A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

Decorating for Fall

Our Home, Fall 2014 | Mantel | PepperDesignBlog.com

It might be in the high 80’s outside, but inside we are prepping for fall. Rather than wait for the weather to turn and for Halloween to be upon us,  Liv and I set out to put up decorations just as the seasons officially turned.

Our Home, Fall 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

I usually lean more towards white/greenish/unusual pumpkins than I do the traditional orange, so we have a mix going on on the mantel, in the dining room, on our front porch and in a big bowl in the kitchen.

Our Home, Fall 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Gold is one of my favorite accent colors (and it already lives in the room a lot!) so it’s sprinkled everywhere :-).

Our Home, Fall 2014 | Mantel | PepperDesignBlog.com

Our Home, Fall 2014 | DIY Gold Striped Candle | PepperDesignBlog.com

Our Home, Fall 2014 | Mantel | PepperDesignBlog.com

The wood slice fireplace screen is keeping up with the cozy theme, too. It doesn’t feel out of place during the summer, but it’s so perfect for fall and winter. (Also, more on the handmade wooden sunburst mirror).

Elsewhere in the room, I added little pine cones that Liv and I collected on a recent family hike (they lived outside for at least a week to encourage any loose seeds or living bugs to find a new home). I’m hoping that these will last all through winter because they turned out so pretty after we tipped the edges in gold. They’re tucked into corners of the bookshelves throughout.

Our Home, Fall 2014 | DIY Gold Tipped Pine Cones | PepperDesignBlog.com

Our dining room received a little fall love in the more traditional colors of the season.

Our Home, Fall 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

My favorite new addition this year might be the ‘family’ banner that I made during a Kreative night hosted by Cassie over at Kent Heartstrings.

Our Home, Fall 2014 | Family Banner | PepperDesignBlog.com

I rarely take anything previously existing away when changing things up for the holidays or seasons (too much to store and pack), and I try to stick to organic, natural decorations when possible (nature is so pretty on its own!). When I know that the real deal can’t be dried and preserved easily and probably won’t last long (like fall leaves painted gold), I opt for the faux version. Knowing me, if I did have a fantastic stash of seasonal decor I’d probably forget about it in the garage by the next year. Speaking of, I might have a fantastic stash of fall decor hiding in there now that I think about it… hmmm.

Our Home, Fall 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Our Home, Fall 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

A bit of gold to tie the living room and dining room together…

Our Home, Fall 2014 | DIY Gold Painted Leaves | PepperDesignBlog.com

Our Home, Fall 2014 | DIY Gold Painted Leaves | PepperDesignBlog.com

This year Liv and I marbleized miniature pumpkins for the house, too. They were a little messy, but really fun to work on together during one of our lazy, creative weekend afternoons (more on the process to come). The painted pumpkins were dry the day after I took the above shots so we’ve filled them in around the house since.

Our Home, Fall 2014 | DIY Gold Painted Leaves & Nail Polish Marbled Pumpkins | PepperDesignBlog.com

I love how warm and cozy fall decorations (plus candles) can feel! Even if it’s blistering hot outside, we can pretend. How’s fall treating you around your home? Has the weather cooled off where you are? I’m terribly jealous of all of the blog posts and instagram feeds that include leggings and sweaters… Happy start to your week!

PS More fall decor: two ways to decorate with dried fall leaves, yarn pumpkins and gold ‘dipped’ pumpkins.

A Closer Look at the Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom Wall Collage | PepperDesignBlog.com

I finally finished the gallery wall in our bedroom that I started back here (more on the progress and how I hammered out the layout) and it makes me so happy to have finished off such a big piece of this room! It feels like perhaps a few ‘after’ photos are finally in order for a room long forgotten…

Master Bedroom Wall Collage | PepperDesignBlog.com

While I originally didn’t put a whole lot of attention into this space (a bedroom can be so private, and it’s easy to leave to last on the home front), now I so appreciate a room that is cozy and full of mementos of our family.

The gallery wall: tribal print by PrintWork | b&w abstract giclee by Paul Maguire Art | landscape and lake & rowboat was a thrift store find | b&w photos of the girls and our family | pink watercolor and colorful acrylic by Liv & I

I love the oversized black and white of the girls when T was brand new (I had it printed at Coscto for maybe $8 and the frame is Aaron Brothers). I originally didn’t have that little pink watercolor to the right of the lamp on the wall, but the large acrylic abstract art was needing some sort of colorful piece on the other side of the wall for balance.

Master Bedroom Wall Collage | PepperDesignBlog.com

Have I shared the full room? It’s an odd layout because a little half bath pokes out from one wall (see that door to the left below) and a closet that is maybe 2×2′ sits next to it, but we’ve found a configuration that seems to work well.

Soon the the plans for the new master bathroom/bedroom will be finished and we’ll sort of start from scratch in here again.

Master Bedroom | PepperDesignBlog.com

Storage is really limited, so big wicker baskets under the bed help to make up for lost closet space (it took me a long time to find thin enough baskets to fit under the bed that were affordable, but unfortunately I don’t think Pottery Barn sells them any more).

I made the curtains from a beautiful Calico suzani fabric that I found a long while ago. The lamp next to our bed is from HomeGoods. I discovered linen duvet covers last year and it’s an amazing material for the bed. The navy set we have was a very generous gift from our Aunt from Christmas from Restoration Hardware (warm in the winter, cool in the summer). The white cotton sheets are Calvin Klein from Macy’s (it’s taken ages to find the right combination, but I think that this is it.) The rattan blinds and floor length silver mirror are from Lowe’s.

Master Bedroom | PepperDesignBlog.com

I’m waiting until the new bedroom is put back together before replacing my thrifted corner chair. It’s more of a clothes hanger, anyway.

Master Bedroom Wall Collage | PepperDesignBlog.com

Master Bedroom | PepperDesignBlog.com

A quick tour! and here’s a source list:

Still hard to believe that it came from here :-):

Master Bedroom: Before | PepperDesignBlog.com

Do you tend to leave spaces that are not often seen by many to the very last? My main mission for our home is cozy and comfortable for our family and especially for the girls. Still the rooms that are last to get love are those that no one sees :), but the ones that we use ALL of the time. Go figure.

Enjoy your beautiful weekend!

PS start here for all projects relating to this room (check out my ideas for the new ensuite!). You can also continue the house tour over here. A big thank you to Katie Beverley (who has just relaunched her site with a sweet deal!) for the lovely ‘after’ photos.

4 Tips to a Cheerier Day

3 Tips for a Cheerier Day | PepperDesignBlog.com

I must confess, a big pregnant belly and hormones that are sky high and then valley low cause me to contemplate ‘life’ much more than usual. Not the simple things, but the big stuff – the ‘what is my purpose?’, ‘am I reaching my fullest?’, ‘can I do better?’. Then I either sulk about how I’m not reaching one of those metaphorical highs or take a long hard look at what’s happening in my life and what I can change. That’s not always fun.

Yeah for emotional journeys!

I’ve kinda come to the a conclusion that the illustrious ‘happiness’ goal is something that has to be worked at regularly. It’s not really a destination but a journey that requires a lot of maintenance (not daunting maintenance though because, after all, smiling counts :-)). I read somewhere that happiness is a state of mind, an attitude that we embrace and that we can even ‘rub off’ on others around us. What a nice thought!

Here’s what I’m buzzing about today:

1. Happiness as an action – choosing to be joyful in everyday moments is one of life’s greatest privileges. Gleening joy from someone else is an easy fix to a hum drum day, laughing babies are good for that!

2. Making someone else’s day – happiness rubs off, acts of kindness and generosity are the BEST mood boosters. Buying coffee for the person behind you (I was behind someone who once put a $20 bill in the barrista’s hand and said ‘for everyone behind me’ – brilliant, and I was personally smiling ear to ear not at the free coffee but at the emotional high), offering an out-of-the-blue compliment to a stranger, saying ‘good morning’ with a big smile at those walking by, giving an unexpected surprise smooch to your sweetie.

3. Feeling good is not the opposite of feeling bad – happiness and unhappiness aren’t opposite sides of a coin. I love that. Sometimes we’re floating somewhere in the middle because it’s just that sort of day. That’s okay too because life is life.

4. Moments of gratefulness are moments of recalling and recognizing happiness. A gracious mood is one of the most generous gifts that we can offer anyone. How great does it feel when someone expresses their gratitude for something small or big that I helped with? It’s especially awesome when it catches me off guard. Oh man, it’s a mile high feeling. To hand out happiness, just tell someone how much you appreciate them.

What do you think? True story? Or is the ‘pursuit of wholeness‘ far better than than the ‘pursuit of happiness’? PBS posted an article on how happiness is made up of pleasure, engagement and meaning (Martin Seligman calls this authentic happiness) and that it ‘involves both daily positive emotions and a global sense that life is worthwhile’. I’m going to try to do each one of the above today to see what happens.

PS Motherhood (in general), and the joy of having girls.

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