Here are my current wood counter stools with the Ballard Design toffee checked chair cushions. If you look closely you will see that the chairs are actually different. The two on the ends I bought at a discount many years ago because they were being discontinued by the manufacturer. When I needed an additional stool I bought a similar one from Ballard Designs.
What I like - the tall backs, the warm wood tones and cushions - over all the chairs are very comfortable for sitting. We don't like that we can only fit three stools. I have two children and when they each have a friend over, only three can sit. Also we don't' like how the stools protrude into the walking area.
Here are the Tabouret stools. Aren't they great?! Did I mention they were only $50 each - I am still giddy about can find them here. What I like: Aesthetically I like their lines and the way their color ties in with the stainless steel in the kitchen. I love how four stools (and children) fit. I also like how they push in and make a clear pathway for walking by. I don't like how cold they are to sit on in the morning and how uncomfortable they are with out a back. I also worry they are just too industrial looking (a family lives here after all!)
So readers, what do you think?? Which do you prefer and why???

(House Beautiful)
I really love industrial style pieces mixed in with my decor. One of my most popular posts last year was on industrial kitchen stools, if you missed it click here. Perhaps its because they look wonderful mixed with any decor.
One of my favorite items are the industrial stools from Tolix. What appeals to me most is their small size, wonderful lines and how I can tuck them under the center island to create a clear walking path.
(Apartment Therapy)
Tolix is a French company that makes extraordinary metal furniture. I wanted a change in the kitchen, but budgets being as they are I really couldn't justify the price when I had perfectly fine wood stools.
The Tolix stools are available through Melissa Edelman Antiquaire, a Chicago-area dealer who represents the full line of Tolix or above from Sundance catalogue. But at $245. plus shipping per stool I had to pass. So imagine how thrilled I was when I found a copy at The "Tabouret" stools are very close to the wonderful original Tolix stools and at 2 for $99.00, I thought they would be worth a try.
I have had them for several months and I am very impressed with the quality. The are wonderfully versatile and since I purchased them, they have been moving all over the house. They have been in the Butler's pantry, the basement playroom and even as our primary kitchen center island stools. Here is the link to them at When I first found them they were out of stock but I signed up for a notification and when they were back in stock I purchased them.
Tomorrow I'll show you our center island with the current wood stools and then the Tabouret stools and you can help me decide which we should use in kitchen.
Enjoy your Saturday!!

I was over visiting my friend Marian at Miss Mustard Seed this week and I have to tell you her recent project stopped me in my tracks.
Marian took a $6.00 dresser she purchased at an auction last fall and turn it into a work of art!
The veneer was chipped and bubbled and beyond her ability to repair. So, she decided to paint it and then cover it with antique sheet music. Isn't this a wonderful effect?
And in case your feeling crafty and inspired she has more photos and the step by step instructions here.
This is only one of her many projects, so don't miss a visit to her blog, Miss Mustard Seed.
By the way, she is part of So You Think You Can Decorate Competition; so if you want to see other great projects, or vote for hers, click here.
Thanks for inspiring us, Marian!! I am off to search the attic to see what I can create!!!

I have always been enamoured with sheers. I love the romance and natural light they let into a room.
(National Curtain Company)
They soften hard lines and provide a beautiful fluid motion from a breeze. Here is wonderful example of antique shutters which are enhanced and softened by the striped sheers.
(o. disegno)
When the light is right, sheers can create an incredible romance in a room. Even a room that is dark can be brightened with sheers. I included the room above to show, though dark, how even a north facing room can benefit from the natural light.
(Southern Accents)
When I was twenty and in my first apartment I bought a huge mosquito netting to hang from the ceiling over my mattress which sat on the floor. I did not even own a bed then! I envisioned myself chic like Mata Hari. This picture is much better example of what I was trying to achieve back then. This Niermann Weeks beds is gorgeous with the gathered sheers. Isn't this so romantic?
(c. everad)
This canopy is taunt - creating a much more sophisticated and contemporary feeling. This is a simple and inexpensive way to add the romance of sheers to your four poster bed.
The sheers here create a wonderful juxtaposition to the cold lines of the metal bed. Even in spare rooms such as this, sheers add a layer of softness. If you pull them closed you create a romantic room with in a room. (s. lane)
But sheers can used outdoors to create a room as well. Here we see this lovely dining area become a spectacular outdoor oasis.
(s. lane)
They can also make sweet slipcovers. Here these embroidered sheer slipcovers soften the lines of the french bistro chair.
(c. everad)
You may remember this photo from a post I did on the popular Ghost chair - you can read about it here. Even slipcovered the Ghost chair retains its ethereal qualities.
(p. mitchell)
The bath is another area where we are seeing sheers used. I love them as a shower curtain in this space because they provide privacy with out visually dividing the room. Here they are in soft shade of lavender.
(s. lane)
This sheer shower curtain boasts wonderful ribbon embellishments. Also notice the beautiful table slipcover.
(s. lane)
But sheers are not limited to white, here a wonderful turquoise linen provides privacy, as well as the color accent in this room.
(r. hammick)
Sheers can also provide the pattern in the room. The light enhances these beautiful floral sheers

(julia clare company)

Finally these striped sheers provide a private resting area on an outdoor veranda.

Where do you like to use sheers?


(crisp architects)
I'll be taking a few days off this week to spend some relaxing time with my family. Here is fabulous porch that certainly would provide a welcome oasis. Everyone needs a few moments to slow down and toast some marshmallows. See you in a few days...

Have you been following the Workshop Series?

Donna from Funky Junk Interiors...

and Miss Mustard Seed from Mustard Seed Creations...

are the founders of this fantastic idea!

This week, I am happy to be a part of it.

Why me?

Because this week, Donna is talking all about Board and Batten.

M-hmm...right up my alley!

It's been just over a year since we wrapped our lack-luster family room and kitchen in our own version of character building Board and Batten. And just over a year since we won Apartment Therapy's February 2009 Jump Start Project for "Best In Decor". We had written a "How To" for our Board and Batten treatment and we were thrilled to receive the recognition...

So how do we feel about it now that we've been living with it for more than a year?

Exactly the same as we did when we first put it up.

No regrets!

As you will see, the layout from our room has changed (several times, to be honest), but the Board and Batten remains...

Around the family room we added a ledge with a groove cut through it, kind of like a plate rail. It's the perfect place to prop up star fish and sea shells...

We kept our spacing at 12 inches...for the most part. When it came to areas like under the windows, it was really important to me that the vertical strips fall evenly underneath the window sills. Will wasn't so sure. He was convinced that if we didn't keep the strips evenly spaced all the way around the family room and kitchen that, surely, people would notice. I am happy to say, that no one has ever noticed that our strips on this particular wall are spaced specifically to accommodate the windows, and not a number on the measuring tape.


It was the right decision. There are just certain spots where symmetry is key!

On our longest wall we had to take into consideration our large switch plate. I didn't want to have to cut a vertical strip to go around the switch plate, so we placed a strip directly against it and then measured for all of our other strips off of that line. In this case, it was the best way to avoid drawing more attention to a very large (and poorly placed, if you ask me) bank of switches...

To see our full tutorial on How To: Board And Batten, click here.

To see all of our Before & After photos, click here.

And be sure to make your way over to see Donna's post at Funky Junk Interiors. She's giving a full tutorial and showing you her own interpretation of Board and Batten on a feature wall in her bedroom and in her kitchen. Leave it to her to spin it in a whole new way!

And as an added bonus, she's hosting a Board and Batten Linky Party!
So link up those rooms - you know you want to!

Thanks for including me in your workshop, Donna! XO

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day tomorrow (can anyone explain how it's possible that we're in mid-March already?!) I thought it would be fun to bake up something sweet with the kids for dessert.

I think those green frosted Irish Shamrock Cookies are adorable and sit at the top of my list of what to make, but our oldest son thinks this would be even better...

Pistachio Cake's a toss up.

So we searched a bit more and I think we would have been better off had we just stopped with the first two.

Check these out...

Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies

I think I'll make these for the kids as a festive snack for when they get home from school tomorrow. Their own little Pots of Gold...

or maybe Rainbow Cupcakes for my little leprechauns...

Think I could sneak in these healthy Shamrocks and convince them to actually eat them?

It wouldn't work with the boys, but Ellison would definitely go for it. I think these Green Peppers are super cute!

And on the menu for dinner..

Shepherd's Pie

I have never made it before, but I have tried it homemade and it was delicious!

Yum...can't wait for tomorrow.


What are your St. Patrick's Day plans?

Do you go all out on Irish Cuisine and Shamrock decor?

Whatever your St. Patrick's Day may hold in store for you, I hope it falls in line with the sentiment of this Old Irish Blessing...

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!


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