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West Elm Inspired Collectors Plates – June Silhouette Creators Challenge

on June 9, 2016
It’s been a crazy, baking, front porch decorating kind of week! Thanks for the kind words on my front porch – I’m having a great time improving our curb appeal!
I’m excited to be taking part in the Silhouette Creators June Challenge, hosted by Cat at Pocketful of Posies, sharing my custom wall plate project!
Cat Image can be purchased from SouthernPearls28

*Contains affiliate links. Please see my disclaimer for full details. 

Long, long ago, like a month ago, I participated in the One Room Challenge, which was a fun project where I made over my dining room into a multi-purpose play/dining room. One of my favorite elements in the room was this plate wall. The plates were key for blending both the sophistication of a dining room with the fun of a play room.

Decorative Plates Wall
Hipster Cat Image | Flamingo and Pineapple Image |

I was inspired by a similar plate wall I came across on West Elm, and ended up using a few of their plates in my own display. I especially loved their Dapper Animal plates, but was unable to find an animal that would match my decor. I also loved their pineapple plate but it was sold out and loved the idea of a flamingo plate but wanted something slightly different. That’s the best part of crafting – if you can’t find exactly what you want you can make your own, which is what I did in this case!

To create your own custom plate you’ll need to the following materials:


  • A plate the size and shape of your choice – I found mine at Target
  • An image to display
  • A color printer
  • A Silhouette machine
  • Cricut printable printable vinyl

I found all of my images on Etsy. The image links can be found in the links below each image. I just loved the little hipster cat dressed in blue stripes!

To begin, you’ll want to open import your image to your library in the Silhouette Studio software.

Next, set the dimensions of your design page to that of your plate. My plate was 6″ in diameter so I set my dimensions to 6″x6″.  You’ll also want to turn on registration marks. I like to do this before adjusting the size of my image so that I can make sure it’s inside of them.

decorative plates - add registration marks

From your library, you’ll select the image you want to apply to your plate and adjust it on your design page to the size you’d like. I decided to only use a bust of the cat rather than the entire image so I adjusted the image accordingly, by increasing the size and leaving the body of the cat outside of my print and cut settings.


decorative plates - adjust edge

Once the image is to the appropriate size, print the image to your printer onto a pre-loaded printable vinyl sheet.

Once printed, load the vinyl sheet into your Silhouette, lining up the registrations marks on your cutting mat before loading.

decorative plates - erase clingys

To define the outline of your image, you’ll need to work within the trace window. First, select the trace area by dragging a rectangle over your image. Adjust the high and low pass filters, as well as the threshold, to cover as much of your image in yellow as you can. If you can not cover all of it, do not worry, as you can adjust the lines afterward. Select “trace”. You’ll see your image outlined in red, and possibly other outlines within your image as well, also in red. At this point, you’ll select your image and drag it to the side.

If there are spaces in your outline, you’ll need to correct these using the pencil tool. You’ll also want to remove any outlines within your outer line using the eraser.

decorative plates - offset

When you’ve a clear outline, you’ll want to expand the cut line slightly to ensure it does not cut off parts of your image. You’ll do this using offset. After adding the offset line, erase the innner line and drag your image to the outline to ensure the cut will clear the entire image. If it does not, add the offset line again, and repeat until it does.

decorative plates - plate wall

Once you have prepared your image and have verified your cut settings, you’ll send the image to the Silhouette for cutting.

Once cut, remove the vinyl image from the backing and apply it to your plate. My image was very large and my plate had a lip on it, making it difficult to apply using transfer paper – you may need to play with the image if your plate is not flat.

Once your image is applied, your plate is ready to hang!

decorative plates - flamingos

With custom images, you’ll have a limitless selection of designs, and can really customize your plate gallery!

Decorative plates - plate gallery wall


Be sure to check out the other participants for this month! As you can see, there are more
than enough projects to keep you busy and inspired!

1. Crochet Hook Box – Dwell Beautiful
2. Silhouette Etching Vinyl and a DIY Farmhouse Breadbox – Creatively Southern
3. Watercolor Patriotic Napkins & a Simple 4th of July Tablescape – Pocketful of Posies
4. How to Repurpose a Table into Wall Art – DIY Passion
5. How to Use Vinyl Like A Pro Step by Step – Holy Craft
6. DIY Team Banner – Morena’s Corner
7. DIY Wooden Slice Dishwasher Clean-Dirty Magnet – Simply {Darr}ling
8. Custom Wall Plates Using Your Silhouette Machine – Knock it Off Kim

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you’ll visit again!

Pin for later: West Elm Inspired Collectors Plates


decorative plates - how to diy decorative plates


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Lighting Choices For a Multi-purpose Dining Room

on May 23, 2016
Hi, all! What is up with this weather? I don’t remember a May that was this chilly and wet – I nearly pulled out my tall boots yesterday, and those boots were not rainboots. #fashionblasphemy

Still, we enjoyed a busy but fun weekend full of dance recital rehearsals as well as shows and choral shows. The choral show was at Kings Dominion, and although it was raining, we still managed to fit in lots of mischief late into the day. We ended a splendid time with a yummy funnel cake! #stillfull
Now it’s back to Monday! 

You may remember, that we recently completed our multi-purpose play/dining room. In any multi-purpose room, it can be a bit tricky to choose accents that will work in all ways that the room does. Lighting is one of those accents. Lighting encompasses more than just overhead or ambient lighting, and I am no expert, I just know what I like and what looks good to me and what is pleasing to my eye. 
The lighting in our play/dining room was relatively simple to tackle. We needed mostly ambient lighting with a bit of task lighting. The ambient fixture was required to be sophisticated and yet still have a fun element to it. It also needed to be interesting in its own right, as it would be acting as the focal point of the room more often than a compliment to the table. It couldn’t be too “chandelier-ish” when the room was acting as a playroom but had to be “chandelier-ish” when the room was serving as a dining room. I was looking for a pendant with presence, but one that would also not hang too low so that most people could walk underneath it. Tall order, right.. or is that short order?
No matter what the order, LampsPlus came to the rescue. 
LampsPlus had more than a few sophisticated-fun-interesting-abitchandelierish-perfectly-sized pendant lights for me to choose from all at various price points!
My choice? The Astrapia 13″ Wide Rubbed Sienna 4-Light Foyer Pendant. It was all I needed – It is sophisticated, fun, interesting, a bit chandelier-ish, and it has presence, all in a perfectly sized large pendant. It is truly perfect for my room in my eyes. 
Astrapia 13″ Wide Rubbed Sienna 4-Light Foyer Pendant
Here are some others that I had on my list of maybes. 

Carolyn Kinder Ovala 3-Light Pendant Chandelier |Charleston 13 1/2″ Wide Clear Glass Pendant

Crystal Clear 14 3/4″W Polished Nickel 4-Light Pendant|

Crystorama Solaris 22 1/2″ Wide Olde Silver Pendant

Cuthbert White Glass 15″ Wide Black Iron Star Pendant | Dunnell 18 3/4″ Wide Bronze Foyer Chandelier
Elements 18 1/4″ Wide Charcoal 6-Light Pendant | Hinkley Fulton 22″ Wide Bronze Entry Pendant
Hudson Valley Lynden 22″ Wide Aged Brass Pendant | Hudson Valley Washington 20″ Wide Aged Brass Pendant Light
Hudson Valley Roundout 23″W Polished Nickel Pendant Light | Maxim Bodega Bay 36 1/2″ Wide 6-Light Anthracite Pendant
Metal Lattice 4-Light 20 1/4″ Wide Bronze Pendant Light | Metal Lattice 4-Light 20 1/4″ Wide Bronze Pendant Light
Uttermost Albiano Drum 1-Light Pendant | Maxim Horgen 23 1/2″W Uddo 1-Light Entry Foyer Pendant

Whatever your choice, LampsPlus has you covered with a terrific selection of ambient lighting options with prices to match every budget! 

Pin for later: Multi-Purpose Room Lighting Options

Dining/Play Room – The Source List – One Room Challenge

on May 20, 2016

Hi, There! It feels so odd to be wrapping up a project that has been consuming us for so long!


We set out to overhaul our Dining Room into a multi-purpose space of a Playroom with Dining Room potential along with more talented bloggers than I can count during the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda at Calling it Home. I wanted a room that would function as a playroom the majority of the time but shows a lovely, sophisticated side when it was time for a formal dinner for ten. I wanted fun, colorful accessories, and art that would be comfortable in either setting and furniture that could serve more than one purpose. So, in a nutshell, this post is the result of all of that crazy!

Benches | Chairs | Cow Print| Ottoman| Rug | Platter (similar) |

Obviously, this week was a little different than the prior six weeks before. It honestly took me a moment to figure out what to do with myself. What does a girl do when she’s at the end of such a fun but intense project? For starters, I’ve spent a bit of time walking in and out of the room admiring it, and picking up toys, trying to keep it pretty for just one more day.. which isn’t going to happen. Then I had a birthday – I’m 46 and not yet sure how I feel about that, threw in a half dozen dance recital rehearsals – we have multiple dancers in our house -slipped in a weekend away for a baseball jamboree, worked a bit on a few other projects.. And now, I’m back to share a few sources with you! As you can see, I’ve been resting.

If I’ve missed anything, please leave me a comment below and I’ll get this post updated. Also, be sure to watch for source updates as I provide more details on the table, artwork, and plates!

Here we go!
The two largest pieces in the room are by far the table and the built-ins.

Tassle PillowBenches |OttomanRug |

I will be sharing more details on the table build soon, but just to give you an idea of what we were going for; I wanted the table to be out of the way when we weren’t using it, but I also wanted to be able to seat our entire family when needed. I found inspiration through this dining room re-design, where essentially, they had done exactly what we were trying to do – created a table that would be out of the way until needed. Following their lead, we came up with the design for the top and added it to Ana White’s plans for the base, with a bit of tweaking for the size.

Lamp | Art Print 1 | Art Print 2 | Art Print 3| Art Print 4| Art Print 5| Art Print 6| Rug|

What we ended up with was an exceptionally large console table (9 feet. At least 200lbs. Just sayin’) when not entertaining and a huge, rustic table when we are. When we have large gatherings, such as our annual Halloween party, we’ll be able to use the console surface for food and drinks and Thanksgiving we’ll be dressing up the entire table. We are so happy with how it turned out and all of the versatility it gives us.

Benches | Storage Bins|

We’re also pretty in love with the benches which also work double duty. The flip top gives us loads of toy storage and the casters make it easy to move them into place for dining. Not only are they pretty, but they are also actually very comfortable as well!

Table Runner| Chairs| Benches| Rug| Table|


Table RunnerChairsBenchesRug| Table| Metal Chairs| Cow Print| Light|
The built-ins started with gifted upper cabinets from some dear friends who were remodeling their kitchen. We used Thrifty Decor Chick‘s built-ins as inspiration but had to adjust for the size of our cabinets and made our own countertop. We created the countertop from yellow pine 1x4s and 1x5s and stained it with Rustoleum Gel Stain in Aged Oak.
Cabinet Hardware |
The shelving was added afterward using common pine 1×12 boards.
Mermaid | Hello Print | Platter – similar|


Mermaid| Plant| Gnome|
Picture Frame| Colored glass bottles |
A thin rail was added to the top shelves to hold the China in place. We already had the China as well as the salad plates but had not put them together in the past. I just love the brightness of the plates, and I love that they take away some of the formalness of the China while at the same time enhancing it.
Salad Plates | Paint |
The storage the built-ins provide us is fantastic, not only for entertaining necessities but also for toys! The last cabinet is entirely dedicated to toy storage.
Toy Buckets |
I like the rustic look and practicality of these galvanized buckets. They came with a chalkboard label for easy notification of what’s inside. Additional toy storage can be found in the storage benches, of course, and in the book nook. I tried to provide as many “quick fix” options as possible – lots of baskets to throw things into if there is a need for a fast toy clean-up! The hamper holds balls and other larger objects and throws pillows.
One of my favorite elements in the entire room, the rug, was a great find! There is practically nothing that would not go with this rug – it has every color and shade of the rainbow. The subtle chevron pattern has a calming influence on all of that color, and the woven texture adds interest to the room, especially when the room is acting as a playroom. It’s a great focal point for an otherwise open space!
Leaf Plate (similar) | Cityscape Plate | Flamingo Plate | Cat Plate| Pineapple Plate| Duck Plate| Teapot Plate| Landscape Plate| Lemon/Lime Coasters – Target | Blue and white crackle Platter| Red-rimmed plate|
The plate wall was inspired by a similar look found on West Elm. I loved their eclectic mix of sophistication and whimsy which can be a bit tricky to pull off. It was exactly that eclectic mix that fit in this room, which I wanted to be a combination of sophistication and whimsy! It allowed me to incorporate some fun elements that would be completely appropriate in either setting – fun for a playroom obviously, and plates for a dining room? Perfect! Some of the plates I already owned, some were DIY, and others I gathered in my travels. Many are melamine, especially those hanging lower on the wall, making them safe for roughhouse playing and flying objects. Check back for an upcoming tutorial on the animal plates!
I had quite the challenge when coming up with artwork for this room. It needed to be kid-friendly but also fit right in with an elegant dinner party.
Lamp Art Print 1 | Art Print 2 | Art Print 3| Art Print 4Art Print 5| Art Print 6| Rug|
My son would have been happy to have Sponge Bob and Dinosaurs throughout the room, but that wasn’t going to work! I decided to go with something that I felt would not only work with both spaces but is a bit of a callout to something our family enjoys doing together – visiting theme parks!
Mixing carnival prints with abstract and geometric images allowed for all the elements to come together. All of the prints were found on Etsy, inexpensively matted on foam board and framed simply. Hanging the prints symmetrically complimented the casual look of the plate wall and commanded the attention of its own.
 Art Print 1 | Art Print 2 | Art Print 3| Art Print 4Art Print 5|
Art Print 6| RugChairsBenches| Table|Light|
The primary source of lighting in this room is this pendant light, generously provided by LampsPlus. LampsPlus has a tremendous selection, but seeing this light was love at first sight for me and in many ways, I built the room around the look and feel.
Art Print 1 | Art Print 2 | Art Print 3| Art Print 4Art Print 5|
Art Print 6| Light|
The light is oversized for this room, but because of it’s openness, it remains balanced. The light takes 4- 60-watt bulbs, giving off a tremendous amount of light. For ambiance, we had the light installed on a dimmer switch.
Table Chairs Cow PrintRug | Basket |
Last but not least, the book nook is another of my favorite areas – I know, they all seem to be! The industrial side table is another versatile piece that pulls double duty – it’s a toy catch all and book shelf when we’re in play mode and can easily be converted to a bar cart when we are in dining style. It’s a perfect spot for the dining chairs as well, and I love my new cow print! Funny story about that guy – years ago, before she passed away, my mother lived in the country next to a dairy farm. She had a large bay window in her breakfast nook that looked out over the dairy farm pasture, with the fence line coming right up to the window, which was of course filled with cows on most days. Often, when we’d be eating dinner we’d have to close the blinds because the cows would come right up to the fence line and stare at us while we were eating – that’s seriously unnerving when you are chowing down on a burger! When I saw the print that was the first thing I thought of – and forever more, or until I redecorate, I will have my cow staring at me while I chow down on a burger or Thanksgiving dinner!
Thank you, thank you to LampsPlus for their generous sponsorship and thank you to Linda at Calling it Home for hosting such a fun and rewarding challenge! I can’t wait to participate again in the fall!
If you haven’t had a chance do check out the other linking participants – it’s inspiration overload!
Want to see the whole story? Take a walk down memory lane!
Pin me for later – Multi-purpose Play/Dining Room


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