Constellation Nursery Art

Well, our little one is mere weeks away, so Jay and I have been trying (trying) to get some things beautified over here. At the top of that list is the little man’s nursery. I keep telling Jay that before I pop this human out, I want the house to (as much as possible) feel done, serene and like a peaceful place to bring baby back to. That’s my goal. Some days I feel closer to it than others – we’re a work in progress over here.

So a few weekends back, Jay and I (and my sister, too) tackled some constellation nursery art arranging in Henry’s room.

Constellation Artwork

For a galaxy inspired nursery, I can’t think of a much nicer addition than some constellation nursery art charts for our little guy.

We hit up IKEA a month or so ago to get the frames and I found some free archived constellation prints online (here) that we just took them to Kinkos and paid $20 to have them cut to size, and printed on nice heavy cardstock. Not too shabby.

Constellation Art

Notice another addition in this shot?

Constellation Nursery Theme

When we were at habitat scoring the $11 sink for our bathroom, I also spotted a nice little chandy sitting in the lighting section. After our steal of a deal on the sink, the $20 I spent on it felt a bit steep, but heck – still not bad!

Wooden Chandelier

I love how the constellation nursery art looks up in the space and I think it adds the perfect focal point for this main (previously empty) wall in the room. A few final details and this space will be ready for baby!

Constellation Artwork

If y’all haven’t noticed – I’ve been recalibrating a bit over here the past month or so. As I look ahead to motherhood, and to raising our family, I really want to be actively present for my kids. I want them to know that mom is always here for them, and that I’m never too busy and can always make time for them. I don’t want to miss the details of my life. I want to see each moment, cherish each second, for the beautiful gift that it is.

I think in our modern day, technology driven world, that it’s very easy to become distracted from truly living and embracing our day to day and I’m feeling the need to put blogging in a space that it belongs for me in my life – and daily logging of our renos and home life just felt like a bit much. I’ll still be here – just a bit less! 🙂

After all, before you know it, April will be here and we’re going to have another human in the house – crazy sauce!

Constellation Nursery

Laboring Away | Blogosphere Roundup

Woot! Happy Labor Day – man it’s nice to have Jay home for a day and to be able to relax and put our feet up. Today’s post is part of a blog hop where y’all can see all sorts of fun Labor Day projects across the blogosphere!

Laboring Away

Added bonus, this little blog hop gave me a chance to take some time this weekend to tweak our side porch so that we actually have a place to sit down and relax. Ahhh, if only margaritas were still a reality for this momma to be, you better bet my behind would be parked out there this afternoon with an ice cold glass in hand. For now, I’ll have to settle for a lemonade, and a much improved view.

See our side porch, has been sorta embarrassing as of late.

Side Porch Before

Lots of junk, lots of boxes, lots of remnants of past weekend projects that never quite made it to the garage (another disaster zone).

Inspired by my little labor day blog hop, I decided that it was high time to spruce up our main house entry and make things look and feel a bit nicer out there, too.

Which is where a $5 craigslist find comes in for the win. See this guy? We scored him, along with (2) other chairs on the list for five bucks. For all 3.

Reupholstering Chair

The bamboo base and the lines of the chairs had me at hello (along with the PRICE, obvi!) 😉 but the seat, that left something to be desired, no? Some fabulous 80’s action there.

Refinishing Chair

So while we were out and about this weekend, we stopped by JoAnn’s for a quick second and we came out with quite the gem from the clearance section.

Here’s a sneaky peak as we popped it on with our staple gun.

Recovering Chair

Nice, right? Ikat is always a good bet and in my mind, it was the perfect little touch to update our porch and make it a bit more summer chic.

And 5 minutes later, here’s a close up shot of how the first chair was looking after we were done!

Ikat Bamboo Chair

And after we added another, we had a nice little seating area nestled off to the side of the porch.

Outdoor Bamboo Chairs

It must be the midwestern girl in me, but as soon as I spotted mums outside Home Depot I had to grab a pair to decorate our porch, too. Kinda worried with how they’ll do with the 90 degree heat we have forecasted for this week here in Bull City, but I just. couldn’t. help. myself. 😀 Mums = fall = happiness. So I went with it. 🙂

Purple Mums On Porch

With the mums, the new fabric and the chairs, our total cost to spruce up this side porch came in just under $20. Can’t beat that, my friends, can’t beat that.

Want some more Labor Day fun? Check out 702 Park Project, Eat Sleep Decorate, and Brittany French to see all the sweet projects on hand!

Cushy Couch Prowl

I have to confess, my friend Jessica has turned me into a craigslist addy. After I spotted an amazing couch at her abode that she got for FREE on the list, I was immediately converted. But here is the thing. Her couch is leather (less potential issues, right?) and the couch we were looking for was, well, not leather. So ya know, buying it used may present some unpleasant realities as far as infestations are concerned.

So I’d browse on craigslist, but I wasn’t really planning on buying anything due to the reasons mentioned above. I wasn’t planning on it, but ya know, sometimes life surprises you 🙂

Not sure if you noticed when I was snapping some beauty shots of the new basement space, but we’ve actually been moving some furniture around in these parts. Remember these chairs?

Tufted Velvet Chairs

Yes. If your memory serves you right they use to be in our Living Room. Now – they chillin’ like villains in the basement. Alas, this left us with some gap action in our main living space. Hence, the great craigslist hunt.

I was pretty open to different options – I didn’t know if I wanted something for the basement (a sectional, maybe?) or to leave our tufted chairs down in the basement area and find something different for the upstairs living space …

And then, I had some light shine down on me from the craigslist God’s in the form of this ad.

Sofa on Craigslist

A few things stuck out at me. $1,800 couch, and $300 asking price. Also being the color phobe I am (I’m a neutrals girl, what can I say…), I also liked the fact that it was GREEN. But not too green, ya know what I’m saying? Olive > Lime in the couch department (IMO). Also, I did a little Google search action and let’s just say this couch was in a purty swankified neighborhood. So my chatter box head was thinking – fancy pants couch, not super expensive, and probably taken care of previously by it’s owners. At this point, it seemed worthwhile to at least drive over and check out the goods.

When I laid my eyes on this baby – it was all systems GO. I even had plans to negotiate down the price, but once I saw this jewel I just handed them the cash while chattering their face off while smiling my face off.

Now this guy was a quality piece of furniture, hence, it was not light, hence no pictures of the loading/unloading/etc. But, feast your eyes on the finished product.

Olive Velvet Sofa

Yummy. I just want to eat it up I love it so much.

Now, when we first popped this bad boy in, we realized something rather quickly. Our old ottoman just wasn’t happening. Too dang tight. You had to do a little side shuffle just to get over to the other side of the room. I like a nice cozy living space and I by chance, also often shuffle as a means of transportation, but it was just feeling a bit too squeezed as you can see in the photo below. Note – the couch does NOT read that limey in real life.

Tufted Ottoman for Coffee Table

So off to the basement another fine piece of furniture went.

Tufted Ottoman Coffee Table

On one hand, it’s really nice to have the basement almost completely done now (more on that here and here) and I think the ottoman looks totally awesome down there. On the other, we are sans coffee table in the Living Room, which really just means I continue my craigslist addiction into another day (via coffee table hunt). 😀

One of the first things that sold me on this little beauty from afar was the gorgeous lines it had from the side. Like these nice, tall arms.

Crushed Velvet Green Sofa

Jay loves the couch since he actually fits on it, unlike many of our other pieces of furniture. It’s like the primo napping couch. Super deep, super soft and super squishy sinky loveliness. As Jay puts it, this couch passes the comfort test.

Deep Velvet Sofa

It’s only taken us a year, but it looks like the house is now officially furnished! 🙂

Two Couches in Living Room

Anyone else out there score some solid craigslist finds lately?


Dining Room Double Take

Designing just the right space, it’s an iterative process, ya know. Although I lovey dove our dining room table (that we refinished after snagging this beaut on the (craig)list) the more I thought about it, the more the circular dining table made the space feel a little less formal and a little more breakfast nookie to me. Now I’m as big of a fan of a breakfast nook as the next guy, but since we don’t have any other dining space in the house, I kind of wanted our dining room to feel a bit more formal than the look we had going on.

Since we really like our dining chairs, and they were a steal of a deal at $139 for 2, we decided to get two more so we’d be set when and if we decided to expand our dining space to accommodate more people. So, being the little problem solver (maker) that I am, I schleped those babies right on up into the dining room, just to see how it would look with two more chairs capping off the end. And by George, I liked it. It looked official. Like a legit dining room.

Dining Room Set for Two

Only trouble was that with the current table, people’d be losing their meatloaf off the side, cause there just wasn’t any table to put their plate on. Not good.

Current round table wouldn’t work – so I moved on to plan two. First, I did a quick scan of the internet and found a few contenders. But our space is small, and most American spaces are BIG, so most America furniture is BIG, too. Take this table, for instance that I found at Art Van. It was sleek, it looked small, but it was 60″ wide. When your entire dining space is 96″ wide, that is taking up a solid chunk of the real estate. When you’ve got chairs that bump out for people to get in and out of them, that makes things even tighter. Oye.

Art Van Woodmont Table

So then I started thinking we could make a table. Perhaps something that more or less met our current dimensions, but had a different shape to it where I might be able to fit all (6) chairs. I mean, 4 legs and a chunk of wood on top. Easy enough, right? I got even more hopeful when I started looking at Home Depot to get some prelim pricing info. Legs were like ten bucks, and the top was around $40. Building a custom table seemed more and more like a winning idea. Although I liked the table legs at the box stores, they weren’t calling me name. They were kind of skinny, and I was looking for some hunka hunka burning legs. So I went back to my little chrome book and started searching. And found the perfect furniture table legs. But they were $100 each. Wha wha whaat? That ain’t happening.

Being the craigslist addict I am, I started to look around for table that would catch my heart. Now it’s a rare day when you go onto craigslist and actually find the exact item you’re looking for. I mean, the exact, item you are looking for. Can I get an amen fellow craigslist addicts? Well this day, I’m pretty sure that Craig himself pulled out the stops for me. Here I was, browsing the ads on a Sunday Night when I came across this guy. 45″ square. Why yes, I think I can work with that. Same dimensions as our current guy, but with a bit more room for the guests to spread out. So I promptly bought it for $125. Bam!!

Antique Dining Room Table

See those beautiful legs. Man, they just don’t make them like that anymore. Seriously – not for $125, that is fo shizzle. The legs I wanted that were half as chunkalicious were going to set me back $125 – a piece – on the online furniture store. Alright – anyone want to call me out – go ahead and count the chairs… Yes, there are still only four. After bringing the beast (it was seriously, the heaviest piece of furniture I’ve ever lifted) home, we figured out it would only fit four chairs, just like the last one. Jiminy cricket. But I digging this new dude of a table, so we’re keeping it.

Notice anything else different? Since we had to cart ourselves out to Canton to get the table, we decided to swing by our local IKEA to pick up the Egeby Rug. Love. It.

Sisal Egeby Rug

Tricky thing about our space (we quickly learned), was that an 5′ x 8′ was actually going to be too large for our space. You heard me right, an 8 foot rug would have practically have been hitting the side of the cabinet face. I wanted a rug that pretty much covered the entire dining room space, since I wanted to distinguish the space as it’s own little area but hitting the cabinets was a wee bit too large. Since the rooms are open and joined to each other, I felt like a rug was a good solution to kind of give the dining space it’s own identity. The IKEA rug was 7’7″ x 5’5″ , so it was literally perfect for the space. A bit wider to accommodate chairs pulling out, but less length to keep it from hitting right up against the kitchen cabinets. Plus, it was only $99 (!) Yippie skippie.

Sisal Rug in Dining Room

Here is a shot of the new space from the Living Room, onto the screened in porch. Lots of natural light that pours in each morning.

Brookline Tufted Chair

The game plan is to pop the old table on craigslist and see if we get any takers. Giving that we paid $90 for it, and refinished it into some prime time glory, I’m pretty sure well be able to come out ahead on this whole table switcharoo. Sa-weet.

For reference, here are some before shots (a la, when we moved in) to help you track the progress in this space.

Dining Room Before and After

And here is a shot of how the room looked before the rug, and the new, square table.

Refinished Antique Table

Snagged Me a Winner!

Every once and a while, the craigslist God’s smile down upon you and bring a lovely little addition. And this little vintage table, wait – for  – it – only $30 beans! Considering the MDF ones at Target are like $100 buckos, I’ll take used and solid wood, any day. Here is my latest find. Did I mention I only paid thirty bucks 🙂 Not my BEST craigslist find, but I’ll put this one in the solid category for price, and beauty. It scores quite high on beauty, no?

Vintage Brass Hardware Table
Vintage Brass Hardware End Table

Here is a close up of the lovely brass vintage hardware. I’ve had hardware nearly identical to this pinned on pinterest for quite some time, so it’s super exciting to actually have a piece of furniture with these lovely details now! Plus, I’m pretty sure it would have set me back close to $30 bucks just for the hardware, if I decided to DIY a piece similar, so I’m pretty pumped about the price.

Vintage Brass Hardware Furniture
Vintage Brass Hardware

It’s a vintage Thomsasville side table. I wasn’t super familiar with the brand, but when I did a wee bit of research, I found that their current stock of tables go for $400+. Huzza!! I can definitely tell that this side table is made really, really well. Of all the craigslist finds, I’ve gotta give this one the best marks for drawer quality. These things slide like butta. The construction is really high quality, and I’m so glad I scored this one!

Vintage Thomasville Side Table
Thomasville Side Table

For now, it’s nestled between the couch and the side chairs, so it’s kind of hidden a bit, which is sad. Moved some stuff around the house to style it a bit, and I’m loving this as a new addition to the basement.

Antique Brass Table
Antique Brass Side Table

Mad props to the hubby for schlepping his bum down the street to snag this beaut. He even picked up the groceries while he was out. Virtual high five, Jay. You ROCK!

Design on a Dime

I love having a designed and beautiful home, but equally important to me is living a frugal and financially sustainable lifestyle. Yes – sometimes I feel the pinch when I splurge on an item for a room – but overall, I’ve found some great resources for getting the look you love, for a little bit less.

Craigslist: If you have not met yet, let me introduce you to your new best friend, craigslist. Not only do I find lots of great pieces of furniture and other home items on craigslist – I’m also able to sell lots of stuff that no longer fits the bill here as well to help fund future home design projects. Man – it’s crazy the staff people will buy on craigslist. Case A: We had a bunch of ferns that kept popping up at our old place – I didn’t like the look or the location – sold em’ on craigslist. Old doors, sold on craigslist. Bushes out front. Old furniture – list goes on.

Yeah – you have to be willing to dedicate the time to people coming by your abode, but overall, I like the thought of a few extra dollars in my pocket. Often when I am saving up for something for a room, or a project in the house, I’ll hold off on buying the item until I have a stockpile of cash to pay for it from our craigslist sales, which helps me feel better about spending the cash.

Here is a table that I purchased off of craigslist. I got a set that now flanks the couch in the living room for $15 each. Solid wood – so not too bad!

Craigslist Table

Resale shops: For my price point, I typically find much higher quality items at resale locations than I do if I’m buying them new. Sure, IKEA and Target have their place, but sometimes you are looking for an item to stand the test of time. For instance I scored the dresser in the picture below for $20 from our local salvation army. Sure it’s got a few {small} scratches on top – but for the workmanship and quality you simply cannot beat the price, right?! The mirror was also a resale find, a local favorite {Treasure Mart}, and I was able to snag that baby for $40. A wee bit higher – but still much better than what you would pay at a full-price retail location.

Living Room: Progress

Look for discounts, shop sales: As hard as it can be to resist an item you have your eye on, I make sure to train myself to hold out and wait for a sale or coupon {ideally, both!}. For instance, is always sending out coupons, so I waited to get an extra 10% off on the living room rug. I’ve got my eye on another rug from World Market, but I know that they often discount their rugs up to 50%, so I am waiting {on baited breath} to pick this rug up.

If you don’t mind getting the extra emails – sign up for email notifications from your favorite stores. Overstock, Macy’s and World Market {to name a few} are constantly sending me coupons that I keep on hand for big, and small, purchases I intend to make.

Here is the rug I want from World Market. I’ll be the first in line to buy in when it goes on sale. So. hard. to. wait!

World Market Rug

Estate Sales: This is a new one for me, Jay and I recently stumbled across this – and I got to tell ya, it’s fun! It’s like the perfect trifecta for me – touring people’s homes, snagging great bargains and hunting for the perfect item to help complete our space – I really love estate sales. Sure it’s sorta creepy to be buying some dead dudes stuff … but ya, know, can’t win em’ all, right? Sometimes estate sales are total duds, but usually we find a few winners in the mix.

Recently snagged these paintings for 50 cents at a recent estate sale. Score!

Estate Sale Paintings

Search for the look for less – or – DIY: As mentioned in our bedroom renovation post, we found the look of something we loved, and decided to try our hand at making it. Sure, the $2,000 version may look a bit more polished BUT I prefer the extra $1,800 in my pocket, and a bed that looks pretty darn close to the real McCoy. If your willing to put a bit of extra work in on your end – you can save mucho dinero.

Bedroom: Progress

Do key word searches to try and find similar items to one’s you have your heart set on, but are out of reach for your current budget. These chairs for instance really fit the look I wanted for the room, and at $199 each {on sale}, I couldn’t resist em’! I had my eye initially on one’s from Pottery Barn that were over $1,000 each – so I was pretty happy to pocket that extra cash and still have some great chairs for our living space.

Upholstered Arm Chair

Homegoods! Seriously, pretty sure this one needs it’s own category! 🙂 I think half of our house is from Homegoods 🙂 First thing I do when I hop in is take a quick scan of the clearance section – which usually has a few winners right off the bat.

Splurge! Sometimes it’s alright to splurge 🙂 If you find an item that you love, and you know it’s going to last for the long haul, it can make sense to just fork over that extra cash and suck it up. Yes, it pains me to spend top dollar on something, but if I know it’ll be with me till my final hour {or a solid chunk of time} than I bite the bullet and just commit already.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention online locations like {great for rugs} and Wayfair {great for lighting}. If you are looking for a specific item, it always pays to do a thorough search online to see the locations that have the best deal for you.

All things considered – I really like the hunt of looking for bargain’s on beautiful pieces for our home. One of our favorite weekend routines is to hit up our favorite locals for deals. I find it pretty satisfying to snag a deal on something you know will look lovely in your space.

This Little Light of Mine

Chandeliers. They can be lovely things – classy little details to brighten up the space. Or – they can be brassy 80’s relics that take the wind right out of your sails. Our home had the latter when we moved in. I think by the second day Jay was climbing up on the table to remove it per my insistent requests. Actually for a few days there – things were looking pretty dark around here as the hurry up and get r’ done side of me wanted to post all of our OLD lights on craigslist, so that we could buy new ones. Alas the old ones must have been priced to sell because those babies flew off the shelf before I could restock the abode. Flashlights were our trusted friend for a wee bit there 🙂 Sometimes I get ahead of myself.

We started with this guy, in all his golden glory. I considered spray painting it and looking for a drum shade to go over it, but after doing some research, I found that option almost as pricey as a new one, and a bit more risky if I didn’t like it and was stuck with a lamp shade that wouldn’t work for anything else – given the size.

Dining Room Light – Before

If I had NO budget –  I totally luurve this light (or this one). But alas, $100 is more my style for a light vs. ya know, like a grand. A girl can dream, right?

Arteriors Rittenhouse Bronze Chandelier

This was a bit of a trial and error experience. At first, not wanting to gamble with purchasing a light online and then not liking it, I opted to take the conservative route and buy one off the shelf from Home Depot. I really liked this light in person, with one, notable, exception. The bottom portion of the light reflected down – hardcore – into your face. The first night, Jay and I tried to eat dinner under the light and I swear I could see spots from the light when I woke up the next morning. The jarring lights-in-our-eyes was not the peaceful ambiance I was going for over our romantic spaghetti dinners. Or our left overs nuked in the microwave dinners for that matter.

Back to Home Depot it went. And then – I found the WINNA! Totally affordable – check! Super classy – check! to the rescue with this beaut!  When we got it and installed the light, it was love at first sight. I feel like I should break out into that song on the commercial now – but I won’t – just to spare y’all 🙂

Online – the photo looks much more coppery than I wanted, but once installed – it looks much darker, more of an Oil Rubbed Bronze, which was the look I was going for. Huzza! Here it is in the Dining Room:

So overall – I highly recommend the light and think it adds tons of class to our dining room. I feel like I have to host a dinner party now! 😉

Going on a Rug Hunt

Designing a room that I love is an iterative process for me. Jay would say a wee bit too iterative, but ya know, you win some you lose some. If something doesn’t feel right to me in a room – it usually gets the boot pretty quickly. Insert our living room rug. After re-purposing the initial rug to the Master Bedroom, I found a steal on one online. Although I loved the way it looked virtually – I knew the second I laid it down – no go. It actually photographs nicely – but in person – the wool is too pixalated, if you will. {Photo below}

Living Room: Progress

One quasi dangerous thing I have found about decorating a home is that I have always been able to sell items that don’t fit the bill on craigslist and since I usually have a coupon in hand for my initial purchase, I tend to be able at least walk away even, if not make a few bucks. Craigslist, it’s da bomb, what can I say. My best craigslist win was finding a pair of antique lane coffee tables for $5 – that I was able to sell for $200 George Washington’s. Yep – that was pretty sweet. I was lucky enough to unload this rug at no loss – so the next rug is more of a swap. At least that is how I explain my madness to the hubby 🙂 So here I am, on the hunt for a new rug. I’ve always loved the look of a natural fiber rug, a la the photo below. Nice neutral space where I can add some pops of color with accessories, tres chic.

Living Room Inspiration Living Room Inspiration

I finally settled on this one from Overstock. Added bonus – it’s $75 less than the previous rug, so now I have some cash-o-rama to dedicate to the next project around the place. Arrri-bbaa!!

Jute Rug for Living Room

Craigslist Score!

Craiglist for the win! I’ve been totally on the hunt for a stellar pair of cane back chairs to start making the basement sitting area look a bit more put together. We had one lonesome cane chair sitting there for a while, but the details were a bit too ornate on the legs for my style. So I was perusing craigslist and found these winners – a SET! Eeee! I’ve had my eye on a pair like this ever since spotting them on the Little House Blog a few months back.

Set of (2) Matching Cane Chairs Cane Chair with Tufted Backing

The ones I found are almost identical to the one’s on the blog I spotted, with one major bummer. The cane does not wrap around the back, bummer dude! Some genius in the 50’s or something decided to remove the cane on the back and upholster it. In ugly, brown, fabric. Can a cue a whomp, whomp? Alas – I have plans to reupholster them and add some snazzy throw pillows, perhaps some like these? (Via Etsy)

Pretty Pillows A’la Etsy

This area of the basement will be getting some built-ins in the next few month and a nice natural fiber area rug to start bringing things together. The chairs = a step in the right direction! Consider me pumped.