Category Archives: Home Decor

Coffered Ceiling Install

Our house has undergone quite a bit of change since we purchased it in 2012. Just recently we did a major update to our living room ceiling. This is what it looked like originally…

LivingRoomYou’ll have to forgive the photo quality. The only picture I have was taken with my cell phone. So as you can see it’s just pretty Plain Jane.

We hired a contactor, as we’ve done with numerous projects around our house, and I have to say he was THE best one yet. He, with the help of one other man, measured, cut and installed a complete coffered ceiling and put crown molding up in our entire kitchen all in one day. The guys worked from 8:30am until 6pm until the job was done. We had one piece of molding slip in the kitchen and when I called him he came back out within 20 minutes and fixed it. Now THAT is how contractors should always work. I would hire him again in a heartbeat.

Here are some in progress shots

This is how our living room looks today.

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I’m absolutely in LOVE with this ceiling. It makes such a huge difference. Originally, my husband and I didn’t even consider any homes that didn’t have a two story living room because we liked how spacious and grand they felt but I have to say that since we have had the coffered ceiling put in it has added so much grandeur and character to our home. We recently had a realtor walk through our house to tell us what he thought we could list it for and he said he’s only seen another ceiling similar in one other house that he has listed. We have walked through some new construction houses where builders have installed coffered ceilings but they used drywall and put up some whimpy molding inside of the drywall boxes. Let me tell you it does NOT have the same affect whatsoever. For those interested we have 9 foot tall ceilings in our living room and the molding inside of the boxes is 7 inches thick.

The molding is painted “Mystique” by Valspar.

The inside of the ceiling squares is “Sandy Clay” by Behr.

The wall color is “Toll Booth” by Valspar.

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Item details:

Pottery Barn: Floor Lamp, Floral Pillow Cases and Inserts, Urn by Fireplace

Arhaus: Crank Table

Art Van: Couch and Ottoman

Home Goods: Tan decorative pillows, Basket Tray, Mirror

We are about to have more of an update though because on Saturday we have having new furniture being delivered. I’m so excited to get rid of this green couch and ottoman!! So stay tuned!!

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Fall and Thanksgiving Tablescape 2014

This is my Fall/Thanksgiving tablescape this year. I actually had this same table setting out for September (changed to my Halloween one) and now it’s back so I’m posting about it.

Fall Tablescape 2014
Fall Tablescape 2014

So there is my table. Let’s talk about the details! The place mats, bronze napkin rings and matching orange and tan napkins I already had from previous years and all were purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond.The leaf place card holders were FREE! I went to a shower and they were the party favors on the table and thankfully 4 of the ladies left theirs behind so I took them home. I don’t have a full set of 6 though unfortunately but I just leave the chair by the doorwall without one and no one seems to notice. Some of them have a bit of green, yellow or orange. Here is a close up of one of them.

Place Card Holders
Place Card Holders

I know, I know. I need to actually put name cards in them lol. I’ll get around to it. One day. Eventually. Maybe….

So what’s NEW this year?? DSC_0906

These GORGEOUS real carved wood charger plates are new. They were purchased at Pier One this season and they were NOT cheap. However, I’ve been wanting some chargers like this for awhile now and these were AH-MAAZ-ING so I gave in. To save myself some money I only bought 4 of them and opted to do the captains chairs a little different. I also think it’s just fun to change up the captain’s chairs in any case, regardless of cost. The embossed, distressed cream plates are also from Pier One this season. I think they were $9 or $10 a piece and they’re actually on sale now. Figures. I’ve been scouring home discount stores for awhile looking for a cream, textured plate and haven’t found anything so I bought them here. I bought 6 dinner plates (rather than a whole set). I keep wondering if I should go back and get the salad plates though….Decisions, Decisions.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the green wine glasses were a wedding present (from Bed Bath & Beyond) off my registry.

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These woven grass place mats I bought awhile ago from Marshall’s Home Goods and I needed something here so I thought these would do. You may l notice I doubled up on my napkins this year. I bought 6 of these mustard yellow printed leaf patterned napkins from Pier One on clearance for a dollar a piece. NICE! I’ve actually never purchased anything at Pier One before this fall’s little shopping bender. I didn’t realize they had such good clearance items. I bought some other items on clearance as well that you may see at some point and I think I will have to go in there more often. DSC_0903

The centerpiece I already had and I made it with flowers from Michael’s, moss, string and the wood box I bought at TJ Maxx.

Then I have this on my kitchen counter. I love my owl cookie jar 🙂DSC_0910

What stores have a sneaky clearance section that you love to find goodies at??

Halloween Mantle Decor 2014

I’m IN LOVEEEEEE with my mantle. The pictures don’t do it justice I don’t think. It’s the perfect, sexy, vampire’s lair I was going for with my Halloween style. The best part? Everything was purchased at The Dollar Store or I already had.

Halloween Fireplace Decor
Halloween Fireplace Decor

The deep red vases were purchased at Michael’s on clearance and the flowers I bought years ago when we still lived in our condo from Hobby Lobby. I also have yellow flowers that go with these but decided to omit them because yellow seemed too happy for a vampire’s lair.DSC_0879

I draped several cheesecloth things I bought at The Dollar Store across my mantle. I used gray as the base and layered black ones on top of them.

To layer on top of that I used 2 skeleton garlands in black (also from The Dollar Store.) Here is a close up of the skeletons.DSC_0880

As you can see, the string linking the skeletons is tan. I think before I put this up next year I will color them black with marker or paint them so the string blends in better.

Here is the left side of my mantle.

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The only thing that is new is the red candle that I bought at Marshall’s Home Goods this season for around $5. I plan to have it out for the entire fall season. The crows, spider webs and spiders are all from The Dollar Store.

Here is the right side of  my mantle.DSC_0877

The only “new” thing on this side of the mantle are these two AMAZING vintage books. These are not photographing the way they actually look. The light gold color isn’t so bright in person. But the really special thing about these medical books is that they belonged to my grandfather who is no longer with us. They even have his name and address printed on the inner cover and some papers taped inside that appear to be study materials of the human anatomy. AWESOME!!! I love pairing vintage items with new and how special to own ones with family history and meaning? It’s the only thing I have (other than pictures) that belonged to my grandfather so they’ve become very important to me.

Have you incorporated any family heirlooms into your decor?

Some Halloween Living Room Touches…

This was my first year decorating for Halloween and I decided that I wanted my color scheme to be black, gray and deep red as my accent color (rather than orange or purple which seems to be popular now). I chose red because I don’t decorate with red for Christmas at all and I have alot of orange already going on in my basic fall/Thanksgiving decor.

So here is BEFORE I transitioned to Halloween Decor.

Before the Halloween Transformation
Before the Halloween Transformation
After Halloween Decor
After Halloween Decor
After Halloween Decor
After Halloween Decor

What did I change? I added some faux spider webs (from The Dollar Store). The plush red throw on the chair is actually something I used to have at the foot of my bed back in my college days that I recently found in a box in my garage!! The yellow pillows have been on my couch before. I switched them to this space because I thought the yellow on the couch was a little to “happy” for a Halloween couch. I thought the gray pillows that were on these chairs were a better fit for Halloween on my couch since my couch is more of a focal point than this space. The skeleton is a pose and stay skeleton (so it can stand up and you can lock the arms into place and whatnot). I bought this one at Costco this season and it was $38-$39 I believe. It was the cheapest one I’ve seen so far so I snapped it up. The black crow that is perched on the skeleton’s shoulders was bought this season at The Dollar Store. There are small wires on the feet that allowed me to secure it. I don’t have children or pets that will bother the skeleton at all so that small bit of wire was fine for me but if I did have children in the house I would have used more floral wire than what came on the crow. I really want to find a top hat for the skeleton and put a deep red feather in it but I didn’t put the effort in this year to look for one. Maybe next year! On the dresser in front of the candles is a burlap stuffed pumpkin that I got for one penny last year at Michael’s on clearance. I don’t actually like the pumpkin because it has ugly painted designs on it but I figured for 1cent that I could probably sell it for more than that at a garage sale and since I needed something small for that space why not use it? You can actually barely see the painted designs on it with the dark lighting in my room anyway so it’s fine.

Then just yesterday I decided to add this knitted cheesecloth type thing that I bought at The Dollar Store onto the dresser.

Added this Cheesecloth to the dresser.
Added this Cheesecloth to the dresser.

I was slightly disappointed with this skeleton. I was under the impression that I could pose him in more diverse positions. I really wanted to make him cross his legs and pose him holding a newspaper with one of those old timey cigarettes in his hand or holding a martini glass but the joints don’t really work like a socket works. They only move back and forth rather than rotating so I was only able to sit him like this or stand him up basically. Oh well. We can’t have everything right?!

DIY Spider Door Magnets for Halloween

I’ve never decorated my house for Halloween before. I recently decided that this year I’m going to. YAYYYY!! I’m so excited I can’t stand it. I’ve been wanting to for a few years but to save money I just decided to only decorate for Fall. That way I could leave my decorations up from September until Christmas. The problem with that is 3 months of the same decor bores the S*%^ out of me lol. So this year will be different 🙂 I’m still broke so I’m going to try to make as many decorations as possible, or buy things from the Dollar Store. ENTER MY FIRST HALLOWEEN DIY: Spider Door Magnets.

My inspiration came from Delia and her blog Delia Creates.

I did mine slightly different than she did, but the idea is exactly the same. I started out with a bag of 50 plastic spider rings from the dollar store.

Plastic Spider Rings from the Dollar Store
Plastic Spider Rings from the Dollar Store
I just used normal scissors to cut the ring portion off so I was left with just the spiders. The plastic is very thin so it’s not difficult at all.

Once that was complete I decided to spray paint them. I wanted the orange spiders to be black so it was necessary to paint those. But I also decided to paint the ones that were already black because the plastic was matte and looked dull. I had glossy black spray paint on hand and thought it would glam them up a bit and make them look less “dollar store cheap.” Here you can see the difference between the glossy black painted spiders on the left and the way they looked originally on the right.

Painting the Plastic Spiders with Glossy Black Spray Paint
Painting the Plastic Spiders with Glossy Black Spray Paint

I painted the tops of the spiders and when they were dry turned them over and painted the underside so that none of the original orange color would show from any angle. It was hot out so these dried in minutes.

Once they were completely dried I went to work gluing some magnets on the back. Unfortunately I was unable to find any magnets smaller than the .5 size I already had on hand so I just used what I had. The bright side is that you don’t notice the magnets at all because they’re black and the spiders are black. Also because the magnets are round they just look like they’re part of the body of the spider. I bought these magnets at Michael’s last summer for a DIY fishing project I made for my neices and nephews and I already had the paint so this project literally only cost me $1.

Gluing Magnets on the Backs of the Spiders
Gluing Magnets on the Backs of the Spiders

DIY Magnet Door Spiders
DIY Magnet Door Spiders
DIY Magnet Door Spiders
DIY Magnet Door Spiders

DIY Magnetic Door Spiders
DIY Magnetic Door Spiders

Here you can see a close up of what the spiders look like with the magnet glued on. Disregard the glue string in the picture, I didn’t notice it at the time lol.

DIY Magnetic Door Spider
DIY Magnetic Door Spider

Now, immediately after I glued the magnets on I threw them in a ziplock bag to store them. When I opened them up to stick them on my door today to take pictures for y’all I noticed that some of the orange spiders paint had chipped off. This actually doesn’t bother me because I kind of think it makes the spiders look more real. However, if you don’t like the way this looks you may want to consider using paint made for use on plastic or possibly try priming them ahead of time. Mine are already made so…C’est La Vie. I should get a few years of use out of them before they start looking to bad to put out.

Paint Chipping from Spiders
Paint Chipping from Spiders

I still have about 15 or so spiders that I didn’t magnetize because I ran out of magnets but I think I’m going to just use them around the house in other ways to decorate. You can use these magnetized spiders on anything magnetic so use your imagination and stick them on window frames, appliances or whatever you have that will work.

–Robin

New Living Room Paint Color!!!

It has now become a priority for me to get some of the rooms in this house PAINTED!! Not only because all of the walls in our house are the same color, but also because it’s a bit bland and it’s crappy builder’s paint that can’t be washed. We do have some marks on the walls from moving in furniture and it’s just time. I’m also gradually changing all of the trim in our house from white to cream/off-white. The trim the builder put in is absolutely stark white (no warmth at all). It also needed to be painted because it had marks from the nail gun and I think it was the pre-finished moulding that just comes already white so it was a little dinged up.

I decided I wanted to start with the living room because the ceilings are low enough for me to handle without purchasing a ladder (yes, we don’t own a ladder yet lol). It’s also the room we spend most of our time in.

First step was moving the couch so I could get to the walls and can I just say, “ewwwwww.” It was dusty and I found some missing dog bones and whatnot. Marshmallow certainly had a good time investigating the debris though. DSC_0712DSC_0711DSC_0713

I had paint swatches taped to the wall for a few months before deciding on “River Bed Brown.” It’s a paint from Menard’s. It was a beaufitul color on it’s own but after I completely painted the entire living room and wasted a whole can of 30-some-dollar paint I decided the shade was exactly what I wanted…however it looked like it had a purple tint to me. My couch is olive green, the pictures on my walls have greens and yellows and oranges, the olive vase in front of my fireplace….everything seemed to clash with the pinky/purple tint in the paint. Here it is with some of the original paint color and River Bed Brown.
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First Paint Color. River Bed Brown.
First Paint Color. River Bed Brown.

I lived with the room being this color for about 24 hours before deciding I just couldn’t take the pink tint and set out to find the exact same shade but something that didn’t have any pink/purple tint and that would go with grays as well as browns. It couldn’t have too much warmth (yellows) because it wouldn’t look good with my gray accessories, but I wanted it to read overall as “brown” by anyone who looked at the paint. You’d be amazed at how many different browns there are that all have the pink or yellow warmth to them. Something I also considered (and you can call me crazy) but I also chose the paint color knowing that my Christmas decorations are chocolate brown, cream, gold and olive green. I want my decor to look beautiful with every season so I didn’t want to pick anything that would clash with my existing decorations. I went to Lowe’s and took my original swatch of River Bed Brown and found three new colors that looked almost exactly the same but that had just a different undertone to them. I took the samples home and painted them each on different walls of the living room so I could see the way the colors looked with the lights hitting them differently. Eiffle Tower looked like it had a blue tint, Lyndhurst Tan had a pink tint (slightly less pink that River Bed Brown) and Toll Booth looked like it had a gray cast. Toll Booth it is!!!

Here you can see the difference between the River Bed Brown and the Toll Booth with is on the left side surrounding the window moulding. I used Valspar brand paint in a Satin finish for this room. I chose Satin because I wanted a pearlescent finish and I wanted it to be as washable as possible because it’s such a high traffic area (not to mention we plan on having children soon so durability was important.)

The Difference between Toll Booth and River Bed Brown
The Difference between Toll Booth and River Bed Brown
I think here you can really see how the original color had a bit of a rosey undertone compared to the new color.

You may or may not be able to tell there was a change in the trim color. It’s difficult to see the way the room photographs but it’s so much warmer and homier in here. I’m seriously IN LOVE with this new paint color. I know alot of people are afraid to choose dark paint colors but DON’T BE!! They add such richness to a room. Everything pictured was already in the room (although you may notice a silver tray on the mantle that wasn’t there before. I recently inherited that from my Aunt Jan who is no longer with us, but little things like that around my house make me think of her. I haven’t decided if I’m going to keep it there or if it makes my mantle look cluttered but I’m going to live with it for awhile and see how it fits. Anyway, here are the before and afters.



With my original paint mistake, the new paint and supplies it cost around $90 to update the paint color and trim color. I think it was well worth it. What do you think?

Quick Living Room Update

I went to Home Goods today to return some shelves I bought for my laundry room that didn’t work out because they were too wide and also because they were damaged when I bought them and I didn’t notice it until I got home. With the money I got for returning the two shelves I bought some new pillows and a beautiful throw for my living room.

If you saw my previous living room post you’ll see that I have some ikat print pillows on the two chairs under my picture window. Those used to be on the couch and since moving them I’ve thought my couch just looked bare. I wanted to get some pale green pillows for Spring/Summer but all of the green pillows they had were too bright for me and I wasn’t sure they would work in my room. So, I defaulted to a brownish gray color that came as a set of two, BONUS (they’re cheaper when they come in pairs) lol. And they’re the super cushy down filling that I love.

I also found a coordinating cable knit throw blanket by Nicole Miller who I adore. She makes the most beautiful home decor items. Even my silverware is Nicole Miller lol. I especially love the colors she chooses. For instance the throw isn’t the typical brown exactly. It has alot of gray in it which I think looks more modern and fresh compared to the browns with alot of yellow in them.

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New Taupe Pillows and Knit Throw
New Taupe Pillows and Knit Throw

Try not to stare too intently at the ugly pillows in between the two printed pillows. Those actually go with a couch that my brother in law Leonard used to own and then gave to my husband who used it throughout his bachelor days and up until we moved into this house. He refuses to get rid of them and claims they’re the most comfortable pillows he’s ever laid on. I asked if I could recover them and he said no. So, one of these days I’ll have to sneak them out somehow because they have barely any filling in them and they’re UGLYYYYYYY haha. I think I need some solid pillows next with some pretty trim around the edges. I’ll be on the lookout.