Creating a Spa-like Zen in Your Bathroom

by Dinah Wulf

This article, Creating a Spa-like Zen in Your Bathroom is sponsored by hello. All opinions are 100% my own.

Having a clean, organized, and spa-like bathroom is really important to me.  This is because: 1) there is a peace to my morning routine that I love because my husband and I start our day talking while we get ready, and 2) I’m in there a lot because I LOVE to indulge in bubble baths.  Besides craft time in my craft room, a bubble bath in the tub is my ultimate sanctuary.  There are five things that I do to achieve this Zen-like feel.

Lots of Candles

Nothing says “spa” like several candles.  Surround your tub with different sizes and heights.

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Use White Towels

Every spa I’ve been to uses white towels.  They represent cleanliness and purity.

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Oral Care Products I Like and Support

Hello is the first line of seriously friendly oral care. I personally endorse hello because they are Earth-Friendly Products.  All the products are made in the USA using naturally derived ingredients wherever possible, while delivering the experience people want. Their products are never tested on animals.  Also, the toothbrushes are made with 50% recycled materials.

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Decorate with Shells and Other Natural Elements

Shells and other natural elements remind me of being at a tropical getaway.

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Hang Serene Artwork

Speaking of a tropical getaway, hang serene photos or artwork in your bathroom to help you relax.  I bought these in Hawaii from a local Photographer.

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Hello on Facebook

Take $1.00 off any hello toothpaste, mouthwash or breath spray. To access the coupon, “like” hello on Facebook and then click on the “coupons” box under the “like” button. Coupons are limited to one per person.

I wanted to give a big THANK YOU to hello for sponsoring this post!

Your Serene Space: 6 Master Bedroom Redecorating Tips

by Dinah Wulf

After a long, stressful day you need somewhere to go that allows you to forget all of your worries and reset your brain. Naturally, your master bedroom is your own private space away from the kids, but does this space really help you relax? Unfortunately, when you have a decorating budget, the master bedroom is usually the last room to get attention because it’s only seen by your eyes. But now is the time to put yourself first! Here are six simple and affordable ways to turn your master bedroom into the oasis that you deserve.

Master bedroom image by …love Maegan via Flickr.

Rearrange the Furniture

You would be surprised just how big of a difference the arrangement of your furniture can make on the overall feeling of your bedroom. Houzz.com suggests putting the head of your bed against the wall directly across from the door. If possible, the head of your bed should be the only part butted up against the wall. That way, you will have room to move around your bed freely. You also want to make sure you don’t have too much furniture in your room because the visual impact of open space is relaxing on its own.

Get a New Mattress and Bedding

When it comes to relaxation, the most important thing is having somewhere comfortable to rest. If you don’t look forward to sinking onto your mattress, that’s a good sign that you need a new one. Take your time to go shopping and find a high-quality mattress that will envelop you when you rest your head on your pillow. Most stores offer free mattress delivery, so the process will be very easy. To complete your new bed, look for bedding that complements the serene environment you are trying to create. Colors such as sage green and pale blue are the perfect choices for a muted, yet colorful oasis.

Change the Paint

Speaking of colors… Even though repainting your room is very easy and inexpensive, it can still make a huge impact in your bedroom. Buy test-size samples of paint colors you’re interested in before purchasing an entire gallon. Paint swatches of each color — large enough to really get a feel for it — next to one another on the wall. Colors are sneaky and can look very different depending on the room and time of day.

Don’t Worry About Trends

It’s true that there are always certain trends in interior design. However, in your bedroom these trends simply don’t matter. All that matters is that you get peace and tranquility in the surroundings you have created. Choose accessories and colors that make you happy and don’t worry about the rest.

Add an Area Rug

Besides comfort, the most important factor when creating a serene environment is visual appeal. Area rugs are the perfect way to ground your space and make it more inviting. Who wants to place their feet on cold tile or hardwood every morning? Look for an area rug with simple patterns that take a cue from nature for the perfect finishing touch.

Choose Inspirational Artwork

The artwork in your bedroom should take your breath away. If it doesn’t, it needs to go. Even if you are on a budget, there are still plenty of places to find inspirational artwork. Look at local flea or farmer’s markets, or if you’re really feeling crafty, make your own with an idea from Pinterest.

Your master bedroom is for you, the master of the home. It should be a priority to create an oasis for yourself that you can use to relax and unwind at the end of the day.

Choosing the Right Paint Color

by Dinah Wulf

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Having the right furniture in a room is a big step in the overall feel of a room.  Is the furniture warm, comfortable and inviting or is it contemporary and rigid and sterile?  Either way, what you put in the room makes up part of the way that you connect emotionally to a room and whether you like spending time in that space or not.  But the furniture and pieces that you fill a room with is only part of the overall experience.  What you put on the walls and ceiling is just as important.  Here are some tips of choosing the right paint color.

Why go with a boring off white or eggshell when you can put some real color on those walls, and what about the ceiling?  The ceiling doesn’t have to be plain white; plain white is well… just plain boring.  So when you decide to use some color, how can you decide which color or colors to use?  Of course it is all up to personal taste and just how adventurous you are, but there are some ways you can narrow down the search.  To pick out the right color, you just have to get into the right state of mind.

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  1.  Pick out a color from a piece in the room.  This can be a pillow or a piece of living room furniture or even a piece of art that will become the focal point of the room.  Once you narrow the color down, find the appropriate pallet to work with for accent and complimentary colors.  Nobody ever said all four walls had to be the same color.  A quick trip to the paint store or the home improvement store will help you with that part.
  1. What is the room going to be used for?  Is it a bedroom or a game room?  Knowing how the space will be used is a great way to narrow down your search.  For a bedroom you are going to want relaxing, muted colors that bring about a sense of calm and relaxation.  Of course calm and relaxing isn’t how everybody wants their bedroom to feel and it is always up to individual tastes as to what they want the room to feel like. 
  1. Ask for some ideas.  I know, doing any project can be stressful and sometimes bringing in the opinions of the significant other is a dangerous game, but they may have some real insight and opinions that should be discussed ahead of time. Ask like I did last week when I needed help deciding what to do with my thrift store finds!
  1. Try it out.  Get a sample can and put it up on the wall.  Live with it for a few days and see how it feels. 

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Picking out the right color is one of the aspects of finishing a room that many people struggle with, but there is one thing to keep in mind…you can always change it.  That’s what is so great about painting a room.  But, most of us want to find that perfect color, that perfect design that can be enjoyed for years to come.  Yes, painting a room is one of the simpler ways to change its look, but it still involves a fair amount of work. 

Updated Lighting Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

I’m writing this post mostly because I’m excited!  We have lived in our home now for over two years.  From the very beginning we knew we wanted to update all the lighting fixtures in the house. Don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful; they just don’t suit our style.  It was so hard to come up with updated lighting ideas to fit both our (my husband’s and my) taste.

So far we replaced the ceiling fan in my daughter’s room and the light in the kitchen.  We changed the ceiling fan into this hanging pendant light. We also changed all the light bulbs into energy saving light bulbs to help save money.

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We have also replaced the outdoor lights, since we remodeled the back patio.  Here are a couple photos of some of the other lights we’d like to replace.  This is the type of ceiling fan that was in six of the rooms. We still need to pick new ones (it’s SO hard).

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This is the dining room chandelier.  Not my style at all, but we just sold our dining table and need to get a new one, so we have to wait to update this one until we choose our new dining room table (the updates never end)!

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And finally…what I’m SUPER excited about… these are the old chandeliers that are in the entryway and going up the stairs (both are the same).

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We just got the new ones delivered the other day!  We need to hire an electrician for these.  There are some projects you just choose not to DIY.  Here is what we ordered (we got two)…eeeeek!!!

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Ta-dah! Do you like them? I can’t wait to hang them up!

Master Bedroom Redesign

by Dinah Wulf

Can we please open this master bedroom redesign conversation back up? I wrote a post recently and I have no idea why it’s so hard for me to figure out how to decorate the master bedroom.  So, I decided that I need to share more photos.

Going to ZGallerie helped because there were so many different colors and textures to choose from.  But then I started looking online.  Should I go for a more classic style like the oak beds from Time4Sleep… the sleigh bed in particular? Or should I go more glamorous like this one? And that’s just the bed! But I feel like once I pick the bed, I’m good to go.  Our current frame has some nicks and scratches; it’s time for a new one or perhaps time to refurbish it.  

Here is what I like about our room.

I’d like to keep these curtains.  The blue calms me.

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I also love the high ceilings…

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And the double closet…

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This wall is completely empty!  We could probably fit a seating area here.

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Our TV is large, archaic, and ugly, so we probably need to rework this area too.

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On a side note, here’s one of my pups Pablo, who also shares this space with our other dog Harley the pug. Don’t ask me why his tongue always hangs out like that… :)

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So I’d love any comments or suggestions!  I’m open to different styles (perhaps too many).  I think that’s where my problem starts!  It’s such a large space as well so I have to consider a seating or reading area. Help!

 

Master Bedroom Design Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

OK, this is more of a “thinking out loud” post. My master bedroom needs help!  Our bedroom is probably the most neglected room in the house because, frankly, no one sees it but my husband and me.  I have focused all my attention to the rest of the house and yet it seems your bedroom should be your sanctuary.  So, I decided I needed to do some research and come up with some master bedroom design ideas.

OK, here is a photo of our bedroom now.  I like the blue hues… they are calming.

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My husband and I have two different styles as well, which has also been a problem.  He has more of a modern type of style like the designs of wren bedrooms, while I’m more of a glamorous ZGallerie type of gal. So, I decided to ignore my husband’s style (hee hee) and go out and get some inspiration at ZGallerie.

Not a huge fan of the fur, but I do like the pattern on the bed, and the natural colors.  The nail heads on the headboard are a nice touch as well.  I think there’s a bit of masculinity in it that my husband would like as well.

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I like the colors of this one and I love the tufted headboard; again, the same pattern on the three pillows in the back shows up here which I like even better in blue.

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I love the headboard in this one.  Its height is nice and makes a statement.  With both the tufted and nail heads combined, I think it’s a great balance of masculinity and femininity that we are both looking for.

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Now… I just need to convince my husband to buy it!! OR I need to come up with a plan to make it!

Go Green with an Eco-Friendly Bathroom

by Dinah Wulf

Eco-Friendly Bathroom

As larger percentages of Americans are placing stress on the importance of eco-friendly fixtures in their homes, and more and more initiatives are aimed at encouraging homes to switch to eco-friendly bathroom products, it’s no wonder eco-friendly bathroom fixtures are growing in popularity. Some very simple adjustments to a bathroom can reduce its impact on the environment and, in some cases, even save homeowners money.

In the bathroom, water conservation is the most important factor in making eco-friendly changes. New low-flow toilets are improved and better than ever: in the past, some low-flow toilets had to be flushed twice. Now, one flush will suffice and you might even notice a slight drop on your water bill over time.

Your water conservation efforts don’t have to end with installing a low-flow toilet. By installing low-flow shower heads and faucets, you can take your water conservation efforts one step further. For maximum water efficiency, select a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5gpm.

There are two types of low-flow shower heads: aerating and laminar-flow. Aerating showerheads mix air with water, and laminar-flow showerheads form individual streams of water. Using aerating faucets in both the kitchen and bathroom is one of the most inexpensive ways to improve household water conservation; a new eco-friendly showerhead can be as affordable as $20.

If you’re interested in a complete makeover, a beautiful eco-friendly vanity may be the way to go. Not only are they chic, attractive, and practical, but they will conserve water and may even save you money.

Bathroom fixtures aren’t the only thing homeowners can focus on in their eco-friendly endeavors. Displaying potted plants and flowers in a bathroom is a beautiful way to decorate and cut back on the use of aerosol products. Ceramic tile and natural stone are ideal alternatives to wallpaper, won’t need to be replaced as often, and can give a bathroom a more modern look and feel. Paints with a low volatile organic compounds (VOC) label should be sought out, since they’re less toxic and better for the environment, and fluorescent light bulbs use less energy and last longer than their incandescent alternative.

SmartStrand: Getting Down To Play With Your Kids

by Dinah Wulf

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My daughter and I have been really enjoying our kid-friendly SmartStrand carpet rug.  Getting down To play with together is so important to our family.  Over the past several days we’ve had a tea party, did puzzles, played games, and watched movies.  Did I mention we also ate chicken, cookies, chocolate milk, juice, and more with no worries at all?  Enter to win one below {CLOSED}!  But first, check us out in action!

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It even survived a play date with Mia’s best friend, Becca and the twins!

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About SmartStrand

#1—SmartStrand has permanent stain and soil resistance that will never wear off. Most carpets have stain and soil treatments that are applied topically to the fiber.

Over time, in the face of foot traffic, and due to wear and tear, the topically applied stain and soil treatment wears off. This can leave ordinary carpets looking worn out and dirty sooner than you might expect for such a large purchase. With SmartStrand, you don’t have to worry about that. For as long as you have the carpet, it will have stain protection because it is built into the carpet fiber itself.

#2—SmartStrand is extremely easy to clean.

Say goodbye to carpet cleaners! You don’t have to use any harsh chemicals or carpet cleaners to remove stains from SmartStrand carpet. All you need is a dishrag, some warm water, and mild detergent, like dish soap. Even tough stains, like ketchup, mustard, red Kool-Aid, even red wine will clean easily out of SmartStrand carpet.

#3—SmartStrand is very durable.

So durable, in fact, Mohawk held a SmartStrand Zoo Challenge. Mohawk carpeted the rhino enclosure at a popular zoo in Birmingham, Alabama. Ricko the Rhino lived on this carpet for 2 weeks! When all was said and done, Mohawk removed the carpet from Ricko’s home, had it professionally cleaned using only hot water extraction… and the carpet looked good as new! The next year, they took it even further and had six African elephants at the Dallas Zoo live on SmartStrand carpet for two weeks…and the result was the same!

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Enter To Win! {CLOSED}

You can win your own 6’ X 9’ SmartStrand bound carpet rug. Go to the contest page to enter. SmartStrand carpet is rated #1 in consumer satisfaction… Experience it for yourself!

The contest is going on now and ends April 8th. Please see the registration page for legal rules.

A big THANK YOU to Mohawk Flooring for sponsoring this post!

Eco-friendly Stonecrest Polywood Furniture

by Dinah Wulf

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Ever since I turned my office into my craft room (well, my craft sanctuary), I use the balcony in that room so much more.  My daughter will play on it while she takes a break from crafting with me, and I spend time sitting out there while browsing books and magazines and I have my morning/afternoon/evening coffee (Yes, I will drink an entire pot of coffee by myself throughout the day). I wanted to make it as nice as my craft room, so when I came across the Polywood south beach side table.  Polywood Furniture is made out of over 90% recycled material and available in a variety of colors. It is perfect for any climate and is 100 percent recyclable… right up my alley!

I browsed the Stonecrest Furniture website for the table that I wanted to fit on my balcony and found the Polywood South Beach 15″ Side Table.  This table was the perfect size, made to withstand any climate, and came in so many colors!   I couldn’t decide between the fade resistant Aruba, Lime or the Lemon.  After teetering back and forth, I went with the Aruba blue.  Better yet, this table is eco-friendly because it is made from recycled plastic and 100% Recyclable!

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It came rather quickly in the mail and I was so excited.  It took me about 6 minutes to open the box, look at the instructions, and put it together!  SO easy and yes, I timed it!  It looks fantastic on my balcony and I couldn’t be happier with the Aruba color that I chose.

A big THANK YOU to Stonecrest Furniture for sponsoring this post!

 

Tips for Making your Bedroom your Sanctuary

by Dinah Wulf

Did you know that the average sleep time for men and women ages 25-44 is about 8.5 hours a night? That’s close to 60 hours a week or 10 out of the 30 days in a month.  That’s one-third of your life!  With so much time spent in the bedroom, why is it the most neglected room in the house when it comes to decorating?  We are so worried about what the house looks like for other people, we neglect the most important space for ourselves.  With that said, I wanted to share some tips for making your bedroom your sanctuary.

Splurge on linens.

Choose quality cotton sheets for luxury and optimum comfort. I had a discussion with one of my friends recently, and she mentioned that the one item she will splurge on is sheets and bedding, like Frette linens.  She says that it’s vital for her to get a great night of sleep in order to have a productive work day.

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Light colors and neutrals aren’t boring.

Subtle neutrals in white, sand, soft sea greens, and light blues create a spa-like atmosphere.  White is the color of purity, while green represents balance and blue represents peace.  Create your own island getaway by bringing the outdoors in with decorative accessories like, shells, coral, or drift wood.

Leave electronics out.

I know it may sound crazy these days, but if at all possible leave the television, computers, laptops, iPads, and any other electronic devices out.  Removing unnecessary electronics will not only eliminate clutter, but it will create more intimacy, allow for more conversation, and will allow you to sleep better.

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Design is in the details.

Don’t forget about accent pillows, throws, artwork, books and accessories.  For me, books are a must in every room.  It’s an inexpensive way to decorate.  Not only for shelves, books can be stacked on tables or can add height under small accessories.

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Choose a style that is YOU.

No matter what your style, shabby chic, country cottage, vintage modern, eclectic, or Hollywood Regency, pick a style that makes you happy.  Don’t be afraid to play with different textures, patterns, and color.  The more you feel your bedroom reflects who you are, the better.  Don’t know your style?  Start with your favorite colors, or if you have a favorite piece of artwork or pattern on a blanket use the colors to help guide you.

Decorating After the Holidays

by Dinah Wulf

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I don’t know about you but I love decorating for Christmas.  I even had two Christmas trees this year (side note: this year my daughter is two and she asked me if Santa was going to put presents under both trees…doh!).  Anyway, after the New Year and I take down my decorations, I always feel like the house looks so bare. So, with this in mind, I thought I’d write a post about some ideas for decorating after the holidays.

Inexpensive Glass Fillers

As you can see by the photos in this post, I have apothecary jars all over the house.  They are so convenient, and I have to say a great investment for your home décor.  By simply changing the contents, you add instant style to your surroundings.  Here is a photo of these jars during Christmas at my house.

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Winter Floral Arrangements

To be honest with you, I NEVER bought flowers until I moved into my house last February.  Now, thank you to the past residents I have beautiful flowers to pick and prune to display in my home.  Consider colorful winter flowers such as pansies or snap dragons.  Put them in Recycled Mason Jars or tin cans for an inexpensive display.

Vintage and Flea Market Finds

I heart vintage flea markets! I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by some pretty great ones.  Look for items such as old ice skates, wooden sleds, or galvanized tubs to add to your décor.

Incorporate Winter Colors

My favorite winter color (or lack of color!) schemes are an all neutral and white pallet, gray and white, or silver and white.  There is a certain sophistication in those combinations that I love.  Are those too stark for you?  Think cozy, warm, deep colors like deep purple or red.

Decorating after Christmas

Use Natural Elements

Did you know that pinecones, branches, and acorns are free??? I steel them from my neighbors all the time!  Display them in pretty bowls or glass vases and jars… easy and did I mention free???

DIY Lighting Knock Offs

by Dinah Wulf

When I first started blogging I knew what I wanted my “brand” to be.  I knew that I wanted to inspire people to save money but in a creative and beautiful way.   What I also wanted was to focus on recycling and reuse.  Whether it’d be from transforming a thrift store find, or thinking twice before throwing that glass spaghetti sauce jar away, I wanted people to be inspired.

The following examples from fellow bloggers are EXACTLY what I’m inspired by.  And I must say there are so many Bloggers who I follow and respect and are SUPER talented (like these fab five).  These five DIY Lighting Knock Offs were once drab and now with some imagination and flare, have transformed into beautiful retail store looks for {much} less.

This is an Anthropologie inspired lamp made with strips of burlap and hot glue. She was also inspired by an original post by Tater Tots and Jello.

This glass jug lamp West Elm knock off was made by The Thrifty Abode from a jug she had for a few years.  It cost her $18, while the original lamp is up to $150!

Tip: If you are thrift store shopping and see two fabulous matching lamps, BUY THEM! It’s very hard to find two of the same lamp for some reason!

This is another Pottery Barn knock off executed fabulously by Musings from a French Cottage.  In her tutorial she finds Salvation Army lamps for $5.00 apiece.

The Family Room Design Studio did a DIY lighting knock off of a lamp designed by Mary McDonald.  I have written a post in the past of getting the look for less of one of her room designs (she’s awesome by the way).

Finally, this one is from one of my favorite retail stores (for inspiration anyway).  The Remodelaholic  did an amazing makeover on her existing dining room chandelier.

So think twice before buying that retail store lamp, drive to the closest Salvation Army and perhaps take on a DIY lighting project yourself.

BTW, please stop by and visit these blogs…there are so many amazing ideas!

 

Enter your email address:Thanks for reading!

 

 

Brighten Your Décor with Lamps

by Dinah Wulf

Lighting is so important in room design.  Lamps can set the mood, draw attention to the furnishings you worked so hard to put together, and can even add drama to an otherwise mediocre room.  Oh! And lighting should definitely be both beautiful and functional at the same time as well.   I thought I’d put together three tips to brighten your room décor with lamps.  Here we go!

Upcycle, upcycle, upcycle!

First, you should know be by now, upcycle your existing lamps or a fun thrift store or flea market find to show your personal style.  You can do this by painting it, adding embellishments, or by simply changing out the lamp shade.  I had this black and gray patterned lamp and I added hot pink ribbon and a butterfly to make it more whimsical for my daughter’s bedroom.

Choose a vibrant color.

Holy moly!  Have you seen the Color + Plus hand-crafted glass lamps from Lamps Plus? I’m in LOVE!  There are so many (over 60) fabulous colors in every hue you can imagine.  If you’re afraid of color, a lamp is the PERFECT way to add a little spunk to an otherwise so-so room.  I think my favorite color they have available is the olive green… I mean river blue…No wait… nugget!  I can’t decide! Table lamps like these are perfect for anchoring a bed or an entryway table.

Pantone matched lamps and shades
 

Think outside the boring box.

We recently purchased our home this year and although I LOVE my kitchen, it needed a little oomph.  I bought this pendant light to modernize my kitchen area.  I love it because when the light is off, it looks like a plain white pendant light, but when the light is on, it displays a pretty design that is printed on the inside of the shade.

 

 I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective; the opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

Repurposed Shutters

by Dinah Wulf

Shutters are probably the one item that you can find in every flea market, garage sale, salvage yard, or recycling stores like Habitat for Humanity Restore.  Not only are they abundant, but they are usually inexpensive. With a little paint and creativity, you can literally turn trash into treasure.  Here are some great ideas for repurposed shutters.

In my search to find DIY inspiration for repurposed shutters, I found that most were used for organization.  Shutters could be used for organizing everything from mail to potted plants or from family photos and post cards to kitchen utensils.

 

Here is a great idea using shutters for decorative display from 221 Vision.

Make a big impact in the dining room with these beautiful ideas.

 

This repurposed furniture idea is an outdoor table is from Goodhouskeeping.com.

I LOVE this free standing headboard from a display at Anthropologie.  Once again, GREEN is my color!

This crafty shutter shelf is from BHG.com

Shutters work well for bathroom organization as well.

Additional Photo Sources: Etsy.com, Goodhousekeeping.com, Pintrest.com, Dwellinggawker.com

More Ways to Repurpose! 

Thirty creative ways to recycle, reuse, and repurpose:

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