Apr 30, 2013

A new (old) coffee table {thrifty find}

Hi all! Hope you had a fantastic weekend! We are having some nice, sunny spring days, and I'm totally loving it.

I've got a couple random things to share today, and I'm super excited about the first one. Our living room has been really evolving over the last year and a half, beginning with our purchase of our sectional coach and more recently with our decision to repaint our living room blue. I'm really loving where the space is at now, except for one problem: a too-big-for-the-space oak coffee table.

This table is solid wood and has held up very well over the years. But style-wise, it doesn't have much anything going for it. And it makes the space in front of the couch feel crowded and we're always pushing it out of the way.

I've been itching to replace it with something smaller and round, to help break up the boxy lines of the sectional. If you follow me on Pinterest, you can probably tell I've been eyeing something gold and glass. Well, after a lot of searching around, I wasn't able to find a table like this in the size and price I wanted.

Source: decorpad.com via Mindy on Pinterest

Plan B was to find a wood coffee table, but let me tell you, it's been pretty hard to find a round coffee table that's only 30 inches in diameter, is made of real wood (no veneer) and is in my price range. We use our coffee table a lot, so I knew I needed something sturdy, which means anything veneered is out. I tried Craigslist a few times but couldn't find anything that fit my criteria.

I kind of gave up for a while, hoping the right thing would come to me. And it did!

This lovely little thing was on Craigslist for just $15! I had to drive over an hour to get it (which the hubs thought was crazy) but I'm glad I did. It's just 30 inches around and made of real wood except for some decorative veneer strips around the edge that are broken and peeling, so I might have to pull them off.

It's been badly refinished at least once, including this nice black matte paint job on the top.

It's definitely seen better days but I think I can fix it up and make it purdy again. I feel like it has a similar feeling as the glass tables I was looking at with its simple lines and its midcentury modern feel.

I'm not 100% sure what I want to do to it. I feel like our living room has a lot of dark furniture, including two wood-toned end tables and a black TV stand and media cabinet. So I think I'll stay away from more wood tones and black. I'd like to do something fun with it, like maybe even stencil the top. I'm thinking something kind of tone-on-tone, to keep it subtle.

Or maybe I want to paint it a fun color...

Source: bhg.com via Mindy on Pinterest

I also like the two-toned look, whether both the top and legs are painting, or when one half is stained.

Source: thenester.com via Mindy on Pinterest

And how cute are these casters?!

I'm also really digging the dipped paint trend. I worry it might be too trendy, but I keep envisioning those slim little legs dipped in gold.

Okay, obviously I can't do all of this, so which style do you vote for -- subtle stencil, bright color, two-toned or dipped legs?

Apr 24, 2013

Latest design crush: Bee decor

Hiya everyone! Hope your week is going well!

Today I'm sharing the design trend that's totally got my eye these days, and that's bees. Yes, bees. I feel like the bee is going to be the next owl and just popping up everywhere.

It seems like I'm spying bee-related decor everywhere. I spotted these cute ceramic containers at Target. I just love that little bee on top! I couldn't find them online though.

These honeycomb vases are to die for too.

These hive vases from West Elm are great too (and on sale right now!).

Source: westelm.com via Mindy on Pinterest

I totally want some of these bee glasses.

Source: target.com via Mindy on Pinterest

This honeycomb lamp is also from Target.

Source: target.com via Mindy on Pinterest

And I seriously, seriously love this honeybee door knocker. It's pricey but oh-so-cute!

I stopped into HomeGoods a few weeks ago and came home with two bee-related items.

This honeycomb vase was on clearance for $14, and I knew it would be the perfect umbrella stand for our entryway. I just love the cutout on the top. Who cares if I only have one umbrella and don't really need a stand??

I also fell in love with this zippered storage box to use to store the photos and other items I rotate through in my gallery wall. This bee is obviously the queen, as she has a crown.

As I was seeing all this bee decor, I realized I already had my first bee item. For a year now my gallery wall in the kitchen has included this free printable I downloaded from a blog that I can't remember. But it's probably just as well as I got a computer virus when I downloaded it! But it's so cute it was worth it (don't tell the hubs I said that).

And perhaps my favorite bee item is something I got for free. I found this little nest in the backyard, and now it's hanging out on the console table as part of my spring decor.

So what do you think -- will bees and honeycomb designs be everywhere in just a few short months? Or have they already been around and I'm just late to the trend as usual? :)

Apr 21, 2013

Spring decor with natural elements and textures

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope your weekend has been good to you so far. It's been sunny here in Maine and finally starting to feel like spring -- I love it!

So, it's the perfect weekend to show you my spring decorating. I didn't go crazy this year and I mostly used things I already had on hand. My focus this year was on natural elements and textures, with glossy white accents as contrast. Take a look!

This is the dining room, which is back to being a dining room after we flirted with it becoming a sitting room. On the table is a simple centerpiece in my Pottery Barn lantern that I got for a steal a couple years ago. Inside, you might recognize the jute twine eggs I made over Easter weekend, and my DIY rope-wrapped pot.

The plant inside is an Arabica plant that I picked up a couple weeks ago. I wasn't sure how it'd like being inside the lantern, but it seems to be growing and thriving! The lantern is sitting on a charger from Target.

The white vase and white bird are Michaels finds from a couple years ago. I love the glossy white with the textures of the jute and the greenery. And the colorful bamboo placemats are from Bed Bath and Beyond. They make me happy :)

I spent a few minutes last weekend poking around our backyard to find some sticks and branches, then let them dry out for a few days in the garage. They're quick, fast and cheap fillers for vases. I'd love to have fresh flowers all the time, but they're more a splurge for me than a regular purchase. To add some soft spring textures, I made a little flower out of tissue paper by simply cutting two layers of paper into an irregular circle, poking some floral wire through the middle, and gently folding the tissue paper into a petal shape. I secured with a little hot glue and a little green ribbon around the base.

Recognize this console table? It used to hang out in the living room until I decided to put the media cabinet in its place. I like it in the dining room. It holds our cookbooks and makes a great spot for drinks or appetizers when we're entertaining. But right now it's a great spot for more spring decor!

Let's start at the bottom with the runner -- a past DIY project using some fabric from the remnants bin at Joann. I'm a total sucker for that remnants bin. The bottles are simply old beer bottles wrapped in jute twine. Since there's no art on this wall (yet), I wanted to create some height with this display, so I used more branches and tissue paper flowers. These are some tissue paper pomanders I made (and never used!) for our wedding (I used Martha Stewart's directions, but you can find how-tos everywhere). And yes, I've kept them! I've felt kind of silly hanging onto a box full of tissue paper pomanders, but let me tell you, they've come in quite handy over the years. They just need a little fluffing to look good as new.

My new terrarium is hanging out here too -- I'm happy to report it's still alive! The bird is big brother to the little one on the table.

This bird print, bought  for me by my mom from HomeGoods, adds some fun color to the whole display. This used to hang in our living room but it was a little small for the wall so now I'm trying to find a different home for it. For now, I like it here, especially as it echoes the birds-and-branches thing I've got going on.

This white bowl from Target has the rest of my jute eggs and the yarn ones I made too.

And if you like me on Facebook, you'll recognize this glass bottle, my latest flea market find for just 10 bucks. I'm addicted to glass bottles. I particularly like this one with some curvy branches and tissue paper flowers. It looks so romantic!

A couple more photos, because I can't resist...

In short, I bought nothing new for this spring setting -- just the way I like it! :)

Have you decorated for spring yet?

Before I sign off, I just have to take a minute to say my heart goes out to everyone affected by the tragedy in Boston. As I said on my Facebook page, this one hits close to home for me -- Boston is really the heart of New England, and I have so many happy memories of time spent there, from going to the Science Museum on school field trips, to Red Sox games with my husband, to visiting good friends who live there. I'm happy all my friends were safe, but my heart breaks for those whose loved ones were not as lucky. And while they may have apprehended the people responsible, the ordeal is not over for those who have to continue healing and grieving.

I can't do much to help, but I can donate blood, and I did last week. My proximity to Boston means my donation might actually be transported there if they have a shortage and need it. I'm a big advocate of blood donation, so wherever you are, I urge you to consider taking the time to donate blood. One pint of donated blood can save up to three lives! It feels so good to know you're making that kind of impact.

Apr 14, 2013

Creative ways to use birch branches in home decor

Hi all! I hope you're having a good weekend!

Do you remember this lovely birch arbor in our backyard?

The hubs, his dad and his friend built it in 2010 to be used in our wedding. It's one of my favorite details of the wedding and I loved having it in our backyard as a reminder of that day.

So I was really sad when the hubs told me it had started to rot. When he went to take it apart to keep it from blowing over before a hurricane, it just totally fell apart. :( I guess we should have sealed it or something so it would last.

I'm hoping there are at least parts of it that aren't rotted and could be reused for something. I just love birch and the white and dark contrast of the bark. It adds some natural texture to any decor.

I'd love to reuse these birch branches in some home decor. There are lots of cute ways to use birch branches to hold candles:

Source: flickr.com via Mindy on Pinterest

Source: houzz.com via Mindy on Pinterest

Or birch can make for some unique furniture and fixtures:

Source: casasugar.com via Mindy on Pinterest

Birch ups the natural look for plantings and flower arrangements.

Source: m.afloral.com via Mindy on Pinterest

Source: lisaroy.ca via Mindy on Pinterest

I love when birch is used in an understated way to just let its texture and color speak for itself.

I love, love, love this abstract art with wood rounds. I think I might have to make one of these.

Do you have a favorite way to use birch or branches in your decor? I'd love to hear about it!