Nursery Furniture

So, have I mentioned I’m having a girl? Whoa baby. So y’all – I definitely thought, ever since I met my husband and saw that his lineage more or less spurted off boys, I was like – ok – I choose you as mate, I get boys. And girls just never really came into my brain cells as something that like might even happen. And here I am well into the process of baking a girl. Dang.

I mean, there are silver linings. Girl clothes are *really* cute. Evidence of acquisition … I know … right? We’ve had so many people generously give us stuff and I’ve scoured the racks at a few consignment sales as well. (If you can’t tell…)

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I’m on board y’all, I’m just not like one of those ladies that was like, my life won’t be complete until I have a girl 😉 So another fun thing, in addition to buying clothes, is giving her a space that feels 100% hers and not like our old office.

My first score (and this is a small room, so perhaps the only furniture buy I’ll make) is this dresser!

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It’s cute, right! I love the top of it  – it’s super unique and almost looks like a wood floor to me with the different pieces of wood sewn in on the top.


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So calling out to the internet world, but this thing definitely needs some type of finish on it, and at this point just seems like open/unfinished/not sealed wood. I was thinking about waxing it (vs poly) to avoid it being super shiny, but if others have ideas or suggestions, holla.

It’s got lots of imperfections which is one of my favorite parts about it since I feel like it gives some character to the room right off the bat.

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With H, we were in and out of our last house when he was a tiny human, and then moved into a 1-bedroom apartment where there was not room for cute things like glass pumps to hold hand sanitizer on the changing dresser, so I’m pretty excited about being able to pop in little details like this to the space. (This is as far as we got with nursery #1 and H’s room currently, now transitioning to big boy room…)

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Next stop, clearing out the closet. 🙂

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For now though, I’m just enjoying our new find and working hard to get the rest of the room up and ready, as I’m hitting my 3rd tri right now.

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We’re up to lots of work on this space – I’ll have an update next week with our paint selections and some other adventures in designing the space.

Here is my design board, so you can see the full vision!

Botanical Nursery Design


Guest Post | Haggling 101

I’m so excited to introduce you guys to Sarah, over at 702 Park Project. This girl has got some mad taste, and is currently in the process of fixing up a gorgeous old home here in NC! I fell in love with her home renovation virtually, and I’ve asked her to swing by the blog to bestow some of her tips and tricks to all of you! Enjoy!

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Hi there, I’m Sarah from 702 Park Project! My husband and I have been restoring our 1902 house in NC for the past 18 months and I’m so happy to have a fellow renovation-lover like Mary so close now! What she has done with more than just a single home is nothing short of incredible!

I love to shop second hand at thrift stores, antique shops, auction houses, yard sales, and estate sales for our home as well as my online shops. So today I’d like to share with you some tips on one of my favorite parts of the shopping experience: haggling! I feel like sometimes haggling gets a bad rap, but in many cases it is actually expected, and it can be lots of fun.

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1. Room for negotiating is almost always factored into the price. Unless the price says “Firm” there is a little wiggle room. Most of the antique shops that I visit automatically give you a 10% discount, sometimes without you even having to ask.

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2. Group things together. Sellers are more likely to give you a better deal if you are buying more from them.

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3. Bring cash. Sellers would always rather deal in cash than credit cards and checks, and will often give a discount for paying with cash.

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4. Revisit. If you see something you love but just aren’t willing to pay the high price, test your luck and wait it out. If you go back later, say in a few weeks or even months, and the piece is still there, bring it up to the seller. Mention that you’ve seen it there for a while and offer a lower price. Sellers are usually motivated to sell older items to make room for new finds.

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5. Ask this question: “Is that your best price?” I’ve gotten a great deal on many pieces just by asking this question. Sometimes it leads to an awkward silence, but just be patient and wait for the answer. You might be surprised!

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6. Be willing to walk away. If the seller can’t get the item into your price range, leave it. I have walked away disappointed plenty of times, but time and time again I quickly learn that there will be others like it.

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7. This one is just a personal belief, but I don’t like to haggle at charitable stores like the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc. To me, it just feels wrong.

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The most important part of vintage shopping? Have fun! If you’re like me, you’ll quickly find that haggling is not only an exciting game, it’s addicting!

You can follow my complete home restoration starting here. Thanks again for having me, Mary! 🙂

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, Overstock.com 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 Overstock.com {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.