nightstand styling

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

There are a bunch of different formulas you can find online about how to properly style a nightstand.  Some of them work for me and others don't.  By that I mean if the perfect styling recipe calls for a tray or candle and I don't have one that looks right, I'm not going to go out and purchase one.  I'll just work around it with what I have.  If you find yourself needing some nightstand styling ideas, I'm sharing ours and how I created them.

In our master (you can read more about it here and here), we just retired our ancient alarm/radio/why are there so many dials clock for this simple alarm clock that's pretty enough to stay out for photos :)  I ended up switching up the nightstand decor in the process.  Since the clock, table skirt, and lamp (temporarily stolen from the entry to see if I liked it, and darn it, I do) blend in with the wall, I added a larger dark vase in the back for some contrast.  There's a small tray for hairbands and any jewelry that I forgot to take off before bed.

A previous version had my usual lamp.  I used a silver tray to hold a vase with greenery, a black candle for contrast, and some little brass swans.  You'll notice the absence of an alarm clock.  I removed it for photos because our old alarm clock was definitely not inspiring anyone ;)

My husband's side has a vase with greenery and black candle to break up the lighter colors, and a small plate acting as a tray to hold any smaller items like a ring or cell phone.

For our guest room nightstand I kept this side simple.  Just a lamp and small bowl for jewelry, etc. 

And since we're using a desk as a nightstand on the other side I had plenty of open space left after adding a lamp and tray with accessories.  The tray holds a vase for color and life stacked on books for height and a glass box with seashells.  The white tray breaks up the dark wood and keeps the accessories grouped together.  I added a basket under the desk for dirty laundry because I can't stand stuffing dirty laundry back in my suitcase when traveling.  

In our daughter's room she has a small accent table on one side of the bed that holds a vase with faux succulents for color.  The necklace adds extra texture and color for the photo but in real life there's usually a cup of water in its place.  Oh, and instead of placing lamps on nightstands in kids' rooms, I like to use sconces so I don't have to worry about them getting knocked over.

Her desk sits on the other side of her bed.  It's definitely more of a desk than nightstand and is set up as so, but the two closest drawers to her bed hold her chapsticks and sleep masks (she uses them when she's feeling fancy).

In our son's room it's all geared toward being useful.  Again, I used sconces instead of lamps.  One side holds his favorite bedtime books and his piggy bank as a bookend.

The other has a metal basket filled with all of his toy cars.  They're out in the open so he can play with them, and they just look plain cute in a little boy's room.

That is it!  While they don't all follow some strict recipe, they work for us and I love how they look.  I hope this gives you some ideas if you're struggling with how to style your nightstands at home!

black door hinges installed

Thursday, May 11, 2017

In my last post I talked about how I wanted to replace our painted door hinges with oil rubbed bronze/black ones.  90 hinges removed, 90 hinges installed, and 1,080 screws later, we have new hinges on all of our doors!!   I can't say enough about how much I am loving the new things!

While there was technically nothing wrong with the old hinges (they did open and shut), I just wasn't a fan of them being painted.  Here are the double doors in our master bath before and after.  

Hallway to powder room before and after.

To give you an idea of what I was working with, look at how rough the painted hinges were.  Definitely wasn't going to be able to go with my original plan of spray painting them black.  I believe the black and orange marks are from WD-40, and just look at that beautiful paint job the builder did.  Pure craftsmanship crapmanship right there.

New hinges were obviously the solution, but I was worried about the price seeing as we had so many to replace.  I found these 3.5 inch hinges on Amazon in bulk amounts bringing them close to $1.00 per hinge.  SOLD.  And since they were Prime I had free shipping.
You guys, they look so much nicer!!  I want to mention that some of the reviews stated that the hinges were scratched and some felt they couldn't use them because of the scratches showing.  I ended up ordering a few extra in case I ran into this problem.  I'm not sure if it's because I ordered in bulk, but none of mine were scratched.  They all looked great and worked perfectly!  

For our exterior doors I went with these 4 inch exterior hinges.  These came in late yesterday, and while I got them installed it was too dark to get photos taken for you.  But, they too were in perfect shape and installed beautifully!


One more task checked off the ol' To-Do List!


black door hinges

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sometimes it's the little things that often go unnoticed that make a difference.  For me, I can't stop thinking about black hinges on white doors.  I just love the way it looks!  

When we were building I asked how much it would cost us to switch out the builder grade painted hinges out for oil rubbed bronze/black.  They paint the doors, hinges, and trim all at once to save time and money.  I wish I could remember what they quoted us, but it was RIDICULOUS.  We red lined it and went with the painted hinges.  Now I can't stop thinking about it again.  Here are the double doors from our master bath to the bedroom.

And in the hallway to the powder room.

My plan was to simply take the old hinges off, spray paint them, and reattach.  Time consuming, but certainly cost effective, right?

We took all the hinges off the doors in our master.  Of course once they were all off we realized how bad they looked.  Big 'ol dried paint drips, chips, rust colored streaks from WD-40, etc.  They looked horrible.  Stripping 90 (yes, 90) door hinges is not my idea of fun.  So, I searched online and found some in bulk, which brings my cost per hinge down to a little over $1.00.  No brainer right there!!  Still not sure why they were going to charge us thousands when we were building, but whatever.  They should be here tomorrow and I can't wait to get them up!  

So, what do you think?  Are you Team Black Hinges or Team Seriously They're Just Hinges Get Over It?  Ha!

my favorite finds

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I've made a few purchases lately that I am absolutely loving so I wanted to share them with you.

NO. 01 // This is my go-to shirt.  An easy, goes with literally everything, chambray button up.  I'm even wearing it in my profile picture.  I've had this one for a few years and am picking up another because I can't live without it.  Right now it's 50% off making it the perfect time to grab one.  Or two.

NO. 02 // I ordered this dress online and was worried the fit would be boxy.  It's not, it's pretty stinking perfect, the ruffles on the sleeves are great, and it's incredibly comfy.  It's on clearance for $39.99 so snag one up before they're gone!

NO. 03 // My Louis Vuitton that I've had and loved for 7 years finally wore out.  I carried it everyday so I definitely feel like I got my money out of it.  However, I didn't want to by another one because I don't want to be tied down to a single purse for another 7+ years.  Instead I went with this beautiful and simple leather tote.  I added the gold foil monogram to the top and am so in love!!  It has an open top which I love for easy access, but check out this zippered one if you like closure.  It was my next favorite pick.

NO. 04 + 05 // I purchased this essentials zippered pouch and this polka dot zippered pouch to help corral items in my new tote.  The fringe zipper is super cute.

NO. 06 // I've been on an alarm clock hunt for a few weeks.  Our old one works, but it's just big and clunky.  This wood look alarm clock looks great, has a pleasant alarm tone, has a backup battery in case of power loss, comes with wall adapter cord, is easy to use (others are surprisingly difficult to get the alarm set), and you can change the brightness of the display.  And, for less than $20 it was the winner!  It's currently showing the item out of stock online, but check your local store.

NO. 07 // I'm wearing this hooded sweatshirt as I type.  Such a flattering fit for a sweatshirt and it's a great weight that's not too thick or thin.  The gray and ivory is almost sold out, but they have it in cobalt and white that's super cute too.

NO. 08 // This short sleeve popover has a faint stripe and looks great with jeans and shorts.  It nips in a little above the waist making it super flattering.  I'll be getting tons of use out of it this spring and summer.  They also have it in a multicolored gingham print.  Right now it's under $30.

NO. 09 // Next month we're going to Ireland and I wanted to get some cute comfortable shoes for all the walking we're going to be doing.  I am so in love with these gold and ivory New Balance!!  I have a different pair of New Balance that run small, but these run true to size.

NO. 10 // While I was waiting on my new tote to come in, I grabbed this crossover bag.  I am pleasantly surprised with how much I like it.  It's super soft, comes in five other colors including a pretty blush, and looks much more expensive than it's $30 price tag.

What have you purchased lately that you're really loving?

our bedroom dresser

Monday, May 1, 2017

While sharing the bedside table that I refinished in this post, I realized I've never shared with you the new dresser we purchased a little over a year ago for our master bedroom.  Gosh, maybe even longer??  At this point I have no clue.  Anywho, here she is!

You guys, this dresser is such an improvement over our old one!!  So you can fully appreciate it, I'm gonna take it back to what the old dresser looked like.  My husband's full blown matching set of bachelor bedroom furniture.

That dresser literally tried to kill me every time I put clothes away in those drawers.  The slides were broken and the drawers fell out every freaking time.  HATED IT.  It was also just the wrong scale for our bedroom in this house.  We needed something larger, something where the drawers worked.  

So much better, right?!!  We went with the Louis XVI 10-Drawer Dresser in Aged Oak from Restoration Hardware.  Absolutely love the color.  You can see how well the newly refinished side table ties in with it in the reflection of the mirror.  Bonus: the drawers don't fall out.

I brought out the mirror that used to be in our dining room.  I had planned on finding something different, maybe round, but this one has grown on me.  

It definitely ties in with the rest of the room now.

And because I want to be honest with you guys, here's what was moved out of the way so I could take pretty pictures for you.  The dog crate that sits behind our bedroom door.  

There's no where else to put this beast of a crate.  I made a simple cover for it out of painter's drop cloth (I know, I cover everything in that stuff!) to make it less of an eyesore, and also to keep the walls from getting nasty when we have to crate him.  It's truly disgusting how much dog gunk can get on the walls.  I can't leave you with that image so here's this instead :)

SOURCES: dresser // mirror - antique store // white ceramic vases // basket - Homegoods // ceiling fan // DIY picture frame moulding // rug // headboard // white duvet // grey blanket // black pillows - DIY // white drapes // bamboo blinds // DIY skirted nightstand // wood nightstand // lamps - TJ Maxx


Slightly South of Simple - book review

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Whether you like it or not, summer break is sneaking up.  In just a few weeks you're going to find yourself by the pool, the beach, the backyard, or maybe on a fabulously relaxing vacation.  You're going to need a book, and I have just the book for ya.  I was so excited to be asked by the author, Kristy Woodson Harvey, to read her brand spanking new book, Slightly South of Simple!  Kristy is the same talent behind Dear Carolina and Lies and Other Acts of Love.  And, is also the voice alongside her mother behind the interior design blog, Design Chic.

Let me start by saying I'm not a HUGE book person in that I don't finish one book and immediately go on to another.  I may only get to one or two books a year.  But, when I find a good book I have a hard time putting it down.  Slightly South of Simple was like that for me.  I couldn't wait to get to the next chapter!  This is your perfect read this summer!    

Slightly South of Simple follows Ansley, a mother of three grown daughters: Caroline, a non-sugar-coating New York socialite who has just been publicly dumped by her husband (and father of their unborn child); Sloan, a military wife raising toddlers whose husband is deployed yet again; and Emerson, the youngest daughter who has just landed a lead role in an upcoming movie.  After loosing her husband in the 911 attacks in NYC, Ansley moves her then young girls to the small Southern town of Peach Tree Bluff and tries to start over.  Years later, well after all of her girls have grown and left, a man from her past shows up and starts to rekindle a relationship.  One that holds a huge secret.  I'm still reeling at the thought of it!  Of course, just as things are starting back up, Ansley receives a call that all of her children and grandchildren are going to be coming back to Peach Tree Bluff to stay with her for an extended period.  I love how the author, Kristy, developed these characters.  You can relate to each of their struggles in one way or another.  Their bond as sisters and the love a mother has for her children is so strong throughout this novel.  I was so pleased (trying to think if pleased is the best way to describe an incredible cliff hanger??) to find out that this is going to be a series so I can find out more about the different stories behind these women.  Who doesn't love a good series?!       

Check out this quick clip of Kristy talking about her new book:

If you have a list of books your going to read this summer, or if you're like me and only read once in a while, do yourself a favor and grab this book.  I have no doubt you will fall for these women like I did.  I'm also picking up a copy for my mom for Mother's Day.  She just finished up reading Lies and Other Acts of Love and is looking for her next read!

Ok, Kristy, when can we expect the next book?!!  

bedside table makeover with liming wax

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We've been using an old desk as a nightstand for my husband's side of the bed in our master.  It was once my parents, and I remember it sitting in our basement holding a very old school IBM computer as a child.   I loved the size and shape.  Didn't love how beat up it was.  What you can't see in this first picture is how badly it really looked.  

Fair to say it needed some love.

Funny story.  My sister carved her name into the top of the desk as a child.  When she realized she it would be obvious who did it she carved my name below hers to throw my parents off her trail.  Luckily for me it didn't work!  But, I've been staring at this too long.  Time to fix it.

Some sanding paper and a little liming wax later, I have a beautiful new nightstand!

I love the little areas where I didn't get all of the old stain sanded off.  I think the imperfections make it more interesting.

How I Did It:

First, I sanded down the entire piece with a high grit sand paper to remove all the varnish and almost all of the stain.  You can see there are some darker areas in the corners and near the feet where not all the stain was removed.  I then wiped down the entire piece with a wet rag to remove all the sanding dust.

Next, I applied a layer of liming wax to the entire piece with a lint free rag.  I used the same Briwax liming wax I used on my kitchen table.  

And if I'm being completely honest, I panicked at this point.  For whatever reason this table sucked up all that liming wax like a thirsty sailor.  The piece was very white at this point.  Not quite what I was going for.

To soften the look and to bring back a little more of the natural wood color, I went over the entire piece with a medium grade steel wool.  This takes some elbow grease but it's well worth it.  The steel wool pulled off just the right amount of wax and made the wood soooo smoooooth.  You'll need to wipe off the dust after this step as well.

I then finished off the table with Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in Natural.  To do this, I rubbed a thin layer over the entire table, and then used a new rag to buff.  This made the wood appear a little more rich and gives it a bit of a sheen in-between a matte and satin.  In the photo below you can see where the top half didn't have the finishing wax and the bottom half did.



No more carvings!!!  And, the lighter color ties in better with the mismatched, skirted nightstand on my side of the bed.

This skirt hides one of our old nightstands.  

Instead of buying a new nightstand I simply added a piece of plywood to the top and stapled painter's drop cloth to the plywood as to not damage the nightstand.  I used the same method that I used on our skirted dining sideboard.  I was able to make it appear like a larger nightstand by using a piece of plywood that was larger than the nightstand.  Such an easy way to update a nightstand you no longer love.

And now I love them both!

SOURCES: ceiling fan // DIY picture frame moulding // rug // headboard // white duvet // grey blanket // black pillows - made by me (similar) // white drapes // bamboo blinds // DIY skirted nightstand // lamps - TJ Maxx (similar here



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