Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fall Decor Tour


 Welcome to my first Fall Décor Tour.  One year ago, we had just moved into the farmhouse, so decorating for fall included simple décor choices.  This year my choices were a bit more intentional.  I'm not a huge Halloween fan, so my fall décor consists of items that will carry me through to Thanksgiving. This includes items like pumpkins, fall leaves and stems,  acorns, pinecones and cattails.  I wanted to keep my choices neutral, so most of my pumpkins are white or pale blue.  I did use a few pops of orange because you must have a few authentic looking pumpkins.  I really don't remember seeing white pumpkins as a child, however I'm very attracted to them now. With that being said, I do strive for authenticity, so I must included the original color of pumpkins as well.   One of my recent finds is a wooden encyclopedia box that still has the shipping label from 1951 attached.  I decided to use it front and center of my fall décor.  So I filled it with an ironstone pitcher and ironstone platter, some old books, a variety of faux fall stems, some rolled music sheets and of coarse a few pumpkins.   This all came together to create the center piece for my coffee table.


This round table between my two side chairs, includes our old family bible, lamp, and a simple cloche with a small grapevine wreath and of coarse a tiny pumpkin.


I filled this corner beside the front doors with my DIY twigs, apples, acorns, dried lavender and spindles to create a feastive fall vignette.


You can see from this angle how it looks beside this table.

Here is another vintage box filled with fall goodies and this area is beside my desk,




                                                   Even the staircase gets a touch of fall.



                       I filled this lantern with soft DIY Pumpkins in a variety of sizes and materials.


Our sliding barn door has a little acorn swag.  These were actually acorn Christmas ornaments that I painted with old white Annie Sloan chalk paint and tied together to dress up the door for fall. You can see the bedroom peeking beyond this door, so let's enter.........

                                                           The Master Bedroom


 This wall is filled with treasures and makes a fun entry to our master bedroom.  I filled the straw market tote with faux fall stems and added a few fall touches like the little owl and acorn wreath.  Then I decided to make some fabric pumpkins so this area suddenly was overflowing with my DIY pumpkins, as you can see below.


                    I just kept making them, striving for perfection.  It never happened.

I just love decorating the reverse mantle above our bed.  It's just a fun area that I can be creative with.  So for fall I added pumpkins, old distressed books surrounded by a floating frame, fall stems in vintage soda bottles and a little scrabble quote to complete my fall décor.
I also decided to cozy up the bedding with another DIY project.  I added pompom's to a cotton duvet cover from IKEA.  I had planned to make the pompom's from yarn and then I spied these huge pompom garlands at Hobby Lobby.  I just snipped the pompoms from the cord and stitched them to my duvet cover.
  TaDa, I love it.  I paired it with my upcycled DIY Pillow created from a recycled sweater and I hand stitched with COZY.  Plus,  two distressed ticking pillow shams.  You can also see some of stenciled pillows that are available in my shop.
     

                                             Kitchen


First, I removed everything from my cabinet and counter tops.  This gave me a clean slate to work with and gave me fresh eyes.  I have a decent collection of amber bottles and jugs, thanks to my father-in-law, who collected them.  Although I had been using them on my porch, I decided the amber color would warm up the space above my cabinets, especially against the white shiplap.  I added a vintage fruit basket filled with cotton stems and one of my old handmade baskets was a perfect fit for a white pumpkin.  Then I filled my great grandfather's old candy jar with, you know it, mini pumpkins.  And suddenly it feels like fall.


I also filled my old enamel ware pot with fall cuttings of wild flowers.  I really prefer the real thing, but unfortunately they don't last very long.  These in this pic are real, however if you stop by today, they have been replaced with faux stems that resemble these.
NOTE:  When choosing faux stems, always try to mimic the real deal.

Here is a shot of my persimmon cuttings that lasted about a week.  I try to use real cuttings as much as possible.  When I can find them here on the property, it's a shame to not fill the house with them. Sadly, I have not found any faux persimmon stems.  


                                     Here is one of my original hand towels for Fall Y'all.


                                                           Now the Dinning Area  .....


How to add FALL to the table?   Pull out my thrift store Fair Oaks transferware, add a dough bowl filled with a few natural pumpkins, acorns and pinecones, add some wheat and tada.  I wish I had a full set of the Fair Oaks dishes, but this was a thrift store find and I'm lucky to have enough pieces to create this fall tablescape.


A view from above


I added these little distressed ticking napkins that are available for sale in my shop.  Love the detail.



                                       Screened Porch

Simple fall arrangement

Just a few screened porch shots.  This area was rearranged when I found another vintage treasure I couldn't leave behind.  

                                                  Wait for it.....

                                                                         Wait for it..........

                                                                                                     AWWWWW.......




This ice box had my heart all a flutter so naturally it came home with me.  The window to the front was left for me that same day beside a recycle bin.  So I naturally had to style them together.  


                                              A few more treasures I found a few days later.  



The one thing I'm certain of is "change".  My décor is ever evolving and I'm always moving things around.  I love to mix and match my décor as well as my clothing.  It's what makes life interesting. Stay tuned, it will not be long before the Christmas décor is pulled out.  Have a blessed day.  

                                                                                                                Rachel

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Why we do the things we do! "The Ponds" Tour

I just wanted to share this morning a little of our journey while renovating the place we call home "The Ponds".  You may wonder what motivates us to keep adding on to this property.  Since we began this journey, we've built a pier with a gazebo, developed an outdoor kitchen area, built a stage, built our home, and most recently added a pool.  Just our porch alone can accommodate 25 - 30 people.  So why have we done this?  Because there's nothing we love more than to be surrounded by our family and friends.  I have never understood people who have lovely homes and never share them with others.  We are so motivated to create a space where everyone that we cherish in our lives, can come and enjoy each other.  I'm taking you on a tour of our property and some of the things we've done to create a space that other's can enjoy.
This is a recent pic of the house & pool!

We began our journey 10 years ago and I've shared some of the before photo's and stories in previous posts.  One of the things we did right from the beginning was create an outdoor kitchen area.
My husband loves to grill and smoke outdoors.  One project on his bucket list is to build a pizza oven here as well.  
Here is a recent picture of the outdoor kitchen and it's ever evolving.
This was once a small boat dock.  We filled in the bottom and built a small bar.  We used old barn wood for the top of the bar. The base we built ourselves.  We gathered rock from the property & built the two columns.  Then we used cedar posts that we pulled from our pond.  They were driven into the pond around 1956-1957 to support a pier.  The pier had fallen in and the post were broken off.  However, the part that was under water was perfectly preserved.  My brother built our wrought iron foot rest.   We love to host ** "low country boils" and this is the perfect spot to dump the pot.
This area can seat up to 30 guests comfortably.
We added a fire pit that overlooks the water and it has become our favorite spot late at night with our friends.  There's something about the fire, the stars and of course those lovely nature sounds.  Frogs and crickets sometimes drown out the conversation.  You might also find some roasted marshmellows on a stick.  YUM!

Just across the drive we have another seating area that I fondly call "the stage".  We can also set this area up for dining as well.  The vintage glider and one of the vintage chairs have been in my husbands family for years.  We've had them for some time and they have been many colors.  I was lucky to find two more matching chairs a few years ago at a Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Here is a picture of the pier that replaced the one that had fell into the water.  We decided to add a gazebo to the end.  We love to sit in this spot and watch the sun go down.  Interesting fact:  It's usually 5-10 degrees cooler sitting on the pier, than at the house.  Must be the water and the breeze that flows across the ponds.
Here is another recent pic of the pier and as you can see, we've now added a pool.  I'll be honest with you, a pool was not on my list.  My husband had mentioned it several times and I had always resisted. The reason I decided that a pool might be a good idea is because we usually stop entertaining at the Ponds in July & August.  It's just to hot and the sun is relentless in the outdoor kitchen around 6:30 - 8:00 in the summer months.  So the idea that we could invite guests over to swim and cool off before enjoying one of my husbands meals, started to sound pretty good. So we have had the pool for about a month now and have had guests around almost every weekend.  We've already had our first "low country boil", something we normally do later in the fall, due to the heat. 
We love how the pool fits into the landscape without taking away from the natural beauty of the property.  

 My husband and I worked together to add this wall around the exposed side of our pool.  It's a combination of treated lumber and rock.  We actually filled in between the wall and the pool with the dirt that was dug out for the pool.  We then used a pallet of rock to stack on top of the dirt.  We also had some larger rocks from the property moved to create a natual rock landscape around the pool.

Here's a view of the pool and the natual area that surrounds it.  The natural area we had built in 2010 and were fortunate that we were able to leave it and just add the pool in front of it.
 This is the original natural area with just a metal bench and a couple of chairs.  Now it's our path to the pool.  We added the additional walk from the drive to the natual area by saving some of the larger stones in our pallet of rock and placing them as a walk way.

Here is a view of the house from the pool.  The house is just 1900 sq. ft. with 2 bedrooms but it's all we need.  Every rooms looks out across the three ponds and now the pool.  The porch area is almost as large as the house.  We wanted our home to embrace the outdoors and the beauty of the land.  It's by no means perfect.  This much property is impossible to keep perfect.  But if you don't mind driving a mile back in the woods on a dirt (gravel) road and wearing comfortable shoes because the grounds are not level, come on over.  We'll grill some steaks and have a glass of wine on the pier.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

DIY Outdoor Shower

 As we were planning our farmhouse, one item on our wish list was an outdoor shower.  When we are in the middle of projects here at the Ponds, we can get pretty dirty.  We have previously been known to use a hose to shower off before going inside.  So an outdoor shower sounded like heaven to us.  We decided to have the plumbing ran for the shower while the plumbers were here during the construction phase of our home.  However, we decided that we wanted to build the shower ourselves.  So we moved in with just a shower head outside of the house.  Needless to say we didn't use it at all last fall.
This past spring we started the planning of our shower.  Note:  We have an outdoor shower at the beach which we also love.  The shower at the beach is small and has a door.  Since we are not real professional builder's we decided to design a shower without a door.  However, we wanted privacy while showering.  The solution was a privacy wall within the shower.  It has been so convenient to just walk right in.
We used treated lumber and started with a deck style platform built low to the ground.  We had custom metal sheeting cut to size for the walls.  The whole process only took my husband and I two days to complete.
I naturally had to style the shower before I'd put any photo's out there.  I just love old galvanized buckets and enamel ware so those were my go to items.  Plus, a few other metal items that would hold up the outdoor elements.  Once the shower was completed, we have rarely used our indoor baths.  We love using the outdoor shower so much, I don't know what we'll do when fall rolls around again.
We have also just added a pool!  The outdoor shower is getting even more use now.  Our guest get to enjoy using it to shower off after enjoying the pool.  We are loving the country life.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How to use faux flowers successfully.

I like nothing better than real flowers.  This is my time of year with all the fresh blooms and buds.  With that being said, it can be really hard and expensive to have fresh flowers around your home year round.  What I like to do is use as many fresh and real stems as possible but incorporate faux stems into the mix. I don't mix together in the same arrangement, but in separate containers.   I feel that when you mix it up, it's hard to tell which are the real deal and which are fake.

Here are a few area's that I've mixed.  See if you can tell the real from the faux. 



Here I have a mix of lavender, magnolia, tulips and button bush.  Unless you are making an up close inspection, you really can't tell the tulips are faux. 

Here is another shot of my front porch.  In this shot, only the stems in the large galvanized bucket are faux.  I feel these stems look as though they could have been cut from a blooming fruit tree. 
When making my faux purchases, I look for as many authentic flowers as possible.  I also try to stay true to the color of real flowers.  You rarely see a deep purple rose for example.   


Here is another example of real and faux.  The stems on the washer are real and I've placed some faux stems on top of the cabinet.  If you can't reach an area that you want to brighten with some flowers, it's best to us faux.  Also, this pic was taken early in the spring when the daffodils were in full bloom here in the south.  These are real, but I could have used faux at that time of year.  I would hesitate to use faux daffodils after the season is past.  Most people in your area will immediately realize they are faux because it's the wrong time of year to have fresh cut daffodils or whichever flower you are displaying in your home. 

Another area that I've found I prefer faux in around my bed. 
These roses are above my bed.  I really don't want water above the bed so I opted for faux stems. 


This is one of my favorite arrangements of spring stems from earlier this spring.  I just loved how fresh and clean this arrangement looked.  Once the flowers were beyond saving, I didn't want to give up this fun look so I went to Hobby Lobby.  With this arrangement in mind, I looked for spring type stems to fill my enamelware pot.  The picture below is the result of that trip. 
They will look this good all summer long. 

Simple rules for faux stems:
Choose authentic looking stems
Mix with real flowers when possible but in separate arrangements
Display what is currently blooming even if they are faux

Have fun displaying your real and faux stems!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How exciting for everyone to get what they want.



As we were drawing the plans for our forever home, we made a list of priorities that each of felt we couldn't live without.  (I'll go into more of the list at another time.)  However, high on my husbands list was a TV, entertainment room.  Since we were not planning a basement, his solution was a loft.  I was resistant to this idea because of the wasted space.  Finally he convinced me that a barn like feel would be just what we needed.  So we settled on the idea of a loft area.  We made sure the area was large enough for our leather sectional sofa  and we also decided to add a 1/2 bath for convenience.  My priority quickly moved to making sure the railings had an industrial feel.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So we opted for custom steel railings, painted black.  
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In our previous home, we had a wet/bar in our bonus/TV room.  This was not a priority for either of us in this house.  However, once we had moved in, we decided a small bar area in the loft would be great for storing some of our bar collectibles.  As with most of our ideas, we wanted something unique, to fill this job.  We found two vintage metal hospital carts that had been painted white.  We didn't have a real plan for them, but felt they would be perfect.

We wanted a more industrial look for the cabinets so we painted them a gunmetal gray and the hardware black.   We also wanted a longer bar area, so we removed the tops from the cabinets and attached brackets to the sides allowing us to used the tops as shelves.  We then joined some barn wood planks together for the top of the bar.  A couple of metal pipes and another piece of barn wood, gave us a small raised shelve on top of the bar.  
We love the finished bar.



Now, on to something I wanted.  As we had been looking around for fun, authentic items to complete our farmhouse look, I had seen a few chicken nesting boxes for sale.  I just loved how they looked!  I knew I could do something really cool, if I just had one.  I commented to my husband that I'd love to have one and he was not excited about the idea.  His response was "what in the world would you do with something like that".   So I didn't get a nesting box, but still thought they were really cool.  Then one day I was scrolling through Instagram and fell in love with an account because everything in her house was so authentic and perfect.  She had a nesting box displayed beautifully in her dining area.  Once I showed my husband the photo's, he was on board too.   
So, I began searching once again for a nesting box.  Naturally, now I couldn't seem to find one anywhere.  But finally, I saw an add on Craig's list and was able to secure my nesting box.  I was so excited that I purchased two!  I knew I'd find a use for them.  One I used in my shop right away.  See previous post.  I brought the other one home and it sat in my carport for about a month.  I thought I knew exactly where I was going to use it, but for some reason just hadn't gotten around to hanging it.   Then inspiration hit and I told my husband we needed to use it over our bar.  We immediately started cleaning all the crusty junk off and hung it on the wall.  We are so happy with the results.  It's a perfect fit and now we are both doing a happy dance, because we both got what we wanted.  
I hand stenciled the sign on an old pallet board.  It says "Welcome to the Coop" .
The Vintage Stereoscope Viewer cards, we inherited from my father-in-law.  We do have the viewer that goes with the cards.  We feel it all came together beautifully and we are both happy to have such a fun, interesting place to hang out.  Hope this inspires you to do something interesting in your home. 

If you have questions or comments, you can contact me through Instagram or Facebook.  See link at top of page.