Be Passionate and Eat

If I could summarize Julia Child into four words, it would be, “Be Passionate and Eat.”  She epitomizes someone who brought her passion to life, despite many perceived obstacles.  She was hilarious, creative, bold and knew how to eat well – and, ahem, cook well – to say the least.  I found a few beautiful quotes of hers on Pinterest, some of which you can buy on Etsy at the unraveled design shop. These could make great kitchen art or a nice hostess gift.  Enjoy and cheers to passion and food!

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Shop Feature: MadeByGirl + 15% Off!

madebygirlEvery day I come across a new blog.  Some days I am impressed, sign up and follow, pronto.  Other days I don’t.  MadeByGirl falls into the former bucket and it’s one of those blogs that I get a little giddy when I see a new email in my inbox from her (her being Jen Ramos, blog and shop owner).  Here are a few reasons I love MadeByGirl:

Her content hits right on my passion points – design, color, fashion, food, art.  It’s a little slice of what I hope heaven is like one day.

She has some great contributors and does pretty cool collaborations and in this world of social media, collaborations are it.  Period.

She’s a Christian and open about her faith which is so admirable and inspiring to me.  She even shares her testimony for her readers to read.

She has a ridiculously cute online shop of her graphic design work-turned-prints-for-the-home that are simply irresistible.  Great gifts for a wedding shower, a wedding, a best friend, a colleague, um, ahem, yourself.  They are chic, colorful, glittery and she is having 15% off right now!  You just need to use code JULY15OFF at check out.

Last, if all that wasn’t enough, she has beautiful, original paintings featured on her other store called Cocoa and Hearts.  These paintings are all the rage right now (so much so that most, if not all, are sold out…but don’t give up, I am sure more will be available soon).  #love

So there you have it.  I have a little crush on MadeByGirl!

{All photos were taken from MadeByGirl website and Cocoa and Hearts website and are property of Jen Ramos}

{Reveal} Home Office Before and After

Coming down the home stretch here!  Just two more room reveals from the Hamilton Home project and next up is the home office before and after.  It’s a tight space that needed some color, organization and a pop of personality.  Below you will find a visual entree of their home office as well as source links.  We ended up going with a beautiful Fiji blue paint by Benjamin Moore and I have to say that my favorite score of the space was the trio of West Elm artwork that I found on clearance!  Take a peak and let me know what you think.

Home Office Before

ann-ueno-designs-home-officeHome Office After

ann-ueno-designs-home-office-2ann-ueno-designs-home-office-3ann-ueno-designs-home-office-4ann-ueno-designs-home-office-5ann-ueno-designs-home-office-6{Sources} World Market Desk  |  FLOR Area Rug  |  Urban Outfitters Wire Photo Clip  |  West Elm White Collaged Paintings  |  Urban Outfitters Magazine Rack

{Related Posts} Dining Room Before and After  |  Family Room Before and After  |  Bathroom Before and After  |  Front Room Before and After

Friday Feature: The Great Gatsby Book Covers

If there is one party I would want to be invited to, it would be one hosted by Jay Gatsby.  Who’s excited for the big premiere of The Great Gatsby?!  Oh my gosh I am so excited!  I am not sure that I will get to see the movie this weekend, but, it’s on my must-do list in the next week so the anticipation will be killing me!

Anywho.  I have to say, not only am I inspired by the fashion and design of the 1920’s set of the movie, BUT, I stumbled upon these gorgeous book covers and had to share.  I could see these making great pieces of art for a living room or guest bedroom.

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{Reveal} Front Room Before and After

This room, the second room of the Hamilton Home Makeover, was the wild card room.  It’s a wide, yet narrow room that functions as a place where Jennifer and Chris occasionally hang out, enjoy a glass of wine, read and relax.  It has carpet (and as part of the makeover, the carpet was staying).  It is the home of a piano passed down in the family that had to stay, rightfully so.  I admittedly didn’t know what I was going to do in this space.  In fact, during the final days of the makeover, I had a minor panic attack because the vision just wasn’t there.  I originally was thinking seaside chic and just couldn’t put it together.  I had designers block.

So, I wish I could tell you some tips and steps I took, but, I don’t have tips and didn’t take steps.  For the most part, I completely flew by the seat of my pants and by the grace of God, it all came together (perhaps my wine and cheese break helped inspire).  The only three definitives were the art above the fireplace, the reupholstery of the existing chairs (which, I was VERY excited about), and the paint color Benjamin Moore Distant Gray, to lighten and freshen up the room (it’s more in the white family than gray, despite the name).  The art above the fireplace is a picture that Jennifer and Chris took in Greece that I blew up to be 3′ x 4′.  And for the upholstery, with Jennifer’s input, we went with a classic navy and white pattern that was more modern and fresh than the previous chairs.

Without further ado, here are the pics of the front room!

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ann-ueno-designs-front-room-after-4Essentially what I did for this gallery wall was went around their house and collected pieces, pictures and mirrors and prayed that they work together.  And, they did 🙂  I also created custom art using 1930’s vintage travel ads to play off of the travel picture from Greece and bring the room together a bit.  The whole theme of this room is blending old and new.  Vintage art, old family pictures from the 70’s, new chairs, old piano, new art, old lamp, new books and a few other things.  It’s nostalgic and happy 🙂

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Related Post:  {Reveal} Entryway Before and After
Related Post:  Extreme Home Makeover: Oak Park Edition

How to Create a Wall Gallery {Featuring West Elm Gallery Frames}

If you have been following me over the past couple of years, you should know at least two things.  One, that I love interior design.  And two, I have an obsession with wall galleries.  Over the last few weeks, I have talked to three women about creating wall galleries in their homes and received similar responses which was “I don’t know how to do it” or “It seems hard.”  I can understand this so today, I am here to share a very easy way to do a simple wall gallery.  Let’s call it Wall Galleries for Dummies. 

While you can use any frames for this project, I really think the West Elm Gallery Frames are critical for two reasons.  One, they are pretty awesome frames (and if you sign up for their emails you usually can get them on sale) and two, they come with the EASIEST template to hang the frames!  Now that we have that settled, check out the three easy steps below.

First, using your eye or a level, place the paper templates on a vertical wall as outlined below using scotch tape.  I love the floor to ceiling look so if you have the wall space, try it out!  how-to-create-a-wall-gallery-ann-written-notesNow.  You can’t see it in these pics, but, the templates have the exact place you need to put in the two nails to hang the frames.  So, you hammer in a couple small nails and then just pull the paper off the wall.

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And, um, start hanging your frames 🙂  Yeah, I told you this was easy.

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An important step in all of this is to find some fabulous photos or artwork to put in the frames.  And I suppose it makes sense to do that before you hang the frames 🙂  As you can see, I didn’t do that.  I was still working on my photography plan of attack. If you need ideas or want to purchase some of my aspiration travel photos, ping me!  You can check out my Etsy Shop, too, which currently only features five shots but soon will have more.

Okay, drum roll please!  Here is the finished, easy, wall gallery featuring West Elm gallery frames.

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DIY: How to create monogram letters

Generally speaking, I am not a DIY type of gal.  Some days I envy the Martha Stewart women of the world and some days I get overwhelmed by them and am relieved I don’t know how to create a bookshelf from recycled cardboard boxes.  But when I walk into Paper Source, I find my inner Martha dying to come out and my imagination having a huge party, cheering me on.  And on a lovely Saturday afternoon in Chicago, my IMS (inner Martha Stewart) was alive and awakened as I walked into Paper Source. Subsequently, I decided right then and there I would create my own monogram letters for my dining room gallery wall I was working on (post to come on that).  The project is easy, but requires patience and does take a bit of time.  The outcome is chic, colorful, inexpensive and personal…exactly what I was going for.

What you will need:

  1. Mod Podge
  2. A Poly Brush
  3. Your choice of craft letters (you could do monogram, spell words, whatever your little heart desires).  I did R, &, A and U for our initials.
  4. Paper!  The fun part.  You can see below what I picked but depending on how many letters you are doing and how many different shades of paper you want to incorporate, you really only need a few sheets max.

Step 1:  Pick your paper.

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Step 2:  Pick your letter(s).

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Step 3: Trace  and cut the letters (I used a pencil and handy dandy scissors).  Note you need to trace the letter both frontward and backward to cover the whole letter.

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Step 4:  Using your Mod Podge and Brush, glue the paper onto the letters.

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Step 5:  Enjoy!

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