Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Our simple and pretty kitchen table centerpiece

So even though I love to decorate and share ideas with you all, there are certain aspects of it that I still find difficult. (Difficult in the scope of putting pretty things around my house, not difficult in the scope of life. 😉) I've told you before I struggle with decorating bookshelves and the tops of things ...like dressers or consoles. So once I get something the way I like it, I rarely change it up. 

I've had a wood bowl with faux apples on our kitchen table for years now but have been keeping my eye out for something new. When I saw this metal and wood basket at the Hob Lob last week, I loved it and stood there holding it in my hands trying to decide how I would use it:
Metal and wood basket with leather handles

Since I purged our home for the last time a last year, I make a point to figure out exactly how I will use a decorative piece before I buy it. Before, I would see something I loved/on sale and would buy it thinking I'd find a spot for it. That stuff started filling our house! I buy a lot less now and am much better about what I bring into the house. It's made a big difference! 

I loved the look of this basket (and it was half off!) so like I said...I stood there staring into space in the middle of the aisle trying to think of how I could use it. Took me a few minutes, but I got there. ;)

I gathered some planters and then bought one of the only plants we can have around with cats -- any type of fern will do fine: 
Fern plants for centerpiece

They never touch these (I have them in other spots in the house) but I always do a search on my phone before I buy a new plant. I actually got one plant and broke it up into the three pots -- this is usually cheaper than buying multiples. 

I've had these faux applies for years and I really wish I could remember where I got them. I'm thinking it was at the decor firm I worked for ten years ago but I'm not sure. They are SO realistic and are heavy too -- they legit feel and feel like real apples. I love using them in our kitchen because of that: 
Realistic faux apples

I found some online and they look pretty realistic too!

I just placed the plants inside and then the apples around. It's super simple but I love it:
Easy spring centerpiece

I LOVE those leather handles on the basket!

I was adjusting the light fixture and thought this was a pretty shot. 😊
Easy greenery centerpiece for table

It feels fresh and pretty for spring and will work well into the summer. It's an easy piece to change up for the fall and holidays too!

I thought some pansies would be adorable and would add some lovely color too -- but those are great to have around cats so I went with the green. You could easily do that or another potted plant like hyacinth as well. So cute. 

I think table centerpieces are HARD. I was just talking with a friend about that other day. You want it to be big enough to make a statement, but not too big that it will take up space on the table. I love flowers, but then you have to keep up with fresh flowers all the time. I also love the way taller items like candles look, but then I feel like you can't see the people sitting across from you. See? Hard. :) 

This is simple and that's why I love it: 
Simple centerpiece for kitchen table

Of course you can take any tray or basket and change it up with what you have. Anything goes! Real fruit would work too -- I like keeping it out so we remember to eat it! :) 

Do you have any simple centerpiece decorating ideas? Feel free to share in the comments -- I love seeing what people add to their tables. It's one of those areas that always stumps me! Does this part of decorating come easy for you? 

Affiliate links included for your convenience! 

Monday, February 27, 2017

The bright and light mudroom makeover is complete!

As many of you know, it can take me eons to finish up a room makeover. It's usually because of two things -- we pay cash for everything so I only make updates as the budget allows. And since I try to do most of it myself, it just takes longer than it would if I hired out. I don't mind this usually because I think I make better decisions when I take my time. 

I'll take even longer if it's a room we don't use often (like our guest room) or one that we use mostly (and guests don't see) so I'm not as concerned about it getting finished up quickly. I've been working on our mudroom for more than three years now -- well, even longer than that if you consider all of our changes -- but I've been making updates for a few years to get it the way I want it. 

And it's FINALLY DONE. Whoot! You may have seen the most dramatic changes I shared last fall, but I wasn't calling it done till we got the storage shelf built and finished up. Now it's finished and because this room looks so different from where we started, I'm sharing a bunch of before and after pics. (My favorite!)

This is one of the biggest transformations in our house, but probably one of the simplest in terms of what we did to change it up. When we built our house the laundry room and mud room were combined. And I hated it from day one because no matter what we did, it looked like this every day: 
Mudroom makeover BEFORE

You can't tell from that pic, but I had already made some changes to the room. I painted it yellow with black accents way back in the day, and then installed inexpensive vinyl floor tiles

What you CAN tell is that the room was a disaster. ALWAYS. It drove us both crazy. There was no closed storage, there wasn't enough room and washer and dryer became our dumping ground for everything

Thankfully, when we finished our basement we added a laundry room. When people ask me if we mind it in the basement I cannot help but express my JOY. ;) We actually quite like it down there (upstairs would be awesome, but we were working with what we had) and I love love LOVE that it's out of this room now. 

Later on I made some additional updates like adding more beadboard around the room where the washer and dryer were, we had some sconces added, and I built the DIY mud room bench:
Mudroom bench made out of kitchen cabinets

Oh my, I miss that fluffy cat every single day. :) 

I was trying to do something different than my normal style with that peacock blue trim and walls, but I grew tired of it. Although I still LOVE that color, it just wasn't our style and didn't mesh with the rest of the house. 

Last year I took on the huge job of painting all the trim and the walls. It made a HUGE difference:
Canvas market bag

There were only two things left that I wanted to tackle -- storage above the bench and crown molding. Last fall we got help with the simple cubby build and then I painted that and the crown molding. 

I looked for weeks to find the right storage baskets for the shelf and ended up with these cubbies from Target instead: 
Pillowfort Target wood cubbies
I ended up staining them and adding metal house numbers I found at Home Depot to the front. NOW the room is done!: 
Bright laundry room turned mudroom makeover

I wish I would have gone a little lighter with my stain on the cubbies -- it's the same color as the bench but that soft wood soaked it up! I just love them though -- they are easier to access than baskets and I love how they look! We use a small stool to get to them and as I mentioned, they hold items we don't need to access very often. 

I've kept the decor in this room really simple -- and the storage is simple as well. The bench holds our shoes, there's a metal basket on the wall that holds items we need to take out to the car and the cubbies above hold off season items and extras. It's a perfect spot for random stuff in our house! I'll list all the items and the paint colors at the bottom of the post. 

When I started the process of transitioning from the black and yellow to the dark blue and light walls, I added my craftsman/farmhouse trim to the three doorways in the room. I also went light blue with the door, which I didn't love long term:
Light blue interior door

I switched some lights around in the house and removed the fluorescent light we had in here. This small chandelier used to hang in our closet: 
Peacock blue walls with trim

I kept trying to live with the peacock blue, but it just wasn't meshing. We have black doors throughout our house and once this one went black I knew it was the right move: 
Black interior doors

You can see here that I never moved the washer and dryer to paint the room yellow 😬: 
Moving the laundry room

And no one knew till we moved them. ;) This room felt SO MUCH better just with the simple addition of hooks there -- like it was supposed to function this way all along. 

I painted the room white and we added a bench for storage for awhile: 
Making a laundry into a mudroom

And now that same angle looks like this: 
Laundry room turned mudroom makeover


Light mudroom with wood accents

Our mud room is actually fairly large -- but half of it is a long hallway by the utility closet. Years ago I changed out the inexpensive metal folding doors that we used to have:
Black and yellow laundry room

To some nicer wood ones -- I added the handles to them and it was an easy upgrade. You can see how I changed out the door trim here as well:  

When I painted the room last year, I simplified the art wall straight ahead with one pretty piece instead. We have enough going on with the IKEA command center I installed (and still love):
IKEA wire art display

The addition of crown molding made a big difference in here: 
Bright mud room makeover

I LOVE that I don't even mind that utility closet anymore -- it used to stand out like a sore thumb. I considered spraying them the dark blue color years ago and I'm so glad I didn't! 

Here are some final looks at this space -- I'm so pleased with it and as always, I did the majority of the projects myself and we only made changes as we could afford them. I'm so glad we waited too -- now it functions perfectly for our needs. We didn't need a TON of storage in here -- hooks for coats, a spot for shoes and storage for odds and ends were all that were needed: 
DIY mud room storage

Beadboard mud room with blue walls

Bright and light mud room with DIY bench

Classic white mud room with black door

Changing out the light bulbs to daylight bulbs makes a HUGE difference too. This room doesn't get any natural light so the new bulbs make it feel so much brighter.

Here's a list of the items from this room -- some were purchased years ago but I'll add them anyway:

Utility doors: Lowe's
Wood cubbies: Target (Pillowfort line)
Metal numbers: Home Depot
Magnetic bird key holders: Container store (this option (affiliate) is cute too!)
"Exit" sign on door: HomeGoods
Sconces on wall: Lowe's (see more and a link here)
Pillow on bench: HomeGoods
Metal basket on wall: HomeGoods
Hooks on wall: Home Depot
Command center: IKEA
Art: Target

Paint colors: White, Pure White by Sherwin Williams
Walls: Krypton by SW
Door: Graphite by Benjamin Moore, mixed in SW

Let me know if I've forgotten anything!