Artsy Family Photo Inspiration

I am headed to the Bay area with my team this week for a very special home install. I am SO excited to share this project with you. We've been working very hard to get everything finished and I'll be posting sneak peeks on Instagram all week, so be sure to follow along!

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One project that we're doing for the entry is a big picture ledge/wall hooks combo. We collected about a dozen frames and will be printing out black and white family photos to display. I asked out client to send us all of her favorite more relaxed and candid shots of her family.

When the subjects aren't necessarily looking right at the camera, or if the composition of the photo is really unique (like in the first image here), there's a good chance the photo will feel more like art than just a traditional family photo hanging on the wall. Here are some of my favorite examples:

This one's from Pencil and Paper Co. How GREAT is the mylar balloon idea!? The possibilities are endless here. So cool!

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Such a sweet tribute to mothers! I love the contrast here too with the black and white backgrounds.

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This photo was the homeowner's grandpa! So cool and artsy, right? But still so personal. I really love it.

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I love these portraits shot against foliage. It's a pretty way to incorporate the color and textures of nature as well as those sweet faces.

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I think the long horizontal formatting of these photos below is really fresh - and perfectly sized for that little wall.

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Every time I see this photo, I'm blown away. How cool to do an underwater family portrait!! You can grab a disposable camera for just a couple bucks here!

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Graphic prints in clothing are a fun way to add pattern to your walls!

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When in doubt, just off-center your subject in the composition. And babies are always a good idea. :)

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PS Some more family photos and display inspiration!

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7 Ways to Help Cut Flowers Last Longer!

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Valentine's Day is right around the corner! It's time to start thinking about what kind of flowers you'll be sending to your loved ones! Since giving and getting flowers is pretty much one of my favorite things, I've done a lot of research on how to make arrangements last longer. There are all sorts of crazy tips out there, but I feel like only a few of them actually work. I've partnered with my friends at The Bouqs Company, my favorite flower delivery service, to share my very best tips with you here as well as some of my favorite flower and vase combos below! (PS For the next week, receive 20% off your Bouqs.com order with the code VDAYBLOOMS!)

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The first tip is probably the most important one -

TIP #1: BUY FRESHER FLOWERS

It makes sense, right? The faster those blooms get from the grower to your coffee table, the better! The Bouqs Company is a great resource because there is no middle man. The flowers are cut the day you order them, not just sitting in a floral wholesale warehouse! The eco-friendly Bouqs.com farms are on mineral-rich volcanic soil in Ecuador, where they follow strict responsible farming practices. Also I really love that they carry special flowers that can be harder to find - like ranunculus or the garden roses I have here in the post, as well as super cool accents like thistles and succulents!

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TIP #2: BLEACH YOUR VASE

You want to do everything you can to keep bacteria from growing in your arrangement. Cleaning out your vase beforehand with really hot, soapy water or even a light bleach solution will help a lot!

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TIP #3: REMOVE THE LEAVES

A lot of people overlook this step. It's really important to remove any leaves that sit below the water line, otherwise the leaves will rot and accelerate the bacteria growth and wilting process.

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TIP #4: CUT THE STEMS AT AN ANGLE, UNDER WATER

Everyone knows that you should give your blooms a fresh cut before arranging them in your vase. But if you cut the stems at a long angle, the flower will be able to suck up more water. It also seems like the flower does better if the stem is submerged in water during the cut.

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TIP #5 USE THE FLORAL FOOD PACKETS

In my experience, the little packets of floral preservative alone will double the life of any arrangement. The packets contain preservatives and anti-bacterial solutions that help keep the flowers happy and fresh. Don't skip on the packets! I keep a stash of them in my pantry and use a full packet every time I change the water in my arrangements. I've gotten two packets with every delivery from The Bouqs Company, which I really appreciate!

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TIP #6: KEEP THE WATER COLD AND FRESH

Heat and bacteria are the enemies of fresh floral arrangements. It's a good idea to fully change the water in your arrangement every two or three days. I have some friends that also put their arrangements in the fridge at night and that seems to work wonders for prolonging the life of the flowers, but that requires more thought and energy than I usually have at bedtime! So when I first cut my flowers and make my arrangements, I fill up my vase with ice first and then water (and the preservative packet). I add a few ice cubes every day or whenever I happen to think about it and I swear it works SO WELL! It's just like keeping the flowers in a refrigerator!
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TIP #7: PLACE YOUR ARRANGEMENT IN THE RIGHT SPOT

I've read that you should never keep fresh flowers in the kitchen because fruits and veggies sitting on the counter emit gasses that speed up the wilting process. Interesting, right? Direct sunlight is also bad for cut flowers. If you want them to last longer, keep your flowers sitting in a shaded and cool area in your home.

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What tips would you add to my list? I've tried all the crazy ones - add a penny to your vase, use a crushed aspirin instead of the floral preservative, pour bleach in your vase water (!), but these ones above seem to work the best for me!

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This post was sponsored by The Bouqs Company. Receive 20% off your order this week with the code VDAYBLOOMS!

La Cornue and Inspiration from Nashville

So I don't want to jinx it, but I found a La Cornue range on Craigslist for a great price (!!!) and I really, really want it for our kitchen remodel. It's a bit of a drive from my house, but come ON! Wouldn't you make an extra long road trip for one of these?

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These images are from the portfolio of Pencil and Paper Co out of Nashville (a company and a city I totally have a crush on). Aside from the fact that the talented husband and wife design team seem to love La Cornue as much as I do, I'm obsessed with their preppy-modern style. Their interiors definitely have that great Southern look, but there's an edge that's super refreshing!

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What I love most about their work is it seems so thoughtful, like every single detail was considered and executed beautifully, you know? I really admire that. What a gorgeous way to live a life - so deliberate and purposeful.

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There are a lot of accessories in many of their rooms, but nothing looks like junkie filler stuff. Just a lovely, well-traveled and collected vibe.

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So pretty right? Here are a few things that are oozing with that Pencil and Paper Co vibe!


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x bench  //  capiz chandelier  //  serape bracelet  //  red shibori chair  //  magic hands lino cut print  //  gold side table //  indigo pillows (pair!)

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tufted wingback  //  diamond jute rug  //  lavender brushstrokes lamp  //  beach print  //  $30(!!!!) black sconce  //  black and white embroidered pillow  //  hanging rattan chair
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Rothko print  //  woven seat chair  //  brass desk organizer  //  pink and white pom pom throw  //  blue shibori chair  //  red drip ginger jar  //  indigo pillow
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brass and steel mirror  //   Pendleton throw  //  blue planter stand  //  leather lion bookend  //  bistro stool  //  accordian sconce ($60!!!)
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brass lantern  //  gray stain dining table  //   strawberry print  //  blue lacquered nightstand  //  red and black striped throw  //  black leather sling chair  //  pottery bowl