Archives For accessorizing

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 5 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Antiques Mall Finds

March 1, 2013 — 1 Comment

There is a big difference between thrift shops and antique shops, but they both have their merits. Thrift shops make you work harder but you can get really good deals. Antique shops are curated for you and you pay for it. I’ve chronicled my thrift shop adventures here and here, but I haven’t yet talked about antiquing. A week or so ago I made my way up to the Carmel Old Town Antique Mall and like most things with ‘mall’ in the title, it was huge! Most antique malls are set up so that different vendors can rent sections of the store. For that reason pricing varies from booth to booth. Overall I found this mall to be reasonably priced. I tried to walk out with only one thing but alas I left with two because I’m obsessed with weird things.

Can you spy what is new?

Okay, that is a little too far away to see her. Here she is up close.

Yep, that’s a solid brass Nefertiti. This one booth had a solid brass seal with beach ball on his nose and I was sort of tempted by it because it was brass but the seal was very cartoonish looking. Then my friend spied this lady up on a shelf. She was $10 and I had to have her. Actually, I really debated whether or not I needed her but I’ll get to that in a minute. First let’s talk about how regal Bob looks here:
So serious, as though he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Anyway, on to the kitchen where the next item I bought is.
I know what you’re thinking… you didn’t even bother to put away the dishes before you took pictures? Yeah, it’s true I didn’t but no what you’re probably thinking is… didn’t you just buy a different rug for under the sink? Yes, I did, good observation! So apparently I’m now obsessed with rag rugs because I’ve purchased two in two weeks (the first one is here). I can’t help it I just really like them. The best part about them is that you can just throw them in the washing machine – amazing. So the pinky coral one that I originally purchased for here is great and I still love it but when I saw this one which is a little longer I knew it would work better under the sink. So I moved the smaller rug to the bathroom which I’ll show you a picture of in a minute but first another picture of Bob who was feeling very photogenic on the day I took these pictures.
This picture makes me really happy for three reasons:
1) Bob is standing still. That never happens, seriously never.
2) The new rug is so pretty
3) The. Floors. Are. Beautiful.
Here is the other rug, relocated.
iPhone picture because I was too lazy to get out my good camera
As you can see I just laid it on top of the bath mat that is already in there. Why did I do that? Because I thought it would add texture and depth to the room, uh, just kidding, I did it because I’m lazy. But I actually like it sitting on top of the other one because it makes me feel like I’m standing on a plush carpet while brushing my teeth. So luxurious. Plus I love the bright color in there.
But back to my big decision, both the rug and the Nefertiti statue were $10 so I was trying to choose between the two but I decided I liked both of them well enough to pay $20. That is the big difference between thrifting and antiquing. Last time I went thrifting (here) I paid $16 for five things and at this antique store I paid $20 for two things.
Do you prefer antiquing or thrifting?

Buy Art: Maps Edition

February 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

I love maps. I love old maps, new maps, weird maps, and interactive maps. And pretty much any time that I see one I want to buy it. Surprisingly, I only have two…

This old map is from my Grandpa. It is on foam core and it’s a map of the ‘Soviet Union’ and I mostly just like it because it is orange.
My scratch map is newer. You can buy one here. I love it so much because you can scratch off where you’ve been, it’s a take on those ‘sticking a pin in the places you’ve been’ maps.
You really can’t go wrong with a map on the wall since they are gender neutral and come in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes. Here is a round up of some awesome map art:
I love the simplicity of this Chicago rail map. Surprisingly, it’s only $19.99 from They also carry a bunch of other rail maps from other major cities.
If you ever see an old roll-up school map for heaven’s sake buy it! Those things are like the gold every thrift store shopper is searching for. Of course, you can buy them online (like this one from Etsy seller RibbonsAndRetro for $89) but they are going to cost more online mostly because of shipping. Your best bet is to go hunting in your city and hope you find one for a good price.
I really like this map by Bianca Green. It would look great in a layered Bohemian room or a little girl’s room. It is a really good price too, the large print is $32.00 and there are smaller ones for a smaller price (sold on Society6).
A literary map of England? Count me in! I studied Jane Austen in England for a month in college and I literally think about it once a week (I’m serious). There is an American version too which is pretty cool. This poster is only $18.73! Buy it from The Literary Gift Company here.
Bold&Noble is this really cool company that makes typographical art. I love their maps section of course. They have everything from the world to individual cities. All prices are in pounds but the conversion makes most of their prints, including this one of Africa, about $67. Not cheap, but they are just so cool.
If you are already laughing that’s a good thing because I did just sneak a huge wall map from Sky Mall into this post about art. I know, I know, Sky Mall… but I love this giant wall map and I think it would look awesome in just about any room (dining room, kid’s room, the hallway). Just think, for $149.95 you can have a major piece of ‘art.’ Buy it here or just wait until the next time you fly.
Michael Tompsett has 169 different versions of map art on It’s kind of insane (there is one that is just a bunch of tiny dinosaurs grouped to make the shapes of countries … ???). I really like the watercolor ones like this map of Ireland in shades of green. Beautiful. It is a large print (20″ x 24″) for $47.99 so not too bad, buy it here.
Maps don’t have to be super traditional, they can be fun too like this sweet vintage map of Paris. I like how it is a combination of famous landmarks and roads. Buy it here for $29.99.
I’m not crazy in love with this map (it’s a little muted for my taste) but I do like the idea of a map being broken up into sections like this. It would be a pretty easy DIY if you were able to find a large map and then cut it and frame the sections. Or if you you’d rather spend money instead of time you can buy this one for $143.99 from World Market.
I think it is really cool to have a map of the city you live in or one you’ve lived in previously. I’ve wanted this neighborhood map of DC since I lived there but for some reason have never sprung for it. It’s even a reasonable $22.00 (here from Ork Posters).

Are you into maps as wall art? Are you drawn to certain cities or countries over others? I love a good world map, but I’m also really drawn to any map of New York City or Paris.

This is a completely subjective list of things that I think every house should have:

1) Art.

Everyone’s definition of art is different so no matter what you think art is, you should have some. Maybe you can only afford posters and family pictures, great! Frame them and get them on the wall. I like to think of my walls as a storyboard all about me (narcissist much?). When people come over and look at my gallery walls they are getting a glimpse of who I am as a person by what inspires me or makes me laugh.

2) A plant.

Or two or three. I once read that being able to keep a houseplant alive is a sign of mental wellbeing and since I generally believe everything I read (especially on the internet) I went a bought a plant immediately. I’ve had probably ten over the past few years, some die quickly and others have lasted years only to be killed in a 600 mile drive (RIP Orchid 2006-2008), but regardless they have made my living spaces more beautiful no matter how long they last. I currently have four in varies stages of ‘alive-ness’ but I like the way they look and I think they help indoor air quality (just googled it, they do).

3) Something funny.

Lord Byron said it best, “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” Have something or many things in your house that make you laugh, even if no one else gets it. Actually, especially if no one else gets it.

4) Something old.

I like old things, not just because they often look cool, but because they have a history. Several of my old pieces are from my Grandpa and I like to think about how he found them and where they lived before they came to me. Being open to the chips and cracks and all the imperfections of old items is a good metaphor for life.

5) Books.

I need to have books wherever I live. Even in my dorm room in college I had a small bookcase just because I needed a few of my favorite books with me (holla Jane Austen!). Bookshelves are sort of like my gallery wall, if people look at my bookshelf they can get a pretty good idea of who I am as a person by what I read. And let’s be honest, you look smarter if you have a lot of books around!

What would be on your list if you made one? I’d love to hear what five things you need to have wherever you live!

This weekend I knocked two things off of my final ‘to-do’ list for the second bedroom. The first is that I bought a $25 used box spring to raise the bed up to a normal height. Are you grossed out that I bought a used box spring? Well, don’t worry your pretty little head I checked it for bugs… ugh, now I’m grossed out.

The other project I did required more skill. In fact it required the ultimate skill: PATIENCE. Have I mentioned I’m impatient? Ugh. I can’t even talk about it stress me out.

The set of lamps (here) that I bought for $26 had seen better days so I decided to give them a face lift. The lamp bases aren’t bad, but the lampshades really needed some work. They are a good shape but a gross texture and color. So I weighed my options… I’ve painted a lampshade before and it turned out fine, but this time I decided to cover them in fabric.
I’ve seen a hundred tutorials on Pinterest so I read through a few and then just winged it. I decided to use a hot glue gun (some tutorials used spray adhesive and others used tacky glue). Amazingly I don’t own a glue gun even though I am relatively crafty so I had to buy one. It was $2.49! The glue sticks were more expensive at $2.99 but still cheap.
Choosing fabric turned out to be quite a task. There are so many patterns to choose from! Plus I had to consider how it would look with light filtering through it. After a solid 20 minutes of browsing (I went to Jo Ann Fabrics) I narrowed it down to these three:
I ultimately went with the middle one. The geometric flower was awesome but I wasn’t sure if I would like it long term and the pale grey chevron was a little too light for my bold taste. In this pictures it looks like the middle fabric is black and white but it is actually cream and navy blue. Chevron is trending down but I still like it so I went for it. It was $4.99 a yard plus 30% off which comes out to like $3.73 a yard after tax, not bad at all! The bolt was almost empty so I only got 2 and 3/4 yards and I crossed my fingers that it would be enough.
I won’t go into much detail on how I did the project because you’d be better off following another tutorial (like this one or this one) but the basic process was this:
1) I rolled out the fabric and sort of measured how much I would need. I did this at a friend’s house and I was distracted because we were talking so I didn’t do a very good job of measuring. C’est la vie. Side note: Don’t try to measure and cut fabric on carpet.
2) Once I had my piece cut out I started glueing it on. I only glued at the seam and around the edges, not the whole body of the shade. I also didn’t take pictures because I only have two hands.
3) It started to look bad so I just make stuff up.
4) I get it home and turn on the lights and I see this:
Don’t ever let me cut your hair because apparently I have no sense of what is straight. And I wasn’t even drunk! Geez.
After a little trimming all was well in the world.
That is as long as you don’t turn it around! Yep, seams be crazy. I’m a mess, I need help with my crafts. I am too impatient to do things right. I just get too excited and I don’t think things through. Lame. Wow, that looks so bad, I’m embarrassed to even post that… don’t judge me too harshly. That is actually the worst seam, the other lamp looks much better.
But everything looks good from this side!
The second one turned out much better.
Overall, I am happy with how they turned out. I’m a little annoyed that I didn’t do a better job on the seams, but oh well. After the fabric update each lamps still only cost $17! You seriously can not get a lamp that cheap anywhere so I’m very happy with two big lamps for only $34.
Have you tried fabric wrapping lampshades before? It seems like it should be easy, but it definitely took more skill and patience than I expected. Thankfully, the ‘bad’ lamp is an a corner and hopefully no one will turn it around and judge me.
Christmas was almost a month ago and I have yet to share some of the cool stuff I got as gifts. Well, better late than never. Here are some awesome things I got as gifts some of which I asked for (and have blogged about wanting previously) and some were lucky good guesses.
Do you notice what is different in this picture?
I got a white ceramic tortoise shell! Before I had a Singin’ in the Rain poster there. I love that movie and I’ve had the poster for about 10 years, but it was time for a change up (plus, I didn’t want to drill another hole).
But I love the tortoise shell there. I like how the light sort of spot lights it.
The tortoise shell is from Nate Berkus’ Target collection. I blogged about the shell here and here and I’m pretty sure I told my Mom like five times that I wanted it for Christmas so I was very excited that I got it.
My Mom is a major Nate Berkus fan so she also picked up this black and white chevron urn. I love it! I love a good black and white graphic print so it fits my style perfectly. I have a feeling this piece will be traveling all over my house but for now it is in the kitchen.
Here’s another think my Mom picked up for me. It is a sweet little spice jar from Anthropology. The name plate is chalkboard but I lost my chalk so I haven’t written anything on it yet. I love the red lid and how it works perfectly with my other kitchen stuff. I keep matches in it.
My Mom also got me this awesome chain link from the Nate Berkus collection (I told you she was a big fan). I featured it in this post. I don’t know what to do with this really, I just like it. It has moved around the house this past month, but at this moment it is on a side table in my living room.
So those are few of the cool things I got for Christmas. Oh, I also got this:
But I somehow missed taking a picture of it. I’ve wanted this for like two years so I was very excited to get it!
I love decorating but I can’t go out and buy everything I want all the time so Christmas is a good time to ask for stuff like this. One of the major benefits of being unmarried is that my parents still buy me lots of gifts!
Happy Friday!

Yesterday, I posted out all the silly/quaint/fanciful items that I keep around my house to make me smile. Today, I’ve rounded up some awesomely hilarious/sweet/odd items that can be used to add a little whimsy to your home’s style. Here we go!

Holla! I love this doormat because in my head I just keep thinking “Holla atcha gurl!” It is way too expensive (in my opinion) at $50 but you should DIY this and send me a picture. (here)
I pinned this tissue box like a year ago and it still makes me laugh when I see it. The best part? It’s only $4.99! Amazingly cheap. Plus, if you have a tissue box cover you don’t have to worry about buying the cute expensive tissue boxes, you can just get the cheap ugly boxes. Win-win! (here)
I think faux animal heads are probably on their way out as far as trends go, but I still think they are pretty funny. The smaller ones are $28 and bigger ones are $58, but I bet you can find them even cheaper if you look hard enough. (here
This is also something I pinned a while ago that still makes me laugh. It’s toast coasters! Hilarious! Is $14 expensive for coasters? I don’t know but I think it may be worth it to have these lying around. (here)
I love this glass head from Pier 1. It is beautiful but also odd. I can picture her on a stack of books or on an open shelf. Here for $19.95.
These are hilarious. Probably too juvenile for a grown woman to have in her home but if you have kids or an immature boyfriend by all means, get these. Here for $29.00.
I love this for two reasons 1) its a glass Ziploc bag which is funny and 2) it’s a candy bowl and we should bring back candy dishes. In college my roommate and I had a candy bowl and it was awesome. Here for $17.50.
This bookends are so silly. I think it would be funny to have a row of very serious books and then cap them off with such a whimsical balloon animal. Here for $39.95.
Tea towels are another easy way to bring whimsy into your home. My personal favorite is this dog walker tea towel from Fishs Eddy for $12.95 here.
Skeptical about adding whimsy? These bird knobs are the perfect way to subtly add charm to a piece of traditional furniture. They are $7.98 here.
Happy Weekend!

Inspired by Jonathan Adler

October 19, 2012 — 1 Comment

I’ve been such a good girl lately because I’ve been going to the library instead of buying books like I usually do (more on my book problem here). Last time I was at the library I checked out several interior design books. The best one I’ve read so far is Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Accessorizing.

It’s interesting to read actual design books because my brain is so ‘internet’… the whole time I was looking through this book I kept thinking “I want to pin this!” instead of just enjoying it for what it is. The internet has made me not trust my brain to remember things. I’m afraid if I don’t pin or bookmark something the information will literally be lost and I will never find it again. I know this isn’t true, but because I am an internet baby I had to do something before I returned it to the library so I took pictures of my favorite pages (somehow this feels like plagiarism, but I don’t think it actually is).

I loved these 10 tips on how to style a bookcase. I have so many books that I just try and cram as many as possible on my shelves instead of actually ‘styling’ them. Since you probably can’t read what this says, here are the main points:

1) Vertical vs. horizontal book stacks
2) Balance – two like items at different heights
3) Seize a tchotchke moment
4) Intersperse art
5) Small groupings – instead of a whole shelf of books use only few on one shelf
6) Crowning – use the top shelf to display large objects
7) Disrespect the shelf – let things hang over the edge
8) Hidden artwork – layer artwork with books and objects
9) An airy collection – resist the urge to overfill every shelf
10) Single stack

How to style a credenza:

– Gather all the things you available to use
– Play around with it all, it doesn’t have to all be used so try something and if it doesn’t work move it around or don’t use it at all.
– For this vignette, Adler used white and shades of blue accessories and then added in yellow flowers to give the eye something to focus on.
– He uses books, coasters, and little boxes to lift small vases and tchotchkes to give them height.
– In the last image you can see how he does two very different designs the one on the left is very layered and the one right is more balanced and minimalistic… same accessories, very different look.

I took a picture of this dining room not because I love (though it is beautiful, of course) but because of what he said about it. He says that this dining room table is in a very fancy flat owned by people who rarely host parties so for most of the year this table sits empty and unused. He decided that instead of leaving the table top blank he would use it to stack books on it to give it a faux library/book shop look. I love it! I actually use my dining room table (as I mentioned here), but maybe some day I’ll need to do this.

This kitchen is perfection. All white and pale grey fixtures with accents in bright green and yellow… I think everyone would be happy with this kitchen.

Have you looked at any interior design books lately? Please tell me I’m not the only one that mental ‘pins’ everything!