Halfway to Bombay

Long, long ago I used to be obsessed with Bombay. The store, not the place. The store no longer exists*, and there actually is no place called Bombay anymore either. It was officially switched to ‘Mumbai’ around 1995, as the old spelling was considered to be a corrupted English version and an unwanted legacy of British colonial rule. Feel free to work that factual tidbit into your conversations at parties.

Anyway, I don’t know why I was so taken with the wares in Bombay, but I wanted nothing more than to furnish my entire life like I ran some kind of black market elephant tusk cartel.

Everything seemed so exotic and luxurious! Mahogany! Tassels! Animal print! Mahogany!

This highboy looks to be a remnant of those Bombay glory days, but today’s styles seem to lean a bit lighter and brighter, so Jennifer at Trillium Park Designs brought it up to speed with just a little paint and glaze.

Aqua and Wood Highboy Makeover

Aqua and Wood Highboy BeforeOooh! Still as stylish as ever. Great job Jennifer!


*Bombay is still a distributor, but no longer a store. Not to be confused with The Bombay Store, a completely different store. That’s not at all confusing at all. I spent way too much time googling this crap.

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Small on Space, Big on Style

When Maria downsized into a studio apartment, the smaller space zapped her decor mojo. She felt completely uninspired.

I tooootally get it. When we were very first married, Matt tried to talk me into renting a studio apartment that was so incredibly tiny, the only furniture it could hold besides the bed was literally a mini fridge and a single chair. And if you had more than two adults over, it was impossible to even use the chair. I didn’t last long there.

But even though Maria plans to upsize in a year, she still wanted her apartment to feel like home, so she got to work. It didn’t take much! Just a fun graphic print on the headboard, some glamorous artwork, a new set of IKEA nightstands, and it looks like a whole new space!

studio bedroom makeover before


studio bedroom makeover

She says “It feels a lot brighter and happier now and that makes me happy too!” Exactly how home should feel, no matter how big or small.

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Limerick Contest and a Kitchen Makeover!

You guys. National Limerick Day was yesterday, AND WE DIDN’T EVEN CELEBRATE.

I’m ashamed. Here’s a limerick about Better After reader Stephanie’s kitchen to make it up to you.

There once was a kitchen so dated,

Its cabinets and lighting were hated.

But a fresh coat of white,

and a new set of lights,

And Steph wondered why she had waited!

Here’s one more:

This design needs a pink slip

That octagon light is a trip.

But a tweak or two later,

from Steph the creator,

It’s no longer an ’80s spaceship!


White and Bright Kitchen Before


White and Bright Kitchen

You know how I love a good contest. So now it’s your turn! Leave a limerick in the comments and my favorite one will win a prize!

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My Brass Candlestick Collection

I’ve been looking for a reason to share my growing collection of brass candlesticks with you, so I invented one! I started a “Collections Tour” with some of my blogging friends, and it kicks off today! Whoop woo!

I’m so intrigued by the things people decide to collect and why. For instance, I have a friend who collects Santa Clause figurines because his mother was SO good at making Christmastime magical, he actually believed in Santa until 7th grade. I have another friend so obsessed with Disney that every single room in her home is top-to-bottom, wall-to-wall Disney, not exaggerating.

So today, not only can you hop around from blog to blog and see what your favorite bloggers are into collecting, you can use the hashtag #whatIcollect on instagram or twitter to share a peek of your collections too! I would seriously love to see it. Please, won’t you let me be a voyeur inside your head?

Unfortunately, there’s no scandalous story or magical childhood memory behind my collection. I recently started collecting brass candlesticks simply because I like them and they are easy to find. Every time I swing by the thrift-store there is usually an assortment to choose from.

brass candlestick collection lit all white

And here they are! Such a cute little group.


brass candlesticks cropped

I’m now learning that the quality of brass can vary wildly, so I’m starting to be pickier about which ones I’ll buy.


brass candlestick lined up

I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite because they are all like little baby children to me. HA! Kidding. They are just candlesticks. Of course I have a favorite. It’s the first one on the left of the picture above.  I’m pretty sure it’s the highest quality brass in the bunch. It’s much heavier than it looks and has a really lovely warm tone when it’s all polished up. (It could use a bit of polishing right now).

The one next to it is some kind of candlestick mutt which I’m pretty sure was pieced together from three separate candlesticks of various metals, same with the other long and skinny one.  The third from the end and the little one on the end are probably the cheapest quality, and it shows in their yellowy brassy tone that is not my fave. They were probably some of the first ones I bought when I didn’t know any better.

It’s also hard to tell what you are getting when you find them at the thrift store, because they are all in desperate need of polishing and look super dull and brown. Like this:

unpolished brass candlesticks


But going by their weight is a good way to judge if you’ve found a worthwhile one. Just pretend you are playing Clue and ask yourself if your candlestick could viably be used as a weapon or not. Easy!

brass candlesticks up close

Here is Mr. My Favorite up close and personal, and you can see exactly where it needs some polishing again. I just use Brasso, which you can find in the cleaning aisle, but honestly, I’m not THAT impressed with Brasso.  It still takes a ton of elbow grease to really shine them up.


brass candlestick collection


brass candlestick up close

types of brass candlesticks

I plan to keep adding to my collection whenever I find any that are especially unique. Now I just need to collect more candles!


collections tour logo

Ok! Now it’s your turn! Snap a picture or two of something you love to collect and share it with us on instagram or twitter. Just use the hashtag #whatIcollect, and if you tag me @betterafterlnz (or @betterafter on twitter), I’ll be sure to come by and say hi!

Check out the rest of the bloggers on the tour by clicking on the linky thing below. Yay fun!


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