FRIDAY FAVORITES

Is it just me or does this freezing cold weather just suck the life out of you too? I’m never one to complain about the cold (I am a self proclaimed winter girl) but boy oh boy, it has been so cold! I usually don’t wish away winter, but Spring sure is looking pretty good to me right about now. I will admit that I have been less than motivated this week. Maybe it was the cold or maybe I’m just having a bit of a decorating slump but I’m hoping I’ll be able to snap out of it this weekend. Our two projects right now, the transitional kids room and our home office makeover (I’ll have some updates on those this weekend) have had me busy coming up with plans, ideas and designs, so this week’s Friday Favorites is a bit of an abbreviated version…

1. Shelving SolutionsFriday Favorites

I’ve been trying to come up with some pretty and practical storage solutions for our office and am leaning towards some sort of wall mounted shelving with boxes and baskets to house extra papers, documents, and office-y stuff that we don’t need on a daily basis. A simple solid or reclaimed wood shelf with contrasting iron brackets, like these ones that I found on Etsy, would bring the right amount of storage space and design contrast in the office. Let’s hope we can explore this idea a little bit more this weekend…

2. DIY Chair Update Friday Favorites

I love how Jennifer over at Dimples and Tangles added a little somethin’ somethin’ to her T.J. Maxx dining chairs. I’ve personally admired these chairs more than once during my T.J. Maxx runs and she really upped the ante with this chair makeover. Maybe a fab DIY chair makeover like this will convince my husband to get rid of his big, ugly desk chair (a girl can dream!)

3. New Office Lighting friday favorites

One purchase that I made for our Home Office Makeover this week was this Threshold™ Brushed Silver Linear Floor Lamp from Target. I like the sleek & simple lines and industrial feel that comes along with it and it’s a perfect addition for the office. Super easy assembly too. I promise for some more detailed updates on our project soon.

4. The Puppy Bowl

I know most people are focusing on the Big Game this weekend, and while I’m not much of a football fan (especially when our Steelers aren’t playing) I am DEFINITELY a fan of The Puppy Bowl. I just can’t handle the cuteness. Between the Puppy Bowl and some much anticipated commercials, I think this girl will get more than her fill of the football festivities! ‘Nough said.

So, it may have been a slow week for me creatively, but my hopes are high for a productive weekend. What are some of your latest obsessions this week? Are you ready for the big Superbowl weekend?

TRANSITIONAL KIDS ROOMS

A good friend of ours asked me to help out with some ideas for their toddler’s room as he transitions from a nursery to a big boy space and I couldn’t be more excited to lend a hand! As I’ve been brainstorming ideas for a fun space that will last for several years, I have grown to love the concept of transitional kids rooms for toddlers that will last longer than just the “terrible twos.” I think kids rooms are becoming a whole lot less literal and a whole lot more design oriented. Themes that are more flexible allow the room to grow with the little ones and prevent you from having to switch up room decor every few years. Neutral colors on the walls, floors, and furniture let you add color with bedding, toys and accessories (the easy parts to change as your children grow) which can be swapped out quickly and easily as your child’s interests change. More flexible storage solutions like baskets and boxes allow easy clean-up and organization of toys and can continue being used years down the line.

transitional kids room

For example, say your little one is a big fan of good old Lightning McQueen (because really…who isn’t?) Rather than going full-blown Disney’s Cars, why not try a more subtle approach and stick with transportation? A neutral wall color like grey or beige (or somewhere in between like Benjamin Moore’s Going to the Chapel) along with a simple and neutral area rug and solid wood furniture will create the perfect base that will allow you to add color and character through bedding, toys and accessories. Framing old maps makes great artwork and adds an educational factor when the little ones get older. Fun helicopter bedding like this adds a pop of color to the space and a simple switch when your little boy gets bigger. Colorful books, toys and table lamps are another great way to bring color to your little one’s room that won’t overwhelm the rest of the space. Take a look as some of my inspiration for a transportation themed transitional kids room for a little boy to grow into…transitional kids room

I love the idea of creating some DIY chalkboards or cork boards that can be used to learn shapes, letters & numbers and also display any artwork your kids might bring home. As they get older, these can be used to display weekly schedules, remember homework assignments, and highlight their accomplishments!

Here’s a list of elements I think are important when creating a transitional kids room that will easily grow with your child:

  • Neutral base colors: Using neutral colors on the walls, flooring and main elements in the room will allow you to add color through smaller pieces (toys, books, bedding, etc.) that are much easier to swap out for new things in the future.
  • Themes that can grow: When choosing a “theme” for your transitional kids room, try to go with something a little less literal. Try choosing or creating artwork that could work in a teenage room. For example, instead of a Lightning McQueen poster, find some cool vintage car prints on Etsy to frame and hang. This kind of artwork will grow with your kids and work in a bedroom long after the terrible twos. Using toys, books and accessories to add that childlike theme to the space, you will be able to add and edit whenever you need to and change them as your child’s interests change.Vintage car posters for boy's room
  • Long lasting bedroom furniture: Buying nice, substantial furniture for your toddler may seem excessive at first, but will save you money and energy in the future. Buying solid and well-made furniture like a bed, dresser and storage units that your child will be able to use up until they leave for college is a great investment and one that you will appreciate in the long run.
  • Smaller storage options: Additional storage options, like baskets and boxes placed on shelves, provides quick and easy clean-up and organization of toys when your kids are younger and can be used for other purposes as they grow.Catalina Console Bookcase #pbkids - something similar for girl's room
  • Age appropriate Textiles: One of the biggest statements in your child’s room will come from your choice of bedding. Go for fun, child themed bedding when they young. This is where you can insert the shapes and colors they are loving at the moment. When they have grown out of their Toy Story comforter or Kung Fu Panda duvet cover simply swap it our for a new one. This is the easiest way to change the vibe of the room without breaking the bank or undergoing a major facelift. Bedding, blankets, window treatments and other textiles in your child’s space is a simple way to age-up the space while your kids are growing up.
  • Display Boards: Once project idea that I love for transitional kids rooms is DIY display boards. Creating chalkboards, corkboards, or magnetic boards to hang on your child’s wall will be a great way to learn and explore when they’re young and to display artwork, awards, and schedules as they grow.

I’m excited to get this project started and can’t wait to fill you in on how our transitional kids room design is going!

So, what are you thoughts on transitional kids rooms? How do you let your child’s room grow right along with them?

FRIDAY FAVORITES

It’s Friday! Woohoo! Hopefully this week went by as quickly for you as it did for me.  Maybe it was the fact that I’m finally feeling better or because I know how much I need to get done this weekend (is it just me or does time always fly when you know how much stuff you need to get done?) but either way, this week was a fast one! Friday also means its time for round 2 of my Friday Favorites posts. Wait for it…wait for it…

1. Arena: Remembering the Igloo

friday favorites

For anyone who loves the Pens, watches hockey, or just appreciates cool photography, you have until March 2nd to check out this amazing exhibit here in Pittsburgh that documents the destruction of the old Civic Arena. How amazing is that picture? The exhibit, which is free, is open through March 2. Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays through Thursdays; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. We will be checking it out for sure!

2. A Desk Backsplashfriday favorites

In the midst of some major brainstorming for our home office makeover, I’ve come to love the idea of creating some sort of desk “backsplash.” This could be a great way to create some additional organization and add a little bit of va va voom to the blank space behind our desks. I like how Emily over at Recently used a chalkboard wall with magnetic paint in her desk nook to tie everything together. I’m also playing around with some other ideas, maybe some sort of cork board, for a little desk backsplash behind our desks. I plan on diving into that in more detail this weekend!

3. Sochi Inspired Designs

With just two more weeks until the opening ceremonies for this years winter Olympic games (I have to say, I am a definite Olympic junkie..I swear, even curling get me going. Bring it on!) I can’t help but think of some Sochi inspired designs with a nod to the games without going full blown red, white & blue to help bring style to your home worth of a gold medal (Holy puns. Okay, I’m done)… Channel all the Sochi bound athletes with a vintage suitcase end table. Any old luggage laying around in your attic or basement? Stack ’em up or turn them into an Olympic inspired side table that’s sure to add some vintage style to your space. Not ready for some DIY action? Check out some of these luggage inspired tables on Etsy.

4. Pick My Presto

Layla, over at The Lettered Cottage has a fun little segment called Pick My Presto where she interacts with readers to offer some design advice and redesigns of their own spaces. It’s a great example of how bloggers can interact with readers online and act as virtual designers! Have fun looking through some of her design ideas and hopefully pick up a few ideas of your own!

BOOKS FOR LOOKS

When it comes to decorating, I always know I can turn to a good book. I don’t mean reading about all of the latest and greatest design tips and DIY projects but instead using books as a go-to decorating accessory. (Even our wedding was full of them!)books for looks

Would you hate me if I told you that I never have nor do I plan on reading most of the books lining my shelves and stacked on my side tables? Don’t get me wrong, I really do love to read (although I find myself struggling to find the time to sit down with a good book at this stage in my life) but to me, often times, it’s more about creating that library-like feeling than adding to my literary collection. I imagine that there are mixed emotions about using books for looks among designers, decorators and especially book lovers, and while I wish I did own shelves and shelves full of literary classics that I was able to read in front of the fireplace with a cup of Earl Grey, for now I shop for books based on size and color at thrift shops. I just think rows and stacks of books are the best and easiest way to create the appearance of effortlessly decorated surfaces and as many heights and homemade pedestals as you can dream of.

books for looks

When it comes to displaying books, on shelves or tables or wherever you may have them, I say throw out that old and dated rulebook. Gone are the days when we had to have our books perfectly arranged according to height with the bindings out. There are no rules when it comes to designing your own home (except for maybe using wallpaper borders…never ever use wallpaper borders) so stack and display your books however you like.

books for looks

I love shopping local thrift stores like Goodwill for books to add to my collection ($1.99 for all hardbacks…can’t beat that!) I always throw away the book sleeves and display the cover itself when it comes to books for looks so look for books according to the size and color you’re searching for. I guess that means I’m totally judging a book by its cover…hmm…

Anywho… So what are my tricks for disguising books that that seem perfect aside from an undesirable title like this one?books for looks(Look I really do love my sister…but let’s take it easy here. I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers.)

Turn your books around! Some people may not like the idea of displaying the pages rather than the binding, but I say go for it! I think it really adds a cool look to your book collection and you’re able to disguise any awkward titles and subjects without diminishing your library collection. books for looks

If you’re not into that, try wrapping your books in Kraft paper or any other pretty paper you have laying around (if anything, it’ll take you back to your high school and college textbook days.) I like the way this looks too and it’s a great way to create a neutral backdrop in your space. books for looksI love the feeling that stacks and rows of books provide you in a space. Just because you haven’t read them (or don’t ever plan on reading them) doesn’t mean you can’t get the library vibe in your own home. The torn and tattered, old with the new, pages and pages of history feeling stacked on your shelves or propped under you favorite family photo isn’t something that should just be reserved for the literary elite. Go ahead, break the rules…I dare ya!

What are your thoughts on decorating with books? Is shopping for books based on style and color a no-no in your mind?