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Current Loves: Crate & Barrel

May 19, 2014

I’m pretty in love with that emerald sofa. I seem to have a thing for colorful sofas lately. Floor lamps have a hard time pleasing me. So many of them are boring at best except for expensive designer pieces, but this pretty brass number isn’t priced out of reach and it’s got style to spare.


1. Camilla 2-Seat Sofa in Tropic | $1,599
2. Ketapel Chair | $299
3. Clare Brass Floor Lamp | $269
4. Cortina Six-Drawer Chest | $1,499
5. Ludlow Desk | $599
6. Graham Table Lamp | $249
7. Rochelle Sofa in Emerald| $2,499
8. Nash Console Table | $599
9. Spare Mint Folding Chair | $49.95


Home Products

Current Loves: Black Rooster Decor

May 12, 2014

Have you heard of Black Rooster Decor? They have a retail store in Toronto as well as an amazing online boutique. Their style is so on-trend in the best way. Bold, flashy, statement-making, and fun. I (happily) waded through all their current offerings to pick out my favorites. Which ones would you love to take home?

1. Gold Dipped Parrot | $115
2. Antiqued Mirrored Side Table | $795
3. Single Drop Sconce | $372.50
4. Glass Globes Chandelier | $1,125
5. High Back Geo Dining Chair | $647.50
6. Green Faceted Mirror | $575
7. Steel Sideboard | $1,495

I’m always “keeping” fabulous finds like these on
Check it out and follow me for more of the goods.

My Keeps


Shopping Adventure #4 – Global Gifts

June 15, 2012

About this series:

I am embarking on the very ambitious (read: slightly insane) task of visiting every single store that sells home goods down several miles of 28th Street (a major commercial road in Grand Rapids, MI) and the surrounding area. And you, lucky reader, will be subjected to it all! The goals of this venture are:

  • To know my city better.
  • To get off my bum.
  • To familiarize myself with what you can get for your money.
  • To make note of nice stores for future clients. (Yeah!)
  • And of course: it’s an excuse to shop!

Previous Adventures:
#1 – Gorman’s
#2 – New 2 You & White Barn Thrift Store
#3 – Weekends @ Furniture Row

Click here for Global Gifts’ website and location.

I’m excited about this one. This place is a bit of a gem. There is a hobby shop a few doors down that my boyfriend likes to peruse and one day after doing so we decided to wander down to this shop. We had absolutely no idea what it would be like.

It is not a big place, but if you like ethnic, beautiful, and INEXPENSIVE decorative pieces you could probably spend a couple hours getting lost in there. I had to go back with a camera to share it with you guys!

What’s more, you may have noticed the interesting phrase on their sign: “A World Hunger Project”. This store was started by a church in 1986 and is staffed entirely with volunteers. Every single thing they sell is Fair Trade, originating from all over the world. Their goal is to provide income for those in struggling economies around the globe. The more they sell, the more handcrafted goodies they can buy, thereby supporting the artists. So you can feel good about buying pretty little things! Yay!

Right inside the door and I was already intrigued.

Adorable little stone elephants.

Please note: The prices shown here represent what I saw the day I visited this store. The same products and prices may or may not be available currently.

Adorable little stone birds. You’ll notice that animal figurines are a strong theme here. There’s other stuff too, but if you like animals you’ll love this place. Also: LOOK AT THAT PRICE! $29 for a set of three hand-carved birds. True they’re not very big (the tallest one is maybe 8 inches), but for hand-made pieces like this I’d expect to pay two or three times that much on Etsy.

Pretty + Inexpensive is just all over the place.

There are several grouped display areas like this with pieces that are coordinated or all from the same country.

Birds are so likable. I’ve always loved birds. While I do think one needs to be careful not to put a bird on everything, they can really be a sweet decorative element in your home. $18 for one of the little black spotted guys and $28 for the black and white one with legs.

There’s also a fair amount of wardrobe accessories like these necklaces and scarves. I’m not a big accessorizer so I moved on pretty quickly, but there were some very lovely scarves for around $24.

Beautiful sculptures. Fairly certain everything on this table is from Kenya.

I love love love these little painted cat figurines. The one cat that’s sitting up with faint painted spots was $10; I nearly bought him the first time I visited.

This tableware is absolutely beautiful. That red hue would provide such a wonderful pop of color on your table. The set of 4 mugs was $25, which is more than reasonable for hand-painted beautifulness like this.

Sweet little carved and painted stone hearts. I especially like the black and white ones. Seven dollars?! Unbelievable. I’m certain each of these must take at least several hours to create so that price really is outstanding.

That turtle you see up there has another little turtle inside of him. It is one solid piece of stone that was hand-carved. Amazeballs! Wish I’d gotten the price on that, but I remember being floored that such an intricate piece was so inexpensive. Below that is a stunning trivet. Like I seriously want that thing in my life. And finally a collection of lovely wooden animals. I don’t think these pieces would really fit into my own decor, but if you have any kind of African theme or a child who loves giraffes, these are great. Those large giraffes were only $40 and had to be at least two feet tall. The smaller unpainted elephant was $18.

There is quite a large section stuffed to the brim with children’s toys.

Oh these textiles were to die for. Beautiful colors, shimmery gold, fantastic patterns. I really loved the white and gold one if you can’t tell. It was tablecloth sized and only $49.

These little boxes were SO. PRETTY. They must be mother of pearl, right? As you can see in the photos, the light hit them in the most fantastic way. And fourteen dollars?! The pricing at this place just shocked me over and over again. Trinket boxes aren’t something I usually freak out about, but I would love to have one of these beauties.

Well I did make one purchase when I visited! Scratch that, my wonderful boyfriend made one purchase. 🙂 When I told him over the phone that I was at Global Gifts he headed straight over, walked in and said something like, “Where’s that cat you like?” He was referring to the faintly spotted $10 guy I mentioned earlier, but then I told him that I think I was even more in love with this pair:

I hadn’t noticed them during the first visit. I loved the idea of having two pieces, and how adorable is the way they interact with one another? And at only $12.50 for the both, the choice was clear.

As you may recall from this post, my sweet cat and mouse are busy being cute here in my living room.

So it’s pretty clear I love Global Gifts. It is just an absolutely wonderful little place to find precious and special things from around the world. And again: so inexpensive! And when it’s all going to a good cause, I mean what more could you ask? Pay them a visit!


Shopping Adventure #3: Weekends @ Furniture Row

June 8, 2012

About this series:

I am embarking on the very ambitious (read: slightly insane) task of visiting every single store that sells home goods down several miles of 28th Street (a major commercial road in Grand Rapids, MI) and the surrounding area. And you, lucky reader, will be subjected to it all! The goals of this venture are:

  • To know my city better.
  • To get off my bum.
  • To familiarize myself with what you can get for your money.
  • To make note of nice stores for future clients. (Yeah!)
  • And of course: it’s an excuse to shop!

Previous Adventures:
#1 – Gorman’s
#2 – New 2 You & White Barn Thrift Store

Click here for Weekends @ Furniture Row’s website and location.

Yes, there really is an “@” symbol in their name. Oy.

I drive by this every single day. When it first popped up I was certainly intrigued, being a furniture loving gal, but it took me quite a while to check them out. The visit I photographed was the second time I’d been to the store.

The whole premise of this store is that they “buy for less, operate for less, and sell for less.” Basically they’ve eliminated a whole lot of the “frills” that typically come with furniture stores. They buy straight from factories, they’re only open 4 days a week which clearly drastically reduces their overhead costs, and they don’t offer complimentary extras like delivery, designer services, or special orders.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t well staffed, though. Both times I’ve walked in it’s only taken a matter of minutes for an employee to approach me and ask if I needed any help. I felt the attention I received was just right: I was acknowledged but I didn’t feel hunted down or pressured.

As I mentioned, the store is only open 4 days a week, Friday through Monday. So not the most convenient of schedules but certainly works for most people. The building is pretty huge but they do a decent job of keeping it somewhat orderly.

Please note: The prices shown here represent what I saw the day I visited this store. The same products and prices may or may not be available currently.

This is an awful picture. I have yet to figure out how to compensate for things like large amounts of light coming from behind the camera. Anyway, this is where I walked in and the first thing I saw. A HUGE mirror for only $98. It’s intended to be paired with the vanity table, but you could definitely use it elsewhere. I contemplated how it might work in my full bathroom (which currently has a beat-up frameless mirror) but decided an unexpected $98 purchase was not in the cards for me.

This area of the store consists of dozens of bedroom sets. What you see above is mostly kid-themed, but there were plenty of larger beds that I’ll show you momentarily. As you can see, the store is clean and easy to browse. Prices are clearly marked.

While there’s plenty of large pieces, among them are a plethora of smaller items. I don’t recall seeing any ceiling lights but there were quite a few table lamps. I thought this base had a neat look but the shade could be vastly improved upon. I have to apologize. I seriously failed at getting pricing on a lot of the items I photographed. I tried to simply photograph the price tags, but somebody hadn’t yet figured out how to use the macro setting on her camera, and the majority of those price tags came out too fuzzy to read. Whoops. I’m guessing the above lamp was somewhere around $100 to $130.

Seems like a pretty good price for a nice dark wood bed frame.

A bit more expensive, but a little more snazzy. I’ve never had a foot board, and I don’t know if I’d really want one. What do you think?

This bed was my favorite. I love a four-poster. And that’s really a great price for the amount of impact this would have in a room.

In addition to art being scattered throughout the store, there was a concentration of it in this spot. I didn’t look too closely at what they had, because I got the feeling it was not going to be to my taste. I prefer art that’s a little more special or meaningful. These felt far too “big box” if you get my drift.

Unless of course what you desire is a still from Lilo and Stitch. I have to admit this isn’t terrible art for a child’s room, framed and ready to go for only $30. But I think I would only ever consider it if I had a child that truly loved that movie… and if I magically had a surfing family (don’t see that happening).

Top left is another pretty cool table lamp, and for only $68 you can’t really ask for much more. It’s a neat shape, don’t you think? Top right is an example of some of the random accessories you can find. That candle holder couldn’t have been more than $15. Bottom left are some rather interesting vases. They are ceramic that’s been molded to look like crumbled bags (with golden insides, I’ll have you note).

Bottom right is a MYSTERY. The bottoms of these vases were marked “Jonathan Adler” and I was all “Waaaah?! This place carries Jonathan Adler stuff?!” If you don’t know who that is, he is an incredible designer with an extensive line of home goods that are quite high end. The tiniest little bud vase he currently has for sale is $28 but the majority of his pottery is in the $80 to $200 range with some shattering that at like $800. While the above vases don’t appear on his website, their shapes do resemble his work. Alas! They were not priced! I would have asked but honestly I didn’t like them that much so I resisted the pull of that designer label.

Top left is one of the few desks they had. And the rest you see are examples of the store’s numerous towers of accessories. They had some pretty pillows all for around $25, but unfortunately nothing that really got my attention. Lots and lots of vases and bowls all at reasonable prices. In a fancy high-end shop I’d expect to pay $100-200 for a lot of that stuff but you can get it for half that or less here.

Since everything is sold right out of the stock they have on hand, they’ve gotten creative with storage and display.

Please please please do not buy any of these chairs. Just don’t do it. But if you HAVE to (nooooo!), this is a cheap place to do it.

These struck me as very similar to West Elm’s Hive Vases, though admittedly are not nearly as pretty (or colorful). They were probably only slightly less expensive than the prettier version too.

Doesn’t everyone want a plate of shiny glass balls on their coffee table? These were so out of place it was hilarious. Though for only $8 I might just find a suitable place for a shiny glass ball in my home… or not. Oh and look who figured out how to take a macro picture! That’s right folks, I discovered that setting right in the middle of this shopping trip.

These chairs are pretty nice for the price.

I am not really a proponent of most things zebra-print. I think it is very hard to pull off without looking horribly forced. Nonetheless these still caught my eye. $338 was the price for both chairs and the little side table. That’s a pretty dang good deal for so many pieces.

This and the four-poster bed frame were probably my favorite pieces in the store. I don’t normally go for candy apple green, but it was a welcome moment of vibrancy amidst a whole lot of blaaah. It looked like a great occasional chair for a bedroom corner or even one for lounging, and came in other colors too.

Do you see that hideous upholstery on the chairs behind it? Like, when did I enter the portal to 1994? That’s honestly how I felt about a lot of the stuff at Weekends @ Furniture Row. Notice how I didn’t take a single picture of a sofa or a dining table? Two major pieces that they had plenty examples of but not a single one spoke to me.

In conclusion, this store is definitely a worthwhile stop if you’re furniture or accessory shopping. I can’t speak for the quality of the pieces, but of course the store claims that everything is top-of-the-line. A lot of their wares may not be the latest and greatest and some of it may be downright uggo, but I’d say there’s still a fair chance you’ll find something great at a great price.

While I’d certainly love to never pay full price again, their marketing does leave something to be desired. I’m already in the store… you don’t need to bombard me with giant screaming banners.


Shopping Adventure #2: New 2 You & White Barn Thrift Store

May 23, 2012

If you’re an email subscriber and you received this twice, sorry! The first one was an incomplete version that I accidentally published. *headdesk*

I suppose I could call this Shopping Adventures #2 AND #3, but I’m not going to. That’s right folks, two stores for your perusing today.

If you’re new to this series I’ll bring you up to speed:

I am embarking on the very ambitious (read: slightly insane) task of visiting every single store that sells home goods down several miles of 28th Street (a major commercial road in Grand Rapids, MI) and the surrounding area. And you, lucky reader, will be subjected to it all! The goals of this venture are:

  • To know my city better.
  • To get off my bum.
  • To familiarize myself with what you can get for your money.
  • To make note of nice stores for future clients. (Yeah!)
  • And of course: it’s an excuse to shop!

Previous Adventures:
#1 – Gorman’s

New 2 You Shoppe. That’s pronounced “shop-PAY”. No not really.

Click here for New 2 You’s website and location.

They call themselves an “Upscale Thrift Store”, and I guess I can see that. I guess. Okay yeah, I’ll give it to them. Here’s what it looks like when you walk in the door.

They definitely organize and display their inventory better than your typical Goodwill or Salvation Army. In that way they are more “upscale”. But don’t expect to walk in here and find oodles of high quality and super tasteful stuff. This is still a place where people unload their undesirables.

Please note: The prices shown here represent what I saw the day I visited these stores. The same products and prices may or may not be available currently.

However, you and me both know that one man’s junk could be this gal’s treasure. Funny little fancy brass candlesticks for $6.50? Not anything I was looking to buy but worth a mention. Thrift store artwork can be an excellent way to fill empty walls on a budget. I thought this purple and creamy orange floral was pretty.

That furniture-heavy section is only one corner of the store. They sell virtually everything. Furniture, accessories, clothing, electronics, lighting, linens, kitchenware, toys, etc. Above you can see how they hang dozens of fixtures from the ceiling. You’ll notice that pretty much all the fixtures look to be fairly outdated, but most of them are very cheap. I actually purchased my dining room light from this store back in 2010. I think it was like $20. You’re probably not going to find your dream chandelier here, but if you’re on a tight budget it’s totally worth a look.

There’s quite a lot of decent nick-nacks to be found here.

And even some pretty interesting larger pieces. I love the brass frame and pulls on this dresser. The odd purpley finish is a little unfortunate but if you were looking for something interesting in the $65 range, it’d be a good option.

Have a look at that cute little creamy white vase with golden detail along the lip and bottom. $2.50? Don’t mind if I do.

So yes, I took the $2.50 vase home. He works much better here than the skinnier, less substantial vase I had been using before. Yay cheap stuff!

New 2 You is definitely a great stop to make if you’re in a thrifting mood. The prices are pretty much unbeatable and the selection is impressive. Check it out!

Next store! This sign caught my eye a few weeks ago when I was in the parking lot next door. As far as marketing goes, those are all the words that immediately grab my interest.

Click here for White Barn’s website and location.

Confession: The first time I went here, for some reason I only took one picture. Of the item I ended up buying. Where was my brain? So I went back yesterday and took some more. 🙂

This shop is pretty tiny, and frankly I didn’t have super high hopes. But I was proven quite wrong. Both times I visited I ended up making a purchase. So clearly they must be doing something right.

A great shade of teal on these affordable stools.

I thought this tabletop shelving unit was adorable. For only $22.50, part of me wishes I’d picked it up. But it felt a little wobbly and I wasn’t sure where I’d put it.

These frames were quite cute and nicely displayed.

An interesting lamp. A little too shabby chic for my tastes but fits right in for a place called “White Barn”. Didn’t catch the price, but I believe it was around $30-40.

I pretty much stopped in my tracks. This was the one photo that I took the first time I visited. Copper and gold goodness! When I saw the $7 price tags on the two smaller items i thought for sure the big sugar canister would be too much. IT WAS $4! After some debate I grabbed the big canister and the cup. Sorry little bowl.

Two very unassuming little framed floral prints. For some reason I had to have them. I liked the subtle colors and how antique the paper looked with its yellow coloring. They were $2.50 a piece. More on them in a moment.

So in conclusion, White Barn Thrift store is pretty neat. It’s small, and I’m not sure how quickly they’re able to rotate inventory, but they clearly have good taste and excellent prices. Definitely worth popping into from time to time. 🙂

Here’s where the copper and gold goodness is living in my home after a good cleaning. So shiny! This is a cubby in my Expedit bookshelf in my living room. I love the color of copper, and it’s quite trendy right now. Winning.

Plus: gold detailing?! I mean really.

So like I said, I liked these prints. But what I did not like so much is their beaten up frames. I decided to try my hand at painting them. Above you’ll see a few color options, but I’m going to leave you hanging there. I’m currently still in the middle of the project and it isn’t exactly going smoothly, haha. You know I’ll keep you posted!

Home Products Miscellaneous

Shopping Adventure #1: Gorman’s

May 16, 2012

One afternoon several months ago I was driving down 28th Street, a major commercial strip in my city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and this fantastic idea came to me. You see, I love to shop. But despite that, I tend to frequent the same few stores when I go out. Just a quick glance to my left and right as I drove down the road confirmed that I had been completely ignoring many other options. Sure, some of them are undoubtedly out of my price range, but I decided that it would still be worthwhile to pay them a visit. My reasons being:

  • To know my city better.
  • To get off my bum.
  • To familiarize myself with what you can get for your money.
  • To make note of nice stores for future clients. (Yeah!)
  • And of course: it’s an excuse to shop!

So I am embarking on the very ambitious (read: slightly insane) task of visiting every single store that sells home goods down several miles of 28th St and the surrounding area. And you, lucky reader, will be subjected to it all! Some visits may result in just a short mention and a couple photographs, others may get dozens of photos like this first one.

If you live in West Michigan this series may be slightly more interesting to you since you can also check out these stores if something catches your eye, but it is my hope that even those of you elsewhere will enjoy discovering new things with me. And maybe it will inspire you to also explore the corners of your city that you have yet to see!

We’re debuting with a bit of a doozy. Gorman’s is so close to my home that I could walk there easily. So it’s a little strange that I’ve completely ignored it till now. You’d think a headline like “Home Furnishings & Interior Design” would have drawn me in long ago! But I also had a feeling that the style and price point of their wares may not be up my alley, and I was right… mostly.

The company Gorman’s has been around for quite a while according to their website, and they have 5 locations across West Michigan. Their staff on site are all Interior Designers, which is neat. Upon entering the store I was asked if I needed help with anything by a woman at the front desk who checked on me several more times. She also inquired about me personally and I was able to briefly explain to her that I am interested in interior design. I really appreciated that she showed an interest in me.

Please note: The prices shown here represent what I saw the day I visited Gorman’s. The same products and prices may or may not be available currently.

Loved that brass floor lamp and wood étagère. While the three and four hundred dollar price range certainly isn’t unheard for items like these, this is well out of my current budget. I might consider saving up for a $400-ish floor lamp but it’d have to be one that could light most of a room, not a task light like this one.

I really couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this frog lamp. It is so incredibly kitsch… and not in a good way. What on earth is he doing in the middle of all this classy stuff? For $118 no less.

This place is huge and filled to the brim with products, all styled in little mock rooms like the one above. I love the botanical prints on the wall.

I seem to be drawn to their light fixtures. They had some lovely ones. The one with the human figure for a base is not my style, but I thought it was interesting so I included it. Do you like that dining chair? I really appreciated it’s simple lines and upholstery.

Being a goof.

These terracotta colored busts were certainly interesting. Especially the man with a squirrel on his hat. I wonder if the employee that tied the price tag around the squirrels neck had a good giggle. Can you imagine anyone you know actually having one of these in their home? I’m all about quirky, but not vaguely creepy $173 quirky.


Didn’t catch the price on the Chinoiserie table. There were silk flower arrangements all over the store. I thought this one was particularly pretty. However I can not currently fathom spending $228 on it. Pretty sure I could replicate something similar for much less with craft store blooms.

I attempted to take a full shot of this table lamp, but it came out fuzzy. This is the important part of it anyway. Loved the glass (or acrylic?) ball finial, and I’m always down with a gold finish. I would totally use this lamp… but not for $729. One of the more expensive lamps I saw.

Not everything at Gorman’s is super traditional. There was a pretty substantial section of the store with more contemporary pieces. I thought this sofa with chaise was very nice, and $2,999 is not all that bad for a high quality sofa.

I especially like the chair on the left. Which do you prefer?

This room was kind of bizarre in my opinion. That leopard-print chair might work somewhere, but it ain’t here.

 I was really drawn to the super high-gloss finish on this chest of drawers.

So, in conclusion, Gorman’s is definitely a nice place. They have a lot of products from small accessories to whole bedroom sets. They seem to lean towards the traditional and formal side of things, but they do have a solid offering of more contemporary and modern stuff. The store is nicely laid out and the staff is friendly. The pricing is certainly not for the budget shopper. You might get lucky with a deeply discounted item, but even the cheapest stuff I saw still couldn’t be described as a great deal. If Gorman’s is out of your price range but you liked a lot of what you saw, I say you’d have a good time browsing stores like this if only to glean some inspiration!

The same day I checked out Gorman’s I also stopped in a couple thrift stores! I think my brain needed to see some $2 items after being subjected to all that high-end-ness. I didn’t take as many pictures at the thrift stores but I DID actually buy a few things! I’ll save that for the next installment of Shopping Adventures! (I sound like such a dork saying that but I’m saying it anyway.) ♥