January 6, 2017

Mantle decorating

Happy New Year everyone and Welcome 2017!

I am excited to reveal the latest update in my home. It may not seem like much to some people, but I have been wanting a fireplace mantle ever since we moved in to this house almost 5 years ago.

After perusing Pinterest and Etsy for inspiration for some time, I asked my Dad if he could build one. I gave him a few photos for ideas.

With the help of these photos, my Dad came up with a beautiful design, made of oak and poplar. It looked stunning, even unstained!

As I wanted it to match my floor, I decided to stain it dark walnut. But, fearing that I would ruin it, I asked my father-in-law to stain it for me!

A few coats later, and a coat a clear semi-gloss varnish, it was hung on my fireplace.

Here is what my fireplace looked like when we bought the house:

After our renovation:

After a little face-lift:

And here it is today:

I couldn't wait for it to be hung so that I could play around with different decor groupings and setups! There are a few "rules" when it comes to decorating a mantle. You can decorate it symmetrically with the same items on either side:

Or asymmetrically with different objects at either end, all while achieving a certain balance:

Here is a nice little guide from Pinterest:
It is actually quite helpful and fool-proof if you follow the numbered steps!

So I got to work, gathering decorative items from all over the house to try different groupings.

First and foremost, my biggest item was my robin's egg blue clock. I had hung it in November, but had to move it up a little in order to accommodate my new mantle.

Then, I attempted a few different groupings on either side of the clock. My groupings were limited to odd numbers for a look that is more pleasing to the eye.

Here is a balanced look, closer to the clock:

Here is a triangle look {I liked this a little less than the other options}:

And then here is the look I ended up keeping for now:

I still would like taller pieces like lanterns and candlesticks for below the mantle on the hearth. Eventually, I will add an insert, either natural gas or electric. But for now, I am absolutely in love with this fireplace!

December 20, 2016

Christmas Printables

This year, I wanted to make something myself to decorate for the holiday season. I love all the printables that are available everywhere. Some are free and some you have to pay for but get to download instantly. And the possibilities are absolutely endless. Just look at what comes up when you search "Christmas printables" on Etsy.com:
That's 250 pages worth of printables related to Christmas! Wow, a girl could go nuts!

Instead, I decided to try my hand at making my own printables using lyrics from some of my favorite Christmas songs. I chose to make them apple green and white so that I can use them either in my living room or my kitchen/dining room area. Here they are:

Nothing too fancy, but in a large white, grey or black matted frame, it looks stunning.

Here they are individually in case you want to download them for your own holiday decor.

And for the heck of it, I also made them in turquoise, red and pink. Go to the printables page on my business website to print them all!

I just love decorating for the Christmas season, don't you?

November 16, 2016

Bye Bye gallery Wall!

I created a gallery wall in the living room behind my television a few years ago, but now feel like I need a change for something more sophisticated and mature. I have been thinking of a few ideas and thought I would share them. Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am a very symmetrical girl! I just love balance! So my options will include two of the same thing {I know, kinda boring}.

This is what the wall looks like now:

And here are some ideas I am considering:

Gold mirrors

I have been eyeing these gold mirrors from Wal-Mart for some time now, and want to incorporate them in my décor somewhere. I was hoping to add them in the basement, but I think I will restrict myself to more “manly” décor for the “man cave” and for Jon’s sake. However, placing them in the living room could really jazz up my already-colorful décor and add a whole other dimension of color and light.

DIY canvas art

While perusing the craft section at Wal-Mart the other day, I came across a pair of canvases in a really great size, and for a really great price. It would be nice to create DIY art in a larger scale and hang one on either side of the television. I like the look of abstract art in two or three colors, like these examples from Pinterest.

{Side note: I just noticed all of these have a touch of gold!}

Old windows and shelves

If I were to want a more farmhouse style, I could opt for old windows. I love the look of a shelf with old windows and other decor accessories. Plus it would give me another surface to decorate. Adding empty windows also makes a space feel more expansive, the same as large mirrors would. This would definitely create a more relaxed and country-chic look.

Smaller gallery times 2

I could re-use some of the items and create two smaller galleries to place on either side of the television. By reducing the amount and limiting my selection to the more neutral items, I could achieve a more sophisticated and grown up look.

{I can't find a picture of the exact look I want, so I made a little drawing! LOL}

After seeing all of these options together, I think I know which one I am leaning towards.

And since changing this wall would require quite a bit of patching and sanding, I am actually considering a new paint color for the entire space. I have loved Chelsea Grey by Benjamin Moore for just over a year, and have yet to use it in the house. 

It would be a far cry from the lighter colors in the rest of the home, but since the space is large and has a large 13-foot window, it can handle a darker color.

If I were to repaint the entire living room, I may consider changing my chevron pillows {don’t worry, I will use them somewhere else cause they are only a few years old!}. I think moody grey walls, chocolate brown sofas, apple green accessories and aqua touches would be enough colors for one space!

On the other hand, if I ever manage to find slipcovers for all three pieces in my sofa set, in a beautiful pale grey or even white, and for an affordable price, the pillows could definitely stay {Basically, I want to get rid of the brown!}.

Plus, if I were to repaint my walls in the lush grey color, I may move my grey area rug to my bedroom, and opt for a brighter rug. I saw one at a local flooring store that I am just dying to buy! It looks similar to this but lighter:

Hmmm... Is it just me or did this all of a sudden become a whole room makeover? Oh well! I’ll be back with the results!

November 9, 2016

Task chart for kids

I created a responsibility chart for my kids to help them remember to do certain things every day as well as show them to be responsible for these tasks. At the end of the day, they each take their dry-erase chart and their own dry-erase markers, and they check-off each task that they accomplished that day. At the end of the week {which runs Sunday to Saturday} if they have missed more than 7 check marks, they do not receive their allowance for the week.

Now some of these tasks are very basic like brushing your teeth and listening to Maman and Papa. Other tasks are more challenging like making their bed every morning {yes that is a challenge for my kids!} and picking up their things around the house. Some tasks I only ask that they do on weekends, like cleaning their room.

Here is the chart I created which is in French, but I will provide an English version as well as a blank version for you to print.

I printed one for each son and laminated them so that we could use dry-erase markers. They each have their own clipboard with their chart, and two double-sided magnetic dry-erase markers each {so 4 colors each which Luca just loves cause he makes his check marks multi-color}.

Is this working you may ask? So far, so good. I think there is one day that I forgot to do the check marks, so we did them the following night. Are they always truthful? Well... they are kids! Sometimes they try to get away with "Yes I brushed my teeth this morning!" until Jon tells me otherwise {I am never there in the A.M. when they get ready because I work earlier than Jon}.

They really enjoy being involved in the process and they seem to feel a sense of accomplishment every night when they go over their chart and realize they have done everything that was asked of them. As parents, we can also use the "you won't get your check mark if you don't do it" line, which actually works.

Here are the charts again so that you can save them and print them for yourself.

I have heard of parents trying things like this before and how it doesn't last. I just want it to last long enough for my kids to complete these daily tasks automatically. Is that so much to ask? LOL

November 2, 2016

Website love!

Just over a year ago, I decided to officially start offering my services as an interior decorator. Before launching my little business, I had to create something where my future clients could obtain all the information about me and my services. I had created a website for my work using Wix.com, and had absolutely loved the experience. So I thought "why not create one to promote my services?"

I started perusing Wix a little more to find the perfect template with enough personality to suit my own personality and style, and found the perfect one! In fact, I loved the whole scheme of my web page so much that it became my "brand" for my business cards, posters and stationary.

Wix has a wide variety of templates, layouts, plans and many many apps to add to your site. And they make it super simple and user friendly. They even have an AI {Articial Intelligence} tool that will create a website for you based on the information you give it!

Once you select your template and layout, you just use what you have to promote whatever you want. You can include an online store and even a blog! {I already had this blog so I didn't create a new one for my business}. 

Overall, it was super easy! In fact, I enjoyed working with the Wix.com so much that I think I may add "website creation" to my list of services!

Haven't seen my business website? Check it out at www.mylenebeadow.com.

October 28, 2016

Fall Printables

With fall's arrival, I like to decorate my home for the season as well as decorating for Halloween. I actually really dislike Halloween cause I am a bit of a scardy cat {I have had a fear of gorilla costumes since I was about 5!}  but since I have young kids who really enjoy it, I feel obligated to decorate for Halloween. And of course I decorate with "happy" decorations, as opposed to scary ones {my youngest is only 4}.

I have always enjoyed making my own decor, crafts and artwork, and in the last 3-4 years, I have discovered printables. I actually love making my own printables! It is very personal and is absolutely limitless! So for fall, I decided to create two sets.

I purchased 4 black frames with mats at Wal-Mart for $12 a piece. I chose to hang them in the front entrance where my kids' school pictures used to be {don't worry, they have a new home in the living room!} 

I inserted my printed DIY printables and voilà!

Along with the remainder of my pumpkins and other seasonal decor, I call this house ready for the season!

To download the printables, click here.

How do you decorate your home for the season? And do you have a fear of gorilla costumes too?

Happy Fall y'all!