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Switching to Sheer Curtains

March 29, 2016

Switching to Sheer Curtains | design-vox.com

I purchased this condo in 2010, and as I’ve mentioned on this blog at that point in time I had no real interest in or knowledge of interior design. Owning my own home was definitely the catalyst towards taking an interest, but unfortunately some of the decisions I made back in 2010 weren’t the greatest. I have repainted several rooms since then. One decision I made back then stuck around for nearly six years partly out of laziness and partly because curtains are expensive, ya’ll. I purchased these two simple tan burlap-ish curtains from Bed Bath & Beyond all those years ago. In 2010 I assumed that because I was getting tan carpet I had to get tan curtains (and that my walls had to be brown, bleck). What? I don’t know why I thought that.

They really aren’t awful curtains but they are completely wrong for this window. It is a sliding glass door so it’s huge, and these two panels only barely cover the entire thing. When I purchased them I didn’t know that you’re “supposed” to have panels that are quite a bit wider than your window so there’s plenty of coverage and also so they have a full, gathered look even when fully drawn. This is one of those design “rules” that I completely support as one you shouldn’t try to break.

Switching to Sheer Curtains | design-vox.com

So when I was randomly browsing Serena & Lily’s sale section and saw they were selling some striped sheer linen panels (now sold out) for $19 marked down from $58, I jumped on it. These panels are just as wide as my old ones. The trick is that I purchased four! I have not been able to find ready-made curtain panels anywhere that are wide enough to cover a sliding glass door properly, so if you can’t afford custom made, buying four panels is a smart option.

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Switching to Sheer Curtains | design-vox.com

What I really didn’t anticipate with this change is how dramatically different the room would feel. In the above photo you can get a sense for the contrast between the old, heavy, solid curtains and the light, bright, airiness of the sheers. They are a white linen with a subtle blue stripe. I love neutrals but the touch of color here is welcome.

Switching to Sheer Curtains | design-vox.com

Huge difference, right? The old curtains had a big visual presence and their tan color made the whole room feel a little muddier. The sheer panels obviously let a ton more light in while also being less visually dominant. It’s like the room can breathe. I am obsessed with how much more light floods into this room now. We often left the old curtains closed or mostly closed without giving it much thought. Now we don’t really have the option of darkening the room, which I will admit was my only concern with this change since my husband does like to use the television during the day sometimes. I hung these one morning before he woke up without telling him first… haha. He hasn’t complained yet!

Switching to Sheer Curtains | design-vox.com

Switching to Sheer Curtains | design-vox.com

I took these photos rather hastily, but those cords are pretty much always sticking out from underneath the TV so there’s some real life for you.

Switching to Sheer Curtains | design-vox.com

You’ll have to forgive the fact that the old curtains are seen thrown over the sofa in these photos; a certain someone decided they would make an excellent bed and didn’t leave the spot for several hours.

Switching to Sheer Curtains | design-vox.com

A couple days later I moved my beloved new myrtle topiary and restyled this little table. I’d dare say it’s my favorite vignette in the house at the moment. The cats seem to approve.

Switching to Sheer Curtains | design-vox.comSwitching to Sheer Curtains | design-vox.com

This whole business of figuring out my style and then how to actually apply it to our home, on a tight budget, has seen slow but steady progress since 2010. It’s hard not to focus on the parts of the condo that I’m still not happy with, but truthfully there have been so many improvements. All I can do is keep learning more about design, keep finding inspiration, and keep an eye on the sale section. 😉

Surprisingly enough my next post may also be an update on our home, because TOMORROW WE ARE GETTING NEW KITCHEN COUNTERS. AND SINK. AND FAUCET. I’m not even going to apologize for the all caps because that there is exciting. The only major thing that will be left in the kitchen after this is the backsplash, so I’m not sure if I will wait until after that is taken care of to blog about it or not. We’ll see!

Kitchen My Home

Planning Our Kitchen Remodel

August 7, 2015

Christina's Home 2

It’s been a long time since I blogged about my own home. Just over a year. While it doesn’t feel to me like a lot has happened or changed, there are definitely some things I could share with you guys. For starters I’m excited to say that my husband and I are just starting a kitchen remodel! This is by far the biggest project I’ve taken on in our little condo since I bought it in back in 2010. It’s awesome not just because we’ll have a much nicer kitchen but also because I really wanted to get this taken care of before trying to sell the place, so we’re taking a big step in that direction.

Just for fun, here’s the shot of my kitchen from the real estate listing when I purchased it. I’d completely forgotten about those orange walls! That I inexplicably painted yellow when I moved in.

kitchen-when-i-moved-in

Other than a new dishwasher that I had to get several years ago, everything about the kitchen was original to the home which was built in the ’70s. A couple weeks ago we started things off with a new stove and range hood (not pictured). Going from a decades old bisque colored appliance to a modern, much more powerful one in stainless steel… wow. For now we still have an old off-white fridge, though I do hope to replace that too.

The next step in our remodel is getting the cabinets painted! I’m quite excited. We have a painter scheduled for this coming Monday. We are going from that same yellow off-white color to a true bright white, specifically Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore. It’s a classic choice and it’s what we have on all of our trim throughout the condo. It will make the room feel so much fresher, cleaner, and more modern. Painting is much more affordable than replacing all the cabinets, but will still have a huge impact.

We’re waiting for some quotes on new counter tops. The current counter is ’70s laminate that is literally peeling at the seams. What I’m hoping for is the white marble look without actual marble. Our counter top lady said she has everything from laminate (which can be much much better these days) to granite to quartz that has that marble look, so it will just be a matter of what works with the budget. While real marble is stunning, it has weaknesses as far as maintenance and durability. My parents got a marble-look quartz in their new kitchen and you would never know it isn’t real marble. Seems like the way to go if you don’t want to worry about staining and scratching. Not to mention certain types of marble can be prohibitively expensive.

Along with new counters we’ll be getting a new sink and faucet. When I first started searching for these things I really wasn’t sure what I wanted. Stainless steel sinks seem to be popular so I looked at those first, but I ended up picking out a white undermount sink that I think would be lovely. The faucet was even more difficult. Nickel? Bronze? Brass? There are lots of options that all could probably work. I love brass faucets but it is very hard to find a good one under $300. I am now leaning towards a black faucet, which I think is a good compromise between being a little out of the ordinary while still very neutral and easy to pair with other elements. I may still change my mind about either the sink or the faucet. We shall see!

At some point, hopefully in early September, new hardware will arrive for the cabinets that I am pumped about. Here I indulged my love of brass and ordered the Riverwood Knob and Greenwood Pull from Schoolhouse Electric (shown below).

Finally there’s the backsplash. This is even more up in the air than the sink and faucet. There are so many directions you can go with a backsplash and we also need to wait to see how much money we still have after everything else is taken care of. While I love a good classic white subway tile, you may have noticed that there is already a lot of white in the plan. An all-white kitchen can be fantastic but I thought it would be fun to do something else with the backsplash. Colorful backsplashes have a very hard time winning me over. For example I can not stand the colorful mosaic glass tile trend. While I think something with color could potentially work, the idea of a dramatic black tile is very appealing to me. The only possible concern is that it would of course make the kitchen very high contrast, with all that white broken up by a strong horizontal band of black. Do I want it to be high contrast? I still have to mull that over. The small dining room that is directly adjacent to the kitchen is in fact already high contrast with a nearly-white gray above the chair rail and a near-black below. So it might end up making perfect sense to continue that theme.

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Knob | Pull | Tile | Faucet | Sink

So that is the loose plan right now! I just can not wait for the painter to start the process. It will really be “real” once that step is complete I think. Hopefully everything else will follow swiftly and I’ll have shiny after photos for you soon!

My Home

New Living Room Paint

July 28, 2014

myhometitle

When I first moved into my condo back in 2010 I spent some time picking out new paint colors for most rooms. This occurred just a couple months before I started reading design blogs and discovering a love for interior design. Translation: I had no idea what colors look good on walls nor did I have any concept of my own taste in wall color. So I chose absurd things like bright yellow for the dining room and muddy brown for the entryway and the living room got the honor of half poop brown and half sky blue.

The first room I repainted was the dining room and thank goodness I took care of that back in 2011. After that I focused my efforts on the bathrooms and somehow it took me till now to FINALLY repaint the entryway and living room. I did it very much on a whim too. One Sunday afternoon I was contemplating what to do with my evening and suddenly I just decided that I had to paint. And paint I did. I started with the entryway, which you’ll see is connected to the living room.

Entryway Before

Entryway Before

Entryway Before

Entryway Before

And the very next evening I again decided that I somehow had the energy to spend another night painting. It was rough eating up eight hours in two days painting by myself. I watched about nine episodes of A Cook’s Tour the second night so at least I had Anthony Bourdain to keep me company.

Forgive my incredibly messy Before photos. I forgot to take them until I’d already moved all the furniture away from the walls.

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

Living Room Before

I used the same color in both the Entryway and Living Room. No more disjointed feeling from three different colors in such a small space. Take it from me: using more than one wall color in the same room is rarely a good idea. And areas that are connected to each other openly like these spaces should really be the same color. The color I chose is Manor House Gray by Farrow & Ball but no, actual Farrow & Ball paint was not in the budget (that stuff is expensive though worth it I hear). I had the nice folks at Lowe’s color match to Valspar Reserve which was a new-to-me line for Valspar and is the most expensive stuff they sell. What lured me in was the “one coat” claim.

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Satin sheen for the entryway (because it is a higher-traffic area) and flat for the living room.

This stuff is supposed to not only be primer and paint in one, but also quality enough that you only need to apply one coat. I asked the Lowe’s paint man if he thought I would really get away with that and he said since I was using a dark-ish gray color that yes, I probably would, but even he sounded not totally sold. Well I’m here to tell you that IT WORKED. I was totally blown away by this stuff. It really only needed one coat even over the dark brown half of the living room. WELL worth the extra $10 or so per gallon when you consider how much less product you need. And time. So much less time. This same project could have taken me six evenings of painting instead of two if I’d gone with a budget paint.

Entryway After

Entryway After

The unfortunate bit that you may notice above is that I was not able to paint the stairwell leading upstairs so it is still the muddy brown color. In order to paint that whole stairwell you would need scaffolding and I’m not about to attempt that myself. The hope is we will be able to hire a painter to tackle that eventually.

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Living Room After

Living Room After

Living Room After

Sooooo much better. As you may have noticed, I also decided (on a whim again) to change the art hanging in this room. If you scroll up (or check out this post) you’ll see that I had a gallery wall with a fairly big collection of art above the sofa. I was about to paint that wall, the last wall to go, and after squinting intently at the art for a moment I decided I was over it. So I spackled all the nail holes and painted over them to start fresh.

Living Room After

Living Room After

I opted to go with a simpler collection of three pieces. The one of the left I’ve had for a long time (“Can You Imagine” by Trey Speegle). In the center is a thrifted frame that was holding a different piece that I switched out for “A Bouquet of Flowers in a Crystal Vase” by Nicolaes van Veerendael which I found on The Metropolitan Museum of Art website. Dudes, listen. The Met has thousands of pieces of art on their website available for free high resolution download. Like high enough resolution that you could print them at their original size. It’s really awesome! I am blessed to have a father who owns a printing business; he printed this for me for free and if I want to print something larger he can do it for me very cheaply.

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The third piece is “Glacial” by Beth Hoeckel. I have been in love with Beth’s collage work for a long time so I’m so happy to finally own a print. And thanks to Society 6 it was totally affordable.

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So I’m pretty pleased with this change. I barely remember what the brown and blue was like. I actually free-handed all of the cutting in without the help of painter’s tape and it’s pretty exciting to learn that I can pull that off. Taping is a pain and takes forever. My only slight qualm is that Manor House Gray is possibly a touch warmer and taupier than my ideal gray. I knew going into it that it was a warmer gray so I’m not really surprised. Next time I will probably pick a cooler gray and see if my suspicion that I would like that better is correct.

Of course there are so many other things I’d love to change about this space still, including but not limited to:

  • New (less yellow) shade for the large vintage table lamp
  • New furniture: side tables, sofa, TV stand
  • Something more to fill the empty spaces on the TV wall, like a big potted tree or another shelving unit.
  • Crown molding: not sure if it’s a realistic idea but it occurred to me recently how much more finished the room would look with it.
  • More/better light: maybe a nice floor lamp for the TV side and something more substantial to better balance the huge vintage lamp on the sofa side (I’d love to swag a ceiling light, there’s already a hook there!)

But for now I should try to just enjoy the progress I’ve made!

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My Home

My Huge Gaudy Amazing Antique Lamp

July 3, 2013

myhometitle

So basically I own the most amazing lamp that has ever existed.
It’s ridiculous, it’s gaudy, it’s HUGE, it’s sparkly, it’s just awesome.

My Huge Gaudy Amazing Antique Lamp | design-vox.com

This past Saturday my mother asked me to go antiquing with her because she’s looking for some things for her bathroom. I did find a mirror for her, but I’d be a lying fool if I said that was more exciting than this lamp. When I go antiquing, I tend to see dozens of things I love, all of which are well out of my price range. I have expensive taste. So when my mouth dropped on sight of this lamp I fully expected it to be several hundred dollars at least. When I saw the price tag I stood frozen in disbelief. If money wasn’t so tight I could totally justify paying that! My mother, who is awesome and generous, bought me this lamp because she could see how much I loved it, and has asked that I not disclose how much it was. But let’s just say that we both agreed it was a steal.

My Huge Gaudy Amazing Antique Lamp | design-vox.com

We also agreed that perhaps it was priced lower than we’d expect because it takes a certain kind of person to want this in their home. A certain kind of awesome  person. I’m the first to admit that this thing is fairly absurd. It is dripping in (faux) crystals, it has light bulbs everywhere, it’s very ornate, and as mentioned it is large. It’s not the kind of thing you can just slip into a room and expect to be a quiet accent. This thing is dominating my living room and I am 100% okay with that. As well as bringing much needed light, it has so much personality and flair.

Another thing I do when antiquing is associate pieces with designers. “Oh, so-and-so would buy this in a heartbeat,” is something I say often. This lamp immediately reminded me of Abigail Ahern. She’s not afraid to go quirky and flashy and loves playing with scale. She often says that plonking something over-sized in a room immediately makes things more exciting and interesting. Well folks, she’s right.

My Huge Gaudy Amazing Antique Lamp | design-vox.com

My Huge Gaudy Amazing Antique Lamp | design-vox.com

My Huge Gaudy Amazing Antique Lamp | design-vox.com

I do think the shade could stand to be replaced, but not sure if and when I’ll get around to that. She is wonderful just as she is. Is there any one who doesn’t secretly (or not so secretly) want glittering crystals in their home? I may or may not have pranced around my living room giggling like a fool.

My Huge Gaudy Amazing Antique Lamp | design-vox.com

My Home

My New Art Gallery Wall

June 19, 2013

myhometitle

Back in July of last year I upgraded my living room from two way-too-small thrift store paintings to one better but still-too-small thrift store painting. Let me preface all this with my usual disclaimer: Very little of my home is “designed”. Most of it is made up of hand-me-downs and poor decisions I made before I found an interest in interior design. For example this sofa is an eyesore (comfortable though) and I am dying to repaint this room. Half sky blue and half poop brown is pretty much depressing me.

My New Art Gallery Wall | Design-Vox.com

Last week I was having a particularly productive night running around doing housework when this wall caught my eye and I was filled with the motivation to make it better. I’d never had a gallery wall before and wanted to try it. I just didn’t think I had enough art to pull it off. I decided to indulge in an experiment and gathered every single art piece in my home and laid it out on the living room floor.

My New Art Gallery Wall | Design-Vox.com

I was like whoa… I actually have kind of a lot of art. Emboldened, I set to work trying different arrangements. I didn’t want to use every piece, so I could have at least a few to use in other rooms. And I knew I wanted it to be a loose asymmetric grouping.

My New Art Gallery Wall | Design-Vox.com

I ended up with this. It took me maybe an hour of squinting at the floor to commit. Then began the arduous process of actually getting it up on the wall. I measured the length of the whole collection and then took that measurement to the wall to make sure I got everything centered. I started by nailing up the biggest piece, the VanGogh potrait. Then I just made my way from left to right, trying my best to keep things even and level.

My New Art Gallery Wall | Design-Vox.com

I’m pretty dang happy with it. It isn’t the gallery wall of my dreams, but for my very first attempt I’m proud of what I accomplished. And there’s no questioning that it suits the wall way better than one too-small painting and makes the room feel more “decorated”. Not every piece is perfectly spaced or perfectly level, but perfection is overrated. I say that genuinely, if not also a little bit just to make myself feel better. 🙂 But in seriousness, some of the greatest potential for exciting decorating is in the ways we allow things to be imperfect.

My New Art Gallery Wall | Design-Vox.com

It’s really encouraging to see that by slowly picking up pieces here and there I’ve actually already amassed a bit of an art collection. They’re from all different sources like antique stores, thrift stores, estate sales, and Etsy. I’m also quite fond of the one photo of my sister and I when we were wee ones, all dolled up in frilly white dresses posing with a picnic basket full of flowers. Classic.

Oh and yes, that is a pair of antique 3D molded Victorian-style portraits that I bought for 50 cents a piece and lovingly cleaned decades of dirt off of. Some people probably think I’m crazy for loving them, but honestly they’re the coolest thing ever and I’m not ashamed.

My New Art Gallery Wall | Design-Vox.com

Known Artists:
Young Man in Yellow Jacket by Vincent Van Gogh, print found on Etsy
green cat” by Maria Elina on Etsy
“Goblin Market” by Arthur Rackham, print found on Etsy
“Can You Imagine” by Trey Speegle

My Home

My Full Bathroom

April 10, 2013

myhometitle

I purchased my 2 bedroom 1.5 bathroom condo just over three years ago in 2010. And since day one the full bathroom has badly needed help. Unfortunately it had to endure about a thousand days without receiving any. While I couldn’t afford to replace the big ticket items (vanity, sink, faucet, flooring, tub/shower), I knew that addressing the smaller items and especially painting the walls would work wonders.

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Of course in the above “before” photo I was literally just about to jump into the project so there are tools strewn about and it looks a mess, not like it did normally. But hey, makes for a more dramatic before and after, hehe.

02main-2---after

I patched and painted the walls and replaced the light fixture, mirror, clock, outlet, light switches, towel bar, towel ring, toilet paper holder, bath rug, and shower curtain rod. And then I added some accessories and art as well.

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There were a myriad of problems in this room before I started work. The wall color was an odd purple-mauve that wasn’t inherently awful but just didn’t work in the space. Plus the walls were riddled with scuffs, nail holes, and peeling paint. I scraped off what I could and sanded the areas down. I was worried I should have taken the time to do some patch work with these spots but after primer and paint I’m happy to say the peeling spots are hidden. Underneath the old hardware (towel ring, etc.) were some fun little surprises from the past in the form of bits of wallpaper. Thank goodness they peeled off easily.

In the last photo above you can see the room after primer, and how crazy-town I got when trying to pick out a paint color. I decided pretty early on that I did not want to go dark and I wanted some color. So far all the walls I’ve repainted in my home have been white, gray, and black. It was time for color! I finally decided to focus in the blue, green, minty family. I bought three test pots… and then bought three more. I thought I was going to go with a more green mint, but the color that spoke to me once it was on the wall was a super light blue called Icing On The Cake by Benjamin Moore. It is definitely blue, though if you compare it to other light blues you will notice that it does still have a green influence and could be considered a blue mint, in my opinion.

05toilet

I really did struggle with this decision, worrying that it might be too baby blue, which was not the feel I wanted. I felt better when I found a couple pictures on the internet where other people had used this exact color in their own bathrooms, like this one. I went for it. The little toilet nook above practically glows blue. I do intend to add either some art or a mirror to this nook.

04toilet-wall

Patching these massive holes was the first step I had to take in this project. My dad cut these out for me when we were trying to figure out a leak problem. I am very proud to say that I patched these all by myself, cut the drywall and everything. Of course this photo is very forgiving, because you can definitely see some unevenness in real life. I’m still proud, though. You may also be able to tell in the above photo that I repainted the baseboards (and repaired them in several spots) to be a bright white.

06towel

Here’s a shot to the left of the toilet. I am so glad that old hardware is gone. They were just hideous with those odd wooden backs. I love my shiny new satin nickel hardware with rectangular medallions. The towel bar is longer, too. I also replaced the vent cover and door stop.

07walls-shower

I painted the ceiling out in the wall color as well. It feels cohesive. The paint was color-matched at Lowe’s and is a satin sheen, which is the lowest recommended sheen for bathrooms. I also repainted the walls in the shower to be a brigher white and used a semi-gloss sheen for added moisture-resistance.

My old bath rug was tan, thin, and a mess. I’m very happy with my new plush dark gray rug for $37 from JCPenney. It was the very last thing I found for the room. The shower curtain rod is one of those snazzy rotating curved ones, so it can be curved in when you’re not using the shower and curved out when you are. The motion of mine is slightly less than smooth when I rotate it, but it works and having the extra space is nice. I paid $60 on Amazon (at $54 at the time of this writing).

08towel-ring-outlet

This is probably the most accurate photograph of the wall color. It looks a little too dark and green in some of the other photos. The hardware is by Residential Essentials. I bought it through Lowe’s. Approximately $26 for the towel ring, $37 for the towel bar, and $30 for the toilet paper holder.

You can see in the first before photo that my old outlet and switches were an ugly bisque yellow color. They worked fine, but I could not tolerate them. I had never done any sort of electrical work and somehow I had the guts to tackle replacing these all by myself, and I did it! I wouldn’t call it easy but it really wasn’t all that difficult. Just make sure you turn off the power at your breaker box. Even if you turned it back on to test your work and are just trying to fit your new outlet back onto the wall, turn the power back off. I may or may not have lightly electrocuted myself. Which is funny… but also bad. Hehe. Also remember to get a “GFCI” outlet if it’s going to be in a bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere it could be exposed to moisture.

09accessories

My new accessories and art are easily my favorite part of the update to this room. I already had the little basket corralling toiletries (I received it as a gift basket a while back and repurposed it). Everything else is new.

10toothbrush-soap

Just last month my city got its first HomeGoods! When I checked it out for the first time I managed to walk out with a new soap dispenser and toothbrush holder for myself. They were about $13 and $10 respectively. I love having a soap dispenser like this rather than using disposable ones, and how about that snazzy modern clear acrylic? I love how these literally blend in because of being transparent, which keeps the counter looking less busy. And yet at the same time they are visually cool in their own right.

11clock

My old clock was a cheapo from Target. I very unexpectedly happened upon this guy on ModCloth. He’s a large size at 12″ in diameter and made of ceramic made to look like a chalkboard with tally marks. I like that it’s black (or dark gray) because I was looking to add some dark accents to the room, and I just think it’s fun to have something a little offbeat. It was on sale for $38 but unfortunately is no longer available.

12light

This is an awful photo because I have no idea how to photograph a light fixture, but at any rate here is a close-up, which I hope you can see is a vast improvement from the awful old cheap monstrosity I had before. In fact two of the three arms on the old fixture stopped working over the course of this project! It was probably like 30 years old so I put it to rest. I didn’t have a whole lot to spend on a new fixture but I really didn’t want just another 3-armed bendy builders-grade uggo, so I was happy when I found this simple but contemporary sconce on Amazon for $124. If you look at that product page you may note that the shade looks decidedly more gray (in fact they call it “slate gray”), while mine is definitely linen colored. Kind of annoying but the linen works.

And I installed the light all by myself too! The wiring itself was fairly straight forward. The hardest part was doing that wiring while simultaneously holding up a big heavy light fixture. I knew that I should have waited until I had someone to help me with that… but I got impatient.

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My favorite corner. I love how the art and flowers are reflected in the mirror, literally doubling the color in the room. You can hardly tell, but the mirror is in fact new. I just bought another cheap frameless one because the old one was chipped and damaged. I would have loved one with a frame, but it wasn’t in the budget this time around.

14art

Surprise: I painted these myself! One day I just had an urge to try acrylics, who knows why. I sat down and painted these two, which I know are very amateur. I had no intention of hanging these in here until I realized they fit in the very cheap frames I’d bought at a dollar store months ago. Let me tell you something; you could pop most anything into a frame, especially a black frame, and it will instantly look awesomer. I was still worried about the wall color being too baby blue, too juvenile, right up until I hung these and the addition of black in the room completely transformed it. Having warm colors like gold and pink helps a lot too.

16flowers

If you read this blog regularly, you know I have a weakness for pink flowers. All pinks, but coral-pink in particular is a favorite. As much as I love real flowers, I really wanted something more long-lasting. I bought two bundles of faux flowers at Hobby Lobby for $10 each. (Actually they were $5 each; always always wait until your desired item is one of the 50% off categories before buying anything at Hobby Lobby!) Bundles like this come pre-arranged which makes it so easy to get a fancy bouquet look. For being less expensive than real flowers, I think they look pretty fabulous. They are in a white vase I bought at a thrift store forever ago.

17accessories-2

I love my tissue box cover. My sister giggled at me when I told her I’d got one, because I think it seems like either a luxury or a little old-fashioned, but seriously I do not want to be at the mercy of whoever is designing tissue boxes over at Kleenex. The colors and patterns are too unpredictable and often ugly. I had been searching for just a simple white ceramic box cover but when I saw this textured gold guy at Bed Bath & Beyond on clearance for $15, there was no question. I love gold, and it ties in with the gold in the art. White ceramic would have worked but this is so much more interesting.

18bird

Bringing my list of sources for this project up to something like 15 different stores or websites(!), I found this sweet little ceramic tray with two birds on either end at World Market. It is regularly $10, and I got it for a little cheaper because of a coupon and a moving sale. It usually just holds one or two necklaces, and occasionally a lip balm or other small tidbit, just because stuff looks better all neat in a tray.

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So there you have it! The room feels so much better. I was right that paint alone would make a drastic difference, and the addition of colorful details and fresh hardware makes me really happy. It’s difficult now to look at the hideous countertop, the awful yellow vanity, and the wretched orangey fake wood laminate floor… but the rest of it manages to distract me from all that most of the time!

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