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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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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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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Raleigh Scene: Mid-Century / Vintage Furnishings

A few favorite local places for Mid-Century furnishings:

GC5 Vintage and Gifts – Located at 430 S. White St. in Wake Forest, NC, this store has me most impressed!  The owners of GC5 are super friendly and have done a comendable job with their facebook page.  Up to date postings of new items appear nearly daily.  The employees really took the time to help me find what I was looking for. It is clear that a lot of love and hard work has gone into this business.  Most of the pieces are in great condition and very reasonably priced.  Also, they have a lot of unique conversation pieces.  I just purchased a little chair here this weekend that looks fantastic in my home office.  While Wake Forest may be a little out of the way, this little gem is worth the drive – and while you’re right at downtown Wake Forest, explore the other shops on White St. – there’s a great coffee shop, tea room, clothing consignment store and wine shop.

Father & Son Antiques – Located at 107 W Hargett St. in downtown Raleigh, NC, Father & Son has a great selection of mid-century furnishings.  They are a great source for Herman Miller/Eames-like chairs, danish modern dining sets, and also some very unique vintage accessories.  In addition to furniture, Father & Son has vintage clothing on the basement level and 2nd floor.  This past weekend, I think all the college hipsters were in the basement of Father & Son searching for the perfect Halloween costumes!  I feel like the furniture pieces and household accessories are reasonably priced, however some pieces may need a little TLC.  They’ve just recently completed their website, but it leaves something to be desired and doesn’t do the store justice – just go check it out (you can’t miss the lime green facade!) if you’re downtown, then walk a few blocks up the road and grab a beer at The Raleigh Times!

Hipsteria – Located at 2050 Clark Ave. in Raleigh’s Cameron Village (the third location in 2 years), this is the priciest of the three.  You’ll see names like Herman Miller, Knoll, Wassily and Overman.  The collection at Hipsteria is pretty impressive.  I particularly like the selection of credenzas and danish modern chairs, but most of the pieces here are way out of my price range.  Start saving if you wanna splurge here!

Raleigh Flea Market – Located at 1025 Blue Ridge Rd at the state fairgrounds, perusing the many vendors collections at the flea market is a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon!  I’ve seen many mid-century pieces here, but you can almost guarantee that by purchasing one, you’re taking on a project!  To me, that sounds like a fun challenge!  And the best part – prices are negotiable!

Happy Hunting!

(Images 1-6 = property of Amanda Barnhardt; Images 7-8 property of ; Image 9 property of; Image 10 property of ; Image 11 property of

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As easy as E-T-S-Y

I’m likely preaching to the choir because chances are you’ve heard of Etsy.    If not, here’s your chance to catch up with the times.  Etsy is known as the ebay for art.  It is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage items.

Affordable art can be difficult to come by as is finding the exact thing you’re looking for.  You want a print of a raccoon wearing a tuxedo, no problem!  A house for your dog that looks like a tiki hut, okay!  Want to decorate your Christmas tree with ornaments made entirely of bicycle parts, sure thing!  Many items can even be personalized!  There are definitely some bizarre items for sale on Etsy, some of which remind me of Phoebe Buffay’s creations!  In my opinion, the true Etsy gems are in the prints!

Here are a few prints I really liked.  Most of these are very affordable too.

You can find cute little prints in various different sizes too, so they’d make a great display as a series on one wall.  And they don’t necessarily require a frame.  See the one with the lemon that was creatively hung with easel clips.

They could also probably be hung on foam board or by sticking photo corners (used in scrap-booking) directly to the wall.  I’m sure there are other unique ways to hang prints on the wall.  If you think of any – let me know!

Esty caters to various other mediums too.  They’ve got jewelry, pottery, stationary, purses, blankets, pillows, furniture … you name it!  With tens of thousands of sellers, you may even know someone with a store!  Okay, go peruse the website, but be forewarned –  purchasing items on Etsy can be habit forming!

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