Elsie's Dining Room Tour ©AlyssaRosenheckToday I am so excited to share our dining room with you! It's one of my personal favorite rooms in the whole house. It's where we love to host parties and dinners and where Laura and I have ABM meetings about interesting topics like soap recipes and jello shot ideas. 

What's interesting about this room is that it's visually bold, but to me it's the most minimalist room in our home. We hardly did any decorating because the wallpaper is so bold. When we have parties, we don't really decorate this room, because no matter what you put in here, the wallpaper is all you see. It makes it pretty easy if I'm being honest, and I can see why a lot of hotels and restaurants go this route with their decor. It kind of simplifies this whole process. 

I have a bunch of photos to share with you from my shoot with Alyssa Rosenheck for domino. I decided to share these photos as my tour because they really got all the angles. But if you notice a few things moving around, just know it's because that's what you do during magazine shoots. It's the magazine way! Haha! 

But FIRST, a walk down memory lane is in order, don't you think? 

AR5A4787Elsie's Dining Room Tour©AlyssaRosenheck     Before vs. After. Always a good moment to look back and see how far we've come! 

We fell in love with this house for 100 different reasons. The formal dining room with doors that walk out into the sunroom was a big one for us. We love the flow of this house. It's very open and natural, but not so open that it feels like just one big room. In the layout, this room sits between the kitchen/breakfast nook and the living room. 

The visual change is pretty dramatic, but the steps we took to get from point A to point B were a lot less intense than a lot of the other rooms. We removed the heavy drapes and repaired the trim so that it was flush with the rest of the trim. That's the biggest reason why it's so much brighter now. We refinished the floors with a light whitewash color. We removed the chair rails and added some bold wallpaper. BOLD wallpaper. After that, we kept the decor pretty simple. The most exciting moment in this renovation for me was putting up this dream light fixture. I got it from Shop Candelabra. It looks like it's no longer on their site, but there are a lot of similar options and really dreamy sputniks on there. 

Elsie's Dining Room Tour©AlyssaRosenheck  The Jane Birkin poster really pops with the wallpaper. It's a blueprint copy of a photo I found online. The frame is DIY

Elsie's dining room The wine shelf is a custom piece that Josh Rhodes made when we still lived in Missouri. I loved it in that space, but I love it even more now! It was a beast to move, but since we're never moving ever again, it's all good. 

Elsie's Dining Room Tour©AlyssaRosenheck      Let's talk about the white rug. Yeah, I saw your judgy looks. 

Haha—I'm just kidding! But seriously, read this whole paragraph before you judge. 

We chose a Marrakesh Shag Rug for a couple reasons—
1. It's GORGEOUS. I'm not going to lie to you and say I didn't choose it because it's so beautiful. I am not above being vain about my rug choices. I realize a dark rug would've been more practical and potentially lasted longer, BUT I didn't want a dark rug, and it didn't fit this space. I mean—can you even visualize a dark rug here. 
2. I've had a rug like this before, and I'm OK with spot cleaning it. I'm also OK with the wear and tear that is going to happen over time. I'm happy to say that almost a year in, it's still looking almost brand new! But there are a few spots here and there from parties, and I can live with that because in the BIG PICTURE, the room looks and feels how I want it to. That's more worth it to me than a rug that promises to "never age" because we all know that rugs don't last forever. If you want to hear me over-explain my choice some more, look no further

OK, now you can judge me if you still want to! 

Elsie's Dining Room Tour ©AlyssaRosenheck    Elsie's Dining Room Tour ©AlyssaRosenheck    Our wallpaper is Redoute Rose-Hot Pink by Peacoquette Designs via Spoonflower

I have so many feelings about this wallpaper. It was love at first sight for sure. It's not really compatible with much other decor, which is a love and hate thing for me. Mostly love! I like that the room always looks complete and pulled together (as long as the table is cleared—haha). And it's visually stunning in a way that truly makes my heart skip a beat when I walk into the room, even after all these months! BUTTERFLIES. 

But I will admit the downside to having such bold wallpaper is that the room is not very versatile. You want to throw a halloween party or a themed party or a themed birthday party? Well if it doesn't match pink floral... forget about it. As with most extreme choices, there's an up and a down. For that reason I like to think of this room as the diva of our home. Every person who comes over wants to take a photo by the wallpaper, so I told her she's Instagram famous. :)

Elsie's dining room  Well I hope you enjoyed my little tour! We are so happy here. 

Elsie's Dining Room Tour ©AlyssaRosenheck         I'm so grateful for the natural light. It's by far the best thing about our home and the reason why I sometimes jokingly and sometimes very seriously say I will never move.  

Fun fact! The cabinet you see to your right holding glassware is actually this cabinet repurposed! 

Thank you so much for reading! If you have any questions at all, I'll be popping in to answer them even though I'm on vacation this week because THAT'S how much I love you guys!! xx -Elsie 

Other sources: Mirror/Rejuvenation, White Chairs/Amazon, Teak Wood Chair/Lulu & Georgia.

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Alyssa Rosenheck and (photos of me) Laura Gummerman. 

Make Your Own Gold Barware Set! (click through for tutorial!)        One of my favorite things to collect is vintage barware, and I have a pretty good collection of gold-tinged glasses, decanters, and pitchers that actually get used when we have parties (although if you aren't sure if a vintage decanter has lead in it, just use it for decoration!). When getting a housewarming gift for a friend, I always like to try to find something that would suit them in the "playing host or hostess" category—you know, a serving tray, cute cheese knives, or a decanter and glasses set for the bar cart! Ever since last year when I saw that you can use a certain kind of gold vinyl to decorate glass, I've been wanting to try it, and I thought that making a set as a housewarming present would be the perfect time to give it a try! One way to do this sort of thing is to use a vinyl cutter, but I used two methods that don't need a cutter in case you don't have one.

Make Your Own Gold Barware Set! (click through for tutorial!)        Supplies:
-permanent gold vinyl
-set of 2 glasses
-decanter (like this or this one)
-X-Acto knife and cutting mat
-paper punch in your desired shape (I used this star one.)

Make Your Own Gold Barware Set! (click through for tutorial!)        So, the first way you can go about decorating your barware is to use a paper punch. Paper punches come in all shapes and sizes. It will punch a certain shape out of a piece of paper so you can basically use it to make a sticker out of your vinyl sheet, and they will be perfectly cut each time. I have had issues using punches before with other types of vinyl (it would get through the top sticker layer but not the heavier backing beneath), but the vinyl I linked above was pretty easy to punch all the way through.

Make Your Own Gold Barware Set! (click through for tutorial!)        If you are dealing with small decals, I find it easiest to peel the backing off with the tip of an X-Acto knife, place the sticker on the tip of the knife, and then use the knife to position the sticker in place. Makes it so much easier.

Make Your Own Gold Barware Set! (click through for tutorial!)        To do a more custom decoration on the glass or decanter, you can create a word or phrase in Photoshop (here's the file that I created for mine), flip the word so it will print backwards, and then print it onto the back of the gold vinyl (just cut a sheet of the vinyl to 8.5" x 11"). Give the ink a moment to dry, and then place a paper towel over top of it and press down to remove any excess ink from the back of the vinyl (or it will come off on your hands during the next part).

Make Your Own Gold Barware Set! (click through for tutorial!)        Use your X-Acto knife to cut out your shape and phrase letters (the thicker your letters are, the easier they are to cut out for beginner X-Acto knife users). Peel off the backing, and carefully place the sticker onto your decanter or glasses. I have the letters as negative space for my decal, but you could also just cut out each letter and make your phrase with the cut out letters.

Allow your gold decals to set for a few days before washing or handling.

Make Your Own Gold Barware Set! (click through for tutorial!)        Make Your Own Gold Barware Set! (click through for tutorial!)        Make Your Own Gold Barware Set! (click through for tutorial!)        Pretty!! You could also do a custom word or phrase (or their initials or last name) on the decanter to personalize this set for someone you know. Like vintage gold barware requires, I would suggest hand washing this set, so make sure to note that if you give this as a present. I know I love getting gold barware as a gift, so this may be the perfect housewarming present for someone that you know too! Cheers! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

September Messy Box from A Beautiful Mess. Subscribe at www.ABeautifulMess.comThis month's September Messy Box has a bit of a back-to-school theme to it, but I love that most of the kit can be used to document that excitement over blank notebooks, fresh pencils, a new succulent on your desk, and all the inspiration a girl could ask for. It's a great kit for writing those goals down on a journaling card or sharing the milestones you've already hit this year. 

September Messy Box 1I filled two of my 3" x 3" photo pocket pages with the smaller 3" x 3" cards and some Instagram photos from the last two weekends full of travel and workshops. 

September Messy Box 2September Messy Box 3GoalsI used some more ephemera in these pages than usual. I cut down a piece of vellum and then added a really narrow washi tape in a diagonal stripe pattern and decided I should use washi tape for patterns more often. It's a fun way to add something unique that doesn't take too much effort. My scrapbook mantra these days is, "Don't over think it!" 

September Messy Box 5September Messy Box 6This page has a photo strip from September 2012 when I drove up to a Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago with Elsie and another photo of Ruby's first day of school almost two years ago. They're reminders to look back and see how much we've grown but also to understand how much is still ahead of us!

September Messy Box 7I find my scrapbooking style involving a lot of pink, so I like to add in those complimentary colors that work well with it, and black and white is always a good idea. This quote I cut off of a card felt like it deserved a special spot on this page and looked great layered over another card and taped down with thin washi tape. 

What are you documenting this September? Going to school? Sending kids off to school? Starting a new job? There are so many pretty ways to share the season you're in! -Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Autumn Reading List

You can put me down as a "bookworm" all year round, but I especially love cuddling up with a good read once the weather turns chilly—bonus points if there are freshly baked goods involved. :) So I thought it would be fun to put tougher a list of books I'm currently reading, just finished, or that are on my list to get to sometime soon (fingers crossed) in case you are in need of more book recommendations this season. 

01. Before the Fall. If you follow me on IG, then you know I recently read this book and LOVED it. It's sort of a who-done-it after a plane crash, although I wouldn't quite call it a mystery novel. It's also got some REALLY interesting side commentary on the current state of media, which is especially relevant right now as the USA (where I live) is going through a presidential election year. That's not to say it's a political book, as it's not, just a super interesting and beautiful read that feels very on-the-nose for this year. 

02. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore has been on my to-read list for quite a while. A weird, mysterious book store is the setting—complete with a new employee who begins to discover that the store may be more than it seems. You had me at book store. :) Bonus points—the cover art is too cute. 

03. The Girls sounds a little like it might be a kind of coming of age story set in the 1960s within a cult organization. What? OK, I'm listening. This one is making it on to my to-read list for sure. 

04. I am currently listening to Rising Strong on audio CD in my car. I'v been getting little bits and pieces of Brene Brown teaching me about shame and getting up from failures for a few weeks now, and it almost feels like on-the-go therapy. I don't know if that's a good thing, but it's been pretty great to me. I randomly picked this up at the library, and although I am loving it, I realize I probably should have checked out her other books (Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection) before this one. 

05. I forget where I first heard about The Last Boy and Girl in the World, but it sounded a little melancholy mixed with a love story—so basically the perfect novel to have a glass of wine and unwind with (maybe while wearing my Wine Teeth tee... too much?). There's just something about the premise of the book that totally appealed to me, your town is being destroyed by some kind of natural disaster so you decide to throw a big party before you have to leave forever. Intriguing, right? I think so. 

06. Modern Lovers is the book I am currently reading. I'm probably about 2/3 through the book, and I am already dreading the end because it's such a fun read, and I have gotten quite attached to many of the characters. Plus this is the kind of novel that makes me wish I lived in NYC—it's cool, guys. Read this book!

07. I will probably listen to The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo on audio book as I love to hear comedians read their books even more than I love reading them. I think Amy Schumer is hilarious and beautiful, and I absolutely LOVED Trainwreck. So, I'm excited to hear her book soon. :)

08. The night I got engaged, Trey and I saw Silver Linings Playbook. So Matthew Quick will probably always have an unfair advantage over other authors with me. But I also LOVE the characters who live in his books. They are always super quirky yet relatable, which I think is a feat to pull off as often as Quick does. For this reason, I am excited to check out Every Exquisite Thing, hopefully soon. 

09. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is about magicians, guys. Do I need to say more? I fell in love with the Harry Potter books when I was twelve, and I've been a sucker for magician protagonists ever since. Probably always will be. And I'm not sorry. :) 

Have you read any of these? Thoughts? Also, what are you guys reading this season? Also, I'm thinking about bringing back the ABM book club—you in? xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Cover art of books found via Amazon and linked throughout. 

Macrame Shower Curtain DIY (click through for tutorial)  I've been working on our guest bathroom this past month. One of the suggestions Laura had for making a bathroom look more luxe is to get an extra long shower curtain that goes all the way to the floor. It was one of those things I never even thought about, but it made total sense! 

So for this DIY, we added macrame trim to a simple/boring curtain that was the right length. The finished result is a custom shower curtain that you can't buy in any store! 

Here's how it's done— 

Macrame Shower Curtain DIY (click through for tutorial)
-white shower curtain (I am not sure of the exact one, but I think I found this on Overstock.com
-macrame lace (similar here, here, here, and here)
-fabric glue or sewing machine
-fabric scissors
-Fray Check

Macrame Shower Curtain DIY (click through for tutorial)Cut a macrame lace strip to be just as wide as the bottom of the curtain. Pin your lace in the location you want it along the bottom of the curtain and use a ruler as you go to make sure the top of the lace is even with the bottom of the curtain.

Macrame Shower Curtain DIY (click through for tutorial)Using a ruler again, add and pin your next line of lace, and repeat with each layer you want to add.

Macrame Shower Curtain DIY (click through for tutorial)Use fabric glue along the top edge of each piece of lace to secure, or sew along the top line with a sewing machine.

Macrame Shower Curtain DIY (click through for tutorial)Add some Fray Check to the ends of all your cut macrame pieces so they don't unravel, and hang up your curtain to see your finished product!

Macrame Shower Curtain DIY (click through for tutorial) Macrame Shower Curtain DIY (click through for tutorial) Macrame Shower Curtain DIY (click through for tutorial) I'm really excited to share this whole room with you soon. It's so close to being complete! xx -Elsie 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Project and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.


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