Spring Decor and Some Pillow Talk

Remember when I said I’d started nesting already? Let’s talk about that. 

You’ve seen how I transitioned my Valentine’s mantle to spring – I switched out the romantic location posters for birds and butterflies, added easter eggs to the branches, some greenery, a bird’s nest, and a couple birds. The cappuccino candle isn’t exactly spring-y, but it smells delicious, so it stayed.

The full effect. Here’s where the nesting instinct started kicking in. Sidenote: why is there a whiteboard in front of the fireplace? Funny story. Sirius discovered a new game, called the climb-in-the-fireplace-drag-chunks-of-burn-wood-all-over-the-house game. Let’s just say, I don’t like playing. 
But you see how stark and bare that coffee table looks, with it’s lonely island of coasters and forlorn TV remotes? I decided it was time to change that. 
At the same time, I decided I’d had enough of the wimpy flat Ikea pillows we’d had on the couch. Brian had had enough too, so he put a couple of extra bedroom pillows on the couch. Not tacky at all. 
I decided it was time to get some good squishy throw pillows. I started my search at Pier 1.
Not intimidating or anything.
It totally was. So many color combinations, textures, and patterns – oh my! Suddenly I couldn’t remember what my living room looked like beyond the fact that I had a gray couch. 
I bought one pillow at Pier 1, and a tray for the coffee table. Then I went to World Market, and couldn’t make any decisions there. Finally, I saw this at Target: 

Everything started coming together. I could use navy, which is in the living room rug, coral, a nice springy accent color, and a light aqua/sea blue, which would also work with our bedroom colors. I consulted Pinterest for pins on how to arrange couch pillows, how to mix pillow patterns, etc., and then added and subtracted pillows from my cart accordingly.

So nesting. It’s real. 
Here’s what’s in the bags. A navy and white striped rug from Target – a clearance score, it looked like it’d been returned, so it was marked down. Perfect for a nautical nursery!

The nursery is still very much under construction. 
I bought this tray at Pier 1, also on sale. I love the French cottage touch it adds to the room. 

And, pillows! 
One for the bedroom – the gold, aqua, and gray ikat patterned one in the middle. This one is from Pier 1, on clearance. I love the gold and silver combination, and it adds pattern.
Many people I know don’t like having extra pillows for decor on their bed. It adds extra time to making it, and really, what’s the point? I, however, really love it. Yes, you have to take them all off and pile them on the floor every night, then put them back on in the morning. For some reason, it just makes me happy. 
Now, the living room pillows. I stuffed the “C” pillow cover above with both of the previous ikea pillow inserts. 
Couch pillows! 

I fell in love with the coral and gold pillows. They also work well in the bedroom!
I thought the big gray pillows made a nice neutral base, and the navy velvet lumbar pillow added some texture and matched the rug. 
I thought for sure the giant gray pillows would be a hit with Brian. But the day after, the couch looked like this: 

Ultimately, the gray pillows are just too big. They’re uncomfortably big. And, I didn’t realize that I already had a gray neutral base – the couch. The gray pillows just blended in.

So now, the gray pillows are piled on a little used chair, and the coral and navy pillow are still in use. Should I return the gray pillows? Can you return pillows, if you tried them out for a day, and now there’s dog hair on them?

I could always put the money toward one of these: 

 Have you ever experienced nesting? Made any recent updates for spring? Let me know in the comments!

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Before and After: Master Bedroom Makeover

My brain hurts. Pregnancy brain is a real thing. Stringing words into sentences is a chore. Thankfully, these photos speak for themselves.
Before: 

So, the view before. I took this photo right before we started painting. As you can see from the rest of the pictures, the entire master bedroom was painted dark brown. We painted it light gray – major improvement!

During: 

Greatly improved, but more than a little bare. Also, we bought a new bed when we moved, and it’s much higher than our old one. That created a problem: our nightstands were a foot lower than the bed. Plus, you can see the not-so-sightly box springs.

After: 
So much better! New nightstands – dressers from Ikea. They’re the perfect height, and have tons of storage. And, I found that headboardrug, and bed skirt that really needs more ironing, on Amazon. 

Because we got the little dressers for nightstands, we didn’t need the big one. So we swapped it for a bookshelf, and moved it to the guest room.

I painted this one wall behind the sink aqua, and then the actual bathroom the same color. 
Yeah, still a work in progress. 
This is the shower. You actually have to step down about a foot to get into it. 
And so this ends on kind of a downer. Literally. But progress has been made!
So, what do you think?

DECOR: Bedroom Before and After (So Far)

On Monday, I showed you how I made our book page headboard. Our poor neglected bedroom’s makeover is still very much in progress, but here’s a tour of how it’s coming along.

Before:

As you know,  we got rid of the white bedspread for something more practical, aka, machine washable!
Quilt: Target. Lamp on the left: Walmart. Lamp on the right: Free. 

Before:

On the sofa table under the window: a quilt, a lamp, some “spring” eggs (they’re not Easter eggs, because if they were, I should have put them away by now!), a really neat map bag that’s empty, and a bunch of pictures we havent’ hung up. 


After:

This beautiful French/botanical style box was a gift from my sister. Thanks Elissa!
I also moved my black box full of stationery to this table, kept the spring eggs, and stuffed the map bag with the quilt. 
And we hung some curtains! The sheers don’t keep light out, they diffuse it, which creates a soft ambiance I love. 

Before:

The top of our dresser was a mess: my handmade bulletin board, a painting of mine, Brian’s baseball picture frame with a family photo, and our change collecting box. 

After:

I still don’t like it. But, at least the photos are off of the table under the window, and it’s a little less cluttered.


Before:

The top of the bookshelf: a whiteboard we never wrote on, random cards, black box of stationery, a clock (also from my sister) and Brian’s diploma.

After:

I covered the whiteboard with my vision board! It’s inspiring to look at first thing in the morning. I also added the little wood box and starfish pin, two souvenirs from my trip to Oregon. I’d like to do something with that typewriter photo holder. Any ideas?
I moved my bulletin board into my closet. My side of the closet has several shelves, one of which I turned into my jewelry shelf. All of this stuff used to be on our dresser, so it used to be even more cluttered! I really like it here in the closet, the bulletin board works especially well for holding pins and necklaces.

Before:

This is Brian’s side of the bed, the wall with the door to the closet. The large picture with the tower was a wedding gift from Brian’s parents, depicting a couple outside of the Iowa State campanile, a famous romantic spot. 
And notice the fighter jet calendar. He needed to personalize the space somehow. 

After:

I found this vintage New York City poster in a shop in Cannon Beach, and knew it was perfect for Brian. He lived in NYC for two years, and has always wanted to take me back there. 
I moved the ISU print to the wall between the bookshelf and dresser, and I hung the fighter jet calendar in the closet!
Where there was once blank wall on my side, I hung this vintage French poster, which I also bought in Cannon Beach.

So it’s coming along! I’d like to unify the color scheme more, and do something different with the top of our dresser. Maybe one big piece of art? Or will that be too much with the other large prints and posters? Hm. 

Do you have any tips for decorating problematic spaces? Thanks for reading this little tour of our place!