So, in an attempt to jumpstart and organize myself for a soon-to-be-determined timeframe for our master bathroom renovation, I took a crack at creating my first mood board … ever.   I see ’em all over the DIY / decor blogosphere, so I figured – how hard could it really be?

Well, let me tell you, these precious little creations take some major web time … and when you’re a fence-sitter like me on decor decisions, I’m confident we’ll morph through several versions before the time comes to pull the trigger.  Regardless, I thought I’d share.  Since we’re trying to tackle the project on a dime (shockers!), I had to be particularly judicious with my choices.

The only thing missing is the countertops … I’m thinking it’s going to take some tactile inspiration on that element.

I’d love to hear your constructive feedback. More color? Too many variations of circles and squares? (I struggled a bit with that, but would hate to end up a miss matchy-match.) Any nuts-and-bolts tips on the mood board construction?

Master Bath Mood Board

Source list:

  Vanity Light – $169.91\

Ceiling Light – $40.91
Mirrored Closet Doors – $65 – 100
Turkish Bath Towels – $20
Shower Curtain – $29.99 (may need two)
L-Shaped Shower Curtain Rod – $100
Area Rug – $113.99
Faucets (2) – $97.99 each
Vessel Sinks (2) – $119.95
Countertops: TBD
Paint: TBD

Craptastic Craigslist

September 30, 2010

So, as we all know, you win some and you lose some when it comes to Craigslist.  Consider my most recent obsession and predictably overzealous reaction to a too-good-to-be-true Craigslist ad for a kitchen table and chairs and a bench. I mean, come on, I was practically sewing the bench pillows sight unseen.

Well, unfortunately, as is the case most of the time in life, you get what you pay for.  And in this case, the pictures were incredibly flattering.  Apparently, the caning and weaving was completely coming unraveled, and my husband nearly busted through the chair he sat in.  So, poo.  I’ve been disappointed before on Craigslist, but it was a good reminder to be cautiously optimistic when it comes to scoring the latest and greatest item.

That being said, I’m still on the hunt for bench seating in my kitchen. In the meantime, take a few of these for a spin and see if you won’t be joining me on the bench-seat bandwagon, compiled by my life my loves:

Falling for Hot Mulled Cider

September 30, 2010

I hear today, September 30, is National Hot Mulled Cider Day … What a great excuse to celebrate the (finally!) crisp air of fall and crack open your first pint of apple cider.  And don’t forget how to make basic apple cider even better with a little Red Hots action.  Believe me, it’s fantastic. 

Some other classic additions to hot apple cider:
* Cinnamon stick
* Orange peel
* A mulled spice sachet or teabag
* Cranberry or pineapple juice
* Brandy or rum

So cozy up with a hot mug and enjoy!

Kitchen Nook Bench Seating

September 28, 2010

Fueled by inspiration photo after inspiration photo of cozy little kitchen nooks with pillow-studded benches and upholstered banquette seating, (I blame mostly the crazy eye candy in The Stories of A to Z’s post on the subject today and yesterday for the immediate action) I set out on a fervent Craigslist mission.  I. MUST. HAVE. KITCHEN. BENCH.  While on the hunt, I stumbled upon this entire kitchen table set *bench included* for 55 smackers (squeee!) 

image 1976354346-0 

While the table will likely take residence in the basement as a new craft / utility / laundry folding table (and won’t it be just UBER perfecto for that?), I’m excited to see how the bench will work.  I’ve already envisioned in my head a lovely coral, green and blue chinoiserie pattern for some pillows and chair covers … maybe even a thin tailored cushion with contrasting piping … 

(And let’s just hope those white caps are on the bottom of the chairs are little rubber caps, because they are pretty terrible.)

Because I’m sending my husband and dad to go pick it up tonight, there’s always the chance the purchased will get nixed.  (No vision, I tell ya …) Assuming they make it home, any thoughts or suggestions?  Do I paint it? Stain it? And what’s the consensus on the woven seats?  Completely dated 80’s looking requiring immediate remedy, or will it pass for a cottagey feel?

Shoes: On or Off in the House?

September 14, 2010

I didn’t grow up in a “take your shoes off at the door” household, aside from when it was simply a given – i.e., coming in from extreme elements of rain or snow. But it seems like more and more people are moving to a “no shoes inside” policy. And while it’s not something I’d impose upon my guests, I’m very closely leaning toward that direction as an everyday habit as well. Not only does it reduce the amount of wear on carpets and floors, but even more importantly, it reduces the amount of crap from the outside that comes into the house … from pollen and pesticides to the much, much worse.

I recently found a large wooden shoe rack on the curb in my neighborhood, and had my mom throw it in the back of her SUV on her way by.  It has since been next to the door in our garage for shoe storage.  While we don’t keep all of our shoes there, nor do we switch to house shoes every single time we come in and out, we’re on the right track.  Plus, with so many cute slipper and house shoe options, and come on – nothing is really more comfortable than slippers … what’s not to love? 

 Keyhole Flat Back to school sale by HydraHeart on Etsy

What’s your shoes-in-the-house / not-in-the-house policy?

Fall Harvest Table

September 1, 2010

With the onset of fall, I’m particularly reminded of my ongoing hunt for a rustic farm harvest table. The kind made from wood that looks like it’s been saved from a hundred-year-old tobacco barn in rural Kentucky. The kind with imperfections, dents, and varigated color patterns, and a sturdy build that will last for another hundred.

I’ve never once come across a decent one on Craigslist – not even one waaaaaaay out of my price range (as most of them are) …


Approx 3 large ones for this baby at (and I'm talking three zeros behind that 3), but so lovely.

Another from the Primitive Folks

I have dreams of finding one at Goodwill marked $90 that someone unknowingly casted off as old and worthless from their grandparents’ garage … but while I continue to scour Craigslist, I’m stocking away a few inspiration images for whence the time comes. Before you go and think I’ve gone all wooden hearts and stuffed bears with gingham ribbon tied around their necks countryfied on you, not to worry … here’s more in line of what I’m envisioning:

Cottagey delight (from Elle Decor)

Paired with casual but modernish chairs (from Country Living)

Holy mother of outdoor dining! (from Cooking Light)

Beachy rustic (from Country Living)

love. (from

And lovely. (image source unknown)

So, I’m okay if it takes a little time, but I’m definitely on the hunt. What do you think? Love ’em or hate ’em?

If you know me, you know how I profess my love for Craigslist. Not only are there deals to be had, but there’s something so satisfying about rescuing a piece of furniture that my otherwise be headed to the junkyard or landfill. Upcycling!

Here’s a roundup of a few recent gems on Cincinnati Craigslist just awaiting someone’s creative touch:

1) For a mere 75 forking dollars, the chairs are just screaming for a coat of high-gloss white and a splashy pattern on the seats, perhaps staining the tabletop ebony and painting the legs white (or vice-versa!) …

The low-profile curved backs on these chairs are DE-flippin-Lish.

2) Okay … I’ve been trying to find an excuse to cart myself all the way across town to pick up this steal for days now. If you make it there before I do, god help me. At a steal of $10, how fan-freakin-tastic would this bamboo chair be painted a vibrant color and recovered in a bold fabric? Literally, probably less than two hours worth of transformation time to fabulosity.

3) This end table and this console table immediately made me think of a gorg transformation I saw at Emily A. Clark’s blog – and though they’re asking $40 & $45 respectively, you could totally get ’em for less. Slip-slap on a little paint, and they’d make for a pair of chic nightstands, wouldn’t you say?

4) How precious would this vintage mirror be in a nursery or powder room?

5) I’m loving the color on this lamp.  Just envision how it would pop on a white desk (or one of the above-mentioned nightstands).  If (or really, when) you grow tire of the color, you can easily shoot it with a little black or white spray paint to re-neutralize it, but that shape is timeless.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Have I been inhaling too many spray paint fumes, or are you dying with me over the potential?