Monday, July 26, 2010

A livable living room

My favorite things about our living room are centered around stories and moments.  Everything had been collected, gifted, we also have some pretty fun thrift store finds.

First of all, I must give credit to the space that I have to work with, the exposed brick wall, the high ceiling and the partial wall gave me a great place to start.

A few things that I find to be drawn to:
1. Basic colors for big things (like couches). I like to add fun trendy things in smaller things like pillows. That way I can change them out seasonally. 
2. I have a million little vases and candles to move around the room whenever I feel bored of the space.
3. I collect art from every trip I go on. 

I don't really like things that I can't throw in the washing machine, so my couch has removable covers. I can sleep at night knowing that I can take it to the cleaners whenever I want. I also love down filled pillows they always smell sooo yummy.

This is a shot from the top of the stairs.

Ah yes.  This little section is from a place you might have heard of called Target! I went in one day and saw that the chairs were on sale and immediately decided that I would  forgo eating to own such a great deal.

This was the product of a trip to Leaf and Petal with my friend Laura. I think we won! I also got mint to add to the natural smell of the living room.

Of course McDouble (our pup) had to make it into most of these shots. The piece of furniture might be one of my favorite purchases. First, is real wood, and second I found it at a really cool anitque store in Pell City. They have a million fun things. Finding a store that fits your style and your budget is a huge help in decorating your house.

I sort live by the "buy it and then find a place for it" rule. Warning: this is very confusing to Husbands when you say you are going shopping and you can not tell them what your are shopping for. 
Shop with the mindset of, right size, right price, and right color. If you love everything about it then it wills surely find a happy place in your home.

This rule can only take you so far, I also like to carry a list of things that I do actually need for the house. Since I can not apy full retail for anything.  I am always on the hunt. I also go to my favorite stores and find what trends I am looking for. Then go to discount stores and junk stores and figure out ways to achieve the look of the fancy stores.

My favorite thing that I ever found using this method is my coffee maker. I had been on the lookout for a certain one and had been watching sales at department stores. When one fine day I walked in to Big Lots and there it was my $150 coffee maker for $29! 
You should think about the things that you care about being a name brand and things that don't matter to you. For example, I would rather not have ketchup than not have Heines.

My coffee table is the table that my Dad played at when he was little. I added a coat of paint and it was brand new.  I also changed the light fixture above the downstairs. It is from West Elm and I love it!

Here is a before shot of the coffee table. I like to use Behr's new paint that has primer already in it. It saves time and more importantly money. Oh, and this baby roller is the best. If you don't have one I highly suggest getting one.  Especially for painting small furniture.

 It was truly love at first sight with this buttery, leather chair. This chair, like everything I own, is filled with down.  The side table next to the chair I first saw in Viva Terra for like $1,000. Then, one lovely day I was in T.J. Maxx and found this similar one for $40! Whoop whoop!

With my constant need for tranquility I also covered the whole back wall of the living room with the Cameron drape from Pottery Barn. I choose this curtain for a few reasons, one I needed 8 and at $19 a panel I could not have been more excited. Two, I wanted some thing very simple, since the whole back wall is windows it is a huge focal point of the room. This panel has a pocket that added to the streamline look of the wall. I got them in neutral to make the wall of windows fade into the back ground when they need to and at night it is great to open them and look out into the back yard. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

a shower? a party? we actually had both.

First of all, all of these stunning pictures were taken by the FABULOUS Emma and Wesley of W+E photography ( Check them out and use them for your next event! They got to the house just as the rain stopped and we had decided to start setting up. (Yes...I was freaking out about the rain!). Not everything was ready yet, so we got a few "in the process" shots. 

For the table scape, I wanted it to look easy, alive, candle-lit, and vintage. I grew succulents and potted them all in the same small terra-cotta pots. I used a few things from our home for the rest of the table scape. The candelabras are from our wedding and the have an older look. The hurricanes have mercury glass, so they fit right in as well.

We also have an ugly fence on the back of the patio. So since we have a wild forest for a yard, Michael and I decided to cut up some branches and attach them to the fence to cover it up. (will post about that later)

The food: We,the hostesses, decided to make the food ourselves. Scary? Yes! But if I do say so myself, it was a hit. I like to keep the menu small so you don't have tons of leftovers. We ended up with our self-named Greek Chicken pasta, pesto crostini, and other types of bread to compliment the pasta and just to snack on. The rest of the food arrived later in the day.

The details: candles, succulents, wildflowers, and soft lighting.

I love lanterns! I found these super cute colored mason jars and knew they would add the perfect effect to our outdoor party. For the next part I needed some man power. I got one of our friends that loves a puzzle and gave him some rope and said, "put these in that tree". One of my main concerns was that the candles would burn out during the party. So, Sean (our lantern master) decided to put them on a, (gasp) duel pulley system. That way closer to the party we could lower the lanterns and light them! Yeah!!

I have also always wanted these super cute hanging teal light holders from CB2 and this was my perfect chance to acquire them. I put them at different levels on the front porch and downstairs as you walk out to the back porch.

To drink we had wine, prescco with rasberries (the brides favorite), beer, and sweet tea vodka with lemonade.

Dessert: Of course the first people I thought of for the most fabulous dessert possible was Proper Measures ( Stephanie and Wil did not disappoint! They brought a strawberry cake, cake bites, oreo pops, and margarita jello shots! Feast your eyes on this.

I wish we had fancy parties more often. This was the most fun to plan and think about. It helps when it is for your favorite bride! Love you Laura! Once again thanks to Stephanie and Wil of Proper Measures and Emma and Wesley of W+E photography, and, of course, Jessica who gave up a day of her life and all of her refrigerator space to make our delicious dinner and all of the other hostesses!