Hey! Remember two weeks ago, when I told y’all I was going to give the One Room Challenge from Calling it Home a try, even though I was going to be out of town and super busy with other stuff?
Before I was living more deliberately, I made many shopping decisions that weren’t all the way thought out. This rug was one of those. At Homegoods, I determined that I liked it, but couldn’t think of where I “needed” it. When I overheard another woman looking at the second (out of two) I bought it. That store has such a quick turnover, I didn’t want to miss out!
I got it home and, of course, I still didn’t have a place for it. Maybe if it was bigger? A few days later, instead of returning it, I bought the second one! It was still there! It must be luck, right?
These are the methods of thought I now know to be incongruent with my values. Even as I continue to purge excess, I still try to see where things would fit, given the right project. In this case, my upstairs hallway was the perfect length for them to run top to bottom.
They moved around a lot, and I wasn’t fooling anyone. If you have two traditional carpets you’d like to attach, head over and buy some fiberglass carpet seaming tape and follow the instructions over at Ugly Duckling House. But if, like me, you have two woven rugs that won’t give the illusion of being one with some tape, Continue reading
I always admired Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie window displays. They’re always so creative. So once, back in Houston, when I saw that some things they used for displays were on sale, I jumped at the opportunity. One was a painted plywood troll that’s taller than the ceilings of my current house, and the other was a raw piece of plywood shaped like a guitar.
Something like a million years later, I decided to turn it into a chalkboard for Tobias’ room. I assume you don’t have a piece of plywood shaped like a guitar hanging around the house, but you can always mimic the idea with a plain rectangle, or try your luck at advanced jigsawing.
1. Prep the wood surface by filling any holes and sanding. Then, paint. I liked this color so much that I bought it before I knew what project it’d be used for.
2. Trace outer edges. I just rubbed the crayon’s side along the sides of the wood.
3. Freehand draw inlay, cut out, trace onto craft plywood.
4. Apply liquid nails, smooth over with a spackling knife.
5. Use a vice or something heavy to keep it in place while the adhesive dries. During this time, I also planned out how the chalk would attatch to the board.
6. Drill small holes for the strings.
7. Use a pipe cleaner to help shove the twine through.
8. I abandoned this project for several months, as I couldn’t figure out what to use so that the chalk would lay horizontal. During my craft clean up, I came across a business card holder that was left behind by our Houston real estate agent, Judy St. Julien. It was perfect! I used wood glue to adhere.
9. When it came time to hang, I bought these guitar hooks and painted them black, to match my son’s room.
10. All hung!
Tobias uses the chalkboard to make a mark every time he spends 10 minutes practicing his guitar. Once he reaches a certain amount of marks, he gets a treat! Though he’s the one who wanted to begin to learn the guitar, learning something new is tough. And it’s really tough to start new habits, practice something that you’re not quite good at yet, and stick with it. I don’t usually use incentives as a parenting technique, but once he’s in a habit it’ll be much easier (and far less painful) for him to keep going.
It looks cool and it’s practical.
I mentioned in my 2017 Resolutions that I’m working toward “my version of minimalism.” What started as reading Marie Kondo’s book at the beginning of 2015 has turned into a process of weeding out all of the excess: from too many bookmarks on my browser, relationships that don’t serve me, cutting out social media accounts and slowly but surely dissipating many material items, I’m on the road to living with less.
When I say “my version” of minimalism, that means that though I subscribe to the “buy less, own less” method of thought, I have no intentions of living with the minimalist aesthetic. Minimalism to me means being surrounded by art, memorabilia from my travels, photographs, bright colors, whimsy and having a cozy, warm home while still having space in my life for experiences by the boatload.
That being said, I like to keep the things that go on my walls beautiful, useful, and inexpensive without looking like I raided a Bed Bath & Beyond sale section of generic reproduction art prints. (But if you’re into that, that’s cool, too!) The following are a few cheap and free ways I’ve added art into my home.
If you have a decent printer, downloading printable wall art is one of the cheapest ways to go about getting unique artwork for your walls. Many free printables can be found via Pinterest search. You can also find some higher quality ones for about $5 on Etsy. In my case, each printable serves a purpose. The Smart Kids Books printable from RedHillPrintables is the perfect parental propaganda to hang in my son’s room so that he can be constantly reminded of our values as a family. A sign in my mudroom advises guests to remove their shoes upon entering my home (though it rarely works), and I refer to the seasonal produce prints I have hung in my kitschy kitchen when picking out recipes to follow.
I’m a little biased, but I think hanging year-round banners like my Roam Sweet Roam banner adds a little celebration to the every day. Make your own banner with the tutorial and printables in my archive.
More Parental Propaganda! When I saw a similar print from The Old Try, I knew I just had to have it for the kiddo’s room. Then I saw the price tag. After finding a similar font face and spending time on Photoshop getting it just right, I had a perfectly worthy reproduction.
I’m leaning toward minimalism now, but I’m a recovering craft supply hoarder who had a habit of keeping random things with potential. This one worked out-a Kate Spade direct mailer that was just the right size for the logo to be out of the picture. A witty phrase above where I hang the dog leash, if I do say so myself.
You may remember my post about using a hula hoop for a grand scale weaving and how I finished it off. The flowered tapestry is one I bought from Peru, soon to be hung upstairs. Adding fabric art helps absorb some of the sounds that this old, tiny house doesn’t always muffle from room to room, and it adds cozy.
I love curating things that span many different decades (and even centuries!) as I pull together my eclectic home. This 1856 hand drawn map of Fairfield County will be soon on my living room wall,helping as I conquer all that it has to offer. I’m going to have it printed large, but with a large file of the map free on the Library of Congress website, I’ll only have to pay for printing.
I’m no lifestyle guru, but hanging my bucket list, vision board, and marked off map in my office help remind me of how far of come and keeps me focused on my goals and values. I often catch a glimpse of these items (that I put together six and two years ago) and reevaluate if I’m taking actions everyday toward my goals or just following the status quo.
There ya have it! Seven inexpensive things I’ve used to decorate my home. What are some inexpensive things you’ve done to decorate your house? Let me know in the comments!
I got this chair from a friend as she was clearing out her grandfather’s house. I kept thinking “I’m going to reupholster this one day.”
Spoiler alert: I wasn’t. Continue reading
Well, for now*.
Bright Bazaar calls it “make-you-smile style.”
Jonathan Adler calls it “Happy Chic.”
OhJoy! keeps it simple and calls it “whimsy.”
These designers/bloggers and I have one thing in common: they design around the idea that your home and the things in it should make you happy. To them, there’s no need for fussy formalities; your home should be, look, and feel FUN. I never called it anything, but I’ve loved bright colors and silly accents for as long as I can remember.