A New Room...and a New Ring!

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen my post about painting my dining room ceiling a few weeks ago. When I originally painted my dining room mocha brown, I left the tray ceiling the existing tan color. It was my intention to do a funky treatment on the tray ceiling, but the weeks turned into months, which turned into 2 years of the ceiling not being painted. What can I say, life is blissfully busy.

This is what we started with-

Since it was going to be much easier to take down the chandelier before painting the ceiling, I decided it was time for a new chandelier as well. I have always loved my capiz chandelier from West Elm, but it just didn't fit in the large room. I couldn't bear to part with it, so we simply moved it to a much better suited spot.
*Charlie's face is too funny in this pic. This also reminds how desperately I need to make new valances!

I picked up this metallic paint from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot. I had used Ralph Lauren metallic paint in an accent wall in my master bedroom in my first home and knew it was a challenging finish of paint to work with. However, the Martha Stewart brand was a nightmare. We even bought the recommended Martha Stewart-brand paint roller made for textured/metallic paint. Unfortunately, the 'bronze' paint was super streaky and looked like chocolate syrup. Not good. Sadly, I don't have any photos of this stage, as I was too disgusted to stop and grab the camera:(

I headed back to Home Depot and picked up a few smaller jars of the textured metallic glazes to help camouflage the streaky finish.

After trying out several different techniques, we found one that gave us the finish we were after. I had the gold color, Muscovado and Justin used the light bronze color, Medallion. I would swirl the gold paint in figure-8 movements, and he would quickly lightly go over the same area with his bronze glaze. This created a beautiful, multidimensional finish that we LOVE.

You may have noticed our new light fixture in the after photos above. I took a gamble and ordered this chandelier from Amazon. Luckily, it was exactly what I had been envisioning but couldn't find in any local shops.
 We think the room looks so much more warm and rich now. We even got to host Christmas Eve dinner in our 'new' dining room this year to rave reviews.

Now on to a personal update...Justin and I got engaged! 
We were at home Saturday cleaning house and wrapping presents. As we finished up and started getting ready to go out to dinner, Justin told me he had a new favorite ornament. Every year, we purchase or make a new ornament for our Christmas tree. I have been so busy the past few weeks, that I hadn't had a chance to go pick out an ornament. I headed over to the tree to see what he had gotten. I then saw a sweet heart-shaped ornament...with a beautiful diamond ring tied to it. He pulled the ring off, got down on one knee and proposed!

As I fought back tears, I said yes! Of course! He then let me know that he had made dinner reservations at 2 places and I could pick whichever one I wanted. One was for Room 39 where we had our first date, and the other at Blue Stem, where we have never been but have wanted to go to for ages. I opted for Blue Stem  We quickly called our loved ones to share the happy news and then headed out. We had an amazing five course dinner...I am still full!!! Justin and I love hanging out at home, and it felt so special to be at home with our dogs in front of the Christmas tree that we put up together to start our new life together.

The next morning we headed to Justin's parents to celebrate Christmas and were greeted with mimosas and well wishes! It was a wonderful start to the holiday and our new life together.

Although it's a tad belated, Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Hope you all had a blessed holiday as well!
xoxo, S


Quick, Easy and Awesome DIY Gift Ideas

Although Christmas is a mere 5 days away, it's not too late to create some easy gifts for friends, loved ones, neighbors etc. Thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest, I discovered some divine gift ideas that I will be making on Saturday to pass out to our relatives on Christmas Eve.

*If you are related to me (or Justin) please do not scroll down, as I want to keep these gift ideas a surprise for you!








Easy DIY Gift Idea #1
Caramel Sauce. One glance at the photos from Always With Butter, and I couldn't resist. This will be a perfect topping for ice cream, apples or even straight outta the jar. Yum. I discovered this recipe and blog from Pinterest and have become a huge fan of Always With Butter. Her photography skills are simply amazing! Here are her directions-
Original Pin found HERE

Easy DIY Gift Idea #2
Cinnamon Almonds from Detrimental Beauty look so tasty and pretty. Click HERE for directions and ingredients. Original Pin found HERE

Easy DIY Gift Idea #3

Gardener's Hand Scrub from One Good Thing by Jille looks beautiful, is effective and consists of 2 ingredients you probably already have at home. It doesn't get much easier than that. Original Pin found HERE.

Easy DIY Gift Idea #4

Don't forget your furry friends! My sons, Charlie and Zorro, will be getting some of these sweet treats in their stockings this year, as will our relatives' pets. Cleo's Pumpkin Dog Biscuits from Simmer Till Done are easy and best of all, healthy for your pets. Made from pumpkin, which is known to soothe dog's bellies and brown rice flour to avoid any wheat allergies. original Pin found HERE.

Easy DIY Gift Idea #5
Hand painted utensils from The Happy Homebodies. I think these fun painted kitchen utensils are a great gift year round. I love that they can be customized to the color palette of the recipient's kitchen. original Pin found HERE.
Don't Forget Presentation is Key
No one wants something that looks like a toddler made it, unless of course a toddler did make it. Thanks to inexpensive boxes and bows from the dollar store and multiple sources for free pretty label downloads, your homemade gift can look better than a random gift from the store.

Here are a few examples of my favorite beautifully wrapped presents-
via HERE
via HERE

 via HERE

Even socks look cute when packaged well
via Here

Happy Gifting!
xoxo, S


From Pallets to Pretty

When my co-worker Monica first joined our company last year, we quickly bonded over our shared love of decorating, organizing and DIY projects. Safe to say, we're work BFFs. One thing I love most about Monica is that she is not afraid to take on anything...design, work or otherwise.

Amidst a full-time work schedule and raising 2 adorable little boys, her and husband some how found the time to create this gorgeous pallet accent wall in their home. Color me jealous.

She wanted to do something fun and unique on this wall space at the top of her stairs. This room serves as a play area for the boys and hang-out space for mom and dad, so she wanted a design that was both child and adult appropriate. We thought a wood wall was the perfect solution. 

We did some research together and found THIS tutorial from Katie at Bower Power to be the most helpful.

Monica started scouring Craigslist for old pallets and finally found some. For free. Score.
Because Katie does a great job explaining each step, I'll save you the detailed play-by-play. Here are some pictures of the process along the way.

This is how he space started-

The whole family helped out by painting the room a blue-gray color that worked perfectly against the weathered wood accent wall.

Each pieces was laid out to find the pattern they liked best. It is meant to look random, but it helps to lay it out first to make sure the more worn pieces of wood are equally spread about.

*One thing to note is the Monica had the same issue with a light switch being in the middle of the wall. They decided to have an electrician move the light switch to another wall, instead of covering it up as Katie did. This added some cost to the project, but I think it was well worth it.

The dramatic before and after once more-

Isn't it gorgeous?! It looks so inviting and warm. The other good news is that even though Monica's husband wanted to curse us throughout the process (as we came up with the idea but he did all of the work), he is now officially a huge fan of it:)

I can't wait to see the space once it's completely furnished! I'll be sure to share updated pictures once she gets all of the furniture in.

Have you tried a 'pallet-craft'? If so, let me know; I'd love to share it on here.

Happy Friday!
xoxo, Suzanne


Pantone Color of the Year 2013

Pantone has just announced the color of the year for 2012...

What do you think? Emerald is not a color I typically turn to, at least not in home decor, but I do like it. It's gorgeous paired with lime, orange and cobalt blue as demonstrated below and looks extra crisp against white.

photo courtesy of pantone.com

When done right, I think emerald can look incredibly rich. Here are a few examples of spaces with pretty pops of the luscious shade of green...

Eclectic Home Office design by San Francisco Interior Designer Story & Space - Interior Design and Color Guidance

It's difficult to find fault with a color so prevalent in nature.


Deal of the Day

Disclaimer- I realize that I probably sound like I am 80 years old suggesting this product, but I know after a long work day in heels, I appreciate the extra cushion underfoot as I stand and cook dinner. Normally, these START at $60, I found them for $16!
After standing in front of my girlfriend Kristen's kitchen sink helping clean up after a bridal shower, I noticed how awesome her gel comfort floor mat was. It was amazing how cushy the mat felt and what a big difference it actually made. Since we have hardwoods in our kitchen too, I kept my eye open for one of those comfy, ultra-thick mats to bring home.

I'm talking about the gel mats that look like this-

When Justin and I were in Bed, Bath & Beyond picking up a gift, I decided to check their selection. I got so excited when I saw a big stack...than a saw the price. Whomp, whomp.

They started at $59.99 and went up from there. It just seemed crazy, even with a 20% off coupon, to spend $50 on a small floor mat that you stand on in one of the messiest rooms in the house, the kitchen. Link HERE.

We left empty-handed. After searching online and finding the same price point on Amazon and Overstock, I gave up.

A few nights ago, we ran into the hardware store and I decided to check out the Big Lots next door. After hitting the jackpot and finding $3 Philosophy makeup at Big Lots this Summer, I thought I may find another score.

Lo and behold, they had identical basket weave comfort gel mats...for $16!
*It looks more rubber-like in the photo due to the flash. In real life, it is very nice and plush.

It is now in our kitchen and our feet thank us every time we do the dishes.

I know it's a small thing and  not the most design savvy, but sometimes comfort trumps having a slippery, thin mat.

What are your favorite discount finds? Anyone else hit up closeout stores?
xoxo, S


Gift Well Soon

Christmas Wish-List 2012
I thought I would share my Christmas wish-list with my lovely readers, as I think most of these items would work well for the women in your life: friends/aunts/mother-in-law/sisters/coworkers etc.

For her
 Customizable Monogrammed iPhone case
Let's face it, we live in a technology-obsessed world. I'm as guilt as anyone of whipping out my i-phone every chance I get. Why not give your Apple-loving friend a pretty case in their favorite color and personalized with their monogram?

Braided loop in light mint (my obsession with mint continues)
Scarfs may not be the most unique gift. However, this super soft, braided infinity scarf in a pretty pale mint would work for anyone and stand out against the plain, mall-basic scarfs found everywhere. 

Classic leather bag from Madewell
This cognac leather classic bag has been on my wish-list for quite some time, and I plan to bite the bullet and order it for myself in the New Year. I love that it is big enough to fit my iPad but not too bulky to carry on a daily basis. This will never go out of style and the high-quality leather will only look better with age.

Kendra Scott Elle Earrings
As much as I love the look of the original Danielle version, I find them to be too heavy to wear comfortably very long. This slightly smaller version gives the same look but without the weight. I love ALL of the colors these come in, but I am most partial to the pretty mix of jade and turquoise.

Heart of Gold bracelets
I'd like to add to my collection of stackable bracelets (without the heart stone).
Wishbone Necklace
A celeb favorite (Jennifer Aniston has been photographed wearing this on multiple occasions) is another dainty, pretty necklace that can be worn at work or with a t-shirt on the weekends. 

For the home
Chiang Mai Dragon accent pillow
I don't think I will ever tire of the print.

Aurelia Tray by Zara Home
This hammered steel tray in gold would be a perfect addition to our coffee table and would corral our remotes.

Restoration Hardware iPhone Gramophone
This may seem like a random item to throw in, but when Justin and I saw these in-store, we both were enamoured.  I love the mix of the old and new look. Fun and functional.

I will be sharing gift ideas for the men in your life later this week!

What's on your wish-list this year?