Rug Revamp

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I honestly think that the right rug can truly make a room feel “done” (or as close to done as you’ll get if you’re me). I’ve tried out a few different rugs in my bedroom but realized that something with bright colors works the best against my dark wood floors. For awhile, I tried to go for more neutral colored decor to make my space really feel cabin-like and serene, but it just felt like something was missing.

I love browsing Etsy to find the perfect vintage rug and have found such amazing deals that I’ve stopped defaulting to traditional websites selling newer items, but then I stumbled upon this option and changed my mind because it totally looks vintage! (I purchased it from Birch Lane, but it’s the Loloi brand and is sold on other similar sites as well, just search the style to find where it’s cheapest at the moment!). Immediately, I knew it would work perfectly in my space (I ordered the 5 by 7.6 inch size), and I’ve been so happy with the pop of color it adds to my room.

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As for other decor updates–I snagged the pair of brass sconces for $20 at the Georgetown Flea in January and love the midcentury modern look! The bench at the end of my bed is something I’ve had for awhile now and people always comment on it–it’s great because it can fold up for storage, and it actually is something I scored on Amazon Prime! I wrote an article for Apartment Therapy about it, because it really is such a useful piece!

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My duvet cover is from Amazon as well, but I’ll admit that white was a bold choice (#spillprone). However, it’s super cheap (only $15 at the moment; I believe it was $25 when I bought it) and easy to replace if needed. I just am not coordinated enough to drink coffee/snack in bed without spills/crumbs ruining things, so I’ll never be able to justify expensive bedding! I talk more about the mirror/chair area in the background in this post, if you’re curious!

Photos by Kimberly Graydon

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A New Glimpse Into My Room + Easy Art

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Thank goodness for getting some updated home pictures taken the other week! I decorate and redecorate so often that it’s hard to capture all of my apartment changes in a timely manner (and let’s be real, I’ll forever be arranging and rearranging, so I’ll never be able to fully keep up!). However, I always love when I get a new batch of photos in from photographers that I work with, because it means I can finally share some new snippets of my home on here–this little nook in my bedroom being one of them!

When I first moved into this space in fall 2017, I placed a desk in this area–I primarily used it as a vanity/storage. Then, my building’s handyman kindly redid my closet doors (they used to slide open, and I had asked if it would be possible to install accordion doors instead, as this makes it much easier to see everything inside, especially since this part of my room doesn’t have great lighting at all times of day). This much-needed upgrade has been amazing, but it also ate up some wall space and made it so that the desk I’d placed in this nook didn’t fit as well. I turned it facing the other direction–it originally was flat against the brick wall–but I never fully loved how it looked there.

In the fall, though, I came across the gold standing mirror of my dreams on Craigslist! This thing was HEAVY, and I had to hire a TaskRabbit to help me carry it up to the loft (though I did manage to carry it up the three flights of stairs leading to my apartment all on my own, which was no small feat, trust me). I snagged it from a nice family redecorating their kids’ room and paid only $70, which was an amazing deal for such a large, well made piece.

I now love having a full length mirror to use while I’m getting ready each morning, and it just opens up the entire room so much, too. To jazz up the area, I placed a Chippendale chair (only $25 on Facebook Marketplace, score!) in front of the mirror and hung some artwork off to the side.

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I’d shared a glimpse of this artwork when I’d gotten it made in the fall but never shared a final picture of it hanging, but if you’re looking to recreate the look, it’s so, so easy. I simply ordered an Ottomi placemat on Etsy for under $30 and took it to a local framing store (using a coupon, of course–custom framing is so expensive!). Within two or three weeks, the framing was complete, and I couldn’t be happier with the final product! I may have to order some smaller pieces of fabric and do more of these, as I love how Ottomi prints look grouped together.

I couldn’t be happier with how open and bright the area looks now–all thanks to a few thrifty finds and a little DIY!

Photos by Kimberly Graydon 

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Six Cute Vases to Use as Lamps

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I’ve read a lot of posts like this one where people turned a pretty vase or jar into a lamp using a simple bottle lamp kit from the hardware store or Amazon, and it really doesn’t seem like that difficult of a DIY…which of course led me to browse tons of beautiful jars just in case I decide to take it on myself! I’ve rounded up a ton of amazing options at various price points (all are under $100) if anyone is up to take this on sometime soon–there are seriously so many cute options that I don’t know what type of base I would pick!

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Get the Look: Eclectic with Feminine Accents

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Happy Monday! I’m back with another “get the look” piece (these posts are basically excuses for me to browse for pieces I don’t need and pretend I’m decorating a room, so they’re super fun to create). This time, I was inspired by a vibrant peacock print wallpaper I saw on One Kings Lane and decided to pick out accessories to match. The wallpaper is actually removable, which makes it a total gem for renters. I’d love to wallpaper an area in my apartment someday, but most of my walls are such a strange shape that it would be a little difficult! Anyway, onto the pieces:

Removable wallpaper//Brass stand//Foo dog lamps//Banana leaf print//Planter  

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Get the Look: Neutral with a Touch of Color

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The neutral decor trend isn’t anything new, and while I love how clean it makes a space look, I just can’t go without a dash of color in my home. I came across this red rug on One Kings Lane and immediately wanted to design a room around it. I thought it would pop nicely against white and wood-toned accents, so off I went to browse some of my favorite sites for accessories, and I’m loving the completed look. If only I had an extra room to redo! Deets on the pieces below:

Rug//Seagrass basket//End table//Woven bowl//Artwork//Table lamp//Planter 

 

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Readers Share Their Best Recent Purchases

Photo by Heather Bien
Photo by Heather Bien

I mentioned the other day that I love listening to Bad on Paper podcast, particularly when I’m sitting in the car waiting for yet another Uber Pool passenger to delay my trip home (ha). Over the weekend, I was listening to Grace and Becca’s episode featuring fashion blogger Blair Eadie, who mentioned that whenever she and her friends get together on a girls trip, they spend a ton of time going over their favorite recent purchases and sharing must-haves with one another. These things can range from grocery store items to clothing, which I think is such a neat, useful idea. I thought I would try a similar thing with my Instagram followers and asked people to share their favorite purchase (pertaining to food, travel, clothing, etc) as of late…and below are just some of the amazing answers I got! I’ve sorted things by category so that this list isn’t completely random. Also, apologies if your response got cut off–Insta doesn’t save these replies, so I had to take screenshots as they came in and am doing my best to piece them together!

Clothing:
  • “A long sleeve black Lululemon top. It sounds so basic, but I wear it lots in this weather!”
  • “New Adidas sneakers from DSW. Aka much less expensive, but cute/versatile.”
Beauty: 
Cooking: 
  • “A milk frother! It totally elevates my morning coffee.”
  • “Violet mustard. It’s made with grape musts left over from wine making and is delish with a cheese plate.”
Home: 
  •  “The Carlo chair in olive from West Elm. It complements my living room and is super comfy.”
  • “Super random, but a counter top mini vacuum. It’s been a game changer!”
  • “A spring-scented candle from Seawick’s Candle Company to help me think it’s spring!”
Thank you to everyone who submitted their must-haves! Have you tried any of the above?
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Home Inspiration

Ah, if only I could redo every room in my apartment once a month…there are always so many new products that catch my eye, and below are several that I’ve either purchased or am lusting over at the moment! I love how they all work together, too.

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My friend Chris discovered this cane shelf on UO’s website and sent me a picture of it right away (anyone who knows me knows how much I love this look!). I’m not sure if it would work in my bathroom at the moment, but I absolutely love how stylish (and affordable) it is and I’m sure I’ll convince myself to scoop it up eventually. 😉 It would also be beautiful holding spices in a kitchen!

This bamboo mirror is also a steal and would look beautiful in a bathroom, over a dresser, or leaning on open shelving. Again, I don’t need it, but it’s gorgeous!

I can never stop buying coffee table books and given that I just booked a trip to Nashville in May (my college friends and I are having a mini reunion there and I can’t wait!), this one seemed like a must.

I love when you find affordable Turkish rugs that look like something you’d stumble upon at a flea market (I hate the mass-produced look). This one is a winner!

Who can say no to chinoiserie bathroom decor? Ballard Designs does it again with this fun blue and white set.

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Turkish Area Rugs Under $250

I promise you, it’s totally possible to scoop up a gorgeous Turkish rug without paying over $250. You just need to do some digging–both at big box stores and on Etsy (my preferred place to shop for vintage rugs!), and you’re guarantee to walk away with a gem. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites of the moment…someone needs to make a move on them!

Under $100:

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Love the gorgeous shades of coral and blue on this rug.

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A smaller rug like this one would look stunning layered over jute.

Under $200:

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This rug would look beautiful in a small dining nook.

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Soft colors like these are perfectly for a nursery.

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A Southwestern print at an affordable price.

Under $250:

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This beautiful number is on sale and has such a vibrant mix of colors.

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A large rug with classic colors.

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A Seattle Apartment’s Bathroom Makeover

I totally have a bone to pick with social media a lot of the time, but then I remember how many amazing connections/reconnections have happened in my life because of apps like Instagram. And this is one of those cases! Recently, I happily reconnected with Ruthie, who was a few years below me in college and was in one of my favorite classes of all time (an American Studies course on gender and pop culture!) during my senior year. Ruthie is so nice and talented and lives in Seattle where she works in a corporate job by day but runs an awesome food blog/Instagram (linked up top!) in her spare time. We talked about how we both love having creative outlets in our lives and decided to do a little long-distance collab: I would help her design her (huge, incredibly gorgeous) bathroom, and she would provide me with some much-needed cooking ideas!

Go follow Ruthie @the_wildcarrot
Go follow Ruthie! @the_wildcarrot

For starters, can I just say how perfect Ruthie’s bathroom looks, even not fully decorated? My bathroom in my current apartment is TINY–which is totally fine since it’s just me, and I have a lot of other storage space in my closet, for example, but eek. My shower is teeny tiny, and the overall feel is very “cabin bathroom” esque, if that makes sense. Ruthie’s bathroom is huge, modern, and the perfect blank slate to make over!

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Since there’s so much decor out there to choose from, Ruthie kindly gave me a little bit of background on the place and her preferences. She told me that she redid the floors and sink after moving in (she says that before, the bathroom was “very 90s with pale green walls”) and that she’s into any style except for farmhouse (noted!). She said that the rest of her apartment is mid-century looking with rose gold and metallic notes (love!) and her bedroom is more blue/coastal. In particular, she is looking for something to place between the toilet and shower on the back wall and is in need of accessory ideas (whether to purchase online or look for at local consignment shops–totally wish I could join!).

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Soooo, off I went to do some browsing! And here’s what I put together to get her started!

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Toilet/Shower area: 

  • I thought that a storage system like this one would fit perfectly in the space between Ruthie’s toilet and shower, and it can hold much needed supplies like shampoo bottles, cosmetics, makeup wipes, etc. She likely doesn’t need a ton of additional storage because there are so many drawers by the sink, but sometimes it’s helpful to have a few products within reach of the shower. The key is to not fill the drawers too high, though, or they’ll start to look junky! I would probably swap out the drawer pull for something a little less sterile in order to add some personality to the piece (one of these Anthropolgie knobs would be gorg!). On top, Ruthie could place a tray (something she could look for at a flea market, since she may find one with character) to hold favorite perfumes and nail polishes. Alternatively, a rolling cart would also look adorable here. You could add some fun touches like candles and succulents succulents while still using it to store essentials.
  • I also love the idea of hanging a wall shelf like this one from Urban Outfitters between the toilet and shower (instead of placing a storage unit there) to keep the space open. It would look gorgeous with some plants, perfumes, and candles. The style matches her bathroom’s modern look, and she could still keep a few items nearby the shower on the day-to-day (extra shampoo bottles, lotions, etc) without it getting too cluttered.
  • I’m all for a good stool–you guys know how much I love this set from Serena & Lily, but this TJ Maxx option is a little cheaper and also makes a statement. I keep seeing stools like this in large bathrooms and they’re so versatile!
  • Since Ruthie’s bathroom floors are a light wood color, I thought she could go for a more colorful bathmat, like this one from Bed Bath & Beyond (which seems like it would go with her “coastal colored” bedroom!). The shade should help brighten up the space and make it a little more lively.

Wall Space: 

  • Ruthie already has some art hanging in the bathroom, but she has so much wall space that she could definitely fit some additional pieces! I love incorporating figure sketches in the bathroom, but abstract pieces, photographs, or really anything else would look good if styled nicely. I really like this print from Society6, which would look beautiful matted in a white frame, and this sign from Anthropologie.

Vanity: 

  • As for the sink area, I love these marble bathroom accessories, which are useful and will match the bathroom’s modern look. And she already has the right idea by placing candles and a little cactus on the vanity!
  • Ruthie could also prop up a piece of framed artwork, like this Seattle skyline print from Etsy, to have something to look at while getting ready (a framed photo would work, too!).
  • Fingers crossed this post provides Ruthie with some inspo–and stay tuned for her recipe reveal!

Stay tuned as I work on Ruthie’s recipe recs, which will be coming to the blog this evening! I’ll share more details soon, but they’re great if you’re hosting a small get together or just want to add something new to your usual weeknight dinner routine.

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Affordable Cane/Rattan Serving Trays at Target

If you’re a cane/rattan lover who can appreciate a good deal, get excited, because I’ve found the Target product of your dreams!

But first things first. Earlier this year, I spotted these beautiful cane trays from Pottery Barn on a blog and fell in love. However, I have so many serving trays as it is that I couldn’t justify the price tag. I love using them for different things–yes, for food, but also on a bar cart, in the bathroom, on a dresser, etc.

Earlier this morning, I was doing my usual “scroll through Insta stories and see what happened overnight” AM ritual (anyone else totally guilty of lying in bed doing this every morning?!) and saw someone had picked up a gorgeous rattan tray at Target on sale. In trying to search for the product, I found something WAY better–a beautiful, vintage-looking, Pottery Barn look alike cane tray for only $30!!!

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Shipping was out of stock for the item, but I managed to put one on hold at my local store, so definitely try to do the same. While doing a bit more browsing, I also discovered a gorgeous cane basket and an amazing but slightly more expensive plant stand.

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For comparison, here is a pic of the Pottery Barn tray, which appears to be out of stock anyway:

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They’re practically the same, right?! This Target one must be new, because I definitely haven’t seen it on the website or in stores (I also feel like I would’ve heard people raving about it by now!).

Happy shopping!

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