Monica Wants It: A Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My New Aldridge Dining Table from Home Decorators Collection

You guys...guess what?! I finally quit being a sissy and finally decided to make a decision about my dining table. I went back and forth for nearly a year about which one to buy and/or make, and I just couldn't take it anymore. I mean, it's an investment, but it's not a major life decision by any means.

Restoration Hardware Dining Table

My ideal table was/is a Restoration Hardware (RH) type of pedestal/trestle table (see photo above) with a grey weathered finish and plenty of room to seat about 8 people for game nights and cocktail parties. My dream RH table was over $3,000…that is simply NOT going to happen. Ever. I’ve scoured the RH outlet for years and years hoping to score a bargain, but I am always a day late and a dollar short.

Luckily, Home Decorators Collection has the Aldridge table with the same specs for less than half the price. WAY less. I lucked out and ordered it during a Labor Day sale with 20% off, free shipping, plus an additional coupon code bringing the total to about $800 with tax and delivery instead of the usual price of $1700 with tax and delivery. WOO! I truly think this will be a table I love for many years to come, so I’m trying not to let the price get to me since it is cheaper than almost everything else I’ve seen online and in stores.

Home Decorators Aldridge Table

I haven’t found the perfect chairs just yet. I do love these beauties from Home Decorators:

Dining Chairs from Home Decorators Collection

I also love these lovelies from World Market:

Maddox chairs from World Market

And finally these luxe chairs from Overstock:

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 7.36.59 PM

So, while I don’t have the perfect chairs yet, I am hoping to have some by early October. I’m also really trying hard to keep each chair at or under $150. (Crossing fingers!) And I’m living on the edge by daring to mix and match finishes for a more curated chic kind of vibe. Once the table comes in later this month, I’ll definitely write a review and take tons of pics, but for now I hope you all will SQUEE with me that I FINALLY have a grown up dining table.

Anyone else have exciting news to share or any new furniture you’re excited about? Smooches, xoxo!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Developing an Eye for Decor Potential

When shopping at mass discount stores or thrift stores, it’s important to not only see what is there, but to see what could be there. For instance, sometimes I’ll catch myself wishing an item came in a certain color when in fact it’s usually pretty easy to DIY that myself for a few extra dollars in spray paint.

Let’s take a look at this $10 light-up question mark I bought from Target’s dorm section. I loved the ?, thought it’d be great in my blogging space (since most of my inspiration to blog comes from questions I think of or you send in), but I wasn’t digging the matte teal finish.

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY

I really wanted something gold and metallic that would look like it was purchased from ModCloth or Urban Outfitters. Using pieces of Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape (my fave!), I covered up all the little lights and spray painted it with some gold spray paint from True Value (I SWEAR it is the best gold spray paint ever!!)

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY

Two coats of spray paint and 20 minutes later, I had this GORGEOUS gold question mark begging for a spot on my wall. I have big plans for a gorgeous gallery wall near my blogging desk, and this will be part of the display. I am in love with the final result.

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY 

And it even looks great all lit up. (In the photo below you also get a sneak peek of another project for the office)

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY

This same method of thinking also works for items you think you have no use for. Now, don’t take this as an excuse to become a hoarder, but some items can be upcycled instead of tossed.

This Jack Daniel’s glass came free with some random gift set, and it was literally on its way to Goodwill when I decided to save it from dusty doom.

Revamp a glass with a nice silhouette into a catch all for jewelry or office supplies.

The super thick bottom and square-ish shape made it a perfect DIY project. I got to use my beloved Krylon Gold Leafing Pen again (I swooned all about it over on this post). I put about 3 thick coats on the bottom (I usually let it dry about 5 minutes between coats)—you should basically put enough coats that you can’t see through the bottom anymore. This photo below shows how it looks after 1 coat.

Revamp a glass with a nice silhouette into a catch all for jewelry or office supplies.

The result is that the bottom ends up sending a subtle gold glow throughout the whole glass that makes it look chic and high end. Plus, it’s the perfect little sidekick to my ribbon storage/dispenser and no one will ever know or guess it was a random glass in a Jack Daniels gift set.

Revamp a glass with a nice silhouette into a catch all for jewelry or office supplies.

So whether you’re a seasoned DIY warrior or just starting out, I challenge you to try to revamp or upcycle items in your home AND to see the potential in inexpensive decor at mass retailers. Plus, this is a really cheap way to hop on board current DIY and decor trends without spending a lot of dough.

What is your favorite item to upcycle? For me it’s definitely fun to find new ways to use glasses, vases, and frames.

Friday, August 15, 2014

DIY $3 Ribbon Storage & Dispenser

First things first…I was asked to be part of the True Value DIY Blog Squad! YAY! I’ve been sitting on that news since May, and now I’m finally announcing it. I am going to be doing about 8 posts for them between now and February, and this is my first one. I hope you enjoy the DIY tutorials, and thanks again to True Value for the honor! I love True Value hardware stores because they’re locally owned and you can find a lot of unique things that you don’t see in other hardware stores.

Now let’s talk ribbon.

What if I told you I had a way for you to store 20 spools of ribbon for about $3? You’d probably say: “I love you, Monica!” OR “Why do you have that many spools of ribbon, Monica?”

I’m fine with either of those. I’m a ribbon hoarder. I love to buy pretty ribbon on clearance and in dollar bins. Problem is I don’t really have them all organized or easily accessible.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

The majority of my ribbon is the smaller 1/8” to 1.5” kind of ribbon. While shopping at True Value, I saw a variety of Sterilite storage bins and inspiration hit. I also bought two 3/8” dowels and clothespins. My grand total was about $3 plus tax for everything.

When I got home, I cut down my dowels to about 1 foot pieces and I grabbed all of my smaller ribbon (1.5” wide or less) and clothespins.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

DIY Ribbon Storage & Dispenser (For 20 ribbon spools)

-2 Sterilite containers as seen above

-4 dowels (3/8” thickness cut to 12” pieces)

-16-20 clothespins

-20 spools of ribbon

Step 1: Stack 5 spools of ribbon together making sure they unwind in the same direction (this is where you can pick if you’re an over or under kind of person). Also, put more difficult to work with ribbon at the top spot or bottom so it’ll end up at the end with 3 holes. My hounds tooth & damask satin ribbon are hard to control, so that’s why they will be on the ends. (This will make sense in a moment)

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

If your ribbon is unruly, feel free to secure with some sewing pins.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Step 2: Thread the dowel into the 2nd hole on the side and put the spools on the dowel.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Step 3: Once all your spools are onto the dowel, use clothespins facing downward to act as spacers. This will keep your spools aligned with the hole that the ribbon will be coming out of. If you have wider ribbon, you should need 4 clothespins. If your ribbon is more narrow, add one at either end for a total of 5.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Step 4: You have 2 options for how to set-up your dispenser/ribbon storage.

You can have the ribbon loose at the ends, with the ribbon in spots 1 and 5 being a little more secure by doing an over-under-over thread.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Or, you can tuck all the ends in. I’m an option B kind of gal.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Step 5: Rotate your bin and repeat on the other side. Repeat this process on any additional bins. Stack and enjoy!

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

What I love about this craft ribbon storage solution is that it’s portable. You can take this with you to another room, to your BFF’s house, etc. Plus, if you organize by ribbon color or type, it’ll make your life easier. You could even put it on a lazy susan to make a SPINNING ribbon storage dispenser. Mind. Blown.

I put my bins in my new bookshelf, and I hung some scissors on a dowel for easy access.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

A small glass holds gift tags and twine…and very large paper clips.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to head out to your nearest True Value to pick up 3 items that can make a HUGE difference in your craft storage.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

So, tell me…am I the only one with a ribbon obsession?

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Luxe for Less: Walmart Edition

This is totally not a sponsored post—truth be told I found so much awesome stuff on Walmart recently that I was wondering if anyone else knew about the new items they have. I had sort of discounted Walmart as a legit place to find home decor because for so long it was the same old stuff. Now they’ve upped their game...probably to compete with Target. If Walmart keeps this up, it should make all of interior decorator wannabes uber happy.

So, the first thing I noticed is their awesome selection of curtains with trendy patterns. Think trellis, fretwork, suzani, damask, medallion, etc. At about $7-$18 a panel AND both 84” and 95” sizes, these curtains are a steal. (Forgive the small photos—Walmart seems to want you to squint while looking at their photos).

Here are my faves. I bought the chevron ones for my home office makeover, and I can tell you that the black/white chevron panels are extremely nice in person. It’s a good quality fabric and they hang beautifully.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.48.29 PM

Pair of chevron curtain panels, $13.97-$18.97 a pair (available in 4 colorways & 2 lengths)

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.49.09 PM

Fretwork curtain panel, $13.97/panel (available in 3 colorways & 2 lengths)

And if you get new curtains, you may also need a new rug, throw pillows, or a lamp. Here are some of my faves.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.50.21 PM

Teal quatrefoil rug, 8x10’, $89.96

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.54.28 PM

Decorative throw pillow, $8.97

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.44.07 PM

Spotlight lamp, $49.97 (in-store only)

And finally, if you lust after the Restoration Hardware furniture look and can’t afford it (totally my dilemma!), then the Crossmill collection is for you. We bought the TV stand, seen below, and it’s GORGEOUS. I am 100% thrilled with it, and you cannot beat that price. The sucker is heavy and it’s tall. Gorg, gorg!

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.55.33 PM

Crossmill TV Stand (up to 65” TVs), $248.00

In addition to my usual Overstock, Amazon, Wayfair, Joss & Main, ZGallerie, etc., I’ll definitely be checking Walmart more often. The best way to see what’s new is to look for an item to say “New” or sort by new arrivals. I have had the misfortune of thinking about an item and having it sell out, so I’ll say this—BUY IT. Walmart’s return policy is super generous and lengthy, and with free shipping there’s no harm in impulse buys every now and then.

Happy decorating! I’ll be back on Thursday with my gold desk makeover…it has metallic faux bois on it y’all. You won’t want to miss it! Smooches.

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