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home decor

DIY Projects, Home Decor

Our DIY (Renter-Friendly) Dining Room Chandelier

Hi friends! It’s been a while, I know! I have been busy busy busy, but I missed being here, so I had to hop on! I wanted to share something we did this week to our dining room that was incredibly easy and I am in love with!

As you know, we rent our home, and we recently signed our lease for another year. We’ve been here for almost one full year now and it has been tricky to make this super builder basic home more my style while staying in the confines of our rental agreement. Most of our lighting is the typical low-grade fixtures and haven’t been changed since the house was built fifteen years ago.

Signing that lease for another year made me really think about what I could do to make this house a little bit more me. I came up with this basket chandelier, which is in no way an original idea, but I love it nonetheless.

It was so incredibly easy! We unscrewed the existing hardware which released the old glass dome. Ethan then cut a 2.5in circle in the center of the bottom of the basked using a jigsaw. We then replaced the basket where the glass dome was and re-applied the hardware on the underside of the basket. It took about ten minutes I think!

Seriously, I cannot believe we didn’t do this earlier! It isn’t something I would choose if we owned this home, but it definitely adds a bit of my style within the confines of what we’re allowed to do here. Plus, it was incredibly budget friendly! The only cost was the basket which only cost me a few dollars! It’s a total win-win!

Just because you live in a rental doesn’t mean you can’t make things your own! Sure, there’s a ton you can’t do as a renter, but if you get creative, you can add a bit of your style into your rental home!

So that’s it y’all. I’m in love with this little update and I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys! That’s all for today! Have a fabulous day!

Room Tours

Tips on Loving a Rental Kitchen

Hello all! Today I’m going to bare my soul a little bit. And by bare my soul, I mean my kitchen. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve never shown my kitchen before. But I thought that in the name of being honest and forthcoming with y’all, I might as well share with you. So here we go. No judgement here friends.

So, just to recap, we live in a rental. It’s a super basic builder grade house that was built in 2003. The paint colors aren’t what we would choose and the house has zero character, but it is miles above our first home, and keeps us safe and dry. I’m good with it. I honestly am. The kitchen though… is very 2003. What I mean by that is that it’s just an almost 15 year old kitchen (2003 was almost 15 years ago?! I feel more than ever now that I am getting old!) that hasn’t been updated. It’s functional, albeit tiny, it’s just not pretty. So I thought I’d share some tips on living in a kitchen that’s either small, or in my case, an ugly rental.

Decorate, decorate, decorate!

For me, the kitchen never really seemed like a place to decorate due to its functionality. The kitchen is a very utilitarian room, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get some love! When I added décor into my kitchen, it covered up some of the ugly, and made it a bit more bearable. I decorate above my upper cabinets, on the wall, and even a little on the countertops.

Clear the counters!

This may seem counter intuitive to my last statement, but seriously. Toasters are not decoration. Knife blocks, while perfectly functional, are not pretty. Now, to each his own, I totally understand. But in my experience, putting the daily appliances away makes the counter space more refreshing. I keep my toaster in a lower cabinet, and I use it every day. I honestly don’t mind taking it out every day. It keeps my counter from looking cluttered, and leaves room for pretties.

Add some cute textiles.

So the floors aren’t your top choice. Maybe your years away from a kitchen reno, and maybe you can’t touch anything in your rental. I feel ya. A little rug in front of the sink can go a long way. A cute tea towel on the stove (not a ratty old dishrag) can help. These are inexpensive fixes that can distract the eye from what’s really there. Choose something that fits your style, and the good news is that you can change it out whenever you want!

Create vignettes.

Bring in some fresh flowers, or a bowl of fruit and style around it. Do what you have to do. I’d rather have something pretty on my countertops than a jumble of appliances and cords. It just feels thoughtful, even if the bones of the kitchen aren’t.

My kitchen is dark, and while in a perfect world, I would replace the black appliances, paint the cabinets, and concrete the countertops, that’s just not our reality right now. I have learned to love this little kitchen though. It is small, which means it’s easy to clean. It is open, which means light flows in during the day. It is miles above the kitchen from the 1950s we had in our previous rent house. I’m grateful for this little kitchen, even if it’s not a magazine worthy kitchen by any means.

What about you? Do you have a kitchen like mine? Do you love it or hate it? I’d love to hear about it! Well, that’s all for today, friends! Have a fabulous day!

Personal

Five Things I’ve Learned Running a Vintage Booth

Hey y’all! I am just coming out of a great weekend, and while it’s fresh on my mind, I wanted to share with you everything! This weekend I had a show with Vintage Market Days, which is my favorite event, both as a shopper and as a vendor. This was my second show with VMD, and I have continued to learn so much now that I have two shows under my booth. I still would consider myself a novice by all means, but I’d love to share the top five things I’ve learned, should you ever consider running a booth yourself!

Style the booth like a room. 

The first thing you want to do is think about your booth as a room. You don’t want to just randomly place furniture around a room in your house and call it a day. You think carefully about walkways, flow, and how you decorate. Think carefully about how to piece things together. I added walls to the back of my booth, a portable faux shiplap backdrop that I could hang things on. This created not only the feeling of being in a defined space, but also gave me vertical space to display things on. That is huge! Your house has walls where you hang things, so should your booth! You may be placed up to a wall, but chances are, you’ll be backed up against another booth or an ugly wall. Put something up so you can make your booth look homey! The shiplap walls were a big hit, and I am so impressed with how Ethan made these!

Think big! (But also small.) I would consider myself to run a redesigned furniture booth. However, not everyone who walks into a market is going to be in the market for (or have money for) a large furniture piece. I don’t know how many times people walked by my booth to admire my farmhouse table but walked away saying but I don’t need a table. People won’t usually spontaneously purchase a large furniture piece, but they will buy something small. Have items at all price points! I had pieces ranging from three to five hundred dollars. Make your items mass appeal. This doesn’t mean you have to offer things that aren’t true to your style, but bring things in that can match anyone’s price point. Even though I have furniture in my booth, I made most of my sales on small items.

Constantly rearrange. 

Things will sell. Even if you have your booth perfectly styled before the market starts, things will sell and leave gaping holes in your booth. You have to be quick on your feet and be able to move things around to constantly make the booth presentable. Another vendor gave me some great advice this weekend and told me not to be afraid to rearrange during the show. It will make shoppers less intimidated to come in and check things out, plus it brings different items to the attention of shoppers if they walk by more than once. Someone may think they’ve seen everything, but when you rearrange, they may notice something they haven’t seen the first time around. They’re much more likely to stop and shop!

Make friends with other vendors! 

Other vendors are a wealth of knowledge. Everyone has different experiences and expertise, and they all have something to offer. And the best part is that if you’re warm and friendly, they’ll be warm and friendly in return! As someone just starting out, this is huge! They are so generous with advice and tips, especially those who have been doing things for a while. You never know who you’re going to be set up next to, so make sure you learn everything you can from those around you!

Be mindful of logistics. 

Lastly, don’t forget about the logistics. Bring canvas dropcloths if you’re on a dirt floor. Bring change for cash buyers. Be prepared for shoppers to pay with card. Bring tools, because something will invariably go wrong. Bring chairs for sitting during the show. Have a plan for load in and load out, whether that means a truck, trailer, or strong muscles. Make a list and check it more than once, because you’ll always forget something.

These are just some of the things I’ve learned, but I feel like I’m way more experienced than I was before! Each show is a learning experience, and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to continue to grow this little side business I have. It’s exhausting, exhilarating, and exciting at the same time. Creating the pieces for these shows and seeing my ideas come to life is an indescribable feeling. Have you ever thought about becoming a vendor at a craft fair or antique market? I hope these tips help you out!

Well, that’s all for today friends! Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects

Easy Spring Craft

Hello everyone! It has been a LONG time since I’ve been here, partially due to my own lack of inspiration, but also due to some website hosting transferring issues which prevented me from updating the site at all. I am back and full of inspiration and ready to share with you some fun little things I’ve been working on!

Spring is here, and I am in spring mode! When it comes to most seasonal décor, I tend to shy away from overtly seasonal things. I’m not into bunnies for Easter, or turkeys for Thanksgiving. I prefer a simple and understated look for each season. That being said, I wanted to share a super simple craft for spring time I have! It’s one of those things that makes me feel almost silly for sharing because duh, it’s that easy.

I wanted to make something small enough to be used in a tablescape, but didn’t necessarily have to be used in a place setting. Here’s what I came up with:

Most of the materials can be found at a local craft store. I hot glued the Spanish moss into the bottom of the berry basket, and added a tiny bit of green moss on top. I hot glued that down as well, trying (unsuccessfully) not to burn my fingertips. I then placed the eggs on top of the moss and glued them down. Again, I’m kind of embarrassed to share these because it’s so simple. But this is the only official spring thing I’ve made for the house, so I had to share!

The cool thing about this is that it is totally just a template and you could do whatever you’d like! You could customize this with items you have around the house, or any other small item that suits your fancy. Easy enough, right?

And if you’re not keen on making these yourself, I will have lots of these little cuties available at my booth during Vintage Market Days in Glen Rose, TX. It’s going to be an awesome event that you are not going to want to miss! I have been working really hard to bring some items for this event and I would love to see you there.

Have you gotten your spring craft on yet? I think this season is the perfect one to get crafty! Push away those winter blues with some fun projects! I’d love to see what projects you’re working on! Feel free to tag me on Instagram or Facebook. Happy crafting! That’s all I have for today, have a fabulous day friends!

DIY Projects, Furniture Makeover

DIY Antique Farmhouse Dresser

Hello friends! Happy Monday! Today is good day for a good day, am I right? I’ve been super busy lately with projects and it is a wonderful feeling! Last weekend Ethan and I cleared out our garage, which gave me plenty of room to work. We organized all my materials, and made a place for everything.

It used to be super full and I barely had room to work on anything, but now that it’s all clean, I’ve been super inspired to work on projects in there. It feels like I can finally breathe!

One of the projects that I finished up this week was this little antique dresser. I snagged this dresser up from a friend who was selling it at her garage sale. I saw it and knew I had to have it! And because I am the worst at taking before pictures, you’ll just have to use your imagination. It was just plain brown and missing a few handles.

Well, I painted her up, and here she is in all her antique farmhouse style glory:

Okay, so with this project, I tried something new. I knew I wanted it to be super distressed, and rather than use my sander, I wanted to try the Vaseline trick that furniture painters everywhere have been talking about. So I applied Vaseline all on the edges of the dresser. (Basically where you see distressing is where I applied.) I found that it was easiest just to use my finger rather than messing with a paint brush.

After I applied my Vaseline, it was time for paint. I used Palais White by Behr in a flat finish. I painted everything evenly, including the areas that where I had used Vaseline. Now here’s where it gets tricky. My dresser needed two coats. Being the impatient person that I am, I could not wait to see the effects of the Vaseline after the first coat of paint. So, I began rubbing the areas with a rag. This was a dumb idea because I still had to paint a second coat.

The paint will not adhere to the Vaseline, and it basically makes a crackly looking paste in the areas where the Vaseline was applied. If you have to paint two coats, do not remove the Vaseline until finished with both coats. That was my biggest mistake. The technique worked well enough, but I had to reapply Vaseline so I could do my second coat.

Personally, I think I would rather just take my sander to the project afterward, but it’s good to try new things. Plus that’s mostly because of my own impatience.

After I finished the painting, I topped it with Annie Sloan clear wax to give it a protective finish. The wax is technically used for chalk paint, and I previously had only ever used it on chalk paint, but because flat paint is pretty porous, I figured I’d give it a try, and it worked pretty well!

I just love this cute little dresser, and it matches my light and bright farmhouse style perfectly! But alas, I won’t be keeping this one. She will be heading with me to my spring shows (which I will be keeping you posted about more soon, but the first one will be the Vintage Market Days in Glen Rose Texas in March. So that’s good news for you, because this cutie could be yours!

So, have you ever tried using Vaseline to distress painted furniture? I’d love to hear about your experience! Don’t forget you can find me on Instagram and Facebook for more behind the scenes fun of my day to day life! Well friends, that’s all for today. Have a fabulous day!

Home Decor

Clean and Wintry Tablescape

How is it January already?! This is crazy! I am heading into two years of blogging, and that is crazy to me as well! Every year when Christmas is over, and all my decor comes down, I crave simplicity. And, let’s be honest, I am pretty much ready for spring. I know that we will have winter weather yet, but so far the temperatures have been around sixty each day, which just feels wonderfully spring-like.

Anyway, I took down all my Christmas decor and I made my table simple and clean for the wintry months ahead. I know it might seem silly, but I really do always have my table made up. It brings me joy to have a pretty looking table, and no one should be able to steal your joy, so I say do what you want! I like to use a lot of blues in our house, and so I have one set of blue napkins that are my absolute favorite. I tend to mix these in with each season.

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I’ve been meaning to buy some napkin rings for a while now, but my cheap self never could pull the trigger. I found these the day after Christmas at Hobby Lobby. They were a metallic gold, which was a little too “holiday glitzy” for me, so I painted over them with a quick gray paint. The paint naturally wore off in a few areas (probably because of the slick texture), and it turned out to be perfectly chippy. I love it!

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The white pillar candle was also an after Christmas clearance special (my favorite time to shop). A simple jar with cinnamon and my DIY Boxwood Topiary  make my little cakestand look finished yet clean.

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And can we talk about this afternoon sunlight pouring in? For some reason late afternoon sun perfectly equates to winter for me. I’m not sure why, but this season really can be beautiful (even if it gets dark incredibly early and we don’t even have snow).

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For me, setting the table really can be a theraputic and meaningful time. I love the finished product of course, but the act of designing and putting together a table is incredibly rewarding to me. What about you? Do you have a table that’s typically set, or do you prefer a blank canvas?

A few sources for this design if you’re interested:

Napkins: Tuesday Morning

Napkin Rings: Hobby Lobby

Cake Stand: Magnolia

Plates: Target

Chargers: IKEA

That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Holidays

DIY Christmas Sign

Hello friends! Thanksgiving is over and I’m just here in my stretchy pants trying to recover from the delicious feast fest that was yesterday. Now that Thanksgiving is over though, I am super excited because I can officially without shame decorate for Christmas!

Not like I haven’t had my tree up for weeks. But now I’m going to share my Christmas posts without shame! Anyway, I want to show you guys this super simple sign that I made for outside our entryway. It’s totally something you can do yourself too!

I know this is a super popular look right now, and so I wanted to do my own version with some things I had laying around the house. Here’s what I came up with:

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The board was an old child’s headboard I had in the garage. As soon as I got it, I knew it would be perfect for making a sign with. I used acrylic paint from the craft store, and some stencils I’ve had for a long time. So long, in fact, that I don’t even remember where I got them.

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I used a pencil to free hand the arrow and the trees. It was so easy it’s not even funny.

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This sign along with my mini trees in galvanized buckets are the perfect simple entry way. Now I just have to get Ethan to climb up on the roof to hang the outdoor lights. 😉

It’s super simple and fresh, but I kind of love it. That’s how I like to describe my style, so I think this works perfectly.

If you wanted to recreate this look, you could easily use a canvas or a pre-made wooden sign from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. It’s a perfect weekend for some DIY Christmas crafts, so get out there and make something you love for your home!

I still have more holiday decorating to do, but I’m happily doing it slowly. I’m taking my time and bringing in the season slowly and trying to savor each moment. I’ll be sharing more of my Christmas decor little by little, so make sure you check back for that!

That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

diy-christmas-sign

DIY Projects

DIY Dog Crate

Hello all! Today I am sharing something I have been waiting to share for a while. Like a long while. Let me backtrack. We moved into this house in July, and when we first moved in, the only major issue I had with the house was Atlas’ dog crate. I don’t know how many of you are dog owners, specifically large dog owners. If you are, you know how massive and ugly dog crates are. Well in this new house, we don’t have a designated separate area for a crate.

In our previous rental home, we had an area off the kitchen that was out of the way and perfect to hide a huge gaping hole of ugly crate. In this new house however, we had no such luck. There was no other option for us (without allowing Atlas to have a spare bedroom, and we’re just not really into that) other than to put his crate into the living room. So for the past few months we have had a massive eyesore of a dog crate sitting in the corner of the living room and it’s been totally cramping my style.

I haven’t been able to decorate around it because it’s been driving me crazy. I had an idea for a crate that Ethan could build that might look a little less ugly than the typical black metal that I could decorate around. It took a while for this to actually come into fruition, but this is what we came up with:

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Ethan gets better with every building project he does, and this turned out perfectly! He pieced together the sides each made with chicken wire.

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The top is made from old fence boards, and Ethan sanded them down to make a nice smooth finish.

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The front has a door that swings open with a little hook to keep it locked.

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The best part is that I actually have actually been able to decorate around, without it looking too ugly. The plan is to eventually add curtains that we can close when we have company over, which is why we raised the top a bit off the sides.

It fits into our decor, and Atlas likes it pretty well too! He was even so kind as to pose for the camera while I was taking these photos! (Just kidding. You have no idea how hard it was to catch him not looking stupid.) Seriously though. This project is just what we needed to finish out this side of the living room, and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out.

In case you were curious, this whole project cost about $40. The most expensive part of it was the chicken wire which was about $30. (In order to get the height we wanted, we had to buy at least 50 feet.) The reclaimed wood was donated by a friend who had replaced a portion of their fence. The only thing we bought was the wood and the hardware, and of course the chicken wire.

The chicken wire isn’t super strong, but Atlas is pretty well behaved so we trust him not to try to bust out of his crate. Definitely a pretty and functional piece to add to our decor. Do you have an ugly dog crate at home? Would you ever do something like this instead? I’d love to hear about it!

Well, that’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

diy-dog-crate

DIY Projects, Furniture Makeover

Family Heirloom Dresser Refresh

Hello friends! Thanks for stopping by today! Has the fall weather hit where you are? It finally feels like fall around here, with the leaves finally falling and the hint of cool weather in the breeze. Texas falls are nothing like the falls in New York where I grew up, but I’ll take what I can get.

This season has brought a hint of change in the air, both literally and figuratively. I’ve been super inspired lately to create more, paint more, make more, etc. So what I’m showing you today is something I’m super excited about.

So this is the dresser in our bedroom.

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It has a beautiful shape that I have always loved. It’s a solid wood piece, and it’s something we’ll always have. It was Ethan’s growing up, and before that, was in my mother in law’s family when they moved from the northeast down to Texas. It’s such a gorgeous dresser, but it used to be an orange stained finish with large circular wooden handles. Not to mention the stickers that were put on the side by Ethan as a kid. So needless to say, I’ve wanted to give her a little facelift, but since it was a family piece, it just wasn’t a possibility. Until recently.

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My mother in law finally gave us the okay to paint, and I was super excited. I bought some new drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby, and knew exactly how I wanted to finish it.

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The outer part of the dresser got a coat of my favorite paint, Annie Sloan’s Old White, and the drawer fronts got sanded down and left bare. Guys. I am OBSESSED with this new look. I always knew there was a gorgeous dresser hiding behind that orange finish, but it’s even prettier than I thought.

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I’m so thankful to have gotten the okay to work on this piece. When there’s a family history you have to honor in a piece, it can be a little intimidating. Hopefully this little refresh honors my mother in law and her family. I know that it definitely finishes out our bedroom in a way that makes the dresser fit. This piece will definitely be with us forever.

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Good grief it’s just so pretty. Well y’all, that’s about it for today. Just wanted to pop in and share this fun project. Have you ever painted something that belonged in the family for a long time? How did it go?

That’s all for today friends, have a fabulous day!

Personal

Weekend Recap: Vintage Market Days

This weekend was nothing short of awesome. I could leave it at that and it would be enough. Seriously. This weekend I had a booth at Vintage Market Days in Waxahachie, TX. This was my first time with a booth at a reputable event. I did a local show once last year, but it was really not something that I wanted to pursue due to a few different factors. This weekend however, was different. I left this weekend feeling refreshed and inspired and ready to try something new.

So here’s the deal. I’ve known about Vintage Market Days for a long time. I have always kind of wondered if I could do something like that, but for whatever reason, never put myself out there. This summer, I was trying to focus on what I wanted to do with this little hobby I have of decorating/antiquing/painting furniture. I thought about getting a booth at a local store, and for several reasons that too fell through. So over the summer I thought, well, I might as well apply for VMD and just see what happens. The worst that can happen is I don’t get in. And if I do get in, it’s only a three day commitment. I can do this. So I hit this apply button and got on with my day. When I found out that I was accepted into the event, I was surprised more than anything. Me? I just have this little hobby that’s not even a big deal.

As the event got closer, I was busy in my garage painting, sanding, creating. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some videos projects I’ve been working on in my garage. I staged a mock booth setup in my garage by taping a 10×10 square on the floor like I had any idea what the heck I was doing.

I set my booth up the night before the event, and realized I didn’t have enough stuff at all. So after I went home that evening I finished a few things in my garage and brought them to my booth the morning of the show. Now, let me tell you a little about my booth. I was clearly a newbie. The other vendors around me had tents and beautiful backdrops to stage their booths with. These weren’t even things that had been on my radar. I felt super nervous and inexperienced compared to everyone around me.

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But you know what? It didn’t even matter. I had the most amazing weekend. Everyone was so kind and accommodating, I sold some of my pieces, which felt awesome. I received a lot of affirmation from customers and other vendors about what I was doing, despite the fact that I felt totally inexperienced. I got so many complements on my booth, the styling, the furniture pieces. It was exactly what I needed to confirm the possibility of wanting to pursue this more frequently.

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People were constantly asking if I had a storefront, or if I had a card. Both of the answers to those were no. I kept telling people that this was the first thing I had done, and I was just getting started. The fact that people thought that about my few little projects though was incredibly humbling. At some point I realized, wow. I actually can do this.

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I learned so much this weekend. So much. I think the most important thing I realized was that number one, I am actually able to do this,  and number two, this is something I enjoy. As we were leaving after the weekend was over, I kept telling Ethan I just really like this. It feels so good to put yourself out there not knowing what the result is going to be, and then to feel so accomplished and humbled at the same time. Y’all, I have no idea what this weekend means for me. I teach full time, and I have this little hobby of making my house a home. Those are two very distinct parts of me, that I love. I have no idea what I’m going to do next, but I can assure you, I want to pursue whatever this is.

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So guys, I’ll let you know when my next event is. That’s all for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!