"Weekend Recap and a Cool Plant Product"

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook, this may be a bit of a repeat for you, but I thought I'd start off the week with a little weekend recap. 
 

I had a chance to stop by the Elle & Bae Pop Up Shop preview on Friday night at Post & Gray in Charlotte.  I blogged about last year's event HERE.  Elle and Bae host regular pop-up events featuring high-end vintage furniture, home décor, art and accessories curated by local vendors and created by local artisans.   
Marisa, me, Kim and Ariene
  Kim (Elle) and Ariene (Bae) are super stylish ladies who put together the entire event.  Great to get a chance to see them.  My friend and classmate Marisa joined me for the event.


Ariene handcrafts these awesome paperweights.  I couldn't leave without one.  It'll be the perfect desk jewelry for my home office turned studio (when I get around to that project). 


Loved everything at Kim's booth.  That lingerie chest is to die for!


I also ran into Shannon (Burlap & Lace) at the event.  I love my social media friends and fellow Charlotte design bloggers.


Saturday began with a casual lunch with my girl Jennifer (Pure & Simple Organizing) and then I headed out to pick up last minute items for this weekend's install. 


I made a bee line to this faux bamboo bench at the Goodwill, but unfortunately it had a hole in the cane.  Shucks!  It so would've been going home with me. 

Strangely enough I'm standing there checking out the home décor and this lady comes up to me to say what a big fan of mine she was.  Wow!  I was shocked.  This was actually the second time that has happened while I've been out and about.   It's kind of weird, but very flattering.  She said she follows my blog and couldn't wait to get home to tell her husband who she met.  Really?  Needless to say, I made her take a selfie with me so I'd have proof that I have a fan.  : )


I left Goodwill bound for Pike's Nursery.  I'd heard that they had a great assortment of Fiddle Leaf Fig plants.  Wondering what that is?  I blogged about them HERE.  My client has requested that I incorporate plants into my design and I'm happy to oblige.  It's not often than people want live greenery in their homes, but I think they add so much to a space, not to mention they're great for the indoor air quality. 



Apparently I heard right because the Fiddle Leaf Figs were out of this world.  Wow!



The selection was unreal! It was like being in houseplant heaven.


I couldn't help but notice how so many of the plants had this unbelievable sheen.  I inquired and I was led to a product call Leafshine.  According to the Chrysal website, "Leafshine adds an instant natural gloss to leaves of plants and cut foliage in floral bouquets.  It removes water spots and calcium deposits and it gives a protective shiny layer which keeps dust away.  Furthermore, the evaporation of water is reduced, which will prolong the lifetime of plants and cut foliage.  It is a ready to use spray and dries quickly."  I picked up a can and couldn't wait to try it out. 


Big difference right? Not that my plant looked bad in the first place, but it took my Home Depot Fiddle Leaf to a whole new level!  I think I sprayed everything  in my house with a leaf.  Lol! The gleam just makes the plant look so much healthier. 

Hope you had a great weekend too!

"Friday Find: JCP!"

My Grandma rocked!  She was super sassy and super stylish.  She's probably where I got my love for design.  One of her favorite places to shop was JCPenney.  She LOVED it.


Honestly, I never really understood it.  We'd go on Saturday's and stay half the day shopping through the clothing, shoes, accessories and especially the housewares.  I bet every sheet, towel and drape my Grandma ever purchased came from "Penney's", as she affectionately called it.  Would you believe that I still own towels from JCP that I got for graduation from High School?  Let's just say that was a lonnnng time ago.

Well after visiting three locations in the past two weeks, I finally get it Grandma.  Penney's has great stuff!  Not long ago I blogged about the new Jonathan Adler, Happy Chic line at JCP....

 
 
...but the store is not just a one hit wonder.  The great finds extended beyond the Happy Chic collection.  Check out these awesome DOWN FILLED throw pillows on clearance for $15.99.  In some places that will barely get you the 20 x 20 down insert.

 
 
I was stunned at the rug assortment at the largest of the three locations.  Needless to say, I quickly zeroed in on the ones on clearance. 


 
Who knew Pantone had bedding?
 
 
 
Several items on this clearance shelf came home with me and will be making an appearance very soon.
 
 
I nearly passed out when I rounded a corner a spotted these Happy Chic tufted furniture pieces, all of which are available online. 


Some of the upholstered pieces were even customizable with different fabrics.  Such a cute modern option.  Not exactly what you'd expect from JCP, right?

 
Now, before you tell me that your JCP doesn't have stuff this good, allow me to make a few points:
 
  • I went to 3 locations to find the items pictured above.  One of the locations was an hour a way from my home.
  • Most of what you see here was strategically placed, in the back corner, on the bottom shelf, around the bend, far away from the main display areas.  Basically, if you want the deals you've got to look for them.
  • www.jcp.com has a clearance section as well and much of what I purchased in the store is also available online.
So, there you have it.  You heard it here first.  This ain't your Grandma's JCPenney and apparently mine either. Happy Friday!

"Nature's Mood Lifter"

Yes, I've been known to go out in my yard in the rain to cut branches from a blooming Bradford Pear tree.  Such was the case yesterday, when I couldn't resist the fluffy white blooms peering at me through the living room window. 


The truth is, I LOVE flowers.  I think they're nature's Prozac; instant mood lifters.  How could I resist free ones growing in your front yard?  Furthermore, why would I want to?   It's by far one of my favorite things about Spring and Summer for that matter. 


I can't help but wonder am I the only one that's take advantage of the seasonal transition this time of year?  There are all sorts of trees and bushes blooming around town, and I shutter to think that so many likely neglect the opportunity to reap the benefits.


With blooms this beautiful, I don't even think matters the vase.  You can't loose.

 
So what if my neighbors think I'm crazy for cutting branches in the rain.  I get to bring a little bit of Spring indoors, even if the weather doesn't exactly feel like it outside. 


Blooming branches today and blooming flowers very soon.  Until then...

 
... it looks like the grocery store versions will have to do. 
 
So what do you have blooming that you could snip and bring indoors? 
 
Stay tuned, our annual amateur gardener extraordinaire, Bonnie will be with us soon to share some of her tips for Spring gardening. I can't wait!  Missed her post last year or the year before?  Check them out below.

Top Tips for Amateur Gardeners

 

Go to Plants for Spring

Image via
 
 

"The Budget Decorator"

Last week I received an alert from Houzz saying I had a new review.  I thought to myself, "How can I have a new review when I haven't completed any new projects?". 
 

As you all know, Houzz houses my portfolio of work and I count on my clients to review my projects to provide prospective clients with a sense of what they can expect if they decide to hire me.  So, to have great reviews is a pretty big deal.  It's what got me the Best of Houzz award, two years in a row.
                                                                  Remodeling and Home Design
                                                                  Remodeling and Home Design
 
Anyway, when I went to the Houzz site to investigate, I found this...

 
One of the participants at the Habitat ReStore ReNew event had taken it upon herself to write a very kind review.  I was touched.  The fact that she was impacted in such a way that she felt compelled to leave me a review meant so much.  The fact that the course participation was smaller than we expected just proves that often you don't need a huge audience, you just need the RIGHT audience.  It makes me proud of the work that I do and it reinforces the fact that people find the info that I share valuable. 

I've been thinking about that recently.  At the Design Blogger's Conference, there was quite a bit of messaging around authenticity; really knowing  and owning your niche and sticking with it.  Needless to say, mine is budget design.


My typical client project budget ranges from just $500 to around $5,000 and that's nothing compared to what the typical designer usually has to work with.  I'm proud of the fact that I have the ability and opportunity to create beautiful spaces where my clients can grow, be nurtured, find refuge, relax and ultimately dwell.  More importantly, I'm grateful that God has gifted me with the ability to do it on any budget.  Honestly, that's what gives me the greatest fulfillment. 

It's taken me two years, but I'm finally starting to own the fact that I'm the budget decorator.  That's what I do and it feels pretty good. 

Speaking of budget decorating, stop over at DecRenew Interiors' blog to check out a video where I'm sharing a few of my "secrets" to finding great deals while thrifting, especially if you missed the ReStore event in Hickory.

Budget Decorating for Spring with DecRenew Interiors (video extra)

This week is FINALLY over.  Yay!  For some reason, I've been living for this weekend.  Not that I'll likely get any rest, but at least the pace will slow a bit. 

I'm excited to share with you guys a little impromptu interview I did with my friend and fellow designer Ruthie Staalsen of DecRenew Interiors.  Check out her portfolio HERE.  If you recall from my recent post, Ruthie and I connected at the 2013 Design Bloggers Conference in LA and found an instant connection. We became fast friends and she's been mentoring and encouraging me since this time last year.  Isn't it awesome how God strategically plants people along your path to help you get where He's predestined you to be?  Love it!



Ruthie, has a fruitful design business in the Dallas, TX area and we share an affinity for taking old things and giving them new life in new homes. 

Check out some of her awesome transformations!



BEFORE


AFTER



Above photos via Ruthie's blog.

After being inspired by a session at this year's conference.  We retreated to her hotel room to shot a quick interview.  She interviewed me and then I interviewed her.  We thought it would be great for our readers to hear some tips from another design blogger on how to improve their homes for spring (on a budget of course). 

Let's listen to Ruthie's tips for how to do just that. 

                          

I love Ruthie!  She's got a great spirit and she's such an inspiration to me.  I think her tips were spot on!  If you agree, drop her a line in the comments and show her some love.  Also be sure to check out her blog.   Happy Friday!


"ReStore ReNew Recap"

If you missed the ReStore ReNew event this weekend, you missed a treat.

  
I had the best time sharing my Top 10 tips for finding the "good stuff" at the Habitat ReStore. 


And, can I just tell you how great the selection was at the Catawba Valley ReStore?







Insane right?  And if the selection wasn't enough, the fact that Jeff, the store manager, informed us that everything in the store would be 25% off PLUS the event participants would receive an additional 20% off sure was!!!!  Not that I needed any encouragement to shop the ReStore, but that was just about enough to make me drop the mic and head to the sales floor.


I also couldn't help but notice these pallets of luxurious fabrics piled in the back storeroom when I arrived, so I inquired if they were for sale.  Jeff informed me that they were, they just hadn't been measured yet.  He also informed me that they came from a MAJOR design retailer that I have a particular affinity towards. 


Then he told me that they were $3.00/yard AND 50% OFF!  "Say what?" You can just about figure what happened next. 


This gourd lamp almost went home with me, but the green was just a little bit off.  However, it sure did remind me of this one Tobi Fairley used in one of her past projects.

 

So, what did I end up with? 


Oh, you know, just a little something, something.  Hope your weekend was half as productive as mine!

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