Monday, February 28, 2011

I Can't Resist... Book Boxes

I spied these fun and stylish organizational tools on the Home Decorators Collection website and instantly fell in love.  What a great way to contain clutter!

Love that they have seven different styles to choose from, starting at $34 per set.

Then, I just happened to be poking around Old Time Pottery, and spied these for under $10 a piece and in a variety of styles.  Sorry for the poor IPhone photos!

What do you think?  How would you use these book boxes?

Coming this week: Giveaway announcement, Willow House product highlight, and more on my home office makeover.  Hurry back!

Happy Decorating!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Have a Seat...Small Scale Armchairs

Continuing my thought process for my home office, one of my goals is to procure a smaller scale chair for the space. I posted this little cutie on Wednesday:

Though I love her, obviously if I keep my purple walls, this will be too much purple in the space. I do love her scale and her shape. I even ventured out to my local Cost Plus World Market (such a fun place!) and sat on her. You see, my new seat will not only need to look cute, but she'll need to be comfortable, too. In this case, I really only need to please myself since I am the only one who sits in my office to read, work, watch girlie tv... you get the picture.

So I went on an online hunt for a stylish seat and found several possibilities that won't break the bank.

This darling little Emma Tufted chair from Home Decorators Collection

and her sister Katie also from Home Decorators Collection.

Then I hit and found this lovely armless perch...

and this charcoal gray tapered chair...

and this beautiful Manchester club chair...

and this pretty little slipper chair.

You can see there's lots to choose from out there! I also jumped onto Houzz and put together an ideabook of small scale seating options. I love how many pictures I found and the wonderful flexibility that a smaller chair can give you-- including dining seating. Click HERE to view my ideabook, then come back and let me know what you think of my options here.

I love your feedback, so don't be shy!

Next week: I'll announce exciting giveways during March, celebrating one year of blogging and four years with my Willow House (formerly Southern Living at HOME) business! Make sure you're a follower so you won't miss anything!

Happy Decorating!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thoughts on My Home Office

Though I still have a lampshade project for the family room waiting, my Decorating ADD has kicked in and my thoughts are already turning to my home office. Don't worry, the lampshade will be completed and shared soon, but today with sunshine streaming through my beautiful windows, I thought I'd share a before picture.

Yikes! Are you afraid? :)

My goals for this room: keep the beautiful purple on the walls (there's a story here that I'll share at a later date), contain the clutter, update the fabrics, procure a smaller chair that won't overwhelm the space.

The room has a few challenges. The previous owners installed ALOT of picture moulding on the walls. I'll have to decide it I want to keep it above the chair railing. While it's awkward to work around, taking it out will mean repairing and repainting the walls. But then again, if I'm going to REALLY redo the room, I should go ahead and address it. Thoughts?

The room has fabulous light and a fair amount of space, but it has to accomodate me, my husband, and my kids for homework and projects. It's a multipurpose and much used space!

Here are some of the fabric swatches I'm currently in love with:

I really think going with a gray, white, and purple palette, with touches of black will really streamline and update the space. Don't you just love looking for fabrics? It's a guilty pleasure of mine.

And then there's this beauty that I found online at World Market:

Would it be too much purple in the room? Is there such a thing if you really LOVE purple?

More to come!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Catalog Finds: Grandin Road

This catalog gets better every season, and their Spring Revival catalog is chock full of great finds at great prices. Here's a few of my favorites that I'm mulling over...

This whole vignette is striking. I love the Alanna club chair, perfectly scaled for smaller spaces. The Dimensional petal pillows are to die for. I can picture these on a crisp white bed, too. And the Bird Barrel table is substantial without being too heavy, courtesy of the beautiful open iron work as the base.

This Chandelier wall art is stunning. The colors are so fresh.

Love this Anatolian copper tray, perfect for serving with style or on display.

Fabulous modern take on a simple coat rack.

This Belmont Table comes in two finishes, pewter or antique brass, and with a 17 inch diameter can dress up a tight space beautifully.

A lovely way to welcome spring to your decor: the Birch Twig Nest and Glass Eggs. I especially like the combinations of texture here.

Head over to Grandin Road and check out their entire collection-- this is the tip of the iceberg!

Which one is your favorite?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Looky What I Found: Antique Books

I love it when I stumble on a true FIND and the price is right. Today, I popped over to my friend Tricia's blog Avolli, where she showcases Swedish antiques, furnishings and decorative pieces. She does a fabulous feature called her Product of the Day. Well today she had me at "hello!"

Look at these beauties for only $15 each:

They are leather bound and from the 1900's. Love the marbelized covers. You might remember seeing these that belonged to my grandmother on my mantle:

I can't wait to incorporate my new lovelies into my decor. I might have them on my coffee table under one of my silver pieces or propped up on my console table or book case.

Contact Tricia over at Avolli to order your own. You choose how many, she chooses which ones.

How do you decorate with books in your home?

Happy Decorating!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Crowd Pleaser Chicken Lasagna

I had a different post in mind for you today, but life got in the way, so I thought I would share a recipe with you. I made this for my fellow preschool teachers this week as we celebrated the February birthdays among us. It drew rave reviews and I ended up sharing it with several of them. This chicken lasagna is ridiculously simple and simply delicious. It's easy to prepare ahead and refrigerate and is, truly, a crowd pleaser. If I'd known I was going to share it here, I'd have photographed it's lightly browned bubbly cheese to give you some eye candy! But nonetheless, this one's a winner. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Lasagna

Meat of one whole chicken, either boil your own or use one rotisserie chicken
3 large cans Hunts Pasta Sauce
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
3 cloves of garlic, minced
24 oz container cottage cheese (I use low fat)
2 packages frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 egg, beaten
2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 package no-boil lasagna noodles

Pull chicken into bite sized pieces and combine with pasta sauce, Italian seasonings, and garlic in a large sauce pan. Heat through over medium heat and then let it simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. In medium sized bowl, combine cottage cheese, spinach, the egg, and ½ cup Italian cheese mixture.
In 9x13 baking dish or lasagna pan, spread about one cup of sauce mixture. It should cover the bottom of the pan. Layer over it the no-boil lasagna noodles, making sure they do not touch each other or the sides of the pan. Break them into pieces if necessary. On top of the noodles spread 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle ½ cup of Italian cheese mixture on top. Add another layer of sauce mixture, another layer of noodles, another layer of cottage cheese mixture, and sprinkle with Italian cheese mixture. Repeat the process again, ending with the last of the Italian cheese mixture. Then sprinkle the 2 cups of shredded mozzarella on top.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes so the cheese can get slightly brown on top. Let sit for 10 minutes after removing from the oven. Then serve. Can easily be prepared and then refrigerated overnight before baking.

Coming soon: furniture makeovers, my home office redo, and more decor!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Easy Winter Table

I hate to admit it, but my dining room table typically functions as a dumping ground... for school projects in process, gifts that need wrapping and/or mailing, items that need a landing strip before being put away. I know-- not very stylish or organized! But several times a year, I get the urge to make my dining room look like... well, a dining room. A clean, quiet, decorated dining room.

I was thrilled when my new mercury glass candleholders from Pottery Barn arrived last week, as they were the last pieces to a very simple puzzle for my winter dining room table.

I think they're the perfect partners for my Willow House Royal Street Urn. I added a bed of moss and a creamy pillar candle on each. The pillars would be simple to dress up with bands of ribbon, too. For the twig arrangement in my Royal Street Urn, I filled the urn with scrunched up packing paper and inserted several simple twigs and a few I spray painted gold for the holidays...just the right amount of glitz. Then I packed pine cones around the twig arrangement for added support. One of my silver trays anchors the arrangement along with some scattered pine cones. I could add fruit or fresh flowers to the tray for added color and interest if I wanted to dress it up.

For now, I'm enjoying the simplicity... and having a clean dining room table. :)

How about you? Does your dining room table stay pristine or become a staging area for your busy household?

The Royal Street Urn is available through my website. Click HERE for ordering information.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Greatest Thing to Have in Your Home...

Is Love.

Visit my friend Melissa over at The Inspired Room and enter to win one of these beautiful and inspirational canvases for your home.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I Can't Resist... this Map Wall

Confession: I'm inspired by the Pottery Barn catalog. Not only do they stage their products brilliantly, but the pages are full of great design ideas that you can incorporate into your own decor. This map wall is the latest idea that's captured my imagination.

I love this idea for large expanses of wall space. Here they have used a collection of several nautical drawings and maps. But this is one of those projects that can easily be personalized. Choose maps or drawings of favorite travel destinations, your home state, or where your family comes from. Talk about a personal expression!

The catalog even provides "how to" tips, such as using a heavy duty double-sided tape instead of wallpaper paste. They also suggest starting at the top left and working your way down, smoothing and overlapping a bit as you go. Here they further secure them by mounting architectural elements that also add three dimensionality. The same could be achieved with ledges, which are readily available at Target, WalMart, or Home Depot in a variety of styles.

Take a catalog's inspiring pages and make it your own with a little imagination. Happy Decorating!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hello, Lover...

I know many of you already have your eye toward spring and all the new trends out there, but I am still enjoying winter and some winter touches in my decor. UPS arrived today with something I've been waiting for since the post-Christmas sales...

My mercury glass candle holders are in the building! I know mercury glass has been around for a few years in decor, but I love the reflective quality it has without being too sleek. Sleek is not me. These are me. These are perfect to complete my winter tablescape, which I'll share next week. Best part? I got them for a steal. Next best part? I'll have them for holiday decorating next year.

What do you think of mercury glass pieces? Love it or over it?

Happy Decorating!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Get the Message

The magnificent chalkboard refrigerator doors I posted on Monday got my wheels turning. Our kitchens are the hubs of our home and it only makes sense to have a spot to post messages, grocery lists, reminders, or sweet sentiments for our family. With today's chalkboard paints, it's easier than ever to create our personal message center.

I found this beauty over at AZCreativeStudio's Etsy shop... love the vintage look! Have a scratched tray you could use to create your own??

And what about this clever modular idea from Pottery Barn? I would imagine this one would be easy to recreate (and customize) with MDF from your home improvement center.

I created an Ideabook over at Houzz with several more images of kitchen chalkboards to get your creative juices flowing. Check it out, leave a comment there, or come back here and tell me what you think!

Do you have a chalkboard message center in your kitchen?

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Can't Resist... Chalkboard Refrigerator Doors

I love this idea... straight from the pages of Lonny.

What do you think?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A New Look for the Blog

One of my goals this year was give this blog a fresh new look...what do you think? I worked with Lauren over at Designer Blogs and not only was she great to work with, she was super-patient with me and my non-tech-savvy attempts to give her what she needed. Thanks, Lauren!

Back next week with more... enjoy your weekend and Happy Decorating!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Valentine's Day Vignette

So you know that I am not the kind of girl that decorates for every holiday, right?  I am a seasonal decor gal-- much simpler that way!  All over the blogosphere, uber-talented home bloggers have been posting Valentine's Day crafts and decor...I admit:  I've enjoyed looking.  But I will do no more than my perfunctory nod to the day, so I thought I'd share some tips on keeping it simple for yourselves.

Add a few touches of pink or red... and I do mean a few, especially if these are not the colors in your home.  I'm thinking pillar candles or even simply a glass bowl full of Red Hots.  See what I mean?  Here I have a berry colored votive candle nestled in white Northern beans in a square glass vase. 

Flowers-- the easiest way to infuse romance.  *Confession: I'm a Walmart $5 bouquet junkie.  Recognize this Hawthorne Hurricane from my giveaway last month?  Bring out your simple glass vases and hit Walmart or your supermarket for inexpensive flowers. Instant ambience for any room in your home.

Write a love note-- it's FREE!  If you have a family message center or bulletin board, pen a sweet note to your crew (Love Bugs, All You Need is Love, Be Sweet... you get the idea!) or print out one from your computer in a fun font.  This little beauty here is courtesy of Barnowl Primitives over on Jen's cool and crafty blog TaterTots and Jello.  Go browse her projects and giveaways and download your Valentine subway art now!  I simply matted it on some decorative paper I already had, added the "XO" in the corner and popped it into a black frame. 

This vignette?  Less than $10.  I do like it... and that's about as far as I'll go with Valentine's decorating. :)  See how simple?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Taking a Shine to Silver

A couple of weeks ago, inspired by Joan over at For the Love of a House, I pulled out several of my silver pieces and polished them up, ready to display them around my house.  All in the name of lightening and brightening.  I couldn't for the life of me remember why I'd had them stashed away in drawers and cabinets for so long, especially when I saw the impact they made as decorative accessories.

You've already spied a few of them on my bookcase makeover:

But I found some fabulous homes for a few other pieces, too...

Favorite silver tray on my coffee table...

Silver tea box on family room console table...

 Remember this flea market find?  On my antique desk that does double duty as a sofa end table...

Favorite pitcher and another small tray in my foyer.  The book on the tray is the history of Lakemont, Georgia and Lake Rabun where my husband and I got married.  Painting is by my great-grandmother.

If you've not already checked out Joan's blog on her restoration of a New Hampshire farmhouse, you are missing out!  Head over there and let her know I sent you...she's got fabulous posts on her collection of hotel silver, too.

So how about you?  Any silver pieces lurking around that you can polish up and display?