Flash Shopping

>> 6.27.2014

Many people ask me, "How do you have time to decorate your house?" And "I never have time to shop! How do you do it?" Well, let me introduce you to something I like to call flash shopping. On those rare occasions when I am kid-less and I have to run to the grocery store for a few things, I like to conveniently go to Target because it is located right next to Ross. And for those of you that have a Ross (or Marshalls, Tuesday Morning, Homegoods, or TJMaxx) know that their inventory changes daily so it's different, and hopefully a new experience, every time you go in.

Flash shopping doesn't have to be done without kids, but if your child isn't up for the challenge, then find a time when you can go alone. This technique also works for thrift stores, although I usually dedicate a little more time since there's so much junk treasure to go through.

So before going into the store I set my phone timer for TEN minutes, and once the timer goes off, I absolutely have to stop what I am doing and either leave the store empty handed, or go check out. This helps me not waste time, because we all know those stores can be time sucking vortexes, and it also helps me justify going in once a week.

When I do my flash shopping at these stores, I make a mental note of the areas of the store I want to look at, and it almost always includes

Picture frames
Accessories (where I seem to spend the bulk of my time)
Mirrors and Art

Many times there are specific things I am looking for, but other times I just like to go for the thrill of the hunt, because if you're like me, there's nothing like finding a good deal!

Because our Ross is small and never very full of inventory (boo), I can easily hit all these spots in ten minutes. However, when Homegoods by our house opens, (squeeeeeee!!!) attempting a flash shopping trip there will be futile I'm sure. But maybe at some point I will even be able to only spend ten minutes in there too. We'll see about that.

Anyway, on this particular trip I took a few photos of things that caught my eye.

 These pillows were $17 for the pair, and I liked the color and pattern.

 Not sure what I would do with this large square monkey fist, but in the right room, it would be pretty cool. Maybe on a bookcase in a nautical boys room?

These bookends are pretty awesome, but I think they were $12.99 ea. so I had to pass. 

This elephant is definitely unique, and standing alone, he's pretty bold, but he would look great in a well staged bookcase with other colorful accents. 

This 5x7 rug was a great color but not sure it was worth $50, since I've gotten rugs here before for $35 before.

Love this metal basket for $9! 

This colored jar with a jute rope is super cute and there were also two other larger sizes in the same style. I think this one, which was the smallest one, was $8.99, which wasn't worth it to me.

I like the detail in this basket, but it was a little fragile and not practical for kids.

I really liked this basket, but it was a little lopsided. The size was perfect to use as a toy basket or for blankets.

I am never impressed with Ross's art collection, mainly because I'm not into Marilyn Monroe, Bob Marley, or colorful downtown city scapes, but sometimes they have a few decent art pieces. This was a cute canvas, especially for $16. It would look great in the right space.

I don't know why I was drawn to this little bird house, but I thought it would be adorable in a little rose garden. Which I don't have. So I left it on the shelf. 

There was nothing that I absolutely couldn't live without, so I went home empty handed on this shopping trip. 

So the next time you are out shopping and you pass a store with home decor, try out my flash shopping technique, and let me know how it goes!

Happy treasure hunting!


Identity Crisis

>> 6.25.2014

We have a four bedroom house, and three of the bedrooms are upstair, with the master downstairs. My daughter has her own room and we have chosen to have the boys share a room, because the space is large and they actually prefer to sleep in the same room right now.

So the third bedroom has a few different functions. It serves as a guest room, my husband uses it as a work space when he occasionally works from home, and all our crafts and sewing and such are stored in there.

Our guest room used to look like this, with a twin bed, but we moved the mattress out when our youngest child graduated from a toddler bed. So the room has been bed-less for a while. I also stole the pictures above the bed and the rug to use in the playroom, so it was looking pretty empty.

We occasionally have visitors, and have always thought of putting a queen bed in this room, so we were excited when my bro-in-law asked if we wanted to keep their guest room queen mattress and storage bed for them while their house is being built. Although we don't plan on keeping this particular bed, it'll be good to try out a queen in this space.

This bed definitely needed a headboard, so I found a really cool headboard on craigslist for $15, and because a finial had fallen off, I talked them down to $10.

This headboard is AMAZING. It deserves to go in an awesome, well designed room, not in a hodge-podge room with an identity crisis. But you know the best thing about this room? Aside from the $10 headboard, I haven't spent any additional money by using things I already had.

I'm not sure I want to spend a lot of time and money redoing this room, especially since the bed and mattress aren't going to stay. And we may move my husband's office downstairs (which is a large budget goal for the future,) and I also want to improve the craft storage in this room by creating a more functional closet. I'm not even sure I want to paint the headboard, because this room doesn't have a clear vision yet. So for now, this room will remain the hodge-podge room, and I will continue to remain frustrated by it. But sometimes when designing a room, you just gotta wait it out for when the time is right.

What about you? Do you have a room with an identity crisis?


Piano Styling Ideas

>> 6.20.2014

Wow, it's been a while! The last week of school was a whirlwind and now we are into the second week of summer and having a great time! But now that the kids are home it leaves me very little time to work on projects, so I hope you'll excuse my absence.

Today I want to talk about piano styling! Many of you have pianos, many of you might not. But if you don't, keep reading anyway, because the tricks and tips to styling a piano can easily transfer to dressers, consoles and tops of other things.

Recently I asked several of my friends if I could style their pianos for them and use them as examples on the blog. I was actually surprised by those that agreed to it, because their homes are already beautiful and definitely don't need my help! But sometimes it's just nice to have another person come in and give a different perspective, right?

The first was Sarah's house. Sarah has been my partner in crime in many trips to the flea market, and she has a great eye and loves to decorate. Her house is BEAUTIFUL, but she was stuck when trying to decorate her antique piano. The challenge with this piano is the windows above it, and the two lamps against the three windows wasn't very complimentary.

So I took everything down and started gathering accessories from her house that she already had. And this girl has a LOT! I traded out one lamp for a more substantial lamp base, and on the other side of the piano I added a teal vase with a spray of flowers to add balance to the other side. Next to the vase I put a beautiful brass pitcher and a small wire ball, which mimics the style of the lamp. In the middle I selected some teal and navy books and set them next to a bust of Jesus and an antique iron.  

Now the space has a little more interest and compliments the windows instead of competes with them.

Next is Tristen's piano. She has a beautiful new house, and although much of her home is already decorated, she hadn't gotten to the piano room yet. 

Her piano is situated on a small, but very tall wall. And smack in the middle of the wall is the light switch, which creates a challenge if you want to hang anything on the wall. 

So I went to Hobby Lobby to look for a solution and found this set of three black mirrors. The moroccan shape matches the curtains and other design elements in her home so it was a natural choice. They fit very nicely above the piano and light switch and breaks up that tall wall. 

Tristen wanted the top of her piano to be colorful and reflect a little bit of her personality. So we stole a glass lamp from the guest room, added a stack of some of her favorite books and a beautiful silver bowl on top, and from my house we added three jars in varying colors and sizes. 

They way I styled Tristen and Sarah's pianos are unique in their own way, but they have many similarities. I like to style in groups of three with varying heights. Books, nick knacks, heirlooms, and small interesting pieces are perfect for piano tops, as well as colorful glass jars and flowers. And lamps. I think every piano needs a lamp, and both of these lamps are situated on the side of the piano that is closest to the corner of the room which needs more light. 

For a little change, I want to show you my piano now. 

I kind of haphazardly decorated it a while back, trying to stick with a white and bright theme to lighten up the piano and match the large gallery wall of white frames next to it. But all that white is just too much, and I'm ready for change. 

I found this amazing mirror on clearance for $30 at Hobby Lobby and painted it white to go above the piano. With a white mirror above and a black piano below, I wanted to add some texture and earthy colors to the middle, but still keep it bright and modern. I changed out the lamp, took out the tired looking music books, and added a vase with colorful flowers, as well as a few other accessories. I like it because it has sort of a moroccan vibe, which ties in well with the mirror.

But while I was at it, I decided to style the piano a different way, this time using a monochromatic theme. Teal is like the color of the decade it seems, so you can't go wrong. I didn't do groups of three in this one, and instead placed them evenly. But with the varying heights and shapes, it still works. I'm kinda wishing the bird was a little bit smaller, but 100% of these pieces I already had in my home, so I worked with what I had.

And then I changed it up again with a royal/navy blue and gold theme, which is a really popular color combo right now. Using a large vase of greenery or flowers is a bold statement. If you really wanted to be simplistic, you could forego all the other accessories and just do a large interesting vase of flowers and it would look clean, simple and fabulous.

And lastly, I decided to be a little quirky and do a solid row of colorful books with A to Z bookends. This is a good option for anyone who likes to be a little unconventional, or even for those with a small space that would like to use the piano as a functional bookshelf.

So tell me, which is your favorite?

I hope that this gave you some ideas for styling your own piano! So now.... go, my child! Gather your accessories, get thee to a thrift store, pick out some interesting stuff, and style away!


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