Monday, September 29, 2014

a little bit of black & white // and free printables

good monday morning! today is my friend stephanie's (who i've mentioned before, before, and before) birthday. she's a great friend, a huge cheerleader for this blog, and the inspiration (and voice of reason) behind more posts than i can possibly acknowledge. as such, i'm turning the spotlight on her a little and giving you guys some free printables to celebrate. also, if i end up maimed by the side of the road somewhere you'll know it's because i showed you unedited pictures of her house without any permission to do this post whatsoever. (guess this is what birthday pranks look like when you're friends with a blogger. holla!)

steph has this gorgeous historic house, and has done so much to update it. i absolutely love her home and everything she's done, so when she asked me recently for some help "finishing" her family room, i about fell over. are you kidding- i should be asking her for advice! (hey, actually, that's a great idea...steph, i'll do your family do mine...)

but i totally get it. i think family rooms are really hard. they're where you hang out all the time, and therefore you look at what's in them all the time. they can feel tired really fast. they also get a ton of use, ie. wear and tear. in our phase of life, there are little ones crawling everywhere and drooling on everything, so overly styled/ breakable objects are out of the question. the room needs to be comfortable and attractive, calm yet lively, organized yet accessible. and did i mention you have to look at it all day?

sometimes you just need a fresh set of eyes on a room to get your creative juices flowing again. so i'm here to throw out some ideas and help steph get back on her game and finish this room.

i'm sorry i don't have a good overall shot of the room- i was so busy shooting all the corners, i forgot to get one! the one above is from the recent baby shower we hosted there, so ignore the bunting and overabundance of flowers.

as you can see, things escalate quickly around these parts. steph's coffee table is a brilliant choice, with deep drawers to stash toys.

the above corner of the room has a target chair which steph scored brand new at the good will for $25. i am telling you...check there often. so many businesses donate new items!

as proof positive of steph's awesomeness, she just painted this room the pale perfect pink that you're seeing in these photos. yep, pink. (she's a mom of three boys, three and under no less, so she totally deserves a pink room, right?!) it is a great color and turned out beautifully.

it used to be a lovely shade of robin's egg blue so all her current accessories are in that vein. that needs to change pronto as the baby shower look is not what she's going for here. steph is thinking that adding a little black to the accessories will help glam up and modernize the space. i'm thinking that is a fantastic idea because it also keeps her historic house from feeling too serious, and is a classic color combo that she isn't as likely to tire of.

the other side of the room has a great bookcase that steph salvaged and painted:

hahaha, i am so laughing at those kleenex perched up top. it's the beginning of cold season in chicago (which just ended three months ago, by the way) and we have kleenex decorating every room in our house too. :)

i should also mention that no one wants to devote a ton of money to this update, as there are always more pressing needs, so steph's budget is going to be her little stash of birthday money. (p.s. i am always happy to help any of you spend your birthday money...just call me up).

so happy birthday stephanie; i got you a family room design this year. :)

as was my mantra for this recent console restyle, let's start with what we have. stephanie has this print from lindsay letters as well as a chalkboard she recently made:
her existing rug will be perfect, as she'd like the overall color scheme of the room to end up being pale pink / gold / white / black & taupe:

her drapes are a beautiful silk taupe so they will certainly stay. these pillows with gold striping could stay as well:

this print was commissioned by steph's husband and is an artist's rendering of their engagement. (um, hello, hubby bonus points). it has sentimental value and pulls in pink and gold, so it gets to stay too:

the lamp you see above is perfect for the "glam" factor with its crystal base, but the silver sage shade needs an update. since steph told me the shades aren't sacred, i'm suggesting she keep the whole lamp but go at the shades with some black fabric spray paint. she'd have two whole new lamps for around $3.

my next suggestion would be to add two graphic black & white striped pillows. i could not believe it when i found the perfect covers at ikea for $5 each!

here's the part you've been waiting for. i created the two prints above for steph because it would give her some high-contrast artwork at a zero dollar price tag. i certainly don't want her to feel obligated to use these, so i'm doubling the happiness and offering them to you too as free printables.

{the best resolution way to do it is right-click on the images below, save them to your computer or device, and either print them yourself on a printer like this one, or send them off to shutterfly. they are sized to print at 8 x 10. you can also print directly from this document. promise you'll be nice and only use it for yourself or a gift, ok?}

i'd suggest putting the bottom one on this wall, then put the engagement print above the back of the chair:

over on the couch wall, i'd create more of gallery like this:

just imagine there is a couch between those photos. oh, and you can see i was playing in poor man's photoshop with how black shades (and a black clock, not sure if that one will fly?!) would look. 

if we add the chalkboard print to this side, with those great pillows and some pops of black, i think it looks really sharp. i'd also love to see steph find some high quality faux blush roses for that table.

here's what we could do on the other side:

the space on the top left with the square print - that's a spot i saved for an adorable print steph showed me of her with her mom from when she was a baby. it would round out that gallery perfectly.

one of the things i love about steph is her love of reading and how she encourages that in her kids. she values keeping books at eye level and accessible. so i'm not styling a thing on those bookshelves. they are perfect as they are- filled to the brim with books her little guys can grab anytime they want.

i did spy this bowl at target this weekend, and it was beautiful and at a very good price of around $15, it would be pretty on top of her books and wouldn't be a big investment if the worst were to happen to it.
as for that white bookcase...

that's going to have to be an in-person project. i'm thinking we'll easily clean up those books and it can look good with basically the same contents, just rearranged a tad. we could even make white and/or kraft paper book covers and go with a monochromatic look. (some people just turn the books around so you only see the pages. while i like the look, that's something you'll only want to do if you literally never read the books, otherwise put that on the list of ways to annoy yourself every day). i'm also wondering if we could find some handy little company to make three matching doors for the bottom. rather than always trying to style it or find baskets, wouldn't it be nice to close it off? just a thought.

well guys, as always, i'd love to hear you weigh-in on this subject. if you have thoughts on what you'd do with this room, feel free to share. having friends to bounce ideas around with is such a great way to narrow your vision, so i know she'd enjoy hearing it!

and to you my darling stephanie- have an awesome birthday! (i know she will since we'll be braving the adler planetarium with our girl holly and 8 kids! bring on the crazy!)


  1. Love those prints, my friend! I'm pinning them right now:)

  2. I love these! And if I'm right I spy some Paper 53 in action? I love that app!

    That love you one is sent to print already :)

    1. yes! paper 53!!!! good eye girl! and thanks! ;-)


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