Summer Weekend

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I’m in the market for a firepit to add to our backyard hangout.  Any suggestions?

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tips from the Man Cave: #1

My husband has been a silent contributor to many of my blog posts, and so it’s time that I give him some recognition.

Now his decor suggestions always seem to relate to building something or involve complex technology, and while I don’t like to support stereotypical gender roles, I must admit his ideas are not the most feminine.

So for all you dude readers (I won’t name you, but I know you are out there), please enjoy this new HFoP segment of Tony ideas, called Tips from the Man Cave.

The posts will almost always be short and sweet, oftentimes out of the box, and totally entertaining.  First up?

1. Screw-On Metal Legs!
How to Turn Any Pile of Crap Into a Comfortable Seat

Source and Instructions here.

Brought to you by Dr. T.

Bloggin about bulbs

I’ve posted before about the Mass Save program and all of the super helpful services that are available to home owners… Well now they have gone and helped me with my decor!  What’s next?  Clean the bathroom? 😉

I received a package of various energy star light bulbs which substantially help keep our energy costs down.  Of course I was excited about the savings, but was thrilled when I noticed that there was also a difference in lighting!

Let me show ya!  We decided to use the fancy shmancy LED bulb we received in the living room, as the package suggested using it in a fixture we use often.  The living room lamp next to the couch was the winner, hands down.

Below is my attempt at capturing the light with all three scenarios… No light, our old CFL bulb, and then the new LED light.

See the magic happen yourself!

It’s not as obvious in the photo as it is in person, but the LED bulb casts more light, and made the framed photo look fantastic.  It also has a softer color (makes ya look good) and the light turns right on, as compared to the previous bulb which had a bit of a delay.

I can’t wait to replace the other bulbs in the house and SAVE MONEY while doing it!

Thanks Mass Save!

For my Craigslist Junkies

Camila over at Effortless Style just made my day by sharing this amazing Craigslist alert tool!

If you haven’t noticed, I’m addicted to Craigslist and have made some pretty amazing purchases at incredibly low prices.  I used to use RSS feeds to help keep track of new listings, but low and behold, there is now a website dedicated to this!

Go check out List-Alert!

 

Put in your search criteria, set up your email alerts, and get your shopping ON!

Thanks Effortless Style for this super helpful tip!

And if you want to read more about my Craigslist tips and tricks, check out this post and this post!

 

DIY Wall Art

Looking for something one-of-a-kind to hang in your home?  Well it doesn’t get anymore unique than creating it yourself!

If you live near the Boston area, you have got to check out The Paint Bar in Newton, MA.   It’s a night full of wine and beer, music and PAINTING!  And have no fear, even the least talented painters (i.e. ME) leave with a masterpiece!  Don’t believe me?  Check it out!

Here I am with two of my girlfriends at The Paint Bar, last week.  Hi Jo and Ash! :)


Yes, I am short – But just so you know I’m actually sitting in this picture.


As you can see they supply you with everything you need: Paint, brushes, a canvas, an apron, and booze :)

Once everyone gets situated, the music starts bumpin’ and the instructor begins walking you through the painting step-by-step.
Now I mean it when I say step-by-step.  It might go something like this:

1. Grab the big blue brush.
2. Dip it in the red paint.
3. Draw a horizontal line 2 inches from the top of the canvas.
4. Go get another glass of wine.

SO EASY!

Soon your painting will start to take shape…

And the creative juices will be flowin’…

And 2.5 hours later… Everyone’s a star!

Thanks The Paint Bar, Joanna and Ashleigh for the fantastic night!!!

Design in Boston

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a fantastic event at the Marimekko store in Cambridge, where guest speaker Kara Butterfield (Interior Stylist and Editor for Boston Home Magazine) spoke to an intimate group of home decor lovin’ ladies, chowing down on Ko Pies (amazing meat pies) and Proseco.  Not bad for a Thursday night!

 

Kara was fabulous, and in a really honest and down to earth way,
she provided us with some easy tips to bring your personality to your home decor.

I also decided that Kara has my dream job!!!
Not only does she get to stage and design photo shoots of beautiful homes
in the Boston area, she gets to meet incredibly talented people.

Where do I sign up?  :)

This photo is Kara explaining how to decorate for both genders… something many of us struggle with!

 

Now there were a ton of tips and takeaways I got from the event, but to name a few highlights:

1. Bring in an element of surprise.
Whether it’s lining your drawers with a bold or colorful print, or putting a small but meaningful trinket in a place you don’t visit often (i.e. a guest bathroom), it’s refreshing to stumble upon those items every once in a while.  It’s the little things that can really brighten your day!

2. Get rid of things you don’t like.
Plain and simple.  There is no point in holding onto items you don’t love to look at.  If you feel bad getting rid of them completely, put them away in a box!  But fill your space with things that are visually pleasing to you.

3. Don’t just decorate for guests.
Yes, we all use the excuse that people are coming over to really clean the house and put out the fancy flowers… But it’s important to try and do these things for you, the person who uses the house daily, as well!

4. Use things you already have.
Rearrange your furniture, or give that vase or bowl a new resting space.   And be creative!  For example, use a cute mug or glass as a toothbrush holder, or a pretty plate as a catch all on your dresser.  It’s not always about buying new things, but rather being creative with what you already have!

5. There is a such thing as removable wallpaper.
What????  This is a total game changer for renters!!!  Wallpaper is SO in right now, so this point deserves some more research and an entire post of it’s own.  Stay tuned!

Thanks again Kara and Marimekko (and my date for the night, Maya) for a great evening!  And Kara, if you’re reading this – I am never opposed to being a 30 year old  non paid intern! 😉

I’ll leave you with some shots from the beautiful store.  If you dig bright colors, Marimekko is for you!

  

  

    

 

Shutter Up

I have had this shutter project on the back burner for about a year now, and I am finally getting to it!

The final motivator?  Our stainless steel refrigerator is not magnetic (who knew??)  leaving us without a spot to display all those lovely save-the-dates, invitations, baby announcements, holiday cards, or other seasonal items that remind us of good times and those we love.

Backstory:  So I bought vintage shutters on Etsy long ago, with the intention of using them to display the table cards at our wedding.  Well we didn’t end up using them, but rather than let them go to waste I decided they would be perfect to hold cards and other display items in the kitchen!

First the decor inspiration….

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And now for the project!

Materials:
1. Shutters — Bought mine on Etsy ($15)
2. Spray paint —  2 cans of the color of your choice ($6)
3. Hardware — Pack of hinges ($3)

Instructions:
1.Remove all existing hardware.

2. Thoroughly clean the shutters (I used Murphy’s Oil)

3. Find a spot to do your spraying.

4. And spray away!

5. Put new hardware back on…

And hang!

In addition to cards and important info I also made little “info” notes that I can take off and leave on the table to let my husband know if I’m out when he gets home.

Project Cost: Under $25
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Let’s Get Shady

Yeah, that’s right… Shady with lamp shades.

I just scored 2 of these amazing ribbed chrome lamps from Target.

I LOVE THEM!  It was one of those purchases where they went in and out of my shopping cart like 5 times, until I finally pulled the trigger.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  We need two bedside table lamps, I think these are fabulous, and they are on clearance for $12.48 (down from $49.99)!  No brainier, right?

Now all we need are two lamp shades to go with them, so I played around on Polyvore a bit to get some ideas.

Click here for sources.

While I looooove the ikat print purple shade, it’s from Neiman Marcus which means I should dream on…
The yellow one is also ADORABLE and CHEAP, but not sure if the color will work for our bedroom.  But at $12 at World Market, can someone buy it please?

Once the lamps come in, I plan to upload a photo of our bedroom to Polyvore so I can see how the shades will go with our bedspread, tables and other room decor.  So it will probably be another 2 weeks of bedside darkness until I pull the trigger again…  But we’re making headway!

Living Room Spotlight!

It’s time to get up close and personal with our living room!

Let’s back up a sec to make this as dramatic as possible, k?  Remember the before shots???

First came the get down and dirty work, which I shared with you here.  But then came the fun stuff… The decorating!  I’ve tried to list where everything is from, and you’ll notice that not only am I a crazy Craigslist junkie (don’t judge) but that I don’t believe that decor needs to be expensive.  There are incredible finds at Target, TJMaxx, Flea Markets, etc…  You just gotta be patient and open minded!

Disclaimer:  I apologize but picture taking is not one of my best skill sets.  Anyone wanna come over and take some blog pics for me?  I’ll bake you cookies and get you drunk off wine!  I’m not kidding!

Rug: Ikea
Brown Leather Couch, Love seat & Ottoman: Kathy Ireland via Craigslist
Pillow: Crate and Barrel
Curtains: Left by the previous owners (cleaned and bleached)
TV: LG from Amazon
Paint colors:  Behr Gentle Rain for walls, Behr Windsor Haze for Accent wall

Coffee Table: Craigslist Western, MA (Finished by me!  Read more HERE)
Media Tray: Flea Market

Lamp: Gifted
Chair: Target
Striped Pillow: JCPenney
Love Pillow: Marmalade
Table: Christmas Tree Shop
Vase: Crate and Barrel (flowers are from my wedding bouquet!)
Candle: Gifted

 

Chest: Craigslist (Finished by me!  Read more HERE)
Lamp: TJMaxx
Frame: Marshall’s
Bowl: Gifted

Table: Overstock
Globe: Flea Market

      

Bookshelf item highlights: Travel keepsakes from South Africa, Costa Rica, Grand Canyon, Napa, Mexico
Trophy for the Sunday Football Club (best hosts!)
Motorcycle for Tony’s slight obsession
Sand from Unity Ceremony at Wedding
Antique bottles collected at Flea Markets
Books we don’t read cause I got a Kindle :)
Tony’s Dissertation
Blanket Basket: Thrift Store

Rug: Macy’s
Coat Hooks: TJMaxx

Bowl: Thrift Store
Orchid: Gifted
Orange Box: Marmalade
Table: Craigslist
Basket: Christmas Tree Shop
Hat Box: Gifted

Mirror: Gifted
Mustache: Etsy

Left Photo: Greece (Taken by my Dad)
Middle Photo: Target
Right Photo: Glacier National Park (Taken by my Dad)

I think that just about covers it.  Knowing me, I will redecorate again in 2 months so don’t get too used to it!

What’s Yours is Mine

Because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

Want to copy that amazing decor, but can’t afford the designer labels?  Welcome to my world!

Introducing a new HFoP feature…  What’s YOURS is MINE!
(The cheapo way to get the room of your dreams).

First up: This gorgeous living room featured in House Beautiful.
Click the icons at the bottom for the source.
 

 

Got a room you love?

{Leave the link in the comments section below, and give this girl a challenge!}
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