Coffee Table Photobooks: A Mixbook Review

We’ve been working on painting the office over here and we went for the bold… but it’s not quite finished yet. Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions!

Here’s a little peak though at this year’s Mother’s Day presents for Liv’s Grandmas. I know it’s a couple of months past Mother’s Day but photobooks are the new photo-chronicling method here in the Spenla household and it’s the greatest. I’m working on huge, over-sized hardbound coffee table books for each year (how neat will that be with just a giant ‘2009’, ‘2010’, etc on the front of each) and made smaller versions highlighting Liv (pregnancy through 3 months or so) as a special present.

Here it is displayed at my mom’s house.

Mixbook makes it really easy to assemble a photobook quickly. As an avid Photoshop user, I’m skeptical of the photo editing capabilities of any photobook program, but I’m pleased to say that I happily edited nearly all of the photos for this book right at Mixbook.com. Furthermore, Mixbook allows you to pull photos from your computer or Facebook – so genius. No double downloading necessary.

They offer a range of templates and designs but you can probably predict that I went with all black and a blank slate. I prefer designing my own layouts and it’s rare to find a photobook program that allows you to do that. You have complete control if you want it.

For this book I went with a simple, classy layout – solid black background, one giant 8×8 photo rimmed in white per page, just a bit of text thrown in for context.

After reviewing the program and ordering a book to check out, I’m a huge fan and I will definitely be using the site again. Especially after nabbing one of their awesome GroupOn deals! Use this promo code at Mixbook: PEPPERMX20 for an extra 20% off.

I’m the worst at falling behind on photos and scrapbooking, so I’ve found that it’s easiest to start one of my year-long photobook projects in January and finish pages once a month as that month goes by. Soon I’ll be ordering my giant book for 2010 and it will be a great way to share memories with all of our visitors – and something special for Kev and I to flip through as the years go by. Yeah for helpful organizing solutions!

How do you store and organize your photos?

Office Makeover: Chocolate Brown Walls?

The latest Ballard Design catalog arrived in the mail and it is full of beautiful dark brown rooms. I’ve always been a fan – but it’s so bold! What a commitment to cover your walls in such a rich color.

But the wheels began spinning and I set out for more wall-to-wall brown inspiration.

The best part of dark walls is the ability to really take advantage of contrasts in the forms of bright white molding, furniture – even ceramic decor. And how about those pops of raspberry, lime green and teal? And brass and gold? Oooh pretty.

So stunning! But so bold. Do I dare paint an entire room dark brown? Most designers insist that the old adage of dark colors making a room feel smaller simply isn’t true. It has much more to do with proportions and lighting.

What do you think? Too much? Or just right?

Images from DecorPad, Lennoxx

Master Bedroom: A ‘New’ Salvaged Chair

I found this little gem at an antique/thrift store going out of business (best combination ever) and thought it would work great in our master bedroom. While the structure of the chair is my favorite part, the icy blue upholstery is in great shape and works beautifully with the rest of the room’s color palette.

Maybe she’ll receive new fabric some day in the future?

It fits the corner of our bedroom perfectly! More recently it has become a catch-all for every piece of Kevin’s clothing (who needs a dresser when you have an over-sized chair?) but it’s also a great spot to put on shoes or lay out the next day’s outfit.

The jury is still out on the color of the wood… I actually love the light pecan stain but there are enough blemishes that this piece might need an allover sanding and a slightly darker finish.

Or maybe all of those little nicks and bruises provide character? That might be the lazy answer.

I borrowed the nursery’s glider pillow for the photos, but I’ll have to hunt out a fabric for the future.

I’ve found that salvaged furniture is a great way to add well-built pieces to your home (they just don’t make furniture like they used to. at least not in my budget…), but it’s rare to find pieces in good shape. Do you bring thrift store furniture into your home or is the cleaning/refurbishing just too much work?

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