Friday, May 22, 2015

Project Design How to Refresh Your Living Room with These Inexpensive Tips



Maryann from Classic Casual Home and I are so happy to invite you all back for another venture with yet another group of creative bloggers.  We asked you what you wanted us to tackle so we are here to help you find some inexpensive ways to freshen your living rooms!  I have a new client that graciously offered up her living room for this project.  Her living room has good bones and nice furnishings.  She just wanted to update her current space without doing a complete overhaul.  Here is her entry (which is part of the actual living space).  She has a nice asian inspired console with three ottomans (for extra seating) underneath.  She really didn’t care for the fabric on the current ottomans.
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We decided to recover the ottomans in the Tanzania (Charles Faudree) for Vervain.
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We added some vintage green bottles
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and left the pretty mirror and some of her accessories.
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My client could never find a coffee table that she was happy with for this space so she just “made do” with this ottoman. 
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We purchased a reasonably priced coffee table on sale from Dovetail and we love it!!
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We added some fun pillows from Etsy along with some custom made ones that reflect the colors in the room. Notice how the open base of the coffee table opens up the room? Rope in a florists bowl adds texture for practically no $$
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We jazzed up her bar cart with some essentials and fresh flowers
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We decided to simplify her fireplace
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by editing now that the coffee table is center stage.
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If you want to try and update your space without breaking the bank here are my suggestions.

How to Refresh Your Living Room With These Inexpensive Tips
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#1 Paint is the obvious forerunner. Almost anyone can paint their own walls. If you are trying to get the most bang for your buck paint your walls.
#2 Shop your house. Repurpose things you already have. You may have used something in your bedroom and never thought about using it in your living room.  As soon as you bring it into a new space “presto” it gains a new life.
#3  (my favorite) Shop junk shops & flea markets for vintage finds that add character to your space
#4 Rearrange your furniture (invite a friend over and ask his/her opinion) it may be something you have never even thought of…two heads are always better than one
#5 Buy inexpensive (trader joes always has great ones) fresh flowers to “freshen” the space
#6  Maximize Minimalism. Keep your main pieces neutral so you can update your pillows. This is much more inexpensive than reupholstering your sofas and chairs
#7 Make a small space seem large with a mirror that reflects the outdoors
#8 Slipcovers can be your best friend.  They are much less expensive than upholstery (slipcover in an inexpensive sunbrella that resists stain and sun damage), and can be washed so they always look fresh.
#9 Introduce Pattern in your pillows ( if you tire of them pillows are much less expensive than replacing upholstery)
#10 Have Fun! that is what design is all about!!
Maryann and I always feel so fortunate that we are able to assemble a new group of amazing bloggers/designers that are willing to take on the latest Project Design Series.   There are so many great bloggers out there some who have a large readership and some who are just starting out.  It is our goal to combine both so that we can always get a fresh take on our latest challenge so please welcome another incredible group of bloggers for our latest Project Design Series and see what they suggest.  I know you will be amazed!!! For more fabulous tips and inspiration stop by and visit these ladies below.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Character, Honor, Integrity.. Common Threads of a Life Well Lived


How do you celebrate the life of someone who was loved and respected by so many, yet such a humble man in many ways. How do you honor the most honorable? This weekend we had the privilege of hosting a celebration to commemorate the life of someone very dear to us.  Since he has passed we have tried not to talk about him too much because the pain of losing him is still too raw.  He was my husband’s best friend, a mentor to our children, and beloved friend to me.
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He grew up in rural Maine and never forgot his humble beginnings.  His father valued a good education and moved his family to California when Jim was a junior in high school so his boys could get a better education.  Jim left a high school of 100 students (Hamden Acamdemy)  to attend  Berkeley High with a student body of 2,000.  This would seem daunting to many but Jim thrived becoming a football star and school leader.
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From there he attended and graduated from UC Davis, worked for John Deere Company as a salesman, and went on to purchase his own very successful dealership here in the Salinas Valley.
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We wanted the celebration and décor to reflect the life that Jim lived. I set the tables with burlap tablecloths and bright suzani overlays.  The day began with sunshine a reminder of the light he brought into all of our lives.
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Jim loved living in the canyon so I wanted the flowers to look like they were gathered from my  garden (some were)
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The food was catered by our good friends and caterers extraordinaire Portobellos
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There were mementos of “a life well lived” throughout the house
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 Many people spoke at the celebration including my two children.  Here are some excerpts from their (Colin & Jenna (I wish I had the text from the other speakers)) comments.
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(Colin “Annie the Cow”, Jim and Jenna circa 1990)
“Jim was a gentleman in every sense of the word, and the kindest, most genuine person I have ever met”. 
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“He took pleasure in giving and did nice things for people because he enjoyed it” “On a scale of 1-10 Jim was a 12”
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Jim with his older brother Joe and nephew Bradley at a 49er game
“Even in the last few weeks of his life; his focus was not on himself” “No one will ever touch as many people in such a positive way, but if we can all take just a little piece of Jim with us, we will all be better for it.  Jim was truly a giant among men and we feel very fortunate to have had him in our lives”
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Our “kids” said it so well.  There is no need for Steve or I to say anything…it was a life “Well Lived”



On a lighter note Maryann from Classic Casual Home and I have gathered another group of fabulous design bloggers for another in the Project Design Series.

You asked for it! On Friday they will show you how you can “Refresh Your Living Room with these Inexpensive Tips” .  Stop by and visit this fabulous group on Friday for tons of inspiration!!