long & tall


my good friend recently wrote me with a design quandary…(one of my favorite kind of emails by the way!) how to fill a great big expanse of a wall in her den. we’re talking it runs the length of her kitchen and den and is topped with a beautifully pitched ceiling. she wants to make it cozy but not cluttered. so, i got to researching, as i’ve got nothing but shorties in the wall department, and here are some looks/ideas i found:

cohesive gallery wall (go long and tall!):


divided canvases:


shelf to add texture and to create a cozy nook:


reflective twist on the gallery wall:


magnetic paint = kids’ art gallery:


shelves plus a gallery wall?! too good to be true:


you could divvy up your spaces and make the wall leading into the kitchen a “mudroom/entry”…could designate the space with beaded board or two-tone paint job:


this is tres fancy and i’m guessing my friend’s husband wouldn’t be down for a giant horse head, or maybe he would, but i like the idea of mirrors/big art/sconces to stretch your eyes down the wall and add lots of fun interest. again, the two-tone paint and chair rail cozy it up! 


shelves for keeping the pretties away from the babies and tall lamps to fill the void:


layering a rug over carpet, or another rug, helps ground the spot as well as distinguish it from the surrounding rooms: 


big focal point art:


hope this helps get your creative juices flowing!

the elusive gallery wall


why is it that the easiest looking things usually turn out to be the hardest to accomplish.  i’ve got an evolving gallery wall in our den and have been enjoying finding cool frames (like this Ikea one) and art work (love our dapper animal plates from west elm).  of course, the best pieces happen to be by our artist in residence, olive, the 5 year old wonder!

for some gallery wall inspiration:

 gallery wall_1

gallery wall_2

gallery wall_3

gallery wall_4

gallery wall_5

gallery wall_6

gallery wall_7

gallery wall_8

gallery wall_9

gallery wall_10



just finished these cute storage bins which will make their way to deco next week!  it’s a set of three stacking bins and they can hold all assortment of goodies from changing table gear to toys and books.  this latest batch is made with a nice stiff interfacing so they will hold their shape nicely!

(i used this terrific oil cloth storage bin tutorial on design sponge when i originally started making these bins)

fort storage bins

less house, more home


i can’t get that phrase out of my head. i love it. i want to live by it.

recently, i got to put it into action. it all started when olive decided she wanted more room in her room. seeing as how i don’t have the energy or time to switch her room with monroe’s, i decided to look at what we could do with what’s there…namely, a big, vintage not-so-comfortable chair. it looks really neat in her space, but doesn’t serve any purpose outside of being a dumping zone. so, out came the chair…and while we were at it, we bagged up toys to donate or give to friends we thought might like them.  we cleared a space on her already existing bookshelves for library books, to get them off the floor, and in place of the decorative chair, came a bright pink bean bag chair from target. the new cushy spot gets used everyday! she pulls it all around the house to jump on, build forts and to chill.  olive loves her room and wants to show it off to every person that steps through our door!

the chair moved back into our bedroom and is a perfect spot for getting ready in the morning.  the ripple effect continues…the chair bumped out the yellow glass cabinet full of posy goods (which helps my efforts to get posy out of our bedroom)…which bumped out the metal shelves from the kitchen full of cookbooks i don’t use…causing me to face the beast and purge. two accordion folders of magazine recipes filtered down to one and a boatload of unused (and guilt-producing) cookbooks went to the library. the metal shelves now house our bulk paper goods and diapers in the attic…making a jumbled heap much more manageable. the cookbooks i did keep went into the cabinet above the microwave and with the doors now off, they add a splash of color and fun to an otherwise boring nook of the kitchen. rarely used serving platters went into the attic for the next party and i even had cause to finally get a functional salad spinner as the new oxo spinner is more compact (bonus: it works great!).

whew! that one little peep of a change made such a huge, lasting, positive effect in how our home looks and functions.

less house, more home. done.

for more small space living inspiration:

small space storage

small kitchen_2

tiny bedroom

small dining

small bedroom

small bedroom_2


birthday lessons


how do you throw a “frozen” party for your newly minted 5 year old, without it being a “frozen” party?!

first things first, remember that my kid, luckily, doesn’t really care about elsa plates and olaf cups. she wants to see her friends, have fun, eat cake and get presents. sooo…that means i got to have a little leeway with the decor.

all around the porch were huge paper snowflakes in shades of blue and white.  (martha has an easy tutorial for cutting snowflakes) i filled our west elm planters with plates, forks, napkins and supplies. (great way to make more room for food and drinks!) above it hung a $2 target paper banner.

the turquoise faux mason jar beverage dispenser held “melted snow” and beside it was a bowl of “snowman snack” (mini marshmallows, pretzel sticks, orange candies and chocolate-covered raisins).  i used green and blue paper dixie cups for little hands to fill with the snack mix. lesson learned: next time pre-fill the cups so that kids aren’t digging into the bowl for their snack…fishing out just the candies and leaving the pretzels. and yes, there were two very large spoons to help, which went mostly unused. next time, i’d make a big batch of the mix, but only use half of it at a time, that way i’m not left with a huge bowl of food that’s been dug through and not quite appetizing anymore!


to keep the kids cooled off we borrowed a little pool, sprinkler and slide. we also filled as many water balloons as our hands could handle. lesson learned: start filling balloons earlier! we had a huge stack of towels for drying kids off and kept one by the back door, in hopes wet toes would get dried before coming inside. for the pizza picnic and breaks from splashing, we laid out several large blankets in a shady spot of the yard.


final wintery touches were fairy lights and pale blue cupcakes in snowflake liners with little pearl candies on top.  the party favor/craft was clear acrylic ornaments from a.c. moore with permanent markers in all shades for decorating.

all in all, an awesome time! i feel so very lucky to get to share these milestones with good friends and family…especially family that will arrive an hour early to help and go on last minute ice runs!