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Color Trend: Dusty Blue

dusk blue

While Emerald has it’s time in the spotlight, I’m loving the dustier blue that is one of the supporting Pantone colors of 2013.  It can be bold, quirky, serene, or trendy and I also love it as a wedding color for this spring as well.  Even Diet Pepsi is getting in on the action with a can that was specially designed by Vern Yip (HGTV Designer) to reflect the trend.

I was inspired initially by the dusky blue overcast April sky here in Hong Kong and thought this color was perfect for a fresh spring home update.  What do you think?

I’ll be back here tomorrow with another Beginner Blooms post, so get excited!

Photo Credit: Frames | pillow | wallpaper | rug | diet pepsi

*this post is sponsored by pepsi




Pop of Yellow Bar Tray

painted tray table

Spring has sprung.  After all of the waiting, we’re finally in the depths of some warmer weather and I’m celebrating by getting out the bright, cheery drinks and snacks to enjoy outside on the patio.

I hinted last week to a project I was working on with Sherwin Williams in conjunction with National Painting Week and today, I’m finally revealing the finished product! The best part of the whole project is not only the color change, but also the bar tray itself.

I used the base of an old directors chair that I’d had and simply removed the arms and set a wooden tray on the top.  There you go!  Base, tray, a new coat of paint, and I’ve got myself a tray table worthy of any bar area and was able to use an old piece of furniture that had been sitting in the guest room.

Sherwin Williams Before and After

yellow bar table

yellow bar cart - house of earnest

If you’re not a huge DIYer, I swear you can still do this project.  I didn’t use a primer, but I did sand off any clear finish that had previously been on the stool base and used two coats of Lemon Twist paint with a sponge brush to reduce brush strokes (and make for easy clean-up!).  I finished off the table by painting the hardware gold and adding some painted gold ‘L’ brackets to the corners for a more polished look.

bar table yellow - house of earnest

yellow tray table - house of earnest

I LOVE the way it turned out and the extra pop it lends to my (mostly neutral) dining room.  What do you think?  Are you inspired to do your own home paint project yet? Head on over to Sherwin Williams’ National Painting Week site to see color inspirations, painting ideas, and expert tips all week!  If you think you’d like to see more projects like this one, there are thirteen other bloggers using paint to transform their spaces.

Today, Cassidy and Justin over at Remodelaholic are sharing another yellow project, but tomorrow painting with blue is Amanda from Recycled Consign and Design as well as Emily from Decor Chick.

I cannot wait to check out the full week of projects and I hope you follow along as well!

*this post is sponsored by Sherwin Williams, but thoughts, photos, and ideas are all my own.


In the Air with Illume

travel essentials - 1

travel essentials

I’m currently in the air heading to Hong Kong for a little business trip.  I posted about my travel jewelry box before, but thought that letting you guys in on how I bring the comforts of home with me on all of my many adventures would be fun. 

So, as you’ve realized, I am up in the air about every couple of months, so where I used to ‘rough it’ a little more, now I really value making the places I spend so much of my time feel comfortable and welcoming.  Illume happened to send me some goodies which coincided with my trip and the new line is called Eternal Nomad, which I’m beginning to think is the perfect word to describe me. 

ONE a notebook for all of those crazy ideas that I get mid-air.  TWO a travel candle for when I get to my room and it’s musty (which is usually with the humidity in the far east).  THREE a travel jewelry box to keep my gems in check. FOUR coconut mango cream keeps me hydrated in flight and the body wash is what I use to wash my hands and up my arms before deplaning for a meeting. FIVE a soft scarf to use as a blanket, a pillow, or to wrap around my face in a duststorm.

Don’t think that because I’m on the other side of the world that I didn’t prepare an amazing couple weeks for you on House of Earnest!  Tomorrow, I have my National Painting Week reveal to show you which I’m crazy excited about.

What can’t you live without when you travel?


Friday Faves 4.12

Friday Faves 4.12


ONE wooden nesting bowls are a bright shot of color for your kitchen, $45 from Kate Spade Saturday. TWO a big a’hoy to a great hook. $38 from High Street Market. THREE a minimalist and artistic serving tray will go with any entertaining direction this spring.  $40 from Leif. FOUR talking about artistic, an abstract mug would be so perfect for your (saturday) morning tea, $10 from Kate Spade Saturday.  FIVE a sisal rug is perfect for warmer weather and the navy on natural color scheme and $135 price tag couldn’t be better.  SIX cocktails, yes.  Gold, yes.  $445 tray table from High Street Market is wonderful all around. SEVEN A neon dot is a lot easier to incorporate into your home when it’s on a foundation of neutral linen. Neon dot pillow is $198 from Anthropologie.


This Friday is going to be amazing.  I have the day off work to prepare for a wedding which I’m doing flowers for tomorrow and I’m preparing for a trip to China (again) for which I leave this Sunday (did you get that?  I am doing a wedding on Saturday and leave for China on Sunday?).  I’m a little stressed, but I have some pretty amazing projects to share with you while I’m in the far east and I’ll also be sharing photos on Instagram and tweeting my adventures.  Are you guys ready?


What is on your short list this weekend?


Watercolor Knot Art

watercolor knot art - house of earnest

I’m such a fan of affordable art.  When it comes to making your own, I think it’s so so easy to get something beautiful as long as you keep it simple.  These knots are about as easy as they come, but are reminiscent of sea and surf and just perfect to lighten up your walls this summer.  All it takes is some watercolor paper and a cheap set of watercolors (nothing fancy here!).

watercolor knots - house of earnest

water color knot tutorial - house of earnest

ONE trace over the knot template lightly with a pencil in the middle of your paper. TWO go back over your pencil tracing with black watercolor paint. THREE let them dry completely before framing.

watercolor knot - house of earnest

Stacking the frames in a grouping really stands out, but just one watercolor knot in a wall of other photos would be beautiful as well.  I love the simplicity of it and think the outcome is just as wonderful as anything you could buy.

Would you try this? Maybe a gem outline would be really fun and funky too?  Tell me what you think!


The Year of Leather



Today is my third wedding anniversary and the traditional gift for this year is leather.  Among all of the very girly wedding and holiday gifts out there, this is certainly the most masculine.  I was actually pretty excited to buy a gift for Matty that supported the traditional theme this year and definitely bought one on the items featured above – can you guess which one?

I don’t talk a ton about my personal life or love life, but want to open up a bit and share that Matt, my husband, is my partner.  In crime, in love, in every single sense of the word, a partner. Not only does he support me, but he challenges me.  He’s my devil’s advocate, my equal, my encouragement, my biggest fan, my best friend. So many people may say the same, but I can’t imagine telling anyone else the extent of the thoughts in my head – except for Matt.  I hold nothing back, we explore every subject, and we’re together though it all.  We make dinner together each night (even if it’s at 10pm), talk about our days, discuss ideas, aspirations, and reconnect.

In some ways it’s felt like these years have flown by, but in others it’s like I’ve never known life without him. It’s hard to describe, and isn’t that the way it should be?  What we have is ours and won’t make sense to another soul.

So today, we’re celebrating each other, our love, and our lives… together in this old farmhouse… one day at a time.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.


leather gifts: leather desk set | iphone case | travel satchel | passport cover | flask


Behind the Scenes Painting

House of Earnest for NPW

Things have been brewing behind the scenes here at House of Earnest.  I’m working on a few projects that you guys know about (the patio) and a few projects that are new.  One of which is a really fun and summery project in collaboration with Sherwin Williams for National Painting Week which starts next Monday, encouraging people around the country to get into the DIY spirit.

Now, you guys know I will paint anything that doesn’t move, so it was natural that I be so excited about this particular project.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m in a totally nesting mood lately (spring fever?) and wanted to add a bright pop to my dining room which I felt needed a little something.  I actually uploaded a picture of the room to the Chip It application on the Sherwin Williams website to find a color that went well in the space, and was bright enough to satiate my need for something that stands out!

chip it from SW

What popped out was exactly what I was looking for.  There were three good colors to consider, I was really split between an orangey-coral and a bright yellow.  Although there is a little sneak peek above about which color I chose, you’ll have to come back next Tuesday to see the full reveal (I know, it’s mean, isn’t it?).

Don’t fear, there are other NPW projects from blogs around the country that will knock your socks off before mine goes live.  Next Monday we’re starting with Little Green Notebook and Coco + Kelley (can you guess which color they both chose?) but there a total of 14 bloggers participating so follow along with the action next week!

Tell me about the paint projects in your future!


p.s.  Our current giveaway the beautiful ‘Truly Mexican’ cookbook and other south of the border inspired prizes ends tonight at midnight! Go enter!


More than Sweet for Spring

blueberry basil lemonade cocktail

I spent this weekend breaking in the new patio with some friends and although the weather isn’t entirely springy (yet), I did find that a fresh, sweet drink really helped.  The best part about this spring concoction?  It’s super low calorie.  I’ll admit that the recipe came from a friend who calls it the ‘fat-burner’.  I put a slight twist on it by adding in fresh blueberries and muddled basil.  I love the added dimension of the herb and who doesn’t love alcohol infused fresh fruit at the bottom of a drink?

Blueberry Basil Lemonade

blueberry basil lemonade cooler

blueberry basil lemonade recipe

The drink is light, fizzy, a little fruity (but not too sweet), and will go down smoothly, so be careful!

I know it’s just Monday, but lets take advantage of the longer days and sip away!


Friday Faves 4.5

friday faves 4.5


ONE from the newly launched Rebecca Atwood Designs, this stunning black and white hand printed spots pillow has an exposed brass zipper and butterscotch back is my absolute favorite. $200 Rebecca Atwood Designs. TWO This brace sconce is so perfect, it’s what Iwould have put above my bed had I had an extra G lying around, $495 from Horne. THREE somewhat geometric, somewhat cozy fair isle, the teal in this rug brings it current, but the texture keeps it cozy. $1900 by Donna Wilson for Horne.  FOUR embroideries are awesome and monograms are awesome.  Put them together and you have these sweet pieces of personal art from Anthropologie, $99. FIVE I can’t say enough good things about this stool from Serena & Lily.  It’s a great price at $125, it’s versatile, and will probably be my next home purchase. SIX I talked about Illume’s new spring collection a few weeks ago, but this Cactus Verde scent has been wafting through my house all week and I can’t get enough, $26.


I just want to jump right into the Friday faves today. How about you? I’m in a complete nesting mood (as opposed to the party mood or crafting mood – hehe), and I just want to switch around some stuff in my house.  I think I’m going to get some different art going and will post about it next week.  I’m also putting the finishing touches on my patio this weekend and although the whole shebang won’t be posted until it’s debut on the Home Depot Style Challenge, I’ll give you all a few sneak peeks next week!

In addition to those things, I have a meeting on Sunday with Benjamin Lowry to talk about some exciting upcoming projects (super fun) and a mountain of laundry to do (not fun).

What do you guys have on the short list for this beautiful April weekend?



Beautifully Boxed In


I really love window boxes.  I would install them on every window in my house if I could but guess what?  Matt hates window boxes.  I really can’t pinpoint the reason why such a seemingly un-threatening thing like window boxes would set him off, but has some really deep rooted dislike for them.  I however cannot get enough.  Sure, you can go overboard really quickly, so I found some images of very clean, natural looking varieties.  Mostly greens flow out of them, softening an angular facade.  I love the idea of using succulents or herbs to just get a hit of color without any clash.

I plan to get one onto my kitchen window that overlooks the new patio.  It will be a perfect spot for some herbs which are accessible from the kitchen, but help to beautify the patio and give our otherwise very square and grey exterior a nice little splash of green.

window boxes - diptych

Photo credits  |   |  3

So, even though it’s one of those little things that may not go over super well, I think I’m going to go for it!

Do you have window boxes?  Do you like them?  Or, like Matt, do you dislike?


P.S.  We’re running a GIVEAWAY right now!  Have you entered?