Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Over the course of the summer I have been diligently working on getting the seating and dining area of our backyard patio updated so that when the fall weather rolls into Texas we can have a nice outdoor spot to relax and also enjoy some meals with our friends and family!  We already had the furniture but it needed some definite love and attention.  Since I am doing a minor facelift and not completely revamping the patio I did a lot of projects to make the changes come to life.  You may remember me posting about how I went about painting the outdoor coffee table but this space required more than just painting some pieces of furniture to make it feel nice and new.

So I began thinking of ways to freshen it up a bit and one of the first things that came to my mind was lighting!  Outdoor lighting can make a huge impact and help your patio feel like an actual room.  And for me that was the goal…for it to be an extension of our interior gathering spaces.  I am obsessed in love with café, bulb lighting so it was a MUST that we had some hanging from the pergola and I opted to use this in the lounge area.

So now…what do I do for the dining area?  My dreams obviously consisted of a beautiful chandelier but the pergola is 14-feet high and does not have wiring (and we know adding it is NOT in the budget) so I had to think of something else.  Being a girl I naturally opted for candlelight…it creates such a calm setting and dare I say even kind of romantic!  I didn’t just want to use candles as the centerpiece on the table though…I wanted some kind of hanging candle chandelier (similar to the one below from Pottery Barn).

My creative juices started flowing and I decided to do a hanging shelf with several candles of varying heights.  It’s DIY time!!  Off to the store I went in search of my materials.  I ended up at Hobby Lobby and found this piece of raw wood!  It was perfect for my project!  And while I was there I picked up the candles for it.

I already had this rope at the house so I decided I would drill holes in the four corners and string it through them.

I bought some brackets and “S” hooks from Lowes to hang it from the pergola.

And here is the final project all put together!  As soon as I get some good nighttime pictures I will show you.

Not bad for a DIY project huh?  It was less than $20 (without the candles) and is a great look that adds warmth while keeping the feel of the outdoors!  My husband even likes it so it can’t be overly girly!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Happy Tuesday!  I hope everyone had a nice relaxing weekend.  Last week I shared with you the renovation to the Norris’s Master Bathroom.  Quite a drastic change right?!?  Well, today I am going to show you the facelift we made to the place where they kick back and relax: the Family Room and Kitchen.

The Family Room started off with gold walls, heavy furniture pieces and cluttered accessories.  Although the room is large the oversized, dark furniture made it feel quite cramped.

Other than wall décor and table accessories the only other thing that needed updating in the Kitchen was the drapes.  There is no dimension because the panels and Roman shades are the same color and therefore come off very flat and boring.

The first step of the room update was to change the wall color in the Family Room so they were painted Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige, which is a calming, neutral taupe.  For the furniture we opted for a large ivory sofa and chair with two smaller gray accent chairs.  As I noted earlier the room is large so it needs substantial pieces, but since the pieces we selected are lighter in color and less bulky in shape it helps to keep the room from feeling small.  And the gray accent chairs add a nice pop of contrast.

On the wall with the media cabinet we removed the shelves and hung mirrors on either side of the TV to add some weight to that long wall.  The patterned rug adds movement to the space while also tying in all of the colors used.  By simplifying the pillows and accessories it makes for a more tranquil and organized space and was also a great way to bring in the blue-gray color from the walls in the Kitchen. 

Speaking of the Kitchen, we hung simple wood wall art and put pitchers of fresh flowers on the table.  The Roman shades were exchanged for woven roll-up shades and the original drapery panels for ivory velvet panels.  They both add great texture and brightness to the room.  So not a ton of changes made but just enough to make a difference and make the room feel complete!

Here are the before and afters one more time so you can really see the difference.

Family Room - before

Family Room - after

Kitchen - before

Kitchen - after

Do you think it was updated to a lighter, brighter and more relaxing place to kick your feet up?

Friday, September 18, 2015


In my hometown of Grapevine, TX this weekend is the 29th annual GrapeFest, which is a wine festival in historic downtown Grapevine.  The atmosphere of a festival is so exhilirating to me...I love walking up and down the street, playing the games you cannot ever win and eating the so-bad-for-you-but-so-good food!  And I’m no connoisseur but I do love a nice glass of wine so I also enjoy partaking in the tastings from the different wineries.

All of this wine talk makes me think about in-home wine cellars.  This is a commonly requested room to be built in a new home.  I have seen them in the basement, next to the Dining Room or Kitchen and also in the area located under the stairs that typically can seem like it is wasted space.  And they can be beautifully designed around whatever style you would like, whether it be traditional and rustic or minimal and transitional.

And depending on the size of the room you can make it a place to lounge and entertain.  What a great idea to use part of a wine barrel as a table!

So what do you do if you want storage space for your wine in your existing home?  If you have a blank wall that is deep enough to house the wine bottles you can do an elegant built-in like the one below.  I love the look of this but with my having two little boys every bottle would be busted on the floor and it would be used as a ladder!  Eek!

And if you don’t have the room and don’t want to renovate why not add a wine bar?  I did an earlier post on a coffee bar (seen here) but that could easily be changed into a wine bar.  In fact I may just transition mine for a party I am hosting next week! 

There are the obvious decorative accessories that can be associated with wine…corks, cute signage and wine bottles and glasses.  The use of the barrel tops and wine crates as wall décor is not only creative but also can be personal depending on where they are from.

And how cool is this wine room pictured below?  With it being completely open it is like a piece of art in the home.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  You can find me at GrapeFest tasting wine and eating delicious food!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Wouldn’t you want to get ready every day in a bathroom that has stunning finishes and functions to your needs?  Well, in addition to updating the décor and some of the furnishings in the Entry, Family Room, Formal Dining and Living Room, the Norris’s wanted just that…a new fabulous Master Bathroom!  It is definitely the largest project we tackled in their home and I am so thrilled to share the before and after pictures with you.  You won’t believe your eyes!

Besides the original wall color and travertine tile there were several things about the bathroom that were unappealing to them.  Not only was the commode open to the room but also the vanity was adjacent to it and was an awkward “L” shape.  And with the tile countertops comes grout, which has to be managed and in a space that is used so often this is definitely not ideal. 

They also had a tub and shower combination with a very strange step up where slipping and falling was almost unavoidable.  And who wants to almost break their neck every time they get out of the shower?  It HAD to go!

So all in all they wanted a brand new bathroom…and I could not wait to help give it to them!  Their contractor came up with a new layout that worked well for their lifestyle and I made selections for all of the finishes.  Here it is!

To keep simplicity but add a little detail we used tone on tone horizontal stripes on the walls in a neutral color.  They needed to be pretty light in color to keep it bright and airy.  The Norris’s actually found the floor, which is a tile that has a wood look to it.  So easy when it comes to maintenance!

The shower is one of my favorite things about the room!  It is tiled to the ceiling with Calcutta marble in a herringbone pattern.  And the floor is the same marble in a hexagon pattern. 

There are so many things that are beautiful about the vanity.  The cabinets are painted in a classic white and topped with a neutral travertine countertop.  The polished chrome faucets and square sinks help it to feel up to date but still timeless.    To keep the feel of the room to be as large as possible the mirror needed to span over the entire vanity but the detail in the mirror definitely adds a special touch.  If it were just a plain, solid mirror it would feel rather boring.  And the sconces…they literally take my breath away!  The shape of them keeps it modern and the linen shades add softness to the space.  And the crystal on the lights ties in the cabinet knobs and adds the perfect touch of elegance to the space!  #canyoutellilovethem

Here is the before and after one more time…do you think it’s an improvement?? 

I think it all turned out so beautifully!!  Now if only I could remodel my own bathroom?!?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Oh how I love this time of year!  It is so enjoyable updating and changing décor as the season’s change and holidays approach!  Although it is still 90+ degrees here in Texas I’m not letting it stop me from bringing fall into our humble abode!  I know we have been in our house for a little over three years but this is not something I have focused on until this year and now I am going to share some autumn decor with you.  I do not want to go overboard with it so I have only changed a few things here and there in the Kitchen and Family Room.  And the great news is that it was done on a minimal budget by using a lot of what I already own and purchasing only a few items!

I started with the fireplace mantel.  Just FYI when it comes to mantel décor my outlook is the more simple the better.  I switched out my spring and summer stems to pussy willow stems with white navy beans as vase filler. I also draped a “FALL” banner, which I printed myself, with twine to the gray distressed mirror.

I did a little shopping in my pantry and found several different sizes of mason jars and added long grain brown rice with white votives for candleholders.

To add a couple more “fall” things to the Family Room, I went to my décor closet and grabbed one of the million clear vases I have and hot-glued rope to it.  This helped add some rustic and natural texture to the vase.  I replaced the candles that are normally in the lantern with pumpkins and gourds.  I love the color that it adds which is exactly what I was going for.  I picked them up for $5 at my local grocery store…SCORE!!

I may think about adding some pillows to the sofa but for the time being that’s it for the Family Room.  Now onto the Kitchen!  Just a few minor changes in here but that’s how I like to do things.  Just a hint of the season here and there throughout the house.  The apothecary jars on the countertop are normally filled with lemons and limes but I needed something more subdued and richer in color.  Small red apples and subtle green pears did just the trick! 

On the island I filled the pitcher with wheat and the trifle dish with pine cones that were picked up at my mom’s house.   Can’t beat free decorations! I purchased the dough bowl last year from Hobby Lobby and it is perfect for all seasons!  I like that it is narrow and doesn’t take up much space.  And don’t the mini white pumpkins look adorable in it?!?  I know it’s surprising with my love of neutrals but there is just something I LOVE about white pumpkins!

That’s it for now!  So all in all for my fall decorating I bought some stems (wheat & pussy willows) from Hobby Lobby for half off, fake fruit and pumpkins and gourds and all for about $25.  I am working on some DIY pumpkins for the breakfast table and will let you know how that goes…fingers crossed it isn’t a fail.  And I am also working on a fall Dining Room tablescape. Are there any special touches you add to your home when fall comes?