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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13 Reasons Candles Make the Perfect Gift

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Sometimes you have a hard-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list. No wait… usually you have a hard-to-buy-for person on your list.

Candles make great gifts for a number of reasons. Here are thirteen:

    1. Women and men both enjoy fragrant aromas – hence perfume AND cologne.
    2. Candles bring a sense of warmth into a place. And who doesn’t need warmth during our Iowa winters?
    3. Batteries not included, and that’s ok! Most candles don’t need anything more than a flame.
    4. However, if safer is what you’re looking for, we do have a variety of newer types of candles that run on power.
    5. Candles are calming. A calming aroma can soothe the heart and relieve tension.
    6. The sense of smell is highly related to memory. Smells bring back memories.
    7. Smells can help create new memories too! What tradition do you want to carry on with the help of scents?
    8. You can match a person’s candle to their favorite food showing them that you really know them.
    9. Aroma and dim lighting are totally unconscious relaxation mechanisms that go back to when we were able to light a fire in the mouth of a cave and see if it was safe to go inside. Apparently candle relaxation is ingrained in our brains.
    10. You can add a candle to just about any gift basket and make it better – bath basket, reading basket, cooking basket — you name it, there’s a candle for it.
    11. If you want the smell without the smoke, you can opt for wax melters.
    12. If you want the smell without any heat at all, there are reed diffusers.
    13. Candles make good decor – it’s like two gifts in one!

Do you have any other great reasons candles make great gifts? Please share!

Happy Gifting! – Julie

Fantastic Facebook Fans

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If you did any Black Friday or Small Business Saturday shopping this weekend, you’ll probably agree with me that it was a CRAZY couple of days.

For the first time ever, I offered a special coupon to our Facebook Fans only – 50% off any one item in the store. I sure hope you’re a fan already, but if not, go now and like our page. Then you’ll be sure to get the special coupon next time!

Over 70 new friends of the shoppe started following our page in the last week or so, and we’re SO glad you’re there. It’s on Facebook that we show new merchandise and give daily updates on what’s happening at Julieann’s.

If this is your first time visiting the blog, welcome! It’s here that I chat about decorating, home trends, holiday ideas and other things I want to share with you all. Please feel free to read through some of the old blog posts to get a feel for it, and then sign up to have the blogs sent right to your inbox every week. Also, we love to hear from our followers, so please comment as you feel inclined!

If you’ve been following Just Julie all along, thanks for your loyal support! And to our new fans, we look forward to having you hang out with us online. Ok, that’s just weird that I’m even saying that, I know, but I do really love the blog and our Facebook fans. Guess I have to keep up with the times!

-Julie

Party Recipes for Every Season

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It’s not very often that I promote something in the shoppe, but this new cookbook I have is worth promoting. It’s not actually super-new – it came out this past summer – but it’s in the store now, just in time for gift-giving!

Entertaining has become a lost art because of today’s busy lifestyles. I have to say, it’s just hard to make time. However, this cookbook helps you throw a party with minimal effort. It’s not only full of recipes, but also ideas for party themes, online invitation downloads, menus, shopping lists for your phone, music suggestions, and my favorite – table decorations!

The author, Debbie, is from Iowa, and the food is Iowa good! Of course I love distributing Iowa stuff in the store, but especially when I think my customers will really benefit from it. There are tons of photos and great recipes that I think you’ll like.

We took some photos for you to see what’s inside this awesome cookbook. We’ve got a stack of them, so feel free to come peruse it in the shoppe. I’m pretty sure you’ll want one for yourself too.

Happy Cooking! -Julie

Shoppe Surprises – Sparkle and Yarn Bows

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Christmas has arrived at the shoppe, and we had a wonderful holiday open house this past weekend. Thanks to all of you who came out and visited us on the grey winter day.

Some of my favorite things in the shoppe this season are the sparkly ‘bows’, for lack of a better word. The bows magically appeared via my right-hand woman, Gayle. She whipped them up just like you would a normal bow, but they just seem more festive than the traditional ribbon.Sparkly bow in silver

You could probably make these in a smaller format with sparkle stems, but we have rolls of sparkle wire in the store, if you’d like to try making a larger one for yourself. I think they have much more impact if they are a bit bigger.Sparkly bow in red

We also experimented with some yarn bows, and I love how they turned out – amazing! I always love trying old tricks with new materials. It’s pure Christmas joy! (Ok, that may be stretching it… but still, they are my favorites in the store right now.)Red yarn bow

Either of these bows would be a great addition to your holiday decor, a big gift or perhaps the top of your tree!

Welcome to the holidays! -Julie

Crafty Christmas Ornaments

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I’m feeling a little crafty today, and ran across some cute DIY Christmas ornament tutorials, so I thought I’d share them.

The first one is an Epsom salt glass ball. Clear glass ornament + glue + Epsom salt = gorgeous glass! Here’s the how to.

Thinking along those same lines, you can cover glass ornaments with fabric. Whatever fabric you want! Change them every year if you prefer! These ornaments are fun and easy to make. Best of all… who doesn’t have boxes of random colored Christmas bulbs left over from the year you thought you’d “change it up”?

Here’s the same idea, only in burlap. Cute!

Speaking of burlap, if you want to take a bit more time with your creations – burlap and rag-wrapped ornaments are all the rage this season. Stop by the shoppe to grab a roll of burlap and start cutting, wrapping and gluing! Snag some twine, and you’ll have a trendy tree this Christmas!

Now that it’s November, bring on Christmas! If you’re really in the spirit, come check out the store. Christmas is arriving every day!

– Julie

Bathroom Beautiful

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Lots of time is spent on making our houses into homes, but one room is often overlooked. Hours of time are spent finding the perfect pieces for the living room, bedroom or den, but the place that we spend a small portion of EVERY day is often decorated with a generic bath collection and then forgotten about.

Here are a few easy swaps that can make your bathroom uniquely yours:

Tissue box holder/covers– Lay tissues in a canvas box or metal tin.

tissue box tin, bathroom decoration

Tissue box made with an old piece of tin from oldtinstuff.com

Lotion and soap dispensers– Check out etsy.com for fun ideas on bottles turned useful. Here’s a Coke bottle, but you can find them in almost any variation.

Coke bottle lotion dispenser, bathroom decorating

Find unique dispensers on esty.com. This one is from etsy.com/shop/allbottledupinindy

Toothbrush holders– Use test tubes decorated to match your theme.

make-your-own-toothbrush-holder

Make Your Own Toothbrush Holder from craftstew.com

Cotton ball or Q-tip canisters– Stash these products in ball jars either hung on the wall or lined up on the vanity.

Ball jars for cotton balls, bathroom decorating

DIY mason jar holder from lizmarieblog.com/2011/01/mason-jar-love/

Wastebaskets– Trash cans come in an amazing variety of shapes, styles and materials. Just take a Google at all of the designs out there.

trash can, bathroom decorating

Trash cans come in an amazing variety of shapes, styles and materials. This one, from thehandmadehome.net, is a bucket turned waste paper can.

Shower caddies– Install a glass shelf in the shower instead. It’s much prettier and easier to clean than the small wire frames of the caddies.

Glass Shelf in shower, bathroom decoration

Glass Shelf Install from familyhandyman.com

To hide unattractive items like electric toothbrushes and curling irons, check out these awesome DIY storage ideas for bathrooms.

Also, don’t forget that bathroom counters and tub surrounds can be great places for tall, slender vases of silk flowers or trays with your favorite jars of bath salts and/or linens.

One piece of distinct artwork added to a bare wall could save a lot of time painting (bathrooms have many cabinets and plumbing connections that make painting a small space take a long time!)

Cheers to buidling a beautiful bathroom! Julie