a year of change challenge...completed?


Hello again!

Unless you have been following me on Instagram, you are probably wondering where I have disappeared to this time. Some of you have even been so sweet as to message me to make sure I am OK (read: I didn't check myself in to a hospital following the One Room Challenge Linking Event reveal). Well--I am OK, and...I got a job! Mama needed some money to decorate the rest of this house! So I beg of you to bear with me as I find the balance between working and blogging, but rest assured--shell and chinoiserie isn't going anywhere!

So, let's move on to today's post, shall we?

I cannot believe we have already reached the end of May! I was so flattered in the beginning of month when the Suburban Bitches asked me and Kari Joy to join them and their fabulous friends Commona My HouseRosa Beltran Design, and Life on Virginia Street for the month of May in their A Year of Change challenge.

Each month, these ladies pick the same project to complete and showcase their unique approaches and talents in their reveals. The year began in March when they used Cutting Edge Stencils for a stencil project, and in April they challenged each other to revamp a piece of furniture. Their goal is to demonstrate that completing these little projects can make a big change.

This month's challenge was to take it outside and tackle an exterior project in anticipation of this summer's outdoor entertaining. You can see the Suburban Bitches' reveal here, and be sure to check out  Commona My HouseLife on Virginia StreetRosa Beltran Design, and of course Kari Joy, as well!:

As for me, I decided to give my garage a facelift.

In my first post, I discussed how one of my pet peeves is when you drive up to a house--such as ours--and all you see is garage:

I cringe.

So in an easy and affordable effort to treat this big blemish on the face of our home, I planned to add a pretty plant between the garage doors, some lanterns above each door, and place window decals--yes, decals--on the doors themselves. My goal was to demonstrate that these three little changes could make a big difference for the curb appeal of our home.

And I failed. Miserably.

The plant was no problem--easy peasy lime squeezy (because I bought a little lime tree).

The lanterns turned out to be a little more involved than I thought they would be, as apparently electricians are expensive! Really expensive. So I nixed that and planned to simply mount decorative lanterns instead. That was until I gave-up altogether following the decal disaster...

Perhaps the smallest change that would have the biggest impact on my garage was these these window decals which I spent $125 for on Etsy. The decals promised to be an easy and affordable (check and check!) way to turn standard garage doors into charming ones.

Case in point:

Man do I wish I could say those doors are mine, but alas...

The directions warned that the doors must be clean in order for the stickers to stick to the surface, so we had our home power washed. And then we hosed and scrubbed (with Clorox wipes) for good measure:

But the stickers didn't stick. At. All. After some swearing and perhaps even a tear (a moment we did not capture on film), my husband and I surrendered to the stickers and have decided to explore stencils. At least I know who to turn to for stencil advice ;-)

So the only semi-successful part of this project is my little lime tree, which seems to think it is the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree (but still looks a lot better than my second Fiddle Leaf Fig...).

So here is my pathetic "after" photo, which I still consider to be a before photo:

I promise to keep you all posted about the progress of this ongoing project. (Settle down--it's not that exciting!).

But in the meantime, in an effort to redeem myself, I scrambled to complete another outdoor project for my post.

I was so inspired by Simple StylingsOne Room Challenge Linking Event deck reveal that I decided to follow suit by attempting to create that same, ethereal look in my own backyard.

When we first toured our home, I fell in love with all of the limb-y trees in the backyard, which I like to think is quite Twilight/The Hunger Games-esque, even though we are smack in the middle of a giant subdivision:

Anyway, the privacy is nice, especially considering all of the time we hope to spend outdoors now that we are no longer in New England!

I immediately imagined hanging little lanterns from the tree limbs to create a twinkling canopy under which we could sit and socialize. Because these trees are set back a bit from our house, there is no electrical source nearby, so instead of strung lights, I took to making mason jar lanterns:

I filled them with little, twinkling LED votives:

And hung them from the trees!:

We also finally set-up our fire pit, which was a wedding present (from--you guessed it--my brother-in-law/the best gift-giver in the world!) that has been sitting in its box since we got married almost two years ago:

Next stop, s'more town! And perhaps Lowe's to get some outdoor furniture to place around our fire pit...

Nothing crazy, albeit a little project that made a big difference in our backyard!

And be sure to head over to check out the reveals of Suburban Bitches, Commona My HouseLife on Virginia StreetRosa Beltran Design, and Kari Joy! I am willing to bet their reveals are a bit more impressive... ;-/

As promised, I will keep you all posted about future improvements to my ongoing projects!

some ticking stripe for your tuesday


Summer is almost here! For some of us, it has already arrived--the high has hit 90 for going on two weeks straight in South Carolina. I am so grateful that we are by the beach and those coastal breezes!

But for those of you who still have a bit more of spring to go before summer, or for those of you who are simply stuck in a landlocked sauna, one of the quickest and easiest ways to achieve a classic coastal vibe in your home is with some ticking stripe!:

Originally used to encase mattresses and pillows (and the down feathers that filled them), the durable cotton fabric has since become a staple in classic home decor. Furthermore, it's simplicity and traditional blue and white color scheme fit well by the beach. 

Here are some seaside inspired examples of how to incorporate ticking stripe in your own home, whether it is by the beach or not!:

India Hicks

source unknown

one room challenge linking event: the reveal!


We made it! After six weeks of blood, sweat, tears (I'm not kidding) and a ton of fun, the time has finally arrived to reveal the rooms we have transformed for Calling It Home's One Room Challenge Linking Event!

Yesterday the talented One Room Challenge designers and bloggers shared their stunning spaces, and today it is our turn!

So without further ado, I'll get started with the following before photo of the small sitting room off of our master which I have (past tense!) transformed into my new office:

I wanted a fun and feminine space that would serve as an inspiring office, but also a relaxing retreat (perhaps from our home's little future inhabitants? My mother-in-law just fainted--someone get her a fan.).

Also important was to incorporate colors, patterns, and textures that would compliment the chintz I inherited from my mother. 

The following were the design boards I created to illustrate the look and assist me along the way:

To see my progress leading up to today's grand finale, click the links below:

And now, ladies and gentlemen, my iPhone camera and I would like to present to you the new and improved shell & chinoiserie headquarters!:

What a productive and rewarding six weeks it has been--thank you to Linda at Calling It Home for that and for being the hostess with the mostess! I can't wait for next time!

the pink pagoda's blue and white bash and my one year blogiversary!


Happy Cinco de Mayo, everybody! 

Not only is today one of my favorite holidays, but it is also my one year blogiversary! 
What a wonderful year of blogging it has been--full of learning and lots of fun; but perhaps the best part is the new friends I have made along the way. And what better way to celebrate my blogiversary than with those friends over at The Pink Pagoda's Blue and White Bash

The Pink Pagoda's Blue and White Bash is always such a festive way to start off the month, and for May's bash I have decided to bring some blue and white Otomi in honor of Cinco de Mayo. You, too, can bring your own blue and white and join us over at Jennifer's party, or you can sit back, sip a margarita, and scroll through all of the beautiful blue and white shared by other blogs.

Fittingly, Jennifer's use of Otomi in the One Room Challenge has really turned me on to the Mexican textile. As demonstrated in the pattern that Albertina of Mimosa Lane provided for Jennifer's room, Otomi patterns are often known for their colorful palette, but for today's bash I am going to stick with blue and white. Furthermore, I decided to keep to Otomi tablescapes and other party related pieces for today's celebration:

And I couldn't resist including these two blue and white Otomi party dresses--they look perfect for the heat that is headed our way this week!:

Casa Otomi

Carolina K

I'm ready for some margaritas!
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