a life with style blog


all hallows eve{diy wreath}


I'm slowly trying to add a little Halloween to the house. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a big fan of Halloween, especially the scary and gory aspects! But, there's got to be a way to add a spooky twist with the things I like!

We all know that it all starts with the front door! Why should wreaths be saved for the holiday season?  With that in mind, I headed to Michael's to trick(pun intended!) out my front door.

It goes without saying that fake flowers are my least favorite thing to use in design and decor. But, it's Ohio in October so using anything living is not possible or cost effective. I was really surprised at the options available! My favorite thing to use in any arrangement I design is texture. It's difficult to find things that aren't real that have the texture of the real deal! Not only was able to get my beloved textural elements, I also found some pretty close to the real deal greenery and flowers.

This is the first time I've attempted to make a wreath with faux flowers and I'm thrilled with the results! 

I found moss, thistle and dusty miller to give the wreath texture.

I was surprised to find pretty real looking kale and hydrangea! 

Start by removing everything form the stems.  I used floral clippers but you can use wire cutters or scissors. I wired the larger blooms to wreath with a thin gauge wire. After wiring I went back in with the hot glue gun to make sure all of the blooms and greens were firmly attached.

And now, the fun stuff! I attached the thistle with wire and glue as well. The skull is styrofoam so I was able to stick on top of a wooden skewer(otherwise known as leftover chopstick!) and secure it with glue. Then I simply slip it into place.  At the last minute I decided the bow I was going to use seem to polished so I opted to use some yarn. I LOVE the result!

Et Voila!!

It's pretty but  dark and a little spooky! It's the perfect mate for our new "welcome" mat!! 


Do greet visitors at the front door with a little bit creepy holiday spirit? 

an ugly duckling transformation{oh my heart and home}


i've been wanting to give our first floor a little makeover for a long time. but, anyone with a young child will tell you that household projects tend fall lower and lower on the list of priorities as you devote your time, attention, energy and money to your little one. it wasn't as if the house was falling down around us! it just looked a little tired. 

my husband and i talked about it. well, i mostly talked and he sort of nodded in tepid agreement. i headed to pinterest to get inspiration. i came up with an idea of what i wanted and promptly shelved it. a few weeks ago, i decided enough was enough! 

i tackled the most complicated project first. i've had this vintage loveseat for probably ten years. i was okay with color but my husband hated it! and, if i'm being totally honest the upholstery had seen better days.

the peachy orange color and the dark wood were very old fashioned, and not in a good way. 

i knew i wanted to add color and personality to the living room. the best way to that is with pattern. and floral patterns are my jam. however, in order to sell my husband on the idea it couldn't be too over the top.. 

this fabric served as my inspiration!

after reading two dozen or so blog posts i felt confident enough to start. because the fabric was a little pricey, i decided to paint most of the upholstery and simply recover the seat. i wanted the color to be a a rich blue somewhere between navy and federal blue.

i used regular latex wall paint, water, and fabric medium(1:1:1). and then i got very nervous!

but, i kept going because i had no choice. i was also 99% sure i'd made a huge mistake!

there was also lots of swearing! i continued. and, because i'm a terrible blogger and i was sure this was going to be a pinterest fail, i didn't take more pictures. womp. womp. somehow, with lots of worry, elbow grease, several coats of paint and a battle with a heavy duty staple gun, it went from that ugly duckling.

to this...


and, i'm in love! i want to stare at her all day and tell her how beautiful i think she is! 

slowly things are coming together! i can't wait to show you the entire room:)





christmas{our holiday home}


we're already a week into december and the end of the year is approaching at breakneck speed!! i've taken a deep breath and i feel like i'm ready to embrace the craziness that comes with this season.  at least i thought i was until the reality of trying to get the house holiday perfect with a toddler hit me. 

i love the way the house looks fully glammed up for christmas. and i enjoy the process of making everything look pretty. fact:my kids told me that they didn't realize that decorating the tree was a family event for some. they thought everyone woke up to a fully decked out house and tree until they were in junior high!   

with rowan running around this year i've decided to keep it simple. i wanted everything to be pretty neutral with mixed metallic accents. most importantly, i wanted it to feel warm and homey!

the tree...our tree this year is crazy big and i was kind of intimated by trying to decorate it. it sat for almost a week with nothing on it. i finally pulled myself together and got to work! i love glass ornaments and every year we add a dozen or so more to the collection. this year instead of adding more glass i went nuts in michael's and purchased a bunch of wooden ornaments, a few metal ones and some chipboard letters. i also decided to repurpose some old ornaments.

i covered some of the wooden ones completely with copper spray paint and some of the others i taped off so there's a hit of metallic with the natural wood. i used some gorgeous yarn to recover old glass ornaments. i added the chipboard letters to spell out "ho ho ho". i wasn't sure about them initially but once they were on the tree i loved the effect! and finally i remembered that i had feathers-white that i'd sprayed the tips gold-from rowan's birthday party. i tied those on to some hemp string and hung them on tree as well. gotta say i love the mix of glass, metallics and wood!!         

have you fully decked your halls and gotten the ouse all pretty for the holidays?

nesting{living room makeover}


you know how before you have a baby you say ridiculous things like, "i'm sure our living room will stay neat, organized, and kid friendly rather than kid focused" so many LOLS! 18 months into this new kid gig and our living room looks like romper room. and, i am ready to reclaim the space.

step 1 is moving some of rowan's activities up to his room. i'm attempting to add more structure to our days. i'd like to have morning unstructured play time in his room while using some living room storage for toddler busy boxes, craft supplies and books. 

before rowan's birthday party last march my husband painted our living and dining room(connected spaces)a very pretty pale gray and it did so much to lighten up everything! it had been a shade of green that made the  room seem really dark and heavy especially in the winter. pillows and lighter curtains brightened things up even more. as of now our living room is perfectly adequate but i don't think it feels like us.

since my husband prefers visuals when we're discussing changing anything i put together this mood board to lay out the master plan.


i've been looking for a velvet tufted sofa. i have a vintage settee in the basement that i considered having reupholstered but it's a bit too small for the living room. i've been a fan of bob and cortney novogratz since their design show aired on bravo. i kept seeing this sofa pop up on their facebook page but i never clicked on link because i assumed it would be $$$$. i finally went in search of it and discovered that the novogratz9 vintage tufted sofa sleeper is selling at wal-mart! yes, that wal-mart and it costs less than $350. seriously! i've read through all of the reviews and the quality appears to be excellent for the price. 

with that, the rest of the room came together quickly. i'd love two modern chairs to balance out the traditional look of the sofa. we have a really nice hutch in our basement. it's currently bright white which is lovely but i'd like to paint it either pink or green. the most difficult thing in my search has been a pair curtains in a bright floral pattern  to tie everything together. i'm excited to see how it all comes together!