Friday, January 25

Staying in

I don't know about you, but where I live it has been freezing at night!  So much so that I am not motivated to go anywhere that involves stepping into the cold night air.

If you live in a year - round warm weather state; keep reading....this post works for you too!

I think by now I have shared my love for entertaining guests and hosting and along with that comes an element of decor, which, hello.....I love that too! 

Not many people realize these things kinda go hand in hand.  When you create a beautiful space or tablescape, it makes the entertaining experience that much more enjoyable.  Think about it, when you go to a restaurant, wine bar or lounge, the first thing you are attracted to is usually the mood, the ambiance, the decor....right?  Right.

So remember that when you are entertaining at home.  This is not the time to use paper plates or red Solo cups.  Take a little effort in setting a nice scene at home.  Light candles, pull out real wine glasses, set your appetizers or meal on real plates or a pretty tray.  It makes a huge difference.

If you dont have entertainment pieces, that's ok.  Use what you have now, but the next time you are out shopping, stroll down the aisle of entertainment ware.  Or browse sales online and slowly build a collection.  It is definitely worth having. 

Tonight, I am enjoying a simple snack of wine, crackers, pimento cheese and olives.  Not all that exciting BUT once you set the scene, take a look at the transformation.  I bet you wish you were here 😊


In case you're interested, here are the items pictured:

Muse Wine Glass
Marble Wine Chiller
Square Marble Tray w/ Gold Handles
Round Marble Tray w/ Gold Handles
Marble Coaster w/ Gold Edges
Gold Cheese Knife Set

Monday, January 21


You've heard of Pinterest before, right?  Of course you have.  Well, for someone like me, Pinterest is a super useful tool that helps me visualize and get inspired.  I pin anything that attracts me:  pretty rooms, recipes, hairstyles, shoes, handbags, paint colors, dogs, everything and anything that grabs my attention.  Whether I have a need for the image I pin or not, if it looks good, I am pinning it! 

Funny how those pins end up sitting in your folders for weeks, months, years maybe!  Well, one day, when my husband and I were doing the plans for our basement we decided on adding a wine room to the floor plan and I distinctly remembered a pin I had saved a while back.  I am not sure why I even pinned it, because at the time, we had not even thought or talked about a wine room. I just thought of it as an attractive image, a nice idea, for someone who had a wine room or space in their home for it.

Thinking about it now, as I type this, maybe I visualized my wine room into reality; like the way it is explained in the book "The Secret",  hmmmm.

Anyway, getting back on topic, this is the pin that I saved years ago of that wine rack; modern with simple angled lines.

Well, once we started on finishing our basement, I showed our carpenter the picture of and he worked his magic. 

This image below is the exact one that I pinned and was inspired by.

Here is what our carpenter created....pretty identical right?  Ours is narrower obviously since the niche we had carved out for the rack is skinner.  (This photo is before paint and putty were applied).

Painted and finished!  We chose Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams.

Side by side shot:  Pinterest vs. Reality

Last view.  I realize this room is coming across really gray in pictures.  It is not this gray in real life :)
Anyway the point of this post is my custom wine rack; I couldn't be happier.  I think our carpenter did an amazing job!  I love that it is a unique wine rack and not something you see all the time in wine rooms.  The design is much more in line with our aesthetic.

So what do you think?  Is our version Pinterest worthy?  If you think so, Pin it!! πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘
Decor details...
Moravian Star Pendant (I have the mercury glass finish)
Evans Mirror
Wall Letters

Friday, January 18

Happy Friday!!

I don't know how your week was, but my week is ending with wine, cocktails and friends!  With it still being winter and all πŸ‘Ž we decided on staying in and inviting friends over to enjoy adult beverages and appetizers.  Why deal with the cold, rain or snow when you can create a fun bar-like atmosphere at home!

I love entertaining at home and it's pretty easy to set the mood, the ambiance and the scene with just a few simple things.  Now, I know not everyone has a bar cart at home, even though they are on trend right now and just about everywhere.  From Target, to Crate and Barrel, you can find a functional bar cart to park in a small corner of your home for little get together's like this.

When you're not using it for company or a party, bar carts are a really good home decor item!  You can set a cute plant to it, maybe a stack of hardcover coffee table books, an array of candles on candlesticks or use it to display wines and spirits.  Versatile it is!

I created the design board above to give you a visual of the few things you need to use the bar cart for a quick informal get together.  Obviously you need a bar cart but if you don't have one, setting up on a small table or kitchen island is fine.....but promise yourself that one day soon, you'll pick up a bar cart.

1. Bar Cart: No explanation needed here -- although a suggestion; pick one with wheels.  This way you can freely move it around your house, or in the warmer months, move it outside for BBQ's, maybe as a condiment station, or a moving bar.  Just be careful and use outdoor glassware.

2. Marble Coasters: Really any material will do, but adding the marble coasters adds a touch of class

3. Ice bucket: Never forget the ice!  If you're making cocktails, you're gonna need ice.  Keep the ice in one neat spot by purchasing a small stylish ice bucket.

4. Wine Glasses:  I am HUGE on using actual wine glasses.  I love a beautiful, large wine glass.  It makes drinking wine more enjoyable and to be honest, yes, it does enhance the experience.  I would suggest setting out both stem and stemless wine glasses and then letting your guests grab what they prefer.

5. Marble Wine Chiller: Attractive and functional.  Don't skimp out on this essential piece!  Especially if you have white wine lovers over.  The wine chiller will really help to keep your white or red wine chilled.  You're going to have to go with marble as it gets super cold, really fast and stays cold for a long time, hence keeping your bottle of wine chilled.  This piece is also super attractive on your bar cart, table or countertop.  *Tip - Don't forget to place the wine chiller in your freezer 30 minutes before guests arrive so that it has time to get nice and cold.

6. Wine Decanter: I love these things....they make the bar cart look so sexy and vintage!  If you are a red wine drinker and like for your wine to breath, you cannot go wrong with a decanter.  Add a second if you are opening multiple bottles.  You'll use the decanter to serve your wine, instead of wine bottle.  It also lends to the wine drinking experience (Can you tell I really enjoy a nice glass of wine 😊)

7. Straws: Yes, you are going to need straws if you are making cocktails.  Grab some pretty straws guys, not plastic birthday party straws.  You can find these at Home Goods, T. J. Maxx, Target etc.  Often forgotten, but definitely needed.

So that's all that you need to set up a really attractive and functional bar cart.  I promise you, with these few key pieces, your friends will be impressed and your little bar cart corner will be the talk of the evening.

Cheers! 🍷🍸

Monday, January 14

Styling a plain wall with reclaimed wood planks

If you live in a two story house, you probably have this same dilemma waiting for you at the bottom of the stairway landing        :::::a plain wall::::::

If you are like me, you've probably tried to find ways to dress the expansive blank space with something fun and stylish like a gallery wall of family photos, or a tall leaning mirror, maybe even an array of art arranged in a vertical line to camouflage the blank space.  I did all those things too, but, I was never satisfied with the end result; it lacked character and 'ooomph' until one day while strolling through Home Depot I saw a box of reclaimed wood planks (!!!!!).

I knew immediately that these wood planks (made of REAL wood) would be perfect for the stairwell landing going into our finished basement/mancave.   The tall plain boring wall.

So here is what the reclaimed wood looks like.  A mix of wood tones that can be cut to size to fit your space.  They can be added to a wall, a ceiling or wrapped around your kitchen or bar island for a rustic look, maybe.

I really love this look; especially for a small space; it's an easy way to add character and an absolute DIY, with the right tools.

In our case, since we were already in the process of finishing our basement, we asked the carpenter to put the planks up for us.  We used about 6 boxes and had very little scraps left over.  The nice thing about this look is you can use the scraps to fill in the spaces as you move along in the installation process.  It adds more of a rustic, unfinished look; the look we were going for as you head into the man-cave.  Totally masculine, but also neutral enough to go with any type of decor you have going.

Once our carpenter measured and cut, he attached the wood directly to the dry wall with a nail gun.  **Important - you must attach and nail into the wall at the stud.  This makes sure the reclaimed wood you are attaching is secure and won't loosen over time.  From the progress pics below, you will see vertical lines drawn onto the wall.  These are simply the stud markers so that he knew where to nail the wood as he moved along in the process.  From start to finish, it took him about 2 hours.

*Not the best quality in progress photo but I wanted you to see what I mean about marking off the studs.

2 hours later........

Pretty impressive!  I still ended up styling the wall, because as I mentioned before, these are the stairs going into the basement, which is also the man cave, which also has a bar.  To sort of set the mood for guests going into this area I added the words B-A-R to the wall.

The letters are made of galvanized steel and I purchased these at Hobby Lobby.

This wall is definitely a conversation starter; almost everyone who sees it in person feels it -- I guess to see if its real wood - it is!  It a raw unfinished wood, in it's natural state (it isn't rough to the touch where you would get splinters).  We also changed our the flush mount builder grade "boob" light for this oil rubbed bronze chandelier. If you have been following me for awhile, then you know my goal is to change every builder grade light out for a more custom look in our home.

Should you decide to take on a project like this; you won't regret it.  A much better alternative to a picture collage or leaning least in my opinion.

Here are the direct links to the items used in case you decide to DIY :)  Have fun!

* Reclaimed wood planks
Galvanized steel wall letters 
* Chandelier (we have this exact one in oil rubbed bronze, but it is no longer avail in that finish) here is a similar alternative.
* affiliate links used

Thursday, January 10

Cozy Corner ☕️

After posting pictures of my home office earlier this week and then looking back at the photos of the room itself; I had the sudden urge to rearrange the furniture.  Not that there was anything wrong with the set up before, I just felt like the room needed a small change; a little tweaking.....and this urge, for me, is normal; it happens a lot.  Rearranging furniture gives me the feeling of a new space, new creativity and new energy; all with the same furniture and for zero dollars!

What did I do?  Nothing major; but, I love the impact and open-ness the room now has!  I simply moved my desk to face the french doors, so that when sitting I can see straight out towards the foyer.  My back now faces the wall instead of the windows, and I moved the armchair over to the corner ,which now serves as a good spot for visitors to sit and chat or to use primarily as cozy spot to sip tea or coffee and scroll social media πŸ˜›.

To help you achieve the same look; I've linked a few key items below πŸ’•

*Floor Lamp
*Side Table
*Armchair with nailhead detail
*affiliate links used

Monday, January 7

My Home Office

Home offices are pretty popular these days.  From being a touch down space to handle home expenses or a homework station for kids, home offices are pretty important.  My home office is used as just that; an office.....and a place to create and blog.

I am lucky enough to work for a company that promotes working remotely and as a result, I work from home every day :)  My office also acts as my creative space after work hours so I wanted to make sure the the room captured the essence of calmness and tranquility while still blending into the aesthetic of the rest of the home.

Like most of the house, when we moved in, all the walls were a very pale gray - Agreeable Grey by Sherwin Williams.  The main wall was also a massive plain wall, with no window or other architectural detail. 

To add some interest, my husband and I decided to add a very simple, yet, eye - catching detail to the wall.  Board and Batten.  Essentially, this is a box pattern of 1x3 wood planks added to the wall to create dimension and depth.  The wood is cut and attached to the wall in the style you want, wood putty is applied to all nail holes, primer is added and then the wood is painted in a color of your choice.  It is definitely a DIY but we hired a carpenter 😏

We did a similar Board and Batten treatment in our master bedroom that I will post about at a future time.

Here are some shots of the progress.  I realize there are some steps missing from the set of photos and I apologize in advance - this project was done almost 2 years ago!

Here is the office - we had already painted the room a darker gray before we decided to add the B&B.
The 1x3's are in their "raw" state here - no primer yet, but if you look close, you can see the putty in the nail holes.

Here is the B&B primed and ready for a fresh coat of paint!

and here is the room as it looks today!
I love this space...the colors are muted and calming and the B&B really make the space pop.  This is the room to your immediate right when coming in our front door and lots of guests stop to ask about the wall itself.  It really does make an impact.

We also added a new light fixture in here.  I posted all about transforming a room with light fixtures in this previous post and true to my word, every room in our house has an updated light fixture.  This is one is by World Market - found here: Pendant

And the most asked about wall art in my house!  The Cameroon Juju from Ballard Designs.  I love this piece so much.  It adds a lot of texture to an otherwise very structured wall.  It's made of natural materials that feel like dried corn husks? I highly recommend 😊

So what do you think?  Is this a space you could work from?  I definitely feel productive and creative in this space; and your home office should do the same.
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