Category Archives: Family

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably already done with your holiday shopping for the year. John and I had most of our gifts purchased, wrapped, and under the tree by Black Friday, but I’m still ordering a few odds and ends to fill up stockings. Just in case you’re looking for a few ideas, I thought I’d round up a collection of gifts perfect for the women in your lives—after all, those are the types of goodies I know best seeing as I’m a gift-loving gal myself.

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

1. Paddywax Mesa Collection Scented Soy Wax Candle: I know candles have kind of a bad rap, but they’re so universally loved! I like that this one is soy-based.

2. Befettly Moon Pendant Necklace: Dainty gold jewelry is so on-trend right now. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who wouldn’t appreciate this pendant necklace.

3. Food52 Genius Recipes: This pretty cookbook is one they’ll want to leave out on the counter.

4. Travel Neck Pillow: This one won’t get to you in time for Christmas anymore, but you could always print a picture of it and stick it in her stocking as a stand-in until the real gift arrives.

5. Teo Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser: I own this diffuser myself and couldn’t recommend it more.

6. Beats EP On-Ear Headphones: Everybody could use a pair of good headphones! (Note: looks like the white ones are already sold out, but the black version should get to you by Christmas)

7. Envelope Travel Clutch with ID Card Holder: There’s room in this wallet for credit cards, money, and even a cell phone. I also think she’ll love the tone-on-tone leather finish.

8. Sheepskin Lined Cable Knit Throw: Whenever I’m stumped for what to get someone, I almost always default to a really luxurious, extra soft throw blanket, like this one.

9. Fluf Zipper Lunch Bag: This is, quite possibly, the coolest lunchbox I’ve ever seen. That grid pattern is so fresh and modern.

10. 3-Inch Ceramic Pot: Bonus points if you fill this pretty ceramic pot with a live plant before handing it over on Christmas morning!

11. Kate Aspen Under the Stars Glass Coaster Set: I love that you have to get just a little closer to these star-covered coasters to see what the delicate pattern actually is.

12. Davines Volu Hair Mist: A hair mist that adds instant volume to thin hair? Please excuse me while I go add it to my own Christmas wish list.

Oh, and you might have noticed the new design on today’s graphic. I’ve been feeling the itch to upgrade a few things visually around these parts, so just a heads up in case you notice things looking a little different on the blog in the next month or two.

A new website design might just be in the near future, too, although I’m undecided on that. It’s so much work (and stress) redoing my website since I’ve only ever done it myself. So, with that said, fellow bloggers, let me know in the comments if you would recommend any particular web designers, and if you’re a designer who might be interested in teaming up, please do shoot me a message!

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

I know, I know…How many times can one blogger share their full home tour in one year?! Chances are good that the thought is running through your head if you’ve been following along for any length of time this year since I’ve already opened the digital doors to our space with a feature here, but this time things are a little different.

Of course, each time I do an interview about our home I do my best to share exclusive insight and tidbits that I’ve never opened up about before, but the extra special thing about this particular new home tour is that it was shot entirely by yours truly!

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Who published our latest home tour? None other than Hunker! As you may know, I contribute regular DIY tutorials to the website, and my editor was sweet enough to recently invite me to team up with them for a full home tour feature. I couldn’t say yes fast enough, and even though I was also quick to offer up recommendations for photographers in our area (there are so many great ones!) to shoot the tour, Hunker asked specifically if I would photograph the space myself.

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

I was honestly a little hesitant to agree because I still don’t feel like my photography is on par with that of all the incredibly talented professional interior photographers that I follow, but Hunker’s confidence in me eventually won me over. I was so flattered by their encouragement, and now that the tour is live, I’m maybe even a little proud to say I shot it myself!

My passion for interior photography isn’t something I ever anticipated developing when I started blogging almost eight years ago, but now it’s one of my very favorite pieces of the multi-layered puzzle. This opportunity with Hunker was a great way to stretch my photography muscles even further than usual.

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

BIG thanks to the team at Hunker for their support, and I hope you enjoy the tour and interview. Click here to see the slideshow and read the oh-so-sweet words written by my interviewer Laura Lambert. And in case you’re curious to hear more about the updates you might be able to spot since our last home tour went live, don’t you worry—I’ve got lots of home update stories to share later this month and in the new year (think: new antique art, refreshed room layouts, a few electrical updates, and more). Stay tuned!

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

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Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Ever since making the spontaneous move to a brand-new-to-us town with no friends or family to speak of nearby, John and I have had the unexpected opportunity to make new holiday traditions of our own. We’ve discovered the best neighborhoods to drive through when we want to look at Christmas lights after dark, we’ve searched for (and found!) the best place to get a cup of classic hot chocolate while running Christmasy errands, and, this year, we finally decided to go on the hunt for the perfect local place to get a live Christmas tree.

This is the first year ever that we’ve gotten a real tree for Christmas as a couple, and we decided to wait until my sister was visiting from out of town for Thanksgiving so she could get in on the fun, too. The ultimate destination? Francisco Farms, a scenic 25-minute drive away in Staunton, Virginia.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

This was right around the time that I started to feel pretty sick with my cold, but I decided to suck it up so that I could experience the adventure in person. So, the three of us bundled up (although, spoiler, we really should have bundled up much more) and piled into John’s pickup truck to make the trek to the farm. It was a gorgeous drive through the countryside in an area that we hadn’t been before, and you better believe we blasted Christmas music the entire way there and back.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

My mom was the one to find Francisco Farms for us while we were researching places to go ahead of time, and I’m so glad she stumbled upon it because we couldn’t have picked a better spot. The farm is really casual and down-to-earth (cash/check only, no big bouncy house, or live music), but that’s much more our style anyway—and you can’t really beat the views. Rows upon rows of festive evergreen trees, neatly kept but still surrounded by tall grass and brambles. I wished more than once that I had skipped the loafers I was wearing, and that I had worn boots like my sister, but it was so much fun that I was able to ignore my chilly ankles. For the most part, anyway.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

We saw lots of great contenders amongst the white pines, but ultimately decided on a fat tree just a tiny bit taller than us, with plenty of strong branches perfect for holding all of the decorations we planned to pile onto it. We were able to borrow a much-loved tree saw from the folks who ran the farm, and John had the tree cut and on the ground within just a minute or two.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Since it was bitterly cold and I was struggling through the sniffles as it was, we didn’t end up staying quite as long as I wanted to. We probably were there no more than 30 minutes, but I still couldn’t imagine a better first visit to this farm. Now that we know the ropes, I think next year will be even better! We’ll definitely wear bigger coats and winter hats, plan to spend more time wandering for fun between the rows of trees, and maybe we’ll even bring the dog so he has a chance to see (and smell) the sights, too.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Hop back here, in case you missed it, to see our live Christmas tree in all its slightly uneven, fluffy, festive glory. It smells so good, the effect worlds away better than the faux tree we used to put up in that spot in our family room. I’m so glad we decided to start a new tradition, and can’t wait to go back and support Francisco Farms in 2019. Do you get a live tree for the holidays? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

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5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

I’m so sorry to keep today’s post extra short and sweet, but I just can’t ignore the fact that I’m sick any longer. I need to take a bit of extra time off this week to rest and recuperate from whatever cold or sinus infection I managed to catch because I’ve got way too much on my Christmas to-do list to stay down for long. I’ve got peppermint lattes to drink, holiday lights to see, Christmas meals to eat, and shopping still to do! But all of that must wait until I get back to good health.

The good news is that my latest project for Oriental Trading Company was finished long before I started feeling under the weather, so I’m excited to send you right on your way to check out that extension of Dream Green DIY content today.

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

See the full step-by-step tutorial for my 5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas right here, and feel free to let me know in the comments below which one you’d make first for someone special on your list. My personal favorite? Gotta be those pumpkin bites! Boy, could I use one of those right about now…I guess that’s just another reason to get better sooner rather than later, am I right?

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

P.S. There’s still plenty of time to grab a handmade ornament for Christmas from the DGD Pottery shop! See what’s left of the collection here.

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DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

*This post was sponsored by Snapfish

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen | dreamgreendiy.com + @newsnapfish #ShareWithSnapfish #snapfish

Okay, guys. No more stalling. If it wasn’t “officially” crunch time for Christmas shopping before, it definitely is now! With Thanksgiving 2018 memories in the bag, we’re turning our attention to crossing “gift hunting” off our holiday to-do list.

We actually keep things relatively low-key among our two families (John’s immediate family and my own) by agreeing to gift one item apiece to each other, but it’s still a task we take pretty seriously. We hate the idea of giving gifts they don’t really need, so we think long and hard about what we can give them that serves a purpose. The number one item on that list? Coffee!

This season, I’m teaming up yet again with my favorite folks over at Snapfish to show how you can treat the coffee lovers in your own lives to something fun (and functional!) this holiday. Scroll on to learn more about the custom photo mugs and other kitchen accessories I put together as experiments for gift ordering later this month, plus the step-by-step tutorial for our new DIY coffee mug rail in case you really want to wow them come Christmas morning.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

First, the mugs. This was my first time ordering custom mugs from Snapfish, and I’ll admit that I was a little worried about being able to find designs among their pre-built templates that would suit our mod, clean-lined aesthetic. I’m not a big fan of ultra bright patterns, but I was excited to find out that that’s not all the website offers in terms of templates.

I was able to choose four really simple designs for our mugs—one with John’s initial for his daily cup of coffee, a wood-look labeled design with my own name on it, plus a couple of custom photo mugs with our engagement pictures printed on them.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

I actually kept my cart open in its own separate tab in my browser so I could refresh it every time I completed a mug design and added it to my collection. That way I could be sure that the photos and designs I chose would look good together on display in our kitchen. That might be a little too OCD for everyone, but it worked for me!

Oh, and I should mention that the interface for creating custom designs was super easy to use, too. The do-it-yourself layout allows you to get really creative with multi-photo arrangements, and, whether your style is classic like ours or punchy (think: chalkboard designs, metallics, and even botanicals), the site has plenty of design options for you to play around with.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

It’s also a cinch to upload your own photos to the product builder. You can pull directly from places like Instagram, Facebook, and Google Photos, which saved me so much time. If I hadn’t had that option, I would have had to dig out my external hard drive to access the older photos I wanted to include. Being able to pull from my social media accounts saved me at least an extra half hour of hassle.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

Now for that DIY I promised! I wanted to figure out a way to really show off our new collection of custom kitchen items (did you see we also picked up a custom tea towel with our last name on it?!), so I built a quick DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail to go under our new open shelves. Scroll on to learn how to recreate the project.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail

Step One: Figure out how long you want your rail to be. I ended up using a 1/2-inch unfinished copper pipe for my rail because we already had it handy, and I also really liked the look of the patinaed copper against our wood shelves with their matte black brackets. The rod was already cut to a size that worked for us (34 1/2 inches long), but if you need to trim yours down a bit, you can use a pipe cutter, like this.

Step Two: Next, choose your spot for the rail, and mark where you’d like the hooks to go that will attach it to the underside of your shelves. I used three 1-inch white hooks to support our copper rail, spacing them roughly 12 inches apart from each other under the shelves. Mark where your hooks will go with a pencil, pre-drill the holes, and then screw the hooks in place.

Step Three: Slip your rail gently through the hooks, making sure that it feels strong and sturdy. If you feel like the rail needs more support, screw in a couple more hooks between the others.

Step Four: Loop S-hook hangers over the rail, and then slip your custom mugs right over the hangers to allow them to swing freely for easy grabbing in the morning.

NOTE: When figuring out where to hang your rail, make sure you keep it away from the wall by at least a few inches. Otherwise, the mugs could bang into the wall and break.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

We love how the custom collection turned out (it’s such a treat to see them swinging there on our DIY rail every morning!), so I’m definitely planning on ordering more to give to friends and family this Christmas. Wouldn’t they make for the perfect personalized stocking stuffers? I vowed that this would be the year that we finally find functional gifts that look cool, too, and I think this idea definitely nails that criteria.

What types of personalized photo gifts would your family like? I love trying to think beyond the standard photo gift (remember my custom ’12 Reasons Why I Love You’ photo book from last year?), so if you have any clever ideas, tell us about them in the comments below. Whatever inspiration strikes your fancy, be sure to use the code ‘SANTA40‘ now through December 31, 2018, to enjoy 40% off your order sitewide.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen | dreamgreendiy.com + @newsnapfish #ShareWithSnapfish #snapfish

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Designing Around A Molekule (Plus A Review!)

*This post was sponsored by Molekule

Designing Around A Molekule Air Purifier | dreamgreendiy.com + @Molekule #ad #mymolekule

It has been more than a year since we added a Molekule air purifier to our home, so I figured it was the right time to share an update and a review. I also wanted to talk about ways to design your space around a Molekule, so I put together a full mood board inspired by this ultra cool, mod device.

But let me step back for a moment before I get into all of that. I know the idea of an air purifier isn’t the sexiest topic of conversation, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this particular one—not only in the way it functions (which, of course, is key), but also the way it looks. You all know better than anyone that I care a lot about how things work within our home from a decorative standpoint, and I’m happy to report that our Molekule looks good in every. single. room. No exaggeration!

Designing Around A Molekule (Plus A Review!)

The main reason we decided to work with the Molekule team on this post (and the first one) was because we really do believe in the technology they built the device on. We have three cats and a hound dog, all of whom are indoor pets, so we’re constantly battling things like dander, dirt, and litter dust. Gross.

Needless to say, John’s allergies got pretty bad, especially when we moved into our home back in 2015. Our last house had a central heating and air system, and we were always really good about replacing the air filters, but our current ranch has no central air system at all. Instead, we rely on baseboard heaters and a collection of wall- and window-mounted AC units. Because we don’t have central air, we don’t have a way of filtering the air in our home, so we eventually figured out that we needed to run dehumidifiers and air purifiers to help keep our air cleaner and healthier.

Designing Around A Molekule (Plus A Review!)

Since setting our Molekule up in our master bedroom last year, John’s been able to sleep better and has felt much less stuffy. We still have to dust, of course, but I find that our air purifier helps cut that down so we have to break out the microfiber duster less often. The Molekule uses two filters to help purify your air, and you can sign up for recurring deliveries of your filter replacements so that you never have to worry about remembering to replace them each season.

The other thing I love about it one year later is the fact that it’s so mobile. I’ve moved the thing from our bedroom, to the guest room, to the office, to the living room, and back again. Whenever I feel like a certain space smells kind of musty, I just use the touch screen to turn off the device, unplug it, and lift it by the handle to move it into its new space.

Designing Around A Molekule (Plus A Review!)

As for the looks factor, I hope the mood board at the beginning of this post and the photos of it set up in our living room (its current location) are enough to prove that the Molekule is one of those types of functional pieces of equipment that you won’t mind seeing out in plain view. Since I don’t suffer from allergies, myself, I’m admittedly more enthused about the purifier’s looks, and the sleek lines and minimalist color palette just speak to me.

Designing Around A Molekule (Plus A Review!)

So, are there any cons? To be totally and completely honest, not really. It’s not the least expensive purifier you could buy for your house and the filters are a little on the pricier side of things, too, but it’s one of the best devices you can buy on the market, and if you have allergies in your family like we do, then the investment is worth it. You can also sign up for monthly payments to help spread out the cost of your new Molekule, too.

Another question I get asked a lot is if the purifier is loud. My answer is yes and no. There are three settings you can put your Molekule on: Silent, Auto, and Boost. It’s probably pretty self-explanatory, but here’s a very brief rundown of each. Boost is great for a particularly dusty, musty space, Auto is perfect for everyday use, and Silent is a great setting when you want to run the machine at nighttime, when you have company, or certain situations like that.

Boost is the only setting that is sort of on the louder side (kind of like a hair dryer, but still on a really low setting). Auto is a soft hum that you get used to with everyday use and won’t notice at all after a while. I would definitely not characterize the machine as loud. As with any type of air purifier, just be prepared for a little white noise, but this particular one is very modest and blends right in with other daily sounds.

Designing Around A Molekule (Plus A Review!)

As I said, the Molekule is a pretty big investment, and we are extremely grateful that we were given the opportunity to test the product in our home because of the blog. That said, I’m certain that we would have bought this air purifier out of pocket if it had been necessary. I could clearly go on and on about the sleek, beautiful design, but it really makes such a difference with the air quality in a home, too, so I have zero qualms about encouraging you guys to look into the device to see if it’s a good fit for your home.

You can find out everything you need to know on the Molekule website here, and feel free to revisit my first post on the topic here to learn more about the purifier’s technology and our first impressions of its impact on our day-to-day lives. Questions? Leave them down below and I’ll make sure to answer everything I can—if I’m unsure, I’ll reach out to my Molekule contact to get you all the details you need!

Designing Around A Molekule Air Purifier | dreamgreendiy.com + @Molekule #ad #mymolekule

Mood Board Product Sources: Molekule Air Purifier, Chair, White Planter, Clock, Vase, Striped Pillow, Diamond Pattern Pillow, Black Planter, LampMirror, Coat Rack, Blanket, Art, Sofa (this list contains affiliate links)

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Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

*This post was sponsored by Tuesday Morning

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

I don’t know about you, but I really struggle when decorating a kitchen. I’m all about pretty thrifted art, overstuffed upholstered seating, and cozy textiles, but you really can’t put much (if any) of that in a kitchen. Walls are typically taken up by cabinetry so there’s no room for art, and there’s usually not enough space for a seating area filled with throw pillows and blankets. The other issue I run into when decorating a kitchen is that I can’t stand cluttered countertops, so even cute “for looks” tabletop décor makes me go cross-eyed.

As I explained last week, I decided to really buckle down and try to crack the kitchen code when it comes to décor, and today I’m excited to reveal the new updates in partnership with Tuesday Morning. After stepping back to survey the results post-styling and rearranging this past weekend, I’m finally comfortable calling this room “done”—and just in time for Thanksgiving, too! Scroll on for a few of my biggest takeaways from this project.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Hidden Storage

I figured I’d go ahead and start with one of the most obvious ways to add function to a kitchen: hidden storage. Things like lidded baskets and ceramic jars are great for hiding extra kitchen rags, dry ingredients, and even pet treats.

As an example, I picked up a tall white ceramic container at Tuesday Morning for $14.99 (compared to $36 full price!) that I’m now using to hide Rocky’s dog bones in. The retro-inspired pattern on the side is so perfect for our 1960s kitchen, and you’d never think that it held smelly, crumbly dog treats.

I also grabbed a marble jar from the bath aisle (priced in-store for $9.99, $20 retail value) that I use for sugar nowadays. The marble pattern is so much prettier than the wrinkled sugar bag I would otherwise have had to plop out on the shelf.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Exposed Storage

On the other hand, hidden storage isn’t the only way to make use of countertop and shelf square footage. I also love having select items at-the-ready in exposed storage—things like open bowls and metal baskets—so I can grab them at a moment’s notice.

One of my favorite purchases from my shopping trip was the wood and brass bowl we’re now using as a fruit container. The rich wood tone of the bowl speaks to our cabinetry, and the punched-out design in the brass rim accent is so eye-catching. I also love that it was marked down from $54.99 to $29.99.

Another exposed storage upgrade we made was where our coffee pods are concerned. At the last second, I grabbed an oversized serving bowl from the kitchen aisle (cost me $19.99, compared to $35 full price) that we use for our Keurig K-cups. It’s a lot easier to pick one off the top of the pile first thing in the morning instead of having to dig around in a cabinet for the box of pods. Oh, and I should mention that the name brand K-cups, themselves, came from Tuesday Morning, too—at practically half price. I’m not making this up.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Soft Textures

I know I mentioned that you can’t have soft textiles in a kitchen, but that’s not altogether true. I lingered for an extra long time in the towels section in-store to make sure I stocked up on pretty towels for our kitchen that would add a bit of color and texture. I also chose a pair of black and white check oven mitts while I was at it ($5.99, compared to $14.99) because we keep those out by the stove and I wanted them to look just as nice as they functioned.

Of course, another place to add softness in a kitchen is on your floors. I knew I wanted to lay down a rug in our space—something that pulled the blue color from our curtains—and I think I found the perfect one. The jute rug I grabbed has a modern zigzag pattern in it that I love, plus that blue hue I was looking for, but it’s not so bold that it distracts from the rest of the space.

Here’s another random tip for you: pick up an ergonomic kitchen mat to lay underneath your main rug! It doesn’t have to be pretty or expensive—in fact, I grabbed mine from the clearance section—because you’ll never see it, but your feet will really come to appreciate that extra cushion when you’re slaving away over dinner.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Maximize Wall Space

I finally got around to upgrading our DIY open kitchen shelving, which has really helped me maximize the empty wall space we originally had in our kitchen. Now the extra deep shelves have plenty of room for stacking extra plates, bowls, and cups on, and we don’t have to worry about opening the kitchen cabinets when we want a quick snack or easy lunch.

I bought six white plates for $2.99 a pop and a set of four cereal (read: ice cream) bowls that cost $3.99 each. I also added eight new glasses to our collection since we seem to go through those too quickly for our dish washer to keep up on a weekly basis. Oh, and don’t worry—I plan to share the full tutorial on how to hang and style those shelves in just a couple of weeks!

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Blend-able Neutrals

To me functional décor needs to look nice but also serve a purpose. I’m over the whole “just for looks” decorative phase I was in for so long, and want to make sure every item in our home serves a real function. So, I tried to keep that in mind when choosing replacements for some of the pieces in our kitchen that were looking a little worse for wear.

One way I managed to make the more boring purchases for our kitchen look great, too, was through color—or, really, lack thereof. Our toaster, for example was pretty dingy, so I knew I wanted to replace it. The new one I picked up for $17.99 (compared to $49.99 originally) sports this really nice rose gold face and a white finish on the sides, so it blends right in with the subway tile backsplash. You hardly even see it! I also picked up an angular white cup that we’re using to hold our dish brush by the sink, so the dirty bristles are hidden from view and you see mostly just the glossy white finish of the cup instead.

When in doubt, grab items and containers that match your backsplash or cabinetry (like the new set of wooden-handled utensils I bought and now keep by the oven) so they don’t shout, “Look at me! Look at me!”

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

I know I have more to share on this topic (especially when it comes to drawer storage) but I’ve already rambled quite a bit and don’t want to overwhelm you! Did you notice our new under-cabinet lighting? I’m so excited to talk more about this extension of our functional kitchen upgrades, but the topic deserves its very own day, so stay tuned for that after we get back from Thanksgiving break.

Did I leave any advice or tips out that you put to good use in your own kitchen? Do tell in the comments below. And don’t forget to add a Tuesday Morning drop-in to your holiday shopping spree list! Find your closest Tuesday Morning store location here.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

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DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

Confession: I’m notorious for making big fall time plans, and then dropping the ball a couple of weeks in…I’ll spend time gushing with John and my family about all the things I hope to do (think: visit the pumpkin patch, light up the fire pit, learn to make a PSL at home) only to realize that the season is almost over and I didn’t cross a single thing off my “for fun” to-do list.

Frankly, I’m very disappointed in myself and it’s making me realize what a workaholic I am. Instead of taking time off to fully embrace and enjoy the season, I end up working ahead on deadlines. That’s all well and good, of course, but pretty soon life’s going to pass me by and I’m going to regret all the fun things I didn’t get around to.

So, with that downright depressing confession out of the way, I wanted to share the DIY project that I’m hoping will turn things around: my DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts. This simple, light-hearted project is the perfect way to motivate anyone to cross big things off their seasonal list—like taking flowers over to a neighbor, starting a new holiday tradition, or bonding with family over a board game. When’s the last time you did any of those things? Been a while, huh? That’s what I thought.

DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

Not to spook you, but Thanksgiving is only three weeks away, so now’s the time to get those fall time activities on the calendar so you don’t miss out. Pop over to the Oriental Trading Fun365 website here to find out how to make your own version of my DIY Thanksgiving Branches, and let me know in the comments below if you have anything specific you’re hoping to do this fall.

Oh, and before I go, I wanted to remind you to revisit this DGD post from last week to see what the branches arrangement looks like once you’ve taken down the paper leaves post-Thanksgiving. I might be biased, but I definitely think this is one type of fall décor that you can leave up all winter long.

DIY Thanksgiving Branches With Printable Prompts

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5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

I don’t know about you, but my fall decorations came out practically at the stroke of midnight that first calendar day of autumn. I had been dreaming of setting out ceramic pumpkins and fall-time colors since August, so it didn’t take long for me to call our seasonal decorating done. That said, I know not everyone feels quite so…shall we say…enthusiastic about fall decorating, and you might even be feeling a little stumped on where to start. Scroll on for five of the biggest pieces of advice I can offer now that our own home is feeling festive for fall.

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

1. When in doubt, add pumpkins

It’s no secret that pumpkins are a universal symbol of the season, so maybe try starting there. Real pumpkins are wonderfully nostalgic, but I always feel so guilty about throwing them away at the end of fall, which means that we inevitably end up with a sad collection of rotten gourds come December. I’ve learned my lesson over the years and tend to stick with nothing but faux pumpkins (think: ceramic, plastic, and even stuffed). Dot two or three around your own space in between your everyday décor and that’s practically all you need to get the point across.

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

2. Embrace autumnal colors

Another easy way to decorate for fall without having to buy a bunch of new themed accents is to work within a traditional “autumn” color palette. If you squint your eyes while looking at these photos of our fall dining room, you’ll pick up on orange, evergreen, rich gold, a bit of blue, and lots of natural wood tones. Now open your eyes wide and refocus. When you actually take a good long look at things, you’ll see that we had to add just two or three physical hits of orange to the mix amongst our year-round décor to make it look fall-like. It just goes to show that you don’t need to go overboard when incorporating fall colors within your décor.

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

3. Color-coordinated wine display

This is probably taking things too far, but I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit OCD when it comes to color-coordinating our house, and this third tip proves it. We’re wine drinkers in our family, and keep extra bottles at-the-ready on a vintage wine bottle rack that John bought me for Christmas last year. I know it might sound silly to some, but I tend to judge a wine by its bottle, and go so far as to purchase bottles that I know will look good amongst our everyday décor. The same, of course, goes for fall. During this season, I like to stock up on wine bottles that feature jewel-toned, metallic wrappings and labels so that they fit right in with our fall decorations. Don’t worry—they all taste just as good as they look. I’m not that silly! (wink, wink)

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

4. Use live branches

With the exception of three new faux pumpkins that I added to our collection last month, everything else you see here we already owned. I didn’t have to buy anything else, and that includes the set of branches you see on the console. They were cut right from our back yard, so they didn’t cost a thing, plus I love how they add some sculptural interest and height to the room. Try playing around with branches cut from your own property this season, or visit a local park and see if you can find some natural options already lying on the ground ready for the taking.

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5. Add something unexpected

Because I used mostly items that we already owned, I started to feel like the room wasn’t fresh enough. It didn’t feel all that different to me, even with the addition of festive pumpkins, jewel-toned wine bottles, fall colors, and big branches. So, at the last minute, I decided to hang a new gallery wall. It was a quick and easy way for me to make use of art we already had in the basement that I hadn’t seen hung in a while, and it gave me a bigger opportunity to showcase those autumn colors I love so much. I chose an abstract print, a vintage landscape painting, a line drawing, and a printed portrait of my favorite composer done by my favorite artist. The collection makes me smile every time I walk into the room, and was the perfect unexpected finishing touch I was craving.

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

Have you started decorating for fall yet? Are you like me and already have a fully fleshed out fall house now that it’s mid-October? I’d love to hear if you have tips of your own to share, or if you think I could be doing something more to celebrate the season through décor. I’m always hoping that these types of how-to-decorate posts turn into more of a conversation than me just telling our own side of the story, so please tell all below!

5 Easy Fall Décor Ideas For A Dining Room

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DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece Décor

DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece Décor

I don’t know about you, but temporary holiday décor is my absolute favorite. Like I’ve said time and time again here on the blog (sorry to keep repeating myself!) I kind of despise any type of holiday decorating that requires me to put away most of our year-round “everyday” accents. It feels like I’m undoing all the hard work I put into decorating our home, so I try my best to come up with small high impact tweaks I can make throughout our house that makes it look festive without forcing us to keep a ton of decorations in storage.

That mentality, of course, had a pretty direct impact on the DIY I’m sharing today. The DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece that I put together for Hunker was made using nothing but a standalone piece of driftwood, some paper bats, and a bit of tape. We keep the branch out year-round anyway, so all I had to do to give it Halloween edge was cut out a handful of bats and temporarily stick them to the branch for the month of October. It’s the perfect holiday project if you’re also hesitant to buy a bunch of holiday décor or if you don’t have much time on your hands. This project can be done in less than 30 minutes!

DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece Décor

DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece Décor

To find out how to make the Halloween centerpiece for yourself, make sure to click through to Hunker. I even included a printable bat silhouette template so all you have to do is print it, cut out the stencil, trace, and cut the final shapes out. A few other Halloween-themed goodies (think: ceramic pumpkins, dark linen napkins, novelty plates) are the finishing touches to make your table ready for a spooky soirée. Get the DIY details and printable template here, and then let me know in the comments below how you find balance between holiday decorating and your everyday décor.

DIY Bat Branch Halloween Centerpiece Décor

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