Spring Domino Article

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The spring issue of Domino is on news stands and it is AMAZING. Truly, inspiration overload! When I met with my editor to pick the topic for my story in the issue, I threw out a couple ideas that I was excited about and then she was like, “Yeah, you know, all I really want to do is look at your Barneys chairs. How can we write about those??” 🙂

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No one has to ask me twice to talk about these awesome chairs, especially if I can combine the story with some of my best Craigslist tips! If you haven’t seen the issue yet, pick it up! My article is on page 100.

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When I was looking at these photos (taken by my beautiful friend, Tiffany Haynes), I remembered that I hadn’t shared my little bookshelf redo with you guys yet!

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I still love our library bookshelves! They were made by Classy Closets a few years ago and I’m so happy with how they’ve held up to our abuse! I have completely overloaded these shelves with heavy art and text books and it was time to give them a little relief a few months ago.

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We pulled off every single book and shelf and wiped everything down (*sneezes*). We stacked the books in rows so that everything would stay organized and would be easy to put back up in the same order. We ended up changing up our organization a little in the end, but keeping everything batched together in this way saved me and Michael a lot of time! Sooooo…many…booksssss….

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I cut 30 pieces of coved quarter round moulding in the exact same size and quickly ran a bead of Liquid Nails along the back and then nailed them into place with my pneumatic nail gun (the 18 gauge is small enough to not split such a delicate molding size). Then I flipped the shelves upside down from the way they had been sitting before having the back support pieces. You can see in this photo below that they are still bowing a little, but once the books were placed, the shelf was completely flat and will stay that way with the new trim supports!

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I love that all the shelves are level again and I’m glad that the new trim sort of disappears. I was a tad bit worried that the trim would change the look of the shelves, but you can’t really even see it now that it’s painted the same color as the cabinets.

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This was my pre-photo-photo above. Before I even had time to plant my kumquat tree! I love that thing! We’ve since planted it in the back yard, but for quite a few months I had it just sitting in it’s bucket on top of a plastic tray in a Target basket.

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I also like to have something covering the soil for my tree planters like white gravel or preserved moss. I used Reindeer Moss here, but these are my go-to varieties:

lgn moss

1   //   2   //   3   //   4

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The chairs are back up in the studio right now, but they move around quite a bit! 🙂 I pretty much love them in any room.

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Oh, and PS! We’re adding a senior designer to the Juniper Studio team! If you’ve had a few years under your belt and all the skillz to pay the billz, email me your resume and portfolio! We’re starting interviews this week. xo

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Artsy Family Photo Inspiration

I am headed to the Bay area with my team this week for a very special home install. I am SO excited to share this project with you. We’ve been working very hard to get everything finished and I’ll be posting sneak peeks on Instagram all week, so be sure to follow along!

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One project that we’re doing for the entry is a big picture ledge/wall hooks combo. We collected about a dozen frames and will be printing out black and white family photos to display. I asked out client to send us all of her favorite more relaxed and candid shots of her family.
When the subjects aren’t necessarily looking right at the camera, or if the composition of the photo is really unique (like in the first image here), there’s a good chance the photo will feel more like art than just a traditional family photo hanging on the wall. Here are some of my favorite examples:
This one’s from Pencil and Paper Co. How GREAT is the mylar balloon idea!? The possibilities are endless here. So cool!
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Such a sweet tribute to mothers! I love the contrast here too with the black and white backgrounds.
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This photo was the homeowner’s grandpa! So cool and artsy, right? But still so personal. I really love it.
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I love these portraits shot against foliage. It’s a pretty way to incorporate the color and textures of nature as well as those sweet faces.
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I think the long horizontal formatting of these photos below is really fresh – and perfectly sized for that little wall.
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Every time I see this photo, I’m blown away. How cool to do an underwater family portrait!! You can grab a disposable camera for just a couple bucks here!
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Graphic prints in clothing are a fun way to add pattern to your walls!
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When in doubt, just off-center your subject in the composition. And babies are always a good idea. 🙂
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PS Some more family photos and display inspiration!
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7 Ways to Help Cut Flowers Last Longer!

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! It’s time to start thinking about what kind of flowers you’ll be sending to your loved ones! Since giving and getting flowers is pretty much one of my favorite things, I’ve done a lot of research on how to make arrangements last longer. There are all sorts of crazy tips out there, but I feel like only a few of them actually work. I’ve partnered with my friends at The Bouqs Company, my favorite flower delivery service, to share my very best tips with you here as well as some of my favorite flower and vase combos below! (PS For the next week, receive 20% off your Bouqs.com order with the code VDAYBLOOMS!)
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The first tip is probably the most important one –

TIP #1: BUY FRESHER FLOWERS

It makes sense, right? The faster those blooms get from the grower to your coffee table, the better! The Bouqs Company is a great resource because there is no middle man. The flowers are cut the day you order them, not just sitting in a floral wholesale warehouse! The eco-friendly Bouqs.com farms are on mineral-rich volcanic soil in Ecuador, where they follow strict responsible farming practices. Also I really love that they carry special flowers that can be harder to find – like ranunculus or the garden roses I have here in the post, as well as super cool accents like thistles and succulents!

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TIP #2: BLEACH YOUR VASE

You want to do everything you can to keep bacteria from growing in your arrangement. Cleaning out your vase beforehand with really hot, soapy water or even a light bleach solution will help a lot!

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TIP #3: REMOVE THE LEAVES

A lot of people overlook this step. It’s really important to remove any leaves that sit below the water line, otherwise the leaves will rot and accelerate the bacteria growth and wilting process.

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TIP #4: CUT THE STEMS AT AN ANGLE, UNDER WATER

Everyone knows that you should give your blooms a fresh cut before arranging them in your vase. But if you cut the stems at a long angle, the flower will be able to suck up more water. It also seems like the flower does better if the stem is submerged in water during the cut.

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TIP #5 USE THE FLORAL FOOD PACKETS

In my experience, the little packets of floral preservative alone will double the life of any arrangement. The packets contain preservatives and anti-bacterial solutions that help keep the flowers happy and fresh. Don’t skip on the packets! I keep a stash of them in my pantry and use a full packet every time I change the water in my arrangements. I’ve gotten two packets with every delivery from The Bouqs Company, which I really appreciate!

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TIP #6: KEEP THE WATER COLD AND FRESH

Heat and bacteria are the enemies of fresh floral arrangements. It’s a good idea to fully change the water in your arrangement every two or three days. I have some friends that also put their arrangements in the fridge at night and that seems to work wonders for prolonging the life of the flowers, but that requires more thought and energy than I usually have at bedtime! So when I first cut my flowers and make my arrangements, I fill up my vase with ice first and then water (and the preservative packet). I add a few ice cubes every day or whenever I happen to think about it and I swear it works SO WELL! It’s just like keeping the flowers in a refrigerator!

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TIP #7: PLACE YOUR ARRANGEMENT IN THE RIGHT SPOT

I’ve read that you should never keep fresh flowers in the kitchen because fruits and veggies sitting on the counter emit gasses that speed up the wilting process. Interesting, right? Direct sunlight is also bad for cut flowers. If you want them to last longer, keep your flowers sitting in a shaded and cool area in your home.

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What tips would you add to my list? I’ve tried all the crazy ones – add a penny to your vase, use a crushed aspirin instead of the floral preservative, pour bleach in your vase water (!), but these ones above seem to work the best for me!

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This post was sponsored by The Bouqs Company. Receive 20% off your order this week with the code VDAYBLOOMS!

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La Cornue and Inspiration from Nashville

So I don’t want to jinx it, but I found a La Cornue range on Craigslist for a great price (!!!) and I really, really want it for our kitchen remodel. It’s a bit of a drive from my house, but come ON! Wouldn’t you make an extra long road trip for one of these?

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These images are from the portfolio of Pencil and Paper Co out of Nashville (a company and a city I totally have a crush on). Aside from the fact that the talented husband and wife design team seem to love La Cornue as much as I do, I’m obsessed with their preppy-modern style. Their interiors definitely have that great Southern look, but there’s an edge that’s super refreshing!

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What I love most about their work is it seems so thoughtful, like every single detail was considered and executed beautifully, you know? I really admire that. What a gorgeous way to live a life – so deliberate and purposeful.

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There are a lot of accessories in many of their rooms, but nothing looks like junkie filler stuff. Just a lovely, well-traveled and collected vibe.

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So pretty right? Here are a few things that are oozing with that Pencil and Paper Co vibe!


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x bench  //  capiz chandelier  //  serape bracelet  //  red shibori chair  //  magic hands lino cut print  //  gold side table //  indigo pillows (pair!)

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tufted wingback  //  diamond jute rug  //  lavender brushstrokes lamp  //  beach print  //  $30(!!!!) black sconce  //  black and white embroidered pillow  //  hanging rattan chair
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Rothko print  //  woven seat chair  //  brass desk organizer  //  pink and white pom pom throw  //  blue shibori chair  //  red drip ginger jar  //  indigo pillow
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brass and steel mirror  //   Pendleton throw  //  blue planter stand  //  leather lion bookend  //  bistro stool  //  accordian sconce ($60!!!)
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brass lantern  //  gray stain dining table  //   strawberry print  //  blue lacquered nightstand  //  red and black striped throw  //  black leather sling chair  //  pottery bowl

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Thoughts on Wood Flooring (and My Favorite Engineered Wood!)

My kids know that if the car makes a sudden U-turn, Mama found a new thrift store or saw an open house sign. 🙂 A few months ago I flipped one of those big U’s and walked through this pretty home that was for sale in Mesa’s downtown historic district. 

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The house had recently been gut-renovated and was gorgeous in person! The cabinetry and millwork everywhere was especially TOP NOTCH. I wish these photos did them more justice!

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The staging was so much more tame than my style, but it was really pretty and soft. Those bobbin chairs have my hearth though. They were from Home Goods apparently!

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I also fell in love with the floors. So much so that I poked around on the instagram feed of Project Beautify, who had rehabbed the house, and discovered that the floors were from my favorite flooring place Floor & Decor!

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Later that week I went and checked out the product in person. It’s called Montpellier and it’s an oiled French Oak in almost a 9" wide plank. And it is only $5.49/sq ft! If you’ve ever shopped for wood flooring before you’ll know that price is pretty unreal for the size of those planks!

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Floor & Decor has a great selection of every type of wood flooring – solid (including Timberclick!), engineered, laminate, and everything you need to install the floors yourself if you’re a DIYer.

It can be overwhelming to figure out what type of wood flooring is right for your house, but I always ask three questions that usually help narrow down the playing field:

1) Will the flooring be in a kitchen or bathroom? 

How terrified are you about the idea of potentially needing to pull up and repair areas effected by future leaks? If your answer is highly terrified, then you might want to consider a product like Aquaguard (which is a water-resistant laminate).

That said, I put engineered wood in kitchens and baths all the time. Rugs help a lot with day-to-day water spills and if a bigger issue happens, the wood can usually recover if the problem is caught the same day. I always suggest buying 50-100 sq ft of extra wood as a precautionary measure, just in case a few pieces have to be popped up and replaced down the road.

2) Wide or skinny planks?

Planks under 4 or 5" wide are usually only found in solid woods anymore or unfinished engineered wood. Usually wider planks are more expensive, especially in solid wood. Once you’re looking beyond that 5" width in solid wood, the prices start to get astronomically higher. If your budget needs to be under $14/sq ft and you are wanting a 7-9" wide plank, you’ll definitely need to be looking at pre-finished engineered wood or laminate.

3) Most importantly, what is your existing subfloor? 

Solid wood is a great option if you already have a plywood subfloor (though you’ll want to get verification that it is level and does not need to be replaced before laying your beautiful new floors on top!).

And while I love the idea of being able to refinish a solid wood floor five or six times in it’s lifetime, I almost always recommend engineered wood, especially in places like Arizona, where most houses are built on concrete slab. Speaking from experience, it can be a very expensive and time-consuming process to add plywood subfloors to a slab foundation. Also it is comforting to know that engineered wood is a more stable product than solid wood, which means the planks are more resistant to changes in humidity and moisture levels.

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Laminate is another great option. Every time I look at the latest offerings, I’m blown away. So many of them look very similar to engineered wood and often they are half the price! Just don’t skip on a good underlayment, which helps with the swooshing sound that old school laminate flooring is notorious for.

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Here are a few of my favorite wood flooring picks from Floor & Decor. I usually prefer an ashy undertone to reds and pinks, but I don’t usually want anything too bluey-gray either. All of these are gorgeous in person – and super affordable!

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B – Bordeaux Oak Engineered Hard Wood – $5.49/sq ft
C – Oak Coffee Wirebrushed – $4.99/sq ft
E – Allegheny Oak Laminate – $2.29/sq ft

Do you have any great tips for picking a wood flooring? What type did you chose in the end? I’d love to hear!

A big thanks to Floor& Decor for partnering with us on this series. Read about wood-look tile here and accent tiles here! http://ift.tt/WvwK22

Rediscovering an Old Favorite Kitchen


We’re working on several kitchen projects for clients right now and I’m starting to figure out what I want to do for my own kitchen’s mini reno. I’ve been

pinning up a storm

, but sometimes Pinterest can make me feel a little uninspired and over stimulated at the same time. Do you ever feel that way? So a few days ago I decided to pull out some of my old magazines just to switch things up a little.

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A few dozen magazines later, I got to my February 2012 House and Home issue and rediscovered

this kitchen

, an old favorite

for sure.

 Remember this spread? It’s everything I’m hoping to achieve with my kitchen update. It’s a little bit modern, a little farmhouse, and there’s lots of personality thrown in.  And for the first time, I realized those cabinets are IKEA! They look SO great here, don’t they? That brass hardware from

Richelieu

is pulling some serious weight!

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The space looked pretty sad before the renovations. It was outdated and the layout was terrible.

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The new layout makes the space look twice as big! It’s crazy how expensive this whole space looks. They built out the pantry cabinets a little bit so the (IKEA!) fridge would be flush with the fronts. I also like where they mounted the hardware on the tall side cabinets. And check out that waterfall edge on the island!

You know how much I love that look

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I love how they mixed

inexpensive butcher block

with the marble. It seems like this mix of low and super high-end was the secret here for the entire space. You might not normally expect to see a

Barber Wilsons brass faucet

in an IKEA kitchen, but I guess you can afford to spend thousands on faucets and hardware if you are spending only a third the cost of custom cabinetry. It’s a great trick – distract the eye with the shiny pretties and no one will notice the IKEA at first glance. And then they won’t care when they do figure it out! IKEA cabinets work and look great!

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Oh, and speaking of brass faucets, did you see this beauty from

DeVol for Perrin and Rowe

? Such a great price point and so similar to the much pricier one above.

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I feel like the obvious showstopper in this kitchen though is the handpainted backsplash tile. I lurve it. 

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The homeowner scanned in a sample tile and printed out multiple pages of the scan to tape up on her kitchen wall to make sure she could live with and commit to the pattern. Isn’t that a GENIUS idea? Just like with wallpaper, it’s easy to fall in love with a small sample, but it’s really the overall pulled back pattern that you’ll actually need to love!

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This tile is from

Walker Zanger

(another high-end purchase). I love it. I think it’s a smart move to go with a more restrained pattern. I’m thinking of something like 

this similar cement tile

for my kitchen backsplash maybe and printing out scanned in tiles to tape up on my kitchen wall was just added to my to-do list!

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Do you have an all-time favorite kitchen? I have about twenty, but this one is proving to still be an inspiration! Long live print publishing!! 🙂

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images are my scans of House and Home February 2012

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Happening Lately: NYE 2016

Happy New Year, friends!! How are you? How was your holiday? I’m back in the saddle again today after taking the last two weeks off and I’m feeling rested and ready to tackle 2016!

Before signing off, I threw a little offsite party for the women that work for me. I love these ladies to the moon and back. They have buckets of talent and they work tirelessly. I think we’re all really hitting our stride with client work and I’m so happy to share with you what we’ve been working on the past few months.

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(left to right – Megan, Carolyn, moi, Kayla, Kate)

We went to one of our favorite restaurants, The Henry, to kick off the holiday. The food is yummy and so are the interiors!

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The bathroom has the prettiest tile and it was so fun to see the Kohler trough sink we’re using in one of our projects! It’s amazing!
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I tried not to do any work during the break, but I had a Domino deadline to squeeze in before Christmas. I needed a biggish tree for the shoot and my girls helped me find a great kumquat tree at a local nursery. I planted it in a basket for the shoot and it was like a dream come true. 🙂

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I also grabbed a flat of green and red succulents to give as neighbor gifts in hand-painted clay pots. I thought a break from sweet treats would be welcome for both my neighbors and me!
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It’s so crazy to me that my sweet Evelyn is six years old now. This girlie has been nothing but pure joy since she showed up unannounced at home! We celebrated her birthday early this year (the 24th is always so jam-packed, poor thing!). We went to a trampoline park for her little party. Have you ever been to one? It is so much fun to do flips and obstacle courses, but Michael and I could barely walk the next day! So worth it. 🙂

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We had a really great Christmas. It was pretty chill – we mostly just sat around with family and played games and ate, and bruised our tailbones trying to get the hang of that dang hoverboard. Somehow my girls all figured it out in about 0.3 seconds but it took me all day. 🙂 We also tried to spend as much time outside as possible this year. We did a few little hikes, including to this area that was featured on Snippet and Ink. Aren’t our mountains beautiful here?

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After Christmas, the girls headed up to my mom and dad’s house and Michael and I stayed home with Margot. We did some big organizing projects and made plans for a mini kitchen makeover that I want to do this year. It’s been more than two years since doing our semi-temporary fixes (like painting the floors and doing the concrete overlay on the countertops), and I’d like to invest in something a little nicer this year. We won’t be breaking any banks though. I found a practically new Viking fridge on Craigslist for an amazing deal (it was in a gym kitchen!) and the marble I’m looking at costs a fraction of the price of granite. Can’t wait to share all the details! 
We’re thinking of doing a slate floor in the kitchen, laying it right on top of the existing tile to make it flush with our wood floors. While I was out shopping for some good slate options and I found these new pretties at Floor & Decor. I loved these 4" white marble hex tiles!
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((Also, those Nikes above are my favorite errands-shoes right now. So, so comfortable!))

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This elongated white marble herringbone tile is also SO GOOD. I’d love to use this on my kitchen backsplash, but I think I’m going to do a herringbone pattern for the floor tile. So maybe I could use the white in the studio bathroom then?
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It’s hard to tell in my photos, but the scale is closer to the tile in this gorgeous bathroom.
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Michael and I headed up to my parents’ house in Snowflake for New Years. It’s so nice to have a place to easily get away to! We played in the snow with the girls and watched movies and did a little salvage yard shopping. There’s a place called Lamell’s in a nearby town, Linden, that takes a little bit of digging, but has some hidden treasures for sure!
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The owner drives to farmhouses in the midwest and salvages beautiful old windows and doors to bring back and sell at his yard. I had a blast digging through these piles! I found a pair of 100 yr-old doors that I want to use for my pantry makeover for only $40! It was such a fun way to end the weekend.
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I have big plans for 2016 and I’m SO excited to get going! Thanks for sticking around for another year! xo
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LGN Gift Guide 2015

The last days of online Christmas shopping are upon us! Are you ready?? Here are a few things for her, him and the kids that I either have and love or would love to have!

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FOR HER
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Standard Wax black marbled candle – I LOVE this local AZ company, and this candle in particular. It’s a GREAT wintery scent with the added bonus of being able to reuse the beautiful container after burning (a planter! pen holder! keys coraller!).
Byredo Gypsy Water Perfume – Complex. Different. She’ll get a million compliments every time she wears this scent with notes of sandalwood, juniper berries, citrus and amber.
Brass Bracelet – My favorite everyday bracelet because it pairs so well with watches without being too fussy. And it’s on crazy sale!
Rails button-down top – Have you heard of these cult favorite shirts? The fit is nothing short of miraculous. You’ll feel like a rock star wearing this plaid top! I’d love one in every pattern, please.
Cut-out Booties – Speaking of a million compliments! These are my favorite shoes to wear lately.
State necklaces – The perfect layering piece and a way to keep home close to your heart.
Monogrammed Pouch with Built-in Wallet – This zippered pouch (which they monogram for you for just a bit extra) is a lifesaver for those of us that switch bags semi-regularly. I keep all the essentials in here (there is a built-in wallet) and often just use the pouch as my purse when I’m running into a store. It’s down-right liberating.
Hologram Nail Polish – SUCH a great color. Subtle from afar. Packs a mean punch up close though. Another compliment-getter, for sure!
Agate Lucite Box – The perfect gift that looks super expensive but (shhhh!) is really not! Toss one of the above state necklaces and the nail polish inside the box and you’re all set! 🙂
The Perfect Leather Bag – I don’t use the word perfect lightly. Okay, actually I use it all the time, but I mean it here. This is a GREAT bag. It’s big enough to hold my wallet pouch and another pouch that I use to carry diapers/wipes, etc for Margot, plus all the other random design stuff that I end up stupidly hauling around, like 30′ tape measures and three or four paint decks. But it truly looks like a completely appropriate-sized bag that normal people who clean out their bags regularly would buy! Also looks about twice as expensive as it actually is. Bonus points for no logos in sight and the cross-body strap.
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Lucite and Brass coasters – Z Gallerie FTW! These are the coolest coasters I’ve seen in a while. They’re even better in person. They’d be even better sitting on my coffee table…
Booties – My second favorite shoes to wear right now. Super cute.
Tassel throw – on MAJOR sale and so, so great in the navy color especially! There are some really cute pillows in this line that are sold out online, but tons are in stores for like $19 ea. Recommend!
Gold Scissors – Nothing says ‘I understand you’ like a pair of special gold scissors. Unless it doesn’t, and then we are very different people.
Secret Charger Tassel – It’s a cute tassel key chain, but SURPRISE! With a secret charging cord hidden inside!
Brass-knob Le Creuset Dutch Oven – As if Le Creuset needed to get fancier. Now the white dutch ovens come with a brass knob. I mean!
Gold and Marble Candle – Like the Tom Dixon ones, but a million times less expensive.
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Gold S’well water bottle – if any water bottle is going to pull me away from my Diet Coke, this one has a sporting chance.
Floral Nike Free – These are on my wish list in such a major way.
Amazing Leggings – Forget Lululemon. Zella leggings cost less and fit SO WELL.
Phone Arm Band – I would love to run a marathon this year (having trouble finding the time for those long runs though…) and this armband is making it easier to get out the door. Works great and looks cool.
Brass Phone Case – I got this one for my birthday a couple months ago and it’s my favorite thing! It’s made out of cast brass and you literally have to screw your phone inside. It’s so cool and protects my screen really well.
Leopard Slippers – I got these same amazingly comfy slippers for Christmas last year, but they didn’t have the leopard then. Bummer for me, great news for you! (get them 30% off now too)
Buffalo Check Jammies – These are a great weight that will still be comfortable in the warmer months.
Bulldog Socks – If Wes Anderson made a sock…
Curl Stick – There is absolutely NO REASON to spend $300 on a fancy curl stick. Get those super loose beachy waves for $30 and buy yourself the Gypsy Water perfume with what’s leftover!
Jewelry Barrettes (1, 2, 3, 4) – One of my favorite ways to wear my hair is in a far side part held back with a long barrette. I treat these special barrettes like jewelry. French Luxe makes my favorite pieces, though I also like the Italian look of some of the L. Erickson clips.
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FOR HIM

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Wooden Macbook Case – I love the marble version of these cases too! Super cool.
Buffalo Check Tie – Cause there is nothing better than a guy in a suit and tie.
Daniel Wellington watch – I want to get Michael this watch so I can steal it from him. Every day.
Shaving Set – A little old school, but easier than safety blades.
Leather phone case – I love the way this case looks with a black iPhone. Super masculine, but I would also totally love one for myself.
Southwest-meets-Frozen Socks – Michael has to wear a suit to work every day so I love to find him fun socks to help mix things up. He will think these are too crazy, but I’ll break him down before January’s over. 🙂
Vintage Style Nikes – For your cool, but understated dude. Give him the Frozen socks too, just to push his limits a little.
Sriracha 2 Go – the name says it all. #yolo

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Kiehl’s – His favorite and yours too. The holiday gift sets are always a great deal!
Monogrammed robe – I’d love a his and hers set of these!
Black Leather Money Clip – Slim, but still enough room for five credit cards.
Shoe Shining Kit – My dad had a big wooden shoe shining box when I was a kid (I think he still does). I loved watching him shine his shoes on Sunday mornings. The smell of the polish and the sound of the brush on the leather. Good times.
Herschel Toiletry Case – Anyone else think of Walking Dead every time they see a Herschel bag? (I quit after season 2!)
Taco Socks – In case your man is (much) braver than mine.
Shoe-Boots – Love the red laces.

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FOR KIDS

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Cubebot – addicting for kids and parents alike! And I love a good toy that also looks cute on a shelf!
Yay Necklace – My Claire is always looking on the bright side and celebrates even the smallest of her and her sisters’ wins. This sweet necklace reminds me of her.
Tiara Kit – There’s definitely a DIY version, but this cute tiara kit is on sale and makes things easy for you and your kids! A super-fun NYE activity.
Ping-Pong set – any table is a ping-pong table with this gift! We has something similar to this at our family cabin vacation this summer and it was hours of entertainment! Take it to the next level with a bracketed championship competition.
Pogo stick – Hard for adults. Easy for kids. Which makes it the best present ever.
Fox and Butterfly Fabric Masks – Two great additions to your dress-up bin! And they’re on sale for just a few dollars!
Mini Purse and Brass Letter Pins – All three of my big girls asked for a purse for Christmas. Something small to keep their allowance money in for Target trips. 🙂 I found these mini purses with the cute tassles and got them in three different colors (on sale!) and then I bought a bunch of random pins on this site for a personalized, sort of charm bracelet quality. Cute, right?
Locking diary – Fact: Every pre-teen girl wants a Tiffany blue leather diary with a heart-shaped lock.
Ukelele – In case your husband has an expensive ukelele hanging on the wall of your music room.
Loom – HOURS AND HOURS of QUIET FUN. The gift that gives so much back.
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Llama – A must-have if your daughter’s favorite movie is Emperor’s New Groove. (I’ll be needing three then)
Cute Headphones – for the car or the plane! Never lose them again in these cute colors!
Fjallraven backpack – Everyone’s favorite for a reason. They are a great size, come in the best colors and are incredibly sturdy.
Easy Needlepoint Projects – (see: Loom)
Snap Circuits – Teach your kids about electronics in a super creative way. My girls LOVE these.
Baby Walker – Margot will be zooming around the house with this cute walker on the 25th!
Star Wars Doodles Book – All the cool kids on the bus have this doodle book apparently?
No-Tie Kids Apron – For your favorite little chef (or dish-washer!)
Tee Pee – Santa brought this teepee to our house last year and it has been in heavy rotation every day since. It goes inside and out, upstairs in the girls bedrooms and down in the playroom. They read to each other inside. They sit it in front of the TV for popcorn and a movie. It’s homework central even. And now Margot pretty much wants to sit inside the teepee for most of the waking hours of her day. I would say it was a great investment…for Santa.
Flamingo – Pretty much the cutest stuffed animal that one could purchase.
Neon Tennies – Parents raise your hand if you save up clothes and other "boring" purchases for your kids from pretty much October on, so it can be another thing for them to unwrap on Christmas day? Yeah, me too.
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HAPPY SHOPPING!!!

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DIY Upholstered Box Spring

The latest Domino is on news stands now! My story for this issue is all about how to make an upholstered bed using just your box spring and some furniture legs. I love how this project turned out!

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The directions are on pages 96 and 97, but the basic idea is to strip your box spring of any extra plastic corners and then upholster the boxspring with whatever fabric you want. I used the scraps of velvet I had left over from the headboard upholstery project. Then you just attach furniture legs to the corners.

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I bought the hairpin legs at a local shop called Modern Manor but you can find them in lots of Etsy shops. And really, you could use any type of furniture leg you’d like. If you needed to reinforce the corner of the boxspring for more places to attach the leg to, it would be easy to add a piece of 2×4 or 4×4 to the inside corners.

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Fun and easy, right? Grace sleeps on this bed every night and it’s held up great for months now. I love that we got the look of a matching upholstered bed frame for basically no money!

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Last Minute Christmas Decorating

The kids don’t think my white tree counts and they have been begging me and Michael to get a fresh Christmas tree this year. But somehow it’s the middle of December already? And the big, pretty trees are SO expensive. We saw a gorgeous tree while driving by a lot a few weeks ago and it was $250! Yikes.

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If you’re like me, and you missed the official window of time where it makes more financial sense to invest in a giant real Christmas tree, consider buying a smallish 2-4-footer that hasn’t been cut. Throw it in a short basket on top of a pretty table and you’re all set! This tree from Lonny has my heart. It’s the perfect amount of sparse/organic – so it actually looks real! But it still has enough foliage to hold on to some pretty ornaments. Bonus points for it being up off the ground and Margot-proof!

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When the New Year comes (which will feel like approx five seconds from now, promise), it will be a breeze to take down and either recycle it on tree pick-up day (which is sort of a bummer, right? – pretty wasteful), or plant it in your yard if you bought a potted one.

Here’s to Christmas decorating ideas that are EASY and save money, and best of all, that help us look less Grinch-y to our kids! *high fives!*

PS An even simpler idea – hang ornaments in an oversized arrangement of evergreen boughs! I am going to swing by the lot by my house to see if they have any loose branches to buy…

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