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Entries in interior decor (229)

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!

Monday
Jan302017

beating the winter decorating blah's with houseplants

Hello, blogland; so nice to see you again!  I hope you're all off to a great start in 2017!  The last few weeks of the year really kicked my butt; Luca ended up hospitalized with RSV - anyone with an infant that has gotten it can tell you it's an absolutely devastating experience; it's been the hardest thing I've ever had to do to watch my baby struggle so hard to breathe and know there was virtually nothing anyone could really do, but I'm so grateful the amazing staff at our hospital took such great care of us! We ended up missing Lydia's third birthday because Luca was admitted that morning, which only added to my already teetering emotional state; I ended up getting really sick, too, and then my little miss's birthday party was canceled due to a snow storm that we didn't end up getting.

We're all back on the healthy train again (thanks to my mom, who flew out from the west coast and saved my behind and also my dad and brother who tag teamed watching Lydia while I was in the hospital) and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can keep it that way through the rest of the winter!  And speaking of winter...does anyone else have a case of the blah's at home?  The house always seems so empty after the tree and the garlands are down so I always end up giving the house a few little tweaks to make it feel fresh and new again without going overboard (or spending a ton).  This year, though, I'm not gonna lie -  my idea of "freshening up the house" includes tackling the mountains of laundry and organizing the myriad toys that have taken over every corner of my house, but I picked up some new house plants recently and they've done wonders for my home (and my mental state!).  They're one of my favorite ways to add some color and freshness to any space! 

I love fresh flowers as much as the next girl, but for the money, you just can't beat a pop of green from a big, chunky houseplant, am I right?  I posted my favorite plants that are virtually impossible to kill a while ago (you can read it here); it really is one of my favorite, least expensive ways to refresh a space; pop one in a basket and you have instant texture and interest.

(A six foot fiddle leaf fig I found for $50 at Home Depot a few years back, that I managed to keep alive for six whole months!)

(A $5 peace lily in a basket adds just the right amount of color, texture and freshness to my living room)

(An inexpensive palm from Lowe's helps fill in the space between our breakfast nook and living room)

(Lemon cypress topiary smell as amazing as they look!)

(A hearty philodendron for the master bathroom that almost completely prevents you from being able to see your lower half - but is so totally worth it!)

What are some of your favorite ways to beat the winter decorating blah's?

Thursday
Dec222016

a little christmas cheer in lydia's room

We are in full-on Christmas mode over here, baking cookies, listening to holiday tunes, burning our Christmas lights 24/7 and counting the days until Santa's arrival!  The most wonderful time of the year is even more magical when you're experiencing it through the eyes of your almost three year old and I'm loving every single minute as much as she is! We've had the house decorated since, literally, five minutes after Thanksgiving dinner, and this year we added some Christmas cheer to Lydia's room, as well.   Last week, she asked me for a Christmas tree for her room and, after gallivanting all over town and coming up empty-handed, I stuck some fresh cut branches in a glass vase and wrapped some twinkle lights around them.  Improvisation at its best!  I added some more twinkle lights to her gallery wall, and a stack of our favorite Christmas books and a miniature nutcracker to her chest.  My aunt sent her a sweet surprise over the weekend - a porcelain Christmas tree with the most beautiful lights and it's our new favorite heirloom as she won't go to sleep without it! Her room is so cozy to begin with but now even I have a hard time turning the lights out after reading our books at bedtime!  Since the weather's been too crappy to take pics of the Christmas decorations throughout the rest of the house (and to be honest, it's not much different from last year), I snapped a few shots of her room this morning:

Hope you're all enjoying these last few magical days before Santa comes!

Monday
Dec192016

last minute christmas gift ideas

Christmas is less than a week away and, with the exception of a gift for my dad (he's always the hardest person in the world to shop for), I'm feeling pretty good about the fact that I finished all the rest of my shopping over the weekend!  This is the first year in a long time that I'm done with time to spare; I always have the best intentions of starting early but I'm usually the one running around town and hitting up Amazon and getting my money's worth out of my Prime membership!  There's still time to get some pretty fabulous gifts, though, so I rounded up some of my favorite finds that I've blogged about a lot here on the blog that are fabulously priced and would make for a beautiful gift if you're in a pinch!

This tortoise ice bucket was my favorite gift last year.  It looks so chic on a bar setup and I've used it many times as a makeshift vase, too!

A preserved boxwood wreath adds a festive touch all year long and this one from Target is so well priced for such a generous size!

I don't know anyone who wouldn't love a blue and white ginger jar.  This one is a beauty and so budget-friendly!

A gorgeous set of marble cheese knives that are on sale right now for $15 (I got a set for myself and one for pretty much everyone I know who loves to entertain)

A Boat, A Whale and a Walrus is still one of my favorite recipe/entertaining books to gift and it looks so pretty on a bookshelf or coffee table, too!

My oversize clam shell, one of my favorite decorative accessories is on sale right now at ZGallerie.  Or, surprise that special someone and get the even more ginormous one!

A Diptyque candle set is the exception to the price-friendly gifts here but I love it so much for a best friend or sister because it's not typically something they would buy for themself!

This blue and white swirl vase looks gorgeous with big, fluffy hydrangea blooms!

Obsessed with these brass pineapple shot glasses; these are great for the perpetual entertainer and they look beautiful displayed, too!

I've spent a small fortune on myrtle topiary, only to kill them weeks later so I refuse to purchase any more for myself but that doesn't mean I wouldn't take one as a gift, haha!

A brass monogram door knocker for the monogram-obsessed!

This leopard lumbar pillow is bananas in person!

I bought this gold platter for a friend and loved it so much, I wanted to keep it for myself.  Perfect for serving cocktails or a bedside display!

What are some of your favorite gifts to give?