Just a note on my woefully neglected decorating blog. I wanted to broaden the topics a bit, so I’m consolidating at http://aplaceoutwest.wordpress.com, where I hope to post about everything from family life to decorating, with some cooking and other stuff thrown in from time to time too.


I haven’t blogged in such a very long time. I still read many of my favorites religiously, but I was feeling a little uninspired for posts of my own. All this talk about the holidays has given me some ideas, though, so after Thanksgiving I’ll be back with some holiday decorating and some links to more of my favorite blogs and all of their sure-to-be amazing ideas for this holiday season!

And….a bit of shameless self-promotion. I’ve been doing a bit of page design here and there with my job as a part time writer/editor, and I’ve really enjoyed it. Over the past few years, I did some digital scrapbooking with my family photos. One thing led to another, and I had some friends ask me to design some things for them, and here we are. I have a new Etsy shop, FinePrints. Just holiday cards for now, though I hope to expand to invitations and that kind of thing eventually! 



I love the ideas I get from This Young House. A while back, they posted about this great capiz-shell chandelier from West Elm. That was all it took. I, too, had seen and admired this very chandelier quite some time ago. But I never did anything about it. And I had since seen a very similar fixture at World Market. When I saw their post, I decided the time had come.

I was right in the middle of doing a little rearranging in my guest room anyway, so I marched myself over to World Market, and for close to the price of the West Elm piece, I picked up my chandelier (and no shipping…yay!).

My husband had to get a little creative to hang it, but I was pleased with the results.

Melissa over at The Inspired Room asked for examples of creative concealment today. You know….ways to hide all the ugly stuff. Off the top of my head I have no stellar examples of true concealment, but I have a good example of improvisation. I hope that counts. 

I had this idea that I’d like a backsplash. A real one, involving tile and labor and money. That wasn’t in the cards, so on a whim last summer I picked up a roll of textured grasscloth-looking wallpaper from Lowes. This was significant for me because I’m not typically a huge fan of wallpaper. Not that I mind the way it looks, but pasting that stuff up on the walls just seems like a big commitment. And….in about an hour (an annoying hour, I might add, but only an hour!), my husband and I had created a bit of a backsplash. I like the way the color just blends in with the wall color. It just gives it some texture and it’s a little something to hold me over until I can (someday) get granite countertops and a tile backsplash. And cost effectiveness? The roll of wallpaper cost in the neighborhood of $16. I used about half of it. So $8 for a backsplash? That works.

Once I got these photos uploaded, I realized the texture doesn’t show up so much in the smaller files. But…here you can see the backsplash and wall color are about the same (pretend you don’t see all that junk on the counter):

And hopefully here you can at least somewhat see the wallpaper:


I saw an idea on Style Court that I like. Just not entirely sure I could pull it off. She featured several examples of large (very large) groupings of photography and/or art. I think that kind of arrangement has big impact. I’m just not sure whether it only works in a glamorous Manhattan penthouse or tropical estate or if I could make it look good in my real-life house too. Hop on over there and take a look and let me know what you think. Have any of you out there done something like this in real life? 

Photo from Style Court, [A past incarnation of India Hicks’ island master bedroom and other rooms. All Hicks photos by Arthur Elgort as seen in Vogue, 1998.]

Imperfectly beautiful! Where do I begin? This is The Nester‘s campaign for today. She’s featuring links to everyone’s beautiful imperfection in their homes; how fun! I might be the queen of imperfection, so let’s see what I can add.

How about the family room? I love the family room. It’s cozy. I love peeking at the mountains out the window. I love when the sun goes down and I light candles and turn on the lamps. I love how comfortable the couches are. But guess what? It’s too small (so small, in fact, that I had to take this picture from couple of different angles to make my point). There are always toys thrown around. There’s a soft pink chair, belonging to a certain little girl, which does not match the decor. So what? There is always a stack of magazines and the kids’ books on the end table. So what? It’s our FAMILY room; that’s the point!




And how about the kitchen? I love the kitchen. That’s where the kids help me cook. That island counter? That’s where there is ALWAYS a to-do list, a grocery list, some keys, and my cup of coffee. See?:

The kitchen table? That is where we spend family meal time. It’s pretty beat up. We call it rustic. The booster seats aren’t so cute. See that empty basket? It should be full of fruit, but guess who needs to go to the grocery store? I’ll get there.

So, home…..imperfectly beautiful. I could post more (lots more), but you get the point.  

I just had to send out a thank-you to Chris over at Just a Girl, who wrote about me here. She has a lovely home and some great examples of incorporating kids’ art into her decor. And a couple of her friends have stopped by with some great ideas, too. 

Though I’m trying to work the kiddie art into other areas of the home, it does have a way of ending up on the fridge sometimes anyway. Take, for example, this week’s monkey:


Thanks for stopping by, and have a good weekend!