Play Kitchen Inspo

 

 

 

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This play kitchen is one of those things that is for my kids, but really it’s for me. All three of us (me and my six-year-old and my three-year-old) had the same reaction when we saw it: gasp!…stare in admiration…pretend to stock it with delicious food. Continue reading “Play Kitchen Inspo”

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Do or Don’t: Hide Book Spines

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via My Paradissi

I will come right out and say, I don’t like the styling trick of books facing backward on the shelf. Prioritizing beige over ease of access to books is squarely in the realm of impractical design. I hope it is a trend that dies soon. Now, I’m going to show you bookshelves that embrace books as they are, and bookshelves that use backward or slip-covered books for textured monochrome variance. I want to be totally clear that I love the work of all of the stylists! I chose really admirable images on both sides of the book spine debate.

But look at the top image. So many books. Thick ones! What are they? If they want a book from the top shelf, do they have to stand on a ladder and pull out each book until they find it? Do they listen to the vinyl, or is it decorative? So many questions.

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Waiting on Martha

These bookshelves are in a gorgeous office. I want so badly to touch those chairs that I could be distracted from the urge to turn those books around.

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Love Grows Wild (Liz Fourez) on Glitter Guide

I obsessively scanned the typing on those covered white books and I believe I see canon hits like War and Peace, The Odyssey and Huckleberry Finn. Since the books are labeled, I can get behind the matching white dust jackets. (Although, if I ever read War and Peace, I will definitely leave it resting on my coffee table for a few weeks as a subtle brag.) The backward books I don’t get, because they look antique and all have pretty blue or brown spines; show them off!

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SS Life + Style (Stephanie Sterjovski)

Again, this looks great. Again, I think there is already enough of white accessories and breathing space that I’m curious to see how those books would look if they were allowed to fully show their hot pink and black covers.

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via Domino

Stephanie Sterjovski’s condo is super cozy, neutral and minimalist, so I get why the books should be quiet. You almost can’t see them, but there’s about 27 on that shelf. The white or black ones are showing spine, and the paperbacks are in a short-ish stack, so their spineless orientation seems more approachable than if there was a big row of backward books.

OK, now in the other direction:

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IG @stephgphotography

I noticed most of the bookshelf inspo I’m drawn to has a lot of books, but they are thoughtfully grouped by color for harmony. This one seems boho and busy with all those amazing plants, but there’s nothing overwhelming about it because of the color palette, non-patterned pots, and the white wall backdrop.

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Tumblr
Katerina Pimenidu

In this proper home library, the books appear to be grouped by genre, definitely not by color. I think it works so well with the modern, sleek design around it because it is floor-to-ceiling and in a defined space. There are so many books that the disbursement of color and bumpy ridge-lines end up feeling balanced and even like artwork.

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Lea Jessen on Bolig

This bookshelf has an approachable vibe, so you believe the people who live there really read their books. It’s not trying too hard, but if you look carefully the books are thoughtfully organized and they do play nicely with the gallery wall color palette. Every little detail is repeated in some way for cohesion.

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DecorFix

DecorFix created this image for their how-to on bookshelf styling. I will end here, saying it is possible to have a pulled together or even pared-back bookshelf with readable, accessible book spines. Don’t make your books face the wall. They don’t like it.

What do you think? Do you (or would you) hide your book spines?

My Kids’ Girl & Boy Shared Bedroom

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When we moved in, their room was painted a sad yellowish cream with beat up white trim (which still looked wildly better than the red from the listing photo), and the owner offered to have it painted any neutral color.

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I chose a bright white because the room gets great light, and I knew there would be plenty of color from the kids’ books and tchotchkes. Their room is used for sleeping, dressing, and quiet time, so I want it to feel airy, personalized and practical.

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A year ago, the kids transitioned from a toddler bed and a mattress on the floor to the Kura bed. It isn’t actually a bunk bed, it’s a bed that can be reversed so that the mattress is high or low. Gabe has a floor bed and Alexandra is on the “top bunk” a couple of feet lower than a traditional bunk bed would be.

The IKEA mattress that goes with the bed is much shallower; our mattress goes as high as the edge of the bed which, obviously, is not safe. She has a bed rail, and by bed rail, I mean I shove a large plastic storage box lid horizontally between the mattress and side of the bed. I took it out for the picture. I am sharing this “hack” for clarification, not for recommendation.

Gabe snapped off several pieces of one of the cheap rental standard blinds, so I replaced it with wood-look 2-inch blinds.

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The kids love the multi-colored Christmas lights so much that I decided they could stay up indefinitely as a night light. I unplug them when I go to bed. My dad made that bookshelf when Alexandra was a baby and it has been in heavy use for more than five years. I used to keep a carefully selected variety of 16 picture books in it, rotated every Friday. Now, the kids cram it full of their current favorites and bring stacks of books into their beds when they’re supposed to be sleeping. I secretly approve.

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This little corner (above) is the self-care area. A shatterproof mirror has storage for hair stuff and lip balm. They stand on the stools to hang up their towels.

I chose this informational view to show that french doors lead to the kids’ room from the living room, while a doorway (the door was removed by previous owner) connects it to the short hallway. The hall is open to the dining room and leads to the cleaning closet, bathroom, and my bedroom. I think that in the original 1939 layout, this was the master bedroom. The weird floor in the self-care corner was probably a closet, and the the opening with french doors were probably added in the 1980s. Over the years, we’ve had a lot of bedrooms with “character”, so I’ll be controversial and say I’d be happy to take on the challenge of a generic rectangle room with a standard closet.

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Their dresser holds all of their clothes as well as their CDs. The fan serves as white noise every night. A fan in the room is connected with a slightly lower SIDS risk, so they’ve always had one and need the white noise to sleep now.

All year, I’ve been thinking about a large area rug and an updated light fixture, but the room probably won’t evolve further, since we’ll move in a few months.

Paint | Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White
Kura Reversible Bed | IKEA
Ljudlig Duvet | IKEA
Marimekko Bo Boo Pillowcase | FinnStyle
White Blanket | Target
Butterfly garlands & party pom garland | Target (old)
Seagrass storage basket | HomeGoods
Rug | HomeGoods
Faux sheepskin | IKEA
Bookcase | made by my dad
Baby chair | vintage
Hemnes Dresser | IKEA
Dresser knobs | Anthropologie
Greetings around the world art | HomeGoods
Portrait of Alexandra’s 2nd birthday | painted by Jenna Wynne
Globe | vintage
Unbreakable mirror | IKEA (old)
Name Stools | painted by Jenna Wynne
Bunny & Triceratops towels | Pottery Barn Kids

Favorite Kids’ Bed Sheets

sheet-setI’ve been shopping for sheets for my kids’ twin beds. For the past few years, the night pottying was in progress, so to speak, so I only had cheap white sheets on their beds. Now that things have stayed dry, I want to get some fun graphic sheets that coordinate with their blankets. I am pretty set on getting the Shy Little Kitten sheets for my six-year-old, so I might end up getting the Bed’s Best Friends (dog) sheets for my 3-year-old. The prints aren’t not related, but I think they’d be cute paired on their bunk bed.

Copen Floral Percale Sheets | The Company Store

Organic Dino Sheet Set | Pottery Barn Kids

Organic Shy Little Kitten | The Land of Nod

Organic Check Sheet Set | Pottery Barn Kids

Organic Rainbow Sheet Set | Pottery Barn Kids

Little Prints Kids Sheets Blue Triangle | The Land of Nod

Modern Mosaic Tassel Sheet Set | The Land of Nod

Rosy Cloud Flannel Sheet Set | The Land of Nod

Bed’s Best Friends Bed Sheets | The Land of Nod

Some lifestyles!

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Most Popular Pins

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Design Mom’s 6 Secrets for a Smooth Move. I love the box-labeling system, though I have never been able to execute it. Each of my many moves seems to involve several boxes of “miscellaneous” things I waited too long to pack.

20 Modern Valentine’s Day Projects from Tater Tots and Jello

Animal Cardigan

“Make a list of things that make you happy. Make a list of things you do every day. Compare the lists. Adjust accordingly.” -Dallas Clayton

Eleanor Roosevelt’s family

The wooden bead clothes-hanging line has been featured before, but it’s getting another mention for being super popular. I pinned it from Mommo, and I wish I could find the original source. I think this would be a fun and easy DIY for dress-ups, or for keepsakes like ballet slippers.

“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” -Maria Montessori, poster on Teachers Pay Teachers

Inside Out Magazine’s feature of a modern little girl’s bedroom. That bed head is Queen Petal by The Family Love Tree.

Maca Cacao Hot Chocolate from Love and Lemons

 

Pin with me!

 

 

 

 

 

My Ideal Life Vision Board

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” — Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Trendy or not, I love the KonMari Method. It’s less about organization or getting rid of clutter, and more about exercising your intuition to create your ideal lifestyle.

As part of the KonMari tidying process, Marie Kondo encourages you to gain clarity and motivation by holding an image in your mind of the kind of home you want to live in, which lines up with the lifestyle you want to live. In her follow-up manual, Spark Joy, Marie Kondo elaborated,

“Our goal in tidying should be to create a living environment filled with the things we love. […] If you have even one photograph that makes you feel ‘Yes, this is the kind of space I want to live in,’ it will completely change how you feel about tidying up.”

living-room

I pin tons of images for inspiration, but more than a year ago, I created this Pinterest board. It is a vision board of carefully selected lifestyle priorities for my home. I created Polyvore images for the main rooms of my home, like my living room inspiration above. I don’t update it frequently, because my values around living in my home for this phase of life, and the way I love for my home design to feel, have remained mostly consistent.

Lapuan Kankurit: www.lapuankankurit.fi

One of my intentions for the year (and which has always been a goal of mine) is to live in a home with a sauna. This means buying a house! The traditional family sauna image is from a Finnish textile company, Lapuan Kankurit.

treehouse

On a smaller scale, I’d like to keep sprucing up the playhouse we got this summer. It’s not a treehouse like in my ideal image, but it has the same feeling of the kids spending long afternoons imagining, climbing, and playing outside.

Do you have a material, digital, or mental image of your ideal home that you come back to over and over? Do you feel like your home represents the lifestyle you want to live?

 

 

DIY Gnome Toppers

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Every year, I attempt to craft something for my family in Finland. I am not successful every year, but this year, I am pleased to report that my hot glue gun skills came through. What is the “black thumb” equivalent for crafting? Smudge thumb? I just made that up. Even if you have “smudge thumb”, you can make these gnome toppers. They’re an adorable accessory for giving a bottle of wine or glogg, adding whimsy to a taper candlestick, or topping a mini tree. You could even make a smaller version as a gift wrap accessory.

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I bought the Bachman’s gnome topper above at Lund’s and Byerly’s. I studied it, and  inside the hat you can see the end of a pipe cleaner, so the materials list was simple to make. I decided to do a small pom instead of the wood nose, because I wasn’t sure how the wood was attached, but I knew the pom would stay with hot glue. My craft store was sold out of white faux fur, so I went with brown. This is so simple, you could add your own variations in countless ways.

If you’re a crafty person, you’ve probably said got it, created a village of gnomes, and photographed and written a better tutorial by now. But if you’re still here, I’ll walk you through a ridiculously over-explained photograph tutorial.

Materials for one gnome:

felt

faux fur (or beard material of choice)

pipe cleaner

mini pom (or nose of choice)

thread or thin string (I used embroidery thread)

small jingle bell (or a pom)

Tools: hot glue gun, scissors

 

 

1. Cut your felt into a long, isoscles triangle. I didn’t bother measuring, because it’s up to you how long and narrow you want the hat to be. To figure out how wide the base should be, wrap the felt around the neck of a wine bottle (or candlestick) and then give it a tiny bit of wiggle room. For the best shaping, make the triangle a little longer than the pipe cleaner.

2. Double-knot a jingle bell onto thread, and hot glue the thread to the narrow end of the triangle. (You could also sew the bell on, like an overachiever.)

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3. Hot glue the pipe cleaner down the middle, with one end an inch or so from the narrow end of the hat.

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4. Flip it over and run hot glue along the edge of the wide end. Fold the edge over the glue to make the brim of the hat. (If you wanted the brim to be an accent, like white trim on a red hat, you could have first glued a strip of fabric on the edge of the pipe cleaner side.)

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5. Cut out your faux fur beard. The Bachman’s gnome beard is long and wispy, but my faux fur wasn’t as wispy, so I cut it into a subtle triangle to make it look more beard-like.

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6. Hot glue the beard, centered, at the edge of the wide end of the pipe cleaner side of the hat, furry side down. Make sure the glue is getting on the batting part of the faux fur.

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7. Glue one long side over the other, overlapping minimally. I did a few inches at a time, so that I could just push it flatly, and then poke my finger through to keep any glue from leaking. I didn’t want to make the hat flat; I wanted it to stay conical.

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8. Glue the pom “nose”. I tucked it slightly under the brim of the hat. The faux fur may shed, so make sure the pom is glued to the felt.

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That’s it! You made a gnome topper! He looks great! What did you name him?

This is Alden. He’s trying out my electric candle. I didn’t keep him there long, because I don’t know whether or not that’s safe. But I thought the pink glow (like when you put your fingers over a flashlight) was cool, especially since he has a pink nose.

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