House Tour: Back Patio 2.0

In my July latest obsessions, I was gushing over our outdoor living space and back patio. Well it’s been two years since we first created this space and shared the initial reveal – but I don’t believe I ever shared the before pictures *shocked face* so on this house tour, I’m going to share a few befores of the space and where it is today.  Every year it changes a little bit – last year we added more furniture for company, the plants and greenery change each year, and the bistro light pattern gets mixed up too. This year we even rotated the dining table, I know – HUGE changes. *teasing*

The Furniture: We still love the furniture we got from Target and always keep our eye on the summer sales to see if there are any new pieces we want, or if we are ready to upgrade the dining set with one that matches our furniture. I was tempted, B however was not on board after he saw the price (boo!) – B has ulterior motives and wants the Fernhill Metal sofa, so that he can fit more comfortable for afternoon naps.  We also want to get another umbrella to have for our seating area, as the afternoons around 3-4pm is prime sunshine time, so it gets pretty toasty (and a little unbearable to be honest) which will be functional and pretty.

Color Scheme:  I’ve tried to stick pretty close to black and white to compliment the patio furniture – and I am sure you’re thinking, white cushions for outside?! They’ve lasted pretty great and came with Scotch Guard on them, and I recently learned you can buy Scotch Guard and reapply annually, so these beauties are getting a fresh coat so they can last! I’ve added in pops of green this year with the fun banana leave Tommy Bahama pillows from TJMaxx online (which are 50% off from what I got them for!). And splurge on the black and white pillows and chair cushions for the dining area last summer time.
House Tour - Patio (1)
Stamped Concrete: When we were discussing our patio, we were gun-hoe on pavers, but after research in materials and then even discussing with family friends that pavers didn’t hold up as well. So we started looking more into stamped concrete and determined that was a more sustainable investment for our space, plus we had a little more customization options – we were super happy with the way it came out!

Gas Fireplace: This was another must-have on my list, as I HATE the smell of bon fires and smelling like them at the end of the night — this is the perfect central spot for heat, roasting marshmallows or even just a drink holder when the fire isn’t on. We didn’t want anything too big and something a bit more natural looking.  I also love the lanterns scattered throughout the space to give it a homey feel – especially at night it has quite the ambiance.

House Tour - Patio (4)We were able to completely transform a somewhat awkward nook and blank space in our backyard to a functional outdoor living space with living and dining space. It gives us the right amount of privacy, while still being open to the rest of the backyard.  Eventually we want to close off the small back porch to be all kitchen and would put a sliding door in where the window is in that back nook area – yes always planning for the next project.

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Shiplap Wall Inspiration

Mini-spoiler, we’re working on our own shiplap/wooden plank wall for our Basement Makeover. Since it’s just for our basement and we’re going for the unfinished-finished look, we wanted to keep it simple and not spend too much money.  With that said, when I started looking into DIY’s on the different options of how we could accomplish our shiplap wall, I was overwhelmed at the options and price variations.
Shiplap Wall Inspiration - bee life blog
So if you’re like me and researching the many options of how to shiplap your space,  here are some things to consider while you plan your own DIY.  Take into consideration the overall look, how you’re finishing the rest of the space and how much effort you want to put into this project!

Straight vs. Alternating Boards. The way you decide to finish the space is something to think about! Whether you’re going for a straight across board look or mix and match sizes they’re two completely different looks, especially depending on how you finished them and how much you’re shiplapping.

Pre-finished Wood.  This seemed like the path of least resistance, although the price point and the amount of pre-finished wood we would need with this option added up quick. Although from a low maintenance perspective these options like this Home Depot’s Nantucket Gray Poplar Weathered boards or this kit from Lowe’s of White Barnwood Shiplap Plank Wall kit are great options.

Painted vs. Stained. Depending on how you’re placing your boards – straight or alternating, this may determine the way you want to finish the look!  Also thinking whether you want something painted or stained may affect the pattern you decide.  We decided to go the stain route, because it’s easier and we ended up painting way more than we expected with other projects.  Plus, I think the stain look with bring in a nice place with some of the other unfinished elements.

Type of Wood.  Determining the type of wood you want to use, can also affect your cost and overall look.  Whether it’s plywood, finished wood, actual barn wood, or the pre-finished wood mentioned above.  We ended up going the maple-wood plywood route loosely inspired by this DIY tutorial by Angela Marie Made.

I’m looking forward to sharing more details on our Shiplap Statement Wall DIY in the coming weeks – we are definitely excited to see how it turns out and think it’ll be the right amount of finish for our unfinished basement.  View more shiplap wall inspiration here!

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Image Sources: Half Stained Image | Straight plank with wreath | White plank bathroom 

 

Mood Board – Sally’s Living Room Makeover

So it’s taken YEARS, but I’ve finally convinced my mom (Sally) to let me help her redecorate my childhood home living room! I was the kid rearranging photo frames, cleaning up, or suggesting we spray paint the mirrors for an upgrade – also the kid who redesigned her bedroom; from picking out new floors, to determining a statement wall, a painted closet with new shelving for more organization and a custom desk designed all with the manual labor help from of course, my parents.

Needless to say, I’ve been pestering my mom about this for a loonnnggg time. I know the hurdles I’m up against – the space/layout limitations, what my mom likes, doesn’t like, how she reasons things,  pricing and when some persuading is needed.  But I’m up for the challenge, plus it’ll be fun and I’m SO excited!  So I’ve started gathering ideas and inspiration with a shared Pinterest board with my mom to get us started!
Sally's Living Room Makeover - Mood Board - the bee life
First things first, everything I’ll be pulling together will fall into the look/feel my mom wants for this space, I asked her for three words to describe the ideal feel of the space and she said: Cozy, Warm and Inviting. I’m adding a fourth one to the mix: Functional, because it’s a smaller space, the pieces need to be purposeful with more than one use! Secondly, I’m looking at this space in five sections; (1) window coverings, (2) gallery wall, (3) storage (side tables, ottoman, TV stand, etc.), (4) furniture and (5) lighting. Looking at these sections will help check the list of the look and feel AND function during the planning stages.  I’ll also be considering what current pieces can be used or revamped for use in the space.

This project won’t be done overnight, especially coordinating and making sure mom is comfortable with everything. Sally also likes to take time with her decisions especially if it comes with a heftier price tag (i.e. furniture)! So stay tuned for more updates, progress, and planning along the way, it is going to be a fun project!

 

Image Sources: Gallery Wall Inspiration| Curtains & Seating Inspiration | Chair Inspiration | Function Inspiration

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

House Tour – Our Christmas

Eleven more days until Christmas! Our house is full decked out and ready for the holidays, it’s cozy and festive… I may be a bit biased, but I’m in love.

With this being the third Christmas at our house (wow!), I’ve definitely continued to perfect the finishing touches but also try a few new things! This year I took to Pinterest for some new ideas, specifically for our front door and dining room centerpiece. I looked for ideas that I could use preexisting pieces/decor but also be able to put my finishing touches on them!

Front Door: We amped up the front door to really make a statement, now that we have a full glass storm door, we can fully utilize all the real estate.  I’ve mentioned this many times, but your exterior of your home is the first impression guests receive, so why not make a statement?

My hack was to use wire to connect the three wreaths together, and then wrap the ribbon around to cover it up.  I probably spent $10 for the berries to add into the greens and the ribbon (sale at Joann’s!). I already had the wreaths, door hanger and wire.  I just hot glued the ribbon on the door hanger to make the ribbon look continuous! I love how the red pops on our blue door.
front-door_3front-door_1Dining Room Centerpiece: I wanted to switch up the centerpiece, since as much as I loved last year’s centerpiece it wasn’t conducive for entertaining with friends and family.  I often had to move it for space or take certain parts out of it.  I needed something a little more low maintenance, less intrusive and easy to move. I saw some inspiration on pinterest with a wooden box and since we found one when we first moved in (under our front porch of course), it was the perfect idea.  I used greens from the Christmas tree farm and just had to buy the candles. I added in some color and it’s completely portable if we need to move for a game night, dinner or cookie baking!
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dining-room_2I definitely got my “Martha Stewart” on and love the way these two spaces turned out! Everything I got too can be reused or altered next year – which would be my second hack for all of you is to think of DIY/Pinterest solutions that work multiple years, aren’t too trendy.

House Tour – Front Porch

One of my favorite parts of our house is our front porch.  I love dressing it up for the different seasons, but especially the fall! Filling it with mums, pumpkins and other warm and welcoming elements to highlight our home (and blue door)! The front door and porch are the first impression of the house; so although a lot of the pieces have been a work in progress and the patio furniture isn’t up to (my) snuff it’s a place where I like to focus time and effort to create a warm impression! fullsizerenderimg_7334fullsizerender-1This year I went for whites and purples for my mums and mixed in some white pumpkins with a lot of bright oranges ones! The pumpkins and mums line the pathway leading to the front door and the large wooden Welcome sign. I just love how the wooden sign turned out with the rest of the fall decor.

Share your front porch decor with me; tag me on instagram @mmariebee. 

Thanks for visiting!

Front Porch Decor Tips for Fall

Since this past Thursday was the official kickoff to fall, and the fact we’re coming off a beautiful fall weekend, I’m ready to start accepting everything fall.  One place that you can really make a statement for fall is your front porch/entryway; and this can be accomplished simple or on a more grand scale.  Here is some inspiration along with key pieces and tips to consider as you put your fall front porch together!

Inspiration:

First You’ll Want to Determine:

  1. Your color pallet – if you want to go with the deep oranges, reds, and yellows or if you want to keep it simple with white pumpkins and pops of one color.
  2. If you’re going to keep it simple and understated or if you’re going all out.
  3. Halloween specific or fall; personally I learn towards for fall since this will last you up until your pulling our your Christmas decorations. Halloween only lasts a month. CONSIDER:  If you’re leaning towards Halloween, because you have kids or are hosting a killer party, think of ways to switch out key pieces after the 31st so that you can keep it up through Thanksgiving.

Key Pieces:

  • Pumpkins/Gords
  • A sign or focal point
  • Mums – remember your color pallet!
  • Lanterns
  • Wooden crate or old windows

And wah-la! You should have a fabulous, inviting front porch for the next 2-months! I still need to finish a few DIY’s and crafts, but I’ll share my finished front porch here in the next few weeks.

Share your fall front porches in the comments below or tag me on social media @mmariebee. 

Latest Obsessions: Pillows

So lately I have been completely obsessed with PILLOWS! I want soooo many pillows. All of a sudden there is about 5-places in the house that I could name that need pillows to add that extra finished and cozy look. The dining room built-in bench, the bay window in the staircase, the office, the master and the spare daybed… not to mention the living room pillows could use a freshen up… shall I go on? I have literally been scrolling through screens and screens of pillows, hitting the ‘Add to Cart’ button, until I reach the end, check out my chart (because they all seemed like such a great deal) and it’s $150+ … click “save for later”repeat x5. *smiles*Latest Obsessions - Pillows - Neutrals 01 | 02 | 03 | 04

Pillows are the perfect way to spice up a room and add some extra flair without needing to refurnish the entire place. Pillows can also help personalize a space; whether it’s with a state, zip code, or even this fun bee pillow by French Laundry (above) – I’m obsessed!  The other thing I love about pillows is that they can add a level of subtlety when you mix a few patterns or fabrics correctly.  Pillows add a level of cozy and warmth to a space and can be the key finishing pieces, without you knowing! 

The other key to pulling in pillows and buying them is getting different shapes, large square pillows, long horizontal pillows or even larger body pillows to help build the space, (for example normal bed turned daybed).  Having different sizes also creates depth and dimension to your space making the space look larger and more plush than it might be.

Latest Obsessions - Pillows - Blues04 | 05 | 06 | 07

My go-to stores for pillows as you can probably tell if you’re checking out the links throughout are; Target (duh), Marshalls/T.J. Maxx (double-duh), Pier 1, Pottery Barn and Society 6. Although I usually start in the clearance sections first – because you can’t beat a good deal, especially if you’re using the pillows as updates to the space and are more likely to switch them out more frequently.  And as excited as I get about a pillow, I like to wait to see if my initial gut reaction of LOVE, is still LOVE after I see it again in the line-up of a gillion pillows. I also can’t usually resist a good 2-pack of pillows especially if they’re essentially the price of one, it’s a win-win!

Latest Obsessions - Pillows - Color                                                                                  08 | 09 | 10 | 11

What’re your favorite spots to get pillows?  Do you have any pillow rules? I’ve slowly started ordering a few here and there for the spaces I mentioned above. Yay!! 

For the love of pillows,

House Tour – Our Living Room

Hi friends! I wanted to invite you inside our home and give you a little tour of our living room!  It’s one of the rooms where we spend most of our time besides our master… yes I know… I still owe you all the official master tour, it’s coming, I promise! Anyways, back to the living room, since it’s one of the rooms we spend most of our time in, it’s one of the more finished spaces.  It’s also one of the spaces that I like to update and switch things around on the mantle, coffee table and even the picture frames. So here is the space just Plain Jane, no holiday decor – just normal life.
Living Room (2)Living Room (3)Living Room (1)One of my favorite parts of our living room is all of our old photos that we’ve incorporated into the gallery wall or through the mantle and built-in’s.  They’re pieces of our past and what make up our families and who we’ve been shaped to be.  Family is very important to both of us, so it’s nice to be surrounded by our loved ones, past and present.

It’s the little details we’ve been able to focus on and update (like the knobs on the built-in’s) still giving it an appropriate feel for the period of the house but giving it an updated feel. 

Hope you’ve enjoyed one of our most loved spaces!