Thursday, August 27, 2015

6 Tips for Simple Fall Decorating


We are so excited to have a good friend join us as a contributor on our blog as of today!! 


Meet Candace...a woman who embraces her home, creating such a peaceful and beautiful environment for her family in a VERY reachable (budget-friendly) way. She was the inspiration for both Jana's and my own journey into home design and we can't wait for her to share all of that inspiration with you! 

We hope you all will relish her outlook and creativity as we do, as you read her first contribution to our blog:

6 TIPS FOR SIMPLE FALL DECORATING. 

Enjoy....


1. Start with a clean slate
Fall is a time of "coming back in" our homes. The fun filled outdoor days of summer wind down and we move inside. It's the perfect time to give your home a good roll-up-your-sleeves deep clean. This allows you to look at your home with fresh eyes.... with clarity and simplicity. It's the best starting point for change and the easiest way to see your home with eyes of thankfulness. At the core, it's making the most of what you have.




2. Keep Your Backgrounds Neutral
Neutral walls, floors, and furniture allow you to shift your interior world as the natural world around you turns to fall. Every season change I am reminded once again how thankful I am for my neutral background. It gives me freedom to live, breathe, and change in a practical and natural way.  





3. Make Simple Humble Changes
Living with less in every part of life includes making simple adjustments to the changing seasons. Celebrating the small things in life...... like fall leaves and pumpkins picked up at the farmers market. Changing your home seasonally need not be expensive. I literally spent $12 getting my home ready for fall this year..... and that was spent harvesting pumpkins with my girls on a crisp cool morning. The branches you see were spotted on a early morning bike ride and found a quick home in my rooms. A simple natural life means not being a slave to the latest trend but embracing what you have and making the most of simple things.



4. Bring the Outdoors In
Choose colors from nature and invite the natural into your daily home life. Bring in a changing branch of fall leaves. On chilly fall walks with your kids bring along a pair of shears to clip a few branches that catch your eye. Then bring it in and give it room to breathe. Let their rich colors set the tone of your room. Following nature in my home has led me to deepen and darken the colors in my home during fall. Rich browns and splashes of orange replace my otherwise pale environment.



5. Change Out Your Fabrics
Vintage and antique fabrics are one of my passions. Nothing makes my heart skip a beat like a pretty old floral linen. Fabrics add the jolt of color needed in a neutral home. Sew simple pillow slips out of a cherished piece of  vintage linen or give a loved worn woolen shirt new life as a pillow on the sofa. These pillow slips I sewed out of a piece of vintage brown Sanderson linen. The orange floral is a vintage french cotton that topped a quilt and found new life as a pillow...... it's long life very evident in the thread bare places I love. 



6. Bring Out Your Warm Wool Blankets And Cozy Throws
Appreciate the texture of fabrics in your home. Make sure there is a ready supply of warm blankets to curl up in. I collect these all summer long at estate sales and second hand stores.  Enjoy the simplicity of warmth on a chilly fall day. 





Warmly this fall,
Candace

See how we decorated our homes last fall HERE


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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Light Fixtures, Laundry Rooms and Learning Experiences


Confession: This is my 4th light fixture in this kitchen over the past 2 years. I don't switch out other light fixtures that often so I don't think it's a problem I have in general. But after doing the makeover the 2nd fixtures I bought didn't quite work as well so I bought the black steampunk one because I couldn't find the one I REALLY wanted...until I went to Farm Chicks and saw this one! It was a factory light so it didn't fit a regular bulb. But brilliant husband found a converter at a local store so now we don't have to have a 150watt light in it. 


So of course, since I had a new pendant over the island, I needed a new sconce over the sink since the previous didn't go. I'm sure none of you have been in this situation before (wink, wink).  Took me awhile to find this one since I didn't want to spend the $300+ on it. It's a fixture from Rejuvenation but I found it on ebay for half the price. 


I loved the cornflower blue shade! I might have to find more pieces in that color. 



I found these knives at thrift store, etsy and World Market





Wall color in the kitchen and Laundry Room is Benjamin Moore, Regal Select, Color: #OC-37 "Glacier White" in Pearl finish. 



I found these French baskets at the Farm Chicks show a year ago. The light is from Shades of Light. The floor color is Benjamin MoorePorch and Floor in "Black Knight" (#2136-10) in the gloss finish. The washer and dryer or used!



I had my husband build me this rolling rack for my baskets since there was no space left for a farm table. He made it out of iron pipe from the hardware store and I painted and distressed it. 










I love my dark wood floors in the living and dining rooms, however I made a mistake in choosing the shade and I hope that you can all learn a little from my mistake. The mistake was not that they show every ding and scratch or that they always look dirty...the mistake was that when I was deciding on what I wanted for these floors I looked for pictures with floors that I really liked. I thought the dark floors were the most beautiful in pictures, so that's what I picked. 



Well, how can that possibly be NOT what you're supposed to do?? After some time passed and I could NOT get the look I wanted in this room, I took a closer look at all of my favorite rooms I've pinned on Pinterest. I noticed every single one had white or very light floors. I would not have chosen white for these rooms since they get so much traffic. But a very light wood...that is what will make this room into it's full potential (in my eyes anyway). 



Originally, I loved the contrast of the dark floors and white walls. That's why I chose it. However the overall look I want is airy and bright and I want to bring contrast in through an accent chair or a dark wood cabinet. When I tried doing that in here I became so frustrated when it didn't turn out how I expected. That is why I ended up with all white pieces in here. 





So here's my advice for those of you that might make this same mistake (and those of you who are already pros at this, why didn't you tell me?):   When researching what you want for a specific piece or wall color or floor color or curtains...don't just look for pictures of that specific thing, look for pictures of entire rooms you love and then study what is in them. Find more than one room that you love and study what they have in common. Then make your decision with confidence. 



I do love these dark floors, but I do regret looking for "floors I loved" when researching, instead of "rooms I loved" and then seeing what their floors looked like. 





























































I'd love to hear some of your own learning experiences....

xo,
Vanessa
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Chocolate Crumble Recipe




Vanessa and I rarely get together outside of the markets anymore since I'm in Colorado and she's in Montana. It's a real bummer, especially because we love to create together!! On Monday, she flew in for 2 days for a special project (that we hope to tell you about soon!) and we were able to get a little bit of baking in. 

We went shopping for some fun oven safe vintage containers, and found a few gorgeous ironstone bowls at A & J Antique Mall here in Fort Collins. I guess I hadn't really thought about the fact that any oven-safe container would work, so now my horizons are expanded and I will look for those ANYTIME I'm out! 

We found a recipe for chocolate cobbler  and thought we'd try it since the prep and cook time together equaled 30 mins. We had an hour to bake it, style it, shoot it, and then run out the door for the airport. Living on the edge. 



The topping didn't seem like it would have the crunch we were looking for, so we did more of a crumble topping. Delicious!! We also altered the amount of brown sugar in the filling since we were putting more brown sugar in the topping, and we both like our chocolate a little less sweet. The result is this gooey, moist, chocolately filling with a perfect crunch on top. Warning: it's rich. I don't know that I could eat an entire one by myself (Ok, I do know. I tried. I failed.)

Hope you enjoy!!

 



Chocolate Crumble

FILLING:
filling recipe adapted from HERE

1 stick butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt

TOPPING:
1/3 cup flour
3 tablespoons oats
2 tablespoons butter
a pinch of salt

Instructions for topping:

Mix dry ingredients, add melted butter, and mix until small clumps form.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter & chocolate chips on LOW, stirring until smooth (about 5 min).
3. Remove from heat & add brown sugar.
4. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs & vanilla. Add chocolate mixture.
5. Add flour, cocoa, & salt.
6. Grease oven-safe dishes, preferably small creme brûlée dishes. Pour in batter & add topping.
7. Bake 12-15 minutes based on your dish size, but be careful not to over bake. It should have a slightly gooey center.




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