Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello Friends!

I’m getting so excited for summer! I’m ready for fun family days and no school! I also am so excited to style my home for summer, as well as update my wardrobe. This week’s list of Friday Favorites are like a summer mood board for me and I am so excited to share! I love how all of these things go together so well!

 

Handmade Jute Beach Bag

 

This bag is just so cute! I love jute and this bag is the perfect, functional summer accessory. I envision beach days with the kids when I throw everything in this tote and head out the door for summer fun!

Pinstripe Beach Towel

 

Speaking of beaches, how adorable is this beach towel?! I am loving pinstripes this season. This would be so cute hanging in a bathroom or spread out on the sand. Go grab one from H&M and let me know how you incorporate it in your summer plans!

Double Knotted Slide Sandals

 

These are so cute! These would be perfect for summer picnics or evening vacation outings. You can get them here from Target. I would love to hear how you style these for the summer!

Cane Recycyled Drinkware Collection

 

How fun is this drinkware collection? One of the best things about summer is the yummy drinks! And this set is a must have for summer picnics and parties.

 

Outdoor Throw Pillows

 

I love these neutral summer throw pillows. These would be perfect for an outdoor patio space! They are so cute! I have found two that I love! One from Target and one from Pottery Barn. Let me know which one you get!

Outdoor Tabletop String Lights

 

These are so fun! These would be the perfect thing to complete an outdoor space. I love how these look and they just look like summer!

 

I would love to hear how you would style these items in your home! Let me know what you are going to grab from this week’s Friday Favorites!

Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts

Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts

Thoughtful Mother’s Day Gifts

 

I have three ideal Mother’s Day weekends:

 

  1. Go antiquing, choose my own gifts, and end the day with a yummy, calorie-filled Mexican dinner!
  2. Sleep in, spend the day lounging by the pool or beach, never have to get anyone ready to go anywhere, be served a favorite drink and popsicles by my favorite little people!
  3. Take a weekend trip as a family! One of my favorite Mother’s Day weekends was a fun Disney weekend.  I love watching my kids have fun and enjoy special treats.  That’s a gift for ME!

 

My kids are great gift-givers.  They love to “surprise” me with a parade of gifts that showcase their creativity…even if it used the last of my tape or I had to take a trip to the dollar store for posterboard and supplies.  It really is the sweetest thing and a lot of fun.  I know those days are numbered and I truly love seeing what they come up with.

Last year, they surprised me with a huge posterboard of all of our “Toy Story Mania” family selfies.  It was so fun to see them over the years, even when Harrison was a baby and couldn’t even keep his 3D glasses on!

I know the question is always going to come from my husband, “what do you want for Mother’s Day?”  He is a good gift-giver (though a last-minute one), so I try to help him out.  My typical response is to take me shopping and let me pick something out or cash for our next antiquing trip!  Easy for him and fun for me!

I thought I would link up some favorite items that he can choose from this year…and maybe you’ll enjoy them too!

 

While a spa day, pretty jewelry, or a gift card are sweet and oh-so-kind, I get really excited about those unique gifts that I can enjoy for years to come!  Here is a collection of some vintage, some new, some old, and some blue…but all pieces that you can enjoy throughout the year!  You could add some sweet flowers or a plant to go along with some of these too!

 

 

I hope this gives you some fun gifting ideas this Mother’s Day, whether for yourself or a loved one! 

 

Blessings,

Robyn

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello Friends!

            What a fun week on the blog and over on Instagram! I shared vintage hunting finds, a spring tablescape, and some boys bedroom ideas. Here are some of my favorite things from this week that I think you will love too!

 

Reversible Throw Blanket

 

This blanket is so cute and cozy! It would look great in any bedroom or a living room. I love that it is reversible and the material is so nice! I love neutrals, but have been incorporating this color blue in some of my spring decor this year. I think this blanket would be a great addition to your family living space. Make sure to grab this from Target!

Pinstripe Cube Bench

 

This is another Target find that I just had to share! It’s so cute and versatile! I can imagine it in a boys’ room as cozy seating or in a living room for an extra seat. The blue pinstripes are so perfect! It would be perfect to pair this with some throw pillows and a cozy throw blanket.

Antique Decorative Corbels

 

This set of corbels is so pretty! They are from etsy and a great deal at only $20! I would love to see how one of you would style them in your home. Grab these and then let me know how you add them to your space! They would be a great staple piece that could be used year round! You could also use them for DIY projects like I have shared here on the blog. Endless possibilities!

Handmade Laundry Basket

How cute is this basket? I absolutely love it! It would be so cute for a kids bedroom. I love items like this that are decorative and functional. It has that perfect French antique vibe that I love using in my home! I know you will love it too!  Grab it today from H&M.

Antique Wood Plates

I love these little raised wooden plates! This light color is so pretty! You could use them in vignettes or for shelf styling. They are super cute and add such a good texture to any space! I love that you can use just one, or stack them for an elevated look.

 

I would love to hear how you would style these items in your home! Let me know what you are going to grab from this week’s Friday Favorites!

Five Ingredients to a Delicious Spring Dessert

Five Ingredients to a Delicious Spring Dessert

Five Ingredients to a Delicious Spring Dessert

I admit it.

I don’t really love to bake.  I know, I know.  That isn’t what I’m supposed to say.  What home blogger doesn’t bake?!?!  But it’s the honest truth and I would have a hard time believing that I’m the ONLY one out there who cringes when asked to fix a dessert!

And somehow, I miraculously ended up with a daughter who LOVES to bake!  So when May’s edition of Payton’s Pastries rolls around, you’ll get to enjoy her beautiful AND tasty creation here on the blog.

In the meantime….here’s what happened.

Awhile back, I was asked to bring two desserts to a family dinner.  The day before.  Panic ensued, so it’s probably a good thing I found out only the day before so I didn’t have time to worry too much about it!  I’ve never considered myself good at baking but since I didn’t have much of a choice (other than heading to the grocery store for a store-bought dessert…which isn’t always a bad thing either…), I decided to get busy and figure it out.

A google search landed me with a lot of choices for a dump cake.

No problem.  I have a Master’s degree in Education.  Surely I could dump a few ingredients in a pan with some measure of success!  I made a peach dump cake and a blueberry dump cake, carefully following the instructions.  Being the teacher that I am, I checked several different sites, all of which gave the same instructions, so I felt it must be fool proof.

Magic.  Not only did my two dump cakes taste good, but they actually looked decent as well and I wasn’t embarrassed to take them to the family dinner. 

I got to thinking, later, that the peaches and blueberries would be tasty together.  So I gave it a try the other day and YUM!!!  It’s a great mix of the sweet and tart and looks pretty too!

I also love fruit recipes for the spring and summer.  They just feel a little lighter and in season, versus a really rich, heavy dessert.

Best part, it took me all of four minutes to assemble and pop into the oven!  It’s a fail-proof, win-win situation for this busy wife, mom, and teacher!

Here’s how I did it:

 

Peachy Blueberry Dump Cake

 

What you need:

  • 9×13 baking dish
  • Two cans of peaches
  • One bag of frozen blueberries
  • ½ Cup of sugar
  • One box of yellow cake mix
  • One stick of butter
    1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
    2. Dump one can of peaches into your baking dish. Drain the second can and add.
    3. Dump one bag of frozen blueberries on top of the peaches.
    4. Dump ½ cup of sugar evenly over the top of the blueberries
    5. Dump one box of yellow cake mix evenly over the top of the fruit mixture.
    6. Slice butter into thin slices and distribute evenly over the top of the cake mix
    7. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.
    8. Serve with vanilla ice cream and ENJOY!

 

Sugar Free or Gluten Free Peachy Blueberry Dump Cake

 

  • 9×13 baking dish
  • Two cans of no sugar added or Lite peaches
  • One bag of frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup of artificial sweetener (Truvia is an option I prefer)
  • One box of sugar free or gluten free yellow cake mix
  • One stick of a healthy butter substitute of choice

There you have it!  So often, holidays (such as  Mother’s Day) can feel like some extra work for the people who are being celebrated!  If you’re looking to cut down on your time in the kitchen this spring, I hope this helps!  It’s making me think that for the next family dinner, I’ll sign up for the dessert instead of shying away from it!  You really and truly cannot mess this one up!

Our family enjoyed it, had lots leftover for some midnight snacks, and who’s to say it couldn’t be a good breakfast the next day too?  After all…it has fruit!

With all that time and effort you save by making a simple dessert…what will you do?  It’s some poolside relaxation for me!

For some more spring dessert ideas, check out what these blogger friends are sharing also:

 

These Yummy Treats from Down Shiloh Road

This amazing Strawberry Shortcake from The Tattered Pew

These amazing Iced Coffee Popsicles from She Gave It a Go

 

There you have it!  Happy Baking!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

Gallery

How to Create Simple Decor Vignettes

How to Create Simple Decor Vignettes

How to Create Simple Decor Vignettes

It may sound out of character to those who know me well in real life, but one of my favorite things about decorating is that it truly is experimental, imperfect, and the beauty is up to the beholder.  I tell people all the time…if you love it, then it’s perfect for your home!

At the same time, I totally understand the feeling of looking at someone’s décor or style and thinking “I have no idea how to do that!”

If you’ve ever felt that way too, I’m here with good news. You don’t have to “do it that way.”  You get to decide what you love for your home, how you like it styled, play around with it until you love it, and then just enjoy it!

Then there is the teacher/student part of me that loves to learn. I love to study décor, paying careful attention to details that make me smile, then go about experimenting with my own décor!  That’s what I hope today’s blog post is for you…

A chance to study the décor, gather some ideas, then experiment with your own décor until you love it!

I think we can so often get stuck in a mindset of “big changes” in our homes.  That’s the other good news for today!  It’s fun to have big renovations, build a new home, gut and remodel a room, or even redecorate a whole room.

But the fact of the matter is, most of us are just looking for simple ways to keep loving the home and décor we already have.  I hope today’s blog post gives you some fresh ideas…and I want you to start with the décor you already own!

I always like to link up some styling favorites for you, but before you buy anything, take a look around and shop your own home!  I guarantee you can get a really great start, right at home!

Today, we are looking for simple, easy décor ideas.  I love creating vignettes and sometimes when I’m feeling a little restless in a space, just changing one vignette gives some life and new love to a room!

Here are a few rules of thumb I like to go by when thinking about refreshing a space with a vignette:

 

Start With a Base

 

Every.  Single.  Time.  Maybe I get a little too hung up on this, but when I try to build a vignette without something to ground it, something to pull it all together, I literally NEVER end up liking it!

But when thinking about a base to ground your vignette, there are so many creative ways to go about doing that!  Does anyone remember when doilies were all the rage?  Am I totally dating myself here???  I remember that my mom had a stack of them and used them all over the house.  Honestly, they are still a design element of choice for the true, primitive décor styles.

You’ll often find me using an old breadboard (which helps me totally justify how many of those I have!), a dough bowl, flat basket, grain sack, wooden tray, wire basket, architectural salvage, or some kind of a combination of a couple of those!

I recently picked up a large, wire basket at Rehab Vintage Market.  It’s all bent and rusted from time (which is why I love it!) and my new favorite vignette base is to use that with with my Belgian bread board from Dreamy White Lifestyles.  The bread board gives a stable base inside the wire basket, upon which I can add favorite items!

So get creative with your base!  You might set a wooden tray on an old breadboard for an extra layer.  Or lay a vintage linen piece inside a flat basket.  I like to use simple things like this to create an extra layer for my vignette.  Often, it’s that extra little layer that ends up being my favorite thing about the vignette!  It’s all in the details!

You can even refresh a vignette simply by switching the base.  This I why I like to keep a variety of things like bread boards, trays, crates, baskets, and architectural salvage around.  I don’t have many of them “stored away”, but rather switch them around in my vignettes.

Everyone has time for a 5 minute refresh!  Look around and see what vignette you can refresh simply by switching the base!  (It might turn into more than 5 minutes because I think you’ll end up having so much fun that you switch more than one!

If you’re still working to build your collection of bases, you can read about some of my favorite vintage hunting tips HERE.

 

The Décor Triangle

 

There is probably some official name for this somewhere in the décor world!  When building a vignette, the décor triangle is a really good place to start.  You want to think of the décor as a set of three items, at three varied heights, with the tall and medium staggered a bit and the shortest item completing the point of the triangle in front.

Let’s practice!  Pause your reading and find three different sizes of jars or drinking glasses from your kitchen.

See how easy that is?  This is why I almost always buy décor in sets of 3.  OR, if I’m using a pair of something, the same size (such as candlesticks), I place one of them on a stack of books so that I get a third height.

Play around with this triangle in your décor.  This is a great spot for all the mathematicians to try and figure out the names of all these triangles, because they are going to be very irregular, very imperfect, and have lots of variety.  In fact, if every vignette throughout your home has the same exact triangle, it’s going to start looking a lot like a staged home and a lot less like well-curated collections of your favorite décor!

But if the décor triangle is new to you, just start with that.  You’ll quickly get accustomed to starting your vignettes in this trio and then you can get more and more creative with it!

 

Mixed Materials

 

There is no hard and fast rule for this, so I’m just sharing my personal opinion and preferences here!  This is what I was referring to earlier; the beautiful thing about décor is that it can be just what YOU want, not what a book, blog, or social media world says you have to do!

When building a vignette, I look for ways to mix materials.  This gives more texture and often, more character, to my vignette.  That being said, it’s less likely that you’ll love a group of random things, even if they are in a décor triangle!

I like to have a common thread that connects each of the items, which can be through color, material, or pattern.  Since I use a lot of neutrals, this is a little easier, particularly when mixed with my woods and whites

Here are a few examples of items I might mix together for a vignette:

  1. Stack of vintage books in neutral tones, white planter with a plant, and a set of two wooden candlesticks.
  2. Architectural salvage corbel (chippy white, of course!), vintage books in neutral tones, white planter with a plant
  3. Zinc bucket with a tree, white ironstone pitcher, wood pedestal with a white candle
  4. White ironstone pitcher with flowers, wooden pedestal with stack of ironstone plates, white planter with fresh plant
  5. Wooden pedestal with large white planter/plant sitting on top, small brass planter with plant, white candle

Do you see all of the repeated items used above?

This is why I shop my house and encourage you to do the same!  I also like to invest in décor pieces that I can mix and match with several different things, in varying rooms of my home.  This is also why I say you can easily just switch and item or two, get an entirely fresh look, and be enjoying it in 15 minutes or less!

I love the big decorating projects, but these simple, little resets truly make me feel so happy with our home!

 

Tell a Story With Your Room

This could really be a whole blog post all on its own (so maybe I’ll work on that soon!), but vignettes are an important way to add to the story of your room.  Make them personal by using some of your favorite things.  You’ll start to see repeated threads that give a visual connection throughout the room.

Have a vignette with a wooden pedestal and ironstone pot sitting on top?  Create another vignette in the room with a wooden bread board and ironstone pitcher, holding flowers.  See the commonality without “matching”?  That kind of detail adds an element of thoughtfulness and intentionality to a space!

 

For the spring, I love adding a touch of the Audubon style by adding some pages from my Birds of America book to some vintage, gold frames.  You can see more about that gallery wall HERE.  So in my vignettes throughout our living spaces, I looked for ways to tuck in some little vintage, brass swans and a favorite thrifting find with my vintage, brass bird candlesticks.

The space doesn’t scream “BIRD THEME”!!!!!  (At least, I don’t think it does!  Haha!). But there is definitely an intentional nod toward this spring idea of nests, eggs, and birds.

Let’s say you love lemons!  You can tuck in subtle touches of yellow (consider some vintage brass for this!) and lemon-related items.  Every, single décor piece doesn’t have to have lemons.  After all, who really wants to have several storage bins full of lemon décor?  But you could have one, small drawer of these items that you pull out and mix into your standard, every day décor.

Here are some things that are always in rotation in my décor:

  • Ironstone (especially pitchers, compotes, and small plate stacks)
  • Vintage bread boards
  • Vintage dough bowls
  • Architectural salvage base and cloche
  • Architectural salvage corbels
  • Wooden trays
  • Large baskets
  • Zinc (especially a pitcher or bucket)
  • Vintage books

If you really study my décor, you’ll see the same items on repeat, over and over and over, and many of them, I’ve had for a lot of years!  You can see a lot more details of our home over on my Instagram to get an idea of how I rotate these kinds of items through my décor

Get Started!

 

Chances are, you won’t love every vignette you create.  You might try it several different ways before you find something that clicks.

But you’ll never get that refresh to your room if you don’t try!

Don’t wait for your dream house or home renovation to refresh your spaces.  A little creativity, a little perseverance, and a little shopping (around your own home!) will go a long, long ways!

Just don’t forget the base to your vignette!  It’s a little like life…you need a good foundation!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

How to Get a Custom Bathroom on a Budget

How to Get a Custom Bathroom on a Budget

How to Get a Custom Bathroom on a Budget

They say kitchens and bathrooms sell houses.  Meaning, we should have run far away from this house and never looked back!!!  We moved from a home that we dearly loved, two streets over, for the opportunity to get a little more interior space and a huge backyard (for South Florida standards, anyway!). While we are so thankful for the decision we made, I have to be honest and say that the whole renovation project felt like a mountain we could never get over.  The entire house required extensive renovation to make it not only livable, but a space that we could ever feel at home in.

The timeline felt monumental.  We lived with my parents for 5 weeks while the bedrooms, playroom, and master bathroom were completed, along with demo in the other spaces (just so we weren’t breathing in all of that!).  We then “moved in” with construction plastic surrounding half of the house and basically walked around with construction-dust feet for another 3 months.

I am not a designer, nor have I taken any classes or even managed extensive renovation projects.  We had always just done primarily cosmetic remodels, and only one room at a time.  So while I felt overwhelmed at most points along the way, I also had a strong sense of the overall look I wanted for our home.

Simple Understated.  Timeless elements in the more permanent designs and some fun with things that could be updated down the road.

I knew we wouldn’t be replacing tile or redoing any of these spaces for years to come.  With some of the other spaces we had remodeled, I had found myself already “tired” of the trendier looks I had chosen.  So I knew that for this house, with the major investments we were making, I needed to keep it basic and go with overall design styles that have passed the test of time.

I also had a strong sense of wanting to keep an overall design that ran through our entire home.  Since we had the opportunity to basically do everything at once, we really wanted it to have a seamless style, with each room having design elements that connect to the next room.

You can get a better idea of this from my home tours, found HERE and HERE.

Once the bedrooms, closets, playroom, and master bathrooms were completed so that we could actually move into our home, we moved on to the second tier of the renovation.  The kids’ bathroom was the second priority, though it was being worked on alongside the kitchen.

I had so much fun with the kids’ bathroom design.  But to really appreciate it, you have to see this before:

I mean, I don’t hate the color yellow, but it couldn’t have been more dingy and sad (maybe with the exception of the green toilet that had graced the master bathroom!  Yikes!)

Throughout our home, you’ll find elements like subway tile, penny tile, wood, and concrete.  I really wanted the more permanent elements, such as the tile, to be elements that have withstood the test of time.

 

Tile Flooring

 

Penny tile has been around since the early 1900’s and because sickness spread so easily during those days, the bathroom tiles were often white, thought to be a more “clean” look.  I can’t disagree with that!  While penny tiles originated in the black and white color scheme, you can find them now in an array of colors and patterns.  I personally love how black and white tile, especially in a simple pattern, can go well with whatever décor trends come and go over the next 20 years.  And who knows…when it comes time to replace the tile…many years down the road…I may choose the same tile.

It says something about a design style that has been around for over 100 years and is still sought after!  So I felt safe with that choice!

This tile was also a budget-friendly option.  Available in pre-set 12” sheets, it was a fairly quick and easy tile job.  If we had only been doing this one space, we would have tackled this project ourselves.  However, we literally had tile work throughout the entire house, so we had a tile contractor.  Especially since we were paying for labor, we were happy with a moderately-priced tile that allowed for easy installation, thus bringing the labor cost down too.

 

Tile Backsplash

 

This is just a personal preference, but also one I recommend when offering advice to others who are doing bathroom renovations.  If you have the opportunity, add a tile backsplash!  I love that I can wash and scrub it clean, and it just feels like you can get it more clean than a regular drywall or wood finish.  Because we were using subway tile in our kitchen, I chose to carry this design element through into the bathroom also.  It makes a great bathroom backsplash, and with its straightforward installation and clean lines, it was also a budget-friendly labor cost.  The subway tile itself is extremely budget-friendly too!

Subway tile is a nostalgic choice, but also one that has been around for a very long time!  It dates back to 1904, when it was originally designed for the New York Subways.  The clean lines and bright, white tile helped to reflect light and brighten up the underground areas and the Victorians were also obsessed with surfaces that were easy to clean.

I’m with the Victorians on this one!

 

Tile Shower Surround

Another budget-friendly way we renovated this bathroom, while keeping the overall design aesthetic, was to use the 16 inch subway tiles in the shower.  We repeated this same concept in the master bathroom shower.  The larger tiles made for a quicker and less labor-intensive installation.  I am still SO HAPPY that we went with the dark charcoal grout for the tile throughout our home.  With the hard water of our South Florida well, it has been a cleaning life-saver.  I also appreciate the modern nod of the dark grout, but mostly, I chose it because I knew it would be easier to maintain a clean appearance over the white or light grout colors.

 

Bathroom Vanity

Several factors went into our decision to have all of our bathroom vanities custom built.  First of all, we were able to get the maximum size for the space by choosing a custom build.  The standard sizes would have either been too long for the space or shorter than what we could do as a custom piece.

Secondly, I had really specific ways that I wanted the bathroom vanity to function, knowing it would be a high traffic area, shared by three growing kiddos!  Here are some custom features that help us immensely with organization:

 

Deep drawers: The center bank appears to be a column of narrow drawers.  However this apothecary-style is faux!  The center actually has three large, deep drawers.  Each child has a drawer that holds pajamas, under garments, and personal effects, such as lotions, hair care, etc.  Everyone has everything already in the bathroom when they go to shower and clean up!

Pull-Out Step: This genius idea came from a friend and we have been thrilled with it.  The pull-out step has been so convenient for our younger children.  Under each sink, there is a pull-out.  Eventually, when all of our kids are tall enough for the sink and mirror, we can easily convert the pull-outs into drawers for more storage.  By the point, I’m sure the girls will need more space for hair and make-up items!

 

Large cabinet space: Under each sink is what appears to be more drawers, but actually opens to a large cabinet.  This is the perfect bathroom storage space for pool towels, toilet paper, Lysol wipes, cleaning supplies, etc.

Large hardware for hand towels:  I wanted the hand towels to be easily within reach for even our youngest and also be hung in a way that would be easy for the kids to switch hand towels when needed and keep it tidy.  I find the rings to be tricky for kids (even my husband doesn’t seem to hang the towel straight on the rings!), so we went with these large barn-door handles from Magnolia Market.  These are discontinued, but you can find a similar style HERE and HERE.  We used these same handles on our laundry room doors and on the sliding barn doors in the playroom.  They were a simple way to carry some consistency through the house!

 

Vanity Counter Top

 

I always have questions about our countertop!  Our vanity was custom built by a local builder and they also built the countertop to go with it.  There are lots of tutorials out there for DIY concrete countertops.  Speaking from experience, good forms are important!.  While we didn’t install these ourselves, I can say with certainty that I would definitely choose these over and over again.  The natural imperfections of the concrete nod to the overall vintage feel of our home.  The concrete material, itself, is so easy to maintain; you really can’t hurt it.  If you’re on the fence about concrete countertops, our experience with them has been wonderful!

We also installed concrete countertops in our kitchen, yet another way to carry a consistent design style throughout our home!

Other Finishes and Décor

In a bathroom, my preference and recommendation is to not “play around” with tile and permanent fixtures.  Consider keeping those high-quality and basic.  You can change the entire look of your bathroom with less-permanent finishes, like mirrors, lighting, and décor.

With everything so stream-lined in this space, I wanted to make a statement with the mirrors and play around with shape and texture.  We found these mirrors at The Findery in Waco while on vacation there.  (I say vacation…we were really escaping our home for part of the renovation!). I love how the galvanized metal ties in with the gray concrete and the round shape adds some variety.  The mirrors are large enough for all practical needs in this space but also add a fun décor element.

Lighting is a key element and a place where you can have some fun!  However, lighting can get extremely expensive!  I was so very delighted to find these sconces for $30, coordinating with the mirrors and tying into the industrial farmhouse elements throughout our home.  This particular sconce has been discontinued, but you can find a similar one HERE.  Because we had plenty of recessed lighting added to this bathroom, the sconces could be a cosmetic touch rather than providing the lighting for the whole space.  They do add a great addition to the lighting for make-up purposes and also a soft light when the recessed lights are off.

Bathroom décor is a topic that I’m kind of passionate about!  LESS IS MORE!!!  When you think about how quickly things get dirty in a bathroom (especially those icky germs that you can’t see), it really puts a limit on how much décor you may want to bring into a bathroom setting.  For myself, I prefer to spend as little time cleaning in a bathroom as possible.

Therefore, I chose to keep all décor very simple and basically only on the walls.  It is up high where it isn’t as prone to be a resting spot for germs.  I used these simple wall vases, also from Magnolia Home, and can change those up seasonally.  I’ve linked some great wall vase options HERE, HERE, and HERE!  Otherwise, we added a cute little Hobby Lobby sign for 50% off and a vintage street sign from the flea market!

Containers and organizers are important in a bathroom setting.  This vintage locker basket works great for holding extra hand towels and wash cloths, while also having a décor element.  I keep a basket for towels and a cute bucket for trash.  And that is it for bathroom décor!

A cute shower curtain and towels serve functional purposes while adding to the aesthetic of a bathroom.  I chose all white, not because my kids are always clean and tidy, but because I can BLEACH THEM!  Remember…I’m with the Victorians.  Haha!

We’ve had this same shower curtain for almost four years now and it stays looking nice because I throw it in a bleach load every now and then.  I replace the kids’ towels about once a year or so, always white, so they can be bleached.  I have found that we don’t need a cabinet stuffed with extra towels.  Keeping things like towels to a minimum forces my hand to keep up with the laundry and cuts down on the amount of storage space I have to keep available!

I picked up this cute bath mat recently and it’s my one departure from all-white.  But for only $12, we will enjoy it while it lasts​!

I hope this answers a lot of your questions about the kids’ bathroom renovation!  I am still as happy with our design choices as I was four years ago, and for someone that likes to switch things up, that says a lot!

Most importantly, our decisions helped us stay on budget, while providing quality that will last us…and three kiddos… for many years to come!

Blessings,

Robyn

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello Friends!

 

            I loved sharing with you this week! I always try to bring practical information that you can use to make your home a special cozy space for your family. That’s what it’s all about- helping each other and loving others. So this week we are also showing some love to small businesses!  Here are some of my favorite things from this week & I’m so excited to share them with you:

 

Antique Wood Riser

 

How cool are these? They would be so great to add height and texture to a vignette. These are from Hallstrom Home and I have a code for you!  Use “robynsfrenchnest” at checkout for 10% off anything in her shop! Click here to get these beautiful wood rounds!

 

Textured Throw Pillow

 

Talk about cozy! This pillow is just the perfect thing to add to a living space to bring texture and an element of cozy. Make sure you grab it from Target and add it to you collection! I’m sure you will love it!

 

Handmade Jute Beach Bag

 

Who is ready for summer and making memories with your friends and family? This bag would be the perfect thing to bring alone on vay-cay! Not to mention it’s so adorable and could double as home decor just by hanging it in a foyer or entry way. Love that this piece is so functional and adorable!

French Linen Grainsack

Oh boy! You know I love french linen! This piece is just so cute! Once again, a great piece to add texture and an element of cozy to any space. One of my favorite ways to use linen is as a table runner on my tablescapes. I would love to see what creative way you use french linen in your home!

 

Antique Books

 

I love using books in my home decor. You can find them all over my house! My favorite place to order books is from Books by Jay’s World. Her books are always so nice, unique, and in pristine condition. They are so worth the investment! How would you style this set? I would love to hear in the comments below.

 

Metal Lantern

 

This Lantern is so simple and beautiful! It would be great for an indoor or outdoor space. It could be incorporated in many different decor styles and seasons. What a good staple piece!

 

Vintage Brass Swan

 

We all loved the brass bunnies during Easter and these swans are a great replacement during the rest of the year. They are so sweet and beautiful vintage pieces. The ones linked here from Etsy are actually planters. Wouldn’t it be so cute to add a plant to these beauties?

I would love to hear how you would style these items in your home! Let me know what you are going to grab from this week’s Friday Favorites!

Make Your Own Garden-Inspired Candle Holder

Make Your Own Garden-Inspired Candle Holder

Make Your Own Garden-Inspired Candle Holder

I think it’s the season of life I’m in…there is ALWAYS a crafty project going on, whether it’s with my little students at school or my own kiddos at home.  That kind of leaves me just not in the mood for DIY sometimes…or often without the time to do the kinds of DIY projects that I enjoy.

Or maybe it’s that I don’t have a ton of patience for complicated projects that involve many items and an arsenal of craft supplies!  (Please say I’m not alone here!)

When I saw this super cute little terra cotta pots at an antiques show, though, I knew they would be fun for something!  I love that they are old and already have that great garden patina.  Plus, they were only 50 cents, so you just can’t go wrong with that.

 

Anytime I am out vintage hunting, I always keep an eye out for small, inexpensive items that could make fun and simple DIY projects.  Little pots, small salvage pieces, wood remnants, scrap fabric (especially old linens!), vintage books, interesting paper items like cards, seed packets, and music…all items that don’t have to cost hardly anything and you’re not committed to an expensive project!

I also like to only store what I know I’ll use again, so inexpensive little items are fun because I don’t feel obligated to keep them around for years to come.  I can enjoy them for the time and then move them along!

I decided to pull them out for a garden-themed tablescape and the inspiration hit.  It took me all of 5 minutes to make 6 of these garden-inspired, terra cotta candle holders.  The best part, you probably already have some of these things laying around your house:

Five Items You Need

  • Miniature terra cotta pots (while it’s fun if you have vintage ones, you can get new ones for 49 cents, rub a little dirt on them, paint them, or leave them as is!)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Sand or vase filler
  • Taper candle (THESE dripless, smokeless ones are my favorites!)
  • Moss (I love using this real moss and for an inexpensive pack, I’ve done a lot of decorating and styling with it.  You can also get faux moss or if you live near a wooded area, get some real moss for free!)

 

How to Make Your Garden-Inspired Candle Holder

Step One:

I lined the bottom of my pots with a piece of tin foil to hold in the tiny rocks.  If you have saucers, that would do the trick too, though the foil is still a good idea to hold everything in

 

Step Two:

Fill the terra cotta pot about 1/3 of the way with your sand or filler.  Depending on the size of your terra cotta pot, you can adjust this as needed.

 

Step Three:

Set your taper candle in place.  I pushed it down a little to secure it, then held it straight with one hand while filling in around it with more of the tiny rocks.  Fill the terra cotta pot almost to the top, leaving just enough room for the last step.

If you’re using a larger terra cotta pot, consider putting a few candles in the pot, kind of like I did on THIS centerpiece with ironstone pots.

Terra Cotta Candle Holder (5)
Terra Cotta Candle Holder (6)

 

Step Four:

Cover the sand or rocks with moss.  I found it helpful to pull off about quarter-sized pieces of moss and tuck them around.  Fresh moss is so moldable, so you can press it down in a few places to secure it.  This also gives it more of an “imperfect” and natural look.  Moss doesn’t grow in perfectly flat sections!

 

You’re done!  Now what?

 

Your garden-inspired, terra cotta pots can be styled almost anywhere!  Consider tucking these into vignettes throughout your home.  You can set them on vintage books (see HERE for ideas for creating vignettes with vintage books), under a cloche, lined up on a shelf or mantel, or as a centerpiece for your spring table.

I grouped mine, setting some on a vintage riser and some on the table, to add to the cozy vibe of my garden-themed tablescape!  I love how terra cotta adds such a warm color to a space and invites the “outdoors in”.  Nothing says springtime quite like garden-themed décor and I had a lot of fun making this quick DIY to add to my table.

 

After I used them on my tablescape, I tucked them into little vignettes on my dining room shelves.

 

 

Another thing I love about using terra cotta pots in my décor is that they are easy to stack up and store away for another season.  As much as I love to switch my décor around, I am always happy to incorporate things that are easy to store!  You can find some other ideas for spring décor HERE and HERE.

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” -The Secret Garden

 

Blessings,

Robyn

How to Make an Architectural Salvage Lamp

How to Make an Architectural Salvage Lamp

How to Make an Architectural Salvage Lamp

Welcome to Robyn’s French Nest!  If you are hopping over from Pasha Is Home, thanks for visiting.  I love her blog–so full of home decor tips, styling ideas & lifestyle posts!

If you’re already a subscriber and clicking over from the email…did you guess my DIY involves architectural salvage?

I am so excited to share this because it solves two problems for me.

But first, a quick introduction for those who may not know me yet!  My name is Robyn and the “French” part comes from my love for vintage French and European finds, as well as my love for traveling (can’t wait until we can do that again!). The “Nest” part…well, it’s just a fun play on words.  But I am also passionate about “creating home”.  More than ever before, I want our home to be this safe, cozy, wonderful “nest” for our little family.  A place where we can just be.

You can read more about our family HERE.

Back to those two problems:

Back to those two problems:

I have a love-hate relationship with lamps.  There are very few home décor related items that I don’t love shopping for (because really, I just love to shop!) But lamps are NOT on the list of things that I enjoy hunting for.  I find that the ones I love are over-priced and the ones in my budget are usually very generic.

I do love shopping for architectural salvage!  So much so, that I purchased these massive…and I do mean massive…rafter pieces from an online auction.  They were too inexpensive to pass up and they’ve been sitting in our garage for a year.

So we decided to get busy and do something with them, solving the lamp dilemma and the “sitting around in the garage” dilemma at the same time.

We also have architectural salvage lamps in our master bedroom that my dad made for me 6 or so years ago.  Those corbels cost me $10 each at a little hole-in-the-wall antique shop on vacation!  So I knew these rafter pieces would make amazing lamps too, but they are BEASTS!

Where Do I Get the Wood?

 

If you’re trying this DIY…you may want to find more normal and manageable-sized salvage pieces!  I’ll link up some great vintage corbels that you can order online.  You can also visit your local lumber yards.  You might get lucky to find some inexpensive ones that you can paint and give your own desired finish!

I love the look of antique or vintage corbels, but you could follow this same DIY with any interesting piece of wood.  As long as it’s thick and heavy enough to be stable, it will work perfectly!  Consider chunky table legs, chippy porch columns, and even sealed tree stumps!

Once you have your corbel or desired wood piece, here is what you do next:

 

I have my wood!  Now, what do I do next?

 

Plan ahead for the proper tools!  Don’t ask Robb how he know this, but it’s critical for a stress-free project!   Here’s the process with the lessons learned from our experience:

  • PLAN AHEAD
    • Be sure to charge your drill batteries beforehand.
    • Make sure your bit (with extender) will drill the entire height of the lamp
    • Make sure you order a lighting kit with a harp tall enough for your lamp shade
  • First, measure the height of the lamp.
  • Then, make sure your paddle bit will cut a hole slightly bigger than your lamp kit. For this project, we used a 5/8ths width.
  • Using the measurement from step one, make sure your extender will give you enough length to drill the whole height of the salvage piece.
  • Before drilling, set the soon-to-be-lamp on scrap wood (so you don’t accidentally drill through into the floor).

 

  • Then, mark the center. The easiest way is to mark an “X” from corner to corner and drill at the intersection of the “X”.
  • Start drilling carefully, making sure you are pushing down straight.
  • Don’t try to drill too far without pulling the bit out and clearing the channel of debris.

 

  • Have a helper ready with a vacuum cleaner to suck away the sawdust with each time you pull out the bit.

 

  • Once the hole is finished, carve out a channel from the center hole to the back of the lamp. This will hold the cord from the center hole to the back.
  • Then mark the threaded piping from the lamp kit at the height of the lamp.
  • We used a hacksaw to cut at the mark, then a Dremel tool to file the cut edges smooth.
Salvage Lamp (6)
Salvage Lamp (8)
Salvage Lamp (7)
Salvage Lamp (9)

 

  • Run the new wire through the tubing.
  • Depending on your lighting kit, follow the directions to connect wiring & the harp
  • Enjoy your one-of-a-kind creation!

There you have it!  Architectural salvage is so fun and there are so many wonderful ways you can incorporate it into your décor.  Finding it is a huge, fun part and you can read more about my vintage hunting tips and trips HERE and HERE.

We recently did a quick DIY in our girls’ room, using this amazing salvage piece.  It makes the perfect shelf and was a great way to incorporate a pop of color and lots of character in their bedroom!

I use architectural salvage all over our home.  Corbels make great book ends, shelf décor, and mantel décor.  We were lucky enough to find four corbels from the same old farmhouse and we added those to the wide openings in our connected living and dining rooms.  It was a simple way to add a lot of charm to our otherwise, rather simple ranch-style home!

Architectural salvage is always my go-to answer when I’m asked for ideas to add texture, layers, character, and interest to a home.  I find great salvage pieces at antique malls, vintage markets, and sometimes even the flea market!  You just never know what you’ll find and it’s always on my hunting list!  You can find some great online options for architectural salvage in the links below, too!

Our DIY lamps are going to live in the home of a customer, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to style one of them up in our family room!  It was hard to let these go, but I’d promised them to a loyal customer and I know they will be loved and enjoyed.  But I’m back on the hunt for another corbel set that I LOVE (and maybe a little smaller!) to make lamps for our back living room!

I hope you have fun with your own DIY and a solution to the lamp problem!

While you’re hunting for the perfect salvage pieces for your lamps, hop on over & visit my sweet friend Kelly from The Tattered Pew.  I’m definitely adding her DIY to my list to try!  I’ve admired Kelly’s home and style for years now and always love to see what she’s up to!

Blessings,

Robyn

8 DIY Home Decor Projects

Midwest Life & Style| Easy DIY Bathroom Vanity Makeover
She Gave It A Go | DIY Sea Glass Vases on a Budget
Open Doors Open Hearts | DIY Aged Stone Vase
First Day of Home | DIY Macrame Plant Hanger

A Blue Nest | DIY Pleated Lampshade
Pasha is Home | DIY Built-in Ideas
Robyn's French Nest | Architectural Salvage Lamp DIY
The Tattered Pew | DIY Block Printing on Fabric

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

What a busy, but fun week we have had over on Instagram! And then on the blog, it has been so fun to share my spring cleaning strategies as well as more spring decor ideas! Here are some of my favorite items from this week:

 

Antique Water Buckets

 

These are just so cute! Galvanized metal is so perfect for adding a light spring touch while still keeping a vintage look. These buckets from Etsy are perfect and I hope one of you grab them to use in your spring decor!

Vintage Jars

 

One of my favorite things to do in vintage decor is to use ordinary vintage objects. I love jars like these antique British ones I found on Etsy. They can be used for so many things and add so much character to a space!

Throw Pillows

 

Throw pillows are just one of the easiest ways to change up seasonal decor! I love this cute one from H&M. It’s so simple and would be a perfect cozy touch to a family room or living room.

Lavabo

 

I used a piece similar to this in my spring gallery wall. It’s one of those unique vintage finds, but here is one from Etsy that is so cute! You can style these in all different ways, some of which I have shared right here on the blog. So if you grab this one, make sure to check it out!

Chippy Corbels

Oh my! I love this set of corbels!!  The color is just so perfect!! And the chippy paint?! LOVE!! Someone needs to grab these from Etsy (or this set) and then style them in their home!  I just know they will look darling in a vintage themed space!

Vintage Linen

 

I love adding texture with linen! This has been a big favorite of mine this spring and so I have to share this adorable piece from H&M. It’s just so cute and could be used in so many ways!

 

Hope you enjoy these things as much as I do! If you purchase any of them, let me know! I would love to see how you style them in your home!!

Gallery

Tips to Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze

Tips to Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze

Tips to Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze

I  LOVE  A  CLEAN  HOUSE.  I mean, I REALLY LOVE A CLEAN HOUSE!  Just ask my husband and kids…(or maybe don’t)…because my mood can sometimes be altered by the state of our house.

That is not a badge of honor, however, and I really am trying to work on that area of my personality.  I think I’m getting better about not being so out of sorts…if things are at least tidy, I feel a lot better.  When I started teaching full-time, on top of my other responsibilities, some things just had to be let go of, to be perfectly honest.

So on any given day, you’ll find dust bunnies in the corners, spots on the floors, and smudges on the shower tile.  If you’re looking for a spring cleaning blog coming from someone with a pristine house, I’m not your girl.

But I also get the strong desire for a clean home, paired with the reality of a busy lifestyle, and how the two don’t always connect very well.

I also have to be honest and say that I’m not a fan of cleaning systems.  Over time, I’ve found the products that work best for our home and that is going to look and feel a little (or a lot) different for everyone!  I have linked up the things that I keep stocked in my cleaning closet, but you’ll want to substitute with whatever products fit your preference and needs!

Now…I’m going to share my top two tips for spring cleaning.

Get ready for it…earth shattering. (Haha!)

NUMBER ONE TIP FOR SPRING CLEANING

 

“Spring Clean” all year long.

Now hold on…that doesn’t sound easy or fun or exciting or simple at all!  But it really works and it really is less stressful.  For example, with teaching full-time, I cannot spend an entire day deep cleaning the kitchen.  However, I can schedule in a few hours over the course of a week to make sure the kitchen is in tip-top shape!  So for deep cleaning and large organizational tasks, I schedule them out over time.

Here’s how I do it:

Keep Up with Regular House Cleaning, DAILY

 

    • Every single day, our family does the following:
    • Wipe down bathroom counters and sinks
    • Spray daily shower cleaner
    • Wipe down kitchen island, countertops, and sink
    • Vacuum kitchen and main living space.  THIS vacuum is our favorite because it is easy to move around and shares a battery with our other cleaning tools.
    • Tidy all spaces and put things away where they belong
    • See THIS POST or THIS POST for organization ideas; I’m a stickler for “a place for everything and everything in its place!

Now that my kids are old enough to help, these things are part of their daily chores and of course, my husband and I carry our share as well.  None of us spend more than 5-10 minutes a day doing any cleaning.  But it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

Keep Up with Regular House Cleaning, WEEKLY

 

Every week, I like for the following list to be done.  Now, I’ll be the first to say, that every possible chance, I hire someone to help out for the weekly cleanings.  We are fortunate to live in a college town and there are always great college students looking for work.

I’ll also be super honest to say that there are weeks when I’m not able to get someone to help and choose to spend my weekend time doing other things than cleaning.  So as much as I would love for our house to be cleaned every week, and while that would be the goal, it is safe to say that this happens 3 times a month, rather than every single week!

This is an area that I had to really take pressure off myself and am learning to be content with a “reasonably clean house” some weeks!

However, my preference would be that the following things happen each week and I hope to eventually get back to this schedule:

    • Bathrooms and kitchen thoroughly cleaned
    • Clean stove top
    • Wipe down appliances with stainless steel wipes (hyperlink)
    • Vacuum all rugs
    • Mop all hard floors
    • Dust: I use THIS to dust my vintage and chippy pieces.  A cloth and cleaner usually just push the dust down in all the cracks!  I use THIS for dusting regular surfaces!
    • Wipe down all light switches, door handles, etc.
    • Sweep porch areas
    • One “extra” thing from the monthly list

Keep Up with Regular House Cleaning, MONTHLY

 

Again, I’m the first to say that these are goals and we definitely do NOT get all of these things accomplished every month.  But it wouldn’t get done nearly often enough if we didn’t at least set a goal for it!  By trying to do one of these items each week, it helps us to stay on top of things a little better too.

    • Baseboards
    • Blinds
    • Vacuum under/behind movable furniture (I do not pull out our big cabinets!)
    • Use 4-in-1 cleaner on hard wood floors
    • Dust light fixtures (we don’t have ceiling fans, but if we did, those would be included with light fixtures)
    • Magic eraser on kids art table and desks
    • Check for wall smudges and magic eraser those too

NUMBER TWO TIP FOR SPRING CLEANING

 

Spring clean when it works for YOUR schedule!

With working full-time, it is nearly impossible for me to set aside a particular week each spring to do my spring cleaning.  Doing a little every day/week/month allows us to keep the cleaning under control.  I try to do some major organization each summer when we are off from school and then again in January when our schedule is a little more clear.

So our “spring cleaning” typically doesn’t happen in the spring at all!

Here is a list of things that I try to make sure happen at least twice a year:

    • Clean out clothing closets: sort clothing, donate, toss, consign
    • Clean out kids’ toys: keep, donate, toss, consign
    • Organize kitchen/bedroom/bathroom drawers and closets: keep, toss, yard sale piles
    • Refresh outdoor spaces: power wash, touch up patio paint, wash cushions, clean light fixtures
    • Wash windows and sliding doors

There are many other maintenance and general up-keep that we do on an as-needed basis.  For example, this spring, we are doing touch up painting on our interior.  We’ve been in our home for going on four years and it is definitely time!  I don’t schedule those things on a particular list anywhere; we simply try to fit them in where we can and when we really need to!

I am often asked how I keep our house so clean with all the other things I do.  The simple answer is that I try really hard to never let it get too bad.  Is it a perfect system?  Nope.  Does it always happen exactly how I’d like?  Definitely not.  Is it always a work in progress?  Absolutely!

Different seasons of life also require different cleaning styles and schedules.  With our kids’ ages, things get dirty unbelievably fast.  The flip side is that they are also old enough to help out.  So right now, it feels like we are constantly cleaning and keeping up.  I also know that in the blink of an eye, we will be sitting in a quiet home that stays more clean than we want it to, with all the time in the world to clean…an already clean house!

To me, the two keys for “spring cleaning” are:

 

  1. Create daily habits for your entire family. Everyone feels better in a tidy, clean home.
  2. Fit cleaning into YOUR schedule. Most of us don’t have entire days to devote to cleaning.  Schedule out those bigger “spring cleaning” tasks over time, try to stick to your schedule, and offer lots of grace for yourself! 

The teacher in me must also say that I am a big believer in helping children develop a good work ethic.  Over 16 years of teaching, it is an area of emphasis that is slipping.  Our kiddos are far from perfect and we have to remind them all too often of their chores.  I don’t have adult children and I can’t say our theory will pay off.  But my hope is that by learning the intrinsic reward of hard work, we will send out three young adults that give quality contributions to the world around them.  Running the vacuum after dinner or wiping down the table is a small thing…but I hope that it eventually leads to a much greater ability to be a productive adult someday.

You can CLICK HERE for my spring cleaning checklist!  I left lots of space for you to personalize it and add those things that are specific to your home and family needs.  I hope it helps you to break down the tasks and make your cleaning a non-stressful, habitual part of your family life!

Now…off to check my own list and see what little task I can complete today!

Blessings,

Robyn

How to Style a Gallery Wall for Spring

How to Style a Gallery Wall for Spring

How to Style a Gallery Wall for Spring

​Spring décor can feel a little tricky on those years where Easter falls “early”, as it did this year!  How do you decorate with a spring feeling when you’re ready to put away the bunnies?  Well, first, a little story:

Last year, when we were home allllllllll spring (just like most of you were!), we spent a lot of time outside.  One day, we noticed that a cardinal had made a nest on the old basket-turned-light fixture under our gazebo.  The kids checked it every day and we turned into avid bird watchers!  To be honest, it was incredibly refreshing to be spending so much time at home and be so much less busy that we had time for these moments.  The kids were excited to find the baby birds had hatched and one morning in early May of 2020, we spent a couple of hours just sitting outside, watching as the baby birds got ready to take their first flight.

One baby cardinal seemed to struggle.  I remember getting tears in my eyes, watching both the mommy and daddy cardinal fly in and out, over and over and over, coaxing and encouraging their baby.  All of the other babies had flown away.  Slowly, but surely, the baby cardinal made its way further out to the edge of the wire light fixture, eventually to the edge of the gazebo, and then took off awhile later.

The tears weren’t because I am a bird-lover.  Honestly, I guess I’ve never paid a whole lot of attention.  But that day, that baby cardinal got my attention.  How gently, yet firmly, that mommy and daddy cardinal worked to give the baby the courage to take flight.  How gently, yet firmly, God works with each of us…giving us just what we need, understanding our fears, nudging us toward freedom

Around that same time of being home 24/7, I was redecorating anywhere and everywhere.  I always find peace and enjoyment in being creative and we did a lot of it as a family.  I came across a vintage Birds of America book that I had tucked away.  I wanted to find a picture of the cardinals to show the kids and as I browsed through, I got so much spring decorating inspiration from the beautiful drawings. 

I redecorated our mantel and gallery wall using some of the vintage audobon prints.  It doesn’t take a lot of something like that to make a statement in a room!  I found prints that had warm tones to blend in with my terra cotta pots and brass accents.  I used two gold frames from my décor storage and taped the audobon prints inside.  They had a framed look without any extra expense and without having to cut the prints either!

Fast forward to April of 2021…Easter is past, the bunnies are put away, and I’m breaking out the vintage audobon décor again!  I’ve been enjoying some touches of light blue this spring, so I chose a couple of prints from my Birds of America book that have more of the cool tones.  I love how they still mix beautifully with some brass accents, but I’m replacing the terra cotta with lots of white, light grays, and light blues.

Since the wall in our family room is such a focal point and sets the tone for the rest of our main living spaces, I decided to start with this room.  So, yes, I’m restyling the gallery wall again for spring, but now you understand why!

Here’s what is going on my gallery wall:

French Lavabo

 

What, exactly, is a French lavabo?  Well, according to a quick google search, these wall-mounted sinks date back to the early 1900s.  They were made out of cast iron and hung on the outside wall of European homes.  They were used for hand washing before coming inside.

I need a lavabo with running water outside my door.  Anyone else relate???  Ha!

French lavabos are so fun to decorate with and I was thrilled to find this one last year from White Flower Farmhouse.  You can find some similar ones HERE, HERE, and HERE!

For my spring décor, I decided to hang this over the mantel and fill it with greenery and flowers!  I started with fresh greenery branches from my yard.  I simply added a little glass of water in the bottom of the lavabo and the fresh branches will stay looking beautiful for weeks!  Since they are in a place where they aren’t touched, they will just turn a deeper green once they begin to dry and I can leave them right where they are!

Next, I added a few white blooms from Flower and Home Marketplace.  These long stems are so perfect for big arrangements and the nice thing about great faux flowers is that you can bend them around until they fit perfectly where you need them!

Before adding the last layer, I took some brown kraft paper and scrunched it around the top of the lavabo.  This gave me a base to add some moss.  Allowing a bit to “spill” over the edges of the lavabo adds a more realistic and whimsical look to the flower arrangement.

When arranging flowers, whether faux or fresh, I like to remember that flowers and plants don’t grow with perfect, symmetrical shapes in nature.  We are drawn to wildflowers in nature because of their natural look.  The same is true for the flowers you assemble in your own home!  A little bit of irregularity and imperfection helps any floral arrangement to feel like you plucked it straight out of nature!

Audobon Prints

 

You can pay a lot of money for beautifully framed prints and they can be found lots of places, from big-box home décor stores to antique malls.  I found my Birds of America book at the thrift store and I love that it gives me so many choices of prints, plus it’s just a really pretty coffee table book too!

Keep an eye out at flea markets, antique malls, and thrift stores!  Many editions of these books have been printed and they are full of beautiful prints!  I carefully pulled out the prints that tied into my décor and taped them into vintage frames!

You can also find some nice copies of the Birds of America books HERE, HERE, and HERE!

Antique Nets

 

I love adding unusual items to a gallery wall and even more so when they provide extra texture.  For spring and summer, the light color and style of these nets adds a soft texture.  I got lucky on these and found them at Rehab Vintage Market last spring when they were doing porch pick-up sales!

You could add the same kind of look with baskets or canvases.  Flat and shallow baskets make such great wall décor and you can often find them very inexpensively at thrift stores!  In fact, I think all of my baskets have come from thrift stores!  I’ll link a few online basket wall options for you as well!

Other Items to Use in Gallery Walls

 

Empty frames, architectural salvage, vintage signs, and vintage mirrors are always my go-to items for gallery walls and mantel décor.  I like to choose one or two general colors and then mix different materials in those colors.  White, wood tones, and antiqued gold are great choices that go with everything!  You can make a neutral color palette interesting and exciting by adding items with great patina and a variety of textures!

I always watch for these kinds of items when I’m out vintage hunting, thrifting, yard sales, and at flea markets!  You can find out more about that over on these posts HERE & HERE.

Whenever I’m out thrifting, I always look for these kinds of items and if I really love them AND the price is right?  I grab them!  Over the years, I’ve collected a nice stash of these “fillers” that I love and enjoy using.  It makes it easy to restyle and refresh without spending any money, just by shopping my own home!

Spring Mantel Décor

 

Since I have a lot going on with the gallery wall, I kept the mantel décor very simple with a few vintage books in the white, light blue, and gray tones.  I added some vintage brass swans to carry over the audobon theme and a couple of simple, white pots with plants.  My plant babies seem to be loving this mantel spot and thriving, so I decided to leave them right there!

You can find several more spring mantel décor ideas HERE.

I hope this gives you some inspiration to refresh and restyle your home, even in simple ways, during this spring season!

And you’ll be happy to know…the momma cardinal came back, made another nest, the baby cardinals have been born, and we are watching closely to see if we can catch their first flights again this year!

Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.  So don’t be afraid, You are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”  Matthew 10:29, 31

 

Blessings,

Robyn

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

We had so much fun this week updating our girls’ room. I love architectural salvage pieces and we incorporated one in their room! Not only that, I shared how to arrange some spring floral arrangements and all about a great gallery wall. From all of these fun things, I gathered some items similar to what I incorporated to share with you. Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

 

Spring Greenery

 

If you have followed me very long at all, you know that I LOVE greenery! Eucalyptus is one of my favorites! So, for me this adorable eucalyptus wreath is a must have!

Vintage Books

 

Vintage books are a staple in my decor collection! I use them everywhere and love using different colored ones to help create a look of change for the seasons. These light-colored ones are perfect for spring!!

Baskets

 

Vintage baskets are just the most fun! This one is from Target and isn’t actual vintage, but seems vintage inspired. It would be a cute add to any spring decor and could be used for storage! I love when a decor item is also functional!

Linen

 

I have used linen a lot this season! It’s so perfect for so many things! I love this blue striped piece I found on H&M! So fun and so perfect for french spring decor!

Vintage French Bottle Dryer

 

Pieces like this are so fun! They are just unique and add a french vintage flair! I love this one from Etsy!

Vintage Price Tags

 

How cute are these? These would be so fun to add to plants. They are just so simple and sweet! These from Etsy are just perfect!

Vintage French Bottle

 

I love pieces like this! The glass is beautiful! There are so many things you can do with something like this. It works well as a vase or it can help add a different texture to a shelf. I love this one from Etsy.

It’s so fun to share my shopping finds with you!  The joy is in the hunt! I hope you all find that perfect touch this weekend to make your house feel like home!  

I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Blessings,

Robyn

Gallery

DIY Architectural Salvage Shelf

DIY Architectural Salvage Shelf

DIY Architectural Salvage Shelf

Without a doubt, architectural salvage is the number one thing I look for when I’m vintage hunting!  You can find a lot more about my vintage hunting lists and favorite places to look HERE and HERE.  I use it all throughout our home and I love all the character it adds.  In fact, one of my audience questions for the month of April is how to add character to a builder-grade home.

#1 TIP: Add Architectural Salvage!!!

Old doors, corbels in door openings, reclaimed wood, chippy door headers…all things that you can find (with some patience!) and add so much character to any home!

Back in January, we gave our girls’ room a mini-makeover, trading out their blush and pink accessories for some light blue options they chose.  When I came across this gorgeous, chippy architectural salvage piece with the light blue and gray tones, I just knew we had to try and make it work in their room!

It ended up being the perfect addition to their space, giving it just a bit of an “older girl” look, a space to display a few special items, added a touch of their color, and added a lot of character!  Since I know they are going to want to change things around, I keep the basics of the room more neutral.  But I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to add such a pretty statement piece to their room!

There’s the why and what!  Here’s the how:

How to Turn Architectural Salvage Into a Shelf

 

This piece makes the perfect shelf because of the wide ledge (about 8 inches) and the corbel-like supports.  Here’s how we did it:

  • We placed the shelf on the wall for placement (making sure it was level). We put small pencil marks on the wall at the two upper corners to mark the location.
  • We then ran painters tape the width of the shelf four inches below the corner marks. You could use more or less than 4 inches depending on the size of the piece.
  • With the tape still on the wall, we located the studs & marked them with a little hole through the tape. A stud finder is helpful here!
  • Once we took the tape down, we installed heavy screws into the wall at the marks in the step above. Leaving about half an inch of the screw exposed makes it much easier to hang later!
  • We then fastened the tape to the back of the shelf (four inches below the top edge). Using the small holes to mark the studs, we screwed in two D-rings to the back of the shelf.
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  • Once the hard work was done, we added some decorative gold hooks to the face of the salvage.
  • Finally, we carefully hung the shelf on the wall by lining up the D-rings with the screws.

How to Style Your Architectural Salvage Shelf

 

This piece was a great opportunity for some cute hooks for the girls’ nice hats and jackets.  I found these antiqued brass hooks for such an inexpensive price.  However, the screws were too long for the salvage piece.  So we used shorter screws that we had on hand and I turned them to antique gold in just a quick minute with an antique gold paint pen.

I wanted the hook styling to be casual and functional.  Payton loves to wear this jacket a lot and I love how it adds another shade of the lighter blue tones to their room as well!  I paired it with a vintage straw hat that I picked up at a market and with Addy’s monogrammed hat from Easter last year.  Little personal touches that add some whimsy to the space!

On top of the shelf, I added the following items:

  • Vintage mirror
  • Vintage gold frame
  • Vintage light blue and light green books
  • Vintage brass bunny
  • One trophy for each of the girls’
  • Small plaque from Payton’s “Camper of the Year” award

We haven’t had a good place to display some of these special pieces in their room, so I was really happy about adding these!  They have a lot more trophies, but we chose a couple of the smaller ones (and not the bright red or bright blue ones!).  It’s nice to have a little of these reminders of hard work out on display in kids’ spaces!

I am still on the hunt for a nice art piece to put up on the shelf, but for now, the mirror does a great job of keeping things bright by bouncing around a little light.  The gold frame helps tie in the antique gold hooks and a few other gold accessories in their room.  Of course, I always love vintage books too!  They are a perfect way to add a touch of color into a room.  I always look for these at thrift stores, flea markets, and antique malls!  The girls’ picked these books out and I love the touch of color they add here!

This vintage brass bunny is a fun way to keep the room “young” and ties in with the vintage bunny chandelier.  I thought the girls’ might say they wanted to get rid of  the chandelier when we were redoing things, but they still love it and so I’ll leave it up as long as I can!  I really do love how just the simple brass bunny connects with the chandelier and adds a common theme…without being a thematic room! 

Kids’ spaces are common places to have themes, which isn’t all bad, for sure!  It can be challenging to bring their chosen themes into a space in subtle ways, and mix-and-match vintage items definitely help a room feel curated over time rather than bought all at once from the same aisle of a big-box store!

I layered the mirror and frame against the wall and added the book stacks in front.  By setting the brass bunny in front of the mirror, it doubles the statement and helps it stand out more!  I balanced out the book stack and bunny with the girls’ trophies for a personal touch.

While I see this being a space where they switch things out from time to time, I love that the overall look of the architectural salvage piece will add character and charm, no matter how they style the top!  It will also be a fun spot for some seasonal touches!

Where Can I Buy Architectural Salvage?

 

You can find some of my favorite online architectural pieces below.  These are one-of-a-kind finds, but always worth the investment!  Whether in small touches like candlesticks or huge wall décor, architectural salvage will add so much to your home!

I look for salvage pieces at vintage markets, boutique home décor shops, flea markets, and antique malls.  You may even get lucky with an occasional thrift store find!  And then there are really great online options as well.  Many online vendors offer free shipping, so you can still get a great piece shipped to you for a reasonable price!

I can’t wait to see the what, why, how, and where for YOUR next architectural salvage piece!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

I am so excited for Easter! We have been decorating our home and doing all kinds of Easter activities! One of my favorite things I did this week was a garden themed Easter tablescape! I have several things I loved using in my Spring and Easter decor and wanted to share those with you. Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

 

Terracotta Pots

 

These are so fun! What a cute way to get a spring look and so cheap and easy!  I especially love these ones with a weathered look to them. They are from Etsy and would make a great addition to your spring decor.

Corbels

 

I know these were on my list of favorites last week, but I just love corbels! They are just the perfect architectural salvage vintage piece! I found this really unique set that I just had to share with you guys!

 

Baskets

 

How fun are wicker baskets? They add such a cute vintage touch and are also functional! I love this one from Etsy. It would be perfect to put a bouquet of spring flowers in and would add so much to any space! 

Linen

I have used linen a lot this season! It’s so perfect for so many things! You can use it to add texture to a tablescape with linen napkins or table runners. I love this blue striped piece I found on H&M! So fun and so perfect for french spring decor!

 

Terrariums

 

It is so fun to use terrariums to set up miniature “gardens! You can add moss and fake plants to make such a cute and classy little display! These great glass ones from H&M are just adorable!!

I hope you have a great time finding inspiration with my Friday favorites!  Have a great Easter weekend & please feel free to leave a comment down below!

Blessings,

Robyn

7 Ideas for Meaningful Easter Activities with Your Kids

7 Ideas for Meaningful Easter Activities with Your Kids

7 Ideas for Meaningful Easter Activities with Your Kids

I absolutely LOVE Easter!  And I really make an effort to make it special for my children, both with meaningful activities to help them remember why we celebrate Easter, along with fun experiences that help us make a few extra holiday memories.

I can’t recall where I first heard this and I don’t even remember the actual quote.  But the idea is that, as moms and caregivers, WE get the privilege of molding and shaping our children’s memories about special events and occasions.  WE get the privilege of creating experiences that they will hopefully remember.  And even if they don’t always remember the actual activities or experiences, they will never forget that you cared and that you tried!  That has really stuck with me over the years and is why I do my best, with the time and resources I have, to make holidays special.

When Easter falls early, like it does this year, it feels extra challenging to fit in alllllll the things.  Am I right?!?!  I’m looking at the calendar now, thinking there is no way we will do everything I want to do.  However, we will enjoy what we can and save the rest for another season.

Here are a few family favorites along with some new things I want to try also!!!

Resurrection Garden

 

Materials:

  • Large terracotta saucer
  • Potting soil
  • Sticks
  • Twine
  • Smooth rock
  • Extra small terra cotta pot
  • Cat grass seed (we used two packets)
  • Spray bottle or spritzer for water

Last year was the first year we made a Resurrection Garden.  And guess what…it didn’t really get to growing very much until after Easter.  Chances are high that if you start this today, yours won’t grow until after Easter either!  Ha!  But, you can still get the message across through setting up your garden and enjoy it all through the spring!

Here’s how we made our garden:

 

Step One:

After gathering our materials, we laid the extra small terra cotta pot on it’s side and filled around and on top with potting soil.   Make it nice and thick!  We left about 1/3 of the saucer with just a thin layer of soil, in front of the opening of the terra cotta pot.

 

Step Two:

We broke sticks for the three crosses and tightly wrapped twine to hold them together.  We stood these up in the dirt, right behind the terra cotta pot.

 

Step Three:

We spread the cat grass seeds evenly over the potting soil and then spread a thin layer of potting soil over the top of the seeds.  The first year that we did this, I think we buried the seeds too deep and it took extra long to get any sprouts of grass!

Step Four:

We put small pebbles around that 1/3 of the saucer in front of the terra cotta pot.

 

Step Five:

We placed the large, smooth rock partway in front of the terra cotta pot.  This creates the look of the stone, rolled away from the tomb.

 

Step Six:

We placed our garden in a sunny spot, spritzed it with water every day, and waited!

 

So even if you’re garden doesn’t grow before Easter, this is a great chance to discuss the Easter story with your children and enjoy for the spring months.  I love that while Easter is a scheduled holiday, the Easter message can be part of our lives every day!

Easter Baskets

 

Easter baskets are a big deal and a fun tradition for our kiddos.  I love putting them together and shared all the details HERE .  You may get lucky with many Amazon items still arriving in time for Easter!  But if not, here are a few of my favorite places to shop for Easter basket stuffers:

  • Target (especially the dollar spot!)
  • Dollar Tree
  • Altar’d State for my girls
  • Five Below
  • Pottery Barn Kids
  • Walmart
  • Grocery store!

Grab a cute basket from around your house, add some Easter grass, and fill it with some favorites.  If you want a more curated look, you can wrap larger gifts (Legos and books are favorites for my kids) and tuck some color-coordinated eggs around the basket.  Dollar bills and coins are the perfect, last-minute, non-candy basket stuffers!  My kids LOVE that, followed up with a trip to the dollar store or dollar spot!

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Easter Basket Scavenger Hunt 

 

As our kids are getting a little older, we have to get a little bit creative to make these things still extra fun!  I found this set of cute little paper egg scavenger hunt ideas in the Target dollar spot a few years ago.  I just recycle them each year and use the blank ones to change things up.  However, you could create this with just strips of paper, rolled up in plastic Easter eggs!  We give each child their starting “egg” with instructions.  We usually do about 5 or 6 eggs for each child before they eventually find their Easter basket, but you could make it as big or simple as you want and also developmentally appropriate for their age.

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Remember…we are creating lots and lots of little moments that add up to special holiday memories?

Our kids are already talking about this years’ scavenger hunt, though I think we are going to have to up the game a little this year and make them work for it….just a bit!  Make it exciting!

Resurrection Eggs

 

I absolutely love this fun Resurrection Egg set for kids!  I first got it to use in the Children’s Ministries at our church and found that my own kids enjoyed it also.  I am using it in my classroom this year and it is a great way to engage children in the Easter message!  I love that it has a little booklet with it to guide you.  This is a great set to use as an Easter gift, as well, and then enjoy for many years to come!

Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt

 

For TWO YEARS, I’ve had this on my list to do…and we just didn’t get around to it.  So this year, I’m determined to make it happen.  I don’t have any pictures to share of our actual experience, but hold me accountable!  Haha!  I think this will be especially fun now that my kids are a little older.  Traditional Easter egg hunts aren’t quite as exciting, though I’m going to share some ways to still make it fun for older kids too!  You can find the Glow in the Dark Eggs HERE…and Amazon should still get them to you by Easter!!!  These would be fun to use even unfilled, which is what we will probably do!

Egg Decorating

 

I admit…this hasn’t always been my favorite.  When my kids were really small, it seemed like I did most of the work and the mess was hardly worth it.  So, moms, if you’ve got littles…opt for some paper eggs and crayons or wooden eggs and washable markers.  They will have just as much fun…and you can enjoy the little moments rather than spending an hour cleaning up afterward!

Now that my littles aren’t so little anymore, we have a lot more fun dying eggs and decorating them.  To make it simple, I let them each choose one egg decorating kit.  Then, they can trade, mix and match, etc. as they go.  This year, Target had some super cute kits!  Since our Easter weekend is going to busy with family visiting, we went ahead and had some fun with the eggs and I thought they turned out so cute!

Easter Desserts

 

While I always miss the days of having babies and toddlers around, I am fully and happily embracing these ages where they can be independent!  Payton made some amazing Easter cupcakes last weekend and shared all the details HERE .  We also like to do simple cookie decorating with the pre-made kits like this one

Remember…we are creating lots and lots of little moments that add up to special holiday memories?

Your cookies don’t have to be gourmet…they may not even be very beautiful…and they definitely don’t have to be fancy.  But making the memory is what counts, so whatever that looks like for you…just do it!

There are so many fun and cute Easter desserts out there and you can find some of my favorite ideas HERE.

No matter how many activities you do, how pretty your Easter baskets are, or if all the candy melts before it’s found…if a random chocolate stain ends up on that special outfit (before you even get to church)…if the Easter snapshots look more like a circus…I hope you find some special way to celebrate this beautiful and meaningful holiday.  I am so deeply grateful for the gift of Easter and how it can be celebrated in our hearts and lives every day of the year.

 

Blessings,

Robyn

Three Mantel Styling Ideas for Spring

Three Mantel Styling Ideas for Spring

Three Mantel Styling Ideas for Spring

Before we can style our mantel, let’s talk about spelling.  I made good grades in school, but I still have to double check with my word-wizard husband every now and then to see if I’m spelling it correctly!  You too?  Oh good!

According to Webster’s Dictionary:

“Keeping mantel and mantle straight is relatively simple.  Mantel in modern English largely does one job: it refers to the shelf above a fireplace.

Mantle, on the other hand, does many jobs.”

Such as:

  • “a literal cloak”
  • “a figurative cloak symbolizing authority or importance”
  • “general covering in literary uses”
  • “middle layer of the Earth between the crust and the inner core”

There is a catch, though, says Merriam-Webster:

“Mantle is sometimes used to refer to the shelf above a fireplace as well—that is, as a synonym of mantel.”

So, basically, you can spell it whichever way you like!  And feel smarter in the process!

More importantly, let’s get them styled!!!

My key ingredient for mantel styling is to create layers.  This is a wonderful place to add a lot of texture and character with architectural salvage, vintage mirrors, and artwork.  Accessories such as greenery, candlesticks, and vintage books are always my go-to pieces. 

Mantel styling can be as full or as minimal as you prefer for your own home.  No matter which style you choose, it is a fun place to be creative and think outside the box. 

For a more traditional look, you may consider a center statement piece, such as a large piece of art, salvage, or a mirror, and flank it with matching accessories.  The symmetry definitely gives that inviting look of traditional design.

For a more curated look, both vintage or modern, you may want to consider an asymmetrical design.  This is how I like to style mine and it allows me to use a wider variety of décor pieces too.

The other great thing about mantels is that it is perfectly acceptable to place them almost anywhere in your home!  We live in Florida and don’t have a fireplace.  We actually had one in our old house that we never used…not even once!  But I still love to decorate a vintage mantel and this one works great behind our sectional!  Think of them as really big, really wonderful vintage wall art!

Here are a few favorite looks for spring:

 

Spring Garden Mantel

 

I created this spring garden mantel last year and still remember how much I enjoyed it.  I used this piece of modern farmhouse art from @the.little.bird for my base.  You’ll notice that I intentionally off-centered it on the mantel.  I layered an arched salvage frame in a chippy white patina, along with a vintage gold mirror.  The three different sizes of these pieces worked well for layering and connected the different décor elements in the rest of the family room: white, wood, and brass.

For a vintage statement, I added this old water lilies sign.  This is a favorite vintage find from Rehab Vintage Market (a favorite vintage stop in Melbourne, Florida).

Visually, all the white pieces and reflective surface of the mirror felt light and didn’t overpower the room, though it filled the wall.  I love the collected look of these pieces together.

I added accessories of small, old terra cotta pots and plants for that garden vibe.  And of course, a bunny!  The Target Dollar Spot featured these terra cotta colored bunnies last year and I’m glad I grabbed a couple of them for those garden-like vignettes!  I also hung two faux terra cotta arrangements from the ceiling.  Since they are light weight, I was able to use a simple jute twine and thumbtack!

I finished off the accessories, with some faux eucalyptus stems and added height variation to the plants and terra cotta pots with some deconstructed books.

Spring Cottage Mantel

 

Notice that arched architectural salvage?  I used it again in this spring mantelscape!  If you follow along with me for long, you’ll notice that I use many of the same pieces over and over and over again!  This is the main reason that I love investing in unique, vintage items.  I am able to enjoy them in all seasons, mixed and matched in different ways, and styled with many different looks!

For this cottage-style mantel, I used a fun vintage find.  The “Cottages to Let” sign was an exciting splurge piece at an antiques show a few months ago.  These are exactly the kinds of pieces that I love investing in.  While it’s living on my mantel this spring, I think it would also be perfect in a bedroom, bathroom, or even porch décor!  When you find those pieces that you love so much, don’t be afraid to bring them into your collection!  I’d rather have this one sign that is so unique than 10 pieces of wall décor from a big-box store!

I layered a large rectangle frame with the chippy arch frame and a small white mirror, alongside the cottage sign.  While those are a lot of pieces, I feel like they work well together because they are all white and vary in size.  Perfect for layering!

I accessorized with some simple vintage book stacks, white and brass planters, and some fresh baby plants.

I like to mix the old and new together and these pots are a fun example.  The $10 Walmart pot on the right has fun texture while the vintage McCoy pot on the left adds a collected look.  A simple touch of brass with another plant adds a reflective element and breaks up all the white in a subtle way.

I love mixing old signs together and added this vintage insurance sign over the top.  While it isn’t spring-related, I love how the black and white signs and chippy patinas all work together!

Vintage signs are something that I am always looking for at antique malls, flea markets, thrift stores, vintage markets, and even boutique shops.  I mainly collect them in black and white, which allows me to mix and match them together for different looks.  It is a fun thing to collect and I love how they add some extra character to our home.

Spring Easter Mantel

 

It is easy to see here that I kept many of the same elements as my spring cottage mantel.  The main difference is that I added a couple of bunnies.

I love that Easter décor really is that simple!  A few well-placed rabbits are really all you “need” for some fun Easter vibes!

I rearranged the mantel somewhat, though.  You’ll notice that the cottage sign is switched to the other side and like I mentioned earlier, is off-centered.  This allows me to layer in some pieces for less-traditional, more collected kind of a look.

I replaced the large white frame with an antique gold one.  It is missing some pieces and is really chippy…just the way I like it!  I recently bought a stack of old frames from a vendor that has all of his items shipped in containers from France.  So while I can’t say for certain that is a French vintage item, there is a really good chance that it is and that just makes me happy!

I layered a smaller white frame (with some gold peeking through) and an even smaller blue-gray frame.  While these are not the same colors, they work together with commonalities of shape and style..

One of my favorite accessories for this mantelscape is the small architectural salvage piece.  It is a chippy trim piece and I just love the unique shape and patina on it.  I layered this in front of the cottage sign for a little extra character.

I added two white bunnies for a touch of Easter, along with the same books, plants, and pots from the spring cottage mantel.

For some extra Easter fun, I repurposed an Easter décor item that I’ve had for 10 years or so!  I got these eggs that spell “Happy Easter” from Pottery Barn many years ago and I love using them to decorate each year.  I like to cut bare branches from the yard and fill a vase, then add the eggs to the branches.

Fun fact: I had the perfect branch that we carefully moved…from two different houses…after our final move and renovation, my husband finally convinced me to toss the branch.  All of our items were in storage for several months, and I admit, a branch was kind of a silly thing to be carrying around.

But I still miss that branch.  It was the perfect size and shape!

So this year, I decided to hang the eggs on a piece of twine along the front of the mantel.  I love that the eggs kind of turn and do their own thing, so it’s a subtle “Happy Easter” and makes a simple statement.  I like how they almost just blend right in, but still giving it that Easter touch!

I hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration as you decorate your mantel for spring!  You could use these same ideas and concepts for decorating an entryway table, top of a cabinet, or shelf styling as well!

I am linking some similar items to some of the accessories I love to use, as well as some of my favorite neutral Easter décor, in case you’re on the hunt this weekend!

Happy Spring Decorating this weekend!

Blessings,

Robyn

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

This week seemed to be about all things french and vintage! I participated in a French farmhouse spring tour with some of my friends on Instagram and I also added some new Vintage items to my decor. Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

 

Grain Feed Sacks

 

These are so perfect for adding texture and a spring feel to your home. I found these on Etsy.  They are so cute and perfect! Grab them before they’re gone!

Corbels

 

I know these were on my list of favorites last week, but I just love corbels! They are just the perfect architectural salvage vintage piece! I found this really unique one that I just had to share with you guys!

 

Bunnies

 

I love all the bunnies that have been everywhere this spring! Not just the real bunnies, but all the cute decor bunnies showing up in our houses. I love this one from H&M! I have added so many of these cute little guys to my decor collection, and I know they will look great around your house too!

Fun Planters

This one is so unique and so fun! These greek goddess head planters are so cool! They look so classic but also will add such a fun element! I have loved using concrete planters in my spring decor this year and these ones are too good to not share!

 

Mortar and Pestle

 

I love Mortars and Pestles! They are just such an easy way to add a vintage feel to decor. I really love using these when I style shelves. I found this white one on Etsy that’s just so perfect!

I’m so excited to share these with you this week and I hope you like them as much as I do. What vintage items do you love? Feel free to leave a comment down below!

Tour Our Spring Home!

Tour Our Spring Home!

Tour Our Spring Home!

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature.  The assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter.” -Rachel Carson

 

At the heart of it all, I think that is why the change of each passing season brings a sense of refreshment to our homes and hopefully our hearts, as well.  I love decorating for each season and behind all the fun, is a deep desire to make our home a special place.  A place where the five of us feel safe, secure, a sense of belonging, and a desire to just be home.

I am so glad you joined me today for our spring home tour!  I hope it inspires you in your own journey to make home all the wonderful things we wish for!  Whether you are new here or have been following along for awhile, welcome!  I am so glad you’re here and I’m excited to share our tour with you, along with some incredible spring tours from some blogging friends!

If you’re hopping over from Kathryn at Up To Date Interiors, welcome!  Thanks for coming on over.  I absolutely love Kathryn’s tour and her incredible style!

So…come on in!  I’ll bring you through the side door, because that’s where all of our friends and family enter!  And if you are here, you are considered a friend now!

Spring is the perfect time here in Florida for all the outdoor refreshes and we try to get them in before it gets too hot!  Robb earned some brownie points by painting this door frame, touching up the front door, and install our new Eufy Smart Lock and Wifi System.  I added a new wreath and a new doormat too!  This space makes me smile instead of cringe when I pull in the driveway…that’s a good thing for “home”, right?!

We are going to just scoot right through the playroom because, well, I didn’t decorate for spring in there yet!  I am going to set up a little Easter party here for the kids next week, though so stay tuned over on my Instagram!

Family Room

 

I had so much fun in our family room for spring this year!  My two inspiration pieces for this room are this antique “cottage to let” sign and a chippy, blue, concrete urn.  Isn’t it funny how inspiration can strike with the most unusual things?  Both of these items were finds back in the winter months from an antique market we went to.  While the cottage sign was a splurge item and the concrete urn was a steal of a deal, both add just the touch of whimsy, color, and interest to this room that I was hoping for!

I paired the cottage sign with another black and white vintage sign and some antique French frames to create a gallery wall over our mantel.  I will be sharing all the details of this mantel styling in an upcoming blog post, along with three other mantel styling ideas, so stay tuned for that, coming up this weekend!

Keeping it all light, bright, and neutral allowed me to incorporate different vintage textures, but they all work together with a neutral color palette.   For a touch of Easter, I added some bunnies to the mantel.  Plants are my other staple décor item for spring!  I brought in several new plant babies to sprinkle spring touches throughout our entire home!

The concrete urn makes a statement in this antique wooden trough!  Paired with this H E A V Y coffee table, this whole setting isn’t budging!  Which is a very good thing, considering the nerf wars, wrestling matches, and everyday wear and tear of family life!  I added this gray rabbit to add an Easter touch to the coffee table and pull it altogether.  I love how it blends with the garden touch of the trough and concrete urn!

Kitchen

 

With each season, I love to add some simple, seasonal touches to our kitchen.  However, I always try to keep any kitchen “décor” functional.  My scale, for example, holds fruit to grab for quick snacks and my little French ironstone is ready with grapes…which I cannot seem to keep for more than 5 minutes these days, so it usually looks messy!  Ha!  My kids love grapes, so I do try to restock those often for their snacks!

I love this little wooden cubby box that I keep on my counter.  It is perfect for holding items that I like to use for quick tablescapes!  For spring, I have some woven trivets, vintage brass chargers, wooden bowls, and some European proofing bowls.  I keep those handy for holding bread or treats!

Other than keeping some fresh plants tucked around the kitchen, I just try to keep it clean and tidy!  That’s enough kitchen décor for me!

Dining Room

 

I had so much fun styling the dining room for Easter this year with the addition of this apothecary!  I was so inspired a few years ago by Liz Marie Galvan and her huge “Dressed Rabbit” sign!  I love the play on words and just makes for a fun touch.  I hung it on the front of the apothecary and added one more cute clearance bunny from Pottery Barn to the shelf.  The other Easter touch I added was these eggs cups.  Most of them are vintage and then there are a few new ones.  I added paper mache and wooden eggs.

I have a whole blog post with Easter tablescape ideas that you can find here.  I love styling up Easter and spring tables!  This one was really fun and I love the casual, vintage look!  I’ve never used copper for Easter before, but these cups were a fun flea market find and I enjoyed working them into my tablescape!  Stay tuned over on my Instagram for one more Easter tablescape next week!  I’ll be putting together a little more formal one for the holiday!

Music Room

 

This long apothecary is so fun to style!  We added it to our home last summer and I can’t imagine this space without it now!  Since every person in our family plays the piano and music is such a huge part of our lives, we took our formal living room and turned it into a music room.  This wall was such wasted space before.  Now, it holds this 10’ apothecary, which stores almost all of my “small” home décor pieces.  It is such a blessing to have this space functioning so well now!

To style this room, I added these gorgeous pillows from Hallstrom Home.  The gorgeous linen brightens and lightens up this space and adds such a pretty texture.  I have a coupon code for you too!  Use the code: ROBYNSFRENCHNEST for 10% your entire order.  I promise you’ll love these too.  They have different colors and sizes and I’m obsessed!

I used fresh branches from the trees in our yard to fill this big crock.  Adding these gorgeous floral stems from Flower and Home Marketplace.  They are tall, beautiful, and instantly turned this into a spring style!  The cute little, distressed rabbits are also from Flower and Home Marketplace.  They have some gorgeous seasonal and home décor products at great price points!

Back Dining Room

 

I know.  It’s a little unusual to have two dining rooms.  The fact is, we have this very, very long room at the back of our house.  We already had this 12’ farmhouse table from our old home and it fit perfectly.  We love eating here with the backyard view and so it has just become our “kitchen” table kind of space!

Harrison helped me make a fun centerpiece here with bare branches and these cute Easter ornaments, also from Flower and Home Marketplace.  In my vintage French trough, we added a large pothos plant and two tall rabbits.  I got this set at a market several years ago and they are so fun to pull out and use every spring!

For our buffet, this architectural salvage piece, with its’ perfectly chippy, blue-gray patina, was my inspiration!  I love this color so much and how it blends in with my gray rabbit, large sign from The Little Bird, French basket, and fiddle leaf plant! 

Special Treat for You Today!

 

I am so excited to be joining up with some blogging friends to share even more spring inspiration with you!  You won’t want to miss any of these tours.  I love how each home is so special and unique, filled with spring inspiration, and waiting for you to come on in!

I want you to click on over to my friend Jen from Midwest Life and Style.  You’re going to love the traditional style of Jen’s home, simple styling, and vintage elements she uses too!  Make sure to leave a comment and let her know how much she inspired you!  I know you’ll love her home!

Enjoy!  And Happy Spring!

Blessings,

Robyn

Bloggers Best Spring Home Tour

This week I'm joining some of my lovely blogging friends for the Bloggers Best Spring Home Tours! All week long we are welcoming you into our homes decorated for spring. You can visit each tour by clicking on the links below the images!

Monday's Tours

The Tattered Pew / Bricks n' Blooms / Fiddle Leaf Interiors

Shiplap and Shells / Cottage On Bunker Hill / Sweet Pea

Tuesday's Tours

The Ponds Farmhouse / My Thrift Store Addiction /Noting Grace

Open Doors Open Heart /The Flowering Farmhouse /Willow Bloom Home Blog

Wednesday's Tours

DIY Beautify / This Is Simplicite / Up To Date Interiors

Robyn's French Nest / Midwest Life and Style / Simply 2 Moms

Thursday's Tours

Dabbling and Decorating / First Day of Home / Sand Dollar Lane 

The Farmhouse Life / Aratari At Home / Pasha Is Home

Friday's Tours

White Arrows Home / Stonegable / Cottage In The Mitten

Follow The Yellow Brick Home/ Lora B Create & Ponder/ Lantern Lane Designs

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

I have had so much fun this week sharing what spring looks like around our house! We are enjoying spring break and getting ready to celebrate Easter. Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

Corbels

 

I just love corbels! They are one of those items that just make any space look vintage. The chippy paint ones are the best! I am always on the lookout for these when we go junking. If you see them out in the wild, grab them! But, if shopping from the comfort of your couch is more your thing, here are some that are available on Etsy!

Spring Throw Pillows

 

We just did a porch refresh and one of the simplest things we did was add new throw pillows! I have used cute throw pillows all through our home to make the space feel cozy and to add something new without having to make huge changes. I love this one from Magnolia Homes! I am using touches of this light blue color to add a spring feel to neutral spaces, so this pillow is so perfect for my decor this spring!

Spring Wreaths

 

If you have followed me for very long at all you know I love greenery! This spring, of course, I am incorporating greenery all throughout my home. I love this lavender and eucalyptus wreath from target! Such a simple piece that will look great in any home!

Antique Salvage Wood Toppers

I love these so much! Once again, such an easy way to add vintage touches to your home. These are perfect to add to vignettes.  Also, something I am always on the look out for at vintage markets. I love these ones!

Easter Baskets

I am so excited for Easter! I have lots of fun putting together Easter baskets for my kids. I bought these baskets several years back and I love them! They have held up great and they are so cute and classy!

I’m so excited to share these with you this week and I hope you like them as much as I do. I would love to hear about what you favorite things are during this spring season. Feel free to leave a comment down below!

Gallery

How to Shop for Vintage Home Décor

How to Shop for Vintage Home Décor

How to Shop for Vintage Home Décor

Good morning!  If you’re hopping over from my friend Kim at Shiplap and Shells, welcome!  Kim’s cottage style and vintage décor are always so inspiring and I am blessed to call her my friend!  I always love to see what vintage pieces she is coming up with and how she styles them in her home.

I’m so glad you clicked over to my blog post today!  I am sharing my biggest home décor passion…VINTAGE!

I can’t really say when my love for vintage and antiques started, but I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love them.  Even as a young girl, I remember styling up some old eyeglasses on my bookshelf and always loved rummaging through my Memaw and Papaw’s MANY antiques.  Memaw could literally tell you who gave her each thing, where she found it, what it was used for, what she paid for it, and more details than you maybe even cared to know!

So my family says I come by it honestly.  Funny how those unique quirks show up in a person many years later!

And I can already tell that our little Harrison is going to take after Memaw too!  He loves to roam around antique shops with me and is always full of questions!  I love having him along.

Sometimes we get really lucky!  I’ve definitely had those random, lucky finds over the years.  But some of my finds have come through patience, taking time to research and do my homework, and watching pro vintage-hunters!

Here are a few things I’ve learned from watching the experts:

5 Things Expert “Junkers” Do

 

  • A vintage pro always has measurements on hand for any pieces they may be hunting for and even general measurements of their home in case they come across “THE PIECE.”
  • A vintage pro carries a measuring tape. (This is how I know I haven’t arrived at the pro status.  I literally NEVER remember a measuring tape!  Ha!)
  • A vintage pro has a number in their head of general favorite items, what they are willing to spend, and if they are a seller, what they can sell an item for. This helps them to do #4 really well!
  • A vintage pro doesn’t overthink and makes quick decisions. (Another reason why I haven’t reached pro status!  Go ask my friend Beth from @oldetymemarketplace, who is a pro.  She learned to move on and stop waiting for me!). I am learning to get better at this though, because I can’t tell you the number of times when I’ve been indecisive and someone swooped in to grab a great deal…leaving me regretting my indecisiveness!
  • A vintage pro is able to look past what is and imagine what could be! Dirt, wrong color of paint, a little smelly, broken, or worn out….usually there is a solution if you are willing to put in some time and effort!

5 of My Favorite Vintage Finds

 
Chippy Concrete Urn

 

 This was a recent find that I shared recently over on my Instagram for Coffee Table Styling ideas!  On a recent junking trip, we were at the end of the day…out of space and finished off the trip budget.  We were on our way to the truck when I spotted this sweet little urn, half buried under dirt and muddy water. But I could see some of that light blue peeking through and for $20, I couldn’t pass it up!

I am enjoying it so much in my spring styling and I love the hint of spring color that it adds to my coffee table!  I always have a soft spot for a good, chippy patina and this concrete planter definitely has that going for it!

I also love finding versatile pieces like this one.  I could use it on tables, on the floor, outdoors, and in any room of the house…even a bathroom!  To me, those are pieces that area always worth investing in!

Antique Card Catalog

 

This was one of those pieces that I passed on.  I didn’t want to pay the asking price and I didn’t have a good idea of where it would go.  But back at the hotel, I started regretting my decision!  Once in a blue moon, indecisiveness pays off and I got lucky this particular time!  When we went back the next day, I was so excited to see the card catalog still sitting there and they dropped the price!

But it was smelly and covered in decades of dirt and grime.  As I mentioned, don’t let those things deter you from grabbing a good deal on a piece you love!  I shared how we restored this piece over on this post.

It looks so beautiful as a side table in our back living room and I’m still so happy that we found this piece of history

Antique Apothecary Cabinet

 

If you’ve followed me for awhile, you have probably caught on to my love for apothecary items!  I shared a lot more details of this incredible piece here (hyperlink to blog post about removing paint) and it’s a great example of not letting the “wrong” paint color keep you from a dream piece!  Some $1 oven cleaner and elbow grease turned this into a statement piece for our home!  It also has a super fun story behind it!

A great tip for finding vintage pieces is to follow store owners, pickers, and vintage vendors on their social media sites!  We found this piece when our friends from Baker & Co. posted it in a picture from their store.  A quick phone call got us some close up pictures and video and all the information we needed!  Spend time getting to know vendors and shop owners in your area.  And let them know what you’re looking for!  They are usually happy to write down your information and wish list items!  I love supporting small businesses and this is a wonderful way to do so, benefitting both the business and yourself too!

This piece is so fun to style and I know it’s one of those “forever” pieces for our home.  It also has amazing storage and works as a wonderful display cabinet in our dining room!

Vintage Signs

 

I definitely love collecting vintage signs and it something that I am always looking for!  This particular “Hamblen House Bed and Breakfast” sign caught my eye when we were on the World’s Longest Yard Sale!  The price was right and I thought I knew exactly where it could go in our home.

Fast forward to getting home, cleaning it up…and it didn’t fit!  So I took it to our next vendor market and since it didn’t sell, stashed it away in storage.  Not too many weeks later, I woke up in the middle of the night knowing exactly where it could fit!  And now it makes an incredible statement piece in our master bedroom!

This is a great example of grabbing those pieces that speak to you.  If you really love it, you can usually find a way to use it!  (Not talking about massive pieces that don’t fit in your home, of course!)

Vintage signs are a great way to add character and charm to your home.  I love to use them to decorate for different seasons.  Since they are flat, we store them in the attic between two rafters.  It is a fun way to switch out your décor and enjoy your collection!

I find my best vintage signs from vintage shops and antique shows.  While they typically are not cheap, they are great investment pieces that hold their value.  I have never found an amazing vintage sign at a thrift store, but I always look anyway…you never know!

Architectural Salvage

 

Great architectural salvage is something that is always on my “hunting” list!  I have so many favorites, but a recent find is this gorgeous blue-gray piece that I’m using in my spring décor.  I picked it up on a recent vintage shopping trip from a boutique vendor.  These are nice finds that have already been cleaned and fixed up!  I carried it straight inside and decorated!

I have tiny salvage pieces all the way up to big corbels and columns.  They are always fun to find and add so much character and charm to your home.  I love that architectural salvage fits so many design styles, from farmhouse to rustic, and cottage to traditional.  If you have a new(er) home, architectural salvage pieces are a perfect way to add some instant charm and help your home feel curated over time!

5 Places to Hunt for Vintage Décor

  • Boutique Vintage Shops:  These are small-businesses who have curated their store to create a certain look and feel.  I get some much inspiration from browsing shops like this!  In fact, if I’m feeling in a bit of a décor rut, there is nothing that helps me snap out of it like roaming through a favorite shop.  Two of my favorites that I’ve had the privilege of shopping at frequently are Olde Tyme Marketplace in Madison, Indiana and Rehab Vintage Market in Melbourne, FL.  I have soooo many pieces in our home from these two amazing stores!
  • Antique Malls:  These are always fun stops because you never know what you’ll find! There is almost always a huge variety, as the malls have lots of different vendors, each with their own style.  We always find some interesting things and there are usually some good laughs too!  You literally never know!  Make sure to look high and low in antique malls.  Crowded vendor booths usually have a hidden treasure or two!
  • Thrift Stores:  I make frequent stops at our local thrift store. In fact, most of my vintage books come from thrift stores!  Depending on the part of the country where you live, you can find great ironstone, baskets, dishes, and even furniture!  I often walk out empty-handed, but sometimes I score!  I recently picked up a stack of terra cotta pots for 49 cents each…and they all have that perfectly aged patina for decorating!
  • Flea Markets:  Be prepared to get a little dirty, sweaty, and messy, but I almost never leave empty-handed! If you go often enough, you can get to know some of the vendors and let them know what you’re looking for.  They may be delighted to go rummaging through their estate sale stashes back in their storage units and find just what you need!
  • Yard Sales:  I’ll admit, I haven’t been to a good one in a long time. But I’ve found fantastic things at yard sales before!  I remember years ago, probably 15 years or so now, buying an old, chippy window for $10 at a yard sale!  Chippy windows weren’t really a “thing” in the décor world then, but I loved it and decorated with it for the next 12 years!  I think I finally got rid of it when we were renovating.  Best $10 investment ever!

One more place to look for vintage items, especially in this world of technology, are from online shops and vendors.  I love how small businesses have gotten so creative over the past year and I’ve scored some amazing pieces!  Here are some places to hunt for vintage items online, along with some of my favorite online vendors:

I hope this gives you some ideas for your next vintage hunting trip, whether from your sofa or out walking the flea market fields!

Make sure to check out these vintage-loving friends listed below, learn their favorite tips and tricks, and how they use vintage items in their own homes! Next up on our vintage tour is Stacy from Bricks ‘N Blooms!  I can’t wait to see her vintage share today and I know you’re going to love her garden-inspired home and décor!

Blessings,

Robyn

Easter Basket Ideas for Kids and Teens

Easter Basket Ideas for Kids and Teens

Easter Basket Ideas for Kids and Teens

I literally love everything about Easter.  I love what it means for my faith and family.  I love the colors (yes, neutrals are still colors!  Ha!) and the simplicity of the décor.  I love the activities…dying eggs, making crafts, setting up little parties.  I love shopping for special Easter outfits for my family and I love finding the perfect things to delight my kiddos in their Easter baskets.

Do you remember our GIGANTIC Christmas Stockings? You can check out this post for some Easter basket ideas too, because I often look for the springtime versions of those same kinds of things!  It’s a great chance to refresh little personal items, art supplies, and accessories.  And I love to include some books, games, and inexpensive toys too!

My husband and I went shopping together for the kids’ Easter baskets (yes, he’s a Rockstar that did that with me on a Saturday night!).  I don’t know how many times I said to him, “This was so much easier when they were little!”  And it’s so true!  It was super easy to fill their basket with board books, baby toys, cute Peter Rabbit snacks, and always a plush bunny!

So…what do you put in an Easter basket for teens, tweens, and older kiddos???  I’m going to give you a shopping list!  But first, I like to plan my basket colors a little!

We have been using the same Peter Rabbit Easter baskets  for 11 years!  I love that they are a tradition and that I don’t have to spend money on a basket

How to Plan Your Easter Basket for that Picture-Perfect Look

 

  1. Choose a color scheme
  2. Choose a basket that coordinates

NOTE:  there are as many different ways to plan and style Easter baskets as anyone could imagine.  This is just what I enjoy doing!  You may choose to do a themed basket based on a particular interest or hobby, which is really sweet and fun too! 

We have been using these same Peter Rabbit Easter baskets for about 11 years.  It is a fun tradition to pull out each year.  These were definitely a great little investment that have saved me a lot of money over the years!  And you really can’t go wrong with Peter Rabbit.  No matter my color scheme or theme, it goes with everything springtime-related!

Speaking of color schemes, I do get a little obsessive about that!  I start with choosing special Easter outfits for my family.  I found some great Vineyard Vines pink gingham shirts for the guys this year, so we made pink and white our main color theme.  Addy is the colorful one in our bunch and loved a flowered dress with all the spring colors.  It will look so sweet with her basket too!

Knowing that I wanted to focus mainly on the pink and white color family, that helped direct my shopping list a bit.  Since I only get what fits in the basket…and they aren’t as big as our Christmas stockings…I get to be really choosy about what I actually purchase!  The other thing I love is that, for our family, it is simple gift giving.  Our kids aren’t expecting big, elaborate things.  We just enjoy the simplicity of the little things!

Back to my colors….

 

I chose this super cute Easter grass in the warm colors.  Target makes it so easy with the matching plastic eggs too.  I plan for one bag of grass for each basket and I’ll share a video in this post of how I use it to make our baskets look full and pretty!

Next, it was off to hunt for items that I know my kids will love…and hopefully find some in those warm colors.  Focusing on the pinks, light yellows, and coral allows for some variety, but still all coordinating.  I’m a stickler about those Easter Sunday morning pictures!!!

We found some perfect items and I’m having a hard time waiting until Easter to give my kids their baskets!!!

Let’s start with the hardest one first:  Teenagers!

Teenage Guys:

 

I have no experience with teenage boys (I only have 5 more years until that!), except to say that for my nephews’ stockings, they wanted FOOD.  There is apparently no limit to the amount of beef jerky a teenage boy can consume! 

Here are a few other ideas though:

  • Book by a favorite author
  • Amazon gift card
  • iTunes gift card
  • Airpods case
  • Swim trunks
  • Athletic shirt or shorts
  • Favorite sports socks

Teenage Girls:

 

I had so much fun with Payton’s Easter basket this year!  I’ll link up the things I can here and then some other ideas too!

These are some of the things I found that I know she will enjoy and went with our color scheme:

Tween Girls:

 

These sweet tween years…still loving the plush animals but enjoying big-girl stuff too!  Addy is so much fun to buy for and we found some cute things for her Easter basket as well!

Boys:

 

Harrison’s gifts seem to be getting larger and it was a little challenge to find things that fit well into his basket, but I think he is going to love it!

One tip: if you are going for a particular color scheme, grab a roll of kraft wrapping paper (hyperlink) and wrap any of those must-have items that don’t quite match.  I tie them with twine and tie some of the matching Easter grass into the bow to give it a fun look!

Easter Books:

 

My kids are getting a little old for some of these, but here are a few Easter books that would look beautiful in any Easter basket and be enjoyed for years to come!

Easter Themed Toys and Activities:

 

Here are a few favorites that I use in my classroom for younger children, though the Resurrection Egg set is great for kids of all ages!

The most important part:

 

As you are planning your Easter celebrations, I hope that past the picture-perfect (or not so perfect) moments, past the candy in the eggs, and plush Easter bunnies, you’re able to celebrate the incredible hope of the Resurrection Story.

 

“Don’t believe things can change?  Just look at Palm Sunday- to Good Friday – to Resurrection Sunday.  Always believe.  Always keep hoping.  Things can change.”

Ann Voskamp

 

Blessings,

Robyn

How to Style Your Dough Bowl for Spring

How to Style Your Dough Bowl for Spring

How to Style Your Dough Bowl for Spring

One of my most frequently asked questions is where I store all of my décor.  You can find a lot of details about that over on this post.  I also like to follow that up with the fact that I don’t have just a ton of extra pieces, well, large pieces that is (And even if you ask my husband…he would say that I have a lot of extra, but not a ton!). I really love to keep my big pieces, such as dough bowls, always in rotation.

For larger décor items, I like to invest in pieces that I can use in a variety of ways, in at least a few different rooms, and style differently for seasons.

One of my favorite kinds of all-season, all-purpose décor are vintage dough bowls!  There really are so many different and fun ways to style them, so let’s take a look at a few spring and Easter ideas!

First of all, it’s important to mention that dough bowls come in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, and even color.  How you style your dough bowl depends a lot on the size and shape.  My large dough bowl is an antique.  My mom got it for me for Christmas several years ago and found it at an antique mall.  I also have a smaller, reproduction dough bowl.  It still has great patina and you can usually find reproduction bowls for a great price too.  I’ll link some favorite bowls in varying sizes and price points at the end of this post!

Now, let’s get to styling!

Spring Bunny Dough Bowl Styling

 

Can you really even have Easter and spring décor without bunnies?  No?  I didn’t think so either!  So let’s add some to those dough bowls!  This makes a great table centerpiece, but is also perfect for a coffee table or console table too!

Here are a few ways to add bunnies to your dough bowl:

#1:

Line your dough bowl with some green moss.  I used this inexpensive live moss but you could also use faux moss.  Spanish moss is another really pretty option!

Next, add one larger bunny or a grouping of 2 or 3 bunnies to the middle of your bowl.  Depending on the size of your bowl, add a couple of baby plants on each side of the bunnies.

#2:

Add a vase of fresh eucalyptus and/or flowers to the center of your dowl bowl.  Consider using a pair of matching bunnies and add one to each side of the vase.

#3:

 

For a more asymmetrical look, add a larger plant to your dough bowl, offset to the side.  On the other side of your dough bowl, add either a larger single bunny or a grouping of smaller bunnies.  If you have a plant that has tendrils, consider working a long tendril around the bunnies to pull it altogether.  This is a great way to utilize some of those indoor house plants and still add an Easter statement to your centerpiece!

Any of these bunny options could be altered, tweaked, and restyled in so many different ways.  These are a few of my favorites, but I’m always switching it up a little too!

Spring Flowers Dough Bowl Styling

 

Dough bowls are a great opportunity to take your flower arrangements to a whole new level!  Anytime I’m working with flowers and greenery, I always like to think outside the box a little and use unique vessels to hold my arrangement.  Dough bowls may not be your first thought of a floral arrangement vessel, but they can actually work incredibly well!

#1:

(If you are used to working with florals in your décor, you may feel more confident with this idea.)

Use a shallow, plastic plant liner in the bottom of your dough bowl.  Inside the liner, place a piece of floral foam.  For fresh flowers, keep this soaked with water.  If you are doing faux stems, it is obviously a little easier!  Using the floral foam to anchor your flowers, build an arrangement.  There isn’t a “right” way, just keep playing with it until you love it.  To cover the foam, I like to start with a base of greenery and then insert my flowers.  For a dough bowl arrangement, this will work best as a low, flat floral arrangement (which is also great for a centerpiece!). You’ll need to cut the stems as you go, keeping the blooms fairly tight together.  It is important to make sure the foam is covered, as seeing that part isn’t quite as pretty.

After making your arrangement, take some moss and cover around the plastic liner.

#2:

 

For a much more simple and budget-friendly way to style my dough bowl with spring flowers, I used these white, faux tulips.  They are so realistic and I have even used them in the same room as real tulips, with no one ever realizing there was a difference!  They are definitely worth investing in, as you can use them all season long and save them for next year!  I have several bunces and I use them all throughout our home in the spring.

I lined up three French canning jars in my dough bowl and added some water for a realistic touch.  Next, I made little arrangements with the faux tulips.  There is something about a collection that makes a statement and you simply can’t go wrong with a row of matching tulips arrangements in pretty jars!

This styling would work perfectly with mason jars too and you can find those at the dollar store!

It would also be so pretty with vintage soda bottles lined up and a simple tulip stem in each one!

With florals, you can really go as big or as simple as your time and budget allow.  As much as I would love to make it to the store each weekend for a fresh bouquet of flowers, that doesn’t always happen.  Having some faux options on hand is always nice.  I also use whatever is blooming around me.  Simple greenery from my yard or branches from our trees is a super budget-friendly way to make arrangements too!

Books and Bunnies Dough Bowl Styling

 

I could have grouped this idea with the spring bunnies, but I wanted to go into more detail about using old books in dough bowls. It is one of my very favorite ways to style a dough bowl.  I love the juxtaposition of the hard wood and paper pages.  I also love the layered textures.  Mostly, I just love vintage books and am always looking for fun ways to style them.  You can see more book styling ideas here.

For spring, I like to combine some vintage books with bunnies!  This is a fun one to play around with and depending on the size and shape of your dough bowl, you can come up with a lot of different ways to style it!

For my dough bowl, I stacked deconstructed books in a random pattern around my dough bowl.  If you don’t have deconstructed books, hit up your local thrift store and find some cheap paperback books.  I look for ones with the older-looking pages. Rip the covers off and style away!

On top of my deconstructed books, I placed one larger rabbit.  I love how this one is laying down and it just seemed to fit nicely with the books.  For a little extra touch, I snipped a few branches from my yard, but a few stems of faux eucalyptus would be pretty, too. The greenery helps soften it all up a bit!

A fun twist on this styling would be to use a collection of small bunnies and place on top of the books, all around your dough bowl.  This would be a fun way to feature a special collection!  Placing them on the books helps to elevate the bunny so it can be seen and helps to visually fill the space.

If you don’t have a dough bowl, I highly recommend putting this on your wish list for home décor.  There are so many great and affordable options out there.  Whether it’s new or old, large or small, oval or round, you can have a lot of fun styling up your dough bowl for the spring season!

In the meantime, consider taking one of these ideas and trying it in a basket, tray, or crate!  You can get the same effect and have a lot of fun creating with things you already own!

Wishing you a blessed day and a lot of fun creating something new for spring!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

Decorating for Easter with Neutrals

Decorating for Easter with Neutrals

Decorating for Easter with Neutrals

Surely you know me well enough by now to know that I love seasonal décor…and yet, I approach it a little differently!  You aren’t likely to find me buying a cart full of décor for spring, or for any season, really.  I tend to use the same items for many years, styling them a little differently as my tastes evolve, but always sticking with seasonal basics.

While Easter décor can be bright, playful, and oh-so-cheerful, I prefer a softer approach to the season.

Now, this isn’t to say that a kids’ Easter party won’t be full of color…it always is!  I actually love decorating for kids’ parties and our sweet Addy’s 1st birthday was all Peter Rabbit!  She was born on Good Friday and her nursery was decorated in bunnies.  So I have a really soft spot for all the fun color of the kids décor!

I’ll save that for another post, but here is a glimpse of the sweetest birthday party!  It was definitely my favorite that I’ve ever done!

Back to home décor…if we must.  I could really get stuck on my children’s baby pictures though!

For our home, I love to stick with neutrals.  For a holiday like Easter, that could sound boring to some, I suppose, but I love how a neutral palette allows me to bring in a pop of color in a spring bouquet or pulling out colorful napkins for an Easter tablescape.

Neutrals are far from boring, if done well, and I love a good challenge!

Here are my must-haves for neutral spring décor:

Plants, Plants, Plants!

 

I would love to say that I have lots of advice for houseplants, tips and tricks for their best care, and guidance on what to get.  However, I do not!  I’m a novice at plants.  I just know I love having them and use them in almost every room.  We do have a few places that don’t get enough natural lighting, and I use faux plants in those spaces. 

I will say, however, that over the past year, I have kept more real plants alive than ever before.  So maybe there is hope for my black thumb after all!

I am a big fan of mixing fresh and faux plants as well!  In fact, this entire cabinet is styled with a mix of the two!  Good, realistic faux plants are totally acceptable, in my book, and worth the investment.

Décor wise, I love how a plant brings life and movement to a space.  As much as possible, and for any season, I like to bring in elements found in nature.  Plants are a great way to do that! 

I also love that plants are relatively inexpensive.  You can get some great little starter plants for under $4 and add them to every vignette.  After doing that for a couple of years, I now have some that have grown significantly larger and they add so much to our home’s décor!

Architectural Salvage

 

There is something about those chippy, worn pieces that make me feel like they could have been part of a garden shed long ago.  We can pretend, right??  I do love especially chippy patina to add to my spring décor.  It helps keep all of the décor from looking too new, too “store-bought”, if you will!

Architectural salvage also gives you some great opportunities for displaying spring elements, such as plants, bunny statues, and garden accessories.  There is something about a bunny sitting on a chippy board or a plant tucked into a column base that makes it feel unique…even if it’s the same bunny that everyone has from the same big-box store! 

Architectural salvage adds a one-of-a-kind element to your décor, not to mention charm and character!

Some of my favorite architectural décor pieces that I’m always hunting for are: (hyperlink each)

Terra Cotta Pots

Remember my love for Peter Rabbit?  There is always a touch of that garden look that I love to sprinkle into my home décor.  Terra cotta pots can be used for so many things and in so many fun ways.  Last year, I used terra cotta pots to make edible arrangements for all of my place settings for Easter

I love to stack them, lay them, and layer them into vignettes.  You don’t have to fill them with anything, just give them a layered look and play around with it until you get the style you want.  I really love to use the terra cotta trays in my spring décor, as well.  They make a fun base for all of those spring vignettes!

You can always make a plant look more inviting by adding it to a terra cotta pot, and the more patina, the better!  I always watch for these at thrift stores and flea markets…that’s where the best ones come from because they’ve been aging in old gardens for years!

Bunnies

 

Because, really, can you even decorate for Easter without a bunny?

I have been using the same bunnies to decorate for years!  I love using neutral ones, in white or gray tones.  Once you’ve collected a variety of bunnies that you love, you’re really set.  They are timeless and you can use them for years to come. 

Little bunnies are perfect to add under a cloche, tuck into a bookshelf or cubby, or sprinkle through a tablescape centerpiece.  I like to use large ones to make a statement on a buffet/console or even my kitchen island!  You really can’t go wrong with a big bunny in the middle of the table either!

I did add a special brass one from the flea market this year!  True story: I got it for my girls’ room, didn’t end up using it, so I sold it to a vendor friend.  I regretted that so much that I ended up buying it back from her at a market!  Ha!  So, I guess this brass one is a keeper!

Most of the bunnies I have are ones that I’ve had for a long time, but I’ll link up some I found with a similar look. 

Vintage Containers

 

There are some really great pots, planters, crates, and containers out there that have a vintage look to them.  But you know how much I love a good vintage or antique find!  I am always building my collection of trays, baskets, pots, crates, urns, and containers that have good patina, chippy texture, old, worn wood, and features that help our home feel curated over time.

Just as with architectural salvage, vintage containers add so much charm and character to your space.  A bright vase of spring flowers, added to a vintage vase or jar, makes my heart happy!  Plants take on so much charm when added to vintage ironstone or an old bucket.  You can use vintage crates and trays as a base for your vignette and even if everything in the vignette is “new”, it will still take on those vintage vibes.

I like to use vintage containers for practical solutions as well.  You’ll find old baskets and cubbies all throughout our home, organizing and storing our everyday items!

This time of year, I especially love to pull out vintage containers with white tones.  Ironstone, old urns, and painted buckets add a bright and fresh look!  I also love to use light wood tones with baskets and bread boards.  They bring warmth, but in a light and bright way.  I feel like they also add some of those garden vibes, which is perfect for spring!

As with any season, you’ll recognize many of these pieces photographed for this blog post.  I use them year-round, in every room of the house, for many different purposes.  I think that’s what makes a piece wonderful and worth the investment! 

I hope you’re inspired to shop your home, maybe add one or two versatile pieces to your collection, and get your home set for the Easter season!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

4 Ideas for Your Easter Tablescape

4 Ideas for Your Easter Tablescape

4 Ideas for Your Easter Tablescape

Easter is undeniably one of my very favorite times of the year.  It’s such a meaningful season, accompanied by fresh signs of hope, joy, and life.  I love every detail, from church attendance to Easter egg baskets to picking out cute outfits for my family (though…that’s getting harder!  Why, oh why, do they have to grow out of the smocked outfits so fast?!?!), preparing Easter egg hunts, decorating around our home, and creating a special table for my family! 

I have already started putting together some Easter tablescape ideas, from simple centerpieces to full place settings.  I hope you enjoy these ideas and even in another unusual year, I hope you are inspired to make the Easter season special for you and your family!

When you stop and think about it, almost every holiday is made more special by gathering around the table for a special meal with friends and family!  And I love how table settings are a new, blank canvas each time you start creating.  Here’s to creating some meaningful, Easter art for your table!

Here are 4 of my favorite themes and ideas for Easter tables:

Peter Rabbit Inspired Easter Table

 

I have a soft spot for Peter Rabbit and have always loved this story!  In fact, my children use the same Easter baskets each year, using these Peter Rabbit liners.  I’ll share more about Easter baskets this month, but you just can’t go wrong with these cute, washable liners and the timeless look of Beatrix Potter!  These have become a tradition for us and I love that!  Now, on to our Peter Rabbit inspired table:

To create this simple look, I let my main table décor be an edible vegetable arrangement.  I washed up new terra cotta pots, lined them with saran wrap, and put ranch dip in the bottom.  I then filled them with a mixture of snap peas, cauliflower, baby carrots, and broccoli.  I wish I could also say that allllll the kids ate allllll their vegetables…but maybe Peter Rabbit got to them first.  (wink, wink!)

I used chunky wood candlesticks from The Curated Farmhouse and stacked vintage terra cotta pots around them for my centerpiece.  On top of the candlesticks, I alternated some white bunnies and short pillar candles.   I incorporated a few fresh plants, mixed with some bunches of realistic faux greenery for an added touch of garden style.

Each place setting was created with a placemat, vintage brass charger, my everyday white dishes, a simple white napkin, place card from the dollar spot, and my matte black flatware.

This was a fun and casual look for our Easter table and we all enjoyed it!

Garden Party Easter Table

 

I had so much fun with this tablescape and though it is so simple, I love that it could be used all spring and even summer!

To create this look, I started with my centerpiece.  I used vintage breadboards to give me a variety of height.  I then stacked white-washed terra cotta pots and ceramic bunnies.  Using fresh potted flowers from Trader Joe’s, I added white daisies to the pots.  I loved this touch of whimsy!

To hold my fresh, white tulips, I used green glass bottles from Pottery Barn.  I’ve had these for years, but I’ve linked some vintage ones for you that would work beautifully as well!  I also used an architectural salvage vase, cut from an old porch post.  Since that doesn’t hold water, I used my favorite faux tulips.  I love how real they look, even beside fresh tulips!

I wanted my place settings to feel special, so I layered them up with a mini wreath and vintage paper plate holder.  I love how the basket adds some extra texture to the place setting.  On each plate, I alternated little terra cotta pots and white cupcake stands.  The eggs that I put in the little pots had chocolate in them and then I added a chocolate bunny on top of the cupcake stands too.

You can add some fun to your table by mixing and matching the place settings in simple ways!  It adds a vintage feel to the table as well as some whimsy!

Substituting the bunnies for some additional flowers or plants, this tablescape could work just as well for Mother’s Day!

Pink Carrot Cake Easter Table

 

Obviously, the star of the show for this tablescape were those gorgeous carrot cake cupcakes!  I bought them from a friend at a weekend market on that Easter weekend.  This was a few years ago, but I still remember how delicious they were!  (Does anyone else see a future for Payton’s Pastries here?  Yum!)

I used these wicker chargers as a base for each place setting.  I added my white china, a small wicker disc (I got this set at a vintage shop years ago!), and a galvanized tin to each place setting.  Trader Joes had these adorable mini potted flowers that year, so I got them in all white and they were the perfect fit for the galvanized pots.

For my centerpiece, I layered several bunches of fresh eucalyptus and added two vases of fresh white tulips!

This was a simple tablescape, but a yummy one!  You can take a simple table setting from nice to amazing just by adding something special, like these cupcakes, to each place setting!

Blue China Easter Table

 

So this isn’t real china.  My grandma wasn’t that fancy, but these were her dishes and I loved using them a few Easters ago to make our table feel extra special!  Easter is the perfect time to pull out those heirloom dishes!  My children were only 3, 7, and 9 on this particular Easter, but we used the special dishes anyway.  That’s what my grandma would’ve done!

I remember using these dishes at my grandma’s house frequently.  She didn’t worry if something got broken or chipped.  I try to remember that when setting my table.  Dishes are just dishes and pretty table linens are just pretty table linens.  To me, it matters more if my children remember that I tried to make the holidays extra special.  I don’t do this perfectly, but it is something important that I really try to remember!

I really wanted the dishes to be the statement of the table, so I kept everything else very simple.  For my centerpiece, I lined up five mason jars, filled with white tulips.  This is a fun tip for centerpieces!  Everything makes more of a statement when grouped together and it doesn’t take much longer to create five arrangements than it does to make two!

For my place settings, I used my wicker chargers and a white cupcake stand.  I added a little extra fun to the stands with a piece of fresh lettuce and a gold, chocolate bunny!

You’ve seen me use these cupcake stands often because they are such a fun way to make each place setting feel special.  A chocolate bunny, special dessert, or cute tag is a great way to invite your family to gather around the table…who doesn’t run to the table for dessert, after all?!

I know a lot of people are experiencing yet another holiday without family or friends.  Another holiday that feels “off”.  No matter what the circumstance surrounding you this Easter season, I hope you’re inspired to find the meaning of this special holiday and celebrate it in a way that brings hope to your heart.

“Don’t believe things can change?  Just look at Palm Sunday – to Good Friday – to Resurrection Sunday.  Always believe.  Always keep hoping.  Things can change.” – Ann Voskamp 

Blessings,

Robyn

5 Ways to Style Vintage Books

5 Ways to Style Vintage Books

5 Ways to Style Vintage Books

So this obsession goes back a ways.

Actually, back a loooooong ways.

I know it’s hard to believe that I ever got in trouble as a child (haha!), but from time to time, it would happen.  And you know what got me in trouble more than anything else?

My nose in a book.

Now it wasn’t that my parents didn’t want me to read.  In fact, they both still love to read and it was a big part of our family.  But reading when I was supposed to be doing my chores…that got me in trouble once or twice…or more.  Who’s counting?

(And you know what’s funny?  This is our current parenting “problem” with one of our children now!  What goes around comes around!!!)

Fast forward to about 4 or 5 years after Robb and I were married.  We had SO MANY BOOKS!  Everything from all the books our parents sent with us to college textbooks and beyond.  Most of our books were on two bookshelves in our bedroom that I had picked up from a yard sale.  I distinctly remember when my patient hubby got home from work on this particularly creative day of mine…

“Robyn!  What in the world????”

I had turned every single book around so that the lovely, neutral-colored pages were showing, rather than the array of colors and styles of ALL THOSE BOOKS!  I don’t really know where I got the idea because it wasn’t a thing in decorating like it is now.  But I was just so tired of all those crazy colors and mis-matched spines.

Did I say he’s patient?  For the most part, yes, and he agreed to give it a try.  Especially since those neutral pages were making me so happy!

Fast forward about 13 years later…and yep!  I’m still facing those pages outward!

(Except the kids books…I’m not that crazy about my neutrals!!!  Ha!  Besides, their books are on the bookshelves in their room, so it’s totally fine.)

If you follow me on Instagram, you are used to seeing me decorate with books all the time!  In fact, they are a staple in almost every room and definitely for every season.

To me, books add so much interest and character to a space.  They help tell the story of a space that is well-loved and well-lived in.  Books bring a sense of a room being curated over time, rather than picked up at a big box furniture store.

There are so many ways to use books in your décor.  Today, we are going to go over five of my favorite ways and see how many of these styling ideas you already use!

Before we launch into styling, let’s talk about where all these books came from!  Every time I go to any thrift store, I always hit up the book section.  Since I am using these books for décor, I am less concerned with the book content as I am the actual color, style, and patina of the book.  If I am working on a particular color palette for a space, like the light blue I did in the girls room, I will browse the shelves for color.  Sometimes, I am looking for books that have a particular size for layering or stacking.  Other times, I am paying attention to the title.  For example, I have vintage books that I like to pull out with my summer décor, each title referring to the sea or ocean.

You may want to browse for décor books by:

  • Color
  • Size
  • Title/words on the spine

Almost all of my décor books have come from thrift stores!  I do have some special ones that I’ve picked up at antique stores or vintage shops, and I have several amazing leather ones from my friend Jamie from @booksbycolor_jaysworld.  I’ll link some amazing vintage options for you at the end of this post!  It is very rare that I pay very much at all for a décor book, though investing in some of the larger ones, like a thick dictionary or French books can be well worth the extra!

 
So Let’s Get to Styling!

Deconstructed Books

 

There may be a few book-loving friends that would object to this.  But hear me out…I have taken many a book that would have ended up in the landfill and repurposed it to be fabulous décor!  I have also salvaged discarded paperback books and turned them into works of art that I’ve been decorating with for years!

To deconstruct a book, you will simply work the spine completely off, pulling the covers with it.  Even a newer book has a great look when deconstructed, as you get some of the glue residue remaining, and leaving a texture and patina that makes it look really old…and really loved.  Fun trick, huh?

Sometimes I tie my deconstructed books together with twine to make a cute book bundle.  Some, I leave as individuals.  It is a versatile, nearly fail-proof DIY that literally costs you the price of a cheap paperback at the thrift store!  And it’s also a great way to recycle an old book that is maybe too tattered to read or one that you may end up tossing!

Warning:  It’s Addictive!!!

Use Books to Tell a Story in Your Décor

 

I did this with my vintage coastal books last year. ( And yes, I even have seasonal books for décor!). With only about 5 or 6 well-chosen old books, I helped set the tone for a casual, vintage coastal look in our family room.  In this case, I left the neutral and light blue spines facing out so that the titles could be easily seen…and help tell the story of a little seaside cottage.  Now we aren’t in an actual cottage and the beach is a couple miles away, but these books helped create that look and tell that story.

I also use old music books to decorate in this way.  At Christmas, for example, I put a couple of vintage copies of Handel’s Messiah on the top of the stack.  Subtle, but I loved that it helped create that look of a vintage Christmas.

I am currently on the hunt for some vintage, neutral-ish books for spring, like a great set of Beatrix Potter books!  We have the children’s ones, but they are more new looking.  (Hint: if anyone comes across a great vintage set, message me!!!)

Use Books to Give Dimension to Your Vignette

 

Lean them, stack them, open them, close them, stand them up, lay them down!

You get the idea!!!

Anytime I am creating a vignette, I am looking for a variety of height and texture.  A pair of matching lanterns, sitting next to one another, doesn’t really work.  They are the same height, same color, same everything.  BUT, add a few vintage books with great character and patina underneath the lanterns?  All of a sudden, you have an instant vignette that looks like you spent a ton of time on it!

I also like to lean a few books against a pot or cloche to add a little extra texture.  Like we talked about in the cloche styling post, you can even rest a cloche on top of a larger book as a base! 

Do your candlesticks look too short next to your artwork?  Add a book stack underneath!

Does your plant/planter not fill the space adequately?  Lean some books to the side to fill the horizontal space!

Have a console table that is lacking character?  Add some large, vintage books and a set of corbels.  Incredible character and I promise you’ll use them forever!

Use Books in Your Tablescapes

 

Who said books are only for shelves and coffee tables?  I styled this entire tablescape around a book theme!  I used books to add height and texture to my simple centerpieces.  And I used old pages to create a special look for each place setting.  It was a simple craft to do with an old book, but made a nice statement!

Another time, I used some old music book pages as my placemats.  I think I paid $2 at the flea market for that old music book, and I’ll have placemats for years to come out of that book!  For $2, I was pretty happy for these disposable placemats and a fun table theme!

Use Books to Camouflage An Undesired View or Fill a Desired Space

 

Say what?

Well, supposed you have a TV cord or entertainment center wires that are hanging down.  A well-positioned stack of books could be the perfect trick to hide those cords!  We have our entertainment cords hidden in the wall in our current home; that was a huge must-do when we were renovating.  But at our old house, I had book stacks everywhere to hid those cords!

Decorating with books is also a great way to fill a desired spot in your home.  A favorite basket, dough bowl, or tray could be on display but need a little filler.  Old books are a perfect way to visually fill your piece without taking away from its charm or “stealing the spotlight”, so to speak!

Basically, you can see that I use books…old, new, tired, tattered, vintage, and antique…everywhere!  While you can spend thousands on a rare antique book, you don’t need to spend more than a dollar at the thrift store to get you started on adding books to your décor.  Or take a look around your home…you might be surprised what books you have around that you could actually use, rather than collecting dust on a top shelf!

I hope this inspires you to try something different in your décor this week.  The exciting thing is that there is no right or wrong.  You aren’t going to waste money or resources to play around with these décor ideas!  Let me know what you decide to do with old books in your décor!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

4 Ways to Style a Cloche for Spring

4 Ways to Style a Cloche for Spring

4 Ways to Style a Cloche for Spring

There are a few pieces of décor that never get put away in my décor storageCloches and architectural salvage bases are a couple of those things!  No matter the season, you’ll see these glass cloches scattered throughout our home.  I love pairing them with architectural salvage pieces, but there are lots of different ways you can use them.  Let’s get started!

Where Can I Find a Cloche?

My favorite cloches have been found at vintage shops and antique malls.  But keep an eye out at thrift stores too!  My smallest one was a whopping 99 cents at the thrift store.  I think it probably used to be with one of those little clocks like my grandparents had!  They usually aren’t inexpensive, but exactly the kind of piece that I’m happy to invest in.  I use mine year-round, for all seasons, and in almost every part of our home (okay, not the playroom or kids’ rooms!  Ha!)

I will also link some cloches below that I found online.  My favorites are the vintage terrarium style, but over the years, I’ve enjoyed collecting a variety of styles and using them together!

Let’s Get to Styling!

Style a Cloche with a Candle

This is always my go to.  If I feel stumped, I just add a battery-operated pillar candle and call it a day!  It’s a no-fail option!  You can quickly take it to the next level by adding some seasonal greenery.  I often just use little stems, but a candle ring or mini wreath works perfectly too!  Candles add a soft glow, no matter the season, and I love having mine flicker on at dusk and go off at bedtime! 

This is a fun way to add a super quick and easy seasonal touch with flowers or seasonal greenery.  If I don’t have a specific seasonal flower, faux eucalyptus is my go-to!

Style a Cloche with Vintage Books

If you’ve been following me for longer than a minute, you’re not surprised by this one!  I keep an eye out for small, vintage books, specifically for adding to cloches and vignettes.  I found a stack of these miniature orchestral scores at the thrift store.  Being a musician family, I love that connection.  But I also love how the old, worn paper adds so much texture!  If you don’t have any vintage books with the right colors or patina that you want, consider a quick DIY and deconstruct them!  The cheapest little paperbacks in the discard pile can become the perfect décor for your cloche.  Rip those covers off and style away!

If you have special books, such as a family Bible, or antique collectible books, styling them in a cloche is a great way to get them off the bookshelf and placed in a prominent spot!

Style a Cloche with Vintage Objects

You may remember in my winter décor and the vintage brass deer that I used under a cloche.  To take out those winter décor vibes and replace with a hint of spring, I swapped out the vintage brass deer for two super cute vintage brass swans!  Cloches are a great spot to highlight a few seasonal collections.  Here are a few ideas:

Style a Cloche with a Faux Plant

Now of course, you couldn’t keep a real plant under the glass cloche for very long, but little faux plants are the perfect way to add some life and texture!  I especially love these little mini ones from the Hearth and Hand collection.  Once we get more into spring, I may leave the terracotta pot showing, but for now, I still want to incorporate some vintage brass, so I added my little faux plant to the vintage brass pot.  I love how it makes the plant look more real and also more substantial!  I’ll link up some different faux plants here that I currently have or have seen and love!  I’m really picky about my faux greenery and flowers, but these are good ones and mix nicely with real plants too!

What Do I Set My Cloche On?

I mentioned that I love to pair my cloches with architectural salvage pieces, such as column capitals.  However, if you have a great cloche and no salvage base that fits it, there are other great ways to style up your cloche with a vintage look!

I decided to put a live plant in my large, super chippy capital column from Olde Tyme Marketplace.  That left me with an extra cloche…and those don’t typically get put in storage!  I absolutely love how it looks paired with my faux newspaper binder.  The spine & cover are a great neutral color and it lays flat to make a great base for my cloche.

You could also pair a cloche with a large book or a vintage breadboard.  A large dough bowl, basket tray, wooden tray, or cake stand also make great options, depending on the size of your cloche and how you want to style it!

While your cloche doesn’t have to set on anything in particular, creating a base of some kind for it does ground the vignette.  It can also help your entire décor look to be more cohesive.  Practically speaking, it’s also much easier to dust when you can just slide the base over!!!

I hope this gives you some fun ideas or sparks some creativity for you, as you style up your cloche for a spring vignette!  I love using mine and can’t wait to hear what you put under your cloche this spring!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

How to Remove Old Paint from Furniture

How to Remove Old Paint from Furniture

How to Remove Old Paint from Furniture

It all started with IG and a scroll-stopping picture from my good friends over at Baker & Co. Home.  I instantly knew that this gorgeous apothecary was just the dining room piece I’d been waiting for over the past few years!  My only hesitation was the old, tan paint but the piece was too good to not figure it out.  A few phone calls and a fun day trip later, we were the proud owners of this stunning piece.

Growing up in my parents’ small town pharmacy in the Midwest has left me with a special affection for old apothecary and pharmacy goods.  When we found out that this piece came from a little town in Kansas, only about two hours from where I grew up, we knew it was meant to be!  Some google searches and a little digging leads us to believe that this cabinet was in the original pharmacy of Jas. A. Grant in Augusta, Kansas, in the early part of the 20th century.  It is very likely that this apothecary is around 115 years old!

 

But even the amazing history couldn’t change the tan paint that looked even more dingy against the bright whites in our home.  After a little research and a couple phone calls to friends who specialize in restoring old pieces, we got to work. 

 

We knew there was a big risk that we would end up completely stripping all the paint, though we could see some flecks of what appeared to be bright white paint underneath.  Many of the drawers already had exposed wood and loving good wood tones, I was completely fine with taking the risk.  I could already tell that even if it was all wood, it would be a stunning piece, especially with the European farmhouse vibes of the lighter wood.

We are far from pros, but we couldn’t have been more thrilled with how this piece turned out.  I love it even more than I thought I would!  When dealing with vintage and antique pieces, there is always some risk of what will be uncovered, but this time, it paid off in spades!

 

Here’s how we did it:

 

How to Remove Old Paint Without Completely Stripping the Furniture

 

Materials:

  • Oven cleaner (we used the Dollar Tree brand)
  • Latex gloves to protect your skin
  • Water
  • Soft brush

Step One:

Take the piece outside and spray with oven cleaner.  Allow it to stand for about ten minutes.

We experimented with one drawer before tackling the entire project.  If your piece doesn’t have drawers, consider using a side, corner, or back to get you started.

Step Two:

Using the water hose, we sprayed off the oven cleaner.  The first time, we used the jet spray setting.  This took off a significant more amount of paint.  Going forward, we used the shower spray setting.  Though it took us longer, it allowed us to save more of the original paint and didn’t strip it all the way down to the wood.

 

Step Three:

After the first time, we could see the paint crackling and obvious white paint underneath.  We got started on the rest of the drawers and cabinet casing. 

 

We repeated steps one and two about 4 times

 

With each round of oven cleaner and spraying with water, we could see the layers of paint peel off to reveal a beautiful white paint underneath.  The chipping of the paint as we went just added to the character and charm.  If you like a really smooth, solid paint finish, you would need to take the piece down to the raw wood and paint.  I love a good, chippy patina so this process worked well for us!

The oven cleaner and water are also working together to give your piece a sparkly clean smell and finish.  If you’re doing this process on an old piece, it likely has a few layers of dirt to wash off as well!

Tips, Tricks, and Frequently Asked Questions:

 

  • This project is perfect on a sunny, breezy day.  The wood was able to dry quickly and thoroughly.  You never want to leave water standing on the wood and the more quickly it can dry, the better.
  • Be patient and go slowly. If you’re trying to remove a layer of paint at a time, remember that patience is essential.  If you know you want to completely strip the paint, turn on that jet setting and go for it!  Otherwise, take your time and work through the layers of paint!
  • As you watch the process, it would be concerning about all the water getting on the wood. By allowing our piece to dry in the sun and wind, we did not find any warping of the wood.  We were careful to not let water stand in it.
  • After it was dry and we moved it inside, we did add wax to the drawers to help them glide more smoothly, but we didn’t have any warping at all. The wax is great for old drawers and helps them not be quite as sticky!
  • If you are concerned about lead in the old paint, a matte finish, polyurethane spray is helpful!

After trying this DIY, I have a lot more confidence to take risks in the old pieces I purchase.  It is a great way to restore them without spending a massive amount of time or money.  The hardest part was moving this big piece in and out of the house!

I hope this gives you confidence to try restoring a vintage piece!  For tips on how I do my vintage hunting, or “junking”, head over and read this.

We are enjoying some vintage junking this weekend, so stay tuned in my Instagram stories to tag along with us!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

 

Gallery

How to Decorate During Seasonal Transitions

How to Decorate During Seasonal Transitions

How to Decorate During Seasonal Transitions

Most of us probably rely heavily on the seasons for our décor inspiration and if decorating is a hobby for you (like it is for me!), we enjoy any excuse to switch things out, refresh, and restyle!  There are times through the year, however, there isn’t a specific season or holiday to decorate for and you just need that “in-between” look. 

For me, this week starts a few weeks of “in-between” décor.  Even though Easter is arriving a little earlier this year, I’m just not quite ready  for all the décor bunnies to hop in, but I am ready for a little brighter and fresher look!  And while I am ready for the heavy winter greens to come down and be stored away until next November, I’m not quite ready to give up all the cozy vibes of my winter décor!

So, here are some décor tips I fall back on for those transitional times in décor.

Prepare spaces for deep cleaning and refreshing

 

We could call this the continuance of the scale back of Christmas décor!  Here are a few things I am doing this week:

  • Put away the heavier, winter-specific greenery (garlands and trees).
  • Clear off decorated table surfaces and put everything away. (Don’t worry, we are going to get a few things back out!)
  • Deep clean the spaces that I clear. January was the month for reorganizing drawers and closets (except my closets still aren’t done!).  I consider February a month to do this same kind of cleaning and purging with my decorated spaces!  It’s so easy to clean an undecorated space, so take your chance now!

Thoughtfully bring in simple, fresh décor

 

I want to keep that cozy, winter vibe, so I’ll keep my chunky knit throw pillows, extra blankets, and layers throughout our home.  Here’s the kinds of décor I will bring back into my clean spaces:

  • Neutral pillows and blankets
  • Scatter my fresh plants throughout the house
  • Some fresh flowers here and there in neutral tones
  • Texture: mixing metal, glass, and wood
  • Key pieces to add character: vintage signs, salvage, and objects of interest

All of these are things that I always try to incorporate, no matter the season, but for this transitional time, I’ll work to style them in ways that are more simple and less fluff!

Unique Decorating Stories for Transitional Seasons

 

If you’ve followed me for very long, you have probably heard me talk about creating a “story” in the rooms I decorate.  Not so much a thematic style, but rather a flow to the décor that makes it all feel like it belongs together, while not being too matchy-matchy.  These off-season times are a great chance to tell some of those stories while you’re not incorporating pumpkins, flags, bunnies, or Christmas trees!  Much as a designer would develop a color story, you can do the same with your décor items!

My winter family room is a fun example of using a vintage décor story!  I used my vintage library sign along with groupings of neutral, vintage books scattered throughout the room.  Combined with some rich tones through the leather book covers and warm woods, I felt like it all worked together to help it feel like a space where you would just want to get cozy with a favorite blanket and good book!  It seemed to work, because I found the kids reading in the space quite a bit through that month and a half!

Another space that I created a décor story for this transitional décor season is our farmhouse dining room.  I gathered favorite apothecary-style items for our dining room during this off-season.  While they aren’t all exactly apothecary related, they work together to give that feeling!  It is a great way to incorporate some of my favorite décor items to tell a story! 

I extended that look into the adjoining music room by simply adding some small apothecary drawers and vintage books.  Where the space may have had a cedar tree for winter, I replaced with branches cut from our driveway in a large white crock.

To help you narrow down and decide on your décor story, here are a few tips:

 

  • Gather your favorite collections.  For me, my collections of mortar and pestles and vintage books created a natural story!  Everything in the room doesn’t have to work around the theme, just a few key pieces!  This is a great time to feature a favorite collection: milk glass, vintage art, old signs, vintage alarm clocks, crocks….anything!
  • Think of how you want to use the space and what feels like a natural fit. The vintage book theme worked in our family room because it is organically a place where our family gathers in to get cozy!
  • Consider the display space you have available. These are some great spots to display collections and create a décor story:
    • Mantel
    • Console table
    • Bookshelf
    • Hutch or open shelves
  • Add greenery! Anytime I’m styling a grouping of items, I want something to soften the edges and give some contrast of texture and height.  Plants, whether fresh or faux, are a great way to do that.  For this time of year, I also love to add branches from the yard.  They add a little whimsy and I love the natural look!
  • Consider the adjoining rooms. How can you create a common thread to your décor story?  It could be through the use of a particular design style, such as French Farmhouse or Boho.  It could be with a common color, sprinkled throughout the rooms, or even texture, such as chunky knit throws and pillows!  The plants and flowers you choose can also help tie rooms together.  The attention to detail really connects spaces and makes your home feel curated and thoughtful!

I love this quote from Morgan Harper Nichols:

“You are allowed to hope for what’s to come, while making the most of where you already are.”

As we wait for spring, let’s do so patiently, slowly, and enjoying the beauty that remains in the winter season…but do pick up a fresh plant at the store and maybe a bouquet of tulips!  You’ll feel so much better!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

How to Put Together a Quick & Simple Valentine’s Tablescape

How to Put Together a Quick & Simple Valentine’s Tablescape

How to Put Together a Quick & Simple Valentine’s Tablescape

To be honest, I’ve never created a Valentine’s Tablescape before this year.  After all, it’s the perfect excuse for a date night, no cooking, no clean up, etc.!  With Valentine’s being on a Sunday this year, I knew we would be having our Sunday dinner as a family.  I thought it would be fun to set up a simple tablescape for us to enjoy…and to make everyone feel a little extra loved.  My goal was to use only things I had on hand, with the exception of some flowers from Trader Joe’s! 

Here’s what I used:

 

I started by laying my faux eucalyptus garland down the middle of the table.  Tip: I layered two of them for a more full look!

Next, I added my green jars with fresh flowers.  I spaced them out evenly along our farmhouse table.  Tip: when you’re hunting for vintage items, collect them in sets of three!  They always make more a statement when grouped together!  If you decided to not use the books for this centerpiece, you could also put the jars in a row, closer to one another, and add candles at each end.  The grouping would make a big impact!  You could also use simple mason jars for this centerpiece.

 

I added the vintage books next.  This is the artistic part, leaning and stacking the books until you get the look you want.  I love that you could use different colored books here for any theme or keep them neutral, as I did.  If you have enough pink and red books, they would be adorable for Valentine’s!  Tip: green would also be lovely for this late winter/early spring transition time.

I actually wasn’t planning on using the brass candlesticks this time, but it just seemed like we needed candles for a real Valentine’s tablescape!  Since I have a large collection of the brass candlesticks, I rounded up a few and added to my table.  Tip: the stacked books are great to give the candles more height variation and interest!

Place Settings

Since I used the brass candlesticks, I added my vintage brass chargers.  I picked these up at a vintage shop last year and have used them so much!  They are such a simple and easy way to really add an extra touch to my tablescapes!  Tip: invest in a set of chargers that you really love and can use year round!

 

I added my everyday white dishes to the chargers after layering my napkins between the plate and charger.  I love how napkins add a little extra flair and texture to a tablescape.  However, I always buy inexpensive ones that I don’t have to stress over, especially for a family dinner!  Tip: there are a lot of fun ways to fold napkins, but I typically opt for the most stress-free styling!  To get this look, I do the following:

 

  • Spread the napkin out flat, unfolded
  • Pick up the napkin at the center point and let the four corners fall
  • Lay with the point toward the center of the table
  • Allow the corners to fluff out toward the chair
  • Layer with a plate or bowl!

 

When I am doing a special, seasonal tablescape, I like to add a little something “extra” to each place setting.  I picked up these chocolate covered strawberries, knowing it would be a fun treat for my family!  (We aren’t usually that fancy!). I wanted to tie it in with the book theme and Valentine’s Day, so I cut heart shapes from a 25 cent, thrift store paperback.  I added the heart shape underneath the chocolate covered strawberries.  With just a few minutes effort, each place setting looks extra special!  Tip: you could do the same thing with a dessert plate and dessert of your choice.  The heart shapes cost basically nothing and I can use the book for more projects!

I took a few of my grocery store roses and pulled the petals off to sprinkle around the table.  I knew my girls would think it was extra fancy that way!

Since I was designing this tablescape for my family, I love how it incorporates both the feminine touches, like the hearts and flowers, and a little more masculine touch with the vintage books and green jars.  Plus, I created the whole tablescape for less than $10 and using what I had on hand!  Can’t beat that!

Now…who thinks Robb and the kids will do the clean-up for me this Sunday?!?!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

How to Decorate with Neutral Colors for Valentine’s Day

How to Decorate with Neutral Colors for Valentine’s Day

How to Decorate with Neutral Colors for Valentine’s Day

I’m not sure why I’ve never really decorated for Valentine’s Day before, but it could be that I’ve been a room mom at my children’s school for years…so technically, I’ve been doing a lot of Valentine’s decorating!  Just not at home!  I do love this fun holiday and we always try to do something special with our kiddos too.  Family is so important and more than ever, I’ll take every opportunity to celebrate us!

I decided that this year, I was going to look for some ways to incorporate Valentine’s Day décor in simple, budget-friendly ways.  After all, this décor will only be up for a couple of weeks before I start making some transitions to early spring.  And I don’t see any reason to break the bank for a holiday that is celebrated with hearts, flowers, chocolate, and candles!

I also wanted to make my touches of Valentine’s subtle and things that would complement our home’s décor, rather than requiring full-scale redecorating!  Since I have a neutral color palette throughout our home, I decided to take on the challenge of neutral Valentine’s Day décor.  That being said, I think you could use these same ideas and tweak them to include the traditional reds and pinks for fun!

Here are five ways I incorporated simple, neutral Valentine’s Day décor into our home:

 

Neutral Colored Hearts

 

This is a really obvious one, but I included it because I love the instant touch of Valentine’s Day that a garland of hearts brings!  I used three different garlands:

 

      1. French postal sorter heart garland from Penny and Ivy

 

Emily is so incredibly talented!  You may remember the miniature stockings I had in our entryway at Christmas that I purchased from Penny and Ivy!  Her work is impeccable and I love how this heart garland adds such a classy touch to our living room!  The neutral colors complement our home while still being festive and the vintage French postal sorter fabric is the perfect addition to our vintage pieces!

 

      2. Kraft paper sweetheart notes garland

 

You can find the tutorial for this garland here.  My kids love to do arts and crafts so this was a fun way to incorporate them into the process and I smile every time I walk past their sweet notes.  Each child wrote something they love about each member of our family and we strung them together on the mantel!  By using neutral colored pencils, we kept a simple look.  But there is no doubt that this mantel is ready for Valentine’s Day!

 

        3. White yarn heart garland

You can find the tutorial for this garland here!  We hung this garland across the mirror in our music room.  Another way to simply add to a space and get an instant Valentine’s Day look!  I love the texture of the yarn and how the white hearts go with the white furniture and chunky white throw pillows in this room.

Again, you could tweak either of these simple DIY heart garlands to make the fit the colors you want to use in your decorating!

Simple Flower Arrangements

One quick trip to my Trader Joe’s and about $20 gave me enough flowers to sprinkle through our living spaces and enjoy during this week leading up to Valentine’s Day!  Keeping with my neutral theme, I chose white stock flowers that will last all week, some white tulips, eucalyptus greenery, and little fillers.  I several small arrangements that I can add to our living room, kitchen, music room, and my nightstand!  A small jar of flowers adds instant life to a room and speaks of your thoughtful way to make the holiday special for the most important people in your world…your family!

Another fun thing about creating several small arrangements is that I can move them around and even bring them all to the dining room for a Valentine’s Day tablescape!  Stay tuned for that coming up on my Instagram next week!

This is also a great time to invest in a new fresh plant or two and add to your kitchen sink or table!  It’s a simple, thoughtful touch that adds a bright, fresh look to your space.  I like to put my fresh plants in vintage containers for a little extra character!

Signs

I was a lucky girl this Valentine’s Day season!  My husband surprised me with this incredible vintage Whitman’s Chocolates sign that I admired at an antiques show we visited.  I am not an easy one to surprise, so he really got me!  But I love the way the green pops against my woods and whites, while still blending in with the neutral décor.

A vintage sign for Valentine’s Day may not be something you can just snap your fingers and find, but add it to your vintage hunting list and look throughout the year!  Vintage chocolates boxes and little vintage candy signs can be spotted around flea markets, both in person and online, so keep your eyes open!

You can often find sweet signs about love, family, or Scripture, especially online.  Consider picking up a small one to add to a favorite Valentine’s vignette!  You could also take card stock and print one online or try your hand at writing your favorite verse in calligraphy! 

Here are a few favorite verses that I love for the Valentine’s season:

  • “Love is patient, love is kind.” I Corinthians 13:4
  • “Love…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  I Corinthians 13:7
  • “We love because He first loved us.”  I John 4:19
  • “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”  Jeremiah 31:3
  • “There is no fear in love for perfect love casts out fear.”  I John 4:18

Candy!

 

You really can’t have Valentine’s Day without some candy, right?  I picked up a few bags of yummy chocolates…in neutral colored wrappers, of course…and added them to vintage bowls on the coffee table and in the kitchen!  This is proving to be tempting for our whole family, but we set a little rule that each person can have one a day for the week!  After all, a little chocolate is good for you, right?!  It is a simple way to add some fun and festivity to your home for the season.

Adding the chocolates to my vintage, wooden bowls makes them feel a little more special.  I love being able to actually use my vintage items…and my family is enjoying it too!

Candles

 

Nothing sets a romantic, cozy atmosphere like candles!  I use battery operated ones all through the winter.  I love how the flicker on each day around dusk and we get to enjoy them during the long, winter evenings.  I also keep some favorite candles on hand and you can find one lit in our kitchen or on the coffee table most evenings!  For me, celebrating love and family is all about creating a cozy, inviting atmosphere.  I want our family to feel like home is really a great, big, cozy hug.  No matter what is happening in the world, we have each other and our home is a haven.  What does that have to do with candles?  Well, it’s all about a cozy feeling and peaceful environment.  Candles are a simple, but impactful, way to get that in your home!

Here are a few ways to add candles:

  1. Add a jar candle to a dough bowl with a simple, green wreath or clips of fresh greenery from your yard.
  2. Fill a bowl with small rocks or sand and add taper candles, like I did here! You can even use battery operated ones for something that just flickers on each evening and is a little more safe to have on all the time.
  3. Use a dough bowl or tray and add a few pillar candles. This makes a quick and simple centerpiece, or use it like I did on my coffee table!  I added a few little sprigs of faux greenery to soften the edges and give it more life.

So you can see that our Valentine’s Day décor isn’t flashy and we won’t be winning any party décor awards!  But it feels calm, peaceful, and loving…with a little splash of fun and festivity!

If you don’t usually decorate for Valentine’s Day, I hope this inspires you to pick up a bag of chocolates or bundle of flowers on your next grocery store run.  It takes the smallest, most simple things to create a thoughtful and loving home.

 

Blessings,

Robyn

Three Valentine’s Crafts to Enjoy with your Kids

Three Valentine’s Crafts to Enjoy with your Kids

Three Valentine’s Crafts to Enjoy with your Kids

Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to give the gift of time!  My kids really enjoy arts and crafts and I’ve been trying to be intentional about carving out time to enjoy these activities with them.  Holidays like Valentine’s Day are a great time to create some simple and sweet DIY projects…and even use them in your decorating too!  We hope you enjoy these simple crafts!

 

Valentine’s Day “I Love You” Garland

 

Materials needed:
  • Kraft paper card stock (or simple construction paper works too!)
  • Twine or string
  • Pencil
  • Heart shape template
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors

I love that you can really tweak this simple DIY in so many fun ways.  I spent $1 on this DIY, purchasing the little cardboard heart box at the Dollar Tree.  I will be using it for another DIY, but the lid was the perfect size for a heart template!  I traced the lid onto my card stock paper.  I chose to do the brown kraft paper, but again, you could change this to whatever color you wanted to use!  It would be adorable in pink and red too!

 

I traced 12 hearts so that each child would have four to write on.  After tracing, I cut out the hearts and punched a hole at the curve of each heart.

The kids wrote something they love about each member of the family on their hearts.  I had them use neutral colored pencils to keep the aesthetic of the mantel styling.  Again, you could change these colors to fit whatever space you’re styling!

If you don’t have children at home or your children are too young to write, this would also be really pretty with favorite scripture verses or quotes about love!

One of my followers suggested that I write the year on the back of the hearts so I can save them.  I think that is a great idea and I’ll do just that!

We hung the garland on the mantel, layered over the winter greenery I was already using in this space.  I love how it adds a subtle touch of the upcoming holiday, while still blending in with the look and style of our home.

Conversation Heart DIY Box

Materials needed:
  • Box or bowl (I purchased this cardboard box at the Dollar Tree!)
  • Strips of paper
  • Pencil
  • Writing prompts

Gathering around the table for family dinners is always a highlight for us.  And it almost always involves rounds of laughter, especially from our Addy!  I thought it would be fun to create a special conversation box for our Valentine’s dinner!

If you don’t have a box, even a cute bowl would work great for this!

 

I cut small strips of white paper, though you could use any color that coordinates with your table décor.  On each strip of paper, I wrote a writing prompt.  I chose to do 10, giving each member of our family two chances.  Here are some ideas to get you started!

  1. One kind thing I did this week was ______
  2. One kind thing someone did for me this week was _____
  3. How can I show kindness to someone who isn’t kind in return?
  4. What is your favorite family memory from this year?
  5. What is something our family could do better in showing love to each other?
  6. What is something great our family does to show we love one another?
  7. Who is a neighbor we could show some extra love to this week and how?
  8. I can help my family this week by _____
  9. I can show love at school/work to my teacher/co-worker this week by _____
  10. What is a funny family memory from this year?

I think this will be a fun and interesting way to focus our conversation around the topic of love and kindness as we celebrate this Valentine’s Day!

 

Yarn-Wrapped Heart Garland

 

Materials needed:
  • Cardboard
  • White Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Twine

These yarn-wrapped heart garlands are a popular choice for a simple DIY and I can see why!  Rather than the typical red or pink yarn, I opted to use white yarn.  Again, looking for ways to add subtle touches of the holiday while still blending in with the overall style and look of our home!

To start off, I drew a heart about 3 inches tall and 2 inches wide and cut it out of cardboard. I traced the heart 6 times for a total of 7 hearts.

I used about 3 yards of yarn per heart and simply wrapped the yarn around the cardboard heart. I made sure to rotate the yarn around the heart so it wasn’t to bunched or bulky in any one spot. I just tucked the end of the yarn under other pieces of yearn. You could hot glue it to make sure it will stay well, but I didn’t think it was necessary.

I then took twine and threaded it through the back of the hearts. Simply hang where ever will look lovely in your home!

I love how this turned out.  Sweet, simple, and lots of texture!  I plan to add it to our girls’ room after Valentine’s Day, so it will get a lot of use, long after the holiday!

I hope this inspires you to carve out a little bit of creative time and make something simple to help you decorate for the holiday!  It’s a great chance to get kids involved or just relax for cozy night in, crafting with a favorite movie and cup of coffee…or sneak a few Valentine’s chocolates!

 

Blessings,

Robyn

How to Salvage Vintage Furniture

How to Salvage Vintage Furniture

How to Salvage Vintage Furniture

Have you ever come across a vintage piece, passed it up, and regretted it?  That was me a few weeks ago!  Some of you might even remember that I shared this piece on my Instagram stories while we were at the market.  Well, I ended up going back and thankfully, it was still there.  AND, I got a little better deal too!

Have you ever come across a vintage you loved but couldn’t get past the “old” smell?  This old card catalog had seen better days and was in definite need of a little TLC.  I still can’t believe the transformation and how the smell is gone too!

I did some research to find something that would take care of both the decades of dirt and grime as well as the smell.  I used this method from the Better Homes and Gardens blog  for cleaning and it worked like a charm!  We then added our own steps to finish up the piece and make it ready for styling.

Here’s how we did it:

 

Materials

    • Olive oil
    • Denatured alcohol
    • Gum turpentine
    • Strained lemon juice
    • (2) soft cloths
    • Clear, matte polyurethane
    • Dish soap
    • Sponge
    • Bucket

Process

 

  • Step One: We took the card catalog outside and washed it gently with a sponge and soapy dish water.
  • Step Two:  We created the equal parts mixture of olive oil, denatured alcohol, gum turpentine, and strained lemon juice.
  • Step Three: We applied the solution over all the wood with a soft cloth.
  • Step Four: We buffed the wood with a clean cloth.
  • Step Five: We sprayed the rusted metal handles with a clear, matte polyurethane.  It doesn’t hurt the wood, so don’t worry about the spillover!

 

  • Step Six: We left the card catalog to completely dry in the sun for a full day.

How to choose the right side table

 

While a vintage piece worked great for our needs, you may need something with a more specific function.  Or depending on the layout of the room, something tha