Moodboard Monday - Affordable Runners

There's definitely a trend with pretty, vintage runners in kitchens these days.  They really can make such a statement in an otherwise neutral kitchen.  I love the look of them, but they can get pricey.  So I've rounded up some great runners that would be perfect for your kitchen without breaking the bank.  In fact, all of these are under $100!
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*This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase some of the items listed in this post.  As always I only share things that I love and think you will too!


How to Upgrade a Builder's Grade Home

If I could go back and tell my first time home buyer self one thing, it would be don't go with any of the builder's upgrades!  Our first home was a new construction home that was almost complete when we bought it.  We had a little time to upgrade a few things, but most of the finishes were already picked.  Although I would have preferred a different color countertop and cabinet color most of the things were neutral so we were ok with that.  We did decide to make a few minor upgrades, but nothing major.  Looking back I wouldn't have chosen any of the upgrades for a few different reasons.  Typically you pay more for the upgrades than it would be to hire them out down the road and you're also mortgaging them versus just paying out of pocket.  Also, most of the time the options for the upgrades aren't the best, unless you are buying on the higher end side.

So instead of choosing the builder's upgrades, I would do these simple things to create a home that stands out amongst all the others in your neighborhood.  And the great things is, these ideas don't just apply to a new home, they can make any home feel more custom.

1.  Don't be afraid to paint

Paint is your best friend when it comes to transforming a home.  It's definitely one of the biggest bangs for your buck and anyone can do it!  If you aren't sure what colors to pick, look on Pinterest and get some ideas of colors that appeal to you.  When I'm choosing a color, I always like to do a google image search of that color first to see what it looks like in different homes with different lighting.  Just google the color and then click on the images tab at the top.  I also like to get paint samples just to be on the safe side.  It's worth the few extra dollars in my opinion.  It can look so different on the walls vs. that tiny little chip.    

See more of our living room here.

Don't be afraid to go with a bold color choice if you love it!  It's just paint and can easily be changed if you change your mind down the road.

See more of our bedroom makeover here.

2. Paint your cabinets

I know the thought of painting your cabinets can seem overwhelming, but it makes such a difference! And you can always hire out if your budget allows.  

You can see more of our kitchen makeover here along with my painting process.

And if the thought of painting your kitchen cabinets is daunting, start with a smaller space like a bathroom.

You can see more of this bathroom makeover here.

You can see more of this bathroom from our first house here.  And if you aren't up for painting your cabinets this is a great post for making your current color work.

3.  Switch Out Your Drawer Pulls

Changing out your drawer pulls makes such a difference too!  We kept the knobs in our kitchen to cut down the cost and switched out just the handles.  Just measure the distance between the holes for the handles and look for ones with the same measurement.  

4.  Change Out Your Light Fixtures

My mom taught me how to change out a light fixture several years ago, and it's come in handy more times than I can count.  If you don't know how to do it you can find several youtube tutorials.  If you've never done it before, you won't believe how simple it is!

You can find more info on these light fixtures here.

5.  Replace the Towel Bars

Towel bars are definitely functional, but if you want a more custom look it's easy to switch them out and it's pretty inexpensive too.  I prefer using hooks in a bathroom because it's easier for the kids to hang their towels on them. 

These DIY lucite towel rings are a favorite of mine and they are super inexpensive!

You can find more info on this room here.

We also took down the towel bar above our bathtub and replaced it with some pretty art.  We rarely use the bathtub and so the towel bar wasn't functional for us.  I'm amazed at how much better it looks without it.  Just because the builder put it there doesn't mean you have to keep it there!

6.  Hang Some Curtains

Hanging curtains always makes a room feel more finished and can even make the room feel bigger.  I like to hang mine high and wide.  I usually go about six inches to the side of the window and I only use panels that are at least 95" in length.  Sadly most of the stores still only carry the 84" length but you can find lots of great longer options here.

You can find these DIY curtains here.  

And if your windows are on the small side or you just want to make them look bigger, you can use this trick.

What are your favorite, simple ways to update your home?  


Faux Real Pumpkin Floral Arrangement

I've had this project on my to do list for a while and I finally got around to it last week.  

I don't have a lot of pumpkin decor because I like to just use the real ones if possible.  But I picked up a few of these carvable pumpkins a few years ago after halloween with plans to turn them into a pumpkin centerpiece.  If you've looked on Pinterest you've probably seen several versions of this, but I thought I'd share my take on it.

You start with a carvable pumpkin.  I used an orange one because that's all they had left when I bought mine, but they come in white too which I think would be really pretty!  

Then just cut a hole out of the top big enough for a glass to fit in.  I tried using a razor blade at first and ended up switching to a serrated knife.  The knife made it so much easier.  I made two of these, and for the first one I just eyeballed it and it was fine.  But for the second one I turned the glass upside down on the top of the pumpkin and traced around it to make sure I got the exact size I hole I needed.

Insert your glass and you have a festive fall vase!  I chose to paint mine a grayish green (Rustoleum Charcoal Gray) because it's what I had on hand and I liked it better than the orange, but you could do it any color or leave it as is.  

For the arrangement I just used grocery store (Trader Joe's) flowers.  I spent a little over ten dollars on the flowers and I was able to get two arrangements out of it.  I also mixed in some fake flowers (the white ones) from Hobby Lobby.  I'm not normally big on fake flowers, but I'm amazed at how real these look, even in real life!  I love that I can use them over and over again too.

I'm hosting a fall themed baby shower in a few weeks and I'm excited to use these as part of the decor.  They'd be great for a Thanksgiving centerpiece too!


Moodboard Monday - Home Decor Accessories

For today's Moodboard Monday I'm sharing some home decor accessories that are staples in my decor.  These are the things I reach for often when styling a bookshelf or accessorizing a room. 

1.  Bookends - Bookends are great for books of course, but they also add some great textural dimension.  They're perfect for bookcases, but work well on any surface that you're using books.

2.  Urchins - I've had these urchins in my house for a few years now and I use them all the time.  They get moved around often because they work in pretty much any room.  I like using them on top of a stack of books or when I need something to fill a small space.

3.  Wood Bowl - Bowls are great for filling with seasonal items (pinecones, pumpkins, etc.) or even something like remote controls or keys in the entryway.  I like to keep my eye out for these when thrifting too!

4.  Coasters - These are both functional and pretty.  

5.  Wood Sculpture - I really love the look of this piece.  I think it would be especially pretty on top of a dresser or nightstand, layered in front of a few frames or on top of some large books.

6.  Plant - I like using a lot of real plants, but they've come a long way with fake ones too.  These are especially great for spots that don't get much natural light.

7.  Gold & Black Frames - I love the look of layered frames.  They really help fill in the back of a bookshelf or open shelving.  I used similar ones on my kitchen shelves.

8.  Boxes - Stacked boxes are great for storage (perfect for remotes on a coffee table) and help add in some horizontal dimension.   

Do you have any favorite "go to" accessories?  

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase some of the items listed in this post.  As always I only share things that I love and think you will too!


Large DIY Tassel Pillow

Evidently I have a thing for tassels lately because they seem to be popping up everywhere in my house!  I started with my tassel drawer pulls, then my vase with curtain tieback tassels, and now this large DIY tassel pillow.  

I added this body pillow to our bed a few months ago because I liked the simplicity of having one large pillow vs. several smaller ones.  There was only one problem with it, there aren't any cute cases for it.  Most of the ones I found were either flimsy or furry.  I guess since it's meant to be slept with, the cases need to be comfortable.  So when I can't find what I'm looking for I DIY it!

I've already made one DIY pillow cover for it, you can see that here.  But I wanted something with a little more texture for the upcoming season change.  Something about fall just screams texture to me. 

Here is my inspiration pillow.

It's actually a great pillow if you are looking for something a little smaller than mine and it comes in a few different colors.  

I started by picking out the tassel trim and fringe trim from Hobby Lobby.  It's on sale this week too!  I bought 4 yards of each and had some to spare.  I also bought some cream canvas fabric to make the pillow itself.

I cut out the fabric for my pillow and sewed a zipper on one end.  You can also do an envelop closure on the back, whatever you prefer.  I cut my fabric a few inches smaller than a normal body pillow cover because I wanted it to fit snugly and be nice and full.    Then I laid it out on the table and played around with the trim to see how I wanted it laid out.

I thought about just sewing the trim on at this point, but I decided to glue it in place first to help keep things secure.  Trim tends to slide around, at least for me, when I'm sewing it and I didn't want crooked pieces of trim.

You can use any type of fabric glue, this is just what I had on hand.

I laid out a measuring tape at the top of my fabric to make sure I was keeping an equal distance between my trim pieces.  Then I just glued each one in place.  After the glue dried I sewed each one in place as well.  You could probably skip this step, but this pillow tends to get used for a gymnastics mat and pillow fights quite often so I wanted to make sure everything was good and secure. :)

After all the trim was in place, I put the right sides together and sewed around the edges to make the pillow.  If you don't have a sewing machine I think you could create a similar look by using fabric glue to adhere the trim to a premade cover.

I'm really happy with how it turned out and think it adds just the right amount of texture that I was looking for!

I'm planning to switch out the duvet and euro covers with some I have stashed away to create a little more contrast and warmth for the season.  I'll be sharing those changes soon!


Fall Living Room Update

I don't typically do a ton of fall decorating, but I do like to change a few things out to create a more cozy vibe.  I typically learn towards darker, warmer colors this time of year.  In my living room I kept things simple, by adding in some new pillow covers, fresh greenery, and some new art.  It was easy and inexpensive and the room looks and feels a lot more like fall to me.

I wanted to change up our mantle art for something a little more fall-ish so I grabbed this DIY abstract art from our bathroom and purchased this tree stump art to go in a thrifted frame.  I would love to incorporate this print in a larger scale somewhere else in our home too!

I added some curtain tieback tassels to this vase I've had for forever and it really helped dress it up a bit.  I found mine at Hobby Lobby and was able to use the 40% off coupon too.  These would also be fun!  Or if you're in a DIYing mood I think these are so neat!


This side of the room pretty much stayed the same, but our leather pillows add a good bit of warmth.

I added a few of these camel colored pillow covers (less than $6!) and a few of these striped pillow covers (also less than $6!) and it made such a difference!  It really is amazing how changing such a small thing can make such a big difference.

I'll likely add in some white pumpkins once they start showing up in the stores and it gets a little closer to fall, but for now this was just the change I needed to get my excited for the new season.  Have you started decorating yet or is it still too early for you?

For more info on this room and all the sources, you can check out this post!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase some of the items listed in this post.  As always I only share things that I love and think you will too!


Moodboard Monday - Laundry Room

The laundry room is one of those rooms that often gets forgotten about when it comes to decorating and understandably so.  It's not exactly the most exciting room in the house, but with a few small additions it can be both functional and beautiful.  Even if you only have a small area for laundry, and not a whole room, you can still add a few pretty, decorative touches.  

1. Faux Succulent - I love using real plants whenever I can, but sometimes you just need a good no maintenance plant to add some green to a space.  A laundry room is a good place to go faux because a lot of times you don't have natural light for a real plant.  I love that this one looks so realistic too.

2.  Flush Mount Light - This light has a very low profile so it can be used in most rooms, even those with lower ceilings.  I like the modern look of it too.

3.  Laundry Basket - A pretty laundry basket like this is a big upgrade from the plastic ones most of us are used to.  I like that it has a liner that can be washed too.

4.  Open Shelving - Open shelving is great for extra storage in a laundry room and also acts as a nice spot to add some decorative touches.  It also comes in a two shelf option if you don't have space for three shelves.  It would be great for open shelving in a kitchen too!

5.  Persian Runner - A Persian runner looks great in pretty much any space, including laundry rooms.  I like that this one is fairly neutral and affordable.

6.  Glass Jars - I love using glass containers in laundry rooms for things like powdered laundry detergent or even wool dryer balls.  

7.  Wool Dryer Balls - Speaking of wool dryer balls, we use them all the time and love them!  I usually add a few drops of essential oil to them to make things smell good too!

8.  Ironing Board Cover - Sometimes it takes just a simple thing like updating your ironing board cover to make a difference in the feel of your space.  I like that this one has a neutral, organic feel to it.  We actually just started using one of these instead of a regular ironing board.  I found mine at Aldi of all places and it has been great, especially for ironing smaller things.

I actually just finished a little mini makeover on our laundry room a few months ago and will hopefully be sharing it soon.  Taking the pictures always takes me the longest!  

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase some of the items listed in this post.  As always I only share things that I love and think you will too!