Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Styling a coffee table

Well, I spent the better part of my weekend surfing the net and getting sooooo inspired. I'm beyond excited because of all the ideas I'm getting on styling my new coffee table. See, I think some people tend to overlook the importance of the coffee table, but it is important because once people sit down to relax on the couch, the coffee table is usually the very next thing that's noticed in the room.
Coffee table styling
I'm also learning that styling my coffee table is just as challenging as decorating anything else in my house. At first, I thought it would be like a walk in the park, but I'm realizing that the right placement can make or break a room. I'm also reminding myself that just like the rest of my apartment, I'll need to take my time because I want to have the right accessories.
Coffee Table decor
And speaking of accessories, in searching that perfect arrangement, how do you decide just which objects to place on the table? What works and what doesn't? Thankfully, with so much inspiration to help me, I think I've got a much better idea of what I'm going to do. For starters, since I am an avid reader, I love the idea of displaying books. Books aren't just for reading, but they can act as art, objects, and décor. Besides, anytime I can show off my growing book collection, I'm a happy camper.

...And adding nature into the mix by including fresh cut flowers or a plant breathes life into the room. You can't possibly go wrong there.

How to decorate a coffee table

A candy dish or a small plate of cookies is an awesome idea, too. I think guests dropping by will appreciate little treats that they can nibble on during a good conversation or a movie.
Coffee table #styling #decor
I am soooo loving the art of topping a book off with a magnifying glass... and not just any magnifying glass, but one that's chic and perhaps a bit unique. It makes the arrangement so much more stylish.

another thing i love to do is rearrange my coffee tables in the house!

I mean c'mon... how cool is that?
Magnifying glass. Candle. Books
Although I'm still debating on whether or not I'm going to do this or not, you can't possibly go wrong with something quirky. The right piece can be a great conversation starter and it's also a way to bring more of your personality into your space. Remember, personal touches are key to piling on the charm.


Anyway, at my place, so far I only have my table and the empty tray, but my plan is to have it filled with nice finds... hopefully by the end of the week.

Colette Conway’s Lincoln Park Apartment Tour // living room // coffee table // styling // tray // coffee table books // gold pig // small space // decorating on a budget // #decor // #eclectic // Photography by Coach House Pictures

 Enjoy the rest of your day.

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Chic Table

You know, you don't have to go broke trying to recreate a high-end look on a budget. I'm currently in the process of making my living room ooze elegance, but I want to take my time and make sure that I'm madly in love with what I buy. My goal is to fill my rooms with things that I find over time and love, instead of rushing purchases to complete a space.

In one of the past issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Danielle Colding, who was the winner of season 7 of HGTV Design Star, gave a great decorating tip. She said, "Ground a space in classic, timeless pieces and then go wild with fun accents that reflect who you are."

With that said, I found this little bench at TJ Maxx and I knew without a doubt, that it was coming home with me.

Right away, I knew I wanted to use it as a coffee table in my living room. It was affordable at $59.99 and the small size was perfect since I have such a limited amount of space.

Originally, my plan was to do without a coffee table because it was too much of a challenge to try to squeeze one in such a tight space. When I measured from the couch to the island, it was only 44 inches. That's not even four feet. An average sized coffee table would have just over-powered the area... oh and forget about room to walk around. It simply wouldn't have worked.

... But what do you know, it's almost like this little bench was made for this spot... and look, there's even room to walk around it. Also an extra bonus is that when we have company, the coffee table can do double duty and be used for additional seating. I'm really pleased with this purchase and I feel like I made a very wise choice.

I also like that the black and white colors in the cushion of the bench go well with the black and white colors in the throw pillows. Everything is in sync.

... And I just love the elegance of the table. The sophisticated way the table legs curve along with the iron beaded detail. I just love it!

Now for purchase number two. Okay, I'm always hunting through decorating magazines and watching HGTV and I'm constantly seeing designers using trays on tables. I love that look and I think it oozes elegance. So, I went to Pier One to see if I could find something chic. They had so many to choose from. Of course I wasn't entirely sure what I was looking for, but I felt like I would know it when I saw it.

Okay, so in keeping with the green accents that I've been using, I found a tray that I simply had to have it. Can you see it? It's the rectangular one, on the second shelf from the top.

I liked the round trays, too, but I'm more of a streamlined kind of gal. Not to mention, those handles had me at 'hello.' They make the tray even more sophisticated.

Sorry the price tag is blurry, but just so you'll know, it was $24.99. I could have easily gone to a different store and found a tray for less, but there's a certain look that I was going for and I figured that I couldn't go wrong at Pier One. Next to Home Goods, Pier One is my second favorite store.

Soon, I'll post how my two purchases work together. Will they harmonize or be totally off key? I can't wait to see. Until then...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Home sweet home?

My husband knew how much I loved the Oprah show, (this was before it ended, by the way), so a couple of years ago, he surprised me with a subscription to the Oprah magazine. Just recently, I asked him not to renew my subscription for a third year mainly because I just never got around to reading most of them. They're all stacked up on the bottom shelf in the living room (along with a few others).

It didn't start out that way, though. In the beginning, I was always excited when a new magazine arrived in the mail and I would start reading it right then as I was walking from the mailbox. Somewhere along the line my interests changed... somewhat and I just start reading books every day instead, which I also have a ton of. I love mysteries, but I'll read just about anything if it's a good story. Anyway, I've been making myself look through at least one magazine every week.. okay maybe every two weeks. My point is, I was finally reading one of the more recent issues and it turns out that Oprah is redecorating her home, too... see below.

Oprah Winfrey's New Home Photos

"I knew my house was impressive," the talk show host writes in the March issue of O magazine. "I mean, just about every guest I ever invited for dinner told me so as they perched on the edge of the opulent sofa, trying not to get fingerprints on anything. I owned a stately home and I poured my heart and soul into making it perfect. The gilded mirrors, marble urns, the lavish carpets and sherbet palette – it was all very grand, but it wasn't very true to myself …," she wrote. "Maya Angelou once told me you can become either an old female or a wise woman. All I can tell you is that I'm evolving, my taste is, too, and someday soon this room will represent the person I've become."

Okay, I know... I know... we're talking about Oprah here, so remodeling is a piece of cake for her. With a simple phone call and her check book, she can summon a handful of contractors and designate a different interior designer for each floor of her house...LoL. Yeah, my story, (along with my small budget), is a little different, but she shared some information that surprised me. She said that her home never really felt like 'home' to her. When her home was being decorated, she did what she thought people would expect a woman of wealth to do and decorated accordingly.

She also mentioned that someone told her that, 'where you live should reflect who you really are.' I soooo agree with that and that's actually what I'm in the process of doing. I may not have Oprah's millions in my bank account, but I'm going to take my time and truly make my house a home. I've found some really great pictures of home decor at it's finest that really inspire me.

For instance, I would like for my home to have at least one eye catching piece like the picture below. I am so in love with the chandelier below and those chairs are rocking.
Space Sophistication
I also want people to feel welcomed from the time they first step through the door.
everything LEB
...until it's time to leave.
I want my home to be chic but cozy...
So cozy looking!
 Have loads of personality...
Gettin' busy.
 I want it to be elegant and comfortable...

... where people can curl up with a book.
Have a good day!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Romanesque cauliflower anyone?

I love going out to dinner. It means that at least for one meal, I don't have to cook or clean up afterwards. I'm sure a lot of you out there can relate...lol. Well this morning, my husband told me that he was taking me out to dinner tonight... my pick... it could be any place I wanted to go. My first thought was, who are you and what have you done with my husband? My second thought was... really? I mean, it's not like I hear those words often, but right away one place in particular came to mind. For about a year now, I pass by this restaurant that I've never been to before, but I always think... now that looks like a quaint little spot to eat. Believe it or not, I kept saying over and over again that one of these days, I'm going to check it out. For whatever reason, I just never got around to it. Well, it's called Tapenade Bistro and tonight was the night that my husband and I finally walked through the doors.

Okay, I was right about one thing, it was a cozy, intimate setting with only 13 tables in all.... yeah, I counted. I couldn't help myself, it was just sooo cute. Now, it was a little pricey and the menu choices were different than most restaurants which was a pleasant surprise. As usual, they started us off with bread. I didn't even think to take a picture because it was only two pieces and we were both really hungry so it disappeared pretty fast. Then I had a Caesar salad.

My husband and I both ordered the Harvest Pork. It's two center cut pork chops seared and finished with an apricot, cranberry and brandy sauce. You guessed it, I copied that directly from the menu which got a weird look from my husband. The pork chops were very good, but here's where dinner got... interesting.

The side dish next to the pork chops, is vegetables. Yeah, I was surprised, too and I don't mind saying that it actually freaked me out a little. I mean, I've never noticed anything like that at at my local grocer before. Anyway, it's called Romanesque cauliflower. Okay, Wikipedia, you're going to have to help me out here:

Romanesco, also known as Romanesque cauliflower or Romanesco broccoli, is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy, it is light green in color. Romanesco has a striking appearance because its form is a natural approximation of a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, as a vegetable its texture is far more crunchy, and its is flavour is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty.

Now folks, brace yourselves for a close up.

It reminds me of something I'd stick in an aquarium so the fish would feel more at home. At least it was chartreuse green...lol. Now for the record, I should probably add that it actually tasted a lot like broccoli and cauliflower which I love. To me, there wasn't a whole lot of difference in the taste.

Now tell me, do you think you'd be brave enough to try this?

Friday, September 20, 2013


I've just learned a new word and it's French... chartreuse. No kidding, I've never heard this word before in my life until three days ago. I think it's pretty cool since I've been using pops of this color in my apartment all this time. You know how people say mauve instead of lilac, or salmon instead of pinkish orange or indigo which is a color between blue and violet. Well now I can say chartreuse instead of light green. I just love it.

Chartreuse (traditional) (Chartreuse Yellow) (#DFFF00)
Chartreuse (web) (Chartreuse Green) (#7FFF00)

Chartreuse is a color halfway between yellow and green that was named because of its resemblance to the green color of one of the French liqueurs called green chartreuse, introduced in 1764.

I have to say, I am a little confused. In the pictures that I've found on the web, sometimes the color chartreuse is more green, like the picture below.

...And sometimes it's more yellow.

Personally, I like both colors.

But the picture below is the chartreuse green that I'll be bringing into my home... nice, huh?

I just love that chalkboard above the bed.

Anyway, whatever your preference, I hope you enjoyed the pictures and have a great weekend.

Eclectic Bedroom Design on Teal  Chartreuse  Grey

Until next time.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I really love the store Home Goods. It's one of my favorite places to shop for my humble abode. I'm always looking for things that pique my curiosity because I want my house to have personality. Honestly, I can window shop in there for at least 2 hours, just getting ideas and adding on to my wish list.

Well, there I was... yet again... in Home Goods with my daughter the other day and I saw some little chalkboards for only $12.99. They were framed in white, red and green. I snatched the green one right away, because I just knew that it would be a great fit in my kitchen.

While I was waiting my turn in line, I noticed the stand on the back of the frame was coming apart. When it was my turn, I showed the cashier how it was hanging loose and wasn't attached properly. She called the manager over who then knocked the price down to $10.00. Even if she hadn't lowered the price, I would have still taken it home with me. As long as it can be propped up against the wall... it's all good. But I absolutely love a bargain, so I was beyond thrilled. Here it is in my kitchen.

See how this green really brightens up the counter space? I just love it. Pops of color can really make a room come alive. I propped it up smack in front of the outlet covers to block it. My plan is to eventually add candy apple green touches throughout my space... maybe with a throw, rug or pillow.

Here's a close up, since you really can't tell what it says from a distance. Not bad for $10.00 bucks, huh? I'm going to have a lot of fun with this, too. I can jot down my grocery list, the menu for the day, leave a message for my husband or just come up with whatever meaningless drawings or letters my little heart desires. See, I am sooo not high maintenance. I'm constantly telling my husband he should be very grateful for this wonderful quality in me. The least little things put a smile on my face.

Anyway, when I went back to Home Goods, they'd already sold out of all of their chalkboards. I was going to pick up the one trimmed in red for my laundry room. Oh well. By the way, I picked up some chalk at Target, but they also sell chalk at Walmart, AC Moore and Michael's, too.


Well, I have no idea if anyone ever reads this blog. Every day, I come across a ton of other blogs that put my little blog to shame...lol. I do enjoy blogging and it's a good way to keep track of my progress. Sometimes I go back to the first post and it's interesting to see how far I've come even though I still have a long way to go.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Shelf dilemma

Hello again, I went to Target the other day and priced some shelves. I found a 5 shelf book case unit for only $32.99. I couldn't believe it. I was originally going to buy a better looking shelf for $129.99, (also at Target), but with money always being an issue, I decided there was no way I was passing up a bargain.

Of course it wasn't anywhere near as nice as some of the other ones that were more than triple the price, but hey I didn't have to have fancy. I just needed to get all the books and stuff that I have off the floor.

Now, I will say that the backing on my bookshelf is flimsy and doesn't look at all like the backing in the picture on the box. This is what it looked like once my husband put it together. See what I mean about the back of it. The trifold wrinkles in it are just soooooo obvious.

It's okay though, I can definitely work with it and once the shelves are filled, noone will ever notice it anyway. Okay, so I'm one of those people that are constantly moving things around on the shelves this way and that until I can find just the right placement for everything. As a matter of fact, when I was in the process of figuring the placement out, my husband walked by me shaking his head more than a few times. What he doesn't understand is... This Takes Time! You can't just throw it all on the shelf within 10 minutes and call it a day. There is an art to placing items on the shelf and believe me, I put a lot of time and effort into finding just the right look for each of these shelves. In my opinion, it shows.

Don't mind that pile of stuff beside the shelf. It's mostly my dvd's and cd's. Yeah, sadly my collection is that small, but I'm working on it. For the time being, that will be their temporary home, at least until I get my media center. Hopefully that's coming soon, maybe even within the next month or two. So, here's another picture of the shelf.

I'm still working on it, though. Pretty soon, I plan to stash the magazines on the bottom shelf in pretty baskets. That will give that lower shelf a more organized and neater look.