Hey friends! Chet and I recently celebrated our SECOND YEAR of marriage and we marked the occasion with a….couch?! That’s right, in honor of our 2nd anniversary we replaced our old (and very worn) Ikea number and got the absolute BABE of a sofa pictured above. I mean it IS fabric and there’s probably some cotton in there somewhere, right? (IDK I’m not a textile expert or anything.)
I’m still a far way off from the entryway of my dreams as you can see above, but I just had to share this lil home decor update anyways. So in love with this couch, you guys!
[Related: Check out all my posts about our wedding HERE.]
(Please disregard the staple that was left behind from the packaging which I carelessly forgot to remove because I was too excited but thankfully got rid of before it impaled anyone’s ankles, AHEM!)
I also gifted Chet with a pair of shoes and he got me 5 lovely hosta seedlings that we planted in our backyard along the house. Year 2 was pretty terrific!
Now, in honor of this marriage milestone, I thought I’d round-up a few “Cotton Anniversary” gift ideas. (Just in case you’re not buying the whole couch as cotton option, lol!)
These are a few of my favorite prints from the fantastic Etsy shop, which I’ve been swooning over for weeks — Clare Elsaesser. The women floating through or wading into water and carrying armloads of colorful flowers give the paintings a beautiful ethereal quality. But the little details, like a messy top knot or a polka dot print, combined with the obstructed face, make it seem as though these portraits could be anyone. Does that make sense? Wouldn’t you love to hang one in your home? I’m obsessed.
What are you up to this week? My mom headed back to Kentucky on Monday. I keep thinking about the immigrant families being separated against their will at our border and I feel ever more grateful and blessed to have a parent who is just a day’s drive away. We had a wonderful visit…even if we got a little lost while out on a hike. Whoops!
Sending a big hug to anyone reading this, and here are some links for you to check out…
Hi friends! I am finally coming up for air after our big move to Alabama!! I certainly didn’t mean to be absent from the blogosphere for this many days… But between the multi-day drive (our movers were SUPER late and that put us behind schedule), getting settled in the new house, AND going without internet for the first week (obvi not by choice!!)–it’s taken me a minute to get back in the swing of things!
But now I’m back! And comin’ atcha from a sweet lil blue-doored house on a quiet road in Alabama. While our furniture arrived just a day after we did (the moving company told us it could take as many as 7!), I thought it might be fun to show ya around the place as we saw it on our first day. *Apologies in advance for the poor photo quality and lighting.*
We brought our tv and a couple camp chairs just in case our furniture didn’t arrive right away. Now that our couch is here, it is oriented in much the same way (but the tv is on a stand and up against the wall, lol). I’ve chosen to use the space you see behind Chet as a sort of entryway.
The kitchen is super bright and open with room for a table and chairs beneath a window. And can we talk about that subway tile? Obsessed. The storage space is a little lacking compared to our last place but we’ve gotten creative with solutions — including getting one of these guys to fill up some open wall space. Wink likes the flooring. 😉
Chet’s Office / Guest Room #1
This closet situation means the master bedroom closet is ALL MINE! Mwahahaha! This room is at the front of the house with all sorts of beautiful trees right outside the windows.
My Office / Guest Room #2
I can’t tell you how excited I am to have a space for my desk/computer that isn’t about a foot from where I sleep at night!!! This room looks out at the backyard and is bright and quiet and as far away from our bedroom as possible (work from home WIN!).
Another huge upgrade for us? Our very own washer and dryer right behind those closet doors! (The open door is the guest bathroom.) Sure our apartment in Miami had access to laundry facilities on every floor but a) it was $3.00 to wash and dry a load and b) everyone and their mom wants to do laundry on Sunday afternoons…and now I won’t have to wait my turn.
Finally, our master bedroom! This room proved to be a bit of a conundrum once our bedroom suite arrived. It is very rectangular and I’ve only ever set the furniture up in more square spaces. So, the bed and dresser have to go side by side. Not sure I love it…but the movers assured me lots of people do it this way, LOL! I DO love the room though…and that giant closet.
And there you have it! While much of our furniture and *stuff* is set up at this point, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to decorating! The first area I want to tackle is the entryway as you come into the house through the front door. Shall I show you an update once it’s complete???
Oh, and since I have home decor on the brain, I’d love to know —
Where do you go online for home decor inspiration? Any favorite blogs or YouTube channels? Any tips for decorating a home on a budget? What are your favorite stores? LEAVE IDEAS BELOW! I’d appreciate it a lot! ❤
What are you up to this week? Tomorrow we’re hittin’ the road for our big move to Alabama! I’m so excited that moving day is finally so close. Getting ready for a move (especially one you’re super stoked about) just seems to drag on and on. We’ve been slowly packing and cleaning and tying up loose ends ever since we found out about the new job so I am READY. Next time I post we’ll be in the new place! Wish us luck. xoxo
The place you choose to work makes such a big difference to your productivity levels. Thankfully, if you work from home, you have maximum creative control to design your work-space exactly as you see fit. (Score!) In this post, I’m gonna lay out some aspects of home office design that will make your home work-space a hive of productivity. Many of these changes are simple and don’t require a huge investment, while others may take a little more time and expense. Find the fixes that work best for your working flow and budget…
Light the Way
Office lighting can make such a big difference when it comes to your productivity. Bad lighting can lead to headaches, fatigue, eye strain, and tiredness. Conversely, natural light can play a big role in boosting your mood. So consider positioning your desk nearby a window where it is going to attract as much sunlight as possible. Rather than having one main overhead source of lighting, having a lamp or two allows you to adjust the brightness as necessary.
If the position of your chair and desk ends up leading to neck and back pain, this is inevitably going to impact your productivity levels. There are a couple of quick ergonomic checks which are easy to perform. First of all, the top of your computer screen should be around eye-level. Your feet should either be able to rest comfortably on a foot rest or on the floor. Make sure that your chair is slightly reclined to minimize lower back pain. Investing in a good-quality chair is one of the best purchases that you can make for your office.
Your senses all come into play when you are creating a comfortable office space. Starting off with what you’ll spend the day looking at — the room color. Studies have shown that the color blue helps with productivity. But whatever you choose, make sure it’s a shade which isn’t too harsh on the eyes. You can also hang some pictures to give yourself something fun (and maybe motivational) to look at during the day.
You may never have thought much about the smell of your office, but the right scents can actually help to focus your mind and boost your mood. Fresh flowers are a great way to provide a scent in a natural way. It is worth going for some which you can easily smell such as Alii Hawaiian Tropical flowers. Another option is to use candles or essential oils. Otherwise, you could always try simmering a few herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your whole house with pleasant smells.
The type of noise which works best for your productivity levels varies from person to person. Some people prefer complete silence. In which case, it is worth looking into soundproofing options in the room. Others like to have some background music, so it check out wireless speakers so you can cut back on the need for wires criss-crossing around the room.
While you may create a lot of clutter in the creative process, you should make it a habit to store away the things that you need and throw everything else away. Mess is generally not helpful when it comes to productivity levels. Make sure that you have enough storage systems to contain everything comfortably. And don’t forget your digital clutter as well. The best way I’ve found of keeping on top of your clutter (actual AND digital) in a home office is to schedule time each week to organize. Pick a day and time and jot it down in your diary weekly. You’ll likely just need a half hour or so each week to go through papers, computer files, etc and get it all sorted. Consistency is key!
There are plenty of ways that you can bring nature into your indoor office space. We already talked about fresh flowers, but house plants are also a great option. They will last longer and are usually straightforward to maintain. Open the window on a regular basis to allow fresh air into your office space. If you can’t see anything natural outside, the next best thing is to put up some “nature pictures” – think: a picture of you and a loved on a recent hike in a pretty frame on your desk or a painting of the sea!
Achieving the right temperature balance is one of the best ways of boosting your productivity levels. Studies have shown that people tend to work better when it is a little warmer inside, but you don’t want to make it SO warm so that you feel drowsy. A smart thermostat will give you maximum control over the temperature in your office. And you can always bring in some extra heaters or fans when you feel like you need to adjust the temperature up or down.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating a work-space that provides maximum productivity levels. Essentially, you need to create an environment which works best for you. No two people work in the same way, so it is important to learn as much as you can about your own working habits. Good luck!
Do you work from home? An office? What changes have you made to your working space to increase productivity?
What are you up to this week? We are making some serious progress on packing up the apartment as we prepare for our impending move to Alabama. Hoping that we can get far enough ahead that we’ll have time for a beach trip next week. Gotta soak in those ocean view’s while it is still in our “backyard,” ya know? We also gained a new little niece at the end of last week and are waiting on a nephew to make an appearance some time soon, too. Ahhh, so many sweet babies bein’ born! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods, and here are some thing’s to entertain ya…
What are you up to this week? We recently found out that Chet got a NEW JOB! I am over the moon and proud of him, and he is so excited for this new opportunity. It does however mean we are moving…soon. Needless to say this is going to be a busy (and stressful) few weeks. But ultimately we are THRILLED about this new adventure. I’ll post more details in a future post! Until then, here’s some stuff from around the internet that I think you’ll love…
What are you up to this week? Now that it’s full-blown, hot-as-heck Summer down here in South Florida, I’m planning to take all my work-related phone calls poolside for the rest of the season. Just the prospect makes the rest of the work-week sound so much more bearable. How are YOU making it through to the weekend? Hope the rest of your week is divine, and here are some links…
When it comes to home decor, you can’t go wrong with light neutrals. Shades like light grey, beige, or even plain white can all bounce the light around making any space look bigger or brighter- plus the colors work with any style of decor. In my vast rental experience, landlords love painting their properties this way as it appeals to the most amount of tenants, allowing them to get people in and renting their places as quickly as possible. However, while there are great benefits to a neutral, blank canvas- it can feel very impersonal and can take a bit of sprucing up to make it feel like YOUR home.
Here are some of the ways you can liven up a rental without changing those neutral walls and flooring…
Add Wall Decoration
Landlords can be funny about their tenants putting holes in the walls, so it’s worth speaking to them first and getting permission. (If you’re not allowed to make holes, you can always use command hooks.) You could hang anything from a piece of art that you’ve carefully selected to a gallery wall made up of framed prints that you switch up every few months. Either way, wall decor is an easy way to add personality to a room without paint or wallpaper. Round out the look with a statement clock and a mirror, these will also break up the bland walls but they’re of course functional, too!
Choose Statement Furniture
When the rest of your decor is plain, you have the freedom to be a bit more adventurous with other items and your furniture is one place you can go wild. How about choosing a statement coffee table, or upcycling your tv unit or sideboard for a unique look? A plain sofa might be best as it’s an investment piece that will need to stand the test of time. But pair it with a brightly colored or patterned chair or a funky footstool. Choose one or two key pieces to stand out and go with bold and unusual styles. A fantastic way to show off your personality!
Think About Lighting
Lighting is something that’s often overlooked and left as an afterthought when it comes to decor, but it shouldn’t be. Lighting is such an important element, and it’s another way you can inject a little extra personality into the room. It could be anything from a chandelier to an industrial looking fitting with exposed bulbs. And don’t forget to add lamps! If you purchase smart bulbs, you can adjust the brightness and warmth of any room’s glow right from your phone. Plus, colorful or interesting lamp bases, shades, or both can bring in a little extra something to a room that’s decorated in neutral colors.
Your accessories are what will bring the room together, show your style and allow your personality to come through. Add cozy cushions and throws to spruce up sofas, chairs and beds. Patterned or colored rugs to make floors feel more comfortable and to tie rooms together. Let your interests and hobbies shine through! Whether that includes a place to display your geode collection, a Viking axe hung on the wall, or a beautifully aquascaped aquarium! Don’t just choose things for the sake of it, instead have a good think about not only what will work well in the space but what really reflects YOU. Your home should be a curation of the things that you love. Just remember – it’s quality over quantity when it comes to things out on display.
Any home (whether a rental or not) will benefit from the addition of plants! Not only does the color and texture liven up a home but they’ve even been shown to boost mood. You could go with some larger standing varieties in pots, a few mini cactus, smaller plants on tables and desks, and hanging plants. If you’re bad at keeping plants alive, go for low maintenance varieties, or there’s even some rather realistic-looking faux varieties on the market these days. Vases of flowers are another option. You can buy bunches from supermarkets very cheaply, and they will brighten your home for days! Plus, it’s a fun way to treat yourself.
How have you spruced up a neutral rental without upsetting your landlord?!