Top 5 Posts of 2013 on Design-Vox

I thought it would be fun to look back at the posts that received the most hits in 2013. Living rooms and kitchens are obviously popular. :) Thanks so much for following Design-Vox in 2013 and I hope 2014 is your best year yet!

Living Rooms with Personality

Clean & Bright Kitchens

Neutral Kitchens in Gray & Brown

Fancy Ceiling Details

Living Rooms from Soft to Bold

The First Leg of Wedding Planning

For those of you who missed the announcement, about a month ago I became betrothed. What a good word that is, betrothed. As I’m sure you can imagine this first month has had its fair share of excitement as well as stress, because let’s be real: wedding planning is crazy. Crazy fun and crazy crazy. Within days of our engagement I felt an incredible need to have the first two all important decisions made: what is our venue and what is our date? The venue is so crucial, literally setting the stage and tone for your event. And obviously having a date pinned down is paramount. There’s a big difference between a 6 month engagement and a 24 month engagement. Not like a 6 month engagement was even a remote possibility for me. Those who know me and my difficulty making decisions in a timely manner will understand why I’ve joked for years that I would need a very long engagement. So many decisions to make.

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Yes that is my beautiful engagement ring. I have no shame.

Well I am thrilled to inform you that those two all important first decisions have been made. While we originally had talked about an October 2014 wedding, all of the venues I started inquiring to were already completely booked for 2014. I don’t know why this surprised me. So pretty quickly I started coming around to the idea that it might have to be 2015. Happily, on only our second venue tour, my wonderful fiance liked the place so much that he too decided that it would be worth the wait.

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Here we are posing for my mom’s camera phone while touring our chosen venue, Witt’s Inn. My ideal location was somewhere in a natural setting, whether that be a farm, a forest, a park, or a winery. All that didn’t matter so much as long as it wasn’t a loft or grand ballroom in the middle of the city. While I’m no country girl, I’m really not a city girl.

Witt’s Inn is a bed & breakfast surrounded by farm land in a rural part of Lowell, MI which is just about a half hour drive from my home. As soon as we arrived I had a good feeling. Just a few days prior we had toured a similar rural farm venue but had a completely different experience: it didn’t feeling welcoming, it didn’t feel right. But at Witt’s Inn everything seemed perfect, especially the lovely barn with crystal chandeliers! Ya’ll know I love crystal.

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Our date is in May of 2015. So far away. But every time I think about it the more I’m sure this is right for us. 1 year and 7 months is on the longer side of engagements, and believe me I have gotten some shocked reactions when I’ve told people. Chris and I are happy with our decision and we’re sticking to it.

There were many advantages to waiting till May ’15, not least of which was that the photographer I’d had my heart set on since the beginning was quickly booking up Fall ’14 dates and we probably wouldn’t have been able to work with her. On top of having our date and venue chosen, I am so excited to be working with Kelly Sweet. I spent hours looking through photographers’ portfolios and absolutely no one in the Grand Rapids area could hold a candle to Kelly’s work as far as I’m concerned. Plus it was her beautiful photographs of an October 2012 wedding at Witt’s Inn that helped lead me to that venue!

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Here’s some more of Kelly‘s work from other weddings. I just love how her photos have a strong artistic quality. Her use of focus, negative space, and especially the way she captures the warmth of light is just stunning.

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So the first leg of wedding planning has been good! With three very important decisions made and 548 days to go (oy), I’m feeling great. Hopefully more things will slowly start to click into place over the next several months. Of course I already have lots of ideas for decorations, flowers, the dress… I’ll probably share some of my inspiration photos with you guys soon. :) I’ll leave you with this candid shot of Chris and I exploring the site of our future wedding. <3

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Most photos by Kelly Sweet. The obviously unprofessional ones by me or my mom. :)

Are you an animal lover?

Pardon the total departure from my normal material, but I have an opportunity to win $10,000 for the cat shelter that I volunteer at, the same shelter I’ve adopted both my cats from. I entered my cat P. Kiddy into a contest being put on by Fuzzy Nation and he was chosen as one of 100 finalists! The winners will be determined by popular vote, and everyone with a Facebook account can vote once a day through November 4th. This is the photo I entered into the contest.

Vote for P. Kiddy!

Crash’s Landing and Big Sid’s Sanctuary is the name of the shelter that would benefit. These shelters are amazing, you guys. Their mission is to rescue strays from the streets, especially those that are ill or injured and in danger. They spare no expense in getting each cat up to full health. And these cats don’t have to live in cages! The shelters are cage-free and absolutely no-kill. And entirely volunteer run. The kitties can stay as long as necessary, though we hope they will all be adopted!

Big Sid’s is one of the largest shelters in the nation which caters exclusively to cats who test positive for FIV or FeLV. FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) and FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) are viruses that can, if they flare up, suppress a cat’s immune system. But with proper care they can live long, happy lives and are just as adoptable as virus-free cats.

My P. Kiddy is positive for FeLV, but you’d never know it to look at him. He also had a run in with diabetes a few months ago but he is so strong, he beat it and is in remission now! PK and I have been through so much together, it truly is an epic story and it just keeps getting more interesting and more wonderful. I’m so happy he’s in my life. I think his kitty brother Milo likes him too.

I would be forever grateful if you took a moment and voted for P. Kiddy in this contest. You can vote once a day through November 4th, so if you would like to be reminded to vote you can “Like” the page I’ve created for P. Kiddy on Facebook. :)

Here is the link to vote! : http://bit.ly/FuzzyNationVoting

  1. Accept the voting app & Like Fuzzy Nation
  2. Click “Cast Your Vote”
  3. Scroll down the list and click on P. Kiddy
  4. Vote!

Inspiration for a Relaxing Holiday

Inspiration for a Relaxing Holiday | by Linn Heidi Stokkedal on Flickr

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., a day for remembering the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. I have never known death or the feeling of seeing a loved one leave for active duty, so the meaning behind Memorial Day is difficult to experience on a personal level. But what I can feel is that this world is full of beauty, and this life is full of wonder, and I am blessed to feel safe and free thanks to the sacrifices of many.

For many Memorial Day means a day off from work and time to relax. In the sun, snuggled in bed, surrounded by family, or maybe some alone time to clear your mind or explore a creative idea. These images invoke the feelings I hope you can experience on this or any holiday.

Inspiration for a Relaxing Holiday | by archipelagos- on Flickr

Inspiration for a Relaxing Holiday | by julie marie craig on Flickr

Inspiration for a Relaxing Holiday | by † mexico rosel † on Flickr

Inspiration for a Relaxing Holiday | by Suvi Viitanen

Inspiration for a Relaxing Holiday | by Lighthouse Keeperess on Flickr

Inspiration for a Relaxing Holiday | by Δriellah on Flickr

Inspiration for a Relaxing Holiday | by v.a.l.e.n on Flickr

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