A Royal 5th Cinderella Inspired Birthday

I cried my eyes out, off and on, for months beforehand.  At the end of October, Holiday hit the BIG 05.  There's something about hitting 5 that's official "Big Girl Territory" in my mind!  Last February, we finally took our first trip to Walt Disney World.  It was every bit as magical as I had hoped and upon our return, Holiday declared she wanted a Walt Disney World themed party.  Of course my mind always thinks as big as possible and about how many elements from Disney I could fit from my front door to the recesses of my back yard fence.  Over the months, she started to narrow it down to Disney World, but mostly princesses, but as the time started to roll around to pick things out for her party, she kept picking Cinderella everything, so I just rolled with it!  

This is the first year I planned the party to take place all inside my home.  I just had a strong feeling that I needed to do that and I'm SO glad I listened.  We had torrential downpours for days leading up to, during and after her party.  Because I moved it indoors, we had to cut the guest list back significantly (so sorry friends, we still love you ALL!)  We have a nice sized home, but not enough room for 60 or 70ish people all indoors.

I did something for this party that I normally never do and focused all of my decor into one area.  We emptied out all of the furniture from our Formal Dining Room and my husband's office into our Master Bedroom and Guest room, and transformed those spaces into a Ballroom and our very own Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!  I've always known (and even blogged about) how much more "Wow factor" you can achieve focusing on one area, but now that I did it this way once, I will definitely do it this way moving forward.  For parties I've done in the past, I will generally start my decor on my front porch and carry it all the way through to my back yard.  It's cohesive and adds nice details, but the decor budget is spread out evenly.  Putting it all in one spot was really magical.  It transformed the space and really made you feel like you were somewhere special!  

Side note:  I don't know what I was thinking, but this is the first year I didn't have a professional photographer at the party.  I took on so much with all of the details, I didn't even get to take more than a few pictures myself-- HUGE REGRET.  WILL NEVER MAKE THIS MISTAKE AGAIN!  Thankful for sweet friends who sent me many cell phone pics they snapped.  

Of course a royal party requires royal invitations!  I was so close to ordering some from Etsy, but SO GLAD I took the time and designed and made them myself.  I promise to come back very soon with a tutorial of how I did these! 


 I ended up with the wrong size mailing tubes, but had to make them work or the invites would have gotten in the mail SUPER past the "Guest should have them in their hands 3 weeks beforehand," timeframe! 

I ended up with the wrong size mailing tubes, but had to make them work or the invites would have gotten in the mail SUPER past the "Guest should have them in their hands 3 weeks beforehand," timeframe! 

 Party set-up selfie somewhere between midnight and 3am in the wee early morning hours of party day.  I just need everyone to let me by myself so I can play around with my decor.  The big things are always hammered out way in advance, but it's the little details that just take time alone for the creativity to start flowing! 

Party set-up selfie somewhere between midnight and 3am in the wee early morning hours of party day.  I just need everyone to let me by myself so I can play around with my decor.  The big things are always hammered out way in advance, but it's the little details that just take time alone for the creativity to start flowing! 

 Our Royal Ballroom.  I pulled out our Dining Room furniture and replaced it with two 6 foot folding tables and folding chairs all draped in beautiful linens!  The gold chargers were one of my favorite things I added.  They're easy to find for around $2ea and I think they really made a huge impact! 

Our Royal Ballroom.  I pulled out our Dining Room furniture and replaced it with two 6 foot folding tables and folding chairs all draped in beautiful linens!  The gold chargers were one of my favorite things I added.  They're easy to find for around $2ea and I think they really made a huge impact! 

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 Another view of the Dining Room.  The carriage photo prop is from Stumps (the prom decor place) I also had my banners printed from them too-- they are really nice quality, will definitely order again!  Their products MADE the party! The little swag under the Cinderella silhouette was a last minute addition.  I kept feeling like the space needed something and then remembered that blue shimmery fabric I had in my buffet from last year's  Polar Bear Play Date! 

Another view of the Dining Room.  The carriage photo prop is from Stumps (the prom decor place) I also had my banners printed from them too-- they are really nice quality, will definitely order again!  Their products MADE the party! The little swag under the Cinderella silhouette was a last minute addition.  I kept feeling like the space needed something and then remembered that blue shimmery fabric I had in my buffet from last year's Polar Bear Play Date! 

 The girls were just starting to get seated for lunch while our Royal Visitors, Princesses Rapunzel and Cinderella entertained them with songs, stories and games.  If you're in the Dallas Fort Worth area, I booked these ladies through  Royally Fun Parties  and they were AMAZING!!!!  I cannot say enough good things.  They seriously jumped right in and helped with games, crafts, helped the girls get lunch and were like having two extra hostesses at the party.  Best of all they had beautiful voices and the girls were SO entertained!  It was seriously magical! 

The girls were just starting to get seated for lunch while our Royal Visitors, Princesses Rapunzel and Cinderella entertained them with songs, stories and games.  If you're in the Dallas Fort Worth area, I booked these ladies through Royally Fun Parties and they were AMAZING!!!!  I cannot say enough good things.  They seriously jumped right in and helped with games, crafts, helped the girls get lunch and were like having two extra hostesses at the party.  Best of all they had beautiful voices and the girls were SO entertained!  It was seriously magical! 

 Cake and cupcakes by my dear friend, Mary Holmen, from It's A Mary Cake!  She has done every special cake for me starting with my bridal shower, wedding, and everything since!  If you live in DFW, find It's A Mary Cake on Facebook! 

Cake and cupcakes by my dear friend, Mary Holmen, from It's A Mary Cake!  She has done every special cake for me starting with my bridal shower, wedding, and everything since!  If you live in DFW, find It's A Mary Cake on Facebook! 

 I found the little gold frames in the dollar aisle at Michael's and made my own "Have courage and Be Kind" graphic!  They were also at each place setting as one of the (many) favors the girls got to take home (I love favors)! 

I found the little gold frames in the dollar aisle at Michael's and made my own "Have courage and Be Kind" graphic!  They were also at each place setting as one of the (many) favors the girls got to take home (I love favors)! 

 This may have been the only Disney (non princess) element that actually made it into the party! 

This may have been the only Disney (non princess) element that actually made it into the party! 

 These #5 Fairy Wand Cookies were at each place setting for the girls to take, also made by It's A Mary Cake! 

These #5 Fairy Wand Cookies were at each place setting for the girls to take, also made by It's A Mary Cake! 

 One of the very few pictures I snapped myself before the punch was in the bowl!  The little plastic cups are from Pottery Barn Kids and I added the Cinderella slipper "body stickers" to them (From Party City).  I also designed the water bottle labels and just printed them on my printer, cut down and covered with heavy duty packing tape!  

One of the very few pictures I snapped myself before the punch was in the bowl!  The little plastic cups are from Pottery Barn Kids and I added the Cinderella slipper "body stickers" to them (From Party City).  I also designed the water bottle labels and just printed them on my printer, cut down and covered with heavy duty packing tape!  

 Note to self, delete black border around labels before printing next time! 

Note to self, delete black border around labels before printing next time! 

 My husband's office, mostly emptied out and turned into Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!  We had a manicure/ nail painting station, makeup station and hair station.  The girls also all got to pick out one of the princess body stickers (from Party City and super cute!).  They all got to pick out crowns or tiaras, tutus and I had the most adorable handheld mirrors for them all in addition to bracelets, necklaces and rings! This space is right beside our ballroom, so it flowed really well together! 

My husband's office, mostly emptied out and turned into Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!  We had a manicure/ nail painting station, makeup station and hair station.  The girls also all got to pick out one of the princess body stickers (from Party City and super cute!).  They all got to pick out crowns or tiaras, tutus and I had the most adorable handheld mirrors for them all in addition to bracelets, necklaces and rings! This space is right beside our ballroom, so it flowed really well together! 

 I feel like so many "Pins" and party blogs only show up-close details.  I'm always interested in the flow of a party, so here's an aerial shot (from my upstairs catwalk) that a sweet friend captured!  When you come in the front door, the opening immediately to the right is where the office (aka Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique) is! 

I feel like so many "Pins" and party blogs only show up-close details.  I'm always interested in the flow of a party, so here's an aerial shot (from my upstairs catwalk) that a sweet friend captured!  When you come in the front door, the opening immediately to the right is where the office (aka Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique) is! 

 I SO wanted the girls to have their own little buffet set-up in the "Ballroom," but I just couldn't fit it all in there!  I kept it pretty simple with Croissants, Sonoma Chicken Salad, Turkey and Cheese Tiara Cut-Out Sandwiches, PB&J Fairy Wand Sandwiches, "Carriage Wheels" Rollups, Jaq and Gus Cheese Tray & Berry Yogurt Parfaits.  I gave them all cute, princessy names and made little buffet cards for each.

I SO wanted the girls to have their own little buffet set-up in the "Ballroom," but I just couldn't fit it all in there!  I kept it pretty simple with Croissants, Sonoma Chicken Salad, Turkey and Cheese Tiara Cut-Out Sandwiches, PB&J Fairy Wand Sandwiches, "Carriage Wheels" Rollups, Jaq and Gus Cheese Tray & Berry Yogurt Parfaits.  I gave them all cute, princessy names and made little buffet cards for each.

 This was one of my favorite elements!  I noticed after the party that my Father carefully pinned a cheese cube to Gus Gus' mouth!!!! 

This was one of my favorite elements!  I noticed after the party that my Father carefully pinned a cheese cube to Gus Gus' mouth!!!! 

 Another little dessert spread in the living room.  In retrospect, this whole set-up was probably unnecessary but the Cinderella Trail Mix (inside the pumpkin) was a pretty big hit, as were the cream puffs in the silver bowl!!! 

Another little dessert spread in the living room.  In retrospect, this whole set-up was probably unnecessary but the Cinderella Trail Mix (inside the pumpkin) was a pretty big hit, as were the cream puffs in the silver bowl!!! 

 In spite or the nonstop downpours, we did a little craft project on the covered back patio that the girls got to take home!  We made Christmas Palace Pets Christmas ornaments!  Tutorial coming ASAP! 

In spite or the nonstop downpours, we did a little craft project on the covered back patio that the girls got to take home!  We made Christmas Palace Pets Christmas ornaments!  Tutorial coming ASAP! 

 Adorable Palace Pet ornament! 

Adorable Palace Pet ornament! 

 Holiday Rapunzel behind the photo prop carriage!  (I need to give a shout-out to my husband (David. I had planned for the carriage being in a different spot, but it ended up being bigger (than my measurements.  It was his idea to move it here in the Dining Room and it was definitely (the focal point of the whole party and a huge source of "Wow!") 

Holiday Rapunzel behind the photo prop carriage!  (I need to give a shout-out to my husband (David. I had planned for the carriage being in a different spot, but it ended up being bigger (than my measurements.  It was his idea to move it here in the Dining Room and it was definitely (the focal point of the whole party and a huge source of "Wow!") 

 Holiday's adorable Rapunzel dress-up apron, Rapunzel hair (pictured above) and matching American Girl Doll outfit were all made by the very talented Jennifer Bayliss at  Ross and Rosie Designs !!! 

Holiday's adorable Rapunzel dress-up apron, Rapunzel hair (pictured above) and matching American Girl Doll outfit were all made by the very talented Jennifer Bayliss at Ross and Rosie Designs!!! 

 Amazing hair (it's made out of yarn and has a stretch for a perfect, comfortable fit), Rapunzel apron and matching doll apron by  Ross and Rosie Designs ! 

Amazing hair (it's made out of yarn and has a stretch for a perfect, comfortable fit), Rapunzel apron and matching doll apron by Ross and Rosie Designs

 The ceiling was supposed to be covered in helium balloons, but the AC vents kept blowing them into opposite corners!  I didn't have this issue last time I did the same thing in this space!  Also wanted y'all to be able to see the pretty decor that went all the way up the staircase! 

The ceiling was supposed to be covered in helium balloons, but the AC vents kept blowing them into opposite corners!  I didn't have this issue last time I did the same thing in this space!  Also wanted y'all to be able to see the pretty decor that went all the way up the staircase! 

 More princess fun! 

More princess fun! 

 From  Royally Fun Parties  they were amazing!!!! 

From Royally Fun Parties they were amazing!!!! 

 Lots of play time afterwards!  Holiday and her sweet friend Alyssa 

Lots of play time afterwards!  Holiday and her sweet friend Alyssa 

 Favorite Party Present (Thanks Cara, Jeff, Sophie and Sam!) 

Favorite Party Present (Thanks Cara, Jeff, Sophie and Sam!) 

Thank you all for stopping by!  Be looking for the invitation and ornament tutorials on the blog soon!  

January Decor

As a child I dreaded putting Christmas decor away.  Not because of the work (I think my parents did all the work), but because I just didn't want it to be over!  Our decor stayed around for several weeks after Christmas and my mom transitioned our one artificial tree in the dining room to a Valentine's Day tree with heart ornaments!  

As an adult, as much as I absolutely ADORE Christmas and Christmas decor, I also readily embrace January and fresh, clean, bright, new starts.  The past two years, I've had Christmas packed up and put away before the New Year, but last year I was really determined to figure out some "January Decor."  When it gets a bit closer to spring and Easter, I have decor that I love for the whole spring season.  Summertime, I have a huge "flow" of mercury glass, sand, shells and all things beachy to pretend we live closer to the water!  In the fall (technically from August-October) I decorate for the whole harvest season.  However, for some reason with winter, we have Christmas decor and as soon as Christmas has come and gone (really at the start of the winter season), it all gets put away.  

I realized last year that I could pull things from my Christmas decor that were really more wintery and could work through Valentine's Day (after Valentine's Day, I transition to Spring/ Easter).  It was a bit of picking and choosing--I do have a lot of Christmas decor after all. I felt like a lot of my silver trees and deer could work (and technically they could), but I kept standing back to take it all in and they were still reading Christmas to me.  

I wanted to put away the "crowded" feeling of Christmas, but still have decor that has the warm glow to keep you warm and cozy inside on blustery days and to add a little magic to the winter season!  The best part is that you can probably shop post Christmas sales and pick up some great winter decor for 70% off this week!  Here are a few pictures for inspiration.  These are vignettes I did on my formal dining room table, buffet, living room and fireplace mantle.  I'll add a few Valentine's Day elements in, in a few weeks.   

 This one is a bit of an inspiration pic fail with the candles not lit, but wanted to include it since I know pinecones are an easy and practical addition to your January Decor! 

This one is a bit of an inspiration pic fail with the candles not lit, but wanted to include it since I know pinecones are an easy and practical addition to your January Decor! 

Christmas Home Tour: 2015

Hey Everyone!  Welcome to our Christmas Home Tour 2015!  Just starting out with this video for anyone who wants to see it all via video with my lengthy commentary ;) I apologize in advance for filming it vertically... live and learn!  

 Your view walking in the front door!  Our office is to the right (not visible in this pic), across for the entryway.  Then you move into the formal Dining Room (pictured right) and the buffet on the opposite wall

Your view walking in the front door!  Our office is to the right (not visible in this pic), across for the entryway.  Then you move into the formal Dining Room (pictured right) and the buffet on the opposite wall

 Entryway

Entryway

 Buffet turned Hot Chocolate Bar  opposite Formal Dining Room

Buffet turned Hot Chocolate Bar  opposite Formal Dining Room

 Formal Dining Room 

Formal Dining Room 

 Slightly clearer picture of tree decor :) 

Slightly clearer picture of tree decor :) 

 Entryway/ Transition into our open concept Family Room, Kitchen & Breakfast Nook

Entryway/ Transition into our open concept Family Room, Kitchen & Breakfast Nook

 Kitchen and Breakfast Nook 

Kitchen and Breakfast Nook 

 Family Room 

Family Room 

 Homemade Ornament Tree 

Homemade Ornament Tree 

 Guest Bathroom Vignette 

Guest Bathroom Vignette 

 Holiday's "The Nutcracker and The Land of Sweets" Tree! 

Holiday's "The Nutcracker and The Land of Sweets" Tree! 

 Shout out to my husband, David-- he hung all of these light himself!  My dad made the North Pole sign and the sleigh, I did all of the wreaths and garlands :) 

Shout out to my husband, David-- he hung all of these light himself!  My dad made the North Pole sign and the sleigh, I did all of the wreaths and garlands :) 

From Baby to Big Girl: The Portfolio of a Wanna-Be Interior Designer

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love decorating?  Decorating is not a decision for me, it's something I HAVE to do.  No matter what resources are available to me, I feel compelled to see them reach their full potential and make them as beautiful as I know how.  In retrospect, I'm sure my parents have made the most profound impact on me in this area.  They always had a lot of pride in our home-- they invested time, resources, blood, sweat and tears into making our family home the best that it could be.   I remember spending summers out in the country as my parents tore down old buildings in exchange for keeping the materials they disassembled.  My dad hand-cleaned every brick from their childhood school and used them to create an expansive back patio.  Lumber from an old barn was re-purposed as framing for a 1.500 square foot addition to our home. Having a beautiful, wonderful place to live was  top priority to my parents and I took it to heart.  Many weekends of my childhood were spent at antique auctions and estate sales.  I remember having an immense sense of pride when my dad bid (and won) a painting for me that was just for my tree house!  My college dorm room was my first blank slate that was all my own.  Even though most of the contents were purchased at WalMart or Dollar General, I did everything in my power to make it as warm and wonderful as I knew how.

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Holiday, I started planning her nursery the very next day.  As I began to envision what I wanted the space to look like, I was definitely going towards a strong vintage, shabby chic vibe. But the funny thing about decorating (at least for me) is that spaces rarely turn out the way I first imagined them.  I start with a concept and then look for my jumping off point.  90% of the time (no matter what the project) I look to fabric as my initial inspiration and then start searching and incorporating items I love.  I will be headed in a direction and then find an item I love that works well with the space, but might not be exactly in the same vein as my original concept.  At that point, I allow my ideas and design to take a detour and morph into something a little different.  I find that as I keep basing my design around things I love-- instead of forcing an initial concept-- I'm always thrilled with the end result.  

( I will apologize in advance, most of these pictures aren't all that great.  The nursery was in our first home, the room had next to no natural light and I was taking pictures on a very subpar camera.  So aside from the few shots that our newborn photographer captured, you'll have to believe me when I say that it was much prettier in person!)

My first inspiration for the nursery was this Serena and Lily fabric.  It's so incredibly soft and has the perfect amount of sheen to it.  I fell in love with it and used it as my jumping off point to create the rest of the space.  

 Serena and Lily Kate Sprout Damask Fabric 

Serena and Lily Kate Sprout Damask Fabric 

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At $40/ yard, I couldn't use the fabric for a huge project, but I wanted to use it in a way that would have the greatest impact possible.  I ended up doing just one side of the bumper in the Sprout Damask and then did pink chenille on the opposite side.  Again, to have the greatest impact, for the back bumper piece against the wall, I used the damask on the inside so it would be visible in the room.

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The little wrought iron table and chairs set, my parents found at a yard sale many, many years ago and my mom re-finished it for the nursery.  I made the little chalkboard by simply painting a frame I had and then cutting some plywood to fit inside.  I primed it and then covered it with a few coats of chalkboard paint and then sat it on this little shelf that I also painted and distressed to match the rest of the nursery.  

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My heart still skips a beat every time I see this sweet, sweet picture of Holiday at 6 days old captured by my dear friend Becky Siegrist.  It's just all the more special that she's laying on a table that has history, under a chalkboard I made for her first room! 

My plan for the nursery was to do bead board and chair rail until I remembered this nursery designed by my all-time favorite designer, Sarah Richardson.  I really loved the trim piece 3/4 of the way up the wall with the alphabet going around the room.  So the night before we were to start the bead board, I called off the project and took a slight detour towards this design.  I think even though there are some antique and shabby chic elements in the room, this made it a bit fresher and more modern.

 Pictures from Sarah Richardson Design

Pictures from Sarah Richardson Design

I love how, in the inspiration room,  they alternated the colors and sizes of the letters to give it some variation.  I didn't want my letters to get too busy, but rather serve as an interesting layer.  I painted them the light, serene colors of the nursery and used two different sizes to randomly alternate between.  

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I searched a very long time to find lighting for the room.  The sconces that flanked the crib I ended up purchasing from Amazon.  The chandelier was a clearanced out floor model from a local lighting specialty store.  

One of the main things I did in the room was try to keep the colors as light, airy, serene and restful as possible.  I feel like I actually have a lot going on in the room and many layers, but the light color palette makes it easy on the eyes.  The main pink paint color is a VERY faint pink, the low light of the room actually makes it look a tad richer than it really is, but I quickly realized while testing paint colors that to get a soft pink on the wall, the swatch almost looked white.  

 Behr Premium Plus "Be Mine 100A-2"

Behr Premium Plus "Be Mine 100A-2"

Above the trim and on the ceiling, I used another Behr color, Light French Gray:


 Behr Premium Plus "Light French Gray 720E-2"

Behr Premium Plus "Light French Gray 720E-2"

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I scored this $15 mirror from TJMaxx.  It was well bolted to the wall as to not be a danger to the baby, but the space needed some height, so I incorporated the ribbon to make it look like the mirror was suspended from it.  I also added an antique brooch to the center of the bow.   

Here's a better look at the rocker/glider and matching ottoman. These were custom ordered from PoshTots and are upholstered in the Ophelia Dove Damask fabric:  

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brattdecor.com

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brattdecor.com

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My apothecary jar of rubber duckies was definitely among my favorite creative elements! 

 Baby Reading Nook 

Baby Reading Nook 

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We moved into our 2nd home right after Holiday's 2nd birthday.  She was already completely potty trained and sleeping in a toddler bed, so I decided to transition her right into her "Big Girl" room!  I incorporated a large majority of the pieces that I loved from her nursery into the new space.  My sister asked me if I would like my niece's bedroom furniture as they updated from "Big Girl" to Tween.  I had long-admired the hand painted furniture from my niece's room, but it posed a major creative challenge for me!  For starters it wasn't the bright, fun Pottery Barn Kids-ish space that I was envisioning.  Also, the pinks in the furniture had a peachy tinge to them and I wasn't finding bedding right off the bat that didn't clash.  BUT I have learned through the years that some of my best work (in all areas creative) is birthed out a of a design challenge.  I decided to stick with the hand-painted furniture and I really do love how her Big Girl room has turned out.  We have only been in our home for a year and all of the spaces are still "a work in progress," but Holiday's Big Girl room is mostly finished for the time being! 

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I officially decided to keep the hand-painted furniture once I found this quilt from Serena and Lily.  It was the perfect shade of pink with a hint of peach.  I also loved that the harlequin pattern in the furniture is repeated on the quilt! 

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I am still totally in love with this lamp that I stumbled across at HomeGoods.  It couldn't be more perfect for the space and the silk shade is the identical peachy pink color repeated in the quilt and furniture. 

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Another huge creative challenge in this room is this 5' x 12'  "bump out" space.  Although the bump out "existed" on the original plans, it was enclosed attic space.  We had asked about having it opened up, but were told that it wasn't a possibility.  Lo and behold, when we signed off on the final blueprints, it was there!  Then I started panicking about what it was going to be like to essentially have a long narrow hallway in the center of the feature wall of the room.  Of course it turned out to be an amazing area and mini built-in play room. I will admit that it has one too many toys in it right now and is quite crowded, but I would venture to say that the majority of Holiday's daytime play happens in this 5' x 12' space! Plus, what little girl doesn't want a window seat to crawl up on?!

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 Kwal Brand Paint Color, French Ditch

Kwal Brand Paint Color, French Ditch

What I love most about this space is that it is VERY princessy without having Disney princesses on every surface.  When I look back through all of the pictures in this post, I feel like I did a better job with Holiday's Big Girl room than I did with her nursery, but by decorating her nursery around items I fell in love with, I had an amazing foundation to start with in her Big Girl room.  

Obviously, I am NOT a professional designer-- I just love to decorate! So many times when I find myself drooling over professionally designed spaces, the items are often very unattainable for the average Joe-- or at least for the average Joe's budget!  Most everything in these spaces was found at regular stores, aside from the few custom made pieces and accents.  But because I'm not a professional, I hope these pictures inspire you with creativity and fresh ideas for your own spaces.