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A Revamped Campaign Dresser


I am SO excited to finally share this project with you all. I alluded to it in this post, but I wanted to wait until I had some nice pictures of the dresser on hand, and now I do!

Where do I begin…I’ve loved campaign furniture for a long time, and it was my most-commonly searched item on Craigslist. I was so bummed when I missed out on a gorgeous white dresser earlier this fall (it had actually belong to Shannon!). The post had only been up for 12 hours or so, but someone already claimed the piece! And I don’t blame them–it was only $50 and beautiful!

I kept searching throughout the fall, but nothing met my style or price point. Finally, while browsing Craigslist in December, I found a set that included a large white dresser with six drawers and a smaller, two drawer piece. They definitely needed some touching up, but the little piece looked like it was in better condition and would be more manageable to move anyway.

The seller said I could have the little chest for $50, so after lots of deliberation (like, I kept going back and forth with her via email…usually a major no-no) and deciding on a price of $45, I said I would pick it up that Saturday. But after corresponding a bit more, she then told me that she just really wanted to get rid of both pieces and asked if I knew of anyone who would want the dresser. Best of all, she would do both for $45?!?


I mean, how could I pass up a deal like that when campaign dressers like this one and this one were selling for $800-1,000? I knew I had to take it, although it would need some cleaning up. Then, I remembered Julia and her amazing business, MODERNEST Home. Julia and I had been texting and emailing throughout the fall. She does the most amazing furniture refurbishing and is local in DC. Plus, she has a HUGE truck that she uses to transport her items to various shows and flea markets.

I asked Julia if she would be willing to help me pick up the dressers in Arlington and then refurbish the big one, and she not only gave me an amazing quote but was super helpful. We met that Saturday and she so kindly helped transport the dressers out of the seller’s house and into her van, and by the time I was back from holiday break, the dresser was all done and ready to move in to my apartment! I truly felt like Joanna Gaines minus any of the grunt work. Julia and her boyfriend honestly treated me like a queen and barely asked me to lift a finger– they drove the dresser over to me and did an amazing job bringing it inside and setting it up exactly where I wanted!


I’m in love with my new, refurbished dresser as well as the cute little chest that I now use as a nightstand. Julia didn’t do a makeover on that one, but she painted the large one so that the colors would match, in case I do keep them in the same room. She also spray painted the hardware on the large dresser bright gold, fixed a few drawers, and filled a small crack that had been on the top.

I can’t recommend Julia and her business enough!

Photos by Hado Photo

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How to Score Awesome Thrifted Furniture

Hado Photo

I’ve gotten some questions on Instagram about my thrifted furniture finds, so I thought I’d do a post on thrifting tips! I’m by no means a pro–there are literally tons of Instagram accounts run by people who buy thrifted furniture, fix it up, and sell it, and basically wish I was that talented–but I’ve had a lot of fun finding great pieces for low prices and sharing my redos via Insta stories. Here are a few pieces of advice!

1) Browse frequently. You’re not necessarily going to have luck every time you go looking for a piece of furniture (same goes when it comes to Craigslist–I’ve found that the selection on there can either be really blah or full of gems). However, if you go to the same places often enough, you’ll have a sense of their prices and what they carry. If a thrift store rarely carries any furniture or only sells extremely overpriced items, it’s time to move on and scope out somewhere else, even if it means driving a few miles further. Once you find a store that carries a good selection, check back often. My personal philosophy is that if you have luck somewhere once, you’ll have luck there again…just not necessarily on every trip.

2) Think outside the box. Just because something looks a certain way doesn’t mean it has to stay looking that way–as in, ugly colors are easy to paint over! This was a harder one for me because I had zero faith in my spray-painting skills until recently…so if I found something that didn’t match my color palate, it would have to stay that way until I could lug it home to my parents’ house and beg my mom to help me. However, spray painting–especially when it comes to smaller pieces–really isn’t that hard! When my mom and I redid some dressers a few summers ago, we did go through the whole process of sanding, priming, and then painting and painting again, but I definitely don’t do that with the smaller items I find. In my current apartment, I’m lucky enough to be able to paint on our roof, so all it takes is a quick trip to the hardware store for a can of spray paint or two (always buy extra–it’s better to have too much than have to run back to the hardware store mid-painting session), some plastic gloves, and a piece of tarp (you can also use an old sheet). I’m so glad that I decided to give spray painting a whirl because it really does transform a piece in a matter of hours.

3) Look for locals. As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of people who purchase vintage furniture and will fix it up for you. If you don’t have a ton of time to go browsing or don’t mind paying a bit more to have someone else take care of the painting and refurbishing process, do a quick Google or Instagram search for professionals in your area. I did this with my campaign dresser last year and am still very pleased with how the whole process worked out–working with a professional who had a large truck and highly skilled at painting was such a big help, as I never could’ve tackled such a large piece of furniture on my own! And if you’re really willing to spend some extra cash, you can look into out-of-state sources, as many people will not only refinish furniture, they’ll also ship it to you! One of a Find Charleston is one of my faves–I follow them for inspo and maybe will pull the trigger on one of their pieces at some point.

Happy shopping!

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Creating a Cozy Living Space


Happy Tuesday! I wanted to pop in with a few pictures of our living space and share some decorating tips in case your space needs a little refresh.

I’ll start by saying that I really, really appreciate all of the natural light that we get in our apartment. Getting plenty of sunlight has always been at the top of my list when apartment hunting, even when I’ve gone into the search knowing that wherever I lived would be temporary (like when I was in graduate school). In our current place, I was originally a bit nervous about taking the lofted room, but thanks to the skylights and windows up there, it’s all good. I’d been seriously considering some basement rooms before I began the apartment search with Carrie, and while they were pretty spacious and reasonably priced, I don’t think I personally would’ve been happy in the long run because of the lack of natural light (not to mention, most people living in basement rooms keep their blinds closed for privacy, so on top of having small windows, I wouldn’t have planned to keep them open much anyway).

We absolutely love how bright our living room gets during the day (at night, the odd placement of light switches in our apartment is a different story!). I brought a lot of my living room furniture from my old place, but Carrie ordered the above chairs on Wayfair, and I think they look fabulous! We paired them with a Target lamp and table that I scored for even cheaper via Craigslist (funny story, the table unknowingly came from a college friend’s girlfriend and I didn’t make the connection until after I’d left her house! Could DC be a smaller world? We’ve toyed with spray painting it gold, but I don’t know if/when that will happen!). The pouf adds a little bit of character to the space, as does my beloved CatStudio pillow and a cozy throw. Our unit is pretty high up, so we enjoy being able to look out the window and people watch.


I think there’s something to be said for keeping this little nook pretty simple. The larger part of our living room houses a large rug, a tv (which sits on my campaign dresser), the couch, tons of books, and a console table. As much as I love accessories and throw pillows, adding more over here would’ve overwhelmed the space. Carrie and I like a lot of the same types of decorations which made it easy to put our common space together, but we still bounced purchases off one another to make sure the other person liked an item. Since we each have large bedrooms, we didn’t need to worry about cramming everything into the common space, which also made things easier.


We love using this space to drink coffee and check our email before work (Carrie is better at doing this than I am–I always feel like I’m in a rush in the mornings!). It’s also a nice place to sit and read on the weekends. I’m sure once it starts snowing, this will be a beautiful spot to sit and look out the window, too.


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Cyber Monday: The Best of Home

How was everyone’s long weekend? I’m feeling refreshed and ready to start my last week of work at my current job…so crazy! Yesterday I finally got in the holiday spirit by decorating ugly sweater Christmas with a friend and my roommate–we picked up two packs of pre-made cookies and had a blast making them look…well, ugly, partly due to how difficult it was to get the frosting to go on evenly! The actual cookies weren’t bad and not having to bake them ourselves saved a ton of time. I noticed similar packs at CVS, so pick one up there if there isn’t a TJ near you.

Hope everyone is enjoying shopping today’s Cyber Monday sales! There are tons of great deals available, but since I primarily like to blog about interiors and home decor, I thought I’d stick to that theme for today’s post (though don’t get me wrong, I love a cute top or accessory as much as anyone else!).

Scroll down for some amazing deals…now is the time to scoop up that dream piece before you have everyone over for the holidays!

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

Diptyque: Receive a mini candle and a soap with any $50 Diptyque purchase (perfect excuse to pick up that candle you’ve always wanted!).

Rifle Paper: Take 30 percent off everything.

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

Target: Free shipping and all kinds of deals…snag the above pillows for only $20 (normally $30)! Also, omg this table runner!


Ballard Designs: Score my mirror for less (it’s been an amazing piece).

Anthropologie: Take 20 percent off full price items.

Society Social: Take 30 percent off site-wide!

Hado Photo
Hado Photo

Read Between the Lines: Take 25 percent off everything and get free shipping! Score a Slim Aarons print for a great price with the 25 percent off promo.

Framebridge: 2o percent off all black frames today.

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Recreating a “One Room Challenge” Look


Are you familiar with the One Room Challenge? It’s a “contest” where designers have six weeks to completely transform a room in their (or someone else’s) home and will chronicle progress each week to show what they’ve accomplished, what’s left to be done, and their vision for the new space.

I absolutely love how Michelle Gage’s room (which actually belongs to a friend of hers!) turned out. The picture above is my favorite shot…it’s boho without being overly so, looks incredibly cozy and girly, and has fun decor and accent pieces without looking junky, cheap, or cluttered. Doesn’t it look like it would be something that just belongs on Pinterest and isn’t actually real life?

Since I probably can’t have Michelle come down to DC and make me a similar-looking space, I took to the internet to find a few items that one could purchase to try to recreate this look.

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Rattan chair: This Anthro chair is actually a great deal at under $100! While it doesn’t have the unique detailing of the one in the picture, it’s still a pretty, affordable piece.


Boho pillow: This Etsy option would look great on the Rattan chair and would make it a little cozier.



Sunburst mirror: I actually own this mirror and have it over my bed–I’ve had it for a few years and love it! Plus, it’s insanely affordable (and on sale!).

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Rug: I reallllly want a Turkish/oriental rug and haven’t been able to find the right one for the right price. This one kind of reminds me of the option in the room but is teeny tiny (could work in a corner or beside the bed).


Pouf: This pouf comes stuffed and ships super fast. It’s a steal given that stuffed poufs often retail for twice as much!

And while I’m swooning over Michelle’s work, here are a few more pictures of the room:


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A Few Things to Try, Thanks to Pinterest (Round 3)

Happy Wednesday! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is a little over a week away. Where did November go?! I’m excited to lounge around at home and eat lots of good food (the best part is the leftovers, in my opinion. Turkey + cranberry sandwiches + a little bit of stuffing on the side + a pickle? Done deal).

Speaking of food…here’s my first Pinteresty thing to try:


1) Make your own Chex Mix. Homemade Chex Mix is SO good. My mom would make it a ton when we were growing up, and a friend’s mom recently made pumpkin spice Chex Mix for Halloween and gave me a little bag…omg. It was gone within a few hours! This recipe looks delicious and is one I’ll be pinning and filing away for sure!


2) Figure out a new weekday breakfast (when you actually have some time off and aren’t rushing around at 7 am!). I’m often really bad at eating at home (too sleepy!) and end up having some type of bar at my desk. If I do have time before I leave, I usually make myself an English muffin with peanut butter, but I’ve been wanting to try whipping up some overnight oats.


3) Book a weekend trip for this winter. I still need to make it up to NYC again (and I’d love to go up before the holidays are over, because it’s so gorgeous with all of the decorations and lights). However, a cozy getaway to somewhere quiet doesn’t sound bad either…


4) Start a collection and stick to it. I love how all of these matchbooks look displayed and want to collect my own. Or you could go in a different direction and look for something like vintage barware, which is always fun to find and set out (especially if you’re entertaining in the coming weeks!).


5) Have a spa day at home (or just take a long bath and sit down and actually read that book you’ve been meaning to start). Honestly, the little things like this can really help during what can be an exciting (but stressful) time of year!

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A Few Things to Try, Thanks to Pinterest

I know we’re all busy people here…but just in case you find yourself with a spare hour or two (ha!), here are a few fun things to try, courtesy of good old Pinterest. Do them this week or save them for later…cold, dark fall/winter nights = tons of time to get stuff done around the house, right?


1) If you have a lazy weekend morning, scour Craigslist, Goodwill, or even the sale section of Target for a rattan bar cart that’s in need of a bit of a makeover…then paint it bright blue or another fun color, as seen in this tutorial! I’m absolutely in love with how the finished piece turned out and would love to recreate this look. I still need to find a good space to spray paint in my new place…maybe on the roof, but I’m skeptical. My last apartment had a big outdoor area by the trashcans (so glam, I know) where I could lay down newspaper for smaller projects, but I always did bigger things at my parents’ house!


2) Master the art of the perfect cheeseboard using items from Trader Joe’s! I’ve always wanted to lay out a perfect-looking setup, but it never really happens….Although everything always tastes good, so I guess that’s all that matters… 😉


3) Explore a new cafe or bakery, then bring treats home for your roomies/family/significant other. I’ve recently discovered Bakeshop, which is conveniently located right near my spin class, and yes, I’ve already tried a Nutella macaron, their banana pudding (yum), and a chai tea latte…oops!


4) Use items you already have to make a pretty home display. Hang your straw hats on the wall, get a nice silk scarf professionally framed, or display old family photos to make your space both meaningful and vintage-y.


5) Make a reservation (or plan a road trip) to try the best brunch in your state (DC, where you at?!).

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How My Decorating Style Has Evolved: My Apartments in NYC and Philly

Over the years, my decorating style has changed quite a bit as I’ve moved apartments and gone from being a (barely) 22-year-old recent college grad to a 26-year-old professional.

My first apartment in New York was filled with tons of IKEA and fun wall art. I’ve always been (and probably always will be) a huge sucker for gallery walls, and they’re one constant that I’ve kept from apartment to apartment. My NYC apartment was a studio but was quite spacious and had a calming, airy feel. I decorated mostly with blue and white and kept the space nice and open. Ignore the crappy iPhone photos, but they’re all I have! I figure icky photos from 2014 are preferable to no photos, right? 😉

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In this apartment, I loved being able to have friends over in the living area. I hosted a lot of small get togethers and never felt cramped. I never actually sat at my desk (I’ve always been big on working from the couch/my bed), but it added a nice touch. I will say that at this point, I knew I liked gold/bamboo, but I didn’t know much about specific furniture brands and styles. It was in Philly where I fell in love with faux bamboo chippendale chairs, campaign furniture, and the like. In New York, I didn’t really add much furniture or subtract stuff from my apartment after I’d moved in. I was beyond skeptical of Craigslist and thrift stores in the city due to bedbugs, but I started to explore these resources in Philly and became hooked!

In Philly, I lived in an apartment off campus, which was actually much more affordable and much nicer than Penn’s recommended student housing. Even though I was in a studio, my apartment once again felt sufficiently comfortable (although my kitchen space was TINY–one countertop, an oven, and a fridge = chaos). I actually kept my microwave permanently on my kitchen table because that was the only place it could fit! In this apartment, I still made the space pretty girly (and #basic) incorporating fun bar carts (yes, I had multiple, but used one as a nightstand!), decorative pillows, and lots of color-coded books. Again, I have some iPhone photos handy (#cringing)…I had submitted these to Best Friends for Frosting who wanted to do a home tour but unfortunately couldn’t find a photographer to come to Philly! 🙁



A friend was getting rid of this bar cart, so I was eager to scoop it up. It was a little big and worked great as a nightstand! I also purchased my trusty Target headboard, which was a great decision and has held up wonderfully.




Again, never really used the desk and wasn’t even going to bring it with me from NYC, but the movers said they’d take it for free. I built it wrong and it was kind of falling apart the whole time! I barely worked in the library in grad school and preferred getting everything done in my room or in the office where I did my graduate assistantship. I do miss this apartment because it was so cozy and I really made it feel like home, even though I was only there for a year and a half (although thinking about it now, that’s longer than I lived in my place in Georgetown!). I also was spoiled with a walk-in closet, but that meant that I didn’t have a separate storage spot for cleaning supplies and coats.

All I can say is…no, these photos really don’t do the places justice, and omg, thank goodness for professional apartment photography in my DC home! I’m working on getting a shoot together for my new place but would like to figure out a few more things first…in my Dupont home, I have opted for darker, more gender-neutral, antique-looking, “grown up” pieces. Think less quirky wall art (though I still love it) and more classic-looking pieces. This is a first coming from a girl who was once obsessed with white furniture! While my current space doesn’t have the same crisp, girly look, I’m loving how it’s turned out so far and can’t wait to share a full reveal with you all!

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Checking In

It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in with some life updates…so here goes!


1) New apartment: We’re loving the new place, and I finally was able to finish unpacking/styling some things this past weekend. We have great built ins in the living room which makes it easy to store all of our books, but I’ve been struggling with how to style them. We don’t want it to look to library-ish and I’ve drawn some inspiration from Pinterest (see above). I managed to recreate this look a bit but am still not 100 percent in love with it. Any ideas are welcome! This past weekend, I had a few friends over for wine on the roof which was a blast (especially because it’s still insanely warm out), and I’ve loved exploring my new neighborhood and getting into a routine (having a Trader Joe’s just a few blocks away has been a game changer!).


2) A home tour: Speaking of apartment updates, I discovered this home tour the other day and absolutely love it. It definitely encompasses the look that I’ve been trying to create in my loft area.

3) GNI book club: The Girls Night In book club last Tuesday was wonderful! I loved discussing Anne Helen Petersen’s Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud with an amazing group of women. Everyone was so friendly and had a lot of interesting comments and perspectives (not to mention, wine and donuts were served). I highly recommend signing up for a book club (GNI or otherwise) in your city if you can!

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4) A wish list find: I came across this lidded basket on Amazon the other day and love it! It’s exactly the style that’s super popular right now and doubles as a storage unit, which is always a plus.

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Where to Score Cheap Midcentury Modern Furniture

Today’s topic is #mcm…nope, not “man crush Monday” (sorry) but instead, “midcentury modern” (bookmark the abbrev for your Craigslist searches! I was scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day when I came across an ad for Burlington Coat Factory, of all places, and there was a picture of a cute campaign nightstand. Now, while Burlington is definitely chaotic and not really the type of place I enjoy shopping because of the clutter (yes, this is coming from a girl who LOVES TJMaxx/HomeGoods), I happened to know that they have a website. So off I went to find the adorable campaign piece (which didn’t show up in my searches, unfortunately)…but while browsing, I came across some awesome midcentury modern pieces for CHEAP!

On Craigslist, midcentury modern pieces pop up all of the time, but the price range can really vary. I’m not as into this style of dresser, but it’s been growing on me lately, and seeing mcm pieces for a great price may just encourage me to bite the bullet!

Here’s what I found:

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With the nightstand, I’d probably replace the knobs with some fun ones from Anthropologie (or HomeGoods, etc…lots of stores sell them!). The plain brown ones are a little boring in my opinion, and a gold design or something similar could definitely make them look more glam.

Note: I was on Google images looking for these pieces because for whatever reason pictures weren’t showing up with the Burlington links as I was writing this post. I discovered that several other stories carry these pieces, but the prices are much higher (Kohl’s, for example, was selling the same dresser for $400!).

Moral of the story: Do your research, but then go ahead and shop your heart out as you decorate your midcentury modern-themed bedroom! Also, don’t discount somewhat random retailers until you see what they have to offer…I never in a million years would’ve thought these pieces would be sold at Burlington, but ya learn something new every day, I guess!

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