A SOPHISTICATED SPACE

Shortly after launching Georgia Pepperberry, I received a phone call from a sweet gal who was looking for a little decorating help.  I spoke with her on the phone and she was very excited since she had recently purchased some new furniture.  She shared that the pieces arrived and she really would like some advice on how to finish her space. I offered to come to her home for a visit and get a feel for what she wanted for her living and dining room area.

 

When I visited, I asked just a few simple questions:

I asked about the purpose of the room – what’s the function?

 She shared that she wanted to have a space that would be a retreat.  A pretty desk to place her laptop was another request. (This piece is arriving soon!) She also shared the dining room doesn’t get much use, so it did not have to be overly practical.

What’s the budget?

 People often do not want to discuss money, but it is such an important thing to discuss.  My client and I worked within her budget, and I even left a few ideas for pieces she could integrate down the road.

What else might you be doing in the space?

I wanted to know if she hosted family or friend gatherings here. I learned that her sons were taking piano lessons, and she was hoping to find a piano for the space someday.  

After an hour long visit, I headed out with an idea of what she might be looking for to complete her space.  I pulled some things together over the next week and brought them by to her.  She is an amazing client!  She checked out all the choices I had made and knew exactly what she liked and did not like.  I left some pieces for her for a few days to make sure she truly loved them.

One last final visit – “Decorating Day!”

I have to admit, this is my favorite day!!!  I unloaded my car and we got to work. We started  hanging drapery rods and pictures, cleaning off tables, plugging in lamps, and staging accessories.  I truly enjoy creating a space that someone can enjoy for years to come!

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Final Shot Noel

I looked up some options of pianos on Craigslist, and she and her husband found one they liked.  It will be fitting nicely, right in this space behind the blue chair!

Floral Picture

 

Finally, I gave her an idea for a chandelier, that will be coming soon to her home, and will completely finish her dining room space!

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Full View

What a special project and more importantly, a special client.  I’m so glad I was able to meet her and transform her space in way that she will truly enjoy!

Make it a great day!

Kellie

 

THE DRESSER OF SANITY

This year, with four monkeys in school full-time, I realized that I needed an efficient way to help them all get dressed in the morning.  I noticed that before we brought home this simple little piece of furniture, the morning was often chaotic.  We were running up and down the stairs looking for missing socks, ties, and of course, the infamous uniform sweater.

Dresser with Flowers

We were out and about one day and I saw this tiny dresser.  I said to Andy, “This is coming home with us!”  We loaded it up into the car and it now has found it’s home on our main floor.  Little did I know, it would soon be named “The Dresser of Sanity”.

What I love about it, is that it does not look like a piece of furniture that belongs only in the bedroom.  Of course, me being me, it has moved from room to room on the main floor of our house.  For now, it is in our “Create Room”.   I put a brightly colored decorative lamp on it and it’s used also as a side table for gatherings.

Belts and Ties

Boy's Drawer

The kids know that all of their uniform items “live” in this piece of furniture.  Socks, ties, and belts are in the top drawers.  The middle drawer has the boys’ uniforms, and the bottom drawer has the girls’ jumpers and gym uniforms.  The kids finish their breakfast, brush their teeth, and then head to the dresser.

This little piece of furniture has created a lot of independence for all of our children. They get their clothes and take turns getting dressed in the bathroom downstairs. Even the youngest can get her own things!  Of course, I am there to help with buttons and zippers if they get tricky. Because the kids are getting ready on the main floor, all of their nighttime jammies go straight to the laundry room.  (Less to pick up off their bedroom floor!)

Girl's Drawer

What I also love about this piece is that when I am folding laundry, I just put their items right in the drawers, and they never get “lost” in their rooms.  I often do their school clothes in one batch, simple to fold, and simple to store.

Even if your children do not wear a uniform everyday, they could have their clothes selected for the week, and stashed in the drawers.  It may just make decision making a little simpler in the morning during a busy week.

Please reach out and let me know if I can help you find your own “Dresser of Sanity”.  Send me a message and I will keep an eye out for the perfect piece for you.  I have plans to paint this piece, and be happy to freshen up any discovered dressers you may come across!

Make it a great day!

Kellie

Cropped drawers crooked

 

 

THE FARMHOUSE TOUR: PART 1

I thought it would be fun to feature a couple of rooms from our FARMHOUSE over the next few weeks.  As I have shared before, this house is a work in progress, so not every room is quite complete, just yet.  Another little fact about myself (and my friends and family will attest to this) is that I move furniture around the house on a monthly (or weekly) basis! 

So, this is a warning — you just may see this couch make it’s way back into the living room by June. 

 

Couch Kitchen

All that being said, the Part 1 tour is going to start in the kitchen.  When Andy and I purchased this home, I thought for sure I was going to struggle with where the kitchen was.  I was unsure of the fact that the kitchen was not an open concept like the last home we owned.  We have talked for the past two years about knocking down a wall to open it up into the dining area.  The demo will more than likely happen someday, but for now, I am enjoying it as is.

Here are some things we did in our kitchen to give it a temporary facelift.

Paint Can

Kitchen Before

We painted the beadboard white. The walls were lined with pine, and of course, it was originally stained the same color as the cabinets, so I felt like we lived in a cave of pinewood. We brightened it up with many gallons of our favorite paint. Sherwin Williams makes a water based acrylic-alkyd paint which is a latex version of their oil based paint. Andy I have coated every wall in the kitchen with this semi-gloss paint, and honestly, almost every wall in the house with it too! The paint color is Extra White – and I love it for it’s true bright white coloring–it does NOT yellow or look too gray at all.

Farmhouse sign and sink

Next, we swapped out the light fixtures. The builder grade lights were replaced with some simple light fixtures to add a little “bling” and purpose. The fixtures are not high end, and again, when we do a complete renovation, then they will be replaced. I wanted functional and pretty to pay a visit into this space in the meantime!

 

Mini ChandelierSharpened Farmhouse sign

 

We ditched the ceiling fan.  The tall ceiling in our nook had a palm tree inspired fan that was more appropriate for Key West, Florida. This pretty fixture was an upgrade all on its own!

Palm Tree Fan

 

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We dropped in a moveable island.  This was a piece that I found at a home décor store and I fell in love with it immediately.  I met the lady who made the piece and she initially intended for it to be a gardening bench.  We have used it as an island, and when we have hosted parties in our home, it has moved into other rooms and the front porch serving as a food station, a bar, table for goody bags, and even a “donut bar”.

 

Kitchen hoodKitchen Island Best

We also added a rug.  For us, it is perfect.  It is not a high end piece at all, but it keeps our toes warm on chilly mornings in January.  The kids often have snacks at the island, and it creates warmth to the space. (Literal and visual!)

 

TOTAL KITCHEN NOOK

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Finally, our kitchen nook is always changing.  ALWAYS.  It has had a dining table in it, and our bookshelves have even lined the walls at one time. However, right now I am using it as a sitting room…and I love it.  One of our Crate and Barrel sofas has made it’s way into this room, along with a chair we found in antique store, and a little bench my son is refinishing (Yes, I have him hooked too!).  I have our cart full of springtime partyware in place, perfect to pull out for an impromptu get together.  This space is used for conversation, and I love it.

Whether it be my girls perched onto the couch reading their books to me, or Andy and I taking turns sitting while the other is cooking so we can catch up, it is our retreat.  It’s separate from the rest of our house, and for now, I like it that way.

There you have it folks, our first farmhouse featured room.  You can see that Andy and I did not make enormous changes to the space, but we made it our own.  We spent a small amount of money on the changes in this room, knowing that it will probably be transformed again. In the meantime, we will love it, and take our coffee to the sofa and draft some plans for our “someday” renovation.

Make it a great day!

Kellie

 

 

 

THANK YOU, MOM

On my resume there are many job descriptions and titles that I have had over the past twenty years.  But what I realize is that the most important job I have had is not listed.  The title, “Mom”, is nowhere to be found.

Thirteen years ago, I had no idea what job I was signing up for when I learned I was going to be a mother.  The anxiety and anticipation to bring a life into this world was daunting.  There are still moments in each day that I realize that I have one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs in the world.  When God gave me the chance to be the mom of four monkeys, I had no idea what was in store for me.  Never has there been a moment in my motherhood career that I felt like an expert.  I learn everyday from these kids of mine and they encourage me to wake up and be better for them.

Our job as mothers is about one thing, and that is influence.  I realize that my children listen and wait to hear what I have to say.  They watch what I do and learn from me.  I’m influencing them.  But it’s not a temporary thing, it lasts a lifetime.

I have learned to apologize for when I have been wrong, provide support when I have least expected it, and juggle so many things.  I have learned to prioritize what matters, and sometimes I get it wrong.  But at the end of the day, I often hear the words “I love you” and I am encouraged that I am influencing them.

I have also learned that what I have had planned for them, may not be what they are born to do or be.  I have learned to adjust and compromise, and I do my best to encourage them to pursue their hopes and dreams of becoming potential artists, architects, doctors, animal rescuers, or ballerinas one day.  I want them to feel supported and know that their momma has their back.

I have learned the importance of setting boundaries for these guys and expecting them to have respect for us and others.  I want them to know they are responsible for who they are.  They are responsible for who they become.  They are responsible for getting what they want out of this life.  I will always be their biggest fan and do my best to coach them along the way.

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I want to influence them the way my mom has influenced me.

I’m so grateful for the love and influence that my mom has given me and continues to give me.  Each day I know I get a call from her at 8:12 am and she’s checking in to see if I have dropped off the kids and that we are alright.  She tells jokes, she makes me laugh, she fills me with her energy, and she is the additional cup of coffee that I need in the morning.  I know she has been up since 5:30 am and has already been to mass to pray for me and my tribe.  I know she worries about me and is my biggest advocate.  She sometimes scratches her head when I share an idea, but she will support me in knowing that I am making choices based on what I hope is best for my family.

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She influences me, but her love and influence spill over onto so many.  She encourages strangers she meets in random places, and cheers them on as they need her to support their next step.  She is the person that God puts in unique places when others need a jolt of “life”.  You see, my mother lives each moment of every day to the absolute fullest.  She never allows a second to go by where she does not enjoy or appreciate life.  Of course, she has had challenges, but lives by a simple philosophy.  She says, “You have a choice.  You can choose to allow negativity take over your life or you can choose to learn from it and move through it.”

She probably doesn’t realize how much she has influenced me, my life, and my desire to give the support to my children that she has always given me.  My mother was present and still continues to be present.  Growing up, she allowed me to make my own decisions and she has always believed in me.  She has taught me and is my inspiration as I raise my children.  I want my kids to know, “They have a choice.”

So thank you, mom.  Thank you for being an influencer and supporter, not just for me, but for so many.  I continue to learn how to embrace new things and have more fun through you.  I may not always be successful, but I know you know that I am trying!

Whether you are a mom of one, or a mom of many, a mom of an angel in heaven, or of one here on earth, enjoy your special day this weekend.  Being a mom isn’t easy, but it’s the job title that I know many of us are most proud of.  Take pride in your influence and embrace your children’s love for you…and remember to live each moment of every day to the absolute fullest.

Make it a great day!

Kellie

 

 

A SIMPLE FLOWER ARRANGEMENT

Yesterday I mentioned how much I love fresh flowers in the house especially now that springtime has arrived.  I also promised a simple and quick tutorial on creating an arrangement at home with store-bought flowers and hopefully this will be just that!

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Yesterday, before picking up the monkeys from school, I went to the grocery store and picked up two bunches of flowers. I chose one with some red tones to it and the other was a bunch of greens to be used as fillers. I just put both bunches in some water last evening, knowing this morning I would put together a simple arrangement for you all!

I am sure many of you have either received or purchased a bunch of flowers from the grocery store, got home, unwrapped them, and then just placed the whole bunch in a vase.  You take the rubber band off the bottom and an arrangement is created…at least you think.  Before you know it, the flowers tip to one side, and within a few days, the flowers start to droop and die.  Here are some things that I have found to be helpful after picking up that bunch of flowers!

First of all, you need a vase.  It really does not need to be anything specific.  I have made arrangements in ball jars, bowls, glasses, vases, you name it!  As long as it holds water, you are good to go!  You’ll need some tape, scissors, and the flower food that comes with the flowers.DSC_0818

  1. Fill your vase with water and add the flower food to the water.
  2. Use your Scotch tape to make a grid pattern over the top of the vase. You are creating some individual openings for the flower stems that will lock them into place.  I typically place two pieces of tape horizontally and the other two vertically to make a tick-tack-toe pattern.  Green floral tape is another option to use for your grid. You can always pick up a roll at any craft supply store.  DSC_0840DSC_0851
  3. Begin by trimming your flower stems.  I like to lay out all of the flowers and see which stem I am going to use to start.  I typically pick the larger fuller stems first and I only trim off an inch or so of the bottom depending on the height of the container.  Remember, always make sure to cut the stems on an angle, this actually helps them last longer.DSC_0841
  4. Start placing your flowers.  I always place one type of flower first and begin in the center of the tape grid.  All three stems of the initial type go into this center opening.DSC_0861
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    Sometimes my trusty assistants demand kisses during pictures!

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  5. Select your second flower.  Trim them a little shorter than your first choice and place them in the center position of the tape grid too.  You can see, the stems begin to cross and hold each other into place.  You’ll rotate the flowers as if they were the three points on a triangle.DSC_0875DSC_0876
  6.  Continue to fill up your tape grid, rotating through each type of flower.  The one important thing to remember is that you want to vary the length of your stems to create depth in your arrangement.  Finally, fill in the perimeter of the grid with your greens.  I saved the roses for last, trimming just a small amount off the bottom, and placing them into the vase.DSC_0886DSC_0888
  7. Last, but not least, finish your arrangement with a ribbon.  It helps to mask any tape that may be on the sides of the vase, and truly makes the arrangement look finished. DSC_0892

So give it a try!  Stop at the grocery and pick yourself up a fresh bouquet of flowers and make your own simple arrangement!  I’d love to see your arrangements, so please share your pictures!

Make it a great day!

Kellie

 

 

SPRINGTIME UPDATE

Spring is the time of the year when we are energized to change and update our spaces.  Everyone starts heading outside to maintain their yards, plant gardens and flowerbeds, and create an outdoor living space.  I like to focus time and effort to the inside of the house to make it ready for Spring!  Here are a couple of things I always do in our home to make it feel fresh for the warmer weather season that lies ahead.

  1. Change out your Throw Pillows –  In the winter I have warm cable knit fabrics, velvets, and richer hued fabrics placed on all the sofas and chairs in the house.  Replace these great throw pillows with fresh colors and fabrics that create a cooler feel to the room.  Cottons and linens are great starts to brightening up your space, and summertime colors are a great integration to a room also.  Economical or washable choices are truly a priority  for me.  DSC_0604Chair 2
  2. Swap out your Drapery Panels– I have a blog post coming on my obsession with drapery panels, stay tuned.  Again, this another texture element in your room that can completely transform the look of a room.  Your space can go from winter to summer, with a simple swap out of curtain panels.  Sheer fabric is a such a great choice for the spring and summer, along with cotton fabrics and breezy linens.Curtain Image
  3. Fresh Flowers –  Who doesn’t love a fresh bouquet on the table everyday?  And what a perfect way to bring spring into the room.  They truly do not need to be a lavish arrangement, but a simple bunch from the grocery placed neatly in the vase is a great spring addition.  Tommorrow on the blog will be a feature on how to arrange a simple grocery store purchased bunch of flowers.Paper Plates
  4. Stock up on Pretty Paper Plates and Napkins – What I have realized is that as soon as spring hits, everyone comes out of the cocoons and people are ready to get together!  I found that having fun, pretty paper plates on hand allows the spur of the moment gatherings to feel special and less formal.  They are great for when we head outside to eat in the backyard and they don’t require any dishwashing!

So join me in welcoming spring into all of our homes.  I feel like we are getting closer to warmer weather and hopefully some consistent sunshine to go along with it.  Until then, take some time to get the inside of your home ready for some warmer weather too!

What are the spring updates you are making to your home?  

Make it a great day!

Kellie