Saturday, March 14, 2015

New Beginnings

(Image: Found on Pinterest. If you know the original source, email me and I can update!)

As I start to write this post, I know that this will be one of the most honest posts I've written to date. Promise you will bear with me through the length of this post. I promise you won't be disappointed!  

When I first started planning our wedding in 2011, I was introduced to blogging and my eyes were opened to a whole new world! I quickly fell in love with the community, inspiration and creativity that was taking over the online world. I decided to start Elementary Style as a creative outlet and place for inspiration. The blog focused mostly on fashion, including outfit posts photographed by my brother and husband - two men I love dearly. I began to realize that photographing outfits on a weekly basis was hard work and it started to feel like more of a chore than a hobby. Not to mention the five months out of the year when it is too cold to be outside shooting photos. Yes, I live in the Midwest and yes, I hate cold weather. 

I have recently entered a new phase of life - home ownership. I have to say that this is by far my favorite phase yet. I have always dreamed of having a home to fix up and interior design has always been a huge passion of mine. In fact, it's something I almost studied in college. I do not have any regrets in life, including my time as an education major. I do however have a passion for design that has only grown with time and I want to do more with my love for interiors. Starting now. 

Earlier this fall I stumbled upon a new design blogger from my hometown of Dayton, Ohio. I immediately fell in love with her style, her blog and her fixer-upper home. Coincidentally enough, she had recently posted a giveaway on her blog for an art print and I decided I would enter even though I never win anything. I am pretty sure the last time I won something I was 8 years old and I was taking home a blue Crayon bank I won in a coloring contest at a local grocery store. Anyways, somehow I won! Sarah and I started emailing back in forth, decided to meet up for coffee, planned a double date with our husbands and the rest is history. 

Over the past six months or so I have really felt the desire to do more of what I love on a daily basis. I knew I was ready for a change and I was ready to take blogging to the next level. Being a creative person at heart, I began brainstorming, note-taking, and planning ways to do this. At first, this looked like a blog re-design and some re-branding. Being the graphic design genius that she is, I enlisted Sarah to help me with this. In the end, the plan turned into much more than I had imagined it would. 

It didn't take much time for Sarah and I to realize that we shared the same (good) frustrations with blogging. Since we both work full-time we don't always have the time we wish we had to devote to blogging. We both wanted to find a way to provide more content to our readers and take blogging to a new level. We decided that teaming up for a collaborative blog seemed like a no brainer! I mean, two are ALWAYS better than one, right? 

That's why starting today, I will no longer be blogging on Elementary Style. I know it is time to say goodbye and start a new chapter. I hope that you continue to follow along at our new home, Room for Tuesday. Sarah and I will be co-authoring and we cannot wait to share inspiration with you all. Man, do we have some fun things planned! As for the fashion aspect, don't worry! It's not going away. I will always love style, putting together outfits and searching for budget-friendly pieces to share. Room for Tuesday will still cover fashion and will even feature an outfit post every once in awhile. Let's just say we will be filling in the gaps with other fun subject matter to keep you inspired! Oh, and more Brown House Project updates as well. 

I have been tremendously touched by all of you who have followed along, commented, and encouraged me while writing Elementary Style. This blog has been my creative outlet for the past year and a half and has truly meant so much to me as a first blog. As my life has been for the past four years, I don't know what the future holds for myself or this new adventure in blogging, but I know who holds my future and I can rest securely in that. Thanks again for your continued support! 

Find me here and here.  



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Oversized Cardigan

Cardigan sweater: Nordstrom Rack, similar hereherehere and here

This past weekend Ohio was hit with some unseasonably mild weather -- warm enough to step outside without a coat kind of weather. The sun was shining and I had no excuses for not getting outside and shooting some photos. Plus, it was about time to put our new camera lens to good use. 

I was telling a friend the other day how every year January and February roll around and I feel like I slip into a style rut. At that time in the year, I am tired of cold and I am eagerly awaiting spring. I find myself wearing lots of neutrals and lots of layers during these months. This sweater has been on repeat as well as everything else warm in my closet. Other than jeans, I have styled this piece with everything from leggings and boots to dresses and tights.

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow I have high hopes. I have my fingers crossed for a warm spring this year! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

January Style Challenge with Weddington Way

Recently I was asked to participate in the January Style Challenge with Weddington Way. Although I have been married for two and a half years now, I was thrilled at the opportunity to play maid-of-honor and create a stylish winter wonderland look for bridesmaids. I honestly miss the wedding planning phase. Some brides hate it -- I loved it!

Winter is not always the bride's first choice on when to get married. However, there are a lot of fun things you can do with a winter wedding! I had a lot of fun thinking up new ideas that were completely different than my own summer wedding. My bridesmaids all wore different short dresses in varying shades of blush. I am a huge supporter of unique looks for each bridesmaid. I just love when I go to a wedding and each bridesmaid that walks down the aisle has something different about her. I know it is totally the bride's time to shine and I never suggest taking attention away from her -- but, I like seeing a little of the ladies personalities shine through their looks. Here are a few images of my bridesmaid's looks for our June wedding.

As much as I tried narrowing down my top choices, I couldn't. Therefore, you not only get to see one look -- you get to see three! Being winter I opted for long dresses on all my looks. I also chose to stick with neutrals (surprise, surprise). I wanted to play off of "winter whites" without upstaging the bride. Therefore, you will see a lot of taupe, grey, silver and gold in these three looks. The inspiration boards could be used to create a single look for bridesmaids, or play as inspiration for each bride to create her own unique look.
Winter Wonderland Wedding Look 1
Winter Wonderland Wedding Look 1the dress in Palomino, the jewelrythe nails in Topless & Barefoot, the clutch image by Michelle Lange Photography, the flowers image by Edyta Szyszlo Photography, the makeup image via Flatnews, the hair image by Ciara Richardson Photography, the shoes via Burnett's Boards by Kate Weinstein Photography (similar here). 
Winter Wonderland Wedding Look 2
Winter Wonderland Wedding Look 2the dress in Taupe, the wrap image via The Pretty Blog by Louise Vorster Photographythe jewelry, the makeup image via RUMEDIA News, the hair image via Pinterest, the flowers image via The Nestthe nails in Fiji, the shoes image by Kim Kalyn Photographythe clutch.
Winter Wonderland Wedding Look 3
Winter Wonderland Wedding Look 3the dress in Oyster (dress and top color), the jewelrythe nails in Over the Edge, the flowers image via Brides, the shoes image by Marta Locklearthe sash, the makeup image via Harpers Bazaar, the hair image by Ever Whim Photographsthe wrap.

What's your favorite look? Check out more of my winter wonderland wedding inspiration on my Pinterest board and be sure to check out Weddington Way's new exclusive bridesmaid collection here.

Thanks for stopping by! Also, thanks to Wedding Way for choosing me to be a part of such a fun challenge!



Monday, January 12, 2015

Family Room Reveal

A moment of truth here. As excited as I am to share our first Brown House Project with you all, and as much fun as we are having making this home our own, home ownership is not always pretty pictures and roses. This past week we were hit hard with the "Welcome to Homeownership" curse that everyone had warned us of. During the last seven days we experienced a flooded basement and a broken furnace. Our furnace going out couldn't have come at a worse time since we were experiencing zero degree temperatures and negative wind chills. Let's just say I am very happy to be writing this post in a 70 degree house rather than an a 50 degree one!

Now onto the fun part! Today marks six months of being in our home, so I thought it would be fun to share our first room makeover with you all today. When we first came to look at this house, Dan had a really difficult time seeing us living here simply because the style of the home was so different than ours. If you cannot tell from the pictures, we purchased this home from a sweet old couple in their seventies who moved into this home after downsizing. As you can probably imagine, once we moved in we were very eager to start making the home our own!

(Before images from realtor's website)

The changes in this room were mostly cosmetic. The first thing I wanted to do was lighten the room up. It's amazing what a little (or a lot of) paint and new window treatments will do! We also spray painted all of the hardware and replaced the ceiling fan. This room will always be one of my favorites simply because of it's character. I love the amount of natural light it gets, the arched doorways and the double-sided marble fireplace from the 19th century (which we don't plan on changing anytime soon). I like that we have something original to the room and the color scheme fits perfectly! If you want to check out how I decorated the other side of the fireplace for the holidays, read all about it here. Here is our lighter, brighter and younger version of this sitting room. 


Horse Print c/o my friend, Sarah Gibson and f2images via giveaway.

Mounting our TV on a brick wall and hiding all the wires in a tiny space was a job in and of itself. So, we decided to get creative and try something new. We are pretty happy with how it turned out!  

Petal Study PrintPencilbox Shop

We recently re-planted our fiddle leaf fig into a bigger pot and I am still looking for a new, bigger basket for it to go in (please ignore).

Gallery Wall ArtSarah Swanson

Hope you enjoyed the room as much as we have. Thanks again for stopping by!



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tassel Trim Poncho

Lately we have found ourselves so wrapped up in house projects that I feel like I have been neglecting the "fashion and style" aspect of this blog. I first off, want to apologize and let you know that I still plan to do these posts -- I just may not have been doing the best job lately. Weekends have become my absolute favorite times. During the week I truly miss being at home and spending time with our little family. Weekends allow time for both of us to slow down, enjoy time with one another, and just simply relax.

This past weekend we did just that (well, for a little while). With the holidays right around the corner, it is one of the busiest times of the year, but slow quiet mornings are never taken for granted around here. Call it what you want, but ponchos/blanket scarves/capes, have been one of my go-tos as the weather continues to get colder. What can be better than wrapping up in a "blanket" and calling it fashionable? They are perfect for lounging around the house, drinking coffee, and pinning the morning away. Not to mention, cuddling with your (huge) puppy!

Tassel Trim Poncho, others herehere (under $20), here and here (under $20).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Kilim Fever

There is no doubt in my mind that I currently have a bad case of Kilim Fever. One of my favorite trends right now are kilim rugs.  I absolutely love the geometric patterns and bright colors (did I really just say that). For someone who generally leans towards decorating in neutrals, these rugs add the perfect pop of color and pizazz to a room. Here are a few of my favorites. I threw in some boho and oriental picks as well!

Painted Dessert Rug (starting at $182)

Pradesh Rug in Pink (starting at $140)

Satya Rug  (starting at $300)

Pari Rug  (starting at $300)



Thursday, December 11, 2014

DIY Gift Wrap

A few weeks back I spotted this Cursive Wrapping Paper from Anthropologie that I just loved. Rather than spending $14 on a roll, I decided to try a DIY version that came in under $5. This DIY was so simple and easy and I am so happy with the results. Plus, when you do the DIY version you can write whatever you want! I chose Merry and Bright, but I also love the idea of writing Fa La La or the person's name receiving the gift. What creative ways are you wrapping your gifts this holiday season?

The Anthropologie version: 

DIY version:

What you will need:
Kraft Wrap
White Paint Marker
Twine, berries, greenery or other decorative accents of your choice