Just because the Olympics are over doesn’t mean you have to stop going for the gold. Gold is back in style and I couldn’t be happier. I know some people will always be loyal to white gold/silver/platinum but I’ve always loved all things bright and shiny and the right shades of gold and brass can be so beautiful. I’m happy to see more designers giving gold a chance and I’m hunting for the perfect accents to bring some gold into my home.
I like to view gold as a neutral since I think it pairs so well with brighter colors like a bold blue, a soft aqua, or even a royal purple. Pink and gold have been a personal favorite since I saw a spread in Martha Stewart Weddings back in Winter 2007/2008 featuring a dusty pink and gold. That was also the same year of Blueprint Magazine’s beloved pink Christmas (also by Martha, RIP Blueprint). Since then I’ve really grown to love all shades of pink with gold.
(clockwise from top left- Kate Spade NY Ticker Tape Plates, Crate & Barrel Hakkari Hurricanes, Cover of Gifted Magazine, Tulip Family lamp & shade, Crate & Barrel Give Thanks Plate, Brushed Brass Ice Bucket)
Gold seems to work even when paired with other neutrals. Gold and white can bring an amazing warm tone to a look and always makes me think of the fall and winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gold and black is such a bold contrast that I find it looks sophisticated and bold. I’m noticing the trend of black interior doors and trims coming back and when paired with gold it can form a daring choice.
If you’re not a gold person but want to try out the shade as we head into fall, artwork is always a great way to test out some color. I love the mixing of gold and brass in this space. (via Ana Antunes Home Styling, LOVE artwork by Jen Ramos at MadeByGirl)
If you’re as into gold as I am, follow my gold-inspired Pinterest board to see my favorite gold pieces all year long.Pin It
I love getting a good deal. I don’t always coupon but I do like to think through many items I enjoy and find more affordable options. It’s why I love sites like Copy Cat Chic and Knock Off Decor. You might remember how I showed you how you can afford a Parsons desk at any price point, that’s another way I love to save.
This week I found an amazing deal that I just can’t pass on showing you. The Anthropologie Wide-Eyed Cookie Jar has been quite popular online with its big owl-shaped face. Unfortunately, the Anthropologie cookie jar costs $88. Ouch! Luckily I found a super close copycat over at Kirkland’s. While the Kirkland’s version is only a statue, it looks like a near-clone of the Anthropologie version. If you already have enough cookie jars but need more owls in your life, the Kirkland owl is a great Anthropologie copycat with a $76 savings.
I also really love this other cute owl statue at Kirkland’s. They’re an interesting sort of store. We have a small one in my area but I often forget to check it out. Are you a Kirkland’s fan or do you appreciate the name-brand of Anthropologie more?Pin It
July was hot and long. I really hope August is a better month, how about you? With the changing of months you know that it’s time for the Get Organized Now checklist. Remember at the beginning of July when I said I was in the middle of a heatwave and planned to wait for a cool-down to do some work? HAHAHA! July was 9.5 degrees warmer than all other Julys in STL. I fear my flower garden may never get done.
Even though I’m “thisclose” to giving up on my flower bed, I will still keep working on conquering some chores (including posting some catchup posts I owe you guys!) Can we just say this month is all about staying cool, both physically and mentally? Both my husband and I have huge projects that will require 12+ hour days on the same day, we’ll be finishing our C25K programs this month, and I’ve never heard so many prayers at church for rain. Let’s just take this month one day at a time.
- August 6: Take an early morning walk around the neighborhood. Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Have some fresh-squeezed juice when you get back.
- August 8: Make some homemade ice cream. I have some frozen recipes you’ll enjoy.
- August 13: Make a battery hub in your house. Test all the batteries, inventory your needs and add any replacements to your shopping list. If you need some batteries for your smoke detector, add them to your list.
- August 18: Time to dust the top of your fridge and underneath it, including the coils. You’ll help improve efficiency and get rid of dirt that’s often forgotten.
- August 21: Themed dinner time! Make a giant batch of tacos in all sorts of meats and invite over lots of friends. Have each person bring over a topping and you’ll have an instant taco bar.
- August 28: Organize all your pet supplies. Replace any broken leashes or collars and thoroughly clean all food and drink bowls.
- August 31: You’ve survived the month! Go out shopping for a bunch of BBQ foods and enjoy the holiday weekend.
Back in the 1930s, a challenge was issued to students at the Parsons School of Art & Design. The designer “challenged students to design a table so basic that it would retain its integrity whether sheathed in gold leaf, mica, parchment, split straw or painted burlap, or even left robustly unvarnished.” (NYTimes) The resulting table was named the Parsons Table.
The Parsons table was surprisingly modern for the era and has lasted the test of time. The school’s design skills have also been applied to other furniture pieces like chairs, end tables, and desks. How can you tell if you’re looking at a Parsons desk? Just check the thickness of the legs- they should be the same thickness as the top of the desk. (Learn more building instructions by checking out Ana White’s Parsons Desk plans)
The favorite Parsons desk of most folks these days is produced by West Elm. It costs $349, has two drawers, and is 48″ x 24″ x 30″. You can buy it in black or white. Don’t think Parsons desks have to be boring. Remember the goal of making a desk that looks good in every material? There are so many options below with different looks. All those designs also mean different price points so you should be able to afford a Parsons desk no matter your price point.
These are 4 additional West Elm options. 1-Parsons Mirror Desk ($599), 2-Parsons Natural Grass Cloth Desk ($499), 3-Parsons Diamond Grass Cloth Desk ($499), and 4-Parsons Metal Desk ($499) made of wood with hand-wrapped rich antiqued metal cladding. Each is the same size as the original and has two drawers.
Another option is through Room & Board. They have a customizable Parsons desk with 10 different table sizes and 24 different tabletop surfaces. To get the closest size to the Parsons, choose the 48″ x 24″ x 29″ console table/desk. You can choose glass, MDF, butcher block, solid wood, quartz, granite, or even marble. My favorites are with the white glass (#5- $619) and with the Solid maple with shell stain (#6- $699).
Parsons desks can be found at lower costs too with just a few changes. The 7-Overstock Student Desk ($144.99) is the closest match with almost identical dimensions and 2 drawers. 8-Home Decorator’s Parsons Desk ($106.24-$129) comes in 6 different colors though it only has 1 drawer. The 9-Container Store’s Parsons desk is a mixture of steel and melamine without any drawers and can be found in stores for $129. Though a little narrower and with only 1 drawer, you can get a Parsons desk from Walmart (#10) for $59. The cheapest of all is smaller, drawerless, and has different legs but Target’s Parsons desk (#11) is only $39.99.
I’ve shared my love of Parsons desks but I’m curious if any of you have any Parsons pieces. I just bought my first piece after my last sales post. Here’s a glimpse of it.
Have I gone completely crazy?Pin It
It’s time once again for this month’s Get Organized Now checklist. Last month I feel like I got so much done but now I’m in a dreadful heat wave so I’ll only be working on indoor tasks until it cools down. That means I’ll be working on clearing out some old junk instead of pushing ahead on my flower garden but progress is progress.
July is the start of the second half of the year, crazy right? I can’t believe 2012 is already half over. Treat this month as a good way to kickstart any projects you’ve been delaying. The list this month has a lot of ideas like washing drapes, rugs, screens, and under furniture so make sure to check the full list for all the forgotten chores. Here’s some of my favorites from the list:
- July 4: Enjoy the holiday but be careful out there! I’m in a major drought so locals should avoid fireworks so we don’t end up with even more fires. Be careful on the roads too.
- July 7: It’s probably time to take care of your plants. Pull back any dead parts, add more fertilizer, and see what’s working and what isn’t. The drought is causing all my plants to die and it’s a losing battle but I’m out there with my watering can every day trying to win the battle.
- July 9: Restock all your cleaning supplies and paper goods. Decide if you really need 8 different containers for cleaning or if you can find a better multi-purpose cleaner or even a greener one.
- July 12: Pull any stained or damaged clothing from your closet and drawers. Devote today to mending and some laundering. Don’t throw away shirts when all they need is a little work to make them like new again.
- July 16: It’s about halfway through the summer season. Check if you need to restock any sunscreen, aloe, or even bug bite remedies.
- July 20: Make some homemade lemonade. Sip it in the coolest room of your house and maybe even read a book while you do it.
- July 24: Clear 10 files in your filing cabinet. Consider digitalizing some files like warranties or receipts for tax time.
How do you plan to stay cool this month?
Have you ever shopped at Home Decorators Collection? This isn’t a sponsored post, I’m just a loyal shopper. Most of my bathroom furniture is from Home Decorators as is my favorite (okay only) rug. The company used to be St. Louis based but they’ve shifted to Atlanta to be with the big boss of the company, Home Depot. There are stores in both Atlanta and St. Louis but other orders can be placed online or through their catalog.
Alright, background time over. The reason I’m mentioning them is that they have some huge deals going on right now. I’m talking a Secretary Desk for under $170 (1), a great work desk for $131- in blue, green, or white (5), and a Parsons desk for $125 (3). Similar Parsons desks usually go for around $300-$400 so even if you don’t love green or yellow you still have money leftover for paint updates. I also really like the blue armchair (2) they have on clearance and this industrial style coffee table (4) which would look totally amazing in my loft. You know, if I had a loft.
There’s also 40% off outdoor furniture right now and free shipping + 10% off home decor. Sadly, most of my favorite items aren’t on sale right now. You know how Martha Stewart has a partnership with Home Depot, right? That same partnership carried over to Home Decorators too. Her Home Decorators collection has some gorgeous pieces and many will melt a scrapbooker’s heart. Just check out the storage cabinet above, beautiful right? I have seen sales on the Martha Stewart collection so don’t give up looking.
In St. Louis we’re often not a target market for home decorating chains like Z Gallerie, West Elm, Ballard Designs or even Ikea. Home Decorators helps fill the gap but I’d love to know if any other locals know of stores to find cute items. Even other mail order catalog advice would be appreciated! Where’s your favorite out-of-the-ordinary place to shop?
I’ve been holding back on this month’s centerpiece till this week because it goes so nicely with my picnic week. I love this centerpiece because it used items I had on-hand. The basket is leftover from a gift packaging years back. I’ve been storing spare candles in it but my closet makeover (details coming soon!) meant the basket was now sitting empty. I lined the basket with a clean bandana, leftover from my college days.
I filled the basket with some cheap wine, my cobalt blue glasses, and some French bread. I added some grapes I’d been munching on to complete the tablescape. I know it’s only June but I wanted to start introducing some patriotic colors into this month’s centerpiece. Hey, June has Flag Day so I’m not too far off on my color scheme.
I will confess that the bread and grapes didn’t sit out like this all month. I might have raided them the evening this photo was taken. We had an Italian feast this past week and all the perishables and the wine were victims of the raid. The basket is still a great centerpiece item though, it’s perfect for filling with fresh flowers or breadsticks with our dinners this month.
Don’t forget to view all my centerpieces for the year by clicking herePin It
How many of you drive an older car? I have one really new car and one really old car. How old? I bought it my senior year in high school and my 10 year reunion is coming up soon. It was already used when I bought it and right now it has over 241,000 miles on it. The car is likely to fall apart before it stops running. I’ve lost a gas cap and a door handle but I still get better gas mileage than most people I know. I also can’t handle the idea of saying goodbye to the car that lasted me through my first job, senior prom and the glitter I swear is still in there, those crazy Hello Kitty decorations I put in it, all those trips to and from college, the trips with friends, and the memory of taking my little puppy home in it.
In an effort to make my car last just a little bit longer, I decided to do something about my front headlights. If you’ve ever driven an old car you know that they can grow hazy thanks to oxidizing. It isn’t just a pain; if I can’t see the distance that could mean hitting a deer on the rural roads I live on. I saw on Pinterest that you could use toothpaste to clear off that haze but I didn’t know how great it would work. I decided to test a different method on each headlight, toothpaste for one and baking soda for the other. For the baking soda, just add enough water to it until it forms a paste. Here’s the results:
It might be hard to see how it ended up so I made a detailed comparison for you.
And a quick before and after of each of the lights
While I didn’t see any miracles like the original pin showed, I did see an improvement from both methods. It may be a bit hard to see on your screen (click the images to enlarge) but the baking soda paste ended up getting the haze off just a touch better. It also used less product making it the more cost effective solution as well. I think I’ll keep applying baking soda to the headlights each time I wash the car until they look like new or until the car gives up and goes to car heaven.Pin It
It’s time once again for this month’s Get Organized Now checklist. As usual I’m mapping out my favorites on the calendar and then scheduling all my other projects around their list. Up for me this month: finishing my closet, starting on my flower garden, and a lot of summer fun.
I wanted to share this great method of tackling these chores that Emily from Becoming the Wilmi has been doing. Each month she chooses 3 or more tasks from the list and blogs as she tackles them. I love how she uses her blog to keep herself accountable to each task. I had some issues keeping up last month so I just might follow her example.
June’s list seems to focus on recycling, repurposing, and reexamining what we own. Last June I did a huge purge of my house so I could probably use a yearly check-in so things don’t get out of hand. Here’s some of my top items to tackle this month:
- June 2: Donation time! If you’re anything like me you have a few piles of goods to be donated. Books, electronics, clothing, household items–they all take up space. Clear some valuable real estate and do a good deed by packing it all up in your car and going on a donation spree. Better yet, see if a charity does pickups in your area.
- June 10: Consolidating isn’t just about goods. Try to plan your day by taking as few trips out as possible. You’ll be more purposeful in your shopping trips and you’ll save gas, both leading to savings in the wallet.
- June 11: Consolidate your cleaning approach. Break down your cleaning routine into 10-minute sequences. This way you won’t get overwhelmed with cleaning and you know that whatever you need cleaned it can be done in 10 minutes or less.
- June 18: Eliminate superficial clutter. If you keep ads on the table to read for a week at a time you’re just wasting good deals and cluttering up your home. Learn how to decide “trash or keep” with just a glance so you don’t waste time making so many little decisions.
- June 23: Today’s the day to tackle desk clutter. Throw out old pens, toss those scrap notes that mean nothing and clear your workspace.
- June 30: Clean out your fridge. Now you’ll be ready for all your 4th of July foods. Here’s some tips for cooking with the odds and ends you find in your fridge.
How do you make time for the little things?Pin It
I realized just today that I haven’t shown my May centerpiece and tablescape to you all yet. I went simple this month since our table seems to be taken over by projects these day. April showers bring May flowers so my table is covered in bright flowers.
Check out my napkin rings. Can you guess the secret item I used to make them?
Shower curtain rings! For $1.50 I bought 10 shower curtain rings and used them as the base for these napkin rings. Throw in a $1 set of flowers on sale at Michaels and some floral tape leftover from another project and I have a cheap napkin ring with plenty of leftover supplies for another month.
To make these super easy napkin rings, you’ll want to cut off your silk flower’s stem and wrap it around the shower curtain ring. Wrap the floral tape around the stem to secure it and continue your way around the entire shower curtain ring. Then just slide your napkin inside your ring and enjoy your work!Pin It