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Friday, December 19, 2014

{five minute friday} Two Quick, Colorful Updates for a Festive Christmas Porch

I was hoping to share some pretty pictures of our Christmas porch dusted in snow and looking oh, so very Colorado Christmas... but alas we've only had snow once this season, and I didn't manage to grab any photos in the 24 hours that it stuck around. And since there are no signs of a white Christmas in our forecast, I final just took some photos of our porch in the sunshine.

While the porch doesn't look as Christmas-y as it would in the snow, I do want to share the details about two quick and easy projects that upped the style and festive feel of our porch this season.


For a few years now, I've been using these shiny red candle lanterns from Pier 1 as part of our Christmas porch decor. I love the pop of color, but they are so tall that even the tallest battery-operated pillar candles I could find looked really undersized in these large lanterns.


To make the scale of the candles look more appropriate in the lanterns this year, I purchased a 4x4 from Home Depot and had it cut to 10 inch lengths. I then picked up two inexpensive rolls of greenery from Walgreens and wrapped them around the blocks of wood, using a hot glue gun to attach the greenery to the wood every so far.



The greenery wrapped wood blocks lift up the pillar candles and help to fill the space inside the lanterns, giving them more style and presence on our front steps.




The second update I made to our porch this year is in the form of spray paint. A few years ago I purchased two pre-lit, topiary style Christmas trees from Michaels. I love having these small trees on our front porch, but this year I upped the style by painting the formerly dark green pots bright teal.




Now the pops of bright red and teal on our holiday porch better reflect the modern, colorful style of the Christmas decor inside our home!


Continuing the red and teal color scheme, the wreaths on our front door are hung from bright red ribbon, and are mirrored on the inside of the door with a second set of wreaths. I also have a great tip for tip for hanging wreaths on glass doors!



Here's a quick look at how our porch looks all lit up at dusk...


And if you missed our Christmas home tour...the door is still open, so come on in and check out all of our colorful holiday decor!



Click here to read about our previous colorful, five minute porch updates, including painting our house numbers, labeling our mailbox and milk box, and painting our doorbell!

And for more Christmas inspiration, you might like these links:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

{gifts with style} Printable 2015 Desktop Calendar for the Travel Lover

2015 is just around the corner! Whether you are in need of a desktop calendar for yourself, or a last minute gift for the travel lover on your shopping list - today is your lucky day! I have updated my travel themed desktop calendar for 2015, and I'm sharing the files so you can print your own for FREE!


Although I use my my iPhone to keep track of most of my calendar appointments, and I use various apps to keep track of many of my deadlines and to do lists, I like having quick reference calendars on my desk and kitchen counter that I can glance at when I am working or chatting on the phone.


In the kitchen, I display my calendar by the phone on a pretty, silver photo easel, but on my desk I use a CD jewel case to display my calendar. With the cover was flipped back, a jewel case is a perfect calendar stand. And a jewel case also makes a great package for gift giving - just add a bow to the top!


I designed this calendar around my love of travel and my love of color. It features the skylines of some of my favorite travel destinations, from Sydney to Madrid, London to New York, and Costa Rica to South Africa. And of course, I couldn't leave out my lovely home of Denver!


To make the calendar even more useful as a quick reference tool, I highlighted the dates of major holidays - the ones that I most often need to keep in mind when planning events or gatherings with friends.  This year, I am excited to offer two versions of the calendar - one with Christian holidays highlighted and the other with Jewish holidays highlighted. Both calendars also include the dates of common observations and National Holidays, such as President's Day and Veteran's Day.

 I didn't want to clutter up each calendar page with the names of all of the holidays, so I instead made a holiday cheat sheet which I will keep tucked behind all of the other calendar pages on my easel, but which I can quickly pull out for reference when need be.




The calendar also includes one additional page - a birthday reference sheet. The birthday page has blank lines for each month to make it easy for you to write in the birthdays that you need to remember.

If you'd like to print your own desktop calendar for yourself or to give as a gift, simply click to download your preferred version of the files and print all seven pages: 




I recommend printing on a thick cardstock weight paper, and I love the way mine looks with a glossy finish. The files includes crop marks to make it quick and easy for you to cut the pages exactly to size.

For those who love to travel and daydream about future vacation destinations, I hope you'll be inspired by the skylines on this calendar!




Here's to a happy and prosperous 2015!


Friday, December 12, 2014

{five minute friday} Extra! Extra! Greeting Cards

Before I had kids, when a friend had a birthday or a baby, I would stop and pick up a card on my way home from work, or I'd quickly run into the store for a card on my way to a birthday party or wedding. But after kids - well, there is no such thing as a quick stop at a store, nor is there any extra time on the way to an event... so now I have to plan ahead.

Planning ahead means that I've started to stock up on greeting cards, picking up a few cute ones here and there when I'm at Target, or buying packs of cards at Costco. Overtime, I've built up quite a collection of cards for every occasion, but as my stack of cards has grown, it's gotten harder to keep track of what I've bought and to find the one I need in a hurry. So I finally decided to do something about it, and in just five minutes I created a new system to keep me organized!


The closet in our guest room serves many purposes, including a place to store all of our gift wrap, bows ribbons, tags... and greeting cards. It was semi-organized at one point in time, but after each birthday and holiday it was becoming more of a mess. So in preparation for this season of present wrapping, I decided to finally get it under control. I'll share the entire pretty, organized space with you next week, but today I'm giving you a sneak peek at my organized greeting cards and stationery.

Here's what I started with - a shoe box sized box full of cards that I stored on a shelf.


I could have simply added divider and organized the cards within this box, but since I was looking to free up some of the shelves - I decided to look else for storage space. And I found the space I needed on the back of the closet door! We installed an Elfa Door Rack System, including several Elfa Deep Baskets.

To keep my cards and stationery organized within the deep door baskets, I picked up some clear deep drawer bins {4in x 8in x 3in}. I divided my collection of greeting cards into two of these bins.


Next I needed to create dividers to make the cards easy to find. I grabbed out some of my favorite paper - a stack from Michaels with pretty patterns and a scalloped edge. I made a list of all of my categories of greeting cards, then wrote the categories at the top of the paper with a Sharpie. I used the tallest of my envelopes as a guide to determine how tall my dividers should be, and trimmed the extra from the bottom of the paper.



With my dividers created, all that I had to do was place the dividers between the cards and place the bins into one of the Elfa deep baskets. The two bins fit perfectly side by side.

I placed the greeting cards in the door basket right at my eye level, making it easy to quickly and easily flip through to find the card I need without having to remove the bins. But if I do want to take all the cards to my desk for writing, I can easily lift the bins out while keeping the cards organized.


Now it takes me no time at all to find the card I need for the right occasion.


This system worked so well for organizing me greeting cards that I decided to free up some more shelf space in the closet by also moving all of my Thank You cards and blank stationery into the same clear bins.



Then I placed those bins into more deep door baskets.



Here's one more look at how all of my greeting cards and stationery look on the back of the guest room closet door. Organized and pretty - my favorite way! The back of the door was previously completely unused space, and now, by moving all of these cards into the door bins, I've freed up an entire shelf of space inside the closet.


Be sure to stop back by next week to see what else I've organized on the back of the door, and how I've organized all of my gift wrap, gift bags, and other supplies in one side of the closet. I'm so excited! I can't wait to show it to you!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

{style inspiration} Making Marsala Modern: Learning to Love the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year

I'll admit that when I first saw Pantone's pick for the 2015 Color of the Year, I was disappointed! My style is very modern and I tend to prefer cool colors for the majority of my home, with pops of brighter colors here and there. My first reaction was that Marsala and modern JUST. DON'T. MIX!   

In fact, I have had a Marsala colored chair and a pair of lamps in my home office for about 10 years, and for a while now I've been wanting to redo that room and reupholster the chair because it was feeling dated and out of place in our home. 

Once I saw Pantone's selection, however, I decided to take a step back and consider whether I could instead make those Marsala pieces fit my modern style if I simply changed the colors I had them paired with. So I spent a few hours on the Houzz website searching for some inspiration of Marsala being used in modern design, and I was surprised by what I found! 


I know I was not alone in thinking that modern and Marsala don't go together, so I decided to share some of my favorite photos from Houzz to prove that the Pantone Color of the Year can actually be a great addition to modern decor!

Some of these rooms are extremely modern, while others are a bit more transitional style, but everyone of them appeals to my design eye. I found the color being used in lots of different ways - from subtle accents to bold statements, and while I can't imagine I'll be painting a wall or tiling my bathroom in this color any time soon, the photos I've selected do inspire me to give Marsala a second chance in my home office.

One final note before I show you the pretty pictures: not every one of these photos is an exact match for Marsala - some are a bit more redish and some are a tad more purplish, but all are in a similar color family.

Without further ado, I present MAKING MARSALA MODERN...


...PAIRED WITH BLACK & WHITE




...IN THE DINING ROOM

...IN SMALL ACCESSORIES


...AS LARGE ARTWORK

...WITH DARK WALLS


...IN A LOUNGE


...ON THE CEILING



...ON KITCHEN CABINETS

...ON A BACKSPLASH



...INSIDE CABINETS OR BOOKCASES



...ON SHELVES


...ON THE COUCH

...ON A CHAIR



...ON THE OTTOMAN


...ON A LAMP & PILLOWS


...PAIRED WITH NAVY BLUE


...IN A BRIGHT HOME OFFICE



...THROUGHOUT A GREAT ROOM



...IN A RUSTIC MODERN SPACE





...ON THE FRONT DOOR


...ON THE PATIO


...IN A TEEN BOY'S ROOM



...IN A TEEN GIRLS ROOM

...ON THE WINDOWS




...AS AN ACCENT TO GRAY



...AS AN ACCENT TO BLUE GRAY



....AS A COMPLIMENT TO TURQUOISE



...ON A FEATURE WALL




Now I want to hear what you think! Do you love Marsala, or love to hate it? Can you picture it in your home? Do any of these photos inspire you to see the color differently?


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