Pillow Talk

It may be obvious, but I think it’s worth mentioning that I don’t have any interior design qualifications. That’s what I love about this modern DIY internet age, though! I (you! we!) can learn anything! I’m a fresh student of this art, and I hope that all the love I pour into my home projects will always make me feel like just a little girl playing house. My imagination soars and my soul is fed when I make time in my life to create! Even if that just means rearranging the pillows now and then!

With that in mind, today I’m going to share what I’ve learned first-hand about styling pillows, and I’d be lying if I said it’s all come easily to me. Pillows can be hard! I have had all too much fun in stores, piecing together the perfect pillow combinations, only to come home and be sorely disappointed with the new spread on my sofa.

So, here are some things that have helped me delight in straightening the pillows each day, sometimes multiple times a day, because this little chore is much more fun with pretty pillows!

1.       Bookend larger/matching pillows on the sofa.

I tend to like an eclectic mix of pillows, but I’m happier with the artsy look if I have them framed in with a little order. It’s almost like making a sandwich. You can put all sorts of ingredients in the middle, but the slices of bread should match, or at least be very similar, to better hold all the artsy goodness together.

2.       When you’re getting creative in the middle of your pillow sandwich, make sure your colors/hues complement one another.

There’s a little bit of personal preference that plays into this, but also some technique involved. You can go study the color wheel, or go with your gut like I do. Just make sure that the pillows you have share either a similar tint, tone or shade. Tints are when white is added to a color; tones are when grey is added to a color; and shades are when black is added to a color. Maybe a little more information than you wanted, but basically, they should convey the same mood. You don’t want a loud obnoxious pillow next to a serene pastel.

3.       Decide on a color scheme and then find pillows within that pallet that have different textures, patterns and sizes. Using a variety of textures is my favorite way to mix things up! Florals mixed with ruffles and stripes is always a winner in my book. My cute girl hopping on the bed for an impromptu photoshoot is always a winner in my book, too!

4.       Perhaps my favorite tip: break the rules.

If you like the way it looks, then you’ve succeeded! Like anything, pillows can be a form of artistic expression, so definitely have fun with it. Something I recently have done (and I’m sure I’m not the one to come up with this), is put king-sized pillows at the heads of my girls’ twin beds. And then I put twin-sized pillows in front of the kings. It’s nice when you can layer different pillow sizes. Different shapes are always a plus, too. I eventually want to put a round pillow in place of that square one.

5.       Double Stuff!

For decorative pillows, It’s a good idea to purchase a pillow insert that is a size bigger than the pillow case itself. And for your everyday pillows that you lay your head down to sleep on, feel free to put two pillows inside the pillow case if it’s feeling a little frumpy. People (ahem, my children) may not want to lay their heads down to sleep on a double-stuffed pillow, but it’s definitely great for styling! I always get frustrated when I can’t pull the “pillows-for-sleeping” out of their slump.

6.       Mix-match your bedding sets.

Okay, this has been so fun for me! I love taking the pillow cases from a sheet set in one room (especially if it’s patterned) and pairing it with a different bedding set in another room. For example, I got a really cute striped duvet set from Ikea last summer. The duvet is still on our guest bed, but the king shams that came with that set are the ones on my girls’ beds, and the pink pillow cases that came with my girls’ sheet set, are in the guest bedroom. I suggest having some continuity in style and color throughout your home, so why not swap pillowcases and patterns from one room to the other to easily mix things up and yet still provide that continuity.

7.       Consider taking off the cookie-cutter end-pillows that came with your couch set.

I don’t know about your couches, but mine came with some extra pillows. I say ditch what isn’t necessary to the set. This will give you more room to put fun and unique pillows on your couch that reflect your style. Your sofa will look much more sophisticated! In fact, I took the end pillows off my sofa and inserted them into the floral sham above! It filled it out beautifully!

Bottom line, have fun as you try to think outside the box! I seriously mess with the pillows in my house all. the. time. There are so many possibilities for combinations, and it’s an easy way to make my home feel fresh and alive! Alright, that’s enough pillow talk for tonight! I’m off to bed!

Filing Cabinet Facelift

Do people even use filing cabinets anymore? Ours are currently looking as beautiful as ever, but I’ll admit we haven’t quite put them to use yet. But I do have plans to give each of my four kids a couple of drawers apiece for a place to save their artwork and special school projects from over the years. I think it’s kind of amusing that my oldest is now in high school and I’m just now coming up with a good system for this type of thing. At least I’m inching my way toward properly preserving their mementos!

First things first, though, I needed a landing spot for these made-over metal clunkers. I thought they would for sure end up in our great room upstairs, where we have plenty of room and our homeschooling things set up. But I don’t know if you’ve ever examined the body of a filing cabinet—they are awkward creatures!  Head on, they look slim and pretty, but if at all possible, their beastly profiles weren’t meant to be admired. What can I say, it’s often fashion over function for me, and alas, as good looking as we’d made them over, there wasn’t a single aesthetically pleasing spot for them in the biggest room in our house.

So, naturally, I found a place for them in the smallest room in our house; so small, they can only be viewed from one angle, and you know the angle: head on, baby!

Right next door to our girls’ bedroom is a charming nook of a space a bit reminiscent of Harry Potter’s cupboard closet under the Dursely’s stairs, except probably bigger… and not underneath the stairs. Maybe it’s nothing like Harry Potter’s closet, but it is a windowless dwelling with low, slanted ceilings. It used to house all of our toys, but after recognizing that the best place for the filing cabinets was in this little spot, I sent the toys to the great room and in came the filing cabinets. The once gender neutral little playroom is now a quite feminine extension of the girls’ room, and we’ve been calling it their hangout. 

“It’s not fair!” said the boys (including my sweet husband, who worried that I really wasn’t being fair by giving the girls a “second” bedroom).

I assured the boys they had full reign of their under-construction tree house, which would have appeased them, except “what about our special drawer!?”

Oh my goodness, I think I just signed myself up to makeover over the masculine version of another filing cabinet that may or may not ever get put to use! We might become the family with a filing cabinet problem; what’s worse my kids might start hoarding things because they can stuff it in a filing cabinet! What a weird problem to have! Again, do people even use filing cabinets anymore? Regardless, I think you should join my special club and go transform your filing cabinets, too, and be sure to let me know how it goes!

Here’s how we made ours pretty:

1.       Pull out the filing cabinet drawers. This was trickier than I expected, so I Youtubed it. To get them completely out, slide the drawers until you reach a stopping point, and then disengage the retaining clips by lifting them simultaneously on both sides.

2.       Next, take off the hardware. Again, trickier than I expected, but once we found the right sized wrench, we got the job done. #girlpower!

3.       Wipe everything down with a liquid deglosser! I use Klean Strip Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser in place of sanding all the time, and this stuff has lasted me for years! (It’s also probably saved me years of my life in time spent sanding!)

4.       Use Rustoleum Chalky Spraypaint in your color of choice (I used Linen White and Aged Grey) for this project, but can also vouch for the Blush Pink and Charcoal colors, too. For the handles and label holders, I used Rust-oleum Imagine Metallic Gold Spray Paint.

5.       Expect to you use A LOT of paint. Painting metal required more paint than I’ve used to cover other surfaces, but chalk paint on metal does work!

6.     Finally, after the paint has dried, spray the cabinets with Rustoleum Chalked Protective Topcoat in Matte Clear, or apply any type of chalk paint wax (this might be more cost effective). 

Prettiest Paper Stars

I’m surprised I’ve never come across a tutorial to make these beautiful, simple and inexpensive paper stars before, but am I ever glad I did! I knew the minute I saw them that I wanted to make them, and I wanted to do it before Christmas was over. In just the nick of time, on Christmas Eve Eve, my girls and I finally had a minute to sit down together and make them. And now I want to share with you just how easy and fun they are, because they really added a special touch to our Christmas decor this year.

We made both white and brown ones. The white ones looked beautiful with the paper snowflakes we hung in the bay windows, and the big brown ones looked lovely on our mantle. And get this. They are made out of paper bags! We just grabbed classic paper lunch sacks, but I’m sure any type of paper bag would work! Another perk is that aside from the bags, all you need is scissors, glue sticks, and a stapler! It really doesn’t get much simpler than that!

The first step is to grab 12 paper bags (of any color or size; you can cut the bags down shorter to make smaller ones) and divide them into three groups of four. Next, glue each set together, one on top of the other, right side up. The reason you separate the bags into groups of four is so that it’s easier to cut through them. I suppose if you had excellent scissors, you could go ahead and glue all twelve on top of each other, because that is the end goal.

But assuming you don’t have scissors with superpowers, go ahead and snip the top of the first set so that is has a triangular point to it, and then use that set as a pattern for cutting the next two sets.

After they all have a point cut out of the top, you can glue all three sets together, again, one on top of the other, face up (I emphasize the face up bit because that’s what makes the middle of the star look so beautiful; it’ll look a little wonky if you’re not glueing each bag in the same direction). The next step might be the most difficult of all: wait 10 minutes for the glue to dry! After it’s dry, go ahead and open up that beautiful star! Isn’t it just fantastic and fulfilling to create something so beautiful with such little effort!? I feel like even a kindergartener could do this!

The final step is to staple the ends together and then find the perfect spot to display them in your home! I think they could be used for so many different seasons and displays! After New Years, these lovelies might make their way upstairs to my girls’ room!

Merry Christmas!

This post will be quick, but I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas from our family! Some of my favorite Christmas memories this year were hearing Liam and Juliette sing a song for us called Friendly Beasts. It’s about some of the animals that were there for the baby Jesus at His birth. It’s the sweetest! I also loved and so appreciated when Isabella jumped in to help me make a special Christmas Eve dinner. I didn’t even realize how much I needed help until she was there! I loved making stars out of paper bags with my girls to put one last decorative touch on the house. I loved that amidst all the excitement, Charlie lost the front tooth that he’s been wiggling for months. I told him it was so neat that The Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus would be visiting us that night… just one problem, in all the hustle and bustle, the tooth fairy forgot! Just little memories that I’ll keep in my heart. Best of all, we’ve felt the extra love that abounds from this beautiful Christmas season. Life isn’t perfect, and we aren’t perfect, but the good news is that we can be perfect in Christ, something I’ve thought a lot about his past year. I hope that beyond the pretty pictures and DIYs, you know that I know that at the end of the day, none of this really matters. What matters is that we love the Lord and that we love each other. Merry Christmas!

Hello, Blackberry Cottage

As some of you may have seen on my Instagram stories, we actually did it! We painted our yellow house black… or what I thought was black. Benjamin Moore’s Black Ink color actually has a blue tone to it. While we toyed with the idea of painting the house ourselves (some friends even loaned us their commercial sprayer), some blessings came our way in the form of a great deal to hire it out, and we just couldn’t pass it up. Plus, reality set in as to what a huge project doing it ourselves would have been, which was asking a lot of my hubby, who’s already slammed as it is.

BEFORE
AFTER!

I literally felt sick with both nerves and excitement as we watched the painters go at the south side of our house first. My initial thought was, it’s JET black! I began to panic and wondered if our choice was too bold. But as more and more of the house was covered, and especially as they worked on the front of the house, it began to look exactly as I’d hoped, a soft, classy black (or navy–I can’t believe how navy the house is looking in these photos!). Either way, it’s a rich neutral color that will look stunning year-round, and I’m especially looking forward to seeing it snow-capped this winter!

I’ve wanted to paint our home since the moment we purchased it three years ago, and I’ve actively stressed and stewed over swatches for all those years, too. As hard as it was for me to be patient, I’m now grateful I had the luxury to research and fret over it. It bought me time to discover the online tools you can use to try out different colors based on a digital photo of your house, which was beyond helpful, and I didn’t have a clue anything like that existed three years ago.

I’ve learned it’s not as simple as picking your favorite color or admiring someone else’s house in a particular color; it’s also about choosing a color that will bring out the best in your house. It’s kind of like how people have colors that bring out their beautiful skin tone and eyes; I’m convinced houses have colors that compliment them, too. For example, I always thought we’d eventually paint our house a grey-blue or white, but when I played around with those colors online, it just didn’t look right. When I tried “black,” our home came to life and looked significantly upgraded. I’m both thrilled and relieved we love it so much. Whew.

That said, the hue changes throughout the day depending on the lighting. Sometimes it looks like it’s a deep and dark navy, but on a clear day it looks like a true soft black (my favorite). Either way, I’m still pinching myself. Our 20-year-old house looks pretty much new! We just need to finish the demolition we started on our columns and replace them with something different, as well as fix up our porch. And then it’ll be off to landscaping. We’re so much closer!

We’re still not quite sure what we’ll do with the base of the columns, maybe some woodwork that matches the trim on our front door? I’m also considering spray painting our light fixtures a brass color so that they stand out more? Thoughts?

Oh, and I have to share some of the feedback I’ve gotten, which has mostly been positive, but I got a real kick out of a text my neighbor sent me:

“I love the new house color! It looks striking and very polished. Jane is crushed. Her favorite color is yellow.”

Jane is my neighbor’s 5-year-old daughter, and it made me laugh that she was so upset that we painted over her favorite color. It also reminded me that we’re all so different in our tastes. Blank Ink isn’t for everyone, but at some point we have to set aside the opinions of others and just go for it!

Speaking of going for it, now that we have an official house color, I can finally name this baby! I LOVE naming things. For now, I’d like to welcome you to Blackberry Cottage! I know our house probably doesn’t fit the technical definition of a cottage, but like I said–going for it, anyway!

A Bat Party for our Birthday Boy!

Until we had our October baby, Charlie, I wasn’t over the moon about Halloween. We celebrated it, for sure, but it wasn’t my favorite, especially in the decorating department. I had a hard time getting behind an orange and black color scheme and didn’t like the idea of spooky decor. 

Fast forward several years and here we are celebrating said October “baby’s” 6th birthday! Prepping for his Halloween-inspired party made me realize how much I’ve grown to love this fun holiday, especially the decorating (maybe because this year I actually gave it a heartfelt go)! Add to that candy, costumes and carving pumpkins… and what’s not to love? I don’t know why it’s taken me so long!

My daughter Juliette and I had so much fun making ghosts and cutting out bats to hang around the house. My mom and I spent part of a “Girl Power” project day pulling out the handful of decorations I had on hand and just getting into the spirit of the fall season.

For Charlie’s bat-themed party, my oldest daughter, Isabella, baked the cake and planned all the party games, and we just had a great time with it. As my kids get older, I can’t help but recognize how numbered these little parties are. It’s so worth the effort to see their excitement, and it’s extra fun these days because my girls love getting in on the party planning and are so helpful!

Below are some details about how prepped for the party—nothing too novel, but I’m sharing nonetheless!

For the bats, we just used this template and black construction paper and card stock. For the ghosts, we cut up a white bed sheet and wrapped it around some felt snowballs the kids got for Christmas last year, and then tied twine around the ghost’s necks.

For our fireplace mantle, my mom gave an old outdoor lantern a face lift by taking out the broken glass and spray painting it a chalky charcoal color. While we were visiting one of our flower shops, I noticed another broken black lantern that had been taken off the shop floor and took it home and fixed it for our mantle, too. I stacked some books with fall colors in their spines and topped them with a pumpkin; I took apart an old wreath I was ready to toss out and used some of the wheat foliage to fill a vase; I genuinely just put to use little things I already had for the mantle.

For Charlie’s party, we bought some balloons and turned the black ones into bats by taping these wings onto them. We filled Dollar-store ghost balloons with helium, but if I were to do it again, I would’ve just taken a sharpie to plain white balloons myself because the Dollar Store ones had a distracting logo on them that almost made the ghosts look like they had a mustache–ha! We also raided the dollar section of Target for party games like Pin the Spider on the Web and Bingo.

For another activity, the kids decorated homemade haunted graham cracker houses. There’s an excellent tutorial from Mel’s Kitchen Café about how to use melted white sugar to put the graham cracker houses together—life changing! If I were to do it again, I’d make the houses less uniform and more asymmetrical and funky (aka HAUNTED), but we were running out of graham crackers. I’d also get some more festive candy for the decorating. Our houses really didn’t look too much different than a gingerbread house you’d make at Christmas, but oh well! That’s what we get for throwing that idea together at the last minute. This was easily the kids’ favorite activity and kept them busy for a good half hour!

And that’s about it! We had so much fun with this and already can’t wait to celebrate Halloween–and especially Charlie–next year!

The Perfect Cookie

I lived the latter half of my childhood in Germany where kitchens are generally small. As a girl who had little interest in cooking and baking to begin with, it didn’t bother me that there usually wasn’t room for me in there. When I got to college with minimal culinary skills (I could microwave a quesadilla!), I was the cause of some good laughs in our apartment!

The kitchen episode I’ve yet to live down is the time I unwrapped sticks of butter and attempted the difficult task of stuffing them into measuring cups to get the desired amount the recipe called for. I had no idea that half a stick of butter was the same as half a cup, let alone that there are measurement markings on each stick of butter! So, you better believe I felt like I’d achieved domestic goddess status when about 10 years into our marriage, I not only knew how to measure butter properly, but I had finally figured out how to bake beautiful and tasty chocolate chip cookies! I don’t know if you’d agree, but it’s not as easy as it looks!

So, here is my tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe that my kids give two thumbs up, I know by heart and always double (see? arrived!). And my #1 tip for anyone still in the poke-your-eyes-out stage of mastering this All-American treat: don’t stuff butter into measuring cups to measure it!

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts toasted and chopped (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl and set aside.

Next, cream the butter (if the butter is not at room temperature, I just stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds) and then beat on high speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add the granulated and brown sugars and continue beating until the mixture doesn’t feel too gritty. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until just blended.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed or stir until just blended. Finally, add the chocolate chips!

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and equally space 12 balls onto large ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies until they begin to brown around the edges, about 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool briefly by setting the pans on wire racks before using a spatula to transfer them directly onto the racks to cool completely.

Bloopers

At the end of a productive “Girl Power” project day, my mom and I decided to wrap up time day together by hanging a piece of decorative art that my youngest sister Lissie helped me revive a few weeks ago. With a fresh coat of linen white chalk paint, it was ready for its new home above the fireplace in my bathroom. With all the picture hanging we’ve done lately, you’d think I’d know better than to cut corners, but tired, I suggested we just eyeball it this time.

Sure enough, as we stepped back to inspect, we could see that it sat slightly slanted. Instead of poke another hole in the wall, in the same spirit of winging it, I next suggested we just stick something on top of the left nail so it would sit a hair higher…something like a piece of cotton ball! I quickly grabbed one out of a nearby drawer and climbed on top of the fireplace to place it. But it wasn’t enough, so I started stuffing more and more cotton on top of the nail until the darn thing hung straight. Mission accomplished?

We then proceeded to admire and gush about how well the cotton blended with the linen white chalk paint. You can’t even tell! But It didn’t take long for my feelings of “ta-da!” to change into embarrassment. Laughing, I turned to my mom and said in my best presenter voice, “And there you have it– Style Me Marie!” This sent us into hysterics, laughing so hard our insides hurt and our eyes were streaming. We have so much fun together on these project days, even when I’m over here trying to cut corners! (Don’t normally recommend that, by the way! But not taking yourself too seriously? Highly recommend.)

Styling Your Home with Family Portraits

I remember the moment I wanted to become a photographer. I was just a girl and our family was enjoying a dinner get together with friends who had five sweet and darling daughters. The kids naturally headed upstairs to play where the bedrooms and toys were, and that’s when I saw the most gorgeous picture on the wall. In this large picture, five sisters were wearing white dresses, barefoot and holding hands in a circle. It was a breathtaking photo that perfectly captured their inner light, beauty and innocence. Awestruck, I said to myself, Someday I want to take pictures of my kids like that!

I’m thrilled to say that I made that dream of mine come true! I’m grateful to have learned how to take beautiful pictures of my children and of other families, too. I’ve grown so much in my 10 years as a photographer, and I’d love to share some quick insights with you. With a little education in lighting, outfits, posing, printing and displaying your photographs, you’ll be more prepared for picture day, improve your own photography skills, and finally, be inspired to style your home with some of your family portraits!

LIGHTING

The first thing you should know is that lighting trumps everything. It doesn’t matter how fancy your outfit is, how breathtaking your location is, or how smiley your children are; if the lighting isn’t right, none of that matters. On the flip side, even if your kids are pouty and wearing rags in the ghetto, if the lighting is right, those photos could be works of art.

My quick go-to tips for natural light are first, make a great effort to shoot on a clear day a few hours before sunset; second, if you can’t shoot a few hours before sunset on a clear day and you’re dealing with harsh mid-day sunshine, find some open shade. Open shade is shade that isn’t created by a roof. If you’re standing underneath something, you’re not in open shade. The side of a building is often a place where you’d find open shade.

If taking pictures on a clear day isn’t an option, an overcast day is the next best thing. But even on an overcast day, I’d try and find “open shade” or shoot near reflective surfaces (a sandy beach, rocks, asphalt, for example) so that you can get some directional light. Without directional light, pictures tend to look flat and lifeless. Finally, if you’re shooting with natural light indoors, position your subject at a 45- degree angle to a window that doesn’t have harsh sunlight coming directly through. North facing windows are ideal.

OUTFITS

Here’s the thing about outfits; start with mom’s outfit because if mom looks good, everybody looks good. As irrational as it might sound, it’s just the truth! And yes, you want your outfits to be lovely and artsy (layers and textures are key), but this probably won’t require you to go get new everything. Start with what you have and build on that. It can be really overwhelming and expensive to purchase everything new and it would be such a shame if you didn’t have enough time, energy or money left over to find the right accessories because those can absolutely make the photo! For example, a neck scarf, a fashionable suede hat, and vests on little boys are some of my personal favorites. Also, chunky knits, denim, ruffles and neutral midtones are your best friend.

That said, everyone doesn’t need an accessory and less and understated is often more. You want it to look effortless even if getting everything together didn’t feel effortless. It’d be wise snap a picture with your phone of everyone in their clothes… or even the clothes lined up next to each other on the couch to see if anything is too distracting or hard on the eyes. I’m sure your photographer would be glad to give you feedback before picture day as well. Also break things up. Not everyone should be in jeans and a top. Sprinkle in dresses, skirts, overalls and the like. 

POSING

Every photographer’s posing approach is a little different, but I tend to do a test shot on one individual and make sure my lighting, setting and surroundings are right. Once I’m confident in those things, I then gather the whole family in. I give them loose instructions. I often put mom and dad in the middle and then tell the other children where to stand. From there I tell them to link up somehow, letting them do what feels natural to them. If it doesn’t look right, I tweak from there.

After that I play lots of games with them that encourage them to connect with one another. For example, one of my favorite things to do is ask the parents to tell me a funny or sweet story about each of the kids. Sometimes I ask the kids to tell me their favorite thing about their dad or mom and vice versa. It loosens everyone up and gets some really genuine expressions out. Candid is king when it comes to family portraits, especially when it comes to displaying them in your home.

PRINTING

            Printing matters. Your photographer will spend a lot of time making sure the color, contrast, saturation, exposure, highlights and shadows are perfect, and they’ll have spent a lot of time and money on calibrating their monitors so that what they see on their screen is accurate. Nothing is more frustrating than to have the images printed at a poor quality printer or for the colors to be all off and wonky. Print your pictures where your photographer recommends–it’s usually not even that much more expensive! My go-to printer is Color Inc.

DISPLAYING

Finally, the fun part! Displaying those works of art in your home. I used to think the bigger the better, and there is a place for that, but be careful not to overdo it. If you are going to enlarge a picture, make sure it’s worth blowing up. It should be breathtaking and show-stopping if it’s going to be big (in my opinion). I’m all about artsy and candid as opposed to stiff and formal.

The more I’ve settled into my own style, I really love a good gallery wall, both the uniform kind and the eclectic. I have a uniform black and white gallery wall, but I also have an eclectic gallery where I mix in photographs with art prints, and I also mix color with black and white. I also like to remove the glass from the picture frame so that my pictures don’t have a glassy glare to them. Outside of that, I love to sprinkle timeless photos in little frames throughout my house. They bring me lots of joy, and I hope my insights as a photographer will help improve your family photos, as well as inspire you to style them throughout your home!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Farewell, Yellow House

After convincing Will we should paint the house (ourselves!), I discovered the Personal Color Viewer Tool on the Benjamin Moore website. You can upload a picture of any surface you’d like to visualize in a different color. The end result is a bit sloppy, but it’s given me valuable insight as to what our home would look in white, grey and black, and the hundreds of other colors I tried out! Seriously, it’s addicting! I didn’t waste anytime time plugging in white for my siding because I’ve always wanted a white house, but wasn’t sure it’d look good on this house… what do you think, could I pull it off?

Chantilly Lace

I wish I could add shutters to break up the white, but there isn’t enough room around most of the windows. If we were to choose white, I might add a few flower boxes to the two lower windows, but we’re about to add flower boxes to the adjacent barn. Is there such thing as too many flower boxes? I’d like to think not, especially since we’re florists! At the very least, adding the landscaping we’re hoping to get in this summer would surely soften up all that white.

Chantilly Lace with Wrought Iron Garage

Before discovering this tool, I thought for certain I’d decide to play it “safe” and choose a light-to-mid-tone bluish grey color, but I don’t know that I’m feeling the grey on this house… to me, it cheapens the look.

Smoke Grey
Sweatshirt Grey

After experimenting with lots of colors, I’m quite tempted to go dark, which feels a little scary to me! I’m seriously considering Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron (the color we chose for the French doors throughout the interior of our house), but I don’t know, Black Ink is awfully pretty, too. Here’s a little inspiration photo for the dark look I love:

Which of these dark colors would you choose? Or should I go white??

Black Ink
Wrought Iron
Hale Navy