Inspiration on Vacation

Ok, that title is confusing. Please read: Inspiration While on Vacation, Not: My Inspiration is on Vacation. So back in the beginning of September, Mitch and I took a trip to Bethany Beach, DE for a few days. His uncle graciously lent us his beach house, so we hit the road with our bags packed and music blaring. There’s a full recap coming your way tomorrow (video!!!), but I figured I’d share some of the snapshots I grabbed throughout the week that made me think “Oooh, that’s awesome! I wonder if I could make that!” 

So, for the sake of all things beachy, adventurous, and home/crafty related, here are:seven things to try at home1. Use a shell as a dish. This one was $4 at Beach Plum Antiques, but I’m sure you could find a large, shell-like thing somewhere for a similar price or cheaper (or FREE if you find it on the beach!). Clean it up, fill it with change, keys, jewelry and you’re all set to go.Vacation 0732. Spray paint a star fish (or any other natural-looking thing) for a quick burst of color. I found these ones at a store called Sea Level (one of our favorites from the week!).Vacation 076

3. Fill a vase or glass piece with sand and shells for instant beachy decor. We actually have this exact piece at home, which is what sent my mind into “I COULD TOTALLY DO THAT” mode. This is also from Sea Level.Vacation 083

4. Distress wooden letters for a vintage-y look. And then, while you’re at it, spell something on your mantel, shelf, table, etc. These $10 ones came from Bella Luna on the Rehoboth boardwalk.Vacation 212

5. Spray paint glass jars white to make them look ceramic. I was in love with these $23 and $17 ones from The Pelican Loft (also on the Rehoboth boardwalk), but resisted the urge to buy every last one.Vacation 2096. Use mini pencils to create a cute, school-themed picture frame. How fun and simple would that be?!Vacation 206

7. Perhaps my favorite, stamp letters onto burlap bunting to create custom signs and decor. This might be one I try pretty soon… with fall here and the holidays around the corner, you might see some burlap-y decorations popping up around our house. I don’t remember which store these were from, but they were selling them for $5 a piece. So cute!Vacation 205So that’s that. Seven ideas inspired by the beach and there’s more vacation where that came from. The montage video of our trip is just about finished, so you can look for that tomorrow and on Friday, we’ve got a Superlative party all lined up! Our favorite restaurant, best day trip, coolest shop, etc. all comin’ your way. Stay tuned and have a great rest of your day!


Not Your Average Bookshelf

It’s a week of Spare room updates! Yesterday we debuted the big map and you got to meet my grandpa (!!)… win win, huh? Today, I’m going to do my best to give you the low down on how we made the bookshelf in the spare. Remember it from way back when?
after spare

Yep, that’s the one. Here’s a better shot:watermark bookshelves

Funny thing is, it didn’t always look like this. Actually, this is the combination of three different bookshelves cut, copied, and pasted together in a combination that best works for this room. This was a good lesson for us in using what we had and not being afraid to adapt something old to make something new. You can see in the picture above that we used two shorter bookshelves for the base and flipped a taller bookshelf on its side for the top. They weren’t always this sparkly white, though. This is what we started with:new house 016Very cute, Mitch. We actually got these shelves from the Habitat Restore (for pennies!) and they were originally office-esque, super sturdy bookshelves. Heavy is not an accurate enough word to describe how hefty these babies are. There were choice words while trying to get them up the stairs… that’s all I’m sayin. Anyway, they got a crisp white makeover:Bookshelf Evolution

…and then we had to figure out what to do with them. Originally, we thought it could be cool to have floor to ceiling bookshelves. However, once we stacked a short on top of a long (we originally had two of each, so we could create two ceiling-height shelves) we realized how overwhelming it would be in the small house 050 It was towering and immense, but not in a good way. Soooo, back to the drawing board. We tried these shelves everywhere in this house. In our room, downstairs in the family room (before we landed on the fireplace); we just couldn’t figure out a good spot for them. Until we abandoned the traditional bookshelf “stance”. It took us some time, but we originally figured out that we could still achieve (a more manageable version of) the “tall library” look if we pushed the two smaller shelves together and set the taller one on top, but wall 056

So try to imagine the top shelf (in the picture above) without the smaller, horizontal dividers. Originally, when we flipped the shelf it just looked like long columns of empty space, so we added some inserts to create smaller cubbies. All it took was measuring the depth and width of each shelf and cutting some plywood to size.Shelf Inserts

From there, we just jammed them into the existing shelf spaces. Yes, jammed- that’s as technical as the installation process got. We realized that they were such a tight fit that we didn’t need any other reinforcements. Maybe someday down the line we’ll add glue and screws, but this seems to be working just fine for now. I mean, it’s been a year and there have been no book casualties, so I think we might be in the house 171

So the next time you’re in the market for a bookshelf or a “built in” system of some sort, don’t write off the pieces you might already have! Just a few pieces of cut plywood turned this into a spot for books and some of our most treasured nic-nacks. I’m still working on finding the key to styling the top ledge of the entire thing- it seems a little awkward with the few bigger things I just threw up there “for the time being” (*cough* a full year now). gallery wall 056

The good news is that now you can look forward to a future post, entitled “I’ve Figured Out the Top of the Bookshelves and This Is What It Looks Like!”. In other words, stay tuned for the styling portion of this project. For now though, have a happy Wednesday! Go read a good book! That’s what I’m in the mood for… give me a thunderstorm or blizzard and a book any day and I’m a happy camper. It’s the little things.

Oh, the fun!


How To: Summery Yarn Wreath

Remember the last wreath on our door?Spring Wreath

Well, it was nice while it lasted, but I got bored of it. So, now we’ve got something new going on out there…Wreath 012This wreath was super easy (and fun!) to make and because there are probably a million tutorials out there on how to make something similar, I’ll give you the simple FOUR WORD how-to. With any luck, this will take you 4 minutes to read and you can spend the rest of your day dreaming of what color yarn you’ll use for your own. So, here we go:GatherGATHER your supplies. I used a 16″ foam wreath, three colors of yarn, and a hot glue gun. Oh yeah, and some scissors. GlueGLUE as you go and once you finish a color.WrapWRAP your yarn tightly around the wreath. Choose whatever patterns and stripe sizes you want!Wreath 006And wrap, and wrap, and wrap…Wreath 007HANG that baby on your door!HangOh, and how about a BONUS: I grabbed the “T” we used from our last wreath and re-purposed it to add some interest to this one. Easy peasy (you can find letters at any craft store- I got mine from Michaels).Wreath 012I know it’s kind of summery, but I could eat pumpkin things all year round, so mixing seasons doesn’t send me into a tailspin. Within reason, though- I don’t do Christmas music in October. I mean, can we let Halloween and Thanksgiving breathe a little for cryin’ out loud? Ok, coming off my soapbox…

Although it’s kind of an ode to summer, I think the colors play nicely with autumn-y themes as well. Can’t wait to get a pumpkin out there and officially welcome in the fall.summery wreathGo team Autumnal!