My Table Scares Me

So, throughout most of my life, I have taken the “safe” route. Not taking many chances, doing things the way they “should” be done, and especially not taking any chances in decorating my house.

I have always gone the safe route, not wanting to do anything too risky or out of my comfort zone.  Then I saw this quote……..



It immediately inspired me.  Since I graduated college, I have lived with another person.  All of my decorating choices were a compromise.  For almost the past two years, I have lived by myself for the first time in my life.  It took about a year to realize, this was MY space, and my space only.  This may be the only time in my life I will be on my own, able to decorate for ME and no one else.  While sitting in my living room, looking at this…….


I realized this was the space I wanted to scare me. All of that dark furniture (all brought from my old house, bought for that space specifically) didn’t make this space feel like mine.  THIS was where I was going to take my decorating chances.

I have always been a fan of light colors, turquoise, tan, white, yellows, but lately I have been drawn to navy, gold, yellow, etc.  Then I saw this living room on Pinterest…..

Navy Living Room


After seeing this, I knew navy and gold/yellow was where I wanted to go.

With all of that heavy furniture, one piece had to go. My TV stand was staying and I loved the tall bookshelf in the corner, so it was the small shelf on the left that got the boot.

I fell in love with this table…..

Gold Table


But with a $699 price tag, I knew something else had to be done.

I have never, in my life been drawn to the color gold, until recently.  This was definitely going to be a risk, outside of my comfort zone, and something that scared me.

I scoured thrift shoppes, HomeGoods and other discount stores and wasn’t finding anything I liked. Then I remembered various gold items floating over blog land, all done with the magic of Rub’nBuff.  You may remember I gave my first go with Rub’nBuff on this silver vase.  This vase was to practice before I took my skills out on a bigger, more substantial piece.

I found the perfect table on Joss & Main.  Clean lines, simple, and only $99. BUT they were sold out. Womp.  The perfect table was eluding me.  I took a chance and looked on Amazon and found the exact same table that Joss & Main was sold out of.  For $93!!

Original Table

I had $65 in cash back bonus to use + free shipping with Amazon Prime, so the final cost of the table was only $33.58.  That made me feel better about totally altering the look of the table.

After building the table, I got to work adding the Rub’nBuff

Table Progress 2

It took two coats to fully cover the table.  This time, the best way to “buff” off the excess was to just wipe. No circular buffing, no scrubbing. Just wiping off the excess.  This helped limit the number of streaks and prevent the original finish from poking through.

Table Progress 1

It didn’t take long at all. And when done, the finish was solid, and wasn’t rubbing off.


I swapped out the bookshelf for the new table and absolutely love it!!!

Gold Table 1

I think it totally helps lighten up the space, taking away the heaviness of all of the dark furniture.

Gold Table 2

I did a little bit of styling of the space (seriously always the most fun part of any new project!!!)

Table Styling 1

I got all of this from Target. Total Target addict! The lamp was on clearance for $18 and the shade was only $14.  This picture doesn’t do the lamp any justice. It is HUGE.  And totally a bargain at $18.  I got this Jonathan Adler desk organizer to hold some necessary living room clutter and also to use as a charging station for my iPad and phone.  I always charge them at this spot and this helps corral the mess!

Table Styling 2

I absolutely love pictures and wanted to find the perfect place for these pictures from my trip to Napa last year. Boy do I wish this table was in a house I owned out in Napa!! I got this geometric shape from Target for $3.  I gave it two coats of Navy spray paint and it was perfect for the space.

So, was I scared to have a gold table in my house? Yessir! But am I thrilled to have taken a chance and go outside of my comfort zone?? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Gold Table 3

What decorating risks have you taken lately?!?!?!


HomeGoods – The Oversized Edition

It’s time for another round of virtual HomeGoods shopping!!  Since I have instituted a “no-spend” September, I told myself I was not going to buy ANYTHING when I went into HomeGoods.  I stayed true to my promise and left empty handed, but saw lots of eye-candy that I wanted to bring home!!

As soon as I walked in I saw this beauty………


The soft gray color and the nailhead trim made me wish I had a place to put this in my house.

And right next to it was this settee…..


This was by far my fave.  The linen fabric, nailhead trim, tufting, and the whitewashed legs. It was absolutely gorgeous. I wanted to sit on it and never get up!


Ummm…are you seeing a trend?  Lots of linen, tufting, and nail-head trim to be found.  This chair would make an amazing office chair or even dining chairs.

There was lots of amazing glassware to be found.  HomeGoods never disappoints in that department.

HomeGoods Glassware

Those mercury glasses above were $9.99. But if you have some old glass sitting around you can follow my tutorial here and make your own!!!  I loved the glass lantern with the leather strap. It was different than the normal glass vase and gave it some additional interest.  The vase wrapped with jute it also an easy DIY.  Any glass vase you have can be made into something with some glue and a roll of jute. I actually have a vase I DIY’d and never blogged about.  And this big giant beauty was only $9. I had trouble walking away from that awesome deal!

These two mirrors were awesome.

HG Mirrors

I am loving industrial touches lately and this first mirror made my heart pitter patter. This second mirror isn’t my normal style but I could see the individual blocks painted a variety of colors, or different stain colors.  That would give it some spice.

I also loved this mirror. It seemed vintage to me and in the right room could really pop as a focal point.


Sticking with the industrial theme, I saw these few things……


This chest was HUGE.  Almost 4 feet long. I absolutely loved the roughness of it, the metal edges and the glass fronts.  The lamps were also a nice industrial touch. I wished I had a room to put both of these items in!


This metal cabinet also was a nice, manly, industrial cabinet. It was thin metal, but for the price it could work in a nice, organized storage room, in a husband/wife office, etc.

And by far my favorite industrial item was this bench….


I love benches at the foot of a bed, but this one was on industrial wheels. It was ingenious.  I loved it.

Now, you may have noticed this post was titled the oversized edition. As I was making my way around the store, I was noticing that 80% of the items in the store were HUGE. Not just furniture, carpets, mirrors, etc. But accessories and decor pieces were huge too! All 5 foot 4 of me was starting to feel shrunken in this place!! And I realized 99% of the things I saw would never fit in my teensy house!!

Oversized Items

These pictures in no way do these items justice. They were all huge! That top picture was an aisle of huge items!!

I love terrariums and have it on my list to make one. I would love a container like this….


Again, it was HUGE and wouldn’t even remotely fit anywhere in my house!!!

And what’s a trip to HomeGoods without a giant knight in shining armor?


I want to know who buys these?!?!

Not everything in the store was huge……


As you saw in my High Five for Friday, I fell in love with this little guy for $5.99. I patted him on the head and walked away. It is no-spend September after all!

Have you had any good finds at HomeGoods lately? Share!!!

Fall Outdoors – The Previous Home Edition

With yesterday being the first day of fall, I have been seeing lots of fall outdoor inspiration on Pinterest lately and it makes me sad that I do not have an abundance of space at my new house to put up a fall display that I deem worthy of putting my efforts into!  See?


Not much space there on my tiny stoop. It makes me miss the stoop at my old house and I decided to reminisce.  Allow me to share my fall stoop from 2011!!!

In no way do I consider myself a “country” girl. Despite my borderline obsession LOVE for George Strait (King of Country) I am far from a country/nature girl.  HOWEVER, every Fall, my must have outdoor item is a hay bale!  Hayrides, hay mazes, Fall decor….the perfect fall accessory!

Mums are another must have (despite the fact that I will probably kill them within two weeks).  I loved the warm Fall tones of these maroon and gold beauties! Hopefully they last! They got dressed up with two pots I had lying around the garage.

Pumpkins are also a MUST HAVE……this is earth shattering decor advice I am bringing you here, people! You can thank me later!  Most of my outside stuff came from a local orchard.  Visiting the orchard is definitely one of my favorite parts of Fall!

I HAD to have this green Apple Gourd…..apples……another Fall must have!  I may or may have not run over and JOYOUSLY picked this guy up and hugged him when I saw him…..exclaiming that he HAD to come home with me!  And the big orange guy on the left, well, he’s totally mis-shapen in the back, and I felt sorry for him, but I knew his stud-ly, crooked self would work out just fine on the hay bale!

The “stoop” is uncovered….oh how I used to wish I could alter the front of the town house to add an overhang…

1……. So I could leave more stuff outside to decorate (the Jack-O-Lantern lantern and the wagon in the picture before this will have to come in at the first sight of rain).

and 2…….. So I don’t get soaking wet in the rain while fumbling for my keys!! Umbrellas are too much for this hot mess to handle sometimes!

ANYWAY!!! On the door is a festive Halloween wreath that I had from last year (this is about as Halloween as my house gets! – No ghosts or goblins here!)

BUT, by far, my favorite outside festive item is this beauty………

I have been IN LOVE with pumpkin topiaries that I have seen on Pinterest……

Inspiring Pretty

and over at Centsational Girl….

I knew I had to make one of these!!!  You can find my instructions for making my topiary here.

I feel fully in the fall spirit now that I lived vicariously through my old stoop!

A Little Bit Old School

This little update couldn’t have been any faster, easier or cheaper (well I guess anything can always be cheaper, but this one definitely didn’t break the bank!)

Since moving in last July, I have been living with this in my upstairs hallway……..


Yup!  A bare light bulb.  (And leftover curtain hardware on the windows from the previous owners – but that’s another story for another day!)

As soon as I moved in, I took down this ravishing beauty……

Old Light

I just couldn’t do it. The “boob” light shape, the decorative finial type thing and the crackled glass. I didn’t know what I would put up at the time, it just had to come down.

I had some ideas, just like I do for every room in the house, including these……..(all images from Shades of Light)







I love each and every one of these……even dream about that pentagon light at the bottom…..but I am not going to be in this house forever, and I would rather spend the majority of my money on bigger impact updates, and ones more people will see!

My house was built in the 1940’s and you saw the vintage hexagon bathroom tiles here (which can’t be salvaged).  I would love to make a ton of updates to the whole house, but want to keep a little bit of the fun, vintage aspect to it.

I have seen vintage schoolhouse lights around places including Lowes, Home Depot and even at the ultra spendy, but gorgeous, Shades of Light.

I went to Home Depot and picked up this school house lamp cover for $5.95. No changing of the light fixture, no wiring, no spray painting the existing fixture another color. Just a simple, screw-in-three-screws-and-done, update.

Schoolhouse Light 1

I love it!! Such a fun, quick update!

Schoolhouse Light 2

Why, yes, that’s my unmade bed in the background.  I didn’t realize it until well after I was done taking pictures and then I lost my natural light. Just keeping it real! And seriously, I know I’m not the only person out there who doesn’t make their bed everyday!!!!  At least I don’t have clothes all over the floor…..that you can see!!

Schoolhouse Light 3

What do you think? Helping to keep some of the vintage feel of the house? Well worth the $5.95 and 10% effort?!?!  I think so!

Silver & Gold – A little Rub’n Buff action

So, I have decided to do a complete makeover of my living room decor.  Everything I have in that room is from my old house, bought specifically for that house.  I used what I had to make it work when I came here, but it just isn’t giving me the warm fuzzies in this “new” house.  So I set out to make some changes for as little cash money as possible!

While I am putting the finishing touches on one of the bigger changes, I’ll share a small change I made that was literally an “under $10, only took 5 minutes” project!!

I was doing a little accessory browsing at TJ Maxx recently and I came across this awesome silver vase for $3.

Silver Vase

I loved its curvy pear shape and the detail of the bottom, but it was the wrong finish for my new living room scheme.

I remembered the amazing invention of this stuff……..


I have been wanting to try this stuff out for the longest time, but gold wasn’t an option in my house until my new design scheme was born.  So with $6 of Rub’n Buff and my $3 vase, I got to work.

I had read the best method was to apply the paint with your finger tip.  The instructions say to use a brush, finger tip or rag.


I put a pea-sized glob on my finger and rubbed it on the vase.  A little really goes a long way with this stuff.  Once I covered an area, I let it sit for a few seconds.  Then I took a clean rag and “buffed”, in a circular motion, over the area I just “rubbed” on with my finger.

RubnBuff 2

Some tips I learned quickly that I figured I would share……….

1.  Make sure each area of the item you are rubbing & buffing is fully covered with the paint. If there are any thin areas, the buffing will easily take some of the color off.

2.  Work sections at a time.  Allowing it to fully dry on each area makes the buffing a little tougher and doesn’t allow for a finish with some variation. So buff as you go rather than rubbing color on the whole thing first then buffing.

3.  The instructions say to use this in a well ventilated area…………follow the directions.  This stuff is pretty strong. I had the windows open in the dining room and the smell was around for a few hours after.

4.  When working with a vase like this, DON’T stick your finger in the top while working on the bottom portion if you don’t want it to get stuck.  I was stuck in this thing like a Chinese finger trap.  After a few minutes of mild panic where I contemplated smashing the vase to get it off (or driving to the ER with a vase stuck on my finger to save the $3 vase), I relaxed and wiggled my finger out!


5.  The instructions say to use soap and water or mineral spirits to clean your skin when finished.  I just used dish soap and water, and with a little scrubbing, the paint came off pretty easily.

This stuff dries very quickly and after about 5 minutes of rubbing & buffing, the vase was finished. It wasn’t tacky to the touch or anything.

Rub N Buff After 1

I left the finish on the bottom of the vase a little splotchy to give it a little more visual interest with just a SMIDGE of the silver poking through.

I love it!! And Rub’n Buff couldn’t be any easier to use!! I’m a fan! I have been thinking what else I can transform throughout the house! Silverware? Cups? Lamps? The whole house may be gold soon!!!

Rub N Buff After

Staining Ikea Veneer Furniture

We all love Ikea.  Why? Because it’s cheap.  But the downfall of Ikea? It’s cheap!! You won’t find high quality, solid-wood furniture in rich, dark tones that will last until your grandkids move out of their parents house and you can pass down the heirloom furniture. But for a young person furnishing their first apartment…….Ikea is perfect!

When I got my first apartment out of college, I needed some furniture. Cheap.  I bought this Ikea birch veneer tv stand.  It served me well and was even used in my first house in the bonus family room.

tv stand before

Two months before I bought my house last year, my fella also bought a house for him and his daughter but he was short on furniture.  I was moving into a house that was half the size of my old house and I had furniture I didn’t need.  I volunteered to let him have my tv stand.   He wasn’t a fan of the color (neither was I really but when you’re a poor college graduate anything will work!) So I said my favorite words “I can paint/stain that!!!”  He decided he wanted it stained a darker wood tone so I got to work.

I did some research and read lots of different techniques for painting/staining Ikea veneer furniture.  Most reviews I read said it wouldn’t work, but I decided to give it a whirl anyway and see what happens.

1.  I sanded the entire piece with an electric sander and 100 grit sandpaper.  Because it is cheap veneer, you will never really get the “wood” roughed up enough to absorb the stain.  I sanded to get as much shine off of the wood as possible.

2.  I used a foam brush for even coverage and brushed the stain on relatively thick, but also as smooth as possible.

with foam brush

3.  I let the stain sit for 30 seconds just to give it some time to HOPEFULLY soak into the veneer a little.  I wiped off the excess with a paper towel.  The key is to wipe lightly, removing excess stain but leaving as much color on as possible.

wiping stain

I used Minwax Red Mahogany stain.

Minwax Red Mahogany


4.   I gave each coat at least a day to dry in between.  If it is still tacky when the next coat is applied, the color will just get pushed around.  Because it is veneer, the stain is not absorbed into the wood.  It is actually just being painted on.  Adequate dry time is key to getting an even, long-lasting finish.

5.  After the last coat was fully dry, I applied a LIGHT coat of Minwax Clear Semi-Gloss Polycrylic.  This coat needs to be applied as lightly and evenly as possible to not cause the paint to smear.

Minwax Polycrylic


The stand was left in the garage for 4-5 days for the poly to dry and cure.  Since it was having a tv and other electronics put on it, I wanted it as hard and cured as possible.

Once we brought it in, I thought it looked amazing. And my fella loved it!! $10 for stain and poly and my fella had a “new” tv stand!!

I think it looks amazing!!!  So much better than its former life as a birch colored, new college graduate tv stand!  And its super easy to do!

finished stand 1

finished stand 2_edited-1

And since his house needs a bit of a woman’s touch, I cut these hydrangeas from his garden to spice up his tv stand and make it a little more homey!

Aren’t they gorgeous?!?!


Ikea Crazy!

Hope you had a good weekend!! I had hoped to accomplish some blog-worthy projects this weekend, but sadly, a day at the pool Saturday and a lazy Sunday won out over being productive!  I DID however venture to Ikea with my mom to pick up a piece of furniture for an upcoming project. I’m super excited about it, but not motivated enough to built it yet!! Ha!

I did have a good time taking in the Ikea showroom eye-candy with my mom and taking some pictures to share with all of you!! And now, virtual Ikea shopping!! (These are all iPhone pics b/c I draw the line at taking my big camera into the store and looking like a crazy woman! So instead I covertly take phone pics when people finally move out of my way!)

My Ikea was working on building some new displays and the ones they have finished were pretty impressive.

They created a really cozy, romantic, girly bedroom that I just wanted to lay in all day….


That cozy duvet cover with the canopy and soft lighting…I’ll take it!

And not to mention that wall of fake succulents behind the bed… awesome is this?!?!

ikea 3

Ikea is putting some more “live-able” colors (not rainbow-hued colors, or things that everyday homes would have trouble incorporating) into its decor pieces. Like this adorable blue clock.

ikea 2

I loved the clock gallery, I just wish the clock had a less “yellow, old-school” face.

They also had this adorable blue serving tray….

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That was part of the SUPER cozy living room….

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I totally wanted to move in and live on that couch. And sweater blankets? My obsession.  Move me in!

These white kitchens had me swooning. Makes me itch to get on my kitchen reno! If only I had a money tree in the backyard right?!?!

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Comfy seating areas were plentiful. This first one makes me want a movie room in my house with these cozy seats!

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My mom loved all of the funky light fixtures they had including these….

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There were some pretty great lighting options that weren’t so…..creative!!

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These small mercury glass lights were adorable. I should have gotten one for $7 but I was being good!

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And I totally brought home this little gem……

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The perfect addition to my “girly” bedroom…..SIKE!!! Seriously though, if you own this, can you please send me a picture of the room it is in??

Like I said, I walked out with a piece of furniture for a future project, along with this $5 storage cube for my “seasonal” shoes…

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Which was supposed to fit under my bed and doesn’t (so it lives in the closet).

And this GORGEOUS orchid for my house.  My house has needed some “life” other than me and this beauty is just the pop of life and color I needed!

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Now hopefully I can keep it alive!!!