bathroom {tiny} before and after

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

When we bought this house the bathrooms had just been updated with Rohl  fixtures and Toto toilets, but the vanities….were not so great.  This bathroom is just too small for a vanity.  I kind of think under sink storage is much like a basement.  If you have it, you fill it up.  If you don’t have a basement {or a vanity} you somehow manage.  To update the bathroom we changed out the vanity for a pedestal sink in black.  I’ve used the Kohler Memoirs sink in many bathrooms over the years, but never in black.  It makes a big impact in a tiny space.

Bathroom {tiny} Before and After

Bathroom {tiny} Before and After

For a bathroom with no storage I made First-Aid kits using Ikea boxes that come in a set of three.  I use the larger box to store the overflow of items used in each smaller box and restock as needed.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found one of these kits in the garage, on the patio.  No one ever asks, “Where are the band-aids?” anymore.

Bathroom {tiny} Before and After

Other things I use in all bathrooms are hooks instead of towel bars and a trash can that has a lid.  This one has a step opener, so even better.  I used a white shower curtain from Urban Outfitters and amber bottles for soap from Aesop and Murchison-Hume.  For a night light I use a small strand of white twinkle lights. The black and white photograph was taken by my nephew at our old beach in Dana Point, CA.  The black and white rug is from Target.  This space is not perfect, but so much better with a couple of changes.

Below is how I put together the first-aid kits using small boxes from The Container Store to keep everything nice and tidy in each kit.  I used red electrical tape on the top of each Ikea box.

Bathroom {tiny} before

                      Before

I get a lot of emails asking about my favorite thrift stores.   There are quite a few, but these are the ones I love.  The great thing about thrift stores is that they are always adding new things everyday. I love thrifting with friends or my daughter because it’s just that more knowledge about the stuff we are seeing and potentially buying.  Madeline found a summer shift dress just after the holidays that was priced $60.  It fit perfectly and after a little research, she found it for $495.   I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it, but that’s what’s fun about thrifting with friends (or Madeline)!   When I’m out and about and close to one of these shops, I’ll always stop in to see what they have. The ladies that work at these thrift stores are all volunteers and are absolutely the sweetest and most helpful people you’ll ever meet.  They seem genuinely thrilled when you’ve found a treasure.  So below is my short list starting in Greenwich, then Darien, New Canaan and ending in Southport, Connecticut.  The one thing I would advise is to call first!   They have different hours and often close for extended periods during the holidays and in the summer.  If you know of a thrift shop I should check out, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

Thrif Stores + Fairfield County, CT

I found another copy of Joy of cooking and a copper vessel for $7 yesterday.

ACT II-Greenwich-CT-Thrift-Stores

One of our favorites is Act II Boutique in Greenwich.  It’s on the main floor of this beautiful stone house on Maple Avenue, just a few blocks from Greenwich Avenue.  Also in Greenwich is the Greenwich Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop .  A little further north is the Darien Community Association Thrift Shop. Next Stop is The New Canaan Thrift Shop, which is about 15 minutes away. And here’s an interesting fact, The New Canaan Thrift shop is the oldest volunteer run thrift shop in the country.  From New Canaan head over to the Carousel Thrift Shop in Southport, Connecticut.  If you are in these areas and need a little sustenance, here’s our list of faves for coffee, sweet treats or a little lunch.

Greenwich – Meli-Melo

Darien – Brown and Co.

New Canaan – Gingerbitz

Westport – The Granola Bar

Thrift Stores + Fairfield County, CT + Silver Tray Collection

A few of the silver trays we had, most came from thrift stores I mentioned and a few from Goodwill.  The most I paid was $10 and once I had the idea to put them on a wall, I think we found at least six of them in one day.

Valentine’s Day banner {diy}

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Last year I made tiny watercolor hearts.  This year I made my watercolor hearts in the same way, but instead of tiny ones using a heart punch, I used a cookie cutter to trace the heart shape.  Not as quick and easy as a punch, but it still allowed me to see the pattern that would be on the heart shape.  This project is perfect for children of all ages.  Even preschoolers could paint and then see their work made into heart shaped watercolor masterpieces. 

Valentine's Day Banner {diy}

Watercolor Hearts {diy}

Watercolor hearts {diy} banner

watercolor hearts banner {diy}

My birch branch with white twinkle lights started out as decoration for Thanksgiving, then Christmas–  I’m still loving the extra light, so it will be around at least through Valentine’s day!

watercolor hearts banner {diy}

I used a small heart shaped hole punch, but any hole punch would work.  Twine that’s a little wax coated makes it easy to lace through the holes if this project is for little ones.

Neighbor Holiday Gifts

Monday, December 22, 2014

For my sweet neighbors this year I made Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts.  All they’ll need to do is toast the cashews and then mix the contents of the spice packet with a tablespoon of melted butter.  They are best when served warm right out of the oven.  I used  small Ikea bowls and then wrapped them in black and white fabric (also from Ikea) tied up with red ribbon and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Union Square Cafe's Bar Nuts + Neighbor Gifts

 

Union Square Cafe's Bar Nuts + Neighbor Gifts

Union Square Cafe's Bar Nuts

Tags and Baker's TwineUnion Square Cafe's Bar Nuts

Union Square Cafe's Bar Nuts

Merry Christmas!  xo annie

The winner of the Tinyprints giveaway is:  ET Pruitt

I was recently sent a copy of The Cave of Santa Clops by Gig Wailgum.  I must admit my first reaction to a one eyed Santa was a little less than enthusiastic, but once I started reading and seeing the beautiful vintage style illustrations, I completely changed my mind.  The story is full of the magic of Christmas and the idea of believing in a Santa Clause or in this case, Santa Clops.  It is traditional in its core, but with a completely new twist that is refreshing.  The story cleverly rhymes its way through adventures that includes caves with holly bats and flying dino-penguins.

Mr. Wailgum created the one-eyed Santa over 20 years ago and it has appeared in comics, newspapers, greeting cards and art galleries.  The Cave of Santa Clops is available on Amazon.

Miniature Boxwood Wreaths {DIY}

Saturday, December 20, 2014

With just a few sprigs of boxwood you can make {DIY} miniature boxwood wreaths to hang all through the house.   It takes just a few minutes using picture hanging wire to make a frame.  Then use floral tape or wire to secure the boxwood.  Add a ribbon and hang on a door, small mirror or from hardware on furniture or cabinets.

Miniature Boxwood Wreaths {DIY}

Miniature Boxwood Wreaths {DIY}

Miniature Boxwood Wreaths {DIY}

Miniature Boxwood Wreaths {DIY}

I even made napkin rings.  My sister Lynn and her family will not actually be joining us for Christmas….she’s miles away in sunny Phoenix, but a girl can dream, right?  (I used tape to cover the ends of the picture wire on the napkin rings to make them a little safer for linens and fingers).

Happy Holidays!  xo annie

 

This year I used the letterpress cards by tinyprints.  I of course loved the birch tree in black and white design and the matching address labels.  If you haven’t quite gotten to your cards this year, why not send New Years cards?!  Tinyprints is giving away one reader 50 New Years cards.  Leave a comment and I will select a winner (by random.org) on Monday!

Christmas Cards + Tinyprints + A Giveaway

Hand Lettering + Christmas Cards + Sharpie

I’m not sure what it is about Sharpie Metallic Markers, but they make it so easy to make it through a stack of cards.

Happy Holidays!

xo  annie

 

 

Modern rustic christmas + Connecticut

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Modern Rustic Christmas

Decorating for Christmas at our house in Connecticut means candles in every window, wreaths, greens everywhere and lots of twinkle lights. Just driving around or walking through town make you feel as though every Christmas carol is about the scene that’s right there in front of you.  Here is my take on a modern rustic Christmas table at our home in New Canaan, Connecticut.   Last year I made these tiny tree place cards.  This time I used cuttings from a flocked mini tree I picked up at Trader Joe’s and added a star sticker on the top of each “tree.”  I plan to use them for a cozy lunch next week and then again on our Christmas morning breakfast table.

modern rustic christmas

Christmas Morning Breakfast-syrup

The Bear Hug Maple Syrup from The Vermont Country Store was the inspiration for the entire table.  Even my 15 year old declared it “cute” when he saw it in the kitchen the first time.

modern rustic christmas

Our backyard is pretty much a dream come true when it comes to the variety of evergreens and holly bushes.  Perfect for making wreaths and arrangements for all over the house.

modern rustic christmas

modern rustic christmas

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season! xo annie

Advent Calendar {diy}

Monday, December 1, 2014

Every year I try and come up with a simple {DIY} Advent Calendar.   My brown paper bag advent calendar remains my most popular post and pin.    The one I made for this year took very little time and just a few supplies from the backyard and a trip to Michaels. The only tricky part is trying to find 24 tiny gifts.  It was a lot easier when my kids were younger.   A piece of candy, a holiday book or DVD….now the expectations (mostly mine) are so much higher, but it’s still fun at all ages.

Advent Calendar {diy}

Advent Calendar {diy}

Advent Calendar {diy}

Advent Calendar {diy}

Advent Calendar {diy}

The supplies started with having my husband cut a few branches from a tree and then I spray painted them gold.  I found tiny and small size bags at michaels and some small take-out containers.  I wrote numbers one through 24 on each bag or container with a gold Sharpie and hung them with white twine from ikea.  I added a strand of of white lights, because one can never have too many twinkle lights!

Advent Calendar {diy}

Tree stump side table and owl from west elm

 

Modern rustic table top + thanksgiving

Monday, November 17, 2014

Modern Rustic Table Top + Thanksgiving

 

modern rustic table top + thanksgiving

modern rustic table top + thanksgiving

Modern Rustic Table Top + Thanksgiving

modern rustic table top + thanksgiving

Modern Rustic Table Top + Thanksgiving

Modern Rustic Table Top

This year for our Thanksgiving table I am staying with my usual color (or maybe lack of color) scheme.  In the New york Times SundayStyle section,  Bill Cunningham’s “On the Street” calls it “Autumnal Mood, moody combinations of black, white and gray.”  That pretty much describes how I dress and the way my house looks.  I used my everyday white dishes because I have so many platters, bowls and covered tureens that I like to use.  I’ll add in a few pieces from Juliska in gray and some tarnished silver along with table runners in black and white buffalo check.  I used small succulents to take the place of flowers on the table saving room for the platters of food.  I painted tiny clay pots with chalkboard paint and added our names with a paint marker.  For a little extra lighting I used an old birch branch wrapped with white twinkle lights and suspended it from the window trim using clear fishing line.  The light is so soft and warm I plan to keep it all winter.  Now for the menu, the shopping list…are you cooking this year?

 

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