...because home doesn't happen overnight.

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

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I’ve had a hard time with the boys’ room. Especially the recessed wall that the boys’ beds are pushed up against. It’s the perfect spot for the bunk but I’ve always felt like it needed something. After I brought in the vintage dresser, I was pretty sure that something should be a warm-toned wood wall. But I didn’t want it to feel rustic. I just wanted it to balance out the wood tones on the other side of the room.

After a lot of searching, I came across Stikwood. (Btw, this post is NOT sponsored but I did ask Stikwood if they would be interested in doing a giveaway for you guys. Spoiler alert: They said yes!) Have you heard of it? Essentially, it’s peel-and-stick solid wood planks meant to be used on walls. There’s no nailing, no finish work. You simply measure, cut, peel, stick. I ordered a bunch of samples and quickly settled on the caramelized bamboo. It had the same warm tones as the dresser. I measured the wall (roughly 8′ x 8′) and ordered accordingly.

Even though the wood planks are VOC free, upon arrival the boxes had a smell to them. I sat them in the garage for several weeks to off-gas since we were in no rush to install them.

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Once the smell had dissipated, I brought the boxes into the boys’ room to acclimate. Can you see them under the dresser? Last weekend we finally got around to installation.

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We pulled the beds into the center of the room and unloaded the wall. Steve used painter’s tape on the black wall to note the placement of the sconces and shelves. He took a few measurements and wrote them on the tape for reference later.

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We decided that Steve would be the measurer and installer; I would be the cutter. I hooked up our Ryobi flooring saw (the same one we used to cut and install all the flooring in the house) to the vacuum to keep the sawdust mess to a minimum.

stikwood collage

You can read how-to instructions and see a video here but I wanted to share a few in-progress shots of our own.

1 – It was important to us that there be a full plank at the ceiling (since it would be visible) so we worked from the top of the wall to the bottom. The first plank we installed was actually one row down in the middle of the wall. There are three peel-and-stick adhesive strips that run the length of each plank on the back. To install a measured and cut-to-size plank, you simply peel away two of the protectors, fold over a short section of the third protector, place and level the plank, then remove the remaining third protector with the plank in place. This allows some room for adjustment when placing the planks. We didn’t use any of the fancy installation tools that Stikwood offers but we did find a rubber mallet to be helpful to achieve a snug fit.

2 – Once the first plank was in place, things moved along swiftly. We were careful to vary the lengths and seam placement. It was the most uneventful project we’ve completed in a while. That might make for a boring blog post but it was super nice not having any unexpected problems arise.

3 – We had the wall knocked out (figuratively speaking) in one afternoon. Instant gratification! We lucked out and ended up with a full plank at the baseboard so I didn’t have to make any cuts length-wise and we only had to work around one outlet. The most difficult part of the entire project was rehanging the sconces and shelves but even that wasn’t too bad. We were worried that we might have to put up some type of trim in the corners but I brought my A-game to the flooring saw and made precise cuts so no trim!

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Everyone LOVES the wood wall. Steve thinks it makes the room look bigger. He says you can now tell that the wall is set back from the rest of the room. The boys say it feels like they’re sleeping in a cabin when the bed curtains are drawn at night. I heard the word “cozy” come out of Layne’s mouth. I think the wall is the perfect balance to the large wood dresser on the other side of the room. And I like the contrast between the warm wood and white beds. There’s probably some rule against two accent walls in one room but it’s a kids’ room. Who cares.

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I don’t know if it’s our age or the sheer exhaustion from being in (what has felt like) perpetual renovation mode for the last 2+ years or what, but Steve and I are slowly warming up to products that promise quick and easy results – even if they cost more. Stikwood is definitely quick & easy. It’s also made in the USA, high quality and eco-friendly. The only drawback is the cost, but you get what you pay for. To help ease the sticker shock, Stikwood is kindly offering up a gift card today. See entry details below.

PRIZE: one $280 gift card to Stikwood plus a complimentary samples set

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) within the U.S. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Sign up for Stikwood’s newsletter here then leave a comment on this post sharing which plank you would use and where. (The entire time we were installing the planks, I kept telling Steve “Wouldn’t this be great for a TV wall? Just picture it with a flatscreen and floating console.)

DEADLINE: Enter before 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 18th. One random winner will be announced Friday, December 19th.

Good luck!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

12.01.14 / Holiday Card Idea

3-in-1 holiday card

We love our candid family photo books from Artifact Uprising so much I knew I would turn to them for our holiday cards, too. (The kids flip through the photo books on a regular basis…still!) What I wasn’t expecting was the clever 3-in-1 card design that the company introduced a few weeks ago.

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The 100% recycled 3-in-1 photo card comes as a single flat card with a photo of your choice. You can choose from more than a dozen unique designs. Each card includes a kraft envelope. I went with the “May Joy” design in red watercolor and added a photo of the kids from our recent vacation.

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Each card is perforated and can be used as a greeting card, photo print and / or gift tag. Recipients can tear off the photo square and display it on their fridge. Likewise, the watercolor font can be torn off and repurposed as a gift tag. It’s the greeting card that keeps on giving! If you have extras, use the photos and tags on gifts you’re giving this season.

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I’m keeping the gift wrap pretty simple this year. The plaid and black kraft papers are leftover from last year but I saw them at JoAnn’s a few weeks ago so they should still be available. The burlap ribbon is from JoAnn’s, too. I always have jute string on hand. I use it for everything. I can’t tie a bow to save my life so I usually resort to bow alternatives. Last year it was DIY poms; this year it’s rosemary. I had to empty the planter at the front door due to the frost but salvaged the rosemary and added fragrant sprigs to the presents for a natural touch.

Also, I really want the Australian word “pressies” (meaning presents) to catch on here in the U.S. It’s adorable. PRESSIES. You can’t say it without smiling.

*BONUS* - Enter below to win a 25-pack of Artifact Uprising’s 3-in-1 photo cards. Giveaway ends 12/8/14. Best of luck!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Nitasha who is going to look fabulous in the Anthro sheath dress she poached!

levis legging

Lately I’ve had a lot of people asking me (in real life and on the blog) about my jeans. They’re Levi’s. I discovered them two years ago and they’re my favorite. It only took me 30+ years to find the perfect jeans! Haha. The thing I love about Levi’s is once you find a style you like it makes shopping so much easier. I just grab my style, size and color preference and, BOOM!, they work every time.

The two styles I return to time and time again are the 535 leggings and the demi curve skinnies. I’m petite with a bit of a boyish figure and I like the way these styles give me a curvier look. I have a short torso and I like the low rise of these styles, too. They aren’t low enough to let it all hang out but they are low enough to avoid the dreaded mom jean look. They have the teensiest bit of stretch in them so they hold their shape really well wear after wear, wash after wash, year after year. I have some that are 2+ years old and they look and fit like they’re brand-new.

I like to roll the 535’s and wear them with ankle boots.

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The demi curve skinnies look great with flats or my trusty leather boots. These boots are five years old and they just keep getting better.

So, yeah, I’m always on the lookout for Levi’s. When I find a pair marked down in my style and my size, I have a hard time not scooping them up because I know I will have them for years. Just the other day I found a pair on sale thanks to PoachIt. Have you heard of PoachIt?

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PoachIt is a free service that lets you track your favorite items for price drops and it gives you access to coupon codes (that actually work) across the web. Basically, you never miss a sale again. You can follow over 5,000 merchants like Anthropologie, Nordstrom and Shopbop. Use a tracking button in your browser (much like the Pin It! button) to track specific items from other sites. When one of the items you’re tracking goes on sale, PoachIt sends you an email and saves you time, energy and money. There’s also an app to Poach on the go.

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Right now I’m following Levi’s, Target, Madewell, H&M, ASOS, Forever 21 and West Elm. I’m also tracking a few cold weather-specific items like snow boots, hats and leg warmers. We got our first snow of the season last week and I realized how NOT READY I am for winter. My birthday was Saturday and I have a little money burning a hole in my pocket so I’m really hoping those Sorel boots go on sale soon. I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life and I’ve never owned a decent pair of snow boots. As a kid, I always tugged on four pairs of wool socks and wore my dad’s Red Wings to play in the snow!

With Black Friday only four days away, I’m curious: do you do the Thanksgiving / Black Friday shopping thing? I used to when I was younger but it’s such a hassle now. I feel bad for the employees. I know what it’s like to work retail. I was listening to an NPR report this past weekend which revealed that many of the in-store Black Friday deals are recycled from the previous year(s)…same products, same prices. Meaning Black Friday shoppers could actually be paying more for outdated products. No thank you. Plus, I’d really rather spend the day at home with my family. This year, maybe I’ll check PoachIt to see if there are any deals to be had. Would you like to try it too? Lucky for you, PoachIt is offering up a $100 giftcard to spend on anything you want! Find entry details below.

PRIZE: one $100 American Express giftcard

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) within the U.S. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Click here and sign up for a free PoachIt account. Then leave a link in the comments section sharing what you would purchase with the $100.

DEADLINE: Enter before 9:00 p.m. EST on Monday, December 1st. One random winner will be announced Tuesday, December 2nd.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: I shared my favorite jeans, now it’s your turn! What are your favorite go-to jeans? I recently introduced my friend to Levi’s. She used to buy pricey, designer jeans but all it took was one pair of Levi’s that fit her like a glove to change her mind. She was leery at first because we don’t have the same body types. She’s taller and curvy in all the right places. She found a style that suits her and now she’s a convert!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Holly who has her eye on the cozy Harper!

Let’s start this one off with a bit of eye candy, shall we? Feast your eyes on the Asher sectional

Interior Define asher display

 

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When I was sourcing furniture for our home, I did a ton of shopping online. Buying online is really convenient for me because I don’t have to worry about my kids messing up displays, pretending to be ninjas, needing restroom breaks, wandering off or generally wreaking havoc in a store. I like that I can browse and compare prices from the comfort of my own home, on my own time. However, buying a big ticket item sight unseen can be daunting. Some online sources are really good at showcasing their inventory in true to life images and offering upholstery swatches to look over in person. Others are not so great and their images can be misleading. One company that is taking the fear and guesswork out of shopping for furniture online is Interior Define.

interior define

The company offers realistic imagery, complimentary swatches, customizable furniture and quality craftsmanship…all at a price point generally 30%-40% less than comparable retailers. To suit your individual needs and preferred aesthetic, you can choose the size, configuration, material, cushion fill and legs on almost every piece. Most pieces are available in 40-60 different fabrics! You can place custom orders online, via phone or in person at the flagship showroom in Chicago.

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When you order swatches, you also receive a product card for each item you’re considering. The front of the card includes an image of the item and the back lists pertinent info such as measurements and design details.

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The swatches and cards come bound together so you can stash them in your bag for reference when you’re out shopping for coordinating accent furniture and accessories in brick and mortar stores. When I’m piecing together a room I find it helpful to carry a small tape measure, pen, notepad and my phone (for pictures of the space I’m working on and potential items).

interior define pillows

Interior Define mainly focuses on sofas and sectionals but be sure to check out their chair and pillow selections as well. They sent me pillow samples to photograph in real life so you could see how the online store images compare. Spot on! And they are super soft to boot.

I’m not in need of any furniture at the moment but I couldn’t stop myself from dreaming up an imaginary living room inspired by some of Interior Define’s pieces. I haven’t shared a mood board in ages so I thought it might be fun to share one today. I was inspired to create a simple, scaled back living room with modern lines, natural wood tones and a comfy vibe. Take a look!

interior define living room

 

Sources: ceiling light // artwork // Walters sectional in navy // gray linen pillow // wide stripe pillow // kilim pillow // stitch stripe pillow // floor lamp // coffee table // vase // rug // accent table // sconce // chair (currently unavailable) // hanging planter // blanket

Are you inspired to create a look around one of Interior Define’s pieces? How about a store credit to bring your vision to life? Interior Define is offering up $1,000 in store credit! Find entry details below.

If you’re interested in knowing my favorites, I curated a collection of Interior Define pieces right here.

PRIZE: one $1,000 online credit to Interior Define. Credit must be used by 5/1/15 on the purchase of a sofa, sectional or chair in a single purchase. (Sorry, you can’t buy a truckload of pillows. I know. It’s a travesty.) Any returns will be refunded as store credit minus any applicable restocking fee.

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) within the continental U.S. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Visit Interior Define here and register your email address. Browse the selection then leave a comment on this post linking to your favorite item(s).

DEADLINE: Enter before 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 27th. One random winner will be announced Friday, November 28th.

BUT, WAIT!, THERE’S MORE: Receive $100 off any order over $1,500 by using the discount code HT100. Offer expires 12/1/14.

Best of luck!

images: 1-3) Interior Define 4-9) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking