{inspired} nature is callling

Maybe it's my recent floating and camping experiences. Or, maybe it's the fact that my house is a disaster (read: kitchen remodel), but I am craving nature decor. Not cutes-y nature-inspired decor. But, a nature decor that calms your soul -- similar to spending a day hiking along a favorite trail. Nature has a way of making me feel relaxed, alive and inspired all at the same time. It's pretty amazing friends. This is by far not a new theme on the blog. Come on, I have a twig pendant hanging in my bedroom! But, below are my current favorite examples of bringing nature indoors.


{inspired} Road Trip!

I think we can all agree, sometimes the getting there is part of a trip is just as awesome as the actual trip. With an eight hour ride to (and from!) Boise to get to the Salmon River, it really was like a mini-road trip within the bigger picture of the rafting trip. Want to see some photos?!

I'm sure most of have not been to eastern Oregon and southern Idaho. But let me assure you that it is everything you'd envision the wild west to be -- in the best possible way. Rugged, isolated and I'm convinced this makes it quite quirky :). Yes, that is a GIANT mosaic cowboy boot :)

Lots and lots of plains and open spaces. Which really is a beautiful contrast to the green trees we're used to in western Oregon.

And then they made me get in a 12 passenger plane. I wish I'd had enough sense to take photos -- it was gorgeous. But, I was more worried about not throwing up on our intern, who was seated next to me.

What road trip is complete with a stop at a greasy-spoon drive-in?

I hope you all have a GREAT weekend! I'll be back next week with more house posts and inspirations :).


{inspired} a week on a river

Hi friends! As I mentioned last week, I spent most of this week and last week rafting the Salmon River in Idaho. I actually work for a river conservation organization and each year we taking a rafting trip on a different river in the West. It's a pretty amazing perk :). I thought you might enjoy seeing some photos of this spectacular river.

Have you ever been on a rafting trip? They're pretty much completely amazing, if you like the outdoors. We spent two days traveling and six days camping along the river.

The only problem? It's made me completely spoiled! We have guides that haul all of our stuff, cook us amazing meals and make it a first class trip. After traveling with guides last year, I knew I'd never be able to take a rafting trip without one :).

Look who came with me! Another awesome perk of this trip? Spouses are invited! We had a blast. {And, I have no idea why I'm posed so formally -- I think all the sun was going to my head :)}

The trip was filled with sun, water, kayaking, hiking, rafting, eating, drinking and relaxing. I know it was technically a work trip, but it was complete bliss. :)

So, tell me. Have you ever been on the Salmon River? It was my first time and I LOVED it. Do you raft? What's your favorite rafting river? Or, does your job have a crazy awesome perk?!

Psst. We rafted the Rogue River in southern Oregon last year, which you can read about here.


{renovate} organization during a remodel

Friends, this is a tricky subject, right? Most of you understand -- when you're going through a remodel, your life is pretty much flipped upside down. It's incredibly easy to let all sense of organization fly right out the window and into the dumpster with your kitchen cabinets. 

I was really nervous to start our kitchen remodel -- is there another room remodel that disrupts your life more? I love to cook. We eat in most nights and the thought of eating every meal out sound both expensive and fattening, quick frankly! So we set about organizing in the midst of our mess. And, we've done good, so far! We each out a tiny bit more, but we're still taking our lunches everyday, and eating dinner at home 5-6 nights a week. YAH! I thought I'd take you through a quick tour of what's working for us, organizationally, during this kitchen remodel.

 Looks like a disaster area right? :)

We packaged up 99% of our kitchen into boxes. The rest live on this shelf, which we bought for this reason. We kept our four plates, bowls, etc and four knives, spoons, forks. We have quite a few more glasses than that, but we're both really bad at having more than one glass at a time full of liquid :). Behind the plates, I gathered all of our etcetera supplies - can opener, measuring cups, tongs, etc - into a wooden tray to keep them from going everywhere. Behind the cups is tupperware for our lunches and bags. The bottom shelves hold the few baking supplies we might need - mini spring forms for cheesecake, for example - and bigger things we didn't really want to box up.

All in all, it's not a lot of dishware, but it's enough for us and a couple friends, which means, it's the perfect amount!

On the other side of the room is the "pantry". On the same type of shelf as the dishes, we have plenty of room for any non-refridge food. 

As for actually washing the dishes, we converted our downstairs bathroom (never seen before on the blog! ;) into a wash room. We scrubbed (and I mean SCRUBBED) this bathroom clean, moved one of the old kitchen cabinets down here and now we have a good size sink and a drying area. :)

Of course, doing the dishes in the upstairs bathroom would be way more convenient, but it's just SO SMALL for us to both use and do dishes in. The sink is about half the size of the downstairs sink. So, we have a tub to carry our dishes up and down the stairs in. I feel like I'm at camp :).

As for cooking, the barbecue and crockpot have been life savers. We throw chicken or roast with veggies in the crockpot to simmer all day while we're at work. Or we barbecue hamburgers, steak, veggies, and fish other days. Nothing we make is fancy by any means, but it's healthy and delicious. 

Right near the "pantry" and dishes we have this old desk set up for a prep station. It's tiny. But, it does it's job. It's mainly used to chop veggies on, or to put the blender on for morning smoothies.

All in all, this has been an interesting lesson in doing more with less. I know I'll feel so spoiled once we have a kitchen again, because it'll feel like so much space! :) I hope this helps people thinking about doing a kitchen remodel see that it doesn't have to be bad Thai take out for a couple months. With a little organization, you can keep a function kitchen going through a remodel.


{inspired} summer color palettes

I realize that summer "officially" starts on June 21. And, there are a lot of place across the U.S. that have been basking in hot warm summer sun since before then. But we're a little slower here in Oregon. It's a general rule that Oregon summers - the sun, warm weather - don't begin until after July 4th. Seeing as how we've had nearly two weeks of perfectly sunny mid-80's weather, I think it's safe to say that summer finally here :).

All this to say ... it's time to look at summer color palettes! For those of you newer readers, each season I take a look what's on my to-wear wish list, and then translate that into a comfortable and stylish room.

Summer Color Palette #1

Summer Color Palette #2


Summer Color Palette #3

Friends, which look is your favorite? Obviously, I LOVE coral right now. But I'm also really digging blues and greens. I think I would take them all :)

** If you’d like to check out previous color palette posts see: spring color palettes, winter color palettes, fall color palettes, summer color palettes, and spring color palettes.


{inspired} around the web

Happy Monday friends!

It's been a while since I've shared with you things that I'm loving online. But, there's been so much goodness lately. Does summer's sunshine and warm days inspire everyone? I know they do me! 

I'd like to frame and hang up this entire wedding suite on my gallery wall. And, it's not even mine! But, wow. So gorgeous.

 You know, we have a bathroom remodel coming up next. This picture is beyond inspiring. Dark, moody and the gallery is beautiful.

 Has anyone tried this? I can imagine, if it works, it smells heavenly. I'll give a try this summer and get back to you :).

 I need these curtains in my life. Specifically, in my living room. Anyone want to make them for me?? :)

 This lamp is so stylish!

I also want to make this. We recently acquired quite a large ottoman, and this slip cover would be perfect. Looks like I need to dust off the sewing machine!

Friends, what is your favorite? What have you been loving lately? You can find the links to all of these on my Pinterest page.

Also, I'm heading out on a work trip tomorrow for 7 days (!). And by work, I mean I'm rafting Idaho's Salmon River. For work. It's okay to be jealous. I have a few great posts lined up for you while I'm gone, so make sure to check back, but please don't be alarmed if I don't respond to questions/comments until next week :).


{renovate} kitchen paint and cabinets

Happy Friday friends! 

I wanted to share a quick kitchen update with you all before the weekend. Remember the 4th of July? It was last week.....federal holiday....you know ;). Well I'm finally getting around to an update: we got so much done! We have a couple crazy awesome friends who came over to help and then we barbecued up a seriously awesome surf and turf feast :)

First, we tackled cabinet installation. By we, I mean our friends and Chris. I'll show you what I was doing in a sec :). Oh and please ignore our "grass". We have a good excuse: kitchen remodel. :)

Those three are ROCK STARS! Because, they assembled all the cabinets. While they were doing that, I was busy PAINTING! :) Unfortunately, all those cabinets you see up there are piled in the nook, which means that is still primer white. Hmmm. It'll get done eventually.

But in the meantime, the kitchen is complete and ready for cabinet installation! The color is the same as the back entry: Benjamin Moore's Grant Beige, colored matched with Miller Paint (our favorite!)

I also touched up the living room where we took out the wall. The living color is Miller Paint's Devine Reef (which, weirdly, looks green online. It's not. It's the best light blue I've ever seen. Also, Miller Paint isn't sold nationwide, but I just noticed you can purchase it now online!). I love this view. And, even though they look a little different in this light, the kitchen and the back entry are the same color. It already makes the house feel a little more cohesive.

But my favorite new view has to be this one. I love that you can see the gallery wall and the hallway in one shot. So fun! (And so messy! Eeps! :)

Friends I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! We started installing cabinets this week, so we'll continue project. Wish us luck getting lots and lots done! 

Psss. If you're just joining us and would like to catch up with our kitchen remodel, you can read all about it here: kitchen mood board here and herekitchen issueskitchen demoopening up a wall, creating kitchen lighting plan and tackling our hardwoods floors.


{renovate} front door decorative window film

Thank you all for your comments about our front door update! Today, let's talk about the new window treatment.

I made the curtain for the door window in early 2010. It was time for a change. Actually, it's been time for a change for awhile, but I didn't know what to do. The curtain just didn't look right -- a little sloppy maybe? I researched fabric for awhile, but my heart just wasn't into it. So here's where I admit that I totally copied someone else's idea. Because, it was brilliant! And simple! The idea came from Seventh House on the Left I knew immediately that this is what my front door needed. I mean, come on. She made a window film out of plain ole simple contact paper. Sweet! Thank you Ashley!

And, we love it. It doesn't draw a lot of attention, but it's graphical and simple and does it's duty, namely giving us some privacy :). The shape is actually the shape of our new kitchen tiles and I love that it'll tie the living room and kitchen together in a subtle way. Ashley actually has a great tutorial and template, which you can check out here. But in case you'd like to do this at home, I do have one tip that Ashley doesn't cover.

You want the contact paper to lay flat, flat, flat. No bubbles. And, the best way to do this is with this handy tool: a bondo spreader. I actually picked this guy up at Haven, but they're available at any hardware store. The best method is to attach the sticky side of the contact paper with your hands and gently smooth with your fingers. Then, smooth out any bubbles or imperfections with the spreader. I actually smoothed out some pretty rigid wrinkles with this guy! 

This easy trick will leave you with a smooth professionally-applied looking finish.

And a view from the other side of the door. Love! My one concern was whether this would hold up against heat. We don't have AC and it get HOT in our house! But, we've had high 80's/low 90's all week and so far it's great. I'll let you know if that changes :)

Have you guys ever used contact paper in a creative and unique way? Who knew it could be used for more than lining drawers :).