Posts tagged ‘Home Goods’

Make your own gifts

Be careful, you may want to keep these “gifts” for yourself. The good news is they are so inexpensive and easy to make, you can make one for your friend, and another one for yourself!

Last year Chris and I fermented vodka for a few of our close friends. We bought funky corked bottles at stores like Home Goods and Marshall’s, peeled lemons (no white pith) and placed in vodka along with raspberries. After 2 weeks they tasted like flavored vodka, which some may enjoy, but we prefer fruitier, less stringent drinks. This Limoncello recipe from Learnvest will deliver just the thing:

What you’ll need:

  • 8 lemons
  • 750 ml bottle of 100 proof vodka
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • Funky corked bottles

First combine the lemon peels (no white pith) with the vodka in a jar. Let this sit airtight for 1 week.

When the week is up, boil the 2 cups of sugar with the 3 cups of water and let cool. Strain the peels from the vodka mixture and stir in the sugar mix. Pour the tasty concoction into the funky bottles and add lemons for garnish if you choose. This gift will also go good with a set of martini glasses if you want to go the extra mile.

If you’re looking for something that will last longer, this picture frame tray is a good idea for the entertainer in your group.

I love trays. They’re decorative, keep clutter off the table, easy to hide, and they just add that little touch that a boring coffee table needs. They’re especially handy for the popular upholstered coffee tables that have been taking furniture stores by storm. When I was tray shopping upon move in, I was specifically looking a tray that I could hang on the wall when not in use. I didn’t find it. So when I saw this Picture frame tray at BHG, I knew what my bedside tables would be getting for Christmas.

Remove the glass from the frame and paint a color of your choice (skip this step if the original color is appropriate). Once dry, screw a drawer pull onto each short side of the frame. Place the glass back in with a decorative wallpaper or fabric remnant in the place of a photo. Or for a more personalized touch, keep a photo of something sentimental in the frame(think landmark, page from their favorite book, recipe for the cookie dough you 2 devoured before baking). Pair with these photo coasters from Bed, Bath & Beyond for a full coffee table wardrobe:

If you’re looking for something less sappy for a colleague, MIL or new acquaintance, these Gourmet Spoons from Learnvest will show how thoughtful you are without being a permanent reminder in the home.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of gourmet chocolate chips
  • 20-25 heavy-duty plastic spoons
  • Nuts, small candies, or crushed candy cane bits
  • wax paper
  • Decorative plastic wrap
  • Ribbon

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and stir until smooth. Dip the spoons into the chocolate and sprinkle on the candy bits. Refrigerate on wax paper until chocolate hardens. Wrap each spoon separately and tie with the ribbon. Present in a decorative box or tin. These can be savored as a lollipop or used to stir flavor into drinks.

I have not personally tested these DIY gifts yet but plan on doing so next week. Check back for my experience and review.

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Can’t wait for wine by the fire!

We mounted our TV months ago, but it took us forever to find a solution for all the wires. My dad installed an outlet behind where the TV would go so the TV and cable box can be plugged in out of sight. But there is a wire connecting the box to the TV that must be hidden. After much research and the decision to not risk cutting into the wall or hire a professional, we decided on a small shelf directly beneath the TV. Unfortunately our cable box was ginormous and we couldn’t find a shelf to accommodate it. So we went to Comcast and put our names on a waiting list for a smaller box. After weeks and weeks we FINALLY got called and traded our box in for something slightly smaller.

So this past weekend, we hung the IKEA shelf right on top of the TV, with only the cable wire still showing…solution for that TBD.We haven’t bothered tucking the above wires in yet because of the nagging white cable wire…but all will be hidden in due time. The Ikea Lack table that is now my vanity used to sit beneath the TV. It clashed with our coffee table and also wasn’t the right shape or height for the space. So now we had to find something to fill in this blank wall. Brainstorm: a small table for our music player, a backless sofa, a storage ottoman, a large chest. I thought of everything! Seats were out because who would want to sit under a TV. It would be nice to pull up to the coffee table while entertaining, but impractical overall. A table or storage trunk seemed like the way to go but they had to be the right height. So while browsing Home Goods with my tape measure and camera out, I stumbled across this…An electric fireplace! I know some people have strong opinions about this because the flame never looks real, but that’s not my main concern. I wanted something that served as a shelf and that was nice to look at. I left the store empty-handed and had to weigh my options. The store only had 1 and I’d never seen 1 so cheap before, $200. I almost turned the car right around to go back, but I thought it better to go back to work and let it settle for the rest of the afternoon. I emailed the man and asked him what he thought. His first reaction: “Is it dangerous?” So I googled and sent him all kinds of links reassuring him that it’s basically a space heater and everyone has one. We returned to Home Goods together after work. I showed him all the other options I had seen before bringing him to the fireplace. He stood in front of it for a half hour while I walked around browsing other ideas.

Finally, I brought a salesman over, showed him the tiny scratch on the bottom left hand corner and asked him what we could do about it. He knocked it down to $150. When we hesitated, he reminded us of the 30 day return policy. Sold.

He wheeled it up to the front for us and at least 3 people stopped on the way out to ask if it was sold. We also left the store with this neat little camera next to the fireplace. We’re planning on a tall vase to the left and maybe a vintage book collection or a candle and a plant on the mantle.If you haven’t figured it out already, we threw the tags and receipt out and won’t be making use of their 30 day policy.

 

Master Suite Makeover Part 2

I completed most of the groundwork for my mom’s bedroom this past weekend. Headboard, check. Rearrange furniture, check. Acquire seating at a bargain price, check. Paint, che…let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But the colors are picked out and purchased.

The border came down with no problem at all (not photographed yet). The right wall behind the bed will be the taupe color shown in the photos above and below. The rest of the room will be a darker shade of purple.

The colors look a little skewed here, but the headboard and new wall color on the left are almost identical shades of purple. To dress the bed up a little, I plan on replacing the current matching bed skirt with a purple tailored skirt. Some bigger, more prominent pillows in coordinating colors will also be added. In place of the purple afghan will be a darker, plusher throw blanket to add contrast. (The left nightstand is spaced unevenly from the bed because of a vent, but I’ve got a plan for that).

These photos were taken prematurely. The room is still very much “in progress,” but after only a few hours spent over 1 weekend, the heavy labor is done. Only one wall remains to be painted, artwork to be found, lamps be purchased, and new window treatments to be hung. “Final touches,” as I call them.

 

While I originally planned on 2 accent chairs near the window, this chaise jumped out at me at Home Goods. Originally priced at $300 (which is already 20%-60% lower than department and specialty stores), it was marked down to $200. The color will look beautiful in the bedroom and along with a storage chest at the foot of the bed, will provide a perfect seating area for my mom and her sisters.

I’m still thinking about this armoire. The only thing I know is that it is not staying there. With the addition of the chaise that will go under either window, the armoire will be returned to caddy corner or placed against the right wall. Ideally though, I would love for the chaise to go under the right window. If only I could find a new place for that cumbersome armoire.

Stay tuned for a Headboard How-to as well as the “After” photos of the Master Bedroom Makeover.

The pantry just doubled my kitchen space

Remember the before. Cluttered, messy, disorganized, and every other word that implies we moved in and threw everything in here that didn’t have room elsewhere.

The during:

The Present:

The shelves are from Lowe’s. It was (2) 9 ft shelves for $20 each, cut into several 2½ feet shelves. The brackets were $2.50 each.

 

The laundry basket is from Home Goods: $25. The shelf that is now resting on it will be mounted a foot higher and will hold laundry detergents. The towels will decrease in quantity and the lucky ones will be mounted on a shelf above the coat shelf seen below. The 3 drawer component is from Lowe’s for $12. Plenty of storage for a lost & found (whatever falls out of pockets in the washing machine), plastic bags, toilet paper, workout gear, umbrella & miscellaneous. I’m still looking for a space for the weights and yoga mat other than the floor.

Enough room for the 2 of us to hang our coats plus more for company. The scarves are kept above the coats and the 3rd shelf will go above the scarves with about 2 feet of room for the towels.

I’m still interested in painting this room to give it some more character, but I don’t want the white hardware to be obvious. It’s not exactlt high priority but I daydream about colors here and there.

I would also love to cover the water heater but I don’t know how safe that is nor do I know what I could cover it with as I’m not fond of cheap canvas-like curtains as room dividers. And luxurious, plush curtains wouldn’t really go here…

My Bedroom in all its imperfections

My last post about the canopy gone wrong made me realize that I haven’t photographed my bedroom in full yet. This wasn’t just a misstep on my part, but a deliberate attempt to not show what was not yet done. But I’ve gotten over that and am ready to reveal my “in process” rooms, no matter the state.

Here goes:

*Pay no attention to the “canopy” above the bed that I haven’t taken down yet.

The window valances came with the bed set and are not staying. I hung them up with white sheer panels that I “eyeballed” instead of taking measurements. They were about a foot short of touching the window sill.

I may have previously mentioned my newfound addiction to wallpapering furniture. That is on display in these photos.

The bench at the foot of the bed is made up of 2 2-drawer components from Target. I made the bench pad from foam, batting and the same velvet fabric used for the headboard. The trim from JoAnn fabrics is only fastened with pins right now because I didn’t buy enough and haven’t sewn it yet.

The drawer front is a different pattern than the sides.  Not sure if I love it yet. In the picture above it seems to go together, but up close it looks a little more clashed. Take a look:

I bought the rolls of wallpaper on Ebay for a total of $20 (1 roll of each).

What triggered the addiction was my bedroom vanity. One of our first furniture purchases was a TV stand from Ikea for $50. After falling in love with a coffee table that didn’t match this style at all and deciding to mount our tv to the wall, we had no use for this TV stand. I mean NO use. With a little over 850 sq ft to work with, we brainstormed every room. Maybe a buffet in our 8×8 dining room. Maybe a wall mounted shelf over our bedroom closet. Maybe a work area in the office. None of these rooms could spare the space. It stayed in our hall for a month while we thought of who we could give it to or if we should eat the $50 and throw it out.

Finally! when talking with a friend about my desire for a vanity in our bedroom as well as my wish for a versatile mini bar, she suggested I add taller legs to the trash-bound TV stand and paint it. We left for Ikea immediately and bought 4 legs at $12.50 each with casters for easy mobility.

It was decided the surface couldn’t be painted without sanding, and wallpapering would be the way to go.

The result is my beautiful bedroom vanity:

The ends are a little messy so I plan on adding a gold trim…just haven’t figured out how yet.

The stool is from Home Goods, $30. It’s a little short right now, nothing Ikea legs can’t fix. Still not sure if I will keep it. I wanted a vanity stool that could look good on its own if I ever move the vanity into the living room to serve as a buffet table during a party. But maybe that’s a silly idea to decorate around.

The mirror will be hung on the wall. We’re also still looking for alot of creative art work. Don’t judge our bare walls just yet.

Revisions to be made to the scene on the left:

  • Canopy removed
  • Pendant lighting hung above nightstands.
  • Wall art

 

 

 

 

Revisions to be made to the scene on the right:

  • Mirror hung on wall
  • Wall Art
  • TV wires hidden (in living room)

Just a little rant

I want to take a moment to express the shock I am suffering from the prices of window treatments and decorative accents. I’ve never dressed a window before. Our last place together was a tiny little studio and was very temporary so drapes were not needed. My place before that was college housing…No explanation needed.

So I’ve tossed around the idea of buying fabric and creating my custom window treatments, but after all the “couture” I’ve added to the condo thus far, I thought it would be nice to run out real quick, pick up some curtains, and voila! our living room is dressed. Imagine my surprise when, whilst perusing JCPenney’s home section, I come across this beautiful display that would work in both my bedroom and living room, for upwards of $265, ON SALE.

So fine, this is a Cindy Crawford design and “versatile” per their website: JCPenney “Create your own look”, but I have 3 rooms that need dressing, 2 of much importance (I’m not as invested in the office just yet). But of course, I didn’t just give up. I figured, I’ll find some panels in these colors, and create my own version of the look. Afterall, most of these panels don’t even have pockets for the drapery rod. It is literally a hemmed piece of fabric. A long, beautiful, shiny, hemmed piece of fabric, but fabric nonetheless. In my search, the least expensive I have come across thus far is $10 per panel. Not even Home Goods could help a girl out! This look calls for 5 blue panels, 3 tan panels, and at least 2 sheer panels. That’s still $100. I get that window treatments are important and can make or break a room. But it’s fabric! Why is it this expensive??

I have been experiencing the same problem with throw pillows. I have a large tan couch that needs some pops of color. I plan on at least 4 accent pillows, preferably closer to 6, in addition to a throw blanket. At $20 a pop, this is getting outrageous! Why are small, slightly altered pieces of fabric so inflated in price?!

This is about 3 sq. feet of fabric. 1 yard. for $19.99 at Target. If I bought 1 yard of fabric at Joann’s, put 10 minutes of labor into making this pillow, I would have to charge $20 to turn a profit. But this fabric is being manufactured in bulk and I highly doubt it is being sewn by hand and taking anywhere close to 10 minutes per pillow. Highway robbery!

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