January 24, 2013

sprucing up the deck

One of our goals this year is to seal and stain our deck, and along with that to furnish it so that it can truly be an extension of our living space. It's amazing - huge and south-facing with tons of sun and warmth, and for much of the year we spend lots of time out there. I'm excited to make it a place that's more usable and comfortable.

Something that will really help warm it up visually is RUGS! I'm always keeping an eye out for deals on outdoor rugs.  I'm not willing to spend much because I'm certain they will fade in the intense sun. (We've had sandals shrivel up after a few hours in direct sunlight - I'm telling you, it's pretty intense :))

So, I was pretty excited to pick this up at Salvation Army for $5 last week! 

I think it's actually meant to be a beach mat...you can see the creases where it was folded in thirds. I'm sure they'll flatten out after a few days.

 don't mind the rugs on the railing hanging out to dry :)

Woo hoo! Now to find a table & chair set, two more rugs, a few potted plants, side tables...and all bargains like this one :)

January 23, 2013

kitchen art

I've struggled with the wall space above our sink. I've shared previously the idea of adding some open shelving and/or a tile backsplash. My current thought is that once I find the right storage cabinet for our dining room, we may not need the additional dish storage in the kitchen. So holding off on more shelves for now.

In the meantime, I was compelled last week to fill the blank white wall (do you ever have those moments?!). It was an impulsive moment and I just had to use what I had on hand. I had these wicker trays I had picked up at Goodwill a year or two ago, and have used them randomly around the house. Also have this BEAUTIFUL, treasured, pink-rimmed basket from an Ethiopian friend which I use all the time for fruit and such.

I had a vague memory of something I'd seen on pinterest which loosely inspired the idea (although I didn't go back and look at the photo until just now...I'm telling you, I was on a mission :)).

  via my pinterest

I really love it. They're just loosely hanging on nails, so I can easily grab them if I really want to use them...although I'm not sure I'll do that since I'm really enjoying having them on display. So beautiful! I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. They add just the right amount of color and texture to blend well with the tiles - not too much, just enough. Love it!

 those oranges are waiting to be juiced, fyi...we don't eat that many oranges around here! :)

The changes to the sink area inspired me to switch some things around on this nearby wall as well. I picked up this photo at Salvation Army last week (my husband is not sure about it but it really speaks to me...the colors and patterns especially but I don't mind the nice old man!). The Nicaragua bag has moved around the house since our trip in 2010. Yay for decorated white walls - one of my favorite sights! :)

January 18, 2013

daybed fringe!

Added a little pizazz to our daybed this week....

I had been thinking about doing this for awhile, first inspired by this Wisteria sofa (discontinued...sad) that I love sooooo much. I decided to bring just a touch of it into our home with the fringe element. Also hoping to recover the mattress this year, so maybe this inspiration will continue and shape the style direction of the new cover. 

The trim adds just a bit of boho, which I love. What do you think?

January 17, 2013

random living room updates

So I shared earlier this week about this great table...and here it is now, in it's new home.

Also had to share a close-up of this beautiful bowl. It belonged to my great-grandmother, and the cool thing is that she got it in San Francisco, in the 1940's! Love that. This was actually another treasure brought home from Michigan - my aunt had a bunch of old jewelry and things which she let my sister and I raid. It's so special to have this :)

Although it's been chilly in the city lately, we've had awesome blue skies and sunshine the last few days.  One of my favorite things about our house is the south-facing windows where the sun streams in...

Bringing in the other table inspired me to rearrange our other living room table as well. (honestly, it doesn't take much for this inspiration to strike...it's one of my favorite things to do :))

project progress: sisters' room

This week I'm working hard on this room for two sisters. We started putting it together before the holidays, with just enough colorful and cozy elements for the girls to enjoy for Christmas...but there is so much more fun to come in this room. Can't wait to finish and share!

January 16, 2013

a gem from home

Look what I brought home from our Christmas trip to Michigan...this awesome moroccan or indian tray table! It belonged to my great aunt, and my mom kindly let me swipe it. So excited to incorporate it into our home somewhere...

January 14, 2013

salt lake city project: guest room | baby girl nursery

In mid-December, I took a trip to Salt Lake City to install a room for some good friends, Adam & Rena. Rena and I worked closely together on the plan for a few months leading up to the trip, and I was so pumped to put it all together!  

The room needed to be multi-functional, as both a guest room and a temporary nursery for their baby girl due later this month! They'll be moving this summer, so they'll use the room just until the baby is a few month's old. It needed to house some practical things for baby like changing table and storage, and also be a comfy guest room for visiting family over the holidays and coming months. (Their plan is to use a bassinet which they can move from their bedroom to this one as needed - we didn't have this yet which is why you won't see it in the photos :))

The moment I landed, I was very eager to get going on the room, after spending countless hours thinking about and planning it. Unfortunately, altitude sickness hit me on the morning of my second day and rendered me pretty much useless the entire day. Big bummer, and I had to seriously make up for lost time! The next couple of days were frantic, but so much fun, as the three of us pulled it all together.

The mountains surrounding the city are just stunning. Not a bad view to enjoy while running around getting supplies! And I was excited to see snow...this was before our Christmas trip to Michigan, and before this I don't think I'd seen snow in 8 or 9 years!

After losing a day, we definitely had zero time for sight-seeing. On the way to Ikea on my last day there, my friend pulled over for a second so I could jump out and snap this photo of the big temple. (I posted it on instagram, and one friend asked me if I was in Narnia :) Kind of has that look, huh?!)

Sometimes a fun, funky mix helps me get my decorator on ;)

After a successful shopping run, I was ready to dive into this pile of goodies!

We found the headboard on Craigslist and they purchased before my visit. Such a great piece!

It was a team effort getting everything primed and painted with our limited schedule, but we made it happen :) Above are bed and mirror, primed.

And then the painted bed...I love the color and am so glad I went with this! We had gone back and forth and considered white along with a brighter color, but this really grounds the room and I'm thrilled with the result...

a little stencil action!

I'm telling you, it was a true team effort and the last few hours were a little intense, but we pulled it off!  Get ready for the slew of photos...I'm pretty in love with this room and every angle just makes me happy :)  (also, we finished about 30 minutes before needing to leave for the airport, so weren't able to take our time on the photo shoot. please excuse the casual-ness of them!) 

Overall, this was a budget project with lots of bargain elements which I'll try to break down for you.

It's a rental, so there were a few challenges we had to maneuver. First off, we couldn't paint the walls. It reads light yellow in most of these photos, but it's actually a yellowy-beige...not very inspiring! Our plan of attack was to bring in lots of cooler colors to distract the eye.

Do you love the otomi stencil art above the bed? Packs a great punch for a budget piece of artwork! The costs were just a simple piece of white fabric + paint + spray adhesive + ikea frame (+ painting supplies depending what you have on hand). We split the cost of the stencil itself as I'll definitely be using it again (in our home, soon!). 

I am in love with that chair. And was beyond thrilled to find it in a local thrift store! We were torn about what to do about a chair and had spent lots of time considering our options...my friends were contemplating a new glider as an investment piece, but weren't thrilled about spending the several hundred dollars now. We searched craigslist for weeks but weren't excited about anything. I was optimistic about finding something during my thrift store hunt, but we were obviously cutting it close at that point! So you can imagine my excitement when I spotted this beauty. In pretty great shape and around $35!

The dresser is one they had already; we just switched out the hardware. This will also be the changing table, and is right next to the closet for easy access to her clothes :)  Bookcase was also an existing piece of furniture that we spruced up with a new paint color. The floral fabric on the lumbar was actually a curtain I found at a thrift store, which we used to cover an inexpensive Target body pillow. (Total cost less than $30.) Throw pillows are from HomeGoods; the black & white throw you likely recognize as Ikea as it's been quite popular as of late (with good reason - classic design and good quality!). Sconces are also Ikea.

The mirror was an earlier thrifted purchase by my friend, and we made it work by painting the same color as the bookcase on the opposite side of the bed. I like how it turned out - it's nice and classic and it's always nice to have a mirror in a guest room.

We added a simple ribbon trim to all the curtain, including the closet. (a really pretty blue velvet on the windows and a fun pink medallion on the closet - I'm bummed you can't see the details here!) They had the white Ikea curtains from their last apartment so we decided to use what we had, while adding a little definition and personalization.

The windows have some heavy-duty wooden blinds installed into their frames which were really nice quality, but just not very pretty. We couldn't remove or damage them, so we decided to add bamboo blinds (hung on the window frames so they're in front of the existing blinds) for some extra texture and warmth. 

Overdyed rug is from Rugs USA. We purchased it the weekend after Thanksgiving on a major sale (75% off!!) which was pretty incredible. It's not often you can get a nice, 8x10 rug for less than $250! At full price, this would have blown most of our budget. It really set the tone for the room - adds so much warmth, beauty and the great color helps to balance out those lovely walls ;)

me frantically snapping a few last shots before grabbing my bags to catch my flight home!

Bookcase styling items are a mix of thrifted, Ikea, HomeGoods, dollar store and Kohl's.

My beautiful friend Rena with her baby bump enjoying their new space :)

I adore these bookends...picked them up many months ago at Goodwill, knowing they'd be perfect for a project one day! They're crazy heavy and will last forever (probably already have :)). Warms my heart to think of my friends enjoying them along with their growing family.

Wow...what a fun project! I am grateful, grateful to Adam & Rena for inviting me into this process with them, and for being so awesome to work with. They were just amazing and flowed with the chaos as I took over their home and lives for a few days, and just before the holidays! Seriously guys - your patience is not lost on me.... THANK YOU!!!

January 11, 2013

it's a new year!

I may be a bit late, but I'm super excited about 2013 and what it will bring, and hope you are too!

We had a wonderful, long break over the holidays, visiting family in Michigan. My husband and I are both from Grand Rapids, so we're able to see both immediate families when we visit, which is awesome!  I thought I would share some highlights...

my parents' backyard, after a light snow

Dressing room adventures with one of my nieces, Isabel. (love the pose :)) We went shopping while my sister (Isa's mom) was in labor with baby #6. Every time my phone indicated a text or call, she would gasp and ask if it was time to go the hospital to meet her new brother. So cute and such a special memory :)

My immediate family on Christmas Eve: parents + seven of us siblings + spouses + kids

My husband, aka the Very Cool Uncle Tim busting out some old skateboard tricks on his nephew's new Christmas present.

 Me with another niece, Brielle. Cutie cutie pie! :)

My husband and a family friend providing Christmas Carols one evening. 

Magical snowflakes one evening - this doesn't really capture it, but it was one of those perfectly still, simply beautiful winter nights - we left a friend's house pretty late, and stood outside for a few minutes just taking in the gigantic snowflakes falling. Also, you can kind of see the amazing house in the background here, which is part of an historical district in Grand Rapids - my favorite neighborhood - full of beautiful, old homes, many of which are in desperate need of TLC and which can be purchased dirt cheap if you're interested in moving to MI!

 And another niece, Eliana, holding baby Owen! :)

My mom and one sister did some thrifting and antiquing one day and had so much fun! We spent most of the day in another area of GR which has gradually been revitalized over the past ten years or so, and is full of cute shops and restaurants. Above is the bakery where my parents bought their wedding cake 40 years ago - I loved how cute it was, especially with the simple Christmas decorations.

1 hour for a quarter?! this was pretty exciting to me, since you can typically expect 8 minutes for a quarter in SF :) 

 Loved this light spotted at one of the antique shops. Unique shape and finish, oh so classic and good :)

You can't tell so much from the photo, but this desk lamp was pretty oversized, which was part of what made it so fun.

 i brought home one of these beauties ;)

Such a fun and relaxing trip, and really special to be with our families for Christmas.

Just before we left for Michigan, we had our big Christmas musical production at church. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the choir in action, but this photo gives you glimpse of how beautiful our church looked decorated for Christmas. (my husband is at the keyboard with our pastor in the bottom left corner) As we look with anticipation at the year ahead, we're expecting God to do great things in San Francisco!

And after being away from home for so long, it felt wonderful to be back in breathtaking San Francisco....

 ...where drives home from ikea look this this :)

...where this was the view on my morning walk last saturday

...and where it seems perfectly acceptable to pull out a hot pink tablecloth in January! I love my city, and my home! Welcome, 2013...

Update: I realized I should also tell you that December was a month full of working on projects! I completed a really fun room in Salt Lake City, and am about halfway through a room we hope to wrap up next week. I'll share the first one really soon :)