{renovate} hallway lighting

Happy Halloween friends! Since I'm kind of a big Halloween scrooge (aka, I just don't care!), we're going to talk about lights today. Specifically, our hallway light. 

We made one more change over the weekend to our newly striped hallway, and it's made an amazing difference .... both how the space looks and the amount of light.

This was our oh-so-lovely existing light.

Maybe it's fine (?), but knock-off Tiffany lights aren't really my style. Not to mention the fully-opaque glass shined very, very little light. It wasn't even worth turning on, which made for a pretty creep hallway when guests were over.

Enter this lovely lady. We found her at Portland Rebuilding Center. I love her pretty glass shade and shiny base.

I also love how much light she shines. Guests won't have to feel their way to the bathroom anymore! :)

I think the new light finishes off the space nicely. What room doesn't benefit from fresh paint a little bling? :)

Did you do any quick fixes/updates to your abode this weekend? 
I hope you all have a great day!


{inspired} new pillows

Today I wanted to share my favorite new home accessory with you all. It's a small addition to our living room that has made an enormous difference. You know, in the way only the best of accessories can liven up a space difference?

Here's the living room last week.

And here it is this week. Do you notice the difference? (Besides my needing overhead lights to make the space bright enough to photograph? Sigh. Summer I already miss you.)

That's right. We have a new pillow! 

Now, I know. Some of you are thinking: seriously Jenn? But friends, this is exciting stuff. The last time I added a new pillow to the living room was THREE years ago. For a person who loves pillows, and has the ability to make her own, that's just sad.

This lovely pillow was made by my friend Jane, of the Janery and The Borrowed Abode fame*. Isn't the fabric gorgeous? She posted a sneak peak when she first bought the fabric a few months ago and I knew I needed it in my house. Blue + yellow = perfect for my living room. I immediately emailed and told her I had to have one when she made them.

You guys need to go check out her shop, if you haven't already. These pillow are perfection. I am so impressed by the quality. The fabric is not only gorgeous, but the perfect pillow weight, and what I'm showing you in this picture is the nearly invisible zipper. My Pottery Barn zippers aren't even invisible! It's truly gorgeously made.

I think my favorite part (which is NOT my incredibly wrinkled couch - ew), and what drew me to this fabric, is the navy blue. I've been thinking that adding touches of darker colors to the room might add some depth. So, now I'm inspired to make some changes, maybe add some more deeper, richer color to the room. And it will not be three years before I switch out my pillows again. Next to my new gem, the current pillows feel a little stale. I'll keep you updated :).

What small updates have you made lately that made a room feel new? Or, that inspired you to take a bigger leap?

*I was not compensated for this post. I just like Jane, and I wanted to support her lovely shop the Janery. Make sure you go check it out!


{create} wall stripes

Thank you for all the super sweet comments about my newly striped hallway! I'm back today with a tutorial about creating stripes in your own home. I feel like I should preface this whole post by saying this project was not as hard and did not take as long as I was imagining it would. Granted, it is an incredibly small space, BUT, there are seven doors to work around, so it had its own set of complications. My original intention was to stripe the space over last weekend, but I actually decided to head to the beach with my family instead. So, Thursday night I spent three hours taping the hallway. Friday night I spent four hours painting. Seven hours? This project could be done in one day! :)

Wall Stripe Directions:

  • Scotch Brand Edge Lock blue tape*
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Tape measure
  • Level
*I'm not getting any compensation for promoting this. I was inspired by how many success stories I've read over the blogosphere and wanted to give it a try. It was awesome! 

1. Paint your walls.

Start with a completely dry, painted space. One recommendation I read a couple times is to start with the lightest color. This makes sense, but I wasn't about to repaint the hallway white, just to add blue stripes back in. I crossed my fingers that the blue was light enough not to be a problem under the white.

2. Determine stripe widths.
After you have your base color painted, you need to determine your stripe width. This part seemed the scariest to me, but trust me if I can figure it out, so can you. Math genius, I am not. With a tape measure, measure the height of the wall from the top of the base molding to the corner of the ceiling in inches. Ours = 95". I determined that I needed an odd number of stripes to both start and end with blue. Then I simply picked how many stripes I thought I'd want and started dividing. For 7 stripes, the stripe width would be 13.57". I measured this out on the wall and it seemed a little large. For 9 stripes, I would need to create a 10.55" width stripe. This actually came out perfectly for what I was imagining. But if you want smaller stripes, just divide higher. If I wanted 15 smaller stripes I would've created 6.33" stripes. I hope this makes sense.

3. Measure and tape.
From the ceiling, measure down the width of your first stripe. This is where the straight edge ruler comes in handy because it's easier to handle than a tape measure. Once you've determined where your stripe should be, draw a line with your straight edge and pencil. Don't worry about the lines on your walls, you'll be painting over them. After you've drawn your line, place your tape so the bottom edge touches just ABOVE the line.

Use the top stripe as a guide for the rest of your stripes. This worked really well for me because it was the only stripe not impeded by a door, but I also quickly discovered that my ceiling is not straight. (Let's hear it for old houses!) So I measured down 10.55" and then went around the entire room with my pencil, straight edge and level. This was the longest, and most frustrating part, but it ensured straight lines. 

After the top line is straightly taped, measure and tape the rest of your stripes. Remember that once you draw a line, tape above or below it so that your paint is covering the pencil mark. You can see in the photo above (on the far wall) that every other stripe appears smaller. Those smaller stripes were remaining the original wall color blue. For the stripes you're painting, you want the distance between the tapes to be the full width you'd measured earlier.

3. Secure the tape to the wall.
I know, you just put the tape up. But especially on the tape lines you'll be painting over you need to make sure that the tape is really pushed into all the wall texture. You can actually see a difference once you start doing it. I tried it with a straight edge, but found that my finger worked a lot better. Was having crisp, straight lines worth a blister on both pointer fingers? Yes.


  • Foam brush
  • Wall color paint
  • Stripe color paint
  • Paint brush or roller
1. Seal your tape lines, aka most important step.

With your existing wall color paint and a foam brush, paint along the tape lines of the stripes you'll be painting. Sound repetitive? It WORKS! Make sure you gently paint up against the paint line so the paint actually gets into any remaining holes, while being careful not to wrinkle the tape. I almost didn't take this step because I was out of wall color. I am so glad I made the trip to the paint store to pick up more - this is the most important step in the process. It seals the tape so your stripe color can't seep into the cracks.

2. Paint your stripe color.
Let the wall color dry for about an hour. I read a couple sources that recommended 24 hours, but it was completely unnecessary. After an hour the paint was dry to the touch and I simply painted over it with the stripe color. Take your tape off immediately after you paint the stripe color. You don't want to let this layer dry.

3. Admire your crisp lines.
The result was perfectly crisp lines. I only had to touch up one completely tiny spot. I was so excited. I did, however, have to go back and paint another coat of white in a lot of places. I recommend starting with the lightest color if at all possible.

I relied on a couple wonder sources to figure all this out. The first source was Living With Lindsay. If anything, pop over and check out her chevron wall. Gorgeous! The second source was Scotch Blue's video on Apartment Therapy. Super helpful!

I hope this tutorial helps, and please let me know if you have any questions or if anything is unclear. 

Have you painted stripes before? Do you have any other tips to add? Please share! :)


{renovate} stripes!

**Update: I'm submitting this project to the Pinterest challenge today! If you look at my Pinterest boards, you'll see that that project came directly from there. I just happened to post about it a week too early! You can see my project, plus all the others at Young House Love, Bower Power and House of Earnest. Enjoy! :) **

Does it feel like forever since I've actually shared a home project? It feels like forever to me, which makes the project I'm sharing today even more fun :).

A couple weeks ago, I posted about painting stripes in my hallway. You can read about why and see my inspiration rooms here.

As a reminder, here is what our hallway looks like. Late last week, I set about painting stripes.

And so now, this is what our hallway looks like! Stripes! Aren't they fun?

The hallway is actually an incredibly awkward .... especially for taking photos! There are actually SEVEN doors in this tiny space. So, you can imagine that taping straight and accurate was .... interesting ;). The door on the right in this picture is the door to the craft room.

I am so happy with how it turned out though. The lines are SUPER crisp, and I think everything is straight. If you read my previous post about this, you'll remember that Chris was actually out of town this weekend. Not only did he have NO idea I was painting, but we'd never even talked about stripes in the hallway. He was completely surprised when he got home last night, but he loves it :).

I think the stripes add an interesting element to what could be a very boring, basic, door-filled hallway. I kept the blue color that was already in the hallway, and is the color of the living room, to keep the spaces tied together. The stripes are the same white/cream color as the trim in the entire house.

Here's the view into the kitchen:
And the view from the kitchen, down the hall:

This is what you see when you walk in our front door:

Because of the number of doors, there isn't a lot of space for decor. I've always kept it really simple.

A dashboard from a vintage car hangs on the wall; a nod to Chris' obsession hobby. The letterpress print is from our trip to Boston last year when we stumbled upon the Hatch Show at Boston University. You can read more about the show here. It was incredible. None of the Hatch Prints were for sale, but we managed to snag a letterpress show poster. I love that the guy is blue and coordinates incredibly well with the wall color.

On the only other wall big enough to hold art is Crate and Barrel candle holder we received as a wedding gift. It's beautiful when all the candles are lit, and makes the space sparkle.

I'll be back Wednesday with a how to, in case you'd like to create stripes of your own! It actually turned out to be quite simple, and only took a few hours from start to finish. 

What projects did you tackle this weekend? Have you painted stripes in your house? Would you ever paint stripes in your house?? :)


{inspired} fall color palettes

It seems that fall is officially here, with all this talk about quilts and hibernating, and I think its only appropriate to talk about fall's color palettes!

Palette #1
I LOVE neutrals in the fall and winter. They're just seem so fitting for this time of year and are so soothing. I actually wear this color combination a lot, and firmly believe that the lack of color does not mean it has to be boring. I think this dress (which I LOVE) and this room are proof of that.

Palette #2
I love the fresh pops of navy and orange against the tan. The shirt is just lovely and the room is just awesome. I love the colors against the neutral grass cloth. It all feels very fresh.

Palette #3
It's no secret that I love orange, but I've never thought about pairing it with tan. It's such a gorgeous fall combo though. For homes, I don't think neutrals with a pop of color will ever go out of style.

What is your favorite palette of the three?
If you'd like to see past palettes, here is summer and spring.

I hope you all have a great weekend! I'll be tackling my striped hallway. Can't wait to share it with you! :)


{inspired} photography class + tips

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending a *Photo Safari* in downtown Portland. Jennifer Costello, a professional photographer here in pdx, hosts Sunday workshops on the streets of downtown. She teaches both how to use your dslr (which even after nearly a year I STILL need help with(!), angles, lines and approaches to photos in general.

It was a fantastic class. There were only five attendants, which gave us all quality time with Jennifer. I thought I'd share a couple of useful pointers I learned from her this weekend, along with some of the photos I shot.

Tip #1
Your LCD screen brightness is off. The brightness that comes standard on the screens is too dark. She explained the math (!?) behind how she's know this, but I believe her because when I uploaded my photos I didn't need to brighten them at all. That's a first. 

How do you change this? If you own a DSLR camera, there is an LCD screen setting. Check your manual. When you find it, set it to -2. So easy!

Tip #2
Get closer. Jennifer believes that most amateur photographers aren't willing to get close enough to their subject. I know this is true for me .... mostly because it looks silly! But, I loved the final product when I actually did get up close and personal with the subjects.

Tip #3
Make it easier on yourself. Jennifer recommends only adjusting one of your settings at a time. She always shoots with her aperture at 4.0 and her ISO at 400. That way she only has to adjust her shutter speed.

My lens aperture doesn't go down to 4.0, it's lowest setting is 5.6. I found that at 5.6 aperture with a 200 ISO, I could easily adjust my shutter speed to get the shot I was look for and not have to worry. You guys, it really is so much easier!

Of course, there are exceptions to this .... namely, landscape shots, or in home blogger's case, full room shots. But it's a great place to start, and makes for quick and easy shooting.

I will definitely be using all these tips to better shoot the details in my house. I can't wait till I'm home in the daylight to try them out!
I hope these are helpful for you all! I love learning new things about photography. What are some pointers you've learned recently about shooting with a DSLR?

If you'd like to check out more of Jennifer's work - she's an AMAZING portrait photographer - you can check her out here.