Archive for the 'Decor 101' Category

Decor 101: Decor Friendly Storage Solution – Dog Food Storage

A few weeks after Matt and I married we decided we needed to add to our family, and instead of going the baby route so early on and to stick to the five three year plan for starting our family, we got a sweet little puppy from one of my co-workers. A black border collie mix, whom we named Piper, who was quite the entertainer and we loved having her around.  However, after a few months we felt she might need a “day” companion to keep her company, at which point we decided to adopt dear Peyton, a yellow lab mix (he looks like a miniature yellow lab with a permanent puppy face).  To feed two dogs that are both roughly 37 lbs requires buying dog food in larger quantities than one can fit in a kitchen cupboard.  I faced a dilemma, how to store food attractively AND safely.  We live in the south and although we haven’t had a problem with roaches since the first few weeks of living here (the house was unoccupied for over 6 months), they are quite common down here and they just so happen to love dog food.  I wanted to make sure the food was protected from roaches, obviously because I didn’t want them in my dogs food, and I didn’t want them in the house (ew gross….) – I could live the rest of my life and never see one again.  After the first one we saw we had the house treated and the only ones I’ve seen since have been dead ones around the perimeter of my house.

We considered our storage options.

1.) Trash Can with a Lid Approach.  Doable, wouldn’t look completely out of place but where to put it?  We have one trash can in the only spot one will fit (we tried putting one under the sink and it did not work, it got filled up far too fast and just did not work for us).

2.) Rubbermaid Container.  Most inexpensive.  Best seal.  But…BUT… by far the most unattractive.

3.) Decorative Chest lined with plastic.  Most expensive.  Adequate seal.  Far more attractive and who doesn’t love the idea of hiding something so stinky and atrocious in something pretty?

While we were paying off our (really mine…I brought 17K in school loans to the marriage) debt and following the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover we were really watching our money and silly as this may seem, but the trash can was even out of our budget unless I had been able to score one at a garage sale for a great price.  We ended up going with the highly “glamorous” Rubbermaid container that sat in a corner of the dining room.  Blah. Blah. Blah.  So unattractive.

But then about 10-12 months after paying off our debt (Yippeee!) I found these beautiful wicker/”banana leaf” chests at Target, on sale, for $37.99 a pop.

Image From "Banana Leaf Trunk"

If we ever don’t have dogs in the future (what a sad day that would be) we could use these for something else.  They are modular and easy to move.  And although they didn’t come lined with plastic, a trip to Home Depot’s paint isle and snagging a heavy plastic painter drop cloth would do the trick.

What I love the most about them is that they add some texture to the living room and no one would ever guess that we have dog food stored within.  Although we were initially afraid one of the dogs would discover they could eat through the wicker to the food…they never have.  We’ve had them for over a year now and they are one of my favorite storage solutions that are decor friendly and don’t ruin the over all look of our home!

Two Banana Leaf Storage Cubes/Benches

I’m always looking for creative solutions like this to help keep my house looking pretty but not losing the functionality that I need in such a small house!


Decor 101: My Ballard Design Artwork Knock Off

SO I got my latest issue of Ballard Designs and saw these beautiful paintings

Ballard Designs, Custom Soliloquy Giclee Prints (Photo from Ballard Designs)

…and just so happened to have two blank, waiting to be painted panels just sitting around from some past projects.  So the little artist in me was itching to get out and I decided, what the heck, why not.  I don’t mind saving some money and I could really use some new artwork for the living room above the couches and I just loved these paintings from Ballard.

The end result is definitely different than theirs, but I’m loving how the artwork came out.  They look so much better in person, but I couldn’t get my white balance quite perfect so the pictures look a little yellower than I would like and a lot of he detail got lost.  Oh well.

Ballard Knock Offs

More Pics of the Dining Room Table (& Chairs!)

Here are a few more shots of the dining room table and the chairs.  I’m estatic with how it turned out – LOVE it!  It got broken in today with some family guests too!

Full shot...

Closer up....

Again a big thank you to Ana at Knock Off Wood!

Knock Off Wood

Dining Room Table

I’m a huge fan of….one of my favorite sites to visit.  Last week I went to Home Depot and bought lumber to build my second piece.  This is by far in the running for my favorite piece of furniture – my armoire might win out just because I found it on the side of the road and I was able to make it look brand spanking new…but I love my new dining room table.  I should have posted in progress pics…but due to some mega pregnancy exhaustion…I was well, too lazy to take pictures.  Here’s my new baby:

My NEW Dining Room Table

And here are pics of the chairs we got on Craigslist for, oh, $60…they came with a table, but we asked them to just donate it to Miracle Hill.

Giving the Chairs a coat of Heirloom White

I’ll have some final before and after’s to show you once my house gets cleaned up….if only I had a battery pack of energy!  Hopefully the fact that Matt’s Aunt and Uncle are coming for lunch tomorrow, will serve as motivation…here’s hoping:)

Decor 101: DIY Interesting Wall Art

I’ve been working on a collage of frames to fill the empty spot next to the IKEA shelves…only I’ve not come up with anything to put into the frames….until the other day.  I’ve seen many people do it (on various blogs…and decor sites) and I’ve always loved the look, so I decided it was high time to make two that were personalized for us.  I did one based on our lovely hometown, Greenville, and one for the passion of liberty that both my husband and I possess. Here’s what resulted, I think the Liberty one is definitely better, but love how these turned out:

Copyright A Starter House.

Copyright A Starter House.

Anyways, just thought I would share!

Decor 101: Turn over a new leaf…

I found this guy at goodwill last week:

Sorry for the flash....I took this at night and the lighting was not working in my favor...

…and guess how much it was at Linen & Things….$14.99….and I paid only $1.50.  Granted, I like things better when they are a dollar or less, but I could swallow the extra fifty cents to get a new centerpiece for my coffee table. I ALMOST passed it by, but then I thought of what a little spray paint could do.  After a little sanding and two coats of Heirloom White, I had this pretty centerpiece to call my own:

Nice soft lighting... LOVE how it turned out!

Another shot....lovely space heater to ruin the shot!

I think I will sew a runner for the coffee table…I’m thinking some type of burlap or linen to add a little texture to the room.  So excited with how this turned out, and only $1.50!

Decor 101: NEW Artful Repurpose of a Cabinet Door

SO back here I repurposed a cabinet door into a delightful typographical piece of art reminiscent of what you would find at Pottery Barn and Ballard designs.  And just recently took two more of the doors from that old entertainment center and made this headboard… so with the last cabinet door I made one final piece of artwork.  John & Sherry at YoungHouseLove inspired me to try printing the art and adhering it to the surface instead of painting it…and here are the results after sanding, painting, glueing, waiting, some artistic additions thanks to my favorite minwax stain, and a tad more sanding:

The lighting is making it look a tad more shiny than I would like, but I love how it turned out!

Next to the bed....notice the same colored walls throughout the house...can't wait to add color!!!

Can’t wait to show you all what new storage solutions I added to the Master bath yesterday….courtesy of a nice day outside (at last)!  Also have some other great projects coming up that I recently finished.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

I’m linking this to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land:

Do It Yourself Day

Enjoy all the creative projects over there! 🙂

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