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DIY Floral Wall Installation

I have been struggling to find a permanent decorative solution for our long hallway for as long as we lived here. Most of the past two years, it’s been a giant beige blank slate. Last summer, I got a little nutty and turned some left over moving supplies into art and then for the holidays I strung up a DIY light strand tree, but I’ve been craving something better. Something bold. And something really awesome.

So, I got way into the spirit of spring and loaded up our hallway with flowers!

DIY Floral Wall InstallationIf you follow me on instagram, you might have even seen a couple of hints:

DIY Floral Wall InstallationI used 16 of these beaker glass tube wall vases from CB2 and a variety of different flowers from Hobby Lobby to create this fun and easy DIY Floral Wall Installation.

The part of this project that took the longest was picking out the blooms! I strolled the floral aisles for a good 40 minutes to find a really good mix of interesting colors and shapes. You can see I didn’t just limit myself to flowers. There are a few weird items like lavender and spiky little reed-like things. But together as a whole, it turned into a big wall of fun.

DIY Floral Wall InstallationAs for the actual how-to, I just measured out the length of wall I wanted to use and divided that by the number of test tubes I had (16) to get my spacing. I decided to hang them at varying heights to accommodate for larger blooms and to take up more vertical space in the hallway. After the measuring, I used small nails to hang the tubes, trimmed the stems and extra leaves from my faux flowers and fiddled around to find a nice, balanced arrangement. It took one hour tops.

DIY Floral Wall Installation

And it’s such a happy project! I love walking through the hallway now. Plus, I figured when the seasons change, it’ll be fun to swap out these bright flowers for  fall foliage or more traditional holiday blooms. It’s completely versatile, which is exactly what a gal like me wants!

How have you spruced up a hallway in your home? Working on any floral projects lately? Share below!

our home | 2014 video tour

Happy Monday gang! It’s been a while since we’ve done a video tour of our apartment, 816, so I thought today I’d show you around.  It’s been (mostly) decided that Josh and I will stay in Dallas for at least one more school year which means one more year in this apartment. It’ll make 816 our longest lived residence, so far. With the decorating restrictions that come with apartment living, I thought a third year would drive me nuts. “What the heck should I do now?” But I’ve made an attack plan for the remainder of our time here to keep things fresh including our minimalist-lite series and updating a lot of our college-day purchases (like the dining table we just replaced!) There’s still plenty to be done!

So, here’s our apartment as it looked this January 2014.

And in case your wondering, here’s what’s on the agenda for the rest of our time here:

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our home | the first real dining table

Well, let me just say 2014 is already shaping up to be an awesome year! And that’s because last week, on January 1st, Josh and I purchased our very first real dining table!

I say “real” because, our previous table was a folding card table that my mom purchased for us when we moved into our very first apartment… in 2009. Yes, we’ve eaten dinner at a table with collapsible legs for basically five years! Don’t get me wrong, back then we were psyched just to have something to eat off besides the floor or TV trays, but still, that table’s days have been numbered for a loooooong time.

So anyways, let me introduce our newest family member furniture purchase.parker mid-century dining table from west elmAhh! Isn’t it friggin’ gorgeous! Seriously, I can’t walk by it without swooning. We ended up going with the Parker Mid-Century Round Table from West Elm and I am so in love! I had seen it online beforehand and knew it would be wonderful, but Josh is much more of a “gotta see it in person” type of guy so we traveled to our local West Elm on New Year’s day to check it out.

parker mid-century dining table from west elmWe probably spent a solid two hours in-store looking at different options before deciding for sure on this one. That’s definitely something about us. It takes us forever to make big purchase decisions. Especially in stores. Being broke college students for so long has taken it’s toll and we have a hard time actually letting go of the money and making the purchase. But, the long decision-making time always pays off in the end. We really think through all the options and when we decide on a purchase, we’re left with nothing but certainty! parker mid-century dining table from west elmYou probably also want to know about the chairs, right? Because they are new too! I really really wanted something upholstered; something softer I could sit on first thing in the morning. BUT, we also kind of loved how our old chairs (these from Target) paired up with our mid-century table. Well, I was on the look out for chairs when I went to Target for a few essentials and stumbled upon these babies. They were both modern and upholstered!!! Win win! At $35.00 a pop, they’re pretty cheap for dining chairs and the metal frame is actually sturdier than our previous ones. I decided on two blue and two gray to keep it funky-fresh (or just fresh) and the whole thing just makes me giddy. In case you were wondering, they are from the Room Essentials line, but I couldn’t find them on the Target website. (They were sort of with the ‘rotating home decor’ stuff. If you’re a Target groupie, you totally know what I’m talking about!)parker mid-century dining table from west elmSo, while I have my focus on something other than the sexiest table in existence, let’s run the numbers, shall we?

  • Our table rang in at about $540.00 with tax and everything. We took it home from the store and assembled it on our own: no delivery charge.
  • Four new upholstered chairs from Target came out to about $150. Again, we took them straight from the store to our apartment, so no additional charges.
  • Total was about $690.00

Yes, I mean $690.00 is definitely not a small chunk of change, but we’ve been planning on upgrading our dining table FOR YEARS so it we knew it was coming. Plus, we intentionally bought everything with the intention of keeping them for a long time. As full-blown adults, it’s time to stop buying stuff that’s not made to last.

And, with the new table and everything, I’ve also been planning a little dining room revamp to make the rest of the space live up to the awesome-ness of the new furniture. Here is what’s currently floating around in my head for potential projects:

  • Take down brown floating shelves and repair wall
  • Get rid of most stemware (We never use it!)
  • Buy longer shelves to store plates, glasses, liquor, bar ware, etc? Floating or not?
  • Get watercolor art framed
  • Create a small collection of frames on long wall
  • Sew some new custom napkins
  • Get 2 more place mats
  • Get rid of counter extension bar cart?

I’m still totally in love with our embroidery hoop mobiles, so those are staying, but I do really want to add some color variety in here. We tend to naturally gravitate to that pool blue (see the two new chairs, napkins, art, mobiles). I want to create more of that “mis-matched but totally cohesive” vibe.

 I know it’s only the 9th, but how’s your 2014 shaping up so far? Any new furniture purchases or room revamps on the horizon? Share below!

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The DIY Dreamer

create a command center anywhere!

I think entryway organization is the key to less hectic mornings. If you can know, without a doubt, that the everyday things you need are right by the door, you can save the scrambling and just stroll out. That being said, we apartment dwellers, usually don’t get a defined entry space to create a command center. In fact, in the three apartments I’ve lived in, you open the front door and you’re right in the living room. So, for a long time, it’s been a struggle to actually define and organize a command center. But finally we’ve tackled it. With the help of our super cool multi-level IKEA IVAR bookcase, we’ve made ourselves a mighty fine command center for not a lot of dough.

diy-command-center-organization-promoFirst, we defined the functions of the space. What did we need to organize? It came down to mail (incoming and outgoing), organizing actions items like bills and events to add to our shared calendar, and a place to stow the everyday essentials we can’t leave the house without (keys, wallets, sunglasses, etc.)

The last time we were at IKEA, we decided to swing by the Container Store to look for solutions that wouldn’t be super expensive. I know you’re probably shouting that The Container Store isn’t necessarily known for it’s outstanding value, but if you’re looking for organizing ideas that’s definitely the place to go.

diy-command-center-organization-4We ended up purchasing this Magnetic Bulletin Board Strip by Umbra! At about $17.00 it was pretty inexpensive and the size was perfect for filling the space underneath our clock. Here we pin up return receipts, pending bills, and other action items. Positioning them right by the door, means we see them several times a day and it’s harder to miss deadlines. Plus, the smaller board makes us prioritize the space. Once the board starts getting kind of crowded, it’s time to take a few minutes and go through everything up there. What can be done right now and removed?

diy-command-center-organization-9 Since our cute little bulletin board is also magnetic, we purchased a tiny magnetic ‘cup’ to put extra thumbtacks and a note pad in case we need to leave notes to each other.

diy-command-center-organization-10Two thumb tacks placed near the bottom serve as inconspicuous key hooks.

diy-command-center-organization-7We also snagged this green Stockholm Letter Sorter. It was even on sale for about 40% off so we paid $6.00 instead of $10.00. We use this to store envelopes, stamps, and our checkbooks for bills. In the back compartment, I keep any birthday/holiday cards that are waiting to go out. This way, it’s easy to grab them on the way to the mail box and they’re more likely to go out on time!


I also found this tiny square wooden tray at a thrift shop for $0.50! It’s the perfect size to wrangle our sunglasses and Josh’s wallet. Right now, it kind of blends into the bookcase, but I’d like to do a little paint makeover soon to help it pop.

And with that, we created our very own command center from thin air for less than $25.00! It sits on our bookcase right beside the door making it easy access for those early early mornings.

How do you organize your entryway? Do you have a command center of sorts? Any tips from other apartment dwellers out there? Share below!