My Essentials for a Master Bedroom

I'm back!  I have a LOT of things going on right now, and I've been extremely preoccupied with one thing in particular, which I'll reveal sometime soon.  My home decorating has been on the back burner in recent months, but one thing I've been thinking about a lot lately is that I really, really need to finish my master bedroom! And by finish, I mean start.  We're still using the bed set and furniture I had before we were married, which is fine, except it's a little too matchy, and not really very grown up looking.  I could remedy this problem by painting...but what about the rest of the room?  This will take some thought.

What are the essentials for a master bedroom?  Or, more specifically, what is essential to me and my husband for our master bedroom?  With that in mind, I came up with a list of items that will hopefully guide me in my search.

                                                               Photo from Southern Living

My Master Bedroom Essentials

1.  Calming and Restful- I want my bedroom to be a place where I can enter into and immediately feel relaxed.

2.  Light and Airy- I generally gravitate towards neutrals, so it's no wonder that I want my bedroom to reflect that.  Neutral colors are calming to me, and I think they will provide the airyness (not a word, I know!) that I'm after.  Oh, and I want my bed to have layers of light bedding and pillows so I can feel like I'm sinking into a cloud at night:)

3.  Organized and Functional-  Decor should always be coupled with function, and my bedroom is sadly lacking in this area!  I would love to have book shelves or somewhere to house the overflowing stack on my end table.  A small chair or bench at the end of the bed would also be ideal as a place to relax or sit while putting on shoes.

4.  Not Too Girly-  Last but not least, I have to remember that I do share my room, and it should reflect both of us- or at least be a place where he feels comfortable.  I think sticking with neutral colors and a variety of textures will help with this, but it's definitely something to keep in mind while shopping.

Any tips for creating a master bedroom?  I would love to know!

Turquoise Kitchen Reveal!

Unless averaging one post every few weeks is considered acceptable in the blogging world, I've come to realize that I am not a very good blogger!  This probably has something to do with my love/hate relationship with social media (sharing projects/exploring cool blogs/catching up with friends= love, getting overwhelmed with all the projects I'm working on/all the people I want to catch up with/and all the things I should be doing and then deciding to do none of it because I'm too stressed= hate).

Yep, I'm a crazy pressure driven mental over-achiever trying to do too much and thus never actually getting much accomplished...welcome to my world:)

I DID accomplish one thing recently, with the help of my dear, sweet husband.  A pretty awesome thing...our kitchen!  Most of it anyway (there are still a few things/finishing touches that I need to do...I wouldn't be me if there weren't!).  But for the most part, it's finished, and that's definitely worth celebrating considering the brown abyss it started out as!

Here is what our kitchen looked like before (I posted about the start of the project here and here):

And in progress:

And finally how it looks now, after lots and lots of time and effort:

Remember that sneak peek I mentioned awhile back??  Here it is!  We removed our cabinet doors, and then used wallpaper to give the cabinets a fun pattern.  It was SO easy!!  Our wallpaper came pre-pasted, so all we had to do was run it through water.  We are actually putting our cabinet doors back up, but first we're having glass installed, so we can still see the wallpaper.    

Well there you have it, my kitchen reveal...definitely much different than how it started out- sort of a modern yet traditional look (which is pretty much what I was going for, since I can never stick to one design style!).  I haven't accessorized the space a whole lot yet, but I'm planning on adding a bit more color when I'm able.

Isn't it amazing what paint and wallpaper can do??  I was a little afraid of so much color, but I absolutely love how it turned out:)

Dreaming of Spring (and Decorating Ideas!)

I haven't posted in over a week (bad blogger!).  I've been helping my parents move the last few weeks, so every spare moment seems to have been taken up with that.  And, not related to why I haven't posted, it SNOWED here!!!  The second time in three weeks.  UGH.  I shouldn't whine, since I could be heard saying all through December, January, and February "why isn't it snowing yet?!?"  But seriously...April is next week, and I am SO ready for spring.  Forget spring actually, I just want summer.

All this extended winter is making me want to continue my hibernation, which in turn is making me feel lazy and definitely not interested in all the things I should be doing this spring- like cleaning, and organizing.  So instead of doing something productive, I'm going to think about how I should decorate for spring and summer :)

So much more fun!

One of the first things that I want to do is switch out all the heavy faux fur jewel tone blankets that I've had out all winter, and replace them with something lighter.

I really like these French striped blankets from Pottery Barn.  The look so cozy but still light.

Spring is also a good time to change out wall hangings, and add a little more color.  I just found this amazing painting from Z Gallerie.  I LOVE it.  The colors would be perfect for my living room...the price tag, not so much.

I'm thinking I should probably also swap out my velvet pillows for something lighter and more spring-y.  Perhaps this leaf pillow would do?  (from Pier 1)

I'm also going to need a place to keep all the fresh flowers that I'll hopefully be planting this spring and summer- or stealing from the neighbors!  (Kidding! ;).  Seriously though, what better place to display the gorgeous blooms of spring than in this super cute flower vase I found at Arhaus?

So pretty!

Time to think of some creative and cheap ways I can replicate all of these :)

Blog Hop Today with GFC :)

Hi Everyone!  Today I'm happy to be a co-host for the Tuesday Blog Hop hosted by Melissa at the Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife.  When I want to follow a blog, the first thing I look for is GFC (Google Friend Connect), because it's so easy to use, and it's a great tool to see all of the blogs I follow in one spot.  Also, did you know you can follow a blog through GFC using your Twitter Account?  TRUE, it's definitely an option!

Ok, so let's get to the party, shall we?
RULES are simple:

1. Follow your host via GFC
The First link below

2. Follow your co-hosts via GFC
The Next 8 links below

3. Link up below using your main blog url, not a specific post.

4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link up and follow them via GFC 
and if you want to leave them a comment, I'm sure they'd appreciate that as well.

5. Tweet about this blog hop
6. Share about this blog hop by grabbing a button and putting it on your sidebar!
*After 6 months of the waiting list to cohost being extra long, I finally have paid cohost spots available! Email me if you're interested at
Post Sponsor Ad:

Coffee Table Decor & Organization

Just like the rest of my decorating philosophy, I think coffee table furnishings should create a balance between pretty and functional.  The purpose of a coffee table is to have a place to set and serve drinks, and a spot in which to gather around with family or guests.  It's nice to include decorative elements, but it should also be a spot that is conducive to normal daily activities.  With that in mind, here are a few ideas for decorating and organizing a coffee table for everyday use.

I like the look of a pretty tray- it helps to corral all the various items that would normally just pile up in a disorganized heap.  If you're really neat and don't have a need for extra storage, a couple of large coffee table books would look nice in place of a tray.

My necessities are the usual suspects- TV remotes (these could also hide nicely in a decorative box, I see them all the time at places like Home Goods), drink coasters, and magazines.  Whatever usually sits haphazardly on your coffee table will look 10x nicer in a tray:)

All those essentials have to be balanced out by something nicer to look at- hence the need for some beautiful flowers!  I also added a candle since I burn it a lot (if you couldn't tell from the black burn marks on the glass!).  

This is how I like to organize my coffee table, but there are countless variations- find something that works you based on what you already have, and what you'd like to display.  

How do you like to organize your coffee table?  I'd love to know your ideas!

Kitchen Re-Do Progress, & a Sneak Peek!

Ever since figuring out the direction for my colorful kitchen re-do and posting about our current progress, I've been dying to actually finish the job.  Turns out, painting cabinets is a lot more work than anticipated.  This project is probably taking us longer than it should though, because a) I procrastinate, and b) um...I procrastinate.  Since our cabinets were not previously painted but were stained, we're also having to go through the tedious process of using liquid sandpaper, priming with two coats of primer, and finishing with two coats of paint.  And, as we found out when our paint chipped, it's essential that the primer be allowed to dry for about a day in between coats to ensure proper adherence to the cabinet doors.  I'm not exactly sure why this is, but it could have something to do with the fact that we didn't sand...we hate sanding, what can I say...if you take the easy route, you will run into problems people!

I do have to say though, I am delighted with how our project is turning out so far.  It looks exactly like I thought it would, and the white color we chose has really given the top cabinets a facelift....everything is bright and airy, which is exactly how I like it:)

We have some of the new hardware up now, and a few of the cabinets have been sent out to have glass fronts installed.  I'm so excited!  It's all starting to come together. 

Here's a little sneak peek of my secret project, which may or may not have something to do with a little post I did a few days back...ok, it absolutely does have something to do with it ;)

Happy Friday!

Tres Chic! French Home Accessories I'm Loving

I'm a huge fan of Paris decor...perhaps it's the use of feminine accents, the usual standard dose of black and white, or that subtle touch of glamour.  Whatever it is, there's just something about the mix of sophisticated elegance and well-worn upholsteries that makes for a chic yet livable home.  I never realized how much I'd been influenced by this style until I started decorating my own home, and immediately found myself gravitating to the quintessentially French aesthetic. 

I'm always looking for more ways to incorporate this chic style into my home, and here are a few dream accessories that I would love to own!

1.  Black & white striped frame

2.  Pretty floral pink soap


3.  I think I would consider a land line for this phone:)

4.  Rose scented candle by Diptyque

 Via Barney's

5.  Perfect vanity tray for a bathroom via The Paris Apartment

Until next time...a bientot! 

Wallpaper is So Back!

Ok, it's been back for awhile now, but I'm so in love with all of the gorgeous prints and patterns that I've been coming across lately.  Gone are the days of faded floral prints and the hideous 70's colored vinyls, although wallpaper in general still seems to carry around some of their stigma.  Wallpaper today is so chic, it's almost enough to wonder how it ever got that bad rap (but then I see that pea green vinyl and I quickly remember).  Thankfully, there are so many options to choose from today, from modern chevron and trellis patterns to whimsical scenes and prints.  So many people are into stenciling these days, and I get it- there's less commitment there, and maybe even less work (I've yet to wallpaper anything in my house, so I'm still naive and believe that my wallpaper will go up quickly and easily...please don't crush my dream!).  But the variety of wallpaper available is so much greater than what can be achieved with stenciling, I think it's worth considering.

Here are a few of the beauties I have my eye on now.

I love black and white.  Gorgeous.

C'est Magnifique!

I love this one...I seriously considered redoing my dining room with this wallpaper.

I call this Dr. Seuss cute!!

Picture from this site, buy here

Like a bright sunny day:) 

Lavender + pattern...what's not to love?

These are all so pretty.  I just bought some wallpaper for a special project that I'm working on, and I can't wait to see how it all turns out.  Stay tuned!

What are your thoughts on wallpaper?

Kitchen Re-do Has Begun!

We finally started our kitchen re-do!  And by started I mean we spot tested some liquid sandpaper (no sanding! woo hoo!) primer, and color.  And by we, I mean my husband...I was supervising.  We really dislike sanding...hate it in fact.  So when my husband heard about liquid sandpaper, we were excited to give it a try (ok David was excited, I was skeptical...this is our normal dynamic, nothing new here:).  But lo and behold, it worked!  The liquid sandpaper/primer areas even passed my foolproof scratch test with nary a scratch to be seen (method includes scratching painted area with fingernail to ensure paint adherence...nothing but professional techniques for us!).

The liquid sandpaper we bought is called Klean-Strip Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser (we found it at Home Depot).  To use, all that's needed is to pour some of the clear liquid onto a cloth, and rub the cabinet with the cloth.  And...that's it!  It's also a good idea to paint a layer of primer over the deglosser while it's still a little bit tacky.  Once that's dry, all that's left to do is add a layer of paint.

Our testing efforts:

After I posted awhile ago about loving turquoise kitchens, I searched high and low for the perfect turquoise color.  Some were too light and pastel, some too blue, some too dark or grey.  I really thought that I wanted a light turquoise color, since it's so pretty, but in the end we realized a greener turquoise would work better (see it below).

The kitchen is starting to look brighter already, and I'm loving the changes.  I can't wait to finish painting it all!

A Well-Appointed Guest Room (Or How to Make Your Guests Want to Come Back)

The other day I posted about our stay at a lovely bed and breakfast over the weekend.  The room we stayed in wasn't extravagant by any means, but it had everything we needed, plus a few extras that made the room special.  That got me thinking about what makes a good guest room, and the ways in which I could improve my own spare bedroom for guests.

Here are the things I noticed at the B&B we stayed at, and my ideas for how to spruce up my guest room.

1.  Fresh bedding (probably a given!) and layers of pillows, and an extra blanket folded up at the end of the bed.
2.  A mostly empty closet, with hangers for guests to hang clothes (not sure how feasible this is for me...I still have unpacked boxes from moving, and I think a few of them are in this closet...I should probably get to that:)

3.  A chair in a corner of the room for guests to relax in when they're tired of socializing.

4.  Practical necessities such as a box of tissues and a wastebasket.

5.  Little extras, including a few books on the bedside table, a vase of flowers, and maybe even a small plate of fresh goodies if I'm feeling really ambitious:)

What are your must-haves for a guest room??

Bed & Breakfasts (Not Just for Your Parents)

This past weekend my husband took me to a bed and breakfast for Valentine's Day.  This was our third stay at a B&B, and if you've never been to one, you need to go!  In fact, so many of my friends have asked me what I like about B&B's that I'm starting to wonder if they're not popular in my age group (my husband does like to call me a grandma for going to bed early, so maybe this falls in the same category!).  Regardless, B&B's are so much better than hotels.  

I was a little uncertain before my first stay at one a couple of years ago, mainly wondering things like "Am I going to have to be social with people I don't know before I've even had coffee??" (you're probably not antisocial like me;) but the answer to that is no, not if you don't want to).  All my reservations were put to rest during that visit, as soon as I walked through the door of the charming old farmhouse and met the sweet older couple that would be our hosts.  And on a side note, it was actually really fun chatting with the other guests.  I think this is especially true when staying in an unfamiliar area, because you're able to compare notes on where to go, what restaurants are good, and so forth.

 Our hosts for this stay were an older English woman and her daughter, who immediately welcomed us to our well-appointed guest room (more on this in a later post) complete with fresh flowers and homemade snacks wrapped up on a pretty china dish.  We were also welcomed to use the guest area of the house, which included a large living area with TV and couches, movies to watch, fireplace, and a book case filled with books.  Every day from 4-6pm, they would also set out various drinks, including wines from local Virginia wineries, several different types of cheese, fruit, and pastries.  Now what hotel does that (besides the really expensive ones)??  Additionally, they were more than happy to spend time pointing us toward all the local attractions and making recommendations, and sharing their insider knowledge of the area. 

(At the entrance to the gardens at Montpelier.  By the way, did you know that James Madison spoke 7 languages?  Now let's all put our TV remotes down in shame and go read a book.)

On top of everything else, we also enjoyed a delicious traditional English breakfast each morning, which included bacon, eggs, a sausage link (not your normal breakfast sausage link, we're talking bratwurst size!), baked beans, mushrooms, and a tomato.  Oh yes, and toast.  Needless to say, we couldn't eat it all.  There was also a continental spread of fruits, pastries, yogurt, and cereal.  Homemade, people.  By a sweet English grandmother.  Now tell me that isn't better than a hotel! The next time you're planning a trip, you really should consider staying at a B&B, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

I had a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend, and I hope you all did as well (even if you were just sitting on the couch eating chocolates...that's fun too!).  I'll leave you with a picture of the beautiful pink bouquet of flowers my husband gave me...yes I'm spoiled, he's the best! 

What's been your experience with B&B's?  I'd love to hear about it!