Archives For West Elm

A few months ago I revealed that I have too much space (I know, major first world problem). My house is just shy of 1,000 sq ft, hence the blog title ‘little house’, but for one person and medium sized dog that is a lot of space. At least more than I was used to. The truth of the matter is that I do not need a guest room/office which I mood boarded here. So I decided it was time to face the fact that I need to rent the room out. My hesitation in renting before was that I really, really enjoy living alone. It is so nice and quiet, I don’t have to wear pants like ever, and I can paint a room at 2 am with asking anyone’s permission; it’s basically heaven on earth. BUT, I was beginning to feel like a bit of a space glutton. I have this perfectly nice room that isn’t being used and I can always use extra money so I (reluctantly) put on my big girl pants and looked into renting out the room. I debated about opening up the listing to friends but instead I opted to go a completely different route. I decide to host an international college student. The reason I chose this route is because it is extremely flexible. The students come for four week sessions and if I ever don’t want a student for a particular month I can just say ‘no.’ I also have someone I can go to if for some reason things aren’t working out and I want the student to move to a different home (you definitely don’t have that option when you rent to a person on a one year lease!). I’m a little nervous but mostly I think it will just be really weird and interesting. Since I decided to host someone as opposed to rent out the room I had to completely furnish the room. Thankfully, I already had a rug, dresser, and bed so this entire room makeover only cost me $100. Not bad!

Keep in mind this isn’t my best work. I by no means love this room and I didn’t ‘design’ it like I have any other part of my house. But I figured that an international student who will be completely out of their element wouldn’t really appreciate my putting them up in a room that had navy blue walls with orange accents. So I went for subtle and sparse instead which is basically the opposite of my style but ah well, here it is… Oh, if you want before pictures go here.

So we are in agreement that this is a really sad makeover right? It isn’t at all what I would have done if the room were for myself. But, I do think it will be perfectly acceptable for a student.
What I did:
– Since this was a zero to low-cost makeover I used the half gallon of paint (Behr- Graceful Gray) I had left over from the first kitchen wall color (here. It is also the color of the stripe in the entry way, here). I should get an award for this paint job. I painted the whole room with half a gallon of paint and I did it under an hour and a half! I just high-fived myself.
– I got the desk chair and matching lamp set from a used furniture store for $44.00 total. I love the chair because it is that old kind that gently bounces.
– I got this awesome desk on craigslist for $60. It was one of those old steel case desks that weighs about 200lbs (seriously). I love the green. I also really like how big the desktop is. It’s perfect for a student.
– I hung art that I had lying around. I tried to pick pieces that weren’t offensive or anything. I got the vintage French ad for my 12th birthday. I was obsessed with it forever. The trend is way over but I still love that piece and I’ll always keep it around.
What still needs done:
–  I want to buy a box spring for the daybed so the bed will have more height. I saw some used ones on craigslist for about $35 so not too expensive.
– The lamps still need some love. The bases are in good shape but the lampshades have seen better days. I’m thinking about wrapping them in fabric or something. Stay tuned…
– I did not get around to changing the light fixture in this room yet, but someday I will. Thankfully the one in there is innocuous. Next time I go to IKEA I’ll probably pick up one of the ones I mentioned in this post about lighting.
– Eventually, much further down the road, I will refinish the hardwood floors.
Overall, it’s an improvement over the former storage room that it was, but not by far.

West Elm Lovin’

November 27, 2012 — Leave a comment

As I mentioned here, West Elm just opened a store in Indianapolis. This weekend I visited the new store and I loved it! Looking online or through a catalog is totally different than going to an actual store (I tend to forget that since I don’t go shopping very often).

Here are few things I noticed and the one thing I bought. None of these pictures are good because I felt super weird taking pictures in the store. It somehow felt wrong so these are pictures that I took very sneakily.

This pictures is of a hand carved bird statue. They were adorable but mostly I took this picture because they represent something super cool that West Elm does… they sell Etsy products in their stores! So cool. These little birds are from a shop called 50 Little Birds and they are made locally here in Indianapolis.
I love this wreath made of felt balls. They also have it in a garland. Although I would love to buy it I also know it is totally DIYable.
It may be hard to see from this picture but these are paper flowers. I don’t know why but I really loved them.
This is what I bought (obviously, since it’s on my dining room table). Yep, I bought a white ceramic cornucopia. Super random? You bet. But I actually pinned it a while back because I liked it and it was on sale in the store. Originally $40 I got it for $19.99. It is pretty big at about 15″ long and about 5 lb. (I’m mostly exaggerating about the weight but it is pretty heavy especially when you are trying to carry it around a mall).  This purchase typifies my ‘tip’ from this post. If you can hold out through a holiday everything is really marked down afterward.

If you live in Indy you should check it out. It was fun to visit the store.

Coming Soon…

October 31, 2012 — 1 Comment

The other day I got awesome news in the mail:

West Elm is opening a store in Indy! Woohoo!

I don’t remember when I first heard of West Elm but it was a few years ago and I’ve been a fan ever since. If you’ve never heard of it I would say it is like a cooler more modern version of Pottery Barn which means I can’t really afford much but it is all so pretty to look at. Actually, their prices aren’t that bad I just have to not be so cheap when it comes to buying furniture.

In honor of this momentous occasion here are some of my favorite West Elm pieces:

Parson’s Desk $349. If you read any other blogs or design magazines than you have surely seen this desk. It is a classic desk that can be used for many different purposes and with all kinds of interior design styles.

Boerum Dining Table $509. I LOVE this table. It is such a classic farmhouse style that it could be styled any number of ways. This is also a great price for a dining table. If you are like me any price over $100 is painful, but dining room tables are crazy expensive so $509 isn’t bad. It doesn’t come with chairs but probably the best thing you could ever do is not buy a matching dining room set ever again (I have one so I’m not judging). A table like this with white plastic S chairs or fabric parsons chairs would look great.

Dokter + Misses Table Lamp $79. I love this lamp because it is a unique enough design that you won’t feel like you are spending your money on something you could just pick up at Target for $30.

Alyson Fox Pillow Covers $34. West Elm always has cool pillow covers and these are no exception. They often have ‘guest artists’ who design cool stuff like these pillows by Alyson Fox.

Rocking Birds $14-$29. Do you need rocking birds? Of course not, but how freaking adorable are these??? I chose this to represent the whimsical side of West Elm. Their accessories aren’t as funny as CB2’s but they have few things that I just love because of their randomness.

Ikat Ogee Linen Window Panel $69 per panel. These curtains are one of the three things I own from West Elm. They are currently at my parent’s house but I should get them back because I like them. I do not remember paying this much for them though… either I am in denial or they were way cheaper a year ago! If you are looking for nice curtains West Elm has a lot of lovely options (though they aren’t cheap).

Windows Day Bed $449. This is also a very popular West Elm item. I would love to own one of these for my soon to be screened in front porch. I actually own a West Elm daybed which I got on Craigslist (picture here) for only $150 so I’m happy enough.

Tortoise Shell $79. As I mentioned here, Nate Berkus’ collection at Target is selling a similar tortoise shell, but West Elm was the originator (or at least it is the first place I saw it but maybe they took the idea from someone else).

Tali Printed Shower Curtain $39. The third West Elm item I own is my shower curtain which I love. West Elm usually has a good selection of unique shower curtains all for about $39.

Ryder Rocking Chair $489. I exaggerate a lot but when I tell you that I have dreams about this chair that is no joke. I literally dreamed about it a few months ago. I love this because it so unique, practical, and beautiful – that is serious triple threat in design!

If you live in Indy you should definitely check out West Elm when it opens or at the very least you should go here and sign up to get their catalog.

Happy Shopping!

Online Window Shopping: Rugs

October 17, 2012 — 1 Comment

As I shared yesterday, I have two rugs in my bedroom now. The zig zag rug was purchased from for $80 about 10 months ago.

It is a very low pile rug which I don’t mind. It’s a bold statement for a low price. I get tired of rugs after a few years so I don’t want to feel too bad when I get rid of them. The first rug I ever bought was the pod rug from CB2. It was expensive to me at around $250.

It is a great quality rug which I still have (it’s hanging in the second bedroom) but since it is wool it shed everywhere which was annoying. I now prefer weaved or low pile rugs, this works in my favor since those are much cheaper rugs… but they aren’t comfortable or cozy really, so it comes down to a preference thing. The rug in my living room is the Stockholm Rand rug from IKEA which costs $299 but I got it for $50 in the ‘As Is’ section.

I love that rug, unfortunately is pretty dirty now, but I think I just need to get a carpet cleaner and it will be fine. So that is my rug run down. I would love to eventually add a runner in my kitchen and a rug in my dining room so here are some rugs that I found online that are both affordable and cool.

Gradiated Stripe Cotton Dhurrie by West Elm, the 5’x8′ is only $99. This rug is great and it comes in blue and orange as well. West Elm is pretty high end stuff so this rug should be good quality. If I ever replace my Stockholm Rand in my living room I’ll probably replace it with something like this since the 8’x10′ (the size I really need in my living room) is only $229.

Bemba Printed Jute Rug by West Elm, 5’x8′ is $199. This rug is a little pricey for me, but for rugs in general it is cheap. I like this print even though it doesn’t fit with the style of any of my rooms currently.

Kodlby Cowhide by IKEA for $199. I have wanted a cowhide rug since I was a kid (I was a weird kid) and IKEA’s cowhides are a great price. My parent’s have this one and I’m super jealous. Cowhides can run from $400-$700 so $199 is great price (although I can’t speak for the humane treatment of the cows used for these rugs).

Alvine Ruta rug by IKEA, $249. I think this rug is lovely. It has that sort of hard Aztec vibe but in such a cheery yellow it would look great in any room.

Lappljung Ruta rug by IKEA, $69.99. This rug is a weird shape, it a 7’x7′ square instead of the traditional rectangle shape. I love this pattern. Like the rug before it has that aztec feel and in black and white it is very bold and hard, which is totally my thing.

Honeycomb area rug by Target, $159. This rug also comes in black and white, but this olive and grey is so moody that I love it.

Asilah Sahara rug by Target, $199. This rug isn’t my particular style but it is so beautiful and fancy that it would look great if your style is more soothing neutral colors (as opposed to my more graphic saturated color palette).

Hand Woven Wool Twist rug by Target, $143. I wish I could show you a close up of this rug because this rug looks like a sweater up close (click the link and you’ll see). I’m in love with this rug and I wish I had the money and space for it.

Zig Zag rug by Urban Outfitters, 5’x7′ is $89. This rug comes in tons of colors (black, teal, yellow, etc) and it is from a respectable brand. What I love about this rug is that it is such a trendy pattern for a low price. When/if this pattern goes out of style you won’t have invested hundreds of dollars (this was my thought process behind the zig zag rug in my bedroom).

Herringbone rug by Urban Outfitters, 5’x7′ for $89. I love a good herringbone pattern! This rug is awesome and I love it in this bright navy blue. This rug also comes in many colors including gold and coral.

Scallop rug by Urban Outfitters, 5’x7′ for $89. Does this scallop rug look familiar? Well, if you read Young House Love then you will recognize it as the rug they have in their kitchen (in grey). I personally love it in this green.

Happy rug shopping!

Craigslist is My Addiction

October 7, 2012 — 7 Comments

I have a craigslist problem. For the past six months I’ve been on a self-induced craigslist ban. My problem is that every time I get on there I find something awesome that I just have to have. Just a refresher on what I’ve already purchase on craigslist for this house:

Campaign Chest


Union Jack Dresser

Jenny Lind Bed
Emeco Navy Chairs

Kohler Medicine Cabinet Mirror

West Elm Daybed and Mattress

On Thursday I broke my craigslist ban and found these chairs. I got the set for $10! I mean seriously, they are so cool and I couldn’t pass them by at that price.

They obviously aren’t in the best condition. Maybe some day I’ll take the time to de-rust and re-stain them, but honestly I think they look cool the way they are. Plus, for $10 my porch looks like it isn’t an empty box. It’s so nice to walk up to my house and actually see something there, but now I’m back on my craigslist ban… 🙁

As I shared in this post, I have a second bedroom problem. It is a junk room and I don’t have any budget to really make it look good. So for the past few days I’ve been using my brain and a lot of imagination to create a mood board and floor plan to help me make this room less of a nasty pit.

As you may or may not notice from the mood board, I own most of the things on this board which makes it less of a ‘mood/inspiration’ board and more of a ‘creative repurposing’ board. Some explanations are below and a numerical chart that is out of order (this may be the most confusing thing ever):

5) I think I finally decided on this paint color which is Anonymous by Behr. I think it is a pretty classic color and will go well with everything I already have.

10) This is my Pod Rug by CB2. It is no longer available because I bought it three years ago. I think it was about $250. It is a really well made rug but it did shed for a year (I think it has finally shed all the excess). The room is pretty much based off of this rug because it is the one thing in there that I want to keep and actually like.

6) This is the Ingo table by IKEA and it’s $69.99. It is the one thing on this mood board that I don’t already own. I would like to use it as a desk. I would like to paint it a nice shiny white.

7) I own this chair (two actually). This is the Emeco Navy chair and they are super expensive, like $750 expensive. I found two on Craigslist for $30… I’m not even joking. Best. Craigslist. Purchase. Ever.

9) This is my West Elm daybed. It is also no longer available (when it was, it sold for $229 without the mattress). I got it on Craigslist for $150 plust a brand new twin mattress. Craigslist for the win! I intend to put this on my from porch when it is eventually screened in but for now it is nice to have a bed in this room in case someone wants to spend the night.

3) This the my IKEA Linnarp bookcase. It is currently in my bedroom but I don’t like it in there anymore. When I eventually get the bookcase of my dreams for my dining room I want to move this out of my bedroom and either sell it or move into the second bedroom. It could be nice for pretty linens and office supplies.

1, 12-14) These four images are all relate to one another. The first #1 is my inspiration. I love this corner gallery. Instead of using frames though I am going to use #12 the stencil I bought this weekend (I’ll share where I bought it later this week). The two paint colors are #13 Glowing Firelight by Behr and #14 Night Watch by Behr. I definitely want to use the navy to do the stencil because it will look good against the wall color, but I’m toying with doing sections of the stencil in the orange…Either way I think having the stencil going around the corner (top right of the floor plan) will look really cool.

2, 4, 8,11) All three of these are inspiration images. The first #2, is such a cool idea. They took these large frames and put cork in them so they can be used as cool bulletin boards. I actually have two large empty frames that I want to do this to. I think it will be a pretty cheap project. I also, love the inspiration boards in #11, #8, & #4. They are like big (mostly) free art!

Floor Plan: the door on the bottom left is the door into the hallway and the other door on the top left is the closet door. The thing in between the doors is the bookcase #3. The windows are above the bed and the desk.

So that’s my inspiration! Hope you could follow all of that- I am new to the mood board world so I’ll get better. Believe it or not I spent a lot of time working on all of this and I’m pretty excited about doing this little (mostly) free makeover. I’m not sure I’ll get to it this weekend, but I hope to do parts of it over the next few weeks. Are you planning any mostly-free projects?