The last time you saw it was probably when we had it decorated for Christmas, but before that he last time we shared it was in 2012 when I had updated the look with some blue pillows for spring.
As you can see, things changed quite a bit in this room!  I was trying to bring in some more color and personality, sort of similar to the goal we had in the kitchen I guess?

Overall, I just wanted it to feel more like us and be filled with more of the things we love instead of feeling like a showroom or something.  I guess it's a bit funkier/weirder, but that is us really I suppose :) Here's a look at some of details...
In a nutshell, the main changes are the coral rug, black and white striped dec pillows (Ikea Vargyllen covers $4 each and Lappljung covers $10 each), new wall art/photos, and in preparation for spring/summer we stored our firewood inside the hearth of our fire place- I had seen that look a lot on Pinterest and loved the idea.  Stylish and functional storage, who wouldn't love that?!

For the wall art and photo ledge, we printed and framed photos we had taken during our last trip to Europe and my India/China work trip.  I also added in a hand drawn Tree of Life that I picked up at the Delhi Haat market in India, up close it is sooooo incredibly detailed and gorgeous!
The framed print on the wall (right image above) is the one we found at an antique bookstore in Prague.  Glad we finally got it framed and found the perfect spot in our living room for it!

Last to highlight is this old rattan Ikea chair!  I don't believe they even sell this anymore, we had it in our basement and I decided to resurrect it and paint the legs black (were silver/steel originally).  The black legs made it look a touch more modern I think?  Then, once I layered on the faux sheepskin and black+white dec pillow I was in love :)
I can't lie, I'm pretty smitten with that corner of the living room now! 

That's it for our living room refresh, now I'd love to know what you think, don't be shy!
What do you think of the Living Room's refreshed look?
Do you like the warmth of color we added in the room?
What about the fireplace hearth or photo ledge?  Good changes?

I'll have our Five Year Refresh Week room #2 to share tomorrow!  Hope you'll swing by!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Five Year Refresh Week!

I am back and feeling refreshed from my Michigan style Spring Break!  During my break, I thought of something fun I wanted to share on the blog this week, sort of to honor of our five year house anniversary.  Here's the deal...

You know we've done some BIG room redo's over the past five years but I realized that quite often I change up the decor a lot and don't always share those room changes in a blog post.  So in honor of our five years, I thought I'd share a few rooms and show how we've refreshed the look since they last time you might have seen them on the blog.  Sound fun?  I hope so!
A little blurred-out preview of each room! Can't give it all away :)
I'll be sharing a room each day for the rest of the week and we'll kick things off tomorrow with a fresh look at our Living Room!  Hope you'll be back to check out all the Five Year Refresh Week rooms!

It'll be a fun change of pace around here, I'm excited so I hope you are too!!!

Which rooms are you hoping to see?
Do you frequently change up the look of your rooms too?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Break at the Beach

This week is Spring Break for a lot of folks and like many of you I'm spending it at the beach!  Unfortunately, it is only 50 degrees where I am and the lake is still partly frozen.  Lake Michigan that is...
So no suntanning or salty rimmed margaritas included, just a nice little break from my Minneapolis life back in my hometown visiting with family & friends.
Beach cartwheels were necessary even though it was chilly!
I'm looking forward to visiting with my nephews tomorrow but so far I've been able to soak up lots time with my sister Holly and my niece Brynn!
That little blondie is just the cutest AND she's not afraid of me anymore :) my extra auntie hours paid off!

Hope those of you also on Spring Break are spending it somewhere warmer and if you're at home I hope you get out for some fun with family & friends!  Either way, it feels good to get a break from the normal routine right?

How are you spending your Spring Break this year?

If you aren't hitting a hot sunny beach, what do you enjoy doing (shopping, working on a project, night out with friends, etc.)?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Look at the New Kitchen Decor and Updated Before & Afters!

I finished adding in all the new little bits of decor so our kitchen update project is all wrapped up!  Well, I guess I should say wrapped up for now.  Who am I kidding, I know I'll continue to change up the decor from time to time :) but as of now this eclectic mix is feeling perfect with our new black and white color scheme!
It's a happy change from the traditional look we had going on before and I LOVE that we can add in any color when it comes to decor- that was pretty much impossible with all that red everywhere!

Here are all the updated before and after photos...
Kitchen paint color: Behr Wheat Bread & Martha Stewart Francesa (both from Home Depot)
Stove alcove paint color: Martha Stewart Francesa (Home Depot)
Nook paint color: Behr Wheat Bread (Home Depot)
I think our kitchen nook is my favorite part!  That space has been a pain in the buns to figure out since the day we moved in five years ago, I never thought I'd see it looking so nice!

We added in two Fintorp wall storage rails ($9.99 each) and coordinating hanging hooks ($2.99/ 5 pack) for storing some of our nicer pots, lids, and wood cutting boards.  I rounded out that wall by hanging our old window frame turned chalkboard vertically and placing our vintage black & white stool beside it.  We decided to keep our hutch/barmoire on the other wall (click here to see how I revamped that $40 hutch found at the Salvation Army!).  Now let's talk about the rugs...
Maybe you already noticed but I did indeed decide to layer two rugs in the nook... and after writing a post asking what ya'll thought of the layered rug idea I know that most of you probably hate it :) The truth is that I got the idea to do it when I was laying those rugs down separately trying to decide which one to go with.  Then when I had one laid over the other still comparing I suddenly realized that it looked right.  So that is what stuck!  I'm sure one day it will change anyway though but I have to say that the two rugs help to sop up all the water that dribbles out of Sadie's mouth after she has a drink from her water bowl :)
The other rug is the Hand-Knotted Kazak rug from Overstock.com that I ended up keeping.  I love how vibrant the color is and thought it brought some warmth into the color scheme.

Some of my other favorite new things are these metal Kalaset espresso mugs ($5.99 / 2 pack) and muted blue Dinera coffee mugs ($9.99 / 6 pack set) from Ikea.
I also found these Threshold salad plates on a random Target trip ($3.99 each) and had to have them!  The pattern on them had an organic handmade look and each one was a little different, love them!

Lastly, we added some wall art above the archway to the nook.  I wasn't totally sure what I wanted to add when it came to the pictures, I thought food related things seemed kind of cheesy- hmmmm, maybe I should have framed just pictures of cheese, I heart cheese :)  but I ended up deciding on a few old map type prints along with a couple photos from our last trip to Europe.  I thought the group we ended up had the right mix of color for the wall.

Well that's it... for now of course!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend everybody and let me know what you think of the kitchen!

What do you think of the new kitchen look?

Which new decor details do you like?

Do you think the two layered rugs look right or just wrong?!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kitchen Preview Photo!

I just finished up taking photos of our updated kitchen look!  Our black/white paint isn't the only new look in our kitchen now, can't wait to share it all!  I'm sifting through all the photos I took now for the full post, but here's a quick preview pic until then :)


More to come!  Hope you'll swing by again tomorrow for the rest!  

PS- Be sure to weigh in on my Layered Rug idea!  I made a decision before taking the photos so I'm starting to get a sense of whether everyone will like or hate what I did :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Layered Rugs- Stylish or Stop It?

My Overstock.com rugs arrived last week.  One ended up looking great in our kitchen but sadly the other did not, wa-wa :(  With the floor in our kitchen nook still looking bare and empty, I started sifting through some of the other accent rugs I had at home (I've accumulated a lot in the past 5 years) which lead me to a new idea...

What about layering a couple rugs?  I've been seeing a lot of layered rug looks on Pinterest lately and when done right, I think it is a chic look!
Images via Flickr | Honestly WTF | Sadie & Stella | Erika Brechtel | Uncovet 
The thing is, I'm just not sure if it's a look we can pull off or not?  I have a few good candidates for layering into the space....

I'm going to play with them a bit and see if a good look comes together but if it ends up looking like a hot mess I'll just scrap the idea :)

What do you think?

Do you think the layered rug look is stylish?

OR

Should the layered rug look be stopped

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Our "Five Year House" Five Years Later

On March 27th 2009, exactly five years ago today, Alex and I walked through our front door for the very first time as homeowners.   It wasn't the magical day I thought it would be (you can read about that story & tears here) and funny enough, things didn't really end up how we had pictured five years later either.  We always thought this house would be a "Five Year House"  but as you can see/read we're still here kickin' it in our old (but totally refreshed) little Dutch Colonial and unlike March 27th 2009, this time, on this day I'm glad things did NOT turn out the way we thought they would.  Our house became so much more than a "Five Year House" for us.

I have no idea if we'll be here for another five years, or one year, or maybe we'll be here for forty years?  Yikes, can you imagine how many times I will have repainted the dining room in 40 years?!  (shutter) I just know that today that I can't imagine parting with it and if we ever do, a part of me will feel heartbroken over it.  This is the first place we made into a real home on our own and it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Who knows where we'll be five years from today on March 27th, 2019 , I can only assume it will be different than what I'm expecting it will be like today.  I just really hope crying at the top of our stairs again isn't a possibility, that was a real downer :)

How about you?
Have you been in your house longer than you ever expected to be?
What ended up being your perfect/favorite home and why?

What a journey it's been inside these walls!  Cheers to the 5th year!