Friday, November 08, 2013

Upstairs Hallway Makeover: Gallery Wall

So, I actually did this several months ago. . .
and I'm just now getting around to posting about it ;) 
Welcome to my life.

Anywhooo. . .
This is what I did with my upstairs hallway!

Before it was just a blank slate --- and I mean there was nothing there. Which is actually kind of fun, because a blank slate means that you can do anything that you want with it!

My biggest challenge with the space was the budget.  Basically, I wanted to try to do the entire thing
 for under $200.
I know, kind of crazy right?
My starting point was the console table.  I found it at Marshall's and it was an ugly brownish mahogany color, made very cheaply with bad wood.  But I liked the scale and lines of the table, and thought it could work for the hallway.   
It was on clearance for $65, and I saw that there were some damaged areas on it (nicks and scratches) so I decided to see if I could negotiate the price even lower. 
After talking to a manager, I ended up getting it for $50!
After giving it a quick light sand, I spray painted it with Rustoleum Ultra Cover paint in Gloss Spa Blue.  It takes a few coats to get a saturated look, but I just love the pop of color it gives the hallway! 
I had some vintage hardware in my home décor stockpile, so I drilled holes and added it to the front to make it look like there is a drawer.
Not bad for a total investment of around $55!


All of the items on the wall are frames and things that I already had from our old place.  I simply used spray paint to add some depth to the wall by bringing in different colors.  The black frames are what they originally looked like (from Target). 

The mirror is from Target as well, and I simply spray painted it gold to make it 'pop'.  I adore the quatrefoil shape, and if you look closely, it echoes the pattern in the rugs. 
(P.S. The rugs are actually from Garden Ridge, and cost $30 EACH!  Another incredible deal.)

Almost all of the accessories are from Marshall's too  The faux orange floral, the rustic basket, the sand timer, the candlestick, white lantern, the "L".... all of this for $60!!  You can't beat Marshall's and Homegoods for odds & ends accessories on a budget ;)
So my total cost for this makeover?
~ $175.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Kate Spade Friends & Family SALE: 30% OFF!!!

Kate Spade, having a SALE? Can it be true? 
Yes, it can! 
Today, October 18th - Sunday, October 20th Kate Spade (and her sister brands Jack Spade & KS Saturday) are offering 30% off your entire purchase during their Friends & Family event!

(For some reason, there seem to be issues with the email image, so just in case you can't see it, the code is FALL13FF)

People, this practically never happens..... so take advantage of it! 
I know I will be.
Here are some of my top picks (from Kate Spade NY):
1.  Kate Spade Broome Street Denim  $198
($138.60 after the 30% off)

I'm basically OBSESSED with these jeans.  Even my husband says these are the best jeans he's ever seen me wear, and I used to wear Citizens & AG jeans.  I have two pairs of Broome Street denim right now: Classic blue denim & gulabi pink.  I love them both, but I wear my blue ones constantly.  One of my fav features (besides the ahhhmazing fit) is the cute little gold metal spade logo attached to the butt pocket:)

2. Kissing Canaries Bangle Bracelet $39
($27.30 after 30% off)

How cute is this bangle?  I have really small wrists, so I can't wear most bangles....unless they are oval shaped like this one!  That way they don't fall off :)  I love that this one has two little gold canaries on it.  It would be a super cute gift for a girlfriend/wife too.  HINT HINT, Brandon! ;)

3. Thelma Dress in French Navy $189
($132.30 after the 30% off)
I love the retro lines and vibe of this dress.  I'm really into boxy shift dresses right now, and I'm an automatic fan of anything with pockets, so this dress is perfect.  I think it'd be really easy to layer it too, so you can wear it year round.  AND it's already on sale, plus you get the friends & fam discount!

4. Cedar Street Medium Harmony $298
($208.60 after the 30% off)

I love the Harmony bag.  It is the perfect end-all everyday tote.  And, if you have kiddos, it makes a fab baby bag.  Clean lines, great leather, and available in 5 fun colors!

5. Grenada Flats $258
($180.60 after the 30% off)

I know that they are super trendy, but they are SO cute I couldn't resist!  How fun would these be with cropped denim, a white shirt, and a vest on a chilly fall day?  Love love love.  I don't usually splurge on things that aren't classic everyday pieces, but this shoe is too fab not to.

And the best part.....
there are hardly any exclusions to the 30% off code!  It's good at outlets, boutiques, online, full price, sale, everything!! 

Happy Shopping :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall Themed Dinner Party

Last weekend was so busy that I'm just now getting around to posting the pictures from the Fall-themed dinner party that I helped my friend Chris decorate for.
He said he wanted it to be elegant, but that he also wanted to use some earthy organic elements.... and that he HAD to have sunflowers too. :)  This is what I came up with:

I think it came out really nice!  And most of the things I used to decorate with were 'found' items, or things that we already had in our decorating/entertaining arsenal.  Like the moss runner that Chris had..... fabulous, right?  He puts two of them together to run the length of the table, and got them at Michael's for less than $10!  That's what we used as the base for the tablescape.

We decided to use burlap as one of the key elements, and bring in touches of silver and mercury glass to brighten things up.  Burlap isn't as cheap as it used to be, but if you go to a cheap craft store or a home décor outlet, you can usually find 10-12 yards of it for around $15.  That goes a long way, so it's pretty economical.  The mercury glass candle holders and candlesticks are a Marshall's find, and were a steal at $7 - $14 each.  They are super versatile and can also be used for other holidays, or as part of year-round décor, which is why I adore them. 

I bought 2 bunches (about 30 stems) of Sunflowers at Harris Teeter for $15.99 each, and those were the focal floral element.  I bought some filler bouquets at my go-to flower source, Trader Joe's, for around $4 and used those to fill in the small votives and the large arrangements.  To dress up the plain glass vases that I used for the floral arrangements, I cut a length of burlap and wrapped it around the circumference and hot glued it into place.  (I couldn't resist the girly urge to add a rustic bow onto one of them!)

I found these great little wire and burlap baskets at Michael's for 70% off!  How cute are they?  I trimmed the ties on the baskets and filled them with gourds, squash, aromatic potpourri, pinecones, and some beautiful artichokes that I got at Harris Teeter.  I need a way to elevate one of the baskets, so Chris provided these beautiful old books that belonged to his Grandfather.  The patina on the books ended up working out perfectly - I really love the overall look.

We used pieces of burlap that I cut and folded as "chargers" on top of the placemats, just to bring in a little texture so that it wasn't white-on-white.  Then I made napkin holders using some leftover pieces of burlap that I folded over and hot glued, and added sprigs of some faux sparkly garland on the top(also from Michael's).  It ties the place setting together nicely without being too over the top.
I didn't want to neglect Chris's beautiful china cabinet, so I decided to decorate that as well.  I think that it's really important -especially at a dinner party- to make sure that there are multiple vignettes and focal points, so that everyone has a good view, regardless of where they are in the room. 


Chris went on a last minute shopping trip and picked up these cute mercury glass pumpkins for $7, so of course I had to incorporate them! ;)  An apothecary jar filled with some artichokes and moss, plus a rustic armillary orb and candlelight.... voila!
Oh, and did I mention that Chris is a CHEF???
Yup.  I have the BEST friends.

If you think the décor was neat, check out the amazing food that he prepared!

Brined rack of lamp w/ panko crust & red wine reduction, mushroom risotto,
 roasted brussel sprouts with crème fraiche

*SIGH*  It is at moments like this that I wish that I could have an extra stomach so that I can eat more yummy food!!  It was such a fun night, thanks again Chris!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's FINALLY Fall decor time!

So.... I'm back! From my 6+ month hiatus from blogging (lol).
I'm super excited that the weather decided to cooperate this week.... it's finally feeling like Fall!  I mean, I actually got to break out the requisite leggings + boots the past few days and everything ;)  The fact that the weather feels less like summer and more like Fall motivated me to get the décor together for the outside of my house. 
Since this is our first season actually IN the house, I'm having to figure out decorations for the outside of our house for the first time.  And, I'm trying to do it on a BUDGET.  I challenged myself to do all of our outside Fall décor for less than $200, and with some creative short cuts, it wasn't too hard!  A little elbow grease, some spray paint, and a trip to your local nursery and VOILA... Fall decorations on a budget.  This is what I came up with for the front of my house:
 First of all, my neighborhood is full of over-achievers---some of these people have had Halloween decorations up since before the end of September!  I mean, c'mon.... I am not that on top of things.  At least I got things decorated in time for the cooler temperatures, right?  I didn't want to have to worry about decorating twice (once for Halloween and then again for Thanksgiving); I wanted to come up with something that would last the season and be relatively low maintenance as well as cute.
I also didn't want to just do plain old pumpkins, so I decided to do 2 pumpkin craft projects:
Since this project was a little more labor intensive (but still not hard), I used one of those Michael's "fake" pumpkins.  I figured that if I was going to invest more than 15 minutes of my time in it, I wanted to be able to use the pumpkin again next year!
The Materials:
Fake Small Pumpkin = $6 (w/ Michael's 40% off coupon)
Blue Painters Tape = $2 for a roll
Antique White/Ivory Spray Paint = $3.95
Metallic Gold Spray Paint = $3.95
Total Project Investment: $15.99
Step 1.): Spray paint the base color of your pumpkin.  I chose to do my base gold since I wanted that to be the accent color.  I used Rustoleum Metallic Gold spray paint (my fav!).  Tip: Be sure that you tape off the stem of your pumpkin!
Step 2.): Using blue painters tape, start at the top of the pumpkin and using 2-3 inch sections of tape create a zig-zag line pattern around the circumference of the pumpkin.
Step 3.): Move about an inch down (or whatever width you desire) and using the blue tape again, repeat the same pattern around the pumpkin again.  Repeat this procedure until you have covered the pumpkin. Tip: Be sure that you press down the blue tape firmly, especially where there are ridges on the pumpkin.  This keeps the paint from bleeding.
Step 4.): Spray paint the entire pumpkin using your other color of spray paint.  I used Rustoleum Antique White flat spray paint.
Step 5.): Carefully peel off the blue tape..... and admire your finished product!

The other pumpkin project can be as easy or as intricate as you want it to be.... your creativity is the limit!
The Materials:
Discounted or Imperfect Pumpkin(s) = $5 - $7
Craft Glue = $1.99
Gold Craft Glitter = $4.99
Total Project Investment: $11.98
I like to use cheaper pumpkins or ones with imperfections for this project.  Most of the time pumpkins that have flaws only on the back are almost HALF the price!  When you finish, you can't see the flaws anyways.
Step 1.): Using a washable marker, trace the pattern (monogram or design) that you want onto the pumpkin.
Step 2.): Using a thin/small amount of craft glue, trace your pattern.  Tip: Be careful not to use too much glue so it doesn't drip.
Step 3.): Sprinkle the gold craft glitter all over the glue.  You want to use an ample amount of glitter in order to adequately cover.
Step 4.): Once the glue and the glitter have dried, spray the entire pumpkin with a clear gloss sealant coat.  I like to use Rustoleum clear coat spray, but you can always use something different.  The important thing is that you seal the glitter to keep it from getting ruined from being outside in the elements.

I did a monogram "L", some polka dot pumpkins, and I also did one with the name of our neighborhood on it..... because we live in the most awesome neighborhood! ;)

To create my groupings, I bought some little gourds (3 for $2.00) and some Mums ($5) at the local farmers market, and I got some ornamental Kale ($3-$4.50) at my local nursery.  I already had the royal blue pots, so I planted the Kale and Mums in them.  Super easy, and super cheap!  The mums and the kale last several months, so I'll have them all the way until I put my Christmas décor up.  Then I took some black lanterns that I had been using on our gazebo, and put flameless candles inside of them.  If you don't have black lanterns, you can find cheap plastic ones at Marshall's/HomeGoods for around $8, or you can splurge for the real deal at Lowes for $20. 


I made the wreath for my front door and the wreaths for my side entrance using simple dried vine wreaths and a variety of natural-themed picks that I bought from Michael's during a 70% off sale.  The wood vine wreaths are not only budget-friendly (they run around $4 - $6 each), but they are a really good base for outdoor wreaths like this.  Using hot glue, about 7-8 picks, some ribbon, and a few well placed dried flowers, I made the wreaths in about 45 minutes one afternoon.  You just have to play around with it until you get the look that you want.  The picks are inexpensive to start with, and on sale I think they cost about .50 - .80 cents each.  Total, all 3 wreaths cost me under $50!
Now that my DIY decorations are finally up, I can't wait for Halloween to get here:)
I'm helping my friend Chris decorate for his elegant Fall themed dinner party that he's having this weekend, so I'll be sure to post some pictures of what we do for that as well.   I'm thinking lots of sunflowers, burlap, and maybe some organic vegetable elements as well.....hmmm...