Erin Menardi

Friday Finds 7.18

Hello again, friends! This week I wanted to share some ideas for re-purposed wood projects, because I think those kinds of pieces are some of the coolest ones out there. It’s cheap, it’s creative, it’s fun, and it’s hard to beat that mix of old style and new flair.

 

Take a look at these amazingly easy dyed bamboo placemats from The Homesteady next time you’ve got a half hour to spare. I love their bright, simple, earthy look, and so will all of your dinner guests.

 

 

If you’re looking for some extra storage options around the house and have an old ladder hanging around in the garage, try this ladder shelf idea I pulled off of Refresh Restyle. It puts a fresh twist on an old piece of hardware almost everyone has handy but never uses.

 

 

For a more creative project idea–and one your kids will love–grab some branches from the yard and make some of Tonya Staab’s  tree art. It’ll be a fun afternoon for the kids, and a piece of their art you’ll want to keep forever.

 

 

I think these repurposed wood cut-outs from Primitive and Proper are super fun and full of character. If you’ve got the right tools and a decent drawing hand, customizing different shapes or outlines would be a cinch!

 

 

And finally, can we just talk about how absolutely awesome this tree house from Say Yes is?? I’m convinced I should probably build one ASAP (cue handy husbands/boyfriends/significant others everywhere). Who decided adults were too old for tree houses, anyway?

 

 

Get building while these crazy summer days last!


Jen Jones

Organize This: Pet Supplies!

Trend:  Chic Organization for your Furry Friends!

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Our pets are a big part of our daily lives.  They bring smiles to our faces, are loyal companions and complete our families.  However, pets can come with a lot of stuff!  Leashes, dishes, food, treats, vitamins, grooming supplies, oh my!

All of those items can quickly look like loose clutter around the home, yet need to be integrated into daily life.  Here are a few of my favorite practical (and stylish) solutions for organizing your pets around the abode.

 

 

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Create a dog walking station near an entrance.  I personally love keeping a tote on a hook to hold harnesses, doggy sacks, leashes, treats, etc…  The tote conceals the daily walking clutter, yet keeps everything in a convenient location.  Take things a step further by adding additional bins and caddies for other grooming supplies and daily necessities.

 

Tuck pet beds under shelves and in small nooks to keep them out of heavy traffic zones and to offer pets some quiet and security where they rest.

 

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Add decorative labels to everyday tins and jars to take pet food and treat storage to a whole new level.  Both you and your pet will be smiling big at feeding time!

 

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Add a small mat or tray under dog dishes and bowls to prevent water and food from spilling and spreading all over the kitchen floor.

 

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Keep an open top bin or basket near floor level to promote daily play and to reinforce which toys are for your pets and which are for other members of the family.

 

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Corral daily grooming supplies such as shampoos, brushes, nail clippers, ear solution and dental care items within a portable utensil caddy.

 

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Unfortunately, our pets may become hurt from time to time and may need specialized first aid solutions.  Be prepared with a pet friendly first aid kit containing cotton pads, gauze, bandages, cotton swabs, scissors, tweezers, flea and tick treatments, worming treatments, antiseptic and sanitizer.

 

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Keep important pet paperwork and vet records organized within a handy three ring binder.  Keep track of important items such as important dates, medications, veterinarian information, pet sitter notes, etc…

 

Create an all-in-one cabinet for all things pet related.  Pull out drawers to hold pet food, hooks for walking supplies, baskets of toys and grooming supplies.  The options are endless and everything tucks away neatly behind closed doors.

 

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Rachel Shingleton

Top Picks for Stylish Bookshelves


Hi there! I’m Rachel Shingleton, and  I am the creative director and blogger at Pencil Shavings Studio. I am so excited to be here contributing as a Style Spotter for BHG.  I love design in all its forms, and I’m especially crazy about color. I can’t wait to share some of my favorite tips and tricks with the BHG community.

I’m a lifelong bookworm and I love nothing more than having my favorite reads around me. But it’s a slippery slope when keeping all those books organized and still be part of my decor.  Whether your home has built-ins or freestanding shelves, styling those bookshelves may take a little more time and thought than you might have expected.

Start with a clean slate of completely empty shelves. Prep a selection of books that you want to display.  I’m currently in love with collecting redesigned hardcover classic books from the Penguin Drop Caps series and other publishers who’ve hired some pretty fantastic graphic artists to create gorgeous covers. I’m always interested in colorful books on interior design, fashion, textiles, travel, and photography to add to my library, but consider the overall look you want to create. Do you want a eclectic multicolored collection or something more monochromatic?

Bookshelves look best when not completely overcrowded.  In fact, having a decent amount of unfilled or “blank” space will help your items to pop and look more intentional. Don’t be afraid of blank space. It will give your eye a place to rest so it doesn’t look cluttered or overwhelming. Experiment with arranging books both horizontally and vertically. But remember – group items together going from smallest to largest, especially when stacking them.

Definitely plan on spending some time arranging and rearranging until you get just the right look. And remember – those shelves aren’t just for books. Create more visual interest by sourcing fun decor items such as frames, candles, pottery, brass objets, vintage china, small clocks, lacquered boxes, bookends, statues, clocks, small plants, or magazine boxes. The sky’s the limit on what you can create!

Here’s some inspiration for your shelves, plus some of my favorite items to help you get the look.

I love the bold pops of chartreuse and citrus in these built-ins.  The pale grey paint is neutral but still enough contrast to make even white look stellar.

With a damask wallpapered backdrop, these bookshelves have a homey and eclectic aesthetic. Family photos share the space with favorite books and found objects.

Repetition is a great way to make a statement with your shelves. By stacking all the books and keeping the heights the same, everything feels planned and intentional.

  1. Penguin Classics Drop Cap Series
  2. Yellow Vase
  3. Happy Chic nesting boxes
  4. Dwell Studio Antelope sculpture
  5. Jonathan Adler Dachshund bookends
  6. Geo Terrarium
  7. Adeco Red Vase

 


Melissa Bahen

Building a Dream House: Shades of Gray

Hi! I’m Melissa. I write about food, family, and farm life at Lulu the Baker. My family and I are about to fulfill one of those good, old-fashioned life-long dreams: we’re building our Dream House.

lulu the baker new construction front porch barrel vault

Exciting things have been happening at the Dream House in the past three weeks! The very same day my last post went live, my husband sent me a picture of the inside of the house with the drywall installed on most of the walls and ceilings. What an amazing transformation that was! I’ve been worried for a few months that the house would be too dark inside, that there weren’t enough windows and that it would end up being a dark, gloomy house. The contractor assured me that once the drywall was up and the studs and insulation were covered, everything wouldn’t brighten up a lot, and we’d be able to see what the house would really look like. And he was right, of course! The drywall installation took about two weeks, then the tape guy (what’s his title?) filled all the joints, taped, and sanded, and taped and sanded some more. And now, all of the windows and floors are covered and the walls have been primed and textured! We are ready to begin the painting stage on Monday!

lulu the baker drywall kitchen

Speaking of paint, I was really excited for the drywall to go up because I had my precious sample quart of interior color ready to paint on the walls in generous strokes all over the house. I was under the mistaken impression that that is what you do! But the drywall guys were a little miffed at me because paint on the drywall interferes with the priming and texturing. They had to sand quite a few spots (at least a dozen!) where I had painted my kids’ names and enormous rectangles of color on the walls. Lesson learned! It’s a mixed blessing, then, that the color was really gross and ugly, because despite how it sounds, I painted without much enthusiasm. Had the color been as dreamy as I was hoping it would be, the drywall guys would have had a lot more to be angry about!

 

It was a little disappointing to have to start from scratch on the wall color, but after no less than four more trips to the paint store and many, many hours of important internet research, we had a decent array of interior wall and trim colors to test. I wised up, thanks to many tips from friends and the internet, and painted large pieces of foam core instead of the drywall at the Dream House. We tested three more shades of grey (not quite as many as 50, ha!), dragged the samples all over the house, tested them in every single room on every single wall, took photos, made visitors give their opinions, etc. And I think we found a winner! Not too brown, not too blue, not too green, not at all purple (which was the problem with the first color). And it looks really beautiful with the trim color. The new paint color made the carpet color look totally wrong, so we had to swap that out too, and we finally made it to the stone place when they were actually open. So now we have our stone picked out too, and it all looks really lovely together!

lulu the baker interior paint colors gray

Despite my irrational fears that it would take them a long time to finish the siding, the workers actually got it done very quickly. They also installed the front door and all of the bead board. We’ve got porches on the front and back of the house, a little covered courtyard outside the mudroom, and a small covered patio off the laundry room where the stairs will go down into the backyard. And all of them have bead board ceilings. We bought 2400 linear feet of douglas fir 1×6 bead board at a construction surplus warehouse in Portland two months ago. We actually didn’t end up needing that much and have quite the pile of it still sitting in the garage. Whoops! Future project!

lulu the baker bead board front porch

We also tested and chose paint for the outside of the house (who knew there were so many shades of white??), and concocted our own private blend wood stain for the tongue and groove cedar paneling on the little barrel vault on the front porch. All of the gooseneck barn lights for the outside of the house arrived, and I made my husband pose with one as though he were installing it. Doesn’t it look great? All of those exterior lights (and interior ones, for that matter), will get installed after the painting is done.

lulu the baker gooseneck barn lights

So, what comes next? As I mentioned, the walls are taped and textured (a lovely orange peel finish), and the painters are scheduled to start this week! Although painting a house yourself takes forever and a day, hiring pros makes the job go surprisingly quickly, so it should only take about a week. Then comes all of the trim work–doors, windows, more doors, and more windows. That actually might take a while, but I can’t wait to see what our house will look like when it’s done! And the kitchen cabinets are almost finished! They’ll be installed about the same time the trim work is happening, so really, really soon! I feel like this month’s post has an inordinate number of exclamation points, but everything is just so exciting!

lulu the baker new construction siding


Erin Menardi

Friday Finds 7.11

Hello, Style Spotters! It’s that time of the week where I get to obsess over all the coolest, cutest, most creative ideas from our BHG Insiders’ blogs with no shame. I’m running on full-out, unfiltered DIY-ify frenzy. Prepare yourself.

 

I think there’s always room to celebrate the little things. Oh, you just ran a couple miles for the first time since college? Time to celebrate! You didn’t hit a single red light on your drive home from work? Party time! For your next celebration, however serious or whimsical it might be, try out some of these tropical themed party ideas from Celebrations at Home. Besides being super cute, it’ll be like a mini luau in your own backyard.

 

 

More and more as the summer goes by, I can’t get enough of being outside. I’ve always been a nature person–or at least I like to think I am. I’m the go-to bug-squisher in my house (ahead of my two guy housemates…), and I tolerate hiking about once a year. That qualifies me as an outdoorsy person, right? For those nights you want to lounge on the deck, these DIY Solar Paper Lanterns on Finding Home would be a perfect addition.

 

 

I grew up in Colorado–I’m a greenie. I’m all for sustainability and recycling and home-grown veggies. These herb garden ideas from Roses & Pepper put a creative twist on the classic indoor herb container garden, and add a little color and freshness to the house.

 

 

My aunt just had a little baby girl the other week–Ellie Rose. I absolutely cannot wait to go home and meet her! I love this DIY Fairy House Pillow I spotted on Alice & Lois. I might have to pick up sewing and try this out before I buy my plane tickets. For any new additions to the family, this would be an adorable way to say welcome to the world!

 

 

And because I feel like I should advocate healthy hobbies every once in a while, take a look at this creative (and sustainable–greenies unite!) way to grow your own wheat grass. Honestly, I can’t stand wheat grass, but I sort of want to try this out anyway.

 

 

Have a fabulous week, Style Spotters!


Chelsey Andrews

DIY-ify: 14 Fabulous Decorating DIY Projects!

Trend: 14 Fabulous Decorating DIY Projects! 

It’s been so hot outside this past week that my family has been hiding in the cool air of our home. This has given us a TON of time to think up some new decorating ideas. I love this BHG post and was inspired to find some tutorials and DIY’s from their list of decorating ideas. While the headboard DIY may take a bit of time, most of these projects listed below are quick ways to add some color and design to your home.

 

1. Add a coat of paint to some old furniture, from Natty By Design.

2. DIY Faux Wallpaper (made with a sharpie), from Vintage Revivals.

3. Update old frames with colorful paint, from BHG.

4. No-Sew DIY Rickrack Window Panels, from BHG.

5. DIY Tablet Stand (perfect for reading recipes in the kitchen), from The Lowes Blog.

6. DIY Banquet Seating, from Melodrama.

7. Natural Dyed Lamp Shade from BHG Style Spotters.

8. DIY Painted Memo Board, from Lemon Drop Life.

9. Silhouette Artwork DIY, from The Paper Mama.

10. Bookcase Back Panel Herringbone Makeover, from LollyJane.

11. Fabric Dyed Pillow, from High on DIY.

12. Fabric Upholstered Headboard with Curved Arms, from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.

13. Frames Made of Washi Tape, from Design Sponge.

14. Skip the paint and try a fabric wall panels instead, from Bella Dia.

What are you up to this summer? Any decorating ideas?

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

P.S. Photos from the first image are from BHGNatty By DesignSarah M. Dorsey DesignsLemon Drop Life, and Vintage Revivals.