Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A little Holiday tour

Hi and welcome to our little Christmas home tour. Christmas is so magical.  I love the natural d├ęcor and the lights.  Garland makes everything look so beautiful. I prefer thing pretty simple and natural. I get a little anxious with too much stuff going on. 
Because I pay attention to Instagram and some bloggers out there...I began to panic when it was over a week before Thanksgiving and everybody was already "decorated" for the Holidays!  Boy, was I behind! We were out of town for Thanksgiving and by the time we retuned home and got settled...there was a lot to do. But I had to take a deep breath and realize that is ok..we all have to do things at our own pace and it really varies for me from year to year. It is kind of nice to enjoy the process of it as it evolves.   While I have some decorations that keep coming out from year to year..I like to collect some new pieces each year to mix it up a bit. Also, I love to bring in the natural/live elements which obviously have to be bought each year.
We placed our Christmas tree in the foyer this year.  It is an abnormally large foyer so it works well for a Christmas tree and I love that you see it when you walk through the door as well as from outside.  We have an open floor plan so you can see it from most rooms, too, which is pretty special.
Of course, I had to deck the deer head with a wreath.  I know some people have opposing views on taxidermy.  I love animals and I would never hurt one.  But, my thoughts, are that I do appreciate their beauty and this guy is so handsome that I could not pass up on him.
I added little live wreaths to just about all of our mirrors and some windows.
This is one of my favorite views in our home.  This is from the foyer looking into the dining room.The lighting is just so good in here.  Again, you will see wreaths, a cute little fake flocked tree from Homegoods that I added this year and a fun bucket from Anthropologie that it sits in.  I move it around everywhere as you will see in the photos!! The faux fur sheepskin is also from Homegoods.  I really need to go grab some more of those.  It is so cozy and stylish and looks good everywhere!

I layered real and fake garland about everyplace possible.  It instantly says "Holidays" and lets "celebrate"!

I love this cute little "Merry Christmas" banner that I bought at our church gift shop.

I kept it pretty simple in our kitchen adding just a few little Christmas trees.  I feel like there is already too much stuff in the kitchen this time of the year...cookies, Gingerbread houses, etc.  that I have to have some quiet areas.
I do, however, love the garland that is on the barn wood as you walk into the kitchen.
Back to our Christmas tree. We went with a flocked one this year and I am hooked.  This may be our new tradition.  It is so peaceful and it really looks like snow.  This is about as close to snow as we will get since we live in San Diego.  The faux fur tree skirt is from Home Goods.
I had the white feathers and wood stars already.  I really wanted it to be simple and pure.  I bought a box of ornaments from Home Depot..shocker..I was impressed.  They were so inexpensive and look really nice.  The silver and gold really make it look "pretty".
This is the first year that I have had a "big girl" tree.  And, I must admit it feels so good! 
Not, to worry, though the kids do not feel left out.  They have their own cute little tree that is perfect for their size. They were not super happy about all of this change at first.  Both of my kiddos had near breakdowns at the Christmas tree lot when we let hem know we were getting a flocked tree this year.  What we thought would be pure excitement nearly turned into tears. Thank goodness, the sadness did not last too long and these two were pretty happy to bring home their own little tree and start decorating.

Nights during the Holidays are so peaceful..that moment when it starts getting dark and you turn on the Christmas is so magical.  I picked up the little copper lights on the antlers below from Anthropologie this year...they are so cute and I am sure they will be on sale after Christmas.  I will definitely be picking up a few more.

I also picked up these pretty little copper/gold pots below from Anthropologie and added some baby fir trees to them.  I layered our dining table with some garland, copper lanterns (a gift from a dear friend, also from Anthropologie) and some natural branches and greens in the clear vases.

I hope you enjoyed this little Christmas tour of ours.  May your Holiday season be joyous and bright and filled with lots of love and happiness! Wishing you a beautiful Christmas from our family to yours! xo, Paige


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The camera that has changed my life

I love pictures.  I love taking photos.  I love torturing my kiddos and my husband until I can get "just the right" photo. I am obviously joking but I will do what it takes to get the "perfect" and in the moment photo even if it means reliving the moment 10 times:)  The only camera I have ever used until now has been my iphone 4.  Sure,it takes fine pictures but I was missing the crispness and clarity from a nicer camera. 

So, a couple of months ago I went to Target with the purpose of walking out with a camera.  A lot of bloggers talk about the "Canon Rebel" so I figured it must be a good choice.  Without asking too many questions and taking only  a few test shots...I knew it it was the one and walked out with the Canon Rebel T5 and was a happy gal!!

So, for last Mother's Day, I told my hubbie the only thing I wanted was go to the barn as a family and spend time with our horse and take some pictures.  Some of the pictures turned out ok while some others were quite blurry and not crisp.  I immediately thought I made a bad decision with this camera.  In my head, I thought I was going to get some pretty nice images...maybe not magazine worthy...but decent.   A few weeks went by and I thought I was doomed...the photos were just not turning out.  So, I stopped using it. My next thought was I really need to sign up for a photography class.  Then,  my girlfried came over who knows a thing or two about cameras and photography so I asked her to take a look.  She gave me a few to hold the camera, be really steady, light direction, etc.  And, then after fooling around with it for a second....there was an "ahaa" moment.  She took a few photos and they were not looking all that great.  Oh, thank goodness, it was not just me.  The lens was on manual focus. Blond moment for me, I guess, but in my defense I do not know anything about cameras.  Well, I am not a photographer, so needless to say, a manual setting was not going to work for me.  She switched it to automatic and that was when my life changed....I am now officially obsessed with taking photos....a few of my favorite home photos from the last few months.


And, some personal ones...

Once you download the photos...there are several pretty great options.  Very importantly,  and under tools, you can convert it to high definition. This gives it the crispness and clearness that I so badly craved. Then you can lighten it up, change the contrast, etc. The above photos have all been brightened up a bit and converted to high def.
Here is an example of one of the above photos that has not been converted or lightened up...pretty big difference, hugh?
One of my favorite examples of the difference a photographer and camera (as well as stylists, etc.) can make is this amazing house that I have blogged about are a couple of images from  Domino magazine from a few years ago...

And the same rooms below but the images are from Apartment Therapy...I am assuming these were the homeowners photographs...

 Big difference, right?
Now, I am not claiming I am some great photographer.  I am most certainly not...but for an investment of $350ish...I can enjoy and collect nice images of my family, interiors, animals, etc. for many years to come. I hate to give my secret away but do yourself a favor....and get the Canon Rebel or something similar.  I would love to hear your thoughts on your favorite cameras and tricks of the trade!!

Monday, August 3, 2015

The pink bathroom

We bought our fixer upper ranch house almost 2 years ago and poured our heart, soul, and money into it.   We had so much fun while we were in the middle of the 4 month remodel that sometimes I forget how far we have come.  I like to look at the before photos from time to time to remind ourselves where we started.  And even, though, the house is not "perfect" we have made it into a fun and comfortable family home for our family.

While I have talked about this pink bathroom on previous posts....I thought it would be fun to show a couple of photos again.  I am so thankful for some new "Instagram" followers who may not have seen a "before" of this bathroom in her pink hay day.

So, enough talk, below are a couple of "befores" of the pink bathroom....with its dirty carpet, cracked pink tile and checkered wallpaper!

A progress mid-construction photo....
And, here is the bathroom today...
Hope you enjoyed this brief little tour:)
xo, Paige

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Entry Way

Entry way as defined by the Encyclopedia; "An entry way is a hall located at the front entrance of the house. An entryway usually has a coat closet, and usually has linoleum or tile flooring". It goes on to say "that many houses do not have an entry these the front door leads directly into the foyer or some other room in the house".

I chuckled a little bit with the linoleum flooring...only because it is a little dated.  It is funny to think that linoleum used to be all the rage.  I also love that it says that many houses do not have an entry way.  This is still true  and I love how efficient and creative homeowners have become.  If they do not have one...they simply make one with maybe a console, some hooks to hang things on and a little picture wall, mirror, or hats. Long gone are the days of hall closets.  Sure, many homes still have them but a lot do not. It has become quite accepted and stylish to see boots, hats and coat mixed in as part of the design.

One of my favorite entry way's is this one by Tom Scheerer.  Not only is it beautiful and charming but efficient.  To have your hats at the front door is pretty smart as you can just grab one as you are walking out and it looks beautiful at the same time.  Hats might be the next art wall:)  Yes, probably one of the most charming entry's ever!!  The white walls, the brown wood, the hats, the lantern, the!!

The image below is from Fieldstone Design. I think everything about this space is beautiful.  And, big kudos to the designer for making a little entry when there is not a proper one.  By placing that little table (and such a darling vignette that it is) it gives the feel of an entry and gives the homeowner a place to set down keys, mail, etc.

Image from Town and Country Living.  Yes, please, I will take it all. The planked walls, the barn wood ceiling, the sconces, and the seating.  Lovely.
I think it is fair to say that Heather Bullard's entryway is at the top of everyone's list.  She is an amazing designer, stylist and photographer.  Just beautiful.  I think my favorite parts of this are the black dutch door, rug, and white wood  flooring.
This image is from Brunch at Saks BlogSpot. I love how a narrow hallway was transformed into the cutest entry eva!!
Even though this photo is a bit is still so charming and efficient.  I mean really all you need is a coat rack, a bench and if you are lucky a cute door and lighting:)
So pretty from Pinterest
I did a previous home tour on this lovely house of Chay Wike's. This image is from Apartment Therapy.  This is one of my favorite houses of all time!
From Pinterest...stunning styling!
Now, on to our house.  I probably should have put ours first because after all these beauties..well you know. And, I only have a couple of photos that are properly photographed.  The others are iphone pics.  So, we have a different situation.  Our entry way is kind of too big.  I am not complaining but it was  a lot to furnish.  Instead of maybe one console and some art work...I had 4 walls to fill!!  So, I filled it with some of my favorite things...benches and art work.  Benches are probably the least expensive piece of furniture I have found and personally I think they make as much of an impact as a console.  So, here it a couple of photos because the space is too big to capture in one!! And probably not that efficient!
Photo by Meredith Park

Photo by Meredith Park
I phone pic
I phone pic
The above rug is too small for the space but I was trying it for color and texture.  I absolutely love it...just needs to be a couple of feet bigger on each side. I have also since changed the art work around but you can get the idea. 

I am really happy with our entry as it houses some of my favorite things.  But all you really need is one small wall or hallway to make it the most charming entry.  After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression:)