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Preview: Making it Lovely

Making it Lovely

A design blog about living a stylish life and transforming the so-so.

Last Build Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2018 22:05:33 +0000


Pretty Things for Pretty Closet Shelves

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 22:05:33 +0000

My closet shelves got a little sprucing up! I rearranged things to better sort my jewelry (the earrings were piling up in a bowl, getting tangled and dusty) and the newly blank space between the shelves looked painfully bare. I had brought home the beetle, dragonfly, and bee from Target a while back at $10/pop, not knowing where I’d use them, and I’m so glad I did! Clearly my house didn’t already have enough bugs as decor. There were a lot of questions about where things were from when I shared this space on Instagram Stories yesterday, so I’ve put together ALL the sources you might need in today’s post. Shall we? Glass Jewelry Boxes I’d been wanting a glass jewelry box to keep my earrings dust-free. The long, low version I bought this weekend is out of stock online, though stores may still have them (Oakbrook did) and there are plenty of other options below if you’re looking for something similar. Add a little ribbon to the clasp like I did if you’re feeling extra. Clarus Small Brass Display/Jewelry Boxes, Crate & Barrel Glass Shadow Boxes, West Elm Antique Brass Jewelry Boxes, The Container Store Keepsake Glass Display Box, […]

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French-Inspired Outdoor Wire Planters

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 16:58:10 +0000

French country is having a moment again (have you been noticing?), and there are a ton of reproduction wire urn planters in shops this spring. They need to be lined, either with burlap, coconut fiber, or moss, but they’re a lighter alternative to stone urns with a similar shape and you don’t have to worry about freeze/thaw issues. The 10 below are my favorites but if you’re looking for a whole bunch more in one place, House of Antique Hardware has started carrying a wide range. Sphere Hanging Basket, Terrain Koeller Wire Urn Planter, Wayfair Twisted Iron Urn Planter Set of 2, Wayfair Twisted Wire Metal Urn Planter, Wayfair Bronze French Wire Basket Stand, Pottery Barn Large Tulip Basket, House of Antique Hardware Iron Wire Tulip Urn, Terrain Wire Cloche Planter Brown Set of 3, Target Terrace French Wire Garden Urns, Save on Crafts Italian Villa Planter, House of Antique Hardware © 2018, published by Making it Lovely as French-Inspired Outdoor Wire Planters | One comment | This post may contains affiliate links; I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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Drawn to “The Ugly Colors”

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 16:15:03 +0000

I’ve been planning two more big DIY renovations for our home: the laundry room and the second floor bathroom. The laundry room in the basement is dull, and the bathroom is having issues that are forcing the renovation more than aesthetics alone. I’ve chosen the appliances and fixtures, and everything so far is black, white, or brass. Even the flooring is white (or “biscuit” in the case of the bathroom, but close enough). Neutrals. A classic foundation. I can do anything I like with the wall colors! What do I like? The moody, somber hues that suggest mysteries and the passage of time. The paint colors that pick up names from secluded forests or old world travel destinations. Or that, if you’re not a fan, pick up less charming monikers like “baby poop green.” I lovingly refer to these as “the ugly colors” but of course they’re not. They’re muted. Shaded. Rich. Moody. Nuanced. • I list sources for everything in the Shop Our House section, including the specific paint colors and wallpapers in our home. I love pink (quelle surprise!). But I’ve used it in the front entryway, library, dining room, bedroom, hallway, office, and guest room. Might it […]

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Bettering the Backyard

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 20:40:40 +0000

This is the first post of three sponsored by RISE’s AND not OR home and garden program. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The backyard was so charming when we moved to this house! The previous owner spent her days in the garden and it showed. Years later with us and our combination of kids, a dog, and plain old neglect, we’ve done a number on it. I could barely keep up with the front at first because I was pregnant, and then it was even harder the next year when Calvin was a baby — forget about the back. I didn’t weed or replant the annuals. Without any grass in the back, Murray trampled and peed on the plants (mostly hostas), and they all died. I haven’t done much to change the yard for the better, and it’s definitely in need of some love. I took the AND not OR approach in planning my front garden last year, and bolstered by that success, I’m turning my attention to the back. We have a cute new dining set on the flagstone patio with less than cute surroundings. I could pull off a close shot last fall, kind of, but […]

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A Louis-Philippe Mirror

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 17:07:48 +0000

Did you catch the new mirror above the fireplace when I shared photos of the living room with its new drapery? Let’s take a better look. I’ve long wanted a Louis-Philippe mirror above the fireplace, but was more concerned about size and price than pedigree. Mine is a reproduction from South Loop Loft. They often have the real antique versions available, but they can order these for you, too (in a few different sizes). Here I am, for scale, when I first got the mirror home. It’s 60″ tall! It needed to be that tall though to be the right scale. The rooms in our Victorian are modestly sized, but the ceilings are 10′ high and the windows 7.5′ tall. Plus that fireplace is massive. A smaller mirror would have been wimpy. The botanical print that used to hang over the fireplace has been moved into the dining room (where it looks great) and I’m storing the peacock mirror, so I’d like to figure out the art situation above the red console table next. There’s a framed print of The Quaker by Andrew Wyeth there now. Do I still want to do a frame grid? Maybe? I’m not sure if […]

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Meet Our Puppy, Oscar Danger Balch

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 14:00:10 +0000

We adopted a puppy! (That deserves all the exclamation marks!!!!!) He is supposedly a Bernese Mountain Dog mix — mixed with what, we don’t know. He’s a pretty chill dog for the most part and super snuggly with bouts of puppy playfulness. And bunny hops! Oh, the bunny hops. I was in bed, unable to fall asleep, looking again at the recently listed dogs on Petfinder (something I had been doing a lot lately). He and his siblings had just been become available that day at a nearby clinic that works with the Humane Society and I immediately sent an email saying “I know it’s the middle of the night and nobody is there, but we’re interested in this dog and we’ll be there first thing in the morning!” The kids had the day off from school, so we were all able to drive over, fingers crossed that the pup was still available. He was! We spent some time getting to know him, then filled out an application and hoped we would be approved. Murray was such an awesome dog, and we were all heartbroken when he died last year. I would look at pups up for adoption and research […]

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A Frank Lloyd Wright Easter Egg for Illinois

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 22:01:49 +0000

Food Network Magazine reached out a few months ago, asking if I was interested in decorating an Easter egg to represent Illinois, my home state. There would be a spread featuring one egg from each state in the April 2018 issue (on newsstands now). I said yes — it sounded like fun! I live near the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio here in Oak Park, and out of the many ideas I submitted for the egg, that was the one they chose. Great! I just had to paint a world-renowned architectural masterpiece on an egg. Easy! I shipped my finished egg (it was ceramic) off to New York for the magazine to photograph, and here it is in print. You can pick up a copy of the April issue to see all of the eggs from each state. I spotted some of my friends and fellow bloggers in the magazine, too! There were so many clever ideas. Thank you, Food Network Magazine, for inviting me to take part. It may not have been super easy, but it sure was fun. © 2018, published by Making it Lovely as A Frank Lloyd Wright Easter Egg for Illinois | 14 comments […]

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A Real-Life Epic Minecraft Fort

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 22:02:26 +0000

August turned seven this year, and he wanted a Minecraft-themed birthday party. We invited his friends for an afternoon at our house with pizza and cake, and an epic real-life Minecraft fort! Full credit for this idea goes to Brandon, who ordered two dozen large, plain moving boxes and plastic tablecloths with a grass print to make Minecraft blocks. The best technique we found was to staple the tablecloth along the top four corners, then cut out a wavy hem to wrap around the top sides and secure with packing tape. Brandon also covered giant sheets of foamcore that we had on hand with the same pattern, and used one additional tablecloth with a wooden board design for ‘oak planks’. (Foamcore that large can be hard to find and/or expensive, FYI. Blankets would work just fine too.) Stacking the boxes three high made the fort just the right size, and I have to admit it looked pretty magical if you were kid-sized to run through the twists and turns! I’m big on letting kids guide their own play, but we did want to make sure there was an engaging activity at the party so that guests weren’t feeling bored. We […]

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Honor Roll

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 21:08:35 +0000

I’m heading out to get my hair cut after six months since my last appointment. It has grown out all the way down to my… chin? Not even my chin. The bangs can be pulled down past my nose, but in back I’m sporting the most fabulous shaggy mullet style. I’m trying to stick with this whole ‘growing out the pixie’ thing, but blech to the in-between stage! I’m hoping I’ll dislike it less once it’s cleaned up a bit. This DIY card-making kit (spotted here) is brilliantly funny. Apparently people can’t tell Bubly and LaCroix apart in a blind taste test (with a very small sample size). I’ve only tried two Bubly flavors and I think there’s a weird aftertaste, but the cans are cute, so… The BenDeLaCreme shirt you didn’t know you needed. For the love of a cat. Did you think we’re all eating stuffed or deep dish in Chicago every time we order pizza? That’s tourist pizza. I’ll take my thin crust cut into squares, please. Experimental plastic furniture is beginning to drip, bulge, and burst. ILLUSTRATION: Tyler Feder (Roaring Softly Etsy shop here!) © 2018, published by Making it Lovely as Honor Roll | 9 […]

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Custom Window Treatments for the Double Parlor

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 21:22:35 +0000

Thank you to The Shade Store for sponsoring this post. The Victorian is definitely a bit lovelier these days with the addition of custom window treatments in the double parlor! We’ve been here for 4.5 years, and I’ve liked the look of the house with bare windows. I started to realize I wanted to change them last year though. Visually, I knew the extra layer would look nice, and I also wanted the heating and cooling benefits of quality curtains (because 125-year-old windows can be drafty). They arrived a couple of months ago and are indeed everything this home needed! Beauty and function combined. You likely know that there’s a lot of unpainted wood trim in this house (like, A WHOLE LOT). Curtains help soften things up. There’s a radiator behind the teal sofa in the bay window. It made hanging curtains there a bit tricky, but I came up with a clever solution! If you’ve ever encountered a similar obstacle, scroll down to the end of the post for ideas on working around it. I’ve been focusing on style upgrades and finishing touches for the main floor. I chose matching rugs for the double parlor with a greek key […]

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