Archives For styling

Hello friends! Though I haven’t been posting as much lately I promise I’ve been busy behind the scenes. I got a new job (!) and I’m adjusting to my new schedule, but I’ve got lots of projects in the works.

First up, I’d like to introduce a new series which I’m calling (for lack of a better title) the Use What You’ve Got Series. It’s exactly what it sounds like. I’ll be going to different people’s house and helping them with a specific project using what they have on hand to help them create a look they love!

So many times when I’m unsatisfied with how a wall or table is decorated and styled I get stuck in that spiral of ‘if only had this or that I would like it. Or if I only had more money to spend on this or that I would be happy with how it looks.’ But it doesn’t always have to be like that. Chances are you have a lot of great things in your house that just need to be moved to the right place or grouped differently to get the look you want (or at least tide you over until you can afford what you want).

First up is my friend Kristen’s mantle. Kristen and I grew up together and we reconnected when her and her mom, Kim, came to the Irvington Home Tour. It seriously made my day to see them there and we decided to get together soon. Cut to me coming over to Kristen’s house and helping her style her mantle.

We started with this blank slate:

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After trying about three other pieces (a piece of art, a mirror, a screen), we landed on this arrangement:

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Normally for a mantle I prefer to use one large piece of art or a mirror but this series is all about using what you’ve got and I really the use of two pieces here. We combined a canvas print from her wedding and a cool window pane from an auction (which she plans on painting words on).

Then we added accessories. I would ask for something tall or books or something with color and her and her mom would scurry around the house to find stuff. It’s amazing what most people have hidden in other rooms and in boxes. The middle of any project looks crazy like this:

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But the end result is worth it!

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I Photoshopped (yeah, I got Photoshop NBD – actually just kidding, it’s a huge deal and I’m in love) over the window (poorly, I am aware, I just got the program, I’m learning) to show what it could/will look like when she paints words on the window pane.

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My favorite part of this series is that it can give life to items that have been hiding in your spare room or basement.

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That brown jar is from Kristen’s trip to Romania and it means a lot to her that it is now out and visible on the mantle.

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The blue Mason jars are from her wedding.

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And the shamrock plaque celebrates her Irish ancestry.

So there you have it, a meaningful and “free”update to a super awesome house (seriously, her and her husband have done an amazing job on their house!).

Do you want to a part of this series? If you want me to come to your house and help you style a specific area of your home here is the criteria:

– You live in the greater Indianapolis area

– You have a specific area in mind that you want help with and you are willing to act on the project while I’m there (for example, if you want me to help you lay out a gallery wall, you’ll need a hammer and nails because we’re hanging them up that day!).

– You have to be willing to let me photograph our project for use on this here blog ūüôā I’ve decided to do this series as a free service because I love doing this sort of stuff and it gives me content for my blog. It’s a win-win!

– I won’t be able to get to everyone but I’d like to do one a month so if you are interested and you fit the criteria fill out the Contact form and we’ll get the ball rolling! Get excited!

Photographs of my Bathroom

November 6, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bathroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

This is my dining room as of September 2013, enjoy!

My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

This is the exterior and entryway of my house as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Kitchen Photographs

October 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is my kitchen as of September 2013, enjoy!
Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 5 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

I have a lot of stuff. I’m no hoarder or anything but I have significantly more than I need (I mean, don’t we all?). The problem isn’t that I can’t get rid of stuff (I’m an excellent purger of things), but instead that I just don’t want to get rid of my things. I have really great things. As a compromise (with myself; is that weird?), I decided I could keep all the things I love as long as they extra stuff fits in a small box in my closet. Yes, I have to rotate my toys¬†decorative items out like a child.

This is embarrassing, but here is my secret stash:

It’s not pretty but on the other side of the wrapping paper is a box full of frames, decorative objects, and other miscellaneous items that I love but don’t have space for it right now.

Recently, I noticed that the shelf above my sink and the open shelving above my stove were getting a little cluttered. All my pretty things were getting a little out of hand so I did a little restyling and streamlining.

BEFORE
AFTER
 BEFORE
 AFTER

Most of this stuff just got shuffled, but if you ever see something where before there was something else, you can pretty much guarantee it is from my secret toy box.

Buy Art: Maps Edition

February 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

I love maps. I love old maps, new maps, weird maps, and interactive maps. And pretty much any time that I see one I want to buy it. Surprisingly, I only have two…

This old map is from my Grandpa. It is on foam core and it’s a map of the ‘Soviet Union’ and I mostly just like it because it is orange.
My scratch map is newer. You can buy one here. I love it so much because you can scratch off where you’ve been, it’s a take on those ‘sticking a pin in the places you’ve been’ maps.
You really can’t go wrong with a map on the wall since they are gender neutral and come in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes. Here is a round up of some awesome map art:
I love the simplicity of this Chicago rail map. Surprisingly, it’s only $19.99 from Art.com. They also carry a bunch of other rail maps from other major cities.
If you ever see an old roll-up school map for heaven’s sake buy it! Those things are like the gold every thrift store shopper is searching for. Of course, you can buy them online (like this one from Etsy seller RibbonsAndRetro for $89) but they are going to cost more online mostly because of shipping. Your best bet is to go hunting in your city and hope you find one for a good price.
I really like this map by Bianca Green. It would look great in a layered Bohemian room or a little girl’s room. It is a really good price too, the large print is $32.00 and there are smaller ones for a smaller price (sold on Society6).
A literary map of England? Count me in! I studied Jane Austen in England for a month in college and I literally think about it once a week (I’m serious). There is an American version too which is pretty cool. This poster is only $18.73! Buy it from The Literary Gift Company here.
Bold&Noble is this really cool company that makes typographical art. I love their maps section of course. They have everything from the world to individual cities. All prices are in pounds but the conversion makes most of their prints, including this one of Africa, about $67. Not cheap, but they are just so cool.
If you are already laughing that’s a good thing because I did just sneak a huge wall map from Sky Mall into this post about art. I know, I know, Sky Mall… but I love this giant wall map and I think it would look awesome in just about any room (dining room, kid’s room, the hallway). Just think, for $149.95 you can have a major piece of ‘art.’ Buy it here or just wait until the next time you fly.
Michael Tompsett has 169 different versions of map art on art.com. It’s kind of insane (there is one that is just a bunch of tiny¬†dinosaurs grouped to make the shapes of countries … ???). I really like the watercolor ones like this map of Ireland in shades of green. Beautiful. It is a large print (20″ x 24″) for $47.99 so not too bad, buy it here.
Maps don’t have to be super traditional, they can be fun too like this sweet vintage map of Paris. I like how it is a combination of famous landmarks and roads. Buy it here for $29.99.
I’m not crazy in love with this map (it’s a little muted for my taste) but I do like the idea of a map being broken up into sections like this. It would be a pretty easy DIY if you were able to find a large map and then cut it and frame the sections. Or if you you’d rather spend money instead of time you can buy this one for $143.99 from World Market.
I think it is really cool to have a map of the city you live in or one you’ve lived in previously. I’ve wanted this neighborhood map of DC since I lived there but for some reason have never sprung for it. It’s even a reasonable $22.00 (here from Ork Posters).

Are you into maps as wall art? Are you drawn to certain cities or countries over others? I love a good world map, but I’m also really drawn to any map of New York City or Paris.

This is a completely subjective list of things that I think every house should have:

1) Art.

Everyone’s definition of art is different so no matter what you think art is, you should have some. Maybe you can only afford posters and family pictures, great! Frame them and get them on the wall. I like to think of my walls as a storyboard all about me (narcissist¬†much?). When people come over and look at my gallery walls they are getting a glimpse of who I am as a person by what inspires me or makes me laugh.

2) A plant.

Or two or three. I once read that being able to keep a houseplant alive is a sign of mental wellbeing and since I generally believe everything I read (especially on the internet) I went a bought a plant¬†immediately. I’ve had probably ten over the past few years, some die quickly and others have lasted years only to be killed in a 600 mile drive (RIP Orchid 2006-2008), but regardless they have made my living spaces more beautiful no matter how long they last. I currently have four in varies stages of ‘alive-ness’ but I like the way they look and I think they help indoor air quality (just googled it, they do).

3) Something funny.

Lord Byron said it best, “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” Have something or many things in your house that make you laugh, even if no one else gets it. Actually, especially if no one else gets it.

4) Something old.

I like old things, not just because they often look cool, but because they have a history. Several of my old pieces are from my Grandpa and I like to think about how he found them and where they lived before they came to me. Being open to the chips and cracks and all the imperfections of old items is a good metaphor for life.

5) Books.

I need to have books wherever I live. Even in my¬†dorm room¬†in college I had a small bookcase just because I needed a few of my favorite books with me (holla Jane Austen!). Bookshelves are sort of like my gallery wall, if people look at my bookshelf they can get a pretty good idea of who I am as a person by what I read. And let’s be honest, you look smarter if you have a lot of books around!

What would be on your list if you made one? I’d love to hear what five things you need to have wherever you live!

I had a request (a while ago) for a post about how to style the top of cabinets. It’s a great post idea because decorating unused space is hard to do. The top of cabinets are generally too high to store things that will be used regularly so they are basically just dead space (hence the trend to take cabinets all the way to the ceiling or have open shelving). I really enjoy decorating but it’s hard even for me to style dead space.

In this house I do not have open cabinet tops so this isn’t really an issue for me.

But I do have a large bookcase and I plan to get another one soon which is essentially the same thing – dead space that isn’t accessible but it still needs …. something.
Here is the current state of the top of my bookshelf. A stack of books and twin greyhound statues. Nothing fancy or striking.
But the request got me thinking because eventually (hopefully sooner than later) I will be getting my dream bookcase which will have six feet of dead space that I will have to fill so I did some research. Here are six objects or collections you can use to help fill any dead space in your house (top of cabinets, bookshelves, ledges, etc):
1) Globes. 
I love this trend of layered globes. The best part about this version of dead space decorating is that you can get globes for pretty cheap if you look hard enough. The globe in my entry way is from a thrift store for $12. Yesterday at a thrift shop I saw a black globe (those are much harder to find) for $25. It would be a fun collection to start because you can always have your eye out for one. You can also enlist your friends to look for you too. Besides being affordable, this look is also great because it has such a strong color impact. To further add to the visual appeal you can stack them on books or put them on stands to give the look a more layered feel.
2) Baskets.
Baskets can go kitschy-country fast, but what I like about the baskets in these images is that they are big and bold. If you put a few small baskets up on top of cabinet they are going to look lost and sad but large baskets will fill the space better. I also like how the texture and color of the baskets contrasts so nicely with the white kitchens they are in. If you have stained wood cabinets try white baskets for a similar look.
3) Your (fill in the blank) Collection. 
Whether you are a collector of wine bottles, milk glass, vintage thermoses, or vintage tins; dead space is the perfect place for your collection. My theory on collections is that they look better all in one place. For example, I collect pencil sketches from the places I travel and I found that I like them best all grouped together as opposed to spread out around my house. The visual impact of a bunch of like items in one place is very strong.
4) Monochromatic Layering. 
It’s simple; pick a color and get a bunch of items in that color. Go!
5) Plates.
Decorative plates were once reserved for your granny but times are a changin’. I don’t own a decorative plate but I get the appeal. My good friend collects state plates and they look awesome hanging on her wall. You could do a certain color¬†palette, florals, toile, or Little House on the Praire¬†commemorative¬†plates… the options really are endless. It could be something that you start to collect or it could just be a matter of visiting a few thrift shops and seeing what you find.
6) Framed Art.
Everybody knows I’m obsessed with gallery walls so it’s natural that I’d want to stick art up there. It’s actually a small miracle that I haven’t stuck art above my cabinets yet (although I’ve thought of it often). ¬†This also a pretty inexpensive way to decorate dead space. I like both the uniform look and the messier leaning look, either could work depending on the space.
I hope that was helpful! I really enjoyed looking around to find all these images, makes me want to start collecting stuff. Just remember, as long as you don’t resort to fake ivy and birdcages (like my Mom in the 90’s) you are good!