We spend a ton of time in this room. It’s right off the kitchen and the home to our television, and let’s face it, we eat and watch tv more than we do most other things in life… I love the way this room turned out, but designing it was challenging. None of the furniture we moved over from our old apartment worked in here because of the awkwardly long and narrow shape of this room. (Luckily, our pre-existing furniture worked perfectly in our living room.)
When we first looked at the house, we could tell that the previous owners didn’t really know what to do with this room either. But we really wanted to really maximize the space, and figured the best way to do that was to optimize our seating options. We searched high and low for the perfect sectional sofa and landed on the configurable Henry sofa from West Elm. The Henry has nice classic lines, and you can choose a custom size and configuration (and fabric) that makes it look specifically designed for the room it’s in. I’ve always wanted a huge cozy sectional sofa, so this piece was perfect.
Another challenge with this room was the lack of lighting. There wasn’t single light built in, so at night this room was pretty much pitch black.
We looked into installing can lights or a chandelier but our electrician said that was going to be a really big deal (expensive) so we decided to go with some decorative sconces instead. I worked with this etsy seller (who was awesome – super responsive and helpful and fast) to customize this listing.
Like most warm-blooded, living, breathing humans, I get pretty excited when the holidays roll around. But no one gets more excited than my husband… Anyone who knows us knows that he’s responsible for the bulk of our holiday decorating, be it for Halloween or Christmakkah.
But the part that gets ME most excited? Gift gifting! (And recieving, if we’re being 100% honest.) Which is why I love putting guides like this one together every year.
Whether you budget is low or high, I’m hoping I can provide you with some inspiration for everyone on your list.
Holiday Gifts Under $50 for Her
Tassel earrings – $36 each or three for $68 at BaubleBar. You can’t go wrong with a pair of BaubleBar’s famous tassel earrings, now available in the mini size! (I own two pairs.) They’re a versatile gift that pairs just as nicely with jeans and a tee as they do with a cocktail dress.
USB tassel keychain – $30 at Anthropologie. A cute AND practical solution for charging a cellphone on the go without having to clutter your handbag with clunky hardware. It clips to keys (obviously) or to the outside of a handbag to be worn as a stylish charm. I also found similar products for less at World Market ($15), Nordstrom Rack ($15) and Urban Outfitters ($26).
MAC Makeup set with bag – $49.50 at Nordstrom. This set will give any skin tone the perfect glow this winter. It includes a highlighter, nude lipstick, gloss AND an adorable makeup bag – lots of bang for your buck.
Coffee & Cuddles shirt – $28 on Etsy. The perfect, long sleeve, cozy tee shirt for those lazy mornings. The type of shirt you probably wouldn’t buy for yourself, but would love to receive as a gift.
Sway card game* – $25.11 on Amazon. This game combines two of my favorite things: arguing and positive thinking! I know, it seems like a strange pairing but trust me on this, it’s a winning combination for game night. With all the negativity in this world, isn’t a little positive group think exactly what we need right now? This is a game I have, and personally love!
‘Friends’ apartment floor plan – $20-$85 on Etsy. I was delighted to stumble upon this clever Etsy Shop last year, that offers floor plans from all your favorite TV shows. They’re truly unique gifts and great conversation starters. I bought this exact print of Monica and Rachel’s apartment for my Friends-obsessed girlfriend last year and put it in this frame before giving it to her.
Sleep mask – $19 at Nordstrom. The cutest sleep mask makes a great gift for your favorite napper.
Lacquer tray –$25-$44 at West Elm. These trays come in a plethora of colors and tones and work their way seamlessly into any style of home decor. Personally I have a gold one on my nightstand that corrals my jewelry tray, lamp, and night cream in a nice, organized package. And I’ve given a silver, monogrammed version to a girlfriend as a birthday gift, which now lives on her coffee table in front of her couch. And I have another friend who uses one in lieu of a bar cart on her console table. They really are such versatile pieces that stylishly make life more organized – everyone should have one!
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*Disclosures: I received a complimentary Sway game as a gift from the company. There was no obligation to write about it, but after playing the game myself, I decided it would be a great addition to this gift guide and introduce my readers to a game they otherwise might not know about. Despite the fact that as a blogger, I receive hundreds of product pitches and tons of complimentary products, only my very favorites make it onto the blog. All opinions expressed here and everywhere else on the site are my own.
It’s been so fun seeing all the pretty and feminine spring pieces pop up in stores over the past few weeks, especially in contrast to the dreary weather we’ve been having here in Portland. I like to stock up on clothes and accessories at the beginning of each season so I have optimal selection before they’re picked over – and then I do another pass at the end of the season when whatever’s left goes on sale (in preparation for next year.)
This ‘Budding Floral Sheath’ dress from Maggy London is one of the pieces I was most excited to add to my wardrobe. As a LBD, it’s not too far out of my comfort zone and in my usual color pallet (if you can even call it a color pallet) of black. But the gorgeous rosebud details make the dress a little more special than your average LBD. It’s the perfect dress for a day or night event – like champagne brunch, a spring bridal shower or wedding, or just any old cocktail party.
I had some extra fun styling this one because I just happened to already own the most fabulous sparkly pink pumps and red clutch (both gifts from my incredibly stylish mother-in-law) that matched the flowers in this dress perfectly… But if you don’t have matching pieces on hand, the dress would look just as lovely with paired down shoes and accessories in classic black or nude.
Remember when I told you guys about my plans for a wall of books in our house and then never followed up with any pictures of the finished product? Well this post can serve as the part 2 of that series, as the wall has looked like this for a few years now. The bookshelves are filled with random pictures and knick knacks with varying degrees of sentimental value from Carter’s and my childhood and life together (I know you were wondering about the superhero action figures and pug piggy bank!)
And we made a design decision to organize the books by color, but to be honest that made it pretty difficult to find anything when they’re laid out this way so next time I have some free time, I’m thinking I’ll re-organize them by genre… But overall, I think the shelves turned out pretty well and give this awkward space in the back of our living room a purpose.
Disclosures: This post was made in collaboration with Maggy London and the dress was a gift to me from them. As you guys know by now, I ONLY accept partnerships with brands that I love and I feel confident you would love as well. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Logically speaking, it’s best to decorate the rooms that get seen most often first and the lesser-seen rooms last. So it really makes no sense that our guest room was the first room we finished and our entryway was one of the last. I have no reasonable explanation for this. Really.
But for the past two years that we’ve lived here, our entryway has been completely neglected – cluttered by piles of shoes, dog toys, and whatever handbags I wore that week. It was sloppy and ugly. And it was the first thing people saw when they walked in our door.
That changed last weekend.
My design-conscious husband knew I had my heart set on a small bench for this area. But between budget restrictions and our own personal tastes, finding the perfect bench was a chore. But on Saturday when Carter stumbled across a rustic, reclaimed-wood bench with lots of character for only $200 at Grand Marketplace, he knew we had to have it!
As I’m sure you know, art can be very expensive. Even prints. The cactus prints hung here are vintage and were a great price from the Etsy shop Gnosis Picture Archive. I had a local frame shop cut custom mats to fit the prints then framed them with Ikea Ribba frames (the mats that come with the frame weren’t the right size for the prints). Overall, the art and framing cost me a little over $100, which is a steal for something of this scale that has this much impact on a fairly large wall.
Before we re-decorated this area, we had Carter’s old nightstand from college tucked in the corner to serve as a key stand. Neither of us were crazy about the piece but we were having trouble finding a table narrow enough and tall enough for the area so we lived with it for a while.
Then we came up with the idea to float a shelf and Carter picked up this corner one from Home Decorator’s Collection (Home Depot’s surprisingly stylish and well-priced line). He hung it in a matter of minutes and now our keys have a simple, chic little home.
The key dish, which doubles as a jewelry catch-all, was a wedding gift from one of my girlfriends from our Pottery Barn wedding registry.
When we got engaged, Carter and I put home decorating on pause so we could focus our finances on our wedding and honeymoon. But now that we’re married and things have settled down, it feels really good to be able to put some attention toward finishing our home. We also made some good progress on our master bedroom last weekend so hopefully I’ll have some photos to share with you soon! xo