Take It Outside with DIY Playbook | Beautiful Blogger Backyard Series

It's Day 2 of the Beautiful Blogger Backyard series (Didn't you just love Eclectically Vintage's outdoor space?) and I have double the inspiration today thanks to Bridget and Casey of DIY Playbook.




Casey's patio is the perfect illustration of how you can be short on space and long on style. I love everything about this fabulous outdoor space but especially the mix of black and white and green (a personal outdoor color scheme fav). She maximized the space beautifully adding in every element you would see in a larger outdoor seating area without it feeling overwhelming.  Bravo!  Who wouldn't want to party out here?  Here is what she had to say about it:
My husband and I live in downtown Chicago where outdoor space is a hot commodity. Even though we have a small, strangely-shaped back balcony, we've made the most of the space this summer. We added lots of flowers, a lounging area, and garden stools for even more seating.  We love spending time out here grilling, playing games, and sipping on cocktails in the evening. It just goes to show that you don't need to have a large backyard to enjoy the outdoors! 




Bridget's patio is another great example of using what you have to your advantage. Check out that striking brick wall she used as the backdrop of her relaxing and feminine outdoor space.  She added touches of whimsy (hello little gnome!) and brass and pastels in such a lovely way.  If only summer could last forever!
My husband and I live in a suburb just outside of Chicago and are fortunate to have a patio and a backyard to call our own. We added a big 'ole grill and lots of comfortable seating to this space so we can entertain family and friends as much as possible. My husband and I are both teachers and are both off for the summer so we are really trying hard to get out and enjoy this colorful and relaxing space as much as possible... even if it means the to-do list isn't completely done for the day. Before we know it, the summer will be over and we'll be hauling furniture back inside before Chicago's winter so making the most of this relaxing space NOW is top on our priority list.

Want to see more?  Pop over to DIY Playbook to see more photos and details of both of these wonderful exteriors.

More outdoor inspiration on tap for tomorrow - see you then!





Take it Outside with Eclectically Vintage | Beautiful Blogger Backyard Series

The dog days of summer are on us so it's the perfect time to kick off a new series: Beautiful Blogger Backyards!

I tend to carefully stalk follow stalk my favorite bloggers so I practically know the interiors of their homes by heart but outdoor spaces are sometimes a mystery.  What can I say? I'm nosy curious! There is so much inspiration for not only backyards but interior projects in these outdoor spaces, I can't wait to share.



First up is Kelly of Eclectically Vintage.  Her patriotic backyard is just the right mix of bold colors, greenery and soft seating.  Aside from that fabulous flag she made with fencing, she also used an old dresser as a planter, used an vintage cooler as a side table and a giant shell as centerpiece.  You know how much I love a good upcycle.  A woman after my own heart. Makes me want to run over there and share a pitcher of sangria with her! Here is a little peek but hop over to Eclectically Vintage to see so much more!

Ready for more?  Every day for the next 2 weeks I'll be sharing the outdoor goodness.  Stop by tomorrow for a two-fer!





Glidden Diamond Givewaway {Sponsored Post}

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Glidden asked if I would try both of their new paint offerings at the exact time when I was on a painting kick. Kismet!  I used their new Complete paint four our shore bunk beds but I needed something a little different for the mini bathroom makeover.  Enter Glidden Diamond - a paint and primer in one that promises to hold up to repeated washing and last longer in high traffic areas - which sounded like the perfect product for painting my bathroom black. I had been considering it for so long, this was just the impetus I needed to get it going.



I went with my favorite black - Deep Onyx - in flat enamel.  The coverage was good despite black being a notoriously tricky color to get uniform richness with.  I barely made a dent in the gallon to paint this little space. As it was drying, it did look a little streaky which had me concerned at first but it dried to a beautifully matte and even rich black that I could not love more.





The color totally transformed the look of the room.  A few other accessory changes and it's barely recognizable. Obviously I had expected to like the color I picked but I really can't describe how happy this little makeover makes me everytime I pass by.  Just further confirmation to go with my gut on decor decisions and not to second guess myself.

Want to test this paint for yourself?  Once again, the lovely people at Glidden have offered to giveaway up to 5 gallons of this new paint to one lucky winner.  Simply apply below and I'll pick a winner next week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



disclosure: This post was sponsored by Glidden but all opinions expressed are my own. Read my blog posts about color + paint on MyColortopia.

Hej Copenhagen! [Copenhagen with a Preschooler]

If you follow my insta, you know we took our last vacation as a family of three earlier this month. Our first stop was Copenhagen - a city I've been jonesing to see for so long!  We had dipped our toe into Scandinavia before when visiting Helsinki 5 years ago but Denmark is the one that gets all the press about having the most satisfied citizens so I wanted to see for myself.

Copenhagen BrooklynLimestone.com
Copenhagen BrooklynLimestone.comCopenhagen BrooklynLimestone.com

I expected a haven of Danish design and overly happy citizens with loads of child friendly offerings at every turn.  What we found was a very lovely and livable city but it didn't have the magical quality I was expecting.  I suspect Copenhagen is an amazing city to live in but I think my expectations were just a tad too high.  That said, we did have a great time.  The weather was wonderful - cool in the middle of summer with lots of daylight.  It's a very walkable city in general that also happens to have excellent public transportation.  And of course there are the bikes - everyone rides!  Here are a few of the highlights

Copenhagen BrooklynLimestone.com
Copenhagen BrooklynLimestone.com
Copenhagen BrooklynLimestone.com

Not surprisingly, Tivoli Gardens was a highlight of the trip. Located right in the heart of the city its a wonderful mix of retro amusement park, beautifully manicured gardens and respectable restaurants. When the guidebooks suggest you spend the whole day there, they aren't kidding. There was a great mix of rides for all ages inside as well as a fabulous playground for little kids and lots to see. It somehow avoids the usual cheese factor of most amusement parks. We could have easily come back everyday just for the playground inside.

Copenhagen BrooklynLimestone.comCopenhagen BrooklynLimestone.com
Copenhagen BrooklynLimestone.com
Copenhagen (34 of 40)160707Copenhagen (35 of 40)160707
To be fair, there are lots of things to do in Copenhagen for older children including battle ships and castles to explore, boat tours and lovely parks.  So I'd say Copenhagen is better for the over 5 set.  A good reason to return in a few years time!

Another favorite spot we visited several times was Torvehallerne food hall - a modern food market where you can sample all kinds of fresh and prepared foods.  Sadly we weren't staying over the weekend so I missed the flea market which I hear is very worthwhile.  Yet another reason to return.

And while the city wasn't overflowing with inspired design on every corner, there were a few bits of inspiration scattered throughout. Like this amazing hand painted floor I stumbled upon in a children's clothing shop, this gorgeous roses in water centerpiece idea outside a florist shop as well as some beautiful home exteriors.
Copenhagen with a preschooler www.brooklynlimestone.com
Copenhagen with a preschooler www.brooklynlimestone.comCopenhagen with a preschooler www.brooklynlimestone.com

We spent 4 days mostly exploring and enjoying the city.  It's been on my bucket list for so long, I'm so happy I got to see it for myself.  After 4 days, we hopped a short flight to Edinburgh, Scotland.  But I'll save that for another post...

Potting Bench Buy Over Build

If you remember this post, I was debating the whole buy vs. build decision for a potting bench/outdoor buffet.  A build would have been really ideal because of the awkward space and the way I wanted to incorporate a hidden cooler but the reality of life stepped in and convinced me to go with a more affordable and much less time consuming buy option.



I feel like I compared every ready made potting bench on the market and narrowed it down to these three: modern style teak with a steel top,  a cheaper version with cabinet + drawer or this simple mid priced all cedar unit. Ultimately I went with option 3 thinking it would last the longest outside and be most versatile.



Now I have it, I don't know how I did without it. It's a great little workspace and makes that spot under the stairs so much more functional than the pile o' junk storage I was using it for before this arrived.  Of course I can't just leave well enough alone so I whipped up a quick farmer's market inspired sign with some scrap wood I had laying around to fill some of the dead space to make it a little more personal.  Right now it's doing its intended duty as potting bench but I can't wait to have our next outdoor BBQ so we can use it as a bar/buffet.

I thought about painting it or cutting a hole out to make room for a large bucket to serve as a drink cooler as well as a few other upgrades but I think I'm going to leave it just as it is right now. Maybe its the heat of summer or the general malaise of the 9th month of pregnancy but I'm feel the need to simplify lately and not put quite so much pressure on myself for everything to be just so. It's definitely a struggle for this control freak but I'm trying. Anyone with me?

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