27 4 / 2012

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things," sings Maria in The Sound of Music. Lucky for me, Maria and I share some of our favorite things and I am sure she loves vintage romantic decor as much as I do!

As a little girl, I lived in pink. Pink dresses, pink lipgloss, pink socks, and a pink bedroom. Not only was my bedroom baby pink, but it had white victorian furniture and porcelain dolls and pictures of women and little girls in fancy dresses and big hats. With that background, it is no wonder I have grown up to adore vintage decor with a romantic twist. 

Today, I scour stores to find anything that looks like it could be “romanticized”. By that I mean, painted in pastels or have rose embellishes put on it. Unfortunately, a lot of people have the same taste and these things have become mass marketed and ultimately, expensive.

That being said, I turn to thrift stores. I have found tables, lamps, and a dresser that I have painted light pink, white, gold, grey, and robin’s egg blue. 

The main way to turn thrift store finds into this theme is to recolor them. A lot of wood items may be from the 80s or 90s but can easily be painted to be given a softer, more romantic look. The colors in the following picture from The Polished Pebble sum up many colors featured in this look. 

I have also found a store in Harrisonburg, that does this for you (that is, scours antique dealers, thrift stores, and DIY tutorials) to make items that fit in with a vintage romantic look. Downtown, The Lady Jane, has home accessories and furnishings that can either add a touch of romance or complete a romantic decor scheme. A lot of the items there are found at antique shops or handmade, meaning they only offer unique selections. See some pictures from the shop below.

The main thing to think about with this look is to have a mindset of romance. Some people think of red, roses, passion and while that can certainly be included this sort of romance appeals to those with a more subtle approach. Pinks, peonies, and a goodbye kiss may be their idea of romantic. 

Whatever your idea on the subject, however, this look is to reminisce over and remember a time that you (maybe) and I (definitely) were not around. This is the look of my grandparents, great-grandparents, and ancestors rather than the look of today with urban, edgy design. 

27 4 / 2012

Adding a vintage twist to your home is a great way to making your place unique and special. How does one get a vintage feel to their house? Easy! Here are 3 simple ways ways to obtain a fun vintage feel in an affordable price range.

1. Thrift, Thrift, Thrift! 

Thrift stores always have hidden gems buried under piles of unwanted things. Patience is a virtue. As long as you spend the time searching, it is a guarantee you will find some cool vintage items.  

In an earlier post, I mentioned some great thrift stores in the Harrisonburg area such as Good Will, Gift and Thrift, and Tried and True. But another option is online thrift shopping. 

There are tons of vintage finds on sites such as Esty and Joss and Main. Just take 30 minutes out of your hectic life to find furniture and decor that is vintage chic. 

Example: Vintage Candle Holders -Esty

2. Distress your furniture!

Aging modern furniture can be done with a trip to home depot and an hour of your time.

Sand paper is key! By sanding off a paint job, it gives the furniture a great rustic look. Use sand paper or a sander and go along the grain of the wood. When finished, wipe down the furniture with a wet towel to get rid of debris.

Also, wood stainer is a great way to make your furniture look older. Apply some dark stainer to cracks and crevices of your work and then quickly wipe off with a wet towel. Reapply and repeat if you want darker wood. 

Aging furniture is fun and doesn’t require any experience. So give it a try and you will come out with some new vintage furniture.

Example: Distressed Dresser

3. Hand-me-Downs!

Who doesn’t have a friend, relative or neighbor with some old junk they don’t need? Next time your neighbor has a yard sale or your grandma is looking  to get rid of some old things, give them a hand!

Not everything you find will be great, but like I said before patience is a virtue. Some of my favorite decor and furniture had a previous owner.

Now it’s time to make your home vintage chic! So start thrift store shopping, aging or searching for hand-me-downs!


21 4 / 2012

It is almost that time of year again! That time where you pour yourself a large glass of homemade lemonade, relax by the pool and enjoy that lovely 75 degree weather. Yes, it is almost summer! 

Summer time means bright and cheerful colors for us home decorators! But sometimes incorporating fuschia pink, turquoise blue or sunshine yellow can be intimidating.

Check out some unique ways to incorporate bright summer colors into your home!

Pick out one wall and paint it bright and bold! Painting every wall in the room is too much color. But by picking out one wall, you get a nice pop of color without it being overbearing. 

Make your furniture stand out! Pick out one or two bright pieces of furniture. Then add decor with complimentary and/or muted colors to work with that bright piece.

Or just add accents of color to the room! A variety of bright colors is appealing when there are enough dark and muted colors to balance it out.

With these new tips and tricks in mind it is time to get started!

You can paint your wall or an old piece of furniture by getting a bucket of paint and some brushes. If you’re looking to buy some new decorations or furniture check out some local thrift stores.

In the Harrisonburg community, Gift and Thrift has all of its blue tag items 50 percent off this week! Also check out Mercy House, Good Will, and Tried and True. If you search hard, you will end up with some great finds.

So let’s bring in those summer colors! Keep it bright, bold, fun and beautiful.


21 4 / 2012

Tanning on the Quad, changing of wardrobes, and going to the river is how I (and a lot of other students) like to prepare for summer. With the excitement of 80 degree weather and new highlights, however, sometimes our apartments get left in the winter. Instead of letting our apartments looking and feeling like the drab, snowy months, let’s “summer up” our spaces with bright colors, summer themed decor, and open windows.

This week, I visited Fantastic Finds in Broadway (15 minutes north of Harrisonburg). While I usually go to the store to scour the VHS’s, books, and board games, this week I focused on their selection of summer decorations. The store had a collection of summer dishes (see below) that, if I did not have roommates who enjoyed breaking my dishes, I could not have passed up.


In addition to the dishes, the store had summer wreaths, plaques, candles, glassware, and an awesome vintage fan that I just saw on American Pickers last week!

Now, while some of my finds may not be your style, a lot of them could be paired with other pieces or modified to work with any style apartment. One of my favorite websites in the Internet world, Apartment Therapy, gives great examples of how to take your finds and make them better suited for you.

For more pictures of my finds, head to our Flickr by clicking here

13 4 / 2012

I tiptoe around the piles of clothes and paper in my room. I dig through old receipts and homework from 2 years ago to find what I am looking for. And yes, my laundry has been piling up for ages because I am too lazy to walk 15 feet to the washer and dryer.

I am proud to say I am an unorganized, messy hoarder. Well, proud is not really the word I am looking for - but it’s better to admit to your faults than to deny you have them.

It’s a nasty habit I’ve been trying to break for years. But I just can’t seem to get myself organized.

Lately I’ve been considering making a change in my life. It is time that I finally get my room clean and organized.

Where to begin?

Many people think the only way to stay organized is to buy a bunch of bins and drawers for storage. Bins and drawers are always helpful, but there are several other ways to approach organization. After searching the web, I’ve found some unique and unconventional ways to arrange your things.

Use clothespins to hang posters and pictures!

Old crates can give your room a fun, vintage feel!

Check out the “The Look!” It gave some excellent organization tips and tricks by using everyday objects!

A Cheese Grater Earring Holder:

A Rake Necklace Holder:

Also check out this youtube video! Professional organizer Colette Robicheau gives tips on organizing your closet!

Let’s hope these new ideas can alter my cluttered lifestyle. That’s all for now, I’m off to start cleaning!


12 4 / 2012

Hair, nails, clothes, and now FURNITURE. Just after finishing dip dying Easter eggs, I keep hearing more about the trend of “dip dying” home furnishings. While I have experimented with the trend on my hair and nails, I have yet to try this trend to “summer-up” my apartment. The trend is a transition from dark to light or vice versa of a color (see the desk and shower curtain here). Dip dying, or “ombre” is the new pop of color on a white wall. Luckily, there’s no need to go out searching for ombre furnishings. Many of the items I see appearing on websites are DIY. 

Martha Stewart provides these instructions on how to make an AMAZING pink ombre paper lamp. 

If you aren’t the next Martha, however, you may want to start off picking up a few different shades of paint at Home Depot (they have great, cheap sample sizes) and grabbing a dresser at Good Will or Mercy House to experiment with. You may then want to move on to picking up fabric dye and trying curtains or pillows.


A more classic approach to the look

Everyone with one of these hates the space they take up, so why not dress them up as decor?

These neutral tones mixed with ombre look provide a calm but hip feeling.

This rug is the perfect pop for this neutral room.

08 4 / 2012

As a young adult interested in interior design I am constantly trying to find great ways to decorate my apartment at a price that I can work into my current budget. Since I am trying to balance school, work, and a social life I have found it somewhat difficult to stay up on design trends at a low budget…especially in a small town like Harrisonburg. Lately, however, I have put my faith in some untraditional places to buy home furnishings and have found some great finds. In this blog I will be going to those places and finding proof they can be somewhere to find trendy and awesome decor. Among the list is T.J. Maxx, Pier One’s clearance section, Target, Wal-Mart, antique and thrift stores, and finally, estate sales. Here are some examples of recent trends I found at T.J. Maxx. -Alicia

07 4 / 2012

Looking for a way to turn your old junk into something new and unique? Keep your old bottles, Dixie cups, containers and jars for fun decoration crafts! 

1. Yarn Beer Bottle Vase

Materials: Yarn, bottle, hot glue gun


1. Make sure all labels are pealed off

2. Dab some glue at the bottle and stick the end of the yarn on the glue

3. Start wrapping yarn around bottle

4. Every so often add glue before wrapping the yarn to make sure everything sticks

5. Wrap two layers for a thicker texture

2. Dixie Cup Lights

Materials: Dixie cups, paper pattern of your choice, holiday lights, Exacto knife


1. Glue/tape a paper pattern around Dixie cups

2. Cut a small X at the bottom of cups using the Exacto knife

3. Stick light inside the cup (light goes through the X you cut)

3. Coffee Bean Candle Holder

Materials: Coffee beans, mason jar or old glass container, a candle


1. Fill the container with coffee beans (about 3/4 full)

2. Place tea candle inside

                                                                                               (Written by: Jenny)