home decor

Love Your Home

Recently I was chatting with Taylor at Porch.com and she asked me to share about my “happy place” at home. This sounded like too much fun to pass up, so here I am! Have you heard of Porch.com? Porch is a home network that allows you to find the right professionals, get inspired, and manage your home….for free! 

 A little over 5 years ago, we bought our first house. We discussed living here for about 5-10 years until there were a few little feet running across these floors and we were feeling cramped. Then we were going to move on to something bigger and better. Now I’m trying to find ways to stay here forever. We’ve turned this little blank slate of a house into our home.

They key to having a home that we love and never want to leave has been this : only have things that we absolutely love, mean something special to us, and make our way of life more enjoyable. That means we ignore the lists online that tell us whether our home and belongings are on or off trend. If we love it, it stays. That also means we work to make sure our home is a sanctuary, for us and those who cross our threshold. We love to have friends and family over and to host parties and get-togethers. We want everyone to feel comfortable and at home! 

#loveyourhome

One of my absolute favorite corners in our home checks off all 3 items on our “how to love our home” list. That corner is the coffee bar!  This little space in my kitchen is my happy place. If you’ve been here long enough, you’ve learned of my obsession with coffee. I’ve even got a steaming cup of joe smack dab in the middle of my logo. It’s not so much the life giving nectar that this coffee bar provides that makes it my happy place. Although, that is a nice bonus! This little corner provides much more than a jolt of caffeine. 

#loveyourhome

Many special and important conversations have been had over a cup of coffee brewed in this very spot. It has been an essential part to our at-home date nights and late night visits with family and friends. When we hit a mental road block with our adoption paper work, we poured two cups and got to work together to finish that stack. We have done the same while celebrating immense joys with our friends like weddings and babies; and deep sorrows like the loss of loved ones. 

#loveyourhome

We have been lucky enough to inherit a few special things from loved ones that we have incorporated throughout our home decor. Our coffee corner is no exception! The cabinet was actually my great-grandmother’s china cabinet. It was a bit beat up and didn’t quite fit the look of our home, so I spruced it up a bit. The cabinet holds a few special items given to me by my grandma. My favorite is the beautiful sea foam green tea set. It belonged to her grandmother. She and a few of her friends bought matching sets and took turns hosting each other each week for tea. These things are sweet reminders of special people, and just part of making this house feel like home. 

#loveyourhome

 This little space is just one of the ways we’ve made our home so special! 

Now, I want to see your happy place in your home! Post a photo on Twitter or Instagram with #loveyourhome ! 

{you can read more about our coffee bar and find sources here}

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I Carry Your Heart in My Heart {Valentine’s Day Mantel}

I love Valentine’s Day. Well, really I love Valentine’s Day decor. It goes back to elementary school; decorating “mail boxes” and passing out Valentine cards and candy. I just can’t quite get enough of the pink and red hearts and paper doilies. 

So, of course, I love putting up a few Valentine decorations in the house. I especially enjoy decking the mantel for the day of love! This year’s mantel features a few of my favorite things : chalk art, vintage and handmade! 

Happy, handmade Valentine's Day mantelThe focal point of the mantelscape is the large printed chalk art, based on the famous E.E. Cummings poem. You can purchase the downloadable file from Caravan. I had an engineer print done at Staples for around $4. 

Happy, handmade Valentine's Day mantelMost of the rest of the mantel is recycled from last year’s. The adorable felt heart garland is by Aidie’s Hideaway. You can read about how to make the faux antique brass letters here.

Happy, handmade Valentine's Day mantel I bought a grocery store bouquet of white spider mums and used my blue jars as vases.The antique mason jars are leftover from our wedding and have gotten so much use since then!

Happy, handmade Valentine's Day mantelThe flowers got an extra dose of fun with Happy Flags from Natalie Creates.  

Happy, handmade Valentine's Day mantel

Happy, handmade Valentine's Day mantelAren’t they cute?? :)

Happy, handmade Valentine's Day mantelDo you put up any Valentine decorations, or are you still enjoying the post-Christmas breathing room? 

“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)I want no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)”
E.E. Cummings

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Home Tour – Kitchen and Plans

Happy Friday, y’all! The long awaited weekend is upon us! I’m planning on soaking up every bit of sunshine I can this weekend. We went over 10 days without one sighting of the sun and it just about near killed me. I like a little bit of cold, but I need the sunshine to accompany it! I’m high maintenance. ;)

Today is the last stop on the Like a Saturday Home Tour. Today I’ll be showing you our long and narrow kitchen, and discussing our plans. 

kitchen-home-tour

Although I still have quite the list of updates I’d like to make to our kitchen, this room has come such a long way from when we purchased the house! 

kitchen before 2This is the kitchen looking from the living room. This room couldn’t look more 1992 builder grade if it tried. Vinyl flooring, cream laminate counters, orange oak cabinets, flourescent lighting and one grimey ceiling fan. 

kitchen beforeAnd the view from the breakfast nook looking towards the living room. We have a small, galley style kitchen that is long and narrow.  

kitchen-tour-1And here is what the kitchen looks like now. Since the living room and kitchen are open to each other, so we carried in the same flooring and paint color for continuity. It seems bigger in here and just flows better. 

kitchen-tour-5My number one goal in this room is to paint the cabinets white. Of course, I’ve waited until the year that we’ll be bringing a baby in our home to seriously start planning it out. It may or may not happen in 2015. :)

kitchen-tour-sinkI’m so happy to have a window over the sink. Even though we mostly just see the activity in our neighbors driveway. #burblife

Other updates I’d like to make are replacing the laminate counters and updating to a subway tile backsplash. The good thing about having a small kitchen is it costs so much less to make major upgrades like that. I’ve also had my eye on that Ikea farmhouse sink for a long while. How darling would that be? Those hooks on the sides of the cabinet are going when we paint. I’m thinking some shelves like this would be totally adorable and add to the modern farmhouse vibe I’m going for. 

kitchen-window-postcard

kitchen-tour-coffee-bar

My coffee bar is my absolute favorite part of the kitchen. Not only does it supply me with life juice, it’s also pretty cute. You can read more about it here

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kitchen-home-tour-breakfast-nook

At the end of our kitchen is the breakfast nook, complete with bay windows. Confession time. When I was a kid, I used to design my own floor plans on graph paper. For fun. Every last one of them included a bay window in the kitchen. Dreams do come true! 

kitchen-tour-2

kitchen-tour-4And the last part of the kitchen is the stove area. It’s tiny, but it does the job! I’m a bit globe obsessed and have displayed part of my collection on the top of the cabinets. I’m not usually one for stuff on tops of cabinets, but I actually really like these here. 

kitchen-tour-3On this little sliver of wall, I have a tiny eclectic plate collection. The top one is from Home Goods, but the bottom two belonged to my Grandma. The plate in the middle is Hopalong Cassidy, which brings me endless amounts of joy. It’s the little things, y’know. ;)

You can read more about our small pantry and how I organize it here

I’ll leave a list of sources and links to projects found in my humble little kitchen at the bottom of this post. 

Now that we’ve come to the end of this tour, I want to know what your favorite room in YOUR home is. Tell me about it! 

You can find the complete home tour here. 

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Kitchen Sources

Gold Dipped Bar Stools

“Wake up and smell the Coffee” Printable – DIVart on Etsy

School House Light Fixture – Home Depot

Woodland Creature Plates – Target circa 2012

Chandelier – Pottery Barn

EAT Faux Zinc Letters 

Cookie Jar – Crate & Barrel {from a few years ago} – Similar here

Anthro Inspired Cake Stand

Chalkboard Menu