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Friday, August 29, 2014

it's the little things

Happy Friday, Everyone! I'm sharing some of the "little things" I've come across in the last few weeks that inspire me and bring a smile to my face.  Check out my Pinterest page to see all of these, and many more beautiful images.
This Outdoor Space...So cozy and I'm loving the neutral colors with the mix of patterns.
This Ceiling...I would love to walk down this hall everyday
This Vanity and Sink...the mix of materials is breathtaking.

This Desk Space...the brick, the rug, the accessories...Plus, that memo board would be so easy to DIY
This Country Bedroom...The bed, linens and light fixtures are just amazing. I would love this for a guest room.
This Foyer...the glass door and gorgeous moulding makes quite a statement.
This Coat...It's such a great piece, and the best part is that it's less than $50!
This Kitchen...So much workspace, and those beams and island lights are amazing.
This Fall Scene...I love this color combo, and I'm ready for fall and everything pumpkin!
This Floor...my family is a little obsessed with board games (my parents own hundreds), and this Scrabble tile floor is just incredible.
This Great Room...Basically our dream room.  The dark wood, stone, built ins, stainless...so cozy.
This Planter...I love the bold black against the green and white of the flowers.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

diy instagram frame

If you follow me on Instagram (erinacolburn), you know that I like to take a lot of pictures.  The best part about these pictures is that they are taken anywhere and everywhere, and they really capture everyday moments in our lives. 

I was working on another project that went wrong and had a simple stained frame made from 1x2s left over.  It was sitting around for a few months and inspiration finally struck me one day to display my Instagram photos.

I made the frame by cutting down 1x2x8s, and nailing them together.  I stained them with Minwax's Jacobean.  This frame measures about 24" x 18".
To make the actual display, I used twine and a staple gun (which I already had), mini clothespins, and 4x4 Instagram Prints.  Walgreen's prints 4x4s now, and they almost always have some type of promo code available on RetailMeNot for prints.

I laid out my photos to determine where to place my twine and stapled the lengths of twine into the back of the frame.
 This took a few minutes, and then the frame was set to go and hanging in our upstairs hallway.
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Friday, August 22, 2014

diy simple wooden valance

When we were putting the finishing touches on our kitchen renovation, one thing that stumped me was what to do for a window treatment.  Finally, it got to be the very last thing left to do in the room, and I decided to take a chance on one of the easiest diy projects I've done, to date.
The materials I used for this project are:
6' 1x8 board 
Stain 
Foam Brush
D-Ring Hangers

The window in the kitchen is 23" wide, so I decided to cut down the 1x8 board with my miter saw to 26" to allow 1.5 inches on either side past the edge of the window.
Once it was cut, I applied two coats of stain (about an hour apart) using a foam brush. The stain I used was Minwax Weathered Oak.
 It's a beautiful light oak, with lots of grey tones that really play up with the backsplash in the kitchen, but still has that feel of wood, which we really wanted.
 To hang the valance, I used these D-Ring Hangers from Home Depot and marked on the wall where they would hang by nails.
I love the texture and warmth the valance adds to the space.
In fact, I love it so much that I made an identical valance for the guest bathroom renovation.
Making another one brought these valances to less than $9.00 each, which is a really great bang for my buck!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

solid surface countertop review: 6 months

Back in February, we had LG HI-MACS solid surface countertops installed in our kitchen. Now that it's been about 6 months, I thought I'd come back and share how they're doing and how we like them so far.  When we were shopping for counters, we couldn't find very much information or reviews (other than from the company directly) on this material, so hopefully this will help you, if you're thinking of having these installed yourself.
The verdict: So far, we love them!  One thing that we love about these counters is that they almost always look clean, even if they're not spotless.  This is nice because I don't feel like I have to get out my cleaning supplies and scrub them everyday.  
They are also stain resistant. Stains just sit on top of them and scrub away easily.  

I have a true story in regard to stains...I was feeling stupid invincible one day while I was touching up gel stain on the island and I accidentally got an entire blob of the stain on the island counter.  I had a bit of a panic attack, but with some Comet, and some intense scrubbing for a few minutes, the stain came out and you would never know it happened!
A couple times a week, I deep clean them with The Honest Company multi-surface cleaner, and a scrub sponge. I love this stuff - it smells so good.
One downside to these counters is that they can show water spots, so I'm always sure to dry them off with a dish towel, giving them a little buff, and they look amazing after.  This doesn't take much time, and is worth the little bit of extra work.  This is just like if you get your car washed, and hand dry to keep the spots from showing up on your shiny clean vehicle. I just use these dish towels from Ikea.
One other downside to these counters is that they are not scratch resistant.  If you look closely, you can see little scratch marks, but the light pattern we chose, and matte finish doesn't allow you to see them, unless you really look close, with the light at the right angle.
There is only one place where we have an actual gouge out of the counter, and no one ever notices it (even myself! I have to actually look for it, to see it's there).  See if you can spot it...
I bet you couldn't see it!  Here it is...I zoomed in like crazy on this photo so you can actually see it. It's about an 1/8 inch long.
At first, it really bothered me, but it's really not a big deal.  I've read, and friends and family have told me, that you can actually buff scratches like this out, so if we ever get more in the future, we may go that route.

We also upgraded our sink and faucet when the counters were installed, and we absolutely love them. 
 The big, single bowl is fantastic for washing pots and pans, and I've never once missed having two bowls. I also like having our sponge out of sight.
This sink has the "Perfect Drain", and it is amazing.  It stays so much cleaner than our last sink with the extra ring around it, and looks seamless and beautiful.

 And the faucet is gorgeous, and works like a dream.  The stainless doesn't even get very many water spots.
Overall, we are loving our countertops.  They look amazing and really transformed our kitchen.  They have some downsides, yes, but most countertop choices do, and this is proving to be a great choice for the way we live, within our budget.
 One other small update:  I found these two picture frames on clearance at Target and finally found the perfect photos for them. I love the way they add warmth and personality to this space.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

it's the little things

Images are powerful.  I love perusing Pinterest or Instagram and seeing images that make me swoon, fill my heart with joy, or inspire me.  Here are some of those images...
This office...it's almost the exact same layout of our office and it is just gorgeous. When we need more workspace in here, we will definitely go for something like this.  This photo also makes me want to switch out the light in here for something more fun.
This guitar print...I'm always trying to find ways to incorporate Matthew's passions into our home design.
This romper...over the weekend we did a bit of shopping and I found this adorable romper for $20 at Loft.  I was feeling brave, as I've never worn one before, but I love it. I'm planning to wear it to a friend's bridal shower this weekend.
This Window Seat Cushion...this is my dream for our guest bedroom window seat.
This Striped Wall...such a creative way to achieve a beautiful look.
This Family...these twins had their first birthday over the weekend, and Matt took a bunch of photos.  
This Wardrobe Makeover...Jenna has been remodeling her home (and it's all gorgeous), and this wardrobe is breathtaking.  
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