Tag Archives: easy decorating

New little touches in the living room

This summer I added two small decorative touches to the living room. I’ve blogged previously about adding ethnic touches ¬†to a simple, high, narrow shelf I made. In the summer I picked up white “icicle” lights at a rummage sale and centered them on the front of the shelf and then linked them to a timer so they’re on from 6:30-10:30pm every night. (I figure if I see them off, I should already be in bed.) I love the effect – and even after a few months, I’m surprised when they pop on “by themselves” every night.

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For some years I’ve had a mix of what I¬†think all initially started life as chandelier glass, that is they hung from a chandelier or fancy lampshade. I remember buying at least a few from a vintage thrift store long ago and taking others from a cast-off lamp by the road. I thought they were beautiful but could never quite settle on the best use for them. Using tacks and dental floss (it’s great for both its strength and relative invisibility) I strung them up at varied heights along the length of a “beam” at the center of the ceiling. I hung them so none will knock me or visitors in the head ahem. ¬†It totally works.

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Making my bedroom a cheerful sanctuary

My bedroom has been evolving (no, not¬†revolving) over a period of years. While I was good at decorating other parts of the home, I seemed blocked on my room (compounded by the fact I didn’t want to spend money). That all changed when I found this Target (I think it’s Target, because when I say “found” I mean literally) lamp several years ago.

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BAM! This lamp “spoke” to me

I remember how excited I was as I carried the lamp home. Suddenly I had¬†vision for my room. Now I’m not religious, not whatsoever, but it did feel like the skies opened and dropped this wondrous lamp in my path. Am I waxing too poetic for you? I shall wax philosophical instead. For me, my home and immediate environment are reflections or manifestations of me; how I feel about myself, how I see myself, and importantly, what I think – in my realest self – I deserve. Well¬†HOT DAMN, I deserved, warranted, and¬†wanted this beautiful lamp. About f’ing time too.

The lamp gave me focus. Prior to this, I felt my room was kind of shabby and mishmash. The¬†Shabby and Mishmash Collection will NOT be featured at Bed Bath & Beyond or Linens n Things or any other fussy home store any time soon. As I say it lacked¬†focus and moreover, when I looked at it objectively I saw it befitted a teenager or maybe¬†young adult,¬†someone just starting out. I am not just starting out. Not even close. I saw that my room featured things the¬†teenage me might have appreciated (and didn’t have then). What it has become I think is¬†whimsical adult.

No sooner than I found this lamp, I went to a yard sale that had cans of paint, one of which exactly matched the lime green of the base. For a quarter. In addition to the lamp colors, I added little touches of orange aided by a can of orange paint also at the yard sale (although I eventually decided a little orange goes a long way and dialed it back). Shades of blues and greens are my favorite colors, so there were lots of possibilities, no need to be too matchy-matchy or even to get everything immediately. A few things took time. Getting focus was the important part.

For the BIG job I painted the walls two tones of green, honestly, because I used free paint and wasn’t sure I had enough of one color! I love the two-tone; it’s polished and grownup but still fun.

Vanbytheriver recently wrote about the complications of¬†modern bedding. I too have been befuddled by¬†bed accoutrements. I’ve only, here in middle age, learned what some of these items are and do, largely thanks to the education I get perusing Amazon.

Okay. Duvet cover. First I had to grasp that duvet is a fancy name for a comforter. Why would it need its own cover then? It’s easier to take off and wash – theoretically – than to wash a bulky, cumbersome comforter duvet. If you never wash your comforter/duvet, I guess this isn’t your problem. Also, a duvet cover let’s you switch up the look of your room, seasonally or whatever, if that’s your thing. My comforter did not go with the color theme(s) so I used an off-white blanket on¬†top of it for a couple years. That was okay but lacked any pizzazz.

I was stymied because the duvet covers or comforters I liked cost way too much. Not gonna happen! My criteria while shopping Amazon were no flowers or floral design, colorful, goes with “my” colors, and inexpensive. (The covers I loved featured large, blue and green color blocks or big circles/dots. They were pricey.)

I finally found something last month, featuring blue, white, and lime green – for $10! Yay! Decent quality too, made for Macy’s. It was coming together. In the fall I treated myself to the lime blanket from Ross for about $11. I¬†love it.

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I previously posted¬†how I made my own headboard. I’ve followed that up with¬†changing the accompanying artwork. Well, as seen above, I swapped pictures yet again because I thought the strong duvet cover needed strong art. One thing I find is that just changing or tweaking what you already¬†have is often a solution to a decorating problem. In this case I¬†swapped picture frames, not just pictures. The picture seen above is now in the black frame (whose 4 plastic side pieces I turned¬†backward for a better effect), and the other picture is now in the light green wood frame.

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Then I decided to switch up my  corner again, adding the green frame picture.

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So the square picture came over to the other side. (Here you also see the scarf added to the headboard too; I thought it went well with the new duvet cover).

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Finally, to give you a more comprehensive look at the space, I give you the opposite wall (photographed in panorama) which I’m really proud of, and which delights me daily. The curtain (a $6 Kate Spade fabric shower curtain from Ross that I sewed a 1 foot addition to so it’d reach the floor) covers the puny closet. Two shelves over the two doorways hold storage. The green fabric bins came from Dollar Tree. The “blue dots” on the middle shelf also came from Dollar Tree.

Art is whatever¬†you think it is. Here the round Native American drum came from a package of¬†fish given to me as a gift (the fish is looong gone but it was tasty). The picture on the left was a greeting card “woman on the beach” that I bought in¬†the nineties because I loved it. I FINALLY framed it (both small white frames were giveaways). The little vases are almost all yard sale & thrift store finds. For covering shallow storage shelves I made, I found the orange curtain – which I think may be a¬†sarong – for $2 at a rummage sale in November. I figure if I ever want to wear it I’ll just borrow it from the wall!

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Seeing red (dots that is)

I’ve been on a decluttering/prettyifying¬†kick (something I do regularly). I made this simple, shallow cabinet with scrap wood and someone’s discarded shutter last year. I custom-created it to fit in a small space between two doors. You know how “they” say you shouldn’t keep pills, vitamins, etcetera in the bathroom? Well, this to hold those kinds of items. I have really taken to shallow storage – no more wrestling around in the dark recesses of a cabinet trying to find one tiny item while knocking others out onto the floor. Or buying 3 of something because you didn’t know you still had extra supplies tucked out of sight.

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[A side note: this little unit is 3′ tall because that’s what boards I had on hand when the idea and mood struck to do this. Sure, I could have¬†waited and acquired other boards another day but baby, when I am in the mood to do something, I want to do it NOW. One of the things I truly love about being an adult is nobody can stop me and lecture me on how that’s not the¬†right way to do it, you have to plan and take careful, precise measurements and write things down and go to the store with an itinerary. I say fuck that. I gots to do it when the mood strikes!]

So the other day in a fit of getting rid of stuff I came across a stash of red stick-on dots. I never specifically needed red dots but they were included in a Dollar Tree pack of multiple colors  I got for a project. I was about to offer it on Freecycle when inspiration hit.

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They look kind of pink here but they’re really red in person

I had ¬†A LOT of red dots so I put them on, and next to, this other 6′ tall, deeper cabinecornerde that’s tucked into a corner. Such a simple thing but it really makes a difference. They’re fun and cheerful. And when I get bored of them it’s easy goodbye.

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Lights! (no camera, no action)

I always like seeing string lights or other “fancy” lights in other people’s homes, although admittedly, these homes have often been on TV or in movies. I realize they’re sets but I still look around the rooms on the screen to get ideas.

These lights came from a church rummage sale. There’s often various lights, usually Christmas lights, for sale at these events. I find an electrical outlet for a test before I buy. I was enchanted with the intricate design. Also, they can be left up year-round since they’re “non-denominational” – they don’t scream Christmas, Halloween or Baby’s First Birthday! It happens that there already were several oddly-placed hooks in the ceiling so I took advantage of them to string up the lights.

Here’s a “panoramic” shot across the ceiling. This photo doesn’t show the detailed design but I wanted to give you the full-room effect. IMG_20160729_201331_pan.

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Look at the beautiful design they cast!  

I sprung for this fancy outlet adapter with switch that I saw on Amazon for $3. Isn’t that a clever gadget?!
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