Friday affordable finds: kitchen and bath tiles

Today, I stopped by a remnant yard that sales leftovers from construction projects.  If you ever decide to renovate or remodel your home, I would suggest stopping by these  thrift stores to look at what you can find before hitting up your local home improvement stores.  Chances are, you’ll find boxes and boxes of your favorite flooring options, fixtures, kitchen cabinets, plumbing supplies, you name it.  I saw someone buying enough wood flooring to cover their entire house!

I quickly browsed around the stone yard outside and I scored 13 boxes of subway tiles, all for $130.  That’s $1 per square feet, folks.  You couldn’t beat the price (they usually sell for $7 per sq. ft.) but most importantly, I love the clean, classic look of these tiles in bathrooms and kitchens.  I’m definitely saving these for my favorite kitchen renovation (possibly our next house)?

If you can’t visualize what I’m talking about, check out these beautiful baths and kitchens I found via Pinterest.  You can see that the tiles pair well with both modern and vintage styles.

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Sources for bedding

Whew.  It’s been a hectic last few weeks with work and mothering.  Daylight savings is no bueno with a baby when trying to schedule work around it.   I did a few projects around the house but haven’t even gotten a chance photograph them.   With spring in the air, I’ve been thinking about getting a lighter color bed set for our room.  It’s always nice to have an extra set in the linen closet for times when you get too busy to do laundry.

1. This linen duvet cover and shams from Land’s End.  Linen is great if you’re going for the casual look since it can get wrinkly but that’s how I like my bedding.  Who has the time to iron bedsheets?

2. Okay, who haven’t heard of bedding from Dwell Studio?  They are everywhere and look amazing.  I have been eyeing this Draper set for a long time.

3. Using a white paisley pattern gives the room a country cottage vibe and puts me  into a farmhouse somewhere quiet, outside the city.

4. My last option would be to buy this coral fabric and making my own coverlets and shams.



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Tips on restoring vintage artwork

If you find a good artwork, don’t overlook the ugliness of  the frame.  You can easily re-stain the wood frame or paint over it.  In this piece, I chose to paint over it since the frame was in really bad shape.  It seems easy enough but don’t forget to follow these simple steps below.

1. Prep work – you don’t want to ruin the art especially if it’s an original.  Therefore, be sure to cover up the art with newspaper and use painter’s tape to tape off the edges between the art and the frame. If the frame has holes in it, make sure to use wood filler and sand it off before painting.

2. Choosing the right stain or paint color – don’t pick a color for the frame that will clash with the artwork or one that stands out too much.  You want the art to be the center of attention.  In this piece, I chose a dark navy color to tie in with the navy color on the canister in the picture (I wanted the red apples to stand out.)

3. Painting – apply at least two coats of paint to the frame to get a uniform look.  Usually, I let it dry out for a couple of hours to see the unevenness of the paint job before applying a second coat.  While the paint is still wet, take off all the painters tape.  This is very important  to not let the paint dry otherwise once you take the tape off, it will take some of the dry paint away with it.

4. Choosing a place to hang your artwork – I learned that in order to keep a room cohesive, don’t use more than 3 colors in that room.   The same goes for hanging artwork.  Choose art that shares the same color hues as the room you’re going to put it in.

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Friday affordable finds: the sofa

I love fun sofas.  Whether I want the room to look neutral and moody or vibrant and exhilarating will depend on the couch I put in the room.  At home, we have three seating areas (thanks to living in Texas).   In the den, we have a huge, dark leather sofa for tv watching.  In the living room, we have a white, tufted one  for a more light and airy feel.  In our master suite, we have a slip-covered couch good enough for naps.  I often look for clean lines and neutral colors so that my art pieces will stand out.  Lately, though, I’ve gotten more adventurous and have scoured for fun, colorful sofas as well.


1. This sofa is as neutral as you can get.  Put it against a cheery colored wall or a dark blue painted one to set the mood.

2. Macy’s have really good deals on furniture, especially if you wait for holiday discounts.  This set is so fun and retro. If you can’t tell how amazing this couch is, is because here in the picture, they have it against a neutral beige background.  Imagine this baby against a deep blue wall or a crisp white one with a wooden sunburst mirror.

3. Believe it or not, but you can buy an Ikea sofa in basic white and have it slipcovered through Bemz, a company that makes covers specifically for Ikea furniture.  Now, you can have a tailored piece that you don’t see in every home.  Here, I chose the Karlanda couch covered in a grass green cotton fabric.

4. Who doesn’t love a classic Chesterfield sofa.  These can go for as much as $10,000 if you land on a vintage one.  And for those of you with children in the house, leather is a worthy splurge for durability.  Plus, if there’s one thing I’ll buy used is a piece of leather furniture because it can easily be cleaned.  If you have time and patience, you can find great ones on eBay or craigslist.  I’ve seen some for around $2-3K.

5. This one from CB2 is pretty slick and compact for city-dwellers.

Anyone have good sofa finds that they’d like to share?


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Friday affordable finds: nursery decor

These days, if I’m not attending a wedding, I’m going to a baby shower.  I’ve reached the age where my friends are settling down and having babies.  And the highlight of that is, I get to help them with their nursery.

I like to treat the nursery the same way as any other room in the house.   The only piece of furniture that I would purchase from the baby department would probably be the crib. I also like to use neutral paint and wall art to spruce up the room and allow the baby to discover colors that way.   After all, as a parent, you’ll be spending an enormous amount of time in the nursery.  So why not make it to your aesthetics?

Here are some deals if you’ve got a little one coming.

Crib – have you seen this mod crib from Walmart?  It also converts into a toddler bed.

This vintage world map would go great on the wall, framed or unframed.

Having a small daybed or couch in the nursery helps with feedings, changing, playing, sleeping, or anything you want to do together with your baby.  (Unless you think you can squeeze in the crib).

I love this Malm dresser from Ikea because you can personalize by painting it the color you love or adding hardware to give it a vintage look.

Who doesn’t love an owl lamp?

And finally, a colorful rug in to help warm up the space.

This whole look can be achieved for around $700.  And as you can see, it is still fun, playful and one that the baby can grow into. Oh, if you hire me, I can get up 10-20% designer discount on any applicable products.

(Be sure to stay tune for Liem’s nursery reveal.)




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