Home Depot Challenge: Plywood Bookshelves Reveal

I'm so excited to reveal today our home office makeover and bookshelves we made from plywood. I shared a sneak peak and created a design board for my inspirations for the room, but now I can show you the whole thing. 

This week I will show you how I made this  no-sew Roman shade (my mother is mortified).
The full tutorial is over at the Home Depot's blog so go and check it out! You'll see a great before and after of the room. There are also many great plywood projects up on their site. All the designers and bloggers did such a wonderful job. Steve and I love how this project turned out. Have you ever made your own bookshelves? If you haven't,  our tutorial will help you step by step to make your beauty.

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I received a Home Depot gift card to complete the bookshelves project. The ideas and opinions I've expressed are my own. 


Family Command Center

I don't know about you, but I get loads of papers that come in everyday with the mail, school papers, schedules, reminder notes, etc. It's hard to keep it all organized! I felt like the perfect place to organize all our papers was a wall between our kitchen and hall closet.
I got this used bulletin board at a thrift store for a few dollars. You can find so many of these inexpensive boards.  With a little spray paint (black), fabric and ribbon it was transformed!
Here's the wall BEFORE. I used some painter's tape to mark where I would put everything. 

Now, it's a great place to put reminders, the dog leash, inspiring quotes and cute pictures our girls draw. I used chalk paint to take a thrift store platter into a small unique chalkboard. I used a basket I already had and hung it with Command hooks. The hooks at the bottom came from TJ Maxx on clearance.
The files are from Target dollar isle (which is one of my favorite isles). 
Now, I'm ready for those papers! Do you have a command center in your home? I would love to hear how you organize your daily paper trail.

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Design Inspiration Friday: Historic Homes, The Elms

This summer our family took a day trip to Newport, RI and toured a mansion home, The Elms. It was a misty day and I got some pictures of the exterior and the grounds. This place is amazing! Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to take pictures inside (I would have had a hay day). We had a great time touring the home and my girls all enjoyed listening to their own tour. However, what they loved the most was running on the grounds. This summer residence was owned by the Berwind family (1901), who made their money in the coal industry. Mr. Berwind used the same designer and architect as the Vanderbilt's did for their summer home, the Breakers. What I enjoy about old homes are hearing more details about the lives of people long past. All the surviving mansions in Newport were rescued by the Preservation Society (they saved most of them from being torn down) and they were able to restore most of the art and furniture in the homes. So glad they did because there is a tremendous amount of American history, beauty and culture in these homes.
Inside the house are Venetian murals, tapestries, oriental jades- amazing collections everywhere. The rooms I really enjoyed the most were the butler's pantry, the servant's staircase and many of the bedroom color schemes. The interior is lavishly decorated in a Victorian/Baroque design. I guess you'll just have to go for yourself to see the whole thing. However, the grounds do not disappoint.

Behind my girls are four giant English Beech wood trees that have grown together to create one giant tree from the outside. One can only imagine how they must have had large gatherings and parties on the grounds of the estate. 
         However, inside the trees it was like a fort and full of trunks to climb on. Complete magic for our kids!

                                                                        The front entrance
                                    Have you ever toured one of the Newport mansions?


Fall Decorating Ideas

This weekend the air got crisp in Maryland and it started to feel like Fall. I recently went to Chartreuse, a local barn/shop where they sell vintage/antiques. There were some great Fall decorating ideas here so I wanted share with you some inspirations.

                                       Great color combination of teal and dark browns in this grouping.
This makes me excited already for Thanksgiving or a harvest party. Last year my friend Andrea and I threw a harvest party- it was so fun to decorate the table. 

I've been seeing a lot of navy and orange combinations lately. I love the two colors together. I walked out of there with a small globe, and hooks. I really enjoy going to these kind of shops to fuel the creative juices for future projects and staging ideas. After this excursion I put up my Fall wreath and got the box of Fall things out. Slowly, I'll get more things changed over.  How about you? What do you do to decorate for Fall?

P.S- The project Steve and I worked on won't be on Home Depot's blog until September 29. It's not there yet, but there are some great plywood ideas from other bloggers all for the next couple of weeks. Go check it out HERE and see the other bloggers who are participating.


Design Inspiration Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I finished my Home Depot project this week and showed a sneak peak on Instagram. Come back Monday to see it. Today, I found some inspiring ideas and projects for the home. I hope you have a great weekend!

                     A great tutorial on a bleached wood look with liming wax. I can't wait to try this out.
Family Room
This family room reveal is gorgeous and inspiring. 

                                                A great way to store children's toys via Play Chic Interiors.

Unique Kitchen Command Center
I've been looking at lots of command centers getting myself more organized this school year. I like this one.


Organized Home Office

Organized Home Office

Organized Home Office by tracylaverty

hutch / pillow fabric / roman shades fabric / rug / desk / letter organizer / chair 
basket / wire basket / IKEA magazine storage / hooks

I'm working on a plywood project for Home Depot and while we were at it, we have been working on a home office makeover too. Our office has been the same builder's grade paint as the day we moved into our home (over a year and a half ago).  I'm trying to get my daily life more organized and make it a more functional classic space. It is coming together nicely and I can't wait to show you the end result. Check back soon so I can show you what we did in here.


Summer Art Camp

As summer comes to a close (so sad) I thought I would share with you a fun summer tradition. For the past few summers one of my good friends and I put on a Art Camp for our kids, their friends and neighbors. We have loads of messy fun making different crafts, painting and baking. This year we had an older girls group (9-12) and a younger children's age group (5-7). Here's some of the creative things these kids did this summer:
 Painting on canvas is such a treat for these kids. We talked to them about sketching first and then they pick a still life they want to do (or not). These make for great works of art on their walls.
The girls also decorated their own tote bags using fabric or painting on them. My daughter Alison uses hers for her music bag now.
                   We made banners for their bedrooms or for their birthday parties using paper and fabric.
                                          It can get a bit messy when creativity is in the works.
          The older girls did some beautiful watercolors and we taught them about sketching and landscapes.
We had a day for the younger children to learn about Pop Art and showed them some of Andy Warhol's works. The children traced some shapes we had for them like a ducky, ice cream cone, crown, sailboat. etc and we used a grid method to break up their paper. Then they used poster paints to fill up the space. 
 Another activity was watercolor where they learned how to do Pointillism. Pointillism is like Impressionism but with tiny dots to create an image (think- George Seurat). The children used q-tips to create a pointillism effect.
Kids love to decorate cupcakes. They got to decorate a cookie monster and Elmo cupcakes. I didn't get many pictures of these because everything was gobbled up to fast.
 Lastly, we did a spaghetti art throwing day to learn about Expressionism. Think Jackson Pollock and splattering paint. Instead of throwing paint, we had the kids throw painted spaghetti at large pieces of paper to create an expressionist look.
 As you can imagine- it was a lot of spaghetti to clean up. However, they had fun running through the sprinkler at the end to get all cleaned up and I hosed my house down.
We also had lots of little side projects like these where we taught them to blend colors and using the color wheel. Summer is such a fun time to do art projects with kids. We had a great time and I'm sure we'll do more next year. What about you? Any fun art projects you made?

*All images are my own.