Friday, July 30, 2010

Tips to Transform a Family Room Part I

Summer Charm Living Room
{Photo Credit}

1. Furniture Placement

Nothing screams lonely more than a room with the furniture lining the walls, they are not your enemies! Bring your sofa & chairs in closer for a  more intimate conversation area, pull those babies off the walls. I always suggest finding a lovely focal point for your room: large window with a view, beautiful art, fireplace, you get the idea and creating conversation areas around that. Please know you can have more than one conversation area in your space, be creative.

living room before makeover
Before Makeover   

yellow walls highlight the artwork above the family room fireplace while the couch faces a clear, glass, mod coffee table
{Photo Credit}After $200 Makeover & Furniture Placement
2. Lighting

Lighting is so important for a space and I don't mean the visit to the ob/gyn kind. Lamps are key here for soft light and a oh so lovely glow. Three is key, I like to do the triangle effect with my placement around the room. Try it, turn on the lamps and turn off our functional ceiling fan/light combo. Cozy AND romantic, hmmm too bad my 7 & 9 year old boys can't appreciate this over their cartoons.

great room
What doesn't everyone's house look like this? ha! I wish! Love the windows, letting the light in!{Photo Credit}

3. Open The Blinds

I love, love, love sunshine, unless it's 115 and I'm outside in it. :)  Opening the blinds brings in so much natural light that floods your space with instant warmth.  It makes quite the transformation in a room that may suffer from dungeonitits, not to mention it's good for us, try it, doesn't it make you feel happy? :) So crank up those blinds and let the sunshine in!

Aladdin Google Image ;)
4. Rugs

   If you're using one please make it 5 x 8 or larger and make sure it is connected to something in the space.  There's nothing quite like the look of a floating carpet in the middle of the room, unless you're Aladdin of course. :o

Midwest Living Photo

5. Bringing the Outside In~ a touch of nature

Bring a touch of nature inside whatever that might be for wherever you live, seashells, sand in a jar, starfish, pinecones, flowers in a vase, pretty hibiscus in a bowl, cuttings from bushes in your yard, rocks from Sedona your kids are saving :), you get the idea. If you feel inclined to purchase indoor plants this is also a nice touch, these nature touches help create life in your room.

6. Declutter

This is the fastest way for me to help my space breathe. Round up the kids shoes, star wars figures, stick collection, ipods and whatever else they manage not to take to their rooms and WOW I do have a lot of space in here (did I mention my pile of design & real estate books?). Now I need to mention in a decor way if you own greenery or flowers from the 80's now may be the time to clear them out. Freshen up your space by removing artificial greenery older than 3 - 5 years old and declutter.

 I just love it when a room is tidy, put together and feels good. What is your toughest room and the challenge with it? We would love to help give ideas!

Have a blessed day~ 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Embracing Who I Am

Vintage Apron photo by M1khaela (flickr)Ten years ago I sat in a seminar listening to a very organized mom talking about how she parented her kids.
She was amazing.
A super mom in my eyes.
I held up my feeble efforts with my three toddlers and determined I stunk as a mother. I thought that maybe if I went home and imitated her, I could enter into the world of super moms.
I mentally listed out what I discerned must be her secret to success and set about to be just like her.
But it didn’t take long to become absolutely miserable. I mentally beat myself up for not having what it obviously took to be a great mom. What was wrong with me?
I begged God to make me just like her- that really good Mom.
And then one day in Bible study I read the story of Mary, the teenage mother of Jesus. My heart beat fast as I realized she didn’t meet the standard of super mom I’d set for myself.
Somehow, just as she was, God chose her to be Jesus’ mother. And the only qualification that she seemed to have was her willingness.
I made the choice to try and let go of all those expectations I had for myself as a mom. I let go of the comparisons to other moms. I laid down the measuring stick of perfection. And I simply bowed my head and gave God my willingness.
Nothing more.
Slowly, I started to see my own unique qualities as a mom instead of always focusing on the places I felt I fell so short.
I may not be the most organized mom, but I’m a fun mom willing to drop my to do list in the name of spontaneity.
I may not do sit down devotions with my kids every morning, but I’m good at helping my kids see God working in situations all throughout our days.
I may not sew a lick, but I know where to find an alterationist that is the bomb.
I may not always keep my cool in the everyday aggravations of life, but throw something big at me and somehow I’ll be the most calm person in the room.
Sure, I have a lot of room for growth in my mothering. God and I work on things daily. But over the past ten years I’ve learned how to embrace who I am and the beauty of living fully as me.
And while I still fall short at times, I’ve finally learned that being fully me is so much better than an imitation version of someone else.
I have the exact qualities God knew my kids would need in a mother. So, each day I hold up my willingness and ask God to make me the best version of me I can be.
Have you ever struggled with this? Whether it’s in the arena of motherhood or your workplace or one of the many places we unfairly compare ourselves to others- realize your great qualities and be fully you.
I found this on a great site you should check out by Lysa TerKeurst, an awesome woman of faith.  When I found her site it felt heaven sent! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

xoxo Julie

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

{Tuesday Thoughts}

"Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fun with Fabric

fabric balls
Better Homes and Gardens ~ Fast Fabric Facelifts

I just love, love, love my Better Homes and Gardens Magazine and of course the website! Every time I get an email from them it's like opening a present for me! The excitement of inspiration to come is thrilling for me.  Yes, a simple girl some may say. :) Inspiration is all around us and I love sharing when I find something quick, INEXPENSIVE and fun!
I'm sharing Fast Fabric Facelifts compliments of my fav place of course... see above if you missed it. :)

Make Decorative Balls

Group together fabric-covered balls to make a great filler for a bowl, a glass vase, or a basket. Cut fabric strips from coordinating fabrics and use glue to adhere the strips to plastic-foam balls. Select a variety of fabric patterns and use both small and large balls for extra interest.

overall of table

Fabric-Filled Dining
Set a mood in your dining room by combining coordinating fabrics to make a powerful statement.
detail of runner

 Pattern-Filled Runner
Stitch up the perfect table runner -- custom-fit to your own table -- by making a fabric "sandwich" with a piece of same-size batting in between. With right sides out and the layers pinned together, sew straight quilting lines through all pieces along the length of the runner. Cover the raw edges with binding tape adhered with fusible web. {On a personal note, I have just cut strips and sewn without batting and I am fond of my fabric glue and fusible web for those who don't like to sew. ;)}

detail of chair cover
Adorable Chair Cover
You don't need to slipcover an entire chair to give it a fresh new look. Make this chair-back cover with just two squares of fabric and use fusible web to adhere a fabric shape to one piece. Finish with coordinating binding tape adhered to the edges with fusible web. {For No-sew..not much to sew... I've done this with inexpensive napkins from Wal-Target, put several together that coordinate and you have a runner!}

Pink pillows
Flirty Pillows
A yard of fabric is all it takes to make pillows as large as 30 X 30 inches. Cut a front and back piece of fabric to the desired pillow size, adding 1 inch to the length and width for the seam allowance. Place the fabric right sides together and pin, leaving an opening for stuffing or pillow form. Sew around the pinned fabric. Reach into the open seam and turn the fabric right side out: press. Insert stuffing or pillow. Hand-stitch opening closed.

DIY Tip: Create ruffles from ribbon by sewing two rows of basting stitches 1/4 inch apart down the center of the ribbon, leaving long trends. Pull the bottom threads to gather into ruffles.
{Yes, most of us know how... but for those who don't... here it is!}

Fabric patchwork headboard

Patchwork Headboard

Use scraps of coordinating fabrics to create a modern patchwork-effect headboard. To make the headboard, cut 8-inch squares from stiff florist's foam and 1/4-inch plywood. Cut 8-inch squares from quilt batting and place over foam squares. Glue all layers with Styroglue. Cut fabric into squares large enough to wrap the foam squares with at least a 1/2 -inch overlap on the back. Staple fabric to the back with a staple gun. Cut a piece of 1/4-inch plywood a few inches wider than your mattress on both sides. Line up the squares facedown in your desired pattern and attach them to each other with heavy-duty tape. Top them with the plywood, and drill wood screws at 8-inch intervals to secure all the layers. Attach ring hooks to the back of the plywood to hang the headboard on the wall. 
{Please check on the florist's foam toxicity, not sure if it is, so please don't eat your headboard or let your children! :) }

For more fun ideas on fabric check out their site, lots to love and see. Let me know your favorite things to do that's quick and inexpensive with fabric.

Yellow console table with curtain 

 Have a blessed day!     
xoxo Julie

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Livin' the Catalog Life

Faux Rose Stem
Pottery Barn Pic

Just stoppin' in to give a hot little howdy for my friends out there and to say... how's your weekend? My week got away from me and projects went astray, but, I did do a little browsing of home decor catalogs this week. :) Don't ya just love some of the stuff in catalogs? Ahhh... if only I didn't have to pay the mortgage AND have electricity this month. ;)

I LOVE the inspiration and ideas I can find from flipping through various catalogs. I often times find myself laughing at some of the pictures as well.  Just last night I was flipping through a catalog, I will not name, which had pages upon pages of sofas and chairs with "document print" for the fabric. Now I ask you, who in their right mind would want a sofa that looks life five year olds got a hold of it?? Really? Is it kind of like your last day at school... "here, sign my shirt". "Oh... I'm moving... here.. sign my couch".  hmmm... 

 The swatch of Document Fabric in question.  I will personally pass on furniture with fabric of that design. eeks!

I have to tell you about a new site I happened upon recently called Catalog Living, oh... my... word! I was even scolded by my six year old to stop the convulsive laughing as I browsed the site, I was too loud and interrupting his Wii game. Ha! 

The author of the site has created a fictional couple, Gary and Elaine, who live within the catalog pictures, and she pokes fun at the gorgeous pictures we love.

Here's a sample and a laugh for you...

"Sure Gary's out of town, but I'm perfectly capable of starting a fire in the fireplace by myself, thank you very much."

"Oh that?  That's my Wish Plant.
It's where I clip pictures of people I want dead."

"If you go to Game Night at Gary and Elaine's,
 you can count on playing at least a few rounds of Wood Fish."

"Gary hung the chandelier for me as a surprise. Why heavens no, I've never raised my head enough to see what it's hanging from.  Let's just enjoy our limes under glass."

"Gary got that idea from a parking lot in New York.  Sure the kids get rope burn climbing into bed, but their upper-body strength is amazing."

I hope you had a good laugh, check out the site for more entertainment from the author/comedian Molly Erdman. Let me know what your favorite catalog love is and share what funny pics you've seen recently!

Bosphorus BowlsHave a Blessed weekend~

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thoughts for Tuesday

It's full blown summer here in the lovely Valley of the Sun, errr... or is that Death Valley... no, no, just kidding. I can only say by mid July you begin to rethink your sanity for living in the desert, as the temperatures sore to a lovely 109 and above. But hey, on the upside we may have some storms and a high of 106 by the weekend! Woo hoo! 

Truly what did people do before air conditioning, let me count my blessings. :) No, really, it's lovely here most months, I promise! I love it!

Let me give you some Tuesday Thoughts to cool you off and keep you sane if you're going crazy from the heat.

Let's think summer colors, adding pops of color, small changes to shake things up a bit. Let's think bedrooms today... our retreat areas... our private oasis if you will... 

If you can afford new bedding for summer that's great, if not add splashes of color to what you already have. Changing out dull curtains and adding fresh colored ones adds drama to a room. Additional accessories in the same color  scheme will add more flair: candles, flowers, toss pillows, a throw at the end of the bed, perhaps a new piece of wall art, fresh colored towels for the bathroom, a new lamp or refurbished lamp or maybe just color added to the lamp shade!

The possibilities are endless...

Wall colors can be changed for a very low cost and a great impact. I can feel DIY projects coming on! Are you excited? Are you feeling creative? What a great way to stay out of the gruesome heat and feed your creativity. So start thinking how you can throw some cool changes into your home with very little spent! Feel free to share your great ideas for fun summer decorating tips, we would love to hear from you!                                                   
"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge it's rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures" Proverbs 24:3-4

Have a blessed week~

Bedroom Pics by House Beautiful