Friday, July 29, 2011

Preston's Toddler Room: Week One

It's hard to believe that our sweet Preston is already 17 months old. Recently, I've noticed some challenges in his nursery. He seems bored and is always "playing" with things he shouldn't be. This includes getting into his changing station drawers and pulling out every diaper and pair of jeans he owns! As a former preschool teacher, and a person with a background in educational space planning {Let the environment be the teacher!}, this bothers me, but I do know how to fix it...

We've also noticed that we never use the uncomfortable rocker anymore. Hey! I'm not complaining. It was a freebie from the Store of Mom and Dad! {"Stolen" from their loft}

There's a few other "issues" too, so this week, I've begun the long process of  "toddlerizing" his room. {Yep! That's a word! MY word!} I started by rearranging the furniture, getting rid of a few pieces and switching up the stuff on the wall. He was SO excited when I let him back in there. You could read it all over his face, so that gave me inspiration to move forward!

Up next, hemming the ridiculously too short drapes to hit the beautiful windowsills, some more toy storage ideas, a fun art area and LOTS of educational decorative accessories. Stay tuned. This is going to be a GOOD one!

Note: To view Preston's entire nursery, click the "Our Budget Nursery" button on the right column.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Top 5 Happy Spots in Our Home

Earlier today, Kristina from A Cozy Cup of Tea, did a blog post about the "Happy Spots" in her home! She asked her readers to continue the thread and share their happy spots on their blogs too! Thank you, Kristinia for such a FUN subject today! You can also find Kristina on Facebook and visit her Etsy shop here!

Here's my Top 5...

(1) Our ever-changing dining room shelves are one of my favorite things to accessorize in our home. It houses glassware from our wedding and other personal touches. The vintage books and potted cactus are my most recent additions. (2) Our front porch was our most recent project, and I LOVE the transformation. Ryan and I use it so much more, and we even enjoyed two long chats out there this weekend {during nap time of course}! (3) My new desk chair in my studio adds so much POP! I adore the traditional shape and funky {but understated} fabric. The chair sits in front of my childhood desk too. (4) My built-ins make me smile. Every. Time. I. Look. At. Them. They're just gorgeous, and I recently rearranged some of the furniture to create this cozy little nook! (5) Preston's nursery was such a "labor of love". Vintage sock monkeys were our inspiration, but he's growing into such a curious toddler now! I {even the O.C.D. girl that I am} LOVE to walk past his room and see the toys of a little boy scattered about! It means he's enjoying the space we so carefully put together for him. I do dislike the fact that we had to lower the crib, and the skirt is no longer a nice accent. I am looking forward to updating the space even more for a growing toddler!

On another happy note, Modern Bungalow is going to Hollywood! One of my repurposed cupcake stands was purchased by a TV show prop master! It will be used in an upcoming episode of  "GCB" or  Good Christian Bitches!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free Dining Room Centerpiece

It's been a crazy few weeks, so my posts have been nonexistent! Ryan's mom is still in ICU, but she is making improvements! He's still gone {this week was Chicago for work}! I've always had the utmost respect for single and military parents, but let me tell you, only having my husband home for two out of the last 25 days has been TRYING {to say the least}!

Anyway, I don't have anything major to share with you. I did get a new runner for my office, and I'm getting that room ready for a big reveal soon {look for it early next week}! Other than that, I've been trying to pinch our pennies with all of the traveling Ryan's been doing, but I have been playing around with some of my existing accessories. Using this from last week...

I came up with this...

The apothecary jar was a freebie from my mom! She didn't want it anymore, so SCORE for me! You can see skeleton keys in accents all over our home. These are ones I've collected at various flea markets. They're just attached with a piece of jute. Of course, when your {slightly} O.C.D. like me, and have an eye for design, you are never completely satisfied. I plan to add a tray to ground the centerpiece, and replace the candle holders with one glass one {that I found for $.25 at a yard sale} and a potted plant of some kind! Maybe I'll throw another fun little surprise in there too {like a white ceramic owl or bird}. Have I ever told you Ryan HATES bird decor?! Hehe!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Home Tour: Our Front Porch

Our front porch has always been the gem of our curb appeal, but I knew we weren't doing it justice! As usual funds, and life, had paralyzed the design direction out there, but THIS was the year we decided to fully change that!

I already had a clear plan and a color pallet decided upon. The real inspiration was the shutters. We spray painted them paprika, our first summer here. Ryan actually chose the color, but I have genuinely grown to love it! It was literally a $9 update that still looks brand new. We didn't even prime them {tisk! tisk! I know}!

That same summer, I decided to add mustard yellow, and buying an inexpensive collection of yellow flower pots was my initial way to infuse that shade.

My Great Grandmother's Watering Can
Our bronze mailbox was a house warming gift, and keeping true to original interior elements, we decided to use bronze has our exterior metal tone. We also used bronze spray paint on a garden medallion that I "stole" from my mom a long time ago. We hung that to the left of the front door. A new bronze light fixture came last year, as well as a paprika and mustard paisley outdoor rug, but the only other thing out there was our small bistro table. We bought it as a dining room table for our first apartment together, knowing that it would one day go back to it's roots as outdoor furniture. 

Using everything that was out there, and maximizing the potential of the purposely previously purchased items {like that tongue twisters?}, I got to work. Budget was the key to this update, but after several weeks, I think we can officially call it DONE! Take a look....

Those urns were only $6 a piece!

Rug is from Target and urns/plants from K-Mart
Love seat and chair were clearance Target finds
Repurposed and painted IKEA table
Pillows less than $8 each at Lowes

The stepping stone was a free leftover from my dad's latest garden project. We find that people naturally step onto the porch there {instead of walking through the grass to the sidewalk}, and I couldn't keep a plant alive in that location. This was the perfect solution!

Tell me! What outdoor projects are you working on this year? You can also e-mail me pictures of your budget decorating projects any time, and you could land yourself a blog feature here!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

No Sew Table Runner

We've had some family medical issues lately. Ryan left last Tuesday, for his mother's liver transplant and was originally supposed to be home Sunday or Monday {July 3 or 4}. He's decided to stay longer, because she's still in ICU. I'll keep you posted on progress.

The good news is that we FINALLY have garage doors! My dad decided to surprise Ryan, and help us out, by building and installing a custom garage door to fit our opening! It's on a track system and each of the two doors slides open on the track. I'm just waiting for the treated wood to dry out, and then we'll paint them. You can see pictures then! This means the "terrific" graffiti left from previous owners is no longer visible from the street {and either are our prized possessions}! Wahoo! Now, no one will think we have a dear place in our hearts for spray painted hands flipping the bird! THIS excites me!

Now, onto the task at hand! Saturday, we took a little drive to Jo-Ann Fabrics. While there, I found some awesome fabric made for making  "green shopping bags"! It feels just like the bags you see for sale at almost every major store, and the price is CHEAP! It's only $2.99/yard!

Super CUTE! Huh?! {They have a few different prints to choose from.}Anyway, I bought one yard with no real plan in mind. Once home, I started playing with it and noticed that the material didn't fray! This got the juices flowing, and I decided to make a runner for our buffet table in the dining room!

First, I measured the table and decided how long and wide I wanted it. Then, I cut it to size.

Then, I measured about an inch from each end and pinned coordinating jute ribbon in place!

I left a little slack on each end {to be trimmed off later}.

Then, I plugged in my hot glue gun and carefully glued the ribbon to the runner. After, I trimmed the slack off, and this is what I was left with! SUPER easy and took less than an hour!

Not bad, for a few bucks! I also used some of the remaining ribbon to attach a grapevine wreath to the mirror. The wreath was $3.99 from Jo-Ann Fabrics, and the ribbon was also purchased there {for about $3.50/spool}. I also had a 10% off coupon on your total purchase, so this little update ended up costing around $9.50 {before tax}!

I'm still playing around with the buffet tabletop display, but I do love my bowl of fake lemons. The bowl is one we scored at an antique mall for our wedding {less than $5}, and the lemons are a new find from T.J. Maxx {around $5 for 20}! {Side Note: For our wedding, we collected various pedistol bowls for the head table and different vintage vases for each guest table for our floral arrangements. It was such an elegant and personal touch to the decor.}

I decided to amp up the lemons even more and make an old fashioned paper fan from a $1 Store chapter book I've already read. I think it really adds to the visual interest of the bowl and is an element of surprise...What do you think? If I get bored with it, no loss in cost! Hey! I think that may be my new mantra. Yep...maybe it will stick! No loss in cost! Pass it on, folks!