10 Decor Details I'm Doting On | June Edition

Um, can someone please tell me where May went? And we're all ready ten days into June?! I thought that moving into our house would mean lots and lots of blog posts about all our projects. I promise: There are projects coming. We're just still getting settled in and doing some of the not-so-fun, not-so-blogworthy undertakings right now.

In the meantime, I'm starting a new little monthly feature where I can share lovely interior things that catch my eye – the little decor details that I'm currently doting on. To kick things off, how cute is that DIY elephant doorstop above?! It's simple, cheap, and adorable. You can find the instructions over at Max Makes Home.

Next up, I'm obsessing over this use for Harney and Sons tea tins. I seriously stand in the tea aisle and ogle these tins every time I'm in Target – and I have a couple. I've just been trying to figure out how to put them on display once I'm done with them. Storage is okay, but herb plants are so much prettier and more practical! I'm currently trying my non-green-thumbed hand at growing a little basil and cilantro on my windowsill... and this might be the perfect excuse to transfer them into new tins and grow some more herbs! Learn more about this Earth Day project at Mireio

I had one of these metal shelving units in college. Back then, it was a necessary ugly. But ever since I got rid of it, I've missed it. Because I've seen the light. I've seen how people style them and how utilitarian can also look shiny and chic. I think the secret lies in colorful cookbooks, a bit of copper to contrast the chrome, a bit of white, and a touch of something rustic. I might have a spot in my kitchen for a couple of these... and goodness knows we need the storage space. Check out the above setup on The Home Depot blog.

It's so convenient to have our washer and dryer tucked away in its own little room off of the main upstairs bathroom. But boy, I sure do hate throwing lint away in the bathroom waste basket. I mean... I could get a waste basket for the little laundry room, but this is just such a cute, clever idea that I may have to steal it. I'd like an antique looking one... maybe spray painted copper or bronze? ;) Visit Polished Habitat for more on this lovely lint catcher.

Nobody whips up an old fashioned like my boyfriend. Our dining room is home to our bar cart, some beer signs, some vintage memorabilia from a bar my bf's grandparents once owned, and our keezer. (A keezer – allow me to enlighten you – is basically a big freezer outfitted as a big kegerator. We have G's homebrew on tap in our dining room... and it's awesome.) So anyway... our dining room might end up taking a "bier hall" or pub kind of theme in the end. And I like the idea of classin' it up with a framed print like this. I'll just need one for gin and brandy, too. Buy one for just $12 from Katie Kime.

I love this. 1) It hangs in the window – maybe with a tension rod, so it won't require drilling hardware into my beautiful, original, century-old wood trim. 2) The pattern and colors are so pretty. 3) It'd be ideal for my kitchen or upstairs bathroom. I found it via Nell Hills, but I'm trying to track down a legit source or do-it-yourself instructions. ;)

Bricks painted to look like books! Isn't this precious? I'd need one for Gone with the Wind, The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and a whole slue of Nancy Drew Mysteries. I sense a project coming on... (Unfortunately, I couldn't track down the original source. Holler if you know!)

To know me is to know that I'm a sucker for these vintage, colorful floral patterns – especially on vintage enamelware! (via Prenons le Temp)

I'm pretty much in love with my gray velvet desk chair, but these floral task chairs inside the Free People headquarters are so fun and fabulous. (More pictures of the headquarters and a heavy dose of office inspiration on Cheetah is the New Black!)

I have an affinity for old doors. (I did just turn one into my desk.) I love this idea for an old door that has lost its glass. (via Lushome)

Which of these decor details is your fave?

J E S S I C A  H A N S E N

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My Spray Paint (Still) Brings All the Boys (err, Men) to the Yard

I can't believe that it's been almost four years since I published one of my favorite blog posts: My Spray Paint Brings All the Boys to the Yard. Back then, I was living in that lovely attic apartment down the street from favorite bars and hangouts in my college town. That day, a couple guys were drawn to how "I be killin' it with that paint." One even said that my "antiquing got swag." Still one of my favorite compliments to this day.

Four years, a boyfriend, relocation, two apartments, and a house with said boyfriend later... There's one thing (okay two) that has remained a constant: my love of that boyfriend and my love of spray painting. And apparently, it still brings boys to the yard. Except, since we're not in a college town... they're not boys with snapbacks and tattoos who call me "lil mama." It's an older gentleman who raises his eyebrows at my choice of bold color, asks if I've been watching that silly HGTV show his wife loves so much (Flea Market Flip), and welcomes me to the neighborhood.

This past long weekend, G and I got our outdoor chores on. He pulled weeds and worked on our landscaping, while I undertook a project that had been on my mind for a while: my office desk.

Here's what my desk looked like when we moved in. I used two wood-look file cabinets as pedestals, and placed a long, narrow antique door over top of them. (I found the cabinets and door on Craigslist for cheap!) I really liked how it turned out because it's hard to find a long, narrow desk like I was wanting. I wasn't keen on the two-tone dark door and lighter oak cabinets, but I lived with it for a while to figure what I wanted instead.

Here's Cotton mulling over the dark wood door with me. 

Eventually, I swapped out the green curtains for plain ivory ones. (The green just looked better in the upstairs guest room.) And I also replaced the white and turquoise dining chair with a legit desk chair – in beautiful gray velvet no less.

While I liked that the door part of the desk matched the dark wood trim of the room, the file cabinets were really becoming an eyesore for me. I decided that the door and cabinets would need to be painted to match. But what color? I looked around my office and mused about what I wanted it to look like. Pieces that stood out were my Mucha artwork, my purple cabinet, my soft blanket I keep on the chair, and some other purple details. So it was decided...

I hit up the Ace Hardware in the next town and loaded up on purple paint swatches. I settled on the Ripe Mulberry because it most closely matched my existing purple cabinet. So I went back to Ace to have them mix the paint... when I stumbled upon something even better: spray paint in that exact color. And by Rustoleum! 

I'm a Rustoleum girl through and through. I've used a lot of different spray paints, and Rustoleum is hands down the best. When I recently spray painted our patio furniture (more on that to come), I tried out Rustoleum's Painter's Touch Ultra Cover 2x... and was sold. It sprays so evenly. The nozzle doesn't drip or leak onto your hands or project. And it dries to a smooth, vibrant, even finish. (No, I'm not sponsored by Rustoleum. I wish! I just reeeeeally love their spray paints. So get at me, Rustoleum! ;))

So I bought Ace's entire stock of the Painter's Touch Ultra Color 2x in Aubergine.

The trick to spray painting is to do light coats, swinging your arm back and forth, and letting it dry in between. I gave the cabinets and door two coats each, letting it dry for about an hour in between. Then I let it dry outside for several hours to avoid any tackiness.

Just my luck, when we went out to bring it in... a bird had pooped on the door! Yuck! :( So I had to clean that up and touch up a small section. 

Pictured above is the desk all set up. It's so much easier on the eyes now that all parts match... it looks like a real desk instead of a door haphazardly stacked on top of file cabinets. ;)

Oh! And here it is now that I've reattached the gold hardware. I considered spray painting these copper. But that would have meant another 30+ minute drive to the hardware store, and I just wasn't feeling it. So I put the original gold ones back on. I'm glad I did! I love how the gold pops against the dark plum!

Stay tuned! My new rug arrived and I'll be sharing more office progress!

J E S S I C A  H A N S E N

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My Home Office | Tour + Decorating Inspiration

Certain parts of the house are coming along. (You can check out the master bedroom and bath, downstairs bathroom, dining room, foyer, and living room in this post.) While other rooms still feel disheveled and hardly unpacked.

My office was one of the first rooms to get set up with furniture since I needed to have a place to work. But style-wise, it's not as colorful or inspiring of a creative space as I'd like. It needs to function as a motivating office for working from home, as an inspiring space for the creative writing and blogging I do as a hobby, and as a pretty room since it's on the main level and will definitely be seen by guests.

Bug Off! | Getting rid of unwanted guests of the 6- and 8-legged variety

To know me is to know I'm afraid of anything with more than four legs – except butterflies. After over a month of living together in our new-to-us, 105-year-old house in a semi-rural small town... G is just finding this out. He's come home to a beetle trapped under a mason jar, fireplace wrapped in tape to keep honeybees out, and me nearly in tears because there were two wasps upstairs.

One of the biggest, scariest adventures in having our own house has been dealing with the uninvited guests. The job has mostly fallen to me since I work from home... and our house is now also my office. So far, I've been pestered by ants, spiders, bees, wasps, and a solitary beetle. And with two furry co-workers – errr, uh... cats – I want to keep my extermination methods as eco-friendly and pet-safe as possible. And I thought I'd share my product reviews and recommendations with you!

Let's get down to the creepy crawlers, shall we?


Weekend Highlights: Fire, Flea Market, Spray Paint, & Mermaids

We've been living here in our beautiful old house for over a month now. And it's been hectic. Mainly because weekends have been consumed by unpacking, landscaping, and trips out of town to graduations. Last weekend, we finally had a weekend to have some much-needed fun – among more landscaping. ;)

We began our weekend with a Friday night fire on our patio. Just the two of us, some hamburgers on the grill, a few beers, and a nice fire going. It was perfect. I can't wait for many more nights on this patio together – and sharing it with friends and family!


Impromptu House Tour!

Happy weekend! Since we've been living in our 105-year-old house for just over a month now, I figured it was high time that I shared some photos. We're not completely settled in. The guest bedroom is full of clothes I need to launder, sort, and donate. And the upstairs bath is the current laundry zone since the washer and dryer are in there. But I do have some rooms to share!

Like the foyer. Above you can see our lovely antique front door. 


At Home with Honeybees (AKA: Bees in our chimney?!)

I love Burt's Bees. I love beeswax candles. And I love me some honey... especially slurped out of those honey straws from the farmers' market or brewed into a refreshing Kolsch beer.

But I'm a fraidy-cat when it comes to the little buzzers that make honey: the honeybees. I'm embarrassingly afraid. Not embarrassed myself, but bound to embarrass any friends or family standing nearby. Like, flapping-my-arms and running-away, embarrassingly afraid. I know, I know... flapping your arms can make bees upset or afraid, resulting in a sting. And that's why I'm afraid. I'm afraid of being stung. It's a fear of the unknown because I've never been stung. I'm afraid of the pain. I'm afraid of turning out to be allergic. And I'm afraid of watching the bee die because it stung me. Ugh.

So anyway, long story short: For a few weeks, we've been trying to figure out how honeybees are getting in. But now we've seen it with our own eyes. The bees are coming down the chimney and into my office via small openings around the woodburner. We went outside and looked at the chimney. Lo and behold! A bunch of bees swarming around the chimney top!