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Inspiration: Roses

Roses have long played a role in home decor and decorating. As standalone embellishments – cut roses or rose bushes – the rose has been the front-runner of all the flowers in the world for a centuries. In paintings, carvings, and textiles, roses began appearing (along with other blooms) with regularity in something like the 17th century. And why not? Images of roses are gorgeous whether they’ve been captures true to life or in stylized fashion, in 2D or 3D. Plus, as decor goes, roses tend to be timeless. Not every rose curtain or wallpaper will stand up to the passage of years, of course, but the iconic rose will certainly do so. Love roses? Me, too, which is why I put together a little inspiration for us to share.


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All I Can Say Is: WANT.


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Inspiration: Tufts!

Tufted furniture is undeniably awesome – a few well-placed tufts can turn what would be a blah headboard or bench or couch into something really visually appealing. A wee bit harder to vacuum? Well, sure, but not all that much more difficult to keep clean. The bad news is that tufting can come at a premium – the good news is that I found a great tutorial at Apartment Therapy that will have you diamond tufting in no time at all. Until you get the hang of it, though, here’s some sweet tufted inspiration to stimulate your aesthetic appetite!


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Adventures In Scaled Down Living, Two Ways

Think you can’t take your living situation to the bare minimum because you’re X or you’ve got Y or it would never work out because of Z? Maybe you’re right, but two stories I read recently suggested that you might just be wrong.

In the first, a couple abandons their condo (along with many elements of their modern lifestyle) to build a home in rural Iowa entirely without debt. With $7,000 and the help of friends and family, Hap and Lin Mullenneaux built a tiny cob house along with an open shed, summer kitchen, and a straw bale house. For water, they collect and filter rain. For heat, they use a small wood stove. And to power a laptop, modem, light, and fan, they have a wee photovoltaic system. Simple stuff, except when consider that they designer and manufactured everything themselves after taking a workshop!

In the second, two adults and two kids aaaand two cats lived for six years in a itty-itty camper and tiny tepee to save money and use fewer resources. It was much less luxurious than cob house living, with outdoor showers, water hauled from springs, human waste composting, and freezing winters. But you know what? They survived and enjoyed themselves, and while they’re in a house now, they seem to miss scaled down living as they practiced it.

There’s a song that says “love grows best in little houses” and my guess is that both families profiled above would be inclined to agree. I might agree, too, so long as you let me append the statement with something like “when the kids are grown up and there are no teenagers around.”

Inspiration: Entryways

Your entryway – if you have one – sets the tone for your home. We have two points of entry, the front door that enters directly into the living room and the side door that dumps you into the kitchen via something we switch between calling a mudroom, a foyer, and an entryway. The front door is a lost cause, since there’s no room for, well, anything and coats and shoes get stuffed into the closet. The side door area is a bit more spacious but our mudroomfoyerentryway is tiny, so no cute benches or coat racks.

This post is for all of you out there who either have a real entryway or just dream of having one – like me! Why should a simply entryway get so much priority when it comes to decorating? Consider that it’s the first and last place anyone visiting your home will so. And while you may not sit and relax in it, you do spend a lot of time there, donning shoes, finding the right coat, and getting ready for your day. It can be a very important and useful space if you let it. How about adding: A mirror to give yourself one last look over before heading out to your meeting? A bench to make taking off muddy boots easier? Bins for shoes? Hooks for purses, backpacks, and coats in the wintertime? A bowl on a table for your keys and other pocket sundries?

Basically, think not of how you’re using your entryway, but how you’d LIKE to be using your entryway, and then decorate and accessorize accordingly.* Here’s some sweet inspiration:


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*Good advice no matter what room you’re improving, actually.

Stairs of a Different Stripe

When I was searching for pictures of rooms painted with a single horizontal stripe for yesterday’s post, I came across this picture of a really standout staircase. Most of the time, when I think of standout staircases, my mind imagines strange staircases or staircases with storage built in. What I usually don’t think of is decorated staircases.

I love how the orange stripe really emphasizes the beautiful curve in the staircase and draws your eyes up and around, making you wonder just what’s going on upstairs. You’ll notice that the wall itself still has a standard angle in it – the stairs are curved, not the wall around it – but the stripe hides the discrepancy between the stairs and the wall. The stripe makes it look like one beautiful curve and I love how that works.

White, Light, and Airy

How beautiful is this light and airy house? I love all the windows and all the white, even if an all white house wouldn’t stay all white for long with my current kid- and cat-infested lifestyle. There’s just something so cheery about it, like I feel like I wouldn’t even stay sad for long in an interior like this one. Also, how about that bare log crosspiece in the last picture? It’s such a fun, natural way to give anyone roaming this house a break from those all-white walls and ceilings!

Images via Stadshem

How to Be as Bright or as Bold as You Want to Be

The short answer: Just do it.

The Beard was initially skeptical when I suggested that we paint our kitchen purple, and a fairly intense purple, at that. But he’s gotten used to it, and when he happened to see some photos of how our kitchen used to look, he couldn’t believe how much the purple improved the space. Literally, I get nothing but compliments – though sometimes these are paired with comments like “I really didn’t think it would be as great as it is.” Uh, thanks?

And hey, if you told me you were thinking of painting your kitchen cabinets a pretty wild shade of pink, I might balk just a little bit. But if this kitchen from Sweden.se is any indication, painting a kitchen pink can be totally delicious. While there are some projects that don’t lend themselves to a quick do-over, why not go bright and bold when it comes to paint? You can always repaint the following weekend!

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