Fun and Functional Kids Bathroom


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This probably sounds weird, but one of my favorite rooms in our home is the kid's bathroom.

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

We bought our current home four and a half years ago and it was a total fixer upper. Little did I know that my favorite HGTV show Fixer Upper was airing it's first season right around that time! We completely renovated our current house from top to bottom, which was a dream come true for a design obsessed gal like me! We bought this house and had about 6 weeks before taking possession of it and the  number of hours I logged on Pinterest and Houzz during that time was staggering. When I was coming up with the design plan for the kids bathroom I came across this picture on Pinterest and it gave me all kinds of heart eyes! Inspiration found. I replicated so many elements of this photo in my kids bathroom-the beadboard, the wall color and most importantly...the sink!

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Meet the Kohler Brockway ladies and gentleman. Once I saw this picture, I knew this sink had to be mine! It was very pricey and totally blew the budget for the kids bathroom, but I loved it so much! Because of the cost of the sink,  I had to be frugal with everything else for the bathroom. But this sink is for sure the statement piece in the bathroom and was worth every penny!

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

Not only is this sink a showstopper, but it is very functional for a family with multiple kids. It is big enough to accommodate two kids washing up at the same time. I think you could even bath a baby in this thing, but sadly that stage is long gone for us! What I most love about this sink is that the kids play at it. My girls and their friends have used this sink to wash and bathe numerous My Little Pony's and Playmobile figurines. This was the case yesterday with Stella and her friend Sam, they had the best time playing in the sink!

I wish I had taken more "before" pictures of the house when we first bought it. Little did I know that I would one day want to blog about it! All I have are some blurry, very poor quality iphone pictures to show you, but at least you get a sense from what we were working with. One of the biggest and most functional changes I made to this bathroom was to frame in the toilet area and create a "water closet". The reason I did this was so that in theory, all 3 kids could be using the bathroom at the same time. We could have one kid on the toilet, another in the tub and a third brushing their teeth...highly efficient! The kids are older now, so they don't tend to be in the space at the same time very much, but we do often have someone going to the bathroom while another is at the sink. In order to accommodate the water closet and the trough sink, we had to take out a tiny linen closet, which is why you can see through the wall in the photo below.

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Here is a picture of the finished "water closet".. quite the dramatic transformation! 

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

One last functional aspect of this bathroom I want to share is that I chose a shower head that had a detachable handshower, like this one:

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Having this feature in the shower makes hair washing so much easier! We also wash the dog in this tub and use this to spray her down...she is not a fan, but it makes my life so much easier!

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

One of my favorite things about decorating spaces for children is the excuse to be fun and whimsical. In my kids bathroom I made some pretty bold color choices, but the white bead board really helps to balance it out.  I saw these towels at Target when we were doing the reno and they just so happened to look great with the color scheme from the inspiration photo.

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

Aqua, orange and navy blue is a perfect combination in a room that is for both girls and boys.

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

I gave the space some additional style and personality by introducing some beachy decor like sea stars and shells. I found this fun "Bathroom Rules" sign at Hobby Lobby and it was perfect for the ledge shelf. If only my kids actually followed these rules!

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

Another fun little decorative detail in this space are these adorable sea creature shower curtain hooks. These also came from Target. So did the shower curtain.

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

Have I mentioned my love of Target to you guys before? Couple of times? Okay, but you can see why I can't help myself. Their home decor is just too good and such a great deal!

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

So that my friends is a tour of our fun and highly functional kids bathroom! Hats off to the talented Felicia Chang for the beautiful photography!

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

Thanks for reading!

xo, Kerri

Managing School Mornings Part 2 - Time Management


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At the beginning of the school year I came up with a routine for myself and the kids and became very intentional about how I managed our time in the morning. Usually when things go sideways, it's because of me. Mom is always to blame right? I am not a morning person and having a set routine in place makes things easy for me because I don't have to think, I just have to follow the plan!

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At the beginning of the school year, I sat down and wrote out all the things that needed to happen each morning and by what time. From that, I mapped out a schedule which has been working really well for us.  It looks like this:

6am-7am- Me Time

7am-8am- It's Go time

8am-8:30am - shower and get dressed

8:30am - time to leave for school

Me Time

Here is a little secret, the biggest contributing factor to our mornings running smoother this year is this magical hour every morning I like to call "me time". I don't know what has happened to me in the last few months, but I have lost the ability to sleep past 6am! I fought this for awhile but then I realized how nice it was to wake up ahead of the kids and have some time to myself.

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From 6-7am, the kids are still sleeping and the house is blissfully quiet! During this time I enjoy a few of my favorite blogs and drink my coffee...while it's hot!

It's a really fun and inspiring way to start my day. In case any of you are wondering, here are the blogs that I read every week

 

The DIY Playbook

Hi Sugarplum

Honey We're Home

A Thoughtful Place

Having this time to myself first thing in the morning has really influenced the tone of our mornings and really helps me to "wake up and be awesome" instead of waking up and being a cranky B-word. 

Go Time

At 7am, it's game on. This next hour is a hustle and there is a lot to accomplish, but since I have started having that "me time" I find I am much more productive and focused. I wake the kids up...well the older two anyway. Stella is usually already up, dressed and has her bed made by about this time. It is the silver lining to having an early bird kiddo!

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

From 7-8, I make breakfast and pack school lunches. I also supervise the kids to make sure they are on task and try and manage the squabbling. I will share more about their routine tomorrow, but by 8am, the kids have done their chores, and are ready for school. That is when I let them have free time, they are allowed to play or watch TV.

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

Shower and Get Dressed

Over the years, I have driven the kids to school in my pajamas many a time. There is nothing wrong with that at all, but that would usually happen because our morning had been particularly brutal. Now that I have my new schedule in place, I actually have time to shower and get myself ready in the morning. Imagine!

Sitting down back in September and coming up with our current schedule was one of the best things I have ever done. And like I already mentioned, I know that I am the captain of the ship and our mornings fall entirely on my shoulders. Taking some time for myself first thing is the key to this success, cause you know if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

What are your tips for managing your time in the morning? Do you get up before your kids?

As always, thanks for reading!

xo, Kerri

Managing School Mornings


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Well, the kids have been back to school for a few months now and at our house, we have all settled into the groove. Something that has been running a bit smoother for us this year is our mornings. Getting the kids ready for school in the morning is not an easy task and can often cause my blood pressure to go through the roof. I swear there are days when it feels like a miracle that everyone has made it to school dressed and fed! But the past few months, our mornings have been better. I attribute this to a few simple things - routines, time management and organization. I thought I would share what's working for us, just in case you are struggling with getting the kiddos off to school in the morning! When I started writing about each of these things, the post was getting a little long...making a long story short is not my strong suit, so instead I thought I would break this post up into parts.

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Part 1 - Organization

Today I am going to talk about organization and how a few simple systems keep our mornings running smoothly, for the most part! Something that can throw our morning into a tailspin is when stuff gets lost. It's library day and the books are nowhere to be found; permission sheets have gone missing, the dog literally ate the homework. Looking for stuff that has been misplaced absolutely drives me bonkers. It is a huge waste of time and if we are late for something, that is usually why. I myself am pretty organized, but that doesn't extend to all the members of my family! I subscribe heavily to the "a place for everything, and every thing in it's place" mantra. When it comes to keeping our school "stuff" organized, here are some things I have found helpful.

Backpack Wall

Backpacks have a designated spot in our home. When the kids come home from school each day, before they do anything, they are responsible for hanging their bags on their hooks and unpacking them.

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

I know it sounds simple, but having a designated spot for each kid's backpack makes a big difference in our world!

School Lunch Station

We have a bank of drawers in our kitchen that are dedicated to school lunches. 

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The top drawer is for lunch containers and cutlery:

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The second drawer is for water bottles and thermoses.

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The 3rd drawer is the "snack drawer" and this is where we keep mom-approved snacks that the kids can take to school for recess and to supplement their lunches.  In my perfect world, this drawer would be full of apples and homemade granola bars, but that is not our reality so I settle for Kids Cliff bars, seaweed snacks and whatever else I have grabbed from Costco or the grocery store!

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The very bottom drawer is where the lunch bags go. The kids were at school when I took these pictures, so you will have to use your imagination on this one!

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Having this designated spot makes the lunch-making process more efficient. It is actually one of my least favorite jobs, so anyway that I can streamline the process is a win!

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"School Stuff" Bin

Agenda's, homework, notices and anything else that needs my attention (sigh...scholastic order forms) goes into a basket on the counter.

I hate things on the counter, but if it's out of site, it's out of mind for me. Keeping things in a basket at least contains these items so they don't get unruly.

When I was creating our school memory bins, I used an extra folder to keep track of school information. This year I have kids in two different schools, so this helps me to keep everything straight. I have elementary stuff on one side and high school on the other. That way things like schedules and calendars are handy if I need to check something.

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Anything that is time sensitive or that requires my attention gets clipped to the front of the folder. That way it's hard for me to forget about!

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Cubbies

One of the things I am so grateful for are the cubby's in our mudroom.

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

Each kiddo has a designated space for their jackets and shoes. As soon as we walk in the door, everyone is responsible for putting their gear away. Sometimes I need to gently remind people (ahem, also lovingly referred to as nagging) but making sure coats and shoes get put away means we will be able to grab them quickly in the morning!

Felicia Chang Photography

Felicia Chang Photography

Having an organized space helps to calm the morning crazy. Tomorrow I will tell you about how I manage our time in the mornings to ensure that we all make it out the door on time, and fully dressed! 

As always, thanks for reading!

xo, Kerri

Straw Market Tote - Fun & Functional

Back in the spring, I started seeing these cute, bedazzled market totes pop up everywhere, both in fashion and home decor. I have always loved straw totes, but the ones I was seeing had seriously upped their style game with the addition of tassles, pom poms and the like. When I saw this little cutie at Target for $34.00, I knew I had to hop on the trend train and buy it!

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I am a sucker for pom poms and these colorful straw ones on the front of the tote made me swoon a little.

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I am always a huge fan of any item that is stylish AND functional. Once I got this beauty home, I started thinking of all the ways I could put it to use. Straw market tote how I love you, let me count the ways!

Take it outside!

1.Picnic Bag

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Wouldn't it be nice to pack this little beauty up with your favorite picnic essentials and head to your favorite outdoor spot. For me, potato chips are an integral part of my outdoor dining experience.

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One of my favourite Target items is this outdoor picnic blanket. They seem to come out with new ones every summer and I lost (ie, can't find it in my garage!) my previous one so bought the tropical floral one pictured in the basket. I love how they fold up so nicely into a small tote size and even have a handle. Very practical, but also stylish. Win win!

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And is it just me, or do things taste better when you have cute coordinated dishes?

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Did you know that eating fruits and veggies immediately before or after consuming potato chips totally cancels out their caloric value? True story.

2.Storing Beach Towels

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Shortly after purchasing this tote, I was browsing the aisles of Homesense. For my American friends, Homesense is exactly like your Homegoods. They are even owned by the same company but just go by a different name in our neck of the woods. Anyway, I was shopping at Homesense and came across these towels which went into my shopping cart when I realized how cute they would look in my tote.

I know that matchy matchy is out, but when I saw how the towels coordinated with the colors of the pom poms, it made my eyeballs super happy. I love how the neutral color and texture of the straw contrasts with the bright colors.

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For styling purposes, I set this tote of towels down on our dock, doesn't it look pretty? 

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Now picture 3 dripping wet kids reaching for these pretty towels and knocking my straw tote in the Lake...that is a more realistic image!

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The other great thing about using this tote to stash towels is that it's so portable. Great for the beach, the Lake or the pool...wherever your water adventures may happen!

3. Outdoor storage

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If you look outside on my back deck, at any given time you will probably see water toys, flip flops, magazines and toys...evidence of a space well used. However, if I do manage to find time to sit out there and read a magazine, I feel way more relaxed without stuff laying around, so I could use this tote to do a quick clean up. I could also use it to stash extra throw cushions and outdoor blankets which we like to keep on hand for evening time when the temperature drops.

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Love this fun outdoor cushion I found at Walmart last year...

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Just like with the beach towels above, I love how the cushions coordinate with the pom poms. I made these cushion covers using Kelly Rippa fabric I found at Joann. The bright, colorful watercolor pattern is so pretty! 

Bring it Back Inside

Just because we only officially have 10 days of summer left doesn't mean I am going to retire this little beauty until next summer. There are plenty of ways to use a straw tote inside.

4. Magazine Storage

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I know in this digital age we live in, magazines are available online, but I still love the experience of browsing through a magazines.

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This tote is a perfect spot to corral magazines and/or catalogues...I love reading those as well.

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I spy with my little eye .... a cute Market tote on the cover of this magazine! See what I mean? Trending!

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The stash pictured here is quite heavy, #magazinehoarder. If you are using a tote for this purpose, pick a good spot to place it because you won't be able to move it around without emptying it first. I quite like it right beside my favorite comfy chair!

5. Cushions and Throw Blankets

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In our house, we are all about getting cozy. It seems like I can never have enough throw pillows and blankets. My girls have been known to have a throw down over a particular green fuzzy pillow that lives on our sectional. Sigh.

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This straw tote is the perfect place to store these items...this looks better than having things on the floor which is often where they end up!

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I was looking for a new throw blanket to add to the mix and I fell in love with this one from Target. It is chunky and soft and feels like you are wrapping yourself up in your favorite sweater.

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Here, I have used the tote as a catch-all beside my favorite chair. This is a recipe for relaxation-pretty book+cozy blanet+pillow=heaven! Just add tea and chocolate and I might never leave this spot!

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Emily Henderson's book is not only beautiful to look through but offers really great advice for figuring our your style and decorating your home with things you love. I call it my textbook.

6. Bath Towel Storage

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One of my favorite ways to combine function with style is to use practical items as décor. Just like this tote was cute for holding beach towels outside, it's just as cute for storing bath towels in the house. My kids each have a spot to hang up their towel on the back of the bathroom door, but I like to keep extras at the ready.

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The simple white towels look clean and fresh while the colorful pom poms add some fun!

7. Toilet Paper Storage

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Just as important as having clean towels at the ready in the family bathroom, I like to keep a stash of toilet paper handy. Probably because I am the only one that changes the roll, and have had to shout out a toilet paper SOS too many times to count.

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I didn't count how many rolls I fit in here, but it was a lot. Enough to prevent a TP emergency from happening anytime soon!

8. Toy Storage

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Before I became a parent, I used to think that stuffed animals were the most useless thing ever. Well, wouldn't you know that all three of my kids LOVE them. So of course the first thing that came to mind when I was thinking of how to use this in a kids room or playroom...corral the stuffies!

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This tote can hold quite the impressive stuffy collection. I think the pom poms are in line with the fabulous pink pony hair!

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It would be great beside a play kitchen to store all the dishes and food, the essential pieces for pretend culinary mastery!

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The handles and portability of this tote would make clean-up a breeze! Why is it that my kids are older now, but I can still hear Barney singing the clean up song in my head as I type this?

Look how well these board games and puzzles fit in here?

So as you can see, this cute little straw tote can be used in so many ways. Its pretty AND practical! Hopefully this post has given you some inspiration! Have you jumped on the Straw market tote trend, and if so, how do you use yours?

Thanks for reading friends!

xo, Kerri

My visit to Magnolia Market-Part 1



This past October my girlfriend Isabelle and I travelled to Waco, Texas to attend an event called 'Silobration'. If you don't watch the show Fixer Upper or know who Chip and Joanna Gaines are, you are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about!

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Leading up to this trip, when I would tell people I was going to Waco, I got many puzzled looks. I think when people hear Waco, they still think of the whole tragic David Koresh, mass murder that happened back in the early 90's. The popularity of Fixer Upper and the fact that Chip and Joanna are proud to call this town home, has certainly gone a long way in changing Waco's tainted image. The bi-line of an article in Texas Monthly says that "Chip and Joanna Gaines are renovating Waco's reputation one home at a time"...I love that!

Isabelle and I, who are die hard fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines both receive emails and updates from Magnolia Market, so for months and months, we were reading information about the 2nd Annual Silobration. We talked about going, and then in September we decided to make it happen! YOLO am I right?

If you haven't heard of Silobration, it started out as a grand opening/celebration of Magnolia Market at the Silos and now it has become an annual event. To learn more, you can read about it on Joanna's blog: https://magnoliamarket.com/second-annual-silobration/

For my fellow Fixer Upper fans out there, visiting Magnolia Market at the Silos is like being called home to the mother ship. I visited the grounds 3 times in 2 days, and honestly could have gone back a 4th! I took so many photos that I have decided to split them up into 2 posts. In today's post, I want to share some of the many photos I took inside Magnolia Market. In part two I will share more about the Silobration event as well as the grounds of the Silos-the Market is just one component!

For our first visit to the Silos, I think Isabelle and I were there for several hours. Magnolia Market is a huge retail space, stocked with all kinds of farmhouse goodness. Did you know that Joanna opened the original Magnolia store when she and Chip were first married? Fun fact that I learned while reading their bio. 

This is a photo of the original Magnolia store.

This is a photo of the original Magnolia store.

While Magnolia Market is filled to the rafters with all things Joanna, Chip has his own corner too, stocked with "guy stuff".

Because of the Silobration, the store was extra busy. One of our concerns about attending the event was that it would be crowded and we wondered if it was a bad time to plan a visit. I am so glad that we didn't let that stop us because, while it was definitely crowded, it was never an issue. Yes we waited a while in line to pay, but because the line snaked around the store, I just took it as an opportunity to have a close up look at #allthethings.

The crowds were black Friday-like, but I was impressed at what a lovely group of people the Magnolia Market customers were. Everybody just seemed happy to be there, despite the lines.

 Isabelle and I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Stevens, Joanna's mom. What a sweet lady! According to the staff she is a regular presence at the store and is always happy to meet and greet the visitors!

One of the first things that immediately caught my eye upon entering the store was this amazing installation on the wall.

This vintage book installation was one of my favourite displays in the store. I had never seen anything quite like it before. I have an obsession with old books, and I have since I was a kid. So does Joanna, and they are one of her decor staples. But books on the wall? With an image printed on them? Mind blown!

A few weeks after my visit to Waco, I was scrolling instagram and came across a blogger who was also struck by this masterpiece, and had posted a picture of a similar installation she made for a wall in her home. Dannyelle, of Life Is A Party,  figured out how to re-create this just from looking at a photo! I am constantly amazed by people's creativity. What's even more awesome is that Dannyelle created and shared a tutorial on how to make your own. Its on my (long) list of "things I want to try and make"! Check it out here:  https://www.lifeisaparty.ca/2016/diy-deer-book-art/

And now lets get to the eye-candy, the photos I took from around the store...it's probably a good thing that I was limited as to what I could buy/bring home because the urge to purchase every single thing I saw was STRONG!

Lots of "signature" Joanna accessories, the recycled glass jars and the Magnolia Wreaths in particular.

Lots of "signature" Joanna accessories, the recycled glass jars and the Magnolia Wreaths in particular.

What a creative way to showcase their paint line... I was a bit sad there were no paint chips to take home. 

What a creative way to showcase their paint line... I was a bit sad there were no paint chips to take home. 

The way that the merchandise was displayed made you feel like you had strolled onto the set of the show!

The way that the merchandise was displayed made you feel like you had strolled onto the set of the show!

There was tons of amazing wall decor, my favorite was the horse picture, its Chip's horse Dolly! It was a little too big for my carry-on though. Sad face. I did end up purchasing the vintage poster hanging kit and a map poster to go along with it as these items were portable!

There was tons of amazing wall decor, my favorite was the horse picture, its Chip's horse Dolly! It was a little too big for my carry-on though. Sad face. I did end up purchasing the vintage poster hanging kit and a map poster to go along with it as these items were portable!

I bought the white version of the cute little vase perched on those vintage books. I was so  inspired by all of the vignettes and displays around the store! It was like my favorite decorating magazine come to life...sigh...

I bought the white version of the cute little vase perched on those vintage books. I was so  inspired by all of the vignettes and displays around the store! It was like my favorite decorating magazine come to life...sigh...

Leather, plaid and one more shot of the portrait of Dolly!

Leather, plaid and one more shot of the portrait of Dolly!

There were lots of kitchen goodies to feast your eyes on. In particular, I loved the pottery, cake stands and the beautiful books!

There were lots of kitchen goodies to feast your eyes on. In particular, I loved the pottery, cake stands and the beautiful books!

Well, that wraps up the photos of the inside of Magnolia Market. I hope you got a sense for what it is like to visit the store! In the next post I will share photos of the Silobration event, the greenhouse which is an additional retail space, and the grounds of the Silos!

Thanks for reading!

xo, Kerri