Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you are all enjoying a day of relaxation and some fantastic BBQ's!  Thank you to all the families and military who are serving and have served our country, our country is an amazing place because of you. 

See you swoon,

Shanna's {New} Home: Plans for the Den

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! I hope that you all have a terrific long weekend filled with friends, family, fun and gorgeous weather.  Since my announcement on Monday that I'm moving (squeeee!) I will be busy packing!  But all the while, my mind will be swirling with ideas for the new digs.

Up today are my ideas for the den, which is the room where we'll spend most of our time.  Here is what the den looks like right now:

Here is a close-up of the built-ins and fireplace:

My plans are to paint the built-ins Dover White by Sherwin Williams and somehow beef up that mantle. Maybe paint it, maybe replace it ... not sure yet.  I'm also undecided about the stone on the fireplace.  I might paint that sucker too.   

We have a flat screen television, and ours will hang right over the fireplace where the one in this picture is.  I'll have fun decorating the bookcases with family photos and little decorative things that mean something to us.

I'm going to bring in a sectional - I have always wanted a big, cozy sectional and this space is perfect for one!  I am debating between the IKEA Ektorp and the IKEA Karlsdad.  They're about the same price and seem to get good reviews but have totally different looks.  I'm leaning a smidge toward the Karlsdad as of today.  I'll probably go with gray for the fabric.  Here they are:

IKEA Ektorp Sectional Sofa
IKEA Karlsdad Sectional Sofa
I'm not sure about the windows.  I found a gorgeous West Elm Parsons coffee table on Craigslist this past weekend for just $50.  It's walnut in color but I will surely paint over it.  I love the chunky lines of the piece for us to prop our feet on, and I also love that I can store some baskets of toys on the bottom shelf.  I was eyeing these up on the West Elm site, and they go for about $300.

And that's about all I've got right now!  We will eventually put hardwoods in the space when we redo the kitchen, so I'm trying to imagine my room having wood on the floor when I pick my choices.  As for decor, I am not sure about colors or patterns, but that is the fun part!  I'm sure I will go with the colors I gravitate toward: pale neutrals, whites, blues, grays and maybe pops of other colors like teal, yellow, pink ... maybe even navy.  I do know that I'll keep doing in the new house what I did in my current house and continue the same style.  I love it.

Do you have any advice or tips? Where do you fall on the Ektorp v. Karlsdad divide? Please weigh in if you have one of these sofas!  I'd love to hear.

See you swoon,

Sandals, Bags, and Dresses OH MY!

Finally we have some weather that actually feels like the end of May going into June.  I know this will be short lived because in no time flat the greater north east is going to experience humidity like none other!  So in light of the warm weather I am bringing to you some of my fav picks for this seasons shoes, dresses, and bags!

Let's get right into it, no need to talk just feast your eyes on all this lovely eye candy :)


Anthropologie Gathering Breeze Dress (Perfect for an upcoming wedding I have!)

Honey & Hive Jane Tie Knit Waist Dress (Found at Piperlime)

Madewell Skywell Novella Dress

Madewell Striped Silk Tee Dress (I just feel like I need stripes in my life and this dress will do the trick!)

Anthropologie Dahlia Dear Wedges

Anthropologie Know the Ropes Sandals

Old Navy Bauble T Strap Sandals


Anthropologie Swallowtail Clutch

Angela Adams and Sea Bags for J.Crew.  LOVE THIS ONE!!!

J.Crew Canvas Bronwyn Bag

I would just love to add any of these to my collection.  I love the light airy feeling the bags give off, out with the dark heavy leather this season!  For me I am all about lower heeled shoes that still make me feel feminine (unfortunately the high heeled shoes are creating back pain-BOOO!).  The dresses are an assortment from a romantic Anthropologie dress to relaxed jersey knit dresses for every day wear or wear to work with a cardigan. 

I know you are out there shopping for the season so what are you picking up?  Anyone hitting the Memorial day sales!?

See you swoon,

Announcing ... Wear It Again!

And by "it" we mean your wedding gowns.  Oh yes ... gird your loins, friends, this is going to be BIG.

Jamie and I are sooooo excited to announce a milestone event we are planning: the Wear It Again gala! Look, even our cameo logos are all gussied up!

We have often said how much fun it would be to get to wear our wedding gowns again.  You spend all that time and money finding the *perfect* gown and only get to wear it for a day? That does not seem fair.  So why not have an event where women are encouraged to don their wedding day finest just one more time?  And it's not limited to former brides: bridesmaids dresses, mother of the bride gowns, black tie gowns that are gathering dust ... anything goes.  {We fully recognize that for most people, the wedding dress will no longer fit. We have work-arounds for that and will be able to help you fit enough into your gown to wear it and have fun.}

So more details will come but here are the basics:

  • Date: Saturday January 28, 2012
  • Place: Holiday Inn, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
  • Time: 8-11 pm
  • Open bar from 8-10; cash bar from 10-11
  • Reduced room rates at the recently remodeled Holiday Inn - come with your girls for a night away!
  • Amazing DJ Fred Hart providing the tunes so we can dance the night away
  • Equally amazing Roxanne of Shutterbooth Philadelphia on hand with her photo booth!
  • Price: probably around $40
  • All proceeds benefit a terrific charity near and dear to our hearts (more on that soon)!

We are also hoping to have some options for the gowns at the end of the night: possibly a charity taking them for donations (and tax purposes for you), possibly a bridal salon offering a discount to preserve the gown after the event.  Stay tuned.  But rest assured, on January 28, 2012, come hell or high water, you will see the below two lovely gowns pulled from their preserved box and closet and hit the dance floor once more!  Join us!

We'd love to hear if anyone is game for joining us at the event.  Email us at WIA@swoonstylehome.com and let us know.  We'll be blogging about it tons and tons more in the coming months and will open up the ticket sales in the Summer.

See you swoon,

Bedroom decor coming to a close...or is it?

Last weekend was full of smaller projects for me, so far you saw the bathroom paint job, the kitchen shelf paint job and now for the last of them, hanging the mirror that I have had forever in the bedroom. 

I will tell you this mirror makes the room feel so much bigger not to mention filling in this huge blank yellow wall has been  satisfying too! 

This is what we had before:

I had to use some deck screws since we have plaster walls and they really did work like a chram.  I was nervous at first that they would not hold the heavy mirror but so far so good!  I bought the mirror at Home Good's and painted it Dover White, LOVE.

Not a huge fan of the alarm clock, however, this is not a fight I want to pick with my husband since this really is his side of the room.  Maybe one day I will find a new home for it but for now this is what we have!  I am thinking on a lamp change sometime in the near future, maybe a pop of color would be nice and my dream to re-paint the bedroom has not died yet.  Last weekend Kelly asked me to paint the bedroom one uniform color because I literally had 27 paint swatches on the wall.  I agree it is nice to have fully painted walls while I figure out the perfect beige that will match my dream bedroom from HOUZZ :)  If anyone out there has any suggestions on the perfect beiege,  I am all ears.  I am looking for a grown up, warm, yet not too tan color like the one in this room.  It feels warm yet light, airy & bright, talk about a tall order!

LA bedroom modern bedroom

Happy Friday everyone!

See you swoon,

The "I Desperately Need a Project" Project: Adding Some Pretty Paper to a Drawer Organizer

So yes.  You know me: I always need to have a project lined up.  With my house on the market, I'm not really able to do things I otherwise would be doing, so I've been project-deprived.  But of course sometimes I need to keep myself busy and create little things to do.

Enter today's project: prettying up the drawer divider in my bathroom vanity that holds and hides a lot of our necessities.

I need my drawers and cabinets to be organized (just check out my desk, bedroom closet, basement closet, hall closet and daughter's hair bow collection if you need proof).  A few years ago I bought a wooden kitchen cutlery organizer from Target that fit perfectly in the bottom drawer of our bathroom vanity.  I wanted to use it to keep everything tidy, and I loved that we could toss our toothpastes, shaving cream, face cleanser, etc. down there so it was easy to grab when needed but out of the way.  The only problem ... after a few years and a couple of kids, it was a little shabby looking.  Part of that was due to toothpaste gobs here and there, but I don't know ... the oak color was making me angry and sad.   Here it is:

I decided to upgrade the organizer with a little spray paint and scrapbook paper.  First step was to clean it up.  I used my favorite vinegar-based cleaner to give the organizer a quick clean.  Here it is looking much better already.

Then I took it outside, grabbed some white spray paint I had on hand and gave a few quick coats.

Once the paint was dry, I brought it inside and got out my scrapbook paper (found on sale at Michael's for 50 cents) and Mod Podge craft glue.

I cut the paper to fit in each of the bottom sections.  Next up, I applied a thin layer of Mod Podge to the bottom of the organizer and glued down the paper.  Then I did two coats of Mod Podge on top of the paper to seal it (waiting 15 minutes between each coat).  Almost done!

Once the paper part was finished, I brought it back outside and added a quick swipe of my favorite Polycrylic all over to increase its durability.

And voila!  Here it is alone and back in the drawer.

I love the fun pattern that only we will see.  I also chose it because the pattern and color will hide the toothpaste gobs and other random things that might accumulate on top.  Now that the paper is Mod-Podged (uh, is that a verb?) I can just wipe it off when it becomes a little dirty.  Yay!  Here it is with all the stuff back in.  

Anybody want to talk about project behavior today?  Are you like me and always have to have something to do or do you prefer to just take it easy?

See you swoon,

Bye-Bye Ivy Contact Paper

After six months in my house I finally decided to get rid of the ivy contact paper on the kitchen shelves and paint them a pretty bright white, amazing what white paint does.  You would think after painting almost everything white in my house it would no longer surprise me to see the drastic change it makes but it gets me every time.  The whole room is brighter, the shelves look bigger and have a much more finished look to them.

I have to give Shanna some credit here, she did remove a lot of contact paper the first weekend we lived in the house, I just finished it off last weekend and did the painting. 

Step #1, look at ivy contact paper with old blue paint tape and ponder:

Step #2, commence scraping:

Mistake #1, and one that I will not forget again was to prime these guys.  I was so excited to get the white paint on the shelves that I skipped this step all together.  It probably would have saved me a ton of time since it took me four coats and two days to get these completely covered without any primer.  Never again, primer is your friend, repeat that after me, primer is your friend.

Fast forward through painting, we all know how that goes, brush back and forth a billion times aaaaannnnnndddddd:

There you have it (this one was a little streaky but is completely covered now)!

How is that for some instant gratification on this beautifully rainy hump day!?  We want your before and afters to be featured right here so please send them our way!  Are you working any furniture projects or painting any walls?  Share your colors with us, you know how I love those color swatches :)

See you swoon,

Bridal Shower Gift Idea: International House of Picnics

Not the IHOP you're familiar with?  

This past weekend, Jamie and I went to our husbands' cousin Becky's bridal shower.  (got that?)  It was an Around the Clock shower:  a type of shower that neither of us had been to before.  Jamie was assigned "picnic time" and I was assigned "travel time."  I was totally stumped.  Aside from the suitcases that the bride and groom wanted (which, even with a coupon, were a little more than I wanted to spend), I couldn't think of what to get them for "travel time."  I debated going with a toiletry bag with her new monogram and some travel essentials, but that didn't seem right.  Jamie was struggling too. So we decided to get on our creative pants and do a combined gift.  We took a few liberties with our assigned times, but hey, a girl's got to do what she's got to do!

We ended up deciding to do an international food and wine picnic basket.  Not a real picnic basket ... but a cute lidded basket that the happy couple could use in their new home.  We reasoned that they'd get more use out of this than an actual picnic basket.   Here's the basket (found at Michael's and purchased when it was 50% off) and most of the loot:

Because Becky already had one shower prior to this one, her registry was pretty picked over, so we went off-registry.  We found a bunch of things at Crate & Barrel, including a cute plastic tray in a cheery stripe, a matching striped picnic tablecloth, some punchy floral napkins that coordinated with the stripes and two plastic stacking blue wine glasses.  Cute!  To tie in the "travel" time, we bought some great cookbooks from our favorite chefs (Ina Garten and Giada DeLaurentis) with an international focus: Barefoot in Paris and Everyday Italian.  We also loved these gorgeous glass dessert plates from Crate and Barrel with the pretty white floral.  They were so sweet, we picked up four.

And what's a picnic, or a meal for that matter, without wine?  We chose three bottles of wine to round out the basket, all with an international bent, to again tie in the whole "travel time."  Mmmmm ... vino.

So, once we had the supplies, it was time to put it all together.  I love this part!  In college, I worked at Crabtree & Evelyn and loved to put together the gift-baskets.  Fun fun.  The key is to take your time and play around with it. Just throw things in and then make it right.  I used some tissue paper that Crate & Barrel gave me with the plates to fill in empty spaces and sort of cushion around the breakable wine bottles and plates.  Here it is pretty much together:

Next up was to create a simple card that explained what was going on with the gift.  A few minutes on Adobe Illustrator and voila -- I whipped up this little number. I punched a hole in the corner so I could attach it to the basket. 

Then I took clear cellophane that I had on hand and wrapped up the basket.  I used a big white bow to tie it together and used a scrap of ribbon to hang the card.  Done!  Here it is.

I'm happy to report the bride loved the gift. Whew!  What about you guys? Stumped on a gift you need to give?  Let us know! 

See you swoon,