Pillows of Perfection

About five or six years ago I bought a new couch for the condo where I used to live and when it arrived I absolutely hated it. I called my mom because I was mortified I’d spent so much on something I couldn’t stand and she gave me one of the best pieces of design advice I’ve ever been given – you can change the entire look and feel of a room with pillows, throws, and accessories alone. Of course, I didn’t believe her at first, but as usual, she was right.

Here’s how the couch turned out with the new trimmings:

If you haven’t noticed already, the couch was leather and some of the pillows were made of cow hide, too.  I’m sad to admit it, but I didn’t used to think about the material choices I made like I do now.

Here’s the way I set it up at Christmas:

Mom’s advice actually turned out to be pretty good and it’s something I keep in mind whenever I buy furniture. The pieces you choose are important, but the accessories and finishing touches are even more important. And they don’t have to be expensive!

For example, I recently found these great pillows at Ross (yep, I once again hit up the Dress for Less store for home furnishings):

I found this grey one for $5.99 and it looks like a $50.00 pillow!

This one was only $9.99 and it's faux fur! I liked it so much I bought another one in brown!

Here’s how they helped define the style of the room:

The key is you can make a huge impact in a room for minimal cost.  I’ve seen toss pillows for $200.00 and beyond and when I think about the great ones I’ve found at places like Ross and Marshall’s for a fraction of the cost, I can’t imagine ever having to spend so much on something so small.  Can you?

Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart

Valentine’s Day is almost here and since this is my first year celebrating the holiday as a married lady, I’m very excited about it!   I saw a really cute Valentine’s Day wreath by Melissa over at 320 Sycamore and it inspired me to do a Valentine’s wreath of my own.

Check out her cute wreath:

Here’s my more rustic version of her really sweet idea.  We need some plants and a new front door, but you get the idea!

I found the great wreath for 50% off at Hobby Lobby yesterday – it was only about $3.00!

This Valentine’s Day mat from the shop Annabelle Hart in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando was so adorable I couldn’t pass it up!

XOXO-Andy

A Country Pantry at Home

One of the areas of our home I get asked about the most is the pantry in the kitchen.  When we bought the house the pantry had very generic white bi-fold doors and my aunt suggested we take the doors off, what a great idea – thanks Auntie Sherry!   Even though I loved the exposed shelves, I was afraid we’d be losing valuable storage space because our house is so small and storage is limited, but then I thought why not take a cue from the way stores display groceries and line them along the shelves just like they do?  And our country kitchen pantry was born.

The table reminds me of an old farmhouse!

These retro Mountain Dew cans are so cute I couldn't pass them up!

Even though I love my pantry, I just have to share this one from House of Smiths with you.  It was featured on Centsational Girl yesterday and it’s absolute perfection!  Isn’t it gorgeous?  I’m green with envy!

Too perfect for words!

1 Table 5 Ways

One of the quickest ways to liven up any table is with flowers or accessories, and that’s is especially true of a coffee table, so I thought it would be fun to show a few ways to dress the same table using things we all have lying around the house.

The table I’m using is actually a factory cart from an old manufacturing facility.  You can find these tables all over now from Restoration Hardware to Ebay, but I found mine at a great little store in the Inman Park neighborhood of Atlanta called Authentique.  If you’re ever in the neighborhood, you have to check them out!  I aspire to open a store one day just like that one!

One of my favorite ways to display flowers is in old soda bottles – It’s perfect for a quick and inexpensive springtime look:

A second option is to go with a couple of coffee table books, a candle, and a decorative bowl for a more traditional coffee table set up:

Another idea is a rustic tray with a few apples for a simple, organic look.  I think this would be especially good if you have kids – nothing is breakable and it’s ok if they try to eat the apples!

If you’re having friends or family over, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of wine, a pair of wine glasses and a few beautiful flowers:

Finally, if like me, your guilty of having dinner in front of the TV more than one night a week, a tray with everything you need from books to a game (Bananagrams is our new fave!) to coasters and a candle is a great solution because the entire tray can easily be moved to accommodate plates or just pushed aside if you want to play a game during dinner.

And there you have it – 1 Table 5 Ways!

Putting the ‘Master’ in Master Bedroom

In the past I would rearrange our furniture so often my husband actually fell down a couple of times over something that “wasn’t there five minutes ago!”  Now that we’re in our new house, I vowed to give up my rearranging addiction, but that doesn’t change the fact that I need constant change in my home or I’ll go crazy with all that ‘sameness’.   It’s a disease I inherited from my Grandma Rose and considering she’s almost 80 and still rotating her furniture at lightning speed, I don’t think I’ll be recovering anytime soon.

For example, in our bedroom instead of moving the bed to the other wall like I had been itching to do, I just added a mirror I found at Ross (yep, the Dress for Less store), plus an already determined as temporary nightstand for Marshall (until we have the budget for a new one), and a striped throw pillow on the bed.  Those changes, coupled with the nightstand I set up last week and the light fixture Marshall installed a few weeks  ago and the room finally feels like it’s coming together.  With a few simple updates I think the room already feels more polished, but I’ll let you be the judge of that!

After

Before

The Art of a Forgotten Window

As promised, I am going to feature one of my finds from Renniger’s last weekend in Mount Dora. When I stumbled upon these old windows I had no idea how I was going to use them, but I decided at $5.00 a piece they couldn’t be passed up.

When I got them home I still had no idea what I was going to do with them, but after thinking about it for awhile I decided to try painting a picture on one of them.  Painting is something I’ve never been particularly skilled at doing, probably because it requires a lot of patience which unfortunately I don’t have much of (I’m working on it though!).  So I took out some old glass paint I bought a few years ago when I tried to paint wine glasses, and let me tell you if painting takes patience, then painting on something as small and irregularly shaped as a wine glass takes a special kind of patience that, I, of course, do not possess.  However, painting on a large glass window is much less tedious and after a few false starts, I came up with this white tree that I think really works with the rustic style of the window.

The only thing I had to do now was figure out where to put it.  Since the window is pretty heavy and still has the original hardware and locks on it, I decided the best place for it was on the mantle of my fireplace where it could lean against the wall.  That, and I pretty much rotate the fireplace mantle accessories on a weekly basis, so I knew it wouldn’t be a permanent fixture unless I really loved it.

Now that it’s been up for a couple of days, I am really starting to like how it fits in with the space.  It’s all very minimalist and monochromatic and although I think a pop of color can really liven up a space, sometimes I just like the quietness of a simple, neutral area like this one.

Breathing New Life into an Old Piece

It seems like every where I turn these days I hear the words eco-friendly, sustainable, recycle, repurpose, and let’s not forget green, which long before it became a buzz word was just another color. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to figure out how to turn these words into realities.

One of the easiest and most fun ways I’ve found to do my part for the environment is to take an outdated piece of furniture and make it new again.  Instead of getting rid of it, why not give it a modern feel?  As soon as I saw this long forgotten dresser in my grandmother’s garage, I knew that with a little TLC it would be perfect for my front entryway, a small space that couldn’t handle a very big piece of furniture.

Here’s what the dresser looked like before:

And here it is after I wiped it down, lightly sanded it, and applied three coats of Benjamin Moore paint in Linen White:

Before my front hall was a little boring and blah:

But after it’s so much more chic and inviting:

All it takes to completely transform an area is a touch of paint, some new hardware and a couple of accessories. With a minimal investment you can completely change the look of the room while giving new life to an old piece.

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