My husband and I have given ourselves the challenge of creating a cozy, inviting home with as few dollars as possible. It sure has been a challenge, but talk about some serious fun! I'm pretty sure I've hit every thrift store, consignment store, secondhand store, auction, and garage sale in the Treasure Valley the last few weeks. As soon as I get home from my other amazing job as a barista, I load up the children (my dogs, Whiskey and Banjo) into my Bronco blue truck and we head out on our frugal adventure. There's something about the moment when you find that perfect item you've been looking for, tucked behind a chipped Mickey Mouse mug with a dead fly in the bottom, for just a couple bucks. That moment never gets old. Not for me anyways.
I have collected some great items that I'm excited to share, but first I want to show the little nook I've created in our home. A lot of my thrifty finds helped create this place. Our tiny duplex did not come with an office. I'm actually glad it didn't. I'd rather have a cozy little place to write my notes, do my blogging, pay my bills, etc. I also like that our little nook is in our living room, so while my hubby is watching his Sunday night football and cursing at his Fantasy Football league, I can check email and still feel like we're spending quality time together. So here are some pics of the place I really enjoy spending time at....
I got the ladder at a garage sale for just $5. It was red, so I painted it white and then used a wood stain. The ladder is a great way to hold blankets. My mom got the white desk at an auction, I think for around $40. I distressed it a little bit. The dark wood chair came from my uncle.
I got this wire basket at a secondhand store for just $4. I turned it upside down, and with the help of my husband, hung two mason jars from the inside. An adorable way to add romantic light to an area. My husband and I LOVE this hanging above our desk. I got the old window frame from an auction for $1. Seriously. I didn't do anything to it, just hung it on the wall. LOVE.
I think this is a fun way to display photos, notes, envelopes, business cards, etc. All you need is eye hooks, twine, and clothespins!
I got this lamp at the Idaho Youth Ranch for $1.99! I used twine from the clothespin project and wrapped it tightly around the lampshade. Then I tucked in old black and white photos. These two photos are of my Mom and Papa when they were little. It makes my heart so happy to look at them : ) Check out the pipe holder! How cool is that?! It came from my uncle and has the days of the week written on the top. So rustic. (Note: the pipes are for decoration only) ; )
Now you know my surroundings when I do all my blogging! : ) I love spending time in our little nook. Our guest bedroom is almost finished and I can't wait to share pictures!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Could you live in 100 square feet? I'm not talking about sleeping in a bedroom that is 100 square feet, or cooking your family dinners in kitchen of 100 square feet. I'm talking about squeezing your family and all your precious belonging into a shack that you call Home Sweet Home..... could you do it?
I've been coming across more stories where newlyweds, retirees, even large families are trading in their modern culture lifestyles of "bigger is better" for something more simple. Way more simple. With the economy crashing, people are saying goodbye to their spacious kitchen and saying hello to one that stretches barely an arm's length. Even though it comes with challenges and adjustments, most say it's exhilarating and blissful to no longer feel compelled to keep up with the Joneses.
I read about a couple in California that was forced to downsize after the economy hit them pretty hard. Now, they live in a place so small, he and his wife use a ladder to climb into their bed every night. The house cost them $15,000, and the utilities are a mere $15 a month. If they want to leave, the home has wheels and can be pulled behind their vehicle and plugged into any RV park in the nation. You might say they are too extreme in their shedding of the traditional American dream, but others are trying it too.
So, could you do it?
While I'm not sure my husband and I would want to go as extreme as 100 square feet, we love to dream about the day when we'll have a small cozy home on a few acres. We currently live in a duplex that is less than 1,000 square feet in downtown Boise, and boy do we LOVE IT. Why?
Because it is so SIMPLE.
I love the fact that I can clean my entire home in less than hour. Dusting, vacuuming, dishes, clean the toilet, get the dog hair off the couch, etc....all of it done in 60 minutes. I also appreciate the coziness of being in such small quarters. I can yell a quick "I love you!" to my husband from anywhere in my house and get it right back every time. As much as I feel for all the people who have been affected by the down economy, I'm glad to see people are becoming more focused on creating a home where a family actually LIVES together as opposed to which house has the bigger master closet. Simple and functional is what I strive for not only in our home but with my furniture as well. There's nothing fancy about it, just sweet and simple.
Here is a look at some more small homes that just make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. These are all less than 1,300 square feet:
I love the idea of small homes!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Just a bit too purple.
This is what I thought when my mom gave me this little nightstand she got from an auction. I'm sure it would look perfect in the home of someone with a purple fetish, but for me I thought it needed to be toned down a bit. So out came the paint stripper and rubber gloves....
Here's a look at the paint stripping process...
Finished with stripping, ready to paint the nightstand. Apparently I needed some moral support.
I used an antique white (Bamboo Stalk) and blue (Seascape). After painting, I distressed the piece and used a wood stain (Provincial) all over the nightstand and finished with switching out the hardware.
This nightstand is available to purchase for just $45. You can find it in the Rustic Store.
Rustic Living 208.571.6323 email@example.com
Monday, September 19, 2011
I'll admit it, the thought of summer being over and cold weather peeking around the corner made me want to throw a temper tantrum. I feel like I waited till the end of JUNE to finally be able to enjoy the warm sun on my skin and summer nights beckoning me to stay out way past my bedtime. I seriously felt like Idaho was toying with my feelings, until today.
As I sat there painting the second coat onto an adorable bench I got from an auction the previous weekend, I couldn't deny how absolutely wonderful this time of year makes me feel. You know what I'm talking about. That crispness in the air. I don't know if there is anything more refreshing! I was so grateful to be able to let that feeling soak in as I got lost in my thoughts. I think it may have had an effect on the piece of furniture I was working on as well, I think it turned out very REFRESHING.
So I guess I'm okay with Fall being right around the corner. Besides, this time of year means Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Chai's will soon be steaming in one of my favorite mugs. Aaahhhh yes. And football! Don't forget football.
I think Whiskey enjoys the change in the air as well : )
This is definitely I new favorite for me. It's adorable sitting in front of our large window in the living room.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Lately, I've really been wanting to use some pink in my projects. I've also been intimidated by the thought of this. How do you paint a piece of furniture pink without it looking like an offspring of Barbie and Ken? I was afraid I wouldn't be able to escape the horror of Bubblegum Pink. Then I had an idea........
Yup. Stencil would be a great way to use a risky color that I'm just not quite comfortable going crazy with...yet! Here is how the project went....
This coffee table came from a garage sale for $10. That's right.
I love Martha Stewart. You can find a lot of her stuff at Michael's craft store.
Here's the final product. Very Rustic Chic : )
This coffee table is for sale in the Rustic Store.
If interested call 208.571.6323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I'm currently working on a coffee table I picked up from a garage sale, but today I was struck with a great idea for this wine rack I picked up from the Idaho Youth Ranch for just $7 (the original price tag said $22.95...nice). So I took a break from the coffee table to try it out.
Most people would put their favorite Merlot or Chardonnay on this beautiful wine rack....
Not this girl. I think it makes a much cuter towel rack! My bathroom needed something like this. Now, I shouldn't have to worry about my husband yelling across the house to bring him a towel because he forgot to grab one (keyword: shouldn't). Super easy and inexpensive...my favorite kind of project : )
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Hello and welcome to Rustic Living! Wow. I'm so excited to say that! I love finding ordinary furniture and turning it into something special and unique. So the opportunity to share that journey is just. plain. awesome. This blog is about living simply and enjoying the little things in life. I'm looking forward to blogging my refurnishing projects and all that comes with it, especially the learning process (like paint stripper burns when in contact with skin)! Also, I'm in the process of giving our humble abode a little makeover and can't wait to share some before and after pics. My super-awesome, smokin' hot husband and I are renting a duplex, so it's been really fun and challenging to give our place a makeover without putting much money into it.
It is amazing how a coat of paint can dramatically affect the look of a piece of furniture. Maybe you have a piece that is outdated, worn out, or just doesn’t fit your décor. If that's the case, I've included information on the paint services I offer so be sure to check that out! I also opened up the Rustic Store. It's incredibly tempting for me to keep every single project I refurnish but not only do I not have the room for all that, but my husband would probably throw a fit.....understandably so. I'll keep it updated as often as I can with rustic chic items such as dressers, chairs, coffee tables, desks, armoires, benches, and whatever else I can find to slap some paint on! So feel free to take a gander around my blog, I'm so glad you here!
Friday, September 2, 2011
When I saw these shutters at a garage sale for $20 I was so excited! I was looking for a fun project that would force me to get a little creative, and these shutters did exactly that. At first I played with the idea of a headboard, but in the middle of painting I kept thinking how they would make a great backdrop for photos. My mom then showed me an adorable white desk she got at an auction...the rest is history. I just knew the desk and shutters would go together like peanut butter and jelly!
I thought painting shutters would probably be a tedious project, with all those nooks and crannies. It definitely was. Like every project though, every minute spent is worth the end result!
I just love how this all turned out! I used clothespins to hold precious pictures, notes, scriptures, bills, etc. I added some books and fresh flowers to complete this little nook that anyone would love spending time at : )