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Showing posts from November, 2014

10 Vintage Inspired Light Switch Plates to Instantly Transform a Room

It's all in the details. And when decorating any room, one of the cheapest, fastest, and easiest improvements to make is switching out the light switch and electrical outlet covers. In our daily lives, we often overlook these beige and white switch plates – and that's okay. But when you swap out the plain-Jane plate for a cover with patina, texture, and even a little glamour, the difference is eye-catching. Suddenly, your room has a bit more character.
Click through to see my favorite switch plates.

Reader Question: What chairs should I get for my dining room?

The Lovely Side reader Kathi wrote in – "beside herself" as she tries to decorate her dining area.
"I have a very small kitchen and I love it! I just purchased a white parsons table from West Elm and a round, 5' rug from Rug Studio for under my new table. Now I'm stuck! I cannot figure out what chairs will look good with this set-up. Can you help me?

Office / Writing Room Progress: Walls Painted "Pollination" Green!

What a weekend! Now that I'm all moved into my new place, I'm eager to get it unpacked, settled in, and decorated up. The bf and I set aside Saturday as our project day. While he worked on preparing my living room walls for future painting, I got to work in the small second bedroom that will serve as my office / writing room / library.

Gift Guide: 10 Lovely Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner. And while many of us will be spending time with family, you may also find yourself invited to a Friendsgiving, holiday party, or New Year's Eve shindig. Bringing a little something for your hostess isn't required – I definitely don't expect hostess gifts – but it is a thoughtful and lovely gesture.

Using the Bosch GLM 15 Laser Measure to Calculate How Much Paint I Need (Product Review)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bosch for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.


When I was a little girl, I went through a stage where I carried around a graph paper notebook and doodled floor plans of fantasy loft apartments and mansions all day. These days, I'm sketching up floor plans of my real life living space in order to plan my furniture arrangement, decorating, and now painting.
Usually when I'm measuring my apartment to create a floor plan, it's just me by my lonesome because I can't hold off until my bf's weekend visit. Now, measuring furniture or small things with a tape measure is fine. But measuring an entire room or apartment is quite the challenge.  So you'll catch me clumsily struggling with a tape measure. And I've ended up with battle scars and band-aids from accidentally hitting the release button and not letting go in time as the metal tape comes whizzing back toward me. Ouch.

Decorating Your New Apartment... Before You've Found It
+ Free, Downloadable Pre-Decorating List

Reader Mary wrote into The Lovely Side with her decor challenge: planning the interior design in her new place. The catch: she hasn't found her new place yet. 
This January, Mary's moving to Astoria in NYC with one of her childhood best friends. Like many of us who end up here on The Lovely Side, Mary is very excited to get going on her decorating – so she's a bit ahead of herself in designing the future apartment.

And the winning PPG paint colors for my apartment are...

Voting has ended; paint colors have been picked out and purchased! First off, thanks so much to those of you who voted. The paint color poll got an overwhelming response and it was fun to check in throughout the weekend to see what colors were in the lead.
Let's take a look at the poll results and what paint colors I ultimately went with, shall we?

DIY How-To: Paint Ikea Furniture | Mikael Desk Makeover

So I was going through my blog posts drafts and came upon this do-it-yourself gem that somehow managed to escape being published. You've probably caught glimpses of my closet-turned-office in my apartment tour, but I never got around to sharing the process of painting a piece of Ikea furniture. Well, the wait is over.

Vote for your favorite paint colors for my new apartment!

Hello, lovelies! I move into my new place this weekend, which means... time to commit to some paint colors! The kitchen and bathroom will be staying as-is for now, but I will be painting the bedroom, office, and living room right away. (I've already chosen a color for the front room, which has yet to be assigned a purpose.)

The 4 Period Dramas I'm Watching While I Wait for Downton Abbey

January 4 cannot get here fast enough. Going a year without the romance, heartache, and intrigues of Downton Abbey is just too long. (You can bet I've been re-watching episodes in preparation for the new season.) I'm a sucker for a good period drama, whether it takes place in the Roaring 20s or Wartime 40s. The costumes, the set design, the music! I just can't get enough. So in the meantime, I've been digging into the period dramas on Netflix. These four are my favorites:

10 Inspiring Bathrooms | Which is your favorite?

Although the bathroom in my new place will be a third (or fourth) the size of my current bathroom, I'm allowed to paint the walls, trim, and even cabinets if I so desire. It's so much more of a blank slate for me to work with. As I consider how I'm going to fill it with chic, vintage style, I rounded up some inspiring bathrooms to highlight what I love about them.

What PPG paint color collection is right for you?

I love mulling over paint colors. There was a brief period in my childhood that my dream was to grow up and become the person that gets to name paint colors. I would create my own paint swatches in Microsoft Paint. Not even joking. Nowadays, not much has changed. (I'd still really love to be the person that names colors.) I love when decorating sites or paint companies create fun, personality-based activities to pinpoint your perfect paint colors. I stumbled across this one by Pittsburgh Paints:

Could you live in this 8-square-meter Paris apartment?

This tiny but ingenious Paris apartment boasts a living space of a whopping 8 square meters – roughly 86 square feet. While I can appreciate the clutter-free look, clean lines, and smart storage solutions, I love furniture too much to tuck it away in cabinetry. But how about you? Would you slim down to a skinny little space like this to live in a lovely but expensive city like Paris?

Decor Inspired By the Young Ladies' Rooms in 'Call the Midwife'

My most recent Netflix binge has been Call the Midwife. There's nothing like coming home from work, settling in with a bowl of soup and glass of beer, and procrastinating my packing with a couple episodes of this British hit series. The show centers around young midwives in impoverished East London during the 1950's. Every episode is filled with lovely vintage fashion, era appropriate music, heartwarming and heartbreaking plot twists, and nods to political, social, and medical issues we're still dealing with today. I love the characters and their stories – just have a box of tissues nearby.

5 Important Must-Do's Before You Move
(Plus a Free Downloadable To-Do List!)

You tell yourself you won't forget these important things, but in the excitement of moving it's easy to drop the ball on something. After all, there are boxes to pack and floor plans to doodle and an apartment warming party to plan. Right? But first, do make sure you tackle these crucial moving tasks. Set aside a few hours in your schedule, have your laptop and cell phone handy, have cup of coffee at the ready, and download/print the free checklist at the bottom of this post.
1. Change Your Address  First, change it with the United States Postal Service. It's super easy to do online and is almost free – they charge like a $1 for verification purposes. The best part? You have the option to sign up for handy-dandy moving coupons. Some are emailed to you, others are sent by snail mail. From hardware stores to cable providers, you'll be pleasantly surprised with some of the deals you can score just by updating your address.

Moving Update: It's the Final Countdown!

It's the very last week I'll be living in my current place. Moving commences this weekend and I could not be more excited / nostalgic / overwhelmed. Last weekend, my wonderful new landlord handed over the key to the place and gave me one last walk-through before I start moving in and making the place my own. With the last tenant's boxes gone, it's clear that I'll have plenty of space to work with and plenty of projects to keep me busy. It's an old house and it isn't perfect. While I don't photos to share with you quite yet (they're coming soon – promise!), I can tell you that the old house imperfection lends itself to many blog-worthy do-it-yourself projects that I can't wait to tackle with my handy bf. 

Packing Packing Packing
The next few evenings will be wholly dedicated to packing – and taking some small boxes over to the new place. I haven't been as packing-productive as I planned. Plus, it's difficult to pack when you have to turn …

Which paint color would you like to see in my bedroom?

I was considering black walls, now I'm leaning toward gray, but navy blue keeps creeping into my ideas. I'm hoping to paint the bedroom right away. However, I can't decide on a paint color. Shown above are my eight contenders. They're all from Sherwin-Williams because of the 4-Day Super Sale knocking a whole 40% off paints. That's quite a deal, so I'm going with it.

10 Under $50: Small Space Savvy Side Tables

Side tables, nightstands, and end tables – oh my! Here's a roundup of some delightful accent tables that offer storage and surface for under $50 and without taking up too much of your valuable space.
1. This metal accent table will not only add a shot of cherry color to your space, but also folds up to be tucked away when you need extra floor space. Bonus for the hostess: You can use the top as a serving tray.
2. This mid-century inspired side table strikes an elegant balance between retro and modern. The glass top is see-through and light on the eyes, while a second tier underneath offers another place to stash a couple magazines or a plant.

Cherry, Apple Green, White, and Vintage Blue Kitchen | New Apartment Inspiration

For the first time in a long time of renting, I'll have a nice, big kitchen to cook and eat in. Currently, it's all white: floors, walls, and cabinets. A previous tenant put floral stickers on the center of each upper and lower cabinet door. Except for that, I won't be making many changes – at least, right away.
In creating this decor board, I realized that I've become very fond of red and green combos. (My bedroom will feature red with yellow green and emerald green, while my office will have lots of pale jade green with pops of darker red.) I've loved the red/green combination ever sine I figured out how to make it look non-Christmasy. So I guess I'll just go with it – this time adding that vintage greenish blue hue of Ball mason jars.

Copper, Ivory, and Teal Green Bathroom | New Apartment Inspiration

A small bathroom is going to be my biggest adjustment with this next apartment. My current place's bathroom is HUGE (the size of a small bedroom) and boasts a clawfoot tub. My last apartment's bathroom was pretty spacious. This one: not so much. It's tiny and has a standing-only shower. But I'm confidant I can take on the challenge and make it work.
This tiny room will also probably be one of the first to get painted, but I'll live with the walls a little while before making a hasty decision or purchase. There's a strip of trim halfway up the wall. Above the trim, it's painted a rich caramel hue. Below the trim, it's ivory. I'm hoping to give it a vintage feel.