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Tuesday
Apr252017

on my radar: goodies for summer

We just got back from a week at the beach and now, aside from lamenting over the decade we lived right next to the water, I'm so beyond ready for summer!  I definitely don't believe you need to live by the water in order to reflect one's love of the sea in your home - especially if you pick elegant furnishings and accessories that are anything but kitschy, so I've rounded up a bunch of goodies I'm loving lately that definitely fit that bill!  From a natural bistro counter stool that gives me heart palpitations and the extra large version of the Atlantis clam shell I already have (this one is a MONSTER!) to gold leafed chain book ends that I'm completely OBSESSED with and a white lacquer and raffia coffee table that is bananas, any of these picks would bring a bit of a beach vibe to any style decor:

Riviera Counter Stool in Natural / Gold leaf chain link book ends / Extra large Atlantis clam shell /

Marble wine holder / Rattan ice bucket / Gold bamboo mirror / Bone tray / Brass knot bottle opener /

Link pitcher / Shell cheese knives / Cabot square coffee table

What are you loving lately for warmer months??

Wednesday
Apr122017

new lantern lighting for my kitchen

 

This post is a LONG time coming - and not just because it's been forever since I've blogged!  It's taken me seven years to make up my mind on a chandelier for my breakfast nook and then find one I won't get tired of as soon as it's installed, but I'm excited to say I've found the perfect, linear, oversize lantern and I'm OBSESSED!  If you guys have been reading along here for a while you know I've had my heart set on finding an oversized lantern light for over my breakfast table but the search has been ridiculous because everything I found was either dwarfed by my vaulted ceilings or cost a couple month's worth of mortgage payments.  Seriously...it's much harder than you might think to find a ginormous lantern chandelier for less than a down payment on a car!

I had seen the Sheffield 8-light lantern chandelier by Ballard Designs before but it wasn't until a few weeks ago when another catalogue landed in my mailbox that I thought it just might work in my space.  It was also on major sale so I bit the bullet and ordered it and you know what?  I LOVE IT!  It's just what the space needed; it's the perfect size, the finish is beautiful and the guy who installed it said he was amazed at the quality. 

The only thing I will say I wasn't crazy about was the fake wax drip candle sleeves (sorry, Ballard), but that was a quick and easy fix.  I ordered a pack of plain white plastic sleeves from Amazon and gave them a few light coats of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, which matches the finish so perfectly.  This is a great way to modernize a chandelier on the cheap!

I finally feel like this space is finished, which is really saying a lot because I've constantly been changing things up to compensate for the fact that I had the wrong size lighting in here for so long. It adds just the right amount of drama and the prettiest, softest light (I used 15 watt bulbs).  I highly, highly recommend this fixture if you're looking for an oversize lantern light.  Thank you, Ballard...from the bottom of my oversize lantern loving, indecisive heart, thank you!

Friday
Mar312017

farewell, my sweet gunner

It's been forever since I've gotten personal here, but I just couldn't get back to writing about design and decorating without acknowledging such a tremendous loss in our family.  Two weeks ago we had to put our sweet Gunner to rest. Even though I knew it was coming, I was absolutely devastated.  We had a little more than 13 wonderful years with him, and they flew by in the blink of an eye.  He was my first baby, my protector, my friend and my constant companion through ten deployments.  My friends and family liked to joke that my dog lived a better life than many humans and that was true!  For ten years he was my only baby and he went everywhere with me; I can't tell you how many times I'd come out of the grocery store to find someone taking a picture of the dog in the driver's seat with his paws on the steering wheel, waiting for his momma to come out.  As arthritis started creeping in the last couple of years and it got harder for him to do the things he loved best, I still lived in denial that the day when we would have to say goodbye was getting closer.  I miss him so much.  It's still hard coming home and not having him greet us at the door, practically dancing with excitement, or hearing him snoring at my feet at night.  Even though I know he's in a much better place, I wish I had one more day with him.  I love you, my sweet, sweet boy and miss you terribly....

Gunner 27 October 2003 - 14 March 2017

Thursday
Feb092017

kitchen essentials that are as pretty as they are functional

My kitchen is not only the heart of our home, it's also the hardest working room in the whole house.  I love to cook and bake and always end up using all of my countertop space while doing so, which has always made it hard to "decorate" the space.  Because of that, I'm willing to spend a little extra on gadgets and cookware that are as lovely as they are utilitarian and add a dose of pretty to my kitchen.  I cleared everything off my counters a few nights ago in an attempt to reorganize and clean and I ended up putting everything right back to where it was because I loved everything I had displayed so much!  Here are a few things in my kitchen that I use all the time that happen to be as functional as they are pretty:

Simple, oversize glass canisters are perfect for items I use every day and the larger size looks so much better on my counters than the smaller ones, which seem to get lost among everything else!

Rattan trays.  Perfect for corraling every day items but also great for a last-minute cocktail tray or serving appetizers whenever we have company.

Wooden bread boardsI like to mix it up when we have dinner guests and sometimes serve a few snacks or finger foods or a pretty cheese platter on a bread board, but I really love the fact that they look so beautiful leaning in stacks without taking up precious counter space

Copper measuring cups make for a beautiful gift for the perpetual baker!

Murchison Hume hand soap.  My kitchen is not complete without a little brown bottle of natural, non toxic hand soap; I'm obsessed with this brand and all the subtle, lovely scents they offer!

White pitchersThese look lovely on their own but are also great for holding utensils at gatherings or as beautiful vessels for flowers.

Blue and white dish towelsA great way to add a little color to my black and white kitchen.  I found this set at Ikea and use them as napkins, too!

Silver Revere bowls.  You can find these at any thrift store; I have quite the collection and use them for everything from holding fruit and planting paperwhites at Christmas to stacking and displaying them in my glass front cabinets.

Marble utensil holder.  A seriously chic upgrade to the plain old white one I've had for years.  This one is super affordable and comes in two sizes.

Tortoise highball glasses.  I'm obsessed with everything and anything tortoise and these glasses not only look super chic in my glassfront cabinets but they double as vases.  Three of these with flowers down the middle of a table would be such a lovely centerpiece!

Rattan napkin holderI used to keep paper napkins in one of my kitchen drawers but I needed the space for the 5,000 bibs for my champion puker.  This rattan holder has been a pretty addition to my countertops and will transition easily outdoors when the weather is warm enough for dinners on the deck!

Horn bottle opener.  Too pretty to keep hidden in a drawer, this is one of my favorite bottle openers!

What are some of your kitchen must-haves?

Friday
Feb032017

new foyer lamps + how to create a "zinc" finish

Three blog posts in one week, can you believe it?  I'm still behind on laundry by three loads, but I have to say, it feels soooooo good to be back to blogging on what I hope I can make a regular basis!  On the heels of Wednesday's post, I still have lighting on the brain, this time in the form of new pair of huge table lamps for my foyer!  If you follow me on Instagram (@bungalowblue) you may remember me posting a while back about how one of the lamps in my foyer mysteriously broke into one hundred pieces while we were watching Game of Thrones last season.  I've had such a hard time findinganother pair  that I like that are also big enough; the last set was 31 inches high which is perfect for us because both the hubby and I are tall and I hate walking by and being able to see over the lamp and seeing the bulb.  Coming off of the upstairs addition, I also didn't want to spend a fortune,either.  So, when a friend called from a trip to Pottery Barn a few weeks ago and said a pair of Estelle stacked glass table lamps were on clearance for more than half off, I couldn't say no!

These pictures just don't do the lamps justice, they are so beautiful.  And they are HUGE - 33 inches to the tip of the finial, to be exact.  When it comes to lighting, I tend to find bigger is better for a dramatic impact and these lamps definitely deliver.  And if you really want to dial up the drama, a large scale mirror will do the trick!

I found this one a few years back at HomeGoods but it had a yellowed finish that looked like it had spend half a century inside a chain smoker's house.  So, I gave it a little refreshing with a "zinc" paint treatment and I LOVE how it turned out.  Here are the step-by-step instructions on how I created the finish - it's so easy and one of my favorite paint treatments, mostly because the messier the better!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!