Christmas Ed. Latest Obsessions 11.17

Since I was already obsessing over some Christmas items last month, it’s only fitting to continue the obsessions!  From vintage to plaid, it’s a mix of nostalgia and inspiration for the upcoming holiday season.
Latest Obsessions 11.17 - the bee life
Ornaments: Every year growing up it was tradition to pick out a Hallmark ornament to add to a collection, start a new one, or just whatever was the favorite that year. Where I still love getting my annual Hallmark ornament, I like getting other ornaments each year, for a milestone, for B, gifts for neighbors and friends… I love ornaments and they’re so sentimental and easy.

Vintage Wrapping Paper: I cant help but feel nostalgia when I find some prints with a vintage flare, especially with Santa’s! Growing up my presents from Santa always had a Santa pattern on them, and now that I’m older, I can’t help but love that small piece of my childhood.

Just Plaid: This has been a latest Christmas obsession for a few years now… it started with a plaid pattern on our Christmas cards, to table runners, and just wanting EVERYTHING plaid. Where you can’t go wrong with a classic red plaid print, green plaids are starting to grow on me.

Multiple Alpine Faux Trees: So we have one of these adorable faux alpine trees, and I love dressing it up and having multiple trees around the house… but I want more of these skinny guys! Since I keep our main tree pretty uniform and simple – these trees are where I like to have a little more fun and keep the holiday chair going throughout the house! I’ll keep keeping an eye to build my little cluster.

What’re you Christmas obsessions? Are they new and trendy or vintage and nostalgic?

Photo Sources: Top Left | Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right

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Fireplace Makeover Inspiration

Since we’ve been on hold with house projects with all of the wedding planning and expenses – I’m admittedly already secretly planning some projects that B and I can conquer this winter, while the cold and snow surround us outside.  So because I just can’t contain myself, here is some inspiration for a project we’ve had our eyes on.
Fireplace Makeover Inspiration - the bee life
Refacing Our Fireplace: This project has me a bit conflicted – but at the same time I’m curious to see how it would work in our space.  We have built-in’s on either side of our fireplace and these are the original oak color with beveled glass windows.  The brick had been already painted white, which we like and still flows with the space, but I can’t decide if white wood over top of the brick would work or if the mix-match of textures is what makes currently work. We definitely don’t want to paint the original built-in’s… they’re original features with original wood, and it would be so painful to do that!  Check out our current fireplace!

New Tile in Front of Fireplace: Because the refacing is a bit more conflicting, we may end up doing this project before jumping all in, since this might be the only update we need to help with the space.  Currently we have maroon tiles in front of our fireplace that meet up with our original oak floors.  We’ve been talking about replacing these for awhile, and since we finally have one tiling project under our belts – we are feeling confident, plus it’s a small space! Updating these dated maroon tiles with some white marble would really make this space pop and be a clean look.

One of the reasons we love our house so much is because it’s a century home and we love a lot of the original features, like the natural woodwork, the built-in’s in both our dining and living room and our hardwood floors.  So whenever we’re updating a space,  we make updates that only enhance and highlight those original features we love!

Photo Sources:  Left Image | Right Image

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!

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!