Living Room Makeover | Floating Shelves
Hi, y'all! Happy New Year!!! I don't even know where to start, I'm so excited for 2018! There are so many exciting and fun things that I want to share with you guys, but today I'm sticking with one -- our living room shelves. You may recall that I built some desks a couple of years ago for our living room since my husband was working from home at the time. Then we added some shiplap to the wall to give it an accent. The past few weeks, we've been talking about lining the desks up along the shiplap wall instead of having them stick out into the room, not to mention we've added a new rug and some new bar chairs to the desks. Oh, and I brought the coffee table back in since we had some extra room. BUT all that is for another post! Today, I want to share these awesome open shelves we put up with you! I'm hoping to add some sconces as the final touch and, of course, the wood still needs to be stained, but me and the hubby both love how they turned out! They're the perfect mix of industrial and farmhouse for this living room. They were also a quick and painless DIY! I found the brackets on Etsy from a fellow shop owner -- Csonka Custom Rustics. Chris makes brackets in all sizes, so if you're interested in these, head over to check out his shop here! We went with a 7 1/4" depth wood (technically a 2" x 8" if you buy these at the lumber yard or hardware store) so the shelves weren't too bulky. The brackets come with holes pre-drilled, so all we had to do was cut down our wood to the desired length, mount the brackets and set the wood inside. That's my kind of project!     If you have any questions, holler! Do you love the open shelving look as much as I do? xoxo
Holiday Coffee + Cocoa Bar
Hi, friends! Today, I'm really excited to be sharing one of my favorite areas of the house: my dining room -- specifically, my coffee and cocoa bar. I love hospitality so very much. Having a full house of people just makes my extroverted heart happy, and one of the main ways I know to welcome folks in is to offer a drink. When it's as cold outside as it is today, a warm drink is the way to go, and y'all know how much I love coffee! My little one loves hot cocoa, especially the little marshmallows, so naturally I had to include it in my hot bar for this year's holiday festivities! I like to keep it simple, friends. I don't go the whole peppermint, whipped cream, chocolate spoon route. Give me some Pirouette french vanilla sticks and little marshmallows, and I'm a happy girl! So this hot cocoa bar isn't terribly difficult to pull off. Yay! It's also really easy to break down and change out once the holidays are over (but let's not talk about that right now because I am still well into the holiday spirit!). I also have to brag on the Target dollar spot because of all the goodies I snagged there last year that have come so in handy this year! After Christmas, if you don't know this already, all of the Christmas items in the dollar spot (which are like $1 to $5) get marked down a ridiculous amount! The garland for my tree, the red pillow, the tiny pumpkins, the table runner and the merry cutout are all from the dollar spot. Yes, please! Our house, you probably know if you're familiar to SLB, is a constant work in progress and absolutely full of DIYs. Rarely do I purchase something outright. I'm a Craigslist, thrift store, antique shop, yard sale kind of girl. Also, I run on a super tight budget when it comes to home stuff, so... maybe I'm forced to be that kind of girl. At any rate, it's the truth, so I'll do my best to share where things are from/how I made them 🙂 The good news is if I DIY-ed it, there's probably a tutorial! Looking particularly at the bar, the cabinet the entire coffee bar is on was a piece of furniture from Kroger that I upgraded with some new legs and a coat of paint plus some distressing. You can find the full tutorial here! While we're at it, I recently went crazy with some white paint to upgrade the dining and living rooms (and the hallway and eventually basically the whole house probably). Here's how that all looked before and after. If you can't tell, I'm a huge fan of greens at Christmastime. A few pops of red complete the Christmas look, but neutrals are my jam with the dark contrast of black. A modern farmhouse meets industrial sort of look. I found these little bottle brush trees at Hobby Lobby this year along with a few greenery picks from Walmart with some holly berries. That and a blanket scarf and handmade "Joy" sign are all I used to change my coffee bar from everyday to holiday! So simple! My sweet mother-in-law gave us the tree in the corner. I have no idea where it came from, but the lights still work on it and that makes me happy! Last year, we did a workshop where we made wood slice ornaments, so the only decor on this tree is some "snow" which is actually batting and those ornaments plus some gifts under the tree. Like I said, simple! On top of the bar, I have an array of things I've either made or purchased on sale. The berry bowl holding the hot cocoa packets is from Kroger. They had them on clearance last summer, and I couldn't resist one! The clay pot holding the Pirouette sticks is a DIY, and an easy one at that! A clay pot, a paper towel and some white chalk paint are all it take to make this yourself. Just dab on the paint with the paper towel until you've covered all you want and voila! I found the little canister with gold hardware at Walmart this year. I didn't get a good photo, but Merry & Bright is written in gold foil on the front. Who can say no to that!?! Of course, I made the coffee bar sign hanging on the chalkboard. Something similar is available my booth inside The Amsden and will be available online after Christmas. The chalkboard is a Hobby Lobby find that I spray painted, and the wreath is also from Hobby Lobby. The pretty little trench bowl inside the cabinet is one of my favorite finds from The Faded Farmhouse in Columbia, TN. If you're ever in the area, go check them out! Oh, and you can shop online!!! There you have it, friends! My holiday coffee + cocoa bar. I can't wait to host our next get together so friends and family can enjoy this bar as much as we do! What's your preference? Coffee or cocoa? If you're looking for some design help for your own space, please give the folks at Havenly a look! Their online interior designers are super talented and would be more than happy to help you design the space of your dreams. Have a great week, friends! xoxo    
Holiday Sign Making Workshop
Friends, I’m so excited to announce a holiday sign-making workshop I’ll be teaching at The Amsden on December 18th at 7:00 pm!!! I love sign making, you guys, and I’m so excited to share this DIY with you! I’ll be taking you step by step through the process of painting, stenciling, framing and sealing your signs and offering some customization of colors and backgrounds for y’all. You can find out more information over on Miss Molly Vintage’s website and sign up there as well. The last few workshops have filled up quickly, so hurry on over! I can’t wait to meet you!!! xoxo    
Tips for Decorating Your Christmas Tree
Hi, friends! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! I wanted to jump on here and show you some sneaks of how our home is coming along for Christmas {yes, we decorate early, and I love it!}. One of the things I've struggled with for years is how to decorate my tree without it looking basic and like every other tree out there. Much like you, I'm sure, my taste has changed over the years, so my Christmas tree is an ever evolving game of musical decor. You've probably figured out by now that farmhouse style is my thing. I love it. I love the mixture of woods and whites, of old and new. Along with that has come a love of knitted stockings, all things Hearth and Hand {let's be honest}, flocked trees and garland, fresh pine and cedar and, of course, wood signs {hello... sign maker}. I've moved more toward garland on my tree and further from typical ornaments -- I don't use a tree topper anymore. Instead, I've experimented with ribbon, floral picks and most recently cotton stems. With all of that rearranging and tried {and sometimes failed} attempts, I finally feel like I've mastered the art of decorating a tree so that it looks full and beautiful, intentional and somewhat professional. Of course, I wanted to share what I've learned with all of you, so here are my best tips for getting that beautiful tree every time.

Invest in a full tree.

Does it have to be live? No {although, it's a tradition I've fallen in love with over the years}. Regardless of whether you go artificial or live, spend your money wisely on one that is lush and full. Ideally, it will stand almost as tall as your ceiling minus an inch or two. The worst thing when decorating a tree is trying to fill in holes with ornaments and garland. Already have one that's a little more bare? Go pick up some pine picks from your local tree farm and mix them in with the artificial branches.

Start with the lights.

I like to use two sets of lights, one large and one small. I've never been a fan of colored lights, but that's not to say they can't be just as pretty as the white ones when done correctly! So if you love color, don't shy away from them! Embrace it and keep the rest of your tree to one or two additional colors. Start with the small lights. Wrap them all the way up the tree, then go back up the tree with larger lights in the same color(s).

Add garland.

Ribbon is probably my favorite garland to use. Get the ribbon with wire so you can pinch it every 8-12" and weave it in and out of the tree. Always start at the bottom and work your way up. I like to wrap up diagonally to give the tree a bit more interest. You can also put ribbon on vertically, but still pinch and weave on your way up. After adding ribbon, I'll add another garland -- sometimes a faux cranberry garland and sometimes a pennant banner. Feel free to try a few different things until you find the combination you like. The best tip I've heard lately is to buy buffalo check socks, fill with old ornaments and tie them off with floral wire. It makes a beautiful buffalo check "garland" at a fraction of the cost. A friend of mine told me about this, and now I'm going to have to try it out. I'll be sure to post once I do.

Hang larger ornaments and picks.

I found these soft mini stockings at Target last year, and they've really helped tie the whites and creams on my tree together. They, along with some cranberry picks, some Hobby Lobby metal pieces are the larger pieces I've added to the tree.  You can get really creative with these -- wood slice ornaments, even Christmas signs can make great statement pieces for your tree. Spread these out on all sides of your tree before adding in smaller ornaments to add to the overall symmetry and fullness of your tree.

Add the smaller ornaments.

This is where those older ornaments, the family heirlooms, the first home/first Christmas/first baby ornaments come into play. Try to stick with a color scheme as best you can for a more professional look. If your ornaments run the gamut of colors, choose your favorites and add in some solid colored ornaments to help balance it out. My favorite trick is to use solid white ornaments to as base pieces, my grandmother's mercury glass ornaments to add some glam, a few rustic ornaments that I've picked up recently and our family ornaments to make sure all the pieces honor the color scheme.

Pick your topper.

The possibilities are endless here. From premade ribbons to traditional stars to floral picks and everything in between, as long as it has some body to it, it will work as a topper! Have a small decorative sled laying around? Hang it at the top of the tree and add some holly or cranberry picks. All I did this year was take a few bunches of cotton stems and tuck them down on either side of the top branch of the tree. It was simple and effective. Those are my best tips and steps for getting that professional looking tree every time! If you try these tips, I'd love to know about it in the comments below! Happy decorating, friends! Click here to see last year's decor! xoxo
Fall Mantle Decor

Based on my Instagram feed, I’m a bit late to posting on fall decor. I’m still working on getting all of the fall line up in the shop {here’s what’s available so far} and prepping for The Amsden's grand opening, and I just finished adding pumpkins to our front porch a few weeks ago. Even though our porch is really basic while we wait to install railing and columns, I’m happy with the pretty turn its taken.

On my pumpkin hunt, I came across a bundle of white pie pumpkins and these giant bunches of eucalyptus and decided the mantle needed some decorating. So naturally I bought a ton of these cute little pumpkins, three batches of eucalyptus and brought it all home to see what I could do with it. I also had a couple of gourds and acorn squash from the store that I decided to use, ended up not having enough room for and decided to put in a wire basket to use on the kitchen table.

Before I jump into the incredibly simple three-step process to recreate this mantle, let me start with a couple of things that I’ve learned about decorating mantles any time of year.

Get some things in varying weights. By weight, I don’t mean actual poundage, but thickness, aesthetic heaviness and a mixture of small and large pieces. The goal is symmetry, even if both sides aren’t exactly the same {I actually discourage this. It looks too perfect.} I love mixing candlesticks, artwork, books, plants and some wood pieces together, but you can also use baskets, glass jars, antiques, a clock… you name it!

Start with the large pieces. I did a tutorial on decorating shelves earlier this year, and a lot of the concepts are the same. {You can check that out here.} Start with your big pieces. These will be your anchors that everything else is placed around. In the case of this mantle, mine are the framed canvas {tutorial here}, the lantern and wood letter. Decide where you want these to go. You can always adjust, but this will help you balance both sides out.

Add in tiers and layers. I love using books as layers, and since I had this candlestick I wanted to use, I needed some way to even out the height on both sides. Books are the perfect accessory. If you don’t have books of the same color, just turn them around so the pages face outward! They don’t have to just lay flat either. Stack them, put one at an angle, set them up vertically — there are tons of possibilities to add some depth to your mantle. In this case, my layers are the candlestick and books. I ended up raising the wood letter and the lantern on books to add some height, which just goes to show that you can easily adjust your large pieces.

Finish with details. Greens are a pretty standard go-to for me, but there are all kinds of options. These are usually smaller items that can fit in the spaces left by your anchor pieces and layers. Here’s where my fall idea came in.

The pumpkins were really pretty, but by themselves, they looked really open and spacious. So I removed everything except the side decor from my mantle.

Then I took the eucalyptus branches and laid them out flat with the stems always pointing to the center. Then I made sure some of the leaves draped over the mantle front. I have two fake pumpkins and the rest were real, so I placed the two fake pumpkins first for symmetry then used the pie pumpkins around those, laying some on their sides and some upright. Finally, I cut some smaller eucalyptus branches and filled those in around the tops of the pumpkins and on the ends of the mantle.

As a finishing touch, I lit the pumpkin bread scented candle I found at HomeGoods and just sat back to enjoy the cozy fall touches. As an added bonus, the eucalyptus smells incredibly fresh. Eventually it will dry, but still look just as beautiful.

For a cost breakdown, this mantle cost around $15. Trader Joe’s easily has the best selection of inexpensive eucalyptus I’ve ever seen. $2.99 for a large bunch! I used two to create this mantle, plus the pumpkins which I found at a local grow shop. For those of you allergic to eucalyptus, any green sprigs will look just as beautiful. Pine, cedar… you name it! Cedar is one of my favorite greens to decorate with at Christmastime, so why not get a head start, right?

I hope you all have an awesome weekend!!!


DIY Felt Letterboard
Y'all, I got inspired the other day! As per usual, scrolling through Instagram I came across the most beautiful spaces ever, but something that kept making an appearance over and over were letterboards. I've been wanting one ever since Magnolia Flour was opened and I saw the cute cupcake saying Joanna Gaines had put on their letterboard. It was the perfect size and, oh so simple, yet made such a statement! Like most things that I love, though, letterboards are ex.pen.sive. Not only do you have to purchase the letterboard itself, but you also have to purchase the letters for it, and while some may have $100 to drop on one of these -- I do not. So I thought to myself, Why can't you make your own!?! Thanks to Pinterest and a $3.99 white frame I found at Walmart before my daughter was born, my own DIY letterboard was born! I'm going to warn, y'all. This is a somewhat tedious process, so I would highly recommend having one of your favorite shows running while you're gluing. It took me close to a hour to glue all of the dowels down, and I still haven't gotten all of them put in. It's a work in progress, BUT oh, so worth it! I haven't quite decided where this will live, so for now I've got it propped up in the den. I think it needs a permanent home, maybe on the wall, though. I'll keep you updated on where it ends up and what it looks like completed. I mentioned total cost to order one of these was around $100 for the size that I wanted (20 x 26). This one cost me $20, mostly because of the dowels and the $4 felt that I purchased. I found the dowels at Home Depot (all the craft dowels were too short) and cut them down to size (you can do this with scissors if you don't have a saw) and the felt at Michaels. **Note, if you want to do a smaller size letterboard, Michaels has packages of dowels that are 12" long!** Here's what you'll need to complete this project:
  • Black felt (I used a yard)
  • 1/4" dowels
  • Letterboard letters (I ordered mine from Amazon -- be sure they are made for felt letterboards)
  • Hot glue
  • Frame
  This is probably the simplest DIY ever, you guys. Simply cut down your dowels to the width of the inside of your frame and cut down your felt into 1 1/2" to 2" strips. Wrap the dowels in the felt using hot glue and then glue each felt-wrapped dowel onto the frame, squeezing them as close together as possible. That's it. Literally. That's it. Here's a photo of what the back will look like. I don't even pretend to be the cleanest when it comes to hot glue. I burn my fingers basically the whole time, and always, always, always have glue strings. Thankfully, they pull right off, right? We left for vacation this morning, so I definitely didn't get to finish this project. I couldn't wait to share, though, because even having it only halfway done I love it SO much!!! Not bad for a $20 letterboard, in my opinion! Do y'all love this as much as I do!?! Gracious, it's perfect and gave me all the feels once I turned it over to see how it was looking. I can't wait to finish it up, but it's going to be a couple of weeks so y'all check back for the finished product. Happy weekend, friends!    
How to Style Your Shelves
I love built-ins. It's probably the one thing they take out on Fixer Upper that I sometimes cry over ... okay, not really cry, but I'm thinking to myself, Why? They were white and could be so cute! Of course, Joanna does something awesome with that space and then I go, Oh, THAT's why. Got it. Yep. I love that. Because, ya know ... Joanna Gaines. Our 1960s ranch had zero built-ins, though, so I was working with solid walls when we moved in. Still, I kept seeing all these old, charming homes with beautiful built-ins and floating shelves and finally had an a-ha moment one day and said, "Hey, I can build those." So I did. Ten years and one child into living in our home, I built some Shanty-2-Chic shelves for our dining room based on this bar that I saw on an episode of Fixer Upper, And. I. Love. Them. The thing about built-ins and shelves, though, you have to know how to style them. That took me about two years to figure out, SO here I am having tried a ridiculous number of things before finally finding the process that has worked every single time to style my shelves. If you missed my last post on the dining room update, head here to read all of the details on it. One major step in that was painting the room white so the shelves really do look built in as opposed to just these random freestanding (er--hanging) chunky blocks on the wall. Once that happened, the color scheme all came together, and I knew exactly what I did and did not want to put on these shelves. There are a few guidelines that have helped me process through styling shelves so they don't look messy and cluttered but also don't look too put together, if you get what I mean. I love that rustic farmhouse look, and I like my house to feel lived in (but neat). That's a fine line to walk, so here are my best tips and tricks to styling your shelves and built-ins. Before you do anything, you have to identify the space you're going to be decorating. Do you have a color scheme laid out? Any inspiration photos? How many shelves do you have to fill? These are all good things to put together for a mood board so you have a good idea going in of what you're going to be doing with the space, or at least the overall feel you want the shelves to have and add to the room. These were my shelves beforehand... I knew I wanted to do a white, black and green industrial farmhouse vibe going in, so I let that be my inspiration. Here are all the items I wanted to use on my shelves... Once you know the direction you're headed visually, here are four practical steps to styling your shelves.

Step 1. Place your artwork.

I only had one main piece that I wanted to hang (available here) on the wall for these shelves. Depending on your space, you may have more than one. Artwork is great stacked and layered, hanging on the wall and even leaning up against the wall, so don't feel limited by hanging one piece in the center. I love the look of two large pieces intersecting on the wall -- remember, the possibilities are endless.

Step 2. Add large items and levels.

The last thing you want is for everything to be the same height. You also don't want everything to be the same thickness. Look through what you want to use on your shelves, and pick the thickest, tallest and chunkiest items to place first. Space them relatively evenly on your shelves to add some dimension. These will help to break up some of the smaller items we'll add later. Cake stands are a great way to do this. Stacking items is another great way. Antique scales are perfect, too, or stack some books! There are limitless ways to add levels to your styling. I used my cake stands and a tree slice as level pieces for these shelves. The lantern and trencher were both really chunky pieces that needed plenty of space so the shelves didn't feel crowded. I actually married Step 2 with Step 3 on the lantern.

Step 3. Add greenery.

Especially in a white room and especially during the summer (or spring or winter or fall) greenery makes a huge statement. This could be anything from a large magnolia wreath to a $2 Ikea plant (yep, that's what I used). I put fresh flowers in the lantern and added some faux succulents and a boxwood to my cake stands as toppers to bring a little color to the shelves. If you're using glass jars, fill them with some sort of greenery or even cotton stems. If you love succulents, line them along the shelves using varying sized containers (think candlesticks of differing heights). A little green goes a long way.

Step 4. Add your favorites.

This is my favorite part because it's where you get to take all those leftover items and spread them out on your shelves. Some of my favorites for these shelves were a little candle that smells like fresh herbs that I picked up at HomeGoods a lifetime ago, my Magnolia Journal magazines and my Rae Dunn bowls. Whatever those things are that you love and really want to add in, space them out or stack them in sets of three. After you've finished, step back and take a look. You may have to make some minor adjustments, but you'll have a really good sense of what you love and what you don't love about the shelves. I had a basket that's kind of our catch-all for stamps, charging cords and bills that I decided to add at the last minute to the top shelf, and it works! I just had to space out some of my levels and other large objects a little further. You may find that you have too much to go on the shelves, and that's fine. You don't have to put everything up there -- just what you love looking at! Here are my shelves completely styled, and I couldn't be happier. They finish off the dining room look perfectly, and display some of my favorite things (homemade and otherwise) while still being functional for extra seating in the dining room and holding some of those things that don't have a home elsewhere. If you try this out, I'd love to see how you end up using these tips to style your own spaces by tagging us in your photo or posting a comment below! Happy Friday, friends!    
Farmhouse Dining Room Reveal
If you saw my hallway reveal, you know I've suddenly been overcome with the urge to paint all the things white. Amanda put it well when she said we dream in black, white and greenery. Add a little natural wood in, and that's my happy place! Once I finished the hallway, I had this vision of giving the dining room a bit of a facelift. It had long since outlived its days of tan walls, so this week, I took the plunge and painted! I also got a new light fixture which was practically a steal at $20, so somehow this makeover came in under $40. Yes, please! If you follow us on Instagram, you've seen little sneaks of the dining room and the super-cute striped placemats I found at The Faded Farmhouse on our anniversary trip to Nashville. Don't get me wrong. I loved our dining room. It just needed a little update in the paint and light fixture department. Eventually, I plan to get covers from the chairs and more than likely build a bench to replace two of the currently upholstered chairs, but that's a job for another day, another time and a bigger budget. So here was the dining room before. I didn't take the time to dress up the table before I snapped that last photo -- real life, y'all! The gray chairs and the white table are probably my favorite things in this room and have been for some time. You can see the tan paint is really dated, though, and the light fixture just didn't fit that farmhouse style charm I was going for. So, after a few coats of paint, some decor rearranging and a new light fixture from Lowes (found here), here's the new dining room! Before I show you all the photos, let me just rave for a second about this vinyl decal that I ordered from Sound Sayings off Etsy. They had something similar available, but not exactly what I wanted or how wide I wanted it. I gave her the dimensions, an inspiration photo and a few tweaks on the actual wording, and she sent me a proof that was perfect! It came in the mail within the week, and is absolutely perfect on the wall! If you're ever looking for vinyl decals at an affordable price, be sure to check them out! I've already gone on and on about the light fixture, so I won't bore you with more details on it. It doesn't give off quite as much light as I'd like in the evening, but I have a very small, soft bulb in there now and I'm thinking a brighter one will help remedy that. Aside from that, which isn't all that bothersome, it's been exactly what I wanted. The window gives plenty of natural light throughout the day, and the lighting in the living room provides what the drum covers up. The way the white pops against the decor on my Shanty 2 Chic shelves is perfection for sure! Exactly what I was after with just the right mix of farmhouse and industrial. I found the stools at Target, and the sign is available for sale over at The Junq Drawer on Etsy. I have to thank The Faded Farmhouse again for the wood trencher and, of course, all the Rae Dunn happiness on the top shelf are from Marshalls, Home Goods or TJ Maxx. The last little details I needed were a centerpiece for the table and some greenery. I don't have a dog, so when I purchased this Rae Dunn Stay canister from Home Goods, I knew it was going to be filled with flowers. The greenery inside it is actually a $2 Ikea plant, and the black and white striped placemat is from The Faded Farmhouse. Finally, I put a couple of faux fig leaves inside a Target basket and set it on top of the DIY milk stool I made last month. That finished off the room perfectly! The best part, aside from the aesthetic, is having my coffee bar back. It took me about a week to get the whole room painted (and you can see I'm not quite finished with all of the trim). We stuck the Keurig in the kitchen for that week, but I was really missing my coffee bar in the morning. Now all is back to normal, and I'm so happy! Coffee has a way of doing that, I guess. I'd love to know what your favorite part of the new dining room is! Hope you guys have had a wonderful week! Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!!!