15 August 2017

Swedish Country Dream Dining

Hey y'all! So clearly I've been on a decorating kick recently! Today I'm putting together my dream dining room. I've always said, when decorating, invest a little extra money in quality pieces. Too often I've tried to save money by buying the lowest priced items. Not only do I have to buy them again a few years (or sometimes months!) later because they break or wear down quickly, but I'm usually really dissatisfied because I settled on something I didn't completely love. So whether you're outfitting your own new dining room with purchases from your local vintage shop or buying new dining pieces from a shop like Arhaus, make sure you're getting well made, solidly built pieces that will stand the test of time! If you're crafty, you can even DIY pieces for a completely tailored-to-you look!

We've recently moved (that makes 7 moves in 8.5 years- such is the life of a Veteran spouse hehe) and so my mind always wanders towards our dream home one day. The hubby likes dark wood cabin man caves, and I like bright and white! I may have discovered a great blend of the two, which we shall call Swedish Country style! Inspired by Nordic farmhouses, it is clean and airy meets rustic, cozy charm- think lots of natural woodtones and pops of metals, very earthy, but usually with a white wash or earth-tone pastel tones. So, what would that style look like in my dream dining room? Well, let's explore...

(1) Large, solid farmhouse table- We love hosting family and friends, so an extendable table (or just a really large one to begin with! Hehe) is definitely top priority! This beauty at Arhaus fits the bill perfectly.
(2) Benches and seating galore- I love benches in a dining room! You can squeeze extra people on it, especially when there's kids about. We usually also have extra chairs in the corners of our dining room, so we can pull those up to the table when we need the extra seats at the table. While I love the idea of upholstered dining chairs, in reality, I think they're completely impractical! One spill of pasta sauce, and they're toast! So I'd opt for leather dining seat surfaces or pop on some slip covers- both easy to clean. Totally in love with this slip covered beauty!
(3) China hutch- I love a beautiful table, and we use our formal China set a few times a year, which means we need storage for such servewear and spare settings. So a China hutch is a must for us. This guy would completely fit the Scandinavian farmhouse style perfectly, and the color and detailing of this one would go great, but personally, I love ones that have a "counter" area that can function as a buffet area for large meals. There never seems to be enough room on the table for all of the platters when we cook large meals! So I love having that extra serving space right in the dining room. Ideally, I'd love to also have a butlers pantry in the pass through between my dream kitchen and dream dining room- extra storage and serving area, score!
(4) Floors and walls- This is where the Scandinavian feel starts to shine through. Grey or white washed floors, even painted white floors are really popular. Some earth tone pastels grace the walls and trim, or even some Nordic inspired wallpaper.
(5) Accessorize- Natural wood or white candlesticks, a pop of rustic iron pendants and sconces, and linens in popular Nordic patterns are the icing on the cake! Stick with natural elements, whether it's wood, metal, colors, and you're well on your way towards outfitting your dining room in the Swedish country feel. A little rusticness is good- perhaps some chippy paint on your vintage China hutch, or some rust on your metal sconce, these just add to the cozy farmhouse charm and keeping your colors light and bright give it that Scandinavian feel. Simple lines, uncluttered, homey.

Do you think this is a style you'd enjoy in your home? I think it's a great blend of the natural elements  with your shabby chic/French country type styles!

07 July 2017

Western Decor

Hey friends! Long time no talk! Lots of changes around our home here, from a move to two new jobs to two active wee ones to begin homeschooling! So as we settle into our next home, it's the perfect time to talk a bit about decor, specifically Wester Decor! I'm showcasing a few amazing goods from King Ranch today while I share some of my favorite tips for infusing western into your own home. Most of you don't know that I grew up riding horses. When I think of western decor, my mind, of course, automatically goes to horses- from wool saddle blankets to wood and iron fences, from leather tack to wide, open fields for grazing. These are many of the very same ideas that can translate perfectly into decor ideas!

Western decor really has the horse at the center of everything. So, naturally, horses must play a part in your room. It could be as simple as framing up a western themed postcard set, like this beautiful set from King Ranch here, or as elaborate as a print transferred onto barn wood for a wall hanging. Toss in a few throw Mustang pillows, a wrought iron horse statue, and you've got yourself a great start!

Leather & Wool
"Tack" is a horse term referring to the pieces that you put on a horse in order to ride- saddle, bridle, saddle pad, etc. Leather and wool are by far the most commonly used materials, and as such, is very much a part of western decor. Maybe a big, old western saddle sitting in your sitting room might be a bit much, but there's many ways to gently infuse these ideas into a room. Leather, as a seating option, is pricey but incredibly durable. If you're going to spend the money somewhere, this would be a good place to do so. King Ranch has some amazing seating options, if you're looking for new, like this loveseat, or this incredible sofa. Another option is to shop your local antique store or consignment store. Leather often gets better with age, more supple and comfortable, provided it's well taken care of, so these second-hand options can be the best of both worlds- a perfectly primed seat at a fraction of the cost! If you don't have the money for a large leather piece, there's lower-cost methods for adding leather to your room- a few leather-bound books you picked up at the swap shop or some old luggage that your grandparents were fixin to throw out. Add a wool blanket to your sofa, in a traditional western pattern, or a wool accent rug or two, and you've got the perfect staples for a western-inspired room. King Ranch even has some adorable rug coasters for your table tops!

Iron & Wood
We've already talked about a few textures common to western decor, two more are wrought iron and wood. Barnwood is very in right now, but it has also withstood the stand of time, and thus makes a great addition to any decor. A sliding barn door set on iron rails is the perfect statement piece for a room, and seamlessly incorporates both textures. Maybe it's an amazing railroad-inspired coffee table or a DIY wet bar fashioned out of an old whiskey barrel! King Ranch even makes an iron bistro set with a cooler built into the barrel table- a.ma.zing. Smaller iron and wood pieces can add the perfect punch of western inspiration as well- a chunky wooden bowl or vintage wagon wheel, maybe a lamp made from reclaimed iron parts!

The wide, open fields that you see horses grazing on, full of diverse flora, lends itself perfectly to the current trend of succulent plants. Many of the western states are perfect hosts for succulents as well, so this decor bit again works perfectly. Maybe you add in some silk or felt "plants" displayed on some chunky, barn wood pieces. Maybe you find a local artist, or support a small business owner via Etsy by purchasing a handmade print of some succulents. My favorite idea is to take an old pair of cowboy boots and turn it into a succulent planter! Not to mention, when you retire an old pair, it's an excuse to invest in a new pair of boots too, hehe ;)

I hope today's post has helped spark a few ideas of how you can refresh your space with a western flair! Incorporate just a few tips for a subtle effect, or infuse a ton of western theming by taking to heart all of the elements I've mentioned today! Happy trails, friends :)