Cottage Studio Color Story

Thursday, October 1, 2015

When I'm designing a room, I love keep the key players in the room more on the neutral side, soft grey walls, dark floors and key pieces of furniture is either black or white or wood. I love bringing in color with accessories: colorful lamps, pillows, artwork, books and throw. 

Every room has a color story that helps tie everything together and makes the room flow. The color story, also tells you if the space is casual, or takes its self serious based on the colors in the room. I knew I wanted the colors in the cottage to feel fresh and fun and comfy, in many ways like an extension of my home. 

When I started planning the design plan for the cottage, I decided the dominant color in the would be navy. To me navy also reads timeless, but also looks fresh. I paired navy with Chartreuse and Shades of green. Chartreuse isn't for everyone, but in my home the colors just work, navy + chartreuse look so good together! In my house, I'm the only girl, so I don't often get the chance to use pink, so I decided to go for it and throw in some pink to the mix with accents, a pretty pink and blue pillow and artwork found on Etsy that is feminine and pink! I'm not a girly girly, so it was fun to add the splash of pink 

As I mentioned, I love layering colors accessories and when the main colors in the room are neutral the accents you add with artwork, objects and pillows make everything pop in your room. Below are the colors, patterns and artwork in the cottage studio. I've had so much fun mixing the fabrics and patterns, the trio of colors makes me so happy! 

Now that I'm back from from my holiday, I cant wait to spend some time in there in the evenings getting myself truly settled in. I have bookcases that need to be both styled and practical, I'm made some changes since sharing my completed studio on The Home Depot Apron Blog. I have so many projects around my house that need my attention and I know once I'm fully settled in the cottage, I'll be more productive and get those projects done. 

I'm in the process of working on a full video tour of the cottage, its one of my favorite places to spend my time, I can't put into words how amazing it feels to have my own studio, this is something I've dreamed about for years. I'm looking forward to showing you all around my studio, it will be the first video I've created for Chic Little House so crossing my fingers it goes well. 

What are the color stories in your house? Are you a black and white and gold kind of girl, love dark moody walls or all white? 

Door Inspiration from Across the Pond

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

While I was on Holiday in England, I was struck with the beauty of all the English doors I would encounter both in the English countryside and in London. Everyone seemed unafraid of using color, lovely hardware etc. to  make their front doors stand out. I started an impromptu #dooroftheday on my Instagram after falling in love with all the pretty doors I would see, a fun way to share my love of pretty front doors. Follow me on Instagram @mrsclh to see more of these fabulous English doors and musings from my day to day. 

A quick fun fact about English doors, most doors in England don't have the traditional 'American Door Knob,' most of the doors in the United Kingdom have night latches instead and also use old fashioned skeleton keys, if a door does have a knob its usually placed in the center of the door. Its so cool how country can be so similar, yet have subtle differences. Here's a roundup of fantastic inspirational doors. 

Here's proof that even if your home has a brick exterior you don't have to play it safe and paint your door a basic color: red, white or black. This green door looks so good paired with the aging brick on this lovely home. On my house, we have a mixture of brick + siding and I went with the bold fun color of Chartreuse for my door, and couldn't be happier. 

Many homes in England are terraced houses which are a row of mirror houses that share side walls, making it hard to stand out in a crowd. One way to help give your house more personality is by having a bright colored door or unique front door. I loved seeing terraced houses side by side that looked so unique to do their door choices and paint color. 

This wood arched door is to die for, trust me when I say its even more stunning in person. 

This Parisian door, stole my heart while in vising Paris for the day. I intend to print this door out and frame it, I know whenever I see it I'll think of Paris. 

I hope you enjoyed a few of my favorite doors, I came across while on my Holiday. I put together several ideas for to take your front door from blah to wow, that I'm sharing next week on the blog! Do you also have a thing with lovely doors? Do they also stop you in your tracks and make stop and take pics? 

Still Cable Free

Friday, September 25, 2015

About once a year, I love sharing an update about how my family has been 100% cable free for years. Back in 2011 we noticed we were watching less and less of our cable shows and more of watching TV though our Roku player [ read more about our decision here ] We decided to wait 6 months before, making it official and cutting our cable cord, happily with the decision to cut the cable cord also came with saving money each month on a service we no longer used. I love sharing our cable free household updates because its great reminder to elevate how your watching television [ can your household cut the cable cord and save money? ]  I also like sharing our breakdown and what channels we pay for, along with sharing a few shows you simply must check out [ see here for a few recent favs ] 

As I mentioned above we watch TV though our Roku player, which is streaming device for playing various channels by using your WiFi. Once Roku is connected to your WiFi network, your able to subscribe to several channels including: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and many many more. Some channels are free and some you pay a monthly subscription fee for. Currently we pay a monthly subscription to Netflix [ been a member for pretty much forever ] Hulu and Amazon. We also subscribe to a few free channels that have a few movies & television shows on them. My favorite free channel is PBS, its where I watch the latest Masterpiece Classics & Mysteries including: Downton Abbey [ boo only one series left ] and Grantchester. The channels are setup your television just like apps are on your phone.

Personally, Roku has been a huge game changer in my household and really changed they way we watch our television & how we think of television. I now watch TV shows when I want to vs. when their on, no more sitting around on Thursday nights waiting for shows to come on. I can binge watch my favorite shows and watch them on weekends or whenever I have time. 

In addition to Roku, they are several other streaming devices now on the market including Amazon Fire and Apple TV just to name a few. For our household we love our tried and true Roku Player. Thanks to an app with have our phones, we never have to worry about losing the remote control, we can just use our phone. 

I love how intuitive TV watching though Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu is, they recommend so many shows based on my family's viewing habits. For me they're always recommending  British TV Show or Movie. I've seriously discovered so many amazing shows thanks to Netflix and Hulu, which can be dangerous since I LOVE binge watching lol. And its not just new TV shows I've discovered its older ones too, that are in their 4th season or so and I've just recently got hooked thanks to the recommendations they've given me based on my viewing history. 

Here's a quick breakdown of what we pay for, Internet $55 [ via Comcast a service we'd pay for even if we had cable ] Netflix $8.99, Hulu $7.99 [ they now offer Showtime as an add-on amount ] and Amazon Prime $100 per year [ Amazon Prime membership also includes FREE shipping - the amount breaks down to $8.33 a month, can't beat that plus free shipping!! ]  So roughly we pay around $ 25.00 a month to watch TV which includes a ton of movies, and a huge catalog of foreign TV shows and old shows that are still good to watch. 

My Hulu view

As for kids, I love that Avery can watch a slew of shows [ when we let him! ] including old schools favorites like Sesame Street & Reading Rainbow. Do you remember Reading Rainbow? Its such a good show and perfect to help spark kids love of reading. Our oldest son watch his movies and a few ABC Family shows, but mostly he's in his room being a teen. We have two Roku players in our house, on in the living room and one in our bedroom. Tabari uses his Wii U in his bedroom to watch Netflix [ but during the school week! ] 

As for a few good shows to check out, I highly recommend these UK shows found on Netflix , Hulu & Amazon Prime: Happy Valley, Doc Martin, Scott & Bailey, Outlander and me, as Bruno Mars would say 'don't believe just watch

Now for my favorite, what's your thoughts. Do you have a love / hate relationship with cable? Is your home cable free or do you have both cable and a Roku [ or other streaming device ] ?

7 Vacation Present Ideas for Kids

Thursday, September 24, 2015

I recently returned from a two week Holiday in England visiting my best friend, we had a fabulous time. I'm head over in heels in love with England and looking forward to going back! While there I wanted to bring home some presents for my kids that would go beyond typical souvenirs, like t-shirts and key chains. Although I bought those too! I really want my kids to have a love of traveling, I've traveled around several parts of the United States but never internationally until recently. Having just taken my first trip aboard, its really solidified a need inside me to explore other countries and get several stamps in my passport. Getting my first stamp in my passport was so exciting, I smiled for ear to ear. 

I decided to buy presents for my kids that would help spark their own love of travel for destinations far away. I'm so looking forward to taking my kids or their first international trip. However, I'm not necessary looking forward to the long flight with them! 

While visiting, we spent a day trip in Paris and while there, I bought Avery a French kids book, and I don't speak French! The pictures in the book looked adorable, I decided to translate every page so we can read the book together. I also bought two Babar prints and Spider-man print from a street vendor while walking along the Siene River, I'm looking forward to hanging the prints in their rooms. I love that the Babar prints are both in French, one is a counting print and the other a book cover print. While in visiting around England, I bought Avery a few more kids books and Tabari a license plate from his favorite team. He loved that the license plates in the UK are so huge! 

I've rounded up a list of present ideas for your kids to obtain on your next vacation that hopefully will spark their love of travel and sense of wonder about how other places in the US and across the globe live. 

1. Books: Look for books that are distinctive to the State or Country your visiting. Language How To books for kids are so much fun to buy and then practice with your kids on how to say the words. Books about the a State of Country's history presented in fun learning way is also a fun way to learn about other cultures. 

2. Games: During your vacation try and locate family game that you can also play when you return home. Maybe there's a Italian version of Life that would be fun to play home?

3. Maps: If your going on lots of day trips of visiting various historical sites while on vacation, purchase a map that includes the points of interest and mark the places on the map you visited. Alternatively Etsy seller Water Color Maps has several adorable kids maps that are perfect to frame. 

4. Toys: Look for toys that feel unique to the area your visiting

5. Artwork: Hands down my favorite find was being able to locate artwork for my kids walls. When you buy artwork during your travels there's often a story behind it which makes the piece much more special. Plus whenever you see the artwork it will remind you and your children of the vacation. 

6. Regional Candy: Most kids love candy, and its always fun to try out candy for different parts of the country and visually see the difference and taste it. I bought my husband and kids several treats to try out from my holiday. 

7. License Plate: As I mentioned above, my son loved the License plate gift. While visiting the gift shops, look for fun novelty license plates, they make great decorations in kids rooms. The one I found for my son is branded with his favorite soccer team Manchester United. I totally scored cool mom points with the find. 

I hope you've enjoyed my roundup of present ideas for kids, I love finding special presents for my children that have a story behind it. 

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