3/23/14

DIY Kate Spade-Inspired Nesting Boxes

While browsing 'cute office accessories' online, I came across these Kate Spade Nesting Boxes in Neon.
 
I adored the bright colors and could certainly use some extra storage in my home office/craft room. However, it was hard for me to justify the $65 plus shipping on 3 boxes, when I knew I could make my own for far less.
 
I stored away this inspiration pic for a couple of weeks, until I saw that Michaels was offering all of their photo/memory boxes 40% off. I picked up 3 boxes, some craft paint and a gold leaf pen. My grand total was $17 for everything.
 
 
I started painting the smallest box first, while watching KU play. Fortunately, these boxes came out much better than the Jayhawks did.
 
After the 3 boxes were painted, I took a butter knife to scrap off the excess paint.


Then, I used the Krylon gold leaf pen and went over the silver brackets:


I also used the gold leaf pen to free hand a border around the lid of each box. It took 2-3 coats of the gold pen to get complete, even coverage.
 
Final Result
 


 
 Our boxes hold cards, photos and our wish tree tags from our wedding.
 
 
Original Kate Spade Nesting Boxes $64
 
VS.
 
DIY Kate Spade-Inspired Nesting Boxes $17

 
 
This was a super easy and quick craft that anyone can do. Plus, the colors looks so bright and cheery!
 
Happy Sunday!
xoxo, S

 

3/3/14

Master Bedroom Makeover Phase 2: Lessons in Furniture Buying


Ever since I visited a grand opening of a local Kirklands last Spring and spotted the Libby Chest, I knew I wanted it. However, I didn't have a place for it. Plus, it was sold out online for months.

Fast forward to this Fall when we got serious about redoing our master bedroom. One of the items on the top of both of our want lists were new nightstands, preferably with more storage. I then remembered my love for the Libby Chest and found that it was finally back in stock. After triple checking the measurements, I thought it would make a great nightstand and match with the style we are aiming for. The price wasn't so sweet though. At $300 a piece, I wasn't prepared to drop $600+ on nightstands just yet. It's against my religion to pay full price for anything. Although $300 is a great price for this piece, I waited patiently for a sale.


Luckily, Kirklands offered a great Cyber Monday Sale: 30% off your entire purchase. Plus, I had a credit from a returned purchase several months back. This brought the total with tax from the original $645.76 down to a more reasonable $452.04. With my $64 credit, I paid $388 for two chests. Amazing!

Kirklands offers free in-store shipping, so we picked them up from our local store a few weeks later. Although the 2 boxes barely fit in my husband's large SUV, we were both ecstatic that they came already assembled.

Here they are in action-


Although they are significantly larger than our previous nightstands, they actually make our room look larger. Plus, we both love the additional storage! Our house is seriously lacking in closet space, so any additional storage is much appreciated.

We also finally splurged on a new dresser. Our original dresser is what I refer to as a lesson learned the hard way. I decided to purchase an inexpensive dresser with real wood top and sides but cheaper, laminate for the drawers. Big mistake. I spent $300 on a dresser whose drawers quickly fell apart. Plus, there was the great nail polish remover accident of early 2013 that ruined the top of the already bad dresser.

We saved our pennies and purchased this Aspen Home dresser from Nebraska Furniture Mart. I fell in love with the sleek hardware and dark finish. Plus, it was solid wood and a perfect size. The 2 top drawers are felt lined for jewelry and unmentionables. The 2 bottom drawers are cedar, which is very handy.

Although we knew this was a solid piece, we didn't realize just how solid until we got home and tried to unload it. The dresser came fully assembled in a huge box and weighed a staggering 240 pounds! Thankfully, Justin's father came over and helped us move up the stairs. It was quite the workout!

We slid it into place and loved how it looked. Then, we opened the drawers to start placing our things inside. The top 4 drawers slide out nice and easy. The bottom two? Not so much.

Whomp Whomp.

It seems that the bottom left drawer was misaligned. Although the drawer would open, it was extremely hard to shut. We called Nebraska Furniture Mart and were given 2 options. We could either exchange the dresser, which would mean us carrying this 240lb dresser down the stairs, into our car,  and then move the new dresser back up the stairs. Or, we could have one of their furniture repair people come over and try to realign the drawer.

Our appointment with the furniture specialist was set for a few days later. The repairman came and quickly concluded that he was unable to fix said drawer. Nebraska Furniture Mart offered to have a new dresser delivered the following Tuesday, thankfully. Although we were without a dresser for two weeks, it was worth the wait.



Once in place, I politely asked reminded strongly suggested to Justin that we finally mount our TV to the wall. We bought the wall mount over six months ago at a store closing store. It's been sitting on the floor of our bedroom for months. Better late than never, right?

It was actually pretty easy to install. The only scary part is ensuring that all 4 screws are properly anchored in the studs. It is completely secure on the wall now though, and it is amazing what a difference it makes.

We have a difference of opinion regarding managing the cords. I think we should cut a hole in our drywall and feed the cords through. Justin does not like the idea of cutting a hole into our wall and would prefer to get a pain-able, wall-mounted cord collector , like this instead.

We will see where we end up. For now, this little star from Z Gallerie is helping to hide the cords.



Lessons learned so far:
1. Save your pennies for furniture that is built to last.
2. Be patient and wait for a sale.
3. Don't let inexperience stop you from trying to DIY. Justin watched a few YouTube tutorials, read the directions and was able to mount our TV, which he had never attempted before, in less than an hour.


Next up is new art for above the bed, as well as a large DIY project we are planning on tackling.

Have a great week! Stay warm. xoxo-S

Recent Great Room Additions and a Rugs USA Review

Justin and I enjoy hosting in our home. We both much prefer having people over for dinner/drinks/games/BBQs etc than go out. It feels more intimate and relaxed that way. It's also great motivation to get/keep our house in shape.

Case in point- We hosted a Superbowl Party this year. Although we have hosted numerous times before, this was the first time that we hosted something where everyone would be in one room, the entire evening. Typically, we host BBQs in the summer, where our friends mingle inside and out and there's continuous movement. With the Superbowl, everyone (well, at least the men folk) are guaranteed to stay in our great room the whole time. Unfortunately, our great room is lacking seating.

We thought it was a great time to bite the bullet and purchase another chair for this room. If you happen to have a really amazing memory, you would recall that when we purchased our leather recliner for this room, our intent was to buy two. Unfortunately, the second chair was out of stock for months. Life went on, and we survived with one chair.

We toyed around with many different options. We thought about trying to find a similar chair to the leather recliner we already own. We also thought about trying to match the color of our sofa and adding a fun accent pillow. Both options seemed a bit too dull though. So, we kept our options open. I received an email from World Market featuring their furniture sale. World Market is one of those places that I tend to forget about. Mostly because we don't have one that close to us. However, every time I go there I find something I love.

I spotted a black and white floral patterned chair that I thought would work. However, I didn't even point it out to Justin because I never thought he would go for it. Surprisingly, he actually noticed it as well and really liked it. The size was perfect and the price was right.

Originally $300 on sale for $249
*We also had a coupon that gave us $50 off a $200+ purchase. So, our final price was just $200.
I especially love the rolling legs


We were nervous about the color, as well as the pattern. Would it be too busy? Would it clash with our sofa? We went ahead and bit the bullet and figured we could return it, if it didn't work.

Luckily, it fit the space.
We love the mix of the pattern in our great room. With such a neutral palate, it's important that we add a variety of textures and patterns to keep things from looking too beige. I think this chair certainly helps that.

I threw this metallic accent pillow from Home Goods on to break up the pattern:

I am awaiting a tree stump side table, which a good friend is commissioning for me, that I think will be perfect with this. I'm also on the hunt for a vintage, rattan pouf to use as a foot stool, similar to this-
Our great room has been slowly taking shape, thanks in large part to the recent fireplace makeover.
However, it still felt like something was missing. 
On Presidents' Day, I received an email from Rugs USA about their huge sale. I believe it was a one-day only sale and the majority of their rugs were 70% off. 

I studied their website for quite a while, comparing many different options. 

These were my top contenders:

We ruled this one out because the brown color appears to have a red undertone, which we didn't care for. Also, it only came in a 5x8, and we were really hoping for a 6x9.


I love this rug. However, many reviews noted that the color was more green than what appears on the screen, which made us a bit nervous. We also thought this may be too busy with the new patterned chair we bought.



Although I liked this black pattern, I just couldn't pull the trigger for some reason.

This rug seems to be everywhere these days, which I consider a good and a bad thing. We were concerned that the primarily cream color would stain easily and that the color may look to blah under our very neutral sofa.

This was our final choice. We liked that the pattern looked modern but also classic and that it came in a 6'7''x9' size. The color was a great compromise for us. It provides contrast against our light beige carpeting (which I hate) but isn't as stark as a chocolate brown or solid black would be. Plus, the reviews were all excellent.

We ordered it on Tuesday and it arrived the following Thursday. We unrolled it and let it lay flat for a day before moving it into place. We used magazines and books to help the edges from curling up.

The next morning when I was at work, my husband texted me this photo:
Apparently, Charlie is a big fan as well!

This was my first time ordering from Rugs USA, and I was nervous about ordering a rug online. Thanks to the Presidents Day Sale, I couldn't resist the price. The rug retails for $450 but at 70% off, I got it for just $135. I was a bit nervous to see just how 'shaggy' this rug would be. Thankfully, the shag-ness isn't too extensive and our vacuum can handle it. The rug is really great quality, very thick and soft and we have not had any problems with shedding. I have bought 2 Target rugs that shed like crazy, even after a year +. Never again.

This room is starting to shape up, and I am enjoying seeing this space evolve as our tastes mature and budget allows. We are still desperately wanting to add crown molding in this room, which I hope to do in the next few weeks.

I also swapped out the green accessories on our mantel with some fresh, neutral pieces from Z Gallerie and Crate and Barrel:


Have a great week! Stay warm. xoxo-S

*This is my own review of a Rugs USA product.  I bought the rug with our own money and gave my honest feedback. I was not sponsored or perked in any way. Although, I would totally be open to receiving free rugs in the future ;)


2/21/14

Best Buys at Ross Dress for Less

I found myself running some errands over my lunch hour today and ended up heading into Ross Dress for Less. If you aren't familiar with it, picture TJ Maxx or Marshalls with even less frills. I don't mind the 'less-frills' approach, as it means their prices usually can't be beat. It's definitely a place where you have to dig a bit, but I almost always can find a diamond-in-the-rough so to speak.

Here are a few items I spotted today that I thought were outstanding buys and things I look for anytime I visit this store:


1. Blue and White Porcelain
So classic. These pieces will never go out of style. It can be dressed up or down and mixed with new pieces and old.
Although this display doesn't showcase these beauties' full potential, look at these inspiration pictures-
 
Although the Wisteria pieces above retail for $89 each, you can start your collection with pieces from Ross Dress for Less for just $3.99
 

2. Decorative Ginger Jars
 
These pieces came in at just $12.99 and $18.99 each. Compared to Williams Sonoma's version for $249 each!

3.  Accent Throw Pillows

 At $12.99 a pop, these down-filled, linen-like fabric pillows are a steal. These measure 16x16, so they're not skimpy in size either.
Which are similar to these Pottery Barn's pillows retailing for $59.50



4. Large Bins and Baskets

 

This large copper-esque planter is less than $20!

 
Would be perfect to place wood logs in next to a fireplace or to corral extra blankets, similar to what Beau Monde Mama did here-
 
 
5. Metallic Accents
Add some sparkle with these vases, ranging from $11.99 to $22.99

And create a gorgeous display on your mantel, like Revisionary Life did here-
 
 
6. Scented Candles
If you come into our home, there is a good chance that a candle will be burning. Because of this, I refuse to pay more than $20 for a candle. It just seems silly to me to pay more for something that literally goes up in smoke. I stock up on yummy scented candles at discount stores like this and pay a fraction of regular retail.
 
Wouldn't these neon candles look chic on a wood coffee table. A nice burst of color and scent.
 
7. Window Treatments
I am a firm believer that drapery or window treatments in general can make or break a room. These linen-like curtains would be an easy swap to replace heavier fabrics come Spring.
 
At $17.99 for a pair of panels (yes, a pair!), you can outfit rooms that you may have skimped on due to cost of typical linen treatments.
 
Compared to Pottery Barn's Emery Linen Curtains, which start at $95 (on sale!) per panel, you can't resist-
 
There you have it, my favorite finds from my local Ross Dress for Less store.
 
*I am in no way affiliated with Ross Dress for Less. I just love sharing a good bargain!
 
Have a great weekend!
xoxo-S