Friday, January 31, 2014

Furniture Fight: Home Depot vs. Pottery Barn Bookcases

Briana and I are starting a new series called Furniture Fights.  We love thrift store furniture, but not everyone is surrounded by fabulous Habitat ReStores like Briana (D.C. is a barren wasteland when it comes to second hand furniture stores - everything has either been marked "antique" or "vintage" and is being sold at some snooty shop with a price tag to go with it orrrrrrrr you have to spend your life perusing Craig's List and estate sales and hoping for the best - so, sometimes you have to buy new.  The idea behind Furniture Fights is to show two similar pieces of new furniture with a high and low price.  We fully believe that you should invest in the best quality furniture you can afford, but we know that everyone's price point is different.  We also know that there are certain items that you can get away with spending less on (i.e. rarely used side chairs and anything involving lamps) and pieces of furniture that are purely decorative in nature (and therefore, may not need to have a solid hardwood construction).  We hope y'all will use these articles to get inspired to do some comparison shopping, save where you can, and splurge when it's important!  

Remember last week how I blogged about Mr. 3's new desk for his home office (which we got for $49 from Home Depot!)?  I mentioned that the five-shelf bookcase that was also a part of the collection was very Pottery Barn-esque, but didn't include a side-by-side comparison.  Here's the Home Depot version:

Home Decorators Collection Kelman 5-Shelf Bookcase in Walnut
Image Source: Home Depot
I found that there are actually two similar-looking Pottery Barn options:

Studio Wall Shelf
$359 for one or $718 for two
Image Source: Pottery Barn

Morgan Leaning Bookcase
Image Source: Pottery Barn
I love all three options and I think they would all work in the same type of space for the same uses (i.e. book shelves, china display/storage, and displaying knick knacks).  Pottery Barn isn't too specific on the construction details of the Studio Wall Shelf, but the Morgan Leaning Bookcase is made from iron and kiln-dried acacia wood.  For the price, I would definitely go with the Home Depot option especially if you need more than one shelf.  These pieces are largely for decoration.  If you are storing heavier items (like textbooks or china), be cognizant of putting too much on the shelves, but I imagine it will be several years before they wear out.

Posh Purpose Furniture Fight Winner: Home Depot!

Which would you pick in our first Furniture Fight?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Posh Purpose Recipe: Pizza Dip

Since the Super Bowl is upon us, I thought I'd post an easy recipe for all your football watching events!  My good friend gave me this recipe a long time ago and it is super cheap and super yummy - shout out to my sorority sister Amanda!

1 block of cream cheese (I like Philadelphia, but Briana's recent article leads me to believe I can use generic just fine)
1 jar of pizza sauce (different from your regular marinara, but it's in the same aisle)
1 package of shredded cheese (cheddar is best!)
1 package of mini pepperonis


Preheat oven to 400.  Take a square pyrex baking dish (9x9 size) and smear the cream cheese around in an even layer. Dump jar of pizza sauce on top of cream cheese and spread evenly. Top with a good layer of shredded cheese.  Sprinkle mini pepperoni around the dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes.  Serve with Wheat Thins.

Obviously not a healthy recipe and I wouldn't bother trying to make it low fat (reduced fat cream cheese is nasty stuff y'all).  Enjoy and add extra time to your workouts this week!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Posh Purpose Tips: Decorating for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is around the corner and Briana and I are working on gift guides to give y'all some ideas for your loved ones.  I'm not into decorating for every single occasion, but Valentine's Day is probably one of the easiest holidays to decorate for if you feel so inclined.  If you are behind on packing up your Christmas decorations, see what you can reuse for Valentine's Day before packing it away.  I bet a lot of your decorations are color appropriate (hello. red!), but this also means you can procrastinate even further on putting your Christmas decor away (just make sure the tree is down and any Santas, Elfs on a Shelf, and nativity scenes are put away)!  You can switch out your white candles or put out pink and red candles or out one bigger candle or pretty set of votives on your coffee table. 

Large Coral Grapefruit Relish Candle
Image Source: Paper Source

Pink Tea Lights
$12.95 for a set of 3
Image Source: Paper Source

If you have children, no need to go overboard with extra decorations for them.  A few small touches are sure to make them feel special.  I love these treat containers from Pottery Barn Kids!  What sweet little baskets to put a small gift (we'll have suggestions for kids gifts soon!), a treat, and a note from mom and dad.

$14 for set of 2 + Free Shipping
Image Source: Pottery Barn Kids

These mail bags and envelopes are super cute and fun!  You can make a small investment in one of these options and reuse it each year (at least until they are teenagers and are too cool for everything).
Mailbox Chair Backers
$19 + $7 for Personalization + Free Shipping
Image Source: Pottery Barn Kids
Envelope Chair Backer
$19 + $7 for Personalization + Free Shipping
Image Source: Pottery Barn Kids

You can also decorate their chairs on Valentine's Day with a heart shaped balloon (also great for classroom decorating), make them heart-shaped pancakes, or tape up heart-shaped doilies to their windows in their rooms and use them as place mats or drink coasters at the dinner table.

Red Heart Shaped Foil Balloons
$1.00 each
Image Source: Dollar Tree

Heart Shaped Paper Doilies
$2.94 - $3.56 for 100
Image Source: Paper Mart
Hope these ideas help you realize you can be a bit festive without breaking the bank or adding a lot of additional stress!  I'm keeping out my red candy dish that I bought at Christmas and I have some fun red and white striped cloth napkins that I will probably use for our Valentine's Day dinner.  Anyone else have easy decorating plans for Valentine's Day?  Share in the comments section below!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Etched Wine Glass DIY

My sister-in-law Abby has a crafty blog Trial and Error Creativity where she documents her travels with pictures while sharing her many DIY endeavors. One of the things she does that I have yet to be brave enough to attempt is etch glass. For my wedding gift, she monogrammed two wine glasses herself. I just love them.

Her materials list is very short: wine glasses, contact paper, cutting board, scotch tape, exacto knife, and etching cream. Jump over to her tutorial to read more!

Apartment Decorating: Man Lamp

I blogged last week about my wonderful $49 Home Depot desk find for Mr. 3 and how we are trying to put together a home office for Mr. 3 to contain his business clutter.  Well, we also needed a lamp.  One of the joys of renting is that the buildings usually skimp on overhead lighting in everywhere but the kitchen, dining room, and entryway...and our apartment is no exception.  We've managed to use all of our lamps from our old apartment, as well as, two others that Mr. 3's cousins graciously gave us when they moved out of DC. Poor Mr. 3 has one small table lamp located near the door to his office and no other light besides the glow of his computer.  I wanted something mantastic-ly wonderful for him that would blend well with the desk style we bought from Home Depot.  To refresh, here is the desk:

Home Decorators Collection Kelman Writing Desk in Walnut
Image Source: Home Depot

I didn't want to use up the valuable real estate on the top of his desk with another table lamp, so I hit up Target, Home Goods, and World Market to look for a floor lamp.  I briefly considered looking online at Overstock or Wayfair, but I have a tough time gauging the size of a lamp and how nice it looks online  (you can always spot a cheap lamp in person).  I absolutely hate how much lamps cost and think it's ridiculous to pay hundreds of dollars for a lamp...don't get me started on lamp shades, I tend to say bad words when I think about them.  My theory: if you are going to spend lots of money on fancy lighting put your moo-lah into a chandelier....they bring me far greater happiness than a lamp ever could.  Since I don't have the option of installing a chandelier in a rental, I'm back to lamps - I really don't think you should spend more than $50 on a table lamp and $150 on a floor lamp....even if they are really pretty like these:

Image Source: Restoration Hardware

Abacus Floor Lamp - Luster
Image Source: West Elm

Image Source: Restoration Hardware
That said, there was no way I was spending $150 on a floor lamp for Mr. 3's office or any of the prices listed above (see previous note about bad words).  After perusing the stores, here's what I found: Home Goods has tons of table lamps for reasonable prices from nice furniture companies like Broyhill, but its floor lamp selection is small.  There were maybe four floor lamps in the entire store for $129-$200 and I didn't like any of them.  World Market also has a good selection of table lamps (as well as overhead lighting suprisingly), but their floor lamps were above my price range.  However, they are definitely a good resource for well priced lampshades.  Target was by far the best in terms of selection and price for its floor lamps.  Almost all the lamps were priced at $100 or less and included a lampshade, but there were many choices in the $60-$80 range.  I picked this one out for Mr. 3:

Threshold Brushed Silver Linear Shaded Floor Lamp
Image Source: Target
The style vaguely reminded me of the Restoration Hardware tripod I posted above and will go well with the desk and the other table lamp we already have in the room.  Although I can see Mr. 3 using this in whatever future home office set up we wind up with, I can also see us selling this on craigs list for $30 if we decide we don't want to use it in a few years.  I think it's plenty manly and modern without being too minimalist.  We will probably keep the lamp either right next to his desk or put it in the corner of the room, depending on how the cords run.

It took us about 15 minutes to put together and my favorite feature is that the cord runs through the metal leg instead of dangling down the center!  I hate ugly cords, so this was a definite design plus!  What do you think?  Anyone have any other cheap lighting sources we need to consult out there? Let us know in the comments section below.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

January Thrift Store Finds

As I mentioned in my 2014 Goals, I want to blog more about my thrift store hunts. So before January ends, here is another round of Thrift Store Finds! January is a tough month for thrifting around town because our seasonal citizens move down from up north and furnish their homes from the thrift stores. I still found some fun stuff to share with y'all.

This settee is in pretty good shape but needs updated fabric and new paint. The sticker price is $85 but you should definitely ask for a better price since it requires so much work, even though you could probably do the reupholstering yourself if you are handy with the sewing machine and staple gun. This piece would be great on your back porch and could be redone to suit your changing decor desires.

This chair reminds me a lot of Thrive Furniture. I actually bought a couch from Thrive before I bought my current couch, but it wasn't quite large enough for J so back it went. This chair is in very good condition and they only want $15 for it! Of course, orange would have to be your thing (it's not mine) or you would need to have it recovered professionally.

This end table is currently $20 and has the cutest legs. My mom almost bought it, but she did not want to deal with the cracks you can see in the picture below. On a slow day, you could probably get the price down to $10 and then deal with the cracks as you see fit.

Mom and I had wonderful luck with the art section of Habitat the other day. That painting above, so wonderfully modeled by Mother's legs, was $6! I say "was" because Mom immediately put it into her cart after I took the picture. The frame is wood, so even if the artwork was ugly you would still want to snatch it up.

Anyone want a metal hood? The sticker said $25 even though the right side was separating from the rest of it. This thing was randomly sitting on the floor near the mismatched bathroom cabinet selection.

Mom also bought this lovely mirror for $15 (yes, she paid sticker price). It is pretty large but those colors don't fit into her house so it will get some work. She wants to paint the flowers and then hang the mirror over my sister's headboard. Keep in mind the bed is a king and the mirror is appropriately sized. And only for $15!

This table and chairs set is in great condition! The sticker said $175, which really isn't that bad. I doubt they would go any lower considering it had just been dropped off January 23. FYI, the price tag has the date on it so always point out if an item has been sitting around for a long time when asking for a lower price. If you like yellow, you could put this set in your kitchen for a really cute look.

I think this is another jelly set, but I'm not sure. You could use it for hot sauces if your eating habits resemble J's or for sugar and cinnamon when you have an eggnog latte party. The stand, two pots, and their lids is priced at $6. After looking at the picture again, I may need to run back to Habitat and buy it myself!

I found this chair at Salvation Army, while all the other items were at Habitat for Humanity. Yes, I do go to other thrift stores. It is just that Habitat usually has the best/most interesting stuff in my experience. This chair has a great shape although I don't know about that skirt at the bottom. It probably could use new fabric, so if the legs are decent the upholsterer could just nix the skirt all together. The tufting is very interesting, as is the low back. Salvation Army wants $50 for this chair and they do not usually go down on price. I wouldn't pay $50 for it but someone else probably will. By the way, check out that fabric on the right side of the picture - it was headache inducing.

Enjoy this post? Check out Briana's other thrift store finds!

Posh Purpose Tips for Mixing China Patterns

Image Source: Linzi Events

Last week, I blogged about the Kate Spade Charlotte Street Dinnerware which I'm totally loving right now. I'm pretty fearless when it comes to mixing patterns, but if you can't see yourself committing to all that pattern on one table, just buy a few items to mix in with your regular white dinnerware.  If you can, I recommend taking in a white dish into the store to check it out next to your patterned options.  If you're picking out items for your registry or just wanting to update your table here are a few options to consider:

1. You can do all your serving pieces in the Charlotte Street pattern (or any pattern for that matter) with maybe one item from the place setting like the salad plate or bowl.  

2. Another option would be to pick two patterned items from the place setting such as the dinner plate and mug and add in two of the serving items that you use most (i.e. salt and pepper shaker and a serving bowl or platter).  

3. Another great option is to buy half of your place settings in full out pattern and half in regular white (with maybe 1-2 patterned serving pieces thrown in), if you plan on having 12 place settings, buy 6 in white and 6 in a pattern.  This last option is a way to get a lot of pattern on the table without being too overwhelming.  You can either make each place setting 100% white or 100% patterned...orrrrr you can have one place setting with a few pieces of each and really mix it up!

4. Finally, one last idea would be to pick one of the options above AND mix up the white china.  There are lots of great subtle designs on white dinnerware, pick a couple and try them all together!

Anyone else a fearless pattern mixer?  Send us photos of your dinnerware mix and match and we may feature them on the blog!

Friday, January 24, 2014

We're Lovin' Olive Wood Spoons

Since my wedding over a year ago, I have been eyeing high quality wooden spoons to replace J's $1 each spoons from his pre-Briana days. I used his wooden spoons almost every day despite the ratty appearance. When this past Christmas rolled around and I still hadn't bought my own wooden spoons, I decided it was finally time to make it happen. My little sister loves cooking and is quite happy buying cooking stuff even when it isn't for her, so I took my opportunity and asked her to give me these beautiful spoons from Williams Sonoma.

olive wood cook's spoon

olive wood blunt end spoon

If those of y'all who clicked on the links were a bit shocked by the price, I won't judge. These spoons are not cheap. However, they have improved my life by about 300%. I actually enjoy using them. The wood is sooooo smooth and the angles of both spoons are perfect. No longer do I have to bend my wrist when I am cooking pasta sauce with my blunt spoon. This new one is angled so that it fits right into the corners of the pot while I hold my wrist comfortably. And the cook's spoon is just as well designed. The pointy end of that spoon gets every teeny bit of food out of the corners of the pot so you can fully incorporate your ingredients. Could you get the same results with a cheaper spoon? Possibly, but I haven't bothered to check because these spoons are just perfect.

This post is not sponsored nor do we have an affiliate program with Williams Sonoma. I just thought I should share my new spoon love with y'all after I proclaimed for the millionth time that I love these spoons. 

Recently Spotted: Kate Spade Charlotte Street Dinnerware

Y'all know I have a love affair with china...especially Kate Spade formal china and she has come out with another great line of casual dinnerware.  Meet Charlotte Street:
Kate Spade Charlotte Street Dinnerware Collection
Image Source: Bloomingdale's
Usually her casual dinnerware is a bit more on the bright side (i.e. bright green) or colors I don't gravitate towards (i.e. brown) and I would find it hard to commit to using an entire collection set long term, but I'm really loving this navy blue and white pattern!  The collection is made from porcelain and are microwave and dishwasher safe.

I love mix and match dinnerware and this collection is no exception, but it has even more room for mixin' it up within its own collection!  Select pieces come in three different pattern options - North, East, and West:

North Dinner Plate
Kate Spade Charlotte Street
Image Source: Bloomingdale's
East Dinner Plate
Kate Spade Charlotte Street
Image Source: Bloomingdale's
West Dinner Plate
Kate Spade Charlotte Street
Image Source: Bloomingdale's

My favorite pieces in the collection are the sugar bowl and the tid bit plates:

Sugar Bowl
Kate Spade Charlotte Street
Image Source: Bloomingdale's

Tid Bit Plates
Kate Spade Charlotte Street
Set of 4 for $50
Image Source: Bloomingdale's

Soooo cute and fun, right?  A four piece place setting is $80, which isn't too shabby!  I would totally love to own those tid bit plates!

I really like this line because you could 1) buy the whole set in all its stripe-y patterned wonderfulness, 2) mix it up with your everyday white, or 3) introduce a whole new color like red, green, or even pink (preppy ladies rejoice!).

What do you think, fan or not?  Would you consider registering for it?  Let us know! 

Psst..Also check out our article on Kate Spade Pierrepont Place line!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thrift Store Art

I am going to share my most recent thrift store purchases with y'all today along with an insider tip that one of the volunteers gave me. And for those of you who are not yet acquainted with my Habitat for Humanity weakness, please refer to my thrift store finds.

Up first we have this awesome framed poster pictured above. I had been eyeing it for about six weeks, but the sticker price of $25 was just too high for me. The price had been marked down to $20 but my mom made friends with a tiny older lady volunteer who offered up a $15 price tag. After that, I just had to convince Mother to let me buy it instead and it was mine! She immediately regretted agreeing to my proposal. Her house has no pink or purple and mine is covered in pink and purple so it just made sense that the poster go home with me instead of her.

While we continued shopping, our tiny older lady friend walked along with us and explained that one volunteer who prices things on Fridays always marks items up way too high so our friend goes through on Saturdays and marks those things down when she spots them. However, she doesn't catch everything so she insisted that we always find her when we want something but think it is too expensive. Moral of the story: make friends and always ask if they can do better on price.

This antebellum painting pictured above is framed in solid wood. Please ignore the tile appearing to be vertical on the left side of the picture - the painting is sitting on the floor sideways and I opted for rotating the picture on my computer rather than the painting in real life. This painting was priced at $30, which isn't bad considering the frame and that the thing has about 2.5'x3.5' for dimensions. Buuuut I didn't want to pay $30 considering the paint has a few minor scratches which you can spot in my picture. I asked my other volunteer friend if $30 was the best he could do and he said "definitely not, how does $15 sound?" I immediately snatched it up as fast as anyone can snatch up a painting that is over half their size.

And for my final purchase of that trip, I found this adorable little jelly tray for $2.50. Yes, I actually paid the sticker price for this one. The knobs are wood and everything is in great condition. The lids have little holes on the side for tiny spoons, but sadly the tiny spoons were not available so I will be searching for some. 

I will be posting some of the cool stuff I found that I did not buy along with some of the awesome things Mom purchased next week so keep an eye out for the next installment of Thrift Store Finds!

We're Lovin': Kate Spade Jackie Capris

I can't wait for warm weather and being warm enough to expose a sliver of know, like a neck, a collarbone, an ankle!  I'm hoping that the stars will align and the warmer temps will coincide with these pants going on super sale, because I am in love:

Kate Spade Scalloped Hem Jackie Capri
Image Source: Kate Spade
These pants would be great for any wardrobe, but especially mine!  I wear capris spring-fall and I will sport them in the office, out with friends, or on a date with Mr. 3.  No new shoes or tops required, they already go with a great deal of my wardrobe.  Posh Purpose is totally lovin' these pants!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Posh Purpose Recipe: Vitamix Smoothie Making Formula

I've become a pretty regular smoothie maker since receiving our Vitamix as a wedding present.  I love that I can get tons of vitamins and a good portion of my daily intake of fruits and veggies in one cup.  The Vitamix is especially wonderful for many many many reasons that will make your eyes glaze over if I tell you them, but among them is that it easily handles harder fruits and veggies like apples and carrots that a regular blender (even a powerful one) can't handle.  The Vitamix comes with a cookbook of all different types of smoothie recipes, but I believe I've found an easy to remember formula that will let you keep your cookbook in the cabinet and using whatever you have on hand.

Posh Purpose Vitamix Smoothie Making Formula
1. Fill bottom third of Vitamix with squishy, juicy, room temperature fruit - this would include bananas, oranges, ripe peaches, and berries
2. Fill next third of Vitamix with hard or dense veggies and fruits - items like apples, carrots, celery, zucchini - this is also a good time to put in any sort of supplement powder, chia seeds, lime or lemon juice, or ginger
3. Fill last third with leafy veggies and top with 10-12 regular sized ice cubes - spinach and kale are packed with nutrients and you won't taste them with all the flavors from #'s 1-2 - I put a ton of leafy greens in, because the ice will pack them down.

Emerald Smoothie
Image Source: Vitamix
My favorite combo right now is: 1 orange (or 3 clementines), 1 banana, 1 apple, good sized handful of carrots, chia seeds, ginger, and 2 cups of spinach.  This formula will make enough for two large cups.  I'm able to split my smoothie with Mr. 3, but I wouldn't recommend saving it because it will start to turn brown once the fruits and veggies are exposed to air (green smoothie = yummy, brown smoothie =trash).

Although this formula is for Vitamix users, regular blender owners could probably omit the denser veggies in #2 and still use the rest of the formula.

Anyone else love their Vitamix?  Who's gotten on the smoothie band wagon?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DIY Painted Terra Cotta Pots

I am finally wrapping up my Christmas gift projects and I saved one of my favorites for last. J and I worked together to spray paint two terra cotta pots for my mom. Her backyard currently has a lot of different pots, but none like these. I wasn't sure she would like the paint job so I only painted one side that could easily be turned to face the wall. I knew she would love the shape and color of the terra cotta, though. Fortunately, she does like the gold.

Pots on Mother's back porch, taken Christmas morning

This project is extremely simple, especially if you choose a straightforward design like mine. And I'm sure quite a few of y'all are far more artistic than I am, so get creative! The materials list is also very simple.

Two terra cotta pots - I bought these for $5.88 each, but they are 50% off right now!
Gold spray paint
Tape - I used masking, but any kind of painters tape should work well
Scrap paper

The steps are just as simple. I wanted my center gold stripe to follow the curve of the pot, so I marked off dashes with my pencil the same distance in from the edge. You can see the dash marks in the picture above. Then, I freehanded a curve following the dashes. I taped along the curve using smaller strips of tape. The smaller pieces of tape are better than larger ones because it allows you to really get a curve rather than connected line segments.

Once I got my stripe taped off, I covered the rest of the pot with scrap paper so that the spray paint would not accidentally touch other parts of the pot. I also taped off the top rim of the pot because i only wanted the gold on the outer face. Then I took the pot outside and sprayed it with light layers, allowing for drying in between. One thing to note: the pot face is curved so if you move your spray can in horizontal swipes, you will be closer to one part of the pot than the other. Take into account how close your can is to the pot because you want your spray paint to be even. I thought I had more pictures but I can't find them. This project was a lot of fun, though, and very cheap considering I only had to buy the pots.

Another thing to note: many tutorials mention that the paint may bubble off as you use the pot. Bubbling happens because the terra cotta is porous and water seeps through, which is one of the reasons why plants love it so much. If you don't want this to happen, it's recommended that you seal the inside of the pot. I chose not to do that step because I wanted the plants to still be happy inside the terra cotta. That is why I chose terra cotta in the first place. Also, if my gold paint starts to chip or bubble it will only add to the charm; that look will definitely fit into my mom's outdoor style and I know she prefers her plants to be happy. I will update y'all on any bubbling or flaking, but so far the paint job is in perfect condition.

Enjoy this post? Read about our other DIY projects and gift ideas!

Apartment Decorating: Man Desk

Part of the reason we moved into a larger apartment was so that Mr. 3 could have an at home office.  He is a small business owner, so it's important that he have space to work when he is at home.  I would prefer this space not to be the dining table or the coffee table in the living room, which is where it has been...until now!

We've been working on this room since we moved in, but it has been a long process and the last room in the apartment to get done.  At first, we were keeping all of our unpacked boxes and pictures that needed to be hung in the room.  Once most of that was taken care of, Christmas rolled up and I was keeping a bunch of Christmas stuff in there along with the wedding gifts and other items we had stored at our parents houses and finally retrieved.  We've finally gotten enough of these items taken care of that we can finally start setting up Mr. 3's home office.  Mr. 3 has his grandfather's desk that his dad has been storing for him, but we haven't been able to pick it up when we've gone for a visit.  We weren't sure if the desk would actually fit inside our car to bring it back and since we live 5 hours from his dad, that would be an expensive U-haul trip to return to a different location.  We decided that we would just purchase a 6 ft. folding table from Home Depot so that Mr. 3 could make room for his dual monitors and happily set up for business world domination until we could figure out how to bring the desk back.

When we went this weekend to pick up the table, Mr. 3 got roped into hearing a sales pitch from a Home Depot salesperson on windows, labor rentals, or something of that nature (I didn't feel bad for him though...he wanted the free popcorn that Mr. Home Depot Man was offering up in exchange for listening to him ramble).  Meanwhile, I ran away and perused the front section of Home Depot where they display all their special buys and I came across this instead:

Home Decorators Collection Kelman Writing Desk in Walnut
Image Source: Home Depot
The best part about the desk was the price....$49!!!!!  I couldn't believe it.  It was an attractive desk for about the same price as the folding table we were going to buy.  I liked the desk because I thought it was manly enough for Mr. 3 to enjoy, had shelves that the folding table couldn't provide, and was cheap enough that we could Craigs List it for $30 if we needed to in the future.  Mr. 3 was totally on board with the idea and noted that we could even re-purpose the desk in the future once we have a house (in the distant future)...maybe as a TV stand?

Once we got the desk home (and carried it up two flights of stairs, ugh), we put it together in about an hour using a phillip's head screwdriver and an allen wrench.  This was, by far, the best "assembly required" piece of furniture I've ever put together in all my Ikea purchasing days.  

Parts Kit

The instructions were clear and the pieces were so unbelievably well organized.  All the assembly pieces were clearly marked and neatly organized in clamshell packaging.  There was even a little section for spare parts that had one of each item included in the kit.  When you opened the box, the pieces were organized in order of assembly which matched the instructions perfectly so there was no searching for parts.  The only issue we had was there was one set of holes that would not line up so we were unable to put the screw in; however, it was a middle hole and the rest of the desk was sturdy enough that we didn't feel like we should worry about the desk breaking.

If you are looking for other office pieces, the collection also includes a three-shelf bookcase for $99 and a five-shelf bookcase for $49.  I think the five-shelf bookcase would be great in a living room and looks very Pottery Barn-esque.  These pieces are all available online.  I also spotted one other smaller bookcase in store for $29, but it doesn't look like Home Depot is carrying it online.

We're still working on the room (we still have Christmas stuff to put away) and we are thinking about buying a sleeper sofa so that we can also use the room for guests, so I will keep you updated as we go along.  Until then, here's our inspiration picture for a neat and orderly workspace:

Image Source: Home Depot

But the reality is that I'll be lucky if I don't kill myself trying not to trip over all the "command center" computer cords.  

I was surprised to find furniture for the home office, since I mainly see sinks, tile, and toilets in this section usually.  Anyone else found any good buys or unexpected surprises at Home Depot?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Martin Luther King Day

For those of you with today off, I hope you are thoroughly enjoying your three day weekend. Melinda spent her weekend preparing for and hosting a birthday party for her husband so today she should be relaxing. I don't have the day off, so today is just a normal Monday for me. However, I had a waffle brunch yesterday after church which was a lot of fun. We are excited to share both events with you in the upcoming days!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Paint Store Brainstorming

Over the past few weeks, I have started working with my dad on our paint store. We have been discussing all kinds of business things like new Point-of-Sale software, inventory, and various upgrades. It is actually quite fascinating but not what Posh Purpose is about. I do have a reason for bringing it up, though! I asked if we could repaint the interior. You will see why very shortly. Fortunately, the answer was yes but we are holding off until more important things are sorted out. And even better, repainting is on the list of Posh Purpose approved topics!

You can see the red and the green walls that surround our paint chip displays. Not pictured is a very unfortunate shade of khaki. I'm sorry, I should rephrase. The khaki is unfortunate for the space and there are definitely better options the red/green combo. All three colors would be wonderful in the right setting, but I have decided that Scosta Supply and Paint is not it.

While I get to work, I will be thinking about my many color options. We carry both Benjamin Moore and PPG paint (and we are the only locally owned paint store in the county, for those of you in central Florida) so our color selection is wonderful. I know the baseboards will no longer be white when I get done. White baseboards get scuffed up very quickly in high traffic areas, so ours will be going darker. Choosing the paint colors for our store is a challenge for me; I love picking colors, but I never ever work with brown (check out that tile). My mom suggested I think of what outfit colors I pair with brown. Well, I only own one brown item - a skirt that I wear with a dusty rose top and some really awesome heels. I really only bought the skirt for the shoes. You know how that goes, right? So anyway, dusty rose is definitely a paint option.

As for other visual upgrades, I will be recovering those chair cushions. I never pass up an opportunity to use a staple gun and the current fabric has been around for quite some time. Melinda suggested getting a rug to go under the table and chairs to anchor it in the room. We also discussed what we could add to the table to make it more enjoyable for ladies to whittle down their paint options while still allowing them plenty of space to spread out. As I begin implementing these decisions, I will keep y'all updated! And definitely share any tips on those paint colors.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Decorating Apartment Walls: The Dining Room

As I've mentioned in several posts before, Mr. 3 and I moved into a new apartment back in September which was covered in wall-to-wall white carpeting, white vertical blinds, and lots of white paint.  I'm sure this isn't much different from most apartment rentals, but staring at all that white space is a bit daunting when you think about trying to get some rental friendly color up on the wall without being able to actually paint or wallpaper it!  In our old place, the dining room was part of the larger living area, so I didn't need more than one picture on the walls to brighten up. However, in the new place, the dining room is its own separate space with two big white walls and those icky vertical blinds covering the pretty windows.  I didn't want to spend tons of money trying to fix up these walls, because I'm hoping that the next time we move we will get a new dining room table and chairs (the optimist in me also hopes that the next time we move, we will be buying not renting and painting won't be a problem...but we are still a few years away from that goal!).

I considered a lot of different options including removable wallpaper (too expensive!), framing regular wallpaper or fabric and making paneling (lots of labor involved), and just slapping up some prints from World Market or Home Goods (couldn't find what I wanted).  Finally, I spotted these:

Magnolia Plates
Image Source: Arhaus 

Which look like this when grouped together and hung on a wall:

Image Source: Arhaus
I instantly fell in love with this look and headed over to Tysons Corner mall where there is a brick and mortar Arhaus to see if they had any flowers in stock.

Arhaus Tyson's Corner
Image Source: Arhaus
They had the plates and they had even more colors than are pictured online.  I wound up getting a total of 6 plates (plus another one for a different wall project, which I'll be blogging about more soon!).  I reused a mirror I had in our old apartment and hung the six flowers around it.  Here's how it turned out:

The brown and white plates had pre-made holes in the back of them and the store had already run fishing line through them to hang up in the store display (which by the way was amazing!), but the two blue plates didn't.  The very helpful sales lady at Arhaus told me that the ones with the pre-drilled holes could be hung using a simple nail and she suggested I buy plate holders to hang up the two blue plates.  We grabbed some picture hooks and found our plate holders at Home Depot for about $2 each.  When we hung them up, we found that the gold hooks on the plate holder blended in nicely with the flower petal lines.

Here's the finished room:

Mr. 3's cousins gave us their dining room chairs when they moved away from DC.  They are in excellent condition and we were grateful that they were free!  Red isn't usually the color I veer towards when it comes to home decor since I'm much more of a cool tone type of girl (red shoes and handbags...completely different story!), so we will probably have the chairs recovered when we set up shop in our forever home one day.  Rather than doing all white flowers, I chose two other colors to brighten up the wall.  The brown made sense because it goes with our main tablecloth (which is from World Market) and blended with the mirror.  Mr. 3's favorite color is blue and I thought it would be a great way to introduce a new color into the room with out being another earth tone.  If you've been following me on Instagram (and you should! @poshpurpose), you know that I bought this new tablecloth from Target to bring more blue into the room.

Target Threshold Tablecloth
70" Round

I've left the brown tablecloth on for now because I'm throwing Mr. 3 a birthday party on Saturday involving ribs and bourbon...but not BBQ stains on my pretty new tablecloth (more on that party next week!).  Much better right?  Here's a cost breakdown of my dining room decorations:

Mirror: Free! (Well, sort of. I've had the mirror for 5 years and I think I paid $30 for it when I bought it from Burlington Coat Factory)
Wall Flowers:
- Brown Magnolias: $35.20
- White Dogwoods: $19.20
- Blue Magnolias: $19.20
Plate Hangers & Hooks: about $6
New Tablecloth: $16.99
Total: $96.59 (plus tax)

Not too shabby considering that includes wall decorations aaaaand a tablecloth.  Most of the prints and other larger mirrors I was considering were in the $80 range.  Mr. 3 also noted that if I wanted to eventually have that feature wall look, I could buy 1-2 plates every once in awhile until I have enough to do the really closely clustered look in the inspiration picture above.

I also want to take the time to say how wonderful shopping at Arhaus was for me!  This was my first time in the store to actually purchase something specific, and I think I have been in there maybe 3 other times before just to kill time.  The sales lady was so helpful in finding the flowers for me, pulling them off the store display, and giving me tips on how to hang them!  She also showed me how I could buy this plate stand later and put the plates on the stand to make a tiered serving dish if I didn't want to hang them on the wall in future homes.

The woman also saved me some moo-lah! She told me that they were having a Friends and Family 20% off entire store discount in 3 days, but if I came back with my receipt that they could give me a price adjustment and take 20% off (which I did - prices above reflect discount).  Finally, while she was carefully wrapping my plates and putting them in an extremely durable and reuseable bag she answered all my questions about their sources for furniture and their construction standards (Lots of American made and Italian made, mixed in with some things from India and China.  No MDF.  Solid hardwood construction for all the upholstered furniture.)  The other impressive feature in the store was the upholstery room which was full of swatches for all their custom furniture.  I can't say anything but positive things about my experience with Arhaus!  Anyone else had good luck with them?  What do you think of my wall?  I'm so glad to be rid of those completely white walls!  The also give me something pretty to look at to avoid staring at those heinous vertical blinds.

Stay tuned for more articles on my living room gallery wall and bedroom collage!