What I’m Loving

There are a few years, and a laundry room renovation (creation actually), between now and when we plan renovate our bathroom.  Nevertheless, I’ve been playing around with rough layouts and collecting material inspirations.  I’m dreaming of a very traditional style, including white subway and hex tiles, white custom inset cabinetry, and polished nickel fixtures.  My collected inspiration is on this pinterest board.

What I'm Loving 5
1 | 2 | 3 | 4

 

I love these simple Bryant sconces.  I would have two flanking each sink area.  The vanity area in this bathroom renovation is my inspiration.  

I think this hidden outlet is a fantastic solution for keeping a hair dryer out of sight when it isn’t in use.  

One of our favorite purchases has been a heated towel warmer.  Right now we have one that stands on the floor just outside our bathroom, but I would love to use one of these wall-mounted versions when we do a full renovation.  

I love the Moen Waterhill collection, and have the hand towel ring in a couple of our bathrooms already.  I have this pivoting paper holder in the bathroom on the main level, and I love it – the style, the weight of it, and the ease of changing the roll of paper.  

Polished nickel has become my favorite finish for fixtures, whether plumbing, lighting, or hardware.  It is so classic and rich-looking – much more so than brushed nickel.  And it is warmer than a chrome finish.  I plan to use it wherever I can in future renovations and upgrades.

Red Office Accents

After compiling a small collage of red office accents that would look really cute on my desk at work, but some of which was pricier than I would ever spring for, I came across a great little knock-off version of the accordion file collator.  Target’s Room Essentials brand is carrying one very similar but in a dull gray color for only $10.99.

I think it is only half the size of the collator from Anthropologie that was my inspiration, but that doesn’t bother me.  I took it home and coated it with a few layers of red spray paint.  Now it is in my office at work with the other red accessories I’ve collected over time.

Before:
Collator before

Red Collator

red desk accessories

New Year’s Eve Party

We held our annual New Year’s Eve party last week and I was able to try out my decorations in our new house.  I also added a few new things this year.  The best new addition was a wreath for the front door.  I bought the silver ball and tinsel wreath after Christmas at Target, then added some NYE flair using a glue gun.  I had to remove a few of the silver ball ornaments from the wreath in order to fit the extra decorations in well.  I added two party horns covered with gold and silver glitter and a silver tiara.  The gold starburst was an ornament I picked up at World Market after Christmas.  I also added an extra strip of tinsel to the outer and inner edges of the wreath for a bit more substance.

New Year's Eve Wreath

In the foyer, I put a crystal clock and two champagne flutes under a glass cloche.  I changed the DIY tinsel-covered numbers to read 2015 on the wall behind the table.  Lastly, I wrapped some gold and silver garlands that I picked up from Walmart after Christmas around the stair banister.

New Year's Eve Foyer Decorations

In the living room, I set up the party hats and noisemakers for ringing in the new year at midnight.  I hung a silver mylar “chandelier” above the coffee table.

DSC01931

NYE Chandelier

On the coffee table, I put out little baggies of “Midnight Kisses.”  For dinner we had chili and chicken-corn chowder, cornbread, and buffalo chicken dip.  At midnight, we toasted with champagne with rock candy garnish.

Midnight Kisses

In the den, I added a party hat to the bulldog jar given to me by a good friend this year.  Even Buddy put up with us putting a little hat on him for long enough to snap a picture.

NYE Bulldog

NYE Buddy

Christmas Decorating

This is our first Christmas in our new home.  It is larger than our first house, so all of the decorations are spread out a little more.  I started Thanksgiving week putting out the nativities and other tabletop decorations.  After several years of leaving it in the boxes, I pulled out the Willow Tree nativity that Bradley’s grandparents gave us.  I split it between the two bookcases flanking the fireplace.  My other nativities also went on the shelves of the bookcases.

Nativities1

The bookcase also holds the brass deer I found at Goodwill one year and a gold mercury glass tree.  The FaLaLa sign hangs from the back of the same shelf to help fill it out.

Nativities2

This is our nativity from South Africa given to us by Bradley’s dad.

African Nativity

My aunt gave me this nativity as part of our wedding gift.

Colorful Nativity

My best friend gave me this miniature nativity from Peru.

Peruvian Nativity

On the mantle, I layered two faux evergreen garlands.  I tucked pheasant feathers and magnolia leaves from the yard into the garland.  I found the fabric-covered ‘Merry Christmas’ signs at Michaels.  Not knowing what I was going to use them for, I thought the plaid pattern was cute, but in the garland it makes the sign hard to read, so in hindsight I wish I had bought both in solid red.

2014 Christmas Mantle

Below on the hearth, I added my collection of antique ornaments to the blue glass jars with a little faux snow in the bottom to cushion them.

2014 Christmas Antique Ornaments

On the breakfast table, I removed the bow from a red bead wreath and set it under the orchid bowl to add color.  I also brought out the snowflake plates that came from Target several years ago.

Orchid wreath

In the dining room, we use our table as a buffet almost weekly for our small group, so I kept it simple with my porcelain one-piece nativity under a glass cloche nestled in the feather wreath I got from Tuesday Morning a couple of years ago.

Christmas table centerpiece

In the living room, the decorations are sparse, including a couple of mirrored trees – one from Target and the other from Bealls, and the ornament I made years ago from large Christmas string light bulbs.  I picked up two of the red and white knit decorative pillows from Target this year to go with my green houndstooth pillows – mine are handmade using Robert Allen fabric, but Target is carrying similar ones this year.

Mirrored TreesLight Bulb Ornament

A few years ago, we made a system for displaying Christmas cards we receive using metal cords and loop from Home Depot and clips from Radio Shack.  I hung them on a big empty wall in the dining room.

Christmas Card Display1 Christmas Card Display2

Christmas Tree

This year, we had a few more options to choose from for our tree placement.  Ultimately, we decided to have it tucked into the nook created by the stairs in the foyer.  It fits perfectly in that spot.  The only problems that came up with this arrangement were not having a single electrical outlet in the foyer – so our cord is tucked at the base of the stairs and around to an outlet in the living room – and that the tree isn’t as visible from the outside of the house due to our solid wood front door.  It can be seen in glimpses through the large, full-length sidelights on either side of the door though.

Christmas Tree

As always, I’ve decorated the tree with sentimental ornaments and those that we have picked up on various trips we’ve had, as well as the white and gold ornaments my mom gave me when I moved out of their house.

Since I last posted about our sentimental ornaments we have added a few more:

In February of 2013, we lost our crippled cat to cancer.  I made a clay ornament with his paw print to always remember him by.

Cat Paw Print Ornament

In March of 2013, we adopted our very first dog together.  I got a paw print ornament with a 2013 tag to celebrate his first year with us.

Dog Ornament

We traveled to Denver in May 2013 for a wedding, so we picked up a Garden of the Gods ornament while we were there.

Garden of the Gods Ornament

On Christmas Eve 2013, we were in the final negotiations for our new home.  I bought an antique key ornament for an etsy seller to celebrate our forever home.

Forever Home Ornament

To celebrate Bradley starting his dream job this year with Northpoint Ministries, we made an ornament out of a tag that was on his welcome gift.

Northpoint Ornament

In September 2014, I found a kitten in the bushes at my grandmother’s house.  She came home with me that day and we named her Shelley.  The story behind her name is that she is super soft, which make me think of the ‘Soft Kitty’ song from The Big Bang Theory and the main character Sheldon (or Shelley to his mom).  I got an ornament with Soft Kitty on it just for her.

Soft Kitty Ornament