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! 

 

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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.]

I saw a great post at Blissfully Domestic about displaying kids’ art. I’ve been working on doing some of that in our house….trying to take it beyond the fridge. I have some cute little flowers the kids made on a side table:

Another thing I’ve done is arranged a group of my son’s watercolors in the living room:

For art management (because it sure does get out of control), my new plan is to delegate each child a drawer in the dresser near our front door; we’ll collect the art in there and go through it every so often to try to select our favorites.

Any other ideas out there?

The tap-tob curtains in my son’s room always bugged me. They were o.k., but I regretted that I didn’t buy longer ones so that I could hang them even higher. And I felt like they needed…..something else. I got some ideas from The Nester’s mistreatments, and here’s what I came up with:

BEFORE:

AFTER:

I found some inexpensive fabric with blue and green stripes, added that to the bottom of each panel, and trimmed it with wide ribbon. All using iron-on hem tape and hot glue (I would love to learn how to sew one of these days, but for now, I make due)! Then, for the topper, I folded a piece of fabric, trimmed it with the same ribbon, and tacked it to the wall with upholstery tacks. Better, I hope! It’s amazing what a difference it makes when you hang those curtains nice and high.

This is all The Nester’s fault. I’m sitting here wondering what in the world I’m doing starting a blog. A decorating blog, no less. This house stuff is a bit of an obsession for me. I get a huge sense of accomplishment when I complete a house project. And then I move on to the next. Over the course of the past month or two, I have discovered the world of homemaking, decorating, and design blogs. And now I’m addicted. 

The Nester is probably my favorite. Reading her stuff made me realize that I’m not the only decoration improviser out there. I’m not the only magazine hoarder, color obsessor, furniture shifter, and knick knack rearranger. And her loyal fans have been a great source of inspiration as well.

Another favorite? Mrs. Fussypants. Who wouldn’t love someone with a name like that? And while Mrs. F’s main focus is fighting the frump, which I totally support, I figure I’m just fighting house frump.

So I started wondering…..what would they say about that one bookself? How would The Nester top that window? And so on. So I thought maybe I’d throw my hat into the ring, see if I could get some feedback on my house, and maybe even provide an idea or two of my own once in a while.