Hutch Makeover & Chic Shelf Paper Review

I'm so sorry for the silence over here.  I've spent the last few weeks finishing up my Home Depot style challenge and have totally neglected the blog!

This project has been semi finished for a while.  My mom picked up this hutch for me at Goodwill a while back.  She graciously stored it in her garage for me until we moved.  Once we got settled in to the new house, I realized it would be a perfect fit in my daughter's room and all the extra storage was a nice bonus.

Here is where it started.  It had a funky crackle glaze finish going on so I had to give it a really good sanding.

On a side note, the folks at Goodwill labeled it as a "chester."  I guess it kind of makes sense, a mix between a chest and a dresser? :) 

So, once I sanded it down I gave it 2-3 coats of Behr Marquee Graceful Gray.  I love this color, it's a great neutral with a little bit of warmth, but the hutch still felt like it was lacking something.  It just felt too plain and the inside seemed too dark to me.  

Thankfully the people at Chic Shelf Paper reached out to me to review one of their products.  It was perfect timing because I was trying to find something that would work on the back of this piece.  I had actually tried wrapping paper, but it was a total fail.  It got all wrinkly and wouldn't lay flat.  I went with the classic black & white dot in a fine weave fabric.  They sent me a roll that I could cut to size, but you can also order your pieces pre cut to save you a step.

Cutting it was super easy though.  I just used a razor blade, yard stick, and cutting mat to get crisp clean edges.  

I was going to take pictures of the process, but it's pretty simple and I didn't have a free hand to snap pictures.  You just peel of the backing a little at a time as you are applying the paper.  If you mess up you can reposition it so it's very forgiving.  It also comes with a small squeegee so you can work out any air bubbles as you go.

I think it really brightens up the back and gives it a more playful vibe.

My mom also recently gave me these horse prints that she won at an auction.  They were pretty dirty, but a good scrubbing and some fresh paint made them good as new.  I thought they were just so sweet.

The existing hardware just needed a little rub 'n buff to freshen it up.

It really is a great product and seems like it will be durable too.  I kind of want to cover everything in it!

*I was provided a product to review, all opinions are my own.

Inexpensive Art & Gallery Wall

My mom and I were pursuing the aisles of Hobby Lobby the other day and I came across these great, affordable prints.  I got really excited when I saw them, because they were a great price and I thought it was just a really good idea.  They had several different packs to choose from, but I narrowed it down to two.  I've been looking for artwork for our playroom so I went with some that had a more playful vibe. 

I think gallery walls can be intimidating to most people and these packs simplify it.  They have coordinating art that works well together, as well as several different templates showing you how to lay them out.  And the best part is they are on sale for $7.50 this week!  You would easily pay that for one print.  And did I mention several of the prints are gold foil?  You know I couldn't resist that!

I haven't really come up with a specific plan for the playroom, it's just sort of evolved as we go.  I have a few ideas in mind, but I'm mostly trying to just use what we have.  The builder's beige on the walls will be painted over one of these days too.

I also incorporated this colorful print from Charleston.  It's one of our favorite getaway spots and we bought this print on one of our first trips there.  I didn't really feel like it fit anywhere else in our house, so I was happy to be able to use it in this room.

I also used some more of my gold tape to mount one of the prints to a fabric covered canvas I've had for forever.

And these chairs were a lucky Goodwill find.  They were new with tags from Target, but they were a third of the price they would have been at Target.  It's hard to tell because of the pillows, but they have some great tufting on the back too!  

I do think there is definitely something to be said for a well curated gallery wall that incorporates things that are meaningful to you, but I think these prints help fill the void for spots that you just aren't sure what to do with.  However, if you filled the whole wall with them I think that would be just fine too!  I also think these prints would be a great baby shower gift.  Just pop one in a frame and you are good to go!

By the way, this is not a sponsored post, I just thought these were too good not to share!


DIY Ballard Clamshell

I have always loved the look of these giant clamshells from Ballard Designs.  They are elegant, earthy, and interesting to look at.  They fill up the empty space on the center of a console perfectly.  I just haven't been able to bring myself to pay $100 for one.  So, when I was in Goodwill the other day inspiration struck.  I saw a giant plastic clamshell bowl and figured I would give it a little makeover to mimic the Ballard one.  If it was a total bust I'd only be out $3.99.  If you want to try this just do a google search for "buffet clamshell" and you'll find lots of different places you can buy them online for about $10-$15.  

I needed to figure out a way to mimic the texture of the Ballard clamshell.  I think that's part of what makes it so cool.  So I came up with the idea to use some drywall putty.  I had some on hand and figured it was worth a shot. 

I used my finger to rub it on and create grooves similar to the inspiration clamshell.

I waited for the first coat to dry and then went over it one more time.  Once everything was dry, I spray painted the whole thing with white spray paint.  I thought about going over it with some stain or something to create a little more variation in color, but for now I'm liking the white.  

I was a little worried it would end up looking like a seafood buffet in my entryway, but I actually really like how it turned out.  Especially for the price!

The only downside of this version is that it is not waterproof.  So you can't put any live plants in it, not that I'm great with those anyway.  Thankfully, Hobby Lobby has some pretty realistic looking faux succulents.  I had these three on hand, and plan to grab a few more the next time I'm there to fill it out a little more.

This orchid was on super clearance at Aldi the other day so I grabbed it for this vignette.  Hoping I can keep it alive!

I also finally found a place (as you can see) for my Love is the Only Gold print from Lindsay Letters. I just love her stuff!


Our New Jute Rug

We've been searching for the perfect rug for our living room for a while now.  I felt like it was the piece that was missing to pull the room together.  And the more I looked, the more I kept finding myself going back to jute/natural fiber rugs.  They are durable and so versatile.  There's only one problem that I've had with them in the past, they shed a ton and they leave this dusty residue on the floors underneath them.  The dusty stuff drove me crazy with our last jute rug, hence the search for a new rug.  So I was a bit hesitant to go back to a natural fiber rug.  However, this post from Emily Clark gave me hope!  

I ended up purchasing the heather jute chenille rug from Pottery Barn.  I waited for a big sale (plus a coupon) and then pulled the trigger.  It's more than I have ever spent on a rug, but I felt like it was worth the investment.  And it was comparable to what you would pay for a large rug at somewhere like Marshall's/Homegoods.  I ended up going with a 9 x 12 and it makes the room look so much bigger.  Anything smaller wouldn't have looked quite right.  In my opinion, it's always better to go a little larger with a rug.  It will be worth the extra money you pay, I promise.  

Look at all that texture, it just can't be beat!

And this right here was the part that really won me over.  It has a backing so it doesn't leave any of that dusty stuff on your floors!  So far the shedding hasn't been bad at all either.  It has shed a little bit, like any new rug, but it's nothing compared to the other jute rugs I've had in the past.  

You might also be wondering how it feels underfoot.  It's actually fairly soft, not like walking on pillows, but soft enough to where it's not uncomfortable to sit on it.  My daughter plays on it all the time and never complains of it being scratchy or anything.  So far we are loving it, but I'll be sure to do an update down the road to let you know how it wears!

*This is NOT a sponsored post.  I just thought I'd share in case any of you were in the market for a similar rug.


Winter Mantle

After Valentine's day passed, I needed to make a few updates to my mantle.  I replaced the "love" art with a botanical print from a thrifted book I have.  But, the mat was just a teeny bit too large.  This gold, metallic tape from Target was just what it needed.  I created a border around the edge to hold the print in place.


I think it adds a glamorous edge to an otherwise traditional print.

I also added these x benches in front of the fireplace.  I've been feeling like the corner fireplace was sort of an afterthought and I think the benches help incorporate it into the rest of the room.  The extra seating is a nice bonus too.

I'm loving the addition of the green too.  I actually switched up some of the accent pillows on the sectional as well and it feels like this room is finally starting to come together!


Hello Kitty Party

Today is my daughter's third birthday and I can hardly believe it.  I know everyone says it, but it really does fly by.  It seems like this last year especially flew by!  But, we really are enjoying each new stage and the joys and challenges that come along with it.  We feel so grateful that God has blessed us with this precious girl.  

Most of our family lives in the area so we had a little get together to celebrate her birthday this past weekend with them.  Hello Kitty is one of my daughter's favorites, so that became the theme for this year's party.  I kept the menu really simple to make things easier.  We ordered a few pizzas from our favorite local place, my in laws brought a caesar salad, and we finished the meal with cake (of course!), chocolate covered strawberries, and cake pops.

My daughter is a big fan of cake pops.  I blame Starbucks and her yaya for her love of them. :)  So when I saw this idea for Hello Kitty Cake Pops from Bakerella I knew I had to at least give it a try.  They are far from perfect, but they were a hit with my daughter and they were pretty tasty too.  I wrapped styrofoam blocks from the Dollar Tree with wrapping paper to create the base.

I rummaged through my growing collection of gift wrap and chose colors and textures that would fit with the theme of the party.  It ended up adding a lot of color and visual impact with little cost and effort.  

If you've never made a Rosette Cake you must give it a try, it's so easy and fun!

The birthday girl contributed to the decorations too.  

I just love these giant number balloons from Party City.

My sister in law gave her this giant Hello Kitty for Christmas last year and it ended up being a perfect prop for the party display.

I found this adorable Hello Kitty dress at H & M.  I can't find it online, but I found it in store.  They have the cutest character stuff.

Lastly, I found this Hello Kitty karaoke machine on major clearance last year and have been saving it.    I wasn't sure if she would like it, but it was definitely a hit with her and my nephews.  We've had front row seats for numerous renditions of "Let it Go" over the past 48 hours and I foresee many more concerts in our future. 

My husband made me promise that next year we will get a store bought cake and go bowling. :)

If you missed her previous parties you can check them out here.