Thrifting, Randoms & Happy Weekend

Last Saturday the husband left early for work while I slept in (bliss!). About 10 seconds later, I received a text message from him that said, "Garage sale on our street. Looks like decent stuff."

I slept in a little bit longer before walking down the street to the garage sale. I got some fun stuff!

1 braided jute rug
2 mongolian lamb pillows
2 silk polka dot pillows
1 Anthropologie polar bear stuffed animal
2 deer antlers
14 dried gourds tied into garland

My friend bought those two pillows on top of the rug, which were also filled with down feathers and very nice! All in all, we spent $50.

Later that day, the same house that was having the garage sale put a bunch of free stuff on the curb, including a busted up bench and matching chair and two wicker reindeer. I can't pass up free!

Last night I took a friend to the thrift store. (Lately all of my out of town friends want me to take them to my thrift store when they visit, which totally cracks me up.) Since I have a brother named Todd who happens to live in Texas, I could resist this 75 cent treasure!

Seems like there are a lot of good Labor Day Sales this weekend!

• Extra 50% off clearance at World Market
• Up to 50% outdoor furniture/decor at Pier 1
• 25% off Anthropologie's home stuff

What do you have planned this weekend? My parents are coming to visit, so I'm planning to put them to work on a home project. I'm thinking we'll revamp the laundry room! I'll be back on Monday to share our progress!

* Have a Great Weekend *

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Dress to Decor: VMAs 2013

Was anyone else extremely excited when 'N Sync took the stage last night at the MTV Video Music Awards?! 'N Sync was my very first concert (Orlando, 6th grade) and I still have SUCH fond memories of dancing to every album at my friends' slumber parties.

In honor of my excitement, I put together a special edition of Dress to Decor with some of the VMA outfits. This was especially fun to do since the outfits are so varied!

Katy Perry
Katy Perry Dress to Decor

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus Dress to Decor

Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez Dress to Decor

Darren Criss
Darren Criss Dress to Decor

Ciara Dress to Decor

Ariana Grande (who?)
Ariana Grande Dress to Decor

Want to see some other Dress to Decor posts?

Oscars 2013
Celebs 2013
Emmys 2012
Golden Globes 2012

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Because I Like to Thrift

Since taking on the RB House project, I've been more motivated than ever to go hunting for treasures at the thrift store. This increase in shopping time also coincides with the start of football season, which in this household means the husband is working long hours and I have a lot of "me time." "Me time" = shopping.

Here are a couple of the little treasures I've snagged for the RB house so far:

$15 Clint Eastwood sketch
Ok, this isn't for the living room. But the next room we're going to tackle at the RB house is what you would call the "man cave," and every man cave needs a Clint Eastwood drawing. Duh!

Gary Something painted this in 1987, according to the signature. Well done, Gary! That is some impressive work right there. 

I showed the husband this drawing, and he was a little jealous that I'm using it for the RB house. Apparently most men still have man crushes on Mr. Eastwood?

$2 wooden cow
I thought she was adorable. How can you go wrong with a $2 wooden cow? Maybe she'll make friends with the giant elk head in the RB house.

$2 woven basket
I was walking around the thrift store with my best friend, lamenting the fact that I've never found any nice woven baskets at the thrift store. Every thrift store has a million Easter baskets and cheap-y fruit basket things, but I can never find a decent basket. Of course, I found this basket 10 seconds later. I'm going to start walking around stores complaining about not finding that perfect thing I want and see if that works again. Couldn't hurt, right?

Meanwhile, I'm picturing some sort of color blocking/dipping on this basket. We'll see...

$40 vintage globe with lucite base
I loved this vintage globe. How cool is it that it has a lucite base? I've never seen one like it before! I figured the RB house owners would love it since she collects globes. However, Mr. RB House HATED it and thought it was really ugly. Not too worry, little globe, I will keep you for myself!

I should mention that the globe is from an antique mall, not a thrift store– thus the $40 price tag. I was willing to pay it because I liked it that much.

We also found the perfect mirror for above the mantel at the RB house at Home Goods! We'd been searching online for an arched windowpane mirror, but they were all above $500. I was hoping to stumble upon one for less at Home Goods, and sure enough I found this one for $130. I'm very excited to see how it looks in the space!

The project is moving right along. It's pretty exciting!


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Makeover: Thrift Store Kitchen Chairs

The husband and I have had our eye on these four chairs at the thrift store for some time now, but we were waiting for them to be on sale. Is it weird that we wait for the clearance price at the thrift store? That's pretty much the ultimate in frugal, I would say! Our thrift store has four different colors of price stickers, and each week a certain color is 50% off. We were waiting for the yellow tags to be on sale so we could snag these nice, solid dining chairs for only $15/each. No wobbly chairs here!

I knew we'd want to paint the chairs, but I wasn't sure what color. And I had planned to paint the entire chair (caned back included) until I saw this image on Pinterest. Suddenly I had my inspiration!

 The only problem with leaving the cane part of the chair in its natural state was that we'd have to do some tedious taping to avoid painting it. Bleh! We figured it would be worth it in the end, so we spent about an hour taping the chairs. The front edge of the caned back was curved, so that presented some challenges. 

We developed our own method for this part, which worked really well. We covered the edges in painters' tape, making sure to press down around the border so the tape was fulled adhered with no air bubbles. Then I used a small razor blade knife to cut around the border of the cane back, slowly peeling back the painters tape to create a clean edge.

For the next step, we busted out our Graco paint sprayer to apply a coat of Kilz primer.

Let's talk about choosing a paint color! Sometimes I know right away what color I want to paint something, but in this case I was open to different options. However, I didn't want to depart from my home's existing color scheme too much because I like each room to flow well into the other. The kitchen is literally the center of the home, so these chairs can be seen from a number of different vantage points. Anything outside of our soft, soothing neutral color scheme would probably stick out like a sore thumb. That being said, I knew I didn't want white or grey because the entire kitchen is white and grey already.

A quick scan of some my favorite textiles reveals sort of a signature color I have used in each room– I call it "dusty blue."

Since "dusty blue" is a consistent element in our house, I knew it was a safe choice and would bring just the right amount of color we needed. I headed to Lowe's to check out my options. In the end, I decided on Aqua Smoke by Olympia.

The Aqua Smoke was loaded into the paint sprayer and the husband went to town on the chairs. We're still in love with our Graco TrueCoat Plus II, by the way. It just makes these projects SO much easier and faster! I highly recommend investing in a paint sprayer if you like to do DIY projects like this. The sprayer saves so much time, and the finish is so much smoother than painting it by hand.

It was so gratifying to pull off the tape and paper to see the paint color mixed with the natural cane back. I loved the finished result so much!

In case you're wondering, I always planned to keep the existing upholstery. It's a nice neutral herringbone with no stains or blemishes, plus I liked the cording around the edge.

I think the cane back coordinates nicely with our flea market table. Between the flea market light and table, and our thrifted chairs, this kitchen nook cost us about $120. If you add about $15 for paint, we're up to $135. Not too shabby for a table, four chairs and a unique pendant light!

The next couple of images help you see how the Aqua Smoke color flows well with the other rooms. 

I was worried I wouldn't like the color, but it came out just as I imagined! Having four chairs around this table makes the kitchen feel much more complete. Every little piece of progress makes our home feel more like "us!"

Just for fun, here's a picture that includes my two furry assistants! Everyone has a lazy coworker– I have one that is always sleeping on the job!

* Dusty Blue Crush *
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RB House: Living Room Plans

On Monday I told about my new project, which I'm going to call the RB House. I met with the homeowners tonight and we've got a vision for the first room on the list, the living room!

RB House: Living Room

OK, let's start with the room as it looks right now, which includes the sofa, rug, recliner, coffee table and giant elk head in the image above.

Isn't it a cool space?! I am in love with the high ceilings and amazing windows on both sides of the room.  The homeowners have already done a lot of work in here. They replaced all the windows, put down new hardwood floors and painted the walls and brick. The also boxed over the planters on either side of the front door so that they can be used as window seats. They even added those awesome barn doors leading into the dining room.

They have a really nice sofa, recliner and rug (all from Pottery Barn) that we're going to keep. They also want to keep the coffee table since it provides good storage and is kid-approved. She has some awesome vintage pieces with an industrial vibe that I'm excited to work with, so I'll be shopping her own house a lot. 

When I went over there yesterday to show her my ideas, I pulled out these sketches. Yes, I'm sure there is a fancy software for this type of thing, but I can draw really fast so it's actually easier and quicker for me to just sketch it out on paper. I drew the basics of the fireplace wall and the front entry area on white paper and made copies so that I could try different options and accessories in each spot. Then I printed out some chairs and other accessories online and placed them on top of the photo, like paper dolls. It was like playing with a two-dimensional doll house!

In the end, we've decided to combine elements from the different options into one ideal scenario for their living room. The first priority is to build a proper mantel, because this brick thingamob isn't cutting it right now:

We're going to talk to their handyman tomorrow about building a chunky, rustic wooden mantel. I think that will make a big difference right away. Here's a list of what we plan to do on this wall:

• Build rustic, chunky mantel to match beam on ceiling and barn doors
• See how the niche above the mantel is blue? We're going to paint that back to grey like the rest of the fireplace.
• Add floor mirror above mantel to reflect dining room chandelier
• Paint chunky stripes in a slightly different tone on the elk head wall. (We talked about this and decided that it was a high reward/low risk idea. It's risky to paint a pattern on brick, but then again, it's just paint. I think it has the potential to be a big wow! I gave her several options but she chose the horizontal wide stripes, which is a classic, preppy touch to the big elk head.)
• I feel like we need to fill the space above the TV, so we're looking into a mason jar light fixture. Whether we do go this route depends on the cost to run electricity right there and our ability to buy/DIY something that is exactly the right size. 

Now, let's check out the entry hall. 

I know it's hard to see, but those window seats on either side of the door are currently made of the same brick on the fireplace. We're going to add wainscotting to bring them back from the 1970s and paint them a fresh white to match the door and trim. 

Other additions?

• Foyer chandelier
• Sconces and art above window seats
• Custom cushions and pillows for window seats
• Fixed (nonfunctional) curtains to frame the windows and soften the hard lines
• New front door (eventually)

So, those are the basic plans for the living room in the RB House! Of course there are a bunch of other small things to hunt down and shop for in terms of accessories and artwork, but you'll get to see that in the big reveal. I'm really looking forward to watching it come together!

* Projecting *

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In the Works

Sorry for the blog silence last week! Work was very busy, the hubs was occupied with football preseason and I had to leave town for a gorgeous wedding (more on that later).

I do have some exciting news, though. Last week a friend reached out to me and asked if I would work as her interior designer as she renovates a fabulous fixer-upper in my dream neighborhood. I thought about it long and hard, contemplating the pros and cons... Just kidding, I immediately said yes and started dreaming up plans for her new living room!

I should be able to share more plans later this week, but here are the basic details. The family is a young couple with two adorable kids who bought a dated fixer-upper in the neighborhood where they'd always wanted to raise their family. When they toured the home, they fell in love with the fantastic lot and huge backyard. They bought the home from the original owners, and nothing had really changed since the house was built in the 1970s. After living in the home for a year, they've made a ton of improvements already (new windows, new electrical, ripping out shag carpeting, etc.) just to make the house livable for their family. Now they're at the point where they can begin focusing on details and fun stuff, like decor!

I can't begin to tell you how honored I was when she asked me if she could hire me to be her designer. Me, a self-taught decorator who likes flea market finds and discount fabric? As I've discovered my love for interior design in my adult years, I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I'd majored in interior design instead of journalism back in college. (I chose my school for athletic purposes and it didn't have an interior design program, so it was never an option.) Working on my own home and having this little blog has afforded me a creative outlet to talk about and celebrate design, but I never thought I'd have the opportunity to design and decorate for other people. I feel so blessed to have this amazing opportunity. God is SO good.

The really exciting part is that this particular friend has a great eye for treasures and already has some amazing furniture and accessories, so we have a great head start on the project already. We have similar styles and decorating taste, so I know we're going to have a lot of fun working on her house.

The first room we're tackling is the living room, a big space with soaring ceilings, tons of natural light and a few 1970s quirks that pose decorating challenges. We're meeting tomorrow to discuss my ideas for the space, so I hope to have more definite plans that I can share with you later this week. Meanwhile, here's an Instagram I posted last night while I was sketching up the room.

Yep, they have a giant elk head that already steals the show. This is Texas, after all!


Now, back to that luxurious wedding I had the honor of attending this past weekend. The decor was stunning, so I had to snap a few pictures on my cell phone to share with you. Obviously I'm not a wedding blogger, but I have to share pretty things when I see them!

As we pulled up to the reception, we were greeted by white umbrellas everywhere. I've never seen the use of white umbrellas as wedding decor, but it was beautiful. They were placed over the lights around the circular driveway in front of the country club, so they glowed beautifully once the sun went down. Umbrellas were hanging upside down in the entry and in the trees to the side.

Once we entered the country club, we were greeted by the ethereal tunnel of gauzy white fabric. I was head over heels for this element– it was such a "wow" for the guests. Stunning!

The tables were decked out in an amazing textured linens covered in small satin rosettes. Everything was white, including the flowers, which produced a really elegant look. Even the band wore white!

It was a beautiful event, and I felt lucky to be there! Now I want to start hanging umbrellas from my trees...

* Happy Monday *

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