From Lantern to Vase

The best thing about thrifting is that you often find pieces that can be reworked into something new.  Usually that involves a coat of paint or major altering of the original item, but every once in a while you stumble upon a super simple upcycle that requires barely any effort.  That’s exactly what happened with my new vase.  The mason jar style and the green tint to the glass are what caught my eye at the thrift store.  But it had a different purpose when I first saw it.

It was a lantern for a small votive candle!  I didn’t originally intend for it to be used as a vase but when the Hubs brought home flowers and I needed another large container for a second bouquet this new treasure was on the counter and the idea was sparked.  I simply pulled out the votive holder rack, filled it with water and plopped in the flowers.  That has to be the quickest upcycle ever – literally 30 seconds flat!

I kept the votive holder rack in case I ever want to use it that way again, but I see many more days as a vase with summer bouquets in it’s future! 🙂

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Checking Out Magnolia Home Locally!

I recently learned that Joanna Gaines’ furniture line was available through a local furniture retailer who usually specializes in quality Amish furniture called Treeforms Furniture Gallery.  I stopped by their showroom to check out what they had during my lunch break the other day and had to share the great ways they styled the pieces.

Although they had several of the Magnolia Home accessories with the furniture I was disappointed to learn that they weren’t selling those pieces and only had them as display props.  But the sales lady did tell me that they could order anything available on the Magnolia Home online shop and it would possibly be less expensive because they got a dealer price break and shipping is already included.  The Hubs wasn’t quite as excited by that news as I was… I can’t imagine why! 😉

We’re not really in need of any new furniture so this was just a browsing trip anyway but it was fun to see the Fixer Upper style in person.  Including a few pieces from recent reveals, like this school desk and framed bed.

I really liked the combination of modern and rustic in this tall dresser, which looked like multiple small drawers but was really 4 large drawers.

The Magnolia line was just a portion of their showroom so I browsed a few of the other areas too.  I loved this rustic bookcase, which was no surprise since I’ve had pinned for sometime now.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be replacing the ladder shelf next to the craft cabinet with something like this in the near-ish future, albeit with a much less expensive and custom sized DIY version!

I also really liked this metal firewood rack.  It too was fairly pricey and I think it’s a bit tall for use at our fire pit, which is the only place we burn wood thanks to a gas fireplace indoors.  I’m thinking I might recreate something similar with PVC pipe painted to look like metal or copper and place it on cinder blocks so it’s raised off the ground.

They had some really adorable Easter accessories out.  I considered getting a few of the little bunnies for my spring decorations but there were no price tags which meant they were also just showroom accessories.

It’s a shame because I think they could really have some good additional income if they had a small inventory of the accessories!  Especially ones this cute!

One accessory that was for sale was this large metal tiered basket.  I’ve had similar pieces and always used them for organizing or decorating up high so seeing it as a centerpiece was definitely a new idea.  It might be something fun to try as the holidays approach later this year.

The driftwood boats also caught my eye.  I’ve got a whole board of driftwood ideas pinned for one day when I have extra time to make something out of my stash of driftwood collected when we go riding in the summer.

My favorite display item was this unique hanging terrarium chandelier. It was the perfect balance of rustic and modern.  Several of the hanging pieces here were for sale, but I’m usually not great with small pots as they require daily attention rather than the weekly watering my plants usually get.

It was a fun little diversion from a stressful day at work even though I didn’t come home with anything new.  Sometimes it’s just good to go someplace new and look for ideas. And now that I know they can order in Fixer Upper decor I’ll be browsing the Magnolia Online Shop for new ideas soon too! 🙂

Flipping the Door

We recently made a very simple change in our master bedroom that had way more impact than we ever imagined.  We’ve wanted to flip the direction our bedroom door swings since we saw the model of our floor plan.  In fact, it was one of the two changes we requested of the builder, but by the time we noticed it hadn’t been done how we asked it was too late to change it before the final inspection because it would cover the light switches if we did.  So we lived with it for the past 3+ years.

It drove us nuts to have to come in and move the door to get to the closet every time we came home or pulled the hampers to do laundry.  It’s such a minor, trivial thing but it was an every day thing which made it seem even more annoying.  The Hubs decided he’d had enough and did some research online to figure out what he needed to do to swap the direction of the door.

He used a template he picked up at Lowes to chisel away the spots where the hinges would attach, starting with an outline of the spot and then creating slices he could work out little by little.

Soon he had three indented spots ready for hinges.  He also had to change up the hinge locations on the door itself so he took the door off and chiseled those areas too.  I was working on another project while he was doing this and occasionally held the door steady while he chiseled, so I don’t have any pictures of that step.  Once he had the new hinge locations prepped and swapped over the hardware we went from this….

…to this!  Look how much more open it makes the space feel!  Now the door swings back flush against the wall, leaving nothing blocking the entrance to the closet – just how we always wanted it.  We left the light switches right were they were because we rarely used them thanks to the remote for our overhead fan/light combo.  We also have switches for the overhead fixture by the bathroom door so we can always use that instead.  The Hubs relocated the holder for our light/fan remote to the open side of the door so we have easy access to that if we want to turn the light off as we leave or on as we enter.

Luna wasn’t too impressed with the change because behind the door was one of her favorite hiding spots, but she’ll just have to be upset because we love it.

We still need to paint over the old hinge locations to make them blend in, but it’s not a huge priority since you barely notice it.  We plan to leave the old indents on the off chance that SHOULD we ever sell this house the next buyer has the option to change it back – if they were crazy and wanted their life to be more difficult that is!

So there you have it.  One very simple change made the room feel twice as big – and pissed off the cat until she realized she can just hide in the closet instead. 🙂

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DIY Indoor Herb Planter

Continuing my willing of Spring to officially arrive in Alaska, I’m sharing the indoor herb garden we recently installed.  We love having fresh herbs to cook with and give the chickens during the summer and preserved some to continue using over the winter at the end of last season but nothing beats fresh, so I decided we should have an indoor garden just for that.  With that in mind we picked up these hanging containers and rods at IKEA on our last trip down south.

They are a perfect fit for this small wall in the dining room and as you can see, this spot gets good light from the window across the room.  The Hubs made sure to secure it to the studs since the plants will have a bit of weight.

For now I just have a few faux plants, also from the same stop at IKEA.  The local nurseries should begin offering herb starts within the next few weeks, but until then the fake stuff provides a bit of greenery.  Unfortunately I didn’t have enough to fill the large containers in the middle, but it still looks ok for now.

I’ll be creating some DIY plant stakes once I have our herbs selected.  I considered a few ready to purchase options I’ve seen in the stores but wanted them all to match and wasn’t seeing all the options I was considering which includes oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary and thyme.  I may try lavender in the larger containers just for the scent, but I’m not sure it would give the plant enough room to flower.

If anyone has used these containers with live plants I’d love to hear about how they worked for you.  I plan to water sparingly at first since there are no drainage holes (good thing since we’re indoors), but there are small trays at the bottom that would provide a place for water to collect below the dirt and the plant to reabsorb the moisture.  Hopefully that keeps the roots from getting soggy, but there may be a learning curve.  I’ll share the finished project when everything is planted and growing!

Welcome Spring

The calendar says that it’s officially spring but in Alaska spring is “break-up” season, which is why we still have about a foot of snow in the yard.  Granted, the snow is disappearing – just not quick enough for my preference.  So rather than lament spring’s tardiness outside I changed up the decor inside to feel a bit more in line with what the calendar says.  The Hubs brought me home flowers recently so that bouquet has been the centerpiece on our table and the large candle I’d had there moved to the windowsill in the family room where the dogs tunnel is below it so they don’t seem to notice it.

I kept things simple in the entryway with two new pedestal cloche stands from World Market, cute little beehive skeeps from JoAnn Fabrics and my Pottery Barn knockoff basket filled with the DIY neutral eggs I made last year.

I love how the little skeeps fit perfectly inside the glass domes.  I love the bright colors of spring but I like to keep my decor simple these days and this gives just enough color while remaining neutral with a farmhouse flair.

Next to the front door my big oil can got some pretty dogwood branches, which are the perfect height to hide the ball chucker we keep in the corner for when we take the dogs out front to play!

The media cabinet got a few little touches of spring as well.  All items I pulled out from storage and one of the little faux planters I recently created.

I don’t remember where I got this little chick or the basket but they fit together perfectly!  Plus pairing two little items together means it’s a little less likely to get snagged by one of the fur babies.  The other side of the cabinet has a free Easter printable I found online a few years ago and my green shamrocks.  Since I don’t decorate for each particular holiday anymore (St. Patricks, Easter, etc.) but rather the season I just use it as greenery now.

The mantel is still a work in progress, but my cutie little wool lambs take safe haven up here away from the fur babies.  I got the white candle sticks on the local buy/sell page for $20 and the brown one was a recent thrift store find.  I’m in the process of painting and distressing it to match the others and plan to add some fun moss or boxwood balls to the tops of each.  The cute birdhouses came from JoAnn’s and will eventually be used as photo props and in the backyard.  The wreath was also from JoAnn’s.  I just couldn’t pass up the pretty purple color.

The tray next to the table got a pitcher of tulips and a cute little bird to accompany the rustic frame I’ve had here for a while now.

Over in the dining room I kept the lanterns from the winter decorating but swapped out the filler for split pea to give them a spring feel and added smaller bee skeeps like the ones in the entry way.  In the middle I paired a cute bunny ornament and a basket of carrots from storage in the cloche I found at Home Goods on our last trip down south.

In the window is my favorite farmhouse lantern, filled with moss for a spring feel and my clearance ceramic bunny I found at the end of last season for just a few dollars. The other side of the windowsill was a safe haven for a few more small pieces, including some hydrangea stems in a green bowl I thrifted some time ago, the fun little moss bunny I love to pull out each year and one of my vintage votives.

Before I had a chance to get this post up I’d already swapped out the wreath above the mantel so I thought I’d share that change.  I got this boxwood wreath from Target and thought it would look good in this spot for most of the year.  It’s just the right amount of farmhouse style mixed with spring.  The purple wreath moved to the front porch where it coordinates well with the purple front door. 🙂

So that’s my attempt to usher in spring indoors while I wait for it’s arrival in my garden!  How did you decorate for spring?

Updating the Lighting

We recently updated several of the lights in the main living area of the house and I’m totally in love with them all.  The change all began with the dining room light.  I’d been wanting to change it out from the fixture we chose when building the house for some time.  The original fixture was a secondary option because the one I’d wanted was at a local antique store and was far too expensive.

Last year I spotted a very similar fixture to that antique one at one of my favorite local boutiques.  It wasn’t in the budget at that point but when my bonus check came in at work I decided to treat myself and go buy it.  Unfortunately, in the many months that had passed it had sold.  The shop owner told me they could order another one just like it when they did a supply order in the coming month so I prepaid and anxiously awaited news that it had arrived.

Unfortunately when the call came the shop owner informed me that their vendor no longer offered that light or anything similar enough to it.  So they refunded my money and I started looking online for other options.  The next day we made a trip to Lowes for a few projects and I decided to browse the lighting section, where I spotted this beauty.

I had seen this same fixture used in a house remodel on the Jenna Sue Design Blog and really liked how it looked in her space.  I showed it to the Hubs and he liked it too and it was less expensive than the boutique option I’d planned on!  It makes the room look much more open and the round shape contrasts the many square features in this room.  We will eventually swag the light over to be centered above the table, but for now it hangs from the original location.  Although it came with bulbs we decided t get LED Edison style bulbs instead which create a warm light, perfect for a dining room.

While I was browsing the lighting aisle I spotted another fixture I liked that was marked for clearance.  I’d seen similar fixtures on my favorite show Fixer Upper as kitchen island pendants, but I love our DIY insulator pendants so I never considered looking into them.   But at $43 it seemed too good of a deal to pass up and I thought it would be a good size for the entry way.

The fixture we had picked out for the entry way during construction was a nice large drum chandelier but it just wasn’t jiving with my style anymore and it hung lower than I liked.  With the LED bulbs we got for the new fixture it’s brighter than the old one and because it sits higher and is see through it creates an illusion of more space.

Plus it’s got good classic farmhouse style, which you know makes my heart go pitter-patter!  It’s going to look amazing with the update I have planned for the wall where the mirror is, but that’s still a bit on the horizon.

I also spotted another farmhouse style light while browsing at the store and knew it would be a great option for the laundry room.  We’d selected a simple flush mount bowl style light during construction because we wanted to spend our lighting allowance in spaces that saw more traffic, but it had become a bug collector and didn’t fit with the style I’ve curated in this space.

I really loved the seeded glass detail and because it’s a closed flush mount it won’t become a trap for bugs, unless they’re some sort of Houdini!  We used LED bulbs in this fixture as well, but got the antique Edison style so the light is more yellow than the entry way bulbs but it works fine for this space.

Doesn’t it look great with the other industrial metal accents in the room?  And the new yellow tone of light makes it more cozy opposed to the stark brightness of the old fixture.

It’s been so exciting to see all these recent little changes make such a big impact.  Even though we got to choose the finishes while building our house didn’t come ready set with all the details that fit our style.  That’s what you create over the years of living in the house and with each passing year it becomes more and more ‘our home’!

A Simple Change Makes a BIG Impact in the Dining Room

Two weekends ago the Hubs was in town shopping for some project supplies while I was home cleaning.  He texted me a picture of several large area rugs on sale for half off at one of the stores and asked if I liked any.  I certainly did and he said that was the only one like it that they had, so he swooped it up and headed to the cashier.  When he got it home I noted that it was more grey than the beige it had looked in his text but I actually liked that even more.

We had been in sore need of a new rug in the dining room after the jute rug we had in there had taken the brunt of Brinley’s teething phase.  We had moved the rug from behind the island over under the table as a temporary option but it was too small for the space and the pattern didn’t work there.  This option fit perfectly, had a lovely neutral yet traditional pattern and is so soft and cushy I could probably sleep on it quite comfortably.  Even the Hubs has commented how nice it feels underfoot!

The lighter color brings a whole new look to the space, and coordinates with the other grays and neutrals we already have in this space.  It was a great change for spring – making the whole area light and bright.

Although I probably wouldn’t have picked this pattern if I’d been shopping online, in person it’s just enough style without being over powering.  Plus it lets me have the lighter color I like to incorporate to combat our long winters but in a way that masks the dirt which collects in this high traffic spot – at least from what I’ve seen so far.

Now that we know how plush it is I’m on the hunt for a similar one to replace the aging rug that moved back to it’s original spot behind the island.  We call that space the “playroom” because it’s were the dogs romp and usually take their toys to play with in the sunlight from the slider doors.

It’s surprisingly low profile for how soft it is.  It literally feels like there’s a foam mattress hidden inside!  It also seems fairly tightly woven which should help with my allergies, as things won’t be able to build up between the fibers.  And the packaging says it was made in the USA which we can fully support.

I’m so in love with this new look and smile every time I see it.  There are also a couple of other updates in this space you might have noticed in the photos.  I’ll be sharing more detail about those changes soon, so stay tuned!

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