Category: Home

DIY Succulent Pumpkins

So, there’s this thing called a succulent pumpkin. And it’s pretty darn cute. I’m sure you’ve probably seen one on Pinterest or Instagram. But when one of my customers asked me to come do a workshop on how to create these fall fancies later this month I jumped at the chance. I’ll be teaching more than 50 floral specialists (who are amazing designers — no pressure) how to put these together, so I figured I’d better practice by creating a few samples. Let’s just say it wasn’t the worst way to spend a Thursday afternoon. If you’re looking for a weekend project, I highly recommend it! Here’s how it all went down.

The materials I used were simple and fairly easy to find (especially since I had a sea of succulents to choose from). I was shocked at how quickly they came together and I highly recommend giving this a try for a fun fall project with your friends. Heck, it’s something you could get the kids involved in too if they’re fairly gentle with the plants. The first step? Head to your local farm stand and pick out some pumpkins. I scored these three for a whopping $7.50 at a little place just a few minutes from the office. I was going for small, medium and large here but also wanted to try different shapes and colors. I’m a sucker for a pastel-hued heirloom pumpkin and the donut shape is the perfect perch for succulents. The bright orange of the traditional round pumpkin was a nice base for the blue/green color of the plants. And of course the mini white pumpkin is just too darn cute.

I may just blow your mind with this one, guys. It’s something I didn’t know until I started working at ArizonaEast (like all the other plant knowledge I’ve gained these last three years). Good old Elmer’s Glue is just about the best adhesive you can use for succulent-related projects. It’s non toxic (very kid and pet friendly). It dries clear, and it washes away as you water the plants (which is okay because the plants will be rooted into the moss by then). It doesn’t dry as quickly as hot glue, but as long as you have patience (or some floral wire) that doesn’t really matter. All the tutorials I referenced while tackling this project used hot glue to adhere the plants to the pumpkin and I disagree with that approach. Almost every time I’ve ever used hot glue on succulents they sizzle and dry up which ends up killing them. You could try experimenting with a low temp if you’re dead set, but Elmer’s is a no brainer as far as I’m concerned.┬á

The next step is the most fun. Pick out your plants! You’ll want to grab one or two echeverias to act as a visual anchor in the front of your design, with lots of leafy, leggy succulents filling in the backdrop.

You’ll need to cut the succulent at it’s base to remove the root system and soil. Don’t worry! You’re not harming the plants! Succulents are resilient and they can last as cuttings for weeks before they dry out. If you glue them to a growing medium (moss in this case) they’ll grow a new set of roots and continue being a happy plant. And what’s even cooler is the root system you left behind will grow another succulent in a few weeks, so don’t throw away those plastic grower pots!

Once your plants are all cut it’s time to start building. The first step is to apply a generous amount of Elmer’s Glue to the top of the pumpkin. Then lay your sheet moss on top of the glue. This will act as the foundation of your succulent arrangement. Use your leafy, leggy succulents as the base, starting in the back, and then build from there. Since Elmer’s Glue stays wet for a while you can rearrange your plants as needed so there’s no pressure to get it perfect the first time. You can do a dry run by layering your plants on top of one another to achieve the look you want before gluing them all into place.

Scroll through the slideshows below to see how I designed all three pumpkins, starting from the largest at the top to the smallest at the bottom. I’m still new to this whole tutorial thing so don’t hesitate to leave me questions in the comments. I’ll be happy to help answer them if I can and I’d love to see photos of your creations. If you happen to post them on Instagram tag me so I can see! ­čÖé Happy fall crafting!

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Cut the Cable Cord

There’s a slew of streaming services out there today. Ya know what? I don’t even think the word slew covers it. Gazillion? Yeah, that’s more like it. From Hulu and Netflix to Sling and Playstation Vue, the tech savvy have a ton of options for cutting the cable cord once and for all. My husband? He’s the epitome of tech savvy. Our house is basically a smart home at this point. We have an┬áAmazon Echo (you know, that “Hey, Alexa?” thing) on both floors, an eco-friendly Nest thermostat, a dead bolt on our front door that’s controlled by an app, a robot vacuum, a robot camera that can ride around the house and check on things when we’re not home, and… need I say more, or have I lost you yet? ­čÖé

I’m the opposite of tech savvy. I know enough to use all the tech in our home, but how could I tell you how it works or how to hook it up? Nope. Nada. Not at all. But do I appreciate the convenience (and cost savings) it provides? Yup. You betcha. So when Mike presented me with an option to get rid of cable while reducing our monthly bills by more than $100 all without sacrificing our entertainment options — I didn’t even blink an eye. And one day later we were switched from Comcast to DIRECTV Now.

Here’s a low tech explanation of how it works. It’s not that complicated — I promise. We use AT&T for our cellular service and we recently upgraded to an unlimited data plan which somehow ended up being a really great deal. Thank goodness for market competition (I’m looking at you, T-Mobile). For $10 more per month we not only got unlimited data, but we became eligible to use AT&T’s partner streaming service DIRECTV Now. ┬áIf you’re like me you’re probably thinking I DON’T WANT A SATELLITE DISH! We had DIRECTV service via Satellite when I was growing up and the service went out the second it rained. But this is different.

DIRECTIV Now can operate through any streaming device (think Amazon Fire Box, Roku, Apple TV, etc.) We’re running ours through an Apple TV for our main TV downstairs and we’re using an Amazon Fire Stick on our TV in the master bedroom. First of all, the guide is INCREDIBLE! You can go through and favorite channels so they show up on a separate list which makes channel surfing easier than ever. All the channels we watch are included in the service, in addition to some we couldn’t get through Comcast (Tru TV, Travel Channel and Viceland). There have been ZERO interruptions in our service since we started using it a few weeks ago. And it even has a ton of content available on demand. So far the only thing it doesn’t include is DVR, but everything I would typically record is available on demand, so it hasn’t been an issue. And Mike tells me the DVR service is coming soon.

But the BEST result of us making the switch has been saving a cool $100 on our cable bill each month. By canceling our Comcast cable service we were able to increase our internet to blast speed and drop our bill from $198 per month down to $89. Pretty awesome, right? Just think about what you’d do with an extra Benjamin in your wallet every 30 days. So. Many. Things.

What do you think? Are you ready to cut the cable cord and start streaming your entertainment? Have you tried any other streaming services? If so, what’s your favorite?

Master Bath Mood Board

Our dated master bathroom is currently undergoing a much needed renovation and I’m SO excited to share the details. We’ve always looked at our home as an investment so any updates have to be resale friendly. I love our town home. It was a great deal in a nice neighborhood on a decent sized corner lot. But it’s not our forever home. We had a realtor in earlier this year to give us an outside perspective and his biggest criticism was our master bath. We already knew it needed to be done so when he confirmed our suspicions we got serious about making a plan. Months of research later and my plan is finally coming to fruition!

I love the idea of using white and gray as foundational colors with hints of warm brass to make things feel cozy. I decided to use gold accents in places that are more easily interchangeable like the vanity light, mirror and vanity hardware. It’s much more complicated and costly to swap out the shower head, diverter and faucet since those require a plumber, so I chose a timeless brushed nickel for those finishes. It’s simple, neutral and very resale friendly. Do I dream of infusing more custom finishes into my spaces one day? Of course! But I’ll save those choices for my forever home.

This remodel is very budget friendly. Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses so I didn’t want to cheap out, but I’m also being realistic about the sale price of a house like this. A $20,000 (or even $10,000) renovation just doesn’t make financial sense. Luckily my brother-in-law worked in construction before recently becoming a police officer and he’s a DIY nerd like me, so it didn’t take much coaxing to get him on board. And I’d much rather invest in someone who will get the job done then take a risk on an unknown contractor. Once he agreed to help with the project we were off to the races.

Here are some ways I’m sticking to our budget without sacrificing style:

  • Use an inexpensive shower pan but bring the wall tile all the way to the ceiling. Our shower is small, but it’s a standard size. That means we could source an acrylic shower pan from a local big box store and save money on having to tile the shower base. The plumber we hired set the shower pan with Quikcrete to give it added stability for the long haul and we’re thrilled with how it turned out. I chose an inexpensive white subway tile in an oversized style (12″x4″, source “h” below) and opted to bring the tile all the way to the ceiling. This tricks your eye into thinking the shower is much bigger than it really is.
  • Recycle leftover materials from another project. We had a ton of faux wood flooring tiles, mortar and grout leftover from a flooring project in 2015, but I held onto it “just incase” — and boy am I glad I did. The tile will be the perfect foundation of our new, modern bathroom and it’ll only cost us the labor to have it installed (which is super affordable thanks to Jesse, my brother-in-law). We bought the tile at a professional supply store, but I also found it online (source “l” below).
  • Add upgraded┬áhardware to an off-the-shelf vanity. Searching for the perfect vanity has probably been the most time consuming part of this project. Most of the options at big box stores feel chintzy (which is sure to scare potential buyers down the road), but spending $1,200+ on a more custom option just isn’t in the budget. Kudos to my husband for spotting this Scott Living vanity on a recent trip to Lowe’s. It has drawers for extra┬ástorage (something our realtor recommended) and a shelf to keep things feeling airy while giving us easy access to towels. Great find, Mikey! ­čÖé It already comes with a synthetic stone top that compliments my gray & white theme and at $400 the cost┬ácan’t be beat. The low price gives me some wiggle room to add a special touch, so I’m planning to remove the stock hardware in favor of these gorgeous unlacquered brass misson-style pulls that will age with a gorgeous, warm patina over time.
  • Choose one or two places to splurge for a more custom look. I chose to splurge in two key places to give the bathroom extra style. First, we added two shower niches that will be tiled in marble mosaic accent tiles. At $13 per square foot these tiles are much more expensive than the subway tiles, but we only needed four sheets to get the job done. Our second splurge will be this Metal Framed Round Wall Mirror from West Elm. At $249 it’s more expensive than some other key pieces in the room, but it’s the exact style I’m looking for and it’s the first thing you see walking into the space, so it’s worth the splurge (and it blows your basic builder grade mirror out of the water).
  • Add an architectural element to boost character and charm. I wanted to add something to make the room feel extra special. It’s a small space for a master bath so a little WOW factor will go a long way. The trend setter in me wants to add wallpaper in the worst way, but that’s not realistic for resale. Potential buyers could swoon like me, or it could totally turn them off. The solution? Ship lap. My house was built in the early 90s and it really lacks any architectural detail, so this simple infusion of charm and character is just what the doctor ordered. I’ll probably end up painting the whole room a crisp white which will give the ship lap a classic feel like it has always been there.

I can’t wait to see it all come together and, of course, I’ll keep you posted as we make progress. What major renovations are your taking on these days? How do you stay on budget? What are your favorite ways to infuse your personal style into a space?

Source List

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l

Fancy Friday: Mint to Be

Welcome to my first ever Fancy Friday post! One of the things that makes me happiest is finding ways to elevate an everyday situation to feel truly special. Yes, some of my friends have called me extra as a result, but who cares. Paying attention to the details has always been my thing, and it helps amp up my ability to entertain. I’ll be sharing simple and attainable tips and tricks for making things feel fancy without much added effort on the┬áblog (hopefully) each week.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen the incredibly awesome tiered planter that made a debut on my patio this season. It was a very thoughtful birthday gift from my best friends Joe & Laura last year. They gave it to me in May 2016 and it promptly sat in the box. All. Freaking. Summer. Mike and I were both swamped with work and traveling and we just didn’t have the time to dedicate to gardening the right way, so I resigned myself to being a complete┬ágardening failure┬álast year. Isn’t it nuts how our own negative thoughts can be the worst criticism? Ugh…

But when spring finally came again we both made a commitment to finally putting the planter to good use. (Read: we were prepping for my annual Cinco de Brieo birthday party when he suggested we finally put it together and I lost my mind because we had so much else to do excitedly agreed and jumped right in.) Needless to say, I was thrilled we finally made use of it early in the season to start a small veggie & herb garden.

I had no idea what I was doing. This is the first year I’ve really tried my hand at cultivating edible plants. So we chose a few of our favorite herbs and picked up three different types of tomato plants and two types of peppers and with a little sweat equity we were off to the races. My biggest piece of advice? Invest in a drip irrigation line! It’s a major time saver and it snaked easily through the tiers of the planter box. Mike handled this part of the project and once I saw it come together it was way less intimidating than it sounded. And all the necessary materials are available at your local home improvement store.

So, what has been the all star of my container garden so far? M-I-N-T! Mint. Mint. Mint. I’ve developed an obsession for this fragrant, hardy and fast-growing plant. After a juice cleanse and a whole hearted attempt at doing the Whole 30 (more to come on that) since the summer started, I was looking for no-calorie ways to amp up food and drinks, and mint was it.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use mint to make life a bit fancier:

Sweet Potato Toast with Almond Butter, Smashed Blueberries & Mint (Whole 30 compliant)

Take a sweet potato and slice it into several thin slices. You want them to be thin enough to crisp up in a toaster by not so small to fall through the grates. I don’t have exact measurements, so I recommend experimenting to see what’s best for you. Put two slices in the toaster on the highest setting. You’ll need to put it back in two or three times to get the right level of crispiness/warmth. I liked mine when it was warmed all the way through and slightly blackened on the outside. Once toasted, smear a tablespoon of almond butter on each piece. Smash a few tablespoons of blueberries in a bowl and spread on top of almond butter. Then top with julienned mint. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re not on Whole 30, adding a bit of honey or agave to the blueberries would sweeten it up a bit, but it’s not necessary.

Coconut Mojito Mocktail (Whole 30 compliant)

Cutting out fun stuff like alcohol, cheese and desserts was hard during my Whole 30 program. When I stumbled on this recipe for a Coconut Mojito Mocktail I knew I had to try it. I’m pretty sure I used too much fresh lime juice (hello, sour citrus) but it was still delicious. For looking fancy, it came together quickly and was super easy.

“Spa Water” with Lemon, Cucumber and Mint

Summer is a great time to try and increase your water intake. Drinking “fancy” water (either sparkling or flat) with lemon wedges, slices of cucumber and muddled mint was a way for me to treat myself and help change my habits during Whole 30, and it’s something I’ve continued because I love it so much. I keep all the ingredients prepped and ready in the fridge and it’s become a fun ritual in the morning to make my spa water for the day. I use a stainless steel tumbler so all I need to do is keep adding water throughout the day. It’s the perfect way to stay hydrated while feeling like you’re doing something special for yourself.

What are your favorite ways to feel fanciful? What have you been harvesting from your home grown garden?

 

 

Living Room Refresh

The “house tour” section of my blog is woefully out of date. It’s so funny to scroll through those photos and realize how far my house has come in the last few years. Old photos help me appreciate all the time and energy I’ve spent turning my house into a home since we moved here in March 2013 (shortly after we married). We were lucky enough to score a short sale at a bargain price and scrape enough money together for a very small down payment. And my favorite DIY project to date began as we started transforming the house room by room.

Here’s the living room soon after we moved in.

Not the worst room I’ve ever seen, but looking back at that photo makes me cringe so hard.

Fast forward through four years, three couches, two area rugs and countless gallery wall attempts and the living room reflects my personal style now more than ever. It’s as close to feeling finished as ever. Part bohemian and part elegant with a dash of cozy and a hint of quirky is the best way to describe my style. I’m instantly drawn to anything with a tribal print like kilim or ikat — especially if it features an array of saturated hues. I’m a sucker for color, but a steady foundation of greige (a neutral shade of trendy gray mixed with *gasp* traditional beige) is the common thread keeping it all feel grounded.

Here’s a view from a similar angle of what the room looks like today.

So. Much. Better. Psst… see my little pup hiding behind the coffee table? His fur matches my color palette, but I swear that was a happy accident. ­čÖé

Here’s a more straight on view. This is what you see at the back of the house when you walk in through the front door, so it’s the first impression visitors get when they walk in.

Loloi’s gorgeous new Javari rug in Berry/Sunrise is the foundation of this room. It was certainly a splurge but I’m at a place where I’m ready to start investing in key pieces and this rug was love at first sight. I’m so happy I pulled the trigger and I’m thrilled with the quality and softness of this rug. Two thumbs WAY up!

The light gray fabric of the Paidge sofa (fabric: performance velvet; color: stone) and rich brown of the Henry power recliner (fabric: top-grain leather; color: tobacco)┬áare similar tones to the rug and I love the way they all came together. Both are from West Elm and, like the rug, were investment pieces — so I went with neutral, durable fabrics that will have longevity. Did I mention this is my third couch in four years? It needs to stick around for a while.

Rounding out the seating area are two modern slipper chairs. The size and scale allow them to float in a high traffic area without making it feel too crowded. These are from Target’s budget-friendly Threshold line and at $129 each they helped balance the cost of the pricier pieces without sacrificing style. The color is called pepper and they throw a navy hue (not black) in person which adds a nice hint of color without competing with the rug.

Three cheers for finally seeing this room come together. It’s such a good feeling! What home-related projects have you tackled lately that make you take a deep, soothing breath when you look at them? What rooms are next on your to do list?

 

Fa la la la Living Room

I’m continuing this week’s tour of Christmas decor in my house with a peek at the living room where I’ve decked the halls with red, green and silver accents.
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I mixed some of my old favorites with a few new pieces this year to make the room feel extra festive.
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I splurged on a pair of green and white houndstooth pillows that coordinate with my table runner in the dining room. The couch is the first thing that draws your eye in when you walk through the front door so I focused my attention there this year. A trio of new pillows, glittery garland and DIY holiday-themed art transformed this spot for Christmas. My couch and rug are so neutral that it’s easy to change the look of the room by switching up a few accent pieces and swapping out the yellow pillows for green. My strategy for decorating the living room was to take away yellow and replace it with green which complemented my existing red accents nicely.

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A few silver accents go a long way to make this space feel Christmas-y, too. I found this wreath made of silver, vintage-looking ornaments that I placed on a tray on the coffee table as a statement piece. When we put the tree up it will make my large silver ornaments really pop.

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Silver also makes a statement atop my entertainment center where a bevy of glass Christmas trees in a variety of sizes add interest to this side of the room. I treat my entertainment center as if it were my fireplace mantel (because I’ve always wanted one). It’s one of my favorite decorations in the whole house and I love how it turned out.

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Last but certainly not least is the stairway where I draped the same glittery garland down the banister and secured it with some red and green striped ribbon. I like the fact that you can see the ribbon holding up the garland and I think it gives the banister added character.

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And with that, the tour of our indoor Christmas decorations is complete. Next up I’ll share with you my Christmas tree and our display of lights outside. Also, look out for a new vlog with a video tour of our Christmas decorations which will give you a better feel for the layout of the space!

Red, green and… Copper?

When it comes to Christmas decor I don’t play favorites. Red, green, white, silver and gold all have a place in my home for the holidays. This year I added a small splash of a new metallic tone to the mix — copper.
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My husband’s favorite holiday drink is the Moscow Mule which is traditionally served in frigid copper mugs. The bright hue was the inspiration for my dining room sideboard this Christmas season. It makes a bold statement and a little goes a long way so I paired it with some rose gold pieces, deep reds and classic greens for a playful holiday look.

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Take a closer look at my DIY Noel sign.

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I used the cover art from another pretty notebook as the background with a metal “Noel” ornament (both from Target) on top for a custom piece that goes perfectly with my color scheme. I nabbed that rose gold Nicole Miller frame and Earth & Vine cocktail mixer at Marshall’s a few weeks ago.

Here’s a closer look at the rest of the dining room:

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I’m really excited about how the dining room turned out this year. Have I mentioned how much I love that preserved boxwood wreath? Vern Yip’s go-to decoration for December in HGTV Magazine was preserved boxwoods because they look like real/living plants and are maintenance free. I got the wreath from Target last year but I spotted it in the store again this season along with a smaller version.

More photos of my living room are in the works and I still have to trim the tree, so more to come!

Holy Hiatus

March 13, 2014. That’s the date of my last post on La Vie de Brie. Ugh! I’m so sorry, guys. Life definitely got the best of me in these past few months and I didn’t keep up with the blog the way I would have liked to. But, I’m back!

Even though I haven’t chronicled my DIY projects for you in these past… gulp… five months, I haven’t slowed down one bit. I have four great projects and some new furniture and design choices to share with you in the coming weeks! Here’s a sneak peek (or a reminder if you follow me on Instagram).

I transformed my stairs…

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…refinished the top of my coffee table. Hello, Minwax shine…
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…gave my closet a sassy navy, pink and gold makeover. Yes, those eagle hooks are vintage. And Ahhhmazing…┬áIMG_5627

…Painstakingly scraped, prepped and painted my backyard fence. What. A. Job…
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…found a new area rug for our living room. Pattern on pattern seems to be my thing right now…
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…refinished these cute benches that were handed down from my husband Mike’s late grandmother. Such a lovely family heirloom…
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…and finally, got new patio furniture, though I’m still searching for the perfect (and perfectly priced) outdoor rug to give our patio some pizzazz…┬áIMG_6279

 

I also wanted to quickly update you on another big change that has happened to me in recent weeks. I left my job at a PR agency to join a friend’s company called ArizonaEast. If you follow the Vitales on YouTube, you may have heard Joe and Laura announce that I’m joining the team, and I’m so excited!

Well, that’s all for now. But I promise to be back soon with more DIY details to share. Until then, enjoy these last few weeks of summer and squeeze in all the projects you can while the weather is gorgeous and the sun is out!

Goodbye Office, Hello Craft Room

Mike and I recently decided to move our office downstairs into the living room for two reasons. One, the living room spans the width of our house and at 21×14 the far end felt empty and lost. Two, we rarely set up shop in the office upstairs because neither of us wanted to feel locked away up there by ourselves. I swear a post is in the works detailing the move and unveiling our awesome little corner-turned-office downstairs, but this isn’t that post.

Moving the Mac, extra monitor and scads of technology down onto the main floor left the office ripe for the picking, and boy did I take advantage of the newly-vacant space. I was so excited to get my crafting/DIY/gift wrapping stuff out of the chaos pantry (though it’s newly organized for the second time) and up into its own space.

Craft & Reading Room

This mix-and-match feel of this room is truly the epitome of me. Every. Single. Piece. is collected/thrifted/salvaged from somewhere. I didn’t purchase any of the furniture specifically for this room. It’s a little disjointed, but I love it.

Craft & Sitting Room

Notice the two nearly identical wingback chairs? One is navy, the other is hunter green, and I successfully made them work — staring right into each others’ nailhead trim…

You may recognize the green chair from our living room downstairs. It sat proudly across from our old charcoal grey sofa. A little too proudly, in fact. It was so tall someone sitting at the newly positioned desk couldn’t see the TV, and that just wasn’t going to work. Another fun fact about our pair of wingbacks is each one came from our grandparents. The navy was given to us from Mike’s grandparents, and the green came straight from my grandparents’ office. The style of both chairs is nearly identical which is why they both work here even though they’re different colors. Another neat feature of these chairs is that each relaxes into a comfortable reclining position, so my goal is to use this as a sitting/reading/writing room when I’m looking for some solitude.

Navy Nailhead Wingback Chair

The Sicilia print is an old linen piece from Mike’s grandmother, too. It used to live in the bathroom of our old apartment, and I think it looks great on the wall in the office. That small chest next to the chair was a second-hand find from my grandmother’s neighbor. She was giving it away and I decided to spray paint it black and cart if off to college with me. It’s been tagging along ever since. When I made this room the craft room, I gave it the new job of housing my plethora of gift bags and displaying my Keyboard Cat and Andy Warhol print — both treasured gifts. A noble task, indeed.

Hiding Gift Bags

Moving to the right of the navy chair, I placed my DIY’d crafting table/cabinet/shelf-like thing-a-ma-bob. This is a TOTALLY makeshift piece. The two white cabinets used to house canned goods and glassware in the kitchen of our old apartment. With an entire room devoted to storage in our new townhouse, I decided to repurpose these into storage space for my crafting supplies. The wooden top is made up of two solid-wood Ikea shelves that I screwed together with brackets to make them extra sturdy. It’s floating on top of the white shelves so it’s easy to disassemble and move if need be. I do want to paint the top white to help it blend in, though.

Craft & Sitting Room

Kate Spade & Craft Paper

Tray & Metal Hooks

Crafting Supply Storage

The black shelf next to it is a hold out from the old office. It was laying on its side housing some office supplies, novelties and the printer. It wasn’t very useful in the office, so I decided to sit it right side up and get some extra baskets/containers to house my crafting and party supplies. I tilted it on an angle a bit to break up all the straight lines in the room, and I took a small globe-shaped light out of storage with a teeny tiny bulb that stays on pretty much all the time to act as a night light in the upstairs hallway since we always leave the door to this room open.

Crafty Shelf Styling

See that graphic black and white pillow up there? It kept catching my eye on Pinterest and in several blog posts so I snapped it up. It’s not the most practical pillow in this space since I already have two other throw pillows in here that work well together and the graphic pattern is a little too much next to the curtains, so I plopped it in a basket above the shelf for visual impact and as an option for future floor sitting. Looking at it makes me happy, so it stays. And those curtains? They dressed the window in our bedroom at the old apartment and I was thrilled to be able to reuse them here. They’re a perfect match with the wall color I chose. What a happy accident.

Gift Wrap

Onto one of my most practical sections of the room – my gift wrap storage. I started keeping all those rolls of gift wrap in that gold bin in the pantry when we first moved into the house and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s so easy to grab what I need in a rush to wrap a stylish gift in no time. And that even more stylish gold bin is a hand-me-down from my Mommom. I know, right? Score!

And finally, to keep it real. This is the office-turning-craft-room transition that I started with. Yeah, a lot of work when into getting this room organized. The closet is even spic and span now. What a relief.

Craft Room Before

Second Craft Room Before

And to go back even further, this is the office I started with.

Office

Book Shelf

Do you guys have a dedicated space for crafting or gift wrapping? Even just a dedicated closet, perhaps? I’m pretty lucky to have a third bedroom at my beck-and-call, that’s for sure. And I’m basking in the glow of extra useable space for now.

Vintage Shopping at Reminisce

I found myself with a few free hours last Saturday afternoon, so I jumped at the chance to explore a new vintage store that just opened in a neighboring town. I mentioned in a previous post how I wished to have a list of go-to thrift and vintage stores, and I’m slowly starting to uncover a few local gems thanks to my friend and fellow thrifting enthusiast Natasha.

Reminisce

Enter Reminisce in downtown Pitman, New Jersey. Pitman is a unique small town in that it still has a bustling main street full of quaint restaurants, boutiques and even a thriving theater scene. Reminisce was opened in January by owner Jessica who has curated one of the best collections of vintage decor and novelties I’ve ever come across. I’m used to walking into a thrift store and digging through junk in the hopes of finding a rare diamond in the rough. At Reminisce, I nearly squealed with excitement at every turn. A vintage Hershey’s Kisses tin, upcycled guitar-turned-shelf, glass door knobs and an array of old glass bottles were some of the first treasures I encountered. And that was just in one small corner of the store.

Jessica truly has a vision for her burgeoning store, and I have a lot of respect for the mom of four who is working hard to make her dream come true. I love that she hasn’t rushed to fill up her shelves with less than stellar goods just to make the place feel packed, but instead chooses to sell only the pieces that she truly loves. I snapped a few of my favorite finds to share with you.

Join me for a virtual tour of Reminisce.

Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage cream and gold plate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Shabby chic molding and tins at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage glass bottles from Philadelphia, Pa at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage Tetley tea tin at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage Pepsi bottles in carrying crate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

A variety of old novelty items in a vintage Pepsi crate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Poppies chalk paint at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage clutch and shabby chic bowl at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled cane back chair and guitar-turned-shelf at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter from Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled table and vintage Coca Cola print and tin at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled cane back chair and vintage Barbie print at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled chest of drawers at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Are you hopping in the car and heading to Reminisce yet? Isn’t it amazing! I felt like I died and went to heaven, and my mind was racing with inspiration. It was so difficult to choose what I wanted to take home out of all this great stuff.

After about an hour of admiring every nook and cranny of the store I landed on four items that I couldn’t leave without.

Vintage coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter

As soon as I saw this vintage 50s Tom Thumb typewriter I fell in love. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I’ve wanted to own something like this for a while. When I saw the Tom Thumb in this perfect coral color I almost couldn’t believe it was real. I mean, c’mon. That’s MY COLOR! I have pops of this color throughout my house. My living room pillows, a frame, a glazed vase, books, prints… The list could go on. I nervously asked Jessica how much this typewriter would set me back, and when she said $20 my jaw dropped. It was SO going home with me.

Jessica’s mission to make these vintage goodies affordable is the icing on the deliciously sweet cake that is Reminisce. Everything in the store was priced to sell and much less than I’ve seen both online and in other stores.

Vintage glass bottles, ball jar and coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter

I also decided to take home two glass soda pop bottles from Frank’s Nectar and Hires root beer. Not only was the color spot on, but the bottles were from Philadelphia so I loved the local tie. Don’t they look great on the shelf above the Tom Thumb? They fit perfectly in the square shelves of the Ikea entertainment center in our living room.

Vintage Palmolive soap ad fits perfectly in the master bath

Last but certainly not least I snapped up this vintage Palmolive soap print that already came with a navy mat. The old soap ad was aptly themed for a bathroom, and the navy mat worked perfectly with the navy, gray, cream and light blue color scheme of our master bath. The wall above our towel bar had been previously bare, so I thought this was the perfect finishing touch.

Vintage Palmolive soap ad fits perfectly in the master bath

The print cost just $12 and I found the grey 11×14 frame at Christmas Tree Shops for $6 – a steal for this perfectly-themed art.

Natasha and I also visited a few other thrift stores the next day close to her home in Salem County, but I didn’t have much luck. The visit made me realize just how special Reminisce is, and I know I’m going to be a regular. Do you have any vintage pieces you’ve uncovered while thrifting? Have you pined for a typewriter like my prized Tom Thumb? Any furniture upcycling stories to share like the awesome repainted and recovered cane back chairs above?

Psst… This is in no way a sponsored post and all opinions shared are truly my own. I fell in love with Reminisce and wanted to shout it from the rooftops! None of the links included in this post are affiliates.┬á

Psssst… If you love Instagram like I do and live in the Philadelphia area, follow Jinxed Philadelphia @jinxedstore for some awesome vintage and thrifted finds. They’re constantly posting new merch for sale on Instagram as soon as it hits the store and you can purchase right from your phone. But act fast, I totally lost out on my dream coffee table because it went in less than an hour. Happy thrifting!┬á