Thursday, August 29, 2013

Home Sweet Home: Knockout vs Knockoff (Interior Decorating on A Budget)

After moving from an apartment to an almost three thousand square foot house, I knew we were going to need a lot of house decor and furniture.  I wanted our house to have a country modern feel (i.e. rustic woods, antique niches, soft warm colors, copper and bronze metal finishes).  There are ton of stores in the Houston area where you can find great decor and furniture at a great price such as Homegoods, Kirklands, Garden Ridge, Ashley Furniture, World Market, Hobby Lobby, Ross, and even Walmart.

Here are some tips for bargain decor shopping:
  • Look at sales ads
  • Print coupons (many stores have coupon on their website or will send you coupons to your email when you register your email)
  • Look for the sale or clearance aisle.
  • Browse website like Pinterest, store websites, Better Homes and Garden, and HGTV for inspirational ideas.

Here are some of the Knockout vs. Knockoff finds I have found at these stores... 

--Ethan Allen Leather Accent Chair vs. Ashley Furniture Durablend Leather Recliner--

--Crate & Barrel Taverna Dining Bench vs. Home Goods Rustic Wood Bench--

--Ethan Allen Balta Ottoman vs. Walmart Better Homes and Garden Ottoman--

--Z Gallery Succulent Garden Decorative Balls vs. Hobby Lobby Decorative Topiary Balls--

--Sur la Table Hand-Painted Rooster vs Hobby Lobby Resin Rustic Rooster--

--Restoration Hardware Fishing Weights (Set of 4) vs. Home Goods Antique Inspired Fishing Weight--
--Pier One Glass and Iron Hurricane Candle Holder vs. Kroger's Hammered Glass Hurricane--

--Pottery Barn Faux Hydrangea Arrangement vs. Ross Faux Hydrangea Flower Arrangement-- 
--Pottery Barn Tolix Barstool vs World Market Arlo Barstool--
--Restoration Hardware Monastery Collection vs. World Market Greyson Table--

Friday, August 9, 2013

Home Sweet Home: DIY Housewarming Party Decor

So we had our housewarming party a couple weeks back, and I have to say we throw one heck of a partay.  We had an awesome time with close family and friends, and we can't wait to host our next get together! 

I wanted to do a couple of decorations and nice touches for our housewarming party. 

Here's what I made:
  • Two Bunting Banners
  • Decorative Table Signs
  • Two Different Types of Floral Arrangements
  • House Cake Topper
  • Paint Chip Paper Garland 

-Bunting Banners-

I have made this before for a bridal shower I attended a couple months back.  See here. I used three different patterns of paper.  I was able to score a really good deal on paper at Michael's.  It was 5/$1!!!  That is a really good deal! Both of these banners cost under $3 to make!
"Home Sweet Home" Bunting Banner

With the leftover paper, I made a smaller bunting banner to put in our breakfast nook.

-Decorative Table Signs-

I used my favorite Ikea Tolsby Frames for my decorative signs.  I absolutely love these frames!  I made two signs.  One saying "Home Sweet Home" and the other one is a "Home is Where the Heart is" sign.  I designed both signs using Microsoft Publisher.

-Floral Arrangements-

I just love fresh flower arrangements.  I think it gives any party that extra special touch.  I found an awesome place to score cheap fresh flowers...Krogers.  Krogers usually discounts almost past shelf life grocery items, and I guess they do the same for their floral department.  I scored a dozen roses for $3.50 and a bouquet of sunflowers for $5!  I mean super steal! I used my glass vases that I purchased at the Dollar Tree.  My sisters helped me arrange the flowers.  We came up with a good idea of tying the sunflowers together with tulle.  We were able to make two short arrangements and two larger arrangements.  I think they turned out fabulous.  We placed the floral arrangements on the kitchen bar close to the family room and on the breakfast nook table.

-House Cake Topper-

We decided to have a Tres Leche sheet cake for our "housewarming" cake.  I wanted to jazz up the cake a bit, because sometimes sheet cakes can be a bit boring.  I found this cute wood cut-out of a house at Hobby Lobby.  It was only 29 cents! 

I used some craft paint and stickers I had lying around to decorate the wooden house cut-out.

I painted the roof portion in purple, and the rest I painted in green.  I used painters tape to get a straight line.  Here's the final product...

Us with our yummy cake!

-Paint Chip Paper Garland-

I have seen several ideas for using paint chips as decorations.  Here are some good ideas from Brit + Co.  I grabbed a whole bunch at our local Home Depot.  It's free so it's not stealing right?  I wanted the garland to match the bunting banner, so I chose green, blue, and orange paint chips.  The best thing about this DIY party decor is that it is entirely free (if you already have ribbon, a paper punch, and a hole puncher)!

I used my awesome craft punch and punched six scalloped circles out of each paint chip. 

I then used my hole puncher and punched two holes in each circle.  Make the holes near the edge of the circle.

Thread a thin ribbon through the paper circles.  I made three separate garlands.  Each garland being a different color.  So, I had one orange, one blue, and one green garland.  Here's the final product.

It doesn't have to cost a fortune to decorate for a party.  Just use your imagination, find those bargains, and reuse what you have!  I hope your next party is a fab one!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Home Sweet Home: DIY Picture Wall Collage

Our front entry way was lacking some pazazz.  I mean one can only stare at a bare wall for so long.  We received quite a few picture frames from my mommy-in-law, and I really wanted to utilize them in that space.  I also thought it was time to hang up some of our wedding and engagement pictures.  I found this genius way of hanging pictures on Pinterest.  Pinterest seriously has the answers to all of life's questions.

Picture found on Pinterest

It is really genius, because it is so simple.

All you need is:
-A Roll of Brown Craft Paper (you usually can find this where the gift wrapping paper is)
-Painter's Tape
-Picture Hanging Hardware (you can find a cheap pack of them at Home Depot)
-Picture Frames, Wall Letters, Wall Decor, etc.

Some tips for choosing frames and wall decor:
-Use the same color scheme (I used black frames.)
-Choose unique wall decor elements like initial letters, inspirational quote wall art, small mirrors, small decorative elements, etc.)  I found Hobby Lobby had a lot of neat wall decor and at great prices.
-Space your frames and wall decor evenly.  I find spacing them closer together gave them a finished look. DON'T SPACE THEM TOO FAR APART.
-Play around with the collage arrangement on the floor.  Make sure you move the items around until you get the look you want. 
-Make sure your arrangement has some sort of symmetry.  I had a center frame as a focal point and worked my way out.  You can also form a square/rectangle with your frames to make it more appealing.

Step 1: Trace your frames and wall decor on the brown craft paper with a pencil.  Then cut along the outline. Write which picture or wall decor on the front side of the craft paper.  That way when you tape the craft paper to the wall you know which frame goes there.  For instance, for the below frame I wrote "Bless This Home Frame" on the front of the craft paper cut out.

Step 2: Flip the picture frame or wall decor, so the backside is facing up.  Find where the nail should be on the hook.  Make sure it's centered and poke a hole through the craft paper.  Now do this to the rest of the frames and wall decor.

Step 3: Figure out your wall collage arrangement.  This took me awhile to figure out, but I eventually came up with this.  I then took a picture of the arrangement, just to make sure I was placing the frame or wall decor in the right place on the wall.

Step 4: Tape the cut outs to the desired wall.  I just taped the corners of the cut outs, so you don't have to waste more tape than you need to.

Step 5: Hammer in the picture hanging hardware into the holes you made earlier.  Carefully, peel away the craft paper and hang your frames and wall decor. 

I did not have to redo any of the holes I made, because this technique is so accurate.  This does take a little more time, but as you can see the extra work really does pay off.