Thinking About: Painting the First Floor White

Sometimes I like to use this blog as a place to brainstorm ideas since y'all are so great at helping me out! And today I want to talk paint. Specifically white paint. I'm really itching to paint the first floor of our little house white (or maybe a very pale gray) to make it as bright and fresh as possible. It doesn't get a ton of natural light, so I think painting it white will help. Now all I have to do is pick the right color. Not too hard, right? Riiight. Too bad there are so many different whites to choose from! Thankfully many others have walked this road before me and have done a lot of the legwork, and so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites that I've found around the design world. I'm crossing my fingers that one of these would work for our little place!

If you have any wisdom regarding choosing a white paint color, I'm all ears!

Simply White by Benjamin Moore

Shoji White by Sherwin Williams

White Dove by Benjamin Moore

China White by Benjamin Moore

Ivory White by Benjamin Moore

Whimborne White by Farrow and Ball

Of course, paint colors can look dramatically different in different homes, so I'll have to bring home a few sample pots and see which ones look right in our house. We've got a lot of warm-toned wood and our kitchen cabinets are cherry, so the white we choose needs to make nice with those wood tones :). It'll probably be awhile before this whole painting thing happens, but I figure I'd better get rollin' (pun totally intended) on figuring out what that color will be once the time comes!

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15 Minute DIY: Spotted Trash Can

Hope you all had wonderful weekends! I'm easing into this week with a quick - and I mean 15 minutes quick - DIY project. I was feeling crafty last week and was in the mood for an easy project when I spotted (no pun intended!) the plain little trash can that sits under my desk in my office. About two years ago I painted it gray with some Annie Sloan chalk paint. The trash can was originally copper, which was actually quite lovely, but to make it fit in a bit more with the color scheme I had going in our old apartment, I painted it.

I always intended to do something more to it - give it a little pizzaz - but it's a trash can, so who cares right? That's not exactly a high priority item, so nothing ever happened. Then last week I came across not one, but two projects involving spots and thought BINGO. That's what I'm going to do to this trash can! Low time commitment, excellent results.

One of the inspirations was a project Caitlin Wilson did years ago. (Side note: does anyone else out there love her textile line as much as I do?) She randomly dotted some plain white slipcovers with black sharpie, which added instant awesomeness on a shoestring budget.

And the other one is a similarly sharpie-dotted trash can from Bower Power.

Cute, yes?

Rather than a black sharpie, my weapon of choice for adding the spots was a white paint pen.

I doodled away for about 15 minutes and here are the results:

Imperfect, irregular spots that were just what I was hoping for. They're kind of leopard-y, kind of polka-dotty...just right in my book.

I plopped it back under my desk and now whenever I throw something out, it puts a little smile on my face. Apparently I'm that easy to please :). I know this next photo isn't all that exciting, but this is where it lives!

If you're really observant, you might've caught a glimpse of my $2 upcycled light fixture terrarium up there on my desk. That's its home for now, but it keeps moving around, so who knows where it'll live next!

For more photos of and projects related to my office, check out these two posts:

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Lovely Links

Hooray! It's Friday! It's been a busy week here for us - work-busy for me and school-busy for my husband. We are most definitely ready for the weekend! How about y'all?

I've got some awesome links to share with y'all this week. I think you'll really enjoy them. Here's to hoping you find some inspiration!

*As usual, if you like something you see here, please pin from the original source. The link is always right below the photo or in the caption. Give these sites some love! :)

1 | Sarah put together some gorgeous faux flowers out of none other than...tissues! Aren't these amazing? I'm putting them on my crafting list.

2 | Never have I ever thought to display shoes in an antique/vintage china cabinet, but I think it's a brilliant idea!

{image source unknown - via Burlap and Lace}

3 | This teen girl's bedroom makeover is sophisticated, but still maintains a young and fun feel. The design is definitely something that will last well beyond her teen years!

4 | The season of all-things-shiny is coming up in just a couple of short months (Christmas! New Years!) and I'm thinking it would be fun to make a glittery banner like this one to hang on our mantle or some other prominent place in the house.

5 | This post has some very good advice for people who are looking for a designer (and it's good advice to remember when you're a designer yourself and looking for clients!).

6 | A little pretty paper goes a long way in making a space POP! I LOVE the edition of this graphic paper in Jen's laundry folding area.

Happy weekend everyone!

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Simple Fall Mantle (Vintage Bottles + Pumpkins + Flowers!)

A couple of weeks ago, I shared my progress with covering the enormous wall of tile in our living room with beadboard, and mentioned that I styled up our mantle for fall. Well I'm back today to share some details about the simple things I did to pull it together.

I pulled out my collection of vintage bottles since I knew the blue would pop beautifully against the new white backdrop. I inherited every one of these from my grandmother on my mom's side. She had a huge collection, and the girls in the family divided them up when she passed away (yep, she had a ton based on the fact that I have all of these!). They used to sit in her kitchen and I'll always have fond memories of looking at all of them there as a kid when I'd visit :). I'm glad I have them as a reminder of her!

These bottles are timeless and have so many uses. I can imagine a bunch of them clustered together as a centerpiece on a table, a few arranged as a vignette on a table...or up on a mantle like this. Last spring, I gathered several together on a tray and used them as miniature vases for tulips. They were just so pretty!

I used that idea as inspiration for my fall mantle. I used a few of the bottles as vases for flowers (which came from Trader Joe's), and used others to vary the height of the mini pumpkins I wanted to incorporate.

Height variation makes an arrangement like this much more interesting. I love the semi-random heights of the pumpkins and the flowers. Each bottle has a unique look to it with either pumpkins or flowers (or nothing at all), but it has a balanced look overall.

And heck, if a big ole black TV has to sit front and center on your mantle, you might as well make everything around it look pretty, right?

Up close, you can see how unique each bottle is - aren't they fun? I especially love that fish one all the way on the right in the photo above.

So that's my fall mantle: I shopped the house, bought a few pumpkins and flowers, and kept it simple and fun!

What have you done to decorate for fall around your house?

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10 of The Yummiest Looking S'mores Recipes (Ever)

Happy Monday! Boy do I have a treat for y'all today (literally) that will definitely get your mouths watering. If you're on a diet, now is the time to close this post! If you're not, and you have a sweet tooth like I do, read on, my friend. This one's for you.

I happen to love s'mores. Do you? The idea of sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows and hanging out with friends and family is high on my list of things to do this fall before it gets too cold. and what would a campfire be without s'mores? S'mores are one of my favorite desserts, but occasionally I like to veer off the beaten path a little and try a new variation on this classic treat. Over the past few months, I've been collecting some of the yummiest-looking s'mores recipes and I think I've got plenty to share with you now. :)

Once you've had a chance to look at all this goodness, let me know what your favorite recipe is! Or, if you have one of your own, please share it! I'd love to include it on my list here.

Alright, enough talking. Time for s'mores!

S'mores mini dippers | Kevin and Amanda

S'mores crepes | Something Swanky

S'mores bars | Cooking Classy

S'moreos | CakeSpy

Brownie dulce de leche s'mores | Make Life Lovely

Indoor s'mores | Dessert for Two

* Please pin from the original source by clicking the link above the photo. Enjoy!

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