Spooky Halloween Home Decor


October 30, 2009
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This year, I've been extra excited to decorate for Halloween because it's our first year celebrating the holiday in our new house.  We don't own too many Halloween decorations yet, but I was able to create a spooky look by pairing the few Halloween items we have with some of our everyday decor pieces. 

With a few small changes, I transformed our console table into one you might find in Dr. Frankenstein's house.

entryway console table


First, I replaced our framed wedding photo with a spooky looking Victorian-aged photo I found on a free stock photography website.
Spooky Halloween Cobweb Table Decor


Then I  added a mad-scientist look by placing a blue skeleton in a hurricane vase and trapping a big fake spider under a glass candle holder.
Spooky Halloween Specimen Jars


To fill out the space, I played off the glass specimen jars and added a few white candles including the crystal candle holders we recently used for our first anniversary party.  I topped everything off with Halloween cobwebs and back-light the table with green, purple, and orange Halloween string lights.
Spooky Halloween Console Table
What do you think?  Does my Halloween console table give you the chills?

 This project is shared on the Diy Show Off  and Sunday Favorites

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When I'm not working on DIY projects for my house, like the backyard transformation we've been cooking up, I love reading other blogs.  I regularly read over 25 blogs and a small portion of my favorites are listed to the far right.





It's so interesting and inspiring to see what other people have done in their homes using creativity and elbow grease.  And once a project is complete, I love to sit back and admire my hard work.  Have you done a DIY project in your home recently?  If so, I'd love to see it and share it here.  If you have a DIY project that you'd like to share, please email me the details and some before and after photos and I'll feature your project here! It can be anything from revamping a piece of furniture to a total room makeover.  You don't need to have your own blog to submit, but if you do I'll link over to you of course.

I can't wait to see what types of projects everyone has been working on!

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Our Backyard Renovation


October 26, 2009
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We spent the summer being very busy bees.  Although it’s not very timely, I’m finally ready to reveal our biggest home project yet….a complete backyard renovation!

Although we have a fairly small backyard, it’s much larger than the rest of the yards in our townhouse neighborhood.  But when we bought the house, the yard was completely empty and had no landscaping.  We didn’t even realize how much longer our yard was than our neighbors’.  To make the most of this someday selling point and to add privacy and enjoyment, we took on a big landscaping and hardscaping endeavor to transform our empty little plot of land into our little oasis.




Remember that old Michael Jordan commercial where he had “nothin’ but net”?  Well we had nothing but grass.  The only thing we had growing on our land was a lonely Charlie Brown-esque evergreen tree and a large weed behind our air conditioning unit.  This made for a less than desirable and not very usable yard.  Although this complete blank-slate meant a lot of work, it also meant we had free reign to design the perfect yard for us (well, as perfect as our piggy bank would allow).





We started off by tackling our biggest backyard challenge- the complete lack of privacy.  Although living in a townhouse community has a lot of benefits, the lack of privacy is its biggest drawback.  Without any question, we agreed that good fences make good neighbors, and installing a fence was a must. We were tired of neighborhood kids riding their bikes across our backyard and wanted to enjoy our soon-to-be oasis without any peering eyes or having to stare at our neighbor’s yards and houses.

However, living in a townhouse neighborhood also means that we have to abide by rules set forth by our homeowner’s association.  This means we were obligated to get a 5 foot white vinyl fence.  I would have really preferred a 6 foot fence for extra privacy, but 5 feet is all we are allowed.  But we were able to pick out the fence style so we chose a complete privacy fence which has to gaps between each fence slat.

To cut costs, we enlisted the help of a friend who is a contractor and agreed to install the fence along with Hubby’s help for a discounted price.  It was grueling, but Rob and our contractor friend installed the fence in 2 days.  I was amazed that in just a couple of days we were able to add privacy and definition to our yard.




Unfortunately for our muscles, this was only the start of our backyard renovation.  Stayed tuned to see how we completed our backyard makeover.

This project is featured on DIY Day.

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Modern White Home Office


October 20, 2009
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Recently I stayed at the W hotel in San Francisco and was really impressed by the hotel's decor.  One of my favorite elements of the hotel room was the desk and work area.  The desk area made great use of space with a sleek desk, cube shelves, and a wall mounted flat screen tv hidden inside a wall cabinet with sliding mirror doors.  It also had fun touches like a color changing Buddah lamp, kaleidoscope, and bright green accents.


 



This workspace is easy to re-create for a home office and is perfect for a small space.  Check out how I affordable recreated this modern workspace for a home office:



  • A white desk with glass top from CB2 is great look-a-like desk with a reasonable price tag. 
  • A white modern office chair from CB2 is a nearly identical match to the chair used in the hotel room. 
  • The paper desk lamp from Target recreates the look of the paper wall sconces hung on the room's opposite wall.
  • A horizontal wall cabinet with sliding doors from Ikea is a similar look to mount underneath of a flatscreen tv, complete with a bright background color.
  • Bookshelves from Target complete the room's look and add sleek and modern storage.
  • Color changing orbs from Target and an authentic kaleidoscope from the W store add some fun touches and finish the room's look.

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DIY Wedding Reception Projects


October 19, 2009
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This week I posted some of the DIY wedding ceremony projects I created when I tied the knot last year, but of course I didn't stop there.  Our wedding reception was filled with even more DIY wedding projects, starting as soon as guests walked in the door.

Instead of a typical wedding guest book, I created a photo book filled with our engagement photos and the story of our relationship.  I left the last few pages of the book blank for guests to sign and created a bookmark asking guests for their well wishes and showing them which pages to sign on. The bookmark was made from cardstock and had a red ribbon stripe glued to the top and bottom for a finishing touch and to bring in our wedding colors.




A super easy wedding diy project was creating personalized place cards.  I simply bought printable placecard paper, complete with perforations, and printed our guests' names and table numbers using our red ink and  the same font I used for other projects, like our wedding programs.



Once guests found their table on their place card, the table numbers were another diy project.  I created the table numbers from three-photo frames I found at the Dollar Store of all places.  The center photo contained a table number I simply printed out from my computer.  But what made these table numbers so special, was the two other photos in each frame.  For each table number, I placed a photo of each of us at that age.  So table #1 had photos of each of us at age one, and so forth.  The table numbers were a hit and were a fun and easy way to add a personal touch to each table setting.


How about your wedding, what type of DIY projects did you do?

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DIY Wedding Ceremony Projects


October 15, 2009
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Since Rob and I celebrated our very first wedding anniversary this past weekend, I wanted to share some of the details that made our wedding so special to us. I couldn't help but get my little diy hands all over the details of our wedding and I came up with quite a few diy wedding projects.



We had a pretty traditional church wedding ceremony, but to make it even more memorable, we started it off with a slide show of our childhood photos and photos of us together. The childhood photos were set to the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sung by Israel Kamakawiwo Ole' and photos of us as a couple were shown to the tune of "Better Together" by Jack Johnson. These songs were perfect for the occasion.

For the ceremony I made our own diy wedding programs. Using some velum paper, pretty silver printed paper, cardstock, and little charms and ribbon I created these multi-layer diy wedding programs:



The wedding programs were held in a white basket that was lined with a red cloth napkin which matched our wedding colors. After the ceremony, the guests blew bubbles at us which were tied with red ribbons and were contained in a matching basket.



But my very favorite DIY wedding project was our custom hand painted aisle runner. I created a custom monogram of our names which was used throughout the wedding and then hand painted it onto a white wedding aisle runner. The result, a beautiful custom monogram aisle runner.







These projects are shared on diy day.

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This weekend, hubby Rob and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary!  It's hard to believe it has already been a year since I donned my wedding dress and we walked down the aisle.  To celebrate, Rob and I headed to New York City for the day to have dinner and take a stroll through Central Park.  We even took a romantic boat ride on the lake in Central Park which was my favorite part of the day.  The park looks so gorgeous from the water.






The next day we celebrated our first wedding anniversary with an anniversary party with our families.  We had lots of dessert and broke out our year-old wedding cake which I was very excited to eat since I only had one bite of it during the wedding.  To decorate for our anniversary party, I set up the dining room table with special mementos from the wedding.  I added a red table runner, our wedding color, and decorated with our unity candle, another set of pretty crystal candle-holders which were a wedding gift, and a bride figure Rob gave to me when we got engaged.



And of course we displayed our wedding cake, complete with our cake topper and a "1" candle for us to blow out!



We had a wonderful anniversary and I have no intention to stop calling us newlyweds!

For our married blog friends, how did you celebrate your first wedding anniversary?  (The blog comments are now fixed and working, so please leave a comment spilling the details!)

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Hotel Decor: W San Francisco


October 08, 2009
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Last week I slipped away for a few days and traveled to San Francisco. I was only there for about 2 days for a work , but made the most of my business trip with some sightseeing and a stay at a nice and funky hotel. Traveling from the east coast to the west coast and back over 2-3 days is a pain, but I was happy that my business meeting was in a place as cool as San Francisco.

I was also very happy to stay at the W hotel. I’ve been to San Fran before (all for work), but this was my first time staying at the W. Actually, it was my first time staying at any W hotel and I loved it! The hotel is definitely targeted to a younger, hipper crowd and is full of cool and funky décor. Even the elevators look cool:




My room was pretty awesome and had a king size bed with cool wood and mirror (not in that way) headboard, nice built in desk and workstation, and a window seat. The room was also full of fun décor like a glowing color changing Buddah, a kaleidoscope, and a cool radio with iPod deck (although I couldn’t figure out how to use it, so I guess it wasn’t that cool after all).





More about those cool room details a little later, but now check out the super cute window seat in the room:



This window seat is such a fun and comfortable touch for a hotel room. It made the room seem more like a bedroom and less like a stark, standard hotel room. It also  had nice window treatments and instead of dusty old curtains, the W used plantation style shutters for the window and a sheer curtain to frame the window seat. They added some bright blue cushions for seating and complimentary brown and white pillows. The brown pillows had a “W” embellished in them, an idea which could be copied at home by embellishing pillows tastefully with your monogram or initials.

The room used great paint colors for the window seat and the room overall. Many different bright colors were used, but they all worked well together since the room’s walls were kept pretty calm and funky colors were only used as fun accents. They even painted the inside of the window seat area a soft blue color, while the outside walls were kept a beige color. These colors look great paired together and the blue made the window seat look like a very cozy nook. The blue works really well for the window seat, despite the paint color not being use anywhere else in the room except the bathroom. I have a small window seat in my master bedroom and think I might now paint the inside a light blue. How do you like this look?

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Guest Toiletries Tray


October 06, 2009
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Whenever I travel, I can't help but snatch up the cute little shampoo and conditioner bottles from my hotel room.  When I went to Bermuda this summer (where I snagged these post-cards), I picked up these cute toiletries by Miller Harris.

The toiletries are good quality with nicely printed packaging so I wanted to share them with guests in my guest bathroom.  I found a little plastic tray on clearance at Target and added the toiletries.  To fill some of the empty space and to make the tray look more personal (and less like I just swiped it from my hotel room) I added a scented candle for a cozy touch and some shells I've collected over the years for a personal touch.  A tulle ribbon holds all of the bottles together and adds some pretty texture to complete the tray.



For under $1 for the cost of the tray, plus a few things I already had (and a trip to Bermuda of course) I put together this cute tray to welcome guests staying in my home.

I'm featuring this project on diy day.

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New Blog Design!


October 02, 2009
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My house isn't the only thing I've been redesigning, check out he new look of this site!  Although I liked the homey look of my previous website design, I wanted a cleaner design that was easier to read.  Check out this before and after:



In addition to changing my design, I also have a new web address:  http://www.diynewlyweds.com/

If you are linking to me, please update your links or bookmarks with my new address.  You can also use this handy dandy code to link to me using the logos below.


Code:
<div id="DIY Home Decorating Ideas" style="width:231px; height:38px; margin:5px;"><a href="http://www.diynewlyweds.com/" style="display:block; background:url(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_R-_ONwRsAR8/SsYsKiL667I/AAAAAAAABdo/F5JeW9wSnyI/diy_newlyweds_logo.jpg) left top no-repeat; height:0px; width:231px; padding-top:38px; overflow:hidden;">DIY Home Decorating Ideas</a></div>



Code:
<div id="DIY Home Decorating Tips" style="width:189px; height:73px; margin:5px;"><a href="http://www.diynewlyweds.com/" style="display:block; background:url(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_R-_ONwRsAR8/SsYsKkCUsYI/AAAAAAAABds/nzmZRakcbAE/diy_newlyweds_logo_2.jpg) left top no-repeat; height:0px; width:189px; padding-top:73px; overflow:hidden;">DIY Home Decorating Tips</a></div>


So what do you think?  Do you like this new design or is there anything you would change?

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