Easy Upstyled Glittered Horse Head Bookends #SwapItLikeItsHot

Today, I’m excited to share a little thrift store upgrade with you.  I am participating in Swap It Like Its Hot,  a contest of sorts where bloggers send each other items that they found at the thrift store or flea market.  The recipient has to transform the item into something for their home.

These sorts of swaps are always fun, but really nerve wracking for me.  My style is different than most of the other bloggers participating, so I was really scared about what I would be getting in the mail!  Luckily for me, Katrina from Chic Little House sent me an awesome thrift store score.

Thrift store horse bookends upstyled with gold glitter.

Truth be told, I really loved these horse head bookends as they were.  One of the horses has a chipped ear and the monkey pod wood was a little scratched up.  But, what fun would that have been if I just left them as is?  No fun at all!

I decided that these would be great for Emma’s room, and I would put them on her dresser underneath the crazy carousel horse shelves.  I wanted them to have a little more character, so glitter came to the rescue.

Thrift store horse bookends upstyled with gold glitter.

The Power of Why in Decorating

As a self-taught professional decorator, my experience decorating the three homes I’ve owned is what attracted my first clients. They wanted my help with their space, but I think I got the better end of the deal.

By serving my clients I learned the number one thing it takes to decorate better for myself. It was glaringly obvious, but I didn’t see it for a long time.

When I designed spaces for clients, I couldn’t just give them a list of things to buy. I had to explain why. Why that sofa. Why those three vases. Why that rug with that coffee table. Why that color. Why that pattern.

I spent more time explaining my choices, than making them. Part of it was my natural desire to educate my clients to help them pull off the room. The other part was feeling I owed that to them. That if I couldn’t explain why I was recommending they buy something or make something, then I shouldn’t recommend it.

For every furniture of decor selection, I required myself to explain things like:

  • how it relates to everything else in the room
  • how it reinforces the use of a certain shape, pattern, or texture
  • how it fits into the story I want the room to tell

For example, in the office design below I recommended an accent table by the sofa. I could have recommended many different tables. So why did I choose the ceramic stool (#9)? Well, because the subtle theme in this office is aviation, because my client and her husband fly as a hobby. I chose this ceramic stool, because the angular shape reminded me of a folded paper airplane.

Officers Club Office by Teal & Lime

Explaining myself made me a better decorator for my clients, but even more powerfully it made me a better decorator for myself. It is how I stopped bringing home things I didn’t love or need, because I couldn’t explain why. It’s what stopped me from doing DIY projects, because I couldn’t explain why. It’s what made everything in my home more meaningful and every decorating decision easier.

Makely’s Fall Quiz

Can you believe that Fall has already arrived? It seems like just yesterday we were splashing around in the pool and eating popsicles in the back yard. Now, my days are filled with homework, football and slow cooker recipes.

Even though you may be ready for Fall, your home may not be.  In order to test your home’s readiness, I put together a little Fall quiz for you.

Makely’s Fall Quiz

Fall has arrived! What’s the first thing you do:
A. Break out the pumpkin scented candles, bake pumpkin baked goods, and drink pumpkin spice lattes. All pumpkin, all the time.
B. Check to make sure that your kids’ have enough pairs of jeans so that you only have to do laundry once a week.
C. Pull up a fall maintenance home checklist on your computer so that you can prepare for the cooler months.

You hear that fall is the time to stock up on “winter gear.” To you, that means:
A. Christmas decor is on sale!
B. Your kids will love the new jackets and snow boots you bought for them.
C. It’s time to grab sidewalk salt and good shovels – you never know when the season’s first snowfall will arrive.

When the clocks “fall back” in the fall, you:
A. Celebrate having an extra hour to snuggle under your cozy down comforter.
B. Remark that it will take months for your kids to adjust to the change of the clocks.
C. Know that you need to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change their batteries.

Ragweed is on it’s way. You:
A. Wonder if you can make an awesome wreath out of it for your front door.
B. Stock up on tissue and allergy medication for your family.
C. Replace your HVAC filter with a Filtrete Ultra Allergen Reduction Filter (MPR 1500) to help capture allergen particles in your home.

Filtrete-Filters

It’s getting a little too chilly to sit on your back porch. You:
A. Start knitting blankets to match your porch furniture. Cold weather just means another project!
B. Put gloves and scarves on your kids – they NEED to be outside to burn off some energy.
C. Store your outdoor furniture and cushions on the garage so that they don’t get damaged in the elements.

The temperatures have dropped enough that it’s time to turn on the heating system. What happens in your house?
A. You move your plants away from the heating vents so that the warm air doesn’t dry them out.
B. You wonder what that burning smell is and check to see that the kids haven’t set something on fire.
C. Call your local HVAC company and have the furnace inspected or serviced.

How to Clean Curtains + a HomeRight SteamMachine Plus Giveaway

Alright, let me see a show of hands.  Who is long overdue on cleaning their curtain panels?

Yep, I was, too.  In fact, I’m going to go ahead and admit that I haven’t cleaned any of them since they had been hung…and for some of them, that has been years.  Gross!

But, when the magazine came to photograph my house a few weeks ago, one of the things that they wanted to do was switch out my master bedroom curtains for some that would be lighter in the images.  As I was taking them down, I couldn’t believe how dusty and gross the top of the curtain panels had gotten.  And we sleep in there, y’all!

There are a few different ways to clean curtain panels, so I thought I’d share them with you in case you are like me.  Ahem.

How to Clean Curtains

1.  Shake It Off – Like Taylor Swift says, “Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.”  But seriously, if it hasn’t been too terribly long since you hung your curtains, take them off the rod and head outside.  Give them a good shake so that the dust and dander flies off.

2.  Sticky Roll – No, it’s not a new sushi roll (mmmm….sushi).  You can use a sticky roller (or a thick dishwashing glove) to remove any lint or pet hair that’s stuck to your curtains.  My big, sheddy, white dog loves to sleep up against our dark gray curtains, so we use this method a lot.  It works pretty well for a quick fix.

How to Clean Curtain Panels

Yep, he looks like trouble next to dark fabric, doesn’t he?

3.  Suck It Up – If you have a vacuum with good detail attachments, you can use it to clean the curtains.  Pay particular attention to the tops of the panels near your rod, as that is where dust seems to collect the most.  I’m about as good with vacuum cleaner  attachments as I am with hair styling tools (read: not at all), so I generally avoid this method myself.

DIY Yarn Garlands – 3 Ways

DIY Fall Yarn Garlands

I’m so excited to be back on Lindsay’s blog today sharing a super simple fall project to spruce up your home.

Decorating for fall is one of my absolute favorite things!  I love the cooler weather and cozying up your house in response.  For me, that means a few pumpkins, wool blankets, and cozy texture.

So, when I started designing my fall mantle, I wanted to bring in some of that fall texture.  What better way to do that than with some simple DIY Yarn Garlands?

Start out with some chunky yarn from your local craft store.

materials

There are so many color options, so have fun with a variety!  My goal was to go with mainly neutrals in my fall decor this year and really let color from nature (pumpkins, branches, etc.) shine.  So, I chose a palette of cream, tan, and gray.  I chose the yarn with the nubbiest texture and the thickest weave.

I started out with a simple braided tassel incorporating all three colors.

Braided Tassel Garland

Life is Like a Vintage Pachinko Machine

Back in April, my sister and I went to the City Wide Garage Sale (aka amazing monthly vintage show) here in Austin. Leigh Ann had just recently moved here, and she was looking for a few things for her home. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular…until I spotted this baby when I rounded a corner.

Life is Like a Vintage Pachinko Machine

Without really even knowing what it was, I bought it. It was one of those vintage shopping moments when I knew that I had to act immediately. In fact, two different people were trying to buy it while I was completing the transaction with the seller. Step back, y’all! It’s mine!

I posted the above picture to Instagram, and a lot of you guys let me know it was a Pachinko machine (think Plinko meets a slot machine).  I did some research on it, and this particular machine was used in a Japanese Pachinko parlor in 1976.  We’re pretty sure that it spent the following 37 years in a barn, because it was disgusting – dirt, cobwebs, dead spiders disgusting.