Closet case ...

I sat around this past Saturday trying to find something to do with myself.  This doesn't happen often.  I rearely slow down and typically have massive to do lists that are completely unrealistic for any human being to finish in a week let alone two days.  See, of course I could go out shopping or buy materials for projects I have in mind but I am trying to save some dough right now so I had to come up with a task that would cost close to nothing...or free. 
At about 3:00PM I decided I would tear my closet apart and try to find a way to create space for hanging clothes, kind of late in the day to be starting a project but I jumped in anyway.  I have a small closet in our middle bedroom to hang dresses but right now my wedding dress resides in this space so I have a limited amount of room for anything else.  I need more closet space!  I know that some people reading this is probably saying, "typical", but no really I needed more room to hang shirts and pants and it was time to take matters into my own hands.

I started ripping things apart before I took pictures so excuse the insane looking shelves, this is not how they normally look on any given day.  This is a sort of shot of what the closet looked like before.  The previous owners had made this closet and built the walls around the shelves (I learned this the hard way, more on that in a minute).  Not many of the homes on our street have any closet space so I was thrilled to have this in our bedroom.  It worked well for the first year here but I really did need more space for hangers.

This was Kelly's side...and some of my side (I needed his space too, mostly for shoes)

This takes me back to my early pre-teen years when I would be so dramatic about having to clean my room that I would tear the whole thing apart.  Makes me laugh thinking about that now especially because I did it for fun this time!

These are the brackets holding up the shelves.  My original plan was to take out the smaller top shelf and move the larger second shelf up.  Midway through ripping these out of the wall my husband suggested just hanging the hangers from the shorter shelf.  OOOOH man I did not want to admit this at first but this was a much better idea.  I was creating a lot more work for myself than was really necessary. 

Now, here comes the issue with the previous owners building the wall around the shelves.  They are way too long to come out of the closet in one piece.  Yup.  Learned that after I had one hanging and jammed between the two walls.  Out came the Dremmel.  This actually worked out better because I could cut two of the shelves on my side creating hanging space and leave the shelves on my husband's side for his clothes.  He was happy he wasnt losing his shelves in this project (he also has a second closet with a dresser and hanging poles so he didn't need the space like I did).

Here is my side all done!  I always knew I had a lot of gray, white, black, and navy clothing but this really showcases that huh?  I need more color in my life STAT!

I do plan to get matching hangers but like I said, this was a last minute project so I had to work with what I had at the time. 

This is the other side with my husbands clothes...and still my shoes but I NEED that side!  Good thing he doesn't need it, thanks for sharing :)

Have any of you tackled closet projects lately?  Are you looking for a new more functional closet design to fit your life?  Tell us all about it!

See you swoon,

Guest Blogger: Christina Johnson - Seasonal Decor in the Home

Wow - we are really touched!  Not long after Patricia Hall emailed Jamie and me asking if she could submit a post for the blog, Christina Johnson did as well.  We are thrilled to feature our readers' submissions!  Christina offered to post about seasonal decor in one's home.  What a perfect fit!  Christina works remotely for Elliman Prudential in the NYC Rentals market and uses her journalism major to combine what she loves most:  writing and her career. Her specialties include home decor design and DIY home improvement projects.  Take it away Christina!

Your entryway and living room greet you and your guests when you enter your house, giving the first impression of your home's look and feel. After a long day at work, you want a sense of peace and contentment when you get home. You also want to welcome guests in a creative, well-designed space. Adding seasonal touches and accessories is an inventive, economical way to give your home an original and harmonious feel throughout the year. You don't have to spend a fortune, either, especially if you know when to shop.

Whether your entryway is cozy or grandiose, you can find or make seasonal decorations and change up the ones you already have to reflect the time of year or upcoming holidays. Wreaths on the front door, both outside and in, are a stunning way to welcome each season while you welcome visitors. To keep the cost down,create your own wreaths for each season. Buy plain grapevine or greenery wreaths and use a hot glue gun to add silk flowers for spring and summer; autumn leaves and gourds for fall; and silk holly sprigs, ornaments, red berries and gold ribbons for the winter holiday season. You can also create specific holiday wreaths for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, 4th of July and other holidays through the year. Wrap or drape matching, seasonally themed swags and garlands over the front door and around any mirrors or pictures on the walls of your entryway.




When you move on into the living room, artistically designed pillows on your couch, loveseat and chairs give you an eye-catching way to celebrate each season. Purchase seasonal or holiday themed pillows at the end of the season to take advantage of low sale prices. Buy shawls or throws that complement each groups of pillows to drape over your couch and chairs. Add seasonal touches around the room, such as candles and candleholders, candy dishes, statues and miniature houses. Stores have come out with lines of decorative items for virtually every occasion throughout the year, so the possibilities are endless. If you have the artistic touch, you can make silk flower arrangements and baskets to grace your front window, coffee table and end tables. If ready-made items are more up your alley, once again, you can buy them at the end of the season or after the holiday at inexpensive sale prices.



Through these simple touches, your creativity will let family and friends enjoy each season and holiday in the comfort of your home.

Shabby Apple. Live it. Learn it. Love it.

I came across Shabby Apple a few months ago through another blog and instantly fell in love with their designs...all of them.  I am currently swooning over 100 different things but have been showing an amazing amount of will power when it comes to keeping my credit card number out of the site, for now anyway!

Just so happens one day in November, DIY by Design had been hosting a Shabby Apple contest to win a dress.  I entered immediately and I know we all say this but I never win anything and guess what?  I WON!!!  WOOOOT!  Of course I need the perfect shoes now so stay tuned for that hunt but until then let's take a look at this new lovely that will reside in my closet.

Forbidden City Dress:

I am in love.  I can wear this out or even to work.  I am so happy that Judy at DIY by Design picked this for the winner.  Thank you!!

You must stop in and check out some of the other items Shabby Apple has to offer.  Until then I will show you some of my favorites so far.


French Quarter:

Happy shopping and happy Friday to you all!  Hope you enjoy Shabby Apple as much as I do!

See you swoon,


Coming in for a Landing - a quick before and after

How about a super quick before and after this fine Thursday?

A few weekends ago, I was on a mission to get stuff done.  Not that I normally am not ... I'm always doing something around the house.  But this particular Saturday was super warm, which meant the kids went outside to play, so I had the house to myself.  I decided to tackle a project that's been on my list: the upstairs landing.  

Yawnsville, right?  But it's a neat little nook right outside the hall bathroom and was crying out for something fun.  I decided to do a mini picture wall and happened to have four black frames with white mats on hand.  So I played around with the frames until I found an arrangement that I liked and ... voila!

I wanted a mix of prints and photos in this spot.  I found a black and white wedding picture and popped that in the 4x6 frame.  I had an extra 8x10 black and white of the kids from a few years ago and put that in the large frame.  The calla lily print used to be in our bathroom in the old house.  I found a cute silhouette of a cat in a magazine and thought it was a little nod to Coco, so I added that to the last frame.  Anyway, here's the finished arrangement:

I can't tell you the difference this makes in that spot!  I'm thinking I will finally cover that lampshade with fabric - a project that I have been meaning to do for a year! I even have the fabric ready to go.   

See you swoon,

More Etsy Love

Shopping online is one of my favorite things to do.  I have been very heavy on the style posts lately, partly due to the fact that house projects cost money and I am currently saving up to tackle a few things.  Since I can't dive right into every project I want without thinking about my budget, my other creative outlet is shopping and finding inspiration for my wardrobe and home online.  Although I feel like I have neglected my house for weeks now, it has been just as important for me to find inspiration through my favorite shops, Pinterest, and Polyvore and then bring it all to you.  You never know how one little picture can change your entire outlook or design style for a room or your wardrobe.  The best part?  INSPIRATION IS FREE (OK well most of the time).

Etsy is just as dangerous as Pinterest in my book.  They just suck you right in with all their pretty, pretty pictures and I love how these sites have places for you to save your favorite items and sellers.  Even more dangerous because you can keep a running list of everything you want to buy and come back to it later, so convenient!!  I know you will agree :)

Here are some of my favorite things on Etsy to date:

Armour Sans Anguish

I am totally in love with these vintage lace dresses.  I must have one...or three.


Affordable, beautiful jewelry :)  What girl doesn't like that!?

And looky here!  She pops up everywhere!!  Here we have Jen sporting the beautiful wishbone necklace.

Boot cuffs!  Genius!!

Freshline:  Shanna loves this one and has prints in her home from Freshline!

Love this cute idea for a family tree print:

Complete and total head over heels love for this dress:

And just to leave you all with a little bit of love today....

Juliana W Jewelry

Hope you all enjoy!  What are some of your favorite things on Etsy?

See you swoon,

Be My Guest, Be My Guest, Put My Guest Room to the Test

I have a fully-functioning guest room!  Yay!  The finished space (which isn't actually finished at all) is a far cry from the empty box and storage central that the guest room has been since we moved in ...

We moved from a three bedroom home to a five bedroom home, and with two kids, we did not have a guest room in the old house.  Just in January, we upgraded from our queen bed to a king in the master and moved the queen into the guest room.  With the bed ready to go, I could get the painting underway!

I wanted to paint the walls a fun color that is a bit out of my comfort zone.  Something pretty and soothing.  I tried a bunch of colors and decided on Sherwin Williams Quietude, which I had my friends at Lowe's match to Olympic One paint (Quietude is right there in the middle of the paint strip).  

Image from The Nester
My sister and I painted the room in a few hours.  It's small and between the two of us, painting it was a breeze.  Here's the space all freshly painted!

Now to decorate!  I wanted to keep everything on a budget, so I will use my upholstered headboard with nailhead trim from the old house and West Elm bedding from the queen sized bed. I loved that look, and the coverlet looks great with the Quietude paint!   Obviously I still have to hang the headboard.

For furniture, I picked up these little night stands at Target back in the Fall. They were on clearance for something like $20 each.  They were originally for Jamie but she didn't like them in person. I decided to keep them, as I knew I'd need night stands.  I am planning to paint them and do a fun treatment on the glass top.  You might recognize the lamp as the one I redid with a little paper and Mod Podge.  The other lamp was another one that the sellers left behind.  I have plans to paint it!

The dresser used to be Big's!  It was getting too small to hold all of his clothes, but it's perfect for a guest room, especially one this size.  As with the nightstands, this puppy will get a coat of paint eventually and definitely new hardware.  

The rug has sure gotten around my house - it used to be in the living room of our first house and has been in the den, the living room and now here.  It's finally in the right spot - the colors are perfect, and it's so soft and cushy - perfect for a bedroom.  

What else? I need a mirror over the dresser, curtains at the window and art all around.  But for now, this room is a cozy little retreat for any overnight guests that we have.  

What do you think?  

See you swoon,