There is nothing I love more than finding original and
unique pieces for the home. And if
finding these pieces means making new friends along the way, then I’m a happy
lady! My friend Kate (we found each other on Instagram!!) paints the MOST
beautiful watercolor botanicals and acrylic landscapes. She opened an Etsy shop where she sells
prints of her artwork and I’m obsessed!!
For spring, she did an entire collection of lemons! If you
know me, you know how much I love lemons.
(For my birthday I usually request a lemon cake and when I was pregnant
I craved everything lemon. The lemon ice
you get to eat during labor was heavenly).
Her lemon watercolors are so cute! They are the perfect addition to a
kitchen, sunroom, dining room, or just about anywhere in your home.
I recently framed the “Melanie Lemon Trio” and it looks so
good in our kitchen! I love knowing that so much love, thought, and talent was
put into creating the original piece. If
you head to Kate’s Etsy shop you will see that each original lemon painting is
named after its buyer and then made available in print form. You can even commission your own signature
lemon to add to the series!
I’m so excited to be partnering with Kate to give away one
of her prints to one of my blog readers and Instagram followers! This would be
the perfect gift for next weekend’s Mother’s Day celebrations! Entering the
giveaway is so easy. Head to my Instagram to enter to win a
print for yourself or your mama!
“A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.” – Anonymous
Words that were never more true. So many emotions have emerged these past few weeks as we have welcomed our sweet little bairn (Scottish word for baby for those that are not familiar – I’ve been watching too much Outlander) into this world. We have experienced fatigue like we never have before. We have felt immeasurable joy and pride in seeing mini versions of ourselves. We have experienced anxiety and despair while trying to calm a screaming baby. But most of all, we have felt love so great it brings us to tears.
Obviously when you bring a new human into the world, many things change. We have had to completely adapt to a new way of life (which we were anticipating, but it doesn’t make it any easier). There are so many things we have learned over these past few weeks and we want to share our experience with others, in the hope it will bring other new parents some hope or comfort. And hopefully this post will help anyone thinking about starting a family.
No Sleep. – This one is obvious, but you really don’t understand what it means until it happens. It LITERALLY means NO SLEEP. This has been by far the hardest adjustment for me. I’m an in bed by 9pm kind of girl who never pulled all-nighters and would beg my friends in college to leave the bars at midnight so I could go to bed. I need at least nine hours of sleep to function. Whelp, not anymore! I’ve lost count of how many all-nighters we’ve pulled in the past seven weeks.
The first week was by far the hardest. No one tells you that babies aren’t born with a built in circadian rhythm (aka, they don’t know night from day and have to learn that). That first week Miss L would not sleep at all at night, and definitely not in her bassinet. The only place she would sleep was on mom and dad. We would have to take 2-3 hour shifts holding her so the other could sleep. It was really rough.
But, everyone told us things would get easier, and it does. Each week Miss L adds on a little more sleep in between feedings. We are now up to 4.5 hours between feedings which means I can get more than an hour or two of sleep at a time. YAY!
Breastfeeding is really hard! – This was as big a shocker to me as the lack of sleep. I knew I always wanted to breastfeed, but I had no idea how hard of a job it would be. The first few weeks you are feeding that baby every two hours and it takes 30-45 minutes for each feeding. That gives a breastfeeding mom just over an hour to try and eat or take a shower or sleep or do just about anything.
Breastfeeding is also really painful at first. Your breasts are not used to being used like that, so you are constantly sore and in pain. Around week 4 I finally felt comfortable again and at week seven I actually enjoy feeding my sweet babe. I’ve come to realize what a blessing this special time is with her and I love the bonding that happens between us.
(p.s.Breastfeeding makes you extremely thirsty! I recommend all mamas who are going to breastfeed to have a glass of water next to you at all times!)
Baby is just as scared as the parents. – Realizing that being born into this world was just as shocking for L as it was for us really helped to center us when she was upset. Many people don’t realize that for a baby, this is a whole new world, filled with unfamiliar sounds, smells, and faces. It’s a shock to their system (remember they’ve been comfortably cocooned for nine months) and it takes them awhile to become adjusted. The first couple of weeks when she would cry,I would always try and remember that she was just as scared as me and that definitely helped me to cope better and comfort her better. My mom sent me this piece a day or two after she was born and I still cry so hard when I read it. It’s so painfully beautiful, but it has helped SO much when trying to comfort L.
Set a routine earlier than later. – Setting a routine for L is something we JUST started doing. I am reading the book Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg and one of the ideas that has really stuck with me is putting baby on a flexible schedule as soon as possible. Tracy calls it the EASY method – Eat, Activity, Sleep, You (time for Mom). Babies need to be taught what is expected of them and they like a structured schedule. When I started implementing this idea about a week or two ago, I saw a huge change in how much more content baby (and mom!) have become. That being said, I’m also a huge advocate for figuring out what works for you and your family. There are so many books, ideas, and opinions coming at you from every direction and it’s really important to pause, listen to your baby, and implement things that work for your lifestyle.
Two products we have loved. – I thought it would be fun to share some of the baby items that we have come to love and use on a regular basis. The first item I highly recommend is the Boppy pillow. We have two of them (one for the nursery and one for downstairs). We use our pillows every single day (hubby even naps with them!). They make breastfeeding so much more comfortable, plus as baby grows you can use them to support their back when they begin to sit up on their own.
Another product we use daily is our rock n’ play seat/sleeper. L LOVES this seat. It has a vibrating function, as well as the ability to rock. I’m convinced she gets some of her best sleep in this seat. Plus, it folds up super easy and so traveling with it is a breeze.
We could talk all day about our experience the past few weeks, but we don’t want this post to be too long. Hopefully what we have shared will help other new parents or expecting parents. At the end of the day, having a baby is the most challenging but the most rewarding thing you will ever do. We can’t imagine life without our sweet L and cherish each day with her. She is such a blessing and a gift and we are so excited to embark on this new adventure with her.
p.s. You can shop my sweater by checking out this post and you can find the nursery details here.
This little labor of love has been my favorite design project to date! Regardless of gender, I knew I was going to have a blue and white nursery (it has to match the rest of the house, right?!). I also knew it was going to be a nautical theme. [I was SHOCKED]. When we found out we were having a girl, my inspiration tilted slightly towards a more preppy, classic look and a little less nautical (no worries – there are still plenty of nautical elements). [The little mermaid would find it comfortable.]
I spent countless hours on Pinterest, Pottery Barn, Wayfair, and every other design and home décor website researching the details. I knew I wanted an accent wall with wallpaper. I also knew I wanted mostly all white furniture. Once I picked out the major furniture pieces and narrowed down the wallpaper, it was easy to pick out the other details.
The gallery wall came together better than I could have imagined. Three of the six pieces I already owned (the two anchor prints and the original sailboat painting from my favorite local artist, Michelle Brunner). My parents gifted us the adorable whale print when we told them we were pregnant, the seagull/sailboat print I picked out from Pottery Barn, and the sweet seascape with the little girl was an original painting we bought on our babymoon. All the pieces just complement each other so well and I couldn’t be happier! [Nothing on this wall is nautical, right?]
When I decorate, I love to use pieces that are meaningful. The stunning Lilly artwork was created by one of my best friends who is an insanely talented, professional artist (check out her website!!). The ship wheel was gifted to us at our shower from one of my coworkers who loves to collect antiques and the Lilly letters were made by a good friend of Rob’s family. I love that each piece has a special story and I’m so excited to share these stories with Lilly.
It’s been such a joy to share this design process and reveal with you all. I’ve linked some of the details of the nursery below. We can’t wait to share this special space with Lilly in just a few short weeks!
With less than four months until Baby Solt’s arrival, it’s time to begin planning and organizing the nursery! Regardless of gender, I always knew I would go with a blue and white nautical theme. Now that we know it’s a girl, I’m excited to have some fun with nautical inspired decor!
My goal for the nursery is to keep things bright, classic, and preppy [and expensive]. Using a blue and white color palette will keep things classic, but not too serious. [Cause we don’t want a serious baby!] My mom has already spent the past few weeks painting the walls a bright white (thanks Mom!) – they were brown before – a color not in my palette. The white walls did exactly what I wanted and brought such a fresh, new look to the room. [Kim made the walls great again]
I’ve had my heart set on hanging wallpaper on the wall where the crib will go. For weeks I’ve been going back and forth between three prints – nautical sailboats, modern florals, or preppy peonies. [I hear those are the most well endowed peonies.] After lots of trips into the nursery to stare at the samples during different times of the day, I’ve finally decided on the preppy peonies! I think this print will be so pretty for a little girl’s room. It will add the perfect amount of preppiness and color to the walls.
Target and Pottery Barn Kids have SO MUCH preppy nautical décor (in heaven). From anchor lamps, to Lilly Pulitzer sheet sets, to sea faring art prints, they have so many cute pieces from which to choose. I’ve included some of my favorite registry items below!
A full nursery reveal will happen in a few weeks! I’ll be sure to post some pictures – I’m so excited to share the final design with you all!
This past weekend we threw a gender reveal party for our parents and siblings and announced that we are having a baby girl! We are so excited to welcome sweet Lilly Marie to our little family in October!
We can already tell she is going to have a strong willed personality! When we went for our 20-week ultrasound and anatomy scan, the feisty little thing had her legs crossed and her foot covering her genitals so the technicians could not 100% confirm she was a girl. [I have never been so proud of my unborn child.] We were sent to an ultrasound boutique that has higher end technology. After much movement on my end, this classy babe finally uncrossed her legs enough for the technician to confirm that she was indeed a female!
It’s been so much fun the past few days picking out cute outfits, adding girly items to the registry, and planning our party! I didn’t sleep for probably four nights in a row because of excitement. I wanted a nautical theme for the gender reveal (who’s surprised?!), which wasn’t that hard considering I already have tons of nautical décor around the house. My favorite piece though was this super cute boy or girl sign I found on Etsy.
I made a Target run the day before the party and picked up the striped napkins, plates, and straws in pink and blue. Rob and I made cupcakes the morning of the party and filled them with pink icing. I had my heart set on whale toppers for the cupcakes, but after trying four different stores I sadly gave up on that idea. The nautical water dispenser and monogrammed ice bucket were both wedding gifts and worked out perfectly for the party!
Rob and I wanted to find out the baby’s gender and then surprise our families. We bought a bunch of pink and blue balloons for decoration (and to throw them off if they were trying to guess), along with a giant black balloon filled with pink confetti. It was so fun when we finally popped the balloon – keeping the gender a secret was the hardest secret to keep!
Now that the gender reveal is done, it’s time to start on the nursery! I’ve been putting together an inspiration board that I will be sharing with you all soon!
As much as I’m sad to say goodbye to summer, I think I’m ready to embrace fall. I’m excited for bright colors, leaves changing, crisp fall air, pumpkin lattes, booties, scarves, and plaid [And FOOTBALL]. What I’m most excited for though are all the new fashion and home décor details trending for fall. Below I’ve rounded up my favorite home décor trends for this fall.
Deep Rich Colors – Hello color! The white and gray color scheme for interiors is on its way out and decorators and interior designers are embracing color. Dark colors like forest green, plum purple, navy, black, and chocolate brown are making a dramatic entrance. I’m not a fan of the black and brown, but I will enjoy me some navy (hello new dining room!). Don’t be afraid to use color – it tells a story of who you are and defines the mood of your home. [Now I have to keep track of the Houses mood too!? The things they don’t tell you about marriage.]
Interesting Bedding – The past couple of years has seen a trend with white, fluffy bedding. This fall, designers are loving bedding with fun patterns, funky monograms, bright colors, and texture. We may be transitioning into a King size bed this fall [Oh that’s happening] so you better believe I’ll be on the lookout for some fun new bedding (probably similar to what we have now, which is a navy blue and white diamond pattern).
Faux Finishes – If you are like us, much of our decorating is done on a budget. The faux finish trend is the perfect way to get what you want for cheap. Removable wallpaper, decals, stick on tiles, faux wood floors, and faux florals are all the rage this season. I’m thinking we add in some stick on subway tile to the kitchen…[I love how I learn about this from a blog]
Mix and Match Furniture Sets – This trend is probably my favorite. I like my furniture to be cohesive but not necessarily match. This will be perfect for us moving forward since so many of our furniture pieces are hand me downs. I’m going to have fun updating them in a funky, unique way.
Blush – I’m so happy the color blush is a major trend for this fall. Blush and gray were our wedding colors so I’ll always have a special place for them. Blush is such a sophisticated, pretty color that can be used as a neutral or a pop of color. You can use this color in a variety ways – painted cabinets, pillows, planters, glassware, blankets, etc.
Our friends refer to our home as the “Solt Spa.” I’m pretty sure it’s because of our hot tub and private guest suite. (We have two full bathrooms in this house and the one downstairs just happens to connect to the hallway and our guest room.)
This is going to sound crazy, but this room is actually one of my favorites! [Probably because I have claimed the upstairs bathroom] I love the decor in this bathroom (way better than the master). The room was already painted this lovely blue so we didn’t have to do any updates and it was pretty clear I was going to use shades of blue for this bathroom . We brought the striped navy and white shower curtain (from Target) from our old house and it’s pairs perfectly.
The best part of this bathroom is the over sized octopus art piece. I’m.Obsessed. My sister and brother-in-law gifted us this for our wedding and it’s seriously one of my favorite pieces in our entire house. It’s the perfect statement piece. [It also resembles my lovely wife anytime she goes shopping]
It was so easy to find decor for this room. The sailboat ceramic painting below is from both my mom and my favorite shop in Scotland (Top Drawer). I have three of these pieces and loooove them. The navy and white monogrammed hand towels are from Pottery Barn. They were a wedding gift and anything with monograms is an instant favorite for me. [She is not kidding, I’m pretty sure she has monogrammed Kleenex]
The super cute gold pineapple behind the equally cute soap dispenser was made by good friend, Melissa. She is insanely talented and made me all my art prints in my office!
I love adding some floral and greenery pieces to bathrooms. Unfortunately this bathroom doesn’t have any windows so I opted for this fake orchid from Target. I actually really love Target floral arrangements. They are good quality and look more real than what you would find at a craft store (Pier 1 and Magnolia also have awesome fake floral pieces).
One of my favorite artists is Claude Monet. I found the print below in an old book and had to frame it in the bathroom. I found a rustic white frame that really makes the colors pop. The image goes so well with the coastal theme happening in this bathroom (and everywhere else in the house).
And that’s all! I hope you enjoyed the quick tour our downstairs bathroom.
As we update our dining room, we have decided it is time our dining room set receives some attention. Our dining room table set is actually a vintage hand-me-down. Rob’s grandparents bought this solid cherry wood set circa 1960s/1970s from Davis Cabinet. It was later passed down to Rob’s parents who used it while Rob was growing up, and has since been passed on to us!
Since we have decided on a completely different color scheme than the dining room has previously been, the pattern on our chairs isn’t going to match anymore. I wanted the whole look and feel of the dining room to be fresh and classic – hence why I chose navy and white. I researched all different sorts of blue and white fabrics but in the end decided I wanted clean, classic stripes. I ended up finding the upholstery fabric at JoAnn Fabrics. I love the feel and look of it – it’s really durable and thick, which is a good sign it will hold up nicely. Plus it was on sale, bonus!
I thought it would take me a long time to re-cover the chairs but it really took no time at all! I’ve include a quick and easy how to re-upholster dining room chairs below.
Re-Upholstering Dining Room Chairs
Fabric, Staple Gun, Sewing Scissors, Drill
Detach the chair seat from the frame (may need the drill for this).
Measure around the diameter of the seat. Determine how much fabric you will need for all the chairs. Our seats were 26” by 24” around. I ordered two yards of fabric just to be safe.
Cut the fabric into squares (based upon your measurements).
Lay the chair seat in the middle of the square of fabric. I found it easiest to staple the sides down first. After you do the sides, tuck in the corners and staple those down. It’s tricky getting the corners to lay flat but if you keep working with the fabric they will eventually lay nicely.
Once you have all the seats covered, re-attach them to the chair frames and spray with Scotchguard. This makes it easier to clean the chairs if you have any spillage in the future.
It’s as easy as that! Some people add in extra padding or foam before they re-upholster. There are probably fancier and more professional ways to do this, but I wanted to DIY and this proved to be the easiest method for me.
Thanks for all the support and for stopping by A Dash of Solt!
Welcome to the first room of our home tour – the family room! The family room is my favorite room so far (the dining room is coming close to being first!) and probably the most decorated room in the house. [Mine is the bar in the basement if anyone is interested].
When we moved into this house, the color of this room was dark brown. No thank you!! And we only have a set of sliding doors for light, so I knew the dark brown would have to go. We found a pretty gray/blue paint that totally brightened the room up (I loved the color so much I used it in our master bedroom!).
I already knew that I wanted this room to be shades of gray, blue, and pink. The L-shaped gray couch is a new addition to our home and was the blank slate I needed to envision the room coming together. The blue pillows and super cute monogram pillows (a wedding gift from Pottery Barn) were the perfect starting point. Someday I want to exchange the blue pillows for navy, but for now, they work! I knew I wanted bright pink pillows and I found these adorable ones from Lulu and Georgia. [Fun fact, in our house pillows are meant to be seen, not used, which is very confusing for me.]
Eventually I would like to replace the coffee table with a square white one and also paint the dark brown one white. The cute white end table with the blue ceramic tiles is from a local pottery boutique, Jan Pugh, and was a wedding gift from Rob’s parents. To tie everything together we found a gray and white shaggy rug from Wayfair (now Gryff’s favorite place to lounge).
One of my favorite details about this room is the fireplace! I LOVE the exposed brick with the distressed white on the mantle. It’s definitely the focal point of the room. I knew I needed some statement pieces to display. Luckily, I already had most of the details! The floral arrangement I made from various faux stems I found at Target a few years ago. The chevron monogram “S” is from our wedding reception and the lanterns were a gift from Rob’s grandma – perfect blend of rustic, preppy, and coastal!
My two other favorite details about this room are the blanket ladder that Rob’s sister made me for my birthday (I literally cried when I saw it because I loved it so much!) and the bookshelf [I was very confused that she was so excited about a ladder, I mean it’s not even an extension ladder]. The bookshelf we found in Rob’s parents basement and although my initial instinct was to paint it white, I’ve decided to keep it brown since it is so rustic looking (ties in well with the rustic look of the fireplace). I’ve had SO much fun styling it. All of the pretty details are gifts from family and friends or items that we picked up in our travels. Every time I pass by it I smile because it makes me so happy. [I especially like the tastefully nude statute that my beautiful wife modeled for. Just kidding.]
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed the quick tour of our coastal, rustic, preppy family room!
If you were to ask a friend or family member to describe my design style, chances are they would respond with, “She likes anchors and nautical things.”
And they would be right. I am very passionate about all things preppy, coastal, and nautical. My years spent studying fashion and public relations in Savannah and New York fueled a passion for all things East Coast and preppy. Because of this, I now obsess over details like monograms, stripes, chevron, gingham, bows, pineapples, anchors, sailboats, and anything blue and white.
When decorating our home I tend to lean towards a preppy coastal vibe. Our house definitely has a strong blue and gray presence (not surprising) with pops of bright colors (pink, turquoise, gold, etc.). Every room has at least one piece of nautical themed accessories (how many anchors are acceptable to have in one room?!). [Sometimes I feel like I live at a shipyard]
Although my eye is drawn to the coastal look, I’m really into some rustic features (channeling my inner Jo) such as old clocks, farmhouse sinks, and exposed beams. I also like traditional elements that provide symmetry, organization, and calming influences.
That being said, it’s not all about me (as much as I would like it to be) and I have to find ways to incorporate what hubby likes into the decorating. [That’s news to me!] Rob tends to lean towards more masculine elements – natural woods, rustic details, and traditional pieces. [Think a bourbon barrel during football season] Seeing as I also like rustic details and traditional elements, it hasn’t been too challenging decorating rooms that suite both our tastes. The biggest obstacle we ever have when combining our styles is me wanting to paint every bookshelf and end table white.
When finding décor details that really make our house our home, we like to use pieces that have meaning to us. The majority of our décor details are gifts from family or items we’ve picked up while traveling. That being said, I still love to shop for extra decor pieces at Pottery Barn, Home Goods, Target, Serena and Lilly, Lilly Pulitzer, Wayfair, Pier 1, Draper James, Mud Pie, and Lulu & Georgia.
As always thanks for following along as we make our house a home! The next couple of posts will share our family room décor and how I upholstered our dining room chairs!