Making Your Home Cozy with Candles

Making Your Home Cozy with Candles

It’s been a cold and rainy day in Pennsylvania, and while some may be longing for the warm summer sun, I actually love these dreary fall days. I’m a homebody at heart, and to me, a day like this is a perfect excuse to cozy up at home with a good book, my snuggly kitties, and a warm cup of tea. Many of you may be familiar with the concept of “hygge,” which has become very popular in decorating circles and beyond over the last few years. “Hygge” isn’t really a style; it’s a Danish term meaning “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being” (click here for an interesting article on this concept from The New Yorker). 

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Fireplace Makeover: How to Pick the Right Paint Color

Fireplace Makeover: How to Pick the Right Paint Color

In my last post, I shared more details about how I refinished my fireplace mantel, so today I am tackling the topic of painting over the fireplace tiles! As it turns out, the actual process of painting over tile is super easy, and I’ll discuss that in more detail in my next post. However, the issue of picking the right color to paint the tiles turned out to be WAY more difficult than I initially imagined, so I thought I would share a little bit more about how I finally managed to pick the “right” color! My initial plan for the fireplace tiles, which I discuss here, was to paint them a light beige. However, when I revisited this idea before starting the project, I realized that color was going to be way too light…

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Fireplace Makeover: How to Refinish a Mantel

Fireplace Makeover: How to Refinish a Mantel

Well, as promised, I wanted to share some of the details of my fireplace makeover project, starting with tips for how to refinish a wood mantel! Since there are already tons of DIY articles out there on how to refinish wood written by people who know far more about it than I do, I am not going to make this a comprehensive “how to” post. However, as a relative “newbie” to DIY projects, I learned a ton from this process, so I thought I would share a few tips and words of advice from this experience. I really hope this is helpful to anyone else who is new to this type of home project!

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Fall Inspiration: Fall Fireplace Decor

Fall Inspiration: Fall Fireplace Decor

Now that my fireplace makeover project is finally finished, it’s so fun to be able to work on decorating it! And since it is now officially FALL, I thought I would share how I have decorated it for the season! In fact, this post is part of a “blog hop” with a number of other awesome home decor bloggers, so if you read to the end of this post, you will see links to their blogs with more wonderful fall decorating ideas! I have to admit, I have never actually been a big “seasonal” decorator. I always felt like it was just “one more thing” on a never-ending list of stuff to do around the house, and so I never used to mark the seasons in any special way…

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Fireplace Makeover Reveal

Fireplace Makeover Reveal

I’ve mentioned in several of my recent posts that I’ve been working on a fireplace makeover project…Well, I am thrilled to finally report that a month after I started this project, it is DONE. I will be sharing in detail about each aspect of this makeover with information about how I did each part and tips of what I’ve learned along the way. But for now, I just wanted to share an image of how it turned out! So, just as a reminder, here’s an image of what my fireplace used to look like last year when it was decorated for fall…

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Cultivating Habits of Self Care

Cultivating Habits of Self Care

Personally, I’ve never been that into the whole notion of “self care”, which has become such a big buzzword in many circles over the last few years. Secretly, I sometimes feel that people use this concept as an excuse to be a bit selfish with their time or other resources. However, over the past year, I unintentionally began to develop my own daily ritual of “self care,” and despite my skepticism, I have to admit that this habit has had an enormous positive impact on my life. So, what is this daily practice of self-care that has made such a difference for me? Why, afternoon tea, of course!

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My Parent's Summer Home: Sunroom Inspiration

My Parent's Summer Home: Sunroom Inspiration

One of the rooms that I am most excited to work on decorating in my parent’s Maine home is their sunroom. If you can believe it, they actually have a total of three outdoor porches AND a sunroom, but each porch has a slightly different purpose and therefore they each have different “decorating needs.” Isn’t this room just wonderful?? It already has so much charm, and character, and LIGHT. The sunroom has two doors to the outside (the one pictured above) and another one, which is just to the right of where the picture crops (in retrospect, I should have taken more photos, but this is what happens when the house you are decorating long-distance is also where you spend your vacation!)…

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My Favorite Stunning Maine Homes

My Favorite Stunning Maine Homes

I hope everyone had a relaxing and fun Labor Day weekend! My husband and I just drove back from our two week vacation in Maine this past weekend. While it’s always sad for our vacation (and the summer!) to be coming to an end, I am also looking forward to getting back into my routine and embracing the new season! Fall is actually my absolute favorite time of year, so there is so much to look forward to!

However I will miss being up in New England! There’s just something about historic New England homes that I can’t resist, and one of my favorite things to do on vacation is to just drive around and look at all the pretty houses. This year, I took the time to photograph some of my favorites so that I could share them with you all!

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My Parent's Summer Home: The Jacuzzi Bedroom

My Parent's Summer Home: The Jacuzzi Bedroom

My husband and I arrived in Maine last Sunday night, and so far, we have been enjoying every minute of our vacation—soaking up the beautiful weather and the gorgeous Maine coastline! I promised my husband that I would really relax on this vacation…but since I am also helping to decorate my parent’s summer home, where we are staying, it’s hard not to “work” just a little bit. I’m so pleased with the way the house is coming along, and today I thought I would share the progress on the downstairs guest bedroom that we’re staying in—dubbed the “jacuzzi bedroom” for obvious reasons. This bedroom is the most finished so far, and it’s come SUCH a long way compared to how it used to look!

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Patio Garden Update

Patio Garden Update

I can’t believe the summer is almost over already! My husband and I are prepping for our big two week vacation in Maine, and I’ve been running around doing last minute house projects! I don’t know why I thought the two weeks before our vacation would be a good time to tackle a fireplace makeover project…but I did. We’ve successfully finished re-staining the mantel, and I am almost finished painting over our ugly dated tiles. I can’t wait to share more about this project when we get back! But in the meantime, I thought I would give a quick update on how our patio garden is doing!

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Master Bedroom Series: Neutral Mood Board and How to Combine Patterns

Master Bedroom Series: Neutral Mood Board and How to Combine Patterns

When my husband and I got married, I was so excited to start decorating our bedroom, however it also posed some new challenges. I wanted our bedroom to feel light, airy, and a bit feminine, BUT I also had to get my husband on board with this decorating scheme, so anything too girly was out of the question. Fortunately, my husband is pretty accommodating, so as long as my color scheme didn’t scream pink, I knew it would probably be ok. So, I settled on a light neutral palette, and I also incorporated black wood tones to add an element of contrast and lend a heavier more “masculine” touch to the room…

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New York City Apartment Refresh

New York City Apartment Refresh

Today I am really excited to share one of my most recent decorating projects, which has been a fun challenge and a real contrast from all the other projects that I have done so far. Last year my sister got married and moved into her husband’s 400 square foot apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and this summer I worked with her to give this small space a big refresh! When I first visited her apartment, I could tell right away that it had two major problems: 1) some of the furniture pieces were too big and bulky for the space, and 2) the apartment felt very dark, due to the limited natural light, dark wood floors, and primarily dark furnishings…

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Dining Room Series: Final Reveal

Dining Room Series: Final Reveal

Since I’ve already discussed some elements of my dining room in previous posts, today I am finally sharing photos of the completed room in its entirety! In case you missed my earlier posts, please check them out to read more about the inspiration for my dining room, how to mix and match wood tones, and creating a tablescape that can be altered for each season. Since my dining room is the first room you see when you walk in our house, it was really important to me that it be beautiful and make a big statement. Fortunately, my mother-in-law’s incredible painting really has that “wow” factor, and it’s totally the star of the space! Here is a straight on shot of the dining room with her painting front and center…

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Decorating Dilemmas: Where to Put the TV?

Decorating Dilemmas: Where to Put the TV?

Deciding where to put the TV is one of those decorating dilemmas that people can get quite heated about. Some decorators will tell you not to put your TV in your living room, or if you do, make sure it isn’t the focal point—and most importantly, don’t hang it above your mantel! However, I think that our homes have to work for us, which means that ultimately, we can’t make decorating decisions based purely on aesthetics—our decor also has to be functional and practical. Before we renovated our basement, our living room was really the only place where it made sense to put the TV. Furthermore, the wall above our mantel was really the only logical spot for it, since we wanted to place it opposite the couch. If you are struggling with a similar issue in your home, here are some tips for decorating with a TV…

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My Pottery Barn Sectional and Tips for Buying a Sofa

My Pottery Barn Sectional and Tips for Buying a Sofa

Some of you may have noticed the sneak preview of my new Pottery Barn sectional in my basement update last week, so today I thought I would share some more details about it! First off though, here are some general tips about buying a new sofa/sectional based on my recent experience:

1) Decide on a budget. You could literally spend anywhere from $500 to $5,000 or above depending on your particular situation. The quality and options will obviously vary based on price (and I have read some very heated debates about buying an inexpensive sofa that might last a few years vs. a higher quality piece that will last much longer), but honestly, I think the most important thing is to buy a sofa that feels comfortable for your budget. Buy the best quality that you can afford but don’t go broke doing it…

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Finished Basement Update

Finished Basement Update

My husband and I had some extra time off over the July 4th holiday, so we thought that would be a perfect time to tackle painting our newly finished basement. Neither of us had any previous wall painting experience, but we both rose to the challenge and basically worked non-stop for five days on it. Although, it’s not completely finished (we still have to paint the trim and doors), our basement already feels completely transformed! I’m so excited about the space that I just can’t help sharing a few photos of it, even though it’s not 100% done yet. So, without further adieu, here’s our new basement in all it’s glory…

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Dining Room Series: Tablescapes for Each Season

Dining Room Series: Tablescapes for Each Season

If you’ve spent enough time on Pinterest, you might have heard of the term “tablescape” and wondered what on earth they were talking about. A tablescape is basically just a beautiful arrangement of objects on a table. The dining table is obviously one of the main focal points in a dining room, and so it follows that it should receive some special decorating attention. And yet, particularly when dining tables are actually used frequently, they often get a little neglected and can become cluttered with the paraphernalia of everyday life. On the flip side, if you create a gorgeous and elaborate tablescape that actually prevents anyone from eating at the dining table, then you’ve defeated the whole point.

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Decorating with Cats

Decorating with Cats

I’ve gotten a number of comments from friends who have admired my home, and then asked “But wait, how do you keep your cats from destroying everything?” It’s been an issue that I have really wrestled with, and so I thought it was high time to do a post about a product I discovered which turned out to be a complete game-changer for decorating with cats—Soft Claws. For those who knows me well, I am a total cat-lover. I adore my two little fur babies, and when I first brought them home, I genuinely didn’t have any nice furniture to speak of, so when my cats clawed my used IKEA chairs, I didn’t really worry about it. But after I moved into our townhome in 2016 and began buyer nicer pieces, I quickly realized this was becoming a major problem…

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Dining Room Series: Mixing and Matching Wood Tones

Dining Room Series: Mixing and Matching Wood Tones

In the world of home decor, the days of perfectly matching furniture sets have definitely past, and the look of carefully curating one’s home over time is more the norm. While there are many advantages to this “natural” or “eclectic” approach to decorating, it also poses some real challenges. Mixing and matching unique pieces of furniture is not always easy, particularly when it comes to combining different wood tones. I discovered this first hand when decorating my dining room last year, so I thought I would share a little bit about my experience as well as some general tips that I learned for how to mix and match different wood tones.

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Starting Your Own Home Bar and a Cocktail Recipe

Starting Your Own Home Bar and a Cocktail Recipe

My husband and I have often talked about trying to set up a mini home bar, so that we could make our own cocktails, but it always felt a little intimidating and overwhelming to get started with it. But this year, I decided to surprise my husband by gifting him with all the various accoutrements for his birthday! In case anyone else is interested in trying to make their own cocktails at home, I thought I’d share some of the resources I found along with the various liquors and tools that that I ended up purchasing…

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