Friday Find: Happy Chic!

First, let me start by apologizing for my infrequent posts.  You'd think with a couple of snow days I would have had plenty of time.  I guess with classes starting up again, I haven't quite found my rhythm.  Nevertheless, I popping in today to share with you another great retail find at, what would seem an unlikely source. 

My grandmother used to LOVE JCPenney.  Seriously, she loved it.  Growing up, we spent almost every weekend in the mall and the trip wasn't complete without a stop in "Penney's".  I think her favorite was their home department.  Yep, I get it honestly.  I still own linens from Penney's that are over a decade old.  Now that's quality. 

JCP has totally stepped up their game in every way.  I've always been a fan, honestly.  I love when I can go places that are not high on other people's radar.  JCP has always been one of those often overlooked retailers.  I think many still view it as a place for Grandma.  Well, get ready for your view to change.  This ain't your Grandma's JCPenney. 

This Christmas my BFF gave me this awesome Jonathan Adler book. 

 
I've always been attracted to his designs with all of the lively color.  Well guess what?



Yep, he now has an affordable line at JCP!  It's been out for a while now, and somehow I've managed to NOT see it in person yet.  However it's pretty high up on my to do list.  Isn't it awesome!  The prices aren't bad either and several items are now on CLEARANCE!!! 

I've pulled together a few of my favorites from the website.



Happy chic indeed! 

Guest Blog: MLK Day Recap

I'm recaping my MLK Day of Service at the Habitat ReStore on the Metrolina ReStores blog


Stop by and check it out!  Click HERE.
 
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I may have made a little purchase while I was there. 

 
 
 

More on that later...

Friday Find: H & M

Recently while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I spotted a post that mentioned the popular clothing retailer H & M had home décor.  Say what!?!?  How did I not know this?   

During the holiday season, Charlotte opened its first H & M location only a few miles from my home.   For years I've been a fan of the Swedish retail-clothing company, known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children.  So, how is it that I had NO idea they had added home décor to their offerings?   

Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to get over to their website to see for myself.  They did not disappoint.   There is actually a pretty large selection of home decor for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living spaces.  Best of all, it's selling for prices one would expect from H & M.
Here are a few of my favorite items:

I will definitely be keeping H & M in mind for future purchases and the future might be sooner than you think.  This Do What You Love pillow cover (that also comes in pink) will be the perfect addition to my home office turned design studio....


H & M
Check out H & M's selection HERE!  Happy a great weekend!



"Serving Up Style"

Hope you all had a great extended weekend.  I know I did.  It was pretty eventful.  The best part is we’ve already made it to hump day! 

This week I’m gearing up for my first client project of the year.  In doing so, I thought I’d take a look back at some of my past projects to review lessons learned.  As I was going through old pictures, I noticed that in almost every space I had incorporated a serving tray.  I found it interested that whether it was a dining room, a kitchen, a bedroom or a living space, there was always a tray.

 
 
Serving trays are awesome because they provide a stylish foundation for pretty groupings.  They are also the perfect decorative element for corralling items that have a tendency to stray from their homes (i.e. remotes, keys, etc.).
 
 
I love the form and function of this decorating staple.  They come in all shapes, colors, styles and sizes.  They can also function in their original purpose as a server.   
 


 



I won’t tell you how many I actually own.  Let’s just say it’s more than a few.  I’ve always got my eyes open for a good tray.  Are you a fan of the serving tray?   

New to the blog?  Find out how I made one above from a plastic photo frame.  Click HERE.

"Everybody can be Great....Everybody can Serve"

For the past couple of years, a family member (who shall remain nameless) has been on me for not making service a part of my MLK Day plans.  While it's something that I wouldn't mind doing, the holiday always seems to be the perfect time to catch up on things, but NO more.  This year I'm not taking the day OFF, I'm making it a day ON. 


Without a doubt, Dr. King's contributions made a huge impact on our country, and instead of spending the day in quite reflection of his legacy, I've decided to make an impact of my own. 

I knew I wanted to volunteer somewhere connected to my passion. Often when we think of volunteering, we immediately think of the homeless shelter, the food bank, the soup kitchen, but there are lots of places to volunteer and lots of non-profits that would welcome the help. 

I'm spending the morning at the Habitat ReStore in Cabarrus County.   Where else?  I'm not sure what I'll be doing yet, but whatever it is, I'll be helping my community since all proceeds from the ReStore go towards building affordable houses through local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.  For me, that's surely worth my time. 

 
Dr. King declared that "...everybody can be great, because everybody can serve".  I like that idea; greatness linked to service.   


 
 
How will you spend your day?  Join me in making this a day ON.  Found out how. Click HERE.

Habitat ReStore ReNew: Part 1

If you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, you know that one of my friends and fellow bloggers is Jennifer Burnham of Pure and Simple Organizing.  We met through Twitter and became fast friends based primarily on our mutual love of bargains.  She and I are both guest bloggers for Metrolina ReStore and do we have a treat for you locals. 
Metrolina ReStores is launching a new series called ReStore ReNew. 

 
THE PREMISE
The Habitat ReStore ReNew series will put each of the Metrolina ReStores bloggers as the headliner in a 1/2 day workshop in a local ReStore. This event will allow our followers a chance to participate in a special event; one that celebrates our passions for all things vintage, organizing and interior design.
 

WHEN
The series kicks off THIS SATURDAY!

Saturday, January 18th
Saturday, February 15th
Saturday, March 15th
 
Jennifer Burnham, organizational blogger at the Our Towns ReStore -Cornelius.
 
 
Donna Scott
(a.k.a. Mod Bettie),
 Vintage collector extraordinaire, at the Gaston County ReStore.
 
Cheryl Luckett,
Interior Decorator
at the Catawba Valley ReStore - Hickory

THIS WEEKEND’S EVENT
The first ReStore ReNew event features Jennifer.  Her company was founded in 2010 and its mission is clear; to inspire others to live a less complicated life through better organization. She was born to be an organizer, even color coordinating her crayons as a child. I can certainly relate.

Jennifer’s style of organization is creative, DIY-focused, and infinitely do-able. For example, during an appearance on Charlotte Today, she recommended using a vintage suitcase she found at a ReStore as toy storage for a child’s playroom. Cute, stylish and functional. Jennifer believes being organized is a lifestyle, and it can drastically improve your quality of life.

During this weekend’s event, Jennifer will share organizational tips and tricks, as well as how participants can use the ReStore as a resource for implementing order and organization in their lives.
CLASS INFORMATION/TICKETS
Each session is limited to 20 people with tickets available through Eventbrite - CLICK HERE
$25 per person (includes lunch)
NOTE:  Each participant receives coupons to use on purchases made that day only at the ReStore.

EVENT TIMELINE

8:30a-9:00a:      Arrival, check-in with light refreshments

9:00-10:15a:      Blogger discusses approach to ReStore shopping, what they look for, etc…

10:15-10:30a:    Break

10:30-11:30a:    Shop the ReStore

11:30a-12:30p: Q&A and lunch

12:30-1p:          More shopping

Ever wish you could pick the brain of a professional organizer?  Well, this is your chance!
Trust me you don’t want to miss this event!  There are still a few seats left.  I hope to see you there!

 

 

"Amassing Useless Stuff"

Why is it that we keep so much stuff?  That’s a question I’ve been pondering more and more lately.  I’m often amazed at the amount of stuff I’ve amassed over the years.  
   
 
 
As you know, I’ve set out to convert my home office into a design studio this year and the first step of that conversion was getting rid of my desk and hutch.  Sounds easy enough, right?  WRONG! 
I set up a pickup with my local Habitat ReStore and they kindly came and carted things off for me. 
 
 
 
 

However, I was then left with a pile of useless stuff that apparently had been collecting for the past six and a half years.  Why is it that we have the need to hold on to such worthless stuff?  Is keeping it just easier than cleaning things out?

 

 
I kid you not, I must’ve had 50+ CDs with random info and back up files of files I know longer need or have.
 
 I found about a dozen floppy disks.  Some of my readers may not even know what a floppy disk is.  Geez. 
 
Apparently I collected every pay stub that I’ve ever been sent since the beginning of my twelve year tenure at the day job because the stack was unreal.  I had nutrition journals that were so old, the research is surely outdated and enough DHL packaging material to open up a mail room.  Shameful, just shameful.
 
The good news is, when it was all said and done, I’d reduced the pile to a much more reasonable size only keeping the essential office supplies.   
 
  
The space is far from cleaned out, but at least there’s a little more breathing room.  I’m excited about the prospect of using this space again.  Nothing irritates me more than unused square footage.  I figure, if I’m paying for it, I should be using it.  Next up, paint color.  This should be interesting….
 
Do you have a space that needs to be cleared out of an overabundance of “stuff”, or is it just me?

"A Look Back at the To Do List"

First things first.  May I offer my condolences to my fellow Panthers and Saints fans.  Unfortunately, both of my home teams fell in the NFL playoffs this weekend.  Tough losses, but great seasons by both teams.  I'm pretty bummed that it's almost all over.  I hate the end of football season, but I guess that just gives me more time to focus on design projects.

I can hardly believe that we've already reached the middle of January.   As I regroup for the new year and plan my 2014 project to do list, I thought I'd take a look back at some of the projects I SAID I would tackle in 2013.


 
First, there was the front door. I blogged about painting the inside of my front door back in December 2012.  I loved how something as simple as a little paint on the typically overlooked surface could add so much impact.
via
I'm pleased to report that I actually got this one done.  I even have plans to paint more of my interior doors.


I really loved how it looked during the holidays, providing yet another spot for a touch of Christmas.
Next, I SAID I was toying with the idea of adding a touch of coral to the kitchen, by way of new drapery.


Contemporary Living Room design by Orange County Interior Designer Domicile Interior Design
 
Believe it or not, I actually got this one done too!  I love the pop of color in the kitchen.  It actually did a lot to make this space more cheery.  My only regret is that I didn't have the drapes lined.  I've learned that lining drapery really is a non-negotiable.  They hang so much nicer and look more..... substantial, if that makes sense. Adding it will likely be on my list for this year. 

 
The one project that I didn't get to was painting the vanity.
 

Decorchick

After seeing this image on one of my favorite blogs, I was convinced that this was my next upgrade to the master bath.  Unfortunately, it never happened and my bathroom still looks like this.....
 
 
But hey, there's always this year.  With at least one project to roll over from last year, the 2014 to do list seems to be growing in length. 
 
 
What projects do you have planned for this year?

Home Office and Habitat's Help


This year, I'm converting my home office into a design studio.  Stop by the Metrolina ReStores blog to see how the Habitat ReStore is going to help. 



Just click HERE to check it out.

Tell Dwell Tuesday: Nursery Dilemma

 
Just before Christmas I received an email from a reader with a nursery design dilemma.  First off, I LOVE decorating nurseries.  So many options, so much room to let your imagination run free.  So, I didn't hesitate to offer my assistance.  
 
 
The correspondence read...
 
"I found a rug that I love but the colors are kind of crazy.  So I was going to paint 3 walls gray and do stripes of some sort on one wall.  But now I’m stuck. 
 
 
If you’re interested you can see the rug on the attached photo.  I adore it (oh, it’s a boy) but now I need to make it all work.  Maybe I should paint the base of the wall gray and just do one wide stripe in the deep magenta color or orange? 
 
I love mixing patterns but I may have backed myself into a corner with this rug.  I need curtains, bedding, etc. and would love to layer different patterns but I don’t want it to be CRAZY."
 
 
I think my reader is off to a great start, and I don't think they've backed themselves into a corner at all.  I love the rug. I also love that they are bold enough to use it in a space intended for a boy.  
 
First things first, I'd start with the base wall color.  Something like a soft gray is soothing and modern at the same time.  Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter is always a crowd pleaser.
 

via


With the base color in place I'd move on to the stripes.  With such a small space, I'd opt for a horizontal stripe and I'd carry it around the entire space. This will help to keep the eye moving around the room.  I think to add the stripe to only one wall will make it seem choppy.  Additionally, I wouldn't worry about the fact that the walls have windows and doors.  That just means less stripe painting for you.  : )  You can find more about the process of stripe painting HERE.

 
 
For the colors in the wall stripe I'd play up the orange and aqua.  You could add just a small stripe of the darker gray.  The orange and aqua will also look great against the soft gray background.  You can even let the base color show through for a four color stripe.
 
Like you, I LOVE pattern mixing, so how about a fun patterned drape using this fabric from Carousel Designs

Source

This coordinate would also make a great accent fabric.

Source
 

With a bold wall stripe, print drapery and a graphic rug, I'd keep the remaining elements very simple.  For example, Lamps Plus has an awesome variety of gourd lamps in every color of the rainbow.


The colors are fun but the design is simple and unfussy. 


Lamps Plus
Based on the starting point, I'd aim for something like this....
You're off to a great start.  Good luck and let us know how it all turns out. 
 
 
 


Holiday Recap and the Family Photo Shoot

I can't believe it's back to the grind today.  I shouldn't complain since I had two full weeks off from the day job and Dwell by Cheryl.  It was delightful.  This holiday season seemed a bit more relaxing than those in the past.  Not sure if it was the abbreviated season or my more simplified approach. 
I vowed to focus on the important things; family and friends.

I had a great time hanging out with old friends....


and hosting a few newer ones.....

And I spent lots of time with my family. 

Celebrating my parent's 45th Anniversary


In fact, we decided (my lil sis decided) this fall that we'd take new family photos over the Christmas holidays.  Of course, as usual, I was tasked with coordinating the wardrobe for the shoot.  Sounds simple, but dressing grown folk ain't exactly easy.
 

Thankfully, it worked out in the end.  I'm so glad we've made taking family photos a priority over the past several years.  I know it's something we'll all treasure, especially as we get older.  And let's face it, it's not something that families without small children actually do very often, if at all.

Lisa of Lisa Stringer Photography (my HS classmate) did an awesome job despite the fact that neither of my parents were really feeling it.  Mom had an eye infection and a bum knee and Dad, well I think he would've preferred to be watching Judge Judy. At least they didn't have to go far since we took the photos in the front yard.

Anyway, we're pretty pleased with the result.

 










I hope you all had a wonderful time during the holidays.  Here's to a new year that exceeds your wildest imagination.  Cheers!
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