Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gorgeous little cottages and escapes

I have been planning my wedding for over a year and a half now.  My words of advice to the recently engaged - make your engagement as short as possible.  The length of your engagement is in reality the length the wedding planning process takes.  With our wedding on May 24th, planning is almost complete but we are also neck deep in smoothing out the nitty-gritty details that take forever and never seem to end.  I think that couples should also get a honeymoon right before the wedding.  For me, it would be a weekend by myself to regroup and not answer any phones, emails, and definitely not look once at a to-do list or calendar.

Somewhere by the water and very, very isolated would be perfect for me.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest via BHG

via imgarcade

via Favim

via Panoramia

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bring on the Spring - pretty up your rooms with spring hues

I am so excited for spring flowers and bright colors that are going to fill our outdoor space so I thought I'd do a post about bringing that color in and enjoying indoors as well!  Just last night sweetums brought me the most beautiful pale pink roses.  Having them on my desk makes the room feel so much lighter...

interior-whitebeige-shelf.jpg Pink Curtains
via styleathome

Using hints of color in a room make me happy. Especially when those items are so easy to change out like pillows, curtains, and decor you have around the house like books and frames.  I've been loving gold and pink lately.

How to create an all-in-one craft drawer by shopping your home and using inexpensive plastic containers to organize craft supplies. @Mandy Bryant Dewey Generations One Roof
via fourgenerationsoneroof

If you are loving the room you have now and don't feel like changing it but you want to tie in some of your favorite flowers, getting one simple throw pillow that pulls out similar colors can do the trick!

Lotus wingback chair
via anthropologie

If you want to go bolder, find some wallpaper or upholstery with a floral print/pattern. Anthropologie usually has some unique upholstered items. If you struggle getting real flowers into your home, adding a flower pattern might give you what you need for that spring feeling indoors. I'd love to have one of these in my office!

Love the setup!
via cuckoo4design

Most often we forget about livening up our bedrooms since all we tend to is sleep in here, but bringing some fresh flowers in and updating your bedding can really bring you into the season.

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


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