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?


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!

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.

Finding The Perfect Rug

Rugs can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a room, especially in small spaces like our main public space upstairs. We’ve divided the space into living and dining. Since moving in last year I’ve wanted a rug for each side to further separate and define the look of each “room.”

I quickly learned that a.) rugs are not cheap and b.) it is really hard to make a decision. It has taken almost 12 months for me to commit to a color, style and texture for the living room side of the space, but I am extremely happy with the result.

We chose the Avocado Jute Boucle Rug from World Market. The color online looks much lighter than the rug appears in-person, FYI. It’s comfortable and I am hopeful the color will somewhat hide Kona’s hair, which collects on every single surface in our home.

The last two things on my list for this space are bright throw pillows to spice up the dark leather couch and a colored or lucite tray to hold magazines on the coffee table. I am 100% obsessed with Dwell Studio’s throw pillows but cannot bring myself to pay their prices. I love the square lacquer trays at West Elm and at $24 a pop, those trays are within reach. The orange tray really catches my eye because the longer we are in our house, the more I realize the need to branch out from browns and beige tones since we have dark wood molding and flooring in every space. I love our wood and the character it brings to the home, though I do get urges to beg Mike to paint at least some of it white and lighten up the smaller spaces. He’d never go for it though.

Any opinions on throw pillows, trays or other accessories I haven’t thought of are welcomed!

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?

The Front Porch

Growing up in the San Fernando Valley (you know, where “valley girls” are from) we never used our front porches much. I really cannot think of anyone on my parent’s block who sits out there on a warm summer night. Everyone is safely tucked away in backyards. All of LA isn’t like that, it’s just the experience I had as a kid.

So imagine my shock when we moved to the Highlands area of Denver and front porches are as, if not more, important than backyards. Parties spill out from kitchens and living rooms onto the front porch. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons you see parents watching little ones play in the front yard while sipping beer and wine from where…the porch of course! I absolutely love the friendly neighborhood culture it creates. Furthermore, money is tight for tackling our monster of a completely bare backyard, so sprucing up our porch seems like a much more realistic endeavor. In fact, we’ve already made great progress by taking advantage of six pots left behind by the former owners!

Given my recent front porch obsession (which is keeping me slightly distracted from how much I want to find a filing cabinet to complete the office and two area rugs to “complete” our upstairs living/dining rooms) I was excited when the June issue of This Old House had several features on outdoor spaces, including porches. When you own a home built in 1928 this magazine is a must have and typically, the products that are recommended are very nice without being ridiculous on the budget meter.

A few finds that got my creative juices flowing included adding a pop of color with two bright chairs like these vintage-looking aluminum seats. We already have two hooks for a porch swing so I want something classic and Americana in nature, to eventually match the color scheme we hope to paint the trim when we find the cash.  This white swing would work just fine.

Back to adding color, I love the thought of hanging a few birdhouses–Anthropologie has some gorgeous Brush Flick Birdhouses online and the latest catalog. Finally, This Old House has some killer ideas for growing fruits and vegetables in pots. Since we won’t be able to get a garden area built in the backyard this year I’d love to use a tiered corner plant stand out front (away from Kona) to try my hand at a few fruits/vegetables that don’t require tons of direct sun.

There is much to do, and even more money to save, but we’re savoring every moment!

Pottery Barn Dreams

Pottery Barn is at the top of my list of stores that I want to “live” in right now. I try so hard to get into online home decor flash sales, kitschy independent stores, etc., but at heart I am truly a big box retail shopper. Scoff all you want, I just like the consistency of products from stores and manufacturers I really know.

Which brings me to my latest Pottery Barn wish list. My husband and mother can attest to the fact that it changes daily (and hourly). Yet, there are specific rooms in our new house that I am positively fixated on…rooms that I am dying to keep adding touches of our style.

The dining room needs a chandelier that makes a statement without costing thousands of dollars or looking like it belongs in our grandmother’s house. I think this beauty would work just fine.

Next up is our bathroom upstairs. Thankfully all the fixtures were updated but the medicine cabinet has to go. It is quite nice but it is way too bulky for how narrow the room is. Why is why I keep hoping this mirror goes on clearance.

Finally, our office is still a mess. This is because we own a bunch of crate-style “filing” boxes and random fire safes, but no large filing cabinet. We could run out and buy a metal cabinet that is there purely for function, but that is not pretty now is it?! So, maybe the tax refund Santa will bring us something along the lines of this.

A girl can hope, and save, and save some more!

Weekend Aspirations

This is Kona. He is one content pup today. Why? Well, it’s probably because Mike and I decided to skip the mountains this weekend to focus on house projects, homework (Mike), work (me) and a host of other to-do’s that have been neglected recently. Aren’t we so grown up!? This also means that Kona will be right by our side 24/7, the preferred place for Kona on any given day.

If I can stay motivated — which is going to be hard because it is cold, snowy and I just kind of want to watch movies — I hope to get quite a bit accomplished, including…

  • Attempting to bake homemade muffins, such as these Orange Marmalade beauties
  • Making a batch of freezable veggie burgers so that I have an easy dinner option when I get home late from work or the gym next week
  • Stopping by LuLu’s to see if they have any cool old phones (that aren’t a fortune) for our office. We just want one to display as our office still has the original wooden built-in from the 1920’s for a phone
  • Heading out to Anthropologie and a few other places to shop for upcoming birthday presents
  • Visiting our local Benjamin Moore store at least once to pick up primer, paint and all the necessary equipment to finally start painting our basement guest bedroom! Mike has been working on re-texturing the walls for a few weeks and they look beautiful
  • Enjoying cocktails with our dear friends who are visiting from San Diego to plan their Colorado wedding. It feels like a Forest Room 5 kind of evening

What is going to make your Saturday and Sunday lovely this weekend?

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