Color in the Kitchen

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They say too many cooks in the kitchen is a bad thing, but too much color in the kitchen? That’s never a bad thing! Ok, never say never… but today we’re getting outside of our beige box!

The kitchen is often one of the most under-decorated places in the house, and yet, it’s the room that is most often the gathering point of the entire home. Many, many more people see your kitchen than the bedroom you worked so hard on styling (sorry, but it’s true!)

I really think that the kitchen is often forgotten because there tends to be lack of wall space. In addition, functionality trumps trend, and we give up trying. Cabinets and toasters take over, and before we know it, we’ve forgotten that there are other ways we can make the kitchen dynamic and inviting.

One of the best ways to do this is with bright-colored dishes, linens, serving ware, cookbooks and recipe boxes – essentially, accessories for your kitchen. If you can move beyond storing your “accessories” in drawers and behind doors, you’ll find that they can be some of the most useful decor you own.

Do you have a kitchen bench or small area that could use a throw pillow? Toss a machine-washable one into the mix to see what happens; you may be surprised! Need a canister for your utensils? Why not use a colored glass jar or a bright ceramic pitcher?

If you’re in a small space, combining functionality with fun colors can be a great way to stretch a budget too. If you need to purchase dishes anyway, why not make them part of your overall design?

The best part is, colored kitchens are in! Long gone are the days when Fiesta® was your only option. Thanks to Rachael Ray and others who pushed retail back into a world of colors other than white, we now have a variety of palettes to choose from.

I just received a huge shipment of blue, orange, lime, purple and red kitchenware at the shoppe! Check out the photos or drop by if you want to see it for yourself!

How have you incorporated color into the cocina? I’d love to hear your ideas on being creative in the kitchen!

Julie

Good Luck is in Your Future

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Spring hasn’t arrived in Iowa quite yet, but it has arrived at the shoppe! The new inventory makes me ready for beautiful weather and green scenery.

If you remember, this fall we talked about how owls were making their comeback. The animal trend in home decor is still strong and not going anywhere soon. This spring it seems rabbits are the hoppin’ thing! (Ok, that one’s a stretch!)

Rabbits symbolize luck, success and fertility. They are a sign of spring and warm weather to come. We have bunnies and rabbits in all sorts of shapes and sizes in the shoppe. Need some good fortune sent your way? Come check them out!

Will a rabbit find a place in your home this spring? – Julie

Succulents are Hot – 5 Reasons You Should Try Some for Yourself

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Succulents are very hot right now. I finally got mine arranged and photographed (with my new tablet that I absolutely LOVE!). I thought I’d show you how easy these plants are to use in your decorating.

My favorite things about succulents are that they are almost care-free and they can be placed in anything – even a simple glass bowl.

succulent

Here are the Top 5 Reasons You Should Try Some For Yourself:

  1. They come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, textures and colors. Each person’s choice is representative of her taste.
  2. They’re inexpensive – can’t beat that!
  3. They are almost impossible to screw up; a little water now and then, and you’re done.
  4. They can live in almost any container – I do love a simple glass bowl, but check out these unique ideas! (A succulent wreath… yes, please!)
  5. They make amazingly unique decor.

Try some out for yourself, and then send me a picture of what you’ve created. I’d love to see what you come up with!

– Julie

DIY Wainscoting

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Happy Monday!

The weather warmed up this weekend, but what comes with warm weather in the middle of winter? Melting snow and mud! I love the pristine scene that a fresh snowfall paints, but when the white becomes a dirty pile of coldness… yuck!

Not sure if it’s the desire for that pure white look or what, but I’ve really been into wainscoting lately. It’s so perfectly smooth and clean; I’m just drawn to it!

Wainscot or wainscoting is a type of paneling that is used on the lower portion of a wall between the baseboard and the chair rail. It can get pricey, so if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, this blog is for you! I’ve been perusing Pinterest and have found tons of fun ways to experiment with wall-panel wainscoting, board and batten, and beadboard.

Check out these how-to blogs for some fun ways to spruce up your home on an after-Christmas-shopping-spree-paying-off-the-credit-cards kind of budget.

Wall-panel wainscoting: This gal used crown molding and paint to create wall-panel wainscoting. I also saw examples of DIYers using cheap frames nailed to the wall and painted over. Easy peasy wainscoting!  

DIY Wainscoting by Decorchick.com

DIY Wainscoting by Decorchick.com

Board and batten: I love what this family did with some lumber and paint when they needed a more functional area. Board and batten in the entry!

Board and Batten by thenatos.com

Board and Batten by thenatos.com

Beadboard: Ok, you have to be willing to do wallpaper, however…. how cool is this? Wallpaper beadboard!

Beadboard wallpaper by southernhospitatlityblog.com

Beadboard wallpaper by southernhospitatlityblog.com

If you decide to test out these wall projects, be sure to let me know how it goes!

Happy DIYing!
-Julie

2012 in Review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for our blog. Isn’t that cool?

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Reading their report got me thinking about our year-end, and some of the highlights of 2012. Besides starting our very first blog that had over 1000 views (WOO HOO!), we celebrated 18 years as a shoppe. That’s a really long time! I could have raised a kid in that time… oh wait, I did!

Another thing that stuck out in my mind was the wild popularity of metal art this year. Both indoor and outdoor art flew out the door all year long. I could barely keep up!

We had quite a few sales and events this year, but by far, our most popular was our first ever Black Friday/Small Business Saturday Facebook coupon for 50% off one item! It was a huge hit! We’re so glad that many of our loyal customers and Facebook fans could find a deal for Christmas.

Speaking of Facebook, 2012 brought hundreds of new fans, literally! As of right now, we have 419 fans of the shoppe. That’s over a hundred more than in 2011. I really enjoy sharing photos from the shoppe with all of our fans and being able to communicate about specials, changes in hours and general decorating info. I hope you’re enjoying it too! I look forward to what 2013 will bring! If there’s anything you’d like to see more of on Facebook, on the blog, or in the shoppe for that matter… just leave a comment!

Another year on the books, and another one on the way! What a blessing to be able to help amazing customers make their houses into homes every day!

See ya next year!
Julie

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

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DSC02433It seems like we’ve been waiting all season for snow, and now it’s finally in the forecast. Lots of it! It’s kind of a love/hate thing: snow on Christmas makes my heart merry, but then the logistics of a snow storm and all the things I have left on my to-do list crowd into my whimsical thoughts.

For those of you who haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, you should really stop in tomorrow before the storm hits! You never know when you’ll get out again! Ok, you’ll probably be shoveled out by Saturday, but why wait until the last minute, right?

Much of our Christmas stock is 30% off! You can shop for those people on your list who haven’t been 30% offcrossed off yet or wrap yourself up something from Santa! We’re happy to help those elves that need some shopping advice too. Just send them in with instructions to ask for Julie!

Wishing you a white Christmas!
-Julie

How I Decorate for the Holidays

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One of the most frequently asked questions I get in the store is about how I decorate my own home. Since I’ve had a little time at home recently, I took some photos to show you!

Since we are sharing this new blog, I thought this would be a great place to put my holiday home photo album! Almost everything in my home is from the store (a perk of the job!). Please feel free to ask any questions you have on design or questions about your own holiday decorating. I’d love to hear from you!

Merry Christmas, from my home to yours!
-Julie

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