Friday, December 18, 2015

Dining Room Update #1 and More

Happy Friday! I've spent the past few days trying to find a rug that I like for the dining room and I think I may be changing my whole plan for that room! The warmth of the wood in my house is like a big blanket I just want to snuggle up in. If I paint the trim white I will lose all that warmth. I'm going to try and work with it and see what happens!

We put up the new light last night and I love it! I only have a terrible before picture and a slightly better after picture.

Here is the before (don't mind the Christmas gifts stacked up in the background):

And the after:

I feel like that is an instant update! Now I'm on the search for a hand knotted oriental rug. I'm leaning toward the whole old meets new, eclectic vibe. Hopefully it all works out how I see it in my head.

While searching for rugs, I came across the below rug on eBay. It was an instant attraction and I purchased it immediately for my foyer. It is hand knotted wool and I think it will make a nice statement when someone first enters our home. I'll be sure to snap a before and after!

It is these small changes that I think will slowly shape our home and I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

On another note, I was browsing etsy last night and found this wonderful artist (I am not getting anything for this mention, I just love it!). He paints pictures of your pet in water colors. My girls have been missing our Pug that passed away almost 2 years ago and I think they would just love to have a memory like this on the wall. He also does house portraits which would make such a wonderful gift for new home owners. If you want to check it out, here is the link to his etsy shop.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Tonight we are going to drive around and see Christmas lights and tomorrow we are baking cookies. At some point I have to get to wrapping (I think I can, I think I can...).


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Taking Great Christmas Tree Pictures

Hi everyone! Hope you are having an awesome Tuesday! Only 10 days until Christmas. Are you ready? I have all the purchases done, but I NEED to start wrapping. This is where I usually procrastinate. I'll probably put this off until the weekend and then have a big push for the finish.

Today I wanted to share some quick tips on taking better Christmas tree pictures. I used to go crazy wondering why my pictures always looked awful. Through trial and error I've learned the proper way to take better than average pictures.

Here are some simple steps. Try implementing these tips and let me know if they work for you. These steps assume you have a DSLR camera. I use a Canon 6D.
  • Use a tripod (this is an absolute must!). You are going to be using a long exposure and can not have any movement whatsoever. 
  • Turn off all the lights in the room. The only light you want is from the tree lights. 
  • Add a 2 second delay so that you don't get any shake from pushing the shutter button. 
  • Dial up your aperture (I use 11) to get every little detail in sharp focus. 
  • Slow down that shutter speed to get the proper exposure (you will need to use your in camera meter or play around until you get a properly exposed picture). The below picture had a 2.5 second exposure.
  • As for ISO, I used 500.
  • I find that Tungsten white balance gives the best overall coloring, in this situation, but play around with your settings to see what works best for you. 
Here is my tree:

I'm noticing that my picture doesn't look as sharp as it does in Lightroom. I'm guessing this has something to do with compression on blogger. If you have any ideas, please comment and let me know. 

Hope you found this post helpful!


Sunday, December 13, 2015

I See Wood Trim and I Want to Paint it White

The first room on my list to remodel is the dining room. It currently has wood baseboards, a wood chair rail, and wood crown moulding. I thought I could live with the wood and work with it, not against it. I've come to the realization that it isn't going to happen. I will be much happier once it is all painted white (this means that eventually the whole house will need a trim update, but I'm taking it one step at a time). Here is what I'm picturing so far.

White walls and white trim. I'm going to use white walls to really make all of the other elements pop. It is clean, bright, and neutral. It is a perfect base to build upon. After surfing around on the web, I've realized that white doesn't just mean white. There are so many different whites out there. One of the most helpful posts I found was by Elements of Style which included the following awesome chart:

I'm going to start by getting some samples to see what really works in my room. I'm leaning towards a bright white for the trim and a cool white for the wall. Once I get the samples up on the wall, I'll post a picture to get your opinions. 

Next, I've already ordered a light fixture. I know it was silly to purchase something without really thinking the whole room through, but I'm hoping it will all work out in the end. I ordered the following chandelier from West Elm:

Then I will need to decide on a rug to ground the whole room. I want color here. So far I've got my eye on this one from Wayfair:

via Wayfair (this is a referral link)

This could change though. The above rug is primarily blue and I think I might want something with multiple colors. I know that I want it to be bright though. I'd love any recommendations you have.

Once the walls, rug, and light are in place, then I can start to decorate the walls. I already have a table that I do not plan on changing. I would like to add a buffet to the room, preferably a repurposed one. There is a great local business that repurposes furniture and posts it to their Facebook page, so I'm keeping my eye out for their weekly posts to see if something pops up. I know that I would like to add a mirror, a clock, and some artwork to the room, but I'm not to that point yet.

Thoughts on what I have so far?


It All Started with Light Fixtures

We've lived in our house for 3 years now. Over the course of 3 years, we've remodeled the basement, replaced the back patio, and had a shed built. However, I haven't really started making the decor my own. I've lived with what was here and decided not to fix what wasn't broken.

Then one day I was staring at the lights in my kitchen and decided that I hated them. They were not my style at all. They were too small, too generic, and just plain boring. I decided right then and there that they had to go. But I didn't stop there. I figured if I was replacing those, why not replace more? By the time I was done, 7 new light fixtures had been ordered and were on their way to me. 

This sudden change sparked something inside me. I began to see what my home could be. I began to explore what my style was and how I wanted my home to look. I've now decided to go room by room and slowly mold and shape this house into our home. I am using this blog as a place to document my journey and a place to explore my style. I'd love feedback. Tell me what you love and tell me what you hate.

Unfortunately, I did not take before pictures of my light fixtures. At the time, I had no plans to document the changes. However, from here on out I'll be sure to take as many pictures as possible. To start on my journey I went ahead and took the Houzz decorating style quiz and my results said that my style was transitional. I guess we will see how accurate this is! I don't think that I have a specific style. I know that I do not like everything to match. I like a mix of metals, wood, colors, etc. I like old and new just the same. 

What is your style? 


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