flower garland on the front door…

After this long harsh winter here in the Boston area we are all desperately ready for spring. It is taking its’ own sweet time since it was snowing a bit this weekend. I’d like to think that was just an early April Fool’s Day joke. Regardless there is stil sporadic spots of snow on the ground that don’t feel very “spring-like” to me.

Little steps around the house always help at this time of year. Fresh flowers on the mantle, a new doormat outside the front door and of course something on the front door to welcome Spring. Since all my seasonal decorations were stored in the basement and lost in the flood I got to start over this year. Instead of the typical floral wreath on the door I went for something a bit out of the box, a flower garland on the front door.

flower garland for spring

I saw these paper garlands at Target a week or two ago, admired them and moved on. I was back at Target over the weekend and they called me like a homing beacon. Between the bright colors, the delicate flowers, the details and the great construction I knew they would be used over and over again. I picked up two to hang on the front door using indoor mounting squares. It is lightweight enough that the mounting squares hold them up while staying invisible. I placed one at each corner as well as the ends.

flower garland on door

flower garland on door

I also added a hanging chalkboard sign to write our very own greeting. It has already changed a couple times since we hung it up. We couldn’t decide between “hello”, “welcome” or “spring?????”. If the weather doesn’t change anytime soon I might have to go with the cheeky greeting.

flower garland on door

a sectional sofa in the family room…

So the sofa debate was finally settled and decided on and we chose a sectional sofa in the family room….

a sectional sofa in the family room

It is the Alex Sofa from Basset Furniture. At 93 inches by 90 inches it nestles right in between the pole and the wall. It is definitely a smaller scale sectional but for some reason the room feels bigger now! We had it upholstered in a woven polyester of dark gray/beige called Driftwood. It came out much more beige than gray but it hides everything and is easy to keep clean.

a sectional sofa in the family room

The sofa came with three accent pillows in the fabric of my choice. I went with a pattern called Tangerine. I then picked up some accent pillows at IKEA in teal and orange to add some more color. The striped fabric in the photo was used for the storage ottoman. Once it came home I decided it was too nice to hide down in the basement. It has found a new home in the living room.

There is no ottoman or coffee table in front of the sofa. It would actually get in the way since the floor space is used up by my kids when playing with the Wii. I’m not sure if I’ll get anything to put in that space. Or maybe something with wheels. I’ll know it when I see it!

a sectional sofa in the family room

The sofa is spacious and cozy. It holds up to 5 or 6 adults comfortably, two sleeping kids on either end, three kids and a dog (when watching a movie), etc. And yes, we have tried out all those options. I love that it anchors the room. It also divides the space up better than our last sofa, making it feel like a couple zones. There is the tv lounging area, the toy area, and the hallway. I’m very happy that we took the plunge and went with a sectional. They may not be for every room or layout but it is working out great in this one!

Lego storage…

Telling you that my home is overrun by Lego’s is an understatement. We have graduated from the random collection of primary colored Lego’s to the more intricate sets with smaller pieces and instruction booklets. Lego storage for all those little pieces has become a necessity. We are in trouble if one of those pieces go missing because according to an 8 year old and a 6 year old the whole thing can never be put together again. Just because mom went and searched the stash and found a similarly shaped pink piece where the light gray piece was supposed to go doesn’t mean it can be used.

So I came up with a way to corral those special pieces and keep them out in the open at the same time. A lot of the Lego action happens either at the kitchen table or the living room rug. I purchased some carton boxes at the Container Store which come in some great colors. I wanted something that could be out in the open in any room in the house so I opted for the cardboard beige version. For the larger more intricate pieces one box does the trick. The instruction booklet goes inside too for when some adjustments need to be made.

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If it is a smaller car/plane/fighter jet/Jedi thingy I place them in separate ziplock bags within one box. Any time they want to rebuild or play they can find all the pieces they need. I even found this Lego font to make some labels with!

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So far they are sticking to the plan and things are being cleaned up and put back in the boxes. The boxes are generic enough so that they can be used for almost anything should Lego’s ever get replaced by anything else. I don’t see that happening anytime soon though!

front hall closet organization…

I’ve always had a problem with closets as my mother reminded me this week. As a child one of my weekly chores was to clean out my closet. Weekly. I would just thrown things in there until I had created such chaos that I had no idea what was in there any more. A big empty space at the bottom of a closet is just another dumping ground for me.

Case in point is my front hall closet. It had recently taken on a life of its’ own, and not in a good way. It is used daily since this is where my kids put their backpacks. The vacuum cleaner is kept in there as well. Besides those items I can honesty say who knows what else is in there. It is full though since most days the door is pushed shut until it clicks. If it doesn’t click shut it stays slightly open from all the items on the floor.

This is going to include some before pictures that might hurt your eyes. I warned you though but don’t worry, it gets better. I’ll start off with the pretty packaging on the closet of horror.

front hall closet

front hall closet

It’s bad, I know. The poor vacuum isn’t even touching the floor. And most of the bags in the hooks are mine. I’ll put it out there that I adore bags. The first step was taking it all out and vacuuming the closet. All the items were sorted through and put where they belong. Purses in my closet, toys and games in the basement, etc.

front hall closet

 I left the IKEA hooks since I would still be using this closet for backpacks and these hooks hold a lot!

front hall closet

My plan was to purchase something to organize the floor space. I purchased a unit with 6 cubby spaces as well as some storage boxes to hold smaller items.

front hall closet

I ended up with four main areas. A spot for my vacuum on one side of the unit with room for a broom and dustpan on the other. The unit has four boxes with two empty cubbies on the bottom for cleaning supplies and craft related items. Last but not least are the hooks for the backpacks. My daughters’ heavier backpack (hello middle school) can rest on the unit itself.

front hall closet

I then added some labels to each box with these ceramic tags that I found at the Target doller section two years ago! I used a dry erase marker so I can change what is in each box if I ever feel like it.

IMG_2963 front hall closet

The top of the closet has two baskets which hold upcoming birthday party supplies and other random items. As long as the random items fit in that basket I’m ok.

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So this is what my disaster of a closet looks like now…

front hall closet

One more closet under control!

 

the boys shared bedroom limbo…

The last time I showed any pictures of the my boys shared bedroom it looked like this…

boys shared bedroom

boys shared bedroom

boys shared bedroom

 

A year later and we have made some changes. Our bunk beds that my father made have the option of being two single twin beds or bunk beds. With the boys now being old enough to handle bunk beds we decided to do that. This actually happened at the end of the summer. Lots of discussing, rule making and reiterating that if anyone decided to jump off the beds we would be unbunking them. So far so good. The 8 year old has the top bunk and the 6 year old has the bottom bunk. He hasn’t even asked to be on the top bunk yet. Although I’d love to take a glamorous shot of the bunk beds I’d rather show you that I do have a guard rail. Any solutions for a prettier version would be kindly appreciated. The ones my father made were not tall enough for our mattresses!


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In addition to bunking the beds I purchased two IKEA Ranarp lamps. I’m pretty sure I bought them just because of the striped cords. They clamp on to the beds and the boys can easily turn them on and off with the switch on the cord. It’s the perfect reading lamp for falling asleep.

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IKEA Ranarp clamp spotlight

So with those changes made we now have some empty floor space which quickly filled up with some rearranging. But I’m in limbo.

I’d like to have a desk wide enough for both boys. It might be for coloring now and for homework in the future. I’m thinking something wall mounted with storage above. A cork board would be nice also. Obviously I will be building this. It will be big, I just am not sure how big. I could even make it L-shaped to wrap around the corner. Then again that might be too much desk.

The second item I need to take care of are the window treatments. I had created pelmet boxes for above the windows but one came down during the summer and guess where I stored it as I was waiting to fix it. Yup, the basement. You know the drill, basement flooded over the summer, threw everything out, blah, blah, blah. I don’t have any more of that fabric so I’ll need to redo the window treatments as well, or at least create a new pelment board and rewrap the existing one with new fabric.

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So for now their room is in limbo. They could care less but eventually I will get around to this space and create something that can grow along with them. Check out my boy’s room Pinterest board for some more ideas.

Curtain hanging tips…

Are you ever looking for some good ideas, tips, tricks and more? Do you have any questions about design or decor in your home? Hometalk is a home improvement, gardening and DIY network where you can share ideas, ask questions and get inspiration. I have a lot of my own projects on there as well. Hometalk recently asked me to curate a collection of curtain hanging tips. Stop by and take a look!

hometalk board

the newly recessed outlet…

After removing my kitchen cabinets to create a family command center I had one last item on that wall that I couldn’t take care of myself. The outlet that was originally in the cabinet was stuck out. Since it was in the cabinet it didn’t really matter. Now that my wall is all pretty and organized it does really matter. I’m no electrician and was not going to attempt this one on my own. So it sat this way for a little while.

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I covered it up with the art cart, but it never sat flush against the wall. I tried a small ottoman which again stuck out.

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We grouped all our electrical projects (this outlet, some disobediant switches in the front entryway, and the pendant over the kitchen table) into one day and had an electrician come in. He cut a hole in the sheetrock, recessed the electrical box, patched it up and was done. So much better.

recessed light fixture

recessed light fixture

rug options…

In searching for a rug for the basement I’ve flip-flopped on my rug options so many times that I’ve lost track of what I want down there. I’ve been going back and forth between flatweave, tufted and natural fiber rugs and really need to make a decision on what I want for the space. Here are the options…

I like the patterns and colors that you find in most flatweaves except in my home they seem to get thrown around. The rug never stays flat on the floor since they slide around when you walk (or wrestle in some cases) on it. I’ve tried rug tape to keep it in place but that has always felt strange to me as well, like I’m going to trip on the rug!

Tufted rugs feel more sumptuous, comfortable and cozy. I’d love that type of feeling for the basement also. My kids are always playing on the floor and this type of rug would really warm up the space. Tufted rugs feel like they will last longer as well but they cost a bit more.

Looped rug are similar to tufted rugs in composition. The only difference is that the tufts are left intact and not cut. They are not as soft as tufted rugs in my opinion. I’ve always felt like they show the gaps in between the loops and that last thing I want to see is the rug backing. I’ve also had one looped rug where the loop unraveled a bit. It was hard to fix since doing so meant trimming the loop. Unless it is an indoor/outdoor rug I try to stay away from looped rugs. Totally a personal preference there.

Natural fiber rugs are another option for me. They have a more casual feel to them but hold up to quite a lot. Some options can be a little rough in texture but blends (such as jute and chenille) can really be comfortable and beautiful in the process. If you have a colorful space a neutral natural fiber can bring it all together without adding another color!

I’ve put together some contenders with a mix of all types of rugs. What type of rug do you go for?

flatweave versus tufted rugsvia Wayfair

flatweave versus tufted rugsvia Wayfair
Wayfair_com_-_Online_Home_Store_for_Furniture__Decor__Outdoors___More___Wayfairvia Wayfair
Wayfair_com_-_Online_Home_Store_for_Furniture__Decor__Outdoors___More___Wayfair 2via Wayfair
Product_SVF29151_Image_1via One Kings Lane
Product_SVF46106_Image_2via One Kings Lane
Product_SYA25224_Image_2via One Kings Lane
Garman+Rugvia Joss & Main
Deanna+Rugvia Joss & Main
Cleo+Rugvia Joss & Main

heavy duty area rug for winter…

As you may have heard, here in the Boston area we have received a record amount of snowfall in just a few short weeks. I blame all those times we sang “Let It Go” last winter. Driving around you feel like a mouse in a maze. Going downhill you feel like you are in a luge run. The snow banks are so high in some areas it is hard to see over them. My youngest has a hard time going outside to play since the snow is taller than he is in some places! There are icicles everywhere which I admit are pretty to look at. Just don’t stand under them. The snow is piled up over some of our lower windows and comes up as high as our living room window, which is about 6 or 7 feet off the ground. It is a mess up here.

commercial area rug for winter

commercial area rug for winter

My patio table is under there somewhere!

commercial area rug for winter

In trying to deal with all this snow I have given up on style and gone for strictly practical in my mudroom. I love a pretty area rug in the mudroom but since every trip outside brings in snow and sand and salt it is just not possible. The wet boots come in and then a little bit later you have boots with a ring of salt and a pile of sand underneath. Lots of mopping and sweeping! It’s time for a heavy duty area rug for winter.

After a visit to my sisters’ house I saw that she had placed a large commercial style area rug in her mudroom. All the boots and mess land there instead of being spread around the room. I picked up a mat from Home Depot which will hopefully keep our mudroom in shape. The choices were not as commercial looking as I expected so I came home with a mat that is actually nice to look at. It is a gray mat which has a rubber backing to stay in place. Stain resistant, easy to clean and great for wiping off those snowy, sandy and salty boots!

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