Bringing Light to Your Home

Earlier this month I had the amazing opportunity to attend a design event at the Museum of Science in Boston. It was a fantastic evening where I heard Lincoln MKC designer Peter Jones and Zakim Bridge designer Miguel Rosales discuss beauty in design. The event had a gorgeous view of the Zakim as its backdrop. It really was stunning. Equally stunning was the new Lincoln MKC they had on display. This is not your grandfather's Lincoln! The car is really gorgeous - it has a super stylish shape that not-so-subtly hints at speed. I would have loved to take it for a spin. We did get to sit inside for a few minutes and the perforated leather seats (which heat AND cool) were like butter! I was surprised to learn the car has push button shift - what?! - And at night the car lights up as you approach it. Apparently the future is here. I had to pull myself away from the car to attend the actual event!

I learned from the designers that both the automotive and architecture industries are using LED lighting to create high impact with the smallest footprint. Energy savings is crucial these days, and the fact that these lights last longer and tend to look better than tradition lights is also a huge selling point.

The 2015 MKC has a full width LED tail lamp

Philips Color Kinetics LED lighting system illuminates the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge
Clearly LED lighting is everywhere these days! And it seems many are making the switch inside their homes as well. With summer right around the corner (I hope!) I've been giving a lot of thought to sprucing up our modest outdoor space. Inspired by this design discussion, I've been exploring environmentally-friendly lighting solutions that will cost less in the long-run, but still fit with my vision of a comfortable outdoor retreat. I recently came across this simple DIY LED tea light project on Apartment Therapy that could be a fun way to bring light and a little personalization to an outdoor space. Not only can you switch up the graphic on the paper wrap, but you could even play with mood lighting by trying different colored lights. This could be the perfect addition to a tablescape at an outdoor dinner party. Perhaps they'd go nicely with this table with built in cooler I've been dying to put together!


Mix & Match Dining Chairs

I recently picked up a solid wood, Ethan Allen kitchen table off Craigslist - score! It needs a little elbow grease: sanding, staining, painting - but it's the perfect size for our modest kitchen and will provide the additional place settings we desperately need. And for $40, how could I turn it down?! 

As for the seating, that's still to be determined, but I'm totally loving the look of mis-matched, yet cohesive dining chairs. Here are a few styles I've been eyeing.

Love the pops of turquoise here!
Crushing on these aluminum chairs found on Better Homes & Gardens
Mismatched & distressed perfection source

seriously charming! rustic farmhouse mixed with luxe glam (found on Pinterest without a source)
What are your thoughts on mix & match dining chairs? Yay or nay?


Finding Inspiration

Wow was this a productive weekend! In addition to crossing some errands of my to do list, I ran a 5k and had time to whip up a few new things on my sewing machine. It all started as I was heading from errand to errand. I spotted an adorable antique and vintage store called By the Olde Garden Gate. I recklessly carefully cut across traffic to make the parking lot entrance. I could tell from the decor outside that it was a store I'd love. I was right.

Everything in the store spoke to me. From old typewriters, to vintage cameras, to driftwood wall hangers, to DIY burlap pumpkins, to vintage maps, to wooden shoe forms and decorative keys. I could have spent hours just browsing.

In the end I didn't leave with anything tangible, however I now possessed a TON of design inspiration: old maps in large glass vessels, rolled book pages tied with twine, wooden key hangers, decorating ideas. And a new DIY project. I fell in love with the burlap pumpkins. I only took one photo of a pumpkin fashioned out of an old coffee sack (where do you get these, by the way?!?). And I was on a mission to make my own. I found a blog with great instructions and headed to Michael's to pick up my materials.

After I made the first one, I was on a roll and made 2 more in less than an hour total. I still need to cut wooden stems for two of them, but I'm so happy with how this one came out. I picked up material from Jo Ann's, used some leftover burlap from Michael's for the leaves, and a champagne cork for the stem. I LOVE how it came out!

I couldn't stop after that and ended up making a pink & black buffalo plaid infinity scarf for myself and a matching bandana for Kylie. Here she is modeling the material before I got to work.


White Kitchens, Subway Tile, Two-Toned Cabinets & Chalkboard Paint

I have noticed a trend in the kitchen photos I've pinned. My board is overwhelmingly white! White cabinets, white back splashes, touches of stainless steel and wood with a mix of modern & farmhouse details & little pops of color.

When we bought our house almost two years ago (cannot believe how fast it's gone by!) we loved the kitchen because it was renovated - a nice change from some of the super outdated kitchens we'd walked through during showings.  Our has granite counters, stainless appliances, tile floors, new cabinets - no hardware, but that should be arriving today! And we still love it, but part of me kinda wishes we could renovate it to look like one of these white kitchens of my dreams. But it doesn't really make sense to take on that project at this stage. It's a beautiful kitchen and making any changes to it won't add any value to the house when we're ready to sell.

But a girl can still dream a little, right? So while I wait for that project to make sense, here are some of the designs I'm completely drawn to. My dream kitchen is a combination of all of these.

I love the bright, cleanliness of this kitchen. The countertops are awesome, white with little hints of gray, and the white subway tile backsplash.

Traditional Kitchen by South San Francisco General Contractors Dijeau Poage Construction

I really like how they chose a different color base for the island in this photo. I personally love a rich navy blue tone.

Originally spotted here

Or you could go two tone with white uppers and navy lowers, like this couple, featured in Apartment Therapy, did. This is one of my all-time favorite designs.

Found here

A butcher block island might be nice? I also like the glass front cabinets. Perfect for displaying beautiful decorative items.

Traditional Kitchen by Toronto Design-Build Firms Capoferro Design Build Group

This is a beautiful kitchen (and a drool-worthy home, if you have time for a tour)

Check out more pics

I'm still not over chalkboard walls. I think they're perfect for kitchens - grocery lists, weekly menus, etc. I have been debating one for a while in my kitchen, just haven't mustered up the courage yet. I think they look particularly great in white kitchens like this one.

Before & After on Design Sponge
This kitchen is so bright and air, thanks to the huge window above the sink. I like the cabinetry, clean simple lines, and the glass cabinets with grids. I also love the cup pulls. But my favorite thing in this kitchen are the wood and metal stools!

The next two kitchens are probably some of my favorites (and they're very similar). The first has the beautiful white cabinets and countertops, glass cabinets and open shelving, cup pulls, hardwood floors (I'm sick of the tile) and an island in a darker shade. 

Originally found here
And this one incorporates a lot of the same elements, but with the darker lower cabinets instead of an island. I'm loving those drawer pulls as well. How cute is that wood and metal shelf, would go great with those industrial stools. The lantern above the sink also caught my eye.

So what do you think? Do you like white kitchens, two-tone cabinets, subway tile? Thoughts on the chalkboard paint? Still in or should I give up on the idea?


Vintage Kodak Camera

Scored this awesome vintage, 1950's Kodak Duaflex II camera yesterday while browsing a local antique shop. I was in search of some fun decorative accents to add to my home decor. I've totally slacked on the decorating (and blogging) lately. I only recently began the switch-over from sand and seashells to pumpkins and apple- and spice-scented candles, I know, I know I'm more than a little behind.

I've started classes toward my MBA, have been working A LOT and recently took on a freelance copywriting I've been away from home 4 of the last 6 weekends. So I've been a little tied up with other things. However, I'm getting back to my passion for decorating ASAP.

I even have a handful of projects in progress, so stay tuned...


Someone's All Grown Up

I'm SO excited to share one of the latest transformations (in progress) at The Green Bungalow. Our bedroom! Finally after concentrating on many other areas of the house - hopefully I'll get to share those soon! - the "master" has finally grown up. Remember about a year ago when it looked like this? *cringe!

A couple fresh coats of gray paint, new lamp, new comforter and a position-switch from Kylie and it became this (still cringe-worthy):

After several trips to west elm (bedding, throw), even more to HomeGoods (lamps, pillows, large votives, rug, and gold & mirrored nightstand) and some online shopping (bed), I'm psyched to reveal the brand new look:

You'll notice Kylie can no longer climb up - I have mixed feelings about this.

It's still a work progress. I'm trying to find a similar nightstand for J's side and we need to do something with the blank wall, but it's definitely a vast improvement!

We'd been in beyond-desperate need of a new mattress. The Full we'd been sleeping on since college felt like an ongoing joke, so we sprung for a Queen. And, there was no way I was going without a real bed after sleeping on a wooden futon frame for the last 10+ years. So I did some research and found the beauty above. Thanks to a lengthy review I found on Nesting Place (she has the most gorgeous home, so def check our her blog), I felt confident ordering my upholstered nailhead bed online. I ordered from Wayfair and got 10% off plus free shipping, which made the bed cheaper than Amazon, believe it or not! Wayfair reviewers gave the bed much higher ratings than Amazon, which was a little more comforting. And, much to my delight, the nailhead trim is ALL real! See:

I'm not sure if there's a quality difference between Wayfair and Amazon because the bed's from the same manufacturer, or if they just made some changes, but the bed is much nicer than the Amazon reviews make it out to be. And it was real easy to put together.

I went back and forth on the color scheme. It's neutral enough that I had a lot of options, but none felt just right. So given the gray, the mercury glass table lamps and the sparkly gold throw I usually keep in the guest room, I decided to go for a mixed metals look. Perfect timing with all the holiday options at the stores right now! I think it totally works.

And I scored this beauty on clearance at HomeGoods...I actually left it on my first visit and woke up wishing I'd bought it (is that sick or what?!). Luckily it was there when I went back the next day (excuse the dust)! A few gold and silver votives round it out.

I'm super pleased with the way the room is shaping up. The rest of our plans include custom-made-by-my-grandmother curtains in a shimmery gold. I stumbled on these awesome holiday tablecloths at HomeGoods, so I'm enlist help to turn them into curtains. We're also on the lookout for a small chandelier and I need to decide what to do with the wall behind the bed. I have some silver mirrors, but haven't figured out if I want to use those over the nightstands or opt for something roundish, centered over the headboard to mix up all the straight lines. Still TBD, but in the meantime I am thoroughly enjoying my grown up room!


Scrap Paper Pinwheels

Who knew how easy pinwheels were to make? These literally took me under 10 minutes. They're really fun and add a pop of color to any space - perfect for our family room, which was dominated by gray and white at the time I made these (we've since added lots of turquoise!). I think they look cute in the vase, and I cannot kill the pinwheels as I tend to do with flowers, so that's a bonus!

I found a great tutorial from kiki creates, so I decided to give them a whirl.

I didn't follow the template exactly because I don't have a printer at home, but they still came out fine. This is how I did it:
  • Start by cutting 2 scrapbook papers to 6" x 6" squares.
  • Glue the papers together with rubber cement (I didn't have spray adhesive) - coat each page with the rubber cement and let it dry, then carefully paste the pages together so they're even. Letting the rubber cement dry first, allows for a more secure bond, but you do need to be careful lining everything up. 
  • I then used kiki's template to guide me where to cut the lines and punch the holes.
  • I used my ruler and lined up diagonally from point to point, leaving about 1-1/2" in the middle.
  • For the holes, I didn't really measure, just used her guide to eyeball it, marked the 4 spots.
  • Then take each point and line up your holes with the center hole, folding toward the front and going clockwise.
  • Once you have everything lined up, secure the pinwheels with a brad. I used a very plain brad, but depending on your paper, you could use something more fancy, perhaps a sparkly rhinestone brad?
  • The brads are secured on the back to floral wire for the stands.
I made the pinwheel on the right a little bit larger and used double sided scrap booking paper, so I didn't need my rubber cement. I stopped at two, but am thinking about adding a third one b/c I don't like symmetry and think the vase would look nice with one more. 

These pinwheels made from maps are pretty awesome too! Since I love to travel, I might make some of these to put in what will be my travel-themed office.

What easy 10 minute project have you whipped up lately?