...because home doesn't happen overnight.

A few gift ideas for those of us who live, work and feel better in a tidy environment…

the tidy house gift guide

 

1 – heritage catchall – Perfect in an entryway or laundry room for emptying pockets.

2 – pinwheel geo box – Use it on a coffee table or bookshelf for stashing playing or flash cards. Gift it with a deck of cards!

3 – angled heirloom pencil holder – Corrals pens for grab-n-go list-making. Don’t forget the pens!

4 – easy clean corded hand-held vacuum – Great for households with pets and / or kids.

5 – hairpin magazine rack – Clever and stylish reading material storage for small spaces. Throw in a few favorite magazines to get ‘em started.

6 – steel and walnut coat rack – Practical and fun near a door or on the back of one.

7 – kraft and gold polka dot planner – For old school folk like myself. If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen.

8 – power squeegee – For streak-free windows, mirrors and showers every time. No paper towels needed.

9 – printed woven storage – “I have too many baskets,” said no one ever. *BONUS* – It doubles as a gift box.

And a complete splurge for those who have been extra nice this year ;)

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

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.

interior define giveaway 3

interior define giveaway 4

interior define giveaway 2

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.

interior define giveaway 1

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

clubhouse exterior 1

I’m fixing up the clubhouse my dad built for my siblings and me over twenty years ago. Fortunately, it’s structurally sound so it just needs some TLC and a few fun additions to bring it to life. My kids like visiting the clubhouse as-is but I know it could be improved after so many years of neglect / unuse. After talking with my boys, we all agree that it should function as a “hangout” – a place to unplug, relax, read, picnic, take in the views and maybe even spend the night. Here’s what we came up with…

 

clubhouse

 

1 – Benjamin Moore Super White To create a clean slate, we’re going to paint the interior white. (And, yes, the boys are going to help paint!)

clubhouse interior 3

I do like how the clubhouse has aged over time so I think we’re going to leave the “ceiling” (the underside of the roof) unpainted to retain a weathered look. I’d like to frame the views through the windows so we may leave the window frames au natural, too.

2 – Hazelwood folding bed The boys want a place to sit / sleep so we’re bringing in a pair of metal folding beds to flank the window seen above. Carrying and lifting full-size furniture up to the clubhouse isn’t really an option. I think we should be able to hoist these up over the porch with the help of a rope and pulley. I’ll remove them and store them elsewhere (probably in my dad’s barn) during colder months.

3 – EKBY wall shelf To keep as much floor space clear as possible we’re forgoing any tables. Instead, we’ll hang a single shelf under the window in between the two folding beds. The clubhouse isn’t wired for electricity so a pair of solar-powered table lamps will provide artificial light.

4 – mosquito net canopy The mosquito situation in Ohio is verrrrry pesky (i.e., itchy) in summertime. Bugs aren’t that bad during the day but when the sun sets, watch out. The clubhouse doesn’t have windows or a door to close at night so we’ll hang a net canopy over each folding bed to prevent bug bites.

5 – army blanket I keep picturing the clubhouse as a camping or army bunk so army drab seems fitting.

6 – hanging hammock chair There used to be a pair of swings hanging from the clubhouse. One remains but the chains are rusted and the seat is cracked. We’ll remove it and hang a pair of hammock chairs instead. The boys are so excited about these!

7 – black & white pillow Totally unnecessary but I like pillows. I’m not spending any money on throw pillows for a clubhouse so I’ll just borrow two of these from the boys’ bedroom.

8 – SailorBags soft cooler Layne wants a mini-fridge for the clubhouse (the kid lives to eat) but I reminded him that there is no electric. So he said we should get a generator. (Like I said, he lives to eat.) I got him a cooler. #roughingit

I have a few other surprises in store for the clubhouse but if I told you then they wouldn’t be surprises. I’d really like to paint or stain the exterior, too, but I need to discuss that with my dad. (He’s the one who would have to look at it everyday). In the meantime, the boys and I will work on getting the interior cleaned up, painted and sleepover-ready. We’re working with Wayfair on this project and are super happy that they are just as excited about the clubhouse as we are. The kids and I will be away for a few weeks in June visiting family so, hopefully, the reveal will go live late June or early July. I’m really grateful for being able to share the clubhouse and this experience with my kids and you. I hope it inspires you in some way!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

Dear etsy,

I like you. Especially your art, handmade treasures, and vintage textiles & knick knacks. I just want you to know that you’re appreciated.

xo,
Dana

And now for some stuff I recently bought on etsy…

etsy stuff

 

1 – vintage indigo jar ($20) I store garlic bulbs in this lil’ cutie and keep it next to the stove.

2 – red sliced wood garland ($30) This crazy cool garland is going in the boys’ room. (An update on their room is coming next…) I probably could have made one for less but who has time to paint a wood dowel, cut it into a million pieces, then string and knot each slice? Apparently, not me.

3 – hanging planter ($57) The boys requested more plants in their room. To optimize floor space, I thought a hanging planter would be the way to go. Again, I decided to leave the tedious task of knot-tying to someone else. WHO AM I?

4 – vintage Hmong fabric ($35) I bought two Hmong pillow covers a while back for the mudroom and ever since I dream of covering my house in Hmong fabric. It has the best patterns and patina in a denim-like indigo color. I’m going to sew more pillow covers and fill my house with them. Because I do have time for sewing but not for knot-tying??

5 – vintage kilim pillow ($55) I put this beauty in ‘my favorites’ weeks ago and would stop in daily to gaze longingly at it. Then I decided life was too short to love a pillow virtually when I could love it in real life.

6 – New Zealand panoramic photography print ($145) I’ve slowly been adding black and white photography prints to our home. (I spy three from my desk right now.) I guess I’m into them. The scale and orientation of this panoramic should be perfect for what I have in mind.

I go through phases of browsing etsy and curating ‘my favorites.’ Then every once in a while I pull the trigger on items I’m especially drawn to. I have to have a clear purpose or spot for each item. That’s the one caveat. There’s no room here for buying first, thinking later.

What about you? Any recent etsy purchases? Any etsy shops I should know about?

images: polyvore collage by Dana Miller