Ahhh, the birds are chirping and the flowers are in full bloom. The azaleas in our yard look like fireworks exploding with color.

I long to open the windows and let in the sounds and the sweet smells.

But, alas, the pollen bomb is still in full dumping mode.

I’m not going to let that get me down. I decided to bring the outdoors in and finished switching out my Valentine’s Day decorating (yup, I like to get the most out of my seasonal décor.)

So, without further ado, here is how I’m celebrating Spring!

I saw the window idea at Classicly Amber (via Pinterest) and had just pulled a few old windows out of a curbside pick up pile. Speaking of Pinterest, if you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out! It is a great place to “pin” ideas you see and be able to refer back to them easily.

Beth at The Stories of A2Z gave a tutorial on using Pinterest HERE. She’s the one who introduced me in the first place, so I’ll let the master show you the ropes!

I always make it a point to refer back to the original source if I get an idea somewhere else. (Granted, some things are so widespread amongst bloggers, that it is hard to credit the original source.) Pinterest has helped me keep all the ideas together and makes it easier to find the original source. Plus, you can follow other people’s pins and boards. Feel free to sign up and follow mine HERE. Then you can steal my ideas before I blog about it…just kidding!

The striped pedestal holding up the plant is actually a cake stand I made recently using a plate and a candlestick. I’ll be blogging about it later this week, but trust me it is nothing new. You’ve probably seen this trick somewhere else.

This little adorable birdhouse was lovingly painted by my 7 year old son. I always have a stock of $1 birdhouses that they like to decorate on a rainy day. This one brings so much sunshine into my heart.

I love how easy this centerpiece was to create. I rested the ceramic bird into  a shredded paper bag nest. Then set the nest on top of a ceiling medallion ($3 at a yard sale) and surrounded the medallion with ivy.

And finally, my favorite: a robin’s egg nest that I made with chicken eggs.

You can view the tutorial for making the eggs and nest at TLC’s Parentables today.

If you struggle with decorating and creating vignettes, you might want to read a few of the guidelines I use when designing groupings and seasonal décor HERE.

Entering this post into the CSI Spring Decor and Vignettes challenge:

Visit thecsiproject.com

Oh happy day! My spirits are being lifted by the showy flowers that are blooming outside my window. This post is for those of you that are still suffering through this brutal winter. My thoughts are with you often, and I hope these colors help brighten your day and let you know that Spring is on its way.

So, grab a warm drink or blanket and sit back for a few minutes of buds, blossoms and blooms.


When there is so much colorful artistry outside, I couldn’t help bringing a few inside.

I wish you had smell-o-vision. Those little white flowers on the left are called Daphne, and they have the most fragrantly sweet lemon scent.

I’m going to try to root some Daphne shortly after the flowers fade. Apparently that is the best time to snip them, add some rooting hormone, and stick them in a pot. Wish me luck!

I found this decanter set at Goodwill last week and they are the perfect size to hold a few daffodils at our table.

Does anyone else’s child have Staff & Teacher appreciation week coming up? Ours is this week, and I found an economical solution for the multitude of gifts I needed for each teacher, office staff, bus driver, etc. I’ll be sharing that with you later this week!

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Today, I have another special guest for you. Kim from Sand & Sisal is here to share with us some tips for using plants to decorate and improve our homes.

And the best news is that you don’t need a green thumb to care for many of these. She breaks down each plant’s water and light needs.

If you haven’t been to Kim’s blog, you need to surf on over there right now (get it? Sand & Sisal, Surf?! Ha, ha, I’m so witty. One of my favorite projects she has tackled was renovating her 1949 Bathroom.

Bathroom After

Amazing transformation isn’t it?! Okay, now everyone kick back, and enjoy a guest post from my friend Kim at Sand & Sisal.

Hello everyone! I’m Kim from Sand & Sisal, and I’m so glad to be guest posting for Brittany’s “Fall in Love with Your Home” series today. Brittany and I are southern girls and actually live only a few hours away from each other, but we met through blogging and were Twitter friends. I was thrilled to meet her face to face at the Blissdom 2011 Conference held at Opryland in Nashville, TN.

PHC & SS

The Opryland Hotel has 9 acres of lush indoor gardens and even though there was snow outside the tropical foliage and flowers brought a touch of paradise that melted any vacationer’s wintery chill. Below are some pictures I took in their gorgeous Conservatory.

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Springtime (thankfully) is approaching fast here in the South, but you can have a taste of spring by bringing a bit of the tropics indoors! One of my favorite plants to have around the house, and had also covered Opryland’s gardens, is the Peace Lily. Its lush green foliage, beautiful white blooms, and low maintenance make the Peace Lily a household favorite.

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The Peace Lily requires low light and should be watered to keep soil moist but allow the soil to dry out between watering. The Peace Lily is one of the top 10 plants that clean the air in your home. They are known to reduce formaldehyde and carbon monoxide levels.

Do you have an empty corner that just needs something? I have several! The Majesty Palm, another “clean air plant” is what you need!

majesty palm

Majesty palms thrive on bright light and minimal water but I have found they do quite well in moderate light. I have several that are all on the north side of my home. Water these palms once a week but make sure they are not sitting in water or they will yellow and drop dead quickly.

Need a pop of color? The Flamingo Flower comes in red, pink, white, or lavender. It blooms year round and requires medium light with moist soil. I have found the Flamingo Flower to be an easy plant with a showy blooming performance.

flamingo flower

Another plant with bright, bold color is the Croton. Croton’s start out dark green but will develop bold color as they mature and are allowed to have bright light and cooler temperatures. So if your Croton is lacking in color, then move it to a bright window but don’t let it get overheated. It loves to be moist so this one requires watering at least once a week. The Croton is another top “clean air plant”.

croton plant

Plants not only help clean the oxygen in our homes but add a sense of tranquility and comfort to our indoor spaces. Choose an empty corner or a lonely tabletop and add lush plant, and I promise, you’ll smile, and maybe just breathe a bit better!

Kim

Thank you Kim! I love decorating with plants! They offer such life and texture to my vignettes.

After reading Kim’s post, I’m ready to try my thumb at a bigger species. So, I’m off to the nursery to buy one of those gorgeous majesty palms. I had not idea I could grow one of them in my home.

How about you? Do you have any plants you love to decorate with?

I like to revitalize my love for a room by switching out the décor throughout the year. Decorating for the season gives the room a fresh look. Mantles are the ideal place to begin:

Autumn

 Christmas

Valentine’s Day

Springtime

But, if you don’t have a mantle, you can use any flat surface!

Side Table

Pedestal

Pie Safe Cabinet

Built-in Bookshelf

Recessed Window Seat

Here are six tips for creating successful vignettes:

1. Varied heights

Try to create a visual triangle. Have one tallest object, then a 2nd tallest and a shortest. I use books all the time to help elevate an object that might be at the same height as another object. Attractive wooden crates or boxes covered with cloth can work too.

2. Varied textures

Using a variety of textures creates visual interest. In the picture below I have a ceramic bird sitting on torn strips of newspaper in a plaster container on top of an embroidered linen and some books.

3. Color palette

Choosing a color palette of 3 colors or less is an easy way to create an appealing vignette. For my Valentine’s Day vignette I chose to work with primarily red and white with some black.

The next year, the color palette was red, aqua and white.

4. Odd numbered groupings

Vignettes and small groupings tend to look better when you use an odd number of objects.

For example, in the grouping above, I have assembled:

1. Birdhouse on a candlestick (visually they are one object)

2. Bird nest in pedestal (again visually counts as one)

3. Stack of books

4. Picture frame

5. Felted rose laying in front of the picture frame.

5. Varied Shapes and Scale

Vignettes work well if you can vary the shape and scale of your objects. Grouping many objects of the same size and shape will not give your eye enough to explore and study. Always take a step back from your vignette to make sure that your grouping has different shapes and sizes represented.

6. It’s Your Décor

This is the most important rule! Make sure you create something you like. Use your own objects. And if you love it, that is all that matters. It really doesn’t have to meet someone else’s criteria of perfection. I wrote a whole post on imperfect decorating HERE.

Happy Decorating!

  

Did you spy Christmas cards in the background? Sure, it is February, but I love them too much to take them down yet. If you’d like to read more “Fall in Love with Your Home” February posts, click on the button below to see a recap of this month’s theme: