Monday, August 30, 2010

Dining Room Tweak

Remember this post from a few weeks ago? I am inspired to change my dining room color and this photo is part of the inspiration.

Although I love color, but deciding to make the walls of my home more neutral will be more soothing. I can incorporate color in my choice of accessories such as pillows, rugs, candles, etc.

This weekend I am painting over the olive green in my dining room, which I have loved for a couple years now. The new color choice - grey. The accent colors will be sepia in the form of burlap and muslin. I will keep the crown and baseboard moldings white.

I don't have chairs like the one above but I think I can incorpoate this look with my current chairs by making slipcovers and padded cushions from old grain sacks. Or, to get a grain sack look, I can purchase muslin and paint right on it. Muslin is an inexpensive fabric that is easily washable.

I like the idea of stamping the backs of the chairs with a symbol or letter. In the sample above, the home owner assigned each person in the house with a number. I like this idea but I think I might just do T on all for the first letter of our last name or stick with an idea like the top photo.

We have been using our formal china for every day use for about a year now. Nothing has broken yet. I have always like the look of formal and very informal together. Our china combined with the rough texture of burlap as a tablecloth I think will look great.

I already have quite a bit of silver and crystal which I incorporate in my decor even for the holidays. I love my flatware but am always on the lookout for something a little more special like the pearl handled choice below. I like the knife and fork, not too keen on the other fork and spoon.

The dining room is one of the easiest rooms for me to change in terms of decor as I really only have to buy a gallon of paint and some muslin or burlap.

I love the quirkyness of the birdcages over this table. I think this could be fun to incorporate but I also like the idea of a candleabra over the dining table.
What could go better with my china, silver and crystal than small collection globes?

Can You Smell That?.......It's Fall!

Seems like summer was way too short here in the Pacific Northwest. August is almost over and we are "turning the year" so to speak. Kids are getting ready to go back to school, football season is starting and fall (my favorite time of year) is in the air.

I am starting to think about Halloween and how I am going to decorate my house. Over the years I have collected and made many decorations. I am not a fan of "kitchy" decor. The way I decorate my house would be best described as "Tattered Conservative Gothic" with a little bit of Steampunk thrown in. Distant relatives of the Adams family.

There are several sites out there that have great tastefull Halloween decorations such as Pottery Barn and Grandin Road. Some favorites of mine from Grandin Road...

Some of my favorites from Pottery Barn........

For more inspiration, there's Martha Stewart's haunted house party.
Some of the decorations I saw I think I can make on my own. These photos inspire me to make as many as I can to add to what I already have.
How are you decorating for Halloween?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Eat, Pray, My Backyard

I was on vacation last week and truly didn't really want to do much of anything but relax. We were supposed to visit family in eastern Washington but the dog got sick the day before we were to leave. That essentially cancelled our plans so we had a staycation. I kept up on blog reading but didn't FB or even email much. I have been engrossed in a series I am borrowing from a friends mother called the Midsommer Murders. I also got some more decluttering done - even sold two books on Amazon!

We went and saw Eat, Pray, Love last weekend which I read two summers ago. I really liked it. This will be a purchase when it comes out on DVD! Wonder if they will follow it up with a movie to her sequel book, Committed.

Ever since I moved in to this condo (nine years ago) I have wanted a patio oasis of sorts. It finally started to come together. We found ourselves at Cost Plus and picked up some Indian tea light holders.
A few weeks back we went to several yard sales and I picked up five pieces of screening for $20. I had some sari fabric so we connected three of the panels and stapled the sari fabric to the back.

I also had the brass Morrocan tray and insence container. If you look closely you can see a little bronze status of a monkey holding a stack of books. I am fascinated with monkeys. Especially ones that wear fezes.

We have a couple tiki torches that we set up. Of course, mine is a monkey one..

There will more to come. I am not in love with the dismal blue grey paint color on the exterior of our building. I have lots more sari fabric and some other that I can use to make our back patio (which is covered) to feel like a tent.

Now if I could just afford the $6000 + for two round trips tickets to Bali.....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Freedom From the Cage

Here is a great blog post by Simpler Living on reasons to live debt free. The tradoffs we make for things weather it be a car, a home, an education or simply that new dress we just had to have and how long that itms takes to pay back vs quality of life.

I thought the read was a good one and like her my husband and I are movings towards being debt free. If we won the lottery we would probably not stay at our jobs, we would move on and we would find interesting things to take up our days with.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Link Love Giveaway

Head on over to Blogging Away Debt for a chance to win a free three month subscription of E-mealz.

E-mealz is a weekly planning resource with over 28 menu options to choose from. They provide menus for people on the Weight Watchers points system, meals for two, meals for four, even gluten free meal plans. You download a weekly meal plan and shopping guide once a week and head out to the grocery store. It's even endorsed by Dave Ramsey if that makes a difference to you.

According to Blogging Away Debt she has reduced her grocery bill to half of what she used to spend.

Even if you don't win E-mealz is still reasonably priced at $1.25 per week. If you click from her blog post on the link you can immediately get 10% off.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Incorporate Collections in to Your Minimalist Lifestyle

My husband and I are on the recent path to minimalism. We currently live in a small condo and want to eventually live in a small house. We do have "things" to contend with though. Both of us are HUGE in to film. Not just watching movies, but making them, owning them (although a digital way would be much preferred over DVD's we have to store) and collecting useable film items.

Case in point. My husbands father recently found some 8mm equipment (camera, projector and editing machine) he will receive in a few short weeks when we go over to visit him in Eastern Washington. Storing and displaying these new items was big on my mind until I saw this room below.

This is a beautiful way to incorporate a collection in to the decoration of a room. There is a very definite theme but it's not over the top. The grey walls and monochromatic color scheme enhance the collections on the shelves. Yet the collection is not in the way of the rooms function. I like this version of monochromatic especially with the addition of dark peacock blue (one of my favorite colors) pillows on the couch. (Photo found on greige).

I want to incorporate this idea in to my home. I would probably leave the walls a little more bare as far as framed photos go. I would remove some of the smaller pieces against the walls to show off the collection that really is the centerpiece of the room. It's hard to tell what the flooring looks like but I can just picture dark brown wood floors with a huge peacock blue woven Chinese rug taking center stage.

I don't have a monochromatic color scheme in any of the rooms in my home. I really love color and I could certainly tone things down with more neutral colored walls (right now my living room and hallway are the only neutrals in a light mocha color) and add color in the form of accent pieces such as rugs, pillows, candles, artwork, etc.

Another great detail is the plain coordinated jacket covers on the books. Another way to incorporate the monochromatic color scheme is to reverse the spines on your books as in this blog post from Steampunk Home.

How do you like this room?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Link Love - Photos from Brooklyn Limestone

I have been following Brooklyn Limestone for a while now. She and her husband rehabbbed a completely desolate limstone townhouse in Brooklyn, New York and it is beautiful! Her design sense is amazing!

Mrs. Limestone and her husband are quite the travelers and her photos prove her wonderful eye, sense of scale and composition. Just check out this post of South Africa for proof!

She sells her beautiful photos here at this site if you are at all interested. I have several favorites and can't wait to purchase some for my home!