I've been seeing geometric shapes everywhere lately, and I'm loving it. I posted about triangles and hexagons before, but these 3D faceted shapes are even better. I mean, what girl doesn't like gemstones?
This table runner is fairly inexpensive, but it sure does look amazing! The gems are made by folding paper (get the templates here), then they're put on bamboo skewers and stuck into a wooden pegboard with a piece of foam underneath.
These pretty faceted stones are magnets!
I love all these pretty products from Magpie Miller...especially that two-toned pendant!
Bundt cakes are so pretty and they kind of have that faceted look about them too. I think I've only made one cake with our bundt pan since we got married...maybe it's time for me to bust it out again!
These colorful geometric shapes look fabulous as a ceremony backdrop--the fishing line makes it looks like they're just floating there. I'd also use them in my house...a few paper gems would be a great way to add color to the mantel!
What's your favorite of these ideas? Have you been noticing this trend as well? Starbucks has their new chiseled collection of tumblers--and there's the lamp from Land of Nod that I posted about yesterday...what other faceted products have you been seeing?
One of the suggestions you guys gave me was to share my tips and advice on different topics, such as decorating on a budget. Since that is the only type of decorating I've ever done, I figured it would be a great topic to start with! Sure, it would be nice to one day have an unlimited budget, but there is something about finding good deals and inventive ways to save money that is actually really fun, rewarding, and exciting. And it truly does inspire more creativity! Here are some of my best tips for getting the most bang out of your buck.
1. "Shop" your own house first. Before you go out and buy a bunch of new stuff, survey your own house (and shed) and think about how you could repurpose things you already own. A paint-splattered stepladder might look really cute as a side table or bookshelf. You could use a muffin tin or empty egg carton to hold earrings and other jewelry. Sometimes, just moving something from one room to another can make it feel fresh and new. Try using dining chairs as bedside tables, or switching around lamps, curtains, pillows, etc.
2. Shop thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, and flea markets...even the side of the road. When I was a kid, before thrift store shopping became the cool hipster thing to do, my mom would take us to Value Village and garage sales to find the best deals on everything from clothes to dishes to our piano. Now, I'm the one dragging Ben to thrift stores and craning my neck to check out every garage sale we pass--just in case. You never know what you'll find, and the stock is always changing.
When it comes to thrift stores or garage sales, if you see something you love, don't wait. Get it. I know that sounds counterintuitive if you're trying to stay on budget, but you're more likely to regret the things you didn't get than the ones you did. It's different from shopping at a department store, where it'll probably still be there in a day, a week, or even a year. In thrift stores, once it's gone, it's gone forever...and you may never find another like it. Of course, that's also the great thing about shopping at flea markets, garage sales, and all those kind of places--the treasures you find are one-of-a-kind, they have a story behind them...and they're oftentimes better quality than the stuff you get these days.
Thrift stores are also a great place to get materials for crafts and projects on the cheap. When I was planning my wedding, I bought a bunch of old novels and music books. Most of them I got for about $1 apiece (or even less). I used the pages to make paper pinwheels, for everything from the guy's boutonnieres to the centerpieces to our photobooth backdrop. It was so much cheaper than buying patterned paper from a scrapbook store. I've also recently started buying patterned sheets from Goodwill. Most of the fabric at Joann's is at least $4/yard, so $4 for an entire bed sheet is definitely worthwhile. I'm planning to use the fabrics I've been collecting to upholster our dining chairs, but you could also use sheets as curtains...they're a great size for it! Just use clip rings or fold the sheet over at the top if you don't feel like sewing.
And let's not forget the side of the road. I am a sucker for a "free" sign! Don't just think about what it is, think about what you could use it for. You might see a desk with a broken leg that isn't really your style--but if you take the drawers out, they'll make really cute storage for bathroom necessities, craft supplies, or treats at your next party.
3. Don't be afraid to check out the kid's section. I mentioned in this post that I like to shop at kid's stores...for myself! You won't find dirt cheap deals, but their price point is definitely less than the adult counterparts. The kid's section is a great place to look for pastels, bright colors, cute decorative accents, white painted furniture, and simple, graphic patterns. In particular, look for pillows, rugs, baskets, and lighting.
4. Look in nature. I wrote a whole post on this here, but it bears repeating. Nature is definitely one of the best places to look for decorating supplies. A long driftwood branch makes a great exposed closet or an anchor for a pendant light. Rocks, leaves, pinecones, seashells, moss...they all have potential. And best of all, they don't cost a thing!
5. DIY -- wisely. I'm a huge fan of the DIY movement, and it's really satisfying to create something for your home and be able to tell people "I made that!" when they compliment you on it. But be smart about it--if a project ends up costing more in materials than it would be to buy it, it's not worth your time and effort. I prefer simple DIYs that are inexpensive and quick, especially those that breathe new life into things you already have. After all, the best way to save money is not to buy anything new at all. My favorite way to do that is with paint! Whether it's furniture, picture frames, lamp bases, silverware, drawer knobs, or kitchen cabinets...almost everything can get a fresh new look with a coat of paint.
What about you guys? I know you have your own tips and tricks to save money...feel free to share them in the comments!
Most of the maternity sessions I've seen involve the mom-to-be in an open field, framing her baby bump with her hands and gazing down with a soft, dreamy smile--or with her shirt pulled up to show her belly, holding little baby props like shoes or alphabet blocks. There's nothing wrong with those ideas, but I personally think I'd feel a bit awkward. When I saw these lovely photos though, I knew this was the kind of session I'd like to have when I am pregnant (one day). It's relaxed, sweet, and simple...no cheesy props, no trying to look serious and "motherly", and the perfect way to capture this special time of expectation for both the mother and father. After all, why should maternity sessions involve only the mom?
What an adorable baby bump! Jen's belted black dress shows it off perfectly.
Maike of welovepictures captured Luke and Jen doing their usual Sunday morning thing: pancakes, coffee, relaxing on the sofa, and taking a little nap! I love getting a peek into their home too. It's so pretty and full of light!
So sweet! Those of you that have had a baby or are pregnant now, did you do a maternity session? I'd love to hear what you did or what you have planned! And for those of us non-pregos, I think this kind of relaxed at home session would also be perfect for engagement photos, an anniversary session, or photos with your whole family!
Photos by welovepictures
On Friday I mentioned that I have quite a few projects in mind for our home. One of them is our fridge! My dream would be to one day own a SMEG fridge in pink or yellow, or maybe aqua (sigh) but the reality is that we rent our house and we don't have thousands of dollars to spend on a refrigerator. So we are stuck with an ugly cream fridge. Why are kitchen appliances always so ugly anyways?? It's really a shame when they take up so much real estate in the kitchen. Of course, since we rent our place, I'm not about to go painting the fridge (pretty sure that would result in losing some of the damage deposit!) but I've had the idea to use removable wallpaper to cover it ever since I wrote about it in this post.
This was the photo that inspired me to begin with. That fridge is soo cute and preppy! I love the color of the cabinets too, with the white knobs. And what a cute idea to cover the bottom shelves with clothespins and a dishtowel instead of a door!
I told you guys that hexagons are going to be big this year...I keep seeing them everywhere!
SMEGs are adorable the way they are, but it's possible they're even better with cheerful decals or colorful wallpaper! I especially love the floral fridge on the left.
Here's another great idea that is removable (aka: renter-friendly) and will make your old fridge look infinitely better--cover it completely with polaroid photos!
I promised I'd take more photos of my house, so here goes! Sorry the photography is a little blurry...I'm still very new at it. This is our fridge area. If you look carefully in these photos, you can see a few of the projects and ideas I've talked about on this blog: Scrabble magnets and a spice tin magnet for pens, a roll of kraft paper for making lists, and wooden cutting boards.
These are the patterns I'm considering to cover the fridge with (this one, this one, and this one). Which one do you think would look best in our kitchen? Would you ever try this idea? If not the fridge, you could always wallpaper dresser drawers like the photo above, or other pieces of furniture/appliances. After all, it's removable!
Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway this week! I read each and every one of your responses. I'm going to try to put together my FAQ page next week with answers to your questions (you asked me some good ones!) and I definitely want to incorporate the feedback and suggestions you gave me into future posts. So many of you asked to see more of my own home! Which is good, I need some motivation to keep working on the house. I have so many ideas but they keep getting put on the back burner (we've been having great weather in Seattle, so clearly spending time outside has been the priority). While I definitely don't feel like the whole house is ready for a tour, I am going to start sharing little corners of it, plus in-progress pictures of projects I'm working on. I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, so I have a hard time with in-progress pictures...there are still parts of every room that I really don't like. But hey, maybe you guys can help me figure out what to do with those areas! Let's start small, with a decision I've been thinking about for our living room...
If you remember from this post, last month Ben and I bought a new armchair (the one above). I really like this chair. It's probably not the color I would have picked if I had gotten it upholstered myself, but for $90 with all those tufted buttons, nailheads, and velvet in really good condition, I wasn't about to be picky. As a side note, pictured in the back of this photo is my least favorite part of our living room--the front door. I hate that brick red color and would really like to paint it something bright and cheerful...but I'm not sure if our landlord would allow it. Ben says it's probably not worth it. I think it is :) But back to the chair decision! We'd like to get another armchair so we can have a pair of chairs across from our sofa, which is a stone-colored linen. My question is...what kind of chair should I get to pair with the velvet one?
Should I go for another tufted wingback, in a different color? (I love this blue one...and that whole room, really).
What about something that is a similar shape, but a different material? Like this leather wingback...or maybe a patterned one!
I do love floral...
Or should I go for something totally mismatched--a different shape and a different color?
I do really like the mismatched look, especially with a chic floral armchair like the one above. I like how the pink flowers pick up the pink in the armchair, so they work together...but in a subtle way. Then again, I'm also digging the half and half chair below, with the cushion a different pattern than the rest of the chair!
I'd love to hear your opinion--what do you think I should do? I'm going to try to take more photos of my home over the weekend so I'll have more corners of my house to share with you all!
Aaaaand as I promised on Monday, it's time to announce the winner of my giveaway! I just used a random number generator, so there was no bias or picking favorites...but I think it's pretty cool because it the winner has her birthday today! What? How crazy is that! Congratulations to Maria Malaveci...and happy birthday!