A little background on this project. When we finished construction on our house, there was still a chain link fence from the previous owner that was in terrible shape. We’re talking huge sections missing from all of the construction we did, plus wear and tear from years of use. Plus, that just wasn’t what I wanted for our yard.
We thought about putting in a new wooden fence around the whole yard, but it wasn’t practical for several reasons. The perimeter of our property is lined with beautiful, mature arborvitae trees that are taller than our house. There was just no way you could get a fence in there now without risking damage to the trees or having it look all squished. Plus, when we had our driveway done we had them do a really nice curved edge, which would make a fence awkward to put in.
Here in Minneapolis we’ve had a downright awful “spring” thus far, with an uncharacteristic 12″+ snowfall this past weekend. The only thing getting me through is a better forecast for the week ahead and dreaming of patio weather soon to come. I am loving all of the bohemian-inspired outdoor decor happening at the moment. This modern boho patio look has a lot of crazy affordable pieces – including the sleek chairs for only $39 each! And let’s not talk about the rug, which I’ve been desperately trying to find a place for in our home to no avail.
Building a new home is a daunting process for most people. There are endless decisions to be made and you have to live with those decisions for a long time. The best home projects start out with a lot of planning at the beginning. Your goal should be to have a rock solid vision of what you want in your new home before you meet with a builder.
Sometimes instagram can be kind of a black hole, amiright? This can be a bad thing (hellloooo time wasted stalking people) or it can be an amazing thing. There are so many incredibly talented, creative people all over the ‘gram. I am somewhat addicted to following artists on instagram. It is so inspiring to get a peek at their process videos, studio spaces, and their new works. Here are a handful of my favorite artists to follow. It was hard to select just three, so don’t be surprised if there’s another round of these in the future. Now the only problem is keeping myself from spending too much time gawking at their talent and not enough time developing my own!
1. Mei @etc.mei
I just discovered Mei the other day and fell in love immediately with her modern take on watercolors. Her way of blending sharp, geometric lines with the softness of watercolor is so fresh and gorgeous.
2. Suzy Lindow @winkwinkstudio
I was first drawn to Suzy’s account by her amazing collage pieces, made from scraps of her paintings. Then I saw that her paintings are equally impressive, and I had to follow. Her work seems to always be evolving and yet everything is always a knockout.
3. Heather Day @heatherdayart
Heather’s pieces are abstract mixed media at it’s finest. I want one for every room in my house.
It’s easy to find amazing art if you’re on a millionaire budget. The rest of us have to be a little more creative with what we hang on our walls. Now, you can always walk into Target or HomeGoods and get your wall art there. But your home will look more unique and true to you if you reach out to other sources. Here are some options for finding affordable art, many of which support the artist directly!
If you’re looking to add a little festive touch to your doorway this holiday season, you can’t beat this super easy Christmas wreath DIY. It uses an embroidery hoop as the base. Altogether this wreath cost me about $25 to make – the closest comparable wreath at my garden store was almost $50 and this way I will be able to use the hoop again and again.
Giving you a heavy dose of mid-century in this tropical modern dining room design. The industrial chandelier and rustic table balance this look out just enough so it’s not too “Mad Men”. Have some fun with the pink tropical wallpaper, it’s easily removable so you can easily switch things up later on for a whole new look!
Having trouble sleeping? The answer to your sleep woes may lie in the design and atmosphere of your bedroom. Here are some tips for maximizing the relaxation factor in your bedroom. You may find that some small tweaks to your bedroom design will help you sleep better.
Who is looking for something a little different from all of the white kitchens out there? Please tell me it’s not just me. When we built our house, my husband gave a hard “no” to dark kitchen cabinets. One of those marriage compromises, I guess. But I will be the first to admit that I have a mad crush on the matte black cabinets in this modern boho kitchen design. And the black and white cement tile – I don’t even have to sell you on that, it’s everywhere right now, and it’s beautiful. The cement tile combined with black wicker pendant lights above the kitchen island gives just a little taste of being in a trendy bar in a tropical locale, and who can resist that really?
One of the easiest ways to make your home look better is to upgrade your light fixtures. Maybe you are building a new house (lucky!) and have the daunting task of picking light fixtures for your home. Or maybe your current light fixtures are simply outdated. In any case, light fixtures give you the opportunity to add a TON of personality to your home. Our lights are hands down the number one thing people compliment us on in our house.
Pick a few areas where you want to make a statement with your lights. For most homes this could be above your entryway, dining table, stairwell, and/or kitchen island. I chose really trendy chandeliers for both my dining room and my stairwell, and went fairly conservative for the rest of the house. You can also do a fun fixture in the master bedroom for a luxe look.
sources from top image (clockwise from top left): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
If you have an open floor plan, choose one showy light to make a statement, and leave the rest of the area more simple.
Flush mount lighting, a (somewhat?) necessary evil
Choose a flush mount light to use in bedrooms where you don’t have a statement light or ceiling fan. Avoid the dreaded “boob lights” at all costs! My absolute favorite flush mount right now is this one from CB2. It is affordable and has a great modern minimalist look. We have this in several rooms of our house. It comes in a smaller size (almost 20″) and larger size (34″).
What about ceiling fans?
Let’s talk ceiling fans for a minute. They are a total necessity in some climates, but they often look downright terrible. I like to find fans that are as simple as possible – this isn’t an item you want to try and make a big design statement with. You can choose one with a light, or get one without and supplement with recessed LED lights around it.
Mix up the metals and materials when you are picking light fixtures for your home. Don’t mix two metals that are close in appearance to each other in the same room, like chrome with satin nickel. My favorite mix for a modern home is to do some fixtures with a dark or black matte metal, and the rest in chrome.
For a big space, using LED recessed lights will give a sleek, minimalist look. Plus, these babies don’t need to be replaced for years! I like to use these for places where you have a large space and need to supplement the light given off by a statement chandelier. Another great use for them is in basements that have a lower ceiling.
Remember what your lights are there for
This may seem like a “duh!” tip, but make sure your light bulbs are bright enough for the area you are putting them. It is really easy to screw this up when you are caught up in picking light fixtures for your home. The kitchen, bathrooms, and office are the most important areas of the house where you want bright lights for certain tasks. When in doubt, ask at the store you are buying the light bulbs from or the electrician who is installing them. You can also use recessed lighting in the ceiling to supplement your more decorative lights.
A final note – always, always put lights on dimmers! This is my favorite tip for easily controlling the ambiance and task lighting in your house. Many builders will do this for a small fee, otherwise word on the street is it is not hard to do yourself. I would probably electrocute myself by trying, but you, dear reader, are likely more capable.
You can also add in some mood lighting with a floor lamp here or there, or with sconces on either side of the bed.
This modern master bedroom design is inspired by the California coastline and this fabulous art print I found by Hamish Roberston. Big Sur, California is one of my absolute favorite places to visit, despite the fact that the wild drive along the Pacific Coast Highway gives me more than a little anxiety. The scenery is beyond amazing, but I also love the relaxed modern aesthetic that all the places along this area of the coast seem to have. I like to try and incorporate a little of that vibe into my house. Not pictured, but this furniture would pair well with a simple white duvet cover and dark grey sheets! If you’re on a budget (who isn’t, right?) you could blow up an image of Big Sur from unsplash to frame and hang above the bed.