Two Story Cottage

New Year, New Stripes

Dear Friends,

I’ve got a permanent case of the stripes.  Whether it is clothes, fabric, walls or even ceilings I’m smitten.  I’ve been a stripes girl for years- dating back as far as my high school wardrobe.  Just about every house I’ve lived in has been a victim in some capacity.   Why should this house be any different?




I did wait 20 long, painful months.  I’m glad I gave in and got out the painter’s tape.  My house feels happy now.  The graphic element helps define the space.  I sometimes felt like the family room was a walk-through or had a “blank” feeling to it but now I can feel all four corners.

I actually did stripes on the opposite wall (the window wall) as well.  Not pictured today but consider it a coming soon.  The colors are the original Antique White from Sherwin Williams and a new SW color from the HGTV Home collection called Curling Willow. It feels both taupe and gray depending on the light.

I’ve missed blogging.  January has been a month of playing catch-up.  Balancing my new job with everything else has been a lesson in efficiency and I’m finally finding my groove.  Reid missed almost a week of school with a nasty viral illness and we had a couple of snow/ice days but we have hit our stride after stumbling into the New Year.

Happy February!


Shiplap Goodness

Dear Friends,

If you binge watch HGTV, you are probably familiar with shiplap.  I vaguely knew what it was and that I liked it, but I’ve seen it trending as of late.  Old homes often have it but it is being used in newer homes and remodeling projects as well.  I see it often on my new Tuesday night favorite- Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines.

So, what is it according to Google?

verb: fit boards together by halving so that each overlaps the one below

noun: boards which have been shiplapped, typically used for cladding

Traditionally, they are supposed to overlap.  However, in home decor these days any combination of stacked boards using for decorative moulding are often referred to as shiplap.

Whatever method you prefer, I’ve grouped a few pictures to get your jealousy juices flowing this morning.  Let’s be positive and turn envy into inspiration.



So much goodness and so many uses!  Full walls, accent walls, half walls, islands, backslashes, doors.  There is pine. There is painted.  White or pretty neutrals.  I’m seriously smitten.

My favorite might be the combination in the third photo from the bottom by Clayton & Little Architects.  I love the beauty of the wood with the white backdrop.

I think shiplap might be my love language.  Are you a fan?  Do you have a favorite photo in the above group?


Creative Ways to Get Extra Seating

Dear Friends,

Holidays make me think about entertaining.  Although we don’t host Thanksgiving, I do have other times where there are a lot of people in the house.  A crowd in your home is all about space and logistics.  I thought I’d pull some photos from around the ‘net where people have made great use of their space with hosting in mind.

It is easy to get stuck in a decorating box when it comes to furniture arrangement.  Sometimes to add more seating but you just have to get creative.

Do you have a space that could benefit from extra seating?  Our family room is the spot that needs more places to park the booty.   My wheels are turning for sure.

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

When Trends Don’t Work for You

Dear Friends,

Earlier this year, I had a mini-blog crisis where I wasn’t motivated to write.  Part of it was moving, part of it was the summer schedule, but a big chunk of that was a lack of motivation regarding home decor.  I just wasn’t excited about the usual makeover madness.  I aimlessly flipped through my favorite magazines.  I was stuck in a parallel universe where everything decor-related was a big, fat Eh.

I finally realized that it was a trends-related decorating block.

I’m just not in love with about 95% of what is in style at the moment.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like it.  I certainly appreciate the amazing work of many others but when it all comes down to it isn’t me.


*I don’t love 70’s decor. Midcentury is fine but I’m not interested in most everything else.
And there is A LOT of that right now.

*Navajo style is beautiful but doesn’t jive with my colors and style.

*I don’t own an animal head although never say never on this one.

*White walls are nice but I’m not driven to bust out the paint roller.

*Gold is fun but I like to mix my metals.  I’ll take it in small doses.

*Cowhide made me sort-of shudder until I got my fab family room pillows.
Maybe I’m a convert there.

*Dream catchers are fun but I don’t see me getting on board.


Do you ever feel like the lone person not jumping on the trends train?  Well, the good news is traditional and transitional decor will always be around.  Stick with the classics and you can never go wrong.  Invest in less expensive trendy accessories like pillows and side tables if you enjoy them.

do love wallpaper, banquette benches, and angel wings.  I’m not exactly bucking the trends with an anti-conformist rock the boat sort-of protest.  I’m just saying that my style isn’t what is out there right now. Regardless, I think you can always learn something from the current bandwagon fashion whether you are inspired or wrinkling your nose.

After all, chevron has become a household staple and I wasn’t sure at first.

What are your thoughts on the current gotta-have-them trends out there?








A Collection of Pretty Plates

Dear Friends,

If you have followed along for awhile than you know that I have an affinity for plates.  I like to decorate with them.  They are in several spots in our home.  Of course, my favorite activity is eating on them but I’m a tried and true foodie.  In any case, I’m talking plates this month at Houzz and I hope you will hop over and take a look at the fun options.

plates_decorateThis is only a snapshot of the fun plates I’m featuring this month.


I still love the plates over Lacey’s bed.  They might be my favorite.


The dining room plates have been moved around quite a bit but I always go back to them!

I’m tempted by the some of the plates in the round-up.  Maybe I will add to my collection with a spring plate or two.    I don’t have any bunny plates and the egg plates are awfully tempting as well.



Decorate With Plug- In Sconces {On the Cheap}

Dear Friends,
   As you know, I have really focused on lighting in our house.  It was too dark to start with but now we have enough task lighting to make it manageable.  Of course, paint and decor changes have helped.  Lamps have made our house more warm and cozy which is a key factor for us.  Now that I realize how valuable extra lighting is, I want to keep going.

One way to do that?  Plug-in sconces.

  • They don’t require an electrician or electrical work. 
  • They can be moved on a whim.  Cough.
  • They add a custom look to your decor.  
  • They add dimension where you may need it.  
  • They don’t take up valuable floor and table space.

The best part? They aren’t particularly expensive. Starting at $38 below.

plug-in sconces under 100
Jerry Antiqued Bronze Wall Sconce  

Metro Ii Bronze Wall Sconce
Adair Sconce
Academy Task Sconce

plug-in sconces under $ 150
Charles Bronze Wall Sconce
Sumner Sconce
Sumner Sconce
Madison Glass Pendant Sconce
Barclay Arc Sconce
Adjustable Arc Sconce
Brocade Double Sconce
Academy Task Swing-Arm Sconce
Adelle Sconce
Clapton Swing-Arm Sconce

plug-in sconces

Peterson Task Sconce

Duncan Antiqued Bronze Wall Sconce

The above prices don’t include shipping or tax. OR coupons. 
Never buy anything online without a coupon code!
Prices are subject to change.

FYI, most of the sconces come in more than one color combination.

Right now, I plan on adding a couple of plug-in sconces to the family room. I’d love to do one in the hall and another in the living room (study?) but I’ll have to space it out for the sake of my pocketbook.

The cord is an obvious decorating concern but often there is an extension rod to hide it. Also, a cord can be hidden along moulding or behind furniture. It just takes a little creativity!

Do you have plug-in sconces? Are you a fan?

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