Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from Number Fifty-Three

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! Thank you so much for all the love and support this year, friends. I will be back January 2, 2014 with loads of new projects, furniture, decorating ideas and product reviews. It will be amazing! I promise!!!
 
Now, I'm off to celebrate Christmas with my family, plus two birthdays...my oldest will be 12 on December 28th and my youngest will be 10 on New Year's Day. We will be busy for sure!
 
 
 
 
P.S. A huge thank you to Treat and Tiny Prints for providing our cards this year!



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Top 5 Posts of 2013

Hey there friends! I cannot believe it is almost Christmas and another year is coming to a close. I think it was a pretty fantastic year here at Number Fifty-Three and all of you who have stopped by, commented and supported me are amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
 
Can you guess what my most popular posts of 2013 were?  Let's take a look!

My Modern & Fresh Home Tour!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Dining Table...Deconstructed

Hey all! I hope you're all well! I've had a couple of those, "Oh My Gosh this cannot be happening!" (and not in a good way) moments this week.
 
First, our old house is having some plumbing issues which resulted in a little bit of a flood coming though the ceiling and into our entryway. So not pretty.
 
Then, that evening I realized that my posts weren't updating on Bloglovin'. I totally thought it was a glitch on their part, but it ended up being a problem with my RSS feed. Gah. I think we have it all fixed now, so if you're here reading this, you may want to go back and see what I've been up to for the past week and a half!
  
And you know, bad luck always comes in threes, so I am completely sitting here waiting for the third thing!
 
Enough with the gloom...lets talk happy Christmas things, OK?  When I was putting together my Blogger Stylin' Home Tour I had so many pictures that I ended up putting some of them in collage form. I think that my favorite spot in our home from that tour was the dining room table, so I thought I would share it more in detail with you all. Pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a snack and lets get started!
 
So, here is my dining table, if you were looking into the dining room from our living room. I love how the room looks so warm and glowing from the candles and Christmas lights!
 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Inspiring Bloggers Series: Vintage Prairie Style

Hey all! It's time for my next feature in my Inspiring Bloggers Series!  I am so, so thrilled to have Keya from Vintage Prairie Style here today! I'm trying to think of when I first discovered Keya's blog and I'm pretty sure it was after she left me the sweetest message on one of my posts a long, long time ago. It doesn't hurt that she has awesome style! I find so much inspiration from her painted furniture and it just kills me that she lives so far away from me!
 
 
Hi everyone, I'm Keya and I blog over at vintage prairie style, which is my little corner of the web where I get to share all of my creations and inspirations. I think of my site as an ever evolving series of projects, so when you visit (and I hope you will) you never really know what you will find; my world can be a bit chaotic - in the best possible way... I cannot tell you how excited and surprised I was when Angela asked me to participate in her inspiring bloggers series! I have to say, as soon as I found Angela, which feels like many moons ago now, I was smitten. We share a love of thrifting, furniture re-dos and crafting. I could go on for days... Her style is so amazing, she has such creative ideas and her positivity and outlook on life are truly inspiring.  

This is the story of two thrift store chairs and the riot they caused in my living room. Maybe some of you will relate to this experience, and for those of you who don't, well, bare with me... You see, when I spotted them (my new chairs) I knew they were special. Diamonds in the rough, and I mean r-o-u-g-h! But, with a price tag of $15, I had to have them. I brought them home, fixed them up and proudly brought them up to our living room (I plan to do a before/after post over on my blog in the new year).




And this, my friends, is where it happened.

The RIOT.

These chairs were not playing nice with the other pieces in the room. Obviously I had to address this issue immediately. So after an afternoon of furniture shuffling I came up with something that is going to work for all of us. For the time being, of course.

So lets take a look.



When you walk into the room from the front entrance this is what you see. You might notice that I like to mix old and new; that I've never met a stripe I didn't like; and that I love to layer, but you need to know that I also HATE clutter.

Below you can see my new chairs in their new home. These chairs were truly a labor of love, as were so many other elements in this room. The wall sconces, for instance, were way too brassy; but after a hit of antiquing wax they were invited to join this crew (no fear of mixing metals in this house). All of the pillows were made by me using drop cloth remnants, linen scraps and even some ikea rugs.


Here is the new view of our book case wall, an area that sees regular changes (you can see some of the incarnations of this space here, here and here). I've mixed our hand-me-down wing backs with more hand sewn pillows, graphic Ikea plates and a lot of vintage treasures. I am pretty nuts over my new/old bowling pins. Not sure that the husband and kids understand that these are decorative...


I like to make things look interesting; no matter where you are sitting. So when we are relaxing in the wing backs this is our view. The gallery wall has stayed the same for over a year, a record in this house.


And finally, here is  my favorite spot in the room.


It is completely separate from my new chairs, but had the chairs not caused a shakeup then I never would have put this together. This little polka dotted cabinet is a favorite, I painted it up to sell but in the end I had to keep it (you can read all about that here). And no, that is not a real mouse scaling the lamp shade - it's a bronze. Made by my aunt. I have been coveting her pieces my whole life and finally acquired one - did I mention that I love him!


So there you have it. A harmonious end to a wild overhaul. I will admit that I have no idea if this will last much past this holiday season; things never stay the same for too long around here; but I can tell you I am enjoying it right now.

Thanks so much again to Angela for having me, and I hope that all of you will pop over for a visit soon!
 
 
Thank you so much for sharing Keya! And friends, be sure to stop on over to Vintage Prairie Style! 
 
 











Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Updates & All That Fun Stuff...

Hey friends! The days have just been flying by! Yesterday we took the boys to the Museum of Science in Boston and it was amazing. (We've been there tons of times, but yesterday was particularly cool.) I even survived watching a sheep eye get dissected with Antonio. And, if you know me in real life, you know that was a serious accomplishment. Ick!
 
I just wanted to hop on and share a few things with you. First, I recently participated in the Blogger Stylin' Christmas Home Tour, which was ridiculously awesome!  There were a couple of glitches (things like that happen when you have 50+ bloggers participating over a 5 day period), so I just wanted to make sure you all had the links to see every last one of these fantastic tours!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Festive Paint Chip Garland

Hey friends! I'm just on really, really quick to share a little, festive project I did a couple of days ago. We promised our boys a fun day today and do not want to disappoint!
 
 
 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Guest Tour: A Primitive Christmas

Welcome! I'm super excited to be sharing my Mom's home tour with you all today. I love to periodically photograph her home and the Christmas season gave me the perfect opportunity to do just that!
 
 
As you can see from my Christmas Tour last week, we have wildly different styles. But, we actually love a lot of the same things and frequently share decorating ideas and home d├ęcor items.
 


Friday, December 13, 2013

Things I'm Loving This Week...Gifts for a Cause

Isn't it awesome when you can buy a gift for a friend or loved one and help someone out all at the same time?  I've been searching around online for some of my favorite gifts that also contribute to those less fortunate.  It's a total win-win!
 
 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Finger Knit Winter Wreath

 Hey friends! Have you ever tried finger knitting? I first gave it a shot last winter and completely fell in love.  It's fast and easy and super addictive. I just get comfy on the couch, which is sort of mandatory with my sprained ankle, (oh yeah, I totally missed the last stair carrying laundry into the basement), turn on my favorite show (are you all obsessed with New Girl, too) and get crafty.
 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pinterest Love...Christmas Trees

Hey everyone! Did you check out my Christmas home tour yesterday? I have the links to all of the 50+ bloggers participating this week at the end of the post. Be sure to check them out! It's only day two and I am already completely blown away.
 
There are so many fun ways to go when choosing and decorating a tree, don't you think? I tend to be more on the creative/take a risk side (no surprise) and my family is more in the traditional side.  Here are some of my favorite Christmas trees that I've pinned on Pinterest.  Which do you like best?
 
 
1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5
 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Blogger Stylin' Home Tour: Christmas

 Welcome to my Christmas Home Tour, friends! I have been primping, arranging and decorating and some (ahem, my family) might say obsessively, but I just wanted everything to look festive for your visit, so come on in! And, if you just stopped by from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs, she is amazing, right?
 
 
Our entry has a bright, open and decidedly vintage feel, thanks in part to my gold stenciled wall and two-toned painted dresser. I placed my new flocked tree (oh, how I love it and have coveted them forever) into an owl vase that was a gift from a friend. I didn't think this tree needed much so I simply decorated it in aqua, green and blue vintage ornaments.
 
 
 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Easy, Glittery Pinecones

Hey all! I have a couple of fun crafts to share this week that are perfect for Christmas, but are neutral and wintry enough to decorate with long after the holiday has ended.
 

 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Things I'm Loving This Week....Pretty Gift Ideas

Hey everyone! Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? I am totally not even close, but that's OK! I have some super cute gift ideas today that I am really loving!
 
1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5
 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Chalkboard Clipboard Picture Holder

Welcome friends!
 
You all know that I love when something is simple, inexpensive and makes a huge statement, right?
 
Well, today I have two fantastic things to share with you!
 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Favorite Christmas Ornaments - 2013

Friends, I have been scouring my favorite websites to create a definitive list of fantastic Christmas ornaments. Bonus: I noticed that many are free shipping and lots are already on sale! Which is your style?
 
 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pinterest Love... Christmas Inspiration

Hey friends, I'm getting a late blogging start today after bringing my oldest to the orthodontist and delivering a table to a client. Then we had a quick lunch and headed over to BJs to stock up. Seriously. Why does good-for-you food have to cost so darn much!?! Not fair at all!
 
I have a little bit of time to relax with my cup of coffee and all things bloggy before I'm off again to drop the oldest off at his art class. You totally know I'm going to be spending a good part of this time on Pinterest! Most likely finding inspiration for holiday ideas and decorating.
 
Here are some of my favs this week:
 
 
1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5
 
 

 
 






 
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Budget Christmas Decorating

If you're like me and you love to decorate (and redecorate) then you always have this tiny, annoying, little thing called a budget looming over you. Right?

This is especially true around the Christmas season when there is so much to do and so many other expenses. Yet, I always want to create fresh and new holiday displays around my home. What am I to do! Well, I have created a little system filled with tips to decorate beautifully on a Christmas budget.

First, use older holiday items in a new way. For example, I have an extensive collection of vintage ornaments (all found for free or just a couple of dollars a box at tag sales) that, some years, completely decorate my tree. This year, I have used them differently, piled in a vintage bowl in my entry. It gives them a totally new and unexpected look!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Book Page Chistmas Wreath

We usually put our big Christmas tree in our dining room each year. It's probably atypical, but it seems to work out best for us and for the layout of our home.
 
Anyway, about a month or so ago I found this vintage bamboo ladder at a tag sale not too far from us. I was super excited because I had actually wanted an antique ladder for next to the sideboard in our dining room. This one, though, more than fit the bill.  It was the right size and color, the bamboo gave it a cool, modern edge and, get this, it only cost $5. Five dollars!
 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Things I'm Loving This Week...Gift Edition

Happy day after Turkey Day friends!
 
 
I hope you all had the best and most relaxing day yesterday! We completely did. And, truth, I never even got out of yoga pants the entire day. It was fab!
 
Do you head out shopping on Black Friday? I completely do not! I prefer shopping online from the comfort (and warmth...it is freezing here) of my own home.  Which, actually is how this little series I have on Fridays got started!
 
So, here are some of my fav gift ideas for Christmas 2013. What do you all think?
 
1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5
 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Inspiring Bloggers Series: Meeha Meeha

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to be starting something new here at Number Fifty-Three! My Inspiring Bloggers Series will introduce you to my absolute favorite blogs and the fantastic people behind them. Awesome, right?
 
And, I'm starting the series off with the amazing Meeha Meeha. She has the most wonderful style and I have been obsessed with her blog since I first discovered it!

 
 How To Decorate With A Single Gourd - 3 Ways...
 
Hello, dear Angela and wonderful Number Fifty-Three readers!

My name is Meeha Meeha and I'm super-excited to address a new crowd! Angela has got such great taste and a happy nature and we share a love for clean, stream-lined design - so I'm sure that her readers are equally cool :)
My blog Meeha Meeha is about the trials and tribulations of stylishly decorating a small home - on a budget! I think that every little corner of the house should look great and match your style. And you don't have to buy expensive designer stuff to do that. That's why I found a great way to fake a wallpaper, I made a zen garden on my little balcony and I even hand-painted my happy entryway. I hope you will come by for a quick look!

Today I would like to talk about how to decorate with a single gourd (or pumpkin). 
Many of us used a bunch of gourds, Fall leaves, pine cones etc. to decorate for the season. So did I. It's such a pity to throw them away in the beginning of December! I really like the whimsical shape of the gourds and I know for a fact that they can remain intact for almost a year. So I decided to keep a single gourd in each room and integrate them into my decor, even if little touches of Christmas are already sneaking up on our little home.


Gourd No. 1. Monochrome vignette in the bedroom



The bedroom is a place of rest and serenity. Busy decor is not welcome in here. The calmer the place, the better! I recommend creating a monochrome vignette, assorted to the bedding (if possible).
How to style it:
- Choose your gourd or pumpkin. Go through your stuff and find something similar in shape and color. I went with a cute golden gourd. The wooden Russian doll shares the same colors and also has a round shape, so it's a perfect match for the gourd.
- Clear your nightstand. You must start up with a clean slate :)
- Place the gourd and matching items on it. Complete with neutral, functional items (because the nightstand must be useful to you, not just pretty to look at). I added a stack of books, since I am an avid reader.


Gourd No. 2. Neutral colors and lots of texture in the home office



My dad always used to tell me that you cannot concentrate in a busy, cluttered environment. The mind needs some "negative space" (at least my mind does!). In the home office, I use warm colors and lots of neutrals, in order to create a soothing environment in which my brain can function properly.
How to style it:
- Choose your gourd or pumpkin. Mine is sitting in a clear vase, because it has a tricky shape and this was the only way I could make it stand up (well, sort of...)
- Go through your stuff and choose small items made of natural materials. I've got a lot of texture on my desk: glass, wood, wax, metal, ceramic.
- Add a tiny touch of red, to make it interesting to the eyes - here goes the mushroom :)


Gourd No. 3. Go bold in the living room





This plus-size gourd looks like a cross-bread between a bowling pin and a wine decanter, don't you think? I decided to make it the living room attraction, because it is a great conversation starter.
How to style it:
- Choose your contrasting colors. The maximized color contrast guarantees the WOW effect. The gourd is green and green's opposite color is red. I used a red pitcher and a red candle holder. They are both round in shape and made of glass, similar in shape to the gourd's "belly" and contrasting with the heavy texture of the gourd. Add cute tiny accents in neutral colors if you want to (the washi tape and the felt balls).
- Place the arrangement where everyone can see it when they enter the room.
- Use an asymmetric "A" shape layout. This way you make sure that the eyes of the beholder travel throughout the entire vignette. Layer the elements, placing the taller ones in the back row and the smaller ones in the foreground.

Well, that's it, folks! I wanna thank Angela again for giving me the opportunity to guest blog and to meet new friends. I hope that my little styling exercise was simple and fun. I would love if you came by Meeha Meeha for more of this stuff. Cheers!
 
 
Thanks so much Meeha Meeha! And be sure to check out her blog. Seriously. You will all love it!
 
 








 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pinterest Love...Last Minute Thanksgiving

Hey friends! Are you all ready for Thanksgiving yet? I have my turkey purchased, but that is really about it. Today will, for sure, be crunch time for me! I'm finalizing my menu and have already informed my boys to prep themselves for trips to Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and a couple other stores. Should be interesting! 
 
Here are some fantastic last minute Turkey Day ideas I found on Pinterest...
 
1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5
 
P.S. Try the cranberry pie, ASAP. I make it every Thanksgiving and it is my most favorite dessert of the year!

P.P.S Come back tomorrow to see the start of my new series featuring bloggers that I am most inspired by.

 








 
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Chalkboard Leafed Thankful Tree

 

Our Thanksgiving Table and Menu


 
 
 


Monday, November 25, 2013

Living Room Updates & Additions

The decorating never really end does it?

I recently mentioned that we got new shelving at IKEA (here) and since that time I have pretty much arranged and rearranged. I swear to you if I ask my family one more time if the shelves look cluttered they are going to smack me. I'm not kidding. It has become a joke around here.  It's just that I really despise clutter and I want to ensure that my new shelves in now way project the image of being cluttered and overdone. I know, I know, a good part of the time I even annoy myself.
  
 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gold Star Tree & My Christmas Coffee Table

I sort of give up. It's freezing and snowy here so I've let the Christmas decorations begin to seep in before Thanksgiving has even happened. This is completely unlike me, but I am totally placing the blame on the wintry weather, the late Thanksgiving and not feeling well/hanging out too much at home thinking about decorating (cannot wait to call the doctor tomorrow to get my ears checked.)



Friday, November 22, 2013

Things I'm Loving This Week... (Holiday Prep Edition)

Just so you all know, my house is still decorated for late autumn...and I plan on keeping it that way for just a bit longer.
 
Don't you find this to be such an awkward time of year? You don't want to snub Thanksgiving. I mean, it really does deserve its moment, but Christmas is so grand and requires so much planning. Planning that needs to be done before Turkey Day.  Especially this year, with Thanksgiving being so late.
 
Don't fear, I'm sharing this special edition of Things I'm Loving This Week completely devoted to those essentials that need to be done prior to the holiday rush.
 
1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5
 
Just a couple of notes before I head off to start my day.
 
First of all, why do I not own that CB2 wreath? I have been pining over it for two years now. I need to make that happen.
 
Secondly, check out treat. for cards. They are unique, personal and really, really affordable. Start planning for your Christmas cards now. Here's why...last year I ran out of time and motivation and never sent out cards. I. Am. Still. Hearing. About. It. From. My. Family. Seriously, they are threatening me this year. Also, get a special little card for your love. They are customizable and truly a keepsake. It will also help you to avoid awkward situations like I have had with my own husband...like, you know...giving each other the very same cheesy card from the drug store one Christmas. Awkward. Learn from me. 
 
 
 
Enjoy your weekend!
 
   
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vintage Gold Dresser & My Furniture Checklist

Doesn't it feel like forever since I shared a piece of furniture with you all? I know, I've sort of been on a crafting kick lately. But, I have still been filling my days with painting; mostly working on finishing custom orders.  There has been one exception, though. I had been looking for a dresser for our upstairs hall.  I wanted something long and low to brighten up the space and make it easier to decorate seasonally.
  
 
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

[Project Notebook] Cold Weather Staples

You all know we live in a smallish old home, so, as you can imagine, space is at a premium. I have to periodically go through my closet and store away out of season items and create a bag for donation for things that I'm not really into anymore.  By the way, there's a great article for closet cleaning tips here.
 
But, you know, out with the old and in with the new, right? I do like to add a couple of key pieces to my seasonal wardrobe just to keep things fresh and interesting. Here are some of my favorite possibilities for the chilly months. Which do you like best?
 
1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5