summer garden party essentials

Where is the summer going? Although the booties at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale were so pretty and my feet were drawn to them, I held onto my flip-flops tight. I can’t even think about a colder season right now – we are loving summer too much.

Before the summer is over, we really need to embrace all the bright colors, smells, outside play and parties and bare feet. So, we challenge you to either…

1. Complete numbers 1-10 on our Fun in Summer Essentials list below, inspired by photos from the fantastic Alt Summit garden party.
2. If there’s a fab hostess inside of you, throw a summer garden party like Alt Summit did {see photos below for inspiration}.

Alt Summit knows how to throw a fabulous party, so there is no greater inspiration for you. I was fortunate enough to witness it first hand this year. Not only was every detail well thought-out and executed beautifully, but their parties were really fun!

BIG THANKS to Justin Hackworth and Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit photos

alt summit_garden party inspiration

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alt summit_garden party

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alt summit_garden party

alt summit_garden party

alt summit_garden party

alt summit_garden party

alt summit_garden party inspiration

alt summit_garden party

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: Justin Hackworth and Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit photos

Holiday Paint Chip Ideas

Paint chips are more than just samples to bring home to see what looks good on the wall next to your kitchen…they are the source of fabulous DIY, colorful projects! While I love so many day-to-day paint chip DIY’s, we love these particular projects for the upcoming holidays.

Paint Chip Table Runner, Eclectically Vintage
Impress your Thanksgiving or Christmas friends and family with a colorful, maybe even ombre table runner, made of paint chips.

Owl Paint Chip Wall Art, The Homes I Have Made
Owls are so relevant this time of year, and personally, I think they are hoot-rific. This framed Owl Paint Chip Art would look great for a fall entry.

Now that you have Owl art for Thanksgiving, you will need a framed piece of art for Christmas. This one is perfect by The Red Thread Blog

Paint Chip Trees, Hubby Made Me
Omg, we just LOVE these trees for gift tags! Cinnamon stick trunks – oh, what cuteness!

Paint Chip Gift box, How About Orange
Wrap your small gifts this year in a handmade, paint chip box.

Paint Chip Snowmen Bookmarks, Bam Crafty Mammas
These adorable snowmen are sold out, but you can totally re-create yourself! And, instead of ornaments, make them into bookmarks! It would be a great craft to do with kids on a snowy day. 

Paint Chip Banner, Rebekah Gough via A Bit of Sunshine When Skies Are Grey
This DIY would make for a lovely Merry Christmas sign, JOY banner, etc for the holidays

{images via Eclectically Vintage, The Home I Have Made, The Red Thread Blog, Hubby Made Me,  How About Orange, Etsy via Bam Crafty MammasRebekah Gough}

{guest post} kelly christensen, interior designer

We’re happy to have a guest post today from young and fabulous Kelly Christensen, interior designer/owner of the denver-based design firm, KC Studio. Before you go out and buy that bucket of bold paint to cover your walls, first read Kelly’s tips on picking the best paint colors…

As a designer and artist (I painted with water colors for years before I created homes) you tend to have a keen eye for color. But, even for the most talented, picking paint colors can be tricky and usually a 2 or 3 step process.

I once read that you’ll know if you like a color in the first 3 seconds you see it. I think that’s interesting and only about 90% true, because many times things can grow on you.  Like gold…. I think most of us can say 5-7 years ago we wouldn’t have worn gold jewelry or thought of using brass in our interiors, but it’s one of the most popular colors and finishes lately.

The most asked question as a designer is what paint color to use even when I’ve never seen their space.  If they’re not needing a specific color, this can be easy….telling them navy, warm grey, or cream.  When they’re wanting something specific, that’s where it gets tricky because the tone of a color changes in every room. For instance, many designers believe Ben. Moore’s Stonington Gray to be the best gray out there…..but look at the difference between these two rooms.  The room on the left looks like a warm gray and the room on the right looks like a cool gray.  (P.S.- I have still never used this color myself)

Wise words from Barbara Barry, ‘You should always paint a room ten shades lighter than you think, because the color changes throughout the day and darkens in the corners.”    The easiest rule of thumb I use (if your’e using Benjamin Moore for example)…. if you like Gray Owl (2137-60) it’s best to actually paint with White Wisp (2137-70).  When White Wisp is applied to all four walls of a space, it will actually become Gray Owl (For reference, Gray Owl is one shade darker than White Wisp).

Source: Barbara Barry

I tend to always use the ‘OC’ numbered paint colors with Benjamin Moore.  If you were to open a paint can with almost any of these colors, they would first appear white, and then once you’re applying the color, you would still think it’s just white.  But when the room is complete and your white trim is up, the color starts to bounce around the space and transform into a hint of color that soothes the senses.

Here are a few of my favorite neutral Benjamin Moore colors that you can try in your next project. I AWALYS suggest getting samples from Guiry’s and tesing a few in different spots around the room, because again, as the light moves around the space, the color will change.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of information!  If you’d like to read more from me, please check out my blog or follow me on Pinterest.  I hope to hear from you soon!

I grew up in Kansas City, KS and moved to Denver after getting a degree in Interior Design from Colorado State University.  I’ve been surrounded by creative people my entire life….my father is a developer, but an architect in another life, and my mother and grandmother are beyond artistic.  At the age of 7 I started sewing classes and water color clasess, so I feel like I’ve always been destined to work in this field.  I’ve worked with commercial interior design firms and high end residential firms, loving both for different reasons.  I love the construction side of projects, but I would never want to be an architect because I have too much passion for colors, fabrics, and textures.  After the birth of my daughter Sloane, almost 2 now, I left an amazing design firm to start my own company, KC Studio.  It’s been nothing but pure joy, so I obviously was truly meant to be a designer.

{images via Benjamin Moore}

DIY Crayon Valentine for Kids

Last year we created cute labels {see here}, and this year we’re channeling our inner Picasso. Crayon art was all over Pinterest in 2012, so for our kids Valentine’s this year, we took our inspiration from the popular, child-friendly melted Crayon art.

We’ve taken that simple idea, and made it a fun, doable and unique Valentine’s Day card for our kids and their friends this year.

The poem, available for purchase can be found here at Fleur de Lis, a paperie on Etsy.

you make my heart melt, valentine
this crayon art is a gift from me to you,
on this valentine’s day, 
it’s the perfect project to do.

find your mom and dad before you start,
this beautiful, wonderful piece of art.

grab a blow dryer and hold close to crayons to apply hot heat
turn on low, and within minutes the melted art will be so neat.

put in your room or on display,
and think of me at the beginning or end of each day.

Here’s How You Can Do It Too…

Use a pencil and ruler to measure the size of each valentine ‘favor’ {we decided to use 7 crayons for each child, which was about 4×8}.
Use the blade to cut along your lines {I also tried to use scissors, but the cut was not as clean due to the thickness of the board, so for a clean, more precise cut, use a razor blade}.
Get the kids help in picking 7 colors per friend.
Use a hot glue gun to glue 7 crayons {or as many crayons as you need to cover the width of your foam board} next to each other on the board.
Place in a cellophane bag, wrap with twine.
Cut the You Melt My Heart, Valentine labels, punch two holes in the top about an inch apart from one another, then loop the twine through and tie a bow.

This year, your kids’ friends will have a fun art project to do when they get home, and a Crayola masterpiece to cherish.

{images via Tutto Bella}

Grey and Pink Summer Wedding

In high school, I never imagined Shannon, my BFF, would be celebrating her marriage at her family’s home {which I once considered my second home in my teenage years} in the midst of tennis lessons, sleepovers, prom pictures and parties. I did, however, imagine {and knew}, she would marry her high school love, Bryan.

These two met so young, but grew as individuals and a couple throughout the years, traveled the world, made long distance work and waited until the time was right for them…and their wedding day was so magical.

I was lucky enough to stand by Shannon’s side as her maid of honor for her summer wedding. She planned a clean, modern and elegant wedding that was simply stunning…and so much fun for the nearly 300 guests.

The reception at Shannon’s parents home was the perfect setting. The fountain lit in pink and purple lights made for a grandiose entrance, the white draped, and carpeted tent was absolutely gorgeous, the color scheme of white, bright fuchsia and purple, and grey was eye-catching and sparkling crystal chandeliers were timeless and glamorous. Not to mention the beautiful Irish couple radiating love…and partying all night long {at their own barn-turned-Irish Pub post reception party}

Shannon and Bryan made their wedding day their own, and I was so honored to be a part of it…and share it with you today. Enjoy.

Yes, I was a nervous wreck for my MOH speech. Yes, I cried.

And, yes, I made them cry too.

The Best Men {brothers of the groom} followed my act, and were fantastic – both funny and emotional.

Photographer: Andrew Clark Photography
Ceremony Site: Holy Ghost Catholic Church
Reception Site: Private Residence
Reception Music: Heartbeat Band/Starkey Productions
Lighting: LMD Productions
Draping, Bar and Pub Decor: DesignWorks by Dave and Mike
Rentals: Butler Rents
Transportation: Fox Limousine
Flowers:  Cori Cook Floral Design
Invitations, Programs and Menu Cards: The Paper Guppy
Hair: Andy Mendoza, The SideDoor Salon
MakeUp: Jessica Shinyeda, The Face Lab
Veil: Felice Bridal Salon
Dress: Romona Keveza, Felice Bridal Salon
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Formalwear: JoS. A. Bank
Catering: Continental Divine Catering
Cake: Intricate Icings Cake Design
Escort Cards:

{images via Andrew Clark Photography}