Fall Decorating Ideas {Finding Fall Home Tour}

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Do I get to wear boots yet?

That is what fall is all about!

OK, maybe fall is amazing for other things too.

How about I was married in October, two of my babies were born in the fall, the cooler temperatures, bulky sweaters, getting all cozy and reading a book, family and friends gathering together more, crunching of the leaves under your awesome boots that you finally get to wear again…

I’m sorry I didn’t mean to go back to the boots.

Maybe we should get on to the decorating.

I am so honored to be included again in Finding Home’s Finding Fall Home Tour!

Don’t miss out on starting the Finding Fall Home Tour from the very beginning!

This is an amazing group of talented women that I get to be a part of and I never take it for granted.

Better Homes and Gardens is a sponsor again this year and they have come up with 100 Days of Holiday Inspiration.  I love all of the ways BHG inspires when it comes to the home. To sign up click HERE.

Welcome if you are coming from The Graphics Fairy.

I love Karen’s style and I know her site is always a source of so much inspiration.

If you are new to my blog I am so happy you are here and I hope you enjoy looking around!

If you love creating I would love for you to check out my online creative network that includes over 30 online classes!

If you would like to know about upcoming retreats, online classes and my shop please subscribe to my newsletter HERE.

Welcome to our home!

I am so glad you have come by and I hope you enjoy peeking around at the clean parts of our home:-)

One of my favorite parts of our home is our front porch.  There are many mornings that you will find me on the swing with a blanket over my lap, devotions at my side and a hot cup of coffee in hand.

Now don’t judge me too quickly but all summer I dreamed about having cocktails out on the front porch with friends. I don’t know where the summer went but I had to follow through and create a mini bar to use this fall.

I have three of these carts from IKEA that I use in my studio to keep my supplies close by while I paint.  Lately I have seen so many beautiful bars created from random carts and furniture that I thought it was worth cleaning out some art supplies!  It was so easy to quickly set up the cart and this will be my go to set up when we have friends over.  Don’t think I have gone all Don Draper on you all and will be having my first cocktail right after breakfast. I may be clinking glasses with my husband though after the kids go to bed.  I think the main point here is that if you live in my area you might want to join me on the front porch soon!

{I may be getting an email from my mom later}

The first room you see when you come into our home is my art studio.  When it looks a lot worse than this it means I have been busy making stuff that makes me happy.

We recently have been working on our kitchen and we have remodeled and changed the look completely.  We still have the back counter and back splash to install but we are getting there.

If you love before and after photos you may like some of our recent projects.

*Adding Open Shelving

*Ripping out the built in desk

*Living Room Makeover

*Kitchen Remodel {before and after}

*How we built our kitchen island

This is the butler’s pantry off our kitchen that has become the perfect beverage station for tea and coffee. The kids really like this area during the holidays because I keep extra treats for their hot cocoa when their friends come over.

As a family we really spend the majority of our time in the kitchen and living room.  I love things to look pretty but what I really want is for the space to be inviting, warm and useable.

At the top of our stairs we have a window seat with storage and lots of shelves that we fill with family photos.  Today I just let the musician take the spotlight.

It seems a little weird to invite you into my bedroom but here we go…

I don’t constantly buy new things for our home or decorate much for any season except the little that I do for fall and then Christmas.  I like to rearrange what I already have and to use from nature as much as possible.

Before I set this table the kids and I went on a walk in the woods and found everything we needed.  It was free and when we are done with it we can put it right back:-)

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking a look at our home all dressed up for fall.  As soon as I can get my hands on some Cinderella pumpkins and baby white pumpkins they will be making an appearance too.

If you like the photos above of our home I think you would like these posts too…

Fall Home Tour 2013

Christmas Home Tour 2013

 

Our 13 year old son’s bedroom makeover

Our daughter’s bedroom makeover

Going from baby to big boy room makeover

Hallway collage wall

Our home decorated for Christmas

How to add character to a new home

Shop your own home (one room four different ways)

Create your own outdoor movie night

Have fun on the blog tour and I hope to see you again here soon.

The next stop on the tour is Better Homes and Gardens!

You won’t want to miss what they are sharing.

IKEA Hack {how we built our kitchen island}

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When we made the decision to rip out our existing island we had planned on paying a contractor to do the work.

What did we know and how could we take on a project this big?

We knew we didn’t want what we had but where would we even begin to pick out the insides of the cabinets and basic design?

As we were walking through IKEA one night we both stopped in our tracks and were really looking at some of their island designs.

We didn’t want what IKEA was selling for our island but it allowed us to think outside the box and to realize we could piece together the cabinets that would make our ideal island.

With a little puzzle work, a brother that did electrical and plumping, a husband that dabbles in woodworking and a wife that would do the painting…we were on our way.

All resources are listed at the end.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comment section.

{I don’t think of documenting projects until the last minute so forgive the photo quality}

{BEFORE}

{THE DEMO}

{BUILDING THE ISLAND}

We purchased different size cabinets that would allow us to have two large cabinets on one side, cabinets under the sink, sink mount (we bought our sink also at IKEA) and a smaller drawer and cabinet to the right of the sink.

We knew we wanted to have the freedom to paint the cabinets over and over if needed so we chose the white unfinished wood cabinets.

As you can see we have gaps around the cabinets because we needed to space them out to create the island size we really desired.

We did the best we could to take advantage of the spaces between the cabinets and to make sure we had charging stations and all the outlets we could need.

On each side of the cabinets we attached 3/4″ MDF to build our custom wainscoting and pull the cabinet space together.

This was very important to me to include the custom woodwork and create an island that looked more like a furniture piece and to also incorporate the design elements that are throughout the house.

Anywhere we had gaps between the cabinet we included MDF to close the space.

Kelly was able to use the larger gap between the two larger cabinets to hide our Wi-Fi access point.  The wood panel is removable using speaker grill fastners.  Pretty clever!

These cabinets also were wired for our charging station, printer and microwave.

From this angle you can see all the spacing that is still visible from the top but all along the sides it had now been closed in.

Kelly and my brother were able to do all of the electrical and plumbing which saved us on money and time because we were often working on the island late at night.

We installed the garbage disposal switch under the sink because we didn’t want to have a hole cut in the marble counter top.  I am still not sure I like it there but I can’t say I would love it on the counter either.

I almost never paint anything without trying out the samples in the space and really living with the choices for a few days.

I think one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make when choosing paint is to not sample them first.   It is worth the time and small amount of money to see what the samples will look like in your space with your lighting.

Don’t ever rely on the paint swatches for a realistic paint color.

We sampled three colors for the island and we ended up choosing Fieldstone by Benjamin Moore in eggshell.

I am still so happy with our choice and the paint has held up beautifully in the space.

We primed and lightly sanded the cabinets before we painted and we even used paint with primer for a better coverage (Aura by Benjamin Moore).

We also primed all of the MDF before we painted.

Before our Carrara marble could be installed we needed to have the island completely built and ready to paint.

At this point in the renovation we had been without water in our kitchen for a full month.

We were really excited to get the counter and sink installed and to get the water back on.

(I will have a whole other post on my thoughts on the marble and why we chose marble for the island)

Our marble was dropped and chipped the first time they came but here they are bringing in our counter a few days later and it was the beginning of a six month customer service nightmare that has not ended.

I don’t want to make this post about that experience but I do want to make sure my local friends and readers know not to use Stone City to fabricate any of your projects.

You can read my Yelp review HERE.

{FINISHED}

I still can’t believe that we really did this!

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t find the new island so beautiful and functional.

It was so much work and it was hard to not have our kitchen for a month but I would do it again in a second to have this result.

Resources:

 2 Akurum 36″ base cabinets in birch

1  Akurum 15″ base cabinets with upper drawer in birch

1 Akurum 36″ base sink cabinet in birch

All of our doors and drawers are Ramsjo in primed wood (white) so they could be painted

Glass handles from Hobby Lobby

Fieldstone paint by Benjamin Moore

Faucet by Home Depot (we will be changing it out because it does not reach far enough)

Apron sink from IKEA

Vintage grain sack used for a curtain in place of doors from French Larkspur

Yellow metal stools from Target

You may enjoy these recent posts about our remodel:

*Adding Open Shelving

*Ripping out the built in desk

*Living Room Makeover

*Kitchen Remodel {before and after}

Top Ten {Links That Inspired This Week}

 

Between blogs, songs and websites it is hard to just share 10 fun links.

I hope you enjoy this Top Ten!

*

Because sometimes what we really need comes in a different package.

1. http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2014/08/god-gave-us-son/

*

I love this girl and her style is amazing!

2. http://www.flowerpatchfarmgirl.com/2014/08/secondhand-wardrobe-challenge.html

*

I can’t stop thinking about this vanity. I have already begged my husband to create this in our basement bathroom.

3. http://heatherbullard.com/2014/08/diy-concrete-vanity/#more-9727

*

This is the coolest project!

4. http://www.jenniferrizzo.com/2014/08/creating-jewelry-storage-trays-upcycled-thrift-store-finds.html

*

This will stop you in your tracks. Love this lady!

5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPIKtKo-spE

*

I am teaching next summer with this girl and I love her heart and gifts.

6. http://homegrownhospitality.typepad.com/homegrown_hospitality/2014/08/bible-journaling.html

*

Good stuff.

7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t8ORnWNSfQ

*

I could look at her art all day.

8. http://www.pamgarrison.com/2014/08/enthusiasm-continues.html

*

This is hands down the best advertisement I have ever seen. My kids are begging to get the game.

9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkPV0JT8bgk&list=PL4CwjKOuVQNXRy34z2I5ALWnaieW8BFL1

*

Sweet look at marriage.

10. http://farmgirlpaints.blogspot.com/2014/08/what-i-want-my-girls-to-know-about.html

Have such a wonderful weekend!

Kitchen Remodel {Before and After}

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Of any project that we have ever done in our home this project made the biggest impact!

We built our home a little over 11 years ago so everything was still nice in our kitchen but my taste had changed.

It took me about four years to convince my husband to go along with painting the cabinets.

What really sold him on going for it was the awesome instruction we received from Amber and Brad at Shades of Amber.

They were amazing at giving us step by step instructions in how to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (our step by step instructions will be coming next week).

Our island had always been an odd shape and not a great useable space.  Because the island had two levels of counters it actually made it hard to do almost anything.

Once we knew we were going to refinish our pre-existing cherry floors and add cherry floors throughout the living room and studio we knew we had to make a final decision about our island.

If we were going to change it…now was the time.

I really wanted a larger island that would allow for storage, homework, baking and just a nice place to gather round and talk.

We will be adding a new counter along the back of the kitchen and a back-splash this fall.

I hope you enjoy the changes we have made and maybe you will even talk your husband into painting those cabinets:-)

I hope you will join me next week as I show how we built our island and step by step instructions how we painted our cabinets.

Thanks for looking!

{BEFORE}

{AFTER}

{BUTLER’S PANTRY}

You may enjoy these recent posts about our remodel:

*Adding Open Shelving

*Ripping out the built in desk

*Living Room Makeover

Living Room {Before and After}

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The next two weeks most of my posts will be about our recent remodel projects.

I love these kinds of posts and I hope you enjoy them too.

Today I wanted to share our living room before and after.

We extended our cherry floors from our kitchen into our living room and it made an amazing difference in the appearance of space and the ease of visual flow.

I love the color and minimal grain that you see in cherry floors but the softness of the wood is a huge drawback.

We already had cherry throughout the entry and large kitchen and it was cost prohibitive to start over with another wood.

Over time the cherry darkens and I believe gives the home a wonderful warmth.

We have a lot more dust bunnies and the kids don’t love all of the sweeping we now do (obviously they aren’t pros in the sweeping or we wouldn’t have the dust bunnies).

I am loving the updated space!

{BEFORE}

{DURING}

{AFTER}

Top 10 {Things that are making the day to day a little sweeter}

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I always enjoy seeing what others are reading, listening to, eating, watching etc.

Face it…I’m nosy!

I know you guys do too so I wanted to share my top 10 things that are making my day to day a little sweeter.

1. Last winter our home was photographed for a book and the best part of the whole thing is that my good friend Jennifer Rizzo is the author!

Her new book is NOW on pre-order and you can order it now and be one of the first to see it this October.

I am so excited for her and all the ways her business has expanded over the years.

2. I am not a morning person but I am getting better over the years. Just a bit.

Since Jack started high school I have been waking up earlier to make him breakfast, talk to him, pray over his day and read pages together from The Power of a Praying Teen by Stormie Omartin.

It is so good and I highly recommend it for any teenager you know.

3. With all the business of the past two weeks and the back to school crazy that goes on I have LOVED the peacefulness of the instrumental CD Primary Worship by Paul Cardall.

I have been listening to it while I paint, cook and pay bills.

4. Dead Poets Society has been one of my favorite movies since I was a teenager and it actually had a huge impact on me at the time and still.  I know that Robin William’s death had a huge sobering impact on so many of us and this past week I loved sharing this movie with my oldest son the night before he want to his first day of high school.  Sharing something that I love so much was one of the sweetest ways that I knew to honor Robin Williams in my own day to day life.

5. I am not a constant decorator or re-arranger of our home so when I find something soooo good that I have no choice but to add it to our decor…I have to share it with you!

I love the impact that the two vintage fabric pillows give to our living room.  It is funny how two pillows can get me in the mood for leaves, big comfy sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes:-)

6. I don’t get to read as much as I used to or as much as I would like so I am pretty picky about the books I pick up these days. I used to read a book cover to cover no matter if I loved it or not because of the principal. Not anymore.  If I don’t love it within the first few chapters I am able to put it down and walk away.  I also used to read one book at a time and now I have books all over the place with bookmarks and dog-eared pages.  I can’t say enough about Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath. Each chapter I read leaves me thinking for days and I find myself being annoying and quoting his book to whomever will listen.

7. I could pretty much steal every decorating idea, recipe or style tip that my friend Alexis has but this time I am just stealing an easy cocktail recipe.  Right now go jump in the car and get yourself a bottle (more if you are like me) of Lillet.  All you need for this one is Lillet, ice and oranges.  I am pretty generous with the Lillet and the fresh oranges but do your own thing:-)

8. Once again my friend Alexis is to blame for this spending but it will save me in the long run.  While I was teaching in California she showed me this paint tube wringer (I have the metal one) that is AWESOME!!  I am an addict going through all of my paints and making sure I will get every last drop.  Super cool and can’t believe I had never seen this before.

9. I may have worn these pants for days in a row last week.  I picked them up while I was in California (and Alexis may be to blame for these too).  I also paired them with an awesome tank and pull over from Lululemon but let’s not show anything that takes away from the pants.  I only found them in the store and could not locate them online if you are interested.

10. I know we all like to know what other girls use on their skin so if I find something I love I like to share.  I am really loving Bobby Brown’s Buffing Grain.  You can use them with soap or your current cleanser.  You don’t need much and I love how my skin feels when I am done.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend!

I am so excited to have my whole family together for the weekend and happy for Friday night pizza and movie night!

His Law Is Love and His Gospel is Peace

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Before I share this post I want to begin with my favorite Christmas verses that break my heart wide open.

Verses that put my heart and mind RIGHT where they should be this season (or any season).

Really read the words.

Lincoln Brewster – O Holy Night (Another Hallelujah)

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
The thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all of us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim

Hallelujah…

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night divine, O night, O night Divine

**********

The older I get sometimes I am very aware that I don’t have the simple awe and excitement of Christmas I did as a child.

The whole Christmas season can go so fast and before we know it…it is gone.

This is obviously because I have a house to clean, bills to pay, laundry to do, groceries to buy etc.

Being a child is pretty sweet:-)

I have also figured out that when I slow down and focus on what this season is really about…my awe and excitement returns.

As an adult I have also figured out that I don’t like or react well to the busyness of any holiday.

So. I. Don’t.

We are nine days away from Christmas.

Nine days away from celebrating the birth of Christ.

Nine days away from being awoken by excited children ready to open their gifts.

Nine days away from eating way to much sugar and loving every moment of it.

Nine days away from a house of family (for some that is bliss and for others it is stressful).

Nine days away from the reality that unless you make it about more than the gifts…it is just about the gifts.

Nine days away from contentment or feeling that you didn’t get what you wanted and the next day you will go and get what you really wanted.

Nine days.

If you have gotten lost in the busyness you still have time.

You do.

You can choose right now to slow down, connect and make it about more than the gifts.

I don’t remember my mom being stressed out at Christmas.

My mom really tried to make it about Christ and the gifts were the extras.

I am grateful for a mother that taught her children how to be present in the holidays and I am getting better each year.

I have plenty of examples when I got off track.

Heck, when Jack was little we bought him so many gifts he was so tired of opening them that he started bawling.

In the early years of being a mom I was so concerned about it being perfect for my family that I lost sight of my family.

I have been more concerned about the house and keeping it clean than connecting with my guests.

I wanted to take a moment and just share some of my family’s favorite ways to make the Christmas season special.

{I would also love to hear how you make Christmas special within your own family}

I love this movie so much because it helped me to see Joseph in a completely new light.

I also LOVE  Zechariah and Elizabeth in this movie.

Did you know that Zechariah means “The Lord has remembered”.  LOVE!!!!

It has given us so many good discussions about judgement, shame and embarrassment that is still a problem with young girls pregnant today.  Jesus would never shame them…He would love them.

One of our most special activities is to handout words of kindness.

I know it blesses us even more than it blesses them.

You can read about it HERE.

We have really enjoyed doing more acts of service this Christmas season.

I am wanting to make this something we are more active about throughout the year.

It has shown us over and over that to help others feels pretty wonderful.

Each year we do some kind of devotions during Advent.

I have come across different ones that we have enjoyed based upon the children’s ages.

The past two years we have loved THIS book.

You would think this would be a no brainer but I have had to make this choice over and over.

We say no to most Christmas parties, gift exchanges, cookies exchanges but they stress me out (maybe they don’t for you and that is great).

Instead of busyness of going out we really try to plan more movies, books, ice skating, cookie making, crafting with cousins and gift making.

Whatever slowing down looks like for you…I think you will like it.

The more we make not just this season but all seasons about Him…we will show more love and experience more peace.

When your focus is Christ this season your holiday will not just feel stressed, busy and empty.

Take time to “follow on your knees” and be awed by God coming to earth.

That is love.

That is Christ.

Love!

Merry Christmas!

You are deeply loved and appreciated.

Thank you for being a part of my life and allowing me to share my heart.

I will see you after Christmas.