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Inspiration File – Wallpapered Ceilings

July 26, 2010

In general, I am not a fan of wallpaper.  I struggle with it mostly because I am too fickle.  Lately there has been a trend towards using wallpaper on ceilings.  I am on the fence about this, to be frank.  I have seen some beautiful examples where this works, but I worry that is would quickly become dated.  

What are your thoughts?  



Image courtesy of, designed by Faiella Design


Image courtesy of Country Living


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Image courtesy of Veranda


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Fireplace Woes

July 23, 2010

I have a problem area in my downstairs living area.  Truth be told, there are lots of “problem areas” in my home.  Is an indecisive, obsessive–compulsive, Type-A perpetual home improver ever happy with her abode?  However, there is one spot that has been bugging me above all others lately…our fireplace.

Something about it isn’t working for me.  Is the blue to bright?  Should the painting be rested (as shown) or hung?  Is it the ugly yellow oak that is off?  I can’t put my finger on it, but I do have some ideas on ways to improve the situation.  I think the mantle needs to be bulked up.  It is our planned project for August.  Stay tuned for details and reveal.

In the meantime, do you have suggestions for upping my fireplace’s aesthetic value?  I am a little lost and totally open to suggestions…

~  Anne

Bed & Breakfast Stay

July 22, 2010

This weekend Eric and I had the pleasure of staying in a nearby bed and breakfast.  Neither of us had been to a b&b before, and I was a little nervous.  I was afraid it would feel like sleeping in a stranger’s house.  Turns out, I had nothing to fear.  Our hosts, Duffy and Merrill, were fantastic.  They had thought of every detail to make our stay comfortable.

The house was beautiful and constructed in the Queen Anne style.  The entire b&b was spotless.  I actually felt guilty about how dirty my own home was.  And the details were incredible.  I snapped some pictures to show you, up close and personal, all of the fantastic touches.  We just don’t see craftsmanship like this anymore.

Darling hubby laughed at me for taking this picture, but I couldn’t resist.  I love how intricate the doorknob is.

Speaking of intricate, look at the carving on the bedpost.

The moulding was to die for, and the bath room was updated but very simple and chic.

And here are more shots of the digs we called home for one night.

The best part of our stay was a terrible storm that came through.  I know that sounds funny, but it provides us with an experience and story we will never forget.  We had run the local Wal-Mart to shop for our son’s upcoming birthday.  While there, the store declared a “code black” and ordered all employees and customers to the storage room.  I had never been crowded in a Wal-Mart store area with complete strangers.  It was an adventure to say the least.  And, the storm also left us with a double rainbow over the b&b. 

Isn’t that pretty?

~  Anne

Picture Perfect Design – Tulips

July 21, 2010

Okay, so I cheated…a little.  I can do that; this is my blog afterall, so I get to make the rules, right?  Right.  This week’s Picture Perfect Design is not inspired by an image so much as an item.  You see, recently I was watching an episode of HGTV’s Design Star (which is super boring and lame this season, BTW).  The challenge was to design a space inspired by a flower.  The judges stressed that the design shouldn’t be about the colors of the flowers so much as the emotions they inspire and their basic essence.  I instantly knew which flower I would choose.  From the title of this post,  you probably know which flower I picked.  You’re right, it is the tulip.  Smarty Pants!  The tulip isn’t my all-time favorite flower (it is a Stargazer Lily in case the hubby is reading), but the tulip is a flower I love and one that lends itself nicely to this challenge IMHO.  Here’s a tulip snapshot for you as an appetizer.  

Image courtesy of Southern Accents


For me, tulips scream four basic things – spring, simple, fresh and structured.  Those key words were what I tried to keep in mind when I designed this living room.  


1.  The lines of this sofa remind me so much of a tulip, structured and curved.  I chose this color because I think it will work well as a neutral in our spring room.  

2 & 3.  I love these prints (found here and here).  They are bright, cheerful, inspired by nature, and fit perfectly into our room.  

4.  This ottoman in white will serve as the coffee table for our space.  I love an ottoman as a coffee table because it offers dual functionality and allows your space to be more flexible.  In fact, we have an ottoman as a coffee table in one of our living rooms.  

5.  Hard to tell from the picture, but this is actually fabric.  They call the color lime; I call it spring green.  Either way, I think this fabric would be fab throw pillows.  For me the sea blue and crisp green color combo is always a winner.  

6.  I really tried to keep this room from feeling at all heavy.  That’s why I went with white lacquer tables for the ends of the sofa.  

7.  The curve of this lamp reminds me of the shape a single tulip takes when placed in a bud vase.  

8.  White floor pillows will help keep the living room relaxed, inviting and flexible.  

9.  This chair is called “the Tulip chair”, I kid you not.  So, it was an obvious choice for the space.  I also think its lines work well with the sofa without being too matchy-matchy.  

10.  The wall color is the same spring green I referenced earlier when discussing the fabric.  I think it would really pop in a room with white crown molding and trim.

Finding Your Inner Picasso (or how several mishaps can lead to something awesome)

July 20, 2010

I have already professed my love for all things Pottery Barn previously on this blog.  I LOVE their products; my wallet hates them.  The only thing worse about Pottery Barn than the outrageous prices is when they feature awesome things that aren’t even for sale.  Ugh!  Here is an example:   


Notice that awesome clock in the background…not for sale.  Well, I was convinced I could make something similar.  I was wrong.  It was a complete fail.  Afterwards, I was left with a 36″ by 36″ plywood disappointment.  **Please ignore the incredibly messy kitchen in the background.   


Around the same time, I had the bright idea that I could reupholster a piece of furniture using drop cloths.  Remember how I teased you about an upcoming drop cloth project in this post.  I found someone giving away an old chair on craigslist, so I forced convinced hubby to go with me to pick it up one day.  Eventually I found my lovely leather chair instead, and my grand plans disappeared.   

That left me with an extra piece of wood and a canvas drop cloth.   

The next step in the never-ending saga of missteps was happening upon this picture one day while reading Centsational Girl.   

Image courtesy of Coastal Living


The first thing I noticed about this room was the painting in the background.  I knew in an instant that I could totally make that.  Better yet, I already had all of the materials on hand for the project.  So, one afternoon I sat down with my 36″ by 36″ board, my canvas drop cloth, some leftover paint, paint brushes and a staple gun.  I wrapped the plywood with the canvas and secured it with some staples.  Then I set about painting.  That’s when I learned a valuable lesson.  Canvas drop cloths are for catching paint spills, not for painting on.  In fact, they absorb paint.  It was absolutely impossible to paint on the canvas in any sort of uniform way like shown in the painting above.  For those keeping score at home, this is fail number two in this story.   

I was frustrated, to say the least.  Edward was napping, Eric was mowing and I was cursing under my breath.  In the great tradition of my father, I blew off some of my steam by losing my temper and chucking the paint brush across the canvas.  And I realized something…I sort of liked the messy look that resulted.  So I played, and played, and played some more until at last I had a look I loved.    

Here it is:   



I loved the painting when it was laying on my kitchen floor.  But, I loved it even more once we got it hung.  It is amazing how hanging something on the wall instantly elevates it to art, even if it isn’t actually.   

So, I am going to jump on my high horse and give you the moral of this story.  We all make decorating mistakes, but sometimes that series of mistakes can add up to a win.  And, anyone can make art people!  Believe me, I have NO artistic ability.  But playing with 3 paint colors for half an hour resulted in something pretty awesome IMHO.  Best of all, I feel really proud every time I walk into our living room and see something I made.  So come one and take the Picasso plunge.   

Okay, preaching is over.  I promise to go back to ideas without morals tomorrow.   

~  Anne

Inspiration Post – Collections

July 19, 2010

Lots of people collect things.  I absolutely believe that if you love something enough to collect it, you should display it proudly in your home.  Here are some great examples.   

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Martha Stewart's Turkey Hill Kitchen


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Do you collect anything?  

P.S.  Hubby, if you are reading this post please don’t think this means your comics or transformers will be finding wall space in our home 🙂  

~  Anne

New Column & Other Updates

July 16, 2010

This week has gotten away from me a little and I am unprepared.  I apologize.  I thought instead of wowing you with decorating insights, I would tease you with some upcoming posts I have planned.

I am introducing a new feature to Live, Love, Decorate.  I will be chronicling our home in weekly tidbits.  I love seeing how other people decorate their homes – open houses,, shelter magazines and blogs are my voyeuristic outlet.  I decided to return the favor by snapping photos of our abode to share.  Each Thursday I will feature a different space from our home.  Look for it, beginning next week.

Also on tap is a simple project I finished last week that I think looks fab.  It was cheap and anyone can do it.  Plus, it brings something personal to your home.  I have your interest piqued, don’t I?

Finally, Eric and I will be going to a bed & breakfast (sans toddler) this weekend.  You can definitely expect pictures of the lavish room and the beautiful gardens the place boasts.

Finally, I am toying with the idea of doing a giveaway.  Is that something you guys would like?  What kind of items interest you the most?

Until then, enjoy your weekend.  Do you have anything exciting on tap?

~  Anne