Friday, January 30, 2015

Play Pretties: Inspiration from The Nesting Place

I posted on New Year's Eve that I was planning on freshening up my walls after receiving Myquillin Smith's The Nesting Place, an approachable design book, this Christmas.  I have been playing with my family room walls and borrowing items from different rooms in the house to make this one its best.  I've switched out lamps, picture frames, and discovered a lot of potential that I had stuffed inside a closet or forgotten cabinet.

After I duct-taped our last couches within an inch of their lives (very thin leather that laid down and died after one too many flounce) and we moved up to a better class of furniture store (for us),  I jumped on my husband's open wallet like a tick on a June dog.  I'm not terribly decisive for the most part, but I know from my upbringing that you don't second guess a husband's good will to spend. You just nod your head and say SOLD.  We got two neutral couches and mirrored coffee and side tables.  If I was totally following The Nester's design aesthetic, I would no doubt buy each piece from a different location and have a sewing party to stitch together vintage linens for my couches, but no, we went to Ashley and got some couches 'cause Mama needed to give up strategic blanket covering of the old couches because it was becoming a stronghold.

On the end table above (left), I pulled my son's 2-year-old  hand print painting from his first preschool teacher, as well as a couple of pictures that fit with the colors and sentiment of the "Joy Comes In The Morning" plaque.  The lamp was originally in my son's nursery until his two-year-old self started clearing the shelves at naptime when it was moved to the closet.  Later, I repurposed it to my bedside table until reading this book.  We needed lamps and I wasn't willing to buy any after the spending orgy of Christmas and furniture buying, so I made the family room my priority. The mirror about this sofa matches my son's dresser, but we had never hung it as he has a bunch of cute boy stuff on his walls.  It has sat for years in a closet until volia: inspiration!  We have a blank space to fill.   If I got really creative, I'd go ahead and paint the wood aqua or cream, another Nester maxim.  You can't ruin a piece in which you didn't heavily invest.  Maybe I will.

On the right, I played around with old prints that had not been displayed for a while and swapped out frames for contrast and texture.  I also brought out our wedding album that sat in a neglected corner cabinet where I can enjoy it.

The Nesting Place

 We took back the house and have a coffee table on which to place things.  No one has gotten a concussion and there are plenty of shows and performances despite less space for rambunctious play.

This chest was our stand-in side table but now fills an empty nook and holds all our photo albums.  The prints above have been moved around quite a bit.  The frames were first hung on a gallery wall, but I realized they looked dinky in such a large space.  I switched out the prints to our most current family picture and finally found a spot with which I'm happy.  

A gallery wall start-up.  I had a 11 x 14 frame and large tray anchoring this wall surrounded by smaller 5 x7 and 4 x 6 frames.  The black frames were monochromatic and too small for such a large wall.  I took the ideas in the Nester's book, such as using all black and white pictures (in the aqua frames).

These hand prints were in a cabinet and now I'm enjoying them every day.  The book suggested mixing prints that are not behind glass to give a wall texture.  I placed these by my kids' baby and toddler pictures, taken around the age the hand prints were cast.

I found this LOVE print at Hobby Lobby and I love the color and sentiment.

The 'Y' hanging was another Hobby Lobby purchase on a separate trip.  I didn't have plans for it except it was our initial and I love the color.  What's special about the plate to the right of the initial is that it was a Christmas gift to my grandma many years ago when my sister and I were young.  I now have two girls and this is a sweet reminder of family history.  The bird print was a photo card canvas from a very kind group of ladies.  Since I'm Mama 'Jaybird', I think the symbolism is cool.

Nothing too fancy about our mantel as it houses all our entertainment equipment, so decorative pieces are useless as they block the signal from TV remotes (the horror).  After the holidays, it's nice to have a little sparkle during these gray months. The heart swag is a Target cheapie, but isn't it cute?

This picture is taken from my dining room table.  I pulled out my grandma's delicate pink rose china and added my dried Mother's Day/Baby Dedication corsage from a few years back.  It seems right.

It's always fun to decorate and this book encourages play and creativity all year round; to see your housing as a living thing.  If you want to change up your home but like me, think a beautiful home means big bucks and a decorator, pick up a copy of this book. You'll change your mind!

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