Oh happy day! Abbey sent us her lovely mood board after pictures and we couldn’t wait to share them. Her space is a great reminder that you don’t have to paint the walls a dramatically different color or spend big bucks replacing everything to get a majorly upgraded look. Sometimes just a few new pieces, a slightly more saturated wall tone, and some simple accessory switcheroos can make all the difference. Here’s her letter:
I’m finally submitting my after pics of the family room makeover you helped me with this summer. I want to thank you sooo much for your design ideas. By adding in the chocolate furnishings and the rug it really helped provide contrast to the room and define the space. The new glass end tables paired with the round coffee table really give it that classic and contemporary look I was going for. And the new floor length curtains, matching table lamps, and geometric pillows definitely pull things together. Everyone who comes over loves the decor. And you may notice that I went with three prints from Crate & Barrel’s Classical Symmetry Set (when you posted them on another mood board I knew I had to have them!). You’ll also notice that we added crown molding along the ceiling and updated the baseboards which really helps enhance the look of the room. Thank you again for helping to make our family room a more comfortable place to hang out. You will definitely hear from me again! The dining room needs help too. And congratulations on the baby! -Abbey
Just to refresh your memory, here’s Abbey’s family room before:
And here’s the custom mood board we whipped up to help bring in some classic-meets-modern polish (check out more details on Abbey’s mood board right here):
And now for the lovely after photos. Of course some big items like the red sectional and the armoire didn’t change. And the wall color just went a bit deeper and wheatier (we suggested Benjamin Moore’s Westminster Gold 200 for the luxe and “crisp” finish we knew it would add). But we think the smaller furnishing and accessory updates (like the rug, coffee table, media cabinet, side tables, lamps, pillows, curtains, and desk that we dug up) really chic-ed up the room. Plus there’s added function too now that Abbey has gained a workstation along with some serious style.
Hooray for mood board after pics! Didn’t Abbey do a fantastic job? It’s amazing how the red sectional truly shines in the after photos. It suddenly looks like it was meant to be and really pops thanks to the richer wall color and the red stripes in the rug (instead of just blending in with the lighter walls and the rugless floor in the before shots). And the crown molding really is the icing on the cake. Thanks so much for the pics Abbey! We just love when people send us after photos… and we especially love to hear that a room is more comfortable and inviting for those living there. That’s what it’s all about!
But enough chit-chat. Let’s play the what’s-your-favorite-part game. We’re torn between the wheaty walls, that striped rug and those sculptural lamps on either side of the sofa. Decisions, decisions! And that art is delicious too…
Update: We sadly can no longer find the time to take on client commissioned mood boards (we now whip up general inspiration boards instead) but if we ever reinstate them we’ll make a big announcement!
We’re back to share the second half of our tree-decorating adventure (sped up with a bit of festive music to get you into the spirit). We last left off with this video of us setting up our pre-lit artificial (faux? reusble?) tree only to discover that a strand of lights in the middle of the tree was out. But fixing it was as easy as listening for the buzzing bulb and replacing it with one of the extras they included along with our tree. Then it was time for the ornaments, and this year we decided to deviate from our usual white/glass/silver scheme (seen here). Maybe it was a weird citrus-pregnancy-craving-inspired decision, but out of nowhere I was jonesing for bright oranges, lime greens and lemon yellows… and a new color scheme was born. So here we are hanging some store bought ornaments mixed in with a bunch of DIY ones that we whipped up on the cheap. Oh yeah, and there’s a quick shot of baby belly at the end for everyone on bump watch:
And because we like to include a little video rundown for those at work who can’t just push play, here’s a shot of our tree all citrus-ified thanks to a ton of orange and lime green ornaments we picked up (on clearance at Michael’s) along with a bunch of DIY ornaments that we made to really hammer home our love of all things lemon and lime (after all, it was the theme for our backyard wedding). And adding pops of orange really complemented the green tree for a super festive and fun finished product.
We mentioned that beyond the glittering store-bought ornaments we jumped at the chance to hand make a few “natural” accents, so John came up with the idea of drying slices of oranges and lemons and turning them into ornaments. Love it. He’s really the brains of this operation in case you guys haven’t noticed.
Not only was it a fun and unexpected way to bring more of that festive citrus color to our tree, but it merely set us back a few bucks for two oranges and three lemons at the grocery store.
And luckily when we googled “dried citrus” we actually found a few tutorials (woo hoo!) and were thrilled when we pulled one up that was beyond simple. Step 1: cut citrus into quarter-inch slices.
Step 2: bake in oven on cookie sheet (actually a cookie rack if you have one, but we didn’t so we made do) for 2-3 hours at 225 to 250 degrees, checking often to be sure nothing’s burning. It helps to crack the oven door from time to time to release a bit of the built-up heat to encourage drying as opposed to singeing.
After a few hours (and a bunch of checking) we ended up with gorgeously dried orange slices that we couldn’t wait to add to our tree…
… and marginally less gorgeous lemon slices (they cooked less evenly and the seeds were a lot less attractive, so we’d recommend oranges over lemons for those of you looking to do something simple and stress free). Of course there were still some pretty lemon slices that we used as well (the good ones actually looked like stained glass when they dried) so they weren’t a total loss.
Then we just popped them onto pretty silver ornament hooks snagged for a few bucks at Pottery Barn (they’re a smidge cuter than those green wire ones from Target or CVS) for a delicious looking end product that’s especially eye-catching when it’s illuminated by the lights on our tree (so we learned to hang them a few inches in front of a white bulb for that sweet “glowing” effect). Favorite project ever. And we ended up with dozens of ornaments for just a few bucks.
*Bonus: we’ve heard that citrus can be used to discourage curious cats from climbing your tree, so if you have a faux or natural tree at home that you’d like to protect from a cat attack, these dried citrus slices might be just the thing.
We also turned three dozen faux lemons (we grabbed two large plastic tubs of them for $8 each at Ben Franklin) into “ornaments” by wiring them onto the end of a bunch of branches on our tree- just to inject more hits of yellow and add to our quirky citrus theme.
It was as simple as sticking “v-shaped” green wire (we purchased a spool of it for 99 cents at the craft store) into each of the foamy faux lemons so we could wind it around each branch to secure it. It was also a nice complement to all the hanging ornaments since we now had a bunch that appeared to be “sitting” on the ends of the branches. Easy and almost mouthwatering, no? Again, maybe it’s a pregnancy thing, but I could eat an entire lemon every day of the week.
We also picked up some pretty green pears from Target last year (during an after-Christmas sale) that were meant to be used as vase filler (see the little pear in the bottom right corner of the photo below?) so we just tied a loop of glittering silver ribbon to each of the stems to create a way to hang them up on the tree. Sure they’re technically not citrus but they work with the whole edible theme- and they’re perfect for our playful green, orange and yellow color scheme.
So that’s the tree-decorating rundown for ya complete with all of the homemade “ornaments” that we fashioned from things like vase filler, faux fruit and real fruit alike.
We love the punchy colors (which actually fit right into our living room thanks to the lemon-yellow rug) and the happy vibe that it brings into our entire home for the ho-ho-holidays. Oh and stay tuned for more seasonal decorating posts along with our favorite roundup of cheap-o holiday gifts coming soon.
But enough about us- we wanna hear all about your holiday decor. Do you have a new color scheme that you’re dying to break out this year? Or a tried and true “theme” on your tree that makes you smile every year? How about those whose theme is to have no theme at all? Anyone with a penchant for popcorn garland or edible candy cane ornaments? Do tell.
Psst- Looking for more holiday decorating and entertaining ideas? Check out this post, this post, this post, this post, this post, this post, this post, this post and this post to tide you over until we share even more in the coming weeks.