Around the House

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Row 1 // paint samples for half bath / Justin installing plank wall / new mirror for bath (homegoods)
Row 2 // me using the nail gun / office closet shelves in progress / me helping with plank wall installation
Row 3 // new black table for kitchen breakfast nook / plank wall / new light fixture for half bath vanity

Half Bath Inspiration

Monday, January 28, 2013

Currently, we're working on our half bath on the main floor. Here are a few of the photos that we're using as inspiration for the space. Can't wait to share photos when we're done, but it will be a few more weeks!

Garden and Gun | picture #12

Lately

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I was recently asked if Justin and I have any current projects we're working on? I almost laughed. Of course we have projects!

Lately, we've been working on the...
  • half bath on the main level.
    • Justin has been re-working the pipes for the water so they're in the wall and not coming through the vanity.
    • I've scoured pinterest for inspiration for the half bath
    • We bought a mirror at homegoods that we LOVE
    • I've sent Justin a bunch of links for potential industrial wall lights
    • I am resisting buying grey hand towels since we're not even close to being complete
    • I have been disappointed that we haven't found the perfect vanity
    • Justin has been sending me links for legs to purchase so we can make the vanity ourselves
    • We looked at Lowes for the sink we want (of course, they didn't have it in stock)
    • Justin is planning on working on the wooden planks that will go on the accent wall this weekend
    • We bought a soap dispenser at the barn sales so I wouldn't go home empty handed
  • office
    • We painted the room grey and added horizontal stripes for the accent wall
    • I have scoured the web for pretty flush mount light fixtures
    • We started painting the closet
    • I started hinting around how much I needed shelves in the closet
    • We bought shelves at Home Depot
    • We realized the shelves would not work, so we went back to Home Depot
    • Since we had company last weekend, we shoved everything back in the closet until we had time to work on it again.
    • Pulled everything back out of the closet.
    • Justin bought the wood to make the shelves and he started painting them last weekend.
    • We keep saying we're going to put the shelves up each evening after work. Maybe tonight.
  • kitchen
    • In the initial stages of seriously planning the kitchen. Trying to determine if we should open it up to the main living/dining space (which requires knocking down part of a load-bearing wall) or to just leave it as is.
So that's what we're up to these days in the house. Hopefully here in a few weeks we will have some photos to share!

Barn Sales & Antiques

Monday, January 21, 2013

One of my favorite things to do in the DC Metro area is to go to the barn sales and antique shops that are in Maryland and Leesburg, Virginia. I am not quite sure how I came to find them, but they are quite incredible! There are three main places that we go to: Chartreuse & Co., Old Lucketts Store, and On a Whim

Our first time going to the barn sale at Chartreuse & Co. really inspired us to start refinishing/painting/making furniture. All three places have their own flair, but they all contain shabby chic, industrial-styled, vintage, and re-purposed furniture and accessories. 

Th

Living Room Reveal

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Below you'll see the before and after photos of our living and dining room. The list of what we've done in the room isn't that big, but I think there's quite a dramatic difference between the two. Here's the list:
  1. Removed wallpaper and painted walls and trim
  2. Changed light fixture over table
  3. Replaced blinds
  4. Moved in our stuff
I think this just shows how it doesn't take much to change a room, so when you go house hunting it's best to keep in mind that a room will look completely different just by adding different furniture and a coat of paint. (these aren't the best photos, so one day I'll switch them out!)

By the way, please check out the new profile page. Click on the link below the header titled "About."


Our Wedding Invitations

Monday, January 14, 2013


One of my very first personal design projects were mine and Justin's wedding invitations. My mom thought I was crazy as I added a ton of work to my plate by deciding to design and assemble our invitations. However, I didn't want the traditional ivory invitations and I wasn't willing to pay for the designer invitations that were more my style.  Plus, stationery design is my dream, so I figured this was a great opportunity to put my design to good use! I decided to go with a floral motif incorporating our two colors - dark purple (lapis) and chartreuse. I was thrilled with how they turned out, and in the end, I was able to get the style I wanted without paying an exorbitant amount of money!

**In case you were wondering... I will be posting more on our house projects later this week. I keep forgetting to take updated photos of our living room!


Adoption Celebration

Friday, January 11, 2013

I only have one older sister and she means the world to me. My family moved a lot as a kid, so she was my one constant friend through moves to a different country, different cities, different schools, etc. Both my sister and her husband are those people who you know will have several kids and be wonderful parents. Several years ago, they discovered pregnancy wasn't going to come as easy for them as they had hoped. It was heart-wrenching to watch her go through such disappointment, so when they announced they were adopting a four-year-old my heart was overjoyed. I immediately knew that I wanted to give her a beautiful shower to honor her, celebrate this new little boy, and give others the opportunity to do the same.

Now I will admit that finding ideas for an adoption party for an older child is much more difficult than a traditional baby shower.  Even coming up with a name for the party was challenging. As far as the details, my mom and grandma made all of the food and I was responsible for the invitations, decor and design.

The Details:
  • White Dishes - I brought all of my white serving platters to use for the food
  • Photo album - created a photo album using photos I had taken of their family
  • Picture frames - displayed a couple of white frames with family photos
  • Toothpick Flags - attached color coordinated washi tape to toothpicks and trimmed edges
  • Bunting - used scraps from the invitation envelope liner to create bunting to go across the table.
  • Tablecloth - my grandma used a plain white tablecloth and then I added a navy and white striped piece of fabric to cover the top. This created a nice contrast between the white plates and the stripes. 
  • Nail Art with Initials - my husband really wanted to make something for the party, so we created a frame that used nails to form his initial.  (Tutorial coming soon)
Overall, the party turned out great and I was quite pleased with how it all came together! 

 Bottom Left: family photos (smudged for security purposes), invitation, photo album | Bottom Right: DIY Nail Art

What I do for a Living

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I recently had a conversation with someone who had no idea what I do for a living, so I thought I would just put it out there that I am a graphic designer.  I didn't exactly go to school for design, although I did take a couple of classes in Photoshop and InDesign. The real learning began during my first job out of college. My role as a Communications Coordinator gave me a wide range of experience in the field of communications, including writing articles, interviewing people, writing press releases, updating the website, and designing a variety of promotional materials.

Like most things in life, it's always obvious what you don't enjoy. So, I quickly decided that journalism and PR were not going to be my career of choice. However, graphic design was one of my favorite aspects of the job. If you had the opportunity to look at all of the pieces I designed during the two years I worked there, you would definitely notice the progression of my work. My boss and I used to laugh about how different the first issue of our newsletter was compared to the last issue when it came to the layout and design. (I'll have to try to find them and post them later!)

Three jobs later and I somehow still have the same title of Communications Coordinator, but now I'm at a church with over 3,000 people.  My job is multi-faceted, but I spend the vast majority of my time designing. I get to create promotional materials for a wide range of events and a variety of audiences. I've definitely gained a lot of experience and constantly am growing as a designer. 

Ultimately, I'm learning that I have a passion for design in general. I think as you read my blog, you'll notice the trend of home design, graphic design, and my love for anything that's designed well (storefronts, branding, packaging, wrapped Christmas gifts, notebooks with fun patterns, and pretty stationery). I am certain that design of some variety will be a part of my future, although I don't plan on only doing graphic design and I'm definitely hoping it will come with a new job title! :)

Want to see some of my work? Click here to go to my portfolio on flickr.
(Disclaimer: I have it on my to do list to create a "real" online portfolio, but so far it has seemed a little daunting with my limited html skills. Hopefully sometime this year I will finally launch one... of course, I'll keep you posted!)

2013

Monday, January 7, 2013


Here’s to a new year. For several years starting a blog was on my list for the year, and it never came to fruition. In 2012, the blog began.  Although, it was a slow start, I was pretty proud of myself to just get it started. As much as I love to read blogs, I had never really given much thought to how much work it really takes to posts several times each week. At times, it truly felt more like a job than a hobby. My goal this year is to really work on defining what my blog is about and enjoy this way of sharing my passions, interest and projects with you all. I hope you’ll join me this year as I continue this blogging journey. Happy New Year!
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