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It’s beginning to look a lot like fall around these parts! I have so many decorating ideas floating around in my head! I promise Mr. Fancy Pants to keep the glitter to a minimum. Sometimes though, when the holidays roll around, a little glitter or sequins is 100% necessary!

Anyway, I’ve had my eye on these two pictures as inspiration for a while now.  Sunday afternoon I created my own version of both!  I saw the pine cone garland last year I think.  I never got around to it, but the idea was held up in the decorating depths back in the back of my brain.

Pine Cone garland

The instructions on Twig and Thistle make the project seem so easy.  I am happy to say that it actually was.  The only change I would recommend would be a pair of crafting gloves.  My garland strand has 15 pine cones on it and by cone #8 my hands were getting a little sore!  You can see the original post about the garland (including directions and materials) here.

I had also seen this idea for a fireplace on none other than Pinterest.  I actually just spotted this a few weeks ago (thankfully) because I haven’t had a fireplace until we moved to Portland!  This one would have been another that made it into the decorating vault!

Pumpkin filled fire place!

I took both of these ideas and put my own spin on things.  I love the pumpkin filled fire place, however I didn’t want painted gourds.  We used the pumpkins we snagged at the pumpkin patch this weekend to fill our fireplace.  I also used burlap for my garland strand instead of ribbon.  I think it adds a more fall/rustic touch AND it matches the bow on my front door wreath!

Pine cones on the hearth, pumpkins in the fire place! It’s fall y’all!
Close up shot of the fireplace & garland
Up close and personal

I’m not sure if I wrote about my wreath last year.  If not, I made a wreath out of dried corn husks.  Other than the fact that my hands were sore for a week afterwards, it was a great project!  My favorite part about it is that it’s re-useable.  I pulled out my fall wreath the other day and its still looking great!  I gave it a new bow this year and had to re-wet a few of the pieces to reshape them a bit, but other than that it’s looking great!

Here she is! Awaking from winter/spring/summer slumber inside the wreath container!
TA-DA! Ready to welcome guests!

I have a few more elements left to add.  I need to photograph our porch.  It’s looking mighty fall-ish if I say so myself.  I have red/orange and yellow mums planted and a host of pumpkins on the steps.  I put my Round Top Collection pumpkins in a planter by the front door.  I love their stuff.  Mr. Fancy Pants does not.  Ha!

I purchased a runner for our dining room table made of burlap (can you tell I’m really in to burlap these days??).  It is a flat runner with a ruffle on each side.  I can’t wait to see it!  I have a few more pumpkins to spread out here and there and that may be the gist of it for this year.  I feel like the house doesn’t need as much “help” bringing in fall when it actually feels like fall outside.  Ha!  I have a few other things from last year that I probably won’t use but I’ve put out most of my decor already.  I have to ease Mr. Fancy Pants into the holiday season.  Before he knows it, Christmas decor will have thrown up all over the place.  And I do NOT hold back!

Happy Fall!

It arrived.  And it’s perfect.  I had a minor freak out when I saw it in the hallway. The way it was packaged made it look like they had shipped me the wrong one–which would have made me so upset because I bought the last one they had!  No worries though, it’s here.  It’s lovely.  It’s awaiting a floor to grace in PDX!

Here she is in all of her glory!

Clearly would be too big for our current apartment. It fills almost our entire living room.

Up close and personal. Thank you Overstock.com!

Considering my inconsistent posts, I imagine I haven’t posted about our big move.  Mr. Fancy Pants was accepted into Portland State’s Art and Social Practice program for graduate school. SO, come July we’re packing up the homestead and moving to Portland!  Finding a house has been a headache thus far, but we have found one that is perfect…it’s just a matter of getting it.  (long story)  Basically, it’s just a waiting game right now.  While I’m on that note, here’s the house we’re trying to rent (ISN’T SHE LOVELY!? I’m in love.)

The most beautiful house in Portland

In any case, I’m doing some serious furniture shopping in the interim.  We have lived in a 1 or 2 bedroom shoebox since we got married and own very little furniture.  So, we’re saving all of our extra pennies to purchase and/or make some new furniture to fill a house!  (expect lots of furniture posts between now and then.  Ha)

I’ve been on the lookout for some rugs for the potential new place.  We’ve had our eyes on a kilim rug and I came across this site (kilim.com)  This site has the most beautiful, authentic kilim rugs I’ve ever seen.  I would also have to sell our first-born child to afford one.  I fell in love with this one off of their site.

Kilim Rug from kilim.com

Needless to say I cannot afford that one.  BUT fear not my friends.  This is where my affinity for online shopping comes in handy.  What we like about kilim rugs are the amazing patterns and colors.  The geometric shapes are right up William’s alley but they pull on my homemaker heart-strings too so BAM a Bryant compromise!  Just this morning I snagged the LAST ONE of these from overstock.com.  It was meant to be.

The rug that will find its home beneath my dining room table in PDX.

I will post more about our plans for our dining room later on, but this will be perfect paired with grey walls and the industrial/modern dining room table that Mr. Fancy Pants is building (yes, building).  In the meantime, I will be waiting for this beauty to arrive at my doorstep so that I can take it down to our storage unit to await its ride out West!  I have checked that item off of my growing “to want” list (not to be confused with a “to do” list…they are very different).

"To want" list

I have taken a decorating hiatus in the past few months.  Any of you who have decorated a home before know that it’s fun for a while and then you get to a point when it becomes a chore.  Your ideas and limitations for and with the space begin to out number your funds and that’s my clue to take a step back.  Fortunately, my breaking point came at a time when I was pretty pleased with the state of the place so I just deemed it ‘finished’.  That said, I still have a few things up my sleeves.  Namely artwork.

A few weeks ago, I was cleaning one evening and happened upon the Ovation Channel on TV(one of my new favorites).  What caught my eye about it while flipping through our guide was that the show was about Phantom of the Opera–my all time favorite musical.  It was called Behind the Mask: The Making of the Phantom of the Opera (read more here).  I, as well as William, became engrossed in this show!  I had never heard or read anything about the production and drama leading up to the debut of one of the most successful Broadway musicals of all time.  The show followed the original Broadway production, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber for his wife Sarah Brightman from the writing of the scores to casting to opening night in London’s West End in 1986.  Surprisingly, I learned that the story of the Phantom and young Christine ironically mirrored Webber and Brightman’s relationship and she was his muse in composing the score.

All of that to say, there were several interviews from Harold ‘Hal’ Prince, the director of the musical, during the show and I found him very intriguing and I soon found out why.  Immediately following Behind the Mask, there was a documentary on Harold.  I have always had a deep love and appreciation for the theater, though I will be the first to admit I don’t know that much about the major players. Clearly.  As I watched this documentary I quickly realized that Harold Prince had directed about 90% of my favorite plays and musicals.  This man is a genius.

Some of my favorites of his: Damn Yankees, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Sweeney Todd, Phantom of the Opera, Cabaret, A Little Night Music, and Follies.

In all of the interviews with Harold during his documentary, they had him positioned in front of a wall that was filled with posters from all of his productions (I’m finally getting around to my point…) which started William and I thinking.  My parents, who are also huge theater buffs, have collected a poster from all of the shows they have seen on Broadway.  They are all framed and line an entire hallway in the home that I grew up in.  I love the idea of this, however, William hates the design and artwork in half of the posters.  In the documentary, Harold was in front of the original Broadway posters whose artwork was AMAZING!  William and I decided that looking for the vintage Broadway posters would be an awesome mix of our interests.  Here are some that we are looking at to continue the decoration of our walls in our apartment:

Show Boat

Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

West Side Story

The Music Man

The Pajama Game

Follies

Fiddler on the Roof

There are more that I like better than these designs but I cannot seem to find them.  My search is about to turn to ebay though I avoid ebay like the plague.  Oh well!

Like I said a few posts ago, I’ve been collecting decorating pictures of all kinds for a long time.  One of these days, Mr. Fancy Pants and I will own our own home and I’ll get to put all of those magazine clips to use!  Last night as I was reading some of my regular blogs, I found a link to Urban Grace.  Several months ago she featured the kitchen makeover of a friend of hers from college–they both went to Auburn University, my alma mater’s rival, I’ll try not to hold it against them–Anne Turner Carroll who worked for Cottage Living Magazine and now as the Associate Decorating Editor for Southern Living Magazine.  As I scrolled through the picture I fell in love.  The style that she chose for her kitchen is very similar to my own, an appreciate of classic and vintage themes with a nod towards industrial and modern touches.

Here are the before and after photos.  Everyone take a look at these, my own recreation of this beautiful room will be in the works somewhere down the road…also, I found the details of her kitchen renovation (i.e. cabinet and wall colors, where she purchased hardware, countertop details, etc. etc. if for some reason you’d like to know!)

Anne's kitchen before the renovations began. Loving her oak cabinets and green formica!

Before shot looking into the laundry/pantry

Before picture from the dining room. The small cutout in the wall doesn't do much for the room--what she does with it REALLY opens up the room.

And the progress begins!  She took the cabinets and raised them to the ceiling, removed the tiles from the back splash, added crown molding and paneling on the ceiling (which I love).

Progress!

Here are the after photos.  Things I love the most:

  • Paneling on the ceiling
  • Shelf added onto the back splash
  • The height of the cabinets
  • Light fixtures–industrial edge purchased from Restoration Hardware
  • Cabinet hardware–also from Restoration Hardware
  • Wood plank countertops–SO beautiful
  • Two toned cabinets
  • Cut out in the wall into the dining room

Kitchen after the renovation. I love the copper and bronze accents against the earth tones.

Iwill say, I wrote about my yellow Kitchen Aid mixture a few posts ago and it still is one of my favorite possessions, however, the above picture makes me want to buy some copper spray paint!  Ha!

There she is, Anne Turner Carroll

The shelf in between the cabinets and the counter top is probably my favorite addition to the kitchen. So unique and practical.

Excellent view of the light fixtures.

View to the laundry/pantry.

My favorite picture! So incredibly beautiful.

I get so excited when I find things like this for inspiration.  But then again it just reminds me that I’m a long way away from having a home to recreate them in!  Oh well, I think it’ll make the that time even better when it finally comes.  Thanks to Anne Turner Carroll for your wonderful ideas and our look inside your lovely home. I’m anxious to see what my own adaptations result in!

Here are some random pieces that I love that would work wonderfully in a kitchen like the above–sadly I could hardly afford any of them!

Light fixtures (going to need to save up for something like this!): http://www.restorationhardware.com/rh/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod1031007&navAction=jump&navCount=2

Cabinet pulls: http://www.restorationhardware.com/rh/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod1278090&navCount=6

Dining table and chairs:

http://www.americanfurnishings.com/tables/?id=3

http://www.westelm.com/products/g063/?pkey=cdining-tables-chairs

So we’ve lived in our new apartment for going on 4 months but I cannot seem to remember to put up pictures of it.  Finally, I’m at the point that I pretty much like the way everything looks so we’ll have ourselves a little apartment tour.  My best friend Kate has been waiting patiently for pictures of the place so I am posting this for her…sorry I can’t seem to remember to do this Katherine!

Our old place was 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with a pretty sizable balcony, ALL in 682 square feet.  No, that’s not a typo.  It was the perfect first home for us though. In the new place, we traded the extra bathroom and bedroom for a study, a walk-in closet, and MORE SPACE! There are a few things I miss about the old place but by and large, our new home is a step up!

I’ll give some commentary through the pictures, but enjoy the tour!  And come visit me KWM!

This is our entry hall. Shout out to Frank with our print hanging on the wall. The study/guest bedroom is on the left.

A few things have changed in this picture since I took it.  I bought a really neat lamp from IKEA for the side table on the left next to the couch and I found a new place for the mail that was always on the edge of the counter.  Ha!  Drove me nuts.

Kitchen, Living Room, and Pantry (little skinny white door)

Kitchen. PLEASE don't judge me and the mess on the counter. We're in the process of doing the dishes from tonight's dinner!

Infamous shelving unit from IKEA. Best purchase we've made as a married couple!

You’ll see my bird seed in the above picture in a bowl we got as a wedding gift.  I wanted to put some sort of dried herb in it to smell good but I quickly realized it was going to cost a fortune to fill it.  So I bought some scented pine oil from Whole Foods and filled it with bird seed and tossed in the oil.  It smells great and is topped off with the antique grain scoop.  It’s like our own little Zen garden–people cannot help but mess with it.

Couch/living area with William's "man chair" from IKEA (again, we have a new lamp instead of the grain stalks on the side table)

Next is our bedroom.  I love the color we chose for the accent wall though the picture doesn’t do it justice.  The wall color is a grayish teal/blue.  It really brings out the colors of the bedding and the dark wood.  Love it.

Bed and Berkley prints!

View of the bedroom. On the dresser is now my African Mask plant in an ecru pot (beautiful) and our sweet TV is mounted on the wall on the left with some additional tree prints from etsy. We love the wildlife apparently.

This is really for my friend Kate. Only she'll be proud of how I organized the laundry room. And I don't have pictures of the bathroom, it's awkwardly shaped and hard to photographed.

One of my favorite parts of our new place is our balcony.  Though it is MUCH smaller than our old balcony (we had to get rid of our table and chairs), it gets so much more sunlight so William let me take it over for my mini garden!  If I could have a garden on a balcony I would, but this is a close second.

Pretty. Just pretty.

View the other direction on our balcony.

Last but not least, I am still not thrilled with this room.  But it’s long and narrow and I am coming to peace with the fact that it may just always look awkward.  But I still have some ideas for it.  My computer is in this room which is nice to have my own little desk, but it gets lonely in there while writing blog posts.  Someday Mr. Fancy Pants and I will have a shared work space for blogging, drawing, creating, sewing, etc.  That day is clearly not today.  BUT, we love having guests and have two beds tucked away in here…so come on over y’all!

View 1 of the guest room/study

View #2. I do love the cut out in the wall that looks into the kitchen

Now y’all come and visit!

So I’m sure you’ve caught on by now that I am a genuine book nerd.  Not to say I don’t love to socialize with real people outside of the written characters that I love to befriend, but there’s a certain charm about fictional characters that I sometimes miss in people.

Naturally, I love bookshelves too, well just shelving in general.  Mr. Fancy Pants and I have some great book shelves from IKEA in our apartment to store all of our fun things. I hope to someday fill it completely with books, but for now, I do what I can.

The Fancy Pants' bookshelves

I’m always on the search for new decorating ideas. Not that I’m going to start a complete decorating overhaul in our apartment any time soon but someday in the far off future, I would love to own our own home!  When that day comes, I’m going to be ready! I have all sorts of ideas stored all over the place…now it’s just a matter of finding the funds to complete all of my dreams.  Ha!

Check out these awesome bookshelf ideas that I’ve been collecting.

One day I will have shelves with a ladder! I think ever since I saw Beauty and the Beast as a little girl I've been enamored by ladders on wheels!

Ok I know these aren’t bookshelves but they are shelving of sorts.  For a lover of mason jars and organization…what could be better!?  How awesome is this?  This makes me want to eat only food from a garden or farmers market and store it all in mason jars. Not sure why but that’s the emotion it triggers!  This picture actually reminds me of my friend Rachel.  She is a fellow lover of all things vintage and loves mason jars.  When we were in college we lived together for a year and I can’t even tell you what all uses she found for those little jars.  It was truly a talent ladies and gents.

Lovely Pantry

I think this one is one of my favorites.  How incredibly creative.

Crate grid wall unit

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