Big DIY Wall Art Ideas


I’ve been dreaming up some ways to fill up our very empty walls with some DIY art projects that won’t cost very much. I have about five canvases I’m planning to re-purpose. But how? Here are some ideas I liked for ways to fill up big spaces that look DIY-able.

Dripping with gold, mmmmhmmmm.

diy wall art 14

I love the dark, severe lines in this one. I think it could be fun with lighter colors?

diy wall art 13

Cut up colorful paper in triangles and mod podge away. Easy.

diy wall art 2


Paint a gold pineapple. Who says you couldn’t?

diy wall art 3

Washi tape some birds above the bed. It’s like origami for your wall!

diy wall art 5

Frame wrapping paper. If you do it a few times over, you’ve just covered up a whole chunk of wall! Great job.

diy wall art 12

Tape a section of your wall off and paint this awesome diamond art. You could free hand it. You could.

diy wall art 7

DIY Mark Rothko, yo. I’ve tried this before. It’s not as easy as it looks. But that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to try, try again.

diy wall art 8

I love that bulls-eye target piece. It would be easy, right? Until you realize how hard it is to draw a perfect circle. I need to buy one of those grade-school compasses.

diy wall art 9

I fell in love with this washi taped wall from Domino a couple issues ago. Those pink stools are the coolest addition.

diy wall art 10


I am still drawn to ombre abstract pieces.

diy wall art

All images from this Pinterest search unless otherwise linked.


My 3 Favorite Rooms: Morgan

We are one month in to life in Luxembourg and still hotel camping. I call it hotel camping because we are living in our apartment with rental furniture so it feels like a cross between the two. We have stuff but it’s not our stuff. And I can’t wait to get our stuff! We have about two more weeks to wait, so I’m trying to be as patient as possible. In the meantime, I have not been inspired at all in terms of interior design. I mean, all this lovely new scenery is wonderful, and I’m enjoying seeing inspiring architecture at every turn, but when it comes to what’s going on inside the walls of my own home? Bleh. I have a hunch I won’t be feeling the creative juices flowing again until I see my stuff and I know what I have to work with.
That said, I’d like to force some creative juices back into my blog and business and get going again. Here to kick us off is my friend, Morgan, who just moved from her beautiful house into another home. I know she put a lot of work into her home before they moved, and I selfishly wanted it immortalized so I could look at it from time to time, so I asked her to take pictures and answer some questions. Here she is! Everyone say hello to Morgan! (Hi, Morgan!)
Who lives in the house?
One over-zealous picker upper and straightener of stuff. One that is phased by nothing. Two small whirlwinds and a hamster who gives great nose kisses.
What do you love about your house?
When we decided to move to Seattle I was nervous about THE RAIN. I was born and raised in Arizona, the land of sunshine, and wasn’t sure I could stick it out through the never-ending cloudy days of Winter. But I was surprised to find that the sun does shine in Seattle, even in the gloomiest of seasons. Our house is oriented North/South and when there is even the tiniest ray of sunshine it lights up the breakfast nook on the South side of the house. You can find me there in the afternoons, yes even in December, stretched out like a house cat taking in the rays.
Morgan front room 4
What do you love about your living room?
I love the memories that are all around me in that room. Mementos gathered while traveling, a gigantic abstract oil painting of the trees in Seattle’s Arboretum that my husband and I amazingly both liked when we spied it on an art walk years ago and family pictures gathered from different generations. One of my favorite photos is of my grandparents and my mother and aunt all sitting in the arms of a cactus. My grandfather was a high school photo teacher at Rincon High in Tucson, AZ and the photo is the front of their Christmas Card from 1960 something. My mom still had the actual card so I framed it. I love that history speaks to me through objects in that room.
Morgan Front Room1
Morgan front room 6
What do you love about the kitchen nook?
Light, light, light! It is my happy place in the house. Margaret’s pick of bright pink pillows and orange chairs (well, to be honest that blinding shade was one a whim when she wasn’t around to pick the exact shade of orange) and white paint only serves to make the space that much happier.
What have you learned while decorating your house?
I have learned that if you are not artistically inclined (I fill the stereotype of accountant on that one) that a designer is an invaluable asset. Our designer, Margaret Mitacek, is absolutely the reason that I love my house. She brought it all together in a way that I never could have imagined. I would also say don’t assume that you can’t afford a designer, start small! Bringing someone in to help you figure out what size of rug to buy and what curtain fabric is a small cost when it means that you love the pieces you purchase and don’t want to replace them within a couple of years because they fit the space.
Morgan breakfast nook 2
What do you not love or would change about your house?
Beige paint! When we moved in there was beige paint everywhere. Most of it is gone now but every time I walk down to the basement I am faced with the last hold out of the stuff and I cringe. I know, I know, it’s just paint. Why not change it? It’s on the list of things to do, just really really low.
Morgan breakfast nook
What do you love about your bedroom area?
Our bedroom is huge with high ceilings, interesting architectural elements and a lovely master bath. I am worried we have peaked too early. If and when we move there is no way we will ever replicate the kind of space we have now.

Morgan Bedroom 1 Morgan bedroom2 Morgan bedroom3

What do you do when you’re stressed?
Eat chocolate. Of course I also do that when I am not stressed. Valrhona’s 71% bar is perfection and is cheaper than therapy.
Do you have any phobias?
I have a fear of incorrect uses of the words their, they’re and there, especially now that people seem extra lazy when writing on social media outlets like Facebook or Instagram. There has got to be a way to stop their poor grammar, they’re driving me crazy! 
Do you have a weird talent?
I can do an amazing surprised fish face. Just ask. My sleepy fish is pretty good too.
Thanks, Morgan! And I just caught the joke in that last sentence on the phobia question. Bwahahaha!
I am hoping to make this a series, and I’d love to feature you if you are interested. Just take some pictures of your three favorite rooms, let me ask you about them, then I’ll end with three random Q’s, and that’s it! Relatively painless. Email me at to submit your entry.


House Hunting in Luxembourg, Part 4


This apartment was in the same complex as HOUSE 4. We came back here because there were two more to consider since it was looking like HOUSE 4 wouldn’t be available after all. And we reaaaaaally liked HOUSE 4.IMG_5982

Front room opens into balcony.IMG_5984

The view off the balcony was gorgeous.IMG_5987

Great open kitchen.IMG_5994

No pantry but this skinny side cupboard would have to do.IMG_5991

This was the other side of the living room opposite the kitchen.IMG_5993

This bathroom was interesting because there was a drain in the floor for the shower. With splashing kids in the bath tub next to it, that drain would make so much sense.IMG_5995

That square in the floor is the drain and that coil you see in the top left corner of the picture is the shower.IMG_5998

Kids’ bedroom. IMG_6001

Master bedroom.IMG_6002

Buanderie = laundry room.IMG_6010

Velos = bikes. There was a room in this complex that was just for bikes.IMG_6011

Sabrina and Adam outside the entrance.IMG_6012HOUSE 11:

This apartment was the smallest we’d seen. But the location was nice. It was in the same complex on the first floor, so there’d be play space for the kids right out the back door.


We didn’t meet the neighbor, but it looks like they had a kid, so that’d be fun. IMG_6022


Right outside the back door was also the playground!IMG_6024 IMG_6025 IMG_6027 IMG_6029 IMG_6031

This, my friends, was the smallest bedroom I’ve ever seen. It would be the kids’ room and it would maybe??? fit the bunk bed??? But that would be it. Truly unfortunate. IMG_6032 IMG_6033

Master bedroom.IMG_6034 IMG_6035

There was no tub.IMG_6036 IMG_6037 IMG_6043

And about that HOUSE 12 … There isn’t one. I totally thought we’d seen 12, but we didn’t. We saw 11. Guess which one we chose???

Cut to commercial break.

House Hunters’ International voice over: “And we’re back! Will Adam and Martha choose HOUSE 4 with the balcony view, hardwood floors, white kitchen, and amazing storage or HOUSE 7 with the walkable neighborhood shops and school but no bathtub and terrible storage, or HOUSE 10 with a nice view, walkable to some shops, decent storage, and forest paths?

Camera cuts to Adam and me strolling down the street, deliberating with anguished faces. And then Adam looks at me, “So? Have we decided?” Me, “I think we’ve made our choice.”

We went with HOUSE 10!!!

Here was our pros/cons list:


*It’s not HOUSE 4, which was our first choice

*We’ll always be reminded that we didn’t get HOUSE 4 because they’re both in the same complex and we’ll see HOUSE 4 everyday

*It’s not walkable to school; the kids will have to take the bus. If they come home for lunch, they’ll be taking four bus trips a day.

*It’s walkable to some shops but not a lot

*I do not like tile floors, and these in particular are pretty bumpy (P.S. No carpet to be found in Luxembourg. Sabrina says they consider it un-hygienic.)

*I don’t love the tile color in the bathroom

*It’s not on ground level, so I can’t let the kids run in and out of an easily accessible yard

*I don’t like the kitchen sink

*900 square feet


*Open floor plan in kitchen and living room that I love

*Balcony view is awesome

*Still have close access to playground and plenty of shared outdoor yard space, plus that forest will be fun to explore

*I can walk the kids to the bus stop and there are some shops I can walk to, including a grocery store

*It’s got decent storage

*We’ll have two parking spots even though we’ll only need one

*900 square feet … I’d rather have too little space and be forced to condense my stuff than have too much space that would sit empty most of the time

I’m excited to get there and start setting up everything. However, our sea shipment with most of our stuff will take two to three months, so we’ll have rental furniture at least until August. In the meantime, we’ll get closets and light fixtures and maybe rugs. I’ll keep you posted on the progress … or lack thereof.

House Hunting in Luxembourg, Part 3


These are all starting to look the same now. My apologies. I still did not get sick of it. Should I become a realtor? Looking inside random apartments/houses/dwellings all day is dreamy.

This place became a top contender in the grand decision making process. Here she is. Well, okay, here he is. The realtor.IMG_5804


This one was probably to most urban of them all. IMG_5805

Main living area.

IMG_5818Balcony out front.IMG_5819

If you walk onto the balcony, this is the view to your left.


The view to the right.




I like this sink.



The view out a back window.



I’m gonna stop stating the obvious soon, but for now: bathroom.IMG_5813

No tub in this joint. Major sad face.IMG_5815 IMG_5817

Obligatory guest bathroom selfie.IMG_5833

There was a nice play area in the back, but then if you kept walking there was this huge drop off onto a concrete driveway. It was pretty much a deal breaker because kids and huge cliffs that give way to cement don’t necessarily go hand in hand. I had completely forgot about this detail until I came across these photos again. Good thing we didn’t choose this one!IMG_5841

Parking garage. Exciting!IMG_5848

A huge pro (but maybe also a con?) was that I could walk the kids to school ACROSS THE STREET! This is the cafeteria. The kids will be in school in the morning from 8 am – 12 noon, then they have a two hour lunch, which they can come home for or not, then my older child will go back from 2 pm – 4 pm MWF. Interesting, right?IMG_5849

This would be their school. The close location might have made it easier for them to ditch school, though, you know?IMG_5850Oh well, doesn’t matter. We didn’t choose this one anyway.


This one was a surprise. Hello ORANGE! This one was the bottom half of a duplex way out in suburbia. Luxembourg + suburb = Luxemburbia. It totally felt like a suburb, too! Like all clean and quiet and big lawns and big homes.

IMG_5851 IMG_5852

This was the back door entrance. The yard! It had the perfect little backyard! What a novelty.IMG_5853 IMG_5854

You bet I’m guest bathroom picture taking.IMG_5858

This was the front room.IMG_5860

And if the backyard wasn’t enough green space, there was a community playground out front. Such a great area for kids!IMG_5863

Great kitchen.IMG_5865

I kind of liked the option to shut the door on the kitchen. IMG_5866

New area = construction.IMG_5870 IMG_5871


El bano. Cuz Spanish is totally a thing here. #notIMG_5874 IMG_5877

More front room. IMG_5881

And the back again.IMG_5886I liked this one. I had to ruminate on it for awhile. On the one hand, family life would be pleasant here. On the other hand, with both kids gone at school a lot, I be a lonely, desperate housewife. There’d be no option for walking places. I’d have to drive everywhere for sure.

Now onto:


Brand spanking new construction. So. Much. Construction. But first: front entrance.






Ahhh, les toilettes. (I had to look it up.)IMG_5894 IMG_5896 IMG_5897

Front room.IMG_5899


Some beautiful views of … construction.IMG_5901 IMG_5902 IMG_5903


I loved this little alcove of a kitchen.IMG_5900 IMG_5905 IMG_5906

Bedroom.IMG_5910And that is all. The apartment was fabulous but the location was not. Since we’re planning to be in Lux a couple of years, we knew that we’d be surrounded by construction work the whole time. So, we nixed this one pretty fast.

Part 4 is the final installment! Get excited to find out which one we chose! (It’s just like the TV show!)

House Hunting in Luxembourg, Part 2

Ready to dive back in?


This apartment was in a sprawling apartment complex. I loved it immediately.



Wood floors, white kitchen. Heaven so far.IMG_5676

And what’s this? A PANTRY?! That’s hard to find here.IMG_5677

We had to play hide and seek with the fridge upon arrival into each kitchen. Where was it going to be hiding this time?


Here’s where you can see the sprawl. There were lots of buildings in this complex. We know a thing or two about sprawling apartment complexes. We’ve lived in them for most of our marriage. Why not embrace them once again? It was all new construction so the landscaping was just starting to sprout up as you can see in this picture.IMG_5680

The balcony had an incredible view! Just look at that lush, green forest!IMG_5681

Sabrina looking at me sideways in the guest bathroom mirror. It’s custom to have a guest bathroom, even if another one is three feet away. Just a little show of hospitality, I suppose. I wished they could have been storage space, honestly. But we all have our priorities in this world and Europe has chosen to treat its guests to cute, tiny, separate bathrooms instead of treating its renters to built in closets.IMG_5683

See? Family bathroom three feet across the hall. It had a bath! Yay! IMG_5684

And a shower! Yay! (Although I don’t like the separation of tub and shower, but that’s another complaint for another day. I mean, seriously, put the shower in the bath and give me a linen closet! Right?!)IMG_5685

BYOLF: Bring Your Own Light Fixtures. IMG_5686

Master bedroom.IMG_5687

Kids’ bedroom.IMG_5688

I think those outdoor blinds were pretty boss. You’d flip a switch and they’d go up or down. My husband thinks they’re a little too zombie apocalypse. Like that’s how we’d be shutting ourselves in if there were zombies on the prowl.

IMG_5689 IMG_5690 IMG_5691

Every place we considered renting required you to bring your own washer/dryer. So …. yeah, add that to the list of unforeseen costs of moving a broad. Surprise! Anyway, back to the college days of communal laundry fun time.IMG_5693

Caves (pronounced “cov” with a short “o”) are pretty much just that. It’s a storage cellar for whatever you can’t find a place for in your tiny apartment. IMG_5694

People trust each other here, according to Sabrina. These caves were proof of that. They were locked, but also … wood slats? Not exactly break-in proof. IMG_5695

No worries, though, this apartment actually came with a covered 2-car garage INSIDE the  parking garage.IMG_5697  And a look outside the main entrance.IMG_5702There were lots of good things about this place and I tucked it away in my memory as a favorite.


This really old house was further out from Luxembourg City than the rest. We had asked to see places that were a few miles out since my husband bikes to work and likes to get a decent workout in the process. This one was a charmer and had five bedrooms!


This was the front room.IMG_1123

The kitchen was updated.IMG_1126

It had a fridge but no freezer. Presumably if we lived here we’d get a freezer and put it in the basement.IMG_1127

Looking out into the front hallway/ landing area.IMG_1128


We went out back to poke around. This building …. I don’t even know what to call it … was out there.IMG_1150

Inside … Where the unwanted furniture and doors go to live out the rest of their days.


This is the back of the old house.IMG_1133

Headed back inside. This would be a nice play area for the kids.IMG_1135

Guest bathroom, of course.IMG_1137The scary downstairs cellar which would be the laundry room and tons of low-ceiling storage. Eek.



I believe the place was three floors. So here’s where I get hazy on the details because there are so many stairs and bedrooms.IMG_1147 IMG_1148 IMG_1149IMG_1151 IMG_1152 IMG_1154 IMG_1157

So yeah, after dozens of creaky stairs and lovely old bedrooms where I imagined my children running noisily for hours, we headed back downstairs.IMG_1159


That entryway floor was so lovely.IMG_5704

This was the front door. It stopped off in the 90s before it came here. IMG_1160

And finally the front walkway leading back to Sabrina’s car.IMG_1161

You know? We want to be that couple that moves into the charming old house and embraces it with a devil-may-care attitude. Ancient heating system? Sure! Haywire plumbing? Why not! Enchanting carriage house (maybe that’s what it’s called!) full of broken windows and haunted, discarded furniture? So fun!

But we are not that couple.

Moving on.


There’s a theme with this one: red and brown. Mostly brown. Watch for it.

IMG_5720 IMG_5724

You’re getting the hang of it here. Built in storage, so memorable.IMG_5727

Bathroom with brown tile.IMG_5735

And brown everything.IMG_5736 IMG_5739 IMG_5741 IMG_5742

Outside view.IMG_5743

This was a nice, big main living space. Except for the giant pillar.IMG_5745

Cows. Moooooooo.IMG_5747

Hee hoe it’s a river. IMG_5750 IMG_5752

Kitchen.IMG_5757 IMG_5758 IMG_5760

I was pretty worried that there’d be no such thing as dishwashers in this country. Don’t make fun of me, I’ve never been to Europe. But, good news, there were dishwashers in every apartment/house we visited. Luxembourg is a developed country. And people dress up here for work. So, they’ve one-upped us.IMG_5761 IMG_5762 IMG_5765 IMG_5766 IMG_5767 IMG_5768Finally, the garage.IMG_5772

This place was nice, but I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to live here because of all the brown. I’m a brown-hating diva, what can I say?


House Hunting in Luxembourg, Part 1

A couple weeks ago my husband and I were able to go to Luxembourg to find a place to rent. We were lucky to have an amazing relocation agent drive us around Luxembourg City and its suburbs. She showed us 12 places in three days. It was a whirlwind but sooooooo fun! I could do that every day.

Before our house hunting trip we were in touch with our agent, Sabrina, who emailed us a bunch of listings and we went back and forth telling her what we liked and didn’t like so she could hone in on what would work for us and only show us those places when we got there.

She did such a great job. Most of the places would have been a good fit for us, but there were a couple that I was glad to have left behind. Here we go!


It was in a good neighborhood, close to shops and restaurants. There were movers there that day, so it was in a bit of disarray. This is the front entrance.IMG_5595This is the garage.IMG_5555

It was three floors, here are the stairs. That rope and string of lights was bumming me out big time. But I tried to focus on other things. There are always many pros and often cons in every place you live. I tried to keep that in mind and take tons of pictures so I could remember everything about each one. IMG_5556

Laundry room.IMG_5558

Pink guest bathroom.IMG_5564

Balcony and view.IMG_5559IMG_5568

There was some kind of farming happening at some point (maybe still?) and this is the barn. The wood is for the wood burning fireplace in the living room. Also pictured: the landlord’s kids. There’s no doubt this would be a fun place for my kids to play!IMG_5560

The kitchen was updated, and it was nice.IMG_5577This is the dining room.IMG_5565

I was told wall colors could be changed. I’d definitely get rid of the orange. That little box window on the left? You pass the food from the kitchen to the dining room. Or something. Definitely a reminder of a different time. Get rid of that wall and it’d be awesome. But, still … kinda cute, right?


IMG_5566This is the living room. Nice and roomy and that fireplace would make things very cozy. The weather is a lot like Seattle: often gloomy and chilly, so I think that fireplace would be lovely. Or just a big mess? I don’t know. I’m used to flipping a switch to turn on my fireplace. 😐


This updated bathroom was very nice. Don’t you love the toilets?! The big buttons on the wall are so much easier to push than the tiny ones on top of the tank in the toilets in America. Have you tried punching down on those? You could break a finger! 😉IMG_5590

Giant bathtub! I loved that. Actually, having a bath tub was high on my priority list. Good for kids, good for me.IMG_5588

Another bathroom.IMG_5586

This would be the master bedroom. Loved those ceilings!IMG_5582IMG_5585

This would be the kids’ room. They said I could take down the wallpaper. Uh, yes.IMG_5579It also had a small attic for storage. Overall, I was not excited about this place. I just was not feeling it here. I hoped the pickins would get better. Fortunately they did.


Next was saw an apartment in this big building. It’s brand new construction so we’d be the first ones in to live in the apartment.


It was more modern construction so right out the gate we were excited about that. We were hoping for something newer and contemporary and this fit the bill. This is the front room. Great windows/doors with a nice view of greenery.IMG_5601

The kitchen was great. I love black and white so this place was scoring major points with me.IMG_5603



Looking in from the balcony.IMG_5606

I believe this was the master bedroom.IMG_5607

It’s rare to find built-in storage of any kind in any place in Luxembourg, so the fact that we had lots of it in this place was a bonus.IMG_5608

Look at it! Just look at it! IMG_5609

Bathroom.IMG_5610 IMG_5611 IMG_5612

Every fridge we saw was included inside the cabinets. LOVE. THAT. Also: all appliances are much smaller, including the fridge/freezer.IMG_5614

Another bedroom. I was quickly losing interest in this place because it wasn’t that kid friendly. This apartment was on the third floor and both bedrooms had doors that opened up into oblivion. They don’t do screens here and while there was is a glass guard that went up to my waist, it was all a little too high for us. There are no locks on these outside doors, so I was imagining the worst.IMG_5615 IMG_5616 IMG_5618

Overall, I left not loving the whole thing. The neighborhood was in an industrial area and the yard and parking lot areas had a long way to go as far as grooming. There was no outdoor space that would work well for kids there.



I remembered this one from the online listing. It was one of my favorites from the start. IMG_5624

The outside was nothing to write home about, but I didn’t care.  I had to keep reminding myself that we were not moving here to find the home of our dreams. We were moving here with the intent to spend all our extra time and money on traveling all over Europe. So, you know, our rental didn’t need to be in envy of the Internet. HA.IMG_5625

The neighborhood was lovely. I’d be able to walk to the kids to school.IMG_5626

This darling home was across the street.IMG_5628

Inside. Behold: the clothes washer in the kitchen. There was no dryer. These people hung their clothes on racks. Having a washer/dryer inside the apartment was not common; usually it’s in a communal laundry room in the basement. But not having a dryer at all seemed to be uncommon, too. Crispy clothes much? I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do that.IMG_5629

Call me crazy but I was digging that funky red kitchen. (My husband was not.) But then again I have a thing for red in the kitchen.IMG_5635    IMG_5636

Fridge. Built in microwave and oven. None of my cookie sheets will fit inside these tiny ovens, by the way. IMG_5637 IMG_5638

There was a balcony off the kitchen/living room. It had lovely pasture/farm/cow views. And smell. 🙂IMG_5630


Shared living room and dining room.IMG_5639 IMG_5640

I liked how open this whole area was. It felt big, yet was nicely sectioned off, too.IMG_5641

Office/bedroom on the same floor. The orange wall could go said the landlord. Phew. As you can tell so far, I do not have a thing for orange.IMG_5642

The tenants’ bookshelves and ladder. How quaint.IMG_5643

Full length mirror in the hall, ya’ll. Right behind that? Storage! Yay! (That’s the lovely Sabrina.)IMG_5645

Bathroom.IMG_5646 IMG_5647

Balcony views off the front of the house, too. IMG_5651

Upstairs was the master bedroom. Loved the slanted ceilings. IMG_5656 IMG_5657

The closets were great! And NOT staying with the apartment. Blerg.IMG_5658

Master bathroom.  IMG_5660

We were having a good laugh about the great view from the toilet!IMG_5661

Peeing in serenity and peace. What more could you ask for?IMG_5663

The tenants’ music room. Such an insanely incredible guitar collection. Many more not pictured. I really wanted to meet these people!IMG_5665 IMG_5666

A hallway outside the bedrooms.IMG_5667

I was imagining our piano in place of this one. IMG_5668

Same hallway. Another thing I really liked about the whole aparement was all the natural light.IMG_5670 IMG_5671

There was a garage parking spot and this outdoor parking spot.IMG_5673

Lots of room inside and out for this family of ours. I bookmarked this one in my brain.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Mood Board for Mother’s Day

My mom is a woman of the world – she loves traveling and seeing new sights, she loves color and texture, she loves meeting new people and she loves a good helping of red.

Now that I’ve typed all of that I could honestly say all those things about myself. Hello DNA, reporting for duty.

Her living room doesn’t really need a makeover, and she’s not even home at the moment – she’s living in Australia for five more months – but I thought it’d be fun to imagine one anyway, just because I wanted to give her a little Mother’s Day shout out and see if I could come up with anything she’d actually like. So, mom, what do you think?


Mom's Ethnic Living RoomShe loves a good tapestry and already has several on her walls. Most of them are red, so I thought I’d see what else I could find. The color scheme turned into blue and red with natural toned elements like the brass, leather, and marble. The white in the rug and frames and pillows keeps things on the fresh and modern side. In addition to Australia, she’s been to India, Portual and Mexico, just to name a few, so I found some vintage-style travel posters to reflect that; I love their rich colors that jump off the wall. The mirror shape is a nod to the Taj Mahal. The blue couch looks comfortable yet classic. That leather and metal side chair is just undisputed cool. You can’t tell but the lampshade is geometric, so it adds some angularity.  The marble coffee table is to die for in person; it adds some real class to the space. And finally, the pouf keeps things loungy.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom! Come see me in Luxembourg when you’ve recovered from Australia!

couch // coffee table // rug // pouf // side chair // travel posters // lamp

mirror // tapestry // color block pillow // blue tile pillow // red arrow pillow

A Big Move … To the Land of Castles

I grew up in the same house, all 18 years. And then I left. And I feel like I’ve been on the move ever since.

I’ve never really made a list like this, but here goes.

All the places I’ve lived in the 15 years since leaving home:

Rexburg, Idaho

Provo, Utah

Changhua, Taiwan

Boston, Massachusetts

Vista, California

Irvine, California

Seattle, Washington

Phoenix, Arizona

The next one on the list? Somewhere in the tiny country of Luxembourg.

Lux map

We are going there for my husband’s job. It’s been a long time coming, so now that I’m announcing it, it’s kind of like old news. But I’m really excited to just get over there and start living.

When I was at my kids’ annual check ups the other day, their pediatrician said, “Oooooohhhh, are there going to be Elsa castles in Luxembourg?” Well played, doc! I had no idea how to explain to the little ones the magnitude of the life change coming up for all of us, but deducing it to all things Disney totally works. And, yes, the answer is yes! Apparently there are many castles across the pond.

beaufort castle lux vianden castle lux


luxembourg city

luxembourg palace

Isn’t it breathtaking? I am already pinching myself just looking at the photos!

But for now: the task of tidying up my own castle and preparing to say goodbye for awhile. Goodbye, fair dot wall.

paint over dots

Here’s to hoping we find a nice rental for ourselves over yonder with a property manager that is cool with me painting all of the surfaces.

Quiz Time: How to Love Your Home Right Now

smitten kitchen pantry

I wince a little when I see the “dream house” board on Pinterest. You know what I’m talking about. Your board with all the pictures of the way you wish your home looked right now? But, sigh, alas, someday

I’m here to tell you right now: drop it. Forget about it.

Okay, back up. If your dream house really is on the horizon? Forge ahead, it’s coming. I’m sure you’re saving every penny for it, and I’m sure it’ll be worth it. But I’d venture to say you are one of the lucky few on this planet who will realize the actual dream of the Pinterest board.

So for the rest of humanity? I’d like to introduce a quiz to help you embrace your current home right now. I’m going to take it, too. Get a piece of paper. Are you ready?

1. Name five things you don’t love about your current house.

My answers: 1. The floor boards and doors and kitchen cabinets are in a wood color that is a little dated. 2. Lots of stairs (it’s a 3-story town home). 3. It’s long and narrow. 4. Master bedroom closet is small. 5. Upstairs bathroom has a separate bathtub and closet shower and I think about 12 times a day: WHO ON EARTH THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? Put the shower in the bathtub and we’d have more linen closet space instead of a dumb superfluous shower.

2. Name five things you love about your current house.

My answers: 1. We own it, which means I can paint it however I like. 2. The open floor plan on the main floor. I love cooking and eating and hanging with the family all in the same room. 3. Less storage space means I must constantly edit. (How’s that for looking on the bright side?) 4. We have a guest bedroom and bathroom. What a luxury! 5. It’s in the location we wanted, 7-miles from downtown Seattle. What do they say? Location, location, location. Location was our number one criteria when searching for a home. Our dream home in this location will likely always be out of our price range.


3. Is there anything you can do about the things you dislike?

My answers: 1. I could paint the floor boards, doors, and kitchen cabinets. I’d probably paint them white. But they are everywhere in the house and it’d cost tons of money. And I kind of like the woodsy element they bring. I’m not afraid of woodsiness. I just get a little antsy because the all-white trim and all-white kitchens always have me drooling. But they are trends. Yesterday’s dream home is today’s barf home. Orange shag carpet? Avocado colored appliances? All trends at one time or another. 2. Nope. Stairs are here to stay. The positive? Forced exercise. 3. Nope, long and narrow it is! And always will be! 4. Yes. To address the small closet, our plan someday is to get a built-in window seat with drawers that would be in place of a dresser. The window bump-out is the only spot for a dresser in that room, but I haven’t found one that would be the right dimensions. So, built-in is the answer. 5. Not likely. It depends on how long we end up staying in this home. A bathroom renovation would be a huge deal.

4. What is ONE THING you could do today to fall in love with your current home?

My answer: Pull out the boat load of frames and pictures from under the bed and make them work for me now: throw away, re-frame, print something, order art, spray paint, buy mats. I could do one of those things today to move that process forward.

harriet maxwell macdonald beach house

See? Didn’t that end on a positive note? You can start out a hater and end as a conqueror. Let go of the “someday” house and start making your “today” house work for you. Because here’s a little thought: I think everybody, even people in their dream homes, have things they dislike once they get there. Isn’t getting there the fun of it?

Images: The masking tape & Sharpie approach to labeling in Deb Perelman’s pantry // Overstuffed bookshelves from Design Mom’s book // Beach house from Undecorate

Screen Shooting



Do you take random screen shots throughout the day of stuff you like? I do and I didn’t even realize that it might be a thing until I saw this blog post. And now I’m totally stealing the idea to blog about it.

I had just made a folder on my computer for “screenshot inspo” and there it sat. I think digging deeper into why I kept it in the first place will be a good exercise. Instead of just saying, “I don’t know, I just like it” and really rooting around in my subconscious for WHY it speaks to me … this will be interesting. Maybe only to me. 🙂

1. weavings! shaggy, colorful, in progress, final. 2. the surprising way pink was used here, and the star of the show: the striped throw. 3. chairs, animal head, white space, the hodge podge way it was all put on the wall. 4. blue chair, fringe, looks like a happy little floating reading area.
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1. white loft amazingness. 2. the art by jenny prinn. can’t get enough of her stuff. the floating shelves and the pink pop of pillow. never underestimate the little explosions of color brought in by accessories. 3. i wish i could remember the home tour this came from. i love the simple organizing of art supplies and the wall wood and table wood mirroring each other. 4. schoolhouse electric nails it always for me. the yellow bed, the navy wall, the “just slept in” bedding. this little spot is unfussy cool.


1. a lot happening here and i’m okay with it. it’s like the gallery wall could go on forever and nobody would mind. i love the red table and blue chair and striped rug. this area is just fine being loud. 2. the thing over the bed. i mean. huh? so cool. 3. the wall art will probably be my next foray into yarny hangings. 4. i like that quote. and that it’s in black and white. and that there’s a lot of black space at the bottom of it…


1. this entryway is perfection. so many happy little moments happening here. 2. i’ve seen this nursery pinned so much. that fox print is fabulous. the crib lines. the white space. the rug. restraint and pattern happening in perfect duet here. 3. THE BLUE SINK OF COURSE. and the whitewashed brick wall. and allllllll that beautiful white. 4. that quote is like: “think for yourself already!” you know?


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