Come Join October's BEST OF THE NEST Party!!

Happy Halloween 
welcome to Best of the Nest!

It's your day to share your own favorite project from the past month!

A quick look back at the past month's favorites from yours truly and my lovely co-hosts KrisJenniferPam.
(If you are inclined to pin any of these images, please do so from the original source - thanks so much!)

I've been making some improvements to our mudroom, first by painting the stairs and flooring, and then by adding trim to the flat entry door, and just yesterday I posted a tutorial on creating a Floor To Ceiling Bulletin Board.  It definitely ups the happy factor in this space!
You can find me here…...

Pam at Simple Details revealed this gorgeous Fresh Modern Teen Girl's Room for a lucky girl!  Don't you love the colors in this space?
Pam @ Simple Details 
Jennifer at Dimples and Tangles shared her grandmother's Chocolate Covered Bon Bon recipe that I am definitely making for the holidays!
Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles

Last but not least, Kris at Driven by Decor revealed her fabulous Home Office Gallery Wall with great tips on how to create your own eclectic arrangement.
Kris @ Driven by Décor 

Now it's your turn to share!
What was your one favorite project of October?
Share and inspire with a DIY, art/craft project, recipe, room design or home improvement.

on Instagram include #bestofthenestparty 
and a tag to one of the BOTN hosts:

Every single month KrisJenniferPam and I feature our favorites from BOTN but we only feature blogs who link back to BOTN.  Thanks very much for either linking to one of our blogs, or posting a BOTN  button.   Please link back in the post you are sharing, not a link to a general party page - thanks!

Happy Halloween my friends and wishing you a wonderful weekend!


How To Make A Floor To Ceiling Bulletin Board

Eudora Welty once said,
"A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away."

There are some photos that just should not be hidden in a photo album.  
Moments I want to enjoy every day!

Life is so precious.  Everyone goes through hard times, but it's the HAPPY, JOYFUL, FUN memories that make our lives complete.  I want to focus on the good times and have our home serve as a reminder to my family of our many blessings.

I've always been a picture person - the one with the camera as far back as I can remember.  
That's not to say I'm a GOOD photographer - but I do love capturing moments.  
 I'm crazy for old photos of my family
and fun pictures of my kiddos, nieces, nephews and friends through the years.

We have a second fridge in the entry from our garage, and I used to cover it with photos in magnetic sleeves.  But there are just too many funny and cute photos around here and I started thinking about devoting a whole wall somewhere to snapshots that we could pin up randomly.

When I freshened up the mudroom I decided to mount an entire wall with a fabric-covered bulletin board.

It's a colorful and happy display and I love it!

I used a package of beaded styrofoam boards that I had on hand (for a cornice project that is still on my to-do list) but after using this product I would 
HIGHLY RECOMMEND using a sheet of polystyrene insulation 
(like what I used to mount my nautical map) instead.
The beaded styrofoam breaks down easily when you cut it and creates a huge mess.  
Also, the insulation is sturdier and will hold up to use better over time.

(Also, I must note:  any kind of insulation is terrible for the environment - it doesn't break down in landfills for hundreds of years - so I encourage you to use these materials conservatively.  Use what you have and recycle rather than throw it in the trash.)

The pros to using styrofoam or polystyrene insulation is that they are inexpensive and very easy to cut to size with a utility knife. 

Masonite is another building material that makes great bulletin boards (we have them in our kids' rooms) but it is heavier and much harder to cut.  Since I wanted to make cut-outs for the light switch plates, I opted for the lightweight insulation.

OKAY let's get to it!

To make a floor-to-ceiling bulletin board using insulation sheets:

1// Measure your wall.

2// Cut insulation.  Measure and mark, and then use a T-square to just perforate the insulation.  
Don't try to cut all the way through initially.  The utility blade will pull the insulation and create a bunched up, messy cut.

3// After perforating, go back over and cut the insulation all the way through.

4// If you are cutting out holes for an outlet or light switch plate, measure and mark on the insulation, then use the method above to perforate and cut out the hole.

5// If you have to join pieces of insulation together, tape up the seams with duct tape.

6// Cover with fabric.
I chose a funky Nate Berkus fabric (from Joann's) because I was feeling the need for something kind of modern around my house, liked the idea of black & white with the bright green door and floor, and the fact that it was 40% off the day I was there didn't hurt either.
Best of all, because of that crazy pattern, the fabric is very forgiving - I patched together a few pieces to create the length I wanted and the seams are not even detectable with photos hung on the board.
-apply spray adhesive to insulation (outside!!)
-lay insulation on top of fabric
-pull fabric edges tightly to the back of insulation
-secure fabric to back with either hot glue, duct tape or U pins (also known as fork pins) like these:

7// To wrap fabric around cut outs (ie. outlet or light switch plate):  
- with the fabric still facing the floor and the insulation adhered to it, cut a small hole in the center of fabric covering the cut out, then cut an X, making your cuts towards the corners.  
-each side of the insulation cut out will now have a triangular flap of fabric in front of it; take this flap and pull it to the back of the insulation, securing with glue, tape or pins.

8//  Trim out the board:
-flip the board over so fabric is facing up.
 -secure grosgrain ribbon to the edges of the cut out to cover up any raw edges of fabric (and the insulation will be visible in the corners.)
-trim out the edges of your bulletin board with ribbon and nail heads or thumbtacks (optional).  
(as you can see I ran out of railheads and need to pick up some more.  Thumbtacks would be much more economical!!)

9// Mount to wall.  I used small finish nails right through the fabric and styrofoam to attach the bulletin board to the wall.  Place a nail in each corner and then a few across the top and on the sides. 
The board is very lightweight and doesn't take much to keep it in place. 

And......enjoy your cheerful display of happy times!!

Next week I'll show you a couple other ways I spruced up this little area and made it a prettier place to welcome guests and come home to.

In the meantime can you believe tomorrow is Halloween???

It's also Best of the Nest Friday!

Come link up your own favorite project from the month of October, I can't wait to see what you've been up to!

Have a great day friends.  
And cheers to making happy memories!


QTT:: Drill Accessory

This one is for all the novice carpenters out there.

When I was working on my built in bookcases I learned so many little tips and tricks for carpentry.

If you use your drill a lot for projects, buy yourself one of these magnetic drill guides.

The magnetism makes changing out drill bits really quick and easy,

and the guide slips down over your screw so you can be sure to drive it in perfectly straight every time.

File this one away for that day you get around to building that mudroom bench, creating a wall of bookcases or installing new decking!!

If you are a wanna-be carpenter like me, here are a couple other posts you might be interested in:

Have a wonderful day my friends.  Thanks for stopping by!


A PB Inspired Office In The Works

A couple weeks ago I talked about one of my favorite navy paint colors, Newburyport Blue, because I was embarking on an office project with clients who are also our good friends.

You may remember the room refreshing I did for this family a while back, with a very cute someone serving as color palette inspiration:

Talk about LOW MAINTENANCE - this couple is the exact opposite of me - they have lived in their home for almost 14 years and have NEVER changed the wall color of their main living areas since the builder painted all the walls a creamy white.  14 years!!!  Do you know how many coats of paint I have put on my walls in 14 years?! I want to be them when I grow up.

Despite the fact that they are low maintenance about their home and decor, they have done a lot of living under this roof with their four kids and that cute pup, and the time had come to freshen up the space.  We had a color consultation almost a year ago and ended up painting the mudroom, kitchen and family room BM Grant Beige, and BM Nimbus Gray in the dining room.  To you Grant Beige might seem very neutral but it felt like a big step to my clients. 

A little time has gone by and now they are getting brave.  They let me talk them into an even bolder color for their office, which is on the other side of the foyer from their dining room.  

We looked at a lot of dark, moody room pictures and this Pottery Barn photo really struck a cord with them.

Along with this desk, the room already has two brown leather chairs and a gorgeous antique drop leaf gate leg table that I knew would be delicious with a dark blue.

In the end we sampled 6 navy and smoky blues - I always recommend sampling first!!!  It's so easy to rule out certain colors right off the bat.  We weren't looking for an exact match to the PB inspiration photo, just a color that felt good in the space, and worked well with Nimbus Gray in the dining room.  While I still love Newburyport Blue, we knew it was wrong as soon as we put the smallest swatch on the wall.  Some blues felt too grey, too purple, too green.  
(More on some of these colors in the near future - a couple of them are gorgeous in real life!!!!!!)

In the end this family of 6 voted on BM Stillwater #1650.  Here is the room before...

and a little look of the after, puppy approved!
My cell phone pics don't do the wall color justice, this is what is really looks like.
The smoky blue looks gorgeous with the brown leather & wood, and makes the white trim pop.

The desk got a makeover too, inspired by the Pottery Barn photo.

Next up, a rug, curtains, lamp and a gallery wall over the desk.

It's been so much fun to toss around ideas with the homeowners and see what appeals to them.

Seeing elements together on your computer is a great way to envision them in your space before you drag them all home.  A few combinations for this room....

Option One
"natural" curtains with Greek key or solid border on inside edge, paired with the Pottery Barn Nolan rug.

Option Two
simple white panels with or without a border on the inside edge, and the Nolan rug.  

Option 3 
simple white cotton panels (Ikea Lenda from the blog A Little Of A Lot) with Home Decorators' Riverwood rug.

Option Four
slate blue curtains (actually tablecloths from the Christmas Tree Shop!), paired with a natural fiber rug (similar one available from Overstock).

The verdict was.....

the Nolan rug with either white or natural curtain panels (Options 1 or 2) - but guess what?

this rug is out of stock until MARCH!  Just our luck.

So we are back on the hunt and hopefully I'll be back soon to share how it all came together!

That's a wrap for today, see you tomorrow for QTT my lovelies!


Quick Tip Tuesday

This is a tip I learned many years ago from a neighbor who has kids older than mine.  It has been a sanity saver over the years!

If you have little ones at home, create a binder to keep their important information close by.  
As they grow you will not even believe how many times you'll pull this out!!  

There is so much paperwork that comes into a home, isn't there? - especially when you have kids in school - and it's great to have a system to keep you organized.  I also keep my fur baby's info in this binder!

What you need:
Plastic sleeves
3 Ring hole punch

What to keep in it - for kids:
Copy* of birth certificate
Health form
Progress reports and report cards
Sports and activity schedules

 What to keep in it - for pets:
(Dog) license
Vaccination certificate

It doesn't have to be Pinterest-perfect!

The idea is to have important forms all in one convenient place.  Registration for sports and camps usually require a copy of your child's birth certificate and health form.  To me the health form is GOLD - it is a crisis if anyone's form goes missing because the doctor's office charges $25 for a signed copy.  I keep several copies of both the birth certificate and health form in plastic sleeves in the binder for quick access when needed.

I also like to keep school info in here for conference time.  It's so convenient to have standardized test reports, progress reports, etc. all in one place when a teacher conference is needed.  

Sometimes when life is busy (HAHAHA.....that would be all the time) I just chuck whatever documents I want to add to the binder in the inside pocket for 3 hole punching and organizing at a later date - at least they are in the binder when needed.

*I keep original birth certificates (along with social security cards and passports) in a locked firesafe box.

This binder and my paint fan decks - I would be lost without them!!!

Look at the fur baby's mug shot......taken when he was still a pup.....the photo is distorted and cracks us all up!

That's your quick tip today lovelies!  Do you have a system for keeping your family documents organized and handy?

A couple other ways you can stay organized with binders.....


Autumn Chalkboard Prints

Last year Kellie at Nest of Posies generously shared these gorgeous FREE fall printables.  
(if you would like to pin these printables please do so from the original site - thank you!)

I saved them to my computer and had one printed at Staples as an engineering print (I can't recall the exact price but engineering prints are super cheap - less than $5 - and perfect for anything in black & white).
I love how the beauty outside the window is reflected in this mirror and the frame glass.

I feel so blessed to live in New England with our amazing seasons!!!

Last year I stored the print away in it's woodsy frame, and was so happy to rediscover it within my seasonal storage, all ready to go this fall.  Along with treasures from my yard and the market, it's the perfect subtle nod to this warm and cozy time of the year.

Check out Nest of Posies for tons of gorgeous and free! prints, including a chalkboard series for Christmas. Thank you Kellie for the generous sharing of your artwork!


Quick Tip Tuesday:: Sheets

Particularly useful for queen or king size beds, and those of us who forget to put the freshly laundered sheets back on the bed until we are blinded by exhaustion at 11pm.  

I just made up that phrase - "one direction pattern" - but what I mean by that is a pattern that is either vertical or horizontal.  


Because it's so much quicker to put the sheets on the bed when you are not looking for the sides vs. top/bottom.  Nothing worse than when you just want to flop into bed and you start to put the sheets on the bed only to discover that the fitted sheet is the wrong way.  
(Okay there may be a few things that are worse but why cause yourself any unnecessary aggravation in life?)

I love my all white coverlet and comforter, but I only buy sheets with a 

For example......

While we're on the subject.....a word about brands and thread count.....

My husband is low maintenance in all areas except for the sheets that he sleeps on.  
He is INSANELY PICKY about sheets,
finding fault with 99% of them - too scratchy, to slippery, too this, too that.

Suffice it to say that over the years we have tried many different brands, from "investment" hoity-toity Bloomingdales sheets to the highest rated sheets by Real Simple magazine to random brands that claim to have insanely high thread counts.

My favorite sheet brand we have landed on is Tahari, and they are commonly found at TJMaxx, Marshalls and Homegoods for around $40/set for king size.  I initially bought a Tahari sheet set as our "backup sheets" (those nights when I realize I threw the sheets in the wash at 7am and forgot all about them - that is the story of my life) and we ended up looooovvvving them way more than the much more expensive sheets we were currently using.
They are only 300 thread count and yet we love the feel and quality of them, and they are deep (the corners don't inexplicably flip off our pillow-top mattress in the middle of the night).  

We are OVER the whole high thread count thing because we don't always find that high thread count sheets equate to fine fabric, comfort or durability.  

We have had these sheets for about 2 years and they have held up great and feel sooooo nice at the end of the day.

If you're interested in reading more about what to look for when buying sheets, 
check out this HGTV guide.

Happy Quick Tip Tuesday lovelies!