Lisa Vanin‘s paintings combine the natural world with a touch of the macabre, usually through the presence of a snake or a skull or three. Each piece sets a melancholy tone that leaves me wondering more about the circumstances surrounding it all. Don’t miss Vanin’s (super affordable) ceramic snakes or metal pins either.
It’s been a minute, well about three and a half years, since I did anything major to my living room. I’ve updated the floor rug and throw pillows and some other little things a few times, but nothing big. Lately I’ve been getting the itch to do an entire overhaul. Not that it’s in my budget at the moment, but it’s worth daydreaming over for a bit. The first piece I’d bring in would be this couch that I’ve had a crush on for years – I love how welcoming it looks. And a big round mirror over the mantel would make the room feel larger and add a nice focal point.
My fireplace doesn’t work at the moment, but I still enjoy a stack of logs nearby and this holder could double as a magazine holder if I get bored. A sweet little side table could either be used for its intended purpose or a plant stand. Didn’t you know that I love pieces that are multifunctional? This brass floor lamp will add some cozy light to the room.
I have a lot of books and love putting the on display, so a trio of these shelves should do the trick. (All lined up in a nice little row, of course.) Plants run rampant in my home, and one of these large bullet planters would hold a large palm nicely. A pretty blanket would bring in a simple pattern and some texture.
If you haven’t noticed, lately I’m heavily drawn towards a mix of wood and metal in neutral tones. This little table lamp combines all three very nicely. An updated bluetooth gramophone ties together the old-meets-new aesthetic I tend to gravitate towards, and the media cabinet gives a place for all other electronics in the living room.
No room is complete without art on its walls, and I really like the simplicity of this piece. A pair of these standing planters would flank the fireplace nicely, don’t you think? And a decent sized basket works hard in any number of ways, including holding blankets and pillows.
The edge on this coffee table is a unique feature that I really like, as are the thin brass legs. The navy blue in this large floor rug ties in perfectly with the hues in the rest of the room without being overwhelming.
The third source of light would be ideally situated in the corner of the room, directly over the crook of the sectional – the best reading spot! A pair of chairs that make a statement in pale pink finish things up, while a set of quartz coasters check off a necessity. Here’s to dreaming!
This is the story of a porch light fixture that was supposed to be an easy self-install last spring, but my 117-year-old house has something to say about that. Namely that the electrical needed revisited. No sooner had we removed the old fixture that it became abundantly clear that something was amiss – the grounding wire was charred and literally crumbled when touched and there were two black wires rather than one white and one black.
This is the end of any novice’s electrical work ability, and I’m not one to mess with anything that has the capability of burning down my house.
I had picked out a fairly low-profile three-light, energy-efficient, LED Vance outdoor fixture back on April 14th. April 14th. The heads swivel a little for light placement and I loved the modern-meets-traditional design of the piece.
Luckily an incredibly competent electrician was referred my way who was able to get the job done, as well as correct a few things that weren’t up to code. So maybe this was actually a blessing in disguise? Not burning a place down is always a good day in my book.
The LED lights are wonderfully bright and much improved over the old one-bulb fixture that had most likely been hanging up there for decades. And I not so secretly love how my little collection of decorative gourds are on display until all hours.
In fact, here are a few more gratuitous photos. I couldn’t resist adding geometric shapes with some paint pens to these two.
And I’d really like to turn that Hubbard squash into a crow’s face before October 31st rolls around next week.
I’ve also been wondering whether or not that butternut squash will last past next Tuesday so that I might cook with it? Only time will tell! Now let’s talk about how long it will take me to box in those scrollwork pillars…
This post sponsored by Lamps Plus. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content!
In my home owning experiences the last room to get any love is usually the guest room, which makes it all the more gratifying once it’s been done! I partnered with estate sale marketplace, Everything But the House, to pull mine together and have been bidding on pieces for the past two months to make it happen.
I won’t even bother showing you before shots of the space because there isn’t much to share. I jokingly referred to it as the Renaissance Room because it was filled with a mishmash of old furniture from my childhood, my father, and my step-grandmother and not at all my taste. The vibe I was hoping to pull off in the revamped room would be a mix of fresh and modern with touches of Americana – considerably different from the rest of my home, but an aesthetic that I’ve been increasingly drawn towards.
What I did love about the guest room pre-makeover were the stories associated with each piece of furniture, from the cherrywood dressers my grandparents bought me when I was 10 years old to the secretary desk my dad used to build his model cars on as a kid and refinished when my parents were newlyweds. Nowadays I think we’re all too quick to discard the old for the new, and I love the idea of EBTH bringing estate sales right to my laptop. I spent a few weeks browsing and bidding on items, then a few more waiting for them to arrive in the mail.
One of the first pieces I picked up, and definitely the most modern, was this clear acrylic side table for $46. (EBTH is very clear about what you’re bidding on, down to details on scratches.) When it showed up on my doorstep I was beyond happy with both the heft of the piece as well as the inch wide thickness of the acrylic. I really like how it adds a good sized bedside surface without adding much visually – it practically disappears!
I spent just over $500 on the entire room and pulled pieces that weren’t being used elsewhere in the house in to bring everything together. This brushed gold lamp is one of my favorites and wasn’t getting the attention it deserved, so into the guest room in went. A few cuttings from my Wandering Jew plant in a vase and a tobacco scented candle lend a few visual elements to the top, while a trio of coffee table books and an old metal box I’ve had for several years add some heft underneath the table. (Plus, the cuttings grow roots in just a few short days – a sweet little gift to send guests on their way with.)
The bed was the ultimate score in the room. EBTH gives you the option of shipping or picking up items you purchase, and this mid-century teak-finished bed was a short 35 minute drive away. I BOUGHT IT FOR ONE DOLLAR. Larger pieces obviously cost more to ship, so I was the lone bidder and you can bet I’ll be telling my children and grandchildren about this deal. The matching headboard and footboard have vertical and horizontal veneer patterns with squared molding and the side rails slid right in, making this bed the easiest to assemble I’ve ever encountered.
I made it up with a set of super soft white microfiber sheets and a down alternative duvet that I already had, then layered a classic Pendleton blanket on top with a pinstriped throw pillow for a little pattern.
I’ve long wanted to learn how to play acoustic guitar, and have plenty of friends and visitors with more than their fair share of talent, so I snapped up this Fender FA-100 for $71. It’s a pretty basic model but I’m hoping it invites cozy musical stirrings, and it just looks so good sitting in that corner even when not in use.
The guitar is propped up on another EBTH find, a brown leather folding tripod stool with embossed floral and filigree patterns that I got for $30. The legs slide into a pocket in each corner of the triangular seat and the legs fold flat for storage when not in use. A sweet little spot to sit while strumming, no?
The master bedroom and guest room are just about the same size, so I had a good amount of space to play around with. One of the first things I did was replace the tension rods holding the curtains up with the same brass rods that are in the master and dining room – while this room feels so different, I love this one bit of cohesiveness with the rest of the house.
One of my decorating rules of thumb is to have some greenery in every room, in this case a sturdy rubber plant that will thrive in the sun exposure this space receives and not require a ton of maintenance to keep alive.
The bench used to sit at the bottom of the staircase at my mom’s house and will make a great place for guests to put their bags, sit to put on their shoes, etc.
The bed may have been my best find but this offset lithograph is my favorite! It’s titled Mrs. James Montgomery Jr., leading me to call this the Mrs. Room post-makeover. The original painting is by Thomas Sully and depicts a pretty dark haired woman wearing a strand of coral beads, but I was able to pick this framed piece up for only $24 through EBTH.
The blanket ladder used to live in the master bedroom and now offers different weights of blankets to make guests perfectly comfortable while sleeping.
The only piece of furniture that I kept in the room from before is this secretary desk, I’d love to replace the hardware on it but because of some attached plates it needs to be just right. (The search continues!) Guests can sit here – that chair used to be in a living room corner – while getting ready for the day.
I love layering mirrors, and this little nook offered up the perfect opportunity. The large mirror is something I picked up from a neighbor on trash day for free! A snake plant and a few more coffee table books stacked up for bedtime browsing finishes things off.
This sweet little mobile is something I picked up on super sale a few months back with plans to hang it in the master. It was still sitting on my dresser while I was pulling this room together and I knew where its true home was.
For awhile now I’ve had this thing for American flags, or I should say for them aesthetically (because for their meaning, always, of course). This vintage 48-star canvas version has been so obviously loved that I had to have it. In my mind it was living in the garage workshop of a WWII veteran and I wanted to continue to give it the same kind of care and respect. I was able to get it with a bid of $68 on EBTH and am happy to hang it front and center over the bed.
This room gets the most amazing light! The white cotton curtains diffuse it just enough.
My last EBTH find was a southwestern wool rug (or saddle blanket) for $60. I’m not afraid to layer floor rugs on top of wall to wall, and the horizontal bands of black, brown, grey, lavender, and red against a natural off-white background pull in several of the colors used elsewhere in the room.
So that’s that – three years to the day I first set foot in my home and I’ve finished putting my stamp on it. Who’s going to be my first guest in the new room?!
This post sponsored by Everything But the House. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!
I’m an autumn girl at heart, but I’ve really been enjoying the heck out of this summer! All of the bits and pieces of work that have been put into the back and front yards over the past two years seem to finally be paying off, and I’ve been spending much more time enjoying the outdoors than usual.
There were a few things I wanted to knock off my to-do list before the temperature starts to dip again – landscape the small front yard, replace the porch light fixture with something more modern, strip and paint the back deck, and repaint the porch swing.
The front yard is looking rough in these photos that were taken in the midst of a July dry spell, but I managed to plant some new things this spring! Three peony bushes, some white poppies, and a few others joined the hosta and irises that was already there. (Now to move all of those river rocks!)
I also potted a bunch of things for the porches – herbs, hen and chicks, and lambs ear just to name a few. Add in the indoor plants I’d brought out for the summer and I realized that what was lacking were a few accent tables to set them on top of. A pair of woven Kai Water Hyacinth indoor-outdoor tables were the perfect thing because they pull double-duty when I’m entertaining as a place to set drinks and things. Cheers to the current wicker trend because I’m loving it and they’re wearing wonderfully.
Can you tell I’ve been using the bench and tables as my potting area as well? I really need to get that situation under control, but also kind of like how all of those stacked terra-cotta pots look just hanging out.
Project Repaint the Porch Swing is about 50% finished after cleaning off decades of grime. Initially I’d planned on painting it a semi-gloss black to match the front door, but now I’m second-guessing myself and considering a stain. Either way it’ll be back in action by fall and – most importantly – out of my driveway.
Unfortunately we’ve had an incredibly rainy summer here in Pennsylvania, so I had to make the decision to put off redoing the deck until next spring.
I picked out a fresh new light fixture for the front porch – this matte black Vance LED Outdoor Ceiling Light that oh so modern – and that’s where the good news on that project comes to a full stop. After removing the ancient pendant that was up there, we discovered the wiring was a huge (RE: unsafe) issue and that this project may have been a blessing in disguise. The grounding wire was blackened and charred while the other two wires were both white, rather than one black and one white. Essentially the light that I used every evening could have sparked at any time, and now it’s turned into a rewiring project as well. I’m looking forward to getting it wrapped up soon so that I can share that as well!
In the meantime, I need to replant that little Meyer lemon tree in the yellow pot and keep all my fingers crossed that the herbs survive once I have to bring them indoors. But first I think I’ll go have some iced tea on the porch…
This post sponsored by Lamps Plus. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!
Ten years ago this month I started Design Crush as a place to gather inspiration for my day job as a graphic designer, and five years ago it became my full-time job. To thank you all, as well as highlight some of my favorite sponsors from over the years, we’ll be hosting ten days of giveaways in celebration of ten years of this little site that could.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sherwin-Williams more than any other sponsor, and this giveaway was the perfect reason to look back at all of the magic we’ve created together with their top-notch paint and my imagination!
First up was the front door at my house in Oklahoma City – did you know there’s a correct way to paint a door? I took the entry from builder beige to Energetic Orange in one spring afternoon and was thrilled with the outcome. It made my home stand out in a neighborhood full of blah.
The next year, as I was preparing to make my move halfway across the country, I was in the process of getting my home ready to put on the market. I partnered with Sherwin-Williams to downgrade the level of blue in the hall bath with a gallon of Mountain Air. The house sold in SIX DAYS, and I just know that relaxing spa-like space had something to do with it.
When I bought my home in Pennsylvania that fall, I reached out to Sherwin-Williams for their expertise once again. After living in a home with rooms painted several colors I knew I wanted this space to be the exact opposite – as in all the same. I had a vision of a gallery-like space in my mind, one that would let my collection of art do the talking and fade away beautifully into the background. I was able to take a chip of paint from the baseboards into a Sherwin-Williams store, where they spent half an hour patiently helping me color match an end result that’s as unique as my 117 year old home.
Two springs ago we partnered once again, this time to give my home office a modern update. It had already been painted the aforementioned Sherwin-Williams customized color and I wanted to give it a pop of personality that felt like Design Crush’s brand. I settled on a diagonal accent wall in Cosmetic Pink, which is similar to the pink of this site and love the spike of energy it can give during afternoon slumps.
Last fall we took Sherwin-Williams‘ Color of the Year – Poised Taupe – off the walls and put it in some unexpected places instead, namely on the legs of an end table and a pattern on a seagrass basket.
In select markets Sherwin-Williams has a team of ColorSnap Consultants who do in-home consultations to help you select the right color palette and products for the projects you’re dreaming of taking on. In addition to five gallons of paint, they’re offering one reader a free ColorSnap consultation if he/she lives in a consultation market. (If not, they’ll provide a gift card for design services.) A value of over $500. a Rafflecopter giveaway
While I’ve shared plenty on the updates of the interior of my old, partially-flipped house, there hasn’t been nearly as much done on the exterior. Why? Simply put it’s more intimidating. But back in January I vowed that this is the year that things would get done, and I’ve started off by partnering with Mid-America to replace and add shutters to the front of my home. Mid-America is a leading manufacturer of siding accessories, and they also offer the largest selection of exterior home products in the industry, so I knew both me and my house were in the right hands.
Prior to now only one window had shutters of any kind, the large one on the first floor, front and center and a little to the left. They were wooden, measured incorrectly, and too short. The attic windows looked fine as they’re a more interesting design and flanked by shaker wood siding, but the trio on the second floor just looked… sad.
But no longer! From the street it looks like my house got a facelift. The good kind.
Every window was measured correctly this go around and the shutters installed like a dream with just a drill, screwdriver, and hammer. Mid-America offers a wide range of shutter styles and colors, all low maintenance with no painting required. They’re impervious to moisture and insects, which is something I highly value as the owner of a house that’s 117 years old, and made right here in the United States. I chose their straight top all louver shutter in black for all four windows and couldn’t be happier with the quality or end result.
On the list for 2017:
• landscape the small front yard, dispose of one hundred river rocks
• replace the porch light fixture with something more modern
• strip and paint back deck
• sand and repaint porch swing
• build wooden porch up to door height, railing, stairs
• have slate roof repaired
• landscape backyard
• replace porch roof support columns with a sleeker design
Get a load of the full-on before and after! Looking back the house seemed so incomplete without Mid-America’s shutters. Eventually I’d love to add sets to the windows on the back and east-facing sides for the full effect, but until then I can’t help but smile each time I pull into my driveway. Onto the next project!
This post sponsored by Mid-America. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!
How happy am I with the makeover Quick•Step flooring and I worked on? So happy that I basically never want to leave my bedroom. I’ve never been a morning person and I now find myself waking up with a smile on my face. It’s utterly ridiculous and I’m completely head over heels for what I feel like is the first bedroom design that truly matches my aesthetic.
Here I’m spilling about how I pulled it off and the items I picked up to give the room a great refresh, and over on Quick•Step Style I’m sharing more about which flooring I chose for the RoomUP Challenge, as well as five tips for making your space feel bigger (trust me, they’re really good ones). Head over there then meet me back here… I’ll wait…
Okay, let’s start with those lamps. (Oh, if you need a refresh of what the master bedroom looked like before, here you go.) I loved the old lamps hard, but it was time for a change that blended more seamlessly with the rest of the room. This pair of Helene white ceramic table lamps* match the boho chic vibe I was going for. Their basketweave-patterned bases and linen shades add a nice touch of texture and the size isn’t too overwhelming for the Penelope nightstands.
When it comes to dresser mirrors I’m more of a leaner than a hanger. I finally upgraded the round vintage mirror that sadly cracked in half and that I sadly kept using for more than two years with a larger 36-inch one, the HUB Mirror. It’s rubber rim fits snuggly against my mid-century 6-drawer dresser‘s surface, leaving me unafraid of a crash in the middle of the night. You can’t beat the price of this piece either – it’s huge and quite a deal when compared to other large mirrors.
I’ve been on the lookout for a great floor mirror for years, and that’s not an exaggeration. The Payne antique gold full length floor mirror* got my number and called the next day. Its windowpane style has an art deco feel to it, and the gold calls out some of the other metallic accents in the room. I made space in my mini gallery wall for it, because it really does feel like a piece of art.
Speaking of art, my very good friend who is also a very talented artist – Jaime Derringer – made me four pieces of 4 x 4″ art for the revamped space. I have a few more things I’d like to do in this bedroom (new light fixture, different floor rug, adding a bench, etc) and framing these is at the top of the list. I love her abstract style and am thrilled to add these minis to my ever-growing collection of her work.
This piece, Stormy Drive, used to be a huge statement over my headboard. After relocating the bed to under the windows, I chose to lower the gigantic frame to be level with the door and let it own the entire wall. It’s so striking from this angle!
I’ve been toying with notion of painting this room the same pale pink as the accent wall in my office, and to ease into the idea I added this Mongolian pink fur pillow* to the mix on my bed. The texture is fantastic and I’m so much closer to pulling the trigger on that paint job.
There’s only about twenty feet between my house and the neighbors’. So when I first moved in I picked up some tension rods to get curtain up ASAP and, well, never replaced them. This trio of brass Cappa adjustable single curtain rods look at least one hundred times better. At least.
The vintage light fixture fit in much better once I removed the ornate decorative rims – dare I say it looks modern even? It ties the curtain rods, the fixtures on the dresser and nightstands, and the edging on the floor mirror together oh so nicely.
The last addition is the Murray modern mahogany platform bed*. I was honestly pretty nervous about mixing mahogany with the other two wood finishes in the room, but it fits in seamlessly and actually manages to set off the Quick•Step flooring. I love having such a low-profile bed more than I expected I would, it just helps the room feel that much more open and airy which was my number one goal in this project.
If you ignored me above, click over to Quick•Step Style to read more about the transformation and process, the amazing flooring, and five tips for making your space feel bigger. And then enter the RoomUP Sweepstakes for a chance to win up to 500 sq ft of Quick•Step flooring for your own project, as well as see other transformations from other RoomUP bloggers!
This post sponsored by Quick•Step. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content! Get more inspiration from Quick•Step on Facebook and Pinterest. You can also download their Style My Floor app to visualize their floors in your own home. *product provided by Lamps Plus
If you asked what my biggest interior design pet peeve is it wouldn’t be ceiling fans, it would be wall to wall carpeting. I despise the stuff with the fire of a thousand suns, which of course means it’s covering the majority of the floor on the second level of my house. So when Quick•Step flooring reached out to me about participating in their RoomUp Blogger Challenge it was a no brainer to say (and not scream) yes!
Aside from flat-out not liking wall to wall carpeting, most rooms upstairs weren’t an issue. The guest room door stays closed, the bonus room stays relatively pet-free, the bathroom is tiled, and my small office was floored with the leftover laminate from downstairs. But the master bedroom is a different story altogether, because that’s where my two elderly cats spend most of their day and I’ll say no more about it than that. The carpeting either had to be replaced (no!) or new flooring put down.
I requested four different flooring samples from Quick•Step‘s extensive collection, and once they arrived let the pieces sit on the floor in my bedroom for a few days before making a final decision. Pop over to Quick•Step Style to read more about which option I went with and to see more transformations from other bloggers participating in the RoomUP Challenge! I’m looking forward to revealing my full bedroom makeover with you next, and you can see a little sneak peek below.
I truly love this product and would love for you to love it, too. So make sure to enter the RoomUP Sweepstakes for a chance to win up to 500 sq ft of Quick•Step flooring to transform a space of your own!
This post sponsored by Quick•Step. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content! Get more inspiration from Quick•Step on Facebook and Pinterest. You can also download their Style My Floor app to visualize their floors in your own home.
Some of you mentioned wanting to see more of the house after our curb appeal preview and office tree – ask and you shall receive! (Well, some of the time at least.) I’d mentioned keeping things more minimal than usual this year, and I have to admit just how good it feels. It doesn’t feel like the entire place has been upended and I’m not dreading the breakdown of it all next month. Am I onto something here?
I made room for a few of my favorite decorations on the bookcase in the living room, two pink bottlebrush trees that I’ve had for more than a handful of years and a few unfinished wooden trees with my reindeer friend who can’t stand on his own.
The hall closet door has become the place where all holiday cards are gathered as they arrive. I love watching it fill up and overflow onto the wall! It brings a little dose of joy into an otherwise neglected corner of the house.
The mantle and hearth are simple yet festive. My favorite shade of poinsettia – faded red – sits atop the mantle and a strand of battery-operated mercury glass lights are strung below. The mercury glass gets carried down to the floor with the addition of my growing tree collection, I’m currently up to four with the tallest standing around two feet.
A little bit more mercury glass on the dining room table and a big pitcher full of eucalyptus and greenery. It lasts throughout the season and then some when watered regularly! The little canvas snowman on the credenza makes me smile, which is the only reason I looked for when decorating this year.
The bathroom off the dining room has one of my favorite wreaths on its door, a grapevine decorated with pinecones and felt mistletoe. There’s also a vase on the counter with a bunch of dried evergreens that I’ve left up since last Christmas, simply because I like them.
Last year I bought my friend and I this same wooden owl, and mine is proudly perched near the cooktop in the kitchen. He brings a much needed dose of color and merriment to an otherwise undecorated room as well as a reminder of her.
And finally – the tree. This is the first real tree I’ve ever had, a Norfolk Island Pine, and insisted that it be potted so that I can either plant it outside or keep it potted indoors once the season is over. It’s giving off a lot of Charlie Brown vibes, but I really love it. It has not one but two tops, can’t hold heavy ornaments, and can barely support the two strands of lights on its branches. But the charm. In spades, for days.
So there you have it! Not the most heavily decorated place, but all the things I love which is really what it’s all about.