DIY: Vanity Redux

desk_after1

So, I have quite literally been trying to redo this dresser for 15 years. My mom and I picked it out from a handmade pine furniture store when I was 11 years old — and even as a wee lass I had DIY on the brain! However, this brain has also always been indecisive (and lazy), and just couldn’t figure out to do with this clunky little nugget.

While part of me actually wouldn’t mind keeping it as pine, it had just gotten so dirty over the years that I had to do something to it. There was an odd pink stain on the top, among many other mystery globs. Plus, it’s a pretty hefty piece, and I generally think pine looks much better with slimmer/sleeker lines.

desk_before1

See above? Ew.

I mulled over options at the hardware store for a solid 45 minutes trying to pick the right color, because once you stain unfinished pine, there isn’t really any going back.

TIP: Be sure to use the stain sample charts that the brand displays in store, because the colors pretty much don’t look anything like they do on the face of the cans.

desk_before3

The rest was really pretty straight forward! I gave it a good sanding because of all those nasty stains, decided to condition because the unfinished wood was looking parched (and the kind man at the hardware store said it would allow a more even finish), and used a silicone brush to add the two coats of stain.

desk_before2

Tip: If you’re doing this indoors (because you’re an idiot like me who decided to wait until late fall for a big DIY) prepare yourself for some seriously fowl aromas. I chose not to sleep in my bedroom for three nights, keep the windows open, and fans on 24-7, and the smell still took about 2 weeks to finally dissipate.

So a better tip? Maybe wait until spring/summer when you can air it outside overnight.

desk_after2

But the horrid smell was worth it! I’m so happy with the color choice of — not too red and not too dark. The handles are mismatched feathers that I had picked up on sale at Anthropologie years ago, waiting for this moment to finally arrive, but If I had my choice of any handles I may go with something like these brassy guys.

I should probably also seal it, but that may take another 15 years or so.

desk_after3


If you like what you see:
Wood Stain, Minwax in English Chestnut
Storage Ottoman, Target
Frameless Mirror, Ikea
Glass Table Lamp, Ikea (similar)


— rkv

Chocolate “Acorn” Treats

gm_Acorn_1

How cute are these little nuggets?! My friend Brittany joined me for a fun Sunday afternoon in making these adorable mini bites, which are *super* easy to make. I made them a couple years ago for Thanksgiving and they were a big hit with the family 😉

gm_Acorn_2

Ingredients:

1 bag of Hershey Kisses
1 bag of mini Nutterbutters
*optional – mini chocolate chips for “stem” of acorn (seen in instagram link above)

Instructions: 

Empty out the bag of mini Nutterbutters and scrape filling out of sandwiched cookies. Throw away filling and keep cookies as filling-free as possible. Arrange on plate or table upside down, ready for the Hershey Kisses.

Unwrap the number of Hershey Kisses as Nutterbutter “tops” and have read next to stove with upside down Nutterbutter cookies ready to assemble.

Heat a medium sized sauce pan to low-medium and touch flat bottom of Hershey Kiss to hot pan. Using the melted chocolate, adhere Kiss to cookie. Continue matching Kiss to cookie until all are paired. *Scrape bottom of pan when necessary to keep chocolate residue from burning.

And enjoy 🙂

gm_Acorn_4

As you may have noticed, this time around I did not add the mini chip stem, which is super cute. Looking back now, I sort of wish we had added them, but at the time I didn’t feel like accidentally burning my fingers, ha. Your move, friends!

gm_Acorn_5

Boho Picnic

gm_BohoPicnic_3

I’m on a plane to LAX for my Designer Vaca trip in Palm Springs!! SO excited! Keep an eye out on my instagram for pics from PS & Joshua Tree 🙂

Anyway, so when my friend Brittany and I were browsing Brimfield this year, we stumbled upon one of the most beautiful tents we’d seen all day – a floor to ceiling, wall to wall tent full of Kantha quilts. The price was right and we both found throws we fell in love with. The company is String Theory, and they had the most gorgeous blankets we had ever seen! (Ps they sell to Anthropologie to resell!). We each bought one and started day dreaming about how we wanted to use them – at home, for picnics, at the beach, on our beds, etc. and since the weather has been perfectly fall these past few weeks we figured it was time to give picnic-ing with our new blankets a try!

gm_BohoPicnic_11gm_BohoPicnic_5gm_BohoPicnic_4gm_BohoPicnic_10gm_BohoPicnic_2gm_BohoPicnic_1gm_BohoPicnic_8gm_BohoPicnic_6gm_BohoPicnic_9gm_BohoPicnic_7


On Christa: Gingham Top (Target, similar), Jeans (similar), Clogs, Hat (Vintage, similar)
On Brittany: Hat (Yellow 108), Sweater (similar), Jeans (Urban Outfitters), Clogs


 

1 Shelf, 3 Ways

Happy Monday, loves! Hope you all had a nice weekend and were able to relax a bit!

Recently in the blog hemisphere we’ve been noticing a whole lot of posts for “one item, several ways,” be if for clothing or decor. In particular, one of our favorite little lady designers, Emily Henderson, has been all about showcasing a staple piece styled four ways, like with this credenza. We were feeling inspired by her ideas and decided to give it a go!

Below is a ladder shelf that I picked up from good ‘ol Walmart a couple of years ago to add a little more storage to my tiny kitchen — it’s proven to be very helpful for the bits and bobbles that we’ve run out of room for. We decided to give it three key looks that could work for your kitchen — the bar, a baking station, and the miscellaneous items.

Shelf: 

gm_OriginalShelf

With a big blank slate like this, it’s all about the layering. I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to pretty little trinkets, so the layering thing was pretty easy to accomplish. 🙂

01. Baking

gm_shelf_bake_1gm_shelf_bake_2 gm_shelf_bake_3

The great thing about this ladder shelf is that it has some room for over sized items like mixing bowls and baskets, as well as the tiny knickknacks like butter dishes and mixing cups. Another crucial component to styling this guy was height and greenery. Cutting boards and vases are a great way to give the shelf the height you’re looking for, and some big leafy plants look awesome in mason jars, like this dried eucalyptus.

When making a baking station, you’ll definitely need your essentials. Hide your flours and sugars in pretty canisters, while tucking away baking powder and such in baskets. Showcase some of your fancier items like your good vanilla, and don’t be afraid to display items with some character, as we did with the aged baking pans. We also draped an apron over the edge of the shelf for a little bit of flair.

02. Bar

gm_shelf_bar_1gm_shelf_bar_2 gm_shelf_bar_3

This is a fun one to set up, because it makes you feel like an actual *gasp* adult. We’ve collected some pretty old empties for our top row, but it definitely would feel a little more impactful if you have an actual collection to show off. Throw in some of your good liquors, as well as the tools you’ll be needing, like openers, shakers, napkins, and glasses. We also made things colorful with a bowl filled with essential citrus fruits, and an aloe plant for a pop of green.

03. Everyday 

gm_shelf_misc_1 gm_shelf_misc_2 gm_shelf_misc_3

So this is helpful if you’re kitchen is like mine, with a whole lot of little things in need of a home. Pots and pans will stack nicely on the bottom, as well as linens and cookbooks. Display your favorite tea boxes and layer with nice cutting boards. It’s great for the random things you have lying around, like my scallion-growing science project, and Christmas gifts from Christa like a DIY cheese-making kit.

Hope these looks were helpful for you guys, and you’re feeling inspired to get a head start on the spring cleaning! If you liked any of the above items, check out below to see where we got some of the key pieces!

gm_shelf_bar_all


Look 1:
cutting boards, Home Goods
porcelain milk dish, H&M
fox cookie jar, Target
cake stand, Home Goods
cookbooks, Anthropologie & vintage
red canisters & utensil holder, vintage
flour canister & dish towels, IKEA
wire baskets, Pier 1

Look 2:
cocktail shakers, vintage and Crate & Barrel
brass bottle opener, vintage
copper mugs, Sur La Table
etched highball glasses, Anthropologie
deer antler, vintage
porcelain juicer, West Elm

Look 3:
DIY mozzarella kit, Etsy
garlic bowl, H&M
fruit bowl, handmade
etched glasses, cutting boards, baskets (see above)


Love Want Need // Lipstick & Headbands

Gm_LoveWantNeed_LipColorHeadband

Now that we’re all (hopefully) getting a little summer color/glow on our faces, we usually feel the need to wear a little less make up – and doesn’t it feel good! But there are still days we want to add a little flair without going overboard, and the perfect way to do that is to get your hair out of your face & sass up those lips. Go easy on the eye make up and accessories, and you’ll feel fresh and ready to go. We’re loving these bright lip colors paired with headbands — go casual, hip, or glam.

Love // Twisted Headwrap // Pink Moisturizing Gloss

Want // Metallic & Suede Headband // Poppy Lip & Cheek Oil

Need // Eyelet Headband // Hibiscus Colour Balm 

Love Want Need // Patio Chair & Cocktail Glass

Gm_LoveWantNeed_Patio

For us, summer time means a whole lot of what we like to call mega porch hang. Coined in the summer of 2013, the verb involves the act of lounging on a porch, patio, lawn, beach, etc, indefinitely. Often associated with hotdogs, cocktails, and sunglasses, mega porch hanging has become a fan favorite amongst millennials alike.

In order to achieve this high-level of lounging properly, one must do so in style. Thank goodness for retailers who help us so greatly with our endeavors!

LoveChair // Glass

Want Chair // Glass

NeedChair // Glass

 

Love Want Need // Graphic Tees & Statement Necklaces

Gm_LoveWantNeed_GraphicTeeStatementNecklaces

Graphic tees have been making a big splash these days, and we’ve got all sorts of languages covered – French, English, Italian! These bold yet simple shirts can definitely stand on their own, but who doesn’t love a good statement necklace? Bold & chunky neck-candy is a great way to add some flavor to a minimal tee.

Any trends you guys have been noticing that you’d like to see featured? We’d love to know!

Love // Gold Necklace & Ça M’est Égal Tee
Want // Beaded Necklace & These are the Days Tee
Need // Tortoise Necklace & Ciao Tee

1 Item, 3 Ways // White Billowy Top

gm_1item3ways_TOP_1gm_1item3ways_TOP_2gm_1item3ways_TOP_3gm_1item3ways_WhiteTop_all

With the warmer weather (hopefully) right around the corner, we’re looking towards cute billowy tops. They’re perfect for spring layering, and the crisp white matches just about anything. It can easily go from day to night with some playing of accessories. We’re loving this guy for it’s flirty layered detail on the bottom, which can also easily be tucked into skirts.

01. Ray-Ban Aviators // Topshop Fringe Purse // New Balance Sneakers // Gap Boyfriend Jeans // Fossil Watch

02. Topshop Earrings // H&M Jacket // JCrew Factory Clutch // Zara Skinnies // JCrew Espadrilles

03. Asos Clutch // Anthropologie Necklace // Bauble Bar Ring // H&M Patterned Skinnies // Shoemint Wedges

Room Refresh // Masculine Lodge

Hey all! For our final installment of our living room Room Refresh series, we’ve chosen a slightly masculine, earthy cabin style – because at the end of the day, everyone just wants to be all cozied up by the fire in a place that looks straight out of a story book.

To achieve this look, the most important characteristic of all is wood on top of wood, on top of wood. Just deck the place out in the stuff. If it begins to feel a smidge oppressive, feel free to brighten it up with some white paint. Next element? Leather and/or fur (faux, if you please!). The combo of these two textures creates the strong look you’re going for, and establishes the feeling of being a lumberjack. In order to soften it back a bit, add some linen elements and bit of metallic here and there. This will allow the place to feel a little more modern and homey, and less like you attacked a forest in order to decorate your place. See below for some inspiration of this lived-in decor:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Below, we’ve curated some items for you guys to achieve this lodgey look. It’s surprisingly easy to do, since all of these textures are staples in design (wood, linen, brass, etc.). It’s the way they’re combined that really give you that cabin quality. That, plus a few woodland creatures here and there.

gm_MasculineCabin

Bark Candle Holder // How to Stay Alive in the Woods // Rabbit Wall Hook // Vegan Leather Couch // Insect Poster // Striped Pillow // Knit Blanket // Reading Lamp // Fern House Plant

image sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

 

St.Patty’s Day Get Ups

With St. Patty’s weekend almost in full swing, we realized adding the appropriate amount of green to an outfit can be hard. It’s fun to get a little festive, but green isn’t always the most flattering color. Luckily army green and hunter green are in right now! We’ve put together a few outfits for some very possible St. Patty’s day activities that require a little green, so it won’t look like a Leprechaun attacked you…

gm_StPattys

Parade // St.Patty’s Day in New England can still be a little chilly, especially when you’re outside all morning watching a parade. But this actually can work in our favor, because our bit of green is in this awesome army green parka. So throw this on after you’ve crafted a cute but comfy outfit to walk around and drink beers in. This tote is big enough to toss the jacket into if you’ve warmed up (liquid jacket anyone?) but make sure to keep it poking out a bit so you don’t get pinched!

// Peter Pan Tee // Sunnies (which I’m obsessed with and need to buy asap) // Parka // Vegan Leather Tote // Baseball Cap // Flats // Boyfriend Jeans //

gm_StPattys_brunch

Brunch // For the ladies who brunch, it’s all about comfort and ease. These cargo pants and their jazzy little zippers stand out, while the flowy tank will allow lots of leeway for your big Irish breakfast. Sneakers tone down your gold hardware, and a brown oversized cross body will make it easy to steal the extra biscuits from the bread basket.

// Jean Jacket // Tank // Cargo Pants // Necklace // Cross Body Bag // Sneakers //

gm_StPattys_drinks

Drinks // This lacy frock is easy to dress up or down, and perfect for a night of drinking some green beer with friends (last year we went with green champaign, because we’re classy). You’ll feel slim and sassy in some black skinnies and ankle booties, while staying practical with a light jacket and satchel.

// Lace Shirt // Quilted Jacket // Leather Booties // Necklace // Black Jeans // Cross body Bag //

How are you guy celebrating this year? Let us know!