Category Archives: Living Room

Fall Mantel 2013

fall mantel 9Fall is officially here!  It’s beginning to look and feel like Fall around here.  And I don’t mean just the weather.  This past weekend I had a couple of minutes free while Michael Luke and Noah were out running errands.  So I rant to the store to grab a few pumpkins,  grabbed a few things around the house, and set to work decorating the mantel!fall mantel 10Fall is my favorite season for mantel decorating.  Maybe I have a weakness for pumpkins or maybe it’s because I haven’t done anything to the mantel all Summer long so I’m just itching to change things up.  The world may never know.  What I do know is that I’m ready to share this mantel scape with you and the resources that I used.

fall mantel 8My first rule of seasonal decorating is to try and use as much around the house as I possibly can.  You don’t have to go out and buy ten scarecrows, a skeleton, or a faux feathered turkey to let people know you decorated for Fall.  Instead look around your house for seasonal colors or color groupings that you want to use.  Create Unity.fall mantel 4I shared a few weeks ago some of the Pinterest pins I was pulling inspiration from.   Milk glass is used a lot in decorating on Pinterest.  I don’t have any, but I do have my Casafina Vintage Port cream stoneware.  So I grabbed a few pieces as well as the “I am a Child of God” wall hanger.  Using these creme colors keeps the mantel from looking too dark and allows the pumpkins to stand out… it is their of year to shine you know.
fall mantel 7Some people are all about white pumpkins, extensively decorated pumpkins, or handmade faux pumpkins.  That’s fine.  Whatever works for you is great!  In my case I wanted a lit bit of color (orange) and definitely don’t have the free time to spend fifty hours customizing a pumpkin.  So I chose a few simple orange pumpkins and a few white pumpkins with orange highlights.  They make me happy! I grabbed all the pumpkins at Publix for around $20.  I splurged and spent an extra dollar on a bundle of wheat.  Big spender, right?

fall mantel 2fall mantel 5If you followed my blog in years past (Fall 2011, 2012) then you probably remember the “S” monogramed picture.  I use it almost every season.  My sister made it for us as a house warming gift, and I love how versatile it is!  So don’t be surprised if you see it on my Christmas and Easter mantels.

fall mantel 3Finally, I got a little brave and decided to use a dry erase marker to write on my Casafina stoneware serving tray.
fall mantel 1It was a simple and free way to create a sign for the mantel.  I think it’s a nice touch.  What about you?

fall mantel 10I also chose to place a pumpkin down low for Noah.  I wanted her to be able to see and feel one so she can really learn what a pumpkin is.  Her little kitten art project doesn’t look bad there either!
pumkin with cat copyNow it really feels like Fall at our house.  Bring on the football, soups, and sweaters.  I’m ready.  Have you done any Fall decorating yet?  Do you have a special place in your house that you love to decorate?  What type of pumpkins do you like to buy?  The biggest you can find?  Orange?  White?  Mixed?  Fake?

Linking up at:

Thrifty Decor Chick, One More Time

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Third Time’s a Charm… Right?

I mentioned a long time ago that we rearranged the living room… again.  Because I’m pretty sure you can’t picture my living room right off the top of your head here is a look back at the old layout and below is the room 7We moved the armoire and television next to the fireplace where the love seat used to be. It’s not the ideal location for it because both the armoire and fireplace are fighting to be the focal point in the room but we have plans to fix that problem. In the bottom right corner of the picture above you can see the corner of the love seat.  This new layout creates a much more intimate sitting area and also brings the seating closer to the television for optimal viewing!

At first I was leery of having the seating so close. I had always loved the open concept of our living room.  Now, I like the new arrangement better because I feel like it doesn’t leave any piece of furniture just hanging out by itself.  The whole layout works together as a group.
living room 6Although we have lived with this furniture arrangement for six months it’s still a work in progress.  Which explains why our gallery wall is behind the armoire and why our armoire is sill on sliders for easy moving.  I can’t wait to share some of these ideas and plans with y’all in the coming weeks!
living room 5 One of the main reasons we rearranged the living room is because we relocated the desk from Noah’s room to this little corner.

living room 3

ML and I stayed way too late way too many nights figuring out where would be the best place for this little guy.  I am so happy with our decision.  I love sitting here in the afternoons, with my cup of tea or coffee, blogging away.  It’s nice being able to look outside, (listen to Buddy cry like a broken record), and work while Noah is napping.

living room 1

Looking at these pictures I really need to get that painting hung above the desk.  All that negative space is bothering me but like I said we haven’t done anything for the last six room 2 Not much changed in this corner… the giant screen still hides all our paint.  Isn’t it funny how no matter how hard you try everybody ends up with a corner they pile junk in?living room 4The gallery wall is still behind the armoire.  We want to move it to this wall room 8Our main hold up is that we aren’t sure we like such a low bench there.  I think a taller more functional storage piece would look great there.  So until we get it all figured out there probably won’t be any more holes going into the wall.

So what about you?  Any major room changes lately?  Do you move stuff and then wait months to decide if you like it?  Which room have you rearranged the most in your house?  Let me know.  I would love to hear your answers.


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A Long, Long Time Ago…

gallery wall coverThis gallery wall project happened so long ago, before Noah’s birthday, I hesitated to even share it with you but then I decided why not.  I mentioned back in this post that am a procrastinator and as “they” say, “The proof is in the pudding.”

Our gallery wall started coming together almost six months ago… back when I shared this picture on Instagram.
gallery wall progress

At that point in the process we were moving templates around trying to figure out how the picture frames would work best.  This really is the easiest method when trying to figure out how to hang a gallery wall. It helps keep those hundreds of guessing holes at bay.

This gallery wall is a result of the map picture looking visually too small hanging above the love seat.  By creating a gallery wall it helped to add visual weight to the wall and balance out the large love seat underneath. This is an easy solution to any small pictures hanging (no pun intended) around your house or large areas of wall space that need to be filled.

Gallery walls work best when there is some underlying order to it.  I’m not just talking about matching picture frames or a unifying color.  It helps if all the pictures work as a group.  In our case we created a boundary line that all the pictures would fit within.


Because this project leans more towards the perfectionist side ML did most of the work.  You won’t find me complaining about that.  To create our boundary line he started with the largest picture surrounding the map and worked with it until the spacing looked right.

Next he formed the four corners working out from his original picture. We actually drew a light pencil line outlining our boundary on the wall.  It can easily be erased once the pictures are hung.

Once, the four corners were defined the rest of the pictures were placed along the outside border.

The not so fun part… according to Michael Luke was locating the nail hole locations.  To do this measure the distance both horizontally and vertically to the hole on the back of the frame.  Then locate this on the wall using your  boundary pencil line as your starting point.


Finally, admire the gallery wall that you just created! Ta-da!

gallery wall

I wish I had a more completed pictures to show you. The one above was taken right after Christmas and then we immediately rearranged the living room. Yet another thing I have procrastinated showing y’all. My goal is to get some pictures taken of the new layout and share with you where our new gallery wall will go.

For anyone that may be curious and because the picture is a little blurry I created the diagram below with corresponding numbers describing the pictures.  Once we get the gallery wall relocated to its new location I promise to come back with close-ups of the pictures.

gallery wall index

Photo Listings:

  1. Wall Plaque “As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” – At the top left hand corner it functions as our family motto and the theme of our gallery wall.  Over time I hope to add new pictures… especially once we bring our second daughter home from Peru.
  2. One of my favorite pictures of Noah from this Summer.
  3. I found this quote on Pinterest and then added my life verse below it.  It is such a great reminder of God’s timing as we journey through this adoption process.


  4. The map…il_570xN.299815065  is a gift I gave to Michael Luke for his birthday last year and the basis for the entire wall.  A heart sticker will be added showing where each of children are born!  When I saw it on Etsy I knew it was the perfect gift for him… and I was right.  (If you would like your own world/state map clicking the image above will take you to the seller’s Etsy shop.)
  5. Family portrait from last Summer.
  6. Last picture of the beach on our honeymoon.
  7. A great image of the Alabama Theatre, a historic landmark here in town.
  8. Portrait of us on our honeymoon in Jamaica.
  9. A beautiful picture of Noah just two days old.  I love Michael Luke’s hands cradling her head.  She was so tiny!
  10. Mom + Dad = Me Michael Luke gave me this frame after our confirmation appointment for my pregnancy.
  11. Noah as the flower girl at my sister’s wedding.
  12. Family picture from last fall.  It’s one of my favorite ones.
  13. Another photo from our honeymoon.
  14. This one is supposed to be a picture of Noah and Buddy, our cat but I have had a hard time getting it printed.  I think I might just have to print it myself vs. paying to have it done.I’m kind of bummed that the gallery wall isn’t visible any more.  I enjoyed having so many family pictures displayed for everyone to see.  Eventually, we will get around to moving it though.  Besides the rearrangement of the living room furniture I promise I am not hiding any more “procrastinated” projects.Are there any projects you have been procrastinating on?  Do you find yourself regularly rearranging rooms?  I can’t even remember how many furniture layouts we have had for our living room!

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