DIY Polka Dot Walls

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My littlest bean has long outgrown her crib, but other than it’s removal from her room and the addition of a bed, everything else has stayed exactly the same. A few months ago I thought it would be fun to do a little update and ordered some wall decals. In general I’m not a decal person, but these were just too darn cute to pass up.

But life sometimes gets in the way and by the time I remembered the decals six months had passed. I was worried that perhaps the extended time they’d spent rolled up would tragically warp them but bless those decals, they were perfect. And applying them couldn’t be easier.

Start with a clean wall. Your polka dot decals come in one long roll. Cut them into smaller sections as they are easier to handle that way.

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I bought my set from Walls Need Love and not only were they exactly what I wanted but the instructions were cute (I appreciate humor wherever I can get it). I ordered the 2″ polka dots in gold. They send you a burnishing tool but I found for the size of my decals and the orange peel texture of my walls (why, oh why, do builders use this texture?!) my fingers worked perfectly for the job.

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Peel the paper back from the decal as opposed to peeling the decal off. It saves you from inadvertently creasing your decals.

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I knew I wanted a random pattern with a concentration of dots up high and more dispersed dots as they came down the wall. To achieve this look I applied the decals in sections, starting from the top and working my way down. This also helped me to check each section after I’d finished it to make sure the dots were evenly distributed and I wasn’t accidentally creating patterns as I worked. You’d be amazed at the brain…you’re going for random but the brain is built for patterns. If you don’t check your work along the way, you may find you accidentally have created patterns on your wall without trying.

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The last step I did was to stand back and look for any gaps that look wrong. I kept a few dots to “fill in” these spots.

The total cost for the decals was $22 and it took me about 35 minutes from start to finish. Money and time well spent when you consider the alternative…

And I have. I wanted to do polka dots of various colors and sizes in my girls’ bathroom. Only this was long ago, before I learned to love decals. I painstakingly drew each circle with a compass and then hand painted each polka dot with a little paint brushes. Total time=3 days. Total cost=$10. No question about it; the decals win.

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So for a few bucks and a little decal action, we turned a blank wall into a bit of fabulousness!

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After:

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Bathrooms: Big Style, Small Space

With the amount of time we spend in the bathroom, it’s one of those rooms in your home that must serve utility and beauty in equal measure. Match that with a typically small space (unless you’re lucky and have space for days, and in that case, keep it to yourself), and you’re forced to do two things; 1) think of what you need to have, and 2) think of how those things need to carry visual impact.

To that end, choosing strategic elements to impart big style becomes a matter of both purpose and drama. And choosing items that do double duty becomes imperative.

Take for instance this gorgeous bathroom. Tiles save the dry wall from water wear and the stainless steel sink is not only easy to clean but imparts big industrial style.

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And in this bathroom, the use of mirrors across the entire back wall lend a sense of dimension to an otherwise very small space.

Wallpaper is another way to create big impact without big spending. Since bathrooms tend to be smaller spaces, you don’t need much…saving even more money (so you spend it on amazing fixtures;), while the pattern obscures the dimensions of the room, important with little square footage.

Accessories are another area where beauty need not fall victim to function. Just look at this gorgeous Asscher set from WaterWorks. Toothbrush, soap, waste bin—it’s all here, but dressed up as if going to a fancy shin dig.

And this set from Restoration Hardware is particularly handsome.

Don’t forget about good lighting! And by good, I mean it not only gives you great task lighting but looks like a jewel in the room AND makes you feel like a jewel with flattering light placement.

Overhead lighting works well when diffused by a shade or pointed upward.

And sconces, in pairs, do an excellent job of giving off the right lighting without harsh shadows.

If your bathroom serve double time as both toilet stall and shower, you’ve got two solutions; walls or curtains. With glass walls you keep your space feeling open while containing spray. The great thing about glass walls are that they’re simple to keep clean (keep a window squeegee in there…not so glamorous but you will thank me later) and they don’t break up your space. The downfall is water spots (see my parenthetical note).

But curtains are also effective and lend texture. I also happen to find them quite charming.

Making the most of your bathroom while imparting big style starts with a balance of practical and pretty. With the right accessories and some strategic choices your space can be just as glamorous as it is functional.

-Roxanne

Holiday Peek: Our Home

Every year I collect images from all over—the internet, magazines, catalogs— compiling a reference of pictures to inspire me during the holidays. I think, “This year I’ll do something new,” but inevitably, when everything gets pulled out of storage, the same stuff goes up.

Now, I love tradition, but the same look year after year can get tired. In an effort to meld my love of new with all of the old, I went for a clean color scheme of red, white, and silver. Tried and true, but the combo kept it feeling cohesive instead of a hodge podge of Christmas stuff.

So come take a peek of Christmas in our home this year…

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When you enter our home, you walk into the entry area/dining area, which is where out main tree goes. We cut down our tree this year, which was a ton of fun!

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A few other shots from the entry/dining area…

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This credenza is usually where the tree goes, so it gets moved to a wall during the holidays.

balls1Another wall in our dining area is the where our bar is. It got a little holiday sprucing up at well.

bar1I adore fresh garland but with as much as I usually use, it can be pricey. This year I decided to make all of my garland with left over scrap boughs from the tree farm. They give them away so it was too easy. Let’s just say my husband could not see out of the back of our SUV window…I got a little carried away with the cedar boughs.

In keeping with the color scheme, all of the balls were silver, white, and red, and even though red isn’t my favorite color, it’s just so festive around Christmas.

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After walking through the entry/dining area, you enter our family area. We kept with the same color scheme but this room is a bit more traditional (you’re welcome, hubby).

mantel1It’s also where our family tree goes. It’s the one with all the kids ornaments and those that my husband has been collecting since he was young. They don’t all match, but they’re made and bought with love.

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A little cheer for the couch.

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And the girls and I made this gingerbread house so the kitchen had a little something festive. That sucker is from scratch, people, scratch! We’re gangster up in here.

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And that’s the round up. From my home to yours, wishing you all the best of this holiday season!

-Roxanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craigslist Revisited: The Amazing Dining Set

It’s that times folks, the time to bask in the glory of a great Craigslist find. I seriously squealed when I saw this dining set pop into view, and for $295 I had to *fight* the urge to buy it.

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Those table legs are pretty cute, but it’s the salmon pink velvet chairs that did me over. I mean, those things…I die! I could see it immediately, although my husband thought I may be off my rocker a bit (have I mentioned he’s more on the traditional side?)…sexy and dark, a bit mid century, a bit modern with some great art. Give me some texture with grass cloth walls and some glam with brass and BAM! A glorious dining room in the making.OB-salmon dining tableI’d be willing to bet that even my hubby would love this room.

-Roxanne

 

Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls with the Frosting Queens!

My weekends pretty much look like any other mom’s…waking to the squeals(or fighting depending on the day) of the kiddos followed by swift demands for breakfast. My girls believe breakfast to be a serious affair, even if I’ve only got enough energy for cereal, like this morning. In an effort to appease them and keep it simple on my end, I made easy cinnamon rolls but dialed them up a notch with the addition of chocolate chips and the Frosting Queens’ delicious Charmed Chocolate butter cream frosting. And let me tell you, these things are so good!

To start, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 roll Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 package Frosting Queens Charmed Chocolate butter cream frosting

Ingredients

Once you’ve got your ingredients together, begin by rolling out your crescent dough. I pinch my edges where the perforation is together and smooth it out with a few rolls from my rolling pin.

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Next, mix together your sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the dough.

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As if that weren’t naughty enough, add your chocolate chips, distributing them evenly over the dough.

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Now roll your dough into a log, starting at one end and working towards the other. Slice your log into five rolls and place them on your tray. Back at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

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Now comes the really delicious part. Melt half of your Frosting Queens Charmed Chocolate frosting in the microwave for 35-45 seconds, or until entirely melted. Spoon your melted frosting over your warm cinnamon buns.

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Quick, easy, and beyond yummy, these simple chocolate chip cinnamon rolls couldn’t be easier to make and the rich chocolate frosting was the perfect touch for these decadent treats…I mean, breakfast.

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-Roxanne

 

 

*This is a sponsored post for the Frosting Queens (thank you for the two packets of frosting!) but the recipe and all opinions are completely mine.

DIY Monogram Dishes

I’m a sucker for a monogram. On a bag, on a pillow…honestly, throw a few letters on something and I love it! With this in mind, I wanted to make a special hostess gift for a friend and decided to give the whole DIY Sharpie plate a go.

The supplies you’ll need are fairly simple. White ceramic plates, Sharpies, some font inspiration, and an oven.

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I started by scrolling through my collection of various fonts (mostly free downloads) on Pinterest. I have collected a ton over time so it was easy to get inspiration quickly. I could have downloaded a font and used Microsoft word to create one to copy, but I’m lazy and just put together a couple of font ideas and went for it.

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Psss…spot my “german wedding” search at the top? I’m trying to plan a simple vow renewal during a trip to Germany we’re taking next year. If you know anything about planning a wedding in Germany, hit me up with your intel! But I digress…

The great thing about drawing with Sharpies in this initial stage is that any mistakes can be wiped away with a wet cloth. It took me a few goes to get the look I was going for, but it wasn’t long before I figured something out.

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Then it’s time to bake those suckers. 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes should do it. Take them out…and here’s where it gets important…let them cool completely before you touch them. The ink is not fully “cured” to the plate until it’s entirely cooled, so don’t skip this step or else you run the risk of smudging all of your hard work. Trust me on this one…I learned the hard way.

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I made sets of 4 for a few of my friends as hostess gifts. Again, you could probably stream line these by creating a template, but I really liked the handmade feel free drawing the monograms gave me—all similar, but no two alike. Here’s another one I made for a friend as well.

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Since I already had the Sharpies, these plates cost me $4 per set—a $1 a piece at the dollar store. They’re perfect as hostess gifts, or if you’re like me, for-my-awesome-self gifts. And these can be modified a million ways; cutest kid gifts for grandparents, cookie plate for Santa, with a bowl you could make pet dishes…see, endless!

-Roxanne

Fall Stove Top Potpourri

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In an effort to get rid of the Glade Plug-ins (my mother in law keeps telling me these things are bad for you), I decided to go the DIY route and make my own fall potpourri and it couldn’t be simpler. With a few kitchen ingredients I had my house smelling like Christmas morning in a couple of minutes. And bonus points for the fact that I could reuse it several times. Head on over to allparenting.com to check out the recipe!

-Roxanne

How to Create a Beautiful Entry

The entry way to your house is the first impression visitors get of your home. It speaks to your lifestyle and design style, setting the tone for how you want your overall space to be seen. Unfortunately, it’s also one of those areas that often gets either no attention *or* becomes a catch-all for bags, purses, homework, soccer cleats—you name it and for some reason, it’s there.

But with a little thought at some solid staples, you can build an entry way that not only tells guests that you are stylish, chic, and hella cool (can you tell I’m from Nor Cal?), but one that functions for your family and keeps you saner than you would be with all that stuff on the floor.

Entry ways require a few key items to make this dream a reality:

1) Lighting.

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Vitally important, people! How else will you manage to find your lost keys in the bottom of your bag if you can’t see them in the first place. You have two options here; for a smaller entry without much wall space, overhead lighting it your best bet. It takes up less space and can set the tone for the rest of the entry. There are some beautiful flush mount options, but if you’ve got some height, I encourage you to go with a chandelier. It adds a ton of impact in a small area.

Flush mount:

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Chandelier:

 

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Your second option is a table lamp (or two). This gives you the most flattering light (read: no overhead shadows to scare the children) and since it’s more diffused, a warmer, more welcoming glow.

2. Art/Mirror.

I LOVE art in an entry as it creates an immediate experience and set a distinct tone. And with all of the amazing and inexpensive choices from places such as Etsy and Saatchi Online, finding the right piece for your space couldn’t be easier.

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But if what you really need is a place to strategically check your teeth for food on your way out, then a mirror might be for you. Choose something with a great frame as it will be your artistic element in the space.

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3. A console in larger spaces or a wall table/shelf for smaller ones.

The console is your work horse. It’s where things get placed (keys, glasses), lamps get set, and magic is made. Okay, so maybe magic is a stretch, but no other piece in your space will serve as much function as the console. So take some time to find the right one. Make sure you measure your space before you go looking, as what looks great at the store may surprisingly be the wrong size at home. I suggest you use painter’s tape to mark off the size you *think* you’ll want both on the wall and the floor and see if it will actually work in the space.  I find a lot of people either over estimate or underestimate the size of the console they really need.

via Eric Piasecki

If you don’t have space for a console however, a wall table or shelf might work better. Wall tables work much like shelves, but are mounted small tables, often more substantial than a ledge or shelf, but not by much. They sometimes have two legs but can also come without legs, freeing up the space underneath. If your entry way is more walk way than small room, either a wall table or shelf can help give you a space to place things without  taking up too much actually space.

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4. Accessories.

Ah, the golden jewels of the decorators treasure chest. Accessories in a space are like accessories on your person—too much and you look like you’re in the mafia, too few and you look like you’re moving. But done correctly, these are the things that pull your space together, moving it from bland to BAM! When considering accessories try and bring color into the scheme from other items in the space (this is a perfect pairing for your art). Look for things that add interest and texture. Try to stick with groups of odd numbers, aiming for no less than 3 and no more than 5 items.

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5. BONUS: A place to sit.

This is not a necessity, but if you’ve got the space is much appreciated. Seating gives you a perch from which to put on and take off your shoes. And if you don’t think that’s appreciated, try sitting on the floor and doing it. See, not so fun, is it? A chair works but a simple stool or upholstered ottoman will do the job just as well.

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6. Extra BONUS (cuz’ you’re a boss like that): Umbrella stand.

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Yes, your space will be fully functional and beautiful without one, but just look at this cute thing! Why wouldn’t you want that in your entry?!

With some strategic planning and a few fundamentals, your entry can set the right tone for your guests and your home. And if you need a few more ideas, take a look at my decor board on Pinterest.

-Roxanne

 

Girl Crushes: Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook

Ever had one? You know what I’m talking about. You watch someone from afar and think, “If we met, we could totally be best friends.” I feel this way about many women, mostly hilarious ones like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling.

I also have a serious fashion girl crush on Kate Middleton and Olivia Palermo (yeah, me and thousands of other ladies, I know).

My newest girl crush however, isn’t as famous—yet. But trust me, it won’t be long. I just can’t seem to get enough of Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook. She’s already very well know among those who follow interior design blogs for her incredible sense of style and down-right crafty genius. She’s also a contributing editor for the newly re branded Domino Magazine. And if you’re not sold on why she and I would be BFFs if our paths ever crossed, then you haven’t seen her latest piece of crafty amazement—her DIY Modern Sunburst Mirror. Seriously, after this post I am completely smitten.

Tell me you don’t want to run out and purchase every dowel Home Depot has right this moment! It’s beautiful and so well executed. I adore design that is both doable and elevated—the way DIY should be.

Have a great weekend! And if you don’t hear back from me next week it’s because I’m knee deep in wood dowels.

-Roxanne

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