Thursday, June 5, 2014

Layers...

This past weekend Matt was working in Kansas City, which meant I was along for the ride...and that I had four whole days of shopping in KC! That's a dangerous notion, and I had a very strict budget, but it sure was fun! I went to several vintage boutiques (including this amazing one I stumbled upon), two giant antique malls, made 6 trips to Home Goods, got to visit one of my very favorite places - Nell Hill's, and had a grand time with Meg shopping and restyling her living room.

I picked up a few things for our home and a few things for the sale (if I can let them go, that is). I had had a few specific accessories in my mind for a while, so I tried to find several of those. They're what I like to think of as the "layers" of a house. The cherry on top of a beautifully appointed room. Here is what I found.


I was really hoping to find a large antique dough bowl for our dining room table. I actually found the perfect one but at $175 I just couldn't do it. They do go for that price but I'm always looking for a bargain. 


Then when Meg and I were in Nell Hill's KC location, I spotted these beautiful baguette boards. They are similar to the shape and texture of a dough bowl but longer and shallower to accommodate a French baguette. At $18 it was a great compromise and such a fun find!


I added it to our very long expanse of counter below the bar, which actually works perfectly as it visually breaks up the counter top but doesn't use much space or get in the way of cooking. I also found these fun green apples at Home Goods (actually they were on the list of accessories I was looking for) and they make the perfect addition to the baguette board.


I also added more apples to this antique compote found at Mission Road Antique Mall. I bought it for the sale, but after seeing it paired with the apples and living happily on the coffee table, I may have a hard time parting with it!



I've had my eye on these darling little tulips from my favorite local boutique for a while. They were having their yearly tag sale, so I scooped them up just before we headed out of town.


I had also been looking for some large faux tulips to use as a centerpiece in the spring. Nell Hill's of course had gorgeous stems, and I nabbed nine of them at just $3.25 a piece. 


These gray wash wicker chargers have been on the list for a while, and was hoping Nell Hill's would still have them. They're great to leave on our dining table day to day to add some dimension and interest to the tabletop.



Another item I picked up for the sale was this beautiful antique silver tray.


It makes a pretty perch on the side table for now though : )



I also grabbed this pretty wicker tray at Restoration Emporium because, well, I'm a sucker for both trays and wicker. It creates the perfect little "coffee station" on our counter.


I think I have to say the layering is my favorite part!

{live beautifully}
Courtney

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Thrifted Pottery Barn Table {How to Turn Indoor Furniture into Outdoor Furniture}

Since early February, I have been dreaming of a beautiful outdoor space to dine and entertain in. I was picturing of a French/farmhouse-inspired space that was beautifully appointed with a farm table, gray wicker chairs, and lots of elegance - I even created an entire Pinterest board to that effect. But have you ever priced outdoor furniture? In my opinion it is insanely overpriced. And since it's seasonal, you can't get any good deals on it during the time you actually need it (like spring and summer). During my search, I fell in love with this Holden set from Target, but at $900, I knew it certainly wasn't going to happen.


Then one day, after hitting a few estate sales, I decided to pop in to one of my favorite thrift stores. As I approached the furniture section, I could see four white farmhouse table legs sticking up in the air. My pulse quickened and I of course ran right over in case someone would immediately snatch up "my" farmhouse table : ) When I inspected the piece, I could tell it needed some work, but it was very heavy and well-made. Then on one of the leaves, I noticed something...a Pottery Barn sticker and the original $600 (in 2001) price tag. I couldn't believe it!



 I couldn't immediately find a price, so after about 20 minutes of trying to wrangle up the manager, he glanced at the table and said, "25 bucks." Sold. I loaded my new PB farmhouse beauty into the back of the car and couldn't believe my luck!



  The table had a terrible paint job on it, and had some damage on the top. I wasn't too worried as it would be an outdoor table, though it might have been a bit too far gone for indoor use. 


Here is the before (note the stunning paint job : ) My mother-in-law was an amazing help and helped me sand, repair, paint and seal the table. Here's how we did it:

How to Turn Indoor Furniture into Outdoor Furniture 

(sorry I don't have photos of the process, but it's fairly self-explanatory)

1. Prep

In our case, we carefully sanded down the entire table, then filled in the scrapes and divets on the top with wood putty.

2. Prime and Paint

We did this in one step with paint + primer, but you definitely want primer involved somehow. You also want to use outdoor paint, not indoor. This will stand up better to the elements. We used off-the-shelf white from Ace Hardware in semi-gloss (left over from another project).

3. Seal

Sealing is the key for having outdoor furniture. Seal every last surface and crevice, even the underside of the piece, including the bottoms of feet. We used water-based polyurethane from Sherwin Williams. Since it was white paint, they advised us to use water-based as it's more milky and does not have the usual yellow tint to it. Put a minimum of three coats on for proper protection.


 


As an early birthday present, my in-laws bought me the wicker chairs from the set I wanted. I LOVE them! They are beautiful, elegant and comfortable. For the side chairs, I just bought cheap plastic stacking chairs from Wal Mart ($14 each), but they are fine for now and don't look too bad since they are white.


 

Eventually I'd love to paint the exterior of our home, replace the kitchen window with French doors, and improve our landscaping, but it'll all happen in time. For now we are thoroughly enjoying having a pretty, proper place to dine and entertain outdoors. Bring on summer!

{live beautifully}
Courtney

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

One Change - New Room: The Cheapest, Easiest Way to Change the Look of a Room

Hello friends! If you've been following along here for a while, you know our hearth room has been a work in progress. It's coming together, but I've never felt everything is perfectly cohesive just yet. But, thanks to the folks over at Home Decorators Collection, we've made some big strides! Today I'm sharing my number one tip to change the look of a room - simply and inexpensively (well, other than paint, of course).

 

So here's the before. You all know I love a sisal rug, so I ordered this one from IKEA before we even moved in. But once I had it in place with the limestone fireplace and the cognac chair, it was just too much brown happening in my bright white and gray room. I needed both pattern and a softer color.


After browsing LOTS of options, I landed on the beautiful Argonne Rug from Home Decorators Collection.


I. love. this. rug. The pattern is sophisticated and clean, the gray is a beautiful warm gray, and I think it adds so much interest to the room.



Here's an up-close. It's a flat weave and very soft underfoot.


I think it breaks up the former "brown strip" and separates the fireplace from the chair nicely. And other than changing the paint color in here, I'm not sure how I could completely change the look of the room for not too many bucks. Think if I had added a chartreuse rug, or black stripes or shag - a whole new room!
 

Yes, rugs can be pricey. If you let them. But I've never paid more than a couple hundred bucks for one, and that's a pretty big impact for a lot less than most furniture or structural changing like flooring would cost. Home Decorators has tons of great rugs (hundreds? thousands?) at perfectly reasonable prices. Then on top of their reasonable prices, there is always a sale or coupon happening. So really they're a steal!



All in all, I like this room lots better now! It's no longer the "left over decor" room, but feels intentional and pulled together. Love it!

{live beautifully}
Courtney

Disclosure: I was given products from Home Decorators Collection in exchange for a review. I was not paid for a positive review, and all opinions are my own. I am partnering with them because they are a company I love and think you will too!

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