Our Dining Table Accessorized 5 Ways

After posting last week about ways to accessorize your dining table, I thought it would be fun to show some different ways I accessorized our dining room table using only items we already had on hand at home.

I shopped our house pulling out items from other rooms, used some everyday objects from the kitchen, and cut some greenery out of our own yard. Using the ideas I shared in last week’s blog post as inspiration, I came up with 5 different arrangements of accessories on our dining table.

My first quest was to find an odd number of accessories and group them together on the table.

candlesticks on dining tableAt first I used the 3 two-toned candle sticks, but the scale of the arrangement felt too little for the space, so I stole the two taller candle sticks off of the mantle and added them to the mix.

candlesticks on tableThe two-toned candle holders were purchased from World Market a few months ago and I sanded them a bit to give them an aged look. The taller candle holders were from a vintage sale.

Using hydrangeas from our yard, I filled one of the wooden boxes I kept from my sister’s wedding to create a different look.

hydrangeas in wood box as table centerpieceFor a similar look, I also tried using the hydrangeas in a large vintage wooden toolbox (painted with SW Dill), which seemed to fit the scale of the room better than the smaller wooden box.

vintage tooldbox with flowers on dinign tableUp next, I took the vintage soda crate from our coffee table and filled it with jars & eating utensils, coffee mugs, a dish towel and a pitcher holding lavender from our yard. I love that almost everything for this look came out of our kitchen.

vintage soda crate on dining tableThe pitcher was from Ikea, mugs are Pottery Barn found at Goodwill, dish towel from Crate & Barrel purchased years ago, jars and soda crate from various vintage sales.

vintage soda crate as tray on dining tableLast, I grabbed a wooden tray from another room and stuck an Ikea faux plant on it along with some items I snagged from the kitchen including silverware, apples, a salt and pepper shaker, and a dish towel.

dining table tray

While I think table runners are a great way to add pattern and texture to a dining table, I mostly use them because I think our oak dining table is hideous and I want to hide as much of it as possible without laying down a table cloth. It was a free table from a friend and I plan to someday refinish or paint it.  If I had a pretty table that I liked, I’d have no problem putting accessories right on the table and forgoing the runners.

In case you are interested, the black buffalo check runner is from Maria Claire Interiors on Etsy and I made the burlap runner using fabric from Joann’s.

If you are looking for accessories for your dining table, I highly recommend you shop around your house and try out some different arrangements before buying anything new. I think you’ll be surprised at what you can come up with!

Which look do you like best?



Country Chic Wedding

Last summer my favorite (and only) sister got married and I’ve been meaning to share some of the pictures ever since. My creatively talented sister, Allison, did an amazing  job of planning, crafting, and organizing an absolutely beautiful country chic style wedding.

The wedding and reception were held at Red Cedar Farm in Poulsbo, WA , which is a vintage farm style venue set in the gorgeous countryside.

The pictures are awesome, so I’ll let the images do most of the talking.

red cedar farms wedding

barn wedding picture

country chic wedding decor

beautiful brideAllison made for the most stunning bride and I was absolutely honored to get to stand next to her as matron of honor.

wedding gift to mother of the brideThe sweet gift my sister presented to my mom before the wedding (from Etsy).

country chic wedding decor in barn

brisedsmaids in cowboy boots and pink dresses

country wedding bridal partyI love how the photographer situated us all in front of the reception  barn. That’s me in pink on the far left.

family heirloom wedding traditionThis handkerchief is a family heirloom that has been carried my many of the brides in our family dating back to 1906. It was given to me to carry at my wedding and I passed it along to my sister for her’s. Every bride that has carried it has added her name to the handwritten list that accompanies the handkerchief.

Countyr chic wedding welcome sign

the cutest ring bearers and flower girlMy three kiddos made the cutest flower girl, ring bearer, and sign holder (totally biased opinion here).

bridesmaids in mix and match pink dresesAllison chose for all of us bridesmaids to wear whatever dress we wanted, which was a fabulous idea! Her only requirement was that it was knee-length and light pink.  The eclectic look of the dresses paired well with our simple baby’s breath bouquets.

gray grooms suit

country wedding bridal party2

vintage soda bottle wall

happily ever after sign

red cedar farms barn wedding

country wedding table setting

country wedding table setting with burlapThe wooden boxes that held the centerpieces were built and stained by our mom and step-dad.

wedding cupcakesSince the bride and groom weren’t big fans of cake, dessert consisted of various mini cupcakes for the guests and a cheesecake for the bride and groom.

wedding cheesecake

shutter photo displayA vintage shutter was used to display pictures of the couple over the years.

instagram wedding sign

first dance in barn

country wedding reception outside seatingThe weather was perfect, which allowed for guests to enjoy all of the outdoor seating areas in addition to the seats in the barn.

barn wedding food

Country wedding love fingers

daddy &  daughterI absolutely adore this picture of my husband and daughter taken during the reception.

country wedding thank you sign

and they lived happily ever after

and they lived happily ever afterAll images were photographed by Aubin Ahrens Photography.

Since this wedding took place about a year ago, instead of saying congrats to the happy couple, I’ll say Happy Anniversary!



Accessorizing Your Dining Table

Dining tables left empty often leave the room looking stark and unfinished.  Adding simple accessories to your dining table is a great opportunity to give your space interest. When it comes to decorating I believe that accessories breathe life into a space because a room without accessories is just a room with furniture in it.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, I’m talking about ways to accessories dining tables year round, not how to create a festive tablescape for a dinner party. Whether your dining table is large or small, round or rectangular, here are a few ideas to help you give your dining table a pop of personality.

accessorizing your dining table1. A Grouping of Objects in an Odd Number
When it comes to a grouping of accessories, odd numbers almost always work best. Instead of just putting one lantern or candle on the center of your table, why not try grouping 3 or 5? This principle can be used with vases, plants, candle holders, birdcages, and many other items.

dining table accessories - 5 glass vases     dining table decor - trio of items

dining table accessories - 3 bird cages     dining table accessories - 5 lanterns

dining table accessories - 5 candle holderssource 1. 2. 3. 4 .5

2. Wooden Box
From handmade wooden boxes to vintage soda crates, a wooden box is a great way to corral seasonal decor, candles, vases, and eating utensils.

dining table accesssories - wooden box

dining table accessories - wooden box with birch candles

wooden box on dining table copysource 1. 2. 3. 4

3. Greenery
From dried flowers to branches to fresh flowers, greenery brings dimension and texture to your eating space, just be sure to make sure the scale of your greenery arrangement is appropriate for the size of your table (not too small or large).
branches on dining table

hydrangeas on dining table

dried lavender on dining tablesource 1. 2. 3. 4

4. Serving Tray
Serving trays are not only easy to move on an off the table, but they make for a great display on the middle of your eating table. They can be used to hold every day eating supplies like plates, napkins, salt and pepper shakers AND they can hold decorative objects like flowers, plants, seasonal decor as well.

tray as dining table centerpiece

trays on dining tablesource 1. 2. 3. 4

 What are your favorite ways to accessorize your dining table? I’d love to hear from you!



Fall Mantel & Living Room

Hands down, my favorite place to decorate in my home is my living room fireplace mantel. I love that’s it’s one of the first things you see when you walk in our front door. I love that it’s so easy to change out the accessories as the seasons change or as I get the urge to change things up. And I love that I can use my creativity to make a big impact without spending a lot of money.

Generally speaking, I keep the major pieces like the mirror and shutters on our mantel the same year round and just change out the smaller accessories.

Here is what I came up with for this year’s fall mantel.

nuetral fall mantel

fall living room and mantelI really kept it simple this year and only changed out a few things by propping up the vintage  wooden typesetting tray, drawing a pumpkin on the little chalkboard, and adding some tiny pine cones to the candle holders.

layered fall mantel with type setting drawer

fall mantel with chalboard pumpkinI also added a yellow wire basket on the hearth in front holding some logs from our backyard to cozy things up a bit.

fall mantel with nuetral colors

fall living roomThe only other thing I changed out in the living room was to add a mercury glass pumpkin to the coffee table. I like to keep everything else in this space pretty neutral so I don’t have to do a lot of redecorating every season.

fall coffee table
It’s pouring rain here today in the PNW so while I still have a few spare minutes while the kids are in Kindergarten, I’m going to go cozy up next to the fire and read some decorating magazines (my guilty pleasure!).

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A Surprise 70th Birthday Party – Fall Themed

My dear mother-in-law turned 70 last October and my sister-in-law, Amy, and I decided to throw her a surprise birthday bash to celebrate this huge milestone.

judy birthday invite

I created the inserts in Photoshop and Amy made the pockets that held the inserts.

70th birthday invitations

While turning 70 is a big milestone, we didn’t want to go with the typical cheesy “Over the Hill” theme with the big 7-0 plastered everywhere. We wanted to keep the party simple and tasteful, so we chose to make the party more about a celebration of the past 70 years of her life with some touches of fall thrown in.

fall birthday table decor

Throughout the house we displayed pictures of Judy over the course of her life; childhood, high school, college, her wedding, her as a young mom, etc.

fall birthday decor

fall birthday decor2

A picture frame turned chalkboard displayed some fun tidbits about what life in America was like 70 years earlier.

70th birthday decorations


Amy created a fall-ish birthday banner using burlap, red craft paint, ribbon, and jute twine.

burlap birthday banner

Appetizers set out for guests to enjoy as they waited for the guest of honor to arrive. Dinner  and dessert were selections based on the birthday girl’s favorite foods.

70th party menu copy


The birthday girl was plenty surprised to see most of her favorite faces when she arrived. The evening was wonderful and we were honored to get to celebrate such a big milestone with a special lady.





Shared Girls’ Bedroom Design Plan

I recently had the privilege of creating a shared bedroom design plan for client with young twin girls. Her girls had outgrown their cribs and were ready to transition to big girl beds and subsequently transform their nursery into a room that was a tad more grown up.

The goals were to make the room feminine without looking too girly (no sparkles, princesses, or too much pink), to incorporate a cozy spot for mom to read with her girls, to use soft colors and beautiful fabrics, and to give the room a scaled down French Country look.

With all of that in mind, here is the design plan that I created.

smith girls bedroom plan_edited-1

To replace the girls’ cribs, the family had been given vintage beds similar to Land of Nod’s Jenny Lind beds that just needed a few coats of white paint.

jenny lind bedMost of the bedding chosen came from Serena and Lily with the exception of the Pottery Barn Kids Ruffle Bed Skirt.

anabel duvet from serena and lilyAnnabel Duvet

diamond sham and quilt from serena and lilyDiamond Quilt and Sham

script letter pillow serena and lilyAqua Script Letter Pillow

I suggested they place the two beds along opposite walls to give the girls ample floor space for playing.

smith girls floor plan

To anchor the space, I chose to use a large, soft neutral area rug for the girls to play on from Pottery Barn Kids.

In between the two beds, I placed a long, white dresser with two vintage style lamps on top to serve as both a dresser and a nightstand for the girls.

To give the family a cozy spot for reading books, I placed a plush gray velvet settee just big enough to seat mom and girls on the side of the room opposite the beds. With its’ soft fabric, feminine curves and sweet button tufting, this settee from PB Teen lends itself perfectly to the French Country look we were going for.

pb teen settee

To bring in some more feminine curves and add to the French Country look, I added a vintage style mirror from Pottery Barn Kids on the wall above the settee and replaced their current light fixture with a chic flushmount chandelier also from Pottery Barn Kids.

circle blossom mirror from PB Kids

flushmount chandelier from PB Kids

Darkening the room for naps and bedtime was a high priority, so blackout drapes from PB Kids in a subtle feminine pink fabric were hung on all of the windows.

flocked blackout drapes PB Kids

 Lastly, the walls were painted in Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist, warm neutral gray. And for a fun pop of color, I suggested the backs of the doors (the sides you see from the inside of the room when the doors are closed) be painted with Benjamin Moore Cool Lava,

balboa mist and cool lavawhich would look kinda like this…

pink bedroom door - young house lovesource

I’m dying to see how the room turns out. And I’ll be sure to share it with you guys once it’s done!

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Updating Bookcases with Grasscloth

While I love the Ikea Hemnes entertainment center in our family room, I’ve always had aspirations to make it look a little less Ikea-ish.

One easy update I recently did to it was to add grasscloth wallpaper (leftover  from our powder room project) to the backs of the bookcases.

Here’s what they looked like before…BOOKCASES BEFORENotice the plain white back of the bookcase, which looked really plain and kinda cheap.

After measuring and cutting the grasscloth wallpaper to size, I just hot glued it to the backs of the bookcases.


Then I loaded the shelves and all of the accessories back in.
The whole process for the entire entertainment center took less than a half hour.

Grasscloth on backs of bookcases

It’s a really subtle difference, but I love how the warm color and texture makes the bookcases look a little more classy.


Grasscloth bookcasesNow I’m thinking it blends in too much with the tan walls, so here’s a Photoshop mock-up of some additional changes I’m thinking about making.

ikea hemnes makeoverPossible changes include painting the wall behind the entertainments center a dark gray like Benjamin Moore Desert Twine, changing out some of the knobs for vintage bin pulls, and adding base and crown molding. I’ve also been eye-balling the barn print on top from World Market.

What do you think of the possible changes?

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What to Hang on the Walls

When we have blank walls to fill, most of us tend to gravitate towards hanging framed photos and art.  But when it comes to decorating your walls, it’s okay to think outside of the picture frame.  Why not use your walls to showcase what you love and make your home stand out from everyone else’s?

Here are 10 ideas for adding some life to your walls without hanging framed photos and art.

1. Architectural Salvage Piecesarchitectural salvage on walls copy1 | 2
If you’re a junk lover like me, be on the lookout for old doors, windows, shutters, grates, vents covers, fence gates. These all make great additions to your walls and bring in some vintage appeal to otherwise plain walls.

2. Lettersletters on wall1 | 2
Whether you hang random letters, the whole alphabet, or spell out a favorite word, wood or metal letters are sure to make a statement on your walls.

3. Platesplate wall 1 | 2
Plates are a great way to add some pizazz to your walls without breaking the bank. Use some of your Grandma’s china or scour thrift stores for plates with color and patterns you like.

4. Sporting Equipmentsports equipment on wall1  |  2
Vintage sporting equipment grouped together on the wall is a great way to fill up a large expanse.  Other ideas include lacrosse sticks, polo sticks, ice skates, snow shoes, bicycle parts, and boxing gloves.

5. Musical Instrumentsguitar wall art1 | 2 | 3
If you’re a music lover, what better way to showcase your hobby than by hanging your instruments on the wall? Not only does it look awesome, but it’s a great way to store your instruments too.

6. Traystrays on wall1 | 2 | 3
An eclectic mix of serving trays can turn the plainest of walls into a show-stopper.

7. Wooden Breadboardsbreadboards on wall1 | 2 | 3
Whether hanging on the wall, or grouped together on a shelf, vintage wooden bread boards will add some rustic farmhouse appeal to your space.

8. Metal Binsmetal bins on wall1 | 2 | 3
Metal bins will not only add some character to plain walls, but are also a super practical way to incorporate some storage into a room.

9. Hatshat wall1 | 2
Have a cool hat collection? Why not display it on the wall?

10. Basketsbasktes on wall1 | 2 | 3
A great way to bring warmth and texture to your walls is to hang baskets, big or small. One of my most favorite looks is a giant tobacco leaf basket hanging on the wall (pictured on the left above).

Looking for more ideas? Check out my Pinterest board Alternative Wall Art.

What are you favorite things to hang on your walls?

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Farm Chicks Treasures

Last week I shared my Farm Chicks adventure with you and today I thought I’d show you some of the fun little vintage treasures I picked up up while I was there.

Of course, none of these were things I needed, but I’m a total sucker for vintage style “junk.'”

farm chicks finds5

First off, I found a pair of white-washed wooden candle holders that I fell in love with. I knew they’d look perfect on our mantle.

wooden soda crate tray

This wooden soda crate also found a home in our living room as a coffee table tray.

vintage metal pail

I have a thing for aged metal and this pail had me at “hello.” I added some plants and it adds an eclectic look to the other planters on our deck.

choose happy wooden sign

I am halfway through decorating my daughter’s room and this wooden sign was the perfect compliment to her new bedding.

wooden dairy crate

My favorite find was this wooden Spokane Dairy crate. Many shoppers even stopped me to comment on it as I toted it around the Farm Chicks show. I was so glad I snatched it up before anyone else could get their hands on it! I love how it looks sitting atop our entertainment center filled with dried hydrangeas from our yard.

metal treat tin

Lastly, I couldn’t resist this cute little metal treats tin. I have no idea how I’m going to use it or where I’m going to put it, but it was too cute to pass up! It may be a fun place to store bribes for the kids.

I absolutely love bringing home new “old junk” and fussing about the house trying to figure out where to showcase it. We probably have more accessories than we need, but it’s so much fun rearranging things and changing our decor up every now and again.



New Favorite Show: Fixer Upper

Have you been watching HGTV’s Fixer Upper?!
It’s my new favorite show and I’m totally obsessed.
It’s the best show I’ve seen on HGTV in a long time!

The show follows Chip and Joanna Gaines as they transform houses that are total dumps into works of beauty for homeowners. In addition to owning their home decor shop, the Magnolia Market, and remodeling company, Magnolia Home, they are parents of four young children and are working on remodeling their own super cute farmhouse.

fixer upper8Joanna is an amazingly talented interior designer and the show is chock full of inspiration.

I love that the show also captures the couple’s great personalities, quirks and all. Their love for one another, their honesty, their kindness, and their love for the Lord shines in all that they do.

Here’s a look at some of the great spaces Joanna has designed.

fixer upper1

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fixer upper3Source for all Images

Be sure to check out Joanna’s blog for lots more inspiration and don’t forget to watch the show on HGTV!



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