Be my guest

Howdy everyone! Happy Friday!! I hope you all had a good week so far. Mine has been very busy but filled with lots of fun and productive things, so no complaints here.

Over the holidays I started thinking about how I wanted to furnish/decorate the soon-to-be-guest room in my house. Up until now it has been a landing spot for all the odds and ends in my house that I hadn’t gotten around to dealing with yet. Now that I’m dealing with them, and turning that room into my official guest room, I’ve been playing around with layouts and mood boards.

There are a few things I know for sure I want to be in there. I’m inheriting a sofa bed and at least one end table from my parents,  and I want to have a travel theme in there. I’m going to hang the map of the world and map of the US that I received for Christmas a few years back. I also plan to put postcard shelves in there so whoever is staying over can poke through the cards and swap them around if they want.

I played around on (a website that creates mood boards) to come up with a hypothetical look for the guest room. I had a lot of fun playing around on the website and playing around with different options to see how things looked together.

OB-Guest Bedroom

The sofa is a similar color to the one I’m getting and the end tables are similar in shape and color. Neither the sofa or the tables are exact but it at least was helpful to include them to see what the total look of the room might be. I like the idea of having baskets under the shelves to stash things like blankets or maps that I might need for visitors. I also want to have a bookshelf in the room to keep some travel mementos and books to add more complexity in the room. Since I don’t have guests all that often I would also like this to act as a reading room of sorts.

I like this option of the room but may play around with some others before deciding on the exact direction I want to go in. I think that’s what I find so nice about Olioboard’s website – it’s a very non-committal way to see lots of different possibilities. I can keep the basics (in this case the sofa and tables) while playing around with the accessories to see if I can get a room that feels very “me” without the time and expense of tracking things down and trying them out in the room itself.

What do you think of this room? Is there anything you would change, add, remove, etc.?

Clothes, It’s Nice to See You Again

Life got crazy last week (and the beginning of this week)! I went to New York City on Tuesday last week to visit our office there and it totally threw off my routine. And there have been some work projects going on that are sucking up a lot of extra time so sleep has won out over writing the past few days. However, that being said…my closet is finally (finally, finally!!) clean AND organized! I could squeal I’m so happy! This project took so much longer than I expected; not because it was difficult but my motivation just wasn’t there. {I wrapped it up about two weeks ago now so this post is a smidge late. Oops!} The cleaning/purging process actually didn’t take all that long when all was said and done – probably about a day.

One of my goals for this year – and my 30 by 30 list – is to simplify and de-clutter my life. In general I think I have too much stuff and am really trying to pare down. I want to love everything in my home and that includes my closet. I’m hoping this cleaning exercise will help me stay focused on that the next time I’m out shopping! If for nothing else, I really don’t want to have to clean things out again in a year or so!

Here’s where things started out at the beginning of all this:

Closet Before

I had forgotten how messy the closet looked! My clothes piles on the shelves were anything but organized, there was stuff all over the floor, and the hanging bars were over crowded. I couldn’t really see a lot of my clothes, and the ones I could see were usually wrinkled from being cramped/messy. The whole thing was just not working for me. I knew there were a lot of things I wanted to get rid of since I never wore them/they didn’t fit/had gone out of style, so rather than just tidy things up I decided to do a complete overhaul.

Empty Closet

I started off by emptying pretty much everything out of the closet so I would only put back what I wanted to keep and knew I would wear. I tried on a lot of outfits to see if they passed the test and what didn’t got put in a donate pile. I still have a “maybe” pile of things I’m not 100% sure I want to get rid of, but I’m going to live without them in my closet for a while and see if I miss them. I’m guessing I won’t so then they will get donated as well.


After doing all the trying-on and flat-out discarding I was left with all the things I was fairly confident I would wear again in the next year AND that I really liked. As everything went back into the closet I also switched out hangers so they were all similar and would hang at the same height. I still need a few more hangers, but a lot of the stores I went to were cleaned out by the back-to-school/going-to-college shoppers so that will wait until later. I also grouped my clothes on the shelves and bars so there is a little more order/uniformity in there.

How much better does this after shot look?!

After #1It actually feels refreshing to see the bare floor and tidy shelves; as if I can breathe better seeing it clean. One last step I did after this was to make some labels for all the stacks on the shelves and different sections of the hanging clothes so I would maintain order going forward. The details of that will be a separate post but here is the after with the labels:

After #2

I’m really excited about them, especially the ones on the bins on the very top shelf because I am forever pulling the wrong one down.

So that’s the closet update! Have you been clearing any space out? I have really been on a kick with that lately; maybe it’s some kind of delayed spring cleaning (or early fall cleaning?). I love the sense of order after it’s all done.

Elephants, Trees, Fabric, Oh my!

I have lived in my house for almost four years now and during this time I haven’t had ANY artwork on the walls in my whole house! Not because I don’t want anything on the walls or couldn’t figure out what I wanted to put on them, but because everything has felt in flux and “under construction” since I moved in. I think as a result it has taken a really long time for my house to feel like my home. Things have finally calmed down a lot (not completely, but enough to feel more settled) so I decided its high time I get some stuff up on the walls! I put “Hang up art in my house” on my 30×30 list to help motivate me to get that done! I have lots of ideas about what I want to do in the various rooms and have already started to hang up some art, so let’s have a look around. Living room art In the living room I have Eyan, my Cardboard Safari elephant, and a shadow box with a cloth and white birch tree bark picture that my parents got in Alaska. Close up of Eyan and Birchwood frame I love them both and think they add a lot of character and texture. I’m still looking for/thinking of something else to go in that grouping but haven’t fully decided what I want yet. Three picture frame on distressed wood On the wall next to those two I’m planning to hang up the frame that my sister got me as a graduation present. I was really stuck about what I wanted on this wall for a long time. I didn’t want a grouping or loud image that would compete with the wall next to it. Originally I was thinking of taking down the built-ins because I didn’t know what to do with them or how to style/use them. During that phase I was sold on putting up postcard shelves à la Young House Love. But after playing around with things on the shelves of the built-ins, I realized I love them. Now that they’re staying, postcard shelves seem like too much. Then my sister sent me a beautiful frame with three places for pictures on distressed wood from Etsy when I graduated from grad school. I had put it on the oversized chair in the living room for safe keeping, and after seeing it against that wall, instantly realized I LOVED it there. I haven’t hung it up yet, but think it’ll look great once I do. I also have added some artwork on the wall in the dining room. I have some additional plans for this room as well but the frames that are up now are a great start. Dining Room Art These frames date back to when I lived in my apartment right after college. I didn’t have a lot of discretionary income and my mom mentioned seeing something on an HGTV show (I believe it was Design on a Dime) about taking cool fabric and putting it in a frame. Well I love fabric and it was an inexpensive way to decorate and add some color to my beige walls so I jumped on it! I still had those frames when I moved into my house and they lived in a box until about a month ago. The colors work perfectly with the paint in the dining room and I like how the staggered hanging of the frames gives the wall some visual interest. I still have some other things I want to put up in there like the scratch-off map my friend got me for Christmas, and some candle holders I’ve had for ages, so I’ll be sure to update you when that happens. Scratch Map What kinds of art do you like in your living or dining rooms? I think what I have so far is more quirky/eclectic but I like it that way. Do you prefer more traditional art? Store bought? From a gallery? Homemade?