April Favorites

 

1/ Tea Tree Oil
I’ve been using this stuff in multiples ways, including in my diffuser and on blemishes.

2/ PureAir 50
This little plug-in ionic air purifier is amazing. It cleans 350 sq. ft. of air by removing odors and reducing bacteria and viruses with activated oxygen. I have mine next to the cats’ litter box – the danger zone! – and noticed a total elimination of smell within about 15 minutes. It emits a kind of white noise sound when turned on, but I quickly got used to it.

3/ Lamb’s Ear
After years of admiration, I added one of these perennials to my porch collection. I’m hoping to keep it in a pot rather than have to plant it in the ground, but only time will tell how the plant tolerates it.

4/ Froozer Blue Aloha
These super natural treats are basically a frozen smoothie in a tube. They’re super tasty with only 35 calories and 9 carbs, which is a necessity for snacks with this type 2 diabetic.

5/ Common Goods Lavender Linen Water
I’ve been using this on my bedsheets for a few years now, I’m a real sucker for anything lavender scented as you may have noticed. This linen water is scented with 100% pure essential oil, is plant based, and biodegradable.

6/ Function of Beauty
Everyone’s been chattering about this line of shampoos and conditioners can that be personalized to your hair’s specific needs, and I’m here to report that the hype is 100% true! I love it and may never use another brand ever again. (Grab $5 off your order here.)

7/ Round Taper Planters
This spring I had to replace the large bamboo planters I’ve used for the past several years due to normal wear and tear. I wanted something simple and affordable that would complement my new black shutters and came across these fade and weather resistant ones at Target. They’re available in four colors and seven sizes! (I also have four of the 6-inch ones indoors)

8/ Vineyard Hill Naturals Cardamom & Fig Candle
You might think this scent sounds a bit heavy for spring, but it’s quite the opposite. And the soy-based candle’s jar is one I’ll definitely be reusing with that Greek key pattern.

9/ Spruce Cleaning Wipes
I’m kind of the worst at keeping my electronics clean, and these little wipes are a fun reminder (those faces!) to wipe everything down – they’re also great for your eyeglasses. Made in the USA, free of harsh chemicals like alcohol and ammonia, and vegan.

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My House Got a Facelift

 

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

Longterm plans:
• 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!

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Let’s Talk Pergolas

The to-do list for my home is a mile long, but near the top is the addition of a pergola. If you’re unfamiliar, a pergola is an architectural element originally used in ancient Greece and Rome to better define an outdoor space that’s gaining momentum in the current day. It usually consists of parallel colonnades that support an open roof of girders and cross rafters.

Pergolas are great privacy and shade solutions because, really, there are no rules. They can be built out of wood or steel, with a traditional or modern design or somewhere in between. Add fabric panels to the sides for additional privacy, let vining plants climb up to and cover the roof, add solar panels, or top it off with a plexiglas covering for protection from the rain. Your pergola can be freestanding in the middle of the backyard or built on top of a porch or deck, or maybe you’d just like to build one over your old concrete patio. See? Not many rules here.

I’d like mine to be similar to the second one below, but the wood painted white instead of black to keep the heat to a minimum during summer. Honeysuckle would climb all four colonnades and wind around the girders where it would mingle with strands of lights with edison bulbs. I’d have a few planter boxes on one or two of the sides that would blend in, and maybe a canvas tarp that could be attached to the four corners for shade on especially hot days.

But I haven’t put much thought into it.

 

Better Homes & Gardens

 

Helt Enkelt

 

Almost Makes Perfect

 

Homes to Love

 

Style Room

 

Better Homes & Gardens

 

Ernskie

 

Decoist

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DIY Halloween House Monster

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I always decorate for Halloween, but there’s no formula. Some years it’s only a porch full of pumpkins and others it’s something a little more. This year I decided that the windows in my guest room were begging for eyeballs.

 

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And that’s how it started, with six dollars worth of poster board and a pair of scissors. My first thought was that I’d like for them to be a bit larger, maybe even bigger than the windows themselves, but I was happy. I shared this photo on Instagram and Facebook as an afterthought.

 

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And that’s when the design by committee began! Several friends and followers suggested that the large living room window directly below needed teeth. And they were 100% correct, so back out came the scissors and leftover paper scraps.

 

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A window full of neon yellow snaggleteeth later and more suggestions came pouring in. Friends who live in town started driving by with their children in tow and I even caught a few snapping photos.

 

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The last suggestion that I entertained was the addition of some mean eyebrows with the last two scraps, which definitely made this DIY Halloween house monster complete. All-in-all it was a blast to create and I can’t wait to see the looks on trick-or-treaters’ faces in a few weeks!

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Backyard Spaces

City Farmhouse-Design Crush
City Farmhouse

Aside from the guest room and a planned flower garden for the front of the house, the actual yard part of the backyard is all that’s left to take care of at my house. I’m forever futzing and rearranging but those are the only larger projects, and I think I’ve been delaying them for just that reason. I’ve taken care of the decks but I want the entire backyard to feel like an extension of living space. These spaces have accomplished that in spades and are full of inspiration!

 

Stories-Design Crush
Stories

 

Annette Christian-Design Crush
Annette Christian

 

Durham House-Design Crush
Durham House

 

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sfgirlbybay

 

Homestyle-Design Crush
Homestyle

 

Fresh Exchange-Design Crush
Fresh Exchange

 

vtwonen-Design Crush
Vtwonen

 

Caroline Legrand-Design Crush
Caroline Legrand

 

Lizzy Janssen Persico-Design Crush
Lizzy Janssen Persico

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Happy Weekend

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1/Mehmet Ali Uysal‘s installation literally peels and pinches the walls of a gallery.  2/Adult Capri Suns are a thing.  3/Chuan-Bin Chung uses his chalkboard drawing skills to teach students anatomy.  4/IKEA taps HAY and Tom Dixon for new products.  5/Minipresso is the world’s smallest outdoor espresso maker.  6/The colorful grout trend.  7/Pole dancer performs an interactive routine with a responsive geometric background.  8/Genius wage gap alarm clock that rings for women after 79% of the workday.  9/JC Sheitan Tenet got the world’s first tattoo arm prosthesis.  10/Temporary tattoos from Jeannerot look and smell good.  11/Perch Light is a playfully interactive light shaped like an abstract bird.  12/Olafur Eliasson installed a waterfall in the middle of the Palace of Versailles garden.

 

Happy-Weekend-16
1/Kris Knight  2/Dreamy Daybeds  3/Katherine Tromans  4/Incense Burner No. 1 Corian
5/William Betts  6/Muesli 12 Ways  7/Matthias Heiderich  8/Ridges  9/Reyes de la Flor

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