Archive of ‘Home Decor’ category

Modern Outdoor Kitchen Reveal

Happy Friday!  Since my son is out for the summer I have been getting the dates and days a little messed up, but I still know when the weekends are here. I’m glad you came back today to check out the final reveal of my modern outdoor kitchen. If you missed the first part of the outdoor reveal you can check that out here. I hope you enjoy this one.  You can definitely use it for some inspiration if you are redoing your yard or you’re just looking for a couple updates.  You’d be amazed what a couple pillows, some flowers and an umbrella can do to a yard.

Those of you who have been on my blog a long time know my signature colors are black, white and blush pink.  That is what I chose to decorate the outside with this year.  However, last year I used black and a lime green color.  To check out last year’s colors you can catch that here.

Modern Outdoor Kitchen Reveal

Modern black and white backyard oasis with Frontgate chaise lounges. Yourstrulyjenn

These chaise lounges and cushions were purchases from Frontgate and have held up nicely.  They are so comfortable that I often fall asleep outside.


Modern black and white backyard oasis with Frontgate chaise lounges. Yourstrulyjenn

All the outdoor appliances came from East Coast Leisure.  The grill is a Bull Barbecue Angus Grill with a 30″ door and drawer combo.  We also have a fridge and sink.  The stain on the pergola is Special Walnut.  we went with a medium shade to go with our furniture and roof color on our house.

Frontgate chaise lounges and outdoor kitchen reveal. yourstrulyjenn

The black and white throw blankets and lumbar pillows are from Target.   They are the perfect accessories for those chilly nights when the sun goes down.

Modern black and white backyard oasis with pink accents. Yourstrulyjenn

These pink salad dishes are the new ones from Target’s Opal House collection.  The white dinner plates are my favorite from the Emma set at Pottery Barn.  They are classic and I use them as a base for all my tablescapes.

Modern black and white backyard oasis with pink accents. Yourstrulyjenn


Modern black and white backyard oasis with pink accents. Yourstrulyjenn

This gorgeous flower arrangement is from Grandin Road, the pillows are from West Elm,  and the lanterns are from Pier 1.

Outdoor console table styled for entertaining. yourstrulyjenn

I love how these baskets from Target give this console table a finished look. In the winter I use these in my mudroom for gloves and hats.

Outdoor console table styled for entertaining. yourstrulyjenn

This console table was purchased from Grandin Road.

This is the perfect seating area for entertaining guests. yourtrulyjenn

This seating area is perfect for entertaining guests.

This square fire pit was built for backyard entertaining.

The marble on top of the fire pit and outdoor kitchen was purchased from Rock Solid in VA Beach, Virginia.  I don’t remember the exact slab we used, but my consultant was Courtney and she is amazing.  If you’re in the Hampton Roads area and want her contact information just let me know.


This square fire pit was built for backyard entertaining.

The inside glass pieces were purchased from American fire Glass and are 1/4″ black.  We love making s’mores and hanging out by the fire when we swim at night. The fire pit really does help extend the season well into the fall.

This table is ready for backyard entertaining by the pool.

 

This table is ready for backyard entertaining by the pool.

I love that the outdoor area also has a fan and lights on the 4 columns for using at night.  The lights were bought from Ferguson.  Then of course we have flood lights on the house and up lighting in the mulch beds.

This outdoor oasis is ready for entertaining guests. yourstrulyjenn

Adding landscaping around your entertaining area can give it that detail to finish the look. If you want to go the extra mile and take on this job you may want to hire a landscaper who knows what plants, shrubs and trees grow best in your area. We did this and it was the right decision.  We love the finished product.


Entertain guests in this backyard oasis. yourstrulyjenn
I had a great time styling this outdoor space for you. Even though my pillows are for the outdoors, I do bring them on my covered porch after using them just to keep them in the best condition as possible.  You don’t have to, but I feel that sun, rain, and other damage destroys them quite quickly.  I do leave my cushions out there unless there is a huge storm where I think they are going to blow away.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

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 Hide Outlets (Design Mistakes That Annoy us)

Do you have those design problems in your home that just annoy you?  I think one of the worst ones is cords and outlets showing all over the place.   If you have a newer home, hopefully your builder got creative with outlet placement. If you live in an older home you may have to get creative on how to hide outlets using smart decor placement.

Take this console table in the hallway.  I really don’t want a whole bunch of light switches and outlets showing.  Especially if I’m showing a house for sale or taking photos of something. I want to hide the outlets the best I can.  I remember I had just remodeled a room and my sister said, “I love everything you did, but there is one thing bothering me.  That fire detector just looks out of place.”  I had painted our walls Kendall Charcoal and the ceiling was white. However, the fire detector was a very yellowish cream color.  Now it was already there from the previous owner and the ceilings are 24′, but it’s something she clearly noticed.  So people do notice out of place things, they just might not say anything.

I love the new pop up outlets in counters of new homes.  They are also getting so creative with the outlet placement.  I've seen them in drawers for your curling irons and blow dryers in the bathroom which is brilliant. Also, in the kitchen, I've seen several outlets in the pantry so you can put your toaster and coffee pots in the pantry instead of cluttering your counters.  If you are getting ready to build talk to your builder about outlet placement and really think about where you want to put things during the building process.  It just takes a little planning.  

Look at these pictures. This decor is still nice, but you can see everything the builder did.  Now of course it is important to have a light switch at the top of the staircase for that foyer.  Sometimes you can’t get around it so that’s where your smart decorating comes in.  Watch how I made small changes so you couldn’t see the outlet or the light switch.

This picture shows that you can use design tricks to cover outlets and light switches.

I like this option a lot better.  It hides all the blemishes that I want to hide and the outlets and switches are still very accessible to me if I need to get to them. It’s practical and pretty. All I did was use some height and some smart decorating to solve this problem that annoyed me.  Think about what annoys you in your house and what ways you can disguise it with small decor changes.

This picture shows that you can use design tricks to cover outlets and light switches.

For those of you that might be building a new home, there are some really neat things out there in terms of outlets. I love the new pop up outlets in counters of new homes. They are flush and you push them and they pop up out of the counter.  They are also getting so creative with the outlet placement.  I’ve seen them in drawers in the bathroom for your curling irons and blow dryers which is brilliant. Also, in the kitchen, I’ve seen several outlets in the bottom of cabinets so they are hidden.  They are also putting them in the pantry so you can put your toaster and coffee pots in the pantry instead of cluttering your counters.  Talk to your builder about outlet placement and really think about where you want to put things during the building process.  It just takes a little planning.

I hope this simple demonstration gave you some motivation to go and fix things that are annoying you in your own home.  A couple simple changes fixed my design problem and I’m much happier with the result.  Good luck guys.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Summer house tour part 2

Welcome to my summer house tour part 2.  If you want to see part 1 you can check that out here.  I really tried to pull my colors together and go for that coastal vibe. I used various shades of blue to complete the look.  The beach is one of my favorite places and I had a lot of beachy decor that I thought would go well with my existing pieces. This summer tablescape can be used for outdoor entertaining or a beautiful coastal theme dinner party.

Here are some other posts with summer ideas that you might like.

Preparing Your Backyard for Summer

Florida room Challenge

Summer Book Challenge

This coastal themed tablescape is such a fun way to entertain in the summer.

I love these themed dishes that I purchased a year ago from Pier 1.  Aren’t the little fish shaped bread plates just the cutest? It’s fun to have some themed dishes to spice up your white set.

Blue and white dinnerware give this tablescape a beach vibe.

I always start with my white casual set of Emma dishes from Pottery Barn and decorate my table from there.

Using blue in this summer house tour to give the look of a coastal vibe.

These blue candlesticks and the centerpiece were items I found on clearance at Pier 1 a couple of years ago.  I love finding awesome pieces on clearance.

 
Using blue in this summer house tour to give the look of a coastal vibe.

I found this shell set from At Home. They also have the best scent.  It makes the whole kitchen smell like fresh linen.

Coastal vibe entryway in summer house tour part 2.

I found The blue tinted glass jug, the blue vase, and the blue coral at Home Goods.  They were such great finds.  Things fly off the shelves at Home Goods so you have to purchase it when you find what you want.

Coastal vibe entryway in summer house tour part 2.

I tried to pull together accessories with different shades of blue that have a natural, beachy vibe. If you think you’ve seen that driftwood garland before you have.  I used it on a client’s Christmas tree last year.  I did a coastal theme in a Virginia Beach office and used it as a garland.  It was that natural piece I needed to bring the final details together. It’s one of my favorite trees so If you didn’t get a chance to see it you can check it out here.

Coastal vibe entryway in summer house tour part 2.

Coastal vibe entryway in summer house tour part 2.

If you are in the Hampton roads area and are looking for a photographer for senior sessions or family portraits I use Jason Williams at Elite Photography.  He has been doing our photos for the last 6 years.

Coastal vibe entryway in summer house tour part 2.

I hope you enjoyed both of my summer tours.  Later in the month I will be revealing my outdoor summer kitchen and fire pit.  It is the best upgrade we have done to our house.  We are definitely more casual entertainers.  We enjoy throwing parties and entertaining around our pool. I think that is what home decor is all about. Making your home a place you want to be at and entertain others there as well.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Summer House Tour

I’m SO excited!!! Summer is almost here.  We had a pretty harsh winter for Virginia Beach. Then it seemed like we just skipped past spring and it went straight to 90 degree weather.  I’m not complaining though. I’m not a fan of cold weather. Summer house tours are literally one of my favorite posts.  I love reading other blogs that showcase their homes this time of year.  Kids are getting out of school and everyone is in a party mood.

 Hey, If you’re new to my blog I’m so glad you stopped by.  Here are a couple posts to get to know me better; (10 Facts About the Person Behind the Blog, 25 Things About Me, and My Easy to Follow Nighttime Routine). Now let’s start the summer tour.

  Those of you who have been around a while know I’m a big fan of black and white decor. However, for the summer I do like to throw a little color in there.

Styling the living room for a summer house tour for Yours Truly Jenn.

This animal print ottoman came from One King’s Lane.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  It took me a while to find it, but when I saw it, I knew it was just what I was looking for.  You can find similar animal hide ottomans here, here and here.

This room with gorgeous animal print is beautifully styled by Yours Truly Jenn for the summer house tour.

This solid blue rug came from Pottery Barn.  I thought it pulled the room together with the pillows as well.

This room with gorgeous animal print is beautifully styled by Yours Truly Jenn for the summer house tour.

These glam velvet couches came from Joss and Main.

This room with gorgeous animal print is beautifully styled by Yours Truly Jenn for the summer house tour.

I love this aerial view from the hallway upstairs.  You can really see how beautiful the furniture is and how the pieces compliment each other.  I love having this 2 story ceiling in the family room.

This room with gorgeous animal print is beautifully styled by Yours Truly Jenn for the summer house tour.

The gorgeous chairs were a splurge from Neiman Marcus.  I love to get a splurge piece that I call “the guest of honor.” Then I get functional pieces that are more reasonable to compliment and make the splurge piece really shine.

The next part of the summer house tour will be on Wednesday.  I will finish up with a hallway display and my tablescape. I would love to know what your color scheme is for the summer.  Leave a comment below telling me your summer decor plans.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

How to Give Your Home That Coastal Feel

The beach is definitely my happy place.  I love sitting ouside reading a book listening to the waves break. Have you ever thought about bringing the beach feeling into your home?  Don’t worry if you don’t have a vacation home or you don’t live at the beach.  As long as you pull your accessories and colors together you can pull this off.

Color is very important.  Using blues and neutrals will definitely give you that beachy vibe you’re striving for.  Using cool tone paint colors will show you are committed to the coastal theme.  A light and airy color palette will go amazingly well with ocean waves and salty air.

These accessories and colors give this home a coastal feel.

If you’re looking for coastal inspiration, check out Kim’s blog Sand and Sisal.  She decorates her home year round with a coastal feel. It’s a place where you feel at ease and welcomed when you enter.  Isn’t that the feel you want from a beachy home?

Accessories are also very important.  Color comes to play again in your use of accessories. I love this blue coral and all the different shades of blue I used in this entry. The sky and the waves are all different shades of blue and it brings in those elements.  Also, using shades of tan work well because of drift wood, sand, and other natural elements like shells.  You can also use things that you find on the beach to put in your home.

This entryway uses different shades of blue to pull off a coastal feel.

Picking out decor will give your home those finishing touches.  You can pull in your color palette with your bedroom comforter, rug, artwork, and pillows.  These touches will show your guests you’ve thought of everything right to the smallest detail.  Even though I’m saying these items are the final details, sometimes I actually start with a rug or pillow as an inspiration piece.  They usually have a pattern or a color I like.  I use that inspiration to get the color scheme and vision for the room.  Whatever works best for you and your creative process.

Using certain colors and accessories help you achieve that coastal feel.

I’m curious if any of you have a vacation home along 30A in Florida.  If you do, I would love to pick your brain.  We are considering looking there or Hilton Head for a beach home.  Any suggestions or feedback you have would be amazing.

If you are looking to add some beachy accessories to your home I hope this gave you some new ideas. I am going to start posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays so look for new posts on those days. Have a great summer!

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

 

Preparing your Backyard for Summer

Summer is almost here.  The weather is staying more consistent so at least we know what to wear now.  We’ve been working in the yard every weekend to prepare the backyard for summer.  I love this time of year because I can style my backyard as an extension of the house. Here are my top 5 things you can do to transform your yard from winter to summer in no time.

Five Tips To Get Your Backyard Summer Ready

Trim back your hedges and put down mulch.  Nothing looks better than newly trimmed hedges and fresh mulch.  You will want to go through and spray the weeds a couple days before you put down the mulch.   If you’re pressed for time source this out and work on the other details since this is such a big job.

Trimming your hedges and putting down mulch will help spruce up your yard.

Plant flowers in pots and the flowerbeds. This is what makes your yard really come together.  It is also a great way to bring color into your yard.  Think about what accent colors you’re going for and utilize flowers to accomplish that goal.  Consult a landscaper if you’re doing a big yard for the first time so you make sure you’re creating an uniform look.  Also a landscaper has knowledge about what plants do well in shade and sunny areas as well as how big they grow.

Putting flowers in pots will help complete your outdoor porch area.

Putting flowers in pots will help complete your outdoor porch area.

Spray wash pollen off everything. The Hampton Roads area is one of the worst for seasonal allergies.  I always wait until at least mid May and then we go through with our power washer and spray off all that yellow pollen.  It just gets everywhere.  I want to make sure it’s gone before I put out my cushions, pillows, and other decor.

Set up to open the pool.  If you use a company to do your pool opening call them in early April and set it up for a late May opening. If your company is like ours, they start getting booked come April.  I don’t like to open it until all the pollen is gone.  We did that once and had a big mess on our hands.  Also, we like to have our mulch down before we open our pool.  We made the mistake of opening the pool one time before we put mulch down and there was mulch floating for weeks. Coordinate all your dates and it will go a lot smoother.

Set up your pool opening after all the spring pollen is gone.

Style your backyard with the pretty stuff.  This is my favorite part.  Styling the furniture is what I’ve been waiting to do.  Doing the hard parts make it all worth while when I get to put out my cushions, pillows, rugs, towels, linens, and outdoor dishes. These accessories really pull in the colors you used in flowers and make your look complete.  Remember to try to coordinate all your accessories so you have a complete look.

Style your backyard as an extension to your indoor living space.

If you planned well, your outdoor living will be an extension of your indoor spaces.  Think of all that extra square footage.  We love entertaining and being in our outdoor spaces. I hope these tips were helpful.  My big outdoor kitchen reveal and summer home tours are coming in early June so come back for those.  Please leave a comment below telling me how you prepare your yard for the summer.  Maybe you have a garden or a she shed that you prepare this time of year. Also, follow me on social media so we can stay caught up.  I post frequently on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

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

Let’s Spring Clean

March is here and you know what that means.  It’s time to go through your house and spring clean.  I actually started this early this year as I had a lot of stuff  “junk” that I needed to clean up, donate, or sell. When you live in a house for more than 5 years I feel like you really start to accumulate way too much stuff.  So let’s spring clean and figure out where to begin.

Spring Cleaning Tips

Here are some tips for starting your spring cleaning. You don't have to have huge blocks of time to get results.

 

Start off with a big project to get you going – I began in August when my daughter left for college.  When she left, my son decided he was taking her room (which is a second master suite) and she would move into one of the smaller rooms.  This meant we would be packing up two of the rooms in the house and switching them.  So we went through everything.  All the clothes, closet items, and everything in both rooms.  This was a huge job, but we had a goal and a purpose so it made it a little easier to deal with.  My son was happy with his room once it was put back together. My daughter was not as happy with her smaller room, but she was very happy to be off at college. With one major project marked off my list, I was feeling pretty productive and ready to keep going on my list.

Set aside a “working weekend” for the whole family. You can get so much more done with 4 or 5 people than you can by yourself.  Every 6 weeks or a time frame of your choice, set aside a “working weekend.” Let the family members know at the beginning of the week that this weekend you will set aside a certain amount of time on Saturday and Sunday to work on the the house clearing out clutter. Have a list planned ahead of time for them to do on their own and some things to do with the group as a whole. They need to have both kinds of tasks so that you don’t have to guide them at every tasks so you can get some work done too.  Things will go a lot smoother that way.

Continue to declutter as you have time.  Choose smaller tasks to do on your busier days.  Cleaning out a junk drawer or your pantry are all things that need to be done.  Sometimes these tasks may take as little as 15 minutes.  You can choose to do these things on days where you don’t have big blocks of time to set aside, but you still want to get something accomplished.  All of it needs to get done so use your time wisely.

Make sure items get out of the house immediately. Once you have sorted your items as donation, trash, or sell make sure you take them to the appropriate place right away.  You have worked so hard to declutter, you don’t want the boxes to stick around taking up room in your house.  What a great feeling to get all of this out of your house.  What a big difference this will make.

Have a list with your “big picture” goals.  What areas do you want to tackle?  Make sure you are working in your spare time to get to all the areas you can in a timely manner.  Use your bigger blocks of time for the larger projects and do smaller projects as time allows.

I hope you are having some nice spring weather in your area and you are getting motivated to tackle some projects that have been on your mind for too long.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

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