Dining room redesign with a modern mix: white + warm

Like many first time home builders, when we moved into our house three and a half years ago we didn’t have the extra funds to fill every room. And even if we would have, I learned my lesson on impulse decor decisions with our first home. Don’t do it! Therefore, our current dining room remained pretty bare the last four years. As much as it drove me nuts to stare at the big blank grey walls, I appreciate the time we spent getting acquainted with the space. It really helped us figure out the direction we wanted to go with custom designs and decor.

I love both giving and receiving inspiration, especially when it comes to home design. So, for the love of sharing here’s a look at before and after our dining room redesign.

My goal was to create a modern yet warm and inviting, bright and cozy space for family dinners and entertaining. This fall we were able to see our dining room dreams come to fruition. I’m extra grateful that we completed it in time to host Thanksgiving this year. Just as long as no one breaks out in a pumpkin pie fight on my fresh white walls (wink)!

We updated the space with a DIY faux white brick wall, reclaimed wood dining table, super affordable white eiffel style chairs, and a custom dry bar by Franklin Builders.

Finished Product:

My oldest son now asks to eat dinner in this room (versus the kitchen island) every night. You mamas know that stopping kids in their tracks from playing and getting them excited for a meal is a challenge at times. Family dinners are high priority in our family, so I would consider this redesign a win in many ways. Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends at whatever dinner table you are!

 

A fall family photo shoot: flannel + foliage

What to wear, what to wear…it’s always a big question when it comes to finding the perfect outfits for your family photo shoots. In the fall in Minnesota we are mad for plaid! Check out a few photos from this cute family’s session, that I had the privilege of photographing, in their cozy fall getups including the cutest plaid toddler high tops. I mean, couldn’t you just squeeze this little dude? This {now} dad has been a second little brother to me since he was in like the 2nd grade. It’s so much fun to be part of capturing his sweet family’s life.

Autumn (n)
colorful leaves
hearts are glad
twiggy trees
mad for plaid

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

A woodland Wild One birthday party: details + free printables

From Luca’s cake smash photo shoot  last week to his birthday party this past weekend, we are all a bit pooped over here. Big brother Rocco might be feeling it the most as he shared in all the excitement {and extra sugar} with his little bro. The party was a success and Luca was definitely celebrated and loved on! Here’s a look at his woodland style Wild One first birthday party.

This time around I made planning easier on myself and simplified a bit more than Rocco’s first birthday party. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely still sprinkled in special details. I just did it in a more efficient and budget-friendly way, like making the black and white invitations myself, incorporating things on hand like decor from Luca’s woodland nursery and refraining from personalizing every single little thing (no labeled water bottles, etc.).

Also, thanks to my mom I was able to include some quality reusable items like the table runner and pillow she made with fabric from the local craft store. They are so cute!

Many mama’s take monthly photos of their cubs and I love the idea of incorporating them into first birthday parties. It’s so much fun to relive that first year of crazy growth at a glance.

Another one of my favorite quick and easy party details was the “Wild Paw-corn” with coordinating sprinkles. Plus, it tasted just as good as it looked! It’s officially my new go-to party treat since you can coordinate the sprinkles to match any theme and it looks so pretty in a glass bowl. Here’s the recipe I put my own spin (and name) on from Pinterest. You gotta try it!

The only thing I needed to assemble was the favor bags (above), which were super easy! I picked up small craft paper bags, filled them with two Girl Scout S’mores cookies and sealed them with pre-printed stickers from Etsy.

These 4×6 black and white printables I designed and framed were a fun and easy way to fill space. I made generic versions to share with you, if you’d like to do the same (see links below). Enjoy!

 

Luca said let’s party and we did! Now it’s time for a bit of hibernation (wink).

Luca is ONE: a woodland wild one cake smash + lifestyle session

Well, that was a quick year! Our little Luca boy turned one this past week. Even amongst the joys and challenges of transitioning to two in our crew, the year definitely flew! We could not be more in love with our sweet and silly little stinker. I think everyone in his life would agree that he brings us all so much light!

My best friend, Photography from Eileen, outdid herself once again with Luca’s one year photo shoot. Here’s a look at his woodland style Wild One cake smash and lifestyle session.

But first…CAKE! And a special shout out to my mama for making this little birch beauty.

“Clean up clean up everybody everywhere, clean up clean up everybody do your share!” Luca loved the cake, if you can’t tell. Game on in the sweets department. Once you start these kids they don’t want to stop. Well, neither do I. So, I think I’ll be feeding him straight broccoli for the next several meals.

Thank you again Auntie EE {Photograpy From Eileen} for sharing your beautiful gift with us, once again!

Happy birthday, Luca! We love you more than words can say!

“Fearfully and ONE-derfully made.” Psalm 139:14

A modern nursery: simplicity + serenity

I’m officially in total nesting mode over here at 34 weeks. After finishing little Luca’s nursery this past week (with a ton of help from my pro-DIYer mama), I am excited to share it! Here is Luca’s woodland style nursery with a modern approach to coordinate with the rest of our home.

 

All of the furniture is from Rocco’s nursery, so this time it was all about the fun stuff! My vision of a reclaimed wood accent piece kicked off the planning process. The current home decor trend of combining rustic with modern inspired me to create a fun focal point above the changing table dresser. After explaining this idea to my mom one day, she was certain we could bring it to life. The wood is actually leftover from a basement renovation at my parents cabin. My mom and dad put it together and I added the marquee letters and an arrow from local craft stores. I love how it makes the room feel modern yet classic.

This bookshelf was already in place, so I just spruced it up with some ceramic woodland creatures and framed art. My goal was to keep it simple and bright.

The crazy creative mama I have also painted these amazing birch trees on the wall…freehand mind you! They make my heart smile every time I enter the room. I originally had nearly a hundred dollars worth of wall decals in my Etsy cart. After sharing my woodland nursery dreams with mom, she told me she could paint them. I know, I’m a very lucky daughter!

Check out this super cute and cozy cloud pillow she sewed up for me as well. This was another item in my Etsy cart I was able to remove.

These sweet star pillows were also part of the pillow package. My favorite part about them all is that they are made with love. I’m not any good at sewing but maybe one of these days I’ll sit down for a tutorial with her so I can pass down the handmade love.

I stuck with simple and neutral functional items like this hook rack and mirror from Ikea.

The name Luca means “light”, so I had the idea to integrate various lighted pieces into the room. One of my favorite purchases is the star pendant above the rocker. It gives off the perfect amount of dimness for nursing at night.

Our little blessing will be here before we know it and we cannot wait to introduce him to his cozy room. I hope you enjoyed the nursery tour and it brings inspiration for your own little ones rooms.