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Photographs of my Bedroom

October 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser

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

A Baby Greenhouse

August 23, 2013 — Leave a comment

Okay, it’s not a greenhouse for babies (although that could either be adorable or horrifying depending how you interpret the meaning) but it is a tiny greenhouse and it’s freaking adorable. Let me start at the beginning. I’ve been obsessed with this greenhouse from IKEA since I first saw it online a while back (I gushed about it here) but I haven’t been to IKEA in about two years so I was satisfied with admiring it from afar. That is until my parents made a trip to IKEA and asked me if they could pick anything up for me. A day later, this baby was in my house (and it was only $19.99!).

Of course, the hitch in the plan was that I was attempting to assemble something from IKEA with my dominant hand in a cast, but dang it if I am not obsessively determined/this thing was actually easy to assemble.
I like that it has three settings:
1) Propped open

2) Open

3) Closed

Alright you got me, I am guilty of buying something that I don’t have a place for or anything to fill it with, but I kind of don’t care because I like it so much.

I envision it filled with little baby plants and other little objects, but one step at a time. For now, I am just enjoying having a tiny greenhouse on my dining room table.

H&M Home Line

August 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

Who doesn’t love H&M? I tend to forget about it but then I do remember it I get excited because of all the cool, cheap stuff. The amazing news is that H&M just launched an online home store! Yep, I couldn’t be more excited either because it combines my two loves, cool cheap stuff and online shopping.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

(I had to include this obvs, it’s my name… spelled correctly!)
So what do you think? I’m excited, but who know if I’ll actually ever buy anything. Although, that horse pillow is singing my song.

A Swiss Souvenir

August 8, 2013 — 1 Comment
I’ve discussed my love of souvenir collecting several times (here and here), but it bears repeating that I love buying things when I’m traveling to bring home and display. My gallery walls are like storyboards of my life so adding things from my travels only makes sense. It all started with my ink and pencil drawing collection but I expanded to other items like a painted feather from Mexico when the right drawing didn’t find me. While in Switzerland I couldn’t find a drawing I liked but I did find something equally cool.

I’m assuming what I got is considered very touristy in Switzerland but since I live in Indiana and I know very few people who’ve ever been to Switzerland I don’t think too many people will judge me. I decided to place it on the big blank blue wall in my bedroom which is currently awaiting further direction. Until I decide what I want this wall to function as, a little 3M hook makes my new piece temporary eye candy.

Have you ever seen a fabric calendar before? It felt nostalgic to get this piece for several reasons. One, it is a good reminder of my trip (the chalet I stayed in is very similar to the one depicted) and two, my Grandma used to have fabric calendars and she even made me a quilt of them once (which is now in storage because it is threadbare). I especially like all the iconic imagery in black and white, it’s graphic while still being sweet and vintage looking. Also, as soon as I saw it I knew it would look insane against my blue wall. Switzerland is surprisingly expensive, but I’m really glad I decided to grab this piece.

(If you are annoyed with how blurry these pictures are you may direct your complaints to my cast, which makes taking pictures a nearly futile adventure.)

I’m still chugging away on my thrift shops articles (all available to read here) which means I’m still trying hard to not spend money every weekend.
Thankfully, this last time I only spend $2.99 on this framed art. It looks small here but it’s actually about 18″ wide and 12″ tall. I really like the frame even though it is a little beat up. And let’s be honest, this is not the best painting ever painted but it’s a sweet little scene.

Right now this painting is just leaning against my bedroom wall but I have a few ideas about how to spruce this guy up.

Idea #1:

Paint over the existing painting with new colors. I saw this on Pinterest awhile back and thought it was such a creative idea. It’s basically a play on paint with numbers. It’s unique and cheap and could potentially be easy. Although, let’s be honest a lot of these types of projects look easy and I over-confidently think I can do it but then I get into the project and… it’s a mess. But I’m just crazy enough to keep trying projects like this.


Idea #2:

I actually reference this idea in my last attempt at DIY art (here). I like this project because it is extremely simple. Stick letters on canvas, paint over letters, dry, peel, and done! I’m not sure what I could write on such a small canvas though…

What would you do? I’m leaning toward Idea #1 but I’ll see what my mood is when I decide to start this project. For now, it will just be a weird little painting in my room.

As much as I love IKEA, I haven’t been to an actual IKEA store in over a year. The closest one to Indianapolis is in Cincinnati which is not close by. It is definitely a day trip plus you have to have the right vehicle to be able to bring home furniture. But despite the fact that I haven’t been in a while doesn’t mean that I don’t online window shop at IKEA all the time.

I’ve previously listed out all of the things in my home from IKEA (it’s actually still accurate even though it was written last August), so this is a list of the things I love from IKEA that I would buy if I had more money and space (and a big enough vehicle to bring it all back from Cincinnati).

Originally this was just going to be one post but I found that I liked way too much stuff so it became a two parter!

I have a great front porch and nicely sized back yard but I have yet to invest in any patio furniture. I like this classic wicker deck chair. Perhaps four of these chairs around a brightly colored round table would look nice? Available here for $34.99 each.
I am one of those people who go through dish towels like candy. I use a new one like every day, mostly because I do not like soggy towels. For this reason, I am always on the look out for a cool new dish towel. Available here for $2.99.
I only have curtains in my dining room but lately I’ve been considering them for my entry way window and even in my living room. I’m still on the fence but these subtle grey linen ones are lovely. The pair is available here for $49.99.
Is this rug too crazy? I kind of love how crazy it is. I also love how super Swedish it is. Available here for $49.99.
I’m not an artist but if I were I would want this rolling filing cabinet. I guess you wouldn’t have to be an artist to use it but I can just imagine using it for large pencil drawings or something equally cool. Available here for $119.00.
I actually have this lamp in the floor lamp size but I think the table lamp size is adorable. Available here for $29.99.

Large graphic prints are definitely my thing so this bold striped throw is right up my alley. Available here for $19.99

My West Elm shower curtain is still my favorite but this simple black and white shower curtain is lovely too. Available here for $14.99.
I am always on the lookout for a good light fixture because there are still several in my house that I would like to replace. I love the bold yet simple look of this light fixture. Available here for $69.99.

This mod pendant is so delicious, I want to lick it. It is a massive and bold piece that would be a great statement piece in any home. Available here for $49.99.

I’ve been thinking about replacing the credenza in my dining room for a while now. Maybe this simple yet unique locker cabinet would be a nice upgrade? Available here for $99.00.

I’m not normally big on patterned curtains since they can look dated fast but these curtains may just be cool enough to change my mind. The pair is available here for $24.99.
This light fixture is probably a little bold for most people but I think it is so cheery! It would look awesome in a bathroom or a closet. Available here for $14.99.
I’ll be back Thursday for Part 2!

You know I bought a house which is an awesome thing to be able to do, but there are things I didn’t know when I bought a house. Okay, let me rephrase that, there are things I didn’t think about before I bought a house. How I would care for my yard was one of those things.

I bought my house in January so yard work was very far from my mind when I signed all my paperwork, but spring came soon enough and I found myself with an overgrown yard and no tools to care for it.

I started to research lawnmowers and checking craigslist for used ones, but nothing was catching my eye so I decided to buy a new one. After much internal debating I decided to buy an electric mower as opposed to a gas powered one. I make a lot of bad environmental choices (I drive an SUV), but I try to do my part in other ways like recycling so I figured buying an electric mower would be an easy way for me to be conscientious.

I decided to buy this one:

It is a Task Force 12-amp electric push mower (available for purchase here). It was $169 which was by far the most boring $169 I have ever spent. Despite how annoying it was to pay that much for something, I seriously love this mower. I don’t particularly love mowing the grass but it’s not that bad really, it just takes a lot of time. The reason I love this mower is because it is lightweight and easy for me to maneuver  The limit to using an electric mower is that you are literally tied down with a cord so this only works for smaller lawns. My lawn is about 4,000 square feet which is just about the perfect size to use an electric mower.
I honestly don’t remember how long the cord I got is, but I think it’s like 100 ft or something.
Once I got a lawnmower I felt empowered about what yard work I could accomplish so I got more yard tools!
The next item on my list was a weed wacker. I decided on this one:
It is a Toro 8″ cordless trimmer (not sure what the 8″ refers to… the length of the plastic string maybe?). It was $49.99 (available here) and it was the most boring $49.99 I’ve ever spent. But even though it was boring money to spend I do like this trimmer. It has a chargeable battery, so it’s cordless which is very convenient. It may not be powerful enough for a guy but for me it is the perfect size and amount of power.
After I bought these two large and expensive tools I was tapped out but then after a few weeks I decided I needed a few more things.
It is probably overkill but I actually find it satisfying to sweep my porch and sidewalks after I mow. I feel old-timey.
I do not rake up my grass clippings because that is insane. But I do use my rake a few times a year after I trim the front bushes.
This is the trimmer I got a few weeks ago:
I wrote about it here. While it is helpful to an extent, this little trimmer was definitely not worth $49.99. I am still debating about whether or not I should return this tool, but for now I still have it.
So those are all of the yard tools I had to buy. It was nearly $300 worth of merchandise that I totally didn’t even budget for. Yikes! That is my big piece of advice for the day: If you are new to homeownership don’t forget to budget for yard tools!

Do you feel the same way I do about buying yard tools?

I’ve been doing this thrift shops series for which means once a month for the past few months I’ve been spending hours driving around trying out thrift shops for research. Best research ever! But also worst research ever because it’s so tempting to buy stuff. So far I’ve written pieces on thrift shops on the east side, north side, and the downtown. Of those three research trips I spent $16, $30, and $15. Not terrible, but it’s still money spent every month.

This past weekend I was out on the west side researching and I came across a globe. Globes are crazy trendy and since they are easy to find and generally affordable they are a great trend to jump on. So I was not surprised that I found a globe since they are everywhere but what was surprising was how cheap it was at $12.50. The globe in my entry was about that same price when I got it about a year ago, but lately I’ve been seeing them listed for $20 and up so I was pleasantly surprised to see one that cheap. But I still probably wouldn’t have bought it if it weren’t for this:

Shut. Up. It’s a light up globe. I nearly squealed when (after asking the store manager where an outlet was) I plugged it in and it worked! For $12.50! Seriously, you can’t buy a lamp for under $40 let alone an amazingly life changing globe lamp. Love.

For locals I found this at Trader Baker’s Vendor Mall in Avon (or you can wait until my west side thrift shops article is published for more info!). Seriously, though, how amazing is this light up globe?! Have you ever seen one like this? If this had been at a cooler store they could have easily charged $50 for it.

Tip of the day: The further you drive away from any downtown area the cheaper the thrift-able goods get.

Yep, you read that correctly. Jonathan Adler has a collection for the ubiquitous chain store J.C. Penney.  If you aren’t familiar with Jonathan Adler he’s awesome…ly expensive (also, I did a post about him a while back – here). His designs are amazing and bold and crazy and insanely expensive so when I heard that he did a collection for JCP I was super excited! Thankfully there are quite a few affordable options in his collection and a lot of seriously awesome stuff. Let’s have a look shall we?

This cheery kitchen set is $8, $12, and $18 respectively. Not cheap, but not outrageous either. I love all the patterns and there is also a pink and orange set.
It’s no secret that I love books and since book ends are like book accessories I’m always looking for a new set. I love love love these apple bookends. Adorable. And for $38 they aren’t outrageous (especially considering similar bookends from Jonathan Adler’s collection are $195).
Sweet cherry picture frame for only $15.
This classic Greek key patterned picture frame is very cool for only $15.
This lamp is only about a foot high and costs $28 but it is seriously adorable. I love the color of the shade.
Owl lamps are everywhere but I’d bet that Jonathan Adler was the first to design one (he’s famous for figurines and statues). This little gem is about 20″ tall and costs $35.
I don’t know if anyone really needs a huge serving bowl. I think I have a few that I use like once a year, but if you don’t buy useless kitchen stuff what will fill all those cabinets you have? Plus, this is beautiful and for $35 it would be a lovely gift for a friend.
I love love this acrylic tray. The pattern is so happy. Trays are one of those weird decorating things that you don’t really need but you can always find a place for. And it’s only $25!

I know it’s girly but I love throw pillows. Any time I am sitting on a couch or chair I have to have a pillow on my lap. I’m not sure why but it’s comforting. Since I need to have one anyway why not make them super beautiful like this cheery flower pillow for $32.

Or this bold ‘X’ pillow for $35.
So what do you guys think? Are you a fan? I am so excited that all these designers are doing affordable versions of their collections.
Maybe some day I’ll be able to afford a ‘real’ piece of Jonathan Adler’s work, but until then I am happy to get the ‘cheap’ version.

I only like to shop if it is one of two ways, thrifting or online. Don’t take me to a mall or a grocery store because I’ll be bored and frustrated (obvious exception being Target because I have a soul), but take me to a big thrift shop or give me a computer I’ll be a crazy happy shopper.

I love thrifting because you can find unique items at reasonable prices and online shopping is awesome because you can price shop and read reviews. I really don’t shop any other way so it is logical that I would want to combine my two loves. The essence of thrifting is hunting for unique items that are marked with prices that are negotiable but unfortunately that experience doesn’t translate well online. Well, fear not! Because there is a sliver of hope for those of you who love thrifting but are too lazy to leave your house (we’ve all been there). This post is all about finding unique items at good prices all from the comfort of your home.

The obvious first answer to online thrifting is craigslist. It’s true, you can’t have items shipped to you and there is some human interaction involved, but the selection is vast, the prices flexible, and all you have to do is pick up. I’m a huge craigslist fan because it is like garage sale-ing without all the driving around looking at crap. I can spend five minutes a day for a week searching ‘dressers’ and I’m pretty much guaranteed to find something I like for a good price. I can ask questions about the item, negotiate price, and schedule a pick up time all online. This isn’t technically online shopping which would involve a shipping option but it is a heck of a lot faster and more efficient than spending an entire Saturday morning driving around going to yard sales and thrift shops hoping you find a dresser that you like.

Another good option is Etsy. While known for handmade goods, Etsy also has a large selection of vintage items. You can search ‘vintage lighting’ and find all sorts of cool options in a wide range of prices. The down side? You will pay for the convenience of having a vast selection of highly curated items to choose from especially once you add in shipping fees. But if the idea of searching high and low throughout the city for old leather suitcases (or whatever it is your heart desires) stresses you out then maybe paying extra is something you are willing to do.

Online auctions likes Ebay and Shop Goodwill can also offer you a thrifting-like experience, especially with the ability to price haggle. Of course, there is more risk involved since you may not get the item you want, or worse you over pay, but there are similar concepts involved. Auction sites are great for the specific and rare items you would hope to find while thrifting but don’t have the time to search for every weekend.

If you are extremely lazy or maybe it’s just super smart (let’s go with super smart) you could email or message a thrift shop near you to do the work for you. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Let me give an example. A few months ago a friend and I went the Indie Arts & Vintage Marketplace (you should go!), she was looking for a specific item which she amazingly found… except that it was already sold. She was disappointed, but what can you do? Well, what you can do is ‘like’ that seller on Facebook and message them saying, “Hey, I liked this item that you sold, if you ever get another one let me know!” Guess what my friend had a few weeks later? Yep, the item she wanted and all she had to do was send a one sentence message (she’s really smart). So if you are looking for something specific and you don’t want to waste your time shopping all around the city or pay for it to be shipped from Australia, the next best thing is to ask an expert and maybe they will find it for you. It never hurts to ask! If you don’t know what sellers to contact check out the Indie Arts ‘Exhibitor List,’ it’s a great starting point.

Bottom line is this: thrift shops are a unique animal and the internet can’t compete. I know that’s a big statement to make since the internet is infallible after all, but sadly it’s true. You can definitely find awesome and unique stuff online but you are probably going to pay for it. And there are lots of great deals to be had on the internet if you look hard enough but they may not be the most unique items. If you compromise on price or uniqueness you may be able to find some cool stuff, but nothing beats the experience of sifting through a huge room full of crazy items to find the one plaid wool blanket that fulfills all your desires and only costs $3.00.

Good luck!