Category Archives: Features

Thrift Store Score: 80s galore

Before I even share my latest secondhand acquisitions, I must preface with the fact that I’m well aware not everyone will necessarily “get” it. As the post title suggests, these objects are distinctly 80s and not exactly mainstream, but I love them and am more than happy to give them a brand new life in our home. A little kitschy, they may be, but they’re MY kitsch.

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With that out of the way, I will first introduce you to my new ice bucket. I’ve been hankering for a new ice bucket to add to our living room bar cart for, really, the past year. I wanted something sort of mid-century and definitely unique. I think I was able to succeed with this padded handled, faux wood grain number.

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I am a big fan of wood grain in general, whether fake or real, so as soon as I saw this little guy sitting forlornly at the bottom of a shelf at Goodwill, I had to snatch him up. And when you factor in the $3.50 price tag, it simply couldn’t be beat. With a thorough rub down with multiple dish soap baths, it was good as new and party ready.

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Now here’s where things get a little dicey. I know that many of you will be all “Say whattt??” when you see my new piece of art in the master bedroom, but I’m over the moon giddy about it. This massive decidedly 80s print is perfect in my book. Nice thin brass frame, abstract imagery, TONS of color – It’s got our taste written all over it. And, again, costing only $3.50 made it impossible not to take home. I figure, if our style changes, or we get tired of it, the oversized brass frame alone made it worthy of forking over the cash.

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In hindsight after running a quick Google search of the artist (the print is signed in the bottom right hand corner), I’m especially glad that I decided to go for it.

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Why? Well it turns out that my thrift store Carlton Sturges Abbott print actually could be valued at 30 TIMES what I paid for it (one lithograph print is estimated at $100-$200). Although Abbott’s work isn’t exactly “Picasso” priceless, I’m excited at the thought that I have an authentic print, done by an authentic artist. I consider this one an investment well made.

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What era of art and accessories do you consider your guilty pleasure?

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The Options: Silver or Gold

Silver or Gold

Option 1: decor pad | Option 2: Caitlin Wilson Textiles

I am all about metallics in our home. While I’m typically drawn to the look of 1960’s/70’s brass, there’s certainly something to be said about the silver-and-gold mainstays. A little hit of sparkle can go a long way in transforming a bland room into a dimensional and warm space. But if you had to choose one or the other, which way would you lean?

Option 1: In my own opinion, silver tends to read a little more contemporary than gold. Whether you go with brushed nickel or polished chrome, this glossy milky gray finish will instantly add elegance to your home. From light fixtures, to metallic wallpaper, silver is a trend that’s here to stay.

Option 2: But if I had to choose, I would definitely lean towards gold. Settling in easily with my favorite brass finishes, there is something undeniably sophisticated about gold accents. The gold side table and metallic pillows in the inspiration image above bring a little bit of antiqued worldliness to this space. Imagine if all of the gold was gone from the room, leaving you with just the pink sofa, black frames and potted flower. It’s just not the same…

At any rate, those are my thoughts, but what are you leaning towards? – Cast your vote!

Weekly Pinterest Challenge: Antler Jewelry Holder

Notice anything different about today’s post? Specifically the title? Well, I’ve officially decided to retire the feature title “Pinspiration Monday” once and for all. When I first started this recurring Monday morning theme over 2 years ago, I had no idea just how much it would consume my focus. What initially began as a way to chat out loud about my favorite Pinterest pins, has evolved into a full on weekly challenge – “challenge” being the operative word. Making the commitment to recreate one of my pins each and every week is a LOT of fun, but also a LOT of work. But I adore making the promise to myself that my pins (all 7,681 of them) won’t go untested, or at least unconsidered.

So it’s time to slap a REAL title to this challenge and shout out the truth behind the mission. I hope you don’t mind the minor shift and that it doesn’t throw you off. Aside from the new name, nothing else will change – Meet me here same time each Monday, and you’ll continue to see a Pinterest pin brought to life through my own perspective.

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Source: Etsy

Now that that little piece of business is out of the way, I’m excited to share today’s “Weekly Pinterest Challenge” focus – antlers. Way back when I got my own vintage antler to be used for styling around the house, I considered painting it, I considered leaving it as is and I even considered wrapping it in yarn (like this). But that was only until I saw the image above. What better way to put that protruding, sculptural shape to use then by hanging jewelry from it?

The only issue was that my particular antler was a solo piece – no mountable duo like the inspiration from Pinterest. But I figured it would be just as fun to lay my own antler on a surface and hang bracelets from the upturned curvature – I’ve seen a couple of people do just that on other blogs before, so I wasn’t thinking too far out of the box here. And luckily, it worked!

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This is one of those amazingly simple, amazingly fast projects that took only, oh…five minutes. And that was mostly factoring in the time it took me to walk to the basement den to grab the antler and walk back upstairs to set it on the bedroom dresser. Sometimes though, it’s these quick and easy styling fixes that make all the difference in a space.

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If you’re also into this rustic trend, what are your favorite ways to style antlers?

All in the details…

Laundry Room

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Our laundry room is one of the last spaces in the house largely untouched by my crafting neurosis. We’ve got some attractive organization, a DIY embellished curtain (please forgive my HORRIBLE photography skills way back when) and some lackluster artwork and dishwasher repair, but that’s it. Suffice it to say that it could use a little something more. Thankfully, this well styled laundry room could just be the inspiration that I need to GET. ON. IT.

Let’s talk details…

1…First and foremost, the metallic pattern on the back wall makes a major difference. It distracts from the utilitarian washing machine and dryer, and adds just the right touch of feminine character. I hate to sound so traditional, but I feel like a laundry room is OFTEN a lady’s domain, so why not play that up with distinctly girly colors, patterns and accents?

2…Sure, this particular homeowner got a little help from the big guys when it came to styling, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. Who wouldn’t want their detergent powder stored in oversized glass gars and their rags tucked neatly away in wicker baskets? I know I would.

3…The floor here is another great DIY project that we could all try tackling at home. A simple painted navy and white stripe takes it, again, from utilitarian to stylish in a single afternoon of hands-and-knees labor. I’m jotting all of this down on my to-do list as we speak.

What are your favorite details?

For past “All in the details” features, click here

The Options: Butcher Block or Stone

Butcher Block or Stone

Option 1: {frolic!}| Option 2: houzz

Even if I had all the money in the world, I’m still not sure which direction I would go in today’s “Options” feature. Do we go with inexpensive, low-maintenance butcher block countertops, or splurge for the beauty of natural stone?

Option 1: What I love so much about a butcher block counter – aside from the ease of use and upkeep – is the beauty of the wood grain. There’s something endearing about that rustic characteristic that just can’t be believably manufactured. Plus, if you’re going for a modern-meets-traditional look, this is an easy way to achieve it when paired with mod white cabinets and sleek hardware.

Option 2: And yet…There’s absolutely no denying that the shiny, pristine surface of marble is something to consider. It’s gorgeous and looks so high end. Do you think it’s worth the fuss though? Sometimes I think that granite is a bit overrated, but the moment I lay eyes on it, I can’t help but feel like life is a little more luxurious.

I’d love to know your opinion – Cast your vote!

Pinspiration Monday: Gold+Neon Bookends

DIY Gold Bookends

Searching for projects to recreate in my “Pinspiration Monday” feature is always a crapshoot. I’m either feeling super adventurous, tackling something large-scale with an entire tabletop full of materials, or I’m feeling like a quick ten minute project using a maximum of 2 supplies. This past weekend I was feeling somewhere in between. The project in question? This time I went with a fun office-inspired DIY first discovered on one of my favorite blogs, designlovefest. It was simple, inexpensive and you really can’t go wrong with hot pink and gold.

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via designlovefest

For this project, you need two medium-sized rocks (I envisioned something about the size of my hand) a can of gold spray paint and a can of hot pink spray paint. In the midst of a to-do list about three miles long this past Saturday, I made a point to pick up some hot pink spray paint – I already had the gold on hand at home, so that wasn’t a concern. But on my way home, I remembered that I still needed my rocks…No more than 15 seconds after realizing this, I happened to come around the bend in the road and noticed a construction site with a pile of, you guessed it, hand-sized rocks. My split decision made, I eased the car to the side of the road, hopped out and, in a silk sundress and sandals, proceeded to choose two appropriately sized rocks. Gotta love free supplies.

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With my rocks brought home in the passenger seat of the car (and feeling a little scrappier than usual) I turned my attention to the paint. Like I said, I already owned the gold – Valspar metallic gold in a gloss finish – but the Krylon was a new one for me. Keeping in line with my inspiration image, I chose a neon hot pink (“Mambo Pink,” to be specific) and was overall pretty impressed with the coverage and nozzle design. I’m hardly picky when it comes to spray paint, but I will definitely make a conscious decision in the future to use this brand (and heck no, I’m not being paid to say that in case you were wondering).

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I was actually in the midst of a different project around the time that this one needed to begin, so John graciously spritzed the gold layer on for me – Didn’t he do a good job? The jubilant expression on his face when he came up from the garage was enough to get me pumped for the second half of the project, and when I finally saw the metallic beauties for myself, I was all but psyched.

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And we hadn’t even GOTTEN to the fun part yet – The hot pink.

Before sending John down to spray the gold layer, we decided on the orientation and wrote a big red “B” on the bottom of each rock just to make sure we sprayed the right end. So once the gold paint was dry (I waited 24 hours) and I flipped the rocks over exposing the “B,” I proceeded to cover it with pink paint.

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Unlike with the gold paint, the pink was sprayed ever so lightly in order to achieve the misted effect of Bri’s own bookends. There’s something about the tone on tone effect these two colors make that really captures my attention, and when I stepped back from the completed (albeit wet and upside down) bookends I had officially reached “psyched” territory.

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We were having an exceptionally stormy day when I styled the new natural-meets-contrived bookends so they’re a little more brilliant in person than they look here, but I’m sure you can see just how funky and unique they are.

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The subtle transition from pink at the bottom to gold at the top is the winning factor for me. It’s hard for me to even picture what they looked like before, in their once muddled gray color. Now, they are fit for my color splashed studio.

What kinds of natural materials do you use in your DIY projects at home?

Pinspiration Monday: Umbrella Stand

It may seem a bit funny, but I’ve always loved the idea of a good umbrella stand. Something so utilitarian doesn’t really need to to be cute, stylish or whimsical, but I sure do love that someone decided that it should be for no other reason than making us smile.

Here are just a few that I’ve come across throughout my virtual Pinterest travels…

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Amazingly though, I had yet to pull the trigger. They cost too much money, I had no real, desperate need per se (although that hardly ever stops me in normal circumstances) – whatever the reason, our version of an umbrella stand was the floor of the coat closet or, on particularly rainy days, looped over the edge of the bar cart right inside the front door.

That is, until I met my new favorite entryway accessory…

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Clocking in at just $39.99, this oh-so-sculptural, oh-so-ORANGE piece fit the bill (and then some!) of my dream umbrella stand. It hardly bears describing, but it even came with its very own coat rack to boot! While I really love the look of our new multi-tasking home accessory by itself (which was snagged from Ross, by the way, one random day during my lunch break), it even looks pretty swanky filled with the usual suspects – coats, hats, scarves, the dog leash and, of course, the umbrella.

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No, it’s certainly no designer umbrella stand, and its not an owl (or a pair of porcelain boots) but I love the color, I love the swirly shapes and the peppy “conversation” it has with the rest of the entryway is undeniable – Although it’s nothing like I had pictured, it fits juuuuuuust right.

What odd ball treasures have you unearthed lately?

P.S. Happy Memorial Day!! I’m excited to be spending a little extra time with family today, and I hope you are able to do the same.

P.P.S. If you didn’t hear the news, I’m giving away a brand new SIGG Active Top bottle – Contest ends Friday, so be sure to click here to get your name in the mix before it’s too late! 

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