Fall Mantel Twenty Eleven

The colors are showing up a little skewed…but i was going for a more monochromatic look this year, and took out the green completely.

And now some shelves, just ignore the “spring” photo collage, I have the fall one, just need to print it…Notice all of the elevens? Our 5 year anniversary is coming up on 11-11-11! So I thought I would add some of those 1’s in there 🙂 Like our bird friends? They were only $2.00 at Michael’s, which just opened a new location MUCH closer to me than the other one I had been going, I think this is a good thing, Hunky J may disagree…although he is mostly preoccupied with his Fantasy Football team this fall, so this allows me to get away with lots of things!



Photoshop Fun: I Hate My Kitchen!

Do you have this problem too?! Because TTC is a rental, we are not allowed to touch anything in the kitchen. We could paint, but I think it would only emphasize the horrible-ness of it all 😦 In blogland, I came across Diana from Our Vintage Home Love. Her family has the most beautiful kitchen:

The colors are so soothing and rich, but also light and airy, and what I like most about it, is the fact that it looks doable. I feel like I could really recreate this space and live here, not just photograph it. It definitely feels like the heart of their home. In fact, their whole house is stunning, I’m super envious, but that just makes me want to fix my kitchen even more! So I have some more Photoshop fun for your viewing pleasure! But first, the nasty pics, (can you tell I’m procrastinating because I am so embarrassed?)

GAAAHHH! Please, Make the Ugliness Stop! But it doesn’t, it just keeps on comin’…

We cover it up so you can’t see it…

Uggh, look at those yellow brick floors hiding under that rug. Why does it look even worse in photographs??

So starting with the my before photo, I am using my old friend Photoshop to recreate Diana’s beautiful kitchen (below) in my unfortunate space.

Here she is with the pot rack:

And now with a wonderful farmhouse chandelier:

So?? Isn’t it torturous that we can’t fix it up like this?! Maybe one day…just keep $aving

Oh, Hello, Fall!

Oh, Hello, Fall! You just snuck right in! So in honor of your arrival, I have decided TTC needs some new fall lovin’ 🙂 Most of our autumn decor is celery and pumpkin (that sounds SO much fancier than green and orange) Although I really like it, I am getting kind of bored with it. I think I read on the wonderful Shannon Berrey’s Design Blog here:


(although I tried to find the exact link to the post but I couldn’t find it??) that Sarah Richardson recommends using 10-15 patterns in one room. I was shocked as I looked around my house-I have NO patterns. I repeat-NO patterns! This whole time I was worried about making everything neutral and goes-with-whatever-color-I-like-this-week that I forgot to put any patterns in the room! We have some colors and textures, but definitely not 10-15 textures, let alone patterns! So that brings us to this post! Here is a picture from a Pottery Barn catalogue, which I am using as my inspiration:

To encorporate the colors that I am already using, but something a little more modern, I was thinking something like Rose Damask from Joel Dewberry’s Aviary Collection:

Or JD’s Woodgrain in Green and Dark Green from the same collection:

At work yesterday I found some great patterns that were similar by Kravet Soleil (I think it was called Bamboo?) and Stacey Garcia for Hunter Douglas, or maybe it was Valley Forge…I have a great memory, but not enough to remember all the pattern names and manufacturers…read below for unusual memory lapse explanation.

SIDE NOTE: At work, I spent about 4 hours in our library looking for a specific cheap stripe fabric to rival a $110 one, so my mind was on a mission. Verdict: There’s a reason the fabric is $110 and not $50…I do love a good bargain hunt, but this was a lost cause. I was super disappointed, because I am the Bargain Princess, but then again, I probably would have just spent the extra money because the expensive stripe is so wonderful and it incorporates all of our colors, I would have made up the cost elsewhere. Thats why there’s custom. But, hey, I was able to find some incredible patterns as TTC inspiration, so it worked out!

I digress…And then what about something like Pottery Barn’s beautiful cable-knit blanket for snuggling on the sofa, which I will find a much less expensive version of:

I know, it’s not a color, but it’s a texture!

My lovely friend, Caroline, has Anthropologie’s Antoinette Damask curtains, and I love them, but I think it’s too specific for a room that has to adapt to so many holidays, but maybe in the bedroom, where seasonal decorations don’t make as much of an appearance:

Aren’t they so soft and delicate? Hmm…and then I found these tie-backs(also from Anthro):

Which reminded me of this:

Which is a small model of the key storage wall in the reception area from my final project for my senior year 🙂 I will do a post on that sometime soon!

Now, this brings us to the mantle. Here is a picture of our fall mantle last year, which I just LOVE. And it feels so cozy, which is what is so great about fall!

The rake was free from, who else, but my grandmother! It was laying in her garage for years, just rusting away. When I asked her if I could take it, she said “What the heck do you want that piece of junk for?” I told her what I planned to do with it, and she just shook her head, but I think it has just the right amount of use and mangle-ment for TTC 🙂

But then, I just can’t help myself! I love me some neutrals! Although I think the patterns are just lovely, and I feel envious seeing someone’s colorful home, it’s just not me…Maybe texture is the way to go afterall. HJ says I’ll see something in person, and he is right, when I see it, I’ll know. Until then, the only thing to keep me on track is to burn a fall candle and create a concept board…progress pics to follow!

What Is It?

So with the end of summer nearing, (and since these pics have been on my laptop since March) I figured I would share this summery looking post…

What Is It?

Well…I think it should be this:

I have had this for about a year now, and I think its a glorious addition to TTC.

I know you’re just chomping at the bit to hear the story. Do I even need to tell you where it takes place? Ok, I will, Homegoods, of course! It was at the very end of an unsuccessful trip. I saw this raggedy bag rolled up on the bottom shelf with some beautiful, WHITE beach pebbles peeking out. So, naturally, I had to investigate. I hefted that 25 pound bag onto the floor and unrolled the thing. The most beautiful, magical carpet of sorts was in front of my eyes, and I just knew it was coming home with me, I just didn’t know what to do with it, but for $30.00 I knew I could come up with something 🙂

I think maybe it could be a table runner? Later down the road, I plan on using it for just that, but for now, it fits p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y on the entertainment unit/bookshelf. Can’t you just imagine it on an old, rustic farmhouse table in the summer?

Original Image: Tria Giovan for Cottage Living

Its hard to see, but I did a little photoshop magic…blends right in!! Have you found anything interesting and made up a new use for it?


So, I hate on blogs, when people say, “I’ll add pics soon…” but they never do, so, to adhere to my own rules, I unfortunately must make this update…the “Hmmm” post, with the lights and the spray paint will never be a project on TTC…of course, I had planned to remove the light and spraypaint them black, but they are somehow permanently attached to the ceiling, and are impossible to move without potentially damaging the fixture and ceiling. I was/am SUPER disappointed, because they look kind of nautical, and I was really, really hoping that I could give them a new look, but it was not meant to be…

In other news, I have had a SUPER busy couple of weeks, like 12+ hours of work everyday, so things have been kind of slow around here…and I will be on vacation very soon, so I will try to do some mini-posts this week and give you some good reading before I go!

❤ Sarah

The New Doors!

Well, I know you have all been waiting for this post!!!! Believe me, so have I! I will start at the beginning, here are the befores:

Ewwwww, you can see how awful looking they are! You can see allllll of our stuff. Not.Pretty. This has been a problem for the last year, but we weren’t sure if we should invest a lot, since we’re only renting, But when Hunky J and I renewed the lease for another year, this was the FIRST thing on our “to do” list! Here are is the after!!!

Here is quick half and half below! What do you think?? Love it? Hate it?

It took a little bit longer than we anticipated, but thats because we were so excited, we didn’t have all of our supplies (and we had to buy some better hinges), but here are some during photos!

First, we measured our bookcase. Luckily for us, the openings were 2’x 4′, so the standard sized panels from Home depot were perfect without cutting! Next, we decided on a moulding that “wood” blend in with the rest of the existing trim in the apartment. Hunky J is very quick with numbers, so he speedily figured out the lengths we would need, based on the offset distance we chose (4″ away from the edges, which would allow enough space for our handle and hinges). We used the cutting station on-site to mitre-cut all of the moulding, bought some liquid nails (so we didn’t have to buy a nail gun and nails…not yet anyway), and got some hinges, and headed home.

***Hinges: We spent a loooooong time looking for something that would be appropriate for what we wanted. This was actually the longest step, and the main reason it took us a little longer to complete the project. Home Depot had some decorative hinges that were not going to work, because we needed a hidden hinge that would not be seen when the doors were closed. We ended up leaving the store with some standard ones that we though may be good, but once we got home, realized that they would be too close to the edge, and not offer enough support. What we really needed were hinges that were short on the side that would be attached to the existing 1″ wood border, and a longer piece that would attach to the door and add stability. Our local hardware store had just what we needed, so we got them.

Our wood was so thin and lightweight on purpose so that we didn’t damage the existing wood with added weight, however, this made it obvious that once the screws went in, they were going to stick out of the front and look silly, so we got some cap nuts to cover them up. And we spray painted them black to match the handles, which you can see evidence of in this photo:

Ok, so anyway, we got home and attached the moulding with liquid nails.

Then taped it down and left it overnight to dry…

At which point we decided that it probably needed a good sanding before priming and painting, which resulted in me breaking in my 25th birthday present!!! (Thanks Dad and Barbie xoxo)
Next, it was onto priming!
Don’t worry, there is a paper drop cloth underneath and we had the windows open for ventilation 🙂
Then we went on to paint. We contacted maintenance to tell us the color of the trim…Duron’s Princeton White, which is a really nice creamy white. Our hardware store had some similar colors, and in the end we went with this:
Hunky J helped out with this part and tried to get them to match the paint for us there, but somehow, all they were able to do was give us some ten swatches,which HJ taped up to the existing paint, so that I could choose before he got blamed for picking the wrong color-smart, right? We only had until 6pm before they closed, so I jumped off of the train after work, raced home, ran up to the apartment, looked at all of the swatches, decided, and then called to have them mix the paint while we were on our way. We got there at 5:58!! Thanks True Value!! The result is a little bit lighter than the existing color, but its pretty darn close!
We attached the hinges and utility handles, which were EXACTLY what I was looking for at a price that was even better…
and then F-I-N-A-L-L-Y hung them up!!!
So here they are again…
and now AFTER:
Hope you like them as much as we do!!