That Special Something

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  June 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

My home has really started to come into its own over the past year. It feels like everything is filling out and settling in and the effect is really delightful. There’s still work to be done, for sure, but as things come together I’m trying to stop and look around and take stock of what works and what doesn’t. One thing I’ve noticed is that nearly every room has at least one special thing–an element that’s a little odd and unexpected and seems to speak directly to my heart.

In the bedroom, it’s the birdcage. I feel like I’m struggling with this room overall (more on that later this week maybe), but this corner is perfection.

birdcage

The item I get the most comments on when people visit in person is the book page wreath in our living room. I made it before I started my blog so sadly I cannot link to a tutorial for how I made mine, but I was inspired by this. And in case you’re a bibliophile whose heart is breaking at the thought of book destruction, perhaps it will bring you some comfort to know that it was constructed entirely from airport paperbacks. No classic literature was destroyed in the making of this wreath. Most of it is a Nicholas Sparks novel.

book page wreath

If I were buying it today, I might be too scared to pick chartreuse for an investment item like a stand mixer. But when I was pooling all the Target gift cards we got from our wedding to put towards one it didn’t seem like such a bad idea. I’m glad I went for it, because four years later I’m still happy (and if I do get tired of it someday I can try painting it with epoxy).

chartreuse mixer

I first spotted this peacock in my friend Cassie’s apartment years ago and I wanted it instantly. When she was ready to say goodbye he came to live with me! It’s a fun touch for a very classic-looking fireplace.

peacock

The mannequin leg is another one I’ve had for a long time, but it didn’t reach its full potential until I filled it with flowers I’d made from book pages and wire (more literary destruction! I like reading, I promise!). I bought the leg from ebay when I was still in college after I’d seen a leg lamp (a la A Christmas Story) in a friend’s apartment and decided I had to have one. I never made the lamp, but the leg is fun all on its own.

leg vase

Even though it’s an architectural element and not something I brought in, the original-to-the-house fireplace is maybe my favorite part of the nursery. It’s just so unexpected and, in my opinion, endlessly charming. It’s inoperable so the summer cover stays on year round.

fireplace

And the most recent addition to my list of true loves is this skirted counter in the laundry room. For three and a half years that corner was the ugliest spot in our house, and now it’s quite possibly the most charming. I’m planning on adding more plants and other pretties in the coming months.

skirted counter

The thing about each of these elements is that none (except for the mixer) were pricey “investment” pieces. In fact, I paid very little out of pocket for each of them! I used gift cards for the mixer, built the wood counter myself and skirted it with fabric I found on sale, made the book page wreath from materials I already had. The mannequin leg was an ebay find and the peacock and bird cage were gifts (thought I think both came to the gift-givers secondhand, and in the case of the birdcage my mother-in-law found it at a thrift store). My point is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money at Anthropologie or wherever to find fun, unique decor that speaks to you. You just have to be patient and open your mind to new ideas!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Ours went by way too fast but was oh so wonderful. Back to real life!

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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