Happy fall, ya’ll! Are you just as excited as I am to dive headfirst into a season full of pumpkin treats, crunchy leaves, boots, and scarves? It’s certainly no secret that I am, but maybe you’re a die-hard fan of summertime. If that’s the case, I’m throwing things waaaaaay back to last September when we were still living in our townhouse.
If you were following along back then, you might remember how I teamed up with Lulu & Georgia and Artfully Walls to share a story all about how to make the summer season last all year long on domino. If you weren’t a DGD reader back in the day though, I’m dredging up a few of my favorite photos from the feature, plus sharing links back to all the information you need to transform your home into a time capsule for summer that lasts from January 1 to December 31.
Truth be told, I “suffer” from a combined mentally this time of year—I love all things fall, but don’t really practice seasonal décor when autumn descends. I keep all of our brightly colored décor out and in the open, and rarely (if ever) put pumpkins, gourds, or earth toned plaid out on display. So, although I love to employ decorating tricks that establish an endless summer indoors, you better believe that I’m out and about all season long celebrating this earthy harvest season.
Here’s hoping that you enjoyed this digital walk down memory lane (click back here and here to see the two-part story), and that you have a wonderful first weekend of the autumn season—whether you’re a fan of fall or are still on Team Summer!
Despite the fact that I’ve limited my trips to the thrift store as of late, I still manage to make it out to shop at least once a month. Considering I used to go about once a week, this reformed schedule is a pretty major deal. So, whenever I have the chance to come up with an excuse to tour our favorite thrift stores in nearby Staunton, Virginia, you better believe I’m all over it.
My latest excuse? A chance to get better acquainted with friends! John and I invited our new pals Aaron and Bethany Mallory out to hit up the local farmer’s market and thrift stores for a Saturday full of budget-friendly fun, and we all managed to come away with a truck load of treasures to show for our good time. Read on to see my top three scores from the day, plus learn how I managed not to go overboard!
Aside from the chance to get to know the Mallorys better, I was also on the hunt for a handful of specific pieces to take a few in-progress room makeovers to the next level. So, before leaving to head downtown, I grabbed a pen and piece of paper, and jotted down a list of the items that I needed to finish the rooms up once and for all. On the list: candle holders, new-to-us art, pillows, etc. By making an itemized list beforehand, I was hoping to be able to keep my impulse purchasing within reason, and low and behold…it worked!
Another item on my list was a blanket—something that we could toss over the couch for added color and for easy lounging while watching television. Happily, I found the perfect one in my signature color palette of pastel pink, coral, and blue. As you can see pictured above, the $15 throw is now being put to use as an avant garde slip cover to protect our original mid-century couch until we can save up the moolah to recover it.
John, Aaron, Bethany, and I were well into our day of downtown shopping when I happened upon this set of wood-wrapped mid-century tiki glasses. Of course, I didn’t really need another set of glasses and they certainly weren’t on my list, but sometimes a gal just needs to splurge for fun—am I right? At $16 for the set of six (and, again, sporting my favorite pastel color palette), I couldn’t leave them behind. Sure, fall officially starts today, but I may just break out the summertime margarita mix in honor of this fun thrift store find!
Finally, yes, I bought another clock. It actually doesn’t work and is even a little lop-sided, but so much of my focus revolves around adding picture-perfect mid-century style to our home or whipping up a cool Instagram shot (no shame there), so the fact that this new-to-me clock is nonfunctional doesn’t deter me one bit. It adds tons of character to our bedroom, and I love the graphic font and cool 1960s edge it brings to the room.
Have you ever purchased a broken thrift store treasure before? I hope I’m not the only one who can see beyond function in the name of a pretty (clock) face! Let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever adopted a broken secondhand piece, or if you have any other fun thrift store tales to tell. And in the meantime, big thanks to Aaron and Bethany for braving hours of antique hunting with us—we can’t wait to go out again with you guys!
As a “mom” to four adopted pets, it’s more than safe to say that I have a special fondness for rescued animals. I think I bring up the hypothetical idea of adopting more dogs and cats with John just about weekly, even though I know full well that our current pack is plenty. I just can’t stop thinking about all the sweet, hilarious, and loyal pets out there who are waiting for their forever homes, and I would do just about anything to help them find their way to loving families.
So, when I heard that Petfinder—a website that allows you to find and adopt your next cat, dog, horse, bird, reptile, and so many other breeds—was celebrating their 20th anniversary, my ears immediately perked up! Last month, they launched their #MetOnPetfinder video and, if it reaches a million views by October 24, Petfinder will donate $200,000 to shelter and rescue members through 20 individual $10,000 grants. The video is already over 900,000 views, so we’re really close to hitting the mark!
I’m actually typing this from my bed with our dog, Rocky, curled up at my feet and our cat, Tonks, running up and down the hallway with a toy mouse in her mouth. The other two are sleeping the morning away in the guest room. This 4-part group of animals brings 3 million tons of meaning to our lives, and I don’t know what I’d do without them.
So, the idea that Petfinder is working to advocate for adoptable pets like ours makes me want to send them a giant bouquet of roses, take their entire team out for a steak dinner, and fly them off to Cancun for a week of much-deserved relaxation!
But since I can’t do all of that, today, I wanted to gush just a little bit about the brand, and also share a quick cat hack project that has helped our own pack of cats and dogs live in harmony.
Here was the problem: I kept our three cats’ food and water bowls on the floor of my office and their litter boxes in the room’s little closet with the sliding doors cracked for easy entry. With everything on the floor and out in the open, Rocky was constantly getting into the food and litter (ew). The solution, of course, was to install a cat door, but since I didn’t want to cut a permanent hole in the door, I decided to come up with something different.
The solution? A simple chain lock! I bought an inexpensive brass chain from the hardware store, and attached the piece of slide hardware to the door jamb a little above my eye level, and then screwed the chain end into the door at the same height.
The installation took all of two minutes, and now I can latch the door when we can’t supervise and I can unlatch it when I’m working in my office. The chain keeps the door closed just enough so that Rocky can’t get in, but the cats are able to nose their way in (or gently paw their way out) whenever they need to—Luna demonstrates the action in a quick .GIF below.
This DIY cat door is a simple solution for those of you who don’t want to permanently alter your interior doors or if you live in a rental and aren’t allowed to make any big modifications. To uninstall the chain lock, all you have to do is unscrew the hardware and fill the tiny holes with a patch compound or wood filler! Our pets are living in much better harmony now, and I can relax knowing that our pup isn’t getting into anything that he shouldn’t.
Petfinder and I believe that all adoptable pets can find the right forever home (DIY cat doors and all), and in case you feel the same way, we’d love for you to help spread the word! Hop over the video now and share it with your own friends and family with the hashtag #MetOnPetfinder so that we can get to that one million views mark!
Each click through and view is one step closer to allowing the 20 chosen shelter and rescue members to transform the lives of the adoptable pets who are in their care. If you’re like me and can’t actually adopt a pet today, this is our own little way of giving back—who’s with me?!
P.S. The colorful custom pet portraits that you see pictured in this post came from The Pet Shop—order your own here!
Okay. So, yes, the back-to-school season is already well under way, but here’s my thought: why should you stop putting in the extra effort a few weeks in when you could be making fresh waves all semester long?!
In case you’re aching to hit a new all-time high with your strut through school, I’m sharing my quick and easy tutorial for DIY Back-To-School Doodle Sneakers. These puppies will definitely catch more than a few of your classmates’ eyes this semester, plus you can customize them however you want!
My first time using Prismacolor markers was actually in high school, and I remember thinking—even back then—just how incredibly good they are. You know how, when you’re coloring something in with regular markers and overlap a section and the ink is sort of darker in those overlapped strokes? Not with Prismacolor. You can overlap with the same color all you want, and the ink looks nice and even. They’re a little pricey, but definitely worth the money. Oh, and by the way, this post isn’t sponsored by Prismacolor, I’m just a big, big fan, and am willing to pay top dollar to get that seamless finish!
To make your DIY Doodle Shoes using your set of Prismacolor markers (Sharpie markers would work, too), start by pulling up some inspiration on your computer or phone. Then choose a collection of designs to recreate—think: stars, hearts, a backpack, swirls, flowers, etc.
Grab your first chosen color and draw a few shapes and illustrations right on the canvas surface of your sneaker. Pepper your shapes across the the two shoes, leaving about 2-3 inches between the shapes so you can later go back and fill in. I did something like three shapes per color, but your design will depend on how many colors you choose to use. When finished with your first colored marker, repeat the steps with more colors, leaving white space between each object so that it doesn’t look too messy or busy.
To avoid tons of ink bleed (although it’s sort of impossible when you combine ink and fabric, so learn to embrace the imperfect look!) don’t press down too hard with your marker. A light touch is best, and be sure to use the fine tip end of the marker so that your details show up.
Finish by removing the shoe strings and spraying the shoes with a few thin and even layers of a clear spray sealer. Allow to dry for 24 hours, and then slip them on and give them something extra fun to talk about in class come Monday morning. What would you doodle on your DIY shoes? Tell me in the comments below!
Did you know that indoor potted plants can actually produce bugs if they don’t have proper drainage?! I had no idea, but recently started to notice tiny little flies circling regularly throughout the house. Now, I assure you, John and I are not dirty homeowners—in fact, we’re pretty obsessive compulsive when it comes to the cleanliness of our spaces—so after doing some digging (pun intended), we discovered that overly moist soil was contributing to our bug problem.
Now that I know, I’m looking to slowly move away from live plants and invest in more of the faux variety, which will ultimately help deter the pests and free up a bit more of my time during the week since I won’t have to spend a solid 15 minutes making the watering rounds each Wednesday. I think there’s at least a small chance that my roundup of 20 double-take-worthy faux plants below might just have you rethinking your belief that silk flowers and trees are tacky! Are you ready to go faux?
- Decorative Cactus Garden with Cement Planter ($78.99)
- Eucalyptus and Maiden Hair Hanging Basket (Set of 3) ($34.99)
- Silk Peony Flower Arrangement ($42.99)
- 35-inch Tall Snake Plant (Sansevieria) ($114.99)
- Artificial Bonsai Tree ($58.99)
- Set of 3 Southwest Collection Agave Silk Plants ($37.49)
- Boston Fern Silk Plant Hanging Basket ($34.49)
- Mixed Silk Peony Arrangement with Glass Vase ($65.49)
- Succulent Garden with Concrete Planter ($60.99)
With summertime officially coming to an end next Thursday, it seems only fitting that I challenge you to make the most of this final mid-year weekend. Try calling your best pals up for an impromptu gathering around a smoldering fire pit (marshmallows included, duh!), or hit the grocery store and stock up on warm weather grilling foods.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you get outside in your favorite pair of shorts or go-to pineapple-covered sundress, and make every lazy second under the sun count. This is the time to put off those home projects and toss your to-do list deep in the back of the junk drawer for the chillier weekends to come. Hope it’s the best one yet!
We’ve all seen it: bookshelves filled with backwards books all in the name of calming down a room’s color scheme. But is it really a practical way to style your shelves? It seems like every time I post a photo of the bookshelves in our bedroom—which consequently (or maybe not so much) sport this backward book look—people always comment about how impractical it must be and they wonder out loud why I would go to all the trouble of flipping my books around. Well, I thought it was high time to take a small stand and explain my real thoughts behind the styling idea, so feel free to read on to find out why I personally do it!
Of course, the first question is always, “How do you find your books?!” The answer isn’t magical. It probably does admittedly take me an extra couple of seconds to find the exact book I’m looking for, but the fact is that I rarely need to grab a certain book within moments of thinking of it. When I decide to read, it’s usually because I have an extra hour or two on my hands, so I’m perfectly fine with the idea of plopping myself in front of the shelf in our bedroom to rifle through my books in order to find just the right one.
Right before we moved, I actually purged the majority of my book collection, keeping only the titles that I knew I would want to read over and over again. Because of that, the books on our shelf are like good old friends—I already know them backwards and forwards, including (more often than not) their shapes, sizes, and the colors of their covers. So, I think having a good familiarity with your set of books also makes this “backwards books” set-up much easier to live with.
This look is definitely not for everyone though. If you have a massive collection of books, read often, or don’t want to waste time searching for a specific title, I totally get why you’d find it ridiculous to style your shelves this way. But, that said, my neutrals-loving heart needed my books to calm their colors down, so this styled arrangement is ideal for me. To each her own, am I right?! What are your thoughts on backwards books? I’d love for you to leave a comment below.
Living with Pattern: Color, Texture, and Print at Home ($21.76)
Throughout the process of putting together this design book report series for the blog, I’ve come to realize that what, I think, a lot of us consider purely decorative books actually pack a whole lot of substance. I don’t mind admitting that I used to invest in heavy hardback design books just so that I could use them to style a vignette on the coffee table, but these books are a lot more than just pretty objects.
Take the new book by Rebecca Atwood, for example. Early last month, I had a chance to peek inside Living with Pattern before it released on August 30, and while I initially thought that it would be a quick flip-through-and-done type of read, it turned out that Rebecca’s book could almost be used as a textbook by art, color, and pattern lovers! There is so, so, sooooo much information to digest, but it’s laid out in the type of easy-going, casual way that invites a good long lounge with the pages.
Since I don’t want to miss a thing, I’ve been taking my time and, really, have only just begun the process of devouring the book page by page, but in case you’re looking for a quick play-by-play of what you can expect from Living with Pattern, feel free to scroll on for my initial reactions.
WHO SHOULD READ IT
This book is perfect for anyone looking to learn more about color relationships, where to source inspiration for a room makeover, or for those who just want to understand what it’s like to be a textiles designer like Rebecca. She starts pretty much right at the beginning with stories from her childhood on the coast to her current big city lifestyle, and goes on to explain how her shifting views through the windows of her homes have influenced the patterns and designs that she comes up with now as a working designer.
Next, Rebecca lays out the idea of color relationships and how they can combine to create patterns, before she moves on to real-life home tours, pattern pairing styling advice, and even a few DIY projects. She encourages us to skip around from section to section based on our needs, so this is a great book for anyone looking for a resource to inspire you through all sorts of homemaking moments—from a full renovation, to a simple weekend craft project.
Even though I’m still working my way slowly through the first section of the book, I’ve already learned so much about pattern. I don’t know about you, but I had no clue that so much went into pattern making, so this has been a real eye-opening read for me. It’s also interesting to think that our family lives as kids could have such an impact on our design preferences. Rebecca mentions finding color and texture inspiration from her memories while on the Cape as a little girl, so it was fun to consider later on the types of patterns I could come up with from my own childhood here in Virginia.
I was sort of fascinated by the color palettes that Rebecca (literally) laid out in the beginning of the book in her “Understanding Color” section. It’s funny to think that we could all look at the same collections of colors and each come up with a pattern or room design that feels uniquely fresh to our own personal aesthetic. If you’ve read the book, which color palette is your favorite? I’m kind of loving the inky indigo, peach, and purple palette that Rebecca made on pages 44 and 45 (pictured below).
If you’ve read (or plan to read) the book, be sure to leave your own review in the comments! And don’t forget to tag us in your social shares and use the hashtag #DGDonmycoffeetable for a chance to be featured.
When it comes to .gif animations, I think you either love them or you hate them. I am obviously Team .gif since I tend to pepper at least 2-3 animations throughout my posts here on the blog each month. In case you’re a fan of these fun stop-motion visuals, too, but haven’t quite figured out how to create them yourself, I put together a tutorial below that shows you how to make a .gif animation for your blog.
Now, I know there must be websites you can use to create a .gif online, but I’m going to teach you the method that I learned using Photoshop on a Mac computer. If you happen to use one of those alternative methods though, please feel free to share your links in the comments so that those who don’t have Photoshop on their computers can still take something away from today’s post. Without further ado, continue reading for the step by step how-to, including a free downloadable PDF that explains how to make a .gif in visual format!
How To Make A .GIF Animation For Your Blog
- Group all of your individual photos into one folder and resize them so that they’re all the same pixel dimensions (size to fit your blog’s specific width).
- Drag your first frame’s file over the Photoshop icon in the Dock and drop it on the icon to open.
- Click “File” then “Place.”
- Find your second frame’s file in the Finder window that opens, and double click it. This second frame now appears over your first frame in Photoshop with a big “X” over it. Click “Enter.” Repeat the steps to “Place” all of your frames in order one on top of the other until done.
- Click “Window” and make sure that “Timeline” is checked. A window will pop up once checked if it wasn’t already open.
- Click the small button in the middle of the “Timeline” window that says “Create Frame Animation.”
- Click the down-facing arrow in the upper right hand corner of the “Timeline” window, and click “Make Frames From Layers.” This separates your frames into individual layers that can each be manipulated for order and length of time shown in your final .gif.
- Select all of the frames at once by clicking on the first frame in the “Timeline” window, holding “Shift,” and then clicking the last frame in the window.
- Change the length of time each frame is visible in your final .gif by clicking the drop down arrow on any of the frames and then choose your time allotment. If you have all of the frames selected as described in Step 8, the times will change on all of the frames at once to match. You can customize your time allotment by clicking the “Other” button and typing your preferred time in the box that pops up. Click “Okay.” If you want to change the time on just one frame, click off the frames and choose your single frame to change the number individually.
- With all of your frames selected (Step 8), click the drop down arrow that’s been automatically set to “Once” in the left hand corner, and click “Forever.” This makes your .gif run over and over again without stopping when live on your blog.
- Click the “Play” button arrow in the lower middle of the “Timeline” window to preview your .gif as it will run on your website.
- If you’re satisfied with the animation, save the file by clicking “File” and “Save for Web…”
- Click the drop down menu directly under the “Preset” line, and click .gif. Change your “Image Size” width to match your blog’s dimensions (the height should auto-populate) if you didn’t resize your images to fit beforehand, and then click “Save…” to save in your preferred folder.
- Finish by saving your Photoshop file in the same folder as your finished .gif so that you can manipulate the animation later on if needed.
Again, if that was at all confusing or if you are more of a visual learner, feel free to use this free downloadable PDF to actually see the steps one by one. I also wanted to briefly talk about creating .gif animations specific to a “How To Style…” post for your blog. Since I’ve done this type of animation a number of times here on Dream Green DIY, I’ve finally started to figure out a good system for creating them behind the scenes.
To create your own, you’ll need a tripod and remote for your camera. Start by completely setting up your styled scene, then shoot your wide photos of the set-up as well as the smaller vignette details if you want those for your blog to add variety. Next, attach your camera to the tripod so that you have the full set-up within the camera’s frame, and then adjust your camera’s settings to work with the remote.
Take a test shot, and if all looks ready to go, snap your first “official” photo of the finished set-up. Carefully step into the frame without touching the camera and remove one object from the set-up without disturbing anything else, step out of the frame, and use the remote to snap another photo. Continue doing this, gently removing one piece from the set-up at a time and photographing it with the remote, until the scene is empty. By working backwards, you can be sure that your .gif is perfectly seamless and that your styling is exactly how you want it to be from the get-go.
So, that’s it! Now that I have a solid process for these types of features for my blog, I’m able to knock them out by myself in half the time it used to take me. And while we’re on the subject of .gif animations, I just noticed that they don’t seem to be playing on my Windows laptop, but they show just fine on my Mac desktop! I hope you’re able to see the stop-motion .gifs in today’s post (or ANY posts here on DGD, come to think of it), but if you don’t see them, please let me know in the comments so that I can investigate the issue. Long live .gif animations!
My sweet friend Savannah—whom I have known since we were practically babies ourselves—just recently gave birth to a little girl last month, and I couldn’t possibly be more thrilled for her and her family! Shortly after Savannah announced her impending arrival, she mentioned to me that she’d love a bit of help designing her nursery, so I immediately hopped onto my favorite websites to hunt for things that might help make baby Claire’s nursery a sanctuary for this soon-to-be 3-person family.
I’ve always wanted to design a nursery, so this was a fun test of my skills pulling together furniture and accessories that were both practical and pretty for a newborn’s space. A week or so after Claire was born, I asked Savannah if she’d mind me sharing the nursery details with all of you, albeit with a few replacements since a few things had sold out in the time lapse. Happily, she said “yes,” so I invite you to scroll on for a breakdown of the pieces and accents that inspired Claire’s peachy-pink, giraffe themed nursery!
Peachy Pink Nursery Inspiration
- Porcelain wall mounted giraffe
- Low dresser
- Paint color: Donald Kaufman Color Collection’s DKC-30
- Crib sheet
- Side table
- Tall dresser
- Pair of house shaped shelves
- Metallic curtain panels
- Giraffe rocker