Bookshelf & Console Table Styling

Console table found here.

A month or so ago, I got a question from my cousin about how to style a console table in her foyer. It got me thinking that maybe the styling of console tables and shelves is deserving of its own blog post. I think that a well-styled table or bookshelf can really add to a room’s decor.

Custom framed couple portrait

I like to do groupings on either side of the table and bring in some height for balance and symmetry. For an entryway table like this one I also like to do a lamp, a candle, a small decor item, a framed personal photo, and greenery or floral stems. The lamp, candle, and framed photo add warmth while the faux greenery and decor add some personality to the area. Another must-have with an entryway console table is storage. I emptied these two woven baskets for the photo but they typically contain extra candles (because, of course), lighters, extra lightbulbs, various TV cords, etc.

I’m sure you’ve seen #shelfie on Instagram and I, for one, am here for it. Styling a bookshelf is a really simple and fun way to ease into home decor. There are so many different ways to style and organize a bookshelf. If you know me, you know I read A LOT, but I’m mostly into e-books nowadays. So, my bookshelves now look a little different than they used to, but I’m still holding on to a few law school textbooks because I’ve found they make for some great decor!

I received these ladder bookshelves as a housewarming gift from my parents when I bought my first house ten years ago and they are still going strong today. A classic shape like this doesn’t go out of style – and in fact, these exact bookshelves are still available at Crate and Barrel! I placed the pair of bookshelves on either side of an arched wall which separates my living and dining rooms. Each of the bookshelves are styled differently but contain some of the same elements in an effort to bring balance and symmetry to the space.

I always like to stack books in varying heights and directions on a bookshelf so each shelf doesn’t look so uniform. If you’re someone that has a lot of books, a fun way to organize your shelves is to sort the books by the color of their spines.

I also like to put pictures, framed photos, or small decor items on top of the stacked books. You can add height that way and also fit more decorative pieces on the shelf by utilizing the vertical space. Don’t be afraid to leave some empty space on the shelves. It’s much more pleasing to the eye to see little groupings than a crammed, disorganized shelf.

This bookshelf is on the opposite side of the arched wall. As you can see, some of the same elements are here: the dried hydrangea, law textbooks, framed photos. But the shelf is arranged slightly differently so the two bookshelves complement each other but don’t match perfectly.

One of my favorite and most treasured pieces on this shelf are my Grandpa’s old law school textbooks from the 1940s. No matter how many times I re-style these shelves (which is somewhat often!) these will always have a place.

One of the best things about console tables or bookshelves is that the possibilities for styling are endless. You can change up the items for the season, for the holidays, or just because you’re sick of what’s currently displayed! Styling shelves and tables is truly one of my favorite decor projects. Take a #shelfie and tag me @_bkhome on Instagram !!

xx, bk

May: Out & About

For this month’s “out & about” I decided to do something a little different. Instead of physically going into a store and posting about what I find inside, I decided to stick with one area of decor and source those finds in two stores that I have a design crush on: West Elm and CB2. I had wanted to go into West Elm and take some pictures, but this month flew by and I can’t believe it’s already June! This month I’m focusing on planters — big, small, indoor, outdoor — whatever you’re in the market for, I’m sourcing for you. Plus, I’m personally looking for a few outdoor planters to complete my deck remodel and I can’t wait to share the finished product with you guys!

Tabletop Planters

First, let’s take a look at some tabletop planters. Tabletop planters are a great way to bring some greenery into your home and an easy way to decorate any surface. I love small tabletop planters grouped with a framed photo for a quick, easy vignette.

Hanging or Wall Planters

A fun trend in home decor is the use of hanging or wall planters. I love a hanging planter as an alternative to a piece of art. An easy way to incorporate this into your home is in your bathroom. A small hanging or wall planter is a nice option in a small powder bathroom where a piece of artwork may be overwhelming.

Indoor Floor Planters

Floor planters are so versatile. You can use a large floor planter as a focal point in any room or you can use one to fill a corner in your home where a piece of furniture may be too bulky. I also like the idea of using baskets as planters – but make sure to have a plastic tray inside to catch the water!

Outdoor Planters

These are the planters that I’m really on the hunt for. I want to group a few outdoor planters in varying sizes in a corner of my deck and fill them with various flowers and greenery for a pretty, striking visual. I will definitely feature it on the blog once I get it done!

I know this was a little bit of a different spin on my monthly series, but I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed putting it together! Happy shopping!

xx, bk

Covered Patio Refresh

Patio set found here.

My last post about outdoor furniture really inspired me to get my own outdoor furniture out of winter storage and onto my covered patio. While I won’t be sitting outside daily for a bit since it’s not consistently warm and we currently have a THICK layer of pollen covering every square inch, this furniture is a nice reminder that summer is around the corner!

I purchased this five-piece conversation set last September during the Labor Day sales. We had just finished renovating our deck and decided to take advantage of the deals at that time since we weren’t able to really use our outdoor space the majority of last summer. We didn’t redo the concrete pad on this covered patio at all, but I still wanted to freshen up this space that connects to the deck.

The chairs have a very modern look and feel to them with the dark gray wicker and the box shape. The chairs are deeper than they look and you can sit and lounge comfortably in them. The ottomans are quite large and can double as additional seating.

This small side table that came with the set is the perfect size to go between the two chairs. I usually keep a succulent of some sort on this table for a pop of color. This particular succulent planter is faux, but once the weather warms up, I will likely make my own succulent planter like I did last year. It’s super easy to do and succulents are so low maintenance. I really liked the geometric pattern of this planter and it ended up complementing the patten on the rug nicely.

Rug found here.

Speaking of rugs, I absolutely love this rug I bought from Target. Target is really killing the outdoor furniture game this year. They have a really nice selection of neutral, modern rugs — which, as you all know, is right up my alley. I wanted to keep both the rug and the furniture somewhat neutral so as not to compete with the brightly colored hanging baskets and planters I plan to put out in the next few weeks when it warms up!

I purchased these pillows from HomeSense when I was there taking pictures for my April: Out & About blog post. I spotted one pillow as soon as I walked in the store and spent the rest of my time there trying to find another one. You never know in stores like that if there’s more than one of an item, but I was lucky to find two of the same pillow! I like how the pillow brightens up the chair without being too showy and you can never go wrong with a classic striped pattern.

This is the view from the side of my home. You can see that the area is mostly covered and is directly adjacent to the deck. We have plans to at least repaint the concrete but we haven’t gotten around to it just yet and to be honest, I’m not sure we will! I was so happy with how this little arraignment looked though, that I couldn’t wait to share it even if it’s not 100% finished.

This part of my home faces east, so it gets great light in the mornings. It’s the perfect place for a morning cup of coffee or an evening cocktail. If you have the space, I would definitely recommend multiple small seating groupings in an outdoor space. It makes it easier to entertain and is a good way to bring an indoor feel outside.

I’ll share the rest of my outdoor space soon. I still have more items to buy and flowers to plant! But for now, if it’s sunny and above 60 degrees, you can find me out here, under my covered patio, with a beverage and a good book!

xx, bk

April: Out & About

We’ve had some really beautiful Spring days in Northeast Ohio recently and it has me looking forward to spending those nice days on our remodeled deck!! I’ll do a post dedicated to our deck soon, but in the meantime, I took a trip to HomeSense to check out their selection of outdoor furniture and decor. If you haven’t heard of HomeSense, it’s a home goods and furniture store within the family of brands of TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and HomeGoods. I would put HomeSense at the top of the list both in quality and price. I’ve found that HomeSense has more furniture and rugs and less of the smaller decor items.

HomeSense had a really great selection of outdoor dining options. I’ve never seen an outdoor table with a marble inlay like the one above. It was nice to see a different option than most outdoor dining tables I’ve seen that are either entirely metal or entirely wood.

HomeSense also had a great selection of outdoor chairs. The chair above has a nice modern shape and the colors are neutral enough so as not to compete with your other outdoor decor.

This chair by Tommy Hilfiger is one of the best Serena & Lily dupes I’ve seen. It looks almost exactly like the high-end version of this chair which costs over $200! This chair at HomeSense retails for only $80. This could also work indoors as a kitchen island stool or around a dining table.

I just loved the unique design of this chair. The shape of it kind of reminded me of a Chinese food takeout container! I think it would look great as part of a small conversation set on a patio.

I was drawn to the round shape of this table and the matching rounded edges of the chair. I probably would swap the thin cushion with a thicker, more comfortable option. A good trick with outdoor cushions which don’t have ties and slide off easily, is to attach the cushions to the chairs with Velcro strips. That way you can remove the cushions for inclement weather or for storage, but once they’re on the chairs, they’re secured.

Okay. I am really living for these tropical leaf print pillows. I love my neutrals but these would add a nice pop of color to an otherwise neutral outdoor furniture palette.

HomeSense had a lot of outdoor poufs, as well. A pouf is a nice alternative to a traditional ottoman. I like poufs because they’re less “formal” than a traditional ottoman and you can mix and match the poufs with your chairs for a more curated, less matchy-matchy look. The ones I’ve shown are neutral enough to work with a variety of outdoor decor schemes.

I really liked this trio of woven planters. I probably would buy either all three or one tall and one short and keep them grouped together. Fill them with brightly colored flowers and put them in a corner of your patio or deck and I think they would add color and height to your outdoor space.

This planter is really tall in person. While unintentional, the faux succulent peeking out from behind the planter actually looks pretty good. I would fill this planter with something similar — green and tall, real or faux — for a striking visual.

The round shape of each of these planters would definitely lend a more modern touch to any outdoor space. The large, white, round planter would look pretty filled with flowers spilling over the sides. I haven’t really seen a lot of the semi-circle planters in stores. I really liked the look of them and may have to swing back and pick them up when I plant my flowers in the next few weeks!

Ginger jars are having a moment right now and this garden stool is no exception. I like using stools like this in lieu of an actual table. You could also use it as a plant stand or simply as a decorative piece.

This may be the largest citronella candle I’ve ever seen. Citronella candles are a must if you’re spending time outside and this one doubles as chic decor.

This footed hurricane was interesting to me. I’m not 100% sure it’s made for the outdoors, but I would get a couple of these with fake flame candles and put them atop a large outdoor dining table.

HomeSense had a lot of these rattan trays. I think they’re perfect for carrying snacks and drinks from your kitchen to your outside space. They’re also pretty enough that you can leave one out with a citronella candle and small potted plant — instant table decoration!

I really liked HomeSense for outdoor furniture and decor. They had a wide range of styles and at varying price points. If you’re in the market for new outdoor furniture or you want to add some new updates for this upcoming season, I would definitely recommend swinging by HomeSense!

xx, bk

Office / Guest Room Remodel

This is SUCH a refreshing sight to see !! Since we moved into our home in July 2017, this room was the most underused space in the house. It became a dumping ground for wrapping paper, random purchases, tchotchkes, and cleaning supplies. As the rest of our first floor came together, I knew it was finally time to tame this first floor bedroom.

I wanted this room to be multi-functional since we wouldn’t have someone in the guest room at all times. Since Nick works from home from time-to-time, I thought that the primary purpose of this room could be a home office. But, I also wanted this room to be the guest room since it’s the only bedroom on the first floor and so, it became an office/guest room combo. First, some “before” pictures. I must warn you – these are truly some “before” pictures. No de-cluttering, no straightening up. Yikes.

The first thing we did was paint the room. It was originally a grayish blue color, so we brightened it up with Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams, which is a pretty, neutral gray. We also sanded and painted all of the baseboards and trim in Extra White by Sherwin Williams. Another major addition was to replace the old window treatments with faux wooden blinds.

I traded in our old desk for a smaller, more modern-looking piece. What I like about this desk, is that there is a pull-out file drawer on the right side. It’s nice to have a built-in feature for this purpose to minimize other bulky storage items like a file cabinet. And before anyone asks, no that is not a TV. That’s a 32″ computer monitor. Seeing as the desk is slightly over three feet wide, the best decision was to mount it. It could definitely be used as a small TV though for anyone staying in the guest room since it pulls out and swivels. Plug in a Fire TV Stick and you’re good to go!

Desk found here.

Another great find was this task chair. I wanted a black, minimalist chair to contrast with the cream bedding and this chair fit the bill perfectly. It looks much more expensive than it was and it tucks neatly under the desk for extra room.

Chair found here.
Pencil holder found here. Vase and greenery from Target, but no longer available online.

I really wanted to keep the top of the desk as clutter-free as I could, so there’s a wireless keyboard and mouse that can be put away as needed. I placed a trio of items on the corner of the desk to personalize and warm up the area. The items are small enough that the majority of the top of the desk is open and available work space.

Bowl found here. Faux succulent from Target, not online.

I was on the hunt for a lamp that was tall enough to bring some height to the far corner of the room and that was slim enough to contribute to the minimalist, but cozy, vibe I was trying to achieve. I popped into our area’s newest home furnishings store, HomeSense, and spotted this guy almost as soon as I walked in. I paired it with a small dish for keys/rings and a faux succulent in pretty pastel colors and the nightstand was complete!

Canvas artwork here.

I was torn on what art to put on this wall. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go with the cactus print I posted about in my World Market finds post or something more abstract. I decided on this framed canvas because I didn’t want the room to have a too much of a Southwest feel, which is what I feared would happen with the cactus print. I love how the muted colors of the painting tie in with the lumbar pillow, the nightstand accents, and the rug, without matching exactly.

Rug found here.

Speaking of the rug, it was the first thing I bought for this room. I’ve always loved this Moroccan trellis rug and it comes in many color schemes. While I am a neutrals-loving girl at heart, I am not afraid of a little color to punch up a space! What I love about this rug is that the majority of the rug is a neutral cream so it can work with many decor styles, but the color print running through it makes it fun without throwing the rainbow scheme in your face.

Storage cube and bins.

This little nook is directly opposite the bed. I was originally going to use this storage cube in more of a traditional home office capacity and fill the open spaces with books, folders, etc. But, this is just another example of the multi-functionality of this room. The bins hold random office supplies and otherwise unsightly items and I placed some small decorative pieces in the open areas, making it feel like more of piece you’d find in a bedroom.

Lumbar pillow. Throw pillows from HomeGoods.

I am a big fan of mixing texture so I was happy to find this eyelash trimmed quilt. Quilts are back in a big way but the colors and patterns are so much more on trend than what you may remember from childhood. By pairing this textured quilt with the textured and fringed pillows, the bed looks warm and inviting even without a big, bulky duvet or comforter.

This is the first time we tried a buying a mattress online. There are so many companies to choose from, but we went with Tuft and Needle. The ordering process was so simple and the price was a fraction of what a mattress would cost if you purchased from an actual mattress store. It was easy to unbox and it feels comfortable. When our first guest spends the night, I’ll report back!

Links: bed, quilt, throw, mirror.

I am so, so happy with how this room turned out. I walk by it every single day since it’s right next to the staircase and it makes me so pleased to see an actual, functioning room and not just a dumping ground! I’ve tried to link as many items as I could, but if you have a question about where I purchased something, just drop me a comment!

xx, bk

March: Out & About

This month I ventured into a store I’ve actually never been inside before: Hobby Lobby. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a store super close to me or maybe it’s because I thought it was all craft stuff (which I’m decidedly NOT into), but I had just never visited Hobby Lobby. Recently, I was in Akron and decided I’d pop in and see if I could find any cute finds to share with you.

Of course I found some ceramic planters. I can’t go into a store and not check them out! I liked the simple design and shape of these and the neutral colors. A bright green plant would really pop inside these planters.

Hobby Lobby had some really great faux florals and greenery. Some of the flowers did look a little fake so I would choose carefully, but they had a lot of real-looking faux stems. I love to switch out greenery and florals in vases and other vessels with the seasons. It’s such an easy way to freshen up your home decor. I would definitely go back to Hobby Lobby when I’m in need of faux greenery.

I’m really into the simple, geometric designs lately. The footed planter would look cute with either a faux or a real succulent. I also loved the little blue and white bowls – perfect for snacks! I may have to go back and pick those up for the upcoming patio season…

One thing there was no shortage of at Hobby Lobby was framed sayings. So. Many. Quotes. I love things like this in moderation. That said, I did really like this sign. If the frame was black and not brown, or if I could have removed the print to re-frame, I probably would have bought it.

An interesting thing I noticed about Hobby Lobby is that they group design elements by theme and/or color. If you’re struggling with what to do in a space or having a hard time with “what looks good together,” it’s actually pretty helpful. Take a look at these pictures below.

You can see that the store grouped like items together for inspiration. In the first picture, they’re going for a desert, bohemian vibe. Notice the cactus print that I first saw at World Market and loved! And in the second picture, it’s an adventure, Western feel. Hobby Lobby had a lot of displays like this and I thought it was a pretty great idea to provide a starting point for thinking about decor. Now, I wouldn’t go and buy every single thing in the display, but it’s good to have an idea of decor items which complement each other.

Hobby Lobby had a small, but intriguing, selection of plug-in pendant lights. I loved the raw look of this wooden sculptural pendant. So many pendant lights are industrial looking and this was an unexpected find.

Again, with the geometric patterns! A pouf is a great alternative to an ottoman if you’re tight on space or if you want to add a more modern, playful touch. Ottomans can be a little stodgy, so pouf is nice option. I also liked the larger, flatter pouf underneath. It’s definitely more of a cushion so I wouldn’t use it like an ottoman, but it would be great to toss on the floor in a kid’s room to use when lounging around.

Anyone that has ever been to my old house will recognize this print! I had it hanging in my kitchen forever. Don’t worry, this cutie is alive and well at my new house, but I haven’t found a place for him just yet. I was so surprised to see this print at Hobby Lobby, mainly because I got it YEARS ago. But, I guess that proves that good things never really go out of style! Ha!

Overall, I would say that the decor available at Hobby Lobby isn’t really my personal style. I tend to lean more modern and less farmhouse. If farmhouse is your decorating style, this store is right up your alley! While I didn’t buy anything this time around, I will definitely go back again.

xx, bk

Powder Bath Remodel

Ahhh this is such a refreshing sight to see. It’s been a long time coming! We finally completed our powder bath remodel this past week. We did a few cosmetic updates soon after we moved in, but with hosting my book club on the horizon, we buckled down and got it done. As with everything in a 1941 home, things were always harder than they initially seemed.

First, some “before” photos. The first photo is what the bathroom looked like when we purchased the house. Shortly after we moved in, we replaced the toilet (a 1941 original!!) with a brand new Kohler toilet. We also painted the bathroom a soft, greenish-gray color (Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams).

The biggest change was the flooring. The flooring was a dingy, off-white linoleum. It never looked bright and clean no matter how often or how long I scrubbed it. When we pulled off the linoleum, we got a nice surprise: a whole floor of original pink tile! Instead of pulling up the tile, we decided to just put our new flooring on top of it. While it may look like expensive marble tile, it is actually vinyl tile. The pieces come individually and are then grouted, just like ceramic tile. It’s the same look but for a fraction of the price. We went with the hexagonal white marble vinyl tile and a medium gray grout. Along with the flooring, we replaced all of the old trim. The old trim was small, maybe 2.5 inches high and we replaced it with a more modern looking 5 inch piece.

Tile found here.

We kept the existing medicine cabinet and the cabinet above the toilet, but that was the extent of what we kept in this powder bathroom. I knew I wanted brushed brass hardware, so I replaced the existing chrome hardware with these modern brushed brass pulls.

Cabinet hardware here.

One of my favorite things we did in this bathroom is installing a new faucet. I love the brushed brass and the shape of the handles. I mimicked their shape with the shape of the hardware I chose for the cabinets. Another favorite of mine in this bathroom is the trashcan. Is that weird? Yes, yes it is. But, I really wanted a brushed gold trashcan to tie in with the rest of the bathroom.

Soap dispenser found here.

We also purchased and installed a new pedestal sink. The old sink was, for lack of a better phrase, a hot mess. It was attached to the wall with a THICK layer of caulk and the faucet continually leaked. We selected a smaller sink to free up more space and we also replaced all of the plumbing. Plus, this sink was a STEAL at $60. A similar sink could easily cost $200 or more.

It pained me a little to do this, but we painted the original oak door. We have beautiful original doors in our house and most are still in great shape. However, this bathroom door was definitely showing signs of wear and tear from soap, water, and who knows what else. So, we sanded the door and painted both sides using three coats of Extra White by Sherwin Williams. It immediately brightened up the space and made the small powder room look airy even with the door closed.

Another goal in remodeling this bathroom was to introduce greater functionality into the space. Previously, the toilet paper holder was located to the side and kind of behind the toilet. It made for an awkward reach. We relocated it to side wall underneath the window. We also replaced the long towel bar with a simple ring holder. I didn’t see the point in having a long towel bar for a single hand towel.

Finally, the light. I’m in love with this simple, modern globed sconce. I originally selected something different for the lighting, but when we removed the old, frosted glass light, we discovered that the light I purchased hung down a little too low and wouldn’t work with the cabinet. We had three options: take off the cabinet and move it down, rearrange the electrical, or order a new light. We took the easiest road and I found this light. Truth be told, I like this new light much better anyways.

I’m so happy with how the final product turned out. As always, I have to give a shoutout to my super handy husband. He did everything in this bathroom himself. From the flooring, to the trim, electrical, and plumbing, he did it all. Every. Single. Thing. I’m so lucky that he has the talent to execute my vision perfectly!!

xx, bk