Thanks-mas decorating time

FullSizeRender (12)

This time of year I’m always conflicted on how to determine and prioritize which holiday I should be preparing for. Every store I walk into I see some type of Christmas decoration or hear Christmas music caroling in the background. Don’t get me wrong–I absolutely love the holidays and especially Christmas! The holiday spirit is contagious and many people are exceptionally giving, generous and have a servant’s heart this time of year–and what’s not to love about that? I could ramble on about my love for Christmas for days, however, when it comes to the physical decorating for the festivities…is it still too early?

While my quandary continues, I figured it’s a perfect time to share some fun and helpful tips to affordably decorate your home for the holidays–whichever holiday you feel it is time to decorate for that is!

  • Chalk it up: Have an old chalkboard lying around your house? The vintage chalkboard paint style is very “in” right now, but why spend an arm and a leg on one pre-made when you can make a custom one yourself? Find a creative holiday phrase or inspiring verse and chalk it up! To get the ideas flowing, check out some inspiration on Etsy!

IMG_1730

  • Turn my holiday swag on: Being a white-girl rapper at heart, I like swag anytime of the year. However,when I read Southern Living’s article on Holiday Swag–my like grew to love! You don’t even need to have a mantel in your home. A shelf, fireplace, long table or an empty wall with room to hang will be perfect. Finding items in your backyard such as greenery, twigs, dried leaves or berries can all make your homemade swag come to life!

FullSizeRender (11)

  • Bling bling your holidays: A really simple way to showcase a beautiful and elegant display is to take items you already have around your home (are you counting how many times have I suggested this before?) and create a tablescape with them. It’s helpful to find items that are similar in color but varying in size and shape. Items such as old ornaments, glass vases, pinecones or random knick knacks can surprisingly make a beautiful scheme with a little creativity! I found a holiday snow globe, a few mercury votives, some old books and a glitzy Christmas tree and livened up my coffee table.

FullSizeRender (12)

  • A Thanks-mas combo: Not ready to send-off fall yet? Still want to keep around the pumpkins for Thanksgiving? How about keeping the colors of fall in your decorations and get ahead or the game and add a sparkle of Christmas spirit too? Bring out your golds, whites and coppers to create a classy Thanksgiving and Christmas combination. White pumpkins, golden leaves or garland (learn how to make your own here) and white candles all can help you put together a tablescape that you can keep through all the holidays!

FullSizeRender (10)

What holiday are you most excited for? Is it too early to deck the halls of your home in November?

Feel free to let me know.

Cheers and happy decorating!

Sara-Jane

Advertisements

Organizing up in here

Happy November, y’all! Did you know that it is National Home Care Month? I guess my previous post on tips on keeping your home safe was a bit premature…or maybe I’m just that organized that I planned on being a week early (although this is completely false)!

My dad is coming to visit me this week, so cleaning and organizing my home room by room this week has been a priority. Please do not judge me when I tell you I may have made a stop at The Container Store three times in the past five days. I promise it was all for a good cause, though.

In attempt to show my dad how completely organized I am (or try to be), I decided to tackle a few projects. The main two on the agenda: the junk drawer and kitchen cabinets!

It’s much easier to keep your interior organized with a few items and a strategy. We all have that untouched junk drawer around the house. I know you know the one I’m talking about. Even the most organized person has some outlet for his or her pretty little mess. No one likes to talk about it, but it’s there and may be filled with batteries from 2008, pens that haven’t worked in years, enough paper clips to stock your local Office Max or stacks of paperwork that have never had a home. It’s time to conquer and tackle that pretty little mess. Let’s be brave together.

The Container Store is my go-to solution for anything organization and storage-related. They have it all. This practical drawer organizer is called the Everything Organizer, and it really can organize just about anything. It is perfect for all of your small odds and ends because it has 23 compartments, two levels and decals so your can label all of your junk. For $10, you just cannot beat that!

Moving on to the kitchen drawers and cabinets. This was a bit more of a challenging task, but one that was very rewarding. Think about all of those pots and pans that have been hanging out underneath your stove or way back in a dark cabinet for three years. It’s time to re-evaluate the whole mess and make it a space with no guessing where everything is at. Most of us use a caddy to organize our silverware, but how about all of those other large utensils lying around randomly? The Container Store has so many different types and sizes of drawer units that you will find the right ones, and they will feel completely custom to your kitchen.

Want to jazz up your boring white drawers? Add some drawer liner with the color or design of your choosing. The simple liner can instantly liven up your drawer full of measuring cups!

Lastly, how about all of those big pots and pans? Try looking at TJ Maxx or Homegoods for some storage baskets. I used wicker baskets with a colorful material liner so I can easily remove them for a quick launder so I am keeping them sanitary. They come in countless sizes, so find a set or two or three that works best for your cabinets!

It really surprises me how a little organization and a few new baskets, accessories and caddies can put me on my “A” game! Hopefully my houseguest agrees, too! What element in your home or room needs the most TLC in the organization department?

Cheers!

Sara-Jane

Taking precautions to keep your home in tip-top shape

I had quite a few technical challenges in my home this week that threw me a curve ball. While I like to think I am pretty handy when it comes to things around the home, the issues that occurred this time were ones that were not in my field of expertise.

For starters, my kind family in Pennsylvania signed me up to finally get cable television (I guess I was a bit behind the times). However, one morning a box showed up at my front door with four more boxes inside, each with a lot of cables, boxes, connectors and instructions. Hours of plugging power supplies into different connections, reading every step in the instructions and watching  online video tutorials, I was exactly where I started. Cable-less.

Another challenge: one morning I switched on my lights in my closet and both of the bulbs blew simultaneously. How convenient and what great luck. I have very high ceilings so this task will not be complete without at least a 10-foot ladder and not to mention the two light fixtures will need to be detached from the closet, which is completely dark. So until I figure out a temporary source of light and a way to get a ladder, it’s pulling out an outfit in the dark each morning (no judging my choice of clothing this week; I cannot promise it will match or be put well together).

So after all of my struggles this week and with my issues remaining unsolved, I thought I’d share some tips that both you and I could use to better keep us stay on top of the little projects and the safety precautions in our homes.

Here are a few ones for your checklist:

1. Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors every six months.

2. Investigate all water fixtures and units every six months to look for leaks, drips or buildup around the connections and pipes.

3. Check all outlets and wall units in the home to ensure no unsafe.

4. Examine all appliances: stove, microwave, dishwasher, washer, dryer, garbage disposal and any other main appliances in your home. Make sure everything looks intact and operating correctly.

5. If you have a home security system, contact the provider yearly to ensure all equipment is properly functioning.

6. Check all locks on doors to make sure they are properly working.

7. Observe windows in the home and make sure they latch and lock properly and ensure they are within accessible reach if needed to use for a fire escape.

8. Examine light fixtures (floor lamps, desk lamps, overhead lights, etc) to ensure all bulbs are still working.

9. Inspect your fire extinguisher to ensure it is working if needed for an emergency.

10. Observe your home for any critters or potential pests that may have left any debris behind so you can bring in pest control to eliminate them (this handy article can assist you to know what to look for).

11. Clean out the dryer vent and any other type of exhausts in your home.

By keeping up with some of these things on a more regular basis, you can potentially save yourself a string of problems and hidden costs that you didn’t plan for. Being proactive when it comes to taking care of your home is a great thing! Now I just need to keep up with my own advice.

When was the last time you made a checklist and inspected your home?

Cheers!

Sara-Jane

Treat yourself to at an at home spa experience

When you think of fall break, what do you think of?

Catching up on some much needed sleep, visiting and catching up with friends you haven’t been able to make time for in the last few months? All of those things sound ideal and lovely. None of which occurred in my one-day fall break. Emphasis on one-day. While my intentions of spending my fall-break were good; life got a little busy.

Although I decided that at some point over the weekend I needed to do one nice update for my little condo since it’s been neglected a lot in the improvement department lately. I’ve always loved rain showers. The ones that you find at spas, upscale hotels or if you’re lucky enough: in the comfort of your own home. I always believed that rainshowers were pricy and custom for certain types of showers. I did some research and found that I could install one myself for right around $50. So that is what I did. You too can install an affordable rainshower into your home.

  1. Research and shop around to find out what type of fixture best works for you.The price range is vast (affordable to high-end) so determine what is the main function for you. For myself, I really wasn’t worried about having ten different settings to be able to control the stream. Rather I wanted something that had a good amount of pressure yet still could create that “rain-like” feel.
  2. Shop around. Go and look at different brands and styles at your local hardware store and be sure that you know what type of look is best for you. Then, you can compare prices and (hopefully) find something online that may be a better value.
  3. Determine what additional pieces are needed. With shower heads it seems to always be a “batteries not included” situation. To get the full effect of a rainshower they are designed to either be installed directly into the ceiling, or to extend high above the user to create the spa-like water experience. So, it is important that if you already have an existing shower heads to determine what pieces are needed to connect the new fixture. Each unit is different so be sure to know what pieces you may need to additionally purchase. I purchased a shower arm, which is used to extend the length of the fixture.
  4. Make sure everything in the shower area has been thoroughly wiped down, sanitized and dried for the installation to be effective.
  5. Remove the old fixture. My unit was a simple twist-off.  I had to remove a bonding tape and affix on new tape. Each unit is different however.
  6. Add the extension bar and be sure to adhere the gripping tape around the connection joint to ensure that there is a strong bond
  7. Screw on the main fixture carefully in a clockwise direction allowing for it to adhere correctly.
  8. Once the fixture is tightly attached, adjust the placement of the shower head and you’re ready to treat yourself with a spa-like shower.FullSizeRender (7) FullSizeRender (6) FullSizeRender (5)

Now that the new shower is installed be prepared to never want to leave your at home spa anytime soon.

What is going to be your one home improvement update to your space this week?

 

Cheers!

Sara-Jane

 

Back to the budget

IMG_1280

Spending the last few days in beautiful D.C. for a conference was definitely a getaway that was much needed! Lots of site-seeing, informational sessions with leaders in my industry, fancy dinners downtown, and of course, shopping. But as I return home and am forced back to the grind, I’m reminded of how all of the little costs and expenditures add up so quickly! That UBER ride to Georgetown, an afternoon of thrifting or just a breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts discreetly drained my bank account quickly. Living the grown-up life requires me to budget, budget, budget! While I am very fortunate to be a college student and own my own home, a lot of extra costs and expenditures come along with the responsibility.

This week as I was adding up all of my costs and looking at receipts, I felt it was time to recover and review a few helpful tips to add some budget-friendly instant decorations to your home. The key word being budget-friendly.

  1. Fresh flowers. It really sounds all too simple. Trust me on this one and buy some fresh flowers. You don’t need to spend much. Just last week at Trader Joe’s I purchased gorgeous sunflowers (eight stems) for $3.99. Instantly it will add color or accent to any space. With it being fall, try sunflowers, English daisies or even some lively mums!

IMG_0995

2.Change your lights. Putting all of your overhead lights on dimmer switches is an affordable way to control the ambience in your space. You can purchase dimmer switches from stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s and self-install for less than $20

3. Throw down a rug or two! There are thousands upon thousands of different choices out there when it comes to area rugs, hallway rugs and Oriental rugs. Maybe you want to add a level of comfort to your hardwood floor; throw down a rug. Or maybe you want to make your dining room a bit more eloquent and add a layer; find a rug to fit the occasion.

4. Hang a wreath. I realize this last one is a bit odd. It actually is one that I never thought of before yesterday morning when a package arrived at my door. My incredibly creative and talented mother sent me this harvest wreath to display for fall. She told me most of the flowers she dried came from her garden or were picked up at the farmers’ market making it inexpensive to assemble. Colorful, playful and is the essence of fall. Add a wreath to your front door hang it in your foyer/entryway to your house or on your laundry room door. Wreaths can be expensive (see this similar wreath from William Sonoma), but they also can be lovely and handmade just like this one.

 

FullSizeRender (4)

How are you going to spruce up your décor with these budget-friendly tips?

Cheers!

Sara-Jane

I declare this adult arts and craft week

Sometimes it’s fun to reminisce about when life was simple and the toughest challenge was deciding on which Lego set you were going to build or what shirt you wanted to wear to school that day. When arts and crafts were my go-to fun every day!

Think about how the simplest things like crayons, gel pens, scented markers and glitter would liven up your afternoon!

So I decided to declare this week adult “National Arts and Crafts Week”! Instead of handling and conquering all of our daily duties and problems, let’s take a few moments or a few hours and put our childhood creativity to the test.

Just watch–by next year this new holiday is going to be a worldwide trend #happyartsandcrafts

Look around your home and see what area needs a little life or some pizzazz. Is there an empty wall that is waiting to be decorated with a colorful Monet? Or how about a coffee table that needs some tabletop décor like a homemade vase or potted plant?

Here are two fun and simple DIY crafty projects that can instantly spice up your boring walls and add lots of personality to your space.

  1. What can give more of a personalized homey touch than photos of you, your friends and loved ones? Look through your camera, your iPhoto at old your photos and have some fun strolling through memory lane! Look for any photos that tell a story, put a smile on your face or have special meaning. Take a few of your favorite the photos and edit them. You can enlarge and print the photos yourself, or take them to a professional (which I highly recommend for that polished high-end look). After having the photos printed, it’s time for my favorite part: picking out frames! This is where you can spend a lot of money really quickly. Or, you can spend a little more time and bargain hunt at Target, Michaels (of course only if you have your 40% off coupon), your local dollar stores, Salvation Army and yard sales! I decided to create a photomontage in black and white for my one hallway. The best way to plan this out strategically is sketching out your vision first. Play with the placement of each photo and decide on how the spacing will be setup. Do you want the images to have a radial symmetrical, clustered or staggered arrangement? Hang the photos and voila!
IMG_0879

My photos surrounded a watercolor painting I did a few years back. It gives it an extra pop of color and I chose it simply because it is me!

  1. Two words: shadow boxes! These things are amazing. Why? They are a blank canvas and you can do anything with them! You can find shadow boxes at your local craft store or order online at Amazon (also try Homegoods, TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby or Michaels). You can keep it simple or go crazy with it! Let it reflect your personality. Incorporate simple items like dried sunflowers or vintage keys. Layer colorful paper for dimension and add fun photos. Use ticket stubs from your favorite movie or show, or a patch from your high school football jersey. It’s almost like a three-dimensional scrapbook. See two of my shadow box projects below!

FullSizeRender (2) FullSizeRender (1)

What is going to be your way of celebrating the week of “National Arts and Craft Week”?

Cheers!

Sara-Jane

Live life colorfully

IMG_0930

I mean this is in the nicest way possible, but can life just slow the heck down? Or at least can we get forty-eight hours in a day? Twenty-four hours isn’t cutting it anymore with so many priorities in our week.

I did manage to take a day off this past weekend for an adventure to a vineyard in Arrington, Tennessee, to spend a relaxing Saturday with some friends. It turned out to be even more beautiful than I expected and made me appreciate a Saturday off from my hectic schedule! I loved laying out in the sun and sipping some sweet southern wine. A perfect way to spend a Saturday!

While at Arrington, I was in awe of all of the beautiful colors around me. Maybe because it is officially fall and the colors of everything are beginning to change, or maybe it’s because when I’m given time to just think and see the world with my eyes open, I’m better able to see its vibrant and beautiful depictions.

Color is such a powerful thing. It evokes great amounts of emotion. It can make you envious or angry. Remember those mood rings we all had back in the day? We would sit around comparing colors and determining how we’re feeling at that particular moment. You just came in from recess and your ring was green: happy! You just took a test and your ring was black: most likely you were stressed. How color effects our life is somewhat similar to those mood rings (What ever happened to mood rings?).

Color impacts the ambience or emotion of the space. Think about your home currently. What color is your bedroom? Are you relaxed when you are in that space? We often choose to paint our space a color based on the fact that we like it. There can be so much more that goes into that decision and I assure you it will be worth your time to think twice before you pick a random shade of purple.

Here are a few interesting facts on color that can assist you in choosing a color that better fits you and your space!

  • Yellow: Makes us think of light and sunshine.  It gives us joy and can give us a cheery bright space to come home to. Yet, it also can be one of the most tiring colors! Are you someone who enjoys being out in nature? Does your wardrobe contain lots of bright colors? Are you a busy person who tends to always be on the go? If these colors sound like you, a shade of yellow may be a great go-to color for you!

             Interesting Fact: Babies tend to cry more when they are in rooms with lots of yellow.

  • Blue: Certain shades of blue can create a serene, peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.  However, a shade of dark blue can do just the opposite and make you feel sad. Depending on what the function of the room is, choose your blue carefully to create the correct ambience.

            Interesting Fact: Try incorporating light-colored furniture and accents in the room (soft whites and creams) to make the space feel larger.

  • Red: What comes to mind instantly? I think of a bright red fire truck or a red stop sign.  The color can evoke anger, energize us, or make us excited. It’s a bold choice for a space and can create a dramatic space.

             Interesting fact: It has been proven that using red in a kitchen makes you more likely to eat more!

  • Green: Think of spring and the fresh scents of the season and new life. Green is warm and inviting and can even relieve stress. Use green in spaces that you want to be lively and comfortable.

              Interesting Fact: Green is in almost all cases a great choice to paint any room.  Use a hunter green wall in a man cave or a sage green in a living                            room or bedroom!

  • Purple: A color known for it’s luxurious and royal hues. It is dramatic and help create a grown-up sophisticated look.  Use a pale soft lavender a a deep violet to make the room color clearly be the focus. Soft tones of purple are often used when creating a romantic space.

Interesting Fact:Try pairing purples with accents of silver or soft gold.

Choosing color for a room is not always the simplest thing; especially for those who want to love and feel comfortable with their space. Say you just want white? There’s no such thing! There is white with hues of red, or blue, or gray or yellow. There are thousands of possibilities when it comes to “white”, so it is important to know your colors. One of the areas that was particularly challenging in color selection was my dining area. It flows directly into my kitchen and living room and so the color needed to translate well with the adjoining rooms. Countless trips to Sherwin Williams throughout Tennessee, I finally picked the perfect palette. Here are a few pictures of the scheme I came up. You too can have a color scheme that fits you as an individual!

IMG_0079

You’ll have to pardon the clutter and the poor photo quality. I wanted to show the before of the space–when the original paint color still haunted the walls. I like to call this  color: ragweed vomit (I guess the last owner bought some terrible gold off the clearance section and called it a day).

IMG_0119

A bold accent color for a room can speak volumes. Instead of doing one accent wall a divided my walls in half with contrasting colors and decided to use a decorative trim in the middle to create a DIY chair rail.

IMG_0472

Post-painting and applying the trim, the space begins to have life!

IMG_0631

After! My little dining room…almost complete. Still in the process of hunting for three pieces of art for the main wall, but have not found the perfect ones yet!

Who’s ready to dig out those old paint swatches and put our eye for color to the test?

 

Cheers!

Sara-Jane

High-end style meets bargain budget

I’ve concluded that I should have been diagnosed with a serious condition at a young age.

The condition of “Expensive Shopper Syndrome,” that is.

Urban Dictionary defines this syndrome as, “An unfortunate condition where a person tends to pick out the most expensive item available. If they are given a choice of ten different items, they could pick an item with their eyes closed and it would still be the most expensive item.” Hallelujah! Can I get an amen? I’ve always been drawn to designer bags, the diamonds that are the most expensive cut and of course even the excessively overpriced bubble bath. It really is a problem…especially when you are of all things a college student on a tight budget.

My family has taught me that while it is nice to have those extravagant things once in a great while, it’s not necessary.They are absolutely right. There are so many other causes and things that our hard-earned dollars could be contributing to instead of a $300 cashmere throw.

However, why can we not have the high-end style without the marked-up prices? Can we have our cake and eat it too?

With a few simple strategies we can!

  • Look through things that you already have around your home. You will be surprised how lamps, books, old photos or drawings, vases, baskets and vintage knobs can have a purpose that you never thought of before. Repurposing and upcycling are popular trends right now. It can be a helpful way to look at the items you already own and find a new use for them!
  • Prioritize. What upscale items do you absolutely need?
    • Make a list (I already mentioned my passion for lists–so don’t be surprised to see them as a common trend) and determine the necessities.
    • With the list in hand, make sure when making purchases: you are searching for quality over brands. You can save a significant amount of money on buying items like decorative pillows at TJ Maxx or Homegoods instead of going to an inline store at the mall.
  • Garage sales, thrifting and estate sales can be your ticket to great finds! While you may have to get past a lot of other people’s “treasure”, more often that not you may find a piece or an item that will be the perfect addition to your space. I’ve found everything from a marble shelf (see below) to new kitchenwares!
  • Remember the old term elbow grease? It’s very much alive today and you can create stylish, functional pieces for your space with some hard work. Remember that coffee table you found at one of your yard sale adventures? With a bit of TLC, a can of spray paint, some new hardware and love, it can instantly become a $25 focal piece for your living room.
  • Clearance and sales should not be taken lightly. Things that are “past season” or “price-reduced” still have great value. Use your creative eye and see what masterpiece you can produce!

Here are few simple ways I incorporated my elegant finds and creations into my space.

Accessory lamps don't have to be costly. This peach shade was found in clearance at Target and the lamp purchased at a re-sale store in Nashville. The grand total: $12!

Accessory lamps don’t have to be costly. This peach shade was found in clearance at Target and the lamp purchased at a re-sale store in Nashville. The grand total: $12!

FullSizeRender

That marble shelf that I mentioned earlier: I paid $5 at a yard sale for it this summer! It’s a perfect decorative element right above my bath tub that adds a unique layer to my bathroom.

IMG_0878

One project I took on for my guest bedroom was fixing up an old wardrobe. After painting and finishing it, I added these simple yet classy knobs. The bronze knobs were being discontinued at Home Depot so I paid 22 cents a piece. Score!

IMG_0876

Another yard sale find. A once black decorative photo collage now is a chic silver piece of art for my wall. Total cost for spray paint and frame: $8.

I wasn't joking about the twenty-five dollar coffee table found at a yard sale. It really happened. With a really good sand, black paint, a semi-gloss finish, new hardware and baskets and boom!

I wasn’t joking about the $25 coffee table I found at a yard sale. It really happened. With a good sand, black paint, a semi-gloss finish, new hardware and baskets and boom! A vintage Pottery Barn twin.

What is on your top-of-the line items that you must simply get for your space? Can you find a way to make them or create them on your own?

Cheers!

Sara-Jane

Room renovation: tackling the master

IMG_0484

What a busy few weeks filled with excitement, lots of craziness and elation. Fall semester in full swing brings lots of projects, assignments, tests and many upcoming deadlines to meet. The weather in Nashville is slowly shifting into cooler temperatures with autumn just around the corner, and that alone excites me: can you say no more humidity and finally some cool evening runs in the near future!

But I’m also delighted in getting the opportunity to recently share my new home and all of its current projects to some friends. The entire motivation for putting much planning and time into the project is to make others feel comfortable and enjoy the atmosphere as much as I do. While my eagerness is still driving, I’m enthusiastic to share an update on my first complete room in my home. Yes, one is officially done. We’re making big strides now.

Let me lay it out on the table right now so you’re very aware. I am a planner by nature and a planner in all that I do. It’s simply a part of who I am. The project of “planning” my master bedroom and bathroom started ultimately months ago, and my brain is still adding details and accessories to enhance the space. I know there are others out there that will understand where I’m coming from. Go, Team Perfectionists!

Part of my planning nature involves an abundance of lists. Lists are, and ALWAYS will be, some of my best friends. So let’s chat about an exploration.  Let’s go through the process of shaping a simple plan together. It will be a helpful starting point to creating your perfect space with a very simple list. Our first one won’t be crazy–I promise!

  1. Explore and get some inspiration. Sounds simple enough, right? Discover what YOU like. Use sites like Pinterest, HGTV, StyleAtHome or gather inspiration from blogs, Instagram or other sites you follow. It’s important to focus on you, and a few ideas, rather than an abundance of other’s ideas.
  2. Hone in on your top three inspirations. Whether it is a picture of an Italian garden filled with lush greenery, or your favorite sports team’s new uniforms colors. This will allow you to see your style and determine what you want in the space.
  3. Time for a scheme! Color is important and completely can make or break a space. Colors evoke emotion and colors stimulate ambience. It’s important to investigate colors and look at them in different lighting. Color is a powerful tool and a topic that we will talk about more on another day.
  4. Once the colors are in the works, let the creative juices start flowing. For me it’s sketching out my vision. I enjoy creating floor plans that let me see my space. Decide on a layout that makes sense for you. I personally think sketching and drawing ideas out is the best way to envision the space. But hey, that’s just me. Feel free to be creative with your process of visualizing.
  5. Think about what items are needed in your space. What is the space mostly used for? Is it a space where you spend a lot of time entertaining or a space that is mainly used for relaxing and unwinding? This shows you what items are a priority to have and what is more or less fluff and less functional.
  6. If you already have items in your home that you want to incorporate into the redesign, feel free to use those as a means to tie in to your colors. For instance, look at a favorite patterned pillow and pull out a shade of warm blue that you like. Look at swatches of colors and see if you can find something similar for your wall color. You will be surprised how small subtle colors can be interwoven in the space just by the details.
  7. Trust your intuition. So many will overthink the space and get caught up in the details. While the details matter, it’s important to step back and look at the whole picture. A space that is for you and to make you happy.

So here is my master bedroom, beginning with the sketching phase and inspiration to the final steps (thus far)!

photo 1 (27)

Sketching is an easy way to capture your ideas and see them come to life!

 

photo 3 (27)

Every day items can provide inspiration for you. This pattern was off of a tissue box. The colors are playful and vibrant. Definitely a vibe I wanted to incorporate in my space.

 

If you have items at home that you want to incorporate; take a photo of them. Use colors from the object within your scheme.

IMG_0640

Don’t be afraid to go with items that reflect your personality. I used a bold headboard and paired it with some playful pillows with fun textures.

IMG_0644

Use a limited number of statement pieces. One bold piece (such as this dresser) can be very powerful and speak volumes on its own.

IMG_0649

Incorporating a color in your scheme with your furniture is tricky, but if the right piece is found, it can be fabulous. This mirrored nightstand adds just enough wow and contrast to my bold peach accents.

photo 2 (28)

What is the first space in your home that you would choose to “tackle” and renovate if you had the opportunity?

Cheers.

Sara-Jane

 

Welcome to my Nashville neighborhood

Hi, y’all! I am excited to be a new member of the blogger community and share my experiences as I take on the challenge of turning my foreclosed fixer-upper and into my first home. Let me back track a bit and share  a bit about how we got here so you better understand what made me want to start writing.

A few months ago I decided there’s no time like now to continue on with my college education, and so I began my pursuit on a new degree in public relations. Helping, creating, planning and fixing are skills that come naturally to me—so PR seemed like the perfect fit. The more difficult choice was choosing a school to attend. Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to live where I had easy access to the beach and sunshine–or in a big city–where I still get my sunshine. It made sense that I chose to apply to a few schools on the West Coast along with schools in the good ole South (think Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Beach, etc.)

What didn’t make sense is why I would choose a little school in Nashville, Tennessee; a place I’d never been before. A location that is not a big city, has no beach, or is relatively close to the beach ironically.

However, there was something different about this place. Warm and inviting even on a cold day in February. The people were lovely, the food was delicious, the music was simply wonderful and my heart told me that it was the place where God wanted me.

Fast forward a few crazy weeks later as I decided it was time to transition on to the next phase in my life. It was not a simple move, for I was and am so close to many of my amazing co-workers, friends and family. I didn’t want to leave behind those great friendships and relationships. As I get older, I realize more and more how important those relationships are and how important it is to keep the good ones close. But when you feel called to a new place, sometimes it’s just what you have to do.

So, that’s the beginning of my journey. Not being the typical 21-year-old and always having an ambitious agenda, I decided if I was going to relocate; I would create a place that was home. A place that was comfortable for myself and others. I did some research on the real estate market in Nashville. Correction: I did A LOT of research on the real estate market. Researching to the point where I felt like I already lived in the city for a good period of time. With the help of my real estate agent (and now new friend), I found the perfect place!IMG_0038

A two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo located just about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville. I visited the condo, and I knew it was the place I would eventually buy (fingers crossed).

I made that process sound quite easy–when that is far from the truth (Tip: If you ever decide to purchase a foreclosure–be prepared–it is a process with lots of hoops to jump through: see more on foreclosures here). Matter of fact, in a period of 48 hours my offer was accepted, countered, accepted again, countered once more, rejected and then somehow accepted over. Describing those two days as a roller coaster ride would be an understatement. With lots of prayer and patience  the I’s and T’s were finally dotted and crossed, and I was officially a home owner! Still living in Pennsylvania and planning without actually being there to “do” anything was demanding. Picking out colors, furniture, trim, fixtures, closet hardware, drapery, rugs and all the odds and ends between was a task. I do have a bit of a background in interior design; however, to be able to put a space together without being there–well that’s a true challenge.

 

 

IMG_0487

With some exciting tips, treasures, and fun ways that hopefully are helpful to add some fresh looks to your home too, today the journey and process of bringing my condo to life officially begins. Can’t wait for y’all to watch and see how my high-end taste and my college student “shoestring budget” unfold together! Things are for sure going to be interesting. Have you gone through a move, renovation, or similiar experience?

Cheers.

Sara-Jane