How to Refresh Your Dining Room Decor on a Budget {and a Tuesday Morning Giveaway}

As I’ve gone through the process of transforming my home from my previous, more neutral style to my current bright and fun style, my dining room has always been sort of a problem.  I have other rooms that need more attention, so I’ve just sort of left it alone, piecing together things here or there to give it some personality. It’s become more or less an after thought.   Since I’ve not dedicated my time to fully redoing this room, I’ve never wanted to spend much money in there.  Like most people, I’m on a budget.

Since I am on a budget, one of my go-to stores for discount decor has always been Tuesday Morning (remember when I talked about my bedroom?).  I think they have really great products for the home at lower prices than I find elsewhere.  Today, I’m partnering with them to give you some strategies for refreshing your dining room decor on a budget.  And guess what?  There is no DIY involved.

Before we get started with the strategies, I thought I’d share before and after shots with you.  I think that will make it easier to understand my thought processes.  Here is the before:

How to Refresh Your Dining Room on a Budget with #TuesdayMorning

It looks nice, but it doesn’t coordinate very well.  The rug, which was previously in my living room, is too large for the space.  The books in the china cabinet was a fun idea that I’ve grown tired of.  I also think that the centerpiece on the table is overwhelming.

Now, here are the after shots with all of my budget-wise changes:

How to Refresh Your Dining Room on a Budget with #TuesdayMorning

How to Refresh Your Dining Room on a Budget with #TuesdayMorning

I’m so much happier with this look!  I think it coordinates better with the rest of my home.

So, how can you do an easy, budget-friendly dining room refresh like this in your own home?  Follow along for some simple strategies.




Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Giveaways & Product Reviews 9 Comments



Techorate your Space

When Tom and I got married, we entered our union with some decorating baggage.  I came into the relationship with a 1990s-style overstuffed beige sofa and love seat (Yes!  Beige.  Me!) that my cat had loved a little too much.  Tom came in with black leather and chrome recliners and a stereo system that had no less than 10 components.  Hello, Bachelor Pad!

I knew that it would be easy to get rid of his chairs and my sofas once we had enough money to replace them.  But, the stereo system was another story.  Until we met, it was his baby, so I knew it was going nowhere.  He set it up in his light wood and chrome media stand (another pre-Lindsay purchase), and I just lived with looking at it for several years.

Then, Baby Zack came along.

Within days of Zack learning to walk, he moseyed over to the speakers and ripped the covers off of them.  Tom realized that having his big stereo system out where our dear baby could destroy it was a bad idea.  So, we went out and bought a nice wooden media cabinet with a glass door.  I think it may have been the first piece of furniture that we bought together.

That media cabinet ended up being my first foray into a type of decorating now referred to as #Techoration.  Basically, #Techoration is the idea that we can design and decorate around our items like televisions, speakers, and gaming systems instead of just living with looking at them all the time.

Since we bought that media cabinet, my thoughts on techorating have evolved past adding furniture pieces directly intended to house media components.  You may have seen shots of my kids’ playroom, which was the first spot that I started actively decorating around our technology.  I wanted to make this space a place that served more function than just a playroom, so a TV was a necessary evil.

#Techoration - the idea of designing or decorating around technology

I really don’t mind the look of a black, flat screen TV.  I know a lot of people like to frame them or hide them behind cabinet doors, and those are definitely valid things to do in a room.  Instead, I prefer to have a good looking piece of technology that blends into my furnishings.

#Techoration - the idea of designing or decorating around technology




Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Giveaways & Product Reviews 3 Comments



How to Create a Dipped Paint Chair {Snapguide}

Technology, social media and apps change faster than I can keep up with these days.  Just when I’m getting the hang of one thing, something else pops up to send me in a tailspin.  For the last few years, I can honestly say that I haven’t jumped on the newest things to come my way just because they are the newest thing to come my way.  Yes, I’m a blogger so those things are important, but since I’m a DIYer, I don’t spend all day long sitting at my computer.  I try to put on my blinders and do what I need to do to better connect with you.

But a few weeks ago, I did discover a new-to-me platform that I thought was really neat.  It’s called Snapguide, and it is a iOS app and web platform that lets you upload step-by-step how to guides.  It’s essentially a mini blog, which I think is amazing for those of you who do tons of projects but don’t want to have your own blog.  Think of it as Pinterest, but with step-by-step pictures and instructions – and YOU get the “credit”!

Now, Snapguide has been around for a few years (remember, I wear blinders), but I’m just now getting the hang of it.  This week, I teamed up with Glidden on a new pre-mixed paint product called Grab-N-Go and posted a Snapguide on a cute little dipped paint chair that I made in just a few minutes (literally!) for Zack’s new room.  I embedded that guide below so that you can see how it works.

Check out How to Create a Dipped Paint Chair by Lindsay Ballard on Snapguide.


I don’t know that I’ll spend a ton of time over at Snapguide, but I think there are a lot of valuable guides over there. It’s mostly the DIY/makers/crafters that are over there, but I’ve also seen recipes, gardening tips, self-publishing guides, and technology hints. I’m sure that it doesn’t have the number of users that you can find on Pinterest, but I love having the step-by-step instructions available without having to search for something that may or may not have been pinned from the original source.




Filed Under: Decorate Your Home 1 Comment



I’m Featured in Austin Woman Magazine!

As a lover of all things Austin, I enjoy picking up the various local publications that we have available around town.  There are some really fascinating and accomplished people who live in this great city, and it’s always fun to read about the great things people are doing.

And then all of a sudden, one of those publications – Austin Woman magazine – lowered the “fascinating and accomplished” bar and featured me.

Lindsay Ballard of Makely featured in Austin Woman - August 2014

All kidding aside, I’m still pinching myself that I was given the opportunity to be interviewed for Austin Woman.  The writer came over to chat with me about my background and my style vision, and then a photographer came over to shoot some images in my home.  The final product is a beautiful feature, which is far too good to actually be about me.

Lindsay Ballard of Makely featured in Austin Woman - August 2014




Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Real Life with Lindsay 12 Comments



Coffee Talk with David Bromstad

As a blogger, I do a lot of work while I’m bleary eyed and guzzling coffee – trying to get some things finished before my kids wake up for the day.  Most of those early morning hours are spent going through the previous day’s email.  Many of those emails are questions and comments from you guys (Love those!), spam comments (Hate those!), and numerous product pitches from brands all over the world.  Probably 90% of those pitches feel the wrath of my delete button.  But, some of them have presented me with some really fun opportunities that I would never have received if I wasn’t a blogger.

Like the one I got a while back that said, “Would you like to interview HGTV star David Bromstad?” Since David has been my long time favorite on HGTV, I jumped at the chance.  I have followed his HGTV career since he won the original Design Star competition back in 2006 and then went on to have his own show, Color Splash.  David has a fabulous sense of color and he is a former Disney illustrator…and we know how I dig Disney illustrators for their unique take on shape, color and whimsy.

David has designed two new limited edition bottles of Coffee-mate creamer that are only available at Target, and he is promoting a Get Inspired With Coffee-mate Sweepstakes that’s going on now (more about that below).  I was so looking forward to talking him about how the differences in product packaging design versus room design.  Just pretend that it’s me on the other end of his phone.

David Bromstad Coffee-Mate Sweepstakes

See?  He loves me!  I knew we would be BFFs if we ever had the chance to chat.




Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Giveaways & Product Reviews 6 Comments



Color Palettes Inspired by Dream Vacations

I’ve been keeping a secret from you.

I haven’t been keeping it because there’s some awesome secret blog thing going on.  I haven’t been keeping it because of my fears of an ax murder showing up at my door.  No, I was keeping it because I was afraid someone might come over and try to steal my furniture.

A few weeks ago, Tom and I took a trip – ALONE – to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.  We hadn’t taken a vacation without the kids since Zack was born (over 8 years ago), and we where thrilled to have some time to ourselves.  We all flew to Florida, handed Zack and Emma over to my parents, and boarded a cruise ship to the Southern Caribbean.

To say that we had the time of our lives would be an understatement.  We ate more than we should have, drank WAY more than we should have, met new friends from all over the world and saw some of the most beautiful islands imaginable.  Over our 8 night cruise, we visited Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curaçao and Aruba, as well as had 3 total days “at sea” where we didn’t get off the ship.

Map of Carnival Freedom Southern Caribbean Cruise

The time away was perfect to rest, relax and recharge.  In fact, one day at sea, we woke up at noon. NOON!  And we didn’t even realize we had slept that late until we looked at the clock.  Do you know the last time I’ve slept until noon?  It definitely hasn’t been my last 8 “mommy” years, I can tell you!

Without free and fast phone or Internet, I thought that I might explode.  What if my blog went down?  It did, and we were able to fix it using the 75-cents a minute satellite Internet access (Tom is fast!).  What if my Facebook page went crazy?  It didn’t.  What if someone started tweeting that they hate me? They didn’t (and I probably took my “what ifs” to an insane level, huh?).  At any rate, I survived it, and I loved not being so connected.  It was really good for my soul.

But you can take a phone and computer away from a Blogger, but you can never take her camera.  I took tons of pictures of the gorgeous scenery in the islands.

Of course, I did. Curaçao

Willemstad, Curaço

Curaçao

Willemstad, Curaço

Curaçao

Willemstad, Curaço




Filed Under: Decorate Your Home, Real Life with Lindsay 7 Comments