March Month in Review

Helloooooo April!

I feel like our March here was buried in construction dust and unexpected bills from the bathroom makeover. It was not a blog heavy month just because I was so busy with all the projects we are doing. If I have nothing to share I don’t want to force a post just for the sake of blogging. You guys!!  You guys!!  April is going to explode with content. All that stuff I have been working on…well, let’s just say you are going to get a lot this next month. Funny how things go.

I love doing these monthly recaps because I find it nice to see the content from the month. A little something for everyone from DIY to design, inspiration and shopping a look. Let’s get to it!

Bliss at Home March Monthly Recap

DIY PROJECTS

At the end of February, I revealed our new bedroom. The first thing in March I shared is how I made this faux alligator tray table that we use as a nightstand.

 

DIY-faux-gator-tray-table-on-bamboo-stand

DIY Faux Gator Tray Table

I also shared the bathroom progress report highlighting the ups and downs of this DIY remodel and why it is taking so bloody long!

Remodeling the bathroom via Bliss at Home

Bathroom Progress Report

DESIGN

I had an exciting delivery the other day and I hinted at it in a post about selecting a new sofa.

SOFA-SHOPPING

Let’s Go Sofa Shopping, Shall We?

I also had some fun designing a table for our St. Paddy’s Day feast and shared a little tablecloth trick.

Chinoiserie glam table via Bliss at Home

Chinoiserie Glam Table

SHOP THE LOOK

I shared my favorite selections from Crane & Canopy, the same bedding used in our bedroom design.

Shop the look | Crane & Canopy Bedding and Decor

Crane & Canopy

I also shared my favorite source to get custom pillows in designer fabrics like the Jamil fabric pillow on our bed.

Custom Designer Pillows from Stuck on Hue Stuck on Hue

INSPIRATION

I love our vintage Italian bar cart and it is so fun to style. I shared some of my favorite bar cart looks from around the web.

Favorite bar cart stying images

Bar Cart Styling Favorites

We celebrate color a lot around here and in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I shared my favorite green moments from B@H over the past couple years.

The Illinois home of design blogger Kristin Cadwallder | Bliss at Home

Favorite Green Moments 

With the reveal of our bathroom remodel coming up in a few days, I took a moment to share the images that have inspired and helped me in the decision process.

Black and white bathroom inspiration

Black and White Bathroom Inspiration

COMING IN APRIL

The bathroom remodel is going to start off our April. I can’t wait to share all the goodness that went into it! There are a lot of DIY projects, amazing products, and design ideas that went into the space and I finally get to share it. It is by far my favorite project of the year so far.

I also have a few collaborations that I can’t wait to spill the beans on. One of them is so near and dear to my heart and this blog.

I wish you all a happy April. I am wondering how many April Fools’ Day  posts are going up today. I just can’t do it. No fooling on the bathroom, I promise!

I am knocking off early this week since my kiddos don’t have school on Friday and it’s Easter weekend. See you bright and early on Monday!

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Our Bathroom | The Inspiration

What a weekend! I have paint in my hair and my hands need a spa day…poor hands. Dave and I have been busy finishing up the last details on our bathroom makeover so I can start photographing it to share very, very soon!!! I am still waiting on one more thing to come in for it. Hopefully, today it will be finished and ready for pick-up.

With all the final details coming together, I wanted to take today to share what has inspired this space. I’ve been scouring the internet and Pinterest for last-minute styling ideas and some more decor inspiration.

One thing has been a constant from the very beginning of this project and that is my desire to have it be classic. I found a lot of inspiration from the Art Deco era and that is definitely what I pulled my color scheme from. I also wanted this to stand the test of time since I will not be changing it anytime soon.

From the start, I knew I wanted a black and white space with classic detailing and some modern gold bath fixtures. I also knew I wanted to incorporate the Carrara marble that we used on our fireplace into the space. I love to unify rooms in our home and hard surfaces are a great opportunity to do this. We needed some major smart storage, but moments where I could leave some everyday items out that are eye-catching too.

Here are the images I have kept going back to that have inspired some of my design and decor decisions.

BATHROOM INSPIRATION

Black and white bathroom inspirationdomino.com

Black and white bathroom inspiration styleathome.com

Black and white bathroom inspirationdomaine.com

bathroom-inspo-6bathroom-inspo-8

Left: domino.com Right: architecturaldigest.com

 

 

 

There are things in each one of these photos that inspired a choice I made in our bathroom design and decor. Having a really solid foundation on the direction I wanted to go really made all the difference when it came time to make decisions. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and flip-flop on choices or easily get swayed to go another direction. Referring to the images that I am always drawn to, really helped me stay focused and true to the original design without too much changing. Plus, this really helps you see a pattern in your likes and feel confident in your final decisions.

You can follow the sneak peeks of our bathroom remodel on Instagram, but spoiler alert! Those sneak peeks are going to be a full reveal very soon!

I’m crossing my fingers that my items will be ready for pick-up today so I can start photographing this space to share with all of you. You can also see all the bathroom images I love on my Pinterest Bathroom Board.

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Chinoiserie Glam Table

I cooked for St. Patrick’s Day yesterday and it was really good! Phew! You never know when you are cooking something for the first time. My boys all had seconds so that is success in my book!  I just wanted to share our St. Patrick’s Day dinner table with you and also a little trick I do when I want to bring some color or pattern atop the table.

Chinoiserie glam table via Bliss at Home

I decided to go Chinoiserie glam. Yes, I know..how Irish of me, right?! I couldn’t resist the blue and white against the green. I have been collecting Blue Willow china and blue and white ginger jars for sometime now, so it is always nice when I get to mix up my table settings. Dave came home and asked if I got my holidays mixed up.

One little trick I do to bring color or pattern to my table is really simple. I have a good quality basic white tablecloth. I use it a lot, but sometimes I want something different. I wanted green for St. Patrick’s Day, so I grabbed a couple of yards of fabric from the store. It cost a whole $8. Just enough to cover the top and over the edge of the table 6-8 inches on each side. I use webbing or heat and bond and just make a crisp edge. It’s quick and inexpensive. I do that when I don’t want to buy a new tablecloth.

Chinoiserie glam table via Bliss at Home

Chinoiserie glam table via Bliss at Home

Chinoiserie glam table via Bliss at Home

Chinoiserie glam table via Bliss at Home

Chinoiserie glam table via Bliss at Home

sources

lotus votive | gold flatware | wine glasses | foo dogs | artwork

My boys are on spring break this week, so I have been enjoying our days together. It was so fun cooking with them yesterday and making time to have a lovely meal and evening together.

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Favorite Green Moments from Our Home

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!!

In honor of this day,  we are celebrating with all things green! I decided to round-up my favorite green moments in our home. My husband, Dave, has a lot of Irish roots on his side of the family, so I am trying my hand at some Irish cooking for our dinner tonight. Wish me luck!  Ha! Luck…also a theme of the day!

Green moments from Bliss at Home

Knockoff WorldsAway Cabinet for CWTS 2014

1-green

Favorite green moments from Bliss at Home

Holiday Home Tour 2013

Favorite green moments from Bliss at Home

chair-side

Our East Coast Apartment

Framed Rifle Peonies Paper for artwork

Bedroom makeover with green, black, white, gold, and pops of pink.

Master Bedroom Makeover

Favorite green moments from Bliss at Home

Bar Cart Styling

  Favorite Green Moments from Bliss at Home Green Tassel in Entry Way

Just a few of my favorite green moments from our homes. Green has always been a favorite around here. Whether it’s just a pop of green with a plant or accessory or part of the overall color scheme, I just adore it. Green gives life and vibrancy to any space. I tend to lean towards the bolder, more saturated hues. I am adding a little more green to our home this spring and I can’t wait to show you how.

Have fun celebrating today and wish me luck as I cook! I bought wine, just in case the meal is less than fabulous.

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Last Day to Use Coupon Code to Stuck on Hue

I am deep in the bathroom makeover, but I just wanted to pop in and say today is the LAST DAY for you to use the special coupon code to Stuck on Hue!!

Custom Designer Pillows from Stuck on Hue

Remember that fab animal print pillow I used in our bedroom makeover?

Animal Print with Kelly Green via Bliss at Home

ENTER:

BLISS10

AT CHECKOUT AND RECEIVE 10% OFF YOU ORDER.

*Offer good 3/2/2015-3/16/2015

SHOP HERE

Get it girl!

I am going to go back to making our bathroom awesome…

Happy Shopping!

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Let’s go sofa hunting, shall we?

Let's go sofa hunting with Bliss at Home

I love our living room. Like, it is my favorite place to hang in our house right now. The built-ins, the fireplace, the loads of texture just make me feel all warm and cozy.

Let's go sofa hunting with Bliss at Home

As much as I adore what we’ve done to it, one thing has been bugging me for a good long while now – the sofa.

Let's go sofa shopping with Bliss at Home

It completely kills the vibe I got going in this room. I’ve made do with it for years…trying to disguise it with pillows and such, but it is just time to say good-bye. I am really happy to banish it back to the family room!

It was never intended for this room. The color is all wrong and it is actually a pull-out sleeper style that is meant for our family room downstairs.

So, I finally went and selected a new sofa that will be here soon!!! It is going to be like all the holidays combined into some super hybrid holiday when it gets here!!! I think it will deserve some kind of party or parade. Maybe we can declare a national sofa holiday?!

Of course, this has spurred on a few more changes in the decor. Chain reaction — inevitable. I blame it on the sofa.

One of these options below is the one I went with. I’m not telling just yet…but maybe you can guess what I’m gushing over.

OPTION #1

Option #1 | Let's Go Sofa Hunting with Bliss at Home

via

OPTION #2

Option #2 | Let's go sofa hunting with Bliss at Home

via

OPTION #3

Option #3 | Let's go sofa shopping with Bliss at Home

via

OPTION #4

Option 4 | Let's go sofa shopping with Bliss at Home

via

All great options, but one of them — when I saw it I just knew. Just like when you try on a wedding dress and you just know. I am on pins and needles for it to get here!

A sofa is one of those purchases that I don’t take lightly. It is such a focal point in a space. You usually end up living with it for a good period of time. You want it to be comfortable, attractive, and to be easy to mix in different colors and styles.  Especially, if you are a pillow hoarder like I am. I am constantly mixing things up to keep it interesting.

This is also one of those purchases that is usually a bigger ticket item. You can definitely tell the difference between a cheap sofa and a quality one. My advice is to get the best you can afford. I tend to lean more traditional on this piece of furniture too, since I like my spaces to be rooted in the traditional. I go more modern with the accent chairs and tables.

I CAN NOT WAIT to share it and I have a really exciting reveal to go along with it, so stay tuned!

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Progress Report | Our Bathroom Makeover

Bathroom Update

If you have ever remodeled an old house, you know the amount of dust, dirt, and downright nasty messiness that occurs. I wanted to take today to give a little progress report on our Bathroom Makeover. After weeks and weeks of work, I am happy to say that I can see the finish line now!! That means you get to see it soon too!

Our home was built in 1954. Just that fact alone means we are going to find surprises when we open up the walls and tear things out. This is the case for sure with this bathroom remodel. It is a complete tear out job. All the old is out. Our original plan was to have this ready to shoot in 6 weeks, styled and all. So, today you are going to see some of the behind the scenes reality photos of this remodel.

Well,  enter surprise problem #1 | SUBFLOOR ISSUES

We have this gorgeous Carrera marble tile we have installed for our flooring. It is a showstopper, trust me. Before we could do that though, we had to address our uneven and mismatched subfloor. After talking with tile experts, we finally came up with a plan to fix it and level it. The floor is installed, the tile is gorgeous. I’ll be sharing the process so you can fix yours too. Phew! I thought, okay, let’s get rolling!

subfloor

Then, enter surprise problem #2 | PLUMBING ISSUES

We moved our beautiful custom Kohler vanity into the bathroom to get ready to install it. We knew we had to convert the single sink plumbing to double sink plumbing. No biggie, right? Not out of our range of expertise. Plus, we have no problem asking our plumber friends their two cents. Then, we opened up the wall and realized something major was up. All the plumbing was not only installed wrong and really old, but we needed to replace the entire vent line too. That’s the big cast iron one. Ummmm…not in our area of expertise. Time to call the plumber and cry because that isn’t cheap.

It took over a week to get a reputable plumber over to do the work. With all of Northern Illinois becoming a frozen tundra, the plumbers were BUSY. Like real busy taking care of busting pipes and all kinds of cold weather plumbing emergencies. We took some quotes and went through the selection process.  We finally got an appointment and all the plumbing is shiny and new AND it  came with a shiny and new bill too. Ouch!  Oh, and then we had to wait for the inspector to come approve it, before we could drywall and close the wall back up. Bonus. But, it is done and paid for. I mourned the shower fixtures I cannot afford to buy right now that went on the chopping block. Moving on.

photo

We are finally back on track. We have run all the new electrical (when I say we, I mean Dave because that’s his jam). We have almost finished our DIY wall treatment. The countertop is at the shop getting professionally cut for the vessel sinks and faucets. I feel like we can finally start to see the finish line! Hallelujah!

I just wanted to share this today, because I think we watch our favorite DIY and home shows and it looks like all the problems that arise get fixed right away. There is just a professional right there in a heartbeat. Most of the time, that is not the case. When you are in DIY mode, some of these problems are hidden. You don’t know the real issues until you rip things out and open up walls. Some of these problems you can’t fix by yourself.  You need to call the pros. You have to hire out the work and wait on other trades to fit you in. It can push your timeline by weeks. It also can really hurt your budget.

Just know going into a big remodel on an older home, you will always have to spend more money, you will have surprise issues. We just know this going into things from experience. You just hope that those issues won’t break the bank. Even with this in mind for this bathroom makeover, that hefty plumbing bill was a surprise.

With all that said, I am so excited to shoot the finished space for you all to see! As long as there are no more surprises, we are hoping to have all the work done by the end of the weekend and then I can do my favorite part– style and shoot!

You can follow the behind the scenes of our #BHbathmakeover on Instagram.

See our bathroom plans here.

#BHbathmakeover

Also, if your name is RACHEL check your email! You are the winner of the Stuck on Hue pillow giveaway!

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Bar Cart Styling Favorites

Favorite styled bar carts

Happy Monday!! Our weekend was not the best over here. We ALL have strep throat and were stuck at home tired and uncomfortable. We did more work on the bathroom, at least as much as we could handle given our sick status. I thought we could all use some eye candy today and I have compiled some pretty bar cart images for your perusing. I love a gorgeous styled bar cart and I haven’t tired of seeing them. Ours gets tweaked constantly — on a whim or for a special occasion. Whether it’s a traditional cart, a table top, or a cabinet they sure say party and I love to entertain! Here’s some favorites…

Favorite bar cart stying images

Bar cart styling in front of bookshelves.

Bliss at Home

1-bar-cart

SF Girl by Bay

2-bar-cart

Adore Magazine

3-bar-cart

Rue Magazine

4-bar-cart

The Aestate

5-bar-cart

HGTV Canada

6-bar-cart

Sally Wheat | Domino Magazine

7-bar-cart

Mimosa & Monroe

8-bar-cart

Hunted Interior

9-bar-cart

Lonny

10-bar-cart The Glitter Guide

12-bar-cart

HGTV

13-bar-cart

Gingersnaps

That’s just a few of my favorites. I will be sharing more about our bar cart this week. I have some changing up I want to do with it.

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Weekend Musings

Bar cart styling in front of bookshelves.

Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual. -Ernest Hemingway A Moveable Feast

A little bar cart styling and Hemingway for your weekend! I just love that quote. I think on it often. Even though he is writing about Paris and experiences I have never had, his words echo so true in so many different facets of life. I think it applies to design so well. How a new idea for a space can feel exhilarating and exciting. That moment when you get inspired. Then, the moment when you see it all come together. I also love the last part of that quote. I feel like I have a personal romance with the unusual when I am finishing up a space. I always like to add at least one thing that is quirky or contrasts what is going on. I want it to be interesting, not just pretty.

Cheers to the weekend and here are the links from the week:

We still have a giveaway running for one of my go-to sources for designer pillows.

We wrapped up another month and you can see it all in one neat tidy post for our February in Review.

I shared the tutorial for this DIY Faux Gator Tray Table.

You can shop the look of one of my favorite bedding sources.

Read about how Emily Henderson inspired me to write this post.

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The Self-Taught Designer

cool

Are you laughing yet after that picture?

I should have titled this Why Emily Henderson and I are sooo cool or Emily Henderson is famous and I am not, but we both had ‘style’ journals or just simply This post is all Emily Henderson’s faultI just realize I lost major cool points, but bear with me.

Yesterday, I read a really great post by one of my favorite self-taught designers. Guess who? Emily Henderson shared a bit about her early years and how she started in the world of design in her post  My ‘Style’ Journal.  Domaine also recently shared 8 Top Interior Designers Who Were Self-Taught and that list might surprise you! This opened a can of worms and walk down memory lane for me that I just feel compelled to share today. I actually had another post ready to go, but I made an executive decision to move that to next week.

I too had a ‘style’ journal during my college years. Exhibit A that you see above there. It contained mostly images from Architectural Digest and fashion mags with the occasional sketch or really bad poem. And, I was obsessed with building my dream house and have blue prints folded up and stuffed into the built-in folders.  I looked through it yesterday, and I guess in 1997, I felt compelled to write a poem titled Antelope People. Just for the record, I was not on drugs–I was just weird, but in a good way. Oh, and that lovely cover? Let’s talk about that for a second! I was obsessed with this futuristic spread in Vogue…and the rose, well, I have always had a love of roses. My bedroom growing up had rose curtains with a matching comforter that I hand-picked from the JCP catalog. Oh, and spy with your little eye how I tried to laminate the cover with packing tape. #classy

I always find these posts where successful designers share their not so polished starts uplifting, since, I too, did not get my degree in Interior Design. Their lack of proper design credentials doesn’t take away from the fact that they are extremely talented and successful. I give kudos to those who knew what they wanted to do right away in life and went for that degree. I was on the other side on my tip-toes looking in.

So, I guess you are going to take a little impromptu walk down memory lane with me today.

I was a creative child. I would spend hours drawing and sketching. It was one of the things that I was gifted in from an early age. I would even rearrange furniture and style things that to my 7-year-old eye looked AMAZEBALLS. My mother or Grandma were not too pleased with my tremendous styling skills.

I dabbled in so many artistic things that I really had a case of creative paralysis by the time I began college. I started as a journalism major and worked on the college newspaper. I then decided to become an art major. This is what really got me in touch with what I loved stylistically. When Emily talked about her style journal, I immediately had a flashback to my college days.  I carried around this beat up notebook of clippings and magazine pages.  Anything that inspired me was in there in some kind of disorder I thought was cool.  It was a mess of a book.

I took a ton of art classes, studied art history, and eventually stumbled upon interior design needing to fill an elective credit. I was hooked. I had no idea until that moment in my first design class, that I could play with architecture and furniture placement and work in my love of art for a career. I had never had that seed planted by the adults in my life or a mentor to help guide me. My parents didn’t graduate college and really didn’t encourage me one way or the other when it came to my path in life. (They are not bad parents, by the way, they are lovely people–just so we make that clear.) It had never even dawned on me to go for it. The stumbling blocks of a creative who wants to try everything and has no idea what path to take in life. Keep in mind, this was in the 90’s, before blogs, before designers had hit TV shows. I think Trading Spaces had come out a few years later on TLC. I remember watching Genevieve Gorder glue moss to a client’s bedroom wall and thinking she was some kind of crazy genius. Besides seeing the unattainable properly schooled designers in the glossy mags, I enjoyed watching these wacky not so traditional designers challenged by budgets and their surroundings. Then, life happened and I moved to another state.

Flash forward to moving back to my hometown and getting married. I married pretty young at age 22. Our first apartment was so deliciously wonderful.  I wish blogs would have been around during that time because I would have plastered it all over the web. But, I think that was still dial-up days and maybe pre-Google even. Remember dial-up? Waiting to connect while it sounded like a cat screaching.

Then, kids happened. Priorities changed. I enjoyed making our house a home, but was so busy with other things, mainly cleaning up after kids (I ran a daycare from my house) that my love for design was on the back burner.

It wasn’t until I discovered design blogs and the doors blogging could open, that I really embraced I am going to do this. I am going to somehow become a designer. Well, I’ve always been a designer, I just needed direction and a platform. I feel truly confident in saying that now on some authority. I took a handful of interior design courses in college to understand the history of design, architecture, how to draw up blueprints and elevations to scale. I learned about furniture and textiles. My art background also fits into that. Even those early childhood glimpses of art ability and ‘styling’ have ushered me down this path.  I feel like all these things in my life have led me to  start this design blog and now say with confidence I AM A DESIGNER…should that be followed with HEAR ME ROAR? My love of writing, design, and photography have made some cosmic collision and the universe is telling me this is a great fit and I am a designer, self-taught.

My early posts on this blog, well… some are really cringe-worthy. I think I made a paper scrapbook bird. Yikes. With that aside, there were some really great moments early on too, enough to fuel the fire and keep me going. Blogging has made me embrace my own true style. When you are passionate and driven you can really go after the things you love. It’s even better when your raw ability and talent collide with that passion. After 2 going on 3 consistent years of design blogging, I have had some ‘pinch me’ moments already. This has also opened the door for me to do design work for others outside of this blog which is so exciting.

I guess what I am saying is that whether you are self-taught or formally schooled as an interior designer, it really comes down to passion and talent.

So, from the bottom of my heart, this big pile of mush wants to say thank you. In my own way, this is a love letter to all of you, my cyber support system.

Thank you to all of you who have been my champions. Who have nudged, given me amazing opportunities, or left an encouraging comment. Here I am, stuck in the middle of the USA, the heartland of America, and everyday I get to talk to all of you around the world about design. I get to share how I design and this has been one crazy awesome ride so far.

I am excited to see where else this will go. And it’s so great to have a path now and some concrete ideas of things I want to pursue. It’s an exciting list, trust me.  The more I go along this path and encounter like-minded creatives and people in the design industry, I have seen myself come into my own distinctive style and grow as a designer. I guess age 35 is the year I can say confidently what I want to do in life.

I’d love to hear your experience with design blogging and know if you have had the same bumpy road to design? Or if you are a designer, what you think of designers who did not graduate college with a design degree in hand? Does talent speak for itself?

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