{a few of my favorite things} Happy Mail!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I thought I'd start a little something new on the blog. From time to time, I want to pop in to just chat about a few of my favorite things! In a digital world, where my phone never stops dinging with one message or another, I find there something so wonderful about getting mail. Real mail. The kind that you get to rip open.

So today I'm chatting about some of my favorite kinds of happy mail... and a few more things I like to get in the mail!

{diy with style} Framed Paint Brush Art

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Every garage needs art, right?! Ok, maybe need isn't the right word. But the framed paint brushes in my garage sure do make me happy, and this garage art was pretty easy to make! Last week I showed you all the organized garage details, and today I wanted to share this easy paint brush art tutorial. This would also make the perfect display for a craft room, art studio, or in the bedroom of a really creative kiddo!

{organizing with style} Brilliant Ways to Organize the Garage

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Our garage used to be my dirty little secret. I would go out of my way to not let friends of family ever sneak a peek in there because it was so bad. SO bad. Like "no room to park two cars in a three car garage" bad! 

Last fall we finally reclaimed our garage and I shared lots of pictures with you when we finished. Since then, I've gotten quite a few comments suggesting that the photos looked good because it was just a "staged" version of our garage, and that it wouldn't look that way once we started really using it with all of our stuff. 

But almost a year later, I'm proud to say that our garage still looks almost exactly the same. And that is for one reason, and one reason only...

{diy with style} 10 Insanely Cool Upcycle Projects

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

There are so many things I love about DIYing... saving money by making something myself, creating something totally unique and perfect for my home that I couldn't buy in a store, and of course, the opportunity to give a fresh new life to something that might otherwise find its way to the trash pile.

Each month, I team up with the All Things Creative team to bring you a collection of creative ideas, and this month is all about upcycled DIYS. We've got some insanely cool ideas to share with you... 

{decorating with style} Colorful Rooftop Deck Plans and the Plan YOU Helped Design

Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm working with a new client who has a very hip house near the city, with a modern and colorful vibe. We're starting from scratch on a few rooms in the house, and sprucing up a couple more. Transforming the rooftop deck is his top priority, so we're hurrying to finish it in time for him to enjoy a couple of months of warm patio weather before fall arrives. 

I love working on design projects, and this time around I wanted to get you guys involved in the fun as well! Over the last couple of weeks I've asked you to share your opinions on Facebook and collectively create a rooftop deck design by voting first for your favorite outdoor rug, then couch, chairs, and finally an outdoor coffee table. I absolutely loved seeing what you guys chose in each round of voting, and hearing your thoughts about the options!

As promised, today I'm going to show you the initial plans that I put together for my client's rooftop deck, as well as the final version of the plan after the client provided his input.

Let's start with some context. The client's house is half of a relatively new duplex in a popular urban neighborhood. It's built on three levels, and the top floor includes a guest room and bathroom, as well as a bar that opens out onto a rooftop deck with west-facing Rocky Mountain views.  

The bar has a vibrant orange countertop that reflects the owner's fearless approach to decorating. My favorite of all design approaches!

Just beyond the end of the orange countertop is a sliding glass door that leads out to the rooftop deck - a space with a current vibe that could best be described as abandoned.

But this rooftop deck clearly has tons of potential! It just needs a little vision, comfy furniture, and some vibrant color to turn it into the coolest spot in the neighborhood!

The tall wall on the left side divides the deck from the neighbor, and it was definitely calling out for some way to dress it up!

When I'm designing a new space, I always like to start with an idea of how the space needs to function, and one key design element to build around. Let's talk about the key design element first. I knew right away there needed to be at least a touch of orange in the patio color scheme, to tie in the bar countertop. The client also has of shades of teal throughout the house, and I noticed a lot of blue in the two band posters hanging in the bar.

With these colors in mind, I started shopping for a large, outdoor rug. These were five of my favorites:

SOURCE LIST: (contains affiliate links) Blue Tropical; Multi-Color IkatTeal Graphic

I like the blue, tropical vibe of the first rug, and the color would tie in nicely with the posters in the bar, but I wasn't sure it fit the client's style well enough. The same was true of the multi-colored ikat rug - the colors were perfect, but it's more my style than his. The last option - the orange rug - felt like too much orange. With it narrowed down to the teal graphic rug and the striped rug, I liked that the stripes brought together all of the colors that I wanted to incorporate in the design, so I began designing the plan around that rug.

For the deck, I knew that it needed to provide lots of seating for entertaining, while still feeling intimate enough for a smaller group of friends to just sit around and chat. Because it's up on the roof, the client doesn't plan to ever BBQ or serve meals on this deck, but I did want to provide plenty of space for a spread of appetizers or snacks to compliment the bar.

Here's the space plan I came up with {the light green square that overlaps most of the seating area shows the coverage that the umbrella will provide}:  

And here's the proposed design that I presented to the client. Although this design board just shows one concrete console table and one couch, there would actually be two of each in the space {as shown in the space plan}.

I recommended those round, teal stools to serve dual function - acting as side tables most of the time, but providing extra seating for larger groups. I also wanted to add some "green" to the outdoor space without giving the client too many plants to take care of up on the roof. I recommended a few white planters filled with low maintenance grasses, combined with four repeating pieces of outdoor canvases with photographs of aloe that provide a nice pop greenery with a touch of orange.

In addition to presenting my recommended design plan, I always like to give clients a variety of alternate items to consider. Fortunately the client loved the striped rug, even after seeing all of the other rugs options. Since the design was really built around that rug, I was so glad that I pegged his style just right on that one! 

One of the alternate coffee tables did immediately catch the client's eye. I thought he might pick the fire table, but it was the cement coffee table that he fell in love with, so we swapped that out in the plan.

modern outdoor coffee tables
SOURCE LIST: (contains affiliate links)

The client was also not totally sold on the color block chairs that I used in my plans. After debating on numerous options, we found some chairs that he really loved - the Morocco Round Chairs. The white cushions on these chairs tie in nicely with the white metal frame of the couches, and their unique shape will add a lot of design interest on the deck.

Modern Outdoor Chairs
SOURCE LIST: (contains affiliate links)
Black Metal with White Cushions

The only other tweak we ended up making was to swap out the round, teal stools for Carilo Blue Square Stools. With those changes made, here's the final plan that we are currently working to implement:

And now, here's the really fun part! Let's see how this compares to the plan that you guys created by way of your Facebook votes. Scroll through the images below and you'll see how the popular Facebook picks came together to create a unique rooftop deck design.

SOURCE LIST FOR OUTDOOR COUCH OPTIONS: (contains affiliate links)

Ikat Rug
; White Frame Outdoor Couch; Color Block Chairs; Concrete Coffee Table 

Thank you guys so much for playing along with me on Facebook over the past couple of weeks. It's been so fun hearing your opinions and your insights on what you'd pair together and why. It really helps me to hear how others think about design! 

You guys seemed to be having a good time with it too, so I think we should do more of this design voting. I'm also designing two guest rooms for the same client, so keep an eye out over the next few weeks on Facebook for some bedroom decor voting, and then I'll share the final plans here on the blog! 

Until then, here are the plans in a pinnable form in case you want to save them:
Modern Rooftop Deck Design Plans

{organizing with style} How to Organize Cricut Supplies

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Did anyone manage to snag a Cricut during the crazy Amazon Prime Day sale on Tuesday?! They sold out so fast, and I can see why. The Cricut electronic cutter is my favorite crafting, decor, and organizing tool for a reason - it can do ANYTHING! Ok, maybe not anything... but darn close!

I use my Cricut all the time, and the more I use it the more supplies I acquire to go with it, and the more supplies I have, the more I have to store... I think you see where this is going. An organizing challenge with lots of potential creative solutions!

My office/craft room is in desperate need of an overhaul. Add to that the fact that I do many of my crafty projects in the kitchen in order to be more central to keep an eye on the kids. I not only need to get my craft supplies better organized, I also need a system to make it easy to move my supplies around the house.

*This post contains some affiliate links

I've been scouting out Cricut organizing ideas for while now, and then Cricut approached me with the perfect solution for my needs - a Cricut machine tote, rolling craft tote, and matching tweed shoulder bag. They offered to send me totes to test out, and I jumped at the chance. I'll tell you more about how fabulous this set is in a minute {and give you a chance to win a set of your own!}, but I also want to share some of the other super smart organizing ideas that I discovered along the way. 

how to organize cricut supplies, vinyl, tools and mats

Ok, so let's start by talking about this uber stylish set of tweed Cricut and craft totes... seriously, I wish my luggage was half this nice!

Cricut storage tote

The long thin case on top is the machine tote, and it's serious business! There's no chance of my machine getting damaged inside of this bad boy! It's padded on all sides, and there's a handy cut out in the bottom padding perfect for tucking away all of your cords and cables.

Cricut machine tote

Then there's the rolling craft tote ... otherwise known as an organizers dream! 

Cricut Rolling Craft Tote

I dug through my craft room and gathered up all of my Cricut tools, mats, and vinyl. There was still extra room in this tote. So then I thought I'd see if my Cuttlebug would fit too... Yep! And there was still extra room. Then I added my paper cutter, and stacks of scrapbook paper. Still extra room. 

Let me point out a few of my favorite details... 
  • There's a strap that velcros around the pull-out handle to hold the lid of this tote open
  • Detachable zipper compartments that securely velcro to the lid
  • Tall enough inside for rolls of vinyl
  • Front unzips to tilt forward for easier access to everything inside
  • Inside pocket large enough to hold a laptop computer {I filled this pocket with paper for now because I put my laptop in the separate shoulder bag}
  • Space for additional tools like the Cuttlebug
  • Multi-direction wheels make it smoothly roll in any direction
  • Pockets, pockets, and more pockets

organize Cricut tools and supplies in a tweed rolling cart

And I haven't even started filling up the large pockets on sides and back of the tote!

Stacking tweed Cricut storage totes

The machine case stacks perfectly on top of the craft tote. There's even a loop on the back of the machine tote to secure it the pull handle of the craft tote {although I didn't have it secured in this photo}. 

The one and only Cricut supply I have that won't fit in these cases is my large, 12 x 24 cutting mat. I wish there was a thin space behind the internal dividers to allow this oversized mat to slide in.

organize your Circut with tweet totes

Now that my Cricut supplies are all organized in these pretty totes, let's talk about organizing your Cricut supplies. At the end of this post, I've got a chance for your to win all three Cricut cases - a machine tote, a rolling craft tote, and a shoulder bag - worth $280! 

As much as I love these Cricut totes, I know that different solutions fit different needs, so I've also rounded up a whole bunch more organizing ideas for you...

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about 20 ways to organize with a shoe cabinet, including storing scrapbooking and Cricut supplies. You can read more about it here, but you can see from the photo that this provides space for vinyl, paper, tools, and extra large cutting mats.

organize vinyl rolls and scrapbook paper

Cori, from Hey, Let's Make Stuff uses a similar tilt-out solution to organize her paper - but her version mounts to the wall. Get the details in her post here.

Cori also uses a pretty basket to store her vinyl, which is so smart because it's easy to see and find what you need, and it ends up looking like decor. She has tons of other tips for organizing craft supplies in her full craft room tour!

I love double-duty furniture that provides storage, and the desk in the craft room of Laura's Crafty Life is a perfect example. The end of the desk has shelves and drawers that provide room for tons of paper, vinyl, and other supplies. And how cute is the case on her Cricut on top of the desk?! 

Laura also has a simple but genius solution for storing her cutting mats! Take her full craft room tour for all the details and lots more organizing tips!

A love a pretty rolling cart, and White House Black Shutter's found the a stylish cart to hold both her printer and her Cricut, as well as a bunch of other craft supplies! Her entire home office is a must see!

Pegboards are so versatile, and ideal for keeping everything in easy reach - including Cricut tools! As cute as it is, this pegboard doesn't even hint at the colorful, gorgeousness that is Something Turquoise's craft room!

If you're a Cricut crafter, then you're sure to have a lot of vinyl. So let's conclude with two simple vinyl storage solutions. A crafter by the name of Holly shared this with Expressions Vinyl, who shared it on Instagram, and it's pretty much genius! Those are IKEA plastic bag holders that can be purchased for about $2 each.

Last, but certainly not least, this inexpensive shoe rack in the craft room of Craftaholics Anonymous provides storage for SO. MUCH. VINYL! This is another swoon worthy craft-room tour that you really must see to believe!

And now... THE GIVEAWAY!This giveaway is valid for US residents only, 18 & up.

If for some reason the giveaway widget doesn't appear, click here to enter.

{five minute friday} How to Get Drawer Organizing Right the First Time

Friday, June 30, 2017

You may have noticed that Five Minute Friday has been on a bit of a hiatus. Things have been really hectic behind the scenes, and I was having a hard time coming up with new five minute projects that I felt were really valuable and helpful to you guys. But recently, in the midst of working on another project, I had a light bulb moment and literally dropped what I was doing to create a quick five minute solution to one of my biggest organizing challenges... drawers!

Let me back up just a bit... My husband had been traveling for work quite a bit, and despite my "single parent" duties totally wearing me out, I decided that while he was out of town it would be the perfect time to organize the disaster of a closet on our main floor. 

{diy with style} 10 Reasons the Mason Jar Trend Lives On

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Some may say that the mason jar trend has run its course, but the fact remains that these classic glass jars are so versatile and affordable that they'll always be the ideal candidates for a quick and stylish upcycle. I still love them because they can be made to fit any style.

This month, the All Things Creative team has rounded up ten of our all-time favorite mason jar projects to remind you that whether you're looking for something simple and chic, farmhouse fab, or colorful and modern... a quick and inexpensive mason jar upcycle might just be the perfect solution!

{featured} I Spy... My Work in Print

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Oh my goodness! I am over the moon to finally share a little secret with you... my work is in print for the very first time!

I spy our home in 5280 Home Magazine

Last fall, the Editor of 5280 Home reached out to me asking if they could photograph my boys' rock-and-roll "studio" under our basement stairs to be featured in the inaugural "Best of Denver Design" issue as the "Best Playroom in Denver." 
Um, yes please!

5280 Home is the quarterly shelter publication of 5280 Magazine - a staple of life in Denver. For those who are wondering what the number is all about, 5280 refers to the number of feet in a mile, a measurement well known to everyone in the Mile High City.

The magazine sent out a photographer just a couple of weeks later, and I did several phone interviews with one of their staff writers to share all of the details about the playroom and my work as a design blogger.

5280 Home Magazine photographer

5280 Home Photographer
The playroom feature was originally slated to be published in the Winter issue of 5280 Home, but they ran into a mismatch between the number of content and advertising pages, and my feature got bumped. The Editor assured me that the playroom would be published in a later issue, but I wasn't sure what to expect. 

Sure enough, though, a couple of months later I got the word that we were scheduled to be included in the summer issue. When my preview copies arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, I was so thrilled to see our full page feature! 

The writer really did an excellent job of talking about the space and encouraging readers of the magazine to head to my blog for all the DIY tutorials. I have many blogging friends whose work has been featured in magazines without so much as a mention of their blog, so I especially appreciate 5280 Home giving such clear credit to my design work and my blog... it makes the feature that much meaningful to me! 

Under Stair Playroom 5280 Home Magazine Feature

If you're not in Denver, you can still read the full article online at the 5280 Home website.

Beckett was pretty darn excited to see himself in the magazine, but when I asked if it made him famous, he replied, "I was already famous... I'm on a blog!" LOL! I wasn't even sure that he understood what I do, let alone that it made him feel so important. He's still quite proud of the magazine photo though, and he points it out to anyone who will listen each time we see it at the check stand in stores around town. 

I've always had magazine hoarding tendencies {who could recycle all of that design inspiration goodness?!}... and I've definitely collected quite a few copies of our issue of 5280 Home!  I am so grateful that they chose to feature the boys' playroom and give me the chance to see my work in print for the first time. 

5280 Home Magazine

And if you are a huge Bachelor fan, like I am, here's a little bonus... Bachelor Ben and fiance Lauren's Denver home was also featured in this issue of the magazine, but since they are splitsville now, 5280 Home did an online feature follow-up where you can read about his home post-breakup

{diy with style} Home Made Smarter

Monday, June 12, 2017

As I get older, I'm determined to keep up with the newest technology. Sure I haven't heard of the latest dating app, and there's always some new social media aimed at the generation a decade younger than I am, but I do pretty well {mostly thanks to my husband, who sometimes has to drag me along when I complain about why the TV needs three different remotes}. 

Our house is the same way. Built just about 10 years ago, it came before smart home technology really became mainstream. And I've seen the way that Scott looks at those younger homes with their fancy thermostats and lights you can control from your phone. So I was thrilled when I learned that Hive, the UK's most popular smart home brand, has just launched in the US and Canada and is offering easy ways to make any home tech savvy - including the ability to adjust heating and air conditioning, lighting, and appliances from anywhere, and to have each of these components work together to create one cohesive smart home ecosystem! Thank you to Hive for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.