Thursday, September 29, 2011

Entry Improv

A few weekends ago, the hubs and I took a trip to Ohio with my mother-in-law to go to an outdoor antique show, called Antiques in the Woods. Despite the rain, we scored some great deals including this large trunk. I will give credit when credit is due, because the hubs scored this beauty for $25!

As soon as we put her in the car, I knew it would be the perfect coffee table. I had plans of moving our current free form wood coffee table to the window as an entry way bench with some added pillows. Blame it on my terrible math skills my delirious hope (and lack on spacial planning) that it would work, but alas it was too tall for the couches. 

After wiping away my tears, I regrouped and tried the trunk under the window. Although it wasn’t going to work as a bench to put our shoes on and such, I took it for a test run. After getting a new lamp (Marshalls, $35), hanging some quick and easy DIY curtains, and setting out some fall decorations I think she’s a keeper. The hubs actually really likes it too, which is a plus.

I am welcoming the additional light and the extra storage (we’ll use the trunk to house extra blankets, pillows and other seasonal items,) not to mention the new space for keys and mail. I am on the search for better sheers- the ones we currently have came with house and are this ugly beige color that just looks dirty no matter how clean they actually are- but for now, this will work!

Ever buy something knowing it was going to be perfect only to get it home and it's not even close to working? Did you make it work or bite the bullet and take it back to the store?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Window Shopping

I had high hopes of a productive weekend. It’s now Monday afternoon and the to-do list is no shorter than it was on Friday. Oh well, every once and awhile we all need a lazy weekend…there will always be time for projects.

During my unproductive weekend, I did some major “window” shopping on my local Craigslist. I have openly admitted my addiction to c-list, (first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?) but honestly how can you not with such amazing deals. I found some of my most prized possessions on Craigslist…

my beloved dining room chairs

my big boy, Brutis

baby girl, Brindi

I am on a strict budget these days, so browsing is all I can do, but I wanted to share with you some of the great things available in the Pittsburgh area right now. If you’re local, maybe you can steal an item or two (and let me come visit) and if you’re not local, I hope it encourages you to take a peek at your own cities Craigslist. 

On to the goods:


($10) I envision this brass chandy painted glossy navy blue or bright white, maybe even jute wrapped, but what sold me on this item are the great lines and globe light bulbs. I might actually have to break the budget on this one. 


($495) Way out of my price range, but this dresser is really beautiful. I love the Paris grey (aspc?) color and I am a sucker for drawers behind a door! 


($45) I know there are some die hard fans of old rulers and especially the folding versions. Here are a great set of 5, all different sizes, for $45 dollars. Bonus: there are some pretty snazzy projects out in blog land with old rulers, like this side table or this amazing mirror


($70) With a little sanding and a nice new stain finish, these two wooden filing cabinets could be a great addition to an office. The great thing about having two is that you can use them as a base for a custom desk top made from old pallets or salvaged wood, and at 35 bucks a piece, you can’t go wrong! 


($85) I love this chest of drawers from 1840, it is in great shape and I don’t think it needs anything but a great tablescape. I see this in an entry way with a large mirror, a great lamp and fresh flowers. 


($80) Craigslist is a great place for funky pieces and this is a great example. I usually don’t like papasan chairs, but I think this would be a great chair for a boys bedroom or kids playroom. The shape and canvas seat are very kid-friendly, but the leather accents makes the chair something you can be proud to show off. 

Did anyone actually have a productive weekend that I can live vicariously through? How about a great Craigslist purchase?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Home Office & Guest Room: In Progress

Once I finished the dining room chairs, I was ready to turn my loving attention to the guest room/office. I have changed and rearranged this room at least 4 times since we moved-in a year and a half ago, but I was never quite happy with it. When a tiny room has to do double duty as a functional guest room and a full time home office, it can get a bit cramped.

This was already the third revision of the space. The room started with only one desk (the wooden writing desk you see in the right back corner) but I was in desperate need for more work space. When my dad told me his school was giving away extra donated office furniture, including filing cabinets and desks, I had him grab me both. 


While it was practical and worked for a bit, I was beginning to feel claustrophobic with all the large furniture, so it was time for yet another change.

We grabbed this corner desk from Ikea for under $70, moved both the other desks into the basement (the metal office desk is now a work table in the garage) and did a little switch-a-roo with the remaining items to create the newest set-up.


I centered the bed under the window (Can I tell you how much I HATE when windows are not centered or balanced in a room? Arg!) to create a day bed feel and framed the windows with some salvaged shutters. I’m still undecided about whether or not to re-paint the shutters or leave the weathered, distressed look. Thoughts? 

The chair in the corner is the perfect spot for guests to charge their phones, place a glass of water, etc. and it doesn’t take up much space.

The corner desk allows me to have more of a nook set-up and provides ample space for the desktop and writing space, without taking up a large chunk of the room. I have plans to upgrade all the white organization boxes (can you spot a sample?) and even to paint the metal filing cabinet, currently hidden under a small table cloth.

How sweet are the babies? O-M-G

Other plans for the room include hanging artwork, creating more tissue paper pom poms for over the bed, and painting the tall dresser (that I have had since I was a baby) which adds great storage for guests. As you can see from the to-do list, this room is far from finished but I am more than happy with the progress.

Anyone have any big plans for the weekend? I will be tackling projects around the house and trying to squeeze in some quality time with the hubs and puppykids because we all know how quickly Monday morning rolls around.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Style to Fall For

Too cheesy? I agree, let's pretend the title was something super creative and call it a day, shall we?

Moving on...

Decorating your home is a great way to get into the spirit of the season or holiday, but if you’re like me and don’t have a ton of extra funds lying around and aren't a fan of over doing seasonal decor, it can be difficult. Of course going to a big named store and stocking up on their themed items can drain a bank account pretty quickly, not to mention it can start to look excessive if you’re not careful. However, with some creativity and elbow grease; you can incorporate splashes of the season spirit and keep a few bucks in your pocket. 

With Fall only two days away (September 23 is the official start of autumn,) I wanted to share with you a few quick tips and ideas for how I am getting in the mood. 
  • Wardrobe updates and revivals are my number one way to get ready for a season. Since I don't love filling my house with seasonal decorations that may or may not be in style next year, clothing is my go to seasonal mood changer! I am gravitating to neutrals with pops greens and oranges this year.

All images from Pinterest (via)
  •  Updating my front door wreath. Confession: I have had a red berry wreath on my front door since last Christmas. Ha! So it was definitely time for an update. This large anise wreath was on sale last week at Target and I though it was the perfect backdrop that I can update with ribbon and accessories as much as I please! (I already have a craft in the works that I will share soon.)
    It even smells like anise (licorice) and I love it!
    I was tempted to create this acorn wreath (via)

    • Candles. Whether they are scented (my favorite fall candles are Yankee Candles' Cranberry and Orange and Chesapeake Bay Candles' Harvest Bouquet) or unscented, candle light warms a room and add instant cozi-ness!

    • Pillows. Now, I'm not talking about every pillow in the house, but by swapping out or adding a few pillows in warmer colors and fabrics can give an entire room an update. Bonus- if you can sew, it can be a very inexpensive option. I especially love the cable knit sweater versions seen all over the place.
    Sweater and warm toned pillows from Pottery Barn (via)
    West Elm Origami Pillows (via)
    • Even as the air begins to turn chilly, don't neglect your outdoor space. I like to create a basket for date nights by the fire-with blankets, candles, s'more ingredients, and even some bubbly. It can make even the most simple night special.
    Fall date night essentials
    • Now don't get me wrong, I am a sucker for more simple seasonal accessories. I like using items you already have on hand, like coffee beans, leaves and twigs from outside, etc. to add some warmth to vases, bowls, and baskets around the house. I am also loving items like these yarn pumpkins, that will last year after year!
    Great tutorial by Everything Under The Moon (via)
    No matter how you choose to decorate and get ready for the season, remember the most important thing is that you stay true to your style. Whether getting in the spirit means switching up every item in your house or one fall themed wreath is plenty, make sure your home speaks to who you are all year round!

    How are you getting ready for fall? What are your must haves or rules for seasonal decorating? 

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Rock 'N' Roll

    I had every intention to write a post yesterday, but my body fought it! This weekend, the hubs and I took to the pavement and ran in the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll ½ Marathon. It was a first for us both and in fact, it was my first running race since I was probably 12 or so. (My 5th grade track coach would have fallen over at the sight…let’s just say running has never been my friend.) 

    It wasn’t easy and I am so thankful it is over, but we did it and even though my legs may hurt for the next week, I am really glad we went through with it and am proud of us for finishing!

    Anyway, while I iced and elevated yesterday instead of posting, I did catch up on some blog reading/pinterest searching and wanted to share some eye candy I found along the way.

    Living Savy's Wingback Chair
    The two fabrics really make the wingback chair less fussy (via)

    The Nester’s book release party (as seen on Emily A. Clark)
    Love that vessel full of rolled pages (via)
    More rolled pages (via)

    Charming Little Nest's Monogrammed Wreath
    Love! (via)

    Vintage Revival's Rhino Head Mirror 
    Obsessed! They took inspiration from the Anthropologie version (via)

    YHL House Crasher Series (I don't know how I missed these!)
    Love the pop of green and the mirror (via)
    Genuis: cut wine bottles turned into a chandy (via)

    What did you do this weekend? Any runners out there who can offer tips? What do you draw inspiration from?

    Be sure to check in tomorrow, I have more eye candy for you. This time, centered on great decorations for the quickly approaching Fall season (Friday people!) without breaking the bank or being too theme-y. That’s right, I make up words, don’t you?