Sunday Finds: June Edition

While I’m stuck resting in bed for what seems like the entire summer (but hopefully is not!), I’m finding so many pretty photos of pretty places and spaces and graces. It’s true. So as to not drive my Pinterest followers away with a rib-rest-induced tidal wave of coolness and since I’ve been a wee lax over here among the fresh cuts, I’mma list it in a blog post.

Also, I’m almost finished reading an eye-opening book about finding your true self amidst the weaknesses, sour intentions, temptations, and tendencies of those around you. About being true to yourself against fitting in.  I haven’t been able to put it down and in fact, it’s beautifully written – inspiring me to write.. about beauty (<- blame the Aleve on that one).

I hope you enjoy. It’s a tad random, but doesn’t that feel sort of right on a summer Sunday afternoon?

Happy Pillows via Ada & Darcy

Door / Cabinet pulls to hold hand towels.

via BecauseIliketodecorate Blog | And this is for you because you loved my other DIY headboards to pieces!

Because it’s June… still. 🙂

Love from Julia.

On being brave.

And let this photo swallow you right up into it’s beauty and peace.

Happy Sunday,

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Official Pinterest Announcement!

Hello, hello! And happy Saturday! There was a TON of rain in the forecast for this entire weekend so we rushed and rushed and worked and finished destroying, leveling, sod-planting, and cleaning our front lawn and side yard .. and now – NOW – we’re glued to the sofa and can’t move any muscles in our weary nonnow-athletic bodies. Andrew to the hockey game and me to Pinterest. Which reminded me that I must share some wonderful news: White Tulip Interiors and it’s lil bloggy friend and sidekick, Fresh Cut Spaces, teamed up with their creator (me) and launched our official PINTEREST page! Whoa!

Hop over right here or click the red “P” for lots o’ inspiration and prettiness!

 

 

 

 

 

I pin things like this kitchen…

And this painted bookcase..

And this ladder..

And this orginial artwork..

And this DIY wine crate garden..

Oh, and sometimes I pin things like this sunflower-topped country table..

Please follow via the link above or the “Follow me on Pinterest” button in the upper right corner!! (And see my boards for all links to above photos! None of them are taken by me and I wouldn’t want you to think such a thing!)

Sharpen Your Stencils!

Kidding. Bad pun. But really – maybe, sharpen your stencil skills? Way back in the day, when I was talking about re-vamping our tired stairs, I mentioned wallpaper in this post. However, in an effort to save some dollars and get my creative precision on, I’m thinking stencils. Ya know, when we get on that project… tomorrrrow.

I would like to start with something way less complicated than their home office/playroom project. Kudos, Petersiks!! I’m also considering making my own fabric-stenciled privacy curtain for the new laundry/powder room and think it would be way cool to repeat the pattern in two parts of the house.

Here are a few of my faves (The first 3 are some pretties and the last 3 are some realistic-for-mes.), inspired by one of my favorite design/house-lovin’ blogs over in this lily pond.

Stencil Numero Uno:

Moroccan Arches Stencil, Royal Design Studio, $24-39

Stencil Numero Dos:

Feathered Damask Stencil, Royal Design Studio, $56

Stencil Numero Tres:

Chinese Ginkgo by Kim Myles, via Cutting Edge Stencils, $35

Stencil Numero Cuatro:

via Michelle from Decor and the Dog, Stencil is Nova Trellis from Royal Design Studio, click photo for link

Stencil Numero Cinco:

Nagoya Stencil via Cutting Edge Stencil's Etsy page, $40

Stencial Numero Seis:

(Now this one, I can handle!!! Simple, but a great alternative to art over the bed. Or maybe in a powder room.)

Fern Leaves via Cutting Edge Stencil's Etsy page, $33

This is one of my “happy” projects: picking up art again in any viable form and incorporating it into my home.

Happy Wednesday.

A Fresh-cut Happy Project

I’m starting “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin – for happy book info, hop over to here. I’m already finding a huge difference in my outlook on life, love, and design. (I put a happy color on that title! and I shortened it quite a bit!) To clarify, I’m not miserable or depressed by any means. I really am mostly happy. Yet, as I settle into my late 20’s, I’m feeling the whole “quarter life crisis” (who am I kidding? it’s really not that bad). I’m in that in-between stage where I know enough to know I’m destined for wonderful achievements, but not enough to achieve them by 30. Who wants to do that anyway?! I’m lookin’ at you Mark Zuckerberg. Ha. Rock on. This blog is scheduled to post over on my wall later… Digression. Add that to the list below.

Some words to describe where I am (I can’t believe I’m bolding this!): restless, hopeful, sometimes overwhelmed, scattered, lacking focus, disorganized, cluttered, rushed, inadequate, hasty, moody, busy, chatty, clumsy, totally nerdy, way vulnerable (ahoy, this post is my first step in making a change so I’m a little queasy! in a good way!). <cringe> <boo-hoo> <laughs at self>

Some words to describe where I’d like to be (bold’s okay here!): restful, energized, motivated, accomplished, reliable, thorough, organized, aware, peaceful, confident, focused, unconditionally loving, forgiven/forgiving, respected (by myself, especially), helpful, refreshed, fit, fulfilled, happy.

I heard that some chapter in the first half of the book talks about organizing your belongings and home. Moreover, I heard that this particular chapter will make one want to drop said book and dive into his or her junk drawer and not come out for days until everything is in order. With this in mind, I jump-started my own Happiness Project by tornado-ing my way through both dressers and closets in our bedroom so I wouldn’t interrupt my reading sesh. Next, I went for the junk drawer but sadly lost steam. It was 7pm on a Saturday. A girl’s gotta rest! It was glorious. I felt SO liberated. Clarified. Zen. I’m talking deep clean, people – vacuumed/dusted, changed the sheets (and duvet!!), 9 loads of laundry (not kidding), 4 bags of give-away, 2 bags of dry-cleaning/alterations – the whole sha-bang-a-lang. Yes ma’am, that was just said. My soul felt all happy and clean.

This is about the 3rd ruthless purge I’ve put my house through in the past 2 months. And man – I highly recommend it. I was suddenly content to sit down and study, read, and merely exist without dreading all the “things” I had in my closet and on my to-do list. Oh my, I had to write a to-do list!!

#1. Write a to-do list.

#2. Order “The Happiness Project” on Amazon.

#3. Do stuff.

#4. Do other stuff…

#5. Throw paper balls for my cats..

#6. Eat two bowls of cotton candy ice cream..

#7. Rinse bowl and put in dishwasher.

My personal happiness project is three-fold and will consist of daily accomplishments, goals, inspirations, reminders, design solutions, and ideas.
Fold number 1: being nice to me.
Fold number 2: love (my interactions with my hot man/family/friends/coworkers/strangers).
Fold number 3: my home which is best friends with my passion, interior design.

Simplicity. Balance. Style.

To kick it off, a first step in my journey:

Be happy with and grateful for what I have. Be thankful to myself and my husband for working hard to get where we are and attain what we have. Be thankful for friends and family who’ve supported us every step of the way, especially when we trip on rocks here and there. No, really. Be very happy about this. It’s amazing.

[Not so] Straight-as-an-arrow: Stripes

“On the straight and narrow path,
You need to learn to bend..” – Jake Owen

When I think stripes, I think streamline, classic, structured, and directional. I love when stripes are used outside of the box with whimsy and purpose. And I love when stripes aren’t so literal – think “chevron” and “zebra-print”. I love when they change direction, when they add height, and when they add just a touch of pattern without appearing too busy.

Some excellent, inspirational stripes…

Stripes in Stairwell, a gorgeous foyer | via HGTV.com

Chunky Stripes | via Erin Ever After

Stripes on Bedspread | via Country Living

Stripes Outdoors | via Pinterest / Tumblr

Zig-Zag Stripes - Chevron | via Decor Pad

Safari Stripe - Zebra Rug in a classic space | via Simply Grove

Chevron Stripe as Back Upholstery | 6th Street Design School

There is not enough room in the month to feature stripes, so this shall be a two-part-er.

Until next stripe, enjoy.

2012 and a new furry friend…

Happy New Year everyone!

It’s been a wild, busy, and blessed past few months for us. One thing I’ve been truly missing is blogging daily and weekly.  However, I believe this break to focus on everything else we had started helped me realize that a beautiful, meaningful blog requires time, thoughtfulness, and devotion. It also thrives on passion. Feeling less than devoted in recent months, my husband said something I really needed to hear (He’s good for that): “If it feels like an obligation or forced, skip that day or that week or even that month. The people who love your blog would rather read something you poured your heart into than something you felt like you had to write for them. Write for you.”

This year, I’ll be writing for me and you. Look for posts [every other day or so] with substance, love, and well, a more casual, design-and-life-lovin’ gal behind them. I can’t wait to share the beauty of happiness, home, hard-work, family, and the little things in 2012.

And some news since I last posted – we have a new addition to our happy home. Find purr-ty photo (don’t let that face fool you – she’s rarely this still) and Cat+Home+Style tips below.

Daisy, our adorable/crazy rescued kitty from Chester County SPCA | 9 months old, Christmas Day 2011

Cat-Proof Decor Tips for the New Year

1. Keep kitties busy with crinkled paper balls, cat-nip, plushy toys, and other kitties. This will keep them away from your prized second-hand furniture collection and off your clean tables. Old-fashion re-direction.

2. Store small items like mail, cell-phone cords, and little trinkets in baskets or enclosed, glass door cabinets – out of convenient kitty reach.

3. Provide soft, warm surfaces for cat naps. Keep a lint-roller on hand for inevitable kitty fur left behind from hours of snoozin’. I like fluffy down throw pillows that cradle small curled-up munchkins and can be fluffed back into shape post-slumber.

4. Use pretty, hand-made, food-safe pottery for food & water bowls. Extra cute touch: make them yourself at a Make/Paint Your Own Pottery shop. Adorn with paw prints, names, and little fish skeletons.

5. If you have scratching kitties, look into a stylish scratching post like this one or this one. You can’t even tell what that first one is!

The Elements of Nature

Bringing natural objects into the home is a sure way to add soothing, rustic, and familiar charm to a space. As humans, we are thirsty for a connection with nature. Naturally, when autumn transitions to winter and the days become shorter, we’re spending less time outdoors doing the wild things we love. During the holidays we decorate with colorful leaves, pumpkins, corn husks, pine cones, red berries, and greens. Below are a few inspiring new ways to incorporate nature into your home. Enjoy all year long. | Click images for info/links where available

Succulents Framed via Better Homes & Gardens

Homemade Driftwood Branch Lamp via Design*Sponge

DIY Wolf Den Coatrack via WordPress

Starfish Mirror via Pinterest

Grass in Reclaimed Walnut Table by Emily Wettstein

Handmade Felt Acorns via Mikio Design

Seashell Wreath via Home Stories A to Z (click photo for how-to!)

Pressed Leaves in Frames via Design*Sponge (click photo for how-to!)

The beautiful greens bring fresh life into your space even if they’re pressed in a frame (or growing from a frame!). The acorns, while made of felt, add a hint of organic charm and the coat hooks bring function with old branches. I love that the seashell wreath could be made from a shore trip shell collection, hand-picked and reminiscent of a summer vacation without looking “beachy” or out of place in your inland home. Just a few reasons to love nature indoors. I hope you were inspired. It was highly difficult to limit myself with this post… might need to create a follow-up!


Baby Steps to New Stairs

We’re planning on making over our stairs in the near future and this includes breaking out the palm sander and ordering <are you ready for it> wallpaper. I’ve never personally used wallpaper (with the exception of removing it) so I’m really excited to try it. I always thought wallpaper was un-cool, dated – something our mom’s moms embraced from the fifties through the eighties. Opening doors in our home to dutch scenes layered on faux wood grain wallpaper only proved my point. However, as a designer, I’ve learned to embrace wallpaper and vinyl wallcovering for it’s durability, affordability, and well – you’ll never believe it – style. Yes, I admit. Wallpaper is now “cool” in my book.

The wall we’re accenting is visible from the first floor, so selecting a fun pattern was a no-brainer to add visual interest and unite the two stories. We kept it subtle to avoid a huge block of bright color yelling to us as we entertain in the dining room. The current steps will be stripped, sanded, and refreshed with crisp white risers and dark-finished wood treads to match our railing and mirrored coat closet door on the landing. (I’m glad I didn’t post this a year ago when I originally tried to start.. now that would be quite a stretch between the before and after!) In searching for some how-to’s and inspiration, I rounded up some pretty stair ideas below! Enjoy!

"Before" / "Current" Stairs (Yellow wall is receiving pretty wallpaper!)

The vent to nowhere (literally, we use it to talk between the basement and the first floor) remains a challenge in need of a solution.. /sigh

Dotted Paisley, by Candice Olson via Yorkwall

Can you picture it? Here are some pretty staircases that inspired me after I finished the design and received the appropriate spousal approval. Since we’re equals and all when it comes to interior design… wink wink.

Stairs with patterned risers, via Case Sugar

Stairs with black-painted banister, via Houzz

Stairs with landing, via Danielle Oakey Interiors

Stairs, via Design Is My Muse

Patterned Risers, via Urban Comfort

Numbered risers, via The Good House

Colorful stair runner, via Planet Deco

Hope you’ve enjoyed and feel free to contact me with interest in doing this for me while I watch you and listen to Adele from my sofa.

No worries, I’ll be back soon… Happy Fall!

While I’m takin’ care of some design business shtuff, my little blog has been taking a break. But amidst my busy bee month, I want to share a pretty fall photo with you. The good news: the Santa Fe trip has come and gone, so I have reviews and photos to share with you as promised. Hooray! Beefier posts! I will be mixing the Santa Fe finds in with design updates once we’re back on track.

Many thanks and hugs for your support, patience, and loyalty. You’re loved!

XO

Mums from my thoughtful Mum-in-law last fall...

Man, I missed this… feels nice to pop in if only for a moment.