Thursday, December 31, 2015

Some of my favorite things from 2015

Hard to believe that 2015 is coming to an end and it's almost 2016. One of my favorite memories this year was a surprise birthday trip my husband planned to Chicago. He told me that we were going there to pick out a handbag for my birthday. He knows how much I love my bags, but I had no idea what kind he was thinking of getting me! I've always loved the classic designs of Prada and admired them from afar. He was so sweet and said I could select one of my very own. Someone pinch me. I couldn't believe that one of them would finally be mine! This girl was over the moon, and so grateful to be able to experience that! Here is my little beauty...
The insides of this style have contrasting colors, and mine has a black inside. I also really liked the tan with the pop of red. So many pretty options!!!
Here are some details from our trip. We stayed at the Trump Towers and it was really nice because we could walk to all of the places we wanted to go. They even surprised me with a little cake. It was such a dream come true!

Furniture shopping in 2015

Just thought I would share some more house updates by showing some of the key furniture purchases we made in 2015. The one we use the most is our family room sectional. The designer in me really wanted two separate pieces, like a sofa and love seat. I also knew that a sectional suited our home body lifestyle better. We love to curl up on the couch to watch movies and hang out. Both my husband and I loved the look of the chesterfield sofa, so we came up with the idea to find a chesterfield sectional. It was an elegant, but comfortable option. I found out that Bernhardt made a great looking one that was also customizable.
We played around with different color and fabric options. There was a navy velvet in the running at one point. I still love that fabric, maybe for a piece in our formal some day! Then we narrowed it down to a charcoal gray color that was so soft.
When we finally decided to purchase our piece we went back to the furniture store and couldn't find our fabric in their book of swatches. Would you believe that out of all of the fabric options they carried they had decided to discontinue the one we picked! We then decided to go in a different direction...ivory. At the time I really wanted a linen fabric, which I still love, but the sales lady was able to talk me out of it. That was probably a good thing, because I'm not sure what I really thinking in purchasing a linen sofa with four pets. Oh wait, I know... I liked that way it looked... designer problems. In the end we decided on a more durable fabric that was easy to clean. The months leading up to the arrival I was really second guessing the fabric and the color choices, but once it arrived I was thrilled! Here it is the day we got it. Notice the old floors!
I've been adding pillows and different accessories that I will share soon. Here are some of the pillows that I had made from Motif Pillows. She makes fabulous pillow covers and will send you swatches to help you decide if you request them!
My husband also wanted to get a bigger TV for our family room, so the agreement was that I got to pick out a new tv/media piece of furniture. It was tough finding a piece that was long enough for this 75" TV while still looking nice in the space. At least he didn't get the 90"! I ended up finding a dining room buffet and we took the back piece off to let the electronics vent out of the back. Here she is, with a kitty hiding in there. I hope to add some more accessories to the wall around it. I have a couple ideas I hope to show soon and I will do a whole family room walk through!
Another big piece we purchased was a display cabinet. I really wanted to find something to showcase the milk glass collection that my Grandmother has slowly been handing down to me. I had narrowed it down to a few pieces. Here were the contenders. All great pieces for different reasons and in no particular order.
I finally decided that the last one fit our style the best and would be able to hold the collection I already had and also any future pieces. Here it is after it got delivered.
Marshall really wanted to be in the picture. Here it is with the light on. I really fell in love with the Chippendale style details on the front and the contrast color on the inside!

More styling details and better pictures to come soon!

House updates for 2015

There were some big updates happening around the house this year that I wanted to share. One of the biggest changes we made was to our hardwood floors. We had them refinished in a darker color and it was such an amazing transformation. Here is a before picture so you can get an idea of the color we started out with. There was nothing wrong with them, we just felt a darker color would go better with our decor.
Here are a few of the swatches we were trying to decide between. The bare wood was so beautiful, for a minute I contemplated just sealing it, but we really wanted a darker color.
Here is a shot of the after without our furniture. The after was such a dramatic change.

A close-up shot of the hardwoods. I love how they are a dark brown, but you can still see all of the wood grain detail in the wood.
We also contemplated whether we would stain the stair railing or paint it white. In the end we decided to paint it and replace the carpet. Here is another before shot to refresh your memory.

It's a double staircase that meets at the landing and goes up to the second story.
Here they are getting painted with the carpet ripped out. I think at this point my husband would have picked whatever carpet could get installed the fastest, and Baxter would agree! Those carpet tacks do not feel good on the toes!
Here are the two patterns we narrowed it down to. One was more of a greek key pattern and the other was kind of a fresh take on a herringbone.
Here they are in all their finished glory! We went with the herringbone in the taupe colorway. We liked that it was a little more of a bold pattern. It also didn't hurt that it was about 1/3 of the cost. We figured that we could replace the carpet two more times if we had to and it would be around the same cost as the other one.
Baxter definitely approves!
I'll try and share some more pictures soon!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Holiday House Tour Continued

Today I wanted to share the other space in our home that I decorated for the holidays. This is our family room. We spend most of our time in the evenings relaxing in this room. It is right off of our kitchen and we also have a TV in there. It's a great place to unwind by the fire.

This is the view looking into the family room from our kitchen. I love seeing that little tree and our mantel all lit up in the mornings or in the evenings while I'm in the kitchen. It just makes me happy!

Here is a closer view of the mantel and stockings. I really wanted a neutral but glamorous look in here. I used a couple types of greenery garland and then added ornaments and pinecones throughout. I also have some of my Great Grandmother's crocheted snowflakes in there which are very special to me. There are two knit stockings that have Swarovski crystals and the leopard print stocking actually has clear sequins all over the top of the print. The leopard print really adds something and helps to tie everything together. There is also a beaded string garland behind the stockings. I love the extra sparkle it adds!
Leopard Stocking:
Here are some close-ups of the tree. I really wanted a flocked tree this year, so last minute we decided to add a second tree. It's a little 6 foot tree and it's just perfect in this room. It really lights up the space and makes it feel special!

I used all metallic ornaments, white berries, gold birds and silver ribbon accents. Since we wouldn't be putting presents underneath this tree I knew I wanted to put it in a basket. I found a basket I liked at homegoods and added a fake fur rug to give it that cozy and snowy feeling.
Here's one last image of the tree and mantel. Hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Holiday house tour

This is my first official post for The Journey Home. There is so much I want to share and I hope you will enjoy coming here. My husband and I got married this year and it is our first year in the house for Christmas. We have four furry babies (3 cats and a dog) and I'm sure you'll see them all at some point. I've had such an amazing time decorating and figuring out what I want to do around the house this year. I just love seeing the transformation that happens when you are finished and it makes all of those hours spent worth it! Today I want to share our formal living room...
We have a big ten foot tree in here that I love to pack full of ornaments. This is a special room where we will exchange gifts with family, drink cocoa, and spend time with loved ones. I am normally an all neutral girl, but it has been fun adding pops of red in this room for Christmas. I just love the festive looking red and white candy cane stripes. They just make me happy!
I used all off-white stockings on the mantel. There are two different styles and one for each of the fur babies! Two are a channel stitched velvet and two are a cable knit. They are all from Pottery Barn and I just love them! I don't think they are all available online anymore, but you might be able to find them in stores. The sparkle letters on the stockings are also from there and those are still online.

Here is the view from our stairs. I love coming down each morning to this view with all of the natural light coming in. My husband gets up earlier than I do and has the lights on for me by the time I come down...he's so sweet!

Our sweet boy Baxter showing us his favorite holiday pillow from HomeGoods. He loves pillows almost as much as his momma! Do you have a shopping problem when the lady from HomeGoods recognizes you?

I love Christmas lights at night. Aren't they just so magical? I'll have more of our home decorations tomorrow when I share our family room.