If I Had a Cottage in the Countryside…

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it would look like this:

And the gardens would look like this:

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And I would drink tea and read on beautiful days here:

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And I would invite friends and family over and we would dine al-fresco here:

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And the kitchen, where I would cook and bake like crazy, would look like this,

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and this:

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And I would hang out in a living room that looked like this:

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And I would curl up in this nook to read and nap:

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And throw fabulous dinner parties in a room like this,

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or this:

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Finally resting my head here:

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Dreaming is fun.

**The cottage from the first image just happens to be A.A. Milne’s cottage (author of the Winnie the Pooh books).

Green Glass

Ever since I got these glasses from IKEA a few weeks ago, I have been pretty much obsessed with them.  I think it has something to do with their color…I am totally loving the green/aqua/turquoise color.  They make whatever you are drinking THAT much cooler.  I have not been able to get back to IKEA to get more of them (which is definitely in the plans) but I have had fun looking up other potential additions.  And the coolest thing about green glass is that, often, it is made using recycled green glass.  So, double bonus, recycling + pretty color.  :)

Here are some other beautiful pieces of green glassware that I found that I am loving.

Anthropologie – Love these!

Kastehelmi

Pottery Barn – I am definitely going to get a set of these. So fun!

Pottery Barn

Sundance

World Market

World Market

Stonewall Kitchen

Luna Bazaar -  Love this votive holder.

And to top it all off, a gorgeous tablescape at a wedding using some green glass mason jars.  ♥

Postcard Picture Collage

I finally got around to the project that I have been wanting to do since I got back from Spain last summer.  While I was in Seville, my friend (who was living in Pamplona at the time but traveled to Seville with me) introduced me to these awesome postcards which have copies of  vintage Spanish travel/tourism/advertising posters on them.  I absolutely adored them…the color, the feel, the drama, the art.  Needless to say, I bought a whole bunch of them.  :)  When I was buying them, I thought about how cool it would be to be able to display them in some sort of collage-esque manner and that is when my friend suggested displaying them in a collage-style picture frame.

So, once I got back from my trip, I began the search for the perfect frame.  It took a bit of time to find the “right” frame because I wanted one that had more than just a couple of individual frames in it, I wanted it to be black, I wanted it to have some type of unique characteristic (rather than just be a simple black collage-frame) and I did not want it to cost an arm and a leg.  Eventually, I found one I really liked and my favorite part about it, some of the individual frames within the big frame are recessed so it actually has a bit of a multi-dimensional look (even thought it is hard to tell from my photos).

While the postcards did not fit perfectly into each individual frame, it was nothing a pair of scissors and a ruler couldn’t fix.  The hardest part of the project actually was having to pick my favorite nine postcards to use (because I wanted to use them all)!

My favorite of the bunch:

I hung the collage frame in my bedroom and love how it is one of the first things I see when I get out of bed every morning. Reminds me of my amazing trip and even more amazing memories.

Charming Black Walls

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Recently, I saw an episode of the HGTV show,  Home by Novogratz, and I was fascinated by the use of a black wall in the kitchen the designers remodeled (image above).  It looked so fantastic in that space.  I then remembered that my honey had once told me, several years ago, that he thought it would be so cool to have the walls of a room painted black.  I told him he was crazy and that black walls would make a space look like a dungeon.  Well, I am totally taking that back now!

I found so many examples of how fabulous black walls could be.  I mean, it probably would be easy to make a room with black walls look like a dungeon but, as it seems, with lots of natural light, with white trim and/or white crown molding, with lighter colored floors and with a decent amount of light neutrals and pops of color in the furniture and accessories, black walls totally work.  I had no idea how elegant and romantic it could be.  Below are some more pretty amazing spaces.

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Love how almost everything, except the walls, is light-colored in this room.

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L.O.V.E the pops of turquoise in the dining chairs.

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Love the use of the picture frames with the thick white mats here…it helps to break up that large black wall.

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Such an elegant bathroom.  Fabulous single yellow chair.

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Another example of a black wall in the kitchen.  So chic.

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Love the use of the black, gray and white.

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Adore the black paint over the paneled walls.

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Yet another kitchen with black walls.  I totally see a kitchen with black walls in my future.  :)

Enamored by Expedit

I think it is safe to say that I might be a little bit obsessed with the Expedit line of shelves from IKEA.

I already have three shelves (of varying sizes) and am always thinking of  getting more because they are so versatile and provide so much good storage space.  And I love that they are very reasonably priced.  Currently, I just use my Expedit shelves as storage units but I love seeing some of the other possibilities for them.

My large Expedit shelf.

One of my favorite websites for ideas regarding using IKEA furniture is IKEA Hackers.  Below are some of my favorite ways people used and/or re-purposed Expedit shelves.

Love the idea of turning the shelf into a kitchen island/breakfast bar!

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Some other creative things that people have done with the shelves.

A creative pass-through.

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A pretty vanity or sideboard.

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A large workspace/table with storage.

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Neat idea for a bed.

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Making doors for each of the individual cubbies.

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And for more pretty rooms using Expedit shelves.

(via Nesting Place)

Love the use of chalkboard paint on the side!

(via The Smith Nest)

Stacked Expedit shelves on a tall wall creates extra drama.

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Inspired by a Stylist

I love watching home design shows.  One of my favorites is Secrets of a Stylist on HGTV.  The designer/stylist, Emily Henderson, is so talented.  I love her use of color and how she adds a touch (or sometimes more) of bohemian and vintage flair to all of her designs.

I first learned of her from watching the show Design Star (she was the winner two seasons ago).  I knew I would follow her future design work once I saw the “room” she designed for the season finale of that show.

This is the before shot.

And the after!

Watching her show has given me so much inspiration regarding how I want to decorate my own home.  Not only is her show great, but she has a lovely blog where she breaks down her designs from each episode amongst other things.  Below, I have chosen a few of my favorite Emily Henderson designed rooms.  All pictures come from her blog and she has many more designs that you can see there.

 

“Design is creativity with strategy.”  ~ Rob Curedale