Tales From A Land Called Half Ass

Oh boy. I know what your thinking. Really? We’re going to try and start doing this…again?  And the answer is yes, after well over a year I am giving it another try.  My entire life is built around inconsistency, and I’m not sure I had any doubts that blogging was going to be different.  Suffice it to say, its a pattern-woven with a delicate thread of procrastination, laziness, and insecurity.  It’s just part of who I am.  I’m not saying I’m happy about it-but listen, for right now, and for a very long time before this, I was never really an all in, all the time kinda girl, I’m all in part time. I eat super healthy for two months and then I buy fruit loops and Hawaiian rolls, I work out 5 months out of the year in one week intervals, I leave partially read books lying all around our house. I know a certain amount of this is normal, we aren’t perfect beings, were going to miss work outs, were going to eat french fries occasionally, and if your like me, your going to stop writing your blog for over a year and continue that pattern for the rest of your life. Nah, I’m kidding.  Well, I’m trying to joke about it, but the truth is that If I don’t start making some changes that’s exactly whats going to happen. It’s almost like I’m the star in my own version of Groundhog Day. If I’m being honest I guess I’m only ever really putting in half the effort with most things, and whatever effort I do put in quickly fizzles, until I arrive back to my previous destination of not giving a shit.  I want to be different, truly I do.  I want to blog, find a healthy balance between eating brussels sprouts and donuts, be consistent with exercise, and I’d like to finish some of those books I’ve been taking 8 months to read.  So look, this is me trying again. You might only hear from me for a few months before I take another six month sabbatical, or I just might figure this whole consistency thing out, blog everydamnday, and then become super famous and rich.  Either way, I hope you stick around.

I know your all probably grief stricken at the amount of interior awesomeness I’ve kept you from. One of the biggest changes we made was painting the exterior of our bungalow, by ourselves I might add.  It was labor intensive but cost effective, and only one person (my dear dad) broke their wrist during the whole process, so were calling it a win. Blog post to come soon.

We’ve also painted a mural on our living room wall, swtiched up lighting, zhuzhed up the mantle approximately 100 times , got a mid century sofa that I named Lillian, started an Etsy shop, kept lots of plants alive, and loads of other super fun stuff that I will shove into various blog posts that thousands upon thousands of you will flock here to read.

In the meantime here’s some sneak peaks lazily borrowed from my Instagram:

11-2-15 069 11-2-15 064 11-2-15 078

Xo-Tara

I’ll show you my brass pineapples if you show me yours…

pineapple

Come on people, get your mind out of the gutter.  I’m actually talking about my brass pineapples. 

It’s no surprise that I hopped on this trend given that 1. It includes brass, and 2. Pineapples have long been known as a universal symbol of welcoming and hospitality.  Its been said that after captains had traveled to the Caribbean to bring back goods, they would spear the fence post outside their home with a pineapple letting everyone know they were home safe from sea.  Anyone who knows me, knows that my love of the sea runs deep, and even though I learned of this fact after my obsession with obtaining brass pineapples began, I still feel as if this bit of history that I unearthed sort of seals me to this whole pineapple trend-so basically me and pineapples, we are forever.

mantle2

mantle1

Now I know I’ve pretty much set up this post to be all about my brass pineapples,and trust me I’m going to be flashing them around so much that you may experience temporary blindness,  BUT, I majorly scored on vacation this year, and mostly I have to show you errythang because it is awesome and plus also its all shoved onto the mantle in a conglomerate mess of awesome things.

First up, the ginger jar.  It’s.pink.  PINK! As if this fact alone wasn’t enough, it just so happens to be covered in flora and fauna and it’s just absolutely delicious, and whats more is that I bought it from my favorite family who’s shops I visit year after year when we go the Outer Banks.  I support their sea faring antiques business and they support my need to acquire more things.  Symbiosis at it’s finest. 

ginger jar

kokeshi

A flock of Kokeshi Dolls

sheep

These lambs are probably my favorite vacation purchase.  There aren’t any markings or labels that I can discern, though I do think they have a Lefton quality to them.  I  love their mischievous little eyes.

side mantle

And this cat.  She was love at first sight.  We didn’t exactly make eye contact, but when I saw her huge ceramic rump in the window I knew I was taking her home.  Her green eyes totally sealed the deal.  

cat

mantle

mantle side view

front door

Do you hunt and scour the dingy depths of thrift/antique stores to find special things to take back home with you on vacation?  I love the Outer Banks and spend many of my days planning how I can make it our forever home, but in the meantime I have these special treasures that remind me of my days by the sea.  I hope you all can be so lucky to find as many special things that remind you of your favorite places.

XO-Tara

Thrifty DIY Votive Holders

Hello lovers!

Per the usual, it’s been a while since I’ve talked to you all.  I’m ashamed to say it’s been about five months since I was last here jabbering on and on about everything and nothing all at once.  I have a reputation to uphold,  and I can’t have you expecting too much out of me since I’ve set the standard for inconsistent blogging.  But in all honesty, I’m pretty ashamed of myself.  I got sucked up in the vortex of life ya’ll.  Never the less, I’m here again, giving it another go, at least for another month or so until I get distracted and ditch you guys again.  

I’ve had this DIY up my sleeve for a while.   It’s a super cheap and easy votive holder.  While perusing the trim section at Jo-Ann Fabrics I came across this edgy faceted trim.  I instantly thought of votive holders.  I grabbed some cheap (70 cents a piece) clear glass votive holders from Wal-Mart, and my trusty Fabri-Tac.  The trim isn’t wide enough to cover the holders in one shot, so they are Frankensteined together.  I just dabbed glue sporadically on the trim and applied it to the holder.

paintingvotives

trim

votivesandtrim

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This is a project that can be altered with fabric, different trim, and embellishments.

I hope you enjoy!  Go make something!

Xo-Tara

Plotter Poster Obsessions

Happy hump day ya’ll!

Before I get into my latest obsession, I kind of need to have a talk with you.  It’s not you, it’s me.  No, really.  When I started this blog I intended it to be entirely my own projects, recipes, DIY’s, etc.  The problem is that I’m realizing that it’s not entirely realistic, and also I feel like it holds me back from posting more frequently.  I didn’t don’t want to be one of those bloggers who shares snippets of other peoples shit all the time.  I feel like so often I read blogs and all the content is just sort of volleyed from one blogger to another.  That is not, and nor was it ever ok with me.  I want this blog to focus on original content, not relying on other’s for tossed around home tours, round-ups, and DIY’s.  BUT, I also realize that it’s ok to share things I find inspiring, or to create my own round-up of products or shops that I love, or dare I say share photos of someone elses home.  I guess I’m starting to understand that I have more to offer than just sharing my own interior projects.  It’s time to branch out, friends.  Get ready for a wider range of content, cause it’s coming at-cha.  

OK, so onto my plotter poster obsession.  Plotter posters are generally used for design purposes, architectural, engineering and so on, but also serve as low cost options for large format art.  In most cases you can find posters that are 24×30 or larger for around $50, and anyone who’s ever priced large scale art knows that’s a steal.  Large format art posters are great because A. They make a statement and B. Also take up a lot of surface area, so often just one large scale print is all you need to make an impact.  

Another great thing about these plotter prints is the diverse subject matter.  My favorites include landscapes and animals.

il_570xN.382913178_ee9x{Via Steven Beckly, Etsy} 

il_570xN.244410299{Image via Debbie Carlos, Etsy}

il_570xN.441765196_9yxm{Via, Wannanea, Etsy}

il_570xN.442515585_jp3g (1){Via, Wannanea, Etsy}

P.S. I probably am most definitely purchasing the floral one for the living room.

XO-Tara

Shit Just Got Glamorous Around Here…

Has it been nearly three weeks already? I’d apologize, but for the whopping five people that read this blog their really not all that surprised.  Things have been totes cray.  My mom and her twin sis celebrated their 50th birthday, we’ve been working on a living room spruce up (shocker) and I’ve been working on some design consulting. Andplusalso-life shit, like attempting to work out, eating better, managing time more efficiently, keeping 3lbs of dog hair off the floor everyday.  Oy vey.  

I recently (via another blogger) discovered these beautiful goal card printables.  You should know by now how much I love to set goals and make lists.  These pretties make me even more over zealous about my goal making.  And I’ll have you know, that so far I have been able to cross everything off of my lists, so I’m pretty sure these are magical goal cards.

xSeven-Swans_Goal-Cards_0002.jpg.pagespeed.ic.jgxT3SBvEv {Image via The Pretty Blog}

I thought I’d share some snippets of my life right now with you. On the decorating forefront I have to share these ahhhhmazing brass lamps I got for a friggin steal at the the thrift store.  I had been eyeing one for almost a year, but $25 was pushing it for a thrift store lamp.  I don’t usually lean toward holding out on purchases, I am more of a see it-love it-pounce on it kinda gal, but I lucked out because this bad boy was on clearance for $5! I’ve seen the same lamp selling for $40 at an antiques mall, and on Etsy I found lamps like these (some identical) for upwards of $160/pair! Holy Hollywood Regency deliciousness.  I added gold lined lampshades from Target for a little extra glitz.  

{Decorating}brass lamp 1

brass lamp entry

I’m not sure if you noticed, but we painted the living room (again).  With the dining room being so glamorous it was time to chic up living room.  The paint color is Marilyn’s dress by Benjamin Moore.  It’s a lovely gray with a subtle hint of blue.  I bought the Sanela gray velvet drapes from ikea.  They are lovely for the price, though I do wish they were lined and had a little more weight to them.  I’ll probably line them in the future, and maybe add an extra set of panels for fullness.  They come as a grommet panel, but that shit had to go.  Being the lazy ass that I am, I simply snipped off the grommet tab, and hung them with brass curtain rings.

 {Currently reading}currently reading

{Growing} *fingers crossedfiddle figIkea finally had fiddle leaf figs in stock, so naturally I bought one. I’m obsessed, and want my entire house filled with plants now.  Plants add such a lovely organic element to a room.  I also made new roman shades for the fireplace bookcases, it’s a cheap polka dottie fabric-the photos don’t do it justice.  It’s rich, but also fun with a side order of sophisticated.  I’ll be sure to share more photos of the updated living room soon.

Ohhh, and one last thing:

{Listening & Loving}Lorde_Pure_HeroineIf you haven’t purchased this yet, GET ON IT. It’s sooooo good. It makes dinner prep much more enjoyable.  

Xo-Tara

Dining Room Revamp Part 2

I hope you all had a fabulous Valentines day-we ordered Chinese and watched The Vow-it was fabulous. 

Today I am sharing the finale to our dining room revamp!  

Our dining room table is the only piece of furniture that we kept for the new and improved space.  I’ve talked about the table before here, it’s such a solid piece and can totally withstand my two girls sitting on it (literally sitting on top of it because that’s how they do).

girls1

girls 019Now lets talk Craigslist and the bench pictured above.  I rescued these lovelies from a playroom full of toddler jumping and marker scribbles.  Someone was practically giving them away at $40 for the pair.  I was sort of taking a gamble seeing as I had no idea how long they were, but in the end the turned out to be perfect.  Now while the benches themselves were cheap, the vinyl to reupholster them certainly was not!  I went with a more expensive vinyl that feels soft and buttery, and has a lovely stretch that cheaper marine vinyl does not have-it was $35 a yard, but I we (my mom purchased 5 yards for me as part of my xmas gift) held out for sales and ended up spending about $160 for 8 yards-which sure beats the $280ish dollars it would have been.  I don’t have a lot of photos from the reupholstering process because we had no idea what we were doing, and it would be like the blind leading the blind- we don’t know two shits about upholstering.  What I will tell you is that for first timers I think we really did a great job! 067

We had to remove the bench from the frame to reupholster it, and in order to get the benches to scoot under the table we sawed off part of the arm.  To conceal the staples, and add some interest we added gold upholstery tacks.  And remember when I talked about painting the wing-back chairs following that great tutorial from Hyphen Interiors?  Well, I did.  I can’t say I’m thrilled with the results, which is why I’m purchasing black slipcovers instead.  You can see from one of the photos that they are a little streaky, and the fabric does feel similar to a stiff canvas-but it’s just not comfortable.  And talk about lint magnets! 

Without any further jabbering, here is another before and after:

tada!

I removed the wing-back so you could see the benches and the rugs underneath the table

whole view good

The gorgeous over-dyed rugs (they didn’t have one quite big enough so I bought two and put them together) are from Rugs USA.  I cannot find this particular rug (the Kimberly) on their site anymore, but I bought mine when they were 70% off, and they quickly sold out.  Nuloom, which I believe is the actual maker/supplier of the rug, is also sold out.  These rugs were normally around $500 a piece, and I scored two 5×8’s for $300!  They are hand tufted over-dyed wool, and the quality is absolutely amazing!  I love the way they ground the space.  

side view with wingback

side view 2

side view 3

I Love the Ikea Stockholm chandelier, the mid-century dresser, and the faux sheepskin.  All those elements together are glamorous without being over the top.

books on tableSince I decided not to put the books back into the room, I knew neat piles of books on the table would have to suffice.  This is where I read, sew, menu plan, and I needed the space to reflect that without being cluttered by books.cluttered classy

side view 1

nailhead trim

side view bench

ranarp ikea light

I knew these Ranarp industrial sconces from Ikea would become very popular, and I was right because weeks after I purchased mine Country Living featured them in their magazine.  These chic clamp on spotlights add a lovely industrial/boho vibe that tempers some of the girly elements in the room. I don’t know if this happens to you, but I seem to predict trends simply based on what I’m drawn to at the moment.  It happens all the time.  Like when HGTV had a feature recently on the Benjamin Moore paint color “Hot Lips”.  I was like, “whaaaa?” My kitchen has been hot lips for over a year! 

ikea lights

side view with window seat window seat 1

032Painterly fabrics are so hot right now.  I fell in love with these pillows on Etsy, but couldn’t justify the close to $100 for the two of them.  Luckily I found this pretty painterly fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  It’s a satin broadcloth with a lovely bit of stretch.  It is incredibly soft, and feels a bit luxurious for the price since it’s just $16 a yard.  Since I splurged on the vinyl for the benches, I went with another heavier duty sateen broadcloth to cover the window seat.

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target tabeThreshold for Target table that I scored for $23!

window seat 3

Hope ya’ll enjoyed my makeover story!

XO-Tara

A Dining Room Revamp…

 After years of living in white-walled apartments I was both excited and overwhelmed at the decorating possibilities that lay before me after we purchased our 1929 bungalow.  No more horrendous brown carpet, eggshell paint, and New York City sized kitchens.  But as a self diagnosed “serial decorator” I was a little too eager to get this house looking spiffy.  I made A LOT of mistakes.  I was impatient, and on top of that we were completely broke for the first few months because I wasn’t working.  Broke AND impatient are not a good basis for any worthy design plan.  In the first week of being moved in to our new home I painted our living room a yummy shade of Pepto Bismal pink.  Then without so much as a blink, stenciled a purple Ikat pattern on the dining room walls.  It looked like I hired a 12 yr old girl to do my decorating for me.  I had some sort of ill decorating syndrome from years of living in bland apartments, which prevented me from painting or doing anything that wasn’t completely over the top-and WRONG.  Because I had never been able to choose paint colors before, I thought I was relegated to super saturated intense colors.  Why after years of being held back from decorating the way I wanted, would I choose barely there paint colors that you could hardly notice??? I wanted to make a statement-and boy did I.  

Case & point:

DSC01720

Hodge Podge is the word that comes to mind when looking at this photo.  This was right before we painted the living room Lily Lavender by Benjamin Moore.  (never mind the ghost lights or the folded laundry) Once we lightened up, everything started making more sense.  I still had lots of work to do, but that was definitely my turning point.  I realized that sometimes less is MORE.   And as much as I still hate things being “undone”, I understand now that it takes time, and I think the bottom photo proves that I learned my lesson.  

iphone 686

 Now you might think I’m just getting ready to share a dining room overhaul with you-and I am, but I’m also sharing a lot more…Growth.  I like to think of this as a sort of decorating coming of age tale if you will.  I’ll be thirty-one this year.  I’ve spent four years growing into myself-in this house that I adore, and this dining room signifies not only personal growth, but the growth I’ve experienced as a decorator.  The design was well thought out, yet also instinctual.  It’s bohemian, and glamorous, and super comfy.  It’s truly a space to “hang out” in, and that’s exactly what we do each night as we put on Frank Sinatra, light the candles, and enjoy a meal together.  

I’m sharing this revamp (more like complete overhaul) in three stages.  It would be far too much to cram all into one post, and I want to compare each area with the before photos.  So suck it

I’m not going to lie, I nearly had a panic attack when we started painting over the Ikat, but I instantly knew I would love having a dark and cozy dining room.  The paint color is Mark Twain grey by Valspar.

before after

corner sideboard view

corner view light off

booze close up

I removed the bar cart from the living room, and opted instead for this tabletop version.  I am still on the hunt for the perfect tray to sit underneath.  books DR close up

I nabbed the mid-century dresser on Craigslist for $70.  The brand is Lenoir House, which was a division of Broyhill.  Lenoir House sold the companies more modest priced pieces. I’m also still (after all these years) thinking of a way to disguise that plywood covered hole in the floor which use to be where the coal burning furnace was.

window seat view

The floor lamp is from Target, and the shade is covered in a cheapie Ikea stripe, which I also used for some euro pillows on the window seat.  I like the unconventional pairing of the table lamp on one side, with the floor lamp on the other.  The large oval mirror (also Ikea) reflects so much light and prettiness from the rest of the room.  

As with most things, it’s not 100% finished-I will undoubtedly change things, but the bones of this room are so right that I imagine it will stay this way for quite a while.  

Xo-Tara