Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide

You know it's that time, right? It's do or die. End of the (shipping dead) line.  Luckily for you, Decor You Adore is here to help with a quick shopping guide. Check all the nice people off your gift list!

Let's break it down by category:


We won't make up some glossy blogger jargon about how they're the most fun part of the holiday season. Here's the deal, We cannot help you with your kids main gifts. All they want is electronics and gobs of Chinese junk that cost $.03 to manufacture and you're paying $19.99 (regularly $25.49) after you get elbowed by some maniac at 4:03 on Black Friday (ed. note: doors opened at 4:00am). Hopefully the bruises have healed. Best of luck to you! Let's move on to stocking stuffers:

Is this underwater dog calendar adorable or what? $11.52

$11.52 from Amazon

Decorating Bonus: When you are finished with the year, you can frame them and hang them on your wall!

Jacki's dog-loving eldest son's room

I hate to sound like a broken record but they want electronics too. Or, in Jacki's case something with a bright yellow DeWalt on the side of it. Not gonna happen. I suggest focusing on something more practical. Does your hubby get cold tootsies? And then put them on you in the bed when it's 27 degrees on the other side of the covers? Ahem, I digress:

What about some slippers like these: $16.00

Or a throw for his easy chair? $30

Decorating Bonus: You pick the color and can cozy up your room and the hubby with one shot.

And, throw a Home Depot gift card in his stocking for good measure. He will be thrilled.

Friends, Neighbors and the other important women in your life:

I guess it really depends on what your budget is. I always strive to give a thoughtful, tasteful gift that won't break the bank. Yea, you're right, a lot easier said than done. 

Here are a few ideas, all under $30.

For the coffee or tea drinker, even the gardener, try a vintage, stamped spoon: $37 for a set of 6 spoons.


Etsy Shop, Pretty Pretty Paris has offered a 10% discount to Decor You Adore blog readers! Use code FBFRIEND! But, hurry! Today is the last day you can order to ensure Christmas delivery. 

You can give a mirrored frame. $43 for a set of two.
Everyone appreciates a pretty frame especially when you include a meaningful photo.


Faux croc tray. $19

They come in various colors and everyone needs to corral their junk. See our article about being tray chic!

Latitude Longitude Bracelet $23

Jacki wants one of these with the coordinates of her charming beach house on Oak Island. Does your loved one have a special spot? This is just the token to remember it!
Great "guys" gift too.


Luminara Candle $28

LED candles with built in timers are the most brilliant design of this century. No more leaving candles lit and scraping wax off your Grandmother's antique end table. What makes the Luminara candle extra special is the faux-flickering-flame! It dances around like a real candle. 


And, last but not least. Let's not forget Rover. That guy (or gal) that sticks by you until you wrap the very last present on Christmas Eve.
Georgia waiting patiently to go for a walk.

Catherine's beloved, Buster 

The Gulpy! $8.65

Jacki uses her gulpy every day! It's perfect for keeping (wo)man's best friend hydrated on the go.

I hope this helped! What are your go to ideas for last minute gifts?

P.S. We celebrate Christmas but you can apply these gifts to whatever you're celebrating. Hannukah, Festivus, Kwanzaa or Tuesday.

And from our keyboard to your screen, 
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Faux River Birch Branches- EASY Tutorial


I have been admiring the decorating trend of using river birch branches in home decor. 

Setting for Four blog featured a front porch container that knocked my socks off!

After scouring my neighborhood trails with saw-in-hand, I was unable to come up with any birch branches. 


I'm crazy about these from Crate and Barrel, but at $10 bucks a stick, they are a little steep.

After spending my childhood picking up sticks in the yard, I'm pretty sure my father would not approve of my buying $100 worth of sticks for some decorating project. 

Insert: my genius friend Debbie and her fabulous, frugal and functional Faux Birch Sticks!


She started out with simple dowel rods from the home improvement store. Amazon has them too if you like the convenience of delivery to your doorstep.

Simply paint your dowel rods and then loosely apply some newspaper shreds using a tacky glue like Aleene's.

Leave some of the edges curled up for a great birch effect. 

After your stick is covered and painted, just stipple on some brown craft paint to simulate the birch knots in the wood. 



Can you believe how natural they look? 

I'd love to try to make a knock off of the Grandin Road Birch Tree.

Happy Decorating! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ikea Bletviva Life Hack: How to train your curtains

Jacki just moved this summer and is hard at work turning the new house into their family HOME. 

As everyone knows, moving is expensive so it's smart to save where you can and make splurges count!

The bedroom looked pretty good when they moved in:

Previous Owner's decorated bedroom

The wall color is Benjamin Moore Imperial Gray. I found some photos on the internet of the paint, but they didn't truly represent how the color really looks. It is the prettiest blue-gray.

Because I know you want to know, the Duvet Cover and Shams are Cynthia Rowley. Amazon has a fabulous selection here. If you're wondering how to make your bed adorable like this, see our tutorial.

Alas, one thing missing--the windows need dressing. Nothing cozies up a room like some curtains, right? Hang 'em HIGH ladies; it'll make your ceilings seem taller. 


While our clients hire us for our expertise, there are always new products coming on the market and this fun job allows us to shop constantly (and our husbands don't even mind!). Several of our clients have purchased the these curtains and we never cease to be amazed at how AWESOME they look. These are the Ikea Blekviva Curtains in Gray Stripe and only cost $50 FOR A PAIR! I think they look way more expensive. They even have blackout lining to darken the room for sleeping! Seriously?!

Having worked with a seriously high end decorator years ago, Jacki DEFINITELY has champagne tastes and a beer budget. These are great straight out of their package but to get the "designer look" they needed a tweak. This is the look she was going for:

But, something like that would cost hundreds of dollars per window. 

Only problem was, right out of the package, the draperies seemed a little sloppy. 
And as "they" say, necessity is the mother of all invention...

I give you the cereal box life hack:

Yes friends, those are cereal boxes (Raisin Nut Bran and Captain Crunch to be specific) and Jacki carefully put the boxes in position to "train" some pleats into these beauties. 

Check back with us in a couple of weeks or so, after they've had time to behave themselves and fall into perfect pleats. Jacki will "release" them just before her guests arrive for Christmas. 

Brilliant, am I right?

Ikea Blekviva Gray Stripe Curtains Panels: 2 pair, $100
Tailor labor to hem to 93":  $48
(SO embarrassing that I didn't hem them myself. I can't find my sewing machine! Seriously, it has to be in a box somewhere.)

Total: $208 for TWO windows. 

Applause please.

As you're spending your entire decorating budget on holiday gifts and festivities, remember what your mother said: "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!" She didn't know how right she was!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Dream Kitchen Remodel with all the bells and whistles

Since we've all spent a fair amount of time either cooking or eating in the past few days, I am inspired to share a kitchen renovation completed by Poovey Construction nearly a decade ago.

The lesson is that design trends may come and go but you simply cannot go wrong with classic, cherry cabinetry.

The client wanted a timeless design without being trendy.

If you use timeless materials and your kitchen will never look dated.

I love the depth the contrasting island granite brings to the room without making the space seem dark!

Appliance garage with retractable doors-convenience without the clutter of devices "on" the countertop.

Although cost wasn't an issue in this case, a smaller version of a large copper sink is one way to have "budget luxe".

What is your preference? Trendy or Timeless?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dramatic Before & After-Powder Bath Remodel


As you may know, we moved recently. While the house is great, it needs my finishing touches. One of the projects on my looong honey-do list was a powder bath update.

You may remember my last powder bath:


I told you all about how to fill a blank wall on a shoestring in this post.

Today, we're on a little more than a shoestring but not much...

*Spoiler alert* Here's what we ended up with:



I'll let you take a moment to bask in the glory of the finished space. 


Ah-mazing, right???

Here's the before:

perfectly functional, but a tad dark don't you think....

This dark cabinet behemoth is not really my taste. Good thing it was somebody's taste because I sold that bad boy on Craigslist! And, that's how you pad your budget friends!

Then it got ugly...

REAL UGLY. The plumbing had to be moved which is messy and not fun. 

Nothing says, welcome friends like a sink in the middle of the hallway! Seriously, I think I read that in Southern Living. 

After the plumbing was moved to accommodate the new vanity we got to the pretty part; the wainscoting!

That Williamsburg blue color is depressing me. 1980 called and they want their interior back. 

All of this was done to make the new vanity fit properly. You might remember we used this vanity in another remodel.

It comes already painted in Martha Stewart's "Sharkey Gray" which is a warm, light grey. One of our favorite bloggers, Emily Clark painted it green and used this vanity in her son's bathroom. So cute!

I liked it as is (I know, I'm shocked too!), and did not feel like painting it. A possible change IS coming to the hardware. 

Painting is our least favorite task, but it has to be done. A gallon of the trim paint was $50. Ouch, and before you ask--no, it didn't have gold flecks in it. 


Allen Roth White/Silver textured Wallpaper. At around $35 for a double roll, it's a good value and the texture could help cover imperfections in your sheetrock. Normally, I advise people to go bold in a powder bath, and here I was considering a WHITE powder bath. Weird. Not taking my own advice because I fell in love with this wallpaper and wanted to use it!

But, in my defense...a powder bath is a great place to consider wallpaper because you're not covering too many square feet! That's called affordable lux!

So I bought a roll. It's in stock at Lowe's

After installing the vanity the progress came to a screeching halt. I worried that the paper was too modern for the cottage-y vanity.

After about three days of no progress, and polling all my friends I decided to go for it. What put me over the edge was something that my husband said to me. "That's what people  love about your style; that you combine modern and rustic in a unique way." Thanks for that boost of confidence sweetie! I <3 him! And, he's crafty too! How do you think I got that $0 labor?

It only took one and 1/10th rolls, so the second roll is now reserved for another future project coming soon.
Soooo happy with the choice.  Isn't that light fixture fancy??

Patrick wanted to rip out the floor, but I didn't hate it, so it stayed. It's a porcelain tile that mimics slate. I'd rather actually have slate, but I'm trying to stay on budget here.

Side view.

The faucet was an easy choice. I wanted something with a high arc and an 8" spread. Moen Banbury Faucet in Chrome finish.


The mirror-framed-mirror is from Homegoods. 
Searched for it for years! It was in my last house's powder bath and it came with me to the new house.

The last decision was the light. Patrick found one at Habitat for $10 that I loved, but one of the globes hung in front of the mirror which was no good. We'll take it down to the beach house

This two light was just the ticket.

                    Quoizel QI8602C Quinton 2-Light Bath Fixture, Polished Chrome

I used the Organize It All Estate Magazine Rack for some library time and the double roll holder (maybe I'll actually have TP on the roll when I go in).

Organize-It-Al- Estate-Magazine-Rack

The one I really wanted was Restoration Hardware. For the extra $90 I could have gotten one that the magazines don't fall out of the back, and the screws don't show.


Isn't it marvelous? Don't you just want to come over and use the facilities? Sometimes I go in there just to find my happy place. It's in there. 


Bonus: ANY color towel and accessories will work because the whole room was kept neutral. Are you seeing aqua at Easter and a rich green at Christmas? Why do I doubt myself? 


Budget was $1000. The total came to $1198, but I sold the granite top vanity on Craigslist so technically we spent $798. I have Zero for the labor, but believe me when I tell you I'm paying for it.

Quoizel QI8602C Quinton 2-Light Bath Fixture, Polished Chrome
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