1. Coastal Living House Tour

    May 3, 2014 by Beth

    Hi Friends,

    Last summer I had the privilege of visiting my sister-in-law at Isle of Palms, South Carolina and had a wonderful girls weekend.

    One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Coastal Living 2013 Idea House located on Daniel Island, SC.

     

     

    Since summer is right around the corner, thought you all might enjoy a little island house tour to get you in the coastal decorating mood.

     

     

    The first room we toured was a den with a built-in bar for entertaining.

    The decorators were not afraid of COLOR and used some beautiful fabrics!

     

     

     

    Around the corner was a wonderful walk-in pantry.

     

     

    The kitchen had awesome lighting and opened up feeding into the den area.

    Love the backsplash tile!

     

     

    Beyond the kitchen was the den filled with gorgeous colorful furniture and great art.

     

     

    Off to the side was one of my favorite areas – the kitchen table overlooking the back yard and waterway.

    Don’t you just love all these windows!

     

     

    A half bath awaits in the hallway.

     

     

    Bedroom number one…

     

     

     

    Bedroom number two…

     

     

     

    I fell in love with this chest and wonderful piece of art.

     

     

    No coastal cottage would be complete without a deck off the master bedroom…

     

     

    Check out this clever storage under the stairwell.

     

     

    Bedroom number three…

     

     

     

     

     

    This little alcove housed some great storage solutions while allowing the home owner to show off some coastal items as well.

     

     

    Nice view, hey?

     

     

    The back porch was one of my favorite spots…

     

     

    A nice pier and great outdoor furniture.

     

     

    And of course there’s Coastal Living corn hole to pass the lazy days of summer!

     

     

    This home also has a beautiful guest house/office with an outdoor kitchen.

    Come check it out…

     

     

     

     

    Beautiful blue interior walls and great photos make up the great room in the center of the guest house/office.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ready to sit by the fire and gaze out over the water?

    Let’s just pop by for a visit!

     

    Happy Spring!


  2. Spring Gardens at their Finest

    April 17, 2014 by Beth

     

    Spring Gardens are peaking right about now.

    And in case you didn’t make it to the Azalea Garden Tour last weekend, thought you might like to take a stroll with me.

    Enjoy the tour and all the beauty it holds.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Weren’t they great???

    I’m ready to get my hands dirty and add some beautiful flowers to my garden, how about you?

    May you and yours have a wonderfully blessed Easter weekend.

     


  3. How to Paint Sea Glass Bottles

    April 3, 2014 by Beth

    One of my favorite things to do is walk the beach and collect sea glass.

    Don’t you just love the beautiful colors of sea glass – the blues, greens, whites and browns?

     

     

    I’m not one of the lucky ones that happens upon large pieces of sea glass, but I just adore the look.

    So, I took it upon myself to do a little research to see if I could mimic the look of sea glass with paint.

    Sure enough, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

     

     

    This painting method is SIMPLE and EASY!

    All you need are a few items, but first collect some bottles.

    They can be simple or with raised emblems, whatever you like.

     

     

    Additional items you will need:

    • Mod Podge in a Matte Finish
    • Food coloring
    • Decoupage brush
    • Newspaper or wax paper
    • paper plate or bowl

     

     

    Directions:

    • Pour some Mod Podge on your paper plate and add food coloring. You can play around with the colors, but I used the following formula for my bottles: Light – 4 drops blue, 1 drop of green, Mid range – 4 drops of blue, 4 drops of green, and the darkest shade has 10 drops of blue, 4 drops of green.
    • Mix your lightest shade first and then add more drops for the darker shades.
    • Wash and thoroughly dry your bottles first. Then to paint, just add a small amount to the brush and stroke down the bottle. A few lines will be visible and it may look streaky, but they will dry smooth.

     

     

    Here are both bottles painted and wet.

    They dry pretty quickly.

     

     

    And here they are dry…

     

     

    Amazing, right?!

    I love my sea glass bottles, even if I didn’t find them sparkling in the sand on the beach.

    Here are some other sea glass bottles and interesting ways to display them.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Don’t limit yourself to bottles. A friend of mine painted a clear bowl to hold shells. Isn’t it pretty?

     

     

    Happy Painting!

    Spring is here!!!

     


  4. Living Room Makeover

    March 21, 2014 by Beth

    It’s March Madness and blogging has taken a back seat.

    But fortunately, decorating has not.

    My Atlanta trip “find” has made its’ way to the living room…and here it is.

     

     

    I fell in love with this beautiful African textile!

    Fabric large enough to frame, make pillows or cover an ottoman.

    I couldn’t bring myself to cut this beauty, so over the stool it went.

    Combined with the cow hide rug that had already replaced the oriental, our living room was quickly taking on a manly feel.

    Of course the men in my house were all in favor of a room of their own.

     

     

    So, on the search I went to find accessories that spoke to my men.

    I used a shadowbox to frame a childhood belt buckle of my hubby’s…

     

     

    …and coins from our trip to France.

     

     

    Framed maps and a sketch of our church hang on the wall, replacing the children’s portrait they called their awkward stage.

     

     

    Every room needs a touch of green, don’t you think?

     

     

    But here’s my real “green” find – a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree from Home Depot.

    These trees are all the rage in the decorating world and I feel so lucky to have found one at such a great price.

    Isn’t he a beauty?

    And he fills up the corner very nicely.

     

     

     

    I’m a firm believer in trying to use what you have, but sometimes you just need an update.

    After moving the brass lamp to the other table, I still needed light and happened upon this one at Target.

    I love the black linen shade and it fit perfectly under the wall clock.

    Plus, I like that it gives off a bit of a modern look to an otherwise traditional room.

     

     

    Here’s another Target treasure that had just been marked down on clearance!

    This sturdy woven stool is from Target’s Threshold line and gives the room some wonderful texture.

     

     

    This table was a find a couple of years ago and was just hanging out in the garage.

    After a couple of coats of black paint, it became living room worthy and now houses lots of manly goodies.

    How do you like the Federal mirror?

    Eagles make a manly statement, don’t you think?

     

     

    The red floral curtains that were originally hanging were not living up to the new vision for this room.

    So, down they came and up went white linen curtains that match the ones in the dining room.

    Now, more light comes in and the Fiddle Leaf Fig should be happier.

     

     

     

     

     

    So, what do you think of the new living room makeover?

    Leather, cowhide, African textiles, eagles, antlers and bourbon – what else could a man want?

    I’m hoping we’ll spend more time in here now that it’s been updated.

    We’ll see what the boys say when they come home!

     

    Happy Spring!!

     


  5. Atlanta Antiquing At Its’ Finest

    February 14, 2014 by Beth

    Happy Valentine’s weekend!

    Hope you’re having a great time with your loved ones.

    I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to Atlanta spent with my girlfriend and her sweet family.

    Other than seeing her new house, which was fabulous, the highlight of the weekend was a trip to Scott Antique Markets.

     

     

    This was my second trip to Scott. The first one was so overwhelming and thrilling that I didn’t purchase a thing.

    So, I was out to make amends this go round, not to come home empty handed!

    Here are some of the items we saw trending this month.

    Enjoy the eye candy!!

    First – antlers of all size, shape and color are definately hot items.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Suzani fabrics and pillows were absolutely beautiful!  Love these!

    Here’s a bit of history:

    Suzani is a type of embroidered and decorative tribal textile made in TajikistanUzbekistanKazakhstan and other Central Asian countries. Suzani is from the Persian سوزن Suzan which means needle. The art of making such textiles in Iran is called سوزنکاریSuzankāri (needlework).

    Suzanis usually have a cotton (sometimes silk) fabric base, which is embroidered in silk or cotton thread. Chainsatin, and buttonhole stitches are the primary stitches used. There is also extensive use of couching, in which decorative thread laid on the fabric as a raised line is stitched in place with a second thread. Suzanis are often made in two or more pieces, that are then stitched together

    Popular design motifs include sun and moon disks, flowers (especially tulipscarnations, and irises), leaves and vines, fruits (especially pomegranates), and occasional fish and birds. [1]

    The oldest surviving suzanis are from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but it seems likely that they were in use long before that. In the early 15th century, Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, the Castilian ambassador to the court of Timur (Tamerlane), left detailed descriptions of embroideries that were probably forerunners of the suzani. [2]

    Suzanis were traditionally made by Central Asian brides as part of their dowry, and were presented to the groom on the wedding day. [3

     

     

     

     

    Cow hide rugs and covered stools, chairs and ottomans were also hot on the list.

    We learned the best hides come from Argentina, or so we were told.

     

    Love how these are layered over other rugs.

     

     

     

     

    We saw lots of African masks and sculptures on metal stands.

    They would certainly make for interesting conversation!

     

     

     

    Acrylic and lucite pieces seem to be making a come back.

    I’ve seen several in magazines lately and they were in abundance at Scott as well.

    What do you think? A piece here and there to add a little modern vibe?

     

     

    Looking pretty cool on those cow hide rugs too!

     

     

     

     

    Other fabulous items we saw…

    Pages upon pages of beautiful things to frame.

     

     

    Beautiful spritzer bottles.

     

    Old books to treasure.

     

     

     

     

    Anyone need a table or a chest?

     

     

    Mirror mirror on the wall…

     

     

     

    I loved all the old textiles and French grain bags that were sold at Scott.

     

     

    It was interesting to hear of all the vendors that travel to Europe to purchase their wares.

    The stories they could tell…

     

     

     

    So what did you think? Ready for a road trip to Scott?

    It’s something to behold and an experience you will never forget!

    Call me and I’ll be more than happy to tag along. :)

     

    Hugs and Kisses,

     


     


  6. Basket Staining 101

    January 29, 2014 by Beth

    Does the cold wintery weather have you cooped up inside?

    Well here’s a project that will allow you to make an easy update to your decor.

     

    If you’re like me, you probably have all kinds of baskets in your storage, but they may have more of a brown or gold tone to them.

    The color’s all wrong, but the shape and style are great.

    So today I gave mine a much needed update to blend in with more of the gray tones I was using in my house.

     

     

    I must admit, I’ve tried paint and paint washes on my old baskets, but they left them with more of a chalky look than what I was after.

    So I tried a new method I had read about on the web today that would give them more of a stained look versus that chalky finish.

    I used acrylic paint since it has polymer (plastic) in it rather than standard paint that has a lime and chalk like base.

    Here’s how I did it:

     

     

    Gather your supplies – a foam or chip paint brush, acrylic paint in a neutral gray and one shade darker, and a container to mix it in.

    I used my paint tray, but you could use a cup.

    The best ratio for the stain wash is 1 part paint to 3 parts water.

    Mixing thoroughly combine one tablespoon of paint with three tablespoons of water.

    This amount of mix will cover three small baskets to give you an idea of how far it will go.

     

     

    Holding your basket over the sink, brush the mix on with a brush really thick.

    The goal is for the wash to get down into and around all the crevices in the wicker.

     

     

    If your basket is either really dark or really light in color you will want to tray and keep as much stain on the piece as possible.

    You may be thinking that there is no way this is going to look good, but hang in there with me.

    The stain absorbs into the wicker and basically dries over the existing color.

    Trust me, you will be amazed after it dries for about 30 minutes.

     

     

    Looking good, but I wanted a little more depth to my stain.

    So, at this point I added a little darker gray or you can use a hint of black to the mix.

    Using a dry brush just randomly add some darker strokes to the basket.

    If you don’t add a hint of the darker color, you get a driftwood look which is great too!

     

     

    I will admit painting baskets may require a little patience in trying to get into all the grooves, but it’s worth it don’t you think?

    Wouldn’t it be fun to paint some baskets in white or even a fun color like indigo?

    You may even choose to just dip part of your basket in white!

     

    No need for perfection here, because I can still see some pieces of wicker left unfinished.

    I think I’ll still enjoy them in the gray tones much better and at least they’re out of my attic and being used!

    So dig out those ugly old baskets and just give it a try!

     

     

    Thanks for hanging out with me on this cold wintery day!

    Stay warm.

     

     


  7. The Power of Paint!

    January 12, 2014 by Beth

    Isn’t it refreshing to see your home clean and simplified after all the Christmas glitz as been stored away?

    Many of us take this time to get organized for the new year ahead of us.

    For me, January is a time to start off with a new color.

    We have had yellow walls in our den and kitchen for like 10 years!

    It was definitely time to paint, but deciding on the color was not an easy task.

    I started paint sampling and over the course of 3-4 trips, I got to know the guys at the paint store pretty well. Ha!

     

     

    My first choice was Benjamin Moore’s China White (bottom right) – not enough contrast with the trim.

    Second choice – BM’s Wickham Gray  (bottom left) – too dreary according to hubby.

    Third choice – BM’s November Rain (top left) – too green and too light.

    Fourth choice – BM’s Healing Aloe (top right) – the winner!

    Healing Aloe went well with the gray countertops in the kitchen and the colors already present in the den!

     

     

    Mother Nature cooperated and handed us very cold temperatures last weekend, the perfect time to stay inside and paint!!

    I discovered the pop on top with pourable spout during one of my paint store trips. Where has this been all my life?

     

     

    I do believe in painters tape and recycling it to use both sides.

     

     

    The Benjamin Moore paint covered up the yellow in just two coats!

    Gotta love it!!

     

     

    Don’t you just love the mess you create while painting.

    Of course, the painter always gets a “pass” on cooking dinner during painting days!

     

     

    I completed the kitchen first and we were amazed at how much we loved the color!

    In the morning sun it takes on a blue color, but in the afternoon it looks green.

    The house now has more of a lighter, coastal feel to it.

     

     

    But one project leads to another, you know.

    My red fabric covered bulletin board had to go.

    So I grabbed some leftover burlap and did an update.

     

     

    So, what do you think? Do you love it as much as we do?

     

     

     

     

    Here’s to the power of paint!!

     

    Happy New Year everyone!!


  8. What’s for New Year’s Eve?

    December 31, 2013 by Beth

    New Year’s Eve is a special time to celebrate the incoming new year.

    So, what are your plans? A party, dinner out or a quiet night at home?

    If you’re fond of just watching the ball drop in Times Square in the comfort of your own home, then I have a great dinner plan for you.

    How does  Creamy Mushroom Pasta with caramelized onions and spinach sound for that special dinner?

     

     

     

    You could definitely eat this creamy pasta loaded with vegetables as a stand-alone, vegetarian dish.

    It also makes a surprisingly great side dish for a grilled steak, pork or chicken.

     

     

     

    Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Spinach

    Prep time: 50 min

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 onions, medium or large, sliced
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 10 or 15 small mushrooms sliced (I used shiitake with stems removed)
    • pinch of salt
    • 3 cups spinach
    • 8 oz fettuccine pasta
    • 2/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    Makes 4 servings.

    1) First we need to caramelize onions. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on high heat in a large skillet, when oil is heated, add sliced onions and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes, constantly stirring with spatula. The onions should start to brown, but without burning (a couple of onions may be burnt here and there, but overall they should not be charred). Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking onions for 10 more minutes, continuing to stir, as onions brown even more without burning. At this point add just a pinch of salt over onions. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes on medium or low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure onions don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn. Total you should have cooked onions for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle onions with a small amount of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Using spatula, mix the onions, scraping the bottom of the pan and coating onions with a pinch of balsamic vinegar you just added.

     

     

     

    2) After you have started cooking onions, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in another pan, and add sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake with stems removed, you can use any small sized mushrooms).

    Add just a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook mushrooms covered for about 20 minutes, occasionally stirring.

     

     

    3) Add cooked mushrooms to the pan with caramelized onions, add 3 cups of spinach and stir on low heat just until spinach wilts.

     

     

    4) Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.

     

     

    5) Add heavy cream, milk, Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the mushroom-onions-spinach mixture on medium-low heat and mix.

    Add pasta to the creamy sauce, stir to coat on low heat for about 5-10 minutes until Parmesan cheese melts and starts to coat pasta as well.

     

     

    6) Serve on warm plates (warmed in the oven) as is, or with more parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

     

     

    This delicious pasta recipe happens to combine all four of my favorite sides for steak in one: mushrooms, creamed spinach, caramelized onions, and creamy pasta with cheese.

    So, feel free to eat this pasta as a stand-alone vegetarian dinner or add a piece of grilled steak, pork, or chicken.

    Either way, it’s a crowd pleaser at New Year’s or any other night of the year!

     

    Happy New Year everyone!

     

     

     


  9. Merry Christmas from Our House to Yours!

    December 25, 2013 by Beth

    Merry Christmas from our house to yours this holiday season.

    May all your dreams come true!

    Christmas in the den…

     

     

     

     

     

    I love my new jingle bell garland!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    In the foyer…

     

     

    And the living room…

     

     

     

     

    And back up the hall…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    To the kitchen.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hope your Christmas day was filled with laughter, love and wonderful surprises!

    Blessings,

     


  10. Light up my Wreath!

    December 14, 2013 by Beth

    What’s Christmas without some lights?

    And where better to find them than on a easy little wreath you can make yourself!

     

     

    This is another wonderful wreath we spotted at the Black Lion and decided it would be simple and easy to make!

    So, off we went to gather our supplies…

    All you need is:

    3 strands of old timey colored lights

    1 18″ green wire wreath form

     

     

    If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find the lights on sale by now and grab a coupon for your wire wreath form and this baby could cost you under $10!

    Plus, you can make this wreath in under 15 minutes.

    Here are your instructions – easy peasy!!!

    Unbox your lights and cut off all the tags.

    Start wrapping your lights around the wreath form securing the end by running it back through one of the wires on the back of the wreath.

     

     

     

    Continue wrapping the lights all around the wreath.

     

     

    It’s OK to leave a little space along the way, you have three strands to wrap and make it look full.

     

     

     

     

    After wrapping around strand number one, plug the end of strand number two into the end of number one and continue wrapping.

     

     

    And continue with strand number 3 until you’ve completely covered the wreath.

    Yours will look something like this.

     

     

    Almost finished now.

    Grab an extension cord if needed to plug in your wreath and VOILA!

    Let there be Christmas lights and joy all around! ;)

     

     

    Merry, merry!!