Wednesday, November 30, 2011

at last, another decor/DIY post

As much as I love the riot of color Fall brings, the profusion of textures... I didn't do much decorating this year. Just a few tiny pumpkins... real pumpkins, of course (why have plastic when you can have the real thing that you can compost instead of sending to the landfill?) scattered through my apartment.

On bookshelves...

...and the thrifted secretary I refurbished last summer that now serves as extra storage in the dining room

...and on the other book case in the living room. Which, in the event you're interested, is also a testament to the fact that thrift stores are sources of good things. A few of you had asked for tips on buying thrifted furniture, so here are my few tips:
  • Nothing upholstered, unless I plan on re-upholstering it. They do get steam-cleaned, but besides the thought of creepy-crawlies, sometimes it harbors smokey, musty odors.
  • Wait for the good stuff. If it's not solid wood and it's not sturdy, it's not worth it. The cool thing is that you can often get really solid stuff for only a few dollars, but if it's not what you're looking for... come back another day. :)
  • Use your imagination. My favorite finds have been pieces I modified and used for other purposed. For instance, the bookcase above was a sort of cabinet with awkward, flimsy sliding doors. All I did was pop them off. :) Oh, and I found an old piano bench that I use for my coffee table. Unexpected pieces add character and interest to a room... and you won't pay tons of money.
  • Craigslist is your friend. The window on the bookcase I got free. Oh, and this isn't a decor item, but my espresso/latte/coffee maker was also a Craigslist find. New for $30. Happiness.
  • Get things that you like. Your rooms will reflect your unique personality instead of looking like you bought the whole room pre-made from Sears.
The Mary and Jesus statue I found this summer while antiquing with my older sister, Abby. I've been wanting a Mary statue for a while because she's a hero of mine. I hadn't been able to find one of her with the Child, which is too intrinsic to her story to exempt. So I was more than happy at this find... and thrilled that it was only five dollars. :)

This Celtic cross is almost my favorite, most meaningful possession. I got it in Ireland this summer. The symbol of the cross is pretty huge to me, and all the hand carving on this one... I picked it up and could not put it down.

In other DIY/decor recent stuff, remember the awesome thrift-store lamp I spray-painted this summer?

Well, I was racking my brain for a way to use the same paint to accent the other end table and splash a little more red/orange in the living room. One afternoon, I was doing something completely unrelated when this idea excited me to the point that I ran outside immediately with a glass soda bottle and painted it. My neighbors must sometimes wonder if I've inhaled too many fumes.

Brass and gold accents might be the newest trend in decorating, but I'm not a fan. I liked the detail of the (thrifted!) picture frame, but so far it has escaped a therapy session with Dr. Spray Paint because I haven't decided on a color. Ivory is my go-to color, but I'm afraid there would be too much ivory going on in this arrangement...

I like simplicity. And tiny pumpkins.


Charis said...

oh I love it! fun ideas and I adore the simplicity!

Becca said...

Thank you, Charis! I love that you took the time to tell me so! :)

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edith said...

These beautiful pictures are inspiring. Thanks for sharing them and thanks for the tips!