Planning My Dream Living Room

My house is a constant work in progress. With my ever-so-changing ways, I’m always looking for new ideas to improve and fine tune each room using different color paints and pieces of furniture. For me, there is one room in particular that would require a larger makeover, our living room – mainly because of the layout. Don’t get me wrong, I love our current furniture, our century home built-in’s and calming color pallet. But you can always dream of better things!Living Room Inspiration - the bee lifeSources: Top Left || Top Right || Bottom Left || Bottom Right

When thinking of pulling my dream living room space together in our current house, I would first and foremost need a completely different floor plan.  Our living room is long and narrow, with two openings along the one side so it makes for limited layout options, so in order to have my dream living space, here are the 6-qualifiers that would help make my dream living room a reality;

  1. Flexible Layout: I love to rearrange furniture, so having options to move larger pieces into different spaces is key for me.  I would also love the option to be able to have multiple areas within the space, for example a more intimate/formal seating area behind the larger living space.
  2. Neutral Bases & Pops of Color: When designing a room I like to start with big, neutral pieces; like this amazing sectional I found on Arhaus (see below). These types of pieces are the perfect starting point to build from. From there I like adding in pops of color with accent pillows, rugs or lamps, because these can always be switched out!  My go-to colors are navy’s and white’s with hints pink or yellow to really highlight the neutrals.
  3. Comfy & Cozy: Since my fiance is 6’6″ finding a couch that is wide is important, this also makes for cozy family snuggles including the pup! To finish this feel, extra large and easy to grab blankets or pillows (you can never have too many pillows), in nearby baskets are a must.
  4. A Statement Piece: Like an awesome chair, a bold ottoman, or a show stopping mirror will help create a secondary focal point in the room.  This could also be accomplished by dressing up the fireplace/mantle area with those pops of color or bold accessories.
  5. Metallics & Texture:  Again, this is where the accessories come into play, whether it’s a fuzzy blanket or a fun metallic pillow, lamp, or picture frames, adding these different textures to the room creates depth and movement. And a little bit of glam.
  6. Family Photos: This is the finishing touch and a must in my book. Adding vintage and current family photos keeps loved ones close, while adding an element of history plus it’s a great conversation starter with guests. Pull this look off with a great symmetrical gallery wall or lined table or mantle filled with gold or silver frames.

Living Room Inspiration (2) - the bee lifeShop the Look: Arhaus Outerbanks Sectional, Faux Fur Throw, Arhaus Amelie Mirror, Target Deniz Side Table, Gold Frame 1, Gold Frame 2, Arhaus Velvet Pillow

My dream space would be traditional and classic, with a little bit of glam mixed in.  It would still be practical and livable, it would be inviting and cozy for friends and family to enjoy.  It would be big with lots of windows and a killer fireplace. My dream living room space would be a lot of things with killer unique and functional pieces.

Share your dream living room must-have’s in the comments below! Looking for more inspiration? Check out these other luxury living room selections from Arhaus for your dream living room!

 

 

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House Tour – Backyard Patio

If you’ve been reading along, you may have gotten hints of our latest home project/renovation… our backyard patio!  This project was 100% a want on B’s end, and maybe about a 55% want on my end.  Sure I’ve wanted and dreamed about a backyard patio in our blank slate of a yard, but we’ve gone this long, so why not wait some more? But once B started getting quotes and kept moving the project forward, I jumped on board and helped from an aesthetic perspective to help pull it all together and finish it off.

The space we picked is off the back of the house, and connects seamlessly to the driveway for a universal flow for expanded living space. We’ve got plans for the house in a few of these areas so we designed with that in mind. Last summer we were looking into doing a square paver patio, but after numerous chats with family/contractors, it didn’t seem like it’d last for the price we’d have to pay. Plus it was WAY more than we were expecting at the time.  So we started exploring stamped concrete this time around figuring out textures and colors we liked.   It all came together just how we envisioned it!
House Tour - Patio(7) - the bee life

Since we only had one piece of furniture, the dining table a hand-me-down from B’s aunt & uncle (2-years ago!), we went shopping for some pieces.  We had our eye on black iron chairs that matched the table pretty well and found a similar base for the umbrella, so we were able to use the table. The dining space works out perfectly and we’ve already had a few dinners out on the patio.  The conversation set was a find that I fell in love with thanks to Emily Henderson, but luckily we were able to take advantage of some Memorial Day sales and got a great price on everything!

The last finishing touch that really pulls the space together (besides the super comfortable wide chairs – that I am OBSESSED with) are the bistro lights!  I’d bought almost half of the lights we needed when they were on sale last season for a steal of $8 each compared to $24.99 *WOW* – moral of the story, always buy more than you think you’ll need, especially if they’re $8 and you don’t have a use for them at the time!

We’ve spent so much time outside in these last few weeks now that we have this additional living space.  It was definitely worth it and I’m glad B pushed for this, because we love how it turned out and having another space to entertain in!

// Want the look?
Dining Chairs; Lowes || Outdoor Fire Pit; Lowes || Table Umbrella; Target || Umbrella Base; Target || Bistro Lights; Target || Conversation Set & Chairs; Target 

American Flag Decor Inspiration

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

In order to kick off the holiday weekend and the unofficial kickoff to summer, decorating with the American Flag is a great way to be festive from Memorial Day, to the 4th of July to Labor Day!  You can leave it up, and your set for the summer so you can travel, entertain, enjoy the warm weather and socialize with friends.  Here is some inspiration for an easy and classic way to feel festive all summer long;

I love decorating with an American Flag, the colors are bright and timeless. Get your house prepped with a statement piece inside or decorate and show off outside, or better yet, both!

Enjoy!

Sources: Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right

DIY – Side Entry Tile

Our latest home project was tiling our side entry and the stairs that lead up to the kitchen area.  When we first moved in, the space was drab with gross stick-on tile with wood panels and layers of wallpaper.  Well our quick fix was an easy paint job and removing the wallpaper and floor.  We painted the revealed wood floor white and added some grips on the stairs – but as you can imagine white floors for an entry is not the cleanest or the prettiest. So, like I said, it was a quick fix in need of more help.

So it was Bentley’s idea to finish this space and add tile to the landing and to the stairs. This was the first time we tiled a space, so it was a little daunting at first figuring out what we needed, what tile we wanted, and when we would be able to do this.  The biggest piece that helped save us and this project, was being able to borrow my Dad’s wet saw to cut the tiles. B and I split up tasks, he would cut the tile and I would lay the tile!

The stairs went surprisingly well, but because we used large tiles there was a lot of cuts involved, although less pieces. I’m not sure if the stone we picked was the most cost effective (actually I am fairly confident it wasn’t) but we were going mainly off of aesthetic. Once we got to the platform it was very messy and hard to maneuver in the tight space without stepping on the tile! But we finished with only three trips to the hardware store once we got started. *smiles*

We waited the appropriate amount of time and then some before B finished the space with the grout and once that was dried he added some trim work. We finished off the space with a new storage piece to hide shoes and we were wrapped up!  It was fairly easy project once we got going, and we definitely feel like we’re tiling pros now.  This space has been instantly upgraded, it’s more durable, weather resistant and easier to clean up. We love how it turned out!!

House Tour – Easter Dining Room

Happy Easter, my friends… well almost! With the holiday quickly approaching, on this house tour I wanted to share our dinning room, all decorated and ready for a cozy Easter meal. It was nice to soften up the room with pastels and floral prints, our head-chairs aren’t enough some times! Not to mention the afternoon light was shining into the room so perfectly after a rainy morning – I couldn’t pass up a little photo shoot.
seventhreeTwo

I pulled this look together with a lot of existing pieces already in stock.  The only new additions were the white bunny with gold ears, her friend is on our mantle, and the Happy Easter napkins that I  snagged from Marshall’s. I wanted to keep this simple, classic and bright through the use of the pastels and then the white and gold to tie the whole look together.

Happy Easter!

Easy St. Pat’s Day Decor

Top of the morning, to ya! If you’re like me and wanting to spruce up your place for the next week before Easter, here are a few easy ways to add a touch of green in your home, remember – the main tip is green.  No need to go crazy with St. Patrick’s Day specific pieces, reuse existing greenery pieces you have, or do these simple DIY’s to add a touch of luck.

Front Door: This is one of my favorite spots to switch out and add a statement and pop of color! If you don’t decorate your house, the easiest way to add a touch of green to your home is with a great wreath or sign on your front door!

Banners: These banners from Ella Claire Inspired are super cute, because (1) they’re printable and free! (2) you can still make them and feel like you accomplished something without going crazy! Drape across your mantle or large opening between rooms.

Tabletop: Keep it simple with your table top, that way you’ll be able to use as a dining room centerpiece or in your living room on coffee or side table. Again an opportunity to reuse/buy something or an easy DIY with some mason jars and paint! Top off with some fresh flowers and you’ve got the perfect touch to your home.

If you haven’t already decorated for St. Patrick’s but your wanting something, remember to keep it simple.  This holiday goes just as quickly as it arrives, so unless your throwing a St. Patrick’s Day bash, there is no need to go crazy buying new decor or spending hours on DIYs! It’ll be taken down within a week.

Cheers!

Sources: Front DoorBanners | Tabletop 

5 Rules for Decorating

As I was helping out a friend with some design ideas for her new home, her blank slate, I kept stopping to think of how I could make it as easy as possible for her.  I wanted to sum it up with general, yet specific ‘rules’ to help her as she starts looking and finding pieces for her space.  decorating-rules_the-bee-lifeRule #1: Don’t Rush This might actually be the hardest part.  As a new homeowner your eager to finish rooms and make them feel like you’ve lived in them for 10-years. But the truth is, it takes time and you just need to live in the space to see how you’ll be utilizing it, keeping it functional and practical yet high-end and beautiful.

Rule #2: Multi-Functional Pieces  I like to buy pieces that might be able to work in multiple spaces throughout the house. Personally, I like to rearrange and switch things up every now again, and sometimes that’s with accessories, rugs, or pictures.  Also, if it’s a little more pricey piece, like a rug consider if it’s neutral enough to switch it up, in case you ever decide to paint that room in the future.

Rule #3: Consistency & Flow  It’s okay to have similar pieces in different rooms, whether it be white matte frames, mirrors, or the same color pallets. This creates a consistency and flow to your house, keeping the spaces connected and inviting.  This also will most likely help with those multi-functional pieces and allowing them to work within different spaces throughout your home.

Rule #4: Save & Splurge If your working on a room, look for places where you want to splurge and areas you can save.  This will not only keep you on budget, but will also let your dreams become a reality a bit quicker.  Of course we all want a fully furnished Pottery Barn living room, but sometimes we have to be realistic – and for those with the fully furnished PB room, brava! Be realistic in both areas when you’ll need to shell out some more pennies, or when you can bargain shop and save.
Areas to splurge: curtains, rugs and chairs.
Areas to save: side tables, bedding, accessories/frames

Rule #5: Find Inspiration If you have no clue how you want to decorate, the best way I think, to gain inspiration, is Pinterest! Even if it’s just general searches and scrolling through; “living room” or “side table DIY” you can gain inspiration or maybe find an idea you hadn’t thought about before.  Also, if your fixated on a piece, but it’s a bit out of your price range – try finding a DIY version!

Have decorating questions or want more tips? Comment below or ping me on social @mmariebee!

Guest Bedroom – Reveal

It’s Friday! And I’m happy to share our latest and first little home makeover of the year, one of our guest bedrooms. The reason we did an impromptu makeover is because this room always felt like it was an after thought and just thrown together. It was a combination of my first apartment furniture; a dark brown book case and TV stand, and brown curtains – mainly because we had them so we made it work. The color of the room was yellow, we had kept it the same as when we moved in to keep it simple, but it was really bright! This is also the most used guest room, so it just made sense to give it more love.
spare-bedroom-reveal-the-bee-life-emilyboylan-1
spare-bedroom-reveal-the-bee-life-emilyboylan-2
Instead of buying all new furniture, although I was tempted, we ended up, updating old pieces and buying a few new key pieces. We updated the book case and TV stand with some white spray paint and added some legs to the TV stand (B’s awesome idea) in order to raise it off the ground a bit.  And if your an avid Bee reader, the night stand might look a bit familiar – yes I redid it again, this time with some fun colors and new handles! I am a bit obsessed. We also painted up an old window and found a fun green wreath to create some rustic wall art.

New pieces include the curtains (LOVE!), the bedspread, the hanging light and the rug (which will probably be replaced again) and a few new picture frames and little accessories around the room. I am sure there will be some more accent pillows and blankets added to keep the space cozy and colorful.

I love the updates we’ve made, the wall color feels more calm and relaxing, and it’s fun to add some pops of color. I’ve always been a fan of color, but finally found a way to do it in a mature way and not childish. I also feel like the space feels so much bigger with the update of the white furniture. Can’t wait for some friends and family to enjoy the space this year! We will definitely be having a lot of guests ❤

Shout out to my little peanut for posing and being a good sport in all my pictures!

 

Spare Bedroom – Makeover

I must admit, I’ve had some major writers block on top of feeling uninspired.  Then I realized I should share my latest obsession aka inspiration – our impromptu spare bedroom makeover! It started this past Friday, after a crazy week back to work, a stiff drink, and a few scrolls through Pinterest, I thought out loud to B; “Let’s paint the yellow room.” And B’s response was; “pick a color” – gosh I love him.

Of course, I had a color in mind, so we went to Lowe’s on Saturday, found the color, bought the paint, oh and another can for a different impromptu project and got right to work once we got home. This of course has spiraled into a full room makeover, remodeling some old and buying some new.  *grins*

I’m going for something chic, classic and colorful. My goal is not to rush this and look for solid pieces and see what works in the space as I add in curtains, bedding and DIY’d furniture.

Can’t wait to share our first house project of 2017!

Inspiration sources can be found here