Overstock.com Ottomans

In the next week or two we will be ready for a full basement reveal. Yippee! Seriously, you are going to be pretty impressed I think.

While Mike has been slaving away and up to his ears in drywall mud, lighting, paint and furniture assembly, I’ve been busy with online shopping (and Copy Cat Chic blog stalking) and trips to Home Goods. While our main couch and chair are staying put for now, I wanted to complete the face lift by sprucing up the accents that make a room cozy and personalized. But on the cheap of course.

I’ve browsed Overstock.com for years but since I am generally wary of online shopping – I absolutely hate dealing with returns – I have never made a purchase. Until now. It started a few months ago when Mike found a Pottery Barn-worthy rug pad on Overstock for a fraction of the price. Score! Then I started hunting for two nice leather ottomans that could double as seating and storage for the basement TV room. Seeing that it’s the coolest room in the house and I am due at the end of July, I anticipate spending a lot of time down there.

Target had a few options, and of course so did the higher end stores. But when you are shopping for a basement that will soon be overrun with baby gear it seems silly to buy Crate & Barrel accents. Spit up on Restoration Hardware upholstery? I don’t think so.

Enter Overstock.com.

Credit: Overstock.com

The Contemporary Storage Ottomans aren’t necessarily “cheap,” but they are much more affordable than what I found at other places and extremely sturdy. I am so impressed by the weight and heft of the product, and the tray on the backside of the lid is extremely well constructed.

Credit: Overstock.com

The ottomans come in a variety of colors but we opted for two in the dark brown color to sit on either side of the fireplace. Committing to color in furniture is tougher for me as I tend to hold on to pieces, expensive or inexpensive, for a very long time. In fact, we just threw away a Target dresser that Mike built for me not long after we met, circa 2003. It was thrashed but I lugged it across state lines. Twice. But I digress.

These ottomans are a perfect seating + storage solution for any space, especially smaller rooms. I can’t wait to show you how they look in the finished room, hopefully next week. Arriving on our porch this afternoon will be yet another Overstock.com find — an accent table for downstairs. My fingers are crossed that I love it just as much as these!

What websites, or stores, are your go-to for affordable home decor finds?


Basement Facelift Update

Remember this shiny mess of a basement TV room? Pockmarked concrete walls and shiny gray paint be gone! Mike is a miracle worker.

After ripping off the old plaster, three rounds of mudding and hand-texturing on the walls and some serious sanding, the walls are primed and ready for paint. Pictures don’t do it justice. I am so thrilled and can see the difference already.

We’re 99% sure we have found our paint color. Mike will start with the ceiling this week and once the lights are back in place we’ll make a final decision. The brown windows will also get sanded and painted and Mike will install new window trim and baseboards.

There are no plans to do a big furniture replacement just yet (our wallets are stretched as-is) but my eye remains on two cable end tables from Overstock.com. These would allow us to get rid of my old black side tables from Target, circa 2005. Should I pull the trigger?

I will keep you updated as the room continues to move forward. Thank you Mike for being the most handy and patient husband around!

Quick DIY Project

We have gorgeous built-in cabinets in our upstairs sitting room that flank both sides of a fireplace (non working right now). Since we moved in I’ve been wanting to rip off and replace the dark, dingy wallpaper that the previous owners used to line the back of the cabinets. It kept falling to the very bottom of the list, but when my mom booked a short weekend trip to visit I decided she was the perfect person to help me tackle the project.

I chose a light wallpaper from Home Depot (online) called Leaf Toss. Once activated with water the back was self adhesive. No wallpaper glue or special equipment necessary…just careful measuring and patience since the shelves do not come out.

At first I was a little disappointed that the leaf pattern was so fair, but in the end it looks really pretty and behind our glassware and paned glass cabinet doors. Overall the aesthetic met my goal to quickly and easily lighten and freshen up the cabinets. Unfortunately, the cabinets are not wired for under-the-shelf lighting, so I would like to pick up some of those sticky press lights to turn on when we are entertaining.

Thank you mom for all of your help and wallpaper measurement and application expertise!

In other news, the basement progress has been remarkable. Mike’s amazing drywall mudding and re-texturing work is just days away from completion. Then, we paint! Cue happy dance. I am excited to share some pictures soon.

Basement Decor Concepts

I should post a picture of the basement right now…it’s torn to shreds. Maybe later this week I’ll be brave enough to do so. Until then, let’s stick with my area of interest and leave the plaster patching debacles to my DIY hero Mike.

We have two Pottery Barn glass lamps that will move from the upstairs down to the basement TV room when complete. I think they will fit much better down there, and the earthy, sea glass color (Jade if you click through the link above) is beginning to inspire how I envision the room coming together.


The bulk of the room will be white (TV cabinet, bookshelves, office area) and right now I’m leaning towards a soft cream on the walls so that I do not get sick of a paint color in years to come. But cheery, light-catching accents and decorations will be critical for tricking the eye and making the room appear brighter and more airy than it really is given the small sub-ground windows.

I don’t want it to be beachy (no shells) but shades of blue and green/blue are colors I’ve never decorated with before and I feel like they are very basement friendly. I’ll be enlisting my decor GENIUS friend Kimbra to ensure I’m on the right track though.

We’ll be stuck with the bulk of the furniture we have now given budget limitations but I would like to get rid of our black, very scratched coffee table (and matching scratched end table) ASAP and replace those with two side tables in a natural, earthy wood that compliments the white cabinetry. Right now I am loving the table below from Overstock.com.

Source: overstock.com via Alexis on Pinterest


I may steer clear of a true coffee table altogether since the space is relatively small.

One area where I am extremely stumped is artwork. There will be one main wall to decorate behind the couch. The wall is the focal point from either way you enter the room (through the guest bedroom or laundry room). We had one big picture hanging there but I think a collage of framed artwork and a few small mirrors may play better given the low ceilings. Inspiration & decor advice welcome ~ just leave a comment below!


Pin of the Week: Terrariums


I really need to stop pinning pictures of terrariums to my Green Thumb Envy Pinterest board and just make one, or a bunch, happen already. I think a small cluster of three like this one from Lavender and Lemon Drops could look gorgeous in our TV room once the basement facelift is done. Isn’t every room (or at least one) in a house supposed to have something living? We have none.

West Elm has some beautiful options, and I really like the terrariums with a wooden base for an added feeling of “natural.”

Are they easy to care for? Any tips to get started? I’m clueless!

My Week In A Nutshell

Whew! Tomorrow is Friday? It doesn’t seem remotely possible. After one awesome week back on the blogging train I fell hopefully silent this week. Here are a few excuses…

  • Work was crazy and my mind was blank every night. I had no intelligent words left to share
  • The basement facelift, like all home projects, isn’t as cut and dry as I thought. We have to move furniture around to prepare for the drywall and texture work (which Mike will be doing to save money) and that has thrown our upstairs and downstairs into a non-organized tizzy
  • Our winter weekends are spent mainly in Breckenridge and I cannot motivate to open my computer up there. It’s such an escape from me and I love that. Plus the condo has cable and we become instantly mesmerized but any TV with more than four channels

I did manage to snap some Instagram pictures this week…

The gym was nearly non-existent for me so I tried to stay healthy by kicking the day off with some seriously green smoothies. Spinach, kale…the works. Kona also brought perspective this week. He and I played by ourselves in the FREEZING cold dog park during Saturday’s Bronco game. On Monday, like every Monday, he was “depressed” that the weekend was over and looked like he may cry as I walked out the door. I love that pup.

Tomorrow I am off for a mother/daughter weekend in Arizona at the incredible Miraval Spa & Resort. My computer is staying home but my DSLR camera and books, actual books, will be in tow. I am so excited to spend one-on-one time with my mom and enjoy some major relaxation, pampering and working out along the way. Maybe I’ll even try that cardio drumming class I’ve been eyeing on the schedule.

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Copy Cat Chic

Since I was nine years old I’ve been in awe of my cousin Daina’s style. She can put together an outfit like none other and introduced me to swoon-worthy brands like Tiffany, Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik from an early age. So naturally I was thrilled when she sent me to the blog Copy Cat Chic after reading yesterday’s post about the kickoff of our basement facelift.

The blog is brilliant. As someone without a lot of patience for bargain hunting (i.e., none at all) I tend to blow my budget rather quickly or end up hastily settling on a “so so” find. But this blog tracks the hottest home decor trends from major retailers like Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn, and then tells you where to find “chic for cheap.” Freaking genius.

We need one or two floor lamps to round out our TV room lighting since the basement windows are so small. Last night I looked at my typical home decor sites and felt a twinge of disappointment when every lamp was about twice our budget. Yet after about five minutes on Copy Cat Chic, I may have found exactly what I’m looking for – and for a price that won’t give Mike heart palpitations.

Chic, Cheap: Pottery Barn’s Surveyor’s Floor Lamp.

Credit: “Cheap” Surveyor’s Lamp via Amazon.com

The Plantation Atomic Floor Lamp post also caught my eye, although it’s a total departure from my typical style. It would catch and bounce the light in our room well!

Copy Cat Chic is surely going to become a daily obsession.

Basement Facelift!

Our basement is getting a facelift, our basement is getting a facelift!

Note: I am singing as I type…just so you get the full picture of how freaking excited I am. 

Where to start? Well, the TV room in our basement has been on our project to-do list since we got the keys to our house last December. But other rooms were prioritized, including the basement guest bedroom, so that family and friends would feel cozy and comfortable. The TV room is 100 percent functional in its current state. We use it every day and in the summer, it offers immense reprieve from the scorching oven that is our upstairs. It’s amazing (and a bit frustrating) how old houses stay cold in the winter and are so damn hot in the summer.

But the space isn’t pretty. The previous owners thought it would be a great idea to paint it a dingy greenish gray, in a glossy finish, floor to ceiling. That’s right. In a concrete basement room with little natural light and low ceilings, they painted the entire room one terrible glossy color. Ew. Put it this way. If my mom had not been with us when we were shown our house for the first time, the two basement room paint jobs may have caused me to walk away altogether. She helped me see “the bones.”

Okay, enough stalling. I am going to share pictures now. Please be kind and know that the holes in the ceiling are brand new. On Saturday Mike (the most handy husband on earth) kicked off the facelift project by removing the only two (yes, just two) can lights from the ceiling and added four adjustable recessed lights so that all the walls can be washed with color. There is literally nothing that man can’t do around the house.

 Ewwww, I know. Here is a breakdown of Project Facelift.

  1. Install new recessed lighting on dimmers – CHECK
  2. Purchase white entertainment center + floor to ceiling bookshelves for TV wall makeover – CHECK
  3. Purchase white filing cabinet + office storage combo to make one side of the room into a home office – CHECK
  4. Have walls patched and re-textured
  5. Paint walls, ceiling and window trim respectable, normal, no-gloss colors that BRIGHTEN up the room
  6. Purchase one or two floor lamps (blog posts about the ones I’m coveting to come) to add more light
  7. Update the fireplace facade (The latest issue of This Old House has an unbelievable fireplace makeover DIY tutorial for about $100 total)
  8. Eventually, we’ll look to get a sectional sofa, replace the arm chair and get a new (lighter and brighter) coffee and end table set. But those will all stay for now and I know the lighting, texture and painting will make a tremendous difference in the interm

To all my design-savvy readers out there, any and all recommendations and ideas are welcome. Have a paint color you think we should try? Tell me! Know a killer website to get Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel lighting knock-offs? I need to know about it ASAP. And stay tuned for many facelift updates throughout the weeks ahead.

Pin of the Week: Colorful Accents

On July 4th I was home most of the afternoon, which gave me time to troll the online sales. Pottery Barn had some great things, although everything I liked was in the “Fall Preview” section. Translation? Still very much full price. Typical.

Eventually we’ll need new basement furniture, but that is quite a ways off when you look at our entire list of home decor priorities. Even though our couch and chair will continue to be with us for a significant amount of time, I’d love to be able to swap out our Target end tables (circa 2005. Very dated and scratched). Instead of a coffee table in the basement I very much want an ottoman that is comfortable enough for feet (shoes off) but still functional as a coffee table by setting down some great trays.

Meet Tara…she’d look lovely in our basement and would add a great pop of color without contrasting from our existing couch and chair. I also really dig the legs as eventually, I want lighter furniture in the basement. Even with more overhead lighting in the TV room when we can afford it, the overall setup is more on the man cave side.

Maybe by next July 4th Tara will be on sale? Here’s to hoping!


Industrial Kitchen Light

I actually can’t remember the last time I trolled Pottery Barn’s website for house goodies. It got to the point that I wanted too many things, non of which were in the budget. But the window shopping force is strong in me and I finally broke down to check out what’s new.

Hello Wilson Industrial Pendant that I want for our kitchen, above the sink perhaps…


Because we have a lot of red Le Cruset accents in the kitchen I’d opt for the brushed steel pendant. It would add a real “cool,” edgy element to our otherwise very pulled together and traditional style.

Lighting is so critical to pulling together a room and infusing some personality into any space.

What lighting styles are you lusting after right now?

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