Small updates are easy and inexpensive, yet can add so much personality to a space. Lately, I've been making little changes to our home -- the approach of spring is a perfect time for change!
Several Christmases ago, I sewed simple evelope covers for my pillows to add to the festive decor. Our kitchen windowseat was the first space to be de-Christmased, and the bright colors were an instant mood-lifter, signaling warmer weather on the horizon. Just changing decor seasonally can have the impact of an entire room re-do.
More wallpaper! And floral! I added peel-and-stick wallpaper from Love vs. Design to my pantry ceiling! My favorite room in the house, the pantry, ironically, isn't really decorated. The ceiling was one place I could add some style without taking up valuable function in the space.
I finally got around to embellishing my curtains at the top of the stairs. A few years ago, I purchased some AMAZING curtains from Society 6 that I hung and instantly fell in love with. But I quickly realized they weren't going to work -- they were blackout, and the sun filtering through is a must, plus I had just papered the stair risers and it was a bit much. So I replaced the curtains with simple IKEA ones I had on hand. They were boring (and uneven, and I hated the tab-top), but after a few other tries, I determined solid cream curtains worked better than patterned; still, they needed something! From the bottom of the stairs, the new pom-pom trim adds some detail without competing with the floral staircase risers. Vintage floral fabric (from a tablecloth) was used to take the curtains to the floor (and add more fun which the small hallway can take).
Laundry Room Love
Before I finished the upper bath, I was already working on another project: the laundry room. I love this space -- it was already great thanks to previous projects (installing a full wall of cabinets, tiling around the sink, installing a new light, and switching the out-swinging solid door for an in-swinging glass one), but I wanted to inject a little more personality.
It started with the cabinets. As I mentioned, I was in the middle of the bath project when I decided the laundry room cabinets needed something. I considered painting them and/or changing out the hardware before I decided to wallpaper the insets. The hunt was on for the perfect paper! I spent a lot of time working out the perfect colors on two designs from Love. vs. Design, but then ordered a swatch of yellow caning wallpaper I thought could work. Somehow, this wallpaper came across my feed and Amazon had one roll left at a great price so I snatched it up.
Though I was initially hoping to incorporate yellow into the space, the celery green wallpaper ties in better with existing elements like the magnet board, towel bin, and large DeGrazia painting. I also decided to paint the inside of the cabinets with some leftover paint (SW Alexandrite from my stairwell debacle) and wallpaper the shelves while I waited for the other new elements to arrive.
Like they were made for one another, those two new elements (rug and accent wallpaper) also incorporate the celery green. The accent paper was a surprise find I was not looking for, but had to have once I saw it, and was used to cover the sides of the pantry cabinet and new appliance surround. While it worked well for these applications and is better quality than a lot of peel-and-sticks I've used, it would not be a good fit for walls.
The wood counter was cut from an old tabletop, while the sides were part of one of those IKEA handyman cart deals (you can get some great stuff in those!). Unfortunately, after finishing this last night, I quickly realized it's going to hinder my climbs to reach the upper cabinets!
This rug! I am SO happy with it. Its vibrant colors incorporate all of the colors in the room (seriously, how did that green on the inside of the cabinets show up here?), plus it's soft and seems to be of good quality -- even more gratifying since I have not had great luck purchasing rugs online. I'm thrilled with the impact of a few small additions to the space, which is not only our laundry room but also the main access to our pool deck. Don't the colors exude tropical warmth (as opposed to Wisconsin winter)? Yes, please!
However, since there is still snow on the ground, I consider it winter and, thus, the Christmas season! I actually started taking down some of the decorations this week, which is pretty early for me (I usually wait until right before Easter). But our Christmas cards are still up, as is our tree -- that will be the last to go. 'Til warmer weather strikes, I'll be getting my dose of summer in the laundry room!
The past few weeks, I've been anxiously awaiting this post! For me, most projects hit 90-99% completion, and I call it good. With this one, I was determined to finish it COMPLETELY before posting. Well, I'm happy to say it's finally done! This was a week-long project that I managed to extend by blaming a bad saw (it really was a bad saw, though), thus taking three weeks.
This bathroom has actually been in the works for several years (at least four). Back then, I installed IKEA cabinets for hidden storage. Last spring, on a whim, I had a solar tube with fan installed in place of the previous bath fan, which is what inspired me to finally finish the space. These photos were all taken without any lights on a clear but not-sunny day.
The colors were inspired by the existing beautiful YET HORRIBLY INSTALLED shower tile. Ironically, as I neared completion on this room, I came to the conclusion the tile will need to be removed sooner rather than later.
Here's what this latest round of room refresh entailed, in order:
SOURCES: wallpaper Milton & King Yucatan // wall color (discontinued, but available by request) Sherwin-Williams Dewy (similar to Fleeting Green) // trim color Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (mixed into SW Pro-Classic) // vanity color SW Halcyon Green // mirror color SW Quite Coral // rug Safavieh Veranda Srbislava in Green/Terracotta (Overstock) // vanity lights Hampton Bay Manor in Black/Brass (Home Depot)
For the love of wallpaper
The proliferation of wallpaper in our home started simply enough: the stairs. The white riser seemed out of place without a skirt board -- in fact, it looked unfinished. Then I came upon stick-on tiles and considered those for a time (see example below right) before deciding on peel-and-stick wallpaper. And, oh, what a great decision that was!
Juniper Forest from Rifle Paper Co. ended up being the perfect choice for several reasons: 1) one roll covered all 17 risers, 2) because of the pattern, I was able to install it sideways, eliminating any seam matches, and 3) it's gorgeous! One $50 roll and a couple of hours later...
After falling in love with Juniper Forest on my stairs, I found other places to use it: inside dresser drawers, above our mantle, on a wall in our former dining room (still not quite sure what to call this space), and on a wall in our entry.
I realize there are other worthy wallpaper designs, and am anxious to see if they live up to Rifle Paper Co.'s peel-and-stick. I'll find out soon enough, as I'm closing in on being ready to wallpaper the upstairs bath! I have one other space I've decided on wallpaper, but will save the surprise for later -- one project at a time!
Refreshed Family Room
Fresh clean walls feel so good right now. Our family room received a slight refresh to start the new year. The color change is barely noticeable: from SW 6198 Sensible Hue to SW 7022 Alpaca. Lighter and warmer. When facing a repaint, I often change colors to justify the amount of work involved.
Most of the Christmas decorations went away while prepping to paint. But, typically, as long as there's snow on the ground, the decorations stay. Santa Bear was found at a local thrift shop; he received a new handmade hat and scarf.
The basement palette is much softer than what we have upstairs, evocative of what we had in our Zimmerman home when I discovered French country thanks to the many lovely shops in town. The patina of this minty green sideboard is amazing. Of course, I love my mirrors!
Another amazing piece discovered in our local thrift shop. I've been adding more bamboo and wicker elements to our home in recent years.
Can you believe I broke down and bought recliners?! While they still don't fit my style, they suit my comfort needs as I've gotten older. The rustic stool was found at a garage sale in town. Chairs from Schneiderman's.
I have to share a close-up and an admission: I LOVE textile art. This piece (sans frame) was found at one of my favorite shops in Stillwater: The Lived In Room. The frame was purchased years ago at a garage sale in town -- it's been waiting for something special; I love the juxtaposition of ornate formality with colorful whimsy.
Besides art, chartreuse dining chairs add a fun pop of color, repeated on the dresser in the adjoining space (to be shared later on). The table is a fairly new addition to this space, and needs some TLC -- stay tuned.
Raised on a farm in Rushford, Minnesota, one of nine children. Graduated from Winona State University in 2001. Majored in English Writing and Minored in Women's Studies and Art. Studied Interior Design at Dakota County Technical College from 2004-05. Married Benjamin Ries of Vermillion, Minnesota, in August of 2005. Moved to Spearfish, South Dakota (thus putting Interior Design studies on hold) in September 2005. Welcomed children Adelaide in 2006 and Rusty in 2007. Moved to Zimmerman. Minnesota in December of 2007, then to El Paso, Wisconsin in May of 2011.