back on track

the kids and i took a week long vacation to visit family and friends last week. it was so nice and relaxing...but now it is time to get back on track. the kids started camp today, so now i can focus on work (and blogging:)). tomorrow i am meeting with my client about her master bedroom and we are almost finished. this has been such a nice project to work on and my client is so happy! i am hoping to get some good photos tomorrow to show you some "afters".

for now here are the fabrics we are incorporating into the room. they helped to create the warm and relaxing getaway that my client was after...

i will be sure to post some photos of the finished (almost!) product later this week!


tea time

sometimes the smallest changes make me so happy. right now i am borrowing a dining room chandelier from my friend (thanks marijke).  it was sitting in her garage and she wasnt quite ready to part with it for good. so i suggested that it come and live at my house for a while:)  at first i didnt want to invest in shades for it because it wasnt mine for good. then i found some inexpensive shades at lowes but they were too white (and a little small). i bought them anyway. i knew i could change the color...i just wasnt sure how. then it came to me!  for halloween in 2009 ethan wanted to be obi-wan kenobi. i decided to put together a homemade version. i wanted to use his karate jacket ...but it was too white. so i tea stained it!

i cant resist adding this photo of them in their costumes from that year. they look so young to me in this picture. 

have you figured out where this is headed?  yep....i tea stained the shades! and i love them. even though everyone in my family says that they cant tell the difference. i can...and isnt that what is most important? i basically just made a big bowl of tea with about 5 or 6 tea bags. 

i let each soak for about 20 minutes. this was all an experiment....there was no exact science was involved. here is a shot of one before (on the left) and one after the tea staining. i can tell the difference...can you?

i am fully aware that it is hard to tell in the photos....but i really wanted to share my little victory. here are all of the shades before.....

and here they are might have to adjust your screen a little to really tell:)

i know it is subtle...but totally worth the time and effort. the tea soaking just took the edge off of the stark white shades. i couldnt be happier with the result. so even if you cant me it works!


hydrangea happiness

the weather has been perfect in northern virginia for the past few days.....amazing. all of my flowers are so happy. i love to garden. i dont really have "a garden", but i have some perennials here and there in our beds.  i couldnt help sharing how pretty our hydrangea is right should have seen this sorry plant last summer. it sat in its pot for about a month before i got it in the ground. i think it died and came back a few times.  but it seems happy now....

i love that when you plant some hydrangeas you are never sure of the exact color they will come up. i think it depends on the acid in the soil.  (see that almost white post in the background? that is our used to be we speak it is half white/half brown until we can finish changing it all over to white. stay tuned for a future post on the progress of it. i am pretty sure our neighbors think we are crazy...since we just stained it brown last summer:))

here are some other pretty flowers that i was so happy to see come back! shasta daiseys...

i honestly think lantana is one of my favorite it!

when i was taking this photo i remembered another photo we had (you can tell kevin took it). it must be from at least 7 years ago......look at all of those colors in one small flower!

thanks for letting me share. i think this is why i am really starting to like blogging... i can just ramble on about the things i love!


in the navy

i am loving navy right now. it looks like i am not the only is everywhere i turn. here are a few photos i took while i was out and about last week....

while i was at target....look how cute these dishes are and they are plastic!

some adorable storage bins.....

over at ikea....more adorable storage boxes....

and these pitchers....i thought they were ceramic until i picked them up to "style" them for the photo....they are enamel.

here are some fabrics i found at the design center that i would love to work into a room (they look more gray in the photo, but they are really navy).....

and this weekend i was flipping through the pb teen catalogue that came in the mail and found this great room with navy in it...i am a sucker for paisley

i have seen these two photos before in blogland...i cannot find the source. but i know i love them. there is something so inviting about a navy room. and i love the trim painted to match in the first one.....

anybody with me on the navy bandwagon? if anyone would like help creating an inviting room using navy (or any color for that matter:)) feel free to contact me!


client guest bath

i thought it was time to show a client project! i have been working with clients for 12 years and i have no professional portfolio!  ridiculous i know! mostly because i feel like a room is never "done" so i cant really photograph it. then there is always the problem that i dont take very good photos...yet! however, i am learning that you dont have to take a photo of the whole get the feel of a room. oh goes nothing!

this is a little project i worked on last summer. my client (who is one of the sweetest people i know and we have worked together on and off for 10 years!) just wanted to spruce up the guest quarters in the basement. top on the list was the bathroom. she wasnt in the market for a total overhaul...just a "sprucing" up! so with a few small changes we were able to do that. here is a before shot...there is no natural light in this excuse the photo quality!

here is the after....a shower curtain, new paint on the walls and cabinetry, mirror framing, some new hardware and of course new accessories (and yes that is a fake plant! remember there are no windows and this one was cute)....

here is another before...

and after....i love this mirror...i am pretty sure it was a homegoods find....

and kevin (tired of calling him "my husband":)) and i put together this little towel holder...he routed out a piece of wood and i did a little distressed painting...and the hooks are from anthropology.

one last look....

it really is a cheery little bathroom now!

so there you have first little client reveal! now that i have taken the plunge there will be more to come!


green with envy

i cannot believe it will 2 years ago tomorrow that we left italy:(  it seems like yesterday that we were waiting to board the plane headed for home! we were fortunate enough to live in naples for 4 years....

we were there for my husbands job and it was an amazing experience for us! the first year is a bit hazy because the twins were only 11 months when we arrived.  the next three are more clear and we had a blast....we made the most incredible friends and got to travel a ton!  my husband might have the opportunity to go back soon for work...and that is where the envy comes in.

and the green part?  that is referring to one of my favorite things to do while living in italy...collecting green bottles!  the correct name for them is demijohn. they are used for homemade wine....which there is no shortage of in naples! a lot of them were just thrown along the side of the road when they were empty. you could also buy them ....but that was no fun!  it was the thrill of the hunt for me! i am pretty sure each one of my friends from italy has a good story to tell about finding them!

this sort of started an obsession with green bottles for me! my collection has grown...thanks to family giving me any green glass bottle they had and picking up others, new and old whenever i see them.  when i look around my house now they seem to be everywhere!

one of the first things i did when i got our new house was to figure out how to turn one into a lamp. my mom actually had an extra lamp adapter and it fit in the the top perfectly. i had thought about drilling through the bottom for the cord...but i was too scared to break the bottle (one broke while i was unpacking and i think i scared the kids b/c i started crying!)  so i just let the cord hang down the back. i found the perfect size shade...but it was too white. so i decided to cover it with linen. i love the look...but next time i cover a shade i will be following janells post at isabella & max rooms ! the edges of the fabric i turned under look a little rough...

here are more scattered through my on the kitchen counter. i found this one at a local thrift store! i love the wide mouth of it.

here is a collection on top of a cabinet in our you recognize the painting? it was in the first photo of the lamp...which is where it normally lives. when my husband took this photo  (he is an amazing photographer) for me a long time ago...we were styling it with the same painting!!

this one is just sitting on the floor of my dining room (which looks little dirty! and i see a small lego piece!)

here are a few more stashed up in the master bathroom...the big one is the prettiest blue/green color. if you look close it is daughter accidentally bumped it last week (more tears from me) and i didnt have the heart to throw it away! honestly...this one was from italy and i am really attached!

one more by the bed...

do you think i might have a problem? my husband certainly does:) in college i used to collect all things fish?!?! i wonder what it will be next!