Tips and Tricks For Decorating Small or Awkward Spaces

The new place isn’t exactly small, coming in at just under 2,000 sq feet, but a few of spaces are small, or even just a bit awkward. I’m sure I’m not alone in having a few tricky spaces so I’ve put together a few tips to help others out there who may similar problems.

  • Decorate with pieces that are clear or have thin profiles. This little desk area is functional without creating a cramped feeling because the designer went with a ghost chair. Great seating with out breaking things up visually.

Ghost Chair Office

(Image Souce) (Chair)

  • Use mirrors to reflect light. Mirrors have a magic ability to make pretty much every space feel lighter, brighter and larger. The general rule of thumb is the bigger, the better!

Wall mirror for small spaces

(Image Source) (Mirror Options 1,2,3- under $100)

  • Look for alternate solutions. This next one is way more practical than pretty but sometimes your staircase is just only so big. Find furniture that can fold or be disassembled so you can actually get it into the space. This guy below is actually headed our way as I type.

Foldable Box Spring

(Image and Product Source)

  • Use large art. Sometimes people can think that using smaller art in a small space can help the space feel larger when really it does the opposite. Large art can help a space feel bigger and more interesting.

Large wall art

(Image Source) (Art Options 1,2,3)

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of everything that you can do to decorate in small spaces but using just one two can make a huge difference in a room. Anyone else out there have issues with a space? Also, how magical is that folding box spring?

-Katy


Footwear for Anywhere: Shoes For My Next Adventure

ireland-dublin-clontarf-castle-1440x900

I’m not sure if I’m lucky or crazy but tonight I just booked my flight for Dublin, Ireland! Now I know most logical people out there are thinking “wait, didn’t she just buy a 50 year old fixer upper LAST MONTH?” Yes, yes I did. But you see, the husband has to go out there for work and I joked that if he didn’t take me with him, he shouldn’t come home (kidding, not kidding). So we’re going, even though it doesn’t make a lot of sense. It puts some of our home projects out a little bit further out but honestly, I’m OK with it. When we were thinking about buying a house, we worried that buying one would end our adventures so while this trip isn’t necessarily convenient, it’s definitely ensuring we don’t end up spending all our extra cash on the house.

But enough about the house, let’s get back to the trip! We’re going to be there at the very beginning of October with the average temperatures being 50-60 degrees with high likelihood of some rain. So this means I’m going to need some new duds since Austin weather is quite a bit different. I’ve looked and looked for cute and comfy shoes that fit the bill and I keep coming back to the same pair, although in different colors. But look at them, can you blame me?

toms-desert-wedge

TOMS Desert Wedge Booties

They’re pretty much primed to be travel shoes. A little waterproof spray and the suede should survive most rain, especially if you got them in one of the darker colors. Amazon reviews (who doesn’t live and die by them, honestly?) swear that they’re comfortable all day long despite the wedge heel. I’ve had TOMS flats before and loved how comfy they were so I’m pretty sure these will be as well. One of the best things about these though, is that I think they’ll look great with the skinny jeans I have now and the flare jeans that are SO in this season.

These booties have been out for a season or two so do any of you have them? If so, love or hate them? Also, I would LOVE to hear any recommendations you have for visiting Ireland! I’m so excited to hear anything and everything you recommend!

-Katy

 

(Castle Image Source)


The Coolest New Book for Kids

the-book-with-no-pictures-480x480

 

I wanted to let you guys know about this super awesome new children’s book written by B.J. Novak, of The Office fame. Cleverly, the book begins by explaining that the reader has to say everything that is written inside of books. Then the silliness begins. Here’s just a couple of the pages:

 

 

 

Book with no pages

It only gets more wonderfully silly from there. It’s a perfect way to induce a little bit of silliness, which is something we all could use. I bought this for a friend of mine’s child and I’m very excited to give it to her and read it to her. Any of you already read this? Any new children’s books out that you recommend?

Have a great weekend!

-Katy


Dramatic Black and White

I have always loved rooms that have a black and white theme with just a hint of an accent color. Back in high school (over a decade ago :/) I loved black and white paired with red but over the past several years I’ve really fallen for rooms that combine the dramatic pair with metallics, especially gold. The red was beautiful but it can scream “look at me” when you’re wanting the black and white to really take center stage. I’ve included a couple black and white rooms that I’ve loved for awhile to show how the same theme can look very different depending on style and space.

Black and White Room

(source)

Black and White Dining

(source)

While I would love to have a living or dining room become a monochromatic paradise, I’m not sure how well it would work with the flow of our new house and most of pieces I already have and love. So I’m working on creating that  black and white space in the new guest room. I’ve been looking for a few pieces to add and thought that I’d share some of my favorite finds.

dramatic-black-and-white

1/2/3/4/5/6/7

As cheesy as it may be, I love the amour pillow (it’s under $20 too!) and I’m thinking it might have to come and live at my house. Any of them that you love?

-Katy


Decorating Inspired by Our Furry Friends: Dog Decor

Water Color Dog Print

While I’m still finding my bearings in the new place and trying to begin the process of unpacking, I thought I’d jump online and chat about two things I love: Dogs and Decor. I’m mildly obsessed with my pup (and pretty much all dogs) and I’ve always loved the idea of having a few canine related pieces in my home. Usually when I (and most people) think of dog art and decor, I think of cheesy posters with sayings like “Wipe yer paws” or “Dog lives here” or something like that. But since moving into the new place, I see all of this empty wall space that’s screaming for some beautiful art or shelving that could use some pretty styling pieces and I’ve thought that I could definitely stand to have more canine inspiration. There’s actually a lot of pretty stuff out there if you know where to look. So I thought I’d share with you all some of my favorite finds.

Dog Figurine Target

 

Modern Dog Figurine

Greyhound Bookends

Greyhound Bookends

Bulldog Decor

Bulldog Treat Jar (less than $20)

Dog Print Etsy

Original Etsy Art

Dog Statue

Statue

So we’re pretty much in agreement at this point that dog decor can be pretty, modern, or even very sophisticated, right? I think that I need that first watercolor sketch for my office (which you can find here, by the way). So, am I crazy for wanting some more canine inspiration? Are you a dog person as well, or do you prefer feline friends?

-Katy


New House: A Walk Through Our Staging Photos

Have you ever been so tired that your teeth hurt? I’m there right about now. This house has taken waaaaay more time than I thought it would and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface on what needs to be done. We’re moving in this weekend and finishing up resurfacing (read:repainting) the cabinets so I’m behind on updating the blog with progress. Instead of trying to kill myself attempting to balance work, blog, and moving, I thought that I’d show you what the inside of the house looked like when we walked through it (and fell in love).

You’ve already seen the outside so I thought I’d just show you what the interior spaces looks like. Later on I’ll show you before and afters but for now, let’s just take a virtual walk through.

Entry

Entry 1

 

Love the huge coat closet in the entry but let’s be real, that tile has to go. Soon. More on that later. Let’s just stare at the built ins and pretend we can’t see it.

Dining Room 

Dining Room

 

When you walk in, the first room you enter in the formal dining room. They staged it as an office but we’ll take it back to it’s original purpose- in fact, this room was one of the big selling points for us. We love to entertain so this will be well used.

Living Room

Living Room 4

 

On the other side of the floating staircase we have the living room with some awesome huge windows and great mantle and fireplace. The moment I saw this space I thought of decorating it for Christmas. It’s going to be soo fun. It feels like it was pretty much made for Christmas.

Staged Living Room

Breakfast Nook and Bar

Living Room 3

Look at that beautiful, open flow. This shot is from the sofa and looks into the breakfast nook and slightly peers into the kitchen. While it might be handy to have a little table and chairs in that space, we’re thinking of repurposing it into a piano room. It’s a bit bigger than it seems in photos and we’ve measured it out and a baby grand piano will fit into it perfectly. Imagine having the husband tickling the ivories while we entertain guests around the hearth. Doesn’t it sound dreamy? That’s why we’re pretty much planning forgoing eating bacon and eggs there in the AM, especially since the dining room is not that far.

Kitchen

Kitchen

This room is the one that will see some of the biggest change. We’ve talked about how we’re making changes to it now, but later on next week I’ll introduce our two step plan to bring this area into 2015 and make it feel a little bit more like “us.”

Powder Room

Powder Room

Off the kitchen there’s the laundry room (too boring to photograph apparently) and the powder room. If this looks familiar, it’s because I talked about plans for it here.

Landing

Landing 1

This landing area upstairs will also need some love. Don’t you love that HUGE doorbell? Yeah, it’s not staying despite my husband’s pleadings. Too huge and too ugly, plus it’s hard to see here but it’s actually missing two chimes. Dated and broken means it’s time for it to go.

Office and Guest Room

Office 1

Guest Room 1

These two rooms are nearly identical except that the last one has a huge walk in closet which will be perfect for storing all of that Christmas decor we talked about earlier. Both rooms are decently sized and I’m sure I’ll share more about them when I get to setting them up and styling them but for now imagine them in a crisp white.

Guest Bathroom

Guest Bath 1

This is currently the least cared about room in the entire house which is surprising considering the walls are currently a light pink. We’ll care about it sometime, but for now I’m just happy that the husband is color blind and thinks it’s off white. 🙂

Master Bedroom and Bath

Master Bedroom 1

This was the other space that really sold us on the house. Most (almost) 50 years old homes have small master bedrooms but this one is pretty large and the window provides great natural light. The light plum color on the wall actually inspired us to go super dark in the room and I couldn’t be more excited! We’ll talk specific colors soon!

Master Bath

This space will also need a bit of love. It’s not bad but it’s not good. Carpet doesn’t belong anywhere near a sink and if you’re sitting on the toilet and someone opens the door, your knees are getting banged up. #reallife At some point we imagine ripping all of this up and configuring it in a way that makes it feel more open and definitely less off-white.

There are a few spaceS that weren’t photographed like the laundry and the master walk-in closet. I’ll get to photographing them soon and including updates but in the meantime, let’s talk about some things we love and don’t love so much. What’s your favorite room? Any features you love or hate? Any recommendations on updating? Leave a comment- I love and read them all! 🙂

 


Checking in To Say Hello!

Hello Doormat

 

You guys, this week is nuts! We’re still painting like crazy (I’ll have more pictures on that later next week) and we’re trying to pack things up and get them off to the new house while working and fitting in some sleep. I’m going to try to get posts up this week, but if not, know that I’m hustling trying to keep my life together and things will be back to normal in no time.

In the meantime, how adorable is this rug? It’s on sale for less than $15 which is nuts- I’m thinking about putting it on the back doorstep where things don’t have to be as serious. Anyway, hope you’re all having a fabulous day and I’ll check in soon!


Make a Difference Monday: Never a Finished Product

Give them the chance

 

I’ve had this quote on my mind the past day or so. I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets frustrated with someone because he or she is deficient at a certain thing. But I know that just because I’m not alone in this, doesn’t mean that I’m right. In fact, I’m probably more self-righteous than right, if I really think about it. It’s a little ridiculous to expect anyone to be perfect, or even near perfect, yet how many times do I become exasperated with someone over a small mistake or faux pas without realizing they’re just as human as I am?

I’ve been working on quite a few projects lately and frankly, I’ve been amazed at some individuals’ lack of consideration, especially when it comes to respecting others’ time and effort. Initially I was letting their actions get to me and I started to take it a little personally. Thankfully, one of my friends pointed out that perhaps this one individual (whom I consider a serial offender) might not have ever had any prior experience with the particular subject matter and is probably out of her depths. I’d love to say that I immediately got over my hard feelings and invited her over for brunch, but I didn’t. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I’m probably still not quite over this individual’s behavior but that’s OK because I’m human too. But just because I’m not perfect, doesn’t mean that I can’t really try to be better. Human or not, everyone could use a little slack and that extends to her as well as to myself.

So I’m on a mission to start applying the quote above in my life a little bit more and see if that helps lower my blood pressure and exercise my patience a bit more. I think we all could use a little bit more kindness in our day-to-day and the world would be a different place if we could all try a bit harder to be nice to ourselves and the person next to us. My challenge for myself (and you) is that one day this week when someone has inadvertently wronged you that you will consciously let it, just roll off your back. It’s ridiculously hard for me but i’m actually kind of excited to try.

Would you be willing to give it a go and flex your patience muscle a bit this week or have you done so recently? I’d love to hear your stories-leave a comment!


Lighting: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (and Replacements)

We’re back talking about the house today and more specifically, the lighting. There are so many awesome vintage touches to this house and we fell in love with so much of it. But not everything in it was exactly our taste. To be honest, some of the fixtures took you back in time to when men and women wore bell bottoms and “groovy!” was an acceptable response to anything. While I love so many things about the 70’s (hello, flares are flattering on every woman), the lighting from that time period is not my fav. But I believe in starting with the positive, so here’s the good:

Beautiful Vintage Crystal LightingThis beauty is in the entry and we couldn’t love her more! We have 4 other fixtures like this one and we’re thrilled that they came with the house. You can see it’s missing a few crystals, but c’mon, she’s 50 years old. We’ll give her a break since we think she looks fab for her age and just find matching crystals at a local antique place. Easy peasy.

Now on to the the bad ones. Guys, I want to not hate them but I do. Take a look and you’ll understand. If not, come buy them from me- I’ll give you a deal.

70's LightingAh, that 70’s brass. We have two of these bad boys in our house; they’re both within 5 feet of each other upstairs, and every time I see them “Stayin’ Alive” starts playing in my head. I like that song, but I really don’t want to have it mentally on repeat every time I leave my bedroom. So I’m thinking about replacing it with something that flows better with the lighting in the house that we actually like. Like this one:

Jessica-Crystal-Basket-3-light-Antique-Bronze-Flush-Mount-Chandelier-5188b7f2-308e-4b98-a2a3-2608914cb213_600

 

Isn’t she gorgeous? And the crazy thing is that she is less than $130 at Overstock. Not everything from there is a winner in my book but this little number has a 4 star rating. All of those factors together means that it needs to come and live at my house. (More Details on the fixture HERE.)

After showing you the last beauty from Overstock, it kind of makes my heart hurt to show you this last one. Welp, here it is:

Ugliest Ceiling FanYes, this is in my home and yes, it still works. I imagine that at one point this was white, or antique white, or even just white-ish. Now it is straight up pee-yellow. This urine inspired fixture is in the living room and while I’d love to hang a beautiful crystal chandy in there, I have to face reality. And the reality is that I live smack dab in the middle of Texas where it’s hot most of the year. So instead of hanging something beautiful and breathtaking to replace this monstrosity (perhaps a bit hyperbolic) I need to replace it with something less offensive. Ceiling fans, especially white ones are not vogue and they probably shouldn’t ever be, but a girl needs some air flow during months when we consistently hit triple digits.

White Ceiling Fan

So this was the least offensive, least obtrusive-feeling, white fan I could find. It fits the criteria which is it needed to be short, not ridiculously ugly, and not yellow. It turns out that locating this fan was no easy task as most white ceiling fans are terrible. But let’s not dwell on that. Let’s relish in the fact that I found this one that will “get the job done” as my dad used to say. (Fixture HERE).

Now, it’s just down to ordering and installing in between millions of coats of paint. So, what do you think? Are you as horrified by the fan as I am? Do you love the 70’s fixtures (someone please say you want them) or hate them? Do you use ceiling fans or just sweat it out? Have I asked enough questions? On that note, have a great Friday!

-Katy

 

 

 

 

 


Wearing Your Favorite City

I’m getting the itch to travel again which is bad considering I just bought a 50 year old home that needs a ton of work. It’s easy to forget how much time (and money) the new house needs when I see other people’s pictures of cities around the world, especially cities that I love. So it was fairly fortuitous that in an email this morning, Bezar (I love them!) featured this gorgeous grid necklace of Paris, one of my favorite cities.

Paris Necklace

 

 

 

Isn’t it beautiful? They have other cities too and I was ready, credit card in hand, to buy one of Austin (my favoritest city) but alas, they didn’t have it. Despite not having my beloved hometown, they do have a bunch of other amazing cities from around the world. I love how the city is represented so delicately and that if you look closely, you can pick out neighborhoods that you love! They also have this fun cuff representing the Tube in London which I might be added to my Christmas list.

London-Tube-Cuff

 

Ah, I miss Europe and traveling. I know that the house makes waiting to book those flights worth it, so it seems like a beautiful reminder will have to suffice for now. Any of you itching to travel back to a favorite city?

**All of the city grid jewelry seems to be 10-20% off right now. If you’re even the slightest bit tempted, check them out HERE. You have to become a member but it’s free and totally worth it. BTW, I’m not paid or perked to by Bezar, I just love them! **

-Katy