Category Archives: Accessories

The Nursery: A Meaningful Gallery Art Wall

When I set about planning the baby’s nursery, I immediately knew I wanted a gallery wall of fun art prints hanging over the changing table. I look forward to holding her up and talking to her about the art, pointing things out in the different prints. My mom did a lot of this with me, and I think it’s fun for a young child to have lots of interesting things to look at in their room.

Nursery Gallery Wall

I made some very intentional choices with the art prints I framed; nothing was bought just to fill the space. The overall goal? Have the wall filled with art by creative people I know and/or pieces with meaning.  Here’s a look at the individual pieces I chose, and the reasons behind them.Funnelcloud Studio Giclee Art Prints Jellfyish Fish

The Jellyfish and the You Big Fish prints are both by my good friend Rachel of Funnelcloud Studio. If you love them, act now – because Rachel is phasing them out to make way for a new collection in her art shop. Once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Casey D Sibley Out Came the Sun

Out Came the Sun is a fine art print by Casey D Sibley, another artist and handmade business owner who I met through blogging. She’s awesome and her shop has some amazing one-of-a-kind designs!LauraAmiss Art Paris Stockholm Netherlands

I know nothing about Laura Amiss, the Dutch artist behind these three whimsical prints, but the towns in them have meaning. I stumbled upon her work on Etsy years ago and fell in love with it. The Windmills print represents my family’s Netherlands heritage, Stockholm Sweden is for Ryan’s family roots . . . and Paris Montmartre is just because I love the idea of Paris.Gallery Art Wall Assorted

These three pieces are not for sale online. The painting is a tiny original that Ryan and I bought for the baby’s room when we were in Florence, Italy.

The photo of the giraffe is actually a note card that came in a purchase from The Pet Shop / Yellow Brick Home.   Kim sells amazing photography and custom pet portraits.

The bottom painting is of a beach in La Jolla, CA – bought for the nursery on my last business trip to San Diego, a city that I love.

Finally, I have my favorite photo of me and Ryan during the pregnancy. We took this on a hike in New Hampshire when I was in my 3rd trimester, just when we were getting oh-so-excited to meet the baby.

Nursery Gallery Wall Mid-Century Dresser 2

I do hope that Maple will love looking at her art wall just as much as I loved putting it together for her.  Next I’d like to add a few family photos to another wall, but that’s a project I haven’t tackled yet.


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7 DIY Rug Options for Renters Or the Noncommittal

When you’re decorating a room, rugs are a fantastic way to make a huge impact on a space – the bigger, the better.  However, the prices of large rugs can intimidate a renter who’s decorating a temporary space, or a homeowner who is on a tight budget.

Now that I’m trying to finally decorate our basement TV room, I’m on the hunt for an inexpensive, large rug.  I’m happy to invest in a beautiful piece of furniture, but since we are renting, now is not the time to splurge on a fancy, over-sized rug.  That led me to search for DIY and budget options – and I was thrilled by the many results I found.

7 DIY Rug Options for Renters

1.  Painted Cloth Rugs – This option seems to be a popular one with DIY bloggers.  You find an inexpensive, plain rug, then either tape off a pattern or use a stencil when you paint it.  I haven’t found much info on how well a painted rug holds up to foot traffic, but it sure looks like a fun project that could yield great results if done well.

This painted rug by Sarah M Dorsey Designs is my absolute favorite:

Sarah of Diddle Dumpling painted her white Ikea rug using a DIY stencil. It looks fantastic!

2.  Painted Jute or Sisal Rugs - Jute Rugs are another great candidate for the paint treatment.  Below, Marian of Mustard Seed Interiors gave a simple jute rug a classy upgrade with a simple white border.

3.  Sharpie Sketched Rug – This is a newer twist on the painted rug concept.   Katie of Upcycled Treasures created a great West Elm knockoff for only $25 by using a sharpie to create the rug’s pattern.

4. Fabric Scrap Floorcloth – This funky rug is essentially a small quilt!  The blogger at Craftapple turned it into into a sturdy rug with a few simple supplies.  Skeptical? I was too, until I read how she did it.

5. DIY Fabric Yardage Rug – Camila of Effortless Style sewed a chevron rug out of fabric and rug backing.  I think this is a great option for renters who are stuck with dingy wall-to-wall carpet in living rooms or bedrooms.  A simple DIY rug like this would pull the room together if placed under or a bed or coffee table, and you don’t have to worry about heavy wear since it would sit over carpeting.

6. Remnant Cutout Rug – Finally, you could get an inexpensive remnant from a wall-to-wall carpet store and have it bound.  But why do that when you could cut out a fun shape instead, like they did at Offbeat Home?  A simple wavy edge could kick things up a notch.

7.  Overdyed Vintage Rug – I’ve saved my favorite DIY rug option for last.  To transform an old, unfashionable rug, you dye it a rich jewel or dark tone.  The former pattern peeks through, but the wash of bold color helps overcome the outdated pattern.  Be sure to use a natural fiber rug (cotton or wool)  to ensure it drinks up the dye evenly.

This rug at Paperblog is my inspiration – and you’ll never believe what it looked like in the “before” image!

I also love how this one by Kristen F Davis Designs turned out:

For our basement solution, I’m leaning towards that last option – overdying a vintage rug.  Now it’s time to hit the thrift store in search of an old, unloved rug!  In the mean time, you can find more rug and floor covering ideas on my Rugs & Floors Pinterest Board.

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Simple Pleasures: Clean Sheets & a Sydney Hale Candle

Simple Pleasures is a new quasi-series.  I want to make it extra clear that this series will never be sponsored.  It’s just me sharing something that makes me happy.  Because life is too short not to find happiness in the little things.

The other night I came home from a winery outing / small business group meeting, spent some time watching a movie, and then decided I wanted to get cozy in bed and do some writing. I’ve been writing a lot more lately, a lot of which isn’t shared on this blog.  Maybe someday.

But I digress.

Simple Pleasures Sydney Hale-1

I lit one of my scented candles, the Lemon & Olive Blossom by Sydney Hale, and was about to climb into bed with my laptop when I thought “hmm. . . it’s been a week. . . I should change the sheets.”

We only have two sets of sheets – our winter flannels and our summer cottons, because I learned that having fewer sets means you can’t procrastinate on washing or folding the laundry as much. Plus, it leaves more room in the linen closet for things like fun throw pillows by Janery ;)

So with clean sheets on the bed, an absolutely heavenly-smelling scented candle burning on the night table, and two big cuddly dogs, I settled in for an awesome hour of writing and thinking.

And that’s when I thought to myself how sometimes the little things can really make a moment.

Simple Pleasures Sydney Hale-3

Let’s chat about the candle for a minute, because I think it should go straight to your Chrsistmas list.  And they aren’t paying me to say this.  I buy the candles with my own money, and they don’t know who I am.

The Sydney Hale candles cost $28 each.

What?? Twenty-eight dollars?

Yeah, I know.  That’s a lot of money for a candle.

I thought so too the first time I bought one.  I don’t even remember why I bought it.  But then I burned it in my house, and it smelled so amazing.  Amazing in a natural, real way, not amazing in a fake chemical way.  And it burns for 50 hours.  I haven’t timed it precisely, but I have burned this specific candle a lot for two months now and it’s still going strong.

I’m telling you, if you light one of these and then climb into a nice clean bed with a good book, you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven.  And if you think about it, 56 cents an hour for an amazing, naturally scented candle isn’t so bad.

Simple Pleasures Sydney Hale-2

But speaking of sheets, there’s something about the feel of fresh, clean sheets when you climb into bed.  They feel 200% better than even day-old sheets.  Why is that??

I think if I ever win the lottery, I’ll put a fancy candle in every room, and hire someone to put clean sheets on my bed every day. 

What’s one of your simple pleasures?

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