Change your ugly light fixture today!

I don’t know why, but houses almost always have at least one, or several of these type of light fixtures:

I call this unfortunate fixture a “boob light” because, well…you know. Look at it! For some reason all builders insist on installing these in homes (ahem, they’re cheap.) and I’m sorry not sorry, they’re ugly. They hold bugs and dust and don’t give off sufficient light. There, I said it. Nothing against a boob, it just doesn’t go on my ceiling. Ya know?

BUT, while puttering around my house recently a boob light light bulb went off over my head! (translation: I got an idea!) What if I could take off the lampy boobish part and instead use a lampshade?! Y’all. I may not have another good idea for years, because I feel like this one was pure gold. It was easy, cheap and quick. I am so pleased with it and I’m excited to share it with you! I think you’ll really love it.

Unscrew these two pieces from the bottom. Careful to hold up the glass part (uh..the boob) of the light fixture. These are what holds it up. Keep these handy, because you’ll need them again.

Now, avert your eyes if you’re the quesy type. What you’re about to see, you can never unsee.

See? I’m sorry we all had to see that. At this point I’m thinking, “hey, if this plan won’t work, at least I’ve cleaned out this mass burial site for moths! But gosh, I hope this works because….yuck.”

See that bolt in between the light bulbs? That’s what held on the glass part and will hold on your lampshade. Depending on the size lampshade you use, you may have to trim your bolt down, or go pick up a shorter one from a home improvement store. Ours was a bit long, so after measuring, Brian trimmed it using bolt cutters.

I snatched this shade right off a lamp upstairs, because this was an emergency! What’s even better than already having what you need? Having found it so affordably in the first place- I found it at Goodwill for only $5.99! (See what else I will only buy second hand here)

It must be a lampshade with this type of fitter inside. If you have what’s know as a “spider fitter”, or “harp and finial” (the type that sits above the light bulb) this project won’t work. If you need a lampshade, this one from Walmart is less than $10 and ships in two days.

Line up your lampshade with that bolt coming right through the center of that fitter. It will seem a bit awkward, but once you get it tightened on, you can straighten a bit.

Remember these?? Screw them back onto the bolt just like they were, but better, because now they’re holding up your cute lampshade.

That’s it! $6 and literal minutes of “work” to swap out an ugly, bug filled light fixture with a lampshade. Please let me know if you try this, and if you’re interested in any of my other light fixture diys, you can find them right here:

I would love to hear from you, and as always, thanks so much for stopping by!

How I keep my house clean with these three, easy steps!

I’ve been asked before, “How does your house stay clean?” The answer may disappoint you….I clean everyday. I don’t have any magic tricks, or voo doo powers or anything. I just clean. every. dang. day.

Sorry, friends. I got you to click and now you feel duped! But wait! I do have three HUGE tips for upkeep that will help you feel like your house is tidy, and manageable until you can get to that deep cleaning day all houses need from time to time. They take almost no time at all and will make a big difference day to day.

  • Wipe it all down.

By this I mean the surfaces and sinks you use daily. My kitchen counter tops get a wipe down daily. My bathroom sink and kitchen sink get rinsed daily. More on that in a minute.

But first, my go to/favorite “cleaning cloths” are actually Gerber cloth diapers. They are slightly absorbent, which makes it possible to be reused several times. I keep a cloth right on top of all my frequently used cleaning supplies. You can buy these anywhere, but a 10 pack on Amazon is under $15.

Now, I love baskets and bins and all the organizing things, but you really only need a few things readily accessible under your sink. For the kitchen, as far as cleaning supplies go, I only use three cleaners. I need granite spray for my counters, Clorox Clean-Up for my sink, and Mrs. Meyer’s Multi Purpose spray for my stove top and microwave. Technically, I could do without the Mrs. Meyer’s spray, but I like to use a more gentle, fresher smelling cleaner when and where I can.

My kitchen sink gets sprayed with Clorox Clean-Up almost every night after the dinner dishes are done and put in the dishwasher. I spray it all throughout both sides and then rinse it out after a few minutes. Call me crazy, but the smell of Clorox in a clean kitchen is pretty satisfying. I wouldn’t want a candle of it or anything, but it just smells….clean. Also, it keeps my white sink white, but will kill all the coodies and help keep any sink fresh.

My bathroom sink only gets cleaned properly, as in with a rag and cleaner once a week. But, every time I use the sink, I swish water around with my hand ensuring any hairs, toothpaste or other gunk is cleaned out. I rub my wet hand on my faucet to rinse off any residue also.

Other cleaners I always keep handy, are Method Wood for Good and Method Stainless Steel cleaner. These could be used from day to day and I want ready at a moment’s notice which leads right into my next tip…..

  • Do it NOW.

See some crumbs? Wipe them up.

Smudge on your table? Spray, spray, wipe. Done.

Two dishes and a coffee cup in the sink? Put them in the dishwasher. It takes literal seconds and will be done. What a relief.

This tip keeps me on the cusp of running late everywhere, but I am who I am so… If you aren’t like me, and won’t have heart palpitations if you leave crumbs on your counter (or your bed unmade, or a dish in your sink…) then keeping your bottles and rags in an easily accessible place where you can grab them, use them, and put them back before you have even thought about putting it off for later is going to help you follow through.

Don’t worry about bins or containers or making your under the sink items look beautiful. Organization is so much fun, like I wish it was my job fun, but just get them accessible and all the areas you actually spend time looking at will be clean.

  • Get help where you can.

My kids unload my dishwasher, and Roomba helps cleans my floors. It took many times and lots of follow through but I can get my kids to unload the dishwasher with minimal griping and coaxing now. It will feel like more work at first, but find something your kids can, and perhaps should be responsible for and just teach them. Teach them how to do it right and just shadow them until they get it. I know, they don’t want to, and they’re not good at it. Of course you can do it better, but, make it fun, offer a treat if you need to (for yourself too!) and just make it a habit. It’s good for them!

Floors…oh the floors. They cause me more grief than anything because it’s more than a minute usually. On a ranch, with two kids and a dog, the floors just get dirty. I run Roomba when I’m away from home, or run this vacuum quickly in the common areas each afternoon when my kids have come in from playing and are in for the night.

All the cleaning supplies I’ve mentioned, I order from Grove collaborative. I have found their prices to be the same, or comparable on everything I order. They frequently offer a free gift with purchase, and if you use the referral link above, you get a FREE Mrs. Meyers 5 piece gift set. You can set up to have your most used cleaning products, hand soap, dish soap or any of your household items sent to you monthly, or however frequently you prefer.

I love that they offer refill bottles of my favorite method cleaning product (granite spray) and refills on our favorite hand soap (Mrs. Meyers). I have not ever seen these refills in any store.

I’m so glad you stopped by to read my three tips! I hope they help. Do you have any tips for keeping a clean house? I would love to hear them!

*Some of the links provided will provide me with a small percentage of your purchase. This is at no extra cost to you! Thank you for using my links!!!

Drop Cloth Curtains

Living out here on the ranch, we really have no need for window coverings. After futily dusting and cleaning blinds at our last house, I declared I would never again have blinds on my windows. (Read about the one window I decided to cover here)

When my parent’s built their house, they also left many of their windows without drapes, curtains or blinds because….ah ahhhhhh.

Their view….It’s awesome. Being able to see across acres of untouched land is pretty special. The only problem is, that when the afternoon sun starts streaming in, the dining room can get a bit hot. And by “a bit hot”, I mean that, this is Texas, and God bless it, it can be unbearably hot. My parents were unable to enjoy eating dinner at their table, or that beautiful view anytime in the afternoon.

I suggested that we use drop cloth curtains to cover some of the dining room windows. It would be inexpensive, quick, and have a classic, neutral look. It was a fun project, and truly did end up being all of those things!

Here’s what we purchased to get started:

  • Drop Cloths: We bought ours from Home Depot. Here is the 4×12 , or 9×12 size sold on Amazon
  • Curtain Rod(s):  Measure your window (or be like me and “eyeball it”…yikes.) before purchasing. We used a curtain rod similar to this one, but you may want to consider using one a bit more substantial. I’ll chat more about this later in the post.
  • Drapery Clips : Plan on buying more than you think you need. The drop cloths are durable, which makes them great for coverage, but heavy. Here is an AmazonBasics option, which would include enough for one curtain. We used about 30 clips for 4, 36 inch windows.

In addition to those purchased items, we also used a drill (We have this one) to hang our rods.

First, lay out your drop cloths and decide which end you’de like to be the top (where the curtains will hang from) and fold over a section.

How much you decide to fold over, depends on how much you’de like your curtains to pool on the floor. My mom preferred her curtains to hit just at floor level. Again, I just “eyeballed” -I’m cool like that- and folded down about a 3 foot section all the way across the “top”.

Thanks for the help, Rocky.

As you can see, the curtains are pretty wrinkled. Some of these wrinkles will work themselves out by hanging for a bit. But, go ahead and give them a wash and dry, (or a steam, if you’re fancy!) if you’de like a crisper look from the start.

Attach your clips by folding a small section at a time, like this:

You can of course, just clip on without this method, but we were able to use less clips this way, and the pleats gives the curtains even more of a “bunched look”. It’s your preference! Slide the rings on your curtain rod and hang on your pre-hung brackets.

The curtain rods we chose (1 inch diameter), bow slightly from the weight of our curtains. You may choose to go with a more substantial rod if you’re planning to stretch it like we did.

To encourage the curtains to have a crisp, tidy look when pulled to the side, I used my hands to create folds along my clipped pleats and pressed together.

Step by Step on how to make simple, beautiful drop cloth curtains!
I think they turned out great! My skills at photographing a window…ehh.

This project was completed quickly and offered relief from the hot, setting sun right at dinnertime. Affordable, practical and beautiful is what I’m all about, and these curtains checked all those boxes.

Now, to makeover my parent’s bug-catching light fixture like I did at my house! Read that post here 

Thank you for stopping by!!

Have a great day! XO, Steph

*This post does contain some affiliate links. Were you to decide to purchase anything through these links, I would receive a small portion of your sale. This would be at no extra cost to you. THANK YOU!*

How to hang a Barn Light anywhere!

I have had “barn light” on my House Project To-Do list for over a month now.  I have been having a hard time 1) deciding where it should go and 2) Figuring out how I was going to get it functional without taking on any electricity. I have seen other bloggers that hang a barn light and use battery operated lights to make it a functional source of light, as well as a touch of character. While that’s a great idea, and also avoids calling/becoming an electrician, I was looking for a different option. Mainly because my experience with those lights is that they need new batteries uh…in the ballpark of once a day. So, since I would rather not spend bookoos on batteries, I came up with a solution that was amazingly easy and I can’t believe I waited this long to do it!

You will need:

Barn Light (Mine is from Wal-Mart, but this one is very similar, and similar price)

Hanging Pendant Lamp Cord (It is only $7.50!)

Black electrical tape

Drill (We have a Ryobi and LOVE it.)

 

First, I decided on my spot, and pre drilled my holes.

Then, I tucked in the cord from the hanging pendant light around the spot for the bulb. This is inside the barn light itself:

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I used electrical tape to hold the light socket on the cord, to the inside (as much as I could) of the socket provided in the barn light.

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I know, it’s not beautiful….yet!

The bulb will hang out a bit more than it would have had you used it as intended. You may want to consider using a bulb that isn’t ultra bright.

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We traded the bulb in this photo out for a “vintage” Edison bulb and it gives off a softer light.

I tucked my cord behind the furniture and left my switch accessible.

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You could do this anywhere in your home! The spot I chose was close to a plug, but the cord lights come in longer lengths, (mine is 12ft) if you needed to run more cord.

That’s it! A quick and inexpensive way to add a custom look, charm and character! Let me know if you try this out, or if you have any other tricks like this. I love to hear from y’all!

Thanks for reading! -Steph

 

 

How to love your ugly light fixtures for less than $30!

I’ve mentioned before that we never wanted to build a house. It was not on either of our bucket lists, and the decision to build was only made because honestly, there wasn’t another reasonable choice. (You can read about the house already on property where we lived/camped during the building process here) We wanted to live on this ranch, to be good stewards of this property, and we wanted to be able to do that everyday. (Read my favorite post, How We Got Here for the full backstory)

When we realized that being here on this blessed property meant *gulp* we would have to build our house, we dreaded making all the choices that go along with a new build. Of course, it was mostly pleasant and like we always knew, it’s not really about the house and all it’s bells and whistles anyway.

Throughout the whole process, the only choices we made with true reluctance were our light fixtures. We just didn’t like any of them. Oh sure, you can have any light fixture in their whole showroom…..for thousands extra. Looking to keep a reasonable mortgage? You silly, you can only choose from the, “bug bowl collection”. Ahhh yes, crispy bugs in all my light fixtures totally fits my style. One in every room please!

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It’s especially appetizing to look up at all the crispy gnats, communally entombed above the place you eat. Mmmm. As a solution to this (complete first world) problem, for my dining room, I purchased 5 of these small lamp shades from Wal-Mart.

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Quick side note, Wal-Mart has really upped their game in the home decor department. If you’re looking for something for your home, looking at Wal-Mart is not as bottom of the barrel as your high school former self might believe. They even offer 2-day shipping, or ship to store if you order online. We ordered a full sized mattress and box spring from Walmart.com and it showed up at our front gate in 2 days. The world we live in!

I purchased my shades in store, and I believe I paid $4.88 each for them. If you order online, they’re only $3.29! If you have five lights like me, that’s less than $20 to change the whole look of that light.  Buy some here.

These are actual lamp shades, so they look like this inside.

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This worked with my light fixture since it matched up well with our lightbulbs. If you’re using chandelier/candelabra bulbs (they are pointed on top and look like a flame) then you may have a smaller spot to screw in your bulb. (don’t worry, there’s a solution for that!)

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That’s it! I think it makes a huge difference, and I like it so much better now. Plus, the added bonus of it being inexpensive and pretty darn easy.

If you’re looking to complete this project but have a smaller spot to screw in your bulbs (is there an actual term for that “spot”?) , you may need actual Chandelier Shades. The inside of those shades uses a piece that clips onto the light bulb. Here’s some linen, and burlap shades I like from Amazon. (click on photo for link)

                       

 

I also LOVE these from ShadesofLight.com. They come in 9 different colors, and are a little bit of a splurge at $19 each.

4" Horizontal Ticking Stripe Chandelier Shade navy

Now, I’m coming for this crispy bug filled, weird boob-looking entry light next:

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I just love using the ladder to scoop…err, wipe…out the bugs. (How can you clean those things?!) Who are we kidding, I never get out the ladder and this chore never gets completed. Welcome home, bugs!

I can’t wait to show you what we have planned for this light! We are still working on the logistics, but it involves a piece of a washing machine. Sounds crazy, but I think it just might work…..

I hope you can use this idea in your home to make the most of what you have! Please let me know if you try it out, I would love to see it!

Find your adventure,

Steph

 

The ONLY place you should be buying baskets, and a Dining room chair makeover

As I’ve shared before, I love finding thrifted treasures. And I may be biased, but I am sure that my local Goodwill store is the best Goodwill store there’s ever been.

I know there is a bit of an “ick” factor to using someone else’s old stuff, but besides the fact that most things can be washed or cleaned after you purchase, I love the unique look you can give your home with things you’ve repurposed. I often feel proud of how little I’ve paid for an item that I’ve been able to turn into something I really enjoy using in my decor.

Like this old tool box. (It was $8 in case you’re curious)

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That basket with the pillows is also from Goodwill.

Or this basket I use for my cook books:

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Friendly PSA: DO NOT buy baskets from anywhere that isn’t a Goodwill. It is a basket-a-palooza at that place. You can find any shape, size, and style of basket to fill any need you have. Laundry hampers, trashcans, decorative…the one pictured here was meant to hold a 9×13 dish. I have a basket of some kind at every door for shoes. All from Goodwill, all for less than $10, and likely less than $5.

My kids know better than to say they can’t find their shoes. If they’re not in a basket, you better keep it to yourself. I have set you up for success little people. Shoe. Baskets.

Also, lamps. Will you find the lamp of your dreams at Goodwill? Probably not. But I love the warm, cozy look of lamp light and for much cheaper than new, you can find many styles, colors and sizes of lamps any day at a Goodwill.

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My latest, and perhaps greatest find is a dining room table and four chairs. We have been on the look out for a new, rectangular table for our dining room. We have even discussed making one ourselves, which is still the plan, but for $150 and a little diy-ing these chairs went from someone else’s old stuff, to my new dining room set.

Here’s a look at their old seat cushions, with help from my awkwardly posed assistant.

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Here’s another, in case my adorable model threw you off a bit.

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Under the chair, there were 4 screws holding the cushion on. Unscrew each one, and set aside for when you’re ready to put it back together! Don’t forget where you put them. Just sayin’….I gave each cushion a wipe down with a damp, slightly soapy rag and sprayed with febreze before covering.

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Cut your fabric so you have 2-3 inches of border around the outside. I chose this tan ticking because, 1) I already had it and 2) ticking is classic and timeless, but mostly because I already had it. 🙂

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I started at the top with a staple right in the middle. This gave me some leverage to pull the rest of the fabric around. Don’t stress too much about the perfection of this first staple. You can go back and give it another tug and another staple if it needs it.

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Fold the corners, “gift wrap style” and staple. I kept a hammer close by to really ensure those staples were in good, and tight on the corners. Keep the fabric pulled as tightly as you can with all the staples following that first one. You don’t want it bunchy.

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My photographer, who is also my husband, is taunting me in this picture saying things like, “work it. work it. Nice stapling…” and things to that effect. He’s hilarious.

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This is a crucial step! Spray the living daylights out of your newly covered cushions with this  blessed stuff.  It seems too good to be true, but I can wipe off drips, drops and spots with a wet cloth and I’ve been really pleased with how clean the cushions have stayed. Buy some here.

 

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We’ve had these chairs for almost 2 months, and this is Landon’s seat. See what I mean about the Scotchguard?? Why haven’t I been Scotchguarding all the things??

There you have it! This project took less than 2 hours, and including the applying and drying of the Scotchguard spray, it took 2 days to finish. I am happy to give this table a new home here, at the Yellow House and make some happy meal time memories around it.

Do y’all shop at Goodwill, or other comparable thrift type stores? What are your favorite things to get there? Is the “ick” factor a dilemma for you? Love to chat with y’all about it.

I’m always so glad to have you here, thank you SO much for reading! -Steph

7 of our favorite beef recipes

When your parents own cattle, it’s inevitable that you eat beef. Actually, a lot of beef. We recently got our 1/4 of a responsibly raised, grass fed, organic, 600 +lb cow and our freezers are stocked full.

Since we’re eating beef at least once a week, I’ve got many, Smith family approved, go to beef recipes. Here’s our favorite 7, one for every night of the week.

Swedish Meatballs

Meatloaf

We make our meatloaf in a muffin pan, so we get 12 cute little meatloaf muffins. The recipe I use for meatloaf is called, “mom’s meatloaf” and is on a handwritten card from my mother-in-law. You can find many meatloaf recipes online, or in one of those cookbooks you have in your kitchen. We also top our lil’ muffins with a meatloaf sauce, which includes: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tsp mustard, and 1 T brown sugar.  The sauce is a great oppourtunity for your kids to help out, Carolynn always mixes up our sauce.

 

Hamburger Stroganoff

Carne Asada Tacos in the Crockpot

This recipe calls for flank steak, but I always substitute cubed steak. Cubed steak is a tougher cut of meat, and can’t be subbed in all recipes, but after rubbing with this delish spice rub and cooking slow and low in the crockpot, it turns out great.

Hamburgers and Homemade Fries

Obviously, this is a go to for most people. Homemade burgers from your grill are a staple of the summer and so, so good. Top with bacon, jalapenos, blue cheese, avocado, a fried egg, chili….well look at that, my mouth is watering.

Greek Pita Pockets

Greek food is one of my favorites, for sure. This recipe comes from a Robin Miller cookbook I got before Pinterest stole our hearts, legitimately, of course. (return to the old days, and buy a copy here. It’s less than $5)

I brown my ground beef adding either pre made greek seasoning, or a combo of dried oregano, basil and a pinch of all spice -a little all spice goes a long way! While the meat cooks, warm your pitas by setting them in a 200 deg oven. Mix up your yogurt sauce by combining 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 tsp chopped, fresh dill, and 1 tsp garlic powder. Serve the Greek ground beef inside warm pita with homemade yogurt sauce, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced red onions, and feta. So much feta. Our pitas are always stuffed so full we can barely get a bite. But you’ll want to get that bite so bad, you will make it happen.

Sloppy Joes

This is another recipe from Robin Miller’s cookbook. Again, there are sloppy joes recipes enough to sink a ship. You can find one that suits you and yours.

I serve with homemade sweet potato fries, or thinly sliced red potato chips and a fruit salad or sliced apples.

 

We had a dear friend of ours babysit recently, and we actually “paid” her in meat. We are all such….grown ups. She’s a treasure, and wasn’t expecting any payment, but accepted that meat like a duck on a june bug. As a teenage babysitter I wouldn’t have been thrilled about receiving ground beef and some steaks in lieu of money I could spend at The GAP.

 

Thanks for reading! Send me an email, or comment if you fix any of these recipes and let me know how you like them!

Decorating Books to Pull you out of a Slump

Good morning, and welcome to “Monday morning confessions from the Yellow house.” I’ll be your host, because well, it’s my blog, and if you’re here (I love you!), you potentially are interested in what I have to share.

I’m in a slump. A dumpy, grumpy, slumpy slump. I’ve been uninspired and unmotivated. Bleck.

There are weeks where I am full of ideas, good ones even, and I can execute them beautifully. I even photograph them sometimes, blog about them! Aren’t I impressive? Puh-lease. I’m even grossed out with that version of myself right now.

BUT, there’s grace for that, and everything. Grace and understanding when you feel like a bump on a log when it comes to your long list of to dos.

So, to get me back on my creating, motivated, inspired feet, I checked out some books from the library that I thought might ignite some creativity and spark some inspiration in me. Sure, there’s inspiration abundant on Instagram, on HGTV, or DIY network, but there’s really just something about a book. To me anyway, it’s much more soothing to look at beautiful photos in a book than it is on my phone screen. Which is cracked, so everything looks funky on there anyway. But you know what I mean.

In case you are also seeking advice on honing your style, or just looking for a rope to pull you out of your pit of decorating despair (too much? dramatic, I know.) I wanted to share these books with you, and some others I haven’t read, but would love to check out soon.

Here’s to feeling creative and inspired!

A Touch of Farmhouse Charm: Easy DIY projects to Add a Warm and Rustic Feel to Any Room
by Liz Fourez

If you are a DIY-er, this book is FOR YOU. If you’re not, you will be spurred toward becoming one. It was very inspiring and written so well, as to encourage you that you CAN, as the acronym DIY suggests, “do it yourself”.

Restore, Recycle, Repurpose: Create a Beautiful Home by Randy Florke and Nancy J Becker

This book was full of inspiration and written well to boot. (Read about how we turned old bowls into pendant lights) Repurposing projects are my favorite and make your house so special.


The Nesting Place: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful by Myquillyn Smith

A sweet friend of mine actually gave me this book for my birthday. So, since I own it, it’s pages are dog-eared, and marking gems like this: “…you can’t DIY yourself into loving your home. No amount of painted furniture or stenciled pillows will make you more content with what you have.”

Girl, preach!

“The imperfections play an important role: they put people at ease.”

Myquillyn Smith writes like she’s your best friend, and also has a fantastic blog: thenester.com

Here’s some I’ve got on my list for my next, inevitable slump. Because, it happens.

750 Great Ideas for Decorating on a Budget
The Inspired Room by Melissa Michaels
Flea Market Fabulous: Designing Gorgeous Rooms with Vintage Treasures by Lara Spencer

I know there’s TONS more out there, so share with me if you have one that’s been tried and true for you! I would love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading, and happy Monday! XO, Steph

Using Books in your Decor

The house my grandmother lived in when I was growing up, had a library. A whole wall of books, complete with a library ladder. A real life library ladder. There were many reenactments of Belle, (from Beauty and the Beast, duh.) singing about adventure, a few rungs up on that library ladder.
My sister and I always played in the library, and now as adults, share a love of the intoxicating smell of books. If you find either of us in a bookstore, book fair, or a library, you will see us smelling the books.
I’m not sure if it has anything to do with our childhood playtime in our Car Car’s library, but I still prefer a book over my kindle. My kindle doesn’t smell, or feel like a book. Yes, it has a dictionary, can fit well in my purse, and it can sync with my phone. But it also tells me my location, instead of page number, which doesn’t actually help me thank you very much, and it runs out of batteries at the critical part of the story, because I forgot to charge it. Because BOOKS don’t need to be charged.
Call me old fashioned, it’s fine.
Again, maybe it’s deep in my subconscious or something, but I also use books a lot in my decor. Here’s a few photos, both from our yellow house, as well as some inspiration I’ve found browsing Pinterest.
That’s my Car Car in the picture inside the bookcase.
This side table is a hodge podge of photo albums, old books and new ones.
If you take the jacket off of a hardcover book, even a new book, it immediately gives it more character. Some of the books in this case were purchased at goodwill, or a thrift shop, and some are books we’ve personally read, and saved.
If you have books you don’t care for the color of, or you don’t feel like are decorative/pretty enough, you can just flip them around. I actually like the look of the pages showing here and there. It changes up the textures, which I think looks good.
This bookshelf is styled beautifully, but only using books with the spines facing backwards.
Avert your eyes, librarians!
Visit the blog: Made by Katy.
Or, you can wrap them,
like I did on my fall mantel:
I used plain, thin paper to wrap these, but brown craft paper, or wrapping paper would look great too. (Buffalo checked paper for my Christmas mantel…..It’s happening.)
These books were wrapped in linen:
This photo is from Juniper books.
This is from our entry area.
We didn’t really have the space for a floor lamp, but we really wanted a lamp that could give light over the back of the sectional. I used these books to give it some height. I wrapped the books on the right in jute to “bring them together”, both actually and decoratively. Those three books don’t have anything in common really so the jute just makes it work, in my opinion.

 

On my sofa table, I used some orange books to compliment the color of the pumpkin I used in my old tool box. Orange isn’t a color I really ever use, except for during fall.

 

These books are complimentary to the colors used in my pillows, and the slipcover on the sofa.

 

Any trip I make to Goodwill, or similar shop, I’m always on the hunt for blue books.
These books above the TV compliment the rug, and the pillows.
Blue books. All the blue books. 

 

Like the sofa table, this lamp just needed some height. I used an old dictionary, and an old seminary textbook since this is the “office” area. (It’s actually in the middle of the house.)
No full wall bookshelves with ladders (yet), but lots of books added here and there. Used practically, to add height, or decoratively to add color.
I hope this post encourages you to use something you probably already have-books!-in your decor, and maybe spruce up a space or two in your home before the Christmas decorations come out!!
Too soon? Maybe. I’m getting so excited!
Have a great week, and thank you so much for reading. XO, Steph

Fall Decorating Challenge

I’ve said it before, and here I go again, Summer is my favorite season. (Read why here)

BUT, there is something so refreshing, exciting and beautiful about a new season. I think the opportunity to “start fresh” always appeals to me. Even Mondays have that fresh, hopeful feeling: A new week! Let’s do this!

Also, beyond the excitment of the changing seasons, fall is my second favorite season (Winter, you’re dead last. Don’t even ask.) There’s football, and pumpkins and Thanksgiving. It’s a good one. We have everything prepped for our fall garden and this one’s going to be good. I hope, I mean, it is. it will be…..My confidence about gardening is something I’m working on. As well as remembering to water the garden. (I’ll share more about the garden in another post.)

Something I’ve always loved doing is changing up my decor. I’ve been doing it since I got my own room in 5th grade. It’s just that refreshing feeling of change, I guess.

The challenge I gave myself this season was to use only what I already had to decorate for fall. Last year, we were living at the ranch house and all my fall decor was stored.

I should use only what I have, and make it work if it’s not what I want it to be. This challenge was so rewarding! It was exciting to open that box since it had been two years since I’de seen it, but also, I think opening it with the expectation that it was what I had to work with-nothing new-I had the right mindset from the start.

As far as mantel decorating goes, I’m sure there’s lots of good blog posts out there about that. But, for me, I just try to find a balance of tall things and shorter things, creating symmetry without it being too matchy matchy. I arrange, step back, adjust, step back….until I feel like it “looks right”.

I wanted to use greens (the mirror, rope around my books, and green book), and the traditional oranges of fall. With all the neutrals, I can use colors that don’t match exactly since they are displayed here and there, and appear to complement each other.

The large chalkboard was hanging in Carolynn’s office (read about that here). I borrowed it from her, painted the trim white and drew that stack of pumpkins. I created that mantel centerpiece/”art” (using that term very loosely here) for free!

To achieve height on the left side, mirroring the height on the right, I used a cake plate (SO many ways to use those!). I wrapped those three books in paper, since they didn’t “go” with the color scheme I wanted. I used that green jute to add another touch of green.

To get those stems in my white pitcher to stand straight up, I used a can inside.

 

For my table, I don’t like to do too much. We actually eat there at least once a day,
I worked with my wood and copper pieces in the kitchen and dining. Confession: I actually did buy those 3 little pumpkins under the cloche this year. $3 spent…I’m only human.
In our entry area, I switched out a summery, yellow wreath, for this one.

I changed up my sofa table tool box, by adding some fall knick knacks.

On my sofa (my NEW sofa!!), I covered my floral pillow, and two others, with more fall complementary covers. That pillow cover is very inexpensive, and I you can still find it on Amazon here.

There you go! The weather has even actually been cooler, so it’s feeling like fall in and out of this yellow house. Hope y’all enjoyed the tour and as always, thanks for stopping by!!

XO, Steph