Hoarding Covering The Walls


I love stuff. Art. Old relics. Things that hold a memory or recall a moment in time suck me in and keep me there. But I have a small house and a lot of… Stuff. It was only a matter of time before it encroached all over the walls. It is still a work in progress. At my last estimate, I need nine more pieces of art just to complete the two gallery walls in the living room.


I purchased this crewel work of a monkey in a sail boat at the Rose Bowl Flea Market back in July. I bought some clips and hung it by the front door. Shockingly, the sellers wanted nothing extra for the mystery stains. “My husband is so thrilled with this piece,” she says as her face spasms from winking so hard.


My sister and my brother-in-law gave my husband and myself these awesome vintage initials from an old sign (we’re guessing J.C. Penney’s) for Christmas. I love the purple color so we hung them backwards. This also kind of represents our thought process at all times.


My daughter just finished painting this piece of art. It is based on Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. It is her favorite thing she has done. We love our new art teacher, Jennifer Bonneteau. She is amazing. My son made a similar painting. I just forgot to take a closeup picture of it.


The kids did their self portraits again this year. They did the paintings all by themselves at home. I think they did a great job.


Here is where I want to put more pieces of art to complete the project.


I bought this old folk arty game wheel at the flea market. I like it a lot. It was a lot larger than I had thought when we brought it home.


I have an idea to put bookcases up here (better pictures of the niche can be found in this post). We are overflowing with books. I previously put bookcases in a niche in our home here. But I would have to wall in the kitchen on the other side. My husband says we need the extra natural light in both rooms. What do you think?


I want to get a new couch in this room. I am thinking of this sofa in mustard or teal. I also considered a pink, but I think it would be too much. I am definitely waiting for a discount! What home projects are you currently working on? Any new furniture plans?

It’s The Little Things: A Giraffe Hook


I first wrote about The Raja Hook way back in March. And then I waited. I knew I could be patient enough for a sale price. But then Emily Henderson created a beautiful office space a few weeks ago and posted it on her blog. And guess who was the star? That’s right. The sweet giraffe hook.

I knew after that, he would probably be selling quickly.


So, I scooped him up and got a 20% off adjustment on him (during the home promotion at Anthropologie last week).


We finally got him hung up in our hallway yesterday. I love this little vignette near him.

The tray and vase are Polish pottery and were gifts from my sweet grandmother (I am from Polish descent on my grandfather’s side). I would be devastated if anything ever happened to them. The elephant was a gift from my friend. The little toad with the stick in his mouth was a toy my father brought back from Bali when my son was two. The chest was from Target’s global line many years ago. It was a great buy at $30, but I would love to replace it with a true antique one day.


My husband did have to punch two holes in the back of the hook because he used screws instead of nails to have it flush to the wall. I like screws because the hook is going to be a bit heavy with his neck draped in necklaces and I am not sure traditional nails would support that weight.


Of course, he had to have a gnome friend to keep him company. I wonder what he is whispering in his ear?

Or maybe I don’t want to know.


It’s the little things: a sweet practical hook. It is functional and fun. It is fun-ctional.

I think this hook would look cool in a great many settings. The hook also comes in an elephant shape. I might have to get that one on sale, because I love the green stripe on it.

Adorable in a nursery. Whimsical in an office. Practical as a bra hanger in the laundry room. The possibilities for this little guy are endless. Let’s stop at bras, though.

Do you have a fun-ctional piece in your home? What is it? My giraffe might need a mate.

P.S. Did you see that we hung up my daughter’s burlap art? I wrote about the dilemma of where to hang those pieces here. I thought this could be a small update, too. It is a happy accident that the burlap color and texture in the paintings play off the giraffe hook in a nice harmony. The light switch plate also has a neat texture of nubby linen and completes my need of threes in the space.

*These pictures were edited using the app Afterlife’s Finn filter to add a bit more light into the hallway.

Art resources:
The rabbit painting is by Gloria Muriel.
Lakshmi is by Gloria Muriel.
The small bird is by Christina Loraine.
The small Boxer is by Nichole Leavy.
The vineyard drawing is by my daughter at age 9.
Burlap drawings are by my daughter at age 14.

I shared this on Cozy Little House.

And Savvy Southern Style.

And My Romantic Home.

Our Finished Otomi Bathroom


I am so excited to share our finished bathroom! Here is part one and part two in case you missed them.

My friend, Jessica, owns Bella Wall Designs. She was such a sweetie and stenciled my walls for me. She did such an amazing job on the stencil. The whole bathroom just pops. The updated bathroom makes me smile. Just like Jessica does.

My philosophy on design is to do whatever makes you happy. And every room should have layers. Small bathrooms have so much potential, because you can really make them pop in a more bold way than the rest of your home.

Do not be afraid of color.

It has never bit anyone.

That I know of.

I wanted to share some tips on what I did for a quick update on a builder’s stock bathroom. Our bathroom is over twenty years old. I thought of replacing the vanity, but the tile in there is fairly new. And it matched the tile throughout the house. To replace the vanity probably meant having to patch some areas of the tile. This seemed risky (what if it didn’t match?) and costly. I also priced out several vanity pieces. I fell in love with an antique pine cabinet, but it sold out when I was not looking.

What’s a girl to do?


Well, I simply purchased these furniture legs on clearance from a hardware store in town that specializes in molding. Our woodworker who did our library cabinets and baseboards put them in for us at the same time he did our mirror.

Then we just painted the cabinet a medium shade of grey to compliment the blue that was going to go in.

Added mustard knobs from World Market.

And voila’! Our vanity looked like a new one!


I love the frame that Paul from Vrieling Woodworks. (he also installed our large baseboards and our bookcases) built us last year. It was installed around our standard builder’s mirror. It definitely goes with my Alice In Wonderland meets The Hobbit themed home.


I love our farmhouse copper sink in our kitchen. I purchased that one off of eBay. So, I knew I wanted to continue the copper theme into our hallway bathroom. I continued the savings by purchasing this copper vessel sink from eBay, as well. Copper is a natural killer of bacteria. So, it is perfect for a bathroom. If you do choose to purchase copper sinks from eBay, it is important to do your research. Some copper sinks from certain countries have lead in them. That would be dangerous to have in your home!

The faucet was also purchased from eBay for a steal.


We went to the local countertop dealer and requested a look at their scrap pieces. We were able to save money on the countertop this way. We also got a much higher end countertop than we thought we would be able to get, because of our savings. It is a concrete countertop with bits of blue glass and shells in it. Almost as if Alice came back from her adventure and put her souvenirs into this countertop.


I bought the Otomi Stencil from Etsy. I have a collection of Otomi pieces from our trips to Mexico. I love the pattern. I knew I wanted to match the blue of the Otomi in the bathroom to the blue of the pattern below.


Here is sweet Jessica, who did my stencil in the bathroom holding the Otomi piece with me. Notice her amazing vintage Ralph Lauren tie. She has the coolest style.


Here we are in the finished bathroom. The embroidered crewel pieces are all part of my vintage collection.



And here are some pictures of the bathroom sans us friends. The shower curtain is Anthropologie’s Flamenco Shower Curtain. I love the different shades of blue and green it holds.

I am so proud of this room. I think it came together in a variety of cool layers.

Have you redone a room in your home lately? Added any fun colors?

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

And My Romantic Home.

My Children’s Self Portraits


For those of you with children (or if you are planning on having children or know someone with kids who likes fun ideas), I wanted to share one of my favorite things in my home. For three years (it has actually been four. We accidentally skipped a year), my daughter has made me a self portrait during Christmas under the guidance of her wonderful art teacher Lisa Owen-Lynch. Both of my kids take private art lessons from her. She is so talented and patient. We are very lucky to have her in our lives. My son takes an hour lesson every other week. And my daughter, once a week (my daughter did my gnome on this blog).

I think it is such a fantastic skill to encourage. I love art. And I love looking around my home and admiring the works my children have done. On to their self portraits:


This was my daughter (age 11), year one.



This was my daughter (age 12), year two.



This was this year’s self portrait at age fourteen. Notice the Anthropologie fox shirt she is sporting. : )

I always get the paintings framed in spectacular large gold or silver frames, because I think the chunkiness of the frame makes the pieces feel all the more special. By the time both of my kids leave for college, I hope to have six-seven self portraits of each child in in my home. I cannot wait to see how they change.



My son started his first self portrait this year with one that he painted for me for Christmas. I plan on making a wall feature with just their self portraits on it when I have enough to cluster them.


I don’t post pictures of my children on this blog. I guess this will be the closest I come to it. I wanted to share what I think is such a neat project. And a really cool decoration for the home. If you have an art teacher near you, I highly recommend hiring them and having your child/children make you one (if not many over the years) of these self portraits. It is so interesting to see how your child views themselves and to log the ways they change over the years.



This Christmas, my kids also made one each for my mother. She loved them.

Have you done this? Do you have any other ideas for me on how to create lasting physical mementos of my children? I love a project!

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

And My Romantic Home.