Going into Hibernation…a few weeks more.

Sorry if you guys have missed me the last few weeks. And like the crazy winter weather, our last few weeks have been just as crazy. Most of you know by now that our fireplace caught on fire during the ice storm and we are out of our home until mid-April (at least). So we are all stuffed into a hotel room, which I think could be a reality show. It’s nuts. I can’t wait to be able to cook again. Image


And on a happy note, I am 10 weeks pregnant with little nugget #2. So throwing in hormones and morning sickness into the mix has been, well, interesting.


I had hoped that I would not need to take some down time, but it looks like my schedule is so off lately that I will need a few more weeks to get my life back in order. I hope to start back up with the blog in a few weeks.

Thanks for your patience!

Design Dilemma: Foyer Bare Spot

It’s been a few months since we had a design dilemma. This is a great one!

A’s question:

Hey there. I’m needing decorating advice. I need suggestions on something to put in my entry way beside my front door. I’m not wanting to spend a fortune. In the $100 or less range. Got any ideas/suggestions? And it’s a small area.

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 My response:
So after looking at the pictures and really thinking about it, I really don’t think you need much there. Because of the stairs, you can’t add much more than art on the left side of the door. If you do something that looks heavy on the right side of the door (a big piece of furniture), then the right side will feel too light and the room will be off balance. Because of depth issues, if you put a chair on the right side of the door (which is always my favorite look, I LOVE a chair in the foyer) it will stick out too far and ALWAYS be in your way.
Here are the ideas that I have come up with that will help the room feel finished but won’t stick out too far or be too much for the room.
1. Floating shelves with pictures on them. I would do white shelves to match your trim and use lighter frames (white, silver, light-medium wood–no espresso or dark iron). If you are planning on having a lot of pictures going up and down your staircase, I would not do this. It will make your foyer feel very cluttered. I know that you can get floating shelves at Target and Ikea, but I don’t know what lengths they have.
floating shelves
2. Hall tree. This is the only way I can see putting a seat in your foyer (unless you put it in the corner of the staircase). Keys to finding one: An open iron one like this will give you height and design, but would not be too heavy to throw the room off-balance. Make sure that the total depth is around 15″ so that you don’t block your door.
hall entry coat rack
3. A tall plant or tree. This might be my favorite option. It will give you some greenery, which always helps to make a room feel fresh and alive. It will give you height in the tall room, It also won’t take up too much room. It will also allow you to have one medium sized painting on the wall (around 11 x14 with 1.5-2″ frame). Make sure to get a plant that grows vertical and stays thin, not one that gets wider. This is a fiddle leaf fig tree. Although this one shown is wide, you can shape them to be taller and skinnier than this one shown.
tall fiddle leaf
4. Topiaries. I love topiaries. They are a little more structured and “designy” (yes, I made that word up, ha!) than just a plant. If you use real skinny ones, you can have multiple grouping of them (always decorate in odd numbers 1,3,5,etc…) For the same reasons as above, I like these. Depending on which ones you bought and how big your staircase landing is, you might be able to put one or a grouping on each side of the door.
spiral topiary preserved boxwood- uttermost double topiary
5. Umbrella stand. Its simple, small, and has a purpose. It will “fill- in” the dead space without being overwhelming. I would also add a painting above it as stated in #3.
seagrass-umbrella-holder-White-Apple umbrella stand owl umbrella stand
Let me know if you have any questions and once you figure out what direction you want to go, let me know if you need my help tracking “it” down!
As of last week A was still looking for that perfect piece. I will update you when she finds it!

Kitchen Backsplash: Complete!

We have many many home projects on our wish list for this year. I am excited to say that one is done!

If you remember, about a month ago I mentioned that I was trying to figure out where to stop and start our marble backsplash. We decided to end it at the countertop and I am so glad that we did.


Here’s a few process pictures, I won’t bore you with a step by step tutorial since there are so many out there already that would be better than mine.


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Instead of using a traditional tile bullnose or trim piece (left picture) to give a finished edge to the tile (like originally planned), we opted for a thin metal band (right picture) to keep a clean and crisp look.

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BEFORE PICTURES (before we moved in)

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FINISHED PRODUCT!!!!! (sorry for the iPhone quality pictures)

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What do ya think? Greg did a great job laying the tile! It only took about a week’s worth of nights to lay the tile and a Saturday morning to grout and clean up! Please don’t be afraid to ask if you have any questions!

How are your to-dos coming along this year?

Arcadian Home: Coffee Table Love

Good Morning!

Have you noticed my new look? I was never truly happy with the old layout and style. After some reworking, I am SO much happier with the new look. What do you think?

Today I have a special guest blogger, Mari from Arcadian Home blog. I love her ideas and I know that you will to! Please make sure to comment so that she feels the love today!


Coffee Table Love

Hello, all! It’s Mari here, with a guest post from Arcadian Home blog, a great place to find interior design inspiration for everything from beautiful folding screens to warm and cozy rugs for the living room.

Also, for the living room is the beautiful and functional coffee table, which just happens to be the subject of today’s post. Many of us have a fascination, perhaps a slight obsession, with this essential piece of furniture that often becomes the center of attention in the living room, den or family room. For your inspiration, I’ve pulled together eight images of rooms with coffee tables you’ll love? Please enjoy!

Thanks for letting me stop by for a visit.

~ Mari

Coffee Table

Why use just one coffee table when two can look this good? A bit narrower than most, these matching brass and glass tables make the perfect pair.

Coffee Table

A coffee table with texture can add lots of visual interest to any design. Doesn’t this one look stunning with the color palette and pattern in an open and airy living room?

Coffee Table

Stainless steel and chromed metal are among today’s go-to materials of choice for contemporary coffee tables. Here a shiny metal works beautifully with a sleek black top.

Coffee Table

Adjacent sitting areas offer the opportunity to show off more coffee tables. Here, on one side is a sleek round upholstered ottoman turned coffee table while nearby a pair of open cubes offers a different look in the same color.

Coffee Table

A very minimalist wood coffee table adds a restrained beauty and great functionality to this chic space. Low contemporary floor lamps offer plenty of light for reading.

Coffee Table

An upholstered ottoman with a firm top can easily double as a coffee table. It’s an appealing look that also offers great functionality.

Coffee Table

In a living room with lots of space, a large square coffee table might be just right. A table design that combines a dark base with a chunky white lacquer or stone top can be stunning.

Coffee Table

A dark wood coffee table with a slightly Asian feel is the perfect table for a chic neutral living room. Tall buffet lamps behind the sofa add another interesting element to the space. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

What do you think of these coffee tables? Let us know in the comments below and stop by for more home decor ideas, pendant lighting ideas, and interior inspirations!

January Market

January is one of two months that the interior design world flocks to downtown Atlanta to see the new products and displays from furniture, lighting, accessories, rugs, art, and garden vendors. It is roughly a week long event. My mom and I went a couple of weekends ago and here are some snapshots of the cool displays and beautiful pieces that we saw while we were there.

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See anything you like? Let me know and I can email you the pricing on the items!

How do you clean your bathrooms?

I know. Weird topic.

Last week, we were the happy owners of a leaking shower. After tearing out chunks of our kitchen ceiling (our bathroom is above some of the kitchen), we found the culprit of the leak. While talking with the plumber, we got on the topic of cleaning products. He recommended, especially being on a septic tank, to clean everything with dish soap instead of all of the chemical products that I normally use.

Shower cleaner

At first, I thought he was crazy. But after doing some research it might not be as crazy as you think. A couple of pointers that he made and ones that I found online are these:

  • You use it to clean your dishes. If you didn’t trust it to really clean and to get rid of bacteria on your plates and glasses, you wouldn’t use it. Plates are a form of porcelain and ceramic–so are sinks, toilets, etc..
  • Dawn is the #1 thing used to clean animals when there are oil leaks.
  • Most tubs these days are made of acrylic. Acrylic’s shiny finish will get scratched and over time become dull from the abrasives in the chemical cleaners.
  • Metal finishes on the plumbing fixtures will also tarnish and fade over time from the chemical cleaners. Go check a bottle. Most tell you not to spray onto plumbing fixtures, including the drain cap.
  • Dawn is now antibacterial (it has been for a while, but it used to not be). It will kill most everyday germs and break down soap scum better than most cleaners out there.
  • Bleach is one of the most abrasive things to use in your home. It eats finishes away. If you have a septic tank, it can damage it.


I found several different recipes and processes of how to clean your bathroom with just Dawn.

bathroom cleaner vinegar

After compiling the different techniques and reading the comments associated with them, here’s what I have found that seems to work best.

  • Use 1 t0 1 parts original blue dawn and warmed vinegar  (most articles I read, heated it in the microwave for 2 minutes).
  • Spray on the dry surface and let sit 15-20 minutes.
  • You can wipe away the scum and then rinse the area.
  • If the mixture is too wet and drips off of the walls, add cornstarch to help it stay on the walls. For every 1 cup of dawn and 1 cup of vinegar mixture, add 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch. Make sure to mix it in while the vinegar is warm so that the cornstarch dissolves and doesn’t make the cleaner grainy.


Side note: The difference between the original dawn and ultra dawn is the concentration level. The ultra is more concentrated. Most people recommended the original because the ultra would be too soapy and took longer to get completely off the surface. I was not able to find the original dawn, so I adjusted my levels to have slightly more vinegar than dawn.

I would love to know what you think. Are you willing to give cleaning your bathroom with dish soap a try?

Hello 2014!!

I hope that you are as excited about 2014 as I am!! I am excited to finally hit the ground running with my business!

2014 Garland letters

As I get prepped for the new year, I have a new ad for newspapers and other things for the spring.


What do you think?

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Let me know if you need any advice on interior design projects!

On a sad note, I have decided to drop back to one blog a week instead of two. This will allow me more time to invest in starting my business and for working on projects. But make sure to like me on Facebook, as I will start doing more tid-bits and mini-posts on there.

Have a blessed year!