January 23, 2015

how do you indie mat

So this post is one of those triple whammies. I've got a quick and EASY super cute project to share, a story about a wonderfully talented and inventive woman, and a gift. That's right, its that good.

I'm going to go out of order and first tell you about this wonderfully talented and inventive woman. That would be my friend Emma Hand who owns a company called Indie Mats. About two years ago I found her wonderful product in a local store and was psyched to find it was locally made and run by a fellow mom. I contacted her about doing a giveaway on the blog and she was totally game. The giveaway went well and life went on. Then a few months later we met in person at an open house and hit it off right away. Since then we meet for coffee and brainstorming, sharing kid and work stories and feeding off of each other's passion for creating. #womeninbusinessrock

Great story yes, but I do have a point. During one chat we talked about how fun it is to see the different things people can create using the exact same tools. And that is when #howdoyouindiemat was born. Basically, send a variety of bloggers the link to Indie Mats, have them pick out some mats and then...create!

This is where part two of this post comes into play. I've used Indie Mats several times in my home and shared my love of them before (here and here, I'm biased I know) but basically you have cool printed mats in all matter of colors, patterns, sizes etc. and they stick to the wall without the need for nails. Making them easy to change, move, reposition etc.

I used some of my stash over Christmas and created a fun way to display our Christmas cards. The girls each made their own (paper) Christmas tree and we put those up, as well as a "Happy Christmas" banner the girls made out of Indie Mats banners. The mats worked perfectly since our plank wall is on our foundation wall, i.e. no nails can bust into that piece of rock.

Well, Christmas came to an end and I started to take down all of the cards and Christmas artwork and I got a little bummed. The basement is our family place; the girls create forts, doll hospitals and frequent works of art down there and I loved how our Christmas wall had shown off some of the fun we have down here. Everything was down except for the 'happy' part of the banner and the quote at the top - Enjoy the little things. SO true about this space. So with that, I decided I had to create a post-holiday version of our happy wall.

So here is how I Indie Mat...

I picked the girls favorite art projects of the moment - a monster and a 'rainbow' from Eve and a family drawing and a portrait of Mom (that would be me) from Amelia. Side note - I'm glad my real hairline isn't quite as suspicious as it is in this portrait. But I'd be thrilled if my neck was really that skinny.
I filled the rest of the frames with some recent family photos.

We used the 'happy' the girls already wrote in marker and traced the letters with glue and then sprinkled with gold glitter. If you are creating a display with a 7 and 3 year old, it is legally required to include glitter.

Without having a photo that was big enough for the yellow mat, I simply placed another mat on top. I love the pattern mix and of course, the colors. That's right, I double matted. I'm crazy like that.

The girls even hung some of the mats themselves - no nails or hammers required, just sticky squares - and they now love pointing out which mats THEY hung up.

I love having something so bright and happy in the family room that truly gives a sneak peak into the people who LIVE in that room. As new artwork comes into the house, we can easily switch out whichever piece they like for the new 'of the moment' option. And I have to say I'm partial to having such a quick and easy project that brings such big smiles.

Saving the best part for last, part three of this post - the gift. Emma (and I) would love to see what you would do with Indie Mats, so she is giving all Little Black Door readers a discount on your purchase. Just use the code LBD15 for 15% off and then show us #howdoyouindiemat

And stay tuned for next Friday when another blogger will be showing her take on Indie Mats. Hint: she's got wicked good style and a new house full of walls to fill.

Do you have a corner that needs a bit of cheer? A spot where nails are a no no? A room that needs to be photographed when the sun refuses to come out? I know your pain.

January 21, 2015

LBD hits the road - antiques and garden show of nashville

Who's up for a road trip?

I'm so excited for next week because I'll be traveling down to Nashville to attend the 25th annual, Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville. It's the largest show in the US - three full days of rows and rows of amazing furniture, lighting, accessories, gardens and horticultural gems. Anyone who follows me on Instagram, or who has read this blog for more than a hot minute has an idea of how thrilling this will be for me.

And what's even more exciting is that the show has invited me to come as part of their inaugural blogger event. Me and a handful of other lucky bloggers will be given full access to the show, speaking engagements and even a private blogger party with us and a bunch of amazing design and lifestyle leaders.

I'll be there with keynote speaker Diane Keaton (who has actually written books on architecture and is a serial home renovator), Suzanne Kasler, Alexa Hampton, Michael Devine, Jane Scott Hodges of Leontine Linens, Rebecca Wesson Darwin and Haskell Harris of Garden & Gun, Kreis Beall of Blackberry Farm, Markham Roberts and Christopher Spitzmiller! Are you kidding me?! I know, right!

I mean really. I have no words. Now to find something to wear! :) I'll be posting like crazy on Instagram the whole time and I'll be sure to do a recap when I get back.

So those of you from Nashville, give me the skinny - any other stores I should be checking out while I'm there? Restaurants? Anyone else going? Let me know so we can say hi!

January 20, 2015

1 room, 10 minds - guest post

Happy faux Monday - I hope those in the US had a great three day weekend. I look at any day that I don't have to pack a lunch as a vacation, so it was aces around here.

Today I'm visiting my dear friend Beth over at designPOST interiors where I'm sharing my plan for her upcoming living room redesign. Little changes here and there can make a big difference. Check it out here and see why I made the changes that I did.

Do you have room in your house that has to serve multiple functions? Ever wanted to make a few changes without redoing everything? Share!

January 12, 2015

making history your own

Anyone who has been around these parts for a while knows I've long been on the hunt for a great secretary. I mention it often, and even did a whole post here solely on my wish. So, when my parents had to make room for a new/old piece of furniture I was more than happy to take one (of many) pretty china cabinet off their hands.

Now I know you are thinking, "uh Elizabeth maybe I can help you with this - a secretary and a china cabinet are not the same thing". Yes, I know. But just as beer and gin aren't the same thing, I can make a damn good time out of either option.

My dad found this china cabinet in pieces in an old box in the back of a garage at some sale in the 70's (groovy) and had it refinished and restored. I remember this piece growing up, sitting in my parents dining room full of blue and white china. A great use for it of course, but I had other plans.

As soon as I got it home though I realized that I had the same beef with the piece that my mom has had for the past 40 years - it is a black hole. Those doors close and those shelves are like a tomb. Not the bright and fun look I'm in favor of.

Then, while on an antique trip I noticed a whole store full of great old china cabinets all with their insides painted. Chalk paint has been used on the inside of glass front furniture for generations - hello Williamsburg.

Chalky blue to the rescue. My dad growled but I reminded him that we saw the same thing at Monticello. And when you've got a founding father on your side, really no one can disagree with you, right?

Let their be light! Now let's take a look inside, shall we?

Some of my favorite design books, the bar (hand over your heart) a few pictures and accessories and of course some blue and white in a nod to my parents version of the same piece. A little of the old and a little of the new.

Have you inherited any furniture? What did you do to make it your own? Ever turned down a piece because you thought it wouldn't work? Maybe give it a second thought!

January 5, 2015

stop. reset. move.

Good morning 2015. How the hell are ya?

Ahh the first day back. This is always a hard/exciting day. As a mom I'm thrilled to be back on schedule and have a break from the constant bickering that occurs between siblings that have spent a lot of time together over the past two weeks. But as an individual (parents can be both despite what my children think) I am mourning the end of one of the best breaks I can remember in a long time. It was heaven. I did all of those things you imagine a vacation to be but feel too guilty to actually do. I had day(s) when I didn't get out of my pjs. I read books, not magazines but actual books. I spent one full day watching nothing but wonderfully bad TV. But we also went out on a lot of adventures, did lots of baking, went out with new friends and old friends and laughed each and every day.

I also turned off my computer on the first day of break and didn't turn it back on until this morning. Scandal.  I can count on one hand the number of times I checked Facebook and Instagram and the iPad was used mostly for watching Netflix. A much needed tech detox of sorts.

And as usual when you have a lot of relaxation, your brain tends to think about the things that in your busy daily life you push aside. One topic that popped up often was the blog. The blog (that would be this blog) that I love but over the past few months has felt a bit more obligatory and less fun. I've realized that a lot of those feelings come from my own push to follow the blog rules in fear of loosing my place, whatever that means. You know those rules: post several times a week, always post at the exact same time each day, always include pin-worthy pictures, always tweet and pin and Facebook, always always always.

But in trying those 'rules' I've realized two things: (get it, light over my head. ha)

1. When I follow someone else's rules, I start to plan and write thru someone else's voice.
If I were starting a business, I would take classes, read books and research the necessary formulas that have been proven to launch and sustain a successful business. But this blog is not a business. This blog is my own personal outlet that should follow the ebbs and flows that personally work for me. Do I sometimes share things about my business on the blog? Of course. Do I sometimes get work because of this blog? Proudly I say yes. But this blog is more than just a digital advertisement. I don't want to be selling all the time, and you lovely people don't want to constantly be sold.

2. If I don't follow those rules, the world will not end.
My goal for this blog is not to make millions of dollars so who exactly am I helping with these rules? The point of this blog has always been to talk about and share what I love (interior design) and do it with a community full of like-minded individuals. When the focus starts to shift to simply driving traffic (I believe) the content becomes hollow and all of that traffic will quickly dry up. No one wants to read post after post of pictures from Pinterest that they've probably already seen or post after post of sponsored content. Yawn. Does that mean I won't ever post pictures from Pinterest or work with sponsors? Absolutely not. But I can guarantee it won't happen just so that I have something to post about.

I say post when you have something you want to say. A passion should always be about the want, never the need.

And rather than calling it a resolution for myself, I'm calling it a promise to you. I'm going to work at keeping this blog the same thing that brought you to it in the first place. This could mean that I post four times a week or four times a month but it will always be genuine. And if the lack of a consistent 'schedule' from me leads you to not read this blog at all, then I suspect you weren't very interested in the first place.

I say we keep this love letter to design as pure and as FUN as possible.

And on a totally unrelated note, cucumber water is the bees knees. Give it a try.

December 16, 2014

link party - 12 days of christmas tour of homes

OK, I showed you mine. Now it is time to show me yours. It can be your whole house, or just a room or festive corner. No matter how big or small you go, or what holiday it is for, show me how you dress your house for the holidays!

We want to see!!

December 15, 2014

the best of the 12 days of christmas tour of homes

Thanks everyone for all of your kind words on my holiday home tour! It is always great fun to see how everyone puts their own spin on such a traditional holiday. In case you missed any of the tours, click on any of the images below to get the full show.

And be sure to come back tomorrow to link up and show YOUR holiday tour!



Only 10 days to go! Cheers!

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