Soooooo there’s this amazing family. They are dear friends, and just the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. Their family has grown a bit over the last few years, and they were ready for an organized home office/homework room.
With 4 biological children and 3 blessings adopted from China, these 7 incredible kiddos needed a spot. A spot to do school projects, homework, play games, and just hang out…away from the main living space. And the kicker? The office is the first room you see when you enter their home…so it needed to be welcoming, inviting, and organized!
The parents of these sweet kids inspire me. They are so passionate about their children, giving them each a childhood to remember. Their home is full of laughter, lots of friends hanging out, and you can feel the love. Their hearts are just HUGE!
One day in late August, I stopped by to chat with them about the project. Their wish list was simple: a homework table, bookcases to store allllllll of their books, and a little desk area for mom & dad. We didn’t really talk about colors, style, or anything like that…but I knew they would be up for anything (we’re long-time friends, remember?). I mean, talk about a dream project! Working with people you love, and dreaming up a design with no preconceived ideas.
Ready to see it?? Let’s start with a “before” pic:
So the office sort of became a catch-all for furniture not being used in other rooms…not exactly homework friendly. The walls had recently been painted, and were a great neutral color, so that was a good start! Ready to see the “after?” (below)
Fresh, modern, organized. So fun! And plenty of room to add even MORE books to the bookcases…I hear there are many more in the garage! 😉 The “Kickapoo” sign was a surprise, as it is a much-loved town where this couple grew up. I decided to use a raw board for a casual, modern look, and then sealed it with a clear water-based sealer. A perfect match to the table!
Ok, and the other side of the room, “before.” (below)
Aaaaaand “after!” (below)
Ready for homework! (sorry kids!)
One of my favorite things about this re-do is the “budget-friendliness.” It doesn’t have to cost a lot to refresh a space! And this update provided tons of function and a clean, fresh look. Win-win.
The entire room started with this fun rug, the “Kronge” from Ikea. We added the Norden Extendable Table, Hemnes Bookcase, & Boja Pendant Lamp (also from Ikea), and these Lemoyne side chairs. The clock & gray storage cabinet were Target finds, and the pretty curtains were from Wayfair, although it appears they’ve been discontinued. 🙁 There’s a fun desk tucked over to the right, just for mom & dad.
So? Whatcha think? Not my typical look, but perfect for this fun, busy family. As always, the BEST part is happy clients (and friends!). I know this room will get tons of use, and I can’t wait for the next project with this sweet family!
“Always take time to stop and smell the roses.” We’ve all heard it. But sometimes we don’t realize how important that is until our world gets rocked a little. Or a lot.
I’m sure we could all tell stories about what’s been going on in our lives lately. Hard things, sad things, scary things, happy things, exciting things…and man. This week we just felt like celebrating. Why? No reason, really. Just LIFE. Instead of feeling burdened that the house needs to be cleaned, the laundry pile is a mountain, the work life is hectic as ever, and we haven’t had a home cooked meal in way too long…we challenged ourselves to a perspective change, and it all started with some beautiful flowers on our doorstep.
Are you kidding me right now? How GORGEOUS are these flowers from our local FTD florist?
What a perfect opportunity to stop and SMELL THE ROSES.
I mean, just look at the way these blooms brighten up our kitchen! Our spirits were instantly lifted and suddenly it felt like a privilege to clean the kitchen, do the laundry, and make a meal (Ummm, ok you got me. Maaaaybe I didn’t make the meal, but I DID make the cookies!). And this is what I love about FTD Flowers. They partner with local florists to ensure their bouquets are hand crafted and hand delivered with care. And no matter what the occasion is, it just feels meaningful! Ya know?
Aaaand did you see the darling leather tassels on the beautiful vase? I just LOVE little details like that!
Ok, I know. You’re thinking, ‘WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL about the flowers??’ And last week I might have agreed with you. But friends, I’m telling you. It’s the little things. This pretty bouquet has brightened my mood every day this week.
Today I moved them over to the dining table, and wow. What a fun fall centerpiece! I love how the kindness of others is contagious. And now I can’t wait to send some beautiful flowers to surprise a loved one.
So, yes. There’s a lot of unlovely things going on in the world, to say the least. But we have a chance to make a difference in someone’s day. A smile, a kind word, a thoughtful note, some beautiful flowers…all it takes is a willing heart.
Proudly partnering with FTD Flowers.
Oooooh fall. Here you are again. Even though I LOVE summer, I’m ready for some cozy nights at home, hot apple cider, pumpkins everywhere, and the fun of fall decorating!
I really do feel like fall is the easiest season to incorporate into decor, and definitely the least expensive! If you’re a farmhouse-loving girl like me, you know a little trip to the pumpkin patch is almost all you need to infuse your home with autumn coziness. Almost. 😉
Come on in! I’d love to share a few little areas of our home that were changed up for the season. It’s so much fun to move things around every once in awhile, isn’t it?
Our entryway got a few rustic touches, and a little pop of freshness with this eucalyptus wreath from Mustard Seed Blooms.
I added the little “autumn” cutout, and a few pumpkins finish the look. A friend and I found the rustic rug while out shopping this last summer…it was screaming fall to me! As you probably know, I’m usually a NEUTRAL girl, but this year I’ve incorporated just a touch of color.
What? Oh, you need somewhere to put your coat? You can hang it here…oh, and see the fun little pumpkins that were added up top? (below)
Clean & simple. And remember the fun little removable wallpaper project from a couple months ago? Well, this buffalo check pattern is perfect for the season, isn’t it?? (From Target! Can you believe it??)
Let’s step into the living room.
This year it’s all about the mantel. I spotted this big wood art piece a few months ago at “Real Deals” and knew it would be the perfect focal point, especially since our area rug has changed since last year (find the Manderson Gray Beige Area Rug here.) Neutral, rustic, and gives me all the fall feels without being too traditionally fall-themed. Know what I mean? Want a closer look?
Ahhhhh. Cozy, peaceful, autumn. Yes.
And I can’t stop staring at these REAL pumpkins from Bauman Farms. Stunning.
Ok, here’s the other side of the room…
The hutch got a little neutral fall fun, but let’s face it. I’m most excited about this pillow combo. Ummmm, YOU. GUYS. I HEART this pillow combo. I was so excited to come across some AMAZING pillow makers on etsy. Besides being super talented, they are just about the sweetest girls around. The faux leather pillow and gray/black patterned pillow are from Dawna-Beth McDonald at Chateau Par La Mer. The “give thanks always” pillow is from Ali at Mustard Seed Blooms.
The orangey red pillow is from Target and the cream & gray striped pillows are from Garden Gallery Iron Works.
What do you think? A little outside of my normal box, but I LOVE!!!
Ok, let’s peak into the dining nook, shall we?
This year I was feeling like doing something a little different on the dining table, but I didn’t know what that was. One day, as I was walking through Target with my sister, it hit me (I mean, isn’t Target ALWAYS inspirational?). Look at this, and then I’ll tell you…
This plaid runner. I was instantly drawn to it because:
1. It’s cute.
2. But more importantly, it reminds me of a flannel work shirt my dad used to wear on our farm when I was a little girl. I stitched up a denim runner to layer under it, since…well, he wore jeans with it, of course!
Aaaaand then, we needed some apples for the centerpiece, since I grew up on an apple farm.
Now maybe this doesn’t speak to you the way it does me, but that’s ok! That’s actually the BEST part about decorating your OWN home…you get to infuse YOUR memories, the things YOU love, and translate what you hold dear into REAL LIFE! It’s kind of like being a painter…just letting the art flow from your soul…but in decor-form. The BEST!
The look on the ladder was simplified quite a bit…that fresh fall look I’ve been craving!
This little aloe plant came from a local farm, and the jute planter is just the soft touch needed on the kitchen counter. One thing missing….
That’s better…one little white pumpkin! 🙂
You may notice there are a few hops sprinkled around for fall, but this year I decided to try using them in a different way…a wreath! It was so much fun, and super easy. I just started tucking the hops into this grapevine wreath, and voila! Perfect addition to the barn door.
Confession. Sometimes I feel so tapped-out in the creative department. I mean, that’s my day job, being creative for others. I was worried about getting our fall decorating done this year, and wondered if I’d feel inspired at all for our own home. I decided to keep it simple and when my designated “decorating day” arrived something crazy happened. Every moment was a treat. For reals. Taking time to ENJOY the process was better than a spa day. Does that sound crazy? It’s true, though. Working to create a cozy environment for my OWN family is the greatest blessing. It might sound frivolous, but make no mistake. The atmosphere you create for your family is important. It’s the backdrop to daily moments that turn into memories FOR LIFE. And that, my friends, is a treasured task.
Before I go, I’m wondering…are you decorating for fall yet? Could you use a little help?
Maybe the thought of re-styling your mantel/coffee table/bookcase gives you hives. (You’re not alone!)
Maybe you LOVE to shop, but then you’re not sure what to do with everything when you get home. (I hear that a lot!)
Maybe you’re wondering how to make it all flow, or thinking, “how much is TOO much when it comes to accessories?”
I’m here for ya!
I’m SO EXCITED about our new online course through Yellow Prairie Academy, all about STYLING. I’d love to help YOU improve your decorating skills in your own home, and give you some tips & tricks I use when styling mantels, built-ins, tables, etc! It’s a fun, low-key course, and my hope is that it feels just like we’re in my living room chatting over coffee (or maybe a Diet Coke!). Pop over and check it out here.
Thanks for stopping by, and happy decorating, friends!
We’re friends, right? So I can tell you what REALLY happened when I decorated my front porch for fall this year?
Awhile back I had this crazy idea to use an old chippy white door as the centerpiece for the porch. My husband and I brainstormed how we could anchor it so it wouldn’t blow over, and I began to plan what else would sit in front of it. The best part about fall decorating is that your decor comes mostly from nature, right? Well, I spent the weekend being 1 hay bale short of glory. 😉 I’ll tell you what that means in a minute.
This last Saturday, we headed to Bauman Farms in Gervais, Oregon, to get our pumpkins. (Have you been? It’s a little slice of heaven!) I was so excited to get home and decorate the porch! We cleared off the summer decor, and started with a fresh slate. Here’s the blank canvas:
Don’t worry, sad little porch, here comes the FALL!
We unloaded the truck and set everything out to begin the process. Little did I know it would take THREE attempts to get it right. Yes, THREE. Ugh.
The front door area was easy. I attached this cute little “Harvest” cut-out, made by Niki at Carpenter Farmhouse, to the basket on the door, and filled in with our farm finds! Mums, hay, corn stalks, and pumpkins…ahhh, yes!
But then. The trouble began.
We anchored the door, and placed a sweet little bistro table in front. I filled in with pumpkins and LOTS of other things, and it was ONE. HOT. MESS. Oh my goodness. TOO MUCH STUFF! It gave me a stomach ache. You know when something just isn’t right? We had to hit the road for a football game, so there was no time to fix it. Nope. I’ll just stew over it all night, K? (I’m gonna show you a pic. But promise you’ll still love me.)
Don’t say “It’s not THAT bad!”…Trust me. It didn’t look good in real life. The bistro table looked too “light” in weight in this scenario, and didn’t make enough impact. Plus can you even DEAL with all of the skinny legs everywhere? It’s making me cross-eyed! 😉
Sunday arrived and after church I decided to FIX IT. It was windy, rainy, and COLD, but I ripped it apart and added a different table (one with more “presence”). Nope. Still bad.
On Monday, it hit me. Maybe if I remove the jumble of decor from under the table, and replace it with one simple hay bale, the look will lock in for me? YESSSSSSSSSSSS. That was it. The hay bale.
Adding something from “nature” was the ticket, and kept it from looking like I was trying too hard. Ya know? So now let’s chat about the other details.
-THE SIMPLE LIFE sign. I have been on the hunt for just the right fall porch sign for awhile. I never found what I was looking for, so the night before we got pumpkins I took matters into my own hands. 😉 I scrounged up a raw board in the garage, put some letter stickers on it, and painted over the entire thing with black craft paint. Then I just peeled the stickers off, and VOILA! Free sign!
-The pillows. I like to think I’m fairly realistic when it comes to decor. I knew I would NEVER find the pillows that were in my head, so I decided to DIY those as well. I ordered some plain burnt-orange outdoor pillows, and stenciled them with white craft paint. Bam. Fun & easy!
-The vintage throw is something we’ve had for years, and I seem to use it every fall in some way. 🙂
-The striped outdoor rug. This little cutie is here pretty much year round, and makes any decor pop. It has never faded and I love it! You can find it here. (Note: this rug is often out of stock, but be sure to sign up for the alert for when it’s back in stock!).
The lesson here? Decorating is all about trial and error. That’s ok. That’s normal. And sometimes all you need is a bale of hay. 🙂
Summer, I heart you. But if you MUST go, it’s time for me to move on and get ready for my other favorite season, FALL!
Yep, while I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, I like to be prepared for the next season. I’m already dreaming about what I envision for my fall front porch, and don’t even get me started on the inside of the house. But that can wait. Let’s talk about you!
Friends. I don’t wanna scare you, but fall marks the beginning of gathering season. It’s that time of year when you’ll host friends and family in your home for all sorts of occasions…holidays, family gatherings, dinner parties, movie night, birthdays…and as the weather turns cooler, we can’t keep everyone on the back patio. 😉 So let’s DO THIS! Let’s get prepared to make your home cozy, welcoming, and beautifully ready for FALL! I’ve rounded up 10 budget-friendly items that are staples during this season (and beyond!). And the best part? You can shop while you’re drinking your coffee and wearing your stretchy pants. 🙂 I know. You love me already.
All set? Let’s dive in! (some affiliate links are included)
1. Gotta start with the cozy-factor. The Farmersville Plaid Check Design Tassel Trim Throw screams fall to me, but since it’s black & white, it would be perfect for Christmas too…or let’s face it, anytime!
If you’re more of a color person, this EXTREMELY budget-friendly Southington 100% Cotton Throw Blanket would be so pretty draped on your sofa!
Ok, just one more throw…in case you need a super soft, cozy blanket, perfect for movie night! I love the clean & simple pattern on the Bertte Ultra Velvet Plush Super Soft Throw Blanket. Get. In. My cart.
2. This Green Wreath comes in a few different sizes, and how pretty would it be hanging on a barn door, a chalkboard, or a mirror? So pretty for autumn!
3. This Recycled Wood Wall-Mount Coat Rack. Please. Just so good. Ok, you caught me…I actually HAVE this coat rack in my own home, and get so many compliments on it! It’s great year-round, but how perfect is it for fall??
4. See? I knew what you were thinking. “What am I going to hang on my coat rack?” 😉 This Paris French Market Basket would look great, and I’m not gonna lie. I’m ordering one right now.
5. Speaking of baskets. This 3 Piece Multi-Purpose Rectangular Iron Wired Basket Set is an AMAZING value! I would stuff at least one of these full of cute little white pumpkins, and put it on an entry table, coffee table, or bench! And hey, you could always use one of them to make up a sweet little gift for a friend or as a hostess gift!
Ok, just one more basket, because baskets are life. 😉 The Seagrass Basket with Handles comes in multiple sizes, and I don’t mean to be over-dramatic, but I want to marry it. So, ya. Oh man. Your house is gonna be lookin’ G-O-O-D.
6. Excuse me while I covet this sign. Absolutely ADORE the simplicity of it…”hello fall.” My sister, Julie, makes the cutest signs and ships all over the US! You can find her on Instagram @signsofserendipity or on Facebook (Signs of Serendipity).
7. I’m a sucker for a custom pillow, and Erin at Porter Lane Home makes the most beautiful, high-quality pillow covers! You can find this beauty here.
I have to include a burlap pillow too, because, well this Grainsack Burlap Throw Pillow is just the cutest!
8. One of the struggles of fall decorating is keeping everything from looking too crunchy and dry. Am I right? This little Echeveria Succulent Plant in Pot is your secret weapon to remedy that exact problem! I can just see it nestled in with some pumpkins on your fireplace hearth or entry table. And bonus! This little guy will look great in your home year-round.
9. Got a plan for your front porch? The Eres Black Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug
would be the perfect backdrop to whatever you decide to do! Pop some pumpkins & corn stalks on the porch, and the graphic punch from this rug will really set it off!
Enjoy the final days of summer, and by the time you pile in the car to get your pumpkins this year, you’ll be well prepared to decorate! Way to go!