Have a Holly Jolly Fruit Snack

What’s the first thing everyone wants to do after Christmas? Besides returning that nose-hair trimmer or ironing board? (I actually do know people who have been given ironing boards for Christmas, although that is not by far the worst gift I ever heard of. That honor belongs to a woman named Marcia who claims she once received a pill vial designed like a white elephant and filled with the baby teeth of her friend’s children). (I’ve never received anything nearly that bad, although someone once regifted a gift I had given them back to me! I guess they knew I would like it?)

Anyway let’s regroup before we get way off track here. Although if you want to share your best and worsts gifts in the comments, that would be a fun read! (Do it!)

Ok, for reals. Back to the original question. What’s the first thing everyone wants to do after Christmas? When January 1 hits? Organize, of course. The new year is a perfect time for a fresh start. Out with the old, in with the new. Declutter, rearrange, BUY ALL THE BINS! At least, that’s what everyone thinks. I say you wait a little bit. Give yourself a breather. You just survived the holidays, what’s the rush?

Or, here’s another idea. Start now! Maybe you can’t organize your entire home this month, but you can tackle something you were planning to put off until after the new year. Give yourself a headstart! Who’s with me??

You there! With the out of control pantry! Let’s get you sorted out right now. You’ll feel so much better.

mudroom-pantry-before

mudroom-pantry

Ahhh, wouldn’t this make you feel less stressed? When the holiday madness hits, you can just step inside your perfectly organized pantry, take some deep breaths and eat a fruit roll-up, and walk out feeling like a brand new woman.

This lovely pantry belongs to Erin at Lemons, Lavender, and Laundry  and she came up with several low-cost storage solutions to make the most of this space, such as recovering cardboard boxes in contact paper and using dollar store bins on the higher shelves.

“Hmph,” you think. “My dollar store does not sell galvanized metal bins for $1.”

No? Neither did hers.

 

mudroom-pantry-orange-buckets

mudroom-pantry-bucket-makeover

It’s spray paint!  Can admiring a spray-painted plastic bin full of fruit snacks bring you inner peace? I’d say so, yeah.


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Wingback Winner

I am really lucky and win things all the time. (I’m not really, but shhhh, I’m trying to trick the universe). I can’t think of the last thing I won. Hmmm. I did win a trophy at a Halloween party I attended this year for ‘Best Dance Moves’ but, no, I earned that one. Gosh, I don’t think I’ve won anything lately. Not $2 on a scratcher, no free concert tickets from the radio, nuthin’.

What about you? Are you one of those guys who has all the luck? Have you won anything cool lately? Vicki from 2 Bees in a Pod recently won a prize in a raffle drawing: this wingback chair! It was a solid chair in great shape, but that fabric … not her favorite.

She priced out a reupholstery job and was dismayed to discover it would cost her around $700. So much for that free chair.  So she decided to try a different route, and …

 

painted-cream-wing-chair-before

 

painted-cream-wing-chair

… she reupholstered her chair? I thought we just talked about this.

No silly, she painted it! Doesn’t it look brand new? Probably because she didn’t just slop paint on until the old fabric was covered. She took her time, painstakingly applying thin layers of a paint and fabric-medium mixture and letting each dry overnight.

The fabric medium is key to keeping the paint from becoming too hard and cracking. But even so, the texture of the fabric will change. However, if done correctly, it should feel only slightly stiffer, like canvas.

It took her days to complete, but cost a mere $22!  That’s more like it, free chair.

See her whole step-by-step on her blog 2 Bees in a Pod.

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3 Steps to Creating a Cohesive Home, only one is illegal.

If you’ve ever spent any time on Christy’s blog, Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer, you’ve probably come away with feelings of inadequacy and disgust at your own home because every inch of hers is perfect! Girlfriend, what is your secret?

Is it millions of dollars and a personal decorator? No, judging by the name of her blog, she does it all herself, and on a budget. Like this laminate dining set she found at a thrift-store. Nothing worth taking a second-glance at …

 

aqua-and-white-kitchen-table-before

aqua-table-makeover

Until now! Take a second and third glance all over this thing. Isn’t it it so charming and sweet? It fits perfectly into her coastal cottage style. I’m pretty sure that’s the secret in the sauce. She knows exactly what her style is and stays true to it. She also keeps the color scheme constant throughout her entire house which makes everything feel cohesive and complete.

For instance, this she scooped up this assortment of aqua dishes when she found them at a thrift-store, even though she wasn’t exactly sure where to use them. But she knew that lovely color would work anywhere in her home. And sure enough, she found a perfect place: in the bedroom!

 

jewelry-tower-before

 

jewelry-tower-from-thriftstore-dishes

She cut the candlestick in two and painted it white, then glued the dishes in between for this cute and custom jewelry organizer. Not only is the color scheme spot-on, but it also matches the curves of the kitchen table too! Cohesiveness, that’s the key.

Let’s review.  To create a beautiful home you should:

  • Discover your style and stay true to it.
  • Create a color scheme and stick with it.
  • Kidnap Christy and make her decorate your house for you.

Easy!

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Beat the Buzzer

Let’s pretend you’re on a game show. It’s the final round. You have a chance to win big money right now. All you have to do is name the first two things Karisa should change in her kitchen in order to get the modern makeover she’s always dreamed of. The time is on the clock. You have two seconds.

“Two seconds? That doesn’t seem fai-”

ONE SECOND! 

“Uhh, replace the cabinets and tear out that half wall!” you scream.

 

black-and-white-modern-kitchen-before-1

black-and-white-modern-kitchen-1

Oooh, no! Sorry! Actually, Karisa did NOT rip out that half wall, and she kept the original cabinets too. She simply updated them with paint and hardware. Tough one! Who would have seen that coming? (sad trombone)

But hey, thanks for playing, and better luck next time! I don’t want you walking away empty-handed, so here are some more pictures of Karisa’s fabulous new kitchen!

black-and-white-modern-kitchen-before

 

black-and-white-modern-kitchen

It really is a stunning transformation. She managed to do so much just by working with what she had. The black paint and sleek hardware made the builder-basic cabinets look anything but. The half wall is now home to raw-wood open shelves, which also add to the modern, slightly industrial vibe.

She did replace the floors with an oak laminate (from Costco!) a nice and neutral look vs. the yellowy laminate they were before. Everything else appears to be cosmetic, and she kept the original appliances too. You don’t always need to start from scratch to get the look you’re after, unless you’re me before makeup in the morning.

Head on over to her blog Petite Modern Life to see more.

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