Posts Tagged ‘home decor’

Our Outdoor Kitchen Reveal Part 1

In early 2017, I designed a pergola with outdoor kitchen and fire pit.  My hope was to add value to our home and to provide extra entertaining space. We would like to live in this home until our son graduates and then move closer to my husband’s office.  Today I am showing the construction portion of our outdoor kitchen reveal and posting most of the styled backyard on Friday. I would love for you to come back and see the finished product then.

I wanted this to be completed for my daughter’s prom pictures and graduation party in June 2017. We started the project in March 2017 with a 6 week projected timeline. Then a week for my landscaper to come in and do grading and adding flowerbeds around the new areas.

Outdoor entertaining area great for guests. yourstrulyjenn

via pinterest

Here was my inspiration picture I used to help me design the pergola and get an idea of what I liked. I used it to show my builder the style I liked and then she made a rendering to scale of the design. From there, she started hiring out contractors and I started picking materials and products for my project.

Building the pergola for outdoor kitchen area. yourstrulyjenn

Everything for this project was custom for my specific design. All the details were chosen through me and finalized through my builder Tara, owner of Preston Homes. Let’s just say the options were endless. There was so much to choose from that it really was like designing something for a project inside your home. I really do think of our outdoor space as an extension of our square footage in the home. So of course I wanted to carry over a similar style.

Updating the backyard with outdoor kitchen entertaining area. yourtrulyjenn

I decided to take the project in the black and white color palette. Some of my accessories were already that color and I liked it so I wanted to continue down that path. Here are some pictures of the beginning of the project. We went out of the country in the middle of the project so I did my best with the pictures I had.

Building a square fire pit for a unique entertaining area. yourstrulyjenn

Here is a sneak peak of the finished product from Friday’s post.  I would love for you to come back and see the backyard styled and ready for the final reveal.

Outdoor kitchen entertaining area and Frontgate chair lounges. Yourstrulyjenn

Thanks for stopping in, I can’t wait to show the final reveal on Friday.  Make sure to come back to see that post.  It is one of my favorites for the whole year.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

How to Arrange your Pillows

Pillows are one of my favorite accent accessories. They can take a dull room and make it new again without breaking the bank.  Since they aren’t a big ticket item you can even change them out seasonally by color and texture without your spouse putting up too much fuss.  If you get really nice inserts you can get to the point where you are just changing out the covers.

These pillows really elevate the bedding to a whole new level.

At one point, I had so many decorative pillows that I bought a commercial pillow rack.  It is awesome and if you are a designer or just have a lot of pillows I highly recommend it for organization and a space saver.  If I remember correctly I think I got it off of Amazon.

I like to use the “guest of honor” pillow to get inspiration for the rest of the room.  I can then go and find paint colors, rugs, décor, art work etc…. A “guest of honor” pillow is one that is your more expensive pillow. It is just FABULOUS and probably cost too much. I have seen some really amazing ones in leather, animal skin, velvet and some amazing patterns. Then you can fill in with solids or other patterns that compliment that pillow on a less expensive scale.  However, those pillows are just as important to the design.

Choose a "guest of honor pillow" to take center stage.

Think about your groupings and where you place your pillows.  Are they indoor or outdoor pillows?  If you are putting pillows outside, make sure they are pillows that are made for outside.  However, just a tip, I still try to bring my pillows in, especially if it is going to rain. You could store them in a little container or a shed.

If you are using pillows outside make sure they are made of outdoor fabric.

Think about the function of the pillows. Are you using them for decoration only or are people using them as actual pillows to watch a movie or hang out?  You wouldn’t want to put pillows with sequins on them if people were going to lay their head on them.

Knowing the function of the room is important in selecting the pillows.

When I’m trying to match up colors and sizes on my couch, beds etc… I purchase a lot of options and then try different combinations and see what works best.  Sometimes I get it right the first time.  Sometimes I have to take a bunch of items back and try again.  I think it’s better to try a bunch of selections than to settle with something you don’t like.

Hopefully this was helpful.  Nobody gets everything right the first go around every single time.  There are too many variables in design that play a big part in the final product.  You have to play around and see what you like. I find I like the end result better when I do it this way.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

How to Keep Your Desk Organized

I am still in the middle of my spring cleaning and I am feeling pretty good about my progress so far. I know before too long I’m going to have to add outdoor chores to my list and once that begins these extra projects of mine will be null and void.  About a year ago, I redid my office and I just love that space.  It’s a really beautiful pink and I love sitting in there for hours and letting my creativity flow. I will have to do a reveal soon. Let’s talk about how to keep your desk organized so you work smarter not harder.

How to organize your desk to be more efficient and productive at work. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

  1. Go paperless. If going paperless just isn’t going to happen, break down your papers in groups. File keepsakes, pay bills, and shred all others.
  2. Have cute organizers for little items.  There are so many cute containers now that are inexpensive.  Use those in your theme color for paper clips, erasers, Post-it, etc…
  3. Put things you don’t use daily in decorative boxes.  I love Sugar Paper LA boxes.  You can also find beautiful ones at Michaels and Home Goods.
  4. Have a bulletin board with all your inspiration pictures.  My mood board is right above my desk and it really reflects my style and branding for my blog.  It helps keep me focused and if I need a little Inspiration I can take a peek for ideas.
  5. Make it functional. Some offices double as guest rooms so you need to make sure you decorate so the room accomplishes both goals.
  6. Storage is key.  What storage items can help you get things off your desk?  Maybe a file cabinet, shelves, baskets, and a closet.
  7. What kind of desk do you need? When purchasing your desk you may want to think about what your needs are. Are you going to need drawers or display shelves?
  8. Get a comfortable chair.  The chair is just as important as the desk.  You will be spending lots of hours here. Pick something that will give you support and is comfortable.
  9. Hide the cords.  If you have a computer or desk lamp you want to have a plan for hiding the cords.  You can decide this as you decide where to place your desk.
  10. Try to hide office printers and trash cans if you can.  If you can take these bulky items and hide them than your office will make more of a statement.

How to organize your desk to be more efficient and productive at work. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I would love to hear some of the things you guys do to keep your offices ready for optimum productivity.  Also, what do your offices look like right now?  Do you work from home or in a traditional setting?  Please leave a comment below and share this with a friend.  Let’s be friends.  If you want to see more decor and fun content, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

How to Start a Decorating Project

Spring is almost here and I have a ton of projects I want to tackle. How do you start a decorating project from scratch?  There are several things I like to do when I’m starting a design project.  Sticking to these steps keeps me from making costly mistakes.  Learning from experience, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes.

Starting a decorating project can be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re doing it on your own.  Here are some tips on how to start a decorating project.

These pictures were from Homearama 2016 The Tara Preston Home. I styled this guest bedroom with these gorgeous beach colors.

These pictures were from Homearama 2016 The Tara Preston Home. I styled this guest bedroom with these gorgeous beach colors.

  1. Are you doing it on your own or hiring a professional? This is important to think about right from the beginning. If it’s a smaller project and you think you can do it on your own than great.  But if the project involves structural changes, you might want to hire a professional to oversee the changes you are making.  I’m sure it will be money well spent.
  2. Decide on a budget. Coming up with a budget is very important.  Deciding how much you will spend will decide all the other decisions, so this is a huge step.  Think about it wisely and don’t rush this step.  Get your spouse involved.  How much can you comfortably afford without breaking the bank?
  3. Look at your current room and assess the situation.  Ask yourself some important questions to get a feel for what you like and don’t like.  What do you like? What do you dislike? Can you keep anything?  Do you see any inspiration?
  4. Make a mood board, Pinterest board, or photo file of things you like. From the pictures you gathered see what similarities are repeated. This will help you start to see a pattern of things you like.  It may also show you what you dislike in your current room. Give yourself plenty of time in this stage so you have time to find things you like.  This step is very important in the the creative process so spend adequate time here finding what you like and dislike.  It will make the process go a lot smoother.
  5. Create a wish list.  Creating a wish list can help your designer narrow down the things that are Important to you.  You may not get everything on your list, but you can start to see what items are needs and what are wants.
  6. Do you have a focal inspiration piece?  Having a focal piece like art work, a pillow, or a rug will help you with your color selection.  This is very important.  This usually comes to you during your mood board and exploration stage.  If you find a piece you’re in love with your designer can select your paint color around the colors in your inspiration piece.

These pictures were from Homearama 2016 The Tara Preston Home. I styled this guest bedroom with these gorgeous beach colors.

I hope you found some helpful tips on how to start a design project.  Whether you do it on your own or hire a professional, I’m sure your project will turn out great.  Take your time in the planning stage and spend time finding out what you really like so your vision can easily translate in your design.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

 

Be Our Guests

  The Ultimate Guest Room

If your home is like ours you probably host a lot of guests during the holiday season.   There is one thing you can be sure of, after I travel 8 hours with two teenagers for Thanksgiving, I am the perfect one to describe items that weary travelers need when they arrive at their final destination.  You don’t want your guests to have to ask for items they may need or have forgotten to pack.  This guest room has a coastal design and is just amazing.  The furniture is from Outer Banks Furniture and was in Tara Preston’s Homearama home this year.  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to help decorate this home.

The majority of this house is done in blue tones. However, I think the yellow accent color makes the room so bright and cheery.  Of course a guest room needs to be aesthetically pleasing, but there are several necessities that I immediately think of when I entertain overnight guests.

Blue guest room with a coastal design. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Musts for your overnight Guests

1.Have closet space for guests to hang their clothing-  Lots of us use our closets for storage.  However, when guests come to spend the night at your home, they will have clothing that will need to be hung up.  Always have empty hangers in the closet and make sure there is room for their clothes.  Nobody wants to open a closet and have an avalanche of your items fall on them.

2. Luggage rack- It is always a good idea to have at least one luggage rack for the guest room.  It makes it very convenient for your guests to place their bags on the rack and not have to put their suitcase in the floor. These are easy to find and don’t cost very much.  Plus you really don’t want luggage placed on your nice furniture so it is just easiest to have this for your guests.

Guests need a luggage rack and place to hang their clothing. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

3. Lamps-  Having lamps by the bedside tables give your guests the proper lighting they need.  Some people like to read before bed and this gives them the opportunity to do that without having to keep the ceiling light on.  Plus, if they have to get up in the middle of the night this gives them the option of having a light source. Sometimes, I even leave night lights in the bathroom especially if the guests have small children.

4.chair-  When I visit other people’s homes I love when there is some type of furniture in the room.  You can use it to layout clothes for the next day, sit and read, or just rest a few minutes in between activities without having to get into the bed.

5.tv- This isn’t a necessity, but I think it is a luxury most people would appreciate.  There will definitely be down time and time at night where your guests will have time to themselves and they can unwind by watching tv in their room.  It doesn’t have to be large or the latest smart tv, but your guests will appreciate the option of having one in their room.

6. Reading Materials- My mother in law has the best magazines for us when we visit her house.  I always take a book when I travel, but when I go to her house I never have to take magazines. We all know how much the decorating magazines cost so having several out for your guests would be greatly appreciated.

7. Wifi Password-  If your home has a password to use the wifi, you need to make sure your guests have instructions on how to use their technology. This is something you don’t want them to have to ask about.  You could even put this in a basket of goodies.

8. Basket of Goodies– Sometimes guests feel insecure asking for food or drink at other people’s homes.  To make this less awkward, leave a basket of goodies and water in their room.  Then they can access this whenever they feel hungry.  I’ve used nuts, granola bars, trail mix, and water to name a few.

Coastal decor for the guest bedroom. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

9. Extra Toiletries- Of course I always have things in the shower like shampoo, conditioner, bath gels and soap. I also put out enough fresh towels for my guests.  However, I leave a glass jar of extra toiletries just in case they forgot some things such as a razor, toothbrushes, toothpaste, q-tips, hand lotion, mouthwash, and small shampoos in case the large ones have agents they may be allergic to.  My son is allergic to lavender and lots of products have scents that bother me to the point where I get migraines. This makes me very sensitive to that issue and I try to put out things that I would normally pack myself.

10. Clock- Even though your guests are on vacation it is important to have a clock in their room.  some activities you may be doing have time constraints like dinner or theater plans and guests might need to be ready at a certain time.

11. Extra blankets– It is a great idea to leave extra blankets of varying weights and pillows in the room so guests can control the temperature.  I’m allergic to feathers and always prefer the down alternative options at hotels.  It is definitely something to think about when buying linens for your guest room.

12. keurig station-  Having a coffee and tea station set up in the guest room would really make your guests feel at home.  They could wake up and get the caffeine kick they need first thing in the morning.  Or in the evening some hot tea might hit the spot right before heading off to bed.  I know I would really appreciate this amenity.

Other Guest’s Amenities

I have insomnia and unfortunately am a late night snacker. Therefore, I know what it is like to be up late at night when everyone else is sleeping and you wish you had something to eat or drink. I like to stock a little basket of healthy snacks such as granola bars, nuts, fruit snacks etc… along with bottled water for guests. It also makes taking medications easier on guests if there is water in the room. Also, place some current magazines in several different genres for your guests to read during down time.

 Royal Treatment

The most important thing is to let your guests know up front that you are there for them and wish to make them as comfortable as possible. If you establish that from the start, you’re bound to have an amazing visit with your guests. The best thing to do when preparing your guest room is think about the things you would like or need when staying away from home.  Then you really design a beautiful, but functional room that you and your guests are happy with.

From Casa Ely we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and travel safely.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Staging Your Home for Sale

My parents are selling their home and building.  My dad is quite talented and has built every home I lived in as a child.  We also took that crazy journey and he built 2 homes for my husband and me.  Building is quite an adventure, but it is something I love doing.  I really enjoy the process of choosing everything from the cabinet handles, paint switches, to the furniture used to furnish the home.

I love decorating with lemons to bring out the pops of yellow. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Although this time of year is perfect for selling a home, my parent’s home is in one of the higher price points.  These homes are taking longer to to sell.  My mom asked me to come and style her kitchen and sunroom as well as her dining room.  I thoroughly enjoyed doing this for her.  I actually saw a picture of some Pier 1 accessories in a magazine and knew from that picture  I was going to go with yellow and blues for my color scheme.  I gathered what I thought I would use and took off for her house.  She loved my inspiration picture so with the green light I went to work on decorating and setting up all my decor.

Dishes from Target and Pier 1 make a lovely summer arrangement that buyers are looking for. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I used a mix of dishes from Target, Pier 1, and Pottery Barn.  It is amazing how you can gather things from so many different stores and collections and they can go together as if you purchased them as a set.  First, I worked on her kitchen table. Tablescapes are my absolute favorite things to decorate.  I always keep my dining room table decorated depending on the season or holiday.  With all the blue and yellow I chose to have a centerpiece of real lemons to tie in my accent color.  I love decorating with lemons and limes.

Blue and yellow pair well together for a great summer duo. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Adding accessories to the gathering room pulled the two rooms together. www.yourstrulyjjenn.com

My mom has a large picture of a sailboat above her mantel so I thought I would bring in my boats to stay within her theme and continue with our blue and yellow color scheme.  I think they look amazing on top of her entertainment console. Lastly, the pillows really tie the whole room together.  I got those from Target.  I had them in a guest room at my home, but I think they look amazing here in her sunroom.

Flowers are a great choice to bring in added pops of color to a room. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

After I staged the house it sold in 2 weeks.  I’m so happy that they only had the house up for sale for a total of 5 weeks.  I was very happy to do it and if it helped them sell their house then I’m very flattered. Here are some tips for staging your own home.  I hope your house sells as quickly as my parent’s home did.

Depersonalize the Space

When someone looks at a house that they are really interested in they want to envision their stuff in the space.  You may have sentimental items that mean the world to you, but your house will show better if you pack them away.  Then when you get to your new house and unpack it will be so fun to see all your special possessions again. Also, keep the walls as neutral as possible.

Get Rid of Clutter

If you get rid of the clutter and piles building up in your home it will look a lot bigger. Also rearrange the furniture properly to maximize the size of the room. A big mistake I see homeowners make is putting the wrong size furniture in a room.  Don’t stuff oversized furniture into a small room.  It just doesn’t work.  You want to make sure each room is being used to its full potential.  You don’t want a dining room being used as a playroom. It would make the buyer think your home doesn’t have enough storage. Speaking of storage, clean out closets, the attic, and kitchen cabinets.  Storage is huge.  If your storage areas are stuffed and the door won’t shut, the buyer will again think there isn’t enough storage in your home.

Spring Clean

Keeping your home in “showing” condition is quite difficult.  Especially if you have kids.  However, if you spring clean before you put the house up for sale then you just have to straighten up before potential buyers come to look at your home. You want to focus on things like dusting fans, wipe down cabinets, change out toilet seats, and clean all your grout. Most buyers want a home inspection so repair anything that is broken before you put your house up for sale.

Curb Appeal

The first thing potential buyers will see is the outside of your home.  I hate judging a book by its cover, but the outside of your home will be the first impression for the buyer.  You want to have large house numbers so delivery personnel, your friends, and your family can see where you live.  Make sure you take care of any roofing issues, update the paint job, and make sure the landscaping is fresh and the lawn manicured.  This will give you curb appeal that makes a GREAT first impression.

Focus on Small Details

The small details are what make your decor personal and unique. I like to put fresh flower arrangements in the kitchen when I can.  As you can tell by the pictures above, I like to use real lemons in my decor as well.  When you pick your theme, try to think of something you can use as an accent. If you love art then decorate with that.  The sky is the limit.

 Moving can definitely be challenging, but It’s a great opportunity to clean out some of the stuff that has been accumulating in your home. Start in plenty enough time so you’re not overwhelmed.  Good luck with your move.  Please share this post with someone else who may be moving.  They might find the styling tips helpful.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Florida Room Challenge

I love spring and summer. Everything is so beautifully manicured and has a clean and fresh vibe.  I recently visited Amelia Island Florida where the weather was a beautiful 88 degrees and fabulous the entire week. There are such amazing properties in Florida.  We have often talked about moving there to retire.  It’s an easy flight back home to see friends and family and you can’t beat the weather. I’m already used to the humidity so my hair will still have issues for another few decades.  However, you could say I live the “salt life” already.   I’m 25 minutes from Virginia Beach and an hour away from Nags Head.  Although we have four distinct seasons here, I can still see a gorgeous beach sunrise or sunset anytime I want.

I am currently redoing our back patio and around our pool and designing an outdoor kitchen area.  I’m so excited for this home update, because we really are the kind of folks that entertain more outside.  My husband has clients over frequently and our two teenagers have friends over at the pool a lot.  We thought it was time to take the plunge and make the back of the house what we’ve always envisioned. Here is my moodboard for my patio decor.  I’m really into the resort black and white stripe for the accessories. While keeping the main pieces more neutral in beige and white.

 

My sunroom update mood board. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

When I think of coastal living I’m not necessarily drawn to beach themed decor, but rather comfortable interiors that have a relaxed peace about them. When owning a beach property, you can bring the same style and decor you use in your permanent residence to your beach property.  For an example of this style home, check out Shauna at The House of Silver Lining.  Her beach home looks just like she decorates her permanent residence. AND…. I think it is just fabulous.  Here are some tips for creating your Florida room or outdoor entertaining space.

  1. It is key to make any beach property or your Florida room low maintenance.  When designing my dream space, there were tons of rooms I saw that were glamorous and gorgeous, but they were not practical or livable spaces for my family.  You don’t want to live in a showroom. Think about the purpose of your space.  Will you be entertaining overnight guests? Will you be throwing parties?  Once you know how you will be using your space you can get a better plan for starting your own moodboard.
  2. Create a calming, relaxing space.  You need to be comfortable in your home. Soft neutral shades create relaxation.  I’m sure you’ve seen all those home improvement shows on HGTV and they are always painting the bedroom a calming neutral color.  That’s because they want to make it a relaxing, calm space.  You are looking to bring casual comfort in your furniture and design choices.  You will be spending lots of time in your Florida room or beach home.  You may have a magnificent view overlooking the ocean or a serene sanctuary of a space in your home that you can call your own.  Whatever place you can escape to, needs to have calming colors.
  3. Try to have a natural light source in your space.  Natural light has so many benefits.  From the economical reasons such as heating to health factors such as prevention of seasonal anxiety disorder.  Of course bloggers love it because it gives us the perfect set up for taking pictures for our posts.  So many reasons why natural sunlight is the way to go.
  4. Use accessories to bring in personality. I like to create a blank canvas by using a neutral color palette with my large pieces as anchors and then add pops of color in my accessories.  Things like pillows, area rugs. and decor items can be easily changed out as seasons change or your taste changes.  These items are less expensive and are easier to change out.  Then adding some greenery by using artificial or real plants will seal the deal.  I am not one that has had much luck with keeping my plants alive.  Whether real or artificial the fig tree is quite popular right now.
  5. Unplug technology and spend time with family. Even if you can’t live in a beach location, create a place to escape from the everyday rat race. Your place of solitude to get away from it all.  Unplug your technology and feel the serene surroundings.  Give your family and friends your undivided attention.  Everyone needs time away from the stresses of work and life’s worries.

I hope you have a place you enjoy spending time or entertaining guests.  I am almost ready to give you a tour of the outside of my home.  I can’t wait to present that post to you guys.  The outdoor kitchen and fire pit won’t be ready until closer to fall, but I’m okay with that.  We can have s’mores in September after Friday night football games.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Entryway Make Over Before and After

I love a good make over.  What better place to start then at the front of the house?  It is the first impression people get when they walk in your home.  Hopefully, it reflects your style because it is an important part of your home. Your guests want to feel welcomed when they walk in and the entryway has the ability to do that.  I have a two story entryway so I needed decor pieces that would adequately fill the space.

My original console table was beautiful but was a little small.  I loved decorating it for Christmas with my nativity scene. I usually like change, but my parents gave me this table when we moved in so I was a little hesitant to get a new one.   The color of the console was beautiful and it matched well with my hardwood floors. Really the only thing it needed was to be a little larger. I was ready to update it and get a piece that fit the space a little better.  Below is a picture of our original console table and decor.  I love that picture of my babies when they were little.  By the way, it is still in the foyer. We just moved it by the door.  I couldn’t get rid of that.  This console table was also repurposed to a different room.  I love when that works out.  You feel like another room got a brand new piece of furniture.

BEFORE

The original console table in my entryway. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

This console table by Restoration Hardware is AHHH-Mazing.   I loved it as soon as I saw it.  The color is perfect and the style definitely fits our home.  I love how it has space to decorate on the upper and the lower sections. The decor is now spaced adequately and fits perfectly when you walk in the foyer.

AFTER

My new Restoration Hardware console table for my foyer. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Minted artwork. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I chose to use some color in the entryway and brought out some pink in the decor and artwork.  I love this painting from Minted by Katie Craig.  Check out my post on other Minted products that would be perfect for Mother’s Day gifts. You can’t go wrong with one of these gifts. If you’re looking for more entryway ideas check out this post I did last year.

  Yours Truly,

Jenn

Why I chose White in My Decorating

I decorate using a lot of white.  My china and everyday dishes are white.  My couches in my main living room are white as well.  Would I have ever decorated with white when I had small children? NO!!  But my children are older now and I can have pieces that I have always wanted.  Some people see white as a boring color and sometimes almost stark or sterile.  I see it as an opportunity to have a neutral space to use pops of color or layer different hues of creams, beiges, grays, or black.

 

white sofa with fall accessories. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

There are many ways to add a cozy, warm feeling to a home filled with tons of white space. One of which is adding tons of texture.  You want to layer textures and patterns so you have dimension in your decor.  You can do this by adding pillows with patterned fabric as well as solids of varying colors.  You can also buy throws for different seasons.  A plush fur throw or knit throw would be perfect for winter, while a cotton or linen throw would work well for summer.

winter white pillows on white sofa- www.yourstrullyjenn.com

Adding natural wood, marble, leather, and metals are another way to bring in materials to warm up your space.  I love how leathers and an industrial piece gives a room a masculine feel.  I have bookcases in my family room that have metal sides and marble tops and I think they really add depth to the room.  I wanted to make sure the couches weren’t too feminine so I added this piece to even out the room.

Metal bookcase with marble shelves adds an industrial feel to the room. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Leather and animal hair chair gives such a masculine feel. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Use Varying tones in a room.  You never want to go with one hue in a room.  I watch shows like Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, and Flip or Flop all the time and I think it’s crazy when the home owners come in and say I want everything to be all white. They literally want the cabinets, the paint color and the flooring to all be one shade of white. The designers know best and they always try to break up the space with varying color tones and accessories that give the space dimension. This gives you an opportunity to bring in different shades of cream, gray, beiges, and black.  Some whites I’m loving are Benjamin Moore’s White Dove and Simply White and Sherwin Williams’ Repose Gray.  They are very different but I love them all.  There are so many whites that it can really be hard to choose.  Some look like “just” white while others look like they have a gray tint.  Whites can be cool or warm.  Who thought picking out a white could be so difficult?

Another great way to cozy up a neutral space is to bring in greenery.  I haven’t had much luck with live plants except for my lemon tree.  My kids got this for me two years ago for Mother’s Day. When I got it, it was about 6 inches tall. Now it is about 3 feet tall and going strong.  It hasn’t produced any lemons yet, but it has had lots of blooms on it.  At least I haven’t killed it yet so that is a step in the right direction. Adding live or artificial greenery to a space makes it seem like a more lived in space.

You can’t forget the accessories.  Accessories add the personality to your home that shows off your style and makes your home unique.  These items are the things I would change out seasonally to add color and character to my home.  In the spring, I would put lovely purple and pink tulips out.   In the fall, I add lots of brown and orange.  It’s these pops of color that give me the look I’m going for.  These items don’t have to be expensive to make a difference. It’s the little details that make your home special.

Accessories help bring life to neutral spaces. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

As you can see, decorating with white doesn’t seem boring at all to me.  It seems quite the opposite.  A great way to start trying out using white is getting a set of nice white dishes.  You can add tons of color through placemats, napkins, serving pieces and your centerpiece.  You can start small and work your way into using whites and neutrals as your situation allows.

white dishes using pops of color. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

White dishes are great to create a neutral place setting. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Do you decorate using whites and neutrals?  I would love to hear how you use whites in your everyday decorating. Now that we’re in spring, what are you putting out to give your decor a fresh, bright feel?  I love when you guys comment down below.  Check out my instagram account as I update this more frequently.

  Yours Truly,

Jenn

Decorating My Bar Cart 3 Different Ways

The bar cart is the next best thing to sliced bread.  It basically is an extra piece of furniture that you can just push into a room and set up whatever you need it for.  If you’re throwing a party, you have an automatic bar, food station etc…  However in this post, I’m going to show you how to use the bar cart in your everyday life.  I’m going to decorate my bar cart 3 different ways and show you how it functions in my day to day activities.

We use our outdoor space a lot for relaxing and entertaining.  That is where we spend most of our time from spring to fall.  We are definitely the kind of couple that has more fun outside around the pool rather than hosting a dinner around the dining room table. So it just makes since to use the bar cart around the outdoor entertaining area.  There are plenty of ways I can use this to help me organize some outdoor supplies.

Using the bar cart for outdoor entertaining is a great way to keep all your essentials in one place. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

 

You may not think the bathroom is an appropriate place for a bar cart, but it really is the perfect place to hold all your essential items for a relaxing soak in the bath.  Here I was able to hold items such as my towels, bath salts, music, reading material. and wine so nothing would get wet or ruined while I was in the tub.  Then you can reach all your items and they aren’t placed on the bathroom floor.  Plus it dresses the bathroom up so nicely.

You can use a bar cart in your bathroom to hold all your spa items. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Put your essentials on a bathroom bar cart. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

A book, wine, and bath beads are great essentials for a bathroom bar cart. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I leave my bar cart in the kitchen when I’m not using it elsewhere.  It holds decorative items that go along with seasonal decor. This is one of my favorite things to decorate for the changing seasons. Fresh flowers are a constant on the bar cart.  I love fresh flowers and on a weekly basis change those out. There is just something cheery about having flowers in the kitchen greeting you in the morning.  I am not a morning person and it just kicks off my day with a little something special.

In the kitchen, I’m using the bar cart as a coffee station.  I have my Keurig set up with my favorite coffee mugs.  I like to keep this set up because it’s practical and makes sense for weekend guests.  They know exactly where to get their morning coffee and they can help themselves.  I love things that make life easier. Especially when I’m entertaining.

Use your bar cart for a coffee station in the kitchen. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I leave my bar cart in my kitchen for guests to use. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I love these decor items on the coffee station. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Of course there are other uses for your bar cart.  You can use it as a bar, a brunch set up, and a party backdrop and so much more.  It really is a versatile piece that has been a great investment for me.  If you’re looking to purchase one, I hope you got some great decorating ideas today.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

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