Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Home Tour 2017

Hello and welcome! Thanks for stopping by! I'm Andrea, a wife of 14 years and mom to a boy and girl (ages 9 & 8). We're living in the heart of the midwest and loving it!  A huge thanks to Marty for including me in the mix of 30 summer home tours! If you missed any tours from Monday/Tuesday, you can find the links at the bottom of the post. I'm starting off the home tours today, so please come on in! 
Our home lends itself to summer in it's normal state because it's light and bright, has lots of pops of pink and has an embarrassing amount of house plants/flowers! I'll take you through room by room, staring with the front porch. This is a considered a "room" for us in the summer because we spend so much time out here on the rocking chairs watching the kids play, hosting friends for drinks, sipping morning coffee, etc. Simple and classic works for me every time.
When you walk in our front door, our dining room is to your immediate right. We don't use this space a ton, but I still love having a more formal dining room. It's the only room in the house that stays clean! I added some fun pillows to the otherwise neutral table/chairs and some faux leaves to the center of the table. This small Fiddle Leaf Fig likes it's home in this bright corner.
The vintage bar cart is the real star of the show in this room. It's one of my all time favorite finds for our home. There are so many bar carts floating around, and I love that this one is unique. Those pieces are special to me. And it's fun to change it up for different seasons!
The bright pink rug at the front door screams summer all year long...also one of my favorite pieces in our home.
Just beyond the dining room is the living room. We have a very open concept, so one room leads to another. I kept it simple in here, with lots of blue/white. Greenery and plants are everything to me. I think they make or break a space! The more the better in my opinion!
I'm loving the neutral feel in here. Textured baskets, throw pillows, and fresh yard cuttings keep it casual. Nothing in our home is fussy. I want a home to feel cozy and lived in. We like to throw our feet up onto the coffee table and toss the throw pillows around and lounge around in here. We want everyone who comes into our home to feel they can do the same.
In a little nook just off the living room and kitchen, I've set up a small chair/table/lamp. It's shocking how often this little chair gets used! The perfect spot to flip through a magazine! More pink accents, because it just makes me happy! And those cute kids do too!
Truer words have never been spoken - or put on a letter board! I finally have hydrangea blooms from my yard too!
Across the way is our eating area. We've recently gotten a new table and chairs, and I have a new light fixture ready to be installed (more to come on that). Finding the time is the real kicker though! I love the casual feel of this space. And I love, love, love having a round table. It's just cozier and more intimate. These chairs are actually outdoor chairs so it will feel summery all year long!
I like to keep the kitchen pretty clutter free. I clean this space enough, I don't like cleaning around unnecessary "stuff"! Pink makes an appearance yet again in the runner in front of the sink. It's indoor/outdoor, so it's super easy to clean. It gets a lot of foot traffic and it's very durable, which I love. 
I love the summer so much because I can step outside and cut flowers/stems from my yard whenever I want! The island flowers all are all yard clippings.
I love keeping small succulents around in the kitchen. They are easy and don't take up a lot of space. Pineapples seem to keep popping up all over my house...real, fake, in print form...I can't quit them!
Just off the kitchen is our mudroom/bathroom. Every year the kids and I create a chalkboard summer bucket list. It's fun to keep this up all summer as a reminder of all the fun things we hope to do/see! It's a family favorite! That chalk wall is the easiest thing we have done in our home and definitely gets the most attention from people coming over for the first time!
Our small first floor bath is one of my favorite spaces in our home. It's bright and fun and cheery with fun artwork (my daughter's) and baskets (despite having no windows). Adding pink yard cuttings and large plant leaves cut from my indoor plants keeps it fresh in here! 
Next are a few snaps from our office space. We have a his/hers workspace in here, and my side is obviously a bit more feminine and fun! I love having a bright work space. Apparently I have no ideas though! Ha!
Isn't she the sweetest??!!
And finally, our back patio space. This is also considered a "room" for us in the summer. We installed a TV out here last year and we use it a ton. It's also a covered space which we love for being able to eat outside and lounge around. It's a favorite spot for morning coffee and watching the Today show as well as watching baseball games under the string lights at night! I have high hopes of extending our patio and getting all new lounge furniture, so stay tuned for that! 
I made some DIY drop cloth curtains to block the morning sun on one side and the setting sun on the other side. These not only function for us, they make the space feel more like a "room".
And of course, we like to have a drink or two out back as well! You can find us out here relaxing while the kids play!
Wow, that was a lot right?! I hope you enjoyed a peak into our home. Please let me know if you have any questions about sources of items! I hope you are enjoying the sunshine, warmer temps, late nights, friends, family and making memories wherever you live! Cheers!

I would love for you to follow along on Instagram! It's where you'll find me most days of the week. You can also find Life Love Larson on Pinterest and Facebook.

Next up is Chelsea at Making Home Base! Be sure to visit her and keep following along! If you missed any from Monday and Tuesday, here are the links... 

Monday – June 12
Tuesday – June 13
Wednesday – June 14
Thursday – June 15
Fri – June 16

Monday, June 12, 2017

Chalkboard Summer Bucket List 2017

This summer bucket list tradition is going FIVE years strong! I've had this done for many weeks, but just getting around to posting about it! We are so busy during the school year and having down time in the summer is so special and important to us. I don't over schedule the kids in camps, we sleep in, we stay up late, we hang with friends, we plan fun things, and most importantly we spend quality time together. My kids are now 8 & 9 (gasp!) and they are at the most fun ages. I swear it gets more and more fun with them every year. Our list changes year to year, always trying to discover new spots and things to try. We heart KC!
We love our chalkboard wall. It was one of the first things I added in our new home. It's a place for inspiration and daily reminders. And in the summer months, gives us a blueprint for all the things we want to see/do. This chalkboard wall has inspired a few friends to make their own too!
We won't get to everything on this list, but the kids sure want to try! I think they forget that laundry still needs done, groceries still need bought, and the lawn still needs to be mowed! Everyday they look at the list and try to see what the can get mom to do - ha!
We've already knocked a few things off the list!
No big travel plans this summer since we went a big family trip in February, but Steve and I are sneaking away together for a week and the we will go to Chicago as a family this summer to visit family and explore the city.
I thought the quote at the top of the chalkboard was appropriate for summer. I don't like hearing the word "bored". My kids know better. :)
Summers always seem to fly by, but we intend to make the days count!
I hope you have some fun things planned this summer! We only get 18 summers with our kids and I'm about halfway done with mine (especially since my kids are so close in age). Let's make the most of everyday! xo

To see previous year summer lists, click on the links below...
2016
2015
2014
2013

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Updated Outdoor Lights

Several weeks ago, I decided to start looking around for new outdoor lights for the sides of the garage. We've lived in our home for 5.5 years and the original lights were getting faded and they weren't at all my taste. They were fine, but I knew we could do better. I'm BIG on curb appeal and small updates that don't cost a lot! I considered just taking the existing ones down and spray painting them, but that still wouldn't have helped that fact that I just didn't really like them. So, after a little digging and looking online, we ultimately ended up with these new ones from Lowes. So much better, right?!
The decision for which ones to purchase was based on several things...size/scale, price, looks, and did they go with the "look" of the house. We liked that these had a lot of black on them, they were streamlined but not too modern, and the Edison bulb looks so much better (came with the light fixture too)! At $89 each, the price seemed right too!
I would have loved to go really large scale with these lights, but we were limited on space because of the stone lip you see here as well as where the original electrical was placed. We thought these filled up the space we had to work with. I think so many homes have lights that are too small! The bigger the better on these in my opinion, especially if you have a larger home with space to do it!
My hubby is our resident handyman, and I am so thankful for that! He had these babies up in no time (with minimal complaining :).
I found several lights online that I really liked, but I am a visual person and I thought it was easiest to purchase from a store so I could hold them up and return if I didn't love them. We knew right away these were keepers.
I'm not sure anyone else even notices this change, but it makes me happy! Ha! I notice and care about this kind of stuff! Here is another before...
And after...
This was such an easy curb appeal update! Click here to see the exterior paint update we made a few years ago! xo

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