Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I post a lot on here about how I love to beautify my surroundings, and how important my home is to me in my quest for beauty. However, I've never given you a detailed look at how I do the little things with the little money I have budgeted for home decor, and I think it's about time I did.

My home is the place where my creativity is bound by my budget and square footage, but freed by my privacy and flexibility. 

I feel nervous about taking risks here or in my music because those arts are in the public eye, and I am terrified of making big mistakes. My home, on the other hand, is a place where people have to ask permission to enter and take a look at the decisions I've made. Today I am inviting you to take a small peek at some of my recent projects and triumphs, and maybe you'll find some ideas for your own home!

living rooms are for living

Our living room is where we spend the vast majority of our time. The space is connected to the kitchen in an open floor plan, so we do our eating in the living room. I also run all of our business from the couch so that I can watch Everly play and have easy access to all the things I need. The project I've been working on for the past few months is our gallery wall. For a long time, I just had one picture or none at all hanging about our couch, and as the only open wall space in this room, I felt it needed a little more attention. I did not have the budget for a decor overhaul, so I shopped around my house, refurbished some thrift store finds, and spent a little on some trendy items.

Here's the cost breakdown:

  • DIY painted abstract, egret, and quote: $10 worth of black canvases found on sale at Michaels
  • Clipboards: $1 each, printed graphic to go on brown one. 
  • Gazelle clock: $15 at an antique store, $1 worth of white gloss spray paint, $3 clock hands. (Needs batteries but I still love it)
  • Ship painting, framed photo, framed raccoon, letter H, mirror: shopped the house for things I already used in other rooms.  (I repainted the frame of the ship painting to match the wall.)
  • "Love" chalkboard: on sale at Michaels for $1

That's a total of $30 for the entire wall! I kept a black, white, and wood theme throughout, with a few pops of the blue color that's on the wall. It makes me so happy every time I see it, and makes our wall look a little taller (in an 833 square foot house, you maximize every inch!). 

The black and grey-blue canvas was a result of this post by The Nester, when I was inspired to just throw some paint onto a canvas with no expectations of what it should look like. I don't usually paint abstract (see egret above) but I had so much fun. I'll be doing a how-to post soon.

The clipboard holds one of my favorite prints, and all I did to get it was to search for public domain drawing tutorials. I found this tutorial on how to draw trains, and love that it has "A lesson in perspective" as the title. I need constant reminders to keep the right perspective, and this little print helps.

This little corner is another budget triumph. It's a lesson in "if you like it, keep it even if you don't know what to do with it", as well as "say yes when people want to give you stuff." Here's the breakdown:
  • Painting: inherited ($0)
  • Nesting dolls: gifts ($0)
  • Salt lamp: gift ($0)
  • Photo book under dolls: gift ($0)
  • Black table: hand-me-down ($0)
  • Gold basket: $0.80 on Christmas clearance at Michaels.
  • Glass and silver pitcher: $3 at Goodwill.
  • Flowers: $1 each ($2) at The Dollar Tree. 
Grand total: $5.80. This makes me want to jump up and down tallying this up. I love to look around my home and know that I did not spend that much money to surround myself with this much beauty. 

Note: I love to find faux flowers at the Dollar Tree. I have found several trendy blooms and branches there over the past few months, and for $1 each, it's hard to mess up.

Next is my favorite vignette in this room. Vignettes are little setups of beautiful things just to bring you joy. They don't have to have a function, they are simply there for beauty.

Here we go again!:
  • Flowers: Valentine's present.
  • Blue milk bottle: $1 at Goodwill.
  • Clear bottle: $1 at Ikea.
  • Wooden toy: gift.
  • & sign: $6 at TJ Maxx three years ago.
  • Shelf: $7 at Ikea. 
  • Globe lamp (yes, it lights up. Did I mention it's a TOUCH LAMP? Dreams really do come true.): gift. 
  • Framed Picasso print: $6 at a local thrift store.
  • Books: relocated from my (color-coded) bookshelf: $0
Grand total: $21 (including the shelf!). The more I do this calculating, the more excited I get. 

I can't do all this bragging without bringing myself back to real life, so here's what you would really see if I invited you into my house.

Don't hate, appreciate. It's a work in progress and I'm making the decision not to apologize for it! Welcome to my real life, hard working office. It's seen better days, and will see better days in the future, but today is a real life Tuesday and that's just how it goes.

-- Caroline

I hope you've enjoyed this little peek at the projects I've been working on! Are there any that you'd like to see instructions or tutorials for? What are you working on at your own home? Leave a comment below and I'll get back to you!

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