Kelly Christakos Stivers
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Monday
Aug222016

sarah bartholomew in southern living

When I first read that the home of Nashville-based interior decorator Sarah Bartholomew would be featured in the September issue of Southern Living, I started making extra trips to the mailbox to see when it would finally land in mine.  I've been a huge fan of Bartholomew's classic, all-American style, not to mention her love of blue and white as well as how effortlessly she mixes traditional and antique pieces with modern art and treasures so, it's no surprise I've been pouring over the issue since I got my paws on it over the weekend!  Equally impressive is the fact that she is momma to FOUR littles! Her beautiful home is testament to the fact that you don't have to sacrifice personal style when you have children!  From her blue and white color palette with pops of green, lots of texture, beautiful antiques, artwork and fabric, Monday morning eye candy doesn't get much better than this:


Here are my picks for getting a similar look:

Bamboo mirror / Beachcomber basket / Ginger jar / Woven Malawi chair / Leopard lumbar pillow

Topiary / Resin coral / Throw pillow / Soare charger / Embroidered napkin

Gourd lamp / Blake raffia coffee table / Bamboo flatware / Striped vase

Hope you're all off to a great start this weekend!

Friday
Aug192016

fab (blue + white) finds $50 or less

Our guest suite reno/addition is in full swing upstairs, which means that the rest of my house is completely upended to accommodate all the construction going on.  Since I'm heavy into nesting mode right now and can't really do anything about it, I've resorted to what any other 38 week pregnant woman would do when her pregnancy-induced insomnia strikes - SHOP!  Budget-friendly finds are always at the top of my list but especially now when I still have to finish the upstairs and then complete a nursery afterward, so each and every one of my finds in today's roundup is not only fabulous, but each is less than $50!  I also, rather subconsciously, rounded up every blue and white and natural textured decorative item I could find, so you're welcome! 

This gorgeous blue and white striped Turkish towel is an end-of-summer staple and would make for a great transition into fall as a picnic blanket!

This porcelain sea urchin is the perfect addition to a coffee table, bookshelf or a stack of books.

I have this rope tassel brass bottle opener and love it!  It adds just the right nautical touch to a summer barbeque and looks equally fabulous perched on a bar cart!

A set of three blue and white porcelain bud vases are such an easy way to add color and interest to a table setting - these are lovely.

Capri Blue Volcano is one of my all-time favorite candle scents and the pop of blue from the jar is just as beautiful!

I'm obsessed with this textured glass pitcher with gold rim detailing and matching glasses - and the price will make you do a double take!

I got my hubby the larger size of this handmade ghost ship kite for his birthday and it's so pretty in person, it's more like a work of art!

This batik-inspired boho throw pillow is gorgeous - and so soft!  The price is so good, too!

A straw tote is the quintessential summer staple - they are perfect for running errands or toting towels and magazines to the pool or beach - but, I have to say, they look just as amazing hanging on a door during summer months, too!

I love tortoise shell as much as I love bamboo and rafia and this little beauty of a catchall is so chic and would make for a lovely hostess gift!

How chic are these navy tassel rafia placemats??  Perfect for end-of-summer get togethers!

The only thing I may love more than a beautiful brass door knocker is a monogrammed one!  These initial knockers are not only gorgeous, but would make a wonderful house warming gift!

Who doesn't love blue and white ginger jars?  This petite version is only $18!

How ADORABLE is this blue and white creamer set

My love for all things pineapple is a close second to my love for all things blue and white....these matches would be a lovely compliment to a candle as a gift and would look just as beautiful sitting on a coffee table or sink!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday
Aug172016

diy versailles planters

My super sweet hubby made me a pair of Versailles planters to flank my front door for Mother's Day this year and I absolutely LOVE how they turned out!  He's made me a lot of things over the years, but these are definitely my new favorites, hands down.  I finally got around to taking some pictures of them over the weekend so I could share the steps on how he made them, in case any of you were interested in making a pair of your own!  There are a ton of different plans online (you can see a few I posted here) but the hubby ended up winging it for mine and they couldn't have turned out better!  These bad boys are on the larger side, which is exactly what I wanted; I tend to think almost anything oversize makes for a much more dramatic impression and that's definitely what I got with these!

We got everything he needed at Lowe's - all the wood was plain old white pine, nothing fancy, because I was going to paint the planters once he built them.  My planters are 33 inches high (with the finals) and 25 inches wide; here is the cut list for ours:

What you'll need:

(2) 2 inch x 2 inch x 8 foot pieces, cut to 30 inches long, for the corner pieces (4 pieces per box)

(10) 1 inch x 6 inch x 8 foot boards, cut to 27 inch pieces.  We used 4 pieces per side of each box (so you'll need 16 pieces per box)

(5) 1 inch x 3 inch x 8 foot boards, cut to 22 inch pieces, for the top and bottom of each side of the box (you'll need 8 pieces per box).

One pack of 1 1/4 inch wood screws

One pack of 1 1/4 inch kreg jig screws

Kreg jig

Table saw

Drill

Decorative wood finials

Primer, paint, paint brush

To make the process a little more seamless, he cut all of the wood for each box at once:

Next, he assembled each of the sides, screwing each 27 inch board to the top and bottom pieces using an electric drill:

Using a kreg jig, he then attached the corners to each piece:

This is what each side will look like when you're done:

Next, attach each side to the other using your kreg jig; of course, I don't have a picture of this step, but you'd basically do the same as you did to attach the corner pieces to each side.  It will look like this when you're done:

Once each box was done, we drilled holes in the top of each corner and attached round wooden curtain finials.  I used these from Lowe's:

Next up, I gave them two coats of primer and three coats of glossy white exterior latex paint (I used Sherwin Williams Extra White), letting each coat dry completely before applying the next and that was it!

I usually have the biggest ferns I can find flanking my front door but this year it was too hot and I was way too pregnant to be gallivanting all over town looking for some, so I settled for two palms from Lowe's in each, instead.  I actually think I like them just as much as the ferns!  To keep them at the right height inside the boxes, my husband used some scrap wood to build a bottom inside, about a foot down from the top.

Every time I turn onto my street, I smile to myself at the impact these beauties make on our front porch.  The white is so crisp against the green palms and the size is so dramatic - the exact first impression I want to make when greeting guests to my house!

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

Monday
Aug152016

one of the prettiest instagram accounts

If a good instagram feed is one where you want to "like" every photo, then Maura Endres (@m.o.endres) has a truly amazing one, because not only do I LOVE each and every photo she posts, but I feel a little like a stalker because I'm constantly going back to sneak more peeks of her stunning home, her beautiful gardens and her perfectly styled vignettes!  Not only does she have a discerning eye for interior design and styling, but she also happens to be one of the sweetest people on Instagram.  I wish she would start a blog so we could get a closer look at her lovely home, but in the meantime, I'm loving every picture she posts on Instagram.  So much goodness in such tiny squares!  It was so hard to narrow it down and pick favorites to post here on the blog, but these are pretty darn perfect eye candy - the best way to kick off a new week!

Who are some of your favorites to follow on Instagram?

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday
Aug122016

natural wonders

It's 95 degrees outside with humidity hovering right around 90% and yet, every retailer I see is jamming their shop full of Halloween, Thanksgiving and even Christmas decor - what. the. heck.  Every year, it seems to start earlier and earlier (and yet I don't recall anyone selling summer goodies in February when we could really use the cheering up!) We've still got a ways to go down here in the south until we get a reprieve from the heat and some of my favorite things - wicker, rattan, bamboo, seagrass and brass - are what I'm feeling as we hold on to the last few weeks/months of summer.  From a giant clam bowl and my favorite bamboo flatware (both of which are on sale!!)  to the most amazing smelling candle and a jute rug that has had me all heart eyes, everything on my list is not only beautiful but adds great texture and interest! 

Giant clam bowl / Beach candle by Nest / Bamboo picture frames / Jute circles rug /

Brass anchor door knocker / South Seas Side Cart / Star fruit vases / Seagrass basket

Bamboo flatware / Bamboo vase / Straw tote / Avalon daybed / Sea sponge fingers / Rattan chair

Have a wonderful weekend!