Thursday, April 17, 2014

Unexpected ways to make your dining room chic and gorgeous

My dining room is one of those rooms that is visible from most other rooms in my home, so it's really important to me that it's easy on the eyes.  Here are some fabulous dining rooms, big and small that I would be more than happy to have as my own...

Dining room-by Meredith Heron The simple espresso-stained Parsons-style dining table can extend to seat up to 12 people. The plush upholstered end chairs and dining chairs are comfortable enough to sit in for hours, allowing guests to linger longer after dinner.
via homeremodelnote

Loving this clean and chic dining room.  It is small, just like mine, so how genius is the floor length mirror at one end of the dining table.  I will definitely be trying that trick.

Dinning Room Design Inspiration
via homedesignlove

I'm a big fan of bench or settee seating at the dining table. You can put a bench on just one side or on both.

via Lonny Mag

Feeling risky? Go all out and get full bench seating! I would still have two simple mix matching chairs to put on each end to maximize the seating in this space but I love the idea.

How cool is this bench?  And those blue velvet chairs?  The chandelier is often the conversation piece in a dining room, making the chairs the focal point is a nice change of pace.

via Pinterest via La Dolce Vita

I LOVE the idea of combining a library and a dining room.  I grew up in a family that often reads and eats at the same time ( I know, I know...not always a healthy environment for books)

via Pinterest via feedly

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dazzling Brussels: The next stop on my summer 2010 backpacking trip

Brussels was a nice, relaxing stop during our European backpacking trip (June 16 - August 25th).  It was somewhat toward the end of our trip so we needed a few days to stop and taste, ehem...smell the chocolate.

If you are a lover of opulent architecture and have a fierce eye for detail you will love Brussels.  The architecture spans from medieval to post modern, which the jewel being the gothic Grand Place.

More architecture from around the city:

I still can't believe how many bikes are in this lot - look how far back they go!

Any of my lovely readers been to Brussels?

Thanks to wonderful future hubby for all of the fantastic photography he did during our trip!

Here's that list again of all my posts from our travels that I've posted -


•Introduction to my European backpacking trip and a list of places we visited
• Galicia - Baiona and Isle de Cies
• Galicia - the coast, some charming vineyards, and Pontevedra
• Santiago de Compostela and gorgeous hidden beaches
• Gorgeous mountain lakes of Picos de Europa
• Stunning mountains - Picos de Europa
• Bilbao and San Sebastian
• Beautiful Barcelona
• The amazing Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona
• Art Nouveau dream house by Gaudi in Barcelona


• Not to miss - the gorgeous rocky coast of Italy's Cinque Terre
• More from my summer traveling Europe - amazing Rome
• From my summer in Europe - amazing Pompeii
• Turquoise ocean and vineyards on cliffs - the amazingly stunning Amalfi coast
• My Summer in Europe: Pictures from lovely Florence, Italy
• Enchanting Siena
Lake Como, Italy

Jungfrau region, Switzerland, Part 1
Jungfrau region, Switzerland, Part 2

• One of my favorite cities from my European backpacking trips - Ulm, Germany
• Lake Constance
• Cute HOUSE Overload - the charming medieval homes of Germany's Romantic Road
• Regensburg, Germany, and Salzburg, Austria  

• Salzburg
• A charming lakeside village, Hallstatt
Beautiful Vienna
Kunst Haus Wien in Vienna

Budapest Part 1
Budapest Part 2

Czech Republic
Stunning Prague



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring and summer mantel decorating ideas

My favorite part of decorating the house is bringing in small personal touches that make me smile each time I look at them, or showing off a collection I've grown over time. A great place to do that is the mantel, because nothing is permanent! You can change out a mantel like you would a shelf and make it the centerpiece of a room.

Here are some great ideas to welcome spring via your mantel:
Love the mantle and pouffe
via theinspiredroom

If you are really open for change, painting your mantel and fireplace surround in a warm white is a great way to brighten it up for spring. Just make sure you are really committed if your surround is brick, as stripping paint off of brick is pretty darn tedious.

Loving this very clean and simple mantle with the white and gold accents.
via Pinterest via Centsational Girl

Mantel | Home | Design | Decor | Style | Fireplace...this looks very similar to our family room walls.  Like the chalkboard on the mantel
via interiorsbystudiom

You can't go wrong with a quote. Make it something you want to remember each day or your latest mantra!  Got a cool set of pottery or ceramics? Showcase it on your mantle.

Adding a chic mirror above your mantle is a great way to make the most of precious natural light and makes a stunning focal point.  The coral on the mantle is also a nice homage to summer.  I always like to decorate with natural objects whenever possible.'
via BHG

Use your mantle as a revolving art gallery.  I have way too many prints and little pieces of art from my travels to have all hanging at the same time, so I rotate them every few months.  The mantel is a great place to do that.

via BHG

Monday, April 14, 2014

Office Space Eye Candy

Some office eye candy to get through the day. It's a great idea to make sure you love your work space. It makes being there each day not as daunting! Since I've been so overwhelmed with wedding planning keeping my space organized has been really important to my sanity.

pin board behind desk is really cool
via designsponge

via flickr

New Home, New Office
I need to be better about keeping flowers on my desk because they always make me a bit happier to be there

via ashleyelladesign

Hmm... clip boards as wall art/ inspiration board. This could work soooo many ways!!!
Instead of a cork board to serve as a pinboard/inspiration board, clipboards are a great way to organize inspiration by project.  Your space is a little more limited on a clipboard, but it also makes your inspiration portable, and keeps your wall space from looking too cluttered (which always happens with my corkboard)
via trendenser

Use my vintage desk instead of sell? Like the way this looks.
via aestheticoutburst

New England Home: Gorgeous light filled second-story loft space with cable railing offers a spot for ...
via decorpad

What is a must have in your office to stay on task and productive?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Contain Yourself (and the necessary clutter in your home with these clever storage ideas)

While spring cleaning has yet to begun at my house, and likely won't this year with my wedding in May (yikes!), I thought I'd share with you some fun ideas to contain the chaos you'd like to keep in a way that doesn't affect your home decor.

old dresser
via bhg

Matching baskets are fantastic! Especially ones with label options to help you remember what you have stored inside. It keeps this bookcase clutter free but makes it possible to not have to store a ton of things behind closed doors.

printable pantry labels and good storage idea -- I need to remember those flat containers on the bottom shelf
via etsy

Picking similar styles, all see through containers at the bottom and baskets at the top make this cabinet look so well organized. Clear canisters also help remind me if I'm running low on something.  I also love the pop of color with the labels.

The Container Store Magazine File Knock-Off Tutorial {In My Own}  #home office organization\
via inmyownstyle

Not everything is going to fit in the same size containers and if keeping everything matching is too much of a commitment for you, you can mix it up a bit and it still look great. Just try and use similar sizes and shapes to create a cohesive look.

Two Twenty One - Home improvement projects, furniture makeovers, crafts, recipes, home decor, and seasonal decor ideas.
via twotwentyone

I love the mix of three colors here. Using pops of color is great but I love how this one is minimized to two color options and scattered throughout the storage.


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