Showing posts with label decor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label decor. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Making the Living Room More Liveable

Remember the living room? Yeah, it's a work in progress... and we made some progress!

  1. Re-stuffed the back cushions on the sectional
  2. Replaced the rug
  3. Purchased a credenza
The back cushions on the sectional were looking so sad and lumpy that I was making plans to replace the cushions or the sectional. But I decided to check the blog-sphere for a way to fix them. Apparently, all they needed was a little restuffing.

I found a 10lb. bag of fiberfill at Walmart on the sewing aisle for $25. (Who knew they sold that?!) Thirty minutes of adding fiberfill to the nasty factory stuffing breathed fresh life into the cushions. It was like having a new sectional! (Sorry, I don't have a before picture for comparison. It was too depressing.)

Next, the 5'x7' rug of yesteryear was replaced by this super comfy shaggy number from Costco. Twice as big and oh so fluffy. Seriously, we love this rug! I know I don't need to say any of this. The before and after pictures above state my case for me.

Last, we present the credenza. The way too small TV stand and old TV finally got the boot.

cre·den·za  /krəˈdenzə/
Noun: A sideboard or cupboard
No, the credenza does not house a new TV. Instead it fills a much-needed game/puzzle storage need. And the lower cabinet spaces are a great place for storing throw blankets for cold winter nights we get in Colorado.

And there you have it. I still want to redo the throw pillows on the sectional (and build a mantle/surround for the fireplace), but those are projects for another day. For the moment I am satisfied with the vast improvements we've made.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Just the Way You Are

If you haven't heard of them yet, there is a group called The Piano Guys, and I'm a fan. This is a little bio from their YouTube page:
Our vision is to create music and videos that inspire people. We want to take that music to the world and make a difference. We have something different to offer from any other YouTube channel. We like to put a new spin on classic stuff and a classic spin on new stuff. Whatever we do, we put our heart and souls into every note and frame.
Okay, now that you've been introduced, watch this video of their cover of Bruno Mars' Just the Way You Are.

I love a good piano piece. *sigh* But that isn't even the best part. Did you see those centerpieces!?!

As evidenced by this post, I have a thing for those bare branches with crystals and candles.

One of these days I am probably going to break down and make one for myself. I'm thinking it will go on top of my dresser or bookcase. We'll see. I'd actually have to make it first! In the mean time, feel free to check out more of The Piano Guys videos and music on their YouTube channel. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bud Vases, Anyone?

I've been wanting some bud vases for a while now, but they seem so expensive! Okay, so they aren't actually expensive, but they are more than I am willing to pay. The style I am looking for is something streamlined with a narrow neck, like these vases from Z Gallerie, Crate&Barrel and Ikea, respectively, only smaller.

Lithe Aubergine Vase | Z Gallerie
Cooper Tall Vase | Crate&Barrel
SALONG Vase | Ikea
This leaves me with two options: wait for a killer sale (not likely), or DIY a substitute. Guess which one is more likely to happen? Yeah, that's what I thought.

There is a DIY solution (there always is) to my problem that is apparently a common problem for many a thrifty DIY home decorator. The most popular fix is to collect some glass bottles, dress them up with a little puffy paint, and spray paint them in the color of your choice. The first time I saw this done, it was in white and reminded me of a Johnathan Adler piece.

Jessy of Fairytale Frosting put together a tutorial of how she upcycled some used bottles into chic vases on her blog here. Check it out!

Fairytale Frosting
Since no one around here is likely to have a drinking party anytime soon ever, and I don't want my vases branded with 'IBC' (although it would make a good conversation piece), I think I'm going to start scouring thrift stores and clearance aisles for good bottles with nice silhouettes. Or I may just break down and buy the cute little white ones at Michaels with 40% off coupons. Not likely, but stranger things have happened!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Decorating 2011

There is only one room that I really decorate for Christmas. That is the parlor. And why is this? Because it has a door so that I can keep eager little fingers from breaking touching anything. Mwahahaha!

Let's start with the piano. I flanked either side with a pair of candlesticks I got on clearance at Sears. They are destined for a coat of silver or black paint. I'll get to it after deciding. Next is a polyresin horse head that I think is awesome and Darin thinks is weird. I laid a pair of big polyresin vintage keys  next to the horse head just because. Continuing right is the centerpiece. I bought a trio of snowflake votives at Bath & Body Works years ago. These are placed on a large, antique, glass platter that I inherited from Darin's grandmother. Then I filled in the empty spaces with cheap mini silver ornaments from Walmart. Next to that is a white statuette of the Holy Family I picked up at Walmart also years ago. I love this piece because it is very intimate and the detailing is exquisite. (I just spelled exquisite correctly on my first try!)

This is the tablescape on top of the short bookcase. I left the swirly candlesticks with the glitter white pillar candles. The wedding pictures are replaced with my glass block nativity (three glass blocks, stuffed with white Christmas lights, topped with ribbon bows, and decaled with black vinyl silhouettes of a nativity scene). On the right is an ornament stand I picked up at Goodwill last year. It displays the custom ornaments I have gotten through (love them!) over the years. The one of top is a heart etched with "Our First Christmas," our names and wedding year. The other two are ovals etched with "Baby's First Christmas" and the boys' names and birth years, respectively. I'll have to find a second stand or something if we have anymore kids.

As you may have noticed, the top of my bookcases has pretty much become storage space. But I decided to change that for Christmas, at least. I took down all of the things I'm worried about the boys breaking and put up the following (from left to right) intermingled with a faux pine garland: 3 apothecary jars (each filled with a layer of Epsom salts for faux snow and a pine cone), three small pillar candles stamped with little snowflakes, my 'Be' blocks, a recently acquired crystal candlestick, a little wooden block votive holder decoupaged with scrapbook paper and the word 'believe' complete with glass votive and candle, our glass Bountiful temple wedding cake topper (I wasn't going to put that in reach of little fingers no matter what), a polyresin nativity, a set of 'JOY' blocks that my super crafty sister-in-law made for me, a bouquet of cranberry red flowers in a clear glass vase from the dollar store (I should really etch that vase, huh?), a sepia toned photo from our first family Christmas photo shoot when our first-born was a baby (there's a tree and fireplace in the background and everything), and finally, a plain white pillar candle.

And what would Christmas be without a tree? Our tree sits in front of a window, so it's impossible to get a good picture of it from the front during the day with our little camera. But here is a side view. It is dressed in silver ball and acrylic icicle ornaments serving as a backdrop to the family ornaments. Growing up, Darin's mom had a tradition of buying each child a new Hallmark ornament each year. We have chosen to continue the tradition. There are also some ornaments that belonged to me as a child (like that European painted egg), as well as a few of the snowflakes that my mother crocheted when I was a baby. Those adorned my family's Christmas tree every year for as long as I can remember.

The tree itself isn't much to look at, but considering that we got it for $7.50 in an after-Christmas sale, I really can't complain. It looks better from this angle. ;)

So there you have it--the bulk of my Christmas decorating. Anyone else calling their decorating good enough and bundling up with a cup of hot coco? Have you surprised yourself lately with being able to put together a half-decent display on a table or bookcase? Are you loving the snow (if there is any in your area) but kind of wishing it would go away, or at least melt off the roads?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quick and Pretty Dollar Store Project

I've been preoccupied lately with making file folder games for my toddler, but I did squeeze in this little project.

I bought a little vase and candlestick on my last trip to Dollar Tree. I had already purchased the Glass Bond for another project (I looked for E6000, which seems to be the most popular adhesive for projects like this, but I think my Hobby Lobby was sold out), so I would say that the grand total for this project was $2.

I simply adhered the vase to the candlestick, following the directions on the Glass Bond. It was so simple, but I think the finished product is quite pretty. Of course I'm a sucker for clear glass.

I'm excited by how versatile this little piece is. It's not very large, but I can use it as a vase for a small bunch of flowers, a votive candle holder, a candy dish, or serve plastic silverware or condiments out of it at a party.

Have any quick and inexpensive projects you've been working on? Any guesses for what I'm going to fill it with for the holidays? (I don't know the answer myself, but I'm looking forward to discovering it!)

Monday, October 31, 2011

What's in a Name?

We've all seen those wonderfully artistic photo letter collages for spelling out your family name or any other word or phrase with special meaning. I've wanted one for a while now, but wasn't sold on any way to do it.

I could purchase this from,

which would be awesome, but I wasn't willing to pay the $160 for the whole piece, or even $108 for just the pictures. (Seriously?!?)

I considered printing letters in different fonts on patterned paper, using chipboard letters, and trying to find photos online to use for the letters. None of these options was particularly appealing. 

Then I stumbled on this post at Little Mac Shack (seen on Pintrest here). Miss Mac inspired me to summon my courage and try taking my own pictures of objects around my home. It was an amazing experience to go from feeling completely lost and confounded to seeing letters pop up everywhere around my house.

I started snapping away; then pulled the photos into Picasa for some photo editing, uploaded them to Costco Photo, and had them printed by 5:00 PM.

A quick trip to Michaels later (with my additional 25% off any 40% off sale-price frame coupon in hand), I came home with my spoils and got to work.

A little glass cleaning and photo framing later, and I was done! I couldn't believe it! I had wanted a piece like this for so long, and all it took was half a day and $20. 

It also makes it more meaningful that the photos are of objects around my own home. Completely unique and personal. I can't wait to get it up on the wall! Here's another look without the camera flash.

I commented to Darin how grateful I am that it wasn't difficult to find a six opening frame. His reply was, "So that's why you married me--to change your last name to one with six letters instead of seven." Sure, Dear. That's why I married you. *rolls eyes*

PS. I submitted this post to the Fall Pintrest Challenge on Young House Love as mentioned here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn Wreath

I would like to introduce you to my friend Autumn Wreath. Say 'hello,' Autumn Wreath. (Okay, so I'm really glad that my wreath didn't start speaking. That would be super creepy.)

I have a goal to create four wreaths for my front door, one for each season. Obviously, with the rain and cooler temperatures and changing leaves, this wreath is currently hanging on my door. It may not be much to look at, but it was super simple to make.

I bought one of those faux leaf garlands, a grapevine wreath, and some ribbon. I attached the garland to the wreath at regular intervals (every other plastic chain link) with floral wire, made a big bow and attached it using floral wire. And voilà! An autumn wreath that only took about twenty minutes to throw together.

Do you change your look with the seasons? Do you embrace the natural door look? Are you curious how I hang my wreath without a wreath hook or pounding a nail into my door? Leave a comment and share!