It wouldn’t be the holiday season without another Anthropologie dupe! I did a dupe this year on the Frosted Bottle Brush Tree Candle. This honestly was super easy, with endless options to customize and create your own. Originally these candles are priced anywhere from $68 – $16, these candles I duped were about $14 each or less.
The candles I found were at Home Good’s and Marshall’s by a brand called Sand + Fog, they were $7.99 each but came with painted lids with holiday prints. I also made sure to find holiday scents since I’m gifting them for Christmas gifts! Luckily, I had a decent amount of mini bottle brush trees from previous years, so I only had to buy a few new to create this craft.
Step-by-Step: 1. If your candle lids have a print on them, paint them white or color of your choice. You may need a few layers depending on the design. If you have a plain wooden top, skip to the next step! 2. Remove the base on your bottle brush trees, and trim off the excess wire with pliers. You’ll want the bottom of your tree as flat as possible. 3. If your bottle brush trees are all the same height, you can take pliers and cut a section off the bottom in order to have different heights. 4. Before gluing in place, play around with the heights and amount of trees you fit on the lid — I fit 3-4 trees depending on the size. 5. Once you have your placement figured out, generously apply hot glue to the center base of your trees and put into place – if your trees are taller, you may need to hold the tree in place.
So Many Brush Bottle Trees, So Little Time. As I mentioned, this can be tailored to your design and style and truly make it your own. I love a little more retro flair with my Christmas decor, so I found these cute retro bulbs and gold trees to mix into a few of my candle tops. On some of the plain green trees, I even added more white paint to make them look like snow-covered — you can also play around with spray painting the trees to whatever color you want. Finally, I do think adding in various heights can help add depth to the candle top, unless all the trees are different like the gold, silver, and white trio at the very top (which is one of my favorite ones!)
What do you think? My anthro dupe is definitely a different vibe than the inspiration, but replicating the originals would’ve been pretty easy to do by sourcing different bottle brush trees. It would be really fun to grab an extra-large candle to create a little bottle brush forest on top!
Oversized nutcrackers are definitely all the rage this holiday season if you follow any home DIYers on the gram. I’ve always loved nutcrackers since I was a little girl, and pulling out our nutcrackers each year to decorate was always something I looked forward to doing with my mom. So when I saw these little 2-packs of plain wooden nutcrackers in the Dollar Spot at Target over the fall, I snatched them up and brainstormed fun, easy, and affordable DIY, napkin rings!
The best part of this project is that it maybe cost me $17 to make — if you’re starting from scratch estimated $34 which comes to a little over $4 per table setting, as this makes enough napkin rings for 8 place settings. Which is well under the non-sale price of these similar Crate & Barrel nutrcracker napkin rings that start at $6.95 each.
I had old shower curtains that I utilized and then only ended up buying the blush chalk paint, utilizing other spray paint and colors I had, that would fit into my Christmas decor color scheme.
Once you have everything from there, this DIY project can be pretty simple. You can paint your nutcrackers all the same color, get more intricate and paint faces and detail out their outfits, or you can do a color scheme like I did mixing in your holiday colors. Mine are green, blush, and gold! One thing to make sure you do is to paint the bottoms of your nutcrackers, as that will definitely be a focal point to guests at the table.
Once all your rings and nutcrackers are painted, you’ll want to glue your rings to the back, bottom of the nutcrackers. I utilized hot glue, but recommend E6000 for a better hold that is a bit more durable. Wah-la!
Now you’re hosting holiday ready! The best part about this project is that you can always repaint these in a few years to mix up or adapt to your changing holiday decor and style. I also like these, because they’re smaller to store in your decor.
It’s been 8-years since we purchased our home, and last fall we finished the next stage of our basement makeover which has been in progress since 2018. I can’t believe I haven’t shared it, because this really just ties a bow on this ongoing project – it’s also a space that when we purchased our house I had 0 intentions for our basement and for it to merely serve as a basement for storage and other basement things. I hope this post also serves as a reminder that in a world of Before & Afters in mere seconds through an Instagram reel, that house projects can take time and also evolve… and that’s OK!
Here is a quick timeline of our basement projects; – 2018: Waterproof & create initial living space + $60 shiplap wall – 2019: Remodel basement bathroom – 2021: Build drywall, add french doors, and built-in bar
I will totally admit, that this third phase of our basement makeover was initiated by B (in the midst of our kitchen being ripped apart no less!). He was itching to build an actual wall — I was having a tough time trying to invision the best configuration AND I felt how we had it worked out fine… well once I spent some time to give B the wall configuration and it started coming to life, I was instantly in love! Our compromise for the project (B wanting to do drywall, me not as into it) was if we could add a built in bar as well along the new wall. I showed B the vision, and we both had a game plan to work through phase 3.
In addition to building a wall to replace the make shift drop cloth wall, we also built around our furnace to consolidate our storage and other equipment from the main area in our basement and added a bi-fold door! This was part of my hold up, since I wanted it to be more than just a wall to seperate the rooms, but more encompassing of a few other things for our basement space.
What We Did
In addition to building a real wall in place of our make shift drop cloth wall, we also worked to enclose the storage area and the furance and water heater. From there we started building about how cool it would be have double french doors from the living room area to the rest of the basement, we had actually talked about that many years ago as big dreams. And then we made it happen! Installing the french doors was definitely not fun, and probably should’ve been like 4-person job – but somehow we did it, with all the credit going to B.
For the built in basement bar, we wanted to keep this as affordable as possible – so we ended up getting the pre-fab cabinet bases from Lowe’s — one compromise for this was having 24″ depth, it took up a little bit more of our living space that I would’ve preferred, but getting custom or skinners ones was significantly more! We scored my champagne fridge on sale and then used nicer plywood, glued together and created our own counter top that we stained in our go-to Walnut and polyurethaned the top for extra protection, again an affordable route!
We were already blessed with a bright basement with big windows and lots of them, but painting the basement white with waterproofing and the overtop, definitely help brighten up and clean up this space from it’s dingy blue walls.
Our basement was a blank slate, that we’ve turned into something. We’ve added function, additional living space, a whole new bathroom, and storage! And now it’s just time to live in it and enjoy – although since the 2020 C-word, we haven’t hosted with overflow in the basement as I always envisioned, like the guys downstairs watching the game, with snacks on the bar and mixing their own drinks – maybe some day!
Cheers to constantly evolving and making these a bit more beautiful than the way we found them!
I’ve been itching for a DIY project, and as much as I love the looks of our sideboard that transitions seamlessly from our living room to our dining room, our project skills and taste have improved since we first did this project back in 2016. The functionality and size of this piece are ideal, so there was no sense in trying to find and buy something new, we just needed a little glow up. After much brainstorming, I saw @hotpinkpineapples cabinet makeover and was instantly inspired to recreate this beaded look on our doors — the color was just throwing me.
To throw it back to 2016, we found a battered bookcase on the side of the road and added doors to it to create extra storage for glassware, entertaining, and games. The legs on the bookcase have always been questionable, so with this glow up, I also made sure to reinforce and take the time to fix some things overlooked with the first make over – like new legs, reinforcing the bottom, taking the extra time to sand the doors to remove some of the roughness and using wood filler to create a seamless look.
This was my first DIY with Chalk Paint… and let me say, I was not impressed, actually super bummed. I did the chalk paint because it’s supposed to be easy, durable, and little prep. I ended up sanding the old piece for the wood, but never primed anything… and as I was in the finishing touches stage the paint easily chipped off, or was stripped entirely when I was applying the wallpaper all the way down to the original dark wood grain. I wasn’t happy! So I made sure to get the wax to give it that protective finish – I did a couple coats on the high-traffic areas but am not convinced it’ll hold up. I also put contact adhesive shelf liner down inside to help with the chippy chalk paint.
Another learning on this DIY was gluing all the beads on, super easy, but the glue had a lot of leftover cobwebs, which was annoying when it came to finishing/painting – so either be careful or super diligent when you are gluing to avoid unnecessary webs. I am really happy with the 25mm size of the beads with my larger doors, they definitely make a statement!
Since the front was getting a glow-up, the inside also needed a makeover too. I wanted it to be a fun party inside, especially since this holds games, additional glassware, and other entertaining supplies. I think the fun tropical leaf pattern in black, white, and grey is super chic and lots of fun. What do you think?
I’m low-key obsessed with this makeover, and have found a small place for some green in my home with accessories and supporting pieces! Working on this project definitely got my creative juices flowing, it’s amazing when you spend the time creating and making something how that stems into other ideas and thoughts in other aspects of your life. 🥂
Picking out our kitchen remodel finishes was no easy feat. I wanted to be bold and make a statement, but also wanted to be classic and modern — it was finding a balance between the two that felt right for our home and our style. I realize that all-white kitchens may be a thing of the past? But, honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong – and love how everything came together. Without further ado, here are all of our kitchen finishes and even a rough breakdown of costs.
Hardware & Light Fixtures
We knew we wanted brass accents, because of our appliances (yes, we will get to those beauties, too!). So our hardware and accent lights were for sure going to be brass, in fact, the sconces were some of the first pieces I picked out and bought — I didn’t make a decision on our hardware until about a week before we were told our cabinets were going to be installed. One thing I didn’t count on was how much we would use our accent lights instead of our ‘canned lights’ – they provide plenty of warm lighting and truly create a mood.
Matching the brass finishes was a bit tricky, since I was doing most of my shopping online – if anything I was prepared to return, or I would order two different things and compare! It was a little extra effort, but worth it, IMO.
I also wanted to make a statement with our hardware, so we went for larger pulls on our upper cabinets which I just love – we even added in some glass knobs under the sink and on the pantry for a little extra something. We had a mix of 5″, 12″ and 18″ pulls with our knobs.
The backsplash was something I was really looking forward to finding something unique and different, and not being afraid to spend some money on it. Well, that totally didn’t really happen. I went to boutique tile shops and searched the interwebs, only to land on herringbone tile from Lowe’s. I was so disappointed about what the boutique tile shops offered (at least around here) and found this tile at Lowe’s that was pretty comparable to this super expensive tile I fell in love with online but for a fraction of the cost. We were especially cautious because we did counter to the ceiling on two sides above our sink and stove – and luckily we over-ordered our tile and were able to return to Lowe’s!
Our backsplash netted out around $900, with the cost per sheet was just under around $9 when we purchased (more expensive now) but compared to the $30 a sheet that I initially fell in love with, I’d say we replicated the same look for a third of the cost!
Can we just swoon over these quartz counters? Our counters are even better than we ever imagined, we lucked out with our counter company Granite Works Stone Design. Everything was amazing, plus they helped us find the perfect quartz to compliment our finishes. Our sales rep, selected two great options – but finding the Calacatta Miraggio Gold Quartz and securing the slab was meant to be.
The flooring was another sticking point that we ended up pivoting on multiple times. From initially thinking I wanted heated tile floors, to planning to refinish the floors we uncovered during demo, to trying to match our first-floor oak floors with hardwood, to then go in a completely different direction with a wide plank almost farm-like direction it was a doozy getting there, but we did. I’m also so glad we went this direction because it really warms up the space, cleans easily, is waterproof, and was only $615 vs. $3,000 to try and refinish our floors. Honestly, I’m just bummed I didn’t push harder to heated floors – I just couldn’t find anything that confidently said we could do it under this type of flooring.
Another bonus of our flooring is that Moz matches it, so when it comes to showing dog hair – we don’t see much, even though Moz isn’t that big of a shedder.
Confession: We may have designed our kitchen finishes around our Cafe Appliances. I found these appliances while we were awaiting our permits, aka early on in the kitchen reno process – and – to my surprise, didn’t need to spend too much time convincing B on splurging on these appliances! The white matte with brass hardware was just so beyond, the price was also a bit beyond, but something that B and I both loved, agreed on, and wanted without compromise. It ironically matched up with our fourth wedding anniversary gift. From the dishwasher to the fridge and stove we had to have the complete set. We loved the matte finish, the built-in WiFi options on the stove, and brass hardware — not to mention, everything was in stock so we ordered it ASAP to get ahead of any potential back orders and delays. Our appliances were definitely our biggest splurge, but we don’t regret that for a second, especially now that we’ve been living with them! And yes… you’re doing the math right our appliances were over $10k combined. 😇
We lucked out ordering our appliances in June 2021 and receiving them in the Fall, we did have some issues with our stove, coming a bit banged up but luckily was able to get money taken off with some fierce negotiations. 😏 I think the stove is my favorite, next to the dishwasher and I’m adjusting to life with a two-door fridge. 😅
I really wanted a bridge faucet, but most I found were itching close to $2k. With time, I lucked out and found this more modern and affordable one by Allen & Roth at Lowe’s. We have a very good friend who is a plumber, and he was very adamant on getting an InSinkErator for the garbage disposal. Luckily, we were able to get a brass flange for our garbage disposal too, yes we covered all the bases!
Getting Ruggables for the kitchen was also non-negotiable, with the number of dogs that can be at our house at times and with the back door being our main in and out, we needed something we could keep clean easily! The runner miraculously fit in front of the stove, with a smaller 2×3′ in front of the sink area.
Woah, that was a lot! What did I miss? Any other finishes you’re curious about that I may have missed? My tip if you’re starting any sort of remodel or big project, is to order stuff you like as soon as you see it, and depending on what it is more than enough (like tile), just in case by the time you get to install it could be discontinued or have a longer lead time.
Our kitchen reno is finished! (well almost… but we won’t talk about that in this post)
It just took under a year from inception and planning to completion for our kitchen renovation. That timeline was not at all what we were expecting… honestly if someone would’ve told us it would’ve been 8-11 months and kitchenless over the holidays, I don’t think we would’ve tackled the project when we did – so it was a blessing in disguise. It’s surreal to have this giant, brand new kitchen… especially compared to what we had, we added an 6x8ft section, which didn’t seem like much in the planning, but it was huge in the end! All of the details and planning came together and she sure is pretty.
Let’s take a look at where we started:
As I mentioned in previous updates, we had “contractor” drama and cabinet delays for days – but once it came time to the finishing touches, we were pretty much in control. Our cabinets were delivered and installed relatively quickly, although, as we came to find out with our counter and backsplash install not everything was as even or level as we were told or had hoped – but I know it was done with a bit more care than if our “contractor” stuck around.
Our biggest learning from our biggest home project to date is that good, quality workers are hard to find – I would be curious if we paid more money (but trust me, the bill for our kitchen was not cheap!) for some of those things if the quality, craftsmanship and customer service would’ve been better – part of me thinks not (unless we were paying like triple?). Our countertop company, Granite Works, was the only company we worked with that we had nearly zero qualms about! But even with all the headaches, at the end of the day, we also reminder ourselves that we live in a 100+ year old home, and even with the “new” she’s still a little rough – and now we still have an amazingly beautiful kitchen.
The Big Reveal
The finishes all seemed to come together, and we’ve definitely been told by many people that our kitchen is “very white.” But we like everything light, clean, and classic. One of the trickier pieces was honestly getting the brass/gold finishes to match – but I’d say we did pretty good with 90% of them. The appliances (as much as I love them) are a bit more of a darker bronze. We went with easy and classic white shaker cabinets and a Calacatta Miraggio Gold quartz counter that has this beautiful brown veining that runs through it and pulls the golds, flooring, and backsplash nicely together.
The breakfast nook is honestly my fave, from the garbage picked table upcycle to the DIY oversized settee we created – it just makes the space cozy. I’m sure there will be some additional decorating the walls, I’m looking forward to adding in more wood grain pops with the deeper walnut color from our table, it’s nice and warming to compliment the white and gold. We also have shelves that match the cabinets to go over the sink area, but haven’t installed them yet – maybe we will, maybe we won’t. I honestly, just don’t know what to do with so much counter space!
We already hosted our first event, an Easter brunch – the bloody and mimosas bar was perfectly placed (sadly, I forgot to take photos) and there was plenty of room for people to get around one another. I’ll share a post that links out all the actual finishes from the backsplash to the floors… but until then let the dance parties, endless plates of snacks and food, afternoons of Moz soaking up the sunshine and bottle popping commence!
Our first project of the year is complete! After being sick most of January, we finally had enough energy to conquer this project which was a quick 3-hour project with a huge impact. After seeing Peony and Honey’s stair runner makeover, the wheels were spinning, but nothing started to move. It wasn’t until we put our removable stair treads back on our bare wooden steps that I was not loving the look anymore! So I did a little extra research, found some runner options, and pitched the idea to B.
We had a two-tiered staircase with a larger landing with bay windows going up to our second floor. So there was some debate about how to treat the landing – which may still be coming, but for now is going to be bare wood floors. Regardless, we needed to get two runners for our project to account for the two runs. We figured out our length needed by measuring the stair height and tread and then multiplying it by the number of steps to get our total length in feet. Oh! And this is definitely a two-person job if anything to help keep the carpet tight while the other staples in place.
I was honestly hoping this project would be a little more affordable, but we ended up picking out runners that were more expensive, which drove the majority of the budget. The runners are definitely more plush, which was good for hiding the staples. This one couple, which was part of my research did theirs for $100 – so it’s definitely possible to do this on the cheaper end with some more affordable rugs and different nailing tools. This DIY project was around $360 for us.
Before we got started, I vacuumed and washed the steps with Murphy’s Oil Soap to make sure they were super clean (& dry) before we put the runners on. After all of our construction, they definitely needed it! The smaller of the two stairs took us a little over an hour to get the runner on, and then larger steps, closer to 2-hours because it was a little bigger and these are the main stairs you see from the first floor.
Step-by-Step: 1. First you start at the top of your stair, with the flat end of the rug – make sure it’s centered within your stair with equal length on either side before stapling into place. Stapling along the sides of the rug and top is key to getting it secure! 2. Make sure it’s tight, as you work into both back of your stair to fold over top on the stair topper. 3. Once you get to the first ledge, it’s important to fold over and staple along the length to keep it in place and tight! Ours was tricky because it was very plush, so finding the sweet spot in between the plush was crucial to getting a tight and secure staple in. 4. Basically rinse and repeat down your stairs! You definitely get the hang of it after the first couple of stairs. 5. Once you get to the bottom, get an exacto knife to cut your leftover rug. We put a piece of wood underneath as to not damage our flooring and get a good straight cut across. Using heat along the cut edge will help from fraying – I suggest a heat gun. (We ended up cutting a little longer, and folding under to avoid the fraying). 6. Afterwards, I went back and replaced any staples that were super noticeable, or hid them by adjusting the rug with pliers ever so gently. I also went and reinforced any sides and areas that moved more than I liked.
B and I love how this turned out – and it is definitely an upgrade! As I mentioned, we may add a runner to the landing that matches or update the landing rug on the second floor to match this as well for a little more cohesion. I also feel like we need some new curtains for the bay windows… *immediately opens the Target app*.
My last kitchen reno update was from August with demo officially underway. Fast-forwarded to mid-September we confirmed our ‘contractor’ and got work started, as we finally got city permit approval – which was honestly such a pain in the butt and took way longer than anticipated. So to give an abbreviated update on a big project that has lasted over the last 3-4 months, I’m going to touch on a few of the roadblocks – but spare the gory deets – cause we are in such a better place.
OK, let’s get into it. One of the biggest outcomes of the permit process was the need to actually add and build a new foundation for the 2ft by 8ft area we were expanding as opposed to doing a cantilever. This added to the timeline and budget, but in the end, honestly a better solution. So this first part of the process was SLOW, waiting for the brick, cement, and all the layers to dry and settle.
Cabinet Drama & Delays. Another roadblock that we didn’t anticipate was our kitchen cabinets. We were confident and told that we would be able to get those measured and ordered (before our footprint was complete). WELL, that wasn’t the case. The original cabinet company we decided to go with seemed to have a lot of upfront misinformation and we had to wait over a month before we were even close to being able to order cabinets (aka half our timeline) – as they requested to have drywall up before measuring and working on any layouts. Needless to say, the deadline of making Thanksgiving… or even Christmas was shot especially as lead times increased on top of that. Long story short, we ended up finding another (local) cabinet company who worked with us a million times better, had great communication, great solutions for our space, and a fair price compared to the original company (and the cabinets have been ordered!)
Contractor* Be Gone. At the beginning of November, we kindly said thanks for all your work to our ‘contractors’ and took over the rest from there. We quickly realized as more of the aesthetic work was being done that the attention to detail was missing severely and B and I are way too picky, spending a ton of money and have a vision and like things the way we like them. *grins* We ended up having to finish cleaning up the mudding, all the painting, flooring, finishing electric fixtures, adding all the trim work, and will end up doing the backsplash once we have cabinets and counters in place. This was a little extra sticky because it was a family friend who we went with, and have worked with before – but it just wasn’t going to work out for the full project like we’d hoped.
*I’m using the word “contractor” because it’s the easiest way to say our family friends who were doing the work for us.
REAL TALK: Dealing with the workers day in and day out, and living in the construction was EXHAUSTING. It NEVER ended – this heightened once the workers were actually in the house. And B and I were not in a good space as a team – we were stressed, arguing, upset, and frustrated with the work, progress, communication, lack of communication, games, and everything else in between and we were just over it. The unfortunate best thing for us was to get as much done from them, give a firm cut-off date and cut ties for our sanity. The sanity still took a bit to get back to… but I think we are finally in a better place (until we have to install the backsplash I am sure). 🙃
Now What? Basically, we are in the ‘wait for cabinets’ stage – which we’re hoping come sometime in January?! We have a big open room just waiting for it to truly become a kitchen. We are also waiting for our stove to be delivered again, so hopefully no more delays from that end. We were able to finish the floor install over Thanksgiving with a huge help to my parents – and again, thank goodness, because the attention to detail my dad has doesn’t even compare to our ‘workers’ and I know B and I would’ve been pissed… but I’m digressing!
We cannot wait to host in our kitchen, I honestly just cannot wait to have a sink on the main floor… and for my dining room and rest of the house to get back in order with everything misplaced. So, until then, we wait!
As soon as I saw Anthropologie’s Monogram Ornaments, I was instantly in love, instantly inspired to create my own twist. So here is my easy Anthro ornament dupe. (I mean, I’m not saying mine are cuter than Anthro’s but they’re still cute!)
Since this was pretty similar to a Pottery Barn place setting dupe I did a few Christmas’ ago, I had a pretty good game plan of recreating these monogram ornaments.
Step-by-Step: 1. First things first, you’ll need to cut an opening in the bottom of your plastic ornaments. This was a bit tricky to figure out, and should be done very carefully! I used a sharp mini Philips head to poke a hole in the bottom. Once I had a hole, I used a Uline knife to cut a smaller circle for the opening, go slow and wear gloves to protect your hands. Repeat based on the number of ornaments you’re making – this is the least fun part of the whole project!
2. Before you get this started, you can start painting your letter. Make sure to paint both sides – pick fun colors that will coordinate with your metallic bottle brush trees. The bottle brush trees I recommend are also a bit too tall, so you’ll have to pull the bass off, cut about a half-inch off, and then reattach the base with some hot glue!
3. Using thicker paper, trace a circle using a drinking glass that is rounder than your ornament, trace, and repeat to cut the same number of circles as you have ornaments. These are your bases!
4. Once your letter is painted, and your tree is trimmed it’s time to hot glue your letter into your tree! You can try this out before committing with the glue, but just rest the letter in nicely. Then you can glue the tree to your base, pull apart a cotton ball and glue it down for your faux snow. Afterward, you can push this up into the ornament and glue it around the base at the seam.
5. With white paint, you can create a snow top, on your ornament – I needed to do about 3-4 coats of the white paint until it was thick and nice. You can then use pipe cleaner or ribbon to add a finishing touch around the base. Using ribbon and pom-poms you can dress your top however it works with your letter!
Gift to friends, family or trim your own tree with a fun keepsake ornament for the year! I may be making a few more of these – but for now, these are the finishing products.