Friday, April 28, 2017

Thrifty Coastal Finds

Happy weekend everyone!

If you're done with your spring cleaning, you may be looking for some fresh coastal updates for your home. And maybe you don't want to blow the bank. Well I found some really fun options at great price points. And (surprise!) they're all from Amazon. Check it out. Affiliate links included.

Looking for some new wall art? This pretty 16 x 20 canvas is only $40. Don't you just love the colors?

I love this turquoise console table. How cute would this look in the entry to a beach house? The perfect place to drop off keys and mail. $156.

The colors in this 6 x 9 striped rug are so pretty. It's indoor-outdoor so you know it will hold up well. This would be great under a dining table. $115. Yes, for a 6 x 9 rug!

This caged onion table lamp is a coastal classic. It comes in a set of two for $120 (i.e. $60 each).

Outdoor pillows can be so pricey. These blue and white striped pillows are only $25 for both.

Every coffee table needs some eye candy. This pretty book is from Coastal Living has the best title--and beautiful photos. Beach House Happy $27.

I'm a sucker for glass bottles. This set of three decorative bottles is $30.

Even in the summer I like to have a throw blanket to curl up with while I'm watching TV. This one is a beautiful color and because it's made of cotton it's perfect for this time of year. $23.

I love these flameless battery operated lanterns. They're stainless steel and can be used outdoors as well as indoors. $40 for the set of two.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tips for Shopping at a Salvage Yard

If you're a DIYer, lover of vintage, supporter of recycling and reusing, or just plain cheap, you've probably given some thought to visiting a salvage yard or warehouse. You can find these facilities around the country. Habitat ReStore is one of the best known. My personal favorite is Community Forklift in Bladensburg, Maryland. The idea behind these businesses is to salvage materials from construction sites, building demolitions, etc. and resell these materials--often to benefit nonprofit causes. This beats the heck out of this stuff ending up in a landfill and provides the opportunity to pick up some great materials for very little money. If you're looking for reclaimed wood, this is the place to go, not to mention a kazillion other cool things.  I'll tell you straight up--I love these places.However, if you've never ventured into a salvage yard, you may feel a little intimidated or confused. Hopefully I can provide you with some tips that will give you the confidence to dive in.

There are a few things you need to know before you head out the door. First, these places are not like your average Home Depot. They tend to be messy, chaotic, and dirty. Warehouses are unlikely to be heated in the winter or air conditioned in the summer, so dress for the weather.  Wear work clothes that you won't mind getting dirty. And don't even think about wearing flip flops or heels. Use a cross-body bag or carry your things in your pockets. You want to keep your hands free.

Second, you'll be expected to load your finds in your vehicle by yourself. So make sure you have a vehicle that's suitable for transporting large items. I have a station wagon with a roof rack. I also have a selection of kayak tie down straps (affiliate link) that are the bomb for securing stuff to your vehicle. Consider bringing a helper too. The staff is usually not allowed to help customers load, so keep that in mind.

Third, there are a few essentials to bring: a tape measure and work gloves. Like I said, this isn't like Home Depot where the sizes of things are marked. And unless you're fond of splinters, you need the gloves.

I was looking for pieces of reclaimed wood today, but I love just wandering around for inspiration. There was so much cool stuff! These doors were amazing. At least 10 feet tall.

And tons molding and trim.

A huge selection of French doors, some with original wavy glass.

Check out these pieces of an old tin ceiling.

I just loved this vintage stove.

And what about this sink? It could be so awesome in a farmhouse kitchen.

  I could think of some many things to do with these vintage shutters.

They had a great selection of mantels. This is where I found the mantel I'm using in the finished basement.

 Just so much cool stuff.

These old lockers would be so fun in a mud room.

This was a solid chestnut bed. So sweet.

This little cabinet was all metal. Very cool.

I think this little school desk would be so cute in a kid's bedroom or playroom. The top opened up and would be great for storing art supplies.

And check out all this vintage hardware.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Lighting fixtures, tile, windows, flooring, they had it all.

So what do you do once you find something you want to buy? First, put on your gloves and haul it out into the open to do a full inspection. Returns usually aren't an option, so be sure you're aware of any damage or imperfections. Measure everything to be sure it's the right size. Then go grab a dolly and bring your find to the cash register.

After paying, bring your vehicle to the loading dock (if available) and load up. Be sure to secure everything well.

In the end I came home with three pieces of wood and a lot of ideas. I hope this has inspired you to check out a salvage yard near you. Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Coffee Tables for a Coastal Living Room

Hello everyone! We just got back from a week at the beach house. The weather was perfect and we had some real quality time with family and friends. It was lovely.

The basement is coming along nicely.  I've been thinking about moving some pieces from the living room to the basement and upgrading the living room in the process. The coffee table is at the top of the list. The current coffee table is another survivor of Hurricane Sandy. It's not in the best shape (okay, it was underwater for a couple of days so that's understandable). I would also like to move away from bright white furniture in the living room (white will work well in the basement) and add some more warm wood tones. Here's what the room looks like now:

In trying to figure out what might work, I found some great inspiration in the Arhaus catalog. Arhaus has a large selection of living room furniture including some nice choices of warm wood coffee tables that I think could work with my coastal decor. Check these out:

I love the idea of this nesting coffee table. It doesn't take up too much room, but the smaller tables can be pulled out when needed.

This trunk has plenty of storage space--very practical. This is actually in antique brass rather than wood, but this one is similar in style and in warm, java color wood.

This is a combination of distressed wood and an iron base. It's square and would work well with the proportions of my sectional. Here's another square coffee that has a wood base and a stone top.

I like the idea of a round table. This one is made of marble on a metal base. For a different look, check out this round coffee table with an antique oak base and a zinc top.

This option is made of antiqued, washed teak. Because it can be used outdoors as well as inside, it would be extremely sturdy and stand up well to wear and tear in the living room.

Finally, this option is a bit unconventional, but I really like the texture and organic feel of this petrified wood table.I actually think it would fit in quite well with coastal decor.

So what do you think? Would a wood tone coffee table be the way to go in this room?

To see all of Arhaus' living room furniture, click here.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Quick & Easy Easter Centerpiece

Can you believe it's Easter this weekend? Where does the time go? Hopefully, you're more on top of things than I am and have everything all figured out. In my case, we arrived at the beach house Wednesday night and I had nothing ready.  Like there was a very brown Christmas wreath on the front door. Not exactly springlike. Did I mention we're having nine people for dinner on Easter? So I needed a quick and easy centerpiece. Here's what I came up and it took all of ten minutes!

It's simple and festive. Because it's low, it won't interfere with people talking across the table. And with the exception of the plants, I already had everything I needed.

If you want try this yourself, here's how to do it:

  1. Place 3 small flowering plants  (I used African violets from the grocery store) in decorative pots (I used small galvanized pails from Ikea). This will allow you to keep the plants watered without flooding your arrangement. 
  2. Arrange the pots in an oval tray, bowl, or basket. I got this wooden one at Home Goods last fall.
  3. Fill in with some moss.
  4. Nestle a few Easter eggs in the moss. I used 8 craft eggs that I had painted a robin's egg blue.
I added a couple of candlesticks on the side. Done!

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Creating a Fixer Upper Style Coastal Living Room for Less

I always enjoy browsing pinterest and instragram for inspiration. I thought it would be fun to take a room and try to recreate it on a budget. I decided to start with this coastal-esque living room by Joanna Gaines. I love the color palette and the details in this room. It looks so comfortable and inviting. It's funny, doing an exercise like this, I really learned a lot. I became more aware of the details in this room and how all the parts play together. Please note, some of these are affiliate links.

Fixer Upper Style for Less

I decided to break this down into sections--first the seating group and then the fireplace wall. 

For slipcovered seating, my go-to is Ikea's Ektorp line. I own the sectional, sleeper sofa (now discontinued), chair, and love seat. They are comfortable and easy to maintain. You can wash the slipcovers or replace them when you want something new. And did I mention you can not beat the price?

The coffee table in the inspiration room looks like it might have been a cut-down dining table. It's a nice medium-tone wood and has a unique shape and turned legs. Obviously a one-of-a-kind piece. However, I did come up with this weathered wood coffee table. The color is about right and it does have the turned legs (although not quite as unique) as the inspiration piece.  
Weathered Wood Cocktail Table ($377)

Between the chairs is another little table. It's hard to see the details in the photo, but it looks like whitewashed wood with curvy lines. This is not an exact match, but I think it has those characteristics.

Now that we've got the furniture, let's accessorize. In the inspiration room it looks like she's using a patterned rug in light orange or terracotta. I think it works because the warm color helps anchor the coffee table. I chose a jute rug for this space. The color is warm like the inspiration and I like bringing in the texture of the jute.

Natural Basket Weave Jute Rug ($170)

Let's throw in some pillows. I found a nice stripe, very similar to the original and another in a blue and white pattern. I think it would be great to mix and match several different patterns as long as you stick to the same color scheme. 

Striped Pillow Cover $29

Blue & White Pillow Cover $22

The coffee table accessories include a tray topped with a large jar-like vase of flowers. 
 Industrial Wood & Metal Tray ($28)

For the window treatments, I'm going to let you in on one of my favorite secrets. Ikea sells these heavy (like canvas) 98" long curtain panels with big metal grommets for $30--a pair! I have these everywhere. They are a great weight, long enough (they come in a longer length too!), and a perfect color. You will not believe the quality for the price. You're welcome. 

Now on to the fireplace wall. One of the things I really love about this room are the built in bookcases on either side of the fireplace. No built ins? No problem. I found these glass door cabinets that would look great in any room. Easy way to add some architectural interest without breaking the bank.

Above the fireplace, it looks like Joanna used three wall vases filled with flowers. I found these vases on Etsy. They come in other finishes as well as this distressed white.

Joanna used topiaries in several places in this room. This boxwood topiary with a whitewashed pot looks perfect. It also comes in a double topiary. 

On the mantel, Joanna used some old books (sorry guys, but I just can't bring myself to rip covers off of books) and some turned candlesticks in a dark wood. I found these candlesticks that aren't as tall, but have a similar look. 

Finally, on the floor next to the fireplace is an old galvanized bucket filled with wood. This one, from Ikea is nice and tall.