You know the projects I mean. The projects that are too boring to share with friends or on social media, but that improve your daily life all the same. Think cleaning the gutters instead of painting the dining room. In this case, it's our brand new kitchen sink. It won't set Pinterest or Instagram on fire, but it's getting some much-deserved love from me today.
It's been a minute since I shared updates of our house, and that's because not much has changed around here. But that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about what needs updating, and that means it's time for a round of Marry, Kill, or What to Effing Do With It? Today we tackle the dining room. Who's ready to dish out some tough love?
You know I love some good color, so I was thrilled when Jess of Domicile 37 invited me to take part in her Inspired by DIY challenge focusing on Eddie Ross. Eddie Ross is an absolute genius when it comes to elevating secondhand finds and injecting color and life into a space. I mean, he literally wrote the book on it.
When Edward and I were considering buying our house last year, one of the key selling points was the double lot. It meant that we could have the city environment we wanted and a space to garden, entertain, and let the dogs run. The downfall, of course, is that gardening requires hard work, time, and patience. On a good day I can manage maybe two of those items. Three at once is a big ask.
We've spent a couple weekends now working in the garden, and while it still has a long way to go, we've made some major improvements. I don't think a garden is ever "done" the way a room can be done, so we'll just call this progress. For a little comparison, let's check out some before shots. Warning: grab your smelling salts.
I've decided that this is the year of my successful garden. Full disclosure: I've been saying this for about five years now, even back when I had an apartment and kept herbs in planters on the balcony. It hasn't come true yet. Last spring we had just moved into the house, and while I was excited to garden, I held off on any major work because I wanted to see what the conditions were first.
A while back we played a game of Marry, Kill, or What to Effing Do in the living room. The room had some good elements, but it was feeling a bit insubstantial and lacked cohesion. Many of you chimed in (thank you! I love that) to suggest adding some darker decor to balance the black fire place and dark chairs, and I think that's exactly what was needed.
It's been a minute since I promised some updates on the tiki bar. Sorry about that. We made some major progress on it, and while it's not quite finished, it is so close. As a reminder, here's what it looked like when we moved in:
We'd gone back and forth on whether to tear the whole thing down. There's already a garden shed (which you can see just to the right), and that takes care of our storage needs. The white lattice detail up there is plastic and looks terrible up close. And the cement blog is blah, especially when compared to the nice brick paving the rest of this area. The one great thing about this space? It provides a covered area for our grill. Edward and I use that thing all the time, and I wanted to optimize the space for outdoor entertaining.
I am uncharacteristically excited for Halloween this year. It's not like I've ever been anti-Halloween, but I'm usually content to watch a few scary movies that week and stress about coming up with a last-minute costume. This year, however, we have a house, and I plan to decorate it.
That said, I clearly did not stray from my tradition of waiting until the last minute. Three cheers then for these awesome women who shared some Halloween projects we can whip up on the fly. Let's get spooky.
I'll always love the classic Jack-o-lantern. I'm a sucker for a mildly dangerous craft that provides snacks at the end. And if you're throwing out your pumpkin seeds after you finish carving, you're crazy. I usually roast mine with a mix of salt, cayenne, and paprika, but I'm excited to try this sweeter version from Liz at I Heart Vegetables.
A slightly more grown-up, but still totally festive pumpkin decorating alternative at Apartment 34.
This DIY googly eye manicure from Design Sponge is hilarious. Googly eyes make everything better.
Gwen from The Makerista always crushes it with the moody decor, so naturally her Halloween table runner is on point.
I think I'll be stealing Chris Loves Julia's dollar store flying bats idea for our front porch. They also have an amazing craft for all the Harry Potter lovers out there, but I'm not sure it counts as a last minute project. Either way, you need to see it.
And not a craft, per se, but Mandi at Vintage Revivals has a lovely post about letting kids create their own costumes, and I about died when I saw the first picture of her daughter dressed as unicorn royalty. That's because...
It brought back major flashbacks of my own days as a unicorn princess. (Oh hi 80's! Love the puffy sleeves!)
What's everyone going to be for Halloween? (Bonus points for going as the sovereign of a mythical species.) Any favorite Halloween crafts we can try on the fly?
For fall, I like a lot of greenery and darker colors. And as an amateur, I find it easiest to stick to one side of the color wheel. For this arrangement, I stuck with deep pink, purple, and a few pops of white.
To start, I used a giant handful of seeded eucalyptus for a base. It has a great scent, a pretty muted green color, and I love how it spills over the vase. Next up is the bright color, which in this case is the fuchsia amaranth (Is that amaranth? I think it's amaranth? Guys, I'm really not great at florals). In addition to the great deep color, I liked that it curled around and followed the seeded eucalyptus. At this point in the arrangement I should add that it's a good idea to keep rotating your vase as you go, to make sure it looks good from all sides and that you don't have any weird bald spots. Moving on, we have a few stems of white stock. I wanted something delicate and white in there, and stock is what they had. And last but not least, thistle. Thistle just seems like a good fall bouquet addition, and it has a sort of silvery hue to it that looks nice with the silvery green eucalyptus.
And that's our arrangement. What are your go to flowers this time of year? Any combinations that you love together? Is anyone lucky enough to be able to make bouquets straight from their garden? Because if so, I'm jealous.
Welcome! I'm Arielle, and this is Scotch & Nonsense. Whether you've come for the home projects, the recipes, or the cocktails, I'm thrilled you're here and I hope you'll stay a bit.