Bring the Indoors out!

It’s the summer, so as much time as possible should be spent outside.  A comfortable outdoor seating area promotes this.

Love this patio post from Decor 8.  I really like the rustic furniture with the purples and navys in the throw pillows and cushions.  This outdoor retreat is a second living space.  I’d like to curl up with a good book and spanish guitar music playing on some outdoor speakers.


Check out the full post at Decor 8.

Images 1-4 property of Decor 8.

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My Mother’s Garden

Spent a lovely Saturday afternoon/evening enjoying a Natty Green’s beer in my mother’s garden.  Dinner:  Freshly picked Arugula salad with goat cheese, cantaloupe and a balsamic glaze, sweet peas with potatoes and pepper, Asian slaw and chicken salad :)

I love my mom and dad’s garden and backyard landscaping.  Here are some photos.


Photos property of Amanda Barnhardt

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Living it up Loft Style

There is something so alluring about a small living space.  Simple and cozy.  Apartment Therapy has been running a series on small spaces, and I’ve been following it religiously!  There is one in particular that I’m lusting after:  a loft in California.  I picture myself here sitting in that kitchen with a cup of coffee, looking out over the beautiful mountains and writing posts for girlsguitar.  Let me know what you think of this space.

Images 1-4 property of Apartment Therapy.

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boudoir nouveau

When I moved into my first place on my own a few years ago, I went frugal on the bedding.  Since then, I’ve been searching for just the right color scheme and patterns for my bedroom.  I found it.  I decided I needed to get into the mood for warm weather and picked out the perfect number from West Elm.

Below are my before and after pics of my recent bedroom makeover.





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Revisiting my Take on Wallpaper

On our recent vacation in Florida, Evan and I stayed in an amazing house.  The architecture was fun and beachy, but the interior left something to be desired.  Every room – and I mean EVERY inch of wall – had a midwall border of wallpaper.  In the living room, kitchen, hallways and master bedroom it was a trail of ivy (*gag*) and in the bathrooms and other two bedrooms it was seashells and sandcastles.  There is definitely a way to do a beach house tastefully, and this was NOT it (but that’s another blog topic entirely).  In my little girl bedroom, I too had the midwall wallpaper (little country animals like ducks, pigs and kittens), but that was in the 80s, and wallpaper had a different place then.

I’ll confess I’ve never actually put up wallpaper.  It seems like it would be very messy and time consuming – avoiding the little air pockets and matching up seams just right.  Don’t even get me started on the nightmare of taking it off – unfortunately, sometimes you just have to paint over it.  Despite most of my negative opinions about wallpaper, with the right pattern and a great designer, it can really make a room.  Here are a few of my favorite examples:

I’ll start with my favorite ever.  It took me a while to hunt down this image.  I love the color of this damask pattern and the parings with the green and pink in the lamp and the flowers.  It looks classic and feminine but contemporary at the same time.

Entryways seem to be one of the best places for wallpaper as they are already small spaces.  I think wallpapered rooms tend to feel cramped, but an entryway seems pretty safe.  And wallpaper is a great way to add character to an entryway, especially since it’s often the first space people see.  If I ever take a crack at wallpapering, I’d start with an entryway or maybe an accent wall.

This room was done by my aunt, Jennifer Dengel, an interior decorator in New Jersey.  I find this room so appealing.  Her choice in wallpaper brightens up a small space and exemplifies the existing unique architectural qualities.  I love the red and blue punches in the accessories and the chinese ancestral portrait.  This room just plain makes me happy :)

A few others I really like:

After searching, here are a few wallpaper sources I found noteworthy:  Cole & Son, Cavern, Makelike, Ferm Living, and Nama Rococo.  If you’re going to take the plunge, either do your research or have someone do the project for you!  If you like to DIY and save money as much as I do, check out this great post on Design Sponge:  Wallpaper Basics and get it right the first time!  And when you get sick of your wallpaper, here’s a post from Apartment Therapy that provides tips for taking it off:  Great Ways to Remove Wallpaper.

Images 1, 3, 4:  Design Sponge, Image 2:  Jennifer Dengel, Images 5-8:  Apartment Therapy.

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Long Overdue House Tour 2

When I moved into my new apartment about 8 months ago, I promised I’d post a house tour.  I’ve added a lot of new items since moving in, you’ll notice if you compare it to the tour of my old apartment.  So, here’s the tour of my *relatively* new apartment in Raleigh, NC.

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Hope you enjoyed!  I’ve been working on the space for a while now, and there are still a few projects I am brainstorming and will perhaps post about when I get to them.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

In my parents home, decorating the Christmas tree was always a big deal.  With Raffi’s Christmas album playing in the background, we’d carefully unpackage all our tree ornaments and become overly excited when we found our favorites.  I was quite proud of my last 2 trees, but this year, living in a new apartment (on the third floor) and not a lot of floor space, I was seriously contemplating not even bothering with a tree.  But I did it. And here it is (Marley included!)

It’s a bit tilted to the left and propped on a laundry basket with a quilt wrapped around it.  A true Charlie Brown christmas tree!

I thought I’d look at other holiday decorations that other people in the design world have mastered.  Here are a few of my favorites:

And a few alternatives to Christmas trees if you don’t have the space or are looking for something a bit different from the norm:

I wish I could say where I found these photos, but I accidentally saved them without saving the credits for the pictures.  Most of them, I found on my favorite blogs:  Cococozy, Decor8, Little Green Notebook and Habitually Chic and Stylebeat.  Check them out!

And have fun with your Christmas decorations… but please don’t tell me you opted for the upside down Christmas tree that made it’s (hopefully one time) appearance this year!

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