Monday, July 30, 2012

Quick and Easy Picture Frame


I've recently begun an obsession with ceiling medallions...they have so much detail and character. After seeing these from Ballard Designs, I was bound and determined to incorporate some beautiful medallions into my home. I'm still debating about whether to do a whole wall of medallions (much cheaper at home improvement stores than Ballard), but thought one quick and easy way to incorporate the ornate beauty in these pretty circles was to use one as a statement picture frame.


It was so very simple to add a photo – I just taped a black and white picture to the back of the medallion. I noticed they did have true photo frame inserts at Lowe's, but I decided to go the super simple route. I anchored it on our bedroom wall with a pretty charcoal ribbon.



The ribbon is doubled over and hung with a thumb tack underneath the fold, and the medallion is hung on a nail atop the ribbon.


Super simple, super quick, super easy...big statement.

I love the interest it adds to our bedroom wall. It finishes that corner off beautifully.


And because I can't help it, here are a few fun photos of our bedroom : )








Have a great Monday!
{live beautifully}
Courtney

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Linen Closet {Small Space Storage}


It's no secret that we live in a very, very small apartment. I love our home, but it gets zero points for storage space. Besides our rather small bedroom closets, the only storage available is this built-in linen cabinet. I am so thankful for it, because it does provide a fair amount of space to hide things like craft supplies, lightbulbs, linens, etc. But since it's basically our only storage, it was getting a bit crammed and completely disorganized. Every time I opened the doors it seemed like I had to go digging for what I was looking for. Well, I could only take that for so long. I decided a good cleaning and organizing session was in order, and got to work sorting out the closet.

small space storage

I did not take a before photo, but here's the finished product. Just imagine tons of linens, light bulbs and junk shoved every which way and you'd have a pretty good idea of the before : )


The cupboard also doubles as a book case, so the top shelf remained devoted to my collection of decorating magazines and our books. One of my favorite tricks for creating a neutral palette is simply to turn books with the pages facing out, instead of all the colored spines creating visual noise. If you need to find books quickly, it might not be the best solution, but if you only choose books occasionally it really helps to declutter the look of your book storage.



The middle shelf holds our table linens, bed sheets and cleaning supplies. The wire basket on the left came from a local vintage shop and is one of my favorite finds. I had been looking for something like this for weeks and couldn't find anything just right for under about $25. This one was $12.95, is very long and roomy, and I love the curved opening in the front.


I keep our bed sheets in one of the pillowcases so they are not separated. This is a wonderful trick for storing sheets I picked upon Pinterest.


I use one of my favorite marmalade jars to catch small loose items like buttons and safety pins.



I have a bit of an obsession with tea towels, so I bought two gray wash willow baskets from Target to contain my ever-growing collection of kitchen linens. Luckily this is one collection that gets used on a daily basis.




Cleaning supplies, soap and linen spray corralled in a pretty basket.


These blue striped linens are placemats. You'd never guess but they are actually from the Dollar Tree! I loved their white canvas material with a French/Scandinavian blue striped border. And you just can't beat the price!


I think I might leave this door open more often, just so I can peek into our pretty little closet : )


Our blue stripe beach towels sit between the two willow baskets so they're easily accessible when we head to the pool - a common occurrence during this hot summer!


It feels so good to have a pretty, organized storage space. If you have a space that needs organizing, my top advice is to group like items together for visual impact. Then, use baskets, boxes and other storage items to corral groupings and create separation. It really is that easy to organize and beautify a storage space!

{live beautifully}
Courtney

PS- I got lots of inspiration from my Pinterest boards. Click here or here for tons of pretty, organized inspiration.

I'm linking up with Jennifer Rizzo this week.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Day at the Market

This weekend, my good friend Leah and I got the chance to spend the day together. Leah and I always have so much fun because our interests are very similar. We both love to antique, and she has been my "junking buddy" on many of my road trips to find items for the shop. It's also a plus because our husbands are really good friends and they both love to golf. So many weekends we send the boys out golfing and we'll hit up the latest flea market or antique shop. In fact, we even joined a local country club with them, so we always have someone to golf with (or in our case, someone to ride in the cart with while the boys golf), or spend an afternoon at the pool with. It works out perfectly!


This Saturday, we decided to begin the day by going to our local farmer's market. I had never been, but I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of locally grown produce, freshly baked bread, handmade goods, plants and baked goods. It was so much fun to stop and chat with each vendor. I tried to snap a few photos but it was hard to get many because I didn't want to be in any other shopper's way. 



I loved that this vegetable vendor used a vintage scale and old wire basket to weigh his produce. 


I wanted to ask if I could buy the tomatoes sign from this booth...I thought it would be so adorable in a farmhouse kitchen!


One vendor sold organic, handmade pastas. They looked divine!






The flower vendor was my favorite. I came home with a tall mixed bouquet that is gorgeous. The selection was wonderful and I loved supporting the local growers.


They displayed the large bouquets in these zinc containers...which I also wanted to bring home : )




Fresh herbs always make food tastier, I think!





There was one vendor who sold nothing but gorgeous succulents. The coloring and shape of each plant was lovely.



We had so much fun at the market, and then spent the rest of the morning browsing antique shops. Next was a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner that night, followed by an afternoon relaxing by the pool. Once the boys were done golfing, we all went to Leah's house for dinner with some other friends. Leah and her husband have a spacious house that's the perfect set up for entertaining, so we love to go over there and spend the evenings cooking together. Saturday's menu was hotdogs and brats topped with cilantro, white onion and mustard, plus grilled veggies from the market. We finished the evening by whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and playing our favorite game, called Settlers of Catan. It was such a fun day with great friends!

Hope your weekend was equally as lovely!
{live beautifully}
Courtney

PS- just a note that I have put my etsy shop on vacation indefinitely. Between the shop and a lot of evening meetings at work, I just can't keep up with the shipping aspect of running an online business. I'm hoping to reopen in the fall or winter. Thanks to everyone who supported the shop! It means the world to me!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

{Vintage Find} Antique Botanical Prints


Well hello there friends! Is it Wednesday already? Today I wanted to share with you our souvenir from our trip to Atlanta. I'm not one to pick up t-shirts, shot glasses or key chains with a city name emblazoned across them. I like to bring back mementos from a trip that are meaningful and will be cherished reminders for years to come. In this case, I chose two antique botanical lithograph prints from an antique store in the historic district of Savannah {you can read more about our time in Savannah here}.



These particular prints are from an 1851 book titled American Flora. I loved the muted colors and old font. I have always loved framed botanicals as decor, so when I found them I knew they would be a perfectly beautiful reminder of our first anniversary trip together. 



Finding just the right frame for these was quite the task, and I still don't think these frames are 100% perfect. I found the most perfect chunky gray frame at Michael's, but the largest size available was 5x7, and I needed at least an 8x10 if not larger. The frames they are in now were on clearance at Kohl's. I think eventually I'd like to find larger ones with more detail, and add a matte to the prints. But for now, these work : )


And just for fun, here are some pretty pictures of botanicals as decor via Pinterest.

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Hope you have a great day!
{live beautifully}
Courtney
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